August 2008

It’s Labor Day weekend!  That means it’s time for the End of Summer lists.  I love listening to the radio this time of year and catching all those classic hit tunes from early June that I forgot about, but were such a part of the early dog days of summer.


In honor of the Labor Day lists, I’ve reflected on the Summer of 2008 and put together my own list.  What words and phrases and memories come to mind when I think about the past 4 months?


So, in no particular order, here is my Summary (summery? haha!) of the Summer of 2008:


What’s on your list?  Agree with any of the above?  Disagree?


Alex Beam of the Boston Globe published an article in yesterday’s paper about the uselessness of Twitter.  I don’t know the backstory behind that assignment.  I wish I did.  As an avid Twitter user, it would help me understand better where he was coming from so I could react appropriately.

However, without that background, I was saddened by his quick brush-off of a medium that is pushing consumer journalism into a new era at a rapid pace.  (Or maybe that was his goal – to maintain print journalism’s relevancy by brushing off Twitter as a fad for teens.) 

I was also highly amused by his reflection that only teens use the site – at 27, I feel like one of the youngest users on the social network!

Sooz had a great post summing up the article on her blog – be sure to check it out.

See what Twitterverse has to say about it.  What’s your reaction to the article?

I love music, and I also enjoy going to concerts.  I’ve been actively attending shows for over a decade; there was a time in my life when I was going twice a week!  (Ah, the beauty of being a teenager within 45 minutes of New York City.) 

Getting tickets was an exciting experience, too.  I loved going to the Ticketmaster counter at the Tower Records at my local mall and watching them print out those little green pieces of paper declaring, “Smashing Pumpkins live at Nassau Coliseum!” or “Jones Beach presents No Doubt!”.  It was like a Willy Wonka golden ticket.

But now, the thrill is gone.  Getting a ticket for a show is just slightly less painful then getting three root canals by an unlicensed dentist in a dark alley in the snow.  Seriously.  Tower Records is now defunct and trying to find where to buy a ticket in person is like a bad game of Where’s Waldo.  You would think buying a ticket online is easy, but oh no, not at all!  I understand the need to protect against identify theft and scalpers, but it’s at the point where it’s not even worth trying.

I recently tried to get tickets for a Vanessa Carlton show in Boston that was apparently sold out.  Annoyed by how frustrating the experience was, I wrote an open letter to Ticketmaster:

Dear Ticket “Monster”,

If a show is sold out, can you please just say “Sold Out”?  Is it really necessary to keep my hopes up and make me go through the entire process of selecting tickets, then typing in your stupid word codes which are never real words and always look like other words so I have to try again, like 40000 times, and then have to wait for the scroll thing saying “Don’t you dare click refresh or you will lose your tickets and/or die”, only to land on a page that tells me, “Sorry, tickets are not available at that option.  Why don’t you try entering other options, you stupidhead?”  Hmm, if you don’t have 1 ticket available at “Best Price Available” in “Any Section”, then it’s probably worth a shot that it’s Sold.  Out.

Yes, you can still provide a link to your alternative site that pretends to have extra available tickets at double the price.  That’s fine.  But put it on the first page, not the last one after I go through that painstaking, soul-sucking process of finding out you don’t have actually have tickets.

Next time, I am buying them from a scalper.  At least I know it will take less than 14000 hours to get the tickets in my hands, and I won’t have to pay a “venue fee” (by the way, I’m onto your little scam that behind that – out of the additional $10 you suck from every ticket I buy, $5 is going in your pocket, and $5 is going to the people that change the sign that shows the name of the venue since every single one feels the needs to change its name at least once a month.  Maybe if we stopped paying that fee, the names would mysteriously stay the same and you wouldn’t be such a ticket-hoarding giant anymore…).

A long-time concert-goer/Victim of Ticket“Leecher”

So I apologize for my bitter tone, but I felt it had to be said.  Have you experienced similar frustrations with Ticketmaster?