Day 1 of "Equality"

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I feel like so many people think that this is the end the journey. I can’t help but think this is really only the beginning. Most of my adult life has been spent hoping for the day that the people around me would, as a vast majority, agree that so many of my friends and I deserve having the same rights as anyone else. I fully endorse everyone’s right to have differing opinions. And anyone who knows me well knows that I always want to get to the root of the issue to understand opposing viewpoints. So I’ve been thinking over the years what is it that keeps people from feeling like we all deserve the same rights, across the board on any issue. I’ve never been the type of person to really get into a public display of political viewpoints or stance but I spent a lot of time over the last couple of months, heck, years, silently trying to understand the big picture. The biggest thing opponents of marriage equality seem to say is they want to protect the sanctity and definition of marriage. I think religion and up bringing and the combination of the two are integral components for formulating views and understanding as a child and then a young adult and those cornerstones shape us into an adult. The problem I see with the argument that marriage on a religious basis should be protected because it has been defined as being between the man and a woman is that, to me at least, the core nature of marriage is really founded on something entirely different. The signs I saw around South Portland over the last month or so say “vote no on 1. Don’t redefine marriage.” When I read signs that tell me not to redefine marriage this is really what gets me. I was brought up Catholic. And for all of the struggles I have in regards to Catholicism, one thing I can say for certain is that anytime marriage was a topic in Sunday school I never, under any circumstance, was lead to believe that the core value of marriage hinged on the fact that it was special because it was between a man and a woman. In thinking about specifically defined genders being the core argument against legalizing gay marriage it actually makes me sad. It makes me wonder if marriage is even something I should want some day. As a kid growing up in my household with my family and relatives all being very Catholic, I was raised to believe that the core value of marriage was the commitment to someone else who you love and want to spend your life with. I grew up believing that marriage was founded on cherishing one relationship above any other relationship. If people are opposed to marriage equality on the grounds that they don’t feel the concept itself should be redefined maybe the bigger issue here is in the definition itself. On principle I want to be able to marry the person I love, but if the value of marriage to so many other people is simply the gender the people engaging in it, it kind of makes me feel bad for anyone who is married based on that as a foundation. The fact that yesterday a little over half of my state agreed that I can marry whoever I want regardless of gender is really a tiny step in this journey. It means that a little less than half of my state still thinks that so many of my friends and I are lesser people and that our rights are up for debate. So am I happy for this new day? One in which I have been granted the same rights as other people around me? Of course. Am I a little saddened that it took a bunch of people stepping up and filling out little bubbles on a scantron sheet to grant me that? You better believe it. In the words of Macklemore, “a certificate of paper ain’t gonna solve it all, but it’s a damn good place to start.” Maybe we should have started with a vote on the literal definition of marriage. Truly, the most concerning thing about winning the vote on question 1 by such a small margin is that a little less than half of my state and the majority of this country thinks that the most important thing about marriage is the gender of the parties involved rather than genuine love, deep commitment and the innate desire to spend a lifetime with the one person who means the most to them. I can’t help but feel sad for all the people who are married for any reason other than those. And to everyone who is married for the right reasons, and to all my friends and family who will… today is a good day. It’s day one.

I Think Nicki Minaj Jumped Barney And Stole His Lyrics

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Rewind to your Sesame Street days. I’m going to name four songs and you’re going to try and figure out which doesn’t belong:


1. My Chick Bad by Ludacris ft. Nicki Minaj
2. Lil Freak by Usher ft. Nicki Minaj
3. Your Love by Nicki Minaj
4. Roger That by Young Money ft. Nicki Minaj
 
“One of these things is not like the others…” Some of you might be thinking, hmm I don’t know, it’s all the same shit. The rest of you may have noticed that only one of these songs is actually by Nicki Minaj. For 15 weeks now “Your Love” has been on the Billboard Top Rap Songs chart. F I F T E E N W E E E K S. It peaked at the number 1 spot. N U M B E R O N E. Think about how many rap songs you know. Now consider the fact that 15 songs make this chart per week. Now think specifically about the song in question here. I’ll do the math for you. Of ALLLLLLLLLL the songs released and played in the last fifteen weeks, “Your Love” has been amongst the top fifteen every week. Furthermore, during some of these weeks, of ALLLLL the songs released and played, “Your Love” was THE NUMBER ONE SONG on the Rap Chart. I have a huge problem with this. I’m dead serious when I say I think Nicki Minaj may have jumped Barney and stole his lyrics in the making of this song. Let me preface my next thoughts with the fact that I actually really like the other three songs I listed and I really do like when Nicki Minaj is featured on tracks because she offers a neat contrast to the other voices and lyricists on the tracks. However, when it’s all up to her it seems to result in an epic fail. Unless she’s targeting children at snack time, I suppose. Let me post a sample of the lyrics below so we can analyze the lack of depth together:
 
