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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

Get Songbird



A random selection from my archive:



Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives


My Wishlist

Moment of Zen


Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

Courtesy of Timmay

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    Sunday, February 29, 2004

    A sun-dried tomato extra day

    We spent part of our extra leap year day at Panera. I miss having one nearby. The closest is about 30 minutes north, which still isn't too far when you need an asiago cheese bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese fix. That was just 13 hours ago, and I'm already craving more.

    Saturday, February 28, 2004

    What a train wreck

    Simone's feeling neglected because she hasn't appeared online lately. So here she is during one of her prouder 5-legged moments.

    A cat-astrophe

    No more monkey bites

    It's kind of sad, really. I spent countless hours on Webmonkey during the late 90s. It taught me more about web development than any other resource out there. Now it's closing its doors after 8 successful years. Well, more like 6 successful years. You could tell it was beginning to slip a couple years ago when they stopped riding the wave of the newest breakthroughs, like web standards.

    The content, at one time, was like gold. The tutorials were written so well that anyone could teach themselves HTML, even if they'd never seen a computer before. Most of all, I'll miss the daily Monkey Bites that graced their homepage. The Monkey Bite was a blog, before blogs existed, providing links to interesting web development news and entertaining sites. *eek* *eek* The Monkey's dead.

    Friday, February 27, 2004

    Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny

    Similar in concept to, photographer Eric Etheridge's site showcases a nice gallery of found signs and other oddities. The design is quite appealing and you can flip through the Small Signs and Travel sections in a matter of minutes. When you're done with that, change gears and read what a bunch of jazz musicians once said.

    100% Wowee Zowee!

    I try to be a good citizen and eat breakfast each day. Some days, however, are better than others. This morning I'm eating a dry bowl of Trader Joe's "O"s (think Cheerios). I never eat cereal with milk, so you can imagine I need something to wash it down. My beverage of choice is Trader Joe's new 100% cranberry juice which you need to dilute with water otherwise your head will implode from the sourness. Maybe I did something wrong, but it feels like Simone and I switched meals this morning.

    Thursday, February 26, 2004

    They call it Wackymart because it's wacky

    The neighboring town of Orange is working toward an agreement to open a new Stew Leonard's. Apparently there are quite a few people up in arms about this proposal. I don't know if they're upset by the farm animal animatronics or the winding one-way-only aisles. All I know is that my only trip to Stew Leonard's in Danbury was wacky.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2004

    Who thought whom with the what now?

    I'm reading Strunk & White's The Elements of Style because lately I've been writing more frequently -- cover letters, freelance proposals, business e-mails, entries on this site -- and my writing style could use some polishing. I highly recommend this little book. Now in its fourth edition, it was originally written in 1919 by a Cornell professor.

    It quickly gets to the bottom of grammatical subtleties that have often stood in the center of heated debates. Fists have flown over the use of the semi-colon vs. comma. Well, no, not really. But you could do worse than pick up a copy of this little guide. It's a quick read, and you learn quite a bit. For instance, I'm never going to write a sentence that needs the words 'who' or 'whom' again. It's just too confusing. I thought you simply use 'whom' in cases like this:

    Ross Perot is the candidate whom we hope to elect.

    Ross Perot is the candidate whom we think will win.

    I would think both of these are grammatically correct, but the second statement is flawed. It should read "who we think will win" because Perot, in that example, is the subject of the subordinate clause. In other words, it could also read "We think he will win." Therefore the proper way is this:

    Ross Perot is the candidate who we think will win.

    See? I told you I'd never use who/whom again. It's confusing. It makes my head hurt. And I have to prepare for a job fair now.

    Tuesday, February 24, 2004

    Thank you Mr. Blumenthal

    Today I received my settlement payment from the Attorney General for the State of Connecticut regarding the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation. Sections of the Attorney General's letter read:

    This lawsuit was brought by the Attorneys General of 43 states and three territories and by counsel for Private Class Plaintiffs on behalf of purchasers of music CDs. In accordance with the terms of the court-approved settlement, payment is being made to music purchasers who filed a valid and timely claim...
    It is a pleasure to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion and to return value to consumers who purchased CDs while the challenged pricing policies were in effect.

    The attached check for $13.86 more than makes up for my meager $0.25/hr raise while working at Strawberries in high school.

