A Life Less Ordinary  

Tuesday, July 29 : 5:50 AM : 1 comments :

All day today: Jamming out to a Mariah and J.Legend duet. "With You I'm Born Again." Here's the MP3.

There was a time when I had a thriving blog community of friends. Like people I knew were starting blogs left and right. Coming out of college, there was all this extra time at work -- especially if you had a starter office job -- and this desire to express what your post-college life was like. People wanted to vent and share and experience vicariously.

Of course, blogging takes effort and just a few years after the blogger boom, eighty percent of those blogs died and went to heaven. Check the list on the right side of this page. It's littered with the skeletons of blogs. Like the bubonic plague ripped through, or someone came with a big gun and took no prisoners.

Still, the basic question remains: What are my friends up to? I guess the answer is just to check Facebook but really that seems so formulaic. I'd rather get an idea of what they've actually been up to away from relationship status, whatever I can glean from demystifying other people's comments, and the occasional picture update.

I've been pushing moblogs on anyone who has the technology but I guess it's really the same thing as frequent photo uploads. It just seems more exciting to see photos dated and archived nice and neat. I fail to believe that people don't want to share their lives. If anything, it feels more important nowadays to share because as we get older (or as my life gets more insular I guess) it becomes more fulfilling to know about the little details in your friends' lives. Like we'd all feel more connected and less out of touch if we could have moblogs.

Yes, this was pretty much just a public service announcement for creating a moblog, especially if you have an iPhone. It's seriously awesome to be able to go back a few months and look over what you've been doing pictorially. Also, whatever event you end up moblogging looks like it was super fun because you're capturing a slice of the moment. Even if your life is totally boring, a moblog will help you spice it up for posterity. I promise.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was journaling. I wonder how many of my friends journal. I'd say a lot of my female friends do -- girls generally like to get out how they feel -- but I wonder how many of my guy friends have done it, and when they started if they have one. Guys have a lot of shit going on too. I'm curious when/what prompted them to put pen to paper.

Growing up, I was never the journaling type. I loved owning journals and the idea of filling one up with my writings was really exciting but I never really got around to it. Even in college, I never had one. I wish I had one through high school actually, because that whole period of time seems so blurry to me. What was I thinking playing role playing games during lunch every day? Can someone explain that to me? Thirteen year old me, please defend yourself. With an enchanted mace +4 preferably.

I started my journal in 2001, probably a month before Nine-Eleven. I'm glad I did because that period of time marked some epochal changes and now I can look back to see what it sort of felt like to live through it. During one particular long stretch at a dead end job, I even went back and tried to recreate my college years in journal fashion.

What do I journal about? Generally speaking, it's stuff that I don't really feel like talking to other people about. Much of it is just recaps of life for the memory banks. A lot of it is about girls and relationships because those generally feel too private to just have out there willy nilly. I wish it had more of a component of introspection but it's sadly not that way very often. I've never learned the habit of journaling often enough to have a build up and analysis period. It's been mostly just getting the stuff down so I can move on.

Along with pushing moblogs, I want to push everyone (especially guy friends) to start journaling. Plus, in a way, journaling makes your life feel more real I think. I mean, it seems like many great men and women have journals. You could illogically deduce that by journaling you'll be destined to be a great person. Think about how often scholars are saying "And from his journals we can see that..." When I die and scholars are poring over the things I left behind, I want them to be able to say the same thing. "From his journals, we can tell that he was a super geek. How incredible his subsequent meteoric rise. Let this be a lesson to us all."

