Archive: February, 2004

Adventures in clubbing

posted by Jeff | Saturday, February 28, 2004, 8:20 PM | comments: 0

Stephanie and I went to this club last night called Karma in the Powerhouse in the Flats of Cleveland. For years it was a video game bar, long before anyone had ever heard of Dave & Busters.

Apparently the club has three different rooms where they play different kinds of music, though only two rooms were operating. The music was all pop, but it was the better stuff at least. Not my thing really, but it was OK.

Steph had freshly dyed hair and was ubercute. I think she gets cuter with age. I so scored!

We got there around 9:30 and the place was a ghost town. Very weird. We arrived with some of the CSU posse that Steph goes to school with. First cool thing: Melissa the bartender. I often talk about how I love the freaky pierced/tattoo girls that are classy at the same time. It's hard to pull it off, but this girl did it. She was absolutely amazing looking. She had this very detailed tattoo sleve and something I couldn't quite make out on her back. Dark black hair, little bangs, lots of ear piercings. Very cute.

Next was the four single girls. They were all kind of cute, girl-next-door types, and we couldn't help but notice that a couple of them were really into each other on the dance floor. I was a little aroused!

Then came the four girls in prom dresses. They dropped their stuff and went right to the dance floor, and I swear they frequently came very close to making out. Two were wearing red dresses and the other two black. The one girl in black also had a nose ring, so she got bonus points for me. (Where do you suppose I developed a thing for chicks with nose rings? :)) The girls were feeling each other up and touching all over. I didn't expect this kind of show! Two of them retreated to the corner for a minute and were pointing at our friend Holly. They went back on the dance floor and one grabbed Holly's ass! Then the foursome left.

Later, Holly was sitting on a couch with me while Steph was standing next to me. Some drunk dude comes up next to Steph, apparently not seeing that my hand was on her ass, and asks her to dance. She politely says no, and he begs. She says no again. He leaves. We had a good laugh about that.

At this point the crowd was getting very dick-heavy. One of the radio stations was holding a dance contest, so a number of couples, including girl couples, got a minute each to tear it up. The first girl was this little thing in her underwear with more junk than one might expect. Another was a pair of girls who were grinding all over each other, including this little Latina with the stereotypical caboose. Then our favorite, Melissa the Bartender and her studly man went to cut da rug. She ended the performance by flashing her (pierced) boobs. My night was complete.

We were there for something like four hours. I'm not much of a dancer, and was also a designated driver, so I pretty much just chilled out and enjoyed the music and eye candy. The thing that became obvious to me early on is that there's no way in hell I could thrive in this environment as a single person. The first problem is that it's hard to tell who is hooked up and who isn't (or even who might go home for threesome action ;)). I am so happy to be married to a catch who loves me unconditionally. Places like this club generate a ton of sexual energy that never gets used.

On the other hand, I think if you go to a place like that with a group of people who at least loosely know each other (and doesn't have so many married people, like our group), I think you could at the very least get some action. I gotta think that's what was on the mind of most people there. Hell, it was on my mind!

To summarize, I guess I was surprised by all of the girl-on-girl action. I think it's cool (as most men think, even if it's just a stupid fantasy), and I think it has always gone on, just not so public. College-aged girls frequently go through the whole bi-curious thing, but given the stuffy culture we live in, rarely make good on the curiosity. It's good that we've made strides toward correcting that, though we obviously run into little snags like all of this anti-gay marriage thing (as if gay people getting married somehow diminishes the value of my marriage).

I do enjoy people watching.


Sleeping in the sun

posted by Jeff | Friday, February 27, 2004, 12:34 PM | comments: 7

It's perfect blue sky weather here in Cleveland today. Not a cloud anywhere. Of course that means it's still a little chilly, especially near the lake, but it's one of the first signs that show the worst part of winter is over and clear nights with sounds of summer drifting into your bedroom at night are just around the corner.

This sun reminds me of many relaxed afternoons where I could drift off into a nap, sleeping in the sun, allowing my mind to wander free on anything I felt like thinking about with no pressure to get up. Then, as dusk starts to set in, I'd get something to eat and enjoy the breezes as I watch the kids in the cul de sac play some made up game, a beer in my hand. Later that evening I'd do some work on the computer or read.

