Dec 31, 2007
I was using Technorati's watchlist thingy, but they've changed it and I have no idea how to find what I need anymore.
What do you recommend that's easy to use? This may come as a surprise to you, but I'm not exactly tech savvy.
Dec 29, 2007
That video has spawned oodles of videos that highlight people's reactions to the video itself. This video, showing ?uestlove's reaction, is my FAAAAAAAVORITE. Courtesy of Nigga Know.
(If you can't see the video, click here instead.)
Dec 28, 2007
That being said, I think I can take on this kid - his backhand sucks:
Yeah. Good luck with that one. It's bad enough that, in Thailand, wearing Hello Kitty armbands is considered a form of punshment.
Dec 27, 2007
Dec 25, 2007
Dec 24, 2007
In July of this year, Artist Jeremy Blake, 35, took off his clothes and walked into the ocean seven days after his partner of 12 years, Screenwriter/Writer/Blogger Theresa Duncan, 40, washed down a handful of Tylenol PMs with a glass of bourbon.
The January 2008 issue of Vanity Fair has a great article, "The Golden Suicides," on this young, artistic, glamorous, and deeply troubled pair, which I read last week.
I don't follow the art community, but something about their story intrigues me. Could it be their glamorous existence? Their strong, artistic promise snuffed out so early? The squandering of Jah-given gifts? The fact that Theresa set up two blog posts to show up posthumously? That they thought Scientologists were trying to bring them down?
There are so many layers, I can't help but be drawn to their story. Part of it is some kind of macabre curiousity, sure. But also, whenever a young life (in this case, two), so filled with promise leaves this earth so unexpectedly, we are all affected by it in some way. I can't even fathom the logic that caused them to make the decision to end their lives, but I can only hope that these two souls found the answers to the questions they were seeking.
And that those they left behind begin to heal.
My gift to you: Some Santa kid torture pics. Don't tell me I'm not a giver. Enjoy!
This one is my favorite. At least the mom took the time to pose and look at the camera while hauling away her crying kid.
You can almost hear this one.
This one is just funny.
Dec 22, 2007
I'm turning (gulp) 35 this year. Thirty. Fucking. Five.
In three days.
I'm a little freaked out. It's kind of a big deal.
So to start things off on the right foot, my friend and I are celebrating our birthdays tonight at a double super-secret location in Oakland.
It's gonna be fierce; please believe it. Be afraid, Oaktown. Be very afraid.
Dec 20, 2007
[Paul] Karason, who recently moved from Oregon to Madera, Calif., said it hasn't been easy living with blue skin.Yeah, yeah. I linked to FOX News. They had the best picture.
"I do tend to avoid public places as much as I can," he said.
Karason made the move in hopes of fitting in a little better.
"I hope that they just accept me," he said, "And I think that will happen here. Where I was, I rather doubt it would have. This is different kind of community here."
(Photo credit: FNC)
Dec 16, 2007
Who's on the TV, you ask? Rachel Ray, at the moment. I can't stand the woman, but watching Sunday morning cooking shows is part of my routine. Don't judge.
No, I'm not trying to re-enact "The Ring" here. My digital camera is totally fucked. Whatever. You get the idea.
This is totally embarassing, this picture. I hate my camera right now.
Dec 12, 2007
(Or alternatively, "In Which Jillian Reveals to Us That She is a Robot")
Everyone’s bummed that Chris got kicked out on the last episode.
Jack tells us that he’s had several staph infections before, and that what he thought was a zit on his face might not be as inocuous as that at all.
Heidi comes out on the runway, spreads her legs and tells the designers that they’re going to meet their models. Except that they’re women wearing clothes that are several sizes too big. Turns out that each of these women have recently lost a “significant” amount of weight, and the clothes they’re wearing were their favorite outfits. Each woman introduces herself and how much weight they’ve lost. One woman lost 160 pounds. Holy. Mother. Of. Jah.
Of course, I’m jealous of them already.
Christian looks at the models and tells us that he’s going to die. Again.
Each model gets assigned a model, and they’re all hoping they don’t get the woman who’s wearing the super sized wedding dress, and I don’t quite understand why. I think I missed that tidbit while I was picking up my jaw off the ground after hearing how much weight these women lost.
The designers go back to the workroom to get more details from Tim, who tells them that they have until midnight to complete the challenge. But first, he reads aloud a note that Chris left behind while everyone cries.
The models come into the workroom and the designers consult with them on potential designs. Christian freaks out because his model doesn’t wear dresses, doesn’t like to show her arms, doesn’t like to wear prints and only wears pumps during lunar eclipses. Or something.
Steven begins to catalog all of the atrocious elements on the wedding dress. Acetate lace. Copious amounts of buttons. Lots of satin. He dry heaves at Mood.
At Mood, we notice that Jillian is, quite possibly, a robot. A soft-spoken robot.
Steven decides to f*ck effort and gets black stretchy fabric and to only use the wedding dress elements as trims. Uh oh.
Back to the workroom!
Jack’s face is starting to swell up, and he calls his doctor. He reminds us that he's been HIV-positive for 17 years. His viral load, I’m sure, is pretty low, and that staph infections could happen to anyone. His doctor tells him that he needs to pursue a more aggressive treatment tactic.
Tim comes in, as if by magic, and asks him how he’s doing. They come back and he calls a Gather Round. Jack tells them that he has to leave the show to get medical treatment. Everyone is upset and crying. They all say goodbye.
Not so much of the shocker I was expecting. Maybe because I was scooped last week. (You know who you are!)
We all know that Jack comes out of things well, since we’ve heard he started dating that guy from Top Chef!
Back in the workroom, Ricky’s trying on his model’s jeans to see how they look with pumps.
Sorry babe, you’re not getting on my good side, even with this cross-dressing tactic.
So, to fill the void left behind by Chris’ and Jack’s departures, they bring back … Chris! He gets Jack’s model and has the option of staying the night in the workroom to get his garment done.
He better cry and cut!
(P.S., I am going to try to work in that Zulema catch phrase in every recap.)
Chris tells us that he can particularly relate to this challenge since he’s been on every diet known to man and has probably lost about 1500 pounds. I hear you, sister!
Christian’s outfit – a fitted jacket – is looking quite awesome, actually. He seems to agree:
“It’s very fierce, Tim. It’s kind of a big deal.”
Tim warns Elisa that her look doesn’t reflect her client’s style.
Steven tells Tim that he doesn’t “do” white polyester satin.” Tim tells him he’s “very courageous” in his decision not to include the garment.
Tim advises Chris to avoid the costumey factor, and that some of the worst decisions Tim’s made have been at 3 a.m., which cracks everyone up.
Tim’s freaky deaky. Who knew?
Everyone goes home for the night, except Chris, who elects to stay and work through the night. That would totally suck if he got asked to come back to the show, only to get the boot again!
The next morning, the designers come back to the workroom and Chris is snoring on the couch. We also see Jillian walking into the workroom, expressionless. The woman is a robot. I’m convinced.
Hair and makeup. Yadda yadda.
