Friday, February 6, 2009

Googling (is) for Dummies

Warning: this is a procrastination post. You know the type. Below, you will see first-hand what happens when I don’t feel like editing The Novel that Won’t Die:

The following takes place between 9 am and 10 am. It begins with a question: What did we do before Google? What?

Things I’ve googled in the past 24 hours:

1. ‘Distance in miles between Milan, Italy and Vancouver, B.C.’ (This is for a short-ish story. Some of you can guess which one. Just hush, will you...I told you I was procrastinating!)

2. ‘Weather/snow report Mt. Shasta, CA’. Six inches! (Just as Facebook has recently alerted me, thanks to weather-conscious friends.)

3. ‘Author of The Birth of Venus’ (that would be Sarah Dunant)

4. ‘Alber’s + corn muffin recipe’ (I wanted the one that’s on the back of their box, and you’d think I could just, you know, look on the back of the box, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong. I bought the generic kind. Best imitation of Julia Roberts: "Big mistake. Big.")

5. ‘Wii Fit + low price’ (I’ve abandoned the idea, after seeing this video. Heh.)

6. ‘Recipe converter’. I need this every time I make my Australian friend Sarah’s Cinnamon Nutella Cake, which is the yummiest cake recipe ever, but seems to be written in some sort of gibberish. Wait…could this be that Metric System I’ve heard tell about? No matter, Google knows, which means I don’t have to.

7. ‘City of Medford + parks and rec’. Because am I already too late to sign up the boys for flag football? (Google failed me on this one. Anyone in the Medford area care to enlighten me? Anyone? Bueller?)

8. ‘Five star hotels in Milan’. This is for the same short story. In reality, I’m not going anywhere.

9. ‘Secretary of State’. Because what exactly is Hillary in charge of doing? Again, hush. Wiki didn’t seem to know either.

10. ‘Dexter + Season 4 production schedule’. It’s an addiction. I’m an addict. I must know when the season starts.

11. ‘Weather snow report Mt. Shasta’ again. 12 inches!

12. ‘Why a balloon spontaneously pops’. Inquiring minds wanted to know.

13. ‘Sharing play list +iPod shuffle’ All I want to do is put Calvin’s songs on Calvin’s iPod and my songs on mine, but share the same library. Not as easy as it would seem. Logging into the Mac help site reminds me that I want an iPhone, for no reason other than it’s shiny. Staring at the iPhone reminds me that I want a MacBook Air, which reminds me that the strap on my laptop case is broken, which reminds me that I need to sort out the duffle bags to pack for Shasta. If you give a mouse a cookie…

14. ‘Historic buildings of Jacksonville OR'. I needed a handy list to update my dad’s photography website. Wait…shameless plug here!

15. ‘You tube + Saturday Night Live’ I’m procrastinating, remember? Oh! Amy Pueller has a new show coming soon! (Spells Pueller wrong. Googles.) It‘s Poehler. See how useful? Amy Winehouse comes up first. I do worry about that woman.

Do I perhaps have too much time on my hands, you ask? No! All of the above probably took me a collective time of ten minutes. The wonder of the internet: waste your time faster and more efficiently. Perfect for frantic people like me with ADD tendencies.

Plus? Things I don’t need because of Google:

1. Phone book (Oh! Opt out here!)
2. Encyclopedia
3. Recipe book
4. A degree (Well, hindsight is 20/20 I suppose.)
6. An average adult’s archive of common knowledge

It occurs to me that Google levels the intelligence playing field. Don’t know something? Look it up, and thereby appear smart! Think about that: Google has single-handedly lowered the bar for intelligence. What’s more, think of the money to be saved now that we can all forgo paying for books and higher education. And in this economy…oh aren’t you sick of hearing about the economy? Even I am, and with Charlie’s job, it effects me on a daily basis. It’s like El Nino. Remember El Nino? For about a year, it was responsible for everything from hurricanes to the price of sugar. (Googles to make sure that‘s not an idiotic statement.) And before that was Y2K. If I recall correctly, at work, we were obsessed with Y2K back in 1999. So. Drumroll, please...

This is what I have gleaned from my procrastination (and Google) today: The Economy (capitalized of course) is the new Y2K.

(Quickly googles to see if someone else has already pointed this out.) No one has, which means my work here is done. (Grumbles and gets back to editing.) Oh gee, look at that...I need to pick up Tobes from preschool. How times flies!
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