I’m working on a rudimentary theory that if you take something that is either boring or upsetting and add baked goods it becomes better. My case:
Stress sucks. But stress-baking? Awesome.
Sleep-walking is annoying. Sleep-baking? Awesome.
Class is lame. Baking class? Awesome.
Birthdays are fun. Birthday cake? Awesome.
Walking is boring. Cake walk? Awesome.
Cups are lame. Cupcakes? Awesome.
Pans are useful. Pancakes? Awesome.
Fights are hurtful. Cake fights? Awesome.
Milk is okay. Milk and cookies? Awesome.
Cookies are nice. Cookie cakes? Awesome.
Funerals are sad. Funeral cakes? Okay, my theory might end here.
Or does it?
The Internet is a wonderfully complex organism. It thinks. It responds. It knows what you are looking for in a potential mate. But most importantly, it likes to recommend things for you.
In this era of smart technology, I’ve come to expect a lot from social media websites. I expect them to know what brands I like, what politics I preach, and what Twitter followers I’d most likely follow. This expectation crosses all social media platforms. And I feel like most have a fairly accurate opinion of who I am – except for YouTube.
Below is a screenshot of some of YouTube’s recommendations for me this morning:
My Nerd Points: 20
2. I’m subscribed to Emma Blackery’s channels (she’s one of the many YouTubers I follow from across the Pond). Two points: YouTube.
My Punk Points: 10
3. I have no clue what this is. But it disturbs me. And is Emo Dad an actual web series? And why am I being recommended the finale of this show? Minus one point: YouTube.
My Emo Points: 5
4. Now I’m trying to think of what I have watched in the past that might make YouTube think I’m one of “those” people who are in the REAL Apocalypse Shelter market. Wait. Am I one of “those” people? Excuse me while I have an identity crisis. Minus one point: me.
My Gun Toter Points: 25
5. Apparently YouTube thinks I’m dying to know what’s next in the world of Soaps. My question: is the girl in the picture “the bold” or “the beautiful?” I am now intrigued. Minus one point: me.
My Cat Lady Points: 15
6. Everything about the title of this video confuses me … First up on #TableTalk: what happens to you when you die? And after you’ve given yourself a complex, let’s talk about your dating life.
My Cat Lady Points: 25
7. I don’t think I want to watch The Dirty Old Greek Man do anything. Unless it’s a deleted scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, because I’m on that like dirty old clothes on a greek man.
My Possible Unabomber Points: 10
I’m not sure if it’s me or them, but the folks at YouTube HQ must think I’m weird. That or a cat-owning, show-tune-singing doomsday-prepper. But then again, is it possible they me better than I know myself? Maybe I need to stop questioning their recommendations and start watching them. For all I know I’ll like Emo Dad. But probably not.
No one likes portable toilets. They are a necessary evil – especially when you’ve just downed a 24 oz. Diet Coke in the middle of a packed city festival. Why are they so gross??? Despite the fact that you are essentially sitting on an open septic tank, portable toilets are just downright dirty. I can always count on the inside being humid, hot, and a complete mess. Who are the people who decide to moisten the walls? Who is the guy that thought toilet paper made good carpet? These are some of life’s unanswered questions. However, no matter how hard we try to “hold it, we couldn’t live without these public outhouses.
So, how can we make portable toilets more desirable, bearable, and – dare I say – sought after? That’s easy – make it a speakeasy. Speakeasys were all the rage during Prohibition and are making a comeback today. So why not spread this concept to the porta-potty?
These exclusive water closets could be scattered throughout the grounds … To enter, you must know the password. To get the password, just download the mobile app. You must fill out an online questionnaire (for research purposes) and sign a statement saying that you promise to keep the speakeasy as clean as possible. Then, you become one of the “bathroom elite.” (Who knows? You could even “get in line” online when you’re on the other side of the event.) In order to access the facility, simply hold your mobile phone to the door and press the button on the screen. After you do your business, you can rate your experience. Most importantly, if the person before you left the place a mess, their membership will be revoked. Exclusivity saved for the social responsible.
Porta-potties are never going to go away – but we can at least begin to take responsibility for their presence in our community or at communal events. And maybe, we’ll stop dreading them so much.
I write a lot of poetry,
That nobody will ever see,
Because a little part of me,
Is afraid they’ll say it sucks.
