Archive for January, 2005

In Which I’ve Had Enough

January 31st, 2005 3 comments

Hbee Inc. Radio is done. Gone. Finished. And I can honestly say that it’s my own decision.

Three times a year, WMFO remakes the on-air schedule. Ostensibly, they do this because students leave the school, students get kicked off the air for not showing up and, IMHO, just to fuck with people.

The new schedule just came out. They changed my Thursday from 6pm to 7pm to Saturday from 10pm to midnight. Thanks, but no thanks.

Here are the issues –

First, and most selfishly, I deserve my slot. As noted previously, for six weeks running, I brought the station up at 6pm, usually for the first time in the day. After I brought the station down, it stayed down until the next day. That’s one hour out of the twenty-four. Probably, I shouldn’t have bothered since the chances of anyone listening approaced zero but I did and call me a martyr or whatever you want, but I want a pat on the back for it. Not a new time slot.

Secondly, the kids miss one crucial fact. Non-student DJs have more structured lives than students. That means jobs, families and other adult things. Our schedules are set. We don’t take a new class load. Our class load stays the same day in and day out unless we get fired or quit our jobs. Stability, then, becomes an issue. I’ve had four different slots at MFO. Every time my schedule changes, I’ve got to rush around and change everything else. Yes, that’s life in the city. I understand that. But –

Thirdly, who doesn’t like routine? I know that when I jump in the car and turn the radio that Bill Bennet will spout right-wing bullshit until I get home or change the channel to Morning Edition droning on or the Coffee House on ERS. These shows stay the same. People depend on them. The kids, though, see very little upside to keeping programs consistent. I’ve had friends ask me if I’m still doing the show because management decided , on what can only be a whim, to switch it to a different day and time.

Fourthly, why the need to fuck with community members? ERS stays on pretty much the same programming because new students apply directly for established shows. (I’m making an assumption here, but it feels like a pretty sound one). When Dolly graduates, Jeffy applies to do The Playground with the understanding that the show plays children’s music. MFO doesn’t work that way. There are no standardardized show, except for maybe On The Town, that I know about. Fine. But if the kids have flexibility and the community members don’t, why not standardize the slots for community members and plug the kids shows around that? This doesn’t mean the community members get all prime slots. I can think of only one community member that wants to take over the station and it’s not me. BUT –

Fifthly, community members keep the station going during the breaks. This is the best part for me. See, MFO is soooo committed to excellence that they don’t care if a DJ goes home during the break! They don’t even ask! Why should they? It’s only dead air. It’s just a hobby and not a real radio station.

Finally, I could live with all of this if, during DJ meetings, they didn’t incessantly talk about how they’re planning on making MFO a force in the Boston music scene. What utter bullshit. All the money spent on goody bags and banners don’t mean shit if the station is NOT ON THE AIR. At the past meeting, they announced that they’d give out small amounts of money for DJs to advertise their shows.

[jaw drop][/jaw drop]

For what? So that I can spend a nice chunk of time writing, designing and printing flyers for a show that will change times slots in a couple of months? For some kid to spend the money and realize that doing radio is drag and stops showing up at the station?

Fucking brilliant.

Anyway – that’s that. I’ll probably feel remorseful in a couple of days. I loved doing the show and the freedom to playing whatever the hell I wanted in whatever the hell order I wanted to. A Jimmy Swaggart hymn followed by “Let the Good Times Roll”. “Friggin’ in the Riggin'” followed by “Pour o pour the pirate sherry” from The Pirates Of Penzance. It was a great, great show. And I’ll miss it.

But not the MFO bullshit.

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In Which My Sister Gets Her Wish

January 31st, 2005 1 comment

There ya go, Sis! Let’s listen to some Doobie Brothers and eat some unicorn chips!

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In Which I Publically Humiliate Myself

January 31st, 2005 1 comment

Probably Stoned

The perm. The Jackson Browne tour shirt. dates this about 1980. Twenty-five fucking years ago.

The more eventful Jackson Browne concert happened three years previously at the Running On Empty tour. Jackson Browne started the show on solo piano. No warm up act. Just him. My friends and I sat behind a group of girls our own age (15-16) who complained about the boring, ugly guy on stage and when was that cute Jackson Browne was coming out. One of the girls threw up. David Leeds (17) tried to put the make on her and, if I remember, actually french kissed her. We kept our criticisms to ourselves since we were smoking his dope and he was driving us home.

