Archive for November, 2010

30th November
written by Dame Suzy

Wow! Who would be innovative enough to use the power of extremely negative reviews to raise his site’s Google rank and thus earn greater sales? Some Russian asshole, that’s who, according to this well-written NY Times article. First of all, several designer eyewear companies have sued and won settlements against him for selling knock-offs. And if a customer has a complaint, he blames the customer and refuses to do anything to rectify the situation, and if the customer goes to the credit card company to dispute the charge, he makes disturbing threats, makes harassing untraceable phone calls, etc. Written complaints go on trusted websites, which increases his Google rank, pulling more customers to his site. And if they don’t do their research, more saps buy the knock-off products.

This just highlights the fact that Internet consumers have to be increasingly vigilant of scams. We have been lucky, especially in the States, to have been able to make purchases largely without fear in the early years of Internet shopping. I used to make purchases freely from sites that were very skeletal in design. Only a couple of times did I have an issue, and they were resolved without issue.

Nowadays, one must read reviews of the website, and make sure that those reviews are not on sites run by the merchant, which is increasingly the case. Many of these fake sites will list a number of similar products in a matrix. And they won’t necessarily list theirs as #1 – too obvious. They know what not everyone will pick the very top product, so they will gladly put theirs in the number 2 or 3 spot.

As for the success of his tactic? Well, so far “designer eyeglasses” does not show his website in the first two pages of Google results. But for a particular designer it is the fifth entry. Perhaps Google has tweaked these results in response to complaints. Which hopefully means his strategy for all merchants thinking of this scheme, will soon be a thing of the past.

29th November
written by Dame Suzy

Is it the Catalan entrepreneurial spirit that also permeates its football? Or the success of its youth program which produces top-notch players many of which the Barcelona squad gobbles up when they’re barely out of diapers? Is it that a lower center of gravity via short players gives Barça a true competitive advantage? Or is it that Real Madrid has put all of its eggs in one basket via Cristiano Ronaldo? Before the game started, I believed Real Madrid would win because they have done far better than Barcelona in recent Champions League games. The slaughter really was a surprise. Of course, I didn’t understand why Raúl Albiol, such a big factor in the defense so far this season, wasn’t on the field. And I was unaware that Gonzalo Higuaín had failed a recent fitness test. Would their participation have made a difference? Did Casillas rely too much on what he thought should have been offsides calls? Let’s just say that Real Madrid, having been defeated by Barcelona and sometimes soundly, in their five latest confrontations, better learn something or face the facts that they will always be runner-up.

24th November
written by Dame Suzy

When I buy something from the store and take it home, I want to be able to open it without issue. But oftentimes, the outdated packaging design forces me to dig around for scissors to open the toilet paper, a bag of cookies, or a bag of cereal. Some things have changed. Chunky brand soup cans have a pull-off top, which almost always spits drops of soup everywhere when you get that last part to pull off completely. Some bags have little slits in them that supposedly allow you to rip and open there, but don’t always work. Plastic tabs on bottle caps often break half-way, being useless, and I am amazed at how often there is packet inside of a box that is still childproof. What the fuck? Let me get to the stuff I bought, please! The Japanese are masters of allowing you to access your goods. Even cheap electronic items are housed in plastic cases with a hinge that functions! They aren’t melted shut. Chocolates have beautiful packaging and inside are individually seated chocolate delights. We, instead, have M&M’s that have a waxy lipstick flavor and a stale or lackluster peanut inside. The Italians also house lovely things in easy-to-open packages. Thank you! Now can someone bring some of this common sense to the United States and reduce my frustration?

23rd November
written by Dame Suzy

We must have something to laugh about with this mess of body scans and pat-downs we’ve been hearing about lately.

How about some humorous bumper stickers instead?

One of my favorites:

We handle more packages than the USPS.

23rd November
written by Dame Suzy

I am so sick of hearing about North Korea’s continued development of nuclear weaponry, their psychotic starvation of their population, and most recently, their attack of an island on which South Korea had begun military exercises. How much more will they have to do before they are more than admonished by the international community? Nuke South Korea? Jesus. I have relatives in the North but honestly, I believe civilian casualties in the defeat of North Korea’s regime are merited. Unlike in other countries, civilians appear to be completely powerless. Something’s got to give. Who should do it? The corrupt U.N.? It’s about time China stepped up to the plate. For fuck’s sake, China never chastises Pyongyang; what’s their fucking problem? Grow a pair, because I seem to recall another time in history where appeasement didn’t work out so well.

18th November
written by Dame Suzy

I have considered myself a form of racist for several years. But I realized I didn’t know exactly what the definition was. The Free Dictionary’s definition of racism is:

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

I don’t share the belief in the first definition. I do, however, engage in the second.

What about prejudice? The definition from the same site is:

a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
b. A preconceived preference or idea.
2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions.

Yes, I do relate to both subdefinitions in the first entry. I would relate to the second if “unreasonable” were replaced by “reasonable.” It would read:

The act or state of holding reasonable preconceived judgments or convictions.

I didn’t grow up with prejudices. In my Midwestern high school, there were only a handful of each – Asians, blacks, Jews, and Hispanics. I often forgot I was Asian unless someone I didn’t know taunted me, which was rare. There were no cliques based on race. There weren’t enough of us.

It was only in college where there were large percentages of minorities that I learned stereotypes from my peers. But I have come to the conclusion that these stereotypes are not really bad. Because an individual can always reinforce or disprove them. And I am happy when I am proven wrong, because it makes the person more intriguing.

