Eighteen People You're Scared Of on Facebook

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GQ magazine has a great humor piece on the eighteen different types of people on Facebook that absolutely frighten you. We all know these people (and if we have an FB account have a few of them as friends):

  1. The Relentless, Disingenulously Humble Self-Promoter
  2. TheNew Parent Represented, Creepily, by a Picture of Their New Baby
  3. The Person Who Never Met a FB Quiz He Didn’t Like

These are just three of the eighteen. I’m sure you’ll recognize, and chuckle at, all of them. I sure did.



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Happiness – what it means to be and the pursuit of this blissful state – has fixated me from the beginning of my time here on Planet Earth. I love how in the Declaration of Independence only “the pursuit of happiness” is promised, not happiness itself. It’s not something inherited, but it can be given, or earned, or never achieved. It is a magical state. It is a kaleidoscope, a cornucopia, it embraces and mocks, and the list goes on and on.
I’ve especially been thinking about happiness lately because its the holiday season which always makes me take stock of my “happiness.” It’s a trip to be bombarded by “happy” imagery for a month straight while potentially “unhappy” events, say like your company laying off another 10% of its staff (which happened last week) swirl about the air.
Earlier this week, I read an article in the 11/16/09 edition of the New Yorker (in an article titled “Slow Fade”) about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s time as a screenwriter in Hollywood and I didn’t know that “happiness” would be a central theme of the article but it was – Fitzgerald started out a huge literary success and then that success dwindled and was never duplicated again leaving him despondent, vain and embittered. In the article, Fitzgerald is quoted as saying,

“life is essentially a cheat…and that the redeeming things are not ‘happiness and pleasure’ but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle.”

That to me that type of sentiment comes from the “it’s not the destination but the journey” school of thought. Is it true? Sometimes yes actually for nothing gives you greater pleasure than knowing you accomplished what you thought was an insurmountable goal but always? That is an answer about which I am not so sure. I do not deal well with absolutes.
My “journey” right now is geolocated in NYC and the Gray Lady yesterday had an article today about how Science Magazine has rated New York the most unhappy state in the union. Super!
One part towards the end of the article sums up the study and the city best:

Seriously, isn’t restlessness, even outright discontent, often a catalyst for creativity? We’re from the Harry Lime school. If you’ve seen the film classic “The Third Man,” you will remember that character’s admonition: “In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance.

W. B. Yeats’ output would not have been possible without his desire for unrequited love. I get it. Difficult circumstances can act as a fulcrum and allow greatness to be squeezed into existence. NYC’s tides ebb and flow over and over again and every generation has (no disrepect to da Vinci for I’m about to focus on one micro-microcosm of what goes around and while it is great to throw a great party, I know it’s not timeless like a statue) their Copacabana, or Max’s Kansas City, or Studio 54, or Marquee, or Beatrice Inn, or Bungalow 8, or TenJune, or Pink Elephant, or Santos Party House. Reach for the moon with those unhappy hands for while you very well might miss, you’ll still end up in the stars.
Note: I take no small comfort in knowing that NJ and CT were better than NY because they ranked 49 and 50 in the study. Yes, NYC did not even rank 50, it ranked 51. In the District of Columbia, which was counted in the study and ended up at 37, people are happier than in the Big Apple. Go figure.


12,000-Faceted Diamond

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The NY Times has all sorts of specialty blogs devoted to different topics and their Lens Blog – which features photography, video and journalism – just had a great post which tells the story of the Yankees recent World Series victory in time lapse photography – 12,000 shots to be exact. Sick.
Mr. Caplin, who is just 26, said he wanted the montage to seem as if it had been made a hundred years ago — “You know when you look back at old movie footage and they were cranking it? And it was really jumpy and slightly faster than normal?” The game is played to Chopin’s Waltz No. 5, a score Mr. Caplin chose to complement the antique sensibility of the piece.
I love the punny way that diamond – baseball and jewels – has been used. I love the movie and itself. Hopefully you will too. Happy Friday.


Christmas Hero

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By now, as I’m a little late to the game in posting this video, you may have seen the video of how former Disney Imagineer and special effects wizard Ric Turner installed 21,268 lights and LEDs and turned his entire front yard into a game of Guitar Hero. To start the game, you ring the doorbell. I love when people pull off hacks like this – I just wish I was handy enough to do it (and the thing is I probably am, I’m just too lazy to learn).
The demo in the video below shows a kid rocking out to Eric Johnson’s Cliffs of Dover which I too have played GH style:

Sick. Love it.
Via Sara


Not That Bad of a Place

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Today I became a landowner in our nation’s third state which is what my friend Adam refers to as “The Great State of New Jersey.” At some point in 2010, my family and I will head west across the Hudson and this lifelong New York resident (first Long Island for my formative years, then Binghamton for college and then NYC for the last decade) will be forced to gets a Jersey license. This exodus is not happening immediately though so I’ll save my thoughts about what this move means, first from a leaving Manhattan for the Burbs point of view and then from a leaving New York for New Jersey point of view, for a future post. Let’s just say I’ll probably be writing that one late at night, full of scotch, listening to Ryan Adam’s “New York, New York” along with Sinatra’s “New York, New York” on repeat. It’s not going to be pretty.
This post’s title came from a title – agent that is – at today’s closing. Once I had signed the final piece of paperwork, the seller said to me with a twinkle in his eye, “Welcome to the highest taxed and most corrupt state in the Union.”
< Insert your salt-in-the-wounds metaphor here >
After I made a few jokes about how I’m from Long Island and therefore (as the Daily Show put it a few months back) a conjoined twin of the aforementioned corrupt land, the representative from the title company said, “Its actually not that bad of a place. And the town you are moving to is one of my favorites.”
Not that bad of a place. That should be the new state motto for New Jersey. Seriously, if Borough President Marty Markowitz can make all sorts of fun slogans up for Brooklyn (see below), then why can’t Corzine as one of his last acts in office put up signs up and down the Turnpike saying “Welcome to NJ: Not that bad of a place!”
Sign 1:

Sign 2:

Sign 3:

This could be my first contribution to my eventual new home. It’s the least I could do.