The Perils of Online Dating

February 25, 2010

You’ve tried them all- Match, eHarmony, Craigslist- and you’re still coming up duds. The QL crew talks dating in a digital world, with both beautiful results and hilarious disasters. Shout out to the “Lemon Guy”! Music by Danko Jones and Josh Canova.

¼ Life Lingo: Vocabulary No One in the Quarter Life Should Be Without

February 22, 2010

Lingo: “Like, my total Melvin roomie dissed me and that’s after he mooched my Rb’s from the R2D2 and sexiled moi with his corner window cubicle countess von vagicula!”

Queen’s English translation: “My complete nerd roommate was very disrespectful after taking my Red Bulls from the fridge and locking me out while he had an overnight, female guest of questionable moral nature, you know the one…that bartender chick, from Hurricane Harry’s. Yea the one with the mermaid tattoo. Well, I don’t know if anything else is pierced. Why are you asking me, I am not the one who went trolling? Give the third degree to your other roommate. I am just writing an article for Quarter Lives here. Huh? I cannot hear ya. I have a funny habit of typing what I pick up audio wise and what I am saying out loud!

Well, did you use a rubber? Fudge, man. Go get a blood test. Huh? No I do not know if your HMO covers it. What? Yes, I am DVRing Man vs. Wild. Bear will be on tonight! Okay…sheesh…I have to type here. Go hooka and check your E-Trade account.”

Sorry about that. On with things…

Every generation has its traditions, history, people and places. Later these become fodder for late night comedians, history books and for their camp value. “Conan! We will miss you!) Yet in such self-contained micro-cultural universes, there arise unique words, slang and general sets of vernacular usage better known as “lingo”. It’s possible to hold an entire conversation between two fellow generationals where an outsider would be totally clueless. And you can keep that up in your ¼ life at the office, at home, at a party, gym, homecoming, texting session and in the bedroom…with a simple list of what is hot and not vocab.

Although dialect peculiarities occur from person to person, culture to nation, etc, there is a pretty good chance that most ¼ life tongue (pierced or otherwise) can be used to get you by in any institution. The breath and span of this vocab speak can include: new words, strange combinations of clichés, flavor of the month comedy skits from Saturday Night Live and one particularly useful and fascinating part of the Quarter Life vocabulary – the acronym. This little handy dandy device is very popular. If a phrase, idea or concept can be crammed into letters with dots…we will use it.

Here is just a small sampling of words and phrases used today. Knowing them could make the difference between making you a fresh or fab fool. You probably get the gist of what those mean…

