Friday, December 28, 2007

season's tidings of joy and goodness...

...and stuff.

Okay. Let's be honest with each other. It is clear to me, as it should be to you who attempt to read this on a regular basis, that my fascination with non-blogging is diminishing. I knew it was going to happen and, when I started, I actually told people it was inevitable.
It's my way. I get very excited about one media or another, then begin to lose interest and get involved in something else. It just happens.
If you want to keep up to date with the periodic postings that I am sure will continue to drip and drop onto swarveyland, I suggest you subscribe to the feed so you don't have to keep checking, just salivating for more over-wordy goodness.
Or don't. Whichever.

But, for today, there is a new posting. Yay!
Here it is.

Swarvey and Jenn Go to New York

For the Christmas holiday, Jenn took me to New York to stay at her uncle's house which is very close to where she grew up. I've never seen where she grew up, but she describes a blessed upbringing.
Jenn is one of those people who I do not begrudge having a blessed upbringing, because she is aware that she had a blessed upbringing and is grateful for it.
She drove me through her neighborhood on Christmas morning. She grew up in and around Scarsdale.
If you don't know what Scarsdale is, like I didn't, and aren't likely to have someone drive you around it, like I did, but are curious what it looks like, like I was, just rent a copy of Home Alone and look at the house and neighborhood Kevin and his family live in. Actually, just think about where people live in John Hughes movies in general and you'll have a good idea what Scarsdale looks like.
Except where Bender lived. I don't think many people in Scarsdale get cigar burns on their forearms for spilling paint in the garage.
It was a nice drive and I'm glad I finally got to see where Jenny grew up.

On Christmas Eve, we took the train to the city. The city of New York. Manhattan. Jesus, keep up will you?
I think if I lived there, I would have a lot more stuff to non-blog about, but I would also go insane. Which I could then non-blog about, thereby perpetuating almost infinite non-blogging.
Here are some of the things that happened in Manhattan.
I'm not so much of a country bumpkin to not realize that there are a hell of a lot more homeless people in New York. I get that there are. What amazes me about them is how nonchalant most of them are about being homeless.
Like here, a homeless dude will try to find a place to stay warm and dry and be left alone.
There, he might wrap himself up in some towels and packing blankets and build a campfire in the middle of the sidewalk like he was riding on top of the Polar Express.
One fellow was looking for change and attempted to appeal to the holiday spirit of the passersby by singing a Christmas carol.
Take the song Deck the Halls. You know it? Sing it to yourself.
Now, imagine the song is being sung by Animal from the Muppets.
Now, imagine Animal only singing the Fa-La-La-La-La part. Over and over.
Now imagine Animal is a six foot three homeless dude.
That's pretty much what was going on.
He wasn't getting a lot of change that I could see.

Jenn and I walked to Rockefeller center, because it's a law or something. We were on our way to the skating rink when a smallish guy, in a lot of black all-weather gear stopped us.
"Sorry sir.", he said. "We're filming here. You can't go any further."
I noticed a lot of other people just walking by us, not being stopped. What was this?
He told me that, while it was obvious we were a happy couple, my lovely wife was going to leave me.
Okay. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love listening to people talk stupid talk. I let him keep talking.
He told me that, she was going to leave me, but there was something I could do to get her back. All I had to do was make a promise.
What was the promise going to be? Was this a Jesus thing? Where is this guy going?
What I had to promise, he said, was to never pull my pants down and masturbate in public again.

I'm not kidding. Ask Jenn. Go on. Ask her.

