Monday, May 29, 2006

Two Minutes, Two Emotions

1) YouTube, I love you! You fill my days with childlike glee:

2) Snopes, I hate you. You ruin everything pure and innocent that makes me clap my feet like a seal.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is not a bad joke.

This is real.

Hilarious, but real. Apparently, they are gonna try and get this on the air.

(But then again, anything from the Competitive Enterprise Institute Global Warming Team has gotta be carefully scientifically vetted, no?)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hindsight being 20/20

I made a friggin' awesome graphic for that Apple store post:

I just wanted to make sure you all realized that.

The Best Thing My Father Has Ever Said

Much like myself, my father thinks he's right about pretty much everything, and enjoys telling my mom when she's wrong. He has a certain kind of smugness when correcting here, that I wish I could replicate here. You really had to be on the phone to fully appreciate it, but (especially those of you who've met my conservative, Texas-bred parents), try to imagine this discourse:

My Mom: Guess what movie we watched last weekend?
Me: Uhhhhh...I dunno...Brokeback Mountain.
My Mom: You guessed it!
Me: Really? Wow. Hunh. What did you think when Dad brought that home from the video store?
My Dad: I didn't.
My Mom: No, I got it from the library. I saw it there and realized if I didn't bring it home first, your father would spend $4.99 to rent I figured I should just get it.
Me: Never woulda guessed. What did you think?
My Mom: My stomache was churning the whole time -- sometimes I couldn't watch.
My Dad: I thought it was a "tender love story" (blazing sarcasm).
My Mom: Now, Geoff, did you think Ennis was actually straight?
(a beat)
Me: What do you mean?
My Mom: Well, he was forced to do those things by the other one -- the one who always had his eye on the men.
Me: He wasn't forced to do anything.
My Mom: Ennis got raped by him in the beginning.
(a beat)
My Dad: Ennis was on top, dear.

I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard.

(Also amazing is that my mom watched the whole movie thinking that Heath Ledger was the victim of Jake Gyllenhaal -- kinda funny, but also kinda sad.)

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Steve Jobs never lacked chutzpah. Even though there's retail space aplenty throughout the city -- and Mac fanatics will clearly go anywhere -- why not shell out the bucks for one of the most prestigious addresses in the Manhattan? And forget huge display windows -- why not put the nasty nuts and bolts of the retail operation underground and just create an air of mystery and simplicity at street level (ala Steve Wynn)? Why not spend millions of dollars on an entirely glass cube?

Chutzpah, indeed.

Apple has been opening their own stores since 2001, but this one is the grand-daddy of them all. Huge, sleek, 24/365, and meant to impress the socks off you. And it does.

And that kind of makes me sad.

Much like the Boston Red Sox fans, whose identity was based around perpetually rooting for a losing team, being a longtime Mac user in 2006 makes me feel a little dizzy. Suddenly, instead of being a rag-tag bunch of fuckups who use computers with a 4% market share because we like their design aesthetic and the culture they embody, we're part of a growing band of geeks and style conscious kids who want what Apple now has -- superior hardware running a superior operating system. Back 5 or 6 years ago, though, the lines weren't so clear. It was a holy war (remember?), you were either Mac or PC and the debate was vicious. Mac users were a cult, a small band of Davids fighting the Goliaths of hegemony with our Quadras and desk accessories. But now, just ahead of the tipping point of (what I predict will be) huge double digit Macintosh market share growth, Steve Jobs has already erected his victory arch.

The opening on Friday was like a religious tent revival. The line to get inside stretches for several miles. The Apple store employees clapped as people emerged with shiny new MacBooks. People on the street were dancing as they neared the door. And here we were, on on one of the toniest blocks in New York. It seemed surreal -- but the meme was clear -- Apple had won the war. As one of the faithful, looking at this scene (I didn't wait in line on Friday, just hung around for 10 minutes, taking it all in), I should have felt elated, but I didn't.

