Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Big Bad Bibliophobes

You've got to hand it to conservatives, just when you think they most hate women's rights and any sense that human sexuality isn't something that must be endured so we can create lots of fetuses and snowflakes and maybe even spermcicles someday, they go and remind you that they're still fighting the Cold War (perhaps that explains their affinity for snowflakes).

Human Events, which modestly bills itself "the National Conservative Weekly," has compiled a list of the "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries," with 20 runner-ups ready to fulfill the duties of the dastardly top ten if the conservative panel of judges can get enough copies of any title banned or burned. Number one with a bullet is The Communist Manifesto, for as the compilers put it, "The Evil Empire of the Soviet Union put the Manifesto into practice." This sentence means the compliers, while knowing their Ronald Reagan quotes, haven't either read the manifesto itself or studied the Soviet Union very well, but when panning books, these are niggling details. It's also telling they chose the sickle and hammer cover of the Signet edition of the book, and not the the Penguin Classics version, which doesn't let you damn the Evil Empire Handbook by its cover.

Hitler's number 2. You know you're pretty nasty when you can out harmful Hitler. Good job, Marx and Engels.

Number 3 is Mao, to show that they hate ALL Communism.

But things get interesting with Number 4--Alfred Kinsey. He made us admit we had sex! And liked it! Even suggested there was something besides the missionary position! Of course, the joke is his book is "dangerous" because writing about it caused Americans to have sex, like it, etc. That makes just as much sense as saying giving kids condoms will make them screw around. Oh, wait, the conservatives say that, too.

There's no point in going through these one-by-one as they all simply reinforce their own world view that unfettered capitalism cures all ills (note Ralph Nader and Rachel Carson on the runners-up list: Damn them for making people demand safe products and a clean environment!), and the best cure for feminism is a personal attack (note they say nothing about Betty Friedan's arguments, just make her sound like someone Joe McCarthy should have investigated).

The kicker, of course, is that without Marx, Freud, Darwin, Mead, Foucault, Dewey, etc., there really would not have been a 19th and 20th century, at least an intellectual one.

So really their goal is to freeze time just before the French Revolution, when the poor could eat cake and people just knew their place, didn't bother with "thinking skills," and didn't get so uppity all the time.

By the way, Human Interest folks, when you trash Keynesian economics and conclude that blurb, "FDR adopted the idea as U.S. policy, and the U.S. government now has a $2.6-trillion annual budget and an $8-trillion dollar debt," you might want to ask GWB exactly how the recent debt happened--or simply check with the people who fund you, and ask them about their tax breaks.

Screwed if You Do, Screwed If You Don't

So it seems that taking Viagra, which helps a man have sex, can lead to blindness. But avoiding sexual intercourse and masturbating can lead to blindness. Not doing anything leads to prostate cancer.

No one said the world is a fair place, but this is ridiculous. Besides, it would be better if Viagra caused blindness in the woman having sex with the Viagra-taker, given what many men who have to take Viagra look like. I'm sure Liddy Dole would say thanks.

As for that other better-boner-upper huckster Rafael Palmiero, he now has an excuse for taking steroids: He couldn't see what was being injected.

P.S. If the giggles about the Viagra Blindness Connection (a little-known Robert Ludlum novel?) lasts for longer than four hours, consult a physician.

P.P.S. Pardon the cheap shots at easy targets here, but my blogginess is slow to come back after the three day weekend filled with paint fumes (but our bedroom looks terrific). At least I think it looks terrific, I'm having some trouble with my eyes.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Yeah, I'm Gonna Drive My Car

Global warming is a fact (unless you are one of the non-intelligent Intelligent Design kinda folks, as disbelieving anything since God wrote the Bible isn't allowed for you), oil is a rapidly depleting resource that leads us to unnecessary wars and alliances with governments very much as ugly as the ones we then castigate and attack, but, dammit, this is America and you can take my car when you pry my steering wheel from my cold dead fingers.

At least that's the news according to the article "Why Americans are on the road again" in the Christian Science Monitor:

Despite the highest nominal gas prices ever recorded for a holiday, a record 37.2 million Americans are expected to travel this weekend - packed cheek-by-jowl inside their vans and sedans. Steeper gas prices - about 15 cents per gallon more than last year - will not be a significant deterrent, analysts say, because gasoline remains a small share of family vacation costs.

In fact, after adjusting for inflation and rises in average incomes, gasoline is taking less than half the bite from a household budget than in decades past, says Jerry Taylor, director of natural resource studies for the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank.

"The dollar price of gas looks way higher than it did in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s," says Taylor, "but the rise in American incomes has been so much greater that you are not going to see that much behavioral change in driving habits as a result."

It is too bad that the article doesn't point out that the Cato Institute is a right-leaning/libertarian think tank that is one of the prime movers trying to sic soc sec, because choice is always good, even when all your choices might be bad. So of course we all should be getting in our cars and hitting the road, for that's liberty. Just be sure to stop somewhere and buy things (that's the pursuit of happiness).

It's also telling that spokesperson Jerry Taylor leaves out the 1990s and early Aughts in his quote, for those who are paying attention, or merely getting paid, know that American incomes have stopped growing of late.

Of course, I'm a hypocrite and drive too much too. But at least I'm a self-aware hypocrite.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

The Hills Are Alive with Flying Greyhounds

Originally uploaded by Yatchisin.
For Dog Blog Friday: Mookie says, "Just because he's my 'brother' doesn't mean I can't kill him. All in fun, of course."

Thursday, May 26, 2005


As the History Channel website puts it, "This day in 1794 marks the birth of rail baron and arch-capitalist, Cornelius Vanderbilt." I assume they call him an "arch-capitalist" because he was born years before The Batman TV show coined the term "arch-villain." Known as "Corny" to friends, but he didn't have any, so no one called him that, Vanderbilt amassed a huge fortune in an age without an income tax, so he didn't even have to pay scads of accountants to keep every cent of his dough. Times were simpler then, especially when you owned time.

The good news was that being busy making money didn't stop him from marrying twice, both times to cousins. And to think he didn't even live in the South. He was 43 years older than his second wife, so if he were still alive, he would be named an honorary member of the Rolling Stones.