154 – Police code for underage drinking. Okay you may not need this much, but they are still IDing you at the grocery store.
Addi-paddi – Extreme attitude.
Club-a-saurus – A clueless first timer to a rave.
All over it – To have things in control.
Alpha Tech – The male or female who “rules” the tech help desk.
B-POO – Bitter, Party Of One. “Your table is ready. Bitter, Party of One!”
Bad Juju – Negative Karma man!
Badassical – Beyond the best thing ever!
Bag Monsters – The creature which sneaks up and pulls you to bed against your will.
Samsonite – Emotional issues ex. “She has more baggage than an airport!”
Bio-hazard – That nasty encrusting film on your cell phone and computer keyboard.
Body Nazis – Personal trainers, HMOs and that one chick or dude you walk by in the hall around noon who took their lunch hour to work out. Damn! I hate those people!
Cash Cow – ATM “I need to milk the cash cow before we go out.”
Credit Cops – Those never-ending phone calls from credit cards, your cell phone company and student loan officers.
Crushing – Having a little puppy love for someone.
Cubicle-cest – Dating a person from workplace.
D&D – Doritos and Dew…or a quick, snack filled breakfast or conference call break.
Damaged Goods – The recently dumped who has gone totally insane since then. Not enough meds in the world to help this one.
Damien – Mean or evil person.
Diss – To disrespect or blow off.
Dot slash – Indicating a conversation is over or the decision is final.
Drama – Dating two or more people at the same time.
Fab & Fresh – Fabulous and highly motivated newbie.
Fifteen Minute Rule – Rule allowing former college students to leave a class when professor is late fifteen minutes. Same goes for any meeting, podcast, web chat, date or bar tab.
Frisbee – The sport or the day old pizza.
Frontload – To eat or drink before the actual meal or party.
Frumping – To be dressed in sweats and anything you would wear during a hangover, period, power point meeting presentation or your past academic finals.
G2G – Gots To Go.
GAFF – Give A Flying #$%!…fudge.
H.S.I. – Has Some Issues – phrase used to describe someone your ex.
Hadda – Had to do something.
Handy-dandy – 1. useful 2. cute boy.
Hibernator – Kind of like a short time co-worker. You know the check-out and waiting for their last day or the pink slip. This is a new twist. This person sits on their job, seeks no promotion, works only enough not to get fired, never does or says anything…because work might get him or her noticed and then fired.
Horizontal Engineering – napping.
I for one welcome our new ‘insert word’ overlords – Phrase exhibiting displeasure at the new leadership. Political. Group Project Leader. New Boss. Etc.
Interactive – Touchy, feely person.
JAFO – A bad dude. Jack Ass Fudge Off.
Keep digging, Watson – Not quite there genius.
Kool-aide – Cheap well drinks or anyone who follows the latest fad, trend or brainwashed fashion. See electoral college, GOP or ACORN.
Langerrhea – Diarrhea of the mouth…”He just kept talking and talking…”
Like – No meaning, conversation filler ex. “He was like, I mean, like so super ticked off that I did not call.”
Lollipop – Easy, no problem, not difficult.
M.P.A. – Mysterious Party Accident – unexplained events occurring while partying.
MacGyver – Ability to accomplish anything. “Damn! What can that girl not do?”
Mackable – Yummy.
Mackadocious – Super yummy. Sexually, physically, cute-wise or just that warm fuzzy feeling you get from a grilled cheese sandwich.
Mouse potato – To spend too much time on the computer.
Mucho – Added to give any matter greater importance.
Mugging down – Anything before dry humping.
Munchapoloozas – Consuming gross amounts of food.
My bad – Implying fault while apologizing ex. “Dude. Who broke the blender?” – “Sorry, my bad.”
Mythological – Someone who is just so godly as to make you want to puke…it is as if their farts would smell like warm cinnamon buns!
Nada – nothing.
Naughty Kitty – Bad rep.
Negative Ghostrider – 80’s movie “Top Gun” line. No go proposition.
Neighbro – The handy man boy neighbor who will do anything for you despite having zilch chances at ever getting some.
Niccin’ – Nicotine fit.
Nilla – Plain or lacking excitement.
Off like a prom dress in May – Horny.
Paint job – Spray tan or new tattoo ink…and heaven forbid henna!
Playing House – A dating couple who practically live together.
Prep Snooze – The act of sleeping off a big night or in preparation for one.
Tempitute – Never gonna be hired permanent type. Advice: Invite he/she for drinks and the salsa bar during next week’s hump day office get together. Mug down or worse…or better. Be callous and move on with life.
Prozac Shot – Cookie dough.
Raccoon – One of your sisters crying uncontrollably making her make up rung and thus looking like the masked rodent.
Ragamuffin – Untrimmed…ANYWHERE!
Ragu-boy-r-dee – Your period or in rare cases your boyfriend who does not mind trolling for vampires while you are entertaining guests like Aunt Flow.
Rainbow yawn – The long, arcing multi-colored puke of a good night, but bad morning.
Rents – Parents.
Rowzers – Exclamation of fear or distress.
Same diff – Same thing…who cares?
Sargasm – To fake it.
Sexiled – Kicked out of your place while your roomie has a “friend” over.
Shacking – Spending the night at your “friends.” See also sexiled.
Shatnerian – To be overly dramatic – refers to the acting style of William Shatner – aka Captain Kirk.
Splenda – Laying it on a bit thick sugar, fun or pleasant size.
T.C.G. – The Computer Guy in the computing center…ergo the pimple faced Warcraft player who landed a 6 figure job, has total employment security and who you sexually shunned. Or if you are the TCG…good for you!
Uber – Beyond awesome…UBER AWESOME!
Umpteen – Infinite or great in number.
Velveeta – Cheesy.
Verbally Disembowel – Worse than any throw down, nail scratching, hair pulling bitch fest. It is when your words do such proper….dare we say…awesome damage as to leave your victim worse off than an actually disemboweling by a six foot medieval bastard sword could have!
Waboosh – Dat’s all messed!
Walk of shame – Being seen sneaking out of anyone’s place after a mistaken “sleepover”
Walkman – Any old cell phone or media techie player.
Wang Chung – Old.
X-File – The old photo album of exs, college days, prom, etc. Which you either need to turn over to mum for storage or burn in some sort of exorcism ritual.
Zombied – To pull an all-nighter for studying, MS certification, TPS reports, drinking, Facebooking, etc.

