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Am I perpexed or not?...

I was listening to the radio and I heard Moby doing a little radio promo for a local station. I couldn't get over how normal the guy sounds. I don't know what I was expecting, but it sure wasn't that. He sounded like a guy who would sell you insurance or help you pick out a receiver at Circuit City. His name is Moby. He's bald. He's a DJ with a cool name. He could sound like the devil. But instead he sounds like his real name is Steve and he went to a liberal arts college in New Hampshire.

He should sound like this: click here for .wav file.

Spent a good chunk of the weekend looking at clocks and watches.

I was very stressed out for no real good reason. This happens often. I end up feeling like I'm falling behind when a deadline is looming. In this case, it was a story I was working on for work that was a little... behind, I guess. I knew I needed to finish my recap for Mighty Big TV, do some stuff that was scheduled with LCP this weekend (a callback and a barbecue for our new members) and that somewhere in there I was going to have to go to work to finish up some stuff. It got to where it was difficult to enjoy anything this weekend because I was constantly looking at my watch, trying to see how much time I had left, how late it was, how much sleep I was going to get before the next day.

As it turns out, a lot gone done when I wasn't even thinking about it. The recap was finished, the LCP stuff went smoothly and before I really was aware of the time passing, I'd done the requisite pages on the novel (current page count: 18).

Slipped in at work today, had a great time at the LCP events and even snuck in some Powerpuff Girls and a nice dinner and shopping. It was busy, but I tend to like it that way.

Rebecca helped me put up some lights and I was amazed at how simple the process was. I always thought it was much more complicated that just cutting up tape and pasting up a set of 50 lights per window. Turns out I was right. With the cold/warm weather, tape didn't cut it. The lights started to fall down, one corner at a time. By the second night, this is what the lights looked like:




Sad, huh? I tried to make Rebecca feel better by telling her the second set of lights vaguely resembles one of Santa Claus' boots.

The thing I'm most obsessed over lately is the site, which has addicted me and a lot of people I know.

I first heard about it on Headspace. The premise is this: you send in your photo. People go to the site and rate it on a scale from one to 10. When you rate a photo, it just shoots another one right at you to grade and tells you what the average rating was for the last one you voted. So if you give somebody a 7, you can see that everybody else on average gave that same person a 4.3.

The thing about this site is that you keep clicking and clicking, wondering how closely your taste aligns with the rest of the Internet. Even factoring in swing votes (you might feel sympathetic enough to give a homely person a 10 just to up their average), the final ratings are sometimes eerily accurate to what you might rate a person.

But some of it does skew: blondes, especially young ones showing any kind of cleavage, automatically rate an average above 8. And older women or women of higher weight classes are judged down to very small numbers.

Women as a whole, in fact, are judged pretty harshly on the site. You can choose whether to rate men, women or both and after having looked at ratings for both, it's obvious that women are a lot more forgiving then men are. I didn't see any man who got below a 4 average.

So what does this say about us? Not just the people clicking, because I could see any normal person being compelled to start clicking, wondering if they might find someone they know on the site, and wanting to know how their tastes align with popular opinion.

But what about the people who submit their pictures to the site? How much self confidence do you have to have to see people rate you a 1.1? An average of 1.1? And, because you can see the last time the person logged on to check their stats, it's also obvious that the people who submit photos don't just do it as a lark and forget about it. These people log back in often to see how they rate.

Are they vain? Do they need validation? Do they think of it as a joke? I mean, even if you do treat it like a joke, being told by an audience of anonymous people en masse that you are unattractive has to hurt.

But at least you're getting an honest, unbiased opinion. How many times do your friends or family tell you that you look fine, when it is very clear to the rest of the world that not only do you not look fine, but you should probably do something about that shirt?

The problem is that unlike other sites where you can see a profile or mini-bio of a person, all you have to go by here is a photo. A photo that can be altered and manipulated, that might have been taken from a bad angle, that is affected by lighting and cropping. It's obvious some people have gone to great length to make their photos appealing and sexy. Others just smile for the Web cam and hope for the best.

I am fascinated by the site. When I go there, I can't stop clicking. Neither can Rebecca. Or my brother. Or other friends I've told about the site.

I thought briefly about sending in my picture, but seriously, I don't know if I can handle it. I've humiliated myself on stage, put my face in the newspaper and allowed myself to be criticized at length. But letting the world rate a photo? I don't know... Maybe I could start by sending in photos of people who resemble me and work my way up to the real thing.

The site is at once the basest thing I can think of, and also the fulfillment of one of the great things about the Internet: the ability to put yourself out there and let the world talk back to you.

Only in this instance, it helps if you have a pretty face, some cleavage and a short skirt or manly abs.


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