12, 2002 at 18:25:23 (EDT)
In which, I broach the subject of my nutty
So the roofer visited and assessed the problem: "Ah, it's
ya neighbor, mon." He had this great Jamaican accent tinged
with a British accent. I wish I had a cool accent. Sometimes I think
after living in Brooklyn for a couple years that I've developed
some kind of old school Brooklyn Accent, but I still talk through
my nose too much. Like Manhattanites, I've noticed. People who live
in Manhattan don't have the accent, not anymore, it's moved to the
outer boroughs, and has been joined with all the countless other
accents already here.
The roofer says that the nutty guy who owns the house next door
has his drainpipe so screwed up it's pouring water into my bedroom.
The neighboring houseowner, Marc, is a blog in of itself. He owns
the place, but doesn't live there; the lower floors are actually
bricked up to keep out the crackheads. He comes by once every week
or so, disappears inside, whereupon we hear what sounds like him
hitting stuff with a hammer. Then he leaves. I guess he's trying
to renovate the house all by himself. He is in his late 50's, wears
a beret and drives a rotting BMW from the 80's. I think Marc has,
spiritually and literally, seen better days.
The drainpipe in question has been burning my ass all summer. It
is missing sections, so when it rains, water spews out all over
the place. The pipe itself is not connected to the drain built into
the foundation, so water runs out all over the place, going everywhere,
except into the drain. To combat pooling, Marc has placed a big
bucket near the pipe, but not really under it. He has also taken
a piece of sheet metal and tented it around the bucket and drain,
in some effort to control where the water goes. The result is a
highly controlled water flow ... into my basement.
Well, it's not really MY basement. Living on the ground floor apartment,
we are the only apartment that has direct access to said basement
and, although originally specified as space for all tenants' use,
we're the only ones who ever use it. We store some stuff under the
stairs, and we play music down there. I even bought a drumset on
eBay to put down there. It never used to flood, until this summer,
when suddenly water was flowing like the black gold at the opening
of The Beverly Hillbillies. I complained to the landlady about it,
but she of course did nothing. Today, I got to show the roofing
guy the basement and whine about the leakage. I don't know if he
has any power to help, but it felt good to show a 3rd party how
I've suffered. I've rigged up a bucket, some towels and a bunch
of cardboard boxes to staunch the water flow. But it still ends
up getting the drums wet every time.
But now that we have water coursing down our walls, I think I'll
finally be in the correct moral position to tell Marc to get his
shit together. He's not a bad guy, he's just nuts. I'll elaborate
on that later. If he would just fix his drainpipe, all my problems
would be solved. Ideally, I'd like him to completely renovate his
house, and then sell it to me! I know for a fact our landlady paid
around 180K for this house, and his house is very much the same
style, just in terrible disrepair. If ya don't know, 180K for a
whole house in this part of town is nothing short of miraculous.
Of course, our landlady had to do a lot of the renovation, but from
the look of it, she, shall we say, cut some corners. Anyhow, I love
this neighborhood, and I love these
funny houses we live in on this block (if someone can find a
house in the same style as mine, please let me know, I've never
seen houses like this anywhere else in town). If I could buy my
own apartment, I'd do it in a second. It's not perfect, but it has
so many of the things I really don't wanna live without. It's basically
3 floors, with a garden, a weird homemade enclosed patio thing in
the back, and it's near enough to the subway to make it tolerable
(okay it's the
train, but whaddya gonna do?).
Man, I've been writing so much since I started this blog. I suppose
I should archive soon, people may be viewing this on a dial-up account,
something I pray I never have to do again. I posted several things
just today, as I am hanging around the house and feeling kind of
under the weather for some reason. Maybe it was all the Sing-Ha
I drank last night. I need to conserve energy for the Shellac show
tonight. I sort of dread the fact that we might run into our old
roommate there. I really could do with not seeing him. He was always
a nice enough guy, but when he dumped Annoying Roommate, he dumped
B and I as well. He never communicates with us, it's like we were
Disposable Friends. Or maybe he never liked us at all, we were just
a means to reduce his rent. Worst of all, he stuck us with the leftover
girlfriend, whom we never liked in the first place. That's the greatest
insult of them all. We could be living with any number of people
we actually like, but we're stuck with this freakazoid because there
is some unwritten law that says the Dumper must leave the apartment
to the Dumpee. Who knows? He isn't saying, and from the looks of
things on his website, he doesn't give a rat's ass about what became
of his ol' pals. Maybe I'll ask Steve Albini what he would do in
this situation! It would probably get too drawn out and he'd make
fun of me. Maybe I'll ask Shellac if they think God exists, like
that Onion article.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
favorite is the kitten who plays vibes
12, 2002 at 16:54:43 (EDT)
In which, I've been living off of grass and
the drippings from my ceiling
We live in a brownstone-type townhouse (but it's not brown),
occupying the ground floor and part of the parlor floor. There are
two floor above us. On the floor directly above us there are two rooms.
The one directly above our bedroom is vacant, and has no plumbing
of its own. Directly above this room is a tiny studio apartment (i.e.,
it has its own plumbing). V lives in this apartment. I haven't spoken
much to him since we met him the night he got mugged. He was so freaked
out he didn't even remember seeing us that night. I went up to ask
him if water was running down his walls. I suspected that either there
was a leak in the roof, or his sink was somehow leaking (the sink
is on the same wall as our leak, in roughly the same area). Anyhow,
he checked his wall and cabinet under the sink. No sign of any leakage.
