Saturday, August 03, 2002

08.03.2002
09:06 AM EDT

In the spirit of relentless bandwaagon-jumping, you will find to your right and down a bit, a TagBoard. This is a very cool little thing that I saw on another blog and well, just had to have on mine.

It was Edie Singleton's blog where I first saw the TagBoard. Her blog has become a must-read for me. Of late, Edie's been recounting her memorable (term used loosely) blind dates. By all means check it out.

Which brings me to the realization that I've never had a blind date. Never had a friend tell me what a "great personality" a certain girl had. Never had to later have said friend offed when the personality in question turned out not to be so great.

But, regular old non-blind dating always generates it share of funny/sad things. Come with me back through the mists of time to a dark and fearful age . . . a time of superstition and mayhem . . . the year 1975.

I had been seeing this girl, M., for a few months. I was 19, she was 22. The relationship was doomed from the start for a number of reasons, but that's something I figured out long after things had crashed and burned. But there's always that point when reality is driven home with fearsome clarity. The point at which the relatinship dies in spirit, but continues to limp along in fact and name for a while, like the terminal patient gamely discussing future events that everyone knows he will never see.

Anyway . . . I was madly in love with her at the time. The night when reality came thumping on the door was an August Friday. We were having what seemed like a normal dinner, talking about nothing in particular. I had been relating to her the story of something My mother had said to me before I'd left the house, just a few hours earlier. My mother, when hearing that I was going out with M. that night, made a bit of a face. My mother was a wonderful and sensitive woman, and hiding her emotions was not one of her strong points. I asked what was wrong and she said:

"If that girl really cared about you she'd go out with you on Saturday night, not Friday."

I smiled and shrugged and didn't lecture my mother about how quaint she was being. But I related the stroy to M, thinking we would share a little knowing laugh about the older generation and their silly retro ways. But, no. M. looked at me the way someone regards a mangled but still struggling dog on the side of freeway and said:

"A very wise woman, your mother."

A sensible man, which I wasn't at the time, would have fnished eating as quickly as was polite, paid the check, called a cab for the lady, driven my car home, called a cab for myself to take me to a the neasrest bar, cry in my beer a bit, go home, sleep it off, and wake up hung over but ulitmately happier and wiser.

But at the time my love for her was too great. So I shrugged and smiled and decided that knowing laugh about retro ways would have to be a private thing.

Needless to say, even though the rest of that night went all right, things went swiftly downhill from there.

A few years later, I got a postcard from her. Wondering what I was up to, blah blah blah, wondering if we might get together for dinner in the city some night. I read it over a couple times. I held it in my hand for a moment . . . then walked over and dropped it, watching it float into the wastebasket.

You know something, M? You were right. My mother was a very wise woman.



Friday, August 02, 2002

08.02.2002
12:58 PM EDT

I actually got the archives working correctly. It's a banner day . . .

Working from home today, with CNBC on in the background. Another dismal day for the stock market, as investors apparently have decided that the recovery wasn't really in a recovery, in effect. That's what happens when economists get a whole bunch of forecasts wrong in a three-day period. As a trader on the floor said today "once again, the market was right and the economists were wrong." Well, we'll see about that . . . the market gets crazy sometimes -- economists by and large keep their emotions out of it.

ITEM -- Stanley Tools scraps Bermuda re-incorporation plan.
Stanley was going to do some paperwork, essentially, that would have saved them about $30 million a year in taxes. But in the current climate, with Congress considering a law to bar compaines who take such action from getting defense contracts, and the state of Connecitcut trying to take Stanley to court to prevent from doing so, the people running Stanley decided to shelve the idea. The increasingly irrelevant AFL-CIO opposed the move, also (surprise).

Personally, I think it was a good idea. It was legal, it would've saved the company money, and it wouldn't have meant any job loss in the US. One could actually argue that Stanley had a responsibility to its shareholders to do it. But all's well that ends well. Washington, Hartford, and the AFL-CIO are all in a self-congratulatory fervor over this, the people at Stanley will apply the proper spin, so everyone can feel good about it. And doubtless corporations will noe be able to lobby for some tax cuts, in exchange for Congress getting rid of the "lopphole" that alows things like Bermuda re-incorpotation, as they will almost certinaly do in their new-found dedication to "corporate responsibility and accountability." Keep rolling that log . . .

