Sunday, December 31, 2006

Signing off for the year

Happy and safe New Year everyone. And just think, there's now only two years left of the Bush error, I mean era - no, come to think of it, I don't. I hope we all survive.

Enjoy this musical New Year's Eve salute to drunk girls - bless their slutty little hearts.

Wow, I sure am greedy

As 2006 draws to a close, I thought I would fondly reminisce about my top 10 meals of the year. God bless them, every one. And the great restaurants are just another reason I'm glad I live in this dirty town.

1. Long Island Duck Medley – York Grill (NYC)
2. Filet Mignon – Ben Benson's (NYC)
3. Pan Seared Sea Scallops – Union Square Cafe (NYC)
4. New York Strip Steak – Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (NYC)
5. Rack of Lamb – Outrigger's (CT)
6. Flatiron Steak - Wolfgang Puck's @ MGM Grand (Las Vegas)
7. Slow Baked Atlantic Salmon – Cafe des Artistes (NYC)
8. Rock Shrimp Avacado Roll - Haru (NYC)
9. Sesame Chicken – Shun Lee (NYC)
10. Sunday brunch buffet – Water Club (NYC)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The execution

I've been processing the Saddam hanging and don't have much to add to all the blather we've been subjected to over the last day or so, but just a few thoughts if I may.

First, I'm not a proponent of capital punishment in general, especially the spin from those who support it and claim it's a deterrent against crime. Study after study has shown it's not.

It's revenge, pure and simple, and, hey, that's fine if that's what you want. But at least admit that - it would be a lot easier to listen to your crap. Clearly it was only vengence in the case of killing Hussein (here's the inevitable cell phone video of the execution, more graphic than the official TV broadcasts).

And yes, let me do the obligatory yadda yadda - Saddam was an evil man, a tyrant, no-one is crying any tears over his death, etc. etc. - but let's face it: this became the latest desperate way for Bush and the right-wing to say, "See, we're winning."

Boy George and his team have turned Iraq into a bloody debacle, but, woo hoo, we got that bad guy.

The problem is, they have fed us so much bullshit over the last few years, so many things became "The Turning Point," it becomes meaningless after a while.

The Iraqi army gave up without a fight. Turning point. The Saddam statue in that Baghdad square famously came down. Turning point. Saddam was captured. Turning point. His sons were killed. Turning point. Iraq held elections. Turning point. Saddam was tried. Turning point.

But of course, none of it was.

And now this.

We also keep being told: "Just six more months, that's when things will really turn around."

Well, how many six more months will it be?

And in this next set of six months, how many more hundreds of American military will be killed, maimed, blinded, burned?

I also have to say, watching that video as it came in last night, seeing Hussein surrounded by those hooded men, it just felt wrong. Undignified. A Banana Republic act. Not what a great nation should be a part of.

This is what an American-led invasion and occupation has come to - the supposed good guys looked like nothing more than the thugs who kidnap and kill people like Daniel Pearl.

But George W. Bush slept through the night, of course. He apparently wasn't even awakened to be told of the execution. I suppose that's somewhat fitting since this empty little suit of a man has sleepwalked though history already. And has done perhaps irreparable harm to this country, it's institutions and its reputation in the world.

Very sad.

And here's the thing - when people on the right, valiantly trying to defend Bush, say Saddam and his regime were terrible, or the Islamic terrorists are evil - well, of course they were and are. But shouldn't we be aiming for a much, much higher standard.

Let's all hope the new year is going to be better.

Now that's a bad party guest

A woman was charged with malicious castration for allegedly attacking a man during a Christmas party, police said. Rebecca Arnold Dawson, 34, is accused of grabbing the genitals of a 38-year-old man during a fight that erupted early Tuesday morning at a party hosted by the man's girlfriend. All three were heavily intoxicated, Lillington Police Chief Frank Powers said.

"I believe he needed more than 50 stitches to repair the damage, but he is back home at this point," police Cpl. Brad Stevens said Friday. "All we can tell you is that the injury was done with her hands. There were no weapons used."

- AP

Malicious castration?

Is there such a thing as a good castration?

Friday, December 29, 2006


Happy last weekday of 2006.

I am heading into midtown in a little bit to be treated to a scrumptious meal at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

Thank you.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

So that's what they call it

"A common parasite can increase a women's attractiveness to the opposite sex but also make men more stupid, an Australian researcher says.

About 40 per cent of the world's population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii..."

- Sydney Morning Herald

I believe these same two effects are also obtained by being drunk in a bar at closing time.


You know, there is a reason why people should get separate tabs when they're at bars.

Now usually I end up getting screwed with group bills, especially if there's a lot of people involved. There are always some folks who take advantage and gobble down a ton of food and multiple drinks, and then throw ten bucks into the pot and everyone else ends up having to make up the difference. I rarely eat a lot when I'm in a drinking mode at bars so I frequently end up paying more than I should.

However, I went out for drinks Wednesday night with my bud Jan Brady, and, um, well, I may - I'm not totally sure here - but I may have had a few more more drinks than her, then made her split the $50 tab right down the middle.

Although I will point out it's partly her own fault. She insists on being a vegetarian.

We went to Mica's on 3rd and we were each imbibing $4 apple martinis. We also ordered food (mostly at her insistence, I will quickly note). I had a chicken quesadilla, she had a veggie quesadilla – which for some bizarre reason cost 50 cents more than mine.

Then, when the bill came, they had conveniently listed the various items in chronological order of when we got them, so there were three martinis (for a total of $12), then the quesadillas at, respectively, $8.45 and $8.95, then three more martinis ($12). So it looked very even.

But as I reflect on it now, I may have had two of the first three drinks, then two more of the second three. Of course, as I pointed out at the time, her food cost more than mine.

So we each threw thirty bucks in, although she whined about how I no doubt had more to drink.

Ehh, I think I was mad at her about something anyway, so, you know, it's really only karma.


I'll make it up to you, Jan. Next year. Maybe.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

If you're a good boy, we'll stop for ice cream...

This is who got Nicole Kidman?

And apparently this prize is just out of rehab.

Oy. I think Tom Cruise is suddenly looking normal to her.

I wonder if he's seen this, my favorite picture of him

"One of the things I've learned on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see -- I've forgotten the name of the program -- but you get the satellite, and you can -- like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It reminds me of where I wanna be sometimes."
-- George W. Bush, asked during an interview with CNBC if he ever Googled anybody.

Er, doesn't he have access to the finest satellite imagery money can buy through the NSA and the CIA?

Oh well, at least he's using "the" Google. I hear next week he's going to try to master that whole IM thing.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

I got dragooned into watching “Bee Season” last night, and while I thought it was a bit tedious and trying too hard to be “deep,” I have to admit, if Kate Bosworth, with her freckles and that blonde hair and those California good looks came to lure me into the whole Hare Krishna movement, I would be dancing in an orange smock with a shaved head and playing a goddman tambourine in your local mall right now, just like that confused kid in the film. For Kate, I could probably get over my whole anti-religion mishegoss.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

That jumble puzzle can keep him going for hours

"Flash! President Bush Says He Reads Newspapers.”

Get him started on one of these babies and he will skip the daily Pentagon briefing on Iraq.

This is when I really need that sugar mommy

If my latest calamity had only happened, say, three days ago, perhaps December 23 - but, nooo, with my usual horrendous bad luck, of course it happened tonight.

I got back in the city a little while ago after a few days in Connecticut for the holidays and turned on my CD player – I am a huge music fan, greedily possess thousands of CDs and box sets from my days at one of the major record labels – and the damn thing has stopped working.

