Category Archives: Facebook

An Open Letter to Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature

Dear Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature:

Stop screwing with me.

Every time I open my Facebook page, you’re all cheery. “PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW!” you tell me. And you show me their picture and how many mutual friends we have. That’s nice, right? So nice. So helpful.

Here’s the thing, though.

These people fall under a few categories:

  1. People who are dead to me;
  2. People who I am dead to;
  3. People I have never met but are friends of friends so I would never send them a friend request because they have no idea who I am;
  4. People who are too cool to be my friend so I am daunted;
  5. People who, whenever I see their face, I get very upset at you, Facebook.

Now, I get it, Facebook “People You May Know” feature. You just want me to have like a billion friends, and you’re confused why, after having been a member for a couple of years, my number is still only in the low two hundreds. Honestly, I’m stunned it’s that high, because I have weird criteria for who can be my Facebook friend. It’s only as high as it is because I’m friends with everyone I was ever in a show in, because at the time of the show we all friended each other because we would talk about the show on Facebook, and when the show ended it seemed an asshole move to UNFRIEND them, even if we didn’t stay friends. Also, it’s nice for networking when you’re a theater person. And theater people are awesome on Facebook, for the most part. What? You want to know my weird Facebook friend criteria? Fine, wait, I will tell you. There are a lot of lists in this post and I haven’t even gotten started yet. Huh.

  1. I have to know them in real life (and hopefully like them) OR
  2. I have to know them online long enough to know I love them and trust them with my personal life OR
  3. It would be too awkward to turn down their friend request for one reason or another.

Now, I know a lot of people friend others all willy-nilly, and that’s fine for them, but I keep The Nephew on Facebook, and also my family, and I don’t want strangers being able to see that. Also, didn’t you all see that report that most people on Facebook that friend people all willy-nilly have at least one fake friend? Someone that doesn’t really EXIST? I don’t want a friend that doesn’t EXIST. That is WORRISOME. Who is behind that imaginary person? It could be ANYONE. It could be a PSYCHOKILLER. No thank you.

Also, I am WEIRD about Facebook. After I’d known Ken for like a kajillion years (oh, fine, it’d been like, I don’t know, 4 months or something, but we hit it off like gangbusters, me and secret-sibling Ken, I most honestly feel like I’ve known him for a kajillion years, does that count?) I SO wanted to send him a Facebook friend request? But was worried that would be weird. So I totally stressed out about it for like a YEAR. (A week.) And then I was all, “Ken. Um. Hi. Can I. Um. Send you? A Facebook friend request? Unless that’s annoying? Then I won’t? Send that. Ha. Ha ha.” And he was all, “You jackass. What the hell is wrong with you? OF COURSE YOU CAN.” (No, of course he didn’t say that. He was nicer. He always is.) Anyway, I’m neurotic as hell about Facebook so I assume everyone is as neurotic as I am. NEWSFLASH: Pretty much no one is and pretty much no one cares about who they friend on Facebook at ALL, Amy. SIGH.

FAKE PEOPLE! This makes me so nervous.

Anyway, in the past few months, Facebook “People You May Know” Feature, you have suggested the following people. This time, let’s bullet the list.

  • the guy who stalked me in high school and part of college and every now and then pops back up, ACK;
  • the guy in college I was in love with for over a year but he didn’t love me back and it ended badly;
  • an ex who…um, let’s go with the last one and just say it ended badly;
  • the wife of an ex and I don’t think I want to be friends with someone I’ve never met AND who got the guy;
  • the mean girls from high school who made my childhood and young adulthood a nightmare;
  • ex-coworkers I have no interest in ever talking to or even thinking about again;
  • and for some reason, Mandy Patinkin.

I don’t want to be friends with any of these people. If I DID, probably I’d already BE friends with them. (Well, I kind of totally want to be friends with Mandy Patinkin, but I assume that one’s a mistake.)

This is his “be my BFF face” and I have to be all, “No, Mandy. I cannot. I already HAVE a BFF” and aw. He’s going to be so sad.

One of these people (the second one) as a side note that’s totally not funny but kind of, I suppose, in that not-funny gallows-humor kind of way, ended up moving to another state because I was in love with him. No, seriously. HE MOVED TO FLORIDA. This was…um…I want to say almost 20 years ago now, so I guess I’m allowed to talk about it now? Eh, who cares if I’m not, I’m gonna. Yeah, so I went to his house because we were friends and we did that and his roommate was all, “Oh, yeah, he moved to Florida and I can’t tell you where he is because HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU.” (He didn’t really say that. He was more tactful than that.)

ALSO, Guy Who Moved to Florida, just as a side note to YOU, once I finally stopped all the weepery and could look at the whole thing CLEARLY, you were much too short and thin for me. And also you felt way too sorry for yourself all the time. I’m sorry I made you move to Florida and work at a TGIFriday’s washing dishes.


(SERIOUSLY DUDE? That’s all kinds of screwed up. Who the hell DROPS OUT OF COLLEGE and MOVES TO FLORIDA rather than just say, “Angsty young-adult Amy, I do not love you that way! Stop this now! We are too good of friends for this to be a thing!” Also, I suspect I was not the reason you moved to Florida, because I started hearing rumors you were flunking your classes, but that’s really kind of a moot point right now, isn’t it? Since we’re all almost 40 at this point in our lives?) But, Guy Who Moved to Florida, you were one of the best poets I’ve ever known, and that made (and still makes) me swoony as hell. Sigh, Guy Who Moved to Florida. SIGH.

