Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Out with the old...

In with the new(er).

Out with the old...

In with the new.

Out with the old...

In with the new.

I am most upset by this last one. ABC has canned Pushing Daisies and is replacing it on Wednesdays with The Unusuals, a police procedural dramady. This from their official press release...

In The Unusuals, it helps if a cop has a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last. Just ask Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn, The Sisterhood of the Travelin Pants), who started her day as an NYPD vice detective before unexpectedly being transferred to the homicide division. She quickly realizes that, not only does everyone in her new department have a distinct sense of humor, but also their own dirty little secrets.

I'll give it the benefit of a doubt, though. It's a decent cast and press releases seldom make anything sound cool. I'm just going to miss Emerson Cod's deft language wrasslin' as when he was accused of giving someone the heave-ho and he laments "no ho was heaved."


Yesterday, I asked...

"Al Zale, a fishery researcher at Montana State University says one way to rid Yellowstone of unwanted lake trout is to use what?"

25% said "dynomite"
- The method preferred by Jimmie "JJ" Walker.

No one said "stray cats" or the sensible and time-tested trout removal system "fishing poles"

75% got it right with "Jell-O"

According to The Associated Press, a researcher at Montana State University said Jell-O, ultrasound, microwaves and electroshocking are among the possible solutions to eliminate lake trout in Yellowstone National Park.

Lake trout were introduced illegally into the park and threaten native cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake. To find the best way to destroy lake trout eggs, Al Zale received a grant from the National Park Service. Zale heads the Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit at MSU.

If Jell-O is chosen, Zale says it would probably be unflavored. He says workers could spread it over the fish eggs to smother them.

Unflavored? If you want to get rid of anyone or anything, serve them lime Jell-O with shredded carrots. Fire the scientists, hire some lunch ladies.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I Won't Miss

As December comes to an end, it's time to say good-bye to 2008.

There are many things I will NOT miss and are more than happy to leave them behind.

In no particular order, I will not miss...

1) The Bush Administration (I know, still stuck with them for the first 20 days, but at least they are on their way out the door). I will especially not miss Dick "The Dick" Cheney, Condoleeza "Sycophant" Rice, Dana "Paid to Lie" Perino and George "I Give Myself Nicknames" W. Bush.

2) The nasty depths Hilary went to to try to defeat Obama and then the even nastier depths McCain and Palin plumbed. (But I am also very happy their tired tactics didn't work.)

3) Seeing "Made in China" on everything. It is the high fructose corn syrup of manufacturing. Unfortunately, it's not going away any time soon, but I predict it will diminish as the new administration works to fix the economy. US manufacturing will increase and consumers will also seek out more local resources to give their money to.

4) People claiming climate change (Global Warming) doesn't exist. This winter will have wild mood swings of zero degree weather one day and temps in the 50s and 60s the next. The more this happens, the more people clam up about it not existing.

5) People whose 15 minutes of fame are up. Looking at you Joe the Plumber.

6) The SUV as we know it. Time to get small.

7) The possibility of a pre-emptive war with Iran.

8) The Minnesota recount - assuming it will be over before the end of 2009.

9) The lack of common sense when it comes to sex education in schools. Levi's baby's momma, Bristol, should be a living testament to the failure of teaching current trends, such as abstinence.

10) Shoppers brawling and trampling one another.

11) People passing off fake memoirs as the truth. I don't mind you fooling Oprah, I just find it absurd that people feel they need to lie to make their lives more interesting (i.e., marketable).

12) Jennifer Aniston only getting press when she slams Angelina. However, she is more than welcome to continue posing for pictures only wearing a neck tie. Although, I would like to see her move to bow ties.

13) O% interest credit card and loan pitches.

14) End of year lists.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Republican National Committee Chair candidate Chip Saltsman is in hot water for distributing a CD featuring which song parody?"

18% said "Baa-Baa Black President"
- Have you any pull?

16% said "Obama Cracked Corn"
- And I don't care. Crack all the corn you want.

No one went for "John Jacob Jingle Hussein Schmidt"
- Hey, that's my name, too!

66% got it right with "Barack the Magic Negro"

According to The Huffington Post, the Republican National Committee is set to host a historic series of discussions and debates in early January that will likely affect not just the future platform of the party, but the makeup and racial dynamics of its members.

