Category Archives: Musings

Daily Elite Daily #9

If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong by Lauren Martin on Sept. 16, 2015 (suggested subtitle: Throw away your life! Have fun NOW and live in despair once you’re 30!)

I don’t know about you, but I like to enjoy my life.

You’re right, you don’t know about me. I, like everyone in the world except you, don’t like to enjoy my life.

This goes back to a piece of advice a very successful friend gave me: “Don’t save money. Make more money,” he nonchalantly stated, pushing me into a taxi.

He’s a successful friend because he states things instead of saying them.

Before this piece of advice, I was frantic. I was always doubting and always feeling guilty. I lived in the most exciting city in the world (also the most expensive) and had yet to experience it.

This confusingly vague advice coming from a likely very privileged friend was enough to completely cure her.

I was trying to save, which meant trying not to eat. I wasn’t going out with friends, had yet to go to a club and had never seen the inside of a taxi.

You are not truly a person of the world until you’ve seen the inside of a taxi.

I couldn’t enjoy my life because I was too busy worrying about my bank statement. I was too busy watching my savings instead of savoring my youth.

And it’s that kind of snappy wordplay that got you this job, Ms. Martin.

When did our 20s start to feel like our 40s? When did we get weighed down with the same pressure and stresses as a woman with four kids and a second mortgage?

Things “we” don’t have in common with a woman with four kids and a second mortgage: four kids, a second mortgage.

I’ve recently figured it out: This pressure, this third-party stress, is ingrained within us.

You did it! Where thousands of years of human thought has failed, you have swooped in and solved our problems! It’s all over, no need to write anything further.

But like most things our parents have ingrained in us, we must consciously work to push it out. Because while they may have the best intentions, they don’t always have the best insight.

You heard her, folks; push out your urges to help around the house, be kind to people, etc.

They want us to save because it provides us with a safety net, but that’s exactly why we shouldn’t. Their need for us to have a safety net is just a giant metaphor for the difference between our parent’s generation and ours.

The difference between our parent’s generation and ours, or yours?

They were getting married at 20 while we’re just getting our first apartments.

BREAKING: Things were different a few decades ago.

We’re taking our time growing up, refusing to be shackled by mortgages and diapers.

I’m glad you’ve grown out of diapers, Ms. Martin.

We’re not trying to live with safety nets; we’re trying to live on the edge.

Wouldn’t you rather live on the edge with a safety net? What if you fall?

When you live your life around your retirement fund, you may as well retire now. You can’t make a mark on the world if you’re too cheap to live in it.

Money-free solution to this problem: break off a tree branch and make a mark in the dirt.

People who are saving in their 20s are people who don’t set their sights high. They’ve already dropped out of the game and settled for the minor leagues.

  1. If they’re saving in their 20s for a mansion later on, are they still setting their sights low?
  2. Technically you’re still a part of the game if you’re in the minor leagues.

$200 a month isn’t going to make the dent that a $60,000 pay raise will after spending all those nights out networking.

So far this is the first she’s mentioned of somehow finding a high-paying job to fund these hedonistic sprees.

You’d be surprised at how cautious people get with just a few thousand in the bank. This isn’t the time to safeguard — it’s the time to bet all your chips and hope to make it big.

And if you lose?

When you live your life by numbers, you strip yourself of poetry

???

What memorable experience does money in the bank give you?

Knowing you have enough money to live?

How well-rounded can people become sitting at home, watching their limited funds gain interest?

Is that what non-funded people do now?

Life is to be lived, not watched from the inside of your rent-controlled apartment.

If the “life to be lived” outside is a family of bears, I’m staying inside my goddamn rent-controlled apartment.

When you’re acutely aware of your mortality, it makes spending money that much easier. Those who don’t plan for the future aren’t planning for their death.

Maybe not consciously…

It’s good to be cautious and plan for unexpected events.

What? Is this reason I’m seeing?

It’s also good, however, to learn how to release and destress. Everything works out, and if you’re smart, able and had a job once, you’ll have one again.

Stressing and de-stressing will help pay off those student loans!