“Your Love – Nicki Minaj”
 
Shawty Imma only tell you dis once, <——– [she goes on to tell us “dis” several more times]
you da illest
(bah ba dah dah oh) <——- [seriously? bah ba dah dah oh?]
And for your lovin’ Imma Die Hard like Bruce Willis
(bah ba dah dah oh) <——- [killin’ it! more creative by the second]
You got spark, you, you got spunk
You, you got something all the girls want <—— [other than decent lyrics?]
You’re like a candy store
And I’m a toddler <——- [only thing that makes sense in the entire song]
You got me wantin’ more and mo mo more of
 
Your love, your love(yeah)
Your love, your love(yeah)
Your love, your love(yeah) <———– [getting bored]
Your love, your love(yeah)
Your love, your love(yeah) <———– [cursing about how lame this song is]
Your love, your love(yeah) <———– [yelling at people singing along]
Your love, your love(yeah) <———– [shrieking as I inquire to anyone in earshot how this made any chart at all]
Your love, your love(yeah) <———– [considering driving my car off the Tobin Bridge]
 
I don’t really feel like I need to say more on this subject. I think that segment probably does the trick. And I’m not ignorant to the fact that there are a lot of pretty depthless, pointless songs out there, I’m just saying this one takes the cake.

I Have A Real Problem With Febreze

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It’s a typical day. I return to my apartment after a long day of work and once again, from the bathroom, the foul scent of fiber successfully doing it’s job comes prancing into my nostrils. Only it’s not alone. It’s holding hands with the newest scent in the Febreze lineup: Thai Dragon Fruit. Now rather than just smelling poop or just smelling thai dragon fruit, half of which might be pleasant, I’m smelling a rude combination of the two: shitbreze.


I went on the Febreze website this morning and at the bottom of the homepage it actually says, “Celebrate the new scent of Thai Dragon Fruit”. I’m sorry, what? What could there possibly be to celebrate. First of all, I’m thinking what the hell is dragon fruit because I’ve never gotten that mixed in with any diner fruit cup I ordered at Sunday brunch. So I pull up Wikipedia to see that it is a real fruit and it is, in fact, cultivated in Thailand. Initially I’m kind of excited about this finding, until I realize that if I ever get the chance to try it, I will think back to this moment and the inevitable accompaniment of poop with this supposedly “delicate aroma”. You’re probably saying to yourselves, “okay Meg so you would rather just smell shit??” The answer is YES. The way I see it, shit is gonna smell like shit no matter what. Why do we have to take something that smells good and mix it with the smell of shit? Now neither thing smells good, when we could have just let the good smelling thing keep on smelling good, independent of the shit smell. To me, this is exactly like coming to the conclusion that poop doesn’t taste good and then taking something that does taste good, like strawberries, and eating the two together. The shit is still gonna taste like shit, people!


Aside from failing to smell like anything a normal human being wants to smell, the underlying motivation of this product violates the value of simple hygiene. Take for example the commercial where the woman is running around getting ready for her inlaws to come to her house and her grubby husband is sitting in his recliner, marinating in some stench that is symbolized by superimposed lines of odor. But wait, they’re in luck, Febreze has a product specifically for this situation. It’s called Fabric Refresher. Red flags flying for anyone else? Wash the freakin’ chair? Or if it’s seriously that bad, maybe we should consider, oh, I don’t know, GETTING RID OF IT! I’m appalled. Like, hey cool I’m just never going to shower I’ll just spray some odor busting fragrance on myself and call it a day.

I’m sorry if these opinions are offensive to you Febreze fanatics out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid perfume wearer. But I typically don’t smell like shit before applying my scent. My parents always taught me to address the root of the issue. Masking the problem isn’t a solution. That’s all I’m saying.

Parking In The City Is A Lot Like Dating: A 3 Person Job

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Anyone who lives in a big city knows the triumphs and perils in the challenge of finding the perfect parking spot. Or just any-freakin-thing that resembles a parking spot for that matter. After a couple years now in Boston I have come to a profound conclusion: parking in the city is actually a lot like dating. Hands down, at the very least, a three person job.


