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.

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