Thursday, August 01, 2002

08.01.2002
7:10 PM EDT

Nice volume of spams today -- over 70. "Best" subject was "FREE! SNOBBY GIRLS GETTING HAMMERED LIVE!"

Now -- a couple of things here . . ..
1. Why would I want to see a video of snobby girls getting drunk? (That's what "hammered" means, yes?)
2. How do I know the girls in question are actually "snobby?" Have they signed an affadavit or something?

In Grand Central Station, there is one of those combo stores -- in this case Oren's Daily Roast and Ben and Jerry's. I often stop there befroe getting on the trian home for an iced coffee. On the front of the cash register there is a sign that reads:

"THESE PREMISES ARE MONITORED 24 HOURS A DAY. YOUR ACTIONS ARE BEING RECORDED."

What's the purpose of this sign? More to the point, what's the purpose of the montioring? Several theories present themselves:

1. America-hating terrorists have targetred Band and Jerry's, in an attempt to strike at our very soul by blowing up ice cream stores.
2. Being a combo store selling coffee, as ell as ice cream, this particular location is a prime terrorist target. Death to the great Satan and his double mocha lattes.
3. The company is greatly cocerned about customers taking extra napkins and straws as they leave the store.
4. And most likely the real reason -- the company is monitoring the employees. The disclaimer on the register is an attempt to absolve themselves of any liability should a customer try to take action against them from anything arising from said video monitoring of the employees.

ITEM -- Former WorldCom officers arrested on securities fraud charges. Great stuff. Nothing like seeing top executives doing the so-called "perp walk." The handcuffs are a nice touch -- I mean, these guys are only dangrous if you're a stockholder, in which case they're extremely dangerous to the value of your investement.

Thre's been some disucssion of whether the sight of these guys doing the perp walk is good for the markets -- does it restore confidence? I don't think it really does. It has a certian pooulist trailer-park appeal, surely, but those aren't the people that Bush and Company are trying to get back into the stock market. The people they're trying to sway see the perp walk and think "hmmmm . . . better stop cooking the books for a while until this blows over." Which may be as good a result as any.

ITEM -- Fla.'s Harris resigns to run for Congress Remember Katherine Harris? Florida Secretary of State, loyal Republican Party hack? I wonder how much campaign money it will take to get this loser into Congress? Answer: However much it is, they will find it somewhere. Conservatives from all over will be falling all over themselves to contribute. Plus the Democrats I"m sure will counter with a candidate with all the electability of a ham sandwich. Although . . . maybe, if she doesn't do anything about that hair . . .

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

07.31.2002
1:58 PM EDT

Sometimes one stumbles across a gem of a movie on cable. One that I found a couple of years ago was "20 Dates."

Our hero, an aspiring filmaker, decides to make a movie that consists of, well, going out on 20 dates. His idea is to film the dates, examine the whole relationship thing, and perhaps find Ms. Right somehwere along the way. His backer in this project is a vaguely mob-connected guy, one assumes, who keeps pressuring our hero to punch up the product by going out on dates with Playboy centerfolds and Hollywood starlets. Eventually, a few dates from the magic number, he meets a girl he really hits it off with . . .

Anyway, go find it and see it. It's hilarious and at times, touching.

Speaking of movies with numbers in the title, another movie that I caught on cable, but only part of, was 200 Cigarettes. 200 Cigarettes centers around New Years Eve 1980, in NYC. The litle bits I saw of it seemed pretty good. Ben Afleck, Christina Ricci, Paul Rudd, Courtney Love.

Speaking of Cinemax, tonight at 12:30 (I'll be fast asleep) is "Sinful Obsession," Check out the synopsis:

A lusty housewife, whose aggressive approach has pushed away her husband, drifts into the business of prostitution to satisfy her cravings for passion. With Nikki Fritz, Julia Kruis, Dana Robbins.

