Weekly Blog Posts [Nov. 26-30]

Review: thinksound ts02 Headphones

I have a confession.

I’ve always used shitty headphones.

For the past few years, I’ve been listening to music either through stock Apple “earphones” or really cheap, noise-cancelling Sony headphones. It’s just never been a priority to me…which is weird because I really love listening to music. During that time, I found the best place to listen to my favorite bands was in the car (the 2005 Honda Element has a surprisingly awesome sound system). I could turn it up really loud and actually feel the bass.

My friend Brian had been telling me to get higher quality headphones for years. I was just passing it off as an unnecessary purchase. I figured my headphones were working just fine. After thinking it over and finally wanting to see what the big deal was, I finally caved and bought these thinksound ts02 “in-ear high definition” headphones.

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Every weekday when my boyfriend goes to work I spend hours watching TV. Sometimes I go to class, but most of the time I think it’s more important to see what’s #1 on Today’s Top Ten Youth Anthems on Much Music (that’s Canada-speak for MTV). Today’s #1 Youth Anthem, by the way, was that song by those guys. I don’t know what it’s called but I know you know the one.  Toniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Weeeee Aaaaare Yooooooooung. SO LET’S SET THE WORLD ON FIIIIIRRRREE …

It’s a really really good song, guys. The lyrics are so impassioned and those guys have such good haircuts.

Anyway, I’ve decided to put my pathetic TV addiction to use! Women’s razor commercials just fascinate me to the extent that I feel inspired to take notes as I watch and conduct super smart analyses just like they dun teached me at University of Canada.

This past semester I’ve been taking a (crazy awesome) course called Theorizing the Spectator. It’s a typical cultural studies class. It deals mostly with cinema spectatorship, but lately we’ve been talking a lot about TV. Well basically I guess I’ve been inspired to take some notes of my own about my experience of and relationship with that sweet temptress that is television.

Unfortunately, we only have 58 channels, many of which are either repeats or completely French/Quebecois. We are totally being raaaaaped by the cable people who gave us literally the worst cable for literally the most money. In other words, I get to watch the wooooorst things on TV and those are the things I’m going to write about. I’m sure most of my notes will consist of bashing girls in music videos who have better bods than me (i.e., sluts) and probably also some crying about how all the good cartoons are on the French channels and dubbed in French. UGH!

I’ll try to write an article or something about once a week at least or maybe once a day or whatever I have no idea because I am not good with Excel and I do not have a schedule.

Will anyone besides RandomIan understand what I mean when I say Don Cherry talks way too loud and has the ugliest dog ever? Who knows? I just know that I want to write some nonsense about some crappy TV shows and post them on the Nice Man blog.

Hope this goes well! What an exciting and hopefully attainable goal! 😀

Review: Des Moines Is Dope! My Experience at the Iowa State Fair

Last year, when I first proposed to my friend Angela that we go to the Iowa State Fair, I received the typical response friends give me when I propose an unusual trip—dead silence for about 10 seconds and then agreement. I think they just humor me.

Determined to actually make it to Des Moines this time instead of being stranded in Minneapolis due to a blizzard (like three years ago when we tried the first time) which resulted in Angela and I spending the night in a cheesy hotel with a ‘70s clover leaf-shaped pool and passing the time at the Mall of Americas the next day while we waited for our evening flights, we decided to go in the summer. Phew, long sentence.

The Iowa State Fair was so super fun! Toted as having more than 50 foods on a stick and tons of interesting concoctions, we set out to try as many as we could. Here’s a list of what we consumed in order of best to worst:

  • Fried butter on a stick
  • Fried cheese curds
  • Pork chop on a stick
  • Rice Krispie Treat with chips, pretzels, M & Ms, marshmallows, chocolate on a stick
  • Hot Beef Sundae
  • Fried turkey breakfast sausage on a stick with powdered sugar and syrup
  • Fried cheese on a stick
  • Pickle pop
  • Bacon on a stick dipped in chocolate
  • Red Velvet funnel cake on a stick

We also participated in a wine tasting; craft beers tasting (Iowa has great local beers); viewed snakes, sheep, goats, cows, rabbits, and horses; and watched a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band called First Born Unicorn.

