Friday, December 24, 2004

The Pleasant Lounge-not so pleasant

I went out to dinner earlier tonight with my roommate. We tried this Italian place near where we live called The Pleasant Lounge. The food was generally really good and the portions were huge (it's family-style which means that one entree can feed 2-3 people though we still have a lot of it left over). The only problem was our waitress. Keep in mind that we were the only people eating at the restaurant during that time. Initially, everything was ok, but when I wanted to order dessert, she informed me after checking that they didn't have any available. So I opted to just have some coffee. After what seemed like an eternity, the coffee finally came out. Even though she said that they had to make it "from scratch" (as in they had to excavate the beans from Colombia and ship them up here given how long it took), it wasn't even hot when I finally got it. And then, after she didn't come to pick up our bill, I had to go to the register and take care of it myself. After what seemed like another eternity, we finally got our change back. She gave me about $2 more than what she actually owed me. Not that I protested or anything, but the service was just pitiful for us being the only people eating in the place.

Thus, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give it an 8 for the food, but a 2 or 3 for the service. Bah humbug. God help them if they have a full house and that's the kind of service that they give. Well, I wanna give them the benefit of the doubt and I think that it must be really new, but man oh man.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

And It Shook Me

I work for a college, which means that this week, there's almost no one here. The fall semester is done, so no students and very few faculty members are around. Furthermore, not that many staff members are around, either (though I am and I have to come in tomorrow; sigh; though at least I have off on Friday and I have a break for a full week until I have to go into the office on the 3rd). Thus, it's pretty dead around here now, almost eerily so. Furthermore, my boss left about an hour ago, leaving me alone here in the office. Also, keep in mind that we don't get many visitors. On occasion, someone will come in to visit and chat with either me or my boss, but most of the time, we're here by ourselves. So why I am writing this then? Well about 10 minutes ago, THE PRESIDENT OF THE SCHOOL (who I've never met before; just seen at school functions, etc.) came in, presumably to talk to my boss (who reports directly to him), but maybe to check on me, too. Anyway, of course I was extremely nervous since I'd never met him before. He asked me what I was working on and I described the details of the the project that I'm working on (when I'm not taking breaks to work on my blog; hee hee) and after bumbling and stumbling nervously in an awkward attempt to justify my existence, he finally said "nice to finally meet you" and of course I said the same. As Keanu Reeves would exclaim, "Whoah"! What a time to meet the big boss, huh?

Other things that happened today:

1) I missed the bus and had to wait a good 20 minutes (which is not good since I'm already groggy and cranky in the morning when I lack coffee and food) for another one because a friend called me at 9:30 in the fucking morning and I was checking my messages.

2) To offset #1, my boss (who is awesome) gave me a $150 gift certificate to Amazon as his holiday gift, which made my day. Now the big question: do I splurge for the iPod that I desperately want (and use the gift certificate as a discount on it) or go for those recent Elvis Costello, Echo and the Bunnymen and Kinks (that 3 CD Village Green Preservation Society looks yummy) reissues (as well as some new stuff; maybe I'll finally get that Arcade Fire album or some more Fall albums) that I still haven't picked up? Discerning readers can chime in with their opinions. Enquiring minds want to know. :-)

3) I had a great cream of broccoli soup at Brunchateria, the place that I go to all the time for lunch. It's on 1st Avenue between E. 68th and E. 69th Sts. Check it out and tell 'em I sent you. They might give you a free dessert (and they're yummy too). I'd post a link to their site, but they don't have one and their Citysearch profile doesn't have any other info or reviews.

4) You know what, although I haven't listened to in months, I'm listening to the most recent Modest Mouse album (you know, the one that sold 8 trillion copies with "Float On" being all over MTV and the radio) now and it still kicks ass. In fact, I think I like it even more now than when I first got it and I played the shit out of it over the summer.