At the time of his death in 1877, Cornelius Vanderbilt's fortune was estimated at more than $100 million, back in the day when the dollar was worth way more than the Euro. He willed $95 million to son William - in order to keep the family fortune together - and split the rest among his other 13 children, who unforutnately had to wait several decades for Freud to invent analysis.

Memorial Day was originally a holiday he set up in his honor, but the U.S. changed it to its more palatable reason to help disguise our country's truly mercenary nature.

Fat Chants and Other Tales of an Uppity UPTE Strike

I was out on strike today, along with thousands of members of the University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE) union at all the UC campuses. UPTE has been in negotiations with the UC for a new contract for months, and as per the UC way, there has been little progress. So the strike was a means to call public attention to all the UC's unfair labor practices simply in the process of negotiations--in particular stall tactics and refusals to provide information which seem to follow the template established by Dick Cheney and his energy bill-writing buddies. It's hard to talk about how much money is available (or not) for raises when the UC refuses to acknowledge its true operating budget and refuses to admit it saves more than $2.5 million annually in "turnover savings." Turnover savings is the money the UC recoups because it pays poorly, so senior people leave, and when jobs get re-staffed--if they do, as many departments see positions disappear when an employee quits, leaving those workers left to absorb all those job duties--they are re-staffed at the lowest end of the pay scale for that position.

For more on the way the UC scams all its unions, go check the archives for my subtly titled "UC, You Suck" entry a month or so back.

I have to admit, despite our chants of "Who's Got the Power, We've Got the Power," and "UC wages under attack, What will we do?, Stand up, fight back," its was a disheartening affair. I joined the picket at the front gate of campus just before 8 am this morning and the picketers were outnumbered by the donuts left behind by an anonymous supporter. Many people honked in support as they drove onto campus, but while their horns were willing, their flesh seemed too weak to make it to the picket line. Even the noontime rally, when our numbers swelled, was a bit meager--we seemed to be more a sideshow for the busy skate-boarding undergrads than any kind of movement.

Which, of course, only pisses me off more. Why don't people come out and show they're tired of watching their pay in real terms fall 30% in the past 15 years? I'm mad as hell they're not mad as hell, and I'm not going to fight for them anymore.

At least that's what I want to say. Instead, I chanted right along and had a great time blowing my whistles, tuned at slightly different ear-piercing pitches, I might add--a union demo is only as good as its whistles, and we tweeted up a storm.

Paralysis has the upper hand, of course, and this sparsely-peopled strike is only one tiny element of the fear and resignation and sloth and immediate selfishness not even smart enough to bloom into long-term self-interest that defines the American populace.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Uncle Sam's Arms Shack--Our Policies Are Insane!

If you be my friend, I will give you a gun. Then we can prove how friendly we both are by using our guns on somebody with whom we're not so friendly.

Call it ridiculous, sure, but you also need to call it U.S. policy. A report today written up on OneWorld.Net as listed by Yahoo News writes:

The United States ranks top among the world's arms exporters and in developing countries, a majority of its arms are sold to regimes ''defined as undemocratic by our own State Department,'' says the study released Wednesday.
''In all too many cases, U.S. arms and military technology can end up in the hands of U.S. adversaries, as happened in the 1980s in Iraq and Panama, as well as with the right-wing fundamentalist 'freedom fighters' in Afghanistan, many of whom are now supporters of al-Qaeda,'' it adds.

''At a minimum, the time has come to impose greater scrutiny on U.S. arms transfers and military aid programs,'' the report concludes. ''The facile assumption that they are simply another tool in the foreign policy toolbox, to be used to win friends and intimidate adversaries as needed, must be challenged in this new era in U.S. security policy.''

The United States transfers more weapons and military services than any other country in the world, according to the report. Between 1992 and 2003, the last year for which complete data are available, it sold $177.5 billion in arms to foreign nations.

Those dates don't go as far back as 1983, when the U.S. sent a very special envoy with some very particular presents to a foreign leader who seemed as sweet as (any ruthless to his people but nice to us dictator) could be.

The good news is that with the U.S. providing all these weapons to the world, it's easier to go get these countries when we're in the mood, claiming we have to disarm them.

Bet Bush Can't Eat Just One!

Originally uploaded by Yatchisin.
President Bush declares: "I will veto all stem cell research since they don't grow into eatable size till they're older than a stem cell!"

What's the Buzz, Tell Me Who's a Pervert...

The U.S. is cracking down, uh-huh. On terrorists? Not so much, especially when we're busy making them through our tough love democracy program in Iraq. Tax cheats? Only if you make less than $200 grand, as you poorer people run slower with crummier lawyers.

Nope, what we have is the perfect mix of high tech and low morals: we've got 24/7 sex offender alerts coming to you, according to the AP, via "e-mail, cell phones and other Internet-enabled devices when sex offenders update their addresses with authorities in three states. Houston-based SCAN USA, which already provides information about weather, natural disasters and Amber Alerts, began the sex offender alerts Tuesday in California, Texas and Florida, with plans to expand it nationwide."

I sure hope there's a law that says you can't receive these messages with your phone set on vibrate.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Fe, Fi, Fo Frist -- You Better Vote for Every Damn Jurist!

I figure I have to jump in an opine on the Big Deal that went down in DC last night, but I'm really just not sure what to say. (Get up off the floor, you stunned reader, you.)

It's pretty simple--we really don't know what has happened, or will. Which judges get through? Is the rumor one might not get past the vote anyway true? Is it just the case that the Republicans let the filibuster live as long as the Democrats don't ever use it? Who is waiting behind the Mystery Date door to be Supreme Court nomination No. 1?

I think we're in that ugly land of too many fingers at too many keyboards way too close to the scene of the accident. Everybody needs to stop blogging, stop insta-responding, and breathe.

It is awfully fun to see all the right wingers lament that not everything in the world can go their way, though, so the compromise was worth it for that, if nothing else.

Monday, May 23, 2005

You Can Bank On Them

Originally uploaded by Yatchisin.
It's rumored that when he was told of Elvis's death, the anything-but-lovable Col. Tom Parker answered the question, "What will you do now?" with the answer, "I'll keep making money off him as I always have."

That's why we will never have a sensible immigration policy--too many people are making money off them for it to get regularized for their or our own safety.

On Friday NPR ran this ear-opening story "Mortgage Bankers Targeting Immigrants." It seems that sign along the California highways needs to be captioned: "Brought to you by Y.R. Arm & Aleg Bank & Trust."

