Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


With a little help from my friends…and their husbands

Filed under : Meta/Blognews
On July 30, 2006
At 12:25 am
Comments : 16

The other day, Culotte wrote me to inveigle her way into my blog by sharing this conversation she had with her husband, N., which she surely knew would make it to the pages of J-Ball. Being the sucker that I am, I reproduce it for you here.

C: “Wow, your dad reads my blog? Weird.”
N: “Yup. He reads Magic Jewball, too.”
C: “Well, it’s a good blog.”
N: “I like her blog. Mostly ’cause she’s Jewish.”
C: “Yeah.”
N: “And she’s magic.”

Besides making me feel all warm and fuzzy, this confirmed for me that 85% of my male readership comes from the fathers, brothers, and husbands of my original readers. World Cup Lisa’s husband even links to me on his blog. Jan’s husband executed the J-Ball logo for the original Blogspot blog. And Kay’s husband left me my funniest comment ever, which was so dry it sucked the humidity right out of the New York air and still makes me snicker when I think about it, no matter how inappropriate the moment. Yes, a single gal blogger’s best friend is her best friend’s husband. And not in that dirty way you’re thinking right now.

Speaking of reader comments, I was highly encouraged to hear that a Neil Finn track was bought from iTunes due to my posting it here. So I think I’ll continue to post them when I can (meaning I own the actual song) along with the Napster link. Then, later, I’ll remove them, as they’re big spacehogs on my server. Don’t forget to buy them! Remember, I’m magic, I’ll know!

Title, of course, comes from The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” but none of The Beatles’s songs are licensed for legal downloading, alas, so you can just hum it to yourself.

Instead, let’s have this one. Yes, the genders are reversed but it was the only on-theme song I could find.

The Cars – My Best Friend’s Girl


They’ll put anything in films these days

Filed under : Baseball,Life in general
On July 26, 2006
At 2:29 pm
Comments : 30

I’m going to have oral surgery tomorrow (that’s not as kinky as it sounds, believe me), so before I go loopy I thought I’d post a little something.

So, remember my post where I idly added a few seconds of video of the subway that I take every single day, rain or shine? Well, often not rain, because that seems to completely confound the subway system, but you get me. Anyway, somebody saw it on youtube and wants to use it in a documentary.

Now, I am not a pay it forward kind of person, but I do feel keenly when I’ve been wronged not to do the same to anyone else. You may also remember (or not, probably the latter) that I was denied licensing for a song I wanted to use in a film. That was quite the bummer. So, even though these folks won’t pay me, I said sure. But I’ll get a credit. That’s almost as good, isn’t it? Washington Mutual accepts film credits as mortgage payment, don’t they? Don’t they? Hello?

Well, I’m sure they accept good karma. Don’t disillusion me.

So, speaking of doing something for others, let’s entertain Becca when she gets back from oral surgery, shall we? Here’s our baseball-oriented topic. If you are making $25 million a year and you have gone 8 for 36 in your last 10 games (and had a similar number of errors), do I have the right to boo you miserably when you were MVP just last year? Does A-Rod come to your office and boo you when you’re having a bad day? Does $25 million a year make you immune to people booing you in every stadium in America (and Canada!) including your own?

Sadly lacking these days.

Please comment aplenty. I’m informed that my fingers will still work after the procedure.

Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth



Filed under : Etc.
On July 25, 2006
At 12:17 am
Comments :Comments Off on untitled

I’ll be away from all computers today. But I’d like to point your attention to a new page I set up. It’s here.

And I won’t be doing this often but this song isn’t on Napster. Instead, you can listen right here. Click the right arrow to play.

Lyrics to this song are here.


What? I can’t hear you guys over the sound of my AC!

Filed under : New York City
On July 24, 2006
At 4:20 pm
Comments : 14

You may or may not know this, but there’s a blackout going on here and it’s been on, or off I guess, for a week now. You might not have known it even if you lived here because it’s going on in Queens. That’s that piece of land to the east of us here in shiny Manhattan. You may remember it from such shows as “The King of Queens” (I’ve never actually seen that, but I can read a title as well as the rest of you) and “All in the Family.”

