Saturday, July 28, 2007

BeckEye's Week in Review...

...brought to you by Time Warner, the beastly conglomerate that finally got off its giant, money-filled ass to restore my service.

I should explain first that my Internet service was actually restored on Wednesday, but I haven't really had time to blog since then. I tried on Thursday, but somehow the computer was registering the current date as December 31, 1969, causing Blogger to not recognize me because, well, neither I nor the Internet existed back then. (I guess that was the closest to my dream of time travel I'll ever get.) Anyway, I couldn't fix it because this is my roommate's computer and he has all the settings locked so that they can only be adjusted by the administrator. Perhaps I seem like the type who might try to sabotage a computer that I use on a daily basis? Whatever...he fixed it, the Internet is back up, I finally got some sleep and now I'm ready to roll. So here is my recap of what's been going on with me all week:

Saturday - Some friends and I headed down to Coney Island for the annual (and final?) Siren Festival. The headliners this year were the New York Dolls, and I was slightly intrigued to see them up close. We only arrived around 5:00, in time for the Brooklyn-based We Are Scientists who are quite good, though somewhat lacking in originality. I really like their song, "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt," and the rest of their songs turned out to be pretty enjoyable. I was a little disappointed in their wardrobe because in all the pictures I've seen of them, they're always dressed kind of geeky, like you might expect of a scientist. Yet there they were onstage, in nondescript t-shirts and pants. Bah. The next act was M.I.A., a hip-hop chick I had never heard of, so my friend S-Ho and I took off for the boardwalk during her set. S-Ho's husband desperately wanted a hot dog, which we promptly returned hour later. What I could hear of M.I.A. didn't persuade me to head back to the insane cluster of sweaty, stinky hipsters any quicker. We got back in time for the New York Dolls set, which was cool even though I didn't know most of the songs. Then, we foolishly rode the Cyclone or, as I like to call it, The Back Breaker. I'd been on it before and should have known better, but the coaster enthusiast in me couldn't resist. My neck finally stopped hurting on Thursday.

After the Siren Festival, we met up with some other friends for drinks at The Belgian Room in the East Village. It's a cool little bar that, fittingly enough, serves Belgian and Belgian-style beers with dirty after-tastes, but fantastic names like Delirium Tremens, Cantillion Geuze and Ommegang. I was in a beer-drinking mood that night, but the first time we were there, I was on a sparkling wine kick. It certainly helped that it was Happy Hour, and since the bartender didn't have any champagne glasses, he filled up a Hurricane glass with sparkling and charged me $3 for it. Now that's my kind of Happy Hour.

As I was heading home, I noticed I had a voicemail from my roommate. He was calling to let me know that we had no cable, Internet or phone service and that the kind folks at Time Warner were being jackasses about it. He tried telling them that we must have had an outage in the area, but they didn't agree. They said maybe they would have a repairman come out on Sunday, but didn't commit to anything.

Sunday - No word from Time Warner. Not that I cared, because I was unbelievably tired. I was supposed to go salsa dancing, but decided to skip it in favor of going to bed early. Maybe not being able to watch Rock of Love sapped me of my will to live?

Monday - I was supposed to go to the Monday night movie in Bryant Park after work which, this week, was The Sting, starring the very yummy and young Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Unfortunately, it rained. So far this summer, the rain has caused me to miss free shows by Spoon and Drive-By Truckers and a classic film. It's also caused me to buy 2 more umbrellas than I need, because it always seems to hit when I'm not expecting it.

Since I still had no TV or Internet, I stopped at Barnes & Noble and picked up some books with a gift card that I've had since Christmas. I realized that reading had recently taken a backseat in my life, which was unfortunate. I bought The Waterworks by E.L. Doctorow, because it appealed to my love of mysteries, and The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy, because it appealed to my love of tales of drunken Irishmen. I started reading The Waterworks on the train ride home and was immediately sucked in. I also bought the new Crowded House CD while I was at B&N. No, it's not a book, but I read the liner notes when I got home.

Tuesday - At work, everyone was talking about Lindsay Lohan's newest troubles. I can't count how many people said something along the lines of, "I feel sorry for her." I just kept quiet so no one would think I was a total bitch, but the fact is, I don't feel sorry for her! There are plenty of young, rich, successful, famous people who haven't followed this clichéd path of self-destruction. Don't get me wrong, I'm just as sympathetic as the next guy. Well, as long as the next guy doesn't have any sympathy for Lindsay Lohan.

