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thomas middleditch

Piperchat, prepositions and pant wetting

*spoilers*

coderag_s4_banners_piperchat.jpgOh golly!  Here’s my nonsensical adoration rant for this show. So here is just a little slice of my takeouts I loved from this episode. You know you have watched some quality comedy when the following happen; ( and in no particular order) laughing out loud, snorting(that embarrassing laugh) , beverages consumed whilst watching the show spurting out of your nose, laughing so hard that at 35 you pee yourself a little…and realise that your light bladder control pads now need to be worn whilst watching tv and not just at adult gymnastics classes. I LOVE THIS show. I have written about it all over this blog and did my first spec script on it and it has been a constant source of hilarity. All elements of this show and amazing. Direction, acting, writing – please watch it!  I haven’t laughed so much since the episode where they annihilate and are rude to the VC’s in season 2.

It may seem trivial – but prepositions are important. This is stressed by Richard who explains to Dinesh that he once threw up IN his pants… that’s right, IN not ON. The description of this made me cry with laughter. The nightmarish manifestations of Richard’s anxiety know no limits and it is relatable to those of us who embody some of these nervous traits. The snappy comments that Richard and Dinesh fire at each other is so childishly funny…

An ongoing tScreen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.45.37 PMheme is the continual hope of success that sticks in the valley. It is fleeting, short lived and seemingly unattainable. The episode largely focuses on Piperchat – the only workable component of Pied Piper that remains. And so ensues the rise and fall of the CEO – and whilst I won’t ruin the enjoyment of this playing out it is interesting to see similar situations that happened to Ricahrd being mirrored with Dinesh. I often wonder how many new start up CEO’s crawl into a bathtub and want to cry! (or even script writer wannabes..or anyone for that matter!)

The living room has been the stage for a lot of funny moments in the show. I will sum up another fave scene with this picture :

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A final visual. This shot is fantastic – Mike Judge is a dream director.

Laboured Love

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Hooray it was pouring rain on Sunday which was the ideal environment for Netflix, diet coke and binge watching the original series, LOVE.  I watch so much TV and work in TV – the reason why I get attached to certain shows is that I seem to be drawn more and more to shows that make me laugh but also allow me to examine and question some of the bigger topics in life in a non confrontational way. For this reason, I am loving watching LOVE.

( It would be remiss of me to not mention at this point the  wonderful acting by Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs and the superb minds who created the show, Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin . Needless to say Paul Rust is sensational and he could bump Thomas Middleditch/Richard Hendricks from Silicon Valley as my number 1 onscreen nerd crush…)

I gave it a good, solid attempt and have a few eps left to go but still wanted to chatter about one or two points. Yes, LOVE is a somewhat huge, all encompassing title for a show. For me, I am enjoying how it explores the heightened states of anxiety surrounding hook up/meeting people culture. It delves into the emotional make up of the characters which is intriguing for me as it takes a more psychological approach which I was not expecting. It’s like a backlash to all those Hollywood romance genres and notions we hold.

The main characters, Gus and Mickey, are not overly appealing however they are real. If we were going to stereotype or categorise them then perhaps we could say that Gus is a nerdy, intellectual good guy and Mickey is a sassy but wounded soul, carrying addiction issues.

Anyway you can watch it and draw your own conclusions but I wanted to focus on this state we get into after we meet someone – and it terrifies me. I think the show has brilliantly captured this dance we do  when we meet someone. From over analysing texts, to obsessively stalking on social media  – the show really examines our behaviours (mostly unhealthy) when we meet someone new. I liked the scene where Gus is texting Mickey and deletes several messages – rather than being himself and writing a small thesis (something I can identify with) he has several attempts at being succinct and what he assumes will be of the “ playing it cool” tone. As highlighted by Gus’s colleague, ‘nothing dries up a girls vagina more than a paragraph of text.’ So many assumptions! I always liked the expression that like attracts like. Personally, intellectual stimulation floats my boat so I welcome a mini thesis on text . How else can you capture your audience and who knows how long you will maintain their interest for?! I found this whole episode a great commentary on why we censor ourselves more and more. It seems social media has created certain rules within rules and it’s hard to just let yourself be. I think some deeper ideas behind that episode pose the question –  Does that constant censoring/adapting/modifying of yourself effect who you end up with and how does that unfold in your relationship? No one can keep that behavioural pattern up?! It’s effort all the time. There is so much dialogue around social media, hook up culture and its impact on your relationship out there now that it really is its own character within shows.