That was a very long side note. I suspect I might have unresolved issues with Guy Who Moved to Florida who is now Happy Family Man Who Seems to Live in the City and Works Somewhere Reputable that is Not the TGIFriday’s Not That I’ve Stalked What I Can See of His Facebook Profile or Anything Ha Ha. I really, really, REALLY like closure. Even if closure is someone telling me “leave me the hell alone.” Closure is so much better than just NOTHING. Ugh. So much can live in nothing. Nothing can go on FOREVER. As is evidenced by Guy Who Moved to Florida, apparently.

So sometimes I am lured by the friends feature and I wander on over there and then I RUN AWAY because argh. That’s a minefield, Facebook. Why do you do that to me? That’s like a graveyard of dead friendships over there. And people I wish were dead. I’M KIDDING! I don’t wish they were DEAD. Just…um…missing. In a swamp. Filled with alligators. Bitey ones.

(Also, sometimes people send me friend requests and I can’t accept them. Sometimes the reason is benign – I’m neurotic and I don’t know them well enough, sorry, people, I’m sure you’re lovely! – or because THEY ARE DEAD TO ME.)

Here’s my thought, Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature. First, you need a new name. They’re not only people you may know; they’re people who will probably give you PTSD. So let’s start calling this section “People You Probably Have Not Friended For a Reason.”

Second: you need to get a little psychic. Because I’m going to need you to know who I never, ever want to see again. I’m seeing those people a lot in your section and their faces are MOCKING me and I don’t WANT to and ARGH. MAKE IT STOP.

Third: there are two people who don’t exist on Facebook. Make them exist. Those people are friend P. from high school and I want to know that he’s ok but he disappeared and friend C. who I grew up with and he was like a brother to me and once we graduated I never saw him again and I’d like to catch up with him and see what’s up. Who the hell doesn’t have a Facebook page in this day and age? FIX THIS FACEBOOK. I want THEM to pop up in my “People You May Know” section. Because I DO know them. Why don’t they pop up? Dammit, Facebook. MAKE THEM POP UP.

Thanks, Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature. I can tell you’re trying REALLY HARD. And I appreciate it, I do. You’re just doing it WRONG. Luckily, you have me to help. And I’m VERY helpful. Just ask anyone. Except not anyone in your section. THEY ARE NOT MY PEOPLE. They are NO ONE’S people.

Love love love,


Vote Jack the Ripper for a Better America!

I’ve been saving some most-excellent news stories that we have to discuss but I haven’t had the time to talk about. I KNOW! SO BUSY! What with the punctuation and the stats and such. So many things going on here, whoo! Today, for example, I had to go to the doctor. But I forgot I had to go to the doctor this morning so I forgot to go to bed in a timely fashion last night so I am SO SO TIRED today. Blergh. I had to go to the doctor because all my prescriptions were running out and the doctor apparently needed to add to her vacation fund so she wanted to see me instead of just refilling them over the phone like she usually does. I’m not really sure what function this served other than I had to say “yep” a lot. “Yep, I’m still taking the migraine medication.” “Yep, I still have trouble sleeping unless I take medication to help me fall asleep.” “Yep, I still have crazy allergies.” Why I couldn’t just say these things over the phone is kind of a mystery. I long-ago decided that the whole visiting-the-doctor thing was a scam to make money. I’m the most jaded, aren’t I?  Well, mostly I’m broke so I don’t want to have to pay the doctor for something she could do for free over the phone. Anyway, I got a NEW sleeping pill which is supposed to be MAGIC KITTEN RAINBOWS so let’s see what happens. Maybe I will sleep for SIXTEEN YEARS! That’d be nice. (SIDE NOTE! She tried to give me Ambien and I’m totally freaked out by Ambien. Isn’t that the sleep-murdering drug? I don’t want to sleep-murder anyone. So I was all, um, let’s put a kibosh on the Ambien idea, what else ya got? Turns out, she had lots of other options. Apparently, no one can sleep, if we go by all the different sleeping pills in the world. Also, isn’t Ambien the giant-green-moth sleeping pill from the commercial? Oh, shit, no, I think that’s Lunesta. Either way, I don’t want to sleep-murder or see giant green moths.)

Get up offa me, moth.

Anyway, today, we are talking about something that will freak out the fellas, and how if you want to be president, you need to be a psychopath, and how (sigh, AGAIN) people are being idiots about Facebook.


Apparently, presidents and psychopaths are QUITE SIMILAR. This probably surprises no one. I like that science backs this up.

Psychopaths have a bunch of traits (like “criminal versatility” and “parasitic lifestyle” and “glibness”) and through MUCH SCIENCE, sciency science types have discovered that the most successful presidents share a trait with psychopaths: fearless dominance.

Fearlessly dominant!

What is fearless dominance, according to the sciency types?

“An easy way to think about it is as a combination of physical and social fearlessness,” says Scott Lilienfeld, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Emory University. “People high in boldness don’t have a lot of apprehension about either physical or social things that would scare the rest of us.”

He adds, “It’s often a kind of resilience because you don’t show lot of anxiety or frustration in the face of everyday life challenges.”

