Saturday, August 12, 2006

Does goose flesh count? Yikes!

Ok, ok, so it's not a paranoia-inducing chicken around my waist, but it's real.


I live in a bad neighboorhood in Boston, a *really* bad neighboorhood. I've been here for a while though. I've learned that with a certain purposful set to your jaw, and a casual (yet ever-viligent) walk, the more unsavory inhabitants of this neighboorhood will "give you a pass." It's the, "hey, you mean me no harm, I'll just let you chill" style of gang infestation.

So, I was walking to work this morning, Just walking, walking, walking. Well, actually, walking and kicking stones along the way. I find that it displaces the anger/confusion about my current(seriously poor) lot I am in right now. Walk, kick, walk, kick. It is the rhythm of the working poor here in Boston.

hmmmm....maybe more about the working poor in another blog. Maybe not!

When I walk, I write in my head. Constantly writing, editing, re-writing as I walk and kick. 99% of the stuff I think I'm going to write never sees the light of day, and that's probably a good thing. But as I walk, I don't really hear what is going on around me, it's just me and my verbal narcissism, hangin out, having a latte. Some people would call that a kind of internal graphomania.

I should listen more.

Today, I became aware of someone speaking Spanish very loudly behind me. Not unusual at all here, so my "internal ignore mode" was still on. They were walking rapidly in my direction, and they were gaining ground. I turned to see 2 Hispanic youths, and oddly (to me, anyway), a rather elderly Hispanic woman. As I continued to turn, the woman took up the gauntlet. Yelling at me, really yelling at me. She was pointing at my messenger bag, slung across my chest. She then grabbed the strap, and was trying to get my bag over my head!

Now, keep in mind, I know about 0.0000000005% Spanish. I could not begin to surmise what the problem was? Some sort of cell phone emergency, an accident?( at this point, I was still in firm denial that something really negative was going to happen to me). I mustered up the only phrase I knew: "No comprendre Espanol, por favor?" She kept pulling at my strap for about 10 seconds (it seemed MUCH LONGER to me).

Now, when you're 5'9" and your mugger-in-the-making/random crazy person is well, not, physics rapidly becomes your closest friend. I just kind of leaned into/over her, released the strap from her grip, and ran. All the way to my job. Non-stop. Seriously.

Other than just a pure mugging(attempt), I don't really know what this was? Strange, indeed. Mistaken identity? Random weird-ass harrassment? Bleh. Since I really AM poor, mugging me is an exercise in pointlessness in the extreme. I have no money, no credit cards, no fancy jewelry, so it's a real losing proposition.

But, I'm ok, gang. More of a negative mental swarm than a physical one. I went to work, did my little marketing dog and pony act, and walked back home again. (Ok, it was more of a speed-walk, psuedo-jogging sort of thing). But I made it home. Rattled, frazzled, but fine.

If I was a drinking woman, I would have invited a bottle of Gray Goose to make a nest in my brain. But, that's just not how I "roll" (choking on the slang). I need all the brain cells I can get!

I think the time has come for me to get a car! Or a Vespa at least, my droogies.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I got a compliment today

Deputy Annette was kind enough to send me this missive today:
Hey Hannah!

I just thought I'd drop you a note and tell you how much I enjoy your writing on your blog. I hope that the new Sheriff in town sees the value in your written blog -- and that all blogs aren't (and shouldn't be) created equal.

Well done!



First off, thanks Annette for the compliment. Seeing as how this is, well, a largely written blog, I wasn't sure it would get the exposure that a purely video-based blog would.

Secondly, how cool is it that we are talking to each other, gang! Deputies talkin' to deputies, with suggestions, ideas, (even *ahem* compliments!).

That is cool, indeed.

I gotta leave the house so I can experience some life to write about.

Tom, is agoraphobia contagious?

A shout out to the Sheriff

Hey Jack,

Just a question. As the title of my blog indicates, this is "The Written Blog". Not a lot of videos. So, is that a problem, are you gonna "revoke" my status?

Hopefully not, seeing as how Tom himself wrote an entire entry on the importance of the written word.

We aren't all rich, Jack, and some of us can't afford videocameras, editing equipment, and the like. All we have is our written words.

