May 2003 Archives

Lost In Translation

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MEMO

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From: The Rest of Humanity

To: The fat, excessively hairy guy in the middle of Sheep's Meadow this afternoon.

Re: Attire

Please. Put on a shirt.

I Feel Like Willard Scott

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Happy 100th Birthday, Bob Hope!

Big Time!

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Hey, lookie! Julie/Julia (and really, if you like good food and/or good writing and you're not reading her, what's wrong with you?) gets a writeup in Newsday!

This Is Really Hard

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Writing bad poetry is harder than it looks, particularly when you're trying to write bad poetry on purpose.

The It Boys

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Jonathan Franzen.
James Frey.
Jonathan Safran Foer.

I'm changing my name to Jonathan Frankston.

(David Foster Wallace gets a pass on the WASP exemption: John Updike, Thomas Pynchon, John Irving, etc.)

My Dinner With a Whole Bunch Of People

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Me: So, someone actually sent me email on Friendster.
Dear Friend: Really?
Me: Yeah. But I think she thinks I'm some kind of pretentious jerk.
DF: Why?
Me: Well, we were trading emails all day Thursday and then zip, nada, nothing since then.
DF: Well, what did you to do make her think that you're a pretentious jerk?
Me: Be myself.

And then, later...

Other Dear Friend: Boy, this fish is really good.
DF: Yeah, it's really fresh.
Me: It's so fresh that it asked me for my phone number!
[Dead silence.]

On the slow death of opera

Manuela Hoelterhoff on ChevronTexaco's shameful decision to stop funding the Met's Saturday afternoon broadcasts.

The program costs approximately $7 million a year -- a lot of money, to be sure, but chump change for a company that recorded revenues of $92 billion last year. And when you consider that their CEO made $6 million in 2001, well, ya gotta wonder where their priorities are.

Link via Sasha.

You know you've been blogging to long...

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Spam today, with the subject line (asterix included):

[100% Uncensored An*l Pictures]

So I'm thinking, why would I want pictures of Anil Dash? I've got some already...

(he's the one wearing the "Jason Kottke" name-tag, if you're wondering)

Save Me From Myself

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It's 11:10 on a gray Saturday morning and I'm listening to the long version of "Freebird" on iTunes. Loudly. And by choice.

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

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Bitch bitch boy this weather's lousy bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch I want it to warm up already bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch what, is this New York or Seattle bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch don't believe it's going to rain all weekend bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch have we had any decent weather at all this year bitch bitch isn't New York supposed to have distinct seasons bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch well, at least maybe we won't have a meltingly hot summer this time.

So, Maybe I Need To Cut Back...

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So after a back-breaking day at the helpdesk, this is what I come home to?

newswire.jpg

You guys really keep yourselves busy during the day...

Ruthenium!

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The periodic table like you've never heard it before.

(Unless, of course, your high-school chemistry teacher was a huge Tom Lehrer fan.)

Small Towns

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Brent Simmons, the man behind the insanely great NetNewsWire, talks about the blogosphere in a recent interview:

It's kind of like if we all lived in the same small town. The people who have weblogs are like the people who make a point of going to Main Street at least a few times a week. They go to the barber shop, the grocer's, the lunch counter -- they get out and talk to people.

If you don't have a weblog, it's like you live on the outskirts of town and have all your food delivered and you even have people come mow your lawn so you don't have to go outside.

No matter how big the web gets, it will always be a small town because that's how you interact with it. You can't help but make your own small town out of it.

As your body is to your physical presence, your weblog is to your web presence.

Fifteen Minutes

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I don't think my name will ever appear in the New York Times unless accompanied by the phrase "international fugitive".

Tuba Mirum

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If you're one of the three seven people in New York who isn't heading for terra incognita (Allan, is that right? my memory of high-school Latin is foggy, to say the least, so I'm just assuming that it's incognita and not incognito) over Memorial Day weekend (or, perhaps, you're from beyond the five boroughs and are coming in to the city for the holiday weekend), you might want to go check out the Mozart Requiem on May 25 at Carnegie Hall.

Why this Requiem? Aside from the fact that it's one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, my sister is the soprano soloist and she's making her Carnegie Hall debut...

The Little Drummer Girl

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Columbus Avenue, about 11:50 a.m.

girldrumsT.jpg

Loaded: Reloaded

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So I saw The Matrix Reloaded this afternoon, and I gotta say I liked it a whole bunch. It maybe didn't have the "what the fuck was that?" factor of the first one, but thus is the nature of the sequel, eh?

I'm just wondering what all the negative reviews? I thought that it was really pretty good. Yeah, I'm looking forward to The Matrix Revolutions in November (though not as much as I'm looking forward to The Return of the King, I'll admit); it seemed that there was a lot of stuff in Reloaded (the title makes much more sense once you've seen the movie) that sets up stuff in Revolutions. Of course, we'll just have to see about that...

Here's a nice guide to some of the philosophy in Reloaded. There are spoilers, so you probably shouldn't read it if you haven't seen the film (not that it would make much sense, anyway...)

Tonight! One Night Only!

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babbnext.gif

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

OK, so this bar doesn't serve oysters. But the beer is cheap and cold.

No More Sleeping In

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As of Monday, I will not longer be unemployed (mostly).