Clearly, there was some kind of scam going on here. I'm too curious about stuff to just walk away. Jenn was already way out of this conversation and so ready to go. I had to see what was going on.
Also, being infused as I was with the Christmas Spirit, I decided to not tear into the guy for using such a horrible, offensive joke. He was like the worst stand up comic you've seen. Just saying shocking stuff to elicit a response. His motivation was what was baffling me.
I looked at the identification around his neck. He saw me look and dropped the facade.
He was selling hats for a soup kitchen.
Fine. So you want to sell hats for 10 a piece to benefit a soup kitchen. They weren't crappy hats. We got a pink one with NYC on the front for my daughter. I probably would have bought one anyway if he had just been forward.
I just don't get the motivation behind the joking, especially the flavor of joking he decided to use.
If someone told me someone had used such a joke on them with their wife standing there and that they decided to punch the joker in the face for it, it might have said their response was a little over the top, but not much.
I bit my tongue and moved on, then was pissed at myself all day for not telling the little dork where to screw himself.
Ah well.
I was wearing my black Doc Marten's. My black Doc Marten's are not designed for protracted walking sessions around New York. They're designed to wear so you look tough so other people won't waste your time by talking to you.
I guess the joker had been too short to see them.
Anyway, I wanted to get a new pair of boots while we were there. I figured I could find something cool at a reasonable price.
Jenn took me into a shoe store that looked like a Peruvian spice market.
I'm not sure what that means but it's what comes to mind.
Guys who worked there were running around getting boxes of shoes and quoting prices, apparently, on the fly. There were 40,000 customers and six working-there guys. But somehow the working-there guys got the shoes to the people who were looking for them. I got better service there than I do in a 1:1 exchange at Foot Locker.
We found a nifty pair of a different style of Docs. Slip on with actual support in them. They were great.
While I was trying them on, someone decided to talk to me.
He was a pleasant enough fellow, I guess. Told me I shouldn't get the Docs, but that I should try Frye boots. He said that he was 5 foot 4, but that he got 3 inches out of the Frye boots, so that when he wears them, he looks like he is 5 foot 7.
I wanted to thank him for wrapping up the math for me, but he kept talking.
He said he got them on line, and that he had gotten a different pair on line first, but when he got them, one boot was a little bigger than the other boot, so he had to send them back, but that's the risk you take when you shop on line. Then he ordered the Frye boots which make him look 5 foot 7.

Again. Not kidding. Ask Jenn.

I said, "Okay! Hey! Thanks!"

And he walked away on his tiptoes so he wasn't exactly on face-to-crotch level with the grown-ups.

So I bought me some nice boots.

We left and continued to walk around. It was one of the most pleasant days in my recent memory.

Towards the end of our journey, a dude walked up to me saying, "Sir? Sir! Sir?", while snapping a 20 dollar bill in my face. I deduced that this was going to be a making-change-confuse-the-country-bumpkin scam, so I made like a real New Yorker and looked straight ahead and kept walking.

I know exactly what the problem is. I look at too much stuff. I am curious about things so I look at them. And they see me looking. And eye-contact is made. And that's it. They see an open door and charge on in.
Jenn is different. Hell, I could walk up to Jenn on the street and she might not even see me. She is in a New York zone. She sees what she needs to see and that's it. Everything else is beyond peripheral.

But she doesn't get all kinds of crazy crap to non-blog about.
So there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

son... of... a...

I get to the gym this evening and am warming up whilst listening to The Christmas Shoes by repeatedly punching myself in the face, when my eyes glance across one of the many television screens the cardio-folks stare at.
(Aside. For those who have not heard this rant, The Christmas Shoes is the most horrific song ever written, followed closely by Poor Man's House and I'll Wait For You. You can look those other two songs up at your leisure, but here is a link for The Christmas Shoes...
Christmas Shoes
Oh you're going to love this one. This particular version of the song was even sung by a child!! So much better!!
Find a wooden spoon, bite down on it and listen to the song if you don't know it, so the rest of the jokes make sense. Hell, if you know it, listen to this version. You might find yourself down a pound or two from the heaving.
I used to tell the joke that the only way the song would be better, is if the child left with the shoes, went out into the snow, slipped in some mud, broke his ankle and watched in horror as the shoes he dropped into the street were run over by a gasoline tanker, which then ran over him.
I have been trumped. Damn it. I hate being trumped. Kim said, the song would be better if the child realized he wasn't going to have enough money, so grabbed the shoes and ran, then gave them to his mother, who dies, and goes to see Jesus, who turns her away for having stolen shoes on. I think that Kim has some serious issues, which I must say as her joke is more gruesome and funnier than mine.
The gym is one of my few resources of news, because it happens to be on all the time. I either get my news from the gym, Howard Stern or Opie and Anthony. I am a worldly guy.
I see some words, in between punches to my own face, which read, "... Spears... expecting... baby..."
"Ha, ha.", I laugh to myself. "Brit is going to have ANOTHER baby!? Who would want to even have sex with her at this point? Oh MyLANTA!!"
Then my mind taps me on the shoulder and suggests I take a closer look at the screen. But no. The rest of my conscious self doesn't really want to see what is really on the screen.
Slowly, I turn, to look at the full sentence.

