Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh Muzak, Where Art Thou?

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Muzak. You read me right. I, who have been known to rant incessantly against the vile sounds masquerading as music as made by such luminaries as Journey, Kansas, and The Phallic Like Orchestra, miss Muzak.

I am in the Westin for a short stint in El Segundo, LA, CA, and I realized that it wasn’t just “The W,” but in fact everywhere I go it seems I am a captive to obtrusive, annoying, too-loud, shitty music. Supermarkets. Drug stores. Clothiers.

[I really wanted to say “Apothecaries” and “Haberdashers.Pretentious? Moi?]

I could take some classical and baroque being played at a low volume. That I like. But what I really miss is ridiculous, sappy, oboe, strings and triangle versions of “A Taste of Honey,” “Baby I’m A Want You,” and “Eight Days a Week.” Remember? You’d be on an elevator and you’d hear a familiar tune, and think, “Jeez, they did a Muzak version of, what is that? ‘Me and Bobby McGee?' ”

Instead, I'm constantly subjected to weird mash-ups of reggae and techno. Nora Jones, U2, String Cheese Incident. Blaring. I was trying to do my timesheet yesterday morning in the lobby of the hotel because they have free wireless. In the room it was $9.95 + tax. I figured I could save the company some money.

I almost hurled my laptop across the room. They were blasting (ok – not really “blasting” – but the intensity extended beyond “background music” volume) some strange African-Disco-Techno-Shite that made me feel like standing up and screaming, “Will you please have mercy and turn that torturous drivel off! Put on some Henry Mancini or something! This isn’t a twenty-something ecstasy party. It is a FUCKING HOTEL LOBBY!”

It’s hell to get old.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Response I'd Like To See

In response to Rush Limbaugh's comments regarding Michael J. Fox's participation in political advertisements favoring candidates that back stem-cell research, the actor and political activist made the following statement:

"Rush Limbaugh is not faking. He really is an asshole."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

If We All Vanished Tomorrow

I'm still very busy with the new job, but there is an end in site. I had to get up to speed quickly on 2 courses so I could get out there and earn some money for the company. That is a painful experience with lots of hours every night. That process is now coming to an end I will be able to relax a little. I won't be adding another course to sometime next year.

Xtcfan reminded me that Mark Morford is still out there in SF writing some great stuff.

"Imagine for a moment that every human on the face of the planet was suddenly whisked away to the divine gurgling ether in one big blast of cheery Armageddon nothingness, all the Bible-waving True Believers carted off to a giant sex-free harp-filled cosmic Wal-Mart while the rest of us leap to the next luminous transformational echelon of timespacelove."

Go ahead and read the article in its entirety.

Incidentally, Xtcfan was in NOLA a week before last putting his money and his time where his keyboard is by volunteering to do what the government would have done had we had a decent person in the Whitehouse like Gore or Dean.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Friday Night San Francisco

I guess you had to be there and you'd have to know Pete, but it was textbook.

I was in the SF area all last week. Booked on the Friday night red-eye, I was free to visit with my old friend "Hippy" Pete Roberts.

After a great dinner at a quiet Chinese restaurant we were headed back to his place. He ended up being turned-around on Market St. heading in the wrong direction. There was an ebb in the traffic, nary a car in sight, so he decided to make a quick U-Turn. Sadly, there was a CHP just waiting there for us. He switched on his lights and pulled us over.

"License, registration and proof of insurance..."

"Sure. Here ya go."

"I pulled you over because you made an illegal U-Turn across a double-yellow line.

"Right on."

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Primer - Inspired By Bobby

I hope he doesn't sue me!

Character and Compassion:

Put Greed Back in Fashion:

Informed With a Wit:

Paid Shill Piece of Shit:

Brilliant and Erudite

Just Another Gobshite:

Talent and Taste:

Silicon Waste:

Integrity and Guts:

Scared Little Putz:

Genius of Cool:

A Serious Tool:

Beauty & Grace:

Not Even a Trace:

Rhodes Scholar, Bad Spouse:

Disgraced the Whitehouse

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Back From Chicago

Chicago is a great town, but I hated "The W." What a pretentious, sad excuse for a hotel. Anyone who would really like it is either an aging yuppie who thinks the Gen Xers somehow have it better than we do, (they don't, except for the fact that they can still enjoy the luxury of believeing that they might have 40 or 50 years left as opposed to my 20 or 30...) or kids in their 20's who imagine that it would be just so pimp to stay in a place like that but can't yet afford to stay there. I can't afford to stay there, but I wasn't footing the bill.

First of all, it is dark. They got candles burning in the lobby, and on the front desk. The lights are dimmer than the president they named the place after. It looks like the set from a Madonna video back when some people still cared. The hallways are dark. The restaurants and bars are dark. Everyone wears all black, or black and white.

I'm beyond the point where I could ever think that is cool.

Second, Chips & Salsa - $11. $17 if you add the guacamole. A quart of bottled water on the end table next to my bed could be mine for the nominal fee of $8.

I know hotels have to rip you off, but those prices aren't high. They are vulgar.

Third - they play that breathy, pulsing, montonous trance music that some people call "house" and some people call "techno," but people like me who know the difference between shoe polish and excrement have another name for it.

They play it all the time.

I was up late and early every night / morning last week studying so I could be a credible instructor. It paid off, but I was fried.

I did get to eat some Itlalian Beef at Giordanos, which rocked the house down. I had some Chicago style thin pizza, which was ok but nothing compared to the average slice I used to take for granted when I lived in NY.

And, I started reading "The Memoirs Of Shrelock Holmes" on the airplane. I had read "The Adventures..." about 10 years ago and had always wanted to go back. I'm glad I did.

I'm in town this week taking the next class which I will again too soon be expected to teach, and then next week it is off to the bay area to teach the first class again. It is going to take me a while before I know what I'm doing at this new job, and as a result posting will be sparse.