Thursday, June 15, 2006

5, 6, 7, 8

I'm writing from my Undisclosed Location at theater camp, which means Judgment Call has begun its unofficial summer hiatus. I'm hoping to write more than I did last summer, though. I've got a lot of posts planned and some even started. Though I've noticed a gradual evolution in The JC, and lately it's definitely been best when it's been spontaneous and brief, and not when I plan to write reviews or something like that. So we'll see. Only I have the power to make my blog not suck, and sometimes that may mean posting less often.

Some thoughts while I'm here though...

I got some posters from for my office (this one and this one), and I'm astonished by how many people think they're real motivational posters. Sure, they look good from a distance, but a lot of these people know me very well, and I'm appalled that they would think I'd ever put something like that up. I also assume that anyone who knows me well also shares my sense of humor somewhat and knows about But I guess not. It's a little disheartening and I'm going to have to take them down if this keeps up. But finding mean wall hangings designed to crush your interns' spirit is more challenging than you might think.

I may be the worst packer in the world. As much as I love to organize things, I'm just bad at fitting my life into a small space. Packing to come here is tricky. It's almost the whole summer, not like a 2-week vacation, and the temperature here can have as much as a 30-degree spread throughout the day. I'm not staying in a hotel, so while some things are provided, some are most definitely not. And it's work, so I've got all sort of supplies with me. Fortunately I got a ride up in a company car and didn't have to suffer with the train, but it was still a little embarrassing rolling up with my two gigantic bags, both stuffed beyond capacity...and my backpack, and my kit, and my printer.... Now that it's all unpacked and put away though, it doesn't look like that much stuff, and that transformation just confuses me.

This morning I downloaded 80s Hits Stripped from iTunes and I can't recommend it strongly enough. It's acoustic recordings of 15 80s pop hits done mostly by the original artists (or at least a lead singer). I've always maintained that some of the best pop music ever was produced in the 80s, but a lot of genuine talent was hidden behind the synthesized sound of the time. I'm not claiming that Howard Jones is a genius singer-songwriter, but "No One Is To Blame" is a damn fine piano ballad. And those girls in Heart can really wail.

Okay, there's a whole lotta tap-dancing going on in this room (not to 80s music) and it's giving me a headache, so I'm off for now. Hey, in the world of work-induced headaches, I'll take tapping over construction, bad a/c, fluorescent lights and loud lawyers any day.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Don't worry. Woodale's about 25 miles west of those rabbits."

You all must stop what you're doing and rent Night of the Lepus right now. Giant bunnies, people! By which I mean actual, normal-sized, utterly adorable bunnies shot on miniature sets and badly blue-screened. And, y'know, giant or not, it's really hard to make bunnies look menacing. But oh, how the filmmakers try! The tension built by the sound of a herd of bunnies approaching is amazing. Hippity... hoppity... hippity... hoppity... hippity hoppity hippity hoppity!!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

Subways aside, why does rain make people so stupid?

Boy and I went to the theater on Friday night, and when we got out there was a horde of old ladies standing under the marquee going, "Wow, it's really coming down!" "It's pouring!" "Oooh, water's falling from the sky!" It had been raining all day, so most of them had umbrellas, they were just apparently baffled.

"Yes," I said loudly, "it's pouring, and you're also blocking the door!"

Tonight we got caught in another downpour, this time on the way home. Remember, our train line is outside, so it's not like the rain was catching anyone by surprise. And all the way down the stairs to the street, there it was on either side of us. And yet three people reached the bottom step and stopped dead in their tracks. Which meant, of course, that I walked right into them. What did you think was going to happen? You'd get to the bottom and the waters would part for you?? I understand if you don't want to get wet, but couldn't you wait it out somewhere that's not in my way???

Friday, June 02, 2006

Dear MTA...again,

Wouldn't it be nice if, here in the 21st century, in the greatest city in the world, we had a public transit system that didn't completely shut down when it rains??