Those are good times. I can't wait to make those simple good times happen again soon.


Stern pulled from Clear Channel, radio gets even worse

posted by Jeff | Thursday, February 26, 2004, 10:47 AM | comments: 4

Clear Channel is pulling Howard Stern from its radio stations.

More knee-jerking if you ask me. Stern's show is far from politically correct, but obscene? Please. If the FCC and Michael Powell want broadcast to return to its "public service" roots as he said in a letter to the networks, then they need to break up Clear Channel and Infinity and put broadcast licenses back into the hands of local businesses and communities. I want my fucking radio stations back from New York. Reinstate the ownership limits.

National radio owners have proven that they don't serve the local community because in an effort to save cost, they program from the coasts. They have absolutely no idea what serves the local interest. There are some rare exceptions (one of our AM stations here does news and it airs on the other owned stations in the market), but they're rare and barely affect the bigger picture.

We lost radio. It's a damn shame. We won't get it back until broadband is everywhere and we can pick up a "station" as easy as we can a Web site at home.


I don't want to be depressed

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, February 25, 2004, 8:45 AM | comments: 1

I swear my mood swings like a Cirque du Soleil freak performing on a crack and caffine binge.

Yesterday was a low day for me. It really sucked. My "job" is sucking the life out of me, and the oodles of money it pays does not compensate for it. It's horrible, and a struggle to get out of bed knowing I have to go back there. Corporate hell meets the boredom of a prison term.

I have decided that I need to quit. There's other stuff out there, and I need to believe that I can find something else fairly quickly. The problem is that causes stress at home because of money issues, but I have to figure out which is worse... having your soul sucked out through your nose or worrying about money. Seeing as how it was money that got me in this shithole in the first place, I think it might be easy to figure out that one.

I have a pretty good idea for a volleyball site I want to do, even a marketing plan. I have a site I need to develop in two stages for a client. The pay isn't huge but it should be easy and it'll extend my reusable code base in ways that make it easy to do other stuff. Microsoft DevDays is two weeks from today (I get in free), when I'll get my hands on Whidbey, the next version of ASP.NET, so I can begin to plan out the next version of the forums and, in the process, establish myself in the Microsoft community.

And the 1993 mix on the iPod is rocking me out right now. Kick ass.

Gotta get back to the screenplay...


Stuck in high school, sort of; Video fun

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, February 24, 2004, 8:32 AM | comments: 2

I'm trying to write the first part of my screen play (the second part is "done," the third about half-way), and I'm stuck. The entire first part takes place in high school, and I'm not sure what to write. See, this is supposed to be a comedy, a quasi-romantic comedy anyway, and frankly nothing funny happened to me in high school. It actually sucked mostly.

It's clear that I need to build sympathy for the main character, because he's kind of pathetic (much like I was). I also need to tie his "issues" to the other two parts, the biggest of which being that he just doesn't have the balls to hook up with girls. Also tough, I need to tie the female lead to the female leads in the other two parts.

And it all has to happen this week, because I want to submit the script to Project Greenlight, and the deadline is Saturday. I don't expect to win or anything, but I do expect the reviewers to rip it to shreds. That's OK if it's the right reviewers. I mean, I don't know anything about writing a screenplay, so I can use the advice. Of course, if I get reviewed by some wannabe film school student that doesn't like anything, I'll have to take that with a grain (or shaker) of salt.

In other news, I did some video editing for a consulting gig. I was kind of dreading it, but I really like editing in Avid if it's something I can just crank out. Also makes me think about video cameras, and how bad I'd love to have a good one (with some lights, microphones and such).

I'm starting to think that even if I can never get my film made, maybe I can do some simple shorts and screen them on the Web. I'd still need the gear, but what fun it would be, to really craft something special in under 30 minutes. It's more of a writing challenge than anything else.


More soul food

posted by Jeff | Monday, February 23, 2004, 8:52 AM | comments: 1

Stephanie asked me yesterday what exactly made me happy, what my passions were. I guess I never stopped to take inventory.

