Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


And now, a math problem

Filed under : Life in general
On February 29, 2008
At 5:00 pm
Comments : 4

Sorry I have nothing delightful for my “have a good weekend” post. It’s because I have been pondering a big decision I have to make to make this weekend. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and when I wake in the middle of the night, you know it’s the first thing I think of. Yes, the monthly Metrocard fare is changing on Sunday and I have to decide how many cards I am going to buy in order to hoard. I think it’s going up $5 so clearly this is momentous. That’s $60 a year! I know, math is hard. But, see, statistics are involved too because there is a 30% chance I’ll lose the stash and wipe out not only my savings but a whole lot more (I’d tell you how much but math is hard). If it helps you, there is a 100% chance that I nearly failed Statistics in college, despite the fact that my father is a statistician.

I know I’m not the only one thinking about this. But I don’t understand why the “man on the street” interviews on the news always have people saying, “why should I pay more? Service isn’t getting any better!” When your hugh jass heating bill comes in, do you say, “but my house doesn’t feel any warmer!” Prices go up. It happens. I passed Econ, by the way.

Anyway, I’m thinking three. Or six. Or none because I’ll probably forget. Lucky there’s this post now to remind me.

Have a good weekend!

ETA: Oh shit! This may not work. The MTA is setting a “grace period.” Stupid MTA.

Minutemen – God Bows To Math


Craigslist, connecting the crazy since 1995

Filed under : The Internets
On February 26, 2008
At 6:30 pm
Comments : 11

Keeping up with Bizarro World is so much easier now that Missed Connections has an RSS feed!



Widget watch – episode 9

Filed under : International,The Internets
On February 25, 2008
At 11:00 pm
Comments : 7

So it’s come to this. I’m so busy with stuff that I can’t write an essay about said stuff I am busy with. But I will! In the meantime, why don’t you learn English? I was hoping for nappy but, you know, I’m pretty chuffed about this one as well.

So, entertained? Educated? No, me either.


Watch a lot of commercials whenever you’re able

Filed under : TV
On February 22, 2008
At 9:05 am
Comments : 14

It’s Friday, the snow is a-coming down, and I’ve already written about serious and valuable things this week. And so, here is a post about nothing at all important. If you’re one of the majority of my readers, you’re not from the New York area, and therefore are unfamiliar with the topic at hand or at least the specifics. I have ReplayTV and not only that, the last model they made that comes with “commercial skip” and automatically skips all the ads by working on some fancy algorithm involving the bit of dark space that comes between them and the content. So I rarely watch commercials outside of live sporting events (people always ask me, “does it skip the commercials on live TV?” uh, no, that’s not really possible.) and the morning news. This last one is the worst because I watch NY1 and they only seem to have local (read: cheap, cheesy, awful) commercials. So much so that when I saw a national commercial this morning for cranberry juice, I was startled.

Thus, I thought I would highlight the very best and worst local ads I’ve seen. You know, because you don’t see enough in your own locality.

This first one is 100%, no question, my least favorite ad running on TV today. All of TV. Which sucks for me because it’s on every single morning on NY1, usually multiple times. I often change the channel or mute the TV as soon as I hear the opening notes and it’s not like I’m sitting in front of the thing holding the remote. I’m doing morningy things like brushing my teeth and bemoaning having to go to work when it’s a-snowing. It’s obviously a take-off on Sex & the City but I find it smarmy, stereotype-indulgent, poorly acted, and ridiculously stupid. The women in it grate on me like the beep of an alarm clock. Which you know from an earlier post I don’t actually own.

I couldn’t even find it on YouTube, I had to record it and post it on there myself. Of course I knew it would be on. It’s on every fucking day.

[youtube width=”425″ height=”335″][/youtube]

The second one is the polar opposite. Fun! Catchy! Entertaining! And around here either totally beloved or completely loathed. But always known. As a matter of fact, because it’s for a rival cable company, they don’t show it on NY1 which is owned by Time Warner. People used to sing it at work! And I had no idea what they were talking about. And then I saw it. And then I saw it four hundred times. It was inescapable, but in a good way! Because I just adore it, it’s catchier than an Abba song. It was even on Gawker. A guy at work actually has an interpretation as to the subtext of the ad, that the lobster guy at the end is an evil presence, a harbinger of bad things (like having Time Warner cable, I guess). But I don’t believe that at all. Look at his dopey smile, mi gente. If you live in this area, the phrase “mi gente” has already clued you in, I’m sure, on which ad I’m referring to. If not, you will have this phone number memorized in the next 30 seconds. And it will permeate your dreams.

[youtube width=”425″ height=”335″][/youtube]

Title comes from the above commercial, natch. Have a great weekend!


I remember you

Filed under : Music
On February 20, 2008
At 12:00 am
Comments : 7

This isn’t my usual fun and entertaining post so if that isn’t your thing (and since I set up this blog to be fun and entertain you, I understand, believe me) you might want to come back, say, day after tomorrow.

Still here? OK.

I know there’s always lots of hand-wringing and angst when something horrible happens and it cuts close to your own bone. It could have been me! you think. This is my “it could have been me” so you’ll bear with me while I take a moment (or a post) to remember this one. And, well, if you love music, this could also have been you. It’s been exactly five years since the fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island and honestly, I find myself just as freaked out now as I was then. If you don’t remember, a lot of people who just wanted to hear rock & roll on a cold night packed themselves into a tiny club, sat through two opening acts, and then got all psyched when the headliner, Great White, played the opening notes of their set. That’s when it all went wrong. Pyrotechnics were set off, the ceiling was low, the soundproofing which covered every surface was ultra-flammable, there were few exits, the hallway out was narrow…. a hundred people died and scores more had horrific injuries. They were all ages, mostly working class, some were parents, one was in the band.

I sometimes try to analyze why this fire affected me so much emotionally and still does. Maybe it’s because I find myself in little clubs all the time and I see the way they are set up. I probably wouldn’t make it out of very many of them alive in that situation. Maybe it’s because I worked on one Great White album, although I never met them. But really, I think it’s simply because these folks, from what I’ve read, were super-excited to see a national act, a band of their youth, music they loved. And that’s me any day of the week.

This past weekend, there was an article in the Times about a couple of the survivors. They are deformed, scarred, blinded. Can’t work or tie their shoes. This paragraph in the story gripped me:

Many believe the circumstances of their misfortune — that they were blue-collar folks gathered in a scruffy club to hear Great White, a has-been “hair metal” band from the ’80s — also help explain the lack of interest.

But you see, that’s exactly what makes me care so passionately about them. Could anyone love music more than they did? And that’s why they died or lost loved ones or are scarred for life. Because they loved music and wanted to experience it, just like you and I.

I think about the people in The Station literally every time I am at a show, scoping out the exits before the music starts. But according to this article, people seem to have mostly forgotten. Most of those responsible are serving little if any time. The settlement, if any, will probably just cover the most pressing needs of the desperate survivors. The fund they have set up, as it stands, can cover six months of medical treatment. So, I just wanted to pass onto you the link to the Station Family Fund, in case you want to do something as badly as I do.

From an article in the Providence Journal linked to below:

According to Todd King, a board member and past president of the fund, [Howard] Stern was surprised to learn that the fund and the survivors were in need. “I thought those people were taken care of,” King remembers Stern saying.

“No one was taken care of,” King says.

You can read about the fund, how little they have, and where it goes, here, and donate here. Either way, just don’t forget them. And check the exits before you lose yourself in the music in that club.

Yeah, I picked 80’s pop-metal on purpose.
Skid Row – I Remember You