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jawalter
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14th-Mar-2010 12:54 pm - Screw you, Letterman
I intended to revisit last year's Top Ten lists a couple months ago, but made the mistake of starting with my music list. Dozens of drafts later, I think I have to concede that I just don't know enough about music to be able to finish it. I spent a lot of time last year trying to find a way to define my musical tastes, but in the end, I just like what I like, and I can't explain why.

If you're curious, my top ten musical experiences in 2009 (sans annotation) go like so: The Avett Brothers, Ida Maria, Blues Traveler (no kidding), Lisa Hannigan, Adele, Jenny Lewis, Emily Haines / Metric, Brandi Carlile, Raphael Saadiq, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit. Go forth and listen, but don't expect me to explain any of it. You can ask, and I'll give it a shot, but, as I famously told the ghost of Richard Nixon during the invasion of Venus, "Nobody listens to Mr. Mustard Pants."

On the other hand, I do feel qualified to bore you all with the reasoning behind my list of the best movies I saw last year. You see, I once took a film class, and now I'm eager to share my opinionsCollapse )

And just so that you know I'm not completely slacking on next year's list, I'm pretty sure that Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party will make the top five, which is saying something for a movie that is nothing more than one man talking for an hour and a half (plus another hour and a half of deleted scenes).
11th-Nov-2009 04:02 pm - Mad Man
One of the payroll people here at work just came into my office, wondering why they had been paying me as an independent contractor rather than an employee eleven years ago. She'd been cleaning out some old files and discovered my original paystub from way back when I was just supposed to be working here for a few weeks helping out with some random filing.

I have such mixed feelings about my job. It's certainly not anything close to what I expected to do with my life, but at the same time, I've been here for over a third of the time I've spent on this giant ball of rock. I can't say that I like it anymore than I can say that I dislike it, but in so many ways, it's kind of the perfect job for someone with my particular set of skills and habits. Quite frankly, the idea that I should be looking for some other source of employment has never stopped bouncing around in some random corner of my brain, but I can't imagine ever leaving an employer that has promoted me from being a brainless file jockey to being in charge of my own (admittedly rather small) department, while more than tripling my starting salary in just over a decade (and that's even despite the fact that I'm not getting a raise this year due to Bernie Madoff and the shitstorm that is our national economy).

I don't mean to gloat, and I don't mean to whine. But seeing the numbers on that piece of paper really rattled me.
26th-Oct-2009 08:40 am - Passion!
Hey Bostonites? I've got two extra tickets to this Friday's production of World Passions by the Boston Ballet (http://www.bostonballet.org/tickets/ballet-synopsis.html). The show is Friday, October 30 at 8 PM, and the tickets are $49 each. But the memories? The memories are priceless.

(The actual value of the memories is 1/10 of one cent. Going to the ballet may cause dizziness and loss of sensation in the extremities. Consult your doctor to find out if going to the ballet is the right choice for you. "Going to the Ballet" is a registered trademark of Dow Chemicals. The ballet is made of soylent green, and studies have shown that soylent green may be made of people.)


ETA: The tickets are being exchanged, rather than abandoned, and thus, are no longer available. Sorry to burst any bubbles!
4th-Oct-2009 07:56 pm - Screw 'em.
You can probably skip all this.Collapse )



So that's that (and also this). It wasn't worth it, I know, but I haven't posted anything of substance in a long time (And I still haven't! Rimshot!). I'm hoping that this will be a good way to channel this kid's crazy intensity, but I think I've wound up with just the crazy sans intensity.
1st-Oct-2009 05:14 pm - Consequences
I must have started about fifty different projects today, but I couldn't get myself motivated enough to finish even one of
Weird day today.

In the locker room of the gym, just a few lockers away from my own, stands a nude man, which is not terribly unusual. Except this man isn't dressing or undressing. He's standing, and he's reading a magazine. And he's not just standing as you or I might stand while reading a magazine (although it is foolish to assume I know anything of your nude reading habits), but instead he is doing the full-on Captain Morgan pose, with his junk, as you might imagine, dangling in the breeze, were there any kind of breeze flowing through the locker room. This lasts though the entirety of my own hurried and worried change into my own gym clothes. For all I know he stands there still.