This trait helps presidents deal with big things like terrorist attacks and smaller things like public speaking. It’s the same trait that helps psychopaths ignore others’ feelings and negative consequences and do things all weirdly impulsive-like.

According to this study, the presidents that tested highest on this scale were JFK, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Reagan, and Clinton. Aw! Bill! Not you, Bill! NOT YOU!

Not my Bill! Aw, Bill.

SO! When you are voting in November, I guess you want to vote for the candidate who’s most like John Wayne Gacy because he would be most successful? I don’t know if I’m comfortable with that. Wouldn’t someone who has psychopathic tendencies need to be good at hiding them? So if you KNEW the person was a psychopath, they obviously wouldn’t be a very good psychopath. So I’m going to say vote for the person who seems LEAST like a psychopath. In this case, VOTE FOR OBAMA. (No, seriously, vote for Obama. You saw the “47% of Americans are lazy slackers” Romney quote, right? And the “why can’t I open the windows on an airplane?” quote? And the fact that in order to talk to a Hispanic audience, he put on gobs of self-tanner and went out in brownface so he would be easier to relate to? THIS MAN IS OUT OF HIS EVERLOVING MIND.)

Oh, yes. Very relatable. Not at all offensive. Nice. Oompa-loompa-doompety-doo.

OK, moving on from psychopaths, we have people who are very stupid about Facebook.

OK, I’m sure you’ve all heard about people who got fired because of Facebooking, right? Like, people who will friend their boss, call in sick, then post photos of themselves getting super-drunk when they’re supposed to be home with soup and tissues? (There are also people who get fired for Facebooking and I don’t think they should have – like I read about a teacher who was on vacation, had a photo of herself at a table with a bottle of beer in front of her on the table put up on Facebook, and the district let her go. That can’t possibly be legal. How can they even prove that was her beer? And she wasn’t even drinking it? I feel like this might be a falsehood.)


But apparently there are some people who don’t understand that once you post something on the internet, it’s on the internet, even if you post it “friends only.” Here, I will give you a quick tutorial. Even if you have all of your settings locked down on Facebook and it’s friends-only, if you post something, your friends can share that with anyone they want. Who can, in turn, share that with anyone they want. It isn’t locked down. Once it’s posted, it’s out of your control. If you don’t want people to see something – DON’T POST IT ON FACEBOOK. Use a little discretion and common-sense.

Apparently, a gangstaaaaa in New York City was talking about the thug life, yo on Facebook. But he thought he was being all circumspect and marked the more sensitive posts, like the ones with drugs and murder references, “friends only.” But apparently the FBI is allowed to talk to your friends and ask your friends to share your posts with them, and your friends can do that. So the gangsta’s friends shared the info with the po-po (well, the Feds, I guess, what’s that, the fe-fe?) and now the guy’s going on trial for gangsta-ism.

So, we could argue for a while whether or not this guy’s friends were assholes (or, like a lot of people, he just randomly friended pretty much everyone – WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS?!) or if they were upstanding citizens who wanted to help make the world a better place, but that’s not really the point. The point is that this guy thought he was being secretive and he was just being a jackass.

Rule of thumb: if it’s illegal, don’t post it on Facebook. If it’s potentially embarrassing to someone (yourself, others, whatever) think about it before posting it. Yes, yes. Your profile is marked private. But once it’s out there, your friends can share that with anyone, jellybeans. Use your thinker for thinking thoughts.

Finally: this one’s going to make you cringe, fellas. Sorry.

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that science has discovered a way to perhaps extend your lifespan so it is equal to a woman’s lifespan! The bad news is that the way to go about it is…well…maybe not something you’d be willing to do.

Researchers in Korea discovered that, after studying the genealogical records of the Chosun dynasty, eunuchs tended to live almost 20 years longer than intact males.

Lord Varys is very pleased with this development.

Yep. Eunuchs. So, in order to earn another twenty years, all you have to do is undergo castration. What do you think, guys? Worth it? Good tradeoff?

Now, before you’re all “that’s because eunuchs lived this totally sheltered and cushy life!” the sciency types are onto you and compared the eunuchs to other men who lived a similar lifestyle. Don’t mess with the sciency types. They know what they’re doing.

I guess this leads the sciency-types to believe that male sex hormones may be to blame for men’s shorter lifespans.

I don’t know that I know too many men that would give up the fellas for a chance to live another couple of decades. But maybe the men I know are all obsessed with their man-junk, I don’t know. I suppose some men have to do this when they get testicular cancer, right?So what’s the thought, men-readers? If you were promised another 20 years on your life, would you become a eunuch? I’m honestly curious about the outcome of this one.

This is a real eunuch. He seems shocked by what’s befallen him.

ALL THE NEWS! OK, off to toil away at the night shift. It’s late-shift week this week for Amy. All the late-night crazies are all mine! All for me! I’ll let you all have some if you want them. I’m not greedy. Happy day, all!

Platform shoes, gas shortages, disco, and…email?

Day off day offff! And it is POURING. Which is nice. I can sit inside and listen to the rain and cuddle with a VERY dumb lazy Dumbcat and relax. Well, other than the errands I have to run and then tonight I have a board meeting and I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be right back to work. And tomorrow you’ll be reading this so it’s all in the past for you. But today? DAY OFF! I am playing with the internet and watching the shows I missed last night when I was working the late shift and I am enjoying this the MOST. I’ve worked the past seven days straight so this is so nice right now. I am IDLING LIKE A PRO. Ken would be SO PROUD.

