Archive for March, 2005

Don’t Never Say Don’t Never

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

I talk a lot. And I don’t mean a little a lot. I mean a lot a lot.
But here’s the problem. If good talking is like good writing, then you should try not to repeat yourself too much while telling a story.
To keep it interesting, try not to rely on the same words or phrases repeatedly. (Like right then. I should not have said “repeatedly” because I said “repeat” in the previous sentence. It makes for boring writing. I know. I’m bored already. But I might as well finish this thought now that it has already started…)

So I do understand that I need to mix it up a little and keep it fresh. But remember, I do talk an awful lot. I’m running out of new words. At least the short words. So now I’m presented with this tough choice: Do I start repeating the same words again and again and again, or do I spice up my vocabulary with double negatives?

Hold that thought. I just noticed that I desperately need to go shave off this beard that I accidentally grew out of total ambivalence. I actually had to use shampoo on my face during my last shower. Then I combed my face and spiked it with pomade. It was very punk.

Death and Passwords

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005
Things have changed a lot in the past fifteen years.
We use voicemail instead of answering machines. Email instead of the Post Office. And keyless entry to get into our cars.
Which means we need passwords for everything. And then we die.

Fifteen years ago, if someone died in their sleep, all alone, they would eventually be discovered.
Perhaps their front door would have to be broken down to get to them, but it was smooth sailing from that point on.
If you needed to check their mail you would walk out to their mailbox and check it.
If you wanted to retrieve their phone messages, just push the big round button on the top of their answering machine.
And their car was literally yours for the taking once you snagged the keys off the wall hook by the garage door.

If someone dies now (and they will. Maybe not today. Or maƱana. But they will die. Eventually.), you will need their password, their PIN number, the street they grew up on, their mother’s maiden name, their horse’s favorite color, and an email address where we can send your password reminder.

Until we establish some “Death and Passwords” protocol, I believe that last words, bank balances, Levitra emails, and recent booty calls will be taken with the dead to their grave.
And that’s a shame. I think you would be able to find some real ironic messages on about the third day after their lonely death.
If only we could access them, I’m sure they all sound something like this…

“Haven’t heard from you in a week… What did you do? Die?”

“Email me back, I’m worried about you. You ok? If you need anything let me know.”

“Listen, I need to find out if you want to go to the Citizen Cope show with me. If I don’t hear back, I’ll assume you will be there. I’ll get you tickets now before they sell out. But you better pay me back. Oh, and can I borrow your car next week?”

More Crack Please

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

I haven’t been writing much recently. And for good reason.
I’ve been reading. That’s right, reading.

It never really occurred to me before.
Reading was always something that other people did to something that I wrote.
I considered Reading to be the Yin to my self-absorbed, trite, and never correctly capitalized Writing Yang. It was the half that I didn’t do. Someone had to do it, but it wasn’t going to be me.

I thought my reasons for not reading were pretty good. It’s dangerous to read while you walk. It’s impossible to read while driving. Airplanes are for sleeping. When you do have the time to sit motionless on a couch, you might as well watch TV (Lost - Wednesdays on ABC). So as you can see, that leaves no time for reading.

But that was the old me. Using my old logic. And a TiVo.

Last month I had a breakthrough when I discovered the Crack that is Reading.
I found that if you are reading the right book, you can have quite a pleasant experience. These are the only books I am currently endorsing:

Trading Up: The New American Luxury
by Michael Silverstein, Neil Fiske

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs : A Low Culture Manifesto
by Chuck Klosterman

A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole

The Da Vinci Code
by Dan Brown

Behind Everyman
by David Israel

So last night I finished reading “Behind Everyman”.
I enjoyed it thoroughly. Although I must admit that I am still wishing for a “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs 2″…
That reminded me, maybe I should check out Chuck Klosterman’s first book next.
Unless you have a better suggestion. (I’ve heard good things about “Lads: A Memoir of Manhood” by Dave Itzkoff…)

On a related note: will I even have time to read another book or is the world gonna end tomorrow?
NYC is currently experiencing some crazy Book-of-Revelations-type winter weather and I’m a little scared. And cold. In fact, mostly cold. But still a little scared.

UPDATE 03.23.05
If you even care- I have since finished reading and can now endorse:

by David Sedaris

Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays
by David Sedaris

Lads : A Memoir of Manhood
by Dave Itzkoff
(Well, I’ve almost finished Lads. I intend to finish it later today. And unless the ending sucks, I plan to give it a good recommendation. If you’ve always wanted to read a book about a magazine, check this out.)

Children are like Mini Coopers but I’m not sure why.

Friday, March 4th, 2005

1. They’re great. As long as they belong to your friend.
2. It’s totally normal to have one. If you’re a woman.
3. You tell your girlfriend that you want one. Of course, you’re lying.

The Math of NASCAR

Friday, March 4th, 2005

I noticed that Sirius Satellite Radio recently signed a deal to carry NASCAR races on one of their channels, beginning in 2007.
This is terrific news if you are a fan of watching things go around in a circle.
(Remember, though, this time you will only be listening to things go around in a circle, since it’s radio…)

Does that bother anyone else? Listening to cars drive around in a circle for 3 hours?
I would go crazy. And I don’t mean in the exaggerated way people suggest that they would get annoyed about something.
I mean I would first get very, very dizzy and fall down. Then, after a few minutes, I would stand back up and actually go crazy.

I understand that a NASCAR driver needs more than one lap to have a good race. That makes sense. You need to spend some time jockeying for position and drafting and such.
But really, three hours of making the same left turn?
What is different after Lap 258 that wouldn’t be available at Lap 12?

It isn’t the same as Marathon runners, who need to run a long distance to prove their superior stamina.
That doesn’t really factor in when you are driving a car.

A car doesn’t get tired like a runner. But it does wear out its parts.
That is the other insane thing about NASCAR… You go around in a circle so many times you actually need to replace your tires!
I’ve probably gone through two sets of tires in my life. A race car wears out two sets of tires in an afternoon.

Why replace your tires and refuel your car only to drive around the same circle some more? Just stop racing.
Apply some simple division to the number of laps that most Nascar races run, and you’ll see that I am right with my gasoline and tire saving solution.
Unless… Maybe the number of laps aren’t for the drivers. Maybe those laps are needed by the audience.
How long does it take someone to get really hammered on Bud Lite and sunburned with a bad farmers tan? I bet it takes 258 laps…