A particularly dark and interesting scene was where Mickey is feeling rejected/abandoned and is obsessively looking at Gus’s facebook post. We can so easily lose ourselves and feel a true connection via nothing but images. We assume we know a person from these mediums.

Perhaps at its core of the show,  is this concept: when you meet a potential partner are they being themselves or is there so much set up and false pretense that the relationship breakdown is inevitable – no one can keep up appearances that well before the cracks of their past relationships, behavioural patterns and bad habits leak out or erupt. Can people truly just be and accept each other for light and dark ? This concept really challenges me – there’s so much vulnerability involved these days. The pressure of having to look good and being completely judged and swiped on any social media is enough to do your heads in.  It’s pretty rare to connect genuinely these days from the get go. Sometimes the simplicity of the Austen novels is beyond appealing. Dropping expectations of ourselves and others seem key to successful relationships be it romantic or otherwise and I found myself thinking deeply on these topics after episodes 7 and 8. Authenticity is a question this show is asking its viewers. Are we authentic to ourselves  and others or are we drowning in perceived reality and projected highlights of social media?

A few more episodes to go and we will see how it unfolds. Can they stay grounded and rooted, be themselves and be in a relationship or is compromise just too hard these days?! One thing that seems a constant these days is that love actually seems more like this …

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and less like this…

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Carpal Tunnel, Coding & Condors

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“I don’t code anymore…carpal tunnel”
Last night we saw Erlich Bachman throw on his carpal tunnel wrist support braces, pin his curly locks out of his face , sit on an exercise ball to get comfortable and commence coding in an “all hands on deck” situation for Pied Piper team.
The former carpal tunnel sufferer joined the Pied Piper team in an attempt keep the stream of the Condor egg up and running on their homemade servers ( as it was receiving a lot of traffic) until the rescue team arrive and cut the feed.
Jared takes a mindful moment and revels in the teamwork being witnessed, expressing it as ‘magical’ and ‘ intoxicating’. He rejoices in knowing that Erlich couldn’t deny his call to action when the team needed him most. Erlich’s reponse to this is a little less magical where he cuts the moment short by saying: “Jared, respectfully, shut the fuck up. I’m working.”

I would like to take a moment and deep dive into the true cause behind Erlich’s carpal tunnel syndrome. For those of you unfamiliar with such a condition, it where a nerve is compressed in the wrist which causes pain in the hands/wrists, numbness, pins and needles and movement restriction. There is a common belief that it occurs and effects those who work on computers for extended hours at a time. Overuse injuries are common for anyone who works on a computer and I suspect it resonates with RSI (repetitive strain injury).

Now, if anyone was going to suffer such a condition it would be those who work in IT. However we recently had a workplace health and safety lady assess us at my workplace and she mentioned that were a whole host of reasons as to why someone would suffer this.Take a look at this article here about it being a workplace myth 
That leads me to suspect that this type of overuse injury is from Erlich’s, shall we say, co-curricular activities and interests…

tumblr_nq00s0H8ck1ttqf8xo5_250I think we all know just how annoying it can be to get a lighter to work.Your fingers can turn red from the flicking action. This movement and pressure on the hands and fingers is abnormal. Then, there are the angles. The way in which your hand grips the apparatus and then holds it there for extended periods of time certainly couldn’t help the carpal tunnel cause.