I can say that generally I get along with Jews sexually but not socially. They tend to be controlling and greedy, which is interesting in the bedroom but not in the conference room. The women are a little bitchy. I don’t get along with Asians, either the nerdy ones, the religious ones, or the cool ones. I find myself too different from them, too bold, too independent. Black men intrigue me but we have very little in common. I’ve met many smart ones, so that’s not an issue. Black women I meet tend to be intelligent and a little stand-offish. Northern Indians are snobby, but one was my best friend. Texans I find not to be very bright, but that’s partly because of their unique brand of butchering the English language which perhaps I should just accept as a dialect.

Any prejudices I hold can immediately be proven wrong with just one experience. In Paris, I found people very helpful when I was lost, even if I didn’t ask. Even in the rain, a woman walked with me a block to find my little hotel. I met some Arab-French boys in Paris, and because they were trying to drug me and have their way with me, I immediately thought that Arabs were scum. But the next night I met a smoking hot Arab-Spanish boy who was very, very sweet and non-rapist, and had the most perfect muscular body I have ever seen in my life from his fingers to his toes. He had the perfect triangular patch of soft hair that showed no evidence of being trimmed or shaved ever. He was naturally just perfect. And great in bed. And a great kisser. And a great dresser…

So if I can make an assumption about a person based on his/her race to avoid wasting my time, so be it. I leave it to the individual to convince me otherwise.

16th November
written by Dame Suzy

I’ve been forced to look further into the new airport security measure of full body detection machines. I thought it was used on the few passengers pulled aside randomly. But I was wrong. It looks like it’s being used instead of the metal detector you pass through. In which case, wow. Each time you go through a security checkpoint you get a tiny bit of radiation.

What bothers me most is that these things are used to detect bombs hidden, say, in underwear. And the thing is, who is blowing up these planes? Why be politically correct in regards to safety? Do special scanning on anyone who looks at you weird, is ugly, is dark-skinned, has a big wart on her face that could be an explosive. I don’t care. But don’t pretend like as a society we’re being blind to differences by either scanning everyone or randomly picking out the pudgy white mom with the two toddlers hanging on her.

And another thing, explosives don’t just go off as soon as you light them. They need to ignite. So, frankly, if somebody is lighting up anything including his crotch in the plane, other people are going to stop him.

Stop making air travel such a pain in the ass just to be politically correct. Catch the bad guys.

15th November
written by Dame Suzy

I was flipping through channels and landed on the Tyra Banks show where there was a pudgy, average-to-unpleasant-looking young woman going by the name of Natalie Dylan. She was to be auctioning off her virginity through Nevada’s Bunny Ranch brothel and bids had supposedly reached over $3 million.

I was a little horrified that such an undistinguished person was chosen to undertake this lucrative feat and was being successful. I was also surprised that her sister was so beautiful and slender. Upon researching this story, I found that it seems that none of it panned out, that her virginity remained intact.

So, it is now almost two years later and perhaps by now she’s lost her virginity for real. And knowing how lackluster our first sexual experiences generally are, I can’t help wonder if she thinks that it’s even worse because it isn’t accompanied by a number of zeros. And how she can’t go back and do it over again.

As for the Bunny Ranch. Was this a publicity stunt? Then why not choose a girl who’s hot?

13th November
written by Dame Suzy

I was struck with how often men I sleep with today complain about using condoms. During college only about 7% (one guy) did. It was expected. It could be that because in college I usually only slept with each guy once, so he’d agreed with whatever I said to get sex that one time. The fact that nowadays I prefer to have an ongoing sexual relationship with guys I meet, even those I meet abroad, may tend to give them more confidence that they can convince me to drop my usual rules the third of fourth time. But the fact of the matter is that either way, even at first meeting, these same guys try to get me to go condomless. If I say no, they try to go in without asking. What the fuck? I hear complaints that they can’t feel much through a condom. Since I slept with guys about the same age in college as now – usually 24-28, it can’t be age. Whether or not they’re circumcised doesn’t matter, educational background?

All I know is that a study cited in October 4 articles indicated that 80% of American man-boys aged 14 to 17 in casual relationships used a condom the previous time they had sex. 32% from 18 to 24 did – yikes, do they go crazy after they get out of the house? 42% from 25-29, and the worst, only 20% of men aged 40-49, which means they’re nuts, think they’re way too lucky to get some sex or they truly, truly can’t feel anything with a condom.

Here is the New York Times chart and article, and here is the numbers-heavy but chart-less Reuters one.

So to avoid getting thrown into jail, I need to go to certain states where 17 is the age of consent, go track down a 17-year-old, and have some liberating, safe, condom-coated sex. And avoid older men and college/post-college-aged dudes like the plague. Show some I.D., boy. Yeah, I’m talking to you.

11th November
written by Dame Suzy

No, I’m not dead. The last few days I’ve been suffering from an at-times high fever and big headache, and have only been somewhat comprehensible. I’m forcing myself to write this little bit before I nap again.

So a guy I met in Barcelona two years ago – a very handsome Roman – and a random conversation exchange partner whom I barely ever got to chat with tried to add me as a BADOO friend. So I researched it, and I thought what the heck?

I find badoo worse than MySpace, worse than AdultFriendFinder, which I think it is trying hard to emulate. You essentially get spammed a two-word phrase by someone who simply responds to your picture. You get a lot of these, mostly from people with a horrible profile pic or horrible face. The one good thing about it is, like Facebook, the main page isn’t cluttered, but unlike Facebook, you have to login to read any message, in my case a bunch of “Hey,” “Hi,” and other lame shit from people I wouldn’t glance at twice.

Talk about time waster! I did send a message to the Roman a few days back but haven’t heard back from him. What’s the point? Conclusion: Badoo is for flaky people. Best for dudes with awesome upper bodies who just want to get laid. And the not-so-pretty chicks they will fuck.