Jamie Lynn Spears is expecting her first baby.


My daughter watches her stupid show, Zoey 101, on Nickelodeon, and looks up to her as someone who is cool and knows what is going on. You know, like kids do with television people. Now I gotta talk to her about Zoey being frigging preggers.

What is with the Spears clan? Are they all nymphomaniac psychopaths out to destroy whatever good fortune has been bestowed upon them? She's 16 for GOD's SAKE.

If I find out Logan is the father, that is just it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

oh come on...

A new MySpace friend request:

Bernice would like to be added to your MySpace friends list.

By accepting Bernice as your friend, you will be able to send Bernice personal messages, view Bernice's photos and blog, and interact with each other's friends and network!

Bernice!? Am I on some list somewhere that describes me as wanting the companionship of elderly ladies?

I've had Florence and now Bernice. Where are Gertrude and Trudy and Pearl and Mabel...? Maybe a Clara or a Midge, Madge or Maude.

I guess I gotta cancel my subscription to

Saturday, December 15, 2007

i saw I Am Legend last night...

So here is my review of Beowulf.

The movie was created using an amped up version of the same softwares and technology used to make The Polar Express. The animation style of The Polar Express managed to impress but creep the hell out of most people.
I read an interesting article in Wired magazine that explained why. It stated that research has been done showing the nearer human animation gets to photo realistic, without being 100% precise, the more disturbing it is.
In other words, when Pixar animates a toy, and presents it as an animated toy, our minds pick up the behavior and nuances in the animation that is like us. We connect with the toy on an emotional level, because we recognize the similarities only. A little roll of the eyes or a subtle shoulder shrug and there is a click in our brains that make human-y feelings of love and joy and understanding.
When someone attempts to animate a human form, and does not do it in a cartoonish style, like The Incredibles, for instance, our minds stop seeing that which is right and which connects us to the character, and starts seeing what is wrong.
We're seeing what our mind perceives as an actual human, but one which is broken in some way. Our subconscious view says, this guy has an illness of some kind, or, this guy is insane, or, this is an animated corpse I'm looking at.
I had the animated corpse reaction to The Polar Express. All these guys flailing about with no change to their facial expressions at all. Just creeeeepy.
I'd love to credit the damned article, or the research. I'd love to read it all again, cause they had a neat bell curve that showed emotional connection response as it related to photorealism.
We connect more with a well handled sock-puppet than we do with the guys serving hot chocolate on The Polar Express.
Problem is I can't find either the article or the research. If you stumble across it, let me know.
They got it closer on Beowulf. It's less creeepy as long as you look at the primary characters only, who must have had banks and banks of computers dedicated to them. I still see what's wrong a lot of the time, because I have an illness that does not allow me to just look at something and enjoy it. I have to pull details out that no one cares about.
Here was a weird detail. In order to make a human face look real, you have to pay close attention to facial hair. I'm not talking about beards or mustaches. I'm talking about fine, almost invisible hairs. They guys making Beowulf went crazy with the fine almost invisible hairs. There are a lot of them.
I know back in the times when the film's story took place, there was much less effort put into self-maintenance, but, two of the main characters had all kinds of little hairs growing out the tips of their noses. This is especially apparent in the 3D version, I guess, 'cause it was really bothering me. Who has a crop of little hairs growing on the tip of their nose?
Anyway, for the primary characters, the animation is appallingly good. It's so close to film, you almost wonder why they bother.

Here's a pic of the character of Beowulf:

Here's a pic of the guy who supplied the voice, Ray Winstone:

CG trumps going to the gym, any day.
However, Angelina looks better in real life, in my opinion.