Yes, many of the folks in Queens have been without electricity in the steaming heat of July for a week. No phones, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it’s primitive as can be. Well, I take that back, they have phones and cars, but I really love Gilligan’s Island. Also, no AC, no fans, no refrigerators, no grocery stores, no take-out food, no elevators, etc. Some have no water and/or no functioning toilets. Yesterday, I blew a circuit breaker and lost power to my fridge for 4 minutes and almost had a panic attack. I can’t begin to imagine a week of juicelessness.

The remarkable thing is, no one seems to care. Being who I am, I find the fact that no one cares even more interesting than the actual blackout. Today, for the first time, it made the front page of the NY Times. After a week. And I don’t ever hear anyone talking about it. They give it the lead story on the news and then move on. A few years ago, the entire city (and nearly a quarter of the country) didn’t have electricity for one night and everybody went nuts. That’s all that was on the radio news all night long. I know because I was up all night sweltering by candlelight listening to it. Now, they’re lucky if the mayor gets a word in about it.

But I guess it’s all location, location, location. I saw a woman in Queens on the news the other day saying indignantly, “if this was Manhattan, it would have been fixed by now!” Damn straight. I pay eight times as much as you for the same apartment. I expect my fridge to run, OK?

I just hope it’s fixed in time for the US Open. Because then I’ll care a lot.



Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Electricity


Place it in your memory

Filed under : Depeche Mode,Music
On July 23, 2006
At 2:20 am
Comments : 10

Happy birthday, Martin Gore!

How do I know it’s Martin Gore’s birthday? It’s simple. I’ve been celebrating it for twenty years. I’d like to say that I just don’t know how to stop, but secretly (and now openly) I just like to. It’s a link with my lost youth. Speaking of lost youth, the above picture isn’t exactly like the Martin Gore I knew as a kid. But since I have no photographic evidence, the posters I had on the walls of my teenage and college bedrooms will have to remain unblogged.

The first time I celebrated it, I was at summer camp and so it consisted of wearing my Depeche Mode t-shirt. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but it happened to be the day we went whitewater rafting and so I risked ruining it forever. It survived to be worn at my “surprise” Sweet 16 later on. My sister said at the time, “we knew you were surprised because otherwise you would have worn something nicer than that.” Little did she know. There’s always some idiot in school who will come up to you and declare “I’m coming to your party!” before being dragged away by someone whispering severely in his ear. Which is lucky because I detest surprises. Be warned.

Anyway, I had purchased that shirt at my first DM concert. You know, the one I had left my (other) sister’s wedding early to go to. It was the first of probably 30 or so shows I’ve seen by them over the years. I think the first was still the best but high up there is the time I saw them from the front row of Madison Square Garden. I’m afraid to tell you how much I spent for that ticket but suffice to say, it was before I had a mortgage. Despite the fact that I was an adult and already worked with lots of other artists on a professional basis, I was still beside myself at being that close to Martin Gore. So I bought a beanie baby spider, wrote a note in the tag (no, I’m not telling you what it said), and threw it at him from just a few feet away. It landed right in front of him. He picked it up, looked at it quizzically, and threw it back directly to me. Hey! That was for you, buddy. I threw it back but I have no idea whether he ever got it. I’m sure some roadie laughed a good while at my sincere note.

In any case, the way I’ve celebrated every year since 1986 has been to play all their albums back to back. Sure, it took less time back then, but now I have all 122 songs (that includes some remixes and rarities and leaves out most of those awful Vince Clarke ditties from the first record) on my iPod in one playlist. It’s going to be a fun day! Too bad the t-shirt hasn’t survived as well as the band has.

But seriously, unlike The Cure, The Smiths, and New Order, DM reminds me of only good times in my life and so it’s always a delight to listen to any of their 122 best songs. I used to listen on LP, then cassette, then CD, then mp3, and now for the first time, linked from my own website. After much deliberation, here is my top five. These are both my favorites on an aesthetic level plus each one brings me back to a happy moment. In Your Memory isn’t among them, but it’s a lovely B-side and it made a good title.

Martin wrote all of these, and sings the last one.

Enjoy the Silence
Never Let Me Down Again
Love In Itself