There are a minimum of three crucial roles that must be fulfilled in any parking [or dating] situation. Initially, as you drive down a narrow street [travel the path of life] there’s the Parker [the bachelor(ette)] and the two Eyes [wing(wo)men]. The Parker frantically glances from side to side trying not to clip the cars on the street that is apparently designed for mopeds while the Eyes yell things at you like “there’s oneahhhhhhhitsafirehydrant” and “that person’s leavingggohhhhhhthatguysnaggedit”. This clearly parallels the dating scene as the bachelor(ette) carefully inches their way into a packed club that is apparently designed for a quarter of the actual amount of people admitted. The bachelor(ette) glances frantically around the club trying not to spill anyone’s drinks while the wing(wo)men yell things at you like “dayummmm look at herrrrneverminddddweirdteeththinggoingon” and “ohmygod he’s sooo cuteeeyikesherecomeshisgirlfriend”. You get the idea.

Once all three parties in the vehicle [situation] agree on a potential spot [love interest], each person from here on assumes their three more specific roles. The Parker becomes the Executor [bachelor(ette)] and the Eyes assume new roles. One being the Voice of (No)Reason and one, the Blueprint. Let me explain in a little more depth:

The Executor
This is the person who is actually behind the wheel. This person ultimately makes or breaks the outcome of any potential parking spot (love interest).

The Voice of (no)Reason
This is the wingman who supports the decision to park [date] wherever the final consensus has led the Executor. This person says things like, “you can definitely fit there”, “most of the car is in a legal spot”, “they can still get out if they back down the driveway at an angle”, “I doubt they do much ticketing after 9:00pm”, “there’s plenty of room between your car and the fire hydrant” and “we’re not even realistically going to be here that long”. This is the same person who, in dating situations says things like, “who cares if you’re polar opposites, it’s probably a good thing”, “it’s not like you have to marry them, you can just have some fun” and “you can at least get new mesh shorts out of the situation”.

The Blueprint
This person jumps out of the car while the Executor hovers next to the spot. They examine the signs posted on the street and try to decipher the cryptic messages and unclear arrows. After careful examination they either confirm or deny the potential success of this parking spot [love interest] in the form of an educated informed analysis. Once the decision has been made to go forth with the attempt at parking in this particular spot [dating this particular love interest] the Blueprint will help the Executor execute. You’ll find the Blueprint dashing in front of and behind the car, within eyeshot of the Executor’s rearview mirrors and yelling things like, “you’ve got plenty of room here”, “careful, careful”, “a little more”, “yup! stop! you’re good!” or “nah, you’re never gonna fit”. Slide over to the dating scene and the Blueprint is strategically telling the the bachelor(ette) how proceed. The Blueprint is going to say things like, “she’s a stage five clinger, get out while you still can”, “you’re obviously into it because he smacks his food while he chews and you don’t even care” and “keep your walls up and start off with away games only”.


So there you have it. A dose of parallel parking…and parallel dating. In both situations, there are WAY more failed attempts than success stories. Keep in mind, even if you get into a good spot, you’re likely to get scratches and dings on your bumpers.

32 Flavors and Then Some…

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Stereotyping the wireless customer base of Harvard Square:

Now, no offense is intended here if you read these stereotypes and find that I’m actually describing you. I just think it’s important to point out the various categories of people I deal with on a day to day basis.
The Dramatic *sigh*er:
This customer is smiling and laughing with friends just moments before entering your store. Then, with the same speed and ease that Superman switches from an everyday civilian into a swooping mysterious caped hero, this customer, as they walk through the glass doors, suddenly turns on what I’ll refer to as “the *sigh*”. They *sigh* all the way up the ramp as they bee-line for the nearest concerned associate. They *sigh* as they tell their sob story. They *sigh* when they’re asked to check in and allow a couple minutes for someone to free up. They *sigh* as they re-tell their sob story. They *sigh* no matter what the outcome is of their visit. Then, they *sigh* on their way out of the store as they somberly mutter, “I’ll try” after you beg them to have a nice day. The glass doors shut and the Dramatic *sigh*er cheerfully jumps back into the flow of the Harvard Square scramble in search of the next retail store they can *sigh* in.