Ricky cries while his model tells him that she hopes he does well.
The clock is ticking and Christian is freaking out. I have to say though, that his freaking out is pretty graceful, seeing as how he’s just flitting about the room. He finishes his garment with glue.
Y’all know what that means.
On to the runway!
This week’s guest judge is Patrick Robinson, head designer for GAP. I wonder how long he’s designed for GAP, as I haven’t bought anything from there since high school!
Christian, Elisa, Steven Jillian, Chris, and Kevin make it to critique.
Jillian, as Kors says, made a beautiful dress, but it didn’t incorporate a lot of fabric.
Elisa’s dress – sorry, “day trousseau” – was very … Elisa. I was a little bored by it. As a non-skinny person, the last thing I want to do is wear layers and layers of fabric. But, because the crunchy-granola-hippie-chick-space-cadet we all love to hate wanted layers, that’s what she got. The coolest part about the outfit is that her model gave us the Sign O’ the Beast before walking off.
She’s so hardcore!
Heidi notices that Jillian’s dress isn’t made out of the original garment; she just used the original garment for piping. But, overall, the judges loved the dress.
Kevin’s tube top was totally sexy and looked great on his model. His model absolutely loved it too. Kors hated the leggings. I did too.
Chris, the comeback kid” was very costumey, but he makes it to the next round. Kors likens it to Paris 1957 and warns him about falling into the cliché trap. All she needs is a beret, a baguette and one of those long-stemmed cigarette holder things.
Steven’s dress was “French maid at a funeral,” Kors says. He really didn’t take the opportunity to make something new out of that horrendous wedding dress.
Sidebar: Steven, why have this kind of snobbery about the fabric? The phrase “it’s a competition” has somewhat become clichéd nowadays, but it’s so true. Steven had a golden opportunity to showcase his skills as a designer here, but he got caught up in how much he hated the fabric, so much so that it stifled his creativity. You know the fabric is shit. The judges know the fabric was shit. If you had only went for it, the fabric would have been taken into consideration, I’m sure. But whatever.
Anyway. Back to the recap.
Christian wins the challenge. Christian’s garment, I thought, was one of the best. His jacket (I smell a theme here) was constructed beautifully, and the pleating along the whatchamacallit looked incredibly finished. Deconstructionist at the core. I totally want that jacket. He managed to keep his designer aesthetic while making a design that looked like something his model would actually buy.
Steven gets a well-deserved Auf. Jillian does the robot walk off of the runway.
See you next week!
Dec 5, 2007
(aka “A Trip Down Fashion Memory Lane” or, alternatively, “I’m Totally Over Ricky Already”)
Because last week’s episode didn’t use any of the female models, there were four models that were up for dismissal. Since Jack won the challenge, he had the option to either stay with the same one or switch it up. So, Jack takes Ricky’s model, and Ricky, of course, takes it personally.
Wasn’t Ricky the one who was just reminding us in the last episode that it was a competition?
Heidi tells the designers that Tim’s in the workroom with a special guest to give them their challenge. When the designers arrive, they find Tim and NINAGARCIA there, standing next to 12 mounted photographs of “really hideous fashion trends,” says Chris.
NINAGARCIA tells them that throughout the decades, Elle has photographed the evolution of trends for decades. (Sidebar: The photo with Elle Macpherson in the cutout dress was one my first Elle issue that I bought.) These trends are out. Jillian’s feeling all molded because she’s wearing overalls, and that’s one of the fashion “don’ts” displayed there.
Everyone picks one of the outdated trends.
The challenge: Work in teams of three to create an updated and cohesive three-look collection that incorporates all three outdated trends.
The budget: $225
Timing: Two days
The teams (and the outdated trend they each picked) are:
- Rami (poodle skirt), Jillian (overalls), Kevin (70’s flare)
- Kit (fringe), Christian (zoot suit), Jack (pleather)
- Victorya (underwear as outwear), Ricky (neon), Elisa (cut outs)
- Sweet P (baggy sweater), Steven (dancewear), Chris (shoulder pads)
Strategy wise, some teams choose to incorporate all three outdated trends into each garment; some chose to tie everything together through use of fabrics and color.
Christian calls his team “Team Star,” because they’re all stars, and they’re fun, and stars are fierce or something. I totally want to be on Team Star, because they’re “hot. Like, celebrity.”
Meanwhile, on other teams:
Ricky explains to Elisa how to make clothes, using the same kind of hippy, dreamy, ephemeral language she understands, because he used to be a dancer. He’s the team interpreter. I found it kind of odd how Ricky and Victorya assigned themselves roles – like, Victorya was going to be the mediator and Ricky was going to be a whiny bitch. What?
Jillian’s freaking out because Kevin isn’t making his pattern correctly.
Chris’ team is working way, flying under the radar, with Steven doing a poor Tim Gunn impression. Sorry my dear, you're no Santino!
On day 2, everyone’s all smiles walking into the workroom, but the day has just started!
Victorya tells us she doesn’t like to be a “bossy cow,” but that’s what she ends up being, anyway. What makes it worse is that she delivers her opinions with a really calm voice. She tries to give feedback to Ricky’s garment, but Ricky ignores her.
Tim does everyone a favor and brings in the models for an initial fitting, and Sweet P stresses out because she thinks Steven’s garment doesn’t work well with the other clothes.
Jillian’s freaking out because their overalls ended up being too big.
Victorya says that the clothes looked so harlequiney, and so she assures her model that the black and fuchsia color-blocked bustier would be totally different tomorrow. Ricky retaliates by giving Victorya some feedback on her garment, and gets pissed at her for doing exactly what he did to her the day before.
Rami and Jillian are still freaking out because Kevin isn’t anywhere near finished with his garment.
Team Star meets with Tim, who says their collection is very modern.
When he goes to Sweet P’s team, he says he doesn’t see the cohesion, and it’s Steven’s garment that isn’t working out. Tim says that all the garments all look like Jillian. Tim Ricky is stressed out, and Tim tells them it’s not looking refined and well finished. Victorya tells Tim that she would have tweaked the silhouettes a little. Ricky chimes in, but Victorya hits her with a “can I finish?”
The two of them chat, and she asks him, in a honey voice that belies the bossy cow underneath, “I want to ask you, why you wanted to be team leader.”
No she didn't!
Ricky calls her passive aggressive. I kind of agree, and it’s that kind of passivity/aggressivity that just sneaks up on you behind your back, and next thing you know, you’re filled with rage! If Victorya was going to act this way, she should have just stepped up and been the team lead for this challenge.
Ricky still bugs me though. I think he has some massive, crazy-ass negative energy around him – it’s messing with my aura!
Jillian and Rami are still worrying over Kevin’s shorts, and Rami and she agree to disagree on how to fix it. Meanwhile, Ricky and Victorya have a therapy session in the hallway.
Elisa is concerned because she’s feeling the disturbances in Ricky and Victorya’s auras. Ricky and Elisa are done with their garments. Victorya is still working on her garment because she changed it at the last moment.