Yeah. Good times. Good times.

(I guess this is mostly to say I got the CD, sis! I’m assuming that you wanted to be cropped out.)

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In Which I Have Yet Another New Encounter

January 29th, 2005 No comments

God bless the folks at Shaws (nee Star Market)! They may not stock the items that we want. They may discontinue the items we love. But, gosh darn it, the staff lives to serve!

A few days ago (actually to stock up for this ill-fated weekend) I wandered through the aisles looking for the tops in unhealthy food. After spending seven or so years shopping with small children, I automatically flip down the child seat on my cart. Even without a child, it bothers me somehow to leave it up. Maybe it’s a toilet seat thing. I live in a world of women (two sisters, a mom, a wife, two daughters) and I’m trained that way. Beside, I often grab a muffin (conveniently located at the beginning of a shopper’s journey) and the seat works nicely as a place to put it.

Off I go! Soup? Sure! Since I’m only buying a few things, I put the soup in the child seat. And the Spaghettios. And the Patty Shaped Meal. The Doritos get thrown in the cart proper as they don’t quite fit in the child seat. I get to the meat section and wonder if I really want to buy Italian sausages. Frequently I buy them, make a couple and the rest go to waste. How lazy do I want to be? What’s the ethos I’m developing? I could just make them all and pick thorough out the weekend. Am I up for this?

As I stand deep in thought considering the ramifications of my actions, someone intrudes. It’s not Yoda, but it looks like Yoda. Elderly. Smallish. Ear hair. Somewhat physically twisted, yet benign. And wearing a blue Shaw’s vest.

“Buddy,” he croaks to me, “lemme give ya a tip.”

“Huh?” What kind of tip does this man want to give me? The best kind of sausage? Is he making judgments on the food I’m buying? Is there some brothel in the back of the store?

“See,” he tells me and it’s not like he thinks I’m retarded, but I’m a guy and might not know these things, “that plastic thing is a seat for when ya gotta kid. You don’t need to put that down, ya see. Leave it up. That way your purchases don’t slide around if you’re puttin’ ’em there. See?”

“Yyyyeah,” I say, trying not to sound like I’m talking to a retard. “Good idea. Thanks for that.”

“Noooo problem! Ya have a good night” he tells me and waddles off.

“Yeah. You, too!”

In my late teens and early twenties, this kind of thing happened at least once a day. It stopped (mostly) when I moved to Boston. I’m hoping a renaissance isn’t brewing.

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In Which I Eat A Patty Shaped Meal

January 29th, 2005 No comments

It was the best of times. It was the worst of –

Oh, shit. Someone used that already.

My beautiful wife and children jumped in the car yesterday, leaving me to my own devices for the weekend. I have the house to myself and the TV to myself. Thanks to a kind acquaintance, I now have a nice little laptop that rests perfectly on my lap in bed and no one scowls at me as I tap-tap-tap away. I rented a gory little GameCube game, a “Daddy Game”, I call it. And the food! Pure, unadulterated crap! Spaghettios, Hot Pockets and my first frozen dinner in about twenty-five years! How could this possibly suck?

Three colds ran through our house in the past three months and I missed them all. Except this past one. Thursday night, it tracked me, stalked me and kicked my ass. Yeah. My glorious bachelor weekend now consists of cough syrup and Kleenex, which twenty years ago would have been a party, but now just means I’m ill.

“But, hey,” I theoretically think you say, “Weren’t you just going to lay around the house anyway?” True. Except that, also on Thursday, our RCN Internet service decided that if I was sick then it would be sick, too. Every five minutes, the service drops and restarts.

“But, hey,” you interject* again and I really should make you stop but the fever impedes my judgment and I’m too busy blowing my nose, “You’ve still got some kick ass treats there, buddy!” First, don’t call me “buddy”. Or “Paulie”. I fucking HATE “Paulie”. Yes, I DO have some kick ass treats and the Banquet Boneless BBQ Ribs with mashed potatos and corn looked hideously tempting. My roots live in that food. Frozen everything and not the Trader Joe’s all-organic-ingredients frozen food. Chemical frozen food. Food that survives nuclear holocausts. Food that glows faintly green in dark spaces. The boneless BBQ dinner bills itself as a “patty shaped meal”.

