I’d Love to Change the World

A few years ago, I was driving around and “I’d Love to Change the World” from classic rock band Ten Years After came on the radio. There’s a line that goes:

I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do
So I’ll leave it up to you

It’s a tremendous song, with poignant, societally relevant lyrics written during the “revolution” of the late 1960s [I put revolution in quotes because I once saw a contemporary interview with the Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick whereupon mentioning her band's hit song "Revolution," she admitted how foolish she now feels that the hippie counter-culture referred to what they were doing as a revolution. They tried, but not hard enough, and the right wing, Republican political-war machine won out.] At any rate, I was really into the song and I thought the lyric was:

I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to wear
So I’ll leave it up to you

Years later, I still like my mistaken lyric better. It might sound silly on the surface, but I took it (or what I thought was it) to be a droll, stinging barb aimed at the aesthetes, the poseurs who cared more about appearances than about making the world a better place; either that or maybe Ten Years After was borrowing a page from Paul McCartney’s book and leaving non-sensical words/phrases in a song because in the end it sounds better and flows better than perhaps a more serious insertion (a la “Hey Jude” where Paul left in “the movement you need is on your shoulder” because John told him it sounded better than anything else he could try to think up). As much as I dig the song, I have to say that my mistaken lyric is a bit more biting than a simple “I don’t know what to do.”

Time to get on the RSS Bandwagon


If you haven’t yet jumped onto the RSS Bandwagon, now is the time. Don’t panic if you haven’t, most people are still in the dark about how to use RSS — but let me tell you that it’s really a great way to stay on top of various news and blog sites all in one place. I’ve always had a link in the right of the Diatribe for RSS description which I’ve always found helpful.

Last week, though, I actually came across an even better explanation from Craving Ideas. This is a great read if you’re interested in learning more about RSS.

Since Miss Possible got me started on using RSS, I’ve been a huge fan of . As of today, though, I’ve officially found a replacement (and this has nothing to do with my new employer). Google finally updated their “ feed reader calling it . They’ve also included a short video in their post about what RSS is.

I’m very excited to start using this product as it seems to have some great functionality and I anyone else thinking about getting into RSS to check it out.

No More Nog?

It was good while it lasted. It all started yesterday with an innocent email mention, to some co-worker friends, that Starbucks is raising its prices in a week or so. That set off a string of emails that pissed all over my parade. I’ve mentioned my love for Starbucks’ egg nog lattes on The Diatribe more than once. I don’t even like that place in general. I’ll grab a cafe mocha (iced or hot) once in a while, but that’s it. However, come harvest time, when the days get colder and the nights get longer, I start thinking about finding the first local Starbucks selling ENLs.

Leave it to information hound and persistent party pooper Hardytrain to spoil my fun. Within moments of my mention of ENLs, he hit me right between the eyes with the (not so) nutritional information of my beloved ENL. It’s chock full of calories, fat calories, fat grams, saturated fat grams, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and sugar. The only silver lining was that there appear to be no trans fats; I’m guessing that might be because trans fat is man-made and used primarily in fried or processed foods, whereas the ENL is all natural.

I was seriously bummed out. My pre-yesterday dream plans had me consuming an ENL per day (and I’m talking venti here) and sometimes two on Saturdays. Now I’m going to have to try to be responsible and stick to one or two per week. Either that, or I can stick to my original ENL consumption plan and just eat spinach every day. Wait…what? What’s that you say about spinach?

Vorstein

I just found out today that my ex-roommate, “J” gave birth to her daughter the other day. I’m a guy who is always looking for links to the past. I’m not sure why, but it’s some sort of reassuring thing. For instance, way back when I started writing for The Diatribe in April 2005, “J” was still my roommate and very much a close friend. My early blogs are sprinkled with mentions of her. After nearly four years of living under the same roof, we had become like siblings. That all seems like so much longer than 16 months ago.

The next couple of months saw her move in with her soon-to-be-husband and change the direction of her life. Our friendship withered on the vine, with our primary connection being the lease agreement between us and the monthly rent checks I mailed her, as I still lived in her property. She was there at my wedding, but that was a rare detente and it was, once again, downhill.

I was on the distribution list announcing her baby’s birth, so I haven’t dropped off the map completely. It was just such an out-of-body experience reading the email and viewing the pictures already arranged on her daughter’s very own web site. I felt as if I was looking at the baby pictures of someone I used to know. I can’t put a finger on it, so I’ll just go with vorstein. It felt just like vorstein.

