Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Laura Bush goes as The Joker to the White House Halloween party

Boo!

I don't know which is scarier - that it's Halloween today, or that it's exactly one week until the midterm Congressional elections.

While the public opinion surveys look good for the Democrats, there's still not enough of a lead in many of the races for my taste. Don't forget, even though the generic polls are showing that Americans say they would prefer Democrats to win, each House race is an individual contest. All you need is enough people in a few districts to decide when they walk into the voting booth, "Ehh, my guy's not so bad," and stick with their incumbent Republican. If enough do it throughout the country, the GOP holds the House.

The Senate has always been even more challenging for a Dem takeover, and I also just don't have a good gut feeling about that NJ race, which could actually result in the loss of an incumbent Democratic seat.

I also don't put it past the sleazeballs of the GOP to pull some of their patented dirty tricks, or challenge close election results, or rig the new electronic voting machines that many municipalities are beginning to use.

And then there's the great unknown - some unexpected world event in the next days that could scare voters enough for them not to want to rock the boat. There's a line of thought, in fact, that during the 2004 Presidential election, Osama bin laden, who sees George Bush as his best recruiting tool among Islamic fundamentalists, deliberately timed the release of one of his video tape messages for just days before the November election. It sounds almost counter-intuitive, but some believe he wanted Bush to win re-election, and the tape certainly got Americans scared again. And scaring people is one of the things the Republicans like to do. ("President Bush said terrorists will win if Democrats win and impose their policies on Iraq, as he and Vice President Cheney escalated their rhetoric Monday in an effort to turn out Republican voters in next week's midterm elections.") Scumbag.

On a happier note, while I try to keep the doom and gloom at bay, I saw my first naughty nurse costume today when I ran out to get the papers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

“Kazakhstan is more civilized now. Women can now travel on inside of bus, and homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hat.”


Since I was inexplicably offering reviews lately (on Showtime's “Dexter” and some Texas R&B), I thought I would remind you that one of the funniest movies of the year opens on Friday, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

I went to a screening of Borat tonight, and, seriously, haven't laughed as hard at a movie in a long time.

He, of course, is Borat Sagdiyev, “Kazakhstan's sixth most famous man,” a hapless Kazakhstan “journalist,” as played by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who is probably best known to U.S. audiences as Ali G., the dimwitted Cockney wigger of Da Ali G Show, originally created for the UK's Channel 4, and airing here on HBO. Borat was one of his other minor characters on that program (along with Bruno, a very gay Austrian TV host) and, like Ali G, each would get unsuspecting patsies to go along with their outrageous actions and proclamations in the guise of shooting a segment for their TV “interviews.”

Granted, you may have to be cursed with a very twisted sense of humor, but there is something absolutely fascinating about seeing “Borat” lead a bunch of good ol' boy red staters in singing along with him to an anti-Semitic song, and watching how easily and comfortably they slip right into his obnoxious lyrics.

Even funnier, the government of Kazakhstan is outraged at Cohen's character, terrified that people will think he is real and their country would produce someone who would say, “In Kazakhstan we have many hobbies: disco dancing, archery, rape, and table tennis.” They've been protesting the upcoming movie, guaranteeing, of course, even more publicity for it.

Anyway, if the upcoming elections have you in a state of nervous tension, as they do me, I'd recommend you go see Borat for a brief escape.

(And, in a little showbiz aside for some too saucy readers who I know love this type of stuff, Sacha Cohen's real life fiance is Isla Fisher, the quite tiny and quite adorable actress who played the nympho little sister who jacked Vince Vaughn off under the dinner table in "Wedding Crashers.")

Ugh

A new project coming to Oxygen - cameras follow Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott as they purchase and renovate a bed and breakfast in Southern California. and await the birth of their first child. Produced by World of Wonder Prods, the cable network has ordered six episodes, scheduled to join the lineup this spring.
- Variety

I know Bush is pro-torture, but this is really beyond the pale.

Serial killing and Texas R&B

I meant to note this last week when it probably would have made more sense; this past Saturday, Showtime aired a marathon of the first four episodes of one of their original series to allow non-viewers to catch up from the beginning - it's a weekly hour-long program running there that I really like and recommend: “Dexter.”

