Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I've got a few more squirrel stories to get to soon, but first some additional information relating to this post from a week ago, a plea for respect that ironically ends up making Dan Rather seem even crazier than I'd previously thought (which, for the record, was crazier than a bedbug in a whorehouse).

Now that winter is approaching, the autumnal reshuffling that was dominating our attention back in September and October has come to a close, and Short-lived Phenomenon Field Reporter Andrea B. reports that the surviving Massachusetts squirrels looked very fat and fluffy in their thickening winter coats over the recent holiday. This story from the other coast provides both a good overview of the suprising craftiness of the squirrel, a craftiness unfortunately not yet up to speed with a few aspects of the modern world which now surrounds it (though as the top photo shows, they manage to figure things out if they have enough time).

That last story is very heartwarming, but there is also an element of danger lurking beyond the cute and fluffy surface of the squirrels, as recent events in Ohio, Iowa, and Siberia clearly demonstrate. The Iowa story is of particular interest to me because it occurred in the closest metro area to my hometown, so I'm familiar with the businesses mentioned and therefore am especially moved by the tremendous hardships they were forced to endure by this squirrelly disaster: "Mama Nick's Circle Pizzeria lost power for nearly two hours. As a result, the restaurant was forced to open half an hour late, which affected the lunch buffet. At Varsity Cleaners on West 11th Street, computers shut down and the register didn't work for an hour and a half, said Leone Simpson. Customers picking up dry cleaning either had to pay the exact charge or by check. 'I made an 86 cent tip because one customer didn't have the exact amount,' she said."

There are a few other friends that have not had my full attention recently, but I'm ready to make amends for that lapse, starting right now: "Some folks say I shouldn't pet him because he might bite," says Flor. "But he's not going to bite."

Reader Mike A. sent in a somewhat novel tip, but one which is absolutely perfect and cannot be denied. Pictured are Sarah and Mike, dancing at Steve's wedding. Posted by Hello

Monday, November 29, 2004

Workplace Signage #4... as always, first you click to enlarge, next you cut to size, and lastly you stick it up in your designated work area (and stick it to the man!) Posted by Hello

On Friday evening my curiosity as to how exactly the growing readership outside my close circle of friends manages to stumble across IAAFOTS finally got the best of me and I signed up with a free site analysis service called Reinvigorate (which, if you've got your own website and are similarly curious is so far proving to be outstanding, as well as very nicely designed, hard to believe it's free). A lot of the traffic is coming from other Blogger blogs that don't have me linked, so I'm assuming that's just a result of that "Next Blog" button that we all have up at the top of the page (as far as blogs that do have me linked, Cityrag is leading the pack). But the most interesting referring links to me are the ones from Google, because I can go and see what someone was searching for that got me to come up, and there is a definite trend forming there: kelly perdew girlfriend, the apprentice jennifer massey pics, stacy rotner today show, levi's jennifer massey, wesley moss, apprentice elizabeth jarosz... it's kind of a shame that The Apprentice is pretty much the only thing I'm regularly watching on TV these days except for football (though a few free Fridays in a row have been getting me a little reacquainted with Less Than Perfect). The other searches from the past 24 hours include dirty found, seth green borgata, the floppy show magic window, i am a friend of the squirrels, (and my favorite by far) norm's wall mounted tool chest. Anyway, you can look forward to more not so interesting statistical reports very occasionally in the future, but now to make up for this first report I also have some other Julia Roberts news that most competing outlets seem to have missed today.

"Phinneaus?" Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I don't know if anyone else who saw The Apprentice on Thanksgiving noticed this, but to kick this week's episode commentary off I need to thank the cameramen and editors of the show for the shot of the squirrel sitting in the grass outside of the PepsiCo headquarters nibbling on what appeared to be some variety of snack chip. Awesome. Anyway, as has been the case a few times before, I didn't catch the very beginning but when I plopped onto my sofa full of turkey and quail eggs and flipped it on the three non-Massey members of Team Apex were just finishing up a conference wherein they all confirmed that they were on the same page concerning the hollow shell of manipulation that Jennifer has revealed herself to be. In fairness, it is a game, and she is by far the best at playing it, but you get the sense that she must have years of practice under her belt, because as Ivana may have shown a little later you cannot acquire such powerful skills overnight. In any case, when given the chance at the Trump marching orders meeting they sent her on over to mess with Mosaic for awhile, and what happened when the newly configured Mosaic got down to the bottle brainstorming and the massive revisionism that occurred between what we saw and how it was explained by the team in the boardroom was a sight to behold. Andy, of course, quickly ingested approximately eleventy-twelve quadzillion times the recommended dosage of cola, which then appeared to remain in his system for the rest of the task. In all likelihood, in fact, he will never sleep again until the inevitable reality series My Big Fat Obnoxious Heroin Dealer: 'Celebrity' Edition adds him to its cast and his hands-on approach to product identification reboots. I quickly need to add an aside which is completely irrelevant to the show I'm supposed to be concentrating on here: my roommate was reading me the cast of an upcoming 'celebrity' weight-loss series and one of the contestants is Wendy, The Snapple Lady. For the love of christ, all you TV moguls reading right now, if you've got to dig that far you really ought to shelve that concept and return to the drawing board. Which gets me right back on track, because when the rhyming pair of Andy and Sandy were at the drawing board hammering out their unfathomably horrendous solution to this week's task all that Jennifer did was sit quietly, play with a bottle cap, and utter one single word: "Sweet." How this was magically transformed into Andy proclaiming with apparent sincerity in front of the boardroom trio that she was by far the most creative, hard-working, and productive member of the team was the saddest display of brainwashing I have seen on TV since November 18, 1978. Also, not that this would have been enough to triumph over the additional adversity of opaque geographical shrinkwrapping, but how can anyone possibly claim that a sphere is ungrippable in a world where both Pom Wonderful and most organized sports are already in existence? That caramel colored elixir of the gods will rot more than your teeth, young Andy, as you further proved by the apparent belief that starving people can maintain their drive and focus solely on lettuce which you displayed when it came time to motivate the design team. I had grown to like you and am trying hard to believe it was solely soda talking, but you may have turned out to be the biggest asshole in the game (oh wait...) Back now to Team Apex, where Ivana broke out with what I can only assume was her attempt to hypnotize her male teammates a la Massey. For all her previous persuasive arguments that Jenn was all style and no substance it seems like she was just as seduced, in a different but equally disappointing way. Her initial proposition that you could put a hot dog in the hole of Kelly's bottle design was just awkwardly obvious, but her follow-up suggestion "or maybe a piece of a boob" blew right past the realm of endearingly clumsy and strongly hinted at full-blown psychosis (and starting to cry when she saw the completed bottle for the first time only amplifies that hint). To quote the dearly missed Lil Stacy, I feel sad for this, because I'm not sure if this is something clinical, and I am sensitive to that, but it was one of the most scary moments in my life. Actually, any sadness I may have felt was dispelled after Apex inevitably triumphed and received their reward (I planned to make good use of the Donald saying that this reward was all about speed, but my new idea for a reality show above already used up my quota of drug humor for this post), driving Lamborghinis on a race track. I don't have the entire quote written down, but Ivana Ma said that this was the first time she's driven a high-performance sports car since she "wrecked the Porsche my dad gave me when I was 16 or 17" (I wonder if that was also "almost like having sex"?) Anyhow, when it came down to the boardroom, Sandy made up for her poor speaking skills at their presentation by laying down an unstoppable barrage of invective against both Andy and Jennifer for the earlier collusion that Jennifer inadvertently let out of the bag, and once again the team leader that Classy Massey had seduced into targeting one of her female rivals instead got taken down himself. I just thought of this, but it's interesting that the last guy she screwed over in this manner, Raj Bhakta, was the other contestant in the television ad with Andy that they made look like the real final cab ride (forget what the product is now) - before I was just thinking that he had been picked because of some Indian cab driver stereotyping by the ad execs. I was going to put a (?) after inadvertently back there, but in her reaction shot she did seem like she was honestly a little stunned... she is so very good with deception, though. On one hand, Andy would seem like stronger competition for her than Sandy, but on the other she probably wants as many men around as possible since by and large they seem to lack the ability to see through her transparency like the women can (note that Caroline was the one who noted that she seems to have some strange power over her team leaders and got Trump to confront her about her under-the-radar flying reputation). Anyhow, I guess Kevin is the only contestant I like to any degree now that I also think would make a good all-around business leader (Sandy has obviously already found her perfect niche and demonstrated that she was very good at it on the bridal episode, but beyond that comfort zone she continually falters). My main question concerning next week's show is how they are going to balance five people, and secondarily, is Ivana going to get arrested or institutionalized after dropping her pants in public? We will see.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

