22nd Mar2013

West Week Ever – 3/22/13

by Will
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One of these people had the West Week Ever. Which one? Read on to find out!

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I have a hard time with people who blame video game violence on today’s social ills. This was made even clearer to me last weekend. Why? I watched Death Wish IV and Death Wish V. First off, can I say that I fucking LOVE Charles Bronson? Something about a 55 year old man wrecking shit is so much more refreshing than Action Star du Jour. Anyway, I witnessed a guy killed by a grenade launcher, a guy killed by exploding remote controlled soccer ball, a guy fall into a pulp grinder and more. People saw this stuff and didn’t go on killing sprees (well, except Bernie Goetz). Movies today aren’t half as violent as they were 25 years ago. I’m not sure if the MPAA has simply become a bunch of pussies, or if ticket takers have become more lax in letting in minors. All I know is that the same restrictions supposedly exist for video games and movies. It’s time to blame society’s ills on factors other than the entertainment sector.

Being the boyband fiend that I am, this was probably my favorite video of the week. I loved the Hell out of JC Chasez and, from a musical standpoint, he was the most talented member of *NSYNC. Justin’s more famous because he was more charismatic, but he wasn’t the best soloist. Anyway, this is JC singing “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers to USC’s Tri Delt chapter. Here’s what sticks out to me, though: a college freshman would have been born in 1995. *NSYNC’s debut album came out when they were TWO YEARS OLD. They were 6 when *NSYNC’s last album came out. Outside of America’s Best Dance Crew, JC hasn’t really been relevant to this generation. This is almost like if Daryl Hall had come to sing at Cornell while I was there. Do these girls even know who he is, other than “hot guy singing that weird hippie song”? Anyway, I feel so old…

Speaking of Justin vs. JC, this Billboard article is an EXCELLENT exploration of how and why Justin pulled ahead in their pop solo competition.

I had a great time last night, joining @timdogg98‘s Comic Book Chronicles Live. So far, it’s a weekly-ish Google Hangout sponsored by The Kliqnation, and it’s a great comic book discussion with a “barbershop” feel. I’ve been lurking in the rafters for most of the episodes, but I was tagged in last night. If you’re a comic fan, definitely check it out!

Sponsor Update –

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This may come as a surprise to some, but WilliamBruceWest.com is sponsored by Will’s World of Wonder. Recently, my corporate overlords have decided they should have more of a voice on the site, so here’s some new stuff that’s been listed in the store:

Preorders:

There are none. Really, why would I buy up a case of something you could buy cheaper at a big box store? That wastes both our time. Go buy that shit at Target!

New Arrivals:

Young Justice Invasion 6″ Batman

This is the RARE 6″ Young Justice Invasion Batman figure. These never hit wide retail release in North America, and they are pretty hard to find.

Figure is MIB, and includes diorama and accessories. (Limited Supply!)

http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17521263/young-justice-invasion-6-batman

LEGO DC Universe Super Heroes Catwoman Catcycle City Chase

Everyone’s favorite heroes have joined forces with everyone’s favorite building toy!

http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17482086/lego-dc-universe-super-heroes

Iron Man Marvel Legends Classic Iron Man

To coincide with the upcoming release of Iron Man 3, this Marvel Legends subset fits perfectly with the rest of your Marvel Legends collection. Includes alternate helmet, as well as BAF piece for Iron Monger.
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17481885/iron-man-marvel-legends-classic

Power Rangers Samurai Mega Mode Rangers Lot

Now that stores are filled with Megaforce product, it’s not as easy to find these guys anymore. If you want to celebrate the season that brought Power Rangers to Nick, here’s your chance!
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17481914/power-rangers-samurai-mega-mode

Batman: The Killing Joke Deluxe Edition HC

By Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, this monumental storyline depicts Barbara Gordon’s final confrontation with The Joker as Batgirl.
This anniversary edition hardcover features all new coloring, and the short story “An Innocent Guy”.
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17482104/batman-the-killing-joke-deluxe

Our Vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stock has been replenished! Show your whippersnappers where it all began by buying them something from this assortment!
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/c/1513721/tmnt

This Week’s Posts

Thrift Justice – Power Rankings

My (Alternate) Reality

Before we handle wrap things up, I need to address something. So, yesterday I prefaced a post with a description of my depression. Much of that was hyperbole, as a framing device. Mainly. I’ve had anxiety for a LOOONNNGG time, but I have experienced happiness since the age of 12. I just threw out an age there (although that IS what I told that nurse). Why did I say 12? Well, I feel like that’s when the anxiety train started. Changes start happening. Next thing you know, you’ve got to do well on the PSAT, ’cause it’s an indicator of SAT success. Then, you have to do well on the SAT, ’cause you need it to get into a good college. Then, you need to get into a good college so you’ll get a good job. Then, you have to successfully graduate from said good college. Then, you graduate and there are no jobs. Then you work retail, while waiting on people who can’t understand why you don’t have a better job. Then you feel like a failure because you wasted that degree and tuition. Then, you get dead-end jobs that still aren’t really backing up why you went to school. I finally have a job that I love, but it wasn’t an easy process. For me, at least. Lots of people have it WAY worse, but I don’t deal well with stress. So, that, conceptually, is how I came up with that age. Still, that hurt people who know “real life” Will.

I’ve never really delved into this, but it’s my site, so I can do what I want. Over on facebook, my pal Chad was wondering if anyone had written about their success with online dating. He met his girlfriend that way, and wondered if I or Vincent had ever written about our experience. Maybe it would take the “geek taboo” off things. If you don’t know, I met my wife on Match.com. It’s funny because I wasn’t looking for anything. I had gotten out of a 3-ish year relationship with a trust fund baby who had no real life aspirations. Yet she dumped me. Go figure. Anyway, a friend of mine signed up for Match, and a bunch of us signed up too so that we could vet his choices. If there’s one thing I love it’s judging people, and this gave me a front row seat. In the meantime, I just liked the attention. I was probably a good 40 lbs lighter, and I woke up to emails from random women telling me they liked my smile. I didn’t even have to do anything. It was AWESOME.

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I didn’t communicate with anyone I found on there ’cause I’d have to PAY. Ain’t nobody got time for that! One day, however, I got an email from a girl that said something I liked. I don’t remember what it was, and I don’t feel like going through my email to figure it out. Whatever it was, it caught my attention. And like that, I actually paid and we emailed back and forth. She was a reader, and to paraphrase Chris Rock, she “spoke so well.” Since I wasn’t yet the net whore that I’ve become, I didn’t really think you could have any meaningful association with someone digitally. Now, I’ll tell you that some of my good friends are folks I’ve never met, but things were different in the Wild West days of 2008. So, I was fine just keeping it online. It was like having a pen pal, and I really didn’t know how to make the transition from web to reality, anyway. I’d never asked anyone for their number, and I wasn’t some cool pimp daddy “gettin’ da digits”. All my attention from females came from singing, whether I was doing a musical or a cappella stuff. So we had a great time emailing, but that was enough for me. And then I just stopped. I don’t really know why. Maybe I thought it was weird, or I just didn’t know how to be cool over email anymore.

