Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


I love this city, part 367

Filed under : Famous People,Life in general,New York City
On June 29, 2007
At 12:15 am
Comments : 7

People think you run into celebrities all the time in NY, and I won’t lie to you, you do. It just depends on what your definition of “celebrity” is. Many years ago, many being “greater than ten,” I used to watch a cable access show each week that was on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, MNN being “home for wackadoos before websites were so easy to create.” And this woman was one freaky wackadoo. I mean, she had a lot of thoughts on her mind and she wanted to share them: about open-mindedness, about the power of myth, about loving oneself and others. If you are wondering what the fuck I was doing watching that sort of thing, I ask you to imagine all that said in the most hypnotic and soothing voice possible, like honey, at exactly the time you were trying to fall asleep at night. She was like a drug, a crazy, crazy dose of Ambien.

But then she disappeared off of MNN and ever since then I’ve been trying to find out where she went, albeit in a half-assed way. I’ve missed her long extemporaneous diatribes couched in the most earnest and sincere manner. “I’m a mystic!” she would say. “I am a healer.” And I miss the way she would go from tangent to tangent and never make it back to her original point. But that was OK because she never really had one or at least it wasn’t one that you or I could understand. All that mattered is that she lulled me into blissful sleep. She has a website but it hasn’t been updated in forever. I kind of gave up and turned to the real Ambien. Which you wouldn’t know from the time my posts tend to appear but whatever.

Anyway, I was at a local shop, a big shop, with an information desk, and I went to ask where the item I needed might be. And there she was, the MNN Wackadoo Lady. I felt like I was in a dream, the kind you have when you actually sleep at night. But she was real. Right in front of me. In the most mundane job in the universe. I did what I always do when I’m face-to-face with a famous person (yeah, yeah, she’s not Angelina Jolie, but she’s famous to me): I give them a little “I know who you are” eyebrow waggle and see if they return it with a “yep, I’m ____ !” look. She kind of did. And then I decided to just go for it and say, “Linda?” She was surprisingly unfazed that I knew who she was (I mean, did I mention? She’s not Angelina Jolie) but seemed pleased that I remembered her and that I told her I wished she were back on the air. She had a lot of reasons, “I lost my producer, these things take money, I lost my web designer, blah blah blah.”

If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned her name it’s because I told her a lot of nice, uh, less than truthful things about herself, like that she had significant things to say and added meaning to people’s lives. I don’t want her to Google herself and find that the chick who said those things actually just thought she was a nutjob with a smooth, smooth voice. But of course, if you watched MNN at a certain point in time, you may know who I’m talking about. And the truth is, she did mean a lot to me. I searched for her for years! Sometimes you just have to go to the shop down the street and ask at the information desk.

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey


I’m sorry, Oprah will not be shown today

Filed under : New York City
On June 27, 2007
At 4:55 pm
Comments : 5

So there’s a blackout and many of the trains are out (clearly there’s electricity where I am or I wouldn’t be posting this). It’s the summer, it’s Con Ed, I get it. But this? This is an outrage!

mta info

MTA, I know this will shock you but when something goes wrong, as it inevitably will in this city, a lot of people will want to have a gander at your website. It might be a good idea to be able to handle the traffic.

Title comes from ABC/Channel 7 news… actually, what they said was, “we’re sorry, for those of you counting on Oprah, we won’t be showing it today.” I understand. I’m sorry for those counting on Oprah too.

The Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer In The City


More reasons to love Ticketmaster

Filed under : Rants
On June 25, 2007
At 6:50 pm
Comments : 20

Update 6/27: Ticketmaster sent me a password since I am a member of their Backstage Access thing. And this morning after “your wait is 6 minutes, your wait is 2 minutes, your wait is 8 minutes, your wait is 15 minutes, your wait is 6 minutes,” I got some decent seats. The Ticketmaster lady was fired for not knowing basic facts about the company she works for. Oh wait, that was just a dream