It's about a guy who is a CSI-type blood-splatter analysis officer on the Miami PD, but who is also, basically, a sociopathic killer on his off-hours. The premise is he goes after people who escape justice, but it's all very, very dark, and he is very, very strange. There are occasional flash-backs to his childhood (we've found out he was a foster kid adopted by a family headed by an old-time Miami cop), and it's clear Dexter suffered some, so-far, unknown trauma. In one of the flashbacks, he was found to have killed animals when he was a teen, which is one of the classic tip-offs to a serial killer type. His adoptive father found out and realized the kid had problems, and tried to steer him to only taking lives of those who deserve it.

I'd advise trying to catch it from episode one, as it has an on-going story arc (as they say in the biz). If you have Showtime-on-Demand, just call up the shows from the beginning of the run, or else maybe wait for them to do another marathon of all the episodes (which they will probably do before the season finale). Or just get the inevitable Season 1 on DVD when it comes out, I guess.

And, I have to admit, nervously, that when Dexter does his narrative voice-overs, which he does throughout the series, and talks about how much he finds humanity somewhat gross and bizarre, and how being in a relationship is, well, tricky (there's a great sub-plot running about his evolving relationship with his girlfriend), and how he pretends to “get along,” just to fit in with society, well, I get some of what he's saying.

Although I will hasten to point out, I've never killed anyone, and I totally love animals (more than I do most people, in fact – oy.)

But Dexter is a really likeable anti-hero, who (as far as I can tell in at least the first five episodes) is trying to do the right thing. And the show's got great production values. So I say check it out if you get a chance. It airs Sunday nights at 10.

Also, I've been listening lately to a great box set of old music, from Texas, no less, called “Boogie Uproar: Texas Blues and R&B 1947-1954.”

It's good stuff, and, when I hear it, I love the sounds, but I also get somewhat sad because you just know that the black guys (and it was overwhelmingly black guys) who made it were totally ripped off by the music business in those days, and their music and styles were stolen and turned into safe, white bread hits by people like Elvis.

So if you ever want to have some really cool background music on when you're making a yummy Omaha Steaks dinner (some prime rib tonight, ahhh), accompanied by a great bottle of Shiraz, my bud Sarah and I would highly recommend this.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The most boring place on Earth?


No, not Kansas, although that may be a close second.

I'm talking about Pier 1.

What the hell is it about that store that makes girls love to go in and "browse" there? And why do they feel compelled to drag me along?

My bud Velma forced me to spend a month at the Pier 1 on Third Ave. this afternoon. How many wicker chairs and candles and kicky little place settings can you look at?

Not to mention, a Best Buy electonics store was just an avenue away. I could have been happily browsing there looking at the latest hi-def TV sets instead of wine goblets.

Fortunately, I had two mimosas and a bloody at brunch, so I was somewhat medicated. I can't even imagine being in that damn place stone cold sober.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The eagle has landed



And so has the filet mignon, etc., etc.

Please hurry, UPS guy

I ordered the following bounty from Omaha Steaks on Tuesday:

Prime Rib
Filet Mignon Spring Rolls
Rack Of Lamb
Mushrooms, Seafood Stuffed
Filet Mignon
Omaha Steaks Burgers
Chicken In Pastry
Gourmet Franks

And tracking it on the UPS site, I see it arrived at beautiful Saddle Brook, NJ, at 2:44 am this morning, then went to UPS in The Bronx and was sent out for delivery at 4:33 am, which means it's almost at Chez JBK. Mmmmm.

I like the thought of people in uniforms working through the night to satisfy my carnivorous urges.

Holy shit, I'm still drunk


So much for my vow never to go to drinking events where you wear a wrist band. But THIS time I mean it. Yikes, I need coffee.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rush takes a break from popping pills and vacuuming down food just long enough to mock a man with a debilitating disease.

A few days ago, I noted and linked to a powerful TV ad Michael J. Fox taped for the Democratic senate candidate in Missouri, Claire McCaskill. In it, the actor, visibly suffering from the Parkinson's Disease he has had for several years now, points out that her opponent, the Republican senator in that election, is opposed to stem cell research, which many believe can greatly help in finding cures for afflictions like his.

(He's also done one for the Maryland senate race, where, again, the Democrat is for stem cell research and the Republican, pandering to the religious right as usual, is opposed to it.)

I said then that the ad is tough to watch, but very moving. Apparently the right-wingers agree as they are now going after Fox.

Rush Limbaugh has stopped gobbling pills long enough to snarl that Fox is "acting" and just playing up those Parkinson's trembles for sympathy.

The Washington Post today:

"Possibly worse than making fun of someone's disability is saying that it's imaginary. That is not to mock someone's body, but to challenge a person's guts, integrity, sanity.