    Objects in mirror may be more incorrect than they appear

    While driving home on I-95 yesterday, I was caught in traffic due to an accident that occurred on the other side of the highway. A beige-striped A-Team-style van plowed into the back of a roadside cleaning crew truck. Thankfully it appeared there were no injuries as I crawled by at 7 mph. The accident occurred a few hundred yards from an on-ramp where the on-ramp lane merged into the traveling lane. As a brief onlooker, I couldn't determine the cause of the crash. However I'd suspect that signs like this, posted at merge points, can't help the situation:

    What's your sign?

    Is it just me or is this sign very misleading? I see them everywhere denoting two lanes merging into one. But that's not what the sign says. It appears that two lanes get closer together, or the road narrows -- not two lanes merging into one. I'd think that accuracy would be a priority -- especially at 65 mph.

    Monday, February 23, 2004

    Hey! I'm famous! Kinda...

    Many who read this site also read The Brain, a weekly music 'zine hosted by The Brain typically includes music news about independent bands on independent labels, a weekly poll, tour dates, and of course many CD/vinyl reviews.

    The bottom of each issue includes a "What's In Your Player?" section spotlighting what some random person has in their CD player/stereo/mp3 player/head at the moment. The editors once announced they were running low on contributions, so I figured why not? You can see what I was listening to three weeks ago at the bottom of this week's issue.

    Sunday, February 22, 2004

    A Schilling for your thoughts

    I was warned during the offseason that Curt Schilling could become the goofiest player to ever don a Sox uniform. Could he be nuttier than the Spaceman? (Who, incidentally, once ran a pitching clinic that I attended at a Building #19 in Weymouth, MA.)

    Well if this article is any indication, he seems to be a colorful interviewee. I mean, just look at the man. It's going to be a crazy season.

    Friday, February 20, 2004

    After all this *is* Nervous Music, isn't it?

    To ensure we're staying on topic I feel compelled every so often to mention music here. I may not possess the eloquence to use Nervous Music as a site to host album reviews. (There are enough of those out there anyway.) Instead I opt to post flotsam and/or jetsam that I find amusing, enlightening, and just plain silly. But yeah, you know that already.

    What you may not know is the etymology of Nervous Music. My friend Natalie once observed that Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians sounded like "nervous music" to her. I feel that a good percentage of my collection could be easily described as that. *Sigh* That's a shame. But that's the story.

    I may never be successful in explaining why I like the music I like. But perhaps Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music can shed a little light on what nervous music can entail. At the very least, you can listen to short samples of electronic music. Some of the sub-genre names are goofy and probably invented by the site's creator, but it's still an interesting take on the origins of electronic music.

    I'm a Dingbat

    If you're ever in need of spiffing up your fonts, I found and to be two great places to do just that. You can't go wrong with Galaxxi or Big Cheese. Most of these, however, you have to pay a nominal fee to own. If free is what you're looking for, then you can download fun, lower quality ones by doing a little digging.

    Team up these fonts with some stock photos from iStockPhoto or GettyImages, and you'll blow away the neighborhood competition this spring with the best yard sale sign on the block.

    Thursday, February 19, 2004

    Where in the world provides a fun tool for you to create a World, European or U.S. map of where you've been. Although still in beta, the site has lots of helpful information about travel and culture, including city guides that you can throw onto your handheld for a few bucks apiece.

    Where In the World is Carmen McGonagle?

    I've got a lot of grey area to cover!

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    A better mousetrap?

    Now that Google has increased its indexed web pages by one-third, maybe it's time to demand more from your Googling experience. An ambitious web developer decided to dig into what the search engine has to offer and launched creating new ways to slice and dice Google's information. You're still on the same playing field, but with a better bat and ball.

    Of course, when I've exhausted what Google can find, I usually wander over to Teoma who boasts that they have better searching technology. But only search engine spies know for sure.

    Need shiny new coasters?

    Now this is a good deal. Staples has TDK 50-pack CD-R spindles on sale this week for $11.97 (instead of $20). But at the checkout, they'll hand you a rebate receipt to get $10 back. So that's $2 for 50 quality blank CDs. Score!

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    I smell Paisano's!

    I am loving this calzone.

    The A-Rod deal was not a good way to kick off the week for a Boston fan. Well, what's done is done. The players are making their way to FL as we speak and a new year is upon us.

    I caught the end of that Donald Trump show last week when the episode's "winners" got to tour Yankee Stadium and meet Steinbrenner. I just wish that I was there and I could waltz in with a Yankees cap. But as soon as I was within knee-kicking distance, I'd rip open my shirt Superman-style exposing a Sox uniform and slidetackle the man.