In a futile attempt to deny my illness, I pulled the patty shaped meal out of the freezer and read the directions that I hoped hadn’t changed. “Remove sheet and place in oven on a cookie tray.” Cookie tray? That’s new. You used just place them directly on the rack. Oh, well, c’mere ya little tin foil tray of death! But it was plastic.

Plastic? I’m putting a plastic tray on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven? Shades of Fear Factor. I hope the producers read this blog because, hokey-smoke, that takes some kinda balls. Perhaps I’m too long gone from the pre-fab mainstream but plastic melts, doesn’t it? Or at least it must release some kind of gas. Wow. Disillusionment. Well, I’ve come this far.

23-28 minutes later, I pull it out of the oven. The corn – no, I’m not talking about how the corn looked. I can’t. I just can’t. The mashed potatos came out with nail-sized holes on top of them. The BBQ sauce conjealed even before it left the oven. Damn my wife and her freshly prepared meals! The rib shapped patty meat beckoned like an almost edible sponge. My forked trembled as it easily sliced through the gristle-less patty. Rather than drip, the BBQ sauce (and for some reason I resent capitalizing BBQ in this case) hung suspended off the patty like mucus in sub-zero temperatures. I’d gone to far not to eat it. It tasted like –

Nothing. Maybe it’s the cold, but there was no taste at all. No tang. No spice. No chemical pinch of the taste buds. Neither fish, nor fowl nor patty shaped meal. Nothing. At one point in the three minutes it took to finish it, I thought I tasted something, but it turned out to be blood when I bit my lip.

Oh, but something lay hidden in the semi-solid sauce. Onion powder. A few year ago, I expirienced one in a series of reminders that, despite my best efforts, age caught up to me. It came in the form of onion rings. An hour after eating a plate of (fresh) onion rings, I suddenly felt my chest starting to explode. Heart attack explode. Rather than freak out (although, I did that, too) I searched the data banks and came up with “I went to my doctor and he told me it was heartburn” from some Xantax commercial. And indeed it was heartburn, although it took a couple hours to clear up. The onion powder in – well, who the hell knows where they put the onion powder – reared up and kicked my chest into the vice-grip of heartburn.

So here I am in my glorious faux-bachelorhood. Sick. Spotty internet. Heartburn. And the GameCube game (Solid Metal Gear something or another) absolutely SUCKS. All I wanted to do was fire computer generated guns and watch computer generated flesh explode. Was that too much to ask?

*Interjections show excitement or emotion. They’re generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point or by a comma when the feelings not as strong.

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In Which You Oughta Tune In

January 27th, 2005 No comments

Hbee Inc. Radio infuriates the airwaves this Thursday 1/27/05 from 6pm to 7pm. Pick up the webstream at WMFO and play along with the game that students and adults within a three mile radius of Medford love to play – “WHAT THE FUCK AM I LISTENING TO?”

Outside of that, I’ve got nothing, unless you want to slog through a couple of pages about the precise nature of the shittiness of this week so far. Wanna hear about the flat tire I got on the way to the client I put off on Monday? Wanna hear about the lobby of the Firestone shop that had no heat?

I caught the beginning of Regis Live. That sucked. Just me and some black guy staring at the TV and both of us too cold to reach for the remote. Who came up with the idea for a TV show whose sole purpose lies in the promotion of lame pop culture? Quel meta!

And the bush press conference. Oy. I have a new laptop and really must start carrying it around with me. My handwriting sucks. My favorite moments or rather the ones I can decipher –

bush: We don’t expect that everyone will conform to the American vision of democracy. We do expect that they will conform to the principals of freedom.

What in the name of fag-hating Christ does that mean? We EXPECT? Hey, Mr. I’m-Not-A-Nation-Builder, I know a lot changed after 9/11 but, dude, nobody said anything about your Mom, so chill the fuck out. Here’s a hint – they hate us because you say stuff like that.

In one of the many dodges of the Social Security question, bush invoked the name of Clinton like it was a good thing. Apparently, bush doesn’t have to answer direct question about SS since he’ll take the argument to “the people”, by which he means the investment houses who, tired of bilking the old people of their money, look forward to the new challenge of bilking the young people. Even more “ironicalish”, bush chided Democrats for using scare tactics to denigrate the SS proposal that hasn’t been written yet. FUNNY! Seems to me that Clinton’s healthcare program had the same kinda trouble some years back with folks usin’ scare tactics.

