Friday, May 27, 2005

Badass

Thursday, May 26, 2005

At least it's almost Friday

Last night, after a mediocre dinner at DiMarco and later eschewing a trip to St. Marks to watch "How to Kick People" (taking a cab home from the Village costs in the area of forty dollars, and subways are out of the question at midnight on a Thursday. As if I'm not tired enough at work as it is) our boredom landed us at Strand Bookstore. Neither I nor The Wife had ever been, so we decided to check it out just to say that we had. We left with this McSweeney's publication after unsuccessfully searching for any Cory Doctorow novels. As if the barrage of gushing reviews weren't enough, Kevin's webpage reminds me that I have been meaning to pick Eggers' most recent collection every few days. So I caved and bought a hardcover. It pains me to pay twice as much for a hardcover book, but Egger's fantastic writing ability makes up for it. Honestly, I was expecting a little more humor, but I got instead a poetic prose that attempts (and often accomplishes) to convey the hum of human emotion through intensely omniscient story telling. Plot rarely plays a role in the stories; Eggers focuses instead on description and wordplay to lure the reader into the mind of the characters. One of the shortest stories in the book, "On Wanting to Have Three Walls Up Before She Gets Home" succeeds in charming the reader so well in fact that the last word of the story feels like a punch in the stomach (but not the good kind). In any case, it is worth the sixteen bucks.

If there is anything stupider than this, I've yet to see it. It's funny when they brag about being the cause of someone's noting: "The Internet has jumped the shark." Indeed, blogosphere.

Welcome to where I come from.

p.s. For all you computer/network dorks out there, I need a little advice regarding my wireless connection. I don't want to incriminate myself, but let's just say that I bought a USB wireless receiver and plugged it into the computer and I get the internet. The only problem is that we can't get GMail or Yahoo to work on a regular basis. I get 30k/s or so downloading files from most sites, but webmail times out. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

This is kind of awesome

Awesome things that happened to me today:

A crazy man on the A train tried to get me to give him more space by proding me with an umbrella. My cat-like passive-aggressive reflexes went to work and I slowly moved a little closer to him. He muttered something (probably crazy talk) in his native-tounge so I took out my headphones and pretended that I couldn't hear him and said "What, I can't hear you," and he moved to the other side of the train. Score: Ben - 1 Crazy subway guy - 0.

I ate a Take5. God got sick of Snickers and he was like "What the fuck, guys. Put lots of shit in there and it will be good," and Take5 was born. If you've ever had sex and then right away eaten a Subway sandwich and then played Metal Gear Solid for awhile and then had sex again, eating a Take5 is sort of like that except it's got pretzels in it.

I downloaded that one Randy Travis song that I like a lot.

No, that's it. But that was still a pretty good day, huh? This guy will be doing stand up in St. Mark's tonight. It's called "How to Kick People." Even the name is funny! Sweet. See you there?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Rained out

Wanna get really mad? Read this article about some unbelieveable -- but apparently increasingly widespread -- policies at our public universities. Make sure you check out the linked article here about the school around the corner from me. Via Instapundit.

Monday, May 23, 2005

We don't get French benefits?

Who got box seats to the Yanks tomorrow?
Good going, work.

No Star Wars, cross my heart

Saturday night I headed uptown to catch the Enron documentary, "The Smartest Guys in the Room." I haven't heard anything positive or negative about this movie -- and for good reason. It wasn't as engaging as it should have been and it was probably about thirty minutes too long. The biggest surprise here was that instead of highlighting the repercussions of the collapse of Enron on the lowest workers in the chain, they glossed over layoffs and ruined pensions in favor of examining the effects on the top execs: Lay, Fastow, Skilling and Lou Pai (who, incidentally, probably was the smartest guy in the room).

I felt like the filmmakers forgot what their point was a quarter way through the movie. There was no flow and everything appeared jumbled. There was no real conclusion and they never hammered in on any real reasons for why and how this happened. Silly mistakes and heavy-handed bias were the real spoilers, though. There were four presidents in office between 1988 and 2001. Guess which one didn't make an appearance in the film? Worse, when describing the bottom line accounting practices at Enron the director throws rocks at Mark to Market accounting but never addresses in depth the scope and scale of the "dummy company" scheme Enron used to reduce debt. As you may or may not know, MTM accounting is a legitimate and widely used accounting practice in investing firms. When Enron moved from selling real assets to becoming -- in essence -- a commodity trader, MTM was a necessity. Skilling's dummy companies were the interesting part. I find it difficult to believe that these mistakes were a consequence of lack of research -- they had almost four years of hindsight, which was the reason I thought that the film would be more informative.

