Jul 26, 2007

It's nice to be noticed.

Like many bloggers, I check my blog stats religiously. Sometimes a few times a day.

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

Watch now: Divest from Darfur

There's a bit of buzz going around right now surroundingthis 29-second You Tube video that asks the candidates whether or not they would support divesting from Darfur.

Click here to watch the video. If it gets enough hits, the question may make it to tonight's debate.

Jul 21, 2007

R.I.P. Pete Wilson (the anchor)

UPDATE 7/23: Title updated to avoid confusion.

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.

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.
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.

(Photo credit: ABC7 News)

Jul 16, 2007

Guilty pleasures, YFP! style

Jonsey just posted about Blender magazine's 50 Worst Songs Ever article, and while I won't admit to choreographing ice-skating routines to any of these songs, I will admit that I've had my fair share of enjoying a few musical guilty pleasures from this list. Don't judge!

#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

Post-AIDS Walk Blogging

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

Open Letter to China

I'm not trying to hate on you guys or anything, but what is UP with you?

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.

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.
You really know how to kill my cravings for dim sum.

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

Thursday morning rant

Aside from the war in Iraq; Congress and its struggle between blind faith and support for the President and sheer impotence and inability to reinforce the simple concept of checks and balances; Mr. Go Fuck Yourself; and a whole host of other things I don't even want to go into right now, Bush and his bunch of miscreants just NEED to go away. The sooner the better.


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.

/end rant

Jul 11, 2007


The good folks at Blendtec put their Total Blender to the test using an iPhone as part of their regular segment, "Will It Blend?"

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

NYT to Bush: End This War

In an editorial this morning:
It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.


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.
Click here to read it in its entirety.

Al-Qaida: The brand

While perusing the NPR site, I came across this interesting piece. Among the fledgling extreme jihadist set, the "success" of Al-Qaida, understandably, is perceived as the winning team:
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.

"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.
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.

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.

Cheney Fatigue

Oh, NOW you're tired of him? Funny, many of us came to this conclusion years ago:
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.


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.
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.

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

Attention, Kwik-E-Mart Shoppers

From a blogger's perspective, I'm kicking myself for not writing about this earlier, because I found out about this marketing/advertising tactic for The Simpsons movie a week or so before news broke. Oh well. Redemption comes in the form of color digital photos, so here they go. Keep in mind that the Kwik-E-Mart, by nature, is a small store, so if you've done some Googling about this subject already, you're not going to see anything new here. But, indulge me, why don't you:

As you go north on Shoreline Blvd., you can see the exterior of the
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):

The sign apologizing for the lack of merchandise reads, "Please forgive!"

Heh heh. Comic Book Guy's posted up near the men's magazines.

This is why I love fans of The Simpsons: As I was standing in front of the donut case taking photos (and trying to resist the urge of eating them), this guy behind me sniffed and said, "It's not even the right shade of pink." Heh heh. Nerd.

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.

Lazy Friday blogging

There's so much going on in the news and in the world of politics, but I'm so burnt out from it all (and just life in general), so I've been enjoying the last few days off. Today I'm going to check out the Kwik-E-Mart in Mountain View.

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

Because it's my patriotic duty ...

... and because Keith Olbermann said it best:

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.


Jul 2, 2007

Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Sentence

What the fuck ever:
"The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged," Bush said. "His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant and private citizen will be long-lasting."

A spokeswoman for Cheney said simply, "The vice president supports the president's decision."
I'm sure he does.

Oh yeah, and P.S.? As Otto Man points out, Paris Fucking Hilton spent more time behind bars than Scooter Libby ever will.

Also, Bush, yet again, shows the world how little he respects the rule of law --- except when it works to the benefit of him and his people.

Utterly ridiculous.

UPDATE 10:43 p.m.: My astute and highly esteemed BARBARian colleague, Paperwight, brings home the fact that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Jul 1, 2007

Lazy Sunday Afternoon Blogging

So I'm sitting here on my couch watching the Concert for Diana. So far I've seen Tom Jones, that girl that sings the song from "Laguna Beach," and Bryan Ferry. With the exception of Bryan Ferry, Duran Duran (!!!!!), and Joss Stone (although she's looking crazy these days), I've gotta say, the rest of the lineup is kind of ... meh.

Right now they're doing an Andrew Lloyd Weber segment, which I think is the most engaging set of performances so far. This woman's singing a song from "Jesus Christ Superstar," and she's totally rocking out. And it was announced that the original Christine from Phantom of the Opera was going to sing, at which the large crowd at Wembley ooohed and aahed. Impressive.

And now Donny Osmond is singing. What just happened here?

Oh. Donny Osmond was in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat"? Who knew?

Clips from the audience show that they're totally into it. I guess those Brits really love them some theatre!

I'll admit, I totally cried and was even sad for a few days after Diana got killed in that car accident. Don't even judge me. I can't believe it's been ten years now. If I had the means, I'd so create a concert of all of my mom's favorite singers, with all proceeds to benefit non-profit organizations my mom supported. Although my mom likes singers like Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams, so I don't even know if we'd even raise any money.

In case you were wondering, Andy Williams has a web site. Oh my god, so does Johnny Mathis!

In other news, I have two hours of flamenco coming up this afternoon. I bet you a carne asada burrito that I miss the Duran Duran performance. Ain't that a bitch.