Jan 29, 2007

The Emancipation of Mimi's Common Sense

Remember when Mariah Carey (left) threatened legal action against porn star and former California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey's (right) attempt to trademark her name, citing that it was "likely [for consumers] to mistakenly associate the goods offered" by Mary Carey--whose real name is Mary Cook--with the performer's "goods and services"?

Well, dumbass Mariah is now muddying the waters by posing in an upcoming issue of Playboy:
Leaked photos from the shoot made their way onto the Internet last week, showing a shapely (and undoubtedly airbrushed) Carey strutting her stuff in a skimpy flesh-colored bathing suit.

Rumors that the singer would be making an appearance in Playboy had been floating around for several weeks. On Friday, a Playboy spokesperson confirmed to E! News that Carey would indeed be featured on the cover of the magazine, which hits newsstands on Feb. 9.

Carey's spread will accompany a feature on the "Sexiest Comeback," for which she provided the answers to 20 "revealing" questions.

I suspect that Mariah secretly WANTS to be confused with the star of "Hot Showers 6" and "Lesbian Big Boob Bangeroo 2," because she obviously doesn't let her multi-octave voice sell itself.

(Photo credit: The Smoking Gun)

Jan 23, 2007

SOTU 1/23/07

Bush's State of the Union? A decidely muted and sombre tone from the Prez, but pretty much we heard more of the same. The only high point was him giving a shout out to Americans who've shown courage, entrepreneurship, and bravery in the face of adversity, including Wesley Autrey, the Harlem man who risked his life to save another man on the NY Subway.

Everything else? I've heard it many times before from his mouth.

But how about Jim Webb giving the Democratic response, eh?
We owed them our loyalty, as Americans, and we gave it. But they owed us sound judgment, clear thinking, concern for our welfare, a guarantee that the threat to our country was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defending it.

The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable — and predicted — disarray that has followed. [...]
As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.
I fucking hope so, because it's about time.

Also, props to Jim Webb mentioning New Orleans and the victims of Hurricane Katrina - a point which was glaringly absent from the Preznit's address.

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), in response to Webb's address offered up the same, tired old argument, saying that those who supported the non-binding resolution sent a signal to the enemy that we're weak, that we're giving comfort to the enemy, yadda yadda.

Seems like you've also lost your way, Mr. Graham. Don't worry. We'll show you how to get back on the right path.

UPDATE: I gotta hand it to Think Progress for systematically debunking Bush's talking points from tonight's SOTU. Great job.

Jan 22, 2007

If only there was a manual or something

"I'm a babe, a total catch. So why am I alone at 39?"

That's a question this woman asks of Salon's Cary Tennis, writer of their "Since You Asked" column.

I'm about 5 years younger than this woman, but damn it if her story doesn't resonate with single women in their 30's:
I've spent most of my 20s and all of my 30s basically alone.

I'm funny, smart, charming and dynamic. I'm complimented almost daily on my looks, so I know I'm not ugly. Oddly, men smile at and flirt with me all of the time at my job, in bars or on the street, but for some reason, they never ask me out. I've tried to take matters into my hands many times and instigate something with them, but they never take the bait. I usually find out later that they have chosen to pursue someone less attractive and much dumber. I've tried everything I could think of to be appealing and attractive to men without seeming lonely and desperate. Nothing. No one I know can figure out why I'm still alone after all these years.
Cary's answer? Her "perfectness" is what's turning men off; that this veneer of self sufficiency, success, and worldliness is standing in the way of her finding her mate.

Seriously? So men are attracted to fucked-up, needy, basket cases with pretty faces? Are we supposed to play it so that we can find a man to "save" us?

Damned if you do, damned if you don't ...

And don't even tell me to try that eHarmony mess. Been there, blogged that.


It's hard enough keeping our sisters off the pole, but now, this?

In Tukwila, Wash., the baristas at Cowgirls Espresso offer a bit of T&A with your morning latte. And it's not only Cowgirls Espresso, either. In an ever-growing caffeinated marketplace, Washington cafes struggle to differentiate themselves by resorting to the prurient interests of their customer base.

Check out this snippet from Penthouse Forum The Seattle Times:
In a short, sheer, baby-doll negligee and coordinated pink panties, Candice Law is dressed to work at a drive-through espresso stand in Tukwila, and she is working it.

Customers pull their trucks up to the window, where Law greets each with an affectionate nickname, blows kisses, and vamps about as she steams milk for a mocha. "You want whipped cream?" she asks, a sly smile playing on her pierced lip.

