10.28.2005

a public service

I am actually a big fan of riding the subway to work every morning. It's a nice dose of alone time that gives my brain time to wake up before it is forced to do things like, for example, work. But there is always that horrible person who is listening to his or her iPod really, really, REALLY loudly, like they had suffered hearing loss as a small child when they stood too close to a 747 taking off or forgot to wear their ear tubes when diving into the deep end, and they are now forced to listen to Yellowcard or Linkin Park or some other such crap at top volume while the rest of us are busy mentally snarking on everyone else's outfits and trying to read Page Six over the shoulder of the old Asian woman sitting next to us. And it's always crap music like Yellowcard or Linkin Park. It's never anything really good that might make the morning commute really fun, like say Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen or Eternal Flame by the Bangles. Or even something worth showing off that you are listening to, like the latest pre-release single from the brother of the Arcade Fire's guitarist's band which you got the mp3 of from someone at like Misshapes or something. No. It is always Crap.

In honor of that, I present a tactful way to deal with the situation. Just print this out and make copies and hand it to whoever is rocking out to Creed or whatever. It's elegant. It's tasteful. It's subtle. It gets the job done.

10.19.2005

fun fact

here's one to help you get comfortably through the night:

after two years, 20% of a pillow's weight is made up of dust mites and dust mite droppings.

ew. ew ew ew ew ew.

sleep well.

UPDATE 10/28/05
Laurel, intrepid field agent and ersatz Canadian, has tracked down this article from New Scientist which reveals that some dude named Ashley and his team found

mini fungal "ecosystems" inhabiting five feather and five synthetic pillows that had been lain on for between 18 months and 20 years. Each contained up to a million spores from around 16 different species of fungi.

oh yay.

10.18.2005

an AIM exegesis

adam: I am mesmerized by "ooh oh this my shit"
helen: i love the grammatical construction of "it's not just gonna have been like that"
helen: it's declarative yet non-declarative! the verb tense is subtly nuanced!
adam: it is practically alfred, lord tennyson
helen: going to (future perfect) have been (past perfect)
helen: does this refer to now?! does this mean it already happened?! does this mean it will happen shortly!?
helen: we do not know!!!
helen: it's genius
adam: it is a tapestry of meaning
helen: but even more importantly
helen: it is NOT just going to have been like that
helen: so at what point is it NOT the case? we need to find proof of nonexistence!
helen: which is impossible!
adam: meta
helen: which means in order to actually figure out when it is not just going to have been like that, we have to identify all the times when it IS just going to have been like that, and then fill in the holes
helen: it is genius
adam: not unlike the filling of the holes in this video*
helen: though if we're going to keep the analysis going, in that video holes are not actually filled. Rather, they are emptied
helen: again, the negative is the positive
adam: well, the first one was originally filled
adam: and the intent is to fill the other hole
helen: right, but the video is ABOUT emptying
adam: and attempt at filling
helen: but it's clear from the video that the banana doesn't actually *fill* the recipient's mouth
helen: it occupies it, sure
helen: but there isn't actual filling happening, in the sense of "no additional room"
adam: in the anus, there was little additional room
adam: that is plausible for filling
adam: I can fill a glass without have the water go all the way to the brim
helen: but when you shoot something out of your ass, your ass is no longer full!
adam: I was referring to what happened BEFORE the video
adam: which is clearly REFERENCED by the video
helen: but that's not the video!
helen: you can’t do that.
helen: you can't analyze the document based on assumed context
helen: you don't know how the banana got up there
adam: how else?
adam: I am watching it RIGHT NOW
helen: so any ass-filling going on over there?
adam: look, it got there somehow
helen: but you don't know how
helen: you can't include it in your analysis
adam: look. let's say you see a glass of water on the table
adam: you don't know how the water got there
adam: possibly god placed it there
adam: but you still consider the glass FILLED
helen: okay, i think we're missing the point here
helen: which is:
helen: the video is not about the ass being filled. the video is about the ass being emptied.
adam: we will have to agree to disagree
helen: if it were about it being filled, it would have included the stuffing up the ass of the banana!
adam: I am sending that IM to your mom



*THIS IS HORRIBLY HORRIBLY NSFW. consider yourself warned.