It's not like the inconvenient truth of climate change has suddenly cause rain to fall in New York City for the first time in 100 years. It rains all the damn time. And I'm pretty sure the ancient Romans perfected that whole drainage thing.

Still hating,

Dearest MTA,

I know that the New York subway system is very complicated and technical, and things may occasionally break. Though if the DOT had "signal trouble" as often as you seem to, there would be thousands of car crashes in the city every day and mayhem would ensue. But okay, you had some signal trouble at 2:00 on a Friday morning, after I'd waited in the sweltering Times Square station for half an hour for a train in the first place. I respect that. Could your train operators possibly have informed us of the fact that the train would not, in fact, be taking me all the way home before we had passed the point where there were no other trains to transfer to? I have options, I just didn't know I'd need to use them.

Or perhaps the conductor was actually playing a cruel practical joke. You see, he told us the train would be terminating at Woodside and heading back to Manhattan. He told us we could get paper transfers "in the token booth area" which would get us onto a bus that would follow the train's route. Thing is, there were no paper transfers, the booth clerk knew nothing about it, and there was no sign of any sort of bus.

Oh but wait, MTA, it gets better. While a hundred or so people waited in confusion on the street below, the train continued going east into Queens and not back to Times Square at all. Remember, it's an elevated station and all the people you just stranded can see you.

So I headed back up to the station, thinking maybe we could salvage our relationship and you'd redeem yourself for your betrayal. Or instead I could sit there for 45 minutes - before giving up and throwing myself on the hood of a passing livery cab - while an inconceivable number of trains passed in the other direction, none of them ever returning to take me home.

What's that, MTA? You say this isn't a very good blog entry? Well, no, I suppose it's not, but maybe that's because I didn't get home until four o-fucking-clock in the morning. And whose fault might that be?

Hey, I know, go on strike again. You've clearly earned a vacation after all this hard work.

I hate you.


Thursday, June 01, 2006


Speaking of people who don't know how to use elevators....

(Link has been fixed)

Dear People Who Don't Know How Elevators Work,

It's a simple enough concept, really. If you're going up, you push the up button. If you're going down, you push the down button. They actually do not do the same thing, and pressing them both will get you to your destination slower, not faster.

See, it's like this: The elevator, being part of the race of machines that will someday kill us all and take over the world, knows which way you're going by the button you've pressed, and it will stop and pick you up on its way there. So let's say you're on the first floor and you want to go up. And I (hypothetically, of course) am headed from my apartment to the basement for some quality time in the laundry room. Now, if you have pressed the down button because you're a moron, the elevator will stop in the lobby before taking me to the basement. But you're going in the other direction so this does you no good, it merely delays us both. Then we have to have that awkward moment (further delays) while you open the door, see me with my laundry bag, and go "Going down?" before deliberating about whether to ride with me or wait here. And if you choose the former, the elevator is going to stop in the lobby again anyway because you've already pushed the up button.

How is this helpful? Someone very smart devised this little system and the microchips that run it, why must you ruin everything and make me even more impatient than I naturally am by being a dumbass? Do you press both buttons because you're impatient? 'Cause you're only making things worse.

Then, when you follow me to the office, do you not see the giant gold letters that say which banks of elevators go to which floors? And more importantly, have you never actually been in a tall building before? Because while your bafflement and not finding the numbers 2 through 17 on the panel of buttons inside the elevator can be mildly amusing if you don't manage to figure it out until after the doors have closed, it's really irritating when you yell "Oh!" and stop the doors so you can run out, never considering that I might be late for work and/or desperately have to pee.

Can't we teach this stuff in school?

I love my job

Phone conversation from yesterday afternoon:

Me: Good afternoon, Foreign Law Firm.
Her: Is this Sterling National Bank?
Me: No, I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.
Her: EH??
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Is this Sterling National Bank?
Me: No. It's not.
Her: What??
Me: You have the wrong number.
Her: But I just got the number from the operator!
Me: I'm sorry but this is Foreign Law Firm. We're a law firm.
Her (Clearly to someone else): These people don't know what they're talking about.