Monday, November 27, 2006
Last years list included brainy model Elyse Sewell (forever my favorite Top Model contestant), Gawker's Nick Denton, and the very cute Chris Mooney, who I actually met and chatted with at a bar in DC last year without even realizing that I was in the presence of official sexy geekness. Other winners included Jessa Crispin of Bookslut, Judge John Jones III, and the disconcertingly handsome neuroeconomist, Paul Zak (my gpa would probably have been about 3 times what it is if GW had hired a few sexy profs like him).
Now it's evident that with exception of Miss Sewell and Professor Zak, the majority of these are not your typical magazine cover sexy types. The genius of the Wired Sexy Geek list is that the winners are recognized for the sexiness of their dorky talents, accomplishments, and personalities. As one who is just as easily turned on by a perfectly punctuated sentence as by a warm breath on my neck (whisper that well-crafted sentence in my ear and I'm putty), I find a list like this significantly more intriguing than the usual People Magazine-esque lineup.
So I've started thinking about who I'd nominate...
The first person who came to mind is my long-time pundit crush, Tucker Carlson. I've been completely smitten with his snarky conservative dorkiness since high school. When CNN started filming Crossfire on the GW campus I became his number one stalker, hanging around the School of Media and Public Affairs in the hopes of catching a glimpse of his bowtied nerdiness. The one time that I did catch him, I squealed a squeal so unearthly that I freaked the poor man out and sent him running for the parking garage.
Next on my list would be Peter Rojas, the hipstery cool co-founder and editor-in-chief of Engadget. Check out his personal site here--his CV alone makes me a drool.
I've always been a fan of CNN senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who has a weird way of making even the deadliest epidemics seem kind of fun and sexy.
These are the first three that come to mind, but I imagine I will continue to update this list as I think of it. I will also track the progress of the Wired contest and will keep you posted on all latest developments. Just because I'm that kind of a girl... ;)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
"I've never heard you say 'Does this make me look fat?' or 'I need to go on a diet' or anything like that. You just always seem so comfortable with yourself."
"It's intentional," I replied.
I made a conscious decision a long time ago that I would never be one of "those girls." The girls who constantly count calories and base their self-esteem on the size of their jeans. I've never wanted to be consumed by that.
A couple years ago, a friend asked me to join her and her roommate at a Weight Watchers meeting. I was bored and curious so I went along. It was spring and Easter and Passover were approaching. The moderator started talking about the difficulties of sticking to a dieting regiment over the holidays. She mentioned something about how much she loved jelly beans. The statement sent a murmur around the room. One by one, the women started shouting out the things they were going to miss most....Cadbury Cream Eggs, coconut macaroons, marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies...
It was insane. They were practically salivating as they went into explicit detail about the things they wouldn't be able to eat. It was like listening to food porn and I'm pretty certain that at least 50 percent of those women headed straight for the candy aisle at CVS the second the meeting ended. I, on the other hand, left with the intention of writing a one-act play about the experience.
I don't diet. I love food far too much to force myself into some kind of suffocating dining regiment. I eat when I'm hungry and I don't when I'm not. It's as simple as that. I don't deny myself the things that I really want and I won't settle for bland low-whatever substitutes. I love bread and real sugar and creamy, garlicky things. I dip my french fries in mayonnaise and put cream in my coffee. I love dark chocolate and cheese, and I enthusiastically nod yes when offered a dessert menu.
I try to go to the gym as regularly I can, but not because I want to look good; I go because it makes me feel good. I love Pilates and yoga, and the occasional spinning class. It's how I kill my stress and the bucket load of neuroses I carry around. I may have grown up in New Jersey and come of age in DC, but as far as my anxieties are concerned, I'm like a Woody Allen film on continuous loop. I guess I just realized that with as many things as there are to worry about, the difference between being a size 8 or 10 or 12 is the least of them.
I realize that a lot of this is really a reaction to my mother's attitude towards food. Chubby when young, she was teased mercilessly by her cousins and brothers. In an effort to squelch their teasing she started dieting and has never stopped since. My whole life I've had to listen to the "oh I can't eat that" or "I just need to lose 10 more pounds by Christmas." This morning, as I rifled through the fridge in search of something to drink with breakfast I wondered out loud why there is never any juice in our house. "Juice is all sugar. Sugar makes you fat. Drink something else," my mom matter-of-factly replied as she grabbed a bottle of water. I was tempted to pour myself a glass of wine in protest, but resisted and made some tea instead.
