Posts tagged with ‘bestof’

Ascending Qs Tumblr Review Megapost

Here are my reviews of every tumblr that only has q’s in its URL.

http://q.tumblr.com/
last updated in 2007, boo, D-

http://qq.tumblr.com/
0 posts, F

http://qqq.tumblr.com/
0 posts, F

http://qqqq.tumblr.com/
1 post from 2008, F+

http://qqqqq.tumblr.com/
4 posts from 2007 D+

http://qqqqqq.tumblr.com/
0 posts, F

http://qqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
0 posts, F

http://qqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
Password protected! Could be good! idk! Has an air of mystery at least, and a solid amount of qs in the url. B

http://qqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
1 post from 2009, D-

http://qqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
all 0 posts, all F. SHAMEFUL.

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
Another password protected tumblr. Starting to get into an unwieldy amount of qs though. C.

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
1 post from 2011, D-

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
0 posts, F

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
Actually pretty decent showing for one month in 2011. C+

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
All 0 posts. Like what are we even doing registering these URLs. World’s laziest domain squatters? Some kind of impossibly long con? F

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
This is an actual tumblr! Regular image/gif reblogs! Going strong since 2012! A+ 

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
Password protected but obviously trying too hard at this point. D-

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
All zero, all F, all dumb.

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
3 posts from 2011, C+

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
5 posts from 2011. A future post on this topic should delve into this data a bit more—why so many blogs ending in 2007 and 2011? B-

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
0 posts, F-

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
As of press time this domain was available! Grab it and password protect it!

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
2 posts from 2011, D-

http://qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.tumblr.com/
Available, as is every other domain above this one. Either no one can count Qs this high (33) or tumblr has a URL space limit.

Thanks everyone, here is your 2014 winner, Best Tumblr With Only Qs In The URL, join me in congratulating tumblr user @qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

The Kevin Fanning March 2014 Situation

~OR~

10 Culinary Questions for Kevin Fanning Instead of Gwyneth Paltrow


RM: Favorite family meal?

KF: We love to keep it simple. Rosalie and I both work so we tend to stick to things that you just have in the freezer, and when it’s dinner time we’ll kind of root around in there and see what we have that doesn’t look terrible, then stick it in the oven. The kids complain about everything, so it’s hard to pick a favorite!

RM: Favorite family restaurants?

KF: In Cambridge we like Thelonius Monkfish, Veggie Galaxy, Miracle of Science, Cambridge Common, Tasty Burger, Cambridge Brewing Company, Middle East, Chipotle, S&S, and Beauty’s. When we can’t agree on where to go, we’ll end up at Asgard, where everyone is equally unhappy but at least they have a decent drinks menu. On weekends when we visit my mom in Connecticut we go to Plan B or On The Border. We eat out a lot because there’s no personal satisfaction to be had from cooking. One of our favorite things to do at restaurants is let the kids play their DS’s so we can ignore them and have an actual adult human conversation.

RM: Favorite recipes for cooking-with-kids sessions?

KF: Cooking, being in the kitchen, that’s “me” time. I don’t go out of my way to get them involved—I’m happier if I can just put on my music and bop around and do things at my pace. When kids get involved I find there’s a lot of frustration and yelling. Kids can set and clear the table, it’s a great use of their skills.

RM: Favorite food shops?

KF: In Cambridge we’re blessed with so many options. Trader Joe’s is cheapest so we end up there at least once a weekend, but there are some things you just can’t get there, plus some things you can but are terrible (like their peanut butter, which is a basically an oil spill near a peanut). So invariably we have to make an additional stop at Star Market or Whole Foods to pick up a few more things, and you end up spending as much on 5 items as you spent at Trader Joe’s on a whole cart full of things. It’s great. And then when we need some dumb, difficult to find ingredient we’ll go to Harvest in Central Square. It’s a co-op, and they always ask if we’re members, but we’re not, because there’s literally no incentive to join beyond the smug self-satisfaction of being able to say you belong.

RM: Go-to kitchen tools and accoutrements?

KF: Definitely a knife? I feel like a knife is definitely a go-to. Then of course a cutting board is key. We have a bunch. Beyond that you get into things like plates, bowls, silverware.

