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Posts Tagged ‘sassy gay friend

Weekly #10: Danke, YouTube!

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Although by Canadian time I am a month and change too late, I would like to give thanks to YouTube during this time of Thanksgiving. YouTube, you have become so integral to my everyday life over the past five years that I don’t remember a time before your birth. You’ve given me laughter, tears, laughter through tears and, most importantly, information of all sorts. You have done this with grace and wisdom, never charging me or making me break a sweat.

Sure, you didn’t make the billions of videos on your site, but you host them and let me find them in lightning speed. And you even let me watch them with minimal wait time. Sample me this, Batman, and feast on the harvest of videos that have made you glorious in my mind: kittens, David, the cutest laughing baby in history, Charlie’s finger biting, SFG, JK wedding dance, Antoine Dodson a.k.a. my love, and Justin Bieber. You also act as my one stop shop for movie trailers, clips, interviews, fan videos that turn me into a fan, and complete songs.

Perhaps I am most grateful to you, YouTube, because you put the power with the people. Anyone with an internet connection and camera (now already installed in laptops) can contribute to your site. You embody the central ideas that we have discussed in class this semester. You lower barriers for participation, welcome user feedback through comments, and celebrate and reward the long tail. You have become a main point of reference for all, and not a day goes by without someone saying, “Did you see that YouTube video?” This is true for videos of things as trivial as the double rainbow and as momentous as the protests of the 2009 Iranian presidential election. You hold them on equal ground, letting me find, watch, share, and discuss what I want.

In other words, YouTube is conversation. (Aw, the Cluetrain authors must be so proud!) You allow for greater connectivity and shared experiences, doing what television did for Americans in the 1950’s (and much more). Your links are ubiquitous and sharing them is a main way video gets passed along on the internet.

You may think you are just the medium, YouTube, but in your case the medium is the message. Being able to post a video of my talent, thoughts, or anything I see fit to record tells me that I’m worth just as much as footage of Princess Di’s fairytale wedding. In fact, you’ve ripped up Coase’s floorboards so much that my contribution may be worth more to the people than coverage of the People’s Princess.

The point is, YouTube, you are getting a hearty shout-out during the family prayer and share in two days. I imagine the conversation going something like this:

Mom: “I’m grateful for having my family all together in one place.” Translation: “Thank God you’re all here, I need help decorating the tree, and many of you owe me money.”

Dad: “I’m grateful for having a healthy family.” Translation: “You heard your mother. Start bringing down the ornaments.”

Brother A: “I’m grateful for the food we are about to eat.” Translation: “This is worse than torture. Just let me eat now. Tara’s about to say something stupid…”

Me: “I’m grateful for YouTube, which gives me plenty to laugh and cry at. Plus, I can learn, share, and connect on there.” Translation: “Look, family, look at what I’m teaching you!”

Brother B: “I’m grateful that Tara is leaving in three days.” Translation: None required.

Brothers C and D nod in agreement.

Personal #1: Natural Highs

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As I tramped along the rain-soaked bricks of Georgetown yesterday morning, my thoughts involuntarily wandered to all of the natural highs in life. These highs are categorically the best because they are au naturel. They are able to produce feelings of euphoria just by being. While these highs are personal, I am sure you will find my selection to be universal. Take a look and tell me I’m lying:

1. Mother carrying baby on chest

I witnessed this scene on my way to work. The corners of my mouth turned up automatically. I felt a strong buzz and spent the next 30 seconds laughing. Perhaps this reaction comes from my biological clock going haywire around nuggets (read: babies). More likely, though, it is because every time I see this, the mother walks along as if it is the norm to have a mini human strapped to her body. I mean…your baby is hanging off of you. I would love to be a fly on the wall of the infant brain during these little adventures.

Whelp, you know what they say. One baby’s misery is a twisted lady’s delight.

2. Rain boots

Originally, I thought about mentioning my boots boots (camel-colored leather Steve Maddens…ooo wee these are nice). But then it hit me. I can walk for hours through a monsoon and still have dry feet in my rain boots. I stood in a deep puddle for two minutes just because I could. And you know what? Still had toasty warm toes. BAM…natural high. I felt like Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. In other words, I felt invincible. Rain boots are a-MAY-zing.

3. Mango

If Diet Coke is my cigarette, then mango is my cocaine. I will pay any price for it, and when on-the-go I feel the need to smuggle it in my purse. The fact that I did not grow up with any mango in my house is tantamount to child abuse. Sure, Momma made copious amounts of pasta, but this sweet goodness? Nada. I thought it only existed on TV. Anyway, this past year I learned what I’ve been missing and never looked back. I started the day with mango to the face and have since been “walking with swagger” according to my Sassy Gay Friend (see below). Indeed, life is good.

