Friday, April 28, 2006
Nigel Yodels His Vote
Thursday, April 27, 2006
He Ain't Heavy, He's Our Speaker
Stand to Be Insulted and Pay for the Privilege
Which is no problem, since you don't get food anymore so therefore don't have to worry about eating while standing. But, I figure they should just go whole hog with this idea and charge extra for the true thrill-seekers in the jet-set world. So I offer them this idea:
Just the thing for that non-stop flight to Sandusky!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Beauty Is in the Eye of the Be-Blogger
This year, the the AP's story about the colossal event is headlined "Angelina Jolie Tops Most Beautiful List," which finally also explains why Brad and Jen had to break up--you can't have a couple with two bottoms. The story also refers to Jolie as "pillow-lipped," but I don't know about you, none of my pillows contain collagen.
All that aside, we also learn that this year we have 100 most beautiful people, not the usual 50. Which either means that we are living in an age of previously unprecedented pulchritude or the ad sales team at People had one great week and they had to fill the pages with something (to distract us from our country wanting to nuke another country so we can show them how bad it would be for them to have nukes).
The AP story also says: "All 26 spokesmodels of the NBC game show Deal or No Deal were also chosen." It's unclear if they are beautiful people 51-77, say, or if they must share one position in the 100 person ranking, sort of an alphabet of gorgeosity. If that's the case, you sort of have to feel for the people who are the equivalent of Scrabble tiles J, Q, X and Z. Sure they can pretend that makes them exotic, but it really means they'll just get fingered a lot and never be used properly.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
33% Approval Rating in the U.S., in the Rest of the World, Not So Much
30,000 Dead Iraqis Can't Be Wrong
Monday, April 24, 2006
Then, much closer to home in that stretch between Ventura and Santa Barbara when your mind says you're driving north up California, but the compass says you're driving west, and the setting sun ahead of you makes only you a liar. I have just bought the re-release of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and Byrne and Eno and company are pulsing their way through "America Is Waiting," its herky-jerk rhythm soundtracking the sun shimmering into the Pacific. "God it's beautiful here" is all I can think and absentmindedly accelerate as if to keep the sun up, the song playing.
Friday, April 21, 2006
If You Were Getting $60 mil for the Next Three Years Life Would Look Rosy to You, Too
Immediately after the press conference, Marbury was flown to Washington D.C. where during the off-season his great talent for seeing things they way they are will be put to work. Marbury has been named as the replacement for the departed Scott McClellan.
Mouth Wrestlers Anonymous
Thursday, April 20, 2006
And then We Won't Have to Worry about Them Damn Liberal College Professors, Neither
No, McCain decided to one-up not just Romney but President Bush himself, who has more than doubled funding for programs that teach that abstinence from sexual activity until marriage is the only sure way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other health problems. McCain said, "I am offering a new in-school program that will teach high schoolers the only true and sure way to avoid teen pregnancy and STDs. If my bill passes, all high schoolers will soon know the exact best way to commit suicide."
Sitting Targets in the Car
What's most important, though, is that the AP senses what's truly newsworthy and covers the story like a tailgating speeder on the highway of knowledge grill-to-bumper with the brainaics at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
At least the writer had a sense to include this choice nugget:
John Simpson of Christiansburg, Va., said his "personal favorite" is once seeing a woman in traffic "with her knees up on the steering wheel, sheet music in her lap and she was playing the flute."
After all, there's nothing like a flute being played in a car, right gentlemen?
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Me and Scotty McC
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
When It Rains, He Snores
Levee Failure in the Sacramento Delta
Next to New Orleans, the capital of California is more dependent on levees than any other US city. Built on the banks of a river, most of Sacramento is 15 to 20 feet below water level. According to UC Davis geologist Jeffrey Mount, there's a better-than-even chance that the levees will fail by midcentury, jeopardizing the water supply of 22 million Americans.
Likelihood: High. 66 percent in the next 50 years.