Not to mention that ‘gardening’ in general would no doubt be another factor in his diagnosis…all that pruning, planting,digging,cutting…

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I also suspect his noodle obsession and use of chopsticks would also be something that contributed to his carpal tunnel. That scissoring motion of the hands is surely jarring.
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Back to the show…

The conclusion of the episode pulled at my heart strings because I can’t endure any more grief thrown at Richard.

After he gets off the phone with Monica and tells the guys “I just got fired,” – Erlich then follows on from this with . “And what about me?

Exactly…what about Erlich?  Erlich for CEO?

This ending left me thinking about this comment made by Erlich at an earlier time.
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As much as I love Richard maybe he just doesn’t have the asshole factor needed for the harsh realities of Silicon Valley…

Is there truth to this statement by Erlich?

Time will tell…

Ready to pounce like an internet panther

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No, I wasn’t familiar with that phrase either until last night’s episode of Silicon Valley.
When I heard this escape out of Richard’s “para- paranoid” mouth, a phrase used to describe him by Dinesh during this episode, it made me laugh out loud! I erupted so hard that I choked on a piece of steak . I was coughing so badly and then I started to panic – I had to go in with my fingers and start an extraction plan to fix the situation. It was rather traumatic. The phrase is still making me chuckle to myself this morning.

The reason for the giggling is because anyone who has some type of anxiety (me) often forget how ridiculous we can sound when things gain momentum and start snowballing. The things that escape our mouths are often quite funny to others when we are in the zone of catastrophising. We really don’t mean it to be entertaining and often it seems to take people quite some time to gauge that we are close to having a meltdown!

Richard and I share this super power…
nullSo why was Richard tailspinning? Well, we already know that Richard has some form of an anxiety disorder and his paranoia and stress levels have been building up and affecting his health recently (night sweats.)
Due to the recent unfolding of events between Endframe and Pied Piper, Richard is feeling remorseful about a security expert (Seth) that gets fired from Endframe due to the covert actions of the Pied Piper group. Richards’s guilty conscious sees him confess to Seth about how his company hacked into their system. Seth doesn’t handle the news particularly well and bursts into anger which is directed at Gilfoyle. Richard meets with Seth again to ensure that he definitely won’t do anything to compromise Pied Piper’s system and bake-off with Endframe. After Richard inadvertently reinforces again that Gifloyle simply didn’t care about the whole situation, we see Seth have a verbally explosive conversation with Gilfoyle which likened him to having a form of  “angry tourettes”.

The episode was full of wildly funny things, of course it was, it was directed by Alec Berg and the show just won the Critic’s Choice award for comedy duhhh.

I hope Richard makesnull it though the season without having some stress induced cardiac attack…I mean some people may find his anxiety endearing, like me, so there is hope for us all! He’s only stressed because he cares people!

Just watch the episode!

Nasty Nights or Sexy Sweats?

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*Silicon Valley spoilers*

I don’t know about anyone else, but  I found Richard drenched in sweat somewhat appealing…Now before you start judging my already unhealthy obsession with a fictional TV character, I want to draw your attention to this fact – women have always been attracted to the dirty, sweaty, earthy types throughout the ages haven’t we?

Yeah the guys below just look totally awful covered in sweat…no attraction happening whatsoever….

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A sweaty and dirty Brad Pitt
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An over heated Ryan Gosling

It’s even scientifically proven that a quick whiff of a man’s sweat can raise those cortisol levels and increases our sex drive.

If some of us can find Zac Effron sweating to be “hot” then I feel justified that Richard sweating is just as appealing. Is there really that much difference between exercise sweat and stress sweat? So whilst it was a nasty night terror for Richard I have to say the sexy sweat component did float through my head.51506302 Actor Zac Efron filming scenes on the set of 'We Are Your Friends' in Los Angeles, California on August 19, 2014. Zac was happy to get back to work after spending most of the summer with his rumored girlfriend Michelle Rodriguez in Ibiza, Spain. FameFlynet, Inc - Beverly Hills, CA, USA - +1 (818) 307-4813

I can’t really see that much of a difference can you…? The end result is still the same regardless of the precursor – the subject is still covered in sweat.