She needled me all throughout high school. Expressing concern about my weight and making comments about the things I ate. A consummate baker, there was usually a tray of something that I'd made sitting in the kitchen. My dad and brother loved it, but she would come in and pick up the cookie or brownie the way one might pick up a dead mouse and shake her head disapprovingly. The comments lessened once I left for college. The first couple years she tried to monitor my weight and gym attendance until she realized that she really couldn't control much from afar.
I'd all but forgotten about it until last month when she came down to DC to help me pack up my apartment. After a day of working, we took a break to eat dinner. She had a cup of coffee. I had buffalo wings and a Greek salad. She watched me as I ate the wings, pulling the meat off with my teeth and licking my fingers.
"I always feel so carnal when I eat these," I told her with a laugh. Her all too familiar look sliced into my mirth like a knife.
"What?" I asked, barely able to mask the irritation in my voice. She hesitated for a moment and then said, "Do you ever think about what a bombshell you would be if you were to lose 20 pounds? You would be beautiful..."
"I'm already beautiful," I replied, cutting her off. "And I hope you don't think that just because I'm moving home you can start that again." I turned away from her and towards my laptop where I rather serendipitously found an e-mail from someone who clearly agreed with me.
This is not what I'd been planning on writing about today. [And no, it's not what I did last Wednesday.] But it's what came to my mind after stumbling across this incredible post on another blog. In poetic language, the writer tells the story of a girl she grew up with who died from anorexia. She I found this passage particularly moving:
I try not to comment on the way my friends look, their weight or their appearance. Not when they look good, not when they look thin. I try to tell them how happy I am to see them. I try to get them away, from the clubs and the gym and the pressured existence of Manhattan ambition. I try to laugh at their jokes, tell them how funny they are, engage their souls, connect. I don’t allow the gym clothes to hide the reality that my friend is becoming too thin. So thin that I need to reinforce through my actions that boys, and party dresses and the pursuit of glamour, adoration and the thinnes[s] reserved for the naturally petite is not what will make us feel full. I try not to read those magazines. I try not to stand in front of the mirror too long.I know that I'm lucky because I was blessed with a proportionate figure and attractive features, but I know plenty of girls who have similar or better figures than mine and yet have twice the insecurities. I'm not going to lie and say that there are never days when I feel unsure or doubt myself. Days when I don't feel that attractive or can't seem to find something to wear, but fortunately, they are few and far between. Most of the time I'm very happy with myself and know that while I may not fit the "ideal" magazine cover image, the whole package is pretty darn spectacular.
And so I try to surround myself with the friends who also believe this. The ones who know that, as cliche as it may sound, it really is what's inside that counts. The ones who think of a decadent brunch as an experience to share with friends and not as something they're going to have to make up for with extra time at the gym. The ones who don't spend all their time scrutinizing themselves in the mirror or discussing diets. The ones who always order dessert...
Friday, November 17, 2006
Despite the fact that I filed a change of address request in a timely and appropriate manner (I even paid a dollar!), I have yet to receive a single piece of mail at my new address. I've already filed multiple claims, spoken with several incompetent customer service agents, and spent several hours on hold. To add insult to injury, the hold "music" for the USPS info line is a message that repeats, over and over again: "Moving? File a quick an easy change of address form online and have your mail at your new doorstep within 7 business days. Just one of the many ways that the United States Postal Service is working for you..."
It's Day 18 of the hostage crisis and I am in a foul mood.
Not getting my mail is not something that would usually twist me up in a knot. It's not as if I have some desperate need to rifle through three weeks worth of Pottery Barn catalogs and student loan consolidation offers. In fact, if the USPS really wants those things so badly, then the USPS is more than welcome to keep them. The only thing that I respectfully request is the single thin envelope from the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services containing a check for $617, otherwise known as "all the money that I have in this world."
I'm collecting unemployment this month. My new job doesn't start until December 4th and my severance package ran out on October 20th, and so for the time being, I'm officially on the dole. Thanks to the inexplicable rules and regulations of District bureaucracy, I'm not eligible for direct deposit until my second (and thank God, final) check. My first check must be a "live" check sent to my former DC address. Hence the whole change of address dilemma.
And so I'm grumpy...
