Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Last Link of the Day

Or "lock," as the case may be.

This is fascinating... a week's worth of Panama Canal comings and goings in the span of a few minutes. Time-lapse video used in a cool way.

Look closely and you might be able to see my parents, who were at the Canal less than two weeks ago.

No truth to the rumor that they were there with Matt Lauer.

"Not Right Now, Condi"

Did you know that Adam and Eve drove an Excursion?

Listen to your President... and as you do, keep an eye out for those tricky pop-up books... those things scare the crap out of me.

God! Show Me Magic

One of you has voted for continued links.

So why haven't YOU voted, yet?


My scary presentation was just bumped back a week, to NEXT Thursday. That is awesome news.

As is the fact that, although the contractor has already come and gone... his half-assed start (yesterday) has begun to blossom (today). Whatever he did this morning, the shower is looking much better.

Now, all I have left are plumbers and carpet measurers. Let's hope all goes equally well with their efforts.

A Question For You

There are not enough hours in the day, I tells ye.

Today's going to be a bit of a mess: pre-9am phone calls, contractors, plumbers, a conference call with Jay, the JLNS to do (in a rush), and a few other things (though one of those things might end up salvaging the day). I hope all goes well.

I know-- I'm not the only busy one. You're busy, too. I mean, look at Jeff-- he's been working 32-hour days since he was 41 years old.

I mean, 31.



The issue of the day.

I was wondering last night why this blog has turned into a links repository as of late. I mean, I enjoy sharing the nonsense I find with you, as many of you don't have the time (or the care) to go hunting for it yourselves. But I'd be curious to know how many of you actually check out the links that I post-- so... is it worthwhile for me to continue? What do you like better? Should I just stick to writing about myself, like the little narcissist that I am?

Posting links is easier for me to do when I have less time on my hands, but if you're doing me the courtesy of showing up and reading this mess... well, what do you want to read?

When I was home over the weekend, I realized that my parents don't have a high-speed connection (I also noticed that, somehow, they don't have Power Point, but that's neither here nor there). It's not a huge problem, in the grand scheme of things, but if they'd wanted to see some of the things (movies, videos) that I've posted... they'd have to sit on their hands for a few minutes.

And if any of you know my Dad, in particular... well, he loses interest inside of five seconds. The man has no patience whatsoever.

That might have been what brought this question on... realizing that some of you (especially if you're at work) might not be able to check out what I'm putting on the site. So, what do you think?

Do you like the links or ignore them?


I was about to get snarky about... well, who else would it be about?... but I have decided against it. Something happened this morning that was of little consequence, but that was mildly amusing (to me, anyway).

If you want to know about it, ask me. The password is: "pilgrim."


One of my colleagues at Harmonium has written a nice piece as to why he still buys CDs.

I was thinking of writing a piece in defense of Pearl Jam (horrors!), sometime in the coming weeks/months... maybe we could work "In Defense Of" into a regular feature?


Jill invited me up to NYC for a party on December 10th, the Saturday before the Eagles-Giants game I'll be attending with David Fein.

Ordinarily, I'd be thrilled... but the way she described the party sounded suspiciously like one of those parties you only hear rumors and whispers about. Those parties that have their own websites. With lots of... um... pictures.

Oh, hell. I'm gonna go, damnit. It's been too long since I've seen Jill.


Tonight's episode of Lost promises to be particularly great. With any luck, I'll be making homemade pizza and watching with a friend.


Have a great day...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Joy Division

What I wouldn't have given to be at this show. Arcade Fire came out on stage during one of U2's encores to cover "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

I have no idea who that bus driver is, kneeling over there on the right-hand side, though.


Another day, another list. This time, rather than it being a list of the top whatevers of 2005, it's the top 12 songs on OK Computer.

And since I'm a complete and utter sucker for all things Radiohead, I'll post the link. Wanna fight about it?


Finally, The Big Takeover has a shiny new website. It's about time, Jack! ;)


OK, OK. Enough music. I hear you. How's about Star Wars, instead?

Wow. Remember when Kevin Spacey was popular? Seems like ages ago, doesn't it?


My contractor follies begin anew this morning. See if you can follow along:

1) Bathroom guy comes by this morning, for the first time in roughly two weeks. He will talk my ear off about how voting is pointless, how women are horrendous, and how this project is absolutely killing him, but he did it despite his better motives.

2) Tomorrow morning, I'll get a call from the carpet measuring guys (I'm not kidding), to set a time for them to come over and measure my house (also tomorrow). We are getting all of our carpeting redone, which will only cost us several months' worth of mortgage payments.

3) The bathroom guy will return tomorrow, but this time, he'll be bringing a plumber along! Awesome! Much noise will ensue, of course. And both men will almost certainly find something to complain about (much like I'm doing right now, come to think of it).

4) The bathroom guy will inevitably still have work to do on Thursday, this despite the fact that we were supposed to be finished, done, wrapped several weeks ago. This *also* despite the fact that my big presentation is on Thursday. He will forget this, and come by anyway.

5) Jose Pino, a lovely yet completely unintelligible man, is set to come over on Thursday evening to give an estimate on a small paint job that Abby refuses to do herself.

She screwed up the room (as some of you may know, she painted waves on the ceilng)-- why isn't she doing this herself, again?


It is 8am on Tuesday morning, and after writing that little outline, I am strongly considering an adult beverage.

Monday, November 28, 2005

We Haven't Forgotten About You, Michael Irvin

Go on, buddy. Cry "wolf." But just make sure that you do it with the SAME INTENSITY. The SAME INTENSITY!

Tell us how it was your friend's stuff. Suuuuuuure!!!

Oh, Mike. Knew it was just a matter of time 'til you and Johnny Law met up again.

A Few Quick Notes

That was, by far, the longest Bar Mitzvah I've ever been to.

I mean, ever.

Look-- they're all long, when you get right down to it. I get that. But this one... my heavens. The Haftorah portion could have come in hour-long installments, and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.


That said, it was good to see the extended family.

It was, however, strange to see them dancing to songs like "P.I.M.P." and "Get Low," though. I was very happy to realize that none of them knew (or cared) what they were dancing to.

But before that realization, I was kind of appalled.

