Chat Drama, Running with (for) Lobsters and Kosher 101 and Chat Chasing

Note: For an audio version of this blog, please click here:

The Drama Continues in PG1

US Capitol Building Spring, 2007

I woke up on another Saturday morning in the nation’s capitol (well, close anyway — the burbs) and as usual, found myself at my computer. I have a new pact with myself though. First I log onto AOL to get mail that’s actually pertinent to my life. Then I pull up WordPress to see if anyone’s reading or if I am typing into the wind. Next I pull up my IRC client to see who’s around and then finally, launch a browser or two to see what’s going on live at JTV.

This morning was not really much different than other days, with the exception of extreme silence. There were a couple of regulars chatting about not much of anything, and about an hour later it was as though the drama wizard shook his stick at the room and barbs started flying rather than magic and stars pixie dust and all things that are good in the world.

The drama turned to chat moderation. Apparently our friend Brian or Indigo or guy that walks around in circles in the frat house was helping to fuel the fire. When I walked into the room he was responding to requests for help by telling people that he was too busy, that passwords are worthless … well, his actual statement went like this — “indigophone: justopia: The IRC passwords are pretty worthless. You can’t do anything with them so I’m not really concerned.” I’m an inquisitive type of person so I was trying to understand how some circle-walking one time frat house attending guest was coming up with his responses to people asking for help with their passwords and got, well, pretty much nowhere.

children-gated-window.jpg

Children in Jerusalem — the Old City — 2004

The people asking for help continued to ask for help for a while, one of them eventually left the joint, and the drama continued for a while longer.

Accusations Abound

Things took an ugly turn later in the day when accusations began flying about a Indigo and what may or may not have happened behind the screens this week. It’s a he said situation, a room full of rumors, so I am not going to throw in any kind of assumptions here, but I will leave it at this. If any of this is fact, it’s gross, more juvenile than any accusations I have seen thrown around here in the past 54 days and I’d think, should be worrisome enough for the JTV crew to take notice and appropriate action. Sexual harassment is not something to take lightly, in the workplace and if you have someone that you have hired, or who has volunteered their services to you in a work capacity that is creating problems as people have claimed, then it seems to me it would be so much easier just to break the business relationship. Justin used to say he wanted to keep this PG13, but some of this crap is creepy Chris Hansen NBC TV type stuff that a start up would want to stay away from. Can’t we just all get along?!

Morrocco

A View of Morocco from Gibraltar August, 2004

Things returned to the normal boring JTV watching — Justin sleeps … and sleeps … and sleeps some more. He finally woke up, sometime after 1:30 or so and that is when I decided to once again take a break from the fun and frivolity that is JTV.

I took another break and came back to the Great Lobster Chase. As we heard yesterday, they received 4 lobsters, yet they invited people for dinner, so clearly 4 lobsters was not going to be enough to feed the frat boys, and their friends. In order to solve this problem, Justin took off on a lobster chase. After a quick stop at Best Buy to pick up a web cam for one of their new lifecasters, he dropped of Shooby, his companion for last night’s bore-fest that was the Halo 3 premier at the train station and headed off in search of some brothers or sisters or cousins or spouses of the 4 lobsters that were chilling out in the JTV fridge.

Lobster Quest

Much to our chagrin, the 23 year old Yale graduate could not find a single lobster in San Francisco. Let’s forget that he’s in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the country, nay the world, forget that there are restaurants and retailers everywhere you look, pay no attention to the fact that he is a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean, there is a world famous open air market that is open on Saturdays in San Francisco. Hell, I saw a show about it this morning! But what makes me scratch my head the most is this — Justin has his Treo in his hand and has the ability to connect to the internet. Why, oh please tell me why the guy didn’t do a proper search for seafood or shellfish or lobster or crustacean in San Francisco?! http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/ or http://www.yelp.com/biz/q0SKsDWcrBo40fjJxtkP0w are what i came up with in about 15 seconds of thinking and typing. Not difficult, not a whole lot of energy expended in this exercise.

But I’m getting off track … Justin goes to the local Safeway, finds no lobster tank, and walks out. He goes out on the streets of San Francisco and searches a bit longer and comes up empty handed. At that point he decided to walk back into Safeway. After waiting about 8 minutes to get help from someone in what looked like an almost empty and closed seafood department. At this point, Justin was at the frustration level and the fish monger’s not so clear English and Justin’s lack of knowledge about what to buy in place of lobster brought him to the point where he threw his hands up in the air and just told the guy to give him 4 halibut filets. He was told that they were not filets, but steaks and luckily it didn’t throw Justin off any more and he took his package of halibut to the check out counter.

Fireworks From Afar?

In the check out lane, Justin met a nice woman that, low and behold, didn’t know what Justin.tv was and after getting over the 10 second novelty of being on JTV, she asked him if he was going to be broadcasting from tonight’s big fireworks display. Fireworks display you say? Yes, apparently the biggest fireworks display in San Fran, possibly all of California every year. She informed Justin, who made it clear he had only moved to San Francisco 6 months ago (and apparently has not found a newspaper stand in all that time) that this fireworks display is the big one of the year because it’s too foggy during July and the Independence Day fireworks either don’t happen or aren’t good because of it.

For a moment, there was some excitement in the air — we thought we were going to have the opportunity to see something interesting as it happened in San Francisco — fireworks from afar Our hopes were quickly dashed as Justin returned home to the daily meeting and no fireworks.

JTV Meetings and Silence

The JTV meeting at the frat house went into stealth mode and we were treated to a new friend of JTV personality who entered chat with the nic: Yiou. She had the ability to breathe some life into the room and aside from the usual creepy perv talk about wanting to see some of her body parts and what could be done with them, she gave us a different perspective on life in the frat house.