Oh I was also reading about how memories are actually the most unreliable of all sources. So in a way, a journal is a way to preserve your own lies. I like the thought of that. It's generally considered by other people that whatever you write in private is the truth (as in how you feel or what happened) but in fact it's more often your own twisted version memories of memories. There's a lot to be said for self delusionment isn't there?
My tips for creating an online private journal
  1. Don't use full names, or even your own real name if possible
  2. If you're using Blogger, don't have it linked with your normal Gmail account
  3. Lock it up but consider letting close friends read it once you've got the writing rhythm down
  4. Turn off search engine submission and spider crawling
  5. Let me read it. Just kidding. Well, sort of.
To be honest, I don't really trust Blogger's privacy settings too fully but I know LiveJournal is really good about it. I wish Blogger would let you password protect only certain entires. If you're old school and like writing on regular looking paper on-screen, check out Penzu. Penzu also has a page that has some ideas about what to journal.

I Think We're Alone Now  

Thursday, July 24 : 11:59 PM : 4 comments :

So I've been listening to lots of Eighties stuff recently (thanks Lilly), I'm not sure if I've told you that. For a long time my Eighties music knowledge has been super weak. My ready excuse is that I'm from a different country okay? And I was never cool enough to listen to anything even semi-modern. This gap results in my having really odd music tastes for most of my youth. I won't even go into any names because it's alternately embarassing and well, embarassing.

So anyway, I've got just constant Eighties stuff going on when I write now. I'm so in love with Journey's Don't Stop Believing, I know, like only twenty years late. The song that came on as I was winding down tonight and getting ready to do this post was Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight."
"Well if you told me you were drowning
I would not lend a hand
I've seen your face before my friend
But I don't know if you know who I am"
That's some harsh words. It's apparently about "the anger he felt after divorcing his first wife Andrea." I felt like this was the perfect song to inspire my writing efforts. I mean, my whole book is centered around a devastating divorce! I don't know how else the creative gods could speak to me more clearly than through Phil Collins. It's so great that even God watches VH1.

The other night Mary and I played this game while we sat around the boba shop. We both declared our inability to really hear and understand song lyrics. It's a huge problem. See, we're both strong visual learners. Her excuse is because she's an artist. My excuse is, well, I'm hard of hearing? Or you know, I'll trot out the well worn FOB excuse again.

Anyway, we sat around writing down what we thought the artist was singing. Needless to say, our efforts were atrocious, yet super hilarious. At least my shit made sense. Mary's had stuff like "There's something in rice, is everything alright, you look up to the sky..." Song writers would be fired for her stuff. Or awarded possibly.

You know how sometimes, often for me, you're listening to a song and you have no idea what it's about? Well what about the songs that are about something you totally didn't see? I mean, Under the Bridge is about heroin addiction, Blister in the Sun is about masturbation, and Ne-Yo's Because of You is about weed. Weed. Totally ruins the song for me. And who knew that All My Life (K-Ci & Jojo) was really a tribute to his daughter? That was the defining love song for so many relationships in the late Nineties. Love songs man, gotta check out what they really mean before you sing it like you mean it.

Raymond put me on to this Girl Talk person, the deliciously alliteratively named Gregg Gillis, a guy who makes mashups. But like nothing I've ever heard before. Forget mashing two or three songs together, this fool mashes like ten or fifteen songs into something entirely different. Like a song blender more like. Check out his new album, Feed the Animals, available for free if you're a cheap bastard. Or Chinese.

Dig Dug  

Friday, July 18 : 11:42 PM : 1 comments :

Today at 7:12 pm: Singing along to Rent, not exactly headed toward Santa Fe.

The thing that seems so daunting about life nowadays is how hard it is to create a social circle. All throughout childhood and college you're presented with situations where nearly everyone around you is experiencing the same stage of life you are. Finding friends is just a matter of making choices and selecting whether you prefer chocolate, hard candy, or something different altogether. This isn't to say that finding friends post college is impossible since everyone does it but it seems much more fragmented. You're likely to have at least triple the circles you'd have normally, each one not very likely to intersect.

Most of it is probably proximity and the nature of the adult life. When you don't share a city or a campus anymore, activities and the people involved in those activities can't readily cross over. Plus, your own life is separated out, usually into work and non-work life. That alone is a serious line of demarcation for most people.