I don't know how the hell this happens. It must be a roof
leak, but one that somehow circumvents his wall and goes to ours.
I dunno if it is coming through the empty room above ours, tho I want
to break in and check it out.
The water keeps running down the wall. It didn't really damage
anything, but the paint is bubbling off the walls in the bedroom
and in the bathroom on the ground floor. I finally got a hold of
the landlady and she said she'd call the roofer, who should arrive
soon. I'll say this for leaky walls: they give you the rare opportunity
to clean under the bed and behind the futon. Whew! No matter what
you do, cats will get hair all over your house.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
12, 2002 at 16:22:19 (EDT)
In which, I speak far too seriously about
I just discovered that Berkeley Breathed has a website!
He was the genius behind "Bloom
County", my favorite comic strip of all time. There's only
a few strips that ever matched its wit, namely The Boondocks,
the Pinhead, and of course Doonesbury.
Reading Bloom County in the morning papers during my youth had a
cumulative effect on my way of viewing the world. Between this comic
and other influences like George
Carlin, I realized that humor didn't just have to occupy the
realm of recreation, that you could actually change how people think
with it. And Bloom County was more effective than those one-panel
political cartoons, as they tend to simple embodiments of a particular
issue. Bloom County built itself a whole world and a huge number
of characters to inhabit it, without ever falling into the trap
of 'normal' comics by being too self-referential. The Bloom County
world existed as a stage on which Breathed aped the absurdity of
our culture. As much as I love The Boondocks, it just isn't interested
in this scope to the same degree. Doonesbury is always political
but it doesn't have the heart Bloom County did.
Breathed's wit is sorely needed these days, for obvious reasons.
I wish he'd start a blog, just we could know what he thought of
Current Unpleasantness. Sadly, all I've seen of him lately is
a doubtless compensated endorsement for Salon
Premium, and an entry in The Onion AV Club's recent article
about the existence
of God. Maybe if enough people bug him, he'll be forced to start
producing the funny stuff again.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
12, 2002 at 13:30:06 (EDT)
In which, A has a party
The party last night was fun. A is
house-sitting in SoHo and had us all over to pretend we're wealthy
socialites. I didn't see any bodegas in the neighborhood, but there
were two gourmet food stores within two blocks of the place. Who
knows, it was raining, so I may have missed others.
So we ate lots of olives and tried not to drink the Campari, which
belonged to the rightful owners of the apartment. We were not successful.
It's weird, I dunno if I'd appreciate it if I really lived in an
apartment like that, but it seems the cool view out the window makes
up for a lot of the apartment's shortcomings. Maybe that's how people
in Manhattan can do it, they all live in tall buildings with something
cool out the window. My view is of my backyard and some other backyards.
That's okay, though, cuz I really like having the yard. But the
SoHo apartment was not enormous, and its design was not architecturally
stunning, either. It was most utilitarian. But it was cool, you
had that view, you were right on top of all the stuff happening
in the street (if it hadn't been raining, the street scenes would
have been livelier still). I think hanging out there finally made
me understand the allure of Manhattan livin'. I'm still totally
devoted to the Mother Borough, but I tell ya, when I win that Lotto
thing, I'm gettin' me a pad Downtown.
We left the party about 2:15, and went to the nearby
station at Canal. There we sat for nearly an hour waiting for a
train that Would Not Come. In that time, two
trains showed up, much to our disgust. And traveling on the uptown
track, there were 3
trains that passed through while we were there. What the hell is
trains in Manhattan? Something sinister was afoot, no doubt. Finally,
some guy, who also had been waiting forever, went to ask the guy
in the booth upstairs what was up. He returned and informed us all
that no A trains would be stopping there, that we had to go uptown
to West 4th to get a downtown train, which was running on the
line. Strange, since the
train was running on the
line at that point. We emitted a mass groan and headed upstairs.
B talked me into taking a cab home. I hate taking taxis to Brooklyn,
because a) you have to jump in the cab first so they can't refuse
you, and b) no cab driver in America knows where Clinton Hill is.
Most don't seem to know what Ft. Greene or Bed-Stuy is, either,
so you're sunk either way.
We awoke this morning to find water running down our wall and into
the bathroom below. I can't wait to find out how this happened.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
& Decatur's Photo Album
11, 2002 at 18:22:19 (EDT)
In Which, I Recall Why I Didn't Move to Chicago
is coming to town
again, and you should be as excited as I am. They are gonna remind
us new Yorkers what rock music is all about. It shouldn't be all
about aping your influences, it should be about building on them.
I was at Manitoba's
a couple weeks ago to se The
Means, a totally rockin' outfit from Columbus, OH by way of
Chicago. The band that played after them, Dementia
13, was a by-the-numbers 'garage' band and though they rocked
on "Looking at You" by the MC5, they basically amounted
to a pretty tight cover band. The lead singer even had that proto-mullet
hairstyle that has short bangs but grows down to the chin the rest
of the way around. Basically Joan
Jett's hairstyle in the 80's. Now there was a time when I would
have gone hog wild for a band like this, back when it was rare to
see anybody taking the 'History of Rock'n'Roll' approach to music
in the 90's. But nowadays, come on! Garage bands are everywhere,
(do they even have garages there?). Do not let it be said that I
think bands like the Woggles,
and, at times, even Dementia 13 don't rock, but when I see stuff
like that now I keep thinking, "Cool, but only if they could
use this expertise for something more original."
