Monday, October 26, 2009

the stalker's gold mine

I can't tell you how many times I find myself on a Facebook profile page and need to quickly assess what I'm looking at (so many times is what I am trying to say). "So what do you think?" my roommate will ask as she watches me anxiously. When I need to make that quick appraisal, I always hit up one spot first: the "profile pics" album. It's a gold mine!

1) First question you've got to ask yourself: how many profile pics has the person cycled through? If it's just one, you've potentially got an issue: Does he never use Facebook? Does no one take pictures of him? Does he just not care? ALL PROBLEMZ. However, if there are more than like 30 profile pics, that's just TOO OVERZEALOUS. Perfect range is 8-12. (I am just laying down the law right now, huh? I think this is what happens when I blog after being hypnotized by Don Draper's swagger for an hour.)

2) If someone has put up the same profile picture twice, with a slight crop maneuver or adjustment done to the shot, THAT'S A DEALBREAKER, LADIES. Why the Zuckerberg didn't you just delete your first attempt?

3) If the person looks so different in every profile pic to the extent where your roommate asks, "wait... which one is him?" when looking at one of the selections, you've got trouble. Alternatively, if none of the profile pics actually feature the person's face, that's kind of mysterious... in a good way! (controversial perspective, I know)

4) A couple of group shots is OK, but get nervous if you see the same person showing up in more than a few: POTENTIAL COUPLE ALERT! (Ha, I feel like I'm writing a column in one of those women's magazines...)

5) If the person gets more attractive as time goes on, this is reason for optimism! It's like how colleges are all jazzed if your grades steadily rise over the four years of high school. In this case, the girl with the improving pics probs doesn't even realize yet how hot she has become so she is still so nice to everyone! (I learned about life from television.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Emailing Eddie

So I know this guy, let's call him Emailing Eddie -- "a friend of a friend" is I guess the best way to describe him. Eddie, as you might guess from his name, is so in love with writing e-mails. He sends out these long-ish personal BCCed mass e-mails once or twice a month. Nothing too personal, but maybe a description of an event he's hosting that he wants you to go to or a YouTube link he wants you to check out or a bland life update (i.e. "I'm moving to the East Village, you guys!") I guess this kind of thing would annoy a lot of people, but - perhaps surprisingly (?) - I kind of don't really mind them. (I think it comes down to that the pleasure I get from receiving new e-mails trumps all else.)

But there is one thing Emailing Eddie does that just totally CMU (= Cracks Me Up). At the end of each of his electronic discourses, he includes -- in super small type -- one of those disclaimers that you see at the bottom of like an American Eagle promotional e-mail or a TrendSpotting Newsletter (how weird is my brain for thinking of those two examples first?). He literally writes: "If you would prefer to not receive these e-mails from me anymore, please notify" It's just his e-mail address!

I am totally amused by the idea that someone would write an e-mail to this guy and just tell him: "Yeah, so... I don't want to get e-mails from you anymore." It's like calling up your friend and stammering: "Yo, man, uh... not so interested in your antics anymore. Cool it with the text messages?" What gets me smirking even wider (yeah, don't try to visualize that) is someone trying to unsubscribe from Eddie's e-mails in a nice way. Like, "Heyyyy Eddie! How's the East Village treating you? So, you know, I get so much e-mail every day, and I was just wondering..." BOTH WAYS ARE SO CRINGE-Y.

(I'm pretty sure my impulse to write this post was derived from my (not so) secret desire to write "celebrity blind items" for a living.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

such a funny post LOL

Last night, gchat with brother Sam:

12:37 AM Sam: it was a joke josh
me: always so bitchy when ppl put someone's name in
i get it sam
whatever you say liz
it makes it like SO MUCH BITCHIER
if that's ok with you andrew
can't we just get the brownies david?
Sam: yes, that's a true thing lol
me: i know!
Sam: obviously josh
me: i thought you would respond initially with a "josh"
but instead you did a "lol" add on
the most tame kind of add on
the opposite of putting a name in fact
12:40 AM Sam: not true
lol can be super passive aggressive
like--i know how you feel about alice lol
i hate when you wear those pants lol

And later...

Sam: i'm v pleased w myself! lol
(note how the lol allows me to say something arrogant)

Friday, October 16, 2009


Since I do have a blog and all (cat's out of the bag now!) I have taken to whipping out my trusty 'berry whenever I see something that amuses me. Often times, I will later blog about these images. On Wednesday morning, I woke up 30 minutes late, didn't have time to shower, threw on a starchy pair of recently-washed jeans and an itchy sweater and got in the elevator feeling awful, yo. I lumbered out of my front door, made a groggy right, and looked up to find... these GIANT BAGS OF BLOWN-UP BALLOONS. Briefly stunned, I decided this was a totally Hopeful Sign, as if I was being told: "Yeah, itchy sweaters suck but C'MON, JUST WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT THERE ARE GIANT BAGS OF BALLOONS IN YOUR FACE AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES LIFE OK."

