Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Monday, August 28, 2006

Missed Opportunities: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of Stevie Ray Vaughan's death.

I only know this because I was listening to the classic rock station on the drive home tonight, and the deejay was playing a set of Stevie Ray Vaughan, followed by an excruciatingly boring outro that tried to draw parallels between his death and Buddy Holly's, but only succeeded in making me want to run my car into a telephone pole.

Honestly, reading from the original NTSB accident investigation report from the helicopter crash would have been more appealing.

Anyway, I've always remembered that he died in August of 1990. This is because the summer of 1990...

(Hrm. Just a moment. I must be losing my memory. 1990 was my freshman/sophomore summer, but I could have sworn he died the summer before I started college, which was also the summer I was working at the B. Dalton's Booksellers at Menlo Park Mall -- before they rebuilt it, all fancy-like. It was also the summer I crashed my Mom's -- later to be my -- car into the Exit 135 traffic circle during a light summer drizzle.

Now that I do some thinking and a little research, I realize that I am completely wrong. I guess I always associated all things SRV with that summer, because that's when In Step came out. Which I owned -- on cassette, of course. The malleability and fallibility of memory, I guess.)

Whatever else I was doing that summer, I had the theoretical opportunity in July to go see Stevie Ray Vaughan play at the Garden State Arts Center (it now has some hideously corporate name), which was barely a half hour away.

For whatever reason, I said, nah, I'll catch him some other time. I probably had a unbreakable prior commitment to furious masturbation or something.

The next month, of course, he was dead.

I'm not sure if there's a deeper moral of the story, other than to say: If you get a chance to see a good show, go.

I Am a Long-Winded Bore

I'm also apparently in love with the sound of my own voice. (Written down, that is. It's annoying nasal.)

That long-assed post I did yesterday about youth and stupidity in the age of social media?

It's better said with fourteen words and a photo:

Internet: It doesn't make you stupid, it just makes your stupidity more accessible to others.
Internet: It doesn't make you stupid, it just makes your stupidity more accessible to others.

Although, as a conceit, I like to think that I would have spelled "Stupidity" correctly.

This particular riff on Despair.com's "Successories" parodies was done over at Ishkur.com, which is more famously known for Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music.

The featured photo, of course, is the Icy Hot Stuntaz.

It doesn't get much stupider than that.

I May Be Dumb, But Young People Are Stupid

I'm really glad that I got my whole "being a teenager" thing over with before the Internet came along.

Not having my own TV station, radio show or newspaper column at the time, I managed to get through my adolescence and young adulthood without fully exposing my boneheaded young self's true idiocy to the world.

Instead, just like every other angsty teenager of my generation who no one understood, the damage was pretty much limited to paper journals, to be cringed over privately by our appropriately-chastened older selves.

Now, as an oldster, I'm not any smarter than I was when I was a young punk -- far from it. It's simply that I've been tempered (some might say beaten down) enough by experience to have a pretty good idea on when I should just shut up -- or at least not broadcast it to the world.

(Of course, this is not a perfect process; after all, as the saying goes, "Experience is a wonderful thing: It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.")

So, if the stupidity of people in general is everpresent and immutable, and the only thing holding us back from demonstrating this stupidity is experience, then it seems inevitable that young people, who by definition lack this experience, would be intent on showing us how stupid they really are.

Unfortunately for the youth of today, the Internet, and social media in particular, gives overheated idiot teenagers the means to do exactly this.

Recent examples of the willingness (really, the compulsion) to stand up on high and demonstrate this stupidity to the world include:

* YouTube video posters demonstrating in lemming-like fashion their commitment to the hip-hop-inspired fad of Ghost Riding the Whip

* Digg users very passionately trying to defend copyright infringement and not paying for music, as well as sputtering about Digg's own trademark defense, by being very loud and earnest with their incredibly self-serving and wildly incorrect notions of "fair use" -- then going apeshit when someone that they don't approve of uses their content, thus showing at least one justification for intellectual property rights.

