Monday, January 30, 2012
Like most other rabid Springsteen fans, I spent a large portion of my weekend dealing with the utter failure of a system that is Ticketmaster.
I won some. I lost some. I got the 15-minute wait time message that lasted close to two hours. I ripped out huge chunks of hair in frustration. I cried. I smashed things. I roared my terrible roar and gnashed my terrible teeth. And, in the end, I wound up with the tickets that I was looking for.
Others weren’t so lucky.
Ticketmaster claimed on Friday that the problems were caused by scalpers, who launched a massive cyber attack on the site.
Which I might be more likely to believe was really the issue if Ticketmaster didn’t own TicketsNow, one of the biggest resale sites out there.
And if seats for the shows hadn’t been on TicketsNow BEFORE the on-sale date.
Sounds fishy to me too.
Clearly, something needs to be done.
And of course, as the future ruler of the world, I have the solution.
First, Ticketmaster needs to be deposed. That much is obvious and uncontested. I think that anyone who tried to buy a ticket from them over the last few days is in absolute agreement that this needs to happen.
The question is how.
Unfortunately, cyber attacks don’t seem to be the answer. If Ticketmaster is telling the truth, then all cyber attacks accomplish is making the fans angrier. It didn’t actually bring about any kind of a change, it just dicked everyone over.
So if we want to actually overthrow Ticketmaster, like with any evil dictator, we need to do it old-school. I mean, we can use social media to organize the protest, like Egypt did, but in the end, it’s going to need to be a storming-the-Bastille type revolution.
Their corporate offices are in LA, so I recommend we do it when we’re out there for the LA Bruce show in April. You know, the whole kill two birds with one stone type of deal.
But what happens when Ticketmaster is gone?
Lots of people have been suggesting better ways to deal with ticketing. I’ve heard rumblings on the message boards of people blaming Bruce’s camp for this snafu, as well as suggesting that there be a fan club to help the “real fans” get tickets first. And I mean, that’s not the world’s worst answer. But it’s not the best answer either.
The problem is that when Ticketmaster has been destroyed, odds are, much of the rest of society will fall apart as well. There will be complete and utter anarchy as people scramble to get their tickets without the totalitarian despotic regime of Ticketmaster dictating how our tickets need to be obtained. And unless we put another system in place, there will be riots, natural disasters and biblical style plagues as people try to get their tickets.
And that’s just what I’m gong to inflict on the people who keep me from getting MY tickets.
Luckily, I have the answer.
We need a Hunger Games-style, to-the-death, battle royale to determine who gets which tickets.
No really. It’s the perfect solution.
Think about it. The scalpers won’t bother, because they’re completely soulless and just trying to profit off the misery of others. They’re not going to risk their OWN lives to get tickets to see Bruce.
But the rest of us? Oh hell yeah. It's on.
AND it fixes a lot of other things that everyone has been whining about on recent Bruce tours. Think about it. How many times have you NOT been in the front of the pit because little kids were up there? How many times have you sat through Bruce pulling them up to sing “Waiting on a Sunny Day”?
They won’t survive the ticketing process, so that problem is solved. AND their annoying parents will be so busy trying to protect the little ones that it'll be really easy to take them out too.
And how many times have you been surrounded by drunken idiots yelling out requests for songs that no one wants to hear? Like the idiots who brought signs requesting “Mary’s Place.” I mean, REALLY? You REALLY want to hear “Mary’s Place” again? I only went to four shows on the Rising tour and STILL spent more time listening to that song than it would take to watch Gone With the Wind. Twice.
Luckily, with my system, the drunken idiots would no longer be at the shows, because they’d be the first ones to go down after the kids in the battle royale. It’s REALLY easy to knock a drunk down. Just put on a strobe light. They fall down on their own. (That actually works. And it’s REALLY fun to do if you’re sober at a party. Yes, I’m a horrible person. Deal with it.)
