Sunday, June 23, 2013

Apple Schmapple

There are two topics you should never discuss if you want to keep your friends...

There are 3. Politics, Religion, and the Apple corporation. 

Sometimes you're trying to do something, and you just can't get it to work. So you write a fussy facebook status, or a whiny blog post. Then you feel better, and you move on. Either that or someone who is actually helpful will comment and assist you with your difficulty. 

It works with everything else in life. 

Me: Man, I wish I knew how to make some good mac & cheese. 
Random commenter: Hey, I found this recipe on pinterest. You should try it.

Me: Aw, a flat tire! How will I get to my class today?
Random Commenter: Hey, I'll totally drive you. Also, my roommate can change a flat. We'll come right over. 

Me: Nooooo! Half my popsicle hit the ground. Why would you do this to me, popsicle?! Why?
Random commenter: Sadness! It is a tragic day. 

Me: GAH! Why is my compy dying? Work, buddy, work! Don't die on me yet.
Random commenter: Try this thing. It might help. Or you may just have to let it give up the ghost. :P 

BUT mention anything apple...

Me: Argh. itunes erased my ipod AGAIN. 
Random Commenter: itunes doesn't just arbitrarily erase things. You must have done something wrong. Stop blaming a product for you not knowing how to use it. 

Me: Urgh. Why can't I figure this thing out on the iphone? LAME. 
Random Commenter: Um... you're not allowed near technology anymore. 

Me: Argh, Iphone! Just let me load this video already. Why does apple have to hate me?
Random Commenter: First of all, it's the app, not the phone. Therefore it is not apple. Learn which is which, and stop complaining until you inform yourself first. 

So... explain to me again why apple is supposed to be immune to my first-world-problem frustrations?

Don't ask me why. I don't know. But I've never gotten more vehement reactions to facebook posts than when I say something about apple. 

It's gotten to the point where I don't want to ask anymore. I'd rather not use all the different parts of my phone, or spend 9 1/2 years trolling google for the answer, than have another jerk jump down my throat about it.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like my iphone. It's a good, solid piece of equipment. And other than the fact that there is only one way to block an unwanted caller (which is to hack the phone's system and re-do it yourself, thus voiding all warranties), I've never had anything happen with it that made me actually consider boycotting iphones forever. 

Firstly, what all of you must realize is this: As long as I'm complaining about stuff, everything is okay. As soon as I get weirdly quiet and don't make any dumb comments about my feet hurting or something, you should probably begin asking what's actually wrong.

But secondly, yes, Apple is a successful company that put out many convenient products.And yes, it did come up with a creative new way to approach programming, which has helped countless people in many different fields.
I appreciate having an ipod, even if it does arbitrarily erase itself every few months. I appreciate having an iphone, even though I do have to suffer through repetitious spam callers. And I gotta admit, apple stuff always has better battery life. Which I very much approve of. I appreciate that there are songs you can get through the itunes store that you can't find anywhere else ever... oh wait. No, I don't really appreciate that. :P

In fact, itunes is pretty much the bane of my existence. But we won't get into specifics here.

But judging by the responses I get when I so much as mention an apple frustration, (and they are often very, very long and longwinded responses,) you'd think what I actually said was "All gay people are demons". 

Response: Jeez! You just can't say things like that, and anyway, it isn't true. 

But the funny thing about apple is... *drumroll please* it's not infallible! Who knew? Maybe it's a universal truth that all human beings are, in fact, human, and therefore deserving of the proper respect. But it is not a universal truth that apple stuff never messes up. Neither is it universally true that apple stuff works for everyone. 

The Right To Not Care About Apple Junk

1) Apple isn't infallible.

I've been using an ipod for like 6 years. (Yeah, yeah, not as long as most people. So sue me. 6 years is plenty long enough to get the idea down.) At this point in the constant erasure process, I'm very aware of everything I do that may or may not cause these things to happen. If I say that it got erased for no reason, then it got erased for no reason.

Sure, maybe it's more rare than with a cheapo mp3 player or something. I'm not doubting that. But I am doubting that every single problem that happens is a result of user stupidity. I am not stupid, and I would appreciate it if apple fans stopped acting like I was just because something went wrong with my technology. 

2) A human being's worth is not dependent on their apple-whisperer abilities. 

Ten ThousandSometimes I can't figure out something on my iphone. This makes me an idiot, apparently. I'm less than human because my natural reaction to wanting to take a screen shot wasn't "Gee, I bet holding the home button and the power button down at the same time would naturally take a screen shot." Really? Is this a human instinct that I somehow missed out on?
Just a few days ago, a guy at the library was listening to me moan about people's apple-related rudeness, and he heard me mention the screen shot thing. He pulled out his iphone (which he'd owned for a whole year) and tried it, and boy do I wish I had a picture of his face when it worked. It was kind of magical.

Technology is learned. Even for apple lovers. You had to pick it up some time from somewhere. Maybe it was along the way as a kid, and not in a computer tech lecture, but it still happened the same way. You just don't remember it.  