So holla back, Jack. Let the deputies know what the standards are.

Click here, Jack, to send me an e-mail.

thinkin' bout MTV

Dear MTV,

You know we love you. You know you're our favorite channel. And you called your shot and it came true: we can't live without our MTV.

Like any relationship we've had our rough times. At first you wouldn't play black artists, then you played too much Michael Jackson. Fine, thanks for meeting us half way.

For being pretty much the only music video channel in town you liked to play the same songs over and over. Some would say into the ground. But it's cool. It was the '80s, what were we going to do, go out and buy some oversized tshirts that said RELAX?

You gave us Yo! MTV Raps and Beavis and Butthead and 120 Minutes. Then you took em all back. But for some reason you won't quit your love affair with John Norris?

We know we're old because we can't name one VJ. We know we're old because we watch VH-1 twice as much as either MTV or MTV2. We know we're old because we remember every. single. video. from the rebroadcast of your first hour that you showed on VH-1 Classics last night.

We're old because we love VH-1 Classic.

Without you so many bands wouldn't be here. And maybe if it wasn't for you some people would still be here.

Would Nirvana have been as huge as they were without not just Nevermind but all of those classic videos from that album? Would Aaliyah had been in that plane crash in the Bahamas shooting a video if there had been no music video channel? Could Michael Jackson sell all those copies of Thriller without all those videos on that classic album?

But who would have expected that MTV, the pioneer of music tv, would be the pioneer of reality tv. "The Real World" was the first quasi-reality show and LAist has seen every episode of every season. MTV showed us the "real" Ozzy Osbourne and Jessica Simpson, their sister network VH-1 showed us the real Danny Bonaduce. Thanks for Johnny Knoxville and Bam and Wee Man and the Surreal Life and thank you for not hitching your wagon to Carson Daly.

The VMAs is the best award show every year. Best Week Ever is the best pop culture show. And continues to be the worst web site in entertainment.

There aren't really videos any more on MTV, we still don't know when anything is on, and we're shocked that even on this, a huge anniversary for a channel that lost $37 million over its first two years, the station is having no huge specials on its own air.

Which might be fine because we really miss Ed Lover and Dre, Kennedy, Fab Five Freddy, Kevin Seal, Matt Pinfield, and even Jesse Camp.

We taped as many episodes of Superock as we could because we knew it was way too good for you to keep on the air for very long and we were sooooo right.

But why would you buy The Box and then squash its existence?

Whatevs, you gave us Carmen Electra and later Jenny McCarthy on "Singled Out", you gave us Kari Wurher on "Remote Control", you gave us Tabitha Soren, and because video was the medium you provided the perfect ecosystem for people like Mariah and Christina and now Shakira. So gracias. And muchas gracias for ixnaying on the ickeyray artinmay.

No thanks for breaking to commerical during the Pink Floyd reuinion this year at Live 8, no thanks for Adam Curry, no thanks for the virtual demise of MTV News, and no thanks for continually encouraging Ashton Kutcher.

We're ashamed at how much we like Cribs, Pimp My Ride and My Super Sweet 16, but we're not ashamed at how you continue to reward mediocrity in pop like the last four Red Hot Chili Peppers albums, Milli Vanilli, the Backstreet Boys, and Coldplay.

Why isn't Puck on MTV every day? Or Courtney Love? Remember when you gave her like two days unedited? Or did it only seem like two days, and unedited?

Why isn't there an hour every Friday night where you show us Videos That Will Blow Your Mind -- you are cable, you know. Where's my GG Allin? Doesn't Gwar have a new record? Aren't the Flaming Lips selling out the Hollywood Bowl?

Just because it doesn't work as background music on the latest episode of "The Hills" doesn't mean that it sucks, MTV. Remember Alternative Nation? Now would be a good time to bring that back.

We've made out in front of you, we've danced in front of you, we've even touched ourselves to you. You're a bad roommate because you never do what we wish you would but in retrospect you end up giving us things that we never knew existed.

    Thank you for Tom Green.
Thank you for Spike Jonze. Thank you for Mini Me pissing in that mansion.

Thank you for the most uncomfortable kiss ever when Michael Jackson kissed Elvis's daughter at the VMAs and thank you for the best girl-girl-girl kiss when Madonna laid one on Xtina and then Britney in an image that is as iconic as the first man landing on the moon.

