Foursquare – Check

I just started using Foursquare. Normally I wouldn’t make an announcement about using a new social media site, especially because I embrace most of them unconditionally, but Foursquare is one of those that I found almost dangerous. Why in the world would you want people to know exactly where you are, at any given point in the day? Clearly it’s a bit stalker-ish. (And surely stalkers have taken note. Yet because we live in a culture where you don’t have to ask what other people are doing. Just see what they RSVP’d to on Facebook…)

But I signed up anyway, promising myself that I’d never use it. That is until I noticed that a friend of mine was the Mayor of my favorite local restaurant. He had checked in a staggering 10 times. I had been there at LEAST that many times in the past few months. That was enough to stoke my interest. I decided to treat myself, checking in at said restaurant for the very first time. And ZOOM — I had earned my very first Badge, the Newbie. Then I see that the Logo TV network has created a promotional Badge for RuPaul’s Drag Race, my favorite TV show. But the contest has curiously obscure contest rules. From what I gather, if you check in at fabulous, Logo-endorsed locations, you can win a trip to New York City to attend a special season finale Rupaul’s Drag Race viewing party. (NOTE — Not only is it absurd that I want to win a trip to a city that I already live in, but RuPaul may not even be at the party. But that’s OK because he retweeted me the other day. And that means we’re good friends now.)

I can’t say that I’m “hooked” as much as I can say that now I understand. Foursquare stokes two layers of competition — competition with others (Mayorship, wherein you’re master of your domain) and with one’s self (Badges, which are emblems of the modern social butterfly). Others may fee Foursquare’s incentives as being in the know, or being in the right place at the right time, with the right people.

Just like many other social networking sites before it, I’m sure I’ll stop using it at some point. Probably the point at which I unlock that Drag Race Badge. Until next season’s contest, that is.

A catchy song in 2011…

Is an offensive thing that insists on pounding, thumping, screaming in your head until you spew out URL Vomit and hit Share on your Facebook profile. This video has caused millions of people to experience such URL Vomit. Only it’s more horrible than I just made it sound. And it’s extremely catchy, with its narrator and her horribly nasal voice that makes the word Friday sound like Fried Egg (an equally horrendous thing). Enjoy, everyone!

Smoking Found Object

Taken from a series of Post-Its found in a book, written the day after I quit smoking, September 16, 2008. I had endeavored to write down each time I thought of smoking:

11:30A –> Post-coffee consumption

1:39P –> Accidentally typed “smoke” instead of “some.”

3:04P –> Post-lunch. Trying to get work done. Would normally rush through QA so as to smoke a cig soon.

4:39P –> After reading a lot about smoking cessation, sucking on a tea tree toothpick.

5:11P –> Thought about new job prospect, reaction was to want a cigarette (*Normally want after I get a good/interesting idea / *Walking and smoking pleasurable…Ultimately, I lack the attention span for genuinely interesting thoughts.)

5:47P –>Anxious to go home

5:47P –>cont. — Why must this be the thing that I look forward to? (**Find something else to look forward to: A. Seeing People. B. Record shopping! C. Walking (w/o smoking).

Note –> Did I ever look down on non-smokers?

Today, NYC banned smoking in public parks and beaches. I know that quitting is hard, but at $11/pack and a whole city warring against you, it might be harder to keep smoking. As friends who knew me back in the day can attest, I was one of the biggest fans of cigarettes. A friend of mine even nicknamed me Serge (as in Gainsbourg, pictured above). If I can do it, anyone can.

Frey Factory

Lately I’ve acquired the habit of reading before bed. Though in the back of my mind I worry that its sedative properties signify a lack of interest, I do it anyway. My book of the week is a big, bad Gothic horror novel, Uncle Silas. I must admit it is at times a bit dull. After all, my sensibilities are 21st century, not 19th century; a book can’t be wholly exciting all the way through. But then suddenly a ghost appears and I’m trilled all over again.

Last night I made the mistake of putting my novel down and reading this article right before I turned the lights out, which was a big mistake. It bothered me so much that I laid awake for hours. It’s an exposé written by a Columbia MFA student who, along with her fellow classmates, was propositioned by the disgraced writer James Frey to write the next big YA novel. I didn’t exactly know which fact disturbed me more, the very existence of the Full Fathom Five factory or the very fact that anyone in their right minds would give their ideas away to such an opportunistic man. In the article, you’ll find its disgraced subject possesses a rather pedestrian taste in literature, especially in what he finds to be “transgressive.” He comes across as a rather cocky human being with nothing but good things to say about himself.

Most of all, it’s a sad, depressing look into the reality that writers face these days. However, it was good to have stumbled upon an alternatively hopeful message.