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Last Visit 2012-06-04 13:32:26 |Start Date 2006-02-27 14:30:33 |Comments 654 |Entries 407 |Images 203 |Sounds 3 |SWF 3 |Videos 44 |Mobl 11 |

Category: bad juju

06/30/06 08:04 - 70ºF - ID#37348

strange things are afoot at the circle k

So I saw An Inconvenient Truth yesterday and it freaked my shit right out. I am not in the proper mental state to have to deal with tornadoes in Cheektowaga. You can't just spring that shit on somebody. By the time I got home I was convinced these are the End Times and it'll be two months before we're living on rooftops and killing each other over rat meat. Bad juju.

This week I got meeting'd to death. I'm not sure whether I am glad that everyone has taken a sudden interest in the website, or chagrined. Either way, we're going to have a new home page starting next issue and some interesting ideas coming down the pipe shortly.

One very cool thing we want to do is take our regular interview-with-local-bands piece and turn it into an Epic Cyber Battle of the Bands. We run two bands in the paper every week, side by side, and there is an Ultimate Popularity Contest of Ultimate Destiny every week on the website, where you can listen and vote. After eight weeks [sixteen bands, eight winners] we match up the winners for the next four weeks. The last four bands standing play a show, and the winner gets ... I dunno, but it's something big.

Another idea that's a little further down the road is we want to put together some sort of participatory video website. [I think I may have mentioned this before; (e:mike) you should pay attention.] On the one side of the balance, we have traditional commercial television, where the station produces and controls all the content and all the shows suck. On the other side of the balance, we have YouTube and Public Access where the content comes directly from the public and all the shows suck. We want to split the difference - solicit pilot episodes from the public, try to separate the interesting and novel from the ho-hum, and contract a short, renewable series from the better producers. We want to find interesting people on the fringe and give them a forum for their work. I think this could be very cool.

- Z
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Permalink: strange_things_are_afoot_at_the_circle_k.html
Words: 372
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: la vie

06/25/06 04:23 - 81ºF - ID#37347

it would make a good song or something

I have spent the last week surrounded by romantic beginnings and endings. My buddy Tom got married last night [congrats to both of them]. His parents had divorced not too long ago due to some long-standing and deep-seated weirdness which I have neither the understanding nor the inclination to discuss. His mom had a blast last night and said at the rehearsal dinner that she feels that she's gotten a new lease on life following the split.

At last week's conference, two of my coworkers hooked up. Both had been in fairly long-term relationships and both had moved in with their significant others within the last couple months. The fallout was immediate and painful; by Friday, life in the office had not yet settled down, but there was an unspoken but very present understanding that one way or another, things work out.

Given my surroundings over the last week, it would be difficult not to be introspective. (e:dragonlady7) has nailed her 95 theses on marriage to the door of the blogosphere , in which she has managed to write 1400 words of gospel truth while still completely missing the point*, which has little to do with contracts and lawyers and the importance or unimportance of the institution of marriage.

The point is, sometimes you've got to jump. You may not want to, and you may not know whether you have it in you. Maybe you'll land on your feet, maybe someone will catch you, maybe you'll land flat on your face, and maybe someone will pick you up - but sometimes there's no time to think about that until you're already taking that big swan-dive into the unknown. Close your eyes and feel the wind in your hair. Stick to your wits and trust your judgment. This is the right thing to do. Open your eyes and see the opportunities that stretch before you. This is life, and life is good.

- Z

  • I realize I'm going to get castrated for that, but it's true.
ps. New journal music: 'All the Umbrellas in London' from '69 Love Songs' by Magnetic Fields. gather:0755606001151100722
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Permalink: it_would_make_a_good_song_or_something.html
Words: 355
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: survey

06/20/06 09:02 - 68ºF - ID#37346

the e:strip minimeme

1. (e:paul) did a technical demo of (e:strip) during discussions with my company. I didn't get it. A little while later (e:paul) helped us out a lot with getting the Geek Meet together. I still didn't get it, but thought what the hell.

2. I have told my friends about my journal, and I assume that at least a couple still read it. My mom knows I have one but I advised her against reading it. I was startled to find out my cousin reads it, but he's cool. I wouldn't mind if my coworkers knew, but I would prefer if my boss did not. I do not use my real name, but I don't hide it either. I don't mention who I work for, but I assume everybody knows by now. One of my regular userpics is a real portrait of myself that one of my buddies did for me in MS Paint. Another is a cartoon cat who taught himself computer science.

3. Whoever was at the bumper sticker party.

4. I usually don't meet new people, so -- yes.

5. I have tried having threesomes with (e:strip), but (e:dragonlady7) complains that it's too 'tingly.'

6. Just (e:dragonlady7) - (e:dheitmuller) signed up so she could leave a comment, once, but I see her account has been deactivated.