I met some friends at a Thai place for dinner around 6:30. They were all going to the White Stripes show at Madison Square Garden. They went thataway and I went solo to see Maria McKee at Joe's Pub. I'd always wanted to see her live, and she didn't disappoint. Her voice was still completely awe-inspiring. From some of her little banter in between songs, I definitely got the sense that she's a very quirky gal. She seemed to have an odd sense of humor that I appreciated...I'd bet that she and I could have some great conversations. She was making some jokes about Britney's recent shenanigans involving greasy chicken, dog doody and a designer dress. I felt so at home. Alas, I didn't get to even meet her because there was another show coming on and we all got the bum's rush out of the venue.

Wednesday - After work, I was going over to Bar Nine in Hell's Kitchen to see a friend's band play. I decided to walk up to 53rd Street and then follow it over to 9th Avenue. As I was getting deeper into Tourist Central, I noticed a huge crowd of people standing outside a building with a small door, including paparazzi and average Joes with digital cameras, all sort of corralled into sections by the police. I figured that they were waiting for play actors or something and continued walking. Then I noticed that it was the side entrance to the Ed Sullivan Theater, and realized they must have been waiting for Late Show guests to leave. I turned around, went back and asked a guy if he knew who was inside to which he replied, "Catherine Zeta-Jones." Well, as you can imagine, my inner lesbian started doing cartwheels at the prospect of seeing the glorious CZJ up close. I hadn't planned on hanging around very long because I don't have much patience for that kind of stuff so, luckily, she came out about 15 minutes later. It was a very brief sighting, but I can tell you people that her beauty is not movie magic of any kind. She is STUNNING. I was hoping we might lock eyes and have a moment, but I'm sure all the camera flashes ruined any possibility of that. That and the fact that, as I remembered later, she and I are both straight.

I got home pretty late that night, so I didn't check to see if we had cable/Internet yet.

Thursday - I checked the Late Show schedule at work, since my CZJ spotting put the thought in my head to go gawk at the departing guests if there was ever anyone else gawk-worthy in the future. Sadly, I discovered that John Travolta had already been on the show last week. Not only did I not get to see and/or manhandle him, but I didn't even see his appearance on the show.

I had absolutely nothing to do on Thursday night , so I headed home to find that all technological services had been restored! Yay! I got to watch a re-run of My Name is Earl that was, as NBC would say, new to me. I also got to watch Don't Forget the Lyrics, which wasn't nearly as fun as I thought it would be. Somehow, TPTB managed to suck all of the charm right out of Wayne Brady and turn him into yet another soulless game-show pod, like Howie Mandel and Jeff Foxworthy. And speaking of pods, I also got to catch up on So You Think You Can Dance, hosted by that animatronic wonder of the UK, Cat Deeley. I realized that I'm not enjoying the show this season as much as last, although there are some truly hot male dancers. I'm totally in love with Pasha. If he goes, I'm sure I'll quickly lose interest. Hmm...unless Neil is still around.

As I mentioned earlier, I tried blogging but found that the computer had been transported back to the late '60s. I asked my roommate, Dan, to fix it when he got home and decided to go to bed, because I had probably had about 5 hours of sleep all week. Anyway, before going to bed, Dan explained how Time Warner had been jerking him around all day. They told him that a repairman would be out to our place between 10-2, and no one had shown by 3:00. When he called, the operator told him that someone had come at noon and no one answered the phone. Dan asked what number they called. Of course, she told him our home number, which is the one that is out of service. Well, he went off on this woman, telling her that he's been there all day waiting, no one has shown, and that he hates them with the heat of 1000 suns. Then he went over to the window and saw a tech over on the next roof. Dan asked the guy what he was doing and the tech told him that there was an outage in the area and he was fixing it. Evidently, Dan completely flipped out and started screaming at the Time Warner minion that he's been trying to tell them all week that there was an outage and they wouldn't listen to him. Guess what her response was? "The computer didn't say it was an outage." You know, I love technology, but it is probably the biggest factor contributing to the deterioration of customer service. All customer service people understand is "what's in the computer." "That's what the computer says." I'd bet that if the CSR's computers all suddenly showed that it was December, 1969, they would all put on bellbottoms and start passing around the bong. And I'd further bet that if you cut a Time Warner rep, they will bleed green slime. Or sparks will just shoot out of the wound.

Friday - Besides work, I did nothing. I kid you not, I went to bed at 7:30 last night. I didn't wake up until 10:00 this morning. Ahhhh, 14 1/2 hours of sleep. That hit the spot.