You've come a long way baby, and we can't wait till you finally stop sucking.

(from LA times)

The Robotic Discussion

Deputy Zach (from the excellent "slam poetry" video blog) and I are currently talking about robots, based on some of the videos I have put up. Zach is kinda concerned about the development of the "humanoid nature" of the robots.

Hmmm, well, ok, take a look at THESE robots. You certainly cannot say that they are humanoid, but they freak me out *way* more. They are "Self-Replicating Repairing Robots". Oh, nooooo!

Have you heard THE BUZZ (about the buzz)?

Thanks Tom (Sholle) for chatting with me for a sec. The phone is clearer, and yes, I know I have a very destinctive speaking voice. (Nathan, in the background "she always sounds good!").

But the video is clearer, the shot is set up better.

Although...where is Robert? (Maybe in a nice white padded room somewhere, buckles securely snapped, rocking back and forth, saying, "If I cut to camera 2 like a good boy, Tom won't yell, Tom won't yell....")

Oh! There he is! Working on the the BUZZ on the phone.

ACH---Feedback! ouch! Wow...that hurt my ears.

But, if it leads to clearer phone calls, it's worth it.

.... bigger, better robots---oh noooo!

And this is what happens in about 10 years, when we begin to really integrate robots into our daily lives.

Roach Robots

Not just robots, but Roach Robots!

Happy Birthday Thomas!

Sounds like Tom had a great B-Day. Couple of drinks, couple of e-mails. Good stuff. I guess you can take a big birthday bite out of the mystery donut that has attached itself to this e-mail against my will.

Hope that Tom Sholle and (Mitch, was that the other guys name?) have made progress on some of the technical issues.

Although, I seems to remember Tom Sholle asking Robert for some canned air and double-sided tape on Friday. (eek! maybe they should have a stockpile of extra cables, tape, rubber bands, hamsters on wheels, bubble gum, whatever it takes to keep everything working!)

Also here's a funny little Tom cartoon. "Plastic bag! Plastic bag!" Classic.

A calm interlude

Let's just listen to some calm music, shall we?

Macs are great....but???

This poor guy below is just a little frustrated with his Mac. You'll see what I mean.


The "newest", "greatest" iPod yet. (administer with a liberal pinch of salt.)

My falling apart world

I'm from Boston. Boston is a great town, don't get me wrong, but this week, it is a positively frightening place to live.

In order to get anywhere in town, you, at some point, have to go through any one of the many tunnels in town. And the tunnels are falling apart. Literally.

On Monday night, at approximately 11:00 p.m., a steel tieback that suspends the concrete ceiling inside the tunnel structure failed near the eastern portal of the eastbound I-90 Connector tunnel leading to the Ted Williams Tunnel in South Boston, causing four three-ton sections of ceiling to collapse. A section of ceiling fell on top of a car traveling through the tunnel, killing newlywed 38-year-old passenger Milena Del Valle and slightly injuring her husband Angel Del Valle, who was driving. The Boston Globe noted that similar tiebacks were in use in the Ted Williams Tunnel, as well as in 17 places on I-90. Attorney General Tom Reilly issued subpoenas to those involved in the construction and testing of the tunnels in which criminal charges may follow.

Boston has a history of monumental mismanagement and colossal incompetence when it comes to the Big Dig. The Big Dig is the largest construction project in America (seriously, it is).

I just hope that the Chairman of the Turnpike Authority is summarily drummed out of office. If he is tried in a court of law for criminal negilence concerning the events of Monday night, so much the better.

As it sits right now, the tunnels are closed, the people are frightened, and I am riding my bicycle until this is resolved.

Oh, and I have to figure out a way to get to Cambridge for a big job interview next week. Groan.....

Chatting with Tom

Hey gang, hey deputies, just me here, checking in.

I've either been lucky or a bit obsessed last week, not sure which.

I've been "accessing" a high-speed computer to see the site and the videos throughout the week. I'm normally a "dial-up deputy", don't even have a disposable camera, dudes.