Ricky feels like he needs to pull a rabbit out of his ass to make it work. Awesome! That’s what this show is all about!
Models come back for a final fitting.
Ricky tells Victorya that she needs to make some adjustments to her bodice, “coz right now, you’re flattening her bust.”
“I like that,” coos Victorya.
Um, WHAT? Hello, dude’s made a living making lingerie. Why would you want your girls all flattened out?
So he re-pinned the bodice, Victorya marinated over it a bit, and decided she liked it. Oy. I've decided that the both of them are killing me softly with their egos.
Speaking of egos, can I just say that I love Christian more now? He abbreviates words, just like I do. For example, when he saw the final looks, he said it was “feroshhhh.”
Christian, you’re fierce. I’m Asian; I’m fierce. Let’s be fierce together!
On to the runway!
Heidi announces that Team Jillian wins the challenge, and I agree; it was the most cohesive look. I liked how they incorporated the denim in each garment. The overalls didn't even look half bad.
Team Passive/Aggressive and Team Chris had the lowest scores.
During critique, Donna Karan, this week’s guest judge, says that there is no movement or liquidity, but she loves Sweet P’s dress. Sweet P starts crying. The judges say that Chris’ outfit still looks dated. It’s like “beauty pageant in camel,” says Kors. NINAGARCIA says that his dress doesn’t look relevant for today. “How can you be a leader, if you can’t even lead yourself?” she asks Chris.
Team Passive/Aggressive’s flaw was problems with construction. About Victorya’s dress Donna Karan said it was fitted well, and she gives props to Ricky for that last-minute advice; however, his garment itself sucked in terms of construction Ricky says that it was because of him helping his teammates. Elisa tries to stick up for him, but Ricky’s choice of having the duchess satin was his flaw. Victorya breaks it down for Kors about their working relationship, and Kors says it shows.
Heidi asks the teammates again that eternal question “Who should go,” and everyone answers. Elisa, ever the ambassador of free love, says that she herself should go, and that’s her standard default position on any and all such matters.
While the judges deliberate, I deliberate on how much work Donna Karan had done to her face. My god! She’s five procedures away from being Jocelyn Wildenstein!
Chris is out. Boo. I’m so over Ricky and his hats.
Is next week going to be the week where we get the big Jack revelation?
See you next time!
Dec 3, 2007
In a study published recently in the scientific journal "Evolutionary Psychology," 59 percent of men and 66 percent of women said they've been in the position of being attracted to someone -- until they kissed the person.Good thing my technique is totally on point. Not that I'm bragging or anything.
"At the moment of the kiss, there's a very complicated exchange of information ... that may tap into underlying evolved mechanisms" cluing us in on whether we're genetically compatible, explains Gordon Gallup, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. "A kiss can be a deal-breaker in terms of whether a relationship will flower or flounder, so to speak."
Okay, I am. A little.
(Props to Ceci for the link.)
Nov 28, 2007
Episode 2: "I Started Crying."
Marion’s out. Unfortunate, yes, but that sack dress really did not translate well into the real world. Oh yeah, and P.S.? Spitting on fabric is killing me softly, y’all. I can’t wait to see what Our Favorite Flower Child does this week.
Episode 3: "Fashion Giant" (aka "Let Them Have Eye Candy")
So, supposedly this episode, the designers will be faced with the Most. Difficult. Challenge. Ever.
The show opens and again we see a very buff Jack, clad in only a towel and his tattoos. We learn that he’s been HIV positive for several years, but that he's the healthiest he's ever been. Judging by his rippled, chiseled torso, I totally agree. Eye candy for all of us!
The designers have to go to 10 Rock to meet with Tim and find out what their next challenge is.
So Tiki Barber meets them at the Today Show studio and some of the guys are freaking out because they’re a little behind on their football. The challenge? Design an outfit for Tiki to wear on the Today Show. The designers get $100 and a day and a half to construct a garment. He tells us that some of his fitting challenges are that he has a big neck and a skinny waist. Oh yeah, and the fact that Tiki got back, y'all.
He breaks it down as far as what he likes to wear – for example; he likes little details and isn’t afraid of color (as long as it accents the whole outfit). He asks the designers if they have any questions, and they totally do. I love when people have questions and ask them!
The designers go back to the studio, and Jack is carrying Christian in a bag. You know, like a little poodle. Sweet P is freaking out because she realized she doesn’t know how to sketch menswear, let alone construct garments for men. Kit – my favorite right now – says that her experience as a TV stylist gives her an edge because she knows what works on screen. I hope so, girl!
Looks like everyone is going out on a limb and making suits or blazers. I mean really, what *else* can you do when it comes to designing menswear for a morning show personality on a major network?
Elisa is keeping her hippie tendencies on the down low right now, so she’s probably safe this episode. I just hope she keeps her saliva to herself!
Jack takes off his shorts and traces the pattern of his shorts – basically disassembling them. That's fair? How is that fair, when what's-his-face gets kicked off the show for having pattern books? I don't get it. Maybe because it's Jack.
It’s midnight, and we still haven’t heard anything from Miz Phlemglobber. What’s even more perplexing is that I’m still wondering what is so *hard* about this challenge. I mean, I’m sure it’s hard enough designing for a man, when all you’ve been doing is designing clothes for women---I’ll give them that---but how is this any different from designing for a “jet setter” as in the last season? But I digress.
It’s Day 2, and everyone’s Stressing. The. Hell. Out. Kit keeps it real, though, and reminds everyone that they are experiencing the opportunity of a lifetime. Go girl! Way to put things in perspective!
Chris tells us that he’s a) older than everyone else and b) completely self taught. Pants? Just two sleeves sewn together! Easy peasy, right?
Rami’s inner bitch comes out when he tries on his muslin pants, not made with any patterns, thankyouverymuch. Rowr!
"Jealousy's going to bring out the ugly, and ... whatever!" Jack says.
The male models come in for fittings. Everyone is freaking out over the hotness. I am too, kinda. Eye candy for everyone!
So as not to disappoint me, Elisa turns her back when the male model changes. She says that the whole fitting ordeal is a very intimate process, and that the only male she's fitted was her boyfriend. “He’s the only male I choose to touch.”
And kids, we all know what fittings lead to ...
Honestly, I'm blown away by Elisa's modesty. I thought hippies were about free love and all that. Clearly not!
My other girl, Sweet P, is freaking out because her shirt isn’t working out well. She's right. Oy. I'm scared for her.
Tim Gunn comes in and summons up a Gather ‘Round to tell the designers that they have a special guest – an Asian woman who nobody knows about, but it turns out that it’s Tiki Barber’s wife.
“I love Asians. Asians are fierce.”
Thanks, Christian! I love you too!
What happens next is about five minutes of Project Runway filler, in which Miz Barber walks around to each designer, telling him or her whether or not Tiki would love those colors, or that the jacket looks too "Members Only." I mean seriously, even that snarky comment to Carmen didn't redeem her from her blandness. Her dress was BEIGE, for crying out loud.