Of course, some people might argue that a better system might be to just sell tickets the day of the show at the door. You show up, pay, go in, done. No more scalpers. But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the competitive edge? Where’s the sheer joy of beating the crap out of the people who want to get your tickets?
No, my solution is clearly the answer.
Or, I suppose the government could step in and actually enforce some of those antitrust laws, which, as I understand it, were written to prevent corporations like Ticketmaster from holding a complete monopoly and causing problems like those that happened this weekend.
That might work too.
Friday, January 27, 2012
I’m not exactly an athlete, but today is opening day of the one sport that I’m a pro at.
Springsteen tickets go on sale today.
To the non-competitive fans out there, I know it doesn’t sound like much of an athletic activity, but trust me, it requires months of preparation, mental agility, cat-like reflexes, and the patience of a Buddhist monk.
If you’re smart like I am, you’re in constant training. There’s no off-season when you’re serious about getting Bruce tickets.
The preparation starts with location and a credit card. For any given tour, there are certain cities that are likely to get concerts. It’s important to anticipate which of these are within a reasonable driving distance (a twelve-hour radius is acceptable on your own, more if you have a second driver going with you), and to make sure that you’ve bought enough stuff with your credit card to rack up the mileage points to enable you to travel to the shows outside of that reasonable radius. I recommend charging all concert tickets on mileage credit cards, because then your tickets work toward your travel goals as well. This stage of the training process can take years, but if you’re an chronic shopper like I am, you can make training fun.
Next, you need to take up yoga. This is the part that’s hard for me. I’m not a patient person. If I’m going to work out, I want to run and lift heavy things. (Yes, like running toward sales and carrying shopping bags loaded with shoes. Shut up. I work out for real. Jerks.)
You see, to deal with Ticketmaster, you need yoga. Because Ticketmaster is the single most evil corporation in the history of the world. It’s a little-known fact that it has been around for hundreds of years, since LONG before you were able to buy tickets online, or by phone, or even in a kiosk (which was before my ticket-buying time). I actually have a theory that Ticketmaster was single-handedly responsible for the Kennedy assassination, the Holocaust, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (which started World War I), the Indonesian tsunami, George W. Bush, and the Microsoft corporation.
Seriously. The root of all modern evil.
And it’s apparently an unbreakable monopoly since the Live Nation merger, so there’s no way around dealing with them.
But you need yoga because it’s imperative that you are able to keep calm when dealing with Ticketmaster, even when you get the dreaded error message that tells you that there’s a problem processing your order when you pulled the exact seats that you wanted (GA, in my case—if it’s not the pit, it’s not perfect!), and you get thrown back into the queue, then told there are no tickets available.
Normally, when this happens, I turn into the Incredible Hulk. Literally. I turn green, sprout massive muscles, and run around smashing everything in my path yelling, “SARA MAD!” But with yoga’s meditation techniques, I’ve been able to control my anger to the point where I only turn slightly green, grow muscles that don’t destroy my clothes, and am able to grit my teeth, tell Ticketmaster to go do something that isn’t anatomically possible for it to do to itself, and keep hitting refresh, hoping that that tickets that an error message screwed someone else out of will pop back up for me to buy.
Trust me, without yoga, the cost of repairing the swath of destruction wreaked by Ticketmaster rage far exceeded the exorbitant Ticketmaster fees. And that’s saying something.
You also need to be prepared to type in the randomly generated “codes” that Ticketmaster provides to ensure that you’re human. And which are also the primary source of amusement for Ticketmaster employees other than causing system errors after giving you great tickets. One time the randomly-generated code said, “Nice try, loser,” right before saying there were no tickets available. Another time it said “No Bruce for you.” And another one said “ham sandwich.” (Okay, that one MIGHT have been random. Or it could have been a subtle jab at me because I’m Jewish and onto Ticketmaster about orchestrating the Holocaust.) But the more practice you have at reading and rapidly typing in those infuriating codes, the better your ticket chances are.
