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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sorry I haven’t been around very much of late. Despite the fact that things have slowed down at work, it seems as if I have had a really hard time sitting down and putting something down on this here blog. Many people with blogs usually get their blogging done at work.

Not me. No, no sir. My boss, a genial enough fellow, is paranoid about distracted workers. Even when I’m not on the internet, he would see me pressing Alt+tab in the course of cutting and pasting numbers whenever he walked in, and worried that it was internet use of some sort. Even though I expressed to him how silly I thought this was, I got with the program and stopped fidgeting as much, and have almost entirely cut out my internet use.

So, how has this increased my productivity?

I am now taking the longest dumps in the history of digestion. Armed with a steady diet of double espressos from the coffee machine, water, and my morning yogurt, I am taking at least three quality trips to the crapper a day. Now it’s not all crappin’, mind you. That’s where the iPod Nano comes in. Time flies when you’re listening to previously-listened-to-podcasts. You’d be surprised how well old episodes of the “BS Report with Bill Simmons” and “Pardon The Interruption” hold up. Especially if your, ahem, production is finished. So that kills time away from my desk. But, hey, at least it’s not the Internet!

Also, without the constant distraction of the Internet, I can turn to daydreaming and thinking. I have the ideas for my two new novels, have completely figured out just why exactly I had to end my previous relationship, and have finally come up with a wacky new scheme to get laid and possibly get a freelance magazine article out of it. But at least I’m not on the Internet!

So my boss feels better. And quite frankly, I am more productive! We’re all winners!

 

So, at my city-run gym there’s usually only one channel on the television sets, Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. I’m not sure if the Disney corporation is paying off the staff at Metropolitan Pool or something, but that’s what generally tends to be on.

This is how I became familiar with the ABC News special “Live to be 150“, hosted by Barbara Walters. It’s a “news” special where she shares secrets to living longer. I guess the show surmises that with the aid of Barbara’s tips, you can live to the ripe old age of 150.

One-hundred and fifty.

Ugh. Count me as not excited.

Think about it. If you were a person who had done all the right things that Walters told you, and you were a spry 146-year old now living in Florida, that means you very likely would have retired in 1928 at the age of 65.

That’s a long-ass time to sit around playing canasta. Oh, sure, they’ll show you remarkable centenarians living full and active lives, breathing, dancing, practicing their craft, and even having sex.

Just really, really, really slowly.

Yes, I am being a downer about living to the ripe old age of 150. I don’t know if I want to be walking around when I’m 75 talking about how it’s the new 45. Do I really need yet another excuse to put off getting married and having children? How about the fact that I’m having enough trouble saving money for retirement as it is, now I’ll have to save for 80 years worth of assisted living? Let’s not even talk about the societal implications of Social Security and all the money that’s going to be in LifeAlert ads.

Look, it’s good to be alive. Really it is. I’m trying to enjoy it. But count me as  one of those who believes that we might be beginning to go too far in our quest never to die. Never suffering pain? That seems like a worthy goal. Eradicating unnecessary diseases? Damn straight! Helping those enough lucky enough to be blessed with life to live it to the fullest? Right on.

But hanging on to the rip old age of 115 so I can tell some 75 year old about how it was back in the day? How does this benefit anyone, really? Aren’t we, with our attempts to artificially lengthen life, kind of diminishing its value, in a way? After all you’ll have plenty of time to stop and smell the roses, provided your olfactory nerves haven’t collapsed from 100 years of greenhouse gases. There’s just something that seems ethically unnatural and selfish about this. As I said before, Barbara Walters and her tips have their way, there’s going to be a lot of social policy that’s going to need to be changed. A retirement age of 121, for starters.

Plus, let’s be honest, that’s a whole lot of years to be no longer current about musical trends. And for the music to be too loud. And to need your steak cut up and for your sciatica to quit acting up. Yeah, not exactly what I’d call quality time.

Well, unless I find a way to incorporate it into a new, warm-weather look, the final days of the humongous H&M scarf, affectionately referred to in some cirles as the Doctor Who scarf (for the sci-fi geeks), and as the Rent scarf in others (musical theater folk, at least the ones that don’t hate “Rent”) are upon us.

Today it was 60 degrees, and it’s only beginning to tick upward. It’s April, so I suppose  it’s only going to continue getting warmer. This weekend, I will probably try to incorporate it with a lighter jacket or something.

If it can’t continue, well, it was a good run. It didn’t get lost, it didn’t end up being made off with, and it didn’t wind up being used as a kinky sex restraint. Congratulations. This is the first scarf that made it all the way through a winter for me. For that, we’ll always have fond memories. It’s been real.

For the unfamiliar, I’d throw in a picture, but I’m too distraught right now….

…okay, my new camera phone sucks, and apparently sends pictures by Pony Express. Leave me alone.

The scarf, plus Brian Van

(Ok, here’s one hastily taken from Facebook, courtesy of Ha Ha Sound. Snf!)

(Ed–It finally arrived! Eh, not so good.)

Bottles? I don’t see any bottles!

Bryant and wife (I think)

So I was winding down a long day by reading the Washington Post’s website when I came across this article reviewing the fourth hour of the Today Show. According to reviewer Robin Givhan, the fourth hour of the show seems to be a throwback to the olden days when men worked and women stayed home and took care of the house. Not sure when that was, might have been 1957, coulda been 1987, whatever. Here was the real point for me:

they’re not on at 10 a.m.

There’s a fourth hour of the Today show?!

I guess I could see the reasoning to try and keep the show going as long as possible, the venerable broadcast institution is practically an ATM for NBC Universal. But really, what the hell are you going to put on? Of course there’s nothing but weight-loss crap and extreme makeovers! After four hours, you’re pretty much out of news.

So, instead of creating a brand new NBC morning show called, oh, I dunno, “Crap We Think Women Might Be Interested In Instead of News”, they take the “Today” brand name, shuffle Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, and Al Roker off to safety and leave Ann Curry to interview women on their “relationship deal-breakers”?

I don’t get this TV business at all sometimes. Why would you dilute your best product and stretch it out beyond belief, when really, in actuality, you’ve just put on an entirely different program? I mean, why not have a second hour of “Meet the Press”, except in the second hour, Tim Russert leaves and Dan Abrams interviews a Hollywood celebrity?

(Using the same Tim Russert interview techniques, of course: “But Mr. Stallone, we’ll put up this graphic. You told GQ in March 1996: ‘I wouldn’t embarrass myself by playing Rocky and Rambo into my 60s.’ What changed your mind, your conspicuous lack of hits over the next ten years, or human growth hormone?”)

Or how about a second hour of “To Catch A Predator”, but we replace Chris Hansen with Keith Olbermann in “To Date a Douchebag”, where they use an actor to play a $10 Bud Select-swilling jackass with a popped collar, who lures some unsuspecting clueless female back to his place. When he leaves the living room for a second to see “if he has any box wine left”, Olbermann busts in and drops some science on the young lady.

Keith: So you really thought, and let me read this right, ‘would you like to come back to my place to see my gooch’ meant that this guy was going to give you a night of quality lovemaking? Honestly. Do you even know what a gooch is? And you were going to sleep with him?”

Clueless female: Uh, no….

Keith: We have you on tape calling in sick for work tomorrow.

Clueless female: Dammit! (runs out of apartment)

Keith: (voiceover) What she doesn’t know is that the girlfriends she abandoned at the club to go home with our ‘chump’ are waiting for her outside the apartment. They are drunk, and boy, are they pissed.

You know, on second thought, if the fourth hour of Today is stuff like this, I think I’d be interested….