4. Bread

Ah bread. Bread, bread, bread, bread, bread. Delicious, fluffy bread. That’s all I have to say about that.

5. Male bonding

Whether shown via a war miniseries on HBO or the brothers from Supernatural, I get a serious high off of this. I cannot think of anything more crucial to humanity than male bonding. Democracies have been saved and demons have been vanquished because of the power of this phenomenon. Any time I see guys express feelings and bond over a common experience, it’s as if I just looked up at the sky and saw God wink at me. The exuberance I feel manifests itself in me hiding behind a blanket and giggling uncontrollably.

6. Harry Potter

Along with the rest of the planet, I am obsessed with J.K.’s perfect creation of adolescent angst. The difference between the rest and me is that they are Muggles, and I am not. I am a wizard in the wings, and I have a wand to prove it. (Note: I prefer wizard to witch, as witch has a negative connotation). I don’t think I could self-actualize without this literary masterpiece, specifically books 5-7. Whenever I feel low, bored or confused, I automatically turn to HP. The answers are always there. Freezing and foggy out? Expecto patronum! Creepy man gaining on you at night? Protego! Fight with a best friend? Book 7, Chapter 19, Ron comes back. The fact that the series is finished creates the same mixed bag of emotions that J.K. felt: “I’ve never felt such a mixture of extreme emotions in my life, never dreamed I could feel simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric.” Luckily, I will be flying via broomstick to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in less than one week. Cue DaughtryI’m going home.

7. Political realities reminiscent of West Wing

First, let me tell you that I firmly believe the Bartlet Administration is interwoven into the fabric of American history. Sorkin is God, and The West Wing is real. Nothing confirms this belief more than when I see the happenings on the Hill reflect an episode I just re-watched for the 20th time. Obama’s not-so-secret addiction to nicotine? Bartlet’s been there, done that. Arms deals to Gulf nations that don’t quite match up with our democratic standards? CJ said it best: “They’re beating the women, Nancy!” A weathered Obama stifling his beliefs to play politics? Bartlet didn’t stay up for five nights for nothing.

A natural high is expected from a show this brilliant, but when reality tips its hat to this fictional world, it’s as though I’m auditioning for Up with People.

8. Antoine Dodson


When I watch this, my soul hugs my heart tight. Every. Single. Time. Antoine Dodson is the best thing since sliced tomato. I love him! I love him for the man that he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is.

9. Shameless dance parties

I basically wish my life was a musical, so the reason why this gets me going is obvious. However, there’s a difference between me just dancing office-to-office at work and a “shameless dance party.” The former gets me prepped for a long day of staring at a computer screen, while the latter results in sweaty delusions of grandeur. For instance, last weekend pals and co. danced as if our lives depended on it. We were drenched, overwhelmed and had incredibly high opinions of ourselves. In brief, we looked like the cast of Glee. In fact, we looked more like Elaine — 10 drug-induced Elaines. Such is the awesome power of the shameless dance party.

10. Sassy Gay Friend

The only thing better than Brian Gallivan’s creation is the real thing. My Sassy Gay Friend (SGF) is the best part of my day. If I didn’t find him waiting to mock me at work every day, I would fall down and die. We literally don’t stop laughing when we are together. Whether he is imitating my mother or regaling me with tales of his Boy Scout past, I am in a constant state of manic joy. He regularly hints at our impending “break up,” but I love him all the more for it. He is one part wit, one part hilarity and one part sass. I always say I just want a straight man with his personality, but then I realize that is impossible. The very virtue of said man being straight negates 2/3 of the SGF personality. Ah, such is life.

11. Rebecca Rose Ruiz

Rebecca, a.k.a. Triple R, is my sister for life. My Pi Phi sister for life, that is. I had the honor of rooming next to her in the sorority house during my sophomore year. There are three things about Triple R that are by themselves not that special, but when combined are awe-inspiring. 1. Triple R is a wordsmith. She can spin words like Charlotte can spin a web. It’s not just me who thinks so – check out her work at The NYTimes. 2. Triple R is funny without trying. For instance, when a muffin was thrown at her face with rocket force, she didn’t yell, kick or scream. Instead, she ran away sobbing. Hilarious, no? 3. Triple R is a baby genius. I think she’s only 20. Maybe 21. Really folks, I have no idea just how young my “peer” is. Oh, and remember how she works at NYTimes? Yea, her work was nominated for a Pulitzer this past year. Awe-inspiring.

I have many, many more, but that will have to do for now. Perhaps this will be Part 1 of a series. In any event, I’m off to go get high naturally.

Feel free to answer: What are your natural highs?