Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Here's an interesting list of the world's 11 best subway systems. The highest-rated U.S. transit system is, of course, New York's, but it only comes in at number seven.
By the way, let me just brag here (cough) and say I've ridden six of these 11 systems: NYC, London, Montreal, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo.
And here's a couple of video tributes to the NY system, both appropriately in noir B&W, although in all my years of riding (on a Downtown Train or otherwise) I've only “met cute” two times, as in the first video – sadly, I'm usually just repulsed by my fellow subway riders.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Vice President Cheney was shuttled into a bomb shelter at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan this morning after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the main gate in an attack Taliban officials say was aimed at the vice president. Cheney was uninjured and in no real danger from the blast, which killed at least four people, including a U.S. soldier, at the gate of the Bagram Airfield.
- Washington Post
First, it's disgusting that a U.S. soldier and others were killed protecting this piece of human excrement, but the bigger problem is the alarming decline of a stablized Afghanistan back into a Taliban stronghold.
You remember Afghanistan? That's the country where the Taliban allowed al Queda and bin Laden to be based and plan and launch their 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
Afghanistan, the nation we struck in retaliation for those attacks, toppling the Taliban and forcing bin Laden to flee.
And then it was the country we took military resources out of so that Bush and Cheney could carry out an attack on Iraq - a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.
And we all know how well that's been going.
And now the Taliban is regrouping in Afghanistan.
Another Bush foreign policy debacle for the history books.
Friday, February 23, 2007
According to The Washington Post, "the Iraqi government is initiating major, costly repairs to its diplomatic building in Washington and expanding its real estate holdings here.
The latest Iraqi government purchase for its U.S. mission is a $5.8 million mansion at 3421 Massachusetts Ave. NW in Observatory Circle, across the street from Vice President Cheney's official residence. The three-story, 1920 Tudor-style structure, with more than 7,000 square feet of space...comes with bright skylights, inset lighting fixtures, a top-floor kitchenette with a built-in espresso machine, new hardwood floors and soft pistachio carpeting up the winding stairs. There are heated floors, a firefighting system, speakers for music throughout the building, and spacious bathrooms, one with a Jacuzzi."
I don't know where the money to pay for this is coming from, our tax dollars or Iraqi oil revenue, but it sure as hell isn't going to rebuilding that country's destroyed infrastructure.
I went out for dinner at my fav Upper East Side restaurant (where I got the amazing Long Island Duck medley. Oy, so good). As per custom, I sat at the bar reading the Daily News, enjoying a few glasses of a delightful little Pinot Noir. I don't have to talk to anyone, it's so relaxing and the bartender is always great with the buybacks. Good times.
I got there not long after 5 pm, when the place opened. I was the first and, for a little while, the only customer there. Got a nice seat at the bar, ordered some wine, and was beginning to read the paper when another customer came in.
Now, again, I am the only one there. This place is primarily a restaurant (a little upscale but not crazy expensive) and it doesn't have a huge bar, but there's at least 20 seats at it and it curves a little.
And this joker comes in and sits RIGHTNEXT to me. A minimum of 19 empty bar stools and he walks halfway down to sit at one next to mine. I must have glanced at him in disbelief because he gave me a look like, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
I couldn't believe it. And of course, it's never a hot little blonde who does this, although even that would be strange, but this guy had to do it. Ugh.
I had my paper spread out a little and now this clown was cramping me.
And it got worse. He made noise. He sneezed a few times, which I always find disgusting in a restaurant. He sighed a lot. He ordered food and the noise from his eating - slurping and chewing. And whenever he took a sip of his drink, he make that ahhh sound. I was totally nauseated.
By now a few more people had drifted in, but there were still about 10 empty seats.
With my body language, I was a master linguist. I turned my back on this guy so much I was practically facing north. And then, when I ordered my dinner and the bartender, Jerry, brought over the settings, I said to him I was going to move one stool over to my right because the light was better there for reading. It really wasn't, but I had to get away from this guy.
So please, people, I'm begging you: if you go to a bar and there's lots of empty seats and one customer there, do not sit directly next to him. There's no reason to. It's just weird.
According to multiple sources, Fallon is close to a new overall developmental deal with NBC, and those sources say one possibility under consideration as part of the agreement could see the network developing Fallon as a 12:30 a.m. replacement if and when incumbent Conan O’Brien replaces Jay Leno on The Tonight Show in 2009.
While the network announced O’Brien as Leno’s replacement, it has yet to name O’Brien’s successor. While 1:30 a.m. host Carson Daly recently told B&C he is interested in the job, he also said he was yet to talk to the network about the 12:30 opening, perhaps signaling the network's intentions.
