Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Facebook thinks you are pathetic and lame.

Don't worry. It thinks I am too, but just doesn't tell me to my face.

No, instead it shows your picture off in the corner with a sad little note saying, "Help Becky find friends. She only has 8," or " Write on Josh's wall." You are the sad little kid at the playground off by yourself who gets pity friends sent over to you by the playground monitor.

"Go over and play with Timmy. Look, he's all alone."

So this whole pity friend suggestions has me wondering, how many people are ignoring Facebook's suggestion to come over and talk to me? Look how sad and lonely I am. No one has written on my wall in weeks!

Thankfully, I do not judge my worth as a human being by how many friends I have or how often people write on my wall or tag me in a photo. I have a life. I have work to do. I don't check Facebook every fifteen minutes to see what everyone else is doing.

I totally just lied my pants on off. They are on fire, it was such a fib. I AM pathetic! I DO need friends!

In fact, I am so 'facehooked' that I even considered getting a cell phone data package at the insanely ridiculous rate of $80 a month just so I could check Facebook updates and messages remotely. (Thankfully, my paycheck is way too small for that to ever work, so I did not subscribe to said stupid plan.)

I have in the past mused to myself that Facebook is just the social dynamics of high school all over again with a few more people. Now I'm thinking it's getting closer to Kindergarten--in which case, won't you please, please won't you be, my Facebook neighbor?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Missed it by that much.

I don't understand. The world continues to turn. People go about their daily lives around me as though nothing has happened. Don't they know?

Does no one understand the pain I'm in?

Grades were posted today.

Suddenly, Maxwell Smart's mantra is droning through my head...."missed it by that much!"

I am 10 points, 10 POINTS, short of an A.

Not only that, this is only the second B I've earned in my entire college career. This is a total ego crusher.

The first B was doled out by the most boring, brain numbing teacher ever to try to teach Records Management. I hated the class so much that I didn't even care that I got a B. I was happy just to have the torture stop.

But this B, this B is from a teacher I actually enjoy in a class I actually liked. This is like having your mother tell you that your sister is prettier. And not even following up with, but don't worry, you have a nice personality.

My husband has no sympathy for me. None. He was happy to earn B's in school, which was decades ago, so therefore he cares not an iota about grades now. His reward for hard work comes in a paycheck.

I, on the other hand, earn a pittance and am still going to school so that maybe one day I might get paid a hair above a pittance. But until then, grades are the only reward I have for hard work. That A was my replacement for a healthy salary. Now that I have neither, I think I might have to start drinking. (OK, so drink more.)

Now I'm not some physics major that has a lot to be proud of in getting straight A's, but it's still a painful reminder that I'm not really that smart if I can't earn an A in Group Dynamics. Perhaps it's all this egocentricity that was the root of the problem to begin with. After all, Group Dynamics is all about learning to relate and work with other people!

The first thought that occurred to me when I saw the grade roster was maybe I can buy those points back. After all, teachers don't make that much money, and really, what could 10 points cost??

Unfortunately, my instructor has scruples. So I know she won't go for that.

In my defense (here comes the last ditch effort to salvage said ego and scrape together some sympathy), I did have a newborn to care for and was working full time when taking this class. And I did earn an A in the other class I was taking. So those three things should ease the sting, right? I'm not a total failure.

Nope. Doesn't help.

That B just keeps staring at me like grim death.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Believe that North Dakota Does Not Have a Sense of Humor

UPDATE (12/8/09, 9:47 a.m.): I received a response from Ms. Otte-Coleman. She thinks it would likely be a waste of money to bring JJ here.

I quote, "We could spend a lot of time and money trying to convince people who just plain want to be heard that we offer a great lifestyle. In some ways we just call attention to the limited view point of one high school student – who likely has not traveled west of the Mississippi."

So, sorry JJ. I guess you aren't coming here on our dime! But don't let that stop you from visiting--again. (Sara must have missed the whole part about how you drove through ND on your way to Canada.) We'd love to take you for a drive down the Enchanted Highway (what do you mean, this gift shop looks like an alien experiment station? Pay no attention to the tentacles behind the curtain....).

Original Post
This week I received an email from a colleague of mine at the state level calling me (and everyone else on the list serve) to action.

It seems a malicious article had been penned and posted on the web claiming North Dakota did not exist. It went on to falsely assert that North Dakota was in reality the home of Area 51 and that all of its residents were aliens.

We as God-fearing, Flag-waving, State-loving North Dakotans were encouraged to set the record straight. After all, no one, and I mean NO ONE, makes fun of North Dakota and gets away with it! (See Dave Barry video clip at the bottom to see what we do to people who do.)

And who was this slanderous, hurtful maligning journalist that dared write such horrific untruths?

None other than a high school sophomore from Connecticut in his school paper opinion piece for the week entitled I Believe North Dakota Does Not Exist.

I would like to share some of the comments left by those whom I assume to be offended North Dakotans:

Well, me and many others I am friends with are actually from ND. We still live there and I don't think we are aliens........

