Snarky Behavior

Entries tagged as ‘friends’

“My Best Friend”

August 28, 2008 · 1 Comment

That’s what I’ve begun calling my iPhone.  When a friend of mine found out that I had recently gotten one, she commented: “that’s just going to ruin his social life.”

I’ve got to say though, the iPhone is incredible.  Aside from a very short battery life (barely gets you through the day), more frequently dropped calls, an incredibly slow 3G network (at least in DC), and a few frozen moments, I have been ecstatic.  No really.  My life is so much better.

Best Parts

  • Google Reader while going #2–  I’m sorry if this grosses you out.  It’s not like I’m un-hygienic about it.  But you always have a newspaper!  It’s incredible!
  • Mobile Uploads–  I finally have a camera with decent to good quality that I can upload straight to facebook, wordpress or flickr.  You know what this means????  Frequent blog postings of crazies on the subway!!!  I can’t wait.
  • Twitterific– If only I had more friends who used Twitter.  AH-HEM.
  • Texting — is ridiculously easy with the iPhone.  The smart keyboard is SMART.  90% of the time I make mistakes, it auto-corrects them.  This is very helpful for fat thumbs.
  • Applications — I know have an application with the NYC Subway map (City Transit), with live advisories, and bus lines.  With a push of the button, I can GPS the closest stop to my location.  I have the Yelp! application, which will give me listings and reviews of the bars and restaurants closest to me.  The NY Times application gives me top stories in an easy to read format.  “Showtimes” gives me all movie theaters in my radius, the movies playing, and their showtime.  The Pageonce application gives me updates of every single online account I have, from banks, to social networks, to amazon, to e-bay, and every airline frequent flier program.
  • Syncing G-Cal– I’ve used a third-party software to push my G-Cal to my iPhone.  Amazing!

I’m really going to love the shit out of this phone until it gets stolen from me in the Bronx.

Categories: Neato · Opinion
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Help for a Friend

August 22, 2008 · 1 Comment

My friend has been working on a project this summer introducing secondary education in rural Cambodia and she’s trying to secure funding through American Express.  Please take a moment to nominate her project by clicking on the link below:

Hi friends,
The NGO I have been wortking for this summer, The Cambodia Project, needs your help to raise money – actually 5 minutes of your time would do. Please go to http://www.membersproject.com/project/view/AFHRO8 or American Express site (americanexpress.com) and nominate the proposed innovative project for secondary education in rural Cambodia. In one day, we got 98 votes. If we manage to have 3000 in 10 days, we can win up to a million dollar donation and get our project running for good… So please sign up and forward this to as many people as you want/can!
Thanks in advance for your support!

Categories: Neato · graduate school · work
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A new thresh-hold

August 13, 2008 · Leave a Comment

About a month ago, a friend of mine who blogs excitedly told me that she had received her first nasty-gram(!)  It was from a former fat girl who took umbrage at something my friend had written about how she can’t help but stare at people’s gunts.

Well, I had a similar but different experience last night.  At 12:05 am, I received a text from an unknown number (202 area code, I’m sure it was a friend and I can probably guess who) that said the following:

Hey, put this on your blog… “the Olympics just got a little Nastia!!!”  I’m jealous of Hope’s frequent mentions on your blog.  Also, “Shawn Johnson makes the beam look twice as wide as it is.”  Classic.

That’s what she said.

Categories: Snarky
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Big Buck Hunter

July 29, 2008 · Leave a Comment

The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life

As many of you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of the arcade/bar game “Big Buck Hunter.”  There’s just something epic about getting drunk and shooting large game with a shotgun.  The Safari edition is even better.

Last night we had tentative plans to play at The Big Hunt (awesomely appropriate).  Of course the plans didn’t materialize, as plans rarely do, but I woke up this morning to find that my friend the Prime Minister had sent out the following e-mail:

i came home and watched the lion king… is it wrong that i wanted to shoot the whole cast during the “circle of life” song?