(Oh, since you’re probably SO CURIOUS, I am watching Warehouse 13, Alphas, and Revolution. Well, one at a time, not all at once, of course. Heh. I love Warehouse 13 to distraction – Claudia is one of my favorite TV characters currently on the air.

Claudia! I adore her. She is the BEST.

I like Alphas quite a bit, and am curious if Revolution will be any good. I am very optimistic about premiere season. The commercials make it look like it’ll be right up my alley, but a lot of things look good in commercials and end up terrible. So we’ll see what happens. I love new things. I’m all about the shiny.)

We’ll see, Revolution. We’ll see.

Last night I went to bed without a huge cat scratch on my arm and today I woke up with one so I think you can do the math and 2 + 2 = Dumbcat is trying to kill me in my sleep with his adamantium claws.

Dumbcat is a furry assassin. Dammit.

Oh, I have a Dad story. You will like. It made me giggle.

So Dad’s got two email addresses. One’s Hotmail and one’s through his internet company. (Don’t start with me. I’ve been trying to convince him to get a Gmail address forEVER. He’s all “WHY WOULD I WANT THAT I ALREADY HAVE TWO” even though I tell him over and over that Gmail is far superior than any email client I’ve used.) The email through his internet company has long-since gone unused because it started to get all spammed up, so he was exclusively using Hotmail. (Not that he uses anything much. He has dialup. Everything takes him a billion years so he doesn’t use the internet much at all.) Then his internet company sent him a letter saying they’d instituted a new spam filter so he decided he wanted to start using that address again, so he signed into that account for the first time in years and it had over 10,000 spam messages in it. But there was no option for him to delete them all (plus he was CONVINCED that one, or more, of them, might be something he wanted, or maybe a Chinese businessman offering him a million yen in exchange for a bank account number) so he was deleting them ONE AT A DAMN TIME over the past few weeks. And he has dialup. So it was taking a VERY LONG TIME.

Spam spam SPAM. All of it. Every last bit.

Dad: I deleted about a hundred more today.
Me: Ugh, I kind of want to call up your email company and yell at them for not allowing you to delete all at once. How annoying.
Dad: No, it’s ok. What if one of them was a real email?
Me: Well, since you haven’t logged on in years, I’d think that probably the time limit has passed for responding to that email.
Dad: But maybe not. You don’t know. I could be a millionaire! I could have an email in there from a long-lost friend!
Me: You hate people. You don’t have any long-lost friends.
Dad: Well, you wouldn’t know until you found them. Because they’re long-lost.
Me: I guess. Sometimes things that are long-lost are better off there, is my thought on the matter. Also, if you had Facebook, no one would be long-lost. Facebook makes long-lost a thing of the past. Your long-lost friends are in your face showing you kitten GIFs and telling you how much they love misogyny.

I assure you this was a GIF at one point. It stopped being GIFfy when I inserted it. No one ever said I was handy.

Dad: What’s a GIF?
Me: Nevermind. It doesn’t matter.
Dad: So today, I deleted email from 1974. I think I’m almost to the end of it.
Me: Um. Wait. What?
Dad: I’m almost to the end. I’ve been deleting this stuff for DAYS.
Me: No, no. 1974?
Dad: Yep. That’s got to be almost the end, right?
Me: Dad, there aren’t messages in there from 1974.
Dad: No, there are.
Me: Are you being sarcastic?
Dad: No, of course I’m not. 1974! I’m almost done.
Me: DAD. You didn’t have that account in 1974.
Dad: I’m pretty sure I did.
Me: DAD. You didn’t get that COMPUTER until I was in COLLEGE. So, the early 90s, then.

Here is a computer from 1974. Hee! VERY advanced.

Dad: Are you sure?
Me: Quite sure. I didn’t even have my first email account until 1992. And you didn’t get yours until after I got mine because I was always bugging you to get one.
Dad: Huh. You’re sure?
Me: YES DAD. Wait, I’ll research it. OK, although there was very basic email in the early 70s, you didn’t have it. I can assure you. You didn’t even have internet access in the house until I left for college. Where would you have been sending email from? Two tin cans and some string?

Hello? Did you get my email? Did you LOL? IKR?

Dad: I’m pretty sure the emails said 1974. Why would they lie to me?
Me: Dad, who would you even have been TALKING to? NO ONE had email then. Well, maybe hard-core computer geeks. Old-school gamers. You aren’t friends with any of those people. Do you think they said 1994? Because there’s a good chance you’ve had that account for that long.
Dad: Huh. This is interesting.
Me: What would email in 1974 even be spamming you for? Reel-t0-reel tape recorders? Polyester leisure suits?
Dad: I don’t know. I didn’t read it. I think it was all for Viagra.
Me: No one knew about Viagra back then. Back then, no one needed Viagra. The 70s were a manlier time! Less need for sexual aids! More hairy chests tangled with gold chains and songs about stayin’ alive!

Do you think the Bee Gees needed Viagara? OF COURSE THEY DID NOT. Don’t be ABSURD. Just coke and hairspray, baby.

