EgoRamble: Don’t Call Me “Boy”

Yesterday morning at work, I was referred to as a “boy.”

It wasn’t use as a gender identifier, because I am, indeed a boy.

It was said with the intention of cutting me down to size, reminding me not only of my youth but also of my status in the office, as an intern.

I don’t think the person said it to be mean. I’m 100% sure he meant it as a joke; he was telling me to pick up my feet because I had been dragging them on my way from the office kitchen.

Still, regardless of the context, it completely threw me for a loop and threatened to derail my day. It would’ve, had it not been for some really great friends who made me laugh and talk about other things (like Macklemore).

What really bothered me was the feelings being called “boy” invoked in me. It made me feel like I was some little kid among adults, and that I shouldn’t even be there. Granted, I am a very junior member of the staff at my company, but up until that moment, I felt like I was among equals, at least in the sense of personhood. Sure, I had directors and vice presidents to defer to, but I could speak with them and not feel like I was less than them. I felt, and still feel, respected. It’s an exhilarating work environment to be in, and I hope it’s one I will remain in for the foreseeable future. For a brief set of moments, that was snatched away from me, and I felt vulnerable and out of place at my desk for the first time.

I may be young, but I give all of my co-workers the respect they deserve, and I expect it in return. I would never refer to anyone I work with, in my work environment, as “old man” or some other demeaning term.

I am not a boy.

– B

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I Love Apple, But iTunes Sucks

All I wanted to do was add one, freaking, song.

This morning, I downloaded Marc Cohn’s “Walking on Memphis” on my laptop (that’s a whole ‘nother blog post) and I obviously wanted it on my iPhone for my morning commute. One song added to an iPhone: sounds like a quick, easy task, right?

Nope, because iTunes is a vortex of suck wrapped in software.

I tried syncing my iPhone over Wi-Fi, and everything seemed to be going just fine, until the sync stopped at the dreaded “Waiting for changes to be applied” stage. Sometimes, and I really mean rarely, it is a simple, harmless message that precedes the syncing of my music. Most of the time, though, it just stays there, forever. Or until it just times out and nothing is added at all.

Anyway, I canceled the Wi-Fi sync and tried syncing via my USB cable. This time, the sync worked, except for one tiny issue: more than half of my music had to be re-added to my iPhone. It was a process that effectively made me late for work this morning.

Seriously, how can iTunes literally snatch out half of my music library, just because I wanted to add one damn song? And what exactly does “waiting for changes to be applied” mean? The change is add my damn music, not delete half my library! The crazy thing is, this isn’t even the first time I’ve had to deal with this! It’s absolutely ridiculous.

It boggles my mind how a company that prides itself on ease of use can allow a software product that is just a disastrous flop to still exist. Either kill iTunes and rewrite from the ground up (which might just make too much sense) or fix these damn issues.

The Break Up of My Life

On Saturday, January 11, 2014 – my boyfriend of 3.5 years (my best friend for over 4) told me that he is no longer in love with me thus breaking, shattering, and completely melting my heart. Everything about him was, and is in my opinion, perfect. He made me feel beautiful, loved, amazing, funny, – all of those gentle adjectives that we use to describe someone that you love. I said I love you first, but he was the one who showed it. He called me the love of his life, the woman he wanted to marry, to have his kids – everything – and then he walked away. Just like that. No real explanation. Didn’t provide much clarity as to when all of these thoughts and dreams completely changed. One week we were happy and in love – the next week he turned his back on me and walked out of my life.

So I am devastated. I imagine that I will cry every single morning for a very long time. You see, we spent much of our 3.5 years sleeping together every single night. That’s now changing. We made decisions together, many and most of them. We moved from one city to another together. There are so many memories that play like vivid movies in my mind that I imagine will not go away anytime soon. But we will see.

My family, is also devastated. He was apart of our family. He was in the mix, he was their son-in-law, nephew-in-law, cousin, brother – everything. They hate to see me cry, they hate to see me sad, but more than that I think that they hate to see two people who were so perfect for each other walk away just like it was nothing.

So now I am trying to learn how to rewire my life, my mind, my everything. Where I was concerned and focused on one amazing, gorgeous, brilliant, amazing man for over 3.5 years of my life I am now solely focused on me and that is painfully weird. He still has my heart, my thoughts, my love and I just hope that I get enough of it back one day to hand it over to someone else if he truly doesn’t want it anymore. Right now I am lost and confused. Every minute of every day will be a struggle for some time, but ultimately I will be okay – I believe that – at least I am trying to make myself believe that. 

I realize this isn’t the typical EGORICH post, and I also realize I’ve been MIA for MONTHS now. But maybe writing will bring me some peace of mind that I will be searching for in the coming hours, days, weeks and months.

