Friday, October 10, 2008

The New Worst Thing Ever

Listen at your own risk.

-Josh

Trust

Today I'm getting coffee with someone I haven't spoken to in months. The reason we haven't spoken isn't just a mutual drifting apart; no, he stopped talking to me. Completely. He shut me out of his life and bitched about me to his friends. A few days ago, he sent me a letter, basically apologizing and extending the olive branch. I suggested that we meet in person.

So that's what we're going to do--5:30 at some coffee shop in the East Village. This whole thing feels like meeting an ex after a bitter breakup, and despite the fact that he's straight, I'm almost positive he feels the same way.

The problem isn't so much meeting him--it'll be awkward, yes, but we'll get past that--as it is me not knowing what my expectations are. I don't know how close of friends we'll be again, how much we're supposed to say on our coffee date (of sorts), how nice I should be, because this is how I live my life, as though I am meeting a series of expectations, and everything I do becomes a should as opposed to a want to. I take a while to learn to trust someone, and when he (or she, but in this case he) breaks that trust, the damage is almost irreversible. I want to be friends with him again, but I can't make my psyche get over what happened, and I don't know how to balance those two emotions.

And yes, this is a big deal to me. He was one of my best friends last year, and I miss him a lot, and we have a lot of common friends so we've often seen--and pretended to ignore--each other. The whole thing escalated, as these things typically do, and became stupid and enormous and a fact of life in our circle of friends, and while I'm happy he reached out to me, I also kind of want to know his motives for doing so. I want to know why he cut me out of his life, what I could have done that was so awful that he no longer wanted anything to do with me. I want to just sit down with him and talk, the way we used to, but I have so many questions that probably don't have easy answers.

Blah. I know most of you couldn't care less about this, but after all, this is a personal blog, so there ya go. I guess I'm just confused as to how you can talk to someone while sort of despising him at the same time. Or do you just give it up on the first date and welcome him back?

-Josh

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kan-No

I wrote this critique of Kanye's new video while I was stoned. Apparently, it showed, because someone asked me what the hell I was talking about. Allow me to clarify while I hang out in an NYU computer lounge before class:

The video looks good. The images themselves are great, the colors and movements draw your attention, and you could take a bunch of stills from the clip and put them in a coffee table book and it would probably sell well.

That said, the video as a whole, as a five-minute vignette, lacks cohesion. I don't get why the images in the video were chosen, I don't understand what it's trying to say--and Kanye is almost trying to say something--and even after watching it twice, I still found something missing. Like that scene where he's sitting in the corner and the camera pans out and we see a warrior-dude standing by him; is that supposed to be surprising? Is he a hallucination? If the video's shooting for haunting ambiguity, well...there's a way to do that well, but you've got to really present a mystery to be solved. This just feels like Kanye made a checklist of things he wanted in "Love Lockdown" but then didn't figure out a way to sensibly put them all together. What we're left with is a video that's all image, no substance--a bunch of flashing lights without a purpose.

-Josh

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yes, I'm Alive

Hi hi hi hi. Sorry, readers. In terms of workload, this has been the week from hell, and tonight's going to be my busiest night. At least I get to go home Saturday! Or Friday, because...

...I think I'm getting sick! I know--STOP THE PRESSES. This always--always--happens to me around midterms and finals. The changing of the seasons throws me off. Or I just have vitamin deficiencies!

Anyway, between those two things--and okay I went out and got drunk last night but whatever--and also being stressed about being broke, I haven't had much time to write. I'll be home in a couple days though, and I'll have plenty of time to do so then.

-Josh

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Not Having the Internet is Kind Of a Good Thing

Not having the internet in my apartment is making me feel like a real asshole millennial on the basis that it is driving me slowly mad. Once every couple of hours I run across the street and sit on the edge of the gate of the Luxembourg Gardens and wave my laptop wildly around trying to snatch an open WiFi connect. The whole thing has made me realize how truly boring I am, which is something I kind of knew all along.

But what does one do without the internet? The answer is easy: things that we did before the internet was invented, but does anyone actually remember what those things were? It took me a few days, but I've recently become reacquainted: Reading actual books, writing things that aren't blogs, watching movies not on YouTube. Smoking a lot of cigarettes. Staring blankly at the wall and hoping for an idea to come into your head. Decorating and redecorating the tiny corner of the apartment that is "yours." Finding new and exciting ways to make pasta (without the stove because I can't afford a huge electricity bill! I just use this awesome hot water heater I have and it gets slightly cooked!) Smoking a lot of cigarettes. Complaining about France's lack of tofu. (See what I did there? I mocked myself!) Doing homework two weeks in advance. Going to sleep at a reasonable hour. Smoking a lot of cigarettes.

I've found that huge chunks of my day that used to be swallowed by some kind of technological vortex have suddenly reappeared. I actually have time to do my homework now. I have time to go to sleep. Not to mention it helps to keep me from reading negative things about myself on the internet, of which there are certainly many. Read: Not having the internet can be good for self esteem! But also bad because my imagination is probably far worse. (But really, on that note, God do I wish my parents had the kind of pull to nab me cool writing gigs, but alas, they work in public education in Pennsylvania. :-( This is actually tied to the reason I can study abroad in Paris this semester: it has little to do with my parents' salaries and a lot to do with the fact that the President of NYU had one of his adorable PR slip-ups and mocked me for being poor, I got all outraged, and thus materialized a little thing called "a study abroad scholarship" but also potentially called "gag money.")

Not having the internet means I actually see Paris instead of Google imaging it, which would probably be my tendency because my apartment is cozy and the days can be so dreary. It assuages a lot of the anxiety, the obligation, of the internet. I don't have to check my e-mail because... I can't! Of course, many times I am overcome with waves of paranoia like "what if something happened to someone I care about and the only way I would know is through e-mail which I don't have." But I smoke another cigarette and these fears pass, and overall, it's a good exercise for a spoiled millennial who is consistently tethered to her laptop. The other students here who have had no luck hacking into WiFi connections in their apartments have also mentioned that it's rather freeing, but also kind of suffocating, because you are very much alone without the internet: no wanton latenight AIM convos = no ambient intimacy! And international phone calls are so fucking expensive. But furthermore, not personally having the internet means less whining about being tofuless, which is inarguably one of the nicer things I've done for the internet community.

-Jess

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Truth

Try saying them out loud!

-Josh

Vanessa!

My friend Vanessa's first CosmoGirl posts are up and you should go read them. They have a distinctive ladymag feel that she kind of has to embrace as an Editorial Intern, but at least she is writing about feminism!

Poor Madeleine Albright

Palin Misquotes Albright: There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't support other women.

Even though it was misquoted, it rings true to some extent: Sarah Palin is going straight to hell because her policies are so startlingly and disgustingly anti-woman. For her to even feign feminism is more offensive to me than most things in this election.

-Jess

Sans Internet

I currently don't have the internet at my place and am sitting on a very wet bench in the Luxembourg Gardens stealing WiFi from a neighboring apartment building. I keep getting glares from French people whose lives aren't so dramatically entwined with the interwebz that read, "stupid American on her stupid laptop." I can't disagree. This is all to say: Sorry for the lack of posts. Remember that paucity of urgency I've been discussing? It translates to getting the internet, as in, it takes about two weeks, and blogging from the library is even too lame for me. (Ok maybe not but I've had homework, okay?) Back soon!

-Jess