The Elevator Girls

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The Elevator Girls

There are two elevators in my building. In the coveted left-hand elevator you can ride alone, but it is rarely on. The identical right-hand elevator is operated by one of three elevator girls, who alternate twelve-hour shifts. The elevator girl's job is to sit on a low stool under the single flickering microwatt fluorescent bulb and press buttons for the various floors. There is no reason for this job to exist; the elevator is modern and identical in every respect to its autonomous twin. But some higher authority has decided that there needs to be a young woman to push the buttons. The elevator girl says hello when you walk in, presses the button for your floor, and when you arrive at the first floor whispers "yì céng" in a faint Hans Christian Andersen voice, so you know you are on the first floor and not, say, back in your New York apartment, realizing this was all some creepy dream.

To make it all even more wrenching, the elevator girls hang out a meager selection of newspapers and magazines along the elevator's inside railing, which they sell for a tiny profit. They read the unsold copies during their twelve hour shifts, squinting under the flickering ghost light. I wish more than anything that I could buy one (all) of these papers from them, but I don't even know enough to make the request, let alone a plausible excuse for why I would buy something entirely in Chinese. And so each day begins with fifteen floors of intense mortification.

Very rarely I will step in to find the elevator girl chatting on the sparkly plastic phone (?!) that hangs on the elevator wall, and this lights up my day.

Current Music: Lulabox -- Ride On ♬

DNA Lounge: Wherein are found zombies and clowns.

Hey, the Living Dead Girlz made the Guardian's Best of the Bay:

Best Proof That The Dead Can Dance

    The age-old question "Can corpses be sexy?" is unequivocally answered in the affirmative when the Living Dead Girlz take the stage. You don't have to be a necrophiliac to enjoy the shimmy-shake moves of this seven-lass troupe as they strut to spooky tunes (think Screamin' Jay Hawkins) with an undead rhythm not seen since Jacko's "Thriller" video. Though there's a Village People~esque flavor to each gal's themed character ("Cowgirl Zombie," "Pippi Long-Zombie," etc.), their unifying hotness (or is that dead, blue coldness?) is pretty much all you'll notice during their routines. A late-May gig opening for The Elm Street Murders at the DNA Lounge culminated in the Girlz chomping on one of their own -- but you never know with zombies. This is probably the only burlesque show in history where your brains just might become a dancer's din-din.

Smash-Up Derby got one too:

Best Tori Amos Meets Slayer

    Who would win in a street fight, Britney Spears or the guitarist from Motörhead? What about Kelly Clarkson versus that weird stomping dude from AC/DC? The members of Smash Up Derby have been studying these bizarre hypothetical scenarios for years and have finally found the answer: both -- as mashups. A seamless mixing of the vocals from one genre with the music from another, mashups (a.k.a. bootlegs) have been around on the Internet nerd circuit for years, but Smash Up Derby is the only band that performs them live. Equal parts girly glam pop and straight-up rock 'n' roll, Smash Up Derby is San Francisco's answer to America's binary categorization problem. Gender benders Adrian Roberts and Trixxie Carr sing your favorite bubblegum tunes while the backup band grinds out classic punk rock and heavy metal, every second Friday at Bootie, America's first mashup monthly.

(Previously: "Best Place to See an Electronic Duo Score My Dinner with Andre"...)

You should, by the way, plan on being here on Friday night for the Red Nose District Hullabaloo. There will be clowns. Filthy, filthy clowns.


You Are Here

GE Maps censored by French Court

A French court has ordered Greenpeace France to remove a webpage featuring a Google Map showing the location of commercial GE maize fields in France -- despite an EU law which says the government should make the information available to the public.

So today we have responded by carving a giant 'X' crop circle into one of the GE maize fields in question, marking the spot of the GE maize field that is now censored from Greenpeace Frances' webpage.

"As we are now forbidden to publish these maps of GE maize on our webpage, we have gone into the fields and marked the field for real," said Arnaud Apoteker, of Greenpeace France.

Also, Cursor Kite.

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Early this afternoon I was walking down Market (with my mom, no less) and suddenly there was this guy running full-tilt toward us in a state of panic -- followed at extreme speed by three cops. In the quarter second before he passed us, my immediate instinct (to the no-doubt delight of uke) was, "I must now step sideways and trip this man." An eighth of a second after that (to the no-doubt delight of my dependants hangers-on employees) was "no, then that man will sue me." So I didn't. And then suddenly there were six cops chasing him (and you know what cops look like, they are not "running oriented"). They turned a corner and were all gone.

And then a second and a half later I thought, "wait, this is exactly how Uncle Ben died."


