Saturday, July 06, 2002

Yet another scary search hit...

And this one I'm #1 for!

I wnat you to wnat me...I mned you to mned me...I evol you to evol me.....

in Montana, baby.

Vacation. I made it. Ironically enough, as Lisa was picking me up one of my customers pulled in to place an order, so diligent commission whore that I am, I went back in to process it. Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

But, I'm as free as a bird now, and this bird you'll never...well, at least not for a week. Lisa's mom took us to Applebee's where I had grilled chicken covered in cheesy stuff resting on a bed of crunchy stuff. 'Twas delicious, honestly. Now I'm sipping on these lil' Starbucks Doubleshot doohickey's and trolling WinMX for obscure oldies. After that I'll probably take the nap to end all naps. If I havent blogged by like 5pm tommorrow, send out a search party, or assume that I've done a Rip Van Winkle on your collective ass.Feel free to AIM me anytime this week to chew the fat, as I'll be home all the time for the first few days at least.

*Stops to Breathe*
Just purchased supplies for a project for my main man Stavros, just a few details left on that front.

Me and my co-worker Rich were watching the customers of the Billiard Joint next door yesterday and noticed how the Friday night crowd there is largely the type of the sporty schmucks and schmuckettes that you see on Blind Date. This, of course led to a discussion of how that show only seems to fix up the most ridiculous mismatches, like say a born-again Christian and a professional dominatrix. I suggested taking it a step further: "Tonight on Blind Date a cat dates a mouse, let's see how it's going...."

The ultimate gameshow funhouse experience, if you ask me, would have been to put a serial killer on the Dating Game:

"Bachelor #1, what's most important to you in a woman?"
"The abilty to fit easily into a 50 gallon drum"
"What's the strangest place you ever made whoopee?"
"A slab at the county morgue."

I smell an Emmy, don't you?

Last day at work before vacation. I'm actually feeling pretty cheerful. I'm also like zen-level tired. You know that stuff, I forget what the hell it's called, where you cook like a herd of longhorn cattle down to like an espresso cup full of liquid? I'm experiencing the same thing with fatigue right now. Between the endurance test work schedule, the car troubles, and family obligations on both sides, plus maintenance of my internet addiction, I feel like I've spent the week doing farm labor. Plus with all the coffee and soda I've been inhaling, I am fast approaching caffeine psychosis. Tommorrow, I plan to see if it's possible for a normal human to sleep for 24 hours straight.

In other news, Lisa bought me a couple pairs of Dockers yesterday for work in my usual size and I was amazed at how snug they fit. I got on the bathroom scale and realized I've put on 15 pounds over the past month.Scrawny fuck that I am, this is a good thing. My mom did say my face looked less gaunt than usual. Lisa has lost about ten pounds over the same period which makes her happy. Seems to be cosmic weight exchange thing happening.

Also, I'll be in NYC all day on Thursday. Me and Lisa will be hooking up with some net-pals at GCT around 7:00pm after she gets outta work. Anyones welcome to hang either during the day or that night. Just drop a line.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Sorry it took so long to blog today. Blogger shit the bed today so I was cut off. I needed methadone.

Been getting a lot of disgruntled clients calling us with issues after they've been through tech support. One client was told that we wouldn't support Windows XP, even though it was bought from us, and that they had to do per-minute support from MS. Apparently there's a new employee screening procedure here at #$@^&$ corporation:

Go into local 7-11. Say to clerk, "Hey, you work that electronic cash register pretty darn well. I think that qualifies you to provide technical support. Here's a copy of Windows for Dummies. Come with me, young fella. Repeat.

As someone who's worked phone support, this worries me. You think I'm kidding. Be afraid or learn to be your own tech support.
First of all, Farewell to the Splendid Splinter. The term "Greatest of All Time" is often abused, but this man truly deserves the accolades. The last(and probably final) player to hit .400, a.344 lifetime average, 521 homers. The man was the best pure hitter the game has ever seen and a combat fighter pilot in Korea as well. Fare thee well, Ted.

On the home front, I got the car back today. I handed them a cashiers check for $1200 and change. Even though the car was running fine, Lisa drove me to work anyway. Even with all the early rising, it's been fun having company on my morning commute and since her ride has a CD player(unlike mine, the tape deck of which has had a tape profoundly stuck in it for going on 3 years now) we get to listen to some cool tunes together.