Let's see. Grendel was scary. And he was played by Crispin Glover, who is scary.

The screenplay was co-written by Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favorite writer-y guys. If you haven't read American Gods, go do it right now. Great book.
How could such an accomplished writer allow not one, not two, but THREE slowly building, single-person, sarcastic clap instances into one movie.
You really shouldn't used this hack thing even one time, really. But three?

This isn't exactly what I'm talking about, but I thought it was cool someone put it together. Horrible.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

fake myspace friend requests...

There are spam MySpace friend requests. I guess some of them might work.
This one isn't going to work:

Florence would like to be added to your MySpace friends list.

By accepting Florence as your friend, you will be able to send Florence personal messages, view Florence's photos and blog, and interact with each other's friends and network!

Florence? How did that get added as an enticing name? I've gotten them from Jill and Olga and Linda and Jenna, names that could possibly be associated with a hot chick and would maybe want me to go check the link out. Not really as I am not an idiot and understand spam, but still, the names were good.
But all I see when I hear Florance is this:

I know this woman's name was Florida, not Florence, but her image was the first thing that popped into my head. I felt no enticement to click her link.

Maybe I'm wrong, though. I'm going to do a Google image search for Florence and see what we comes up in the results. If a nice young lady comes up in the first 5 results pages, I'll pay each of you reading right now 10,00.00,0.0.

This came up on the first page:

I don't think this was what they had in mind. This statue does make me feel good about myself in some undefined way, though. Go David!

What else...

GAH! And might I also add, yikes! If there was a link I could click that could take me farther away from her creepy, I-am-going-to-eat-your-face stare, I might click that.

Brrrrr!! Let me shake that off and move on...

Aww. Ms. Nightingale. Nice lady, but not my type. Maybe in a wet t-shirt...
We're three pages in.

(comments removed as they are offensive to every single living human being ever to exist)

On the fifth result page, as there was nothing of interest on the fourth, there are two results that are hidden from me as they come from or something. They are pictures of Florence Geanty, apparently. I don't recignize the name.
Hmm. She looks like:

Kinda cute, but her image did not show up in my results page as the rules state. Ooh. So close. You almost had your 10,00.00,0.0.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

you know what...?

I've discovered that that is the sound of my manhood dying. "You know what...?"
Let me expound.
My daughter and I have discovered the fun of Sculpey clay. It's pretty cool stuff. It stays moist for like, ever, until you bake it, then it turns into a ceramic kind of deal. It's neat. You can make beads or little dudes that you could glue magnets onto to stick on the refrigerator.
(I need a quick aside. Indulge me, will you? Have I ever told you about the weird dude I lived with for a period of time in the very early 90's? He used to frost his hair and his mustache. He was a gay fellow who had not come to the realization yet. But that's not what made him weird.
He used to wear color coordinated shorts and t-shirt combinations. Pastels. And he used to pull his socks up really high. But that's not what made him weird.
What made him weird, mostly, was that he insisted on referring to refrigerators as, not "the 'fridge", but "the refridge".
Next time you're talking to someone about an ice box, call it "the refridge" and take note of how they look at you.
Thank you.)
My daughter and I were having a lovely time making ornaments for the tree. Jenn looked at my handiwork and stated, "You know what...?"
And my manhood died.
She quite liked the little Christmas-y things I had made and at first I was quite complimented. Then she gave me the follow up to the "You know what...?"
She was going to a party with all the nurses she works with and thought it would be just grand if I would grind out a bunch of the little things for her to make pins out of. Like fifty or ninety, surely no more than four hundred and eleven.
"Sure.", I said. I love her like crazy and want to help her have a fine Christmas in any way I can.
Then she came home last night to find me watching Mythbusters and not doing much of anything else and said, "Hey. What's going on? I don't see you making many pins for me."
Suddenly I'm like a Guatemalan in a shoe factory. Crank out those pins or your mother might not get the penicillin she needs.
Tonight I made a bunch. I hope when she delivers my productivity report, my numbers are good.

