Dec 25, 2008
I turn 36 today. It's not really hitting me yet; I have tons of stuff on my mind, both on a personal and professional level, and it's making me feel a little overwhelmed.
Needless to say, I'll have plenty of time during the the coming year to revel in the joys of being 36.
There are joys to being 36 ... right?
Dec 22, 2008
And here's another clip (courtesy of FourFour) in which the Queen of Soul offers a little commentary on the subject:
Dec 17, 2008
How about meat perfume?
The Whopper sandwich is America's favorite burger. FLAME (TM) by BK(r) captures the essence of that love and gives it to you. Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat.
Props to the fine folks at EaterSF for the heads up.
Dec 16, 2008
Dec 10, 2008
Dec 6, 2008
This is a bummer:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bettie Page, a 1950s pinup known for her raven-haired bangs and saucy come-hither looks, was hospitalized in intensive care after suffering a heart attack, her agent said Friday.Getting old sucks.
"She's critically ill," Mark Roesler of the Curtis Management Group told The Associated Press.
He said the 85-year-old had the heart attack Tuesday and was hospitalized Friday in the Los Angeles area.
A family friend, Todd Mueller, said Page was in a coma. When asked to confirm, Roesler said, "I would not deny that," but he would not comment further on her condition.
UPDATE, 12/11: Bettie Page passed away tonight at age 85.
(Image courtesy of Stencilry.org.)
Dec 5, 2008
Make of it what you will, but later this month a book [Joe the Plumber] co-wrote with relatively unknown author and publisher Thomas N. Tabback, "Fighting for the American Dream," will come out. Thousands of copies have already been pre-ordered at $24.95 each via a star-spangled website (theme: "It's about we the people, not we the government") that also offers Joe-approved merchandise and the ability, for a price, to post to its blog and forum.Please, Jah. Make it stop.
"Fighting for the American Dream" is part biography and part current events, Mr. Tabback said, adding that it gives a behind-the scenes account of Mr. Wurzelbacher's encounter with Mr. Obama and what happened in the weeks that followed. It will also dip into Mr. Wurzelbacher's personal history and his take on American values.
Mr. Tabback said that the site is Mr. Wurzelbacher's new platform to give voice to those that may not have one. "[It] will help galvanize an effort for regular folks in the country to be heard on Capitol Hill and local and state governments," he said.
Joining Joe, for a fee But that will come at a cost. For $19.95, Mr. Wurzelbacher fans can become "Freedom Members" with posting rights on his blog and forum. With membership they also get a monthly newsletter from Mr. Wurzelbacher and 10% off "Shop Joe" merchandise. For that price, they also become "an integral part of an American movement to preserve our American Dream," the site claims, but what that means remains unclear.
Dec 4, 2008
In short, McCain entered this election season being the worst thing that anyone can be, in the eyes of the Rove-school Republicans: Different. Independent. His own man. He exited the campaign on his knees, all his dignity gone, having handed the White House to the hated liberals after spending the last months of the race with numb-nuts Sarah Palin on his arm and Karl Rove's cock in his mouth. Even if you wanted to vote for him, you didn't know who you were voting for. The old McCain? The new McCain? Neither? Both?I could have done without the Karl "Doughboy" Rove fellatio image. But interestingly --- or maybe not so interestingly, now that I think about it --- Taibbi also lays blame on the media and the rest of us for buying into all of this bullshit back when Not My President was up for election in the first place:
In short, it was an utterly degrading bourgeois/ruling-class media deception that "ordinary Americans," if they had any brains at all, ought to have been disgusted by to the point of rebellion. But ordinary Americans, alas, would have been perfectly happy to spend the rest of eternity mesmerized by the endless and endlessly condescending I'd Like to Have a Beer With You sideshow, leaving the boring policy stuff to the people who actually pay for the campaigns. Things could have just kept getting dumber and dumber, and no one would have been surprised. There was certainly no trend that suggested our presidential elections were bound to return to being great, sweepingly important contests of ideas. But that's what happened.But it's not all entirely depressing. Taibbi ends the article, thusly:
When Obama took the stage in Grant Park as president-elect, that question was answered. We pulled off an amazing thing here, delivering on our society's most ancient promises, in front of a world that still largely thought of us as the home of Bull Connor's fire hose. This dumbed-down, degraded election process of ours has, in spite of itself and to my own extreme astonishment, brilliantly re-energized the American experiment and restored legitimacy to our status as the world's living symbol of individual freedom. We feel like ourselves again, and the floundering economy and our two stagnating wars now seem like mere logistical problems that will be overcome sooner or later, instead of horrifying symptoms of inevitable empire-decline.Obviously, I'm really happy that Obama, not McCain, won the presidency. I just worry about the eight-year-old clusterfuck Obama just inherited. I don't doubt that Obama will be a successful president; I just worry about how long righting the wrongs of eight years of Bush will take. People I care about are losing their jobs; people I care about are on the verge of bankruptcy due to adjustable rate mortages; people I care about are being forced to take unpaid vacations; people I care about are unable to afford any kind of healthcare whatsoever. I remain optimistic about Obama's presidency, because I have to be; to think otherwise would leave me hopeless, jaded, cynical and completely disengaged.