In order to get tickets to multiple shows (and let’s face it, I’m going to be at multiple shows on this tour), you sometimes need to perfect the art of being in multiple places at once. Tickets for both Philadelphia shows go on sale at the same time tomorrow (from ComcastTix, which is like Ticketmaster but with a less reliable website. Fail.). If you buy for one show, the second one will be sold out by the time you finish your purchase. I recommend cloning yourself and training your clone to buy tickets. However, I’m on a teacher’s salary and since it apparently costs $50,000 to clone a dog (and since cloning people isn’t legal… yet… muahahaha), that option is out for me. So if you can’t afford a clone, or have issues with playing God, you need a partner. I, for example, will be forced to rely on a less trained helper (my dad) to get tickets for the other Philly night. Pray for me. (Just kidding, daddy! I have faith in your abilities! But please try hard!)
And it’s wise to remember that buying tickets is a marathon, not a sprint. Because I’m not JUST planning to go to shows in New Jersey, which go on sale today. Oh no. I’m getting up early on a Saturday to buy my tickets for the DC and Philly shows tomorrow.
But even once I get my tickets, it’s not time to rest yet. It’s just time to start training to buy my tickets for the second US leg of the tour, which hasn’t even been announced yet.
And time to start training for pit survival--If you don’t condition your legs and bladder, that’s an uncomfortable experience. Worth every second of it, but uncomfortable all the same.
Good luck fellow tramps!
Let the ticket-buying begin!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I get told pretty frequently that my life must be awesome because hot girls have it easy.
To which I usually flip my perfectly coiffed hair over my shoulder, flash a brilliantly white smile, and say thanks.
Except I secretly want to stab people who say that.
Because I’m about to let you in on a well-kept secret: hot girls have problems too.
Now I know you’re reading this and thinking, Sure. Uh huh. Hot girl problems are tragic. Right.
Well we do. Because NO ONE rolls out of bed in the morning looking like this, despite what movies and tv shows will have you believe. Not even supermodels.
In fact, supermodels have a whole team of people who make sure they look that good whenever there could be a camera around. Which is why it’s so crazily amusing to Google pictures of celebrities without makeup. Seriously. Miranda Kerr looks like Gollum when she’s not wearing makeup. Which I guess makes sense, since her husband, Orlando Bloom was IN those movies. But still.
No, it takes work to look like this. Let’s start with the hair. Everyone knows that long hair is super sexy. But do you know how much work long hair takes to maintain? I, for example, have a jewfro. But you wouldn’t know that without me telling you because I’ve spent countless hours and huge sums of money taming it. On average, it takes me over two hours to blowdry and flatiron my hair to get it to be perfectly straight but with JUST the right amount of volume as well. That’s two hours that I could be spending sleeping, writing my next novel, learning a new language, or just generally having a life.
But no. Instead, I’m making sure that my hair fits through doors. Hot girl problems.
And sticking on the subject of pesky follicles: body hair. Hot girls can’t have any. So I shave my legs every single day. Yes, even in winter. That’s another 15 minutes earlier that I have to get up in the morning. And I don’t care what anyone tells you, waxing sucks. Men, unless you have had all of the hair ripped out of your nether regions by a small Asian woman wielding hot wax on a tongue depressor, don’t even start with me. I know how much you whine when your girlfriend plucks your unibrow, but trust me, that’s nothing compared to the pain that the Brazilians have inflicted upon women.
And no one likes their women to be too pale, so tanning is necessary. But tanning causes cancer. And, in extreme cases, Jersey-Shore-ism, a horrible disease where you turn completely orange and your entire face peels off, Pauly-D style. So we come upon yet another hot girl problem—avoiding being too pale without looking like you work for Willy Wonka or getting cancer. Marilyn was wrong—diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend. Bronzer is.
On second thought, no.
Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend. Bronzer just helps her make those friends.
