Saturday, April 19, 2003 at 01:46:08 (EDT)

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping
Instead of doing something cultural tonight, I sat here trying to finagle something that would automatically ping when my site gets updated. I am forcing myself to stop now because I have been at this for four hours and I think I just saw one of the Care Bears. So instead, I'm gonna start doing it manually, with the help of this handy bookmarklet generator. I'd also like to call a moratorium on the whole naming convention of adding "-let" to web-related words.

Posted By Jimmy Legs
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Friday, April 18, 2003 at 12:24:21 (EDT)

Ain't nuthin' but a G thang ... eventually
Last night, M and I checked out Spider. Quite a departure for Mr. Cronenberg, no drippy-organic-parasitic evolutionary things, shuddering and pulsating along while the humans wrestle with their ids. Yes, quite different than that. I'm starting to think David Cronenberg is one of the most interesting directors around, Crash notwithstanding. After the movie we spent a few tense moments at the Kings' Head Tavern, my first time really spent in a newly-nonsmoking bar. Smelled better than Freddy's, but it's gonna take me a long time to get used to not smoking at bars. Despite the cold, several people braved it outside (not to mention across the street at Beauty Bar). The management thoughtfully provided a metal bucket of sand.

Then the real fun part of the evening commenced. We headed for the L train and M noticed I was missing my bag. We went back to the bar, but it was not there. We managed to catch some kid back at the theater who let me in to find my bag sitting on a seat in the third row. Oh, joy. Glad to know nobody got my lousy cell phone and my copy of Invisible Man. We caught an train almost immediately; M headed home and I went to wait for the .

It sometimes seems like a joke when you wait a long time for the train. This was no joke. Three trains and one utility transport came through, heading to Queens while I waited to get back to Classon Ave. The MTA guys, apparently with prior information, knew the train would be a while, so they were down on the tracks, scooping up garbage. My hat's off to those guys, that is not glamorous work. I was amazed how close they came to touching the dreaded third rail, one guy even hopping on top of the safety rail that covers it. Now, either I've been misled about how fatal the third rail is, or these guys are just that good to avoid treading on it.

These and other thoughts crossed my mind while I waited. I read my book for a while, but standing still for so long was making me freeze. I had to wander around to keep warm. After a certain length of time, waiting for a train can have an intoxicating effect. You can't stare down a tunnel looking for headlights that aren't there for too long before psychosis starts to set in. Currently, the only other thing of visual interest at the Metropolitan stop is the Rust Wall. That's the space on the wall below a rusty grate through which water from the gutter sluices through. The water carries the rust over the once-white tiles, and voila! Modern art. Last night I saw somebody had roughly scraped the rust of the centers of most of the tiles, giving it a weird, purposeful look. I wish I had my camera, but B borrowed it to record her Girls Gone Mild Rhode Trip. It is of some comfort to think that there is probably no rush, since it doesn't look like anybody will be cleaning it up anytime soon.

Relief swept over me when a train finally showed up. However, not only did it NOT stop, the operator kept honking the extremely loud horn as it went through the station. Why do they do this? Do they think people are gonna fling themselves at the train if they don't make these ear-shattering noises? That's not safety; that's natural selection.

The train eventually came, I guess. My memories are vague. I got home about an hour after getting off the train. While Williamsburg is about 10 minutes away on my bike, by subway it's an hour. I can't believe I had been getting sentimental about the . I must be out of my mind.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 12:29:51 (EDT)

Now I'm nothing but a G thang
Google has deemed me irrelevant. I was just self-googling (something one is wont to do when alone in the house), and realized my site no longer shows up. Older entries from the days this blog was hosted by Frognet still get listed, but anything from the site had been removed. This is terrible. What will I do if I can't check my stats and see that people are coming to my site on the basis of search strings like "masturbating with female coworkers supplies," as some cubicle-Lothario recently submitted? All that comes up is the old Frognet stuff, stuff that I've been trying to remove from the web for some time. To get Google to ignore pages, you have to put a meta tag into the code telling search engines to ignore a page or even a whole site. I did this with my old site,, so the splash page would stop showing up. But it looks like Google went ahead and decided to remove all the pages it found connected to it; hence I no longer exist.