I realize that it could be exTREMEly boring to read about various restaurants and other establishments that I patronize, especially when I'm not feeling up to being very funny while doing so (if I start getting any less sleep than I've managed to get over the past several days I'm going to cross the border into the realm of negative sleep, a poorly named phenomenon which has up to this point been only a theoretical construct put forth by the tiny marmot scientists that may or may not be living, theorizing, and plotting untold marmot mischief within the warm and wooly confines of my comforter... seriously that's just my best effort at making this somewhat amusing, I have not actually lost my marbles quite yet, so far as I know, but I am so very tired right now). But there are a lot of businesses in New York, and I like to find out about ones that other people can personally recommend myself, so what exactly am I apologizing for again? Let me get to the point of this post: I've been cutting my own hair for many years now, and it normally turns out pretty well I think, but I can really only give myself one haircut, shaved all the way down to 1/4" or so over most of the head except for a hand-sized patch up front that's more like an inch or so in length. Eventually that'll grow out looking ok, too, but it is a very long eventually, and when I attempted to do something less drastic to the longer version a month or so ago I ended up creating something very haphazard indeed. Therefore I have finally been forced to pay actual money to someone else to fix the whole mess and get my hair back into a decent looking transitional phase that will be able to grow to its full potential without being cruelly mocked by all the other haircuts it passes by during its travels around our city. I always really loved the name of this salon that used to be on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg (and recently moved over to Lorimer and Bayard) called Mousey Brown, and I figured that as long as I was up for shelling out a fair amount of cash to set things straight up there, a place that evoked both a small furry mammal and my natural hair color was the most logical choice (plus it's only a fifteen minute walk from my apartment). I called them up at 10 this morning (I told you I didn't get much sleep) assuming that I wouldn't get an appointment until next weekend at the earliest because I think they're sort of popular, but when I got called back an hour or so later they had an opening at 5pm today and let me tell you, they are 1) very nice, at least the guy whose name I helpfully forget who worked on me, 2) they have an excellent soundtrack going, most memorably Dream Police, and 3) though it had to get shorter than I really want it to be in order to correct all of my handiwork and right now it doesn't look overly exceptional (though not at all bad or anything), when I run my hands through it and mess around with it now that I'm home I can definitely tell that the end result is really good and will soon turn into what I was hoping for. Plus I was asking the guy about what he was doing and what some implements were that I hadn't seen before and learned a little about the whole haircutting process, so that was interesting and educational too. It was $45, which while more than I've ever spent in my life before for a haircut didn't seem that crazy, especially when compared to what you'd probably spend for the same thing across the East River, and several months from now when it gets long enough that I might want a second pass at it I will totally be going back. So, even though I'm realizing that I don't think I ever write something like this when I don't like someplace I've been, I still need to say: highly recommended (plus, for serious, it has mouse in its freaking name, come on).

Friday, November 26, 2004

I did say I'd probably be on hiatus until Monday, but with most everyone still out of town at the moment and a full day's worth (well, I woke up around 1:30 this afternoon, your definition of full days may vary) of TCB behind me, I'll just take a moment here for a brief review of my Thanksgiving yesterday. Thankfully my roommate Jay did not have to work but also couldn't really make it back home to Boston with only one day off, so we left our decrepit hovel for a delicious dinner at Amuse on West 18th. Very stylish and swank all around, someone to remove your coat and take it downstairs to the coatcheck for you, a matre d' who hustled over when my companion went to the restroom to pick his napkin up from the chair, refold it, and place it back next to his plate, you get the idea. It looks like they usually have more of a small plate tasting menu sort of thing going on here (and we did get a nice little plate of three amuse bouches to start things off) but the $55 prix fixe Thanksgiving menu was plenty hearty and filling. They had a variety of options for the main course, but Jay and I both went for the traditional one, which was amazingly traditional and very good: plentiful piles of succulent turkey both white and dark, rich and buttery mashed potatoes, perfect green beans (well, for those of you who know me well, it wasn't green bean casserole, so I'll should say almost perfect), big bowl of cranberry relish, and two kinds of stuffing, one of which was exACTly like my dad's family-famous version from back in Iowa - the secret is the sausage, plus maybe making your own bread crumbs. Bookending that bounty of holiday favorites I went with a few less traditional first and third courses, starting with a plate of thinkly sliced smoked salmon topped with lemons, tiny cucumbers cubes, and devilled quail eggs and served with some crunchy slices of salty pumpernickel, and finishing things up with a creme brulee tasting, the three flavors being vanilla, caramel, and best of all pumpkin, which brought it all back home again. Putting a nice and friendly end to the whole experience, the chef came over to wish us a happy Thanksgiving after we had finished our desserts. The only downside was that the place was way too jam-packed with well-heeled diners to keel over and take a long nap afterwards, but the upside was that by the time we made it all the way back home thorugh the 31 degree wind chill I had perked up enough to realize that The Apprentice was just starting. Which I'll try to get to before the end of the holiday, but right now I've gone and made myself hungry again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I don't really have the time to do this or anything else justice today, but it would be a real crime if I didn't toss a little something your way concerning the case of the fatally flipped hot shrimp.

In case this is all I manage to get posted today, Happy Thanksgiving! Don't get the wrong idea from that second link, I enjoy the holiday very much, it's just the origin myth that's bullshit about it. IAAFOTS will probably be on hiatus until Monday, and you really should use that time to thoroughly plumb these depths, or if by some chance you have already there is plenty to see at this site reader Andrew H. tipped me to awhile back. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Man, I'm glad the work here let up long enough for me to have the time to travel around to a few of my favorite webstops, because Cityrag gave IAAFOTS another little shout-out yesterday (you might not notice it at first, but just click on lovers) when posting this hell of cool squirrelly graffito. And while I'm on the topic of the blogosphere, I just realized that I forgot to credit the photographer of the best photo ever posted here, reader Jason V. of Stale Popcorn fame. Salute!

Here's a furry mammal that I don't think we've had a chance to learn about yet: the badger. I only know a few badger-related facts myself so far, having not had the chance to really check out the Badgerland link very thoroughly yet. One is that the West Highland White Terrier (which my family owned two of while growing up, though not at the same time: Jethro and Boy) is one of the few animals that will actually dig into a badger burrow and fight one without giving up or getting killed, though the only time ours ever had a chance to display these skills was against the much less fierce pocket gophers in our yard. The other, which I just learned in Badgerland, is that many celebrities are fans of the badger, though what you may find most suprising is how few of these 'celebrities' you're likely to have ever heard of before. I've had a theory in the past, though, that in Britain the word "celebrity" just means "people", like the way they think a cupboard is a closet.

