Wednesday, November 06, 2013
One of my neighbors asked a favor. They know I work from home and asked that I let into their apartment delivery people with a new sofa for them. Basically being unable to come up with an excuse why I couldn't do so, I said yes. I asked them to let the delivery people have my number so I know when they get here and they let me know the timeframe.
So the delivery takes place. The sofa isn't just a sofa, it's a sectional monster that would look bulky in, say, the departure lounge of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, Grand Central Station, or perhaps Utah, never mind a medium-sized apartment. The delivery people can't get it into the lobby- it won't fit into the elevator and can't be manoevred up the one stair from the lobby.
After much hazzerei the delivery guys manage to cart this mauve chenille dinosaur down the alley and around to the back, and without smashing any light fixtures or having coronaries deposit it and the ottoman (itself almost the size of a Honda) in the living room. My neighbor hadn't really made room for the behemoth so it was more in the middle of the room than against the walls, but I wasn't going to fool with his stuff and neither were the now-sweating people from Bob's House of Oversized Furnishings.
I certainly wasn't going to tip them (since I wasn't left any money to do so, and I wasn't even invited to the party that the new furnishings were being premiered at) but I did give them some bottled water I had in the icebox. It's only fair and only human.
Come this evening I get an email from the neighbor. Not "thanks for doing this, I owe you a drink." Not "thanks for doing this, please come to the party." No, I get "Omg they made the couch wrong! The L shape is on the wrong side!! :("
My response? "Oh dear. I guess you should have been here after all." After all, if you choose to have a sectional that could be used as an emergency landing strip by small aircraft wedged into your apartment, your sanity is the thing I'm going to be questioning first, not your decorating abilities..
Posted by tmp00 at 8:13 PM
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I wrote on the five-year anniversary: "They were not beloved when they were built, indeed they were seen as dinosaurs: the last gasp of urban-planning gone bad. They were in a sterile plaza that demolished the street grid of Lower Manhattan, a plaza so windswept that navigating it was nigh unto impossible. As an object, the cool beauty of the twin towers was successful as art, as a building it was less successful.
But I came across this image and it reminded me of how lovely the towers were, and on the anniversary of the horror that consumed so many lives, I thought a short elegy to their beauty was apt."
Posted by tmp00 at 12:53 PM
Thursday, August 29, 2013
From 8 years ago, my memories of Katrina.
If I only had a heart........
Many of you know that I don't have the closest relationship with my siblings. I have one sister who stayed back in Massachusetts, who seems perfectly keen on never speaking to either my brother or me again. I figure that whatever reason she has for this is her reason, and I don't press- if there's some wrong that I did, since I don't know what it is, an apology would sound pretty false. My brother and I have a more cordial relationship, but we aren't excactly close. I call him or he calls me every six months or so, and we usually chat desultorally about stuff until the conversation just sort of peters out. I've always told myself that there's the family that you are born to, and then there's the family you make. I have the family that I made, and frankly, I'd rather spend holidays with them. Not to say that I never want to see my brother face to face (or, god willing, face-lift to face); we're just comfortable where we are. So it was with more of a sense of duty ("Will I look like a complete asshole if I don't make that phone call when this hurricane I vaguely heard about hits near them? Uhhhh, Yup!") that I picked up the phone and hit speed dial. Bob was there, he and his wife were fine, they were not going to evacuate. The State of Mississippi said they needn't, apparently, and since Bob volunteers for the fire department in Bay St. Louis, he also felt he'd be needed. Bob is like that- he was that way as a kid, too. He wanted to be the one to charge into the disaster and help. I was the one who wanted to charge into Bergdorf Goodman, and well, charge. After about a half an hours talk about gadgets, cars, and other stuff, he signed off with his usual "love you, Bro"
When I woke up the next day and went into work and saw the reports of the damage, I experienced something that I have never experienced before and hope never to do so again: complete blind panic. Despite the fact that my brother and I had never best buddies, and had a realtionship that was pretty much covered by twice yearly phone calls and Christmas cards, I was totally pole-axed by the idea that he and his wife could have been washed away in the storm surge. Adding hellish gloss to this was the fact that technology managed to not only fail (no phones land or cell) to alleviate my dread, but to exacerbate it (live, clickable satellite photos showing the devasted coast of Missisippi). For days I plodded through my tasks at work, staring at that stupid screen, hating everybody who was asking me to give up an atom of my precious time to focus on anything but my needs (well, more than usual, anyhoo) Hating all of the pundits from FEMA who were sitting on their asses and turning away aid. Hating (even and yet more) our President, who did his Crawford version of Nero, strumming his guitar and eating birthday cake while New Orleans flooded. I didn't want to tell anybody about it, since I honestly felt that I would burst into tears at the mention; when one of my co-workers got it out of me I almost did. Lucklily, that last day (Friday) came news from a ham radio operator that my brother and his wife were safe. I've never wanted to do pretty much anything with a ham radio operator, but if I hit the lotto, dude, I am totally buying you a car. I've even spoken to my brother, at the Ramada Inn they are in. Lost everything, but they're alive, and insured.
