Thursday, May 31, 2007
The city banned cigarettes in bars, and the smokers trooped out to the sidewalk. Trans fats in restaurants were next, and the French fry addicts mostly shrugged. But since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that it was considering banning alcohol on commuter trains, it has been a different story.
Bankers and brokers and blue-collar workers spoke out in defense of the tradition of a Scotch and soda or a cold Budweiser on the ride home to Huntington or Greenwich.
And the authority listened.
Faced with an overwhelmingly negative response to the proposed ban, a committee of the authority’s board has recommended that the cocktail hour be allowed to continue on the trains and platforms of the Long Island and Metro-North railroads, according to a member of the committee and two people briefed on its findings.
- New York Times
I used to do that damn commute every day before I moved to the city. The bar car was one of the only pleasant things about being stuck on a train for an hour and a half.
Kudos to the MTA for listening to their tippling passengers.
The economy nearly stalled in the first quarter with growth slowing to a pace of just 0.6 percent. That was the worst three-month showing in over four years.
The new reading on the gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department Thursday, showed that economic growth in the January-through-March quarter was much weaker. Government statisticians slashed by more than half their first estimate of a 1.3 percent growth rate for the quarter.
Not only has George W. Bush managed to damage this country's standing in the world, made us more vulnerable to terrorism, let a great American city drown, and (as Colin Powell said) caused the military to be "broken," exhausted and stretched thin in Iraq, he's ruined the fabulously strong economy he inherited from Bill Clinton.
I seriously think he's some sort of Manchurian candidate, put in office by one of our enemies to deliberately ruin this country. No one could fuck up so much so easily without trying.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
A damn bee ruined my move today.
I took a post-lunch stroll through Central Park and was sitting by the lake watching the turtles swim around, which is very relaxing. I was in one of those little gazebo things scattered around the lake's edge, each with two benches facing each other, and this really cute girl sat down in the bench opposite mine and started writing in a journal.
Then this woman came by with a little girl, couldn't have been more than five, and was pointing out the turtles to her.
And then the bee made its appearance.
It was big. I mean seriously big. HUGE. I could feel the air move, its damn wings were so big.
And it started buzzing around me. So I jumped up flapping my arms like an idiot. (I was going to say like a 5-year-old girl, but she was calmer than me.)
And her mother started laughing and said, "It's a bumblebee, it won't sting."
Of course, there went the great move I was going to lay on the cutie.
And she looked like she could have been the one too.
Goddamn bee. I was B-blocked.
20th Century Fox has acquired feature rights to the life simulation computer game "The SIMS" from Electronic Arts, and has set project up with Fox-based John Davis.
This should be almost as good as that new ABC show that's scheduled based on the Geico caveman commercial.
Note to self: I must switch to a sun block with a higher SPF. I'm not really a beach person, but was convinced to spend a few hours out there in the blazing sand on Sunday. I lathered on 30 SPF block, and, with my sun paranoia, I'm freaking out now as I see a twinge of red. I may have to switch to a 60 block if they even make such a thing.
(Oh and people, please, please, please don't bring your crying babies to the beach. It's too hot for them, and they really don't like it. Dogs barking at the ocean are less annoying. Just continue bringing them to restaurants and on trains as usual. Thank you.)
If you run out of hot dog buns, do not make a lobster roll using a cinnamon bagel. Strangely enough, it doesn't work.
No matter what time period anyone tells you it's going to take to travel to or within the Hamptons, double it and add 45 minutes.
And why do people from the city spend all that time to travel out there, and then happily stand in line to get into the trendy restaurants or bars? There's an easier way to do that – it's called staying in Manhattan you freakazoids.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Mary-Kate Olsen is returning to television with a co-starring role on Showtime's dark comedy "Weeds."
On the Lionsgate-produced show, Olsen will play Tara, a devoted Christian girl living in the newly developed megachurch community Majestic who becomes a love interest for Nancy Botwin's (Mary-Louise Parker) son Silas (Hunter Parrish). Olsen will appear in 10 of the 15 episodes of the show's third season.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of the show," Olsen said. "It's really an honor to be a part of such a talented group of actors and writers."
"Weeds" marks Olsen's first major solo role. Since their debut on ABC's hit comedy series "Full House" at age 9 months, Olsen and her twin sister, Ashley, have starred together in a string of kids and tween-oriented series and movies for television and video.
- The Hollywood Reporter
Well, at least Ashley has free time to continue, er, looking fashionable.