    It wouldn't change the A-Rod deal. But it would sure feel good.

    Sunday, February 15, 2004


    My desktop wallpaper features a group of well-dressed people laughing and chasing after snowflakes. What does it mean exactly? I haven't the faintest idea. But I get the feeling that this is supposed to be Cary Grant. Is it?

    I'm a son of a sea-cook!

    Nonsense, nonsense, who's got the nonsense?

    Thanks to Tim's detective work, he uncovered a wonderful nonsensical site called Vectorpark that we first discovered several years ago. There was a point in time about 4-5 years ago when it seemed like crazy websites were being launched left and right. So I compiled a not-so short list which I still have, amazingly enough. Unfortunately most sites are now defunct. But there are a few goodies still floating out there, like this and this and this and this. So, here's to a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    Friday, February 13, 2004

    Lucky Day

    Today is my half-birthday. Now, I wouldn't usually consider this noteworthy. However this year it falls on the same day of the week that I was born: Friday... Friday the 13th. Spooky. Actually they say it's a sign of good luck. Alfred Hitchcock and I share the same birthday, and he was also born on a Friday. So I guess that makes him 27 1/2 too.

    Thursday, February 12, 2004

    Live TV can be exciting

    I just caught a live broadcast of a 45-minute police chase of an SUV that struck a police officer on the side of the road while the CBS Channel 2 helicopter was conducting a traffic report. After dodging head-on freeway traffic, the SUV jumped sidewalks and side-swiped cars in a NJ residential area as it tried to shake the pursuit. Finally, the SUV was trapped in a driveway by about 15 patrol cars and the suspect is now in custody. This is Sean with breaking news. Now back to you in the studio...

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004

    Guess the Experimentalist

    A few weeks back, I posted about the observations that my friends and I have made regarding music in TV commercials. I was able to find the soundtrack to the BMW X3 commercial with the help of Radiomute and its Song ID forum.

    Radiomute now has a thread entitled "Guess the Experimentalist" where users post photos of avant-garde music experimentalists and composers. As of now, there are 8 pages of posts to scroll through to play this dumb little game. Enjoy.

    asdf jkl;

    Data entry, I'll admit, is nothing anyone ever really wants to do. Although the job interview I went on today did not involve data entry, it ultimately did not involve job responsibilities that really excite me either -- so I had to pass.

    On the other hand, a quick search on resulted in an annoying pop-up advertisement for this data entry job description: "Must have understanding of IT terminology, be extrmely accurate and very detail oriented." Maybe someone should've used some spel-czech.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    This is thawesome

    I can hardly believe it, but today is the first day of 2004 that will stay above the freezing point. It took only 41 days. Not bad. Is it spring yet?

    Saturday, February 07, 2004

    Worst cover letters...ever

    Metafilter recently posted a link to a site hosting some awful examples of cover letters. Considering I continuously get emails from this company, maybe I should think about using a letter like this to get my foot in the door.

    Friday, February 06, 2004

    Easter Egg Hunt

    I'm surprised no one ever wrote about the hidden links on the old version of the site. Maybe people found them and didn't share. Now with a new site design (and no easter eggs I know of) I figure I could mention that there were/are some surprises hidden in the colored boxes (and white spaces) in the archives.
    Happy Friday!

    Wednesday, February 04, 2004

    Let's Go Hawaiian

    The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA has an exhibit of Hawaiian shirts through June 20. Think they have a gift shop? Who's up for a roadtrip to Lowell to see Spinners and shirts? Spinners tickets for June 18-20 go on sale March 22!

    Sille Skrub

    With the football season behind us, aside from the Pro Bowl this weekend, it's time to set our sights on beisbol! Soon the pitchers will be reporting to spring training, and I will be too. All of this is just my lead-in to say, WHAT!?? Ellis Burks is returning to the Red Sox?

    Monday, February 02, 2004

    No pictures, please

    Do cats do this? I didn't grow up with a cat or dog -- just Skippy the hamster. So I'm often surprised to see how cats and dogs can behave. Simone is the only cat I've ever shared a home with. I know cats can be odd. But really now... do cats do this??

    Wake me when it's Tuesday

    Sunday, February 01, 2004

    Because .COM is a Spanish band

    You can now find Nervous Music at its new domain:

    Same great flavor, without all those extra URL calories.

    (Go Pats!!)