6.26.2006 : 1:40 AM :
lemonade tycoon. we went to the fair this past weekend. the del mar fair -- now renamed to the grandiose and more inclusive "san diego county fair" -- has been a summer institution around these parts. each year, the fair gets bigger and bigger; i heard that the del mar fair is one of the ten biggest in the country.
if you live near the fair grounds, like i do, you have to be wary of traffic as the fair gears up each summer. since i'm averse to crowds and people in general, i rarely go to the fair. i used to love it for the food, the excitement, the stinky llama exhibition. the highlight of the fair is usually the hypnotist, who makes a killing each year doing his thing. but now that i've seen his night show starring brian babbs (the vhs video is probably the greatest thing i've ever seen), his pg-rated show isn't quite the same.
the fair features some crickety roller coasters too; we all know how i feel about that. i hate how people are made to go on roller coasters because they're supposedly "fun." people always insist that you go with them, even if you've stated already that you hate them. i mean, i've been on tons of roller coasters, and the only one i enjoy is space mountain. if i can see the drops coming, i hate the ride. but see, roller coasters are supposed to be this fun thing, so if you don't go people assume that you're missing out. it's as if having diarrhea was suddenly a national pastime and if you chose not to engage in it, you'd be missing out. trust me, i'm not missing out. but if everyone goes, you feel this social obligation to go too. especially if, say, your girlfriend loves roller coasters.
the thing that's incredibly weird about the fair is seeing all these (male) miscreants and scoundrels walking around carrying giant stuffed unicorns and teddy bears. a faux-country fair or carnival is the only place where men are allowed to walk freely around with oversized pink toys and nobody bats an eyelash. it really puts into perspective just how much of a farce most male machismo is. "well, if everyone else is carrying around jimoungous sesame street characters, i can do it too." if one of these guys walked around their normal neighborhoods carrying a plushy toy they would get jeered at and probably beat down. guys will pretty much get in line as long as all other guys do it. think spartan pederasty.
really, going to the fair makes me think about the futility of people trying to capture the ideal, and function, of country fairs from the 1930s and stuff; when fairs were actually staged to give people a place to gather and experience new things. nowadays, these fairs are just designed to rip a hole in your pocket and show you some flea bitten cow, goats, and chickens.
we did get to see an exotic beaver however. it's strange to think that in all my life and all my visits to zoos and stuff that i've never even laid eyes on a beaver -- which is a marvel of nature but a bit too common to warrant inserting into an actual zoo exhibit. so that was a highlight. as well as seeing lemonade stands designed exactly like the ones in a videogame we used to play all day at work.
6.23.2006 : 12:36 AM :
where you been? it's been crazy hectic around here. by "around here" i mean work. it's hard to call what i do "work" because really, it's more like hanging out for me. a full seventy-five percent of my friends from san diego work with me and that in itself is tremendously energizing. plus, the nature of my job is such that i'm always busy, which makes the day fly by. i've never had a job where i'm literally not tired at all. and i'm sometimes working from 7am until 7pm. yes, i'm in to work by 7am sometimes. rejoice people, rejoice.
i'm so busy at times that i barely even have time to pee. i brought this up with hong one time and we're both like, "yeah, just hold it." note that the bathroom is three second down the hall. note that we are close enough to talk about the frequency of our bathroom visits, or lack thereof.i've done these sort of hours before. the video game industry is notorious for long hours. fifteen hour shifts were nothing. my company wasn't even that bad, as far as requiring their grunt level workers to be there all the time. i've heard horror stories about other companies where 100+ hour weeks were de rigeur. people would be going an entire month without a day off, just to be more macho than everyone else in the room. the way to make an impression at these places was to put in ridiculous hours. a room full of young men all dying to get to the next level by keeping long work days equals a "let's see how long you can stay here before you have to go home" type of attitude.
of course, i said early on "fuck it, i don't think i want it that bad." so i had 60-70 hour weeks. which were weak by comparison. then again, since i had no life, i volunteered readily for staying until 2am or taking the friday and saturday night shifts. i mean, really, what could i possibly be doing on a friday night that would preclude me from gathering overtime pay?