Categories: Snarky
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An E-Mail to Get You through the Day

July 14, 2008 · 4 Comments

From my friend Nick D., who has fully justified his pursuit of a PhD in English Literature, by the composition of a top 10 e-mail of recent memory:

so, i’m currently sitting in the park slope branch of the brooklyn public library, and my day has just been made by a wizened old woman who–only a few short moments ago–walked up to the information desk across the room and whisper-shouted, loud enough to garner the attention of every other person in the building, the words i’ve been waiting my whole life to hear: “WHERE ARE THE JIMMY BUFFETT BOOKS?!”

beleaguered by time and stooped with age, this woman nonetheless evinced a startling and fiery passion for the man who wrote “cheeseburger in paradise.”  i have no doubt that it could have fueled a thousand propane grills.  god bless her parrot-heart.

i hope you will reflect on this story, and feel free to draw your own morals.

happy monday,
nick d.

Categories: Snarky
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In Need of Legal Advice

July 9, 2008 · 3 Comments

Here’s a teaser to all of my law-school friends out there:

I recently found out that I wasn’t selected for a fellowship from my graduate program.  Not only was this a huge bummer, but it was a tremendous source of confusion.

You see, I was operating under the information provided by SIPA’s Financial Aid web-page, which clearly states the following:

Approximately 70% of the second-year class receives a SIPA fellowship award, averaging $18,000 per award.

As I mentioned last week, “if I’m not in the top 70% of my class, I’ll eat my freaking hat.”  In fact, I know for a fact that my GPA (3.59) places me well above the 50th percentile, because SIPA’s Adjunct Teaching Manual states that “grades submitted for SIPA core courses or courses with enrollments over 30 should have an average GPA between 3.2 and 3.4, with the goal being 3.3.”

According to the Career Services Employment Statistics, 389 MIA students and 262 MPA students graduated in 2007, for a total of 651 students.  And according to the e-mail I received notifying me that I was not selected for a fellowship, 285 MIA and 68 MPA students applied for continuing student fellowships, for a total of 353 students.

Now, I’m no math major, but 70% of a class of 651 students is 455 students.  If “Approximately 70% of the second-year class received fellowship funding,” then everyone who applied should have been matched, with 100 fellowships left unfilled.  But I didn’t get one.

WTF?

I called the Student Affairs office with the WTF? question and was told that “70% of eligible second-year students who apply” receive fellowships.”  That sounds like a “50% of the time, it works every time” type of statistic to me.

Moreover, considering the rationale for fellowship selection (in order of importance: 1. academic merit; 2. financial need; and 3. extracurricular activities), I still should’ve been in the top 70% of eligible candidates.  But I didn’t get a dime.  I didn’t even get fucking work study, which is like a $14 hour pittance.

Here’s the frustrating thing: I could’ve gone to George Washington University’s Elliot School on a 3/4 tuition; I could’ve gone to SAIS and competed for a second-year fellowship there.  I chose SIPA on good faith that I would compete for and receive a fellowship, and I made that decision based on the information available to me.

I feel that I have been mislead and intentionally deceived.  Given the false information, do I have legal grounds to sue for fraudulent inducement?

For a two years master’s program, “an average of $18K” is a pretty big fucking carrot to dangle to “70% of the class,” when in actuality only 38% of the class receive that money.

Categories: graduate school
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SICK Designs

July 3, 2008 · Leave a Comment

One of my best friends works for adidas in the basketball apparel department.  Part of his job is coming up with design concepts when the brand is making pitches to sign NBA rookies.

He approached a designer from the label UNDRCRWN to come up with some concepts that appealed to the players’ hometowns.  It’s unlikely the designs will ever hit market, but it’s cool to know that conceptual art is used for endorsement deals.  They kind of remind me of those old Score baseball cards with the cartoonish big heads.

Anyway, the appeal to the hometown results in product lines like Reggie Bush’s 619 (San Diego) themed apparel (see below), or the New Orleans gear.  Pretty neat.