In the most recent friendship circle experience I'm having, it's been remarkable how fast and slow it all seems. For example, it seems very fast how quickly you can suddenly be doing things with the same people over and over again, to the point where seeing them every day feels natural. Your old social habits and circles seem like last season's outfit.

But then to think about how long this process of feeling comfortable, of being able to just walk into someone's house at any time of the day, without feeling the need to schedule, plan, or panic, is very, for lack of better word, depressing. Even when things are set up rather perfectly for full on friendship, it can still take months to actually reach this comfortable plateau.

I mean, for the past few months we've been hanging out a ton with Jennifer, Janice, Micah and all of their assorted friends. James and I have participated in dinners, playground park visits, beach days, trips to LA, clubbing nights, and various birthdays and important life moments with them over this span. And in some ways it all still feels very new and slow to coalesce.

This is despite the fact that Jennifer, Janice and I were already friends for many years, and their friends and my friends have the mindset of already liking and opening themselves up to each other. Plus everyone's been very available and willing to hang out due to our lack of time constraints and general quiet time in our involvement with other life activities. With all these natural advantages built into the situation, it still took three to six months to "bake."

Now think about how that would work if you lived elsewhere and were either trying to create a new social circle or to plug yourself into an existing one. Conceivably it could take years. That seems so long to me. How many awkward silences and weird moments would you have to endure before you could feel entirely comfortable?

Sometimes the math of friendship is just intimidating.

We drove out to the desert early evening in hopes of catching the sunset. While the actual watching of the sunset didn't work out too well, the night did. Jennifer was on a mission to build a fire and while some of us (okay mostly me) had some concerns about the legality and safety of a fire in the brushy "desert", it all worked out and the fire was wonderful. As was hanging out with headlamps, which were acquired by the Carvajals at the swap meet. Seriously, if you could walk around all the time with handlamps life would be so much better. And um, brighter.
"Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other's gold
You have a hand, and I have another
Put them together and we have each other
A circle is round, it has no end
That's how long I want to be your friend"
-Girl Scout song-

People's Instinctive Travels  

Thursday, July 17 : 5:27 AM : 2 comments :

So the other night Mary's back in San Diego and so bored after only two days here that she's been watching Hannah Montana marathons. By her calculations we haven't seen each other in about two years. And it's not like we keep in touch via phone or emails either. That sounds like way too long of a span to go without knowing what the other person was up to, especially since she's been a long time member of my inner circle of five. Then again, this is pretty much how my close friendships work. Out of sight, out of mind. "Let's catch up!"

Last time I saw her I was on the verge of moving up to the Bay (for an ultimately unsuccessful shot at a relationship). She's been a bit more productive, atttending The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs -- that's in Princeton by the way. No, I have no idea what that is either but she tried to fill me in and explain what all these bright brilliant people have been studying. Future leaders and accomplished folk of all sorts were her classmates apparently. I'm gonna say that Mary's moved up a little bit in the world, just a little.

The funny thing is that getting yogurt in Convoy while watching the new but hardly improved generation of young Asians around us brought her right back to high school. Instant time warp. We joked that she'd achieved but look at where she ended up. Right back next to my unaccomplished drifter ass. Of course, Mary wasn't supposed to be here for long. Her life plans were taking her to Sudan the next day as part of some United Nations thing to save the world or something. But a little matter of the International Criminal Court going after the president of Sudan for war crimes and genocide prevented that. So yup, she's stuck back here with me. By the way, it took me a second to recognize that the whole Darfur thing was in Sudan.

There was a time when I felt like I was a total world traveler. A few countries in Asia, a few months lived abroad, two or three trips around Europe. That qualified as getting around. Well, that's nothing nowadays. People are all over the place. You haven't traveled if you haven't gone three weeks (inevitably alone) through some country I've never heard of or couldn't point out on a map. It's just disgusting these people. Western Europe and Northern Asia are just so quaint now. Try South America, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa. I used to get travel updates from Mary about how she'd just almost died riding a chicken bus in Peru or something like that. Even acquaintances I've met recently have all been super well travelled. I feel so provincial. I'm not sure I've always bought into travelling as a way to adventure but it's such a necessary thing to feel like you're alive and doing something nowadays.

