Thursday, November 28, 2019

Reality versus the Hype: the potpourri edition (Blog Hop)

"Reality versus hype" can go (at least) two different ways: here's something that people expect to be much better than it actually is, or here's something that isn't nearly as bad as we're told by the cool kids. (I'll let writers who aren't fighting a bit of a food coma come up with other variations.) Long-time readers and friends will not be surprised that I have a couple of things to say that fall into both categories.

First up: the promise of tech. Yes, yes, yes, I know, I've complained about this a few times here, but this time I'm not talking about the burgeoning addiction people have to their devices or the way the internet itself seems to stalk you. Those are still bad things, but I'm more concerned lately with something more basic: connectivity. My wireless router either needs to be readjusted or simply blanks out its connection at least four times per week. This is annoying not only when my sons are gaming, but also when I'm trying to do something a little more essential, like send emails. FYI, I live in Boston-proper, and a pretty nice part at that. I understand people in other parts of the country have it much worse. And while I don't have a smartphone anymore, I remember well how frustrated I would be by frequent slow connections. Until we get the kind of mobile connectivity that I might find in South Korea, I'm unimpressed by all of the promises people make about the wireless world.

If you can't count on this, nothing else matters

Second, since I'm here, I do have a new complaint about the trade offs of convenience, and yes, of course I'm talking about Google. Oh Google (I mean, Alphabet), thanks so much for the free email, calendar, groups, file sharing, video-viewing, hosting, and of course, search engine capabilities. That totally makes up for said stalking, the creepy context-ads in my email, and the prejudiced search results. (No, it doesn't.) But things finally went too far when I realized that my non-Gmail account wasn't getting almost any messages through to Gmail accounts after a period of two and a half weeks. You know what that forced me to do? Transition all of my email activity to Gmail. Who do you think that's more convenient for, me or Google?

One email to rule them all

For something completely different, I'm here to say that families eating from-scratch dinner together is, if not completely overrated, much less of a panacea for all social ills than we've been led to believe. When I make dinner for all six members of my family, if we sit together for more than ten minutes, it's a miracle. Make no mistake, I value those minutes, but it's paid for by more than forty minutes of food prep beforehand (there are only two people who can eat the same things, but they have wildly different preferences) and at least twenty minutes of clean up time. I like to cook because it's a creative outlet, it's less expensive than ordering out (or even getting prepared food from the supermarket), and creates less waste, but I do not judge other families, particularly those headed by single parents, for making that a lower priority. As such, I'm delighted that a book like Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won't Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It has been published, and I can't wait to read it.

Let's get real about the kitchen
Finally, I'm going to push back against the hype against Running Scared, the 1986 buddy cop film starring Billy Crystal and the late Gregory Hines. This is one of my favorite films, and I've been aghast at the bad rap it's gotten since, well, 1986. I'm not an action connoisseur (my new-found love of Korean films notwithstanding) and if the car chases don't work for most, I'm not going to argue the point. When I watch anything, I'm there for the chemistry, semi-witty banter, and a setup that makes sense but moves quickly. I get all of those things out of Running Scared, and it's probably mostly due to the chemistry between Crystal (I know, I know) and Hines, plus a joke about the New Math (my geek is showing, I know). The film suffers from the same kind of bs racism a lot of Eighties cop films do (Jesus, couldn't anyone find anything better for Jimmy Smits to do than be a scumbag drug dealer in the Eighties?), and I'm not going to say I don't cringe a little bit over that. And, yes, it's also ridiculous to think that the late Darlanne Fluegel would have ever married Crystal, but it's kind of fun to see her rescued by him. In short, no, it's not perfect, but it's still pretty good. (Take that, Rotten Tomatoes.)

The question isn't whether you want to see them in their long underwear, but rather how we got to this point

Thanks to Morgan, Jami, and Caroline for their posts in this hop, and please check out Kerrie's post tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Deb in the City

Monday, November 25, 2019

Reality Versus the Hype (Blog Hop)

Thank goodness for my gaggle of bloggers, who give me reasons to write blog posts. Morgan, Jami, Caroline, Kerrie, and I will be blogging this week about Reality versus Hype, which I'm sure everyone is going to take in their signature hilarious, insightful, and touching directions. Here's our schedule for the week; please take a look at all of them and share your thoughts about when the promise (or threat) didn't match the truth.

Happily Ever After is frequently not all it's cracked up to be

November 25, Morgan

November 26, Jami

November 27, Caroline

November 28, Deb

November 29, Kerrie