Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My days on the beach will never be the same

When I was a kid, I'd buy Archie comics all summer long. I'd read them while chewing Bazooka Joe bubble gum in between jumping waves and building sand castles on the Manasquan beach. The new look is stale and has no character.

Nothing but nog - Salon

I drank my first glass of spiked eggnog this Sunday. It never appealed to me before, but we had an unopened container left over from our party, so I thought I'd give it a try. I don't think I'd like it plain - the rum blended so nicely with the store-bought flavor.
Here's an article by Robert Sietsema discussing the origins of the tasty beverage - engineered and otherwise - in a warm, Christmassy tone.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Someone in my office left a perfectly toasted bialy on top of the toaster oven. It's sitting there looking like it should be in a food magazine photo spread. I must say, I was tempted to steal it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

See, Family Guy is written by intelligent beings

The ongoing saga of the manatee continues here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The classical is back

I noticed this morning that there's classical music playing again in the Port Authority. I wonder if this is a seasonal thing. I always thought they played it year-round because whenever I went into the city from my college campus, I swore they always played classical music. But maybe that was just when I visited during the winter holidays. It lends a nice calming effect to the whole enterprise.

To all you telecom people out there

Today, George Carlin on my daily George Carlin calendar, asks:
"I wonder when we pick up the telephone, does each of us get his own individual dial tone, or is there just one systemwide, master dial tone that each of us jumps on and off when we need it?"
Sounds like a stupid question, but it intrigues me. Know the answer?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Manatee heads to Memphis

Not satisfied with the New York scene, manatee heads to Memphis to try his fortunes in writing country and rockabilly songs.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Broke the curse

I finally broke my Beck curse. I saw him at the Loews Theater in Jersey City last night on my third attempt in seeing him.

The first attempt was at the Free Tibet show in D.C. He was scheduled to perform on the first day, but a huge thunderstorm passed through and someone in the crowd actually got hit by lightning. They ended the first day early and Beck had to go on to another gig in NY.

The second attempt was at Field Day. That was supposed to be held over two days out on Long Island, but the locals kicked them out and the show was moved to Giants Stadium for a one-day show. It rained that day, heavily at times, and while dancing backstage to Underworld (I think), Beck slipped and hurt himself. He cancelled his appearance that night.

I was sure something would happen last night to make Beck cancel, but he didn't and he put on a good show.

This video (from a NY show) is of the marionettes he used in the show. Every band member had a marionette that mimicked what the person did on stage. They created on-the-fly music videos of the puppets and the puppets even had their own teeny tiny puppet theater for themselves.

For Jersey City, they roamed around town to the tune of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer. The puppet band even stopped at White Castle for a meal.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Today's commuter follies

Well this morning I was seated near the dueling throat-clearers. I don't know if your throat gets any clearer the louder you clear your throat, but these two seemed to think so. TGFiPods.

Then this evening, there was emergency construction on two of the Parkway's local lanes. There was so much traffic on the Turnpike before the exit to the Parkway, and on the Parkway before the Driscoll Bridge, that the bus was rerouted to exit 8 on the Turnpike (for route 33). I guess it was better than sitting in that traffic. It took two hours to get home, but I'm sure it would have taken longer if we stayed the course and went our usual route.

But the cherry on the top of my sundae were the 14-something teenagers skateboarding at the park and ride when we pulled up. About half of the boys had stripped down to their boxer shorts and a couple ran and scrambled to get their pants back on when they saw the bus. Very strange.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

And in today's commuter follies:
I missed the 6:54 bus, which is OK because another one comes ten minutes later. Only that one was a little late as the driver had to switch buses because the first one broke down. She told the Old Bridge attendant this in great detail at which point one of my fellow passengers yelled out "let's get going!" Traffic was light and we got into Port Authority by 8:30, which is good. On bad traffic days, the bus ride takes two hours.
Once in Port Authority, I got on the downtown E train, which paused at 34th St. for more than usual because of congestion on the tracks; the conductor recommended that we switch to the A, which is express. Only by the time I got out of the train, the track cleared up and the train moved on without me. I went to the A tracks anyway figuring it couldn't hurt. But two local trains came and went while I waited for the A, so I decided to go back and take a local. The local train I boarded was slow as molasses and before we got to the next stop, two A trains passed us by.
So far, no other bad luck has happened. I wonder if this is all due to the stray black cat that hangs around our house. Maybe he crossed behind my car early this morning...

Update: As I drove home, a black cat ran in front of my car. Damn it!