Makes for better stories at social gatherings too.

During our reunion night, at a coffee shop with wonky Internet, we did a pictorial review of our last two years. Hers spent in school and traveling, mine spent in various California locales. My life update took maybe five minutes. The rest of our night was spent taking a virtual tour of the dating scene in San Diego, New York, and San Francisco. Three hours spent cruising Match trying to figure out where the best places to start dating would be. The criteria we used was simple. Basic attractive looks and a semi-interesting profile. Humor a plus. I was able to prove to Mary that you could really just screen people by favorite books.

What else did we learn? Get the hell out of San Diego. The overall selection is thin thin thin. Sure everyone is laid back, down to earth, and loves the outdoors but what the hell else do they do? New York was interesting because by changing the zip code to Manhattan or Brooklyn (and narrowing the search radius) you could get totally different options. Everyone in Brooklyn read. Everyone's profile was full of pizzazz and pseudo-intelligent sparkle. San Diego, in comparison, was like the dumbest blonde on Earth. San Francisco was a mix of high finance and uber-geek. Tough call.

We ended the night watching Michael Jackson dance videos because with old friends you gotta bring it back. Plus he's The King of Pop. And who could have predicted that seven years after they shared the stage Britney would be worse off than Michael? Goodness. That clip also contains some of the worst MJ involved choreo I've ever seen.

Take It to the Streets  

Tuesday, July 15 : 11:37 PM : 1 comments :

Hong and I went to the courts today. After running a game with some high schoolers (Hong hit two go ahead points to tie the score and then win), we took it to the battlefield. One on one. I love reading Eric's blogs about his basketball and football tournaments and since my days as a basketball player are fading away, I must document as much as I can.

Our first game was to eleven by ones. It was over quick. Hong won eleven to five or something like that. He has one unstoppable move where he posts up and spins right for a quick layup. The option off that is to fake right and go left, equally dangerous. Since I can't keep him out of the lane if I wanted to, Hong muscled his way to victory after a low scoring start.

Keep in mind I taught Hong how to play basketball years ago when we lived in Jersey City. When we went looking for apartments, Lynn told me that one of them had an indoor halfcourt. I said, "Rent that one." For the next year or so I trained Hong in the sport he was meant to play. I don't know why he never played before but he's got natural quickness and speed, previously reserved for his favored racket sports. One of the greatest regrets I have for him is that he didn't discover basketball sooner. He could have been a beast.

Here's a scouting report on the two of us:
Hong: Faster, quicker, stronger. Big butt. Has developed quite an effective post up game. Sometimes he doesn't even need to see the basket to shoot -- which is both good and bad. Has developed an effective twelve foot set shot. Vertical of about two inches because he's used to jumping two footed, tennis style. Plays tenacious defense and isn't afraid to use his body. In good shape and can run all day.

Jon: Taller, more skilled, ten extra years playing the game. Slightly more jumping ability, slightly. Streaky outside shooter with occasional range. Inability to drive on good defenders. Has a left hand and a variety of unorthodox and mildly effective post moves. Lazy defense is currently atrocious but can still block a shot or two. Cigarettes.
Game two. We're only playing to nine this time because, you know, we're old. Hong starts by declaring that he'll score his first three off jumpers and then his next three off post ups. He misses three jump shots and get all three rebounds in quick succession. Scraps that plan and goes up 2-0 by going to the basket. Jon misses a short jumper but then hits a long three. Adds a lefty lay in to tie the score. If you're watching this game it's like seeing Karl Malone play Tayshaun Prince. I'm very lucky Hong prefers the pretty shot to the brutal mauling that would involve tossing me aside and dunking.