There are good things and bad things about my new nonexistence. I could dish about all the people I hate and know that, unless they already know about this site, they'll never see it. On the other hand, an old high school buddy or rich dying relative could be trying to find me, and would only find information about the exuberant kite-surfer who shares my name (then again I don't use my real name on this site, but I still feel it could be divined by a motivated Googler). I'm not sure if I have to pay taxes now anymore, since Google says I don't exist. I may also be able to sneak into the girls' locker room without being detected. I can most certainly quit my day job, since not existing means not having to put up with tedium. Not existing has already added heaps of insight into my reading of Invisible Man. Also, and I'll have to look into this, I may be immortal now, since if I don't exist, how can I die? This is sounding better all the time!

But alas, there is one thing that existence can get me that nonexistence can't: attention. I need a steady stream of attention throughout the day, and when I don't exist this drops to intolerable levels. So the meta tag is removed, and now I must await Google's robots to return and count me among the existent. I just hope it doesn't happen while I'm in the locker room.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

HotBot still lists me at least. What is going on?
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Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 00:42:30 (EDT)

I Like You (A Lot): not just a Ralph Carney song
So let's see, B is out of town, and my bachelor livin' has amounted to running around the backyard and throwing rocks at cats. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstance, Decatur got outside while we were having band practice. This shouldn't be a big deal, she's been outside before, but I always get overly-concerned when this happens. This means I wander around the backyard (which is not that big), peering into the darkness and forlornly calling the cat's name. Meanwhile, Freddie shows up, once again proving how prompt and loyal a stray cat can be. This other cat also shows up, this big male who has been terrorizing the cat population of the neighborhood recently. I'm pretty sure he's the bastard who bit Hubcap and caused hundreds of dollars in vet bills. I also think he's been eating the food I leave out for Freddie, an occupational hazard when feeding outdoor cats, but it still pisses me off. The worst thing is, unlike every other cat in the world, this one refuses to be frightened by humans. When confronted, he slowly walks away, and sits just out of reach.

So while I'm out searching for my lost little kitty, I have to continually scare this big mean cat from the premises. The only way to do this is to throw rocks at it. I don't actually hit him, of course, not that I could if I had wanted to (I have a genetic sports deficiency that makes me throw like a girl; a weak, weak girl). Decatur is still nowhere to be found. I go back inside for a while, long enough to hear bloodcurdling cat-screams outside. The big mean cat is fighting with Freddie. Like a dope I run out again and match wits with the cagey feline, who sits on a log and stares at me condescendingly. I keep going outside for the next hour until, magically, I enter the back porch and find Decatur sitting there, eating Freddie's chow. She could have been hiding under my bike the whole time for all I know.

I'm a wild bachelor man, I tell you. I feel a little better about this because my friend A in Ohio called me the other day to declare that he too was a bachelor for the week, since his wife and kids are visiting her parents. "I fell asleep in front of the TV at 10PM last night," he said. I hear that!

Further distressing news for me: Friday night, at the lovely club Tonic, Ralph Carney is again performing. He's the guy who does horn arrangements for Tom Waits, but he's also a fine, weird musician in his own right. Plus he's from Akron! I've seen him before, and it remains, to date, one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. I'm looking forward to this show, especially because I have just been reminded that this guy exists. At M's birthday party, I met Jeffrey, a performer with the bizarre-music outfit Butz. His band's music reminded me in description of some of the stuff Carney does, so I am all rarin' to see him again.

Here's the problem: B will be in bucolic Providence on Friday, nowhere near Tonic, M will be in picturesque Maine, A will be working his night job in Williamsburg, J is in Ohio, his wife M is already seeing a friend perform at Up Over. This pretty much exhausts my supply of folks who might be interested in this type of music. There's an outside chance that the Butz guy might want to go to the show, but barring that, I may have to go ... alone.

I can't even go to the movies by myself. B can do this, but the only movie I have ever seen alone was Happiness, which upon reflection, was a good thing. I don't like going to social functions without a buffer zone of at least one person I know. I've never been gregarious enough, and what little gregariosity I had has dwindled since college. So if anybody out there is planning on going to this, drop me a line, and I can attend will less trepidation. My one condition: don't beat me up. Unless I really, really deserve it.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

MP3: Ralph Carney - March of the Puppets!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 10:57:34 (EDT)

On the day B went away
B is packing up to go on her Spring Break trip. A bus to Connecticut, a car trip to Providence. How exciting. Almost makes me wish I was going along. Ah, Providence! Home to Spalding Gray ... birthplace of ... hmmm ... site of beautiful ... well ...

To each his own, if they wanna go to Rhode Island, let 'em go. What it means for me is I've got the entire State of New York all to myself! Woo hoo! I'm goin' to Ithaca!

