Friday, October 22, 2004 at 09:04:45 (EDT)

Vote for me and I'll set you free

Anybody else check out Electoral Vote Predictor obsessively? I know I shouldn't pay so much attention to something that is basically a glorified fortune cookie, but when you see the election laid out like it already happened it commands some attention. Today, however, it's displaying predicted results that could probably work on any day leading up to the election: a tie. I am pleased to see my hometown Ohio leaning towards Kerry now, but I know that can and probably will change in the next day or so. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to become President, so neither guy is making the grade at all.

So whatever happened to all the talk about changing up the political system after the last election? Are ballots clearer and safer than last time around? Has anybody been working on finding out if the electoral college is even worth it anymore? I feel a little bad about not keeping up with that stuff, but isn't that the big problem with Americans? We get mad about stuff for a while, but ultimately we just want somebody else to take care of things and tell us everything is gonna be all right.

Speaking of which, I sure hope my boss tells me I don't have to come into the office next week.

Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink

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Thursday, October 21, 2004 at 13:34:20 (EDT)

I cannot stand the way you tease
The blogger reading was again no disappointment in the quality department. This time around everybody's stories were uniformly excellent, and everybody read like they were all pros. I guess some of them are. Todd Levin does a lot of stand-up, as well as hosting his own reading series, the oft-hilarious How to Kick People (there's a performance next Wednesday). His story was about an ex-girlfriend who fully met all the necessary criteria to be considered truly a 'psycho.' Damn that shit was funny.

Child prodigy Ned Vizzini appears to be moving into Spalding Gray territory, as his was less story and more monologue performance. Ostensibly about his boss (who seemed less psychotic and more weary of the high school students he had to hire to bag dirt), his tale jumped around to involve character studies of his colleagues, dramatic interpretation of 'Eurotrash,' and a musical finale that threatened to steal the thunder from my own musical offering, as it too was a song about a boss.

Alizinha's story was about a guy who misrepresented himself on the personals, but the lengths to which he went to lie was both astounding and disturbing. Michael DogPoet probably had the most serious story (although it was really funny too), also concerning a romance that flowered online but ended up staying online because the guy was a nutjob who seemed to have no intention of ever actually meeting anybody in real life. How do these people reach the decision to reinvent themselves on the basis on some huge lie that can't possibly be sustained? And what did these people do before the Internet?

Michael Barrish read a story about office politics and undomesticated animals that may or may not exist that must be seen (or read) to be believed. That story is like New Yorker-ready. The story points out that often in situations in which you think your boss is nuts, the insanity can drift over to your side of the fence, and next thing you know you're as psycho as the object of your anger. His story also gave me some good tips on sublimating my hostility towards my boss by messing up little things on his computer when he's not looking.

And of course here's me performing my song. Actually I don't have any pictures because I was onstage at the time. But I do have a video of the performance, which I will post once I've had some time to convert it. I think the song came off well, but I was a little leery of its content, since it was more a "my boss pisses me off" song than a "my boss is crazy" song. But by that time it had been a long night, so nobody seemed particularly critical. I am most pleased that nobody pointed out how similar my song was to "Tainted Love," which Sylvia had noted earlier.

Afterwards we went to Open Air, which I can only recommend because it was 2-for-1 night and the bartender, to cut down on the nonsense, was just giving everybody two drinks at a time. This made the inflated-even-for-Manhattan drink prices tolerable. I took the opportunity to babble endlessly about Blogging-as-Concept, something I can never usually get away with in mixed company. Strangely enough, most of my friends aren't really interested in talking about blogs. It's like they're a dirty little secret to be left at the office. I guess I'm starting understand that a little.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 15:47:37 (EDT)

I've got a time bomb in my mind, mom
So I neglected to tell you that on Friday there was a bomb threat phoned in to somebody in my building. They didn't exactly empty out the building, but lots of people skedaddled, probably less out of fear and more out of the desire to flee their boring jobs for a little while. The company just distributed a memo reiterating the security policy (although there is still no way to protect against having people call up your office with phony bomb scares).

One of the things the memo reminds us:

  • Do not admit anyone into your office area or floor unless they have proper identification.

This is significant because

a) I was in the building on Friday and

b) I didn't really have proper identification

Although I have had an official ID card since I began working for the organization, its functionality expires every year. To reactivate it, my boss need only fax a brief memo to the ID Department asking for it to be reinstated and for how long. It would take only a moment. But for some reason it has always been like pulling teeth to get him to comply (maybe he's trying to tell me something). So when I started coming in the office again, every day began with a trip to the Visitor's Desk to get a Visitor's Pass even though I have a legitimate ID card. For a temporary card it's pretty elaborate: a photo ID and they even punch a hole in it and give you one of those shoelace things to put around your neck.

The downsides of the Visitor's Pass are many. I have to go through the metal detector (and invariably get the 'wand' because my belt sets off the bell). And even when I get past that obstacle, once I get to a given floor, I can't get in. The doors outside the elevators are locked and can only be opened with an official ID card. So I have to either call somebody inside the office to come get me, or wait for somebody to enter or exit. I've never been refused entry in this latter manner, even though company policy strictly forbids it. But if I had to depend on that policy I'd never get anywhere around here. I do wonder if some of the people who let me in on Friday didn't have a blanching moment when they heard about the bomb threat, thinking for a second that maybe they let a terrorist into the building.

Expect even more fascinating commentary like this tonight at my performance.

Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 08:50:41 (EDT)

Let's run it up the flagpole
Pictures from our ridiculous show at Freddy's the other night.

TONIGHT: See Jimmy Legs in person, performing a song about his annoying boss at the WYSIWYG Talent Show! It's at PS122, starting at 7:30 PM. Cost is $7 but I'm sure it's well worth it. Oh yes. Here's hoping I can remember all the words to the song!

This working in the office thing blows, folks. I don't have time to do anything. Plus the cats are lonely. On the upside, there's always coffee at the office and the network responds much more quickly than over the VPN. But I'm running out of "work clothes" (shirts that aren't frayed and disintegrating). Actually I probably have some stored away somewhere, but I'd need to wash them first. And I don't have any time to do laundry because I'm in the office all day!

I know I'm not getting any sympathy from you people, but I gotta say now that I've tasted your lifestyle, I admire your ability to do this all the time, but I gotta get out! The only thing that gets me through is the knowledge that in a matter of days I'll have my hard token and I'll be back to my jet-setting world. You know, sitting in my bedroom, talking to the cats.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 01:17:16 (EDT)

Back from the grave

This Snack truck made going into the office almost tolerable.

Here are photos of some of the bands I saw during CMJ.

Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink

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Monday, October 18, 2004 at 17:33:35 (EDT)

I don't wanna talk about it

CMj has come and gone and I'm tired and I think it's a lotta baloney. As intimated in last week's posts, my job has been entering the seventh level of Office Drone Hell, taking an especially sadistic turn over the weekend. So for the forseeable future I'll be back working in the goddamn office. Expect a lot of really sarcastic posts in the coming days.

Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink

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Week of October 17-23, 2004

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