Author Archive for Carlotta Chintz

30
Mar
10

The Man with the Biggest Fiber (Network) Still Wins

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. And the Corporate Wolves are loving it.

Now, don’t mistake me for a left-wing, socialist hippie. I’m just a blue-collar person tired of paying more than the Frogs for necessary services. Yes, the internet is necessary.

In a time (and a country) where democracy is touted as the best form of government in the world, you’d think that the internet, the most democratic innovation of the 21st century, would be equally accessible to all. Unfortunately it’s not, and as is evidenced by my own deathly slow DSL connection and my increasing dependence on the free wireless at the local library, the best internet access remains inaccessible to a large number of people.

Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon are the only companies large enough to be able to afford the expense of extending high-speed fiber to homes across the U.S., and the lack of competition allows them to get their money’s worth. (For more information on this instance of the failure of capitalism, see Professor Yochai Benkler’s op-ed.) Everyone knows that cable and internet bills are extremely expensive, and I did the comparison- it would cost me more than my health insurance to get connected every month. Which is why I was excited to hear that Google has it in the works to experimentally provide broadband service to at least 50,000 (and possibly up to 500,000) homes.

Google is the only company with enough resources to even begin to make a mark in the market, and if they wanted to take their initiative even further, they could take a page from the European playbook and share the cost of laying new fiber with future competitors, which would allow them to reach an even larger audience. Their Android platform is already doing a good job of giving the iPhone a run for its money (don’t worry, I’m still a Mac person), and I hope for all our sakes that they can get this new project off the ground and to a level where even I can reap the benefits.

29
Mar
10

There must be something different in the water

It’s official.  American men just don’t make the cut.  After having travelled  a bit myself, and comparing notes with my girlfriends, I have come to the conclusion that foreign men are somehow…superior?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a full-blooded American- well, that’s not true, I’m only half- but I have all the necessary patriotic sentiments. America the Beautiful, home of the free and the brave!

And interestingly enough, while I was living abroad, I really missed American men. I wanted a manly man, someone who was as wary of committment as I was, someone who knew how to just date for extended periods of time. 

Then I came home, and was awakened from my romantic reverie. American men are manly men- macho and clueless.

So I went back to dating European guys- men who said they were in love after three weeks, men who cried when we broke up, men who were really good at cuddling.

Disclaimer: The sample of European men included French, Italian, and German. And I’ve only dated American guys from the East Coast, two from the Midwest and one from Texas.

20
Jan
09

The Cinderella Complex

Cinderella Complex, also known as: Looking for Mr. Right, Seeking that Special Person, and Waiting for The One.

This complex affects over 90% of the unsuspecting female population.  Its symptoms include feelings of dissatisfaction with and distrust of men, failure to lower one’s standards, and if left unattended, can result in Long-Term Single-ness.

The treatment is simple, and if detected early, most women can survive an attack.
The cause, however, is deceitfully subtle and the Complex is notoriously hard to uproot once it has taken hold.

The problem lies in one’s Expectations.
princecharmingcinderella
I never kidded myself that my knight in shining armor would come riding along and sweep me off my feet and on to Happily Ever After. No man is perfect, and 95% of them out there are deeply flawed.

Nevertheless, it seems that I am the unfortunate sufferer of a Cinderella Complex.  I am still waiting for my Prince Charming.
I’m sure all of my Hopeless Romantics out there can sympathize.

I’m a Modern Woman, savvy in the Ways of the World.  I’ve heard time and time again all that stuff about how no woman should ever be Waiting for a Man, every woman should be Happy with Herself First- all that blathering about Self-Fulfillment.

The fact of the matter is that I still dream of Growing Old With Someone, and not just any Someone.  I want a man who lives up to my Expectations, who fulfills my Needs (mostly emotional and physical; I make my own money.)- a man who complements (or completes, whichever way you look at it) my own personality, and obviously no Average Joe is going to make the cut.  Not to mention the fact that I have certain other ideas about what makes a Real Man, and some (if not all) of these ideas are fueled by what Society thinks makes a Real Man.