-P

Bradley Cooper Is Pressed About Losing to Jared Leto

I really like Bradley Cooper a lot, but he really didn’t have a shot in hell of winning, especially with Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender in the same category.

Still, it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be super duper steam pressed about it.

And thankfully, the Golden Globe cameras caught it!

In a night full of hot mess (which I will recap tomorrow on my other blog When Things Go Pop!), this is something i am still screaming about:

Whoever Runs E!’s Fun Facts Feature At The Golden Globes Is About to Be Fired

E! is usually the go-to place for awards show red carpet coverage, because it is usually a hot ass mess.

Clearly nothing has changed, with awkward interviews and cheesy features like the “manicam” (which Elisabeth Moss just gave the middle finger, in a stroke of genius). However, E! just went into “offensive” territory with two awful entries into their “Fun Facts” feature:

It’s typically in really, really, REALLY bad taste to describe a tragic passing and a very serious, incurable illness as a “fun fact”. I’m pretty sure whoever is responsible for this will be receiving a pink slip come tomorrow morning…if not right now.

“When you feel …

“When you feel something long enough, it becomes a state of being.”

– some ugly alien that makes really good ramen from Space Dandy.

When I first saw Space Dandy‘s pilot, I thought this show was just a disastrous hot mess that would make for some good laughs on a Saturday night. However, this quote from that really ugly ramen-making alien really struck me.

Essentially, you should never allow a negative feeling to consume you long enough that becomes normal for you. Just consider this some positive reinforcement for the new year, from a completely weird anime series.

The Art of Flopping

Billboard published an article today decrying the overuse of the term “flop” when describing a pop artist’s lack of success. The term’s use grew to exponential levels this past year, with the underperformance of several pop heavyweights, including Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Even Katy Perry, who scored massive (if arguably unwarranted) success with “Roar”, was subject to being deemed a “flop” with her second single “Unconditionally”, which has peaked at #14 on the US charts.

With the music industry in such a state of disarray, is it fair to really call anyone a flop?

Album and single sales and chart positions are the primary identifiers of who is deemed successful or not in the music industry, especially in the pop genre. As shallow and capitalistic as it is, it still matters, and there are a number of companies that make their livelihoods (including Billboard) keeping track of who is selling the most and topping the charts on a regular basis. However, there has been an overabundance of “flop” declarations within the last year. Fans, in a desperate effort to prove why their favorite is better than another, have screamed “FLOP” at anything not charting at #1 for ten straight weeks. Lady Gaga has probably been the most high-profile victim of this; “Applause” was deemed a massive flop, despite remaining in the Top 10 for months. Granted, it’s not as successful as “Bad Romance”, but it’s nowhere near a flop. Neither is Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally”. Sure, it’s nowhere near the hit that “Roar” was and “Dark Horse” is appearing to be, but Perry is still at the top right now.

If someone is going to be called a flop, then you have to look outside the Top 20, at least. For example, Ke$ha’s two followups to her 2012 single “Die Young” are huge flops. “Come On” peaked at #27, and “Crazy Kids” did even worse, peaking at #40. Those two singles ultimately killed her sophomore album Warrior and shoved her completely off the A-List. Luckily for her, she has bounced back with Pitbull and their smash hit “Timber”. Still, Ke$ha and plenty of other artists are true examples of what it really means to have a flop record.

But so what if an artist has a flop single or even a flop album? Beyonce’s 4 was huge disappointment, but then came the history-making BEYONCE. Some of the most iconic artists of all time have had their chart stinkers. Michael had “Invincible”, Madonna has “MDNA”, Mariah has “Glitter”.  What matters is their body of work, and whether they can recover from a flop. It’s still too early to count out Gaga and Katy and (I regret to admit) Bieber just yet.

For now, let’s just call it an underperformance and let them hope for the best.

EgoRamble: What The Hell Happened To Customer Service?

A couple of days ago, I was watching a clip of Real Housewives of Atlanta, where Sheree Whitfield was fighting with this event planner. It was a hot mess, and at the end, she asked, “whatever happened to customer service?”

Well I have an answer: it went straight to hell.

I won’t go into many details because it is personal (and financial), but I just had one of the worst customer service experiences of my life with a company that claims to excel at it. Lies they tell. I was simply trying to help them verify my information, and the “senior analyst” had the nerve to basically call me a liar. Instead of trying to check the information that was given, or clarify herself when asking questions, she actually told me that I was wrong. Even when I told her what she was saying made no sense, in the most cordial way possible of course, she refused to budge. I have had a number of positive and negative customer experiences, but this was by and large the worst. It was irritating, condescending, and downright insulting.

Of course, thinking about it, the result of the call will be a good thing for me in the long run, but I am still upset that I had to go through it at all.

I can understand that financial institutions have to deal with messy situations all the time, which probably makes them weary. But I do not appreciate basically being called a liar on the phone by some crazy person who was unwilling to even get their facts straight.

This was not the best way to start the year.

It’s 2014: Can We All Be Over Justin Bieber Now?

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News outlets last week reported that Justin Bieber’s second concert documentary (quick side note for another blog post: why does he need a second documentary in the first place?) was a humongous flop. It seemed like a fitting ending to a year where Justin thought it was totally fine to pee in a mop bucket, call a fan a beached whale, and generally dress like a complete douchebag.

So, is he over in 2014? Let’s take a look.

Justin spent most of his time in the headlines for his behavior, like suggesting Holocaust figure Anne Frank would’ve been a fan of his (easily the stupidest, most self-absorbed comment made all year). Unfortunately, for him and for us, Bieber’s antics were wholly upstaged by Miley Cyrus. Hell, we’re still talking about her twerkfest at the VMAs. If Bieber thought he could force his way into celeb adulthood with some headline grabbing, he was sadly mistaken. Compared to Miley’s wrecking ball riding, everything he did, even a random visit to a Brazilian brothel, seemed boring and desperate.

What about the music? Well, to his credit, Bieber launched his Music Mondays series on iTunes, where he released a new song ever Monday for 13 weeks. It was certainly a different approach to releasing music in these leak-prone days, and all of the singles landed at the top of iTunes, but none really had any staying power. And his innovative strategy has been upstaged by Beyoncé’s now iconic surprise album release. As for Bieber’s place in the pop world, it’s pretty safe to say that One Direction has caught up with him. To everyone’s surprise (or maybe just mine) “Story of My Life” is seeing huge success on pop radio and their very good album Midnight Memories is selling like hotcakes.

Don’t get me completely wrong; although I find Justin Bieber absolutely abhorrent, I can certainly recognize his success and popularity. I can also recognize that he has basically squandered any goodwill he’s been offered in order to behave like a complete idiot. His rabid fan base notwithstanding, Justin Bieber is on the very cusp of being over in a larger scale. Out-scandalized by Miley and outperformed by One Direction, Justin really needs to take a chill pill, put a shirt on, and go back to the drawing board if he wants to survive in 2014.

Or he can keep going the way he is and I don’t have to deal with him in pop culture anymore; whatever floats his boat.

What are your thoughts on Justin Bieber? Done, or just getting started?

Some Ego Rich Resolutions

By B

So it’s the first day of 2014.

Ok, technically it’s almost over, but still, it’s a fresh year, which means it’s time to set incredibly unrealistic hopes and expectations for ourselves that we will forget about by January 7th.

I wrote in my DayOne app last year that I didn’t believe in New Years resolutions for that reason. Looking at it last night, I realized that I only made that proclamation because I was kind of depressed and was being overly dramatic.

Now that I’m in a relatively better space, I’ve decided that I do in fact believe in New Years resolutions, that they can be attainable, and that they are worth mapping out. So, here are mine:

BLOG MORE – stuff got crazy in the second half of 2013, but consider this post the official return of EgoRich!

Take charge of my money – I am tired of being broke. It sucks, especially because I don’t have to be. I’ve decided that I need to stop being afraid of looking at my bank balance and ignoring that voice in my head that whispers “you don’t really need this” whenever I’m at Macy’s. Progress today: I was thisclose to buying an Alfani sweater on sale, but I put it back.

Work out and keep better track of my health – I actually pay for a gym membership at Planet Fitness, and I’ve only used it once. Sure, it could be closer to my job and all, but I intend on using it. At least once a week. I also want to make sure that I am not neglecting my health. I plan on keeping much better track of it this year.

Use my iPad more – I love my iPad, but I know that I don’t use it enough at all. I mean, it cost me $600 after all. You would think it would be a daily part of my life. There are times when it just sits in my messenger bag, collecting dust (unless I need to charge it). Considering most of my computer activity surrounds Facebook anyway, why not use my awesome device?

And finally…

Stop stressing over my friendships – if there is one thing that has snatched years off of my life clock, it’s worrying about whether someone I consider my friend is actually my friend. Frankly, it’s a waste of time. This will probably be the most difficult of my resolutions to keep, but I truly believe that I’ve reached the point in my life where I no longer want to keep giving to people and get nothing back in return. Similarly, I want to nurture the friendships I am actually sure of, especially since I know I have been neglectful of some of them.

These are my New Years resolutions, and I believe they are actually attainable. Feel free to share yours in the comments!