Quote of the day for Vending Machine Jim...

I remember when a coin in a slot would get you a stick of gum or a candy bar, but in these dining palaces were vending machines where various coins could deliver handkerchiefs, comb-and-nail-file sets, hair conditioners and cosmetics, first-aid kits, minor drugs such as aspirin, mild physics, pills to keep you awake. I found myself entranced with these gadgets. Suppose you want a soft drink; you pick your kind -- Sungrape or Cooly Cola -- press a button, insert the coin, and stand back. A paper cup drops into place, the drink pours out and stops a quarter of an inch from the brim -- a cold, refreshing drink guaranteed synthetic. Coffee is even more interesting, for when the hot black fluid has ceased, a squirt of milk comes down and an envelope of sugar drops beside the cup. But of all, the hot-soup machine is the triumph. Choose among ten -- pea, chicken noodle, beef and veg., and insert the coin. A rumbling hum comes from the giant and a sign lights up that reads "Heating." After a minute a red light flashes on and off until you open a little door and remove the paper cup of boiling-hot soup.

It is life at a peak of some kind of civilization.

-- Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck, 1962
And now, a behind-the-scenes DVD Extra from Sam's Comments.

[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: Also, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with lemon curd =/= a good idea.
[livejournal.com profile] kitkat204: R's crazy food combos have rubbed off on you, haven't they?
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: The other day he was eating wheat bread dipped in taco sauce.
[livejournal.com profile] vivichick: OOH! SALSA COOKIES! MAKE THEM, SAM! I bet you can get R to taste 'em :)
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: Actually, salsa cookies might not be so bad. They'd be like spicy little fruitcakes.
[livejournal.com profile] vashti_lives: ...Now I have this insane urge to call the next person who walks into the room a spicy little fruitcake.
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: ....hhhhallo, mah spahcy leetle frootcahke.
[livejournal.com profile] meran_flash: ...DAMNIT, SAM. I TOTALLY JUST READ THIS ALOUD EXACTLY AS WRITTEN. MANY TIMES. YOU'RE NOT GOOD FOR MY DIGNITY, SAM.
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: IF I CAN'T HAVE ANY, NOBODY ELSE CAN EITHER.
[livejournal.com profile] surfergirl17: I read this thread and choked on, I kid you not, a chocolate chip cookie.
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: And we come full circle. Om.
A friend of mine recently started watching NCIS, so I thought I'd rewatch it in order that we might properly gossip about how Gibbs and Abby are doing it (or want to be).

I'm watching it streaming on a Korean website, with the original English dub but Korean subtitles. Some of the proper names and titles are in Western characters, which occasionally leads to amusing mistranslations:

DiNozzo: The scuttlebutt --
Kate: Scuttlebutt?
Gibbs: Marine for "water cooler gossip".
DiNozzo: The scuttlebutt is --
Subtitles: *ideogram ideogram ideogram* SCUTTLE BUDDIES.
Sam: *IS ROFL*

I feel as though I ought to get some hermit crabs purely so I could call them SCUTTLE BUDDIES.
So I had work today, and wrote and read and uploaded some posts and generally did my thing. We're still feeling Coworker J's departure keenly, but I'm told he, or someone to replace him, will be back within the month. Good, because I need a desk sub on the 22nd (it's Company Bondage Bonding Day again) and, well, everyone kinda needs to go to it.

I'm slowly whittling down the lists of Posts I Really Want To Recover -- I found my account of Pops Goes The Fourth in Boston, which for some inexplicable reason was posted on the seventh. I'd forgotten my horrific sunburn. Totally worth it, though.

It's kind of funny, now when I go to post I automatically want to hit the "backdate entry" button, and then adjust the datestamp.

I actually am culling quite a few entries, just because they're unimportant or they're fic posts and the fic is already archived. And sometimes they're just random quotes, which I can stash just as easily elsewhere.

OR I COULD SHARE THEM WITH YOU!