Today - It's only 2:00, so I haven't done much. I finished The Waterworks, which I would recommend to anyone who likes a good, old-fashioned detective yarn. It's set in 1870s Manhattan, which also makes it great fun to read. I love reading about things that used to be where huge skyscrapers now sit...and especially about areas where virtually nothing was. It's hard to imagine any empty space in this city, so this book was a great exercise in visualization.

And now I'm blogging! At great length! Look at me, you cable company bastards!*

*A modified line from Addicted to Love that always cracks me up: "Look at me, you credit card bastards!" Must be said with a French accent to get the full effect.


Les Becker said...

Welcome back! I saw Catherine Zeta-Jones on Letterman that night. I think *I* might be a lesbian, now...

chelene said...

Too bad you didn't get to meet Maria but you got to see CZJ up close so that kind of evens things out.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Damn, I'd go lesbian for CZJ too...wait a miunte...

...never mind.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Shit, Les beat me to it, excuse me Les.

Bubs said...

That sounds like an excellent week; it seems almost like you had a better week--GASP--without the interweb?

I've always wanted to see Maria McKee--how was that? And I'm envious of your Belgian bar. I've always liked Belgian ales.

Les Becker said...

S'okay, we can share, wp.

Anonymous said...

"...Delirium Tremens..."

Nyuck, nyuck

Mrs. Mike Douglas was my JOV until I espied Sarah Brightman.
Upcoming blog post on this.

You did not exist in 1969? Surely the gametes of your parents did? It's almost the same, innit?

cube said...

I live vicariously through you...

LoraLoo said...

That was one hell of a week. Funny, I'm most jealous of the 14.5 hours of sleep you got!

Travis said...

Well you've had quite the week. And I would imagine a week in which you get a live glimpse of the fantastic CZJ can't be all bad.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm mad at We Are Scientists because they have copy control on their cd. I'll bet the New York Dolls would never do that in a million years.

When Catherine Zeta-Jones and her old man were here a couple of years ago for some skiing fundraiser, one of the journalists from our local paper (who is known to have a good face for radio) called out to her as she passed by, something along the lines of "my husband is cuter than yours". CZJ stopped and they chatted and took a photo together which of course ended up in the paper. And it was an interesting exercise in opposites.

Allison said...

Isn't it so boring when bands show up onstage in the clothes they wore that day? From the pictures of We Are Scientists I always gathered they would have been at least the blazer and t-shirt guys. Ah well.

Slave to the dogs said...

CZJ would be on my lesbian lovelist too. And ScarJo. And maybe JLo. Hmmm, methinks this list is a bit long....

Oh, and tag, you're it. Check my blog.

Dale said...

Sounds like quite a week Beckeye. M.I.A. would have been worth sticking around for, at least if you were me. I would have liked to have seen Maria McKee as well you lucky thing you. Welcome back, no thanks to John Travolta or Time Warner.

Artful Dodger said...

CZJ!! How I drooled over her when I first saw her in "The Phantom" Grrrroooowww!! ^_^ Glad you TW finally kicked into gear and got you up and running. We have the same problem with TW down here too.

Bond said...

What a wonderful recap of your week...yu mean you never thought about going over to the EST and waiting for the guests??? Shame on you!

Tanya Espanya said...

Oh man, you had a great week!

BeckEye said...

Les - Well, there are plenty of fish in the sea. You can't have my woman.

Chelene - It does. It was a magical moment.

WP - Get the sex change first and then we'll talk about this more.

Bubs - It was a fun week...and I really didn't miss the damn internets all that much. Maria was fantastic.

Les - I smell a threesome. I really do. What are these comments, in smell-o-vision?

Rhet - '69? Yeah, that's when I got my first real six-string. Bought it at the five and dime.

Cube - Then you're a vicarious bore. :) Believe me, this was not a "standard" week.

Loraloo - The self-induced coma was quite delightful.

Travis - You got that right!

Barbara - I'm mad at We Are Scientists because they keep yapping about how they're scientists but they really haven't contributed anything to the scientific community.

Allison - Not only boring, but false advertising in this case, as far as I'm concerned!

Slave - You can have the Jos and the Los, but hands off my Jones.

Dale - Maybe someone will create M.I.A. McKee in a lab someday, just for you.

Dodger - Yes, Time Warner sure does suck. But if they ever pick CZJ up as their spokesperson I'll happily agree to another year of service.

Bond - I don't think of a lot of things. I'm getting forgetful in my old age.

Tanya - Yes, 'twas fun!


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

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I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine