: got nomophobia? :

July 23, 2014 § 12 Comments

Don’t laugh. You probably do. Nomophobia, you see, is shorthand for ‘no-mobile-phone phobia’ — which is a fancy way of saying separation anxiety. shocked-woman

Yeah, not so funny now, is it? 66% of you all have it — that’s two-thirds if you’re keeping score, a pretty lopsided majority. Now, way back when nomophobia was first identified in 2008, only 53% of us were afflicted. These days, it’s the most widespread phobia in the world, practically epidemic.

We’re hopelessly besotted with our smartphones. We check them upwards of 34 times a day. So ubiquitous are these things, they’ve quietly replaced the wristwatch as the timepiece of choice. We’d rather gaze into the glare of a 4-inch screen than look upon a beautifully crafted work of art. What does that say about us? Nothing good, I’m afraid.

Cheer up, though, there are worse things. And all of them emanate from our deep and abiding love for technology. Ever hear of scrotal hyperthermia? No? That’s what you get when a laptop is, literally, atop a lap. The temperature in said region shoots up as much as 6º in an hour and sperm production halts.

How about erythema ab igne? Maybe you know it as toasted-skin syndrome or laptop thigh, it’s the lacy discoloration of skin caused by excessive heat. The main culprits used to be heating pads and hot water bottles, things we now consider quaint. Remember them? Now, we’re more likely to sit with a laptop on our sore backs.

And you’re familiar with texting thumb, aren’t you? Sure you are, that’s when you work the poor thing to death with your constant texting and emails. But my favorite new ailment is phantom vibration syndrome. It has us believing the phone’s ringing (or vibrating) when it’s not. Yes, boys and girls, we’re starting to hallucinate.

Surprisingly, I don’t suffer from any of those; I suffer from iPosture. Or cervicalgia. Oh, why mince words; it’s a hunchback. We get it from slumping over computers and cell phones. Recent evidence also suggests such poor posture contributes to making us dumber, as well. Who cares, right? We look like Quasimodo — brains won’t help.

Here’s the kicker: I read where many people consider their phones the modern equivalent of the newspaper. You know why? Because they take it to the john with them. That’s gross. Come on, get away from that smartphone. You don’t know where that thing’s been. Ew.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: a sing along for wordaholics :

July 17, 2014 § 17 Comments

Follow the bouncing period, boys and girls.

It’s Weird Al Yankovic performing Word Crimes, a grammar freak’s delight. There’s something for everyone here: punctuation, emoticons, grammar tips, hashtags, sentence diagramming, parts of speech, proofreading symbols, double entendres, fun design, the whole enchilada.

Just you watch, the video’s a gas. Sort of a writer’s pornography set to music. But it’s lexicography and totally legal. phew

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: finding the fountain of youth :

July 16, 2014 § 8 Comments

Throughout history, people searched for a Fountain of Youth. They looked high and they looked low. Sensible, lucid people like Alexander the Great (356 — 323 B.C.), Prester John (12th century A.D.), and Ponce de León (1460 — 1521). They weren’t all hucksters and lunatics.

fountain of youth

Five hundred years later we’re still chasing the fantasy, but narrowing the search. We’re down to cosmetics counters and skin care aisles. Although we haven’t ruled out late night infomercials, so we troll the cable stations, just in case. What we’ve discovered is a bounty of pricey moisturizers and diet supplements and naiveté. If those aren’t enough, there’s always plastic surgery.

publish

Well, guess what. The Fountain of Youth isn’t a fountain or a lotion or a surgical procedure. It’s a button, ladies and gentlemen, the blue one that says ‘Publish’. The instant you press that thing, presto chango, you’re an awkward, self-conscious 12-year old waiting to be picked in gym class. All elbows and knees and orthodontia, silently pleading ‘pick me, pick me, puh-leeeze pick me’.

It’s awful. And it’s thrilling. In one quick, easy step, you go from confident, dignified grown-up to insecure, flustered adolescent. You’re knee-deep in anxieties, convinced you’ll be the biggest laughingstock in Internet history. Hello, puberty, long time no see.

You’re riddled with doubts, beset with them. What were you thinking, you ask yourself? Are you crazy? No one’s going to read that, it stinks. Sure, the piece was fine, what?, six seconds ago, but now it’s a woeful lapse in judgment. A spectacular, flaming embarrassment.

That, my friends, is adolescent angst, pure and simple.

Thus begins the long, agonizing wait between Publish and Like, which is nothing short of torture. Cheeks flush, eyes dart, there’s fidgeting and squirming. What we want is to disappear, for the floor to open up and swallow us whol — wait, is that a … it is. It’s a like. Oh, yay and hallelujah. What a relief, we don’t suck. We have worth. We can breathe.

Still want to be young again? Fine, hit Publish. Go ahead, I dare you, nyah nyah.

Wow, I’ve got to grow up, I haven’t even pressed the button yet.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: read this :

July 8, 2014 § 12 Comments

No, not this, the face. Read the face. Pissed off is written all over it.

grumpHow do they do that? How can one face say so damn much with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth? Seriously, where does it keep its pencil?

It’s been my experience that faces are bigger talkers than mouths. Trust me, I know; I’m afflicted with both. What my face doesn’t say, my mouth does, the trigger-happy son of a gun. But my face is the real troublemaker here. It’s an obnoxious blabbermouth; yap-yap, yap-yap-yap all day long. I can’t shut the thing up.