Well, frankly I don't know whether to wind the watch or to bark at the moon, but the anchorman whose mind has seemed shakier than cafeteria Jell-O since the day back in the eighties when we first heard the phrase "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" has finally decided call it a night. If it were up to me, Dan Rather would continue anchoring the CBS News until he was able to bust into the middle of CSI: Albuquerque with the late-breaking announcement that he was deader than a turkey on the day after Thanksgiving, but if a frog had side pockets, he'd carry a hand gun.

I've been trying to put together a comprehensive overview of the holiday highlights from Miles Kimball, but between the regular catalog, new arrivals, and Kimball Klearance items there are close to 200 pages of festive knick-knacks to comb through, and there's no way I'm going to be able to decorate the Squirrel's Nest in the grand style it deserves if I don't try to do at least a little of this 'work' they keep sending me, too. So I think this may have to be a continuing feature throughout the season, with just two Klearance items to kick things off today. The question I have with the first one is how in our baby lord jesus's name can these be stepping stones? Grandma is going to have a carrot sticking out the top of her boot if she puts these down as a safe path from the astroturfed stairs to the carport. And the questions I have concerning the second one are as multitudinous as heavenly hosts and it would likely bring down this whole internet were I even able to begin listing them all.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Here's some not so shocking news from the real (as opposed to televised) world of Donald Trump: his casino operations are filing for bankruptcy again.

There's some backlog on the tipline that I need to deal with now that the workflow has slowed down momentarily here. First off, reader Will H. has sent in this shocking news about the political leanings one of our most beloved celebrities: "Martindale, Wink Mr. (Wink Martindale Enterprises/owner), (Zip code: 91302) $2000 to BUSH-CHENEY '04 (PRIMARY) INC. on 06/27/03". Actually, I was going to continue to put all of the tipline backlog into this one post, but now that I've started looking at what lies behind the splash page of the Wink's World link I think I need to stand back for awhile and let you take the time to savor all that the former host of Tic-Tac-Dough has to offer, his readings, thoughts, photos, history, infuriatingly wrong-headed political musings... this man is jam-packing cyberspace with astounding and outstanding crapulence. Here's a good place to start getting a taste of the Winston C. Martindale magic: just take a moment and go to the Readings section in Wink's World, then click on the piece entitled, "What's Up". It is but the tip of the freaking iceberg, readers. Go now.

Since I notice that reader Jenn S. has been looking back through the archives and commenting on some kitty (and Okoboji) posts from the past, here is a slightly out of focus photo from yesterday of the revitalized Cassius for her (and everyone else) to enjoy. Posted by Hello

On Saturday I went out to dinner with the readers Poodleman at a very nice and tasty restaurant on Court Street in Cobble Hill, Lobo, which I highly recommend to readers in the area. The soundtrack playing in the background was amusingly much more northern England than southern U.S. (the first two songs we heard were Blue Monday and Life In A Northern Town) but the food and drink were thankfully not, a little more Mex than Tex and like I say, quite delicious, at least my Chipotle Shrimp Enchiladas and Blood Orange Margarita were (and I think my companions also had no complaints). Then we went to see the new Alexander Payne movie, Sideways, which was really good and does continue to seem better in retrospect, but I would caution that it's pretty slow and a little over two hours long, so it may not be the best movie to go see after a full meal and some tequila, about 2/3 of the way through you'll probably feel like a taking a little nap under those circumstances. But it's definitely worth seeing. After that we emerged into a cold and clammy drizzle for a walk over to the G train which took us up to Williamsburg to meet reader Will H. at this new place called Barcade. As you can probably figure out from the name, it's pretty much an old school arcade with probably around 40 games from the early 80s (Tempest, Berzerk, Zaxxon, Crystal Castles, Gauntlet, Frogger, Arkanoid, etc., etc, you get the picture and I got the high score of 13,110 on Frogger) that's also a bar. The only downside was that it was fairly crowded when we first arrived at 10:45 or so and the kids just kept on coming after that, plus as you might expect I'm pretty sure that our group were the only patrons that could have been actually nostalgic about the atmosphere, everyone else looked to be under 25 years old. When I was trying to play Dig Dug, not very successfully due to a fucked up joystick, I overheard this guy on the Asteroids machine next to me impressing the girl who was with him by saying, "What you do is you leave a couple of the rocks and then you just buzz all around the screen waiting for the little aliens to come out. I learned that when I used to play this all the time back in the day - I used to work at Urban Outfitters and they totally had this same game down in the basement." It was so geekily tempting to bust in and tell him that you should only have one tiny rock that's moving slow and relatively straight up and down rather than the 4 rocks of varying sizes that he had going, that you shouldn't buzz all around but pretty much straight up, and that the move is called 'hunting Beaver' (with the big UFO being Wally), but I didn't feel like both messing with his scene and looking like a sad old man, so I kept my superior knowledge and skills to myself and moved over to Road Blasters. Still, if you could somehow keep a place like that in business with a 'must be born before the bicentennial to enter' policy it would be the best bar ever. Then yesterday I just went to the gym after posting that photo down below, which is an excellent time to go by the way, at least to a gym in midtown, because there was hardly anyone else there and I could do anything I wanted with no waiting, plus the pool was totally empty. Got home around 5:30, read a little, cooked myself a nice meal not from a box, watched Arrested Development, read some more and then to bed. Ta da.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Genesis P-Orridge and Paul Wm. Drew, Bowery Ballroom, NYC, 11.14.04 Posted by Hello

Friday, November 19, 2004

The restorative powers of the fabled filet-o-fish are truly remarkable. Anyone who believed this ship to be flying the white flag before (like maybe me for instance) evidently did not remember who they're messing with. Expect no quarter. Posted by Hello

Ok, enough about dreams, it is proving impossible to manage a nap with the ReFoxed TV here turned up as loud as it is today. Maintaining some continuity from freaky dream interpretation, though, let's take a look at my horoscope for today (and just in case not everyone finds someone else's horoscope as entertaining as I do, which I suppose could be possible, the link at the bottom will lead you to a pretty cool and completely unrelated website).

Start communicating your ideas and plans for the future. You get people's attention, even if you are voicing an unpopular sentiment. Keep in mind that your thoughts might be more advanced than others are used to, but the resistance you receive from your peers should not dissuade you. In between sighs, you'll realize that you've made some very serious plans - some very positive plans. Don't worry about things working out badly. You're packing just the right combination of fantasy and reality to make it all work out perfectly. Funny: An opinion you thought was solid as rock turns out to be as soft as sand.