There that is enough for now. It’s not like your sound bite prone ¼ life brain could absorb more than this. Screen capture the words and send them to an Excel spreadsheet and vow to use one new word a day til someone notices how hip you are, laughs at ya or with you, or is stunned by your total lack of moral character. Don’t blame me or this website…I wish I could make this shit up.

Grinds My Gears! I

February 16, 2010

Peter Griffin is just another evolutionary development of the “Honeymooners” Ralph Kramden to decades later Homer Simpson. Going on its own decade, Griffin and “Family Guy” continue to escalate in popularity and influence. I foresee a time after George Clooney’s ascent to power as President, we shall have Peter Griffin as the eventual holographic leader of the Free World. Well, by that time…I imagine even the free parts will be subjugated by our insectoid overlords.

While the future era is unknown, the present is what counts. “Family Guy” knows its social stuff and so does the head of its so called family.

Peter used to have a small segment on Quahog’s local news channel. He got to rant and rave about what he found a proverbial pain in the ass. And now so do I…

You know what really grinds my gears?

Chicks without panties. Call me a man of convenience. But I don’t eat in truck stops, I pee standing up and I like my ladies to wear underwear. Plus, I already carry around antibacterial lotion. I do not need to carry a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Windex to use before I sit down on any chair.

Okay…biting the hand which feeds me. I remember the day when, “Then the broccoli must die!” It grinds my gears, how Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” has turned maniacal, world dominating, evil Stewie into a pre-puberty pedophile and diaper wearing fan of canine bestiality with the dog Brian.

Hoodies. What are we all robbing 7-Elevens?

Vampires. True, they are the greatest horror characters of all time. But, no…Hollywood takes 90210, the Kardasians, Miley Cyrus and Nickelodeon to destroy Bram Stoker’s masterpiece. Except for the chick in Underworld. She was hot!

No one to blame but yourselves ¼ life peeps! The Biggest Loser versus Iron Chef. The idea of fattening up America and then capping them with a shame-fest into losing weight? Clap. Clap. Clap. Capitalism at its finest!

Quarter Lifers! Stop the madness in our generation. Tattoo art. I love that your name is Rosenfeld and you have a Polynesian tribal armband. Ladies, I love the butterfly on your left boob. Sad facts. Your tribal lexicon was needled by a guy who barely understands English let alone New Zealand dialects. You think your totem says “peace.” It probably means “Donde esta el bano?” And girls, it is cute, pink, and reminds you of Cancun. But, when you are a granny, your boobs looking like a billiard ball hanging in a tube sock…that butterfly will stretch out to look like a Jurassic pterodactyl.

Hand sanitizer. Okay. I just mentioned it. But, have we not moved on as a species to be able to wash our hands correctly? The answer is no. If you have ever been in an LAX airport men’s bathroom after a flight from Singapore has just arrived. You know how gross humans are.

Dollar menus. Just for the simple fact we might all be living off them soon.

February. Yep the whole damn month. Just pisses me off. The only thing that ever occurred of any value during this month is the strange occurrence of Mardi Gras. Has to do something with the Catholic Lent calendar being based on the lunar cycle. Come on…the month is so frigging lame they actually take off days from it every four years.

¼ Lifers having to have less while paying for more. You have heard it, “Lighter Portions or Sensible Dishes.” Sure TGIF we get it. Smaller plate, same or higher price, but YOU are doing ME a favor calorie wise. You’ve seen it. I just got a new jug of laundry soap. It’s “concentrated” now. Meaning you pay lots for way less and all in the name of eco-friendliness. What was most insulting was the label. “20% more than the 80 oz bottle!” Yes, this is true. I did get a 100 oz bottle. They were simply relaying a fact of volume measurements. None of it was for free. You’ve tasted it. Next time you put a Lean Cuisine in the microwave, check out the portion size. Not 10 oz, not 9 oz…maybe 8.75 ouches. It is the whole idea of taking one peanut out of the South West airlines peanut pack and the company saves $120,000 per year. Course they do not charge you $30 for each bag of luggage.


Quarter lifers are going to deal with the fiscal idea or sense of entitlement bailout. A bailout implies the boat is sinking and when you stop bailing, ploop, gurgle, bubble…cue Celine and the theme from “Titanic.” Yes, it was Titanic reference…but timely since Mr. Cameron just beat out his previous box office juggernaut cash wise. A least “Avatar” can have a sequel. We all went into the theatre in December 1997 knowing the end of that romantic cinematic abortion. And like our current world’s economy…it really grinds my gears the idea pushed on us…if we bail enough we might be able to stop the sinking of the “unsinkable” ship. And add insult to injury we still have to deal with the bubble of babies named Jack and Kate after the Titanic characters.

