Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Year In Review in Word Clouds

Here was my blogging year in a nutshell, or rather a Word Cloud. Looks like I wasted a whole year writing it.













Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Bill Told Scarlett

Lost in Translation is one of my favorite indie movies of the 2000s. Not just because it has Bill Murray and a young heartthrob named Scarlett Johansson (now Mrs. Ryan *spit* Reynolds, and no it won't last more than 5 years absolute TOPS).

The movie is about two Americans who meet each other while temporarily stationed in Tokyo. They are both in unhappy relationships, and though they are very far apart in age, they strike a connection that blossoms into a very subtle romance. So subtle, in fact, that it isn't really considered an "official" romance until the last 30 seconds or so of screen time.

The film is a metaphor for finding a connection with another person in a world where you don't feel you are understood. There are lots of shots of these characters isolated, in their hotel rooms, or sitting by themselves. Lots of static camera angles and slow, deliberate -- some would even say boring -- scenes. In fact none of the Japanese dialogue in the film is subtitled, further adding to the sense of alienation and solitude.

It's only when these to serendipitously find each other that the film begins to "pic up," both in pace and in tone.

The climax -- and one of the more intriguing scenes in recent film history -- is the very last scene of the movie. Bill Murray has to catch a flight back to his home in Los Angeles (coincidentally also where the Johansson character lives), but before he leaves, he tracks her down. He hugs her, but before he goes, he whispers something in her ear. It is pretty much inaudible (and yes, I watched it with the subtitles on just to be sure my ears weren't going bad).

In the video below, someone digitally altered the sound and figured out what he said to her. And it's not some jokey, fake "gotcha" in case you were wondering. You can actually hear him say it. And what's great about it is that you could basically tell in the movie that this is roughly what he said, but it was so much better that they kept it a secret.

If you haven't seen the movie, you may want to skip this video... but go out and rent it. If you've always wondered, here it is.

Freestyle Rap Battle: Translated

This is goddamn brilliant!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Terrell

Santa brought me an early Christmas gift: a Terrell Owens interview where he gets to cry about how unfair life is.

Is anyone else getting sick of this asshole? He is perpetually instigating and causing trouble, and then he is constantly complaining about how he's unfairly criticized. He doesn't seem to realize that it's easy for anyone to just disappear into quiet life. And you can't be universally beloved when a) you are constantly drawing attention to yourself, because anyone well known will be disliked by a certain segment of the populations, and b) you are a complete and utter dick.

One thing I will give Owens credit for, however, is his command of the King's English. Behold.

"There were reports that myself, Roy and Patrick all got together, you know, and I'm the head honcho of all this."
- Owens on the meeting he had with his teammates. I think it's telling that Terrell doesn't really understand what the term "head honcho" means. He also uses the tried-and-true method of attempting to make himself look more intelligent by referring to himself in the first person as "myself." Well played.

"It seems like every time something happens or arises, I'm the blame. I'm the pitfall for everything."
- Owens on how everyone is so mean to him. To me, the phrase "I'm the pitfall" is one that should enter the English lexicon, and NOW. To say "I'm the fall guy" would assume that Owens has any cultural awareness or basic knowledge of colloquial idioms.

"We're trying to make a playoff push, and every game, thereafter, is critical for us!"
- Owens, talking about the Cowboys needs to right the ship. Again, Owens -- by using the word "thereafter" -- attempts to polysyllabically get himself out of looking like a dummy. (He does the same thing a few sentences later when he uses the word "amongst.")

"We know what kind of usplosive offense we have, and we know we have a lot of capable players ... of making plays."
- Owens, advancing the spoken word.

"Just say give this incident, for example."
- Owens, clearly meaning to say, "For instance...."
And yet the cold hard fact is that he makes more during a bye week than I will make over the next twenty years.

Of course, Stephen A. Smith likes to get into the act to saying that someone in the Cowboys organization "evidently said something to him along those lines, essentially to sully your name," not only doing a great impression of the Damon Wayons character on "In Living Color" who used to use big words he didn't understand, but also to imply that somehow the name "Terrell Fucking Owens" hadn't been sullied like seven years ago.

I love this new hero worship by our sports media. Makes me definitely not hate ESPN or sports in general at all.

Monday, December 15, 2008

How's This For Depressing?

Well not for you, but for me.

I just looked at a calendar, and it turns out that the next time my birthday falls on a Saturday will be in 2018. That is over 9 years from now.

My 2012 Birthday (#36) will be on a Friday; due to leap years, my 2013 birthday (#37) will be on a Sunday.

It will be my 42nd birthday.

That will be the next time that my birthday falls on a Saturday. The next time I am able to both sleep in AND stay up late on my birthday will be #42. And by that time, I'm pretty sure I will naturally get up at 5:30 AM and fall asleep at 7:30 PM.

We're basically looking at a full decade before I get another Saturday birthday. Think of all the things that will have happened by then:
  • Obama will have completed both of his presidential terms, and we will be in the midst of the midterms of the Tim McGraw presidency.
  • The Bills will have missed the playoffs for the 19th consecutive year.
  • Zac Efron will have won that elusive third Oscar.
  • Guns-N-Roses' "Chinese Democracy II" will only be three years from release.
  • VH-1 will complete their "I Love the 2010s" series... apparently.
  • Cancer will be cured; male-pattern baldness will still haunt me. I will have the same amount of grey hair that I do now.
  • I will get around to organizing my magazines.
  • I will still be adorable.

So if you happen to see me on a Saturday, and it's my birthday. Buy me a beer.

I'll be dead shortly after.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tobacco Addict

I am down with this new band guy called Tobacco, and their his album "F**ked up Friends." He is part of the group Black Moth Super Rainbow, a group that has a similar sound, but is way more "normal" I suppose.

Tobacco sounds like a combination of Boards of Canada and a 1970s PBS kids show. And the videos are insane, mostly clips of exercise videos and possibly even 1980s porn. I think I love it. Rather than doing the post-modern irony thing favored by, say, The Beastie Boys or Beck, they just abandon the usual MTV quick-cuts and let each video play out for a few seconds in all its kitschy glory.

Check out of some of their videos, and by all means, enjoy... although don't do it at work, just to be safe. Might not be your thing (music or videos) but to me they are mesmerizing.









Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Awesome Show Alert: Summer Heights High

To call Summer Heights High (on HBO for 8 episodes) an Australian version of the British version of The Office wouldn't be doing it justice. On its face it sounds like kind of a gay idea: have one guy play three different characters that attend one school, and see what happens.

It sounds like a bad Mike Meyers project, I know. But trust me, this show is goddamned hilarious.

The three characters are: Mr. G, a super-effeminate music and theater teacher who is as oblivious as The Office UK's David Brent but maybe even more selfish; Ja'mie (pronounced ZHA-may), a transfer student from a ritzy high school who tries to ingratiate herself with the "cool kids" at the new school; and Jonah, a Tongan thug who hangs around with other Tongans and gets into all sorts of trouble.

If you didn't know better, you would think that Mr. G was gay, Ja'mie was a real girl, and Jonah was really 13 years old. But what makes the show isn't the parlor trick of having one person play all the parts, Peter Sellers-style. It's the writing.

