At the movies

Between the commercials and previews for “Shrek 2” at the Regal 14 Union Square, a man in employee attire walked to the front of our theater and called us to attention. He explained that Regal is raising money for serious illnesses this summer, and that he, Tony, was living proof of the positive effects of this research.

“I was very, very sick,” Tony earnestly explained to the crowd, “and had it not been for expensive brain surgery, I wouldn’t be here today.”

From the fifth row a little girl’s hand shot up. Tony, excited for the interaction, called on her: “Yes?”

“I have a friend named Tony!”

The assist

The scene: Barnacle Bill’s miniature golf down the Jersey shore, waiting at the 12th hole for a father and his 5-year-old daughter to play. The hole has a half-loop that leads to a raised green.

The daughter swings wildly and misses the ball entirely. She tries again, and makes contact; her ball flies into the air, hits the side of the raised green, and ricochets onto the lower part of the hole.

Father steps onto the hole and hits his daughter’s ball through the loop. As she watches, he reaches up to the raised green, taps her ball into the hole, and declares triumphantly: “Hole in one for Becky!” Becky raises her arms in triumph.

Defining sotto voce

Don’t miss this great piece, journalist’s retort and all, by Felix Salmon regarding Nick Denton’s “off the record” email getting printed in Business 2.0. This startled me when I read the article in question, too, and I’m glad it’s been publicly addressed. While I see the article author’s point, I’m not sure I buy it.

Addendum, May 27: Here’s the June 2004 Wired article on Nick and Gawker Media, just published.

One terabyte!

Google has gone and upgraded my Gmail account to one terabyte of storage.

What the heck do I do with a terabyte of email access? Maybe Google has plans on giving me FTP access, too, so I can have a free repository for all my MP3s.

Update: Just a glitch. Ah well.

Good songs

I dig the return of dirty rock ‘n roll.

~ The Strokes, “Reptilia” (single)

~ Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (album)

~ The Vines, “Ride” (single)

One must still genuflect to the master:

~ James Gang, “Funk #49

That left-to-right stereo slide of the opening guitar lick is one of my favorite moments in recorded music.

Committing

When I was 18 I was down the Jersey shore and walked by this ridiculous airbrushed T-shirt of Gene Simmons of Kiss, all made up with a silly tongue that extended down and twisted around like a pretzel. It was $40, which was a fortune for a T-shirt to a high school senior in 1991.

After staring at it for a few minutes, my friend Adam said to me, “Buy it. If you don’t get it now, you’ll always wish you had.”

So I bought it; spent the forty bucks and worried the heck out of myself whenever I put it on. I’ve worn it a total of three times in 13 years.

The most recent time I wore it was to a Kiss meet-and-greet at a club in Manhattan in 1997. Each member of the band stood in a row onstage, and fans got to walk down the row and shake hands with the band members. The rules were strict: keep the line moving, no posing for photos around the back of the podium, autographs on albums and papers only.

Every member of the band loved my shirt. Paul Stanley: “Nice shirt!” Eric Singer: “Great shirt, man.” Bruce Kulick: “Love that shirt,” then, turning to Gene Simmons: “Hey, Gene, check out this guy’s shirt.”

When I got to Gene he gave me a great you-and-me-pal smile. He pulled me aside, leaned in close, autographed the shirt in permanent marker and gave me a firm handshake, nodding knowingly.

I’m not that star-struck but that’s about as fun as music fandom has ever gotten for me. I came home, sprayed the shirt with some sealing solution, and haven’t worn it since. It took six years for it to pay off, but in the end, my decisiveness led me to a singular event with a unique memento.

Any time I’m on the fence about something I think about that shirt, and how my greatest wisdom is often the one in my gut.

Young firm loads gun, shoots itself in foot (well, pinky toe)

Six Apart built its burgeoning weblog empire on a free piece of software that promotes goodwill and encourages people to use its paid service, Typepad. So what does the company do, now that it is a full-fledged company? It makes the new release of Movable Type surprisingly cost-prohibitive for most noncommercial users. I hope for Anil, Ben and Mena’s sake that this doesn’t create the backlash I think it will.

Update: In the scheme of things, MT’s cost structure isn’t particularly expensive. It feels expensive, because MT users are used to it being free. But $99 isn’t that much money; I regularly pay $39 to $79 for BBEdit releases, and they’re a similar company in size and stature. I’m a cheapskate with personal software licensing, but when I’m ready to add more publishers to my platform, I’ll be paying.

Update 2, May 17: Read Brad Choate’s piece on the matter, which sums it up nicely.