Monday, November 24, 2008

so many cake-related idioms!

It's the weekend and it's cold outside and there's that movie playing that you sort of want to see but you just haven't been able to muster the energy to Google the times so you are lying in bed and you can't figure out if you're hungry or not and Facebook is sucking the life out of you and you are wearing pajama pants at 4 p.m.. This was me on Saturday afternoon. ("Bloggers, they're just like us!")

Later that night, before actually gathering up the strength to do the tough things in life (i.e. shower, get dressed, leave my apartment), two of my homedawgs came over and we ordered in Chinese. It had been that kind of day; Chinese was in order. (Related: when isn't Chinese in order?)

When we were finished eating and looking at my dirty plate was making me feel both tired and wistful, Marissa opened her fortune cookie. As we know, I take my fortunes very seriously. I keep my favorite fortunes in my wallet. I write blog posts about fortunes. Heck, the first blog I ever made was named after a fortune I got! But this one, this one Marissa got, my friends, this one may have taken the cake (this last sentence is what we call a pre-joke, btw -- come back and re-read it in 30 seconds and you will laugh like you have never laughed before).

Marissa's fortune: "A nice cake is waiting for you."

OMFG. So specific yet so metaphorical!

"A nice cake is waiting for you" is totally my new life motto. Think how differently you would live life if you were always aware of the fact that there was a great big juicy (ha, how much do you love juicy cakes?!) cake waiting for you at the end of the day -- your favorite cake. Crammed between 15 sweaty freaks on the subway? Chill out - a nice cake is waiting for you. Your PowerPoint crashes meaning you lose an hour's worth of work? NBD - a nice cake is waiting for you. Did your hook up from last weekend never respond to your text? Whatevs, a nice cake is a hundred times better... and it's waiting for you. Substitute whatever you want in for cake, y'know? Maybe your nice cake is an episode of "Law & Order" or catching up on your snarky blogs or talking on the phone to your boo. It's your nice cake. And it's waiting for you. SO GET OUT OF BED, SHOWER AND GET DRESSED, FOOL. GOOGLE THOSE MOVIE TIMES AND FIGURE OUT IF YOU'RE HUNGRY. Your nice cake is waiting for you: so earn it.

(I'm totally going to write a self-help book. It's going to be called: "Earn Your Nice Cake... and Eat It, Too.")

Thursday, November 20, 2008

pimp my gmail

By now you have probably noticed the advent of the new gmail "themes" which give you the ability to trick out your gmail however you like. (It's so cool to use ghetto slang when you're using it ironically!)

Now my resistance to change has been well-noted on this blog so at the risk of becoming a parody of myself and complaining like a caffeine-addled freak about how the "default" gmail theme is now some weird aquamarine nightmare (I switched back to "classic" faster than you bolt to Facebook when you get an e-mail notifying you that you've got a new tagged pic), I present to you this analysis of some of my "favorite" themes:

The kind of person I would never willingly interact with is the kind of person who would choose this theme (called "Terminal"):

This theme (below) is called "Cold Shower":

I know, I know. It looks just like the 10 other blue-based themes (Marina, New Blue, Steel, etc.). It's simple and plain and blue. So why does it get such an evocative and sensual name?! Just like they say you need a cold shower after getting all hot and bothered (or maybe people only say that in mediocre movies?), I need a cold shower after getting hot and bothered over this stupid name. BOO-YAH!

Check out these boys who can adorn your gmail and who are totally sensibly called "zoozimps":
SEXY CAN I ALERT! They appear to be distant cousins of the paper clip that hung out on the screen while you wrote papers on Microsoft Word in middle school. There is really nothing I can say about these attractive fellers other than that they come in last place in the tournament of life in which the grand prize is hanging with the stomping grapes lady and "life" means "gmail."

Now shit just gets weird. "Tea House" is some sort of vaguely Asian-themed theme that features a pretty awesome iteration of the Gmail logo (directly above) (see, I can take it just as well as I dish it out... erm... you know what I mean). But all hell breaks loose when you scroll down to the bottom of the "Tea House" situation. WTF. This Chinese garden (what up, apricots?) is just sort of chilling on the bottom of the page. So detailed, right? When I look at this, I feel like I am supposed to either meditate or have a really severe psychotic breakdown.

Monday, November 17, 2008

the boy who cried "tattoo" (or, the birth of Tattoo Josh)

On Friday night I got a tattoo.

Not a real one (though I did amuse myself by sending my friends mysterious text messages like "OMG TATTOO" or "Guess who has a tat yo?!" or "Someone call Jordin Sparks, I gots a tattoo"). No, this kind of tattoo -- which was applied through a process I am still unclear about and which involved graffiti and a hot wax-like substance -- lasts for about 2-4 weeks.