 Posted by Hello

It appears that ConEd or somebody has decided that now is the time to rip up all of the streets in my neighborhood with jackhammers, concrete saws, and similar implements of noise and destruction, and so they got right down to it early this morning directly in front of my house. Since I am thus very tired and also can't think of anything else to write right now, dreams and dreaming seem appropriate enough subjects to link about under the circumstances. Now I'm going to try to find some place to curl up and nap.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I'd already managed to be able to differentiate between Kelly and Wes, but something at the beginning of this week's episode of The Apprentice gave me a very concise method of identification, and it's a shame that there will be no further need to use it going forward: Wes says thank you before ending a telephone conversation in which someone has relayed information to him. After that we encountered the first of the many amusing moments this show had to offer when Chris's plea for a team shake-up was ironically granted the week after he was fuckin' pruned from the bush of aspirants. It was entirely obvious that Wes should ask Maria to fly her broomstick over to Team Apex, but as I've observed repeatedly over the course of this season, similar looking people despise their doppelgangers, making his choice of Kelly most unsuprising. Next we went into the Apex brainstorming session, where Ivana immediately had a flash of brilliance with her wheel of dungarees which left Jennifer Massey utterly baffled. Although she didn't get it, I finally did; for weeks I've been proclaiming this classy vixen the most competent of all, but I have seen the light and humbly admit that I was as bamboozled as the Levi's guy was at the end of their presentation later. In the feud between Ivana and Jenn, Ivana is right and Massey should really be on a different reality show, one featuring a dangerous forehead atop its host rather than the nest of a squirrel. Style is all well and good, but if a choice has to be made between it and substance "it's a no-brainer" as Caroline and Donald in the boardroom seem to love saying as frequently as possible. Speaking of a no-brainer, I'd like to skip ahead for a second and remark upon the dumbfounded silence displayed by Bill Rancic in every shot of him before the final boardroom - even when Trump asked Ivana if she should have said Mr. Rancic instead of Bill he just sat there giving every indication that the nerves that run from his frontal cortex to his thalamus had recently been severed, perhaps in some freak accident during the construction of that building in Chicago that he is "supervising". Also nice for them to throw in that dialogue about him being underutilized this week, though not as nice as the fact that neither of them could keep a straight face while delivering it. And speaking of faces (I'm returning to the actual review in a moment, don't worry) the cover of his book suggests that Bill may be so plastic that his facial expressions require manual assistance. Okay, so now we return to a pernicious myth which should have been debunked to every player's satisfaction ages ago, a chimera they call "Maria's expertise". Wesley Moss is nice and considerate, but he's also nice and dumb to have still believed the delusory claims of that blinking battleaxe that she knows anything about anything other being a loud-mouthed, domineering bitch. It was so nice to see Mr. Trump "think outside the box" and deny her the chance of a solitary cab ride to propagate any more disinformation about her lack of control freakiness, it was like something out of The Inferno where everyone gets their own personal hell. Choicest quote from Ms. Boren after taking over what had been a surprisingly decent job of model direction by Wes: "Give us as much butt attitude as you can." On the other team's shoot the humor came from the notion that a group of people specifically chosen for the cast of a television show based largely on the fact that they are photogenic (Trump was even quoted in The Indianapolis Star before this second season began that it was "in many ways more beautiful") were just everyday, average lookin' folks and not some bunch of pretty faces the customers buying the jeans couldn't identify with. Kevin says that, then takes off his shirt to reveal his cut torso, and then cue Jenn spreading her legs and rolling around under that lens like a pro. "That's the shot." And how odd then that someone so adept at playing the role of a prostitute (oops, I meant 'fashion model' of course, but honestly and objectively compare the two for a second and see if the differences outweigh the similarities) was so disgusted by Kevin's sweat in the following scene. She even seemed to think that it was some sort of poorly thought out choice on Kevin's part (made back before conception when he chose to be a human being rather than a mannequin, I guess, or some furred mammal that pants, but then you've still got that nasty saliva, not to mention blood, mucus, urine, etc... life is gross, Massey, come to terms already). Swiping credit from Ivana and getting named the star of the team in front of Donald not only showed her to be the best player of the game but also took away the last bit of respect or admiration I had for her. Luckily I still don't think Trump really buys it. In any case, no matter who grabbed the glory all four Apexers got to enjoy the most rewarding reward to date, which I know must have had one of our readers as green with envy as the Donald continues to be orange from carotonemia or hemochromatosis. And I'll end this the same way the show ended, with Wes saying, "I would have at least liked my own cab." What I would have liked was some sort of Taxicab Confessions-style hidden camera to keep filming those two for the rest of the trip to wherever they take them (I'd always enjoyed assuming that it was over the bridge to get dumped in the Gowanus Canal, but then those four showed up again a few weeks back and destroyed that fantasy). See you next week for a rehash of the Pepsi bottle challenge when I hope to see Jennifer finally enter that boardroom just in time to see the cobra finally rear its head and strike.

My 90210 reference in yesterday's manatee post got me to thinking about the show, which I don't think I've seen in at least 10 years or so... it was really great but by the time the parents disappeared it had lost most of the original after-school special vibe and my interest flagged. A very special highlight from the glory days, though, was when poor Scott Scanlon, loser friend of David and erstwhile cowpoke, was deemed extraneous by the producers and had to bite the bullet. Research reveals that this tragedy not only put an end to the character but also to actor Douglas Emerson's whole career, which had been going great guns for almost a decade up to that point: roles on Trapper John, M.D., Highway to Heaven, Small Wonder, Night Court, Dolly, Blossom, and he also lit up the silver screen, totally holding his own against the rest of the all-star cast of Body Slam and setting the standard for all "Kid #2 in Parking Lot"s who followed. But the disappointment of getting thrown from the 90210 train just as it was pulling out of the station must have been too much for the young thesp, and after dropping out of Pepperdine University he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and married a woman named Emily (maiden name unfortunately not Valentine but Barth, though I suppose you probably get routinely tested for Euphoria when you're in the military anyway) who sells Mary Kay cosmetics. That's all I could find on IMDB, but luckily the Germans display a little more interest in Herr Emerson than the compilers of that disappointing database and it is well worth your while to follow this link to a treasure trove of Scott scans and insider info - including a report of a small Techtelmechtel between Doug and Tori Spelling - it completely hangs the playthingplaything plaything to the nail.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

It's been awhile since we've learned about a new mammal, and though this one isn't small or furry they still seem very nice and are in danger (of course, what isn't). Here's where to go to help Save The Manatee, but don't get fooled like I did by their misleading campaign to "Bring Home a Manatee For The Holidays". I was picturing something along the lines of when Brandon would bring home some homeless guy to the Walsh family meal on 90210 and for one brief moment thought I might have someone to share my Thanksgiving TV dinner with, but it turns out you just get a t-shirt or calendar if you adopt a manatee (and no, it's not even a real adoption, as that whole experience with the Native Elder taught me all too well...) In addition to being lovable, manatees are also the source of the mermaid legend, though there's also this site where you can learn how to be a mermaid, which is just messing with kids' heads unnecessarily, I think (though not nearly as much as this derangement).

 Posted by Hello

I am so glad that the recent comment spamming problem was resolved quickly without having to shut down the whole commentary feature, because the readers are really stepping it up these days. From the new squirreled record of 10 comments on the Genesis-meeting post to the new squirreled record in glowing recomendations on yesterday's Comarvan post, you folks are really going above and beyond the call of reader duty. Salute!

"Duane Ellett delighted children for three decades. He entertained them with his puppet friend Floppy, a high-voiced beagle dog that enjoyed riddles and let kids beep his nose for luck." Every local television market used to have their own afternoon kids' shows, some that were educational to some degree and some that mostly just showed cartoons bracketed by a host that was in costume or had a clown sidekick or, as in the case of The Floppy Show on WHO in Des Moines, IA, a puppet. There were other great shows like this from my childhood that I'd like to find more information on, like Betty Lou & The House With The Magic Window from WOI in Ames or Dr. Max & Mambo out of Mason City, but Floppy is the first one I looked for because as some readers know I have a kind of comedy/video/art piece I've been talking about doing for awhile that is mostly inspired/ripped-off from the high-voiced beagle dog. He had a 15 minute show at noon that mostly just showed cartoons, but on his 3:30pm show he had an audience of kids surrounding him (and Duane) who would come up and tell him riddles, "What's the biggest pencil in the world?" "What did the Pink Panther say when he stepped on an ant?", "Why does Gene Wilder come in bottles?", etc. I myself finally got a chance to meet Floppy once when he did an appearance at Arnold's Park up at the best of Iowa's Great Lakes (West Okoboji) but I was probably around 9 at that time so it wasn't really as exciting as it would have been when I was 4 or 5, though he did have a drawing where I won a whole bunch of tickets for the park and some publicity photos for that fall's new NBC shows. Due to my poor cursive writing on my entry form he called me "Paul Mrew" but you have to cut a big celebrity like that some slack, especially when they're made out of balsa wood.

