Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Google your mother (And New Thing #46)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, just so we're clear: I google everyone I meet. It's, like, one of my tics. I just do it. I mean, I do it, you know?

I do it, therefore I am, so, like, live with it, okay? If we've met, then I've googled you and maybe I've even googled your mother.

Okay, that's a lie. I don't google everyone I meet. Like, for instance, I don't google the boring people (sorry boring people) (if you're reading this and we know each other and you're like "i wonder if erik has googled me or if he hasn't googled me because he doesn't think i'm an interesting person," well, don't worry, because the truth is: I don't meet too many boring people and if you read my blog then I'm narcissistic enough to think that you're hecka interesting, bar none, and I've totally googled your ass), but I do google almost everyone I meet.

The reason I'm a big old googlehead is that when I meet an interesting person I want to know more more more about them. I wanna know everything! And now!

I want to know their tics, their foibles, their favorite movies, and if I can dig deep enough, I wanna know their social security numbers too. (Just kidding.) (Or am I?) I think it's because I've always had a collector's mentality. When I was a kid, I used to collect comic books, garbage pail kids, key chains, and numbers from Carl's Jr.; now that I'm an adult, I collect books that I probably won't ever read (but which I never let go of the hope of reading) and I apparently also collect information about my friends and their friends via google. If it's not about the collector's mentality, then maybe it's because I'm just plain curious. Or I'm obsessive. Or I'm anal. Or I'm weird. Or I'm crazy. Or I'm ducked up. "Or I'm fucked up" is what I meant to type, but after I accidentally typed "or I'm ducked up" I left it there because I so fucking want to be ducked up.

Don't you wanna be "ducked up" too? I mean, not to brag or anything, but I think my dumb fingers accidentally stumbled on a crazy brilliant phrase right there. I can't even begin to imagine what it could possibly mean to be "ducked up," but I want to be ducked up nonetheless. (Wait, okay, yes I can imagine what it might mean, but hold on just a second, I'll get to that in, like, five sentences.)

How could we embrace this new phrase? (And it is a new phrase, so I'm going to claim it as New Thing #46.) What could we decide it means? (And we must decide what it means because the phrase has gotta make it's way into the Urban Slang Dictionary.)

Okay, let's see: maybe we could say it's derived from the phrase "well that's just ducky," which essentially means something is awesome. Therefore, if someone is "ducked up," then they've got a preponderance of good--no, not good, awesome--things going on in their life.

To use the phrase in a sentence, you might say something like: "Now that he has an Academy Award, Philip Seymour Hoffman is totally ducked up." Or you could say something like: "I've got three beautiful kids, seven awesome grandkids, and a loving husband/wife. What more do I need? I'm ducked up." Or you could say: "Holy fuck, I won the Mega Million Lottery. I am so completely totally ducked up it's not even fucking funny." Or you could be like: "Sheeeit. I gots me a roof over my head, food in my belly, and enough love to feed an army. My life is ducked up."

How's that for a definition of "ducked up"?

Oh my god, I just got more tired than [insert an example of a really tired thing here] (oh my god! i'm too tired to come up with an example of something really tired!) (and apparently i just got too tired for capitalizing the letter "i!") and I haven't even nearly gotten to my point--you know, the thing I set out to write about when I started this blog entry? My eyelids are gaining weight as I type this sentence. Soon they will be hearvier than my belly and we'll all be in trouble. Fuck. I typed "hearvier" but I'm toot ired to go back and correct it. And now I'm too tired to go back and correct "toot ired." What I'm trying to say is that I'm really fucking tired, people!

Really. Fucking. Tired!

What was my point? Gosh. I'm sitting in this awful coffeeshop right now. Psychobabble. They're about to close. My barista, whose name is Erik, (like my name!), but I'm not sure if he uses a "c" or a "k," well, anyway, he keeps walking by me and cleaning things really loudly to let me know that he's trying to close up, but doesn't he realize that I haven't gotten to my point in this blog entry? And if you really want me to leave, then you should say something, because I'm going to ignore this passive aggressive loud cleaning until I get to my point.

Do you know Psychobabble? On Vermont? Do you ever come here for your coffee needs. (Did you notice the missing question mark there? I noticed it, and yet I didn't go back and fix it because I'm trying to get out of this coffeeshop, I'm trying to get to my point.) (Seriously Barista Erik, I am trying to leave!)

I hate Psychobabble. The floor is so dirty here it reminds me of a floor you might find in a truckstop bathroom. And they put espresso in their Hot Chocolate which is wrong on so many levels I can't even freaking believe it. But they have free wireless (with minimum purchase, or course) (or course??? what is wrong with my fingers?!? why can't they find the right keys!?? ack!) so I come here all the time.