I'm actually mostly kidding. I know she will read this and I am giving her a hard time.

HOWEVER... She is going to this party. At this party will be a woman she works with. The woman she works with has a husband. The husband is a cop, either in Providence or Pawtucket, doesn't matter, he's still a cop.
Jenn is talking about us going to some nurse conference in the future and how we might be going with this woman and her cophusband.
I really, REALLY, don't want to be in a conversation with a cop where he says, "I saw that pin you made last Christmas. That was nice. Hope you didn't get clay on your skirt when you made it." Or something like that.

D'oh. I was going to say that my manhood isn't really dead, it's just on hiatus. Like there's a manhood writers strike or something, but that last thought really shot my manhood in the guts.
Ouch. My manhood hurts.

In other news...
There was a dude at the gym with a fancy new iPod Touch strapped into a clear strap thing on his arm. Some things occur to me.
First. One of the features that make the Touch so appealing is it's large glossy glass screen.
Glass. Glass screen. You're wearing a large glass screen face out while lifting metal weights around a bunch of other dorks swinging other metal weights around. The 1/16 of an inch of plastic shield you have on your screen might protect it from scratches, but it won't protect it from Gothor haphazardly thrashing his quads.
Second. You have no album art. Why in the hell would you wear your Touch exposed on your arm in a very showy fashion, when the big glossy screen, which you apparently have not figured out doesn't really need to be ON all the time, is only showing the music note of stupidness?
Hide your shame, dude. Hide your shame.

to the fellow on the elevator...

You and I walked up the hallway at the same time. I'm the guy with the tattoo on his head. Maybe you remember?
Anyway, I am concerned about you.
If you walk up a hallway, then get on an elevator and experience sleep apnea while standing up in that elevator, it might be time to re-evaluate your lifestyle.

Monday, December 10, 2007

oh, about that last post...

Jenn says that I need to find things to frustrate me, like trying to get voice over work, looking for the perfect MP3 player, dealing with album art and so on, because my life is too good.
I kinda thrive on stress and I have very little of consequence to actually cause me stress, so I need to create circumstances that bring stress.

I would love to counter this concept with something brilliant, but so far, have come up with buckets of nuttin'.
It's stressing me out.

why less blogging...

There are a couple of reasons why posting has gone down. I was cranky about not being able to capture video, that's true. Another reason is also related to video though in a different way.
I think you all have heard about the Zune. I don't know. Have I mentioned mp3 players recently? I'll have to check the archives.
In any case, I'm now carrying 80gig around on my person. I have half that in music. So I have about 40gig in free space. It makes me nuts. I was going to back up all the music to another section on the drive, but a storage tech specialist told me that was a bad idea.
I figured I'd fill it up with some of my DVD collection. Get my top 10 movies on it or something. I decided I really liked that idea. Jenn said it would be handy on "the plane", like we shuttle to the left coast all the time. With Diddy. Or some other pop culture reference guy who might be on planes a lot.
I just thought it would be cool.
Turns out, me thinking something would be cool is the surest way to find a new pain for my ass.
Getting a movie image off a DVD causes massive ass pain. Its not easy.
I know this is by design. Trying to avoid pirating.
There are two thought groups on this.
One says, if you have to break any encryption, which you do in order to get images off your DVD, you're breaking the law and are pirating.
I am in the other group which says, I already own it and I'm not giving it to anyone. How can I pirate that which I already own. (You can just shove all the copyright crap. Albums and tape. Think about it and screw you.)
As proof of my tenuous argument, I give you a conversation between two pirates.

P1: Yar! Yo ho ho!

P2: Yar.

P1: I be plannin' to plunder some booty from yonder room, yar.

P2: What? What kind of booty?

P1: I hear tell there be a fine pair of Nike shoes just waiting to be a'plundered in yar room, yar.

P2: But that's your room. Aren't those your shoes? How are you going to plunder your own shoes?

P1: Don't you try to confuse me with your "logic" you, yar!

And pirate 1 keel hauls pirate 2 or something therefore proving my point in an unassailable fashion.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

4 days with no posts...

