Saturday, June 28, 2003 at 13:07:27 (EDT)

She's leaving home
So Decatur escaped last night again and stayed out all night. I was in the backyard this morning, calling after her. She was nowhere in evidence. Then I heard a mewling from above. Inside the second story window in the boarded up house next door, Decatur was peering out. I had been vaguely aware that cats could get inside that house through a hole into the basement, but I had no idea they could get all the way upstairs. I feared for a second that Decatur wouldn't know how to get back out, but apparently she was just showing off, as she appeared out of the basement level a moment later. I think she thinks she has her own house now.

Posted By Jimmy Legs
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Friday, June 27, 2003 at 09:45:12 (EDT)

When I do business, I do it in Japan
Tonight we finally get to see at Pianos. Hmm, I hope I haven't built this up in my mind too much. Well, according to every woman I know who is familiar with the band, no matter their performance, I shall apparently forgive everything when Kid Millions takes his shirt off. We'll see about that.

The show starts early, at 8 PM, so bear that in mind if you're thinking of going. Pianos, which I have railed about a lot recently it seems, shoves up to three separate shows in their performance space on the weekends, so your timing must be flawless, else you end up standing around drinking $8 (!) Powers on the rocks. Also playing is Company and The Cunts (who are impossible to look up on the Internet without getting a barrage of porn links).

Today it's downright chilly! Only 93! And Saturday is supposed to be even cooler. Fine with me.


Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, June 26, 2003 at 11:00:43 (EDT)

I'm an ordinary guy

M and his big fat cat moved in last week, so we're having a housewarming party for both of them (although I'm not sure how much Mr. Bones will enjoy it). We are currently experiencing some Do the Right Thing level heat right now, but perhaps by Saturday evening the heat will subside a bit. The forecast has cleared up and rain is no longer scheduled for Saturday, so the only precipitation to worry about will be the hail of mulberries. If I missed you on the invite list, come on over, things officially get started at 9 (read: 11). If you don't know where we live, just find the house above. I'm pretty sure there's only one like in all of Brooklyn, so it shouldn't be hard to find. Or you can read this.

On the mulberry front, things are grim. If you recall the previous picture of my back porch roof, the mulberries are falling in earnest. Here's what it looks like this fine, hot morning:

This picture was taken during the 5 minutes of the day in which the sun actually shines on the back yard, so it's a bit overexposed. But I think it's clear that something is accumulating out there. You will also note the recent acquisition of an open-sided tent thing (the green thing on the left). This will protect guests to a certain extent, but once outside of its shelter, you'll be on your own.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, June 26, 2003 at 10:22:12 (EDT)

Take off your shoes if you're going to dance on me
The RIAA, completely bankrupt of any creative problem-solving ideas, is going to seek out and sue people who have "substantial" collections of mp3s shared on peer-to-peer networks. That's just great. They won't say how big one's collection must be to merit attention, but methinks it won't matter. A couple of cursory searches revealing collections of even just a few songs can possibly result in litigation. They claim that once sued, a user may be fined up to $150,000 per song.

I was listening to this on NPR, as usual. Somebody asked the RIAA guy if they were gonna go after people who copy CDs and give them to their friends. He said that since that sort of thing has been going on since the first cassette recorders were produced in the 70's, they wouldn't be bothering. In fact, his major problem with P2P file sharing is the lack of 'friction.' It's easy to do it, and even more damaging to our capitalist society, after the initial investment in a computer, it doesn't require further purchases. At least CD-burning pirates have to go out and buy blank media, just like mix-tape connoisseurs must buy tapes. It's not much, but somehow that seems to be given a free ticket by the RIAA. Between them and Orrin Hatch threatening to blow up any computer with illegal music on it, I think we can pretty much put that whole 'freedom' notion to rest. We're done!

