Apr 29, 2005

A picture's worth a thousand words ...

Occasionally, I'll browse international news sites (Deutche Welle, Corriere della Sera) to get a different perspective on US/international news events or brush up on my Italian, which I hardly ever get a chance to speak anymore.

Anyway. I came across this article in the CDS about the Pentagon's recent release of photographs of flag-draped caskets, how it's a victory for the American public, etc. Scroll down to the last picture in the article, where it appears Navy soldiers are dumping a casket of their fallen servicemen into the sea. Is that what's happening? Is this what they do? I had no idea. Pretty morbid. But maybe that's just how I think.

The Terrible Trio?

Rummy thinks he's so cool, but he's only succeeded in proving he's the biggest dork on the planet. Plus, do the troops in Iraq really have a yearning for comic books?

Courtesy of Simbaud at King of Zembla.

Apr 28, 2005

Friday Alcohoroscopes

In celebration of the upcoming weekend, I'd like to leave you all with your "Alcohoroscopes." Courtesy of my buddy Daniel. Have a great weekend, everybody. Cheers.

Impulsive Aries people like to party and sometimes don't know when to call it a night. Their competitive streak makes them prone to closing-time shot contests. They're sloppy, fun drunks, and they get mighty flirty after a couple tipples. Getting Aries people drunk is a good way to get what you want out of them, should other methods fail. Aries can become bellicose when blotto, but they will assume that whatever happened should be forgiven (if not forgotten) by sunrise. They can be counted on to do the same for you -- so long as you haven't gone and done anything really horrible to them last night, you sneaky Gemini.

Taurus prefers to drink at a leisurely pace, aiming for a mellow glow rather than a full-on zonk. Since a truly intoxicated Taurus is a one-person stampede, the kind of bull-in-a-china-shop inebriate who spills red wine on white carpets and tells fart jokes to employers, the preference for wining and dining (or Bud and buddies) to body shots and barfing is quite fortunate for the rest of us. This is not to say that the Bull is by any means a teetotaler -- god, no. A squiffy Taurus will get, er, gregarious (full of loudmouth soup, some would say) and is extremely amusing to drag to a karaoke bar when intoxicated.

Geminis can drink without changing their behavior much -- they're so naturally chatty and short-attention-spanned that it's just hard to tell sometimes. They can amaze you by conversing with finesse and allusion, then doing something to believe an extremely advanced state of intoxication, like puking in your shoe. Geminis possess the magic ability to flirt successfully (and uninfuriatingly, which is very tricky) with several people at once. They like to order different cocktails every round -- repetition is boring -- and may create a theme (like yellow drinks: beer, sauvignon blanc and limoncello) for their own amusement.

Cancer is a comfort drinker -- and an extra wine with dinner or an after-work beer or six can be extra comforting, can't it, Cancer darling? Like fellow water signs Scorpio and Pisces, Crabs must guard against lushery. Cancers are brilliant at ferreting out secret parties and insinuating themselves on VIP lists -- and, in true Hollywood style, Cancers are never really drunk; instead, they get "tired and emotional" (read: weepy when lubricated). But there's nothing better than swapping stories (and spit) over a few bottles of inky red wine with your favorite Cancer. Even your second-favorite Cancer will do. The sign also rules the flavor vanilla, and you'd be adored if you served up a vanilla vodka and soda.

Leo likes to drink and dance -- they're often fabulous dancers, and usually pretty good drinkers as well, losing their commanding dignity and turning kittenish. Of course, they're quite aware they're darling - Leos will be Leos, after all. They generally know their limit, probably because they loathe losing self-control. When they get over-refreshed, expect flirting to ensue -- and perhaps not with the one that brung them. But Leo's not the type to break rules even when drunk, so just try to ignore it (try harder, Cancer) and expect a sheepish (and hung over) Lion to make it up to you the next day.

Cerebral Virgos are compelled to impose order onto their bender. Their famously fussy quest for purity could lead to drinking less than other signs, sure -- but it could also lead to drinking booze neat, to sucking down organic wine, or just to brand loyalty. They rarely get fully shellacked -- but, oh, when they do! Virgo's controlled by the intellect, but there's an unbridled beast lurking within, and they let it loose when walloped. It's dead sexy (and surprisingly unsloppy). As one Virgo friend used to declare, "I'm going to drink myself into a low level of intelligence tonight." A toast to the subgenius IQ!

