December 16th, 2006

Barth Gimble facepalms

this moment of humility has been brought to you by the letters F and B, and by the No. 13, baby.

I've had the Beach Boys by way of Frank Black stuck in my head for the last 36 hours or so. (And in a lovely bit of snakeheads eating their heads on the opposite side, I just realized that not only do I have in my musical collection a Beach Boys cover by Frank Black, but also a Pixies cover made to sound like it was done by the Beach Boys in their Smiley Smile days.)

Anyway. The Wikipedia guy I had contacted earlier this week wrote me an apology. If you don't know what that's all about, don't worry, it's over and done with. One of the things that I had told him when the whole kerfuffle went down was that it's always important to remember that on the Internet, the things you say and the actions you take can be observed by anybody and everybody -- and whether or not you know it, someone can be directly affected by what you do too.

And what did I do after taking the moral high ground with all the sagacity of someone who's been there before? I turned around and called Mac Daniel from the Boston Globe out for calling me out for calling the new MBTA web site out for not rendering correctly on my choice of browser. I used words I don't normally use (and I'd check to see how many times I've used the words online in the past, only Googling for 'spatch' and 'douchebag' right now just doesn't seem appealing to me for some reason.) And now it's quoted for posterity in at least one other public venue.


It's always a pain when you learn the lesson after you've already taught it. Hang on to your ego, indeed.

So, in conclusion, this cat would like to wish you all a happy Hanukkah.

PS: I directly blame Little Britain for getting the word 'kerfuffle' stuck in my regular vocabulary. Yeah, I know.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

new york scenes

Here are 18 more phone pictures of NYC, mostly subway signage but some lovely neon and a Debbie Gibson shout-out as well.

random nyc
Taken 12/9 through 12/11.

Now here's one of about a zillion stories I have about three days in Manhattan.

1. Couples Skate

We've been trying in vain to find a spot overlooking the Rockefeller Center ice rink without taking the route you're supposed to take to get down to the prime viewing areas. We end up standing behind a row of giant statue toy soldiers, behind the constantly flapping shiny flags, and can see most of the ice. We've arrived just as they're shooing away the current crop of skaters.

"Couples skate!" Renee jokes. "Couples only on the ice, please!" I echo. But first it is Zamboni time, and I cheer the jolly ice-smoothing machine as it makes a few passes around the rink. A fellow next to me cheers the Zamboni as well; so does a third man further on down the railing. It must be a guy thing.

We're still making "couples skate" jokes when the Zamboni leaves. The music starts up and it's that godawful "All-Time High" song. It really is Couples Skate, apparently, or at least Couple Skate. A well-dressed fellow brings his nervous girlfriend out on the ice alone, and they make a circle or two around the rink as the music plays. I don't even want to know how much he paid to get that moment alone on the ice. And, when a porter skates up bearing a bouquet of roses and hands a small box off to the gentleman, you realize he didn't pay just for a moment of skating without having to weave through the hordes of falling-down tourists.

He gets down on one knee, a difficult thing to do when you're on ice skates and don't do fancy tricks all that often, and opens the box before the woman, who of course immediately registers shock and surprise, and embraces the fellow in a big clinch once he stands back up. The crowd starts to "awwwww" and clap, except for a voice right next to me.


The voice (for benefit of Nanda) belonged to the person holding my hand at the time. I already was smitten with her. But at that point I got smittender.