What real authority does the RIAA have? Will they be able to prosecute non-Americans? And if not, will Americans be able to send their files to Tierra del Fuego for safekeeping until this blows over? What pisses me off is that mp3 files that I have ripped myself from CDs I bought will get me into just as much trouble as the ones I gleaned elsewhere. Because the new focus is no longer the applications themselves (since a court ruled that the programs are not in violation), and not what you download, but rather what you make available to other people. Not that they have to download your songs; the crime occurs that you make them available. So what kind of ass-backwards thinking is that? The RIAA has steadfastly refused to enter the 21st century, hypocritically admitting that they don't prosecute CD-copying because it's been happening for a long time, but aggressively pursuing the online crowd, because it's just too damn easy to get music.

Too easy? Sounds like Sore Loser Syndrome. Flagging music sales couldn't possibly be the recording industry's fault, right? It must be the millions of teenagers who trade copies of Britney Spears swearing backstage at one of her shows. Yes, that's it.

Obviously, the RIAA should get with the program and release their own P2P app. Because they're so concerned with things being too easy, they could use Hungarian for its base language. And when a song is finished downloading, a mechanical hand could pop out and slap the user on the wrist.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Wednesday, June 25, 2003 at 09:25:43 (EDT)

Let me stand next to your fire
So why does this city hate us so? It rains on us nonstop and is dreary. It melts us with extreme heat. Is there no in between? I still feel we are owed a few days of mid-70 degree weather that should have been here in May. But there's no negotiating with the city on this point. It just keeps doling out extreme responses, as if Don Rickles had transmogrified into a geographic manifestation.

The space formerly known as the World Trade Center is like a desert. I walk through it, down Vesey Street, and there is no place to hide from the sun. Maybe because it was shrouded by all those buildings for so long, the ground below grew sensitive to light and heat, so now that they're gone the heat seems especially intense, all-consuming. Or perhaps it's just this friggin' hot everywhere in town I hate having to walk through that corridor between the WTC proper and my old building (7 WTC), but there is literally no other way to get to my building that doesn't take forever. So when I have to go into the office (like today), I have to pass by the site, where they are busily building some other monstrosity to prove how unfazed we all are.

What I'm saying, people, is that dammit, I shouldn't ever have to go into the office. It bums me out. Wouldn't you rather see pictures of fat cats and mulberry trees? Which reminds me, M weighed Mr. Bones this morning: he's 21 pounds, give or take. For comparison's sake, Hubcap was weighed a couple months ago and he was 12 pounds. No wonder he hasn't tried to start a fight.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 at 17:12:36 (EDT)

Take this job and suffer, suffer
I've been trying to avoid shopping at Century 21, but when I must suffer the indignity of having to actually enter an office building to work, my resolve is shattered. After all, it's right there, and I don't really need to rush home and finish my work. 45 minutes later I was somewhat poorer and had purchased 2 shirts, 3 pairs of pants, and a pair of shoes. I am gonna be so stylin' when I waltz into that dentist's office.

I know, I know. "But Jimmy," you exclaim, "Didn't you just write a song which was to serve as your big kiss-off to your indentured servitude to that store?" Well, yes. But I am feeling a little more empowered these days, feeling like I am no longer helplessly swept along the tide of What People Want Me to Do, and I probably never was, really. I feel like I can handle a trip to Century 21 now without it taking over my life.

Plus Daffy's really sucked last time I went in there, so what choice do I have? I cannot abide those trendy boutique stores, the ones with like three things for sale, stark lighting, and seventeen store clerks circling you like vultures. There must be some happy medium. Oh, I've got it.

I could swear I heard on NPR this morning that somebody did a study of it and confirmed that hating your job can be bad for your health. Hell, I didn't need no doctor tell me that! What I don't know is whether they cemented the link between hating your job and the health of your boss. That's where my attention is.

And finally, some other doctors with nothing else to do think they've discovered the source of ... jimmy legs. Yes, apparently yours truly is caused by a brain malfunction in which the gray matter doesn't process iron efficiently. Kinda takes the magic out of it, doesn't it?