7. I am from Buffalo but somehow ended up living in Kenmore.

1. None.

2. I don't use p:mobl because I kind of hate the wireless web. Either it's too small and too slow, or I buy an enormous PDA and have to deal with even worse gadget pants than I already have.

1. I have added (e:strip) to my shrinking list of favorite websites, and I usually read it at least three times a day, once each in the morning, afternoon, and evening. When I'm just reading I'll go through the new journal entries on my Google homepage; occasionally I'll be really bored and go in and wreak havoc with comments and chat.

1a. I try to read all the journals; I usually don't read the comments.

2. I think it's made me realize that Buffalo is a lot more diverse than I had originally given it credit for.

3. Writing about the interesting parts of my free time has given me something to do when I'm not doing anything interesting.

4. No.

5. Not really. I've always prefered enjoying an experience for what it is to being the asshole with the camera [or video camera]. I'm a better writer than a photographer, and I've got a pretty decent memory even when blitzed out of my mind. I've missed a lot of good photo opportunities, but (e:strip) isn't going to turn me into a camera guy.

6. Perhaps subtly. I have a slightly different tone here than in my column, and it's difficult to have different voices that don't drift towards each other. Luckily, the paper gives me an editor.

7. No. I didn't blog at all before I joined (e:strip), but I had too many good stories I wanted to tell, and (e:dragonlady7) wasn't keeping up with them on her own blog.

8. Trust me, I've seen our server logs, and there are much worse things going on at the office than me reading (e:strip) on my lunch hour. Brr.

9. N/A

- Z
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Permalink: the_e_strip_minimeme.html
Words: 552
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: booze

06/18/06 11:56 - 85ºF - ID#37345

demon rum

Friday morning when I woke up my roommate said to me

'...Did you hear anything weird last night?'
'No... why?'
'...because I think I may have poured a beer into my laptop.'

that does not compare
to what happened Friday night.

I started the evening by preloading in a coworker's hotel room and managed to empty a flask of Crown Royal+Yukon Jack. Then we went in a large group to an art gallery where we were given tickets for drinks. We were supposed to get two; somehow I ended up with four. It turns out that I'm the only person in the company who drinks whiskey; normally this would mean that I would be the only person to order whiskey, but such was not the case. I ended up drinking three very large glasses of whiskey on the rocks -one bourbon, one scotch, and the Crown I had ordered for myself.

Meanwhile - there is a exhibitor who has been trying unsuccessfully for a very long time to get placement in our paper. I don't know why people would read her advice column, since I couldn't stand talking to her for five minutes. At any rate, she gloms onto people - anybody, whether they're in editorial or not - especially those who work for papers she's not in. I see she's roped someone else in and I decide to spring into action. I go up to these people and say to this other woman the first thing that comes to mind, which is, inexplicably:

'Hey - your boots fucking rock!'

To my credit, they were cool boots, but what kind of degenerate just walks up to someone and compliments their boots? We talk about boots for about thirty seconds and this lady just vanishes. I'm thinking yeah, I'm a good person.

i'm left
with the advice goddess.

So I'm like, hey look - that's great - but I've got to go ... refill ... my ... canapes. And I disappear into the crowd, except I can't find anybody from my company. I end up chatting with the art director of New York magazine instead. Some guy who claims to have partied with Paul Fallon in Moscow shows up and says hey, there's a party up on the 19th floor later tonight.

Eventually my people start showing up again, but it's getting late, the place is emptying out, the bar is closing, and I've still got three tickets. Make that five, after everyone's given me their leftovers. I go to the bartender, hey, what can I get for five tickets? He goes, um ... And I go, here's an empty flask. [I know, it's a long shot.] And he goes - well, what do you like? I figure, shoot for the stars, right? and I go- You got any Crown? He takes the tickets and fills the flask, all the while getting the hairy eyeball from the other bartender, and I leave with a $10 tip.

By this time, the shuttles to the hotel were no longer running, so we hire a cab. Cabbie says: where do you want to go? [In retrospect, it was a reasonable question to ask.] And we say: I dunno. And he says, I gotta take you somewhere. And we say: We're not from around here, really - we just want to go out. And he says: well, ok, where do you want to go? And I say, well, where do you hang out?

So he drops us off at the hotel, which is about two blocks from the art gallery. My one coworker [unbeknownst to the rest of us] gives him a $20 for our $3.50 fare and says keep the change. I tip him $2, and my other coworker says, I'd like to tip you but I've only got a $20. He says: [heh] I've only got eight bucks. She says: [heh] well have a good day then.

