I’ve been watching the price of gas drop all weekend. It seems like it’s adjusted on the hour. I’ll never understand how a load of gas the station bought at a higher price last week can sell for less today. I mean, I can understand why they'd charge more for gas they bought last week at a lower price - they're evil and bad. But this charging less for something they bought at a higher price - it makes no sense. Sure, blame it on "economics" or something, give me that ridiculous explanation about how you're actually paying the replacement cost of the next load (yeah, right, that sounds logical) but it’s obvious they’re ungouging us. Well, I’m tired of being unjerked around by these guys. I want the pumps to show what they paid for the load I’m putting in my car, just so I know how many pennies they’re not getting.

Unbloody ungoniffs. I want an investigation.

At the coffee shop right now, enjoying a cup of coffee, without all that bothersome “enjoyment” part. Really, it’s a horrible cup of coffee. It is sustainable, though. There’s a sign that says so, and it has a picture of an Amazonian tree frog on it. None of that frog-killing coffee here. It’s hard to describe just what makes it bad – it’s “light,” as opposed to the dark-as-tar roasts they usually have, and it has an undercurrent of nuts soaked in motor oil. Blech. Well, I bought it, and I’m here, so I’ll drink it. The refills are free, anyway.

Interesting weekend; I managed not to lose my cool last night. We had a three-girl sleepover. Much screechy glee. The worst part was when they decided to be Pokemons (something that, I believe, tells me about Gnat’s position in this particular tribe, since the other girls aren’t that into Pokemonology) and walked around for an hour screeching and cheeping and saying their name. (Pokemon only speak one word, their name, which makes the Darmak-When-The-Walls-Fell guys look like Italians jacked up on speed.) They made s’mores, played Viva Pinata on the Xbox, took a bath in the big tub, and giggled themselves to sleep in a tent. It was all very cute, but it was like living in a metal trash can during a hail storm.

And that was pretty much it. Didn’t do a lot of blogging Sunday; pitched in here and there on Saturday. Mostly ran errands. I had to return a 1 TB drive, because it didn’t work with Macs. It was a WD network drive, and they have some funky formatting system for those, so back it went. Since my printer is dying, I looked at the printers at Best Buy: not much. Surprisingly small selection, and what they had was ugly. Printers seem to be the one thing they can’t make look cool; the Pixma I have looks like a tissue box from Logan’s Run. I also ran the usual Saturday errands – had the car washed, because it had rained the other day. Odd how “rain” is usually described in cleansing terms, but leaves spots. You didn’t hear that in the Taxi Driver monologues. Some day a rain’s gonna come down and wash the scum off the streets, but it will leave spots that mar the fresh perfection. And then Travis Bickle hijacks a cloud-seeding plane and drops Jet Dry in the clouds. After the wash, off to the grocery store to get stuff for the kids – smore material (what a peculiar word, really: Smore. Sounds like a small blue-skinned prostitute with messy makeup) and strawberry milk and breakfast items. Got Gnat some cookies (100 calorie bags) to take to camp. Got in line and perused the reading material: Everyone’s happy because Jessica Simpson has lost 20 pounds and very alarmed because Angelina Jolie has lost 21. (The former still looked like she had a brain as dense as a bowling ball, and the latter looked like chopsticks and Silly Putty assembled in human form.) There was also great speculation about Nicole Ritchie, and whether she has a “baby bump” or a “fetal swell” or a “zygote bolus” or something. There were copies of newspapers, but they were placed at a safe distance, lest anyone get within 20 feet of something that mattered.

Friday night I did the website work for the rest of the week, and did my final buzz.mn redesign suggestions. It’s fair to say we’re making Dog-Face Kid the central defining image of the site. (Kidding.) I was thinking of a standard banner with one big rotating pictures instead of three, and while this isn’t exactly groundbreaking – I’ve been doing the One Big Picture on top since, oh, 1996- it would be better than the photos now used, which are played out. Then it struck me: how about no pictures?

Hmm. No pictures, you say. How would that work? Well, you’ll see, I’m looking for something as clean as possible, with one simple signifying detail, with a neutral – yet distinctive! – color scheme. That blue / green is getting to me.

Finally read the list of top 100 films (obligatory note about the uselessness of said lists) and noted that New Yorkers are peeved: “Toy Story” is on the list, but “Manhattan” isn’t. I’ll tell you why: I haven’t seen the latter in a while, and I owe it another look – but I suspect it’s overrated. What I remember about the movie isn’t the writing (well, there are some lines – Van Gock? Like an Arab she says it?) and some scenes, mostly notably Woody Allen standing next to a skeleton and discussing the importance of being well-remembered when you’re bones hanging in an office. Of course, his character’s version of Being Good appears to consist of a consensual sexual relationship with a child, which exudes great sickly waves of Oook nowadays. What I remember is Manhattan itself – not just the opening, but the planetarium scenes, the Tasteful Flats of the Upper Class. Everyone loves that opening, but it’s not like Woody Allen built Manhattan and wrote “Rhapsody in Blue” – in fact, you could make the case that Gershwin had New York in mind when he wrote the piece. Really!

Listen, give me Gordon Willis as my cinematographer and Susan Morse as my editor, and I’ll give you an opening montage of Fargo that will make people weep. “Radio Days” is better on almost every level, including its New Yorkness. Or at least a certain portion of a certain slice of a certain time. Perhaps that’s why everyone loves the beginning of Manhattan: everyone can agree on those buildings. Everyone loves those buildings.

Why they don’t build more of them, I’ll never know. I mean, look at this thing. I usually love KPF buildings, but that looks like the Hancock Building in a  “Baby Got Back” video.

Anything else? No, that should do it. Stayed up late every night working, saw no movies. I’m still watching the first season of the Sopranos. Interesting how Carmella is a lot more upfront about Tony’s line of work, right down to helping him hide guns. After a while she just shut it all out, I guess. Not in season one. But everything’s there, everything’s in place, right down to the FBI agent. Why am I watching this instead of “Deadwood”? Because I’m doing other things at the same time, and because I can’t relax. Much.

I’ve finished two cups of coffee; the free Caribou internet is about to bounce me out. Time to go home, walk the dog – if he wants to; it’s so damned hot he just wants to rest on the cool tile and stare into the distance. Then back to work! New matchbook, of course, and buzz.mn all day. Starting now!


See you at buzz.mn this very minute, and throughout the day.





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