Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Merry. And Bright.

Filed under : Rants,Stores
On December 12, 2007
At 1:30 pm
Comments : 11

Thanks for taking over for me, fun commenters! Sorry I had to take a short leave but the fact is, I was in a bad mood and you know how those things are contagious. I couldn’t risk spreading it to you. Now that I’m all cheerful again, it’s time to share my negativity in a more constructive way. How? By a rant about stores. After all, it’s the holiday shopping season. Although, we Jews are all done. Burn! No, I kid, I have some goyim on my list too.

Yesterday, I went to the Genius Bar. This is my name for Jacques Torres’ Wicked Spicy Chocolate Bar but for some reason, it’s also the name of the repair desk at the Apple Store. Apple seems to have the same attitude towards appointments as my doctor’s office because when I got there for my 1:20 appointment I saw my name up on the big board as #12. Out of 12. This is something you do not want to see when you have gone across town on your lunch hour to basically show your power cord (heh, she said power cord) with the wires all frayed to some geek so you can get a new one a week before your warranty expires.

So, instead of spending five minutes and then walking out with a new power cord, I sat against a wall and waited. The first thing I noticed was that the stools for customers at the various desks (iPod Genius Bar, Mac Genius Bar, Studio – that’s the training one) are clearly designed to show off your underwear and buttcrack for the amusement of people forced to wait for appointments. This also goes for the various Apple store employees doing one-on-one training with the customers. The employee, sorry, genius, nearest me wore boxers, if you must know. I also noticed that everyone being trained was over fifty. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The woman waiting near me, who was probably sixty, kept looking at me and trying to catch my eye to start a conversation. Did I mention I was in a bad mood? Don’t talk to me, lady. But she tried. “Are you here for training?” she asked. “Nope,” I said, and took out my BlackBerry. I’m not sure non-iPhones are allowed in the Apple Store but I went for it anyway.

After that, I worked on naming all the Geniuses based on their appearance. The one with the kipa was FrumGenius, then there was HipsterGenius, TattooGenius, PerkyGenius, and CurlyGenius. They were all white guys. I watched myself move up the board. After about 40 minutes (40!), I was number three. Then I disappeared! I went up to one of the “concierges” (I should have asked him for tickets to The Lion King too) and asked him what happened. The conversation went like this:

Me: I was #3 and then I went off the list!
Him: Did you check in with me?
Me: Did anything say I was supposed to do that?
Him: What is your name?
Me: Becca
Him: Your appointment was canceled because you didn’t check in.
Me: I’ve been waiting 40 minutes! Can you put me back?
Him: Let me see…. OK.
Me: Am I at the back of the line now? I don’t see my name on the board.
Him: The board doesn’t really mean anything.
Me, thinking: well, if it’s meant as entertainment it is sorely lacking
Me, out loud: Your website should really mention that you have to check in.
Him: Melanie L! Melanie L!

Luckily, I showed up a second later on the board as #1. Board doesn’t mean anything, my ass! I got TattooGenius. Every other Genius was smiley and friendly. Except my guy. He seemed suspicious of my motives from the start and told me my warranty was up. I said, “I checked, it’s December 19th.” He looked skeptical. Listen, bud, if you cannot read your own system, I can’t really believe you are a genius. Albert Einstein would probably have realized that if I purchased my computer on December 20th, 2006, and today is December 11th, 2007, and the warranty is one year, then it is not up. Finally, that information sunk in and he replaced my cord. He also told me I had been pulling it out of the computer wrong, even though I never actually told him the method I use to remove it from the computer. Genius! When I mentioned a problem I read about with the hard drive on my model, he insisted there had been no such problem reported or he would know about it. Might I suggest Google, oh Genius? I suppose I’ll just wait for the catastrophic failure to happen after my warranty ends, which is how these things usually go.

But, you know, I did walk away with my cord. And it could be worse. It could have been CompUSA, which you may have heard is going out of business (shocking!). Now, no one could beat their prices, and by that I mean be more expensive than them, but they were always good for just grabbing a spindle of recordable DVD’s or whatever. However, their customer service, to me, was exemplified by these two experiences I had.

The first was a conversation I overheard in the Mac section.

Customer: Are Macs any good?
Employee: Sure, I plan on getting one soon myself.
Customer: Can I ask your reasons?
Employee: They look really cool.

Super. Just last week, I was waiting on line, the one line that existed for 20 customers because “everyone is on their break” at 7:30pm. One of the employees walks along the line and asks everyone if they have received a sales pass or something like that. He hands each of us a piece of paper with nonsense written on the back. I ask him what it is for. “Organizational purposes,” he says. When I get to the cashier, finally, I hand it to her, she rolls her eyes and throws it away. On the way out, I am forced to show my receipt to the security guard who does not bother looking in my bag, scribbles a circle on it and I leave.

There goes a well-run organization. With their 30% off sales they may just bring their prices in line with everywhere else. But hey, at least they never called themselves geniuses.

Title comes from the slogan on the Geniuses’ Christmas shirts.