Shellac, of course, is a testament to this. They don't sound like
anything that came before ('cept maybe some Scratch
Acid/Jesus Lizard stuff), and they've positioned themselves
in such a way that their music grows and changes organically. Christ,
I sound like friggin' music
critic. I will stop. Suffice it to say that Shellac is my favorite
band, and glad am I that they are still together, allowing me to
actually see them live on occasion. When I was in high school, pretty
much as soon as I liked a band, they broke up: The Smiths, Husker
Division. How refreshing to see a band that doesn't break up.
My only concern is that I can never think of anything to ask them.
They always devote a large portion of their shows to answering audience
questions, which seems nice of them until you hear how they react
when they think of question is dumb. That's when it gets entertaining.
But I've never had a question that hasn't already been answered
somewhere else. I think I might ask Steve why he thinks he did so
bad when he appeared on "Wait,
Wait, Don't Tell Me." But I'd rather ask Bob or Todd a
question, cuz I think they get pissed when all the attention is
on Steve. And no wonder, people always seem to think it's all Steve
Albini's band, rather than Bob Weston's band, or Todd Trainer's
band. That sort of divisive thinking is what broke up bands like
10,000 Maniacs and Miami Sound Machine. Don't let it happen to Shellac!
Bands like Shellac were the sole reason I ever considered moving
to Chicago. Chicago has such a great music scene, I thought it must
be a cool place to live. But from what I hear, Shellac rarely plays
their home town. So right there is reason enough not to live there.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
Groups Shellac Message Board
11, 2002 at 14:35:06 (EDT)
Favorite Pastimes for Cats
- Sit on Something New
- Whining for Absolutely No Reason
- Pick Stocks Based on Where Hubcap Barfs
- How Long Will it Take to Get Stepped On?
- Window Screen-Hanging for Time and Height
- Laptop Touch-Typing
- Flying Insect Flamenco
- Play Fighting/Seriously Fighting
- How Far Can I Knock this Kibble?
- Litterbox Discus
- You Love Me, But
- Cockroach Hockey
- Nag the Humans
- Toilet Sippin'
- What's That Smell?
- I'm Only Biding My Time
- I Might Love You
- Tough with the Stray Cats When There's a Door Between Us
- I Hate You
- I Hate Everybody
- Rollin' in Filth!
- The Unstoppable Invisible Mouse
- Centipede Snacktime
- Bite + Do Not Let Go
- Bet I can Jump on That
Posted By Jimmy Legs
11, 2002 at 14:18:21 (EDT)
Why can't I find a straight answer why our government is rapidly turning
into a totalitarian state? They interviewed some schmoe who helped
grant Bush his 'special powers' and he said something like "Well,
we need to get the support of our allies on this Iraq thing, and this
will help." Bwha?
Posted By Jimmy Legs
10, 2002 at 22:53:01 (EDT)
Chef Boyardee rocks your lame ass
Whoa. I just checked out that Chef Boyardee site, and damn if I wasn't
dead on. It has an opening Flash intro that feature anthropomorphic
pasta pieces hanging out inside the can, cold chillin'. Then a scary
spectral figure opens the can and swallows them whole, with some derivative
thrash music playing.
This whole "It's not your father's Oldsmobile" thing needs a rest.
It's sooo played.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
10, 2002 at 22:41:50 (EDT)
In Which, I reveal my Million-Dollar Idea
B doesn't think this is a good idea, but joining the trend of companies
poking ironic fun at themselves (Old Navy, Preparation H), I realized
I was sitting on an advertising goldmine:
Why hasn't Chef
Boyardee bought the rights to Fear's
"Beef Baloney" and rewritten it as "Beefaroni"?
People who'd never heard the song would think it clever and right
in line with the sort of ampped-up "extreme" advertising
we've come to expect these days. And people who actually know the
song will think, "no shit, Beefaroni ... it IS cool!"
With a few skillful edits, I've managed to take what once was a
crude meditation on brutish sexual imagery and turn it into a powerfully
seductive ploy for a specialty macaroni and meat sauce dish. Compare
below and see if your mouth isn't watering:
Beef Baloney (By fear)
She don't like fashions, she don't like phonies
She don't like junkies, she don't like druggies
She just wants my beef baloney
Beef, beef beef, beef baloney
She don't like salami, she
don't want pastrami
She don't want a chicken, she don't want a roast
She just wants her double dose
Beef, beef, beef, beef baloney,
beef, beef, beef
BEEFARONI (Arr. by
She don't like fashions, she don't like phonies
She don't like junkies, she don't like druggies
She just wants my BEEFARONI
Beef, beef beef, beef BEEFARONI
She don't like salami, she
don't want pastrami
She don't want a chicken, she don't want a roast
She just wants her double dose OF BEEFARONI
Beef, beef, beef, BEEFARONI,
beef, beef, BEEFARONI
Posted By Jimmy Legs
10, 2002 at 18:32:37 (EDT)
In Which, House Votes to Give Bush Scary
Iraq War Powers
makes me think of the end of Tron,
when the MCP (Master Control Program) is bested by Tron and Jeff Bridges,
but before he shuts down, he gives all his computing gusto to Sark
("All my powers are now yours..."). Sark then goes from
a normal-sized program to an enormous behemoth with glowing eyes,
and proceeds to worry Tron before he gets his gizmo-laden head split
open. Sorry if I've just ruined a fine film for anyone out there.
