Top of the Heap

I was reading a Thomas Friedman column the other day, and he mentioned the “blogosphere,” which he said “at its best enriches our debates, adding new checks on the establishment, and at its worst coarsens our debates to a whole new level, giving a new power to anonymous slanderers to send lies around the world.”

Then I thought about my blog and how I talk about toast and stuff, and I felt bad about myself.

Like, people always say things like, “the unfortunate gaffe was devoured and sharply criticized by bloggers,” or “the breaking news shot through the blogosphere at lightning speed” – and then I’m over here talking about which shirt color you should wear when you’re sweating and trying to figure out how washing machines work.

The point is, this blog is an extremely irrelevant one in the blogosphere. Like, the blogosphere is definitely very irked that this blog is inside the sphere. I’m picturing the blogosphere as a congress in session—and they’re all voting on shit and debating stuff and then this one congressman is alone at his desk, away from everyone, staring intently at a tower of slinkies he has constructed, and debating in his head whether he should go for one more slinky, or if that’s pushing his luck. That’s this blog.

And since I have now been in New York for almost three weeks, it seems like a perfect time to fire 14 further irrelevancies right into the heart of the blogosphere:

-Moving from LA to New York is a bit of a shock. Everything that sucks about LA is great in New York, and everything that’s great about LA sucks in New York.

-When you get to someone’s apartment, they usually have to buzz you in. The other day, someone buzzed me in, and then like 12 seconds later when I was getting in the elevator, the buzz was still going. This was insulting. Like, them buzzing that long was them sitting there holding the buzzer, thinking, “Tim’s a pretty big idiot—I want to give him enough time to figure out how to open both doors and get inside.” In fact, I would say that this is a good litmus test of how dumb the person buzzing thinks the person they’re buzzing in is—the longer they hold the buzzer, the dumber they think you are.

-In LA, as you know, the weather is impeccable—80 and sunny basically every day of the year. The problem with that is, you always feel like shit watching TV or going to a movie. You can never sit inside on a rainy or snowy day and be all cozy and watch TV or football or play board games or do whatever all day. When you do that in LA, the sun and beautiful weather through the window makes it automatically depressing. I’ve said many times that I actually really miss the bad weather days of the East Coast. Then, the other day while sprinting through the street in the pouring rain (no umbrella because I’m an idiot), stomping through puddles, I cursed myself for all of my earlier statements. It basically rains 80% of the time in New York.

-Twice now I’ve gone to a bar for dinner and asked for the menu and they’ve given me a stack of take-out menus and told me to order from one of the places and that they’ll deliver it to the bar. Apparently this is common here. Didn’t happen once in five years in LA.

-In LA, if you head out for a big night, you’re just starting to have fun when they flick the “last call” lights on and off at 1:30am. Horrible. Most US cities are like that. Suddenly, I can actually stay out when I’m having fun, as things keep hopping until 3 or 4am. A huge plus to this city.

-Another plus is that I suddenly have an element of exercise in my life in the form of walking everywhere, after not moving for the last five years. If I have the time, I’ll basically walk anywhere I need to go here. It’s not just that the distances are more reasonable in New York—it’s that the walks are interesting. In LA, a 45-minute walk is on some suburban-feeling sidewalk with nothing but cars going by. You feel like you’re wasting your time. But in New York, you walk past a thousand people, a hundred shops and restaurants, and dozens of different sections of the city, all with different cultures.

-I went into a little Chinese take-out place in Chinatown the other day, and they were extremely rude and basically ignored me until I finally gave up trying to order and left. No culture is more insular and less interested in integrating than Chinatowns in US cities.

-I’ve moved into an apartment on the Lower East Side. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. A friend needed a new roommate and the area seemed cool. Do I feel like I might get mugged every time I come back late at night? Yes. But after getting used to having to endure a 15-minute drive to get to any restaurants or coffee places and a 20-minute cab ride to get to the nearest bar, having 40 restaurants and 30 bars within a 10 minute walk is incredibly exciting.