I haven't seerrn this movie, but it sounds like a Skinemax classic. Want to guess how it ends? The prostitution endeavor ends badly, ether because the woman falls in love with a john (most likely a handsome, unattainable, darkly sexual CEO type), or becasue she enounters a demented psycho-killer type and narrowly escpaes with her life. In either event, she ends up back with her husband. Also, check out the cast -- NIkki Fritz? Julia Kruis? Dana Robbins? Ever heard of any of these people?

Anyway, let's look for these folks. . . .

Nikki Fritz -- Can be found here but it doesn't like you're going to see much without joining up for a paid membership. Nikki describes herself as an "actress, model, and Web diva." Ahem.

Julia Kruis -- Can't find a website for her, but you can see a few pics of her by doing a Google search. For some reason linking directly to the picture from here didn't work.

Dana Robbins -- Can't find much out about her.

But the essential ingredients are in place for Skinemax classic -- a completely lame plot and a smattering of non-mainstream actresses with plenty of . . . talent, as it were. If anyone should happen to stay up and watch this, please let me know if this film lives up to its obviously highbrow pretentions.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

07.30.2002
09:20 PM EDT

OK, too early to go to bed, and too hot to sleep anyway.

On stifling NYC days like yesterdy and today, I think about alternative climates. Of course, any place too cold is a non-starter. That still leaves a lot of places. In thinking back to places I've been . . . hmmmmmmmmmmm. Las Vegas seems to have a pretty good climate, based on my small sample of having been there twice, for a week at a time. There must be something to that old "dry heat" line, becasue een when it was 100 degrees there, it felt better than when it was 85 here and humid. The only thing about LV was that My sinuses seemed to dry up immediaitely upon stepping off of the airplane. Oh well, no place is perfect, and there are better reasons to live someplace than the weather. Aren't there?

Its awfully hot to be putting on headphones, but I need to hear some tunes . . . .

I really like ABC . . . it's a shame they never made it bigger. I suppose hey were a little too innocent (or obvious?), even for the late 70s/early 80s. But, check out "When Smokey Sings" for a four-minute vacation in a simpler time. [That the late 70s/early 80s seem "simpler" by comparison is a striking realization in and of itself, but that's a whole nother topic.]

As she's packin her things
As she's spreadin her wings
Smashin the hell with the heaven she brings
And Smokey sings . . .


How music encapsulates a mood . . . how it allows you to completely re-live, not just remember, a time in your life, has always thrilled and amazed me. I'm sure that cognitive psychologists and assorted other experts have studied this kind of topci to death. But some phenomena were meant to be witmessed and felt, not explained.

I'm always amazed when I meet someone who has no feeling for music . . . someone who doesn't get brought back to a moment by a song. But we all have taken different paths to get here -- for some I sppose the spoken word has a similiar effect. And for some others . . . well, perhaps they'd rather not re-llive moments from the past.

Then there's the sport of trying to figure out what the singer was actually singing . . . it just so happens that Jean Genie by Bowie just came on . . . .

Jean Genie . . . .lives on his back
Jean Genie . . . loves genie slacks [???] [honestly have no idea at all]
He's outrageous, he screams and he moans . . . [bowls? balls? bawls?]
Jean Genie, let yourself go . . .


Now, no trouble figuring these lyrics out . . one of cordy's and my favorite snogs . . .

Pink -- it's my new obsession
Pink it's not even a question
Pink on the lips of your lover
Cuz pink is the love you discover
Pink as the bing as your cherry
Pink -- cuz you are so very
Pink it 's the color of passion
Cuz today it just goes with the fashion

Pink it was love at first sight
Yeah pink when I turn out the light
And pink gets me high as a kite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight

You could be my flamingo
Cuz pink is a new kind of lingo
Pink like the gecko umbrella
It's kink, but you don't ever tell her

Pink it was love at first sight
Yeah pink when I turn out the light
And pink gets me high as a kite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight

I . . . want to be your lover
I, I wanna wrap you in rubber
As pink as the sheets that we lay on
Cuz pink is my favorite crayon

Pink it was love at first sight
Pink when I turn out the light
Pink is like red but not quite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight


See? It's crazy, but I feel better now . . . and the goofy strains of Steal my Sunshine aren't hurting, either . . . [Note: While having the MP3 of Steal My Sunshine doesn't prove that I'm not hopelessly retro, it does at least argue in that direction. Yes? Maybe? ]

Now, I could go into a long examination of whether it's a good thing to be so heavily influenced by music. But what could I say about it that everyone who feels the same doesn't already know? And those don't feel that way wouldn't be any closer to understanding.

