Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Today's lesson is that the world will in fact go on even though I have no computer or internet connection. Thanks to the awesome new laptop that arrived for me today, I am happy to report that I am back in the 21st century and catching up on two days worth of e-mail.
I also found a new subset of the population to loathe. Before today it was easy to pour haterade on airlines, doctors' waiting room and cable guys. I would like to add UPS guys to that esteem list. Dell computers was nice enough to let me know that my new machine would be arriving today and that I would have to sign for it. After a quick phone call to UPS I found that my window for its arrival was between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Yes, 10 hours.
What does one do in a basement apartment for 10 hours with no computer or internet connection? I dashed to the bank in the morning, but after that there was little else to do but clean. And so I did just that.
While I waited...and waited..and waited...for the UPS guy to show up, I washed and dried all my laundry. I scrubbed my bathroom. I pruned my closet and made bags for Goodwill. I even got on my hands and knees and cleaned the bottom of the closet where the dust bunnies were hanging out. Over the course of the day I ate nothing but a large coffee, two bananas, a can of tuna and a petit four. I didn't know when Mr. UPS guy was coming, so I could not leave and get more rations. If I was not home when he came, I would have had to go to the shipping center in Tribeca to pick up my package, and it was too cold to go across town. Call me lazy.
I called UPS three times over the course of the day to get an ETA. In this age of cell phones, Blackberries and pagers, UPS claimed not to be able to find the driver. Bollocks.
After a few hours the cleaning fumes in my apartment were getting to me and I went outside for some air. Right at that moment, the UPS guy appeared.
"Yay!" I shouted. "You're here!" You would have thought he was Santa Clause.
As he leaned over to hand me the clipboard to sign, a large box from Dell started to slip off the cart and onto the sidwalk. Mr. UPS Guy caught it in time and saved my new laptop. Had he not, this would be an entirely different story.
After waiting six and half hours for UPS, I finally had my computer. I was starving, but fired up my new toy right away. And what a toy it is.
And not for nothing, but eating nothing for almost an entire day brings a sort of clarity I haven't felt in a while. Maybe all those anorexic models are onto something.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
One of the best things about You Tube is not all the random new internet "stars" but all the old skool stuff that people have put up there. I don't know who it is that is sitting around uploading old shows and commercials, but I really must thank them for it.
One of my favorite shows back in 1990-ish was In Living Color. (I totally wanted to be a Fly Girl.)Back at the house in Nor-whack I have tons of episodes on VHS, but thanks to You Tube I can now watch skits whenever I want. I love technology.
Above is a parody of Vanilla Ice.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Sorry I've been away, fine folks. It's been a busy week over here. The best news is that I've purchased a new laptop which should arrive in a few days. Now I have no excuse for ignoring the blog.
Here is this week's column on The Simon about why January is the reason that New Year's Resolutions fail. Now get back tot he gym and stop smoking.
Also, two albums to be obsessed with:
1. The Road to Escondido by J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton. It's all around awesome. No lie.
2. Nothing Left to Lose by Mat Kearney. He actually makes rock and spoken word work.
Non-required reading: Forbes magazine offers its list of the Top 25 Web Celebs.
Friday, January 19, 2007
I went to a panel discussion a few days ago that dealt with moving around within media, such as from print to television or from PR to the music industry. Everyone on the panel mentioned how sometimes if you're starting somewhere completely new, you may have to take a step down in terms of salary and title in order to gain some experience. Feh.
During the quesiton and answer bit I asked if demoting yourself for the sake of a career move could be thwarted by taking some classes and gaining experience that way: Knowing ProTools ig you want to go into the music business or Final Cut if you wanted to go into film. The panel loved this idea.
The more that I look at the marketplace, the more I see how important technical skills are becoming. This is nothing new. I know television producers who have to write content for the show's website and I know journalists who take photos for accompanying slideshows.
What is new is that people who may think that they're young and current, who may be out of school less than ten years, may be more behind in their skills than they realize. At a job fair this past summer a recruiter told me that most young adults coming out of college now know how to shoot and edit video, build websites and do podcasts. They will work for about $30,000 a year to start.
That said, here are some links to places where you can brush up on new skills for the new year, if only to validate your tax bracket.
The Cooper Union has a great Continuing Education program. Given that they already have a strong engineering program, they have the infrastructure for classes in animation, photoshop, 3D modeling, and Illustrator, just to name a few. The classes are condensed, just a few weeks long, and they are reasonably priced. (And within a block of two Starbucks.)
Get in touch with your inner RZA with a ProTools class at The New School. It's more than two turn tables and microphone.