We spent 7 ½ hours at the Fair and spent the rest of the day in a food coma. The next day we shopped, drank, ate, and drank some more. I need to seriously detox. While I was waiting for my flight at the airport, two people got through security without IDs. Apparently, besides being a great place to visit, there are no rules in Des Moines 🙂

Hot Beef Sundae

Best and Worst: James Bond Villains and Henchman

The 23rd official James Bond film, Skyfall, marks the 50th anniversary of the first, Dr. No. I will follow up this post with a best and worst list of Bond actors and films.  For the purposes of this article, Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva misses the cut. Before I saw the film, his character was what I was looking forward to the most.  I left disappointed. He’s one the most accomplished actors to play a Bond Villain and I thought he did a good job acting. At the beginning of the film, I enjoyed his character a lot even though I thought his background was a little boring. Since Bardem played the role so well up to that point, it was a small concession. However, once he broke out of his prison cell, his character turned into the average villain from any typical action film; his development screeched to a halt.

Side Note: Why do villains in new movies have to be imprisoned in plastic/glass cells? Can Silva control electromagnetic fields like Magneto?

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Worst Human #2 [Black Friday Edition]

My mom is always excited to see me around the holidays. I live one town over but my school and work schedule makes it difficult to stay connected. So when we do finally find time to meet up, my mom likes to go on adventures. In the evening of Thanksgiving this year, we found ourselves at a Walmart as part of the pre-Black Friday insanity.

My mom decided she wanted to get Brave on blu-ray for cheap, so she was willing to enter the frenzy for a movie. Initially I wasn’t going to tag along, but I found myself curious just how bad it would be. It was worse than I anticipated.

Roughly thirty minutes after the store opened we arrived to a completely full parking lot. Cars were double-parked in red zones, shittily parked so people couldn’t get in or out and there were even a few on the sidewalks. In short, zero fucks were given. Once I got inside it was just a sea of cliché Walmart shoppers. It was just everyone from the People of Walmart website at the same time (http://www.peopleofwalmart.com).

I’m usually pretty good in crowds as a frequent concertgoer, but this collection of people was unbearable. Most people either still smelled strongly of Thanksgiving food, while others just straight up smelled like stress sweat and BO. And in this smelly crowd, people just kept their eyes on whatever dumb thing they wanted and shoved through people to get to it.

I’m surprised that any Black Friday shoppers found anything they were looking for. It was clear that there was a plan in place to enable customers to find the products they wanted, but this system was destroyed by the time we got there. Employees were clearly at wit’s end from all of this. A customer wanted to know where some item was and a floor clerk said, “Girl, I don’t know where the fuck anything is anymore! Some bitch just asked me the same thing.”

My mom decided that we should get my dad Black Ops, so I was sent to wait in a line for the game case that wrapped around the electronic section. Lucky for me, right behind me in line was a very impatient woman who was clearly a Black Friday veteran. I saw her minutes before in a completely different section cutting through people with ease and snatching up movies as people were reaching for them. She came with a plan that night. Having to wait in line was not in her plan nor was it something she did well. As the line slowly moved, she tried to get on her toes and look over people to see the game case. From where we were, you could be on a ladder and still not see it, but she remained persistent. Every few minutes she’d be on the phone with the someone complaining about their respective line experience at different Walmarts. While on her phone, she seemed unable to control the four Furbys that she held in her hand. They would either rub my ass (which felt a little nice), or she would jam the corners into my back. My final experience with her before getting the game and getting the hell out of there, was when she began to have a coughing fit for no reason. I felt the hair on the back of my head move and I realized that her hands were full so there was no way that she was covering her mouth. That lady, worst human.

I call her the worst human only because I was the direct subject of her Black Friday stupidity, but the entire crowd was made of people like her. To my knowledge, no one was hurt at my local Walmart over the past few days, but it’s all still such a bummer. The Pre-Christmas shopping season is now a part of Thanksgiving Day. If this is something that remains constant and stores open earlier and earlier to outdo one another, Thanksgiving will be taken over completely. It will become a day of people decided if they are going to stay in and enjoy the Thanksgiving tradition they have created with their families, or ditch these families to a cheap TV.

No deal is worth having to put up with those shopper types, to me anyway. My mom did succeed in getting Brave, but if this text conveys her feelings at all, I don’t think she felt it was worth it either.