10AM Oversleep. Shit. Boss is away, mice playing in full force, so hey, w=
get to work on time anyway? That report has been overdue for four days, s=
why complete it now? Besides, the CEOs of MCI and BT are coming to Boston
this afternoon. Strict orders: look inconspicuous and do NOT talk to
management. Party line: there are no engineers in Boston.
10:30AM Boy, is this my lucky day or what? Those two <term suppressed by
activist feminist elves :-> _actually called back_. Their bus will arrive
Fri. afternoon at 2PM -- I tell them to come to the Prudential, 6th floor=
biggest building in Boston, its own station on the Green Line. I mean,
heck, I didn't even have proper calling cards that night at "Down the
Hatch" in the Village. Must've handed 'em O'Reilly W3J cards, since they
only had my home number. Leave Duck a message with the good news
11AM Cool. Finish prepping. Put on brand new red Polo shirt, blue dotted
tie, grey pants. Hey, it's about as formal as I'm willing to be on a dail=
basis. Decide I need a haircut. Go to MIT student union, $16. Not even 3%
as exciting as Sonny Hughes' Nippers in Pasadena
2PM off to the races. Turns out BT CEO missed his Concorde because of a
security alert in West London. Make do with #2 officer. Party is in honor
of BT's global yacht race sponsorship (Lori looks horrified each time I
call it a 'boat'). The arrival of Global Challenge in Boston has been big
news. The Improper even ran a list of bars to hang out and meet the
sailors... Anyway, go to fancy rotunda with hosts, silver coffee service,
etc. Told, 'er, no, this is the President's Circle [sales]; the CEO's
reception for employees is over by that long line'. Anyway, at least ther=
are excellent desserts.
4PM To compensate for the mild corporate horror of set-piece 'spontaneous
discussion with our leaders,' BT has exhibits of all its latest technolog=
1) a wicked cool immersive video station. Imagine a first class airline
seat with video projectors in the headrest, projected onto a wraparound
personal omnimax screen (which turns transparent at a flick of a button!).
~$100k functional mockup, including a lap flat panel PC. You get snapped =
like a pair of crab claws. 2) online inflight entertainment services that
are converging with Web service. Imagine downloading a Web mirror onto an
inflight server, stylesheets and all 2.5 would be the 3ft by 5ft by 7in
flat panel HDTV display from Fujitsu. Stunning. Especially good color in
bright sunlight; excellent contrast of my flaming red shirt in sea of
monochromatic corporate drab.
4:50 rush to downtown UA ticket office to purchase flights to FoRKcon/SF.
Failed. Extremely upset at customer non-service. First hint things may no=
work out [still have no ticket. Will spare you details of coupon
combinability, 'you cut out the coupon? Verboten!', and 'yes, we refunded
your nonrefundable ticket -- did not! -- did too!']
6-11PM Go back to the office. Work out at the gym for another inordinate
amount of time. Apparently I cannot be less than 96%; been stalled there
for a while. Compensate by deciding to chuck the diet in favor of a fried
Uno's sausage-and-pepperoni pizza sandwich served on a bed of French frie=
Duck pages. Apparently, my surprise message "you'll never guess..." was
severely undercut by the fact Claudia was the previous caller on his
11-4AM attempt to work on paper for work (since, by definition, work can
only be done outside 9-5) so that I can be ready by the afternoon to play
host. Start at Caf=E9 Liberty (thanks Jim!), then migrate to MIT grounds =
-- gorgeous night. Keep being driven off by waves of sprinklers. Laptop luckily unwaterlogged.
6-9AM wake back up and clean the apartment top to bottom. My housemate Be= th nearly faints away in shock... cleaned out boxes, sorted laundry, cleaned sheets, rewired phones, laid out 3ft x 8ft MCI logo beach towel, sorted o= ut the liquor cabinet, heck, I even *dusted*. Relubricated squeaky table fan in inimitable tweak style using body lotion looted from Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas.
Head back to work, catch up on email and report. Gorgeous day out there, looking forward to playing tour guide. But, discover my weekend was ambushed by Adam -- he ran off for a cruise in Florida and left me the flaming wreck of an XML paper he tagged me as involuntary co-author for. Editor now trying to toast *my* butt for his overstyled purple-and-yellow prose. Also notified of an alpha-geek power event: a potluck party at the Eastlakes' on Saturday. Damn! Au pairs vs. gurus idly contemplate if they could occupy themselves as they originally did at M's alpha-geek party in NYC?
