9.29.2007

The Shock Doctrine

From the October Harper's:

Alfonso Cuarón, director of Children of Men, and Naomi Klein, author of No Logo, present a short film from Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. An essay adapted from the book will appear in October’s Harper’s Magazine and is available on the web now.

9.27.2007

Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

















Yah, his birthday isn't until this weekend, but we are throwing him a surprise party tonight.

Currently on heavy rotation

Downloaded a new mix this weekend. Been listening to it ever since.

Paint by BPM

I hate trying to describe music, but it's downtempo, rap, jazz, neo-soul, hip hop, and other goodies all rolled together.

It helped spur my urge to purge.

There's tons of other stuff to download on the newly re-designed 217mafia site as well.

9.26.2007

Fall means time for change....

Right now, I'm in the midst of some serious fall cleaning. I've gone through all my books and I'm taking two boxes and a big shopping bag full of books to work tomorrow for people to rummage through and take what they want. The rest will go to B2P.

I'm pitching/taking to Goodwill knick-knacks and stuff "I *should* save" and clothes and blankets and dishes and rags and towels and toys and games and crap.

I'm paring down, letting go, and releasing the need to pack like a rat.

I'm organizing, changing out, switching seasons, removing clutter, and recharging my batteries.

But tomorrow...I'm getting this and this....

i can't help myself

In theory, they will help me do the same things to my computer and car. My computer is clogged up with tons of music and photos. That stuff will go on the external. And my car is filled with CDs with music or photos or work stuff burned on them. The flash drive will help with that.

That's still paring down, isn't it?

9.24.2007

Like I said before....

In an interesting court case, bloggers cannot be sued for libel over content posted by anonymous commenter. Even more interesting is the basis for this lawsuit.

The opening paragraphs of Dalzell's opinion offer some jaw-dropping descriptions of the two colorful players in the case---the blogger, Tucker Max, and the plaintiff, Anthony DiMeo III, the scion of a New Jersey blueberry farm owner who operates a publicity firm.

As Dalzell put it, "Tucker Max describes himself as an aspiring celebrity, 'drunk' and 'asshole' who uses his Web site, www.tuckermax.com, to 'share [his] adventures with the world.'"

DiMeo's lawsuit stems from a series of anonymous postings on the messageboards of Max's Web site that discussed a Dec. 31, 2005, party thrown by Renamity---DiMeo's publicity firm---that Dalzell describes as "the New Year's Eve party from hell."

According to court papers, Renamity held the party in Le Jardin, a restaurant located in the Philadelphia Art Alliance gallery. Planned as a four-hour fête for 325 guests with food and an open bar, the party ran into problems.

As Dalzell described it, "twice as many people appeared. When alcohol and food ran out well before midnight, attendees -- who had paid $100 each -- became disenchanted."

The party soon became a subject of discussion on Max's Web site, and anonymous posters directed a steady stream of nasty remarks at DiMeo.

In his lawsuit, DiMeo claimed that six of the postings were libelous.

Perhaps the harshest of the comments, according to the opinion, was one that read: "'You threw an absolutely disastrous party on New Year's Eve precipitated by false advertising and possible fraud.'" Another said: "'I can't believe no one has killed him yet.'"

Although DiMeo conceded that Max had not authored the comments himself, the suit alleged that Max was nonetheless liable because he had published them.

Hat Tip: Americablog
They get a +1 for getting in a Bill O'Reilly joke as well....

Oh, for the love of cheese....

Tell me this is good news for us pathetic Trader Joe's hopefuls....

Looks like Urban Outfitter's has been looking at non-traditional markets for their new stores. This is an excerpt from an article that ran in an Omaha paper this past April:
The company plans to open at least 38 new stores in the coming year, the Web site says.

"It's clear that to expand, that Urban Outfitters is choosing to go to some nontraditional metropolitan areas," said Fleener, the retail analyst. "I could see where a lot of people say 'Geez, can that market support an Urban Outfitters?' And I'm saying that some of those markets have been underserved for that type of fashion."
Hello? Are you listening Trader Joe's?

*sigh*

9.23.2007

F*&%ing people....

So, I work two main jobs. Primary job entails sitting at a computer most of the time. It's a sedentary job that doesn't require me to interact with the public much *except* when I travel to conferences. Secondary job is catering/bartending for a friend of mine who owns a catering business.

Over the past weekend, I bartended at two catering events.