Leaving the gym, and after a brief trip to get a cold beverage, I ride the T out to the grocery store to pick up macaroni salad and grillables for a barbecue. The T is filled with no less that a baker's dozen of young women, giggling like high school girls, but possibly college students for all I could tell. Yelling and squealing, they berate me for the calorie content of my beverage (280), ask to take my picture (I relent), question me as to what type of cookie I would be if I were to become a cookie (oatmeal raisin) and why (I say something about oatmeal being kind of a basic, homey foodstuff, given just a hint of spice by the raisins), and beg me to do 5, and only 5, jumping jacks (I need to learn how to say no to ladyfolk).

With a ten minute walk from the store to my home, I desire yet another cooling beverage to quench my humidity-induced thirst. I purchase some sort of tea, whose brand name I no longer remember, that promises, as these modern teas do, to promote vitality and energy and other new-age-y sounding things. I think little of this, and pay but passing attention to the notice that I should shake the tea gently before opening. "Gently" is not a very specific word. "Carbonated" might have better alerted me to the dangers within. The drink fizzes up before I can even remove the lid, and despite hurriedly rescrewing said lid, my hands are now covered in tea. I start to lick it off, which is when I learn that the "active cultures" or whatever was listed on the bottle as the source of its hypothetical magic juju really mean that it tastes like rotten food. Maybe it would have been less disgusting mixed with the soda water which instead sprayed it over my newly purchased groceries, but I am now resigned to carrying them home with sticky, stinky hands.

I'm almost home, and holding one of my now disgusting hands up to shade the sun from my eyes, because it's sunny out, when I feel a drop of water land on the back of my hand. I think nothing of it, until seconds later, I'm in the midst of a torrential downpour without an umbrella.

Weird day today.
23rd-Jul-2009 08:40 pm - Chain of Fools
Things I Like:Collapse )


Those are three things that I like, and you should like them too, so that periodically, when no one else is looking, we can share a secret high-five that will signify that we both like some of the same things. We'll be like brothers! Except it will be nothing like that and will involve John Boehner throwing a temper tantrum.
I usually avoid the LiveJournal while I'm at work, but ... well, it's Friday ... and I'm bored ... and this is kindofsortofalmost work-related ...

You see, I had a dream last night.Collapse )

Whoa. Where did that come from?
2nd-Jun-2009 08:09 pm - Why so serious about heart disease?
The highlight of my day? While at work, I wrote a letter to someone with the last name of Batman. That's right: I wrote to Mrs. Batman. Mrs. Batman had coronary bypass surgery. I am apparently way behind on my comics reading. Normally, in a case like this, I would request Mrs. Batman's medical records and enter various bits of data into our database, but I have a sneaking suspicion this time might be a little different.Collapse )

The lowlight of my day? Being as I am not the most macho of men, or even anything close to macho, I sometimes get my wittle feelings hurt. This happened to me recently, and while thinking about it today, it occurred to me that I really shouldn't be upset about it. Not that I'm not justified in having hurt feelings (although, truth be told, I'm generally not), but more along the lines that the matter in question is of such trifling importance that it shouldn't have any emotional impact on me whatsoever. And then I realized that my new revelation was more painful than the hurt feelings were in the first place.

If you'd like to know what I'm referring to, you'll just have to turn your Cryptic Pronouncements Decoder Ring to M-2 to decipher my hidden meaning. Here's a hint: it probably has something to do with Ovaltine. Unfortunately, it probably doesn't have much to do with Batman ... or does it?!

No. Not really.
30th-May-2009 12:41 pm - An Additional Frontier
It's been a few weeks, and because I'm a huge nerd, I suppose that I have an obligation to offer up my thoughts on the newest Star Trek movie. The short answer is that I liked it. I really liked it.