"Where are you my little object d'art? I am going to collect you!" -- Pepe le Pew

"The Southern Baptist Convention has issued Sunday school lessons on how gays and lesbians can change. We can change. I've been much happier since I stopped being a Baptist." --Letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register from reader Fran Bailey, Feb 8th 1999

And as a bonus, James Marsters in 1980.

Oh, Jimmy. That hair.
Some highlights from today's resurrection work:

I had totally forgotten about theyfightcrime.org. YOU WILL NEVER LACK FOR PLOT IDEAS AGAIN!

I managed to get hold of both the Three Things about the stupid Forbes Magazine richest-fictional-people list from 2005 and also the comments that were made on it. It's a good example of how I'm preserving coments, and also really really funny. "Santa isn't fictional, y0."

And two quotes from my time in the box office:

Patron: So has [dead playwright] written anything new?
Coworker M: Not lately, sir.
Sam: I hear he's more into gardening now.
Patron: *wanders off*
Coworker C: *unable to contain herself any longer* He makes the best compost.

Sam: Thank you for calling the theatre box office, my name is Sam, how can I help you?
Patron: *long silence*
Sam: Hello?
Patron: I'm so sorry! I thought you were a recording, but you're real!
Oh also -- thanks to those who sent Virtual Gifts, and Jo -- I didn't get an email address for you, but that was a lovely gift as well, thank you!

Found this in Chicago Magazine yesterday, seemed apt:

"A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing." -- Emo Phillips

They also had a neat article on the Daleys, the once and present mayors of Chicago. Both of them strike me as a bit Vetinari-esque; they tend to grab all the power they possibly can, but once they've got it they generally do good things with it. I love that Daley illegally bulldozed an airstrip to make way for a public park. :D
Sam: She wanted me to recc her reimagining of the movie as a slash fic about Harry and Draco. I said, "No."
[livejournal.com profile] juniper200: I think "a reimagining of [title] as a slash fic about Harry and Draco" should be applied to all artistic and historical properties. Sort of an "...in bed" for the Internets.
Sam: A reimagining of Picasso's Boy With A Pipe as a slash fic about Harry and Draco. A reimagining of East of Eden as a slash fic about Harry and Draco. A reimagining of Pink Floyd's The Wall as a slash fic about Harry and Draco.
Junie: A reimagining of the Oxford English Dictionary as a slash fic about Harry and Draco.
Sam: I may have to share this with The Internets.

Go on, try it. It's fun!
R: If I could kick anyone throughout history in the junk, it would be Oliver Cromwell.

Well, you can't deny it'd be a good choice.
Artistic Director: Sam, will you go ask the General Manager what the lamps in the party storage closet are for?
Sam: General Manager, what are the lamps in the party storage closet for?
General Manager: Well, they're to...light the room when we...have parties.
I am adventuring aboard the SS Geronimo with Jack again today. In attempting to determine how many screw-propellors a late 19th-century steamship would have, I stumbled across the life of Oliver Evans:

Evans's life was fraught with soul-chewing combat over patent rights and other business dealings. In 1805 he published a second book -- this one on steam engines. He saw the book wasn't coming out to his own satisfaction, and -- at the last minute -- he angrily added two words to its title. The book comes down to us as The Abortion of the Young Steam Engineer's Guide. In the Abortion we read the words:

He that studies and writes on the improvements of the arts & sciences labours to benefit generations yet unborn, For it is improbable that his Contemporaries will pay any attention to him.


Happy ending though, Oliver Evans died a rich man.

I still don't know how many screw propellors would have gone on a cruise ship. It has to be at least two, since twin-propellor boats were used on the Great Lakes for passenger travel around the same time, but those were fairly small. On the other hand, the Titanic only had three, and the Titanic was fucking huge:

Titanic contained two reciprocating four-cylinder, triple expansion, inverted steam engines and one low pressure Parsons turbine which powered three propellers. There were 29 boilers fired by 159 coal burning furnaces that made possible a top speed of 23 knots. The ship could hold a total of 3,547 passengers and crew. The ship offered an onboard swimming pool, gymnasium, a Turkish bath, library and squash court.