For this to happen, absolutely everything had to break right. And for that we will someday owe sincere thanks to John McCain, and Sarah Palin, and George W. Bush. They not only screwed it up, they screwed it up just right.
Anyway, read the article in its entirety here.
Props to Otto Man at Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Nachos for the link.
Dec 3, 2008
I suspect bloggers create regular features (e.g., "Random Friday _____blogging") to help prevent long periods of writer's block. It is in that spirit that I offer to you, dear reader(s), my new regular feature, Fortune Cookie Wisdom. Here's today's profound offering:
Photo lifted from here. Inspiration from this post. Writer's block coming from who knows where.
Nov 19, 2008
Online dating service eHarmony said Wednesday it will launch a new Web site that caters to same-sex singles as part of a discrimination settlement with New Jersey's Civil Rights Division.
The settlement is the result of a complaint New Jersey resident Eric McKinley filed against the online matchmaker in 2005.
McKinley, 46, said he was shocked when he tried to sign up for the dating site but couldn't get past the first screen because there was no option for men seeking men.
"It's very frustrating and it's very humiliating to think that other people can do it and I can't," he said. "And the only reason I can't is because I'm a gay man. That's very hurtful."
Neither the company nor its founder, Neil Clark Warren, acknowledged any liability.
Under the settlement, eHarmony will pay the New Jersey $50,000 to cover administrative costs and will pay McKinley $5,000.
Ok, fine. McKinley seems to be satisfied with the outcome --- in fact, he called it "fabulous" --- but why not just augment eHarmony as it exists today? I guess you take the small victories whenever you can get them, but I don't really see how this does anything to advance equality.
The new website will be called "Compatible Partners." Yawn.
Nov 16, 2008
Just look at them! They're all so into it. That's more than I can say about myself and my classmates when we were in chorus.
But then again, doing Tori Amos, Bjork, Coldplay, and Donnie Hathaway covers is WAY more exciting than singing "Sweet Caroline" and "Jingle Bell Rock."
Oh, check out their version of Madonna's "Sky Meets Heaven." Some of them are in their Halloween costumes. Cute!
Anyway, they have a a YouTube channel and a blog, if you want to see more.
Props to Perez Hilton (don't judge!) for the heads up.
Nov 13, 2008
Nov 11, 2008
Paul Waldman at the American Prospect gets the party started:
Goodbye, we can say at last, to the most powerful man in the world being such a ridiculous buffoon, incapable of stringing together two coherent sentences. Goodbye to cringing with dread every time our president steps onto the world stage, sure he'll say or do something to embarrass us all. Goodbye to being represented by a man who embodies everything our enemies want the people of the world to believe about America -- that we are ignorant, cruel, and only care about foreign countries when we decide to stomp on them. Goodbye to his giggle, and his shoulder shake, and his nicknames. Goodbye to a president who talks to us like we're a nation of fourth-graders.Go and read the rest.
And goodbye, of course, to Dick Cheney. Goodbye to the man whose naked contempt for democracy contorted his face to a permanent sneer, who spent his days in his undisclosed location with his man-sized safe. And while we're at it, goodbye to Cheney's consigliore David Addington, as malevolent a force as has ever left his trail of slime across our federal institutions.
Goodbye, indeed, to the entire band of liars and crooks and thieves who have so sullied the federal government that belongs to us all. We can even say goodbye to those who have already gone, to Rummy and Scooter, to Fredo and Rove, tornados of misery left in their wake.
Nov 5, 2008
Nov 4, 2008
Sure, there are people of color who already hold high-profile positions in government, business, entertainment, and sports. But to hold the highest office in the nation?
And during a time when our country has been bitterly divided for several years? This is pretty awesome.
I don't know about you, but I'm feeling pretty energized.
It's hard to explain (especially while trying to type this out on an itty-bitty Blackberry), but I know that some of you who are reading this know what I'm talking about.
Nov 2, 2008
Really, the changes were unintentional. It all began innocently enough with me clicking around my Blogger dashboard and coming across all of the new-fangled bells and whistles I now have at my disposal.
So at some point, I reached the Click of No Return, and now am forced to:
- Re-build my blogroll, since Blogrolling has been down for what seems like 50 million years
- Re-evaluate if it's worth having Google ads on my blog; It's not like I'm raking in the dough
- Decide on a casual, yet elegant, blog template
If you see that your blog is missing from my blogroll, don't take it personally. I'm going off of memory and my Bloglines list here, so let me know if you want back on via the comments section.
And while I'm at it, I'm going to take this time to remove blogs that are currently on hiatus or ones that I've stopped reading. I will also be adding blogs that I follow regularly that weren't previously on my blogroll.
It's all about synergy, people.
Nov 1, 2008
A boost to the McCain campaign, or the kiss of death? You decide.