So now I am sans music. And I really love having music on, even if I'm just making dinner or generally futzing around the house. I'm seriously discombobulated without it.

And a new sound system, of course, would have been an absolutely perfect Christmas gift to get me. But, no, God forbid Big Baby Jesus help me out with the timing of the whole electronics-breaking-down thing.

I was always planning to get a new sound system when I finally get a hi-def TV for my living room, but the damn set I have in there now is still so freakin' good and the picture is so amazing (people have actually commented on the pic and asked if it's hi def), I would really feel guilty getting rid of it now before it goes, so I've been holding out. It's a 55' Toshiba that I've had for several years now, but it's analog and :sigh: non hi def. When it goes, I will get a 55' (or bigger) hi def, and Toshiba again.

I've had really good luck with that brand over the years for TVs. My bedroom set is also a Toshiba, a hi def LCD, and I love it, so I'll be replacing the living room with a Toshiba hi def, probably plasma, (hmm, do you think I've said Toshiba enough here? - heh).

Anyway, the point is, I was waiting to replace the damn sound system with a great new one (I've had my eye on a Bose Lifestyle or a Sony Dream system - I need to hear the ominious footsteps coming from behind me in a movie) to accompany a new TV, but now I guess I have to get one while I still have the embarrassingly out-of-date analog set.

Goddamn woe is me.

More importantly, who will be my Santa baby?

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm hanging out with the wrong people

Another great Miss USA scandal.

Miss Nevada was fired by the pageant after naughty photos surfaced of her when she was 17!! - flashing, making out with other girls and generally being the best girlfriend a guy could have (she's in the red shirt).

TMZ, bless them, published the pix.

There's a party going on out there, and I'm not invited.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A late contender sneaking in just before the year ends

It looks like the award for Most Hateful Congressman will go to a late entry this year, Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia, who is, natch, a Republican.

This “gentleman” was outraged by a newly elected Democratic Congressman, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who happens to be Muslim (and who will be the only Muslim in the Congress). And the sin that so offended the delicate sensibilites of Congressman Goode? Ellison plans to use a Koran during his private swearing-in ceremony in January.

Goode sent an angry letter to his contituents when he heard about the new Congressman's plans. In his letter, according to The Times: “Mr. Goode said that Americans needed to “wake up” or else there would “likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

“I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped,” said Mr. Goode, who vowed to use the Bible when taking his own oath of office.”


First, just subsitute the word Jew or Black for Muslim and imagine the outcry.

And, of course, there is no religious test for office in this country. In fact, when Congressmen are officially sworn in on the floor of the House, there is no bible used. They give an oath to defend the Constitution and that's it. Any pictures you see of them with their hand on a bible are ceremonial photos taken later in private ceremonies.

So this nasty piece of work – did I mention he was a Republican, by the way? - is mad because a Congressman of another faith won't use a Christian bible for a ceremonial picture that means nothing anyway.

It's offensive on so many levels.

But that's Virginny for you. This is the state, after all, which came thisclose to re-electing Sen. George Allen, even after all his racist crap came out during the campaign.

And this is today's Republican party for you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Even Bush laughs at this guy's incompetence

Perhaps the dumbest liquor store robber in history...

Bush also admits water is probably wet

It is a sad state of affairs that it becomes front page news that the President of the United States finally admits what every other sentient being has known for about two years now:

The Iraq war he started and dragged this country into is a bloody debacle, is making us more vulnerable to terrorism, and it isn't working.

Apparently, though, it will take still a few more months for "a review of the administration’s policy on Iraq before announcing a new strategy for the “war on terrorism.”

Lovely. And in the meantime, how many more hundreds of American military and thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens will die till Bush finally admits we have to get the hell out of there?

Truly the Worst President in History.

Even I'M ashamed of being a guy

Due to perverted, er, popular demand, here are some more views of Miss USA, Tara Conner, who almost lost her title due to underage drinking, carousing and, oh yeah, making out with 18-year-old Miss Teen USA in city clubs.

By the way, as a commenter noted, they also share an apartment together in Trump Place, with Miss Universe, no less, who they tried to corrupt by getting her drunk on her 19th birthday.

I LOVE these girls.

For good measure, here's a look at Tara's partner in debauchery, Montana's Katie Blair.

And may I just say God bless Montana. They gave us a new Democratic senator this year – and this little vixen.

I just threw up in my mouth a little

"Goldman Sachs paid Lloyd C. Blankfein, its chairman and chief executive, a bonus of $53.4 million in 2006, the highest ever for a Wall Street chief executive.

Added to his $600,000 salary, the bonus means that Mr. Blankfein will make $54 million this year,"

- NY Times

$54 million a year.

That's more than a million dollars a week.

And I'm cringing looking at my Amex bills from my recent Vegas trip, which conveniently arrived this week as I went Christmas shopping.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Trump at least has some of his priorities right

Ok, he's a shameless publicity hound whose buildings are often gaudy and tacky, and he stars in a silly reality show - but at least the man knows what the men want. And that's Tara Conner.

Donald Trump has apparently decided to allow Miss USA to keep her title in the beauty pageant he controls, after reports of her carousing, underage drinking (she just turned 21 on Monday) and making out with the 18-year-old Miss Teen USA in some of the city's hotspots. (Or "kissy with teen missy" as the Daily News delighfully said).

"Tara was a party animal," said a source who knows Conner and Miss Teen USA Katie Blair, 18, from some of the city's top nightspots. "I've seen them kiss before. They always dance all sexy on the tables. ... They definitely get close."

Um...and this is somehow bad?

And I'm still mad he banned beer sales at street fairs

It's hinted at in this Washington Post article about Rudy Giuliani's dream of becoming president, but as I said in this prescient post, he has NO chance of getting the Republican nomination.

He's pro-choice, pro-gun-control, pro-gay rights, pro-immigration - everything today's hate-filled GOP is against, especially in the very red state South.

Rudy is one of the few Republicans I could vote for, which tells you all you need to know about his chances of getting elected by Billy Bob and his wife and sister Ellie Mae in East Bumfuck, Alabammy.

The polls look good for him right now, but that's partly name recognition and mostly because the majority of Republicans out there don't know his positions on the hot-button social issues, stances he needed to take to get elected mayor in NYC in the first place, and stances that come naturally to him, anyway, as a Republican in Name Only (RINO).

I think deep down he realizes all this himself, but his ego, not to mention the flattering media attention and the boost a presidential flirtation would give his already very lucrative speaking fee, are probably too hard to resist.

But as soon as he seriously runs, it will be a matter of seconds before one of his right-wing opponents circulates those pictures of Rudy in a dress, and tells the heart-warming tale of him staying with a gay couple on the Upper East Side after his wife threw him out of Gracie Mansion during his last messy divorce. Then the fun begins.

The new haunted house

My friend Sarah came over Monday night for a tasty Omaha burger, as only I can make, and a movie night.

She tried to get me to watch “City of Angels,” (“It's so sad!”) but I quickly put the kibosh on that. We settled on “Syriana,” which I enjoyed yet still have no freakin' clue as to what was going on. I basically took away from it that the oil industry and the CIA are evil - and I'm sure Bush and Cheney were probably somehow involved too.

But as we were flipping around looking for something, I noticed that “Flightplan” and “Red Eye” were playing opposite each other simultaneously on two of the movie channels. (“Red Eye” with the always delicious Rachel McAdams – grrowwr, “Flight Plan” with Jodie Foster.)