What's the meaning of irony?

I've come to realize that there's only so much New York irony I can take. Hearing more than five minutes of it makes me want to throw something. It's like hanging out with an unfunny Groucho Marx. He had a sense of humor about himself, which is sorely missing in NY irony.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tell it to my poor ears

Is Taylor Dayne making a comeback or something? I've heard her two hits every day during the past four days in various places. Friday it was at the Chelsea Salvation Army thrift store. Saturday she was on the radio as we flipped through stations. Sunday it was Home Depot. Today it was in Port Authority. And now she's playing incessantly in my head!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

If I Had a Hammer

I've been listening to the Smithsonian's series of podcasts, which is very good, about the American Folkways record label. As I was listening to Pete Seeger lead his audience in singing "If I Had a Hammer," I realized how powerless the person in the song is. He/she has all these wonderful intentions of hammering for justice, ringing in liberty, and singing with his brothers and sisters if only he/she had a hammer, a bell, or a song.
But the person doesn't have a hammer, or a bell, or I guess a song (but isn't this the song he/she wished they had? What song do they want?) so what are they going to do in the meantime? Sit around and wait for those things? I mean, what are they going to do about it?
If I had some eggs, I could make some ham and eggs, if I had some ham.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Also born on my birthday

I've lived all my life thinking that the only famous person (of whom I've heard) that was born on December 20 was the actress Irene Dunne and today, courtesy of Wikipedia, I've found that
  • 1957 - Billy Bragg, English singer and songwriter
  • 1957 - Mike Watt, American bassist
  • 1966 - Chris Robinson, American singer ( Black Crowes)
    were all born on that day, too.
    That's better.

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    Bad timing

    I took my MacBook to work with me today so I could finally watch Throne of Blood, which is one of my Netflix picks that's been collecting dust for about 3 months, on the bus to work. Just my luck, today of all days I happened to sit next to a young fella reading his day's Bible study.

    When I got to the part in the movie when one of the lord's soldiers brings in a big bundle that looks like it could be a human head wrapped in a sheet, I turned it off. I figure that I'd like my fellow passengers to try not to do things that annoy me, so I didn't think my neighbor would appreciate seeing too much gore. Not that they show the head...

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Dancing with the Stars

    Right outside of the subway entrance in the Port Authority today were two people in gold star costumes and someone taking a picture with them. It was an ad for Dancing with the Stars! A woman shouted at us to remember to watch it tonight.
    I guess it was partially effective because I remember that I saw them but I'm not planning on watching the show. Then again, it could have been a dream as I was not fully awake from my nap on the bus.
    Come to think of it, it's a really smart campaign. If the MTA gives them the counts of how many people came in and out of the subway during the time the gold stars were there, they'll know exactly how effective the ad is by comparing the show's ratings with how many people saw the ad.

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    The best donut I've ever had

    This morning I had an 8 am meeting, which meant that I had to catch the 6:15 express bus into the city. A lot of my fellow meeting-goers might not have been as "inconvenienced" as I was, but they were equally frustrated by the early start time. Luckily, the guy who called the meeting saved the morning by bringing us a dozen donuts from The Donut Pub on West 14th St. They make their donuts often, by hand, and they're open 24-hours.


    I had the plain cake donut and it was the best donut I've ever had. It was so crispy on the outside and so moist on the inside but not greasy at all.

    Now, I like my donuts with some bite and substance to them so I personally don't go for the Krispy Kremes. If I were to get one off the conveyor, I might not even think they were the best. We had a little showdown about that at the meeting.

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    How precious!

    This has got to be the best commentary on the War on Terrortm yet:

    Send in Jack Bauer!

    Dad: Honey, where's your teddy bear?
    3-year-old girl: Oh, the terrorist are hiding him.

    Overlake Hospital
    Bellevue, Washington

    Overheard by: Nurse says what

    via Overheard in the Office, Aug 31, 2006

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Lower My Bills

    Have you seen those LowerMyBills.com web ads? They usually have bizarre animated GIFs run on a continuous loop that don't seem to have anything to do with mortgage refinancing and debt consolidation. Sometimes it's a bunch of cartoon cheerleaders - one for every state in the union. Sometimes it's a series of photos turned into an animated GIF. Today I saw one of a silhouette of a woman in a long dress gingerly walking the peak of a tile roof. Bizarre. But damn them, they always get my attention.