When you’re 40, you’re not going to look back on your 20s and be grateful for the few thousand you saved. You’re going to be full of regret.

If I’m living in a mansion in my 40s I will not regret saving a fucking penny.

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Daily Elite Daily #8

We’ve Traded Board Games For Dating Games And No One’s F*cking Winning by Lauren Martin on April 17, 2015 (suggested subtitle: A frequent Daily Elite Daily offender rehashes everything ever said about dating, but this time with game metaphors)

Besides checkers, chess and Monopoly, I’m not one for games.

That’s it? Not Cards Against Humanity? Any video game ever?

I don’t like losing, and I definitely don’t like strategizing.

Well, I mean, I’m sorry, but you need strategy to win at a lot of games. Sorry to burst your bubble.

I hate that going on dates means knowing someone is trying to play me. Whether it’s to win me over or to win over me, I just don’t like it.

So you’d rather go on a date with no prospects?

There’s no denying, however, that a few games are necessary.

But I’m sure she’ll never specify what those are.

We like things because we can’t have them — we’re drawn to the unattainable and elusive.

I like the clothes I’m wearing. CHECKMATE.

If people told you they loved you after two days, you’d be more freaked out than turned on.

True, but given its positioning in the story, Ms. Martin makes it sound like this is something that might have been okay before the advent of…hookup culture.

There’s a certain level of honesty we respect, and then there’s just crazy.

Classic non-sequitur. How does that sentence relate to the previous one?

There’s a certain level of game play we expect, and then there’s just uninterested. Or, if they are interested and just playing games to play them, it’s f*cking annoying and a waste of everyone’s time.

Game-playing has become a minefield! Give us a strategy guide!

Because life is too short to waste with games that don’t make sense with rules that no one understands.

Tell that to QWOP!

We now present an evaluation of Ms. Martin’s games

The “Waiting To Respond To Their Text” Game
There are two players. The first player texts first. The second player can either respond or not respond. If he chooses not to respond, he forfeits his turn and either risks his chance for another turn or gets a double text from the first player — and bonus needy points.

If he does respond, he risks losing cool points or gains access to the second round. It’s a game of risk and luck and, most times, the dealer always loses.

Too convoluted. Too many different points to keep track of. Cool points? Needy points? And what function to they fulfill? Why did the “first player” become “the dealer” at the end? What happens in the second round?

The “Excessive Social Media” Game
This is a new game with new technology. It takes as many players as you can find and can involve nudity, drinking and poking. It can either turn the second player on or very, very off. Score is usually kept with “like” points.

I’m even more confused on this one, especially because “drinking” is somehow intersecting with “new technology.”

The “Holding Out” Game
This game involves strategy and skill. If the first player makes a move, but the second player doesn’t, there is a stalemate — where the first player usually stays until the second player gives out.

I don’t think you quite understand the word “stalemate.”

During this time, the second player can employ other positions and gain extra points. If he holds out too long, however, the first player could get bored and quit.

Wait a minute, you just said the second player can’t make a move! Whatever employing other positions means in this context (I literally have no clue), it’s a move.

The “Being Too Busy” Game

This is a one-player game in which there is no winner. You could play for days and still never get to the end. It usually involves a second player dropping out or forfeiting after waiting too long for his turn.

You just said it’s a one-player game.

The “Flirting With Other People In Front Of Them” Game

This is a multiplayer game (even though it’s ideal for two). The more players that get involved, the more complicated it gets and harder it is to keep track of points.

A game for two is multiplayer.

The “Playing Dumb” Game
This is when players act like they don’t know how to play the game to get you to think they will be an easy win. This is a form of hustling, and it’s usually pretty damn obvious.

In a pure game context this could be fun. You have to convince all the players you’re the dumbest in the room.

The “I’m Not Looking For A Relationship” Game
This game is a lot like bullsh*t. It’s about holding on to your cards the longest and not letting anyone see.

She finally makes a decent simile but doesn’t capitalize “Bullshit” to reference the card game and not the expletive or cow crap.