Anyway, let's steer this puppy back to its point. I think I was talking about how I google people a lot. Oh, right, and I think I was gonna say that if you googled me, you might find some hideously bad essays I wrote for a math class in college, and if you googled one of my best friends (I won't call her out by saying her name, but you might say we're married if you were going to say anything about us), you might find a happy birthday message she wrote to her favorite soap opera actor that was printed on his website (they used her full name, which is very unique and pretty much all her own) (she's going to be so mad that I am telling this to the world, so I'll use this parenthetical statement to admit a little factoid of my own and bring myself back into focus as the person to be the blunt of embarrassment: I love One Life to Live. I can't help it. This woman who wrote a happy birthday message to her favorite soap opera star--she got me hooked on OLTL and now I swear by the stuff. I don't watch the show every day, mind you, I just watch it on Cliffhanger Fridays, or when the description of today's episode on my Tivo alerts me to a very Todd/Blair-centric storyline) (because Todd and Blaire are the shit) (but this blog entry is NOT supposed to be about my love of One Life to Live) (talking about Todd and Blair is so NOT steering this puppy back to the point) (so) (um) (right) (okay).

Let's sum up the above really quickly and then I'll move on: I google everyone I've ever met all the time because I'm a nosy busybody google whore, and if there was ever a movie about my life, the character based on me would be played by either Edie McClurg (circa The Hogan Family) or Liz Sheridan (circa ALF).

So now that we've established that, I remember what my point was. I wanted to tell you a little anecdote from this evening. It involves google, obviously.

Tonight I went to Tuesday's @ Nine (this reading group I used to go to all the time which I haven't gone to in forever) (since December!) (I really like exclamation points tonight!) (blame it on my ultra high level of tiredness, which I'm going to stop talking about right now!) (i swear!) and, okay, wait, before I talk about how I went to Tuesday's tonight, I have to say something else in case any of the writers from my other writing group read this.

Oy, so: I was supposed to go to my monday night writing group tonight (which was moved to tuesday night this week) but I was feeling kind of sick so I decided to ditch my monday night writing group (which I love and totally wouldn't have ditched if I wasn't feeling sick) and just curl up in bed all night, but then, around 8:30, I started to perk up, and I decided I wanted to go out and be writerly, but I didn't want to be two hours late to my monday writing group, so I decided to bip on over to Tuesdays @ Nine instead.

Since I hadn't gone to Tuesdays since December, I had a lot of catching up to do with a lot of people, and no one at Tuesdays knows about my blog (I started this thing in January and, like I said, I haven't been to Tuesdays since December) and I thought it might be fun to let a few people know that I'm pooping my brain all over the internet if they ever want to give my brain a gander.

I was talking to these guys Blake and Brendan (who I don't know that well, but who I respect and enjoy talking to whenever I go to Tuesdays) and I mentioned to Blake that I met his friend Bonnie through my blog and that Bonnie and I are super tight now and then Brendan was like, "you have a blog? You should read my sister's blog."

Now, naturally, I've already read his sister's blog because I googled Brendan, like, a year ago--his sister's blog is actually, like, one of my favorite blogs and I read it every day. It's awesome. Stop reading my blog right now and go read The Sheila Variations (particularly her Diary Fridays) (though it's all good) and you will know what I mean. Anway, I wasn't sure what to say to Brendan because I've seen him almost every Tuesday night for the last year and I've never told him that I read his sister's blog because I've never wanted him to know that I found it by googling his name lest he think I'm a weird google freak. Which I am, but unless you read my blog and you know the full-roundedness of my freakitude, then I don't want you knowing I'm a google freak.

I mean, Brendan doesn't know me very well, which means he doesn't know about my obsession with google and he doesn't know about my obsession with reality TV, and he doesn't know about my hypochondria (speaking of which, I think I have mercury poisoning) and he doesn't know about the flaky poop I had that one time (I haven't pooped at all today and that totally weirds me out--I'm usually good for at least two bowel movements a day), and since he doesn't know about all of these little neuroticisms of mine, then he most certainly might think I'm crazy if I tell him I've been reading his sister's blog for a year and I haven't mentioned it because I don't want him to know that I googled him this one time.

Finally, I just decided to go with the truth because the truth is always the smartest choice.

Here's how the scene played out:

BRENDAN: You should check out my sister's blog.

ME: Actually, um...I already have.

BRENDAN: Really?

ME: Yeah, I kind of, um...

BRENDAN: Did I tell you about her blog?

ME: Yeah! That's totally how I know about it and I love her and she's so funny and I can't believe she saw that dead body in the street while she was out here in Los Angeles and she totally has the best taste in books and ...

(okay, so I chickened out at first and lied about how I found out about it and then we talked about how Sheila is one of the coolest people in the world and I'll skip the next few minutes of our conversation because it was just us gushing and you should read her blog yourself and then you'll figure out that it's great on your own)

ME: ...and that's why I love her blog so much. And, um, you didn't tell me about it.

BRENDAN: Um, what? (look of confusion)

ME: You never told me about your sister's blog. I googled you about a year ago and that's how I stumbled across it.

