Thursday, May 29, 2008

Burning Bridges, Breaking Chains

I went ahead and cancelled my parking last week. Naturally, this morning on the way to work my bike chain popped off right at the beginning of the Riverwalk, which means that now that I'm all addicted to riding to work, the bike will be in the shop for a while, waiting for the bike dudes to act like dicks to me for not buying a thousand dollar bike and instead riding my free Target/Wal Mart crapper.

For those keeping count, this makes a TV, an external hard drive and a bike that I've managed to break in a little less than two weeks. If you are a parent, you should probably keep your kids away from me just in case.

But you know what's awesome about riding to work? The Riverwalk. I was going to take some pictures this morning but I wasn't feeling very photographic after walking my bike the whole way.

I had been on Riverwalk once before to watch the 4th of July fireworks, but didn't know how long and awesome it was. You get to ride right next to the water, for downtown it is fairly bum-free, and if you get really lucky, when you go over the overpass thing there'll be a train on the tracks right below you. Sometimes you have to dodge around the office ladies out for their morning constitutional, but it beats driving through the streets (Hey America - that stick on your steering wheel? That's a turn signal. It signals which way you are going to turn.).

Sadly, I think my Riverwalk days are over for a while, at least until they figure out what keeps breaking my chain.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fashion Police

Had some paypal money burning a hole in my pocket (not like it's real money) so I bought me a porkpie hat.

I bought it thinking I'd look like I was in The Specials, but I think that I look more like I'm in special classes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


My all-time favorite stage move has always been when James Brown would act exhausted after giving his all to the audience and would fall to his knees shaking his head in a gesture of I-can't-do-this-anymore, whereupon one of his dudes would drape a cape around his shoulders and lead him offstage, only to have James throw it off, run up and grab the mic, re-engergized by his kick-ass band.

Second place? Probably a tie between the humping the guitar/machine gun guitar and the '70s Elvis karate demonstrations.

In fact, my friend Pat and I got quite a bit of milage joking about how indie rock would be a lot more entertaining with a bit more showmanship (and a good editor). How awesome would it be if Sebadoh would break down mid song, then have a dude put a ratty thrift-store cardigan or horn-rim nerd glasses on Lou Barlow and have him re-energized and ready to (theoretically) rock the house?

Anyway, couple weeks ago I got this Stax Records documentary from Netflix. I put it on and was doing something else while the DVD played. It was pretty interesting, but since I've read a couple books on Stax, I figured I didn't really need to pay attention too much.

Then they show a clip from the Stax 1968 European tour. Sam and Dave are playing "Hold On, I'm Coming." Like most of the live Stax stuff I've heard, the song is much faster and grittier, making you forget all the times your dad's friends felt all Blues Brotherey after a couple beers and would attempt to sing that or "Soul Man."

So the song is ending and getting faster and faster and they're both doing this crazy dance that looks like they're trying to pull up their pants while shimmying all over the stage. As the song accelerates, they're pretty much just yelling "hold on" over and over to each other.

Then one of them passes out. Two dudes grab him and take him to the side of the stage. Then about 10 seconds later he shimmys across the stage to keep screaming out "hold on" some more.

That just might be the greatest stage move I've ever seen.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Zombiefest is Over

The 5th Annual Library Amateur Film Contest is over. This is the one I prepared the least for, freaked out less over and generally didn't do any sort of prep work for at all until this week. And it worked out great. I suppose there's a lesson in there somewhere.

All the submissions were good - you've already seen one, so you know what I'm talking about, and we had 78 people, only a few of which were staff or coerced staff wives.

It was a fairly straightforward presentation this year - no skits or run-ins like past years. Oh. We did have a zombie judge.

We were supposed to be part of the greater Jacksonville Film Festival again this year but at the last minute I noticed that we weren't in any of their calendars or promotional material. You know what? Who needs 'em?

There were a couple mistakes - most of which involved a VHS tape that wasn't rewound all the way. Trying to find the movie on a an ancient VCR while I could feel a crowd getting more and more anxious was no damn fun, let me tell you. Oh yeah, and announcing the winner of the first prize as second place wasn't really a high point, but I'm chalking that up to being more used to a crowd of 10.

Christie said she could tell I was nervous as the MC, although I didn't really feel that nervous, other than the aforementioned VHS problem. It was a letdown finishing up the workday, being all jacked up on adrenalinie and little brownies.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the whole thing. It totally washed the bad feelings from last year's away. Will there be a 6th year? Who knows? I always say each year is the last year, but I'm a bit more optimistic now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

All Within the Sound of My Electronic Voice

Should go to the 5th Annual Amateur Film Fest at the Main Library 2:00 tomorrow. Admission is free, and you get to see the best homemade zombie films ever made, as well as eat some free food.

Here's a teaser:

People with heart conditions and wusses should not attend.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Poochie Show

While running this afternoon I saw 3 or 4 animal control trucks and a couple cop cars parked on a side street. When I got up to where they were, I watched a whole bunch of cops chase down a stray dog with a big net, which I didn't really think happened in real life.

I also saw a thief in a striped shirt and mask running with a bag of money marked with a dollar sign stop to steal a pie cooling on a windowsill. Then the truant officer chased a bunch of kids out of the old swimming hole.

OK, I sort of made up those last ones, but the dog nets are totally true.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I am Iron Man

I finally rode my bike to work today which is about 5 miles, according to the smart computer. I've been planning it for a while, at least since my parking doubled. Eventually I'd like to make it every day, but we'll see what happens.

It only took about 40 minutes to get there, and I surprised myself by not dying. I think I even managed not to smell too bad afterwards, but that's not really for me to say.

Couple things I determined:

I need to get a better seat.

I need to do a bit more research into that whole 'gear' thing. I kept getting the gear where you pedal and pedal and pedal without getting anywhere.

I also need to get a bigger helmet. I have a huge head, full of dreams and smarts, so I look like a gorilla wearing a kid's hat.

Even though I'm a dirty, oily man, I was able to clean up OK.

Riding home against the wind by the river about killed me.

Will I be able to eventually do this full-time, not having to pay for parking or gas and possibly not being so fat? Well, we'll see. With my excellent timing, I started this little experiment about a month before the temperature hits 90s/100s.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Look Out, Maxim!

One of our homeless regulars is starting a magazine. Working title is "Blondes and Jokes."

Just Another Day at Work

I'm sitting at the desk in the abandoned fiction department. This guy (early 20s Black guy with glasses, clean and well dressed but a little off-looking) starts walking around in circles pressing a button on his cell phone over and over to make it beep.

Beep Beep finally makes it over to the desk.

Me: "You need some help?"

Beep: "You're asking that because I'm Black, right? So because I'm Black I need help?"

Beep Beep goes on like this for a couple seconds getting more agitated.

Me: "No, I asked if you needed help because you're standing under a sign that says 'ask here.'

That short-circuted him and he went to the back to read comic books.