This is not to say that copyright and trademark laws, as well as entire business models, won't have to be reworked in the face of digital media, or that old folks can't also be full of shit on these topics, but the cognitive gymnastics by these young content creators are wildly hypocritical and very, very funny.

* Teenage boys who use mass quantities of Axe & Tag Body Spray solely because they think that hot chicks will throw themselves at them. You know, just like in the TV commercials.

Fortunately, today's and tomorrow's idiot teenagers and other stupid young folk intent on trumpeting their foolishness to the world will be saved by scale -- as everyone posts and shares their passionately incoherent rants online, the sheer mass of available stupidity means that people will have to do something really, really dumb in order to get noticed, and just like with our paper journals, no one except yourself, your future constituents and employers and similar authorities, is really going to care.

One hopes, anyway.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An Update on My Gender Reassignment

For all two of you who are following this story (and laughing up your sleeves at this, damn you), here's an update: Thanks to the clamoring hordes, the DC Express local blog log has updated their entry that linked to this here blog.

It's kind of a good news/bad news thing.

Good News: Things have gone from "Bad" to "Dumb", in that they've corrected the name of my blog (in both instances).

Bad News: I'm still female in their eyes.

Here's the text of a comment I just posted (apparently, my original comment was lost in the ether somewhere, since I didn't get the same confirmation screen that I just got now):
Well, you're getting closer.

Thanks for correcting the blog name, it's appreciated. There's still that troublesome gender pronoun, though, since I am still not a woman.

It's fine, really; it's not like this is crushing my ego or anything.

Thanks -- Joe (which is short for Joseph, which is a guy's name.)

Thanks to Sweet for the correction comment, which was only fair, since she did post an entry using me as material (though I do note that the entry is no longer up -- hey, I don't claim to be good material).

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm Not a Girl. Not Yet -- Nor Will I Ever Be -- a Woman

Was just going through my statcounter referrers, and I saw that The Express must have linked me from somewhere.


Here's the blurb, from the Local Blog Log:

» GOOD TO KNOW: We're assuming that there's probably a risk of fire when you leave a food product on a George Foreman grill. But as Bad Things I've Done Lately discovered when she fell asleep while making late-night hash browns, the grill will only carbonize the potato product and create a bad smell, not catch on fire. That George — he thinks of everything. [Bad Things I've Done Lately]


Two issues there, which you might have missed if you weren't me. I'm just going to repost the comment I submitted (it hasn't been moderated yet):
Hi guys -- thanks for the link. Just 2 nits:

1. My blog is "Dumb Things I Have Done Lately." (Not "Bad" Things)

2. I am not a woman.

Thanks -- Joe
Okay, I lied. To that, I also add:

* Yes, I know I need a haircut. My highlights are gone too, though I don't think that bit really helps in the "mistaken gender department."

* I'm not sure that a correction wouldn't just make things worse.

* Alternate Headlines for this Entry: Alright, I Know I Need a Haircut, Okay?; Lies of the Liberal Media; What a Difference a Letter Makes; As Long as They Spelled My Name Right (Oh, Wait); "Dumb" Is Not "Bad"

Chicken Broth and the Wealth of Nations

It struck me as I was cooking dinner Sunday: We are fortunate enough to live in a society where we are rich enough that we can render chickens down to broth, which is then used to flavor the rice (or mashed potatoes, or other starch) that we serve as tasty side dishes for our main courses.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

George Foreman Tried to Burn My House Down

I left the office pretty late on Friday, so I didn't have any dinner. Although it seemed excessive at the time, the cheese steak with half a sack of onion rings I'd had for lunch had worn off by then.

I haven't been eating supper super well lately. Mostly bar food, and not even a lot of it, at that.

Anyway, when I got home, I was pretty hungry. I plugged in the George Foreman grill and put on some hashbrowns. I then settled in to watch John Woo's 'Hard Boiled.'

