Thursday, January 24, 2013

Our Love Affair With Google

I can safely say that 67 per cent of people have Googled themselves. I can also safely say that 83 per cent of statistics are made up. Tough to believe what we find on the Internet, isn’t it?
Either way, Googling our own names remains an inevitable Internet journey we all travel through at one point or another. And even though it seems to be a fad most of us went through when our Neopets were still our big responsibility, the allure of discovering who you are in the eyes of the collective world hasn’t disappeared. Once we grow a little bit older, when angst is our beloved middle name and voice cracks appear in the most socially convenient of times, our lives become even more centred around the Internet. You know, when we’re finding ourselves. We spend our days looking deep inside our souls and pulling out the unexplored wisdom that accompanies maniacally trolling our newly formed YouTube account.
Googling your own name is almost akin to finding someone else’s diary. It’s you, but from an objective view of the world. You see yourself as simply a name, a profile, and it suddenly clicks how small you are. There is a certain intrigue as to who you will find. Suddenly, you’re no longer John Smith, but John Smith, track team member in Grade 6 and the proud owner of the most thumbed up comment on Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” music video.
Does this imply we are a vain society? All eager to snatch a little pocket of fame, even if that entails a Blogger profile abandoned years ago? No; it’s human curiosity. We want to see ourselves as others do. It’s smart. We want to see ourselves as our potential employers will. It’s hilarious. We want to see how many alleged criminals share our names on the FBI wanted list. It’s natural.
Yet it’s also natural for people other than your procrastinating ego to type your name into the mother of all information known as Google. It’s this very fact we have to be cautious of, and is precisely the reason I just signed up for a Google Alert with my name on it. Every time my name is searched, I will be notified. And that’s either a whole new level of vanity or absurd paranoia, but I suggest you do the same, fellow cyberspace civilians.
Despite the creepers lurking behind the screens around the world (and apparently anyone who has looked through someone else’s photos on Facebook qualifies for the endearing term “creeper”), the Internet is a place of endless discovery, perhaps even nostalgia. A few months ago, I stumbled across my old Neopets account, which reminded/guilt-tripped me about the fact that I had left this virtual little pet without food for 3627 days. No wonder eight-year-old me was so addicted, seeing this creature’s eyes tearing up, begging me to come back and play. This was a game of serious responsibility!
A friend of mine entered his name into Google only to find a website which looked to be dedicated to him, as if he came across a personal shrine created by his oh-so-devout fans commending his piano expertise. It was entitled The Piano Sensation, but not targeted towards my buddy over here. Just another guy who made a website for himself praising his piano skills (if that’s not sad, I don’t know what is).
I, for one, share my name with what seems to be hundreds of middle-aged women in Ohio. A fascinating lurk, I know. Others have such unique names that they are really the only ones who come up – the one and only in a vast world of Internet fame.
It remains a source of intrigue for everyone. Some are left feeling sufficiently creeped out after finding their name inserted into a foreign blog entry, others feel a little ashamed that they only appear once for participating in their school’s annual bake sale, and most feel a little bit smaller than before.
The power of Google has literally overtaken the world. We may think of the internet as being an invincible creature, holding our secrets as its own, laughing with us while we watch the panda sneezing for the thirtieth time, patting our back while we read a surprisingly tear-jerking chain email (grandparents always have a knack for those). But in reality (please stop reading if you’re morbidly afraid of the Internet already) it’s as if Google is glaring at us at all times. Really? It rolls its eyes. You’re checking how to spell “definitely” for the third time today? Do you honestly think the baby with the bellowing laugh is this funny?
I’ve essentially come to view the Internet as a cynical, bitter creature before me, who probably views me as a sporadic, ADD-prone maniac. But hey, at the end of the day, we are their masters. The Internet is our very own tool for success. It doesn’t have a brain.
…at least for now.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

The "Decor-Whore" Shares Some Happiness

Tumblr is not only a place of angsty words spilling from the mouths of privileged teens, or incessant photos of naked women in distinctively awkward poses. It is a land of gems, just hidden gems. Hence why I still have a tumblr, even after slamming my head into my keyboard about four times whenever I scroll through and see yet another girl in a flannel shirt, holding a coffee cup, with the caption, "I just need somebody to love." YOU WON'T FIND SAID PERSON ON TUMBLR.

Well, actually, true story, a girl I knew in high school did in fact find somebody to love in this bizarre world. They're still together, too. Makes for an interesting, "And how did you two meet?" story. But this is beside the point. 

Recently, I wandered into quite a hidden treasure trove actually. Please don't dismiss this tumblr based on its name. Each interior is quality stuff. So this is to you, decor whore, and all your wonderful choices in life.

(I feel as though I should make this a running series. The hidden gems of tumblr. It's tough to find, but when you do find them, it is so worth it.)

