all that web overburden
Friday, June 16 2000
It seems as if the Big Fun Glossary is behaving rather like the ancient tree fern forests of the Carboniferous (everyone who had a dinosaur book as a child can picture the scene). As first a paper document and then a hypertext story, the Big Fun Glossary flourished during the early web only to be buried under successively glitzier and glitzier web epochs. Now I see from my logs that it's been rediscovered and is being mined for "destination potential" by devotees of another web movement, the hypertext-happy BLOG people. Indeed, I've never had spontaneous viral marketing work in my favor quite as effectively as the current fad of BLOGers to read other BLOGs, discover the Big Fun Glossary, and then link to it themselves.
It was moving day at my workplace. On Monday I'll be reporting for work at a different building one block to the south. My new office will be a spacious cubicle containing two computers and having a commanding view of Santa Monica's frightfully busy Olympic Blvd.
After my development database server was shut down to be moved early in the afternoon, there wasn't much sense in hanging around the workplace, so I went on a bike ride down to the Santa Monica Pier, as seen in such shows as that last X Files episode (it might have been a rerun; I don't really watch the show unless a head falls off before the opening credits).
There's not a whole lot that's remarkable about the Santa Monica Pier. It's exactly like you'd expect it to be, a sort of self-weary perpetual county fair where the only truly excited people have foreign accents and are taking lots of pictures. In terms of entrepreneurial endeavors, it looks as though henna temporary tattoos are all the rage these days. But there are other things to be had: super-colorful hand-painted post cards and grains of rice with your name custom-written on them (to mention a few). At a regular frequency of some several seconds, one hears the screams of freaked-out children as one of the rides yet again reaches its scariest part.
I was extremely hungry as I pedaled my bicycle up the ramp returning to the mainland from the pier. Indeed, for a few seconds my light-headedness actually neared the pass-out threshold. So I found my way to the pedestrian Promenade, where (as Kim is quick to point out) a man goes to watch the flimsy fashionable skirts of young women tossed dangerously about by the breeze.
I found a place that served "New York Pizza" by the slice, and though it wasn't very good, I devoured two pieces in short order. Say what I might about the quality of my lunch, at least the place where I ate it didn't reek of urine. Two blocks down the Promenade, just outside an extremely fancy restaurant, sat a bum so stinky that I could actually smell him a half block away. I wondered how people could find the appetite to eat in the upscale outdoor patio area only 15 feet from such a potent point source of paint-peeling rankness. But, in all fairness, the accumulated urea in his clothes wasn't the only thing stinking up that part of the Promenade. There was some sort of unknown minor catastrophe near the corner of Broadway and third street that had the whole region smelling like the dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant. Anyone who's ever gone dumpster diving knows exactly what I'm talking about.
When I came home, Kim was still in session with one of her clients. She was dressed up in full Indian garb (complete with bindi). So, not wanting to taint the mellow tantric vibe, I went elsewhere for the next half hour, down to the little coffee shop near where Rochester forks off of Santa Monica at Centinella. Aside from me, three fashionable young adults of Chinese origin were hanging out, talking to each other in some unintelligible oriental language. I drank a double capuccino (just because I can!) and read about the decline and fall of the diet company Jenny Craig. It sort of read like the tragic tale of CollegeClub.com, except it was spread out over 20 years and Jenny Craig actually did go public. In fact, in 1992 their stock was over 30 dollars a share. Now, though, it's hovering somewhere around $3.10 and is under threat of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Why? Two things:
Continuing to base their business model on shipping pre-packaged meals even after being undercut everywhere by equally-good but cheaper (and slightly more hip) store brands.
- Having Monica Lewinski endorse the diet program (thereby alienating the core market: middle aged women hoping to save their marriages).
My Friday night has been spent all by myself. Not being especially social of late and no longer fretting about missing the party (unless I can hear it in the distance), I just hung out with my equipment. Media is rich enough in the year 2000 that one doesn't really need human companionship. But my God how I hate VH1's program called The List. At least Welcome to the Dollhouse was on Bravo tonight. "Your club is for retards!"
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