Life went on. She ended up dating some other dude from Match (man, it must be awesome to be a woman. Free dinners for simply possessing a vagina). I probably went back to bitching about the death of Captain America and blogging about how that Big Bang Theory show would never last. Other stuff happened, like I had a death in the family, and I was just all over the place. Three months passed, and she emailed me out of the blue. She wondered why our emails had just stopped, seeing as how we seemed to have a real connection. Since I’m a doof, she ended up having to ask me out. This was a Monday. The date was set for Wednesday. That Tuesday, we finally talked on the phone…for 3 hours. When I got home from Wednesday’s date, I called my friend Keith, and I said “I’m gonna marry that girl.” Our next date was that Saturday, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her everyday since then. Shit’s crazy, son! Most of the time, I would just be excited to get off work, so I could go play Rock Band with her. Apparently, while she wasn’t being wined and dined by Match dudes, she had worked her way to Expert on most of the songs. And I was happy. For the first time, in a very long time, I was happy. And I’m happy now. In 2 weeks, we’ll have been married 6 months, and October’s our 5 year anniversary. So, I lied. I’m very happy. Oh, and internet dating works! Try it! Take it from your buddy, Will!

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So, one person’s mugshot count is up to a half dozen, while another is going through some odd, drag transformation. One person twerked it like a unicorn, while the other reeeallly has bad luck with keeping the women in his life alive. But only one of them had the West Week Ever.

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He killed a dude by shooting a fucking grenade at him. ‘Nuff said.

21st Mar2013

My (Alternate) Reality

by Will

I’m not always a happy person. Sure, I crack jokes and everything on Twitter, but I guess you could say I’m “faking it until I make it”. Let’s just say it really hits home when a nurse asks you, “Can you remember when you were last happy?” and your answer is “I was probably 12.” Man, this is a downer intro to a post! Anyway, at times, I’ve clung to the idea of alternate realities. Hell, anything’s possible and it’s not like you can disprove the possibility (Ha! Take THAT, condescending Web Atheists!). Maybe there’s a Will out there who’s bouncing off the walls, and people describe him in terms like “effervescent”. If there are other realities out there, just think of the craziness that could be going on. Or let me do the thinking for you!

As our music industry celebrated the release of Justin Timberlake’s single, “Suit & Tie”, this week, in other reality former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter just released “Blazer & Bolo”.

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And apparently he’s a motorboating enthusiast!

Meanwhile, things are getting dicey on the late night talk show scene. After 20 years on the air, UPN has announced that Nick Cannon will be replacing Arsenio Hall as the host of What Up, Moon? Industry experts aren’t sure how to react, as it was only two years ago that Hall reclaimed his show from Damon Wayans, Jr. After touring the country with Skee Lo and Bobcat Goldthwait, Wayans finally landed at NBC, but there are still hard feelings.

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Some third world country is about to get a shitload of Woof shirts airdropped into it

Speaking of Skee Lo, he and his wife, megastar Kelly Rowlands, are expecting their 3rd child. Fans were hoping Kelly would take time off to reunite with Destiny’s Child, but the group has been on hiatus since member Beyonce Knowles was arrested on drug charges back in 2003. She later appeared on the 5th season of Celebrity Rehab, where she proceeded to insult both Rowlands and the DC fans. Needless to say, Kelly won’t be saying Beyonce’s name anytime soon!

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Skee Lo’s “I Wish” is the highest selling record to date

Talks are heating up that Michael Jackson will be taking the judge’s chair vacated by Bobby Brown on The Voice. As everyone knows by now, Brown was recently named the Exec VP of Artist Development for Arista Records, and Jackson is coming off the recent cancellation of his children’s show, Jacko’s World.

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In the book world, bestselling author James Frey is four books into his Little Pieces Saga. He’s been doing the talk show circuit promoting the next installment, A Million Pieces More. Tonight, he’s going to be on Bob Barker’s CNN show and Soledad O’Brien’s show on Playboy Radio. Tomorrow morning, he’ll wake up bright and early to be a guest on Let’s Get It Started With Fergie.

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Even in an alternate reality, douchebags still look like this

In the world of professional sports, NFL commissioner Vincent McMahon has announced that Brock Lesnar’s contract has been renegotiated with the Washington Coloreds. McMahon refused to acknowledge questions concerning the team’s racist moniker. The last time he addressed it was during an interview with Tabitha Soren, where he remarked, “What? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to call them?”

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“The NFL is committed to diversity – unless you’re a minority, bald, and/or have a goatee. Then, you’re clearly a villain.”

In the world of politics, President Clinton just announced, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…in her butt. Lord knows I tried.” This is the 12th sex scandal for the long-seated president. It was just last year that he uttered the similar words, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…in her mouth.” Needless to say, there’s no end in sight for the War on Orifices. Pundits are saying that there should have been some sort of provision for removing Clinton from office, but it seems that no one knows the current whereabouts of the Constitution. At present, most US laws are tweeted from China, while forged copies of the fabled document occasionally show up in pawn shops, according to the Pawn Stars Channel.

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“My fellow Americans, tell me you don’t just wanna bite dat ass.

Continental War V rages on, as Germany just fell to invading forces from Poland. The US has been hesitant to enter the fray, however Germany is our leading source for electronics, so something will need to be decided before the Tivo production season kicks into high gear. This has caused China’s statehood talks to stall. If you’ll remember, the US traded the Puerto Rico Territory to Emperor Hirohito in 1952, thus acquiring the China Territory and gaining a US presence in the East.

Meanwhile, plans are underway to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic events of May 4th, 1999. It has been 14 years since the state of Hawaii was vaporized by a militant sect of Jedi disciples, in what is now referred to as Operation: Phantom Menace. This led to the widespread persecution of Jedi, with many leaving the fold due to risk of being charged for treason. The “religion” is currently prohibited on American soil.

Photo courtesy of bystander, who decided an Instagram filter should be applied

Photo courtesy of bystander, who decided an Instagram filter should be applied

In the business world, DisMart announced that they’re planning to open a kiosk on the International Space Station. A mere 10 years ago, this would’ve been something out of science fiction. However, after Sir Richard Branson mysteriously disappeared, DisMart submitted a bid for the Virgin Corporation. Pretty soon, Mickey Mouse and Wally the Wallflower will be heading to space!

Well, I think you’ve learned enough about this alternate reality. Perhaps you should count your blessings. I mean, I’ve heard great things about The Diagram 2, but do you really want 14 Skee Lo albums on your mPod? What? Oh, that’s what they’re called here. Ya know, ’cause Microsoft makes them. I’m always drifting off to this world, though, as I have quite the imagination. So, just let me know if you ever want an update on how things are going over there.