If I took this journey inward, it makes me realise just how much of a connection Richard and I would share. Clearly we  have quite high levels of anxiety. As previously mentioned on another blog post, we have a common understanding of IBS movements. Stress is a recurrent theme in both our lives. Admittedly I am not the CEO of a start up company but I have had my share of stressful moments this week  – thus the ebb and flow of being an assistant. I think we have similar tendencies to be over achievers without shouting it from the rooftops. Introverted, over achievers with busy internal organs.

My stomach is the first to suffer at the first signs of stress. Acid reflux really rears its head especially under extreme duress. Involve a member of the opposite sex and this situation inevitably ensues – see Richard below after the tech crunch win post  an interaction with Monica.

vom

Let’s take a closer look at our similarities – Richard and I self medicate with beverages. His poison of choice is red bull mine is diet coke. Both are diuretics and we both have “alleged”  bed wetting/light bladder incontinence issues due to the volumes we consume. Both are full of caffeine which helps us with our long hours and the need to be alert and ready for anything. We both internalise our stress to the point where it comes out of our bodies be it in the form of sweat or poop.

I get over heated quite a lot at night – even in the midst of winter I need to have limbs escaping from the covers or I feel constricted and trapped. I often wake up sweaty but not drenched in night sweats. This is a reflection of my inability to sort out my body’s thermostat. I can’t ever get the balance right…thus I prefer colder climates to limit sweating. I won’t even get started on stress, sweat and the effects of make up…

I am always trying to alleviate the above issues with exercise,yoga and mediation.  I suspect that Hooli have a wide range of exercise classes to attend and I am surprised we haven’t seen Gavin Belson doing some reformer pilates or yoga. I really feel the Pied Piper gang could benefit from implementing this into their work/life balance. Richard should probably look into meditating and no doubt his Guru teacher could be Erlich.

Perhaps they could even wear their new kimonos whilst performing downward dogs.

Something to ponder…

Entrepreneurial Erlich

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If you ever wondered how to present yourself or a business strategy to the elitist companies of Silicon Valley – look no further. Last night’s return of HBO’s Silicon Valley saw Erlich Bachman demonstrate a refreshing approach on the art of effective persuasion and communication during a negotiation. I see his strategy in three parts – innovative, invincible and impertinent.

When I think of Silicon Valley (the city) I immediately think of the word innovation. I can’t think of a more innovative approach than that of Erlich and Richard in their quest for Pied Piper’s valunullation process. I really feel that some of the key players in the tech world would be proud of their “thinking outside of the box” approach. Perhaps at the heart of the Pied Piper gang they embrace and uphold these quotes by Steve Jobs on innovation and Mark Zuckerberg on risk taking. As the episode unfolded, so too, did their innovative strategy of insults and their risk taking behaviours. I strongly believe that Erlich is the type of person who would have these  as affirmation cards in his wallet!

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Let’ s take a look at this newly adopted, fresh and contemporary business strategy

1) Innovative – it is often said that innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organisation – we see this in full force as Richard and Elrich have the ability to identify early on that the companies valuing them are in fact ‘negging’ them and as a result of this they develop an original strategy to tackle the rest of their meetings which lead to…

2) Invincible – Know your worth people. Nothing wrong with a touch of quiet confidence is there!? “We’re three-foot cocks covered in Elvis dust!” – eloquently articulated here by Elrich.

3) Impertinent* Note: follow Erlich’s  lead and not Richard’s. They each have their own skill set and this sits firmly in Elrich’s domain as demonstrated by the following insults generated in the meetings:

“Your muffins smell like shit, so do your ideas. One of you is the least attractive person I’ve ever seen, and I’m not going to say who.”

“I think what I’m seeing is the human equivalent of a flaccid penis.”

“Your logo looks like a sideways vagina. I find that to be racist, don’t you?”