The next customer rolls up, and Law throws a long leg onto the window sill, like an indie-rock ballerina at the barre.

"Do you like my leg warmers?" she asks. "Aren't they hot?"

Hot is not the half of it. To stand apart from the hordes of drive-through espresso stands that clutter the Northwest's roadsides, commuter coffee stops such as Tukwila's Cowgirls Espresso are adding bodacious baristas, flirty service and ever more-revealing outfits to the menu.

At Port Orchard's Natté Latté, baristas sport hot-pink hot pants and tight white tank tops. Day-of-the-week theme outfits ranging from racy lingerie to "fetish" ensembles are the dress code at Moka Girls Espresso in Auburn and at several Cowgirls Espresso stands in the area. Bikini tops are the special at Café Lorraine on Highway 9 in Woodinville, and the women of The Sweet Spot in Shoreline pose provocatively in Playmate-style profiles on the stand's Web site.

"In this area, we all know how to make good coffee," said Barbara Record, who opened Bikini Espresso in Renton last month. The trick is to set your business apart, she said, and sex is one sure-fire way to do that.

"It's just, how far do you want to go?" she said.

Barista Candice Law at Cowgirls Espresso in Tukwila says she makes more in tips than she ever did as a waitress at Hooters. (OF COURSE you do! ---me)

I'm no prude, and I'm all for women owning their sexuality, but I can't help but think that this whole thing is just about objectifying women via caffeination. There are so many issues running amok here; the patriarchy (these cafe owners are mostly men), market-supported lecherousness ("there will be no "thong Thursday," as some customers have requested") and homophobia ("If I'm going to pay $4 for a cup of coffee" said one male customer, "I'm not going to get served by a guy") that this whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I mean, why not just consolidate your efforts and serve espresso at the freakin' strip club?

UPDATE 1/30/07: I was hoping Twisty would offer up commentary on this, and she did. Go read.

UPDATE 2/5/07: Just a thought: As a former barista, I just hope these gals wear aprons. OSHA. Just sayin'.

Oh, and P.S., I didn't think I'd get as many blog hits for this post as I've been getting lately. (Big up to Cowgirls Espresso Barista Candice Law for linking to me on her MySpace page, among other folks on the Internets.) Just to clarify my position on this, I don't look down upon the baristas working at these kinds of coffee shops, for it's their choice to do so. I just disagree in general with the premise of using sex to sell a cup of coffee. I've dealt with many a silly customer during many opening shifts past; it was bad enough being stuck at a job that pays a little better than minimum wage; the last thing I want is some horndog early riser schmuck leering at my jubbiles while I make him a cappuccino. Or a nonfat, decaf mocha with no whipped cream. You know what I'm saying.

And I won't hesitate to give a shout out to those baristas that take a certain sense of pride in pulling the perfect shot or steaming their milk to just the right consistency.

And maybe the girls at these places take the same pride in their work. But do their customers appreciate that? Or do they appreciate ... something else?

But maybe I'm comparing apples and oranges here.

Props to Jacob at Smelling the Coffee for the link.

(Photo credit: Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)

Jan 21, 2007

R.I.P. Sumo

My cousin and her husband had to put down their 16-year-old cat, Sumo, last Friday.

He was the best cat ever.

We'll miss you, Sumo.

Jan 18, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

In case any of you are having trouble sticking to that "I need to get in better shape" new year's resolution of yours, hopefully this latest development between Thailand's favorite pandas, Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui will give you the sort of motivation you're looking for:
“Chuang Chuang is gaining weight too fast and we found Lin Hui is no longer comfortable with having sex with him,” said the zoo’s chief veterinarian, Kanika Limtrakul, adding that Chuang Chuang weighed 331 pounds while Lin Hui is only 253 pounds.


The diet plan is the latest in an unsuccessful and often strange campaign by zoo officials to get the two bears to mate.

They have held a mock wedding, announced plans to separate the two to spark a little romance and even talked of introducing panda porn — videos of other pandas mating — to get the pair in the mood.
Poor Chuang Chuang. On second thought, I take it all back.

See, it's this kind of scruitiny that'll drive a panda to the world of eating disorders.

I'm just saying.

(Nicole Richie photo courtesy of TMZ photo galleries. Panda photo courtesy of Reuters/handout and AFP/File/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

Thursday morning Flamenco blogging


No, I'm not this good. Yet.

It's good to have goals.