To Rush Limbaugh on Monday, Michael J. Fox looked like a faker. The actor, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has done a series of political ads supporting candidates who favor stem cell research, including Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin, who is running against Republican Michael Steele for the Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes.

"He is exaggerating the effects of the disease," Limbaugh told listeners. "He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . . This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting."


Normally, the best thing to do with a thug like Limbaugh is ignore him. This is a clown of a man, after all, who has been married and divorced three times, was busted for sending his maid out to score illegal pills for him, and, most recently, was busted again, this time coming back from the Dominican Republic with a bottle of Viagra that wasn't prescribed to him. (As I noted when that story came out, why is a single man bringing Viagra on a vacation? These holy rollers don't believe in sex outside of marriage. Not to mention, the Dominican Republic is infamous for being a place where predators go for easily obtained underage sex. Hmm. Just a coinky dink, I'm sure, that Limbaugh was scoffing at the Mark Foley Congressional page scandal a few weeks ago).

The hyopcrisy of these holier-than-thou right-wingers, of course, is legendary. This fat fuck, along with then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, were the guys who lambasted Bill Clinton's morality on a daily basis during the Monica Lewinski crap, while they themselves were in the middle of multiple marriages, divorces, and assorted cheating on their spouses. (Although Newt is still only on wife number three. She might be a keeper.)

Well, in a perfect world, the best thing would be to ignore him. But, sadly, the Republicans in power treat the radio host as a serious man. When Dick Cheney or other administration figures get in trouble they go running to the gargantuan cocksucker for a comforting, softball interview on his show.

Al Franken wrote a great book a few years ago, "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot." With that title, he was mocking the shelfloads of right-wing tomes out by skunks like Ann Coulter, who regularly call Democrats "Godless" or "Treasonous."

It's a funny title. And, once again, Limbaugh has proven it's also true.

Here's that Michael J. Fox ad again, by the way.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's a good thing I don't work on a construction site

Damn, do I get distracted too easily.

So I stopped in at the Duane Reade on Third today to pick up some antacid for the occasional bout of heartburn I get at night. (Hard to believe I get it, I know. I mean it's not like I consume a lot of coffee, chocolate, red wine, Scotch and beer. Oh, wait a minute...)

Anyway, I usually try to get Duane Reade's own brand whenever possible with items like this. It's usually quite a bit cheaper than the brand name product and just as good. (They basically slap their own label on the stuff they purchase from one of the big manufacturers and, let's face it, aspirin is aspirin).

So, I'm looking at a bottle of Tums Extra Strength, berry flavor, selling for $5.49. And, sure enough, a few inches over on the shelf is DR's own label, same extra strength formula, same berry flavor even, at $3.29. More than two bucks cheaper. Beautiful.

Well, just at this point a drop dead gorgeous, and I mean stunning, blonde comes by and starts cavorting through the cough medicines not far away. She had to be a model - you know that look, you see it quite a bit in the city. I had no interest in talking to her, though. If she's looking at cough meds, I'm thinking - germs. Ugh.

Nonetheless, I was still a tad distracted. Enough so that I didn't notice until I was outside the store that I had, of course, picked up and paid for the Tums at $5.49.

It's a game of inches, my friends, a game of inches.

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's up to you, New Jersey, New Jersey

Start spreading the news...

"Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez appears to have opened a significant lead over Republican challenger Thomas H. Kean Jr. as voters focus more on the war in Iraq and the GOP's congressional scandals.

The latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll shows Menendez's lead at nine percentage points. Nearly half of the likely voters, 48 percent, said they would vote for Menendez, while 39 percent said they would vote for Kean."

- Gannett via the Courier Post

The NJ senate race looked like the one real opportunity the Republicans had this year to defeat a sitting Democratic senator, and this latest poll doesn't bode well for them.

Not that they won't necessarily hold on in tight senate races where GOP senators already are in office, Virginia, Missouri, or Tennessee, for example, but this was one race where they could conceivably pick up a Democratic-held seat.

If this and some other recent NJ polls hold, it looks like the Garden State may come through after all. And I may have to stop saying snarky things about it.

Well, for a month or so.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

When you care enough to give the very cheesiest


I went out to dinner with my bud Sarah on Friday night. (She's the only person, by the way, who insists I use her real name on this blog. It's almost as if she doesn't trust my ability to come up with good nicknames. But Velma and Corky can attest I do!)

She's also one of the few girls I know who can drink me under the table. And when we went out for cocktails after dinner, she noticed the bar had Trump Vodka. Yes, Donald Trump, real estate mogul, reality show host, and basically somewhat weird guy, has his name on a bottle of vodka now. And, hey, nothing says class like Trump Vodka.

