Irony, Musing


1_30x7H4l8REa9KXr2UEWyOwIf you are over the age of 30, you will remember walking into some adult’s house and seeing the picture on your left.  Yep, it’s a VCR.  Even though the picture is not a gif you can still see that 12:00 flashing in your minds-eye.  How many times as kids did we ask the adult, “Why don’t you program the VCR?” Or, maybe the adult asked you to program the VCR for them. Nevertheless, do you remember the answer we always received as to why it was flashing 12:00?  I do.  The answer was always, “I don’t know how.”  I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh come on it’s not that hard.’ There was always a manual and some machines were quite intuitive and yet most VCRs just sat there blinking 12:00 for no real reason.

Now, you may be thinking well this was a fun trip down memory lane but why is this lady talking about ancient technology? It’s simple. It reminds me of Snapchat. (Insert needle scratch sound effect here.) Yes, VCRs remind me of Snapchat.  Let me explain.  I love Snapchat.  It’s so fun –  all those stupid filters that make you look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings or give you cute bunny ears and dog tongues. Yet as fun as Snapchat is I don’t really know how to use it.  Yes, I have a rudimentary knowledge. I can open the program and take a stupid selfie but after that, I have no idea how to connect with friends and share it.  I usually just save the selfie of me with fur on my face and the best eye makeup ever and manually share it as a text.  Yet, I know this isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.  A younger family member recently called me out for my lack of knowledge. I didn’t mind. She’s right. I have no idea what I’m doing. I freely admit it. But, it was in that moment I realized Snapchat is to me as VCRs were to our parents and grandparents.  It’s a fun toy but not something that requires much thought.

It wasn’t that those adults were dumb. It wasn’t that they truly didn’t know how to program the machine. They were perfectly capable.  They just didn’t care. They had bigger fish to fry than to learn about some new piece of technology that would disappear in a couple of years.  And, God bless ’em they were right.  The VCR gave way to the DVD player which gave way to the Bluray which is now being overpowered by digital libraries and streaming services.  At some juncture, and I think it’s probably about the time we start hitting middle age, we just don’t give a shit anymore.  All of our fucks are gone and the newest, latest toy just isn’t a priority.  I know that’s exactly how I feel about Snapchat, the latest iPhone and pretty much every other new fabulous thing that everyone is doing.  Do the new things have something to offer? Of course, they do and I plan to pick and choose and utilize those things as I see fit. But, much like the generation before me, I’m letting some things go because they just aren’t important.  Who knows, maybe in 10 to 15 years those younger friends and family and I will be discussing how we just don’t care about X.  The hell of it is we’ll probably still be discussing all of this on Facebook. After all, it’s nothing but a place for middle-aged folks anyway or so I’m told.


Going mainstream


IMG_0268.jpgHere we go with irony again. Prepper, survivalist, extremist, are just a couple of names I’ve heard for people interested in getting back to basics and out of the rat race.  I’m not sure when this movement started or how it gained traction.  All I know is that down here in the South, almost everyone I know is a prepper to a certain extent or knows someone who is. The funniest part is that no one talks about it.  It’s like Fight Club – the first rule of fight club is fight club doesn’t exist.  The first rule of prepping is never to admit you do it.  There are tons of “underground” blogs and newsletters out there written under false names so that no one can trace the writer to their secret bunker in Montana and yet here in my grocery store check out is a magazine devoted to prepping.  This whole movement sort of reminds me of home schooling about 30 years ago.  If you think back to the 1980s and 1990s the only people who home schooled where hippies, religious cult members and those with incredibly sick kids that couldn’t attend school.  There was this whole stereotype – waist length hair, homemade clothes – heavy on the denim, an epic amount of children – they were homeschooled.  Now, anyone and everyone home schools.  It’s no big deal.  I wonder if prepping is evolving into the no big deal phase.

I wish I knew one of those extreme Montana bunker living people.  I would send them a copy of this magazine and ask their opinion.


Am I the Only One Seeing This?

I see strange and ironic things everywhere – like every day.  Seriously, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t stop and ask myself am I the only one seeing this or am I the only person who finds this weird.  For example, shortly after I moved to Texas I was driving to work and there was a real old west wagon train rolling down the far right lane of the interstate during morning rush hour.  This wagon train slowed traffic but not so much as to cause a traffic jam.  It was like everyone else on the road saw this every day and it was no big deal.  I found out later it happens every year in preparation for month-long event called the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  So, I guess for the locals, it really wasn’t a big deal but I was dumbstruck. It is not every day you see a horse drawn covered wagon. It didn’t even feel real.  I call the more bizare moments like the wagon train incident Truman Show moments.  Remember that movie?  a guy spends his whole life as part of a giant reality show.  The whole world is watching him trip through life and he has no idea.  Yeah, the especially weird occurrences truly feel like that.  So, if this is really just some giant TV show, then you idiots know I’m standing here typing this in my Wal-Mart nightgown and bed head.  If in fact life is just that strange and I’m just that strange for noticing the weirdness (like I’m assuming is the case) then buckle up buttercup I will be highlighting these strange and ironic things in posts to come.

IMG_0266I’m sorry today’s example of irony is not as exciting as a wagon train rolling down the interstate. It nostalgic and comes to you from my local Kroger grocery store check out line. Yes friends pictured here is the Life Saver Storybook that we all used to get in our stockings but with one change.  Check it out – it only has one side?!  What in the fresh hell is that?  Life Saver Storybook had two sides when I was growing up.  Each side was a mirror image starting and ending with the classic variety pack and there was (I think) three other tubes one was all cherry or as we called it in my white trash (err blue colar) neighborhood “Red”. One was butterscotch and it always went straight to the trash with the wrapping paper. The last one escapes IMG_0267me – maybe it was peppermint.  Anyway, the main thing is there were TWO sides.  Now, there is only one.  How ironic.  Americans are getting fatter and trying to be healthier but the candy companies know we aren’t going to give up nostalgia so they will just shrink the candy to one side instead of two. I see what you did there Life Saver and I am not amused. [Gives the stink eye to Life Saver]

P.S. I promise there will be stranger and more ironic things in the future this one just happened to occur today.