UPDATE: For you aficionados out there, I believe the first dancer may be Antonia "La Singla" who, according to this article, grew up deaf/mute after a bout with meningitis as a child. She's dancing por tangos in this clip and one may argue that since she's still able to dance so passionately even though she's unable to hear the music, the cantaores, or the palmas, that she's got the duende inside her. And lucky us who get to see it in action.

Then it's La Tati and El Guito dancing por alegrias. Classic. Am loving her dress.

The final number in this clip, the fin de fiesta, is interesting because it is danced por rumba, which is a significant point of departure from what we are used to (por buleria). Too bad the clip doesn't show the whole number.

Jan 15, 2007

Put away that damn cell phone at the pump.

So it's really true what they say about using your cell phone at the pump.

Don't be like this guy:
The 59-year-old resident of The Travelers Hotel on Georgia Street in Vallejo suffered second- and third-degree burns on half his body Saturday night when his cell phone caught fire and ignited his clothing and the plastic chair he was sitting in, the Vallejo Fire Department reported. A sprinkler confined the fire to the immediate area and firefighters found Luis Picaso on the floor of the bathroom.
To add insult to injury, the NBC anchor (where I first heard of this story) basically outed that man's bad fashion sense, saying that the man's polyester/nylon fabric in his clothing contributed to the spread of the fire.

Bad enough the man's phone caught on fire, but you had to call him out for not wearing natural fibers, too? Damn, you ain't right!


Somebody tell me how the bungled executions of Saddam's two aids helps us?
The deaths aroused anger in mourners at the funerals of the former Iraqi officials.

"Where are those who cry out in demands for human rights?" Marwan Mohammed, one of the mourners, asked in grief and frustration. "Where are the U.N. and the world's human rights organizations? Barzan had cancer. They treated him only to keep him alive long enough to kill him. We vow to take revenge, even if it takes years."

Ibrahim's son-in-law, Azzam Saleh Abdullah, said "we heard the news from the media. We were supposed to be informed a day earlier, but it seems that this government does not know the rules."

The execution, he said, reflected what he called the Shiite-led government hatred for Sunnis. "They still want more Iraqi bloodshed," he said. "To hell with this democracy."
Dubya supporters may argue that the Iraqi government brought these people "to justice," but in the global scheme of things, these executions have our country's fingerprints all over them. The new Iraqi government did the deed, but who do you think this revenge will be aimed toward?

And this surge, and Cheney's recent PR attempts to bolster public support for it, is just bad, bad news. (Don't even get me started on why They continue to use Cheney to be "the face." He doesn't exactly convey a feel-good, collaborative, and inspiring vibe.

Anyway, feel safer yet?

Jan 11, 2007

I share, because I care

My fellow tea drinkers, rejoice:

A surprising study by German scientists has revealed that adding milk to tea stops its ability to dilate blood vessels and give antioxidant benefits, two protective factors for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.

The study is published online in the European Heart Journal and was conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Berlin's Charité Hospital.

The small research study was conducted on 16 healthy women volunteers who drank half a litre of black tea with and without skimmed milk, or just hot water as a control. Before and after drinking their tea or water, the women were examined by ultrasound to measure the dilation of an artery in their arm.

The results showed that the "flow mediated dilation" (FMD) of the artery was significantly improved by black tea, but this effect was completely "blunted" by the additon of milk.
I'll have another cup of China black, please.

(Props to Eliot for the link. My gai wan found here.)

Jan 8, 2007

The real meaning behind Michelle Malkin

I don’t really write much about Michelle Malkin because I never get to see her on TV, but I’ve read a bit on some of the outrageous comments she’s made in the past. I could never get how this woman has gotten so famous. She’s like the Filipino Ann Coulter.

But now, it all makes sense to me.
malkin (MO-kin, MAL-kin) noun
1. An untidy woman; a slattern.
2. A scarecrow or a grotesque effigy.
3. A mop made of a bundle or rags fastened to a stick.
4. A cat.
5. A hare.
[From Middle English Malkyn (little Molly), diminutive of the name Maud or Molly/Mary.]
A related word is grimalkin, referring to an old female cat or an ill-tempered old woman.
-Anu Garg (garg wordsmith.org)

Let the Photoshop fun begin.

(Courtesy of Wordsmith’s A Word a Day.)