People affected: 22 million
It seems Gov. Schwarzenegger and Pres. Bush will meet in California to discuss things before Bush has down time in Napa Valley (a perfect place for an ex-drunk to relax, if you ask me, but that's a different post). According to the AP:
White House and Schwarzenegger administration officials said they did not expect Bush to bring an answer to the governor's February request for an unusual federal disaster declaration for the California levees.
The request is still actively being considered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said one White House official, speaking Tuesday on condition of anonymity because he did not want to publicly step out ahead of the negotiations.President Bush said, "Besides, I haven't seen any tv news footage of things bad in Sacramento yet. No one's told me the levees could be a problem. Why should we do anything yet?"
People in New Orleans said, "Yet?"
Karma, Karma, Karma Ka-Snail-ion
And now I'm worried.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
A Poem Safe at Home
Mitts and Gloves
for Tom Lux
The catcher holds a kangaroo fetus in his,
the firstbaseman's grips a portable hairblower,
but everyone else just stares into theirs
punching a fist into it, stumped
trying to come up with a proper occupant--
The pitcher for example thinks a good stout padlock would go
right in there, but the leftfielder,
perhaps influenced by his environment,
opts for a beercan. The shortstop
informative about the ratio of power to size,
says, "Transistor. You know, radio." The
secondbaseman however he just stands and
grins and flapjacks his from hand to hand and back again,
secondbase dopey as always. Alas
cries the thirdbaseman, this void
of vacancy, pure-space beyond our defiant emptiness,--
abyss, haunted by the kiss of balls
we have not missed! oh absence
delice...The rightfielder looks dis-
gusted at this, he just snorts, hawks, spits
into his and croaks Hey look: heck,
my chaw of tobac fits it perfeck.
The team goes mum, cowhided by
the rectitude of his position, the logic.
Only the centerfielder, who was going back
while this discussion was going on,
putting jets on his cleats to catch the proverbial
does he perhaps have a suggestion...?
As for the ball, off in midair it dreamily
scratches its stitches and wonders
what it will look like tomorrow when it wakes up
and the doctor removes its bandages--
Mitts are whitecollar; professionals;--
designed for firstbase, homeplate, unique, elite,--
and therefore moral. The glove on the
other hand is human and can be worn
all player's, dirty, low-down, dumb. I'm
forced to admire the mitt but
free (in theory) to love gloves.
--Bill Knott, from Becos (Random House, 1983)
Friday, April 14, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Give Me Liberty or Give a Sucker an Even Break
You just can't make fun of paying taxes, especially with the rumor that Tom DeLay, currently indicted for money laundering and ripping off people to move legislation, might get a new job in the Office of Management and Budget, an idea funnier and crueler than any I've ever devised. Making fun of the Titanic is passe, too, since there's that joke of a film by James Cameron (three words: Billy In Zane).
So I'm left trying to make fun of Lincoln's assassination. And let me say right off, we're not laughing at the president, we're laughing with him. Sorry about the blood, sir.
As you might know if you're a Sarah Vowell reader or otherwise a devotee of the creepiest parts of history (that is if I can tear you away from the 100th year anniversary coverage of the SF earthquake/fire), Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre watching the play Our American Cousin. The exact line that John Wilkes Booth, an actor who plays an assassin in history, chose to fire at was this: "Don't know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal—you sockdologizing old man-trap."
Seems that was a laugh line in 1865, although today we'd all be sad thinking that Lincoln's last thought before the bullet hit him would have been, "What in the Shari Lewis? Sock-doll-what?" Not the way anyone would choose to go, if better than poor Elvis.
At least Our American Cousin left us Lord Dundreary. Beyond his own brand of muttonchops (and who wouldn't want to be immortalized as a bad coiffure choice?) there are Dundrearyisms, his mangling of aphorisms into things like "birds of a feather gather no moss." So let's decide if a stitch in time saves one in the bush or whether we have met the enemy and he is bigger than your stomach.