The high ceilings are almost reminiscent of a studio, especially with them sleek appliances. But then we can see the farm-house details making an appearance, whether through the statement door at the end of the kitchen, or the paneled cupboards. The implicit contrast is endlessly pleasing. 

There's man caves, and then there's lady caves. This is an example. 

This is the cheeriest kitchen I've seen in a long time. Perhaps it's because of that adorable dog staring longingly into my eyes, or perhaps it's because they combined the two most pep-me-up colours known to the human eye: sunshine yellow and happy skies blue. 

A pleasant mixture of rustic and minimalist elements (aka my favourite mixture ever), and I think it was a particularly smart move to adopt the minimalist shelf against the window rather than an aged wooden one. The light coming in is left nice and pure.

Living small - fairly sure that's a washing machine or dryer. Economical! Or just a dishwasher, which may be more probable. But hey, regardless, this kitchen makes me think of baking cupcakes. Fresh, girly, retro times. 

Ah, sometimes light is the only thing you need in a room. It's just a blanket of happiness. I would feel so zen in this room, and that is not a word I regularly use (for good reason, don't wanna be the girl that always comments on the zen qualities in her life... how many people actually know what zen really means anyhow?).

An aga! I grew up with an aga. Reactions are always very perplexed as to what this odd, often colourful cube structure is doing in the kitchen. Is it... a dishwasher? Are those... cabinets? And then you take out a perfectly cooked turkey and their minds are blown. And omgthatwallpaper. Could it be any more adorable? NO. The answer is no. I'm fairly sure I would spend at least five minutes a day just taking in how pretty it looks. 

So much to look at without feeling bombarded by details. This floor is begging to have slippered feet slide across it. Doesn't this table just look like it would facilitate such artistic conversations? A clan of sculptors each making their way into the big league. 

Has anyone seen Tangled? Please don't judge me... but it was a fandiddlytastic movie. Anyway, this room is reminiscent of a modern version of the tower she was locked away in. Surprisingly full of light, with vines creeping in and potted plants. Either way, I would not mind being banished away into a room as cheerful as this. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January's Pressures

I think of all the months, January very well may have it the hardest.

Just around the corner of New Year's ecstasy lies the first of January, gleaming in the light of a fresh start. She's dressed in garments of hope, and ambition, wearing a beret made up of future artistic endeavours, and peers through sunglasses moulded with confidence. We practically knock her over when saying hello, bursting with anticipation as we shake the hands of a new year. We begin to recite to her the dreams of 2013, and she smiles and nods and agrees with our aspirations. After all, how could she deny us this giddy desire for a whole year's worth of days? The first of January is no stranger to such greetings, as it comes every year without fail. Whether we publicize our greeting with her or not, everyone has the same twinkling wish in the backs of our minds for the best year yet.

Then we meet up with January 15th.

How are the daily runs going? January 1st told me all about them. Sounds really great. You mean you didn't actually get up every morning at 7 to go for a jog? You know what, that's cool. At least you go three times a week? O-oh, well once a week is really good too! Oh, no times a week? I guess you can't succeed in all of your resolutions. I'm sure your school work is going swimmingly then. No? Have you been keeping up with the readings? Have you dedicated an hour to blogging everyday? Have you made sure to line up a summer internship yet? No? NO?


January 15th pretends to be sympathetic, but we all know she's a judgemental bastard. You came to January 1st with such ambition and innocence, and now you're slowly admitting defeat to every day after. But hey! Wipe those hypothetical tears away! Go back into your closet and grab those hypothetical garments of hope and ambition and all that jazz! Snatch those glasses moulded with confidence that are gathering dust and put 'em on with pride! I challenge you to face up to one of your New Year's resolutions for today and push that condescending reminder of your procrastination to the very back of your mind. Put it out of the way. January, as hyped up as it is with new dreams and rules, is just another month to try and be your very best. Every month should be greeted with such anticipation. Every day should be greeted with just as much excitement.

Now let's just take a moment to reflect on the corniest motivational speaker post ever (this is really all a way to take a break from calculus).

I'm starting afresh as promised and will deliver you a post of goodies! January 1st is back!

That is all, lovelies. I'm off to fetch a pita.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Slumpy Slump Slump

There's a reason people fall into slumps. Slumps are damn comfortable. The slope of the hill running along the curve of your back, like a hammock... who wants to get up? Slumps along the journey are too tempting.

...but I've been chilling in said slump for far too long.

I'm back.
Hope life has been swell.

My hypothetical return will be in either of these dresses, please and thank you. 

Or I might play it cool and sneak back in without you noticing. Well, I hope you notice my hypothetical Great Gatsby sweater, but aside from that, yes, sleuth entrances are my forté.