I'm grumpy because I feel like a bit of a prisoner in this tiny suburban town. In a matter of weeks I've gone from being an independent adult with her own apartment and income to a completely dependent child--broke and unemployed, trapped in my parents' cold, cookie-cutter catalog house because I can't afford to go out. I already had to cancel plans for this evening and the outlook for Sunday's planned brunch & Bond fest isn't looking good. And as I sit here, moping and trying to figure out if I have enough cash left to buy a much-needed pack of cigarettes, I have to watch as my parents strut about giggling at me (ha ha Alejandra's poor and can't go out tonight) and flaunting their relative wealth (there is currently a limousine in our driveway waiting to take them into the city for some random party).
I realize that this is only a temporary situation. I know that pretty soon my check will arrive, my job will start, and I'll be out and about in the City again.
But right now, at this moment, I feel like shit...
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I'm working on the post and will get it up eventually. You'll just have to wait a little longer...
"Is this going to be some kind of country music?" I asked Will, who hails from Tennessee.
"No Alejandra, he's Irish," he said in that incredibly patient way he has. "Just listen to it. I want you to listen to it."
I sat on his futon, still wrapped up in my winter coat and scarf, playing with a mesh bag of gelt I'd gotten from a friend's dad earlier that day. We'd just come back from dinner at Chadwick's. I'd had a few beers and had that warm, kind of woozy feeling as I waited to see what the big deal was. Within seconds, one of the most incredible voices I've ever heard flowed out of his iBook speakers and filled up his apartment.
"This is amazing..."I said. Can you...?"
"I already burned you a copy," he answered and leaned over to hand me a CD case.
We sat there for an hour or so, barely talking, just listening.
I listened to that album over and over again that winter. To the point where no matter how much I listen to other songs, iTunes still registers it as the number one most played album in my library.
Over the next couple years, I obsessively downloaded every live and bootleg recording by Damien Rice that I could find. He paired with Lisa Hannigan a few times to create several incredible songs that I managed to track down. But until now, he hadn't released anything new.
His new album, 9, came out in the US yesterday and I'm already crazy about it. I don't know what it is about it that I love so much. It's so different from the music I usually listen to, but there is something about his songs that I can't resist. Yes, his voice is beautiful and the songs have a great moody, story tale quality to them. They range from frail and delicate to passionately angry. He reminds me a lot of a male Tori Amos. But it's something more. It just feels good to listen to. It's winter music. It's warm, sit by the fire drinking hot cider kind of music.
Anyway, check it out. It's wonderful. You can listen to a few tracks on his MySpace page.
The tech support guy, who claimed his name was "Bob," told me to find a "tiny Phillips head screwdriver" and then had me take my laptop apart and then put it back together again, Humpty-Dumpty style. It was fun, but did absolutely nothing to resolve the problem. Not quite sure what to do, Bob decided that the best plan would be to bring the laptop in for a professional diagnosis.
I wish you could have seen me as I watched the DHL man pack up my computer. I stood there in my parents large, airy foyer, brow furrowed, biting my nails as I watched this man shove my baby into a special laptop box. I felt like I was sending my firstborn son off to a very bloody war with no guarantee of a safe return.
I don't think you understand the connection I have with this thing. I spend an average of 12 hours a day on it. I keep it next to my bed, and the first thing I do when I wake up, and the last thing I do before I go to sleep is log on to check my various e-mail accounts, MySpace messages, and blog statistics. I spend most my free time sprawled out in various parts of the house, typing or playing around with Dreamweaver. I even bring it to the kitchen table on occasion. Some parents would have a problem with this, but digital distractions are the norm in my house, what with a mother who is addicted to texting and a news anchor father who insists on watching cable news for the 14 waking hours when he's not on the air reporting them.
And so you can imagine the incredible separation anxiety that I experienced as this strange man handed me a frail sheet of pink paper and walked out the door with my most prized possesion. Fortunately I remembered to remove the hard drive so even if it never comes back I'll still be able to access the past two years of my life. For now I'll just have to wait and see what happens.
And these posts, well, they'll be sent from my mom's iMac.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I am all kinds of frustrated right now.
Basically, technology hates me these days. It all started a little over a week ago when my phone died. It was a weird, violent, creepy Stanley Kubric kind of a death. There was zapping and shocks and a frightening blue screen with an ominous message that said “Vort Com. Emergency Download.”
And I lost it all.