I should be afraid of jinxing this unexpected development by talking about it, but it's just too wonderful to keep to myself. At least for the time being, the FoxNewsLounge here in my officespace is no more, all hail the NY1Lounge!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I ought to be spacing this Filthy Family Circus feature out more since I only have a limited number of them, but I'm very busy today and they are just too temptingly quick and easy to post. So here is the third installment. Posted by Hello

This latest piece of scanned juvenalia is being posted as a shout out to my partner in this terroristic venture from my high school years, because he's passing through NYC on business and will be stopping by my uninviting craphole of an apartment this evening. It's interesting to note that this was from the days when Scooter was still a way to conceal my identity, before it took over and subsumed it. Even though I've gotten myself back to feeling very Paul Drew again the alias remains... not that I really mind, but folks should keep in mind that it was initially a disguise, and is a nickname. Cute & all, but now you're messing with a sonofabitch (man, I can't stop listening to that Hair Of The Dog, it may be the best song ever rocked). Posted by Hello

By the way, it looks like Metronaps has still not gone out of business, but the end seems near... they are currently offering a whole month of daily naps for only $28, and are also offering paninis or sushi which will be ready for you when you emerge from your pod. I know I should just sign up for this myself, but I still have the slight sense that something sinister is afoot here (if they gave you those paninis before your nap I would be sure of it) and would really rather convince one of you readers to try it first. Come on, I'm sure there's really nothing to be worried about.

I did some preliminary research yesterday morning on a possible headline derby for the hot beaver tip, and was suprised to only find 3 fairly bland headline variations for the story. What a difference a day makes: Stolen money retrieved after it's beavered away – The Australian, Beavers spare no expense on dam – Boston Globe, Beavers find stolen cash rich material for dam use – Seattle Times, Beavers Find Stolen Loot, Use It to Shore Up Dam – Washington Post, Weaver beavers build dam with stolen money – Tuscon Citizen, Dam the money – Sydney Morning Herald, Casino money lures robbers and… beavers – GamblingGates.com, Beavers use bags of bucks for building dam – WBRZ, LA (this one has a more detailed story than the one linked to yesterday, with at least one photo, but our headline winner is...) Hot dam! Beavers use stolen cash – Chicago Sun-Times.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Overheard At Accenture: The head of Facilities and Services is standing out in the hall in front of the men's restroom, with an underling holding the door to these facilities wide open. They both gaze silently into the restroom for about 10 seconds and then the F&S head says, "What is that, a urinal?"

And now the second installment of our new feature, Filthy Family Circus. Posted by Hello

Ok, so far today I've used the blog to pass along breaking small mammal news, observations of our city and its subway, and the advisability of any single females in the audience sleeping with me posthaste, which of the usual bases have I yet to cover... oh yes, the latest happenings in the Belushi/Newmar saga. At the end of last week Julie Newmar granted an interview on the subject with Entertainment Tonight, which I unfortunately missed, and she appears to be putting down her eggs and running scared from the "wonderful actor ... very gifted comic and comedian [who is in] many ways better than his brother."

I first noticed this on my train ride home last night, but as has recently been reaffirmed in our commentary I was a little inebriated last night and would have forgotten about it if I hadn't seen the same thing on my ride in this morning. The MTA has this "Poetry In Motion" project where they put short poems up in the trains, which are generally pretty good and much more interesting to read and think about than a Bud Light ad. But this most recent one seems way more apocalyptic than you'd think they'd choose for NYC these days, as it's an excerpt from The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats. In case you are unfamiliar with the poem and haven't seen it on a train yet, I'll reprint it here (unlike that Salon article this should be in the public domain by now, I think) and you can wonder along with me how this timely verse managed to get itself officially posted all over our subway system:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

I already had a few items already lined up to get to today, but after checking my mail they are going to have to get pushed back because reader Andrea B. has sent in one red hot tip concerning our good friends the beavers.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Well, Jason did get me on the list, + one (shout out to reader Teresa S.) and all I can say right now is oh my fucking god. I may have to fill this in a little later when I'm not as drunk as I am right now, but this evening ended up so much weirder and more awesome than I had ever imagined. And no, there was no third time charm or any sort of getting busy involved, but this turned into such a perfect night irregardless of all that bullshit (not that I don't plan on getting harder-core at the earliest opportunity, because I am locked, loaded, and ready for action on that front too, believe me). I stand behind my earlier manifesto 100% as well, though it may need a few addendums after meeting and conversing, drunkenly but at at length, with Genesis P-Orridge. The man behind Stale Popcorn who put us on the list turns out to be an incredibly great guy, too, who perhaps not so surprisngly knows a lot of the folks I knew back in San Francisco, including reader Andrew H., Laurie, Wendy, and... it's just a strangely small world, and meeting the guy/gal/whatever behind Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV for me is like meeting Billy Joel would have been for my lovely reader companion, and this was just the sort of wonderfully odd fun that every night out ought to be. Look forward to the photos, now I need to have a little more potato salad and get myself to bed. And in the morning after the night, I fall in love with the light, it is so clear I realize, and here at last I have my eyes. La da da da da da.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Big Baby Jesus, R.I.P.

"The zaniness began just after 1:30p.m. when a man walked into the otherwise empty World of Darkness - the zoo's reptile exhibit - and suddenly took off all of his clothes."

Friday, November 12, 2004

So... one of the people who saw the camera crew come in her door was a woman named Bernadette, and it almost seemed as if the other half of the Apex team, Kevin and Ivana, had been tipped off by someone from the show about her, because before when Chris was calling all over town no one mentioned this wedding wonder woman, but then as soon as they were out on the street they immediately made a beeline right for her. This led to Bernadette telling them pretty much everything they needed to know about selling wedding dresses and then following them back to their space on Bond Street and helping them set the whole thing up. So for a millisecond it seemed as though perhaps they at least had a chance to be competitive with Mosaic, a millisecond which ended when they began their marketing plan, which consisted of them (just the four of them) handing out pink photocopied flyers in front of Grand Central and Penn Station on the same day as the event. Result: Mosaic and their targeted email had a line of eager brides around the block that they had to bring into the space in shifts, while Apex had two people standing there when the doors opened, and I’m not even sure that they weren’t just loitering there and felt too bad for Ivana not to pretend they were interested in a gown and go inside for a moment. Anyway, I need to wrap this up, so let’s get to my remaining notes… On entering the boardroom Donald said “Helloooooo” in a very freaky way, which may or may not have been connected to the fact that his face was a very oompa-loompish shade of orange. In between the first and second boardroom we saw Chris on the sofa reading a Donald Trump book, but at the end of the day this entrepreneur since he was 11 years old with his very expensive Rolex didn’t like his task and pouted his way through it just like when he was too good to massage dogs previously, and all the straight shooting in the fuckin’ world couldn’t save him from that flaw (though IAAFOTS squirrels kudos for stating in the boardroom that under his leadership the team was gellin’). Like Mr. Trump said toward the top of the show, "If you don't have a positive attitude in business or in life, you'll never ever be successful," a philosophy Donald shares with both the Bad Brains and myself. Oh, and one of the last things Chris did before getting the boot was excuse Jenn M. from the boardroom, which not only disgusted Ivana and Kevin but also surprisingly disgusted Donald, who said that if she’d been there she might well have been the person getting fired because she just flys under the radar all the time. So watch out next week, Ms. Massey!