Well I didn't grow up with apple stuff. It does not come naturally to me, and I didn't pick it up along the way from a load of friends with expensive phones. In fact, a large number of my peers still have flip phones. 

I have to learn it the crash course way. Does that make me an idiot? Am I incompetent because I went into an iphone knowing nothing about how apple systems even function?                               No.                                                                                           Except that people constantly act like it does anyway. Someone had to be the very first person to tell me that double-clicking the home button brought up the close-apps screen. I'm just glad it was my mom, and not someone who was making fun of me not inherently knowing it already.

Just like the library guy, this could be a fun process. "OMG, look at what this phone can do!!" Why does it have to be so derogatory instead?

Maybe with iphones, I'm one of the 10,000. 

3) Logic

I don't even know how to react to that third kind of commenter. It's a little bit like "The reason your political views are wrong is because you're just dumb." Which, for whatever odd reason, everyone does. But it makes zero logical sense. 
But there's something else that makes even less sense. Wasn't it mr. Jobs who was all like "let's try this whole new, unique way of programming"? Isn't it apple who claims to be the company of thinking outside the box? Why yes. Yes they are. Here's an ad poster to suit my needs. There are many, many more. 
The premise of this idea is that creativity is good. That thinking outside the box is good. That we should all harness the uniqueness of our individual personalities, and use them to better the world in the ways we're suited to. 

Instead, hardcore apple fans be yelling "If you don't like apple stuff, you're stupid and never bothered to learn, and if you even tried a little it would be easy, and any problems you have are because you're just ignorant!" I've had every one of those things spewed venomously from multiple people on many different occasions.

They even make it look like you're a complete loser if you don't convert to apple and help them take over the world. 
You remember these ads.

Yet is this not the exact opposite of what apple claims to stand for? Is this not, in fact, a denial of everything that you so respect Steve Jobs for building?

You can't think different when you're too busy trying to cram everyone in the same box. Not everyone belongs in the box. Even if it's the creative, celebrate-our-uniqueness box, the problem is, it's still a box. 

Maybe I would understand macs better if I spent more time on them. I'm not saying that isn't true. But maybe a mac just wouldn't fulfill my personal needs. I mean, there are only 3 main things and a few minor ones that I ever even use a computer for. And 2 of those 3 I can't even do properly on a mac. (The remaining 3rd being to hang out on the internet which can be done on either with relative ease.) Macs just aren't designed for it. And therefore, a mac is not what I need in my life. 

It saves me money, anyway, since macs are way more expensive. Yet another reason that it's just not what I need right now. 

And according to Steve Jobs, that's okay. I'm allowed to not think like all the people who are apple fans. I'm allowed to need different things than they do. 

So let's make a deal. I'll let you keep loving apple stuff all you want if you stop ramming insults down my throat because I don't fit into your box. Deal?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Dementors of Alone

I’m SO BORED right now. I don’t mean that I can’t think of interesting things to do. I just mean that my roommates are all out of town and I’ve been by myself all weekend, and that always sucks out my soul. I don’t do well with the living by myself thing.

It makes me mopey and more complainy than usual. I even got to the point this weekend where I just sat on the couch not watching tv. Just thinking about it, and not quite mustering the desire to turn it on.

I complain a lot anyway, though. You may have heard me grumble about how all my friends are married, but I'm not. Or how I have no friends left. Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

When I say things like that, I don’t actually mean that I think I’m alone in the world and nobody loves me. Generally what I mean is that I have no friends that I can non-awkwardly call on for no reason at all when I’ve been by myself for too long. And even though that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, it kind of is for me.

I’m not actually bothered about not being married. I don't care about having a fancy ring, or what decorations any future weddings will have. Believe it or not, it’s not really even the fact that all of my friends keep moving on without me, and I’m left behind. Well, not entirely.

Roll your eyes if you like, but it’s true. None of those things are what bothers me most. In fact, the idea of being married to someone still kind of freaks me out. Although not nearly as much as it did in my freshman year. The very first of my friends to get engaged caused this mass panic amongst us, and we were all like “I mean, that is a decision that lasts FOREVER!!” *with very dramatic faces and voices*

I still feel a little like that, though not as much. And I’m really, really glad I didn’t get married before I was like 22 or 23. Because I was even more of a mess then than I am now, and I think it would have been much more difficult, both short term and in the long run. I think about that semi-often, and I’m seriously really, really glad.

But if all that is true, then what AM I bothered by?

Well, the reason I complain so much about all my friends being married is that once they are married, there is permanently someone else in their life that will always take precedence over me, no matter what. It sounds kind of selfish, but hear me out.

The same is true with my unmarried friends. I have LOTS of friends. I know it. And I know that I have loads of people who would help me out if I ever needed it. But I don’t have a best friend. Ya know? Even out of all the hundreds of people that I’m good friends with, there is no one in the whole world who doesn’t have someone else that’s slightly more important to them than I am.

All of my friends have spouses or boy/girlfriends or best friends. (It's totally worse when they're married, too, because it's like they can't ever be away from their spouse for longer than 2 seconds at a time, or they panic attack. So I either get stuck with people's husbands who I don't know at my events, thus ruining the personalness of hanging with my friend, or I get no friend at all.) And if they were planning to do something with me, but something came up with said significant other, they’d pick the other over me. In fact, I get flaked out on a LOT because of that exact thing.