It appears the saying ‘treat them mean keep them keen’ has some plausibility here in the realms of Silicon Valley.

It seems evident that “being an asshole” is a recurrent theme of the show and perhaps to be more specific, it really seems to be focusing on how to finesse the ‘art’ of being an asshole and how it is imperative that one embodies asshole-ish elements in such a climate. What a personal journey indeed – especially for Richard. There is nobody better than Elrich to guide him through this. Leading by example has always been a valuable entrepreneurial trait.

I will leave you with, in my opinion, the best of Bachman’s business tips to those of us who are the Richard’s of the world…

‘Be an asshole. That’s why he’s a billionaire. Because he knows how and when to be an asshole.” – Erlich discussing Peter Gregory to Richard

I hope Richard finds a happy medium between being his typical socially awkward self and that of an asshole. I look forward to embarking on this journey with them.

( A random thought…In the lead up to the season commencing, Mike Judge said we would see the ‘Rise of Richard’ which perhaps  could be interpreted as the the ‘Rise of Dick’  – the rise of dick behaviour, being a dick and embracing other asshole qualities or perhaps even a literal rise of Richard with Monica. Only time will tell.)

Twitch-ing

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What is twitch-ing indeed? No, I am not referring to the bodily movements experienced after having too much diet coke in a day, but I am talking about this little discovery that saw me fall fast into the black hole of time suck-age http://www.twitch.tv/middleditch
Twitch is kinda popular and about 45 million odd gamers gather every month on Twitch to broadcast, watch and chat about gaming. There is also the opportunity to subscribe/donate to nominated charities or causes as per the gamer you are watching.
I wouldn’t call myself an elite gamer however if time permitted I most certainly would be close. I just can’t seem to carve out the dedicated chunks of time needed to immerse myself wholly into the experience. (You can see my previous post on RPG games and my innate love for that.)

Yep so here you have it, yet another addiction to add to the list which already includes excessive diet coke consumption, the quest for a decent mascara, Tyrells sea salt and cider vinegar chips and now…this! Hmm addictive behaviours are us nullat least I am aware that it is a problem… I just don’t really move on from that initial acknowledgement.

It all came about from a little reading late last Friday afternoon at work. My boss was away and I thought yes time to be proactive and catch up on all media news. It came from a place of good intention. I was looking at what platforms are around on social media. I was chatting to some colleagues about the digital world and what gets a lot of traction and that is when the topic of gaming popped up. I was trying to get my knowledge up and keep across all these ‘trends’ . Anyway I had a quick flick on twitter and then saw a link that Thomas Middleditch (aka Richard Hendricks *swoon alert* Silicon Valley again see below posts) was playing Vikings on Twitch and down the rabbit hole I went…

Curious about the site, I signed up logged in and put my headphones on. Basically Thomas is playing the game whilst commentating (and very amusing if you are a fan of the banter,his work,enjoy a hybrid of accents and hearing some interesting bodily functions namely gulping and burping) and all the while it is for a good cause. You can subscribe and donate money for their designated charity of choice – his being the Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/ which is environmentally focused and when I’m not gaming I can be found in nature. I have spent a lot of time in US National parks and would like to
continue to do so (especially Oregon < I miss that place!)2014-12-28 10.47.16

What a great idea? Justifying gaming by saying it was for work research, assisting the environment and entertaining girlish notions and crushes on Thomas Middleditch? Yes I say, yes more Twitch for me!

I did show my boss an excerpt of the broadcast as I do believe there was some merit in that exercise, plus I had to justify my Friday afternoon activities – but the next thing I knew 20 mins had passed and we were both twitch-ing it up. We perhaps even learnt something about each other – he was really good at 1942 and I enjoy Skyrim. Bonding with your boss over video games – who said gaming was insular!? Look at us now all coming together in our nerdiness.

In some ways it is borderline voyeuristic to me watching and listening to someone play a game. It is definitely an odd interaction for me and it actually held my attention – which seems virtually impossible in a world of instant gratification. A slippery slope indeed, there was talk of a webcam installment but I think that would just make my head explode for a multitude of reasons – no one wants to bring that type of ‘crazy’ groupie/fan element into the gaming community.