We're working on our third or fourth winds here. Hong mad scrambles for every loose ball and long rebound. Plus he swipes at the ball and gets a few clean steals. It's like totally embarrassing. As for me, I wait to engage him at the free throw line and snatch the rebounds that come directly to me. I drive left and get blocked by Hong, maybe a first ever in our history. Usually I'm the one who gets to block him since I've taught him to shoot and know exactly where the ball will be when he puts it up. Things have changed over the years.

The score gets to 7-6 advantage me. A few of my jumpers finally fall and I get Hong on a pump fake that takes him off the screen. Tim Duncan bank shot. 8-6. Of course I cool off and Hong reams me for two straight baskets. By using his wide body and superior quickness, Hong has me guessing about which way he'll spin on the post up. Try guarding him when he's five feet from the basket. I swear it's nigh impossible. Even though he doesn't play basketball much, Hong can still score on anyone when he's on. Luckily, he's only on in spurts. I believe his chubby hands hurt his ball control.

Hong takes a few dribbles and pushes me down to three inches from the basket. He sits in the paint and fakes a few times. Then a few more times. Thirty seconds later he unleashes a patented spin layup. I call "Three seconds!" and he willingly agrees. 8-8. I try to pretend that I don't need the cheapo call but I'll take it because I'm about to lose here.

By this time we're both pooped and I say next basket wins. Hong will have none of it. He says we win by two. A quick drive of his to the right, a quick defensive slap at the ball, and it's mine again. I hit a distance jumper to go one up. I brick my next five attempted game winners. Hong hits two straight jumpers in the lane. Now he's verbally teasing me. 10-9 Hong.

The lights at the playground go off and we're playing in the dark. I take the opportunity to hit a quick running layup to tie the game. With the low visibility, Hong can't find a jumper to save his life. I can't either. I miss one shot so badly it caroms wildly to the right and Hong chases after it way out of bounds. I take the opportunity to catch my breath. Savvy veteran move.

With my wind momentarily back, I pump up two pull up mid-range jumpers for the victory. My stomach is churning and my legs are butter. One win apiece, time to go home.

Final (estimated) stat line: Hong: 30% FG shooting, 33 rebounds, 2 steals, 7 layups, 3 jumpers, 1 block. Jon: 35% FG shooting, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 4 layups, 6 jumpers, 2 from beyond the arc.

The Beautiful Game  

: 9:53 PM : 3 comments :

"I was so bummed I missed soccer the week before... But people lovingly obliged my requests to play... and we got 16 people playing... things went smoothly and Jon scored first... the floodgates opened... Michelle played in Diesel jeans making her the fanciest most expensive keeper ever... George screamed whenever the ball came in a certain radius... people sweated... Helen and JB rocked the house... Gene if-you-cut-me-in-three-pieces-one-of-them-would-be-phat Kim and The Nose Spoon! are freakin' good players...

Hong's an enforcer, Jon G's a target, Rollen's a sleeper, James can do the splits in any direction, Galvez is really fast, Jon Y would have swept our keeper's leg to score, Jimmy's a hustle freak like on the court, Lynn scored the winning goal (ahem, JB)... and Annalisa was just untouchable... I think there were like 4 times when people dropped to the ground laughing so hard... What a beautiful day..."
-Human Amoeba, March 2004-


Tuesday, July 8 : 6:11 PM : 1 comments :

"One of the cruelest tragedies of the sex industry is that it attracts girls like me who already have skewed ideas about sex and self-worth and then completely reinforces all our secret fears. The men you meet, the whole lifestyle, whispers to you that you were right all along, that all that really matters is being desired.

I still struggle every day to change my thinking. It makes me almost sick to my stomach to meet new people whether in a personal or professional capacity, because I worry they will not think I am pretty. Most of my friends are men with whom I have had former dalliances because I just do not feel comfortable around people who I don't know with certainty find me sexually attractive.