Perhaps fatal to the design of Titanic was its triple screw engine configuration, which had reciprocating steam engines driving its wing propellers, and a steam turbine driving its centre propeller. The reciprocating engines were reversible, while the turbine was not. When First Officer Murdoch gave the order to reverse engines to avoid the iceberg, he inadvertently handicapped the turning ability of the ship. Had Murdoch simply turned the ship while maintaining its forward speed, Titanic might have missed the iceberg entirely.


History is fun and interesting! At least once you poke around in the bits nobody wants you to poke around in. Thankfully, the internet is for poking (not Porn, as is commonly believed).
Patron: So, when is the play set, world war two?
Sam: I believe it takes place in the 19th century.
Patron: Oh, so like...world war one.
"So I helped this guy on his way into the theatre, right? He stumbled and I kind of caught his arm and helped him get to his seat. Which is like my job, so I didn't think about it. Anyway, just now he calls me over at intermission, he's all beckoning, come on, come over here! So I go over and ask him if I can help him, and he says to me, You helped me get to my seat today, didn't you? Was that you?"

"That was nice of him."

"No, wait, get this. So I say Yes, sir, that was me, and he starts to reach into his pocket like this. And I start to say No, sir, really, I'm a paid usher, it's my job..."

"Did he tip you? He tipped you a hundred dollars, didn't he."

"No! EVEN BETTER! He says, I really want to say thank you. Here. Have a sugar-free sweet."
Well, I was going to work on LC and LoG today, but I left my jumpdrive at work and my backups are significantly different since I worked on both yesterday, so I'm SOL until this evening. I wouldn't really expect another LC chapter until October, considering I'm working 45-50 hours a week and finding housing and moving until then. I have an LoG chapter almost finished, but it may not go up until October either. God knows when I'll get to update the Steampunk novel. I have huge plans for it but like most of Jack's inventions it's taking a while to get up to full speed. I haven't forgotten about the Charity Drabbles either; I'm sorry they're taking so long to finish.

I'm sending out at least one job application per day, which seems pretty good proportionate to the jobs offered and the time I have available. I keep going back to a "Cashier" job at the Gene Siskel Film Studies Center, thinking, today is the day I apply (it's not that different from what I do now) and I keep thinking, am I really that desperate? It's kind of like Pratchett's dwarf bread. I take it out and look at it, shake my head, and find something, anything else to apply to.

Coworker V put in his two weeks notice the other day. M and I have now survived two complete shift changes in the box office; not a single person who was working as an agent when we began is still there, and not a single person working there now knows the people who were working there when we began. This is unutterably depressing and I try not to think about it, because I can't drink anymore.

I'm stuck at home today waiting for packing boxes to arrive via UPS. In the grand tradition of the last three days I am sure that they will not arrive before three, which is when I have to leave for work. To paraphrase Kipling, the life of a poet in a big city is a hard one.

M had lots of tales about Burning Man to regale me with; her delayed return home was the result of her sister suffering dehydration after the event was over, since they had water aplenty during the festival but didn't lay in any for the drive home. There is one story in particular which I think the cafe will probably appreciate:

Coworker L: Why do the actors do their workout routine in the lobby?
Sam: I think it's because they know you enjoy watching them sweat.
Coworker M: I would never do that. Just like I definitely did not peek at the beautiful, beautiful boys having sex with each other on the playa, even though they were doing it right out there in the open. I didn't peek at all.
Bar Manager: This girl I know who went to Burning Man said that clothing's optional.
Coworker M: Well, it's really hot and we're all a bunch of artists, so mostly people just wear what they want. Or nothing. I was in Critical Breasts, where like five thousand women ride their bicycles topless.
Bar Manager: So there's a bunch of naked women running around? Nekkid, all the time? Buck nekkid? On bicycles?
Coworker M: Something like that.
Bar Manager: When is this festival again?

