Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm pretty sure campfire Catchphrase also counts as sucking out the marrow of life

Bad news, folks. It turns out I can handle only one Internet-based addiction at a time. Hence, lately I have been far too busy commenting on status updates, accepting Green Patch requests, and playing Twirl on Facebook to do much blog reading or writing.

All right; so that isn't entirely true. I have also been going on dates that I give you no details about (sorry, Jess), reuniting with the TV shows that I forgot I liked to watch during the past four months, immersing myself in civics nerdery (I totally played Palin Bingo during the debate. Did you?), and trying to finish the third of those ridiculous teen vampire books before it is due at the library (TODAY). That last one isn't going to happen, by the way. Why yes, Hennepin County Library system, you CAN have small portions my money, 30 cents at a time, while I hold that book hostage. I'm not a delinquent library patron; I consider it a DONATION. A donation to a worthy cause and a totally intentional one at that. Yep; I am simply helping to support the library's mission. It has nothing to do with keeping those 44 people holding for that book behind me waiting while I take my good sweet time deciding if I'm on Team Edward or Team Jacob. Nope. Not at all.

I promise you I can still talk about things other than Facebook and the Twilight books. At least, I think I can. If not, I'd better forget about NaBloPoMo right now, because while a theme helped me through that full month of posting last year, I highly doubt either of those particular themes would keep any of you reading this year.

Before I find more interesting things to talk about, however, I had a Facebook-related story about an awkward relative that I was going to tell you. Remember that? (No? Well, how about I tell you anyway?)

As we all know, the primary purposes of Facebook are to play word games with your friends and to look up old classmates and boyfriends to find out if you have aged any better than they have. As such, I have wasted more time than I care to admit beating people at Scramble and having my butt kicked by Lara at Scrabble. I also spent a solid hour scrolling through pages of people who apparently graduated from college with me. And in the midst of doing that, I found a picture of my cousin.

Let me clarify. My cousin did not go to college with me. My cousin did not go to college at all, and he has never even lived in the state where my alma mater is housed. But there on page 14 of the class of '97 results was a photo my cousin likely wishes he'd never uploaded to this here series of tubes we all know and love. It's a photo I've seen before, but not in any family album. No, I saw it years ago on a rudimentary web site forwarded to me in the very early days of the Internets-as-entertainment. The site was called, simply, "Ugly People," and the site owner had apparently trolled through Internet dating sites, church photo directories, and other people's family albums to find disarmingly unattractive and frightening-looking people for the rest of us to point and laugh at. It's all fun and games when you're looking at strangers with mall bangs and lazy eyes and unfortunate wardrobe choices. But when the scrawny, skeevy-looking guy in a black mesh tank top with mad scientist hair is a guy in the family photo your aunt sends every Christmas? That's... well, that's funny, too, though in a far more guilt-inducing way.

I do feel bad for my cousin, of course. I remain baffled as to why that photo was the one he chose to post where anyone with an Internet connection could mock it, but his early forays online managed to nab him a reasonably hot Russian bride (yes; really), so who am I to question how he marketed himself? In any case, since the "Ugly People" web site, that photo has apparently made the rounds and is still floating about the Internet and resurfacing where we least expect it. Like on page 14 of the list of graduates from the class of '97 at a mid-sized Midwestern state university. Oh my.

The guy using my cousin's photo has his profile set to Public, so I was able to click through to see who he is. Although we apparently graduated from the same school on the same day, I don't know him. You know who does, though? -R-. I noticed in the "Education & Work" area that the company where he works is the same one where -R- is employed, so I quickly sent off an e-mail to ask her about him. People, it is -R-'s nemesis!

OK, that last part is a lie. -R- doesn't actually know him at all. He does work in her building, though, and when she looked up his picture in the company directory, she said she's seen him in the elevator more than once. This would be a much better story if the cousin-photo-stealer were the guy who has gotten on our friend -R-'s bad side by repeatedly ignoring her, however, so I'm just going to pretend that is the case.

All right. I am out of here in a few hours, so have a lovely weekend, all of you. I am going to the woods this weekend, because I want to live deliberately. Wait. No. That's Thoreau, not me. I'm going to the woods because I want to drink wine around a campfire. I like to think good old H.D. did a bit of that himself.


The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Dude, you should totally email this guy and tell him to stop impersonating your cousin!

Mickey said...