(Does Alan die at the end? I'm not sure; the theme of self-sacrifice is better served if he dies. I'd thought until now that it was Tequila on the boat at the end, but a closer viewing shows that it's Alan. Is it a dream or something else? I could go either way.)

I fell asleep, of course.

When I woke up, the TV was showing was the blue standby screen, and there was a bad smell coming from the kitchen.

I believe my thoughts were along lines of, "Oh shit, not again."

The hashbrowns were a carbonized mess, but there was no fire.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Newly Discovered Benefit to Adding Creamer to Your Coffee

When you lighten your coffee with milk, cream, half-and-half or non-dairy creamer, it makes it much easier to spot the floating ants that had previously crawled into the sugar container.

Yeah, we have an ant problem in the office kitchen. Better than a mouse problem, though -- when we first moved in here, I'd lost a box of pop tarts in my desk (or frosted mini-wheats, i forget) due to some gnawing critters.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Should Just Give Up and Take Up Stalking

I really should just give up and pursue stalking as a dating strategy. Not the "if I can't have you, no one can" violent stalking. Or the "she's sending me secret coded love messages through the TV" delusional stalking. Just the good-old fashioned, "admiration from afar... gone too far" stalking.

It's nonconfrontational -- at least, if you're any good at it -- so it's perfect for me, as I was just reminded recently that I am just a big ole chickenshit.

I think... no, I know that I'd be pretty good at it.

I have binoculars. I'm unobtrusive. I can employ a laserlike focus when I need to.

Most importantly, I'm really good at remembering useless bits of personal trivia gleaned from small talk and everyday conversations (both direct and overheard); combined with an above-average ability to do Web searches, this means I can track you down, figure out your schedule -- all those good core stalking competencies.

Not remembering a name even after I've met someone (non-stalking material) three times? Still working on that part. But tell me your first name, you're a runner, went to Georgetown and live in Arlington, and I can track down your phone number.

Boy, that didn't go over so well.

Anyway, there's no fear of rejection, even if people do happen to stumble upon your incredibly obliquely-worded blog entries (or even entire Web site), so there's no pressure. Very low stress. Relaxing, even.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Smoking and Drinking on a Tuesday Night

Yeah, I was listening to the Beastie Boys on the drive home.

Also, there was no smoking. At least not by me.

As it happens, I may end up at Carpool in Herndon four nights -- in a row -- this week. All of which would involve kickball, in some form or another.

Let's see, Friday was Herndon, Saturday was Great Falls. I did manage to get into the District on Sunday, swinging by the Hirshhorn and the National Portrait Museum, but I haven't finished those photos yet, so for our purposes here, it didn't happen.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Are You Gellin'? (Liquid Terror!)

Random musings about the Liquid Terror bomb plot:

* Q: Are you gellin'?
A: I'm gellin' like a radical Islamic fundamentalist suicide bomber!

* Expect to hear this at a TSA checkpoint: "Put the fucking lotion in the basket!"

* Confiscating hair gel? If this were the late 80s to the early 90s, I would be in major trouble. And forget about using it as an explosive -- when I had short spikes gelled up, they were lethal by themselves.

As it happens, Royal Crown pomade, my current "product" of choice (and probably the reason I keep breaking out, since it's just vaseline, olive oil and fragrance) is just as banned.

Maybe I'm succumbing to fear and hysteria, but passenger profiling is looking more and more like the only viable option right now. When you're getting to the point of banning all liquids, fluids, and gel-like substances, there has to be a better way to target suspects -- otherwise, we're headed to the no carry-on, paper jumpsuit route.

What's next: Because suicide arsonists could draw on atmospheric oxygen, all breathable air is now banned from passenger flights?

You have to wonder, why still the focus on airplanes, especially if you're not looking to hijack them to use them as weapon?