As for the inevitable longer answer ...Collapse )
9th-May-2009 11:57 pm - Too ... much ... time .... travel
Dear Joe,Collapse )

Sincerely,
Joe

P.S.: Forget it, Joe. It's Hockeytown.
Last night, I went downtown with cosmicserpent to see the Bruins play the Hurricanes in the second round of the playoffs. They won in convincing fashion. I still think Carolina could steal a win or two, but I saw nothing to suggest they'll upset the Bruins. All in all, it was a fun game, and it left me more than a little giddy (yes, like the proverbial schoolgirl) for the rest of the playoffs. What could be more memorable than that?Collapse )
26th-Mar-2009 09:04 am - Spoiled
Are we all tired of talking, reading, thinking, and dreaming of the Battlestar Galactica finale yet?

Definitely.Collapse )

Also, I want someone to edit an episode of The Smurfs so that every use of the word "Smurf" is replaced with "Frak". And I want Gargafrak to cut out Papa Frak's eye. Smurf to it.
19th-Mar-2009 11:48 pm - I'm still running
I told the bartender to pour me another glass,
And light me a smoke, so I can sing some jazz.

Never before have I wished that I could somehow rock a yellow suit. Tonight, I wished that wish. I wished it hard. There were other wishes, but that's the only one fit for public consumption.
18th-Feb-2009 07:29 pm - Catcher in the Blog
I read a lot of books this year (90), although I'd read 11 of them previously. Despite the number, I honestly thought this list would be a lot easier to compile than the other two, as I'd actually made an effort to make notes about each of them as I read them. Sadly, my notes were rather pointless and inane, and while you might think would make them perfect for this list, the truth is that my top ten lists must be superficial and dull, rather than pointless and inane. I have to have standards, you know.

Leeturatoor!Collapse )

And that is that, although you should be forewarned that I'll probably do this again next year ... with graphs! You might not have realized that what the Top Ten genre was really missing was more math, but soon, all will be made painfully clear.
11th-Feb-2009 11:18 pm - Men (Manly Men)!
I know it's kind of late notice, but I've got one (1) extra ticket to the Boston Ballet for tomorrow (Thursday, February 12) at 7 PM (Parenthesis). The show is "Black and White", but you can wear colors, if'n you want. The ticket is $38, but I'm willing to negotiate. Contact me here (I'll check tomorrow, I promise) or by cell phone (617-650-6623).

On an irrelevant side note, many of Boston's salespeople seem to think that I have a girlfriend and that I am unprepared for Valentine's Day. I do not know what either of these assumptions mean.
25th-Jan-2009 01:11 pm - Citizen Jawalter
The candidates for my top ten movies list are all films that I either saw in the theater or through Netflix (57 total). I know that I saw more movies than this, but as I hadn't kept track of the others in any kind of systematic way, I decided to keep my list somewhat limited. Of course, this has led to some controversial exclusions, such as the Jason Statham epics Revolver and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, but, as They say, you can't make an omelet without tree lesbians or Kabbalah.

Tsinemae!Collapse )

I'm still working on my list of top-ten books (and then I'll stop, I promise), but in the meantime, I hope you'll all take me to task for not acknowledging that Mall Cop is such a cinematic masterpiece that it deserves to be included in every top-ten list ever, retroactively.
I spent a not insignificant amount of time last night watching YouTube videos of cute animals with my roommates.

I'm pretty sure my penis has just been revoked.
11th-Jan-2009 07:54 pm - This is Lumbar Puncture
While I usually avoid doing memes (for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I'm terrified that my responses will be unbearably boring), I've always wanted to do year-end top-ten lists. I don't mean to suggest that I'm some great critic or arbiter of taste, because, quite frankly, I'm not. But some small portion of what I experience every year is worth sharing, and this seems the least obnoxious way of doing so.

This is, however, a first for me, because I usually don't trust my memory enough to remember what I've done in any given year. But for reasons totally unrelated to any kind of list-making, I've actually been keeping track of what books I've read and movies I've seen this year, while iTunes has been keeping track of my music. So you can't blame me for this entry (or the two that will follow); you can only blame science.

