Billy’s Gourmet Hot Dogs

Just a quick post to give a lot of love to Billy’s Gourmet Hot Dogs, for basically just being awesome. Oh, and for opening another restaurant closer to where we live now, even if they had the audacity not to tell us.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Billy’s is the only thing I miss about our old apartment. In fact, between the defecating hobos and gang wars Billy’s was about the only thing I felt comfortable looking at directly. And it was delicious.

My girlfriend and I fell in love with that place soon after I moved in. She’d never been there, despite living right next door, but I changed that. She started making me eat salad, so in an act of supreme revenge I forced her to eat hot dogs. Personally, I think she got the better end of the deal.

Before we moved we bought mugs with the Billy’s logo on them, so we wouldn’t forget their almost criminally perfect hot dogs. (White Hot, I’m looking at you.) But we didn’t need them, because we still go back pretty regularly. It’s worth driving that far. Order the garlic pesto blue cheese fries just once and see if I’m lying.

The service is also fantastic, with Billy himself and Billy Jr. on hand to give out samples, suggest concoctions not on the menu (HELLO, MAC DADDY!!) and just generally be excellent human beings.

We haven’t been to the new location yet, but my girlfriend and I were glad to see that Billy was doing well enough to expand. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Also, according to their website they cater. So if you’re getting married, let them make you a shitload of hotdogs. And also invite me.

Because I fucking love these hot dogs.

Housekeeping — March 24, 2012

A few pieces of business.

One: You’ve probably noticed that updates here aren’t quite…regular. Never fear…that was always my intention for this particular blog. Longer, more exploratory articles posted less frequently. I understand some folks might prefer shorter pieces posted regularly, but dat ain’t how I roll so…never fear if you find me going a week or more without updating. But that leads me into…

Two: I’ve recently obtained permission — or, rather, confirmed that I had permission — to post some of my old Noise to Signal articles here. So expect a few of those to turn up in the near future, which should give you more to read and enjoy and call me an idiot for writing. I might revise them slightly to correct any errors or to include information I’ve learned since, but they shouldn’t change much and if you’ve read them you’ve read them. Hooray!

Three: Many thanks to the folks at Dead Homer Society, who recently singled out my essay about the South Park episode “AWESOM-O” as their link of the week. You can find it in this edition of their Reading Digest, and I can suggest that anybody looking for intelligent essays about television should explore that site even more fully. One of the best ongoing deconstructions I’ve seen, and it’s run by excellent people. So check it out.

Four: A lot of things are bugging me about this template — including the name…”Delicious”…which I’m embarrassed to say out loud — but I haven’t had time to sit down and figure out how to change them. Some folks have already griped about the way the comments section treats paragraph breaks, and I don’t blame them. I’m also inclined to fix the silly overlay in the banner that wants to print the page description in a really ugly font in a really ugly place…which is why I deleted my page description, leading instead to a stray dash in the toolbar. A lot needs to be fixed, so bear with me as I find the time to figure out how to fix it. And do please let me know your complaints in the comments section, if you have any, and I’ll try to take care of them all at once.

THAT WAS FUN

Survival of the fittest ads

When I was linkbuilding this past week, I came across this:

It’s sweet and all, but do me a favor: if I ever die unexpectedly and you’d like to turn my blog into a tribute to me, please remove from the sidebar whatever bikini babe weight loss ads might be undercutting the solemnity.

After all, if you have access to my blog and can therefore post those mournful goodbyes, you can also delete my Google adsense code. I won’t need the twelve cents a year anymore. Thank you in advance, from this side of the veil of tears.

Office Life or death

I’m a bit late reporting on this, so I apologize for having had other things to say instead, but my potential appearance as a superstar celebrity awesome guy on the upcoming reality show Office Life has been been kiboshed.*

This is neither surprising nor upsetting. We, as employees of an organization that pays us to do work and not — I must say — monkey around for a camera, were only told that management discussed it and decided that the cons outweighed the pros. Being as my own personal list of cons consisted entirely of “We go out of business because we were made to look like idiots” and my own personal list of pros consisted entirely of “We get to be on television,” I have to agree.

There’s more I’d like to say on this subject, as I’m not sure I’m entirely finished processing it, but I did want to update about this to say that there would be no forthcoming updates about this, except for the update about this that I will write when I decide what I want to say in my update about this.

THANKS FOR READING

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* My browser’s spell checker doesn’t like the word “kiboshed,” and wanted me to type out “had the kibosh put on it” instead, but I kiboshed that noise.

Office Life interview post-script

The interviews were held today for Office Life, and, ultimately, it was about what I expected. A Skype interview to test how easily we could be shaped in an editing booth to fit preconceived notions. Don’t ask me why I expected anything different. I honestly don’t know.

A few of the folks being interviewed really want to be on television. There were assurances tossed around about how “crazy” they are and unpredictable and other things that no doubt reflect very well upon them as employees. Somebody even stood up and did a little dance.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be on television, of course. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe the premise that they pitched to us (“a show about how small business is the key to revitalizing America’s economy”) worked its magic on me in spite of everything I read about the show beforehand, and which was unsurprisingly absent entirely from the interview, in which they instead wanted us to act zany and classify each other into character types like the whip-cracker, the party animal and the mother hen. The might as well have asked us to identify the Dwight, the Kelly and the Phyllis.

My The Office comparisons yesterday were mainly in jest. Now I guess they were just prescient. They want to know this stuff in advance so that they can save themselves the hassle of actually learning something about their subjects, or — horror of horrors — having to deal with a group of people that don’t line up exactly with fictional characters they know from T.V.

They’re coming to film the office next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m not sure how I feel about that, and based upon the interview (from which I checked out pretty quickly, as it became all too clear all too quickly what kind of show they were hoping to produce) I might decline to sign the release form, leaving it to folks who are more comfortable making themselves look deliberately foolish in front of strangers. But we’ll see. They’ve tried to reassure us by saying that they don’t want to milk our jobs for drama, because if they got a reputation of damaging businesses nobody would pick up their series. Which is obviously and entirely true; that’s why you absolutely never see people on television who have screwed other people over to get there. It’s an entirely self-policing process that weeds out any trouble makers and I’m sorry I can’t finish typing that sentence with a straight face.

I’m not saying that I’d particularly like to costar in a documentary series, but I’d at least be open to the idea. But I don’t want to costar in a broad comedy, particularly one deliberately manufactured from “real life” material in which all the scenes that don’t feature archetypal behavior are cut for time and tedium.

In Vineland, Thomas Pynchon famously wrote that “The camera is a gun.” The older I get, the more sense that observation seems to make. It’s often wisest to move out of the way before it starts shooting.

Part of me is still open-minded, but it’s a much smaller part of me now. I’m trying to stay optimistic, but hope no longer springs eternal.

Hope instead springs ’til about next Tuesday.

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