now i find myself in a similar position; working crazy hours. but the big difference is that i don't mind it. i haven't had a job since last september. it's time to get my butt in gear isn't it? time to pull on that dusty, tattered work ethic and take it for a spin. how many almost 28 year olds do you know that have held maybe three real jobs (none longer than a year in duration) in their lives? i'm blessed beyond belief. and spoiled too, there's always that.
anyway. this work schedule will only continue for so long. so maybe that's the difference. it's easy to push the pedal to the metal when there's an end in sight. were there no end in sight and these kind of days could possibly stretch toward infinity? i would probably just roll up into a ball and give up. but for now, with work going hardcore, and the book stuff right around the corner, i'm perfectly content to let the days melt seamlessly into nights and flow swiftly into mornings.
my social time with friends -- the 25% not working with me -- is taking a huge hit though. and i haven't had any chances to go to the beach, or to engage in any of the summer activities that i usually pursue. but really, having all of your friends around for ten hours a day can make anything seem like a vacation. so that's where i am: on a paid summer vacation.
6.21.2006 : 12:12 AM :
who moved my cheese? the age old question of quality versus quantity is much more of a reality when you're faced with making decisions that actually affect, amazingly enough, quality and quantity. for example, at my father's flute factory you could either increase the base wage to improve quality or decrease the base wage but offer higher incentives to create quantity -- applied to the factory line workers, of course.
the problem is that the more you paid on flute parts made, the more chance there is that those flute parts are hastily, and shoddily, created. it was like an economics class come to life. increase commission on each piece made, get quantity, decrease quality. increase base pay, decrease commission equals better quality flute parts but also lazier workers. finding that happy medium was the challenge in running a factory floor. it was always about balancing efficiency with quality.
i think, as you head out into the working world, people figure out if they're cut out for one of two things. there are the types of people who can take a single task (or a few tasks) and be content to hone those tasks to perfection. they hammer away until they can be as efficient as possible. each minute of each day can be carefully coordinated to yield the most product. the other type of person finds no innate joy in constantly trying to beat previously established benchmarks for efficiency. they'd rather try to help the whole be efficient, as opposed to actually challenge themselves to be individually more efficient.
the comparison i have to make here is between worker ants, and um, manager ants? worker ants are happy toiling away day after day doing the exact same thing, but perhaps better each time. the manager ant want to be faced with different problems each day. they want efficiency challenges that aren't repetitive by nature; perhaps involving figuring out how to get around a leaf to the target object one day and then how to prevent worker ants from wandering into chemical traps the next.
bees might work better as an insect parallel. i'm not sure. it's late. regardless of the analogy, i'm clearly of the latter persuasion. i can't make myself be more efficient each day just to become a better worker. at a certain point i just decide "okay, this is as efficient as i want to be. i'm done here. 80% efficiency is darn good enough." i'm not sure this is the best of attitudes to have in a work environment. you really have to admire the people who can sit there, put their heads down, and grind it out. the peopel who are, you know, not me.
6.18.2006 : 7:23 PM :
"the dating adventures are the most breathtaking. ned is on the receiving end of women's boring, self-pitying monologues and endless tirades about what bastards men are. his dates all suspect he is as bad as the rest of them: 'they made every man they met into a wolf, even when that man was a woman.'
the dates are when the deceit hits norah. her project to experience life as a man turns into a personal nightmare. a feminist and a lesbian, vincent expects that, as a convincing ned, she will finally have a life of privilege and entitlement. but men have their own unpleasant codes, ned discovers. don't hold anyone's gaze too long. don't show too much enthusiasm. don't be apologetic about anything. show no weakness. this -- and the essential deceit -- brings vincent to the verge of a nervous breakdown. instead of feeling powerful and dominating, ned finds being a man depressing and exhausting. you have to put on a constant show of 'maleness'.
this feeling isn't just about being a woman trapped in a man's body. most men, vincent claims, feel this way. they are constantly having to fight to assert their identity, hide their emotions, to be the man. vincent hates to admit it initially, but men, too, have their cross to bear. they're all faking it to some extent. the disguise of being a man, she notes at her last all-men bonding session, 'was the one thing i had in common with every guy in the room'"
-review of norah vincent's "self-made man"-
6.12.2006 : 12:50 AM :
books bought todaythe boy from oz. on our afternoon stroll through the annual hillcrest open air book fair, i took the opportunity to figure out what my book buying process is. my money situation is usually pretty tight and as valuable as reading is, spending fifteen dollars on a book (which lasts for technically, maybe a few hours) is not usually wise economically. this means that hard choices have to be made, even when books are being sold at wonderful prices of five to ten bucks each. hillcrest contains some neat used book stores already and the addition of the open air booths made the selection even greater. now, this book fair was hardly a complete selection of great books, and pales in comparison to the ucla book fair i attended last month. however, in any stack of books, there are always gems.
