Archive for the ‘ local ’ Category
1 pound retro glasses
1 teaspoon men in hats
3 packages of surprisingly apt metaphor
5 cups geek humor (dry)
1 tablespoon Star Wars references
3 cups suit jackets over t-shirts
8 cups collages that cover entire slides in PowerPoint
4 cups irrelevant, non-web related content in presentations
1 tablespoon foreign languages used to label types of processes
2 pounds MacBook Pro (fresh)
Stir together geek humor, metaphor, Star Wars references, collages, irrelevant content, and foreign languages in large bowl. Let chill overnight.
Spread MacBook Pro pieces across baking sheet. Sprinkle suit jackets, hats, and retro glasses, leaving some for later. Bake for 15 minutes at 375. Then top with mixture from bowl, sprinkling remaining jackets, hats and retro glasses on top of mixture. Bake another 15 minutes at 375 until golden brown.
Yields 250 servings. A real crowd pleaser!
This week I finally broke free from cable TV. I bought a nice antenna, upgraded my Tivo, and decided to ditch cable since 90% of what I watch isn’t on it. I don’t care for reality TV and don’t get a kick out of watching other people make fools of themselves whilst drunk. At least not on TV I have to pay for.
I thought canceling cable with Comcast might be easy. I also thought it might interrupt my internet service, also purchased through Comcast. [After all, I had experience to back up this theory. My first cell phone was through Qwest. When I called to cancel my Qwest land line, the CS rep also canceled my cell phone. I had to call them back from a payphone in Perkins.]
The CS rep canceling my Comcast “video service”, as they like to call it, was very friendly and did not pressure me into anything. She warned me that my internet price would go up $15 since I was not bundling with another service any longer. Although the pricing is beyond unfair, I stuck to my guns.
A couple minutes after hanging up with Comcast, I went to my computer. My internet was down. I did all the things the reps have you do when you call in for help, but nothing worked. I knew it was something on their end. I wasn’t getting a signal from the wall jack. The nice lady fucked up my account.
So I called back. Unsurprisingly, the rep had me try all the stuff I’d already tried. I told her that everything worked until my video was canceled, but it fell on deaf ears. Instead, she had me turn off my antivirus. She insisted that she was sending signals to my modem. I told her that the correct lights were not on. Again, she ignored my information.
She continued to tell me that the last course of action will be to send someone out. I was fine with that because I figured at least that person might have a brain capable of listening and making intelligent decisions based on the information provided. I asked if I’d have to pay for the visit and she says that yes, there is a $24 fee. I insisted that I was not paying for a visit for a problem caused on their end. We went back and forth for a bit, then she graciously granted me a free month of the service plan so the tech visit would be free for me.
i apologize please emial firstname.lastname@example.org your experience so we can not make this happen again.
Despite the horrible typos, I sent a message explaining everything I wrote above. I received a reply quite quickly. I emailed back and forth with Bonnie in her pink font and typos galore. She asked some good questions and pretty much admitted Comcast’s fault in the matter.
Little did I know that Bonnie escalated my ticket to Deb at the local Comcast office, who left me two voicemails in the afternoon. I don’t even remember what the first one said, but the second one said that she changed something on my account and can now get a signal to my modem. She asked that I call her back at a special number (not the number on the caller ID). I got home, futzed with the modem a bit, and miraculously got a signal. My internet was back up, as good as ever.
I called the special number (a line just for local escalations, from what I could tell) and got some dude. I said my name and explained why I was calling and the dude said, “Oh yes, Deb told me about you. I’m glad to hear everything works now.”
The moral of this story is clear. Actually, there are two morals.
1. Comcast needs smarter CS reps who actively listen and make smart decisions based on what the customer is saying instead of trying to fit everything into a troubleshooting tree. If they aren’t tech savvy, fire them. One size does not fit all when it comes to tech issue resolution.
2. To get Comcast’s attention, all you got to do is tweet about it. Set up a Twitter account now, Comcast customers, just in case you ever need to bitch about them. Comcast is obviously aware of their poor image enough to know that they can curb issues quickly via social networking sites. Now they just need to see the patterns in these issues, and turn them into information to improve their customer service.
We’ve finally made it. The US has a swell new prez, there’s more cute cat videos online than ever before, and Britney Spears may actually come back to some state of normalcy. It’s a great time to post some best of lists!
I’m starting with my favorite shows of 2008 because what I witnessed was amazing time and time again. Some shows were little, some big, but nearly all exciting and memorable.
More lists to come!
I had a couple errands to run in downtown Hopkins, Minnesota today.
I started by dropping off some CDs at the library. There, the female security guard tried to kick out an apparently drunk young man. I say “tried” because Even after waiting for her to finish up after five minutes, the dude was still hanging around the doorway. She’d tell him to leave, he’d say he did nothing wrong. She’d ask to see his ID to prove he’s 21 because she saw him with a can of beer, he’d mumble that he didn’t have anything. Drain, rinse, and repeat.