So, with each new failed relationship, my disappointment grows greater and I begin to despair of every finding anyone Out There.  My diagnosis of Cinderella Complex in other women is confirmed by the fact that my girlfriends tell me to stop worrying, that there’s Someone For Everyone, and if I just leave it alone He will just magically come into my life when I least expect it.  Doesn’t that sound like a Cinderella Complex to you?

So what can we do ladies, when we get to a certain point in our lives and realize that we have, in fact, been waiting around for Prince Charming?  We can stop waiting.  Prince Charmng isn’t out there.  Neither is Average Joe.  Instead, we can have fun with the Toms, Dicks, Harrys, Nicks, Matts, Aarons, Mikes, Dans, Chrises, Bens, and even a few Joshes. Nobody’s perfect.  Don’t expect your guy to be.  And don’t dismiss a guy because he doesn’t seem special enough.  It’s up to you to find out what’s good (and bad) in him, and see how that goes with what’s good (and bad) in you.  To get over our Cinderella Complexes we have to realize that we can rescue ourselves, and maybe a few of the guys too.

Do you think you’re suffering from C.C.? And guys, that goes for you too.  Are you still looking for that perfect woman- the one who can cook, and is always understanding, and really hot in bed?  Do you think that girls really do have Cinderella Complexes?

13
Jan
09

I’m Just Sayin’…

It’s that time of year again. We’re two weeks into January and the New Year’s Resolutions are now just frustrating reminders of our complete lack of self-discipline. (Which makes me wonder, why do we have this tradition anyway? Think about it- every year, to start off the year, we focus on our worst personal traits and concentrate on changing them, which only serves to make us focus on our worst personal traits, because how often do we ever really stop eating so many chocolate-chip cookies? Or get up at 5 every morning to go run 10 miles?)resolutions-calvinhobbes

It is also the time of year when we are done with vacation and heading back to the drudgery of our regular lives. Work, eat, sleep, drink, drink some more, pass out.  Why give ourselves the extra stress of trying to fight against our natural tendencies on top of that?

I know the idea is to “better yourself” and to “grow,” working towards some personal goal you’ve set for yourself.  But why do we even have this drive anyways? If someone is really dissatisfied with something, I mean really, truly dissatisfied, she’ll make the effort to change it, New Year’s Resolution or not.  Otherwise, we don’t really have the motivation and we’re just making more work for ourselves. And most of us make resolutions based on what we think we’re supposed to be like, or supposed to want, without taking into consideration who we really are as a person.

I didn’t even bother with a Resolution this year, because in the two weeks of the New Year, I’ve made fifty resolutions (with a lower-case “r”) and haven’t kept but a few of them. Granted, sometimes they were short-term resolutions like, “I’m getting drunk tonight!” or “I’m getting laid tonight!” or “I’m going to buy myself something nice today.” (I kept those kinds of resolutions.)  But I also made grander, long-term plans. Things like- “I will lose ten pounds this month,” and “I will be more realistic this year,” and “I am going to make time for all those little things,” and “I am going to be punctual,” and “I will love myself more.”

I’ve found it harder to keep on top of those.

Deep down inside, I liked the old way of doing things. You know you did too.  It was comfortable(-ish) and familiar.  At this point in my life, I know my own vices and I like them just fine.  So what if I tend to drink a glass of wine (or two) too many when I go out? It just means I had a better time.  So what if I tend to get anyplace at least fifteen minutes late?  That just means that I was having a lot of fun with whatever I was doing before.  So what if I’ve gained a little weight this past year? I love food, and that means I was having a lot of something I love.
And I think we secretly need to have something wrong with our lives. What else would we talk about in awkward social gatherings if we couldn’t complain about ourselves?

Fine, go ahead, make (and break) your resolutions. You were probably much better off as you were to begin with.  But don’t say I didn’t tell you it was a futile task.

