04 January 2011

Always doing what you're told, can you help me

Currently pushing: Heytell. This is an app for smartphones that allows you to turn your iPhone or Android into a psuedo walkie-talkie. Reena told me (and everyone else she could get within virtual earshot) to get on this app and I was so against it. Haven't I been working to stay away from phone conversations? Why an app that requires me to talk and leave voice messages? Seemed incredibly backward.

Well, during holiday break, everyone came back to San Diego and as I watched how convenient leaving short bursts of information could be -- without having to type -- I realized that there was a space for Heytell in my life. So if "it's like text messaging but with your voice" sounds useless, I'm here to tell you it's kind of great and we should Heytell each other.

Earlier this evening George put one of those super growing toys into a bowl of water by the kitchen. The directions that came along with her magical cow say that it'll grow 600% in seventy two hours. Somehow I imagined it would expand much faster, like over five minutes. That's what I remember from childhood anyway.

It's weird that these things are even considered toys. There's really nothing toy-like about them. You can diligently watch it grow and call it fun if you want, but you can't play with it because it needs to bathe and when you take it out it's all slimy and gross. It's also useless as a show item. Hardly anyone would be impressed to know that three days ago this big foamy cow was then just a tiny plastic one. Despite all this, I'm imagining a lot of excitement when it's fully grown.

I'm pretty sure this useless story encapsulates my 2010. I mean, I do this life spreadsheet thing and last year was the most uneventful one yet! Here's my year broken up into three month segments: went to school, went snowboarding then Europe, wrecked a finger and some teeth, moved to New York (for now). There it is, my nineteen word 2010 auto-biography. With any luck, this year will be just as dull because really, I need to do less and make more. By "make" that means anything resulting in a tangible product/project that I can put my name to.

Nothing fades faster than memories so while I like new (and comfortably old) experiences, I think I'd like better being bored at times so I can focus on accomplishing things. By "things" I have no idea what yet but that'll reveal itself in time. I hope.

Sometimes people ask me why I document so much stuff and the short answer is that my memory blows and I like to be able to go back and see what I've done every once in awhile. Whether that be through words, photos, archived conversations, or journal entries. I find that if I don't step back to take everything in, I lose complete track of if I was happy or glad or sad or whatever.

I'm forgoing resolutions substituting declarations this year. "Declaration" is what I'll be doing, as opposed to "resolution," which is officially dictionary defined as a list of things nobody does. So far my list of declarations for 2011 include:
(1) "Hey, your relationship stinks."
If you ask me my thoughts on your relationship, I'll tell you straight up. And for an extra quarter I'll tell you what everyone else thinks too (just kidding). I'm through saying "as long as you're happy!" I've decided someone needs to say "I totally think you're settling and if you move forward you will totally be missing out or unhappy, imho." When the situation warrants it anyway. Then at least the person knows and can decide if this opinion is relevant to their lives.

I'm marketing this as an add-on service to my current friendship package for all of my (possibly soon to be ex-)friends. The program is definitely opt out though, so you can choose to continue to receive my relationship platitudes if you like. Those are still free.

To my single and still searching peer group, me included: If we wanted less than satisfactory relationships/marriages, we could have had them at twenty two so why compromise your ideals and wish list items now? We're a decade wiser and anything less than everything you ever wanted would be uncivilized.

(2) "Hey, I'm through talking to you."
I've touched on this a bit recently but this is definitely going on my declarations list. Lemme start by quoting myself, which seems weird but I'm gonna do it anyway. "Throughout it all [hanging out with my friend during an afternoon], I gave my best effort to engage her friend in conversation. Generally speaking, I can talk about anything, but I find that sometimes the guy I'd just met has no interest in responding."

Basically what happens is I feel bad that someone is left out of the conversation and then I spend minutes/hours trying to pull words out of them. In an effort to make sure they are feeling including and having a good time, I've found myself in situations where I'm talking to someone but they are giving monosyllabic answers. I find that disproportionately, guys do this to me more, although I'm not going to be gender deaf here. Anyone who can't field some questions and then expand on them is going to be conversationally excommunicated after ten minutes. I don't care if it stems from being an asshole, having an attitude, just came from a shitty day at work, bored by me, being shy, or whatever. I'm over monologues, I'm into discussions.

If you don't have anything to say, you're no good to me.

(3) "Hey, oops."
I thought I had more here. But so far the list is just these two things. I'm pretty sure I'll be declaring a lot more in upcoming weeks, so stay tuned brave reader and happy new year!
[Update: 1/11/2011] Oh another 2011 declaration: I'm over acoustic rap covers. I don't care if it's good, foreign, or terrible. This shoulda been a 2010 declaration actually so I'm late on this one. Musicians, just stop with this, please.