Huh. This is the longest stretch I've gone without posting I think.
There was gonna be a really cool post a couple of days ago. It was going to have video and everything and I would have looked so just wicked brilliant.

Here's the story. When I came home from work the other night, I heard this whining, slamming, croaking noise coming from somewhere under the floor in the lobby of my building. It was coming, say, every eight seconds or so. Loud. (Heh. I had to go back and edit that last bit. Where it says, "It was coming...", I had left the t off the It.)
We live in what used to be a mill building. I guess it still is a mill building, but now people live in it. It doesn't mill anything.
However, I thought, as it once was a mill building that actually milled stuff, maybe, in some low bowel-y level, there was still machinery chugging away in the dark.
Stephen King fans can think of The Mangler. The rest of you can think of, I don't know, big can openers or something. Use your imagination for God's sake.
I could not find the source of the sound. It was one of those weird, behind a wall, confusing acoustic attributes kind of sound. I couldn't pinpoint it. When I thought I was walking near it, it seemed to be behind me all of a sudden.
Since I couldn't find it, I assumed it was no big deal. I continued on about my day.
I went upstairs to change for the gym and to play some Pain on the PS3 as Jenn was not home yet. La, la, oh la. My easily distracted mind forgot all about the sound.
I went back down stairs about 1/2 hour later, and the frequency of the sound had increased to about once every 5 or 6 seconds. Huh. Mildly concerning.
By the time I got back from the gym, it was once every 3 or 4 seconds. Slamming, whining and groaning. Something was actively failing.
After speaking to Jenn about the noise, I decided it would be cool to get it on video. I hadn't used my camera with the nice video capture on it since the honeymoon, so the battery was dead. I charged it up for a while but was chagrined to find it was not accepting a charge. I could not get the camera to turn on.
Damn it, I said.
I was bummed, but something shiny caught my eye and I forgot about the noise again.

We had a pleasant, uneventful evening.
We went to bed.

At 12:30AM, the fire alarm went off. Now, for those of you who do not live in a large building, this is not a 9volt powered fire alarm. The alarm system uses the same klaxons you will hear when the pale rider comes at the end of days.
It's loud.
The alarm system is screwed up, though. It goes off at random times and causes adrenaline spikes and impotent rage. You just try sleeping through an impotent adrenaline rage spike. It's not a warm cup of milk and a cuddly blanket.
So, it goes off and you lie there in a puddle of your own body chemistry, waiting for it to stop.
That's what I was doing. But it didn't stop. And I got concerned.
Then the sound of the machinery failing earlier in the evening slammed into my memory. I got significantly more concerned.
I looked at Jenn and said, "We should get out of the building."

It is interesting, to me anyway, and really that's the point of this whole not blogging thing, that I was attempting to rip my DVD of Die Hard earlier in the evening, because I ran out of the apartment with no shoes on.

I grabbed the dog while Jenn was grabbing the cat. It was cold outside and we have the absolute best combination of animals to have to deal with the cold with.
A chihuahua and a sphinx, which is a hairless cat.
I guess if we had an alligator it would be worse, but it still wasn't very good.
Lulu, my dog, began shivering while we were in the stairway.

My plan was to run downstairs and see if something was in the process of blowing up, before Jenn came downstairs. As it is a large building, we would then have time to go back and get the most important stuff. This was my plan. I was shoe less and mostly asleep carrying a shivering chihuahua. Perhaps my thinking was off a little.
In any case, nothing was blowing up, but it still sounded like it could.
The noise had become a steady, growling rumble that could be heard between the klaxon blasts.
It was definitely under the lobby somewhere, but I still could not target it.
I thought the best idea would be to not be standing in the lobby. So we stood in the front foyer.

Eventually, every fireman in the world showed up. They ran around with axes and big metal things to poke through burning walls with. They ran around for a while, until they eventually just started walking around, looking kind of bored.
This, I thought, was a good sign.
If the firemen come strolling out of your building, you're probably okay.
If they're running out, pushing each other out of the way with their axes and wall pokers, it might be time to split.