So what were your New Year’s Resolutions? (It’s ok, you don’t have to admit if you haven’t kept them.) Did you go with the little things or the big things? Or did you do like me and just avoid the problem altogether?

I’m just sayin’…Old habits die hard.

08
Jan
09

Ode to Ramen

Just to share T.M.I. with you, I am laid up in bed this week with an unidentified illness- strep throat, or mono, or the flu or something.  And, as swallowing is excruciatingly painful, I have been ingesting mostly liquids (water, tea, jello mix). And Doritos. But mostly, my savior in this febrile time of aches has been…ta-da! Ramen Noodles!  Glorious, salty, preservative-full Ramen Noodles.

Ramen Noodles have also saved me a few times when I was on the brink of starvation, unable to afford anything more substantial on my paltry student’s income. So, with that thought in mind, I proceeded to write a small Ode to Ramen:
ramennoodles
Ramen, oh Ramen- I cannot just sip
I gobble you up by the pound, just oodles
Your sodium-rich broth is just the thing ere the snot from my nose doth drip
Never was there a better soup of noodles

Chicken, Shrimp, or Beef
It is all quite tasty
No matter the flavor
Spruce it up with a bok choy leaf
Five minutes makes the preparation quite hasty
And when it’s all made, one can share with one’s neighbor

And because I love them so much, I wanted to share with you some recipes that let you take the Ramen experience to a whole other level:

Pepper Curry Ramen
Spam Doodles (a great compliment to my SPAM recipes in a previous article)
Batter Fried Ramen

You can find these recipes and more at The Official Ramen Homepage and ramenlicious.com

08
Jan
09

Bromance vs. Girlfriends: biology or society?

Re: Chester Cheetah’s comment on “Can’t we just be friends?”

Very smart people put a lot of time into studying the questions as to whether white people were really different than black people too. Just because the academic elite like to publish new and sensational ideas doesn’t give them status as absolute scientific fact. The amount of biology at stake here is MUCH less than people like to imagine when they want to maintain the idea that “that’s just the way things are.” Women are more emotional and lovey-dovey than men, and women form different kinds of relationships. I just spent an entire semester looking at the research in this area, and you know what my conclusion was- looking to biology to explain the kind of sex differences we want to explain is just a bunch of crock.

men-vs-women

The typical assignment of female nuturer/male strengthener is VERY socially based. Don’t even get me started on the androcentric interpretations that we’ve slapped onto other species in an effort to say that that paradigm is “natural” when a closer examination reveals a very different distribution of the roles.  That aside,in parent-child relationships the man is usually cast as the protector and provider while the woman is cast as the homemaker and nuturer. How does THAT translate to same-sex relationships? (“Hey Bro, I want to protect you, man. And make sure that you have, like, food on the table and stuff. Cool?” “Hey girlfriend! I am coming over to clean your room today! And do your dishes, and pat you on the head because you got a good grade, okay?”)

I’m not saying that men and women aren’t different at all. I’m just saying that we have expectations for the way they should behave (whether these are accurate expectations or not), and these expectations color the way we see male/female behavior; we consider as awkward or abnormal behavior that does not conform to our expectations. I think it is reasonable to believe, however, that these expectations we have are, in fact, largely based on a long social tradition and maintenance of the status quo. Call me a ball-buster, but that’s how I see it.

As far as the show itself goes- I wouldn’t be surprised to see some cattiness arising. I’ve known some really gossipy (straight) guys who talk more than girls! That being said, I don’t like watching cattiness, be it male or female, and I like “Rob and Big” as a good example of a healthy male relationship…but that has its problems too. Think, big, black sidekick…

Photo courtesy of flickr.com

02
Dec
08

My social network has crashed

Every night between the hours of 8:00 and 9:30, Facebook crashes because there are too many damn people on there.

Of course that is the time when everyone checks who has poked them today, or how many event invitiations in other states they have, or how many new friend requests they’ve gotten, but Facebook should know this by now and be prepared for the traffic.  How am I going to be able to see how many friends I have (i.e. how many people love me) if the site keeps “experiencing an error” ?




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