First, I catered a happy hour function for a local business. Approximately, 200 people attended for free hor-dovers and FREE WINE AND BEER. There were both hot and cold appetizers and three types of wine and two types of beer along with soda and water. I was bumrushed from the start. We busted through 8 cases of beer in 45 minutes.

One individual hit me up for water 8 times and talked to me about her diet---Debbie Sue. Whenever I run into Debbie Sue, she talks to me about life and dating. I'm always polite to her, but I have a hell of a time not looking at her slipped wig or painted-on asymmetrical eyebrows or smudged lipstick. This time, her badly painted nails were difficult to not stare at.

In addition, we ran out of white wine and beer and had to purchase some more. One woman cursed at me even though I told her we had two other kinds of wine and would have the white in about 10 minutes. Once we got the back-up wine and beer, people started double-fisting it so they wouldn't get caught without alcohol again.

While the melee was going on regarding the alcohol, we later discovered that someone (or some people) were eating the fruit and returning the munched-on watermelon rinds and half-eaten strawberries to the tray rather than using a plate or napkin to dispose of the waste.

Ick.

The kicker was that this was a *high-end* event. I wore the classic catering uniform and half the crowd was in suits and dresses. In other words---we are talking real money here. Granted, the majority of people were nice and friendly, but there was a high asshole-quotient at this function. I suspect the free alcohol brings out more freeloaders which always carry a sense of entitlement with them. It's not specific to the crowd, but rather more because of the nature of the event. Get as much as you can when people give it away. Most events are portion-controlled---you average out so many pieces per person. If you end up with a lot of freeloaders eating 20 portions, it begins a sort of "free food panic" that can spiral out of control when you throw alcohol into the mix. This event was a prime example of that.

The second function was a wedding reception of 250 people. I bartended this event which had free beer, wine, and soda plus a cash bar for mixed drinks. The wedding was between two people from small towns surrounding C-U. The bride and groom were in their mid-twenties as was a large portion of the folks at the reception. This crowd was very fun and lively. Weddings are always a good time.

We busted two kegs in 5 hours. We knew it was coming so we ran to pick up more beer. There was about 5 minutes in which we *didn't* have beer, but we still had wine and mixed drinks. The difference in reaction was dramatic. Most were prideful in the fact that they had killed two kegs. It was cause for celebration! And, since there was only 1.5 hours left til the event was over, we bought cases of cans rather than another keg which *probably* won't have been finished off.

They loved it. "Very sensible," and "That's probably a good idea," were the responses. It kinda helped make up for a *very* long day and the bad mood the previous evening's event had put me in. I think part of the difference between this event and the previous event is that people actually had personal relationships with each other at the reception while the happy hour was more anonymous in nature.

People can be completely bewildering. I love catering because it gives me a chance to people-watch and I get to put myself in different environments in a *very* unobtrusive way. When you are catering an event or waiting tables or working a checkout counter or selling stuff to the public, you get to blend into the background and observe people live their lives.

Sometimes, it's depressing and sad and infuriating.
Sometimes, it's interesting and fun and enlightening.
Sometimes, it's both.

9.19.2007

Boy, all those Freeper threads are gonna pay off now!

Dan Rather Files $70 Million Lawsuit Against CBS
Mr. Rather, 75, asserts that the network violated his contract by giving him insufficient airtime on “60 Minutes” after forcing him to step down as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” in March 2005. He also contends that the network committed fraud by commissioning a “biased” and incomplete investigation of the flawed Guard broadcast and, in the process, “seriously damaged his reputation.” As plaintiffs, the suit names CBS and its chief executive, Leslie Moonves; Viacom and its chief executive, Sumner Redstone; and Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News.

...

Instead of directly vetting the script he would read for the Guard segment, Mr. Rather says, he acceded to pressure from Mr. Heyward to focus instead on his reporting from Florida on Hurricane Frances, and on Bill Clinton’s heart surgery.

Mr. Rather says in the filing that he allowed himself to be reduced to little more than a patsy in the furor that followed, after CBS — and later the outside panel it commissioned — concluded that the report was based on documents that could not be authenticated. Under pressure, Mr. Rather says, he delivered a public apology on his newscast on Sept. 20, 2004 — written not by him but by a CBS corporate publicist — “despite his own personal feelings that no public apology from him was warranted.”

...