Another First

Last night marked a momentous first for me. I went to a movie theater that serves beer and wine and took full advantage of that perk. It was a silver lining in what was a bummer of an evening. My “sis” Lisa had given me Patriots tickets, which were given to her by Patriots legend Andre Tippett. Due to a series of mishaps consistent with the life and times of Cool Jesus, I didn’t make the Sunday night game, and coincidentally, probably ruined any chance of future tickets. I pictured myself in a Seinfeldian moment in which I was George and Lisa was Jerry. And instead of Keith Hernandez, the (less) famous athlete involved was Andre Tippett and he was pissed that his tickets went to waste.

Instead, Swedish Girl and I went to an ancient cinema (with unfortunately contemporary ticket prices) near our neighborhood and took in Little Miss Sunshine. The film was enjoyable and I was glad that Swedish Girl enjoyed it, since we rarely ever agree on movies. I sulked through the first half of the film, but soon enough the beer did its job and acted as the balm to my wounds. All in all, not a bad plan B.

Trebeck Gets it Right…A Decade Later

I was watching Jeopardy! the other evening, and one of the answers (in case you live in a cave, on Jeopardy!, the answers are given first and the contestants supply the questions) involved something about “quahogs.” I scanned the answer on the screen before Alex Trebeck got to that word and I waited. But to my surprise, he pronounced it correctly. I said to Swedish Girl, “He pronounced it right this time. Good to see he learned from his mistake.” I then explained how nearly 10 years earlier, I was watching Jeopardy! (with Captain Larby, I believe) and Trebeck mispronounced “quahog” as it looks (kwah-hog), which is not the correct pronunciation (ko-hog). I cringed when I heard it the first time because this is the man who is supposed to know everything…or at least pretend that he knows everything (hey, it’s not like we don’t know that he has all the answers on those blue index cards). Trebeck is the man I love to hate (well, hate is much too strong a word, so I’ll say I like to pick on him). He relishes showing off his over-the-top French pronunciation and he shows no shame when he breaks out his Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation (or any other outlandish-sounding celebrity), but apparently he possesses no knowledge of shellfish. But he came through a decade later and made my day.

Ze Frank


A few weeks back on there was an interview with (pronounced Zay). Each day Ze produces a short 1-3 minute video ranting or raving about something or other, but I had a tough time finding the link from his regular site..

I happened to find another reference to our man Ze just today pointing to his vidcast, and I must say it’s certainly entertaining.

One of the more recently referenced items in his vidcast is a song written by “Ray.” After doing a little research, I found who this Ray character is.. Supposidly, he wrote this song dedicated to his daughter who had a bad day at work. He recommends listening to it when you’re having a bad day at work (or even sing it to yourself) and you’ll gather the strength to get through the day.

In any event, I think that his vidcast is an amateur masterpiece (much more-so than our friend Lonely girl). He’s an interactive Jon Stewart, often asking his viewers to help out with intros, segments, etc. One of his more well-known antics is the “Earth Sandwich Project” in which he asked his audience to take a slice of bread and coordinate with someone at the exact opposite site of the globe — in effect making an earth sandwich. Clever.

After putzing around with his site for a while, I have to recommend checking out Mr. Frank. His vidcast “The Show” is one-year project that he’s been working on since April. So, tune in — before it goes off the air.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I had my first autumn seasonal beer of the season last Friday. September 15. Eight full days before the official end of summer and I sold out my second favorite season for the amber glow of a Harpoon Octoberfest draft. I commented to my counterpart, Hardytrain, that drinking that beer was the final nail in the coffin of summertime.

Mid-September can be an odd time. The typical summer paraphernalia are put away and all the harvest season decor is displayed, replete with Halloween costumes at a retailer near you. Yet it was 83 degrees in the Boston area yesterday. I was walking into a supermarket yesterday in the glorious, blazing sun and passing decorated pumpkins and bales of hay on my left and right. For a moment, it made me think that this is how LTJ and Miss Possible will be enjoying the harvest season in 2007 and beyond.

But…for those of us remaining in the Northeast U.S. hinterlands, we’ll enjoy this last week of summer, we’ll delight in the random warm days of Indian Summer in this month and next, and hope that the winter brews don’t roll out too soon. Slainte.