Ahhhh a childhood game I wasn’t very good at is coming to life!

My father sent over this shockingly disturbing video about Google Glasses:

In the future, Google can be with us EVEN MORE than it already is. It can help us get to the art books in a bookstore, or find a dog to pet while walking down the street. Thank goodness I don’t have to ever talk to another book store worker again.

As technology advances, it’s harder and harder to reconcile the perceived absurdity of the science fiction books and games I enjoyed as a pre-teen and the reality of today with those crazy ipad things and little vacuums that travel around the room cleaning for you. Is this the Jetsons or what??

I first met the concept of informative glasses while playing the Journeyman Project, a sci fi game that came out in 1992. Here’s a clip where you–the player–Agent 5–put on the glasses and head out into the world.

These glasses give you all sorts of info about the world…and supposedly help you get through the game.

I wasn’t ever very good at that game, and it haunts me as one that got away…perhaps it was too smart for me, or perhaps those cumbersome informative glasses were just too helpful for me.

So I have to wonder…I’m pretty good at life. But if Google Glasses become a reality, then my life becomes the Journeyman Project and then what if I won’t be good at it anymore??

What do I do??? Drop everything and work to destroy Google? But I have things to do. And friends who work at Google! Also, I’m very reliant on Gmail.

My head is exploding. AHHHHH!!! Continue Reading

I Love Boomerang for Gmail

I’m a Gmail addict.  Google Apps too.

We rely on Google Apps over at Artsy Geek — it’s fantastic for collaborating, chatting and — best of all — searching. I cannot imagine having to search for something in Outlook with the sheer number of emails that go through our inboxes every day.

A few weeks ago my great friend Becca introduced us to Boomerang for Gmail. You know how good a scoop of vanilla ice cream is when topped with hot fudge?? It’s pretty good without it, but AWESOME with it.

Boomerang is hot fudge for Gmail.

Instead of the piles and piles of starred images making my priority inbox utterly inbox, I can schedule them to pop back up in my inbox at a later date. Whether it’s four hours later, three days later or Monday morning at 9am, that image will be back in my inbox when I want to deal with it. Or want to force myself to deal with it.

Boomerang for GmailIt’s really handy when you work with people who don’t always deliver when they say they’re going to.* “I’ll have it for you on Tuesday,” they’ll say. “Yeah right!” I think. And then I schedule the message to pop back up on Tuesday evening so I can send a reminder email. And I can specify that there’s no need to pop up if someone responds (in case they actually do come through!). BRILLIANT.

I’ve been pretty stoked on it. Today I had an unpleasant surprise though. It turns out that it’s a premium service!! They lured me in, got me hooked, and now want to charge me a monthly fee for it!!

Suddenly the hot fudge seems more like crack cocaine.

I wandered around my house hmm-ing and huh-ing over this when I plunked down my credit card and subscribed. It’s a deduction, for one. And it’s one hell of a brain space saver. People should get paid for what they do well, and those folks over at Boomerang are rocking my world. Thanks guys!

Try Boomerang for Your Gmail. You’re going to love it!**

Post image courtesy of cookingfoodie.blogspot.com
*I know, I know. Don’t deal with people who don’t deliver when they say they’re going to. I’m working on it.
**Full disclosure: If you click that link and sign up I get entered into some sort of wheely spin contest.  Wheeeeee!! Continue Reading

Hella Fresh Theatre

I am honored to unveil the new Hella Fresh Theatre website. If I don’t say so myself, I think it’s the best website I have done yet. The day I figured out how the mouse overs were going to work was one of my most creatively satisfying days yet in this lifetime!

This website uses javascript to achieve Flash-like effects. Of course, I wound up having to create the menu both in html and Flash because we wound up requiring Flash for the movie. But I stick by my belief that one should avoid Flash unless it’s absolutely necessary, even when it creates duplicate work!

I fought with Blogger for many hours over the blog section of the website. I wanted to fully host it on our domain so that I could fully customize the layout, and the favicon. Unfortunately, when I moved everything off Blogger, it stopped displaying new posts–though they were being uploaded to our server! After many frustrating hours of trying to get help, I finally moved it back over to Blogger and sacrificed many design points. I am disappointed with Google, who, as you know, I normally worship. Though I considered many other blogging tools, for now we are keeping it on Blogger. If anyone has any advice, please provide!