for example, i got a first edition paperback copy (from 1979) of "why big fierce animals are rare: an ecologist's perspective." i thought it was kind of a big deal. i mean, i've been wondering myself why there aren't more big fierce animals around (not to mention why the word "fierce" isn't used more often in book titles to capture the attention. it's such an evocative word.) hong and i have often had conversations about why animals aren't bigger. like giant size. maybe not gigantic like dinosaurs, but still giant sized. we've always wondered why. hopefully by reading this book i'll soon know.
the key to buying used books on a limited budget is to limit yourself to books that: (1) you think you will re-read (2) is a special edition (3) you won't be able to find elsewhere (4) you can't borrow from the library (5) an absurdly great deal. otherwise you pretty much have to pass. i mean, without some guidelines set up, you could literally run out of money in minutes. every shelf and corner of a used bookstore becomes a dusty musty money trap if you just wander in willy nilly. it's literallly (economically) life threatening to walk into a great bookstore.
walking into an used bookstore, you kind of have this aloofness at first. you wander around for a bit waiting for something to catch your eye. then it happens and you're engaged and inevitably you see another and another, getting sucked in ever deeper. pretty soon you're just going up and down each row browsing at books that you had just passed but now could'nt help but reveal themselves to you. book shopping is one of those things where you can walk right in and out and miss everything, or stick around and get increasingly rewarded. i guess all of shopping is like that. the more you look, the more you find. oh wait, everything is like that. except well, maybe some people i guess. anyway.
my totally awesome book fair moment was looking at all of these wizard of oz books and then at the same booth were these age of bronze books (about the trojan war) that i'd seen before. while the wizard of oz stuff caught my eye first, i couldn't help but notice these age of bronze books. before even getting within looking distance of this booth, i was drawn in by the sight of an amazing wizard of oz lunchbox. like probably the greatest wizard of oz lunchbox ever. the art was perfect, the lunchbox perfect, basically the whole thing was wizardly perfection. i couldn't quite figure out the connection between the wizard of oz and trojan war stuff until i noticed that the guy who created/drew/wrote age of bronze had also done many of the covers (and written some) of the oz books. needless to say, i almost flipped.
i maintained a semblance of composure, of course, as i prepared to haggle with the artist about the price of his priceless lunchbox. i was pretty much prepared to pay anything for such a lunchbox. turns out, priceless has a price and it was just ten dollars. and yes, i ended up getting two (i had to come back to get another one, and i felt strangely sheepish about it). the artist, eric shanower, autographed both for me and i was pretty much the happiest boy in the world. i tried to strike up a conversation with mr shanower but he really wasn't having it. he was standoffish and not the friendliest person i'd ever met.
then again, maybe it's weird to have someone accost you about your love for all things wizard of oz. maybe liking the wizard of oz (he joined the official fan club when he was six or so) was a source of teasing for him, so he had to be a bit reserved before he could open up to me. i mean, if i liked the wizard of oz as much as he does (which, of course, i actually do) i'd maybe try to make sure that someone wasn't yanking my chain first, before committing to an in-depth love affair conversation about it all.
it was pretty hard for me to process that this guy, right in front of me, was an acclaimed artist who had not only been recognized for his work on wizard of oz books, but also trojan war graphic novels. two of my passions entertwined in one person? how could this be? i mean, this would be like meeting another guy who loved alanis and jewel as much as i do. mind numbing right? i stopped short of mentioning that along with my wizard of oz obsession i had acquired an (socially) unhealthy taste for all things judy garland. that might have been just a bit too much.