As I presciently suggested more than a week ago, the scandal here wasn't that Baroody was getting a fat $150,000 farewell payoff from the NAM (although that certainly raised suspicions), it's that he would even be considered by George Bush to run the agency that tries to protect consumers against his former cohorts in the manufacturing world and their worst instincts to make a fast buck by putting shoddy goods on the marketplace (flamable children's pajamas anyone?)
Hey, maybe Michael Brown is available. He did such a heckuva job running FEMA.
Seriously, after Colin Powell left, has Bush appointed anyone competent enough to run the purchasing department at a midlevel suburban department store, never mind a federal agency with a life and death mission statement?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Seeking to rally support for the war, President Bush released intelligence asserting that Osama bin Laden in 2005 ordered creation of a terrorist unit to hit targets outside Iraq, including the United States.
The bulletin, which warned that bin Laden had enlisted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, his senior operative in Iraq, to plan potential strikes in the United States, was described at the time as credible but not specific. It did not prompt the administration to raise its national terror alert level.
First, I take anything Boy George has to say with a grain of salt.
Second, let's remember how accurate his "intelligence" was that claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
And third, let's never forget that Iraq wouldn't be in the goddamn mess it's in today - sinking into a bloody civil war, destabilizing the whole middle east, 3,300 American soliders and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis dead - if Bush hadn't invaded the country in the first place.
If bin Laden's forces are indeed somehow operating there now, and plotting to launch attacks against the U.S from there, it's only because the clown in the White House launched the disastrous war. When Iraq was a stable country under Hussein, bin Laden and his men were not welcome players there.
And while we already knew the Iraq war has increased the recruitment of potential new terrorists who want to stike the U.S., the new claim that bin Laden is now using Iraq as a launching pad comes just days after a report that said the war has actually increased funding for Al Qaeda and made it even stronger in Pakistan:
In one of the most troubling trends, U.S. officials said that Al Qaeda's command base in Pakistan is increasingly being funded by cash coming out of Iraq, where the terrorist network's operatives are raising substantial sums from donations to the anti-American insurgency as well as kidnappings of wealthy Iraqis and other criminal activity.
The influx of money has bolstered Al Qaeda's leadership ranks at a time when the core command is regrouping and reasserting influence over its far-flung network. The trend also signals a reversal in the traditional flow of Al Qaeda funds, with the network's leadership surviving to a large extent on money coming in from its most profitable franchise, rather than distributing funds from headquarters to distant cells.
- LA Times
Another heckuva job, Bushie.
Monday, May 21, 2007
There was a discussion on Bill Maher's HBO show recently about how single women vote pretty heavily Democratic - but, unfortunately, as a group they are much less likely to register and vote than women who are married. Married women tend to split their votes between the two parties. (I don't know if these women just get more conservative when they get married and have kids, or if they're being bullied by some lunk of a husband to pull the lever for the GOP.
Never married, widowed and divorced women make up 46 percent of all women and an equal share of women in the work force. Their votes, when they cast them, favor Democrats by a significant margin.
But they register and vote at a markedly lower rate than their married sisters, who split more evenly between the parties, according to a study by Women's Voices, Women Vote, an organization formed to involve more unmarried women in the political process.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
That article is from 2004 and there is an even larger percentage of single women now. In fact, demographic experts say singles will soon be the majority among the U.S. female population.
The Baltimore Sun reports:
Whether they are divorced, separated, widowed, not yet married, or legally prevented from marrying their same-sex partner, almost half of all American women over 18 are unmarried. Soon they will be a majority.
But turnout among unmarried women - just 59 percent in the 2004 presidential cycle - was significantly lower than the 71 percent rate among married women. In the 16 states where Women's Voices ran targeted mobilization campaigns, however, the rate of increased turnout for what the group prefers to call "women on their own" was twice the rate of increase in the other 34 states.
Everybody knows Democrats fare better among women than men. But Republicans win among white women and married women.
So it's even more important for you to make sure you and your friends are getting out there and voting. And of course, if you read Too Saucy regularly, you know who to vote for. If not, I'll tell you closer to election day.
And did I mention, keep your interesting pix coming into my mailbox.
Thank you again.
Friday, May 18, 2007
That one, just because.
And this cool shot of a bolt of lightning striking the Empire State Building was in the Daily News yesterday, taken during the thunderstorms that hit the city. There was no damage to the ESB, which is actually designed to be a lightning rod for the other buildings in the midtown area.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I found a bag of old cell phones I've had over the years. Some of them look like bricks compared to the lovely Moto Q.
Then I found some pix from a trip I took to Asia - China, Thailand, Bali and Hong Kong - with my ex. Here's a discrete pic of her. She is literally wearing a Chinese Army cap and I think that's Mao's little book she's peeking out from.