01st Feb2013

West Week Ever – 2/1/13

by Will

oie_922142seDasWF9

This one is hard for me. West Week Ever started out as the weekly spot for me to not only ramble about pop culture, but also really delve into the “science” of social media. That’s never been truer than today. You see, this week I found out that I lost a dear friend. The problem, however, is that I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. You see, I’d never actually met this person. This was an online friendship. However, it was deep enough that it taught me that you can have actual, meaningful connections with people you’ve never met. It was my first such friendship, and it paved the way for a lot of the connections I have online today.

I’ve mentioned this person in the past. Back when I did Follow Friday, I was known to refer to her as “my favorite woman on Twitter” (it was cool – my wife didn’t tweet much at the time). It’s funny – when she first followed me, I thought she was spam. Non-descript avatar, seemed to be following a shit ton of people. Unlike a lot of people, I’m not waging a war against spammers, so I just let her be. Then, we actually started to interact. She was in grad school, while also working as a nanny. She loved that job and was always referring to her “girls”, like they were her own kids. She was curious about life and LOVED to dance. She fell in love, and shared her joy with me. When she dealt with something I had experienced, she came to me for advice. She was one of the first people to know about my engagement. She actually downloaded my a cappella mp3s from my college days, and was probably my biggest (and last remaining) fan. As sweet as she was, you’d never know about the things she had going on in her life. Eventually, because of those things, she kinda left the online world behind her.

Around the end of the holiday season, I started thinking about her. I remembered she didn’t celebrate Christmas (non-Jewish white girl, not celebrating Christmas? You’re missing out!), and that was always quaint, yet weird, to me. I remembered her last email to me, right after my engagement. It ended in sort of an ominous way. You know how when a TV show has a finale that’s not really advertised as a finale? Well, it was like that. She was going through her stuff, and I had a wedding to make happen, so I let it simmer. This was around the same time that Catfish on MTV was gaining traction, and while everyone online had jokes like, “Haven’t these people ever heard of Google?”, I started to wonder myself: was this friendship real? Was this person real? I had done my due diligence, so I managed to tuck it in the back of my head, and go on with life. So, when the holidays rolled around, I thought it would be a good time to check in. And that’s when I knew something was wrong.

Minutes after I emailed her, I got an auto response telling me that all inquiries about her should be forwarded to her sister, and it listed her email address. Whatever was happening here, I knew it couldn’t be good. Had something returned from her past? Was I really being  “catfished” and this person was simply tired of the charade and was ready to come clean? I wasn’t sure. I simply forwarded it to her sister, prefacing it with an explanation of how I knew her. And then I didn’t hear back. Until yesterday. In the middle of a work meeting, I saw that I had an email, and I knew who it was from when I saw the subject line. Something told me not to deal with it then. It would be there when the meeting was done. And I managed to stick to that for most of the meeting. Then, my mind began to wander and I gave in. After the first line, I wished I had waited.

The reply was from my friend’s sister. She was telling me that my friend had actually passed away back in July, from an aneurysm. I don’t get into this with many people, but there’s actually one thing off limits to me when it comes to joking around: aneurysms. It might seem like an odd thing to have off limits, but there’s a reason for it. You see, when I was 3 years old, my dad died from an aneurysm. Not only did that cause pain at a young age, and lead me to grow up without a father, but aneurysms have served as a sort of biological boogeyman ever since. You don’t know how you get them. You can just be living your life and BAM. And that’s what happened here. She had returned home from school, was getting ready to face the world as a grown up, and it all ended in an instant. So, as for my life’s scorecard, Will: 0, Aneurysms: 2. That’s two people who were very important to me, yet I didn’t know all that well, taken by aneurysms.

Again, this is a weird place for me. I’m not new to death. I was raised by the Black Golden Girls. Some random Alabama cousin dies every month. I’ve probably been to more funerals than birthday parties. It’s just amazing that someone you’ve never met can have that kind of effect on you. Before her, I was mainly following comic blogs, and not really interacting on Twitter. I really considered her a friend, as I consider many of you. You may see me as the obnoxious guy, telling bad jokes all the time, but I do it for you. I’m just the insecure guy trying to impress his friends in the lunchroom. It’s just that our lunchroom is digital. Whenever I think back to how stupid it might seem to worry about losing followers and whatnot, I think about situations like this and realize that many of you are so much more to me than that. And while that may seem sad, it’s the future. I know because AT&T commercials have been selling that dream for 20 years. Anyway, there’s no real conclusion to that. I just had to get it out. Maybe some of you will feel it’s a bit much, but I hope that maybe some of you can relate.

Whew!

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OK, so I was also invited to participate in UnderScoopFire’s list of The 50 Funniest Women of All Time. This was harder than you’d think, and I even had to poll Lindsay for her opinions. Basically, each of us submitted our Top 25, and then Howie Decker used his trusted methodology to compile the list. At the outset, it was never meant to be a DEFINITIVE list. Anyone who’s been on the Internet for a week knows that these are great for generating discussion. Still, some folks on Twitter were all “Fuck yo’ methodology” and “Where’s Megan Mullally?” I don’t wanna sell out the system because I like how USF’s lists are done. All I can really explain is my thinking on the matter.

First off, Sarah Beattie is an actual comedy writer, so even if I disagree, I defer to the pro. That said, I feel the need to bring up something I discussed with Howie. This was a really hard list to make because you have to be honest with yourself and ask “Do I really think she’s funny OR do I just think she’s hot?” Yeah, this may seem crass and sexist, but it’s an important aspect of comedy to recognize. This list wasn’t limited to the world of standup, but let’s just look at that subset for a bit. Male comics aren’t hot. They’re typically shlubby, balding and/or insecure. Dane Cook was the first, modern-day standup heart throb, which I think is the source of a lot of the ire directed at him. Sure, he’s not the strongest comic, but I think guys in the audience never felt threatened by comics until him. With Dane,  here was a guy who could easily fuck their girlfriends. That’s threatening. Now there’s the flip side. There’s an up and coming crop of SMOKING female comics. This isn’t to say they’re all not funny, but it does mean they bring something extra to the plate to compensate for weaker humor, if needed. I think they use their looks as a crutch. Take Amy Schumer. She’s cute and witty, and she’s studied every rape joke that Sarah Silverman has ever written. Still, she’s too green to be on a list of the BEST OF ALL TIME.

To me, a few people on this list haven’t paid their dues enough to be here. Along with Schumer, that includes Plaza (she’s one of the Best of Right Now, but time will tell), Farris (she plays dumb girl roles, not funny girl), Fisher (she married a funny guy), Schaal/Lynch (future Hall of Famers, but not there yet), and McCarthy (still coasting off that ONE good Bridesmaids performance). And that’s not even taking into account the people I just never found funny; I can still recognize their contributions to the “art”. So, that’s the beauty of democracy: everyone gets a voice, but not everybody “wins”. Still, I was honored to have been chosen, and I just wanted to shed a little light on my thoughts of the final tally.

