February 27, 2003

Slang Song

I saw a printout from on the Blogger/Google deal ... apparently, weblogs are called either 'blogues' or 'jouebs' in french.

I'm guessing that jouebs is an example of inverse slang. So, I wonder what 'blog' is in cockney?

Update: Thanks, Stephanie for the lowdown on jouebs ... it's a contraction of journal and web. Perhaps I subconsciously knew my proposed etymology was wrong and, as a result, dreamt of being harrassed by my 7th grade french teacher. Why he looked like a youthful Rutger Hauer is your guess.

February 23, 2003

Gotta go

Riding a far too bouncy bus home from Golden Gate Park, I was reminded of the death of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. Tycho was the one who got a whole island for the purpose of building his naked eye observatory.

He also lost his nose in a rapier duel and had it replaced by a fake nose made out of precious metals. And he had a pet moose. He was kind of a big, dorky, 16th century weirdo, that Tycho.

But I was thinking of him because I'd heard he had died from urine retention. The story is that he was at a royal ball and refused to use the Danish facilities until the king left the table. As a result, he developed a massive kidney stone and several days later his bladder burst. Altho' new evidence suggests he may actually have died from mercury poisoning ... he had a sideline as a alchemist, you see.

Regardless, it certainly wasn't the 3 glasses of mercury I had at breakfast that nearly caused my own breach of protocol on the bus ride home.

February 21, 2003

Jingle Jangle

So this is what it feels like to work full time. It's all coming back to me now.

This wasn't even a full week of work but it certainly was eventful. Things do not happen slowly down in Google. Equipment, projects, people ... keep it coming with a quickness.

The decision to go out and see DJ Krush last night may have been somewhat of a misculation. But Anticon opened up and we got to stand within mere feet of the diminutive Krush as he wrecked shit on some crazy Vestax sampler/mixer.

My big plans for the weekend involve eating the food I bought last week that I've not had the chance to cook. Tho' I don't think it'll turn out as well as the meals to which I'm growing accustomed.

February 17, 2003


Jason, Aaron and I were gathered around the old iMac, listening to the LA Blog event when the story of Blogger's acquisition broke. Tony Pierce's account pretty well captures my excitement. And the coolness of having Ev break the news in the company of bloggers.

Moreover, I'm quite relieved that the story is out there now. It's weird having to tell your Mom, "Listen - you can't tell anyone in the teacher's lounge about this Google news." And it's doubly weird to find yourself self-censoring your blog to avoid mentioning why you were driving down 101 South in the first place.

So onward to the exciting parts ... getting to continue the exciting Blogger work down at Google, getting to eat their much hyped food.

Good times.

February 15, 2003

I see the pinecones that fall by the highway

Driving down highway 101 South, the most interesting scenery is the variation in noise barrier design. Some walls have mossy toupees, others are patterned like lost tetris games - it's truly a visual cornucopia. I thought "I bet you could get a grant to explore the art of noise barrier design and how it relates to the American Dream."

Then I found out that barrier design is actually mandated by the US Department of Transportation.

February 10, 2003

Pause Play

I saw Wild Style for the first time over the weekend and feel I may have missed out by seeing it on DVD rather than its more traditional presentation on 8th generation VHS. Because it's the DIY feel of both the movie and early hiphop that really helps to connect the dots between the NYC punk and rap scenes. As does this factoid from the commentary track featuring director Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy.

Charlie was freaked that if the soundtrack featured one of the 7 rap tracks available at the time that they'd get in trouble for not clearing it. So Freddy created an original breakbeat record for the movie with the help of a drummer and the guitarist from Blondie, Chris Stein. The record was pressed and given to the DJs who appeared in the movie and that's what they used for all of the filmed routines. Guitar riffs by the man who co-wrote Heart of Glass and Sunday Girl.

February 09, 2003


My mom tells me that there are district-mandated steps her school has to follow when the TerrorMeter is elevated, as it was this past week. For example, Orange requires that all teachers check their voicemail more frequently. I guess the idea is to make sure that al Qaeda didn't call up a second grade teacher in suburban Missouri to give advance warning of a terrorist attack. If we go to Red, outdoor recess is cancelled ... which is totally lame because you can only play Heads Up Seven Up so many times before you realize everyone's cheating.

The thing is, the idea behind the whole color coded terror level is working. When the alert level is raised to Orange, parents call my mom asking what their elementary school prinicipal is doing to keep their kids safe from anthrax.

Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

February 06, 2003

My Hello! lawsuit

Been trying to lay low and keep out of the spotlight. It's hard when all you want to do is live your life. But by the weekend I'd gotten really tired of being a prisoner in my own house or being forced to wear disguises when I'd go out to buy groceries.

If you'd sign here, the bottom copy is yours.

Sorry, I just don't have time for autographs.

So I ended up going to an Exposition of Alternative Press ... okay I was at a comic book convention. I figured I'd be camoflaged by the geek-tinged hipster cool, but Daniel Clowes was there and I'd just rented Ghost World.

I don't think he saw me.

But there was this horrible tension between me and Real World 3's Judd Winick ... perhaps because he knew Ev was going to David Egger's 826 Valencia the next day to set some kids up with blogs. And there's that whole weird Real World thing in Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius which I've not read, but, like, totally appreciate anyway as the most important post-modern deal written about my generation, except older.