"I'm jusht a social drinker," slurs Libra, "it's jusht that I'm so damn social?" Libra loves nothing more than to party, mingle and relate to everyone. Whether dipped in favor of Good Libra (with Insta-Friend device set to "on") or heavier on the Evil Libra side (they are little instigators when bored), the Scales can really work a room. Charming as they are, Libras are notoriously lacking in self-control, however, which can get them into all sorts of trouble -- including wearing their wobbly boots waaaay too early in the evening, flirting with every man/woman in the room or even blacking out the night's events entirely. Oops!

Don't ever tell Scorpios they've had enough, for they'll smirk at you and quietly but intentionally keep tippling till they're hog-whimpering drunk, out of 100-proof spite. Scorpios like to drink, and screw you if you have a problem with that. Most of them seethe sauce as something to savor in itself, and not as a personality-altering tool -- though if depressed, self-loathing Scorps seek total obliteration. But generally, they're fascinating drinking pals, brilliant conversationalists and dizzying flirts. They also remember everything -- especially what you did when you were blitzed. Only drink with a Scorpio who likes you.

In vino veritas -- and, for Sagittarius, in booze blurtiness: When buttered, they'll spill all your secrets and many of their own. Tactlessness aside, Sagittarius is just plain fun to drink with. This is a sign of serious partying (what else would you expect from the sign of Sinatra, Keith Richards, the Bush twins and Anna Nicole Smith?). They're the people who chat up everyone in the room, then persuade the entire crowd to travel somewhere else -- like a nightclub, or a playground, or Cancun. Good-natured hijinks are sure to ensue (including a high possibility of loopy groping; spontaneous Sag is a brilliant booty call).

Capricorn is usually described as practical, steadfast, money-hungry and status-thirsty -- no wonder they get left off the astrological cocktail party list. But this is the sign of David Bowie and Annie Lennox, not to mention Elvis. Capricorn is the true rock star: independent, powerful and seriously charismatic, not too eager to please. And if they make money being themselves, who are you to quibble? But just like most rock stars, they're either totally on or totally off, and they generally need a little social lubricant to loosen up and enjoy the after party, especially if they can hook up with a cute groupie.

Aquarius and drinking don't go together that well (except for water, that is). They have an innate tendency toward know-it-allism, and if they get an idea while sizzled, they're more stubborn than a stain or a stone. If they're throwing a party or organizing an outing, however, they're too preoccupied with their duties to get combative -- and they make perfectly charming drunks in that case. Fortunately, they're usually capital drink-nursers. They also make the best designated drivers (if you can get them before they start raising their wrist): Aquarius is fascinated by drunk people and capable of holding interesting conversations with soused strangers while sober.

If you're a Pisces, you've probably already heard that you share a sign and an addictive personality -- with Liz Taylor, Liza Minelli and Kurt Cobain. Not only do Pisces like to lose themselves in the dreamy, out-there feeling that only hooch can give, but they build up a mighty tolerance fast. Who needs an expensive date like that? On the other hand, they're fabulously enchanting partners, whether in conversation or in crime. With the right Pisces, you! can start out sharing a pitcher of margaritas and wind up in bed together for days. The phrase "addictive personality" can be read two ways, you know.

... and doggone it, people like him.

Al Franken wants to be a senator. I loves me some Al.

Apr 27, 2005

Ethics? We don't need no stinkin' ethics!

From USA Today:

All five Republicans on the House ethics committee have financial links to Tom DeLay that could raise conflict-of-interest issues should the panel investigate the GOP majority leader.

Five members of the House ethics committee. That's 50% of the committee! And apparently all of this is "just normal."

This might be just common sense, but shouldn't a committee focused on upholding the highest level of ETHICS in the legislature actually BE ethical? If there is an investigation on DeLay, these people must recuse themselves. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest should be motivation enough for recusal. Duh!

Please, make it stop.

I don't know why, but I have that song "Elvira" by the Oakridge Boys in my head right now. And I can't effing STAND country. It's got to stop.

Apr 26, 2005

Is your town down?

Interesting list of top 20 happiest and unhappiest cities in the nation. Is your city listed? See the entire article here. No offense, but Buffalo and Fresno as one of the top 20 happiest? Gimme a break.