Obama seizes the opportunity to bring it home:
"Earlier today Dick Cheney came out of his undisclosed location and he hit the campaign trail," Obama told a rally in Pueblo, Colorado, quoting Cheney as saying he was "delighted" to back McCain.Exactly. Thank you for reminding us, Obama.
"So I would like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement, because he really earned it. That endorsement didn't come easy. Senator McCain had to vote with George Bush 90 percent of the time and agree with Dick Cheney to get it," Obama said.
"McCain had to serve as Washington's biggest cheerleader for going to war in Iraq and support its economic policies that are no different from the last eight years."
Totally unrelated: I can't believe I slept on this. Where have I been?
Oct 28, 2008
Oct 24, 2008
Oct 16, 2008
When you watch the clip, I don't really see how the McCain campaign thought that this ---constantly invoking the name of Joe the Plumber---would have been a good tactic in undermining the feasibility of Obama's tax plan. What you see here instead is a civilized and engaged discourse between the candidate and a voter who has a legitimate concern. I think Obama did a really good job at explaining how his tax plan would affect small business owners and his rationale behind it.
Obama is great at establishing common ground ("I may not get your vote, but I'm still going to be working hard on your behalf, because small businesses are what create jobs in this country, and I want to encourage it") and treating others with respect. Obama didn't talk down to Joe; he didn't condescend by offering him empty platitudes. Instead, he addressed Joe's concerns logically, intelligently, and specifically.
I guess we won't know how Joe will vote on Election Day, but my guess is that he walked away from his five-minute conversation with Obama better informed about his policies.
UPDATE, 3:10 p.m.: Isn't this interesting? (Props to Maryam for the link.)
UPDATE, 11/2, 10:44 A.M.: Since his debut (and subsequent invokings by John McCain on the regular), Joe the Plumber is hired a PR team, is trying to get a book deal, holds news conferences, and is considering running for Congress.
Are Samuel Wurzelbacher's 15 minutes of fame over yet?
Sacramento County Republican leaders Tuesday took down offensive material on their official party Web site that sought to link Sen. Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden and encouraged people to "Waterboard Barack Obama" – material that offended even state GOP leaders.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has pushed the party to try to broaden its appeal, took issue with the site. "In the governor's view, it's completely and totally inappropriate," said Julie Soderlund, a Schwarzenegger spokeswoman.
Hector Barajas, a California Republican Party spokesman, said Democrats have been playing the race card, but that the local party went too far in this instance.
Taking credit for the site (sacramentorepublicans.org) and its content was county party chairman Craig MacGlashan – husband of Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan.
The Bee asked MacGlashan about the content after seeking his reaction to hate-filled graffiti that was spray-painted over an Obama display on a fence at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Garfield Avenue.
In recent weeks, MacGlashan, an attorney, joined local Democratic party officials in condemning vandalism to political displays.
The vandalism to the Obama display appeared to have been done overnight Monday. A racial epithet, profanity, "KKK" and the words "white power" were clearly visible from the roadway. Six of the nine fence panels were defaced.
"What you are describing to me is not free speech, it's vandalism. We don't condone it," MacGlashan said.
But he defended his Web site. "I'm aware of the content," he said. "Some people find it offensive, others do not. I cannot comment on how people interpret things."
MacGlashan said he would "consider people's complaints" before taking any action.
By Tuesday night, much of the questionable material – which ranged from depicting Obama in a turban to attacking Michelle Obama – had been removed, replaced with political cartoons attacking Obama.
UPDATE, 11/2: I tried to fix the wonky formatting of the second batch of block quotes and ended up screwing up the layout further. Sorry!
The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women's group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.
The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps -- instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of "Obama Bucks" -- a phony $10 bill featuring Obama's face on a donkey's body, labeled "United States Food Stamps."
The group's president, Diane Fedele,
said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the
club's meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama
made over the summer about how as an African-American he "doesn't look like all
those other presidents on the dollar bills."
"It was strictly an attempt
to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don't want to go into
it any further," Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I absolutely
apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn't my attempt." Fedele
said she got the illustration in a number of chain e-mails and decided to
reprint it for her members in the Trumpeter newsletter because she was offended
that Obama would draw attention to his own race. She declined to say who sent
her the e-mails with the illustration. She said she doesn't think in racist
terms, pointing out she once supported Republican Alan Keyes, an
African-American who previously ran for president.I didn't see it the way that
it's being taken. I never connected," she said. "It was just food to me. It
didn't mean anything else."
She said she also wasn't trying to make a
statement linking Obama and food stamps, although her introductory text to the
illustration connects the two: "Obama talks about all those presidents that got
their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on????? Food Stamps,
Way to further along civilized discourse about race
relations in America, you fucking morons.
Links courtesy of Political Animal.
Oct 6, 2008
John Tepper Marlin at The Huffington Post today gives a high-level analysis behind the branding of the Obama and McCain campaigns. Check it out if you're into iconography, brand identity, that kind of stuff. I thought it was pretty interesting.