- Broadcasting & Cable
The choices to replace Conan are Jimmy Fallon or Carson Daly? Two of the most annoying "personalities" out there? Fallon is maybe ok in a short SNL skit, or perhaps a movie. But giggling at his own jokes and being on TV five nights a week is a different beast. And Daly, well, enough said.
It's like the Iran-Iraq war. America sorta wants both sides to loose.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Although many British troops are getting pulled out of Basra in Southern Iraq, and eventually all of the Brits will be out of that sad country, there are still UK forces there, including new ones being sent over to replace already exhausted troops. Among the new troops will be Prince Harry, third in line to the throne:
A ministry spokesman said the prince would be sent to Iraq with his "A" Squadron of the Blues and Royals regiment "over the next few months" as part of the latest British troop rotation.
The flame-haired younger son of Princess Diana had always stressed that if his unit were to go into battle, he would want to be leading them.
Harry's regiment will leave for Iraq in May or June and could serve up to seven months there, Defence Secretary Des Browne said.
The 22-year-old prince, who as a Second Lieutenant has the rank of Cornet in his regiment, had reportedly threatened to quit the army if not allowed to serve on the frontline.
He has trained to become troop commander and will be leading 12 men in four Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicles.
So I guess we'll soon see the Bush twins heading over there, right? Because, you know, the military adventure in Iraq is the most important thing we can do to preserve our freedom, according to their daddy, so I assume he's urging his own kids to volunteer and help defend us and not put all the burden on other families' children.
The Pentagon is planning to send more than 14,000 National Guard troops back to Iraq next year, shortening their time between deployments to meet the demands of President Bush’s buildup, Defense Department officials said Wednesday.
National Guard officials told state commanders in Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio last month that while a final decision had not been made, units from their states that had done previous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan could be designated to return to Iraq next year between January and June, the officials said.
The British see the hand writing on the wall and are getting the hell out of that debacle. Bush is throwing more American bodies into the grinder. Let's hope the horrible conditions at Walter Reed Medical Center are fixed before more injured soldiers start coming back.
Heckuva job, Bushie.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Some of my more evil friends might say that yesterday was Fat Monday for me, and tomorrow will be Fat Wednesday, and I do pledge to you, the Too Saucy reader, that this is the year I lose that 10 pounds I've been whining about forever.
In fact, I got off to a good start to it today, walking an astounding sixty blocks (30 blocks out, 30 back). With the standard formula of 20 city blocks equaling one mile, that's a brisk three-mile walk. Absolutely breathlessly, may I add, unlike many of my wheezier buds who are usually gasping for oxygen just heading to a bus stop.
I feel so alive and manly now.
Of course, the fact that the walk was to Bed, Bath and Beyond on 1st Ave. may negate some of the manliness. Although, let me hasten to add, I wasn't at the bed or bath part, only the beyond.
Actually, here's a recreation of my visit (and remember, the camera adds about 100 pounds).
Rodent- and roach-infested rooms. Black mold growing in some rooms. Broken elevators. No one to shepard the injured vets or their families through the complicated bureaucracy. Not enough staff to make sure vets get the ongoing therapy or medicine they need.
These are military members who have lost limbs, have been severely burned over much of their body, are suffering from deep psychological trauma. And they're tossed into this crap hole.
Today, The Post is reporting that the army is rushing to suddenly start fixing the problems. Of course, they're only doing it now that the shocking story was on the front page of the paper. They've basically been shamed into finally doing the right thing.
And it once again points out the sheer hypocrisy and depravity of the right-wingers and their political party, the Republicans.
For years, all the right-wing blow hards in Congress, the hatemongers on talk radio, the dutiful lapdogs of Fox News, have screeched about the evil liberal media, the MSM (mainstream media) as they sneeringly call it – usually meaning The Post, The New York Times, AP, CBS, NBC, and ABC News, CNN, the LA Times, Time, Newsweek, etc.
They charge that "the media" is somehow hurting the morale of “the troops” by daring to report that Iraq has turned into a world-class cluster fuck. And that the Democrats, who want to end the war and bring the troops home, are somehow “cut and runners.”
The implication being that if you oppose the war, oppose Bush and his horrendous mismanagement of this unnecessary war, it somehow means you oppose the troops. (I never quite got the logic of how wanting to end the war and brings the troops home out of harm's way means you oppose them, by the way.)