I had already seen both so we didn't watch either, but noting them air simultaneously like that made me realize that - today - an airplane is clearly our new “scary place,” the ultimate movie setting for scaring an audience, when it used to be deserted creepy mansions or graveyards or the like.

Both films are from 2005, both claustrophobically set on long-haul flights, and both feature a woman in distress on a plane, each with the fear of the sudden death of a loved one.

(And the plots of both, of course, are also ridiculously implausible, but still intriguing).

So thanks to the asshole terrorists, airplanes are now the scariest place we can imagine. Fuckers.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Somewhere there's a kitten stuck in a tree about to become famous

What's going on with cable news standards?

I'm talking about the tendency of the three major cable news channels to go live for hours at a time on stories that, while certainly tragic for the individuals and the families involved, are not any definition of national news.

Actually, I understand the business reasons behind why they do it. They have 24 hours a day of airtime to fill (although it's not like there isn't plenty of genuine news to cover). More likely, it's because increasingly the news industry is relying on cheap, exploitative, tug-on-your-heartstring items.

But the recent cable news overload on a couple of stories that frankly don't deserve to be national events is frustrating.

The sad story of that CNET editor who died while trying to get help for his family after they became trapped in a snowstorm, and, more recently, those lost mountain climbers became ongoing LIVE and breathless BREAKING NEWS items on the cable news nets for hours at a time.

Sure, they're worth a mention or even a two-minute report as part of a newscast, but the airwaves are instead turned over to these stories, literally for hours at a time.

It really doesn't say much for the journalism standards at the top of the cable news channels.

Not that this is a brand new direction for them, of course. We all know way too much about Natalee Holloway and Laci Peterson than we really should.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A New Jersey Christmas

Yet another skill I've discovered

I just dozed off at the computer for about half an hour sitting up, my head didn't even hit the keyboard.

Apparently, like a horse, I can nap upright.

I had a bit of a late night last night so I was really just planning to rest my eyes for a minute, and the next thing I knew it was almost 40 minutes later.

I think that's my cue to go have some lunch.

Fat drug addict who can't get it up makes ass of himself again

Rush "to the buffet" Limbaugh, the fat, drug-addled, sexually impotent hate-radio monger is, once again, making an ass of himself.

According to The Washington Post, Limbaugh got on the air and attacked Barack Obama after the Senator "confronted" Maureen Dowd for teasing him about his protuding ears in one of her New York Times columns:

FATASS: "If the guy's sensitive about his big ears, we need to give him a new name, like Dumbo. But that doesn't quite get it. How about Barack Obama Hussein Odumbo. Well, if he's sensitive -- stop to think about this. This is a man being lauded as the savior of the country, a presidential candidate ready to be an[n]ointed, and he can't handle being teased about his big ears? He goes out to Maureen Dowd and says, I am putting you on notice? Is that a threat? I want to put you on notice? Can you imagine, like I said yesterday, let's say something about me -- I'm very sensitive about whatever it is, X, and the papers write about it and make fun of it. Can you imagine if I sought out Maureen Dowd or anybody and said, 'You know, I'm going to put you on notice. I've been teased about that ever since I was a kid, and I don't like it.' That would be the whole column the next day about how thin-skinned I am, how I can't take it, this and that, and I am a complainer and a whiner and I was trying to influence objective journalists and so forth. But instead, Mo Do says, 'We're just trying to toughen you up.' "

As Howie Kurtz notes in his Post column, Obama was clearly joking with Dowd, but Limbaugh tries to make it a serious character flaw.

If only there was something about Limbaugh to make fun of. Somthing about this grossly obese blob, who hasn't eaten a salad since the Nixon administration. This fat fucktard who has been busted more than once for possessing illegal drugs, including sending his poor maid out to score Oxycontin. Who got caught coming back from the Dominican Republic with Viagra, the drug for men who can't get erections. The clown who has been married and divorced three times. The genius who probably helped lose the Senate for his right-wing Republican buddies after he mocked Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's symptoms when he was campaigning in Missouri for stem cell research.

Ah well, if there was only something to tease him about at least he wouldn't complain like that wimp Obama.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Hi Vladimir, it's George. I have a little favor to ask..."

By the way, has anyone checked Tim Johnson for radiation poisoning? I know the official story is bleeding on the brain, but, after all, the Russians are masters at the old radiation poisoning trick to get rid of their political opponents, and Bush and Putin are apparently tight.

Now I'm not saying Karl Rove, master of the dirty trick, is definitely behind this, but it might not be a bad idea to get a geiger counter running down there. Just to be safe, ya know.

They stole the White House in 2000 so this would be child's play for them

Control of the senate could hinge on what happens with Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who suffered bleeding on his brain yesterday and had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.

It's not yet clear if he can recover enough to return to the Senate. If he's not able to, the state's governor, who is a Republican, gets to appoint his replacement. He would likely appoint a Republican, or even himself to the position.

As the Democrats were about to take control of the Senate by just two seats (51-49) after the November elections, the split would then be 50-50, and Vice President Dick Cheney would get to break any tie vote, and the GOP would get majority control again (committee chairmanships, investigative powers, etc.)

This is pretty outrageous. The people of South Dakota wanted a Democrat in that seat. And the nation spoke pretty clearly in November that it wanted the GOP out of power and Democrats running things to have some checks and balances on Boy George. Now, because of this tragedy, the Republicans could end up circumventing it all.

A decent political party would put the will of the people above partisan gain. But, then again, we're talking about the GOP, so decency isn't really much of a factor.

I hope there's film at 11...of the catfight

Former WSTM-TV (Channel 3) weekend anchor Maria C. Damiano was charged Tuesday night with trespassing, a violation, after Syracuse police found her sneaking around the home of Lisa Spitz, WSTM's current weekend anchor, police said.

Spitz, 30, is dating Alex Dunbar, a news cameraman for WSTM, according to police reports. Dunbar, 32, and Damiano broke up a year ago, but Dunbar "recently had contact with (Damiano), trying to remain friends," police reports said.


Dunbar told police about his history with Damiano.

"Dunbar reported that Damiano was not happy that he was dating Spitz and felt that Damiano was there to spy on them," Mathewson wrote.

Damiano spent the night in jail.

Spitz told police she fears for her safety and requested an order of protection against Damiano. Dunbar and Dusseault also requested orders of protection.

- Syracuse Post-Standard

Although this fellow goes on to claim he's upset at this, let me tell you, every guy loves when two women are fighting over him. And these are two on-air anchors no less.

Despite his protestations, this cameraman is in guy heaven.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I know some people do get addicted to their BlackBerry, but THIS is ridiculous

Scarlett Johansson on going nude for the February cover shot of Vanity Fair with Keira Knightley: "We were going to be wearing thongs but the stylist snipped them off. Here we are, Keira and I, and we're totally naked, and some guy is on his BlackBerry computer. Everyone was busy working. But I guess it's better than if they were all looking at me. It was surprisingly comfortable."

He didn't look up from his BlackBerry to see those two naked?


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

At least I haven't turned into Dexter yet

After reading my Las Vegas post, and the whole remote control issue, someone asked if I'm really that much of a germaphobe. Sadly, yes.

How much? I recently got the faucet changed on my bathroom sink. The old one was working fine, but it was the old-fashiond type with seperate hot and cold taps which had to be turned clockwise and counterclockwise to use.

This didn't make sense to me. After you washed your hands, you then had to put them back on the taps. So I got this new one, which you just have to push down gently with the side of your wrist and the water goes off.