This morning at the gas station on of the mechanics had a Marlboro going the whole time we spoke, making me jones like a bastard. Luckily a few moments ago, I was getting coffee and the guy in front of me asked for a pack of GPC's. Must be the day before payday. I remeber all those off-brand cheapo smokes-Old Gold, Magna, Bull Durham and there industrial grade roughness and bottom-of-the-dugout-after-a-doubleheader flavor. Killed my jones right then and there. Thank you, you anonymous soul.

In other news, Lisa and I will be visiting the Big Apple on Thursday July 11th and anyone who wishes to hang out is welcome to. Just let us know via email or comments, and we'll tell ya how to hook up.

Stupid customer quote of the day:"Mom wants me to get a job working in computers, cause I can type real fast." Yeah, that's all there is to it, my man. Just for shits and giggles, I showed him "view source" on a webpage and watched the look of terror on his face. Just to keep from being a complete asshole, I told him that it wasn't as hard as it looks and that I was learning it too, gotta spread karma around. I actually said that making a site was like writing a poem; anyone could do it, but it takes talent and practice to do it well.

I'll blog some more later probably, if I don't just drop from exhastion.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

It's scary popcorn day, folks. I'm munching some of this frightening yet tasty concoction as we speak. It's like zen sugary. I suspect that the folks at Polident and Poli-Grip have a hand in this.

But fear not,Lisa's cookin me up an actual meal. Cheese and Garlic Sausage and Fried Pierogi. I asked her to cook up some creamed corn as well. I'm not all that hungry. I just wanna wrestle.
It's official.

I have found the worlds oddest snack food. Fiesta Fruit Flavored Popcorn. 50¢ per clear plastic bag. Popcorn that looks like it was colored by a five year old using Magic Marker-level bright colors. The copy on the bag says "Cherry, Orange, Banana" but one of the colors is green. I tasted one of the green ones, it tasted the same as the others, that vague sweet artificial flavor known as "fruit."(anyone remember back in the '70's trident made that appetizing "Fruit Flavor" gum?) It also says, "Fun at Parties!" How exactly? Does it sing, dance, play Strip Scrabble, what? I asked the attendant if it was selling, he said not really. I have a theory that someone at the candy factory was experimenting with flavorings and now their trying to unload the stuff. I, for one, don't mind; it's bad, but in that good kinda way.
Happy Fourth of July, everybody. God Bless America. I mean that sincerely. After all the crap this country's been through over the past year the fact that we managed to make it to another birthday is impressive. The government of this nation has committed some atrocities in it's history, I'd be the last person to deny that, but the hearts of this nations people are for the most part in the right place. And also, while we haven't realized all of our ideals yet, at least we've got the right ideals. OK, enough with the boosterism before I break into "The Star Spangled Banner"

Actually, I'd nominate Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA" as the national anthem.
Looking hard for a drive-in, searching for a corner café
Where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day
Yeah, and a juke-box jumping with records like in the U.S.A.

Sums it up for me, y'all....:)

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Just bought the new Guided By Voices CD tonight. Excellent as always. "Cheyenne" is a particular standout. If there's any band that deserves to break out of the indie rock minor leagues and become full fledged rock stars, this outfit, led by a former Dayton, Ohio schoolteacher is it. For the uninitiated, imagine the Replacements if they had been infatuated with The Who rather than the Faces and with cryptically evocative lyrics worthy of Thomas Pynchon. These guys ar as raw and honest as any punk band you could name, but where a lotta outfits today, self-conciously play sloppy and carelessly, this music reeks of ambition. This record could be what breaks them as it contains plenty off good riffs and a lotta hooks, but I can still see it giving the Limp Biskit/Lifehouse crowd a wicked case of the I-don't-get-it's. Here's hoping though.
I am looking forward to New York City, both visiting during vacation(4 more days!) and more permanently soon after. I love that city, for a variety of reasons.

1.Hugeness. New York is really freakin' huge. Around this area, I not only know just about every street, I probably know every pothole. New York is so big that could never happen if you had all the time in the world, and even if you somehow did cover the whole city, by the time you were done, it would have changed all over again. A place with capacity to continually suprise, this I like.