My first passion is her, of course. Everything is better when she's around. It's a pretty powerful thing when someone just being around makes things better.

Volleyball is a passion. If I could coach for a living I'd do it. College would of course be a "real" job, but high school pays a couple of grand at most. I absolutely adore my kids right now. Nine amazing, talented, beautiful kids capable of extraordinary things. It's so cool to be a part of that.

Programming and running Web sites is fun. I really get off on the new technology too.

I love photography, though I don't do it as much as I used to. Video is closely connected to that and great fun as well. I've started to realize this as I write my screenplay.

I want to do all of this stuff, right now. Steph and I have so many amazing talents, yet we don't have the execution plan to figure out a way they can financially support us. That's so frustrating. I'm tired of working for the man, because the man doesn't really give a fuck about what I need, nor should the man be expected to. Only I can do the things to feed my soul. The challenge is being able to eat and buy the things that let me enjoy myself.


Exciting day for doing something else non-work

posted by Jeff | Friday, February 20, 2004, 1:38 PM | comments: 0

Do you know that feeling you get when you aren't at school or work and you're going somewhere else in the morning? The sun is shining and just generally you feel as if you're doing something else that isn't work and it's kind of nice? I had that feeling this morning. I had another job interview this morning. If they make an offer, that'll be four-straight that I've nailed.

But it's a neat feeling. Similar feelings include leaving for a vacation on a work day, going out early to an amusement park on a work day, going to a volleyball tournament, interviewing for a job, or even going out to do whatever the hell you want because you don't have to be at work. I love that feeling.


The Offspring and Dido, now playing

posted by Jeff | Thursday, February 19, 2004, 9:07 AM | comments: 4

Just thought I'd mention that the last two albums I bought on iTunes were The Offspring and Dido's latest albums.

The Offspring's "Splinter" is good stuff. It's fast, angry at times, funny at others. It stays true to the formula that has worked for them. The only down side is that it's short, barely over 30 minutes.

Dido's "Life For Rent" is exactly what I needed to counter balance Offspring. It's very chill and nearly every track good. She has some nice changes in a few songs that really tie them together. The lyrics are interesting in that at least two songs she seems to be helping out a friend that suffered a break up.

Snatched up some older songs from iTunes with Pepsi bottle caps a friend gave me (I don't drink the shit), including Dishwalla's "Counting Blue Cars," "Drive" by Incubus and "Possum Kingdom" by the Toadies. Good stuff.


America the fucking prude

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, February 18, 2004, 11:02 AM | comments: 2

I can't tell you how many times in blogs and columns that I've seen someone say in the last few weeks how screwed up we are regarding what's "obscene." Here's a good one from Margaret Cho

I don't get it. The world freaked out because Janet Jackson's boob was on TV. I can lump the insanity of this into two areas:

First, sex is dangerous and bad, worse apparently than violence. I can turn on the TV and channel surf, and I'll eventually land on a movie where people are get shot in mass quantities or shit is getting blown up. That's entertainment, and that's OK, by American standards. On the other hand, sex absolutely can't be shown. Maybe it's because I'm a lover and not a fighter, but I for one enjoy sex and like to participate in it every chance I get. I don't think most people will ever find shooting people something they want to do, and our value system, twisted as it might be, certainly doesn't find murder to be an acceptable practice.

Second, sex is demonized, we're taught that our genitals are naughty and we can't talk about it in public. Not only is it something pleasurable, but it's the freakin' source of all life. I keep hearing about parents groups and how offended they were at the Janet boob exposure, and that's disturbing. I admit that I don't have children, but I fully intend for them to understand their bodies and not think they're dirty or obscene. I want them to have the facts and know the process of reproduction and the risks of having sex. Kids, especially teenagers, are not stupid. Endow them with the facts, because ignoring them or telling them what not to do isn't going to stop them from doing anything.

The female body is beautiful, in all its various shapes and sizes. It's powerful, able to attract men (and presumably a lot of other women) and it can reproduce. Why the hell are we as a culture so embarassed by it?

