Saturday, May 30, 2009

four things i realized today packing up my room

1) I have been transporting about 5 pairs of pants, 20 t-shirts and a whole family of sweatshirts with me for about the past eight years, none of which I think I have worn once in that whole time period. Yet, somehow, every time, I make the decision to bring them all on to the next place.

2) My wall mirror has been propped up leaning against the wall since September. "Hang mirror" was on my to-do list for about five months before I took it off in February when I finally acknowledged to myself it was just never happening.

3) I had a picture of Chris Brown and Rihanna torn out from a magazine displayed on my bookshelf FOR THE PAST YEAR and had totally not realized it until today. I am utterly disgusted in myself. I watched this immediately to try to make amends to Her Royal Majesty. And then I ripped up the picture and BURNED THE SHREDS.

4) Packing up all of your stuff takes way less time than you feel like it should.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

aim and fire

The other day, feeling nostalgic (bored), I logged onto AIM for probably the first time in the past eighteen months.

There was a time when I lived and breathed AIM, a time when my life was basically like: wake up, school, TRL, AIM, homework, AIM. I remember, back in middle school, when you scored the screen name of your crush or one of the cool cats, it was a major coup. Making it on someone's buddy list was totally the Facebook friend request of 1999. Of course, I grouped my screen names into carefully deliberated categories ("High School," "Family," "Weirdos," etc.). Back then, no one's screen name was actually their name: unlike today's transparent gchat world of full names and green dots, everyone could hide behind some bizarre fabricated octopusXX or pesimist22. And I guess you theoretically could make yourself invisible in AIM world, but no one ever did. When you strolled into AIMville, you wanted to see and be seen. You wanted to awkwardly flirt ("u goin to the dance?"), score some gossip ("do u know if dave heard from dartmouth yet??!?!") or trade sarcastic put-downs with your BFFs (*create your own example*).

AIM was kind of a shitshow. We were middle/high schoolers trying to be funny and sexy and smooth in a way that we just couldn't be in person. Somehow, sending Maddie a "whats up" IM was so much easier than talking to her in person. If you were pissed at Mickey for leaving the party without you, AIM made it oh so easy to let him know how you felt, in a way you just wouldn't face-to-face. The screen name was empowering.

So I logged off the other day after a few seconds when I realized I couldn't remember who actually belonged to any of the screen names on my buddy list. And then, in an impulsive flourish, I actually removed the shortcut from my desktop. It was a superficial move, though, let's be honest: I still conduct all my social business online; I wish I still had a made-up handle to hide behind (oh, wait...); and sometimes (all the time) I really, really miss TRL.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

renee and laurie

Can I just start this post with the assumption that you know by now that I am an OCD creature-of-habit kind of guy? Good.

So it will probably surprise exactly zero of you that I like to take care of my Facebook notifications promptly, to say the least. If a friend ever logs on to her Facebook in my vicinity and I see she has 14 outstanding friend requests, a handful of group invitations, like 87 events and of course a hateful "What kind of vampire are you?" or "Water balloon fight request" hanging around, it's hard for me to not twitch and yelp... or just maniacally go through and take care of all of her requests for her right then and there.

I am militant about things like this. I remove the events I don't want pestering me right away, I click "ignore" in response to almost every group invite I get and I rarely quibble about accepting friends. However, for the past few weeks, I have been utterly disturbed by two friend requests that just won't leave me alone: Laurie and Renee. Unless they seem extremely odd/disconcerting, I normally just accept rando friend requests (I know, not what you'd expect, right? Text Message Outside of the Bottle!). However, in this case, I just can't bring myself to accept or reject Laurie and Renee (whose last names are blurred out in this image as if they are sex offenders or something).