Friday, May 20, 2005

When an Ugly Government Lies, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Maybe the reason no one recognizes a smoking gun anymore (and the secret Downing Street memo has to be the .44 magnum of smoking guns) is that the Republicans have so filed the air with smoke and mirrors that it's impossible to notice when a new puff goes up.

Today the Los Angeles Times writes an article about an e-mail memo that "illustrates the way the White House is selectively casting members of the under-30 set to promote its Social Security plan." The article goes to say:

White House spokesman Trent Duffy declined to discuss the group's e-mail to prospective participants in the Rochester forum, an event that the White House has not announced.

Duffy said it was not unusual for the White House to work with such groups to identify people who could help Bush make the case for restructuring.

"Yes, the president is promoting his agenda," Duffy said. "Every president that preceded this one has used the bully pulpit to talk about their agenda. This president is doing the same."

Exucse me for pointing this out, but if Bush has someone else makes his points for him, he isn't using his bully pulpit, he's either using metonymy, which is probably too complex a word for him to understand, or misusing Americans as ventriloquists dummies.

At least, at last, the MSM is truly being objective and pointing out the ridiculousness of this Social Security scam-a-thon. Today the Washington Post writes, in an article, not an op-ed:

On the 78th day of a 60-day roadshow, the president's nationwide Social Security tour, even to some of his own aides, has the feel of a past-its-prime Broadway production that has been held over while other, newer shows steal the spotlight.

True, it's telling the paragraph hints at the problem news agencies have, for they will ever hanker after the latest shiny bauble, particularly if the bauble is tawdry or fondled by Michael Jackson. But it's a start. Not enough of one for our president to understand, however, for he still is quoted as saying, "I'm just beginning this debate. I'm going to spend whatever time it takes to continue traveling this country and make it absolutely clear to the people, we've got a problem."


I guess no one ever told W. that to have a debate you have to invite, well, at the least, allow into the venue, some people who might disagree with you. Of course, maybe that's why all the polling shows the longer he's been on tour trying to sic Soc Sec, the less support his plan has. It's hard to convince people when you only talk to the ones that don't need any convincing.

Snotty Humor

I'm on the new Hay Fever Diet: You simply turn all your body mass into liquid and pass it out your nose.

Enough to Make Me Emulate Mr. Creosote

At times Santa Barbara can seem so insular that you'd swear its founding myth links back to Noah Cross from Chinatown moving north and populating the town from his own family ("that power-broker is my sister, daughter, sister, daughter, she's my sister and my daughter!"). Not only does this chummy, cosy, heck it's not cronyism work behind the scenes, but it works in the media, too, where about 2 dozen writers have written for all the local papers in the past 10 years, and a bunch of those locals (in addition to the daily we have three weeklies and a bi-weekly in a town of 90,000) were started by disgruntled employees of one of the other papers.

But today's restaurant review (sorry, but the link only takes you to "Scene," go to page 30 to see the review) in the daily News-Press takes the cake, or perhaps that should be the dolche de leche de Carina. The writer, Arthur von Wiesenberger, has long been an area fixture, running the Nippers.com restuarant review site. But, what the article fails to point out, in a horrible lapse of journalistic integrity, is that the "brainiac fiancee" he mentions is the owner of the paper, Wendy McCaw. Now, I should watch myself as McCaw could buy and sell me several times over and have enough change to finance the War in Iraq for a few days, but c'mon folks. This is journalism 101, to point these things out.

The kicker, of course, is The Nipper's coy way to point out who his other dinner companions are. The article title, "And Now for Something Completely Different," is the first hint. That the man of the couple is referred to as, in order, Brilliant Brit, Basil, Nearly Headless Nick, Archie Leach and Donald P. Sinclair aren't just hints, they're name-droppings.

So, let's see, I wonder, I really do, what kind of treatment and service would I get if I went into a restaurant with John Cleese as my dinner companion?

And would I then think it wise to chalk that up as the ususal patron's experience?

And would I write the article without thinking "what a clever, pampered lucky fool I am"?

And would I then bill the paper to pay for my dinner? Or would I just let my fiancee, a brainiac indeed if she's in on this scam, use the dinner as a business expense, and thereby relieve herself of some more tax burden?

You're Pulling My Very Gangly Leg

Originally uploaded by Yatchisin.
For Dog Blog Friday: One from the vaults, or more accurately, the new scanner--puppy Mookie reacts when told that someday W., then a mere incompetent governor eager to mock those on death row, would be president.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I'm Rubber, You're Glue

It's probably too much to expect logic from a man who brings a dead preemie home to "meet" his brothers and sisters, who now have yet one more thing to talk to their analysts about when they grow up ("Doc, sure he screwed up the country, but try living with the bastard...."). But Senator Rick Santorum isn't one to let us down when there's a chance to amaze us with his outrageous statements.

Today, during the ramp-up to the wonderful world of the nuclear option (minority parties need not apply, show up, be heard, or be considered), as the Republicans are prepared to flex their power in a grab for even yet more power, he turns the whole thing around, and accuses the Democrats of trying to, well, it seems he thinks that by holding onto the one slim Constitutional way that they can actually be an opposition party and stop a tiny percentage of right-wing activist judges (that is what they are, after all), the Democrats are trying to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!

What else could he mean by making this statement, whose offensiveness is only topped by its absolute lack of logic:

The audacity of some members to stand up and say, how dare you break this rule. It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942, "I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine."

The Democrats are the one's acting like an occupational force? If nothing else, Santorum makes one mighty Exhibit A against any notions of "intelligent design."

(Video clip and info thanks to Oliver Willis.)

Guantanamo, or Less

No wonder the Right has its tighty-whities in a bunch over his cartoons winning a Pulitzer Prize. Go check out how perfectly Nick Anderson nails the McLellan and DiRita hypocrisy over the Newsweek article.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

All Tossed in the Supermarket

From a UK site called The Register, which I assume is the online equivalent for English chaps who would shop at Fry's if they were geeks in the US, comes this report that must be filed in the "Too Much of a Good Thing Is a Knock-Out" file:

The following cautionary tale must surely rate in the top five of "most embarrassing things that can happen to you in public - ever." According to UK tabloid the Sun, a 33-year-old Welsh housewife ended up in hospital after wearing Ann Summers vibrating Passion Pants to her local Asda supermarket in Swansea.