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 at 15:10:13 (EDT)

Stuck on a line
I'm sitting here with the phone stuck to the side of my head, enduring an especially excruciating conference call meeting. The sad thing is that this should be stuff that I want to be a part of, the corporate intranet site is upgrading to a fancier content management application. This could mean great things for my work, making things simpler and easier to integrate, etc. But the problem is this thing isn't currently meant for the site I maintain. My site is the forlorn stepchild of the company, the last vestige of old-fashioned, manually-built web pages. Every other thing on the web related to my company is handled through an automated management system. My site is managed by me, copying files from one window to another. And this isn't gonna change any time soon.

So my being on this call serves only to irritate me. I already knew that the company-at-large had a system I wasn't privy to, but now I am hearing all the amazing features and timesaving devices that will make their site the most fabulous piece of work in the world of internal websites. My boss has me on this call because he says we might join up with them eventually. Yes, we might. Whoop dee doo.

I don't even know why I don't just put the phone down altogether. In fact, I will. Ah, much better. They emailed me a Powerpoint presentation about the new system; that's all I really need. But now I feel like it'd be rude to hang up in the middle of the meeting, as the conference function makes this little beeping noise when somebody disconnects, so nobody can get away clean. Devious.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Monday, April 14, 2003 at 14:40:03 (EDT)

Too many birthdays ... too many pills
Sorry to the 4Front folks, I will make it to your next affair. Instead I spent the evening in Bushwick in a loft full of weird theater tech people. There may have been a few actors there, but mostly this was a crowd of lighting techs and stage managers. And one aspiring jazz musician. I have attended parties with 'theater people' in the past, and had always assumed it was the actors that made those gatherings tense with their attention-seeking personalities. Apparently this syndrome rubs off on the backstage crew, too. This is not to say it wasn't fun; to be sure, a good time was had by all. I was just more acutely aware of how difficult it is for a guy like me to strike up conversations with strangers when they all know each other and seem perfectly happy to just talk amongst themselves. M realized at some point that if we just stood in the kitchen, eventually the people would glom onto us. This worked and we were talking to a bunch of people, and then the second crisis hit me: I was the oldest person there. It wasn't like I was the lone adult in a room full of Pratt students (like I often feel at the Alibi on Mondays), these people were older, but I was even older. Eventually some other friend-of-a-friend name Jake showed up and apropos of nothing offered that he was 31. Hooray! What an old fogey!

M and I bought a small bottle of Bushmills and managed to drink it all ourselves before everybody even showed up. This served as a wonderful prerequisite for the next night, which was M's birthday party at the Sardine Can. I thought I'd be safe since they only serve beer, wine and sake, and are supposed to close by 1AM. Alas, I drank just enough Brooklyn Lager to think that "taking a walk round the corner" sounded like a good idea. I know I am a terrible lightweight, but I had no idea what I was in for. By the time we got back the only thing I could do was mumble, "I am incapacitated" to anyone who dared speak to me. And speak they did! People wouldn't leave me alone. When I'm that screwed up, it's hard enough for me to remember to breathe, let alone converse in any coherent manner. I didn't wanna be rude, but people's concern for my well-being translated at the time into sheer horror.

Things reached their nadir when some guy named Chris tried to help me out by getting me some water. He then proceeded to jaw at me for a while; I can't even remember what he was babbling about. At this point, A leaned over the table and with a wry grin said to the guy, "I don't know what it is, but right now I have this visceral desire to tear you to pieces." Chris was understandably confused and angered, as was I. What the hell was A doing? Was he joking? Trying to pick a fight? Later he said he "just wanted to see how he'd react to that." I coulda told him how he'd react: he got pissed off. Chris started getting really mad, spewing a lot of even more bizarre nonsense about how many gay friends he has, and how he was gonna "tear [A] to shreds." Lucky for me, Chris' car service had just arrived, so he was escorted away, still fuming. The next day A called and thankfully apologized, but the whole incident still makes my mind reel. It turns out that some of my friends are, if not mean, then at least insane when they're drunk.

I should point out that the guys at the Sardine Can were great; they kept the place open until we were all too wasted to stay any longer. The DJ even played some Laddio Bolocko off M's new CD, courtesy of B.

Eventually I sobered up enough and went home, listening to the guys debate why exactly they did not in fact end up taking home two ladies from the party. Even in my messed up state, I knew why, but alas, I could not articulate. Next time I'll have to be more careful about leaving my colleagues bereft of my superior advice.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Week of April 13-19, 2003

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