Fresh Beat Band: Resistance is useless

YouTube – Fresh Beat Band.

You will be assimilated. You will listen to the slickly produced songs. You will watch the bright, bouncy videos in which even the “found objects” that make up “Marina’s” “drum” set are painted in preschool colors.

You won’t mind that the “rap” dude (“Twist,” of course) sounds like Jim Carrey’s impression of Vanilla Ice. You will, on the other hand, wonder if the former soap actress playing “Marina” is a long-lost relative of Khrystne Haje from Head of the Class.

And your kids will be dancing. Get used to it. We are not going away.

Just pray that your kids won’t graduate to Hannah Montana.


How I use Facebook

Just wanted to let people know how I interact with Facebook so that my friends from all over don’t think I’m ignoring them.

Things I don’t do, in general: Poke, Zombie bites, “Which ??? Are You,” anything that requires me to download something to let more people have my personal info.

Things I’m more likely to do: Slam book-style memes, like the 25 random things that went around for a while. That’s fun and not intrusive. Messages. Occasional chats. Wall-to-wall. Status comments. I love to hear from people! So don’t “poke” me — tell me what you’re doing!

A quick guideline on page requests: By all means, ask me. Once. Persistence doesn’t pay in this case. If you ask me over and over, I’m less and less likely to become a fan. I’m also more and more likely to de-friend you.

Other reasons I might have hidden your updates in my News Feed: Using Facebook status messages as a Twitter feed. Sending “Babe of the Day” pictures. Repeated late-night rants about why your life sucks or why Sarah Palin or Barack Obama sucks.

Things I really like to see: Pictures. I haven’t seen some of you in 20 years. I’d like to “see” you and your families. Let me know.

So the takeaway here — I’m not ignoring you. I accept most friend requests. If I actually “know” you, I’m very happy to hear from you. If you only know me as the USA TODAY guy, that’s fine, too — comment away. I’ll often respond.


Dear Woman Ahead of Me at Starbucks

Please. Go ahead. Change your order again.

Sure, I noticed that you gave one whole order with three or four items, then changed the whole thing without thinking about it. No problem. Go right ahead.

And then after the cashier gave you a total, you made a few more changes. That’s fine. In fact, I’m impressed that you’re able to do so as if it’s completely normal, without so much as an “Oh, I’m sorry, can I change X to Z?” Really nice.

I don’t think anyone in the line that has gathered behind me minded at all when you finally finished your order but didn’t move, instead choosing to pick up random packages of cookies to examine them as if shopping for melons. That’s fine. We’re too rigid in society these days, thinking of the Starbucks cash register as a place for us to tell the staff what we’d like. Why shouldn’t it be a place for you to take a few minutes to peruse things you’re not going to order?

Or are you? After all, you’re perfectly within your rights to continue your improvisation after your order has been placed. Sure, you said “double-shot caramel macchiato,” but we know you really meant “bacon and egg sandwich on a garlic bagel.”

The staff here is wonderful — I’ve bonded with many of them while writing much of my book here and doing plenty of blog posts and the occasional newspaper story. Why not take the opportunity to get all four of them to help you? One can remake your latte — it was a latte, right? Another can get your kid’s milk — oh, and you want that in a glass, of course. We’ll send the manager over to heat half of your sandwich as you requested, and the other person can go out back and slaughter a goat to provide the meat for that rare Lebanese delicacy you’ve just added to your order.

By this time, whatever you’ve paid is a mere approximation of what you should’ve paid for your revised order. That’s OK. I tip the staff well, and I’m sure the people in the line — now reaching to the door — also will drop in some change.

So please do continue with no acknowledgement toward the other customers who are waiting. That way, you won’t notice that I just took the original latte you ordered out back for a second and quickly replaced it. Hope you enjoy the “extra shot” in your beverage.