When I wasn't laughing, I mean.


So, Mike (Roche) opened up a good bit this weekend. This was a very welcome thing.

He did touch a nerve with me, though. Michelle told me that over the past year or two, Mike has referred to me as Michelle's "sister," as in his opinion, I had no backbone with respect to the whole Abby thing.

That I was a big pussy, effectively.

Rather than saying something in response (what would I have really said?), I just swallowed it (because I'm a big pussy). But suffice it to say, I was less than amused when I first heard. As much as he thought he might have known about the situation... he really didn't. He wasn't there.


I'll stop being defensive now. It's more than time to move on.

And that shouldn't take away from the fact that he was great to be around for the entirety of the weekend.

I'm already sorry I gave that incident so much space.

I'm over it. :)


On a completely different note, last night may have been the worst Simpsons episode ever.

That's right. Worst. Episode. Ever. I don't think I laughed once.


Family Guy rated an "OK" from me... the top 3 moments?

3) Stewie's Sling Blade impersonation
2) Bobby McFerrin falling down the stairs
1) Peter's stomach having its own gravitational pull

#1 would have been the fat guy coughing up a live chicken, had it not appeared in the commercial.


Anybody know if the Eagles played this weekend?


Recommendation-- rent The Comedians of Comedy off of Netflix. Now.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Aftermath

First of all, a moment of silence-- two moments-- for Mr. Miyagi and George Best.

This world will never be the same, ever again.


And an Indian tear for the completely predictable split of Nick and Jessica. I hope... eh. You know what? I don't have an opinion.

Never mind.


Thanksgiving was great-- really great-- for the first time in years. I picked Michelle and Mike up at the airport, and Michelle... she just looked beautiful. As in, completely radiant. As in, in retrospect, I'm shocked that I didn't just break down in the middle of the baggage claim area.

I'm so happy for the two of them.

Mike looked good, too, and it was great to see him for the first time in awhile-- but Mike's Mike. I'm not about to cry over how good he looks. No offense.

Anyway, our trip went well-- we had to pull off to the side of the road once or twice, but by and large, Michelle held up like a champ, given all the stop-and-go traffic. Everything got better once she got behind the wheel-- I think it made her nausea go away to be in the driver's seat, which was, of course, fine by me.


By the time we got to Philly, it was almost time for turkey-- like many of you, our Thanksgiving dinner is closer to 3pm/4pm than it is to 6pm/7pm... so by the time we'd eaten, we were ready for the night to begin.

Around 5pm or so, the Radbills came over-- though none of the kids could make it this year, unfortunatey-- and then Ilise followed soon thereafter, and... well, I put on a show. Something different this year, that allowed me to be as obnoxious, as loud, as funny (debatable) as I wanted to be... and I kinda went with it.

It's good to be free, you know?

And that freedom, needless to say, was the topic du jour. Once everyone saw that I was doing OK... the long-suppressed comments?

Yeah, I heard a few of 'em. You can imagine.


After embarrassing myself, I went back to Ilise's to see her family, and wound up bonding with Don. Funny, funny guy. I think I might have agreed to go to visit him in Amsterdam, though that might not be a good idea for either of us-- I'd drive him absolutely nuts, and in no time. I'd have to make it on my own.

How does one make money in Amsterdam? Anyone have any ideas?


I got to see Joe and Fran, and much of the Marrazzo family, though sadly, much of the extended family had already left. Paul was in his element, watching the Broncos beat the Cowboys (thank you), so we didn't speak all that much... but I did have some time to catch up with Josh, who seemed to be in very good spirits.

Regardless of who I spoke to, being over at Ilise's-- with her family-- it was just like old times.

In the best possible way.


I have no idea what I'll be doing today, apart from telling my Dad for the fourteenth time how a cameraphone works... and as I really have no desire to go shopping, I suppose I'll have to be content to sit tight and enjoy one of the better sports days of the year. Tons on the tube.

Which, in a way, will allow me to bond with Andy-- as, if I had to guess- he's probably doing the exact same thing this afternoon with his family down in NC.


Tomorrow morning we have to travel to NYC for a Bar Mitzvah. Leaving by 8am or so, five of us in a cramped car, having to wear a suit on the way up and back, hanging with the extended family and wishing they had nametags on, inevitably having to explain The Situation a few times...

I'm hoping for the best, and I'm sure it will be great once I get there... but right now, honestly? I wish I could just sleep in, instead.

I guess that makes me a bad person, huh?


Congratulations, Libby. Can I get some pictures, now? Please? ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

By the Way...

CNN/SI has a nice list of the Top 15 Turkeys of the Year.

Guess who's #1?

Good Tidings

If you are traveling this week-- be safe, and remember to dress warm. Make sure to bring an umbrella, come to think of it.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and I'll talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Naked Gun

For those of you who missed it, here's part one and part two of the Family Guy I'd mentioned from a few weeks back.


And for old time's sake... Sean Connery, French Stewart and Burt Reynolds.

Fame / Fate / Fatigue / Farce / Fatigues / Finality

"Because sometimes... when you're least expecting it... luck... is just around the corner."

So I'm going about my business yesterday afternoon (insert joke here) when the phone rings. A reporter from the Washington Business Journal was apparently given my name by a mutual acquaintance for a story she's working on-- attorneys who've left the legal profession, in search of alternative careers. She asked if she could interview me for the feature, to run in the December 2 issue. Because I'm a press whore, I said "yes" almost immediately.

Nice surprise, right? An opportunity to get my name (and Jaffe Associates' name) in print? Pretty great.

Well, the reporter asks for a bit of my background-- where I went to school, that sort of thing-- and one of the first things I tell her is that I graduated Cornell in 1995. She says "really?" and decides to take one of those blind stabs that everybody does from time to time... she asks "did you know someone named Nicole Matteo"?

Not only did I know Nicole Matteo, but she was one of my closest friends during my first few years at school. One of those great people that you inevitably/sadly lose touch with over time. I was stunned that this reporter knew her... and then I put two and two together. I'd met the reporter herself 10-15 years ago-- she was Nicole's best friend from back in the day. The "Jennifer Nycz-Conner" I'd been speaking to on the phone... I had known her as "Jen Nycz," way back when.