The 20 Happiest Cities

1. Laredo, TX: A+

2. El Paso, TX: A+

3. Jersey City, NJ: A+

4. Corpus Christi, TX: A+

5. Baton Rouge, LA: A

6. Honolulu, HI: A-

7. Fresno, CA: A-

8. San Jose, CA: A-

9. Lincoln, NE: B+

10. Bakersfield, CA: B+

11. Buffalo, NY: B+

12. Anchorage, AK: B+

13. Stockton, CA: B+

14. Shreveport, LA: B+

15. (3-way tie) Madison, WI: B, Montgomery, AL: B, and Des Moines, IA: B

18. Wichita, KS: B

19. (tie) Sacramento, CA: B and Omaha, NE: B

The 20 Most Depressed Cities

1. Philadelphia, PA: F

2. Detroit, MI: F

3. St. Petersburg, FL: F

4. St. Louis, MO: F

5. Tampa, FL: F

6. Indianapolis, IN: F

7. (3-way tie) Mesa, AZ: F, Phoenix, AZ: F, and Scottsdale, AZ: F

10. Cleveland, OH: F

11. New York, NY: D-

12. Salt Lake City, UT: D-

13. Atlanta, GA: D

14. (3-way tie) Yonkers, NY: D, Pittsburgh, PA: D, and Kansas City, MO: D

17. (3-way tie) Long Beach, CA: D, Los Angeles, CA: D, Nashville, TN" D

20. Portland, OR: D

Courtesy of my friend Erica, who lives in apparently the most depressing city in the nation.

Beat Junkie Style

It's the little things that make me happy.

So I'm enjoying my morning cup o' yogurt. I've been getting this brand, Brown Cow, lately - it has that cream top that I enjoy oh so much. And it's all natural, yadda yadda. Bottom line, it just tastes good.

Imagine my delight today as I saw the following written on the lid:

Doing a world of good. We're committed to making creamy, fresh-tasting yogurt and caring for the world we live in. That's why we donate 10% of our profits to environmental protection efforts.

I love when I do good deeds without even knowing it.

Apr 25, 2005

I've been book meme'd!

Thanks to Agitprop for getting me into this. I feel all legit now and such. My answers below:

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
I had to Google “Fahrenheit 451” before I could even begin to answer this question. Depending on what the “correct” interpretation of this question is, I have two answers: If I am to be a book to be censored, I’d want to be Bakhtin’s “The Dialogic Imagination,” because I had to read that in college and derived zero enlightenment from it whatsoever. If I am a book to be saved and hidden away by The Book People, I’d like to be Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” because it beautifully illustrates the necessity of storytelling and our connection with the past.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
The Marquis de Sade. Just kidding. Wait, that’s not even a fictional character.

The last book you bought is:
“Thinking with Type," Ellen Lupton

The last book you read:
“Red Dragon” (again), Thomas Harris

What are you currently reading?
  • “World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability,” Amy Chua
  • “The Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy, and Free Markets in the Twenty-First Century,” Michael Mandelbaum
  • “The Devil Wears Prada,” Lauren Weisberger
Five books you would take to a deserted island:
  • “Beloved,” Toni Morrison (I love this book, hated the Oprah movie)
  • “The 48 Laws of Power,” Robert Greene (Because well, the island may not be so deserted after all)
  • “Paradise Lost,” John Milton (If the island really is deserted, I’ll finally be forced to finish this book)
  • All of my Irvine Welsh books and all his novels I have yet to buy (I’ll have time to work on my faux-Scottish accent)
  • My copy of the Riverside Shakespeare (If I get bored – which I will – I can stage plays with the indigenous peoples I encounter and befriend)

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons)? And why?

  • Alex at Strange Landscape, because he is one crazy book-readin’ mafaka. Dat’s right.
  • Dan at Howlingman, because his love of anagrams is so Hannibalicious!
  • Erica at Soft Pretzel Love, because I miss hearing from this dear friend o’ mine.

The best quiz ever

Take the Which Character Am I? Quiz

I am SO Samantha Baker. I swear, I know all the lines to "Sixteen Candles." This is fate - nay, kismet. Courtesy of Adamant's blog.

Monday Audience Participation Blogging

I've been super busy this morning and haven't had a chance to even think about what to post today. And right now I'm busy scarfing down leftover pasta in order to bring my blood sugar back to a normal level before I dive back into work again.

So, as part of our lunchtime discussion (or whenever you actually end up reading this post), tell me what you did this weekend. I didn't do anything except hang out with friends on Saturday night and watch Food Network all day Sunday, which caused me to drop about $30 on ribs from the Rib Shack. (They had the Reno Rib Cook-Off show on yesterday. Need I say more?)