Over the next year, Mr. Rather would have eight segments broadcast on the main “60 Minutes” — including reports that took him to North Korea, China and Beirut. While that would seem to be a substantial portfolio of work, Mr. Rather notes that other correspondents had more than twice as many reports appear on the program during the same period, and that several of his reports had been effectively buried, broadast on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when far fewer people than usual were likely to tune in.

“He was provided with very little staff support, very few of his suggested stories were approved, editing services were denied to him, and the broadcast of the few stories he was permitted to do was delayed and then played on carefully selected evenings, when low viewership was anticipated,” the filing contends.

I'm hoping Rather will "beat [CBS] like a rented mule."...

9.13.2007

Just another excuse to moblog

I don't blog about work much (mostly because half the people I work with read this blog), but I do travel to conferences during the fall to sell books. This weekend, I'll be in Carbondale. Next month is South Bend and Knoxville.

I hope to make it back in time attend a friend's post-wedding reception party Saturday night.

I've been asked to photoblog the post-wedding reception party because some people can't attend, so when you see a bunch of photos on here from late Saturday night, that's what they are from.

I'm sure the quality of pictures will be proportionately opposite to the amount of beverages I imbibe. I apologize in advance.

;)

9.12.2007

I guess I won't be flying Southwest....

First, there was this.

Then, comes this.

Apparently, they need to add "boobs" to the list of banned items on airplanes....

Half my pants would be illegal

I find it hard to believe that this is the most pressing issue in Danville right now....

Gimme More

If you don't have cable (and I know several of you *don't*), Brit-Brit opened up the VMAs on MTV Sunday night. Unfortunately, Britney was sporting some sad extensions and wasn't really up to her usual performance standards. I'd link to the video on YouTube, but every time I find one, it gets pulled for copyright reasons.

However, some guy called Chris Crocker has some video up entitled:

LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!



I heard Britney's new song on the radio tonight as I drove home from work. They played bits from this video over the top.

9.11.2007

You'll never look at minivans the same again....

Since Leeanthro teased me about not writing lately, I thought I'd share a tidbit *and* an obnoxious idea with you all.

A few days ago, when driving back from lunch on campus, we saw a bus that had a scrolling light display with "iStop. iLook. iLive." And my friend said, "Right, because if iPhone or iPod, iDie."

Flash to today, driving back from lunch with her and another friend. I'll leave names out to protect identities. Both are in their thirties (as am I), mothers, drive family cars, etc. We are driving down Lincoln Ave. and stop at the light at Lincoln and Green. A guy is walking through the crosswalk talking on his phone. He entered the crosswalk late, paid no attention to his surroundings, and continued to be oblivious when our light turned green---and he was still in the middle of the intersection. He didn't hurry to get out of traffic. He didn't even *look* at the cars.

So we did what any other adult would do---we heckled him.

"Get off the phone!"
"Not even gonna *try* and get out of the road?"
*Honk Honk*
"Real smart, dude!"

Afterwards, it occurred to us---maybe that's what people need. A wake-up call.

Get out of the road.
Pay attention.
Are you *trying* to get injured?
Get off the phone.
Turn down the music.

Next time you see someone trying to kill themselves, wake them up. They probably won't thank you for it, but they should....

Even though I don't go to Walmart much,

I really feel like I'm standing Behind the Counter when I'm reading these stories of customer service *hell*....

9.10.2007

More on Margaret

Regarding my earlier post on Downtown Margaret, I found something on openingbands.com posted by mikeingram:
the story that she told someone first-hand is that she approached a car asking for the usual $2, and the man inside said something to the effect of, "well, i don't have two, but what would you do for twenty?" she said, "anything you want," or something.
In addition, I also found this link to video of Margaret talking about many things---including the trespassing charges I found on the Circuit Clerk page.

Fab Four Meme

Leeanthro tagged me for the "Fab Four" meme. I resent her implication that I've been slacking on the blog front lately---I mean, hey, I ain't posting pics of my ties or anything....

;)

4 Jobs I’ve Held
  1. Lifeguard/Swim Instructor. I *loved* this job. For four summers, I taught Red Cross and private swim lessons and sat in the sun for *money*....
  2. Bartender. Mostly small places or dive bars. I like to control a room.
  3. Waitress. There's really too many places to list---Pickles, Round Barn, Joe's Brewery, Lone Star....
  4. Print production / page layout / compositor / typesetter / whatever-you-call-what-I-do. This is what I have done for the past 10 years. I take someone else's content and put it together and have someone else print it. Voila! Paycheck, please....

