D103.com: Archive
This is an archived page of D103.com, a daily weblog by Daryl Lang.

Journalism of sadness

» Last night, I watched part the special edition of ABC's "Nightline" called "The Fallen," in which Ted Koppel read the names of the American servicemen and servicewomen who have died in Iraq in the current war. Also yesterday, the USA Today devoted most of its front page to running photos of the Americans killed in Iraq just this April.

- Daryl

Where did April go?

» A Starbucks is going to open in the Starrett-Lehigh Building, the far-west-side office building where I work. (Technically, I think it's an independent restaurant that serves the Starbucks menu, but that's splitting hairs.) This is mega big news — "Nixon Resigns," "Men Walk On The Moon" kind of news. There is nothing remotely resembling a coffee shop in that part of the city. Still, I'm not a fan of Starbucks. While they promote all these elaborate flavored lattes, their weakness is the straight cup of black coffee, the way coffee ought to be served.

» Speaking of coffee, today is supposed to be Bob Edwards' last day as host of NPR Morning Edition. How long do you think it will be before they realize the mistake and bring him back?

» This week was the first time this year when the weather has been warm enough to bike to work. I rode Wednesday and Thursday; today I'm taking the train because I have some food to carry and something going on after work. I'm also looking forward to the Bike New York Great Five Boro Bike Tour on Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes.

- Daryl

I really need to clean my desk...

» ... starting with the cat.

» OH NO!! The Snakehead returns!

- Daryl

A hit of ice cream

» Yesterday Ben & Jerry's held its annual Free Cone Day, so after work I went to the scoop shop at Third Avenue and 9th. I stood in a block-long line of mostly college students, hip, sloppy, beautiful. The people in line right behind me talked about taking acid on the high line and tried to convince each other they knew nothing about "American Idol." ("It's like a singing show, isn't it?," one said.) I didn't see anyone who looked like he lived in the library. Ben & Jerry's employees passed out clipboards of voter registration forms and held tubs to collect change for breast cancer: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for breast cancer!" (I gave a couple of quarters figuring that the money was for fighting breast cancer). A guitar player sang some classic rock, and a guy telling jokes asked for change just for himself. I got my cone after about 20 minutes (flavor: Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz) and it was delicious, just like the spectacle of free ice cream in the East Village.

- Daryl

It's an Easter miracle!

» Seems like everybody with a blog has, at some point, rapped about the late Jell-O Pudding Pop. (Here's my entry, from July 23, 2002.) To recap why I thought these were so great: "They were smooth and soft, the outsides would sort-of crystalize and crust over, but you could bite into them with your teeth without getting a cold rush." On Saturday, I learned from Mel and Mark that Pudding Pops are back! Mark even had some stockpiled in his freezer. I had one and it was good. But here's the catch: These new pops are sold by Good Humor under the Popsicle brand. Instead of the flat, paddle-shaped pops of yore, these new pudding pops are made in the tube-like Popsicle shape. It doesn't suit them as well, but who am I to be persnickety? Long live the Pudding Pop!

» The mighty Matt Wunsche has begun a blog... And here it is! Please go check it out and give Matt your support.

- Daryl

Quick thoughts on college

» Three years after I graduated, State College has changed a lot, but in superficial ways. A new crop of buildings has sprouted on the Penn State campus. All the radio stations in town have different names. One set of arbitrary parking rules has replaced another. There's a new batch of students, ones who play poker and send text messages. At the university gates, where a gaggle of students and professors used to meet every Thursday to stage a pro-marijuana demonstration, there was actually a gaggle of students holding an anti-smoking demonstration. I signed their petition to support a smoking ban in State College bars. (It's been great here in New York.) The bars, of course, already have enough rules to enforce. Saturday night, while I was meeting some friends at Mad Mex (which I knew as the Silver Screen Grill), the bouncer at the door gave me a scornful look. "This is an out-of-state license," he shamed me. Indeed, it is from New York. "Do you have another picture ID?" I didn't. "Here, you'll have to fill this out." With that, the bouncer produced a clipboard with a series of legal forms apparently put out by the state liquor control board. I had to sign a form with my name and address, stating I was of legal age to drink, and basically agreeing to not hold the bar responsible if I wasn't.

For this insulting bit of bureaucracy, we can thank the thousands of tipsy Penn State students who have proven, time and again, that they are incapable of taking care of themselves: They fall from balconies, trip over sidewalks, need to get their stomachs pumped at the hospital (which also has a new name now, apparently), and incite riots. At times, there's no one more contemptible than a drunken college student. (I do not excempt myself, three years ago, from that statement.) That sense of entitlement: I'm the center of the world, I know everything, the world is mine to spill beer upon. Boys especially: They get into fights, they pick on girls, they make fun of the dweeby guy from New York with glasses by shouting "Hey Bill Gates!" at him while he waits in line for the bathroom. Thanks to these people, those of us who can get drunk without causing personal harm to ourselves or others have to live under a ridiculous set of rules. It's still fun when you're with your friends, and I had a good time this weekend, but after a while it gets boring to watching a bunch of big guys with short hair push each other around like it's the WWE.

Which is all to say, State College is behind me. The weekend was a bit like Little Caesar's Pizza: All the right elements, but it just feels a little off. Nevertheless, I had a great visit with Renée and the Collegian gang, the Lutheran Campus Ministry folks, plus Mark, Emily, Mel, Erin, and everyone flossin' at the Parfitt Compound. You all need to come to New York.

- Daryl

"Ch-Check It Out" - Beastie Boys - 4.29.04