Dad: You don’t know. You were a baby then.
Me: I was. Those were simpler times. Strained peas. People catering to my every whim. Can I go back to those times?
Dad: No. You’d hate that. You’d have to poo in a diaper. Also, people would touch you. You hate being touched.
Me: True. Good call. Hey, maybe that email was all from Al Gore, about planning the internet! You should have read it. You could have been sitting on a gold mine. You could have written a book! Me & Gore: An Email Correspondence from the PAST.

…to talk to Amy’s Dad. Listen, larger things have been done for smaller reasons. And my Dad is AWESOME.

Dad: Oh, man. I told you reading those emails was a good idea. I deleted them. That was your INHERITANCE. NOW what will you live on when I die?
Me: You just can’t die, I guess. That’s all there is to it.
Dad: I AM SO TIRED. Are you sure I can’t?
Me: Yep. At least until after I do.
Dad: ARGH. That is a LONG TIME.
Me: Yep.
Dad: I’m going to go delete more emails from 1974 now.
Me: Have fun in the 70s. Say hi to my childhood for me. Tell me to not make all those bad decisions. And that plaid pants and vest combos with a rust-colored turtleneck on school photo day are not a good idea.

Shut up, I had the double whammy of a mom who liked to make our own clothes and the 70s. I WAS NOT STYLISH.

When I asked Dad the next day what the date ACTUALLY was on the emails he was deleting he was all “I FORGET” all grumpy-like so I’m guessing I was right that they were 1994 and he didn’t want to admit he’d read them wrong. Oh, Dad.

OK, off to idle some more. IDLING!!!! Dumbcat thinks I should idle more. He’s been a pro at this for years so he’s confused why I find this so difficult.

Dumbcat has made a FRIEND. A very long-distance friend. He is very pleased with himself.

Howdy, folks. What day is this in blogland? In me-land it’s a different day. I’m like a timelord, right? NO NO NO don’t start talking to me about Dr. Who, I don’t watch it. Someday. When I have all the time in the world. Promise. I hear good things. You don’t need to convince me it’s awesome. So, in YOU-land, it’s…let’s see…Saturday. Shush, I didn’t get much sleep last night. I TRIED to get all the sleep, but the minute I got into bed, my brain kicked into overdrive. As it does, sometimes. Which led to many hours of tossing and turning. No fun! None at all. When I got up this morning (MUCH TOO EARLY) my blankets were all at the bottom of my bed in a snarl. I had to unknot them to make the bed. What HAPPENED last night? It’s like I ran a MARATHON.

Also, side note, I think I sleep wrong. Parts of me have to be warm and parts cold. Is this normal? My arms and head and hands and legs and feet need to be OUT of the blankets but my middle-body-area needs to be covered at ALL TIMES or I can’t sleep. If my feet are under the covers I feel like I’m smothering. Apparently I breathe out of my feet.


Anyway, still working a billion billion hours at my part-time job, still waiting on calls from the places I’ve interviewed and hoping for more calls from places that are seeing my resume and thinking, THIS IS AN AWESOME HUMAN! and that’s that. Same old, same old.

Let’s see. There are happier things happening in the world! Things that are not cuckoo-bananas work hours and people yelling at me all day long because their doctors’ offices aren’t calling them back. Let’s see. What’s happier things? Hmm.

Well, our first show of the season is opening this weekend at the theater. So if you’re a local person and you like Shakespeare and awesome things, hitch on over to Albany Civic and watch Twelfth Night. It’s pretty and it’s fun and it’s intelligent and it’s only a little over two hours! I will be there next weekend, helping out in the box office for a bit – I’m not working much on this one, due to working hours that make me need to sleep at weird times, but I’ll be around briefly, box-officing. It’s a fun night out, and it’s only $15! A total steal. Where else can you get all culturefied for $15? Nowhere, is where. Go go go!

Look! How much fun is this? Go, go! (photo courtesy of Tom Killips)

In news of awesomeness, lookie, Jim became a very famous famous person the other day. He posted this on Target’s wall and LOOK AT ALL THE LIKES AND COMMENTS, YO. Since I’m writing this days in advance I’m not going to give you a number because the numbers keep getting BIGGER. Like, a couple hours ago, it was 128,000 and now it’s 138,000. HOLY HELL JIM! This is mega-impressive! There are nice comments and there are scary comments from troll-people and there are people who think Jim is not real which kind of makes me laugh. I don’t think Target is employing people to write random nice things on its wall. Well, maybe, shit, I don’t know, but this is a very SPECIFIC random nice thing, and also, Jim is real. Well, he’s as real as any of my internet people, which is to say, he’s really to me, which is all that matters. I got mail from him once. If he’s false, he’s really an elaborate scam. GOOD JOB JIM FALSIFIERS. He cannot be false! He is my MINISTER OF FLY-NANCE!

(In case you think Jim is false, he wrote a very nice post clarifying his Target post here, so you can read it. Isn’t Jim the best? Yes, he most sincerely is.)

Also, I love Target. It is my favorite. Our Target recently became a SUPAH-TARGET and has GROCERIES. You really could live in the Target now. I am tempted to do so. It’s so HAPPY in there. And it’s so CLEAN. KMart’s fine and I hate Walmart with the fire of a thousand suns because one time they were rude to me when I was Christmas shopping  (I know, you’d think I’d have a better reason for hating them, right? Nah, I’m self-serving) but oooh, dogies, do I love me some Target. SO MANY PRETTY THINGS.

