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Sam Dobson Writes: July 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Pinterest Addiction

It's finally Friday. I'm sure many of you are relieved that your work week is coming to a close. Are you going to celebrate the weekend tonight? Go to the club and slam down some vodka-sodas and then dance the night away? Good for you! Since I will not have the weekend off, I have a very different sort of Friday night planned. I will be watching a Redbox movie, sipping on a glass of wine, and pinning, of course.

Pinning is one of my favorite ways to waste time. I could sit on my butt for hours while pinning crafts I want to create, recipes I want to cook, and outfits I want to wear. The funny thing is, ninety percent of the time I never follow through. I'm sure many of you can relate, however, I do applaud those who actually make use of the countless hours they spend pinning. Although, I'm sure their husbands or boyfriends are just as annoyed as mine is when Pinterest completely holds our attention. Blake looks at me while I stare at the computer screen and says "Are you on pinerest again?" He never says the "t" and it makes me smile.

The other day I was pin-surfing (I should coin that term) and I came across one of those funny E-Card things that basically referred to pinning as digital hoarding, in so many words. I found this amusing because I feel this is a fair comparison. Most of the stuff I re-pin, it just sits there on my digital pin board, never to be actually utilized. But I love it! My favorite things to pin are wedding ideas (just in case) and quotes. Sometimes, pinning wedding ideas when I'm not even engaged makes me feel crazy. So, I just say they are ideas for my betrothed friend instead. Genius, right? Anything to make me appear less like a crazy chick.

In all seriousness, those responsible for Pinterest must be sleeping easy while dreaming of their substantial bank accounts. Such a simple idea. I always mentally kick myself when someone makes it big off of a no-brainer idea, as if I would have really been able to come up with the same thing. Yeah right. It really is a brilliant, yet easy, way for people to share knowledge and ideas. Pinterest has taught us how to make our own bath products, how to turn plain wooden pallets into a bookcase, and how to cook like professionals. We get outfit ideas, new hair styles, and an infinite number of work-out routines.

I wonder if Pinterest saves us money or makes us spend more? We may be able to skip the personal trainer and stylist, but all those outfit ideas do make me want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Wedding planners should be shaking in their stilettos. You could literally plan and design an entire wedding ceremony and reception from the obscene amount of wedding crap on Pinterest. Who needs to buy cook books anymore? You can find plenty of recipes on Pinterest, from gluten-free to pure sugar and fat. With the overwhelming number of unique and creative craft pins, all those craft supplies could get costly. It's worth it be able to proudly say you made that cool key ring holder and you got the idea from Pinterest.

Whether you actually put your pins to use or just pretend that you will, we have to admit that pinning is fun and addicting! Kudos to those of you who make the hours of pin browsing worth it.

Happy Pinning,


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thank God for Photoshop!

What do you listen to in the car when you drive to and from work? I usually listen to KFI AM 640 talk radio, but only when I am driving to and from work (otherwise it's sing-a-long time). I don't really watch the news, nor do I read the newspaper aside from catching glimpses of news articles online, so this radio station keeps me up to date with current affairs. It is a bit biased and I immediately change the channel and scream "I hate you!" every time Rush Limbaugh comes on. Other than the ignorant, sexist pig that is Rush, I enjoy the station and the information I gather from it. Aside from the basic world events and political bitching, they often share some interesting and unique stories and studies.

The other day I was driving back to work after my lunch and the woman who reports the news was discussing social media and it's effects on society. Apparently, there has been a study that shows more and more people are getting plastic surgery these days. The reason: Facebook, Instagram, etc. This isn't really a big surprise, but it did get my mind wandering. With millions of people trying to perfect their profile pictures while comparing themselves to all the other close-ups, it's no wonder people start to nit-pick their own faces.

I can relate. Nine times out of ten I erase a picture the moment I examine it. Thank God for digital cameras, right? Remember when disposables and film-filled cameras where the height of everyday camera technology? You had just thirty-two or so pictures to take. Better not screw it up! Then you had to drop it off at your local Walmart and wait the two days to see if the pictures were even any good (or if you were really antsy you could pay the extra charge to get them in an hour). Now, we can take a picture and immediately scrutinize every aspect of it and determine whether or not its salvageable.

While I do feel the pain of those who consistently feel their photo-ops aren't as cool or pretty as other's, my sympathies stop short of plastic surgery. While I do understand the many reasons one may opt to go under the knife, I have to say that getting plastic surgery for the simple desire of better pics on Instagram is pretty ridiculous. To those of you who even consider it, I urge you to save your thousands of dollars and download an app for free that can fake pretty. That is the beauty of technology! Now we have hundreds of applications that can change pigmentation, erase blemishes, make our eyes more vibrant, and tone down our less flattering features. These wonderful inventions allow me to discard less pictures and simply edit them instead.