2.Conversation. Stereotypes aside, New Yorkers are actually freindly people. They'll start a conversation anywhere about anything, and will respond to you when you start one. And usually they'll talk sbout something interesting. Around here people talk about their love life, their jobs, their lawn and whatever was on fucking Friends last night.

3.Public Transportation. Yeah, I know trains and subways have their own problems, but it beats the shit out of battling your way down a highway at the wheel, lemme tell ya, not to mention all the bills for car insurance, gas, oil changes, etc. Plus you can read during your commute, which is always nifty.

4.Things to Do. Just a cursory look at the Village Voice will show you that, at any given moment, there's something going on. A good band is playing, an author is reading, there's an interesting exhibit somewhere and all these things are easy to get to(with the consequence of making New Yorker's very culturally literate). Out here in the outlying NYC suburbs, parking and transportation and traffic hassles make any of these endeavors a major pain in the ass, sadly. It's a case of so close, yet so far.

5.Snack Foods. New and exciting ones. Fried Twinkies. Hot Dogs, PB&J, Cannoli at Ferrara's, Zeppoli at the Feast of San Gennaro. All Kinds of shit that I'm forgetting. New and Exciting arterial cloggage! w00t!

I'm kinda stoked.
My boss just mentioned that there was a minor "issue" with an order I'd placed. Every job I've had for the past decade, I've heard that freaking word at least three times a day. Whatever happened to "problems", hah? "Issues" are what sits in a magazine rack, folks. It's like they think calling something a more neutral word, it makes something less annoying. Hey, you can call death "non-animated," but it won't make you alive, understand? I ever run a company, the first person who says "issues" is fired and then shot. I'll blog more at lunch.
And the award for Subtlety in Packaging goes to...the Arizona Extreme Energy Shot . I saw this in the 7-11 cooler yesterday and I have only one question. Where do you put the batteries?

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

From the "As If There Was Any Doubt" Department: I was driving home down I-84 today, and I saw a vehicle with (I am not kidding) Michigan license plate 666. It was of course, a minivan.

In other news, I just finished eating a delectable treat I bought at the Cumberland Farms a couple blocks away. In a small box by the register were little plastic-wrapped cubic-inch sized hunks of various flavors of fudge. I bought the last remaining peice of butterscotch flavor. Imagine all the sweet food you've ever eaten refined into a little tiny chunk of gooey goodness. This is the sucrose equivalent of crack, boys and girls. It's manufactured by an outfit in Springfield, MA called Rosa's Candies, according to the little tiny piece of cardboard upon which the fudge rested. There's no web link, but this is entirely appropriate, because I magine Rosa's factory to be a place when teams of silent old women from some unnamed "old country" silently cook up vats of tooth rotting goodness, using occult procedures not to be revealed under penalty of death.

Or Something.

I'm hearing loud pops out back, my neighbors with the sapling-filled gutters are either lighting off fireworks or shooting at eachother. Even Odds.
I got bored with the old colors. I'm feeling very monochromatic. I'm a screwball. Don't mind me.
It's quiet in here today, folks, like tumbleweeds across the sales floor level quiet. I'm also carless until Friday, so I've been getting up at 5:45, driving Lisa to the train station, coming home, and napping if I can, blogging and slurping coffee if I can't then hopping in Lisa's Neon(a far better ride than my aging Escort, if you wanna know the truth) and driving 40 minutes to work, then picking her up around 8:30pm and driving home, so fatigue has begun to set in. But, oddly, I'm not feeling all that cranky today. There hasn't been too much traffic, so I've been looking at various websites and hitting "view source" to try and figure out how they do stuff. This is a lot more fun than it sounds, and is oddly relaxing. Beats listening to people bitch at any rate. I'm starting to be able to deconstruct sites, and once I figure out a few more things, I may attempt(operative words "may attempt") to actually design my site, because I'm frankly getting sick of looking at this freakin' Blogspot template.

