So last Friday, several of us arranged to have the afternoon off from work, the point being to visit Six Flags in New Jersey and ride Kingda Ka. Rain put the kibosh on that plan, so instead we went to see Wallace & Gromit, downed some food and much drink at the Westside Brewing Company, and then ambled over to the American Museum of Natural History to catch an evening laser show at the Hayden Planetarium.
While a few of our number entered the museum to get in line, a few othersand I'm not naming names hereslipped across 81st Street to a nearby liquor store. Thus it was that a good friend of mineand I'm not saying who, except to remark that he has been known to moonlight as a man of the clothslipped me a small plastic bottle as we waited in the antechamber to the planetarium. Said bottle, upon examination, turned out to be a diminutive container of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
So it was that, as we enjoyed a DJ mix by Moby and space-tastic visuals that were rather more highly evolved than the laser shows I used to see as a youngster, I sneaked little nips from my JW bottle. Beside me, another unindicted co-conspirator who shall remain nameless except to say that I'm married to her, was taking hits from a darling little bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream. Reportedly the planetarium staff were keeping a close eye on our group, though I was rather too absorbed in the various and sundry spectacles to notice.
So this morning on the way to work, I put my hand in the pocket of the coat I hadn't worn since Friday, and what did I discover? A second, yet unopened JW minibottle. (Yes, just the thing to find in one's possession on the way to the subway and the office. Yeesh.) My good friend the reverend had slipped it to me as we left the planetarium. "For the ride home," he said.
I'm not sure whose adolescence I'm reliving, but it sure isn't mine.
Casually browsing Amazon, I came across this user review for Daryl Hall's solo album Can't Stop Dreaming. It's the most sublimely ridiculous thing I've read on Amazon:
I am a huge John Oates fan. It should be clear to everyone with ears that work properly that Oates carried Hall for years and never once complained about it. Oates is in that class with Richard Marx, Howard Jones and Michael Bolton as the true musical influences for all of today's music. So how does Hall show his appreciation for all Oates has done? He goes and records "She's Gone" without Oates! Why don't you just bring Oates out on stage and run over him with a motorcycle for 2 hours. That would be like Kitt trying to do a lifetime movie without Hasselhoff and pawning himself off as the star of the show. Hall is so full of himself that he looks at Oates as a necessary evil to have along on his quest for world domination. Hall is a very dangerous man. If he would do this to Oates, would you let him watch your kids? I sure as heck wouldn't. I would let the frontman for A-Ha watch me kids in a heartbeat because I know AHA keeps things real, but Hall would probably just spread anti-Oates propaganda until my kids thought Oates was responsible for Chernobyl. Don't buy this, you'll only encourage his wanton behavior.It should be noted, by the way, that Can't Stop Dreaming is an album that was issued in Japan only in 1999, and only received an American release in 2003, on the heels of the Hall & Oates comeback album Do It for Love.
|Fashionista 59% Tastefulness, 46% Originality, 55% Deliberateness, 38% Sexiness|
|[Tasteful Original Deliberate Prissy]
One is certain: you have great taste and plenty of ideas. You have clearly defined beliefs about what's good and what's bad in fashion but they are far from banal. Stylish and imaginative, you prefer to inspire admiration than to shock and you mostly succeed. Even if sometimes you'd like to have more courage to put on something absolutely outrageous you do great job in creating a unique look that others look up to. There is a possibility that you work in the fashion industry. If you don't, perhaps you should.
The opposite style from yours is Bar Cruiser [Flamboyant Conventional Random Sexy].
All the categories: Fashion Enemy Bar Cruiser Kid Next Door Sex Bomb Hippie Kid Fashion Rebel Fashion Artist Catwalk God(ess) Librarian Sporty Hottie Office Master Uptown Girl/ Boy Brainy Student Movie Star Fashionista Glamorous Soul
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Fashion Style Test written by mari-e on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test|
Speaking of which, the basement disaster has made Laura and me feel better about the fact that we have to move before the middle of January. Yes, the landlord managed to sell the house for right around his megabuck target. Bully for him, you know? Twelve days on the marketthe realtor only showed the place once, and even then the apparent buyer only looked at the back yard. This is not the action of someone who plans to fix up the house and continue renting it out.