Anyway. Discuss. Let me live vicariously through you all.

Apr 22, 2005

Friday Evening Nerdliness

I came across this while surfing a perfectly cromulent blog (which I got to via Scamboogah's site). Apparently Darth Vader has hopped on the blogwagon, heh heh. For all you Star Wars fans, please, try not to soil yourselves.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Apr 21, 2005

Bangers and ... WHAT?

My daily email from Specialty Food News included this interesting tidbit: A UK village restaurant, The Fat Duck, has been ranked one of the best restaurants in the world, trumping our very own French Laundry.

The Fat Duck has apparently "pioneered" such culinary masterpieces as sardine-on-toast sorbet and bacon-and-egg ice cream.

To the UK contingent that honors my space with your presence, please fill me in. What is it that makes this place so great? And is the bacon and egg ice cream for real? I love you Brits, I really do, but I gotta say ... wtf?

Apr 20, 2005

Bendy like a stick

I've restarted my yoga practice after a year hiatus. I'm three days into it, and I finally am at the point where I don't feel like my heart is going to explode out of my chest. Which is a good thing.

The style of yoga I practice - Bikram yoga - is also known as that "hot" yoga. It's a series of 26 postures, or asanas, conducted in the same order, every single time. The room is heated, anywhere from 95 degrees and up. Yesterday, the day that will go down in history as "the worst yoga day ever," the room was at 100 degrees at the first 10 minutes into the class. And there were about 23+ people in the tiny room, which adds to the claustrophobia and the whole "you're stealing my air" vibe.

Think what you want, but it's great exercise. Grueling, even. And I have some crazy thing going on with my hip right now, so this is pretty much all I can handle.

I hope I can stick with it. Back when I had a regular practice, I was going every day. And willingly. I would get up early ON THE WEEKEND to practice. Now that's love.

If you're interested in giving Bikram yoga a try, but have been too scared to, get over the fear and just go. I guarantee you'll love it, but I won't lie - the first class is a bitch to get through all 90 minutes. If you live in the Bay Area, shoot me an email. Maybe I'll come along for moral support.


Zoom, zoom, zoom.

So there’s this article that talks about the idea of imposing a change in the gas tax based on miles driven, rather than gallons of gas purchased. If I understand this correctly, Oregon will soon pilot this project using a GPS tracking system — a “smart” odometer — in every vehicle.

It goes something like this: When a volunteer motorist fills up at the gas pump, the data on the “smart” odometer will be downloaded and a fee will be added onto the total amount of the gas price.

The Governator says that changing the gas tax isn’t a priority of his, but really, who knows what’s going to happen in the future? Of course, I’m riled up. The next car I want to buy (if I don’t get my Porsche, that is) will probably be a hybrid. And I don’t want to be penalized for doing my part to reduce the consumption of nonrenewable forms of energy. It’s bad enough that I’m paying almost $3 a gallon once or twice a week. Why not generate more tax revenue by increasing the tax on those SUVs?

Oh right. Because that would be the right thing to do. And Jah knows, lawmakers never do the right thing when it comes to the environment.

And can I say this GPS locator freaks me out? Nobody needs to know how many miles I drive, or if I leave the state. Reading my first FasTrak statement already gave me the heebs – it listed every single day I’ve crossed the Bay Bridge, including date and time of day.


If you know me at all, you'll know that I have this crazy fascination - nay, obsession - with The Silence of the Lambs.

So when I saw this on Generik's site, I almost soiled myself with glee. I had to cover my mouth with my hand, I was laughing so hard.

And I would have posted the picture directly rather than just linking you to it, but my effing laptop is out of commission (I'm going through withdrawals) and so I have to improvise.


The whole Bolton thing just gets uglier. The Washington Post makes a brief mention of it toward the end of this article, fourth graf from the bottom:

On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told her senior staff she was disappointed about the stream of allegations and said she did not want any information coming out of the department that could adversely affect the nomination, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. [Emphasis mine.]

Has anyone seen anything in the media that explores this further? I can't find anything. Let me know. Thanks.

Apr 19, 2005

Habemus Papam

So the conclave elected Nosferatu to be the new Pope. Nevermind that he was part of the Hitler Youth movement back in the day. Fine, DailyKos says this isn't the same thing as being a Nazi. Fair enough. Maybe I've been watching too much Hitler on the History Channel lately. In any case, it makes me squirm. Not to mention the ultraconservatism part.