Or maybe the tension was because everyone at the convention had really nasty things to say about Judd Winick. I kept quiet 'cause it's best not to make enemies with other celebs. Even if they're just reality show famous.

Old Stink

St. Louis Breckinridge remembrances of pretentions past:

Is it hot in here or is it just I

Oh, a case purist, how precious

Listen, lady. I won't sing your song tonight. But the salutes are nice.

February 05, 2003


ticket.jpgDon DeLillo's Mao II is a short book crammed full of big ideas. Lots of nuanced arguments about the power of images, the roll of the mob in modern society and the nature of identity.

The thing is, if your read almost anything about Mao II you'll read a similar catalog of its major themes ... which I don't think is terribly satisfying. But the experience of reading the book certainly is. The prologue, a mass Moonie wedding at Yankee Stadium, had me completely hooked:

"They want to snatch us back to the land of lawns. That we are willing to live on the road, sleep on the floor, crowd into vans and drive all night, fund-raising, serving Master. That our true father is a foreigner and nonwhite. How they silently despise. They keep our rooms ready. They have our names on their lips. But we're a lifetime away, weeping though hours of fist-pounding prayer.

World in pieces. It is shock of shocks. But there is plan. Pali-pali. Bring hurry-up time to all man."

I love the shift in language, the use broken english, bringing you into the mass mind of the Moonies. It may be a specific skill but DeLillo is the master of telling a multi-narrative story from the perspective of a ballpark crowd.

February 04, 2003

Source of all Life

NextBlog served me up an Illuminati conspiracy page wherein I read of the Bush administration's plan to find aliens. I was a little skeptical.

Turns out it's based in some fact as the recently submitted budget calls for $279 million to explore the Jovian moons for traces of water. A far cry from "we're building a Casio keyboard on a mountain to communicate with our celestial bretheren through electro" but it's interesting.

What's funny is that someone decided to punch up the budget by titling this section "Where Are the Real Space Aliens?" Can't you hear the Texas twang? Both in the distinction between the real space aliens and those bogus bastards who almost fooled me with their fancy autopsy special on Fox. And then also between the space aliens whom we want to find and that other kind of alien whom we want to unlawfully detain.

Anyway, all this talk of aliens got me excited enough to look up an online Drake equation calculator. Plug in your own values and determine whether or not we are alone. Using my numbers, I found that there should only be 0.1 communicating civilizations in the galaxy.

Uh ... wait.

February 02, 2003

I'm still not scared

Since seeing Morvern Callar and not responding to it, I've been on a trashy movie kick. To that end, I've watched Reign of Fire and Near Dark on back to back nights.

Reign of Fire is, unquestionably, the superior movie as the dragons look pretty sweet and lots of things get incinerated in an eye pleasing manner. Also, Matthew McConaughey takes a flying leap at a charging dragon while brandishing an axe which almost makes up for his religious hotbody role in Contact.

On the other hand, the box for Near Dark claims that it is the scariest horror movie ever made but really it's just about hick vampires and lots of slow, delberate scenes of people stumbling through dirt fields. It's like Days of Heaven meets John Carpenter's Vampires but really crappy. After Dark was written and directed by Kathryn Bigelow who is the ex-wife of James Cameron which explains why Pvt. 'Game Over' Hudson, Pvt. Vazquez and Bishop from Aliens are all vampires in the movie. But the worst offense is the inclusion of Joshua John Miller as a kiddie vamp. His name isn't familiar, but his face and annoying lisp have ruined episodes of Family Ties, Growing Pains and the Greatest American Hero. Fortunately, he explodes fantastically at the end of the movie. And if I've ruined this mess of movie for you, you're welcome.

February 01, 2003

Slipped contradiction

I heard about the Challenger disaster in an elementary school classroom and thought it would be my "remember where you were when it happened" event until a couple years ago. This morning I found out that Columbia broke apart over Texas while reading RSS feeds in NetNewsWire ... looking at ev's blog, to be specific.

This is the first national disaster I've read about primarily through weblogs. It's strange because you feel connected to the other folks who are going through the same thing, in the same way ... experiencing it in a public way rather than each of us alone with our CNN. But you lose the sense of the enduring ache. Something that hurts for longer than the one post dedicated to it. Even on the larger community sites, with their active comment threads, it's sooner rather than later that someone posts the next post. And it not only seems, but feels, that I've moved on too quickly.

I feel the reflexive tug of cable news because that's how the Gulf War trained me to deal with national events. Race home after school and watch the war during dinner. The event endures and we experience it passively; comforted by the illusion of being tied together in an experience mediated by patriotic banner graphics. It's the desire to say "I am a part of this - I am going through this." To somehow reduce an entire war, or shuttle crash, to my experience of it.

Better to make the one post.

Don't fence me in

amgjunk.jpgThis is how All Music Guide usually looks to me when I view it in Chimera. The content of the banner ad at the top of the page leaps out of its box and applies itself as the background. And it's fun because the ad still rotates so the effect is sort of like a cheap porn site.


Wired News: Sneaky Toolbar Hijacks Browser:

"Xupiter is an Internet Explorer toolbar program. Once active in a system, it periodically changes users' designated homepages to, redirects all searches to Xupiter's site, and blocks any attempts to restore the original browser settings."
I got hit by this one while approving ads for work. Suddenly, you get a really ugly toolbar in IE, complete with scrolling text. It's like an ad for a crappy BBS has been appended to your browser.