Also, you can blame lupschada, with whom I had a memorable conversation over the summer about music (at least, I remember it, and I was pretty drunk, so ...). Hopefully, this entry will be more eloquent than I was in person.

Musicke!Collapse )

So there you have it. I'll be back soonish to make you suffer through my top ten books and top ten movies of 2008. In the meantime, feel free to unleash your merciless mockery of my list or whatever. I can't blame you. I mean, honestly? A top ten list without even one album by William Shatner? You have to wonder if I even like music at all.
5th-Jan-2009 08:10 am - 4 out of 5 will have to do
Sight: I've never been to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and I've decided I want to go. This weekend, anyone?

Sound: I just found out that Adele is playing at the Somerville Theater next week, and I really want to go. It's sold out, but tickets are available on StubHub for ... well ... too much money. Does anyone want to convince me to drop $150 for a seat in the balcony?

Taste: I want to go back to L'Espalier, now that they're firmly ensconced in their new digs. If I were to make reservations for some time in February or March for a multi-course meal-journey adventure-odyssey bliss-quest, would anyone else be willing to spend an obscene amount of money to eat and drink for several hours?

Smell: I just saw Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. If I were covered in animal fat, would anyone want to smell me?

Sixth: I can't read your minds. What are you thinking about?
31st-Dec-2008 11:48 am - Using strict criteria 111!!V14GR4!!!
I just got an e-mail with the subject heading "Sperm Morphology."

This e-mail was not -- I repeat -- not spam.

2008 is fucking with me.
I spent far too much time today searching frantically for a missing key to one of my file cabinets. And when I say "a missing key" I hope you all understand that what I really mean is "a key that was in my pocket the whole time". Clearly this key was placed in my pocket by malicious elves, desperate to keep hidden the secrets of diabetes -- secrets which I will soon expose to the world.

I am also not ruling out gnomes. Although why gnomes would care about diabetes is beyond me. In fact, forget I mentioned it.

Gnomes. How ludicrous.
Eight years ago, I went to my first (and so far, only) political rally. I was curious ... and a cute girl had asked me to go with her ... but it was mostly curiosity. Mostly. So I saw Ralph Nader speak at my alma mater. And I was persuaded.Collapse )

I think Al Swearengen (on my iPod) just said everything I was trying to get across with more succinct eloquence than I'll ever be able to muster:

"Startin' tomorrow morning, I will offer a personal fifty dollar bounty for every decapitated head of as many of these godless heathen cocksuckers as anyone can bring in, tomorrow, with no upper limit. That's all I say on that subject, 'cept next round's on the house. God rest the souls of that poor family! And pussy's half price, next fifteen minutes."


Thank you, Al, for your excellent impression of what I think the American political system is like. Terror, vengeance, greed, religion, sex, and always commerce, commerce, commerce; all carefully exploited to make sure that everybody just keeps doing exactly what they were already doing.
19th-Oct-2008 09:23 am - Choose My Own Adventure
Rather than finally getting around to pressing the "post" button on a bile-filled entry that I've been waffling about for weeks, I will instead demand your advice and attention. I'm going to a wedding in a few weeks with a dress code calling for "creative black and white attire." As I am, to say the least, somewhat sartorially challenged, I decided to go the safe route and rent a tuxedo. My only concession to creativity will be my cufflinks.

Presented in no particular order, here are my finalists:


Black Lego Pieces

Non-working (sadly) Watch Movements

Vintage Typewriter Keys

Black Keyboard Keys

Boston Subway Tokens

Scrabble Pieces (These also come in burgundy, which might show up better on a white shirt)

Compasses

Chicago Cubs (Because I'm a glutton for punishment)

Boston Bruins

Bush/Cheney (Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)


For all the links with letters, I will probably just use my own initials, unless someone has a better suggestion (space bar cufflinks would most likely be impractical, however). There are also multiple listings for most of these styles (especially the watch one), so I'll still have to do some shopping around.