-When you first move into a new apartment, the first 24 hours are fascinating, because you’re learning all of these critical facts about your future life. Like opening the shower curtain for the first time and hearing the rings screech against the bar and being like, “Well, that screech is gonna be a big part of my life” or being woken up by a screaming, crying kid in a nearby apartment on your first morning and realizing that you will be forming a deep, dark, passionate hatred over the months ahead.

-Along those lines, I was out late the other night and came back wanting food, and the only place open was a weird Russian restaurant. I went in and asked for a menu, and the woman was like, “You have the beef!” Frightened, I sat down, and a few minutes later, she brought me a plate of beef. I ate it and felt horrible a half-hour later lying in bed. The problem is, it is on my block and apparently the only place open in the wee hours, which means I’ll be served a plate of beef about 50 times over the next six months by that woman. Not good.

-On the plus side, there is a matzah factory a block away from my apartment. I discovered it last week and stood there staring at their operation, fascinated, and creeped them out until they finally gave me a piece of matzah in hopes that I’d then leave. Very exciting discovery.

-My company’s LA branch is currently being run by my business partner and our two LA directors. Soon, there will be a New York director and a New York office and Tim will be on a Normal Person Schedule. The thing is, though, that at the moment it’s just me running the New York branch, and without having other people to work with every day and an adult place in which to work, I have found myself quickly slipping back into the Tim-Zone, somewhere I haven’t been in about three years. In the Tim-Zone, my schedule drifts back and back until I’m both waking up and going to sleep at hours that I can’t tell other people. I’m like a 19-year-old girl who went to a religious all-girls high school and was repressed by her parents and then sluts it up freshman year of college. Suddenly with no checks and balances, I’ve found myself on Hawaii time. My goal is to get on Pacific time by November and eventually settle into Mountain time (which walks the fine line between respectable and inhumane). At the moment, though, it’s getting ugly. The other day, I found myself telling someone in all seriousness that I had an “early meeting” the next day, which was at noon. I unintentionally fasted until 5pm a couple days ago, and it wasn't Yom Kippur. And on the back side, I’ve been creeping people out by sending work emails at 2am.

-As we do not yet have a New York office, I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time each week working in Starbucks. Starbucks and I have gotten pretty tight at this point. It has free internet, plentiful outlets, delicious coffee and tea, serviceable food, a bathroom, and constant entertaining people-watching. And when Starbucks is your office, no matter where you are in the city, your office is right down the block. I’ve been adamantly sticking to one cup of coffee a day, so I don’t die. Caffeine has a ridiculously strong effect on me. In the two hours after having a cup of Starbucks coffee, I’m suddenly incredibly SMART and AMBITIOUS and CONFIDENT and OPTIMISTIC and OPEN-MINDED and DRIVEN. Then, a few hours after that, I want to quit everything in the world immediately and move to Tuvalu and lie there and slowly pass away. So I keep it to tea after the morning cup.

-It crossed my mind to check out the New York Harvard Club as a place to conduct interviews. So I went to the website to see what the deal was with it, what it cost, etc. and I was completely struck by the pictures they put on the website. Now, Harvard is obviously a ridiculous entity, but this was impressive even for them—the pictures on the website could have been straight out of The Onion. They picked the douchiest, most stereotypical Harvard pictures possible. The below picture was my favorite. Tell me The Onion could have come up with someone better than this guy:

Three more things:

-The recent Budweiser “cheesy game-show” commercials with the “grooler” or whatever are possibly the worst commercials anyone has ever made. I have no idea how anyone thought those would be good commercials.

-This is cool.

-The baseball playoffs are back. As usual, I’m completely petrified and stressed out. So much potential for misery. Also, my thick, quivering hatred of the Yankees and their loathsome fans is going to become even thicker and more quivery by living in New York.


Anonymous said...

the sox have looked better.

Anonymous said...

S'alright,here have a nobel
peace prize.

Harry Connick Jr ...

Anonymous said...

That gram was completely interesting ... thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

HATE those Bud Lite commercials.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with that douchey looking guy in the HCNY pic. He's an investment banker, captain of the Harvard Crew team in 2004.