Seriously, Bravo, Miz Barber just totally harshed my eye candy mellow, knowutimsayin? Leave the wives of the hot ex-football players out of the episode, alright?
Ricky’s freaking out about his clothes, and I’m freaking out over the fact that, quite possibly, Ricky won't give those hats a rest, already!
I realize I still don’t know everyone’s names, and I’m calling Carmen “Kelis.” I’m sorry. I can’t help it. Give me time.
Ricky is freaking out because he put the zipper in the wrong way, and he has 50 minutes left. He also just flipped off his pants. Oooh.
Carmen and Ricky start going at it in that calm, I’m-not-going-to-look-you-in-the-eye-while-I-cut-you-down manner that I find so entertaining to watch!
Don’t go home too soon!
Whatever, Ricky. Just cry and cut!
Four hours until the runway show, and the designers arrive at Parsons. Jack gives Christian a piggy back to the workroom. I’m sensing the “carrying Christian” thing will be a recurring theme.
Carmen/Kelis hasn’t even made her shirt yet, and there's 50 minutes left. Oh SNAP!
The models are back for hair and makeup. Oh my god. Ricky asked his model to sew buttons on. Janky!
Sweet P’s shirt is a mess and is wondering if she should even send it down the runway. She’s trying to creatively "style" her shirt. Good luck on that one, sistafren.
Carmen is worrying about her crotch. Her model’s – not hers. She sews her model into the pants. And she still hasn’t done the shirt. So what does she do instead? A DICKIE!!! She does a dickie! Janky!
RE: the hair and makeup shot: Can I just say how NICE it must be to get a fresh haircut whenever you go on a job? I totally want to be a model now!
On to the runway. This will definitely be fun. As my boy Christian says, there’s a lot that’s jacked up around here.
On the runway, most of the designers are cringing in their seats. As the models walk down the runway, I’m not getting the impression that Tiki’s liking any of them.
Jillian, Christian, Rami, Steve, Victorya, Chris, and Elisa make it to the next round. That means Ricky, Kit, Jack, Carmen, Sweet P, and have to stay behind for critique.
Tiki likes Kit’s look. NINAGARCIA likes the overall presentation, and Kors thinks the fleece saved her. I don’t know how I feel about the fleece jacket, but it most certainly would have been easier to hide any flaws in the construction. Smartie pants!
Sweet P totally sewed her own tie! Props to Sweet P! That shirt collar is killing me softly, though.
Kors loves Jacks’ outfit (I think he secretly has a crush on Jack) and Tiki loves the textures (not too loud) and thinks it looks great. NINAGARCIA points out he didn’t do three pieces. Was it a requirement that people had to make three pieces? I must have missed that.
“Whats with the safety pins holding up the jacket?” NINAGARCIA asks Ricky.
Tiki says it’s sloppy and that he would look like a fool if he showed up at the Today show wearing that thing. I thought that the inside liner on Ricky’s jacket was a nice detail. But, true, it wasn't the best. NINAGARCIA says that it’s straight up DULL. Obviously, Ricky didn’t learn from last season, where Gunn urged one of the contestants, “don’t bore NINA!”
Tiki says that Kevin’s outfit is eye-catching, even though he doesn’t usually wear vests. Heidi says that the look is “more David Beckham than Tiki,” and that she wouldn’t let her man walk out of the house wearing a purple shirt. I guess we know who wears the pants in that famly!
Kors says that the crotch on her pants is "insane." They make her take off the dickie, and NINAGARCIA deems it unacceptable. Bad time management, Kors says.
It’s a toss-up at this point.
The judges rip up Sweet P’s, Carmen’s, Ricky’s outfits. If Ricky gets kicked out, I think he’ll have a nervous breakdown. I’m just saying.
Jack wins the challenge, and Tiki Barber’s going to wear his outfit on the Today Show.
It’s between Carmen/Kelis (“everything was off”) and Ricky (“the construction was awful, but it was a boring old suit”) on who’s getting The Auf.
Carmen/Kelis is out. Ricky cries anyway.
See you next episode!
Nov 18, 2007
I met Anthony Bourdain Friday night. He was in Santa Cruz doing a book signing for his new book, "No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach," which is more of a travel book with photos.
Can I just say: I lovelovelove Anthony Bourdain. Not only is he an awesome chef and writer, but his TV show about traveling to exotic locations and eating their food teaches you about other cultures and traditions in a way that is insightful, entertaining and, most importantly, respectful.
Don't even get me started on how hot he is. I'm just saying.
I told him as such (about him being respectful, not about him being hot) when we had our conversation (I'll never wash my ear again!) --- I asked him if he had ever done a show in the Philippines (he hadn't) and, if not, that he really needed to to bring his perspective, because that fuckin' Andrew Zimmern guy totally blew it. Don't even get me started on Zimmern. For real.
Anyway, we (that would be my man, Bourdain, and I) went off on that for a minute, and then he asked me where he should go.
"Pampanga," I said. "The folks in that region are known for their cooking."
"Alright. Done," he said.
Please believe my heart just about exploded. Tony, if you're reading this, and you do a Philippines show, give your girl a shout out in the end credits, wouldja?
UPDATE 11/19: So I found out a bunch of lucky-ass San Franciscans got to sit around and have dinner with Bourdain the next night. How the fuck can I get in the loop on shit like this for next time? I would have absolutely wrangled the funds needed to be a part of this. Oh well. My heart is still a-flutter.
(Cross-posted on my other blog.)
Nov 14, 2007
Gurrrrrrrrrl, I am so excited. My favorite show is back. I was dreaming when I wrote this; forgive me if it goes astray. I’m a little rusty.
So the episode starts and all the designers arrive at their new digs. Rami Kashou dressed Jessica "Don't Call Me Latina" Alba? Meh. Kayne’s back, in the form of costume designer Chris March. Christian Siriano. He’s kind of fierce. And he’s kind of a big deal. In his own mind. Carmen A. Webber, aka Kelis’ twin sister, used to be a model, now she’s a designer. Jillian Lewis. Illustrator/designer for Ralph Lauren. Will she be boring like Robert Best? Kit “Pistol” Scarbo. I love her already, and I don’t know why. Kevin Christiana. Self-proclaimed straight designer. They do exist, apparently. Jack Mackenroth. Hot. Probably gay. Elisa “crunchy granola” Jimenez. She does yoga and makes super-sized marionettes. Cool. I’m sure she’s been to Burning Man. “Sweet P” Vaughn shows off her tatts. I might like her too. I haven’t decided yet.
Anyway. The designers are summoned to Bryant Park to meet Tim and a non-pregnant Heidi. Tim welcomes them and he tells them that last season’s group was pretty strong, but this might be the strongest group ever. Everyone’s excited, the confidence and the champagne is flowing. They woo.
Kit says, “Life is too short to have on a bad outfit.” I am thinking I need to incorporate this as my new mantra.
Wait. Tim Gunn works for Liz Claiborne now? When did that happen? Is he no longer the dean at Parsons?