10.11.2005

Dear God

“Ugh. I wish Kol Nidre was on a different day. Wednesday the Computer Club is having our all-night LAN party.”
“That sounds really lame.”
“But there will be Warcraft! And probably pizza!”

- an actual conversation between me and my brother, 10/10/05


Dear God,

Happy New Year! I was thinking about saying “shanah tovah” except I figure what with your omniscience etc. it doesn’t really matter what language I’m wishing you a happy new year in, and adding in a whole ‘nother language – transliterated, no less – probably just confuses the matter. You probably just sublimate the gist of this letter anyway, and I didn’t really have to write it, I could just think it. But I kind of wanted to sort of distinguish myself from the prayers and hosannas and all that other stuff which you’re probably bombarded with all the time, especially around this time of year. Also I have all these notecards left over from my bar mitzvah, which my mom has been bugging me to finish off. My friends in the Computer Club would totally make fun of me for writing you a letter longhand instead of like emailing or something, but I really like the font my name is printed in and I know you won’t tell.

So anyway. Down to business. Here’s the thing: I mentioned already that I’m in the Computer Club, which is like a very important thing in my life right now for various reasons that I don’t really want to get into and anyway you probably know about them (omniscience is awesome, by the way, Q was always my favorite character [actually now that I bring that up, Charlie and I had a total flamewar about this the other day – he claims Q is only omnipotent and not omniscient, but I maintain that if you can do anything, that means you can learn anything, so you can totally do the act of being omniscient. You’re probably the right guy to settle this.]). So the point is, we’re having our all-night LAN party this Wednesday, and I really think it’s time I owned those motherfuckers at Warcraft. My mom won’t let us get a PC at home, and there are these subtle platform differences with the Mac version, and I’m really sick of losing all the time, so I’ve been secretly practicing in the computer lab after school on Tuesdays. Also, there will probably be pizza.

The thing is there’s no way in hell my mom is going to let me go because it’s the night before Yom Kippur. So speaking of your omnipotence (okay so it was Q’s omnipotence, but I needed a segue), any chance you could change the date of Yom Kippur this year? I would really appreciate it. You could do it by slightly changing the fabric of space/time, or something, and I looked this up and you did it for I think Joshua, who was laying siege on like Jericho or something. I think this is functionally similar to me laying siege to Charlie in the land of Azeroth, plus I will probably not blow the shofar, which you probably find really annoying at this point, plus it makes my ears hurt and sometimes triggers an asthma attack.

Anyway, thanks in advance.

Sincerely,
Joe

10.07.2005

Dear Friends

Hello friends:

As of next week, I will no longer be identifying as a member of the social group generally referred to as "Hipster." I have accepted a position as a middle-ranking social hub and B-plus-list invitee in the New York WASPy Prep circle. While I am very saddened to be leaving Hipsterdom, particularly the glasses and the comfortable sneakers, I am very excited about my new social opportunity, including the LASIK,the Manolo Blahniks, and my upcoming nosejob and conversion to Episcopalianism.

Once I get settled in my new life, I will be sure to update you with my new contact information. Please note that my new cell phone will be unable to make calls to or receive calls from any New York area code that is not Manhattan, and is likely to deliver a somewhat painful shock if the area code in question is Brooklyn. I'm not sure of my new address just yet, but I can tell you for sure that it will be on the
east side!

Apologies to those of you who are Jewish, black, or straight-acting gay - it was really lovely knowing you. Watch the mail for a heartfelt letter of thanks and goodbye, written on my new Crane's stationery. For those of you who are white and protestant, give me a call sometime and we'll go to the club and watch our fiances play golf.

Best,
Helen