So she insisted on getting a couple of shots for us. And, I have to grudgingly admit, it wasn't bad. The ironic thing is, Trump doesn't even drink, and says he has never tasted "his" vodka. It's a licensing deal, of course, where one of the big booze companies pays for the use of his name.

Because, you know, having a vodka named after a rich guy with a bad hairpiece who speaks in a weird monotone and whose biggest contribution to American culture is saying “You're fired!” on a freakin' reality show, um, makes you want to drink it?

And this is why I'm not in marketing or consumer goods. I just don't get it.

Painful but powerful

Michael J. Fox came into America's homes every week for years as Alex Keaton on Family Ties, no doubt still playing daily somewhere in syndication or on cable. And he was Marty McFly in the wonderful Back to the Future trilogy. It's safe to say he's one of the more beloved celebrities out there.

He also announced a few years ago, of course, that he has Parkinson's Disease.

I hadn't seen him in a while, until this ad, which is running in Missouri. The ravages of the disease are evident now, and this is sort of painful to watch, but pretty powerful.

Fox is speaking for the Democrat in the Senate race, Claire McCaskill, who is in favor of stem cell research. The Republican, Jim Talent, is opposed to it. Because, of course, in an effort to keep the anti-choice zealots happy, the GOP is more concerned about petri dishes of stem cells, cells that scientists say could provide much needed help in battling diseases like Parkinson's or spinal cord injuries. People suffering from afflictions like that, ehh, not so much concern from our Republican friends.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year


"In her thigh-highs and ruby miniskirt, Little Red Riding Hood does not appear to be en route to her grandmother’s house. And Goldilocks, in a snug bodice and platform heels, gives the impression she has been sleeping in everyone’s bed. There is a witch wearing little more than a Laker Girl uniform, a fairy who appears to shop at Victoria’s Secret and a cowgirl with a skirt the size of a tea towel.

Anyone who has watched the evolution of women’s Halloween costumes in the last several years will not be surprised that these images — culled from the Web sites of some of the largest Halloween costume retailers — are more strip club than storybook. Or that these and other costumes of questionable taste will be barely covering thousands of women who consider them escapist, harmless fun on Halloween.

“It’s a night when even a nice girl can dress like a dominatrix and still hold her head up the next morning,” said Linda M. Scott, the author of “Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism”

- NY Times

All this and candy, too!

Pot, meet kettle

Bill Clinton gave one of his barnburner of a speeches yesterday, in which he noted that the GOP's radical right has taken over that party, and instituted policies that have isolated the U.S. around the world, and abandoned millions of the poorest and most vulnerable at home.

And the response from a Republican spokesman?: "It's not surprising to hear these attacks from a man widely recognized for repeatedly playing the blame game to cover his own mistakes."

A Republican is saying this? A spokesman for the party that blames Bill Clinton, six years after he has been out of office, no less, for 9-11, and, more recently, for North Korea's nuclear testing. The party that flogs conspiracy theories blaming Mark Foley's Page-gate on shadowy Democratic operatives who "sat" on the information until close to the elections? Who blame the recent FBI raids on Pennsylvania GOP Congressman Curt Weldon's offices on George Soros, the scary liberal activist (and, oh yes, Clinton is somehow fingered on this one too).

Well, ok, sure, the FBI is run by the Justice Deptartment, which is run by Bush's Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. But, somehow, the omnipotent Clinton can still pull the levers of power. Is there no end to his evil powers?

And this is the party now whining that somehow Clinton plays the blame game? The pyschological disorder here is almost textbook.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

One picture, two tools

And Bush is Gollum?

Every time you think some of these politicans can't be any dumber, along comes one to make you realize - well, yes, they can.

Case in point. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA. Santorum is one of the most virulently right-wing senators, an arch conservative, and, thankfully, one of the most endangered in the miterms. He's been consistently running behind his Democratic challenger, Bob Casey, in every recent poll.

He's incredibly anti-choice (he and his wife also keep a jar in their home containing a fetus she miscarriaged years ago, I kid you not). He is incredibly anti-gay rights (he once said if we give gay people rights, the next thing people will be asking for is the legalization of "man on dog sex," I kid you not).

And now, in an interview with a Pennsylvania newspaper, he defends the Iraq war debacle, comparing it to the Lord of the Rings: "As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else," Santorum said. "It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States."

Uh, ok.