There are still improvements to be made to fully satisfy my detail-obsessed Virgo moon, but I am ecstatic to release the site to the public!

Hella Fresh Theatre is the works of my great friend, John Rosenberg.

"So what’s a girl like you doing on crazyblinddate.com?"

Good pickup line, adorable bartender. Goooood pickup line. Nice tattoos, too. I hadn’t noticed.

If you, dear reader, added my google calendar to yours, you would know right now that I was supposed to have three dates tonight. And if you were me you would know that two of them didn’t work out.

The BTSSB sent the following note:

HRHi Susie,

Unfortunately, the date that was originally scheduled between Mike and you Tuesday, Nov 13 was cancelled.

The culprit was Mike.

He apologizes thusly:

Hi susie, I am sorry but I got stuck somewhere doing something and can’t make it tonight. if you still want to get together sometime you can email me at [email protected]

Nerve.com guy was sick or whatever. No problem. I was glad, honestly, to have only one date this evening.

After my crazyblinddate.com date #1, I was rather terrified. I couldn’t escape thoughts like…What am I doing? Why am I doing this? For a stupid blog?! For love?! How does any of this make any sense whatsover?!

As I thought these terribly irrelevant and rather unempowering thoughts, I exited my truck right then, in front of the bar, ready for crazy blind date #2.

Thankfully, the date was to take place in a bar I had never been to. In Alameda, a city I had basically never been to. I was glad, and still am. I totes <3 new bars.

I was glad, also, when I realized my blind date was completely my kinda of easy-to-talk-to-outside-the-bar-kind-of-guy that I had met last night post exiting. It was a very decent, not regrettable at all, good time (awkward rating a new low of 1/100).

The bartender, though. I’d like to address him directly. Let’s be more than friends, Mr. I-don’t know-where-you-live-but-only-that-you-were-entertained-by-my-story-and-you-let-me-pour-my own-beer-from-the-tap. Let’s talk more.

“Well…” I thought for a minute when he asked me (see above). I remembered my list of 10 things-I-should-no-matter-what-for-gods’-sakes-say and instantly discredited them all.

“I want a boyfriend.” Honesty can feel so good sometimes. I looked into his adorable eyes. Still adorable.

Sigh.

So that’s that. A nice night in a new neighborhood, priceless. An adorable, appreciative bartender, priceless+. A blind date that isn’t 2/5 awkward, priceless++.

A good night, hands down.

I know I’m crazy*

10:00 p.m.

The Ruby Room.

Waiting for: E, 31.

In all my excitement over the BTSSB, I think I’d forgotten what dates were like; how they make you nervous and uncertain. And you wonder what it will be like and what you will talk about.

I’d also forgotten to follow my standard pre-date procedure:
1. Go to the gym. It makes you feel good.
2. Make a list of three relevant questions.
3. Make a list of top ten do-not-by-god-bring-up topics.

So there I was, unprepared, at the right side of the bar trying to down my v&t so that I might order another before he walks in–whoever he is–and right then he walks in.

I knew him immediately. He knew me too. Right off the internet, into the Ruby Room.

(For the next few weeks, I propose that we measure awkwardness by the total number of minutes that I stare into my v&t plus the seconds I distractedly chew on my straw divided by the total number of seconds the date lasts.

Tonight: I stuck it out till about 10:45….about 5 minutes were spent staring into my v&t, and about 4 were spent distractedly chewing my straw. Let’s add in the five seconds when I recovered from learning of his obvious familiarity with my Super Sponge Selling History and multiply that by 9/5 cause it was really bad and that makes the math easier, and we get:

2/5 of the date was awkward.

See? Handy system.)

After about fifteen minutes I was trying to figure out–mostly while chewing my straw–how I was going to possibly extract myself from this duo, and seat myself back at my party of ten who were merrily enjoying the second hand smoke and drinks which make the Ruby Room my favorite bar in Downtown and who were a mere three feet away. We were pretending not to know each other.