Anyhow, that article makes me imagine Bush, standing astride the
White House, 50
feet tall, hands on hips and laughing ominously.
I just wish that sniper
in DC would get his priorities straight.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
from an old Shellac show in Iceland! Shellac plays NYC this weekend!
10, 2002 at 15:26:01 (EDT)
In which, I take it to the streets! Sort
I gave it a shot. I went up to City Hall for the meeting and I
couldn't get in. Bloomberg's smoking ban is more popular than 'NSYNC
right now. When I got off the train, I first realized I didn't even
know which building was the city
hall. I know the park, it's right around the corner from my
old office (now a vacant
lot on Vesey St.). But I couldn't figure out which building
was the place to be.
I wandered around and found that one of the buildings is called
the Tweed Courthouse. Imagine that! A courthouse named after one
of the most
famously corrupt administrations this city has ever seen. At
least I assume it's named after "Boss" Tweed. Anyhow,
I made my way down to what turned out to be the correct building,
only to find the gate barred and a bunch of people milling around
in front of said gate. I wondered if these were the people I'd read
about on NYC
CLASH's website, the opponents of the ban, fiesta souls who
refuse to let this or any government take away one more of a rapidly
depleting supply of liberty. I ran to embrace them.
But then I realized I was surrounded by people wearing stickers
that read something like "Employees for a Smoke-Free Workplace."
I recoiled in horror. Not only were these not the CLASH folks, they
were the people's whose lives would be 'saved' should the ban pass,
at my expense. I know, I know, I feel bad for these people who work,
apparently against their will, in places that allow smoking. But
I'm annoyed that this city has turned what once was an occupational
hazard into a huge political issue. Is the job market really so
bad that people who don't like it can't avoid working at smoking
establishments? Where are these people finding their jobs?! Everyone
I know (especially B) is dying to find a job at a bar. They long
for the sulfurous stench to linger on their hair and clothes for
hours, the Zen like filling and emptying of ashtrays, the trinkets
like Schlitz-branded ashtrays and Bar-Name Emblazoned Matchbooks.
Are my pals just lazy? Perhaps. But I am astonished to find so many
people forced to work an industry that does not correspond to their
Wait a minute. Neither does my industry. Why am I subjected to
annoying cubicle-mates and bad jokes when I 'm in the office? Why
must I join in singing off-key renditions of "The Happy Birthday
Song" to coworkers with whom I am barely on a first-name basis?
And why haven't I been given a raise in the last two years? All
of these things are crippling my health, I can assure you. Yet somehow,
the human spirit persists. Beckett
So, back to the crowd outside the gates. The security guard was
only letting people with green passes go in. I guess they were Press
People. I walked through the park and watched some asinine press
conference on the steps of city hall. People had posters that had
pithy, insightful and catchy slogans like "Secondhand Smoke
Kills." There was some poor college student dressed up as (I
guess) "Mr. Butts" from Doonesbury,
a walking cigarette, the satirical symbol of Big Tobacco. Actually,
this guy's costume was a little too wide to really resemble a cigarette;
this guy looked more like an enormous chocolate shake with a big
happy face. His poster said "I [Heart] Secondhand Smoke."
That doesn't even make sense.
I wandered over to the other side to see if they'd let me in there,
as there didn't seem to be a crowd of any sort there. But the security
guard on that side said the meeting was already too crowded, and
only people who were planning to speak out at the meeting would
be allowed in. I pondered this. If I stepped up to the mic I could
get in. For a moment I considered it. I thought I could milk some
mileage in the fact that I used to work in the substance abuse industry
(okay, I was an Admin. Asst. but I often came in contact with helpful
flyers about addiction). I could speak to the many persons I knew
through that agency who, although freed from the perils of alcoholism,
relied on the smaller vice of smoking to keep their frayed wits
about them. How in a world gone mad, we'd all do well to take a
step back and give a little room to our fellow humans. How the shared
heritage of smoking is pretty much the last thing we have to bridge
the gap between strangers ("Pardon me, got a light?").
To quote Eric
Bogosian, smoking has become "The Last Neighborhood in
But I said to hell with it and went to Century
Posted By JimmyLegs
10, 2002 at 10:49:39 (EDT)
In Which, I tell you what's Cool
So today is the City Council meeting to discuss the proposed smoking
ban. I can't decide if I should go. On the one hand, I'd like to
show my support for the pro-smoking side, but on the other, I don't
think it'll do any good. I've never been to a city council meeting,
though. It might be fun to see how it works. It might also be painfully
boring, too. I remember in high school I went to a Board of Education
meeting because they were threatening to cancel the music and arts
programs due to 'lack of funding'. A ton of people showed up and
it didn't do any good at all. People gave speeches and whatnot,
but the Board never appeared to listen to anybody. In the end, they
didn't stop anything, as a levy passed so everybody's taxes went
up which is, of course, fine.
Anyhow, this smoking thing is so annoying. The anti-smoking factions
have a millions perfectly valid reasons for being against tobacco.
But as B
puts it, "it's just not cool." That's really the only
argument we've got. But it's better than anything else we have.
If you don't know why it's important to allow smoking in bars (if
nowhere else), I won't be able to explain it to you. Chances are,
you've never been cool, and you will never know cool in your lifetime.
I know I'm not cool, But I have an inkling of What Cool Is, or more
correctly, What Cool Was. And you don't.