Just when you think things couldn't get any more ridiculous, we got his from the National Review (emphasis mine):
A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It's one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O'Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.Gross.
Photo lifted from here.
If they want go there, then I suggest you look at this list that Steve Benen (formerly of The Carpetbagger Report and now Political Animal at the Washington Monthly) has compiled of McCain's nefarious relationships, for your information.
And let's not forget that McCain was directly involved in the whole Savings & Loan debacle of the late 80s:
Once upon a time, a politician took campaign contributions and favors from a friendly constituent who happened to run a savings and loan association. The contributions were generous: They came to about $200,000 in today's dollars, and on top of that there were several free vacations for the politician and his family, along with private jet trips and other perks. The politician voted repeatedly against congressional efforts to tighten regulation of S&Ls, and in 1987, when he learned that his constituent's S&L was the target of a federal investigation, he met with regulators in an effort to get them to back off.As a result of his involvement, McCain was formally reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee for being guilty of public misconduct.
That politician was John McCain, and his generous friend was Charles Keating, head of Lincoln Savings & Loan. While he was courting McCain and other senators and urging them to oppose tougher regulation of S&Ls, Keating was also investing his depositors' federally insured savings in risky ventures. When those lost money, Keating tried to hide the losses from regulators by inducing his customers to switch from insured accounts to uninsured (and worthless) bonds issued by Lincoln's near-bankrupt parent company. In 1989, it went belly up -- and more than 20,000 Lincoln customers saw their savings vanish.
Keating went to prison, and McCain's Senate career almost ended. Together with the rest of the so-called Keating Five -- Sens. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), John Glenn (D-Ohio), Don Riegle (D-Mich.) and Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), all of whom had also accepted large donations from Keating and intervened on his behalf -- McCain was investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee and ultimately reprimanded for "poor judgment."
But the savings and loan crisis mushroomed. Eventually, the government spent about $125 billion in taxpayer dollars to bail out hundreds of failed S&Ls that, like Keating's, fell victim to a combination of private-sector greed and the "poor judgment" of politicians like McCain.
The $125 billion seems like small change compared to the $700-billion price tag for the Bush administration's proposed Wall Street bailout. But the root causes of both crises are the same: a lethal mix of deregulation and greed.
The point here, as Steve says, is that we could go all day playing, "Who knows more shitty people," but with the election coming up in less than a month, I'm more interested in knowing what the candidates can do for me. Are you going to make the streets safer? Are you going to fix the economy? If I want to buy a house next year, will it be impossible for me to get a mortgage?
I've had to sit through eight years of fearmongering, idiocy, and intellectual vacuousness. It's time to get down to brass tacks and fix this country.
The Obama campaign launched a short documentary today on John "Keating Five" McCain at KeatingEconomics.com. Take a few minutes to watch it.
Sep 24, 2008
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Pakistan's new president called GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "gorgeous" when the two met in New York on Wednesday.I don't know what offends me more---the sexism, or the fact that Palin is getting her international playa game on while, oh by the way, I'm still single. Also, the crack about how the "whole of America" is crazy about this woman. Fuck that shit.
Palin has been in New York meeting international leaders in town this week for United Nations meetings.
On entering a room filled with several Pakistani officials Wednesday, Palin was immediately greeted by Sherry Rehman, the country's information minister.
"And how does one keep looking that good when one is that busy?" Rehman asked Palin, drawing friendly laughter from the room.
"Oh, thank you," Palin said.
Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, entered the room seconds later. Palin rose to shake his hand, saying she was "honored" to meet him.
Zardari then called her "gorgeous" and said: "Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you."
"You are so nice," Palin said, smiling. "Thank you."
Somewhere out there, McCain's campaign staffers are falling all over themselves, trying to figure out how they can spin this, to somehow use it as proof that Palin somehow has sufficient foreign policy experience. Or whatever. Because she gave the Pakistani president a boner.
Photo credit: Getty Images via CNN.com
Sep 22, 2008
Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy,""violent" or responsible for their own troubles.While it really upsets me to hear this, I've always maintained that racism and discrimination, unfortunately, is alive and well. Ask any person of color, and they'll agree. And if they don't, they're lucky.
The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about 2.5 percentage points.
I often wonder what some white people think about people of color---specifically, the things they think inside their heads; the things they don't say out loud. Or the things they only say when there are no other people of color around.
And now I know. But people of color will continue to persevere. We always do.
I know, I know. People will argue that the premise of this survey was flawed, that its method is inherently designed to prevent a broad sample of the population. That not all white people are racist. Like, really, seriously, open-minded without any pretense.
So yes. Not all white people are racist. But, racism and discrimination---from all sides---still exists. Sad, but true. And it frustrates me to no end.
I really don't know the solution, but I hope to see its resolution in my lifetime.
Is that overly optimistic of me?
Props to Catherine at PovertyBarn for the link.
Sep 19, 2008
Everyone, that is, except me.
It's starting to get on my nerves.
Not that I begrudge these people. Many of them are people whom I love and adore.
But seriously, can a woman get some love up in here?
