I say this with all the affection and love in my heart for you guys, but it sure is good to get away from this place for a while. I thought it would be Blog City over the weekend, and to be sure, we had all the necessary materials:
I count four laptops in that photo (one closed and hiding), plus an iPad. But it’s deceiving. John was working on getting our stupid printer on our wifi network, which is one reason we’re so glad they stop by a couple times a year.
The stupid printer now works. And we didn’t spend the entire weekend laptopping separately. We made several big meals, shopped at Eastern Market, toured the DIA, ate at Good Girls Go To Paris and got up off of our thangs, except when felled by wine. I got four DVDs from the library, in case we felt like a movie, and discovered “Bottle Shock” is worth your time, but “Synecdoche New York” is not. In fact, it’s self-indulgent nonsense, the result of what happens when a quirky, neurotic screenwriter produces several great, memorable scripts (“Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and then says, “But what I’d really like to do is direct.”
I dunno, maybe you liked it. I didn’t. (Shrug.)
What I did like was this amazing story, which I read all the way through even with guests in the house, a cautionary tale for everyone who is convinced the internet always offers a better shopping experience. Short version: Shopper goes online in search of cheap eyeglass frames, wanders into Crazytown. Somewhat longer version: Bad internet actor finds way to game Google’s allegedly genius algorithm. As I read this more than 24 hours ago, I’m now mainly immersed in the reaction, which ranges from “well, it’s her fault for not Googling more deeply” to overly technical discussions under Google’s hood. Combined with this story today, about not a brain drain, but maybe a brain trickle away from the company, you could get the impression that Google has moved into the next phase of its existence, i.e. crusty old fart-ism. The 21st century, it is so full of wonders: A company goes from shining light of innovation to General Motors in 12 short years.
This pleases me, and has ever since I tried to reach Google with a problem a while back, and discovered it’s as easy as placing a person-to-person phone call to the moon. Everything’s automated, no one has a phone number or even an e-mail address, and if you have a problem with that, screw you and welcome to Dodge City.
And now it is Monday, and guess what? My next-door neighbor has a tree-trimming crew here today. The lead chainsawer is one of those guys who can’t just turn the goddamn thing on and cut a limb. He’s like one of those guys at a red light on a hot motorcycle, who has to go rev-rev-rev-REV and rev-rev-rev-REV every few seconds until you go insane. That’s what I’m hearing now, and so it’s either earplugs or get the hell out and start manic Monday.
Better do the latter. I had a great birthday, and thanks to all who wished me one.