60 minutes of Twitter

Sometimes, instead of working, writing a novel, or even procrastinating, I choose, Ahab-like, doomed projects in the hope that the effort will reward itself with strange revelations or the production of unfathomable objects. I think I’ve been rewarded on the very last count. Below is a great wedge of text culled from one hour of my Twitter feed, approximately 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Palinode Time, October 15, 2008.


For those of you who don’t know, Twitter is the most microbial of microblogging platforms, allowing entries of no more than 140 characters at a time. Every Twitterer, or Tweeter, or Tweep, or whatever, is granted two feeds: one is an unfiltered public timeline, a great roiling ocean of the cryptic and the stupid; the other feed comprises the Twitterer’s handpicked list of fellow Tweeps. For example, I follow 185 people, all of whom hold my interest in some way. 320 people, in turn, are following me, of whom about 318 (give or take five) are online marketers and webcam girls. Has that been a satisfactory and comprehensive explanation of Twitter? What’s that? I’m sorry, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.




Because those questions are related directly to my portfolio. Actually, they’re pretty random, and I have no idea why she’s asking me. I think this is her highly repressed version of venting.


In the hope of discovering some deeper truth about the zeitgeist, I’ve removed people’s Twitter names, corrected slightly for spelling and grammar, and thrown the whole thing together in one Pynchon-sized paragraph. If you find yourself confused by the occasional inclusion of passages of Moby Dick, it’s because I’m following someone who’s tweeting the entire novel, 140 characters at a time.


In sixty minutes my feed picked up 102 tweets from about 70 or so twitterers (or tweeple, if you like). Despite the abbreviated nature of SMS and the cryptic half-conversations that kept popping up, people still managed to be clear, succinct, witty and affable. There were three mentions of pets, of which two were about pets farting. One overt Shakespearean illusion muhlusion allusion, six anxiety-ridden mentions of work, one bit of celebrity gossip, and the rare question of whether it’s better to be a hobo or a hobo’s vagina, which I cannot answer with more information. There’s also an ongoing conversation about an unpleasant soup. You’d be amazed at how often people tweet about soup. Also, people are still making ‘more cowbell’ jokes in 2008. When is that going to die?