I'm torn between deciding to be ... how do you say ... indiscriminate (not that even *that* is easy), and trying to get over my cat allergies, because one day, I just might end up one of those old maids who have 8 cats in her apartment.
Hopefully this is just work stress getting to me.
Sep 16, 2008
Hey Carly! Nice save! NOT.
Carly Fiorina, a key surrogate for John McCain on economic issues, said on Tuesday that Sarah Palin does not have the experience needed to run a major company like the one that Fiorina formerly headed.Just sayin'.
"Do you think [Sarah Palin] has the experience to run a major company, like Hewlett Packard?" asked the host.
"No, I don't," responded Fiorina. "But you know what? That's not what she's running for."
Fiorina went on MSNBC to defend her comments and decides to double down, arguing that John McCain, Barack Obama, and Joseph Biden couldn't run Hewlett Packard either. The Obama campaign, seeking to compound the fallout of her earlier statement, highlights just the portion where she talks about McCain.
"If John McCain's top economic advisor doesn't think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis? Apparently even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue John McCain doesn't understand as well as he should," said Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor.
(Props to my dawg, Ann, for the link.)
And: This is just fantastic. Just read it in its entirety.
So, when Barack Obama says he will put some lipstick on my pig, I am, like, Are you calling me a pig? If so, thanks! Pigs are the most non-Élite of all barnyard animals. And also, if you put lipstick on my pig, do you know what the difference will be between that pig and a pit bull? I’ll tell you: a pit bull can easily kill a pig. And, as the pig dies, guess what the Hockey Mom is doing? Going to her car, putting on more lipstick, so that, upon returning, finding that pig dead, she once again looks identical to that pit bull, which, staying on mission, the two of them step over the dead pig, looking exactly like twins, except the pit bull is scratching his lower ass with one frantic leg, whereas the Hockey Mom is carrying an extra hockey stick in case Todd breaks his again. But both are going, like, Ha ha, where’s that dumb pig now? Dead, that’s who, and also: not a smidge of lipstick.
A lose-lose for the pig.
There’s a lesson in that, I think.
Also: John McCain helped create the Blackberry? Somewhere out there, Al Gore feels vindicated, and I want to throw mine away.
Sep 15, 2008
Sep 8, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. — A burglar who broke into a home just east of Fresno rubbed spices over the body of one of two men as they slept in their rooms and then used an 8-inch sausage to whack the other man on the face and head before running out of the house, police said.If you were a burglar, and your burgle victims were ALREADY SLEEPING, why would you wake them up by rubbing spices on their face?
The victims, both farmworkers, told deputies they were awakened by a stranger applying spices to one of them and striking the other with a sausage.
Props to Bellamomo for the link.
Sep 7, 2008
Aug 29, 2008
Aug 23, 2008
Aug 16, 2008
Aug 1, 2008
“So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Mr. Obama said in Springfield, Mo., echoing earlier remarks. “You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky. That’s essentially the argument they’re making."I don't know if you noticed this, but Obama is a black man. And he said he was a black man. He doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills.
As a person of color, I can tell when someone is making blatant use of their race as a play for emotions or sympathy. To be honest, I don't see that happening here.
And McCain? Please. Give me a break. You've been playing the Karl Rove card for months now. I think that's a million times worse.
Jul 7, 2008
What's missing is a montage of clips of these brilliant Masters of the Obvious who feel the need to remind us every so often that what we are watching is, in fact, a competition. I would be as happy as a little girl to see that.
Jul 1, 2008
Jun 29, 2008
Needless to say, restaurants are my thing. Of course, I find it interesting that Michelin just came out with their first West Coast edition of restaurant star ratings. What took them so long?
Getting just one Michelin star is a big deal; getting three christens you as culinary god. So the French Laundry, according to Michelin, is pretty much mecca of culinary delights, giving it three stars; the only restaurant in the West Coast Edition guide to get three stars. Great. Now it'll take about two years to get a table there.
Chez Panisse is conspicuously absent from the list. I'm not surprised, though. Last time I was there a few months ago, I wasn't really blown away. It was great, but not truly spectacular or revelatory.
Jun 19, 2008
And counting, bitches.
I know I've been a little, how do you say, lax on the postings. I've just not been feeling inspired as of late. And yeah, I've been sorta keeping tabs on the whole Democratic primary and presidential campaign thang (Obama!), but I've also been working out, dancing lots and lots of flamenco, traveling, getting promoted and, in general, getting my groove on.
Doin' my thang, as they say.
I have been keeping close tabs, however, on all of my favorite blogs, and discovering new ones. Food blogs and blogs by chefs are my new guilty pleasure. Especially Eric Ripert's new blog, Avec Eric. God, I love that man. He is slowly encroaching on my total lust for Anthony Bourdain, I'll have you know. And that's saying something.
You'd think all of this food-blog-reading would inspire me to re-invigorate my own food blog, but no. I've been forcing myself to eat more salad lately that I haven't even really been doing any Filipino cooking in my own kitchen.