And you think I'm a lefty!
But she has freckles, curly strawberry blond hair and is Jewish, so I was happy. Hey, drop me a note, China girl, if you're reading this today.
And then I came across pix of my kitties when they were really kittens. Aww. Look how tiny.
(Actually, the most shocking thing about this is I was apparently drinking domestic beer.)
I had to get up at an ungodly hour today - if you check out the time stamp on this post, you'll see just how ungodly, ugh - and, looking out in amazement at how the world is apparently already quite alive while I'm usually in deep REM sleep, I really noticed for the first time I have a sliver of a river view.
Even though my place faces west, the bedroom also has a window looking south, and if you stick your head out and look to the left you can glimpse the East River. I caught the sun coming up on this somewhat cloudy day. I don't want to make a habit of that, however.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
A senior lobbyist at the National Association of Manufacturers nominated by President Bush to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission will receive a $150,000 departing payment from the association when he takes his new government job, which involves enforcing consumer laws against members of the association.
- New York Times
Corruption in the Bush administration? Say it isn't so.
But never mind that this guy is getting a fat check from a lobbying group as he joins the government - the very fact that Bush nominated a lobbyist to run an agency that enforces laws against that very lobbying group's members is rotten and is the real scandal.
Then again, this is the administration that put oil company executives in an energy task force, and big polluters on an environmental study group. Nah, no conflicts there, I'm sure.
I guess we can't really be surprised anymore by the venality of these people. They're all dirty.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
A fun celebrity sighting today. I was in the Park after lunch on another beautiful day, and on the Reservoir path, I saw (I think) Andre Braugher jogging. He was great in the gritty TV cop drama, "Homicide."
Of course, he went on to lose some street cred when he appeared in the mega chick flick, "City of Angels."
I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that the Central Park Boathouse restaurant is one of the establishments where I get frequent flier miles on my Continental account. When I got my statement in yesterday, I had 100 miles just for stopping in there to have a glass of wine and two beers (not all for me, I hasten to add) a few weeks ago.
I may just have to do that again. In fact, by the end of the summer, I will probably be able to go someplace like the Greek Islands.
I have a new guilty pleasure, besides Cadbury Crème Eggs, hot girls dancing on the bar at McFadden's, and an amusing little Shiraz with dinner.
It's the free Movies on Demand station on Channel 1008. That's where they put the On Demand programming for a group of minor networks that don't have their own separate On Demand channel like, say, HBO.
Ch. 1008 includes On Demand programming for nets like TCM, Sundance, and RHI (which I've never even heard of) but the one I've been watching a lot is Universal on Demand, which shows some so-bad-they're-good TV movies made by the Universal studio back in the 1980s and 90s.
Since they were produced for broadcast TV in that era, they're pretty tame by today's standards, no nudity or even heavy swearing, but, damn, there's some cheesy acting and plots going on.
They don't run commercials, but, as these were made for network TV, you see 30 seconds of black where the commercials were originally inserted, so each 15 minute or so segment of the movie follows the scene-climax-break pattern of TV movies.
And since it's On Demand, you can even pause it at that point and take a bathroom or kitchen break, just like viewers originally did when they watched “Murder Between Friends” starring Timothy Busfield.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Rudy Giuliani, that macho man of the GOP whose "heroics" calmed the country on 9-11 and made him America's Mayor?
Ehh, not so much.
Turns out, according to a fascinating New York magazine profile, he's just another sad-sack husband controlled by his wife. (Of course, in his case it's his third wife, Judith Nathan.)
She first threw her net around him at an upscale cigar bar:
Club Mac, with its wooden Indians, leather sofas, and “state-of-the-art ventilation system,” had become a well-known late-night haunt for the mayor. Perhaps it was also something of an escape: He was still living at Gracie Mansion with his second wife, television personality Donna Hanover. Here, he could kick back with a tumbler of Glenlivet and relax with City Hall aides and political associates. Sometimes a woman would approach him, interrupting his cigar-smoking to express her admiration, maybe get an autograph. Perhaps flirt mildly. So it wasn’t surprising when Nathan, a pretty woman with rich brown hair, came over and said hello.
A few days after their fateful meeting, the mayor had an aide retrieve Judith’s business card from his desk drawer at City Hall, then he phoned and asked her out. They took in a movie at Loews Kips Bay, The General’s Daughter, which is about a cover-up at West Point. At dinner afterward, at Peter Luger Steakhouse, they were chaperoned by a couple of City Hall staffers.