Which brings us to makeup. Yes, I love makeup. But I’m pretty sure I spend more annually at Sephora and Ulta than the running budget of a moderately-sized first world country. I wouldn’t quite go as big as France, but definitely significantly more than it takes to run Portugal or England.
But Sara, that’s crazy!
No, it’s just another hot girl problem.
The trick, however, is to use enough makeup to make it look like you’re not wearing any. So in addition to being master depilators, hot girls have to be artists, and in some cases, magicians. Because we’re also hiding the fact that we get MUCH less sleep than the average-looking members of the population due to all the time it takes to look as good as we do. But, if you use too much makeup, the hotness factor is negated. That’s why they gave all the Jersey Shore girls (except Deena, whom no one anywhere would EVER confuse with a hot girl, even with the thickest beer goggles on the planet) make-UNDERS.
But making sure that we look our best at all times isn’t the only source of hot girl problems.
There are also huge misconceptions about hot girls that we have to fight each and every day.
For example, contrary to popular belief, a woman’s intelligence cannot be calculated as inversely proportional to her breast size. If that formula worked, you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now because I would be too busy running around with a pot on my head, letting my teeny, tiny pea-sized brain rattle all around in the big empty wasteland above my shoulders to write it. Sorry fellas.
And a lot of people think that if a girl is hot, she’s automatically a bitch—well—oh okay, that one is usually true.
But the one about how we never have to buy ourselves a drink, that one is totally—hmm… well I guess that’s true too.
Come to think of it, I guess I should stop complaining. Being a hot girl does have plenty of advantages that just about outweigh the amount of time and energy that it takes to look this good.
And I’m sure the rest of the population has their problems too.
Like earning enough money to pay for all of our drinks.
(And for anyone who didn’t figure it out, this entire post was satirical and I’m really not a stuck up, horrible person who goes around telling everyone how hot I am. But my hair DOES take two hours to dry and straighten. So please go buy my books so I can afford to get it Brazilian straightened again and fight the ‘fro when the weather gets warmer! Otherwise, you might just be its next victim!*)
*Not a threat because I have zero control over who the jewfro attacks. It could be you. It could be someone in Paraguay. It could be anyone. But if my books sell well enough, I’ll earn enough money to keep it tame for a few more months and humanity will be safe again.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I like scary movies.
I’m not talking about the crazily gruesome Saw/Human Centipede variety. You couldn’t pay me to watch those.
But genuine horror movies, when done well, are awesome.
A good horror movie doesn’t just make you jump during the film—it does that too, don’t get me wrong—but a REALLY good horror movie will keep you scared LONG after you leave the theater. If you’re not cowering under the covers with the lights on for a week, the movie didn’t do its job.
Stephen King is, of course, the master of horror. The movies of his books didn’t really scare me, but I’m still haunted by some of his creations. I first read The Shining when I was twelve years old, and to this day, I STILL have to turn on the lights when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night to make sure that the chick from the bathtub in room 217 isn’t in MY bathtub.
Paranormal Activity didn’t scare me THAT much until my calendar fell off the wall about an hour after watching it. But it succeeded because I definitely debated putting baby powder around my bed to see if a demon stepped in it that night, and made Rosie sleep on the outside of the bed, just so the demon would eat her first.
The same thing happened with The Ring. I wasn’t particularly scared at the time. But when I fell asleep with the tv on a week later and woke up that night to snow on the screen, then realized it was EXACTLY seven days after I’d watched the movie, I went diving into my roommate’s room and insisted on sleeping in her bed. Turns out the cable was just out, but I wasn’t taking any chances!
But there’s nothing worse than a failure of a horror movie.
Trust me. I know from experience.
Because I saw The Devil Inside Friday night and it was the second worst movie-going experience of my life. The first being having to watch the anal rape scene in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sitting between my mother and grandmother on Christmas day. Seriously. It was up there with THAT level of bad.
The problem? There wasn’t a single truly scary moment in the whole movie.