While I was sitting there, I became more and more upset that my camera wasn't working, because it would have been a very interesting little piece to show the seemingly innocuous sound early in the evening, then the aftermath of that sound late in the night. I'm still bummed by the opportunity missed and I've been cranky about not blogging because of it.
I know it doesn't make any sense. Leave me alone.

Some things that occurred to me while we were waiting for the okay to go back into the building.

1. The klaxon went on for a long, long, long time. The firemen had to wait for the maintenance man to come open the door to the room where the failed thing was. Don't worry, I'm gonna tell you what the failed thing was. The klaxon sounded like the worlds worst techno rave song. I would have put a kickdrum pattern to it if I had had a drum machine and we could have waved glow sticks around.

2. People kept asking if my feet were cold. I desperately wanted to say "I guess it's better than getting caught with your pants down, eh?", but I knew no one would get it and that would piss me off.

3. Everyone in all the apartments of the building was standing in or around the foyer. It was very cold in the foyer. One guy said, to lighten the mood, "If we all freeze to death, you can eat me." This statement is very much like a riddle and I wanted to have an exchange with him about how dumb what he just said was, but decided to let it go.

4. The same guy, later, said, to lighten the mood, "Wow. Everyone sure has cute pants on." Because most of the women were wearing pajama pants. I don't like people who try to be funny, because, I'm the funny one. People laughed at the "joke" and I didn't like that they had. I shot them all eye-rolling dirty looks, but they didn't seem to notice.

5. I really aggravated myself by using the worldly, knowing nod. What a jerk. A firemen eventually explained to some of us who were curious, what had happened. He said the pump for the water based sprinkler system had failed and that it had kicked off the dry system that then bled itself out. Those two systems failing and kicking off set off every alarm in the building, all at the same time. There are sensors throughout the entire building so if a fire is somewhere, the firemen have some idea where to look. I mean, if they can't see the fire through the windows.
The sensors tell them which part of the building the fire is in.
When the sprinkler systems failed the way they had, they tripped every sensor at the same time. I guess to someone looking at the alarm data, it appeared as though the building had exploded. Hence, every fireman in the world.
I was using the worldly, knowing nod when the fireman was explaining the inner workings of various types of fire deterring systems, including the plumbing needs of fire hydrants in New England as opposed to California.
I kept nodding and saying, "Oh yeah." like I was well versed in international fireplug technology. Stupid ass.

We eventually got the okay to go upstairs. Er... so we did.

We went back to sleep and the alarm went off again. Just for a moment this time, but, it was plenty enough to just totally destroy the rest of the nights sleep for me.

In the morning, I found the maintenance man sitting in the lobby, on a milk crate. I don't know where the hell he found a milk crate, but there it was.
I asked if he had been there all night and he said that he had. It seemed as though that was enough for him to share.
"Have you been here all night?"

I prodded.

"Why, have you been here all night?"
He explained that the fire sensing system was now not working at all. Thus, he had been tasked with walking the halls, every 20 minutes or so, to look for signs of fire. He said that he was there for another 1/2 hour until a fireman came to relieve him.
I assumed, when he said, relieve, he meant take over for him, not something else.

I went to work very confident that the building would still be standing when I got home. Very confident indeed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

a good run of music...

I keep my MP3 player on random shuffle of every song I own, almost all the time. I occasionally feel like listening to a specific song, or even a whole album, but it doesn't happen very often.
I like to collect a bunch of music and play it on random so I am pleasantly surprised by the song that comes up next. It's like a radio station that has been programmed for me specifically.
Except, the programmer for my station has made some bad choices and is currently on review. I mean, the guy is kind of an ass. I have to hit Next Song much more often than you would think would be the case.
Why am I carrying everything Meat Loaf ever recorded around with me everywhere I go? After Bat Out of Hell, and maybe, Bat Out of Hell 2- Back Into Hell(Electric Boogaloo), what is there?
I have to admit to owning a significant portion of crap. I guess that's going to happen when you have 7000+ songs. They can't all be hits.

So, when a good string of music comes up and I don't have to hit Next Song for an extended period of time, it's a treat.
Yesterday, I got a good string.

