life always seems to turn out ok

Downside: As it turns out, for the past month I have been washing clothes with fabric softener rather than detergent. They are both in green tubs. How was I to know.

Upside: Although my clothes come out of the dryer still dirty, they are very soft.

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dear new york times

Hi. I hope all is well and you’ve come to grips with that whole Times Square body-painting thing. But that’s not why I’m writing.

I’m sure by now you’ve noticed I’m no longer following you on Instagram. Please know it isn’t you. It’s me. No, dammit, it’s you.

I started following you a couple of months ago. I was smitten with your combination of photography and text, using Instagram to tell stories. Sure, the images seem a bit on the filtered side sometimes. But even professional photographers can fall into that trap, and you are but a plucky group of entrepreneurs trying to carve out a name for yourself in the vast jungle of the Interwebz (pro tip — That name? “Times”? zzzzzzzzzz) . Still, every day I would find photos that surprised me, delighted me, made me think. It was a great relationship.

But then.

I noticed you never followed me in return. At first I thought this could just be an oversight — maybe you would do a search to pull up my latest offering. But over time, as each day I scanned my tens of followers, you were never among them. Why? I can only assume you don’t care. And if you don’t care, I don’t care.

I realize you have 402,000 followers, so it probably won’t make that much difference to you. But don’t you remember the good times we had? I was the guy in the gray shirt at the 1980 marathon. And I had a pretzel and a diet coke on the corner one day. Have you forgotten that night at the Iroquois Hotel? I even had an NYT baseball cap for a couple of years that a staff photographer gave me. I thought it meant something.

The amazing thing about the Internet (other than cat videos — have you ever seen the cat videos? it may be a secret) is that, with one click (ok, maybe two) you can disappear. When you only exist in the social media, and you’re inherently antisocial, it’s easy to become an echo. And so that’s what I’m doing.

I’m sure I’ll hit the little magnifying glass from time to time and peek in to see what you’re up to, but those days of hanging on your every square little masterpiece are over. You get off, someone else can get on, the prophet Ben Folds once said. I’m making a seat available.

I wish you the best, and I hope you figure out a way to make money at this journalism thing. Maybe publish the photos in print?

I know, I know, just kidding.

Anyhow, it was a good two months. Please follow me soon on Twitter or I will not be held responsible for the consequences.


your instagram ex gary

p.s. if you would like to publish this photo on instagram and give me a replacement for my new york times baseball cap, I will consider coming back. Let me know.

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life’s great mysteries solved

me: what’s it called when you have two dos equis?

nole: out of shiner.

this is likely why he’s an attorney.

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the day i got sunglasses

mo: here are your sunglasses.

me: oh. thanks.

This is likely why people get married.

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the day i tried to buy sunglasses

nice clerk: Can I help you?

me: I’m trying to buy sunglasses.

nice clerk: Ah. What will you be using them for?

me: Blocking the sun.

nice clerk: But what sport?

me: Running.

nice clerk: Then you’ll want Oakleys.

me: Why?

nice clerk: Because they’re made for running.

me: I don’t see any sort of labeling. How can I tell if they have uva AND uvb protection?

nice clerk:  Sunglasses don’t come with those ratings.

me: Excuse me?

nice clerk: You’re thinking of sunscreen. SPF levels are sunscreen. Sunglasses don’t have that.

me: I think they should have a label on them.

nice clerk: Nobody has ever asked me that. I don’t think they do.

me: I think they should. See, these over here have a 400 sticker on them.

nice clerk: No, those are $180.

me: But the 400 rating would mean they’re good.

nice clerk: No, those glasses are for fishing. You want Oakleys.

me: Thank you very much. You’ve been very helpful.

nice clerk: No problem. Have a great day!

I have decided to just go blind instead. I’m guessing it will be easier to buy sunglasses then …

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just another work conversation, part 26

intern: I think I saw you running yesterday.

me: And you didn’t run over me?

intern: I wasn’t sure it was you.

note to self: be nicer to interns.

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life is funny, part 361

I run at noonish. Given my geographical lot in life, that means my summer runs vary between way too hot and oh my god just kill me now. Luckily, I don’t think it’s done too much damage to my brain.

Did I ever mention I run at noonish? Given my geographical lot in life, that means my summer runs vary between way too hot and oh my god just kill me now. Luckily, I don’t think it’s done too much damage to my brain.

I’ve been reading a lot about how to deal with the heat. The prevailing theory seems to be to drink a lot. This is a problem for me in that I work in a profession that no longer allows the whiskey bottle on the desk. What to do, Daddy-O? Mo came up with the perfect solution: Fred.

Fred is a water bottle. In the never-ending flood of water products, Fred’s niche is that he comes in a recyclable flask. I’ve never been big on drinking water unless it comes with nutrasweet, at least three kinds of acid and some bubbles. But come on, HIS NAME IS FRED! I love him.

I went to the website and read all the save the planet new way of drinking water blah blah fluffy mumbo jumbo. Whatever. IT’S A FLASK!!! At last I can walk around the newsroom, throwing back shots of water and mumbling about the good old days when deadlines were deader and Family Circus was funny. OK, I just made that second one up.

I took a big swig from Fred. And then another. We bonded. I had that moment of zen that Jon Stewart always alluded to shortly before they went to the late-night knife commercial. And then.

As I sat contentedly with Fred, sipping away, I read the back of the bottle.

“Natural spring water.” Lovely. “From Alpine springs.” Naturally. “In Rockland, NY.”


Yes, I was drinking water from New York. Probably from the East River, which supplies the Alpine springs with its water source when not clogged up with corpses. I’m the guy in the Pace commercial happily eating his salsa when the cowpokes cry out “NEW YORK CITY???”

I will surely die. I ate the last of the bootleg Blue Bell in hopes that listeria would put me out of my misery, washed it down with a Shiner Prickly Pear and hoped for a quick death.

The moral: Never trust anyone named Fred, unless it’s 4 a.m. and you’re watching “I Love Lucy.” Never trust Mo. Cadmium in the meat loaf. You’d think I would learn.

But mostly, avoid Family Circus. Except maybe the ones where Billy swerves all over the place going somewhere. It reminds me of the way I run here when it’s hot.

Life is funny …

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