Well, as we saw last week, Longisland’s own Chris Russo put his fuckin’ head on the fuckin’ chopping block last week by saying that his team had no fuckin’ chemistry, and so the fuckin’ Donald made him fuckin’ project manager of Apex this week. Over on the Mosaic side Kelly tried to just appoint himself project manager, but young and newly feisty Andy was having none of that and threw his hat into the ring too, though it was Kelly’s hat which ended up getting drawn anyway. His first task as manager was to answer the phone the next morning, which he did with the class and military precision we’ve come to expect from Mr. Perdew. Kelly: Good morning, this is Kelly. Receptionist: Hello, this is ____, I’m just calling to let you know that Mr. Trump will meet you ____. Kelly: Got it. Receptionist: Ok great, bye! Kelly: (hangs up). The task was setting up and running a bridal shop, and I’ve got to assume that they either already knew that one of the contestants runs a bridal shop in real life before they came up with this task or they could have changed it once they picked Sandy, since it wasn’t like it was tied to some corporate sponsor as most of the earlier tasks have been. Maybe they were assuming she would have gotten fired by now, because before this week she hadn’t shown any indication that she had what it took to get very far in this game, but it turns out she really does run a bridal shop (in contrast to Raj, as I'’ve discovered that this ‘real estate’ business he’s in is actually managing a Holiday Inn in Colorado) and as far as that business goes she really knows what she’s doing. As a result, even though they once again tried to make it seem as though maybe the team that was obviously going to win would somehow screw up, Mosaic with their wedding ringer outsold Apex 12 to 1. The way they were attempting to plant doubt about the outcome in our heads did prove once and for all that Maria has absolutely no idea of how to do any of the many specialties she has, whether its public speaking, sales, or marketing, which is what she was delegated this week. The smartly sent out a blast email to 20,000+ New York area brides, which was basically dictated to Maria by Sandy, but Maria left off the phone number and then said that someone at TheKnot.com had taken it off after she had okayed the copy. When they met with this woman the next day, of course, the lie was revealed and Maria could do nothing but blink excessively in response. Back over at Apex, Chris’ winning plan was to grab a phone and start calling every bridal shop in the city trying to get them to set up a booth in their space the very next day for a wedding expo, but once a good percentage of them had quickly hung up on him he just started saying that the fuckin’ task was fuckin’ impossible and the rest of the team had to drag him out onto the streets to go try to get a few dresses in person, with Classy Massey doing all the talking while he stood around looking bored and pissed off. Part of what made this tactic slightly more successful than the calling, I think, is that when they go out to talk to people in person, those people see the camera crew and Caroline following them around and realize that it’s the Apprentice/free publicity and not just some random foul-mouthed Guido on the line. Since readers are (or at least reader is) getting restless I’'m going to take a moment to post this as part one and will then finish up part two for you with all due speed...

Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Looking at the calendar after writing that last post to see when I should arbitraily set that month or so from now deadline while listening to this top news story on the FoxNewsTV has got me thinking about midget submarines. You know, because December 7th is about a month away. Actually, the current mystery sub isn't miniature at all, as far as I've heard, but this article does include the information that North Korea had a midget sub which was sunk off the coast of Japan back in 1998, and that many terrorist organizations are interested in them, too (FYI, if you want to find out more information about the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, I'd advise you not to search for it by its acronym). But the real high point of this midget sub research is the discovery that you can buy one of your very own, and if you look in the Used Subs section you'll see that there's a '90 SportsSub II available for only $17,000 and it "appears to be in good working condition". Christmas is next month too...

While I'm trying to ditch the annoying tendency to talk about myself all the goddamned time, there was some Cassius "The Cat" Clay news recently that might be of more general interest (I'm basing this on the fact that someone just asked about him) that also overlaps just a bit with my personal retooling, so I'll to make a brief exception. Last Thursday night I got kind of depressed that I hadn't already been rewarded with everything I want in life after putting in a solid month or two of effort and had just about decided to give the whole thing up as a delusional waste of time. But when I leaned over to set my alarm for the next morning I noticed that the time on the clock was my lucky number (which I'll be keeping to myself, cause you don't want that sort of magical talisman to fall into the wrong hands) and at the same instant there was a thump behind me on the bed. After two months of self-exile in the kitchen Cassius had finally decided it was time to return to my carpeted half of the apartment, and he's been continuing to do so since. So I guess that all my home veterinary work combined with the tedious flea eradication has finally paid off and he's back to his normal level of healthy old age. And while I know the timing is a total coincidence, I'm going ahead and believing it's a good omen of some sort anyway and am going to give my non-cat-related efforts a while longer to start paying dividends. I figure another month or so should do it. Posted by Hello

Continuing our salute to Lil' Vet'rins (not yet an actual product line, but if I could just manage to find a free moment here...) I've got a few more patriotic collectibles to share, along with a few questions. First a question: why does Military Collectibles Today feature 2 pages for the Army, 2 pages for the Navy, 2 pages for the Air Force, only one sad, solitary, and off-puttingly tasteful collectible for the Coast Guard, and 15 pages for the Marines? Any speculative commentary on this would be appreciated. Next some proof that patriotic knick-knacks don't have to be cute and mass-produced in order to be super creepy, and in order to prevent the nightmare-filled slumber that would otherwise follow an encounter with Patrick and the Shelf-Sitters you can also order a pillow coated with ground glass. Finally, two beary horrid collectibles with a related question: how does libearty differ from the much less popular liberty? Well, liberty is related to liberal, and is defined as a : the power to do as one pleases, b : freedom from physical restraint, c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control, d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges, and e : the power of choice, whereas libearty seems to be limited to the positive enjoyment of various bears, angels, or other precious and whimsical opiates. Though, to end this on a more positive note, a search for libearty did turn up this very worthwhile link that is pretty much the antithesis of all the empty sentimentality above.

As patriotic signs in the elevator bank and restroom (and a startling 21 gun salute that just blasted out of the FoxNewsLounge) remind me, today is Veterans' Day, and in looking for something appropriate for the occasion I think I might have stumbled across a prematurely leaked figurine that gives away the answer to the question of who's next on our invasion list.

Oh, and also she forced her bodyguard to have sex with her. But the real talk around the nation's water coolers continues to be the no-holds barred grudge match pitting Mr. Destiny against Stupefyin' Jones:"Jesse Kuh is a handyman who occasionally does odd jobs for Newmar. One day, he said, he was washing windows when he glanced up at Belushi's house."I saw a man totally naked on the balcony. He was middle-aged, an overweight white guy. It was about 11 o'clock on a Saturday morning. I was shocked. I thought to myself, 'Come on, you should have clothes on,' " Kuh recalled Monday."

The news today brings shocking revelations about Liza Minelli... as well as answering a long lingering question about what kind of singer you'd describe her as exactly... lounge singer, torch singer, cabaret singer? A: none of the above. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I received an email from the folks at Found magazine today letting me know about their new side venture, Dirty Found, and in that same spirit I'd like to introduce a new feature of my own, Filthy Family Circus. Both of these examples are real, unaltered, and shockingly salacious. Posted by Hello

This story is from two months ago, but at that time the great squirrel migration was occupying too much of my attention for it to get noticed. I just hope it's not already too late to put a halt to this rascally shadow descending over Europe: Nazi raccoons on the warpath in a furry blitzkrieg.

Naturally, I side with the otter and jaguar in these disputes, but even so I don't quite understand the burglary and trespassing charges.