RM: Favorite pots and pans?

KF: If you pointed a gun at my kid’s head I would not be able to even guess at a brand name for pots & pans. I have no recollection of how our pots and pans came into our possession and I have no emotional attachment to them whatsoever. There’s one pan that’s really wide and kind of awkward to fit into the dishwasher, so that one is definitely my least favorite.

RM: What was the first meal you cooked?

KF: As what they used to call a “latch-key kid” in the 80s, I was often forced to fend for myself for hours on end, so I got good at whipping up little snacks. Fill a glass with croutons and then douse it with Italian dressing, that was a favorite. Our fill a glass with whipped cream, douse it with chocolate syrup, then stir it up for a quick and easy mousse. Or just make a quick sandwich out of Pop-Tarts and Fruit Roll-Ups from the pantry. Sometimes you’d hear a noise in the house and you’d be terrified that there was someone hiding in a closet upstairs. This was before cell phones, so there was no way to contact your parents, no way of knowing where they were or when they’d be home. You’d just sit on the couch with your snack and hope there wasn’t someone hiding in the house to kill you. Those are some of my earliest memories of feeding myself. 

RM: Favorite jet lag meal?

KF: You can no longer afford to fly anywhere on this planet with a family of four, so jet lag rarely comes into play. But on long car trips we’ll eat a lot of junk food. We like to stop at travel plazas, gas stations—sometimes different states have different sodas and chips. We love exploring local cuisine. 

RM: Notable culinary disaster?

KF: I remember the first time Rosalie was pregnant, we got some bad news from the doctor. We drove home in silence, both kind of stunned, not even sure what to say to each other, and then Ro declared that she really wanted cheese waffle fries for dinner. So I called the one place in town that served them—they didn’t deliver so I had to go pick them up. I picked them up and got home and realized they’d forgotten half our order. Rosalie was upstairs in bed and I just wanted one thing on this day to not go completely terrible, so in a rush I put the oven on low and put the food in to keep it warm while I went back to the restaurant to get the stuff they’d forgotten. And then I got back and realized that the food was in styrofoam containers, which had melted and warped in the oven, so everything was completely ruined and inedible. And I just kind of stood there in the kitchen, shaking with anger, no idea what to do, no idea how to fix everything, no idea how to make it better. 

Emotional Transit

When I was young my family went to Ocean City Maryland every summer. There’s a boardwalk along the beach, and we’d walk different parts of it every evening as the sun set and the beach cleared out and the lights came up. I remember: french fries with vinegar, terrible haunted house rides that we went on multiple times, tourist shit-shops filled with pink & fluorescent yellow t-shirts (it was the 80s), sea shells with glued-on googly eyes, watching sand artists sculpt inspirational bible quotes into their castles. It was the best.

There was a little shuttle you could ride if you were tired from walking or wanted to skip to different parts of the boardwalk. One night we walked all the way down to the very end, and decided to take the shuttle back to our hotel. A few minutes into the ride a pair of young couples got on, cramming into the seat behind us. Probably what happened is my dad started making dumb jokes and they laughed politely, but what I remember is all of us having the best time on the ride home. My mom and dad laughing with them, everyone saying funny comments about things we saw along the way, strangers immediately connecting and bonding, on just the perfect night, the best time, driving very slowly along the beach at night.

Eventually we came to a stop and the couples climbed off the shuttle. I called out: “See you back at the hotel!” and they stopped and turned and my mom had to explain, No, they’re not staying with us, they’re going to do other things.

And I was like: We’re never going to see them again? Like, ever? I was not just distraught or sad but immediately inconsolable. These were our friends. How are these people who we just met and who we like so much, who we’ve had so much fun with tonight, going to disappear from our lives forever? We’re all ok with that? We’re all ok with going off into the night and never seeing each other again?

But of course that’s what happened. They walked off and we went back to our hotel and I’m probably the only person in the story who remembers any part of it happening, and none of it really matters, except that I still feel the sense of missing those people whose faces I don’t even remember as acutely as I did back then.