Three guesses as to why this is a cool pic

Ron Dellums' inauguration as Oakland's 48th mayor begins Monday at 11 a.m., with his public swearing-in at the Paramount Theatre. Chronicle file photo, 2006, by Liz Mangelsdorf

The inaugural festivities will include your requisite black-tie gala, rhyming young poets, a gay/lesbian dance, and Oakland's version of Hands Across America, except it'll be around Lake Merritt. There's also going to be a Hyphy-Soul Showcase.

No, I'm not kidding.

With 148 homicides in 2006, Dellums has a lot of work to do to show that Oakland is more than that, that it's a diamond in the rough, and that the entire Bay Area --- nay, the nation --- recognizes that Oakland is a city that has a lot of potential for greatness.

I truly believe that.

Jan 2, 2007

O is for Oprah

So Oprah Winfrey spent all this money to open a school in Johannesburg, South Africa to benefit young girls who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to get an education:
The school for underprivileged girls boasts computer and science laboratories, a library and theater, and was built as a result of a meeting between Winfrey and the country's former President, Nelson Mandela.
She's catching a lot of flack for this, people sweatin' her because she didn't open a school in the U.S. but opened one in South Africa instead. Oprah's retort is basically that the school is needed, and the children are grateful, while children in the U.S. just want the latest iPod or something.

Kudos to her. Whatever. Who's to say Oprah won't open a school in the south side of Chicago one day? Step off, man. Give her a break.

Direct your ire instead, I strongly beseech you, toward Mariah Carey, who showed up to the school-opening event wearing this getup:

Mariah, my dear. Can't you just chill for a minute with the trying-to-look-sexy-all-the-time? You're attending an event at an elementary school. For underprivileged girls. In South Africa. Peek-a-boo lace at the decolletage?

Girl, it's a little much. Seriously. There's a time and a place for The Sexy, but the last thing those girls needed to see was you in an animal print dress (interesting choice, seeing as how you were in Africa, I see how you are), with your jubblies popping out.

(Photo courtesy of Crunk + Disorderly)

What Sex Is Your Brain?

Regardless of your gender, do you think more like a man, or a woman?

Leave it to the BBC to come up with a quiz to find the answer. I took the quiz, of course. (Anything that'll generate a blog post! Kidding. Or am I?)

Some of the results I received weren't anything I didn't know about myself already. For example, I'm highly empathic and suck at figuring out how systems work. Let's throw Calculus in that "systems" group, while we're at it. My overall brain score is close to the middle of the continuum (biased toward female), where you have female-type brains on one side and male-type brains on the other. I guess that means I typically think like a woman, except in some instances where I think like a man.

Whatever that means.

There were also some other interesting tidbits I learned (don't worry, it's not all about me):
  1. I'm highly perceptive and have a good ability to remember where things are (tell that to me when I'm frantically searching for my car keys some mornings).
  2. I'm attracted to men with masculine faces.
  3. I'm a right-brainer, meaning I "excel in visual, spatial, and intuitive processes.
  4. Men often think a person's eyes are sending signals of desire when that's not the case at all. Ha!
Anyhoo, if anything, it's a fun way to pass the time and possibly learn something new.

Click here to find out how you think. Oh yeah, and make sure you have a ruler handy when you do it.

(Props to AR for the link.)

Global Warming, Schmobal Warming

The recent snowstorms in Denver have global warming detractors reveling in their incredulousness.


Because, according to them, if you think global warming has anything to do with that, you're deluded, and that it's proof that there's some kind of "Northeast bias" regarding this issue.


Sorry, that was the sound of my forehead hitting my laptop.

Climate skeptic Pat Michaels on FOX's Your World with Neil Cavuto, according to Think Progress:
Uh, Neil, if you believe that warming causes cooling, you’re like my neighbors down in Virginia who think that if you put hot water in the ice cube tray, it freezes faster. It doesn’t work that way.

And in fact, in Denver, there were very few people who, I think, tried to conflate the snowstorm with warming, they just tried to ignore the fact, that in fact it’s snowing like crazy in Denver, despite the fact that unlike in the East, where there is no warming trend in the winter temperatures, there is a warming trend in the winter temperatures in Colorado.
Look. We all know it snows in Denver. We also know the Gulf states get hit with a hurricane from time to time. But for fuck's sake, anything out of the ordinary, while a possible outlier, can't be ignored as possible evidence supporting the theory of global warming. If you don't know for sure, why not err on the side of caution?

Oh, and P.S., hot water does freeze faster than cold water in the ice cube tray. Potential energy. Didn't you take physics? Hello, Mpemba effect (Props to the folks at UC Riverside for that).