Last night on the way home I pass an opening party for the new trendy
store (the name escapes me...Mark Jacobs maybe?) on Bleecker
& 11th street, across from the Magnolia Bakery. Celebrities, TV
cameras, beautiful people spilled out onto the street drinking Sauvignon
Blanc. I think: there goes the neighborhood. The last thing we
need in the West Village is another flurry of overpriced, high-overhead trendy
stores. It's bad enough that Sex In The City is constantly being
I tried to watch the Olympics again last night. Thank God we have
a TiVo, because otherwise it would be entirely unbearable. NBC seems
to think that Olympic coverage should consist of 20% commercials, 65% "human
drama" stories and awards coverage, and only 15% actual footage of
sports. In fact, TiVo didn't even help much: I started watching with a
1/2 hour delay, and I caught up to live almost instantly as I zipped past
several useless interviews and Bob Costas rambling on about the Chinese.
I paused it, watched most of a ST:TNG
rerun, and when I returned had to zip through another 15 minutes of drivel
before getting to the U.S. women's volleyball game, which they started covering in the second set.
On NPR this morning they ran a story about Americans who live near
Canada who are watching Canadian Olympic coverage just because it doesn't
suck ass the way NBC's does. It bugs me that a company like that can
pay $705 million for exclusive U.S. broadcast rights and then fuck it
up so much. Why do we tolerate the sale of exclusive rights to broadcasters
in the first place? I think some kind of Dutch auction strategy would
be preferable, where the top three are given access. At least then we have
a decent shot of getting at least one network that is willing to just point
the camera at the athletes and get on with it. I can't wait for interactive
television to mature, so we can do away with the overproduced crap that
the networks want to foist on us.
The worst bit of last night (while I am in rant mode) was the coverage
of the men's gymnastics. I already knew the result, because NBC is tape-delaying
everything, and I saw it on CNN's website yesterday afternoon. At first
their coverage angle is: show every last thing the U.S. competitors do,
including stretching out and wiping their noses, and almost nothing else
from virtually any other country except a smattering of the major competitors
that were a threat to the U.S. medal: Russia, and to a lesser extent,
China. It's as if NBC misses the Cold War, because of the drama that
would surround the Russia-U.S. rivalry. Except that Russia didn't win-China
did. In fact, Russia didn't even get silver: Ukraine did. How
many Ukrainian gymnastics did we see? Virtually none! Only the last few
when it became obvious that the Russians had lost the silver, and if so-and-so
doesn't stick his landing in the parallel bars they will lose the bronze
to Japan, which is "unthinkable" in the words of NBC, since they
are Russia after all. They didn't even get the name right: it's "Ukraine"
not "The Ukraine". It's a sizeable country with the population
of France and an abundance of natural resources. They have nuclear
missiles. But the average American has no idea where it is, since it
was part of the Soviet empire until it broke free in 1991. Instead of taking
the time to tell us this, or (better yet) show us some of their athletes
doing their stuff, it was ignored. No drama. I don't know which
possibility upsets me more: that NBC thinks this is what people want, or
that they did their homework with focus groups, etc., and that it actually
is what Americans want to watch, and hence I'm a mutant for actually wanting
to see a volleyball game start-to-finish.
OK, I'm feeling much better now.
The Amazing Donut Guy apparently didn't show up this morning, so my
neighborhood indy coffee bar just had bagels and muffins. Sigh.
I made my way out of there past the sea of leashed dogs playing and sniffing
each other, and off I went to work.
Passing Bank Street, I couldn't see any evidence of yesterday's 7-story
geyser, but then again the streets were wet from rain, so who would
3:15 -- Lunch, finally. It's ark-building-level rain out there right now, so I just hit the "gourmet deli" thing in the building. It's not great, but at least you don't have to go outside. They must double their business on days like today. The upside is that they have Yoo-hoo(tm) chocolate drink, alias chocolate milk. At least, I think there's milk in it...hold on a sec: water, dairy whey (dairy whey?), high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, non-fat milk! Also "7 vitamins and minerals". Phew. Boy do I feel better after reading the ingredients.
5:19 -- Ay me. It continues to rain. The thumpa-thumpa-thumpa against the glass on my window is kind of soothing, but at some point I have to go home. That won't be anytime soon, though: And miles to code before I sleep
I love the quiet of the middle of the night. You can feel the sleeping going on. I have to get up tomorrow, but I don't care. I have Sierra Nevada in the fridge, I have books to read, I have a digital VCR full of programming, I have the web and E2. There's 120 minutes more until the hour of the wolf. Let's get busy.