We were in hysterics. She told me how Nicole was doing (great, still married to Ken, expecting her second child, moving to a new house in NYC, etc.), and we talked about the times we'd spent together when she visited Nicole at Cornell.

Anyway, it was a great surprise. It would great to hear from Nicole in the coming days/weeks/whenever... I hope she calls.

All this, on top of a 15-20 minute interview.

Good times.


It was a nice way to end a very long, very lethargic afternoon. I don't think I've been sleeping well as of late, though I couldn't tell you why.

No, it has nothing to do with the Eagles.


Someone hacked CNN. Who would do such a thing, especially to someone as universally beloved as Cheney?


Would one of you please remind me that I have to pack my suit on Wednesday night? If I go up to Philly without a suit, then I'll have to attend Saturday's Bar Mitzvah in my jeans.

And no one wants that.

Except for me.

God, I'm so going to forget.


Now that it's officially the Christmas season, if you have gift suggestions (for you or your spouse)... please feel free to let me know. Not to offer a weak excuse, but my mind is somewhat scattered, these days. I could use all the help you could give. That, and I'd prefer to get you something you'd actually like, as opposed to a Chia Pet (which has been done before-- but could still be done again).

I don't need anything for myself this year.

I already got my gift, you know?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Because It's Funny, That's Why


Speaking of which, here's a wonderful testament to the power of alcohol.


Good morning, and welcome back to work. Don't worry, though-- it's a short week. You can make it.

I'm almost glad to be back at work, as the weekend felt so lethargic and disjointed. Moreso yesterday than Saturday, but still.

Friday night with Kelvin was a good time-- we went to Chammps (at least, I think that's how it's spelled) in Pentagon City. Very mellow evening, just spent talking women and sports-- pretty much the usual. It was good seeing Kelvin, but even then... I was very tired on Friday, and all too happy to go home at a relatively early (having nothing to do with Kelvin, for the record).

Saturday was spent down in Stafford with Andy, Laura, Peyton and their big-screen TV. Great, great college football day... but as I'm not accustomed to watching more than one game a day, it was weird. Not as weird as tripping ass-over-tea-kettle over their rabbit, but still.

Given the quality, though, I wound up watching several of the college games (OSU-Michigan, PSU-Michigan State, Miami-Georgia Tech, and USC-Fresno State), into the wee hours of the morning. Had a dream that Fresno State had taken their halftime lead and actually won the USC game. Woke up to find that USC had actually pulled it out, and that Reggie Bush is actually a half-man, half-God, half-possible centaur.

And yesterday? Well, even as it turned into a very last-minute, haphazard football day... man, the games just sucked. Something about this NFL season is... it's just incredibly underwhelming. Chris, Jeff and I wound up getting together, but none of us were really into it. Very smoky day at the bar, skunked beer, nothing-with-nothing games... bad times. That, and the fact that we hate one another.

I mean, it wasn't that bad, of course-- but it wasn't our best weekend get-together, either.

And then Family Guy, with the possible exception of Brian's "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" dance... the whole episode kinda sucked.

So, an underwhelming weekend. It happens.


Good thing that I downloaded a song called "Dogpaddlin' Home to Live with My Lord" to pick me up.


The division of property has started, and has gone swimmingly, so far. As I've already told some of you, it's been cathartic to rid myself of a lot of unnecessary garbage.

I'm wondering whether I'll have any furniture for the first few weeks at the new place, though.

Noel, will you be available as I begin my move? I could use your design assistance, especially when it comes to picking out some new furniture...


First R. Kelly, then Tom, now our President is trapped in the closet. Well, almost.

Reuters explains what happened:

The final reporter he called on critiqued Bush's performance earlier in the day when he stood next to Hu in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square to deliver a statement.

"Respectfully, sir -- you know we're always respectful -- in your statement this morning with President Hu, you seemed a little off your game, you seemed to hurry through your statement. There was a lack of enthusiasm. Was something bothering you?" he asked.

"Have you ever heard of jet lag?" Bush responded. "Well, good. That answers your question."

The president then recited a list of things of that he viewed as positive developments from his Beijing meetings, including cooperation on North Korean nuclear disarmament and the ability to have "frank discussions" with his Chinese counterpart.

When the reporter asked for "a very quick follow-up," Bush cut him off by thanking the press corps and telling the reporter "No you may not," as he strode toward a set of double doors leading out of the room.

The only problem was that they were locked.

"I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work," Bush quipped, facing reporters again until an aide rescued him by pointing to him toward the correct door.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Vatican Rules

Who'd have thunk it?

Read the opinions of the Vatican's chief astronomer here.

Trapped in the Closet

Tom, just come out of the closet.

The Bagman's Gambit

By the way, a public thank you to Mr. Jeff Teso for engaging in some work-related espionage on my behalf.

I can't say any more than that right now, as who knows who might be reading this (er, no one)... but... uh... his "work" was greatly appreciated.



rogue wave - on a plain (nirvana cover)
the kevins - you!
nathalie nordnes - cars and boys
calexico / iron & wine - wild horses (rolling stones cover)
bishop allen - you ain't no picasso

The Doughboy

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I'm sure that plenty of you were distraught.

A few of today's random links.


Dance, you doughy bastard, dance!!!

The Doughboy doing the Robot is my current fave, if you must know.


On another note, President Bush was right all along.

But then you knew that, right?

Well, guess what, kids? Now, some of his supporters have written a fun "We Didn't Start the Fire"-esque singalong!!!

Click on either of the video links at the bottom of the "Wrong Brothers" post at the top of the page.

And did Olbermann just reference Country Joe and the Fish??? No wonder his ratings are constantly circling the drain...


This trailer got me all goosebumpy. Mostly because Marlon Brando kicks ass, even if he's, you know, dead and all.

If it won't absolutely destroy your computer, try and view the "full screen" version of the clip.


According to Variety, Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett and Amy Poehler are in talks to star in an ice skating comedy called Blades of Glory for DreamWorks.

I don't care much for Napoleon Dynamite, but based on the other three... consider me in.

So long as by "ice skating comedy" they don't really mean "Holocaust-era drama."


