plenty of delicious humiliation
Thursday, January 16 2003
Today I drove into uptown Kingston (the so-called "stockade district" featuring sidewalks covered by ornate white wooden roofs) to put up some flyers. Unlike in Brooklyn, there were few places, legal or illegal, for sticking them. While I was down there, I also went over to a nearby plaza, one featuring a Hannaford grocery store and a few lesser retail outlets. I was familiar with that particular Hannnaford as a prime location for spotting profoundly-deformed shoppers, but I'd never paid any notice to the other stores. Today I discovered that the oft-mentioned Hertzog Homecenter was located in this plaza. Hertzog is the place where all the local Kingston contractors go for their supplies. It's an important place to know about because many of the details of our original house were bought there, and it's not always possible to find things at Lowes that match our installed equipment. In this case I'm referring specifically to a set of Japanese-made Red White gate valves that no one in the area sells. Unfortunately; Hertzog doesn't sell them either. I like the way the Hertzog employees don't ask you if you need help.
Tonight Gretchen and I finally figured out where the Fox network was on our satellite teevee box. The main effect of this discovery was our renewed ability to watch the Simpsons, which we hadn't seen in months. While watching two back to back episodes of that (neither of which we'd ever seen), we saw some ads for Joe Millionaire, a reality show I'd heard about and wanted to see. At 8:00pm, two hours of the show were rebroadcasted, and both Gretchen and I stuck around to watch. At first Gretchen was skeptical about watching such rubbish, but (as with American Idol), by the end she was hooked. The wickedly-clever twist to this show is that our eligible multi-millionaire bachelor, the one being vied-for by money-grubbing blond biz dev bombshells, is actually a penniless bulldozer driver. Not only can such a show never have a sequel, but it provides plenty of delicious humiliation for superficial airheads, precisely the kind our media normally spend all its energy promoting.
Part of the payment for Darren's recent drywall and painting work was a barter arrangement in which I would give him a crash course on computer music software in exchange. He aspires to be Kingston's answer to Eminem, and the easiest way for him to achieve this is with computer-aided music sampling. Mind you, I'm no computerized music expert. My dabbling in music software has mostly been restricted to simple sound editing in CoolEdit. Darren's would-be music career seemed more suited to the capabilities of Acid Pro, the software-of-choice for internet mashup artists. In order to teach him how to use Acid Pro, I'd first have to learn how to use it myself. So this evening I fired up a copy of Acid Pro and proceeded to do my part in the ongoing war against overextended copyright. The mashup I created consisted of three tracks: the showed-down rhythm for 38 Special's "So Caught Up in You," accompanied by occasional samples of the slowed-down flute part for "She Moved Through the Fair," and a normal-speed piano part from Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat." It's a simple repetitive loop, but it's surprisingly soothing. If you're so inclined, you can listen to it.
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