We end up at a bar near the hotel, but it's not really my scene, and my one coworker and I just kind of hang out outside and shoot the shit. Coincidentally, this is when I finish the second flask of whiskey. Eventually everyone reconvenes and we hit the streets to get back to the hotel. Except it's Juneteenth and the streets are swarming with people. Some dude goes 'Yo! Jesus!' [OK, I need a haircut.]

We finally get back to the hotel, and up to the 19th floor, and there's nothing.


a life-sized cardboard cutout of a 1950s-era housewife.


We take my new date to another party on the patio with a crappy 80s nostalgia band where I run into trouble with the locals. Hey! she says, what are you doing with her? I'm like: we're partying. And she's like, you can't party with her, she's cardboard! That's wrong! And I'm like, if love is wrong I don't want to be right. And she's all: that's not natural! And I'm like: I'm from New York, anything goes. She threatened to call (e:dragonlady7) . I said, don't worry about her, she's down.

The party ends. I drop off my cardboard date at the hotel room and two of my coworkers drunkenly decide to swim the [rather stagnant and nasty] Arkansas River, which runs by the hotel. [A video of this is available.] They claim to be refreshed, but the rest of us think that maybe they don't smell quite right. A bottle of vadko is passed. Someone says, why does this stuff taste like crayons? Someone else says, well, it's Fleischmann's. [Later, he says: crayons? I don't know about crayons, but that flask was filled with irish cream for about a year ... maybe I should have washed it out better.]

It was getting very late, so we called it a night.

The next day, at the Bill Clinton keynote lunch, somebody who looked very familiar sat down at our table. I'm trying not to make eye contact, but she says, 'hey, I saw you yesterday-' and I said, 'ehm, I didn't embarrass myself, did I?' and she said 'no, at the website critique...' I said, 'phew - after the critique I had a fair amount of booze and did some regrettable things...' She says, 'oh, yeah, you had the cardboard date. How did that turn out?'

- Z
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Permalink: demon_rum.html
Words: 1068
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: work

06/16/06 09:32 - 70ºF - ID#37344

salesmen, conventioneers, rock stars

Went to a reception at the William J Clinton Presidential Library. It's not exactly the kind of place I would travel to, but there's some pretty interesting stuff in there, including a replica of the Clinton oval office [sans Ms Lewinsky] and a replica of the cabinet meeting room. There was one very bizarre exhibit of Billy Clinton's childhood heroes [cowboys- this is Arkansas after all] that one of my coworkers believes is space filler until Hillary R Clinton has something to put in there too. Hmmm.

At the reception, there was free booze and fancy food, and, nestled in among the banquet of stuffed mushrooms and pork tenderloins and european cheeses-- fried chicken strips. Nice. There was also a balcony outside the reception room; the door said 'smoking permitted - but no inhaling.'*

One of my coworkers brought party favors, and all of us are now armed with parachuting army guys. We are trying to decide whether it would be more fun to drop them from the balcony of the presidential library, or the 18th floor of the hotel atrium during the procession of the ducks.

- Z

  • I spent all last night working on that one.
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Permalink: salesmen_conventioneers_rock_stars.html
Words: 199
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: work

06/15/06 05:03 - 78ºF - ID#37343

get this freakin duck away from me

Yes: this is the Peabody Little Rock. Kind of insane with the ducks, but all in all a nice place.

This is the 29th Annual Convention of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies - the place is swarming with marxist hippie rags [that is to say: good people.] Keynote speakers this year are Gen Wesley K Clark (Ret) and Pres William J Clinton. There is going to be an enormous reception at his place tonight [that is to say: the Clinton Library] followed by all-you-can-drink booze at the office of the Arkansas Times [windows say: 'AAN UNITE TO IMPEACH'].

If you were wondering what marxist hippie rags have to talk about, here's a sampling of the classes I'm attending: 'Where Journalism Meets the Cell Phone: An Introduction to Mobile Content,' 'How Blogs Changed My Paper,' and 'Free Online Classifieds: Do They Work?'

Just listened to some embarassing stories about Old Times from the classified director, chowed down an enormous muffuletta and a couple homebrews at some joint down the street, and passed out for an hour. I feel refreshed.

- Z

  • New journal music is Tony Joe White: 'They Caught the Devil and Put Him in Jail in Eudora, Arkansas' gather:0393049001150405167
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Permalink: get_this_freakin_duck_away_from_me.html
Words: 214
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: work

06/15/06 01:16 - 76ºF - ID#37342


So they sent me to Little Rock for a conference. Sitting in the room, biting off a little something something from the hotel's wifi network.

