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Your Twitter Guide to #Sochi2014

Scott Phillips

One of the amazing things about Twitter is the real-time access you get to anybody that you follow. Bob — that guy you work with — might royally suck on conference calls, but maybe he makes some witty remarks on the CTA every morning. That little cousin of yours probably can’t string two sentences of real words together, but at least they have Twitter to talk about #oomf (one of my followers; get with the times, you assholes).

But Twitter is also granting us some amazing access to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, where journalists from around the globe are sending some pretty ridiculous images of the semi-completed Olympic surroundings.

Here’s a snapshot — no, not a Snapchat, that’s for another time — of some of the more interesting things we’ve seen in Sochi so far.

Since the Olympics is about the athletes, we’ll start with their accommodations. Hockey will be the sport that the casual fan of the Olympics will watch the most because of the involvement of NHL players, so that makes this photo even funnier.

Canadian hockey players are supposed to sleep and get laid in twin beds that are, like, a foot apart? Can you imagine Jonathan Toews trying to bring groupies back to his room?

“Hey, how you doing? Jonathan Toews, Stanley Cup champion. I signed a multi-million dollar contract, but do you wanna come back to my room and kick it on my twin bed with my two roommates? Also, we need some extra towels if you have any leads…”

As media members have checked into uncompleted hotel rooms, normal things in America like lightbulbs, door knobs, soap, and shower curtains are becoming hot items on the Olympic media black market.

The thought of someone like Dan Wetzel, a national sports columnist who makes six figures to comfortably cover every major sporting event from a prime location, trying to trade three light bulbs on the Russian black market for a doorknob is just awesome.

Then there’s this horrifying revelation: Russian water will evidently melt your face. Or, Olympic corporate sponsor Gatorade has taken their branding in Sochi to the fucking next level by replacing water with lemon-lime Gatorade. I mean, do people in Russia have enough electrolytes?

The water has been a much-discussed issue in Sochi and if you can get clean water at all — and it also happens to be hot! — then you’re basically staying in the best hotel room in Russia.

Why are there stray dogs fucking everywhere in Sochi? Have we established this yet? It’s like that scene in A Christmas Story when dogs are just randomly running through the kitchen tearing everything apart.

There’s also the famous story of the German photographer that tried three times to check into a hotel room in Sochi only to find a stray dog in the third room he was shown.

Did Stephen King have Pet Cemetery filmed there?

Manhole covers: We evidently take them for granted in America, but here in Sochi, they just call it “population control.” Not watching your kid? Sorry, mom, your son has fallen into the abyss and is playing an underground level of Super Mario World right now collecting coins and crying like crazy.

Seriously, why isn’t this the universal sign for bathrooms all across the world? It completely gets the point across and is so much more entertaining to look at than what we have now in America.

That’s not creepy or anything… Forget about things like privacy and an ability to sleep soundly thanks to randoms coming in and out of your room to see if construction is complete.

Maybe some other journalist offered a few million rubles to steal your hotel room. Try telling your boss that you have to cover Ice Dancing from your hotel room because the construction workers keep trying to break in to steal your instant oatmeal.

Well, there you have it, folks. Some of the crazier shit we’ve seen on Twitter from Sochi. And we’re still two days from the Olympic Games even beginning!

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Tough Questions: What Do You Hate That Everyone Loves?

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Every Monday we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week?

What Do You Hate That Everyone You Know Loves?

Rules are simple: what’s that one thing that you just can’t sign off on? What is the thing that you just cannot wrap your mind around? What does every damn person love that you just can’t even find it in your dark heart to like?

Austin Duck

Aside from people, there’s really not a whole lot that I hate. But, being a big metropolitan area, one thing everyone seems to love is fancy cocktails in fancy cocktail bars and it drives me up the fucking wall. Why would I pay, like, $8 extra for fancy bitters or elder flower liqueur when I can go to the shitty bar that I go to and get whiskeys for $3.50. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Food, I get. Drugs, ditto. But it’s not like the booze is any better when it’s mixed by mixologists; it’s exactly the same. I want something that I can drink a lot of on a meager salary. 

Mike Hannemann

This goes back and forth for me, but it all boils down to sports. Personally, I blame being the only member of a (somewhat) big family that wasn’t physically capable of any of this. To get more specific: basketball. I could probably name less than 10 players currently in the NBA, including general descriptions like “that one guy with weird hair who’s an asshole.” I know I’m wrong in not caring, but I just can’t access it. I went to a Chicago Bulls game a few years back and the only details I remember are that it was Benny the Bull’s birthday and the Bulls scored over 100 points (but I only remember this because it meant I got a free Big Mac if I brought the ticker to a McDonald’s).  I never even redeemed my Big Mac.