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mark your calendars

These are the things you should probably be doing in the next few months:

Thu, Jul 27:   Buzzcocks @ Mezzanine 
Undecided on this one... I'm thinking "probably not".
Fri, Jul 28:   The Red Nose District Hullabaloo @ DNA Lounge 
There will be dirty, dirty clowns. Recommended.
Fri, Jul 28:   X + Rollins Band @ Warfield 
Rollins Band: bleh. However, X: amazing live.
Sat, Jul 29, 30:   Marisa @ Supperclub 
Supperclub is cooler than it sounds. The food is good, and phreddiva is singing there this weekend, so now's a good time to check it out.
Sat, Jul 29:   Pop Roxx with The Faraday Effect @ DNA Lounge 
Everybody loves the Pop Roxx.
Sun, Jul 30:   Dresden Dolls @ Warfield 
Warfield is too big for them, but it might be worthwhile anyway.
Sun, Jul 30:   Dresden Dolls Film Festival @ Bridge Theatre 
This could either be cool, or be like the movie version of fanfic. Dresden Dolls fans tend toward the creepy.
Fri, Aug 04:   Bloc Party @ Greek Theatre 
The album is decent. The Greek is tolerable, as stadiums go.
Mon, Aug 07, 08:   Tricky @ The Independent 
I saw Tricky once before and he was amazing.
Mon, Aug 07:   Editors @ Fillmore 
Liz says go.
Sat, Aug 19:   Gary Numan @ Fillmore 
Saw him a few years ago, he was also very good.
Fri, Aug 25:   Fischerspooner @ Mezzanine 
Tue, Sep 12:   Snog @ DNA Lounge 
Wed, Sep 13:   Stiletta (opening) @ BOTH 
Thu, Sep 14:   Nitzer Ebb @ Slim's 
Fri, Sep 15:   Groovie Ghoulies @ BOTH 
Sat, Sep 16, 17:   Vast @ Red Devil Lounge 
Sat, Sep 16:   Phenomenauts @ BOTH 
Mon, Sep 18, 19, 20:   Human League @ Red Devil Lounge 
Fri, Sep 22:   Massive Attack @ Greek Theatre 
Sat, Sep 23:   Miss Kittin @ Mezzanine 
Last time she was DJing; dunno if this is a real show.
Thu, Oct 05:   Adult @ Mezzanine 
I hear they're great live.
Mon, Oct 16:   Ladytron @ Fillmore 
They were great last time.
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Alert the FVZA

Zombies booked for carrying fake WMDs

MINNEAPOLIS - Six friends spruced up in fake blood and tattered clothing were arrested in downtown Minneapolis on suspicion of toting "simulated weapons of mass destruction."

Police said the group were allegedly carrying bags with wires sticking out, making it look like a bomb, while meandering and dancing to music as part of a "zombie dance party" Saturday night.

"They were arrested for behavior that was suspicious and disturbing," said Lt. Gregory Reinhardt, a police spokesman. Police also said the group was uncooperative and intimidated people with their "ghoulish" makeup.

One group member said the "weapons" were actually backpacks modified to carry a homemade stereos and were jailed without reason. None of the six adults and one juvenile arrested have been charged.

"Given the circumstance of them being uncooperative ... why would you have those (bags) if not to intimidate people?" said Inspector Janee Harteau. "It's not a case of (police) overreacting."

Harteau also said police were on high alert because they'd gotten a bulletin about men who wear clown makeup while attacking and robbing people in other states.

Kate Kibby, one of those arrested, said previous zombie dance parties at the Mall of America and on light-rail trains have occurred without incident. Last fall, nearly 200 people took part in a "zombie pub crawl" in northeast Minneapolis.

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and we'd tie an onion to our belt, because that was the style at the time


DVI splitting

Dear Lazyweb,

I want to get an S/Video output from my iMac, so that when it plays videos I can watch them on my TV.

The iMac has (in addition to its built-in LCD) a mini-DVI output. I have a CRT monitor plugged into that via a mini-DVI-to-SVGA adapter, giving me a two-monitor desktop.

I think that what I want is for the picture on that second monitor to just be mirrored onto an S/Video cable. That way, anything I full-screen over on that monitor will be viewable on the TV.

So I guess I need either:

  1. an SVGA splitter, and an SVGA-to-S/Video converter; or
  2. a DVI splitter, and a DVI-to-S/Video converter.

I have this MiniDVI-to-S/Video adapter, and it works good, but when I plug it in, the iMac realizes that it should be doing 800x600, which makes me suspect that DVI is "too smart" for what I want to do, and it would force me to run the desktop CRT at 800x600, which would be not ok. Is that the case?

(I can't find any DVI splitters that don't look like some kind of crazy distribution-amplifier boxes, or that seem like they aren't really splitters, but are for driving a single giant monitor with two video cards, or something weird like that. How does this crap work? Does the thing I want exist?)

So, I guess I should go the other route, and get an SVGA-to-S/Video adapter, since SVGA is "dumb". Central was out of this one, but the guy behind the counter said "you shouldn't buy that anyway, it sucks." Do they all suck?

It wouldn't be that big a hassle to just go behind the iMac and un-plug the external monitor and plug in the video dingus when I want to watch TV, except that doing that causes all my windows to move around, as Finder shifts my 1600x1200 desktop around to fit in 800x600, which is very annoying.

Is there a better way to do this?

Update: I got an AverKey 300 Gold, and it seems to do the job. It made the pass-thru VGA image a bit fuzzier, but that may actually be because my cables are too long now.

Update 2: Yeah, it was the cables. Replacing them with a pair of triple-sheilded 1M cables cleared it up.

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