So they meet sort of sleazy, she was basically a glorified groupie - and then it gets better when Rudy starts wooing.
Before they were married, he indulged her desire to dine regularly at Le Cirque even though the heavy cuisine tended to make him queasy. “It was almost required daily, going to Le Cirque for dinner, and Rudy used to throw up afterward, because the food was so rich,” says a witness. “But she wanted to go, because it was the place to be seen, and the treatment by Sirio [Maccioni, the owner] was incredible.”
Well, his kids hate him for the way he treated their mother, his former wife, Donna Hanover. And the religious nuts who run the GOP are beginning to turn against him now they realize how strongly pro-choice he is (one of the good things he has going for him).
I doubt he will be President. But he will always have Judi.
At least until wife #4 comes along.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Larry Wilkerson gave an interesting interview to NPR on Thursday. He is a Retired Army Colonel, the former Chief of Staff at the State Department from 2002 to 2005 under then Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Vietnam War veteran, the former Acting Director of the Marine Corps War College at Quantico, and currently a teacher of national security at William and Mary College.
Suffice it to say, he's no lefty lib like me.
Wilkerson: "The language in that (Constitutional) article, the language in those two or three lines about impeachment is nice and precise – it's high crimes and misdemeanors. You compare Bill Clinton's peccadilloes for which he was impeached to George Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors or Dick Cheney's high crimes and misdemeanors, and I think they pale in significance."
The Republicans lowered the bar for impeachment by going after Clinton, who they couldn't defeat at the ballot box, for getting a bobjob. In the process, the GOP instigated a constitutional crisis and made the U.S. the laughing stock of the world.
If that was grounds for impeachment, it's safe to say that Bush's lying us into a diastrous war, killing 3,300 Americans, tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and making us less secure than before, is sure grounds to fire up the impeachment machinery again.
Sadly, it probably won't happen and we're stuck with President Cuckoo Bananas and his Dark Sith Lord - the Dick - through 2009.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Why does it seem like every second girl I see is wearing a dress with leggings or tights under it?
I don't like it.
Girls, either wear the dress by itself, or wear the tights alone with something like a hot little belly shirt. But not a dress and tights together.
"My idea of a choice is that it should be a real choice and that ultimately, then, you have to respect a woman's consciousness," Giuliani told Ingraham and listeners on 340 radio stations nationwide. "I think life is enormously important, but so is personal liberty."
Ingraham pressed Giuliani, asking him whether stories about the birth of a 22-week-old baby affected him. Giuliani said they did, calling the debate about abortion "a deeply personal" issue. He stressed that Americans understand the difference between personal beliefs and public policy.
"So why people think this is such a contradiction, I don't get. I think it's entirely consistent," he said.
When Ingraham ended the segment with a standard line about his returning again, a clearly agitated Giuliani responded: "I would love to come back, but you're going to have to ask me about the war on terror and what we do about the economy, which is after all what most citizens ask me about."
"Well, conservatives are citizens, too, Mayor Giuliani!" Ingraham responded. "We're citizens, too."
- Washington Post
As I told you a year ago, even though he's supposedly leading in the polls among Republican candidates, Rudy doesn't have a chance in hell of getting the nomination with the anti-choice numbnuts controlling his party.
Unfortunately for him, it's not all about his "heroics" on 9-11.
Fortunately, he's probably the only Republican who could put some of the big blue states like New York and California in play.
Bring on McCain.
Monday, May 07, 2007
I had a decadent brunch Sunday at the Popover Cafe with my friend Sarah and we walked our piggishness off by going back to the East Side through the Park, which was beautiful. We hit the Sheep Meadow, the Great Lawn, The Ramble, the Reservoir, the Sailboat Pond and the Lake. All in all, about five miles, thank you very much.
Over by the 5th Avenue side, we got caught up in some of the spill-off crowds from the Israel Day Parade which was going up 5th.
What a bunch of drunken, rowdy hooligans, guzzling beer and vomiting in the streets.
Oh, wait - that's the Irish in the St. Pat's Day Parade.
It was actually all very orderly and law-abiding.
In fact, one guy jumped off a float at 73rd Street and did my taxes!
Hey, you've been a great audience, don't forget to tip your waitress.
"Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) did not discuss his Mormon faith as he continued his outreach Saturday to conservative Christians in a graduation speech at Regent University, the school founded by televangelist Pat Robertson.
"There is no work more important to America's future than the work that is done within the four walls of the American home," Romney said. He also criticized people who choose not to get married because they enjoy the single life.