I had prepared a short list of leading candidates to succeed the departing John Ashcroft as Attorney General, but it looks like Bush has already picked Alberto Gonzales to put up for confirmation. While Mr. Gonzales seems awful enough, I guess, he just doesn't seem to have that oil-annointing, statue-fearing, full-on psychopathy that we've come to expect from our Attorneys General. Here, I think, are three more qualified picks: 1) Jack Chick, 2) Dr. Gene Scott, or 3) Jormungand, The World Serpent. I realize that none of them are Hispanic, but by the time Jeb runs in four years no one's going to remember that pandering anyway, it's like releasing a movie in March and expecting it to receive Oscar consideration the following February.

It's never easy when you find out that your make-believe girlfriend has been fooling around behind your back, but the pain is even sharper when the betrayal occurs with a dandy Republican fop who just got fired. Reader Andrea B. wasted no time delivering the devastating tip this morning that Lil Stacy Rotner may have "fallen prey to [Raj Bhakta's] charms" and that they may have "at least made out". I hasten to emphasize the 'may have', since Stacy herself says, "I'm sure that people could jump to that conclusion because we spent a lot of time together. We all love each other — he's a great guy." That's not exactly a denial, but I don't make-believe own the woman, after all, and in any pretend relationship people are going to have some Bhaktas in their past. Seriously though, you could do a whole lot better, Ms. Rotner, but if you're too blind to see enough potential in some squirrel-friendly man you've never even heard of to give them the chance to at least make out with you, then I guess I will just have to shift my attentions to someone less televised. It's a (not so) real shame, though.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

This one was also evidently first found on Gawker, but since it was tipped to me by reader Andrea B. I don't have to feel like I've now stolen from them twice in one day. It's a blog called Veiled Conceit, which is the work of someone who mocks the wedding anouncements from the New York times in a side-splittingly hilarious fashion. Whether the couples are investment bankers or schoolteachers, when they are featured in the Times you know that they are rich and well-connected, and if they also lack the good sense and refinement to keep their nuptials to themselves and not rub our faces in them they are very fair game indeed, so it is a delight to find someone viciously attacking these egotistical bastards on a regular basis. Here are four of the highlights to help get you started.

Now since it's Tuesday let's continue with the internet's most cursory and desultory football wrap-up, Pump Fake (I thought it might as well have a title to help distract from the lack of any interesting content). The game between the Vikings and Colts last night was a great Monday match-up for a change, and though I ended up rooting for Minnesota once they started getting things going towards the end of the first half, the ultimate victory by Indianapolis was good news for my Packers, who can now move into first place the NFC North with a win against the Vikings next week. My team in the AFC did not fare so well this week, not only losing their second game of the season, to Buffalo no less, but more devastatingly losing Chad Pennington to a shoulder injury for the next 2-4 weeks, and his backup is named Quincy (and nicknamed, by me at least, the Unforced Fumbler). So it’s good to have the team whose bandwagon I am always ready to jump on whenever they start looking good, the Pittsburgh Steelers, emerging as the best team in the league right now. First they ended the Patriots’ unbeaten streak last week, and then this week they turned around and did the same thing to the only other unbeaten team left, the Eagles. Again, Pump Fake Player Of The Week kudos go to rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger, undefeated in this first six starts of his professional career. The Chargers are surprisingly solid so far this year, too, and I could almost add them to my favorites mix if they would just go back to their old powder blue uniforms every week (and if the parents of their quarterback hadn’t made the all too common mistake of thinking that Drew is a first name). Last but not least (see what I mean about the lack of content in this feature?) Dave Wannstedt is packing up that throwback moustache and leaving Miami, reportedly opting to go live in a van with Ricky Williams and get righteously baked every day rather than serve out the rest of his contract. Here's the guy who's going to step in to lose the remaining seven games. And with that, the clock expires on another edition of Pump Fake.

Here's another selection from my high school newspaper that I forgot to put up when I was posting the scans: my first car, a 1972 Gran Torino Sport. It cost me under $500, the muffler had a tendency to fall off, and in the winter it wouldn't start half the time even if you kept the engine block plugged in all night, but it did have a 351 Cleveland and could get up over 120mph on a straight stretch of highway. For a better view imagine that this car is baby blue, lacking the Mustang spoiler, and a total piece of crap. Here in NYC it isn't really necessary to own a car, other than to get out (which would admittedly be pretty nice), and the same was true in San Francisco, so it's been about 12 years since I've had something of my own to drive, and if I ever did again I was leaning more toward a Mini or one of your tinier varieties. Remembering the Sport makes me reconsider that, though, deep down I think solid American steel is always going to be what I feel a car ought to be. Not that it's going to matter anytime soon what sort of car I like, but someday I'll be in the market again, and it's always good to be prepared.Posted by Hello

"Please, do not think that we make the dog do such things ... She is a smart pet indeed. I hope she will read poems to us someday."

I've just stolen this link from Gawker, but speaking of bats...

It was only 36 degrees, according to the Today show, when I woke up this morning, but on the walk down to the G it didn't really seem so bad, more crisp and fresh than depressingly arctic, blue skies with a few wisps of clouds, brightly colorful leaves falling by the park... and once I got here to the office the commenters and tipline correspondents have thankfully realized that I have my own life well in hand at this point and have turned their attention to the more pressing issue of Belushi vs. Newmar. Of course, the comment was from Julie herself, and you have to figure that's going to be where her focus is right now. I would have thought that there would be more examples to choose from for the headline derby on this story, but most journalists out there seem to have gotten a little lazy and just go with some slight variation on Actor Jim Belushi Sues 'Catwoman' for Harrassment. But there are a few exceptions to that rule, which follow: Belushi Sues Ex-Catwoman, Claims Damage, Catty Remarks: Houston Chronicle, Newmar Out To Get Me: Winnipeg Sun, According to Jim, Neighbor Newmar's a Menace: Arizona Republic, Catwoman Sued For Wrecking Belushi's Career, FemaleFirst.co.uk (this one leads me to wonder if he has previously filed suit against Alison Porter), and the winner Holy Belushi Lawsuit!: E! Online, which gets bonus points because the author hasn't just taken the Reuters story and left it at that but has thoughtfully larded the basic facts with a number of exceedingly clever puns and cat references. I will also include a link to the Celebrity Justice piece on this case, which I think is the only one that includes any comment from the statuesque Ms. Newmar: "A few years ago, out of sheer frustration, she says she threw an egg at Belushi's property."

Monday, November 08, 2004

IAAFOTS BREAKING NEWS: our favorite thespian, the titular star of According To Jim, is suing Catwoman.

Oh, and by the way, Kerry won. Or at least he might have, which if nothing else can give us hope that over half the country might not actually be ignorant dupes who got scared into voting against their own interests. We're still just as doomed, of course, but it's something.