God knows what deep pyschological trauma is behind all this, but, hey, if I ever make you dinner, at least you know the cook is pristine.

Bless the beasts

I'm not a big fan of the Pope, or organized religion in general, for that matter, but Pope Benedict has voiced concern about man's inhumanity to animals. Good for him.

He's also, apparently, a cat lover, according to the article:

"I went with him once," said Konrad Baumgartner, the head of the theology department at Regensburg University. "Afterwards, he went into the old cemetery behind the church. It was full of cats, and when he went out, they all ran to him. They knew him and loved him. He stood there, petting some and talking to them, for quite a long time. He visited the cats whenever he visited the church. His love for cats is quite famous".


"Edward Bruce Tinsley, creator of the conservative comic strip Mallard Fillmore, was arrested in Columbus Dec. 4 and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence -- his second alcohol-related arrest in less that four months, according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department.

Tinsley, 48, who lives in Columbus, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 -- almost twice the level at which an Indiana driver is considered intoxicated. He posted $755 bond."

- Indianapolis Star

This guy should have been arrested just for being unfunny.

That cartoon, supposedly the conservative answer to Doonesbury, is pathetic.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Who are these people?

I'm sure I've asked that question before on this blog about various situations where my fellow man has annoyed the hell out of me (you know, like when I bitched about the people I invariably get stuck behind on the supermarket line who insist on using a credit card to pay for a damn carton of milk). But I ask again today after passing a Starbucks and seeing all these oh-so-serious people on their little laptops, busily typing away with a cup of double grande latte mocha proudly at their side.

This whole using-my-computer-at-Starbucks thing is a cliché at this point, I suppose, but it still goes on. And it's still annoying. And I still don't get it.

Why do you go to a chain store coffee shop to write on your computer?

I'm not sure if these are people who are so cheap they won't pay for Internet access at home so they go to Starbucks to use the free wi-fi there? Or do they perhaps just want to be seen writing the Great American Novel. Or do they want to feel like they're one of the “Friends” gang, hanging out at Central Perk, so they plant themselves at one of the window tables at the Bucks?

Either way, annoying as hell.

I went to Macy's today for some Xmas shopping. For myself, of course. (And I got a nice little score, by the way. Backstory: when I was in Vegas last week, my friend, and let's just christen her Malibu Barbie right now, dragged me into the Fashion Mall on Las Vegas Blvd. - because, you know, I really, really wanted to travel 2,200 miles to the gambling capital of the world to go shopping! - anyway, when we were there, I saw a wine bottle opener selling for $70. It looked pretty good and I came thisclose to buying it. But then the thought of schlepping it home seemed like a nightmare so I passed on it.

Good thing, because in the Daily News today, I saw the same opener on sale at Macy's for $19.99. With a 15%-off coupon, no less. Long story short, I ended up getting it for $16.99. I saved more than 50 bucks for the price of a 50 cents Daily News – and didn't have to deal with bringing that baby through security at the airport.

(Yes, that's it there – and you can see some of my fabulously renovated stainless steel kitchen in the background.)

Anyway, this is all a long way of noting that on my way to Macy's, heading to the 6 train, I passed that Starbucks at Lex and 87th and saw all the busy laptoppers inside. And they just were so busy and so annoying. And I really can't fathom wanting to use your computer in the middle of a crowded, noisy coffee shop.

Especially on Tuesdays, which is my Internet porn night.

Hah. That, of course, is a shout-out to "Family Guy." Fans may remember a funny scene with Peter saying something about being busy on Tuesday because that's his Internet porn night, and then they cut to one of those insert shots and the camera pans across a Starbucks-like place with customers on computers and finally winds up on Peter in the middle of them all, sitting totally naked at a computer, saying, “Oh, yeah, you're my little Asian Lois, aren't you?”

So silly. But not much more silly than making sure everyone sees you writing on your computer at Starbucks, I guess.

Please, people, I beg you, just spring for the damn cable modem or DSL. Spare the rest of us your tortured or creative souls.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I'm back, back in the New York groove

Most of what happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas...but a few general thoughts on my recent trip to Sin City are allowed, I think.

First: loved it! Going back next month. Well, ok, maybe I exaggerate - but going back soon.

Believe it or not, even with my clearly decadent lifestyle, my recent sojourn to Las Vegas was my first time out there. It was just never high on my list of places to visit. Of course, I've also never really been to me - but that's a whole other story.

I used to laugh at a friend I previously worked with, (cough: Jan Brady) who it seemed would go out to Vegas about every three weeks or so. She sat behind me in the office, and, I swear, I would turn around and she would be away again, off on another jaunt to LV. I just figured she had a gambling problem, but now I know why she was going out there all the time. So much fun.

Anyway, I couldn't resist the great deal from one of the Internet travel sites, so off I went last week.

First, however, a parenthetical note on flying. Such a pain in the ass. On the way out there, in an aisle seat (I always make sure I reserve those in the on-line seat-selection thing, because, let's face it, nobody wants the middle seat, and even a window would make me feel claustrophobic), there was, unfortunately, a really fat guy sitting next to me. And his blubber was spilling over to my area. Ugh. Five hours with this guy brushing against me. I was nauseous.

We couldn't even put the armrest down he was so big. Personally, I think the airlines should make the tubbies buy two seats. And, yes, yes, I know this all sounds cruel, and I have friends who are, er, husky – holla, Frankie boy - but come on, we all have to deal with this limited space, you know. (I lucked out on my way home, though, and got a row to myself. I was able to take a little nap across all three seats - beautiful.)

I stayed at the fabulous Venetian. Gorgeous. Gaudy. Glittery. Just what you want in Vegas. I had a suite with a view of the strip and a 150-square-foot bathroom (bigger than my damn bathroom at home). Such pleasure.

Germaphobe that I am, of course, I always freak out about potential contamination. I never let my luggage go anywhere near a hotel bed, for example, after seeing a report on one of those TV newsmagazines about bed bugs and how they jump in your luggage and come home with you. I also made the mistake of reading an article somewhere about the dirtiest place in a hotel room. It's not a surface in the bathroom, as you would think, it's the TV remote control. It never gets cleaned and is constantly used (probably by pervs watching Spankovision, no less – yech). So whenever I turned on one of the three (yes, three - heh) TVs in my suite, I had a Kleenex wrapped around the remote. Ok, I have issues, but why take chances?

I hit several of the hot clubs, natch, and ate some really good meals – and strangely enough, Wolfgang Puck's in the MGM Grand served up one of the best steaks I have ever had, even though he's famous for his pizza. Go figure.

Prices were surprisingly high at the nice places. When you live in Manhattan, you're usually pleasantly pleased at how cheap everything seems when you travel. Not in Vegas - oy. Although, at New York New York, one of the bars had three dollar Jacks. Can I just say bliss.

Speaking of New York, it's amazing how many NYC names are out there now. In addition to Delmonico's and Tao, both of which are at the Venetian, there's a Smith & Wollensky, a Studio 54, and, of course, in the New York New York casino, there's a Gallagher's Steak House, a Coyote Ugly, a Nathan's, etc. The homogenization of America continues. It's like seeing the tourists who visit us here going to one of the few (maybe the only?) Olive Garden in Manhattan - and unfortunately it's right in Times Square. Why would anyone do that?