Tom Tom Club – Genius Of Love


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


Achtung baby

Filed under : Life in general,Rants
On March 8, 2007
At 2:05 pm
Comments : 16

Well, the houseguests arrive today and I think I’m ready. Luckily, they’re not the types who need to be picked up at the airport or anything. And when I say pick up, I mean it in the Manhattanite sense, which is, I take public transportation to meet you and then guide you back via the Airtrain. There isn’t any of that cushy curbside stop, drop your stuff in my trunk type stuff. But luckily for me, I won’t have to do that at all and I can just sit here and wait for them to arrive before we all go off to stuff ourselves with dinner. Once they inevitably fall asleep at the table (it’ll be 3am their time), I intend to just steal the food right off their plates.

I know I said my houseguests were German but I was only 75% truthful there. One is and the other is really from LA. But he’s lived in Berlin so long now that he’s begun to have a German-inflected English, occasionally searching for the correct word or pronouncing “cool” as something resembling “kül”. But that’s OK, I find it more exotic than LA.

In other news of this weekend, we begin daylight savings time three weeks earlier, a fact that both I and my computer are wholly unprepared for. Being that I wake up long after sunrise all year round and leave work after sunset 90% of the year, the whole saving energy thing resonates with me not at all. All I know is that my sleep pattern gets fucked with and I have to run around changing 5 or 6 clocks. Is consistency too much to ask? Don’t they do fine without this in Arizona? Or Indiana? Or wherever it is that they don’t do this? What is the fucking point?

Now, with the date of the time change being different, I have to deal with the whole computer thing too. My computer at work has to be totally re-imaged, whatever that means, to accommodate the patch that changes the time. Fabulous, so I will lose all my settings for a change of one hour. Then I have to download something for my Blackberry as well. I might as well just live an hour behind for a few weeks. I’m sure the people at jury duty won’t mind me showing up an hour late, right?

I’m going to print out this blog post and bring it with me just to be sure. If nothing else, they may think I’m too insane to be allowed on a jury.

Culture Club – Time (Clock Of The Heart)


Blogging the Grammys

Filed under : Music,Rants
On February 11, 2007
At 11:40 pm
Comments : 10

the police

I don’t usually watch the Grammys but I did tonight. Well, I do often watch bits of it via DVR but this evening I actually sat through the whole thing. And survived. This is because of the folks in this photo, The Police. The Police were the first group I ever idolized but I was too young to ever see them in concert. And so, I will probably be one of those people spending insane amounts of money to see them on their soon-to-be-announced tour. In the meantime, I watched them for free on my teevee. Let’s just say, they no longer look exactly like this photo.

And now some random observations….

The only thing worse than Justin Timberlake is self-produced minicam shots of Justin’s face. They didn’t really bring sexy back on my TV.

OK, Mary J, your life used to be crap and now Jesus and your man turned it around. We get it.

Despite the fact that I’m not a Dixie Chicks fan, I was surprised that they forgot the most important line of their speech, “Oh yeah, and clearly we were right. Suck on that.”

“My Humps” is, in fact, the Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group, you are not dreaming. Why, God, why?

Both Tool and Nine Inch Nails were beat out for Best Hard Rock performance by Wolfmother. Are you freaking kidding me?

Somewhere in the middle some awful, awful people (don’t make me list them) were chosen to do do a series of Eagles covers. Gah. But the other scary thing is that almost all of the Eagles songs in that medley now just remind me of the pop culture ephemera to which they are now attached. “Desperado” of course reminds me of Seinfeld and “Life In the Fast Lane” takes me right back to the big dance scene in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

ahmet ertegunNo disrespect to the genius which was Ahmet Ertegun, but James Blunt dedicated “You’re Beautiful” to this guy?

And PS, I still think this guy and his song blow. James, not Ahmet.

How did Justin Timberlake get three songs when The Police only got one? Is there no justice in the world?

How did Corinne Bailey Rae win nothing? First I had to sit through her performing with John Legend and John Mayer and now this? Boo, hiss.

Hm, I think I’d better check off “Rants” as the category here. Becca’s getting upset!

Why was the Red Hot Chili peppers performance supposed to be the one we’re talking about? Was it the confetti? Ooooh, confetti!

Gosh, do you think the members of the Academy were saying something about the current administration with all those Dixie Chicks awards? Hmmmm…..

Well, so ends music’s biggest night. And let me just cut to the chase and say not enough of my label’s artists performed in a killer manner or won important awards, thus ensuring yet another poor week of sales. You see, I could have forgiven the whole “only one Police song” thing if only I could have made some money out of all this.

I wish this were my blog’s theme song.
The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic


The grass is always greener on the other side of the jetstream

Filed under : Rants
On January 5, 2007
At 10:30 am
Comments : 8

Hm, evidently that last one was a bit on the morbid side so let me just write something short to say that it is unspeakably warm here, I didn’t need a coat today, and I was able to go to the park last night in the evening.

And yet I would trade it all for this.

Yes, people seem to love this and I admit, this is my favorite kind of weather, not too cold, not too warm, but enough already. Next week it’s supposed to go down to the 40′s but you can’t have snow in the 40′s, so what use is it to me?

Sunday is supposed to be the last day of freakish weather but I won’t be here for it. More on that after the weekend.


This song has nothing to do with the topic except for the first word of the title (and recurring line). Oh, and that it’s freakish.

The Normal – Warm Leatherette