Beautiful smells #27


Can too many things smell better than a fresh pot of coffee brewing?

I proclaim no.

And I know I'm not saying anything too startling with that observation, but I was just struck there by how good coffee smells when I opened a fresh package of Gevalia beans to make a few cups.

Now, I'm usually a Dunkin' Donuts guy, by the way - I'll get a pound of it for the home brew for $6.99, and I enjoy it much better than the overpriced Starbucks blends.

But every few years I order from Gevalia to get one of the new coffeemakers they give away for free when you join (you can only do it every two years, they apparently keep track), and then, of course, after the first shipment of coffee arrives, cancel the membership, as they are quite a bit more expensive than DD.

So I got a new stainless steel maker to go with my renovated kitchen, and ordered the Antigua and Cafe Moulu blends.

Thank you Gevalia. I'll be talking to you again sometime around 2008.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And you thought Mark Foley was kinky

Argyle and mom jeans?


What's happened to our little pop tart?

(More pix here).

It's called the heartland - not the brainland

"TOPEKA, Kan., Oct. 12 — Grace Mosier lives with her mom and dad, goes to birthday parties, takes ballet classes and is just like a lot of other 6-year-old girls. Except that she happens to be obsessed with Dick Cheney.

“I really, really like him,” says Grace, who can tell you what state the vice president was born in (Nebraska), where he went to grade school (College View, in Lincoln) and the names of his dogs (Dave and Jackson). She gets her fix of Cheney fun-facts by visiting the White House Web site for children. It says there that his favorite teacher was Miss Duffield and that he used to run a company called Halliburton."


- NY Times

Well, they certainly do indoctrinate them early out there in red state America.

Of course, those poor kids don't stand a chance. Later, in that Times piece about the hero worship that apparently envelops Dick Cheney - Dick Cheney, for Christsakes! - when he ventures out from his secret, undisclosed bunker, you get a sense of some of the scary adult numb nuts they are surrounded by.

“There was a peacefulness and a truthfulness to this man that really caught my heart,” says the congressman’s wife, Anne Ryun, who is clutching a Bush-Cheney placard from the 2000 campaign that the vice president has just autographed.

Ms. Ryun had spoken briefly to Mr. Cheney and says she had told him she was praying for him. She adds that his wife, Lynne, “is the most gracious, intelligent woman I’ve ever known of,” and that she wants to model her life after her. Recounting this, Ms. Ryun’s voice goes soft, and her eyes become a little glassy.


Seriously, what is wrong with these people?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'm a people person!


As much as my fellow New Yorkers drive me batshit crazy sometimes, there are days like this one, when you're just glad to be in the middle of this big, bad, noisy, wacky city and its teeming humanity.

The weather was gorgeous (see pic from the Q). A nice, sunny, crisp Autumn day, perfect for walking and, in fact, I walked home to the fashionable Upper East Side from the 8th Avenue Street Fair (purchases: 2 leather belts for $10, four pairs of crew socks for $5, a Thai spring roll for one buck, yum, and a strawberry-mango smoothie for $5 - ripoff!)

The walk home had to be a bit more than 5 miles (going by the standard "20 city blocks=1 mile" calculation, then factoring in the 8th Ave over to the East Side part of the journey.)

I feel so alive.

Of course, I then promptly mitigated that by stopping in at a divey bar on 3rd Ave, that was calling me with a siren song touting All-U-Can-Drink beer for 10 bucks. Oy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

On a positive note, the turkey always looks ready, if you know what I mean

Damn, it got cold today, it's in the low 50s in the city, although it's supposed to warm up again over the next few days. I could go into my annual "I hate NY winters, I've got to get out of here" rant, but I'll save that till we get our first snow.

Which they already got upstate, about two feet of it, near Buffalo. Yikes.

Well, there's clearly only one thing to do - knock off early, go to my favorite Irish pub, order fish & chips and some Bloody Marys - those always put a warm glow in your tummy.

People Are Annoying (TM) - Part 24

Wow, people are really annoying sometimes. I know, I know, it's hard to believe I could say such a thing, since I usually tell such pleasant stories of the patience I have for, and delight I derive from, my fellow man.

Thursday, though, I was ready to be medicated.

First, I had to run to the supermarket at one point during the day. And this particular peeve happens to me a lot there: some numb nuts is in front of me, and the cashier was ringing up her items, a kid is bagging them, you see the running total on the little screen during the process, and then, of course, the cashier gives the final bill – and, I swear, this genius seemed literally startled that she was being asked for money, and began suddenly rummaging desperately through her pocketbook.