First challenge: They have run to the tents to make a garment that expresses who they are as designers. Everyone thinks that they’ll have to make a garment out of that janky tent plastic. But no! Instead, the kind folks at Mood donated $50,000 in fabrics. Sweet. They have 10 minutes to grab fabrics and until 1 a.m. to create their fabrics.
One of them (is it Elisa?) does a drive-by “happy birthday” while running and gives Heidi a sunflower. Nice touch. Way to suck up to the judge!
Everyone’s sprinting toward the tents.
Chris March is, shall we say, not sprinting. He's not so much a fast runner. Inside, he’s probably wondering how he ended up on the wrong reality show all of a sudden. Anyway. Everyone’s grabbing at the fabrics like kids around a busted piñata. Will he be left with nothing?
Alas, it all works out because nobody chose the fabrics he wanted anyway.
Elisa starts rubbing in grass stains into her silk and she tells us that she normally infuses her fabrics with tea and herbs and her sixth chakra. I made that last one up.
I hope the hippie doesn’t get kicked out. She’s killing me softly right now. Plus, she might provide oodles of Project Runway recap fodder. A blogger can only hope!
Back in the workroom, Tim tells them to make it work. They have 13 hours to complete their garments.
The designers describe their aesthetics: Rromantic, historical sensibilities. Lingerie. Feminine and edgy. Mythical. Classic. Pared down. Confusing.
Elisa uses herself as the dress form. She is really letting her hippie flag fly! Christian sums it up:
“She’s a rain goddess woman. She’s like all spiritual in the Himalayan Mountains. She’s a little strange.”
Tim comes around and starts evaluating their pieces so far, telling Elisa that she really needs to think about whether or not she’s taken the garment as far as it can go. Elisa seems to think she has, so she leaves the workroom early to go take a nap on the couch. Everyone else starts talking out of their necks about it. Let me take this second to remind the designers that hello, it’s a competition. What the hell do you care if she goes to sleep early while you think her dress is crap? Let the hippie get some sleep!
Don’t go into your fear box, people!
We come back from commercial and it’s the next morning. The first thing we see is Jack in his boxer briefs, moisturizing himself. Bravo clearly understands its core audience. Elisa’s doing her yoga.
Can I just say? I’m totally loving Christian. You just know he’s going to be the total bitchy queen you can't help falling in love with. Although I am not loving his Mission Street hipster hairdo, I hope he doesn’t get kicked off this episode. Or for a while.
Elisa tells her model that she needs to measure her body with her hands. “I need to hand measure you.” Hand measuring: It’s a verb, ya’ll.
It’s a few minutes before the first runway show, and everyone is frantically trying to finish their dresses, while Christian talks about the lousy hand sewing that’s going on all up in here. He’s talking to you, Simone!
On to the runway!
This episode’s judges are Michael Kors, NINAGARCIA, and Monique Lhuillier. Never heard of the bitch.
Let’s start the show!
On the whole, and with a few exceptions, I think the designers’ dresses were somewhat … ugly. And there are too many designers right now for me to even want to dissect them individually.
Heidi dismisses nine of the designers who’ve made it to the next round. The remaining six designers Christian (quirky tailor), Simone (dressed in the dark), Rami (chic, sophisticated, but M.O.B.), Ricky (sweet but safe, kinda boring, nice), Victoria (sweet with a twist), and Elisa (you had me at hello, but you didn’t know when to stop) stay behind for a deeper critique.
Elisa needs to stay for a while, just on the strength of her descriptions with sound effects alone. Plus, how can you hate on someone who inspires Heidi to make the following assessment:
“Elisa’s dress looked like her model was pooing fabric.”
Do you see what I’m saying?
Anyhoo. Rami wins the challenge and has immunity for the next challenge. Rami is hot. Especially when he says “wonderful.” I think I have a slight crush on Rami.
Simone gets the Auf.
See you next week!
Nov 10, 2007
SarahCarmen, 24, says the Permanent Sexual Arousal Syndrome that she suffers from can cause her to have orgasm at any time of day.
She explained: "Anything can set me off. Even the hairdryers cause funny pulsations through my body.
"As a skin care specialist I have to use tools which vibrate a lot of the time for micro-dermabrasion and they sometimes set me off.
"I find if I'm nervous I'm less likely to get over-excited. So sometimes I try to psyche myself up and worry to control my orgasms.
"Some of my regular customers know my problem. But with new clients it's hard to explain.
"I have been in the middle of a treatment and it's happened and I've had to carry on.
"I was doing a bikini wax and you have to really concentrate and keep your hands very still, and mine go a bit wobbly when I orgasm.
"I had to pretend I had cramp in my foot and just stood there wriggling around on the spot and stifling my moans until it was over."
(Props to C&D for the link.)
Nov 7, 2007
But my favorite reality show, Project Runway, is starting up again next week.
Of course I'll do episode recaps - I need to get people coming to this blog for more than just that damn Brazilian bikini wax post.
Nov 6, 2007
How, you ask?
By analyzing falafel sales in the Bay Area.
No, seriously. Because EVERYBODY KNOWS that if you eat falafel, you must be a terrorist.
Like Hansel and Gretel hoping to follow their bread crumbs out of the forest, the FBI sifted through customer data collected by San Francisco-area grocery stores in 2005 and 2006, hoping that sales records of Middle Eastern food would lead to Iranian terrorists.Stop the insanity!
The idea was that a spike in, say, falafel sales, combined with other data, would lead to Iranian secret agents in the south San Francisco-San Jose area.
The brainchild of top FBI counterterrorism officials Phil Mudd and Willie T. Hulon, according to well-informed sources, the project didn’t last long. It was torpedoed by the head of the FBI’s criminal investigations division, Michael A. Mason, who argued that putting somebody on a terrorist list for what they ate was ridiculous — and possibly illegal.
(Props to The Carpetbagger for the heads up.)
Nov 5, 2007
For a woman to be sexy in a man's eyes she must possess at least some of these qualities:I want to say something about why I'm still single here, but I can't even think of anything witty to say at the moment.
1. She must be able to dress classy but provocatively, regardless of her career, and she should care less about what people think...never forgets, she's a woman first.
2. She should take care of herself physically. However, that doesn't mean she has to be a specific body type or weight, it simply implies she can't dress or look lazy.
3. Sexy women walk with a slow and definite confidence...not march or, conversely, slump around.
4. She makes eye contact
5. Her perfume should be present but not over-powering.
6. She can't have a "sour puss" or get up on a soapbox and complain all the time.
7. It's best if her hair is clean and of feminine length.
8. She should be able to hold down a solid conversation and have her own opinions.
9. She should be able to take a joke...even if it's dirty.
10. She should never be on her phone, chewing gum, and laughing like a hyena caught in a bear trap.
Anyway. Talk amongst yourselves.
Oct 28, 2007
What I'm Seeing has video here.
I still think my friend and his crew should have won some kind of record for the largest simultaneous dance ... by people dressed like gorillas:
(Props to the folks at SFist .)