The forums come at a time when the GOP is undergoing an intense bout of political soul-searching, made even more urgent by revelations that a leading RNC chair candidate distributed a racially insensitive CD as a Holiday gift.

Reaction to Chip Saltsman's distribution of a CD including the song "Barack the Magic Negro" has been mixed. James Richardson, a former RNC staffer, called it "political suicide." Current RNC chair Mike Duncan said he was "shocked and appalled." But Ken Blackwell, the African-American former Ohio Attorney General and another candidate for the chairmanship, dismissed criticism as "hypersensitivity in the press."

Do a little searching and you can find the song on-line. Here's the first verse...

Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.

The L.A. Times, they called him that

'Cause he's not authentic like me.

Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper

Said he makes guilty whites feel good

They'll vote for him, and not for me

'Cause he's not from the hood.

Here's what you need to know, it's done from the point-of-view of Al Sharpton who, in the song, is upset that Obama is winning with white voters. As a comic premise, it's not a bad one. I think it would have been stronger with Jesse Jackson, especially in the wake of his comment about wanting to take Obama to the vet's to be fixed. The song also doesn't do much to explore or heighten the issue, mainly because it is saddled with being a strick song parody. And the chorus is the only thing mildly funny about the song and that ain't enough to sustain it.

If a student brought this in to one of my classes, this would be my feedback. Good premise, ditch the parody and write an original song, build a context around it. What just happened that makes Al want to sing about Barack. How does it change him? Does he secretly wish white people liked him better? By the end of the song, does he want to be more like Obama and trade in his sweat suits or does he want to double his efforts to be more Al?

Unless the song was rewritten, I wouldn't consider its inclusion in a show. And I certainly wouldn't distribute it to the Republican National Committee when I want to be their chairperson. Please leave comedy in the hands of professionals.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What I Don't Want in 2009

I don't do New Year resolutions. I suck at them. I think they are a set up for certain failure. By February, when you realize you haven't lost 50 pounds or saved up enough for a vacation or written that novel, the resolutions become a source of angst and guilt. By March, they are filed in the trash can with slim hopes of doing better next year.

I do think that the end of the year is a good time to pause, look back and look ahead. Envisioning what the new year could be is a good idea. It's like a sports team at the end of a quarter connecting with the coach and plotting their next quarter's strategy.

And I suck at that, too.

The only thing I am very clear about for 2009 is what I DON'T want.

Here's the list, so far, in no particular order...

1) My married friends need to stop splitting up. It's getting ridiculous. Those who have already split up, fine, go about your business. The rest of you, suck it up and work it out.

2) People need to stop getting cancer. Whatever you need to do to make sure this happens, please do it. More antioxidants, meditation, stop smoking, eat more broccoli... do it!

3) Stop laying people off. I know, I know, if a company's bleeding, what else can they do? This is a big one without an easy answer. There's a lot to be said about anticipating. The disastrous turn of the economy wasn't a surprise. Even I could see it coming from a mile away and I'm an idiot when it comes to money. Our country has a financial culture based on being in debt and hoping for the best. That needs to change on a personal level and on a corporate level. Let's make Chris Parnell Secretary of the Treasury.

4) People really need to stop giving their money to the
International Star Registry. For fifty bucks minimum, they'll name a star and give you a certificate and a letter congratulating you on giving them fifty bucks. Here's the thing... THEY DON'T OWN THE STARS. They are not theirs to name. NASA isn't updating their charts based on additions to the International Star Registry. The Hubble telescope isn't in deep space snapping pictures of the Phil Jablonski. Kirk isn't going to tell Sulu to make a left at the Marjorie Hummelsburg. The Bible won't be re-written to show the three wise men followed the Dennis Mitchell.

5) I don't want Britney Spears to have another comeback. She's done. Go away, now.

6) I don't want my breath to smell like my dad's. Love my dad, but I remember sometimes as a kid he would playfully get in my face and his breath would smell like polished antique furniture. This is why I almost always in arm's reach of a mint.

7) I don't want people getting sick or dying in this country because of inadequate health care. This is where the US really needs to get on the ball and become more compassionate than capitalist.

If I were to sum up what I do want for 2009, Kurt Vonnegut said it best.

"Be nice to each other. We’re all trying the best we can."


Last week, I asked...

"What does Joe really want for Christmas?"