    Monday, August 28, 2006

    The only candy with the exploded caramel

    I can't have coffee or other caffeinated beverages for a while because of my problems with acid reflux. I'm not supposed to have chocolate either, but I hardly got any sleep last night and I'm crashing. So I bought a caramel Twix from the machine at work to help me out.
    Lately I've been getting momentarily upset at the ad on the back for peanut butter Twix, thinking I mistakenly bought a peanut butter Twix when I actually did buy the caramel. So after my second of worry and relief, I opened up the package only to find that about half the caramel had exploded into one end of the wrapping.
    Let me tell you, the Twix chocolate and cookie isn't the same without the Twix caramel and the Twix caramel isn't the same without the Twix chocolate and cookie crunch.
    I want my money back! That was not a Twix! That was caramel, chocolate, and cookie, but that was not a Twix!

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    Lunch today

    Today is pretty foggy and what I imagine to be London-y (I've never been), so I tried the split pea soup at Hale and Hearty Soups in the Chelsea Market . It was indeed hearty and very tasty. I had a small size and a half of a tuna wrap - they completely stuffed me. I think I'll just go with a small soup next time.

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Mr. Softee

    I'm ten floors up from the street but I'll be damned if I can't hear the Mr. Softee truck down there now.

    name of my new MacBook

    I came up with a good name for my MacBook as I drifted off to sleep on the bus to work today: Chiclet!
    The MacBook looks like a white chiclet - it's smooth, rectangular, and shiny. And who knows, maybe I'll use my MacBook write a novel that'll be categorized as chick-lit. Not that I love chick-lit, but whatever the publisher decides is out of my hands.
    I love it when form follows function.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Bruno Kirby, R.I.P.

    It is with great sadness that we here at Mime is Money pay our last respects to actor Bruno Kirby, who died Monday from complications related to leukemia.
    He had a long career: he was in such early-70s TV shows as Room 222 and the pilot of M.A.S.H.
    Most notably for us, he played Rat Pack fan and limo driver, Tommy Pischedda, in This is Spinal Tap. The outtakes on the Spinal Tap DVD of Kirby crooning in his tighty whities is as good as anything in the released movie.
    Bruno Kirby was certainly no fad.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Cat in the photo booth

    Strange checking out my new MacBook.

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Christmas in August

    Yesterday, I ordered a white MacBook with 1 GHz RAM and an 80 GB hard drive. I can't wait for it to arrive - I feel like an eight-year old waiting for Christmas!
    My six-year old Compaq PC is showing its age. I plan on reformatting the hard drive (again!) and installing more memory (if the thing isn't too old for that). I'm only going to use it for personal business- and work business-related functions; I'll use the MacBook for the fun stuff like ripping and burning, man! Maybe I'll buy a video camera somewhere down the line and make video films, Bren Bren! Yeah!
    (That reference to video films and Bren Bren is from Brendon Small's cancelled cartoon, Home Movies. The character who said "video film" and called Brendon "Bren Bren" is Fenton, voiced by Sam Seder, currently of Air America's Majority Report. Every now and then you can hear Fenton's voice slip out when Seder gets agitated.)

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Summer Reading: Little Children by Tom Perrotta

    I just finished reading Little Children by Tom Perrotta, who also wrote Election (they made that one into a movie with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick).
    Rather than being about literal little children, the book is really about adults behaving like children on a playground and infatuated, horny teenagers.
    Todd, a stay-at-home dad, and Sarah, a stay-at-home mom, have a summer fling: they think they're going to leave their spouses and run away with each other. But what will they live on? Their giddy adolescent feelings for each other? Neither one of them has ever held down a job good enough to raise a family on.
    In the primary storyline, Perrotta deftly recreates the feelings of desperation felt by a girl with a crush: in a flashback, Sarah is in high school obsessing over a theater geek and finally gets to kiss him. The next morning, her father drives her to the SAT test; on the way, Sarah is giddy with the assumption that she has a boyfriend. Her heart is broken when, in line for the test, her "boyfriend" coldly explains that the kiss was a mistake.
    In the present time, Sarah obsesses over keeping Todd and over his pretty wife Kathy. Sarah parks her car in front of Todd and Kathy's apartment and sits there for hours waiting for a glimpse of Kathy. When Kathy does finally come outside, Sarah's heart sinks at just how pretty Kathy is.
    Minor characters include a child molester with the mentality of a 10-year-old weakling being bullied on the playground, his present-day bully: an ex-cop bent on driving the child molester out of town, Sarah's husband Richard, whose philosophy is to never fool himself into thinking he can fight his base desires, and a group of stay-at-home moms acting like a snotty band of popular teens.
    The book ends with a suspenseful point-of-view switching scene in which the major and some of the minor characters reach their respective epiphanies. Todd and Sarah even realize that they've been acting like irresponsible teenagers, though Todd has to be hit on the head to finally get it.
    Little Children is a deceptively quick read: its dialogue and prose belie a deeper meaning than a mere chronical of events that take place over one summer.