It’s about how well you can lie and deceive, however, if you play the game too well, you’re just going to end up alone with all the cards.

But in the game Bullshit, playing well means you’re not holding any of the cards.

The “Talking About Exes” Game
This involves a ghost player who comes out at special occasions or strategically planned events. He is usually used to knock the second player down, but runs the risk of costing you the game.

Dude, a game with ghost players? Sign me up. Though the physical injury doesn’t sound great.

The “Keeping Score” Game
This is a game in which points are everything, but they really mean nothing. Players go point for point trying to one up the other. Unfortunately, having more points doesn’t guarantee a win.

You just said the points don’t matter though, so how does one win?

The “Pretend You Don’t Like The Games” Game
This is the worst game there is. It involves players who act like they don’t want to play, yet use every chance they get to score on you. They act like they’re too old for games, but cry when they lose.

This sounds kind of like the same principle of the “Playing Dumb” game, but was thrown in at the end so that it could be a neat list of ten games.

Daily Elite Daily #7

Why No Matter How Much You Think You Do, You Never Really Know Anyone (Suggested subtitle: One of the most incomprehensible things you will ever read on Elite Daily)

by Saima Khan on Feb. 25, 2015

We talk, we laugh, we cry, but do we know what goes on behind closed doors?

What if it’s laughing, talking or crying? Mind. Blown.

Thin walls separate one from millions and what’s on the other side creates all the confusion.

I often employ the classic “??????” for phrases like these but there are so many of them that I’m going to have to up my game.

During an intent gaze, a curve on the lips, a crease on the forehead or a gesture of the hand, could there only be a single meaning behind each motion, or could it be a matter of a thousand?

You know what they say: a crease on the forehead is worth a thousand words.

You can never really know people because you can never really understand a personality, figure out the words behind the emotions or comprehend the perfections behind the imperfections.

Unless you explicitly ask someone, then maybe.

It really isn’t possible to know someone just by talking or being with him or her.

How are you supposed to know a person then? Telepathy?

Yes, you could be talking to your partner all the time before marriage, and you are certain that you know him, but are you 100 percent certain about your certainty?

Don’t pull this meta shit on me, Khan. You’re either certain or you’re uncertain.

To be honest, as much as we make ourselves believe that we know people, we never actually do.

I sense this is going to come up several times more.

She closed her eyes and a teardrop fell. When asked what had happened, she would just say nothing. But, that “nothing” could mean everything.

The attempt at poetry fails thanks to the awful passive voice.

But, that could also mean every syllable in his mental conversation was way beyond his answer. People exist for a reason and reasons exist for people.

There’s a place for that.

Individuals have different perspectives and different approaches.

Give her a Nobel for that feat of reasoning.

However, the most difficult equation of life exists here — an equation where the value of the unknown is infinite because we can never get to know people from all the angles they offer.

Okay, I said I wasn’t going to do this but: ?????????

We realize later that we just knew them superficially when we found out the equations didn’t match.

I don’t think you’re supposed to match equations, are you?

We can never really know people, but we can understand certain people in our lives and based on that understanding, we create wonderful relationships that promise to last.

“You can never really know people, but you can know people.”

Of course, new people will come in and fill holes made by the ones who left. On the canvas of life, we often go off color.

How did the first sentence connect to the previous one? Who knows?

But, as long as there are special people to add the right shades, life goes on to be a rainbow.

I defer my final comment to the only comment on this story:

wtf

Daily Elite Daily #6

Why Celibacy Before Commitment Is Rare In Today’s Hook-Up Culture (Suggested subtitle: “Think you’ve seen enough hand-wringing about hook-up culture? Think again!”

by Slater Katz on Feb. 21, 2015

Dating is a game, a multiplayer one, with unwritten rules and regulations that generational norms impose.

By “unwritten” she likely means “Written in pretty much every article Elite Daily has ever churned out.”

Men and women alike are inspired to follow these rules in order to achieve an equal and opposite partnership.

Is she confusing relationships with a law that Sir Isaac Newton came up with?

It’s not until both parties land at the doorstep of an apartment that the climax begins.

