Wednesday, August 29, 2007

WWND: What would Nader do?

We've got a real problem in America with cellular phones. There's clearly an oligopoly - thank you Freakonomics/Mr. Ehrman - and we, the consumers, are all victims.

When it comes to cars, we have many choices of what to buy: New, used, pre-owned, leased....and there are at least a dozen credible manufacturers and many choices of where to buy them (dealerships, ebay, craigslist, etc.) - but with cellular phones, we are slaves to a horrible, horrible system.

My only hope is that George Hotz will one day find a solution to my woes.

Today, I went into my local Verizon store in Rockville Center (the place is always overcrowded with people, so I arrived soon after the store opened) only to find an establishment that was in the midst of chaos. Order of events that lead to my madness:

1. Arrive at store and sign in to Customer Service section using fancy touch-screen.
2. Woman X arrives at store and signs in to Technical Service section.
3. Woman X is called to Technical Service only to realize that she intended to sign up or Customer Service.
4. Woman X signs up for Customer Service.
5. I am next on line according to the big screen and Woman X is directly after me.
6. Woman X (damn yuppy) decides that she's too good for the line and while I'm fiddling around with a Blackberry she bypasses the line completely, and only after she is already being helped by the unwitting service agent do I realize her offense.
7. I go over to her and say, "Excuse me ma'am, there's a line." I point to the screen with her name below mine.
8. She replies, "But I was here for an hour last week."
9. I am astounded. This woman has no concept.

SYNERGY AT WORK: Verizon's oligopoly + Verizon's inefficiencies + Yuppy Woman = Equivalent of a week spent in a state penitientiary in terms of how much aggravation this situation causes me.

Why can't we have indy phone companies to avoid the crap in the same way that we have indy movie theatres to avoid the crap?

Back after a brief hiatus...

As many of you already know, I cracked the screen of my laptop some time in May, and waited until now to have it repaired. I am very happy with the service that TechRestore provided, and I now have my laptop aka my baby back with me.

I am back in Oceanside for a few days before departing for the UK on Sunday, September 2nd. Two nights ago, I went with Koller to see Superbad. It was good. I understand the hype - but what I noticed (in a theatre where we were surrounded by 10-15 year olds, some of whom haven't yet achieved puberty according to the high tones of their laughs) was that some of the jokes were way too far above the plebians' heads. And for that, I appreciated the film.

I thought that with my retirement from 34th Street Magazine that my days as a movie critic were over. This is not based in fact, as I now find myself critiquing movies more than ever, only without an official audience.

I've totally transformed myself into the quintessential arthouse flick dork. In Philly, I had the Ritz Theatres and on Long Island I have the Malverne Cinema. For a variety of reasons including overcrowding, rowdy/uninterested audiences, and the poor/stupid quality of films, I've decided that from this point forward, I will no longer step foot in mainstream movie theatres or multiplexes. Radical, huh? Well, I've always been somewhat of a maverick.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Paul Simon Cover Band

Is anyone else interested in starting a Paul Simon cover band? I explicitly say Paul Simon rather than Simon and Garfunkel, because I've heard from numerous inside sources that Garfunkel is not a particularly nice man. And Simon wrote all of the music and lyrics anyway, so it should be ok.

But a major problem is that I don't play guitar. Maybe I can just manage said band.

There appears to already be an Italian Paul Simon cover band with the witty title, Graceband, but these Italian rockers are anything like the other Italians I've encountered in my extensive travels to the Old Country, then it's probably horribly disorganized and unreliable.

Please express interest to sidneymorsels at gmail

Monday, August 20, 2007

Words of Wisdom

A reader/fan fom California, Avital, commented to me: Did you know that there is a quote from Judaism which says, " Each person has three names: one our parents give us, one our friends call us, and one we acquire for ourselves." so there you have it...just more justification of the name change.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A hell of a town...

Stephen Morse: Sidney Morsels
New Amsterdam: New York

Figure it out.

Some weekend ramblings:

1. I just ate pizza at 3:00am, and I would never have eaten this pizza at 3:00pm, because it would have looked to gross for words, but it was good.

2. Tip taxi drivers well, especially when they make it 40 blocks without hitting a single red light.

3. In Philadelphia, I've noticed that Market Street has been sub-named "Avenue of Technology" in an attempt to be like New York in that 6th Avenue is the "Avenue of the Americas" etc. There is no technology on Market Street in Philly except for the El that has been around for a hundred years.

4. Please add this establishment to your RSS feed, if you believe in RSS feeds.

5. I've drank my last beer, from now on it is only red wine for me (lots of flavanoids and reservatols according to Men's Health, the best magazine ever invented).

6. Perhaps the most interesting non-incident of the evening was observing a drunk bar attendee peeing on the door of what looked to be an Asian-Porno-Club, and when the bouncer stepped outside, he was unknowingly urinated on by the drunk clubber doing his bees wax.

To sleep, and beyond.

New York and Sidney Morsels will always have a paradoxical relationship. It may never be right, ever.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What's in a name?

For the first 21 years of my life, I have been known affectionately by variations of my name, SRM, SM Cool (age 6), Grandma, The Captain, and a variety of other names. But one nickname resonates with me more than the others. That name is Morsels, and I want to make the name mine. And now, i think I will. I do enjoy the name Morse immensely, but having the name Morsels gives me the benefit of retaining the Morse within it and also allowing myself to be called by another of my favorite nicknames. There are too many Morse's in the world, and not enough Morsels, so I'd like to differentiate myself from the pack.

Yes, I invented the surname Morsels. But Morse has only been in my family for 50 years, since my grandpa changed our name from one that is much more ethnic, Moskowitz. Thus, I have no obligation to live with Morse forever.

Though I haven't been overt about it with my parents, I was never really fond of the name Stephen. It is too commonplace for me, and I always had to contend with other Stephen's (even though they're usually spelled Steven) in my classes growing up. I don't like being just another Stephen, regardless of how it's spelled. I want to be me. So after many hours of research in the library of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, I decided that the name Sidney fit me a lot more than Stephen. Stephen means"crowned" like a king, but I am not a king of anything, and I don't desire to ever be one. I'm an independent, not a monarchist.

Stephen Robert Morse is perhaps the most Anglo-Saxon-sounding name in the world. And I am neither Anglo nor Saxon, at least not yet anyway.

And yes, my ego takes a hit every time I Google the name Stephen Morse and some web-site designer is the first hit and the Professor of Law and Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania is up there too and some genetics researcher at Yale and some poet from California who all had a twenty or thirty or forty year head start on me to make themselves known. And there's some rock musician from the mid-West named Steve Morse, but I never went by Steve anyway so it doesn't hurt me as much.


I'm not asking people I've already known to call me anything but the names they already know me by, but the grandfather clause is optional, and should you decide to call me Sid, Sidney, Morse, Morsey, or Morsels, I will answer.

On the bright side, if you ever are disappointed after googling yourself, check this out.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The age of me is now.

Sidney Morsels has arrived!