Wednesday, October 17, 2012


An odd moment: when your friend signs into gmail on your laptop, and everything from the color of the labels to the ratio of read-to-unread e-mails to the quantity of e-newsletters seems completely foreign. You're reminded that the way you experience the internet is wholly specific, that the tabs you keep open aren't the tabs everyone keeps open; you knew this, of course, but somehow it's easy to forget and assume universality.

Related: when you scroll through your friend's News Feed (or the roster of people he follows on Instagram or Twitter), and you consider briefly that he views "the world" through a filter that is so vastly different from your own.

Monday, October 1, 2012

strange behaviors

1) When I'm waiting for someone outside of a restaurant and I notice them approaching across the street (they haven't seen me yet), instead of shouting the friend's name or waving, I'll instead instinctively look down at my phone or fixate on a tree or something. When they tap me on the shoulder and say "Hey!," I'll exclaim, "Oh, hi! Didn't see you coming! Weird!"

2) I'll be working on my laptop in a cafe and I'll come across a mention of Wyoming in something I'm reading and get really distracted by the fact that "there is a state named Wyoming": I'll just stare at the word "Wyoming" for like 90 seconds and wonder how it's possible that ANYTHING -- let alone a STATE -- could be named that. It just seems so implausible! I'll Google "Wyoming" just to confirm that it really is a place that exists. Then, finally, I'll type "Wyoming" in the Post-It Note I keep open on my desktop, for no reason other than to give the appearance that this four minute detour resulted in something tangible.

3) This is a brother-specific one, but I'll do this thing where I'll accidentally refer to a place by the wrong name in an e-mail or text to my brother (I'll call the "Meatball Shop" the "Meatball Hut," for example), and he'll make a point of correcting me. From then on, for the rest of time (foreverrrrrr!!!), whenever the "Meatball Shop" comes up in our conversations (this example is getting weird, but hopefully you're following), I'll always intentionally call it the "Meatball Hut" (to his great irritation).

4) I'll be eating a sandwich at a deli and note that it tastes especially bland. I can barely even distinguish between the different elements of the sandwich! But instead of assessing that perhaps this deli just makes awful sandwiches, I will instead worry that something might be "wrong" with my taste buds. I will leap out of my chair, buy a bag of Doritos, tear it open and immediately eat like ten, solely to make sure I can still "taste properly."