Those living in houses need not apply.

The mark of a successful first date used to be a timid peck on the lips and a promise of a ring-a-ding-ding emanating from a cell phone in the near future.

For an elaboration on what a “ring-a-ding emanating from a cell phone” is, read Slater Katz’s best-seller Dating: An Explanation for Aliens.

Not even 10 years ago, 20-somethings easily understood a kiss was step one and there was no necessary haste to sprint to step two at such a delicate moment during stranger status.

“Such a delicate moment during stranger status” is another phrase that puts alien minds at ease.

Today, leaving a person with a peck that lasts mere seconds is admission into a danger zone where penalties are forever goodbyes.

“I must bid you forever goodbye…” he said.

“No!” she cried. “I thought what we had was special!”

The casual hook-up culture our generation has cultivated has pushed the pressure to go beyond a quick peck to rapidly underneath sweaty sheets, made of Egyptian cotton.

Though “casual hook-up culture of our generation” is such a great awful phrase, I especially love that she has to only do her business under Egyptian cotton sheets.

Just as we expect our wishes and whims for immediate gratification, the slightest twitch of excited genitalia screams for the instigator to satiate it.

If you listen very carefully, excited genitalia will also offer financial tips and general life advice.

The pressure to put out before someone else comes alone, who is willing to do so, haunts the clarity of the decision-making process.

??????????

For those who aim to acquire more than a forgetful, meaningless encounter, time is of the essence when it comes to sex.

I think she means “forgettable” but hey, this guy obeys no one’s rules of clarity in writing.

Bravo’s sharp-tongued love guru, Patti Stanger, preaches that whether you’re 18 or 80, the key to establishing a successful relationship is to have no sex before monogamy…Considering, in sane terms, it should take between two and four months before two people decide to commit, the “Millionaire Matchmaker” owes every Millennial viewer a refund.

You chose to watch The Millionaire Matchmaker, she doesn’t owe you shit!

For those of us who find sex emotional, as opposed to a sport, prematurely engaging in sex is dangerous territory when you’re seeking more than a notch on your bedpost.

Very few can see it as a sport, looking at how devastating the last Sexual Olympic Games were. Huge waste of money.

When do you give in? And, more importantly, do you have to give in to hang on to someone?

Stanger vehemently says no. Her flaw, however, is ageist ignorance. First, acknowledging the fact she’s a reality-TV-produced “celebrity,” her clients are stereotypically middle-aged male disasters, who offer bribes for tolerance.

Exactly. Her clients aren’t anywhere close to millennials, so what’s your beef with Stanger?

Putting off intercourse supposedly brought out our innate personas as complementary hunters and gatherers, and produced an organic chase to satiate a craving with a special prize.

Does the hunter come free with a purchase over $50?

The difference is, back in the day, when cavemen roamed the earth, pickings were slim. There were only so many berries scattered across a barren landscape, making it possible to hone in on the gold with total occupation.

Her word choice is starting to make my head hurt. Don’t know if I can go on…

Alongside society’s progression, there has been the proliferation of the human race cramped into congested hubs and forced to mingle among their differences.

“Mingling among their differences” is basically the definition of life, you asshole.

With so many beings in so many varieties, everyone has the ability to taste the fruits of life until he or she finds one that soothes his or her taste.

Note the word choice: “so many beings” leaves all the options open! “Soothe” your taste to your delight, friend!

If your body does not freely and willingly shed itself of a clothed exterior with tenacity, there is surely someone a swipe away who is willing to compensate for your “weakness.”

Shit, no wonder dating is so hard. Bodies have to shed clothes by themselves now?

The argument that having sex has developed from innate to sensual ignores the powerful community technology has created.

Did she present this argument anywhere? Better question: what the hell does this mean?

Only if technology halts its persistent advancement will options be slim and monogamy seem plausible.

So…an article about celibacy was actually a missive against technology? Magic. Pure magic everyone. Elite Daily, you’ve found your best writer. Promote her, I tell you!

