Sunday, December 28, 2008

From the Archives #4

"Guilt is when you do something and feel bad about it. Shame is when you do something that proves you're the kind of person you hate."

From the Archives #3

Another idea for a story:

"A modern man goes back to the past, but finds the only thing he can safely predict is what will happen in tv shows."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

From the Archives #2

Can you tell I was in college when I wrote this?

'I am in stage 3 tired, “fucking exhausted.” Very difficult to describe stage 3 tired — language skills go.'

From the Archives #1

Further proof my best years are behind me: "From the Archives" is a new feature where I type up things I wrote in my notebooks over the last 15 years or so.

"A character who has six different jobs, none of which he has to do any work for. He runs around all day punching time cards, moving huge stacks of documents from his in box to his out box, ... and following up want ads.

What does he do with the money? (Spends it on evading income tax!)"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Viewers Like You

I TiVo The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer every Friday because of this episode of The West Wing.

At the end of each "enhanced sponsorship," The NewsHour thanks "Viewers Like You." In the background of this message are images of seven of these viewers in silhouette, each engaged in a different silhouetted activity:

* A man who is sitting on a chair with skinny legs and is pointing a remote screen right.
* A woman bending down with a large still camera, pointing it screen left.
* A man in khakis holding a treat above a small dog who is standing on his hind legs (side note - in freeze frame you can tell the dog is a male)
* A woman with her hair in a bun turning clockwise with her mouth wide open and her arms up as if dancing.
* A man with a shaved head hunched over while playing a very small brass musical instrument.
* Two women with long hair crossing the screen in the foreground and background.

My question is, what demographic do these people represent?

First, I should concede that each of these people at least vaguely represents a different form of the arts - photography, dance, jazz, animal husbandry, TV watching, walking across a screen, standing on hind legs, &tc.

There's also a taste of the amateur or the domestic about the montage - the dog and the remote, but also the hesitancy in the turning woman, who does not turn like a professional dancer, and the woman with the camera, who seems to stop as she bends down to glance at the back of her camera, as if she is not sure she has the settings on the camera right.

But mainly I think we are looking at Yuppies.

Maybe it's the clearly identifiable khakis - in fact, on repeat viewing, I think almost all the men are wearing button down shirts. It could also be the chair the man with the remote is sitting in, which is more of a modern chair than a blue-collar lounge chair like you'd find in a non-yuppie living room.

Or maybe I suspect that those pictured are yuppies because they are enjoying the arts as a leisure activity, which I think of as a very yuppy thing to do.

As is, I suppose, watching PBS.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Travel Porn

Finally, a new way to waste time on the internet.

I discovered that my Zipcar membership also works in the U.K. and immediately starting looking up cars and locations.

Most fun so far: reading the surprisingly detailed descriptions of how to access various car parks around London, like this one for an underground car park near Tower Bridge.

Scariest thing so far: all the Minis are manual transmission.