And now we find out, thanks to that dastardly MSM, that the troops the GOP claims to love so much are treated like crap after their lives have been turned upside down. And this after they've been thrown into battle often without adequate armor, leading to these grievous injuries in the first place.
Yet we're supposed to believe these flagwaving blowhards are the ones who support the troops?
They are the ones who have sent over 3,000 U.S. military to death in a war against a country that had not attacked us. They've got the military straining to keep pace with the chaos, forcing units to serve second and third tours without a break. And now they want to send 21,000 more Americans into the middle of the bloody sectarian civil war erupting in a country Bush's incompetence has plummeted into chaos.
But somehow it's the media – and the Democrats – that don't support the troops?
And, of course, when these right wing skunks had their own opportunity to actually serve themselves – from the White House and Congress down to the screaming heads on talk radio and Fox News – strangely enough the overwhelming majority of these superpatriots somehow managed to avoid putting on a uniform. As Dick Cheney famously said, he had “other priorities” during the Vietnam War era, and Rush Limbaugh had an anal cyst that kept his fat ass out of the draft.
But, hey, they all support the troops. So much so that they want even more of them to go fight for the glory of Dear Leader. And when they get injured, oh well, toss them forgotten into a dysfunctional hospital. And scream some more about those commie libs who don't support the troops.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Here's Fox News Channel's newest anchor, Courtney Friel, who recently hosted the World Poker Tour.
I'm glad to see the high standards of journalistic excellence continue at the GOP's favorite channel.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Hello all. Back in the city after several days in West Palm. Let me tell you, at one point it plummeted to a brisk 74 down there. Brrrr.
How's it been up here?
Oh yeah. Not so nice, I heard.
Oh well, how's the world? Let's see, Britney is going wack job, Bush is still incompetent, and I wish I was still lying poolside.
Oh well. Let's all carry on.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Here's a cool one I stumbled on, a WNBC-TV, Channel 4 promo. I actually vaguely remember it from when it originally aired, probably sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. It has lots of interesting scenes from all around the tri-state area (the Jersey shore looks almost as good as Greenwich, CT), including a poignant World Trade Center shot, as well as then newcomer Matt Lauer, when he was still doing local news on 4 and had more hair.
Bonus trivia, the red-headed girl who's singing the jingle, and who you see in a couple of the scenes (this is from the days when TV promos ran for more than 30 seconds) is Andrea McArdle, the original “Annie” on Broadway.
A daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was arrested Monday night in Wheaton and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Thomas Meloni said.
Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, was stopped about 7:25 p.m. in a 1996 Ford Econoline van near Gamon Road and Longfellow Drive after a citizen reported a possible drunken driver was at the McDonald's restaurant near there, Meloni said.
- Chicago Tribune
Well, I suppose I'd drink too if that bastard Scalia was my daddy, but, really, there does seem to be an alcohol problem among the GOP elite. Of course, she's probably just trying to forget all the damage done to the country over the last seven years since her father helped steal the 2000 election and give it to President Cuckoo Bananas.
Oh, and a '96 Ford Econoline? Oy. I guess the other car was up on blocks in her front yard.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
- Washington Post
It hasn't even started yet and they've already scurried home.
Now I'm not talking about the description for something like “Bride of Chucky,” where you expect it to be wacked out, but the ones that run for presumably non-deliberately cheesy films.
Here's some I saw scrolling through the guide just in the last day:
Highlander: The Final Dimension
Immortal swordsmen duel it out in a New Jersey parking lot.
A buffalo hunter kidnaps the girlfriend of the Mexican bandit who stole his horse.
Schultze Gets the Blues
A newly discovered love for Cajun music reawakens a dispirited German accordonist's zest for life.
The Frisco Kid
A greenhorn Polish rabbi goes cross-country to San Francisco with a Wild West bank robber.
A cartoonist loses his hand in a car accident but it comes back to crawl around to kill people.
The Boy Who Could Fly
A teenage girl befriends an autistic boy who sits on his roof, perched as if ready to fly.
Beneath the 12-mile Reef
A Greek sponge diver loves the daughter of a rival family of Key West sponge divers.
Hey, I know it's not easy to write a capsule description of a program in one sentence; in a former life, I had to rewrite a co-worker's program descriptions and he had the opposite affliction, turning in eight-paragraph poetic opuses on nothing – but these movie descriptions are just plain wacky.
Come on cable guide program writer, make me want to see the damn movie, not stare at its description in disbelief.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
The funniest part is his deliberate mangling of the Republicans' name, a subtle payback for Bush and other GOP nincompoops continually saying the Democrat party instead of the Democratic party.