You can see it in this picture I took of myself.

To answer some popular questions I have gotten since Friday night:
- No, it is not henna.
- No, it doesn't "mean anything." I picked this one out of ten generic options.
- No, it is not Chinese or Sanskrit or whatever.

When I woke up Saturday morning and looked down at my arm, I was struck by an unusual and palpable "this is not my arm" sensation. It was pretty disturbing. I was semi-horrified as I decided that I looked sort of like a biker dude you would see on "The O.C."(not to be stereotypical or anything). I felt dirtied, infiltrated, confused.

Then a weird thing happened. I was hanging out with some friends Saturday night and after showing them the tat in horror upon my arrival and complaining about it endlessly and annoyingly throughout the night, often pulling up my sleeve to hate on it, my friend pointed out something that I guess was abundantly obvious: "Josh, I don't care what you say, you really like it." And it hit me that she was totally right.

Tattoo Josh is totally different than Normal Josh. I feel empowered as Tattoo Josh. It is almost like the weird black squiggles on my arm are providing me with strength, with confidence, with the suavity I normally lack.

Normal Josh doesn't complain when everyone at dinner decides on an appetizer he doesn't really want to share.
Tattoo Josh raises his hand and shouts "hold up!" after someone orders the artichoke spring rolls "to split" and just goes ahead and orders the nachos everyone is really wanting anyway.

Normal Josh (all 6 feet, 2 inches of him) uncomfortably bends his knees at concerts in order to reduce his blockage of the people behind him
Tattoo Josh doesn't give a frak and stands tall and proud at concerts.

Normal Josh writes back to every e-mail in his gmail promptly and thoughtfully, writing long responses to everyone who e-mails him.

Come 2-4 weeks time, hopefully the essence of Tattoo Josh will have rubbed off (heh) enough on Normal Josh so that even though the mark will have vanished, the effects will be permanent. Otherwise, the next text message you get from me that says "WTF I just got a tattoo" may be a helluva lot more serious.

Friday, November 14, 2008

regretful and vaguely hungry

Eating out at a restaurant when you know someone else is paying is always really uncomfortable for me. On the one hand, you don't want to appear as though you are taking advantage of the sitch by ordering multiple margaritas, an appetizer along with your duck, and then a dessert for kicks. But at the same time, you feel weird seemingly restraining yourself because, well, it's not like other people pay for your food all that often - you should make the most of it, right? (She did say to order whatever we wanted, you tell yourself.) Basically there is no right way to deal and, like most stressful situations in life, you end up feeling regretful and vaguely hungry when it's over.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

what's the first thing you think of when I say "Conan O'Brien"?

I'm not really sure why I titled the post that question, but at least you're all thinking about something (probably red hair) that you don't usually think about before we get started today.

On Friday, my friend Liz (yes, the same girl responsible for my not meeting Jessica Alba) (JK JK, Liz!) (sort of!) accompanied me to a taping of Conan O'Brien's late-night show. It was a surreal, awesome experience that - as is so often the case with things that are surreal and awesome - went by way too fast to fully comprehend. One minute we were wandering around "30 Rock" hoping to bump into Kenneth or Jenna on our way to the studio; the next we were out the door, unfortunately reacquainted with the grating noise and lights of Sixth Avenue.

Three Observations About The Show:

1) Pretty much everything is scripted. It was disconcerting to find out how much of the show is just people reading cue cards. I guess I knew this was the case, but seeing it in practice is sort of like if you actively watched your parents buying and wrapping your Christmas presents and then had to listen to them tell you they "came from Santa" or if you watched the meetings behind-the-scenes on "The Hills" where they tell Lauren Conrad what to do. (Yep, just equated Christmas with "The Hills.") Even the interview Conan did with this "designer who worked on the show" about the designer's Obama enthusiasm was scripted on both ends. The funniest parts of the monologue and interview were definitely when Conan went off script, or "off-cue card" as it were.

(I feel like it's kind of weird I am critiquing Conan O'Brien's show this intensely, right? Whatever. I'm gonna keep going with it.)

2) Conan is always surrounded by people. During every break in filming, people come out of crevices and corners like small gophers to just do things. Someone refills Conan's coffee. Someone fixes his hair. Someone fills the mug on his desk with Diet Coke. Someone preps him for the next interview. Someone moves furniture around. Meanwhile five other random creepy older guys stand around the whole scene with clipboards and walk around agitatedly. It's sort of like an oil change during a NASCAR race.