What can I do, wear a bag over my head? Gee, that wouldn’t look suspicious, would it? Nah, try it. Walk into a bank with a bag over your head. Or wearing a hood. Yeah, talk your way out of that one, Houdini. Me, I’d talk my way straight into a 30-year prison sentence. I’ll pass.

So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to stick to e-mails and texting. There’ll be none of this face-to-face crap. No phone calls, either; no voice mails, no selfies, nothing. Email and text — that’s it. Oh, maybe the occasional card, but that’s where I draw the line. Understand?

I don’t trust my face and my mouth is a genuine loose cannon, so I’m putting a sock in it — so to speak. I’ll still post, of course, courtesy of the ‘delete’ key. That’s my absolute favorite button, delete. It gives you the satisfaction of saying what you want to say exactly the way you want to say it, without the unfortunate consequences. I love that.

You lucky stiffs with impassive, unreadable expressions don’t know how easy you have it. Your mugs can actually keep a secret. They don’t go around spilling their guts, well, your guts, really. Some of them are as tight-lipped and inscrutable as a sphinx. I want a face like that, a poker face. I’d love to keep my thoughts to myself just once in my life.

And a pink unicorn, too, as long as we’re at it.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: happy summer solstice :

June 21, 2014 § 8 Comments

sun

What the heck are you doing in here? Go outside, enjoy the sunshine. Summer’s here. It arrived this morning at 6:51 a.m., Eastern Daylight time, the longest day of the year for us poor schmoes in the Northern Hemisphere — yeah, the frigid one. We’ll have 16 hours and 17 minutes of sweet, sweet daylight today.

The dark days of wint — sorry — win. Hang on, the dark days of w-w-w — I can’t say it. That other season is long gone. And good riddance.

So turn off the air conditioning and throw open the windows. Life wasn’t meant to be a climate-controlled affair. It’s okay to sweat a little; it won’t kill you. But, be kind to the environment, apply a fresh-scented deodorant. Thank you.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

 

 

: the pressure cooker :

June 17, 2014 § 10 Comments

pressure cooker

I stuff envelopes for a living, if you call minimum wage a ‘living’. I seal them, label them, and send them through a postage meter. I collate and staple, tape and bind; I enter data into a computer. I tote that barge and lift that bale.

My official title is Clerical Assistant. Unofficially, I go by gofer, lackey, peon, grunt, flunky, or you there; take your pick. I get a thirty-minute unpaid lunch and a ten-minute break. No paid holidays. No sick days. No vacation time. I’m rock bottom on the organization chart, my friends — the place where all the shit rolls to a full stop.

It’s a job, entry-level and part-time. Lives are not at stake. It isn’t a career or a calling or a profession; it’s just a job and a lousy one at that.

Piece of cake, right? A gig where your biggest worry is a paper cut? Don’t you believe it — that place is a pressure cooker. Working there is as stressful as a stint in the bomb squad. Seriously. I can’t snip the wrong wire, exactly, but I can unleash mayhem with office supplies. You know, paper clips and staplers, toner, that stuff.

The unfortumicroscopenate truth is, I work for a high-strung neurotic who harbors a deep and abiding fear of change. Any change; she simply will not stand for it. And what am I, the new girl, if not a big, unwelcome change? Well, I’m trouble, that’s what, and I bear watching. Those squinty, beady eyes are on me every minute of the working day. An ankle monitor wouldn’t be as vigilant in tracking my every move. You know what I’ve learned from this?

I don’t like being watched.

It makes me totally self-conscious. I become a bumbling, butterfingered, flustered version of myself. I lose my train of thought, my mind goes blank, and I sweat like a beer bottle. Why is that? The fate of nations isn’t hanging in the balance, I’m only labeling envelopes. Or sorting screws. Or taping flyers. I need to get a grip. But that woman rattles me.

Or did until she confiscated my pen. She just swooped in and whisked it away while I punched out perforations with it — an unauthorized use of office equipment, she said.

This, dear reader, is war.

bored

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

 

: careful where you point those things :

June 13, 2014 § 12 Comments

fingers pointing

Today, boys and girls, is the first Friday the 13th of the year, do you know what that means? It’s National Blame Someone Else Day! Woohoo, right?

No, wrong. Payback’s a bitch and so is karma — false accusations are costly. There’s medical expenses for the severe beating you’ll have coming; attorney’s fees, court costs, airfare to flee the jurisdiction. It adds up fast, dude. You might want to rethink your strategy.

Finger-pointing only seems like good, clean fun until someone gets hurt. That someone will, in all likelihood, be you, señor. Especially if you point at someone bigger and stronger and meaner, which narrows the field considerably, doesn’t it?

So if you plan to participate in the Blame Someone Else activities, please be careful. Or, heck, avoid the hassle and blowback altogether and blame me, Lisa at publikworks. I’m a blame magnet. I’ll take the fall, no questions asked and backlash-free, for the low, low price of $49.95. *

Do this. Next time you screw up or one of your jackass pranks goes sideways, point your finger at 1-800-BLAME-ME. And walk away scot-free.

Operators are standing by.

* Criminal charges extra $$. Tax and license included. Member FDIC.

finger

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