Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What happened to Weezer?

Here's a stream of the new Weezer single, Beverly Hills:

Windows Media Player here, RealPlayer here

Judge for yourself.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


password: *********

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Weekend Update: Uisce Beatha (pronounced Ish-Kay Ba-Ha)

So Friday was Palgrave Macmillan's Production Department's first ever (as far as I know) Fancypants Day. On this day the production department dressed to the nines (or eight-and-a-halfs) in the spirit of fun and bonding. Red and black appear to be the new plaid. Despite the distraction of my co-workers' swanky attire, I managed to crank out seven purchase orders and send them all off to our printer. Following the end of the work day a few of us went out for some drinks and more further bonding. Whiskey was consumed of the Glenfiddich and Glenlivet varieties. Further bonding was had over sushi with Emiko and Yasmin.

Saturday brought some fĂștbol action. I had a couple of decent passes, scored a goal, but made no particularly memorable plays. In the evening I ran lights and sound for Elana Fishbein's comedy troupe, Abearable. It turned out to be a good show with a fairly responsive crowd. Post-show, I headed home to get some work done on wedding invitation designs. Things are moving along in that department, but slowly. I'm finally getting to a point in my art nouveau idea where I'm relatively pleased with how it looks. It's taken me a fair amount longer to come up with something I liked than I expected.

Today I took a jaunt up to Vassar for some quality time with Sarah. It was really great. There were cameo appearances by Jacob Moses, Kat Oliver, and Emily Fishbaine. We wandered around campus and the golf course, which was much more pleasant than wandering around the busy streets of New York City. Being surrounded by grass and trees instead of slabs of concrete and frenzied people was necessary for my mental health. Dinner was consumed at the Beech Tree, and included for some their melted brie appitizer and New Zealand lamb. It was scrumtrulescent.

Oh, I also scored a weezer ticket for the 5/12 show on eBay Saturday morning. Joy. I will bring an extra pair of socks with the expectation that the first pair will get rocked off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Existential Dilemma in the Publishing World.

What follows is an email exchange between some of the production crew (Y = Yasmin, K = Ken, W = Will (me)). The initial email is a company wide announcement. The exchange has some slight edits for the sake of continuity, though some of this may seem kind of incoherent to those not involved in the original exchange.

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 11:27 AM

Subject: Free Book Day at Holt

Henry Holt's last free book day at 18th Street will take place this , in the Robert Frost Conference Room. As we will be moving to the Flatiron in a few weeks, we'll have a huge selection of books available. We'd like to invite you to stop by any time from 1pm to 5pm and take a look. See you there!

Y: Woo hoo, good books that we actually want to read!

W: One can only hope.

Y: So formal, again. I love it. Or is it “one loves it”?

K: "one can only hope" isn't formal, it's sarcastic. Now "Only in dreams" that's formal.

W: Formal is also formal, or is that 'meta'?

K: Po-po? [as in post-postmodern]

W: No, I'm pretty sure it's just solely po.

K: Meta-po perhaps?

W: Self-reference is often a trait of postmodernism. I'm not sure "meta-po" really makes much sense as a term, though it could be a postmodern term, as it lacks clear definition, yet clearly has some meaning within the context of this discussion; its very existence is questionable, yet here it is, and is therefore contradictory. It is self-referential and satirical, "meta" having been tacked on to "po" to draw attention to the self-reference often found in "postmodernism" and unequivocally displaying its ridiculousness as a self-referential term that encompasses self-reference.

K: Oh okay, you old crummudgeon. Po-meta. Happy now?

Y: Larry, gear down. That shiksa book described all jewish men as thinking they were channeling jon stewart but really channeling larry david. Vindication! Po-megranate.

K: As for Meta-Po, are you trying to argue that the absurd has no meaning?

W: No, I'm saying that which is meaningless is absurd.

K: What else is absurd? Do these things have meaning?

Y: I think everything, especially things that are meaningful, have the potential to be absurd.

K: Hmmm, doesn't everything and anything have the POTENTIAL to be everything and everything?

Y: Maybe if you’re a moral relativist…

K: How dare you! Actually, I don't think my "morals" should come under discussion today…maybe over copious amounts of beers… but not until then… So yasmin thinks that the meaningful is especially prone to the absurd, while will says that the meaningless is always absurd.

Y: I think exposing the way we attach meaning to things reveals the absurdity inherent to the human condition.

W: The meaningless is absurd by definition. Go look it up. And I agree with Yasmin here, we've just kind of revealed how we're waiting for Godot.

K: I AM NOT waiting for anything, I'm shredding shit everyday and while it all might be meaningless… it's not in the here and now, because I effect things… my actions have reactions… maybe after I turn back into dust and my synapsyes stop firing it won't have any meaning…though I doubt that, because memory is real, but until then… I'm keepin' it real. And Meta-Po WILL raise it's ugly head one of these days… be warned! And could either of you define the human condition for me?