Not that I want to sockdologize you into anything.
*This postmodern moment brought to you by the People for Self-reflexitivity People, Barth & Barthelme Co-Chairs
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
The Shades of Night Were Falling Fast but I Got a Pretty Good Look Anyway
So, here are excerpts of emails I sent out tonight. All apologies to those getting the emails, who now have to share. Although learning to share is a good thing, so I'm actually helping you grow as a person. You're welcome.
On the fledgling baseball season, both real and fantasy, I wrote:
Baseball is much cheerier, at least so far. Mets winning, beating the Nats, but winning. That's what good teams do--crush shitty teams and make Jose Guillen cry. My fantasy team is in second, and, although just like with poker it's better to be lucky late than early, it still feels good.
It's hard to like the current Mets management, or at least their decision making. It is nice that GM Oscar Minaya realizes "we need" and then he writes the big check. But some deals just don't make sense. Trading starting pitching, even someone married to one of the most obnoxious women on the planet, for middle relief just doesn't make sense. And I don't even know what Jae Seo's wife is like. As for Manager Willie Randolph, batting Reyes first is just stupidity, loyalty to an idea of a leadoff hitter that's as old as Omar Moreno is, wherever he is. Oh well.
On my fledgling new job I wrote:
So far the job has been great, but there's a steep learning curve, too. It hit me the great advantage of staying in a bad job is you know exactly what to do. This new job wants me to be all of marketing, so there's lots of graphics stuff (DreamWeaver, PhotoShop, etc.) I need to learn a whole lot about. But then when I do, I will the most brilliant person on the planet.
The best part is I've impressed them already 8 days into the job and they let me know that and I'm a sucker for people saying, "Good job." It doesn't take much to please me.
On my old job I wrote:
After the person who ran ---- & -------, named ------- ------- but who we renamed -------- --------, it's a huge relief.
Heck, why burn your bitches, I mean bridges, if you don't have to? It's best to let sleeping dogs lie.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Assuming He Gave a Rat's Ass
"The housing market will likely level out in 2006, as sales of existing and new homes are expected to cool in the coming quarters, according to the National Association of Realtors." (AP 4/11/06)
"Gasoline prices are surging again with summer on the horizon, pushing or even passing $3 a gallon in some places. Meanwhile, drivers aren't expected to ease off on their mileage, sending demand higher than last year — but they are grumbling." (AP 4/11/06)
Monday, April 10, 2006
Don't Stop Believing, or Journey to the Center of the Turd Blossom
When it comes out that James Tobin, deep in a mess for phone jamming scams during the 2002 election in New Hampshire, was often on the phone to the White House, it seems as much as a surprise as Capt. Renault discovering there's gambling at Rick's. "Gee," I wonder in my yokel-y wondering to myself way, "Could Ken Mehlman and Turd Blossom be behind something vaguely nefarious?"
When Bush flat-out admits, again, he's broken the law (there's still that NSA wire-tapping thing, remember?) when he says, "Sure, I declassified information, and oh, that just happened to be wrong information, and I'm president, heh heh, I can do what I want," I just figure he figures after the third or fourth lie, heaping on one or two more whoppers really won't make the eternal fires of hell any hotter when he finally goes, er, home.
So depending upon how you look at it, these are either utterly sad times or one's that are intriguing with their mind-widening capacities. Yes, I am entirely gullible when it comes to what our president might do. And that is what we want in a president, that wild card je nais se quoi (oops, is that still that "freedom I'd not know what"?), that makes us believe he is capable of anything.
OK, if you told me he had a threesome with the twins, I wouldn't believe that. I'd probably fall for some story about him and Barbara, though.
Give Him Hell, Harry
What I want to say to you is that I, in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by, my leadership in Washington. I feel like, despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration.