I really wanted the Nigerian. Whatever. Boo.

The Lunchtime Blues

Lawd help me please, I'm about to get another carne asada burrito from the taco truck two blocks away from my office. I mean, they're yummy (and cheap), but this is two days in a row now (three, if you count last Thursday; I had Friday off).

What's the longest stretch of time you've gone having the same thing for lunch? Or is it only me that does shit like that?

Life of the Party

If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a big Salon.com fan. And today they’ve published their first installment of a series called Life of the Party – discussions with “policymakers, candidates, pollsters, analysts, big thinkers, bloggers -- you name it -- about the present and future of the Democratic Party.” I’m really excited about this series, because I really believe that the Democratic Party needs to change in order to get this country away from the ultraconservative, theological, and intolerant path it’s headed down so far.

This first installment highlights a discussion with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, a Democratic governor that managed to get elected in a red state. He offers some great insight as to how Democratic candidates can better appeal to “Joe and Mary Six-Pack.” Quite frankly, what Schweitzer has to say is nothing new that we haven’t really heard before, but his assessment does validate and highlight the need to understand this major part of the constituency (the gun totin’, church goin’, huntin’ and fishin’ kind) that has eluded the Democrats in the last two elections.

Apr 18, 2005

The Siren is bored again.

I don't think this is true about me. But dammit, I like it.

Your Seduction Style: Siren / Rake
You possess an unbridled sensuality that appeals to many.The minute you meet anyone, you can make the crave you almost immediately.You give others the chance to lose control with you... spiraling into carnal bliss.A dangerous lover, you both fascinate and scare those you attract.

What Is Your Seduction Style?

Missed Opportunities

US Airways' website experienced a brief technical glitch this weekend that caused them to offer airline tickets for about $1.86 plus fees. After all was said and done, many tickets came out to $40 after taxes and fees and whatever else.

US Airways Spokesman Chuck Allen said that they'd honor any tickets that were purchased during this time.

Obviously, this would have come in handy for my September trip to Maui. I always miss out on the good shit.

Ten from the iPod

I’m out of ideas today, so I’ll follow Generik’s lead and give you the First Ten Random Songs That Came Up On My iPod. Like to hear it, here it go:

  1. “Dirty Man,” Joss Stone
  2. “The Quarterdrawing of the Dog,” Siouxie and the Banshees
  3. “Cannons” Siouxie and the Banshees
  4. “Hand in Glove,” The Smiths
  5. “Numb,” Portishead
  6. “Always on the Run,” Lenny Kravitz
  7. “What About the Half,” Dennis Brown
  8. “It Was a Good Day,” Ice Cube
  9. “Ordinary People,” John Legend
  10. “I Love Jah,” Beres Hammond

What's on yours?

Apr 15, 2005

"But I am le tired."

This always manages to crack me up. I know it's a little old. Deal.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody.

There's no place like gnome

The whole Bill Frist thing is getting me all riled up this morning, but today I'd rather go to my happy place and share this story with you instead:

LONDON, England (AP) -- A grandmother stopped an intruder from entering her home by lobbing a heavy garden gnome at him, police said Friday.

Images from "The Full Monty" and the Travelocity gnome are running through my mind all of a sudden. But wait, it gets cuter:

"He lay there and I began to scream. I went back into the kitchen and found a rolling pin in case he came down. I didn't want to break another gnome."

Gotta love those Brits.

Thanks to my friend Cecilia at CNN for the link.

Apr 14, 2005

I need to go to more shows.

Sam's blog inspired me to make my own list (not in chronological order, and a mix of "known" and "unknown" bands because, quite frankly, I don't go to enough shows, period).

- Reply to this message telling me which 30 artists you have also seen perform.
- Take the ones from my list that you have seen, and post them on your own blog.
- Keep adding until you have 30. Unless you're like me, who needs to get out more.

1. Peaches
2. Native Elements
3. Dick
4. Smashmouth (pre-"Walking On The Sun" mediocrity)
5. Voodoo Glow Skulls
6. The Cranberries
7. Bjork
8. No Doubt
9. Jurassic 5
10. Dilated Peoples
11. Pharcyde
12. Lauryn Hill
13. Superbooty
14. Planet Asia
15. Carl Cox
16. Sasha/John Digweed (okay, 15 and 16 are DJs, sue me)

Cognitive Dissonance: The Bush Years

Sidney Blumenthal wrote a great article in Salon about the Bush administration's use of rampant cognitive dissonance and how it applies to the impending confirmation of John Bolton. I say "impending," because not one thing has followed even the slightest hint of logic since Dubya's been in office. He's gonna get confirmed. I bet you a carne asada burrito he does.