Go Big- Bosstones
Summerwind- Sinatra
Love Unchained- Billy Idol
Night On Earth- Bouncing Souls
Underclass Hero- Sum 41
That's What You Get- Paramore
We Close Our Eyes- Oingo Boingo

Nice string. Then another song I quite like came up, and I think I only really listened to it for the first time. Like, really listened to the lyrics.
It's kind of a cruel bummer of a song.

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man- Prince

At first pass, it sounds like just a bummer of a song, not a cruel bummer. Woman, pregnant with a baby to go with the other child she already has, turning 35, at a club, looking for someone to be with, because her man bailed on her.

When Prince walks up to her, because she's looking so good standing by the fire. Never could quite understand why there was fire in the club. In any case, Prince asks her if she wants to dance and she gets all ultra-clingy on him. She says, "No, I don't wanna dance. I want a good man. Are you qualified?"
Prince then tells her to not waste her time. Basically, he's looking for a one night stand and she probably wouldn't be happy with that.
She then says, "Well. Can we just be friends?"
And he says, "No. That's okay. Thanks, anyway."
Then she tells him some stuff about how horrible her life is.
And again, he says, "Look. I'm just trying to get me a booty call. You're not going to want that so leave me alone, clingy bitch."
As a justification he says, "I could never take the place of your man, anyway."
To solidify his point, he breaks into an echoed guitar solo, similar to the sax solo on the Hall and Oats classic Maneater.

Is it just me or were there a lot of songs in the 80's that featured echoed sax solos?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

and now...

The "Why Bother?" award for the day goes to...
Big fat blond lady at the gym! I would ask her to come up and receive her award, but it would probably be too much trouble.
As I was cardio-ing this morning, she was seating on a recumbant stationary bike right in front of me.
She wins the award for two reasons.
1. She had the stationary bike set to such a low level of difficulty, she was actually accunmilating calories.
Ferns get more exercise.
Beyond the fact that the bike was sweating more than she was, she had brought a stack of magazines from the rack with her. Nothing wrong with that at all, but she slammed through every one of them. She spent approximately five seconds, on average, on each page. I had a stopwatch and a calculator. Shut up.

In other news...

I know I recently said that I was now at a point in my life where "interesting" things had sort of stopped happening to me. Because my life has settled down, I don't as often put myself in weird places and situations where oddball happenings are more likely to transpire.
Still, I seem to have a bubble of freak around me. Occasional wackyness still takes place.
Some wackyness took place today at the Burger King in Wakefield.
I had just placed me and Hay's order down on the table. I wanted to relieve myself right quick before we ate, so I excused myself for the bathroom.
I entered the bathroom. It is a small room, with one urinal and one enclosed stall. My mind immediately closed its psychological blast shied upon entering, becuase something just wasn't right and my brain really didn't want to see what it was.
At second one, I noted someone standing at the urinal, fumbling with their clothes, and someone else completing their transaction and leaving the stall.
At second two, I changed trajectory from the urinal to the stall as it was clear this would be the first repository available.
Second three found my mind casting itself back to second one, as the fellow in the stall came out and I passed him. I saw that he looked like a disheveled Howard Hessman in a long tweed coat and the same second I realized the man at the urinal was standing the wrong way.
My physical inertia brought me all the way into the stall and habit inertia caused me to begin using the facility.
However, I now could not not realize what was happening.
An old man had come into the bathroom in a poop-panic. Howard Hessman was using the only stall. Poop-panic man improvised and began the duke dropping process in the urinal.
To clench this, Howard Hessman said, from outside the stall, "Sir? If you need to sit down, this guy will be done in a second."
"This guy" being me, of course.
Poop-panic man replied, in a very conversational tone of voice, "That's okay. It's too late. "
I completed my requirements,washed my hands, thoughrly, and left. I then watched the bathroom from the table.
Poop-panic man was in there for a loooong time.
A short while after he left, the workstaff of the BK, went into a bit of a tizzy. I can only assume the BK guy who went into the bathroom with a large bucket of cleaning supplies while wearing GIANT black, rubber gloves was low man on the King's totem pole.