Monday, May 27, 2013

My Saturday Night

You know you're at an old person's birthday party when the after-dinner conversation consists of speculation over how long the birthday boy has left to live, and you inherit ancient pairs of nylons afterward.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hashtagology 101

Hashtags are a marvelous tool. They bring reason and order to the chaotic worlds of twitter, instagram, and maybe even facebook.

If, people knew how to use them.

Like people who use the wrong their/there/they're, your/you're, and too/to/two, I used to find people who misuse hashtags silly. Now it annoys me.

First, let's go over the origin of the word:
Hash mark: the mysterious key on your phone that didn't have a common use until 2006. "#"
Tag: a way to identify an object (a luggage tag)
So, a hashtag is a way to identify a digital object using a hash mark.

No one cared until Twitter

Once you hashtag a tweet or photo, it is then categorized and can be searched, connecting people around the globe.

Let's do an example.
Just say you took a picture of your puppy licking chocolate off of your finger. After writing a witty caption (I guess not all dogs are are allergic to theobromine!), you add the hashtags. Hashtags should be keywords
Good hashtags:
Do you see what this does?
Now, if someone across the world wanted to look at pictures of puppies, they would type "puppies" in the search bar and voila they see your cute puppy! Or, if some sucker in biochemistry needs a picture for class (modern teaching method or laziness?), they will be pleasantly surprised by your little joke and your puppy will probably end up in their Powerpoint presentation.
Here are some examples of bad hashtags, or what I like to call bashtags
Because nobody would search for these tags. All you're doing is making the reader squint to figure out what you're trying to say.

If your bashtags hurt my head, I will hate you

Here's a good rule of thumb: if your hashtag is actually a sentence, it should go in the caption

Let's practice: Think of some good hashtags
#kitties #cats #wedding #bride #groom 
There are MANY more. In fact, hashtagging is really a science, but I'll go into that in a later post.

Here are some bashtags

Do you see the difference?

Upcoming: Hashtagology 102...more ways to use a hashtag

Monday, May 20, 2013

On the Origin of FOMO

I read this book once about the creation of the oxford dictionary (because I'm just that cool). Wealthy people (or prisoners)  in Europe with nothing else to do sat around reading the classics, trying to find the origin of a word.

I remember the exact moment the acronym fomo came to me. I was walking down 5th Avenue (see? I am cool), talking to one of my best friend's moms. She was saying that she has an intense fear of missing fun, or missing out on anything. I told her that this is a very common fear in my generation, because facebook tells me hourly all of the things I've missed out on. It was so common it should have an abbreviation. And the neurons that spark ingenuity came, "fomo". Not only does it sound like a real disease, but it also rhymes with "slow", "no go" and "can't wait no mo'" and yes I fully intend to make a rap one day.

The facebook feed: the solution to fomo or the cause?
I have had a lot of opportunities to use this acronym in the past year (because I have a lot of friends and can't be everywhere at once, not because I'm not invited obviously). It is so applicable and catchy, all my friends started saying it, then I started hearing it around campus, and then today I saw this:

A few hours later I was reading a TIME magazine article about my generation (remember my coolness?) and saw the acronym again! I would put the link to this article, but the poor magazine is now charging for internet subscriptions, so you'll just have to believe me.

Now, I know this phenomenon didn't stem from me. I just don't have the entitlement and ownership issues baby boomers claim millenials have.
What I do know, is that fomo came to me strolling through New York City.

Which brings the question, is there any such thing as an original idea?

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Rationale Behind an Irrational Fear

Now that Malarky has confessed one of her greatest fears, here is mine. I have a great fear of ever seeing a ghost. Not necessarily of ghosts, but of the possibility of seeing one. Think about it, if you really saw a ghost, that would mean that there are dead people floating around doing and seeing who knows what. If you didn't really see a ghost, that would mean you were just hallucinating in the middle of the day and therefore crazy. Both of those are horrible possibilities.
Having to wear a sheet over your head
would certainly prolong the eternities.

Real Imaginary Friends

What if your best friend was actually imaginary, and everyone you knew just pretended that your best friend was real in order to preserve your sanity?