50% said "A new TV"
- It's on the list, but not as high as the correct answer. I have a TV, but the sockets in the back are messed up and I'm unable to hook up a DVD player or Playstation. Inconvenient, but not a big loss.

12% said "A new girlfriend"
- Not opposed, but really feels the correct answer is more urgent and will be helpful in the acquisition of a new girlfriend.

No one thought I might like "Peace on earth"

38% got it right with "A new couch"

According to a press release from BS International Headquarters, Joe desperately needs a new couch. In fact, he simply needs a couch. Right now, the "designated couch area" is occupied by a ratan chair and an ottoman. Mr. Janes seeks the perfect couch. It has to be small enough to fit through his skinny apartment door, yet be large enough for naps and sleeping vagabonds. It should also be large enough for two people to cuddle comfortably without crushing one another or limbs becoming numb. It should definitely not be leather or faux leather or so plush that cat hair becomes embedded in it.

Janes has been looking on-line, but has an aversion to buying furniture for his body based on pictures. The search continues.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas or Whatever

Regardless of what you celebrate or if you celebrate - My Christmas Day celebration will consist of visiting my mother, eating at a Chinese buffet in Sandusky, Ohio and seeing Quantum of Solace (we re-watched Casino Royale last night to prepare) - hope this time of year finds you in touch with the people and things that you love the most in life.

Like guns!

See that cold, steely look in my eye? The set jaw? The stain on the floor? That's me shooting a magnum at the Oak Harbor Conservation Club. Not sure what they are out to conserve given that the building and outdoors seems primarily devoted to putting bullet-sized holes in things.

Not bad. I hit the paper less than 10% of the time. Take that, bad guys. Don't mess with me or I will blow a small portion of you away.

Yeah. Don't look for me hanging out at the local gun swaps anytime soon.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Uriel Oliva of Los Angeles was arrested in Orange County after a photo was discovered of him doing what?"

No one said "flashing his bling-bling at cops," "flashing his private parts at nuns," or "flashing his camera at celebrities"

100% got it right with "flashing gang signs on Santa"

(Unfortunately, I was having problems with blogger and what git cut off from the end of the right answer is "-'s lap." Make more sense now?)

According to KTLA News, an alleged gang member has landed himself in jail for flashing gang signs in a photo he took while sitting on Santa's lap.

Uriel Oliva, 18, was arrested early last week after a visit with Santa at the Village Mall in Orange.

Police say that Oliva was under a court order not to associate with members of his street gang, engage in gang activity or hang out at the Village Mall when the photo was taken Dec. 16.

The picture included Oliva and two other members of the Orange County Criminals gang. Oliva's probation officer apparently spotted the photo on a keychain during a probation check.

He has been sentenced to a lump of coal in his stocking.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do Bullets Make Good Stocking Stuffers?

(Skipping the "I Believes" for today. Might hit them tomorrow for Christmas.)

This is Liberty. My brother Bob's newest dog. He also has a greyhound named Rush. Don has a mutt dog named Cheyenne who is a sweetie and slowing down a bit in her old age. All three are females and the only source of feminine energy in this household. My younger brother treats his girls very well and I think the care has lead to him drinking a little less and losing weight.

My soon-to-be 50 older brother decorates his room like he's trying to recapture lost dorm room days.

Nothing says "Welcome, ladies" like a beach babe laying prone in the sand for a seaside pelvic exam.

He also recently bought a gun.

Ever since reading The Road, my brother is convinced that in the next few years we'll all be pushing shopping carts and expanding our definition of food to include one another. I'm a little more optimistic and will never own a gun. We're going to a shooting range later today where I will get to shoot a gun for the first time. I'm actually looking forward to it. I feel like I should know a little something about guns so I can be more informed about adamantly not having one.


One of my favorite sites to go to for a chuckle continues to be The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

This one cracked me up.

So, it "is" a Chinese restaurant?

Reminds me of a modern day Magritte.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Istanbul-based Baydan Shoes says they have had an increased demand for Model 271, otherwise known as the what?"

72% said "The Bush Whacker"
- Nope. That's what it would have been called had they included me in their product focus group.

18% said "The Good-Bye Kiss"
- A sole kiss? Be sure to use plenty of tongue.