Opine! I demand that you opine!
29th-Aug-2008 07:27 pm - Pedasstrian
On my way home from work just now, as I was crossing the street, a driver, who'd been honking his horn at all the pedestrians impeding his right turn, flipped me off. He was turning on to Harvard Street, however, which is pretty much always congested, so he made it about 3 car lengths past the intersection before he had to stop.

So I followed him.Collapse )

I almost titled this entry, "This is About the Cubs," but that would have been too obvious.
13th-Aug-2008 01:44 pm - Awkward
One of the people who works for me has been dealing with a lot of family health problems lately. Specifically, her father has suffered a stroke and a recurrence of his cancer. So she's been a little lax in terms of attendance lately, but frankly, I don't care if she's working fewer than 40 hours a week. She gets her work done, and she does it well, so I'm more than willing to cut her some slack. Our department's human resources person doesn't seem to care all that much, either. She understands the situation, and as long as I'm happy with it, she's happy.

But.Collapse )
3rd-Aug-2008 09:43 am - The Decline of Western Civilization
"I don't think I'm smart enough to understand this Jason Statham movie."
30th-Jun-2008 12:32 pm - (512) 441-1633 x. 219
I spend a lot of time on hold for work. In fact, that's the only reason I'm available to type this, because as we speak, I am currently caller number 17 waiting to speak to a representative. The estimated hold time is currently two minutes. No wait, I take that back. I'm currently caller number 11 ... no, wait ... number 4. The estimated hold time is ... no wait I'm currently caller number 29.Collapse )



Edit (2:15): I tried again, and I think they've fixed whatever the problem is. I'm still on hold, but the message has changed and the wait time seems closer to reality. I presume. Thank heavens I have LiveJournal, so as to bring you these Vital Updates.



Edit (2:25): Well, that worked ... sort of. I finally got through to a human being, who promptly transferred me to the voice mail of someone in the billing office, rather than medical records. As I am not in the mood to spend another twenty minutes on hold, my call pile will continue to exist until tomorrow.
27th-May-2008 09:00 pm - My bark is comparable to my bite
Any dreams I had that the gym would resemble a ghost town over the summer while the students were away ... pretty much crushed by the fact that today was possibly the most crowded I've ever seen it. Also, the gym has many, many mirrors, making it very, very obvious that I fit in with the tanned, toned student bodies about as much as a platypus at a dog show. Matters were not helped by the fact that I managed to get a sunburn yesterday, but only on my forearms. So today I looked like a platypus with bright red arms wandering around Westminster.

Finally, and most importantly, I need help. What should I read next: Captains Courageous, The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, or Kim? They're all by Rudyard Kipling, which leads me to the second area in which I must call upon your collective expertise. Recently, I was reading or listening to something in which a writer, or director, or screenwriter was talking about how a specific work they had created was heavily influenced by Kipling. I remember finding this all terribly interesting, and as I'd never read any Kipling, I decided that I should. So I remembered that part, but I cannot for the life of me recall who was talking about what. Do any of you have a clue what I'm talking about?

Post-finally, this is why I go to the gym.
21st-May-2008 01:18 pm - Synchronicity
Evidence the First: I read the following yesterday --
"I was witness to events of a less peaceful character. One day when I went out to my wood-pile, or rather my pile of stumps, I observed two large ants, the one red, the other much larger, nearly half an inch long, and black, fiercely contending with one another. Having once got hold they never let go, but struggled and wrestled and rolled on the chips incessantly ..." (Thoreau, Walden, Chapter 12 - Brute Neighbors)

Evidence the Second: For the bug-phobic amongst you, this links to a blog entry about some Japanese game show wherein a beetle fights a scorpion To The Death.

Conclusion: If Henry Thoreau were alive today, he would be a blogger, and if his book is any indication, he would be Insufferable With A Capital 'I'.

Also: I like to capitalize things for Emphasis.

Also, also: I initially wrote "Insufferable With A Capital 'A'".
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