But that's neither here nor there. I'm officially at the 100K+ blog hits point.
Viva You Forgot Poland! Ole!
May 28, 2008
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated "political propaganda campaign" led by President Bush and aimed at "manipulating sources of public opinion" and "downplaying the major reason for going to war."In true form, the White House responded by dismissing McClellan as a disgruntled employee.
McClellan includes the charges in a 341-page book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," that delivers a harsh look at the White House and the man he served for close to a decade. He describes Bush as demonstrating a "lack of inquisitiveness," says the White House operated in "permanent campaign" mode, and admits to having been deceived by some in the president's inner circle about the leak of a CIA operative's name.
Why am I not surprised?
Man, I hate when former Dubya employees keep their mouths shut until after they leave the White House, then write a tell-all book about how screwed up things really are under this administration.
Does Dunkin' Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men. Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin' Donuts boycott.So what was the fashion faux pas that sent Michelle Malkin and those of her ilk in a tizzy? Behold:
"The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad," Malkin yowls in her syndicated column. "Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons."
The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin' Donuts decided it'd be easier just to yank the ad. Said the suits in a statement:
"In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial."
I grow weary of all this hysterical, over-the-top jingoism. Next thing you know, these people will be clamoring for flag-pin-wearing checkpoints set up all over the nation.
(Photo credit: Boston.com)
May 10, 2008
Apr 27, 2008
Apr 17, 2008
[Lead singer Beth] Gibbons' trembling voice used to sound bluesy and erotic --"It Could Be Sweet," from their debut, could have been pillow talk verbatim. On the second record, she often threw in a vampy, nasal quality that cut the generally depressive tone with a touch of humor. What singer could take herself seriously while doing a Shirley Bassey impression? On "Third," Gibbons takes herself entirely too seriously, moving between a whispery, disaffected moan and a fluttery, anxious whine. She always sounds powerless, like she's about to burst into tears. The folky numbers, like "Hunter," have a very listenable, austere atmosphere, but not a sensual one -- Portishead has lured you and your partner to their dark Transylvanian castle, but you'll be sleeping in separate quarters.One of the tracks from the new album, "Machine Gun," is up on their MySpace page.
Oh, snap. He's right, it's a totally different sound. I'm not going into mourning just yet: true, it's no Roads or Mysterons, but I'll still buy the new album anyway.
Yeah, I've watched "The Hills" voluntarily. A girl sometimes needs some mindless entertainment. But I'll never forgive Lauren Conrad, she of the "sub-Old Navy" clothing line, for blowing off a summer in Paris so that she could spend time with her boyfriend. What? WHO DOES THAT?
Anyway. I love when high-brow publications offer up commentary about vapid pop-culture institutions. In this case, The New Yorker takes on "The Hills," and the author still can't figure out why this show is so hot.
I don’t know for sure what the appeal is, even though I have worked for nine years in the building identified in the show as Teen Vogue Headquarters and some wisdom should have rubbed off on me by now. But I’m still trying to figure out why teen-agers want their bra straps to show and how it came to pass that crooked hair parts are considered chic and not a pathetic sign that you didn’t have proper mothering. So I have plenty to think about as it is. The L.A. of this show has no edge or darkness to it, and perhaps it’s easy, and pleasant, for young girls to imagine being Lauren & Co. when they grow up. (Or at least to have their teeth, which are truly spectacular.) The show’s soundtrack is all pop songs, often as many as a dozen per episode, and they tend to be programmatically upbeat or emo, underlining the three overriding and broadly painted feelings of the characters: I’m so glad; I’m so sad; and I’m so confused. These characters are now in their twenties, but they still smell like Teen Spirit.Heh.
(Photo credit: Illustration by Quickhoney, courtesy of The New Yorker.)
Apr 6, 2008
Larry Ellison, Oracle's CEO, recently took a $3M tax break on his Woodside home after declaring it "functionally obsolete," whatever that means. According to the SF Chronicle, the money will come out of San Mateo County funds, $1.4M of which would have gone to schools.
And while it's true that Ellison, Mr. #12 on the Forbes 500 List, already has a net worth of about $25 billion (with a B, kids), he must really need that extra three mil, so get off his back.
Why? How did Larry Ellison's palatial estate decline by more than 60 percent in value in a market where luxury homes are actually appreciating and single-family homes values in the county only decreased 6.3 percent in the last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems?
Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Lilienthal declined comment, and Bennett, of San Francisco law firm Bennett & Yee, didn't return a call from The Chronicle. But Ellison's appeal claimed the property suffered from "significant functional obsolescence" because there is a finite market for high-end luxury homes, limited appeal for 16th-century Japanese architecture and the "over improvements" and "excessive" landscaping are costly to maintain.
Sixteenth-century Japanese architecture doesn't just take care of itself, Lar.