Alex Marino

I fucking hate Twitter. I also don’t like Facebook a whole lot but I hate Twitter more because it could be this awesome community and instead is a giant pile of word throw up. The wild popularity has forced it to become a place where people have to rush to make the first shitty joke about whatever show is on TV so they can get the most retweets. Last week was a bunch of dumb fucking Justin Bieber jokes and tonight it’s a bunch of garbage about the Grammys (which are also garbage). And then tomorrow there’s going to be a bunch of miserable Buzzfeed articles about “ZOMG 13 Awesomesauce Tweets About the Grammys.” There’s another polar vortex coming through this week. Are you as excited as I am to see Twitpics of everyone’s weather apps?! Twitter is a place that breeds lazy journalism where you can see entire news articles written about two tweets from someone famous. In politics it’s just another medium where the competition is to see which side is louder rather than right. Twitter was awesome when its users were authentic and engaging rather than brand-focused and politically correct. And there still are a lot of those users out there. There’s just way more shit you have to wade through to get to it.

Alex Russell

This has to be How I Met Your Mother. There is a commercial for this show where a character says “It’s going to be LEGEND. DAIRY.” with a deliberate pause between the two words. It may sound petty to be caught up in one silly commercial, but this is what I hear when I’m falling asleep. I think of how thousands and thousands of people don’t watch Parks and Recreation but do watch this show and I wake up. This is why I haven’t slept in five years. LEGEND. DAIRY. I’d pay ten American dollars for this show to never run again. It’s not the worst show on TV by a long shot, but it’s the worst one that smart people like.

Andrew Findlay

The Game of Thrones TV Show

This is not so much a matter of hatred – I just won’t watch the show. I watched the first episode and thought “this is boring, I know everything that happens already from the books.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not neglecting to watch it because of some “the book is just better” snob factor. It’s just that I read the first four in a single month, and then when I got to the end, there were no more, and it was painful. Then there was one more, I read it, and then there were no more, and it was painful. I fully support GRRM doing whatever he wants to with his time. Understandably, he got pissed off once when fans complained about his liking football and him spending precious writing time watching sports instead of finishing the books they loved, but for some reason I sort of irrationally see the show as a direct competitor to book completion. In addition, I’ve built up this world in my own mind, and don’t want all the actors’ stupid faces messing up how I see people. I’ll circle back and marathon it once the books are done or after enough people yell at me for this stupid decision.

Brent Hopkins

This is actually a really simple answer for me. I absolutely hate peanut butter and I have had to deal with that shame my entire life. Most people instantly ask “Are you allergic to nuts?” which is a valid question. When they find out that isn’t the case and that I just don’t like peanut butter it turns into an interrogation. “Do you like other nuts?” “Do you like peanuts?” “How about peanut butter cookies?” I actually like all nuts including peanuts but the smell and flavor of peanut butter has been off-putting to me since I was around five years old. I think I got it from my dad because he hates the flavor just as much as I do. Living in Korea has been interesting because they don’t really eat it here either but when talking about Western food it always comes up and they always assume I like it and act just as surprised when I explain how much I hate it.

Tough Questions: Which of Your Last Twenty Status Updates Would You Want to Be Your Last One Ever?

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Every Monday we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week?

Which of Your Last Twenty Status Updates Would You Want to Be Your Last One Ever?

Rules are simple: take one of your last twenty Facebook or Twitter updates and have that be your last one, forever. If someone looked you up on the Google, they’d find your social media. What would you want them to find that represents you FOREVER?

Scott Phillips

My Facebook statuses usually alternate between being appreciative or silly — and sometimes salty — observational humor. Since I don’t want to go out looking like a chump for thanking Luol Deng or my Facebook “friends” for a great 2013, I’ll go with my Facebook status about the worst NFL player of the year: Chicago Bears starting safety Chris Conte.

In case you don’t know who Conte is, he’s made blunder-after-blunder throughout the 2013 season, missing tackles, being out of place in coverage and generally getting burned by faster receivers on a regular basis.

Don’t know what any of that football jargon means? That’s okay. You do know what a tackle is, right?

So, when Conte made a crucial blunder against the hated rival Green Bay Packers that pretty much cost the Bears the game, and the season, in their final home loss — among many other blunders, but it was the pinnacle moment of a particularly pathetic season for Conte — Chicagoans naturally took to social media to ridicule Conte.

