Saturday, March 15, 2003 at 19:51:09 (EST)

Getting drunk at the bodega, plus a parrot
The Means show was cool, if a bit early for swaggery, screamy punk rock. I should have probably started drinking earlier. The Giraffes were hilarious, but I'm not sure if I can qualify that. M, A, and I ended up heading for the ol' Sardine Can again, stopping off at a bodega first. A wanted a sandwich, but the deli looked a little thing (a couple of blocks of cheese, one block of ham, some oranges). The little Latino guys working didn't seem receptive to the idea of making a sandwich. In fact, they acted like nobody had ever asked for one before. We were a little tipsy at this point, but I recall A waving around a loaf of Italian bread, demanding his sandwich be made using it. One of the guys acquiesced, and started making the first ham & cheese of his life. We talked to this other guy, who kept quizzing us on where we were from originally. "You are midwesterns?" he asked repeatedly. A said he was from Baltimore, which the guy seemed to think was near Boston. He was very pleased to find M and I were from Ohio. I need to work on my Brooklyn accent. At some point, A demanded we all dance, and I think we did for a second. Whew! Anyhow, we had a lotta fun with these goofballs, and they gave A free Snapple, and every body got free queso! If only the Out Run video game worked, it would have been perfect.

At the Sardine Can, we kept drinking and got all self-involved about how great our band is. We went back to M's place to listen to old recordings we'd made. Once we confirmed that we are indeed the greatest band ever, A fell asleep on the couch while M and tried to determine how Dean Wareham gets away with the music he writes.

Today has been all about going to hardware stores. I went to three looking for various stuff to improve our lives. I recommend the True Value on Metropolitan; they have an African Grey Parrot that babbles and makes wolf whistle sounds when you pass by. M and I went to the drum shop, which yielded dubious results. The guy there is nice, but sometimes I think he doesn't know anything about drums at all. I bought a bunch of tension rods to add bottom heads to all the drums, but I haven't even tried putting them on yet as I made bloody marys for B and I and promptly passed out. I think tonight I'm just gonna hang out at the Alibi, as there are no shows that strike my fancy. But Sunday, it's Oneida, again at Luxx.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Friday, March 14, 2003 at 12:18:22 (EST)

This Means You
Last night it was The International, tonight it's back to Luxx to see The Means. They're supposed to play at 9, which is way to early, but it's better than nothing. Also playing is something called Triple Hex and The Giraffes, who I think I've heard of before.Should be fun, but it looks like everybody has to clear out of there by 11 or we'll get stuck with another cover charge ($10) to endure some DJ antics. That's outrageous! 3 bands costs $7 tonight; you mean to tell me it's worth another $3 to have some guy spin records over actual, live performers? I just don't get it.

Which reminds me, at the show the other night, the DJ played songs in between bands (really the only appropriate time for DJs). She played "Maneater" by Hall & Oates, and that "Axel F" song from Beverly Hills Cop. It was really weird to hear this stuff; they're not really songs that get associated with that whole 80's nostalgia kick. It's not like "99 Red Balloons" or "Mickey". Hall & Oates, although very much associated with the 80's, doesn't seem to get played with kitschy appeal these days. To hear that stuff now is oddly disconcerting. These were songs I didn't particularly like in their first incarnation, and time has not been kind, either. I think they call playing songs like this "Cheezcore".

Anyhow, the show should be cool tonight, but I still gotta find something to do Saturday. If I'm lucky, the Means will get another gig, but if not, I'll just have to pick a bar. We've got 16 days left to smoke'n'drink. Use them wisely and irresponsibly.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

MP3: The Means - What Went Wrong
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Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 17:18:14 (EST)

So many amateur documentarians
Below is a link to some pictures from Luxx last night. I love how quickly this stuff gets disseminated. There's only one photo of Stipplicon, but M and I must have been standing right behind whoever took the picture. Oh, maybe it was the guy with the camcorder. Sheesh, every where you go these days there's a million people taking pictures. Someday someone will hold an event of some kind and there will be more people with cameras than regular attendees. Actually, Mardi Gras may already have hit critical mass this year.