I couldn’t reactivate my old phone because it isn't E911 compliant. And I can’t buy a new one because I’m not eligible for an upgrade until January 15. Fortunately, BFF Matt has offered to come to the rescue by taking a break from grading papers to send me his old phone. I am now eagerly anticipating the arrival of a package from Las Vegas. [That’s a hint, Matt…]
Until then, I’d like to apologize to all of you who have either called me or sent me texts. There are only three numbers in this world that I have memorized. My house in NJ, Sara aka Fiorella’s, and BFF Matt’s. Oh and Moviefone. So if you know the name of the movie you’d like to see, I’m your gal. If you just want to talk to me, then you need to send me an e-mail or call the house in NJ. Or, you could hire one of those secret messenger guys they used in ancient Greece. The way it works is, you shave his head, write a message on it, then give him a map to my house. When he arrives two months later, I’ll shave his head again, read the message, and then send him back. [I just realized this is story my history teacher told me in 6th grade that I’d pretty much always accepted as fact, but which I’m now starting to question. ] Regardless of historical accuracy, that last method would probably be the least efficient…
I really hate being without a phone. I had a lusty dream about the LG Chocolate last night. It was so deliciously vivid that I was actually disappointed when I woke up this morning and realized that it was just a dream...
What really motivated this mini-rant in the first place though, is the fact that I had a great, long post (not at all about phones) all written out and ready to go when my laptop died. It just died…
I knew I was having issues with the adapter because it kept flickering in and out. It's similar to what happened a few months ago when the adapter stopped working and the battery wouldn't charge. Dell came and replaced the motherboard and then replaced the adapter and all should have been working fine, but now the problem seems to be back.
This of course leads me to believe that the problem goes deeper than the motherboard. I've been sitting here staring at the computer and turning it over and over in my hands. I even blew in it like a Nintendo cartridge.
[Why do I feel like there is an entire generation of us that will spend the rest of our lives doing that? I can see myself, 20 years from now in my super fabulous kitchen making dinner when I'll look to the left and notice that Viola, my Robot-human hybrid maid that I named after the Shakespearean character because I like the contrast has gotten stuck in dishwashing mode again. So I'll call my husband and he'll come up from his workshop (I kind of picture myself having a husband with a workshop) and pick her up and blow in the socket on her back. And my kids will look up from the kitchen table and go, "Mama, why does dad always do that when stuff breaks?" And I'll try to explain Nintendo cartridges to them, but they'll just look at me the way I look at my dad when he talks about 8-Tracks, and I'll catch my husband's eye and we'll just shake our heads and laugh quietly to ourselves.]
Anyway, so I have this ridiculous urge to open it up and look inside, but I know that if I do that I'll a) violate the terms of my warranty and b) not have the slightest clue of what I'm looking for anyway, so I'll just have to be patient and wait until Dell sends one of their tech guys to my house.
All this just to say that if you’re trying to get in touch with me, e-mail me. And if you want to read my fabulous post, well you’re outta luck until I get someone to coax my sweet little laptop from its slumber.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I also used to be very politically passionate. A registered member of the NJ Republican party since I was 18, I used to volunteer for campaigns and constantly engage in heated arguments with my (mostly) liberal friends. My first "real" job was as an intern at the College Republican National Committee where I enjoyed the company of like-minded friends with whom I enthusiastically attended conventions, rallies, and fundraisers. I remember just how much I used to love that environment. I thrived in it. I enjoyed it.
A recent self-google (oh, you know you do it too...) brought up a letter to the editor of Salon.com [scroll down, last letter on page] that I wrote when I was 20 and had nearly forgotten about until now. I'd been responding to an article by Salon writer Michelle Goldberg, in which she had lambasted that year's CRNC convention. Reading over it now, I remember how angry that article had made me. I remember talking to Moe on the phone after it came out and fuming about the way the writer had characterized us. I remember how I pounded out the letter while sitting at my desk at (ironically) NEA, where I was a media intern. I especially remember the feeling of proud satisfaction I felt the next day when I was informed that Salon would be publishing it. At the time, I was particularly proud of this paragraph where I explained why I vote the way I do:
...she would have heard me say that I'm a Republican because I believe that as an American, it is my duty to uphold the values upon which this country was founded. I believe in this party because this party believes that the strength of this nation lies with the individual and that he or she should be conferred the freedom to succeed, regardless of race or creed. And that freedom to succeed does not and will not come from dependency or self-victimization; it will come from a realization of our intrinsic worth as individuals and as Americans.
But now, as I sit here rereading those words, I don't feel the pride or the excitement. I just feel a little bit sad... Not because my views have changed--I still agree with what I said then--but the fire seems to be gone. This is the first year in a very, very long time when [I'm not even ashamed to admit] I really don't care that much who wins. I've stayed moderately informed because I think it's my duty as a citizen, and I'm kind of excited to actually vote in a booth for the first time (instead of by absentee ballot), but the passion that was once there just isn't...