Also, Target has these Archer Farms things. I can’t find a photo of the best ones, which are half brownie, half madeleines. SO AMAZING.

Let’s see. Ooh, in OTHER news of my most lovely imaginary internet friends (they are, they are, they most certainly are) our most impressive Ken (he of the bon vivantery, of course) was on the RADIO the other day. I know! You know how he’s all fancy-fancy general editor of The Munich Eye, yeah? Well, if you don’t, you should, because his paper is DOPE. No, no, not the kind of dope that makes you loopy. THE GOOD KIND. Anyway, because he is a fancy-fancy editor type, a real London radio station INTERVIEWED HIM! Which I totally got to listen to! On the computer! And Ken did such a good job and I was so so proud of him! Even though the stupid radio station froze every thirty seconds or so and I had to keep hitting the stop/start button and I TOTALLY cussed up a storm. “WHY DON’T YOU EFFING FREEZE AGAIN WHILE MY FRIEND IS TALKING?” I said to the computer. The computer remained unmoved.

(I was telling Dad about this radio-situation, and he was all “wait wait WAIT you can’t LISTEN to GERMAN RADIO, your TRANSMITTER is not that strong, you can’t fool me, I know about radio” and I had to explain the internet. And also that Ken wasn’t even on German radio, but BRITISH radio. Then Dad was very quiet. Because Dad does not like England. Don’t make me explain, it’s this whole thing. It may well go back to the Revolutionary War. That’s what I assume, anyway. There’s other stuff but I can’t really talk about that, he’d get all cranky I’m talking about his personal business on the killer interwebs. So anyway, he wanted me to tell him all about Ken on the radio, because as much as he’s all “THAT GUY IS AN ASSASSIN” I think he secretly thinks Ken’s kind of awesome. Why wouldn’t you? I mean sincerely. Who doesn’t like a good bon vivant story? So I was telling him the story and I got to the radio-was-freezing part and he was all, “that’s because it was BRITISH RADIO” and then he was all, “how long did the assassin talk?” and I was like, “I don’t know, five minutes? Maybe?” and he was like, “THOSE BRITS! They only wouldn’t let him talk longer because THEY ARE BRITS.” Then I kind of got the giggles because of the England-hatred that was going on randomly for no reason, and also that Dad was secretly all “HOW DARE YOU SIR!” about Ken even though he thinks Ken is an assassin who’s going to kill me eventually and then Dad was all “huff huff huff why are you LAUGHING at your poor FATHER like I am a BUFFOON full of BUFFOONERY.”)

DAD’S ENEMY! I feel terrible about that. I like all of Great Britain a lot. And hope to visit again someday. SO THERE DAD.

I’m not sure if this will work or not, but there’s a slight chance you can listen retroactively to Ken being awesome. If you click here, and click “listen live”, it gives you an option to “launch timeshift.” The show Ken was on was called The Monocle Daily, 8/30, #219. So I think, if you click on that show, you can listen to Ken. The only thing you can’t do is fast-forward. He happened about half an hour into the program, so tidy up or something for half an hour and keep an ear out for the segment about the bomb in Munich. And try not to worry too much that there are bombs in Munich and that you know someone there. Apparently it’s just a thing. I said something to my dad and he was all, “You worry about things like bombs. In Europe, bombs happen.” I don’t know that that makes me feel any BETTER, Dad.

In news of the whimsical and/or confusing, Dumbcat is TOTALLY ENAMORED with Ken’s voice. This discovery came about the time Ken posted the video of himself telling us about fast food. You saw that, right? It still makes me laugh like a moron.

So I played that on my phone, and I was sitting on the couch, and Dumbcat LEAPT on the couch, like from across the ROOM, and MEOWED at the phone. He has NEVER done that before. So I looked at him oddly and he just kept looking at the phone like he was waiting for Ken to tell him something else, so I played it again, and he did a little happy cat-dance which means he shifts all around on his big cat-feet and he meowed AGAIN at the phone. Ken might be of the goats, but he is also apparently of the cats. The Dumbcats, at least.

This even looks a little like Dumbcat. My phone is a lot cooler than this, though. Dumbcat sneers at this phone.

So today we had Ken on the radio, and I was curious what would happen. The answer is, Dumbcat wandered over like he was playin’ it cool, and then put his front paws up on my leg and sunk his claws in all deep (OUCH) and craned his neck up to the screen and said, “meeeeooooouuuioooouuuuu?” at it. So I think he was asking Ken a question about the bomb in Munich, which is what Ken was on the radio to talk about, because as Ken told us on Twitter?

Of course he is. He is TOTALLY the Man in Munich. I never had a doubt.

I think Dumbcat thought it was a radio call-in show, and was sad Ken didn’t answer his questions. Ken, Dumbcat has some bomb-related questions he needs answered, please. I’m quite curious if Ken were ever to bon vivant my way, if Dumbcat would hide in the pots and pans cupboard, like he does when anyone else visits, or he would actually allow his internet friend to see him. KEN. Come and bon vivant here. This is a question we need to answer. FOR SCIENCE.

