Saturday, June 26, 2010

2010 Vacay: Colorado Springs, CO, Day 1

This year, the Folksy household rounded up and headed out and ripped and snorted our way across 1200 miles of America, arriving in Colorado Springs after a mildly traumatic two-day drive.

Here we are shortly upon crossing the Colorado border.  I began experiencing motion sickness, so did not pose for pictures until I was truly acclimated.

Day 1: Garden of the Gods Park.  This park is full of enormous red rocks, prompting Princess to ask, "Is that one a God, Mama?  What about that one?  Where are all of the Gods, Daddy?" which led to an interesting discussion, in which Mommy attempted to clarify that, although God is *everywhere,* it doesn't mean that He is hanging out in Colorado for the summer.

The Colorado Springs area is rich with Native American artifacts and lore, including the Anasazi (Ancestral Pueblo) Cliff Dwellings.  The dwellings were carved into the rock, then built of brick and stone, and are in great shape for a 1,000-year-old place.  I would list them as "cozy fixer-uppers."

That being said, when it came time to tour the dwellings, Princess was too afraid.  Apparently, when she asked Sven, "Where are the people who lived here?" he replied, "They're all dead."  For some reason, she was then a little leery of going in.  Kids.

Also included in the Cliff-Dwelling site was an authentic replica of a tipi and an authentic gift shop shaped like a pueblo.  Dexy now wants to live in a tipi, as he informs me daily, swathing himself in towels in an attempt to form some sort of tent-like structure.

Later that afternoon, we decided to drive up to the summit of Pike's Peak.  This sign was at a rest stop located at about 8,000 feet.  For us, Texans, in June, this sign was hilarious.  I would guess the temperature when we stopped here was in the 60's, though, which was crazy.

It was 33 degrees at the summit, so Princess got a sweater, which was the highlight of her entire trip.  Every time we asked her, she said her favorite thing in Colorado was the shop at the top of the mountain where she got her sweater and got to use the bathroom.

For the record, I was totally sick from around 8,000 feet, but really, really sick starting at about 10,000 feet.  When we got to the top, Sven said, "Get out of the car and walk around, you'll feel better."  I passed out in the bathroom.  Twice.  As this smile will tell you, though, it was completely worth it.

Sven had a great time.

And that was day 1.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vaguebooking and Other Foibles of the Technological Age

Timing is everything.  Mere days after I relinquished my title of Queen of Passive-Aggressiveness,  I found the ultimate PA tool: vaguebooking.

I discovered it, as I discover all beauty and truth, on Facebook.  (For the uninitiated, Facebook is a website in which you can acquire "friends" and see what they are up to via "status updates" which are posted to their "wall."  You can also play about 10,000 games, which only cost you your time and dignity.)

Status updates can be trivial ("On my way to get pizza, hope the wait isn't long!") or thought-provoking ("Wondering what clouds think we look like?") or snarky and judgmental ("Just saw a woman on the subway in lime-green stretch pants.  Hello, 1987 calling!")  None of these qualifies as vaguebooking.  These updates are all examples of completely appropriate Facebooking.

Vaguebooking, on the other hand, is the posting of a deliberately vague message to create, reignite, or escalate drama.  Some examples:

"Wonders why all men are such jerks."

"Is very upset at something a so-called friend said today."

"Thinks someone needs to get over herself and just have it lanced."

"Wonders, why me?"

"Has had enough and is just going to give up."

"Thinks that was hilarious!"

"Knows that the rest of the world will just have to grow up.  I give up.  You win."

If the responses are all, "Who?"  "What happened?"  "Oh, no, what are you talking about?" then you have a vaguebook.  Vaguebooking is odious, awful, and should be punishable by death.

I admit my reaction to vaguebooking might be a little extreme.  I have been guilty before of innocently vaguebooking; I was not trying to send a message to anyone, I was legitimately saying something about society at large, but it could have been interpreted as vaguebooking, and the drama that followed has made me extremely leery of ever posting a vague status update again.

Facebook, Twitter, and (I imagine) MySpace have opened our lives to so much additional drama, it's ridiculous.  Whatever happened to the old days, of "dignity" (secrecy) and "decorum" (shame)?  Nowadays, it isn't unusual to learn on Facebook about your teenage niece's unplanned pregnancy, your former student's new tattoo, or your uncle's new boyfriend (surprise!).

The purpose of vaguebooking is usually one of two things: to provoke a response in a desperate plea for attention, or to provide some sort of "clique-ey" feeling to one's wall.  One of those might look like this:

Mildred is "still laughing about last night!"

Jose comments: "OMGoodness, chica, I bet you are!"

Sue comments: "Do you still have the balloon?"

Mildred comments: "It popped!"

Jose comments: "LOL!"

Sue comments: "ROTFLOL!"

Mike comments: "What are you talking about?"

Mildred comments: "You had to be there!"

And I haven't even gotten to the political status updates.

So, my friends, my new rules of Facebook:

1. Never, ever post a status update that could ever be interpreted as anything other than a completely factual statement.

2. Never, ever comment on someone else's status if I don't know exactly what it is about.

3. Never, ever, ever comment on a political status unless I agree with it.  (Which means, of course, that I almost never comment on them.  I live in Texas.)

By following these three rules, I have learned to get along just fine on Facebook.  It's just like going to a party.

I'm in the back room playing video games.