To paraphrase one of my favorite Boston alcoholics--

"Lawyers. Can't live with 'em... pass the beer nuts."

This guy has a site worth checking out-- it'll only take you a minute.

Once the flash intro is over, check off at least one entry in the "no" column, then click the back button and switch to all "yes" entries in order to enter the site, proper.

A fine movie awaits you.


So, you probably want to know how last night went.

It went well... at least, I think it did. The movie (Shopgirl) was pretty good, if a bit too melancholy at points. That said, I think we both have a soft spot for Steve Martin, Claire Danes and Rushmore guy, so it was OK.

Afterwards, we went to grab a bite to eat and a drink or two.

At which point (about midway through) I told her about The Situation, and... she actually seemed OK with it. At least, I think she did.

Actually, she was a bit... staggered at first (not jaw-droppingly so, just... interested to hear what I had to say, and then not, and then she was again, and then not, etc.).

She eventually said that it was simply a "lot to process," and we changed subjects. After the requisite oddness, everything quickly went back to normal and the evening moved along.

I don't know. In many respects, it was harder for me to say (and move away from) than it was for her to hear. So we'll see. I asked her if I could take her out again (putting her on the spot-- good show, Dave), and she gave me a fairly enthusiastic "yes"... but I don't know. It's not that I don't trust her, but... it was awkward.

But then, how would it not have been awkward?

Does this mean I'm not ready?

I don't think it does. Maybe that type of conversation is never easy, and that's all it was. I shouldn't think too hard about it.

I don't know.

I just don't want to have to give that speech over and over and over again in the future to legions of second and third dates.


That sounded ridiculous, didn't it?


At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I'll be going out with Kelvin this evening, so God only knows where we'll end up by night's end.

Please pray for me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Even if Morrissey is less relevant now than he was, say, 20 years ago, I still look forward to each new album, if only for the song names.

Those on his upcoming album, "Ringleader of the Tormentors," suggest that he may be in an unusually good mood:

'I Will See You In Far-off Places'
'Dear God Please Help Me'
'You Have Killed Me'
'The Youngest Was The Most Loved'
'In The Future When All's Well'
'The Father Who Must Be Killed'
'Life Is A Pigsty'
'I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now'
'On The Streets I Ran'
'To Me You Are A Work Of Art'
'I Just Want To See The Boy Happy'
'At Last I Am Born'

The List... is Life

Kyle Leafblower has his annual compendium of the top 40 bands in America posted at his site this morning.

If you have no idea what bands I'm nattering on about half the time, this list... is a decent start, I guess. There's plenty of room for questions, as with anything.

Be sure to check out the past year's lists, by the way. Fun reading, if nothing else.

If you want to go exploring, the most essential (and, happily, accessible) bands on there, in my opinion, follow below (in the order in which they appeared on the list, but not in terms of my own personal preference). Many of the rest will be forgotten, shortly, victims of the constant hype machine. Blogs are the new NME, you know.

These are the bands/artists worth your time and money, who'll be on the same list(s) next year, and the year after that.

Sufjan Stevens
The Hold Steady
The Decemberists
The Mountain Goats
My Morning Jacket (not the American Radiohead, like Rolling Stone recently proclaimed-- just reallyreally good)
Rogue Wave
We Are Scientists
Explosions in the Sky

Today's Personalized Tantric Extrasensory Astrology Ouija Board Reading

Sorry that I didn't post much of anything, yesterday. I was still too numb (and too tired, for that matter) from the game the night before. As you might imagine... there are no words to describe how empty I felt, watching the end of that game. While I'm usually not one to believe in curses, hoaxes or jinxes... someone give me a better explanation. How does that-- how does any of that happen?

At home? In a must win game? On Monday Night Football, in front of a national audience watching? A game that we are dominating? AGAINST THE GODDAMNED COWBOYS???

Ah, well.

Nothing this year has gone right for the Eagles. This season was never meant to be. Curse on not, I just have to accept it, I guess.


Not much else to tell-- things have been "slow" on several fronts (though the week seems to be moving forward nicely). And when I say "things," I mean my contractor. He continues to confound, showing up when he wants to, deliberately misinterpreting my basic requests, being annoying on several different fronts... the guy is trouble with a capital "T." I'd go into it, but it would only result in an even MORE boring and frustrating post for you to read.

And, quite frankly, I care about you too much to put you through that.

You know, I'd had such good luck with contractors in the past...

I guess this is some sort of cosmic balancing going on. Karma, and what-not.


That's two quasi-mystic posts in a row. Thank God I've never been into... oh, I don't know, meditation or anything like that.



Speaking of which... I never heard back from Marissa.

Ordinarily, I'd be slightly upset... but as I've done the same to others, once again, what comes around goes around. I can't whinge about it, as, well, I'm just as guilty of doing it to others.

The only difference is that in my instance, I was ignoring a crazy Croat. Or something like that. Marissa is ignoring a fine, upstanding individual.



Work continues to be busy, but solid. I've been working with our company president on another pitch, completely different from the main project for him that I've been telling some of you about, and... he seems to be pleased with the results we've been able to get for him to this point.

Let's hope I can keep him satisfied.

Wait, what?


More later. Once I have stories to tell, I promise I will.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Damned Marketing People

I'd say David Cross has it right, here... but I'd just be repeating myself.


Four episodes left of Season 1 of Lost, then I watch the first few of Season 2 via iTunes. Hooray for technology!

Family Guy

Reasons last night's show was unbelievable:

1) A Snoopy Come Home reference, "No Dogs Allowed," that I've only been talking about amongst friends for the past 20+ years.

2) A reference to the Kelly McGillis-hosted freshman orientation warning about the dangers of date rape. I'd tried out for this program at Cornell (no jokes, please) during my first weeks at school, and the whole experience has always stayed with me... I am 100% positive that no one watching the show got this joke in any way, shape or form-- my jaw was on the floor, though. Just dumbfounded.

3) The return of Stewie asking about Brian's novel, and Brian immediately smacking him upside his head.

4) Brown beating Board of Education 42-0 in the football game.

5) Poop in a tuba (what?), Hawking-on-Hawking sex, and Chris falling happily through the ceiling.