In my head, my worth is completely tied up in my appearance and sex. As a result of being abused at a young age, my thinking is fucked. There is something wrong with my brain. No matter how logically I know that who I am is more important than how sexy I look, I have internalized the lesson that it is my sexuality that makes me lovable."
-Confessions of a College Callgirl-


Saturday, July 5 : 11:30 PM : 1 comments :

Tonight I was a super one-off at a friend's wedding. "One-off" meaning a friend who doesn't roll with your normal social circle and/or doesn't know anyone else you know. One-offs aren't acquaintances because they are definitely friend status, people you make special time for, but for some reason or another your lives hardly ever cross. If you're interested in the etymology of the term, it's here. I like thinking of it as "one of a kind."

Anyway for this particular wedding I had a plus one, which I rarely have, and I wasn't really sure what to do with it. I mean, I was going to bring James because well, it's James. And we're Facebook married. But he's in Alaska on the mother of all reunion trips. Seriously, check out his moblog pictures. He's cornered the market on Wangs. That left only one person who even remotely would know the bride. No go due to moral conflict. So I was pretty much ready to roll solo to a wedding with two hundred people I didn't know.

Old me wouldn't have blinked. I've been to two or three weddings solo before. Solo defined by I had no idea who else was going to be there and I didn't bring anyone with me. Those all went off very nicely though as I either saw unexpected semi-friends or met someone I got along with. However, new socially awkward weird me doesn't fare well in these situations anymore. I don't know what the hell I was on, thinking that I could do a wedding solo. I'm not that guy anymore. I have newfound social anxiety and prefer to recreation within my lines.

Somewhere along the way the past few years I've pretty much lost all ability to talk to random people. Which is pretty strange considering I've been in a fair number of situations when I've had to just be social and handle meeting people. I think as I got older and more insular that particular social muscle atrophied and flabbed out. I could chalk the uncomfortableness up to lack of motivation but I know that's not entirely true. I had all the motivation in the world to talk to people at a wedding. It's five hours staring off into the distance or fiddling with your mobile versus chatting amiably with some humans. Guess which one I picked?

Luckily my solo wedding didn't stay solo for long as Vy graced me with her presence on super short notice and totally saved me (basically riding in on a white horse). Weddings are awkward enough as it is and when you're a one-off at a table of one-offs, it's just that much harder. Vy was awesome as one of two, plus we got to catch up and hang out. And eat chocolate covered strawberries injected with alcohol, which if you didn't know, are the hot new thing in weddings this season.

I do believe I tried to pawn my sister off to some guy who lived in Fremont for a potential date. And no, I didn't drink that much. He seemed nice, he knew how to have a conversation, and he had his initials monogrammed onto the cuff of his sleeves. Cool right? So, how bout it George?

The logic I guess is that if you're a one-off of someone then they'd have to be a one-off for you. Or maybe that's not true, I'm not sure. I'll have to think about it some more. It's crazy to think of how long your one-offs can stay semi-anonymous to your regular life. I've known Stacey for just over ten years now. Ten years and she knows about most of my friends but have only met a handful. You'd think over a decade or so people would just start to meet each other. That's what weddings are for I guess. My wedding will be a one-off bonanza. Unless somehow I can cross my streams fast enough to create a nice beautiful ocean.

We celebrated Stacey's first legal drink together, which seems laughable in retrospect because we know what a drinker I'm not. There was raving and K-clubbing the summer I met her -- which was the one right after I broke up with my first girlfriend, coincidentally also named Stacey -- and she was a pretty integral part of both of those experiences. For one, she knew more people in LA than seemed humanly possible and that fact was proven time and time again as I'd run into her everywhere when going out in later years.

Stacey was also teaching English in Beijing when I was there, which was a godsend at the time because I felt so starved for friends and friendly interactions. On New Year's Day in New York one year she made a snowman in our apartment complex's yard while I watched from indoors (because I'm a total girl and it was cold as hell). Her inner kid glowed in accomplishment. One of her birthday parties was held at the Magic Castle, which is this mansion in Hollywood where actual magicians train. The general public can't even go in for shows unless they have a magician friend. Stacey did, of course.