Okay, fine -- it's a target where once you cross a certain threshhold of damage, the death of all the passengers is pretty much guaranteed (damn you, gravity). And of course, you'd throw the air transportation system into chaos. But there are lots of other sensitive targets that would cause lots of casualties, without having to go through all that security.

Sounds like it's time to head into the End o' the World Box:

Pearls Before Swine: End o' the World Box

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Universe Is the Size of My Two Fists. (And It's Going to End in 50 Years. Maybe Less.)

I'm having a real tough time with death. Not the abstract concept of death, or any deaths that have happened recently (although I can't say that they've helped things any), or even your impending death.

I have a problem with the idea that I'm going to die someday.

Specifically, I really don't like the concept of not existing.

I don't mind so much that the sum total of my being, my memories, knowledge and experiences are just one day going to be gone. There are a bunch that I wouldn't mind losing, and besides, I can always get new ones. Except I can't. That's the whole problem with death.

I don't like the fact that the universe is going to get over the fact that I'm no longer in it, and that it's going to keep existing. Without me.

Nope, can't get my head around it.

Look, the universe really is all about me. You may think it's all about you, but you're wrong.

Everything that happens in this universe boils down to what gets to the 2 pounds of wrinkled meat, about the size of my two fists, that sits inside my skull.

That includes the bit where you're saying, "Geez, I didn't realize he was such an egomaniac."

It's one of those "If a tree falls in a forest..." things -- if the world exists, but I'm not there to experience it, does it really matter?

I say no.

I'm still not entirely convinced that the world doesn't stop functioning when I go to sleep. Or that the 180 degrees behind my immediate field of view isn't just a blank space until I turn around.

When it comes to the idea of an afterlife, I'm not optimistic. I definitely think that organized religion, more important than maintaining social order or explaining why things happen, exists to keep us functioning, when we really should be curled up into a little quivering ball because we asked "What happens to us when we die?" and didn't like the answer we got.

I guess the only thing that keeps me from teetering off the utter edge of despair and gibbering insanity is that the confluence of events and circumstance that have led to my conscious existence is just so utterly ridiculous, that the idea of my continued existence after death isn't that much more so.

Some people have this romanticized notion of death as drifting off to a welcoming sleep. These people haven't thought things out very well. For starters, the thing about sleep is that you wake up.

Can you conceive of nonexistence? The closest I can come up with is my disembodied consciousness, floating about in some utter blackness, thinking, "Gee, sure is dark in here," which pretty much completely misses the point.

There's a bit in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead that pretty much sums it all up -- I quoted it wholesale earlier, but it informs a lot of how I feel, so I'll include it again:
Rosencrantz: ...Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid on it?

Guildenstern: No.

Rosencrantz: Nor do I, really....It's silly to be depressed by it. I mean one thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead... which should make all the difference... shouldn't it?

I mean, you'd never know you were in a box, would you? It would be just like being asleep in a box. Not that I'd like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air -- you'd wake up dead, for a start, and then where would you be? Apart from inside a box. That's the bit I don't like, frankly. That's why I don't think of it...

Because you'd be helpless, wouldn't you? Stuffed in a box like that, I mean you'd be in there forever. Even taking into account the fact that you're dead, really...

Ask yourself, if I asked you straight off -- I'm going to stuff you in this box now, would you rather be alive or dead? Naturally, you'd prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You'd have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking -- well, at least I'm not dead! In a minute someone's going to bang on the lid and tell me to come out. (Banging the floor with his fists.) "Hey you, whatsyername! Come out of there!"
There's also the mass grave screen from Full Metal Jacket, made all the more haunting by Matthew Modine's flat delivery:

Full Metal Jacket: Mass Grave
The dead know only one thing: It is better to be alive.

I'll spare you the 'Our Town' reference.

