Monday, December 16, 2002

A frequent reader sends this delightful tidbit:

Have you seen what Amazon is doing lately? They are now selling clothing. During a book search today, Amazon provided a list of clothing recommendations, based on the books I was browsing. I was told:

Customers who bought this book also were interested in:
* Clean Underwear from Amazon's Eddie Bauer Store
* Ladybug Rain Boots from Amazon's Nordstrom Store
* Suede Headwraps from Amazon's International Male Store
* Cheetah Print Slippers from Amazon's Old Navy Store

Now, looking at this list, I'm pretty insulted. On what basis do they make these recommendations? Being female, why do they think I'd be interested in something at International Male? Further, why "Clean Underwear" from Eddie Bauer? What are they implying about my state of cleanliness? To take this a step further, why has Eddie Bauer chosen this product name - do they need to draw a distinction from their "Dirty Underwear" line?

Interestingly, when I did the same search about five minutes later, the clothing recommendations had disappeared. Perhaps Amazon thought better of it?

I have no idea, though further speculation is certainly warranted. Just a year ago something like this would have smacked of parody, wouldn't it?

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

23 minutes. Yes, I was in Rome 23 minutes before being pickpocketed, setting a new record for involuntary donations to the Eternal City's underground economy. I wrote to my manager, telling him, and he responded, "How boring." That's so true it is painful--it seems that every 4th person into Rome gets taken for a ride, and my number was simply up. It is no wonder that sexy designer fashion wallets are a big sales item here.

This was my third crime incident in Europe, after a poorly executed attempt in Warsaw and a bungled thieving in Barcelona--it is good to know that in Italy they can get things right. Immediately after exiting our train from Genoa we headed down to the Metro, where I promptly ignored the warning signs and jumped onto a very crowded car with all my luggage. Moments later I looked down and saw my laptop bag was half-open...I zipped it up and looked around at the press of bodies around me, all clean-cut, anonymous faces above, while hands were busy below. Then the doors opened at the next stop and I started checking myself, to discover that the nimble little minxes had gotten behind my bag, through a zipped jacket pocket and out with my wallet. It was, predictably, way too fucking late.

Then JM and I freaked out and formed one of our highly effective but extravagant plans: we would withdraw more money than the thieves could charge, bringing our cards to the breaking point before they could use them. This is how I ended up on the Spanish Steps withdrawing bundle after bundle of Euros.

It did work...and now we have over three thousand dollars worth of their delightful European currency.

Now it is a cash-only honeymoon!