Old Blog 43

Notebook – March 22, 2000

My favorite headline from today: “Jean-Claude Van Damme Loses Web Site Job.” It sounds like one of those fake headlines from The Onion, but it’s real. And I really think it needs no further comment.

Another Border’s adventure. Their “machine that makes espressos,
chais, hot chocolate, and other concoctions” wasn’t working, so all
they had were regular coffee, tea, and cold drinks. This seemed to
cause much confusion and sighs from the customers. Heaven forbid they
have to drink regular coffee with cream and sugar! “It’s in the Bill Of
Rights that I have a fancy drink every single day, or I refuse to even
read a book!” I can imagine them thinking.

I always order a chai, and I did so today, but when they told
me the machine was on the fritz (is that how you spell it?), I didn’t
care. I just talked with the guys behind the counter and we laughed at
a few jokes we had made, and I ordered a cup of tea. There are too many
other things in life to get upset about without creating some other
hell for yourself like “they don’t have my coffee drink! I want to see
the manager!”

Speaking of, before I left, there was a woman downstairs, an
artist, who came in to speak to the events manager about a show she was
going to have there in April. She was told that the events manager was
on vacation, which (you guessed it) caused much confusion and sighs. I
think she asked the poor guy four different ways if she could talk to
this person/leave a message/talk to someone else in charge, when the
person she needed was on vacation. She finally got to use their phone
to leave a message on the person’s voice mail. I can imagine what she
said. Ah, the joys of retail.

It reminds me of the time I was at North Station in Boston,
waiting for the 5PM train. All of the trains were delayed because of a
huge brush fire that was engulfing a large area a couple of towns away,
near the train tracks. The station was crowded with people, all waiting
and wondering, wanting to get home. Much confusion and sighs (when
people are upset, they seem to sigh a lot). I happened to be next to
the infomation window when the woman behind the glass made the
announcement about the fire. A woman walked up to the window and
was told that there was nothing that could be done. There was a FIRE,
after all. The woman said something sarcastic, and stormed off in a
huff, pissed at the inefficiency of the trains when it comes to
unpredictable fire contingency plans! The nerve of them!

Next time, the railroad should get Jean-Claude to kick some butt.

Notebook – March 16, 2000

OK, I’m easily amused.

I was sitting on the couch around 1AM, remote control
in hand, and I realized you could create sentences by channel surfing, putting
together a sentence fragment from one channel and finishing it with the next

1. “MSNBC is a joint venture between NBC and…Jesus Christ.”

2. “The two men will run the Boston Marathon side by side…behold the power of

3. The reason they voted guilty was…his body was covered in tattoos.”

4. “Are you ready to get hot?…on ‘Touched By An Angel.'”

5. “I can assure you that in the Bush administration…the soothing aroma of

6. “It started with the onions…but now Clear Stick goes on dry.”

7. “Isn’t it time you went to Hollywood?…you’re getting impatient in your
middle age.”

8. “That’s not romance, that’s lust…Andy Rooney.”

9. “Tony Danza…he’s reinventing manhood.”

Notebook – March 10, 2000

Some people just should not be parents.

Case in point: I pull into a parking space at the supermarket, and the
car next to me is running. There are two kids in the car, one a baby in
a car seat, the other around 8 or 9, sitting in the passenger seat. No
adults in sight. The older boy could have easily slipped behind the
wheel and played with the keys and the gear shift. Worse yet, this was
also an advertisement that screamed “carjack us, please?!?” This car, I
might add, was not parked right in front of the door, but near the
middle of the lot.

It’s shocking, really. What can be in the minds of adults who
do something like this? Too much in a hurry to get the kids out of the
car while you shop? Don’t want to deal with kids tagging along as you
push the cart?

There should be some sort of parental police that goes around
and gives tickets to parents who leave their kids in dangerous
situations, parents that let their kids eat and eat and eat and weigh
100 pounds at age 6, parents that slap and scream at their kid, parents
who smoke three packs of cigarettes a day into the face of their babies
and also create an home atmosphere of yelling, tension, and bad mental
health. Two written warnings, and then your kids are taken from you and
given to people who know what they’re doing. Anywhere, as long as it’s
away from the stupidity.

Wow, did I just say that? Am I getting older? When I was 19 I
might not have made such a blunt, harsh statement. When I was 19, I
probably didn’t care as much about these things. I was too busy
listening to rock music and trying to get laid. But these thoughts
weigh on my mind a lot lately.

Other thoughts I’ve had recently, for no particular reason:

There are alien worlds that are just now beginning to experience TV signals featuring Kathie Lee Gifford.

Another sign of the apocalypse: people are selling their used underwear on ebay.

I probably won’t own a house unless I win the lottery or something.

OK, I’m tired. While you’re here, check out the two new articles
mentioned on the main page, and I’ve added a couple of new entries to
the links page as well.

Notebook – March 1, 2000

It’s official: I want the winter to end.

I love winter and cool air and snow, but when March hits, I want the
spring to commence. It’s been in the 40s here the past few days.
Practically “no-jacket” weather. If this warm spell were to happen in
early January, it would seem unseamly and out of place. But here we
are, the first day of March, so it’s very tempting and feels like a

Of course, when August 1 rolls around, I’ll be yelling, “Holy #$%!, would someone stop this humidity and bring on the fall!”

Watched The Pillsbury Bake-Off today. CBS runs it every
year. The winning recipe this year was some sort of brownie/cheesecake
pie which looked terrific. Certainly better than some salad that was a
finalist. This show was run in the slot that The Price Is Right usually occupies, so they only had time for a half hour Bob Barker show. So what did they do? They ran a “classic” The Price Is Right, from 1972! An extremely interesting piece of TV history. I learned several things:

– the set decorator had one thing on his mind: ORANGE, ORANGE, ORANGE!
But, then again, everything in the 70s had at least a little orange in
it, and a little of that light green color that seemed to be so popular
in the Me decade.

– the camera work and production values in 1972 were similar to those
found on local cable, with the jumpiness and professionalism of the
Zapruder film. At least Zapruder always kept in subject in the frame.

– the sound quality was like a parent’s home video of their kid’s first
play: talking in the background from stage hands and audience members,
odd clanking noises, people mumbling and moving prizes. Very odd. This
was CBS?

– Barker hadn’t started his “have your pet neutered” thing.

OK, that’s it for this week. I know, a short one. But while the
burned lip has healed, I now have a toothache. And it’s always worse at
night. Why is that?

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