No one said "The Flogger"

10% got it right with "The Bush Shoe"

According to BBC News, Istanbul-based Baydan Shoes claims it made the shoes and says it now has tens of thousands of orders from around the world - including from the US and Iraq.

The shoe was called Model 271 but has been renamed Bush shoe, the firm said.

However, the brother of shoe-throwing journalist Muntader al-Zaidi says he believes the shoes were Iraqi-made.

Durgham al-Zaidi criticised people he said were trying to exploit his brother's actions for commercial gain.

Whereas I applaud them for learning well from America. We'll turn that region into an American colony yet!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ohio Unbound

Made it.

Interesting holiday time in Ohio this year...

My younger brother Bob doesn't want anything for Christmas. If you do anything for him, make a donation to
The North Coast Greyhound Connection. Admirable. I haven't done that, yet, but did buy two flying chickens (chewy, fetchy dog toys - no actual chickens were harmed) for his dogs Rush and Liberty to play with.

My older brother Don continues to get healthier. I am writing this at his computer and am sitting on a huge yoga ball. He has ditched his office chair and replaced it with a yoga ball. I guess it's better for your back, but I am in fear of rolling off and bouncing my head off his treadmill at any moment.

I bought three ugly Christmas sweaters, as my brothers had requested, for a family picture on Thursday. They were unable to find any in Ohio. It's not that they don't make or sell them here. Oh, they do. They were looking in the wrong place. Men, if you want an ugly Christmas sweater, you won't find it in the Mens' section of a department store. You'll only find goofy holiday ties and boxer shorts there. Only women are brave enough to openly display these wool-poly blend monsters of textile art. The three sweaters I bought were from the Plus Size Womens' Section of a K-Mart. I had to convince my brothers that it was okay to wear a woman's sweater, especially since the goal was to look ridiculous. They conceded, but suggested we keep the tags on so I can return them.

Today, I eat porridge (my brother made porridge and it is good), post my grades for my Columbia students, do some exploring around the iced-over town, meet my brother to go pick up raw milk from a farm in Maumee and then take some over to my cousin Nate.

I'm glad I was able to come in to town early to be able to do these things. It's good to come back to where you came from to get in touch with your roots and affirm why you got the hell out of here in the first place.


Yesterday, I asked...

"For the first time ever at Christmas, the same song, different cover versions of an older song, holds the number one and two spot on the British music charts. The original song is what?"
66% said "John Lennon's "Happy Christmas - War is Over""
- Happy Christmas! No one did a cover of this classic and had a hit with it.

9% said "Randy Brooks' "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer""
- This American classic remains unsullied by a British invasion.

No one thought it was "David Seville's "Christmas Don't Be Late"
- Probably would have received a few votes of I had mention is was David Seville AND THE CHIPMUNKS. But it would still be as wrong as when it came out in 1958.

25 % got it right with "Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah""

According to
Cape Argus News, Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah has made British chart history, becoming both number one and number two in the Christmas singles charts - although both versions are covers.

Alexandra Burke took the top slot with her version after winning the TV talent show X Factor this month, and fans of US musician Jeff Buckley got his classic version to number two through downloads.

Sony/BMG would really prefer I not embed the Jeff Buckley music video of "Hallelujah" but you can find it HERE.

Same for Alexandra Burke's belted out American Idolized version of the same song. You can find it HERE.

The first one by Buckley is more heartfelt and sincere. Burke's version, however, is the thick slab of cheese I demand from my pop star Christmas carols. His is better, but she wins. Life is unfair. Merry Christmas. Enjoy the porridge.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ohio Bound

The advantage to not being in a relationship around the holidays is that I only have to fit in one family. The last two years have been "surgical strikes" - see her parents in Indiana Christmas eve, see mine Christmas day, drive home the day after Christmas. This year, I'm leaving for Ohio this afternoon and coming back on Saturday. I'm looking forward to spending more time relaxing into the week, hanging out with my brothers, eating good food, seeing some high school friends and extended family.

Being gone for so long sitter. I considered bringing the critters with me, but they hate riding in the car and it's a six hour drive (possibly more as I will be stopping at truck stops along the way looking for gaudy Christmas sweaters. I'll tell you about that later.) Plus, my brother Bob has two retired greyhounds he adopted and I wouldn't want them to confuse the cats for mechanical racetrack rabbits. Houdini and Oona are okay on their own at home for two-three days, past that, they start ordering pizzas on-line and running up their credit cards. My friend Cate has graciously volunteered to be their buddy while I'm gone. That means she's entitled to gingerbread cookies and that really great chocolate nutty ball candy thing I can't pronounce that's like eating an angel's testicles.