Maybe five years in the most politically active city in the country just took its toll on me. Or maybe I'm just too emotionally exhausted from everything that's been going on in my life lately to really worry about what having Menendez or Kean Jr. in the Senate will mean for me (and New Jersey). It seems kind of selfish and I hope this is just a temporary phase that's really more indicative of these sudden changes in my life than a real loss of interest. But either way, it feels like another sign of just how different the girl that moved back home last weekend is from the girl who left here five years ago.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
But on that morning in late August there was nothing but possibility ahead of us as we excitedly set off for the Foggy Bottom station, Metro map in hand. The plan was to take the blue line to Pentagon City where our RA had informed us we’d find a few helpful stores. A life-long vertigo sufferer with a secret fear of escalators, I clung to the handrail and wedged myself in between Jersey and Oklahoma for added safety. I still remember the gasp I let out as the escalator led us slowly down onto the platform.
“Oh,” I sighed excitedly. “It’s like Gattaca!”
Neither one of the boys had seen the movie, but it didn’t matter. I was amazed by the open vaulted ceilings that curved high above the station like a giant concrete wave. It felt open, clean, and futuristic. I loved the way the floor lights blinked as the trains approached, sliding into the station like quite little bullets. Until then, my only subway experience had been in NY and this seemed like such a stark contrast to those dirty, musty stations.
“I love this city,” I thought as I heard the oddly seductive “Doors Opening” message come over the loudspeaker.
Over the years, I grew increasingly familiar with Metro’s many shortcomings—the limited access to places around the city, the 12 AM closing time on weekdays, the lack of a monthly pass and varying fares—but I still felt a tinge of excitement each time I descended the stairs and caught a glimpse of those vaulted ceilings.
When the time came to design a header for my blog template, I knew that I wanted to capture that feeling with something that would be instantly recognizable to a native, but still aesthetically appealing to a stranger. Those ceilings, for me, represented something that was both quintessentially DC and universally beautiful. A few Photoshop clicks and crops on a picture from my collection quickly proved to be the perfect image for my DC-inspired template.
But now I’ve left the District, and the time has come for something new to represent this next chapter in my life. Again, I wanted something that would combine familiarity with aesthetics. I pored over my photograph collection, spent hours searching through Flickr and stock images, and I even took dozens of new photos this week—statues, store fronts, pigeons on cobblestones. I cropped and tinted. Cut and pasted, but nothing seemed right.
Until Friday, when it finally hit me. I was standing on the platform at 42nd Street staring at the tiled numbers on the wall and impatiently waiting for my train. “A Mosaic!” I thought to myself, suddenly feeling my brain race the way it does when I get an idea. I started picturing it in my head and could hardly wait to get home to open up Illustrator and start working on it. There is something about those mosaics that I just love—an unexpected dose of beauty within the grimy rush. Some are new...some have been there forever, but they all seem to perfectly capture that classic NY feel… You know, that Duke Ellington “Take the A Train,” jazzy, classy, perfect slice, if you can make it here, horse-drawn carriages in Central Park kinda thing--which is exactly what I was going for...
And while I quickly learned that a graphic mosaic is just as—if not more—complicated to create than an actual one, I am pretty satisfied with the results. I may have to tweak it a little over the next few days, but for now I think I’ve found my perfect NY-inspired blog template.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
“Actually,” I said. “This seat is taken. My friend is just checking the map…”
She stared at me. Too shocked to register any emotion at first, her eyes slowly darkened. I matched her withering look with one of my own and kept my bag on the seat. She opened her mouth to say something, but instead moved on to the back of the car from where she continued to shoot me dirty looks and mutter under her breath. I summoned up my best “I was born in the Bronx and will cut you” look (not so easy when you’re dressed like a librarian) and stared at her until she stopped.
Vanessa came back from the map and sat down. “I can’t believe you just did that,” she said. “You realize that’s unheard of in this city…”
I burst out laughing. “Well, you said save your seat. So I did.”
“Very impressive,” said the man sitting to my left. Two guys sitting across from us shook their heads and laughed.
“Whatever,” I said, shrugging my shoulders, all the while feeling very pleased with myself.
Friday, November 03, 2006
BFF Vanessa: You know, I've seen, like, three midgets already today.
Me: Um....yeah. Except that wasn't a midget. It was a small child.
BFF Vanessa: Well I'm not counting him...
