Enquiring Minds

I’m spilling guts (mostly my own) over at Neil de le Flor’s Almost Dorothy blog:

Dorothy Gale is the fictional representation of my inner person. She is a frumpy Midwesterner who wears drapes. (This is essentially how people sum me up after meeting me. Charles’s words, not mine.) (Yes, Charles Jensen is a drape. Yes, I said that.) But she years (or yearns) for so much more that she creates a fantastic dreamworld where she becomes a Christ figure. It’s positively transgressive. In the “backwards” fantasy world, all the men are impotent. Girl-on-girl violence is the only means of bringing about radical change. This is essentially how I would describe growing up in Wisconsin. I believe Wisconsin has historically developed the highest per capita instance of cannibalism in the history of America, excluding the Donner Party.

More scintilating details on the clickthru!

She’s the One

Let’s just say it: I’m obsessed with Martha Stewart’s tweets.

I’m getting the hang of Twitter. Slowly. Now that it updates my Facebook status, I like it a lot better because I’m not duplicating efforts–I hate duplicating efforts.

I love following (note: this is not the same as stalking) Martha. Today she’s traveled from Hollywood to the Texas panhandle where she’s touring some kind of factory:

“feedlots everywhere, 66 miles from new mexico, 100 miles from okla. beef, oil, tilt rotors, bomb disablement all here.”

I imagine Martha driving solitary down a two-lane stretch of dusty Texas highway (I mean, next to her driver), tweeting as the existential experience of America’s nothingness moves her.

The Death of Shopping

Well, sort of.

My friend Chad recently invited me to join a service called Shop It To Me. The service is like a personal shopper, allowing you to select various brands of clothing and accessories you like. It generates a weekly (or biweekly) email that collects sale items at various retailers based on your preferences, turning them into clickable links in your email that take you right to the item’s page.

I don’t think it’s an overshare to tell you I’ve already purchase 2 pairs of Calvin Klein underwear because it came right into my inbox. (If you want an invitation to Shop It to Me, let me know, because I get special credit for that!)

In a related observation, iTunes has totally stripped me of my desire to enter a music store. Not only can I directly download about 99% of what I’d want to buy, iTunes will be kind enough to alert me when artists I like or have previously purchased release something new. I use that all the time. iTunes also lets me “pre-order” new albums coming out–in actuality this is a dubious service because I generally get no tangible benefit by doing so (occasionally a pre-order only track, but rarely), except that iTunes will automatically download that album on its day of release so I don’t have to try to remember to click it.

But I’m in the iTunes store every Tuesday anyway to flip through the new releases. To go a step further, the iTunes program itself now features the “Genius” app, which will generate playlists for me when I select just one song, picking and choosing other tracks that are “compatible” with my selection. It’s a neat trick. Genius will also tell me (surprise, surprise) what other tracks I can buy by that artist in the iTunes store or (again) identify music I might like based on liking that one track or artist.

Amazon’s been doing this with books for a long time, which I’m sure you all know. It’s seeping into our culture all over the place–providing the highest levels of service that most retail workers are loathe to provide on a person-to-person basis. And let’s face it: I’m a service-oriented person. I drive 6 miles out of my way to go to a grocery store where the employees look me in the eye and say hello, or answer my questions with words instead of gestures.

Shopping as we know it will radically change. I don’t think this will ever replace the mall, but it will change how we think about the mall. As an oddly-shaped person (I prefer to think of myself a “unconventional”: my lower chest is “medium” in width and “large” in length, while my shoulders, arms, and neck are “extra-large,”–or “unbelievably huge,” as one of my friends called my neck recently), I’ll always have to try things on before I buy. My waist is “medium” but my butt is “large.” I’m also too cheap to tailor, so I grin and bear, or buy a whole bunch of stuff in every color when it fits.

All of this serves me, though, since I’m not a huge fan of leaving my house. Unless I’m pointed at the mall. In which case, heaven.

Modern Life

Emily posted this a while back and I recently fell deep into like with it:

(Facebook News Feed Edition)
by Sarah Schmelling

– – – –

Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it’s annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet’s annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet’s father is now a zombie.

– – – –

The king poked the queen.

The queen poked the king back.

Hamlet and the queen are no longer friends.

Marcellus is pretty sure something’s rotten around here.

Hamlet became a fan of daggers.

– – – –

Polonius says Hamlet’s crazy … crazy in love!

Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.

Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.

Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.

Ophelia removed “moody princes” from her interests.

Hamlet posted an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family

The king commented on Hamlet’s play: “What is wrong with you?”

Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.

Polonius is no longer online.

– – – –

Hamlet added England to the Places I’ve Been application.

The queen is worried about Ophelia.

Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.

Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don’t Float.

Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone.

– – – –

The king sent Hamlet a goblet of wine.

The queen likes wine!

The king likes … oh crap.

The queen, the king, Laertes, and Hamlet are now zombies.

Horatio says well that was tragic.

Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, says yes, tragic. We’ll take it from here.

Denmark is now Norwegian.

Arrr, Matey!

The other day I was encouraged by a friend to change my Facebook default language to:

English (Pirate)

Which is an actual selection on the Facebook language list. So, I did. And I nearly died. It is so hilarious! Click on the image below to see a larger version:

For Your Consideration

This slick little site just popped up on my radar. What do you all think?

WEbook is a revolutionary online book publishing company, which does for the industry what American Idol did for music. (Modestly speaking, of course.) Welcome to the home of groundbreaking User-Generated Books. WEbook is the vision of a few occasionally erudite people who believe there are millions of talented writers whose work is ignored by the staid and exclusive world of book publishing. It just makes logical sense that if you create a dynamic, irreverent, and open place for writers and people who like reading to meet, write, react, and think together, the results are bound to be extraordinary. Cue WEbook.com, an online publishing platform that allows writers, editors, reviewers, illustrators and others to join forces to create great works of fiction and non-fiction, thrillers and essays, short stories, children’s books and more.