Sunday, October 02, 2005

Went to Coney Island on a mission from God

So. The biiiiig day was upon us – taking my son and his girlfriend to Across the Narrows at Coney Island.

I, being the uber-control freak mother that I am, had planned out the 12 hour day in exact 60 minute segments that, if the day had gone as I had scheduled, would have been perfect.

But rule 1043.5 in the book of mothering states that when you do have your day planned out in perfect 60 minute segments, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Sadly, the world doesn’t function on mother segments.

First off, the weather was perfect. Somewhere in my life I must have pleased some Goddess of Music, because whenever I have to attend a concert, the weather is beyond beautiful. It was about 75 degrees. Can that get any better? We left the house at 10:30 and were at Keyspan Park at 11:20. Again, perfect.

At first WarpedTourDad and I were going to hang at Coney for the day at the Film Festival, but we bagged that idea. We watch soooo many movies, and it was soooo beautiful out, we decided it would be a sin to spend such a beautiful day watching movies. We dropped them off in front of Keyspan and then made a quick jog through the Battery Tunnel over to Manhattan. We thought perhaps we’d stop at the TKTS booth in Times Square and go see a show.

Now, every time we have ever gone to the TKTS booth, we’ve waited in line for perhaps a minimum of 45 minutes. Today there was no line whatsoever. Again, repeat after me – perfect.

We got two tickets to see Jewtopia (very funny), had a quick bite to eat from a street vendor, and then saw the show. Jim was text messaging me every two hours as requested just to let me know they hadn’t been kidnapped and sold into slavery, forcing me to go on a transcontinental adventure into the underground world of human trafficking to rescue them, so the day was going too fine.

After the show we took a cab over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Medicine in Ancient Egypt exhibit, which was, again that magic word – perfect. After this exhibit we stayed for a lecture on impressionism and post-impressionism.

Here’s where things started to fall apart.

The area of the museum the lecture was in had no cell phone reception. So as the lecture started, my son text messaged me, only not to get a response. He messaged me again 15 minutes later, and again no response. By the time the lecture was over he had messaged me 4 times and left 1 voicemail message. Because I’ve successfully transferred all of my neuroses into him, the fact that I wasn’t answering had him completely freaked out. As we started to make our way out of the museum cell phone reception returned, and my phone rang to have a frantic Jim on the other end wondering if perhaps I had been kidnapped and sold into slavery, forcing him and his girlfriend to go on a transcontinental adventure into the underground world of human trafficking to rescue me.

And even though no less than 5 security guards yelled at me to turn off my phone, I assured him that we were fine. Yes, it’s rude to scream at the top of your lungs I CAN’T HEAR YOU. WHAT? WHAT? ARE YOU OK? DO YOU NEED ME TO COME GET YOU? on a cell phone in the Museum of Art, but when you are starting a panic attack, politeness goes out the window.

Anatomy of a Panic Attack:

7:45 PM We took a cab back to Times Square. We were starving and really not thinking too clearly. It had been a long day and we were exhausted. The restaurants were all pretty empty as the shows were about to start. There was a sea of empty tables at the Hard Rock, so we thought maybe we’d grab a quick veggie burger there, and then be in the car on our way back to Coney by 9:00, giving us a good hour to battle traffic back to Brooklyn. I originally had wanted to be back at Coney by 8:30 so we could grab some coffee, sit on the beach and listen to The Pixies, have some romantic time alone, just us on the beach with the lights of Coney behind us, that kind of thing, but I was so hungry and tired I really just wanted to sit down. That was mistake #1.

8:05 PM. Our drinks arrive. I think the food can’t be too long behind. I am wrong.

8:30 PM. I noticed that people who had been there longer than us still hadn’t gotten their food; I was starting to get worried.

8:45 PM. Our food still hadn’t come, we had had it. We asked the waitress to just get us our two $25 veggie burgers to go.

9:05 PM. She still hadn’t come out. I was starting to flip out. The concert was scheduled to be over by 10:00. At this point listening to The Pixies was the furthest thing from my mind; I just wanted to get back to Coney Island before the concert ended so we’d be there to get them when the park emptied. I was having images in my mind of the FDR being backed up, followed by the tunnel being backed up, followed by the BQE being backed up, followed by the Belt Parkway being backed up, followed by us arriving at Coney Island at 11:30 only to find the lights off, the park emptied, and my son and his girlfriend kidnapped and sold into slavery, forcing me to… ok you know the rest. I’m seriously considering just walking out at this point. I really should have.

9:15 PM. We finally were out of The Hard Rock (the last time ever in my life will I step foot in a Hard Rock Café mind you, are you hearing this Hard Rock Café, the last time you will get $50 from us for two veggie burgers. I hope you’re happy after all the $25 veggie burgers we have ordered from you, but n’ere again. You’re dead to me, Hard Rock Café. And by the way – your veggie burgers suck. All those times when the waitress came to our table and asked, "How's everything?" and I answered, "It's perfect" -- I was faking it.)

