Friday, February 18, 2005 at 14:26:27 (EST)

You can make it if you try
From the happy-planning department:

Prospect Heights' monthly competitive novelty adult spelling bee will be held in the Backroom of Freddy’s bar, 6th Ave. and Dean St. in Brooklyn, on Wednesday, February 23 at 8 p.m. sharp.

( . . . and on the last Wednesday of every month!)

One dollar to enter and the winner takes the pot.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to shine like the brightest star in the sky!

For more information, please contact bee curator Josh Reynolds
at (917) 5360091 or via email at joshr71@yahoo.com.

Visit www.freddysbackroom.com for directions.


Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink

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Friday, February 18, 2005 at 11:41:44 (EST)

We are the robots
I spoke with my boss today about why I have never been hired on permanently. I am still officially a contractor after 4.5 years (almost to the day!) with no change change in title or wage despite the varied work I have done for the fine organization that pays my staffing service its huge fee every week to employ me. Recently there was an issue that arose that pointedly begged the question why I was never considered for direct employment, so I took the opportunity to bring it up to the boss. His response: a) if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and b) I'm headed for obsolescence.

First he said the reason he never thought to hire me on was because I did my work and nobody complained about it. My subsection of the department could work without any intervention of the bosses, I handled most problems myself and dealt with clients as needed. My boss's attention was never piqued because he never paid any attention to what I was doing. Hey, that's fine by me, it's not like he would have had anything valuable to add, he's mostly a paper-pusher.

Secondly, for some reason he has lately been looking for ways to justify his own existence and has turned to my work. The only thing worse than a negligent boss is a negligent boss who suddenly takes an interest in his employees' work. He's been shaking up the stuff I do, trying to decentralize everything (Dilbert's Rules for Impressive-Looking Management states: "Centralize everything that is decentralize, and decentralize everything that is centralized, this will make you look like you're a take-charge guy"). In short, I am being replaced by robots. In this case the robots are actually just computers but it's the same idea.

It appears that my only hope is to be hired directly by one of the departments that have no interest in maintaining their own websites. This is a pretty good possibility, but it means even less variety in my already dry routine. Worse, it may mean having to actually go into the office, a prospect that spooks me to no end. And of course, there goes any sympathy you might have had for me.

I probably only have until the end of the summer before I'm either reassigned or fired altogether. Hmmm, I guess it's a good thing I didn't buy a house way out of my price range already. Maybe it's time I just become a full-time rock'n'roller. Can I crash on your couch for a few weeks?

Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink

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Thursday, February 17, 2005 at 15:28:13 (EST)

How you suffered for your sanity
Sometimes even I get overwhelmed with the activity level in this town. I mean, have you noticed how even the most casual of recreational activities must be scheduled and orchestrated like it was knee surgery? Well, not everything, but I'm certainly on the phone a lot more these days than when I lived in that sleepy little college town in Athens, Ohio. Of course, in Athens my life consisted of three major components: Day Job, Band Practice, and Gettin' Drunk at the Bar.

I've still got all those going here, but I'm also juggling stuff like learning the sax, printing record jackets, dealing with cats, getting dental crowns installed, visiting large works of public art, and participating in karaoke. The latter I did last night, and what a balm it is for the overcrowded calendar, one I do not hesitate to recommend to anyone who can make it out to Freddy's once a month for their primitive song-and-dance. Some people have told me they don't want to go because you have to perform in front of anybody who shows up, there's no little windowless rooms in which to prance about. But the crowd here is already so small and without the slightest pretense, it quickly feels like you're among friends. Or at least among people who could not possibly give a damn whether or not you can sing "Que Sera Sera" in tune.

Another perceived problem is the lack of teleprompting which requires co-host Tony to point at you when he thinks you're supposed to start singing, which works most of the time. But it all adds to the casual atmosphere. But it would be nice to get some more people out next time, if our schedules allow it. Already I can see my interest turning to countless emails and phone calls, trying to get people to turn out for the event, which while no doubt fun, would require a lot of stress just to get to the point where we could have fun. It's too bad, but I guess it's a fact of life in this city.

But if it's any incentive, I won a box of candy last night. Yes, you could win a prize if you show up to this thing! Need I say more?

Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 14:40:28 (EST)

Suffering was the only thing that made me feel I was alive
"Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's God-given right."
-The Mayor in Ghostbusters II

The above line is not only the sole worthwhile moment of the sequel to Ghostbusters, but also a lovely sentiment I silently intone whenever I feel put-upon by the stresses of urban life. Or stresses of any life, although I guess stress tends to come in baker's dozens in this town. I was leafing through a New York magazine while waiting to get my crowns put in (Carly Simon's "I Haven't Got Time for the Pain" was playing while my oaf of a dentist manhandled my sensitive molars). There's a long article about how much stress we're under in this city, how risks for heart attacks and other potentially-fatal affliction jump exponentially just from stepping into the city. Though our lives may be shorter and filled with fewer Hallmark moments, I still prefer this methodology over the overly laid-back, low-impact world of the unstressed.

So having said this, is it all right for me to say The Gates is kind of dopey? They keep telling us that it's just something to bring a little joy into the dreary lives of us city slickers, and for that intent I can appreciate it. But in execution ... come on. I thought it would be more striking in person, but I'm starting to think the coverage on countless blogs actually makes it appear more glamorous than it actually is. If you liked it, fine. There's nothing you will be able to say to make me not view it as a mild affront to my life. I don't know why I feel like that, but I do. I guess it's like my reaction to Punch Drunk Love, of which I was moved to declare I wanted to punch PT Anderson in the nose if I ever ran into him. Others reportedly really enjoyed this film ... and ne'er the twain shall meet.

Then again, had this installation come at a less stressful time in my own life, I might be the one cheerleading the whole deal, and lamenting those who didn't see the beauty of 23 miles of orange plastic sawhorses with matching shower curtains.

Posted By Jimmy Legs | Non-PermaLink

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