Monday, March 21, 2005

Time's a-wasting

For your information, the chair in front of my desktop computer has been designated an official handicapped parking spot. This is so anyone who is officially handicapped, for instance, me, can sit here without fear of being ticketed.

And what am I doing sitting at my computer, you might well ask, since it's obviously not adding to my blog.

Well, I've been wearing a splint on my right wrist for a while, and it certainly put a dent in my blogging. But I am descended from Puritans, and, even though I was out of commission as re: blogging, I felt it my duty to discover new ways to waste time on the internet. Ways that don't require anyone to use an injured wrist. So that even the splinted amongst us can waste as much time as the able-bodied.

And it was surprisingly easy. All I had to do was switch from right- to left-handed mousing and I was in business.

So in the off-chance that you find yourself with way more time than you know how to fill, here are a few ways to waste time on the internet without having to do so much clicking and typing that you risk developing tendonitis:

1. On-line shopping. OK, I know, duh. But really, wasn't it lucky for me that our clothes dryer blew up on Thursday? Because this gave me the opportunity to shop on-line for a new one. This meant that instead of driving to an appliance store and buying a new dryer, I sat around, read consumer reviews, compared prices, and did all kinds of other consumer-related nonsense, when all along, I had every intention of 1) hitting the Abt website and 2) ordering their bottom-of-the-line Maytag gas dryer. Which is exactly what I did, after I felt I had wasted enough time.

2. Researching not one, but two possible car purchases. Not that I'm trying to suck up to my neighbors by copping some jazzy new wheels, but our cars are old and really, it's time we got something more reliable. With cup holders, even. Well. Just start hitting up eBay Motors and and and Yahoo! cars and Consumer Reports and various car manufacturers' sites and your ability to waste time on the internet will go from zero to 60 in five seconds, baby, yeah!

2. Lurk on various fashion and makeup boards I don't usually bother to read, like Makeupalley, Beauty Buzz, and Who's the Fairest. This can get kind of depressing after a while, because I end up feeling more intelligent than about 85 to 90 percent of the posters. And believe it or not, this is not a feeling I enjoy. Let all the other cocksure assholes enjoy the sense of being intellectually superior to all they survey; I'll pass.

I mean, eventually it becomes depressing. Really, after a while you wonder whither all this fancy technology? (Like, for example, did you know that large numbers of people watch television and post to message boards at the same time? Mostly with a running commentary about how dumb the show they're watching is? Um, excuse me? I mean, do you want to become some kind of human I/O device, merely taking in data from one device before relaying it through another? How about turning off the television set and [gasp] reading a book? Or [gasp] having an actual conversation with another human being? Otherwise, aren't you really living in a bubble? )

3. Become an internet crank. See above.

4. Read blogs. Oh. Um ... so, you're telling me you knew that one already? OK.

5. Search for and download totally obscure music. It doesn't matter whether you actually plan to listen to it. I use Limewire. I also use commercial sites like the iMusic one, but where's the fun in that? User-to-user sharing is much more weird and random.

6. Search for and download video files--preferably episodes of obscure long-running series with a squid-like devoted fan base, like Mystery Science Theater 3000. That way you can enjoy the geek factor, as well.

7. Pick a few new extremely active Usenet groups and lurk there. On the advice of my pal Fiddledeedee, I started reading alt.gossip.royalty. Wow. Between the Camilla-bashing and the Diana-bashing, this was better than a triathalon of professional wrestling, an all-female roller derby, and a Krystal/Alexis catfight on the old Dynasty program. The great thing about this is these people are frothing. at. the. mouth. But it's not about anything to do with the United States, so it's actually very refreshing.

Here endeth the report on "How I Spent My Week in a Splint."

In case you're wondering, I did a few R/L things, as well. No, really, I did.

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xxx, Poppy.