Posted By Jimmy Legs
Photos of last night's show at Luxx
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Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 12:56:20 (EST)

Well, we were all doomed anyway ...
It looks like nobody has been doing their homework on the smoking ban, so I'm gonna start posting what I know, because dammit, I got the facts (mostly from that bar class I took). Let's start with violations. What will be the cost to the bar if somebody gets caught smoking after March 30?
  • First Offense: $200-400 fine
  • Second Offense: $500-1000 fine
  • Third Offense: $1000-2000 fine, and the establishment may be subject to closure

Okay, but there are definitions that must be covered to make this make sense. The second and third offenses have to happen within 12 months of the first offense; otherwise they start over at first offense again. And after the third offense, I don't think the closure is any kind of permanent thing, just a temporary closure so the bar learns its lesson.

And despite the apparent loophole allowing smoking to continue at cigar bars, this does not in fact mean that any old joint can start selling stogies and become exempt. Because the city doesn't want this to happen, any place that wanted to do this had to have its paperwork in place by the end of last year. No new cigar bars can be opened.

Meanwhile, although Grand Central should be exempt because it is state property, two assholes are trying to get it banned there as well.

Still can't find any actual owner-operated bars yet. There must be some, but I fear they're all in Queens or something.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 11:59:40 (EST)

Doin' what I can
Anyhow, my recent bar activity has been in support of my idea to go out to bars every night until the smoking ban kicks in. I call it the "Smoke 'Em if You Got 'Em Initiative" (not really, but I always wanted to do something important enough to have a name). I really don't know what my temperament will be once the ban is in effect, I don't know if I'll wanna hang out in bars in the same way. I'm vaguely considering a one-man boycott (hey, I have an economic effect on the industry), but that will just hurt the bars. If sales plummet after the ban, there could be ground for a repeal, but it could also just cause other problems, like bars jacking up prices, or worse, "Malternatives" (like Smirnoff Ice) will take over. On the other hand, the ban might be a great boon to somebody. I can't tell you how many times I've heard nonsmokers say how they can't wait to go to bars they used to avoid because of smoke. Maybe the bars will fill to the brim with these oversensitive joykillers, and bar owners will reap the healthy benefits of rotting livers without annoying smoke in the air. What a lovely world that will be!

Posted By Jimmy Legs
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Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 11:56:52 (EST)

Fun, fun, fun, until Bloomy takes our cigs away
I'd like to fill this entry with witticisms, but my head hurts, so I'll just recount the last couple days. My dad was in town on Tuesday, as he is nearly every other week these days. Usually I go up to see him in Times Square where he usually stays, but considering that I had already been there far too much lately, I had him come down to the Mother Borough. Since he is forever buying me dinner, I made food this time, taking my cue from B's luncheon she served to her parents last Friday. I wanted to make this stuffed tuna steak recipe I found, but guess what? They don't have tuna steaks at the C-Town (soon to become a Pioneer store, whatever that is). They did, however, have salmon fillets, so I got some of those and quickly reorganized my menu plan. So I made the salmon with a mango salsa recipe I make form time to time. It just so happened I had a couple bottles of wine lying around, so with that and the ginger green beans and garlic smashed potatoes, we had a pretty swanky dinner, if I do say so myself. Too bad B wasn't there to partake, as she was teaching miles away in Flatbush. We met up with her at the illustrious Freddy's Bar, a weird thing to do, since seeing my dad sitting there (right down the line from a couple members of Stupid!), under the TV with those messed up video things they play. B got Dad all excited with he questions about the health care industry, resulting in a paternal monologue not unlike those form my youth, in which he starts explaining something but keeps going on for so long I start to zone out. I believe I may have inherited this unfortunate tendency.

Yesterday I got the drum hoops I ordered, as well as the Quattro. M came over for band practice and we ended up spending most of the evening drinking whiskey and trying to get the damn thing to work. Eventually we realized something with the drivers was screwy, so all of our wrangling with different audio applications was pointless. I'm waiting to hear back from the support people, but I'll probably keep fooling around with it until I break something.

Then we went to Luxx to see Stipplicon. They were having some kind of Anti-Folk revue, with Kimya Dawson and Adam Green. When we got there some band with no name was playing. I should probably know who Steve, the lead singer, is, but I don't. They sounded like T.Rex, but without the fancy outfits, which was a little off-putting. Stipplicon turned out another cool show, although the sound at Luxx leaves something to be desired. Did Stipplicon get a new bass player? I didn't recognize the fella [Okay I just checked their site, and I finally put it together: that guy Steve had been the bass player but is not now for some reason. It's all coming together]. We stayed for a bit of Kimya Dawson's set, but that folk-cum-novelty acoustic stuff is strangely depressing. Plus people started sitting on the floor, something I cannot advise in a place like Luxx. Why do people do that? Is it some Freudian desire to return to infantile "story time" age? Maybe it's part of the Anti-Folk mystique, but I doubt it. If you go see a band, you gotta stand. I don't like concerts in halls with theater seats, it feels way too passive. I suppose it's tolerable if all the musicians are sitting too, but I'd rather stand up. Of course, when smoking is banned, I'll probably just collapse in the corner.