I had intended to say to him, whoever he was, “Okay, well, it’s 10:30, and I have a group of friends over there, so either let’s join them, or goodnight.”

Instead I turns out I have an eight o’clock meeting tomorrow, but then…well, it was actually going to start about 8:20… I’ll have time for my coffee…

God that silence was deafening. I’m not that good with silence, I learned tonight, once again.

I finished my vodka tonic, and it was time to go. “I’m sorry…,” I said when he asked to hang out again, but we agreed to give each other favorable reviews. I managed to leave the bar, and was standing outside talking to some dudes** when he also exited. I walked around the block… Wondered if I should walk all the way around the block, but I’d gone about seventy feet and I’d already been asked for change twice and it’s not really the best neighborhood to be walking around in in the middle of the night…

…so I was chilling. Kinda dancing around in my post-date haze where the anxiety just kinda oozes out your pores like microwaves.

And around the block he comes.

Luckily, by that time, I’d started walking back to the bar, convinced that he couldn’t have been standing out front that whole time.

Cheerily I called, “I forgot where I parked my car!”

*Julia says that that’s what makes me interesting. I’m paraphrasing.
**I’m good with strangers. But so much depends on context. Obvs.

Crazy Blind Date

2 fast 2 furious

Last Wednesday, OkCupid.com released CrazyBlindDate.com (now defunct), or, as I like to call it, the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread (BTSSB).

I’m lucky to have the best domestic partner in the world, who informed me of the release that very day, with an intro of, “Let me live vicariously through you.”

No problem, Jules.

I signed up immediately. When they have a date for me, I get to see a blurry photo. I don’t get to read a profile, just a sentence or two. I just show up and agree to spend at least 20 minutes with this person. I was able to specify that I only want dates in bars, thank goodness.

My date sees this photo of me:

Crazy Blind Date

I’m trying to figure out if my five year plan is insane like all my friends say or good planning like I think. Please advise.

I met a new friend on Saturday night who informed me that all guys will interpret this as: “She wants kids.”

I explained that the beauty of this line is that I get to make up a new five year plan for every single crazy blind date I go on.

He wasn’t convinced.

Tonight I shall share my plan to establish sufficient passive income by signing up for a new pyramid scheme a month and buying misspelled domain names to fill with links to my various pyramid schemes (and plaster with other ads).**

If Eric, 31, lover of rock and roll, is still around after that…

…let’s just say it’s probably a pretty good litmus test.

I was rereading my nerve.com profile the other day (recreated, for your viewing pleasure, here*), and I realized I wrote it in search of hilarity.

Is that how I would like my next romantic relationship to be characterized? By hilarity?

There are worse things, I think.

In a rather perplexing twist, my popularity on nerve.com has increased dramatically since I joined the BTSSB. Which leads me to the point. I have a lot of dates coming up. Some of them I’ve exchanged emails with, and know what they look like. Some of them I haven’t. For you, my dear readers at home, I am including in an iframe the Google Calendar I have named “Susie’s Dates.”

Here it is:

As you can see if you scroll back in time until 2007, I have the previously mentioned date tonight, THREE dates tomorrow night, followed by a few nights off primarily due to the fact that I do, actually, have a life.

Who can’t wait? I can’t!! And, rest assured–recent evidence aside–this is the best and most accurate news source for the next installment of Susie J’s Crazy Blind and Other Date Adventures.

*My headline is now, “My friends call me Boss”, FYI. That’s all that’s changed though.
**What do you think?! Good Five Year Plan or Best Five Year Plan Ever?

WARNING: WAY, WAY TMI

You have been warned.

I was wondering today when I might expect my period. I have a lot of deadlines coming up, and I want to make sure I can take the half day it normally demands of going home early, laying around and smoking out the window.

A lot of women my age know how long their cycle is and when it’s coming. Like it comes every 27 days or whatever, and lasts between four and five. And if they don’t know that much, they know roughly, or they know they can’t expect it at any determined time whatsoever.

I always feel mine coming, but I never know for sure when it will arrive. I’m always surprised. I have pimples right now, so that always makes me wonder, is it coming? I don’t think I feel it. Let me check. Mmm… nope.