I really, really hate flaking out. Like a lot. But I get it in this circumstance. It’s okay. In fact it’s normal. But I will now tell you why it still bothers me, even though it is so normal.

Ever heard of that five love languages theory? Probably you have, but I’ll summarize it just in case you haven’t. Basically, everyone gives and receives love in different ways, and that’s why half the marriage fights in the world happen. Because one person shows love one way, but the other person receives it in a different way, and therefore feels chronically un-loved.

The five ways are: Physical touch, quality time, gifts, words of affirmation, and acts of service.

Most of those are pretty self explanatory. Some people just do not feel loved unless you say the actual words. Other people don’t care if you say the words or not, but if you do stuff for them, then they feel appreciated. Etc. Etc. Well, even though I’ve never taken the official test, I’m like 97% sure what mine are.

I give love by gifts. It’s like physical proof that I was thinking about someone at a time when they weren’t even present, and that I know them well enough to know what stuff they’d want. (They have to be the right kind of gifts, not just junk you bought to give to someone in hopes of placating them.)

I’ve discovered that I’m a very cynical person, and I operate a lot on proof. I like proof. I mean, you can say any words you want, but how do I know you mean them? How do I know you aren’t just saying things to say them or to be nice, or whatever? But doing things is like proving the words.

(Granted, in books and stuff, and sometimes in real life, people can use the physical proof against you just as much. But in a world where not everyone is a super villain, it’s more reliable than words.)

On the other hand, I receive love by quality time. Sure, I like getting presents, and getting them is like secondarily important (since I give them, understand the getting of them). But I don’t care all that much if you bring a present to my birthday party, as long as you come.

The mere fact of coming is what makes all the difference to me. Or if you’re my visiting teacher, and you pop in for 5 minutes and then leave, I still feel untaught. It doesn’t matter that you brought me cookies (although I like cookies.) It’s much more important that you just sit there and talk to me for a little while.

That’s why I never want people to leave when they come over. And why I’m so very good at continuing to talk and stall them. Because when they leave, they’re not spending time with me anymore, and I don’t get nearly enough of people spending time with me, since they all have other obligations. I’m very very rarely the one that says “I should probably go” or “you should probably go”. And if I do, it’s only because I know that they really, really, really want to leave, and I don’t want to sound needy even though I still don’t want them to go. Either that or because I have to go to work or something.

Unless it’s a really awkward date or something. Then I’m all like “Yeah... I should go.”

Awkward quality time is like anti-quality time. It makes me feel even worse, and more ignored, and less loved. Weirdly. I don’t get why, but it does. Which is why it’s hard for me to hang out in large groups of people I don’t know, and why I never talk when I do. And why I always feel mopey afterward.

Anyway, that’s why it’s hard for me to not have a best friend. Because even when I spend good, quality time with someone I’m close to, they always have to eventually go home to their husband, or go to their other friend’s party, or whatever it is.

Then I’m sad, because there’s no one being there with me. And no one being there with me feels a lot the same to me as no one caring about me at all for the rest of forever.

Hahahahahaha. I went on the site to take the official quiz, and some of the questions are really awkward. It gives you two scenarios, and you have to decide which one you’d prefer even if you like or hate both of them. One said “I enjoy kissing or being kissed by people with whom I am close.”

Pfft. Like I would even know the answer to that.

Not that I wouldn't like to know the answer. I mean, maybe I would more than the other choice, but it’s not like I actually have experience there. *shrug*

Yeah, that test told me nothing that I didn’t already know. Well, except that I thought words of affirmation would be last on the list, and it was only second to last, in front of physical touch. However, I have a feeling that touch will be more important in a dating relationship than just as a single person. And anyway, it was 1 point for touch and 3 for words, so they were both very low. (As opposed to my 11 out of a possible 12 on quality time.)

But yeah, I pretty much had that figured out already.

Anyway, when I don't get quality time from people who actually want to be around me, I lose all of my energy. Two days ago, I actually found myself wandering around through the empty rooms of my apartment, not doing anything but wandering. It was totally like a crazy ghost haunting stuff and not knowing why. Which is super weird.

 It’s especially bad right now, because I can’t call anyone up and just be like “hey, wanna hang out?” Every person I know that I could do that to non-awkwardly either lives in a different state, is out of town, or is at work/school/busy right now. All of my roommates are out of town. One’s even out of the country. There is no one here. And it makes me sad.

I think I must be part cat. I do my own thing when people are around, but as soon as they’re gone, I’m all “DON’T LEAVE ME ALONE!”

There’s this super funny youtube video called sad cat diary. One part says “Dear diary. It is 3 in the morning. The authorities have closed the door to the bedroom. I can only assume that they have forgotten about me and have left me here to die. As a last resort, I will stand post for the rest of the night and sing the song of my people, in hopes that they rescue me.”

Anyway, now if you're ever wondering why I so often complain about all my married friends, or having no friends, or whatever it is, you understand why.