We ended up, as always, at the Sardine Can, whose behavior gets increasingly worrisome every time we go there. They're no longer serving food during the week, only on the weekends. Of course, I almost never get food there, so I guess I'm part of the problem. Wait a minute, the very last time I was there I ordered a big appetizer plate, but I believe that was on a Friday. Alas. It's a nice little joint, I'd hate to see it go down, at least before M has a chance to move to some other neighborhood.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 10:13:40 (EST)

Confidential to Hubcap
Okay, okay, here's a visual representation of the room from your perspective:

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 12:20:40 (EST)

Uh Oh
In the article linked below (which is mostly about this lame pro-war song by some nu-country singer), it says that in a recent survey 46% of American polled believe that that September 11th hijackers were Iraqi. Holy shit, the Bush disinformation campaign is working. Hey dipshits, NONE of the hijackers were from Iraq. Where were they from? Take your pick: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and UAE. As long as people let the White House be their main news source, the lunkheads will rule.

Posted By Jimmy Legs
Salon: Dumbass country song thinks Iraq=bin Laden
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Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 11:25:14 (EST)

Room rearranging, with extremely highly detailed illustration
In other news, B and I rearranged our bedroom furniture. We moved the dresser out into the antechamber outside the room, swapping it with the bookcase that was there before. We put the bookcase on top of the mantle, which my dad thinks will topple off and kill us, but there's just no other good place for it.

Here's what it looked like before (from a file I created before we moved in to determine where to put everything:


Obviously, I had a lot of time to kill in the office during the days I through this thing together. I'm happy to report that everything you see is pretty much drawn to scale, because I spent hours measuring every single thing we own while we were in the process of moving. It's some kind of Freudian thing, I'm sure.

The big zebra-striped thing is the bed, the red thing is the futon. The green and gray boxes on the left are our desks (the thing between them is the fireplace / mantle). The dresser is the brown box at the top.

The new configuration looks like this:

In retrospect, it doesn't look that different, but I assure you it's much more spacious now. The bottom of the picture is where the doors are, which lead to a 10'x5' room, basically a landing to the stairs. The bedroom is pretty big, but since I spend like 23 hours a day in it, I'm very concerned with its habitability. With bed where it is now, we're getting a lot more light through the windows, plus it is now possible to exit from either side of the bed, which was something that always annoyed me about having the bed against the wall.


Now we might actually have enough room to get a reading chair! And a rustic floorlamp! One with a little tray to put my whiskey on!

Over the weekend we wandered around Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel, looking at enormous furniture for rich people. Who has enough space for one of those huge overstuffed easy chairs? We could not only not afford one, nor have the space inside for it, but we couldn't even get it through the front door. In 1899, when this house was built, people and their furniture were smaller. Maybe we can find some sort of Ikea assembly-required chair.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 11:08:54 (EST)

A little filler
I hate it when blogs I read regularly don't update, yet I don't seem o have a problem with letting this blog go dormant for days at a time. Alas, Mondays are rough for blogging, Tuesdays aren't much better.

We got through the parents' visit without arguing about Bush's War. I think B's folks were purposefully holding back. I'm glad we didn't fight, but just knowing how they feel about it is disconcerting. They took us to a SoHo cafe called Balthazar that was reminiscent of bistros in Paris. I wanna hang out at places like that more often. First I need a raise.

Speaking of places to hang out, word on the street has it that Grand Central will still allow smoking, thanks to its status as a state-owned entity. Penn Station (guh) may also be exempt, but that's only to be considered in an emergency. I'm trying to figure out what is the exact status of Port Authority Bus Terminal. The Port Authority is a bizarre agency/company. It is a private company but it appears they answer to the state (both NY and NJ), not Bloomberg and his City Council (hey, that's a good name for our band, "Michael Bloomberg & the City Council").

Hope springs eternal when you're trying to publicly inhale carcinogenic fumes.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Week of March 9-15, 2003

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