There is something about this tandem that's really intriguing to me, similarities between the gals I can't help but dwell on.
- The requests came a day apart about a month ago.
- In each case, I have no idea who the girl in question is and we have no mutual friends.
- Also, I only have one image to work with for each lady. And this is where things get complex. In neither case do I know if the girl on the left or the girl on the right in the picture is the actual Laurie/Renee. This has led to excessive deliberation on my part. I mean, those two potential Lauries have GOTSTA be sisters, right?! Or are they maybe just cousins...? And at first my opinion of Renee hinged on whether she was the blonde or the brunette: but now I have convinced myself that the two potential Renees are totes clones but with different colored wigs! I'm serious: check out their facial structures! Identical!
- In addition to all of these undeniable similarities, Renee and Laurie are also both names of the kind of girls who are in the Mean Girl posses but who aren't actually the Queen Bee. Laurie isn't a Sandra Bullock. She's a Sandra Bullock's subservient best friend.

For the past few weeks, when I log out of Facebook each night, I linger on the home page and am DESTROYED by these two friend requests. I can almost hear Laurie and Renee, drunkenly dancing to "Poker Face" and pointing their fingers at me and laughing as they take pictures of themselves with their digital cameras. (<-- This is "Unfair Assumptions Based on Facebook Profile Pictures" in action, folks).

I'll have this fleeting flurry of "Why the frak are you thinking so much about this, Josh?" frustration and almost reject them both, but this is almost always immediately followed by a sense of fear that they are trying to convey a message of some kind to me or that they are like secretly my long-lost cousins or something. How did they find me? I wonder, What caused them to click "Add Josh as a friend"? This is why I don't sleep at night, you guys.

Laurie and Renee (or maybe you're the same person? I'd believe anything at this point...), wherever you may be right now (in your bed watching "Grey's" DVDs? with your girlzzz at the clubbb?), I hope you're doing better than me, who just spent an hour seriously pondering your existences and writing seven paragraphs about it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

reality bites

A few weeks ago I read a quote in a magazine that I immediately added to the Word document I keep on my desktop for compiling things that strike me as notable (what up, Ms. Lewis!):
"Do you remember after Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston separated, it was more interesting to wonder what Aniston thought than to find out what she thinks?"

No, this wasn't a quote from Kathy Griffin or Ryan Seacrest, calm down. It's from a legit author. Anyway, aside from the fact that I have a soft spot for any quote that attempts to intellectualize celebrity gossip, the point here is so sound that I felt the need to clumsily share it here.

I hate reading interviews with television show writers or movie directors or actors in which this one talks about how he decided to pair Blair with Chuck or that one explains what she was thinking about when they filmed the Big Death Scene. It's always totally underwhelming. It's like "Oh, it just always felt right" or "I just was so immersed in the character in that moment." Or Amy Adams will say that the shoes she wore really helped her to channel the emotional emptiness of the nun. Whatever. It's always bad.

I went to this amazing performance the other day. The performers moved their bodies in ways I can only dream about (what kind of show did he see?!). But after the show was over and everyone applauded and I rolled my eyes at the babies who were crying (Classic Text Message in a Bottle!), they brought the performers back out and encouraged the audience members to ask them questions about what inspired them during the performance, and how they went about their process.

"No!" I nearly screamed. "Let the work speak for itself." Spare me the platitudes and explanations. Don't talk about your feelings to InStyle Magazine, Aniston; let me come up with my own intricate theory for what drives you, what causes you to wake up each morning, slide into some monochromatic outfit and head out to face the world. Let me do it on my own. Let me imagine and dream and project and fantasize and lay down my own soundtrack.

I don't want to know the reality; it inevitably disappoints.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

HUNGRY SONG

As I've pointed out before, it's rare for me to write about "Art" I Like on this blog. Sometimes though, a work will move me so intensely (BS, GG) that I can't help myself. Such is the case with the new Jordin Sparks jam "Battlefield." The epic, sweeping tune is my early bet for Song of the Summer. (Yikes, that last sentence reads like the beginning of a music "review" you'd find in People Magazine.) Incidentally, it's also a potential finalist for Song of My Life (what the what?).

IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, I am kind of freaked out by how much my ears are turned on by this song. See below.