Dear Nancy Elliott

February 13, 2010

Today, New Hampshire Representative Nancy Elliott tried to make a case for repealing same sex marriage in her state because it teaches fifth graders about anal sex.

I’ll let you read that sentence again before I continue. Don’t believe me? That’s why I love the internet age- there’s video!:

So I have some things to say to Rep. Elliott.

Dear Ms. Elliott,
I know that the gays scare you. I know that they have sex that is unfamiliar to you and that you’re concerned that this scary sex is going to make it into the minds of the youth of America- eventually turning them gay. Please, Ms. Elliott, calm the fuck down.

When you go home to your husband tonight, with whom you’ve shared a deep and committed relationship, consider how your boring vanilla heterosexual sex is ruining the youth of America. Nancy- missionary isn’t the only way to do it? Have you ever let him be on top? And no, Nancy, you don’t have to be the only one on the receiving end of anal sex. Let me direct you to Bend Over Boyfriend where you too can learn to be a top. You obviously like throwing your weight around, maybe you’ll like being in charge in the bedroom.

And really Ms. Elliott- 5th graders? I know that sex ed hasn’t changed that much since I was in middle school. I remember being in fifth grade and learning about tampons and body hair. When we finally got to the sex part- in tenth grade- it was all abstinence all the time. I guarantee that NO educator in your state is suggesting that fifth graders should try anal sex. I guarantee that no educator in your state is suggesting that fifth graders try the boring missionary sex that you seem to readily enjoy with your legally wed husband. If they are, I promise to never again enjoy the insertion of a penis in my rectum.

You’ve lost your effing mind Ms. Elliott. I suggest you take a moment and get your shit together. You’re going to need it when you’re booted out on your ass come reelection time. You are not the future and you are just plain wrong. Marriage is not just sex. Gays and lesbians are not just sex. Heterosexuals are not just sex. Your state took an amazing step forward in giving the people of this nation the right to share their love with one another on an equal playing field.

Do you really want to be the one to take those rights away?

What the Buzz?

February 10, 2010

Google is trying to put their user friendly little fingers into more of our lives. The just launched Buzz, a social networking tool that is meant to rival Facebook status updates and Tweets.

The real question is, Google, do we really need what you’re sellin’?

What I’d like is a version of Chrome for Mac that allows me to edit my bookmarks. Or the ability to control my contacts better so that everyone I email on Craigslist about a free coffee table doesn’t get added to my contacts, and subsequently my phone. Or a real reason to use Wave and Reader.

Generations after us won’t remember life without status updates. They won’t know about waiting for your mom to pick you up at the mall and not being able to call her to find out where she is. The question isn’t should we- I’m not sure there is a way to stop it anyway. The question now is why? What is the best format for social networking so that it makes our lives better, rather than just more wasteful and intrusive.

Or maybe we can get Buzz hooked up with Rambler, the shoes that tweet your every step, so we can kill two birds with one buzztweet.

Soccer Mom Wanna-be?

February 8, 2010

For personnel in higher education there has been a recent phenomenon of young undergrad females not going on to their freshman or senior dreams, first marketing cubicle job, grad school or relying, as so many, on moving back with Mom and Dad ’til things get better employment wise. Looks like Dad’s rumpus or Mother’s reading room are safe for now.

What has been noticed by career and behavioral counselors is a spike in young ladies choosing to seek a mate immediately and pop out kids. Ergo, going for the soccer mom ASAP. Some have suggested this new trend has to do with the war mother demographic…higher numbers in the military have always equaled more war brides. I am sure a fifteen year high in teenage pregnancies also has a factor. But, mostly as a higher ed type myself…it is the economy stupid.

The unknown, fear of jobless years, no 401K, health care either coming or going…and general lack of confidence in hope…well it might just be natural to think domestic engineering as a good fall back. Hell, I am all for good mothers for our kids. Wish we had more. But, I also never wish to see young coed grads dissing themselves and the world of opportunities before them.

Do they want to be a fictional character? Finding that being a real “soccer mom” is about as easy as finding Elvis picking up Bigfoot hitchhikers in his UFO. It just ain’t gonna happen! The term soccer mom started in the mid 1990’s with more and more women entering the workforce and trying to subsequently balance professional and maternal responsibilities.