Oh, the obligatory public service anouncement . . . the mad virus bomber is still at it, with a solid four messages today. Total infections: Still ZERO. Bitch.

Oh, my . . . a song that depresses Me, for reasons I can't fully aprehend . . .look at these lyrics -- what's depressing here?

I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali.. hmm, I don't think so
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali.. I don't think so

Going back to Cali, stylin, profilin
Growlin, and smilin, wild in the sun
The top is down, on the black Corvette
And it's fly, cause it's sittin on Dayton's
Laurents steering wheel, plushed out, gold-leaf phantom top
and three girls waiting
VRRRROOM engine's blowin, the chrome, is shining
Passing all the cars on the way
Movement of the wind, back wheels spin
Pop in a cassette and push play

I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali - yea y'all, I don't think so
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali..

I'm going back to Cali, shakin 'em, bakin 'em
Takin 'em to spots they never before hung
?? the place, on Sunset it's a trip
Where the A.C.'s cold, and the girls still strip
The record skip, but this girl kept dancin
Prancin, grindin, grinnin, romancin
I asked her to the barn, so we could hit the hay
I wanna do this, Brutus, but I don't wanna pay

I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali - no man I don't think so
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali..
..

I'm going back to Cali, rising, surprising
Advising realizing, she's sizing me up
Her bikini - small; heels - tall
She said, she liked, the ocean
She showed me a beach, gave me a peach
and pulled out the suntan lotion
Now I thought that was fast, but this girl was faster
She's lookin for a real good time
I said, "Close your eyes, I got a surprise,"
and I ran away with the bottle of wine

I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali.. I don't think so
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali.. I don't think so


I don't know what it is . . . the song doesn't take me back to any particualrly bad time of my life, or anything like that, like some sogns do. I think it's that mournful trumpet in the beginning. And something about the concept of leaving a place forever, there's an inheerent sadness to that. To walk on a street, and know in your bones that you'll never walk that street again . . . and although the song is obviously about something different, something in LL Cool J's voice, a certain melancholy, artfully blended with the usual puffed-out rap persona.

Anyway . . . now it's time to try sleeping. "Pink" made me feel good more than "Goin back to Cali" made me feel bad, so I'm still "plus" for the night.
07.30.2002
8:57 PM EDT

Just a quick note to keep the blog semi-current. Not feeling up to writing. Early bedtime tonight I think.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

07.28.2002
8:04 PM EDT

The song is my head today is "The Other Side," by Aerosmith . . .

Lovin' you has got to be
Like the devil and deep blue sea
Forget about your foolish pride
And take me to the oher side . . .

You love me you hate me
You cut me down to size
You blinded me with love
And then you opened up my eyes


That about sums it up, yes? I always wonder if people expect to find love to be a transcendent experience, I mean, really expect it to be? Or do most of us just file that away as some kind of ideal, but in practice we muddle through and are happy with what we get? OK, that's pushing it. Most people aren't happ with that area of their lives. Sadly, even most married people I know aren't happy with that part of their livves. I have told people that "expectations are like poisoned candy -- sweet but deadly," but to have expectations is unavoidable, isn't it? When you stop having expectations, I wonder -- is that giving up, on some level? Or is that just being happy in the moment and taking life as it comes?

Perhaps it doesn't matter. We will always have some kind of expectations. Even if we somehow enter into a relationship with none, they soon develop (positive and negative). For instance, if he calls you every day for eight days straight, the ninth day has an expectation attached to it. Conscious or not, it's there. On a certain level, that's healthy, I suppose. Most people need some kind of consistency in most areas of their lives. Being able to rely on certain things is comforting and settling. But then, of course, after a while our expectations trap the other person and hold him or her down . . . uggh . . . this is too much to think about for a Sunday night . ..