With an added bounce in my step, I felt that this Wednesday would be different and special and unpredictable. I hopped on the subway ready to strike up a chat with an appealing stranger or sing along to my iPod for all to hear (of course I did neither thanks to the nearby attractive couple that put me on nervous edge).

But I soon forgot about the balloons (post-lukewarm coffee, post-morning of only 2 e-mails) and my day was actually pretty standard, subpar even. I saved the photo on my phone just in case I wanted to blog about it later in the week. Little did I know Thursday would be like the MOST FAMOUS DAY FOR BALLOONS IN 4EVER. . . it's as if my balloon sighting was like this magical crystal ball vision, a glimpse into the future. It seems my Hopeful Sign was nothing hopeful at all; if anything, I find the whole "balloon bags in my face the day before #balloonboy" thing sort of chilling now. Maybe there are no such thing as Hopeful Signs. I had wanted to hold on to the string and let the balloons take me away, but instead, I now feel more grounded than ever.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the filler

More often than not, when I'm talking to someone who has just seen a movie and unloading my typical Journalist Josh litany of questions and quips ("How was it?" "Was it actually funny?" "But I love Rachel McAdams!" etc.) I've noticed that I generally - without even thinking about it - work in a "was the theater crowded?"

This is almost always met with a quick double take before I get the "uh, kind of" response (seriously, that is the response you get 9 out of 10 times when you ask). I don't know why I keep asking the question. I really do not care about the answer, nor do I remember it a second later. Most of the time I am barely even watching your lips move as you answer (yep, I'm talking about you now) - my head is nodding but I'm dreaming about Eric and Sookie or about how I need to remember to buy more gum (my thoughts = where fantasy and reality be intersectin'!).

These are the questions we ask, the filler, the episodes between the premiere and November Sweeps when nothing much is happening as the plot moves predictably along. You ask if she liked the exhibit ("oh, it was really interesting") or how the drive was ("pretty smooth, thankfully") or if the water in Bermuda was warm ("it was actually surprisingly cold!"). It's how we proceed. The answers never surprise, yet we keep asking for 'em. Because, um, if we didn't, what would there be? Lots of long pauses and stuttering and avoiding eye contact, probs. And how would we ever get to find out what happens in November Sweeps?

Friday, October 9, 2009

nod and smile

It's weird how often the following happens to me:

Someone will say something to me that I can't quite make out (at a concert, on the subway, huddled next to each other on a helicopter) and I'll be like "Wait, what did you say?" (you know, because I can't hear them) and then they'll repeat whatever it was just as unintelligibly... and I'll just nod real jerkily and say (softly) "Ohhh, yeah" and smile pretty broadly. And somehow, at least based on how I'm interpreting the facial expressions I generally receive back, this seems to pretty much always be the reaction they are looking for.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the NDD

One of the best parts of going to a party with your friends is the Next Day Debrief. Less anxiety-inducing than clicking through tagged pics the next day and more fulfilling than hung-over-ish-ly lying in bed waiting for Hulu to load, the NDD is all about savagely "evaluating" the previous night's partygoers. After years and years of NDD experience, I've noticed a few archetypes who seem to emerge during nearly every Sunday afternoon NDD session.

1) There's always someone who showed up totally unexpectedly/uninvited and everyone is all "WTF?!" about it. ("I turned around and I was like: 'Is that Jason?!' And then he sort of tried to talk to me...? It was so weird.")

2) There's always someone who everyone decides "seemed miserable." (The evidence is usually circumstantial at best: "I asked her if she liked her job... and she kind of just stared off into space.")

3) There's always someone that "no one got to talk to." And everyone says it as if it's somehow that person's fault. ("Yeah, it was so bizarre, she was always busy talking with someone else or something.")

4) There's always some weird duo who spent an inordinate amount of time talking and, inexplicably, everyone noticed them embroiled in convo. ("At first I thought they were flirting but then I heard him talking about, like, whitewater rafting or something and she was just sort of asking him questions about it." . . . "OMG, I heard that, too!")

5) There's always someone that may... or may not have been really drunk. It's this weird thing where one NDDer is all "100% sure" that the guy was completely messed up ("Did you see how he started dancing during 'She-Wolf'?") and then someone else jumps in with a "But he seemed pretty cogent when he was talking to me about how things were going with Monica." And then there's a pause as everyone considers.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

apple jack

Apparently when my 7-year-old cousin was "discussing religion" with her parents a couple of months ago, her 9-year-old brother butted in when he heard the word "belief" being tossed around and announced that he "believed in two things: Santa Claus, and that the dinosaurs became extinct when a giant meteor struck Mexico." To this Julia responded, with the sharp sting of a Blair Waldorf some fifteen years older, "Where did you learn about religion, Jack? The back of a cereal box?"