As many of you know, I am a Christian, so the idea of there being an actual heaven and hell is pretty much a given. For me, hell is not the firey lair of a sharp guy in red but the complete and permanent separation from God, which is far, far worse. But for my purposes, let’s assume that hell is comprised of the things you absolutely hate. Out of bordeom and intrigue I decided to try to quantify the horribleness of the eteral flames with worldy examples of general suckiness. As I imagined myself slowly walking through all of Dante’s 9 levels of hell, I realized that I’d only need 6 to get the point across:
Haley’s 6 Levels of Hell
Level 1: A Purebred Dog Park in a Pine Tree Forest
I am allergic to any animal that sheds and any tree remotely related to the pine tree (yes, my Christmases have been filled with the nostalgic allure of plastic nettles). Although I don’t break out into hives and my throat doesn’t close up, I am plagued by a faucet-like nose that has a little too much pressure, unquenchable thirst, dry mouth, sinus headaches that don’t respond to pain killers, and several other side-effects that I’d put in that little barely readable font at the bottom of this page if I could afford lawers. Why purebreds? Because, my allergy aside, uppty pooches piss me off. Also, I assume that they have been sent there for their sins aswell so they’re probablly equally pissed and irritable.
Level 2: Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World
My Dad used to drag me to Outdoor World on “adventures”, which really meant that we were about to get sucked into a world run by Larry the Cable Guy and his fishing buddies. The title tricks you because it makes it sound like it’s some sort of theme park. What’s worse is this place is open 365 days a year. 365! Talk about an eternity.
Level 3: Post-earthquake Japan
If I even had a tiny inkling to visit this island it disppeared the moment that Japan experienced a crisis that blew any Spielberg movie out of the water. Earthquakes, tidal waves, nuclear reactor meltdowns. The only thing missing is Harrison Ford and the’ve got a blockbuster. Exotic vacation spot? Over my dead body. (Did you catch that? Good.)
Level 4: A concert by a 65-year old smooth jazz musician
Yet another way my father used to torture me was by forcing me to listen to smooth jazz. It actually became a form of punishment. When my sister and I fought he’d make us sit on the couch and listen to jazz until we begged him to let us apologize to eachother. Thankfully, I can do the same thing to him by playing Broadway showtunes on road trips.
Level 5: The Public Library of Hell
Okay, you caught me, hell probablly doesn’t have a public library, but if it did it would be awful. First of all, I hate libraries. HATE THEM. Most people are shocked to hear that since I’m pretty much a bookworm, but it’s true. I hate that you can’t keep the books. I hate that the librarian went trigger happy with the stamp and defaced every book in the building. I hate that the books have lost their smell. I hate that you can’t finish them on your own time. I hate that you feel like the sound of your breathing is going to get a glare from other library patrons. I hate that once when I was 5 the storytime lady was rude to me. The library in hell would include all these things and worse: there would be a man employed specifically to read you the last page of every book you wanted to rent before you rented it.
Level 6: The McKinney Department of Motor Vehicles
Almost everyone has experienced the horror that is the DMV, but only a chosen few of us get the honor of feeling our souls slowly dying while waiting in line at the McKinney DMV. What makes ours so special? It could be because of the employees who either look like they’d be happier watching molassess move down a glacier or like the government is holding their families hostage and will kill them if they work too hard–they always seem incredibly frightened of efficiency. It could be because anyone who is anyone in McKinney knows that the best time to visit the DMV is between the hours of 9AM and 5PM and that you should always leave your paperwork at home so that you can have an excuse to come back again. Or it could be because the National Chapter of People Dedicated to Making the DMV Suck are holding a contest for the most ill-equipped-employees-who-wish-they-were-dead and McKinney is fighting hard for first place. Take your pick, I’m pretty sure all three reasons would be accurate. Regardless, if I had to spend eternity standing in that never-ending line and staring at that poster of the girl who’s face burned off in a drunk-driving accident, I think I’d kill myself (did you catch that one, too? Awesome.).
Despite all of these horrors, I would truly endure them all if it meant that I could be in the presence of God for the rest of my days. I could even mix all 6 levels together in a strange dog-infested Outdoor World in Japan run by DMV employees and that book-ruining dude from the library with smooth jazz playing on the intercom and all that pales in comparison to the unexplainable horror of being eternally separated from Christ. Thankfully, I know that my future includes a never-ending praise-and-worship session with Jesus leading the way. If you think that version of heaven sounds boring, then you haven’t met my Savior. I’ve experienced an unbelievable joy from knowing Him here on Earth and I can only imagine how crazy awesome it will be when I can actually see Him face to face–expect to see me belting my lungs out with praises. So forget imaging what hell will be like. I am 100% confident that I’ll be in heaven after I die, are you?