Issue #200 – “200” – March 5th, 2012

-Occasionally I’ll write something in Ruminations that triggers a flood of responses from readers. Usually it’s a somewhat controversial statement like that I’m an atheist or that I don’t really like dogs. In my last column, though, I said something I thought was totally harmless and ended up getting pilloried for it: I revealed I have a landline. The emails and tweets calling me old came fast and furious. So let me clarify: I only have a landline because the intercom in my building in LA needs to be connected to a local number, and I refuse on principle to give up my NYC cell number. Hence, I need the local landline to buzz people in. Satisfied? Anyway, now on to business: drum roll please… this is the 200th issue of Ruminations (holy shit)! It has been quite the journey. In honor of the occasion and in light of my not-so-proud landline ownership, I’ve decided to take a stroll down memory lane. For kicks, I took a look at all the columns I’ve written in March of previous years. As it turns out, there have been quite a few embarrassing references to outdated technology…

-In March of 1999, I was upset that I wasn’t allowed to use my Discman while on a flight to Acapulco for spring break. I still remember that Discman. It had “forty-second shock protection.” Which I never understood because who hits a bump that lasts forty seconds?

-In 2003, my first friend got engaged. It was such a big deal that I proudly made a note of it – in my Palm Pilot. I was totally fluent in “Graffiti,” the scribble language you used to write stuff with the stylus. In hindsight that time might have been better spent learning Mandarin or…just about anything else.

-In 2004, I admitted that when I was home visiting my parents, I’d sometimes log in to my old America Online account. For shits and giggles, today I decided to log in for the first time in eight years. Not only does it still work, but I have 10,000 unread messages.

-By March of 2006 I had an iPod, but part of me was still surprised that when shuffled, the songs didn’t play in the same order as the last CD I burned years earlier. On a side note: if you know what “burn a CD” means but have never made a mix tape, you’re probably just about the right age for us to date.

-In 2008, I was knee-deep building a new web site when I had an epiphany: I should open a computer-themed bar called Scrollbar. I never really got any further than the clever name, but I think it would have been the perfect post-dot-com-bubble watering hole. Web designers could come from across the city to get together and not talk to girls.

-In 2009, I copped to still using Instant Messenger (I believe it was under a second AOL account I had created). To be honest, I still kinda like Instant Messenger. That’s because almost no one is on IM, while everyone is on Facebook Chat or G-Chat. And as has already been well established in the past 199 issues, I hate everyone.

-In March of 2010, I made what may turn out to be my most regrettable proclamation yet: I called iPhone owners “chumps,” and claimed that the only way I’d give up my BlackBerry is if it was pried out of my cold, dead hand. But before you judge me, keep in mind that at the time, BlackBerrys were still cool and not the repugnant devices that people now sneer at when you pull them out of your pocket. Still, I think I may just wait to trade up until I see what comes out after the iPhone. I don’t know, it might be nice to be ahead of the curve just once.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-My bathroom sink wasn’t working for some reason so the other night I had to get washed up using the kitchen sink. I don’t know what felt more bizarre: brushing my teeth with no mirror, or spitting toothpaste into the garbage disposal.

-I understand people who want to keep their Facebook profile private. But don’t make your only public photo a picture of your child. Sure, you’re anonymous, but now your poor kid is out there for the world to see. Plus I’d much rather see a generic sunset that your snot-nosed offspring.

-A few weekends ago I overheard a guy ask for a “taste” of beer at a bar. It’s not frozen yogurt, douchebag.

-I rarely get parking tickets, but sometimes those bastards just trick you. The other day I parked, I studied the sign, I double-checked the time, made sure I was within the lines, and then walked away. Only problem? I thought it was Sunday when it was actually Saturday.

-I’ve been taking a Centrum multivitamin every morning for maybe the past decade. The other day I ran out and, instead of buying more, just decided to stop taking them. At first I was worried that I would collapse or get mono or something. But nothing happened. I actually feel better now. Though that might be the placebo effect from not having to constantly swallow bright orange horse pills.

-St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, which means I have to start mapping out a laundry strategy to ensure my one green shirt is clean that day.

-I have never actually seen a bride throw the bouquet at a wedding. I think the whole thing is just a myth. Single women have a hard enough time enjoying weddings as it is without getting floral arrangements heaved at them.

-And, finally, there was one other portion of my last Ruminations column that readers took issue with. I stated that I work from home and therefore dress like a slob. When a light fixture fell off my ceiling and cracked me in the head, the blow was softened by the hoodie I was wearing. Ergo, working from home saved my life. Many (many, many) people pointed out the flaw in that logic: if I hadn’t been working from home, I wouldn’t have even been there to get hit in the head in the first place. And you know what? They’re right. I screwed that one up. I guess I just figured I’d get the benefit of the doubt after 200 issues. But to tell you the truth, I’m glad I don’t. As a matter of fact, a dose of humility every day keeps me on my toes – unlike those vitamins. Fuck me.