Categories: Neato
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Five Degrees of Friendship: Part 3

October 7, 2007 · 2 Comments

quality_vs_quantity_of_friendships_by_age.png

Part 1 of the “Five Degrees of Friendship” introduced a theory that as we age, we experience a dynamic transformation in the balance of our interpersonal relationships:

“In fact, it seems the natural trajectory of the quantity/quality friendship ratio seems to reach equilibrium at college (when you live right next to or with all of your closest friends), and then steadily tilt toward quantity over quality (as you begin to meet new people via networking while your closest friends move on or away), until you reach old-age (most of your friends die off, and you find yourself in a “dorm for geezers” aka “rest home).”

Part 2 expanded on this concept for the age ranges of Birth — 18 years and 18 – 25 years of age.

Before I continue with the remaining age groups, I’d like speak (again) to what is being coined by Christine Rosen (and others) as “the new narcissism.

Certainly social networking sites are the most manifest representation of the “Five Degrees of Friendship” theory.  I agree with Rosen that the utility of such sites are categorically twofold: first, providing a legitimate networking and communications tool to keep people connected through time and space, and second, providing a quasi-public forum through which social norms are established, claims to status are made, and social signifiers expressed.

It is the second category that seems to draw the most attention (and cynicism).  Rosen writes, “The use of the word “friend” on social networking sites is a dilution and a debasement (of the term).”  She continues to point out that such sites are self-perpetuating because they instill a certain degree of anxiety if participants do not achieve a status threshold of friends.

Rosen then quotes author Jeff Epstein, who says social networking site “speak to the vast loneliness in the world”… “they discourage being shut of people (…), encouraging users to check in frequently, “poke” friends, and post comments on others’ pages.  They favor interaction of greater quantity but less quality.”

The italics there are obviously mine.

The somewhat cynical understanding of social networking as a global trend of people sitting around computers “interacting” instead of hanging out face-to-face seems to confuse the ends for the means.  At least in my experience, the reason that I “favor” online interaction is because either time or distance constraints make face-to-face interactions difficult to coordinate.  That is to say, I’m already sitting in front of a computer (at school, at work, late night at home, etc.)  So in truth, it’s not a matter of “favoring” quality over quantity… it’s a matter of “favoring” keeping in touch with someone, or falling out of touch with someone.

On the flip side, it is also implicitly understood in all communications that wall-posts are no substitutes for face-to-face… eventually all communications must lead to “hanging out”.

My other issue with the “new narcissism” obsession is that it places undue emphasis on the “self-promoting,” self-validating, anxiety-inducing aspects of the phenomenon, and skirts the practical purpose of such sites, (which again, is to be able to easily keep in touch).  Again, I’m not certain that social networking site induce anxiety so much as they provide an avenue to unconsciously express anxiety, except for the most neurotic people.

Bringing this back to the “Five Degrees of Friendship,” Rosen makes the argument that most social networking users coerce users into “accumulating friends,” and that facebook (unlike MySpace, which has a “Top 8″ feature) makes no real effort to distinguish the strata of “friendship.”   Again, (and I could be wrong about this, I could be understanding the purpose of social networking from a “geezer” point of view, AT THE AGE OF 24!!) users don’t accumulate friends as one might currency, but as commodities.  We live in a world where access to opportunity, although somewhat fluid, is still very much dictated by “who you know.”  This is the fundamental of basis of networking.

Social networking sites literally connect the dots between who you know, and you might be able to gain access to as a result of this relationship.  People find jobs, long lost friends, love interests, roommates, sellers/buyers.  Viewing your “friends” as commodities that might potentially provide “returns”may seem callous (and definitely reflects the quality/quantity trade-off), but isn’t that the where the term “connection” came from?

My point is:  at the end of the day,  I know who my “champagne” friends are, and who my “real pain” friends are.  I don’t need an online social network to confirm or validate this.  But I do need an online social network to keep in touch with people I’d still be friends if had we not moved to different cities.  And I might need an online social network to find a place to stay for the night sometime if I’m on vacation, or to help me find an apartment in a new city, or to help me get an interview for a company where a “friend” works.

And that shouldn’t be viewed so skeptically.

Categories: Uncategorized
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