But, last week, I got to talk with Tom. Three times. No, no joke. If you watch long enough, and you can really carry on a conversation once you get though, (and not let the 45 second delay mess with your head) you, too, can eventually talk with Tom.

Tom, talking to you doesn't intimidate me in the slightest. I love to chat with you, have arguments over the "national" internet. (Christ, that was a weird, funny conversation.)

Then, in another call, trying to convince you in the middle of (my) night to let me volunteer to run some sound for you, install some acoustical tiles, at least.

That last one wasn't necessarily a funny conversation, but it was real, a genuine argument, some give and take.

What was that like? Kinda like....this:

Tom: "I don't think you can help, I really don't."

Hannah: "Well, Tom, I have worked at CNN and WOR (radio) for a few years, as a script writer. But, hey, if that's not valid experience...."

Tom: (thoughtfully), "You know, I read your e-mails. And I (unintelligebile)...consider them."

Hannah: "Just know that I'm out here, will work for free. I can see it now, me and Zack, living on no sleep. Zack could get the guests, I could get the TALLY LIGHTS!" (ok, I only said part of that sentence, but that is what I was thinking.)

Tom: "Thank you , Hannah"

Hannah: "Thanks, Tom."

Tom: "Hannah, Hannah? Good night, thank you, thank you."

And it went on like that for about 20 seconds, him saying good bye to me, and me saying thank you and good night to him. Well, it cracked ME up, anyway.

In all seriousness, though, this conversation took place on a "rough" technical night.

Robert, since I apparently can't be right next to you to make this happen, please try these things:

1) LISTEN to Tom. The minute he's "on air", you're ALL "on air". Robert, you gotta listen to everything he says, and "feel" the rhythm and structure of the show. Is it multi-tasking? You betcha! Can you do it? Yes, Robert, you can.

All right, I'll stop with the instructions here. For tonight anyway.

And, another weekie-week begins on He'll be with Jay tomorrow (cool beans, as some of us say in Boston). Rock the mike Tom.

I will work on getting my OWN tech situation a little more into the 21st century. Christ, at least get a sound card! For cryin' out loud!

Maybe if I can help myself....I could help Tom?

The Macaw in the Tree

Ok, this is the last entry for tonight. I swear.

Sitting here, watching the 11:00 news, and there was a story of a man who owned a macaw.

Seemed like the bird decided he wanted to take a sightseeking the top of a 60 foot tall pine tree.

The owner did the only responsible thing: called the fire department, who brought out their biggest ladder, and then the owner (who also happened to be a rock climber) scurried right up and brought the bird down.

The owner was holding the bird like Tom holds Red Murphy, upside down, cradled in his arms. The bird, however, was making the MOST godawful noise, almost like a human screaming.

You could tell the poor thing had not had a good day.

Said the owner of his exploits: "Hey, this bird has a life span of 60, 70 years. How could I not rescue him."

The bird, anything but nonplussed, swquaked his agreement.

(ok, guys, it's a story. I didn't say it was a funny story.)

Jesus, it's time for Conan and an Ambien.

Night, Rex Murphy.

Night, Tom.

Backwards shirt and the phone call

Well, first off, could someone (Robert, Tom Scholl, Tom G.) make this little box that you type in bigger. Damn, I'd even write the code for you, it would take all of two seconds. Just tell me where to FTP it up to.

Ack. Sorry. I'm not mad, just had a hell of a day today. Me and my EBT card (Massachusetts food stamps) went grocery shopping today. Yes, I'll say it: I'm poor. Really seriously poor. (But I'll live on tuna fish and ginger ale to keep up my high-speed connnection! sheesh.)

Walking around the store, shopping away, and I started noticing little specks of, what, is that, lint? on my black shirt. I started randomly picking at them, when I realized, right in the middle of the frozen foods, that my shirt was on backwards...and inside out, to boot Now when you find yourself in this sort of situation, you have a variety of options.

1)Freak the hell out, and start tearing at your shirt. Best not done in public, especially in Massachusetts, where the police are, shall we say, viligent, about citizens behaving like citizens at all times. (It's a New England Puritan thing, you wouldn't understand.)

2) Behave as normally as possible, whilst trying to take off and turn around and put your shirt on again. In public. Again, not advisable, for the above mentioned police proclivites.

