Feb. 22, 2004

When it comes to personal finances, I run a fairly tight ship, but I always wondered what would actually happen if I didn’t pay my rent on time. Thanks to some former neighbors of mine, now I know.

A young couple had lived across the hall from me for the last year, and they moved out at the end of January. Several days later, an official-looking document titled, RECOVERY OF REAL PROPERTY HEARING NOTICE, was attached to their door with masking tape.

The following Saturday, the female half of the couple stopped by her old apartment, presumably to pick up a few things she’d left behind. After her brief visit, the document had been removed from her door, so I assumed she had become aware of her impending court appearance.

Within a few more days, another similar notice appeared on the door across the hall, and I couldn’t resist reading it. Turns out that my former neighbors owed the apartment complex over $1,800 in rent!

I wonder if the delinquent couple notified the landlord that they were moving out, or if they even bothered to show up at their scheduled court hearing last week. Either way, they’re facing some serious legal problems, and their credit rating is probably ruined for the foreseeable future. And the whole episode is a good reminder that paying your rent on time isn’t exactly optional.

[ No. 82 ]

Feb. 13–15, 2004

Headed west for a three-day weekend in Pittsburgh to meet up with some old college buddies and celebrate our friend Steve’s 30th birthday.

We attended an entertaining anti–Valentine’s Day party at an ’80s club called Chemistry, enjoyed a great lunch at the appropriately named Fat Head’s, played a few rounds of darts at Sports Rock, and watched a few hilarious episodes of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. A full agenda, I must say.

Drinks, food, games, and TV with friends — the good life!

[ No. 81 ]

Feb. 9, 2004

As a former Disney employee (sorry, cast member) and a current shareholder in the company, I have a bone to pick with Mickey & Co.

Over the last several years, the folks at Disney have picked up a nasty habit of producing second-rate, completely unnecessary direct-to-video sequels to their classic films. The cinematic world would be much better off without the likes of Lady and the Tramp II and Fantasia/2000.

The most baffling video release yet, The Lion King 1½, is scheduled for release this week. That’s right, one and a half. The title of this fractional sequel reminds me of the second and third installments of the Naked Gun movies — those titles were intended as a joke, but this latest Disney release simply is a joke.

Perhaps the Disney production studios are simply bereft of original ideas, but it’s more likely that the company is desperately trying to inflate its bottom line by selling cheap, inferior entertainment. I wonder if they’re planning a Snow White sequel featuring an eighth dwarf: Greedy.

[ No. 80 ]

Feb. 4, 2004

Some odds and ends, as seen on TV this week:

  1. In the wake of Janet Jackson’s (ahem) overexposure during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, her dance partner, Justin Timberlake, referred to the Mardi Gras–esque incident as a “wardrobe malfunction.” So, in layman’s terms, Janet’s clothes were busted — pun intended, of course.
  2. By the way, if I ever decide to start a rock band, it’s going to be called the Wardrobe Malfunctions.
  3. During CNN’s coverage of the Democratic primaries, senior analyst Jeff Greenfield observed that an exit poll is the equivalent of crack to the media. To paraphrase his analogy, they know it’s dangerous, but they simply can’t resist it.
  4. Gotta love that comparison, and I’d be willing to bet that a few media personalities are on crack, too.
  5. For some reason, frequent TV ads for are still proudly announcing that “there is no safe cigarette” — as if that statement represents a sudden epiphany on their part.
  6. Wait, you mean those things are bad for us? Thanks, Captain Obvious!

[ No. 79 ]