Why the supermarket, I have to wonder? It's not like she needs to sublimate her sex urge with her shopping urge, as she's taken care of that. Perhaps there was one item she just had to have that instant.

Let's Go to the Videotape

There's just too much good stuff over at Crooks and Liars for me not to link. It's wonderful how quickly you can get video these days. For fine analysis of the Newsweek ridiculousness, watch the Olbermann clip; for sheer well-put rage watch MP George Galloway have at Senator Norm Coleman (you have to scroll down the page a bit for that story).

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Excerpt from The Little Known Tarantino Script for Stars Wars

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Anakin, you're one sith mother fucker!

Nicked by a Name

The Christian Science Monitor offers a fascinating--at least in the sense that it gives me something to write about, and your eyes are here, so what else do you have to do?--story about Brazil's battle to go P.C.:

Throughout Latin America, a person is as likely to be described by his skin color or girth as someone elsewhere might be called tall or smart or gregarious. A word that in the US could provoke a fistfight or a court case is often just a personal identifier here.

Now Brazil is making its first forays into changing this. Last year the government quietly issued an 87-page document entitled "Political Correctness and Human Rights," which listed 96 words and phrases it hopes will eventually become unacceptable.

Far be it for this blog to question the 96 tears spilled over these words in Brazil. After all, we live in a more civilized society in the U.S. Gone are the days of demeaning baseball nicknames like Dummy Hoy, Rube Waddell and Zane "Fugly" Smith. The best we have now is Antonio "El Pulpo" Alfonseca, who gets called an octopus because he has 6 fingers. I promise that's not pulpo fiction.

The Brazilians might be trying too hard to dull the pointed stick of so much of their language. For the report claims:

The challenge is formidable: introducing P.C. terms bucks years of tradition and cultural norms. And the government may have undercut its own efforts, prompting ridicule earlier this month when word spread that the list included words such as "clown" and "drunk" that it said could offend comedians or tipplers.

I, for one, wouldn't stand for being called "a drunken clown." Most likely I would be sitting, or perhaps even prone at that point in the evening, anyway. Well, most likely it would be evening.

Gee, this word stuff is hard.

And even harder in Brazil, because:

The vagaries of the Portuguese language (and Spanish in Hispanic America) complicate the process. The impact of sensitive words can be reduced by using the diminutive forms of nouns. By adding "-inho" for the masculine or "-inha" for feminine softens a word and gives it an affectionate, less-threatening feel.

In America, you still might be the victim of road rage for yelling, "Hey assholinho!" at the guy who just cut you off on the freeway. Not to mention back in the day I'm pretty sure the code word for the White House staff when Bill was busy with Monica was, "Clintoninho."

Nonethless, it seems the current White House is planning its own "Political Correctness and Human Rights" pamphlet. Included in the early drafts as banned words are "liar," as it might offend those who don't tell the truth or occupy the Oval Office, and "advice and consent," as it implies the President gives a damn what anyone else thinks. Finally, the list also prohibits any puns on bug exterminator, as the roach lobby has been swarming over Congress of late.

Some Like It Not

According to IMDB, "Movie great Tony Curtis is celebrating his upcoming 80th birthday by baring all in the pages of the new Vanity Fair magazine. The Some Like It Hot star went nude, holding his pet Yorkshire terriers Daphne and Josephine to cover his genitals, at his Henderson, Nevada, home for the candid shot."

Alas the blurb didn't say how Daphne and Josephine felt about this pose immortalized in what has wisely been called "People Magazine for Those with Graduate Degrees."

What's more, the blurb doesn't admit that Jamie Lee Curtis saw the photo and replied, "Yandah liez da penis of me faddah."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Why the French Make the U.S. Fried?

I finally figured out all the animosity towards France. It goes way beyond their unwillingness to join in the boondoogle formerly known as Iraq. Perhaps you saw this story this weekend, as our Secretary of State Condi Rice "renewed the U.S. commitment Sunday that foreign forces would remain in Iraq until the fledging nation 'can defend itself.'"

Of course, without aid from France, the United States probably wouldn't have beaten England when we won (1781) our own independence, a bit after we declared it (1776) and a bit before we got around to the constitution thing (1789), but years before democracy was a soundbite and an excuse.

So maybe what Condi and by extension the White House (where her husband, uh, boss lives, at least when he's not out for a bike ride) means is France should still be occupying, uh, working to "transfer responsibility to the U.S. security forces" and "equip and train the U.S. security forces as quickly as possible."

Since the U.S. clearly can't defend itself yet.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Brother, Can You Spare $50 Billion?

I'm hoping to have a really fun weekend, so to help me bankroll my good time I ask you for $50 right now. Then I seen you out a bit later tonight and want to have an even better time so hit you up for more money for my weekend fun.

Doesn't seem right, does it?

OK, now go through the first paragraph scenario and replace "fun weekend" with "unnecessary, seemingly endless war." Replace "$50" with "$82 billion." And replace "more money" with "$50 billion."

Congrats, you're America and you've just be mugged for billions more mere days after you coughed up billions. The good news is there's such a sound exit strategy in Iraq. Otherwise this situation just wouldn't make sense.

No Bed Too Small

No Bed Too Small
Originally uploaded by Yatchisin.
For Dog Blog Friday: Mookie says, "I don't care if this bed is meant for a rat terrier, I'm going to fit."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Slant Five

There once was a silly writer named George
Who only rhymed when he worked up the courage.
Even with a dictionary
He found it incredibly scary--
At least his parents didn't name him Orange.

Two News Stories Collide on a Busy Blog

White House Sleepovers Included Donors, Friends

About a third of the 152 guests who slept at the White House or Camp David last year were fundraisers or donors to President Bush's campaigns, but at least half of those also are family or old friends.

"It sounds like to a certain degree the White House and Camp David are being used as they have been for quite a while," says a spokesman for the Center for Responsive, but Not Too Responsive, Politics.

Macauley Caulkin, now 24, is the third young man to appear for the defense to deny he was a victim of improper behavior by Bush operatives during childhood visits.

While Culkin has admitted to going into the Lincoln bedroom at the White House several times, he insists he was never touched inappropriately for a donation and never witnessed the same happening to any other young visitors to the property. The Bush staff is accused of hitting on a 13-year-old boy in 2003, giving him wine and conspiring to give the boy's family lavish tax breaks and favorable legislation. President Bush denies all charges, reality and points out there is now democracy in Iraq. The long national nightmare continues.

