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Well, of course I am. Things I’m advocating today:

  • Music Stylist Stephen is among the pundits on the latest All Songs Considered show over at NPR.org; hear a whole bunch of new music, including a new Eef offering (Eefering?) and some new Shearwater, bound to make you weep. (The “Listen To Show” link there will open the NPR player, which is one of the easiest and least annoying audio players I know of, so don’t fear it. The Eefpearance is in the second half or so of the show.)
  • Sarah is porting over old Vines at Tomato Nation, and if you’ve never treated yourself to Robert/Roberta, you must. It’s a hilarious letter, and the response is even funnier. Of course, there is also Jack The Tomato-Stealer, who really pushed his luck with the “striking a blow for human rights” argument.
  • I love everything BeneFit. I don’t know whether the “shimmering powders” will still be up when you get there, but I am not into that, because I am over 20, and therefore, I do not wear shimmering powders. But BeneFit makes more normal-looking, unobtrusive, easy-to-wear stuff than anyone, and some of the flaw-correcting items actually correct flaws. (Obviously, they’re not flaws in the sense that anyone needs to feel bad about herself, but there are days when you wake up on the suck side of bad sleep or bad moods and don’t necessarily want to wear that fact around all day.) As Tara and I have both tirelessly said, the pink Eye Bright pencil is so very versatile, particularly if you are pale like we both are.
  • The always-funny Fire Joe Morgan is on fire today, and as is often the case, the source is Ken Tremendous, who recently outed himself as Michael Schur, The Office writer and portrayer of cousin Mose. Mr. Tremendous is almost as aggravated by baseball-statistics-likers being portrayed as basement-dwelling losers as I am about bloggers being presented the same way. But he’s better at saying it.

So that’s four items of tireless advocacy, and if you like music, good advice, looking refreshed, and sports talk, you can thank me later.

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Okay, before I stop procrastinating from actual paid work as I am currently doing, I have to explain this. This is where we get into one of the dark, dark worlds to which I once belonged…college a cappella.

When I was at Oberlin, I was in the women’s a cappella group, Nothing But Treble. (Hey, I didn’t make up the name, dudes. They all have puns in them. Shut up.) Anyway, in probably…the fall of 1990 or spring of 1991, we had the Columbia Kingsmen open for us, and they did “Cezanne,” as well as “The Mayor Of Simpleton,” which I was just mentioning down in the First Warm Day post.

And I finally found a video of the original song (apparently not the original-original, but…close enough — from what I’ve been able to discover, this is a scooch different from the original and this is the one the Kingsmen worked off of), and it delighted me so much I cannot tell you. I invite you to enjoy one of my favorite pop novelty songs of all time, and I deeply thank whatever late-thirties dude was the soloist on both this and “Simpleton” for the Kingsmen, because I have a VHS tape of this concert somewhere, and I watched him sing it many, many times back in the day.

And now I really have to do some work.

One of my little shopping fixations is the idea of getting a digital SLR that will take the Canon lenses from my old film camera. This is absolutely not going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future, because of my currently self-employed status. However, from time to time, I go and salivate over various digital options, most recently the Rebel XSi, scheduled for release at the end of April. Now and then, I go to Amazon and visit this camera, the way you might visit a puppy at the pet store that you know you can’t adopt.

If it’s really true that it would accept my old EOS lenses, then I’d really only need the camera body, but I was looking tonight at the package that includes a lens, and I noticed that it was listed at $899.99, but Amazon said that in order to see their discounted price, you had to click. Why do you have to click to make the price appear? Well, as I’ve seen them explain this before, sometimes their discounts are SO AWESOME that they violate manufacturer policy unless they hide the price behind an extra click. That’s right — they could tell you how much of a discount they can give you, but then Canon would kill them. So I clicked on the box, and this is what I saw:

That’s right. You can save on the wildly inflated price of $899.99, and you can obtain this item for $899.95. Those four cents? They are right from Amazon to you, baby. FROM AMAZON TO YOU.

Now say “thank you.”

This got linked all over the place almost a year ago, but since I wasn’t doing this then, I missed my chance, and now, I will take it. There’s a certain way that I feel about music performed by large groups, and this is the sort of thing that can almost make me burst into tears. I know that sounds weird, but when I used to do more singing, if you got me in the right choral setting, I would become completely overwhelmed by the energy, and I can tell you that if I had been in this room, my guess is that I would have been bawling, despite how amazingly warm and happy it is to watch. This is Ben Folds, from a MySpace appearance.

My absolute favorite YouTube discovery, courtesy of my pal Jane Wiedlin’s Boyfriend, who found this before I did:

Watch all the “Related Videos” to see more Dance Party Friday. I can’t believe they don’t have Dance Party Friday where I live.

