Archive for September, 2010

The Anger Ball vs. Wednesday: Pt. 19

You win, Wednesday. You fucking win.

The Anger Ball: 7
Wednesday: 8.5

I am going to punch you in the Face(book)

Continuing my theme of websites that drive me crazy, let’s talk about the one everyone loves to hate: Facebook.

But, akin to my gripe with FML, I don’t really want to talk about the site itself as much as the people who use it. I know everyone likes to complain about Facebook’s various privacy issues, but if you’re using the site you either need to stay aware of their changing policies or you need to NOT POST PERSONAL INFORMATION. It’s a non-issue to me.

ANYWAY. My problem with Facebook isn’t their labyrinthine privacy policy. It is the people who try to friend me when WE WERE NEVER FUCKING FRIENDS.

I willingly joined Facebook when my friends and I started to graduate from college, because some of them were a year ahead and I wanted an easy way to keep in touch. Even now I don’t use it with great regularity. I just check in to see what my friends are up to, but the ones I’m close to I always e-mail or keep in touch with in other ways as well. The problem with Facebook is when people from middle school or high school see my name pop up on a friend’s page and are like “Oh, Anger Ball! I wonder what they’re up to!” And then they friend request me.

Then I see this friend request and I think “What is this fucking asshole doing trying to friend me? Did they forget the part where they made my middle/high school life a living hell?” Apparently, they did. But it should surprise no one that I NEVER FORGET.

So I just ignore it, and usually it goes away. BUT SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON’T GET THE FUCKING HINT AND REQUEST ME AGAIN.

I’m going to break it down, then: If you friend request someone on Facebook, or a similar site, and they do not accept it, they either do not check their page with regularity or THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE FRIENDS. Either way, requesting them AGAIN will accomplish NOTHING. SO FUCKING CUT IT OUT. TAKE THE HINT.

I will admit that sometimes I’ve gotten a surprise request from someone that I was acquaintances with or I hadn’t thought about in years but would like to catch up with. But more often than not I get requests from people who seem to have amnesia and are living under the delusion that I want them back in my life. I don’t know if it’s the rising urge for people to feel like they have a zillion friends (hint: the number of Facebook friends does not equal the number of actual friends a person has) or what, but I’ve had so many people whom I’ve wished death upon be like “LOL LET’S BE FACEBOOK FRIENDS” that if I could, I would take them back in time to middle school and be like “REMEMBER THIS? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I’D WANT TO BE YOUR FUCKING FRIEND, ASSHOLE?”

The other thing is that there is the ability to send a message with a request. So maybe if one of these assholes that suddenly thinks we were BFF sent me a message being like “Hey, I know I tormented you but my therapist says I should try and make amends and I’m sorry,” I could at least understand where the urge to friend me came from (although the answer would still be no, jackass). But 99% of the time I’m left in the dark about their reasons, with just a random friend request sitting there with no explanation. So the only choice I have is to assume that they just want to see if they’re more successful or better off than I am or something equally petty and stupid (and not indicative of happiness), and I am just not interested in that bullshit. ALSO I HATE YOU SO FUCK OFF.

The other annoying thing is when people you met once, at some random place, look you up on Facebook, sometimes months later, and try to friend you. This happened with me with someone I met at a competition whom I didn’t even particularly LIKE. But he friend requested me out of the blue, and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. I met him a handful of times (a yearly competition) and he was a complete pompous asshole every time, which, surprise surprise, is NOT A PERSONALITY TYPE I RESPOND WELL TO, so I just avoided him, and apparently he thought that meant we were friendly enough for him to look me up on Facebook. UH, NO. THAT IS NOT HOW THE WORLD WORKS. Breaking news: If someone is AVOIDING YOU, it means they DO NOT LIKE YOU.