This is my greatest fear

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Don't Get NPR

For a while I just set my radio on Scan, which was an interesting experience.  The lower numbered stations have hipster and classical music, then up through the numerous Top 40, all the way to the Spanish stations. Then one day while driving around Point of the Mountain, there was something relatively interesting on NPR, and I haven't changed the station since. These are my thoughts:

Did they ever provide news coverage that was better than what you can get from Yahoo News? I heard a story about a guy who died in a really fancy yacht race. Then they talked about what the race was. The last line was about prize money, and how participants would really need that money as the boats can cost $10 million. Really? They really need the money? In order to participate in such a sport, I think you pass the point of "needing money."

What is the deal with the random music they play between segments? Every now and then I think I recognize a song, but most of the time I think they just use parts of those songs predownloaded on Windows Media Player.

How come all their interviews are super short and all the sound bites they use sound like they cut off right before the person is going to say something insightful? They have 24 hours everyday to fill with talking, and yet it seems like they don't do a lot of real talking.

All this being said, I really like NPR's website. Which makes sense because the station kind of seems like the internet, on the radio.

I'm Just Gonna Come Out and Say It

The hike to the Y is the worst. The absolute worst. Anyone who tells you it is fun is lying.
This is actually Hell. Satan is very deceiving.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Everyone Has a Weird Medical Condition

Senior year of high school I came home from school one day and my foot was swollen. 4 years later, it is still swollen, because my lymphatic system is weak/under-developed/stupid. When I first came to college, I was worried and embarrassed about the fact that I had fat feet and had to wear old lady stockings, but soon learned that everyone has a weird medical condition. I know people with diabetes, epilepsy, chronic nosebleeds, eczema, random noncancerous lumps in their breast, irritable bowel syndrome, blank affect, schizophrenia, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, crazy allergies, alopecia, toe thumbs, gastric reflux, thyroid conditions, chronic staph infections, and the list goes on.

I think it is about time to admit that everyone is weird and kind of gross, and instead of judging each other, being fascinated. This same approach works for when you find unidentifiable moldy items in your fridge.

Aren't they magnificent?

When virtual life and real life mix

While watching my brother play Call of Duty, I had a thought.

What if Call of Duty was actually real? What if millions of teenagers/lifeless adults were actually running around killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan from the comforts of their living room?

Perhaps Call of Duty is really a government program to replace real lives on the ground.


Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card, is the story of a genius boy called into a government program to "practice" killing their nemesis. The twist? Turns out the "practice training games" were real life. Ender actually annihilated an entire planet without knowing he was doing so. I won't give away the last twist (and it's a doozy). Go see the movie, or better yet read the book (you have six months, what else are you doing with your life?).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Day I Realized I was a Homegurl


      1. Your crushes' girlfriend
      2.  Any girl that gets up in your business

        Jake and homegurl broke up: all is well and right in the world!
         I was going to hang out with Jake today but homegurl beat me to it.

You will not find this word in the Merriam-Webster, mostly because my roommates and I made it up. Or at least, we gave a new connotation to an existing word. But the more you apply it, the more you realize how useful it is!


I have a lot of homegurls in my life. Mostly because I have a lot of guy friends. And, call me possessive, but any girl they hang out with that isn't me is a homegurl.
Homegurls are the worst possible type of girl--they are not fun, cute, or even interesting--and yet your guy friend/crush likes them.
Homegurls make you feel horrible about yourself because you think, "he's into her? what does that say about me?"

The other day I had a shocking revelation of Siddhartha proportions.

To have a homegurl, you have to be a homegurl.

There have to be two girls in the equation, and you are both each other's homegurls.

I'm still reeling from all the implications of this discovery.

A Custodial Poem

I am the steward of 54 trashcans.
54 trashcans that will be empty before 5:00 a.m. every morning.
54 trashcans that reveal to me what you eat for lunch each day (a clementine, three granola bars, Wendy's chili).

I am the one who sprayed hepacide on your desk, phone, and doorknobs when I noticed piles of tissues in your trash.
I am the one who cleans that giant conference room table and wonders whether the fingerprints are actually new (have the chairs moved?) or if somehow my cleaning wasn't good enough yesterday.
I am the one who vacuumed the dandruff off your chair and wondered how the flakes got so big.
I am the one who prays you will not suffer from intestinal distress during your workday.

I have smiled when I saw your desk decorated for your birthday.
I have seen your family photos as well as the glossy magazine cut-outs of delicious looking food you posted in your cubicle (ice cream sundaes, cupcakes, fancy hot chocolate, why?)
I have nearly fallen asleep when I sat down under your desk to plug in my vacuum.

I am the morning shift.