Next I walked along Main Street, noting all the old-fashioned window signs adding to the quaintness of the city. I wanted to stop at Bud’s Music Shop, but it was closed. So, I took a pic of a beautiful blue guitar in the window. Mmmmmm….
I ended up going into the Hopkins Antique Mall — a huge place filled to the brim with some crap, but lots of goodies. Here’s a few of my favorites:
“What you don’t know about Liberace” – I didn’t know he was such a mama’s boy! Cute!
Um, that is a Nazi symbol, right? I know that it’s also a Hindu symbol, but come on. Were Nazi’s “real disco”?
I was at Moscow on the Hill tonight for a birthday party. We were on the patio and I was facing the door that goes inside, so I looked at everyone coming in and out.
Once the door opened, and out came a very familiar face and didn’t think much of it. Then I realized that the face was entirely out of context because it was a famous face. It was Bill Murray! Then I thought, no, it’s just a guy who looks like Bill Murray. I kept staring. He stood there for almost a minute as a man with him told the waiter which table they wanted. He also had a sexy lady with him. He looked very normal, but also very handsome.
As his party started walking to their table, I tried to get my group’s attention, but they ignored me at first, excited about some conversation. “That guy looks just like Billy Murray. I think it’s Bill Murray!” I said probably way too loudly. Everyone at my table looked confused for a bit because Bill’s back was to them, but then finally everyone gasped. One reminded us that Bill owns or co-owns the St. Paul Saints, which would explain his presence in St.Paul on a summer evening. We all started texting and calling friends.
The accordionist serenaded them, and they clapped joyfully. They had the same waiter as us. When the waiter came to take our cards I said “Big guest over there, huh?” and he said “Yeah, I hope so” with a huge grin.
I don’t think anyone bothered him, but I saw a few people come out for a closer look. I saw a camera flash at one point, but it might have even been from Bill’s party. I’m not sure.
I wonder where Bill stays when he’s in town.
P.S. To be clear: I did not take that picture. I thought a snapshot would be more appropriate — didn’t mean to lead anybody on.
This year’s Voltage Fashion Amplified was bittersweet. It was my friend Nathan‘s (aka George Moskal to the rest of the city) second and final time showing at this prestigious event in Minneapolis. He’s moving to Portland, which I’m sad about but I cannot wait to go visit him all the time. I adore Portland.
We were hoping this year would be better than last year in a few ways. One was that the First Ave staff stupidly refused to let to let others go into the VIP Lounge after the show to help the designers (or anyone) get their shit packed up. Last year I whisked past the security dude somehow, but this year he stopped us cold and wouldn’t let us in. Tell me, First Ave, what is the point? Don’t you want those people out of there as quickly as possible, especially when you know there’s an afterparty everyone wants to go to? It’s not like you’re going to sell tons of drinks after the show. To top it off, and to show First Ave’s hypocrisy, a friend of a friend got into Voltage for free by simply holding up his hand and walking through the front doors. He didn’t have a stamp to show off, but he played it like he did, and got in.
We took all of Nathan’s stuff to their car in the Target Center ramp, then proceeded to Sound Bar for the afterparty. None of us had heard of it, and with good reason. Last year’s party was fairly lame, and again I barely got let in because the Voltage crew were only allowed one +1. This year though, anyone could get in with a $3 cover. Or at least that’s what we were told.
We got a little lost, and as we walked up we noticed a small crowd and a velvet rope. I was fumbling for my ID when I heard a little commotion. Greg (Nathan’s S.O.) was trying to hand over his ID for inspection to one of the two bouncers. Nathan was getting his Voltage tag out. He said that we’re here for the Voltage party. The bouncer was unresponsive. Greg noticed that he was starting at Nathan’s feet. The bouncer, noticeably Easter European, turned to his buddy and whispered something. Nathan waved his Designer tag in front of him again and the bouncer replied, “We don’t allow white shoes.”
I began to cackle. Greg huffed and Nathan simply said, “Seriously? Well fuck this!” with his best diva hand action. We walked off, me still cackling. The party was partly for Nathan, yet he’s not allowed inside this ridiculously pretentious Minneapolis bar because of his super cute, uber hip, off-white Keds. Ummm, yeah. Well, better him than me in my super cute retro Nike slip-ons.
We returned to the Target Center ramp where Greg and Nathan took off long before me because my car was a little farther away. It took me a bit to find my way off the top floor (there was a Timberwolves game), but when I finally reach the exit, Greg and Nathan were still at the toll booth thingy. I could see Nathan’s siloutte obviously shouting at the toll guy, and Greg trying to hand the toll guy money. The toll guy had a ticket in his hand, but got out and wrote down their plate number. Meanwhile, I’m thinking the toll guy must not be honoring the tickets we already paid for ($10, thank you very much) due to some stupid post-midnight rule or something.
