Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Even Though It Was A Dream, I"m Still Kind Of Pissed At Myself

Perhaps the fact that I’ve engaged in so little in the way of creative activity lately is forcing my creative urges to find whatever outlet they can, but for whatever reason, lately I’ve been having some pretty vivid and intricate dreams that are often rather cinematic in scope.
Of course, I wake to discover that I remember only the incidental details, the sub-plots, and the minor characters, leaving me nothing to work with if I were to try – which it’s unlikely I would – to commit my dreams to paper, or at least to hard drive.
One such dream involved being in a small town (by my definition of the term, which means very small indeed), which, much like my hometown, was located in the middle of nowhere and suffered under the weight of a real winter.
There was some sort of outdoor gathering – ignoring the single-digit temperatures – as people watched an exhibition, by the light of several bonfires, of figure skating by a local girl who, it was thought, would someday go on to be an Olympian.
Toss in some evil duplicates of a prominent, local family who had come from a parallel universe, a plot to kill my mother, whom I was smuggling out of town and to safety, and you understand as much about this dream as I do.
There have been other odd dreams in the last few days that I remember even less well, having only a vague sense that they were similarly odd and if examined from a more coherent perspective while awake could yield some interesting story ideas.
Of course, I could be mistaken in that regard, and maybe I only dreamed that I’d had interesting dreams…
A rather restless night’s sleep last night, which found me drifting between sleep and semi-wakefulness made the lines between reality and dreams rather blurry, and at some point, in my drowsiness, I found that I was extremely disgusted with myself over my behavior in a dream, which I had mistaken for real behavior.
It seems that I had this rather hot, single co-worker who had invited me over to her house to watch some things on TV, with the clear implication that we would be doing something much more interesting than watching TV, but I turned her down because the things she wanted to watch were not the shows I watched on that night and I didn’t want to miss my shows.
So when I woke, not realizing that it was a dream, I was understandably pissed at myself. What was I thinking?
This anger at myself pervaded my dreams for the rest of the night, leading me to construct some dreams in which I could try to rectify the situation, but while I did manage to recreate the co-worker (who looked like this girl named Jessie who used to work as a bartender at the bar where I did most of my drinking), it was clear from our interactions that I had missed my chance, and I woke this morning still very annoyed at myself for being so stupid until I realized that it was only a dream and that I hadn’t stupidly bungled such a perfect opportunity because no such opportunity had ever presented itself, and that I don’t have a hot, single co-worker (Don’t get so offended Scott; I said hot, single co-worker.) which led me to be both relieved and kind of depressed.
And that’s how my day started.
Like most people, I think, I tend to hate commercials.
Sure, some of them are funny or entertaining, but for the most part they’re just annoying.
The ads that have been annoying me the most lately are the Mac vs. PC ads.
There are a lot of reasons they annoy me, not the least of which is the fact that, if its honest with itself, Apple realizes that it has no real interest in getting PC users to switch over to the Mac, at least not in numbers sufficient to put it into Microsoft’s position of dominance.
Apple likes being the underdog, and it likes the cachet associated with producing expensive, “boutique” products, so why bother with the half-hearted attempts at converting the PC crowd?
Beyond that I’m annoyed by the dishonesty of it all, as the ads tend to suggest that you can’t do anything other than make a (grayscale) pie chart on a PC. Why, on a Mac you can make movies and Web pages and listen to music! But on a PC you can only…umm…make movies and Web pages and listen to music. Wait. There’s got to be some advantage to the Mac. Oh! The Japanese camera that works on the Mac! Because, you know, a manufacturer of a computer peripheral would never bother making the device compatible with the operating system that has a 90% market share worldwide.
But of course, Macs never crash. Ever. Under any circumstances.
They never crash. Any Mac user will tell you as much.
Unless, you know, you count that thing that the Mac does when it stops loading stuff when you turn it on and you have to unplug it and turn it back on, or when you’re in the middle of working on something and suddenly you can’t type any more and you have to turn it off and turn it back on again and retype all of the stuff you typed.
Are those what you call crashes?
I honestly think that most Mac users have that kind of understanding of crashes; they’ve been told that crashing is something that PCs do, so when their Macs crash, they don’t realize that’s what happened. Having to restart the computer several times a day is just a part of the workflow.
In fairness, my experience with OS X is pretty limited, so it may very well be stable, but my experience with earlier versions of the Mac OS (I worked in desktop publishing for years; I have a lot of Mac experience) is that they crash constantly. This is because, prior to OS X, there was no way to gracefully recover from an application crashing. One program going down took the whole OS with it (the same was true of Windows back in the 16 bit days).
Another thing that bothers me is the way the “Mac” boasts about all of the things it can do right out of the box because there are a bunch of “middleware” applications built into the OS by Apple, a practice that has gotten Microsoft sued.
Now let me be clear, I prefer to make use of the PC platform with a Windows OS rather than using a Mac, but it doesn’t actually go beyond being a preference.
That’s what annoys me about Macheads (and Linuxheads, for that matter) the most: they don’t recognize that it’s just a preference. It’s not a lifestyle choice.
Maybe your OS is better than mine, but I still win because I don’t allow my choice in OS to be a defining aspect of my personality. Who I am is not dictated by what I have installed on my computer.
Anyway, some good things have come about as a result of the Mac vs. PC ads. For example, the bit on The Daily Show when Jon Stewart got “Resident Expert” John Hodgman, who portrays the PC in the commercials, to, grudgingly, say “I’m a PC” when discussing Net Neutrality was hilarious.
The other good thing has been the parodies, the best of which is this one, which uses the Mac vs. PC format to delineate the differences between the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, and which demonstrates the final fatal flaw in the Mac vs. PC commercials: no hot chicks in bikinis.


Merlin T Wizard said...

Don't worry, I'm not offended, Jon. I know you'd swoop in if Stacy ever left me.

Heimdall said...

Who says I'm going to wait for Stacy to get out of the way on her own?

Merlin T Wizard said...

Great, now I'm going to be paranoid every time Stacy has a clumsy, life-threatening accident, which she has often. Oops, maybe I shouldn't have let that slip-