- Washington Post
Fortunately, this flip-flopping, pandering weasel has no chance of actually getting elected, or even nominated for that matter, since the Christian nuts who control the GOP are not going to vote for a Mormon - but now I really loathe him anyway. What a smarmy thing for a presidential candidate to say.
And what's with these married folks on the right-wing who feel the need to lash out at single people? Apparently, it is a crime to...now how did Romney put it again? Oh yeah - ENJOY ourselves!
I mean, seriously, do we all have to live in their suffocating prisons? *
*(Hah, just kidding, of course, to all my happily married readers ensconced in a loving relationship and who see nothing at all unnatural about being with The. Same. Person. For. The. Rest. Of. Their. Lives. Until. The. Day. They. Die. Never. To. Enjoy. The. Fruits. Of. A. New. Exciting. Romp. Ever. Again. Ever. Or. Decide. On. Say. A. Thursday. To. Take. A. Spontaneous. Weekend. At. The. Cape. But. Instead. Get. To. Experience. Saturday. Trips. To. Crate&Barrel. To. Browse. The. Kitchen. Utensils. Department.)
Thursday, May 03, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 2 — The Justice Department has begun an internal investigation into whether a former senior adviser to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales improperly tried to fill vacancies for career prosecutors at the agency with Republicans loyal to the Bush administration, department officials said Wednesday.
The inquiry focuses on whether the former adviser, Monica Goodling, sought to determine the political affiliations of job applicants before they were hired as prosecutors — potentially a violation of civil service laws and a break with a tradition of nonpartisanship in the career ranks at the Justice Department.
- New York Times
Another day, another scandal from the Bush White House.
This latest one is all part of a pattern, and actually quite indicative of many of the problems we've faced under the Bush Reign of Error: from the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to government agencies trying to belittle global warming and evolution, even to the running of the Iraq war.
We're being screwed royally by political hacks. Incompetent political hacks, no less.
They don't care about doing what's best for the country, they don't care about science. They don't even care about running a war correctly. They only care about serving Bush.
It's almost a cult of personality, like the old communist days. You even see it in some of his supporters - that loyal 28 percent who still show up in the polls saying they support this empty little suit of a man.
We saw the incompetent and unprepared “Heckuva Job, Brownie” being put in charge of FEMA, which was one of the most effective and admired agencies under Bill Clinton, and the result is New Orleans as we knew it basically doesn't exist any more, and probably never will again.
We saw NASA officials silencing scientists' reports on global warming, and the theory of “Intelligent Design” being taught in public schools alongside evolution.
When former Army Chief of Staff General Eric Ken Shinseki said we would need several hundred thousand troops in Iraq to restore and keep order following the invasion, he was mocked by the numb nuts at the White House who said it was going to be a cakewalk, and was quietly forced out of his job. Four years later, we have more than 3,300 US troops dead, who knows how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians slaughtered, and Iraq sinking deeper into a bloody civil war. Historians are already saying the Iraq invasion and aftermath is one of the worst foreign policy debacles in this country's history.
And now the Justice Department, already reeling from the US Attorneys scandal, when Attorneys were fired for prosecuting guilty Republicans, or not ginning up charges against innocent Democrats, is rocked again with the revelation that they have been trying to seed traditionally career, non-partisan positions with loyal little Bushies.
Seriously, how many people are dead today, here in the U.S. and around the world, who otherwise would still be alive except George W. Bush became president?
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Ok, it isn't quite June yet, as in the old Sinatra classic, it was a little cloudy today, and the trees haven't even really bloomed yet, but this is still a great time of year in the city. Especially for a little post-lunch stroll through Central Park.
Any time I go through my annual "I gotta get out of here" mood, in the depth of winter, it always goes away when Spring comes back to town, and I remember I live five minutes away from one of the world's great parks.
Even seen through the crappy 1.3 MP camera on the Q.
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- Sometimes you can fight city hall - or the MTA
- Thank you, George Bush
- Bee meet chicken
- And they say there's no creativity in Hollywood an...
- Start making your Labor Day Weekend plans
- I always heard she was the ambitious one
- Another one bites the dust
- His lips are moving - assume he's lying
- Attention Single Women
- Gratuitious pix of the day
- Memories, like the corners of my mind...
- 1 BR, rvr vu
- Another day, more Bush sleaze
- Alert. Celeb sighting in the Park. Alert.
- Guilty pleasure
- Just another hen-pecked schlub
- If they could impeach Bill Clinton for a blowjob....
- When did this memo go out?
- He's toast
- Oy Gevalt
- The guy from "Big Love" talks
- And the web grows more tangled
- I Like New York in (May)
- Mission Accomplished
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