Good Lord, the plot of the show could not have been more forgettable... but the above bits made for one of my favorite episodes, like, ever.


Cowboys-Eagles tonight.

What else needs to be said? Especially on a weekend where the Giants, Redskins, Falcons and Rams lost?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

FOX Has Made a Huge Mistake (shock)

It's been awhile, I know, I know. But... don't fret. I'm here now. And everything's gonna be OK.

We don't have to rush into anything. We can cuddle.

Wait here for a second. I'll light some candles.


Work has blown up. In a good way. I think.

For those of you who don't know, my company president came down from on high and gave me (me! who has trouble changing a lightbulb!) a huge project to develop. Which is, to singlehandedly create a new product for Jaffe-- essentially, a product where we/I would arrange/confirm/assist attorneys with speaking opportunities at conferences, exhibitions, seminars and the like.

Which doesn't sound like much... except that it is. It is completely and totally overwhelming right now; the very definition of the type of project that could spiral completely out of control, if not very clearly defined. And as a result, this week has seen me in borderline-"uh oh" mode.

"Glass-is-half-full" Dave says it's amazing and wonderful that my boss has placed this much faith in me/has chosen to test me. "Glass-is-half-empty" Dave hears all my co-workers saying that while this is a great idea... well, let's just say that they see bumpy road ahead.

I'm sure it will turn out fine, in the long run... but I've never done anything like this before. That, and my boss has slotted 1 1/2 hours for me to give a presentation to our entire company. In less than three weeks.

If I bail on plans in the future with any of you in the next few weeks... this may be why. And I can't promise the blog entries will be as frequent. Though they might well be-- who knows? As you can tell, I enjoy the outlet.

That, and I'm one 17-sided die and a flowing cape away from being a full-fledged Dungeons & Dragons-style nerd.


I had a very nice night with Ellen on Friday. Though I won't go into it too much, here, I think we'll see one another again.

Sometimes, dinner and ice cream just works nicely, you know?


A major, major thanks to Rob, Debbie, Paul and Ilise for giving me such a wonderful day yesterday.

It's always nice to see Rob and Debbie... and I was particularly happy to be psychoanalyzed/marketed/questioned by Debbie. And I mean that in the best possible way.

When she asks me questions, and checks to see how everything is going with all of my situations... it is out of a genuine interest and compassion, not a responsibility. And for someone who, collectively, has met me fewer than five times in her life... she's pretty damned great.

Anyone who would care so much about their spouse's friends... let's just say that I'm very, very happy for Rob.

And did I mention that she's carrying twins?


As for Ilise and Paul-- unfortunately, Paul had to DJ last night, and so we only had (a great) dinner (at Nacho Momma's or something along those lines) to share together before he had to leave. I think he was feeling a bit sick... and so I hope he's feeling better this morning. Shout out to Paul. "West side," etc.

Not the point. Point is, after our dinner, I had the best talk with Ilise that I've had with her in, what? Years? It was just so great, in every single way, and...

Again, I won't go into it. We covered so much ground that any attempt to summarize would be completely fruitless.

What is important is that... you should all be so lucky to have an Ilise in your lives. Last night saw me just muttering to myself, the entire drive home, as to just how great she's been to me my entire life. And what I've ever done to deserve her love and friendship.

I don't mean to get sappy, to get maudlin, but really. Everytime I think I have her figured, that I appreciate and love her as much as I can... goddamn. She just takes it to another level entirely.

I can't believe the number of times I've nearly fucked that friendship up. It's like I never learn.


I wouldn't say I'm unworthy of everything she gives me, but... she's just so, so great. If you know and care about me, even a little bit, you'd better recognize.


I just wanted to say that out loud.


I'm so going to hear about that from Chris and Jeff. I am bracing myself already.



New Strokes video.

The pro(s): David Cross, as always.
The con(s): The song. It's pretty forgettable, save for a nice bassline.


Spankin' hot new tour dates announced this week:

Yes #1.

Yes #2.

Yes #3.


Mario continues to be revolutionary in so many ways.


this week's "unintentional comedy" award goes to the following two posts I saw on a random board:

"^ You damb right!"


Oh, well. Maybe it was just funny to me.

By the way... make sure to mark November 16th on your calendars. Or not.


Four episodes left of Lost, Season One. Then, it's reading capsule summaries.



Sample lyrics from the current #1 song in the country:

What you gon’ do with all that junk?
All that junk inside that trunk?
I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump.
What u gon’ do with all that ass?
All that ass inside them jeans?
I’m a make, make, make, make you scream
Make u scream, make you scream.
Cos of my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump.
My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps. (Check it out)


To cleanse the palate, then:

bell orchestre - the upwards march
super furry animals - ice hockey hair
toothfairy - kicked outta the band
my morning jacket - off the record
sarah silverman - you're gonna die soon (live performance in an old age home, from jesus is magic)

Thursday, November 10, 2005


First off, an overly hearty "hello" to long-lost friend and old Sesame Place anarchist-in-arms, Bruce Marro, currently working at Holy Ghost Prep for what I believe is his umpteenth year.

Though none of you will ever likely meet him, or know him, as I'm scared to have my worlds collide (and he smells kinda ripe, if you know what I mean)... he is a fine, fine gentleman. A funny bastard, in every possible sense of the phrase.

And one that I hear from about as often as I see Halley's Comet.

I do him no justice, whatsoever. You'll just have to trust me. Good guy, very happy to hear from him yesterday, for the first time in years.

In his honor, then, a spin of the new "Hell Yeah" by Neil Diamond. A shockingly good tune that takes us all back to the glory years. Whenever they were.


How many times do I have to tell you guys... do NOT fuck with ostriches!


Veddy interesting things going on at work. At the risk of getting ahead of myself... remind me to tell you about what may be going on. Good things, I think.

The situation is a bit too dry to go into here. I can make it more interesting, believe it or not, in a few short sentences the next time we talk... but I'm just not in the mood right now. Don't want to jinx it, perhaps.


So... last night was spent in a church.

(*sound of your jaw dropping*)

That's right. You heard me. A church. I met up with Marissa at the Unitarian Church off of River Road for an evening of meditation. And the evening was a very interesting one, as I'd always been curious to go to a mediatation class.

