Friday, January 30, 2004

"Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

- Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
Computer game teenager gets deep vein thrombosis. The lesson here is simple: don't sit unmoving with you legs tucked under your body for ten hours at a time.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Craig'sList Posting Of The Week:"Here is the deal - I need an editorial job. I have seven years of experience in the media business as a journalist and have two masters degrees from Columbia. Maybe you know of an internal job listing at a media company such as Time Life, Conde Naste, etc.. So, if you can get me an editorial job in Manhattan I will give you a brand new 30 gigabye ipod still in the shrink wrap. You only get the ipod if I actually get the job and it has to be an editorial job (not as a secretary). Thanks! "

How fantastic if Friendster, eVite and all the rest would implement an opt-out system as Cory details here. fat chance of it happening, but it's a lovely idea, as I hate those things.

The New York subway system turns 100 years young today.

It'd be hella easy to insert a horrible story of the subway, or make fun of rush hour and all its frequent inhumanity, but the simple truth is that the common experience of riding together on the subway is probably one of the most humanizing forces of this city. You don't know what you have until you're in another city for's wonderful.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

We'll, I'm back. What at trip it was, chiefly notable by its incredible absence of activity. Here's a typical photo of the kind of high-energy networking I was doing with the missus:

Lots of mail to go through, and work to catch up on--the site may need to undergo another revision, though not in its graphical look, just to make it even easier to keep the news sections updated--I'm aiming for it to be mollusk-levelled, in terms of the effort I need to put in. There are some new gigs brewing, most of which I'll be posting about in the next few days. Stay tuned!

My good friends at Intiman premiered The Light In The Piazza a year ago, and now the New Yorker has written a love-fest of a piece on it. Good for Bart and the gang--they deserve it, though it is telling that the production only gets this kind of kudos once it leaves Seattle and gets to the Goodman in Chicago.

This is an excellent opinion piece on the misplaced rage folks have at both IKEA and Starbucks, as well as the excessive praise dumped on Fight Club. I agree with all these sentiments, though I do understand where rage against the monoculture comes from and applaud it...but the hyperbole does get hard to take some days.

I love manual typewriters, and here's a piece on someone who loves them more than I do.

I read an article over my vacation on grief counseling, which features interviews with a bunch of folks who work for the Veterans Administration, a group for which my father works. It's all about PTSD and "debriefing", a counseling method that has fallen into some degree of disfavor with many which is being practiced more than ever by companies looking to dodge liability. Very interesting stuff.

More to do, so I must run.

Polar bears rock.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

After 3 years tethered to my laptop literally every day, I have been liberated for a brief reprieve and retreat--for my birthday I am being taken to Florida. I leave within the hour, and the computer stays behind. I'll see all of you on the other side, which I presume will be warmer than the side I'm on now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

NYT article on aerogel. "In the 1980's, Dr. Tsou and others began to work with the material. 'It has 14 Guinness Book of World Records-type properties,' Dr. Tsou said. 'It's the lowest density of any solid, and it has the highest thermoinsulation properties. Though it would be very expensive, you could take a two- or three-bedroom house, insulate it with aerogel, and you could heat the house with a candle. But eventually the house would become too hot.'"
"'Please God, help me cleanse the computer of viruses and evil photographs which disturb and ruin my work..., so that I shall be able to cleanse myself (of sin),' "
Good article from the Times about how nobody who worked on Blair Witch has gone anywhere. This is unsurprising to me--while I liked the film alright, had "one-hit wonder" written all over it, and the people behind it didn't do anything to disabuse that notion, i.e. Blair Witch 2. Even more disappointing was their decision to flee horror and thus damn the sequel to being terrible, not realizing that their reputations might sail into the toilet with it.

Having had some experience in trying to dodge the "one-hit wonder" tag, I'm sympathetic but the writing is on the wall. It's all about embracing and extending--do works that build off of your first success in novel and interesting ways, extending your brand without diluting it, or worse, denying it.

And for God's sake, meet people! One of these guys says that thanks to getting some cash from the film, he was able to lock himself in a room for three years. Hello? How does this help somebody get known around town and get things done? Nobody gets to simply ignore the system, not even studio honchos.

By the end of the article they seem to have learned their lesson, but thanks to all the ineptness they are stuck in a bad position begging to make more Blair Witch films, which is exactly where they never wanted to be. They could have been contenders, or at least had their they get to start over again, hopefully wiser.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Oh sure, it may be bitchy, but this is an extraordinarily fun performance event at Fez.

