I can’t sleep. I’ve used up all my Candy Crush lives and the dog’s too (yes, she has a Facebook account, and spends way too much time playing stupid games). So it’s a good time to write about annoying fads.
I shouldn’t knock stuff, I suppose. If it makes people happy, who am I to complain? Except some things are so faddish as to be downright irritating (I could almost be a hipster, but they’re too mainstream for me).
“Sourcing.” A pretentious way of saying “getting,” “obtaining,” “acquiring,” or whatever. “We source our organic ingredients from a farm in the Andes nobody’s ever heard of, accessible only by specially trained yak*, with native and sustainable methods you wouldn’t understand if you don’t speak Quechua” is the implication here. It just sounds so much…sourcier…than saying you get your stuff from the places that give you the best price, which are the same old places everybody else gets their stuff from. You’re not fooling me. To “source” something, as a verb, has become almost as ubiquitous as the infernal “hack,” the annoying new usage of which I could not find among sixteen different definitions of “hack” in any dictionary. But that’s another rant.
Branding, but not like livestock. It used to be that writers had voice, artists had idiom. Now everybody’s talking about their “brand.” I’m not sure I want my personal style likened to a trademark logo. I understand that artists have to eat too, especially the ones looking to break through and give up the soul-scarring day job in Corporate America, but for things creative, I think “branding” is an unfortunate cross between art and the commercial.
Trilogies. I suspect Tolkien started this, although he probably had no idea at the time and may well be spinning in his grave now. Scrolling through books on Goodreads, I swear everything is part of a trilogy these days. I’ve read the first installments of many of these, mainly from writers I’ve never heard of and who, I believe, are trying to establish themselves. Sadly, most of these books left a lot to be desired, so that I’ve stopped reading anything touted as “the brilliantly imagined first installment of the thrilling vampire werewolf steampunk urban fantasy romance mystery young adult dystopian trilogy that will keep you awake and leave you breathless!” I think writers are doing themselves a disservice here, trying to jump onto the Hunger Games and Twilight** trilogy gravy train with stories that would be much better if boiled down and presented as one solid book. Or maybe they want to be like Rocky, with its forty-eleven sequels. Either way, like “branding,” I find it to be a bad marriage of art and business.
Steel-cut oatmeal. Who knew you could make a fad out of oatmeal? I see this stuff everywhere I go just lately. Google does not make it sound appetizing and I refuse to even try it, already being a non-oatmeal-fan; my mom will gladly tell you how my aversion to lumpy food became manifest at a very early age. Given the spitting-back prowess I displayed, you’d think she’d have stopped trying to feed me tapioca a lot sooner than she did.
I haven’t yet seen steel-cut oatmeal in pumpkin spice flavor, although I’m not really looking, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Toothpaste too, probably.
Which brings us to “pumpkin spice” anything. Yes, I am a pumpkin spice hater, but only because it’s so typically American, to overuse or misuse a good thing and run it into the ground (witness fossil fuels, social media, technology, pithy Facebook quotes, fen-phen). Pumpkin pie has earned its exalted place on Thanksgiving menus, but why can’t we just leave it there, where it’s special? For cripes sake, “pumpkin spice” dog food? *** What self-respecting dog has been waiting to be treated just like its hoomans with pumpkin spice kibble? And that’s not a dig against dogs. Dogs are superior to humans, for reasons it will be pointless to list if you don’t already know what they are. I like most dogs more than I like most people.****
Which leads me to humanizing dogs, which includes giving the dog a birthday party every year, complete with presents and fancy hats, and considering owners who do not provide doggie day care to be unfit pet parents. Stop trying to make dogs like people! Dogs are better than that! (And I’m frankly jealous of anyone with the money to piss away on a Milk Bone cake.)
And last but not least, the Kardashians. Although I’m lightening up a little. I was surprised to find myself happy to see Kim in my news again the other day. I’ve gotten so sick of seeing that “Cheeto-faced ferret wearing shitgibbon”***** Donald Trump everywhere that I was actually missing Kim and Kanye ,who are just as qualified as The Donald and Melania for a White House run, but a lot less scary.
And so I don’t sound so incessantly negative, here are a few of the many things I like and approve of:
“Swoop,” defined as zooming in to pick someone up and zooming away again almost before they have the car door closed. Dream Girl’s friends swoop her to go to the beach.
I’m not a huge Starbucks fan, but no one else makes these yummilicious green tea frappuccinos. I took a picture of this one because (1) they got the right name, instead of the Barbara/Brenda/Rhonda I so often get, and (2) they spelled it correctly! So that’s a twofer good thing.
Dogs who have their own dogs. Or their own cats. Or cats who have their own dogs. There was a dog my brother used to think was his, but that dog actually belonged to my sister’s cat.
Enough positivity! It’s almost time to actually get up and ready for work. I have just enough time for a quick round of Words With Friends with Lilly the FatDog (who does not have her own cat because she would eat it, and I worry it’s not gluten-free******).
Welcome back, Kim Kardashian! I never thought I could miss you.
*Except that yaks are native to the Himalayas and parts north, not South America, but I really like the word “yak” so I’m using yaks instead of the indigenously correct llama. Poetic license.
* *Twilight is actually four books, and I’m sorry, but only Douglas Adams can pull off the four-book trilogy. I don’t care if Twilight isn’t billed as a trilogy; this is something else to dislike about it so I’m running with it.✷
✷I loved The Hunger Games. I read the Twilight books but not where anyone could see me doing it, and the most I got out of them was an enhanced appreciation for Bad Lip-Reading’s lampoon videos. I have never watched, and will never watch, a Twilight movie. As for LOTR, I have been destined to marry Aragorn since we first met in the shabby paperbacks I hid inside my textbook during eighth grade math lectures, which explains why I needed remedial math when I started college.
***Although there’s deep-fried Starbucks PSL! I’m not going to make it, mainly because its two ingredients are sugar and oil and I’m trying to lose weight and keep my cardiac patient husband alive and, oh yeah, I’m a lazy cook at heart, but it still tickled me. Redneck meets basic.
****Except for Dachshunds. That’s the only breed of dog I’ve been bitten by, and I’ve been bitten by three of them. By all means love your wiener dog, but keep it far away from me.
******Nobody does insults like the British. Nobody. They’re Olympic.
******Oh Lord, let’s not even go there.