And, even worse, when you're talking to a local in Vegas and they find out it's your first time out there, they insist you just HAVE to see a show. Well, sorry, not to be NY-centric, although I will be, I really have no interest in seeing what is basically the road show of Phantom of the Opera, for example, when I saw the original on Broadway six years ago. And I really really have no interest in seeing something like Howie Mandel's act or Blue Man Group or the comedy stylings of Larry the Cable Guy.

Once Vegas was home to Sinatra and Elvis, now it welcomes the host of “Deal or No Deal.” Sigh. (A little digression on Blue Man Group, by the way: about five years ago, one of my exes, one of my many exes, called to tell me she had just got engaged and her fiance, who was a bigwig in the Broadway world, had somehow got Blue Man to make the proposal on stage during their show - you know, one of those nauseating public proposals, like when some nudnik does it over the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium. Now, why she felt compelled to call to tell me this, I still don't know. We hadn't talked in about two years by this point; it wasn't the greatest break-up. I don't know if she was trying to rub it in that she had got engaged (trust me, really not a concern) or was having cold feet and was hoping I would somehow try to talk her out of it. But whenever I see something about BMG, I always laugh, thinking of that weird moment.)

And by the way, to the very nosy among you Too Saucy-ites who asked who I was going to LV with (regular commenter Not a Hipster in a previous post, and Corky brazenly asking me in an e-mail), I traveled solo. See, you all forget, I really don't like people that much. Hah.

Actually, the first few days, I had a very relaxing time, treating myself (as I do every winter) to a little get-away-from-everyone trip. I lay poolside during the day, and read two Nelson DeMille books. And then a friend from several jobs ago who works in L.A. (we originally, er, merged, on one of her business trips to NY back then, totally illegally I'm sure, as I was technically above her in the company hierarchy – oh well) took a few days off from work and came winging in on Wednesday. It's only a couple hours flight for Angelinos, lucky biotches.

Anyway, it's basically nice to be home, although when I left LV it was 72 degrees, and when I landed at Newark it seemed to be about minus 18. Yikes.

But the next time I go out there, I'm getting a suite with a hot tub - not that I will ever use it because of the germs, of course, but I would still like to have it.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

If I don't come back, I probably got married to a show girl named Candy by an Elvis impersonator

Light to non-existent blogging for a few days as I will be at the fabulous Venetian in Vegas, baby.

Eating and drinking, gambling, carousing. Your basic debauchery.

This is why the terrorists hate us.

Come to think of it, this is why the right-wing religious zealots in this country hate us too.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The right hates him, so you know he's doing something good

There's a good profile here in The Nation of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who hosts that network's highest-rated show, "Countdown."

The article notes his ratings have spiked since he started offering occasional "Special Comments," which have been some of the most blistering attacks on the Bush administration in American journalism.

With much of the cable news universe being dominated by the right-wing leaning Fox, and, of course, talk radio being almost exclusively right-wing 24/7, it's refreshing to hear someone in broadcasting go after Bush and the conservatives on a regular basis. MSNBC is supposedly happy with Olbermann, and the higher visibility he's brought to the perennial third place net, but, then again, these are the same geniuses who fired Phil Donahue a few years ago because he was seen as too liberal and too anti-war - even though he, at the time, had the highest ratings on the channel.

I've always liked Olbermann, from his first go around at MSNBC, during the ridiculous GOP drive to impeach Bill Clinton because he - gasp - got a bob job. He made it clear he was tired of the never-ending story and was suspicious of the partisan motivations of all those super patriots who were saying Clinton had to go (a view the American people clearly did not agree with.)

And in addition to being a smart, articulate voice of sanity over these last few months, Olbermann is very funny. Especially when he goes after Rush Limbaugh or arch-nemesis Bill O'Reilly, who he calls The Big Giant Head or Bill O'Really? after one of the Fox broadcaster's silly rants - like that "War on Christmas" crap he trots out every year to assure his audience they are being persecuted by us secular, godless liberals.

Here he is in a great comment he did in September, on the fifth anniversary of 9-11.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gee, I wonder why he was in a bad mood?

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 30) - A killer whale that dragged a trainer underwater twice during a show at SeaWorld Adventure Park may be allowed to perform again, park officials said Thursday.

Hmm, how to cut back on incidents like this?

Oh yeah, here's a suggestion - how about not keeping a whale captive in a fucking glorified aquarium? And making him jump through hoops or whatever they make them do every day for the delight of some overweight hillbillies.

Like those bulls they torture every year in the running at Pamplona, I always root for the animals in these situations.

What, David Duke was too busy to comment?

Noted anti-semite Mel Gibson feels for noted racist Michael Richards, according to Entertainment Weekly, which quotes him expressing sympathy for "Kramer," after the public backlash following his hate-filled nightclub rant.

"They'll probably torture him for a while and then let him go. I like him," Hollywood's #1 bigot says of the new contender for his crown.

Gee, what a surprise.

Heckuva job yet again, Bushie

It looks like Boy George is as unpopular in the rest of the world as he is here.

A meeting he had scheduled with the Prime Minister of Iraq and King of Jordan was abruptly canceled, as the leaders realize Bush is poison these days, incredibly unpopular with their people.

When he arrived in Jordan, he was greeted with masses of protesters on the street. In fact, any time he travels he is isolated in a protective bubble, far more than any previous U.S. President has been, because he is so despised.

He never gets a chance to walk among average people in a country he is visiting. Compare that to Bill Clinton, who was beloved around the world (remember that amazing scene of him being enveloped in a loving crowd in Dublin)?

The way things are going now, the only people Bush remains popular with is a rapidly dwindling group of red state right-wingers and perhaps the anti-abortion crowd.

Speaking of Clinton, his foundation, which has already raised billions to combat poverty, AIDS and global warming, just announced a deal it has brokered to provide AIDS medicine for impoverished Third World kids.

You know, that's that evil Bill Clinton, the guy the Republicans impeached because he got a bob job.

But, hey, I'm sure when Bush is out of office, he will do much good work too.

Yeah, right.

Well, he still has his dog Barney on his side. Oh, wait, that's right. He can't even hold the poor little thing correctly. Bush dropped it on its back once. (Check out the look of horror on the kids' faces). Fucking idiot.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Damn dirty apes

"Chimpanzees may be our closest biological relatives, but male chimps appear to differ from male humans in one striking way -- they clearly prefer older females, according to new research.

"In contrast to humans, the researchers found, male chimps find older females more desirable, approaching them more often to mate, fighting more with other males over them and mating with them far more frequently than with younger females. That is true even for higher-ranking male chimps, which have more choice of mates. The findings confirm the earlier results of other researchers."

- Washington Post

Have these stupid chimps never seen College Girls Gone Wild?

Jesus H. Christ

All you need to know about the scum who run right-wing groups like the so-called "Christian" Coalition is explained in this Washington Post story about the group's new leader, who was removed from office before he even took power.

His "sin?" He wanted to expand the group's issues beyond gay bashing and anti-choice rhetoric to include such radical causes as fighting AIDS and global warming. What a commie.

"The Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of a nondenominational megachurch in Longwood, Fla., said he resigned as the coalition's incoming president because its board of directors disagreed with his plan to broaden the organization's agenda. In addition to opposing abortion and same-sex marriage, Hunter, 58, wanted to take on such issues as poverty, global warming and HIV/AIDS."

"My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we're not carrying out the full message of Jesus," he said in a telephone interview yesterday. "They began to think this might threaten their base or evaporate some of their support, and they said they just couldn't go there."

That's astounding.

Seeking to battle issues like poverty and global warming is somehow "threatening" to the group's base?