Monday, January 19, 2004

I can't stop thinking. It's haunting me, and in every spare moment I'm thinking. All week, thinking. Isn't that enough thinking? No. I say no. It isn't quite enough, not yet, I'm not finished yet.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Thursday, January 15, 2004

if you haven't been hearing much from me, it's because I am both under deadline and it is freakishly COLD. On the upside it has also been snowing in a most beautiful manner--on the way home from the office last night the streets of DUMBO were hushed even as the J train rolled across the Manhattan Bridge overhead. From my office on the edge of the East River the snowy light is bouncing off of nearby buildings at oblique angles, filling up the room with a kind of simplified light. Despite the train delays, it has been a remarkably good day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Priceless. If you used, and didn't opt out, your music is being used by corporate entities as Muzak in elevators. I know so many people who just got fucked in the ass by this.
Good piece on the Bush in 30 Seconds ad selection process over at After a lot of sound and fury the final choice is not very exciting from an artistic standpoint.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Spalding Gray has gone missing--everyone's looking for him, and lots of people are worried. Since we can't do anything except keep our eyes open, here's an interview with Spalding from early 2002 on his recent work.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Friday, January 09, 2004

Thank goodness NetNewsWire is working again--now you may actually get an update out of me.

But not at this moment!
Here's what we need: the ability to predict earthquakes. The march of progress continues!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Aiiiiiieeee! Arwen and Aragorn Barbie! How can irony exist in a world like this one?

Say they're overpriced if you like, but daaaaaaamn that's tiny, ain't it?

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Good lord--what happened to MSNBC's traffic? I'm not a fan of the corporate lapdog network, but I am curious.

Monday, January 05, 2004

For all those who have been following my quest, a television has been purchased today after long, agonizing deliberation over the holidays. This thing had better massage my feet and see through time for the amount of thinking I've done about it. Interested people can email me for details of the make and model--I don't want to unduly bore the general public.

In slightly more interesting consumer news, I am also buying a ridiculously powerful antenna for my personal WiFi network. In a classic case of scope creep, JM's iBook was having some reception problems in the apartment. After long diagnosis, i realized her antenna was loose...but not before i had learned too much about radiation patterns, EM signatures and dBm, necessitating I buy a superantenna from these people.

In a final piece of geekery, I cracked open my Airport Base Station and put some red tissue paper over the indicator lights, cutting down on the ridiculous light level Apple outfitted these things with. They blink when there is activity, and they literally light up the bedroom all night long--we've been covering the thing with a cloth since we've had it because of the problem. If anybody else needs to do this, directions for opening are here. i can't tell you how much better the base station is now that it doesn't direct airliners where to land.

If you can't tell, I'm under deadline--hence all the ridiculous distractions.
What the hell was Howard Dean doing in Ninja III: The Domination? Why, playing a policeman, of course. What else could he be doing?


Sunday, January 04, 2004

First images from Spirit on Mars:

Saturday, January 03, 2004

How shocking--I was spotted perusing televisions at Best Buy. It was bound to happen, as the number of bloggers skyrockets and I find myself living in ridiculously dense and tech-y environments, but it's still worth noting. I keep wondering, Did I look OK? Was a polite to those around me? Did I give a good impression as I shopped? The lesson here is that the public is always watching, and one should act accordingly.

I'm making some headway on my resolutions for the new year, but to prevent an outbreak of lame-ism and violent self-doubt I'll be keeping them to myself until a little later in January, just to ensure that they are actually coming true.

On a whim we saw a one-person show about our neighborhood today, being put on in a very hip bar on Smith Street. Here's a review, though I hasten to add that it is a poorly written one--they got an article in the times, but it's aged and i can't get a good link to it. The gist is that my neighborhood is a hotbed of transition from old-world Italian to nouveaux riche yuppie with some artistes mixed in, and this has happened in very short order--within just 10 years it went from crack vials on the streets to top-rated Zagat eateries. The show is not spectacular, but it is solidly performed and has picked an excellent subject matter, which they explore well--if you have an interest in neighborhoods which change, this is worth seeing. You can get yourself tickets to more performances here.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

We've mostly recovered from our revels, though in the bathroom this morning I found an unidentified garter belt and martini glass--I'm not certain how that would have migrated home, but send up a flare if you think they might be yours.

The year has started out right--we had a great sausage party at friend's today, where they cooked unusual sausages like venison and oxtail sausage. This is an excellent idea, anyone looking for a Martha Stewart-y party idea--sausage goes a long, long way.

W/r/t the new year, I think my resolution to write regularly has a good chance of finding some real world incentives. I'm hoping to really commit to some new writing opportunities in the next few weeks that should help me churn out pages in the new year--I am very excited.