Joe the Linus

It’s Monday again, time to slither down the greasy pipe (as they say). All this past week I’ve been about to write, just after I slam this last damping coil into place, defusing the ticking bomb at the last moment, as soon as I send this letter, dimension that array, depress the gamma on the final picture, save the world one final time. And, oh yes, right after I inexplicably watch Resident Evil, which actually isn’t nearly as bad as I remember.

It’s hard to convince myself that I haven’t got any time when I’ve got time to watch Resident Evil. All a matter of priorities, I suppose. It’s a Guy Thing.

You know what the problem is here? The problem is that extra hour. They owe me that extra hour. I want my extra hour back. And no, next October is not going to be soon enough. Spring forward, my butt.

Posted in General Musings |

The Blonde and the Jawa

The JawaSaw Blondie yesterday afternoon, in City Hall Park.

I had missed them in their prime, somehow never catching one of their early steps before I moved to Sweden, and I did not come back to New York until they were already spent. I am amazed –but pleased– to say that 20 years later the band sounds great! They wisely played a set heavily peppered with the classics –Rapture, Dreaming, Hanging on the Telephone, One Way or Another, Heart of Glass– and about 4 new ones, including the current single Good Boys. They sounded great, just like the old Blondie, and they looked like they were having fun. Except for Chris shivering in his Jawa hood…

Posted in About Last Night |

Thump and Grind

Judging by my stuttered performance on the way to the office this morning, today must be Whack-Into-People Day. Either I woke up with my good sense drained out – likely enough – or everyone else, exhausted by a crisp cold full moon last night, has the radar powered down for a maintenance cycle. Cutting around the corner at Court and Joralemon: thump, whoops. The Gothamic columns at Borough Hall loomed like dodge-’em set dressing in Doom, admittedly with fewer deadly red nubbly fire-breathing eyeballs. The escalator at Bowling Green? Let’s not even go there. No permanent damage was done to anyone, though a guy on the adjacent steps dropped his luggage carrier and it promptly shuddered apart into its component smithereens. I had nothing to do with that, apart from being in the general area.

It’s been that kind of morning. But even on days like this I’m not the sort to stop at the top of the stairs for a quick mental scratch. At least there’s that.

A cute little girl with cute pink toy eyeglasses beamed at me down in the Court Street station. “Look Mom!” she gasped. “Look at the man’s hat.” “Yes dear,” said Mom, rummaging for change. Thing is, I’m not wearing a hat.

Posted in General Musings |

Sneak Peek

The spine and the occasional limb of our photo gallery project have been mounted for yr. viewing pleasure – you’ll find the pictorials of our first couple of nights out at play in the musical fields of Austin, and if you haven’t browsed our photos of last October’s Halloween Parade, then this is a handy occasion. The rest of the Austin pictures will be up in the next few days. Don’t trip over the virtual debris, we haven’t had a chance to tidy the place up yet. If you find something out of place, please let us know.

Posted in General Musings |

See, Memory

We’re about waist deep in electrons over here, as we wallow through 600 photographs from our jaunt at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin a few weeks back. The first of the picture galleries will be up today or tomorrow, with the rest to fall into place soon after that. (Thunk.)

No, not all 600 pictures. Just some of them. Here are a few while you’re waiting.

Lite Light
Sea Ray

Posted in General Musings |

Personality Types

The Optimist: “My glass is half-full.”

The Pessimist: “My glass is half-empty.”

The New Yorker: “What the hell is this? Did I order this? I don’t think so.”

Linus: “My glass is … hey, look at her glass, with the gold band on the rim. I want a glass like that.”

Posted in General Musings |

April a Pilgrim?

Because it brings Mayflowers.

Haw haw haw.

(Smacking sounds are heard)

Posted in General Musings |

Downloading Is Good For You

New Scientist reports on a large-scale study of mp3 downloading versus CD sales:

The most heavily downloaded songs showed no decrease in CD sales as a result of increasing downloads. In fact, albums that sold more than 600,000 copies during this period appeared to sell better when downloaded more heavily.

For these albums each increase of 150 downloads corresponded to another legitimate album sale. The study showed only a slight decline in sales as a result of online trading for the least popular music.

So, people download songs, and if they like them, they buy the CD. Duh.

The RIAA will probably sue them.

Posted in Music Theory |

Jeepers Sweepers

If you saw Jeepers Creepers in either its original outing or its second coming, you’ll be familiar with the notion of the near-indestructible demon who ventures forth every 23 years to eat him up some nubile young thangs. I am much the same way with cleaning my house, except without the nubile young thangs.

Spring peeped out this week, strobing briefly through the cold nights and occasional overcast, the reminders of a winter that hasn’t quite let go yet. In one of the balmy bits I had an urge to sit on my couch and read for a space – positively vernal, I! It was a brave plan, a good plan, a righteous plan. But a glance at where the couch used to be dashed it. Where I remembered a couch there was a great mound of books, papers, CD’s, pictures, bags, itinerant laundry, and dusty bric-a-brac. Time to bring the mountain not to Mohammed, but out to landfill. I kitted up with crampons, mattock, and garbage bags, and set to.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say that it wasn’t really that bad. Unfortunately, it was that bad.

My Mom used to save teabags when I was a kid. She had a little square dish for the purpose, the sort of thing that these days would be a mixer for wasabi paste and soy sauce, and after the first steeping she’d squeeze out each one, let it dry, and pop it in the fridge for further use. (I should note that Mom was reared shortly after the Depression, and she also likes very weak tea.) So that’s my excuse for discovering that I had kept a stash of every single box I have ever brought into the apartment over the past nine years – it’s genetic. Computer? There’s the box. Keyboard? Check. Speakers? Yup. Those games I bought from eBay? Of course. I had so many boxes, I could have mailed all my boxes to myself.

Have I mentioned that I run Home Office Records out of my apartment? Lotsa boxes. Don’t even get me started on the plastic bags.

By the time the first round of motivation started to flag, my curbside looked like a shantytown ready to migrate. I stopped buying the Times a few years ago when I realized that I was a non-essential step in the paper’s journey from newstand to curbside – I usually only penetrate as far as the reviews and the crossword puzzle – so it was really just boxes, with a smattering of ancient circulars and Return Service Requested credit card offers. By “smattering,” I mean two garbage bags full.

I’ve struck couch; I even sat on a bit of it. But now of course I have all these papers that want filing, and bits and pieces of this and that to sort. And I’ve got nothing to put them all in.

Posted in General Musings |

Walk on Waiter

Speaking of waiters. Back when the East Village was still a cute idea and Avenue A was the eastern border of commerce in Manhattan – we’re talking 1998 here, more or less – my chefly friend Joe was one of the people behind a spiffy downstairs restaurant called 85 Down. The food was monster good, the prices were mostly right, the beer was decent and often better than that, the joint was molto simpatico, and it was a regular stop for me.

One of the waiters, Andreas, was a strapping guy with a barrel of a voice, a couple of early piercings, and the occasional visible tattoo. He’d lumber toward tables of paralyzed tourists with a thundering head of grave deadpan (“Just be calm, Mabel, let me do the talking – and keep your hands where he can see them”), and take up a glowering watch position for a few moments. Then, when they were good and nervous, he’d conjure a menu and daintily set it down, just so. And in his soft, resonant basso, he’d say, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Would you like to see a wine list…?”

Got ‘em every time.

Posted in General Musings |