Barking Up the Wrong Phone

Of course it might be great to have the Dolittle-like ability to talk to the animals, but if we really want to know what a creature with a brain the size of a fist is thinking, we can always look up the latest emanations from the White House.

But seriously folks, it seems that people in South Korea, when not cranking out cheap animation or worrying about the crazy ruler to their north who likes both nukes and much more primitive weapons, at least when letting children take pretend aim at President Bush, have come up with a way to let pet owners know what their dogs are thinking:

South Koreans hoping to communicate with man's best friend could be getting help soon from their cell phones. KTF Corp., a South Korean mobile phone operator, said Thursday it will begin offering a service that will enable dog owners to know whether their pets are feeling happy or sad.


The owner will receive text messages telling them how their pet is feeling, such as "I am happy" or "I am frustrated."

For more advanced users, they will also receive messages like "I much prefer when you wear the linen pants--they feel better when I hump your leg," "John Bolton the UN Ambassador? I'm a South Korean mutt and I'm smarter than a U.S. Senator!" and "I can't believe my owner is so stupid that he trusts this phone is telling him what I'm thinking."

Lear Jets to His Pen for Limerick Day

Limerick Day is celebrated each year on May 12 to mark the birth of English artist and author Edward Lear (1812–88), whose witty words made the limerick form popular.

I will now attempt to make the form unpopular, at least to those of you reading my unleashed doggerel:

There once was a President named Bush
Who found Jesus to end being a lush
When he was praying
He thought he heard what the Lord was saying
But we all know he had his head up his tush.

The ballerina in the Canadian "Sleeping Beauty"
was beyond the days of being a cutie.
During one pas de deus
she started to moo--
the poor hoofer turned heifer shaking her booty.

At Harry's Bar the flamencoist named Farruquito
nearly choked while munching a Cheeto.
Till a smart waiter from Venice
grabbed the fop hard by his penis --
the expectorated snack nearly flew to the Lido.

It's odd to discover that diva Denyce Graves
has a tattoo on her bum that says "Jesus saves."
But indeed it was quite clear,
for her dress didn't cover her rear
and her closing cadenza drew the critics' raves.

There once were two corpulent divas from Greece
Who for years had not seen south of their knees.
Each night that had to have a
Big plate of baklava...
It’s rumored one accidentally ate Della Reese.

Stuck on a Bumper with You

Today I spotted the following homemade (at least I hope) bumper sticker:

Heroin Takes Life's,
Jesus Saves Life's

My question is this: is it the methadone or the eucharist that takes any sense of grammar?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Pouring It on the Poor

From the "blame the folks at the bottom for there being a bottom at all" file, a position expoused by the likes of Matt Drudge and all the conservative bleh-gers who parrot him, we have all the brouhaha about Los Angeles' latest homeless facility, the Midnight Mission. Here's how the Christian (cough cough) Science Monitor puts it:

Opening Monday and trumpeted proudly by city officials is the Midnight Mission - and one of the nation's plushest homeless shelters. The $17 million state-of-the-art facility boasts a full-sized gymnasium, library, playroom, hair salon, education center, and professional kitchen. The shelter is the city's latest effort to address one of its most visible and resistant social problems: the more than 6,000 people who live on the streets.

Now, when I read that paragraph, when it says, "The shelter is the city's latest effort," I assume it's a city-funded organization. But if one checks out the Midnight Mission's own website, and I assume Christian Scientists are allowed to use the web since they publish their paper on it, you find out this on the FAQ:

How are you funded?
A. The Midnight Mission relies almost entirely on community-based private donations. On a limited basis we will accept government based funding. In fact, a very small percentage of our operating budget has come from government sources like funds used for Project Safe Sleep

So, even if the $17 million seems like too much, it's not like the money could go to schools or potholes or a politician's pocket.

But wait, there's more. The biggest "problem" with this new facility is that some elements of it sound attractive. That's what rankles critics on the right--what are the poor, the homeless, the huddled masses yearning to sleep for free, getting a gym for? a salon? Shouldn't they have to grovel and suffer and at least pray or something?

All I can say is not enough people have ever read George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London and too many don't realize that Ayn Rand was so convinced by self-sufficiency because her head was so far up her own ass all she could see was herself and it looked like the outside world to her.

Well, I can say more. First, why can't the poor have some comfort? Second, have you checked out the comfort, or just heard the tales breathlessly repeated by the rich who hate when anyone gets anything for free unless they inherited it?

NPR's Luke Burbank decided to spend the night at Midnight Mission, and his report certainly takes the charm out of the so-called Homeless Hilton. First, the "hair salon" is two barber chairs. If you get your hair cut there, it's by other homeless people who know one cut--the full shave. Second, the gym isn't even open yet. But if it was, isn't some physical exercise a good thing for people we want to: 1) have outlets for their energy beyond violence; 2) channel obsession positively, so they don't otherwise become obsessed with drugs; 3) stay hale and fit, for if they get sick, they will be at the hospital on society's tab?

Finally Burbank says it's not the most restful of nights. Sleeping quarters are in two huge single-sex dormitories, so you have to deal with light from the bathrooms, others listening to their radios, and about 200 men snoring.

It does sound so wonderful and comfortable. I hope every whiny right-winger complaining about it checks in for a few nights.

I Heard the Figure 5 in Gold

It's true--I'm the kind of guy who wanders into a party to which he was never invited. I like social awkwardness, as it makes me feel alive. I feel alive a lot.

So, I'm going to jump into a blog infection (meme is too bloggy, virus is too scary, infections can be treated) that's been making the rounds at all kinds of places, most recently at TBogg. You see, when a friend turned me on to High Fidelity (the novel, not the film which was better than it had all rights to be given it moved the setting from England to Chicago and ruined all the site-specific post-punk snootiness), it was a bit scary, as I'm a list-maker extraordinaire, tempting to list the quality of lists. And I do realize the silliness of it, as I never quite finish one list before I recognize my own omissions and forgetfulness and sheer gaping holes of unknowing. Not that that ever stopped me from acting like I'm an expert or anything.