For example, the third episode featured a junior student dying of a drug overdose. Mr. G responds by writing a musical about the girl's life called "One Girl, One Pill." Most of the songs talk about how the girl was a slut and a drug addict. I couldn't possibly do it justice. In the first episode, one particular line made me laugh for about 5 minutes: all I'll say is "Tsunamarama."

I use the Office UK comparison only to give an idea of the style of humor, since it's very subtle, with no laugh track and lots of quick jokes that hit you and then immediately switch to another scene, just like Ricky Gervais's masterpiece. Though it's Australian, it bears little-to-no resemblance to Flight of the Conchords, but is more like a Christopher Guest miniseries.

So even if you can't stand Australians, comedy, actors playing multiple parts, high school or Tongans, give this show a shot. You know you can trust me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Awesome Videos

There are two really cool videos on the internet right now.

The first is the new trailer for Watchmen, which comes out 03.06.09 and is probably gonna be awesome. The book is great, and the original trailer is badass too. Here's the original (which doesn't give you much idea of what the movie is about, but is very atmospheric and moody):

The new trailer actually gives you an idea what the movie is about, although if it's anything like the book, any expectation the beginning of the movie gives will be shattered by the credits. The movie is being directed by Zack Snyder, who directed 300, a movie that I expected to hate and dismiss as an all-flash-no-substance visual extravaganza. Needless to say, 300 is one of the most badass movies ever made. Anyway, here's the new trailer:

The second is a bunch of "sport-stackers" (also known as "cup stackers") who take a bunch of plastic cups and then stack them and unstack them. Doesn't sound that complicated until you see these kids do it. Behold...

Apparently this has been around since the early 1980s, but is taking on a life of its own. I only found out about it a few weeks ago, but man is it cool. I wonder how someone could get involved in something like that.

Okay bye.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Musical Week

Some odd music-related stuff from this week...


Last night I went to see Iron & Wine in Buffalo, NY at a place that is now a concert venue but was an old church, and is apparently owned by Ani DiFranco. It was a very cool venue, and we sat in the upper balcony area on the stage right side.

Iron & Wine's first album, The Creek Drank the Cradle, might be my #1 favorite album of all time. It's one of the few albums I own where EVERY song is good or great. In fact it might be the only such album in my catalogue. What's striking about the album is its simplicity; it was recorded on an amateur basis on a 4-track for Sam Beam's own personal use, and it was given (without his knowledge) to a record company -- Sub Pop, which some of you hipsters might recognize -- and it became and underground sensation.

When people say about an album, "it changed my life," I know what that means because of this album. It's not that it made me a better person or that I suddenly could shoot webs from my wrists, but it opened me up to a musical world I never would have thought to explore. Sam Beam's lyrics are some of the greatest ever written, and he is one of the only songwriters in the world whose lyrics could be printed out and be considered a stand-alone poem. Well anyway, I introduced my buddy Bruce to I&W about four years ago, and we both just fell in love withe the guy, his style, his voice, his beard. Everything.

Last night's concert was really strange, though, because that first album grabbed me so much with its lo-fi, DIY approach that I had been lamenting his later albums which were much more highly produced and had lost some of the intimacy of the first album. So when Sam came on stage alone, I knew he was going to have a band, although he did the first couple songs all by himself -- including "Upward Over the Mountain," my favorite song from Sam and one of the few songs that almost makes me cry every time I listen to it.

Weird thing was, his concert, usually so low-key and subdued, turned into an all-out jam, with 6 total instrumentalists all rocking hard and doing extended versions of old hits. His overproduction, about which I had complained so many times, breathed new life into some of his all-too-familiar songs. Awesome guy.


I played the game "Rock Band" this week, and to say that it's an obsession might be pushing it, but goddamn is it fun. I have been playing the bass mostly, but every once in a while I'll grab the mic and belt one out. (My favorites are "Nine in the Afternoon" by Panic! At the Disco and "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull. And though I'm not a fan of Bon Jovi, per se, "Wanted Dead or Alive" is a great goddamn song to belt out.)

My friend Christian and I were going through some of the songs available for download on the Xbox, and there were some really great ones on there. It was very cool to go down a list of songs and listen to 30 second clips and take a flyer on some crap you don't know if you'll even like in a four-minute version. It must have taken developers forever to create that game, not to mention all the royalties.


I have long been a proponent of satellite radio, but now that XM and Sirius have merged, I am a little pissed. Yes, it's cool that I can now get Howard Stern (although Opie and Anthony are still funnier, if much dumber) and all the NFL games in the country. But one thing that has made me super pissed off is that they eliminated The Rhyme, the old-school rap channel. It was #65 on the XM dial, but now there is no #65. Sirius had Backspin, which basically served the same function, but instead of merging the two channels into one, they eliminated the format altogether. The rap that they play on the two remaining stations (Hip Hop Nation and Shade 45, a channel run by Eminem) are all playing shit like T-Pain, Paul Wall, etc. The Rhyme was never a great channel (it always played way too much "old school" stuff from Newcleus and Kurtis Blow, as well as too many "pop-rap" songs from Biggie and Salt-N-Pepa, as well as their strange Tupac obsession), but it was the best that was available, and they did have some great shows like Subsoniq Classix. I will really miss that channel, and if they don't bring it back, I'm going to write them once a week -- Andy Dufresne style -- until they bring it back.


I made myself a mix-cd for my trip to Buffalo, and I really like it. The last one I had made wasn't all that great in my estimation. (I did give it another listen on the way home and it was actually pretty good after all. Amazing how distance can do that.)

Here is the track list:

On this disc is my current obsession on track #16 -- "Hail, Mary" by Shearwater.

I have a weird, obscure taste in music, some say, where I basically shun almost any songs that are played on the radio (in the playlist above, you will notice Boz Skaggs and AIC noticeably excepted). I actually threw one of my own creations and one of my buddy Bruce's songs on there too, just for the hell of it. But every six months or so, I will get obsessed with a song to the point where I will listen to it over and over again. I rarely listen to an album more than once in a given week, but some songs just grab me by the cojones and get inside my head so that I have to listen to them over and over. Some past examples of these songs include:
  • "Ghostwriter" by RJD2, which was my ringtone for about a year
  • "Fireman So Cold (A-Trak Blend)" by Li'l Wayne
  • "Jacksonville" by Sufjan Stevens
  • "Dirtywhirl" by TV on the Radio
  • "Big Bang" by Aesop Rock
  • "My Heart" by The Blow
  • "Can't Face Up" by Sloan
  • "Any Major Dude Will Tell You" by Steely Dan
  • "Way Down in the Hole" by Tom Waits (probably because it reminds me of The Wire)
  • "Avril 14" by Aphex Twin
I now have a feeling that this damn song is going to be added to the list. It's very folky and atmospheric, before building into a crescendo that comes crashing down. I'm not sure what it's about, but to say it is dark is a classic understatement. I don't mean to build it up, because it might not "wow" anybody else, but it just hit me the right way at the right time. If you want to see a video of it, click here.