Still exhausted, still starving, still light-headed, and here’s where we made mistake #2. We thought the parking lot was on 43rd when in fact it was on 42nd. I’m messaging my son telling him we’ll be a little late so please stay in front of the Park near the 5 million NYC street, bike and mounted police that had been pumped into Coney for this event, but he’s not answering me.


His cell phone battery ran out.

There is the brink of insanity, and then there is the abyss.

That is the point where I fell over the edge into the chasm of total overprotective mother freak out.

9:45 PM After spending 20 minutes stumbling around Times Square like a schizophrenic crack whore, and 10 minutes waiting for them to get our car, we finally were on the FDR. And I’m flipping out, WarpedTourDad is flipping out asking me to please calm down, no concert ever ends on schedule, we’ll be there by 10:15 at the latest, but no, there is no stopping me, and he’s trying to calm me down, but there’s no calming me, and in the midst of all of this, we miss the exit for the tunnel.

Mistake #3.

Now we’re on the West Side Highway heading towards the Holland Tunnel, with no place in the world to turn around. How on EARTH did we wind up on the West Side is beyond me, but panic attacks transport you through space and time so you can be heading south on the FDR only to miraculously be heading north on the West side. There’s a traffic tip for you commuters.

I’m pretty much catatonic at this point in post-panic attack mode. There is no place to turn around and head back south towards the tunnel. Opening a vein in my neck with my own nails is a viable option to me at this point. Not even The Warriors wanted to get back to Coney as badly as I did.

But, all’s well that ends well. We made it to Coney by 10:30. They only had to wait about a half hour for us. They were not kidnapped and sold into slavery, and we were in our front door by 11:30.

But the saddest thing?

The Pixies played Debaser. And I had a chance to hear Debaser, sitting on the beach, with the lights of Coney Island behind me, and I missed it.

I dunno, but there is just something so cool about the idea of your own kid going to a concert by a band that you adored the year he was born. Isn’t that neat-o?

They had a great time though, and that’s what counts. He’s wanted to see The Pixies ever since they got back together, and I was so happy I could give that to him. And is there any place in the world better than Keyspan Park to have a concert? I think not.

Y’anno, there is a lot of controversy about the revitalization of Coney Island. I have a love-hate relationship with Coney that I’ll write about in more detail someday. In a nutshell, I love Coney Island more than mere words can describe, and while every inch of me would love to see it return to the grandeur it once was, I hope with my heart that the camp and funk that it is now somehow remains.

I’m glad that this season at Coney ended with such a fantastic blast. We’ll be back there in June for the Mermaid Parade.

I'll be calmed down by then.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

If your kids are going to Across The Narrows...

... and you're looking for something to do during the day while they are there, here's an idea:

Coney Island Film Festival

It looks great!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Unite the United: A Concert to Raise Money for the Victims of an American Tragedy

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Give, but not through PayPal

Even though I did sign up for the Blog for Relief Weekend, I haven't really had much to say that hasn't been said already.

One thing I did wish to report on was the terrible ordeal that Rich Kyanka has gone through after raising over $20,000 via Something Awful. In a nutshell, PayPal closed SomethingAwful's account due to 'suspicious activity' from one of his buyers.


Something Awful has been one of my favorite places online over the years. Sometimes I tend to get a bit... blue. In technical terms, I suffer from depression. For me, there is no therapy or medication that equals humor, and on days when I have that unexplicable 'the world is hopeless and so am I' feeling, nothing equals a browse through Photoshop Phriday or the GBS forums to pull me out of it.

At the time PayPal locked their account, Something Awful was raising nearly $3,500 an hour to the relief effort. In case you missed that, I'll repeat:

SomethingAwful was raising nearly $3,500 an hour to the relief fund.

They were cut off on 9/3 somewhere around 9:30 PM. You do the math.

SomethingAwful has done some amazing things through the years... raising funds to buy body armor for our troops, buying toys for sick children... it would be stupid for me to name them all. If you're a goon or a fan, you know how great that site is. And I'm not surprised that they raised so much money in such a short amount of time.

I'm disgusted by PayPal though. So by all means give, but not through PayPal.

Here's the charities list. You know what to do.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

You'll loot my server when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers.

The Interdictor.

I'll never complain about my tech support job again.

Still trying to get caught up on two week's worth of work. I have very little time to read any blogs or work on the website right now, but when I do have some free time, that's the blog I'm reading, just for the sheer I-don't-believe-I'm-actually-reading-this factor.