Top Five Lyrics that Move Your Heart
I'm assuming this doesn't just means songs that make you cry, which is a different list and would have to include things like Iris DeMent's "Our Town" and T-Heads' "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)."

"Levi Stubbs' Tears" Billy Bragg

With the money from her accident
She bought herself a mobile home
So at least she could get some enjoyment
Out of being alone
No one could say that she was left up on the shelf
It's you and me against the world kid she mumbled to herself

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears run down his face

She ran away from home on her mother's best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort that only laughs at his own jokes
The sort a war takes away
And when there wasn't a war he left anyway

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong
Are here to make everything right that's wrong
Holland and Holland and Lamont Dozier too
Are here to make it all okay with you

One dark night he came home from the sea
And put a hole in her body where no hole should be
It hurt her more to see him walking out the door
And though they stitched her back together they left her heart in pieces on the floor

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the Four Tops tape and puts it back in its case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears...

“Venus (De Milo)” Television (written by Tom Verlaine)

Tight toy night, streets were so bright.
The world looked so thin and between my bones and skin
there stood another person who was a little surprised
to be face to face with a world so alive.
I fell. DIDJA FEEL LOW? NO, Not at all. HUH???
I fell right into the Arms of Venus de Milo.
I stood up, walked out of the Arms of Venus de Milo.

You know it's all like some new kind of drug.
My senses are sharp and my hands are like gloves.
Broadway looked so medieval –
it seemed to flap, like little pages:
I fell sideways laughing with a friend from many stages.
How I felt. DIDJA FEEL LOW? NO, Not at all. HUH???
I fell right into the Arms of Venus de Milo.
I stood up, walked out of the Arms of Venus de Milo.

Suddenly my eyes went so soft and shaky.
I knew there was pain but pain is not aching.
Then Richie, Richie said: "Hey man let's dress up like cops
Think of what we could do!"
But something, something said "you better not."
And I fell. DIDJA FEEL LOW? NO, Not at all. HUH???
I fell right into the Arms of Venus de Milo.
I stood up, walked out of the Arms of Venus de Milo.

“Sylvia Plath” Peter Laughner (no link--I had to transcribe these myself)

Sylvia Plath was never too good at math
But they told me that she finished at the head of her class
And if she lost any virginity
She didn’t lose it too fast
They couldn’t hold any dress rehearsals for Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath came into Manhattan
She had crawled from one cocoon
Where there was absolutely nothing happening
She said, “If I going to be classless and crass,
I’m going to break up some glass,”
But nobody broke anything sharper than Sylvia Plath.

There’s no romance in excuses
Just a dance in the aftermath.
And when you check out of this hotel, Jack,
You’re nothing but an autograph.
The desk clerk wakes up around seven and he tosses it out with the trash,
But he might keep a couple of letters return addressed to Sylvia Plath.

Sylvia Plath woke up and turned on the gas
Then she put her head down and completely forgot about lighting a match
The rest of the details are just too boring to attach
But let’s see you do one thing as graceful as Sylvia Plath.
Aw, let’s see you do one thing as graceful as Sylvia Plath.
Let’s see you do one thing as senselessly cruel as Sylvia Plath.

“Pissed Off 2 AM” Alejandro Escovedo

Sometimes I come home,
I don't expect too much
The lights are off now
It's only two
How I wish my breath
It didn't hurt so much
Then you'd be up babe
It's only two

Why don't you sleep?
You look as though you need it
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me
Now they mean nothing to me

Well all my friends they laughed,
They laughed at all my jokes
I got one more story,
It's only two
How I wish my touch
Could erase the past
They you'd be up babe
It's only two

Why don't you drink
You look as though you need one
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me,
No, they mean nothing to me
If these were different times
Then you'd be up,
And we'd trade stories
It's only two

Why don't we pretend?
It's all we have between us
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me, now
Why don't you sleep?You look as though we need it
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me,
Now they mean nothing to me
Sha-la-la-lalala, Sha-la-la-lalala,

“Divorce Song” Liz Phair

And when I asked for a separate room
It was late at night, and we'd been driving since noon
But if I'd known how that would sound to you
I would have stayed in your bed for the rest of my life
Just to prove I was right
That it's harder to be friends than lovers
And you shouldn't try to mix the two
'Cause if you do it and you're still unhappy
Then you know that the problem is you
And it's true that I stole your lighter
And it's also true that I lost the map
But when you said that I wasn't worth talking to
I had to take your word on that
But if you'd known how that would sound to me
You would have taken it back
And boxed it up and buried it in the ground
Boxed it up and buried it in the ground
Boxed it up and buried it in the ground
Burned it up and thrown it away
You put in my hands a loaded gun
And then told me not to fire it
When you did the things you said were up to me
And then accused me of trying to fuck it up
But you've never been a waste of my time
It's never been a drag
So take a deep breath and count back from ten
And maybe you'll be alright
And the license said you had to stick around until I was dead
But if you're tired of looking at my face, I guess I already am
But you've never been a waste of my time
It's never been a drag
So take a deep breath and count back from ten
And maybe you'll be alright

Top Five Instrumentals
(chronological order)
1. “Warm Valley” from Money Jungle performed by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach. Nuff said.
2. “Hawaii Five-O” performed by The Ventures. TV’s best ever theme song, even better than one for Gilligan’s Island, which sounds better sung to “All Along the Watchtower” anyway. Plus Mookie will sing-along if you hum it.
3. Music for 19 Musicians by Steve Reich. Nobody said the instrumental couldn’t be over 40 minutes long, that the voice didn’t count as an instrument. Plus Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater can dance to it.
4. “Bob the Bob” by The Lounge Lizards. Featuring John Lurie, one of the coolest humans of all time.
5. “I Heard You Looking” by Yo La Tengo. This one truly rocks live.