Before I go, HUGE shout-out to my man @RobotsPJs who hooked me up with some Hostess goodness. Be sure to check out his Snack Reports over at The Robots Pajamas!

This Week’s Post:

Thrift Justice: Bipartisan$#!+

And check out my current eBay auctions!

 

29th Jan2013

Thrift Justice – Bipartisan$#!+

by Will

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Lord knows I’ve been sitting on some stuff for months, but I really wanted to commit this to the page before I forget all of it. This was just such a crazy scenario to me that it HAD to be a TJ post. So, where to begin? OK, last week, the country celebrated not only the second inauguration of Barack Obama, but also the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. As those events also brought with them a day off work, I decided to use that time to check into some things on Craigslist. One item kinda caught my attention, even though I didn’t really want it. The ad was for a Playmates Star Trek Starfleet Officers Box Set, unopened, for a great price. As a reformed Trekker, that line has always held a special place in my heart, and it hadn’t been opened. Game on! I’d actually started emailing with the guy the day before, but we’d never set up a time. Late Sunday night, I emailed him saying that I was off the next day, and could come by then. Well, I woke to an email saying that he was at work, but his wife was home and I could set up a meeting time with her. Ugh.

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Let me backtrack here. While unassuming, I’m still a random black guy from the internet. No matter how awesome something may sound, I was always raised to think that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. I don’t wanna meet some random dude’s wife, and end up in a Dateline special, as either the victim or the offender. The last thing I need is meeting random white women in their homes, Star Trek be damned! Still, it was a great price…I called the number the husband gave me, and she seemed a bit taken aback. I explained I’d been speaking with “Rick”, and she said that she would have to call him to find out where he had even stashed the thing. OK, fine. She calls back, and she’s found it. Great. She tells me “They usually tell you not to give out your home address to people on Craigslist”. See, she’s just as wary as I am! I tell her that I could meet her somewhere public or even wait until her husband gets home. No, she says it’s OK and proceeds to give me her address. Then, she tells me that she’s in the middle of a homeschool lesson (red alert! red alert!), so to come by around 5. Yeah, it might make me judgmental, but I’m still not in a place where I’m fully comfortable with the homeschooling movement. What makes me think I could do a better job teaching my kid than someone who’s been trained to do it? Hell, my kid would only get As in “Batman”, but he’d fail Math. But I digress…I’ve often said that I judge folks for the stuff they sell at yard sales, and I was beginning to judge this situation.

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At 5, I end up in a small neighborhood, and pull up outside their house. As I walk up to the door, I notice about 3 Romney stickers on the back of their van. THREE?! Then, I notice a big ass Romney sticker in their living room window. You don’t put stickers in a place like that! Stickers aren’t for the home, unless it’s a Fathead, and those people are still douchebags. I kinda thought about turning back, but duty called. I am the Toy Whisperer, after all (don’t worry – I felt like an asshole just typing that). She meets me at the door, and closes the door so the dogs won’t get out. That’s fine, I don’t want this transaction to last any longer than it needs to. I pull out the money, grab the box, and get ready to leave. Before I got away, she began to tell me that the set had been purchased by her father because he thought that stuff would be worth something someday, but he had since died and none of it was really that valuable. Remembering a tip from Brian over at Cool and Collected, I asked, “You mean there’s MORE?” She said that there was, and she invited me in.

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As soon as I got inside, it was like a Romney Wonderland. More posters and whatnot. She told me that the rest of the stuff was in the attic, and she trusted me to hang out with the dogs in the living room as she climbed up to get it. That’s when I heard it: Sean Hannity was playing on the kitchen radio. Aw, shit. “Calm down, Will”, I say to myself. “You’re freaking out for nothing. It’s not like she’s gonna come down and ask you who you voted for.” She comes back down with the stuff, and she proceeds to the kitchen to turn the volume a little lower on the radio. She comes back to me and asks, “Did you vote for Obama?” WHAT IN THE FUCK?! So many thoughts rush through my head: Who asks that? What do I say? Is she asking me that ’cause I’m black? Is she about to make an example of me that will end up on the 11:00 news?! Why did she have to pull this on MLKmas? Didn’t she at least like the Kelly Clarkson performance today? SO MANY THOUGHTS!

2013-01-28 20.06.09

It’s a TRAP!

I wish I could tell you that I became a hero that day. I wish I could tell you I looked her in the eye, and said “You’re damn right I did!” But I can’t. When you’re in an environment like that, “Yes We Can!” because “No We Ain’t!” While still looking over the items, I simply mumbled, “Yeah, the first time”. Careful choice of words. Make her think, “Sure, he did it the first time, ’cause well, the coloreds have to stick together, but he realized that Barry wasn’t the best choice for America. He came to his senses!” At least, that’s what I was going for. Don’t worry black people/bleeding heart liberals: I voted for him both times, but I feared for my life, and what I said wasn’t exactly a lie. I did vote for him the first time. She didn’t need to know about the second time. So, there was a beat, and time stood still. That’s when she said “Well, I turned off the radio. I didn’t want you to be offended.” What an odd sentiment. First off, it was kinda nice that she didn’t want me to be offended, but then it begged the question WHY are you listening to something that you know is offensive? Still, she didn’t have to turn it off. She could’ve turned it UP, so that was considerate of her.

2013-01-28 20.06.33

Diplomacy!

As I look over everything, I ask her what she’d want for the lot. ANOTHER amazing price. But there was a catch: I had to renounce my political affiliation. No, I’m kidding. I hadn’t brought enough money, but I didn’t want this to pass by. I remembered seeing a 7/11 on the way, so I told her that I’d run to the ATM and be right back. She was just fine with that. Fast forward to 10 minutes later, and our transaction was complete. She even helped me to my car. But I also noticed her kinda eye-searching my car. Had she never seen the inside of a black person’s car before? Was she shocked that I didn’t have THREE Obama stickers on my car? Did she notice the Inauguration Edition of The Washington Post on my passenger seat? These things matter not. I got what I came for, and I could escape back to safety!

2013-01-28 20.04.45

So, here’s the my entire haul. As always, if ya see anything you like, shoot me an offer. It saves me from having to list it somewhere. But you can’t have Lando. After my experience on Inauguration/MLK Day, I’m keeping Lando to complete the triumvirate. I Have A Dream That Yes We Can Have A Colt 45!

09th Nov2012

West Week Ever 11/9/12

by Will

I find that I’ve compartmentalized myself into a corner. Now that everything has a heading (Thrift Justice, Comical Thoughts, etc), I don’t really have an outlet for just random thoughts. I feel like G.I. Joe, when Ninja Force and Star Brigade gave way to Battle Corps. Battle Corps was the basic line, but still had to be put in a “subset”! In the past, I’ve said that Twitter kinda killed these posts for me, as I just ramble over there even though I’m limited to 140 characters. Still, I don’t have an outlet to just talk about stuff going on unless I make a whole post about it. So, I feel like this will be a good platform for that.