So our landlord is a freshly minted millionaire, and we're moving. C'est la vie.
or, It's No New Orleans, But It's OursI arrived home in Queens last night at about eight, leaving the cab and making my only slightly tipsy way down the way to the backyard. And that's when I heard a most disturbing sound, a good deal louder than the incessant rain itself:
Like many yards in the region, there were several inches of water in ours:
The rushing I heard was water pouring from the yard into the stairwell down to the back basement door under our deck. The water in the stairwell was already up to the middle of my shins.
Laura was out, so I made my way inside, let the delighted dog out back, brought the delighted dog back in, dried her off a bit, cleared the crap piled in front the basement door, and made my way downstairs. Sure enough there was a couple of inches of water in the basement, and the lowest tier of our storage boxes down there were getting soaked. There's also a basement apartment, and while it didn't look like the water was in Charlie's apartment yet, I got the upstairs neighbors going on the task of tracking him down by cell phone.
I called Laura, who advised me to check the drains outsidewhich had apparently been getting clogged with leaves earlier, though the stairwell had been fineand promised to come right home. When I got back outside, the water in the stairwell was nearly to my knees:
The drain in the stairwell wasn't clogged, just overwhelmed, as was the one on the patio. Laura arrived home shortly and joined me in the task of sorting the wet stuff in the basement from the dry, restacking the dry atop waterproof objects like drink coolers and old air conditioners, and hauling the wet stuff out front in contractor garbage bags. (I also hauled out a huge stack of Charlie's old dry newspapers that had gathered by his apartment door, some dating to 2003.) Among the losses were a whole lot of books, though we tried hard not to look and see which ones they were.
By the time the hauling was done and we both collapsed, the rain had slowed and most of the water in the basement had drained away. If it floods again today, our stuff is likely safeunless we end up with a foot or more in the basement this time.
We still don't know about Charlie's apartment, though. A friend of his finally reached him by cell phone, only to be told he was working late and couldn't be bothered to leave. I hope he didn't step through his front door into a pool of water, and especially hope he didn't step into a pool of water containing any live electrical equipment. I wouldn't put it past him. He's been known to turn off the power to the entire house when trying to turn a tripped circuit breaker back on.
So, for some weeks now, the slide latch on the inside of one of the two stalls in the men's room on the floor of the building where I work has been broken. The little knob that screwed into the tongue was prone to fall off, and then there would be nothing to keep the tongue itself from sliding right out of the latch and falling on the floor. I had myself reassembled this little mechanism many times in the past, but then came one sad day in July or August when the parts were nowhere to be found. Now one could only hope to find both stalls empty upon entering, and therefore be able to choose the one that still did latch.
Now, for the past few days, upon losing this perverse race and having to enter the unlatchable stall, the first thing I've seen upon entering said stall is a toothbrush that some unfortunate left sitting atop the toilet paper dispenser. For days, the forlorn toothbrush had not moved. I had, in fact, vaguely considered leaving a note for its owner, should he ever arrive to reclaim it, suggesting that it be boiled thoroughly before its next use, or preferably just thrown away.
Yesterday afternoon, however, upon entering the stall and still seeing it there, I had a new thought. I looked at the toothbrush. I looked at the latch. I looked at the toothbrush. I looked at the latch. I wasn't sure the handle of the toothbrush was flat enough for my purpose, but there was nothing to lose by trying. So I tried.
And by God, I latched that stall.
I was listening to Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" just now, and for some reason one of the backup singers on the chorus caught my ear. After a couple of more choruses, I was sure I was hearing Mick Jagger.
Google to the rescue. Sure enough.
(P.S. I'm listening to a playlist of insult songs just now.)