W: The human condition is what you make of it. If you can somehow manage to make meta-po a useful term, I will give you a pat on the back.

K: And a dollar?

W: If your lucky.

K: Well, gimmie a pat and a dollar, cause Meta-Po has inspired a great hour or so of email conversation… that's pretty fuckin' useful.

W: I'll give you a dollar for that.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Just for the sake of it.

A quick rundown of the week to come:

Work-y work-y Mon-Fri.


Roll credits.

Deleted Scenes:

1. The Rickshaw Dumpling Bar rules. It's on 23rd b/t 5th and 6th (north side of the street). So far I've tested their chicken and thai basil dumplings, peking duck dumplings, salad, and edamame. Their hoisin sauce and peanut sauce (with coconut?) are both awesome. It's not a bargain, but the cost of a lunch is comparable to most other places in the area.

2. I saw Gunner Palace last night, which is a documentary about soldiers stationed in Baghdad. Check it out if you haven't. It's really the only imagery of the war that I've seen, and was interesting for that if nothing else. I'm still not quite sure what to make of it, though, in terms of how it makes me feel about the war. The movie certainly portrays the occupation as a disorganized, chaotic operation. There's some really amazing, poignant rapping (possibly freestyle?) done by a few of the soldiers, too, that I think puts a lot of mainstream hip-hop to shame. In terms of "keeping it real," Jay-Z, Ludacris, and Juvinile don't have anything on these guys. They're working on making a soundtrack. I look forward to owning it.

3. Speaking of hip-hop, I think I'm finally finding my niche in that realm. I don't empathize much with the gangsta or hustler modes, but there are a few more socially conscious rappers--Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Che Fu, and my ex-co-worker's boy, Chaz--who I'm enjoying. I find myself getting excited by a clever turn of phrase and particularly fast or smooth rhythms and rhymes. The a cappella part at the beginning of Kanye's "Get 'Em High" is especially sweet.

4. Lists are cool.

5. More overhire theater work is coming my way. Joy.

6. I have a play date this week with Yasmin's cat, Sarah. I think we will become fast friends. Cats are also cool.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Captain's blog, Earth date: March 19th, 2005. . .

I am officially king of the hippoes. I had more invoices to get through than my boss. The last time I saw her backlog of invoices, the stack was thicker than G.W.B.'s skull, which is to say, there were an ass-load of invoices, which is to say, I now have more than an ass-load of invoices.

Spring is now unofficially here. Soccer in Prospect Park is in full swing. I made the idiot decision to wear my new turf shoes and now my heels are all blistered and my playing time was cut short. However, in the brief time I was blundering about the field like an epileptic after a light show, I did make some decent plays. Hopefully the weather will stay as is tomorrow and I can head back out with taped-up feet.

Tonight I dine on sketch comedy, courtesy of Elana's comedy troupe, Abearable. I'll be running boards for them next weekend. Those interested in funny people doing funny things should check them out Saturday, March 26 @ 7pm at Juvie Hall (
24 Bond St. (btw. Bowery & Lafayette) for $5.00 (I dunno if there's a drink minimum). If I'm lucky, I'll get out of their rehearsal early enough to go check out Cubicle's show (Lynne Rosenburg's comedy troupe) at Rose's Turn (55 Grove Street & 7th, $5 cover and 2 drink miniumum) at 9pm. They are also funny people doing funny things.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

House reunion

This evening brought a lovely semi-house reunion from our SoCo house at Vassar. I learned all about Laurel's adventures in Texas. She seems to be doing well, for those who are curious. She says teaching is a lot of work. She has a vast knowledge of Texas history and geography now. Many jokes were made and understood and laughed at; the orange chicken came out relatively well; and there was apple pie. I like pie.

Also, Weezer has a new album coming out in May. Joy.

Yo' MoMA (from 3/14/05)

A summary of weekend events:

Friday evening: free evening at the MoMA with Emiko, then out for some Japanese food. Japanese food is full of tastey, exotic goodness. I highly recommend getting a Japanese roommate who knows where the good Japanese food is hidden.

Saturday: A viewing of the Animation Show in the company of Emiko, Brendan, Cecilia, and Sandy. The animation ran the gamut: classic 2-D, computer generated, painted, stop-motion, even some rotoscoping... there was some really amazing, beautiful, and funny stuff. If anyone gets a chance to check it out, please do. Like a Japanese roommate, I highly recommend it. Post-show led us to Hamburger-Eating-Fest 2005 at Silver Spurs. They make Hamburgers the size of cows there. Cecilia actually could not get her mouth around her burger. As the self-designated marm, I had a veggie wrap and no milkshake. We then walked off some of the cows that were ingested and in the process passed Crispin Glover and Dean Cain on the street at completely separate times. After that was dinner at Peperoncino's with Tera. The crust the second time wasn't quite as crisp. It could also have done with a little extra basil. Generally speaking though, food in New York is good. We then returned to her place and chilled out while watching bad music videos and the tail-end of You Got Served, which had some amazing break-dancing, but was a truly terrible movie.

