Friday, February 26, 2010

Petty grievances, NY Phil edition

In my life I've had my share of old man tiffs. You know the sort of things I'm talking about - the standing argument with a dry cleaner over a spot or a missing shirt; or, revealingly, the feud with a certain liquor store proprietor who wouldn't accept my thousands of disparate beer bottles carelessly thrown into scattered boxes all because they happened to be of uncertain provenance. 'What?' I said. 'They aren't foreign currency for Chrissakes. Do you know how much beer I've bought here over the years? What's the difference?' This plea fell on the proverbial deaf ears. An oblique threat to take my business elsewhere lasted exactly two weeks, before the encroaching evening, New England blue laws, and a devilish thirst brought me back, petulantly.

But now I have a new vendetta, and I can't say I'm not glad to be feuding again. My sworn enemy? The NY Philharmonic. Someone from their organization called me this morning as I was enjoying a delicious Dunkin' Donuts bagel with cream cheese. An eager young woman was kind enough to ask me if I had been to the philharmonic recently. As I thought back to the last time I'd seen the Phil, some time ago mind you, I had to fight to keep my imagination from conjuring up a rather voluptuous classical music lover on the other end of the line. But she wasn't really interested in the last time I had been to the symphony, instead she broke right into an aggressive narrative of fundraising, educational initiatives, and a large sum of money that they hoped to make up in a short amount of time.

Eager. Motivated. I like her, I thought, as I licked stray cream cheese from my wrist.

But the conversation took a sobering turn when she began to inquire as to how much I'd be willing to give. If I could only steer this patter to Sibelius, I might be alright, I thought. But it was impossible, so I interrrupted her apologetically with a protestation of impecuniousness.

She interrupted me forcefully, but not without humor, with the right bon mot that I need not make up this staggering aforementioned difference myself.

We laughed for a while. Or I laughed. She seemed rather breathlessly poised like a jungle cat on the other end of the line.

I coughed nervously and told her I just couldn't give now.

'No?' She pushed. 'Not even $25?'

I bristled. 'No,' I said. 'And frankly I don't like being pushed.'

'What about $15 or even $7?'

This was a bit much. 'Now look,' I said. 'This smacks of desperation...'

But before I could finish scolding her, she hung up! A courtesy caller hung up on me. This, my dear readers, must be a new sort of low.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Who is this idiot interviewing Horowitz?

I think I first heard the name Vladimir Horowitz watching Jeopardy! The category had something to do with the initials V.H. Who was Vladimir Horowitz netted you $800. Some of the other answers from that particular show? Vaclav Havel. Victor Hugo. I've forgotten the other two. We could probably reconstruct them, don't you think?

Once, when I was young and watching Jeopardy! with my family, I was delighted to be able to blurt out Lake Titicaca to the great amusement of my brother and the mock puritanical shock of my mother. Even younger, I once successfully answered a Trivial Pursuit question with The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I don't remember doing this, but I'm told that my grandmother looked at my mother with a good degree of skepticism as to the moral fiber of our household. I wish I remembered this.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eff this.

You guys can find me on google buzz.

I'm talking about getting my buzz on, Aldrin style.

It's good to know that, in the world, there are still men who, when they want to say something really inane, often repeating what has just been said by someone else, will adopt a falsetto, an odd stress pattern, and a sing-songy cadence.

That's [altogether now] Caaaa-dence!

This goes out to the fellows at my new temping job! A little teeeemp-ing!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Good morning hos and bros! It's snowing here in New York. My morning question - what's the word, the term, for when a computer generated avatar looks remarkably like another human being other than the one he is intended to resemble? How does one refer to an avatar's avatar? I'm thinking we need to update 'doppelganger' for the digital age. All of this inspired by the fact that the avatar of Jake Sully in Dances with Wolves Lord of the Rings Avatar looks remarkably like a cousin of mine.

And all GuardtheGuardian-ians should read this article, recommended by one Colonel Knowledge. Is he trying to tell me something?

Friday, February 05, 2010

week round up

And what a week it was! We laughed at a couple of ridonkulous political ads.

We enjoyed the art of Shane Neufeld.

We took out a couple books from the library, but haven't started reading them yet.

We flipped through Karate Boogaloo's Daily Travels section of his website for NYC subway photos.

And every once and again the internet seems worth it somehow.

There's a lot more to do!