Friday, February 09, 2007
- LA Times
Bush has an Uncle Bucky?
But seriously, is there any member of this clan that isn't either corrupt or a fuck-up.
One of Bush's brothers, Neil, was involved in the savings and loan shenanigans and humiliated when it turned out he has a penchant for Thai hookers. Bush's niece, Noelle (Jeb's daughter), was arrested for drugs. His nephew, John (another Jeb offspring) was arrested for drunk and disorderly and once stalked an ex-girlfriend.
Bush's daughters, of course, were busted numerous times for underage drinking. Our lovely first lady, Laura, killed her former boyfriend in a car accident when she ran a stop sign when they were in high school.
And Bush himself, well, of course, he is the fuck up of all fuck ups. The epitome of a mediocrity rising to the top only through family connections and money.
What a gene pool.
I made my first hot chocolate of the season today and let me tell you it was tasty. It was made even sweeter as I sipped it standing at my window high above the streets of the fabulous Upper East Side and watched my fellow New Yorkers far below bundled up and scurrying off to work and doing chores. Good times.
Alas, I have to brave the elements soon myself, as I have a lunch in midtown which I'd rather not go to, but hey, a free meal at Bar Americain. Why not?
I think by then it's supposed to be a balmy 33 degrees anyway.
This is seriously the time of year I go through my annual That's-it-I'm-moving-to-California routine.
But then I never do it, and Spring comes and it's beautiful in NY again. Ah well, maybe next year.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
In fact, it's really just a very sad story.
This is a woman who was obviously in pain and has some real problems and then snapped. Hey, I've had stalky girls, we probably all have had stalkers - who fortunately weren't astronauts - so their shenanigans weren't splashed across the front pages and on 24-hour news stations. Also, granted, they didn't drive across the country in diapers and carry mace for some hijinx.
If only she hadn't been wearing those damn diapers.
That was probably the tipping point for the press coverage. Diapers!
But let's be honest, if it had been a male astronaut stalking a former female lover, the coverage would not have been so flippant and mocking. But, hey, it's a wacky woman astonaut. Good stuff. Time for some cable news beat-the-story-to-death coverage.
As Jon Stewart said, the headline should have been “Very Accomplished Woman in Tragic Local Story.”
And take out the “very accomplished" part and it's the Anna Nicole Smith saga. Many people found her funny, but it was all really just incredibly sad. She was a slow motion train wreck we actually saw dying before our eyes over the last few years. And if her “lawyer” isn't arrested soon for enabling all this, then there really is no justice.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Haggard now "completely heterosexual"
DENVER - One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual."
Haggard also said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with sexual allegations, the Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur told The Denver Post for a story in Tuesday's edition.
I'm glad that's all cleared up.
It really is absolutely pathetic that these right-wing Christian nuts are in so much denial that they think Haggard, or anyone, can be "turned" from being gay. And that it was really all just some sort of silly fling, he was experimenting, he was choosing to be gay just for a while.
Why, don't you know, Clay Aiken loves him some breasts.
Because, you know, guys will really choose to be a member of a despised (certainly in the circles Haggard runs in) minority just for kicks - and the clothes and the haircuts, I guess.
The sad thing is, the sheep who follow these so-called men of God probably believe this shit.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, as they take the field, let's welcome our 2007 Republicannnnn Partyyyyyyyyy!
To my delight, they have just opened a Subway sandwich shop across from the Key Food on First Ave, where I will no doubt be feasting on some foot-long tuna salad subs - with the works, baby - in the days to come. Good times.
Monday, February 05, 2007
I went to a Super Bowl party last night and the differences between the sexes really becomes apparent at half time.
The guys wanted to watch Howard Stern's pay per view channel. The girls wanted to watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.
Now, regular Too Saucy readers know I am an animal nut. And cute little puppies romping around a tiny footbal field - how can you resist?
Well, semi-naked hussies romping around is how. Luckily there were two TVs.
Guys disgust even me sometimes.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Just a final follow-up thought on the great Cartoon Network scare of '07.
I saw one of the most ridiculous aspects of it on some of the cable news stations, after the numbnuts in Boston had finally figured out they shut down the city because of a marketing campaign featuring cartoon characters.
Apparently these characters occasionally throw the middle finger.
And when the news programs showed pictures of one of the little light emitting thingys that had been plastered all over the town, they actually blurred out the extended middle finger! They blurred out the middle finger of a fucking cartoon character.
What the hell is wrong with our country? Why do people act so childish and prudish?
