Saturday, November 23, 2002 at 16:18:05 (EST)

In which I get caught in an uncompromising position
When something goes wrong with a computer, my first impulse is to reformat the hard drive. Sure, it's a pain but it's the only way to know you're starting from square one. This is what I want to do to B's computer. I spent most of the day trying to get Blubster to work on her machine, to no avail. At first, it worked, but then WinAmp wouldn't work. Then I fixed the sound card issue, and then Blubster stopped working. Now she's using Kazaa, which works well, but is not as satisfying as the completely decentralized network of Blubster. Call me old fashioned, but Blubster's interface is almost exactly like the old Napster, which I miss dearly. So I have high hopes for this Portugal-based app.

I think tonight we're hanging out with A and his friend Anders. Also present will be A's friend Anna, who I have met only once before. As the story goes, I was getting roaringly drunk before going to this guy's birthday party, so I was feeling socially limber. When I met Anna, I felt a little bad for her, as she was a stranger in a room full of grad students. So I spoke with her, and realized she possessed an acerbic wit. Soon we were throwing down insults like we old school chums. It was great fun, I think; I was quite drunk at this point. According to reports, I was ignoring B, who felt, possibly for the first time in her life, stirrings of jealousy. That the whole thing was all in good fun, and completely on the level did not occur to B, and she responded in the only way she knew how: she lay face-down on the floor (she too was ripsnortin' drunk at this point). Then she left. I'm not sure if I even knew she was gone, so engrossed was I in playing the dozens against Anna. I wish I could remember at least one thing that was said between us, but whatever it was, it was wholly engrossing. I believe the conversation was constantly ending, each of us trying to get the last word. I assume she got the last word. I can't remember. She did ask me to go out to brunch with A and her the next day. I think I agreed. I do remember vaguely that she threw me down on a bed before I left, but I still maintain the whole thing was very very innocent.

I stumbled home in the freezing cold with M, who I barely knew at the time. We went back to my place, and B was nowhere to be found. Other folks showed up, but B was still not present. I'm not sure if I was in any condition to go out looking for her, so I probably wasn't. Eventually she showed up and everything was okay again. The next day I had a very bad hangover, so I could not make the brunch appointment with A and Anna as I had promised I would.

That was like two years ago now. She's back in town because she won some kind of photography contest, and the prize was, apparently, a weekend in a shitty Manhattan hotel. What an honor.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

Friday, November 22, 2002 at 11:48:47 (EST)

In which I get back to my <Root>
Despite my hectic work schedule, I still find time to do some maintenance on this site. I just installed another aging CGI script that will report basic info about you creeps who may read this blog. I'm really just trying to differentiate the hits I get from me looking at the site and everybody else. So far my data indicates that I am responsible for 84% of the traffic to the site. I figured as much. I gotta find a way to drive more traffic here. I am not at all sure why, but every website wants to get 'sticky eyeballs', right? Unfortunately, as you may have noticed this site, while being generally classified under '' is really stored on my old Frognet account, an ISP based in Athens, Ohio. This ISP was started by some friends of mine, so I've kept the account ever since I opened it early in 1996. For a long time I completely ignored it, just letting my old band's page sit there like an Internet Ghost Town. I lived in the Big City, had a fat cable modem connection, what could I want from a tiny ISP in Appalachia? Well, as it turns out, big-ass ISPs like Earthlink severely restrict users' ability to do anything scriptwise on their servers. They don't let you run customs scripts, and think they make up for this by offering a couple in-house scripts, freely available to anybody on the system. Oh, that's swell, thanks a lot for the lame Guestbook. I guess it's a security issue, but it's mostly a vote of no-confidence for the people whole shell out to subscribe. So when I started in with this blog idea, I needed to find a place to put it that would allow me to run my specially-hacked scripts to get the blog action to happen. Turns out almost no free web service allows it, and the few that do allow upload-only through a web interface, as opposed to good old-fashioned FTP.

