Here’s my video pitch for BuzzFeed: A group of YouTube commenters who are actually witty and charming eating cake, or possibly some sort of fight to the death

You know society is digitally progressing at a rapid rate when you’re starting to be nostalgic over YouTube videos. No, I’m not talking about perky 19-year-olds talking about their makeup routines. I’m too beautiful for makeup. I am talking about BuzzFeed and similar channels where they take groups of people and have them do some sort of task. It ranges from eating Indian food to watching Bridezillas. It can go to the extreme like, I don’t know, watching porn with porn stars. No, I’m not going to link to that video. Instead, here’s a very touching Vienna Teng song. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.

Now, naturally, while browsing through the countless sea of videos from what I’m going to call shameless content mills, I went with the very familiar theme of nostalgia. The first two are obvious. PSAs remind me of my childhood and, well, I’m Asian. The last one, eh. I knew I wanted to link to a BuzzFeed video, but I wasn’t naturally drawn to any of them. In a quick panic, I chose the German food taste test one because I thought it was funny, and I took a German class in college five years ago. Eh, it counts.

Not Keeping Up With the Newses: The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and my commenters are celebrating wildly

After a flurry of activity in the comments section in my last post about trying to keep up with the news, I’ve decided to not worry about it as much as I have. Yes, you can all celebrate and have your cake now. I hope all of you like plain old vanilla cake with white icing. No chocolate for you.

Almost everyone who comment shares the same viewpoint: The news is depressing, horrible and should be avoided at all times. While I do have the tendency to give in under peer pressure, I just haven’t had much progress with keeping up with the news anyway. So it all works in the end, heh.

While I would still like to stay informed with the news and will continue to do so, I’m just going to do it the lazy way and just rely on CNN, Yahoo, local news sources and, of course, The Onion. And, yes, I’m totally being serious about The Onion.

Keeping Up With the Newses – The parents lost their jobs, the kids are hungry and the dog is dead

So, quite a while ago, I posted about a personal project where I wanted to keep up with the news more often, and let’s just say I have not been doing a very good ob trying to stay informed of current events and pop culture. Surprise. Surprise.

I chose a number of publications to browse on a daily basis, and the only one I’ve really used is, The Orlando Sentinel. I only do so to keep up with local news, and honestly I’ve been feeling severely underwhelmed due to the poor Web site layout. Every time I browse the Web site, I just feel like there aren’t a lot of articles to read at one time. At worst, there is nothing for me to read. AT best, I read one article about a person or a group of people who have died a horrible death. How fun.

On top of The Orlando Sentinel, I’ve also relied on the old standby of random articles from the front page of Yahoo. I’m a man of tradition, I know. I do still want to keep up with the news, but I need to come up with a routine that’s even more simplistic than the one I came up with all those months ago.

This is the plan so far:

– Instead of The Orlando Sentinel, I’m going a local news network for local news. Something like News 13.

– Try and use CNN for national and international news, but if I can only rely on Yahoo, then so be it.

– Use both Vulture and The AV Club for pop culture new instead of one or the other.

– For now, don’t browse specialty publications.

I don’t know if this is going to work out or not, but we’ll see. Maybe I should just rely on The Onion.

Sorry, I’m busy. I have to read these online articles for the billionth time.

For more than ten years, I have developed a habit of reading random forums and publications of various topics. Television. Music. Crafting. Survivalist. Vegan. Parenting. Weddings. No, I’m not a bride-to-be 40-year-old woman with two children. I am a writer though. I get curious about, well, everything. And as a result, I read everything. From time to time, I like to reread previous articles and posts from years and years ago repeatedly. Again, like with everything it’s the nostalgia and the familiarity. I’m going to share these articles and posts with you because, well, even though they may be wildly outdated, they’re still interesting reads. If nothing else, you’d be slightly more amused than you were. Again, like so many of the things that I write about, this is most likely going to be part one of 1,500 posts. So get comfortable and enjoy the ride.

If you have read this blog for long enough, you know that I have an affection for New York, since that’s where I’m originally from. So, naturally, I’m going to pull some of my favorite articles from New York Magazine. No surprise there, I know. I might as well be the Statue of Liberty.

My Roommate, the Diamond Thief
By Brian Boucher
Originally Published February 6, 2006
A man shares the story of how he became roommates with a diamond thief he met on Craigslist

From the Sidewalk to Your Living Room
By Grant Stoddard
Originally Published June 25, 2005
A man spends the day dumpster diving to find furniture and other goods to stage an empty apartment.

How Far Would You Go for a Piece of Real Estate?
By Robert Kolker
Originally Published February 7, 2005
A man goes on a long, tedious journey to find the owner of the decrepit building next door and possibly purchase it for them.

Last Home Standing
By Jennifer Gonnerman
Originally Published September 6, 2009
After the housing bubble, a woman tries to hold onto her home while everyone around her is in foreclosure.

My Adventures in Psychopharmacology
By Gogo Lidz
Originally Published October 24, 2007
A young woman tells the story of her experience with taking antidepressants, ADD medication and assorted illegal drugs and alcohol over a period of six years.

As a side note. It’s very similar to the BuzzFeed video where another young woman shares her experience with taking antidepressants. Yes, you will cry, and you can blame me for your tears.

When hashtags and memes ruin anti-tobacco ad campaigns

I am sure it’s to no one’s surprise when I say things have gotten progressively worse when it comes to television. Our society is drowning in crime procedurals. Cartoons of today are nowhere near as good as cartoons from over 10 years ago were. Worst of them are, HGTV is no longer showing home decorating shows. It’s really depressing. Now, things have gotten even worse. The Truth, an anti-tobacco ad campaign, has had a makeover to appear to a younger generation, and it’s not pretty.