That's part of the reason this whole thing reminds me of the war-in-waiting.
In both instances, the proponents pitch the argument at a level
of such incredible simple-mindedness, it leaves the opponents with
their mouths hanging open. The idea that the smoking ban is to help
protect people who work in bars (how many people is that, really?)
is pitched at about the same level as Bush sneering, "We're
going to rid the world of Evil." Uh, wha? From the get-go,
any thinking person knew this latest international conflict wasn't
going to be as simple as Good Guys vs. Bad Guys, But that's how
the Bush Administration is proceeding. And I'm not really exaggerating.
Obviously, the notion of total world destruction is probably a little
more pressing than whether I can smoke when I go to Freddy's,
But I gotta take them in the order of which one affects me first.
So should I go to this City Council meeting? They say it could
drag on for hours, But since I'm working from home, nobody will
really notice my absence, I guess. It all just seems so pointless
now. I'm will to bet nobody on the Health Committee is Cool, and
we KNOW the Mayor ain't Cool. One thing about the UnCool is they
know how to get into positions of power. I'm afraid the closest
thing the Cool can claim and leadership achievement is the election
of Jesse Ventura, a dubious distinction at best. I think the act
of voting for Ventura was probably cooler than the fact of him actually
being in charge, But the point stands.
Ugh, I guess I'll go. I won't be able to live with myself if I
don't. This is pointless. Maybe I'll light up in the meeting room.
Posted By JimmyLegs
09, 2002 at 12:58:35 (EDT)
In which the privileged class stops pretending
to be humble
The Bush administration keeps getting more bullheaded
with each passing day. Now even the CIA's best efforts report that
Iraq isn't gonna attack the USA, unless provoked. Well, Bush intends
to do just this. Everybody's so snowed on this, I can't believe
Amnesia has us thinking that Iraq attacked us in the past, like
during the Gulf War. Uh, hello? Iraq invaded Kuwait. Last time I
checked, Kuwait was not the 51st state. It's just a place that has
oil and poor people. Bush Sr. sent in some guys in ugly desert-camoflague
to 'liberate' these people, and they were so grateful that two of
them shot some Marines the other day. Yes, you're welcome!
Saddam Hussein is probably not a nice guy. He's killed a lot of
people, But so has George
Bush. And if it could be proven that he is working up something
fierce the only right way to handle it is an international coalition.
And it has to be a majority situation. The idea of the US ever acting
alone is just about the worst thing I can imagine in terms of our
future standing with the rest of the world. But Bush doesn't care,
because he is so convinced he's right, and that "We're the
Good Guys," he won't even pretend to act like he cares what
the world thinks.
It will be historically embarrassing if George Bush, our most embarrassing
President since Ford, becomes some kind of World Dictator. And it
will prove in the extreme how super-rich, well-heeled children really
can do whatever they want and suffer absolutely no consequences.
People are always ready to give him another chance, cut him slack,
give him the benefit of the doubt. I've never seen anything like
it, except perhaps for the scene in Quiz
Show when the subcommittee that has just grilled Herbie Stempel
(a Jew) in a harsh way, shows peculiar deference to Charles Van
Doren (WASP), even though they both have taken in part in the then-shocking
quiz show rigging scams.
some polls related to Iraq are showing promise. The country seems
divided about whether or not we should go in and oust Hussein. The
most recent polls shows fewer people in favor of it, But statistically
it doesn't mean much. Yet. Another poll asks "Are we winning
the War on Terrorism, losing it, or is it a draw?" I think
that's hilarious. "Sorry, boys, we're calling it a draw. Everybody
go home." Awwww...
Posted By JimmyLegs
EPA report on secondhand smoke is false
09, 2002 at 11:48:26 (EDT)
In which, I find myself disgusted by things
I think Annoying Roommate got lucky last night. Ewwww. Sorry, it's
not fair But the idea of what went on in there is highly repellent
to me. When you get to know somebody well, it's difficult to imagine
not knowing them at the depth to which you are accustomed. And when
new people meet that person it's hard to imagine their ignorance.
We're looking at the same person, But the other guy doesn't know
how she can't take care of herself, how she whines about things
in hopes that somebody else will solve her problems, how she wants
to be a pitied creature, But accepts too much money from her parents
for that to work.
Most of the time I don't really mind her. But she's always a good
target for any displaced aggression I have at a given moment. It
doesn't do any harm; she is so oblivious, she steadfastly refuses
to notice that anybody dislikes her. Maybe that's the best way to
go through life. George Bush does a good job of this. Grr, I don't
want to think about politics! But I can't help it.
I keep conflating the Iraq thing with Bloomberg's smoking ban.
Both smack of government gone awry, spinning towards dictatorship.
The whims of the King define our daily lives. So There.
Posted By JimmyLegs
09, 2002 at 00:56:03 (EDT)
In Which, I get riled up But don't actually
Now for my first real post using my new blog script! I was gonna keep
doing this site the old fashioned way, editing the index page and
re-upping it any time I had new material. But since soon I will be
returning to my company's newly-relocated
offices, I figured I should come up with something I can access
without the boon of ftp access. At first I thought I'd go back to
which I had done for a while in the past. But that thing irks me.
As does LiveJournal,
the lot of we'll-do-it-for-you blog services. So I went to good ol'
Archive and downloaded the ancient guestbook script package (circa
1996). After tinkering around with it for the past 24 hours, I think
I finally got it where I wanted it. I know dick about CGI and Perl,
But after I messed with the code for a while it started to make sense.