Huh? She didn't realize they were going to be charging for the food today? She wasn't aware that at the end of the checkout process, Food Emporium asks for payment? And, of course, it wasn't even handy. She's looking through multiple compartments in a giant goddamn bag for what seemed like three minutes. I don't know, apparently she puts it in a different place every time?

I have my twenty dollar bill in hand, boom, ready to go every time when they ring up that total. The person behind me in line is very lucky, let me tell you.

And if this one had paid with a credit card, I think I might just have poured the carton of O.J. I was buying right over her empty head. I may have mentioned it on this blog before, but that is really one of the more frustrating things, standing behind someone who insists on paying for a $4.62 bill with their MasterCard. Oy.

But the day of annoyance continued into the evening.

I had got invited to a screening. Now, I love seeing a flick on the big screen, and, when it's free, it's even better. This was at the Ziegfeld, which is, I think, the biggest (non-Imax) screen in Manhattan, so it's a good one. But Jesus H. Christ – no exaggeration now, for two solid hours, I heard coughs and wheezes and candy wrappers rustling and popcorn bags crumpling.

Who are these people? Don't they realize they are not sitting in their home, and maybe, just maybe, should at least TRY to have some consideration for their fellow audience members? Is this too much to ask? I'm beseeching you, I'm begging you – please, please, please don't go to a theater if you have a hacking cough.

These are just some of the many reasons I think I like animals better. They're so much less annoying than humanity.

The only saving grace was the movie was VERY loud. It was “Flags of Our Fathers,” the new Clint Eastwood-directed film about the guys who raised the
flag at Iwo Jima, and how they were exploited by the government to sell Savings Bonds after that iconic AP photo became a sensation, and the way their lives sort of fell apart after the war.

I guess I would recommend it, but I will warn it is pretty gory. But if you're into history, it could be interesting for you.

And to protect the innocent, I won't say who I went with, because, at one point in the movie, I gave her a little pop quiz, asking if she knew who the president was in a scene when the soldiers were brought to the Oval Office (to meet someone clearly portraying Truman) - after an earlier moment, no less, when it was announced that FDR had died – and, well, er, let's just say she might not be ready for a Jeopardy Tournament of Champions appearance.

In her defense, Ms. X claimed she wasn't good at remembering the order of the presidents.

You know, that might actually work if you were asked who came after, say, Van Buren, but I don't really know if you can get away with it for who came after Roosevelt.

Ahem.

Heh.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I have issues #328

My OCD, or whatever the hell it is, kicked in big time this morning.

I was brushing my teeth and happened to look in the mirror and could see the hand towel hanging on the wall behind me.

And it was hanging so that the label, you know the little Cannon 100% cotton label, was on the side facing out, and you could see it.

I had to stop what I was doing and turn the fucking towel around so the label was facing in against the wall. If I hadn't, it would have driven me crazy all day knowing it was hanging like that.

One of my exes used to deliberately tease me by knocking one of my pictures ajar on the wall as she was leaving in the morning (she had to get up and leave before me). The first few times she did it, I just figured it was an accident, then I realized the little biotch was doing it on purpose because she knew I would have to straighten it.

Ugh, just shoot me now. Put me out of my misery.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Plugged in but disconnected

It's funny, but even with three 24-hour national cable news channels, one 24-hour NYC all-news cable TV station, and two all-news radio stations in town, and, of course, the Internet, you still sometimes find out what's happening outside your door just by a phone call from a friend.

I was doing some writing so wasn't really connected to the world, but heard what sounded like a LOT of fire engines going by. But it's NY, there are always fire engines. Then I got a text from a friend asking if I was ok, was it near my building?

Huh?

So of course, I turn on NY1 and there was the news of the small aircraft that has plunged into a building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Then I look out my bedroom window (I'm in a corner unit, so I have southern and western views in there), and I see the damn building, about a mile away, with flames shooting out of it, and 6 helicopters hovering above it.

Oy.

When news of this (what looks like an) accident filtered out to the world, I got about four more calls and texts asking if I was ok, was it near me? So, yes, I am. Fortunately, it's not THAT close to my building.

And to those who didn't call or text to see if I was ok - thanks for nothing you bastards!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Don't screw this up for the rest of us, New Jersey. Yes, I'm talking to you!

A recent spate of polls are encouraging for those who believe this country has been governed by an incompetent buffoon for the last several years, aided by a Congress eager to roll over and be derelict in providing the checks and balances the Constitution says it should.

