Tuesday, July 29, 2008

we can't all be friends?

my friend adam in brooklyn, who i really hope is there when i'm in nyc for radiohead soon, impresses the hell out of me with the video treats he exhumes every day. on my first watch, i just laughed at the surface of this one. when i watched again, it made me think of the term "friend" as it's used in the social network context. which is less meaningful - friends online or friends made on a reality television show?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

personality disorder

so lately i'm getting lost in the shuffle of my own life. you could call it living. that's how i prefer to look at it. i know one scary day, devices might be fused with our bodies so that reflections, streams of consciousness, fleeting lapses of genius, and general thoughts will be poured into files and edited to become content. instantaneous blogging, twittering, facebooking, and whoring ourselves out! the good thing about now is you can get lost in life and actually consider it a good thing.

bullshit, man. i'm trying to justify ignoring this blog again, covering up for my general apathy and a case of writer's block. whatever...

as you might know, my wife is in the web 2.0/social media space. we have terrific conversations, usually over a bottle (maybe 2) of wine and a few sneaky cigarettes after the kids are in bed, about this new frontier and its population, growing at a rate that you might as well strike the "new" label there. i am fascinated by the sociological aspects of all this. what really grabs me at the moment is how it enables split personality disorders across the globe.

alert: generalizations dead ahead.

when you read a blog (or other media), do you assume the person behind the curtain is consistent with what you glean from the content or the brand? when i got into this, i assumed as much. then i began to know or know about other bloggers, and it occurred to me that so many out there are really nailing it with the smoke and mirrors, promoting their brands that don't seem to match up with the real mccoy. for instance, there's this social media god at my wife's firm who has his virtual feet kissed 24/7 in the world of web 2.0 these days. to everyone out there buying in, he's fantastic, wonderful. in real life he's a prick. then there's a woman who i really like in person when i see her on occasion, but i borderline loathe her social media persona. i can cite several other examples of inconsistency, but you get the point.

much of it's in the name of self promotion, which sometimes frightens me. i am so curious about people who devote so much time and energy to putting themselves out there, endlessly in search of new friends or networks. "star fuckers" is what my wife calls them. to me it's exhausting and makes me wonder about whether the real world of flesh and blood has become that much of a drag. can our true selves be so boring that we need virtual alter egos to feel alive? it's possible, really.

i have to acknowledge a bit of jealousy on my part. it's like when i drive down rock creek parkway and see joggers or bikers everywhere within eye sight, i sort of assume they are all young, maybe single, getting their workout on before a night on the town, and i have a fleeting "grass is greener" moment. so when i see how active and dialed in star fuckers are in the new media world, you could say i wish i had that much time on my hands to flex my mind and soul.

maybe i'm just in the midst of an online identity crisis. or is the crisis in my real life? i guess i should send out an SOS via twitter and see if my "friends" can throw me a lifeline. those venues do seem to be where the answers are coming from lately, yes?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


so i finally stepped to the plate and set up a facebook account. i have struggled with the concept for as long as i can remember for a number of reasons. the paramount reason is that there are certain people in this world i wish to hide from. as you see, this blog is anonymous. some of you know who i am; others never will.
almost immediately, a close friend in nyc sent the first message to my facebook inbox that gave me a serious case of cognitive dissonance:

part of me was really hoping that you would never join FB so that i could forever duck the shame one of my true friends seeing that i have more than one self serving profile picture, over 300 FB friends and other shameful social networking acts. welcome to FB sucker...be prepared for the zombies and ghosts of past that lurk in the shadows waiting to poke, comment on your wall and generally disgust you with who they've become.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

meet me in st. louis

We're headed to my hometown, St. Louis, tomorrow where everyone asks everyone where they went to school, and they don't mean college; they mean high school. I decided somewhere along the line that the reason behind this is that most St. Lunatics do not live outside the shadow of the Arch. If you are roaming the streets or sitting on a bar stool, the assumption is that you must be from here, which means I can make a snap judgment about you based on where you attended high school.

Forget that you might have graduated 15 years ago and could have extended yourself outside the particular stereotype married to your high school, which did not necessarily apply to you in the first place. I don't care; I'm still assuming things about you regardless.

Private same-sex high schools abound in this town. I happened to attend an all guys Jesuit school. In that deep private school pool the guys' schools tend to intermingle more with the girls' schools. This tends to perpetuate stereotypes and rumors, especially about the girls.

So back to that bar stool.

Oh, you went to Ursuline? (Whore.)
...Visitation? (High brow whore)
...Cor Jesu? (catholic white t)
...St. Elizabeth (inner city t)
...St. Joe (alright, fine)

Of course I no longer subscribe to any of the above, but those are a few samples that floated around in the early 90s. I have no clue what applies these days. Mental note to do some research this weekend.

In any case, here are a few hometown favorites - usual suspects - I will be crossing off the mental checklist over the next 5 days:

  • Cardinals vs. Cubs, July 4th

  • Lion's Choice :2 sammies, fries, large Dr. Pepper

  • toasted ravioli : early and often

  • Ted Drewes : hot fudge concrete

  • Imo's Pizza : large pizza, house salad

  • Niche : date night...picked one of Food & Wine's top new chefs from the grab bag of amazing restaurants in town