I can never figure out what exactly they think will happen if someone out there hears a naughty word spoken on TV, or sees someone -- again, a fucking cartoon character - flipping the bird. Will the viewers' eyes start bleeding, will their ears explode?
Of course, this is all done to "protect the children" of parents who are apparently useless and have no control over their kids themselves. It's also done to appease the religious nuts who get all atwitter at the very thought of sex or dirty words.
If you've ever watched TV in the U.K. - and I'm pretty sure it's the same way in the rest of Europe, including Italy, home of the goddamn Vatican, no less - television and radio programs operate under the assumption that adults can handle an occasional F bomb or even see some naked boobs on screen (unless the shows are specifically geared for kids: think Thomas the Tank Engine or Teletubbies, etc.)
In sitcoms and dramas and chat shows, they use the seven dirty words, not gratuitously, but just as normal people do in normal, everyday life.
I've been watching "Extras," a great BBC sitcom that HBO is airing. The F word and the like get thrown out occasionally, and it's hilarious, and it's broadcast on standard, over-the-air TV in the U.K.
But here we have to show it on pay cable, and we blur out the middle finger of a cartoon character. Un-fucking-believable.
Friday, February 02, 2007
There's a show on the Discovery Channel HD called “Sunrise Earth” that's absolutely stunning to watch. They basically just set up multiple hi def cameras at a location somewhere in the world and, at the brink of dawn, start filming, well, as the title suggests, the sun coming up, gradually illuminating the scenery. There's absolutely no narration at all, just the ambient sound (which on hi def, of course, is CD quality).
There was one airing today from a horse ranch in Moose, Wyoming, and among the scenes we saw a herd of horses grazing along the Snake River as the sun slowly came up, with the Tetons mountain range in the distance, mist gradually burning off the river. On the soundtrack, you could hear the river just continually whooshing by in the background, the birds awakening, and an occasional horse whinny.
Each episode is an hour, and watching the day literally wake up is fascinating. It probably sounds sort of dull, but it's actually strangely compelling and quite relaxing to watch.
And those horses, (oy, poor Barbaro, my diatrabe here from last May, when the injury happened) anyway, to see these magnificent creatures in this magnificent setting in that magnificent picture was something.
Kudos to Discovery HD, which consistently broadcasts some of the best hi def programs out there as far as picture quality. I don't know if they use better equipment than the other networks, or it's because most of their stuff is shot outside in natural light, not in a studio, but it's usually got the best picture in the still relatively small HD universe.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
They just delivered the new phone books today.
When are they going to save some trees and stop printing these damn things? I don't know anyone who uses a phone directory anymore, it's all 411 or the Web.
When you see the books stacked up in a building like mine, which has 33 floors in it, and multiply that by a few million, it's astounding to realize how much paper goes into these dinosaurs every year.
That's sort of like George W. Bush admitting to being inarticulate.
In an interview with People mag:
Currently the tabs are having a field day over rumors about plastic surgery – your nose, your boobs. What's going on?
(Laughs) It's funny. I had [a deviated septum] fixed – best thing I ever did. I slept like a baby for the first time in years. As far as all the other [rumors], as boring as it sounds, it's still mine. All of it. Still mine.
They're still gonna run before and after pictures ...
Short of letting everybody have a feel, I don't know what else to do. I really am pretty happy with what God gave me.
First, let me say, I will gladly take her up on the offer of copping a feel to attest to her boobs' reality or lack thereof. Second, what's the big deal if she got a nose job? I don't know why she's so defensive about it. I always thought she was cute and the nose job makes her cuter. (And everyone who gets a nose job claims it was for a deviated septum – you ain't fooling anyone, girls!)
I always thought Aniston was a pretty decent actress. She was clearly the best one on “Friends,” and, in the few movies I've seen her in, (“Along Came Polly” and “Derailed”) she was quite good.
Jen, your nose and especially your boobies are just fine.
We all found out, of course, that it was a guerrilla marketing stunt for a Cartoon Network program, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. (I've never heard of it, but now I'll check it out.)
And local officials in Boston are outraged at Turner Broadcasting, demanding investigations and saying they're going to make them pay for the costs of this day of panic!
What seems to be getting ignored is that this same ad campaign took place in several cities across the country – including New York – and no-one panicked in these cities. Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco and Philadelphia also got visited by the Aqua Teens and chaos did not ensue. Hell, in New York, the only time people really panic is if the Naked Cowboy in Times Square suddenly puts on his pants. Then you know something is wrong.
Buncha woosies in Boston.
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