Seeing the people at her wedding, with a new husband that I've met just once before, was interesting. In talking to some of her friends the things about her that I appreciate most are echoed by everyone else, which in a way makes perfect sense because one-offs aren't people who see less of you, they're people you choose to be friends with despite lack of convenience or life proximity. Which is a nice way of thinking about it I think.

The Lives of Others  

Thursday, July 3 : 11:16 PM : 5 comments :

You know that buzzing your speakers make if your cell phone is around? The iPhone is notorious for it. Anyway, it's like what I'd imagine having spider-sense would be like. You hear this slight warning buzz and then something happens two seconds later. After awhile, as soon as you hear that speaker static you're reflexively alert and ready to take a call. But then sometimes it's just a false alarm and unlike Spider-man, you're disappointed that danger (or a potentially exciting bit of fun) has passed.

After thinking about Facebook a little more, I think that maybe I should be an avid Facebooker. I mean, it's everything a community of friend blogs used to be -- but arguably better. You get updates on people's lives, you get to see who they're going out with, you get to anonymously life stalk near strangers, you get to interact with them on a semi-personal level, you get to try to out-quip each other. It's all fabulous.

The concept of public commenting still irks me to no end but face it, social networks are here to stay and it's either get on the bus or get run over. Sure, you can live in a Facebook-less life but at some point you just disappear off people's radar. Now that may sound just fine to some people but it's important that friends know what you're up to so that when you talk to them you can skip all that stuff. I mean, isn't Facebook simplifying the whole "so what have you been doing" part of friendship? I'm always for that.

I'd like to see, as a new social standard, people checking Facebooks (and blogs or MySpaces or recent emails or whatever) before actually meeting up in person. Cut out that half an hour of recapping life. Commence immediately to important things like what's on TV or just general hanging out. When will we replace Internet info with mouth-to-mouth info? Now I say, now.

And while I've often wondered how people have the time -- or inclination -- to label every person in their pictures, upon some reflection I think that's exactly something I'd do if there were no personal stigma attached to it. I mean, I like to keep meticulous track of who's who, where's where, and what's what. This is all something Facebook can do. So yeah, I'm gonna do it. Go through all my uploaded pictures and box out people's faces and show that "Hey, we're really friends because look, we're in the same picture!"

Good lord. Forty minutes later and here's what I've learned. Tagging pictures takes a long time. I tried to do a very thorough job and I was impressed by how Facebook was able to block people out so cleanly. Then I got to the group pictures and decided that okay maybe it didn't work so well. Facebook tagging is meant for photos with six or less people in it. This is the one that I gave up on. Yeah, try tagging out that baby. I have seen some people tag a picture of twenty-plus people though. Seemed pointless. I was tagged and I couldn't even recognize myself I was so small.

The thing with tagging people is that you've suddenly totally blown up their spot. Now their other friends know what they've done, or did. And what if they hate the picture of themselves? They can just remove it right? But does that say something about their friendship with you if they take themselves out of a picture? Also, what the hell do you do to a picture of (just) yourself? Tag it? It seems to blur some line between vanity and identification there. Well, I did it anyway because better to be vain than unnoticed right?

I learned that I do a lot of things with these people: Lynn, James, Hong, George, Amit. Hello to my Facebook Fave 5. I think I've tagged enough for a lifetime. If I can set aside the games, the useless widgets and gift giving and poking, the "Hi how are you, it's been so long!" comments, and the utter ridiculousness of it all, I have to admit that I love Facebook because it's the best (friend) gossip site ever. For that simple fact alone it's a worthy addition to a lifestyle.

Shocking information nugget of the day: Ameer doesn't have a Facebook. How is this possible? He's actually so way ahead of the curve that he's probably already on the next thing. I mean, how can my technology guru not be on Facebook? I tagged him anyway though because I'm a tagging machine.

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