Anyway, here's the article. I couldn't have said it better myself. Bolton is seriously the wrong guy for the job, and Chafee needs some sense slapped into him.

There I go again, getting all riled up. Bastards.

I'm bored. Humor me, will ya?

What does your birth month say about you?

Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egoistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Interesting. I don't know about the "influential in organizations" part. That remains to be seen. And what's this "changing personality" jazz? But then again, these are so general (yet most are quite appropos, especially the "sexy" part, heh heh) that they can apply to just about anyone.

Take the quiz here and let me know what you came up with. Thanks to JC for the idea.

I love stuff like this, I really do.

From the NY Post:

WHEN U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke Tuesday night at NYU's Vanderbilt Hall, the room was packed with some 300 students and there were many protesters outside because of Scalia's vitriolic dissent last year in the case that overturned the Texas law against gay sex, our source reports. One gay student asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up:

"Do you sodomize your wife?"

The audience was shocked, especially since Mrs. Scalia [Maureen] was in attendance. The justice replied that the question was "unworthy of an answer."

Apr 13, 2005

The King of Smarm

Admittedly, Karl Rove is good at what he does: Running successful political campaigns. But the manner in which he achieves this is through personal attacks and dirty tricks. PBS’s Frontline program last night, “The Architect: Karl Rove” delved into his background and revealed how it had been his lifelong goal to reinvigorate the Conservative vote. He dedidated 30 years of his career to make this happen, and – as we’ve seen in Dubya’s administration - Rove’s wet dream has become our worst nightmare.

The program distilled Rove’s “understanding of the mechanics of political campaigning” – his modus operandi, if you will – to the following elements:

  • Keep your messages simple – and keep them to around four or so; the better to hammer into your constituent’s heads with, my pretty
  • Attack your opponent’s strengths; don’t exploit his weaknesses – he's expecting that
  • Connect “the gay issue” to your opponent at any instant you feel like you’re backed into a corner; the Conservative Right will spring to life like Hitler after getting a shot of Vitamultin
  • Become astute at analyzing poll data, marketing surveys, demographic information (Conservatives are more likely to subscribe to “Field & Stream”), etc.
  • Concentrate on small, incremental victories that eventually contribute to the bigger goal

If anything good came out of this program – I know it riled me up enough last night to prevent me from falling asleep for another two hours – it’s that this program gives us “how-to” guide as to how we could fight back and bring some balance into our legislature. Sure, we may decide to take the high road, but basically we now have the playbook. It’s time to sack the quarterback.

Thanks to BYO for reminding me to tune in.

Apr 12, 2005

Silicone or Saline?

Why is there even a debate about this? I mean, silicone breasts are probably more "realistic," but why would anyone put their lives in danger for that? To me, it reeks of pure vanity.

Check out the part of this New York Times article where 74-year-old Carolyn Wolfe discusses the strings of silicone coming out of her eyes, ears, and nipples when her silicone implants ruptured. Is that hot?

Get a grip, ladies. If you must get implants, at least get the safer saline kind.

Cloned meat, anyone?

This is just nasty. It's almost enough to make me go veggie.

Okay, not really. But it's still freaky. What a PR coup for the USDA.

Buddy Jesus

Apparently there is some niche to be filled by this talking Jesus action figure. They're going on sale in May - along with the Virgin Mary, Moses, and David versions - and are expected to be priced at about $25 a pop. I'm expecting this to be on every Neocon kid's Christmas list - whether they want the dolls or not.

I can't wait for the Noah action figure, complete with the ark and pairs of animals. That would be badass.

A shout goes out to my friend Paco for the link.

Apr 11, 2005

Bolton, Schmolton

So I guess today's the first day of John Bolton's confirmation hearing for the U.N. post, and he appears to be blatantly courting the vote of one Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), whose vote is still "undecided." But Bolton's surprisingly ... diplomatic ... stance (i.e. that a bipartisan Congress should work together to help rebuild the U.N.'s image) seems to be working. At least for the moment.

In an unprecedented move, John Kerry's taking out ads in Rhode Island to try and persuade Chafee to vote against Bolton's confirmation. How 'bout that, eh?

We'll see what happens. I hope Chafee doesn't kick us in the nuts with his vote.