Oct 12, 2007
"The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has today made it clear that combating climate change is a central peace and security policy for the 21st century," Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Programme, said in a statement.Seems like proper vindication for the Man Who Should Have Been President to me. I only hope Al Gore's ability to influence more action regarding global climate change continues.
"The IPCC and Mr. Gore have contributed to the unprecedented momentum on the climate-change challenge in 2007," Steiner added.
Tony Juniper, executive director of environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth, said of the Nobel announcement: "This is a very welcome signal that the world is beginning to wake up to how environmental challenges are going to shape many aspects of human welfare long into the future.
"We hope that politicians everywhere will see this signal and take heed," he added.
Sep 13, 2007
So I thought I'd do a little touch base, and leave you with the cutest gypsy flamenco home video you've ever seen.
If I ever have a daughter, I'd want her to be able to bust out a buleria like this one:
You're looking great. Let's do lunch. I'll call you!
Sep 7, 2007
From the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Rita Feliciano:
The Azahar Dance Foundation is a good idea. Realizing that artists have a difficult time stepping out of the pack, the foundation for the past four years has supported flamenco dancers by giving them opportunities to put on a full evening's worth of their own work. This year it's Melissa Cruz's turn to curate a show. She has invited her French-Basque colleague Fanny Ara ("La Fanny"), tabla player turned flamenco percussionist Sudhi Rajagopal, Seville singer Felix de Lola, and master guitarist Jason McGuire to contribute to a program of choreographed and improvised works titled "La Vida Flamenca." Both the compact, petite Cruz — a student of the legendary Rosa Montoya — and the elegant Ara are experienced, well-known dancers, performing often with Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos. They also are open to experimenting with the myriad musical and theatrical influences that are reshaping concepts of this Iberian–North African–Indian gypsy art. Three years ago, for instance, they were brave enough to join speed metal guitarist Benjamin Wood for "Flametal," a kind of Rocky Horror Picture Show of angst and theatricality. Cruz makes a 180 degree turn away from that show's extravagance with this evening of flamenco puro, in which nothing interferes with the direct expression of human emotions — passion and pain, exhilaration and loneliness — through music and dance. As always, at the heart of flamenco is the spontaneous give-and-take between musician and dancer that is at once playful and deadly serious.
Of course, I know this will be awesome. My teacher's the show's artistic director.
LA VIDA FLAMENCA Sat/8, 8 p.m., $25–$29. Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF. (415) 345-7575
Aug 30, 2007
Alfred Peet, coffee revolutionary, passed away at his home in Ashland, Oregon yesterday.
When Alfred Peet opened his shop in Berkeley in April, 1966 he started a coffee revolution. Nobody had ever seen top-quality coffee like this roasted in this unique style in America. The corner of Walnut and Vine quickly became a gathering place for UC Berkeley grads, undergrads, and faculty as well as local intellectuals, radicals, writers, musicians, artisans and any number of the colorful people who still make up Berkeley today.
Thank you, Mr. Peet, for helping me understand just how amazing a cup of coffee can be.
Aug 27, 2007
Bush said it's "sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person" is impeded "from doing important work."
Oh yes. Let me count the ways ...
(Cross-posted on BIO.)
UPDATE: Oh Carpetbagger, how I so love you and your astute observations.
Aug 26, 2007
Aug 24, 2007
Aug 22, 2007
Not too bad. Of course, I had to do it again. This is what I got the second time around:
Life as a cartoon? Not too shabby. I don't know how I ended up with blue hair, though.
There have been major changes in the rankings this year. The winner: San Francisco, up from fourth place. It ranked first for culture and received high marks for number of singles, nightlife, online dating and cool.All I'm saying is if you know anyone, hook a sister up.
Aug 15, 2007
"A political survey?" I asked. "Sure, I have time!"
I have to admit, I haven't really been too familiar with the GOP's recent attempt at getting a measure on the CA ballot that would effectively change how many electoral votes go to candidates in this state.
A group called Californians for Equal Representation has submitted a ballot initiative to state Attorney General Jerry Brown that would change the current statewide winner-take-all system to a formula based on congressional districts.
Republicans say the idea is aimed at attracting presidential candidates to campaign in California, which they rarely do because the statewide vote traditionally leans Democratic. Opponents call the proposal an attempt to grab Democratic votes.
Under the proposal, the winning candidate in each of the state's 53 congressional districts would get one electoral vote, with two votes going to the statewide winner.
Supporters want to put the proposal on the ballot for next June's state primary, which would put the change into effect for the 2008 election.
Now I'm glad I actually answered this call, because it affirmed that my gut feeling about this --- to vote against what it is they're trying to propose --- was in line with how I feel now, after reading a little bit more about it.
Is the GOP so afraid they're going to lose control over the government, such that they're going to try and propose legislation to skew results in their favor? Also, why should California change, when few other states allocate their electoral votes in the same way? It'll take more states than Nebraska and Maine --- who are already divvying up electoral votes in this way --- to change my mind. If all 50 states were required to do this, that would seem a little more fair to me. As it stands, this looks like a desperate attempt to secure votes.
If we really want to make any sort of election reform, why not just get rid of the electoral college altogether?
(Cross-posted on BIO.)
Aug 14, 2007
A slogan by a new, Vatican-approved charter service leaves little doubt about what its clients are doing at 30,000 feet: "I'm Searching for Your Face, Lord."
Mistral Air plans to shuttle Catholic pilgrims around the globe to holy sites, including the shrine of Fatima in Portugal and the shrine of the Madonna of Guadalupe in Mexico.
"The spirit of this new initiative is to meet the growing demand by pilgrims to visit the most important sites for the faith," Father Cesare Atuire at the Vatican pilgrimage office, the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, told La Repubblica daily.
Repubblica said Mistral Air's slogan will be emblazoned on material throughout the aircraft, which will be operated by Italy's postal service.
The debut charter flight late this month will be to the shrine of Lourdes in France, and will lure pilgrims with one added bonus -- the guide will be Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the former head of the Italian Bishops Conference, Repubblica said.
Props to Bellamomo for the link.
Aug 13, 2007
A TV show inspired by a series of commercials?
Apparently the folks at ABC love the Geico "It's so easy a caveman can do it" series of ads that they built a "high-profile sitcom" around it.
Geico says they have no control over the show's content, but I don't see them complaining about what is essentially a 30-minute ad for their insurance. Nor do other insurers like Aflac, State Farm, et al, who aren't exactly rushing to buy ad time.
Aaah, the power of the brand.
My expectation about "Cavemen" is that, like everything else, the network will manage to screw it up somehow and rob the cavemen of all of the existential irony that makes those ads so funny.
- They asked me to resign
- I'm quitting before you can fire me
- I totally screwed things up, so I'm leaving before you can hold me accountable
Some will continue to consider Rove as a brilliant political strategist, which I won't disagree with. Unfortunately, he used his powers for evil, not for good. I don't have time to go into it right now, but this article in the Atlantic Monthly (subscription required) did a great analysis on Rove, and how his hubris and arrogance basically screwed up the great opportunity he had to make some real change happen.
As usual, The Carpetbagger Report offers some great commentary.