4 Films I Could Watch Over and Over

  1. The Matrix. It's stunning on every level.
  2. Dogma. Being raised Catholic really helps when watching this gem. Kevin Smith is the shit.
  3. Vertigo. My *favorite* Hitchcock movie and one of my overall favorite movies.
  4. Any Blade movie. Great action, stories, special effects.

4 TV Shows I Watch

  1. Angel (reruns every weekday mornings on TNT)
  2. Nip/Tuck (a *very* adult show)
  3. Lost. Well, when it's *on,* I watch it. And, yes, I'm salty about it.
  4. The Hills. Not much redeeming value in any of these shows, is there?

4 Places I’ve Lived

  1. Watseka, IL. My dad still lives there.
  2. Danville, IL. I only lived there a for a few years during middle school.
  3. Loda, IL. My grandma had a lakehouse there on Bayles Lake and I lived there for a year or so.
  4. Champaign-Urbana, IL. So sue me, I'm a local....

4 Favorite Foods
  1. Cheese. Except nasty, nasty Limberger, I like 'em all.
  2. Tom Yum Noodle Soup Beef from Basil Thai on Green Street. Absolutely the most awesome soup. I eat it regularly.
  3. Sushi. I particularly like the Mackerel from Kamakura, but Ko-Fusion has some good stuff. Haven't had sushi from Miko, but had some good stuff from Kobe in B-N.
  4. Beef. Yah---beef. Steak, prime rib, burgers, whatever. If it's dead cow, I'm eating it.

4 Websites I Visit Everyday
  1. AirAmericaPlace messageboard. I helped create the board with total strangers about 3.5 years ago when Air America first launched. I and the others wanted to help support progressive talk radio, so we had free audio archives of all the shows from Day One, we did blogs for Laura Flanders, Unfiltered, and Ring of Fire. Things have changed in all that time, but AAP is still doing well.
  2. Bloglines. Still haven't gotten into Google Reader.
  3. MySpace. Yah, MySpace---gotta problem with that? Helps me remember birthdays and upcoming event dates.
  4. www.ucdnb.com. I don't remember how I found this local messageboard anymore, but I lurked for a while and now I post sometimes. It's mostly local djs giving each other shit, but it's the most active local board I've found. (I'm not counting Illiniboard, which is a *zoo*....)

4 Favorite Colors
  1. Green. It's supposed to remind you of nature and be calming.
  2. Red. I *love* a red shirt.
  3. Purple. I've always really like this color.
  4. Orange! Now if I could find an awesome orange shirt that didn't make me look like I have jaundice or paint stripes on a road for a living.

4 Places I Would Love to Be Right Now
  1. Lying on a beach napping in the sun with a cool breeze blowing against my skin to cool me between sips of my yummy frozen drink.
  2. In Vegas playing Hold 'Em.
  3. Hanging out with all my college buddies, playing cards, having adult beverages, and harassing each other mercilessly.
  4. At a Cubs game.

4 Names I Love But Would/Could Not Use for my Children
  1. I
  2. Have
  3. No
  4. Clue. Sorry---I know it's cheating, but I've never thought about this before and it would take me some serious time to answer this one.

I'm tagging the following four people for the Fab Four meme:
  1. gnightgirl
  2. matt
  3. sagefool
  4. mrscake

9.05.2007

Got a Facebook account?

Saw on Lifehacker today that soon search engines will be crawling Facebook. One of the things I don't like about Facebook is that there is a *lot* of personal info on a Facebook profile.

So...if you don't want your stuff available for Google searches and whatnot, dig out your password, log into Facebook, and change your privacy settings.

9.04.2007

Anyone else catch this?

In today's N-G, there was an article about four women arrested in a prostitution sting last week in Champaign.
Arraigned Friday on misdemeanor charges of prostitution were Margaret Freeman, 57, who listed an address in the 400 block of North Third Street, Champaign;....
Is this "You got two dollars?" Margaret?

Anyone know?

Seems like it might be. I looked this woman up on the Circuit Clerk page and there is recent charge of walking in the street and a couple trespassing charges. I've been approached by Downtown Margaret a million times (who hasn't?), and panhandling, trespassing, and walking in the street sound like her, but prostitution?