Polls today in The New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today all show the same thing – the public is fed up with Bush, think Iraq is a debacle that we should never have undertaken, and can't stand the corrupt GOP-controlled Congress.

The Mark Foley-Congressional page scandal may just have been the final straw.

Of course, all the usual caveats apply. The elections are still a month away, which is a long, long time in politics. The power of incumbency and the overwhelming financial advantage the GOP enjoys will be hard to overcome. And, frankly, never underestimate the GOP's capacity for dirty tricks, or an October surprise – although Foley was not quite the surprise they were expecting.

But the pundits are saying the Democrats could win one or even both houses of Congress, which was unthinkable just a few months ago.

The Foley thing, by the way, really shows the hypocrisy of the right-wingers. When you hear the hate mongers of talk radio, and the Fox News Channel screaming heads, and the Evangelical religious leaders looking desperately for excuses to sweep this story under the rug, you see what kind of two-faced scum they really are.

Because you know, of course, that if this had been a Democratic Congressman these same people would be screaming bloody murder 24/7 about the immorality of liberals. Hell, they impeached Clinton for a consensual affair with an adult who had bragged about going to Washington to pursue him. But a Republican screwing around with underage teens, when they were clearly uncomfortable with his pervy advances – hey, not a prob.

And if it hadn't been revealed in the press, it would likely still be going on. In fact, they are somehow trying to put the onus on Democrats, saying it was a dirty trick and the Dems knew about Foley but waited to release the info so close to the election. So, in other words, the bad thing here wasn't a Republican Congressman preying on underage kids, it was that the info was released. Quite a moral argument there.

(Not to mention, Brian Ross, the ABC reporter who broke the story about Foley's emails and IM's to the kids, has already said his source was a Republican).

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed, carry your lucky rabbit's foot, and make sure you go vote in November. And, ahem, Jersey people – they say the only Senate race in the country in which a sitting Democrat could lose is, yes, in the Garden State, where Kean is way too close in the polls to Menendez for my comfort. I know Menendez isn't the perfect pol, but, here's the thing, if his holding that seat is what tips the balance of power to the Democrats in the Senate and we get a Senate majority, that can mean all the difference if Bush gets a chance to appoint another Supreme Court Justice in the next two years (a frightening thought).

You've already got the Sopranos image and Hoboken to live down, don't make it the loss of a Senate seat also. Thank you.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Also no mob hits here!


Another gorgeous day in the city, so I went to watch a little bit of the Columbus Day Parade this afternoon on Fifth Ave. No mob hits here, either.

In fact, it's definitely not as rowdy or drunk as the St. Patrick's Day Parade in March. And the food is much better.

Of course, I have an irresistible craving for lasagna now.

And there weren't even any mob hits!


My cute little former employee “Jan Brady” got married yesterday, and, of course, all the K girls (her sisters, Special K and Little K) were there. Oy, such a cornucopia of wackiness. Although I met their mom at one point and she seemed, well, sort of normal. I was actually disappointed, in fact, at how normal she was.

Could all of the K's have been dropped on their heads when they were babies?

That's so clumsy of her.

By the way, Jan, one of your bridesmaids was adorable. Call me.

The wedding was in Jersey, natch. Strangely, the bridesmaids were not wearing spandex, and their hair actually seemed quite tame. But it was only about 20 miles outside the city, so I think NY rules still applied. I even, evily, asked the band to play a Bon Jovi song, but the guy said they didn't really know it.

And, another adorable bridesmaid, Corky, was there, and I met her parents too. And, again, so normal. I hate to break it to Corky here on the Internet, but I think she was adopted as a child. Granted, I had a few Jack & Cokes in me, but I believe her dad told me they picked her up at a carnival. It was her or a stuffed Elmo. They went with Corky.

And she's very funny about how tall she is. She is tall for a girl. Which, of course, is actually good. But she seems to be embarrassed about it, and couldn't wait to get out of her heels and into flip-flops. Always a nice look with a wedding dress.

Anyway, fun time, good food, open bar, K's and Corky. How can you go wrong.

So mazel tov to the beautiful bride and her new hubby.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Surreal Life


I've been a tad busy lately so didn't have time to mention a primo C-level (maybe even D-level) celebrity sighting I enjoyed a few nights ago.

On Thursday, I was at a media party at PM, down in the ever-trendy meatpacking district, and Leif Garrett was there. Let's just say it was mugshot Leif, not teen idol Leif. Oy. And the amazing thing is, girls were still clamoring to talk to him. What is wrong with you people?

