Updated blog is now at Interference Patterns. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, October 31, 2002
Karen--the woman who sits next to me at work--brought her two daughters in to Trick-or-Treat at work today. I'm not sure if they like me or not. Here are the notes they plastered all over my monitor before they left:

Everybody, including Karen, is fairly certain that that's a "u"....

But what's this "at you" stuff? Some sort of NorthEastern Pennsylvania pre-teen argot that I've missed out on?

Oh, how old are they? Well, I asked what grade they were in, and they weren't too pleased that I couldn't remember from the last time I asked (it could a been a few months or a year or a couple of days, knowing me). The oldest responded "fourth grade" and I said "great" remembering when I was in fourth grade and got the chicken pox (unless I'm confusing it with third grade?) and then she giggled and said "sixth grade" "eight grade" "twelfth grade" and finally shrieked out "twentieth grade."

I suppose I wasn't generating much confidence as I was wearing a spooky Martha Stewart mask (courtesy today's Forbes Magazine) at the time.

10/31/2002 06:14:04 PM
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
You thought I was kidding about the puppets, didn't you?

Godzilla and Frankie party on the town in this still from Mr. Stein's Neighborhood Street, with your host--Franklin Nathan Stein

A half-hour puppet-show I originally developed for John Bromberg's Second Annual Mudball Puppet Festival this past July. I gave an encore performance last Friday night at the 18th or 19th* alternative to noise: Who's Afraid of Performance Art?

* Why the confusion? Becuase at the start of the year Oct 25 was scheduled to be #19, but in August I cancelled #18. So: how should the counting proceed? It's all arbitrary anyway: I did shows for a more than a year without the alternative to noise moniker, and then used it only for music shows for an other year.
10/30/2002 11:35:59 PM
Friday, October 18, 2002
Adam Villani sent me this:

Last night I was engaging in a thought experiment on "if I owned a radio station." Driving around a lot, I listen to a lot of radio, and I think it's a medium with a lot of potential. I think I would actually like to own at least two stations--- one a "radio laboratory" with no regard for commerciality, and one an attempt to create a commercial music radio station that doesn't suck. I think the key would be not to reject songs that were hits, but to put them in a larger context of non-hit music. I think one dictum would be that if an album is good, than more songs than just those that have been released as singles should be played. Another is that songs by local non-superstar bands be played alongside everything else, and that the station should work to develop relations with the local music-making community. Another is to not feel constrained by genre. Let pop/rock music be a springboard for music from other genres. Another is to tell the listeners the name and artist of every song they play.

So, if we assume 12 songs per hour, then how about a primetime listening format like this:

3 Current hit songs
3 Lesser-known songs by hit bands, potential hits from less-played bands
3 Older hits --- mix in relatively recent (1-5 years old) with "flashback"
(5-15 y.o.) and "classic" (15+ y.o.)
1 song from a local band
1 wild card from any of the above
1 total wild card

In the off-primetime hours, the mix would lean more toward the stuff on the bottom, but still include at least something from every category. There would also be a wide slate of specialty shows.

So, what do you think? Could such a station work? Would people like it? Would it make money?


I know Adam from his band, Stale Urine. They did a tape-concert in my performance series, once.
10/18/2002 07:04:14 PM
I keep trying to finesse this thing. tweak. tweak. tweak. >oops.<
10/18/2002 06:56:50 PM
Thursday, October 17, 2002
somehow, this piece of paper got loose in my bedroom (the knowing snickers from visitors will stop NOW). After a few days of replacing it here and there, I finally decided to take a look at it:
when I was young I had a fever for the flavor of a Pringles; crunchy, salty saddle-shaped potato crisps; gently arcing, smoothly curving. My father has always loved potato chips, & so when I was young I did, too. Once, for my birthday, my parents gave me a bag of barbecue-flavor—my favorite, at the time. I was very happy to get the chips as a present, because I could eat them and I usually got socks, but these I could eat! The bag said that, in addition to the chips, there was some sort of toy inside. Well, it said exactly what sort of toy & gave it a name, but I can’t really remember what they called it after all this time. Anyway, it was supposed to be some sort kind of metal disk that you’d like invert—it was curved, you know?--& then set on a heater, or in the sun ore [sic] something, & it would heat up. And then it would pop-up high into the air with a loud snap! Anyway, it sounded cool, & I was real excited about playing with it, but my parent
that’s it, except for loops back upon itself/ video-loop at the bottom of the page. I certainly don’t remember writing this. The prose would mostly seem to indicate high school, but the “poetry” at the beginning is definitely from my college period. If not after. And some of the prose does show signs of trying something—casual language, I suppose. Not very successfully. What I do remember at this remove is that that the bag did not just contain ONE “toy” but five or six or possibly ten. I was thrilled at the time. I was what--8, 9, 10?
10/17/2002 09:01:34 PM
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

I like caves, I like tunnels, I like the dark dank damp dusty musty and forgotten realms that lie beneath our large buildings.

I just don't like them enough to take my life into my own hands and go meandering about semi-collapsed abandoned mines.

Not these guys, though. Check out The Breaker Boys, as they explore man-made subterranean caverns and abandoned buildings here in NEPA.

There's an entire web-ring devoted to fool-hardy people (fool-hards?) like this. I envy their guts, and think about my claustrophobia.....
When I was in college (waaaaay back when), one of the central building underwent expansion, and the tunnel system was exposed. After we finished our late-shift in the kitchen, another student-worker and I snuck in a couple night in a row. Big concrete tunnels, laid down in the sixties for heat, power, etc—large enough to drive a large truck through, big empty rooms, piles of student desks, an old steel coke can that I still have, crumbling brick tunnels from the original structure built in the 1860s, and somehow we ended up inside of the power plant. We saw a guy's feet on the gridwalk above us, and we skedaddled. Came back into the plant from the outside—this was now around 2am, and introduced ourselves. Guess the night guy didn't get too many visitors--he showed us around for the next two hours, all the nooks and crannies, even fired up the coal furnaces (that heated the entire campus) for us. Stealth and sneaking can be cool, but so can (relative) honesty, as well.

10/16/2002 09:41:18 PM
I am papparazzi