The world can be a really screwed up place.


The land of missed opportunities

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 9:15 AM | comments: 5

So I chatted briefly with a friend last night about missed opportunities. It came up with a friend who found her first "love" and is persisting a long-distance relationship during her freshman year of college.

I've been there. I kick my own ass every day for doing something similar. Sure, I was "happy," but I would've been a lot happier if I was dating around and meeting people at the time. I didn't know myself, let alone how to know other people in all of their glorious diversity.

After that year of trying to persist my long-distance relationship, I had a lot of chance encouters and interests. I never consistantly dated anyone in that time (unless you count hanging out and making out "dating"), but I did see that love and sex had little to do with each other and that with an essentially clean slate for life ahead of me, I needed to figure out myself first.

People have this thing where they need someone to feel complete and whole, or happy. That in itself isn't a problem or a sign of weakness. I think we do need that. However, no one ever teaches us that for us to effectively enjoy a relationship we need to enjoy ourselves first. Experience... with people, lovers, jobs and life-learning... are what makes us whole for ourselves first. The passage of time is the only thing that provides that.

I was lucky. I finally started to "get it" in the last part of my junior year in college and the following summer. By the time my senior year rolled around, I was ready for anything. I got into this physical relationship with no expectations and saw opportunities all around me in terms of "hooking up." Despite a lot of ups and downs, I ended up marrying that girl six years later.

So to put it bluntly, you miss opportunities to grow if you have to be hooked up. I didn't know what the hell I was doing in college, and even to this day I'm not always sure. What I did know is that I had to be on solid ground before I decided to stick with someone who would be a major part of my life. You'll never answer all of the questions, but you won't acquire data to answer any of them if you blindly commit yourself to relationships early in life.


Carmen and Dave: Normal?

posted by Jeff | Monday, February 16, 2004, 8:57 AM | comments: 3

Have you seen "'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave" on MTV? Yet another reality show, this time about Carmen Elektra and Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) getting married.

Here's the thing that floors me about it. These two have to be the most normal people I've ever seen on a reality show. I know... hard to believe. Dave admitted in one episode how he used to do drugs, bang women all over the place and generally live that rock-n-roll lifestyle, but aside from that they're relatively normal. So normal in fact that they might even be kind of boring.

For example, I found it amazing that, while the wedding won't be cheap, they're watching their budget for the whole thing. They actually believe that certain expenses are too much and not worth paying.

This in part was interesting because we saw Newlyweds (Jessica and Nick) just prior to that. Those two I doubt make the cash that Dave and Carmen do, yet Jessica is so stupid that she bought $1,400 be sheets. I don't think it's a matter of her being spoiled, Ijust think she's that stupid.

Watching famous people in "real" situations is interesting, but honestly it's easier to relate to the ones that are more like me.


SuicideGirls and Playboy.com join forces

posted by Jeff | Friday, February 13, 2004, 12:25 PM | comments: 3

The end is at hand. I saw this article on CNN money about SuicideGirls and Playboy.com joining forces to cross market themselves.

If you've been playing along at home, Stephanie and I were members there for about a year or so, up until last December. We let the subscription expire in part because the direction of the site and its owners were getting too far away from what we thuoght made the site special.

SG has naked girls, and that's a good thing. Not like porno naked, but tasteful naked. No fucking, insertions or penis action. The girls are all alt/goth/emo/punk or whatever, so most have piercings and tattoos, or at the very least cool hair. All are natural too, and a few easily make my cutest-girls-on-the-planet list.

We did notice however that the owners, and even some of the girls, were being real assholes to members, the very people who keep them (the owners) out of day jobs. It's certainly their right to do so, but in some cases it was ridiculous. If someone has a billing problem and the owners give them shit about asking, that's a problem. I understand when they smack people around for spamming their forum or name calling, but billing is all business. You don't screw around there.

I have to admit, I'm somewhat jealous of their success. For one, I wish I would've thought about it first. I mean, shit, I was doing the same thing they were years ago with online communities sans the nudies. The second is that their success was totally accidental, and they've made a lot of insanely stupid business decisions. For example, at one point early in their growth spurt, where more and more people were joining, they dropped prices. Call me crazy, but isn't that basic supply and demand?