Oh, I'm jealous. Do you think I can convince my lady friend's parents to come drink wine around a campfire with us instead of hanging out at their house all weekend? Or would that even be a good idea, considering how talkative I get after a couple glasses?

Have fun!

nancypearlwannabe said...

The idea of Mickey and you and Courtney's parents drinking wine around a campfire is too much. Too much AWESOME.

Have fun in the woods!

3carnations said...

Is this guy a lawyer, too? Because I figured lawyers were a little classier than using a picture of some poor guy who has been deemed ugly as their photo...Or, wait, did I miss something? Did you just say your cousin works with -R-? :)

lizgwiz said...

I have approximately 7,000 green patch requests awaiting my attention. Why can't people just send me things without me having to spend my time "accepting" them? It's not like they're REAL things which will require me to clear a little space off my mantel, so to speak. They're IMITATION things--do people really purposely reject them?

Sometimes Facebook confuses me.

plumpy said...

Haha, I have not just one, but two pictures that get passed around the Internet in a similar fashion. A friend stumbled across the first one on a similar "ugly people" website once and sent it to me. Then I checked the server logs and found hundreds of other places it had been posted. Strangely, the first one is far more popular even though the second on is far more hilarious, IMO.

Poppy said...

Give it another week or 4, FB will lose its appeal -- unless you're using it to have secret chats with A BOY. Then it's fun. :D

Poppy said...

Ahem, and regarding the point of this post: I'm guessing the newest photo I just uploaded to flickr will also end up on the Ugly People site. I don't care. Your cousin shouldn't either. (About his picture. He shouldn't care about mine either. oohhh, please ignore me.)

-R- said...

3carnations, no, he's not a lawyer. He does some kind of computer stuff, I think.

Stefanie, do you want me to e-mail him and tell him I know the person whose picture he stole? I could pretend to be righteously indignant on behalf of your cousin, if you would like. =)

Have fun camping!

Courtney said...

Believe me, people, you do not want to drink with my parents around a campfire. The last time I witnessed the two of them drunk, they did the butt-bump dance. IN PUBLIC.

Hope your camping trip does not involve any butt-bump dancing, Stefanie.

Stefanie said...

Dutchess--Apparently my family pride goes not quite that far, sadly.

Mickey--I would say yes, but Courtney seems to think it is a bad idea. And I'm pretty sure the lady is going to win on this.

NPW--I have never met Courtney's parents (or Mickey and Courtney, actually), but other people's parents are always more fun than your own, right? Especially when there's alcohol involved.

3Cs--I know several lawyers. I wouldn't say they're ALL classy. (-R- is, though, of course. No doubt about that.) As it turns out, the photo stealer isn't a lawyer, though.

Liz--It confuses me, too. I have no idea why Green Patch is pretty much the only one of those silly applications I've decided to try to understand.

Plump--PLUMP! Hello, friend. I cannot believe you have a similar story of Internet mockery. And you are right: the second one IS far more hilarious.

Poppy--That's what I'm counting on. (FB losing its appeal, I mean. Not me using it for secret chats with a boy.)

Poppy Again--Ooh. Your poor face! I hope the mysterious hives are gone soon. :-(

R--Computer stuff? And he's unethically stealing other people's photos online? That's just wrong. But no, you don't have to be indignant for me. (Thanks, though.) :-)

Courtney--Suddenly I am glad my mother pretty much never drinks. No one wants to see their parents do a butt-bump dance. (*Shudder*) I'm sorry you had to live through that.

Aaron said...

Apparently you never read the not-as-renowned sequel Walden Too? There's a lot of wine. And Jason Bateman, for some reason.

Melliferous Pants said...

Wow, that is one crazy, random coincidence!

Alice said...

i would get SO WEIRDED OUT if a picture of me was being plucked off the internet for random peoples' usage. eep.

Paisley said...

I think you should contact this guy. For some reason, this is a perfect "how we met" story. That would be just too much.

did R say if he was cute?

Stefanie said...

Aaron--I DID miss that one! I'll have to check the library for that. (You know, when I finally finish and return that Twilight book...) ;-)

Pants--I know, right? I still sort of can't believe it.

Alice--If there WERE a picture like that of me circulating, I can't decide if I would want to know or not. Ignorance is bliss? Yeah, I think so.

Paisley--R did not say if he was cute. However, Facebook says he is married. No go.