They believe strongly that abortion is somehow evil and want to ban it. Fine. I disagree with them, but people have differing views on that issue. But how on earth can they be against efforts to combat poverty?

And how the hell can they actually claim to follow the teaching of Christ, who, let's face it, would basically be for the additional issues Hunter also wanted to focus on (and, of course, JHC never actually said anything about abortion or gay marriage).

Hopefully the recent election results means these hillbillies are losing political influence. And with the views they espouse, it's not hard to see why.

Verizon Wireless Sucks!

That is all.

(Oh yeah, and their spokesman is just creepy. Lose that guy already.)


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In other startling news....

...water is reportedly wet.

White House Circus

President Bush today said Al Qaeda was to blame for the rising wave of sectarian violence in Iraq, which he refused to label a civil war. Mr. Bush said he would press Iraq’s prime minister during meetings in Jordan later this week to lay out a strategy for restoring order.
- NY Times

Listening to this guy talk about the debacle he's caused in Iraq, and his self-denial, is fascinating. He reminds me of that cloying comic strip, Family Circus. You know, with all the cute little kids saying cute little funny things (unfortunately never as funny as this parody).

One of the strip's recurring themes (besides the always popular dotted line tracing Billy's convoluted path on his way to school) shows the kids standing in front of a smashed vase or lamp or something and the parents looking angrily at them, and the kids saying "Not me," with a sort of ghostly image labeled Not Me hovering around (in case you don't get it).

Well that's Bush's way of explaining away the problem in Iraq. Not Me.

But of course it is him. It was his ultimate decision to invade Iraq and depose Saddam, and now that country is disintegrating. Civil war has broken out, hundreds are killed every day, civil society is ceasing to function, Iran is getting stronger. And, of course, almost 3,000 U.S. troops have been killed with tens of thousands more maimed.

The American public has soured on the war, and we are eventually going to pull out (even if it won't happen until Bush leaves office - which of course means tens of thousands more Iraqis and thousands more Americans will be killed in the interim), and then the country will really turn into a clusterfuck.

Amazing. We invade a nation, destroy a functioning government (and yes, yes, stipulate Saddam was a nasty guy), bring worsening chaos, and then will get the hell out with the people left living in absolute fear, with less clean water and electricity than before the invasion, unable to go to work or school, and not knowing if they or their family are going to survive the day.

Way to go, Bush. Oh, wait, I forgot: "Not me."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Booty call

Gmail is funny sometimes.

I like the free email service from the folks at Google, it has great storage and search capabilities, but sometimes their word recognition program leaves a little something to be desired.

In case you don't use it, it provides links at the side of your mails to advertisers that they think you might be interested in. They decide that from key words their robot picks up in your mail (they say they don't actually read the content of the mail but just scan it for these key words. I don't know if that's true, but any email provider could be reading your mail at any time, so who the hell knows?)

Anyway, I was emailing with a friend about a recent phone tragedy, and she used the word "ugh" in her mail. And in that mail, the ad links next to it included one for Ugg boots.

I didn't even know girls were still wearing those strange things. Aren't they so five years ago?

And the phone tragedy? Well, I love my Motorola Q, but amazingly enough it does not survive being dropped on a Metro-North train platform. I'm getting a new one, but God forbid Verizon Wireless makes it easy. Since I've had it for more than a month, the store can't give me the replacement, it has to be shipped out from a distribution center in East Bumfuck. I'm cell phoneless until tomorrow. Now that's an ugh!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Abortion and Clay Aiken

I've been doing this blog for almost a year now (oy) and I've discovered there are two hot button issues that almost invariably garner passionate responses: abortion and Clay Aiken.

Abortion, I think we can all understand. It's such a volatile, sensitive topic, and just about everyone has a strong opinion on it, not to mention usually thinks the other side is very wrong.

But Clay Aiken?

In the hundreds of posts I've written, I think I've made only two that have included a brief mention of the “American Idol” favorite (one was just last night, the Gawker video of the "hand incident" with Kelly Ripa) and, I swear, each time, almost within minutes of them going up online, I got angry comments from Clay fans – who, frankly, I doubt read Too Saucy on a regular basis.

They apparently have some sort of web-crawling search engine set up, a special Google or Technorati blog monitoring thingy, that seeks out Clay Aiken mentions. And if they are in any way less than worshipful, they immediately write in to defend their hero. It's really quite fascinating.

If only they would use their evil powers for good.

Just kidding, Clayniacs.

But now leave me alone and go back to knitting colorful scarves for Clay. Or doodling your initials intertwined with his in your notebook. Thank you.

(By the way, that picture totally proves he's not gay.)

Big babies

The Republican Congress, about to lose its majority, is leaving power acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

AP is reporting that the current Congress is deliberately leaving a half trillion dollars of spending bills undone in the current session so the Democrats will be bogged down with them when they take control in January and have to devote time and energy to them instead of their own priorities.

You should try skipping out of work sometime without doing the job you're supposed to - see how well that would go over.

Meanwhile, a Democratic staffer on the House intelligence committee has been cleared of any wrongdoing after being accused of leaking a document to the New York Times, and has been reinstated to his position. An inquiry found that the charge against him was basically a fraud, retaliation from the Republican chairman of the committee to punish a Democratic member who had offended him.

It's really unbelievable. These are supposedly serious people, legislating life and death issues and doing the nation's business, but they're basically seventh graders having a hissy fit.

Clay Aiken's gay?

Thank God I'm usually too sleepy to watch the late morning talk shows and the inanity they broadcast on a daily basis.

But occasionally you miss some fun stuff. Thankfully, though, we now have You Tube to catch up on the nonsense.

Apparently Clay Aiken of "American Idol" fame was filling in for Regis on "Live With Regis & Kelly" a few days ago, and, during an interview segment, jokingly (I guess) put his hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth to stop her from talking. She sort of recoiled and said, "That's a no-no. I don't know where that hand's been, honey."

Which is sort of an amusing line.

But then on "The View" the following day, big-mouth Rosie O'Donnell, self-appointed queen of the gays, said that the comment was homophobic of Kelly.

Now, there probably was a bit of that going on. (Although, let's face it, it also was pretty obnoxious of Aiken to do the hand thing. Actually, I've heard quite a few obnoxious tales about him - as in screaming at people who didn't recognize him, "Don't you know who I am?")

But, er, the thing is, Aiken denies he's gay. As do his diehard fans. (Which, of course, is somewhat like George Bush's fans denying he's a dimwit.) So did Rosie, in a way, out him?

Anyway, here's a clip of the hand incident from "Live" and then the beginning of a segment from "The View," where Kelly called in to defend herself the following day against Rosie's charge.

By the way, I have no clue who Clay and Kelly are interviewing, nor who Star Jones Jr. is that's sitting next to Rosie on "The View." Also, I'm sad Kelly's wearing pants in the "Live" clip. She has great legs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I think that red wine stuff really works

I just walked to Grand Central and home again - about 100 blocks round trip, which (at 20 city blocks equaling 1 mile) means a brisk walk of 5 miles. And I feel mah-velous. I really think those stories about the medicinal value of red wine are true. Plus, I just finished taunting a friend who gets out of breath walking to the corner bus stop.

I headed to GCT to pick up my train ticket for Thanksgiving, as it's usually a zoo there on that day. First, you have all sorts of people who don't usually ride the rails, so they don't know where to go. And Metro North does this weird thing on Thanksgiving where you have to have the ticket before you board. Because they add so many extra trains that day, conductors usually don't come around to collect tickets once the train is underway, so they collect them at the platform gate, you don't even have the option of buying them on the train with the onboard penalty.