So now they're hooking up with Playboy. Dare I say that's going to be bad for their business. It adds credibility for them with the mainstream, but the mainstream is the very thing they've tried not to be, and I wonder if that will sit well with their audience. Worse, if they get the frat boy types suddenly joining the site, the community will most certainly go to hell.

I shouldn't hate on them, but I hope they're careful about the way they handle success. It can all go away just as fast as it came.


iPod, iTunes and Apple culture

posted by Jeff | Thursday, February 12, 2004, 8:38 AM | comments: 7

Seems like I've thought quite a bit about Apple in the past day or so.

First off, I visited the new Apple Store here in the Cleveland burbs yesterday (at a ridiculously trendy open air, architecturally diverse shopping center with stores normal people can't afford). Very simple, and not as insane as some of the others sound. It was so different from what you're used to in a computer store. The young woman that answered some questions for me was an early 20-something, fairly cute and clearly an alt chick when not working. This is in stark contrast to the average CompUSA where you'll find a fat, smelly, know-it-all guy with no social skills.

And she knew everything. I mean she really knew her shit. How weird is that?

I love Mac OS X, but being a Microsoft developer I obviously can't use a Mac on a daily basis (unless that film career takes off ;)). The hardware, and especially the LCD monitors, are absolutely beautiful. For some reason, the Viewsonics I have at home can't compare.

The software is cool too. Final Cut Pro looks pretty killer for video editing, and I'm someone spoiled with Avid (which does have its bugs and problems, I'd add).

Last night, Stephanie ordered an iBook for herself, because it's small and functional and she needs something to cart around to her schools. With a couple of upgrades and an iPod mini, her bill came in under $1,500, which isn't bad for Apple products.

I've now had my iPod for about four months. It has saved my life in this job. It's one of the most functional and useful devices I've ever owned, and was worth every penny.

iTunes has finally converted me. Because the way I listen to music has changed so much, I really don't miss having a CD with cover art and such. As of last night I've purchased 109 songs on iTunes, including five or six albums. I've bought a lot of singles, some current, and some to fill out my playlists that correspond to various years. (Music helps sustain memories for me, and every last song reminds me of a period of time... jobs, people, places.)

Apple is good at two things: Innovation and marketing. They have a fairly good track record of living up to their own hype (with obvious exceptions like the Newton, which some argue was just too far ahead of its time, see: Palm). I like everything of theirs I've touched. Now that we'll have a Mac in the house, I wonder how long it will be before I only use Windows machines for development!


Winter blahs, working the DVD player and making movies

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, February 11, 2004, 9:52 AM | comments: 2

I feel like a slug. I don't want to do anything more than play video games, watch TV or look at porn. I don't want to exercise. I don't want to leave the house. I sure as hell don't want to go to "work."

The "winter blahs" are worse than ever this year. The worst side effect of this is that, in order to find some kind of stimulation or fulfillment, I want to buy shit that I can live without, an unfortunate position when you're trying to pay off your debt and start getting more serious about banking cash.

Today I'm learning that hitting some dance mixes on the iPod certainly are helping me at least stay awake and focused enough to write shit in this blog that no one cares about. That I suppose is a start.

I probably have to credit some of my dissatisfaction to the job which, after almost five weeks, still doesn't have me doing any actual work, and the forthcoming work is unimaginative grunt work I probably won't like. Yet the pay is six figures as a contractor (that's assuming I didn't have to buy my own health insurance and didn't take a single day off). Yes, the notion that money doesn't make you happy is stronger than ever. Such a shame that it helps.

Last Friday we demonstrated how money can at least temporarily feed the soul. We dropped $150 on DVD's at Best Buy. What the hell, I can "afford" it, so why not? Just the initial buzz of the purchase makes you feel better!

They were good scores this time though. We got season two of Alias, one of the best shows on TV. The more I watch it the more strange it is to me that Jennifer Garner gets more and more appealing to me. Yeah, she's cute, in a very attainable way, but I'm not usually one for the athletic types.