I had a really great time at a chili party yesterday which ultimately became more of a Jenga party after the chili eating came to an end. Here is some historical background on this must have game that no fun-loving household would be without which quickly becomes the life of every party and is an ideal way to make the most of your quality time with family or friends, and here is a good way for one of your family or friends to end up with a broken foot.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Yeah, it turns out those “Infrastructure-Bottoms Up Approach” pages were indeed not a helpful guide for pleasuring your lover at all, but simply a few tables and a bar chart. Oh well, let’s get back to the real business at hand, by which I mean the fake business which tries to pretend it’s not a game but in fact is. Jenn “Classy” M. made clear last night that she at least is well aware that it’s a game, and became the first contestant who is clearly and openly playing it as a game when she decided that Ivana was the softest target remaining and unleashed her inner bitch on her with suprising ferocity. Come to think about it, she did the same thing with Elizabeth a few times earlier, all of a sudden she just attacks, but with Elizabeth it was generally in the boardroom when asked directly what she thought, while last night she told us exactly what she was doing, convinced Raj that Ivana should be taken down (advice which he was very unwise to heed as it turns out), then marched directly into Ivana’s room and told her that she was weak and hadn’t done anything on the task (which wasn’t true, but that made it even more effective at rattling Ivana really) and should only be trusted with an Excel spreadsheet, not any sort of actual leadership responsibility. Ivana was helpless against this attack, and I think it led to her getting in some trouble in the boardroom later. Right after Jennifer had said that Stacie J. was very helpful and did a good job on this task, and other people, including Mr. Trump himself, had agreed, she felt compelled to stupidly break in with a shaky, "Although Jen did come up to me at one point and she asked that Stacie be taken off the windows because she thought that Stacie was not doing a good job." To the viewer it was clear that this was actually supposed to somehow be an attack on Jenn, but the Donald took it as the attack on Stacie that it appeared to be and asked Ivana why she was such a nasty person. I don’t know why people feel the need to break in with something after Trump has already made his thoughts clear, it always leads to them getting yelled at. Chris, of course, did the same thing right afterwards by jumping in after they had already been asked to leave the first part of the boardroom and complaining that the team had no chemistry and if it wasn’t changed again they were just going to keep on losing. Stupid, stupid, stupid, and could have gotten him fired if Raj had reconsidered and added him to the mix, but he didn’t and kept just Kevin and Ivana, another mistake which ended up being part of what got him fired himself. Nice to see him trying to get the receptionist's phone number while he waited for the elevator down to his cab, though. I’m almost out of notes now, and am supposed to be picking up some pages on the equally ribald-sounding but probably just as disappointing “Top-down Approach” (hope springs eternal, though, you can’t keep a good man down), so a few random items and I must run. There were multiple cutaways of Caroline smiling in the boardroom this week, she or the producers have definitely been influenced by the advice of Conan O’Brien that I mentioned in a previous review. The trip out to Denise Rich’s house in the Hamptons weirdly had absolutely no footage of them touring the house, which was supposed to be the whole idea, I thought, it was mostly just them romping on the beach, which just made me miss Stacy again after I thought I’d managed to put her out of my mind completely. I think it was Sandy who we heard say “I feel fat” during that sequence. And the helicopter trip out there provided a few good (by which I mean breathtakingly retarded) lines too, like when Kelly kept on exclaiming “Yeah, baby! Yeah, baby!” as they took off and flew around the city before heading toward Long Island – when did that first Austin Powers come out again? Whenever that was, it was approximately one month afterwards that saying that became instant proof that the speaker is quite lame indeed and wants the whole world to stand up and take notice of that fact. And I’m not sure whether it was Andy or Wes, but I smiled when whoever said that flying in a helicopter was just like being in the movies. And with that, the Apprentice is recapped.

SO, now for the Apprentice-analyzing. I missed the first 5-10 minutes of it again, so I was somewhat in the dark as to why the four fired contestants were back there at all, since they all ended up getting dismissed again at the end of the episode. A look at the official website for the program just now ended up confirming what I had speculated, though, which is basically that there wasn’t any good reason for them to be back, they just were. I came in just as Stacie and Ivana were having some words up in the suite, but there wasn’t anything particularly interesting said there that I caught, and afterwards the bonus four just blended in with the rest of them and didn’t cause any major confrontations or freakouts or really justify their inclusion much at all. Rob, the completely forgotten first guy fired, was very gung-ho and out to prove his worth by not sleeping for two days, but after all his hard work I still can’t even recall what he looks like now. Sandy the bridal shop owner was team leader of… I can’t remember which is which anymore since they mixed the sexes but I’ll say Mosaic, and though they ended up winning she did not impress, especially not when she was standing out on the front walk of the house they were renovating with her face in her hands weeping. Jenn C, who I had hoped would show up either dressed like Katie Couric was on Halloween or holding the severed head of Donald’s fiancée, did not do either of those things, and seemed to be very helpful in getting Sandy through the whole thing. Even after Sandy said that Jenn should be fired when asked back in the boardroom where Jenn got fired, they went right back to being good buddies. And now, guess what, I appear to have more work to do, so this is part one, and I’ll continue with part two after typing up 4 pages of “Infrastructure – Bottoms Up Approach”, which sounds a little more fun than it really is, I think.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

After all the death and destruction they've had to put up with recently, it's nice to find out that Massachusetts squirrels have friends, too.

You know, one of the comedians I saw last night mentioned the fact that the last time this large a percentage of the electorate turned out to vote in a presidential election was in 1960, another bitterly divided contest that wasn't called until the next morning. Also, in both cases the victory was ultimately delivered to the winner through a sympathetic corporation, Diebold this time and the mob back then, and I think Bush might have a secretary named Lincoln, too... Posted by Hello

Having never managed to fall asleep on election night, my yesterday is just a fuzzy blur of gloating consultants, juicy brisket, and downtown chuckling, with me stumbling groggily through it all with glazed eyes and exceedingly sporadic cognitive functions. So when I was reminded on my way in this morning of an odd moment I witnessed while journeying home last night it took me a good long while to determine whether it actually happened in real life or was simply something I dreamt. Seeing that my homepage says that it is in fact Thursday and not Wednesday today helped to clear this up, but you can't really trust anything you read on this internet. More conclusive is the fact that yesterday's jumbled memories don't include me making any sweet love to some lucky lady, and since that's been a consistent component of my dreams for the past several months I clearly must have been awake. Now that I'm confident that this short anecdote is true, why don't I go ahead and relate it to you? When traveling up Nassau Avenue from the G, you cross McGuinness Blvd., a four lane roadway with a median in the middle. Often people, myself included, will see an opening in the traffic before the light changes and dart out to the median so at least they're halfway across and have a jump on those poor suckers still waiting back on the curb for the walking white man signal to appear. Due to my extreme lack of sleep last night I chose not to risk anything like this when I got to McGuinness, but a woman next to me holding a bouquet of flowers could not wait and took off at the first break in traffic, which was moving a lot faster than she'd estimated and she very nearly got clipped before getting to the island of safety. But here's the part that makes this tale worthy of further contemplation: when she got to the island she carefully removed a faded bunch of flowers that are always taped to the lightpole there as a memorial to some loved one who had been run down and killed at that spot, unwrapped the bouquet she had been carrying, and taped them up as a replacement.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

 Posted by Hello

Well, I'm not finding it very easy to come up with much to write at the moment. Even though I already knew it was over at 1am, I still flipped around until sometime after 3 when I finally turned off the TV and lay in bed for 6 hours until it was time to come in and listen to more Fox News all day. They seem to be a little disappointed that Kerry has now called Bush to concede, last night after they called Ohio (at 1) they immediately began gearing up for a fight and everyone on their airwaves started speaking in some odd variation of pig latin or ubbi-dubbi where every other word you speak has to be either "lawyer" or "trial lawyer"... not sure exactly of the rules or when each of those is appropriate, but I think it has something to do with whether the preceding word ends in a consonant or a vowel. A few other people on this internet have written better words on the subject than I can manage in my current state. First I went to the Progressive Review, where Sam Smith sums up the depressed and defeated side of how I'm feeling today with this Thomas Jefferson quote from the first revolution: "From the conclusion of this war we shall be going downhill. It will not be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves save in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore . . . will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion." But then I stopped by Cityrag and found what she had to say a little more hopeful and constructive, and I think it sums up what I think is the proper attitude to have right now pretty perfectly. So that's what I'm going with, the struggle continues, and I've still got an irrationally hopeful feeling regarding the pursuit of happiness, even if life and liberty are still feeling shakier than they ought to be right now. Better than being poked in the eye with a sharp stick, as my father often said, and you have to admit that it probably is. So, onward.