And so we went down the SS rabbit hole

Reporter: Can’t you give us a sense of specifics?
bush: I’m not gonna talk about specifics right now
Another Reporter: Where’s the money going to come from?
bush: Not by raising the payroll tax, I can tell you that.
Another Reporter: But where will you get 2-3 trillion dollars?
bush: I’m not gonna talk about specifics right now

Oh, and when you hear Republicans talk about the budget remember that they regard spending for The War as “emergency spending” and as such, they don’t count it because they don’t know how much it will cost. Just a tip.

bush thinks black people are fine. He’s hired a couple of ’em so shut up.

bush also has a plan to give the babies of American parents who don’t want them to illegal Mexicans immigrants. Or something like that.

And, apparently,

We in the west believe in Western values

Shew! I feel so much better about the white collar crimes I’ve perpetrated. I get to keep my hands!

One reporter told bush about a Jordanian man who got thrown in jail for speaking out against the government. Did bush have any comment in regards to his tough talk about freedom? Well…no. He didn’t know the facts and wouldn’t comment. If the story checked out, would bush have any comment? Shut the fuck up, we like Jordan.
Well, that was more than I’d planned. Wanna hear about…

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In Which I Almost Forgot

January 26th, 2005 No comments

NPR reported today that “two U.S. congressional delegations recently made what have been described as successful visits to North Korea.”

The congressmen assured North Korea that the US wanted to stablize relations with them, that regime change was not an option the US would persue and that we promised not to cum in their mouth.

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In Which I’m At Work

January 26th, 2005 No comments

Yah. Midnight and I’m still geeking away. Grrr. But at least I’ve got my new iPod to keep me company while I revel in what I call “the thrill of the install”. Yeah, baby! I start gettin’ all…well…hot…when that progress bar starts hittin’ 50%. Ooooh, baby that’s it…yeah…right there! Take me to 100, baby! Push that bar! Unnnnnnngh!

Anywho, the night shift at the hospital rocks more than the day shift. At least it’s funnier. (James – you still reading?). A lot of the doctors use Dragon Naturally Speaking, so when the EMTs brought a drunk in, one of the doctors logged the patient in with

Patient is a white male (period). Obviously intoxicated (period). Patient talking to himself (period). Hears voices (period). Exhibiting signs of paranoia (period). Completely fucking crazy (period). A complete fucking nutjob (period).

Songs during this post –
Rum and Coca Cola – Abe Lyman
Johnny Zero – The Song Spinners
Breathless – Jerry Lee Lewis
Angry – Ina Ray Hutton
When I Take My Sugar To Tea – The Boswell Sisters
Stuck In A Pagoda (With Tricia Toyota) – The Dickies
Carnival – Bikini Kill
Me and My Shadows – Ted Lewis (Yowza yowza)
The Money Song – Martin and Lewis

Yeah. Mostly Forties stuff. Born to late, Jackson, I was born too late.

Oooh! 100%! I just splooged!

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Commercial Whoring Ect.

January 25th, 2005 No comments
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In Which Size Does Matter

January 24th, 2005 3 comments

Tomorrow morning, 98% of people with school age children will let loose a collective cry of “NO!! IT CAN’T BE A FUCKING SNOW DAY!!” The other 2% (the home schoolers) will shriek with delight because there’s finally other kids in the neighborhood to play with during the day. Our kids will STILL not want to play with them because we’ve taught them that home schooled children are either right-wing Christian extremists or dangerous socialists.

Snow day suck for parents. We pray for less than six inches. The smaller the better. A foot or more hurts us. We can’t accommodate it. Our fragile schedules break under the weight of snow days. It’s bad enough that our children get sick, but at least the pity factor kicks in and the illness immobilizes the child so we get some work done while the kid naps on the couch. We allow them to watch TV all day since, after all, they’re ill.

Snow days, though, demand active parenting while juggling frantic cell phone calls from clients and/or co-workers who make no effort to disguise the fact that your selfish breeding once again triggered some project, long dormant, to shoot to the top of the priority list.

Oh, you childless bastards. Yes, I might have gotten to sleep until 8:30 this morning for a change. But you get to sleep until 1pm on the weekends. I’ve slept past 9am exactly seven times in the past eleven years. You’re pissed off and jealous because I’m freezing my ass off on some sledding hill while you futilely float schemes to get me to get into work? Buddy, we’re both in Hell. If you wanna switch places and babysit for me, you’re more than welcome to it.

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