Does this all sound a bit vain to you? It does to me too, but it doesn't mean it's not true. I've said it time and time again, we all want to feel pretty (or handsome; I know plenty of guys who invest in Photoshop too). I would argue that these feelings are normal, to an extent. Personally, I would opt out of surgically altering my face. I stand by this statement now, but I am not ruling out the urge I will most likely get when I am forty and things have started to sag. I cannot shake the feeling that I will one day resemble my boxer, saggy cheeks and all. Maybe I'll eventually gain enough confidence to delete Photoshop and put thoughts of a new nose and pointy cheek bones to rest. For now, I will continue to abuse Photoshop and take it for all it's worth.

Happy Editing!


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why Women Love Christian Grey

Good Morning Lusty Ladies,

At the urgency of some friends and family members (all female), I have started to read the ever-so-popular Fifty Shades of Grey. After reading the first chapter, I was already rolling my eyes at such an unlikely meet-cute (how a future romantic couple meet in a story, in case you didn't know). Any normal woman in real life would be suckered into interviewing this dashing multi-millionaire only to be seen as the annoyance of his day. Never mind the even more unlikelihood of him stalking said woman and becoming completely obsessed. Okay, so the book and I did not get off to a great start.

Despite the crappy writing and the ingrained notion to chuck such material, I am still reading. I am almost done and now understand why so many women are completely enthralled with the book. It's the ultimate fantasy. No, I'm not talking about the whips and chains, although that may be it for some of you (winky face). I am talking about the fantasy of "fixing" a bad boy. So many good girls fall for bad boys; I know, I've been there more than once. We fall head over heels for that mysterious asshole in the hopes that he will ditch his wayward lifestyle to better himself just so he can be with us. Sound familiar?

The blame falls onto fiction like Fifty Shades of Grey. Christian Grey is the epitome of the Byronic Hero. Not ringing any bells? Probably wouldn't unless you majored in English Literature, as did yours truly. The Byronic Hero is named after the poet Lord Byron's male characters, all of which were moody, mysterious, and almost villain-like. Much like our Christian Grey, the Byronic Hero is arrogant, cunning, yet self destructive. He is jaded and haunted, often from a dark and twisted background. He is sexually attractive and socially dominant. Let us not forget that he is emotionally challenged, rebellious, and naturally a bad ass. Coincidence? I think not.

why women love christian grey
Photo Cred: GQ

However much we deny being attracted to such men, it is inevitable. He may be super sexy but his arrogance and hot-headed tendencies would lead us to swear up and down that our flirty banter was actually a verbal beating. It's not our fault. We have been brain washed, in a way. Every protagonist, male character in the history of literature and film inherits at least most, if not all, of the Byronic Hero's traits. We would never be lusting after and daydreaming about a fictitious Mr. Grey if he was passive, self conscious, and kind of a square who dressed in Walmart attire. Instead of being excited and lusting after his "Red Room of Pain", we would be frantically wondering how he was going to kill us in it.

So, what is the desire we have inside us to "fix" someone? Writers and directors have pulled us in with plenty of irresistible, bad-news men, but I am thinking it goes deeper than that. Perhaps it's that natural urge to nurture. After all, this love of the dangerous seems to be pertinent mostly to women. Men may get their jollies off on tattooed, tough chicks every now and then, but those women usually don't make it past sex on a first date(nothing against tattooed ladies, mind you, I've got a few of my own). The bad girls don't become the sought after wives and mothers, but the bad boys are sought after in hopes of being tamed by love. This is why women love Mr. Grey; why women who barely read gossip magazines run out to Barnes and Noble and dedicate themselves to reading a whole trilogy in record time.

The interesting thing in all of this is that every woman is a Kate. We all recognize that our best friend's flavor of the month is a jackass who will never change. However, we are all the naive female lead as well, believing that this incredibly sexy man will drop his shady ways to make us happy. Why are we so sure of this? Because of literature and movies. Nine times out of ten the bad boy says "goodbye" to his naughty ways for the leading lady. How often does this happen in real life? For example, what's the phrase every mother repeats to her daughter? "Once a cheater, always a cheater". And yet, women every where have a new sense of determination to find their very own fucked up Mr. Grey. Good luck, Ladies! I'm rootin' for you! Can't wait to hear all the juicy details over a glass of wine when you've conquered him.

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