Apple, I feared, jumped the shark for me. It's hard to sell counterculture when you are fast on your way to becoming the dominant force in the digital age. And counterculture was what I loved about Apple. I liked being an oppressed minority. I wore it as a badge of honor. As the last few years have rolled by, bringing us iBooks and iPods and OS X, my pride in being in that minority swelled. "Finally!" I said, "The blind have seen the light!" But then the trickle became a torrent. Geeky sites like Slashdot and Digg now seems to traffic in 25% Apple news, up from virtually nothing a few years ago. Everybody seems to be getting on the bandwagon (Dan, I'm looking at you!) My feeling is probably pretty similar being a Scientologist watching Tom Cruise on first you're thinking "That's my guy," which slowly becomes, "Oh, shit!" Like the Red Sox fans, I'm so used to feeling one way that I don't know how to feel now.

Nevertheless, I went to the temple yesterday. Paid my respects. Attempted to win a laptop. Blogged. It's a beautiful store, and the design sense of the products and the retail experience is more than enough to keep me around. I may lapse in my faith, but I'll always be practicing.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Yes - I am blogging from the Apple Store.

Yes, it's a zoo here, like Trader Joe's but without Chili Corn Relish.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bullshit Superstar

- Cab driver waits in BBC studios lobby to pick up computer expert Guy Kewney.
- Harried television producer rushes into lobby calling out Guy Kewney's name.
- Cab driver (with limited English skills) raises hand.
- Cab driver is rushed into another room, and sat down in chair.


"mildly entertaining musical footnote"

Took the movie to Baltimore this weekend with Brianna and the Pattan Bros. for the Maryland Film Fest. Got a review from the local Village Voice equivalent:

“Adolph’s Beautiful America,” directed by Geoff Gruetzmacher, is the story of Western swing singer Adolph Hofner, the first man to have a hit with “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” who responded to fame by deciding to sing in his native Czech. Built mostly on the traditional documentary mix of archival stills and interviews, with staid POVs and setups, it’s a mildly entertaining story of a musical footnote.

What's entertaining is that is the nicest thing he has to say about any film in our block.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Learn or Ignore

I use Safari and, thanks to Apple Spell, I have never had to suffer through the indignity of Blogger's built in spell-checker. But tonight I am writing from Alpha Astoria HQ and didn't know how to spell "correspondants" for that last post.

And not just writing. I'm "blogging". Listen to the nice folks at Blogger spin how exciting this is:
Since Blogger was launched, almost five years ago, blogs have reshaped the web, impacted politics, shaken up journalism, and enabled millions of people to have a voice and connect with others.

And we're pretty sure the whole deal is just getting started.

Wow. Heady stuff. If only what they (and I...and you) are doing was actually a word:

Huevos Grandes

Gotta say it -- I watched Colbert's speech at the White House correspondents dinner (hilarious), but the Decider himself upstaged Steven by a LONG shot. Worth a look-see.

(I know this is eons old by blog standards, but I've been literally trapped in an internetless basement for the past week...I'm still catching up.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Mythical Man-Month

The Mythical Man-Month is a concept from the world of software development that was first written about in the late 70's. According to the Wikis, the concept is this: "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." Very interesting...and probably very accurate.

I think this is pretty much also true if you replace the word "software project" with "television show"...unless the network's deadline is firm and everyone's been up for 18 hours and the edit suite smells like a locker room and the producer is frame fucking and the EP is gesticulating wildly and someone says "more Sapphire Glow!". In that case, replace the word "later" with "donkey balls".

(Thanks to the always dorky Daring Fireball for the conceptual heads-up. NB - this is not my life right now, but check back in 2 weeks.)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Another year

I've been finding that a good way to demarcate my age is to quanitify my growing dissatisfaction with the Bryant Park movies year after year.

June 19th The Birds
June 26th To Have and Have Not
July 3rd M*A*S*H
July 10th Bullitt
July 17th The Band Wagon
July 24th High Noon
July 31st A Shot in the Dark
August 7th The Manchurian Candidate
August 14th Charade
August 21st Rocky

Hence, by September, I'll be about 87 years old.

NB - Manchurian is a decent pick. That'll prolly be my one "definitely" for the season. What are you guys?