bird poops on plum branch

buster


Buster Benson

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the friend file
bird poops on plum branch
buster
I created a spreadsheet of all the people I'm friends with on Facebook and Twitter (622 total), and then marked all the people I've met in person, had in my house, and made out with.  80.39%, 12.70%, and 2.57% respectively. 

I wanted to add all my LJ friends to the sheet too, but the task of translating usernames to real names and mapping them to the spreadsheet makes my brain die.  Maybe I'll drink a cup of poppy tea this weekend and set to the task. 

I have more plans for this list, but I wanted to see if you guys had good ideas for columns to add to the list (I almost added "slept with" but that list would be very short, apparently there's not much overlap either due to demographic barriers or awkwardness).

When I was a kid I tried a couple times to write down every word I knew, through free association.  It wasn't easy at age 8, but I think it shows that I've always had a bit of an obsession with comprehensiveness.  I want to see everything on one page.  Even if it's a slice of a dimension.  Which led to the morale-o-meter and 8:36pm and tracking my blood pressure and meals and every dollar spent.

But comprehensiveness is impossible, and it's a futility to be obsessed with.  Nothing is comprehensive, because concentric circles expand all the way out until everything that ever was or will be has to be included.  But the illusion of comprehensiveness is something altogether different.  The illusion of comprehensiveness is aesthetic.  It's sort of like art.

It also creates a form of mindfulness that I'm currently very interested in.  I want a picture of everything I own, I want to feel like I can trace the line from my wallet to every dollar I spend, I want to know where every emotion originates from.  Or, at least, feel like I have these things, by slicing out tiny slivers of comprehensiveness the same way a single segment of a worm can regenerate into a whole new worm.

So, yeah, what slivers should I add to the friend file?

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This was my first thought. Also, bought a gift for or know the birthday of?

Know the full name of? For that matter, eaten a meal with, seen more than once, have more than ten friends in common...

Gone on a trip with, met their parents/met your parents, been to where you grew up/been to where they grew up, seen in a bathing suit, cried in front of, accompanied to the ER (this would be like half of my friends), went to their wedding/your wedding . . . . I like this game.

How about "how I know this person"? You could build a map of how you met people, and shake your paper until it folds out like a big Calderesque mobile.

Ride given/received to/from airport. That's what separates the friends from the acquaintances.

Would give a kidney to?
Know the middle name of?
Would open a garden center with?

Helped move, took to the airport, helped you move, took you to the airport (definitions of friendship that I learned from you).

Somewhere I saw some Python thing that would spit out stats from your gmail about who you send/receive the most messages to/from.

I don't know if the ride to/from the airport thing really counts since so many people don't have cars anymore.

I'm with Samantha. It doesn't count. Buster should only come to get ME from the airport. Anyone else gets a cab!

We have this tool internally and it's fascinating to see those kinds of trends. Hoping the Gmail team will make it public in some way... it may be impossible for some technical reason (server load or something).

Go to for advice, would like to travel with, has introduced me to N number of people

slept on your couch? sang to you? fell down your staircase? been tagged in your pictures?

I feel guilty for introducing you to the poppy tea. Watch out: it is addictive and is often used as the poor man's alternative to methadone. On that note, perhaps a Christmas drink is in order when I get back?

I have a fondness for picking other people's noses so that would have to go on there if I were doing this project.

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