And I would love for the ending of this story to be: And that’s when I decided I didn’t need my heart anymore. But I do. I hate it, but I do.

My Life Of Continual Fear

One day when I was in 3rd grade I was taken out of class and brought to a room down the hall. You’re going to be in a creative writing class now, the teacher said. No explanation, no set-up. She just dumped me in a room with some other kids.

I was the only kid from my grade in the room, the rest were all older kids who I didn’t even recognize from the hallways. It seemed like they had already been coming to this room for a while—they knew the teacher, they knew each other, they knew what was expected of themselves and each other. They knew why they were there. I had no idea why I was there and thought maybe I had done something wrong? but I was a kid who always stayed quiet and never questioned anything, so I just sat there and did what the teacher told me to do, as uncomfortable as it made me.

She told me to open up a notebook and start writing. Write a story, write a poem. Thinking about it now, surely she had some kind of thesis, an introduction, some guidelines or encouragement she delivered, but I don’t remember that, I just rememember having to open a blank page and start writing a story with no prompt or warning or preparation.

I remember being terrified that I would have to share what I was writing with the class. I remember thinking: I have no idea what I’m doing. How do I write a story? What if this is terrible? What if I can’t figure out what happens next? Why do I have to be here? Why don’t I have any good ideas? Why can’t I be doing literally anything else right now? Why do I have to be writing when my class is probably at recess or watching a film strip? The other kids are clearly all better and more confident writers than me, what if they realize I have no idea what I’m doing? What *am* I doing?

That was 30 years ago. Every morning I sit down to write, and every morning I have the exact same questions and fears I did that first day.

Today I wrote about Amanda Bynes & The Internet Teens saving the world with their selfies.
For more good writing about selfie culture and how we treat women both online and off, read what Lily wrote on Grimes, Amanda Bynes, and Being Seen.

Today I wrote about Amanda Bynes & The Internet Teens saving the world with their selfies.

For more good writing about selfie culture and how we treat women both online and off, read what Lily wrote on Grimes, Amanda Bynes, and Being Seen.

OK by now you’ve seen this article in The Onion and been like UGH TOO REAL. Yes! It is too real. It is painful and we recognize ourselves and the choices we have made in this article.  

But I think the reason this article is painful is because culturally we define success in such a weird and outdated way. There’s this idea that if you’re not doing what you’re most passionate about all the time, you’re a failure. If you aren’t make a living at it, you’re a failure. If you’re not Stephen King or Christina Aguilera, you’re a failure. And I think we grew up in this kind of 50-year pop culture bubble where we saw many people becoming huge megastars, actors and singers and writers and whatever else. And part of the disconnect we have now about what we should pay for music and books and movies, and how these things should be funded, are tied up with these questions about what we owe to ourselves,  and what we feel society & culture owe to us, and the media value we assign to certain “professions”. 

I was having dinner with Mary-Kim the other night and we talked a lot about how much more successful as writers we would feel if we didn’t give a shit about our families and lives. I might have gotten farther faster as a writer if that’s all I ever did or thought about, but like, so what? Is that a good model for how a person should live their life? It’s not that I love my day job all the time, but it’s a thing that someone needs to be doing, same as a lot of people’s jobs. And it’s not like me and my job and my writing are completely separate and siloed aspects of my self. My creativity is a thing that comes out in my writing on the internet, in my parenting, and in the rejection letters I send as part of my day job. That’s kind of a success, right? Albeit not one that sells magazines or drives clicks.

Maybe it’s not useful to define one person as the garbage collector and one person as the singer. Maybe everyone is a lot of things. Maybe the self-obsessed celebrity artist culture isn’t that helpful or useful. Maybe eventually we get to a place where we see that books and music and art are created by us, people who have school and day jobs and other shit we care about. And we’re not rich celebrities, and we are all always being pulled in different directions, but we’re present and engaged with the people in our lives? And we value what we contribute as much as what we create? And we create things because want to, and not because we have expectations for what it will get us, or how it will cause society to value us? And we don’t berate and hate ourselves for the very human failure of having a lot of complicated shit to juggle in our lives? That might be kind of cool?