I have no illusions that this is anything but your mundane, garden-variety existential crisis. Self-awareness is a burden, as is the knowledge that everything we do, from having scads of meaningless sex (of which we've previously established I'm not very successful at, but honestly, wouldn't mind a little more of), to making a difference in other people's lives, to having a family, to leaving any worth of historical legacy, are just distractions from the fact that we are all going to die someday, and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Were you expecting some sort of happy, uplifting ending? This is death we're talking about.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I was leaving the office tonight, when I saw a fairly large spider spinning a web (non-worldwide) on one of the handrailings in the parking garage.

Since I had my camera in my laptop bag, I went to take a few pics.

I wanted to take a macro shot, so I got really close. I didn't use the flash, since I didn't want to startle the spider (or provoke it into attacking me, for that matter).

Below me, in the background, there was a car (Jetta or something); I was trying to frame a pic so that perspective would make it look like the spider was attacking the car, but I couldn't convince the focus to work right.

Anyway, while I was composing the shot, I had the camera case in my other hand.

I forgot that I keep the card reader in the case.

Clatter, clatter, crash, went the card reader, down two flights through the gap in the railing.

I don't think the shot was worth it:

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Fortunately, although the card reader was in 5 pieces, they all snapped back together.

I gave up on more pictures, though.


Don't Make Me Hate You, Goldfrapp

I'm hearing Goldfrapp everywhere I turn.

(By the way, their Web site is a piece of Flash shit. Oops, sorry, I meant shite. No, I don't want to chase the goddamn flies, I just want to hear the damn songs.)

I don't even have the CD yet (yes, I still buy CDs), but at this rate, I won't have to.

Maybe it's one of those Moby things, where all the songs on the album have been licensed for use in commercials.

Actually, until I checked the wikipedia entry, I thought 'Ooh La La' and 'Strict Machine' were the same song ('Strict Machine' is currently being used in the commercials for Verizon Wireless's Chocolate phone-thing, and F/X Network's Nip/Tuck.)

Both songs feel like mashups of Norman Greenbaum's 'Spirit in the Sky' and Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love,' with the ratios tweaked just slightly.

Between shag haircuts for guys and this, it's safe to say that everything ever worth doing has been done -- we're now on infinite repeat.

Friday Night Trifecta

I had meaningful social interaction with three different groups of people in three different venues on Friday. If that sounds overly clinical, it is because I am a stiff.

Actually, it was four groups, if you count the Georgetown MBA students sharing the space at venue #1, Gazuza -- I was there, of course, for the DC Bloggers Happy Hour.

I got there a little after nine and met up with Jeff; while I was sucking down my first gin and tonic, ended up talking to the aforementioned Georgetown MBA guys who were there for their own social thing.

Because, you know, it's so hard to find places to hang out in Georgetown.

I asked one of them, Faisal (the other fellow was Ram -- as opposed to Rom, the Spaceknight -- this was actually said outloud, and not by me) if the gender balance was favorable at their event. I couldn't quite hear his answer, though I believe the phrase hot bitches was used.

I also said hi to Jamy and Martin, and Kathryn remembered who I was, which pleased me.

After a few gin and tonics and five-dollar Yuenglings, things got a little fuzzy. I do recall some broken glassware (not mine).

I was also surprised by the relative lack of flash photography, considering this was a bloggers' event -- I only took a few pics, myself:

Red & MissChatter at Gazuza
Red of The Life of Red and MissChatter of Just a Nats Fan

Jamy & Peter
Jamy of Grateful Dating and Peter.

I did talk to some new folks (including Matt, Drew and Alejandra (who, incidentally, does look fine with the new glasses) though I pretty much stayed on the periphery.

I bailed at around 11ish, to head back to the suburbs to meet up with some folks. Along the way, there was time for a clumsy candid:

Missed Connections fodder, only more stalkerish.

Waiting on the platform at Metro Center, I heard someone calling my name -- it was a bunch of troublemakers coming back from the Dixie Chicks concert:

The fabulous orange Metro color scheme accents Chris in venue #2.

My stop came up, so I had to part company with the country fans -- I made it to Clyde's (venue #3), and hung out with Scott, his friend Bev from Hawaii and Conor:

Conor took this.