I think there should be mandatory Facebook etiquette courses that people have to take when they sign up, because I hear about this shit happening ALL THE TIME to my friends. Like, if there could just be a checklist that was provided to the idiots, to keep them from bothering the people who only want to friend ACTUAL FRIENDS on Facebook, that would make it so much more tolerable. I imagine the checklist would look something like this:

    Do you know how to spell this person’s name?
    When was the last time you spoke to them?
    What was your past relationship with them like?
    Did you pick on them in school?
    Why the hell do you think they want to be friends with you or care about your life?
    Are you just lonely and want to feel like people love you?

I can think of many more things the checklist could say, but they eventually all devolve into: “DELETE YOUR PROFILE AND JUST GO SIT IN THE CORNER. STOP BOTHERING EVERYONE.”

I understand wanting to connect with old friends that you might have lost touch with for various reasons. But if half of these people have as hard a time in real life distinguishing between “friend” and “person who hates me,” I can only imagine how much fun their birthday parties must be. “Sally got me a box of razor blades again; I just don’t get it!”

The Anger Ball vs. Wednesday: Pts. 15–18

Alas, I have been remiss in relaying my encounters with Wednesday. I must admit it’s partly because she has been laying low during the usual attack times and then relentlessly attacking just as I have thought her to be gone. As you can guess from my infrequent posting, life has been kicking my ass, and I have no doubts that it is Wednesday’s doing.

She has downed servers, attacked families and probably ravaged villages to get to me. Sometimes, I have been able to meet her head on and overpower her despite the odds; other times, I have been crushed by her determination.

But as all epic battles do, this one still rages on. I must keep my guard up always as Wednesday has become a master of disguises and will stop at nothing to bring me down.

However, I have a few tricks left as well, so she had better be prepared for retaliation. In our last few battles she has been victorious, but even just this week I have dominated again. And now that I remember the feeling of triumph, I do not plan to let it go easily.

The Anger Ball: 7
Wednesday: 7.5

Sometimes it’s karma

Let’s ease back into the daily anger with something that’s been stewing in my head for awhile. But I think it’s ready now for public exposure.

Like most people who peruse the Internet, I enjoy going to certain popular websites, such as I Can Has Cheezburger, Not Always Right, Overheard in New York (or their derivative websites), etc. Mostly, I am amused by all of these things. But there is one that I find to be infuriating, and that is Fuck My Life. Because most of the people who post don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between karma/consequences and actual FML moments.

I know that they have a “rating” system or whatever, but that doesn’t stop me from rolling my eyes when I see an entry that says “Today, my girl/boyfriend caught me cheating! FML.” Really, asshole? Breaking news: That’s called karma and you deserved it. I can’t fucking fathom what makes someone decide to even bother posting that or similar stories. Sure, maybe some other assholes out there will think “Dude, that totally sucks,” but those are generally people that other people DO NOT LIKE. Because they’re cheating assholes. Sorry if I don’t fucking cry a river for you when you get what you deserve. Instead, I think about how I hope your significant other(s) beat the shit out of you and how I hope you never find happiness again in your life.

Maybe that seems harsh, but let’s break it down. There’s a difference between having an open relationship and tricking your partner into thinking it’s a monogamous relationship when you’re really seeing countless other people on the side. An open relationship is perfectly fine. Cheating means you’re an asshole. Simple, right?

But those entries aren’t the only ones that piss me off. Then you get the people who are just so idiotic it’s almost painful to even read about. People who harass the homeless and are surprised when they retaliate! People who forget to do homework and try (and fail) to lie to the teacher about why! Alcoholic parents who are in denial about it! People who pretend to be cops and get caught by real cops! I could continue, but I think you get the point. Where do all these idiotic assholes come from, and why do they expect sympathy for their stupidity? The only thing I’m sorry about is that nobody bothered to teach them to use their brain, and I’m only sorry about that because now they’re harassing me with their dumbassery. Breaking news: These aren’t “fuck my life” moments. These are just “fuck you, asshole” moments.

