Q. What are the rules of giving my older gadgets (i.e. older iPods, iPhones, etc.) away as presents when I buy the newer versions?
A. New electronic devices just shouldn’t come out as often. There, I said it! I know I’m on a tech blog and everything but like, how much difference between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5 can there REALLY be? (*appalled crickets*) Why are all our greatest tech-genius brains focusing so much effort on making our iPhone screens just a little bigger when Willy Wonka’s teleporter prototype has been sitting around unattended to since 1971? And what about pillows that videotape your dreams so you can watch them like movies? “Pillodeos.” Whatever, we can brainstorm the branding later.
Today I drove my parents to the airport and on the way back I drove through my old neighborhood, the one where I lived from ages 2 to 10, in Saint Paul. I didn’t drive down my street this time, though I often do when I’m in that area, just to check on the house that used to be my parents’ and before that, my grandfather’s. They’ve put in a backyard cement patio, I don’t like it.
Then after that I picked up a bottle of wine and the annoying parts were that 1) the kind of wine I wanted was derisively labeled a “dessert wine” which…whatever, ugh, it’s not THAT sweet and 2) the guy working there didn’t card me! This is legal here — it’s up to the liquor store employees whether or not they want to check IDs, so sometimes I don’t get carded. Sometimes this is ok and sometimes it makes me feel old. I am not that much over 21! I mean, four years is not THAT MUCH in the grand scheme of things.
Then after THAT I got stuck in this horrendous traffic situation in the suburbs, and at one intersection I had to honk at the car in front of me to go because they didn’t notice the light had turned green. I always feel really bad about that, especially this time, because I held the horn down a little longer than I meant to. But, you know, that’s what cars do. So they crossed the intersection and so did I and that’s all that could fit because of traffic. Then the kids in that car, the one I honked at, kept turning around and looking at me, and the one in the passenger seat reached over to honk the driver’s horn and made a “what the fuck?” gesture at me. I just kind of cocked my head to the side and made a “this is not a situation in which you can reasonably be irritated with me” face, but I’m not sure they got it.
These kids were no more than 17 (I could tell by their haircuts) and they were awful and I hated them, and that’s when I decided it was okay if that old house feels like forever ago and if the liquor store clerk thinks I look like I’m definitively over 21.
And now the ways to be annoying on Facebook (there are at LEAST 11).
10. Merge your account with the account of your new spouse.
What’s next, sharing a bank account and a home? Fusing your DNA strands with your spouse’s DNA strands and creating new human beings? Do you people have to do EVERYTHING together? No, look: if you love each other so much that you no longer see the point in having your own Facebook accounts where you can keep in touch with your presumably somewhat separate networks, you love each other too much for other humans to handle. That’s it. You probably shouldn’t even have ONE Facebook. You should be living in a heart-shaped tree house, whispering sweet nothings to each other (and to the woodland creatures that make your clothes) 24 hours a day.
Q. “Is it okay to ask a stranger to watch your laptop in a coffee shop? Otherwise, what should you do when you have to pee? And can you tell somebody NO if they ask you, because you’ve got better things to watch, like a Rihanna music video?”
A. “…Most people want to help each other out as long as it doesn’t take too much work, and what could be easier than occasionally shifting your eyeballs a few inches over to check on another person’s laptop? So no, you can’t say no if someone else asks you. I forbid that. If you are trying to get out of doing a literally effortless favor, you are a sociopath. Watch that stranger’s laptop because it is the easiest security you will ever provide. Pretend you’re a spy if you have to, I don’t care! And if he doesn’t come back after ten minutes, you get to keep it. No, I’m just kidding. You have to wait, but if he takes too long, you can make fun of him when he comes back, like, “Haha what were you DOING in there? Do you have bowel problems or something?? Haha!” Then either you two will become fast friends, or he’ll never bother you for a favor again and warn the other patrons to avoid you, too. Win win.”