As it is (apparently) meditation week in DC, the place was absolutely packed. As in well over 200 people, packed. And... it was interesting.

It's hard to write about. The woman leading the class took us through a :30 hour session, with a voice like Bob Ross, telling us how to feel (along the lines of, "imagine ice, turning into water... and water, turning into gas... feel the tension in your shoulders disappear," etc...

Which was, at times, good, and at times, slightly distracting. As was the surprising amounts of noise-- especially during the orientation. Maybe we shouldn't have sat all the way in the back?

As interested as I was in meditation, I was also interested in talking with Marissa. And as you might imagine... there wasn't too much of an opportunity to do that last night.

Maybe another time.


Back to the salt mines.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Museum of Media History

Here's a cool 8-minute video my boss just sent around. I thought it was interesting enough to share, despite the fact that it's a year or so old.

If you're curious to learn more after watching it? Google the word "Googlezon."


After you've done that... listen to these two clips (in order, if you please).

Only then will you understand the amazing gift to our lives that is Tedy Bruschi.

Terrell, We Hardly Knew Ye


WIP's Howard Eskin will lead a funeral that will serve as a ceremonial ending to Terrell Owens' career as a Philadelphia Eagle.

Fans are urged to show up at the WIP pre-game broadcast and deposit their T.O. jersey or T.O. memorabilia into a casket that will be placed at the front of the broadcast stage. Broadcast starts at 3p, funeral starts at 5:30. WIP pre-game broadcast takes place outside of the Wachovia Center's Cingular Pavilion.


Speaking of Philly sports... great win by the Flyers last night.

And great use of gasoline (allegedly) by Oogy.

What a town.

Korova Milkbar


Gooooooood mornin' everybody!!!

That would be in honor of Howard Stern, who is back on the air this morning. Which wouldn't be such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, except for the fact that he was suspended yesterday for prattling on and on about Sirius Satellite Radio.

Stern started his show this morning with a lot of "goodbye"-themed songs... only to come on the air about 20 minutes after that. We'd been duped into thinking he was gone for good. Crazy guy, that Howard.

Again, this means nothing. I'm just interested because:

(a) I'm a fan, I guess, and
(b) every woman I know has been telling me how they're going to be subscribing to Sirius as soon as Stern's gone. I'm not kidding.

I had no idea that I knew so many closet Stern fans, let alone so many women that listened to him every day. Odd.


You want to know about last night?

You want to know about last night?

Well, so do I. But I don't think I'll be getting the "results" for another 24 hours. Though I did receive an... um... I guess I'd call it an "a la carte" email from one of the women I met last night, who saw my online profile after meeting me last night.

She was obviously entranced by mystique.

That, or my gentlemanly musk.

She was a "no" for me, though, so... how do you say "no" in these situations? There's another person (the panda person) who I don't think I want to go out with a second time (nothing personal)... so, do I just stop contacting them/not respond, and they'll get the point? Do I write them back and let them down gently?

Is there a way of doing this without being a dick?

And when can I fit in a mention of prosthetics, so I can finally get Chris off my back?



Bluefin was in Adams Morgan, and, unbelievably, I found parking right in front of the restaurant (it was not a synagogue, for those of you asking-- jokers).

If you've ever been to that area of DC, you know that parking is completely impossible. So, in the spirit of George Costanza, I knew that this was a good sign.

When I went into the restaurant, though... it was nothing but guys. Eight of them, plus the hostess. This was not a good sign.

Most of the guys were in their best starched shirts and ties, all of them looking extremely nervous. It was enough to make me look OK by comparison (although I was dressed up like Lamont from Sanford & Son, if you must know).

For the sarcasm-impaired... that was a joke. I was in a tuxedo.

Anyway, I was relaxed, and really couldn't care less about what the outcome of the night was going to be. Whereas these guys... were testing out their pickup lines on one another, one of them actually asking (swear to God) "so... baby... you like it hard? You a fan of rape?"

Some jokes are better left unsaid. The silence from the other guys could not have been more deafening. Everyone who heard it was just... completely appalled. I truly hope he didn't use that line on any of the women he met.


It turned out that, even after the women showed up, there were fewer than 15 guys and 15 gals, which is what the program guaranteed... so (allegedly) we get to do this again, for free, at some point in the future. If we want to.

Free? Did someone say free? Suddenly, everyone there became much happier. Because we saw VALUE.


The room we were in was trendy, small, white... think Alex's hangout in A Clockwork Orange. With a lot of single Jews in it, that is. It was a bit cramped, and unlike the last thing I went to, where the bar was spacious, lots of places to sit, and we had 8 minutes to talk to each person... last night we were limited to 4 minutes per person (the guide said 3, but there were so few people, we got a bonus minute... go figure). Either way, that much time... it was nowhere near enough.

Or, in some instances, it was plenty. I'll only tell some of you about last night's more memorable ladies.

Anyway, just like the last time, there was much more "good" than "bad" to be had. I believe I spoke with nine different women, most of them very nice. That said, I was a bit more careful with who I said "yes" to this time around (no sense in just building up numbers for the sake of it).

What I did like was that this program only offered a "yes/no" decision on the people you met, as opposed to that tricky "second date / friendship / business" nonsense. So... we'll see.

I'd be interested in talking with the cute girl from Philly who could not stop talking football... but then, that's just me.


I was considering going to the 9:30 Club afterwards, as the Super Furry Animals were in town, and the show (incredibly) was not sold out as of yesterday afternoon, but it was raining, and I was wearing some heavy, un-concert-attire-esque clothing.

So, I went home.

By which I mean, I got a jumbo slice of pizza, and had it in my car while I listened to ESPN Radio.

Such a loser.


Back to the non-David news and comment:

Seems that many of us may have been duped.


Did you know that Kate Bush is back? Didja? Well, did you know she's gone completely batshit insane? A clip from this morning's Washington Post:

But still: Not even five minutes into her long-overdue double album, "Aerial," we find the idiosyncratic artist singing tenderly about a man "with an obsessive nature and deep fascination for numbers/and a complete infatuation with the calculation of pi." To illuminate her point, Bush then transforms the digits that make up the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter into one of the most atypical if strangely compelling choruses in recent memory.