I categorize this under Special Snowflake Syndrome because that’s the only reason I can think of for why some of these people bother to share these stories with the Internet. I understand complaining to your friends about some of these things (although not the cheating, because I would expect my friends to punch me if I ever did something that stupid and was baffled when I got caught), or telling them as funny stories to people you know in a “Sometimes I forget how to use my brain” way (because let’s be honest, we ALL have those moments. Most of us just don’t like to share them with strangers). But these people really seem to think that the consequences of their actions are undeserved and that other people would feel sorry for them. They really seem to think that their life sucks because they got caught breaking the law or being a bully or any other countless reprehensible things. Breaking news: Those are just consequences of your poor life choices. They aren’t undeserved bad things happening for no reason, which would be true FML moments.

And, honestly, the rating system just makes everything more depressing and enraging, because even on the entries that have more “you deserved it” votes, there are STILL PEOPLE VOTING THE OTHER WAY. ALWAYS. Which means there are numerous people out there who maybe don’t post on FML but also have the same lack of understanding of a consequence vs. an undeserved bad thing. It makes me weep for the world, because it’s possible that someday someone will post: “Today, I murdered someone and got caught. Now I’m facing the death penalty. FML” and people will ACTUALLY SYMPATHIZE WITH THAT ASSHOLE. I’m sure that seems like a big jump, but I don’t think it is, actually, considering some of the posts I’ve read on FML. The person who was pretending to be a cop and got caught had sympathy voters, and that’s a pretty major offense, and that’s just one example. All you have to do is browse the first five pages of FML’s site to find more examples of people breaking actual laws and lamenting when they’re caught.

So while I do like reading FML, I actually more often than not avoid it for the sake of my brain cells, who don’t deserve to suffer because of someone else’s severe lack of intelligence and inflated sense of self-importance. Such a small percentage of posts are actual FML moments that it’s just depressing knowing that these assholes are out there walking around thinking that their life is so hard and not realizing that they deserve it.

And the worst part is there are no real repercussions for being a dumbass on the Internet, so these people just keep posting expecting (and receiving!) sympathy and never have the mental breakthrough of realizing that hey, sometimes you should be held responsible for your actions!

This is not the first time that I have wished to be able to punch people through the Internet, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Do us all a favor and stay home next time

Let’s talk a bit more about etiquette at a sporting event.

In a two-for-one offer, this post will also intersect with fashion! Hooray for everyone. Except for me, and my poor, poor eyeballs.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended three sessions of the US Open; two of them were back-to-back this past Saturday. Now, again, tennis fans are a different breed of enthusiast than other sports fans (I’m not saying they’re better or worse (okay, maybe I’m implying one of those)), so generally I find going to the Open to be a pleasant experience, and this time was no real exception. But we need to talk, people, about attire.

Flip-flops are the fucking bane of my existence. People wear them EVERYWHERE now, and they are almost never appropriate. Saturday was no exception. Significant Other and I were watching a doubles match, and some guy sits next to me on the bleachers wearing flip-flops. Okay, no real problem there; hundreds of people on Saturday were wearing them, so even though I think they’re only appropriate for the beach, I understand they’re socially acceptable for some fucking stupid reason.

But then the guy next to me kept slipping his flip-flops off and sticking his bare feet all over the place, and THAT IS NOT OKAY. He would cross his legs by putting his right or left ankle on the opposite knee, and his naked, ugly, smelly foot would be DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO MY KNEE and also to the backs of the people on the bleacher in front of him. NOT FUCKING COOL. NOBODY WANTS TO SEE YOUR FUCKING UGLY FEET ALL OVER THE PLACE.

On top of this grossness, the guy also was leaning all over the place like he was at home on his own couch. He would put his bag on the bleacher between me and him when there was NO SPACE THERE FOR IT, and then he’d lean on it and practically have his head on my shoulder.

Listen. I do not want some stranger’s dirty head leaning on me, especially not when I’m also trying to avoid their disgusting feet. Breaking news: This is public space, not your living room. Keep your fucking shoes on and sit up straight like the rest of us (or at least slouch in a such a way that YOU ARE NOT TOUCHING ME EW EW EW).