He received death threats. Seriously.

I hate Chris Conte, but it’s a sports hate. I’d never say anything bad to his face because I’ve certainly fucked up a job before and never wanted anyone giving me shit about it, let alone death threats.

So, I made a Facebook status at 7:45 p.m. on December 29th that doubled as a Conte joke:

“Chris Conte probably misses when he attempts to give hugs to family members.”

It’s non-offensive, topical, shows my hatred of Chris Conte in a subtle way and I think that most people can generally understand the gist of the joke.

Plus, did I mention how much I hate Chris Conte?

Mike Hannemann

This is easy because I use Facebook solely as a joke machine (with the occasional spot of sentiment if something so important the moment truly warrants it).  I was especially pleased with “Ah, TBOX. The one special day a year that people of all faiths and denominations set aside their differences and gather together to agree that people are just the worst.” because, well, I’m vain and laugh at my own jokes.  It’s funny and mean spirited just to the point of not offending any one particular person. Which I think that is the closest representation to the type of humor I try to bring to my very important social media platform.

Alex Marino

“The Subway-Hunger Games commercial is our advertising Icarus moment.” Remember the days when a fast food movie sponsorship just meant you got a shitty collector’s cup or some toy in the kid’s meal that your child can choke on?  Now everyone tries to make some awful pun or compare a product to the themes of the movie.  In the NBA they promote some action movie by showing an explosion from the movie and then a dunk from LeBron James because they’re just so explosive (kill me).  So when the marketing execs at Subway sat down and tried to come up with how their brand related to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire they realized the word “Fire” was in the movie’s title and also they had a spicy sandwich.  It’s the laziest marketing I’ve ever seen.  And let’s not overlook the irony of a fast food company sponsoring a movie where one of the main plot points is that the people of Jennifer Lawrence’s district are STARVING.  Go to hell Subway.

Alex Russell

“WHY CAN’T I BE FOURSQUARE MAYOR OF THIS PLANE?”

I don’t know why I use Foursquare. I have no idea why I care about this thing. I checked in at a fucking grocery store today. I think there’s no better way for someone to get a sense of what I’m all about than to see just how stupid my whole world really is. Most of the rest of it is all jokes, but you better believe I went to that Trader Joe’s. You don’t even have to ask me. You’ll just fuckin’ KNOW.

Andrew Findlay

“Faulkner used the word “dingdong” in his Nobel speech. #fuckyes #thesouth #whuskey”

I guess I’d want this to be my last tweet because it would serve as a good epitaph. I was born and raised in Memphis, but I don’t live there anymore. Coming off of the Christmas family visit back home, I am suffering through a heavy nostalgia attack (listening to B.B. King as I write this). I claim Faulkner as part of my home city’s cultural heritage. People in Oxford probably have a better claim, but I’d like to remind them that Faulkner once said that Mississippi begins in the lobby of a Memphis, Tennessee hotel, and that many of his novels, most notably The Reivers, feature Memphis as a central setting. I also love the rumors that he gave his Nobel speech while blind drunk. Finally, I love whiskey, any and all types. I draw the line just this side of Kentucky Gentleman, but respect those who go beyond it. Besides, this tweet makes me look a hell of a lot classier than the ones about my wife preventing me from eating a Cinnabon or me puncturing my foot by stepping on an earring.

Brent Hopkins

Looking over my social media history I think I would have to pick my Facebook post from New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day. (“Got to watch the first sunrise of the year about as far east as I will ever be.”) I live in South Korea, so when the New Year rolls around it is pretty common for people to pack up and travel to the eastern coast to see the first sunrise of the year (romantic, I know). I tend to have a mediocre time on New Year’s and I really do think it is a bit overrated in terms of importance but I had a terrible 2013 so I thought this would be a nice “reset” of sorts emotionally. I went there and pretty much froze to death because it is the middle of the winter on the coast. I happened to go with my ex-girlfriend whom I am still quite close with because we are both gluttons for emotional punishment and we took pictures and posted them on Facebook. The aftermath of this trip was a nice lady I had been dating (not my ex) seeing this post on Facebook and angrily calling me stating how much she hates me and how I wasn’t honest with her (untrue as I told her about my the trip and my ex) and how bad a guy I am. I usually am a bit of a fighter for women but I just agreed with her and said have a nice life. Looking back on that it really sums up my love life and just general living. Good intentions with explosive and somewhat comical results. I wouldn’t mind leaving that as a warning beacon to all women that search for me.