Literally, the scariest thing that happened in it was when the characters walk past a fenced-in yard and a dog jumps out and starts barking from behind the fence.
I’m not kidding.
And considering that the previews looked super-scary, I don’t understand how it can have epic-failed as much as it did.
People in the theater actually booed when it ended. I’ve never seen that happen before.
I could summarize all of the reasons why it completely sucked, but I’m not even going to dignify the movie with that level of description. Instead, I’m going to give you a list of things that scare me MORE than The Devil Inside.
1. Stink bugs—I almost crashed my car on four separate occasions when I noticed stink bugs in my car. MUCH scarier than that movie.
2. ET—That little alien scares the crap out of me. I mean, he appears to me made of brown leather, his heart glows, he hides in your closet and eats all of the Reese's Pieces. NOT okay.
3. Twilight fans—these tweens are going to be running the world someday. Be afraid.
4. Joan Rivers’ face—do I need to explain this one?
5. Lady Gaga—I like her. I do. But I'm also scared of her.
6. Peeing on the third rail of the Metro—granted, I’m a girl and would have to literally be right on top of it to try this, and I have no intention of ever doing it. But if you really COULD get electrocuted from peeing on it, that’s scary as hell.
7. Cats—pure unadulterated evil. Except the ones that look like Hitler. They’re ok in my book.
8. Walt Disney’s frozen head—okay, say they find a cure for whatever killed him and bring him back. He’s just going to be a semi-defrosted head. I think if you’re dead, you need to stay dead. And if you’re frozen, STAY FROZEN.
9. The MVA—Call me sheltered if you will, but I never realized the scum of humanity that exists until I went to renew my driver’s license. I’d stay in the Overlook all alone for the winter over going back there, ANY day.
10. Those condoms that are advertised as being 40 percent thinner—I don’t know about you, but when it comes to something that’s supposed to be protection against AIDS, less is NOT more. I feel like if you use those, to quote Mean Girls, you WILL get pregnant and die.
11. The old ladies who walk around buck naked in the gym locker room—Like okay, I understand you need to change your clothes in there. But do you need to dry your hair naked? Or try to have a conversation with me? It’s disturbing!
12. The lion and tiger habitats at the zoo—every once in awhile, you hear those stories about the jungle cats just deciding to leap over the wall. And I know they can. So the lesson here is, do NOT taunt the tigers. They CAN eat you if they want to.
13. Walmart—I’ve never been there and I have no intention of going there. But looking at peopleofwalmart.com means that I know Walmart is scarier than that movie was.
14. The Loch Ness Monster.
15. Pennies--No, they’re not scary. But neither was The Devil Inside. Then again, my brother swallowed one once. So next time you're handing a penny, just remember, someone might have pooped that out before you touched it. Come to think of it, that's pretty scary. And gross.
16. The fact that someone actually green-lit this idiocy of a script and MADE THIS MOVIE. Seriously. Our society has reached an all-time low point now.
All I can say is the The Woman in Black better be actually scary, despite starring Harry Potter. Because I’m planning to see that one, and if it’s even half as bad as The Devil Inside, the creators of those movies are going to have something REALLY scary to fear.
Because I want a refund on both the money AND the time I wasted watching that crap.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
In case you somehow missed the memo (or drank so much that you no longer remember anything), it’s now 2012. Which means we have less than a year less to live.
Just kidding. That Mayan stuff is crap. Sorry kids, you still have to do your homework, the world isn’t ending…
But it IS the time for resolutions.
But not for me—I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. The last time I made one, I resolved not to make a horrified face when I see really ugly people. That didn’t even last until 12:02am. I DID make it a whole minute without making a face when I saw ugly people, but two minutes? Come on, a girl has her limits!