Leaving on a jet plane. Be kind to strangers. I write 2x more for work. And I enjoy this insanity. My calendar this month has deadlines every other day- and that's the freelance stuff. I'm also shooting and writing the Hyatt cookbook :) :) Nursing a pulled muscle in my neck... aaargh! I reckon the patchy Internet made me sound a bit robotic. Izeither, tell her not to cos I'm using the skype on my phone not laptop. Ngdalie, well i can understand you wanting to get home! How about October keeps going but Fall slams the brakes? ;) Fact Check: The GOP is the party of Stupid. Just sitting here by the media city lake, unwinding. Waiting for someone to pick me up for the drink I badly need. My 20lb cat (not to be confused with THE @20lb_cat) is trying to catch a fly behind the drapes of the sliding glass door. Not so stealth. Lruettiman, that's kind of ridiculous. Sorry to hear that. Wondering when I'm going to make it to Bombay. Xmas there or ... Moscow? Blurb, so GOP means Goobers On Parade. Judge, then, to what pitches of inflamed, distracted fury the minds of his more desperate hunters were impelled, when amid the chips of chewed boats, and the sinking limbs of torn comrades, they swam out of the white curds of the whale's direful wrath into the serene, about exasperating sunlight, that smiled on, as if at a birth or a bridal. Elzbeth, certain eye candy have nuts. think about that. /cue NBC's more you know psa music. Is it better to be a hobo or a hobo vagina? First thing I will do in Bombay is eat an apple pie at the amazing Parsi bakery in Fort, Yazdani. Dear me: ugh. stop eating the almonds. step away from the can of almonds. for real. thanks, me. Turkey.Alltop: All the news about Turkey is now aggregated at New post: The HeART of Houston Kickoff Party: Last week it was colliding with culture an.. Also finding it amazing every single person at work is.. So efficient. And interesting. Time to turn off the www, put on some music and get busy cleaning. this to-do list isn't going to do itself. Figured out the Dubai bus system. I reckon I'd save 40 dirhams a day with the bus. Not terribly inconvenient either. Warriorsf, I will and only that famous one on the highway to pune will do. Didn't Harper say he wanted to set specific election dates so politicians cldn't use elections for their own ends? And then what did he do? I'm not really a patient person who likes waiting around for things to happen. Waiting for someone to have a child kinda sucks. Just passed a church sign reading "CHILDREN'S LED SERVICE..." For a second, I pictured kids clustered around a giant flatscreen monitor. My female dog farted in bed and startled herself out of a dead sleep. She farted again and looked accusingly at her ass and then RAN away. MochaMom365, link is broken. How much is a taxi from Dubai (say, jumeirah) to Sharjah airport? And how long - at ant I mean how long does it take before rush hour, say at 4. Just got my Alltop widget for Tourette Syndrome: So cool! Thanks Guy Kawasaki. Juliebird, yes, someone else sent it to me. because i was talking of PHIL COLLINS. radness. Actually, a monitor would be LCD, not LED. I guess it would have to be a really big Lite-Brite: For a limited time only... here's that picture I had taken last week. (It's a lot better when it's small). Viscousplatypus, I did not know this! Maybe I heard something about it and only processed it subconsciously. Viscousplatypus, his son wasn't named Samantha, was he? That was his daughter's name in the dream. JasonSprague, I dunno. We'll see. Nojo, well that was a weird thing to say. Srah, nice picture! SenorDiscount, I was reading the X-Men creators interview book. I don't have it in front of me, so I forget the name. It has a blue cover. Slightly disappointed that I didn't wake up to an onslaught of porn followers. No cheeses, no pizza. Know cheeses, know pizza. I'm still drunk from all the twitter love after yesterday's announcement of my new job. I may even have a hangover. Excedrin anyone? Tracey at Shutter Sisters has a great post up about organizing your holiday greetings. Freaks unite! Missbritt, are you doing "save for web"? that usually turns transparent white i think. KatjaPresnal, haha-same to you sistah ;) GinaLaGuardia, thanks! How is it that I just discovered fafblog! today? Where have I been? Viscousplatypus, thank you! That's exactly what I was going for. While still not wearing a suit. Nojo when i'm here, i'm reading, baby. ;) I call Computer Break. who would like to come with me? Danieljohnsonjr, honestly, it's probably best to be undecided right up until you vote. Helps you keep thinking critically. I just bought a $100 down comforter for $20. Why do I feel guilty? Too many windows open. Four new issues on four new projects I've never seen before dumped in my lap - and it's not even lunchtime yet! We're talking about the gays today. Picking the mushrooms out of soup. Labor-intensive, but am not in the mood for funghi. Chumworth, My father referred to corduroys as "whistle britches". r/t MOMocrats' liveblog 2night. We're using Meebo Rooms-get your Meebo ID at if you want to join. More deets on MOMocrats soon! New Post: I Covet Shoulder Bags From Etsy - 22. New at ProBlogger: 13 Tips to Recession Proof Your Blog Madonna is officially getting a divorce. the tabloids are always right. celebs can only deny so long. pregnancies, divorce, dating, etc . Writingroads oh yes, it is! thank you :) Groovehouse is truly my hero. Zaren, it's not mushroom soup. it's coconut soup. the mushrooms are harshing the coconut mellow. Also, they're STRAW mushrooms. I have seriously underestimated my blog audience in both tolerance and fuck-up-ed-ness. And thank G-d for that. Herbadmother, as long as the mushrooms didn't grow in the soup, in which case I advise finding an entirely different soup. Just got a sample newborn diaper in the mail. I can't believe my girls were ever that small. His three boats stove around him, and oars and men both whirling in the eddies; one captain, seizing the line-knife from his broken prow, had dashed at the whale, as an Arkansas duellist at his foe, blindly seeking with a six inch blade to reach the fathom-deep life of the whale. Clearing the 5k photo off my computer. wish the upload to flickr wasnt so labor intensive even w/ uploader. there must be an easier way... The most completely uncool product I've ever seen: That captain was Ahab. No turbaned Turk, no hired Venetian or Malay, could have smote him with more seeming malice. Getting a little sad about leaving New York soon. And then it was, that suddenly sweeping his sickle-shaped lower jaw beneath him, Moby Dick had reaped away Ahab's leg, as a mower a blade of grass in the field. RobinJP, yes, keeps life interesting. thank you! At least 400 flies are perched on the front of my house. Something wicked this way comes. Small reason was there to doubt, then, that ever since that almost fatal encounter, Ahab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual and spiritual exasperations. Handbagplanet, i better have won a purse. It's the least you can give me for annoying all of my friends on your behalf. Ladyloo, I figure that if I can't own all the stuff I want on Etsy, I can at least have fun writing about it. The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. Struggling today...thinking i'm just not that good at writing and anyone who ever thought i was had to be high on glue. That intangible malignity which has been from the beginning; to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds; which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil;--Ahab did not fall down and worship it like them; but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it. And who knew my mom sniffed glue? All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it. Three consecutive texts to the boys' mom: "Robert has a fever"; "and the only prescription"; "is more cowbell!" She wasn't amused. I think my cat just farted on my foot. ... ... ... now that is something i did not anticipate ever having to tweet. My midnight shifts! Finished.