I am shocking at the strategy component in games and I must admit it is a low point for me for my gaming experience. I love creating my characters, roaming the lands, building things, getting my magic skills on and leveling up but when it comes to battle and strategies I am hopeless. I have no interest in it and that shows in my many saved games that have never been finished because it’s too hard or I can’t win that battle to continue. However, with the skills of Thomas and the support of the other gamers chatting, I felt like I was learning and absorbing like sponge, the many methods of their strategic approach. In fact it was somewhat self esteem boosting to think that perhaps I have got a shred of strategy gaming potential and to revisit those battles I just couldn’t win – Baldur’s Gate 2 that means you.

I guess I will be working out the time zone differences frequently so that I can tune in to when he is playing and how that collides with my work schedule. Yet another obstacle of living in Australia ah someone just marry me and give me the god damn green card already! I am somewhat regretting telling my boss about it as I made a passing comment just now about how I missed his latest gaming session today- however I did just catch him mid google looking at pinball and arcade games so well done to me for making him complicit in this side quest!

Get your Twitch on!

Strange Attractions in Silicon Valley

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Take a look ladies – what a visual delight. (…or so I thought)

Today I made a comment that was not well received at all. I am absolutely perplexed as to why others didn’t share the same viewpoint as me. I had all the irrefutable evidence I could come up with and still I couldn’t get anybody to shift their opinion.The topic was around TV and characters that we find attractive – a pretty commonplace topic for light relief. Scandal’s Jake came out of the gates first and sure, I totally get it. Hey, I was a fan way back from when he was on Felicity. Jax Teller, Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, Guy from Arrow etc etc. I don’t disagree with these at all.

However…

It’s just I shifted the conversation from an unrealistic romantic day dreaming head space into one that might be more realistic. Realistic in terms of this TV character being potential in the real world. A character you could actually date. Clearly none of us are Olivia Pope in status with access to high powered men and I certainly am not that well dressed or have the ability to handle stress as well as she does. Forget our zombie friends –  they wouldn’t have the time for you. I guess that would be the equivalent of men today in the dating world saying they can’t commit (because there’s a zombie apocalypse and surviving kinda takes priority over you ..ouch) Let’s not start on our bad boy men of Sons of Anarchy. You get the point.

I blurted out that Richard Hendricks, played by Thomas Middleditch,was someone I would date in the real world. The responses were so reactionary it upset me! Why Why why? I felt like this blog post should of been called in defence of Richard Hendricks!

He’s nerdy – given. Intelligent, thoughtful, determined and thinks outside the box as seen here (alright socially awkward and bumbling and rife with nervous energy) but it’s all endearing right!!?!

Wouldn’t you prefer someone highly alert and tuned in rather than someone disengaged and arrogant?  Let us not forget the overarching gold star of all his traits, he is an inventor. A pioneer. He followed his dreams which means ambition ladies! Goal making and focus.  Pied Piper indeed!

I get that he can’t make decisions overly well but I can. I am far too impulsive for my own good and sure, I can’t handle stress well either but at least I know our medicinal cupboard would always be heavily stocked with IBS drugs. He would let me talk freely about my  nervous poo pains without dismissing me like some other males might. Empathy is what he could show you. Empathy because he can relate to the panic attacks

Moving the relationship forward could see an involvement in stress reducing activities like yoga. Imagine the depth and growth the relationship would see whilst overcoming these issues. I also just need to add that he would understand my need to play skyrim – if only to listen to the atmospheric music. Designated gaming time. Bliss.

Anyway I am standing by my decision, so much so it may inspire me to move there and just stalk out nerdy,cute guys?

Back to the real world and if you haven’t watched Silicon Valley it is so funny and well written. Do yourself a favour and watch it and who knows you may start seeing the many attractive elements of all the cast and characters.

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