3. Ignore it, buy the cheap damn grape jelly and bread that you are going to live for the next couple of weeks, and book it. (i.e.--scram, vamooose, get the heck outta dodge, like that there.

Which is what I did (I know that's not a proper sentence, you can grade me later, since noone is reading this anyway.) I got my shit and caught the bus (oh yeah, being poor means you have no car, either).

And came home...just in time to catch Tom doing a technical rehearsal (sorry Tom, you may not call it that, but that's what it is.)

Tom was cool, as usual, trying to get advertisers, and talking about how being nice is not really good on a phone-in show all the time. Tom, I for one agree with you on this one. You seriously should write an article on how "Nice is the new Boring" or something to that effect, and send it in to, say, Wired Magazine. You'd get publicity, publication, and maybe sponsorship. (um, I'd even write the article for you...e-mail me, we'll talk) Only half-joking there. Maybe my Master's degree would actually be useful. (See, I'm not only the poorest Deputy, I'm probably the one with the highest education as well.)

Then, after hearing Tom talk about the "National Internet" in what I thought was a serious way, I called him, and basically said "um, it's the World Wide Web...why not talk about it being international?" Tom basically said (from what I could hear, it sounded like he was in a tiny room, millions of miles away, whispering) "international includes national, right, RIGHT??? I got you, I got you..." And we all had a good laugh at my expense.

Technically, if you want to micro-manage the definition, yes, Tom, you're right, I'm wrong. That why you have a house in the Hollywood hills with a pool and lovely animals and I, well, don't.

The ability to make a salient point doesn't really overcome the ability to make a good laugh.

But then again, I can't even put my shirt on right.

good morning

Well, here it is, my first morning as a deputy @ Very cool.
I just caught the shortest of tests, not even a test really, where Tom was talking to New York about the phones. Seemed a little, oh, let's call it, frustrated? If you guys have been watching, you know how it goes.

I wonder if paragraphs and things will work on this part of the site, well, I guess we'll find out.
A few things about me. I'm in Boston, older than quite a few of the deputies (older than Tom, by a few, even).

Currently looking for a job (just lost my job the other day, that sucked pretty much.)
My brother had a radio show for years on WOR710 in NYC, now it's just his wife doing the show. He also had a very short lived program on CNN. Ah, the vagaries of broadcasting. It was weird though, walking down the hallway of my apartment, and all the televisions would be tuned to his program. Not popular enough for long enough, I guess.

Though, through my brother, I did get to meet just about everybody in radio at one point or another. Howard Stern (very calm and laid back when he's in a "normal"/"non-performance" setting.)to G. Gordon Liddy (every bit as scary as you would imagine him to be.) A little too intense for my taste.

And, I used Dick Cavett's dressing room at CNBC once (but perhaps that's a story best left untold.)

Oh yeah, and Tom....I don't have a videocam, by the way. (eeek! do my deputy priviledges, such as they are, get revoked now?)

Well, all of my friends have been after me to write more (I live, shall we say, a colourful life). The more you get taken away from you (jobs, car, sums of cash, people you love), the more colorful it becomes. So maybe this will be the impetus to get me writing more.

Or to at least get you kids to look up what the hell "impetus"means.

(Just kidding, gang, we all seem to be fairly happy in our electronic homes, although the phones are fucked, and we have no tally lights!)

Nah, it will all get sorted in time, just you watch.

Off for another adventure. Catch you guys later. Peace out (am I old to say "peace out"?) Screw it.
Peace out it is.

I'm sorry seriously

Hi Tom. Hope you are having a happy Fourth, and really resting and eating like you said in your blog.
And, I wanted to apologize for laughing at the video in Costa Rica where you are in the middle of your recovery, trying to move around on the bed. Now that I have seen it with sound, it is not funny, and I really am sorry I laughed when I saw it without sound.
BTW, did you ever go to your doctor once you were back in the States? Maybe that might be a good idea. Just to make sure that everything is healing up properly. I broke a rib in a terrible fall two years ago, and it hurt a LOT for....months, it seemed.
So, I've said this to you before, and I'll say it again, please look after yourself. I think all of us (deputized and non-deputized--me!) just want to see you at your best.
(note: Tom deputized me after this post. cool.)