And this was when I was expecting him to look at me like some crazy weird google freak, but he didn't even bat an eye. He just smiled. I think he thinks that all of us bloggers are a little bit touched in the head anyway, so why would it be weird that one of us would google him?

Which just goes to show that the more you worry about something, the less likely it is to be a problem.

As we said good-bye, Brendan told me to "say hi to [his] sister for [him]." So, Sheila, your brother says hi.


Surreal Sattva said...

Ugh, Psychobabble is so dirty. But not as dirty as the Electric Lotus. You're better off getting a spinach salad at Psychobabble than a mango lacie at Electric Lotus.

Then again, Electric Lotus does have some good DJs now and then.

Bonnie said...

1. When we meet IRL and I make Keith tell you "the luckiest man in the world" story, you'll hear me interject how very very very very very much I knew about him (online) before we ever met in person. Seriously. You have Googlitis but I am the Lexis-Nexis Goddess. I mean, I'm not going to invest in an online relationship until I know your "secret nine digits."

2. Hee hee. You talked to Blake. Hee hee. He wants to do another book with me. I can't even think about doing another book right now, having written two in the last nine months. I'm a wee bit spent on that tip.


4. LOVE that you felt "up" and went out to play. That's so something I would do.

5. I actually have a blog entry somewhere about how there are two weird things that happen in blogland. One is when someone YOU KNOW reads your blog acts all, "Hey! What's going on in your life lately?" when you see each other in person and the other is when someone YOU KNOW couldn't possibly know you even HAVE a blog comes up to you and randomly starts talking to you about something from your blog (and not ramping up by saying, "So, I saw you posted about blah-blah-blah," but instead just going, "So, what are you going to do about blah-blah-blah?" like y'all were just talking about it the last time you saw each other or somesuch).

BOTH are equally freaky.

I'm just sayin'.

red said...

Oh my God!! I had no idea that ... this was the twisted web you have woven! I love it!!!

My brother loves that Tuesdays thing ... WOW!

Hi, Bren!! (I actually talked to him yesterday so we're good.)

Thanks for the oh so very nice words, Erik. Especially about my ridiculous Diary Fridays.

Erik said...

Why did I stay up so late last night? WHY was I awake until 4am when I knew I have a breakfast thingy at 9am and I would have to wake up early enough to see if there were any comments on my blog?

Domanique, thank you for the support on the "psychobabble is dirty" front. I loiter at probably a dozen different coffee shops in Los Angeles and most places are lovely but Psychobabble is such a skankzone. Right? When I said the floor reminded me of a truckstop bathroom, I should have said it reminded me of Britney Spear's bathroom or something, it's that bad. I never thought of EL as dirty. I've always like the Electric Lotus. But maybe that's why they keep the lights so dim?

Bonnie, Blake TOTALLY brought up the book he wants to do with you, and I TOTALLY want you to do it with him because he said that maybe you guys could interview me, and I was like, "Let me think about it...okay, YES."

Re: your number five: I need to find that blog entry of yours. It is so weird when you find out people you didn't know knew about your blog know about your blog. But I love it. And more than that, I love all of these strangers (LIKE YOU) who I'm meeting because of the ol' blog.

Sheila, your brother is seriously so proud of you. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that we went on and on about your blog. He mentioned that you almost came to Tuesdays when you were out here. The next time you come out to Los Angeles, you should absolutely come. It's a great night. Oh, and I feel so relieved knowing that my twisted web is out in the open and I can talk to your brother about your blog when I see him at Tuesdays.

the shorter story... said...

i just have to say that i'm so glad you're bringing up all these memories of my childhood...i totally remember you collecting those carl's jr. numbers cuz i wanted to be like you and tried to take one once when we were at carl's and my mom got all pissy. "that's stealing!" whatever :) anyway, then you mention ALF...omg. that's one of those things that always makes me think of you! ALF. well, that and the simpsons (remember that board game we always used to play). oh yah, and the it's so weird how you think you forget things and then something triggers all these memories :) love ya cuz!

the shorter story... said...

p.s. sheila's site is AWESOME!

sheila, if you're reading're site is AWESOME :)

the shorter story... said...

that second one should be "your" i do that all the time :)

Anonymous said...


I'm glad the statute of limitations is up on all your stealing of those Carl's Jr.s numbers! And to think I was a cop and let you get away with it! ha I love your blog. It makes me laugh out loud EVERY day. Thanks for bringing such joy to all of us! And also for the fond memories of reading Dick Tracy comic books with you under a tree in Canada when you were 10 years old(you bought Dick Tracy just for me!!). Love you, Auntie J

Erik said...

AQR, I have so many fond memories of ALF. I am sick.

Erik said...

Aunt J, we had so much fun reading those Dick Tracy comic books, didn't we? I got you hooked. I can picture you sitting outside on Victoria Island pouring through comic book after comic book (but only Dick Tracy). Love you.

Bonnie said...

This article made me think of your Googlitis.