Daily Elite Daily #5

10 Reasons Why You Should Always Go For the Girl Who Drinks Whiskey

by Dan Scotti on Feb. 18, 2015 (Suggested subtitle: A bunch of generalizations about women based on alcohol choice)

You can tell a lot about people by their drink choice.

You’ve got your beer drinkers in one corner, crowding around the keg, chanting “America!” and talking about college.

This just in: if you’re a beer drinker and not college-age or a blatant American patriot, you’re doing it wrong.

Then you’ve got your wine drinkers, twirling their glasses around, most likely judging everybody else around them.

I feel like wine drinkers could also be chanting “America!” and talking about college.

There are the vodka drinkers, busting shots of whatever variety was the cheapest and the gin drinkers, arguing over what their favorite Hugh Grant film is.

If anyone can explain the correlation between gin and Hugh Grant, I will pay them $20.

Whiskey drinkers are some of the most generalized members of the alcohol community.

But wine, beer, vodka and gin drinkers aren’t generalized at all. And I’m sure you’re not going to generalize women based on their drink choice…

Unless you’re trying to convince her you’re dining at Dorsia, you’re definitely going to want a girl who can hold her liquor, especially when you’re taking her out to places.

The correlation between Dorsia and holding liquor is also as confusing as hell.

Ordering whiskey shows confidence — and confidence can be a good indicator of strength.

I’d also think anyone ordering Snake Venom beer is pretty damn confident.

If her drinking habits are any reflection on the rest of her habits, she doesn’t like to half-ass things.

And if her drinking habits aren’t a reflection of the rest of her habits? What then?

There are certain drinks that are just… not hot.

If you are calling drinks “hot” you are probably a douchebag.

There’s just something hot about watching a chick throw back shots of whiskey with a purpose.

Is there?

For whatever reason, whenever I think of people who drink whiskey with any regularity, I feel like they also have a slew of obscure, sophisticated hobbies in addition.

“According to my 100 per cent objective and scientific opinion, whiskey drinkers have weird habits. Also, I’m really running out of ideas already. Why did I agree to list 10 reasons?”

Put it this way: I doubt any true whiskey drinker is going to laugh her ass off after listening to a penis joke, and that’s a good thing for anyone seeking mature company.

No true whiskey drinker would laugh at a penis joke!

She doesn’t just drink whiskey because it’s going to get her drunk faster or because she has anything she’s trying to prove.

Sure, she could throw back shots of cheap vodka, but simply getting pissy drunk is far from her only motive. She sips slow.

So what is her motive?

Is she a people person? Eh, probably not, which is more or less the reason she’s a “whiskey person” in the first place.

This just in: to compensate for introversion, people turn to whiskey.

She’s very in touch with her emotions – thanks in part to whiskey – especially after she has one too many whiskey shooters and lets you know how she really feels.

I had no idea whiskey could put me in touch with my emotions! Where do I sign up?

But just because she doesn’t drive a motorcycle or play bass guitar doesn’t mean she can’t have a little wild streak you don’t know about.

Mr. Scotti’s sense of what is badass appears to come from the 1980s.

A blog about blogging

Apologies in advance for going a little meta here- I’m about to blog about blogging.

Anyway, as I was waiting for an Important Phone Call, I ended up amusing myself by watching an episode of House. I was never an avid week-to-week watcher of the show, but despite it trying its best to be complex, it’s really a show you can drop in on at any episode and not be totally confused by.

The episode in question is called “Private Lives,” and it’s from the episode’s sixth season. In it, House and co. treat a famous blogger. “Interesting,” I thought to myself. “I wonder how stereotypical this blogger will be.” The answer to the question- WAY stereotypical.

It was apparent right from the first scene, as the blogger sat in semi-darkness, typing a mundane anecdote about her fighting with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend then comes into the room, and she accidentally lets it slip that she blogged their argument. He gets pissed and says something to the effect of “I don’t want you blogging about me, delete it.”

It only gets worse throughout the episode. A reader of the woman’s blog comes to visit her in the hospital, and the two women are on their laptop, with the reader reading the blogger’s blog. At that point Wilson says “You know you’re in the same room, right?”