    Pee Wee's Playhouse

    I've been watching Cartoon Network's Adult Swim's reruns of Pee Wee's Playhouse (Wikipedia's entry) and it really takes me back to the late 80's/early 90's. I must have seen every episode three or four times because I remember them with great clarity.
    I also find it hilarious that it's showing at 11 at night when the kiddies are supposed to be asleep. My sister was watching it at the tender age of 5 and I at 13.
    I absoultely love the first season. It was an absurd mixture straight out of a John Waters movie. Everything fits together: the wonderful incedental music by Mark Mothersbaugh; the strange toys; the puppets; the speedo-wearing, buff and tan Tito the lifeguard; and the Divine Mrs. Steve.
    The second season started up the other night - wow, what a disappointment. I forgot how much things changed. And not for the better, in my opinion.
    In the first episode of the second season, Pee Wee is redecorating his playhouse and everything's under drop cloths. I guess this is their way of easing the kids at home into the big changes.
    And those changes in order of what irks me most are:
    • Captain Carl (the always funny late Phil Hartman) is gone
    • The incedental music of Mark Mothersbaugh is replaced by that of The Residents and is more like traditional cartoon music than Mothersbaugh's subtle stylings
    • the cute and sassy Dixie is replaced by the trio of flowers who now announce the King of Cartoon's arrival (lame!)
    • the bedroom-eyed Globey, who always looked as if he were looking directly at whomever was talking to him, is replaced by a new cartoony, beady-eyed one (although the French accent remains)
    • there's a new King of Cartoons (and a TV to replace the film projector; Pee Wee was righteously disappointed when the new King bestowed upon him the TV)
    • beefcake Tito the life guard (hey, everything can use more Tito!) is replaced by Ricardo the soccer player who wears more modest shorts and a shirt (a shirt?!)
    • the playhouse kids (did you know Opal was played by the ill-fated Natasha Lyonne?) are gone
    • the "Divine" Mrs. Steve is replaced by Mrs. Renee
    Thankfully, Lawrence Fishburn remains as Cowboy Curtis. (hoooo-whee!)
    I'll still watch, but I'll feel cheated.

    Jersey Shore literature

    Salon is doing a series of book discussions focused on where in the world the book is set. Today's article by Susy Hansen is about the literature of the Jersey Shore. The first book on her list is Frederick Reiken's Lost Legends of New Jersey .
    I read this a couple of years ago and found Reiken's discussions of the Shore to be pretty much just an expansion of those "You know you're from the Jersey Shore if..." emails. Great for people who grew up in Jersey and moved away, boring for people like me who still live here. FYI: The book only focuses on the Shore in the first half; it moves up to North Jersey thereafter.

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    How to take the bus from Aldrich Road in Howell, NJ to New York Port Authority

    I recently took the bus from the Aldrich Road Park and Ride in Howell, NJ to New York Port Authority. When I take a mode of transportation I've never taken before, I like to do a little research about fares, tickets, parking and all that. I couldn't find much on the web about daily parking at the park and ride so I set out in the real world to find out and am sharing my knowledge with you here.

    Note: At off-peak hours, the bus to NYC doesn't stop at the Aldrich Road park and ride, instead it picks passengers up at the bus stop on Route 9 North just before Aldrich Road. You can park at the park and ride regardless of where you board the bus.

    Schedule: You can find the PDF schedule (valid as of July 28, 2006) for NJ Transit route 139 here at the NJ Transit website.

    Costs (as of July 28, 2006):

    • The bus costs $12 one-way. It seems that you can't buy a round-trip ticket, so you'll have to buy two one-way tickets.

    • The park and ride costs $.25 to park for 3 hours. You can park for a maximum of 24 hours.

    To use the park and ride when boarding the bus in the park and ride:

    1. Buy your ticket(s) from the Colonial Coffee Shoppe in the Aldrich Plaza strip mall, located at the Southwest corner of Route 9 North and Aldrich Road.

    2. Park your car in the park and ride, just behind the strip mall on Aldrich.

      Daily parking is in the West side of the lot (the side furthest from Route 9).

      Daily parking spaces are numbered. Only monthly permit holders should park in non-numbered spaces.