When added to the growing generation of spoiled brats, the myth was born of a super, well kept, organized, PTA attending, check, credit card balancing, relying off the man and da Man, mother of 2.5 kids…that at the end of the day became an exhausted, frazzled, short on time and dinner on the go…go-go girl. She could do everything! At least on car commercials.

So if you do want to be such…here is what you will need!

1. SUV, wagon, or minivan. A sedan can work in a pinch, but only a Volvo or Audi. Sorry those are the rules.
2. Have a child involved in some sport that requires a great amount of equipment, red fruit drink and mud. Oh, and the kid has to be allergic to red dye #5. Sends him or her into a bi-polar fit.
3. Before you say “I do” realize it is just a starter marriage.
4. Wear skinny jeans only your imaginary daughter and waistline should put on.
5. Own at least one Rachel Ray cookbook.
6. Have at least one toddler with a sippy cup to spill.
7. Member of or aspiring membership to the Junior League.
8. Perfect hair.
9. Give up…at least for the next 15 years…all of your professional dreams.
10. A renewal of childhood affections with Happy Meals.
11. Platinum band with tri-set diamond engagement ring. Total karat weight at least 1.5.
12. Have a complete hysterectomy, be menopausal or have your period stop altogether.
13. Be thin.
14. Always stay thin.
15. Chase after the dreams of your other college friends.
16. Lovely blue dress suit or business casual pants suit…you never wear.
17. Be the designated driver for the rest of your life.
18. Use the pregnancy parking spaces way after you had the babies…probably until they are six or older.
19. Kids born potty trained.
20. Abstain from sex ever again…that is how you got into the kid situation.
21. Have AAA or a need to join AA.
22. Get a dog – preferably a Lab, Golden retriever or Saint Bernard. This is a good thing for the image, but not so much for the pooch that will need more walks than you have time for.
23. Be the neighborhood mini-bus for all your kids’ play friends.
24. Live a lie and keep up with the Jones.
25. Your FaceBook page will need to be purged of just about every photo you ever put up.

In other words…you might be asking for the impossible for yourself, your family, your world. You might want to think of it this way…be careful for what you wish for. Just be you and the quarter life wonder of a hip-heroine you already are.

Yes, there are worries about the economic times ahead. Jobs, money, insurance, (a 20’s kid realistically worrying about retirement), student loan payments, careers, pushing out 7 lbs. of human into a scary world….yep…lots to think about. But, no need to jump to conclusions or rash decisions. You went to college, or you put in your time for a career…and exploration of careers…a journey to find out who you are and what this big bad, awesome world is all about.

Just say no to the soccer ball…at least for now. When you do want to put a soccer ball sized bulge in your tummy area…Bend it like Beckham.

Kirk Akahoshi, The Trilogy Podcast

February 4, 2010

In our third and final introductory podcast with Kirk Akahoshi, we discuss advice for QLers and their families, generational issues, and services you can use to combat the looming crisis in your own life.

While this is our last installment focusing on Kirk, we’re happy to have him as a part of the site and look for him as a contributor to upcoming podcasts.

Music by Audra Connolly.

From a Cafe in Boston

February 2, 2010

Thanks to our Blog tipper David who found this poem taped to a cafe wall in Boston…

Quarterlife – by Wallace Asteroid

Clock struck 3 and sun now falling
i feel the threads inside me burn
no twith fiery love or rage
but caustic churn of capricious age

i want to solve the day’s dilemmas
but still have time for me alone
i long to focus and be true,
yet still carouse and roll and roam

who am i? who am i?
all us twenty somethings mumble
this world asks so much of me
I fear my first step be a stumble

once over the cliff of graduation
we free-fall into unknown hands
some wonder if their parachutes
are only fixed by tattered strands

it’s now “our moment”, life’s champagne prime
yet we feel our glass is almost drained
toss it back – yes! – and hit the sack
time spent lingering is nothing gained.

No soul can say what happens next
oracles’ lips stiff still as stone.
I’m not afraid to ask directions
though my goal stays pleasantly unknown

The indifferent operator pulls the lever
and the merry-go-round spins blurry
You’ll say to me “is this thing safe?”
I’ll say “what, me worry?”

Guitar Zero

February 2, 2010

So, I feel like I am letting my generation down by not being able to play Guitar Hero. Whereas all of my friends – from actual musicians to those who wouldn’t know a beat if it bit them on the ass are able to pick up that Mattelish play axe and wail or fail, I just can’t even bring myself to participate.