It’s no secret that I loved Best Week Ever. I used to consider that my barometer of success: I’d know I’d made it if I got to become a pop culture talking head on a VH-1 show (I have low standards). I also love my name, as well as a good play on words, so I give you West Week Ever. I wanted to call it “Ashley Banks Is Week”, but I wasn’t sure anyone would get the reference (not only is that my favorite episode of Fresh Prince, but I also love that Tatyana Ali released an album around that time that tanked as hard as her fictional album). I also considered calling it Friday Chat, but that wasn’t flashy enough, plus I couldn’t guarantee I’d get any comments. Finally, I thought about Friday Monologue, but that was just a bit too “on the nose”. So, West Week Ever. That’s what it’s called. Random thoughts on Friday. Read, enjoy, comment. So, let’s get started!

So, there was an election this week. Let me start off by saying that I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican. You do what you gotta do. My issue is when people claim to dislike Obama because of “all the debt he’s leaving for our kids” when nobody gave a fuck about those kids prior to his presidency. When we were racking up debt from 2 wars! But I digress. If you honestly felt like Mitt Romney was the best choice for this country, fine. But if you were really grasping at straws to cover that fact that it really bothers you that Obama’s black, that’s when I have a problem. I kinda respect you more when you’re honest, even if your stance is deplorable. However, when you’re a 15 year old girl, upset that Obama’s “taking my money”, I think you’d better have a discussion with your shift manager at Dairy Queen, instead of worrying your little head about the national economy. Obama don’t give a shit about your overtime OR the fact that you covered Tori on register. I don’t need to see stuff like this from you.

Anyone been following the Ariel Winter situation? For those who don’t know that name, she’s Alex Dunphy on Modern Family. Allegedly, Ariel’s abusive mom caused her to be removed from her home. According to the mom, Ariel’s trying to be emancipated so she can live with her 18 year old boyfriend. Ariel is FOURTEEN. Talk about “getting in on the ground floor”! Sure, she’s cute and all, but what the Hell do they have to talk about? SHE ONLY KNOWS SEINFELD THROUGH SYNDICATION, FOR GOD’S SAKE!

It also seems that Brooke Burke-Charvet was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. As sad as that is, my biggest question was “When did she take David Charvet’s name?” She’d been “Brooke Burke” forever, and David Charvet is SUUUUCH a douche. I mean, I think he was the first douche I ever encountered. I knew that’s what he was before there was even a word to describe it. Plus, if you’re known as “the douche” on Baywatch (!), something is seriously wrong.

I am ALL ABOUT Girl Meets World. I wish there were a Kickstarter, as I’d actually contribute to it. I kinda wish Disney Channel would attempt to rebuild TGIF, and that would be a great show for it. I’m not sure if people have realized this, but TV has evolved to the point where TGIF-caliber shows already end up on either Disney or Nick. That’s So Raven, iCarly, Cory In The House – the producers, directors, and writers of those shows are the same folks who were behind Full House and the like. People laugh at the idea that I like iCarly, but those jokes are just as lame as the stuff we laughed at in 1992. If TGIF came out today, most of those shows would go straight to SNICK. Not even ABC Family, as it’s trying too hard to be The WB circa 1999.

Here are my thoughts on the show: I totally think Cory and Topanga could have a 14 yr old, as that show was never really great at following a real timeline. They went straight from elementary school to high school. Then the whole college thing got fuzzy once they got married. Did they drop out? Who knows? Anyway, I kinda hate that the show will be on Disney because it’ll never follow the outcome I mapped in my mind. Let’s take a closer look at Boy Meets World.

Cory Matthews was what is known as a “simp” (see definitions 12 and 25). He went from being an intriguing, sarcastic grade schooler to being a head over heels schmuck. Seriously, watch any of the later seasons and Cory might as well be a 40 year old man, constantly frightened by the world, and worried that he was gonna lose Topanga. The “jump the shark” moment of that relationship was when Cory stowed away on a plane to surprise Topanga at Disney World (remember when Disney bought ABC, and every TGIF had to do an episode there?). While this was pre-9/11, I STILL couldn’t believe that he would violate FAA regulations for his puppy love.

A picture of ShaPanga that I totally stole off someone’s Tumblr.

This is my long and drawn out way of saying that there’s next to no chance that Cory and Topanga are still together. I’ll go as far as to say that Shawn Hunter is probably the real father of that baby. I mean, his character just became pure white trash by the end of that show, but he was a ladies man, and there was a brief spark between him and Topanga back when she first got hot in high school. In a moment of weakness, she gave in to Shawn, and Cory being the simp that he is, took her back. Everyone knows that Shawn’s the father of Riley Matthews, but they just don’t bring it up (think early Nip/Tuck) for fear that Cory would go out like Lane Pryce. If Cory and Topanga ARE still together, that shit’s over once Riley and her brother go off to college.

Anyway, this’ll be on Disney Channel, so it’ll be all laugh tracks and brightly colored interior decorating. I just have two requests: 1) I hope Uncle Eric lives in the garage and 2) FEENY!

 

 

18th Nov2011

Thrift Justice – Extreme Home Edition

by Will

Don’t worry, it’s not another spinoff. At least, I don’t think… Actually, come to think of it, that would be kinda cool. But I’m not committing to anything yet. After all, I’ve only done one Thrift Justice: YSE post, so it’d be a little audacious to come up with a second spinoff. It’s not like I’m Norman Lear.

Anyway, I tend to focus on toys and collectibles, but I thought I’d show a more practical application for thrifting. Sure a lot of people use thrifting to find collectibles and goods to resell, but others use it simply to survive. Their clothes, furnishings, etc come from thrifting, either because of financial constraints or the simple fact that they know a good deal when they see one. I like to think I’m a little of column A and a little of column B. So, I thought I’d show you a few of the ways that thrifting has added to my living space.

 First up, we have this full length mirror. I actually rescued this thing from next to the dumpster at my old apartment. I’m pretty sure that it was once part of a dresser or something, but this was all that I found. Now, I know that you can buy a full-length mirror from Target for about $9, but this thing is QUALITY. It’s solid wood and heavy as Hell, so it has lived on the floor most of the time that I’ve owned it. Seriously, I’ve had it almost 3 years, and we JUST hung it on the wall last month. Prior to that, you could only really see how you looked from the neck down.

Lindsay’s really into wine & wine decor, so we knew that my comic posters and figure displays would have to be balanced with something a bit…classier. Luckily, her stuff got banished to the kitchen! Everything you see in those pictures was thrifted. I got it all from yard sales and thrift stores, at different times. Basically, if I saw something wine-themed, I’d get it. It was only by chance and my keen eye that we were able to tie it all together into a configuration that makes sense.