On Sunday I graduated with my masters’ degree and, a few hours after the ceremony, went to our school’s informal grad party at a bar on the West Bank. I had a celebratory tequila shot in four (4) nauseating attempts, and it was pitiful. My friend who bought the round kept trying to tell me that this was nice tequila and that you should just sip it, but it was basically clear José Cuervo and I don’t care what anyone says, tequila is tequila and it always leads to problems, even when you have just one shot in four tries.
So eventually we headed to another bar and on the way this hipster biker GANG overtook the sidewalk and whizzed past my friends and I, and it was very dangerous, so we yelled at them and they yelled back and all of a sudden we were in a street brawl. Wellllll not a “brawl” because they didn’t stop or anything, there were no “fisticuffs,” but it was the most heated street exchange I’ve ever been a part of.
ONE of them was very outraged because my friend had yelled, “Get off the sidewalk, asshole bikers!” so his other friend was trying to calm him down, all while biking. He was really drunk I think! Or else inexcusably defensive about his bike! But anyway he kept yelling weirdly mean and misguided things at us, like saying that we were “fucking rich kids,” presumably because we had our nice graduation clothes on. I think we represented “The Man” to him. So then I yelled “YOUR BIKES ARE STUPID SHAPES,” and while that was true (they were all, like, elevated with extra bars everywhere), it was not the most effective thing I’ve ever said. Then, awkwardly, we were all going to the same bar across the street, at the same time. :-/
“Manually RT-ing praise to “reply” to a follower/fan is the single most masturbatory way to receive a compliment. You think it makes you look receptive, modest, and kind, but it actually makes you look like a self-obsessed lunatic. It is the sort of thing Genghis Khan would have done, if he had survived into the Twitter ages.”—11 Ways You’re Annoying On Twitter. I speculate wildly about what Genghis Khan would have been like on Twitter in this, but we all know it’s so true.
Q: What’s the proper protocol for making somebody a playlist or mix in the age of Spotify everything? Is a CD acceptable anymore? HOW DO I EXPRESS AFFECTION WITH MUSIC?
A: One thing you definitely do NOT want to do is make a crush-y poppy indie mix CD, put it in a bubble envelope with a carefully written little note, and mail it to a boy in another state who a) has given you VERY little encouragement on the flirtation front, b) has been known to perm his hair, on occasion. I can only IMAGINE that that would be really embarrassing for you. I can imagine that, years later, your friends might still send you pictures of him, with the subject line reading only “HAHA.”
”—My column is never, ever based on personal experience.
Always judge people-books by their covers, or something
I was listening to the episode of WTF with Chelsea Handler and finding myself actually kind of liking her, and that was surprising to me, and I was proud of myself for being able to change my feelings towards people like some very mature and thoughtful ADULT, and everything was going great, UNTIL Marc Maron pointed out how sexist it was that everyone always thinks Chelsea Handler slept her way to the top, and he asked if she agreed, and SHE SAID:
"No. Sexism is bullshit to me. I don’t even buy into that anymore, I mean, men and women are equal and that’s that, in my mind."
AAAAAND that’s why I always say, never ever ever give people a second chance!
The only thing you need (?) to know about my night last night...
…is that I ended up in a Korean half-hair salon, half-karaoke bar (!) across town, with three friends from school (just three), and we paid for 2.5 hours of singing, and I scream-sang “Zombie” as well as a fair amount of early Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys. Even though I promised them I wouldn’t sing, even though I warned them all about my voice’s interesting pitch decisions, even though it was a Monday night, and even though we had gone out at 5:00 intending to stay for one drink and didn’t get home until 7.5 hours later.
The video playing behind every karaoke song we did was a series of different shots of animals running, climbing hills, and mating. So like, under “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy, there were just a bunch of water buffalo calmly walking around a field. It was really weird. But at the end there was a lot of group hugging, because karaoke makes you do a lot of things you didn’t want to do, but feel really sentimental about it after.