Top Five Live Musical Experiences
(in actual top-to-bottom order)

1. Lou Reed and John Cale, Songs for Drella, Brooklyn Academy of Music, December 3, 1990. Sure, the Velvets all got back together after this, but I sure didn’t know that was going to happen. I could have left after the first two songs a happy man, but even greater glory was in store, for as an encore Mo Tucker came out and sang “Pale Blue Eyes” while the guys played. I had to look away.
2. Yung Wu / Yo La Tengo / Golden Palominos, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, New Year’s Eve 1985 (I think). The show when I learned that Ira Kaplan plays out of his body live, while Georgia and I think it was Chris Stamey on bass (this is pre-James McNew days) stared on, awed too. That the rest of the bill featured the Feelies plus John Baumgartner of Speed the Plough and Anton Fier and his truly golden pals – Syd Straw, Peter Blegvad, Stamey, Jody Harris, Bernie Worrell – how could things be anything but stellar?
3. Elvis Costello, whatever show it was that he played “Man Out of Time” and “I Want You” back-to-back, my two favorite songs of his. Pittsburgh in 1990? Los Angeles in 2000? And to think the only thing I could ask him the one time I briefly met him backstage was whether he was going to work with Robert Wyatt again. Nervous, the geek gets geekier.
4. Yo La Tengo, VFW Hall, State College, PA, 1990. Ah, the Fakebook tour in what was then my hometown. One friend was charmed to walk into the bathroom pre-gig and see Ira shaving, prettifying himself for the gig. Then the band managed to amp up at the end and I knocked over another friend joke slam dancing to the mad sounds of “The Evil That Men Do.”
5. Giant Sand, McCabe’s Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, 1996. The show opens with Howe Gelb leading the band through three radically different versions of one song, “Trickle-Down System.” Paula Brown on bass stares across the stage in wonderment, clearly thinking, “I was once married to this guy?” Joey Burns grabs guitars off the showroom walls and plugs them in and plays. It all ends when Jon Convertino puts a stick through his snare drum. Now that’s live music.

Top Five Artists You Think More People Should Listen To

Just way too many possibilities here, from the obvious, like Richard Thompson, to the more obscure, like Marc Ribot, to name my two favorite living guitarists (Robert Quine, RIP).

1) Magnetic Fields. Stephin Merritt is our Cole Porter, but will never be played by Kevin Kline in a movie. I hope.
2) The Mekons. Criminally mistreated, if being ignored is a treatment, by the public and record companies alike, but what would their myth be if they even lucked into a “Tub Thumping”?
3) Amy Rigby. The original Desperate Housewife.
4) Archers of Loaf / Crooked Fingers. Given so many people didn’t know Pavement, it’s no surprise that AoL is the great forgotten 1990s band. And what Eric Bachmann has done since as Crooked Fingers tops anything Stephen Malkmus has done solo, well, except “Jenny and the S-Dog.”
5) Ed’s Redeeming Qualities. One-string cardboard bass, lawn darts, lawyers and truckers, Spanish champagne, the original “Driving on 9,” one writer who publishes in Paris Review, another who writes children’s books, a female vocalist who maybe writes the best tune of the lot ("A Little Thing") – they are sadly missed by everyone who knew them. Most of you don't know what you missed.

Top Five Albums You Have to Hear from Start to Finish

I can’t resist playing DJ, so it’s hard for me not to mix and match, and that partially explains why this list leans to the 1970s. Let’s hear it for artists once again slowly realizing just because CD technology fits 75 minutes, that doesn’t mean they’ve come up with that much good music.

Another Green World, Brian Eno
Siren, Roxy Music
Paris 1919, John Cale
Songs for Swinging Lovers, Frank Sinatra
Imperial Bedroom, Elvis Costello

Top Five Musical Heroes

Brian Eno
The Mekons
Yo La Tengo
XTC (Not so much these days, but I would be denying too much of a younger me to pretend they didn’t have a huge influence.)
Louis Armstrong (There’d be no 20th century without him.)

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Land of Wigs and Novelties

After celebrating Mother's Day by seeing the Mark Taper Forum production of Electricidad (the kind of enduring story that puts all other family squabbles in perspective), Amy and I wandered up to Hollywood to try out the latest restaurant opened by Suzanne Goin, one of our favorite chefs in LA. (For higher end, try Lucques, that's somehow both upscale and comfortable, a special event place that makes you feel very welcome the first time you go, and the food is great; for mid-priced fun, hit AOC, with terrific and surprising wines by the glass and delectable small plates.) We had some time to kill before hitting The Hungry Cat (here's hoping PETA doesn't protest my site after that abusive phrase), so we wandered about Hollywood Boulevard, something I hadn't done in years.

The good news is there's little to fear of the Disneyfication of Hollywood, at least amidst the numerous stores with tacky, peek-a-boo nurses uniforms that no doubt machine wash and the "lowrider ice cream cart" that exhibited more good humor than Good Humor and the store windows with hookahs that aren't Casablanca-cute. No dream factory here--this is the nighmare of what 20th century urban life has become, cheap ribald retail and once-lavish architecture in need of a laving. We collect smashed pennies as our tschokes of choice (souvenirs for a mere 51¢), and tellingly the one we bought had a blackened smudge over the Hollywood sign. We did see a woman, at least in her 30s, very carefully washing off the Walk of Fame star of Michael Jackson, which was an odd combo of touching, pathetic, and maybe some kind of hopeful voodoo. And over at Mann's or Grauman's, or Multiple Theaters R Us, as the case may now sadly be, tourists matched shoe prints with the stars of today, but people left the likes of Marion Davies and James Mason alone, suggesting that they perhaps deserve their multiplexes. As a side note, it turns out I can't dance because my feet are way bigger than Fred Astaire's and Gene Kelly's.

Oh, as for The Hungry Cat, it's great if you're feline hungry. (rimshot) Seriously, personable service, oysters a-quiver-ingly delicious, a tarragon tart meets seafood sweet lobster roll in the classic buttered hot dog bun. The roll is a bit too small, and isn't a Pearl Oyster Bar lobster roll, but that's only like saying Strangers on a Train isn't Rear Window. As usual with a Goin-run place, the sides are exquisite, especially the fries that are plentiful and somehow browned more than they should be yet a perfect crisp (double frying?). It's also a restaurant with one desert, which shows some cockiness of the "you will eat this and you will like it varety." The only thing we didn't like about the chocolate bread and butter pudding, served bubbling and bruleed, was we ordered only one.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by Yatchisin.
For Dog Blog Friday: They are so cute when they're young so you don't kill them when they eat all your small electronics.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Something Holy in Toledo

It's a stressful day at the doctor's office, for his wife's pregnancy has been tough on her, and Mr. Brazier, a man of faith, opts to say a "Hail Mary." Eventually, to everyone's surprise he gets to a part where he says, "And blessed is the fruit of thy womb...Jesus!"