So it was this thought process that was occupying my head as I flossed this evening. I remembered how months ago I had made myself a Google calendar called Personal, and had intended to use it to track this very thing. Doctor’s offices ask for this information all the time. How awesome would it be not have to surmise that it was about two and a half weeks ago, because chances are pretty good that it was about two and a half weeks ago. That always makes sense to me. I don’t know why.

Personal hasn’t really gotten much use. Let me see. Oh wait, yes it did. June 8th, 2006 was a heavy flow day. Totally informative.

Anyway, as I flossed, I tried to remember something distinctive about the day when I last got my period, but all I could remember was thinking that I ought to add that day to Personal and finally start tracking my cycle and better understanding my hormones. (And, while we’re going with TMI, I want to understand my fertility cycle, too, if you must know. I want a baby. Eventually. And before then I hella don’t.)

I kept flossing. I remembered chatting with Julia about how much better I was feeling now that the flow had commenced. And so I searched: Julia period.

Julia: aaaaaaawwww!

how’s work?
1:54 PM me: i got my period this morning and now I’M IN SO MUCH PAIN

Yep. The first day of my last period was October 23, 2006. Unless maybe it wasn’t Julia I had been talking to in this memory of gchat?

The point is that I could figure it out. But so could Google!! Now they’ve taken over my blog. They have my calendar, my email, my photos! My mailing lists are GOOGLE DOCUMENTS! (I do not store credit card numbers. The Tupperware Sisters provide secure transactions for all their customers.)

And now they know that [email protected] is actually me!! And they know that it was I that wrote them all those letters alternating between my two gmail accounts so they’d think there was more support for my ideas!

Oooooh Google. You may as well have my soul too.

Meet Goldie

Last year, I almost owned a beauty salon. How great would that have been, to have a beauty salon by the age of twenty-four?! A real live beauty salon with real live hair dressers. I’d get to fix it up and decorate it the way I wanted to and it would sell world-friendly products. Or at least those marketed that way. I was going to call it Annie Bert’s after my great-great-grandmother who owned three salons and made money even during the Great Depression until she trusted a scoundrel of a bookkeeper and lost two of ’em.

This whole money-making bullshit began last September when I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Anderson, South Carolina. Though the entire stay is the source of infinite hilarity, today’s subject matter is limited to the Inner C.E.O., as it relates to my failed beauty parlor. One’s Inner C.E.O. has access to the Invisible Network, the likes of which your conscious mind cannot comprehend. The likes of which would likely prove indispensible to the running of a beauty parlor.

During my sojourn in the South, I was a freeloader by trade, but not agreement. I was therefore provided with all sorts of projects to keep myself busy, and–should I apply myself–transform us all into millionaires. I was the source of all labor, and I would earn 25% of the profits. I was just labor, not a human being, and my aunt and uncle were the source of our funding (not to mention my food, wine, and shelter). One of these projects was to “Get in touch with my Inner C.E.O.” according to The Eleventh Element. My aunt assured me that if I did establish communication with my Inner C.E.O., we’d be sure to be millionaires.

Now, the premise, as I understood the audio series–and bear in mind that I do zone out from time to time, and also that the author’s voice was unbearable (you can’t blame the guy for wanting to read his own book)–was that flashes of brilliance come to those in touch with the Invisible Network, which is sort of a greater dimension of information (somewhat similar to Jung’s collective unconscious). In support of such a strange hypothesis, I like to cite those studies where people do crosswords faster a day after they were published because they have been solved. One might choose to conclude that they can complete said crossword faster because the answers are all over the Invisible Network the next day. The author, we’ll call him Bob, cites all sorts of ridiculous examples like Dave from Wendy’s who thought of having a franchised hamburger restaurant. I gotta say, I think it’s totally possible that he came up with that one on his own.