So yeah, I know it's not interesting, but it's weird how music kinda ruled my life this week. Hopefully next week my life will be ruled by something more cool. Doubtful.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election '08 Aftermath

One negative side effect of the Obama win I never anticipated...

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

I'm Proud of Ya, Onondaga!

Here is how the votes shook out by county in New York state. The size of each circle is the relative size of the county by population. (As you can see, the state had a 1.1% "protest vote" as well.) Click the picture for a larger view.

People tend to think of Upstate NY as conservative country, but it looks like he took the three big cities along I-90 by a comfortable margin. Nicely done!

By the way, if you are either still looking for that last fix of Election season, or if you just love Behind-the-Scenes dirt, make sure you read Newsweek's scintillating seven-part Secrets of the Campaign, starting at Chapter 1. It is a narrative of reports that were forbidden to be published until after election day. It is mesmerizing, no matter who you were for. The more I read it, the more I respect McCain, admire Obama, and feel sorry for Hillary for relying on incompetents.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Joe the Plumber

I know a lot of guys like Joe the Plumber. Where I live, guys like Joe the Plumber are a dime a dozen. Let's check the profile:

White, check.

Blue-collar, check.

Works with his hands, check.

Opinionated, check.

Joe the Plumber, in his circle of friends, is the one that probably goes down to the local townie bar in Toledo, starts knocking 'em back, talking about how this country is going down the tubes because of affirmative action, Mexicans, and a departure from "American values" (whatever the hell those actually are). He probably advocates turning Iraq "into a parking lot!" right before he goes to the jukebox to play that Toby Keith "Put a Boot Up Your Ass" song. When he's done speaking his mind, one of his buddies jumps in and says, "Tell us how you really feel!" as the table erupts into back-slapping and uproarious laughter.

Joe probably watches NASCAR, thinks that "Here's Your Sign" guy is a real cut-up, and gets most of his information from Fox News. He's probably used the term "hell in a handbasket" more than once when referring to the country's future. And because he's a white, blue-collar midwesterner, you better not EVER question HIS patriotism!

Of course, he has no problems questioning anyone else's, especially some BLACK from Hawaii...

Am I calling Joe the Plumber a racist? Of course not, I have no idea if he is or not. But while John McCain seems fascinated that there is a man out there who is so brazen -- so BRAVE -- as to question Barack Obama and call him out on his dastardly "wealth-spreading" (and thereby giving McCain a message that he himself couldn't establish in months of campaigning), I see guys like this all the time. They are in my IT department, at the tire store, on their cell-phones while walking through Wal-Marts. If you are talking about politics at a party, they will jump in with, "No, I'll tell you what, HERE's how it is..." right before telling you how the world REALLY works.

Joe the Plumber is nothing special. Since John McCain pals around with a group of Senators and millionaires, he couldn't see that the handyman with which he became so smitten is about as ordinary a human being as you can get. And since when did it become okay for ordinary people to become famous at such a rapid rate?

If you are impressed by Joe the Plumber, you are probably someone who doesn't know very many interesting people. And the fact that the so-called "liberal media" is constantly trying to get his views on the world, we just might not have that many interesting people in the world at all.


Please watch this if you need any more proof that this fucktard knows nothing. Atta boy, Rick Sanchez!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Michael Goldfarb: Dipshit

What a fucking embarrassment for this douche...

Oh my God he wants to say "Jeremiah Wright" soooo bad. Say it Goldfarb, SAY IT!

Apparently Liddy Dole is a Lying Asshole Too

Look at this slimy attack ad on Kay Hagan by the whore wife of Bob Dole...

Desperate times...

UPDATE: Here is the response video.

Number One Phanatic

We are having an eventful week in my family. Next week, this nation will elect its first black president. Although I'm not black (no jokes, Cialini), I think it is going to be a defining, quantum leap in the history of this country, along the lines of voting rights for women and the end of prohibition.

But last night something that I truly NEVER thought I would see finally happened.

The Philadelphia Phillies won the world series.

I grew up in Rochester, but since I was a little kid, the Phillies were THE baseball team in my house. (I morphed into somewhat of a Baltimore fan around '89, but the Phils were always my NL team.)

We got that way mostly because of my Uncle Jim, husband of my Aunt Peg, my old man's sister. Uncle Jim was a hard drinker and without a doubt the most profane man I ever met ... and that's why we all loved him. He was also the greatest baseball fan that ever walked the face of the earth, more than Bob Costas, Billy Crystal and Harry Carey combined. He knew everything about every team, every player and watched every game he could. But when he moved to New Jersey, he adopted the Phillies as his baseball obsession, and he passed that obsession onto me and my siblings.

When Uncle Jim passed away a little over seven years ago, he passed the torch of #1 Phillies fan to my "little" brother Mike. The last time the Phillies won the World Series was 1980, and my brother wasn't even 2 years old. They made the World Series in 1993, but had their hearts broken by Joe Carter and Mitch Williams.

Sports success has never been abundant in my family. In 2003, when Syracuse won the NCAA basketball championship, it was the first time any team I had ever followed -- ever -- had won a championship. I was 27 years old. And though we all take a bit of ownership in this Phillies championship in my family, every last one of us was giving a big ol' cosmic hug to my brother the moment Lidge struck out that last Tampa Bay batter. You hear about how Red Sox fans who had been waiting their whole lives finally were able to appreciate the Sox winning the Series in 2004; you better believe that those octogenarians had nothing on Mike. His sports obsession finally closed the deal and I'm more happy for him than anything.

And yet as happy as I am for the Phils, I feel just a hint of sadness inside, knowing that I personally am still missing that one elusive sports trophy that can finally put me at peace. I haven't talked about the Bills that much this year, because they were on a roll and I knew that any mention I made of them would jinx it. But here we are, having lost 2 of 3 games, but I still have hope. I'm not sure they are a playoff team yet -- let alone a Super Bowl team -- but they look like they have something, if they can keep healthy and keep their composure. They make me really really nervous, but they have pretty much done that for the twenty years I've followed them so that's nothing new.

But my hope remains, because if we can elect a black president, and if the losingest team in all of sports can win the World Series, then maybe it's time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Choo Choo Charlie and a .... CLASS AAACT!

Some quick-hit thoughts about my first half-cross-country train trip:

  • I spent over 13 hours on the train, each way. 26 hours total. The train was the Lakeshore Limited, traveling from NYC to Chicago and points in between. It was pretty much on time the whole trip, which apparently is rare for this line known as the "Late-shore."

  • I got excited arriving in Chicago on Friday morning, but even more excited arriving in Syracuse on Monday.

  • I slept probably a total of 6 hours, which isn't bad, but it wasn't a deep sleep. Every bump in the track made me jump awake, and in both directions someone decided to be loud. Heading west around 1am, a mouthy know-it-all got on the plane and began to pontificate everything he knew about trains, travel and American history to the stranger next to him, all while the rest of the car was trying to sleep. At about 4am heading west, a woman (who's voice was identical to Mia Farrow's, by the way) began yelling at her (I'm guessing) husband about "who unlocked the door!" Apparently one of the kids locked the door, and then suddenly it was unlocked, and she wanted to know WHO THE HELL UNLOCKED THE DOOR for about 40 minutes before she slammed closed her cell phone before storming into the restroom sobbing. Of course, she went from Chicago to Syracuse, depriving me of more sleep. In fact, I was surprised by how many people were going to Syracuse from Chicago.