I wish I had taped this to send into Consumerist, but I didn’t since I was at work. And still am, unfortunately. Anyway, I just had the following conversation with a telephone rep at Ticketmaster:

me: So I am on your website looking at the screen for The Cure at Madison Square Garden on 9/23 and it has a pre-sale listed but it doesn’t say what I need to have access to the pre-sale.
she: The tickets go on sale Wednesday morning so you should find out then.
me: But what if I don’t? I don’t want to wake up, get to the computer and find I can’t get in and miss it. So do you know what I would need?
she: You would need a password.
me: But where do I get a password?
she: You would find that information on the event page. Go to and-
me: But I just told you, I started the conversation by saying, “I am on the web page and that information isn’t listed.”
she: Well you would need to find that information.
me: But where?
she: On the web page.
me: Could you look at the web page I am looking at? Where is that information?
she: You would need to get the password.
me: WHERE?
she: On the radio or on the Internet
me: (incredulous) On the radio or on the Internet? The Internet’s pretty big, where do you think I should start?
she: Ma’am, all I can tell you is that you need to find the password on the radio or on the Internet.
Me: But surely you realize that’s just crazy to advise me to do that?
She: All I can tell you is to try a radio station or on the Internet
me: So you suggest I should just do a search under “pre-sale?”
she: Uh, a search? All I can tell you is-
me: But don’t you think that that’s bizarre? That you, Ticketmaster, cannot tell me how to get access to a Ticketmaster pre-sale?
she: All I-
me: I am asking you as a human being, don’t you think that’s just insane?
she: No, I don’t
me: Can I speak to a supervisor?
she: Ma’am, all I can tell you is that you will need to get a password from the radio or from the Internet.
me: Great, thanks a bunch.

I did check that whole “Internet” thing she suggested despite the fact that I got the distinct feeling she didn’t really know what the Internet was, (I had tried the before Ticketmaster, so don’t even suggest it) and it looks like the pre-sale is through Optimum Online. Which I don’t have. Fat Bob, if you’re listening, don’t treat your fans this way. Do better next time.

Anyone know a Google for “radio stations?”

All the info a person could need, apparently.

The Cure – Torture


Hullo, Wimbledon!

Filed under : International,Tennis
At 8:00 am
Comments : 5

I don’t think I could really say more than that. What a happy fortnight this will be for me and not just because it’s the only time of the year I get to use the word “fortnight.” Yes, now I’ll be focusing on the Brits for two weeks. Lookout, Brits! I already know your language. Kind of. And I know where you live! The UK.

Anyway, it’s 8am in New York, 1pm in London, time for the very first match, so let’s get into the spirit, shall we? Except YouTube kept sticking blue blotches through this and so I had to host it myself. If you don’t have Quicktime, alas. That’s British for “alas.” Rather.

8:05am, latebreaking update: rain delay. I’m shocked, just shocked.


iPod song of the week – angsty vox

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On June 24, 2007
At 7:45 pm
Comments : 9

I’m going to tie together a bunch of old posts with this one (and even a post from someone else), so be forewarned, it’s a link bonanza! And it’s full of sound clips so make sure you’re somewhere you can sit down and listen and nod like a musicologist.

This week’s iPod Song of the week is inspired by two things. The first is that a CD I’ve been listening to a lot lately reminded me of another CD I used to listen to all the time many years ago. I was pondering this (see? this is why I don’t need a “things to ponder” widget) as I listened to this album walking home just before I got lost the other day. I know I promised to order Muse back in March and that’s when I put it in my Amazon shopping cart but, well, we all know I didn’t actually place my order until a few weeks ago.

The second is a post of Kay’s over on her blog where she questioned, in light of the recent Sopranos-induced-Journey-buying-madness, why anyone liked Journey. Even her husband Nigel the Brit, whose musical taste I greatly admire, snickered at it. Now, I am/was not a fan of the Sopranos and am glad it’s over because now people will stop talking about it and making me feel left out, but I am a fan of Journey. Why? That brings me back to why Muse sounds like our current iSotW.

In short, it’s the singing! That angsty, drawn out, histrionic vocal! That’s what I loved about Journey and Kansas and Styx and all those other overblown 70′s and 80′s rock bands. Whereas many bands I liked sounded like this (sound clip), these bands sounded like this (sound clip).

Guess which school Journey fell into? (sound clip)

And guess where Muse falls? (sound clip)

Which brings us to our actual song. Finally, finally, I realized who this singing reminded me of, it’s Remy Zero! You may remember Remy Zero from such short-lived publicity spurts as the lead singer’s 11-month marriage to Alyssa Milano and the opening song on Smallville. But before “Save Me” came their brilliant first album which I adored so much that I listened to it pretty much every day before putting it away for nearly ten years. But now I’ve put it on my iPod and so should you. You’ll probably go for the Smallville song or maybe a single off the first record, but this was always my favorite, plus, like Steve Perry, something’s happening to him and he wants to tell you about it with a fabulous voice and an over-the-top singing style.

Remy Zero – Gramarye

Streaming audio available on the iPod Song of the Week page.