Tuesday, September 29, 2009


People love to talk about how "gmail changed everything" and how it's our new currency or whatever (metaphors that are just slightly off!) and how it dictates our lives and keeps all of our secrets (only gmail gets to read all the angsty draft e-mails I write but never send!). I shifted from "web mail" to gmail my junior fall of college, about when everyone else did. Yes, it was revolutionary, and yes, discovering gchat was like jumping into one of those ball pits at Chuck E. Cheese (though, like gchat, those ball pits were tons o' fun at first but then after a few years you got kind of tired of getting assaulted by the annoying kids who threw balls at you). Yes, eventually gmail lost its sheen. I started to take it for granted. My mom had it; my grandmother had it; people who didn't have it seemed immediately suspicious. A gmail address became as common as a cell phone number (this is some incisive social critique happening before your eyes, folks).

Anyway, last week I was jolted out of my 3pm post-lunch/pre-Sour Patch Kids stupor by this dramatic warning on the top of my gmail screen. Yep, that's right, I was almost out of room. I had no idea that could even happen. My first instinct was to panic: I am only 23 and I'm already out of space?! I have so much life left to live! So many pictures to send and mindless chains to respond to! I frantically searched for every mp3 and mp4 I've ever sent and deleted them, and that took me down from the emergency level of 95% full to a still alarming 86%. A week later, I'm already back up to 89%. I sort of feel like I'm in one of those movie scenes where the heroine is trapped in a room with water pouring in -- slowly rising to fill the space and drown her -- as she repeatedly shrieks "Jason!" at the top of her lungs. Am I destined for a life of deleting a whole swath of e-mails every two months? A life of anxiously watching a percentage gradually rise? A life spent constantly wondering if this one forwarding of the new Carrie Underwood song is going to push me over the brink? A life enslaved to the e-mail system we all blindly worship?

Meh, probably not. My brother told me I can pay like 20 bucks and get more space, so I'll probs just do that in a few weeks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

you like this

How I love when you read someone's kinda-informative-but-infuriatingly-vague Facebook status ("leaving this town for Madrid in 3 weeks!") and then you see that someone has commented on the status with the exact same stalker-status follow-up question you had ("wait, whyyy are you going?") and then the initial status updater responds to that comment ("im going to teach 8-year-old mute Spanish children how to knit...omg u should come visit josie") and, presto, you know everything. It's the same kind of satisfaction as when the dude at Starbucks knows your drink order without your having to say a word.

Friday, September 18, 2009

things that make me uncomfortable/fidgety

1. When I'm already chewing gum (and, let's be clear, I'm not the most subtle gum chewer) and the person I'm talking to pulls out a pack and offers me a piece.

2. When someone makes a declarative summary statement about a hang out session as it is occurring (i.e. "Omigod, I am just so happy we're getting quality Taylor-Josh time right now!")

3. When you're on the phone and you've been talking for a bit and you're kind of at the end of the convo but you're not really sure how to get out of it... and then the signal cuts out. Do you call the person back to say "bye," even though you are pretty sure you both acknowledge that the call was about to end anyway? It is hard to weigh which is more intense: the strangeness of not calling back vs. the awkwardness of calling back and dealing with a "Oh, so, uh, I guess I lost signal... and I'll, uh, talk to you later?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a little red lie

Last night, during dinner with a friend, I said for what may have been the 67th time in the past few months: "Netflix is seriously changing everything for me." About twenty minutes later during my walk home, I mused that there are lots and lots of things that we just have said so many times (because they're like harmless conversation fillers that are vaguely relevant to pretty much anything) that are actually TOTALLY NOT TRUE.

Netflix has most definitely NOT changed everything for me. In fact, it hasn't even really changed one or two things. Sure, it kind of came in handy when I didn't want to have to buy all of the first season of "True Blood" on iTunes, but now I'm in this rut where there's nothing I really want to see so I just listlessly add movies that I have a vague - but diminishing by the day - interest in. "Duplicity" has been sitting on my night table for like a month, legit haunting me. In fact, in a weird sort of twisted way, Netflix has actually added an unexpected stress to my life. I come home, throw my bag down, slip into my fave black Nike mesh shorts (try to keep it together, everyone) and there it is, the red devil vixen. Each month I flinch as I see the monthly fee deducted from my bank account. I've been having sporadic visions of Julia Roberts saucily taunting me: "When are you going to watch me?" as she cackles in a large Victorian hat (just move on).

And the worst part is that I know that when I FINALLY do get around to watching "Duplicity" and then mail it back, there will be only one day of freedom before "Funny People" will have arrived to take its place. It's kind of like the worst relationship ever, me and Netflix: the vixen is always one step ahead, constantly reminding me that there is always something else to watch, always something else to achieve, so much of life that will never be lived.

Of course, this doesn't stop me from talking really slowly and blatantly lying: "I like don't even go to the movies anymore because I just wait for things to come out on Netflix." Bite of hamburger. "It really just makes everything so much easier."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

unexpected wonderland

Last night, I was getting out of a cab to go to a Fashion Week party (I know, I know, this is as "fish out of water" as Betty Draper going to the Vans Warped Tour) and right there - waiting for the light to turn red in his own "Celebrities, Just Like Us!" Vignette for my personal enjoyment - was... John Mayer, flanked by his two bro-friends on either side. They had just come out of the party I was about to enter.

