Jonathan Van Gieson . com
A new panel every day | About | Randomly Generated Strip | The Beginning | Recently
THE WEBLOG ARCHIVE: Observed/Overheard

February 03, 2006

Obnoxious Children Are Smarter Than Congress | 12:14 PM

In my capacity as a volunteer at the Central Park Zoo, I spent a portion of yesterday gathering signatures for the nationwide zoo-led "Two Million for $2 Million" campaign, which is attempting to gather two million signatures to ask congress to fund conservation and research programs to protect tigers, great apes, elephants (Asian AND African) marine turtles and rhinos. (You can sign the petition here.) The following was the interaction that gave me hope for our future.

ME: [Shpiel omitted, but worth perusing]
MOM: Can kids sign the petition?
ME: Sure.
MOM: What about it? Do you want to help the animals?

May 19, 2005

Three Letter Reviews: "Revenge of the Sith" | 06:31 PM


October 21, 2004

Amazon's free shipping bar is perhaps set a bit too high. | 04:54 PM


August 11, 2004

Report from the Field #7: Third Watch Filming | 11:59 PM

11:54pm: Arrive home to find my street lit with floodlights, the largest perched atop the aforementioned Manlift. The scene illuminated: a cop slams a black teenager into the door of an unmarked car in the driveway of the Arrow Linen Corp.

Upstairs, the floods also pour into my living room. The scene illuminated: my cats. Dinner is late, and they're pissed.

I say again: this looks to be an exciting 44 minutes of television.

neilfred comments: "Your cats are going to be on TV? I'll tune in for that! Especially if they're pissed."

ellen comments: "i live on prospect near ppw and got home at 11ish... they were filming right outside my door, floodlights etc. i was very out of it, but pulled myself together enough to notice bits and pieces of what they were filming: * a car drives down the street * a car drives down in the opposite direction, stops short, reverses and curves into the sidewalk - it's coming after a black guy running down the sidewalk * the black guy falls/dives over the car i asked the PA i was standing next to what it was and he replied "a travesty" - i agreed with him after i saw the car dive. then i was escorted to my apt, where i could hear tire squeals and broken glass for the next few hours. "

wvg comments: "I thought you were watching baseball."

Report from the Field #6: Third Watch Filming | 04:50 PM

4:43pm: Men have been lifted! On to a buliding across the way — perhaps to film an exciting cross-rooftop chase scene? Only time will tell.

Report from the Field #5: Third Watch Filming | 10:29 AM

Day 2, 10:18am: A "Manlift" has been parked across the street! I think it safe to say that, in due time, men will be lifted.

August 10, 2004

Report from the Field #4: Third Watch Filming | 10:53 PM

5:47pm: As I leave for a meeting with Josh and Lock to put the finishing touches on The Big 40! (a.k.a. Book of Ages 40) they are still filming outside the bagel shop. The lights of the police car are now flashing.

10:28pm: I return home to find both sides of my street blocked off with orange cones. Perhaps tomorrow is the big day; Third Watch leaves the bagel store!

Report from the Field #3: Third Watch Filming | 12:15 PM

12:13pm: The fire truck parked across the street from me appears to contain actual firemen, not actors.

neilfred comments: "How can you tell?"

Report from the Field #2: Third Watch Filming | 09:48 AM

9:33am: I walk Xina to the subway to swipe her in with my unlimited MetroCard. (With Subway fares going up again, we must learn to economize!) PAs are yelling at people for parking at the meters. Can they do so politely? They can not. Even their "please" has a nasty edge. Xina observes: "Give a nobody a headset, and look what happens."

We stop in to buy a bagel as they film the scene where the cops drive down the street to park in front of the bagel shop. This looks to be an exciting 44 minutes of television!

Report from the Field: Third Watch Filming | 09:11 AM

You know, until they put up signs a few days back telling me I couldn't park on my street today, I had no idea Third Watch was still on the air.

But here they are, filming around the corner, and so I feel I must bring up as many updates from the field as seem warranted. So:

8:55am: I walk to the grocery store to get yogurt. Third Watch is filming cops sitting outside our local bagel shop. Who knew TV could be so true to life?

July 19, 2004

Observations Made by Commercials
Are Often Inaccurate
| 03:19 PM

With the coming of the third full week in July comes a brand new site feature; Observations Made by Commercials Are Often Innaccurate. The feature will focus not on the grandiose claims of the taglines (i.e. "Since the dawn of time, mankind has always known: it's just not a mix without the Chex"), but rather on the more subtle statements — often casually thrown in at the beginning of an ad — which one is expected to accept without question. (And without which the internal logic of the commercial — if such a phrase can be said without snickering — will collapse.)

This week's entry was, if I remember correctly, in support of a fast food franchise:

"Nearly every week you hear about a new salad."

July 07, 2004

Worst of Both Worlds Department | 06:52 PM


Discount airline Song should perhaps look into hiring local talent to produce their site-specific advertising; this tagline, splayed across 50 feet of Houston Street, was clearly the handiwork an out-of-towner who delved no further into the research library than a 1991 Zagat.