My itinerary said our flight was supposed to leave at 6:30am - v. early. Set the alarm for 4:30am, got to bed early. A panicked phone call arrived at 1am from the publisher's assistant: the flight is supposed to leave at 6am, not 6:30am. After we'd all assembled at the airport we just kind of looked around and said: it's going to be a long day.

When we arrived at the hotel, they were just starting the Procession of the Ducks. Let me say this slowly: the hotel has ducks who live in a $90000 penthouse suite. Every day at 11am, the ducks wake up from their little nappy, take a ride down the elevator, and walk down a red carpet to the hotel's fountain. There is also an announcer and JP Sousa is also involved. Running through my head: 'How much less would my room have cost if I didn't have to foot the bill for these ducks?'

They were fat and fast, too - tasty, I bet.

Checked in and got my goody bag. It contained [among other things] a local brew which I am eager to try. However: no fridge. Dddaaammmnnn iiittt!!!

- Z
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Permalink: A_COLD_PARADE_IN_LR_AR.html
Words: 220
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: development

06/12/06 12:28 - 62ºF - ID#37341

park lane

So the Park Lane is slated for closure and likely demolition next year. There is understandably some hubbub regarding the new development, and the latest person to register his displeasure at the closing is Peter Gust, former head chef of the Park Lane.

In an effort to keep the restaurant open, Mr. Gust has taken to unlocking the front door after everyone else has left and often remains in the dining room after hours. Mr. Gust, who died about fifteen years ago, has earned the nickname 'Peter Ghost,' and his presence has been independently corroborated by several employees.

- Z
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Permalink: park_lane.html
Words: 104
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: allentown

06/11/06 05:17 - 64ºF - ID#37340

the stones on some f*cking people

So (e:dragonlady7) took a mental health day today and we popped down to Allentown with the goal of visiting all four festivals. Considering that my office is in Allentown, I figured I could drive in and park in our lot. [There are few perks in working for my company; this is my weekend to take advantage of all of them.] So I came in and, where someone had previously pulled a couple garbage totes across our driveway so that unknown parties would not park there, some bitch had hung up a superghetto cardboard sign that says 'Park $5.' Whatever. I breeze by her and park in my usual spot, and when I get out of the car she says 'It's five bucks to park here.'

I say, no it isn't, I'm going in to work for a minute.

She says, it's still five bucks.

I say, trust me it's free, this is my parking lot - and walk into the building. What is wrong with some people?

Saw (e:mrmike) at Music is Art.

Then we headed over to Nietzsche's. Mr. Nietzsche is an extremely good person and a friend of the company, and we have a running tab there. So we stopped in and he bought us not one but two beers and a shot of vodka & lime, and we chilled out and listened to Michael Meldrum and also the Little Mountain Band. Good stuff.

Then my boss wandered in, and I passed a note about the bitch at our parking lot. He said, you didn't pay her, right? I kind of gave him a look that said 'of course not' and punctuated it with the double-deuce . He seemed satisfied; I was pleased to have flipped off my boss. When we came back the signs were still up but she was gone, which was just as well. Once again: what the fuck?!

- Z

ps. Also I think we saw (e:jenks) in passing.
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Permalink: the_stones_on_some_f_cking_people.html
Words: 318
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: fashion

06/08/06 09:48 - 71ºF - ID#37339

jail jeans

After being told that one of my pairs of jeans had an enormous hole in the ass, I bought a new pair that just came in the mail today. They are supposedly unique in that they are more durable than most jeans, but more unusual, these are manufactured in a medium-security state prison in Pendleton, OR.

I have been thinking about jail lately since I read some disturbing statistics regarding our prison system . The United States has more prisoners per capita than any other country in the world; we lead Russia [#2] by almost 50%. Furthermore, our prison population growth outstrips overall population growth by 200%.

Either Americans are the most poorly-behaved people in the world, and are only getting worse - or something is seriously fucked up. Reading this week's News of the Weird [items #1 and #6, in particular] it seems that the latter is more likely than the former.

At any rate, these jeans are made in America, by Americans, who make $8/hour - with 80% being withheld for restitution, room & board, &c., and the rest being either sent home to the inmate's family or kept in a savings account until they're released. They are competitively priced at $30/pair and come in my preferred size of 29x34. I feel pretty special with my jail jeans.

Also: good news today about al-Zarqawi; there is an interesting, though somewhat dated, article about him here: . Now, if the war had been 1500 miles east of where it is, it would have been his boss, and that would have been much better news. But, we take what we can get. Good job, guys- let's get this shit done so you can come home.

- Z
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Permalink: jail_jeans.html
Words: 309
Location: Buffalo, NY



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