In other news, those of you who think that real metal died when Metallica cut their hair and went pop, and that all that's left is Limp Biskit style rap-metal tripe, should go check out home to the modern metal underground, and great bands like Burnt By The Sun, Neurosis, Dying Fetus and the astounding Nile, who do for grindcore what old-school Metallica did for thrash, that is refine it and bring it to the masses without watering it down one iota. If you're the type of person who gets misty recalling the salad days of Raven, Napalm Death and Slayer, then you must visit. No makeup, no gimmickry, no freakin DJ's for god sake, just pure apocalyptic guitar fury, much of it smarter than somepeople would expect. This is where the noise has gone.
It's a day of strange and ominous signs. Literally. I saw a building near the highway which housed a company known as "Professional Marketing Services" and, you guessed it, they abbreviated their name on the sign. I dunno about you, but I'd be terrified to speak to any female in that building. Then in the parking lot of a shopping center over on Boston Avenue, there was an 18-wheeler, whose trailer was emblazoned in huge green letters the word, "KANE," followed by, in smaller letters "is able!" Yes, when I think cargo transport, I wanna be reminded of Biblical fratricide, just gives me the warm fuzzies. Choose signage carefully, folks.

Monday, July 01, 2002

I added a list of my digital music files to the about section, just for the hell of it. I'm a shameless show-off, what can I say.
Sorry for the lack of bloggage today, but I've been giving myself some web programming tutorials. I made a cheesy about page to test things out. I will get good at this shit, I promise. It was done in raw code in Notepad and I did use CSS, so I'm pretty proud of myself. Thank you brinkster and O'Reilly and everyone who's source code I viewed.
Perfect Sound Forever is probably the best online music magazine out there. They don't care much about trends, but at the same time they don't engage in clubhouse-y obfuscation to make novices feel lost. The deign is nothing to write home about,(I know, I should talk) but the writing is excellent. They astutely make connections between wildly disparate edgy styles, as in this piece yet still are unabashed lovers of pure pop artistry a la Emitt Rhodes. It's just nice to see rock music written about seriously, but not solemnly, if you get my drift. The PSF crew definitely have a sense of humor, but they also do seem to actually like the music they write about unlike a lot of music rags who simply seem bored and snarky most of the time. Their Tributes alone make it worth the trip. That page could be subtitled, "Artists Worth Learning More About."
Good Morning. Finally I get a day off. Sadly, my car is still in the shop and Lisa's in NYC all day, so I'm stuck at home. But on the plus side I don't have to get dressed at all and I can sit around slurping coffee and hunting mp3's all day. I'd think of something better to blog but my brain is full and insufficiently caffeine-lubed at the moment. Maybe later.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Me and Lisa stopped to pick up some stuff at the drugstore about an hour ago. As I wandered the aisles I caught sight of the Bratz dolls on the shelf. Is it just me or do these dolls look like every annoyingly shallow club chick you ever met? with the additional feature of being noseless? What a great idea, I'd love have my child play with dolls of people I'd be afraid to date. Good Lord. The only way I'll buy this here action figure is to use it as a voodoo doll. could create a whole line of figures based on the unpleasant people in life: the My First Bureaucrat® fun set complete with clipboard and IRS audit checklist or Tom the Telemarketer® with headset and coffee cup attachments and realistic look of desperation in his artificial eyes, and perhaps Amber the Scary New Age Girl® with her crystal pendant and mianiature copy of The Celestine Prophecy.

Now those would be some educational toys, y'all.

About an hour ago, I noticed that I had a pen in my shirt pocket, a pen behind my ear, and I was chewing on a pen. The frightening thing is, if you had asked me, "Hey Jon, gotta pen?" I probably would've said no.
Although, I'm a lifelong lover of R&B and blues music, it wasn't until about four years ago that I began listening to jazz seriously. And in typically perverse fashion, I started with the most wigged-out, off the wall performers, because they were always being touted by rock and rollers I admired.

The first jazz album I went out and bought was A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, the only musician to have a church dedicated to the spirit of his music. I was immediately blown away by what I heard. It was the same feeling I got when I first read Jack Kerouac as a teenager or when I first heard Hendrix. It said, basically, that the possibilities of life are endless and to embrace the sweet chaos and eachother and enjoy the ride because the world is bigger than you ever imagined. The official Coltrane site is exquisitely well done and features huge amounts of great audio.

From there it was on to Sun Ra and Charles Mingus and it just keeps getting better. if you're a lifelong rocker feeling skeptical--these guys are as rock and roll as Little Richard's pompadour, trust me.
I am pleased to announce that my better half has joined the blogging militia. As we say, resistance is futile. So drop by pips'queak and make the little lady feel welcome.