Bottom line: I love my job, I love my customers, but I'd have been soooo outta there long before tech operations turned into a paramilitary exercise. Today, I'm very grateful all I have to deal with are people who can't get their VPN to work properly when inside a hotel wireless network, as opposed to being barricaded in a high-rise with ersatz tie-around-their-foreheads Rambo SysAdmins. Not like I'm judging them or anything, honestly I'm really a 'walk a mile in another man's shoes' type person... but if I had the choice between heading for high ground or having support teams reconfigured into things like this:

"Camp Crystal is locked down for the night. Team SOTI (that's the crew up here) has broken up into 3 squads. Squad 1 is on diesel detail. Squad 2 is on patrol. Squad 3 is on service and support."

it's kind of a no-brainer. I'd take the pink slip.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Wednesday WarpedBlogging VIII

Awww… did you think I forgot what today was, kids?

Nope. I didn’t forget. I’ve been holding off posting this all day in the hopes that a certain someone would update their blog. Who was it that kept me from giving you your weekly Wednesday WarpedBlog fix? You’ll have to wait ‘till the end but, believe me, it’s worth it.

Cheney, a pal of Captain Dan’s, filled in for his shoes on August 4th. It was a bad bathroom day for her, it seems. Before August 4th, I had never heard of a ‘water bra’. You learn something new every day.

“What’s up with punk rock today?” Has any other genre ever evoked such debate? You wonder if somewhere on the other side of the world, people are blogging over, “Damn. Angklung has really sold out.”

AngelWings writes a truly well-thought piece on the commercialism of Warped Tour. Having the advantage of seeing Warped from an employee standpoint for few years, she brings that wisdom into her great, great post. Is going to Warped Tour about who you are, or what you do? Interesting question.

Hurricane Joey writes what I think a lot of people feel. In the beginning, Warped Tour was a way to showcase punk bands who, by the nature of the genre, aren’t (weren’t) able to come up with the funds for a national event. Now that punk is mainstream, it kind of necessarily follows that what will be considered punk is mainstream as well.

How do I feel about it all? I could write my opinion… but it’s been said before, and much better as well. I’ll let Tripp of the Unseen speak, because here’s what I believe. And written in a style I could only hope to come close to in a million years.

Now that we’ve waxed philosophic on the nature of punk, let’s get down to the day itself.

Please don’t worry about the author of LimsBlog. They were not hurt, not even by fat crowd surfers. That was just hair dye.

Teejay here has a very detailed review, while freakitiki has some tips for you.

Speaking of tips, that’s what I’ve been waiting for!

This incredibly amazing, detailed, well-written and everything else good you can possibly say about a blogger blog by Mike has broken his WarpedBlogging into three – count ‘em – three separate posts. Warped Tour: The Experience on August 8th, Warped Tour: The Review on August 9th and Warped Tour: The Tips. I’ve been hoping the third and final installment would get online soon, but as of this posting it’s still not there. Hopefully the Tips post will be up by the time you read it. Great blog!

Well, time to run. I’ve got a secret for you. I’m Warped out, really. I’m so backed up on posting reviews it isn’t even funny. God bless those on this tour who bring it to you day after day after day all summer long. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. Especially considering they’re doing as victim to the elements, while I’m just reporting on it from the comfort of my home office. But I’m anxious to get started on the overhaul of the page and get back to my search engine optimization efforts. After all this time I am still not in the Yahoo index (not the directory, mind you, the index) which is a puzzle even greater than Google SERPS.

Hey, and one last thing -- does anyone know what happened to the Unofficial Warped Tour site? It's been down for a while. Anyone?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Apparently I have started a disturbing trend

I got this from the band A Void over at MySpace:

"hey when we were on warped tour i saw a lot of moms wearing big, pink Warped Tour Mom's that like a big cult or something?! just wondering, cause we saw them all over the country. "

Who are these women, and why are they masquarading as me?

Did you see a big pink Warped Tour Mom shirt there?

Did you buy a big pink Warped Tour Mom shirt there?

It’s actually a good idea though and I may put it on my todo list for Warped Tour 2006. When I re-do the page, I may start up a CaféPress site selling some shirts. Personally I wouldn't do pink at Warped, but if it's selling..... Hey, every little bit helps.

I really wonder where they came from. For some reason "Hot Topic" keeps popping up in my head but I'm not sure. I would think the legalities of actually selling something with the words 'Warped Tour' on them may open up a can of copyright troubles, although as long as it didn't have the actual logo on it, that may be ok. I'll ask my lawyer what he thinks.

Speaking of the page, it’s got to sit for right now. Incredibly busy day which includes taking two dead computers to the shop.

P.S. If you were at Warped Tour and happen to have a picture of one of these imposter Warped Tour Moms, could you drop me a copy at tmdwarped at yahoo dot com? I’d be interested in seeing what these shirts looked like. Thanks.

P.P.S. Due to my much kvetched-about car accident, I was not nor will not be at Warped Tour this year, so I hereby disavow any behavior of these Warped Tour Moms in the big pink shirts. If you saw a Warped Tour Mom in a big pink shirt, it was not me.