(Photo credit: Chronicle photo, 2006, by Christina Koci Hernandez)
Mar 30, 2008
For those of you who don't know:
The Western Regional Barista Competition strives to foster the production of quality coffee, encourage creativity and innovation, and create an regional, national, and international community of specialty coffee professionals.My favorite thing to watch are the different techniques the baristas use to dose and tamp their shots. If you're into that sort of thing, it's really interesting to see the differences in technique and the complete comfort they have when working with these machines. Back in my barista days, I could steam milk like nobody's business. But the grinder? Trial and error, my friends. Trial and error.
Each contestant prepares and serves 3 espresso beverages for each of four sensory judges...one espresso, one cappuccino, and one "signature" drink of their own creation. Competitors have only 15 minutes to prepare all twelve drinks while being observed by four sensory skills and two technical judges. Competitors are judged based on drink taste, presentation, technical skills and cleanliness.
Ritual's Chris Baca, my favorite, got first place. I'm sure his cherry-lime-cheesecake signature drink had a lot to do with his win (aside from his stellar technique, of course) which, as I've heard from friends of mine who've tasted it, is super delish.
Here's a list of today's winners:
1st: Chris Baca, Ritual, San Francisco, CA
2nd: Kyle Glanville, Intelligentsia, Los Angeles, CA
3rd: Heather Perry, Coffee Klatch, San Dimas, CA
And I would be remiss to neglect giving mad props to the last guy who competed today from Intelligentsia (sorry dude, I didn't catch your name, my bad) for including Snoop Dogg's Sensual Seduction in his music mix. That's espresso-makin' music right there, baby. Aww yeah.
(Photo courtesy of WRBC's Flickr page.)
Mar 27, 2008
Mar 25, 2008
Oh, those pandas, always needing help with their sex game:
Animal handlers in China have developed a "sexercise" program to try to encourage extinction-threatened pandas to overcome their notoriously low sex drives.Poor pandas. Not only do you have to deal with heightened scrutiny surrounding your sex life and your handlers making you watch panda porn to help you get busy. Now they're trying to teach you how to get all freaky deaky on the dance floor while making you watch other pandas --- who may essentially your aunts and uncles --- have sex right in front of you as a means to get you in the mood.
Featuring hip and pelvic-strengthening "dances" for male pandas, the program also sees inexperienced pandas watching their older relatives make love to learn a few moves.
The handlers hope to encourage mating among the sex-shy-but-endangered animals, the Chinese state media reported Tuesday. They work at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in the southwestern Sichuan province, the China Daily said.
Keepers teach male pandas a dance-like routine to strengthen the pelvic and hip area -- it also boosts the animal's stamina, the paper said.
After all of that, it's no wonder why you pandas have low libidos. Performance anxiety, anyone?
I you ask me, I say you leave them in a room with a bottle of tequila and some Barry White/Luther Vandross playing in the background, and let nature take its course.
Props to Ceci for the link. Photo lifted from here.
Mar 23, 2008
Props to Scott for the link.
Mar 11, 2008
Mar 5, 2008
Christian Siriano wins Season 4 of Project Runway, and I think it was well deserved. With all of the bitchiness and all of the Fierce aside, his collection was edgy, modern, and way stylish.
I did, however, love Rami's woven gown and the one with the 1930's vintage lace. Gorgeous.
Jillian's collection was alright, but after a while, the models just looked so drab and robot-like, just like her. So that was a turnoff for me. Not fierce.
Feb 28, 2008
I'm even getting a skirt made special for the show.
That's life in showbiz, kids.
Feb 20, 2008
I didn't think there was anything too spectacular about this reunion show, so I'd just like to leave you with my observations.
- Why do bangs look so much better on other people (and by "other people," I mean "Heidi Klum") except me?
- Why was Victorya upset about Jack leaving?
- Why did the camera immediately cut to Victorya when the designers complained about eating so much Chinese take out?
- I think it's safe to assume that the entire cast and crew of this season's Project Runway HATED Victorya.
- I love how Heidi says “Lincoln, Nebraska.”
- Ricky. Crying. I'm over it.
- The montages? I was a little underwhelmed by them. Except:
- Elisa's extraterrestrial video montage rivaled Guadalupe's in terms of sheer train wreckedness.
- Watching Michael Kors lose his poker face over the corny runway antics of the RAW divas just touched my heart.
- Ramilicious? Is that the best you could do?
- Spread Eagle: Best Wrestler Name. Evar.
- NINAGARZILLA. I'm just saying.
- Christian is the fan favorite. Fierce. I think I identify with Christian because I, too, am fierce.
- Michael Knight! I know Tiffany is dying right now!
- Check out Heidi trying to drink in Michael Knight’s scent.
- Chris' laugh? Not all that. But I still love him.
- Jillian's human after all. She came off 40% more interesting. And her pirouette? Fierce.
Be sure to check out Blogging Project Runway's Recapalooza for recaps from other Project Runway freaks like me.
Feb 19, 2008
I've not had great luck in the dating arena, to put it mildly, and my last relationship (if you can even call it that) ended badly. As soon as I hit "enter" after entering my credit card information, a wave of terror rushed through me. I feel vulnerable and scared and am wondering if I can even go through with all of this. Is anyone going to find me attractive? Will I find anyone attractive enough to endure hours of small talk and butterflies in my stomach?