On Friday, I asked...

"A pediatric neurosurgeon says a tumor he removed from the brain of a Colorado Springs infant contained a what?"

50% said "image of the Virgin Mary"
- Sorry. It was Elvis. So close!

8% said "part of a condom"
- There's a fine line between "most effective" and "100% effective" and that fine line is really an umbilical cord.

No one said "small stone"

42% got it right with "foot"

According to The Huffington Post, a pediatric neurosurgeon says a tumor he removed from the brain of a Colorado Springs infant contained a tiny foot and other partially formed body parts.

Dr. Paul Grabb said he operated on Sam Esquibel at Memorial Hospital for Children after an MRI showed a tumor on the newborn's brain. Sam was 3 days old and otherwise healthy.

Grabb said that while removing the growth, he discovered it contained a nearly perfect foot and the formation of another foot, a hand and a thigh.

The growth may have been a case of "fetus in fetu" _ in which a fetal twin begins to form within another _ but such cases very rarely occur in the brain, Grabb said.

The baby's doing fine, by the way. Meanwhile, Stephen King wannabees everywhere, start your novels!

Don't get too creeped out by this photo. It's not the actual picture, just a stock baby foot photo. The rest of the baby is on the other side of those hands. Must be an ugly baby since they're only willing to show the bottom of the left foot.

Friday, December 19, 2008

And that's from a vegetarian.


This is a snippet from a school play called Santa Goes Green performed somewhere in Texas.

According to the Lone Star Times, a letter is circulating among conservative parents expressing outrage.

Here's a portion of the letter describing the show, with my comments in parentheses...

"The program Santa Goes Green began with a lively number Merry, Merry Christmas. The children’s chorus sang Christmas wishes to the audience as Santa and Mrs. Claus appeared on stage. The show went downhill from there; Mrs. Claus informed Santa how terribly wasteful many traditions are, including how even Rudolf changed his nose to an LED light, all the while forgetting that the original was lit by an inner light of love that did not use power at all. (I actually don't remember his nose being powered by the inner light of love at all. It goes off at embarrassing moments. As a kid, I equated this with getting boners in class or on the school bus. And Rudolph being a mutant.)

The soloists, during The Greenhouse Effect, preformed admirably. The argument that cutting down trees would make the North Pole as hot as Mexico was laughable. When lumber companies “Clear Cut” they also replant, which is why trees are considered a renewable resource. (Yah, global warming naivete aside, this jerk clearly hasn't looked at any topographical pictures of the Amazon rain forest. Even if what they say is true, replacing a 100-year-old tree with a sapling ain't a fair swap.)

Next, Santa was encouraged to use an “Electric Sleigh” for his Christmas Eve Deliveries in the tune called Turn Off the Pump(and Plug in the Sleigh). If the writer of this piece of political propaganda had thought it through, they would realize that Santa already uses the most ecological source of power; hay burning reindeer whose “exhaust” can be used as compost. (This is true, but a very exploitative and abusive use of animals. Santa's route is flying Iditarod. He probably loses a few reindeer to exhaustion along the way and brings the carcasses home to feed the elves on December 26th for a Christmas bonus. Not to mention all the ozone-depleting methane he's producing. )"

Now, I get the parents being pissed about a school kid's Christmas show having a political message, regardless of the message. But I love that they did this. I wish we had done this when I was in elementary school. Of course, back then, "being green" was called "ecology" and only hippies knew what it meant. A more prominent political issue was the Vietnam War. I would love for us to have done an Apocoplypse Now meets Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer show. A Marlon Brando-esque Santa is taken down by Herbie the aspiring dentist elf. "The horror, the ho-ho-ho-horror..."

The letter ends with...

"I fled the auditorium as soon as possible. I was angry and offended. I would have left in the middle of the show, except I was sitting in the middle of the row and I did not want to hurt my grand-daughter’s feelings by walking out in the middle of her big night. The premise of the show was awful. It drained the joy of Christmas from my very soul."

