Monday, August 13, 2012

Content Craving: A Warning

Netflix.  Amazon Instant Video. iTunes.  The list goes on and on.  And I've finally coined a name for it (a name that I think is original, at least): DCC (Digital Content Cravings).  There are many cravings that do not harm the body (unlike craving, and thus eating, ten cupcakes), but may harm other areas of one's life.

Africa. Europe. Asia. Somewhere you saw in Budget Travel. If you're addicted to travel, you probably have a way cooler life, and photos, than I do.  I, too, have this obsession, but cannot feed it regularly, so it grows angry in a closet somewhere in this metaphor.  You've probably been to all six habitable continents, ridden a camel, and eaten something that would make Anthony Bourdain cringe.  But this addiction, at least,  usually results in a more well-rounded, globally conscious existence.  Been there.

Richard. Bob. Sam. That guy with dimples and funky "kicks".  If you're addicted to love (well, Robert Palmer said it best, "You're Gonna Have To Face It"), then you have probably spent a lot of money trying to looking pretty, meeting your dream man, and falling madly in love (again).  You will eventually break up with said love interest, but after damaging friendships in the time you spent obsessed with him, you may find a negative end to your love addiction: Spending Saturday night alone watching HGTV, crying into an empty pizza box.  Been there.

Ann Taylor Loft. Banana Republic.  Gap.  That thrift store where they have a "deal" on the most expensive used stuff you've ever laid eyes on.  If you're addicted to shopping, you may end up with beautiful things and experiences, but a mountain of debt, an empty bank account, and sense of desperation to sell everything on Craig's List.  And if money ain't a thing because you're wealthy (I hate probably have the new Stella McCartney bag AND a reality show), you may eventually end up poor (aka, living within MY means).  Since the emergence of the Internet, shopping has become too easy.  This type of obsession is one of the more common, and all kidding aside, serious addictions that Americans face, and it most closely relates to the reason for this post: Digital Content Cravings.  There NOW.

My latest, and greatest, harmless (as in, you won't lose your job or your dignity), but still harmful (as in, you may empty out that aforementioned bank account) obsession is adding to my digital library.  I would never have guessed ten years ago that I would be utterly obsessed with downloading digital content.  And I'm not talking books for grad school or my job.  I'm talking Mumford and Sons' new single AND season three of Pretty Little Liars.  I'm talking a flat monthly rate for all the episodes of Hoarders that will make me feel better about my own state of overall cleanliness.  I'm talking $1.99 per episode for the new stuff, people.  Or $1.29 for that "new hotness" (that new Mumford song IS awesome).  You may be thinking, "Everyone downloads stuff.  That's no addiction."  Wrong enablers.  It is BAD.  It's "I just got home from a rough day and all I want is that episode of Bethenny Getting Married when she pees in the bucket in her wedding dress" bad.  It's "I am already buying gas, snacks, and paying for a hotel room for this road trip, BUT let's go ahead and make THREE CDs of songs to listen to on it" bad.  It's even "I think I want Moe's tonight! Inner Voice: No, you can save that $5.00 and watch TWO episodes of the new season" bad.  This addiction, while not life-threatening, is also time consuming.  For the last few weeks, well, I've had some time to kill (okay, okay, you can hate me all my 12 month employee and Mommy friends).  So, instead of reading the new Emily Giffin book, or taking in a sunset, I often find myself on the computer realizing that I NEED three songs by Keith Sweatt in order to relive my youth (really!?), gazing into the eyes of Toby Cavanaugh, or trying to solve the latest mystery in Allison DuBois' dream, or even wondering what lies buried under those 400 plus milk cartons and piles of cat feces in that apartment.

My point is this.  It's a not so fine line, people.  It's a not so fine line between the click of a button, and having to change into real jeans instead of pajama pants, drive to Target, and pick up a DVD or a CD.  The digital age means money in the pocket of a lot of somebodies.  Make sure it doesn't mean you having to eat Ramen Noodles.

This has been a warning.  Now, I have some PLL to watch...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The End of Summer 2012

The End of Summer IS near!  Maybe not close enough, for those of us tired of sweating, melting, and withering in the seemingly endless heat of the South.  I always look forward to Fall for all of the obvious reasons (Football, Pumpkin beer, Festivals, 5Ks, and the list goes on).  However, I think sometimes the end of summer gets a bad rap.  The end of summer squeaks by without so much as a wave, much less a proper send-off.  So, I thought I would blog today about the end of summer.  Despite the sunburns it has dished out, it deserves a goodbye.

The best of Summer 2012:

Awesome, awesome start to the summer (well, my summer, which started in July) at the Shinedown concert.  Shinedown is hard rock enough for the Harley riders, but mainstream enough for your mama.  It's radio edit with an edge.  I really enjoyed an impromptu trip to Myrtle Beach for this show, at the House of Blues.  I liked the venue, which was enclosed, dark, and almost resembled a barn with several lofts, and the stage on the ground floor.  The show was fantastic, too.  Say what you will, hipsters, but sometimes playing the hits will get you everywhere with fans.

Another summer fun experience?  Food, of course.  I had some truly delicious meals in the QC.  I got to try Savannah Red during Queen's Feast/Restaurant Week, and it was phenomenal.  Talk about ambiance!  This sassy spot is tucked just inside the Marriott.  With warm oranges and reds presiding in the color palette, SR creates a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere as soon as you step through its doors.  Then, you're greeted with funky, interesting one-of-a-kind artwork, some on the wall and some functional, as the table is adorned with pottery.  You actually drink from a hand-made clay goblet.  The food itself was out of this world, from the spicy shrimp and grits to the Krispy Kreme bread pudding, served on fire!!  I felt like I was Katniss living it up in the Capitol.  Luckily, no one forced me into survival mode right afterward, because I practically had to be rolled out like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Another summer treat?  Time with family and friends at the pool, the beach, and lunch.  I love being able to take the time to spend with those I love.  I like having the time to squeeze baby Emory, take GK to the library, and go to lunch with Tara, Colleen, or Melissa!  I really like having the free time to drive to SC, so that I can get a few extra minutes with my amazing man.

Yep, Summer 2012 delivered in many ways.  The Olympics were fun to watch, and I was once-again reminded of my physical limitations, but inspired to keep doing what I do (Mediocre runners unite)!  It's a time when we can reach for white wine, even though we love red.  It's a place where naps are not only acceptable, but a daily habit which we chastise ourselves for at night.  As they say in Jamaica, "It's not's see you later!"  So, see you later, Summer.