Even though the movie was disappointing I did get some sun and some reading done this weekend. Next Monday is Memorial day and I'll be leaving town that Wednesday, so my two-day week next week will give me something to look forward too.

And finally: Mark Chesnutt - Bubba Shot the Jukebox. Because it's that kind of day.
Foo Fighters - Best of You. I've heard this single is pretty much "made for TV," but whatever.
White Stripes - Blue Orchid. Against my better judgement. I haven't listened to it. But I guess you can. If you want.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I'm down with anyone who will pound a tallboy with me


You're invited, this Saturday, May 21st...

A very special private unveiling of Cattyshack www.cattyshackbklyn.com brought to you by former Meow Mix Bar/meowmixchix.com owner/founder; Brooke Webster with her brilliant management team of Shannon Sennott, Jessica Rose & Nancy Pizarro.

This preview will feature DJs Dirty Jean (misshapes, mad clams), JD (Le Tigre), Lily of the Valley (Charm School), Rachael (Gloss), Mark James (667) & Kim Anne (mad clams) plus special guests...

GO-GO dancers Maine, White Chocolate, Adrianne & Calu (Doll Squad, ATL)

Cheap Drinks, 2 floors, outdoor smoking deck, hot barstaff

249 4th Avenue, between President & Carroll, 718-230-5740
Take R, W or M to Union Street.

$10 after midnight, guest list only b4 12am

I know, I know. I'm not a lesbian. But they have $2 PBR tallboys. And a smoking deck! Plus you'll get to spend the whole night hanging out with chicks! Sweet.

All the crazies move to NYC

It's raining in Manhattan, but that doesn't stop anything. If anything, it forces more people to ride the trains because they don't want to walk. And people get ancey. It's really annoying.

This morning on the train there was a girl on the train and her boobs were totally about to pop out of her low-slung black v-neck shirt. I couldn't help but look for a second while I walked by, but I sat down and started reading the Times like a good boy. Then this guy gets on and takes his position by the door, clearly with the intention of having a nice vantage point. But we are the first stop on the train. So it's almost completely empty. And he stays there, standing. Staring at her boobs.

Sometimes I wonder whether it would be more fun to be a complete asshole.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cool new stuff

I know that it's really dorky to get excited about this kind of stuff, but if you look over to the right hand side of this page you'll see something called Postlets. These we invented by these people and maybe these people, but don't hold me to that. The idea is simple: community links to random crap. It's great, I think. Their CMS looks pretty cool, too, but for now it looks like they are keeping it super secret. In any case, I think that the time is ripe to start pitching both of these to Google.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

OMG just do it.

Illiniose

There are some important decisions to make when you are starting a band. What kind of sound will we have? Over produced or lo-fi? How much Clash influence can we have without being compared to The Clash? Can't you get the fucking bass line right, you asshole? But most importantly, what will our name be? Call me superficial, but I believe that the band name is pretty damn important. Especially for people like me who consistantly judge books by their covers. What if The Misfits called themselves The Rainbow People? What if Bob Dylan was Bobby Dillion. Huge diff. Two cases in point:

Snow Patrol. Okay, guys. What the hell. You're not bad. But "Snow Patrol?" If I didn't immediately think "emo" and then "extreme sports" I might have listened to you earlier. "Run" is a pretty good song, but I can't leave you on my iPod because your name fucks up the flow. It's like how I can't have peas next to anything on the plate -- especially sauces. It all gets intermingled and nasty looking. Sorry guys. You can stay on the computer though, because I've got a little compassion in me. Try some solo projects next.

Sufjan Stevens. It's all your fault that I didn't listen to you earlier. You may be one of the greatest artists of the past decade, but every time I saw your name on a review or an interview I skipped it immediately. And there were a lot. You're a popular guy. And you should be! "Illinoise" is a phenomenal album. There may be a few too many variations on songs we know by heart (The Cure? The Charlie Brown theme song? Don't play dumb), but otherwise this is a timeless album. I mean, for all the attention Belle & Sebastian get, you take their style to a place that a B&S fan could only dream of. If they don't break up because of this album, they should. And this isn't just a good instrumental album. Start to finish, this thing is an emotional sledgehammer. If you are as shallow as I am, please, give this album a chance. I'll even give you a couple of songs to get started.

Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise:
Come on, Feel the Illinoise
The Predetory Wasp

So the lesson to all you egomaniacal lead singers out there is to take your time naming your band -- don't just slap on the first thing you think of one night when you're stoned.