When it first came out in 2005, I didn’t hold any contempt for it. In fact, I thought it was kind of an interesting idea. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like a rock star? Besides, I was really feeling distanced from the video game genre of entertainment – I’m not a Lord of the Rings dork so I don’t like World of Warcraft and I am not suppressing a violent streak so I’m not into Call of Duty, either – so, the fact that anything from that direction interested me was kind of appealing in its own way.

I was at the mall and I saw it for sale in a shop window and decided to see what it was all about. So, I went to one of those game stores that, according to my sister, always have a particular aroma of teenage boy body odor to see what this thing was all about. I don’t know why, but previous to seeing it, I had thought it would be more like a self-corrective guitar-guitar. Like, you’d have a really crummy guitar that was hooked to the game some way, and you’d play with the song. If you’d mess up, it would tell you where and you’d fix it. Instead, this looked more like a musical version of those hand-held electronic memory games called Simon that were popular in the 1980s.

Essentially, that’s what it is. I decided then that it wasn’t for me. Not so much because I was terrible at Simon (which I really, really was – I get nervous!), but more so because I couldn’t see myself ever being happy holding that little plastic guitar. It seemed to cross the line from being a fake guitar player to just being a fake. To me, this sort of make-believe says something in my head said, “Oh, this is for little kids – not adult kids like me.” So, I went ahead and forgot about it for a little bit.

Fast-forward some years, and I can’t forget about it. It’s at every, single social function I go to – especially if there are men there. It was even at my conservative, older boss’ Christmas party last year. There’s no escaping it.

It never starts out that way. There’s always this period at the beginning of the social function where people are talking and eating and drinking and interacting with one and other. Then, by about beer number four one guy will say something like, “Yeah, man, you know what I am really addicted to? Guitar Hero! I know, weird right?”

It’s not weird. It’s common. I know this because then the other men in the group will all start talking about it, too. Then when they are buzzing about it, someone will mention that they have never played Guitar Hero, and it’s on. Party’s over; Guitar Hero’s on.

Eventually, everyone has to be huddled around the game, or you’re that one weirdo that’s hanging out in the living room while everyone else is crammed into the den. When this happens to me, I try and stay as spectator-like as possible. However, there’s something about the adrenaline rush that “playing” metal can give to guys in their late twenties and early thirties (I’m on the cusp myself), and they want everyone to try it. Maybe it’s because guys in this age group are old enough to remember when video games were really lame, so there’s still some fascination factor just with the technology. I’m not really sure.

It is annoying, though – – and a little hard to escape.

Guitar Hero Head: C’mon. It’s a lot of fun and it’s not hard.

Me: No, thanks.

GHH: No one will laugh at you if you are bad! We’ll set it on easy.

M: No, let someone else have a turn.

GHH: C’mon, you have got to play this game! Just try it!

You know, it reminds me of those after-school specials where the kid is walking home from school and her friend invites her over and everything’s copacetic at first but then – WHAM! Drugs show up and the kid has to use every excuse in the book not to participate because her friends lay the peer pressure on her like a ton of bricks. I’ve never felt that same pressure when people actually offered me drugs, but I definitely feel it every time that little plastic guitar comes out. However, I think in that after school special, the kid actually runs out of the house and all the way home eventually. She tells her mom and guidance counselor and the drug-pushing children end up going to a special school for troubled youth. That’s not really an option for me, so I just awkwardly refuse until the Guitar Hero pusher remembers how much he likes playing Guitar Hero and decides to take another turn instead of bothering me.

It leads to all sorts of misconceptions, too. Since I have refused to play, I’ve heard everything about myself from, “Oh, Mankato’s really shy,” to, “Oh, Mankato doesn’t really like music.” Whoa – what? Who are they talking about? It’s like my refusal to play Guitar Hero has put me and my peers on such a different footing that they can’t see any of the real things about me. It’s a little jarring and a lot lame, and it makes me feel like an outcast to some extent. Like, I am worse than a traitor because at least traitors tend to understand what they are railing against.

There are some people who will actively argue with me the positives of Guitar Hero. One argument that I hear – often – is that it helps kids to be exposed to some music that maybe otherwise they wouldn’t have heard. Well, I think that’s a little bit false. Kids today would have heard Van Halen . . . on the oldies station. This way, though, they are hearing it, and it seems new. So, people my age can feel like their music is still young person music. So, there’s an indoctrination of youth with hair bands. (Which, by the way, I like some hair bands – I’m not a total defector.) I used to hope this Guitar Hero phase would pass quickly, but because of this I’m not holding my breath. You don’t even want to get me started on Rock Band.

Test change.