6.11.2006 : 11:48 PM :
"books are, let's face it, better than everything else. if we played cultural fantasy boxing league, and made books go 15 rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time. go on, try it. the magic flute vs middlemarch? middlemarch in six. the last supper vs crime and punishment? fyodor on point and every now and again you'd get a shock, because that happens in sport, so back to the future 3 might land a lucky punch on rabbit, run; but i'm still backing literature 29 times out of 30."nick hornby, author of fare like "high fidelity" and "about a boy" writes a monthly column titled "stuff i've been reading" for the believer magazine. the column is about the books hornby has consumed each month. it's so wonderful a column that it's pretty much worth the subscription price of the believer for hornby's contributions alone. thankfully, you don't have to subscribe to the believer to read the column since the folks over at mcsweeney's (the publishers of the believer) have collected some of them into one volume: "the polysyllabic spree."
for anyone who reads, the book is fabulous. like i can't recommend it enough fabulous. it's basically just general musings on books, life, reading habits, anything. hornby pulls it all together very well and it's made me wish that all of my friends would write such a column every month or so. despite having a forum to talk about books, such as at a book club, there is so much book sharing that never really occurs. it's harder to discuss and really share a book versus something like a movie, where you can all get together, watch it, and discuss. most books are better shared through extensive words. and conversations are sometimes not ideal for that kind of verbiage.
hornby's column isn't about book reviews or anything like that, it's more of a personal journal where books take a prominent role. it makes you super enthused to do some reading yourself (hornby also has a book about music, songbook). one of the best parts of the column is the beginning where hornby lists out his "books bought" and "books read" that month. they hardly ever have titles that cross-over so the disparity is fascinating. you get to see what someone else buys and reads on a daily basis, which you hardly ever get to do with the people around you.
or maybe i just don't have that many friends who read books? which is quite possibly very true. but even among my small circle of avid book readers, the discussion of books is mostly limited to "how'd you like it? what's it about? should i read it?" books are so full of ideas and beautiful moments that it's very hard to share them sometimes without a very organized way of doing it. thus hornby's column is just amazing because he lets you get a glimpse of another person's reading habits and the how's and why's behind it.
fact: mcsweeney's publishes the coolest stuff ever -- like the secret language of sleep, but you already knew that. you have no idea how bitter i am that my idea for a "the 19 cuddle buddy positions" book has pretty much been trumped. bitter bitter bitter.
6.09.2006 : 10:17 AM :
"in the realm of leisure and pleasure, the danger is that people will reject culture altogether in the same way, for similar reasons. the nationwide rise of big-box stores, ubiquitous fast-food restaurants, giant chain bookstores and the like seem as though they efface personal taste, leveraging economies of scale against underground-empire culture - against small-press books, indie record labels, ethnic cuisines, unsigned bands, outsider artists, foreign films, fair-trade coffee, locally grown apples - all the things that for various reasons don't acquire strong enough constituencies to secure a place in the public square.
sometimes people just aren't aware of these things, sometimes bigger corporations stifle them to keep their own operations streamlined, sometimes their appeal is limited by sheer eccentricity. at any rate, rigged or not, when culture itself becomes a kind of democratic popularity contest, individuals eventually suffer from the same lack of incentives that keeps them politically illiterate. when the wal-marts and barnes and nobleses take over, people have no reason to develop an aesthetic literacy, to follow shifts in avant-garde culture, to understand art and have a stake in its being meaningful, challenging, moral, inspiring, and so on. we lose the will to be curious.
in a recent slate essay, economist tyler cowen argues that our attachment to independent bookshops is, in part, affectation -- a self-conscious desire to belong a particular community (or to seem to)'. independent bookstores cater to those who elevate the style of their shopping over the substance of it; the stores are far more inconvenient than chains or online options, with less stock and frequently arcane shelving methods. the real business of the clerks at these stores is not necessarily to help anyone but to police the fence around the ersatz community cowen mentions -- to essentially help the store shop for appropriate customers who will preserve the elite status of that community, presuming the hard-currency value of that status to community members remains sufficient to keep the store open.
in other words, the underground empire is designed to produce cliquish hipsters who finance the entire quasi-countercultural enterprise not from a sense of patronage or taste, but from insecurity over being just like everyone else."
