Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Is This A Good Time to be Italian? [the Goomba Dance]

As part of my extended Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of spending an evening with my parents, who I do not see enough.  We went over for the purpose of hanging out, eating (of course), and setting up their new laptop.

I'm not sure how this came about but my parents were given a brand new laptop - a stunning Dell with a seventeen inch monitor.  The thing was so heavy my mother couldn't lift it.  I believe this was considered a desktop replacement.  I love large monitors so I didn't have any trouble with it.

Well, that's not entirely true....  when I turned the thing on, to my horror, the setup routine started.... for Windows Vista [cue suspenseful music].  Anyone who has read more than two entries here knows that I'm not exactly a Microsoft enthusiast (kinda like Steve Ballmer isn't a Mac enthusiast).  I haven't spent more than ten minutes cumulatively with Vista, which suited me just fine.  The time I did spend with Vista was painful: let's just leave it there.

After an evening of good food, great company, and setting up a laptop, my total Vista exposure is now up to four and a half hours or so.  Yes, it took four and a half hours to set up Vista on a laptop and download/apply the updates.

The machine had a core duo processor and four gigs of RAM so I was hesitant to blame the performance (or lack of thereof) on hardware.  Therefore I blame it on the pig of an operating system called Vista.

I manage to tolerate Windows 7 (a pig with lipstick) relatively well, especially as I have to use it for work.  Vista, on the other hand, is enough to make me pull the remaining hair out of my scalp, set it on fire, and run around Redmond, demanding their acknowledgement that I am indeed a chicken.

I'm hoping my parents won't complain about the slowdown they experience, going from an old laptop with XP to a relatively new one with Vista.  They're currently thrilled to have email again, so we shall all remain hopeful.  The bootup sequence alone on this porcine excuse for an operating system in positively leaden.  Small wonder they sold four copies of it.


During the interminable wait for Vista to load, my wife took advantage of my parents' cable connection to watch Real Housewives of New Jersey.

I am f-ing stunned.  There's simply no other way to put it.

Back at the homestead, we got rid of pay television due to finances and the utter wasteland comprising it.  We do not watch reality tv (or at least I don't) as a rule.  From the bits I've heard, it consists largely of people talking, ad nauseum, about themselves, as if everyone in the entire universe gave a rat's patootie.

Well, I don't like the way they keep house.  But enough about them, let's talk about me.

I had to think long and hard about a description for this debacle.  I'm a creative type, so I hate to let the opportunity get the best of me.   Try this on for size:

Real Housewives of New Jersey: It's like the Sopranos without all the witty dialog and attractive women.

I'm still stunned.

Yes, Virginia, those accents are real.   The breasts, however, are not.

I will admit to never having watched three seconds of Jersey Shore, for once letting my better judgment win the day.  But I have to say that if I were Italian, I would be quite upset at the portrayals in these shows.

Yes, there are people like this.  Hopefully they are in the minority.  I know tons of Italians, none of whom look, sound, or act like this.  In fact, I often tell people I'm Italian to confuse them.

If I didn't have a laptop with a pig of an operating system on which to operate, I would have gouged out my own eardrums.  I kept asking nicely if perhaps my wife was finished watching yet.  Then I brought out the sarcasm.  Unfortunately they sat there for hours and watched the twisted proceedings.  They kept describing it as a train wreck, from which you cannot turn away.

I don't know about you but I don't have any trouble not standing around, waiting for a train to crash.  I don't even listen to Amy Winehouse, fer chrissake.  I don't slow down to gawk at car accidents (or blinky police lights on the side of the road).  Yes, I'm one of a kind (thank your deities).

There were commercials interspersed between the tragedies.  Some of them were for Real Housewives of Different Neighborhoods.  Same idiots, different accent.

Yes, stereotypes are often hysterical.  I can laugh at almost anything.  But this isn't funny.

Bread and circuses.
Everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame.

The only funny outcome was the South Park episode we watched shortly thereafter.  Matt and Trey absolutely nailed them, throwing Snooky in for good measure.

It's a Jersey thing - you wouldn't understand.

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