There's a scene in the movie "The Women" where Joan Crawford tells Norma Shearer that Joan won't be able to break up Norma's marriage without her help. (Paraphrasing)"Not because he isn't crazy about me, he let's that old-fashioned sentiment put the indian sign on him"
It certainly put the indian sign on me real good......
On the funny side, my brother always painted Bay St Louis as being the back of the Bayou- Bob always wanted to appear as down-to-earth as he could get. Having been nearly wiped off the map, I've learned a lot about the town: it's Nan-freaking-tucket with a drawl. Loads of cute shops and antebellum manses (sadly, now heavily damaged). I used to think about it practically hearing the theme from "Deliverance" in my head. As one of my friends said, "Tom, I met your Mother, and apples just don't fall that far from the tree...."
Love you, but you're busted, Bro
Posted by tmp00 at 10:59 AM
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Posted by tmp00 at 5:46 PM
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Posted by tmp00 at 8:47 AM
Monday, June 03, 2013
Back in the day when GM was struggling, one of the true believers cut some footage into a short film that I believe was shown at a in-house gathering. It was so good it made it to the internets and I believe to broadcast. It was perfect- it showed in a brief, snappy way what the company had achieved and where they were going:
Then the marketers decided that a sequel was necessary. I hope the original people didn't have anything to do with it. I'd like to think that some department above them thought they could do better, because the second one was everything the first wasn't: bloated. self-referring, celebrity-driven, obvious in it's use of stock footage and worst of all, more about self-congratulating crap than about the promise of the product coming up. See below:
But I have to write that the best commercial for a automaker in the past 20 years was in my opinion the Cadillac commercial "Moments". See below:
Those Saarinen staircases of the design center and the jewel-faceted cars. Cole Porter and rappers. Movie premiers and a kid clutching a model '59. Brilliant. I think it should be up there with the Apple "1984" ad in that it's telling people this is the new Cadillac. A company that knows where they've been and know where they're going.
As an ad for a brand it should be studied in marketing classes.
Posted by tmp00 at 9:26 PM
Monday, April 29, 2013
Jason Collins came out.
I'm glad for him personally and happy for what that might mean for LGBT people in sports. I am glad that the President even phoned him to express support. While I am sure that he's no going to be asking me out anytime soon (although Jason I am single and like tall guys.. just sayin') I do have do ask what's the fuss about? He's gay. So am I. So are millions of people on the planet. We live here, we do our jobs, and we contribute to society. We're in Congress and we collect your trash. Sometimes we don't do your hair- we tune up your car. Or sell it to you. Or design it for you. We're your co-workers. We're your friends. We're your family. We won't get a phone call from the President congratulating us on our courage coming out; yours would be enough.
Posted by tmp00 at 8:41 PM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
One of the things I clearly remember is Jackie navigating. He's plant his butt between Dad and Mum with his eyes on the road and his nose in the AC vent, scouring the terrain for any objects he might have to warn us puny humans against.
Except when he'd fart.
In the seconds before we could smell it, we'd know it was coming- Jackie would decide that the best place possible to be in this rolling living room was in the waaaaaay back, and this was the sign to roll all the windows down. Even the tailgate. even at the risk of exhaust entering the cabin. Because while exhaust can poison you Jackie's farts could melt your face.
Of course, in retrospect it didn't help that we would insist that Jackie had his own cone at the Tastee Freeze like the rest of us (he preferred butter pecan). Jackie at least had the good taste to look a little abashed.
While I know that this era of strapping the kids and the pets and ourselves in is the safest way to be (and I never even sit in a car without a belt) I do have a sense of nostalgia for the bad old days where "climb over" was common and farting unfettered poodles could drive a family outing.
image: wikipedia commons
Posted by tmp00 at 10:48 PM
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I loved it, but wish it had been about half the size of what was served. It wasn't one of those Cheesecake Factory portions that should be serving six, but I didn't come near to finishing it, and knowing myself I likely never will, even though I did take the rest home.
With all the talk about the obesity epidemic I kind of wish places did half-sized entrees. Wheeling out a plate the size of a truck tire heaped with food may make people feel they "got their money's worth", but giving me something that is a third the size at half the price will make me comfortably full, save food and money being wasted and just generally make more sense.
Image: my iPhone
Posted by tmp00 at 9:16 PM
Friday, February 08, 2013
Posted by tmp00 at 9:49 PM