Krista comments: "I rememebr this kind of wildly gernerlized "I'm a new yorker" humor popping into other add campains. Rencently Ringling brothers had some slogan to the effect of "crazy, even by NY standards." Seems advertising pegged us an entirly different market. "

Rory comments: "Hey--where's the photo? ... or at least the cross-street. I'd like to see this for myself."

JVG comments: "If I remember correctly, it was across from the Angelica."

June 21, 2004

It's like iTunes for the lazy and/or foolish! | 01:18 AM


Why not try RipDigital? WIRED says it "nicely organizes [your collection] by artist and album!" (Emphasis mine.) I've never heard of anything like that! And all you have to do is FedEx all your CDs to them, and pay them hundreds of dollars!

Or, better yet, FedEx all your CDs and several hundred dollars to me! I'll rip them, buy myself a new iPod, and I promise you can listen to it every time you come over! We'll have oodles of fun! You bring the beer!

Strangely, the RipDigital FAQ doesn't answer the question "Isn't this stupid?" But it does offer this tantalizing series of answers...

Does RipDigital offer a digital LP conversion service?
No. At this time RipDigital only offers a conversion service for music CDs.

Does RipDigital offer a digital photo conversion service?
No. At this time RipDigital only offers a conversion service for music CDs.

Does RipDigital offer a digital VHS conversion service?
No. At this time RipDigital only offers a conversion service for music CDs.

May 10, 2004

FreshDirect recommendations: Dead on! | 01:22 PM

If you like peanuts, you might also enjoy... Beer!

Fresh Direct

May 05, 2004

Idioms useless in modern society | 05:15 PM

Xina reports this conversation passing her in the street:

"How do you lie like a rug? A rug doesn't lie."

Sarah comments: "Greetings"

March 13, 2004

Now Playing | 04:05 AM

Now playing at the Flatbush Avenue Pavilion, Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn:

Lord of the Rings
Passion of the Christ
Dawn of the Dead

aeu comments: "Post of the Silly."

January 03, 2004

The first post of the New Year | 02:56 PM

This is the first post of the new year.

December 09, 2003

Holy Cripes! | 11:00 AM

Hey, anyone else notice that huge blizzard a few days back? Whooo-eee! Now THAT was a lot of snow!

November 06, 2003

First Impressions of Panther | 04:09 AM

• Try as it might, Font Book just can't handle 5,000 fonts
• 3 hours and one download later, the scanner's working again
• If only Address Book could sync with, say, Entourage
• 10 minutes of the upgrade time installing support for —Swedish?
• Still don't need .mac

November 03, 2003

While U Wait | 01:36 PM

Xina calls in with a report from the street:

"Ear piercing 'while-u-wait'.

As opposed to, drop your ears off and pick them up later.


October 22, 2003

Advice to live by | 06:07 PM

From an 8-year-old to a 5-year-old, walking down the subway steps;

"If you want to be a person, you have to walk like a person."

October 11, 2003

New Money | 12:13 PM

The bank machine has started spitting out toy money. Delightful! A close inspection of the just-released twenty dollar bills reveals some clever new anti-counterfeiting features, including:

• New orange stripe confuses counterfeiters by making them think they're in Europe

• Under the Dept of Treasury seal, the words "TWENTY USA USA TWENTY" appear all wavy. Almost impossible to duplicate without using Adobe Illustrator's "Warp" function
• Andrew Jackson now looks slightly more perturbed, perhaps due to fact that an American Eagle is attacking his head
• Shiny light-reflective color-shifting ink blinds evildoers

• Evil swarm of yellow number "20s" lay siege to the White House (Value as anti-counterfeiting measure unclear)

• Explore the Interactive Bill []

October 03, 2003

Digital Underground | 09:22 PM

How effective is the web address in a subway ad? I'm guessing: not very. To the best of my knowledge, I've only gone to one web address I've seen in transit,

Somehow, that just doesn't seem fair to the companies that spend their hard-won advertising dollars on a subway spot. So, in the interests of good sportsmanship, here are all of the ads I saw on my trip home today. Click now, and if you ever ride in MTA car no. 3725 in the future, you need not feel guilty about ignoring the ads. And, for those outside the NY area, it's a tantalizing taste of Life in the Big City:

August 15, 2003

Blackout! | 10:08 AM

1. Last night's show: Cancelled.

2. Least fun: The Brooklyn Bridge swaying as I walked over it. Nothing like sheer, unadulterated terror to put things in perspective.

3. Most amusing: Borough President Marty Markowitz waiting at the Brooklyn side of the bridge to welcome everyone home, and declaring that "all of Brooklyn is a block party tonight!" Good call, Marty. Good call.

4. Thanks to: the woman who gave me a hair elastic because she thought I looked hot.

5. JCN already has his photos online, as does Gothamist.

July 21, 2003

Kinko's Now Self-Aware? | 10:33 AM

Audio Book titles on display, top shelf, front of store, Kinko's on Court Street:

1. How to Deal with Difficult People
2. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (And It's All Small Stuff)
3. Stress Management for Professionals

May 25, 2003

Overheard | 03:57 PM

7th Avenue Books, 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, 3:15pm

"Ohmigod, if the Times does any more breast-beating, I'm just gonna vomit."