My new "must-have" book

I’ve posted before about my love of cooking shows. If I don’t have anything to do on a weekend morning, I’ll lie in bed watching them until one in the afternoon.

Living in Northern California, I’ve become what’s been known as a “foodie.” In my old job – where I was making a bit more money and my life was a lot simpler – trying out new restaurants in San Francisco was a form of entertainment. Now, instead of going out to restaurants, I’ve ventured into trying to cook for myself. Oftentimes with mixed results. But whatever.

When people ask me what I think would be a dream job, I always answer “food critic.” I mean, what other job requires that you dine out at different restaurants every week and share with your readership your perceptions about the quality of food, speed of service, ambiance, etc. Plus, the cool thing about being a food critic for a magazine or newspaper is that your employer picks up the tab. How sweet is that? At first, I thought about doing some kind of web project in which I’d visit different restaurants and write about them. But with the advent of a myriad of like-minded websites and blogs, how was I going to make mine stand out?

I'm still working on trying to come up with something.

So anyway. Former New York Times Food Critic and current Editor of Gourmet Ruth Reichl has a new book out called “Garlic and Sapphires.” Chronicling her tenure at the New York Times, Reichl mentions her use of disguises and various identities she takes on when she reviews a restaurant. As you can imagine, when your photo is plastered in every kitchen of every restaurant in Manhattan, you have to find creative ways to ensure your anonymity. Reichl’s playing with different identities also parallels her own personal transformation of self that brought her to her current position at Gourmet.

Sounds like an interesting read. I can't wait to get it.

Apr 8, 2005

Achtung Wal-Mart Shoppers!

This article was sent to me by some grad school buddies of mine.

On Friday nights, singles looking for romance, mindless flirting or just a new friend head over to their neighborhood Wal-Mart where they're given a big bright red bow to attach to their shopping cart or shopping basket.

Then it's up to the willing participants to approach one another and take it from there.

But if that's too intimidating, Wal-Mart has set up "flirting points" around the stores stacked with "romantic" merchandise, such as chocolates, wine and cheese, to help with that first awkward step.


Wal-Mart feels so good about the idea that the retailer trademarked the "Singles Shopping" slogan in German and is also testing it in its stores in Puerto Rico, South Korea and Britain.

Someday, it could even pop up in a few of its U.S. stores.

Read more here. Lawd help me please, I pray that I never ever have to go to Wal-Mart to scam on dudes.

Burning off your facial moles is fun!

This cracked me up. I love Michael Musto!

Apr 7, 2005

You probably think this song is about you

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm shamelessly vain sometimes. I'll 'splain.

I'm sure other people do this too, but I go back to different blogs I've posted comments to, just to see if anyone has responded to what I wrote. And I get all giddy and happy when they do. Because, you know. It's like, people actually like what you have to say.

So today, I go through my daily (okay, hourly?) ritual of going back to the different blogs I frequent (see list on the left), looking for a specific comment I wrote the other day about Tom DeLay getting strapped down into a chair, Michael Bolton, and feces. I thought it was pretty funny.

But I think the blogger erased it, because I can't find it anymore, and I know it posted last night without a hitch. And if you did, I really apologize if I offended your sensibilities; that wasn't my intention at all. But if it's some weird computer glitch, or me just being an asshat and not knowing how to navigate through your site, then whatever, all is good in the world.

Apr 6, 2005

Goodbye, Blog Explosion.

I thought I had come to the end of all my pop-up ad drama, and started to surf BE again today.

Whaddaya know. Pop-ups. On BLAST.

I've spent all my credits on banners. I'll just surf blog after blog and leave comments from here on out. Screw BE. It's not worth the hassle.

I think I've installed like, 24930 firewall programs, run 5o6042029 virus/adware/spybot scans.

This BETTER be it.

Please continue to come by my humble little blog. I'll make it worth your while.

Why this world pisses me off sometimes

For those of you tryin’ to make a dollar outta fifteen cents, here’s a nice kick in the nuts: McDonalds Corporation announced that it has paid out bonuses (in the millions of dollars) to two past CEOs, now deceased. And yet, Joe Schmoe working the drive-thru window probably doesn’t even have health insurance.