Sun Never Sets On A Badass:
You all know these customers. The dip shits who evidently skipped every single class that ever had anything to do with eye contact and being respectful to people you interact with in life. No, this little tid-bit of common courtesy got thrown to the wayside right along with taking your hat off at the dinner table and those cliche sayings like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ that don’t exist in this neck of the woods. These customers roll in, rain or shine, sunny or cloudy, daytime or night time, and are so unmistakably badass that they cannot be bothered to complete a strenuous task such as lifting their arm, bringing their hand towards the side of their face, putting their pointer finger and thumb around the frame of their shades in a pinching motion and remove their freaking sun glasses. Now, I’m not trying to be rude when I say this, but unless your name is Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder there is no reason for sunglasses indoors. Then again, why wouldn’t we expect this? These customers are best friends with the “Where’s The Check-in Station? Oh I Missed The Sign In Size 3,000 Font That Reads ‘Check-In'” customers.


Where’s The Check-In Station? Oh I Missed The Sign In Size 3,000 Font That Reads ‘Check-In’:
Yeah. Seriously. Just like it says.


Mynumberis6179997259waitno7359but7671istheprimaryline:
Hmm. Well, first of all, hi! Welcome to the store! Now that that’s out of the way… I want to thank you. Mostly for the tremendous confidence you have abruptly invested in me. I see you’ve assumed I’m Rainman and can immediately and effortlessly retain anything pertaining to numbers. You’ve kindly pegged me as someone who, with no computer in front of me and no pen or even a scrap of paper in sight, is capable of recalling numbers. Most importantly, but not limited to, your personal cell phone number and all the numbers associated with your wireless account. So of course it’s natural to assume that upon hearing your cell phone number, I will retort without even looking up your account, information such as your account number, the balance of your bill and the number of text messages you did last month. Slow down there Torpedo, I’m only human. Thank you, come again.


I Work At Harvard And I… :
Appropriate endings to this sentence would be, “I work at Harvard and I… need to know where faculty parking is located” or “… would like to inquire about my benefits package” or “… need to rearrange my course schedule for next semester”. All of these sentences would be uttered on campus in some sort of administration building. Inappropriate endings to this sentence would include, “I work at Harvard and I… have a broken phone” or “… went over my minutes last month, is there a way to get the overage fees waived?” or “… am double parked and don’t have time to wait in line”. All of these statements, apparently, will be uttered in a wireless retail store. I’m failing to see the relation in the latter scenarios between the first and last parts of these sentences. Pondering the relation here leads to me picturing myself waltzing over to Harvard and saying things like, “I work at Verizon Wireless and I …need a one semester masters program, for free” or “… don’t have time to go to high school before attending your university”. Who’s with me?


Straight Off The Trail:
This customer rides all the way up to the front door, asks if they can lean their bike against the railing inside (after already taking the liberty to do so) and comes ripping into the store directly from the dusty path next to the river. They do not take their helmets off. They do not roll their pant leg down. They do not stop to catch their breath. They take a quick swig out of their Camelpack and they maintain that the sweat dripping out of their phone could not possibly be moisture damage. Hey, I’ve been wrong before…


The “I Have It Here Somewhere”er:
This customer smiles as they enter the store. Ahhh, a sight for sore eyes. But wait, a turn for the worse… As you greet this customer and inquire as to how you can be of service, this customer stops in their tracks, drops their satchel/backpack/purse/murse/etc to their lifted knee-shelf and immediately says “yeah, I uhhhh…….. so my phone uhhhhh……… i need ummmm…. well I have it here somewhereeeee…… ” They go on rifling through their things to locate their phantom phone, never actually finishing their sentence. They relocate to at least three different surfaces within the store to gain a better visual angle into their bag. They take off their jacket because now they’re all flustered and think they must have lost it on the T. Then, after all this commotion, they pull the phone out of the bag and announce that they need to add a text messaging bundle to their account. Yeah. That’s all. I’m just going to let that one sink in. See if you can figure out my issue with this scenario for yourselves.


The Incessant “It’s Not Working”er:
This customer bolts through the front door demanding immediate help because their phone isn’t working. When asked to check-in they shout across the sales floor that the check-in terminal isn’t working. While they wait, they try to use the bill payment machine, and it’s coincidently not working. When a technician shows them how to make their phone perform properly, they snatch it away, put in 110% effort to mirror the technicians instructions for all of .0000003 milliseconds and then affirmatively conclude, “it’s not working.”


There’s eight flavors for you to get a taste of my daily routine…