  • Since I knew I'd have unlimited train time, I brought the entire three-box set of all three extended versions of The Lord of the Rings in case I got bored. I got halfway through "The Return of the King." I was never actually bored. I turned the iPod on for maybe an hour total, and got through about 5 pages of one magazine. I had two seat-mates on the way to Chicago and sat all by my lonesome on the way back.

  • I enjoyed traveling across the country, because even though it took so much longer, it was cool to travel through different cities (even though there wasn't much to look at in Buffalo, Sandusky, Toledo or Gary, at least at their train stations) and arrive somewhere. It felt more like a journey. Also, I wasn't 1/10 as nervous on the train as I would have been on a plane. Irrational to be sure, but it got me through the trip. Plus it was only $136, round-trip.

  • Union Station in Chicago is smaller than I expected, but it's clean and the people who work there are friendly. In fact, the people in Chicago -- and I'm told, the Midwest in general -- were so much friendlier than in New York, Philly, D.C., Boston or almost any other large East Coast city I've been to. Everyone I dealt with there was incredibly nice and helpful, and no matter what they were doing, they didn't act like they hated their jobs or their lives. Everyone from the baggage claim guy to the gal behind the bar at the station restaurant to the Hertz rental guy to the baggage check guy was friendly, smiling, helpful and pleasant. Plus, the station is where they filmed the "staircase scene" in The Untouchables, which is awesome!

  • Another note about Chicago, the city. It's a great place, brimming with life and culture, and unlike most cities (I'm talking to you, New York), it doesn't feel a constant need to TELL YOU how great it is, but rather, it just IS. On the other hand, it's a very hard-to-navigate city in that if you don't know the local areas, you have to circle around a dozen times because you missed the sign -- if there ever was one -- the first time.

  • I walked in on a woman taking a leak (I hope) when she didn't lock her door. She slammed her door angrily, but maybe if she had been paying attention she wouldn't have had to worry about it. All I said was, "Oops." I mean, it was a full door, so I couldn't check for shoes. I do have to say, the train did smell like pee from time to time.

  • I don't know that I could ever make the trip alone, but I'm kinda glad I made it in the first place. It's the furthest I've ever traveled by myself, and it didn't go completely without a hitch.

Epilogue: I would highly recommend travel by train if you have no hurry to get to where you need to go, and like to just relax while gliding across the country. I wish it maybe wouldn't have taken so long, but as long as you keep enough stuff around you to keep from being bored, you'll be fine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Too CHI CHI ... Hush Hush, Eye to Eye

I am going to take a train for the first time on Thursday, going from Syracuse to Chicago, all along the Great Lakes. It is 666 miles each way, and approximately 13 hours. I have lots of concerns about this trip, some technological, some situational.

For example, will I have enough battery power in my phone, iPod and laptop to give me enough entertainment hours for the trip? Will there be electrical outlets?

What will I do on the computer? Will it have wi-fi? Will I be able to be on the internet, or blog?

Will there be enough light for me to read the 20 or so magazines and books I'm going to bring?

Will I be able to sleep on a moving train? Will my newly-purchased neck pillow assist me in sleeping upright? Will I need to bring some Tylenol PM or NyQuil with me?

Is there going to be enough room for me to keep all my crap and have some leg room? Should I check my baggage or keep it right next to me?

Is someone going to try and talk my ear off on the train ride? Or should I take the trip with a semi-psychotic look so that everyone leaves me alone?

Since the trip is overnight, am I going to be able to see any of the scenery outside? Like picturesque Lake Erie?

Will all my reading material be exhausted? My bag is stuffed to the gills with magaizines (Draft, All About Beer, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, The New Republic, Mother Jones, Blender), beeriodicals, and books (Catch-22 and Down and Dirty Pictures). Should I throw out all the magazines once I'm done with them?

Can I bring beer from Illinois back on the train? Or does it violate some kind of ridiculous interstate beer laws?

Is the train going to stay on the rails? What if there is a dastardly man who covertly pulls the lever on the railroad switch and sends me to Topeka?!?!

Basically, if there is another blog anytime after next Monday, you'll know I made it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama Where Art Thou?

McCain-Palin = Racist
McCain-Palin = Racist
McCain-Palin = Racist

Watch this old pedophile compare Senator Obama to a primate.

McCain-Palin = Racist
McCain-Palin = Racist
McCain-Palin = Racist

McCain will be a man of constant sorrow when he realizes who these mongoloids are that are supporting him.

McCain-Palin = Racist
McCain-Palin = Racist
McCain-Palin = Racist

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Adlai's Prescience

Been reading about former Illinois Governor and two-time presidential hopeful Adlai Stephenson a bit, and had some really interesting quotes from him that seem to really be relevant today.
  • The whole notion of loyalty inquisitions is a national characteristic of the police state, not of democracy. The history of Soviet Russia is a modern example of this ancient practice. I must, in good conscience, protest against any unnecessary suppression of our rights as free men. We must not burn down the house to kill the rats. (1950)

  • What counts now is not just what we are against, but what we are for. Who leads us is less important than what leads us — what convictions, what courage, what faith — win or lose. A man doesn't save a century, or a civilization, but a militant party wedded to a principle can. (1952)

  • True Patriotism, it seems to me, is based on tolerance and a large measure of humility. ... Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something. (1952)
  • A wise man does not try to hurry history. Many wars have been avoided by patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste. (1952)

  • In matters of national security emotion is no substitute for intelligence, nor rigidity for prudence. To act coolly, intelligently and prudently in perilous circumstances is the test of a man — and also a nation. (1955)

  • Unreason and anti-intellectualism abominate thought. Thinking implies disagreement; and disagreement implies nonconformity; and nonconformity implies heresy; and heresy implies disloyalty — so, obviously, thinking must be stopped. But shouting is not a substitute for thinking and reason is not the subversion but the salvation of freedom. (1954)

  • You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him mad. (1956)

  • Giving advice to a young politician: "Never run against a war hero." (Year unknown)

    ...and my favorite, and the one that resonates the most with me in today's climate:

  • When a woman said to him during his 1956 presidential campaign, "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" Stevenson replied, "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ohio's Finest

I know that I promised to rein in the political stuff, but then Palin and McCain need to stop giving me fodder!

This is a truly amazing video of people outside a Palin rally, courtesy of Blogger Interrupted. Enjoy the views of the state that decided the 2004 election, folks.


Dana Milbank of the Washington Post gives an absolutely terrifying account of a McCain-Palin rally in the cesspool of Bethlehem, PA. These people are a bunch of hate-filled racists. Never has there been a clearer line between the rational and the evil.

Oh God, there's more!

Who's The Boss?