There is some speculation that Britney and Kevin are having marital problems. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. Apparently the two checked into separate hotel rooms at a Santa Monica hotel, and that they called an “emergency meeting” among members of her family. Britney contends she is upset that her little foo-foo dog, Bit Bit, got knocked up by Porkchop, Britney’s brother’s dog. Whatever. A: Get your dog spayed/neutered (whichever), B: Don’t try to front like your marriage to Federline isn’t full of drama, and C: This further proves that you're an idiot, thinking that the concept of "incest" applies to dogs, even though Bit Bit is a chihuahua and Porkchop is a bulldog.

Torrid, the plus-size answer to Hot Topic, raked in almost $40 million in sales last year. It’s about time they had some decent clothes for bigger folks. But now people are saying that stores like Torrid “encourage obesity.” Bullshit. Stores like Torrid don’t encourage obesity; they’re filling a niche that desperately needs to be filled. I’ll admit I have some items from Torrid – I can’t walk around naked! – but I still manage to work out and eat healthy (sometimes). These stores are a response to the problem, not the cause. People need to recognize this and just let it go. Let the chunky kids have their clothes. It's more depressing - and one could argue, more of an encouragement for obesity - to walk into a mall and not be able to buy anything than walking into a mall and buying something that fits and - gasp - somewhat stylish, even.

Apr 5, 2005

Yes, I'm easily amused.

Check this out. You can get a satellite image of any location in the U.S. So I tried to find my house.

Pretty cool!

Apr 4, 2005

You forgot Poland ... again?

Man. I thought I was being all original with my blog title, but a few days ago, I came across this website. What a crazy coincidence.

I mean, I gotta give them a shout out, because obviously we're on the same wavelength. Check this out - it gave me a lil' chuckle.

What am I supposed to do now? Change my blog name? Is there some kind of blogger etiquette about this kinda stuff?


So Friday afternoon, I'm surfing Blog Explosion, right?

All of a sudden, I'm bombarded with pop-up ad after pop-up ad after pop-up ad. I'm STILL trying to clean this crap off of my system. And this is stressing me out like you won't believe. I'm running McAfee, I'm running Ad-Aware, I'm running Spybot (although I haven't quite figured that one out yet).

And nothing. This is the third time I'm running Ad-Aware since Friday, and it's already recognized 353 "critical objects." It's pissing me off to no end. Ugh.

Meanwhile, I'm on Pope Watch. There's something about the pomp and circumstance and ritual surrounding the papal funeral that intrigues me. I mean, I was only six when this pope's successor passed, and I have no recollection of it. It's not every day a pope dies. I'm hoping the Church will take this opportunity to reform the Catholic church to be more ... realistic and flexible regarding How Things Are These Days (e.g., regarding sexuality, birth control, abortion, the role of women in church, priests' ability to marry). It would be cool if they voted in the cardinal from Nigeria to be the next pope. I'm hoping that the one cardinal who's real tight with Opus Dei doesn't get voted in, though. I mean, I've read The Da Vinci Code; I'm not trying to start flagellating myself any time soon.

In other news, I'm going to this Bay Area Blogger meet-up on the 13th in Berkeley with my friend Ang. I'm excited because it's an opportunity to meet new people. Not like any of them read my blog. "Poland, what? I didn't forget anything, sucka."

Anyway, I'll let you know what happens.

Apr 1, 2005

How it all began ...

Posted by Hello

Big Brother's Watching

The tradition of secrecy and personal censorship of this administration began soon after the 9/11 attacks. Then-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher said it best, after a response to a question asked about the president's reaction to a comment that Bill Maher made. Here's a bit of a press briefing dated Sept. 26.

Q: As Commander-In-Chief, what was the President's reaction to television's Bill Maher, in his announcement that members of our Armed Forces who deal with missiles are cowards, while the armed terrorists who killed 6,000 unarmed are not cowards, for which Maher was briefly moved off a Washington television station

MR. FLEISCHER: I have not discussed it with the President, one. I have --

Q: Surely, as a --

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm getting there.

Q Surely as Commander, he was enraged at that, wasn't he?

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm getting there, Les.

Q: Okay.

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm aware of the press reports about what he said. I have not seen the actual transcript of the show itself. But assuming the press reports are right, it's a terrible thing to say, and it unfortunate. And that's why -- there was an earlier question about has the President said anything to people in his own party -- they're reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that; there never is. (emphasis mine.)

I hope the real reason why Fleischer quit was because he was sick and tired of lying for this administration day in and day out.

By the way, did anyone catch the Air America documentary on HBO last night? It was somewhat inspiring. Let's discuss. Leave me a comment or twelve.