It was certainly livelier, younger and more female than the usual mid-week meetups. I shall make a note of it.

Anyway, the ugly lights came on, and that was about it.

All in all, it was a pretty entertaining evening.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

"You guys see anyone beating up a woman?"

I'll get to the boring skate report segment in a second, but the end of the skate was really... odd.

I was unstrapping my skates in the W&OD parking lot at Route 28, when this Loudoun County Sheriff's cruiser goes screaming down the road. I didn't think anything of it, until suddenly I see him pulling into the lot in front of me.

Either I really wasn't paying attention (which is possible, since my feet were killing me), or he flanked me from one of the service roads.

I play it cool. I know that I haven't done anything that they can do me for (unless being really out of shape and pretending to be an Internet tough guy using quotes from 'The Usual Suspects' are crimes -- the former isn't; the latter should be.)

There's a guy at the car next to me, putting the front wheel on his bike. The officer asks us:

"You guys see anyone beating up a woman?"

Urm, no.

Apparently, someone had called 911 reporting a man beating the crap out a woman in the parking lot.

We were the only people in the lot, and we each had only been there a few minutes, so who knows what had happened.

Up to that point, it had been a relatively normal skate. It was really nice out -- sunny, just under 90, dry air, so nothing at all like last week. I did the usual thing and parked at the Route 28 lot and headed west.

One annoying thing was that I had Junkie XL's 'Metrolike' going through my head. It starts out with kind of a cadence that sort of matched my skating rhythm.

Unfortunately, the cadence immediately morphed to the McDonald's commercial: Big Mac, Filet o' Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries...

It's kind of distracting when you're exercising.

My personal version of the song would probably go something like: Cheese Steak, Baja Fresh, Reuben Sandwich, Sushi; Falafel, Hash Browns, Pizza and Lamb Curry.

Yes, I spent 10 minutes making it scan and rhyme.

Random comment from passing jogger: "No fair!" Either it was because he was jealous of my lithe, yet muscular physique, or because he was going uphill, and I was dogging it on the downhill.

Speaking of hills, the Route 28 overpass has a nice little slope to it; if I'm parked in the lot, I will finish up by going up and down the hill a few times:

Looking Up the W&OD Route 28 Overpass
I realize it doesn't look like much.

And then doing a speed run going downhill:

Looking Down the W&OD Route 28 Overpass
There's room for a dozen strokes to build up speed, with a nice, long rollout as long as you don't hit any rocks or people coming in from the parking lot.

If you ever see an idiot on skates in a full tuck, cannonballing down the hill, that's me. It's a good finish -- it lets me pretend I'm fast.

Things That Sound Like Spam, But Aren't

At the top of every report page in Statcounter, there's an upsell message:
Current Log Usage: 100. Total Log Size: 100. Increase your log size today!
Ok, settle down Beavis.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bracelets and Douchebags

The other day, I thought I'd lost the leather bracelet that I wear on my right wrist.

It's the one that lets me pretend I'm not just like every other douchebag out there who still wears a Livestrong wristband.

I don't even remember where I got it. It might have been a gift from my sister, or a souvenir trinket from some long-ago vacation.

Fortunately, I found it inside my gym bag.

On a related note, I seem to be fixated on the word "douchebag" of late. Despite it being a nasty word to describe nasty sorts of people, the word itself has a nice sound to it.

I think it's the "shhh" in the middle.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hidden Fitness Secrets, Revealed!

* Not many people know this, but if you take a rest break of, say, two months in between working a particular group of muscles, you may lose progress, or even fail to maintain previous levels of progress.

* Apparently, Wednesday night is mid-1980s North Jersey Guido Dance Anthems Night at the office gym.

Personally speaking, it's kind of hard for me to work out to Stacey Q's 'Two of Hearts.'