Meanwhile, I really shouldn't talk about wrongess, after one of my more obnoxious comments that night. But, in my defense, I will say I immediately heard how ridiculous it sounded, and, at least, felt a modicum of guilt.

So, here I am, at this pretty cool party - open bar, hot waitresses bringing around yummy Hors d'Oeuvres - and I actually complained to a friend that the crabcakes were cold.

You know, the free crabcakes being served with the free booze. And I managed to bitch about them.

I realize, of course, there are people in, say, Nebraksa, who never get to go to media parties and eat and drink for free on a regular basis. Hell, there are people in this city who don't get to do it.

We do get jaded sometimes. But I'm working on it. And at least I recognize my wrongness. Thank you.

If you ever needed a reminder about the differences between the two major parties...

An AP story about the upcoming elections notes the following:

"The fate of hundreds of ballot initiatives will be decided. Several states will vote on proposals to ban same-sex marriages and raise the minimum wage. Republicans hope the former will boost turnout in crucial congressional races, and Democrats have similar plans for the latter."

One party is looking to bring out their base by institutionalizing discrimination and bigotry against a minority. The other is trying to raise wages for the working poor.

When people say there is no difference between politicians, and they're all the same, sometimes I want to scream.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wait till you see the photos of him with Clay Aiken


Former congressman Mark Foley in his glory days, hanging out with some "American Idol" people. I wonder if this was before or after he asked the 16-year-old to measure his package?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

See - they're just very sensitive and compassionate

The right-wing media machine is apparently trying out a new line of defense for Republican leaders accused of not doing anything about Mark Foley, the Florida representative who had to resign Friday after creepy emails and IMs he sent to underage Congressional pages came to light. Emails that GOP leaders, including House Speaker Denny Hastert, had actually found out about last year.

The problem, say the nutjobs on The Wall Street Journal editorial page, is GOP leaders didn't want to be seen as bashing gays:

"But in today's politically correct culture, it's easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert's head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys. Are these Democratic critics of Mr. Hastert saying that they now have more sympathy for the Boy Scouts' decision to ban gay scoutmasters? Where's Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on that one?"

Umm, yeah, because we all know how sensitive the GOP is to the feelings of gays.

Please. This is the party that drags out a gay marriage ban every few years to rile up their base. And now we're supposed to believe the reason they didn't go after Foley, even though they have known about his trolling for jailbait, is because they didn't want to be seen as bashing gays?

And the war in Iraq is going swimmingly too.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's one of my three main food groups this time of year


Duane Reade has the Halloween candy out, which means Chez JBK is already filled with bags of fun-sized 3 Musketeers and Milky Ways.

Not for the brats on Halloween, of course, but for my own greedy self.

My building always puts up a sign-up sheet in the lobby with the doorman for anyone who wants to be visited on Halloweeen by kids. Needless to say, I never participate. Bah humbug.

But I do eat the candy that would otherwise go to them. I love those little chocolate bars. And if you freeze some of them - mmmm.

Hey, I'm only trying to save the little fucks from childhood obesity. This country already has the world's fattest kids, you know.

Oh sure, blame the poor innocent booze

I'm getting tired of these lunatics who do something crazy and obnoxious, then – when they're caught – immediately check into an alcohol rehabilitation clinic. They're saying, see, it's the booze. It's a sickness. You can't be mad at someone with a disease.

I call bullshit.

Recently, of course, we saw Mel Gibson caught in an anti-semitic rant after being pulled over in Malibu for drunken driving. It gets picked up by the press. Everyone's shocked (although, given his history, they shouldn't have been). A weekend or so later, boom, his lawyer lets it be known Gibson has checked into a clinic for treatment of alcoholism.

I guess there isn't a clinic for treatment of hating Jews.

And now we have former representative Mark Foley (R-FL). He's busted for writing all sorts of creepy emails and instant messages to underage congressional pages. He resigns on Friday.

And today, boom, Foley “has checked himself into a rehabilitation facility for alcoholism treatment and accepts responsibility for his actions, his attorney acknowledged Monday.”

You know, I've had a cocktail or two in my day and never once have I felt the urge to start hating Jews or coming on to underage teenagers. (Legal teenagers, now that's a different story – hey, you've been a great audience).

But, seriously: in vino veritas. Even if the booze somehow “caused” these freaks to do these actions, obviously it just loosened up impulses that were already there, the anti-semitism and the perviness. It didn't actually cause the underlying sleaze.

These fucktards should not be allowed to blame Jack Daniels for their own personal demons.

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