We also got volume 2 (season three) of The Family Guy. Funniest damn animated show there is. Fox is starting to realize their mistake based on the DVD sales.

I got the Wayne's World movies, not because they're the best movies ever made, but because culturally they're significant and it's weird that I didn't have them.

We also got Desperado and Once Upon A Time In Mexico. We had not seen the second, but it was a fun movie. The scene where Salma is about to kick ass shows her at her most curvy, and fuck if she doesn't give Beyonce a run for her money in terms of celebrity bodies.

More significant though was the special features. The director, Robert Rodriguez (he also did the Spy Kids movies, The Faculty and Dusk Till Dawn), is like an independent do-it-all kind of director. He shot Mexico entirely digitally with HD cameras, edited and scored it himself at his house and on a tiny budget. His approach to making a movie is so anti-Hollywood in terms of the "time tested" methodologies and practices. For example, he tends to shoot himself, he uses a minimal crew and now that he's shooting HD, he wings the lighting (no light meters) and just keeps rolling a whole blur of takes because, well, tape is cheap.

I have to say that watching how he works is part of what motivated me to finally get off my ass and write a screenplay. His process is so raw and creative that it's something he can really enjoy.

So much rambling today. I think I'll disappear for an hour or two and visit The Apple Store for shits and giggles today.


More on writing a screenplay

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, February 10, 2004, 8:50 AM | comments: 4

A combination of a dream and still-sleepy thoughts in the shower yesterday morning led me to a good idea for a screenplay. It's a good idea to me, anyway, and if I can flesh it out the way I think it should be, it's going to be a movie.

Who knows if anyone would actually buy it. The biggest hurdle I think is just finding someone who would let me direct it, then cast the actors that I really want, assuming they'd work for almost nothing and for a director that, to this day, has only watched movies, not made one.

If I finish the script and after a year it gets no action, I'll just make it myself. If I can find a couple of volunteer college actors I'll spend a couple of grand and just do it. I've already got Avid at home to edit, I have some basic lights, so all I really need is a better video camera and a good shot gun mic (and a fishpole).

I hesitate to share what the basic plot is because I think it's a better sell when it's done. It's loosely based on my life but not really. If I were to re-do my life in a manner that would make a good movie, this is how it would be.

This really feels like something I want to do. That's good, because the last few days, I haven't wanted to do much of anything. How can a job where you have nothing to do cause you to be so drained?

I'm studying up on how to format a screenplay. Can't wait to start writing.


Grammy reactions

posted by Jeff | Sunday, February 8, 2004, 8:54 PM | comments: 4

OK... here's my streaming Grammy reactions.

I often forget that Prince can play guitar. When he's not busy being weird, he's a hell of a musician. I quickly forgot that though when Beyonce got on stage. Anyone who doesn't think that she is, without question, the hottest woman on the planet right now doesn't like girls. Seriously, she's got everything in terms of looks, and she can sing and dance. She deserved her Grammy.

The Beatles tribute was cool. It's odd how all of my life they've kind of come and gone as far as public awareness, but there's no question that they'll be remembered always.

Very cool to see No Doubt win. That album was excellent, and I got a lot of mileage out of it last year.

Christina's "Beautiful" isn't a great song, but appropriate for all of the shit she's taken about her hair color, piercings and weight. Frankly I like the freaky chicks, so you know how I feel about it.

The White Stripes continue to blow me away. If they tour and swing through Cleveland, I have to see them. They were very much the savior of "real" rock music this year. I can't remember the last time I heard a guitar solo that kicked ass, but on "Ball and a Buscuit," there are actually three in the same songs that I absolutely love.

So the dude from Outkast is nowhere to be found, presumably because he's going to perform, then he shows up, says thanks and walks away? That was kind of low-class and disappointing because I was really pulling for them or Missy for best rap album. Regardless, at least it wasn't given to one of the tired me-too bitches-n-hoes rappers. Fuck am I tired of them.