That may just be a personal failing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Vanity Fair Feature on the 9/11 Air Defense Response

The Vanity Fair feature about the US air defense response on 9/11 is a great, great implementation of embedded audio in a Web page.

Kudos on the package (even though the fixed-width content well is too narrow and the body font is too small).

I teared up at a few points, thinking about the events of the day, and hearing the helplessness and frustration of the people trying to do their jobs.

Of course, the documented and audio-illustrated account will do nothing to dissuade the 9/11 conspiracy fucktards who think that because of the failure of the impenetrable magic air defense shield that they must envision surrounded the continental US (and probably Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories and protectorates), 9/11 must have been an inside job.

To say nothing of the Big Lie/Loose Change morons, and the WTC 1/2/7 controlled demolition imbeciles.

Reading the comment threads on the social link sharing site of your choice is an exercise in futility, just as it is with bible literalists and Cydonian Face on Mars advocates, since they'll throw specious arguments at you faster than you can swat them away (assuming you're not trying to pursue debunking as a full-time profession -- this is why proponents of evolution sometimes have a tough time in debates).

Maybe I'm a sheep buying into the big lie. Tell you what: When I see the consensus of actual structural engineers say that 9/11 looks hinky -- not physicists, not people who think that Photoshop is a forensic tool, not people who build and burn chicken wire mockups, but actual engineers -- then I will change my mind.

God, I hate them.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Meet the New Vox. Not the Same as the Old Vox.

So, as I mentioned briefly, I went to a demo/meet-and-greet last Wednesday for SixApart's new social networking/blog thing, Vox.

I'm sorry, as a former MindVoxer, I can't help but giggle (and then cringe a little) whenever I hear the name "Vox."

Vox is still a perfectly good name (*giggle* *cringe*).

It was at the Hotel Monaco, which is right by Gallery Place Metro.

Being the seasoned DC-area person that I am, I said "Tish-tosh" to the idea of switching from the Orange line and waiting for a Red line train at Metro Center, since Gallery Place is only a few blocks away.

That explains why I was drenched in sweat when I got there. And it was at least 10 degrees F cooler than now. At least I'd ditched my laptop bag.

Anyway, after a brief intro, there was about three minutes of SixApart founder Mena Trott giving the barest overview of the product:

SixApart's Mena Trott talks about Vox

And the rest of it was the usual new media networking cocktail party.

There was beer, wine, cosmopolitans on trays, roaming waiters with appetizers and a nice spread.

After make the rounds a bit, I was hung with a few folks from the AIM team for a while. Then I said, this is ridiculous, let's go meet some people who don't work at AOL.

We approached a likely-looking duo.

One was a UI designer in the AOL Studio. Her companion worked for Revolution, which is practically AOL Mark II (a free-form jazz odyssey).

I gave up at that point and drank some more beer.

Anyway, during the course of the event, I talked with more people, including a guy from Discovery, more Revolution people, some of the Ogilvy folks who set up the event, and a few folks at SixApart with whom I'd had prior dealings over the phone.

There are more pictures here. I think that's me in the background of this pic -- right side, untucked white dress shirt, deck shoes with no socks. (You can't tell that no socks thing from the camera phone photo, I just remember what I was wearing.)

Also, I saw Mena Trott doing a video interview for something:

Mena Trott getting interviewed

The party wound down, and I ended up staggering over to Arlington (I'd ditched my car and Metroed in) to meet up with some of the folks at the Beach Shack, so it was a pretty good Wednesday.

Lastly, "Revolution" sounds awful close to "Evolution", and as we know, Evolution Online (now Evolution Softworks) was the brain trust behind Mindvox, so there's another giggle, this one tinged with hysteria as I see the threads of my life circling around me, forming maybe a noose, or perhaps a net or cat 'o nine tails or something similarly foreboding and evocative.

Undermining Myself

Here I am, all ready to rag on the Post for their hard-hitting exclusive on how umbrellas can be used to block the sun as well as rain...

...when I realized that I put my underwear on inside out this morning.