The meeting went on for a while and once it was done the sound came back and Yiou kept the camera on as Michael got busy with lobster dinner preparations.

Lobster Boil — To Be or Not to Be Kosher

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Wailing, or Western Wall as it’s Referred to Now – Jerusalem, Israel 2004

It was not a process, or not one that has any planning or method behind it. Again, how far is the internet from any one of the team’s fingertips? A general search for lobster boil or a FoodTV or Food and Wine search would have easily turned up the instructions which would have told Michael not to jam four 2 lb. lobsters into a pot that’s meant for 2, but hey, it’s a frat house and no one said anything about organization or proper culinary processes. Cooking lobster has never looked so sloppy and painful as it did when Michael was putting the squirming bugs into the pot of boiling water.

There was some discussion about Lobsters and how the wily crustaceans don’t fit into the Kosher dietary laws/guidelines, but it seems to be of little interest to most, so the discussion moved on. I heard various pieces of information, some of which my grandmother and mom never told me and that sounded suspect, but some of which was correct. Lobsters are bottom feeders and therefore not Kosher. Being Jewish does not mean you’ve automatically signed up to be Kosher — it’s not part and parcel of the religion, but there’s no need to go into detail here. I am not Kosher. I do eat shellfish, but don’t ever get a catfish or a monkfish near me and don’t ask me to try creamed chipped beef! Milk and meat just aren’t meant to be together in that way. No need to go on here … you can read up on it yourselves at one of thousands of websites, this being one of them: http://www.ok.org/Content.asp?ID=24.dome-of-the-rock-high-tech.jpg

Dome of the Rock – Jerusalem, Israel 2004

At the same time as the lobster prep was going on, there was a scene ready to boil over in chat. Apparently, some of our friends had a problem with the lobster murders and while I was in my own kitchen whipping up a most delicious dinner for myself, they decided to leave JTV for the evening — or at least for a while. I noticed at least one of the offended viewers come back in after the last claw was eaten and the fun and games began.

Viewer Games

River Plate vs. Independencia — 2006

The apartment full of lobster dinner guests and hosts decided to play a little game of cat and mouse. Justin assigned a JTV team member to a room and viewers were challenged to race to the room of their favorite team member. The speed with which people dumped out of Lobby 1 was wild. The upshot of the game? Nothing. Amanda told people in her room that if the viewers would send her mail she’d send stickers, but I’m not sure if that was just her room or if all rooms got the same message from different JTV team members. Then one of them thought that they should challenge viewers to just chase them around the rooms to find them without announcing where they would be hiding. A kind of digital hide and seek. Something in my head screamed humiliation with this “game,” so I came out here to blog when I heard the next game.

The evening at JTV world wound down and the boys decided to head out to a bar for fun and frivolity. Justin has once again made the comment that he was not planning to drink tonight. He whispered it again in the hallway waiting for the elevator but without much conviction in his voice.

With that, I decided to call it a night and I am hoping that I can wake up and experience a normal, real life day. The weather report calls for a beautiful one and I need some fresh air!

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2 Responses

  1. As always, I enjoy your blog about Justin.tv. I enjoy the female perspective immensely! I do my fair share of justin.tv slamming and wondering why common sense isn’t used as much as I would expect….but I do give Justin credit for trying HIS best in pushing the technology, and concept of lifestreaming.

    One small issue with your blog pertains to the search of lobster. I agree the URLs you provided are wonderful locations for obtaining fresh lobster, however both places close at 2PM, and Justin didn’t get his butt out of bed until 1:40PM…..about 11 hours after he fell asleep. (Also the second location is rather a hike to get to from Justin’s location)

    What surprised me about his search for lobster is that China town never(?) entered his mind. An area which sells almost anything which is edible, and is rather close to their dwelling. Either way, it was a fun search, at his frustrated expense.

    I sometimes wonder if Justin’s on air complaints are truthful, or misleading to the online community. Any person that is looking for “content development” (ie going to interesting events with a camera stuck to their head) has such an EASY, EASY, EASY job during the month of May in the San Francisco Bay area. Every day the weather is WONDERFUL, and a cornucopia of events and activities occur in the Bay area. By taking a short trip to the tourist center, he could pick up all of the necessary information as to what might be an interesting event to be used for content development or equipment testing…such as fireworks.

    Sorry I missed the other kind of fireworks which occurred in the chat room. It sounds like some people are becoming frustrated with their own life time management skills. I know that sometimes I too am surprised by how quickly time flies when I am in the chat room. A normal three minute conversation which would occur in “real life”, takes an hour to accomplish in chat…and maybe longer for the viewers who are slow with the keyboard.

    I think some of the long term chat community members are also frustrated in the sense that some of them feel that maybe Justin and crew are letting such a wonderful opportunity to slowly dissolve from their hands. Of course, these people are back seat drivers, with less than adequate information to make any business decision. One example is: why fight the landlord when it is somewhat clear that Justin.tv has violated their lease agreements? Of course chat members are unfamiliar with the contract Justin signed, the tenant laws of San Francisco, the “hidden powers” pushing their landlord to evict Justin, time necessary to arrange a mortgage, etc.

    As Steve Jobs indicates in his book, “The Journey is the Reward”, it is the journey that counts and it is while on that journey that you find reward, meaning and satisfaction. And of course, there is “THE WOZ” and his 4 F’s. Great Food, Friends, Family & FUN. This involves stimulating our senses, which brings us all to live life to its fullest. I hope Justin and crew are able to create a stimulating journey, which has meaning for them.

  2. Hey you should have stayed up and watched Justin out at the club…it was real must see TV when he met up with a psycho nut girl… too funny

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