This is why I fucking hate flip-flops. People seem to take every opportunity to slip them off and be barefoot. Flip-flops are pretty much as close as you’re going to get to being barefoot in public without people thinking you’re homeless, but KEEP THEM ON YOUR FUCKING FEET. I don’t care if you just had a pedicure and think your toes are super cute or whatever. KEEP THEM ON. First off, the ground is DIRTY, so it doesn’t matter how clean your feet are—when they touch the ground, they will be DIRTY ALSO. But mostly, taking your shoes off in public is just fucking rude. You’re disregarding social norms (which sometimes are meant to be broken or challenged but NOT IN THIS CASE) and making people around you uncomfortable for the sake of your own personal comfort. Next time, wear shoes or sneakers you don’t mind keeping on your feet all day or JUST STAY HOME. Then you could fucking watch tennis naked if you wanted, and NOBODY KNOWS OR CARES.

It was especially sucky because I love watching doubles, and those matches aren’t really shown on TV. So I wanted to watch the whole match, which meant I WAS STUCK NEXT TO THIS ASSHOLE FOR LIKE AN HOUR. At one point I almost knocked his camera off the bench because he put it between us, as if he were at home and it was his fucking end table or some shit, and I didn’t know it was there. I should have picked the fucking thing up and tossed it into the trees, but I restrained myself. It would have been justice for having to deal with his disgusting feet all over the place.

Moving away from disgusting slobs and on to obnoxious spectators who act like know-it-alls, one of my other favorite types! Again this other asshole was watching the same doubles match. This match went 3 sets, which is the most sets doubles can play (2 out of 3 sets for the win, just FYI). At one point, one of the players got a medical time out, which is perfectly acceptable and within the rules. During this time, one of the spectators—an older, portly man (and yes, this is relevant)—took it upon himself to comment loudly on how the overall quality of the match just wasn’t that great. He just went on and on about how it really wasn’t that impressive and he could hit some of those shots back! BO-RING! Let’s get some exciting professional tennis out there, folks!

I wanted to punch this guy in the face so hard. Instead I just made snarky comments under my breath to SO. But this guy seriously needed to shut the fuck up. First off, there was no way he could hit any of these shots even a quarter as well as the players themselves. Second, the game was going to its MAXIMUM LENGTH, which generally indicates that the level of play is pretty good. Because if it wasn’t, one team would be CRUSHED by the other. So I have no idea what match this asshole was watching, but it certainly wasn’t the same one I was. And besides, this man couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a tennis ball from 2 feet away, so how could he even judge the quality of the tennis being played? He got winded just standing up to stretch.

Look, I know sports fans of all types loooooove to comment on players and strategies, etc. We all think we’re capable of being coaches when we’re watching our favorite sports being played. I do the same thing. But I only say it loud enough for SO or whoever I’m with to hear it. I don’t announce to all the spectators that this team or that player sucks so hard I could play better. Because it would be a lie, on multiple levels. Not to mention fucking annoying as hell.

So I’m not saying this asshole shouldn’t have the same right as everyone else to make comments about the sport he’s watching. I’m saying that he shouldn’t fucking talk so loud everyone can hear him, because some people don’t fucking agree and it made him sound like an idiot (or revealed him to be the idiot that he is, which is where I’m leaning in this). And I don’t mind when people say “Get it over the net!” or something like that, but I take issue generally when people start acting like they could have been the next McEnroe or Connors or Federer or whatever if only they were younger or in better shape or applied themselves more.

Breaking news: They’re all professionals at this sport, and you are just watching. So stop pretending you know better than the players and their coaches, because YOU DON’T. It’s one thing to be frustrated when your favorite player isn’t performing well and to yell things, but it’s another to “analyze” the play as if you know something. And if that’s something you like to do, then STAY HOME. Because as I mentioned in my last post, part of why I go to live matches is so I don’t have to listen to DUMBASS COMMENTARY. And if I’m going to listen to anyone’s dumbass commentary, it’s at least going to be from someone who knows what the fuck they’re talking about.