(Side note, when I explained that to one of my former students, Ana told me that the reason I failed in that resolution was because I shouldn’t make resolutions that go against my natural instincts. But if THAT were true, I’d literally own ten billion pairs of shoes and sit around eating cake all day. Because my natural instincts say I should buy all of the pretty shoes I see and eat a lot of cake. Yes, I’d be happy if I resolved to follow that, but I’d also be poor and fat, which would, in turn, destroy the shoe-and-cake-induced happiness. Fat and happy is an oxymoron in my world. Thanks mom.)
Most people, however, are big fans of this whole New Year’s resolution thing. And unfortunately, the most common resolution made is to go to the gym more often.
Which is the REAL reason that I hate New Year’s resolutions and refuse to make them.
Because you see, I am a gym rat. I have been since college, which was a long time ago if you know my real age, and a couple of years ago if you don’t. It used to be so bad that the trainers at my gym would occasionally introduce me when they gave new members a tour. Because I was there THAT often.
Yes, I took a bit of an extended hiatus after getting Rosie (because playing with a puppy is a LOT more fun than running on a treadmill. And she’s so cute!), but I’ve been back in the swing of it for a while now and am insanely addicted again.
|How can I resist that face??|
Which is why I’m NOT okay with these New Year’s resolution people.
Every year, they flock to the gym like the fat little lemmings that they are and ruin my workout for a month and a half.
I know, I know, you want to tweet this with the hashtag #firstworldproblems (or possibly #spoiledwhitegirlproblems), but it’s really obnoxious. Because gyms aren’t built to handle the crowds from January 1-February 15. If you tried to Metro downtown for any part of the Obama inauguration, you understand my pain. There just isn’t enough gym space to accommodate the crowds.
And it doesn’t help that these particular crowds are out of shape, monstrously overweight, and really, REALLY sweaty.
I mean, okay, I’ve been sweated on before. It’s never pleasant. Not even when you’re in the front row at a Springsteen show and it’s Bruce sweating on you. But I’d prefer that ANY day over the residual drenching you get if you’re next to a New Year’s resolution person who resembles a hippopotamus on the treadmill. Seriously. These people need to come with signs like they have in the splash zone for Shamu at Sea World. If you’re within two machines of these people, you WILL get wet.
Going to the gym in January seriously makes me want to cry sometimes.
But I have a solution! (Come on, you knew that was coming… I’m the girl who suggested we get rid of Delaware and give their Congressional votes to DC to stop the “Taxation without representation” whining, and suggested we kick Texas out of the Union and conquer Canada—of COURSE I know how to solve the January gym problem!)
Everyone knows that the New Year’s resolution people will stop going to the gym by mid-February at the latest. Sure, a dozen or so will keep going until halfway through March, and of those, one or two will actually become gym nuts and keep it up. Gyms can handle that kind of growth—because sometimes older gym members die. Or move away. Or get puppies. You know—the circle of life.
So it’s not like the gyms really need to expand—that wouldn’t be cost efficient for the rest of the year. But you know those Halloween stores that pop up in September and are only open until the first week of November?
Yup. We need seasonal gyms.
But here’s the genius part of the plan: they need to be advertised as seasonal gyms. Because the New Year’s resolution people are NEVER going to join a gym that’s going to close in two months. They actually BELIEVE that they’re going to keep this exercise thing up. Despite the fact that they sound like emphysemic hyenas as soon as their heart rates get above 90.
We loyal gym rats, however, would LOVE to go to a gym that’s going to only be serious exercisers until the New Year’s crowd returns to their couches for the rest of the year. I personally would be HAPPY to pay extra to get to go to a gym where the sound of man-boobs flapping won’t overpower my iPod.
And the beauty of this plan is that those stores would be LONG vacant again by the time the space is needed for Halloween stores. It’s a win-win.
But until the gym industry keeps on and fixes this problem, I guess I DO need to make a resolution this year after all: I resolve to be encouraging to the people who want to change their lives by exercising this year.
And to wear a wetsuit to the gym for the next month and a half. Because there’s no humanly possible way to be encouraging to someone who is spraying you with the sweat from under their man boobs.
A girl has her limits after all.