-the underground empire-
6.08.2006 : 9:12 PM :
maverick and goose. while watching chubby versions of vince vaughn and jon favreau verbally cavort about on-screen during "the break-up," it dawned on me that vaughn-favreau had surpassed damon-affleck as the preeminent hollywood rat pack of two. of course, damon-affleck are the undisputed winners if you take into account career earnings, good looks, physical fitness, number of quality movies, famous girlfriends, and gossip fodder, they are not as beloved as the vaughn-favreau pairing.
while some critics may (accurately) rip vaughn-favreau for always re-creating the swingers dynamic, who really cares? that's how america likes them. after a short period experimenting with serious movies, vaughn blessedly decided to screw it and just play the stylized version of himself every time. favreau decided to cater to that and now they pretty much show up next to each other in every movie. they are the john cusack - jeremy piven for my generation.
while matt and ben struck gold with good will hunting and were billed as "best friends make good," they've really only moved away from each other since then. aside from project greenlight and dogma, they've really decided to strike out on their own (lucrative) paths. ben became daredevil, matt became mr ripley. the only times they really see each other on-screen is when kevin smith calls them up and says "hey guys, i need you. we're making clerks 2 and then jersey girl 2. saddle up."
while looking over the movies that damon-affleck have done, it's pretty shocking how many major league hits both of them have accrued over the years. while matt is certainly more respected as a thespian, ben has had some nice showings too. vaughn-favreau? not so much. favreau has mostly taken his talents behind the camera; to write/direct/produce. vaughn has only found success as a fast talking lothario or overgrown frat boy. but here's the thing: people will go watch vince vaughn just because he's vince vaughn. and a vote for vaughn is a vote for favreau. nobody ever says "oh man, matt(or)ben are in that movie? i gotta go watch him."
it must be infuriating to damon-affleck to realize this fact. they must be asking themselves, "wait, how are vaughn-favreau beating us out in the world of public opinion? we make better movies, we date hotter chicks, we're better looking, what have they got that we don't?" meanwhile, vince and jon sit around eating costco sized packages of ho-hos and laughing about how many sit-ups they can't do.
6.07.2006 : 12:55 AM :
get out and stay out! whichever guy it was that invented the couch bed must have been extremely satisfied with himself. imagine him telling his (increasingly disgruntled) wife that he was going to invent a sofa that folds out into a bed -- and her rolling her eyes and telling him that he should invent a man who takes out the trash first. then the guy finally invents the couch bed and sells the rights for millions. of course, he's also unwittingly created a primary residence for the billions of men who have suffered from domestic disputes with their live-in partners.
or maybe the story goes the other way around. who knows which came first: the sofa bed or the arguments? perhaps the budding inventor spent so many lonely nights out on the family room couch that he decided he might as well make his couch a bed. many arguments and a moment of revelation later, voila, a fold out sofa bed. most of mankind's best inventions were probably borne out of necessity like this.
6.06.2006 : 1:28 PM :
this is not a democracy, it's a celeb-ocracy. it's on. you know that celebrity fantasy league i spoke of a few weeks ago? well guess what? it's up and running. i had hoped for just a handful of enthusiastic celebrity stalkers, instead i got more applicants than we had owner positions. in the end, we (and yes i'm using that royally) decided to launch for a four week season with ten teams. if this works out well, we'll be expanding to accomodate fellow celeb fanatics.
so far this game is rivaling fantasy football for sheer excitment and already surpasses it in sheer ridiculousness. entire dinner conversations have been bogarted and steered toward debating the relative merits of a britney spears versus lindsay lohan. everyone thinks they have the next up and coming celebrity. the depth and breadth of celebrity knowledge thrown out during one of our celebrity pow-wows is enough to never again question what americans do with their spare time. it's official, we stalk people -- celebrities in magazines and regular people on myspace.
needless to say, i finished our first official week in first place. you can follow along with our season here: celebulous. what you know about jennifer aniston and gwen stefani appearing on the cover? obviously you didn't know like i knew.
i'm so gonna take over the world. after seeing how this game entrenches itself in the minds of men and women everywhere, i need a volunteer to code a website for me so that we can patent this and make billions. you think i'm kidding? totally not. aspiring to-be rich people with web site making capabilties, contact me. jen and gwen? your thank you note is in the mail. we'll do lunch next week, have your people talk to my people.