"Threeeeeeee/Point-one four one five niiiiinne," she purrs in that swooping, otherworldly three-octave voice of hers. "Two six five three five eight nine seven nine three twooooo," etc., ad (nearly) infinitum.

Indeed, by the time the jazzy, atmospheric song, "Pi," ends, Bush has carried the titular mathematical constant out to more than 100 decimal places. And yet, you somehow find yourself wanting to hear more.

Or, not.


Please start watching Arrested Development. You have no idea what you're missing.


Not that you care, but more Harmonium news from tech and graphic guy Ryan:

thanks to the LHB link, we should hit around 400 visitors / 200 uniques today, which would be a record for us. feed subscriptions are at an all time high after hemhorraging in the days leading up to yesterday. in the week ending today at noon we had around 2000 visitors, half of those were unique. hits are lower on weekends/days we don't post anything. and on days we post new shit, we get over a hundred first time visitors. so the lesson is: let's keep posting new shit

harmonium visitors now have the ability to browse by artist. there was no good way of doing this without it being a painstaking physical task, so i did it


jed, the "contact us" link should be more obvious on the site. bands and record labels will want to see that.

so we're going to end up with around 600 visitors / 250 unique visitors / 80 first time visitors today

that's huge for us

good work, everyone


All this, and a review from our site got cited in a Portuguese-language review of a Modest Mouse-covers album. Or something like that.

We've hit the big time, baby!!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

That Gorillaz Performance



I have no idea where this came from, but I'm still laughing:

Eminem - Without Me (Benny Hill Mix)


Will Andy *ever* update his site?

Signs point to "no."


Must see either this or this.


Tonight: Bluefin.
Tomorrow night: Church.

Life is strange, sometimes... but almost always in a good way.

"Exercise Your Rights in an Empty Gym" Day

Sorry about yesterday's post. I was (and am) angry.


So, have you gotten yo' vote on yet? It is Election Day, after all-- one of the few chances we have to punch our government in the mouth, if that's what we want to do-- and so I hope that you get out to your local high school, rec center or convenience shop (!) and vote.

Polls will be open all day, including this evening, so there are no excuses. Unless you vote Republican, in which case I hope you find plenty of excuses.

My contractor last night told me that he will NEVER.VOTE.AGAIN. Please don't be like my contractor. It's people like him who got us the Administration(s) we have today.

And it's people like him who re-do my master bathroom, so perhaps I should just zip it.


Had enough T.O. yet?

I hope not. Because the story has only just started to saturate the airwaves, and if you're sick of it now... you need to build yourself a stronger threshold. Or stop watching ESPN.

So, again-- do you think that it will go away anytime soon, what with the grievance being filed and heard this week, and the Eagles playing Monday night against the Cowboys?

Didn't think so.

Oh, and Michael Irvin? Philadelphia hates you even more now than they did when you were sniffing coke for the Cowboys... if that's even possible.


I have another... activity... this evening (why am I bothering to talk around it?).

I've been advised by local anti-Semites to bring menorahs and dreidels, just in case, so that I'll be guaranteed to have something to talk about tonight... but my rude friends can just shut their mouths. Big fat jerks is what they are.


I'll do no such thing. Just hoping to meet some (nice, of course) Jewish women.

Now, if they are the ones who bring the matzah? Then I'll just laugh, and laugh, and laugh.


Big meeting today at work. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Y'all Gon' Make Me Lose My Mind

Good riddance, you self-centered homophobic douchebag.

In honor of one of your greatest quotes:


Good: Sushi and pandas.
Bad: Excessive eyeliner.

Good: Donovan's slant route to Reggie Brown.
Bad: Donovan's phantom "spike" at the end of first half.

Good: Andy Reid suspending T.O.
Bad: Knowing that T.O. was laughing all night, last night. Hearing said laughter.

Good: Finally catching up on Lost.
Bad: Being a season behind on Lost.

Good: Having my parents back, safe, in the continental U.S.
Bad: Missing out on the video of their ship going through the Panama Canal.

Good: PC Magazine's Top 100 Web sites.
Bad: Some random guy's Top 100 Internet Moments.

Good: Parties.
Bad: Showing up to said parties eighteen hours too early.

Good: Having taste in music.
Bad: Seeing the Aerosmith/Lenny Kravitz and Gwen Stefani shows within days, nay, hours of each other.

Good: The Arcade Fire, busking.
Bad: Phil Collins news.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


An exercise... my favorite R.E.M. songs, but only one song allowed from each album.

In order, then, with no hemming and/or hawing permitted:

1. Perfect Circle
2. World Leader Pretend
3. 7 Chinese Brothers
4. Sweetness Follows
5. Gardening at Night
6. These Days
7. King of Birds
8. Half a World Away
9. Life and How to Live It
10. Romance
11. I'll Take the Rain
12. The Great Beyond
13. Let Me In
14. New Test Leper
15. You’re in the Air
16. Boy in the Well
17. Voice of Harold

Fave covers:
1. Strange (Wire)
2. The Passenger (Iggy Pop)
3. Draggin’ the Line (Tommy James)

My list came from... I don't know where. Just got the urge to do it. But after getting curious, and googling a thing or two, I discovered that I'm hardly the only R.E.M. nerd out there. Far from it.

The Finer Points of Execution

The trailer for Steven Spielberg's newest movie just came out. And thought it hardly looks like a laff riot (to say the least), I'm intrigued.

He's at his best when he takes risks, after all. And this looks to have risk all over it, with protests almost certain to come from many different directions.

Click here to see the Hulk and 007 in Munich.


I'm not a huge fan of Gorillaz one way or the other (though Blur is one of my all-time faves)... but if you caught their "performance" at the European VMAs or whatever the hell it was (I swear, I only happened upon it), you saw something really staggering. They performed live.

Or with holograms. Or something.

These pictures (click on the news item about their performance, then on the thumbnails to enlarge) do it no justice... the "band members" seemed extraordinarily life-like. You knew something was off... but you couldn't place it. Really cool, and a credit to all involved for creating a new technology.