This wine rack? Found in the trash room of Lindsay’s old apartment. Not IN the trash (I haven’t gotten to the dumpster diving level of thrifting…yet), but just in the room of stuff folks didn’t want anymore. Her old roommate, Dave, actually found it and thought I might want it. He thought right!

Speaking of Dave, he also gave us this bookshelf when Lindsay was moving out. He didn’t have room for it, and it was just heading for the aforementioned trash room. “One man’s trash…” So, it has now become the home of Lindsay’s Mighty Muggs collection. I may not have gotten her into comics, but I’ve found other ways to infect her with the collecting bug. Just the collecting bug, though. Honest! I got tested and everything.

As you’ve probably noticed, a lot of our thrifted goods end up in the kitchen. It doesn’t get more “kitchen” than the kitchen table. So, a little backstory: my mom plays Bingo every week at the local McDonalds. Don’t laugh – she’s 73 and can do whatever the Hell she wants! Anyway, one of her Bingo buddies is a master thrifter. He drives around a weird unmarked van, filled with stuff he’s found and wants to share. Every now and then, he’ll invite her out to his van to choose stuff. Hey…wait a minute…this guy is gonna be my new daddy, isn’t he?!! But I digress, he always come across the best stuff. For instance, she got a refrigerator from him for $80, which was just really the cost of moving it. Now that I think of it, yup, he’s definitely trying to be my new daddy. I’m not gonna mention the fact  that the fridge didn’t really keep stuff cold, and food would grow mold within 7 days; that would just taint the magic of the tale. Anyway, Mommy’s Special Friend came across this table in a house that was being torn down. We were looking for a kitchen table, and the comparable IKEA model was about $170. This table: $25, and that included the chairs!

My mom actually got Lindsay this microwave when she moved into her first apartment a few years back. I believe she got it from an estate sale, for about $5. They don’t make ’em like this anymore! You could put a whole baby in there. And I’m not talking about some preemie – I’m talking about one as fat as that cigarette-smoking baby from the news! Mmmm….smoked baby.

OK, this one is a bit hard to make out, so you’ll probably need to do some clicky and make it biggie. I came across this in a new thrift store at the end of the summer. It really caught my eye, and I thought it was a steal at $7, just for the size alone. It takes up a good portion of the wall as you enter the apartment, and we’d been looking for something to put there. So, what is it? Well, it’s an American flag, although it has the words to Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech written in the white stripes. Also, the stars have been replaced with “Yes We Can”s. I’m not about to get all political on here, and that’s really not the point. It’s meaningful because Lindsay and I officially became a couple on Election Night 2008. We, as well as a good portion of the country, were swept up in Obama Fever, and regardless of thoughts on the 1%, Obamacare, or longform birth certificates, this piece of art constantly reminds me of where we started. *studio audience awwws*

Anyway, that’s this week’s TJ post. It wasn’t quite a look at the West Cave, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get it clean enough for pictures, anyway. I just wanted to show you that my thrifting isn’t all about toys and comics, and that I also use my powers for practical uses from time to time. OK, seriously, next TJ will be that YSE post I’ve been promising, where I go into a lot of my recent thrift FAILS.

10th Oct2011

Fun With Android’s Voice Actions AKA Getting Acquainted With Our Future Robot Overlords

by Will

So, last week Apple revealed the iPhone 4s which, while fancier than the current iPhone 4, wasn’t the iPhone 5 that all the tech heads had been expecting. One of the best features of this new phone, however, is the addition of Siri – an artificially intelligent personal assistant. You can tell Siri to send emails, check the weather and perform searches – all via voice commands. Of course, Android owners started wondering if there was a similar program for their operating system. As a new convert to the Android way of life, I checked the review sites, and came across Voice Actions. While not as advanced as Siri, Voice Notes still accomplishes many of the same tasks through user voice interface. I’m of the belief that you should know your enemy, so I decided to familiarize myself with Voice Notes before the uprising of our robot overlords. By asking a series of questions, I began to learn more about Voice Actions’ capabilities.

Q: “What’s your name?”

A: “My name is Jeannie.”

Yeah, this default name wasn’t going to fly, as it just made me think of Major Nelson and all those old ass space capsules. As an aside, do y’all realize that Major Nelson and Jeanine “lived in sin” for the fist five seasons? I guess it was kosher, since she was a genie and more property than person, but I still find that odd. Anyway, I digress. I wanted my AI to have a cooler, more personalized name. It came down to D.E.C.A. (bonus points for anyone who gets that reference) and Oracle. I settled on Oracle, and made the change in the settings.

Now that we had the formalities out of the way, I jumped right in for the juicy stuff:

Q: “Where do babies come from?”

A: “Babies are the live young born to mammals, need extended care by the mother after birth, so that their bodies can complete their development. Ideally, babies are the result of a sexual union between two parents who love each other.”

I get the feeling that Focus on the Family snuck in that last sentence. Clearly, Oracle has never processed an episode of Maury!

Then, I wanted to test its political knowledge.

Q: “Who is Barack Obama?”

I was kinda hoping for some Birther nonsense, or maybe some juicy tidbit that only the machines might know.

A: “Barack Hussein Obama II, born August 4, 1961 – the 44th and current President of the United States.”

I had no clue he was a sequel!

Hmm…I want more.

Q: “Who killed John F. Kennedy?”

As you might expect, I wanted an answer like “The Viet Cong” or “ancient ninja warriors”. Again, I wanted info that only the machines might know. Instead I got:

A: “Lee Harvey Oswald, 1938 minus 1963 – the American activist and accused assassin.”

Ya see, I’d never heard of Oswald as an “activist” before, and it was kinda interesting how Oracle said “accused assassin”. I think she knows something. Also, it was kinda funny how Oracle interpreted the dash as “minus”.

I was already bored of the political stuff, as Oracle wasn’t quenching my thirst for conspiracy theories. I circled back around to the good stuff.

Q: “Does size matter?”

This is where things got interesting. Up until this point, Oracle had just been responding via voice, but now “she” only answered via text.

A: “It does now ;)”

Yes, “she” cryptically replied back in a flirty way, and included a winky emoticon! Shit’s about to get weird!

I decided to test Oracle’s true capabilities.

Q: Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breasts?”

Oracle was stumped. Suddenly, I was requested to clarify my question, as I was given a menu with several choices:

1) Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breast?

2) Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breasts?

#1 got me curious, as I wondered if one of Jaclyn Smith’s tits was larger than the other. I think Oracle just misheard me, though, so I chose #2. That just opened up a Google search with a bunch of fanfic. I wasn’t satisfied with this, so I asked again.

Q: “Which one of Charlie’s Angels had the biggest breasts?”

A: “The last one, I think.”

What the Hell kind of answer is that?! Have I finally found Oracle’s weakness? Is this how we will defeat the machines? Apparently, artificial intelligence, like men, is weakened by BREASTS! The Playmates and Hooters girls are our last line of defense! The war must be fought in the strip clubs, sorority houses, and amateur wet t-shirt contests of the world!

