mnvnjnsn's Diary

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700 Hobo Names

So much has gone on, and so much should be said, but I'm not telling those stories right now. You get these instead:

The following is a dramatization based on a very true story.

Scene: A woman boards the bus, clutching a cell phone. The cell phone is the after-hours tech-support phone for a local law firm. The woman sits near the back by the window, but not one of those sideways seats. She is listening to her iPod (and suggests you buy this right now. I said NOW).

Shortly after she sits down, the phone-- having been set on vibrate only-- begins to, well, vibrate. The headphones come off and the phone is answered.

Woman: Hello, this is [redacted].
Attorney: Hi, this is [redacted too]. I got a loaner laptop from [redacted IT guy], and he was nice enough to show me how the wireless works. I'm in my hotel now in [redacted city] and they have Hi-speed internet, but my wireless doesn't work.
W: Does the hotel have wireless?
A: No.
W: OK, then that would explain why it's not working. Do they have a cable somewhere or instructions on how to use their high speed internet?
A: Yes, there's a cord here with a label that says "Internet Connection." Does that mean anything?
W: Yes. That's the cable you should plug into the back of your laptop. That's how you'll connect to the internet.
A: OK, I've done that. -beat- Now my Outlook isn't working! Why can't I get to my email!??!??!?!
W: Well, we've got you connected to the internet, but that's different that our network.
A: Are you sure we're connected to the internet? I mean, my Outlook is giving me an error!! (A proceeds to read the error, plowing through the entire page while W tries in vain to stop her).
W: Again, Outlook will not work until we get you logged into our network. Let me get you set up for remote access. First we need to verify connection.
A: (Dubiously) Okaaaayyyyy.
W: OK. Go to your desktop and click on--
A: But I'm not at my desk, I said I was in [redacted city]!!


The other night Eli Horvath and I went to see John Hodgman, of The Daily Show, iMac commercials and McSweeney's fame.

His book, The Areas of my Expertise, has just come out in paperback. We already owned the hardback but couldn't find it, so we bought the paperback so we would have something he could sign. I can safely say that there are few genuinely nicer people than John Hodgman. After the reading (which included an accompaniment by Jonathan Coulton, very funny in his own right), despite there being a line of 50 or more fans, John took the time to shake each person's hand, look each one in the eye and actually have a conversation with each one of us. He asked me if I lived in Portland, and if I liked it here. (Yes and yes, I answered.)

I used to take my camera to book readings, so I could get my picture taken with whichever famous and favorite author was there, but now I've stopped. Having once aspired to writing something that would put me in a position to be the subject of a publicity junket, it makes me sad to see me getting older and older in each picture, while the real subject of the photo smiles politely, content in the fact that they get to bask in the adoration of fans, while I don't.


Still, I highly recommend John Hodgman in any form. I own two copies of his book. The least you can do is buy one.

3:21 p.m. - 2006-10-12


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