Anyway, you access the Invisible Network through your Inner C.E.O.. So, if you can find a way to get in touch with your Inner C.E.O. and let them know what you want and what your desires are, you’ll be better at achieving wealth and happiness. Of course, your Inner C.E.O. might actually know better than you what’s best for you, and this explains why your Inner C.E.O. might not always deliver what you ask. One certainly shouldn’t conclude from such evidence that the entire concept of an Inner C.E.O. is silly. I never minded the concept itself, but I would have appreciated an argument for its (dubious) ontological necessity.

Once you’ve accepted that you have an Inner C.E.O. and that you’re going to start communicating with them, you give them a name. I named mine Goldie, after Goldie Hawn. I like her a lot.

Example
Goldie Hawn, my Inner C.E.O.’s namesake

Then you decide how you’re going to communicate with them. Bob suggests that you set up a physical mailbox where you put the letters when you’re ready for your Inner C.E.O. to read them. The first letter should explain the location and shape of this mailbox, and offer a sample format for how the letters should be. You also ask them to give you a “hit me over the head so I can’t miss it” sign of how they’re going to communicate with you. Bob claims that if you ask for such a sign, you’re sure not to miss it.

Being a modern girl, and likewise having a modern Inner C.E.O., I got Goldie an email address, [email protected] I probably should have gotten her a gmail account. I emailed Goldie the initial letter explaining how she has this email account, and that I was going to contact her there. I followed with letters delineating the amount of leisure time, money, emotional stability, et cetera, that I want in life. Top priority was the letter asking for help establishing passive income for my aunt, thereby validating my presence in her house. This was important right then.

It’s not like I wanted an email in response. But I wanted a sign of some sort, and I’d asked for one so glaringly obvious it would “hit me over the head so I can’t miss it.” My aunt suggested that perhaps the email account wasn’t working out for her, and that I get a binder like hers, and keep the letters chronologically in plastic sleeves for easy reference.

So finally we get to the Beauty Parlor Money Making Scheme portion of my stay in the South, and my aunt says to me, “Have you written a letter to Goldie about the beauty parlor?”

I’d been drinking red wine and watching T.V. all day. “Ooooh, that’s a great idea!!”

Once she’d passed out on the couch and I was alone, I wrote Goldie a heart felt plea for help. Was the beauty parlor the answer to our pocketbook’s prayers?!

Days later–when conducting market research–I found myself inside a beauty parlor that was being remodeled in the Atlanta Hyatt. I’d convinced the owner I was a licensed esthician looking for work, and he was eager to show me around. At the time I sincerely believed in our plan to set up beauty parlors throughout the nation and rent out stations to stylists much like tenants in an apartment building. And, here I am, witnessing the birth of a salon! It’s a sign! Goldie wants a beauty parlor, too! But not one like this. No, definitely one more funky, as I dislike their choice of paint color. Right then! What happens? I kick over a can of paint and splatter it all over my jeans.

What could it all mean? I wondered if hairdressing was not to be my business.

I went home and suggested this interpretation to my aunt. She was skeptical. I think she was still hung up on the email thing.

At her bidding, I pursued the Beauty Parlor Money Making Scheme. I punched some numbers. I looked at retail spaces to rent. I spent hours looking at the various options for sinks, chairs, driers, yadda yadda. It was fun. But it wasn’t going to work out.

The beauty parlor wasn’t going to build itself–I was. I was going to decorate it. I was going to find a crew of helpers, and advertise in supermarkets and on the nearest college campus. It was going to be a month of work, and then some. It was illogical to assume that I could just skip town after opening a salon. I was going to be stuck in South Carolina forever. Not that it all didn’t sound like a good time. It did. But it came down to money. Money changes everything.

My share was to be 25% of $300 a month for as long as the place was open, and making money. That’s $75 a month following a solid month of unpaid labor. It would be 20 months before my investment paid off.

So I suggested that they pay me for my trouble setting up the salon. Otherwise, I say, I’m not going to be able to afford not working for the couple weeks or month to set up the salon. (I hadn’t worked in months.) I could be a contractor, and they could pay me like $10/hour, and we could accomodate for it in the size of our loan. I thought it was a pretty solid plan.

And she says to me, “If you want to get paid, get a job.” I wanted to cry. And I knew that Goldie was totally right. Not only was the paint can an obvious sign, but so was my depression. I had to get out.