Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A penny for your thoughts? Nay!

At least a quarter! After much urging by ardent supporters and friends bored stiff at their day jobs, here is an update to my quarter life crisis project. For $0.25 in New York City (or its burroughs) you can purchase:

Balls! This particular item is available throughout the metropolitan area in a variety of sizes, colors and levels of elasticity (surprisingly, however, they all seem to come in the exact same shape!). Those pictured here I found especially nice due to the preponderance of orange hues; however, while sizes of available bouncy balls around town did vary, I did note a decided decrease in average size as compared to my childhood memories of the majority of bouncy balls encountered. Although, again, this might have been symptomatic of my formerly tiny hands.

You can say a lot of things about the Lower East Side. But why waste energy or time talking about a place where $0.25 can't even buy you a properly constructed extra large plastic die? (For those of you not in the know, a die's opposing sides are suppose to add up to 7... spot the error if you dare.)

What's there to do in Douglaston, Queens, you ask? Well lots probably, but finding a decent engagement ring for a quarter dollar certainly isn't a viable way to pass the time in this upper crust section of Kevin James' fiefdom. Is it so much to ask that the plastic jewel be auto-hot glued in the center of the faux-gold ring? Romance is dead. But I digress.

Monkey, see?! In Brooklyn (clearly the best of the suburroughs, despite its commute that makes me want to strangle myself and those bunched around me on the subway with my purse straps), you can buy a friggin' monkey for 25 cents! Now that, my friends, is an improvement from the days of yore. Monkeys were definitely not available for purchase in the small town in Georgia where my tenderest years were spent. Although I'm pretty sure I could legally rent a tractor.

I cheated a little on this one, I will admit. I broke a rule I had held to steadfastly (miso soup arguments aside) and spent TWO quarters on this little find. But I couldn't help myself. I was on the UWS... things are expensive there... and I was drinking. The best part about this purchase was that this little plumber dude is actually just one in a set of ten "white trash" figurines. I want to meet the person who is actually trying to amass the collection in its entirety. "Come on, please let it be Drunk Truck Driver, please oh please!" *Clink, clink, crank, sssss, thmp* "STD-infested diner lady again? That makes 7! Son of a-." I think we'd be friends. And I think s/he'd be an ibanker.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Caring is creepy?

So it turns out I'm a big jerk and it took a blog 'experiment' to really elucidate that fact for me. A bunch of time ago (Sept. 10th, if you'll scroll down a couple ticks), I decided to make fun of strangers and, to a lesser extent, my dear friend Flo's audacity in hoping to find some sort of meaningful connection with another human being on this emotionally crippling cement island I have isolated myself upon. That was douche of me. Not because Flo didn't think my idea was smashing good fun, but because I was setting literally everyone else up for failure, and in retrospect that's not all that nice. My bad, strangers. Many apologies, Flo's hopes and aspirations

I set up my profile, which was a nice blend of good-natured sarcasm, free-spiritedness and chutzpah. It also included important personal details like my aversion to wasabi (since remedied), my unnatural appreciation for the movie Independence Day and the standard list of books I provide, when requested, that is meant to impart to my judges a well-rounded literary background without actually communicating my preferences, saving me from scathing critique of the obscurity, low quality, pretentiousness or played-outtedness of my favored texts. (Just because I read Grisham on the subway doesn't mean I'm not a person, you elitist fuck.) (Nor does it imply that I consider it good literature, plebeian.) I then prepared for the grotesque responses that I would hyperbolize for my own purposes.

Who knows why I anticipated such negative fodder for my silly little blog. Perhaps it was the anonymity of the internet that I figured would allow men (or women) to saturate my inbox with messages containing the sort of depravity that would make my grandmothers weep. Maybe it was my assumption that all men (or women!) are shameless sex-fiends with an innate business sense allowing them to capitalize on a search engine capable of locating many of the loneliest of city women, starving for attention and affection, surviving on hope inspired by the matchiness of internet-based personality tests alone. Could be I had had a bad commute, the soul-crushing kind characterized not so much by the observation of human viciousness as by the depraved indifference that 98% of commuters pretend to exhibit in response. In any event, I giddily awaited the responses I would get from the assumed plethora of lecherous hooligans lurking in the tangles of the interweb, counting on the creepiness of people to supply me with ample material at a point when I was otherwise uninspired.

As the old proverb goes, "When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me." I think that's kind of unfair, because I really don't think I made an ass of anybody but myself in this situation. (I will also point out that anybody who would say that phrase in any amount of seriousness would be, for all intents and purposes, an ass.) But good news for humans: I'm an ass! I was surprised to discover that the vast majority of messages I received were... well... really nice. There were a couple chuckle-worthy attempts (dude commented on how hot I was before my picture was up; dude sent me two identical messages a month apart, both in which he professed to have just discovered my profile and to have instantly fallen in love with me), but for the most part the messages were semi-thoughtful (dudes had actually read my profile and asked questions about information found therein) and not even a little creepy (despite my darndest attempts to look at them as such).

This was unfortunate partially because it gave me a stunning lack of blog-spiration, but mostly because it made me realize I'd been being callous and drawing from an "everything sucks and has gone to hell" place, rather than a "lots of things suck, but maybe pointing them out and getting people to think about them can actually improve things" place. So I'm starting to approach, I hope, that second place with my whole comedy/writing/thinking-about-shit thing. So although the experiment failed miserably, it sort of failed super happily in the long run. Yeah, I'm sure many of those bros were just feeding lines to get some, hoping to take advantage of the fragile young thing than I am. But I'm also gonna go out on a limb and hope that some of them weren't. We'll see how that goes.

Oh yeah, and on a clearly related but causationally/correlationally questionable note: gObama!