Oddly enough, I'll be working for the same very large media firm that another well-known New York blogger works for. I suspect, though, that he's much higher up on the org chart than I will be.

Update: If you were wondering what the (mostly) was about, it's because this is only a three-month contract, not a permament position. But hey, it's money and it's better than sitting on my ever-expanding ass at home. And no, it's not with Fox News; it's not nearly that sexy.

Fifteen Bottles of Beer On The Wall

Gimme Some Money

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big_bill_front.gifThe new $20 is out.

I like it.

The back of the bill appears to be almost identical to the back of the current $20 bill (with the exception of an absent border and the addition of faint "20"s added in the background); the front has changed somewhat. If anything, the design cues that they're using harken back to 19th century currency while staying fresh (the eagle in the background, in particular, is very 19th-century). They took Andrew Jackson out of the oval outline and made the picture, if anything, slightly bigger. It's still very clearly US currency; it's not like the designers followed the technicolor lead of the euro or Canada.

Can't wait to get my hands on one of them.

The Guess Who

Guess who's back?

Courtesy Of...

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Hahahahahaha.

frogenstein.jpg

Courtesy of Michelle Foster.

Vacuuming

hooverphonic1.jpgThere's an epilogue to the epilogue.

I was at Tower last night, just browsing around, when I discovered that they actually had Hooverphonic Presents Jackie Cane in stock (thank goodness for imports, eh?).

Only one copy, and, of course, it was in my hot little hand faster than you can say "Belgian euro-pop".

First off, it's actually 1 and 1/2 cds -- a full length concept CD about a fictional singer named Jackie Cane (of course), and then a second half-length (33 minutes) CD of remixes. Which explains the relatively high price of 24 euros.

Secondly, after having listened to it, it's actually not as bad as the clips on their website make it out to be. It's not Sgt. Pepper, but I'd say that it's better than their last album. There's a very intentionally retro feel to the album that works very well with swoops and swirls of electronica that mark the Hooverphonic sound (if there is such a thing).

And really, any band that's puts out such gloriously stylish retro cheesecake as this desktop (you can peruse the rest of the collection on the hooverphonic.com website; while you're over there, check out the two videos from the new album) can't be all that bad.

And the best part was that it was only $22 (before tax), which is somewhat less than 24 euros (according to my calculator, 24 euros works out to $27.52) at current exchange rates.

Boys With Toys

"Tthere should be a uniform -- if not escalating -- experience of excitement from the outermost packaging to the accessories to the thing itself."

Sparky reviews his new iPod.

Just In Time for Mother's Day

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gawkerthong.jpgThe Official Bootlet Counterfeit Gawker store is proud to present a new line of Gawker underwear. Following the immortal words of Brooke Shields (kinda), you too can now say "Nothing comes between me and my Gawker."

(really, the only thing I can say is that it seemed like a good idea at the time)

He's Back

Salam Pax is back on the air.

10.2.6

The 10.2.6 update fixes the anti-aliasing problem in iTunes 4.0.

At least it does for me.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hu?

First Up Against The Wall

So I'm stretched out in my comfy seat on the O'Hare-LaGuardia leg of the trip back from Tulsa, one row back from the door. People are still filtering into the 757. My bag's comfortably stowed in the overhead compartment and the book du jour is stashed in the seat pocket.

A nearly anorexic blonde (more accurately, a brunette with her hair streaked blond, a bit like J.Lo) plops down in the seat diagonally in front of me. She looks around for a place to stow her enormously oversized handbags, apparently confused by the lack of a seat in front of her.

She turns and espies the empty space under the seat in front of me ("please stow all your carry-ons under the seat in front of you or in an overhead compartment") and gets up and approaches, her weapons-grade engagement ring nearly blinding me.

"Are you going to use that space?"

"Well, I was going to put my feet there..."

Apparently dissatisfied by my lack of obsequience, she storms off down the aisle, looking for an overhead bin empty enough to suit her purpose.

I'mmmmmm Baaaaaaaaack

About the only thing I have to add to my previous description of Tulsa (flat, green) is that it's not very populated. There just aren't that many people there. Oh, and it's very big, too, which makes it seem even less populated than it is.

It's also in the middle of something of a identity crisis. Traditionally, Tulsa's been an oil town, but that business has apparently been on a decades-long slide. So there's a very public debate going on about what exactly "Tulsa" should be. The fact that the Tulsa Philharmonic folded recently has only intensified the debate. The fact that American Airlines, the largest employer in the area, just laid off a whole mess of people, isn't helping any. And, of course, there's the elephant in the room that no-one talks about.

Tulsa Opera itself seems to be doing well; the performances that I saw while I was there were of extremely high quality and very entertaining. The Tulsa Performing Arts Center is an excellent place to see an opera -- the acoustics are good and the sight lines are clean. And, best of all, the tickets are relatively cheap.

It was, over all, an interesting visit.

Tulsa, OK!

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I am now in Tulsa. It is very expensive to use this damned hotel internet connection, so I'll be quick.

It's green and flat here, and buildings greater than 2 stories are few and far between.

More later, though I wouldn't entirely count on a full update until I get back to the Big Bad City.

Fear And Donkeys in Las Vegas

Ken Goldstein has a report about his entry into the World Series of Poker a $25-a-head Thursday morning poker tourney over at Mimeograph.

I don't have to tell you twice to check it out.

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