It drained the joy of Christmas from your very soul? I have news for you. If the joy of Christmas can be so easily tapped and syphoned out of your soul tank, you ain't got any. Make sure you stuff Bill O'Reilly's latest book into your granddaughter's stocking.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Responding to complaints about noise, Berlin, Germany police found a 60-year-old man sharing his two-room flat with what?"

54% said "1 horse"
- Keeping a horse in an apartment? That's not very stable. (Thank you, goodnight, tip your waitress!)

9% said "Anne Frank's relatives"
- As long as they keep coughing up dough for rent, I see no need to tell them WW2 is over.

No one said "50 cats"

36% got it right with "1,700 birds"

According to the AFP, Berlin city officials, summoned by complaints over the noise, found a 60-year-old man sharing his two-room flat with 1,700 budgerigars.

The budgies were living on perches installed along the walls, while the floors were saturated with droppings, veterinary services said here Wednesday.

The pensioner told officials he had adopted two birds because he felt lonely and that nature had done the rest.

About 1,000 of the birds were evacuated on Tuesday, 300 on Wednesday, while the remainder were to be taken from the flat to a rescue shelter over the next few days, officials said.

The tenant was also having to move as the flat was deemed no longer fit for human habitation.

He started with two birds and ended up with 1,700 because they were getting it on? This must have been a constant 24/7 bird orgy. What was he doing the whole time? Serving cocktails? Videotaping for the bird porn fetishists? I think if your birds start to over run the place and you have to walk through a layer of bird poop whenever you walk across the room, time to start frying up some budgie omelets to reduce the surplus population. And that's from a vegetarian!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's snowing in Vegas?

Drew Peterson is engaged to be married?

Our governor got caught trying to sell Obama's senate seat and won't resign or be impeached?

Thank God there's still things like this to make me laugh.

I saw this sign in a laundromat window on Broadway in Rogers Park. For $1.99, they will give you one quick exhalation of breath. They're pretty good at it. You'll need to spend the .99 to get your shirt clean.


Yesterday, I asked...

"The parents of a three-year-old were denied by a New Jersey supermarket to put the boy's full name on his birthday cake because his name is what?"

38% said "Ben Ladin"
- Who just happens to be best friends with Al Queda.

23% said "Jesus Satan Johnson"
- You can call him Mike.

9% said "Sadam Hussein Mitchell"
- Such an unfortunate last name.

30% got it right with "Adolph Hitler Campbell"

According to The Associated Press, a supermarket is defending itself for refusing to a write out 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell's name on his birthday cake. Deborah Campbell, 25, of nearby Hunterdon County, N.J., said she phoned in her order last week to the Greenwich ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son's name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman, said the store denied similar requests from the Campbells the last two years, including a request for a swastika.

"We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate," Meleta said. "We considered this inappropriate."

The Campbells ultimately got their cake decorated at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania, Deborah Campbell said Tuesday.

Heath Campbell said he named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked the name and because "no one else in the world would have that name."

The Campbells' two other children are named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, who turns 2 in a few months, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, who will be 1 in April.

I wish I were joking about the names of the other kids. It's where I was going to go to find a joke in this. Yikes! The good news is, kids grow up to rebel against their parents. Little Adolph could be the next Ghandi. But hopefully he won't give his kids names like Mother Teresa or Buddha.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Believe...

...that the more Bush and Cheney give interviews in with their attempt at a victory lap around the White House, the more likely we're going to see a "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" moment. They have both already come close, with Cheney admitting to condoning torture. Let's get these guys on The View!

...that celebrities should not be allowed to name their own children.

...that the Secret Service is ready for George to leave and he's not worth risking a life for. They won't even try to block a flying shoe. Or a second one.

...that the art of "chilling" is very important to help one see things clearly. When filled with either angst or anticipation, I remind myself to step back, take a breath, check in with myself on what I really want, and then I step forward and make an ass of myself.

...that I think Al Franken is doing a great job at making sure all votes are counted in Minnesota. If there's one thing we learned in 2000, count all the votes. The guy screaming the loudest to stop the recount is the one most afraid of losing.

...THIS is what I want for Christmas!

See the Snuggie commercial HERE.

My favorite option is wearing Snuggies at sporting events. If you don't get beat up, it's the perfect way to sneak in that poisoned Kool-Aide you're all going to drink at halftime.


