Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tweet, Tweet

I got an email from an acquaintance of mine today who wants to add me to his Twitter list.

Well...huh? I mean, I do know what Twitter is, more or less. If I didn't, the recent Doonesbury cartoons featuring good old Roland Hedley the reporter would clue me in. But I'm still not at all sure how the thing works.

As far as I can tell, people who twitter simply type whatever goes on in their heads and then send the resulting verbal sludge out to all of their "friends." I don't, however, quite understand how you receive this, although I suspect it has to do with the features on my cell phone that I ignore (all I want my cell phone to do is be a phone...I can't even text more than one word).

The question, of course, is this: why do I want to know? The gentleman who wants to add me to his - does one call it a nest, perhaps? - is a perfectly nice guy with whom I did a show a few years back. We are not in regular contact unless one of us is appearing in something (all actors email everybody in their contact lists if they're doing a show - we need bottoms on those seats). We never get together for a drink, we don't email, and I see him maybe twice a year when we meet by accident on the street. Can anybody explain why on earth I would want to have a running commentary on his life? Hell, given my current sojourn in the doldrums, I don't even want a running commentary on MY life, although I should think that it would be an awfully good insomnia cure.

The other thing that I suspect about Twitter is that it will be exactly like some of the cell phone calls to which I (as a captive audience) was privy when riding a bus home from an office. "I'm passing 42nd Street, I'm on 38th now, I'll pick up the milk, I bought two pair of panty hose, did you remember my suppositories, don't forget dog food..." No.

I suppose what really bothers me most about the whole Twitter idea (and given the banality that I suspect will be the hallmark of most of these communiques), is this: how on earth do you have a life to Twitter about if you spend said life hunched over a keyboard talking about it? This particular idea seems worse to me than cell phones. Cell phones require some sort of response, even if it's just a voice mail answer - at least you hear a voice. But this Twitter thing bothers the hell out of me because I envision a city full of zombies, never seeing or speaking to one another, never seeing the sky or the leaves in spring or anything else - because they're busy Twittering away. And if you think I'm being unduly pessimistic, look up the statistics on people being injured by walking into lamp posts, buildings, and moving traffic while typing away madly on their Crackberries. Scary.

Other than that, the rousting out of Joshua is proceeding, naturally with me doing all the work. I have sent his damn book list off, and I am now covering 397 books with plastic and packing them...because of course, since there is actual work to be done, Joshua has come down with one of his periodic "outbreaks" - this is how he refers to them. Other people would simply say, "Oh, shit, I've got that damn rash again, I wonder what the hell I ate." Not Joshua. He comes upstairs in the morning, leans dramatically on the icebox, and in tones that would be just perfect for someone announcing the imminent arrival of the plague, says, "I'm having another outbreak." This sounds exactly as nonsensical as you think it does.

But Liz, the gal from the building management, is coming on Friday morning at 11 and Liz and I are going to go through the house to settle on what needs to be refurbished before the real estate person comes in to start selling the joint, so I'm happily running through decorating plans for the new place in my head. Admittedly I can't do much in that direction until I find one, but what the hell - it's something with which to amuse myself while I'm doggedly wrapping the goddamn books.

Oh, and getting the book list emailed to its possible buyer was also fraught. I didn't have my new baby in time to put the list on it, so I had to use Joshua's lousy Mac. Well, then the list had to be emailed to the client - but Joshua (you remember, he's the one who won't use an ATM because the Chechens want his bank account number) refused to give me the password.

First of all, how the bloody hell did he think I was going to use his email without the password? Secondly, what on earth did he think I was going to DO with it? And thirdly, why did it never occur to him that once he had put the password in for me (while, I may add, hunching protectively over the keyboard) so I could access the email, that I could then read every single one of his emails should I have chosen to do so? (I can't imagine WHY I would have chosen to do so, actually.)

Ah, well. At least, books are being packed and people are going to get things moving. Tra la!

Love, Wendy

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