Now, if you were an alien, why would you admit to it? It would totally blow your cover.

You're an idiot, North Dakota is way better then Connecticut.

First, I'm glad this person used the correct version of you're. And secondly, yes, ND is better than Connecticut. But I don't think calling the writer an idiot helps prove that.

I came to North Dakota when I was 15 from Yuma Arizona. I could say a lot of thing to you about your sensless ramblings but you obviously wouldn't have the mental capacity to understand what I would say. However there is help for your problem and it is right here in North Dakota! It is called the North Dakota State Hospital. It is located in Jamestown N.D. I am sure they have an extra spare rubber room and a nice straght jacket that will fit you. Linda Perleberg Jamestown College

I think this might (maybe) not be the message we want to send to people from out of state--If you think or speak differently from us, we put you in the mental hospital. Actually, this again seems proof positive we are, in fact, aliens.

This is completely inaccurate. Why would you post this publicly? It makes you look completely uneducated and you look like a huge jerk. Not impressed to say the least.

Yes, it is inaccurate. That's why it's funny. The only one who ends up looking uneducated is the one who thought the kid was serious.

Congrats ND! We are smaller than a football field according to JJ! Ok, this might have been funny if you talked about how cold it is or some of our weird traditions or something. But saying we have area 51?? That's not even funny. P.S. Ever heard of Phil Jackson, Roger Maris, Lute Olson?? Wonder where they're from?

They are from--SPACE! Didn't you ever see Men in Black? This is just more proof we actually are the home of Area 51--Phil Jackson is definitely an alien!

I am not a resident of ND, but I go to college there and I just got an email telling all of us to read this "'spoof story' that does not depict North Dakota in a positive light" and respond with all the wonderful things about ND. Your article was funny, and these posts are rather entertaining as well!! You sure got quite a few people's panties in a knot!! You need to give ND some credit though, after all they do have the World's Largest buffalo, holstein cow, sandhill crane, and many others I assume! Not to mention the Enchanted Highway... I even saw a tree one time. WIth all that, who wouldn't love North Dakota?

And yet another thing that proves we are an alien infested area--freaky giant cows, cranes, and especially the Enchanted highway.

ok listen here little one i have lived in North Dakota my whole life and I'm pretty sure that me and all of my friends are not aliens and this is not some Area 51 cover up like you think it is. And lets think about this really quick North Dakota has the Badlands and Medora..... and I'm pretty sure that everyone knows about both of those. And i agree with whoever posted the last comment lets bring this idiot to ND during the winter and see how he likes it.

This person I actually agree with--I think we should bring JJ to North Dakota. I think it's a great marketing idea that the Department of Tourism should seriously consider. How much would it cost to bring JJ and his/her family here for a vacation to show them what North Dakota really has to offer? A few thousand dollars? I bet they spend more than that on a magazine ad, and this would probably get some national media attention.

So, I plan to draft a note to Sara Otte-Coleman right now suggesting exactly that.

And in the meanwhile, take a deep breath, try to loosen up and enjoy these other instances of people making fun of North Dakota. Who knows, you might actually laugh!!

Michael Moore's Mockumentary--Why ND is the least visited state:

Dave Barry--Why you shouldn't make fun of ND:

Conan's theory as to why ND is in the black (Link)

And lastly, a great little farce about my hometown icon, Tommy Turtle:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thank You to the Knight in Blaze Orange

I was going to write about something trivial and marginally humorous like Facebook insinuating that some of my friends are sad and pathetic by asking me to post on their wall or suggest friends for them (and wondering if I'm in that category on my friends' pages).

Perhaps another week.

Yesterday, I walked out through the snow and ice to start my car, wondering to myself why I hadn't done this ten minutes earlier so my car would be nice and warm. I saw the guy parked next to me scraping his windshield.

After I climbed in and started my car, I leaned over to see if I had an ice scraper anywhere in my vehicle. After all, it's only December. Why would I need one of those already??

As I'm fumbling around digging in the car door and side cubby, I hear a loud grating noise on my windshield.

I look up.

There is the guy who was parked next to me, scraping my windshield! I was dumbstruck. I really didn't know how to respond. In fact, I think probably my mouth was gaping as I tried to comprehend what he was doing.

Chivalry is not dead!

After he finished scraping the driver's side, I thought, that was really nice and was about to put the car in reverse. Then I see he's scraping the passenger side.

And then the back window.

And then the side windows!

This guy is unbelievable!

He scraped all the windows on my car. And all I could muster was a big goofy grin and a thumbs up.

I have no idea who this person was. Probably a student here. But he has shaken my deeply held prejudice against 18-year-old males. (Sorry guys, but so many of you are just slackers!)

Anyway, I highly doubt he will ever read this cyber shout out. I realize I have a loyal readership, but I doubt either of you know who this guy is either.

I'm hoping that by sending this thank you out into the universe, maybe someone else will be inspired to do something so thoughtful and unexpected today too.

I know I plan to!