Still having a hard time stringing sentences together? The Gotham Writers' Workshop may be able to help.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
This blog will be undergoing a few changes in the next few days and weeks. Gone will be the random stories and links some of you have grown to love. Instead, La Pauline will be focusing on all things Web 2.0 from now on. Think links to interesting articles as well as examples of cool projects put together by myself and by others. Video, podcasting, etc. It's time to get crazy.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
How does one man manage to lose $113 million dollars?
I found this link to a whole bunch of 1990s music videos. It includes "Groove Is In The Heart" which, in 1990, is the song that changed me from an otherwise balanced 13-year-old to someone who likes to think in the Fourth Dimension. I spent most of 8th grade trying to be, or at least dress, like Lady Miss Kier. I wish I was kidding. Nevertheless, Dee-Lite's album, "World Clique" is still in my top five of all time, and the reason I wanted to move to New York City.
File this under random: A bunch of men discussing John Mayer on a woodworking message board. Best line from it, "How come all the women in the audience are pretty? Don't ugly girls like John Mayer or do ya think they stopped em at the door?"
Le Doug sent me out this afternoon to pick up some dry cleaning and do the grocery shopping. I had just finished a little writing so I was more than happy to get out of the house for a bit. The shopping list was pretty standard: chips, dip, tea, bottled water, waffles and a case of Coors Light. He even gave me his AMEX in order to get things moving. I was on the job.
It is normal for grocery stores to card everyone who comes through the check out buying beer. I think it is a way to detract kids from trying to come and buy booze. As I expected, they asked for me for my driver's license, which I gave them. My license, which is valid through 2008, is from California. Most of the time people make a cheerful remark about it being from California and then send me on my way. But not the Food Emporium.
The cashier I had handed my license to, which as I said is still quite valid, handed it to another cashier. That cashier asked me for another for of ID, which I gave them. Still not convinced that I was over 21, they called over the floor manager, who gave me a once over before running the sale through.
Yes, I gave them the patented Pauline Attitude throughout the process, mostly because of the profound absence of logic that I was dealing with. No one in their right mind would think I am under 21, and these ladies must have had some serious cataracts to think that.
At least they let me buy the beer.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
It's been a busy few days, days that have been full of a few surprises. More to come later about how I've been spending my idle time.
In the meantime, check these out:
A great piece in the Talk of the Town section about the potential ban on booze on the Metro-North. As someone who takes the Metro-North often (6:15 PM to Old Greenwich, Amstel) I am amazed at how vocal the otherwise subdued riders are, and how they've actually "organized" themselves for a cause. Fight the good fight, boys!
Those close to me often criticize my love of sleep (or is it just my love of a great mattress?). Anyway, this piece in yesterday's Science Times legitimized my love for snoozing. It's healthy, people.
Monday, January 08, 2007
A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a strange video about the alleged problems with the current state of immigration in America. It was not only inaccurate, but had unsettling ethnocentric undertones as well. Not my type of hype. Note to friends: Try not sending anti-immigration videos to me, the child of an immigrant.
Anyway, I found this on You Tube today and I thought it was pretty funny.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
I'm going to be out in CT for a few days while Doug travels. My duties include all household minutiae, as well as keeping an eye on the cats. They are getting way too fat, and so I have to hide the food at night and put hairball cream on Mozart's paws at night. He's almost 15 pounds, which apparently is too big for a cat. He even has to go to the vet on Monday.
Allow me to dork out for a moment: I'm sitting here at the computer, playing DJ, and I opened a CD case, thinking it was Oasis. Instead, it was Interpol's "Antics" and I freaked out. That album is one of my favorites and I hadn't heard it in ages. Even better, since I have the house to myself I can blare it as loud as I want...and it's a record that should be blared. I'm a sucker for strong and intricate basslines, and Interpol's got those down to a science.
I found last year's new year's resolutions. As much as I don't like resolutions, I seem to have done pretty well in 2006.
1. Find a way to move to Spring Street: Considering that I will likely leave the Gramercy Bunker in June, relocating to Nolita may be in the cards.
2. Find out exactly what is wrong with my back and fix it. Done and done. Dr. Boris had to stick me with a few cortisone shots, but I'm running again. I'm lookin' good and feelin' fine!
3. Keep up current good flow of writing work. 2006 was a great year for writing. I am definitely proud of everything I did for, among others, Men's Health, TheSimon.com, Sirens Magazine.
4. Be a better tap dancer. I am definitely a better dancer than I was a year ago, even with all the back issues I've had to deal with. Mission accomplished.
5. Learn to play that 12-string guitar I bought three years ago. Um, yeah. I need to get on that. But I think I'd rather have a six-string.
6. Go to the next level with my photography habit. Photos have definitely gone to the next level. I now give prints as gifts and people actually like them.
7. Remember singing? Remember performing? Yeah, get on that... Singing is a talent that I am not utilizing enough. Karaoke doesn't count.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I wrote a piece for The Simon today about why we should embrace princess culture and why Ms. Orenstein is downright nuts.