5) Visqueen are amazing. Check out their 1st album King Me and in particular, the songs "Zirconium Gun" and "Mrs. Elder". I still haven't heard the new one. Funny how $150, as generous as it is, seems so small, when you wanna buy so much music, huh?

xxx The Robot, over and out.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Livin' Just Enough for the City

This article really hit home for me, as someone who has to pay off student loans and what not. I'm sure that some of you who read this article will be able to identify with it in some way, shape or form, unfortunately. It just makes me sick that college costs are going up and up and the credit card companies aren't held accountable for their scams. OK, enough ranting.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hi my name is Matt and I'm a vinyl-holic

"Welcome Matt".

"Well I know that I'm running out of space on my shelves and I spend a lot more money on records than I should, but hey, at least it's not crack."

Earlier today I went to the Archive of Contemporary Music's Record and CD sale. They do it twice a year (once in June and once in December) and basically there's a lot of vinyl and some CDs (mostly for very reasonable prices) that are donated by various labels and individuals. I usually spend about $20 or so there and sure enough, I spent $22 today. Here's what I bought and their respective prices and formats:
The Blue Nile "Peace at Last" ($5 on CD)
Mink De Ville-s/t ($3 on vinyl)
Nick Lowe "The Abominable Snowman" ($3 on vinyl)
Nick Lowe "Nick the Knife" ($3 on vinyl)
The Saints "All Fools Day" ($4 on vinyl)
And for comic relief,
Dee Dee King "Standing in the Spotlight" (yes this is Dee Dee Ramone's rap album folks; this should be as hysterical as Brian Wilson's attempt at rap, "Smart Girls"; on vinyl for $5)

The last day of the sale is tomorrow, so check it out. All of the pertinent info is here:

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

What Do You Get When You Combine Porn and Folk Music?

No, not naked hippies (thankfully). Get your minds out of the gutter. :-) A great big fucking mess, that's what. Check this out. Man, this Stryker guy is really out of his skull. Plus, doesn't he realize that he named himself after the lead character in Airplane (Ted Stryker)? :-) Anyway, here's the story:

On this last night of Chanukah

Well, as an addendum to my story about the Lubavitchers and the menorah from the other night, at the insistence of my roommate, I actually lit the damn thing tonight. You know, I figured that since I'd brought it home, I should at least put it to good use on one of the nights of Chanukah and what better night than on the very last one.

Also, this was sent to me by a friend today. And you thought that the "Hey Ya" thing was badass? Well check this out:

Monday, December 13, 2004

Political Message of the Day

This is from Michael Moore's site. While I disagree with certain things in it, I agree with the overall message. Liberals shouldn't be ashamed of their views and we should continue to work and fight for the things we believe in.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Pixies and Lubavitchers and menorahs (oh my)

After saw the Pixies (who were awesome, by the way) last night, me and my friends Norm and Libby were accosted by this Lubavitcher youth who promptly asked me if I was Jewish. He addressed the question to me and not to Norm and Libby probably because Norm is Filipino. I said "yes, why?" and then asked me if I knew that it was Chanukah. Of course, I said yes and then he asked me if I had a menorah and what kind. I told him that it was an electric one and almost on cue, he handed me a non-electric one and a set of candles to light them with (with the candle box prominently displaying the Lubavitcher Youth office address on the side, of course) in addition to a pamphlet describing the Chanukah story. After attempting (unsuccessfully, of course) to convince him that I wouldn't use the menorah and candles that he handed to me, I eventually gave up and took them. Thus, the entire rest of the night and on my way home, I was carrying around the menorah, candles and pamphlet (I'd feel really guilty ditching it and I wanted to preserve it as part of this story; and I wonder why I have so much random shit in my apartment; sigh) and since I had nothing else to read, I read the pamphlet on the train.

To make it even worse, a few days ago when I was in Williamsburg, I got accosted by a few of them asking me the same questions. Fortunately, they were less pushy than the one on 34th Street yesterday since they didn't hand me any menorahs, candles or pamphlets after I told them that I'm Jewish and that I had a menorah and everything.

I guess that Chanukah seems to bring them out of the woodwork. Yikes.