6.05.2006 : 4:46 PM :
"politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think."no good deed goes unpunished. you know how people say that there are no deeds done without some ulterior motive involved? in an infamous friends episode, phoebe tries to disprove joey's assertation that any selfless good deed isn't truly selfless when you get to the bottom of it. i pretty much wholeheartedly believe this statement, if only because it just has the ring of truth to it.
for the past few weeks i've been making a few assertations myself. mainly that i am "top ten nicest people." now this may seem like a subjective ranking to you, but i feel like i'm objectively top ten nice in any category. well, except say "nicest jump shot," but that's another story.
i know, many people are gagging and making puking noises now but allow me a chance to defend myself. see, to me, the term "nice" isn't just reserved for those people who are kind, genial, and overall pleasing to have around. most of the time, we think of someone "nice" as an agreeable person who doesn't ruffle too many feathers, who doesn't make fun of other people, who is semi-fun to have around, who is friendly by nature, that kind of thing. now i'd agree i'm probably not top ten in any of those categories but here's the thing, i'm not competing against those people.
the people i'm competing against are the ones who have the choice of being nice or not. some people choose to be nice when they can just as easily be mean/unfriendly. some people don't have that choice. they are dealt the nice card in life and they have no choice but to play it. these people are nice by default. however, i'm probaby not nice by default. i say lots of borderline mean things, i like to make fun of things/people, i revel in death destruction and other mean sounding d-words. but here's the thing, all that aside, i mean well. and for those who know me, who truly know me, they know that i'm top ten nice. no questions asked.
of course, i've asked many people to confirm this tidbit about myself and they all laugh in my face. they immediately push me down to top (ten) thousand nice or even worse, not nice at all. it's all a bit rude i'd say. i mean, that's not nice of them, to dash my glorious self image. the thing that gets brought up time and time again is that i'm nice on the outside but only because i get something back in return. which apparently negates the nice involved. much like a selfish person doing good deeds versus a selfless person doing them.
i'm inherently not nice, but since i get something out of it, i might do nice things. is that so wrong? most of life is an exchange anyway. why in the world would anyone be nice just on principle? in the cosmic scheme of things, most people are nice so that they can reap nice down the road. is it so wrong that i'm probably more calculating than the average purveyor of nice? where does it say that nice has to be done selflessly?
6.01.2006 : 2:02 PM :
hey, be a man. being a man means many things. i recently took a 65-question "are you a good catch?" quiz from men's health magazine and scored into a healthy 30% percentile -- and that might be a bit generous. you had to answer "yes" or "no" to essential man questions such as "can you row a boat?" "can you fix the fuse in the dark?" "can you chop wood?" "can you make one meal better than anyone else?" "can you unclasp a bra with one hand?" "can you do three pull-ups without struggling?" needless to say, many of these requirements weren't exactly my areas of expertise. there was no "do you sing the hooks to super cheesy love songs at random?" question. otherwise i might have ruined the curve.
aside from establishing james as top tier on this test (he brought the test to our attention, surprise), we found out that the maximum fun could be had by comparing my score against the various girls who took the test. lynn, for example, easily reached first tier status. but she might be a skewed example since she's a michigan girl. and most michigan girls i know are far superior to other girls in terms of rowing boats, fixing fuse boxes, and chopping wood. when queried if she could hang a ceiling light fixture, lynn asked "hardwire?" that's the kind of answer that gets a round of applause from the guys. keep in mind that this is coming from a girl who we had to teach to make spaghetti. michigan girls are a different breed.
if you read over the popular "man rules" that have been around the internet for awhile, you'll touch upon one rule that states: "women who claim they 'love to watch sports' must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game..." it's recently become very cool for women to know sports. guys shamelessly feed this attention grabbing scheme. any time a girl can give you the playoff statistics of jason kidd, or knows more than five football players, she gets an automatic "wow, this chick is cool" nod from the boys. of course, nowadays, a girl saying she likes sports is similar to a guy saying he has a big dick. you gotta see it to believe it.
and many girls fail this "do you know sports" test. they can sit there and provide accurate commentary about asymmetrical sock length and ball player's girlfriends sitting on the sidelines but when it comes down to the actual game itself, they are lost. i have nothing against that. i mean, if you don't understand some (most) of the rules of a sporting event, you can still thoroughly enjoy the experience. i know lots of guys who posture as if they know sports, only to be exposed by a mere "offsides! shaq's offsides! and he's roughing! don't the refs see that?!" comment. members of both sexes pretend to know more about sports than they do. but only girls use it to elevate themselves to a potentially higher dating class. does it work though? um, yes. yes it does.
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