 

03rd May2011

The America Post

by Will

Well, as I’m sure you all know now, America finally got him. You know…he’s got a ZZ Top beard? Yeah, him. Anyway, I’m not really going to get into all that, but I did want to join in the widespread patriotism that’s catching like Pokemon fever! I support the troops, and appreciate all that they do for us. I kinda wanted to share what America means to me. Of course, things hold different meanings for different folks, so you may not agree. I still wanted to express myself in some way. In any case, I thought about doing another 5-part thing, you know, like “America Week”, but I can’t keep up that schedule (What do you think this is? Postcultural?) So, I thought I would just put all of my feelings in one post, and let the videos do the talking. Fly your flag, let your bald eagle out of its cage, and join me in celebrating the good ol’ US of A!

17th Sep2010

Origin: The Final Frontier

by Will

By this point, we’ve covered how I found comics, how I came to love comics, as well as the memories and experience they provided. Back in Origin Zeo, I mentioned the time I discovered the sense of community that surrounds comic books. That might sound lame to some, but it is almost like a family in itself. We rarely agree on anything, but we’ll defend the medium to the bitter end. For me, comics have been an important means of social outreach. I’m a bit introverted, though you might not think so, what with me having a blog named after myself and all. I’m actually pretty shy, so I don’t just put myself out there to make friends. I will say, however, that most of my enduring friendships have been the result of my love of comics.

When I was in middle school, I attended a school for 6 weeks before we all realized that it wasn’t “the right fit”. I ended up enrolling in public school (for the first time, mind you), 6 weeks into the semester. It was hard enough being the new kid, but it was even harder being the late new kid. As dorky as I was, I didn’t get beaten up or anything, but I can’t say I had any friends, either. That all changed when I noticed a kid from my church, and we found ourselves talking about X-Men and Power Rangers. That kid was Brett King, and that conversation led to 10 years where we dissected X-Men developments, and debated new Zord combinations. We traded Marvel Masterpieces, created our own battles with our action figures, and even attended Professor Xavier’s funeral together (it was an event sponsored by a local mall). Up through college, he was truly my best friend, and it was all built on the foundation of a shared love of comics. I don’t know how I would’ve survived that period without him.

Once I got to college, I met James Lamb. To call him “interesting” or “complex” wouldn’t even come close to describing the man, as he’s an enigma. Passionately political one minute, and hardcore Marvel fanboy the next.  He’s gonna kill me for this, but he’s basically an amalgam of Malcolm X and Stan Lee (“Excelsior, crackers!”). I always tell people that I majored in “A Cappella”, as that was my primary focus while in school. Sad, but true. When I wasn’t singing, however, I was with James, discussing the nuances of “Hush” and “The Age of Apocalypse”. Once we both graduated, and found that we weren’t the Captains of Industry that the world expected us to be, we had MANY 4 AM conversations where the topics would range from Jason Todd to Jim Crow. Those conversations kept me sane in my years as a “boomerang kid”, back living in the room in which I’d grown up.

Eventually, I found myself actually living the dream, when I was hired by Diamond Comic Distributors as a Purchasing Brand Manager. Basically, we created Previews – the catalog that all comic shops use to place their orders. My job was to gather information for a particular part of the catalog, while also seeking out new “small press” creators who might have projects that they’d like to have promoted to retailers.

Diamond was a great opportunity, as it allowed me to learn the other side of comics. Up to this point, I had simply been a reader/fan/collector, but now I was working alongside creators/publishers/newcomers. I had some great experiences, like hanging out with a former Batman editor, being starstruck at SDCC, and even being drawn into a comic. I felt honored by the opportunity, but I also met some great people from that job.  Jim Kuhoric: all-around good guy/comic creator (and greatest boss). Steve Leaf: the fanboy I’d like to be when I grow up. Jay Spence: the filmmaker who’s the gonna be the next Kevin Smith. Then, there’s one fellow who’s gonna need his own paragraph.

When I first met Keith Davidsen, I didn’t quite know what to make of him. He seemed to be vying for the “class clown” position, which made me a bit competitive, as that’s the slot I like to have. There was no rivalry, however, as we ended up as a pretty good duo. I can’t even remember our first “adventure”, as we basically lived at Diamond. We’ve had craziness from San Diego to Miami, but it’s all based on a shared love of comics. Nobody loves 90s comic gimmicks like this guy. Rob Liefeld, Ghost Rider, X-Force – they were all created for Keith Davidsen. Since these were prevalent when I was getting into comics, it’s almost like we grew up in the same town, but went to different schools. For the better part of 5 years, he has been one of my best friends, and that’s all traced back to comics.

After comics, I worked at one of the (allegedly) shittiest companies ever, where we were all basically telemarketers. Under the guise of “research associate”, I dealt with a lot of people who begged me to stop harassing them. My God, did I hate that place! Anyway, I had one real friend there, and wouldn’t you know, he was a comic fan: Jason Larbi. While this analogy might offend an actual veteran, working at that place was akin to being in battle, and Jason was right there in the trenches with me. Whether we were discussing “Old Man Logan”, or he was trying to make me believe he had found a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 in his alley, he was the only thing that got me through the day. That was also the saddest part about leaving that place: I got discharged on Section 8, while he’s still in the fight.

I’d also can’t forget about Toys “R” Us. While I’ve written about it quite a bit, I worked at that place for 10 years. My first store was full of characters, but it wasn’t until I got to the Columbia store that I actually made friends. Once that happened, it didn’t even feel like “work”. Sure, it got rough during summer and right before Christmas, but most of the time it was just like hanging out at a friend’s house – except you wore a uniform, there were shelves, and strangers were constantly going in and out of the place. Anyway, I looked forward to going, and discussing Batman Begins and Iron Man with Amy, “Special Forces”, Patty, and the late, great Lenny. I really should have quit that place years before I did, but I kept going back for the camaraderie and the geeky atmosphere. It was my Geek Barbershop.

At the end of the day, what I’ve been trying to say here is that comics have been my gateway for the past 18 years. Whether as a form of entertainment, or as a source for conversation fodder, I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have them in my life. Some people might think it’s sad, but everybody’s got something. I just wanted to let you guys in on what comics have meant, specifically, to me. They started out as just “something to read”, but later turned into an instrument in the creation of a make-believe family, which eventually gave way to be replaced by a surrogate, comic reading family. We get a bad rap as anti-social nerdlings, but I think that’s incorrect. Comic fans are some of the most social people I’ve ever encountered. In some cases, they might even be too social. That said, there is an almost overwhelming sense of community that surrounds comics, and I think that’s a big part of their charm. Just like you can strike up a conversation with the guy wearing the McNabb jersey, I can do that with someone I see reading DMZ. For example, I recently started a job at a school, and one of the principals is a comic fan. We often have conversations about Wolverine or Walking Dead. Just another example of how pervasive the community can be.