The bar manager also invited us to go out to Soul Food Night this evening, since his friend DJs for it. Soul Food Night moves from bar to bar on a weekly basis, with a $10 all-you-can-eat soul food buffet to raise money for local soup kitchens. If I am not asleep on my feet after work I might beg a ride, but it's far more likely that I will shamble to the El, fall asleep on the train, wake up in a panic somewhere around the Lawrence stop, and have just enough energy to unlock my door before the world becomes a very dark place and sleep is my only option.
Just when I was saying I had no stories about Coworker L....

Sam: So how was the punk-metal concert last night?
L: I didn't go.
Sam: I thought you looked more refreshed than you should.
L: My friend had a crisis of...faith...
Sam: About god?
L: About metal.
Sam: So what did you do instead?
L: We got drunk and watched Music & Lyrics.

Well, okay then.
A patron approaches wearing low-cut hip-hugging jeans, makes an inquiry, and walks away. As she departs:

Coworker V: Pull up your pants pull up your pants pull up your pants!
Sam: Or just stop lying to yourself and take them off completely.
Coworker V: Fun either way!
For all the knitters on the journal (and you are legion).

I would post this to all four journals except I'm still at work and it's just too much of a pain in the ass. Will post there when I get home. Which may be later than usual, as I think I'm going to stop at Graceland Cemetery on the way home and take pictures of all the storm damage to the trees.

Now that I have rent money and a housing plan, I have ceased to be a single frayed nerve every waking moment. It may have helped that I got on the El this morning and before I got off, the car had COMPLETELY FILLED with Red Hat Ladies. Aside from the time I stood in line behind two dozen Little People at the Boston MFA, this morning's train ride was one of the most surreal moments of my life.

Coworker A to me, this morning: ""the night before last I...watched...The Day After Tomorrow...I think."
Sam: I just had a patron named Meta Burger.
M: Meta Burger? I married him!
Sam: No, it's like, a sandwich as commentary on hamburgers.
M: Or maybe it's like an expression of a hamburger, rather than the thing itself.
Sam: The distilled essence of hamburgerdom.
M: This day has gone on way too long already.
Actual conversation from today:

Patron: Will I have to climb stairs to get to my seat?
Sam: No.
Patron: Do you have stairs in your theatre?
Sam: Yes, but you won't have to climb them, I've seated you in an accessible area.
Patron: How many steps are in your theatre?
Sam: ...I...have never counted them.
Patron: So, what if I have to climb them?
Sam: I promise you will not have to climb any stairs. Here, I'll show you on the seating map where your seats are. *takes out map* Now, this is the stage, and here's the seating --
Patron: Wait, wait. Where are we, on this map?
Sam: Well, actually, we're not on the map. It's...a map of the theatre.
Patron: So you're saying you have no stairs.
Sam: *defeated* YES. We have no stairs.
Patron: Because I have a cane, you know. *lifts up cane to show it to me*
Sam: I understand, ma'am. And if you have any problems, you can speak to any of the ushers, they'd be happy to help you.

One of the ushers came up to me later and told me I was a heartless asshole. Walk in my shoes, man, walk in my shoes.
Actual conversation from today:

Patron: Will I have to climb stairs to get to my seat?
Sam: No.
Patron: Do you have stairs in your theatre?
Sam: Yes, but you won't have to climb them, I've seated you in an accessible area.
Patron: How many steps are in your theatre?
Sam: ...I...have never counted them.
Patron: So, what if I have to climb them?
Sam: I promise you will not have to climb any stairs. Here, I'll show you on the seating map where your seats are. *takes out map* Now, this is the stage, and here's the seating --
Patron: Wait, wait. Where are we, on this map?
Sam: Well, actually, we're not on the map. It's...a map of the theatre.
Patron: So you're saying you have no stairs.
Sam: *defeated* YES. We have no stairs.
Patron: Because I have a cane, you know. *lifts up cane to show it to me*
Sam: I understand, ma'am. And if you have any problems, you can speak to any of the ushers, they'd be happy to help you.

One of the ushers came up to me later and told me I was a heartless asshole. Walk in my shoes, man, walk in my shoes.
Preacher on TV: God planned to hang out with us in the garden of Eden!
Sam: But his mom wouldn't give him a ride.

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