3) As an audience member, you are able to do anything! I could have stood up in the middle of Conan's interview with Ricky Gervais and shouted "Stardust sucked!" Somehow it works out and the audience cheers when it's supposed to and is quiet when it's supposed to and they never had to re-do a take or anything like that. We were kind of treated like trained monkeys - and we acted accordingly. For a "live studio audience," we were pretty flippin' tame. Before the taping, the surprisingly non-annoying warm-up guy told us that the one thing we should never do as audience members is acknowledge the camera when it panned to the audience. "Just look straight ahead and clap," he said. Of course, when the camera did pan to the audience after Conan said "good night" at the end of the show, I waved furiously -- checking myself out on the overhead monitor -- in the way parents wave at their kids during sports games or music recitals. "I'm sure I got on TV," I said to Liz smugly.

Sadly, my uncouth behavior was not rewarded. I watched the show on DVR Saturday morning and they cut to Carson Daly's show before Conan's goodbye had finished. For the first time in my life, I felt antipathy instead of indifference toward the former TRL VJ.

Monday, November 10, 2008

people always be...

1) People always think (and want you to know) that they got it worse. When you are sitting in a restaurant with three of your friends and someone whips out their wallet and says something like "Omigod, I have the worst ID picture ever" and then passes around their (not really all that bad) ID pic, without fail someone else will claim theirs is "sooo much worse" ("I look like a crack addict...") and then pull out their (also not really all that bad) ID pic. Or when you are telling your friend on the subway about your crazy coworker who always makes a scene in the kitchen, the friend will more often than not laugh for a few seconds and then respond with some sort of statement/story implying that her office is crazier.

2) People always want you to know who they been talkin' to. People love to drop names in conversations. Listen sometime for how often people say things like "Like I was telling Tim yesterday..." or "Yeah, I was saying the same thing to Marissa last night..." or "My brother thinks I should tell him anyway..." I am not sure why people love doing this, but once you start noticing every time people (or you) do it, it drives you crazywild!

3) People always want reassurance about the text messages they are sending. Sometimes I think I could make a lot of money as a Text Message Consultant. Fo' serious. Nary a night goes by when I don't look over at least three to four texts to "make sure this sounds OK" or to "check that this doesn't sound too bitchy" or to "see if I would interpret this to mean that you actually do want to see him." But of course, when it comes time for me to send a text, I automatically hand my phone to my nearest friend before pressing "send," too. I guess we all want that nod of approval from another because when we don't get the scan-from-a-friend, then when we don't get a text back in response, the only person we have to blame is ourselves.

Friday, November 7, 2008

on to more important topics!

What is really irritating me lately: Facebook albums titled after names of current pop hits ("Hot n' Cold!," "Live yourrrr life"). It's almost as bad as the vague/attention-seeking "Kimmy is hopeful yet scared" status.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

this shit is bananas

Halloween weekend! Soooo fun, right? Witty/slutty costumes and omg candy and lots of debauchery! It is really the champion of holidays.

Nope. That was a joke. It is not the champion.

Like New Year's and Fourth of July, Halloween is one of those holidays which everyone thinks they have to do something incredibly awesome for and which everyone talks about incessantly beforehand and which inevitably disappoints. None of the CRAZY WILD parties are actually all that CRAZY or WILD and everyone is dressed as the Joker or a Sexy Bumblebee, anyway, so what's the point?

That all being said, I am capable of finding the good amongst the lame. So I present to you the four peanut M&Ms amongst the sea of Almond Joys from this past weekend:

1) The best costume I saw all weekend was this really forlorn, Jim Halpert-esque dude who was wearing a tuxedo and walking next to his old-fashioned bike. He had a piece of paper hanging around his neck with the words "I'm sorry" scribbled on it in Sharpie. "WHAT ARE YOU SORRY FOR?" I shouted. (One thing I do like about Halloween is that you are totally allowed to yell things at strangers.) "I'm a formal apology," he responded, in this perfect hopeful-but-fatigued way.

2) I met the #3 Jack Sparrow impersonator in the U.S. Yeah. That's right. Your move, sucka.

3) I attended a dinner party of eight guests and two of them, completely unintentionally, showed up wearing the same banana costume. (See picture above.) Of course, I had to go and make a lame banana split joke which resulted in this much laughter: zero.

4) Marissa and I, even more fed up with Halloween than we were initially after a frustrating night of no one being able to figure out our costumes, were waiting for the subway to come last night and watched as like 7 subway workermen removed a dead rat from the subway (see picture to the right). Now normally this would be gross and kind of disturbing but ultimately forgettable EXCEPT FOR THE FACT that all seven of them whipped out their camera phones beforehand and took pictures of the dead rat. To e-mail to their wives?! To make as their new cell phone backgrounds?! To send to Gossip Girl?! "Oh shit, wait, Mickey," one of them said while waving his cell phone in the air to the cackling, burly dude who was about to remove the rat with his shovel, "This one came out too blurry. I need to do it again."