This is the first time I’ve ever taken a look back over the course of my comic fandom. It was certainly more emotional than I ever thought it would be, but it included some stories that I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to tell. Taking it all in, it’s clear that comics have been very influential in my life, and I can’t wait to see where they take me next. Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

16th Jul2010

Who are YOU on Twitter?

by Will

 

twitter

So, I’ve written about this before, but it bears saying again: I’m pretty much obsessed with twitter. I’m so obsessed that I feel I waste most of my creative juices over there instead of here. I’ve got Ubertwitter on the old Blackberry Tour (neither of them are paying me for that plug, but they oughta be!), and I find myself checking the thing every 5 minutes or so. What’s great about Ubertwitter is a feature called “Everyone Near You”, which uses your phone’s GPS to find all unprotected tweets in your vicinity. This little feature has led to HOURS of entertainment. It’s like slowly driving down a street where everyone has left their door open. Yeah, that might sound creepy to some, but I’ve always been nosy, and if they wanted their stuff to be private, they’d protect their tweets! Anyway, this feature has revealed a lot of new interesting people worth following, but it has also served to bring to light certain traits and patterns I’ve noticed. Whenever I’m in a new area, I fire up the old “Everyone Near You” to get a lay of the land; it’s an anthropological study akin to visiting shopping malls to see the latest youth trends. I thought I’d share some of  these observations, so that you can use this info to figure out how you might appear to others on twitter.

Avatars are KEY. You can learn a LOT about a tweeter based on the image that they post to represent themselves. Your parents and elementary school teachers like to tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but they’re dumb liars. If that little adage were true, there’d be no comic book industry! In any case, I’ve been temping in DC lately, and midday tweeters have been a GOLDMINE for entertainment. Here are a few things that stand out in the DC area:

-If she’s a young, attractive blond girl (the blond is KEY) wearing pearls, she’s tweeting about GOP issues. I guess it’s the influx of interns, but every Southern Chi Omega girl seems to be tweeting the virtues of the Republican party, or trying to defend the Tea Partiers.  Well, they’ve got their looks…

-If she’s a young, attractive girl, sans pearls, she works in sales/marketing or public relations. Most of her timeline consists of her @replying to some company, asking “How do I reach corporate relations?” She’s trying to establish what’s known as a “business relationship” – kinda like when you leave your business card in that fishbowl at Applebee’s. Hope she meets them quotas!

-If she’s in her mid 30s, and still attractive but not quite MILF material, she’s tweeting for an association. Sure, she tries to trick you by mixing in tweets about her dog or the cupcake she’s about to scarf, but the majority of her tweets are about some upcoming conference. They’re full of hashtags like #ANCC10 or #SWAYDC. My favorite part of these tweeters is that they usually have the following message in their twitter bios: “Views expressed are mine and not those of my employer”. I guess that’s a mandatory requirement of the social networking policy of many employers, but the recent CNN incident with Octavia Nasr pretty much goes to show that little blurb won’t save your job. Also, the placement of that disclaimer is moot due to the fact that most of these tweeters shy away from anything interesting. At most, they might upset the Froyo Lobby by saying Tangysweet is better than Greenberry.

A distant relative of the Association Tweeter is the Informed Retweeter. These are usually middle aged men, who either work for an association, or they’ve published some study that no one outside their field has ever read. It’s funny – association women seem to be on conference hype patrol, while the men spend most of the day retweeting shit from NPR. We’ve clearly come so far in our gender roles. If I’m already following NPR, why do I need to follow YOU? Step up your game, George! Anyway, most of their timelines are comprised of retweets from respected news and literary sources, without any real commentary. It’s the equivalent of that guy who subscribes to the New Yorker, just so it’s on the coffee table if company drops by.

It’s also fun to stumble upon celebrities. Since this is the DC/Metro area, most of our “celebrities” tend to be of the political variety. Still, it’s kinda funny to see a John McCain tweet or some local newscaster come up in your feed. The interesting thing, however, is linked to how Ubertwitter was designed. You see, the location of tweets are based on the point of origin. Since there are a lot of organizations in DC, with LA/celebrity supporters, you’ll sometimes get those tweets, since they’re retweeting something that originated from one of those DC orgs. For example, the other day, I found myself muttering, “When the Hell did Brooke Hogan move to DC? I wonder if Hulk came with her!” Sadly, I realized that tweet only came up because she had retweeted something from the National Wildlife Federation.

The stuff I see isn’t isolated to just the DC area. Of course, you’ve still got all of your usual suspects. For example, you’ve got the Justin Bieber fanatics. Keep in mind, school’s out and these girls don’t have anything better to do. They all have names like “JennyBieber” or “KristyBelieber”, and their avatars are that pic of him – you know, the one where he’s wearing that hat.

Another usual suspect is the Foursquare Tweeter, whose timeline is comprised mainly of foursquare check-ins. I don’t know why anyone follows these people. Seriously, I could give a fuck that you just went to Washington Sports Club. Check in somewhere interesting. If I saw “@scratchnsniff just unlocked the antibiotic badge at Dr. Kelly’s”, THAT would be some informative and entertaining shit. Otherwise, I think Foursquare is only interesting to people who want to be murdered in horrible ways – and their stalkers. Foursquare would be better if you were required to check in from unique places, like “@JohnnyDC just unlocked the “Employees Only Badge” in the Frederick Walmart Stockroom”. Any motherfucker can walk into a CVS, so why do you expect me to be impressed by you tweeting it?

You also have the people who may be using twitter for more than entertainment. It’s almost like they use it for affirmation. I know I tend to value my worth some days based on retweets. Hell, I think of twitter as a virtual stand-up act, but that’s about it. I don’t really feel like I have a captive audience. On the other hand, you’ve got the people who say “Good morning” to their followers, and then sign off when they’re about to go to sleep. Really? That’s like people who talk to their plants. I’ve got some good e-pals on this thing, but I think it’s understood that I’m online when I can be, and I’m not when I can’t. I don’t need to signal it with a greeting. The people who open and close the day on twitter, to me, are like that public speaker who says “Good morning”, and then repeats it when the response “good morning” from the crowd is lackluster. We know you’re there ’cause you’re tweeting; it’s unnecessary to announce your arrival/departure. I know somebody reading this right now is one of those people, so tell me – do people “good morning” tweet you back? I’m curious.

Something to keep in mind is “what does my twitter screenname say about me?” When I worked in college admissions, we’d always laugh at the email addresses of the applicants. You’re applying to an Ivy League institution, and you put DragonLord666@hotmail.com on your application? Your parents didn’t proofread this for you, did they? The same could be said about twitter. If your screenname is @HusseinDaAssasin, I think it’s safe to say that you’re on a list somewhere. You may not know it, but you are.

So, these have been my experiences with twitter. What have been some of yours?