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
What the hell happened to your blog? You used to be my favorite of my links (sorry rest of the b-roll) and then suddenly you disappeared. Now every time I click your link I'm redirected to a search page for "Craigslist Island Staten." What the hell does that even mean? Did a dyslexic townie in search of a new apartment hack into your Blogger account? I would have called you about this and asked personally, but I broke my phone last week and lost your number.
You have until the 15th of the month to either explain yourself or fix it. If you choose to ignore this message then I regret to inform you that I will have to delete you from my roll.
You will, however, always remain my second-favorite New York Republican Jew. (Mike Bloomberg of course being my first).
"It's not reality," said Vane as she yanked the laptop from my hands last night. "It's an alter-ego. " We were spending the night in because I was cranky and sick, and suffering from a weird allergic reaction to an Aleve I'd taken the night before. I reread a comment Sara had left on my page a few days earlier. Something about "This is Alejandra...always sexy." I looked down at my weird blue t-shirt and decidedly un-sexy splotchy hives and laughed. I know it's all fake, but it still has the ability to infuriate me like nothing else...With the exception of a few comment exchanges between my close friends or brother, I very rarely sign off of it feeling good. I hate the bathtub html, the cut and paste CSS, the slideshows going in 6 different directions, the glittery kisses, the animated gifs, the cascading hearts. I get so annoyed by those little quizzes that tell you what kind of a kisser you are or what kind of underwear you would be if you were a pair of underwear. I can’t stand those little tiny squares in neon colors that say things like “I’m a Bitch, deal with it” and “You know you love me.” I do not love you and I do not wish my girlfriend was hot like you. All the girls have very honest hips on MySpace and they’re all bringing sexy back. I’m not sure where sexy went in the first place, but it’s back…with a vengeance. And apparently, it loves the color pink.
This morning, as I browsed through my “friends,” I came across the profile of a girl I knew in high school. She and I were never very close then, but she was always very sweet and we hung out a couple times. I’ve looked at her profile a time or two and it always seemed to be dedicated entirely to her relationship with her boyfriend. What caught my eye this time was the main photo. I wish I could have posted the photo here, but even I have more tact than that. So instead I’ve used my stellar graphic design skills to recreate the image here:
In case you can’t tell from my expert rendition, it’s a professional Sears Portrait Studio type-photograph of her and her boyfriend kissing. They are both dressed up and standing in front of a backdrop resembling a fake sky. She is holding what appears to be a plastic rose in her hand. I clicked on the profile and found a collection of these pictures in various poses. I checked to see if she was engaged, surmising that this would be the only time when a couple might possibly feel compelled to take these types of photos. Upon finding that she was not, I was left puzzled. I sat there, clicking around as I sipped my tea, wondering under what possible circumstances would a girl actually be able to convince her boyfriend to shower, shave, dress up, and join her for an afternoon of glamour shots at the local mall. What kind of a guy would even allow this? I then moved on to the even more important question of why would you even want such a collection of photos? I realized quickly enough that the answer is obvious: to post them on MySpace.
And that’s when I started to realize what it is that I hate so much about it. It’s high school all over again. And not the nerdy parts that I loved (like quiz bowl matches, English class, or the newspaper), but the parts that I hated—the pep rallies, the fights over who wore whose football jersey, gossip in the lunch room, notes on lockers. It’s the girls BFF Vanessa, Sara, and I couldn’t stand. The ones who lined their lips with brown eyeliner and screamed things like “Bitch I fuckin’ love you” as they ran down the hallway. The ones who fake-and-baked and rented Hummers for prom.
Now don't get me wrong. There are things that I enjoy about it. I like that I have been able to reconnect with a few of my cousins and older friends that I hadn't heard from in a while. And I love that you can download free songs and videos from the music section (especially now that iTunes felt the need to up its prices). And there are a few very clever people out there with nicely designed pages and well-written blogs that I like to visit regularly. But most of the time it just feels like I've wandered into a contest meant to show how sexy you can be and how cool your friends are and how much fun, fun, fun we’re all having.
The surreptitiousness of it also gets to me. There are times when I get comments from friends on my page and it doesn’t seem that they are really there for me, but rather for the benefit of others. I’ve actually had friends admit to me that they posted a comment on my page so that “X would read it” or “Y would notice me.” It just all seems so immature and petty and silly, and yet the thing that I hate most is the way that I find myself getting pulled into it too.
At age fifteen I managed to deftly avoid these things. But here I am, nearly 10 years later, and I’m suddenly finding myself quickly drowning in this pixelated maelstrom.