Yesterday, I asked...

"HSBC, a financial services organization, recently did a survey to determine the friendliest country in the world. Who won?"

58% said "Germany"

No one said "USA! USA! USA!" or "Merry Ol' England"

42% got it right with "Oh, Canada"

According to Forbes, the country that once welcomed the tired, poor, huddled masses is now asking for a little reciprocation. And Canada, Germany and Australia are heeding the call. They top a list of the countries most welcoming to expats. The study surveyed 2,155 expats in 48 countries, spanning four continents, between February and April 2008. Respondents rated their country in four categories: ability to befriend locals, number that joined a community group, number that learned the language and percentage that bought property.

China,India and United Arab Emirates scored low overall because cultural differences from the West made integration difficult.

But they beat the crap out of Canada, Germany and Australia when it came to yummy food.

If an American really wants to make friends in a foreign country, wear your Snuggie. It will inspire awe and admiration. The Arabs and the Indians will think you're at least making an effort to try to fit in. And then they will kill you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Up On The Roof


After you have completed the first draft of your scene, go back through it form the perspective of each character. If you have a six person scene, that means reading through it six times. Look at each moment of the scene from that character's perspective. Where did they just come from? Where are they going to? What's on their mind? What would they do or say or want in that moment?

Not only will this help bring your characters (and scene) to life, it will help eliminate scenes where a characters gets left out to dry with nothing to say or do for a page or two.


Yesterday, I asked...

"A Fort Pierce Florida man came home last week to find a woman on his roof who refused to leave unless he did what?"

62% said "Flashed his porch lights so the UFO could find her"
- No one told her the mother ship doesn't pick up hitch hikers.

No one said "Caught her when she jumped" or "Pretended he was Santa"

38% got it right with "Gave her more beer"

According to TCPalm, when the Binney Drive resident returned from work Wednesday night, he noticed something that could be considered unusual — a 28-year-old woman drinking beer on his roof.

He reportedly told Amber D. Smith, of the 700 block of North Indian River Drive, several times to get down from the roof and leave, but she “objected and refused to do so,” according to a recently released police report.

Police were dispatched about 9:15 p.m. to a “drunk pedestrian on the roof” and arriving officers heard the man twice tell Smith to leave. Smith reportedly said she’d leave if the 37-year-old man gave her more beer, police reported.

Smith faces a disorderly intoxication charge.

And a formal complaint from the local roofing contractors union. Only they are allowed to be on a roof intoxicated.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Man Who Threw Too Much... the man who knows so little.

This from
The Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Dec. 15 -- Arriving here on Sunday for a surprise farewell visit, President Bush staunchly defended a war that has taken far more time, money and lives than anticipated, but he received a taste of local resentment toward his policies when an Iraqi journalist hurled two shoes at him at a news conference.

Bush has gone on record saying he thought this was "hilarious."

Throwing a shoe at someone is considered the worst possible insult in Iraq and is meant to show extreme disrespect and contempt. When U.S. forces helped topple a statue of Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein after rolling into Baghdad in April 2003, jubilant Iraqis beat the statue's face with their shoes.

Bush was not injured and joked about the incident minutes later: "If you want the facts, it's a size 10 shoe that he threw."

No one in the room filled with Iraqi journalists laughed at the joke. Except Bush.

The journalist, identified as Muntadar al-Zaidi, a reporter with the Cairo-based al-Baghdadia television network, was kidnapped by Shiite militiamen last year and was later released.

After Bush left Iraq, the al-Baghdadia network released a statement demanding Zaidi's release from Iraqi custody "to spare his life." It was unclear Sunday night what charges he might face for throwing the shoes.

"Any step taken against him will be a reminder of the dictatorial time and the violence and lack of freedom that Iraqis faced," the statement said.

CNN reports...

...that Bush compared the shoe-throwing incident with heckling during a political rally and described it as "a way to gain attention"

"Let me talk about the guy throwing his shoe. It's one way to gain attention. It's like going to a political rally and having people yell at you. It's like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers.

"It's a way for people to draw attention. I don't know what the guy's cause is. But one thing is for certain. He caused you to ask me a question about it. I didn't feel the least bit threatened by it."

"I don't know what the guy's cause is?"