Aug 8, 2007
Aug. 7, 2007 — Microorganisms locked in Antarctic ice for 100,000 years and more came to life and resumed growing when given warmth and nutrients in a laboratory.
Researchers led by Kay Bidle of Rutgers University tested five samples of ice ranging in age from 100,000 years to 8 million years.
"We didn't really know what to expect. We knew that microorganisms were really hardy," Bidle, an assistant professor of marine and coastal sciences, said in a telephone interview.
Aug 7, 2007
This ranks right up there with the Metallica-as-torture tactic in terms of sheer silliness:
(AP) BANGKOK, Thailand Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring "Hello Kitty," the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday.I was more of a My Melody fan growing up, so the idea me having to wear this around say, the office, might be enough of a deterrent for me. I dunno, man. Hello Kitty used to be really cool, but some time in the late 90s, she was e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, and continues to be everywhere to this day.
Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late - among other misdemeanors - will be forced to stay in the division office and wear the armband all day, said Police Col. Pongpat Chayaphan. The officers won't wear the armband in public.
Even on the armbands of litter-happy police officers in Thailand.
Props to Bellamomo for the link.
Aug 6, 2007
Problem: I don't know of any places around me.
So if you live in the Bay Area, are a buffalo wing lover with a discriminating palate (e.g. if your suggestion is to try "Hooters," then don't bother leaving me a comment), and you are familiar with the East Bay, help a sister out.
Aug 4, 2007
Jul 26, 2007
One reader stopped by today from a link from this site.
Apparently Figure magazine is looking to feature a female blogger who:
* [Has] a sense of humor
* Love[s] fashion and have an eye for makeup
* Love[s] celebrities
* [Is] pro-full figure
* [Is] all about real life
That's totally me, y'all.
I don't know who nominated me, but it's pretty flattering to know that someone enjoyed my blog enough to include me for consideration.
I don't know if there's a voting process, but if you enjoy my humble corner of the blogosphere, won't you drop these kind people a line and tell them so?
Jul 23, 2007
Click here to watch the video. If it gets enough hits, the question may make it to tonight's debate.
Jul 21, 2007
I woke up from a brief afternoon nap to find out that local anchor Pete Wilson passed away suddenly.
(07-21) 12:44 PDT -- Pete Wilson, the passionate veteran Bay Area TV news anchor, has died. Wilson, 62, suffered a massive heart attack following hip replacement surgery on Thursday at Stanford Medical Center. Doctors battled to save him on Friday, but he was removed from life support and succumbed at 9:20 p.m. Friday.I feel like I grew up watching Pete Wilson read the news each evening. It's always sad when somebody passes away so unexpectedly. My condolences to his family and colleagues.
A fixture on the local evening news, Wilson spent 12 years anchoring the KRON-TV newscast before joining ABC7 five and a half years ago. He also hosted a popular talk radio show on KGO in the afternoon.
(Photo credit: ABC7 News)
Jul 16, 2007
#46: "Hangin' Tough," New Kids on the Block
I was a HUGE NKOTB fan. The first version of my high school senior portrait photos sport shoulder tan lines, which I proudly displayed as a badge of honor for attending the NKOTB concert at Great America. I must have spent hundreds of dollars on Bop and Sixteen magazines (and other forms of media) that contained blurbs (no matter how small) on my favorite band at that time.
#45: "Mesmerize," Ja Rule feat. Ashanti
I don't even remember what this song sounds like now, but I'm sure I liked it. I liked Ja Rule for a minute.
[UPDATE 10:35 p.m.: I take this one back. Thanks to iTunes, I can say, with confidence, that I absolutely concur with the folks from Blender magazine. This truly is one of the worst songs ever.]
#40: "I Wanna Sex You Up," Color Me Badd
I so had a crush on the lead singer guy. You know, the cute one.
#36: "Make Em Say Uhhh!," Master P feat. Silkk, Fiend, Mia-X, and Mystikal
I don't know about you, but this song is STILL the jam.
#35: "Shiny Happy People," R.E.M.
Yeah, I liked this one too. My tastes are, how do you say ... eclectic.
#21: "Two Princes," SpinDoctors
This song was just cute. Happy and cute.
#20: "Dancing on the Ceiling," Lionel Richie
I can't even tell you why I liked this one. It had a good beat, and you could dance to it?
#16: "What's up?" Four Non-Blondes
I was in the Philippines for the summer when this song came out. To be honest, I don't know why I liked it either. Maybe it was the only American song I heard on TV and the radio during my three-month stay in a hot and humid tropical country where I didn't speak the language. I guess you could say I liked this song out of sheer homesickness.
#10: "Ebony and Ivory," Paul McCartney and Jacko
How could you hate on a song that tried to bridge racial divides in this country? Also, the video had giant piano keys in it. What's not to love?
#7: "Don't Worry Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin
Remember when Levi's had TV ads that were composed of footage shot by their own customers? You don't? Well, they did. And my cousins and I made an attempt at creating our own Levi's commercial with this song playing in the background. I think this commercial shoot happened before or around the same time as my highest accomplishment as movie auteur, "Slumber Party Massacre."
#5: "Ice Ice Baby," Robert Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice
You liked this song too, don't even lie.
And for the record, I do not, and will not ever, have any Hillary Duff on my iPod.
Jul 15, 2007
I am quite happy and smug with myself that I've been able to fundraise and complete another SF AIDS Walk. And although my feet are quite painful and I'm totally tired, it was all worth it. In all, today's walkers raised more than $4.5 million, which I think was a new record.
Mad props to the boys in the bell (they know who they are), who brought with them the speaker bag, which made each step of the 6.2 miles so much fun for us.
My deepest thanks and appreciation goes out to every single one of you who sponsored me. As you all know, HIV and AIDs are universal problems, no longer confined to specific groups of people. With all of your support, we've all done our part to help change the course of this epidemic.
Now, can someone volunteer to give a homegirl a foot massage? Damn.
Jul 13, 2007
Dangerous chemicals in pet food, toothpaste, and whatever else. But this?
State TV's undercover investigation features the shirtless, shorts-clad maker of the buns, called baozi, explaining the contents of the product sold in Beijing's sprawling Chaoyang district.You really know how to kill my cravings for dim sum.
Baozi are a common snack in China, with an outer skin made from wheat or rice flour and a filling of sliced pork. Cooked by steaming in immense bamboo baskets, they are similar to but usually much bigger than the dumplings found on dim sum menus familiar to many Americans.
The hidden camera follows the man, whose face is not shown, into a ramshackle building where steamers are filled with the fluffy white buns, traditionally stuffed with minced pork.
The surroundings are filthy, with water puddles and piles of old furniture and cardboard on the ground.
"What's in the recipe?" the reporter asks. "Six to four," the man says.
"You mean 60 percent cardboard? What is the other 40 percent?" asks the reporter. "Fatty meat," the man replies.
Which, I guess is a good thing, since my diet is going nowhere. But still. That just is not right!
(Props to SpaceRich for the link.)