--Harry Taylor, American Hero last Thursday
Sunday, April 09, 2006
As Cheesy Rock Show Intros Go, This One is Limburger
Friday, April 07, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Never Can Say Goodbye
Formery known as “one of the kindest, more pleasant people in show business,” Tito was born to a large peasant family in Gary, Indiana. Tito joined the Motown Party of Detroit with his brothers in arms where he gained the nickname Marshall Stacks Tito. Later, for the Victory album Tito produced, wrote, used his secret police to purge political opponents, and sang on “We Can Change the World,” while forging his own, non-Stalinist R&B style. Sadly, the Nation of Jackson could not last, and fractured into its component parts of Marlonsonia, Jermaniny, Titogo and Jackiestan that were all terrorized by the odd leader Jackodan Michaelevic for many years, a man who toyed with his people as if he were dangling them from a balcony.
One Argument Against Cubicle Office Space
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
What's the Matter with Kids Today?
This year our league had to move from Stats Inc., which didn't want to pay MLB's ridiculous new licensing fees, to Yahoo. It seems MLB is treating its sport like a Cheney treats oil--milk all out of it as you can right now for it won't be long for the world. That's a way to market. Of course on draft night my computer threw a fit and I lost access to the draft for 5 rounds or so, just enough to be really pissed while it happened while secretly realizing, "Hey, if I lose, I can always blame it on the computer snafu."
Wheh I finished, I realized I have a team that would be truly imposing...come about the 2008 season. So, for your enjoyment so you, too, can play along at home, here are your Oberkfellows!
At least my team saves a lot of money on the road as they're mostly too young to grow facial hair, so I don't have to buy fantasy razors.
Update: I had to fix mistakes in this entry, as I was falling asleep at the computer trying to post. New job means lots of work and it's tiring. Plus three freelance jobs going at the same time, too.
And yes, the fantasy team name has changed. It used to be the Hanover Heir to the Throneberries, but that was too long even at Stats and the name character limit is yet smaller at Yahoo. So I opted to honor one of the great mediocre players of my teens, one a group of us also honored with our very middle-aged English Dept. softball team once upon a time.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
"Voters are most favorable toward those candidates who are the most optimistic," lead author Richard B. Slatcher, a doctoral candidate in psychology, said. "The depressive language that Kerry and Edwards used during the campaign may have contributed negatively to the way in which they were perceived by the public."
So, if you get all Pollyannish and Mission Accomplised-ish, then that's good. The truth is bad.
Sad thing is, it's only going to get worse.
Monday, April 03, 2006
The AP also reports that "House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called his predecessor 'one of the most effective and gifted leaders the Republican Party has ever known.'" Boehner went on to say, "My name's not pronounced THAT way...what are you Beavis and Butt-head? But seriously, DeLay was one of the most gift-ed Republicans--trips, expensive things for his wife, money laundered through charities that made him seem generous but merely made him rich--hard to beat the gifts he got."
Ask for a pillow and blanket to help get through a long flight and you may be out of luck. Or you may be able to buy a "comfort package" from Air Canada for $2. Like to check your luggage curbside? That could cost up to $3 a bag.
Airlines are starting to charge for many services that once were free — such as assigned seating, paper tickets and blankets. Air travelers who don't fly often may be in for some unpleasant surprises when they reach the airport this summer.
United Airlines, in fact, is rumored to be planning to take this "charge for a service" approach a step or two further. United spokesperson Rick Arus said, "We're working on a system where passengers have to pay extra if the flight is on time, say about $50. Then again, some people in the company are arguing we should make people pay an extra $100 any time the plane lands safely. We could set it up the door won't even open until we can collect from everyone in the plane."
It Couldn't Happen to a Pastier Guy
Sources says McClellan wants to spend more time looking for his first chin and hoping he can extract most of his lips from George W. Bush's butt.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Do You Dream in Color?
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Cleanliness Is Next to Frankenish
And in case you're wondering, the answer is yes. He does wash his hands before talking to the U.S. on his show.