9:38 PM me: omfg
guess how many times i have listened to "battlefield" since LAST NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT
9:39 PM Sam: 48
me: it's sick
92
i like don't even know how that is possible
9:40 PM Sam: lolol
that is insane
me: i CRAVE it
it's so weird
Sam: amazing driving song
me: and work out song
and subway song
and feeling tired song
and hungry song
Sam: lol
me: am i crazy or isn't it like insanely unprecedently god?
haha typo, but i mean it!
9:41 PM Sam: lol
it's not unprecedented
but i think it's top tier of all time
me: haha
you act like that's nbd

Monday, May 11, 2009

"no... it's OK... seriously... go ahead..."

Few things frustrate me more than when you are talking with someone on the phone and you both keep talking at the same time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

call me if you can

The cell phone number exchange is always, for me, fraught with anxieties.

When is it appropriate to ask for someone's number? If someone asks for your number, do you ask for theirs in return? And what to do if you don't want their number?

Recently I was leaving someone's apartment and was asked for my cell phone number. I kind of fidgeted and instinctively rubbed my eyes (?).

"Oh, wait!" Nagging Nuisance revised, "Uh, I actually can't remember where my phone is. Why don't you just take my number?"

I had no choice. I entered the digits as Nagging Nuisance recited them, half-thinking to myself that this was a pointless exercise as I was never going to call this person (sorry, NN, if you are somehow reading this) and half-wondering if I even had the right name (I was really only confident about the first letter). Caught up in all this "half"-ness, I was super close to not even bothering to exert the minimal effort required to save it.

"OK. Now call my phone so that I have yours."

"Seriously?!"
I thought, "Is that even a thing?!"

I had just been so close to simply fake-saving the number that I started sweating a bit out of the hypothetical awkwardness, and - caught up in my hypothetical embarrassment - I basically just turned around and ran out the door.

I learned such an important lesson that day, you guys: exchanging numbers is risky business.

And the other day at a party, I ran into an acquaintance from college and we exchanged pleasantries and then I was like "Well let me know next time you're in NYC!" because that's what you say and she was like "Oh, I don't think I have your number..." so I told it to her and she entered it. And then she kind of looked up at me, expectantly. I thought: Am I supposed to ask for her number in return? What a stupid charade! She will never call me. Why must I add the excess baggage to my phone book as well?!

So, confident in my logic, I didn't take out my phone or ask for a number in return... or pull a Nagging Nuisance and ask her to call my phone RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

But then, as she walked away, even though I was pleased with myself for having dealt with the (only-in-my-head) social uncomfortableness admirably, I couldn't shake a nagging feeling of uneasiness. Had I been cruel to not ask for her number in return? Was I turning into a socially awkward jerk? What was my life? And that's when something struck me. I took out my phone, scrolled through my phone book and discovered... her number was already in my phone.

Dazed and defeated, I staggered for a bit, and then sat down on a nearby sofa.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

how we deal

I feel like this last week or so has had all the elements of the first third of a really awful horror movie: Erratic weather! Rampant fear of a virus with shady origins! A clean cut student who is actually a psycho killer! The inexplicable removal of the Facebook "Recently Updated" Friends page!

I think it says something about my descent into apathy that instead of my typical OCD paranoid android response to all of this, I haven't really paid any of it much concern at all. And aside from this timid woman behind me in line at CVS the other day who asked the salesman if they sold "masks," it seems to me that most of the New Yorkers I've observed share my general lack of concern.

I stood on the corner waiting for my friend for 10 minutes last night, listening to the floating bits of conversation ("Dude, I'm sure he was just saying he wanted you to come"; "I bet she doesn't even know it's from American Apparel"). The sarcastic banter and meaningless platitudes, it's how we are and it's how we deal... We read about a virus we don't really understand; we make jokes and "funny" websites. Someone brings up the "Craigslist killer"; you say it's your next Halloween costume. We read about the economic turmoil and then flock to "Obsessed" and "Fast and Furious." You tell me the world is going to end; I spend 10 minutes re-ordering my Netflix queue.