I just want to thank everyone who’s taken the time to write to me in the last few days to wish me well, or to say goodbye, or to tell me that they laughed or thought or talked to their friends about something I wrote in the last six or seven years. I truly, honestly cannot tell you how much it’s meant to me, how much easier it’s made this week and this transition, or how much every one of these notes has shown the good humor, grace, and general awesomeness of the personnel hanging out at TWoP over its first ten years of life. You have reminded me of things I forgot happened on television, things I forgot I wrote, and things I forgot we talked about on the boards.

If you wrote to me, I intend to write back to you. But as I know you’ll understand, I’m in the middle of (1) decompressing; and (2) taking care of some business going forward, trying to find the next place to land. So please, please forgive me if it takes me a while to get the mailbag answered. This is the awkwardest thing ever, because there is nothing more “my diamond shoes are too tight” than whining about how much wonderfully heartwarming mail you need to get around to answering, but nevertheless: this is my note to all of you, to tide my conscience over until I can get to each of you. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

YOU RAISE ME UUUUUUUUP…

Okay, I’m kidding. (You kind of do, you good-hearted bastards, but I’m kidding.)

The reason Bionic Woman is dying is that its own executive producer can’t find words more enthusiastic than “some of the writing was good.” Which is generous. I watched it; I know.

Sometimes, sucking is enough. Not always. But sometimes.

I realize that for many of you, my love of courtroom television seems odd. And perhaps it is odd. But I challenge you to watch this case — all the way to the end; that is critical — and not be a little entertained.

After the jump, I will tell you what the TWoP posters call the defendant in this case. Read the rest of this entry »

As it happens, I had to move offices with four days left at work (a perfect opportunity for the dismissive use of “whatever,” making me wish I’d used it more discriminatingly in the last few years so I’d have some usage left). Now, this has one big advantage, which was that I used to have my desk up against the wall next to the gym. This meant that periodically, Joe R and I would get to listen to an entire exercise class together. Remember the screeching instructor in that episode of 30 Rock? The one who said something like, “Don’t give up, you’re getting it, Glasses”? Okay, the instructors at the real NBC gym are actually several orders of magnitude (1) louder and (2) angrier than that. They sound like this:

“RUUUH! ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! GO! GO! GO! PICK IT UP! PUSH! GO! GO! GO!”

Only you have to assume that I am yelling these words six inches from your ear, and I am using the voice of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket. You get the impression that this is not a put-on; these instructors are like this deep in their souls. They’re like this at Burger King, too: “WHOPPER! WHOPPER! NO LETTUCE, COME ON!” At any rate, they make a lot of really interesting music selections, not all of which seem like natural fits for workouts. Joe and I listened to a whole class one time that was something like “The Bad Prom Workout.” It included “Nobody Does It Better,” “Son Of A Preacher Man,” “I Ran,” and some big dance ballad that we no longer remember. At other times, they favor “You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)” as well as “Come On Eileen,” which are probably the two songs we heard most often.

But what really made it special was that at the end of each workout, people would put their exercise equipment away, which means in this case hurling it against a wall. I’m not sure what they were using, but the sound of the stuff slamming into the wall next to me, I think they were using bowling balls. Literally, the things on my desk would jump a half-inch into the air as things went “THUD!” into the wall.

Anyway, when I found out that we were moving, my favorite thing to do was to listen to an exercise class, and then yell, “So long, suckers!” in the middle of…whatever, the squat sequence or what have you. And then I learned that my new office looks out over the ice rink at Rockefeller Center.

Where they play the same Xtina and Bryan Adams tunes ten times a day, and that is ON TOP of the bells from the cathedral, which I have complained about bitterly since I started, assuring myself a special place in hell. The church-bell-hating section.

Two more days after today, ICE RINK. I hope you can live with yourself.

I got very lucky this week.

You know what’s nice? It’s nice to have friends with a tres faboo apartment who will loan it to you while they’re out of town, because this allows a change of perspective and scenery that can be so refreshing, it’s better than a massage. Two massages. Three massages and a facial.

I’m just looking at different furniture. Different walls, different posters, different dishes, different windows. But it feels like a vacation, and not only because their place is much better decked-out than mine. There’s something about being in a fresh neighborhood that reminds you that the world is bigger than the route you walk every day, and that everything you know and have known will always be much smaller than everything you don’t know. Even in New York, the sheer density of which should remind anyone of the immensity of…everything, it’s hard not to wind up a little bit tunnel-visioned.

Also, Starbucks is four blocks away — score!

November 2017
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