2PM After two weeks of inactivity, it suddenly becomes a priority to trek to the wiring closet and activate a new bank of ether ports on the Bay backplane. One hour later, we decide it is officially Broken (TM).
2:17PM Someone called but left no message -- my pager fired off to tell m= e so. Damn! Missed'em. Was going to persuade them to buy 2-day T passes. Oh well, they know to come to the Pru, right?
4-6:30 <check home, office vmail several dozen times> <send vmail to duck asking if he knows the deal>
6:30 Assume they're big gals now, and my pager technology is working, so = I go to the gym.
6:27 third empty voicemessage on the machine at home. Apparently somethin= g is not sinking in about "please leave a message after the tone". Also not sinking in: 'please page me'.
6:30-9 Keep checking the phone at the gym. T home, collapse in my now nea= t and clean and usable La-Z-Boy.
At this point, an editorial aside. It should be clear by now that there w= as a definite mismatch of expectations. I thought I was playing "host", whereas I was actually only an "attraction" (or, more accurately "distraction", or more poetically, "sideshow"). Nevertheless, I'm very obsessive about what little responsibility I have in the world, and especially, never pass up any opportunity to feel martyred. Clearly, my Friday night was now hostage to hearing back if they were safe, and getti= ng them here if need be.
Mope until 10:30. Claudia calls. 0) she didn't want to leave messages. I explained the miracle of paging and how I was well aware of her every aborted move. 1) they went to my MIT office and obviously got nowhere. 2) they went on a sunset harbor cruise, so they never called earlier. Blonde apparently kept them very busy 3) they were bunking at the Irish Embassy, $15/night, prepaid for 2 nights. They want to spend the next morning shopping. Sunday, to Martha's Vineyard. To add my own insult to the injur= y, I still offer to take them out to dinner Sat night (Adam may wish to file this under 'Gold Label Abuse'). Also offer to drive them to MV, if Garfinkel is home and wants to chat. Seeing as it's only 10:30 (at least, in LA, it's a decent hour -- Boston, kitchens close by 10, so it's actual= ly late), I ask about dinner? Drinks? Movies? I'm about to go out on all counts just to make the point that I'm cool, I'm doin' my own thing.
Dinner: a plan Whopper, two TB bean burritos. Drink: coke Movie: separate hell, see below.
As you know, my longstanding complaint is that Boston has only *two* certified THX movie screens, both 30+ miles out in the burbs. I haven't seen a movie in two months between my world tour and the web-of-trust struggle, so I'm game for anything with high wattage. Blindly drive 30 miles out for tacos (nearest late-night TB) and midnight show at that theater. Forgot it's the burbs -- zoning prevents midnight shows. Slink back to Brookline. Develop serious need to see Face/Off, somewhat spontaneously. 12:40 show sold out, only 12:30 Batman avail. Sheesh. Dawdle, then give in and buy B&R. 300 seat theater, and there is only ONE other couple there. Everyone else did the 12:15 B&R I suppose. Turns out they also wanted to see Face/Off. Decide to show them a thing or two abou= t brazen nonchalance and infiltrate us into the other show. Looking good, b= ut -- egads! They're showing a John Woo epic on a screen the size of a Chrysler minivan. Seriously!
1-3AM So like any other Friday night, I sigh, surrender completely, and g= o back to B&R. At least I can say I attended a private screening. Thanks above, in retrospect: it was baaaad. Worst film of the lot, but that's no= t criticizing it forcefully enough. Worst of all, for the $$$ spent, even given the creppy screenplay and horrific acting, the technicals were off: bad angles, bad dubbing, bad foley work, bad lighting, bad timing, even a bad print. ObPreviewNote: 187 with Samuel Jackson looks to be good; STEEL is potentially Ed Wood-class material.
3-4:30 Compling this tale of mockage. 4:30-5:15 Fighting with Win95 to send this message -- 4 crashes, N ppp driver failures. Consider it a 'cherry on top' Reach for the stars while stepping in the mire, Mockbert =20 =20