Look at my fancypants friends. Aren’t they the most awesome? I want them to be here so I can give them big old hugs. I told my dad that and he was all, “THEY ARE MARRIED” and I said, “Did someone tell you at one point that ‘hugs’ equals ‘sex’? I can hug married people without taking my clothes off. What kind of kid do you think you raised, anyway? Like, some sort of evil siren temptress? Sheesh, DAD, way to underestimate my self-control. Or theirs, I guess.” Then he was all “DON’T SAY SEX TO YOUR FATHER EW.” And I was all, “You started it, turning ‘hugging my friends’ into ‘naughty-naughty time’ when that wasn’t even IMPLIED, Dirtymind McGillicutty.” Then he changed the subject to the weather, which is what he does when he is uncomfortable with the subject matter. We talk about the weather a LOT.

OK. Off to bed, gumdrops, the sun just went down which means it’s time for me to hit the hay, too. That’s what happens when you get up at the crack of dawn. Love all your faces! Happiest of happy weekends to you all!

I taught Solomon his little ABC’s; I’m the first one to eat Limburger cheese

I know, we talk a lot about social media round these here parts. Pilgrims. I spend most of my life on the interwebs, so it only makes sense. It’s my home. Of course I’m going to talk about my home, it’s what people do.

The interwebs is my HOME. Are you too good for your HOME?

A while ago, I recapped (I should put that in quotes, as anything I “recap” ends up pages and pages long, only slightly shorter than what I’m actually recapping, I suffer from logorrhea, I know I do, and HA! spell check wants me to change that to “gonorrhea” and I’m FAIRLY sure I don’t suffer from that, I know I’m a hypochondriac but not when it comes to STDs, you have to be sexually active for those to be a concern, I’m fairly sure) an article about how Facebook is making us all lonely. The author was all “FACEBOOK IS THE DEVIL” and we talked about how his statistics were flawed and how probably he’s doing social media wrong because he seems to have a bone to pick with it.

The other day, I found this article on the Wall Street Journal. Whenever I find an article on the Wall Street Journal that’s not about finances, I laugh a little. Yes, yes, I know they write about all manner of things nowadays. But I see Wall Street Journal, I think, “buy buy sell sell cornering the ENTIRE FROZEN ORANGE JUICE MARKET!” and then I see an article about social media and I laugh a little. I don’t know. It’s probably only funny to me. (Please tell me you got the orange juice reference. It’s only one of my favorite movies of all time ever ever EVER.)

What about now. You get it now, right?

The article, titled “Are We All Braggarts Now?”, shares a lot with the article I discussed in the other post, but goes a little deeper into one aspect I only touched on briefly; that of how looking at others’ positive status updates on social media makes us upset, jealous, and gives us a severe case of the green-eyed monsters.

BTW, not all of us with green eyes are monsters. Some of us just have beautiful green eyes. I mean, just saying.

Let me try to recap. I KNOW, I KNOW. Amy! Your recaps are CUCKOO-BANANAS LONG. I like words, jellybeans, they’re like drugs to me.

So the author (Elizabeth Bernstein) starts with some examples of status updates, along the lines of “I have the best husband ever!” and “Just got my first royalty check!” and says, if you’re kind, those seem benign, but really, they’re bragging, and they’re all kinds of rude.

She discusses why, exactly, we “brag” online – to compete with others, to show those in our lives who said we couldn’t make it that we can and did, that we’re excited when good things happen to us, that when we talk about ourselves, we trigger the dopamine sensors in our brain (we’ve talked about that here on the old Lucy’s Football before, how talking about yourself online triggers the same brain-areas as sex does. If that’s the case, I’m doing it wrong, as I’ve said before, because I’ve never felt anything sexy about tweeting, but I digress. Hell, I always digress, that’s nothing new.) She mentions the study I spoke about once before (I don’t remember when, but I know I did) where a researcher offered money to study participants to not talk about themselves online, and they eschewed the money. ESCHEWED. (Really depends on how much money it was, doesn’t it? I mean, I’d turn down fourteen cents, but if someone offered me a million dollars never to tweet again…I might consider that, let’s be honest. I like the idea of not having to worry about paying my rent or bills. But I’d miss Twitter like someone cut out my heart…so, yeah. I’d think about it.)

She mentions, briefly, that some people don’t know the difference between bragging and simply sharing positive information that others might want to know. And that some people might see what you think of as simply sharing information as being a big old braggy asshole. Simply talking about your job to someone might be seen as bragging to them, especially if they’re not in a good place (either mentally, or job-wise. Or, they might be a dick. Never discount the fact that the person you’re talking to might be a total and complete dick. There are more of them out there than you know.)

Listen to Wil Wheaton, kiddos. He’s ultra-wise.

Then she’s all, how do you DEAL with these BRAGGARTS? Well, you feel SORRY for them, and you MOVE ON, shaking your head SADLY at their BRAGGARY. (Braggarism? Braggartry? Hmm, there’s probably a correct word for this. Not that it really matters, it’s not like I don’t make shit up all the time.)

Want my thoughts? Eh, would you be here if you didn’t?

Here are my thoughts. I’ll put them in a handily-bulleted list for you.

  • People aren’t bragging as much as you think they are.
  • If they are being a braggy asshole, you have choices about how to deal with it.
  • If “bragging” is bothering that much, you might want to deal with what’s going on in you-town.

Let’s break these down. All serious-researcher style.

People aren’t bragging as much as you think they are.

People put all kinds of things up on Facebook and Twitter. This article was talking more about Facebook than Twitter; that’s probably smart. On Facebook, your updates are usually skewed one way; on Twitter, your updates go all around the town.