April 18, 2003

Telemarketing Failures | 01:11 PM

(Phone rings)
SHE: (Cheerfully) Hi, I'm calling to let you know that starting this Friday, you'll be receiving the Daily News everyday for half price!
ME: (Also Cheerfully) But we don't want the Daily News!
SHE: Ohhh. Why not?
ME: Because we don't like the Daily News.
SHE: Ohhh. Why not?
ME: Because it's not a very good paper.
SHE: Ohhh. (Hangs up.)

April 08, 2003

More Scenes From Week One of The Smoking Ban | 11:38 AM

Lock's Below 14th post-ban vignettes, not surprisingly, support his pro-smoking agenda. My own experiences, also perhaps unsurprisingly, have supported my own position...

A smoker, on her way outside to smoke: (Lotus Club, LES) "Actually, I'm okay with it. A lot of my friends used to go home after one drink because they couldn't stand the smoke, but now they're staying out later."

RouletteGirl, a smoker who, two weeks ago, argued passionately against the ban: "After visiting San Francisco, I've come around. It was so nice to go out there. You go into a bar and it doesn't stink. You come home and you don't stink."

Another smoker: "I've been trying to quit for years, but I keep falling off the wagon when I go out. I think this will really help."

But hey, if Lock wants to fight for his right keep paying $737 per year to support a habit of which he doesn't partake, that's his lookout. And just one more check mark in the pro-war column.

April 03, 2003

Observed | 01:43 AM

Clearance Aisle, Toys "R" Us:
Marked down to $4.99, Rosie O' Donnell "Friend of Barbie" doll.

Xina says: "Apparently, it means the same thing as 'Friend of Dorothy.'"

• Lady Bast rates Rosie doll's body "A+" (Warning: plastic nudity)

March 03, 2003

Observed: F Train, 1:49am | 11:05 AM

His hat says: Streit's Matzos
The book he reads: Cannabis Therapeutics

February 28, 2003

Overheard: Snug Harbor Restaurant, Ft. Myers Beach | 04:50 PM

A woman at the next booth over hits it off with the waitress because they share the name "Beverly." Further discussion reveals that they are both named Beverly Jane. Apparently, Beverly Jean is the more common version, but the customer's parents had already give her sister the middle name "Jean," so she got the leftovers. The waitress' parents, one assumes, just liked the excitement.

January 16, 2003

Ya Don't Need "Teef" To Enjoy Our "Beef" | 10:37 PM

Dov picked up this bit of tastiness at a rest stop in PA on the trip back from DC:

Side of container alleges (much to MLW's amusement): "Sprayed with Potassium Sorbate to retard mold growth."

• "Beef Jerky strips shredded to release the full hickory smoke taste. Packed in small snuff style containers to seal in that 'old west' flavor" []

A Sobering Thought | Comic Strip | Detritus | Dreamlog | Famous Friends | From The Files | Inbox | News Analysis | Now That I'm Famous | NYC | Observed/Overheard | Photos | Press | Production Updates | Quotation Ad Propositum | Reviews & Awards | The Early Years | The Gallivants of Fame | The Perfect Sentence | Today in History | Travels | Works |

February 2006 | January 2006 | December 2005 | November 2005 | October 2005 | September 2005 | August 2005 | July 2005 | June 2005 | May 2005 | April 2005 | March 2005 | February 2005 | January 2005 | December 2004 | November 2004 | October 2004 | September 2004 | August 2004 | July 2004 | June 2004 | May 2004 | April 2004 | March 2004 | February 2004 | January 2004 | December 2003 | November 2003 | October 2003 | September 2003 | August 2003 | July 2003 | June 2003 | May 2003 | April 2003 | March 2003 | February 2003 | January 2003 | December 2002 |

Fine Burlesque Entertainments
Nasty Canasta
Official Burlesque Artist of, cheese queen of Coney Island
Jonny Porkpie
Nasty puppeteer and Burlesque Mayor of New York City.


Tales from the Established Norm
The post-college episodes of the strip from college.
One strip. One thousand endings.

Fred, The Obnoxious Goldfish
An angry slice of piscine fury from the mind of Jay Veegee
One-shot from the files.
Faust: a Primer
Created for the program of Man of Infinite Desire

Produces Interesting Theater. Such as...
Tiny Ninja Theater
No Small Parts. Only Small Actors.
Hudson Valley Playreading Series
"Buddy" Cianci: The Musical
Rhode Island's most popular politician, six times elected, twice convicted

Book of Ages
"Exploring life's landmark ages in hilariously obsessive detail."
buy 30 | buy 40
buy Japanese 40
German 40 (unavailable)

Minor & Incomplete

The ANTAGONISTIC magazine.
Survivor Deadpool
Deadpool Dead.
A great idea!
Unpalatable Ball
Featuring the Discontented Elf.

I Know Them All
Two Snail or Not Two Snail?
by Jay Veegee


Updated Weekly | The Beginning | Previously
contact: | AIM
Hosted by Fictional Company, Powered by Movable Type | ©2004 or thereabouts