Sunday: I got a gig doing some overhire tech work at the Actor's Studio couresty of Cecilia and Ben Aufil. Nice people, low stress, good pay. I hope to do some more work there again in the future. Oh, and Gabe Evansohn was also there looking disheveled as always.

Monday: was not the weekend. I've got a ton of manuscripts to get through. This includes estimating the page extent of the book when it's typeset, filling out pertinent data in Title Management, doing cost estimates, and getting through a million other small detail-oriented things. The dynamic of between the production assistants (me, Canadian Yasmin, Sir Ken, the Charismatic, and the newly acquired Cythia) seems to be pretty good judging by our funny, pithy email exchanges. We had a group lunch in our conference room. Joy was had.

Tomorrow brings John Peacock from England. John Peacock. England. The two go together like pasta and sauce.

LexisNexis (from 3/11/05)

So a few days ago LexisNexis's database was hacked into and a bunch--and by a bunch I mean tens of thousands--of people's personal information, including social security numbers, was stolen. Prior to this ChoicePoint was duped into giving out the personal information of 145,000 people to a fraud ring posing as 50 different legitimate businesses. For those of you who don't know, LexisNexis and ChoicePoint are two of a number of companies that profit from information sharing. The personal information that these companies have they sell to other companies. Needless to say, it's bad that a lot of people had information relating to their identities stolen and many of them will likely be victims of identity theft. What I don't get is why these companies have that information in the first place. Surely, your social security number is not something that you would allow to be bought and sold willy-nilly given the option. It just seems pretty obvious that it violates a person's right to privacy if their personal information becomes a commodity on the free market. The government, according to those articles linked above, is slow on the uptake. There are apparently major economic benefits to information sharing, which is something we like. Of course, for an administration with the country's safety as its highest priority, this does not particularly reflect well on its performance. If nearly 200,000 people can have their personal information stolen, which besides social security numbers includes bank and credit card records, how secure are we supposed to feel? With all the credit and bank info that's been stolen, "the terrorists" could buy a hefty collection of whatever it is they need to have in order to terrorize people. Great job Congress and Homeland Security. Kudos to you.

Top five pizza places of the moment. (from 3/8/05)

My current top 5 pizza places of the moment (in order of best to worst) are:

1. La Villa, 5th Ave and Garfield (Their 'D.O.C.' Margherita with the fresh basil is delectable.)
2. Peperoncino's, 5th Ave and St. Marks (Their crust is perfect. Perfect.)
3. Franny's, Flatbush (Orangic goodness to sooth the soul, and they serve Virgil's root beer, which is the best carbonated beverage on the planet.)
4. Una Pizza Napoletana, L.E.S. (Fresh is as fresh does.)
5. Two Boots at various locations (It's the best slice around--even with their use of cornmeal.)

Honorable mentions include No. 28, Nick's, and John's.

Polio and International Relations (from 3/6/05)

Three things I learned about myself when I have imbibed lots of beer:

1. I become wildly inarticulate, unable to specify--even remotely--the idea I mean to convey. An example from last night when discussing wedding invitations: "Trees are excellent imagery. They're, like, so lush!"

2. Drinking copious amounts of beer results in severe intestinal distress.

3. I forget what 3 is.

Peter Angelos, you are an idiot. Why did you trade for Sammy Sosa? Sosa, newly of the Baltimore Orioles, Has been in steady decline over the past four years: his homerun output has dropped by 30, his batting average by 70 points, his on base percentage by over 100 points, and his slugging percentage by over 200 points. Granted last season his home run output was lessened by his spending a good month on the disabled list, but I don't think that will be his last stay on the dl and that doesn't explain the drop in percentages. Sosa was also known in Chicago for being awful in the clubhouse, so much so that the Cubs in the trade paid the Orioles millions of dollars to take him off their hands an in return received a utility man and a couple prospects. To top it off, he was ejected yesterday from an exhibition game for generally being a dick by heckling the umpires and arguing balls and strikes. On the bright side, he hasn't taken steroids, right? Right?

In the beginning (from 3/4/05)

There are few things in this world that anger me more than the database system that I'm forced to use daily. If you've read that first sentence and are still reading this, I admire your tenacity. POMS and TMM, our purchase order generator and book title information database, respectively, have to be the worst designed programs ever in the history of the universe--yes, and that includes Windows 95. Among their myriad crimes are painfully slow load times, incredibly confusing layouts, and hidden data fields. I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that these programs were made, or that the company I work for actually bought them. We could have instead created a customizable web-based system that we could then modify to fit our needs. Of course rather than do that, we bought a clunky program that's impossible to navigate efficiently and is incredibly expensive to customize. Whoever decided that this program suite was best for the company should be taken out back, shot, drawn and quartered, and then their limbs should be used by the rest of the company's employees to whack their brainless heads around like hockey pucks.