Anyway, time to stop ranting about tennis and go watch some instead, because ESPN2 and USOpen.org know the real meaning of a live video feed.

Your kid is the next McEnroe, but not in a good way

My attentive readers will already know that the only sport I care about is tennis. And the only grand slam (major tournament) I have easy access to is the US Open. So when the time comes (right now, for those who don’t know/don’t care), I like to try and attend at least one session.

This year, I’m attending three sessions. One was yesterday night—yep, I got to watch Roddick crash and burn. Oh, American men’s tennis. What happened to you? (Thankfully American women’s tennis isn’t doing quite so badly, hooray for the Williams sisters! And I guess we aren’t a complete embarrassment, since we do have the Bryan brothers in doubles. But anyway.) But that’s not what this post is about.

I’m here to talk about how fucking annoying going to a sporting event is. Now, my only experience is with tennis. But tennis is a bit of a different beast from other spectator sports. There are certain expectations from the crowd—and I don’t just mean by officials, I mean expectations by the crowd of the crowd. For example, if you’re in lodge section seating (lucky bastards), you are not allowed to enter or exit during a game because it can distract the players or officials. This means that everyone is fucking seated and enjoying and watching tennis.

If only this were true for the cheap seats, which are all I can afford. But no. People are constantly getting up and down and up and down and up and down. Right in the middle of points. Blocking people’s views of the exchange. Taking their sweet-ass time getting to their seat. What the fuck, people? Games in tennis aren’t generally that long (games make up a set make up a match, if you’re curious. I’m not here to explain the logistics; go use Wikipedia for that), so just wait until the fucking game is over. There’s usually a minute or so (or longer, depending) between each game. Use THAT time to get your fat ass out of the tiny seat to buy another fifty hot dogs. But if it’s the middle of a game, just keep your ass in the seat. And so help me if you get up in the middle of a POINT (meaning the players are in the process of HITTING THE BALL BACK AND FORTH). I will find you and kill you. Because unless it’s some kind of a medical emergency, there is NO REASON to get up in the middle of the action. People don’t do it at movies (usually), so why the fuck would you do it at a sporting event. You’re essentially missing THE BEST PART if you do that.

But you know what? Most of the time I deal with it without getting too outwardly cranky. People are compelled to drink beer and stuff their face with food (I don’t know WHY, though, since it’s all horrendously overpriced). And for some reason NO ONE can sit still anymore. Do you know how many times I left my seat during the Clijsters and Roddick matches Wednesday? Zero times. I stood up once during a change over (when players switch what side of the court they’re on) to stretch, but I didn’t leave my seat once. Now, I don’t expect everyone to marathon it like I do, but AT LEAST FUCKING USE YOUR BRAIN ABOUT IT. Breaking news: Maybe YOU don’t care about this particular point or game or even set, but I think a least one of the hundreds of people sitting near you does. SO DON’T STAND UP IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. Fucking hell. I mean, the tickets I get are the cheap ones, but they aren’t that cheap. I’m there to watch tennis, not to watch people stand and sit and stand and sit and stand. I get to do that on the train every week, thanks.

Trust me, if I could afford courtside seats, I would buy them. But I don’t have any spare organs to sell to finance that purchase.

But the reason I don’t get too annoyed is because I have to admit, most tennis fans are pretty excellent. As I was saying about the crowd expectations, the thing about tennis fans is that they’re quiet during points—even the fans who can’t sit still for them. Because that’s the expectation. And the US Open is generally considered the rowdiest of the grand slams, and even still I’m sure a football or baseball fan would be shocked at how a stadium of 23,000+ people will fall nearly dead silent when a player is about to serve. So I have to give props for that. And in fact, the umpire will request the fans pipe down if they’re being too loud. And instead of fans flipping off the umpire or yelling insults, they actually quiet down. Because other fans will get mad. I mean, in some ways, these are my people. Not in every way, though. Don’t get excited for me yet.

