Friday, August 13, 2010

Manning It Up

I have noticed, in recent months, a disturbing trend.

Manscape, bromance, mantrum, manorexia.  These terms are, of course, the "male" versions of various nouns and verbs.

Manscape: when a man grooms his face.

Bromance: when two dudes have a close, totally non-gay friendship that involves manly sharing of confidences and occasional shameful tears.

Mantrum: when a man throws a tantrum.

Manorexia: when a man has anorexia.

Here's my problem, particularly with the last two: none of these words were previously defined as female-only, so to designate a special word for the "man" version implies that the "regular" version is, in fact, a female version, which is totally unfair.

Mantrum, for example, really chaps my burrito.  Because only women and small children throw tantrums, right?  If a man throws a tantrum, we have to have a special word for it, because men are ordinarily so stoic and calm that the throwing of a tantrum is an event worthy of word coinage.

You cannot see, but I hope you can sense, my eyeballs rolling into the back of my head at the absurdity of this logic.  Because the media, in its J-Lo induced frenzy to coin the new "hot phrase," is using the monkey/typewriter method: they're typing a bunch of poop and then throwing it at us to see what sticks.  Here are some of the other non-words we've been plagued with recently:

Nappetizer: when you take a nap right before bedtime.

Nontree: when you order an appetizer as your meal.

Staycation: when you stay at home instead of going out of town.

None of these are new concepts, right?  So what the media is basically doing here is taking an existing concept, coining a word, and then publishing an article about it claiming it is a "trend," hence the cute new word.

So here's my report on the latest trend: "Mannaptrums."  Here's my new report:

HOUSTON - Style watchers are reporting a new trend in male behavior, called "Mannaptrums."  Businesses and corporations, in response to this growing trend among males aged 29-54, are installing mannaptrum counselors and scheduled down time to deal with the problem.

"A mannaptrum," explains Shirley McDoody, someone who works here in some capacity, "is when a man gets sleepy and then he gets cranky and needs a nap.  Clearly, this is a detriment to the business world, so the mannaptrum counseling and intervention is a nap designed to circumvent the possible business-hampering tantrum."

"I think it's great," says Sven Folksypants, a teacher, father, and devastatingly handsome man-about-town.  "Now that I have a word for this, I can get away with telling my wife that I have to do it.  Hopefully they won't ever have a womannaptrum, because then the floor wouldn't ever get vacuumed."

I think it's going to catch on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No, I want this.

 I want a theremin.

A theremin is a musical instrument that emits radio waves.  When the player moves his or her hands within the field, the pitch that is emitted changes, as does the volume.  So you are basically making music by waving your hands around and not touching anything.  I think it is really cool.  And affordable!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is TB

Yes, Folksy Fans, it's August, which means that the holidays are just around the corner.  Since I know you are all sitting there, in front of your computers, pen poised over paper, dying to know what I want for Christmas, I thought I would share it with you.


No, not memories, I have plenty of those, thank you very much.  I'm not talking about some sappy, Walton-esque, perfect dream of a holiday that makes me mist up with tears when I'm old and grey and all of the children are gone and it's just me and a cat named Bootsie who eyes me with a somehow knowing glance as if calculating my net worth and the distance I would have to crawl to reach the telephone.

Memory.  Specifically, computer memory.

When I bought my beloved MacBook, the salesperson tried to talk me into an upgrade that would double the capacity of my hard drive.

"If you use your computer for media, especially video, you're going to want that memory," he argued.

"Trust me," I chuckled knowingly.  "250 gigs of memory will do me just fine."

I hope that salesperson refrained from shaking his head and clucking his tongue as I walked away, because he clearly understood what I did not: HD video, higher resolution cameras, and an iTunes account means that now I am down to my last 10 gigs.  A mere 10 episodes of Saturday Night Live stand between myself and the oblivion of a full hard drive.

This happened because of the magic of iTunes and instant gratification.  Why get in the car, go to Wal-Mart, search through fourteen separate bargain bins and 84 shelves of randomly arranged DVD's on the off chance that they have the movie I want, when a quick search of iTunes shows me they have it, often for the same price or cheaper?

"Piff," Sven spats, "twaddle.  What if your hard drive crashes, huh?" he asks, sorting through the 268 loose DVD's on the couch, attempting to find our fourth copy of "Sponge Bob Watches Dora."

"Well," I reason, "that's why I have a backup drive."

"And how often can you watch movies on your computer?" he further queries, taking the DVD to the DVD repair station to attempt to resurface away the skips and freezes.

"Pretty often," I reply.  "And if it's on my computer, I can put it on the iPod and we can take it to restaurants for the kids."

"That's true," he concedes.  "Still," he continues, allowing his righteous anger to inflame him again, "It's ridiculous to spend that much money on something that isn't really there."

"Daddy," Princess interrupts, "have you seen the My Little Pony movie?"

"No, baby," Sven replies.  "It's lost."  I wisely don't say anything.

Since it would be completely ridiculous for me to buy a new computer when this one is only three years old, the solution, clearly, is thusly: give Sven sole use of our current backup hard disk, the one with a paltry 320GB of storage, and purchase, for me, a portable hard drive with at least one TB of memory.

"TB" is the abbreviation for terabyte, or one trillion bytes of storage.  That's 1,000GB, or four times the capacity of my computer.

You're right.  It probably isn't enough.