This week: a relationship ruined by text messages. An out of shape gamer looking for an easy way out. A broke-ass gent with an eye on Craigslist. Three sad souls, three desperations—three readers in need.
So I've been seeing this guy for a few weeks now, and we get along really well and everything. Except he insists on texting me instead of calling. Even when he's just at home doing nothing, he still won't give me a call. Worst part? When I call him, he RETURNS my calls with texts. That's just rude, right?? What gives?
Uhm, let's just cut right to it and get the screechy white elephant out of the room: What's your voice sound like? Yeah, this might not be what you wanted to hear—but before we move on, we have to confront the possibility that you might not be what he wants to hear either. Occam's razor, dig?
No, don't cry—you probably sound just fine. It's probably the phone's fault. Remember that, while a human ear can capture sounds between 30 and 20,000 Hz—from a deep rumble to a high-pitched squeal—a telephone squashes all audio into the range of 300 to 3,400 Hz. Clearly the siren song of your dulcet soprano is being relegated to the harpy range by your handset. Your lover probably can't stand to sample your electronified voice after developing a taste for its analog beauty.
But thankfully, these new-world problems can be handled with the two oldest tricks in the relationship book: compromise and extortion. Just send him this text: "no s3x til u talk 2 me."
So I've kind of let myself go over the past few years. And whenever I tell myself that I'm gonna whip myself into shape, the gym membership ends up being money down the toilet. So I'm thinking maybe I need to work exercise into my daily routine. And since I basically sit on the couch and play videogames all day, I was thinking about getting a Playstation Move or Wii Fit to work out. Will either of those make a difference?
-Sbarro the Hedgehog
Get off your ass and into a gym. Or on a sidewalk. Or roll down a hill aerobically. Sucker punch someone at a bar and then run away as he and his friends chase you. Anything. Your problem is the couch, not the videogames, and dumping money into console peripherals isn't going to get you out of the living room. Galen Clavio, of Indiana University's Kinesiology Department says that, although a PlayStation Move or Wii Fit might help with hand/eye coordination, they are "nothing that would replace the gym." Even if you combined real exercise with hopping around in your living room, Galen says, wryly, that the best you can probably hope for is to "help with understanding the sports that you're playing." But you're not actually playing sports, see? Here, let's put this in terms you'll understand:
You know how it's, like, totally awesome to just wander around a virtually scorched earth looking for cool stuff? There's an even bigger, soon-to-be-scorched Earth that you can explore without even waiting for the PS3 to update its software again. Here's a walk-through of level 1:
Whenever I'm on Craigslist, I see these work from home ads, and sometimes it's like 1000 bucks a week. Are any of these things legit? I could really use the cash, and if there's any way to make some extra change with the time I'm already spending online, it would really save my ass.
-Broke With Broadband
So, it's money you need? Well! Do we have an offer for you! I can't tell you exactly what it is, or how much it pays, but let us assure you that it'll make you C@SH M0N3Y every day, and you can WORK FROM HOME! Just send your social security number, zipcode, blood type, and an envelope of whatever cash you have lying around to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When it comes to those "work from home" Craigslist offers, yes, they are just as scammy as they look. And so are all the rest of them, says Ethan Arenson of the FTC's Division of Marketing Practices—the gov's go-to man for keeping digital con men away from suckers like, well, you. The entire work from home industry (if you can call a bunch of creepy guys ripping people off an industry) is "saturated with fraud," says Arenson. You hear that? Saturated. Like, dripping with fraud sauce.
But, if you manage to come across something that doesn't look blatantly criminal, Arenson says to make sure you have your homework done: "do your due diligence, and talk to other people," he urges, but laments that "these folks pay professional references, [so] you can't trust who you're talking to." Well, great. Let's just stick with the stay the hell away from Craigslist scams approach, then.
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