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 at 10:21:04 (EDT)

Singin' the blues while the lady cats cry

Whoops, I forgot to update yesterday. Sorry, I was distracted, by my job or something important. Let's say it was my job.

Now for your viewing pleasure (and dial-up frustration), it's time for further documentation of my transition from Normal Man to Totally Insane Cat Man:

A cat in every window

Mr. Bones (left) finds the fan fascinating but ignores Hubcap


Hubcap follows the scent of newly-arrived Mr. Bones but still can't decide if he's a cat or a polar bear


And Pinky annoys everybody by ripping through the screen and dashing through the house several times before her mode of entry is discovered (note duct tape)

Freddie is in the background, while Pinky contemplates other methods of infiltration
The delicate ballet of feline social interaction
And finally, we had to go to the blimp to get this shot

     Posted By Jimmy Legs
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Sunday, June 22, 2003 at 23:48:48 (EDT)

Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em that I got no cerebellum
Jami's photos of the party are up. I wish I could say I was the guy in the leisure suit, but I am the doofus in the army jacket who looks like Barney Fife. When frightened, my chin sometimes retreats into my neck. Just call me Neck Face.

Plus an amusing account of her bizarre trip to PA. They take their culture hard in Bethlehem. With lots of jalapeno poppers. Mmmm, that's good lit'rature!

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Sunday, June 22, 2003 at 13:45:27 (EDT)

The roof, the roof, the roof is ... not structurally sound
I needn't have worried about how to dress for the party, as I barely took my jacket off the whole night. I could have been wearing a fluorescent jumpsuit, but everything looks the same under a big army jacket. But what a time it was. My big paranoia about going to parties in which I know almost no one is the fear that everybody there will only want to talk to people they know, about stuff they've been doing that has nothing to do with this odd stranger in the corner who keeps trying to insinuate himself into the conversation. I am happy to report this was not at all the case last night (well, there was some college nostalgia-bonding stuff happening, but that's to be expected). We spent most of the time on the roof (which was not, in fact, on fire), because the rain had mercifully ceased, and because the apartment itself was stuffed with people dancing in their cotillion dresses, whose body heat was mounting, making it difficult to stay inside (see my earlier comments about why I don't like bars like Pianos). Catherine's building is right next to the Surface Hotel, whose construction is steeped in such anticipation I find it hard to believe that I never heard of it before. Well, I live in Brooklyn.

I met many cool folks, though I can remember few names. I made one new web-related acquaintance, Jesse, whose many sites puts my two identically-designed sites to shame. I guess he actually likes web design. I should find something to like. As usual, Ohio was well-represented, and I even met a guy who appeared to be dressed as a Chippendale's dancer (or maybe he just got off work?) who hailed from Concord, the suburb-within-a-suburb of my hometown of Mentor. I tried to get a woman from Euclid as angry as me over the closing of the Euclid Tavern (which is not actually in Euclid, but still), but the last time she was in Ohio she was ten years old and probably not well-versed in bar culture.

I brought a bottle of Bushmills that I meant to share with the party. Honest, I did. But it ended up on the roof with me, and people seemed to genuinely fear it, so for most of the night I was its only fan. As the hours passed, people seemed to, um, warm up to it. By the end of the night I awarded the bottle to some guy who proclaimed himself to be the oldest person at the party. There wasn't much whiskey left at all, actually. I hope I didn't drink that much of it.

Despite my misgivings about smoking in apartment hallways, that's where I spent the remainder of the night, puffing away and complimenting the guy who actually wore a leisure suit. Jami just bought a cellphone that takes pictures, and for some reason there were a bunch of those disposable cameras floating around, so photography abounded in the little hallway. We stayed far too late, but despite Jami's denunciation of the subway, I got home in record time.

Now I'm nicely hungover (recall I'm a glutton for punishment) and the mulberries are hitting the metal gutter outside and ringing through my head like that friggin' Mister Softee song. But I am glad; I do not envy Jami, who had to give a reading in Pennsylvania today at noon. Ouch.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Week of June 22-28, 2003

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