Finally Greg and Nathan pulled away, after much more shouting from Nathan. I pull up to the booth and said to the guy, “So you’re not honoring these tickets?” The guy replied, “They lost their ticket. They had to pay for lost ticket charge.” The money and lost ticket ticket (yes, he generates a ticket for a lost ticket) is still in his hand. I get a little flustered and apologize. Pretending I didn’t know the trouble-makers, I offer the possibility that the men had a bad day. I talked with the toll booth guy for a good couple of minutes, trying to make him feel better. He was near tears, and appreciated my concern.
Nathan called after I pulled out and he said that they had no idea that they needed to take a ticket when they entered, which was obviously the toll guy’s fault. *Sigh*.
We’re all rude and pretentious sometimes, but Minneapolis was full of it last night.
It’s time once again for a brief update on my time in our great Twin Cities. Have I ever mentioned how much I love bulleted lists?
What have you all been up to?
A lot has been going on in and around Minneapolis since my last post, and I’ve been partaking in some of those events. The Twin Cities truly are a haven for artists and lovers of art. That gets forgotten a lot, especially nationally. I’m here to give you some examples of the cool culture offered by our fair cities.
Last Saturday, I saw the deservedly highly praised “Idigaragua” at Bedlam Theatre. Dubbed as an “indie rock musical”, this production was easy to love if you’ve been wondering “‘Tommy’ sucked, so why hasn’t a band tried to write a musical since?” The band is Fort Wilson Riot who, at only two years old, sound so tight you’d think otherwise. The production went something like this: band plays, actors mime along, puppets go in and out, a screen is assembled and a film is played, more puppets, more lip syncing, and lots of great indie rock. I bought the CD hoping it would clue me into the story, but it hasn’t. Still, the mix of their major talent and proud oddness could make them big (indie) stars someday.
Last Sunday was my first time dealing with the I-35W detour to Hwy 280. The first Msp Music Expo in a while was back at the Four Points Sheraton in “Minneapolis” (whatever, it’s totally Roseville). I ended up taking home a jazz compilation that once belonged to Gene Goldenfeld of Los Angeles, CA. I don’t know who that is either. I’m trying to familiarize myself with some jazz. I also purchased a first edition paperback of my buddy Tim Riley’s “Tell Me Why”. Just what I needed – another Beatles book.
This past week included a couple shows. The first was the band I “manage”, Formula Three (and by “manage” I mean suggesting they have a CD release party earlier this year) at the Uptown Bar. I’d never been to the Uptown before, and I can’t see myself going back just for kicks. Punks, blah blah blah. My favorite was a guy in a brand new hoodie and a huge NOFX patch safety pinned to the back. I shouldn’t tease, maybe he doesn’t consider himself punk. I guess all hoodies are new at some point. Codger opened, and I found them very annoying. I just can’t get into bands who think they are really really funny. That bores me to tears. If you’re going for the funny bone instead of the spirit with your music, at least be clever. An “I want jaundice” t-shirt is not even “funny weird”, it’s just dumb. And yelling out an inside joke repeatedly does not make me want to know more.
Even more culturally significant was seeing St. Vincent and The National at the stupid Fine Line. How does the Fine Line keep to fire codes? The two times I’ve been, there’s easily 200 extra people crowding up the place. It’s nearly impossible to walk anywhere. Luckily, we splurged for the golden table seating deal where you get food and drinks and a good place to sit. It’s the only way to do the Fine Line. They were even kind enough to provide a chair for an extra person we had.
Re: St. Vincent, I normally can’t stand her music. I saw her open for Midlake earlier this year, and it was just plain weird. She looked like a bag lady. Since then she’s gotten tons of buzz, washed her hair and has been here about 16 times so far this year, she says. But St. Vincent’s set was really brilliant this time. The songs on “Marry Me” shone when all stripped down to mainly her electric guitar and beautiful voice. But what really sold me was her quip, “And here’s a song I wrote back in 1969…” before delving into the semi-obscure “I Dig a Pony” from the Beatles’ “Let it Be” album. She is the LAST person I’d expect to do a Beatles cover. Loved it.
The National were everything I hoped they would be. As my new favorite band, I had high expectations. Matt Berninger puts on quite a show…he’s moody, kinda crazy, and extremely passionate. His voice sounds even better in person, which I didn’t think was possible.
An added feature was an incredible violinist/pianist, who clearly loves the songs as much as all the fans in the audience. The annoying girl quotient was pretty high (“You’re awesome Matt” repeated between every song), but luckily our table kept us fairly safe.
Tonight it’s “Strange Love“, a musical/performance art piece inspired “Dr. Strangelove”. God I love artists.
Photo courtesy jcbehm.
It’s time once again for a trend update from your always a week behind the rest of the cool kids blogging buddy.