Guilty Pleasures

The internet can be interesting and informative, but it can also be silly, entertaining, or down-right creepy. I have written previously about sites that I really like , such as The Brick Testament or Post Secret, but over time I have aggregated a number of sites that I consider a guilty pleasure. I enjoy them more than I should, especially at times when I should be working.

A new favorite has got to be My Parents Were Awesome, a photoblog that collects pictures of people’s parents before they became… well, parents. I over-share as it is, so I’m not about to submit my favorite parental image… but let me at least post it here on my home site. My parents at a night club in 1960 or 61.

scan0045 klein

With the 50,000+ images that exist of Karen and me, I doubt the kids will ever print one and say “Wow, check out how cool they were…” That’s probably because the old prints are fewer in number, and because the color-balance of faded Polaroids will always be hipper than another poorly compressed .jpg file… It is more likely that pictures of me will be found on the Poor-Cousin version website, Dads in Shorts.

While our parents were speedily abandoning any coolness, we were somewhere in school, going through our own agonies of self-invention and self-definition… or at least trying not to be blatantly, obviously UNcool. The last week before summer break came with a Year Book, which gave the nerds and dorks a chance to sidle up to pretty girls and otherwise important kids (within the brutal hierarchy that is high school) to ask for a quick, memorable quote for the front inside cover. Well, some of us forgot to bring in the money and were never issued our book, but there was definitely some people who asked for it… And that “it” can now be enjoyed by everyone, thanks to a brand-new site called Awkward Yearbook Signatures. Oh my!

As if Year Book entries aren’t awkward enough, the next step up from that would be bad dating experiences. Of course, there’s a site for that now, too. It’s called A Bad Case of the Dates, and gives people a chance to recount their worst first date. Some of them are funny, but it gets creepy pretty fast. Seems to me that some of the issues being described border on mental illness, whereas some of the comments are slightly inappropriate, if not down-right juvenile. Nonetheless I found myself reading  just one more… I guess it’s not as hostile as Why the F*#k Did You Have A Kid, which is egregiously over-the-top… but just as captivating.

A totally different kind of time-killer are the Hot-or-Not sites that really don’t require a lot of coding, but provide hours of entertainment. My favorites are of the “Can You Tell The Difference” variety. Check out Steak House Or Gay Bar?, a site that makes you guess whether the name you’re being shown is a place for beef or beefcake. For the truly geeky among us, there is Cheese or Font, a place where the epicurian technorati can test their ability to discern between Helvetica, and a good Swiss Emmenthaler.

…and finally, because there really is no bottom end to the internet, you can always check out Failed Blog Ideas, which gets tasteless REALLY quickly, but is hilarious nonetheless. Particularly promising was ThingsThatWontGetYouLaid.com and JewsVsBreakdancers.net.

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