You invaded his country and liberated roughly a million civilians from their mortal coil and you think he might be from Greenpeace? His cause is expressing pain and anger.

If you watch the video, Bush is smiling while dodging the airborne footwear. I think he's having a "big dog"moment where he's really excited about his ability to adequately duck shoes. He does everything but fetch. Not only is this guy out of touch with the American people, he's out of touch in countries where he considers himself a hero.

Now, I get that to an American, having a shoe thrown at you, while also insulting, isn't that big of deal, unless it's a steel-toed work boot or something Gene Simmons might wear. Or from PayLess. If you're going to try to insult me, have the courtesy to hit me with some fine italian leather. Size 7 (shut up, I have small feet, and, no, it's not true what they say about guys with small feet!).

According to the BBC, in Arab culture it's considered rude even to display the sole of one's shoe to a fellow human being. Certainly, crossing one's legs ankle-on-knee style should never be done in a public place for fear of offending the person next to you. The sensitivity is related to the fact shoes are considered ritually unclean in the Muslim faith.

And Bush thought it was as hilarious as a Three Stooges Marathon.

Other things George W. Bush thinks is hilarious...

- Being urinated on by dogs.

- Being pooped on by birds.

- Having his limo egged.

- Getting kicked in the nuts.

- Being spat on.

- torture


On Friday, I asked...

"Darnell L. Frazier tried to lie about his identity to St. Paul, Minnesota police, but forget that he what?"

80% said "Had on his McDonald's uniform and name tag."

- Nope. Think dumber.

No one said "Had on his "Darnell L. Frazier is God" t-shirt." or "Had spent Thanksgiving with the arresting officer."

20% got it right with "Had tattooed his name to his neck."

According to The Star Tribune, an officer stopped two men walking in the street at Forest Street and Minnehaha Avenue. One was "evasive" about his identification, telling the officer he had never had a photo ID. He said his name was Darnell Lewis, spokesman Peter Panos said.

The officer, however, noticed that the man had "Frazier" tattooed on his neck.

Frazier was arrested on four misdemeanor warrants, including driving after license revocation, driving after suspension and no proof of insurance.

He also had at least two felony warrants for his arrest: a probation violation in Jackson County for bringing a stolen vehicle into Minnesota and a failure to appear in Hennepin County on a drug charge.

The 25-year-old St. Paul man is currently residing in the Ramsey County jail getting the name of another prisoner tattooed to his lower backside.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Busy Friday


My I Believe... post Wednesday about OJ spurred a few unexpected heated comments - on the blog and off the blog. I find it unlikely that he is guilty of double-murder, but don't know for sure. I do know that in a court of law, he was declared innocent. And if our court system is to have any meaning, I contend that the verdict needs to be respected.

There's a very good break down of the case done by the deputy district attorney of Los Angeles. He was not involved in the prosecution of the case, but has some very insightful things to say. And, by the way, he thinks O.J. is guilty. Read it HERE.


Sigh. Rest in peace. Know that you will live forever in the dreams of young men and old geezers all around the world.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Pencil drawings of a secret weapon Nazis were working on in the final days of WWII are for sale. The weapon was called the what?"

44% said "Good Night"
- Sweet dreams...BOOM!

22% said "Deadly Sausage"
- Just add sauerkraut.

12% said "The Ark of the Covenant"
- We all know how that turned out.

22% got it right with "Silent Dart"

According to The Daily Mail, with deadly accuracy and at speeds of up to 700mph, it could have pinpointed Nazi targets and wreaked havoc on Britain.

At least, that is what German scientists believed as they plotted this weapon of terror.

Hitler became increasingly desperate for a way to thwart his enemies at the end of the Second World War.

And so the Nazis dreamed up the Silent Dart.

The glider would be released from a larger aircraft. Guided by a Luftwaffe pilot inside, the dart would dive towards the ground carrying its 1,000kg bomb.

At the last moment, the pilot would release the bomb and inflate a huge balloon attached to the craft.

As the bomb hit its target, the balloon was supposed to whisk the glider far up above the danger area, so it could travel to safety.

The plans, which have come to light more than 60 years after their creation, may sound implausible - but pencil drawings of the dart found by the Allies in July 1945 show that for the Nazis, it may have seemed a real possibility.

So, essentially, the Nazis ran out of ideas and were working on the equivalent of a bird dropping an explosive poop.