I know if I don't look at the code for a week I will forget all I've
learned, But for now I gotta say CGI is a lot more forgiving than
So I enter the text in a web page, and it automatically writes
to the main blog page. I'll still have to archive manually, But
that's okay, as I don't plan to do it often.
Meanwhile, I am trapped upstairs as Annoying
Roommate is wooing a lad on her tiny ugly couch in the living
room, and I shan't desire to see that. Part of me wants to run down
there and tell her, "Get out! She's really, really irritating!"
But then the other part of me think, "Maybe they'll fall in
love and move in together, somewhere far, far away, so me and B
can have this joint all to ourselves and the cats. When Annoying
Roommate got dumped by her boyfriend, Emotionally-Unavailable Man,
she said she was moving out. That was 6 months ago. Alas. We have
many friends who have expressed a great desire to take her place,
But she won't budge. We even placed a bounty on her head, spreading
the word that anyone who can force her to leave can have the room.
But this resulted in a lot of references to that episode of the
Brady Bunch in which the kids tried to make the real estate agent
house was haunted. But nothing more was heard on this subject.
Posted By Jimmy Legs
09, 2002 at 00:01:13 (EDT)
In which, I test my new blog script
Since Earthlink can't handle personal freedoms, I think I'm gonna
host this blog from my old Frognet
account, which I have had since, um, 1995! Ah, those were the days.
Anyone remember Mosaic
(from whence Mozilla
gets his name)? They still make Mosaic, I guess, But they never updated
it to accept later forms of HTML. This is fascinating,
Posted By JimmyLegs
for this hacked blog script (thanks Stega)
October 8, 2002 3:18 PM
In Which, New Yorkers buy into the Propaganda without thinking
A rousing discussion on the Straphangers
Message Board. I just came up with this response which I feel
I must post here (mostly cuz it goes on so long):
okay, while secondhand smoke is not healthy, I think most people
think it is worse than it is, based on a big study performed by
the EPA several years ago. But I've read that many in the research
industry have decried its conclusions, namely because they released
them *before* the study was actually complete.
The World Health Organization later commenced its own study,
But its results were not touted highly, mainly because the WHO
was disappointed to find that SHS was shown to be far less harmful
than the EPA's study.
in fact, in tests at restaurants in which there was smoking going
on, the study found that the most harmful particulate matter in
the air was fumes off a steak sizzlin' on the grill! what are
we gonna do, boil our steaks?
smoke can be a nuisance. it can be harmful at high levels. why
hasn't the city ever bothered to adopt building codes related
to smoking (or are they present But not enforced?). if you're
in a bar with good ventillation, there should be no problem. if
you're at a place like the Alibi in Ft Greene, however, you're
going to walk into a cloud of smoke that's been hanging around
since the place opened.
bars have liquor licenses. Why not have smoking licenses? that
would quickly separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of which
bar owners would fork over the cash for the permit, and then the
city would make a little money from the deal.
they bend over backward to keep people drunk, But we're just
gonna ban all smoking because our mayor thinks it's 'stupid'?
whatever happened to republicans wanting to minimize government
interference in people's lives? wasn't that supposed to be their
one rdeeming quality?
October 8, 2002 11:03 AM
In Which, I rag on nonsmokers
Morality/health aside, if you frequent bars, you see a lot of smokers.
They may be a minority in the overall population of NYC, But just
looking at bar patronage, they are the majority. I've never seen
a bar peopled by more nonsmokers than smokers, except in dumbass
So why is every snooty nonsmoker jumping on the bandwagon
Total Smoking Ban? They're not at the bars now. The smoke's
keeping them out! I get so pissed off when I hear them grouse about
smoke, and express their admiration for Mikey and his plan to make
bars solely places of alcohol addiction. It is very easy to support
something that has nothing to do with you. Oh, I support the rights
of Afgan women to not have to walk around with bags on their heads,
But what the fuck do I really know about it? Were Americans surprised
to learn that when the US 'liberated' Afganistan, the Afgani women
didn't simultaneously drop their veils and hold a wet t-shirt contest?
So you nonsmokers will forgive me if I don't drop
my cig and start sucking on something else in appreciation of your
armchair efforts to save my life and my bartender's
life. And although I feel if this ban passes, it will undoubtedly
damage the city's persona and its already-shaky financials, some
people say it will bring out the folks who always avoided bars due
to the smoke. Well GOLLLLLY! I can' wait to meet these daredevils!
You remember that scene at the end of Casino?
When DeNiro is talking about how the casino ain't what they used
to be, and there's that frightening shot of blurry, chubby, sweatsuit-sportin',
moon-faced, corn-fed midewesterners approaching the casino floor
in a wondrous daze? That's how I picture the scene here, The Day
After. Oh, I can't wait!
Smoking does not make you cool.
Smoking does not make you uncool.
Smoking means you, for whatever reason, cannot work up the energy
to give a rat's ass about your health, or, to a much lesser extent,
the health of those around you. The city government wants to hold
you accountable for this action, even though Nature will ultimately
do a better job at it. Why can't the nonsmokers feel good about
that at least? Us smokers are all gonna die soon enough, just wait
Life will suck in New York if we can't smoke in bars.
Fuck restaurants, I don't care what they do in there. But bars and
smoking kind of go hand-in-hand, no? What will clubs like Smoke
do? "Welcome to Smoke, please note, there is no smoking ...
in Smoke." Or Circa
Tabac? They'll have to change their name to "Circa Corndog"
is people still expect to suck on something unhealthy inside. Maybe
they'll be tobacco speakeasies, But what I really fear is the rise
of indoor 'smoking cubicles' as seen at the Houston ariport: a 12
foot long plexiglass box packed with smokers, the tiny chamber filling
up almost opaque.
October 7, 2002 7:49 PM
That's More Like It
Just saw this chart on PollingReport.com:
Ya know, I think I felt that moment in July, when
our nation's satisfaction levels reached their nexus. Spooky.
I can't wait to see it after Bushy gives his little
October 7, 2002 7:40 PM
In Which, I get nervous about
There are a lot of stupid people in this town. You can't deny it.
You take one subway ride and you will see several acts of pure stupidity.
Some of these acts may committed by stupid persons who are close
to you. Maybe they are committed by you. But despite the mind-boggling
number of stupid persons in the city of New York, there are more
smart people here than pretty much anywhere else. That doesn't make
us immune to doing stupid things en masse (voting for Bloomberg),
But at least most of the time you can understand the logic that
went into such moves.
The rest of our great land, however, is people with really, really,
stupid folk. For definitive evidence to that end, please consult
It keeps track of national polls on hot topics, like Bush's
Approval Ratings, and whether we can handle both the
"war" on Terror as well as the "war" on Iraq,
should it come to that. In general, the polls lean squarely towards
the we'll-believe-anything-you-want-George crowd.
At least there is ample support
against Bush's bizarre "regime-change" tactics in
NYC. Hmm, what need is a regime-change in the USA.
October 7, 2002 5:34 PM
In Which, I ponder how technology
and the proliferation of old scams
this site to get a "Laptop for $25!" Didn't some East-European
country completely fall apart because like every single person in
the country was tied into a pyramid scheme? That's what the laptop
thing is, you have to buy their eBook, "Net Success".
I bet the long and the short of their expertise involves telling
you how to set up an ugly website and entice people with the promise
of fancy laptops if they buy the book.
I admit it, when I was a lad and low on cash, I fell for one of
those "Stuff envelopes and make Ca$h!" ads in the local
paper. First I send a SASE for more info. I receive a flimsy flyer
telling me lots about how great money is, But precious little about
the actual business. I
send them $15. Eventually I get one more envelope from them.
Inside is a white copy of the same flyer and badly typed letter
explaining that money is made in this program by photocopying said
flyer a million times, placing ads in newspapers around the country
and awaiting people to stupidly send you money, just like I had
done. This is the business equivalent of a virus, it doesn't
produce anything, it only consumes and destroys.
It's sad when things prey on the weak and the stupid. But then
again, whoever heard of preying on the smart and quick?
October 7, 2002 10:27 AM
In Which, I complain about my cushy job
Ah, Monday! Back to work, maintaining boring websites for
people who don't give a damn. This is my last week as a full-time
telecommuter. Alas. Next Tuesday I'll have to wake up early, get
cleaned up and head for the subway to work ... Downtown. I haven't
worked downtown for over a year. How strange. Since my building
got demolished on 9/11®,
I've been either working from home or traveling a hour to beautiful
Weehawken, New Jersey. If you've never been, oh you must go. Actually
my biggest fear this week is that I'll be forced to go back there
for some reason. Like to put my name on a stapler or something.
I have absolutely nothing in the office that I need, there's not
even a CPU for my use there anymore. I'm totally portable nowadays.
The boss says we'll still be able to work from home somewhat, But
we'll be expected to have a presence in the office. That's so stupid
it makes me retch. To begin with, our department is strictly computer-related.
We are all about websites and web-based applications. Short of the
occasional meeting (which could be done by conference call anyway),
there's no reason to go into the office. We're completely internal,
there's no 'clients' outside of the company to meet. But there's
always a stigma with telecommuters, that we're somehow slacking
off all the time. Surely, we get to work in raggedy clothes, and
I haven't taken a shower before 2pm in months, But I've actually
found I work more at home than I ever did at the office.
And this may be the pernicious thing about telecommuting: you're
always on call. I start working at 9 and at 5 ... well, who knows.
Sometimes I just can't justify stopping just because I would if
I was at the office. I've saved the commute and since it is, in
theory, so easy to stop, I often have trouble doing it. I can assure
you, once back in the office, my day ends at 5 (and maybe even earlier
Good stuff about going back to the office: several friends of mine
work in the Financial District, so we can get back to hanging out
at the John
Street Bar after work! Also, and this is the best part: Century
21! Yay! Okay, it's not the greatest store in the world, But
now and then they get cool stuff in and it's cheap cheap cheap.
They always seem to get those Steve Madden shoes in, $50 a pop.
Not bad, especially in a town like this that eats up shoes.
On September 11th, after I spent most of the morning trying to
get the hell out of downtown, my guilty little secret is that my
first concern was not so much about what was going on, But how it
would affect my access to Century 21. In the following days, some
thoughtful reporter did a piece on the damage to the store.
But now it's back,
though I haven't seen much there lately I like. It's always way
too crowded. That's why it's important to work nearby; you can dash
over at 10 AM on a Tuesday when nobody's there. But that's the downside
of my new office: it's in the World Financial Building.
How the hell am I gonna get over there? I guess if the
did me any good at all I'd be in luck. But now that the 1 train
is safely back in Manhattan, it does this Brooklyn boy no good.
I take the ,
probably to Broadway-Nassau, But maybe the Chambers St station would
October 6, 2002 6:50 PM
In Which, the merits of self-blogging are debated
I'm already over the hill in this web design business. I've been
struggling all day with this stupid page, just to get it to do some
very rudimentary things. Here's a fascinating tidbit: in Cascading
Style Sheets, later commands override earlier ones! Just imagine
your day's work being based around hundreds of such little factoids
and you have an approximation of my job. Of course actual web engineering
is one of the least aspects of my job, But being the one that the
fewest number of people understand, it's always the aspect they
expect to be done immediately. After all, transparency is our middle
I'm trying to decide if I should host this blog on blogger, like
I used to. It has many convenient aspects, But then again, why should
it matter? Am I so dumb I can't open up a web page and add and subtract?
Stega would never do that;
she uses a hacked guestbook CGI script to post her thoughts to her
site. I think she does LiveJournal, too, But it's secondary. The
point is, even people with only a tenuous grasp of the concepts
of HTML (c'est moi) can build and maintain their own pages.
the WWW really got going, everybody thought it was gonna be the
great leveler of society. Suddenly, any schmoe would be able to
create websites as good as any multinational corporation. There
something kinda Marxist about the whole thing. But then the AdMen
got at it, and now companies even try to sell
half-wits free software! And it has the rest of us thinking
that the big companies know something we don't know.
they don't. They can hire the best & brightest, and lord knows,
they've hired people a lot more knowledgeable than I, But they really
don't have anything over on us. Case in point: the RIAA has been
flooding P2P networks with spoofs,
mp3s that are in some way compromised so people will throw up their
hands and cry, "An imperfect mp3??! Well, I never! I'll never
download another piece of music again. Not even if my niece in Cleveland
wants to send me a recording of her harp recital! If she does, I'll
turn her in!"
a pretty dumbass way of handling things. I wonder how much cash
the RIAA is blowing on trying to stop P2P, when they could make
a world of difference simply by lowering their prices. If CDs were
less than $10 a pop, I'd buy em all the time.
getting off-message here. Bottom line is, I think I'll keep doing
this myself. At least until that, too, is against the law.
October 6, 2002 3:19 PM
In Which, I embrace the 'Fold-Or-Die'
I rode the Folds Up! bike rider yesterday for the first time. It's
an event sponsored by Times Up!,
an enviro group that attempts to make this a less toxic city. Well,
good luck with all that.
The ride was fun, though I was concerned about my ability to keep
up with the herd. My bike is an ancient
all-steel Raleigh, while nearly everyone else had newish, high-tech
models. I think they took things slow for the benefit of us
less athletically-inclined types.
The ride itself went all through downtown, over the Manhattan and
Brooklyn bridges, and ended at the Hub Station, a bike station on
the west side. My favorite part of the day was yelling en masse
at any car that honked or came close to knocking on the bikes at
the Hub Station. At some point some big tour bus with Florida plates
tried to turn down the tiny street where the Hub Station keeps its
pedibikes, a logistical impossibility. All the bikeheads starting
yelling "What are you nuts!" and "Don't even try
it." To which the driver responded with, "Hey, fuck you
asshole," and flipped us the Bird. You never saw people so
happy, they were so happy to be engaged about the subject of where
motorized vehicles belong.
The whole experience was like taking one particular set of opinions
I have about something (irritation with cars, love of tiny-wheeled
bicycles, sweating), and have those values suddenly embodied in
thirty people who feel the exact same way about it. This happens
all the time, But it's the particular unlikeness of this view that
I find remarkable. After riding my little bike around for a year,
I still don't know anybody else who rides folding bikes, and even
my full-size bike-riding pals don't seem to get it about what makes
these things so cool. I think they think I'm just nuts.
Anyhow, I talked to the only other guy who had an old
Raleigh there, it was actually a model that's smaller than mine,
and older. He was cool, But a total gearhead. I only got about half
of what he was talking about in terms of bike parts. A Brompton
(Rolls-Royce of the folding bike set) owner said he had talked to
this guy a few weeks ago at Central Park, But the gearhead had no
memory of it. I commented, "Well, he probably remembers the
bike, if not the owner." I got a laugh But I think I offended
the guy, even though I spent most of the day gushing about his bike.
Truly, if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
I just wish somebody's rip off the design and sell it for $100.
Then I'd get one.
I was riding high on a crest of self-esteem when I left the Hub
Station, so I rode my bike home. I had come up on the subway, which
was a painful experience. It may be a folder, But damn, it weighs
a ton, and even when folded it's pretty unruly. I think it might
actually take up more space when folded than when not. This is why
new folders are so superior, they really have amazing folding technology.
The Brompton excels at this. My Raleigh Twenty basically folds in
half, and then you're done. I did find a way to wheel it around
on it's back wheel But this started to really beg the question of
why I own a folder in the first place. At any rate, I decided it
would be easier to just ride back to Brooklyn rather than hump it
on the train.
The ride home was kinda rough. I think I tapped out on energy long
before I left the Hub. So it was rough going (especially on the
bridge, which is really the only place you find such grade), because
I was so tired. But I ended up getting home pretty quickly and then
I turned around and went again (sans bike). Today I'm feeling a
little worn, But not so bad.