OK by now you’ve seen this article in The Onion and been like UGH TOO REAL. Yes! It is too real. It is painful and we recognize ourselves and the choices we have made in this article.  

But I think the reason this article is painful is because culturally we define success in such a weird and outdated way. There’s this idea that if you’re not doing what you’re most passionate about all the time, you’re a failure. If you aren’t make a living at it, you’re a failure. If you’re not Stephen King or Christina Aguilera, you’re a failure. And I think we grew up in this kind of 50-year pop culture bubble where we saw many people becoming huge megastars, actors and singers and writers and whatever else. And part of the disconnect we have now about what we should pay for music and books and movies, and how these things should be funded, are tied up with these questions about what we owe to ourselves,  and what we feel society & culture owe to us, and the media value we assign to certain “professions”. 

I was having dinner with Mary-Kim the other night and we talked a lot about how much more successful as writers we would feel if we didn’t give a shit about our families and lives. I might have gotten farther faster as a writer if that’s all I ever did or thought about, but like, so what? Is that a good model for how a person should live their life? It’s not that I love my day job all the time, but it’s a thing that someone needs to be doing, same as a lot of people’s jobs. And it’s not like me and my job and my writing are completely separate and siloed aspects of my self. My creativity is a thing that comes out in my writing on the internet, in my parenting, and in the rejection letters I send as part of my day job. That’s kind of a success, right? Albeit not one that sells magazines or drives clicks.

Maybe it’s not useful to define one person as the garbage collector and one person as the singer. Maybe everyone is a lot of things. Maybe the self-obsessed celebrity artist culture isn’t that helpful or useful. Maybe eventually we get to a place where we see that books and music and art are created by us, people who have school and day jobs and other shit we care about. And we’re not rich celebrities, and we are all always being pulled in different directions, but we’re present and engaged with the people in our lives? And we value what we contribute as much as what we create? And we create things because want to, and not because we have expectations for what it will get us, or how it will cause society to value us? And we don’t berate and hate ourselves for the very human failure of having a lot of complicated shit to juggle in our lives? That might be kind of cool?

Heather handed me a poem she wrote.

Here, she said, Read this.

We were sitting on the thrifted couch in her apartment off campus. It was the end of the semester and the windows were wide open but useless against the Virginia summer night. 

I looked at the 4 or 5 stanzas. It was free verse. Something about nature and darkness. Something about loneliness and longing. I handed it back to her.

Cool, I said. That’s awesome.

Heather looked at me. No, she said, handing the poem back to me. Read this.

She was a year ahead of me. We’d been sitting next to each other on the first day of what turned out to be the world’s most difficult 200-level British Literature class, and quickly became each other’s life raft. We were supposed to be studying for the final but had somehow ended up drinking instead.

I looked at the poem again. Something about cicadas. Something about the full moon. Something about sex and the long summer night. 

Heather had a roommate who was majoring in modern dance. The last time I’d come over we’d bonded over her My So Called Life poster, but tonight she was out with her boyfriend, a white guy with dreads and a dog named Kenya or Nairobi or something. It was getting late and it was going to be a long walk back to campus. 

I handed the poem back to Heather. It’s really cool, I said. Poetry’s not my thing and I don’t know if I understand it, but I like it. It’s great.

Heather stared at me again, longer this time. No, she said, handing the poem back to me. Read this.

Realest shit I ever wrote

Realest shit I ever wrote

Kickstarter, and Being Your Creative Word

Matt Haughey wrote some really good words about Kickstarter and I wanted to throw my thoughts in. Because in theory I love Kickstarter! So much! People need help in order to make stuff. If their project sounds interesting to you, you help them. They make stuff, people are happy, the world is a better place. The end. 

In practice though, Kickstarter has been not something that I love at all. It has been something that has annoyed me, stressed me out, and fomented my already ongoing hatred of humanity more than any other website since Perez.

The problem with Kickstarter is this: You are asking for money. I give you money. Now you can finish your project. But was the money I gave you a donation, or an investment?

You could make a case for either side! A good one!

If it’s a donation, cool. I’m psyched about your project, I’m psyched that you’re psyched, and no matter what happens, best of luck in this and future endeavors. 

