Friday, March 26, 2004

Every once in a while Amazon sends me an email that says, since you've bought A in the past, perhaps you might want to buy B today.

Today I got an email plugging the new DMX movie and the email starts out:

Dear Customer, As someone who has purchased urban-themed products, we thought you might like to know that Never Die Alone, starring DMX and David Arquette, is now in theaters.


I realize they aren't going to come right out and say, "We've noticed that you've bought some CD's by black people. There are black people in this movie; perhaps you'd like it as well." although that's the message.

I'm looking forward to an urban theme park. Ride the Latin Kings Log Flume and such.

I read (and enjoyed) THE CORRECTIONS so maybe I'm also on the list for someone who buys suburban-themed products.

Monday, March 22, 2004

A strange bartending story from The New York Times about South Carolina:

In the late 1800s and during the Prohibition era, Charleston was renowned for its "blind tiger bars." Customers would pay an admission fee to see blind tigers in the backrooms of restaurants. When they discovered that there was no blind tiger -- and there were never any blind tigers -- the restaurant owner would make up for the wink-and-nod rip-off by offering a few "free" drinks that miraculously cost exactly the same as the blind-tiger admission fee.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Nice quote from today's NEW YORK TIMES profile of Dr. Jerome Groopman. He's talking about hope for cures:

"True hope is cleareyed," he (said). "It sees all the
difficulties that exist and all the potential for failure,
but through that, carves a realistic path to a better

Monday, March 15, 2004

Monday now, after an especially good, long weekend. Nothing like a visit from Alex to make a weekend good. As is my custom, I feigned cultural involvement and we saw the Sesame Street Exhibit at the Chicago Children's Museum (kind of lame although there is a nice video montage of Ernie singing the Rubber Duckie song in all the languages where Sesame St. exists. Also, interesting to me that Canada has their own version of Sesame St. called Sesame Park which seems just a wee bit excessive...okay, the muppets speak in english/french instead of english/spanish but could they not, in fact, make do with Sesame Street and not force muppets to sport maple leafs as though that, in and of itself, made something culturally specific?)

The clerk at the front desk of The Chicago Children's Museum told us that normally, adults who are NOT accompanied by children are not allowed in the Chicago Children's Museum.

"Is that to keep, like, R. Kelly out?" I asked the clerk who was not amused. However, there is an exception for the Sesame Street Exhibit.

Lemme tell ya...any Chicago area hipsters thinking of seeing the Sesame Street exhibit? It ain't all that.

We also saw the exhibition of Ronco television products at the Chicago Cultural Center where I felt very American talking about the phenomenon of Mr. Microphone with Alex-they had no Mr. Microphone north of the Border, nor any Pocket Fisherman. But then I spoke with my friend Rosemary on Saturday evening and she was unfamiliar with both Mr. Microphone and the Pocket Fisherman and she's almost 29 goddamn years old and has watched HEAPS of television so I just felt old, and not merely american.


I know that the Mr. Microphone line is "hey baby, be back to pick you up later," and, in fact, when the audio of this came on I represented this phrase to Alex as being part of being American. To be American was to know Mr. Goddamn Microphone where lads in a convertible sought to pick up girls in another, passing convertible.

But Rosemary never picked up on that.

Bless her heart.

Got some email from Mr. Drew Katchen, currently of New Jersey, formerly of Mass. (that's where I met him) and before that of South Carolina (which is why, I assumed, we felt a rapport with one another) He's a hell of a writer and an all around fine fellow. If he wasn't in a different time zone I don't doubt we would be hanging out lots even though he likes, you know, guitar-centric rock and I, you know, don't. But failing that, I suggest that his online archives are well worth a perusal.

Otherwise, as far as the weekend went, we saw Jonathan Goldstein, 500 Clown Frankenstein, the DVD of SPELLBOUND and talked about lots of books.