UPDATE 7/18: Formaldehyde was recently found in Chinese cookies in the Philippines. Seriously, China. I'm going to have to chill from using anything made in your country for a while. And as painful as that might be, you've gone and done it now that you're messing with my people. That's just not right!
UPDATE 7/19: Or not. I just hope they don't execute the reporter like they did that Zheng Xiaoyu guy.
Jul 12, 2007
Yesterday was my dad's birthday, so we (Dad, Mom, and I) went out for a nice dinner. I got into a somewhat heated discussion about Bush with my mother and the war in Iraq (why she continues to support him is beyond me, so don't even give me shit about that --- suffice to say, I KNOW), in which I said something to her that was not very nice. And, even if things are fine between her and I right now, I went to bed last night and woke up this morning feeling like a horrible person and the worst daughter in the world.
To top it all off, I listened to part of Bush's press conference this morning driving to work. Even in the face of some pretty tough questioning, Bush managed to vomit out the same, tired bullshit he has been since the war started. To the point of making me want to scream. Inciting within me some fierce road rage.
And you don't want to see me when I'm angry. For real.
I hate the person I become when I think about our president and everything that he and his administration stand for. Shouldn't our president be ... oh, I don't know ... inspiring, but in a good way?
I really cannot wait for a regime change. Seriously.
Jul 11, 2007
It's almost too painful to watch.
(Props to Stachmo for the link.)
UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: Oh yeah, and don't use your iPhone outside in a thunderstorm.
Jul 8, 2007
It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.Click here to read it in its entirety.
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened — the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.
This country faces a choice. We can go on allowing Mr. Bush to drag out this war without end or purpose. Or we can insist that American troops are withdrawn as quickly and safely as we can manage — with as much effort as possible to stop the chaos from spreading.
For a local terrorist group, joining al-Qaida makes it harder for members to move around — and harder to raise funds openly. But, on the plus side, publicity will increase, which is good for recruitment. A link to al-Qaida may bring other monetary investment. And, seen through the eyes of would-be jihadi, Al-Qaida means prestige.In other words, the more successful Al-Qaida is perceived among fledgling terrorist groups, the more they'll want to have the same success. So, in order to gain an instant reputation of importance --- a sort of terrorist "street cred," if you will --- they attach the Al-Qaida name to their group.
"Al-Qaida, because of its perceived success — especially in Iraq — is the team you want to be on," said Daniel Benjamin, of the Brookings Institution, who was formerly a director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council.
The appearance of new offshoot groups across the Middle East and North Africa is good news for al-Qaida's core leadership, believed to be holed up in Pakistan, Benjamin said.
"Remember, what al-Qaida wants most is to mobilize the Muslim world. And so every time a new group signs on, particularly takes the name, then it's — it's a coup for them," Benjamin said.
And there you have it: The Al-Qaida brand is born.
Unfortunately, the longer this war in Iraq continues, hatred toward the U.S. will grow, and the stronger the Al-Qaida "brand" becomes; such that the Al-Qaida problem will not be confined to the Middle East. In fact, it's already happening:
"For many years, we had worried about the east-west axis — the threat coming from the east, be it Afghanistan, Pakistan or, even now, Iraq and the Gulf — moving to the west," [Former White House Counterterrorism Official Roger] Cressey said. "Now, what we've seen is a north-south axis — and that from North Africa, we've seen groups and individuals moving into Europe. So, in some respects, it's the worst of both worlds."Great. Now all Al-Qaida needs is a logo.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dick Cheney, who thrives on secrecy while pulling the levers of power, is getting caught in the glare of an unwelcome spotlight. Once viewed as a sage and mentor to President Bush, Cheney has approval ratings now that are as low as - or lower - than the president's. Recent national polls have put them both in the high 20s.You know what they say: Light is the best disinfectant. And while it's great that some members of the GOP are now recognizing the abject failures coming from this administration and its policies, it's just a shame this didn't happen sooner. And while it's true that Cheney and Bush did more damage to our government's checks and balances system, Congress is equally to blame for governing via blind partisanship for the sake of national security and for forgetting their ever-important role in the legislative branch. If they had only adhered to truly serving as a check on the executive branch for the past six years, perhaps our country wouldn't be still involved in this insipid war, our nation would still be respected on the international stage, and perhaps, Al-Qaida wouldn't have morphed into the disjointed, decentralized force that it is today.
It seems Cheney fatigue is settling in some Republican circles.
Republican strategist Rich Galen, who worked for both Bush and Bush's father, said he is finding less interest or enthusiasm for Cheney. "Republicans have, in essence, moved on and focused on who to get behind in 2008," Galen said.
Is anyone listening to Cheney any more?
The vice president shuffled alone and in silence out of a luncheon of Republican senators last week amid defections on Iraq by GOP senators and as the administration's immigration overhaul went down to defeat.
And we all know how much of a role the MSW played in this ongoing fiasco, don't we.
Having said that, I meant to give the Washington Post major props for publishing "Angler," their four-part series on Dick "Fourth Branch of Government" Cheney. But still: What took y'all so long?
UPDATE: Is this proof that the Cheney curse is alive and well?
Props to AMERICAblog for the inspiration.
Jul 6, 2007
Kwik-E-Mart from the street. Yes, I got excited.
Apu --- or, I should say, a life-size cutout of Apu --- greets you as you walk in the door. Please believe I took a picture of me and Apu, but I'm not posting that here! Instead, look at these empty shelves where the Buzz cola and Krusty O's are supposed to be; an indicator of how crazy the buzz has been about these stores (a fresh supply arrives tomorrow, y'all):
I would have taken more pictures, had I not felt like a complete tool taking pictures inside a 7-Eleven. It was bad enough that I posed for a picture with the Apu cutout. Although, the fact that there were about eight other people doing the same thing made it slightly less painful. But still. I own my nerdiness, but it's not always easy being me, people.
From a professional perspective, whoever came up with this idea should get a fat raise. As you walk through the store, looking for all the Simpsons tie-ins, you can't help but marvel at the attention to detail: Even the screen at the register says "Welcome to the Kwik-E-Mart." I hope this campaign generates the kind of buzz they're looking for, because this is a pretty brilliant idea. My only criticism is that they should have had at least one more in northern California. Like, say, the one down the street from me.
If any of you check it out tomorrow, get me a box of Krusty O's, wouldja?
Oh, and the folks at work should get a kick out of this:
Oh, by the way, there's a blog about the Kwik-E-Marts. My hunch it was started by the folks behind this entire marketing/advertising scheme.
Yes, I'm a nerd.
Yes, I'll post pictures, duh!
Secondly - I've been invited to a potluck this weekend in which the theme for the dishes we bring should be based on Crowley's Liber 777.
Jul 4, 2007
I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.
I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.
I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.
I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.
I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but instead to stifle dissent.
I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.
I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.
I accuse you of handing part of this republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.
And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of you becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.
We of this time — and our leaders in Congress, of both parties — must now live up to those standards which echo through our history:
Pressure, negotiate, impeach — get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.
And for you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task.
You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed.
Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.