Later on (potential spoilers if you must see episode six, episode 15 but haven’t yet) the woman finds out she needs a new heart valve, and must decide whether to get a valve from a pig (which would allow her to have children, but she’d need surgery again in ten years), or to use a plastic valve (which could be used indefinitely but would require meds that would cause birth defects). Her boyfriend puts in a passionate plea for the pig valve, the blogger for the plastic, so to tie-break their argument, yep, she asks her readers for advice. They were supposedly the ones who convinced her to become a vegetarian, so naturally they choose the plastic valve.

What all of this illustrates (there’s way more blogger stereotypes in the episode but I don’t want to write about any more of them) is that TV shows and movies still don’t know how to accurately portray people who blog for a living or hobby. Yes, there are definitely some bloggers who are probably like the House character, but don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch.

There are plenty of amazing, passionate people who blog about things other than every mundane aspect of their personal lives. I think of people like Steve Munro, a transit blogger, a guy who is super active in the Toronto community. He’s an expert on the stuff, but he’s certainly not a shut-in. Or I could even talk about my friend Steph, who has a wonderful website you should all look at called Snacking on Sunshine. She blogs about food while having amazing adventures in London, England (or wherever she is now).

What House also did is make it look like people who blog about everything in their lives are bound to get a lot of readers. People with such general-interest blogs rarely amass a huge following. For every one person that gets famous blogging, there are hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of blogs that are read by no one or few people (this blog probably falls a little more to the latter category, as you might guess).

Will an accurate portrayal of a blogger ever exist on TV or in the movies? Probably, and the most accurate portrayal of a blogger would be to cast a regular person, not someone who must grab their laptop after something momentous happens.

Linking in

Man oh man, networking is hard.

A few nights ago, having driven myself crazy with my inability to find meaningful work for myself this summer, I decided to act on a recommendation a friend made several weeks ago; I made an account on LinkedIn.

According to a quick Wikipedia search, LinkedIn launched all the way back in 2003, though I imagine it didn’t pick up steam until a few years after that, much like Facebook. Although LinkedIn isn’t nearly as populated; as of January 2013 LinkedIn reported to have over 200 million users, which is a lot, but a drop in the bucket compared to the over a billion people using Facebook.

But then again, LinkedIn is a very different site. When I first heard about the website several years ago, I wasn’t convinced that I would actually ever need to use it. However, I’ve definitely had an about-face on that opinion.

Last month, I noticed that my friend Imran had posted about making a LinkedIn account, although he wasn’t sure why. A week or two later, when I met up with him and a few other friends at a show, he told me how he was initially skeptical about joining, but he’s convinced now since he got two job interviews from the site alone (and presumably one of those interviews actually turned into an actual job for him).

So on Sunday night I took the plunge and created an account. Except I kind of chickened out of doing anything past the initial “insert username/password” thing. Then last night I figured I shouldn’t just leave the account as half-assed as I did, so I got to work.

And boy oh boy does LinkedIn have quite the learning curve. There are all kinds of things you have to consider when you’re putting a profile together; which of your email contacts are actually worth making connections with, for instance? Who should you follow? Which groups will you join? Will that picture you put up look unprofessional to people who are viewing your profile for the first time?

And that’s not even the half of it. I had to then start figuring out how to make myself sound as attractive (to potential employers) as possible. Last night I thought I had put everything together well but then this morning I realized I wasn’t even close.

I’m now kind of happy with my profile, though I recognize that I’ll probably never be totally satisfied. I suppose if I start getting flooded with job offers I might be a little more confident, but for the time being I’m happy.

But anyways, just going through the motions of setting up, essentially, an internet resume made me realize that it’s not easy to build a network of people you know. Partially this is because you cannot (usually) build real rapport with someone until you meet them in person.

Take the people I know through Grayowl Point, for instance. There are all kinds of musicians I’m on good terms with, but I’m on even better terms with those musicians I’ve seen live and talked with after.

Put simply, there’s no substitute for going out and meeting people. Get on good enough terms with them and vast new possibilities can open up for you.