Since I've been told that I am getting "boring" because of my political obsession, I have decided to throw a curveball. Yes, my political obsession will continue for about four more weeks, but for those that care, here is the list of my five worst bosses at various jobs.

Let me be very clear, none of these people are folks that I currently work with. I am very satisfied (knock on wood) with my current job and I like my superiors, but something a few days ago triggered some of the miserable experiences I've had at other employers. I may have to change some names to protect my own ass the innocent, and I may choose more than one person who was in charge at any given place. These are in no particular order.

  • Scott and Dan - Boston Chicken.

    Before it became "Boston Market," I helped open the first Boston Chicken restaurant in the Rochester area. Please, don't applaud. In fact, it was the second job that I had with my boy Mike C. (the other one is later in this list), and there were basically three bosses: Ted, who was a nice enough guy but obviously a company man who tried in futility to make everyone like him, but also to gain respect; another goofy Herman Munster-type whose name I can't remember; and Dan.

    Dan was a phony douchebag who would smile in your face and then talk shit behind your back. The turning point with Dan was when I was supposed to go to a pool party right after my high school graduation, and I tried to call in sick, but Dan said "If you call in today, you no longer have a job." Since I inexplicably wanted to keep my three work hours and $15.50 a week, I missed the party and went to work, miserably. Dan also threatened to fire someone on the spot if they ate a piece of cornbread that he was going to throw away in a huge plastic bag full of cornbread.

    There was an assistant manager named Scott as well, a big stupid lug of a moron who could barely speak and walked with his enormous belly sticking out ten feet, while he leaned backward to balance himself. Scott is not only the dumbest person I've ever met (and trust me, he has competition), but also the most assholish.

    The turning point with Scott and I was during a week where one of the managers was out, and Scott was made "acting manager." I was a server, which means I got the food and rang people up. There was a clear delineation between the servers, the cooks and the dishwashers. The servers were mostly the good-looking ones (remember this was a long time ago), the cooks were older and were usually working 40 hours, and the dishwashers were punks and ne'er-do-wells, never to be seen in front. Scott made me wash dishes in the back rooms. I didn't mind washing dishes -- that's what Mike and I did at our other job, more to come -- but it smelled like sour onions back there. So I pouted and went back to the back room to wash dishes with equipment I had never been taught to use. Scott came back to the area and started spraying me with a hose. I said "What the fuck Scott?" He said, as if he were Scott Farkas talking to Ralphie, "Aw, what's wrong? Pussy server can't wash dishes?" Classic power trip; what a dick.

    Fun post-script: The day I decided I didn't want to work there anymore, I called Boston Chicken and Dan picked up. I said, "Hi Dan, it's Bill. I'm quitting." He said, "What?" I said, "I'm quitting." In his most cheerful voice, he said, "Okay!" and hung up on me. Poor Mike happened to be working at the time, and Dan and Ted both tried to yell at Mike, saying stuff like "What the hell? He's your friend? Why the hell didn't he give any notice?!" Mike, to his credit, picked up the phone at the restaurant, dialed my number, held the phone out and said "Why don't you fuckin' ask him yourself?" They turned and walked away, of course.

  • Angelo - The Apartments

    The job that I quit Boston Chicken for was a job that I did for three consecutive summers from 1994 to 1996, between school years. My buddy Tim worked there and told me they were looking for "summer help" and I could interview. The interview consisted of talking to the owner of the complex for about 2 minutes: "Ang." (Pronounced "Anj.")

    The job basically consisted of mindless busy work, like vaccuuming apartment hallways, clipping hedges, mowing lawns, painting fences, light maintenance work, and the worst of all, weeding. The work was the definition of mindless, and I don't do well with only my thoughts to drive me nuts. Naturally, Ang made me stop wearing my walkman after my first two-hour period, in case "a ladder falls on top of you or some shit." Because not having my walkman on would definitely have allowed me to hear a ladder falling on top of me just in time to evade it.

    Here's a brief list of reason I hated Ang: he made me weed his yard which was about a mile from the complex; he made me vaccuum his car; he yelled at me for sitting down to pull a very large weed from his car, rolling down the window only to yell, "You better get off your ass, pal!"; he wouldn't say hi to my dad when my dad would drop me off; he pulled me into his office once to tell me he'd have to let me go if I didn't improve my "slownessness."

    Ang had a right-hand man named Mike, who had a deep raspy voice, brown teeth and yelled at me all the time. When he left the complex, Mike would come back every once in a while because his wife worked there. Whenever I saw him after he left, Mike was super nice to me, almost like he missed me. It was weird to say the least. But I realized that the reason he was such a prick to me all the time was because Ang was up his ass all the time.

  • Dave - Richardson's Canal House

    Richardson's was my first job, which I got at the tender age of 16. Cialini got the job for me and we actually had a lot of fun working together, listening to rap tapes and working six-hour shifts with no breaks.

    Dave was the head chef, and although he had an outward demeanor of being nice, he had a seething side under the surface that was almost sinister. There were two main incidents that ended Dave and my relationship. The first was when Mike quit and Dave told me to "recruit" someone from my school to work alongside me. He said he'd give me a quarter raise if I did it. So I got this wigger Andy from my school to apply, and he got the job, and of course he sucked and made me do all the work. I noticed that I never got my quarter raise. One day, when we got our paychecks, I naughtily looked in Andy's check envelope when he was out of the kitchen and noticed that he started -- STARTED -- making a quarter more than me.

    But the last straw was a gorgeous bit of karma. I used to work with a guy named Phil, who we called Philly. One night, we were at the restaurant late (we'd routinely be there until after midnight even though I think they closed at 8 or 9), but I had to take my SATs the next day. I felt bad, but I knew that since my grades in high school were shit, I'd have to get a good score on my SATs to get into college. (I got an 1150 that first time; a 1250 later. Not too shabby.) So it was approaching 11pm and I told Philly that I just had to go, even though that meant I had to leave him alone, probably to stay for at least another 2 hours while he got a bunch of stuff done. He was cool about it, to his credit.

    Well the next afternoon when I came in, Dave lit into me. And I mean LIT IN. He was sitting on an upturned crate, and he said, "There is no way you should have left Philly there by himself. He was here until 2 in the fucking morning, what the fuck? That is bullshit. I should fire your ass right now. I'm not going to, but I should." [Note: The reason he didn't fire me is because he didn't have any other dishwashers available at the moment.] I told Dave, "Dude, I had to take my SATs." I wanted to day, "Douchebag, listen to me, there is no way I'm gonna fuck up my SATs to mop a floor." Long story short, Dave got violently ill that very day right in front of me, curled up on the floor writhing in agony, undoubtebly a punch in the gut from God. I never saw him again, quitting a few weeks later.

  • John - Blockbuster Video

    John wasn't really the worst boss to me because I barely had to deal with him, but he was the typical blowhard asshole who took his job wayyy too seriously, and thought he was a real cut-up. His office was located in a tiny backroom of the store where I worked, and since he ran the whole district, he would pop his meaty frame out from the back room once every workday to flex his supervisory muscle.