Amy Lee from Evanescence presented an award. Beyonce might be just raw sex, but Amy Lee is making it cool to be a goth chick. She's so cute and freaky. Steph and I were talking the other day about how there's freaky for the sake of being freaky, as so many high school kids do, and then there's the classy kids and 20 to 30-somethings that have grown up to make it their own kind of thing. We've seen these folks at shows for years, hopefully the giant-pants-short-hair kids will catch on.

JT won an award, and surprisingly managed to handle the whole Janet boob thing in a fairly respectable manner. He seems to be handling fame pretty well so far. You can also tell that he really gives it his all in his performance. He's a real showman.

Blacked Eyed Peas I'm interested in, and everytime I've seen them I get a little bit more interested. They still haven't had that "must have" single, but I do like their sound.

Evanescence scores best new artist. Thank God! I totally agree with Amy Lee's comment that it really took fans to get them on the radio because they're not like the rest of the "dick rock" in radio.

And Fifty Cent... you are a worthless me-too piece of shit and I hope they never let you at another Grammy show. No one will care about you in a few years.

Snoop Dog gets best dressed.

The whole funk thing was cool, tied together by Sam Jackson (did you see Quinten in the background?), but I'm sorry, George Clinton is way passed his prime.

Nice performance by the Foo Fighters. I really think Dave Grohl is a good song writer.

Coldplay for record of the year. I think they're worthy, and a friend loaned me the CD, but I've not yet listened to it. Perhaps now I have a reason!

Sarah McLaclan is way cute again. She's got the greatest chill out music ever.

For fuck's sake. Warren Zevon getting best rock duo/group? Why, because he's dead? White Stripes were screwed.

Album of The Year could've gone to really anyone. Outkast was certainly worthy, and they illustrate that doing something different in the hip-hop realm not only sells records, but gets you critical attention as well. Well done!

Overall, I think music is finally getting interesting again. For people like me that depend on music for drive, that's a good thing.


Productivity in the crapper

posted by Jeff | Friday, February 6, 2004, 9:00 AM | comments: 5

Well, what the hell, I've blogged every other day this week...

I have a lot of things in my head that I'd like to do. I'd like to start yet another Web site, this time for volleyball, I want to expand my code library with certain useful things, like a blog extension for POP Forums, I still want to learn Flash, I want to someday code a game... lots of ideas.

The problem is that I can't do any of this shit at "work," because everything is so locked down that I can't get to my Web server to access stuff. What's worse, the fact that I have nothing to do sucks the life out of me so I'm not interested when I get home.

I realized the other day that there are a lot of things I'd really like to do. I'd like to write a screenplay and direct the "film." I'd like to write a computer book too, though that at least is moving forward to some degree with one publisher. If they go for it, you can bet I'll be a happy guy.

I really want to enjoy the "now' too, but I feel like I live for weekends then don't really do anything but chill out and rest. That's disturbing.

If only I didn't have to generate enough money to maintain the J-Pizzie lifestyle! :)


On gay marriage

posted by Jeff | Thursday, February 5, 2004, 10:24 AM | comments: 5

This big deal being made about gay marriage is fairly stupid.

Let's make something clear. Because two gay people want to be married and enjoy the legal benefits of this status, it will not harm me or anyone else in any way. I've yet to see even one arguement that exlpains how this is harmful to anyone. Some people make the religious argument, but last I checked, we're not bound to any religion here in the US.

Get over it grandstanding morons in Washington. Two gay people getting married does not in any way shape or form change the validity or importance of my marriage. It doesn't trivialize my relationship, why do you fear it will do so to yours?

Fuck, spend your time legislating something that might actually help humanity.


What I can't control will not stress me out

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, February 4, 2004, 9:18 AM | comments: 3

The other night I was pissed off because after reluctantly agreeing to practice a couple of Friday nights, about half of my volleyball kids e-mailed me to say they couldn't do it this week. I was kind of pissed off.

Last year, my assistant coach (I don't have one this year) said to me once after getting irritated at the lack of commitment by some of the kids, "You can't make them care." At the time I just disregarded his comment because it really didn't help. On the way to work today, I remembered that and made a connection to something I told the kids the first day: Don't stress over that which you can't control.