Facebook updates are usually positive. You get a lot of “Going on vacation in five days!” or “Just saw the most beautiful sunset!” or “Dinner with my honey tonight!” Things like that. On Twitter, you get a lot more of everything – we tend to just spew on Twitter. That’s what I like about it. You don’t have to be all chirpy-chirpy. You can say whatever you want, for the most part. (Also, sorry FB people, I like my Twitter people more. They’re more engaged, they respond more, and they’re funny as hell.)

Here’s the thing. I don’t know that they’re bragging, so much. They’re just talking. They’re just saying things that are happening. What’s the alternative? To talk about only NEGATIVE things going on in their lives? “I never get a vacation, my life sucks” or “Ugh, all it does is rain” or “No one would ever date ME” – listen, would you rather read updates from chirpy positive Polly up there, or negative Nelly? Honestly, as much as I hate all-rainbows-all-the-time, I’m going with Polly. I’d rather deal with positivity than constant negativity. Constant negativity is EXHAUSTING.

Remember Debbie Downer? Would you have wanted to be her Facebook friend? Didn’t think so.

Is the person who’s constantly positive (or, if you read it this way, braggy) annoying? Well, yeah, sometimes. But it depends on how you read it. It depends on you. And you have options on how to deal with it.

If they are being a braggy asshole, you have choices about how to deal with it.

If you’ve decided that someone IS being a braggy asshole, and isn’t just a., clueless, or b., positive, or c., just talking about what’s going on in their lives and their lives happen to be pretty damn good, you have options.

Is it Twitter? Unfollow their asses. Easy peasy. If you can’t – it’s a friend of a friend, they’ll get yelly, they’ll get pouty, they’ll hit their blog and be all “LUCY’S FOOTBALL IS AN UNFOLLOWING ASSHOLE,” they’ll get suicidal, you know them in real life – you can do things to minimize your contact with them. Twitter has a setting you can mute their retweets (I’ve done this with a lot of obnoxious people.) It cuts down on a lot of their stream-hogging traffic. Then: you simply ignore the rest of their tweets when you see them. Is it a pain in the ass? Are they annoying the shit out of you? Yep. You’re a grownup, though. Muscle through, sunshine. And if you ignore them long enough, you might be lucky and they’ll unfollow you. Total win!

Is it Facebook? Even better. If you don’t want to unfriend them because they might pitch a fit, you can block them from seeing anything on your page and you can block YOURSELF from seeing their updates. It’s like they’re not even there. Anything you post? As long as you don’t mark it “public,” that jerko doesn’t see it. And you don’t see their relentless cheery updates. Done! I mean, sure, someday they might contact you, all, “why don’t you ever update your Facebook anymore?” Just say “eh, Facebook is SO OVER, I’m into Google Plus now,” or something you don’t ever check.

If “bragging” is bothering that much, you might want to deal with what’s going on in you-town.

Sure, you can ignore and you can block and you can eye-roll. But if all that braggery is bugging you SO EFFING MUCH and making you feel like your life sucks? Well, I’m thinking that maybe you have some inner work to be done. I mentioned this in my earlier post I mentioned above, but honestly, when my friends post something good that happens to them? I’m overjoyed. I respond accordingly. I want them all to have the best things in life. If I had my way? My people would have ALL the best things. As much money as they need or want, a significant other that they deserve, people around them that love them, children if that’s their thing, a job that fulfills them, hobbies that they love, their good, long, and enduring health, and all the laughter in their lives that they need to nourish them. And if they post about those things on social media or send me an email about them or otherwise tell me about them? Shit, what kind of asshole ISN’T happy for their loved ones? Now, sure. You wouldn’t be human if, sometimes, you didn’t get the slightest twinge of “oh, damn, I wish I had that” when a friend tells you about something awesome they have. A husband that does an awesome thing; a job doing something you’d love to be doing; a home in a place you’d love to live. Of course. It’s only natural to want what you don’t have. But it doesn’t mean you need to go from “damn, wouldn’t that be nice to have? Oh, well” to “I HATE HER WHY IS SHE LIVING THE LIFE I DESERVE,” you know? And if you ARE doing that? Something’s going on in your brain-area. You need to look into that. You need to get that checked into. Therapy, talk to a friend, I don’t know. Something. It’s not your friends’ fault they have good things in their lives. And you don’t need to be pissed at them about it. You should be a big enough person to be happy for those you love if something good happens in their lives. I’m a gigantic enough sap that when something good happens to my nearest and dearest, I totally get teary. I’m thinking back, and yep, I can think of two different things over the past month or so that I found out from my people that made me cheer audibly and tear up. Maybe that’s not normal, but I have to think it’s a little nicer than getting all stompy and WHY NOT MEEEE???

I’m sorry, I know this has very little to do with the preceding paragraph; it made me laugh until I snorted. SO EMOOOOOO

So, are we all braggarts now? I’d say, probably not. We talk about ourselves. We tend to talk about the positives, more than the negatives. (Well, most of us. The Twitterati among us talk about everything. We’re fairly shameless.) If everything’s striking you as bragging – well, you might be a sensitive little flower, darlin’. Deep breaths. Not everything’s a personal attack. I promise.

Title from my beloved Woody Guthrie’s “The Great Historical Bum” (also known as “The Bragging Song” and “The Biggest Thing Man Has Ever Done”.) Enjoy!

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