    I hated working for him, though, because when we was miserable, my direct boss -- Scott, arguably the best boss I've ever had -- was miserable. Scott was a great guy who was all about his employees. He was the kind of guy that would always back me up with a difficult customer, and if I screwed up, he would chalk it up to a learning opportunity. Everything that I've ever learned about having some authority in a job, I learned from Scott. When John quit one day and Scott took over for him, I think I snubbed John when he tried to say good bye. I'm not sure about that but it feels like I did.

  • Anonymous - Anonymous job

    This one is still close. A job I left recently was taken over by a miserable person. The person took over my previous boss's job amid rumors of being some sort of administrative genius. What I saw from this person was nothing but micromanaging, overreaction and petty squabbles. I found out sometime after I had left that, apparently, some years earlier, I had been on a conference call with this person (before the person was my boss), and said something to piss the person off. Apparently, Anonymous never forgot it, because it followed me to the restructuring. (The person who told me that also mentioned that Anonymous felt threatened by me, but that was more a theory, and one I'm not sure I completely buy.)

    To paraphrase my man Obama, Anonymous came into a situation that required a scalpel and started making changes with a hatchet. My whole job changed from strategizing to babysitting. All the research I had done over the previous two years went out the window, unwelcome by the the new regime. I would get overreactive instant messages from Anonymous, telling me basically telling me I was doing my job incorrectly. All of my ideas were suppressed, all my enthusiasm sapped. The tipping point for me was when I received an email that was a teeth-gnashing, venomous document that you would have thought came from a CEO whose company had just lost $50 million. Anonymous said, and I quote, "I am so frustrated, I want to tear my hair out piece by piece in bloody hunks." The source of the frustration: a one-page spreadsheet that was completely irrelevant and that only Anonymous gave two shits about. Anonymous basically took over my job because, in that person's mind, I wasn't smart enough to do it.

    One of the most satisfying moments of my working life was when I got offered my current job and I got to call Anonymous and announce I was leaving. Anonymous sounded shocked, but for once that person's demeanor didn't mean anything to me.

Well maybe this didn't prevent me from being boring but at least it was different, I guess. I must reiterate, for the record, in case this post falls into the wrong hands, I am thrilled to be in my current job and love everything about it. Even the stress. And no one in my current place of employment appears to be running the risk of appearing any updates to this post. In other words, don't fire me. Thanks.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Philadelphia Fliers

Enjoy this bogus "anonymous" letter (courtesy of Talking Points Memo) that was handed out in the black neighborhoods of Philadelphia, apparently to try to suppress the black voters into thinking they would be arrested at polling sites if they had outstanding warrants or traffic tickets. It's really wonderful...

Letterman's Palin Recap



Also wonderful...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Biden-Palin Debate Notes

A couple initial thoughts about the Biden-Palin debate...

  • Palin did not have the Garth Algar in "Wayne's World" or Albert Brooks in "Broadcast News" moment that I thought she would have. She didn't collapse, and she didn't freeze up like a deer in the headlights. But after the initial round about the economy -- in which she did fairly well -- she didn't say anything of substance or significance. She used a bunch of generic platitudes: freedom, maverick, government-for-the-people. She came off very confident and competent, but if you read a transcript of what she actually SAID, she was very generic. Still, kudos to her for not dying out there.

  • Having said that, Biden wiped the floor with this woman on the issues. He might not have the "you betcha" populist charm that Palin has, but he was 1000% more sound on specifics than Palin was. He was confident, affable and not at all arrogant or condescending. (Even though I think he should have exposed her a little more for the fraud she is.) His moment where he mentioned losing his wife and baby daughter and not knowing if his child was going to make it was sincere ... not at all contrived or scripted. I played a drinking game with myself that I would take a sip whenever Biden said "change" or "literally" (two words he does overuse). But I could have been a Baptist preacher given the number of times he blurted those out.

  • CNN had a bunch of stuff happening on their HD screens. First, there was a chart at the bottom of the screen that looks like a heart meter that told how men and women in the state of Ohio thought about each particular point being made -- negative or positive. Forget the fact that Ohio voted for Bush two elections in a row, and therefore should have all their electoral votes called into question, it's very distracting to hear a bunch of Wole-Marts moms-n-dads giving their instant feedback to any given piece of information that the VP candidates are saying. Also, on the HD feed, there were running polls by the pundits, giving pluses and minuses for every moment, much like the show "Around the Horn" on ESPN. It was super-distracting.

  • Gwen Ifill was absolutely terrible. She skipped around and didn't give equal time for each one to answer. There were times that I would have loved to have had Biden respond to something Palin said, and other times it would have been great to get Palin's perspective. But Ifill just stuck to her script and didn't allow for the spontenaity that Jim Lehrer had encouraged just 6 days prior.

  • NBC's Brian Williams had three people on a panel for post-debate spin. He had Peggy Noonan -- a former Ronald Regan speechwriter, gee, I wonder who she preferred -- a middle-of-the-road person from NPR (who gave the only worthwhile perspective), and the worthless Jane Swift, former governor of Massachussetts, who was glowing in her talking-points-heavy praise of Palin. If people like Swift, Romney, Pataki, Palin, Schwartzenegger, Ventura and Jeb Bush are any indication, apparently it's not that hard to be the governor of a state. This analysis was worthless. Can we just kill the "spin" that goes on in this country? On both sides? Spin is the reason we no longer have "truth" but only "differing perspectives." I miss truth.

  • I don't think this is going to save McCain. I think that unless something HUGE happens (such as Obama accidentally burning down an orphanage), he is going to take this election. He has the glow around him.

  • I am so annoyed with people confusing "uneducated" with "folksy." Just because you are simple and don't have the "curiosity" gene, does not make you simply "regular folk." We should not be rewarding "regular guys" by voting them into office. We have had a "regular guy" president for eight years and it has been a disaster. Let's not say that since someone didn't get any fancy book-learnin' that they should somehow be confused with salt-of-the-earth regular people. Ignorance is ignorance; stop making excuses for people -- not just Palin, but all people -- who are uneducated but try to pass it off as simply having "small town values." Enough of that shit.

This won't really change the game much, but it was pretty interesting. Palin didn't fall flat on her face, but read the transcript: she really didn't say much other than a lot of hollow catch-phrases. Read this knee-jerk poll to show that it didn't really move anyone either way. The more I've been reading about this, the more I am convinced that Palin actually did more harm than good by being the talking points candidate, and showing her disregard for minutiae.

We shall see....


See any similarities?


Enjoyed this from today's Wonkette.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Palin Comparison

Before I get into this, I wanted to point out two excellent articles today regarding Sarah Palin. It seems that some people are finally getting it. The first was from Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria ("Palin is Ready? Please"), which breaks down her laughable "knowledge." And in Salon, Rebecca Traister gives us "The Sarah Palin pity party," which is a blistering attack not only on the McCain campaign's cynical decision to pick her in the first place to be the V.P. pick, but also but also the dichotomy in which Palin tries to attack in a blitzkrieg fashion only to quickly recede behind the protective cover of sexism and faux-condescension. The Traister piece is probably the best article I have read on the hypocrisy and double-standard of Palin's part in the campaign.