I told them this because athletes seem to spend a lot of time worrying about things outside the scope of their control. They can't, for example, control officials, parents, me, facility conditions, teammates, opponents, or most importantly, the past (namely in terms of mistakes made).

I should be taking my own advice. I can't control what they care about. I can do my best to influence them and guide them, but at the end of the day they make their own decisions.

There are a lot of other things in life we can't control, chief among them being weather and traffic. I certainly know that I let those things get to me at times.

So the plan at practice Sunday is to share with them how important their success is to me, and pretty much leave it at that. I'll also remind them that being up front and honest, even if I'm not going to like what they say, is critical to our success. Beyond that, I have to deal with whatever they do, because I can't control them.


Spam, worms and virii, oh my!

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, February 3, 2004, 8:04 AM | comments: 2

You'd think the world was being brought to its knees when you read about the things on the Internet that are naughty.

First it's about spam. "E-mail isn't useful anymore." Nonsense. Technology to block spam has really matured, and very quickly in the last year if you ask me. If you don't have some kind of filter software on your computer, your ISP or mail server should at their end. My mail server gets very nearly all spam. It catches 150 messages a day for me. I rarely get more than one in a day that gets through. Spam is not a big deal.

Worms I think have generally become a non-threat because at home people are using routers more than ever, so even if they have something vulnerable on their computer, the worms can't reach in to find it.

The latest virus isn't a software problem, it's a people problem. I debated this with a guy in a forum recently. He said MyDoom was Microsoft's fault for their "insecure" e-mail program. Nonsense. If you are stupid enough to execute an attachment sent to you be e-mail that you weren't expecting, you might as well invite the guy who wrote the virus into your home, give him a cup of coffee and sit him down in front of your computer. The software doesn't matter.

So on one hand, John Q. Internet user is getting better about living in a connected world. There are still challenges of course. A lot of people still don't use anti-virus software (which is like going on a slutty sex spree without condoms). Then some software people do use is overly paranoid and keeps normal Web sites from working right (blocking cookies and referrers, for example).

The problems are still more human then technological, if you ask me.


Super Bowl antics

posted by Jeff | Monday, February 2, 2004, 9:36 AM | comments: 5

For the first time I can remember, the Super Bowl this year was actually more interesting than the TV commercials. I mean, right down to the end of the game it was interesting. The only bad part was the first quarter, which was about as boring as watching golf.

This morning on the radio all they talked about was the half-time show. Apparently what we thought was Janet Jackson's boob with a pastie was actually her naked nipple with a "shield" piercing (it's a decorative ring that surrounds the nipple held in place by a bar through the middle).

I say who cares, as the entire half-time show was about as lame as could be, and a disgrace to MTV which had put together some nice shows in years past. Janet: We can tell you're lip-syncing and it's weak. You're better than that.

Nelly sucks. P Diddy is worse. He's an arrogant megalomaniac who has no musical skill of his own. How many 80's songs is he going to do a rap vocal over? Lame lame lame. Rap has become so lame with so many me-too artists. The only folks worth mentioning at the moment are Outkast and Missy. If Eminem and the Beasties could get something out again that would help.

Kid Rock wasn't horrible I guess. Apparently he's taking crap for wearing a flag as a poncho. That guy is so patriotic it borders on being cliche, and people accuse him of being disrespectful? The guy has been in the Middle East more than anyone in Washington for God's sake. Of course, I'll never understand why people get so fired up about flag burning or whatever. I personally think we should celebrate the irony that the very freedom the flag represents allows us to burn it. I mean, isn't that what this country is about, or do we make exceptions for anything that doesn't fall within our personal beliefs? Shit, we tore Afghanistan a new asshole for doing just like that.

The only non-game highlights were Aerosmith's pre-show performance. It's about fucking time they did something other than that lame-ass song from that movie a couple of years ago. Dream On was very appropriate, and they perform it better than ever.

I also liked the Bud spot with the Donkey. That was fun.

Still, for a change, a game that was actually interesting. Congrats to the Patriots.