Friday, November 04, 2005


The headline in one of the Inquirer sports sections reads "Birds are Andycapped."

Terrell Owens gives an interview, lashes out at the organization, and agrees with Michael Irvin's assertion earlier this week that the Eagles would be better off with Brett Favre under center.

Joe Paterno is talking about the black athlete, which, however innocuous the sentiment, is something he should know better than to do in public circles and PC times.


Just a bad sports morning. Not even an 8-1 Flyers win can salvage it.

Although T.O. did say that now he is going to play on Sunday night, after all.


On another note, can this put Urban Outfitters out of business?


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Speaking of which, if you haven't heard much of the Decemberists... click and get to downloading. All of these are great, especially "Your Love" and "Bring on the Dancing Horses."

If you don't own anything by this band, or you haven't heard anything by them, please let me know. You'll be a fan in less than five minutes, or I'll give you your money back.


"The weekend's here! Have a can of beer!"

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Movies, Movies, Movies

Because sometimes, what we need the most, is just around the corner.

The clip for The Shining , in particular, is exceptionally heart-warming.


In the same spirit... kinda... here's Misery, with help from Green Day.

Only 3 Days Late...

But the Gorillaz want you to have a happy Halloween.

Gentlemen, start your carving!

"Listen All You New Yorkers..."

Hrubecky, I want a review of last night's Go! Team show, stat. And news of your condo board meeting, or whatever the hell it was.

Tell me you have a place to live, so that I can be inspired by you.


The contractor situation (with my master bathroom, in case you didn't know) could be worse, I suppose... but it's also getting to be a bit of a headache. The guy came by yesterday, and brought no fewer than four separate subcontractors with him. Which wouldn't be a problem if they weren't warbling along to "Sugar, We're Going Down" at full blast, no fewer than 18 times.

Not having listened to DC 101 in a few months/years, I'd forgotten how frequently the songs get repeated. Now I remember all too clearly.

Having the luxury of doing so, I tried to move my computer to the kitchen, to the basement, so that I wouldn't have to listen to their inevitable off-key version of "Just Like Heaven"... but the wireless connection kept breaking up, no matter what room I took the laptop to. Anyone know why that is? Isn't the connection supposed to encircle my house, or something close to it?

That's a real concern for my next property, by the way... ensuring that I can work from home. If I have a stubborn connection again, which is something I'll only really know after signing the contract... I'll be in some deep shit.


I won't even tell you of the other things I was hearing yesterday from these fine, fine sirs. Suffice it to say I was nauseated at several different points.

Nor will I tell you that I'm getting a guilt trip almost daily from the contractor, about how difficult his life is because he squeezed my house into his already-too-busy schedule. Then don't accept the job in the first place!!!

You'll also thank me for not mentioning that they're not coming by for several more days, at which point they'll be working three or four nights next week.

In the meantime, my bedroom is like a disaster zone.

How will I live???


I don't know about you, but I hear about this, and I immediately think that Andy Clark from The Breakfast Club is to blame.

Old habits die hard, I guess.

By the way, a trial tip for you: when you get CNN-level publicity for a case in which you've sued Home Depot, and the article ends with you quoted as saying, "This is not Home Depot's fault... [b]ut I am blaming them for letting me hang in there and just ignoring me"... maybe you should consider settling the case.

I'm just saying.


Over the past few days, I re-watched Revenge of the Sith on DVD. And as a reformed Star Wars nerd, let me tell you... with a fast-forward button, that movie goes by real quick. Any scene with Natalie Portman gets thrown in the crapper immediately... as does just about any scene with extended dialogue.

Somehow, a movie that I really enjoyed in the theater... turned into one that, at home... I don't know. It just felt kinda craptacular. It went right back in the Netflix sleeve it came in, and quickly.

Maybe I just wasn't in the mood.


My parents are coming home from their cruise this weekend, and they want to know if the Eagles are really as bad as they've been hearing out at sea (I imagine they've been getting messages by Morse code).

Well, they'll be able to see for themselves on Sunday night. I hope I'm wrong... but I'm thinking 23-17, Skins, right now. As I told Rob last night... it just feels like a cursed season, especially now that T.O. appears to be out for a few games.


I hate myself for saying that.


Thank you, Aoife. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


It took several hours to put tonight's JLNS together. Please do me a favor and take a look at big 'ol Issue 475, and marvel at how wonderful it is.

And of course, if you have work at a law firm or know some attorneys... feel free to pass the link along, and let people know that I can answer any questions about Jaffe or about the JLNS.

Not now, though. Right now, I can't really see straight.

Stepping away from the computer for the night.

Harmonium Numbers

This from one of our tech-savvy staff members:


so it turns out we're doing better than we thought

we only started keeping track of stats like 9 hours ago, but since then we've had nearly 100 unique visitors. that's way more than i figured we'd be doing in a day, let alone 9 hours at this point. extrapolate that number to per week, and that's probably between 800 and 1000 unique visitors. in case you don't know what that means, a unique visit is the first time someone loads a page n a given day.

saddle creek said we needed 30,000 unique visits a week before they'd send us stuff. so that's 4200ish people reading us a day. i say that we achieve this goal, but then still not go out of our way to review saddle creek stuff.

over a dozen people are subscribed to our RSS feed since we started tracking it using feedburner. that's a pretty solid number, since the vast majority of people have no clue what RSS is.

good werk, everybody


pretty great, huh?


Al Sharpton supports Fernando Ferrer for Mayor of NYC in his own unique fashion. Who knew he could dance (sound, safe for work)?

Poor dogs.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Playing God

Playing God is always a great column, and a fun read... even when Stylus' columnists have it 100% backwards. The Joshua Tree, after all, is a flawless album. It shouldn't be tampered with in any way, shape or form.

Except for "Bullet the Blue Sky." I could cut that overblown pomp out and not lose any sleep, whatsoever.

"into the arrrrrmz... huff Amerikkuh."

Whatever, Paul.

Best Halloween Costumes

Feel free to contribute. Some of these were just found online.

iPod ad, iPod, Steve Jobs

Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction, Devo guy, miscellaneous cowgirl.

The editor of Harmonium as Master Shake, from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.