I'm sure that both of my loyal readers think that I am in love with Sarah Palin, because I talk about her so much. But I'm not. I do have a sort of macabre fascination with her, not because of her as a person or as a candidate, but by the wave of Palin-mania that followed her second-to-last night of the RNC. I thought she read that speech very well, but she was mean-spirited and simplistic. And quite honestly, the degree to which the right-wing took to her was either a sign that they were desperate for some kind of excitement (and based on the latest polls, they may have been premature) or that the NASCAR/Wrestlemania states have no idea what charisma actually is.

The debate tomorrow between Sarah P and my boy Smokin' Joe Biden is going to be very interesting. On one hand, the worry on the part of the Republicans is either very real -- considering the way she has butchered all of her non-Sean Hannity interviews -- or incredibly shrewd, so as to set her up for rock bottom expectations. If this works, then she will probably come out looking good, right?

And a lot of people are saying that Biden has got to watch himself so as to not come off as condescending. They don't want him to pull a Rick Lazio and invade her personal space and get all up in her grill.

I say, BRING THE CONDESCENSION! There is no way that Palin should be allowed to get off easy just because she is a woman, or just because she is "regular folk." Times are too tough to be fooled by someone who seems, I suppose, personally likeable. Biden should not be afraid to point this woman out as a fraud. Which would you rather have? A sometimes too-verbose foreign policy savant (who does use the word "literally" way too much, which is a major pet peeve of mine) who dares to call to the forefront the lack of experience by a particular politician, or that politician who clearly doesn't know anything? I can't imagine that given the financial and global crises we are facing, that too many people are going to go for the soft-sell approach and vote for someone just because they think she's cute or think she's a cool person.

This country is looking for stability. Leadership. I have always said that the first person after 9/11 to make me feel like someone had things under control wasn't George Bush, it was Joe Biden. He has the ability to be that authoritative voice, filled with wisdom and experience, and yes, with outrage. If you see any clips of Biden at the Robert Bork or Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings, you know he can rip your head off pretty fast. He is windy, but I've never seen him come off as arrogant or aloof. He's just a brilliant guy who isn't afraid to show his brilliance. In other words, my kinda fella!

So Joe, don't listen to the skeptics. Now is the time to show everyone that the Emperor has no clothes. (I only wish that Cindy McCain was the Emperor, am I right fellows?!) Don't be afraid to expose this woman for the moose in the headlights that she is. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see that trademarked Palin blank stare in some foreign policy question, only to have Biden scoop up the question and rattle off the names of every foreign leader in the nation. Soon enough it'll be back to the kid's table for Governor Hockey Mom.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sarah Unraveling

And the ouches just keep on comin'...

My Electoral Map

CNN.com has a kind of cool thing where you can make your own electoral map.

Here is the one I made. They give you help with most of the "safe" states, but you can change all of them. Here is how I see it shaking out. We'll see in November if I'm a regular Tim Russert or if it's "Dewey Defeats Truman" all over again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Garbage In the Streets

I think you'll enjoy this.

I was driving down W. Manlius Street in Eastwood to buy a shower curtain. I was pretty much the only one on the road and was enjoying the sights of laundromats, townie bars and gas stations, footloose and fancy-free at 30 mph. I had a joyous, relaxing day off from work today and got quite a bit done -- although it turns out not as much as I had wanted to, although I will definitely get to it later.

Just when I thought my trek couldn't be more carefree or unobstructed, my number one pet peeve occurred: being cut off. I am not what you call a "reckless" driver; I drive with the utmost amount of reck you would find. But I am an impatient and aggressive driver. I don't like being slowed down because of some schmuck who doesn't know the rules of the road. I am well-known in my small circle of friends for "clearing the lane" on the I-90 Thruway; that is, tailgating cars in the left-hand lane to get them to move their asses to the right-hand lane so the rest of us who are actually driving OVER 70 mph can get to where we are going in a decent amount of time. Oddly, I find that the left-lane traffic is far worse going West (toward Rochester/Buffalo) than it is going east (to Utica/Albany).

Anyhoo, I thought I was going to be able to get to a main intersection unabated, when up ahead and to the left, I could see the ass-end of a truck, backing out of some townie bar parking lot and into the main road. There was no other traffic coming from either direction, except me to hinder his progress, so apparently he figured it was okay to just back directly into the road, forcing me to slow down and/or stop.

Usually, when I am backing into a road like this, I tend to do it expeditiously, often shifting from "reverse" to "drive" in a quick manner, often doing a mini peel-out to show that I meant no harm. The driver of this particular piece-of-shit cobalt blue truck, however, had no such designs on putting up a guise of traffic etiquette. Instead, he slowed it down to an almost complete stop, keeping his white reverse lights on for a few extra seconds, until finally putting his car into drive and going on his merry way.

Of course, I could never just let something like that go, so I purposely sped up to get very close to right behind him, and made a grand gesture of stopping abruptly, to show that he had indeed slowed me down. Then something puzzling happened...

Before I get to that part, let me quickly describe the couple sitting in the cab of the truck. The husband, probably about 5'8", wearing a baseball cap that probably has the number "3" with a halo around it, with a white tank top. The wife, probably about 5'10", hair in a bun, pink tank top, about 260 lbs. She looked like Chris Farley with a red wig. I put her odds of owning a yellow banana clip at 16-1.

Anyway, keep in mind, I never honked, never shook my fist out the window, never flashed my lights. I think the only thing I did was shake my head in tsk-tsking disapproval.

Suddenly, I see the wife/girlfriend/food-tester slide open the dual windows in the back of the cab. (You know the kind I mean, the two windows that look like a sliding glass door. I'm sure there's a name for it, but maybe it's just "sliding windows." And now, back to the countdown.) I also see the male driver adjust his rear-view window, maybe so he can look at me better.

The female proceeds to turn her body so that she is sitting sideways in the cab, and looks backward out the window for me. She then puts her arm out, as if she is putting it around her miserable boyfriend's shoulder, but with her hand hanging out of the back of the window. I found this curious, but hey, maybe some people have odd ways of being comfortable.

Out of nowhere, this woman flips me off. Stares out that window and flips me off! I showed a remarkable amount of restraint, I felt, in not honking, or even flashing my lights at these inbreds even though they were driving 20-25 mph after they cut in front of me. Yet, this Mindy Cohn look-alike has the gall to shoot her fat little hamhock-like mitt out the window and shoot me the bird? I think I actually said to myself aloud, "Did she just fuckin flip me off?" And I didn't even say it mad, I said it in the same way someone would say, "Do you know if we have any cereal?"

Nothing really happened after that, unfortunately, other than the fact that as soon as the single-lane road split off into two lanes, I sped off at a tremendous speed. I could have thrown the middle finger out the window myself or yelled "have another dooonut ya fat fuckin pig!" But I didn't. I went back to my satifsying life, where I am fulfilled by friends, learning, good books, crossword puzzles, films, great beer and music. They went back to their Dale, Sr. shrine and talked about how much they hate blacks. That's enough for me.

Carly Fiorino Digs Herself (and McCain-Palin) Into a Hole

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"His Worldview?"