Quite annoying.

But now I need some medicinal shiraz.

Pass the gravy

First, O.J. is canceled, and now this. It truly is a time for Thanksgiving.

Murdoch channels Bush

Rupert Murdoch, the Dr. Evil of media, whose Fox TV and HarperCollins publishing operations were behind the just-cancelled O.J. Simpson attrocity, released a statement yesterday on the incident.

"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said yesterday."

"I and senior management agree with the American public..."


Make no mistake about it, a project at this level was greenlit in the first place by Murdoch. Now his weasely statement makes it sound like he was blindsided by the whole thing, and, once he found out about it, quickly canceled it.

Appropriately enough, he's following in the path of his ideological soulmate George Bush, who blames everybody but himself for the Iraq debacle: It's Rumsfeld, it's the generals, it's the defeatist Democrats, it's the media who concentrate on all the bad news and never tell the good side and yadda yadda.

No, W. The war is yours and yours alone. And sorry, Rupe, the sleazy O.J. project was yours and yours alone.

Why don't these people ever admit responsibility?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ha ha

OJ canceled. Apparently even Murdoch can be shamed.

But the ice sculptures on the buffet tables are spectacular

Fort Lauderdale -- Passengers disembarking at Port Everglades Sunday said their 16-day cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines' Liberty turned from tranquil to terrible when a highly contagious intestinal virus swept through the ship, flooding the infirmary with almost 700 patients and quarantining many in their staterooms.
- Sun Sentinel

Why do people still take cruises?

Every month I seem to hear about some damn ship returning to port with everyone on it sick as a dog. And if they're not all vomiting, someone has gotten drunk, fallen off board and disappeared for ever.

Sounds like a real party on those ships.

March of the morons

If you ever needed a reminder about how bizarre the right-wing mentality is, consider this AP story:

SHILOH, Ill. - A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book's availability to children — and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.

The concerns are the latest involving "And Tango Makes Three," the illustrated children's book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City's Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.

Complaining about the book's homosexual undertones, some parents of Shiloh Elementary School students believe the book — available to be checked out of the school's library in this 11,000-resident town 20 miles east of St. Louis — tackles topics their children aren't ready to handle.

These hillbillies aren't complaining about some fictional story that they see as somehow trying to indoctrinate their kids into the – gasp – gay lifestyle. They are outraged about a book depicting a fairly well-known real news story, in which Roy and Silo, two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo, were devoted to each other and then basically adopted and raised a chicklet together.

You know, it's one thing when these nutjobs get all riled about the Harry Potter books because they believe they promote “witchcraft.” Most people laugh at them when they go through that little song and dance.

But when they actually try to censor a story about a real-life event it's borderline obscene.

Perhaps part of their fear is that the story somewhat puts the lie to their theory that homosexuality is a choice that only decadent humans make. (Because, of course, so many people willfully will choose to be part of a much hated and discriminated minority).

It also makes me wonder how many of these rightwingers are living a closeted lifestyle. If they fear that the least little bit of provocation can turn their kids gay, what is going on in their own sick little minds? How easy would it be for them to make the jump?

How many Mark Foleys and Ted Haggards are out there in rightwing, red state America? I think more than we can imagine.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Inner nerd warning

I'm afraid my inner nerd has kicked in lately, jump started a few weeks ago when Cinemax ran all six Star Wars movies in hi-def.

Now, I must hasten to point out, I can't really be that much of a nerd, because I never actually saw any of these films before. I'm more of a Star Trek: The Next Generation guy (see, not nerdy at all), and from what I had always heard of the SW movies, the epic storytelling, the ancient myths, well blah blah, it all just seemed a bit pretentious.

But here they were being fed to my house, so what the hell. I fired up the hi-def DVR (and thank you Time Warner for accidently giving me the box and service for free - haha) and recorded all of them. I think it's about 14 hours worth all together.

I began watching them this weekend, starting with the first one, filmed back in the 1970s, and which is now actually called Star Wars IV: A New Hope (see, pretentious). Ok, if you're not a SW nut, they made the first three (from 1977-1983), there was a break of 16 years, and then they made the second group of three (from 1999-2005). But the second trilogy is actually a prequel, set in a period before the first three, so they became Star Wars I-III, and the first three filmed are now titled IV-VI. Get it? Yeah, it is annoying.

I wasn't sure if I should watch them in the order they are numbered, I-VI, but I opted for the chronological order they were made, as that's the way they would have been seen in the movie theaters.

Anyhoo, this is all a long way of saying: I've finally got up to Star Wars I, (which is, of course, the fourth one, from 1999), and this is the chapter where Natalie Portman is introduced as the queen. And wow, I forgot how goddamn cute she is.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Making a mountain out of a molehill

WASHINGTON -- The government ended a 14-year virtual ban on silicone-gel breast implants Friday despite lingering safety concerns, making the devices available to tens of thousands of women who have clamored for them.

Speaking only as a connoisseur, here is my list, in descending order, of preference:

Toilet paper bra stuffing

Hey, that's just me.

I know some guys are, but I've never really been a fan of ginormous unnatural boobies.

Carry on.

What would Jesus do? If he were a derelict...

I think he would say, "It's Friday, the weather is gorgeous. It's time to knock off early and head to my fav Irish pub (on 2nd Ave.) for some fish & chips and Guinness."

That's just my interpretation, of course.

Thank you.

Don't get any funny ideas about owning those uteruses, gals

Even though the Democrats have taken Congress and can work to block any more right-wing nutjobs being appointed to the judiciary by George Bush, and even though the new Democratic-controlled Congress won't be introducing any legislation to chip away at abortion rights, the Bush administration is still working overtime to make sure American women understand their uteruses belong to the Republicans.

According to The Washington Post: "The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as "demeaning to women."

Understand, they are not just oposed to abortion rights, they are opposed to contraception.

The Post notes the "pregnancy counseling group" this genius worked at "supports sexual abstinence until marriage, opposes contraception and does not distribute information promoting birth control at its six centers in eastern Massachusetts."


I have never understood the logic of these clowns who say they are opposed to abortion - but then work to prevent birth control information or even contraceptives from being provided to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

And for a movement that treats women as second class citizens who should not be able to control the most personal part of their lives, their goddamn reproductive systems no less, to then call anything "demeaning to women" takes brass balls. (An appropriate term, by the way, as most of the leading anti-abortion nuts tend to be men).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Next on Larry King Live, the inventor of that newfangled moving picture machine..."

"CNN’s Larry King confessed to Roseanne Barr that he’s never used the Internet. King expressed doubt that the Internet was a viable political medium because “there’s 80 billion things on it.” When Barr said she liked the Internet, King acknowledged that “I’ve never done it, never gone searching.”

Barr said King would love the internet if he tried it. King replied, “I wouldn’t love it. What do you punch little buttons and things?” Barr even offered to show King how to use the Internet. King declined."

- Think Progress

Of course, this coming from a guy who wears suspenders, can barely remember who he's talking to (in September, he had Andre Agassi on and called him Pancho Gonzalez - I kid you not!), and is, what, 107 years old? I guess it's not exactly breaking news he doesn't know how to "punch little buttons and things" on the Internet.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Jerry Falwell's big pumpkin head is exploding right about now

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — About 1 percent of Web sites indexed by Google and Microsoft are sexually explicit, according to a U.S. government-commissioned study.

One percent?

I'm pretty sure I've seen at least three percent just by myself.

