Monday, April 22, 2013

sad about Richie

I was asked in the middle 90s to interview Richie Havens for an EPK for Bill Perry's first album. (An EPK, Electronic Press Kit, was a video that was played in record stores to promote an album.) Bill had played guitar with Richie before starting his solo career. I had interviewed Bill for a national magazine, and his manager asked me to interview Richie. We did the interview at a blues club, Manny's Car Wash, which was kind of an unusual venue for a video interview, which may be why Richie remembered me when I ran into him some months ago. He was a very, very nice man, and a great talent. I've met an awful lot of musicians in my day, some famous and some not, but only a handful had that deep sweetness, and Richie was one of them. And now he's gone.

I never saw that EPK - don't even know if it was completed and used. Bill's manager was kind of a slippery guy. He also managed Johnny Winter, and kept saying he wanted me to interview Johnny, and then called it off numerous times, always with fishy excuses. (Strangely, I hadn't asked for the interview - the manager had offered.)

Bill Perry was a great guitarist and singer, but a little wild around the edges. He died young, sadly.

No one stays the same, no one is safe from the passage of time. We fall away from each other without realizing it, and suddenly it's been years, decades. I don't feel old, but I'm constantly reminded that I've been around for a good chunk of time. I hope I've affected people in some good ways, but it's out of my hands and I may never know.

Monday, April 8, 2013

hatin' on technology

My phone was lost on the subway a couple of weeks ago. I had it insured, but i still had to pay a $125 co-pay. The replacement they sent me was defective. It turned itself off, screens went black, I had to touch an app several times to get it to open (which it did slowly), but sometimes apps just turned themselves on. I kept getting an notification that said "Service Denied." So I took it to Metro PCS (my carrier), who said that the insurance company, Asurion, had sent me a defective phone. The rep used the word "horrible" to describe it.

I tried to file a new claim online, and they wouldn't accept it. I tried to resume my old claim and they wouldn't accept it. So I pressed "Contact Us" and got a phone number which was supposedly Metro, but was actually Asurion. I spent ten minutes explaining the problem, and was then transferred to a tech guy, and explained the whole thing all over again. He made me "factory reset" it and then said they'd send another phone in one or two days. So now I have my phone without my apps or contacts.

The person at Metro had told me that Asurion is the only company that insures cell phones, "so they can do whatever they want." I looked online, and they have a pretty crappy reputation; they send out a lot of bad replacement phones. So we'll see.

Verizon is also on my shit list, since they had a service outage near my office and we were without internet all day. Didn't have it this morning, either, so I called them and they said the router had to be reset, so they walked me through it and I had internet again. But then the wi-fi was out in the office. Another call to Verizon.

Apart from consumer tech, I'm still having a problem with people spamming the comments on this blog. I have no freakin' idea how to stop it, except maybe not to accept comments at all.

Other than is super-busy. We have a big conference on Saturday, and I did all kinds of drawing up mailing lists and mailings and emailings and contacting people and the like. Then I made the mistake of saying I wanted to go to the conference; the honoree is speaking on addiction as self-medication, which sounds pretty interesting to me. So somehow, I ended up having to coordinate all of the volunteers and all of the stuff that has to go to the event hall and having to be there at 8:30 AM, instead of 10 when the conference starts. I really wouldn't have minded if I've gotten these responsibilities earlier, because some of the organizers fell down on the job and I spent a lot of today having to find and buy a podium and a microphone system - the latter of which is way beyond my competence. How did no one ask me about this earlier? And exactly who is going to take care of the work I'm supposed to be doing?

I've been cranky all day. Just plain cranky.

Good news? well, I'm going to Jannah's over Memorial Day weekend, maybe my fifth year in a row. Surely something to look forward to.

Judy also hired me to do a little outside work, editing some articles to submit to a journal. I'm enjoying the work since it's something I'm really good at; I feel powerful when I do it.

The weather's getting warmer and I'm looking forward to getting into my warm-weather clothes. I am so sick of my winter clothes. I open the closet and gaze at the pretty dresses I'm going to get to wear. After I get paid Monday: pedicure! get ready for sandals!

I've been rewatching tv series on Netflix, now that I can wi-fi it into the tv. Nip/Tuck was a guilty pleasure, but I just finished seven seasons of The West Wing last night, and I'm really going to miss it. Smart, engaging show with great actors and great characters. Hard to let go of them.

I've discovered an app called Podkicker. Never really listened to podcasts before, but this is an easy way to do it. I'm partial to Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class. And The Bowery Boys (NYC history). I like to go to sleep with it, even more than Pandora.