May 31, 2012

Milestones in Blogging, #5,122

At some point this week, my Actual Recycling Jokes post passed 3,000 all-time pageviews. That is approximately three times more hits than the next highest post, five times more than the next (a picture of myself dressed like the Fonz), and ten times more than the next (the nerdiest post I've ever written, about Star Trek actors also appearing in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest).

I'm glad this is what the internet thinks of me.

May 29, 2012

Is That Spam In Your Pocket, Or...?

Now here is some spam/phishing/other miscellaneous internet weirdness I can get behind: within two hours of each other last Wednesday, I got the following three emails to my blog account.
Hello Andrew,

I am following up to find out if you are still interested in a guest post on your blog.Would you like me to come up with an idea?

Best Regards,

Hi ,

Just wondering if you had a chance to read my last email about a guest post on your blog.Are you still interested?

Thank you for your consideration,

And finally:
Hi Andrew,

Just wondering if you had a chance to read my last email about a guest post on your blog. Have you had a chance to read my email? Can you let me know your thoughts?

Have a great day,

Discounting the possibility that there is actually a poor woman out there with multiple personality disorder and a lot of spare Gmail invitations (does Gmail even still have invitations? No? Remember this guy?), I have to admire the pure genius of this scam.

I mean, who is more likely to reply to a request for collaboration from a mysterious woman with a mildly exotic name (not you, Linda, sorry), than a lonely male blogger? Even the savviest of internet nerds can't help but let their guard drop a little bit, as they bathe shirtless and pantless in the blue light of their computer screen, when Jeanna writes and practically begs for *sultry pause* "your thoughts". It's dastardly in its simplicity. And before long, who knows what else Jeanna will be asking for?

Anyway, the bottom line is, a Russian cyber-criminal now has total control of my identity and bank accounts. Sorry Mallory.

May 25, 2012

May 23, 2012

People White Devices Like

If you don't own an iGadget, you probably aren't aware that Apple recently added a new security measure for everyone with an iTunes account: the whitest, most bourgeois security questions in the world.

Yes, now if you forget your iTunes password, you can retrieve it by answering such universally applicable questions as:
Which of the cars you've owned has been your least favorite?
In which city were you first kissed?
Okay, I will grant that if you do own an iGadget you are probably more likely than the general population to (a) have owned multiple cars, and view them as enough of an identity statement so as to have clear opinions about the best and worst of them; and (b) to have moved away from wherever you were living when you were first kissed (which is the only way that this particularly security question would be of any use to anyone).

But I still find it breathtakingly short-sighted and oblivious of Apple not to have realized how stupidly culturally specific these questions are. Just because hipsters are your key market, that doesn't mean you should go out of your way to alienate anyone who is not a hipster. (Also, N.B., hipsters ride bikes, they don't drive cars.)

And even if you don't buy my oversensitive, politically correct BS—and hey, I don't necessarily blame you—let's at least take a minute to acknowledge how awful these are as OBLIGATORY security questions. What if you've never owned a car at all? What if you don't remember
What was the first album you owned?
Where were you on January 1, 2000?
I mean, Jesus, I was in bed hungover on January 1, 2000. Is that an option? And what if I type "in bed hungover" when I set the question but am feeling less flippant when I need to answer it and just write "Edinburgh"?

Oh shit, I just gave you the answers to my security question.*

Also, I appreciate the irony in complaining about oblivious white hipsterdom in a blog post about how terrible my iTunes security questions are. I also appreciate the irony in appreciating the irony in my complaint about oblivious white hipsterdom. If I am missing any other ironies, please let me know.

*Not really. It's "hugging the toilet."

May 19, 2012

May 11, 2012

May 09, 2012

ATM Networks

First things first: no, I still haven't heard whether I moved forward to the finals in the Amazon competition. Yes, I am still crapping my pants.

(N.B. If you are a Penguin editor who has just picked up my manuscript and decided to Google me: hi! My parents have a holiday house in Sardinia that's available this August.)

HOWEVER, last week I did get a short story accepted by CICADA magazine, which will be appearing in print later this year. You should probably go get yourself a subscription now to make sure you don't miss it.

I also had my first non-book-review published over at Good Men Project, a silly little memoir essay about nostalgia and my old friend Benjie — which will be of particular interest if you knew me or him back then. (Ahem: parents.)

And that's all for now.

May 04, 2012

May 03, 2012

U.S. P.S.

I was kind of cantankerous in my last post, especially about New York. But yesterday I discovered that, without being asked, out of simple kindness towards strangers, somebody at the Grand Central post office took the time to hand cancel all of the save-the-date cards Mallory and I sent out last month. So instead of the ugly teletype cancelling marks that you see on most mail these days, our awesome brown paper, type-written envelopes all got the old style stamp and wavy lines.

What I'm trying to say is... Sometimes I don't hate the world. Thank you, Grand Central post office employee!

May 01, 2012

From Concentrate

Whenever I see a blogger (other than myself) whose output has dropped off precipitously, I think: gosh, poor guy/girl. He/she must have run out of things to say.

TODAY, however, I would like to reassure you that I don't have that problem. In fact, I've still got just as many shot-from-the-hip, ill-conceived rants floating around my head as ever — I just don't have as much time to develop them into shot-from-slightly-above(?)-the-hip, mediocrely-conceived blog posts that I would feel okay putting my name to in a public forum. (Deuelgate really burned me.)

As proof, here are some select rants I would have liked to have gone on, recently:
  • Dear Occupy,

    I agree so completely and painfully with your central political premise that I take no pleasure saying this, but: your stupid angry drum circle is not going to change a goddamn thing. Go get a real job.

    A. Ladd
  • My blog continues to get 70 million thousand hits a second from Google referrals for "recycling jokes." It's been a particularly popular search term since I moved to New York City, probably because this place is the biggest recycling joke in the world. (There is one public recycling bin for every 17,000 residents. ONE! Good thing nobody uses more than one plastic container every three years.)
  • Vegans who make fun of anti-abortion activists for their efforts to protect the rights of foetuses. Discuss.
  • Dear New Yorkers,

    How can you live in the most densely populated city in the United States and STILL BE SO FUCKING OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYTHING GOING ON AROUND YOU? I'm looking at you, guy on narrow sidewalk with a golf umbrella (except not really, because you just gouged out my eyeball with your stupid golf umbrella).

    A. Ladd
  • Can somebody please tell Apple that not everything is a goddamn iPad and they should stop trying to turn everything into a goddamn iPad?
  • When is the Huffington Post going to give up the charade and just become a fully-fledged porn site already?
  • Dear Occupy,

    I know, I know: you can't get a real job, that's the whole point, banks are ruining the economy, etc., etc. They will still be ruining the economy after your drums get impounded and you spend a night in jail. Discuss.

    A. Ladd
Look, if I could afford a therapist, I'd save this stuff for session.