I guess he's taking time off from hunting for the killers

O.J. Simpson is doing a book and an accompanying TV special.

"According to a news release, the book and the TV special, which has a working title of “O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened,” will depict Mr. Simpson describing “how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade.”

If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened?

That's like me writing a book: "If I Drank Jack Daniels, Here's the Soda I Would Mix it With."

The real face of the GOP

If you ever had any doubts about the racial undertones of the Republican party, they should be put to rest with the news out of Washington that Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss) has been elected to the number two spot among the Senate GOP caucus and is back in his party's leadership.

Lott, you may recall, had to step down as Senate Majority Leader four years ago (during those horrible days when the GOP had the majority) after he spoke approvingly of fellow southern senator Strom Thurmond's presidential run as a strict segragationist.

Thurmond, of course, had been a Democrat for many years, but when the Democrats started changing in the 1940s and 50, and became supportive of civil rights, he, like many good ol' boy Southern bigots, became a Republican, which then became the party of the South. But before he did that he became a "Dixiecrat," and made a futile run for the presidency in 1948.

Lott set off the firestorm, which has apparently cooled, when he said the country would have been better off if Thurmond's hateful ways had been the policy of the land. Ugh.

The Republicans were shamed into forcing him to step down as majority leader, but now he's weaseled his way back into the leadership.

For years, the GOP has been saying the characterization of it as the party of racism and bigotry is wrong and exaggerated. But now here it is putting a clear bigot back into a position of power.

Not to mention, one of its just ousted senators, George Allen of Virginia, proudly portrays himself as a good ol' boy. He kept a noose in his office for years, and, of course, his bid for re-election was derailed when he was caught on tape calling a young campaign worker of his opponent "macacca," a racial slur.

But this is the party that's changed so much, they tell us.

Sure it has. And say hello to Trent Lott, the new number two man in the Senate Republicans. Thankfully, and ironically, now the minority party.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A little more eyeliner, Mr. President?

"Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, has taken the first step to mounting a presidential candidacy, forming an organization in New York State on Friday to explore a White House run."

Some of my friends get excited when they hear the occasional rumors that Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of this burg, may run for president. No doubt more will be spurred by this announcement of an exploratory committee. "He'll be so good on terror, he was great on 9/11," they gush. (Yes, I have friends who gush. How embarrassing. I digress.) "And he was great on reducing crime in New York, he can do that nationally," they add.

There's just a little problem with the scenario of Rudy as the great GOP hope.

Sure, it's true, he did launch a dramatic clean-up of this town, from eliminating that annoying subway graffiti to presiding over a still plummeting crime rate (that actually started under his predecessor, David Dinkins, but the bulk of it happened under Rudy.) Crime has dropped so much, in fact, that NYC is easily the safest big city in the country, according to FBI stats.

And Rudy was indeed a voice of calm and reason on 9/11. Granted, he basically did what we should expect of any government leader - tell the people what was going on, make sure the rescue forces had the tools they needed, and maintain an air of calm on TV. It's just that in comparison to George Bush - who, after being told the country was under attack, froze for seven long minutes in the Florida classroom where he was speaking, then fled to a hole in the ground in Nebraska, and then, when he appeared on TV that night, looked scared shitless - Rudy seemed really amazing. Fuck, compared to Bush, my building's doorman was a model of calmness.

But fine, let's give Rudy credit for reducing crime and for showing competence on 9/11.

Springboarding on his 9/11 reputation, he's been lionized as "America's Mayor" since he left City Hall, and has traveled the country speaking for local GOP candidates running for office, collecting a lot of chits along the way for any future run he may make. He would clearly be a formidible candidate if he was the Republican nominee in 2008.

But here's the thing: the factors that allowed him to get elected in this heavily Democratic city ensure he would never get the Republican nomination.

He is pro-choice. He is pro-gun control. He is pro-gay rights. He is what they call a RINO - Republican in Name Only. (Our current mayor, Mike Bloomberg, is too.)

As much as candidates around the country love having Rudy fundraise, as much as those of us in blue state America like his issues, does anyone honestly think today's Republican party, the party of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and James Dobson, would allow Rudy to get the GOP nomination? Hell, these people think John McCain is too liberal - and he's not even pro-choice.

Most of the audiences he speaks in front of, in these little GOP enclaves, have no idea of his positions on those social issues - he tends to be brought in to speak on security matters. But you can be damn sure that his opponents in the Republican primaries will make sure his positions are known. Not to mention that he's on his third wife. With the bonus fun fact that after divorcing his second wife, Donna Hanover, and she kicked him out of Gracie Mansion, he lived with friends of his for a while - who just happened to be a gay couple on the Upper East Side. I'm sure that will go over real well in Alabammy.

Oh, and did I mention he has a propensity for appearing in drag? He's done it at the annual City Hall correspondents dinner, and also on "Saturday Night Live" no less. How long do you think it would be before this picture of Rudy appears on campaign fliers in, say, South Carolina?

Anyway, the social issues are the heart and soul of the modern Republican party. It's how they get their base out to vote. There is NO WAY Rudy could get through the nomination process and become the GOP candidate.

And, if by some miracle he did, the Christian conservatives would sit the 2008 election out. They would never vote for him. The GOP knows this.

He might - MIGHT - be able to get on a ticket as a VP candidate, but there is no way in hell he will be the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. That party is controlled too much by the religious right.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bush once again leaves his mark on the world

How bad are things in Iraq these days?

Iraqis are getting their names and phone numbers tatooed on their bodies, even though tatoos are against Islamic tradition, so they can be identified if they are killed and mutiliated beyond recognition.

The caption and photo in this chilling story in the Mercury News tells you all you need to know about the chaos and despair unleashed there since the U.S. invaded and toppled Hussein:

Ali Abbas, a 24-year-old Iraqi man, shows a tattoo giving his name, neighborhood and family phone number as identification in case he is killed in a bombing or a kidnapping and then dumped on a street. Although tatoos go against Islamic law, many Iraqis are getting ID tattoos so they won't be a nameless victim. Note, some of the lettering on his tattoo has been digitally altered to protect his identity.

But, hey, if you listen to Bush and John McCain and the increasingly slimy Joe Lieberman, we're always just turning a corner in Iraq, because, you know, we got Sadaam, we killed his sons, they held elections, why, we just need three more months before democracy blooms in the region.

Ok, there's less electricity and clean water than before the war, and people are afraid to go to work, school or shop. Bodies are piling up so fast they can't even keep count and have begun burying them in mass graves. Iran has been strengthened and the U.S. is more hated than ever in the Middle East. And almost 3,000 American military have been killed.

But Bush and his team scored a glorious victory for democracy by toppling Hussein, who had, er, well, nothing to do with 9-11.

How the hell do these people sleep at night?

And I have witnesses

"President Bush's wax likeness is taking a thumpin' these days at Madame Tussaud's celebrity waxworks in Las Vegas.

Bush's head suffered about $25,000 in damages when a Madame Tussaud's visitor attacked it the day before last week's elections.

No one's pushed one over before," said Jack Taylor, spokesman for the tourist attraction.

Bush has needed repairs a number of times, mostly from having his nose pinched, Taylor added.

"This was the most damage" to one of the wax figures, he said. "People are always touching them, but this was pretty rare."

- Las Vegas Review-Journal

I swear, I haven't hit Vegas yet - I won't be there until December.

This is why I get the big bucks

Looks like Newsweek's cover story this week is springing off my "Bush's-daddy-is-bailing-him-out-of-a-mess-yet-again" post from last Friday.

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