Feb 14, 2008
UPDATE 2/14, 11 a.m.: I realize my initial post is somewhat cynical. After reading this heart-warming, positive piece from Res Ipsa Loquitur at Rising Hegemon, I've been inspired to follow her lead and not be so damn negative about Valentine's Day. So, on that note:
Feb 13, 2008
Hello, dear Reader. I'm back. Sorry for not doing a recap of the last episode. I was out of town and was too caught up in Pinkberry that I got back to where I was staying just in time to know that Ricky got The Auf. Boo hoo. Not.
So we're down to five designers. Behold, dear Reader, the designers who will be showing their collections at Bryant Park, two of which are, of course, the traditional Project Runway decoys:
This week's challenge, to find inspiration in timeless works of art was, as one designer put it, "a designer's dream." It's art creating art. Does that make it ... meta? Postmodern? Hmmm ...
Anyway, in the spirit of Bravo's final twist (more on that later), I'm not going to go into the play-by-play for this episode; I've found it a bit tedious, and many recappers do a much better job of it than I do. Instead, let's go right into a discussion of the final runway pieces, shall we?
Behold, the winner of this week's challenge: Christian and his androgeny-inspired look from a Spanish painting blew my mind. See for yourself:
Say what you will about Christian, but even with all of his snark, all of this bitchiness, and all of his swagger, he puts his braggadocio money where his mouth is and consistently offers up a strong point of view week after week. I will admit, I was getting tired of his vertically ruffled, skinny-arm jackets, but he managed to tweak it just enough for this final challenge. He created a piece of art, of theater and, most importantly, of fashion. His fearlessness earned him the win, and he rightly deserved it.
The other fan favorite, Rami --- a beautiful male specimen indeed --- has become a bit of a one note, I'm afraid. His dresses, while gorgeous in all of their resplendent red-carpet-Grecian-goddess drapery, in the end were more uninspiring than anything else. And for this final challenge, one would think that he'd want to bring forth onto the runway something a little more memorable. But, like Michael Kors said, he played it a little too safe. While yes, it's true that the designers found out about this challenge in a room filled with Hellenistic sculpture, I don't think Rami should have taken it as as a mandate to create the same garment he's been making the entire season.
I don't really have much to say about Chris and Jillian's garments. Chris', while beautiful in and of itself, was too similar to the couture challenge. And I really didn't see why the judges (including Guest Judge Roberto Cavalli) found Jillian's jacket to be stunning. I hated it.
Sweet P (along with Christian) became my favorite because of her sweet demeanor (hence the moniker, I assume) and her ability to come through with a great garment each week. It was sad to see her get The Auf this week, but I understand why; her garment failed to make the connection between the peacock painting and her vision. I would have at least liked to have seen the same purple, green and gold colors in the garment (without looking like some Mardi Gras costume from hell) instead of that garish red and that ugly print. They had two days for this challenge; she should have done something much more ... peacock feathery. Like something along the lines of a peacock bata de cola or something. Anything but ... this:
Back to Rami and Chris. Both designers' designs were redundant, yet beautiful for what they were. So the good folks at Project Runway decide to up the drama ante and make Rami and Chris compete for the third coveted spot at Bryant Park. Both will come up with a collection and show the Project Runway judges three of their strongest looks. The winner of that mini-challenge will show their entire collection, along with Christian and Jillian at Bryant Park.
This little dramatic twist would have been more interesting, except for the fact that we all know that all five designers (Jillian, Christian, Chris, Rami, and Sweet P) show at Bryant Park anyway.
You gotta love the Internets.
My call for Project Runway Season 4 winner? Christian Siriano. Rami doesn't need the win. He already has his own business and has dressed the Jessica Albas of the world. Of course, I would have loved it if Sweet P won the entire competition because she really needs the money and because she's kind of an underdog. But looking at her entire collection juxtaposed against the other designers, she's just in a different league.
Next week: The reunion show!
Feb 12, 2008
The first intercollegiate Quidditch match was held here this month, and though this version of the game is earthbound, it's taking off. Originally played by wizards darting about on broomsticks in the Harry Potter novels, the game is now taking root on college campuses.Why can't some things just be left alone? These nerds are ruining the Harry Potter magic for me.
"We were all Harry Potter's age when the books started," says Sam Libby, 20, a Middlebury College junior geography major from Richmond, Vt. "And Quidditch is one of the most creative things that came out of the books. We were able to create that here, follow all the rules, except the ability to fly. It just caught on."
Quidditch surfaced at Middlebury two falls ago when a handful of students gathered to play a rudimentary form of the game on Sunday afternoons, making up rules extrapolated from the books.
By this month's Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup Fall Festival, there were banners, team processions worthy of Olympic opening ceremonies, halftime entertainment and 12 seven-person coed Middlebury teams vying for the chance to play the visiting team from Vassar College.
(Photo credit: Alden D. Pellett/USA Today)