only seconds from summer, and we’re already deep in the thick of birthday season. mine kicked off labor day weekend; chris‘ was yesterday, and harish has his on an undisclosed day between today and Thursday. my friend scarlet has hers on friday, followed by colin on the 14th, exoditto Jess on the 17th, and jimmy j in two weeks. i’m not big on birthdays, so i was expecting some solid but standard fare — the always nice-to-receive card or greeting, combined with a relaxing holiday weekend with friends and/or family. being a summer birthday, i didn’t grow up with a classroom celebration, so i’m not trained to seek any group-based fanfare.
this year was entirely different and unexpected on several fronts, however. first, cristen was kind enough to organize a surprise piÃ±ata ceremony outside the office for Chris and me (“within view of the white house,” Tom instantly observed via twitter during the events). i can’t adequately communicate how fully satisfying it is to let out post-vacation-why-am-i-back-at-work-rage by using a giant bat to beat down a stuffed-with-candy motorcycle cardboard thing. (for the record, in case i travel to a country where the pinata is actually a living pig stuffed with bonbons, as prescribed by some ancient tradition, i don’t think that would be fun at all.) we washed the candy down with some incredible cupcakes from heller’s famous bakery in mt. pleasant (thanks, cristen!)second: facebook, damnit, has redefined birthday. i’m pretty sure i’m grateful for the tsunami of birthday wishes that were posted on my wall. i mean, of course i am, because i don’t think any of the friends whom facebook reminded of my birthday would have bothered to wish me a good one had they not cared. but what are you supposed to say to all these well-wishers? “thanks for the card”? not exactly.i think i’m just cranky about how overwhelming facebook has become lately. i was most appreciative of the calls, text messages, and cards, all of which i received on or before my birthday, no problem. the emails to both my work and personal email accounts were great, too, and i unearthed those along with hundreds of far less exciting emails when i returned from the weekend. and finally, who wouldn’t enjoy reading the public thread of facebook messages posted to your wall? but today i find yet another digital stone unturned where birthday greetings were waiting — the private facebook messages in that pseudo email inbox facebook created. just one stream too many. no, it’s not that i’m so popular that i’m receiving so many greetings — it’s that facebook told everyone who i’ve ever met (they’re all on facebook, yes) that it was my birthday and half of them chose their own adventure to reach me in any one of ten different ways or mediums. overall, i think that’s pretty great. 10 points for technology. but right now, i’m just wondering if there’s an inbox somewhere that i’ve forgotten to check.(photo credit and more from today: perks)
does anyone still use friendster? i just logged in to delete my account, primarily to stop receiving those stupid update emails. and also because i figured it would feel good to feign at least some element of control over my online identity sprawl. sure enough, i feel great. master of my destiny. king of the castle.before hitting the big cancel button, i did a final victory lap just to make sure there wasn’t a whole mess of great new functionality (or friends) that had secretly come to light in the past few months. nope, definitely not — just a ghost town showing the remains of a raucous 2002, 2003, and 2004. (plus a handful of stragglers still living the dream… let’s not spoil it for them. MyFace, what?)Most satisfying part of canceling my account was telling them why i was going away. i don’t even feel bad for the guy who has to sift through all of the nasty “ever heard of facebook?” messages. i couldn’t help myself either:
I’d post this as a humor clip if I weren’t in it…. so it’s in your hands to tear apart. The best part is the opening, so be sure to have your sound on. And if some of the quotes don’t make sense, it’s because they cut out the parts where we were incredibly profound and intelligent and left the soundbytes.(Which is good to know for next time: only speak in soundbytes. I’m going to practice only talking in soundbytes and sweeping generalizations this week at work — it should be fun.)Watch: Harish and me on NY1 TV last Thurs nightHere’s a good matchup that I’d like to ref sometime soon: NY1 vs. WTTG (our local Fox affiliate here in DC). Extra points for space-age sound effects, sensationalism, and for using “information superhighway”
1. all this buildup to jury duty and now my country doesn’t want me, at least for tomorrow, according to the recording. maybe they want me thursday. maybe friday. argh. how do i convince them that i’d like to serve for maybe 3-6 days on the jury of a very high-profile trial, but no longer. without revealing that i’m desperate to serve on a trial.2. the temperature rises 20 degrees and the bright t-shirt kickball people are taking over this fair city yet again. i just saw one tonight outside my building. these cult frat-mobs are so damn annoying to the rest of us on this college campus we call Washington, DC3. 300 is a mediocre action flick with some cool history. but there were NO homoerotic undertones, so everyone ought to chill out. i saw it on friday, literally moments after running into ezra who tried to tip me off to the gay themes. but there were none! apparently the spartans were just too burly for layers of body armor (i.e. to wear shirts in battle), but that doesn’t make this movie any more gay than a WWE wrestling match. the only thing gay about the film was that we saw it at the dupont circle theatres. and that the weird dude in the row in front of us was taping the whole film, which was funny, not gay.4. Apple: try being your parents’ IT director for a day before you go botching another software update5. Guinness: congrats on winning st. patty’s day. you’re all i’m drinking ’till june.
Google has probably had this out for a while now, but i just downloaded Google Maps for my Treo and it’s totally rad — much more than i thought it would be. The interface for driving directions makes a ton of sense and stays loaded on the phone so that you don’t have to wait for internet when it’s time for the next (or previous) turn.Makes me want to get into a [hydrogen-fueled] car right now and drive into the middle of the country with nothing but my phone and google maps mobile. You have to click a button to promise you won’t drive with it, but this is definitely made for driving.Here’s the demo — you can get it for almost any type of phone i think.Next version they should try to take advantage of the location-based services in our phones and destroy the GPS direction machine market in one fell swoop.And Treo — you can thank your lucky stars for this awesome distraction, because i’m otherwise not too pleased with you right now.
Seeing our first snow in DC tonight, realized that I received this text message and email the other night from the friendly municipal employees at Alert DC. I love these people. Their messages are consistently entertaining and only serve to perpetuate my [perfectly healthy] daytime fantasy of living 24.
Alert DC Severe Weather NoticeNational Weather reports that the District of Columbia is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 6:00pm. High winds are expected. Please secure loose items and watch for flying debris.
Definitely sign up if you’re not already.