    3. Remember your parking space number.

    4. At the park and ride bus shelter, go to the machine with the big 'P' on it and pay for your parking.

      Follow the instructions on the screen.

    5. Sit back and wait with joyous anticipation for your bus.

    To use the park and ride when boarding at the bus stop on Route 9 North: I suggest parking your car at the park and ride first, walking to the Colonial Coffee Shoppe to get your tickets, and then walk up to the bus stop.

    Helpful Hints

    • Sometimes buses from the Academy bus line substitute for NJ Transit. So don't be surprised if you wait in line at the Port Authority at the gate that says it's for NJ Transit route 139 and then get to the bus and find Academy bus #500-something. You can politely ask the driver whether or not the bus will be stopping at your stop.
    • Don't sit directly behind the driver if you plan on talking to your companion or on your cell phone. I've learned this from experience. Apparently, if you look out the window while talking, your voice in full volume travels up the window to the driver and distracts him. The driver will get very angry and start yelling at you to keep it down.

    Update (8/3/06):Here's the Wikipedia article about bus 139.

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    President Garfield died there

    I'm reading Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation and while trying to find where the old Francklyn Cottage was in Long Branch, NJ (where President Garfield died; I think Vowell might tell me, but I'm not at that part yet), I found this cool website of old prints chronicling Garfield's death.
    Hat tip to Annabelle for bringing up the story a couple of months ago and reminding me to read this book. (I hope she doesn't mind the pseudonym I gave her!)

    If I had a million dollars

    Audrey Hepburn's black dress from the first scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's is going up for auction. Le sigh.

    Sunday, July 23, 2006

    Kill, Do, or Marry

    Ok, gang, let's play Kill, Do, or Marry!

    For each choice, tell us if you would kill them, do them, or marry them. Give us a little explanation for each choice to make this fun.

    You can just play with choices of the opposite sex, or for even more fun, play with both sexes!

    Here are your choices:

    Katie Holmes
    Angelina Jolie
    Gweneth Paltrow

    Keanu Reeves
    Woody Harrelson
    Robert Downey Jr


    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Yeah yeah, she's cute, but what's her thetan count?

    Only Scientologists can see Suri-with-a-fringe-on-top.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    Look out, Plankton! The oil companies are comin' ta git ya!

    Geez, I didn't think Plankton was that bad.

    This is weird - when I did a Google search for the Spanish company that's partnering with the Spanish University of Alicante to make the oil, Bio Fuel Systems, I found a company called BioFuel Systems based in England.

    The only thing I can find that mentions Bio Fuel Systems, the University of Alicante, and plankton is the Reuters article.

    And I realized after reading the article more closely that nobody's name is used. The article only attributes a "press dossier" from the company.

    The article does say that Bio Fuel Systems was created this year, but I would think that a cutting edge company that released a press dossier would have a Web site containing that very dossier.

    So I guess Plankton is safe: I wouldn't count on gas from that process any time soon.

    Don't marry a gossip

    I admit it - I'm hooked on My Life on the D List, the reality show that follows Kathy Griffin around doing her D list-y things. I find it funny - she's funny and she tells a good story. And I'm all about the story telling these days, which is why I listen to The Croncast, because I'm trying to hone my own story telling skills so I can start writing good fiction.

    Anyway, back in May, Kathy Griffin divorced her husband, Matt, who was heavily featured in the show, because he stole about $72,000 from her.

    So Kathy went on Larry King and told her story and Matt doesn't like that because it's a private affair. He hasn't been blabbing about it, so why is she?

    Uh, hello? Because she's Kathy Griffin, queen of gossip, and this is a really juicy story, that's why.

    You should have known what you were getting into, buddy.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Howell is safe

    An Asbury Park Press article reported that Howell is the 11th safest town in the whole country.

    I can attest to that. During the recent Independence Day four-day weekend, about half of our neighbors were shooting off firecrackers and bottle rockets and not a one caused a fire. Neither did I hear about anyone losing any fingers.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Cats that Look Like Hitler

    The name says it all:


    My b/w cat does not look like Hitler, although he does tend to bark (meow?) orders at me quite a bit.

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    The Monks!

    There's a new documentary out about The Monks, a band from the 60's made up of U.S. Army GIs stationed in Germany. I first learned of them from a WFMU video. The documentary doesn't have international distribution yet but rumor has it that the band will reunite for a late-2006 tour.

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    You know what happens when you assume things?