I would've liked to have thought that were I to see John Mayer on the sidewalk, I would have just kind of glanced up, you know, in a totally "OK, yeah, sure, that's cool" kind of way, and then just continued walking down the street listening to Passion Pit while brooding or whatevs.

Yeahhhhhh, uh, that wasn't me so much.

I've had my brushes with fame before, but this one somehow really brought out my inner 15-year-old girl (that's still Mr. Mayer's prime demo, right?). I'm not sure if it was the fact that his smug mug is so regularly plastered on every blog and tabloid (which somehow made it seem like I was seeing a fictional character like Yogi Bear or Wonder Woman in the flesh), or that it was such an unexpected sighting, or that -- for a split second -- I realized that this was as close as I was ever going to get to achieving my life goal of becoming Jennifer Aniston... but I went a bit unhinged. It took me like two seconds to register who it was, followed by one second of disbelief, followed by three seconds of breathless panic. At this point, I instinctively whipped out my Blackberry as if I were a paparazzo's apprentice and craned to snap a blurry pic of the Heartbreaking Crooner himself, though he was already in front of me at this point, which is why we've got a SexyBack-style pic as opposed to a frontal shot (ugh, see how shook up I am? I'm mixing pop heartthrobs now!). And then, just like that, he was gone, across the street, probably off to play guitar in some swanky club and tweet about it. I frowned, and then texted all my friends in one of those adrenaline-laced ALL-CAPS MASS TEXT MOMENTS.

The texts I received back fell into three pretty neat categories.
1. "Body is a Wonderland" puns (e.g. "Did u tell him his body is a wonderland?" "Was his body a wonderland?")
2. Hotness queries (e.g. "1 to 10 how good looking is he in real life?" "Tony wants to know if he is hot in person" "Was he as hot as I would imagine? Also, was he with Jessica or Jennifer?" "Did you squeeze his butt?")
3. Disbelief (e.g. "wtffff" "Absurdity!" "were what and HOW?" "gahhh omfg")

[BTW, I'm loving Disapproving Glare, his bro-friend to the right. You just know dude has seen this all before. His tired eyes are just like: "Seriously, man? You are a guy in your twenties. Put the Blackberry down and walk away."]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

two strange incidents

Two strange incidents this weekend:

1) I was hangin' at a party Saturday night, suave and sophisticated as ever ( %-) ), when this guy from college who I clearly knew and who clearly knew me but whom I had never spoken to before (it's weird how many people fit in this category, or is that just me?) approached. "I guess we're going to finally converse," I thought (my brain is kinda humorless). Right then, our mutual friend turned her head around and said something to the effect of "Oh Pete, do you know Josh?" to which Pete responded, "Yeah, I know him... but we're not friends on Facebook." Er, uh, what? It was an accurate statement, sure, but who says such things?? And how to respond to such a "greeting"? Something in his tone made me feel like I had just been reprimanded by the teacher for passing notes... or something. But despite my knee-jerk skepticism and the uncomfortable long pause after his line, I reflected later that I found his opener sort of amusing in its directness. I mean, it was actually kind of a smart way of classifying our relationship to the mutual friend, right? I mean, a relationship without a Facebook component is like Bruce Willis in the "Sixth Sense" (i.e. NOT REAL). And today, feeling spry, I even felt compelled to Facebook-friend Pete. I totally surprise myself sometimes, you guys.

2) I was on the phone with my brother Sunday night when I got a phone call from a girl I went to high school with who I have not spoken to in four years and who I was not even really ever friends with. My first reaction was "I still have Megan Kaiser's phone number in my phone?!" followed by: "Why the frak is she calling me??" I switched to pick up her call (it is very rare I don't just let a call go to voice mail, so this is a big deal). She said: "Josh?" Because I am completely deranged, I decided in this instant that I would PRETEND I DIDN'T KNOW WHO IT WAS even though I of course did because I was staring at her name right there on my phone. "Yeah, uh, who is this?" I responded. "Megan.... oh shit, omigod, I think I called the wrong Josh. Omigod. This is so embarrassing. I am so sorry" "Oh!" I said, "Wait... is this Megan Kaiser?" (my acting here was was like athlete-hosting-SNL bad). "Yeah," she said, seemingly unaware that I had "figured out which Megan it was" WAY TOO EASILY to be at all possible. "Uh, how are you?" she continued. I immediately regretted picking up the call. "Good!" was all I could muster back. "OK, well, I probably woke you up..." (It was 11:15 p.m.; she did realize I wasn't still the same age I was in high school anymore, right?) "OK, good luck in your search for the right Josh!" There was a pause and then we both hung up the phone.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

rabbit rabbit

The first of every month always holds so much promise. My OCD kicks into hyperdrive and I tell myself that this is going to be the month. I'm going to quit coffee, stop chewing gum, actually go to the gym (as opposed to my usual workout of thrusting my laptop into different parts of my apartment to see where I get the best signal), finally get crackin' on the musical I outlined featuring only music from Rihanna's oeuvre, and start taking some risky chances in life (hah).

Usually the first few days of the month go great, and I find myself totally deluded in my belief that I can keep up this lifestyle of productivity and good health. Sure enough, it takes just one Diet Coke spilled on my iPod or one subway taken in the wrong direction for me to tumble back down, down into the bleak land of nonstop Twizzlers and mindless YouTube searches and VH1's version of reality and "I should really hang those paintings already, huh? Meh, it can just wait 'til October."