"What?" the stunned technician and wife say.

"Jesus! He's there on the ultrasound!" Brazier states, pointing. "Honey, you better start eating more, cause you're eating for our baby and the Lord!"

Go pay homage yourself (can you just bring a picture of myrrh if it's only an ultrasound of Jesus?) at the heartwarming story Jesus Spotted in Ultrasound, and be sure to go through the image gallery.

Image five brings to mind the question, Who had the t-shirt concession in Bethlehem? And at least one follow-up question, Did one of those t-shirts feature a babe in a manger and the line: "The chosen people get a savior, and all I get is this lousy t-shirt"?

Of course one wonders why Randall Terry and others of his ilk didn't pore over the EEG of Terry Schiavo, trying to insist that the image of Christ was in there someplace. The argument could go like this: 1) Through transubstantiation, Jesus comes to his faithful in the Eucharist; 2) Churches serve unleavened hosts as the Eucharist; 3) Schiavo's EEG was as flat as a Eucharist; 4) Therefore Christ was present in her brainscan.

At Least I Won't Post His Scary Picture

It's good news for Michael Jackson, since the basis of law in this country isn't "innocent until proven creepy." Given how every prosecution witness seemed to break down on the stand, my guess is Jacko will get off. Not that he hasn't already.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Faster Than a Speeding Wonkette

Sure, the readership of INOTBB might all be able to fit into the stomach of Dennis Hastert (sorry for that image), but those of you who do read here read first. Way back in October when this humble blog was taking its first infant internets steps, I discovered that the folks in charge were helping keep us safe with the handy website that they should have called Not-So-Ready.Gov. You and I, we shared a Kate Hepburn-in-Philadelphia Story throaty chuckle and figured that would all change after the election.

Alas, we should have been thinking of a later Hepburn role, the one where she got to say, "The loons! The loons!"

Indeed, once Bush & Co. won the election, they figured the need to scare us was over, and they left the children section of Ready.Gov in mothballs (byteballs?).

So what do we have today? Both Wonkette--"In Case of Nuclear Attack, Be Old"--and the Washington Post--"U.S. Called Unprepared For Nuclear Terrorism: Experts Critical of Evacuation Plans"--jumping on my bandwagon which has left the station with rockets firing (don't just mix metaphors, Cuisinart them, I say).

I guess that means INOTBB is just Wonkette faster (no, not easier) without the butt sex obsession. Although in the case of how badly our government prepares us for possible disaster scenarios, you might say we're all getting bent over without a please or thank you.

I'm Not Malkin This Up

I realize I'm the faithless heathen who doesn't have an all-powerful something scaring me with eternal damnation so that I might be good to others (silly me, I just think that's the right thing to do, and there's nothing relative about it--heck I even believe in trying to do good for people who are not like me!) , but I don't get Michelle Malkin's moral code. OK, I don't get Michelle Malkin, peroid, but I have a particular problem with her column today. According to Malkin, dirty words on South Park and innuendo in a Laura Bush speech puts us on all the road to hell. But also according to Malkin, locking up thousands of people because of their ethnicity is plenty fine, and you can even make a book-length argument about it. A piss poor argument, sure, but it will get you more time on Fox News.

I have to admit I agree with her one one point, however, when she writes: "Self-censorship is a conservative value."

And I think it's high time she censors herself. Starting now.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

NASA Cassandra, Moi?

INOTBB really tries to look at the world through exaggerated-colored glasses. Often I assume that all I need to do is ramp up the real news to get to a place where things might be funny, since that usually only requires the nicest of nudges.

And then there are the times I'm kidding, but the world isn't. Last week I wrote, "I guess NASA doesn't want to get funded anymore" after they released a report that definitely confirmed global warming, no matter what the Bush White House says.

And now there's this headline in The New York Times: "House Panel Examines Cuts in NASA Earth Studies." The story begins:

NASA's new quest to explore the Moon and Mars appears to be coming at the expense of studying a world closer at hand, scientists and lawmakers said Thursday.

At a hearing of the House Science Committee, scientists and members of Congress said they were alarmed by recent cuts and delays in the Earth science program as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shifted its focus to President Bush's ambitious plan to send astronauts back to the Moon and later to Mars.

I guess that means I could write for the Times. Or maybe it just means I'm Mitch Albom.

Paint Your Freedom Rare-Meat-Red, Turn-White and I'm-Gonna-Blew

Why do the terrorists hate the United States? They hate us for our freedom. After all, where else on the globe can you buy a 15-pound burger?

You can't get that in India, I bet. And Indians aren't even terrorists.

Chomping at the Brit

At last we know why Tony Blair is part of the coalition from which we are now allowed to forget Poland:

"Defense: England Oxygen-Deprived at Birth"

That is what that headline means, no?

Monday, May 02, 2005

It's All True (uncompleted)

Yeah, yeah, long time no blog. But there's been no time, to the point of having to blow off the one-night-only screening of a film I've wanted to see since I've heard about it--Los Angeles Plays Itself. It sounds just like the geeky thing I'd mentally eat up: film that is film obsessed, looking for cross-currents and clues in the curlicues, a bit of Mike Davis's Los Angeles deconstructionism thrown in for good measure. Sigh. At least I can nab the screener tape at work and watch that.

Otherwise, I've been too busy because of the following, all of which are true:

Getting one of my drab promotional blurbs reviewed by John Cleese, since we're presenting him in 05-06. Turns out he's funnier than I am.

Having my cell phone number appear by accident in the Sunday New York Times.

Hugging Mookie at the beach until he thought his leg didn't hurt, which it really didn't when he met that cute whippet.

Drinking a brilliant bottle of wine from a vineyard owned by a one-time baseball commissioner and lousy gubernatorial candidate.

Giggling at Fred Astaire, Jack Buchanan and Nanette Fabray performing the delightfully silly "Triplets" in one of my favorite movies of all time, at long last on DVD.

Getting paid to go to a cocktail party thrown by Neil Simon's daughter.

Hanging out (at a, uh, wine tasting) with a friend all jazzed about the lefty-comedy-historical drama screenplay he's writing about the Shay's Rebellion.

Watching a B-17 fly--too low for my comfort, if you ask me--over my head every few hours.

Actually working at work, a lot. It happens. We've got a new season coming up.
eXTReMe Tracker