Started in 1999, The Truth’s main objective is to educate the younger generation about the truths of the tobacco industry. Over the years, it’s gone through several different campaigns. They first started with commercials that were dark and sent a powerful message. The first commercial they released in 2000 showed a group of people dumping 1,200 empty body bags in front of a big tobacco company in order to symbolize the amount of people who die each day (at the time) from smoking. Toward the mid 2000s, they aired commercials that were lighter where group of people sang songs that mocked the tobacco industry. They then did a total 180 when they showed commercials featuring ex-smokers with various defects. They’re very similar to the Tobacco Free Florida commercials. I will do everyone a favor here and not link to these videos. They’re quite disturbing, and I do not want to scar anyone for life. Since 2014, they have decided to get away from being rebellious, serious and informative, and stated a campaign aimed toward teenagers and college students to stop teenage smoking. The aim is to end teenage smoking. Yeah, good luck with that. You need more than memes and hashtags to stop any demographic from smoking.

Not surprisingly, I like the older commercials better. Sigh. I’ve officially become one of those people who shouts “BRING BACK THE OLD STUFF.” Well, at least it fits with my blog.

Chris Hardwick is eating a large cookie and staring at me

I like to joke around that I’m living in 2004 due to my fondness of the past and my unwillingness to conform to having a smartphone. I will keep my beloved childhood memories of things that are no longer “in fashion” and my pay-as-you-go phone that makes everyone scream in horror and hug their precious smartphones, thank you. Nothing screams “early-to-mid 2000s” than a stack of magazines on a table.

I’m in a small elite group of people who still actually buy magazines. Yes, I am so desperate into becoming one of those sad people on Hoarders, that I’m paying for clutter. I do enjoy browsing for magazines both on Ebay (Yes, I buy magazines on Ebay. Oh the Horror.) and at my local library bookstore. I never know what I’d find. Here they are nearly divided into specific magazines. Yeah…I have eclectic tastes in magazines. Well, in everything, really.

And here’s a lone issue of Popular Photography feeling left out and isolated.

Sure, I mostly rely on the Internet for news and articles now, but there’s just a special feeling that you get turning each page, one by one. Also, it’s fun to look through the ads. You just don’t get the same effect from a banner ad.

No matter how outdated they are, you can always learn something new. I was browsing through an old issue of Wired, and came across an article about a man who was trying to be more productive. He read three books on organization and implemented the methods and strategies in his everyday life. I thought the person who wrote the article was just a random freelance writer. Um, I was wrong.

Yes, that’s Chris Hardwick, and he’s standing in a hot tub. For no reason, here’s another photo of him surrounded by post-it notes and eating a large cookie. Yes, he certainly was living the dream when he was writing this article.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to spend hours flipping through magazines in front of my laptop.

Trying to Keep Up With the Newses

For the longest time, I have been trying to keep up with current events on a regular basis. But as a man who has no TV, still uses a pay-as-you-go phone and doesn’t really use social media, it is very difficult for me to stay connected with the news. I have to literally force myself to visit various news sites in order to stay informed. Yes, this is how I spend my free time.

Of course, until very recently, it has not gone very well. At best, I would check random news and pop culture sites every two to three weeks, while being frustrated that I’m not reading articles as frequently as I should. One Sunday afternoon, I decided that enough was enough, and decided to try to come up with a routine to keep up with the news on a regular basis that wouldn’t make me feel like I’m the only person in the entire world living in a cave.

My main objective was to come up with a simple routine where I can get a lot of information in a small amount of time using as few Web sites as possible. Yes, I am well aware that this is the equivalent to all of those annoying people on House Hunters asking for hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. I’m trying to make it as simple and minimalistic as possible so, you know, I don’t have a nervous breakdown and be mentally institutionalized.

My basic plan of action was to make a list of the type of news sites and other online publications that I might need on a regular basis. This is what I came up with.

– One National News Source
– One Local News Source
– One Entertainment News Source
– One Pop Culture Web site (With TV recaps and the like)
– Any specialized publications that I’m interested in

This is what I ended up choosing:

CNN (National News)
The Orlando Sentinel (Local News)
Democracy Now (Independent News)
Deadline (Entertainment News)
Vulture (Pop Culture)
Good Magazine (Alternative Magazine)
Narrative (Literary Magazine)
Blackbird (Literary Magazine)
Geist (Literary Magazine)
Book Browse (Book Reviews and News)
Bright Lights (Film Magazine)

Yeah… I think I got a little carried away with the specialized publications, but it could’ve been a lot more. I actually tried incorporating these Web sites in my daily for about two weeks and, let’s just say, it kind of worked out, and it kind of didn’t.

In the first week, I was browsing news stories from mostly CNN and The Orlando Sentinel. All of the other news sites and publications were pretty much ignored. The second week was more or less the same, except I didn’t follow the news for a day or two. The reason why this was the case was because I didn’t want to six hours a day browsing the news. I wanted to do it as quickly as possible. Of course, I shouldn’t have chosen so many news sources/publications. I like having options. Sue me.

Still, I’m surprised I visited at least some of the news sources on an almost daily basis. I’m, of course, going to continue to keep up with the news and pop culture, but with one major change: I’m going to browse the general news sources in the morning and do the rest later on in the day. It sounds like a good plan. I hope it works, or a nervous breakdown might be in my future.