I just realized I’m a big jerk

“Just now?” you may be saying in mock surprise. To you I say, “Shut up!” in my jerkiest voice, which I have just now realized is more seriously jerky than I had previously assumed.

What did I do that was so jerky? Well, nothing, really. That’s just it. I did nothing because I am a jerk. Instead of doing something that any reasonably non-jerky person would have done, I did nothing, and then I thought so much about how I didn’t do anything that I became overcome with guilt for my inaction and felt compelled to seek penance in the confessional of my blog.

As I do about once a week or so, I spent much of the day today at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota. Never mind the fact that I am neither student, nor faculty, nor staff, nor alumnus. (Nor do I know whether or not it’s grammatically correct to use “neither” with that many “nors,” although I suspect it is not.) SLP is on the faculty, and my frequent visits correspond to our weekly-ish lunch dates.

Anyway… at one point in the day I was in the B-level men’s room, and I noticed an abandoned Droid on a sink basin. No, no no, no. I didn’t take it. I didn’t take it to keep (which I shouldn’t, and wouldn’t do; I’m a jerk, not a thief). I also didn’t take it to the lost and found (which… well). I just left it there.

Several hours later I was back in that men’s room, and before leaving I wanted to check and see if the Droid was still there, this time intending to do the right thing and take it to the lost and found. But for the entire time I was in the men’s room, there was some other guy standing at the sink right next to the sink the Droid had been left on. God knows what he was doing that he needed to spend that much time at the sink, but it was too far away from the urinal I was using for me to go over to it without seeming weird, and going over there after I had washed my hands at a different sink would seem even more weird, and besides, I was just getting pissed at that guy for taking so damn long at the sink!

People who take forever doing whatever they’re doing in public restrooms always bug me, perhaps because it prevents me from taking forever myself without feeling self-conscious about it. Perhaps I’m just resentful of guys who are so indifferent to what jerks like me think about them, that they can happily go about whatever it is they want to do without worrying. Because I worry a lot, about things both important and irrelevant.


In the end, I never did find out what happened to the Droid, nor did I figure out why that guy needed to spend so long at the sink. Come to think of it, I didn’t really learn anything from this whole experience. If anything I’m even more bitter and worried than I was before. What a jerk.

Stirring up the “Bitches Brew”

Miles Davis - Bitches BrewThere are some albums in my collection (such as Relayer by Yes, of all things) that I have purchased multiple (and I mean many) times over the years as new and improved versions have been released. But for some reason, after 15 or so years, I’m still stuck with the quiet, murky, horribly mastered original CD release of Bitches Brew, one of the most influential of all Miles Davis albums (all of which are influential in their way). Why? Well, that’s a good question, especially now that I’ve ripped off paid tribute to it with a track on my latest CD, Unnatural Disasters.

The price has probably been the biggest deterrent. Since it’s a double album, and most versions now feature copious bonus tracks, it’s almost impossible to find for less than $20. Even for download. iTunes has it priced at $19.90, and since all but one of the tracks are at least 11 minutes long, you can’t just scoop up the 7 individual tracks for $6.93.

Amazon MP3 Downloads has it priced at a more reasonable $16.99, but here’s the catch: you can still buy all of the individual tracks, even the 27-minute title track, separately for 99 cents each. It requires some more cumbersome clicking around (since ease of use has never been Amazon’s strongest suit, strangely enough), but it’s worth the extra calories burned by your right index finger, and the minute or two all of that takes, to save ten bucks!

Room 34 on iPhone

iPhoneI finally got myself an iPhone on Thursday. In fact tomorrow I will have two, which is one more than I need (and is also a story for another post), but the point right now is that I finally have an iPhone.

Naturally one of the first things I did with the iPhone was take a look at how room34.com looks on the iPhone. And since the iPhone’s Safari browser works pretty well, it looked fine. But since it’s optimized for a 1024×768 display, it also was a tad small.

By now I am all set to create an iPhone-friendly version of the site, but since it’s built on WordPress, I was pretty sure someone would already have created an iPhone-friendly theme, and sure enough, someone did. But they actually went one step further and built it as a plug-in, so you can keep your regular theme for computer-based visitors and mobile users will automatically see the mobile version. Nice!

It’s a bit plain for my tastes, and it doesn’t account for the fact that I’ve built my own navigation bar and menu system for browsing the non-blog pages of my site, but it’s a start. I plan to customize it over the next week or so to look more Room 34-ish, and to include all of the necessary navigation.