Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


This is my world and I am world leader pretend

Filed under : Meta/Blognews
On January 31, 2007
At 5:00 pm
Comments : 16

Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy…no wait, let me restart.

Once upon a time there was a girl who started a blog and although she had some technical ability, this was all new to her. She knew how to write but not how to run the whole blog platform. She learned quickly and outgrew Blogger. But when she moved over to WordPress she became frightened and gratefully allowed others to take over. They did a great job and the girl began to answer questions about plugins with “I don’t know, someone handles that for me.” She thought of passwords that other people could memorize easily. At some point she lost control of everything but the words that appeared on the page, and even some of those. She was utterly dependent.

Eventually events conspired to make her have to deal with things herself because life always seems to know what’s best for people. And so finally the girl began to grow up. She moved to a server host where she didn’t actually know anyone and she started to look at all the files that made up her site. She discovered the “Leave a reply” line made no sense and changed it to something she liked better. This doesn’t seem like a lot but she was seriously afraid her blog would explode when she did it. Because God has a wicked sense of humor, her server happened to go down at the exact time she made the change. Luckily it came back a few minutes later just before the full throes of her heart attack began.

But that moment when it worked and the line said what she wanted it to say and she knew it had been all through her own efforts, well, it was a great moment in the life of the girl with the blog. She felt liberated and free. It was like Independence Day but colder and with fewer hot dogs.

I guess this is all a fancy way to tell you that I’m upgrading to the new version of WordPress this Sunday (I understand some people might be watching a football game or something so it seems like a good time) and the site may be down for a bit. Or forever if things go badly. But I’ll just start again then. Because now I can. I should mention that I also learned how to back-up my files, phew. Things might be hinky for a bit, who knows? If you notice something just mention it to the webmaster. Oh yeah, that’s me.


R.E.M – World Leader Pretend


XOXO, your friend, Joe

Filed under : News
At 10:00 am
Comments : 3

I may post a real post later but this made me laugh and laugh. From today’s NY Times on the muted debut of Windows Vista:

“If there were a line, I would have been on there,” said Joe Torres Jr., 54, a security guard who bought a Vista operating system for himself yesterday morning at a Best Buy store in Midtown Manhattan, along with a Hewlett-Packard laptop fitted with Vista as a Valentine’s Day gift for a friend.

Can you imagine the scene at that guy’s place? “You called me your friend in the New York Times?”

Because, folks, I don’t know anyone who buys their friends laptops as gifts, especially for Valentine’s Day. Good call, Joe, good call.


Lost weekend

Filed under : Life in general
On January 29, 2007
At 1:10 pm
Comments : 12

Sorry for the delay in posts but I was busy this weekend in “Becca’s World of Contrasts.” That is, first I got drunk off my ass and had an, um, interesting evening with some local and out-of-town friends and then the very next day, before I could even really get sober, I went to a fundraising dinner for my Yeshiva high school. It was fun breathing peachtini fumes all over the aged rebbe who was my high school principal, I can tell you. Luckily, unlike last year, Matisyahu did not show up (he’s married to an alumna, what joy), although they did raffle off an autographed CD. It’s hard to win when you don’t buy any raffles but I wasn’t terribly disappointed.

So how drunk was I? When I reached my apartment at 3:25am I found that I had the exact amount to pay my cabdriver when in fact I had planned on giving him a hefty tip. Instead he got 80 cents and I was left wondering what happened to the sixty bucks I had taken out of the ATM on Friday. It wasn’t until the next day that I remembered that I had chipped in all $60 towards our $112 drink bill (this was the third place and I had been generously covered at all the others). That had been just a half hour earlier and yet it baffled me.

But you’ll be excited to hear that I kept my record of never throwing up after drinking way too much. High five! And I’m told by one of my companions that pictures do exist of this evening, although I’m a little afraid to see them. If there are any good ones I’m going to track down that cabdriver and offer him first crack. It’s only fair, really.

Speaking of this sort of thing, I seldom do this, but please check out this week’s iPod song of the week. It’s by a singer who is apparently in that condition every night on stage (and every day) but it doesn’t seem to hurt her music any (not the following, the iPod song of the week, silly).

Peter Gabriel – I Don’t Remember


iPod song of the week – Amy Winehouse

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On January 28, 2007
At 6:00 pm
Comments :Comments Off on iPod song of the week – Amy Winehouse

The premise of this is to help you recall or rediscover older and beloved songs but today we have a new song which I currently adore. It’s OK, though, because it sounds like an old song. Maybe even a torch song. This singer is British and new and cool and badass and this song and the singer’s hot voice will not leave my head.

This was the iTunes free download a couple of weeks ago. Sorry I’m late on that.

Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good


Listen up!

Filed under : Music
On January 25, 2007
At 10:50 pm
Comments : 11

I have three artists from my label in town this week so you can’t walk past any office without seeing some stranger in bohemian clothing doing a phoner. It’s also meant that I’ve had some sort of event each evening. My favorite of these types of events is the listening party, which, if you’re not familiar, is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of people talking and drinking with a soon-to-be-released CD played over and over in the background. The band will be schmoozing and discussing it with people far more important than you, but you won’t mind as there is always free food and drinks.

In thinking about it, I realize that I’ve never actually been to a listening party for a successful album. I’m not sure if the listening party kills the chances of the CD or if they only plan listening parties for releases which have no chance of ever becoming successful. I mean, you don’t know it at the time. Everyone has such high hopes. The band and the record company and the journalists and the retail buyers and the radio promotion people are all having a grand old time and nodding as if this could be the best album they have ever heard.

I think it might be because most of these things are for the artist’s second album. The first one did great, maybe had a hit, generated buzz. This next one will be the breakthrough we’ve all known was in them! But sadly, the artist has had his/their whole life to write the first ten songs and just a year or two to do the second ten. And they’re often so heady from that bitty taste of success that they’re as full of themselves as the CD is lacking in quality. I remember one listening party for a band who’d had one big MTV hit (you don’t remember them, trust me) where pretension was practically the theme of the event. It was in a loft in Chinatown that some guy lived in and rented out (he wasn’t there but his bigass dog was; you can imagine how thrilled I was about that) and the band walked around barefoot and handed out their CD wrapped like a present. Ugh. I think it sold twelve copies.

The fanciest listening party I’ve ever been to was for a band with worldwide success whom you’ve absolutely heard of, unless you are my grandmother and she would have heard of them had she not passed away before they made it big. Anyway, it was at The Hit Factory which is now closed but which I remember chiefly for this party as well as its cavernous freight elevator (there’s nothing like going to a swank party in a freight elevator). This was the only listening party I’ve ever been to where there were rows of chairs like you were at a concert and once the music started there was no talking at all. It’s hard to know what to do with yourself. I mean, it’s not a concert and there’s nothing to look at (the band wasn’t there, they had filmed a video intro). Plus, the album took the band in a whole new direction and you could tell as you glanced around at everyone that they agreed with you that that direction was south. Needless to say, it was the biggest flop of their career. And naturally they subsequently moved to another label and won 27 Grammys with that record.

This last party wasn’t like that at all, though. It was in the backroom of an East Village bar and the food was burgers and fries. And I’ve already heard the CD and so I knew it was good. It was going so swimmingly that I thought I’d duck out early and not jinx this band, whom I actually like, with “The Curse of Listening Parties I Have Attended.” Plus the line for the bar was really long and I realized I’d never drink again. Unfortunately, I stepped on one of the bandmember’s feet as I walked out. Oops. But it’s a great record and I’m sure it will sell fifteen copies at least. Maybe even twenty.

Tears for Fears – Listen