But in most cases Kickstarter projects have tiered structures where giving $X guarantees Y in return—which means the money I give you is an investment. I am a shareholder in your project, expecting a return on the money I gave you. I have an invested interest in the outcome of your project. 

But so what, who cares, what’s the difference?

The difference is that if I invest in your project, and we both agreed to a contract where my giving you $X guarantees me Y in return, you better finish that fucking project. If it’s not a donation, then in no way is it OK for you to take my money and disappear off the face of the earth.

Right? Seems basic? And really this is bigger than Kickstarter. People have been taking my money for projects that never ended up happening for as long as there has been an internet, and even longer. And it sucks, every single time. I want to be supportive of people doing interesting things, and every time I support a project that ends up going south, I am a little more hesitant to help out the next time.

"BUT," you say. "Sometimes shit goes wrong! Sometimes the writer gets mad at the director and they can’t work it out! Sometimes the hard drive dies and there was a back-up but the back-up died! And frankly mutability is the nature of any creative endeavor! Sometimes you start off making a movie but it turns out you were actually making a comic book!" 

I know! And all of that is totally OK! It’s totally fine!

AS LONG AS YOU COMMUNICATE ABOUT IT.

If giving you $20 means at the end of a project I get a book, and I never hear from you again, guess what! Now you have a customer service problem. Because fuck you, I paid for a book. 

If giving you $20 means at the end of the project I get a book, and you send me a DVD, guess what! You still have a customer service problem. Because what is this DVD shit, I paid for a book.

It has been stunning to me, how many project owners seem to fall off the face of the earth once their project gets funded. Realize that it is practically hard-coded into the creative process that you end up miles from where you intended. But when that happens it is critical to keep your investors in the loop. We are riding shotgun with you on our project! Keep us in the loop as the landscape changes! Just an update every so often: “Dudes, sorry, here are the reasons why this is taking longer or becoming different from what you expected, thanks for hanging in there with us.” That’s all! 

(Although, also, I will gently argue, that if you are at the point in your project where you need $X to complete it, and you receive $X, you should do exactly what the fuck you said you were going to do. If you say you need $X to complete your project, but actually then it ends up changing in some huge significant way, you had no business asking for $X in the first place, and you wasted a lot of people’s time & good will. And next time, if you hope to rely on other people’s support again, you should do your level best to make sure you have your shit exactly in order.)

Because either way, without communication, you’re done. Even if you do eventually finish the project two years later, I am not going to be super psyched to see that book or DVD and be reminded of you. I’m still mad at you, remember? You already broke my trust, remember? Doing the bare minimum of what you were supposed to do however long ago does not earn it back.

When you have investors in your creative project, it is just as important to manage their expectations as it is to manage your project. You got all these dozens or hundreds of people excited about a project that for so long YOU were the only person excited about. There is an expiration date on that support. Manage it, or lose it. Otherwise where once you had so much good will headed in your direction, you will have an angry mob of unhappy customers, some super furious and in your face about it, some just super disappointed behind your back, and none of them in any way interested in supporting anything else you do, ever again, ever. 

If a transaction goes sour on Amazon or eBay, there is legal recourse for people to get their money back. There’s a safety net. Not so on Kickstarter, where it’s just promises, money, and your reputation on the internet. And unless you’re new around here, you know that money + bad experience + internet != happy smiles.  

But at its most basic level, this is not about Kickstarter, and it’s not about funding creative projects, and it’s not even about the internet! IT’S ABOUT HOW PEOPLE WHO LIVE TOGETHER ON THIS PLANET SHOULD BEHAVE TOWARDS EACH OTHER.

In this and all other instances of human interaction on this planet, here is what should happen:

  1. Do the shit you say you are going to do.
  2. If shit changes, have communication about it.
  3. The end.

Please, creative humans, step your game up. Be realistic in your approach, be thoughtful in your interactions, and hold yourself to the standard you would hold others to, if it was your money you were investing. I don’t want to publicly call out any particular project like Haughey did but of course I am available by email or gchat to vent like the cattiest bitch ever.