I'm hear to tell you, while THE NANNY DIARIES is dreadfully written, it does make the time, time spent, say, going to the airport to meet a late flight, go very fast. If you are looking to speed some time along, you could hardly do better than THE NANNY DIARIES assuming, you know, no new Harry Potter books are available.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

My colleague Linda was just warning another colleague, Marcia about the dangers of spraying Static Guard up one's skirt to prevent static between one's pantyhose and the skirt. I missed the beginning of the conversation so I don't know what the context was, however it seemed to be accepted that women do, in fact, spray Static Guard up their skirts.

The danger, according to Linda, is that static can create sparks which could then ignite on the aerosol, creating a flamethrower effect.

A compelling visual, no?
This morning on the train a young guy got on my car wearing normal urban winter stuff...knit cap, peacoat, artfully distressed jeans and so forth. He also had an eye patch over his left eye.

A medically necessary eye patch??? Don't know. I like the thought of him reviewing his accesorizing options, wondering "hmmmm...beret? bow tie? Oh I know; an eye patch! Arrrrgh matey!"

If I wore an eye patch I would tell everyone that I was Drew's evil twin, Stu.

Monday, March 01, 2004

This may be one of my favorite headlines ever. From the NEW YORK TIMES

Haitian Rebels Enter Capital; Aristide Bitter

Well I suppose he would be, bless his heart.

Tonight was my first Monday night hip hop class along with my Friday class meaning I can now bore all 5 of you with ruminations about my dance class TWICE a week! Hey, it's good for me, scroll on past if you're bored.

"Look at your butt!" Boogie commanded as we stood in profile, looking at our reflections in the mirror. "It better be moving! It's at the top of your legs! We got all sorts of preconceptions, everybody be 'I'm a white girl I got no hope for my butt' get over that!"

It's getting so much better. I can do all the crazy ass stuff she asks, the lunges, the ab exercises, the dancy things that are hard, hard, hard. They still suck but now I'm actually doing them instead of watching them going "what the fuck was THAT?!?!" And I have some dance vocabulary now. Sort of like learning a foreign language (like I've done lots of that but bear with me). If you have to spend lots of time going "casa=house, casa=house" that slows you down. But if you just feel casa, you have more options.

There is a guy in my class tonight who is from Africa. He's, I dunno, nine feet tall and when Boogie asked how to pronounce his name he said "Doo Doo" so he's not as fully asimilated as perhaps might best serve him. After watching me dance (we dance in groups of 4 moving across the room) he walked over to shake my hand. Which made me so satisfied.

While I am a doughy, goofy looking white guy I can fucking dance.

And folks know it.

"Andrew Reynolds!" Boogie said, calling my name on the roll, "sweet, sweet Drew!"

That's me.

Nice point from an online diary here which points out that women become eligible for Oscar Consideration by making themselves ugly (Nicole Kidman with the nose, Theron with the weight, etc.) and isn't that kind of fucked up?

I have a side question, not Oscar related, just newsy which, thusfar, I am unable to answer. I understand we've sent "a few hundred" marines to Haiti. How many military personnel are available, anyway? How many are deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, the ordinary places like Korea, Germany, Japan, how many people are left?

Businesses run on a "just in time" inventory basis. How much inventory do we have? If, say, El Salvador gets fucked up right away, do we have anybody to send? Can we handle, like, one major conflict and one skirmish? Or what exactly?

A day off from work today; took delivery of my new mattress & boxspring though didn't manage to dispose of the old (they are now propped up against a wall in my bedroom) some bike repair and some good yet unfulfilled intentions regarding laundry and homework.

Here in front of my computer thinking about The Daily Me. For those of you not in journalism school, the idea is that consumers can pick what THEY think is important and track news that follows that topic. As the link suggests, Walnut Farmers can track Walnut Data on the web without depending on intermediaries (i.e. journalists).

The importance of this is clear when you think about, say, Howard Dean. If you consume only the media I was consuming in December, you would conclude that Dean was a lock. Clearly this was not the case.

I bring this up because it seems like Bush is super-vulnerable right now and I can't tell if that's actually true or if it's just what I've been reading/exposing myself to.

So I've added the Fox News site to my daily rounds. I'll keep you posted.