The Clijsters/Roddick matches were an evening session on Wednesday, meaning play started around 7:30pm. But sometimes this session can go to the wee hours of the morning (last night Roddick’s match ended at midnight, but if Clijsters had gone 3 sets and Roddick 5, we could have been there until 2 or so, I bet). Significant Other and I arrived around 7, bought some merchandise and were in the arena by 8. My dad and his girlfriend showed up shortly thereafter. And then a mother, father and kid sit behind us.

Now, I’m not against people bringing kids to sports. But this kid couldn’t have been older than 8 (I’m thinking 6, but I’m really bad at judging). I know school hasn’t started yet, but this kid’s bedtime has to be in the ballpark of 9:30, and that’s being generous. So they came to an evening session, which are known to sometimes run very, very late.

But I know that’s none of my business. What IS my business is when their fucking kid won’t stop loudly talking and narrating for THE ENTIRE TWO MATCHES. From the fucking minute they sat down (in the middle of the first set of Clijster’s match), the kid is asking what the score is and who’s winning and who won that point and what just happened. But more than that, he’s trying to keep score himself and is doing it wrong. There are GIANT DIGITAL SCOREBOARDS in the arena. So why didn’t his fucking idiot parents just tell him to look at those and shut the fuck up? Then he’s talking about how many people are watching at home and what’s the score? And what’s happening? And who’s winning? And what’s that player’s name?

ARGH.

Part of the reason I HATE watching tennis on TV is the commentators. The American commentators never shut the fuck up. And while I appreciate their knowledge and insight, sometimes I just like to WATCH A POINT HAPPEN without hearing what three commentators think of so-and-so’s new style or racket or outfit or personal life. The British commentators, for Wimbledon at least, are amazing. I listened to their radio feed while watching the matches online (no thanks to NBCSports), and it was blissful. They were quiet during points and then talked in the down time. THAT IS WHAT I WANT IT TO BE LIKE.

So I like going to live tennis when I can because I don’t have to hear the commentators constantly talking. I can just watch the tennis and make my own comments to SO or my dad or whatever, but since we’re all fans we really only talk during change overs. But last night I got to hear this fucking kid talk THE ENTIRE TIME. I’d actually choose John McEnroe’s commentary over that shit, and while I appreciate McEnroe as a tennis player and expert, I generally hate listening to his constant babble.

But the kicker about this fucking kid was that NOT ONCE did his parents tell him to just be quiet and watch the match. They sometimes stopped answering his questions, but the kid just KEPT TALKING. I mean, come on! I don’t usually mind young kids at sporting events, but this was insane. You shouldn’t be able to bring your child out in public if they can’t fucking keep their mouths shut for ten seconds. TEN BLISSFUL SECONDS WAS ALL I WANTED. Breaking news: Not everyone thinks that what your kid has to say is cute, funny or interesting. SO TEACH HIM TO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

The great thing, though, is that my dad’s girlfriend gets similarly annoyed by these things (and she’s not nearly as big a tennis fan as I am, so I feel a little more justified that the kid was just REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING), so her and I got to exchange looks and whispers about it. I try to avoid labeling kids as assholes—because I think it’s really the parents’ fault. But this kid came the closest. Still, the parents get about 95% of the blame for not even fucking trying.

The best part was at about 9:30 they got him ice cream. HE WAS QUIET WHILE HE ATE IT. I was about to run down to the concession stand and buy all the fucking ice cream they had just to keep the silence going. Because once the sugar was gone, he was babbling again. Thankfully, the Asshole family left at 10:30, so I got to watch Roddick crash and burn in blissful commentator-free silence.

So while I’m not opposed to people sharing sports with their children, I do think that they need to teach them some fucking stadium manners first. Or at least make a fucking effort to shut them the hell up. You might be able to filter out the incessant babble because you live with it, but the rest of us don’t have that ability. It was like a fucking drill going straight to my brain. And if I’m going to have an unnecessary lobotomy, I’m going to do it myself, thanks.


Monthly Raging

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