Friday, May 06, 2005 at 12:45:55 (EDT)

No, no, no, no, no, no, Mr. Suit
With José's wedding mere hours away now, it behooves the rest of us to ponder the life change he is about to take, and reflect on our own major milestones. For me, I too cross a benchmark of living tomorrow: I'm putting on a suit.

I have one suit to my name, a dark four-button affair my father bought for me when I graduated college. I believe he thought I'd need it for job interviews or something. But the truth is, I can count the times I've worn it on one hand in the past decade. How many suits is a guy supposed to own? I like dressing up occasionally, but putting on the full suit is a rare opportunity these days. It's a nice suit that will probably remain stylish enough, at least until huge lapels and butterfly collars come back into vogue. But it has one problem. It doesn't really fit.

I wear the suit so seldomly that I always forget in the interval that the pants are too tight. They seem to have been that way since right after I got them, as I can recall a wedding I attended in 1997 in which I felt that pinch of the waistband. And now I must again face the reality of my one suit and my gut.

I attempted a crash diet beginning on Monday, but strangely I have not lost the necessary stomach flab for the pants to fit comfortably by Saturday. I wish I had had the foresight 9 years ago to tell the tailor to give me a little wiggle room, and now I face the unseemly prospect of moving the button over to accommodate my Jabba-theHut-like girth. I'm finally starting to see the deceptive genius of the cummerbund, which acts not only as a gut-concealer but also a crumb collector. What a boon to construct something so practical and yet still turn it into the foundation of formalwear. Is it possible for me to do the same with the male girdle? Is there still time to turn the man-corset into a fashionable accessory? We'll find out tomorrow.

Congratulations José, ya big lug!

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 12:31:53 (EDT)

A voice you'll never hear again from a southside call box
Here's something that actually utilizes the internet in a practical way: Skype. It's an internet-based communication thing that allows users to 'call' each other and talk like a phone call. My friend James just suggested we use it as he recently moved to London, making regular phone calls a bit too expensive. I finally dug out the headset that came with my webcam (which I never use anyway). My sound card doesn't have a headphone jack, and I have the line out going to my stereo, so it was a bit strange because James' voice was coming out of my stereo as I babbled into this ridiculous headset, but it works. It's remarkably clear, far more so than most overseas phone calls (although it is interesting to note that when Sylvia calls Buzz from Berlin she sounds like she's right next door; when he calls her it sounds far worse, why is that?)

I gotta admit, I don't like talking on the phone much. It's rare that I'm ever just sitting around, not doing anything to the point that I enjoy taking calls from people and just chatting away. If you wanna do that, I say let's go to the bar or something. Phone calls seem too disembodied. But this thing seems less obtrusive, the headset means I don't have to cradle the phone against my shoulder, and because it's free I can always cut a call short and call back later. There often seems to be an etiquette of phone interaction that requires people to stay on the line for a little longer than I am comfortable with.

So I submit to those who may feel a need to talk to me, look me up on the skype directory and contact me through that. Better still, Skype has a chat feature, which is even less intrusive, so just send me a message. Actually, maybe you should just email me in that case. Or maybe don't bother at all. I'll see you at the bar eventually, right?

Speaking of which, tonight at Galapagos: a screening of Up With People, a feature-length documentary about the band Oneida. I guess it follows Oneida on tour and gives some insight into how a band deals with being on the road. I'd fear it would be horribly boring since touring involves so much driving on desolate highways, but the guys in the band are so witty, I'm sure there's a lot of amusing banter. After the film, the band will play a few selections from their new album with a string section! Not bad! Plus it's free, so what's stopping you? Oh, you don't like that bar? Eh, neither do I. But still, free show.

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Monday, May 02, 2005 at 13:46:38 (EDT)

Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight
I just put a bunch of pictures of our Atlantic City trip up on Flickr, they probably tell the story better than I could here. Of course, not every moment was documented in photos, but you'll have the gist of it.

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Sunday, May 01, 2005 at 21:37:59 (EDT)

Now won't you leave me in my misery

Josh in Atlantic City. More to come ...

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Week of May 1-7, 2005


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