    I was thinking about why wearing a Support the Troops t-shirt would be considered an act of protest.

    Maybe someone was reading into the message the wrong way because he feels very guilty that his actions aren't actually supporting the troops? Hmmm?

    Granted, the woman wasn't treated as badly as Cindy Sheehan, but she was still removed from the audience.

    Tuesday, January 31, 2006


    As one of the buttons on my denim jacket in high school said, stress is "The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's desire to beat or choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately deserves it."

    Seems like I know a lot of people who want to choke somebody what with the Alito confirmation, the spying, the continued violence in Iraq, bickering going on in the office while the cats are away...

    Little less than 7 weeks till Hawaii! Hooray!

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    R.I.P. Chris Penn

    I wasn't going to comment on the recent death of Chris Penn, one of my favorite actors, because I don't like projecting feelings I would feel for a friend onto a complete stranger.

    But my iPod played Sinatra's It Was a Very Good Year and then Stealers Wheel's Stuck in the Middle with You and even though Penn wasn't in that scene in Reservoir Dogs it nevertheless made me think of him and how I'm sorry I won't see him in much of anything else again.

    And when I read that one of his last movies is the upcoming The Darwin Awards, I kinda winced.

    The black cloud of crime spreads far and wide

    O! how I wish a story like this popped up in the Montclair State campus police blotter when I was on that beat.

    In today's Asbury Park Press police briefs lies an item just teeming with story ideas for one Guy Ritchie (or maybe it's a sequel to Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle).

    Two guys, one from Piscataway, the other from Woodbridge, work at one of those shady car audio shacks you see across the state, this one in Edgewater Park. (Edgewater Park??!! That's about an hour from where these guys live so I hope the pay is worth it).

    They go to Eatontown (Eatontown??!!) thinking they're going to sell some audio equipment to a bunch of guys in 80 Acre Park at 11:30 on a Saturday night.

    So it's no surprise to you that once these guys get to the park, they "were threatened [by five guys, one of whom works for the Bradley Beach Department of Public Works] with a knife and a gun and robbed of jewelry, cash, cellular telephones and their 1997 Chevrolet van, which contained equipment from their business."

    I see quick cuts slickly edited to the funky beats of James Brown as the Dept. of Public Works employee and his gang plan the heist and tool up route 35...

    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Ritmo Latino: the correct link

    A while ago I posted about one of my favorite podcasts, Ritmo Latino. I gave you links that were all wrong. This one is the right one.

    Listen to it! It's great work-out music...

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    Prejudiced Google

    This article points out a "Prejudice Map," which points out stereotypes of the world according to Google's search results. It's cute; not all countries are represented.

    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    la la la la La Llorona

    I was listening to the latest Hometown Tales podcast this morning and they were talking about the legend of La Llarona, the wailing woman, which is featured in one of my favorite movies, Mullholland Dr.

    On my short walk from my car to the office, it hit me. I should write a song about La Llarona set to the tune of My Sharona.


    Thursday, January 05, 2006

    Substitute teachers and houses

    Last night I realized that a house is like a room full of middle- or high-schoolers. You must earn its respect or else it'll start throwing spit balls and paper airplanes at you while you nervously fiddle with the VCR so you can show the assigned after-school special to the class.

    When we moved into our new (used) house, we had a nice month where nothing big needed to be fixed. Kent added a trap to the master bathroom sink, we painted the family room, all went fairly well.

    Turns out that the house was merely sitting back and sizing us up. After that honeymoon month, it said, "Ok tough guys, let's see what you got. Let's see if you can keep up with me."

    So when Kent replaced the wax seal on the downstairs toilet to stop the sewer smells from leaking into the house, another leak in the toilet developed. After a few attempts to fix the leak, a small crack in the tank grew worse from the jostling that requires us to replace the toilet.

    Like a teenager with a vendetta, the house is creative and persistent.

    As the weather got colder, the Pergo in the living room started to buckle and come up at the edges.

    One of the garage door openers broke and Kent spent a day replacing it.

    The roof leaked a bit during the eight days and nights of rain we had a couple of months ago.

    The performance of the washer and dryer is starting to deteriorate; the timer on dryer no longer works.

    The faucets for the washer sprang a slight leak and though Kent can fix it by tightening the faucet, we really should get them replaced.

    I feel like Kent and I are Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier of Blackboard Jungle and To Sir with Love, respectfully. If we could just show the house that we only want to help it, to nurture it, to make it stronger, maybe it will grow to respect and even love us.

    And then maybe Lulu will show up and sing to us...