October 4th, 2004

Atacama

A quick note to music writers everywhere:

Yes, Bob Dylan is about to publish Vol. 1 of his autobiography.

Yes, I hear he wrote a song back in the Sixties that maybe you listened to once, high on acid, at a People's Park protest. Maybe you were making out on a brown corduroy couch at Swarthmore College. I don't really care either way.

No, Bob Dylan is not "the most influential cultural figure now alive."

To most of us, he's just a tired old windbag who crapped out long before Shot of Love. Please, spare us this "culturally relevant" bullshit. Especially post-Renaldo and Clara.

Thank you.
Atacama

On the difficulty of saying "It's OK"

Last night, I snuggled up against the marmot on the comfy new couch to watch a movie.

It's been a while since I first saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I was lucky enough to see it in the theater with a bunch of folks from the MSN Mobile test team... well, lucky in the sense that work paid for the tickets, but also kind of unlucky because the movie pretty much reduced me to emotional rubble. When it was over, I'd spent about half an hour losing it in the dark, but when we got outside, it was pretty clear that that I was the one responsible for all the snuffling and seriously unpleasant snorting... hard to hide those red eyes in daylight. To my surprise, everyone else from work pretty much intensely hated the movie, thinking it was a boring piece of crap. [I suppose there is some truth to Microsoft employee stereotypes.]

Anyhow, the same damn thing hit me again last night. I can't put my finger on exactly what's so upsetting about that movie... but the first wave of wracking sobs hit in the scene where Joel finds himself searching for humiliating memories. He's playing in the yard with some other children... well, he's actually about to kill a wounded bird with a hammer, and the other children are taunting him. It's awful, and it's horrifying that the other children are yelling at him. Suddenly, after running away, he's an adult again, and then he runs back to finally tell those little bastards off... only to find that it's a memory, that it can't be changed, and to find himself thrown to the ground, hurt, unable to change his own past.

When I'm blue, I find myself thinking too long about times in the past when I've made wrong decisions, about times when I hurt the most and how maybe, just maybe, it would have hurt less if I'd been more myself at the time, better able to say things I meant, less afraid of doing things that would make me truly happy.

But I'll stop here for now. That movie's a thing of beauty... absolutely devastating.

Meet me in Montauk.

[PS. I noticed watching it the second time that Clementine at one point refers to "Mama Carrey" - I'm not sure of the intentions behind it, but for me it was one of those moments that made the fiction even more real, kinda like that part in The Crying of Lot 49 where Pynchon accidentally lets slip that the main character's name could just be Edna Mosh.]
Atacama

That LJ comment meme

I don't really care to know who's been commenting in my journal - you know who you are, already. Therefore, I give you this pie chart instead:

LJ comments by category
Atacama

Another $536 phone bill. Thanks Verizon!

Here's my favorite telco scam:

If you sign up for service with Verizon Wireless, you can buy an "unlimited data" plan for your Smartphone. This is $44.99 a month.

However, what they don't tell you - you have to call the Psychic Friends Network for this info - is that this doesn't cover both of their wireless networks. See, Verizon has two of them: the Express Network and something called Quick2Net.

Now, even if you know that using Quick2Net will cost you the same as making a regular voice call, it doesn't matter... because every time you reboot the phone, it defaults to use Quick2Net. You have to remember to manually change the network to Express Network every time you turn on the phone.

If you forget to do this - and believe me, I'm the king of forgetting to do this - then the second you open a data connection, you're charged the same as you would be for making a local phone call.

The software I work on - Pocket MSN - opens a data connection and keeps it open, which would normally be free... just not on Verizon Wireless.

Looking at my phone bill this month, I had at least one phone call that cost me over $100. Amazing.

Thank God Microsoft is paying the bill, or else I'd be totally livid.