This brought me back to Frognet. They allow all manner of scripts to run, and even had a bunch of actually helpful tutorials on their site to do it. I guess it figures that despite all the evolution of the Internet in the Public Eye over the past few years, it's only the indie ISPs who deliver the goods. As the Web gets dumber, more and more people will settle for less, will take what they're given, and increasingly, let others do their work for them. We're getting to be a nation of proxies, and it sucks even if it's not surprising.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

Wednesday, November 20, 2002 at 23:41:44 (EST)

Hang the DJ
I never got around to discussing the show we saw last Friday. I went to see Stipplicon with M and B at this new place called Pianos. Anyhow, the place is packed, even though it has two floors. Some shmoe was trying to keep us from going up to the second floor, but as there was no indication as to why, we barreled on up anyway. Turns out, the guy was trying to protect us form the lame DJ and lame artsy types who were hovering up there. This whole DJ thing is out of hand (but more on that later).

We went back down to the lower bar. B didn't want to go into the 3rd room, which contained the bands, just yet, so we got some overpriced drinks served in joyless plastic cups. It was then that I realized that unless the faux hipsters all came over the bridge that night to the LES, then people were all wrong about the Williamsburg Stigma. The folks hanging around this joint were super-neohipsters, drinking their Budweiser, mussing their hair. I dunno what's worse, somebody who self-consciously dresses 'down' and then drinks $5 Buds or somebody who does and drinks a Cosmopolitan. Ah, fuck em all.

Anyhow, the night wore on and I eventually went into to see the bands. Dopo Yume was playing at the time. The performance space was also packed, mostly with lithe young women, all bopping around and singing along like somebody was playing the "Grease" soundtrack. Dopo Yume seems to be an okay band, except for two unforgivable things: 1) a keyboard player with 3 enormous boards who plays only incidental bleeps and brrrrrap sounds, and 2) the prettyboy lead singer who uses his guitar like a prop. Everything else was okay by me. The drummer was good and the one real guitar player played through an enormous Orange amp, the kind Matt Talbott used to play when Hum was still around. At their best they really sounded like a New Wave band, but M dismissed them as Strokes wannabees. I didn't want to believe until I came across this article in which the lead guy talks about how sexy he and his ilk are. Bleah.

After the New Wave Strokes left the stage, they immediately piled all their gear right in front of M and I, on the left side of the stage. For the remainder of our time there, they never returned for it. I used the Orange Amp to rest my drink on. Take that! Okay, so while we're waiting for Stipplicon to set up, I notice something. The room, one full, is now almost completely empty. There's M, me, and like ten other people standing around. M later posited that we were the only ones in attendance who were not close, personal friends of the band. What's up with that? Say what you will, Stipplicon is a band with its act together. But in this town over 8 million, only 10 wanted to see them play? I can't believe it. Maybe the advertising was bad, or maybe people just don't like Pianos. I can understand that I guess. The sound was kind of lousy for both bands we saw, not enough bass. But Stipplicon played a bitchin' set. They rocked much harder than the last time I saw them, when they seemed more like a T. Rex influenced group. This time they seemed more like a we-don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think group. It was a nice tonic to the preening shit going on in the previous band. I hate to think that Rock Star worship is getting popular again, disguised as a love of raw rock music.

So the set rocked, but then alas, it was over. Jack from Stipplicon started talking to M because he thought he was in one of the other bands. I guess Jack assumed that nobody who didn't know him would show up for this thing. We thanked him for the set, and even before we were out of the room, yet another lame DJ had set up on stage and was spinning some stupid song. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy music. But this DJ thing in this town is out of control. Everywhere you turn, there's some joker with a turntable playing some stupid techno crap. And the people eat it up. I follow the listings on the NY Happenings Group, but fully 75% of the listings are like this:

TUESDAY: DJ Replicant and DJ Deejay will be on the second floor of LoungeyTime Bar, busting out the greatest hits of Bread and Murphy's Law. It's gonna be a sweet night of retro tunage and lots of people sitting around not dancing because only two clubs in the city still have Cabaret licenses! Come out and pay $20 to do what you could do more enjoyably by yourself at home! You won't want to miss this show! I am completely serious about this.

I just don't get it. How is that better than going to a bar you like, with a jukebox you like, and selecting song you'd like to hear? I've yet to witness one of these DJ's actually do something that would earn an audience's attention. Whatever happened to cutting records, or even scratching? What happened to 'soundscapes' and doing something with music that most people would never expect? The best example of this I can think of is that episode of the Sopranos when they mixed "The Peter Gunn Theme" with "Every Breath You Take." Now that was an inventive use of music. But these guys aren't doing anything special, and we need to put a stop to it. Only DJ's who actually do something should be allowed to perform. If you are setting up in a small space full of big, comfy chairs and no dance space, pack up and play bar mitzvahs.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

Now THIS is a good idea!

Wednesday, November 20, 2002 at 12:34:00 (EST)

In which I awake
The alarm clock situation in my house has got to change. Today I woke up at 9:20 AM. I am supposed to begin my job at 9:00 AM. Of course, these days I can wake up at 8:59 to get to my job on time (across the room at my laptop). The problem is our bed is against the wall, so somebody has to sleep 'on the inside', placing the clock-radio too far away to have any control. For some reason, despite the fact that even with my at-home schedule, I often find myself on the far side of the bed, as B has already claimed the highly sought-after outer bed edge, which allows one quick access to the clock, the lights, and the floor. For me to get out of bed, I have to throw myself over the bottom posters of the bed and into the futon. This is hard to do when you're drunk or comatose. So the alarm goes off in the morning, usually the radio set to 93.9FM. Then B rolls over and sleepily turns it off. She can do this without being consciously aware of it. I awake leisurely to the sound of birds chirping and neighbors fighting ... hours later.

Again, this all sort of doesn't matter, since nobody will notice if I'm a little late for work. Lord knows I was late plenty of times when I was stuck with that whole 'bricks & mortar' office thing. But I always wanted to be a Morning Person, to get up with the dawn and accomplish stuff. I think I got the spirit of this from my dad, who always got up before 7, and usually much earlier. Unfortunately, I have more of the physiology of my mother, who sleeps in whenever possible.

What I need (note gift-giving idea!) is a combination clock radio and coffee maker, one that will brew some joe and have it ready right when the alarm goes off. And it has to be kept out of reach of my somnambulistic girlfriend.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

This one is close, but I want NPR in the morning.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 at 15:37:51 (EST)

In which I go nowhere
Hey, I'm still at home! I was on my into the office when my coworker D called and saved the day. This new stuff I recently took on has not been working from my home connection, only in the office. This is boring but crucial to my happiness: something wonky in my DNS settings was not allowing my computer to connect to the necessary servers through the VPN. It works in the office, but not here. I don't know why, but D took it upon himself to walk me through a bunch of stuff until we got it working on my laptop. Turns out I needed some specific WINS settings to get it to comply. Thing is, the only reason we figured it out was because D hangs out with the networking guys in the office. We don't have anybody in particular who is supposed to know this kind of thing for our department. I know my boss doesn't know this stuff. Lord knows how his computer got set up properly.

Now I will never have to go back there, except to update my password and deliver stuff to people. Still, I do like to go in the office sometimes. Maybe I'll still go in occasionally. I should check in advance to see when J or A will be working so I can meet up with them downtown. Otherwise, my journey to total hermit will be complete.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 at 10:38:58 (EST)

In which I speak
I have fallen silent of late as I am weathering an illness that has rendered me mute, or at least kind of annoying to listen to. I was hoping to sound like Tom Waits but so far I sound more like Peter on the episode when his voice changes (ah, Gen-X!). I'm not sure why this has affected my ability to blog, but I am sure it's related somehow.

In related news, you ever blow your nose, and while it's going, it sound great, like you're really accomplishing something. But then you look at the kleenex, it's like nothing happened? There's no evidence that anything nasal transpired, and you're back to square one. I hate that. The only upside is if somebody overhears you at work. Then you have the satisfaction that somebody thinks you honked out a big one. And that person will stay away from you. I am beginning to understand Howard Hughes better every day.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

The Crazy, Insane, Insane, Crazy World of Howard Hughes



Week of November 17-23, 2002

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