1. I’ve gotten into the bad habit of updating people’s Facebook stati for them at work. This is not entirely my fault: everyone’s always leaving their Facebook profiles logged in when they walk away from their computers, and I see that cursor blinking next to their names, and the reptile brain takes over from there. My resistance would be roughly the same if they were gluing Starbursts and Cocaine to the computer monitors.
Usually, it takes a coworker long enough to figure out what I’ve done that a few of their friends have already left bemused comments. Why did you decide to quote that particular Mariah Carey song lyric, they want to know. (I’m extremely fond of the song “Touch My Body,” with its bevy of careful insights and groundbreaking poetic style.)
So when Ed caught me eyeing his idle Facebook homepage from across the room today, he was sure to warn me not to pull any shit with his status, lest I should suffer the consequences. I nodded that I understood, and Ed will surely be relieved to discover when he gets home tonight that his Facebook status remains unaltered.
He may be a little puzzled when he starts noticing the updates from the Sock Zombie page, though.
2. I have two favorite ways to kill time when we’re slow at work: Eat This, Not That and GoogleMaps. The former is this wretched little tome we sell (alongside Chicken Soup for the Recession and positive thinking books like the The Secret) that basically advises you which fast food and chain restaurant options are less bad for you. It’s kind of low-class, sure, but it’s also extremely hard to put down. I have never encountered a Bob Evans restaurant in my whole entire life, and I’m pretty sure there’s nothing on the menu that I could actually eat, but I have to read the part where they instruct you to get the egg sandwich instead of the whole wheat pancakes every damn time I pick up the book. It’s as shocking and compelling as the end of a good mystery novel.
As to the latter, well…even Sour Starbursts and Crack Cocaine do not inspire the same physical dependence within me as does Google Maps. I vividly recall the day I first took notice of the little orange man in the upper left corner, and discovered that I could plink him down onto the map, and get a full street view of any American city that I desired. I haven’t vacuumed the store since.
I likewise remember the ecstacy-tempering realization that the little man turned gray and immobile when you scrolled over Canadian cities. This was especially disappointing because the Canadian cities are the ones with which I am least familiar, and most curious. Do they look essentially like American cities, or is there something inherently, indefinably Canadian about them? I remember when we were walking around Vancouver that all of the constituent parts (buildings, infrastructure, people) certainly seemed perfectly ordinary and American, but the whole just had this air of foreigness, this weird Great-White-North mystique to it. Is it exclusive to Vancouver, or a connecting thread among cities that lie North of the Border?
I will not need to wonder anymore. Today, while I was looking at user-uploaded photos in and around Montreal, I glanced up and noticed that — be still, my heart — the little man had not turned gray. Tentatively, I picked him up with my cursor, and — heartened to see that he still did not go gray and rigid — gently, reverently placed him down on the grid. With no less than a tremble in my soul did I watch as the screen dissolved and returned as…as…Well hello, little brownstone houses on Avenue Prince-Albert.
Needless to say, my research on the iPhone’s competitive position has been somewhat less than fervent following this revelation.
Song of the Week. Can you nominate a song for the Pulitzer? A Grammy just doesn’t seem worthy here. Pay extra-close attention to the couplet that starts out “If there’s a camera….” I hold it in the same esteem as any of my favorite literary passages.
Epic, Mind-Blowing Cover of the Song of the Week. Critics always say Aretha Franklin has a knack for picking the best songs to work her magic on, and there is surely no better proof than this.