Ahhhh... that's my girl! Don't forget, she's looking to be a heartbeat away from being the leader of the free world, folks.

Another beauty queen who has about as much foreign policy expertise...


To quote Norman Ornstein of Politico:

She had me at hello Charley-- had me scared to death. A combination of utter inexperience and utter arrogance is about the worst possible combination I can imagine. Not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is would be bad enough, but saying unequivocally that Georgia should be in NATO-- meaning we would now perhaps be in a state of war with Russia-- and then without a beat saying that military action should be the last resort-- shows a series of knowledge and logic gaps that ought to shake every foreign policy specialist, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, to his or her roots.

And sayeth Wonkette:

We were expecting a puffy sort of chit-chat, and it mostly is, except for the part where they talk about WAR WITH FREAKING RUSSIA. Now, when you run around saying Georgia and Ukraine should be let into NATO — as both John McCain and Barack Obama do — as some reward for establishing a vaguely democratic government, that’s much more than a harmless platitude — there are actual, real-world implications! No one has really bothered to push McCain or Obama on this, which is why it’s so hilarious that Gibson pushed Palin on it during her first big interview. And she fucked up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a C**t

Sorry, you can't be both an attack-dog and a shrinking violet.

Sorry Sarah Palin. No. Bad Governor. Bad bad Governor.

You can't rip into Obama and then feign offense and outrage because he used the age-old "lipstick on a pig" cliche.

Come out of your dungeon where you're trying to not make an ass of yourself in your debate and maybe say something off the cuff.

If you're gonna throw spears, you better have a shield ready. And if you're gonna be mouthy, you better be ready to get that mouth bloodied. You can't walk into a bar and talk shit without getting in a scuffle; what makes you think you can start being a lippy broad, but then be falsely outraged by quote-unquote "sexism"?

You can't.

If you can't handle it, take your Fargo accent back to Juneau. All your executive experience is sorely being missed up there.

This ain't hunting wolves from a helicopter, toots; The wolf is up in your smiley face. You think Putin is going to worry about being a sexist in a staredown? You think that douche in Iran gives a shit about being insensitive? Kim Jong Il is twice the woman you are anyway.

Put on a helmet or get the fuck off the gridiron.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Picks 2008 - Football is Here!

I rounded up a bunch of my friends to make football predictions. In February, we'll come back and revisit these picks and see who knows about football! Here we go!

AFC East Champ
Danny, My Original College Friend: New England
EJ, My First Hispanic Roommate: New England
Bill, Me: Buffalo just kidding, New England
Cunningham, My Football Buddy and Second Tallest Friend: New England
Dunford, Nicest Guy Alive: New England
Toastie, My Cuddliest Friend: New England
Jitter, My Tallest Friend and Rabble-Rouser: New England
Mike (f/k/a Beach Justice), My Favorite Brother: New England
Willie, Cocksman: New England
Javen, Professional Beerjangler: Buffalo!

AFC North Champ
Danny: Pittsburgh
EJ: Pittsburgh
Bill: Cleveland
Cunningham: Pittsburgh
Dunford: Pittsburgh
Toastie: Cleveland
Jitter: Pittsburgh
Mike: Pittsburgh
Willie: Cleveland
Javen: Pittsburgh

AFC South Champ
Danny: Indianapolis
EJ: Indianapolis
Bill: Jacksonville
Cunningham: Indianapolis
Dunford: Jacksonville
Toastie: Jacksonville
Jitter: Jacksonville
Mike: Indianapolis
Willie: Indianapolis
Javen: Indianapolis

AFC West Champ
Danny: San Diego
EJ: San Diego
Bill: San Diego
Cunningham: San Diego
Dunford: San Diego
Toastie: San Diego
Jitter: San Diego
Mike: San Diego
Willie: San Diego
Javen: San Diego

AFC Wild Card teams
Danny: Jacksonville, Houston
EJ: Kansas City, NY Jets
Bill: Pittsburgh, Indianapolis
Cunningham: Jacksonville, Denver
Dunford: Indianapolis, Buffalo
Toastie: Indianapolis, Houston
Jitter: Indianapolis, NY Jets
Mike: Buffalo, Jacksonville
Willie: Jacksonville, Pittsburgh
Javen: Cleveland, Jacksonville

NFC East Champ
Danny: Dallas
EJ: NY Giants
Bill: Dallas
Cunningham: Dallas
Dunford: Dallas
Toastie: NY Giants (fuckin' Kevin Boss baby!)
Jitter: Philadelphia
Mike: Philadelphia
Willie: Dallas
Javen: Dallas

NFC North Champ
Danny: Minnesota
EJ: Minnesota
Bill: Chicago
Cunningham: Minnesota
Dunford: Minnesota
Toastie: (do I really have to pick one?) Minnesota
Jitter: Minnesota
Mike: Minnesota
Willie: Minnesota
Javen: Minnesota

NFC South Champ
Danny: New Orleans
EJ: New Orleans
Bill: Tampa Bay
Cunningham: New Orleans
Dunford: New Orleans
Toastie: New Orleans (you know why)
Jitter: New Orleans
Mike: New Orleans
Willie: New Orleans
Javen: New Orleans

NFC West Champ
Danny: Seattle
EJ: Arizona
Bill: Seattle
Cunningham: Seattle
Dunford: Seattle
Toastie: Arizona (the mighty Cardinal, cuz the little fella has a big heart, plus the season preview from deadspin was hilarious)
Jitter: Seattle
Mike: Seattle
Willie: Seattle
Javen: Seattle

NFC Wild Card teams
Danny: Philadelphia, NY Giants
EJ: Dallas, Chicago
Bill: Philadelphia, New Orleans
Cunningham: Philadelphia, Green Bay
Dunford: Carolina, Arizona
Toastie: Washington, DE-troit
Jitter: Dallas, St. Louis
Mike: Dallas, Arizona
Willie: Philadelphia, Carolina
Javen: Philadelphia, Green Bay

AFC Champion
Danny: San Diego
EJ: Indianapolis
Bill: New England
Cunningham: New England
Dunford: San Diego
Toastie: Indianapolis
Jitter: Jacksonville
Mike: Patriots
Willie: San Diego (over Jacksonville)
Javen: Pittsburgh

NFC Champion
Danny: Seattle
EJ: Dallas
Bill: Dallas
Cunningham: Dallas
Dunford: Dallas
Toastie: New Orleans
Jitter: Philadelphia
Mike: New Orleans
Willie: New Orleans (over Dallas)
Javen: New Orleans

Super Bowl Champion
Danny: San Diego
EJ: Indianapolis
Bill: Dallas
Cunningham: New England
Dunford: San Diego
Toastie: Indianapolis
Jitter: Philadelphia
Mike: New England
Willie: San Diego, 38-23
Javen: New Orleans

Danny: Tony Romo, DAL
EJ: Peyton Manning, IND
Bill: LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.
Cunningham: L. Tomlinson, S.D.
Dunford: Tony Romo, DAL
Toastie: Adrian Peterson, MIN
Jitter: Brian Westbrook, PHI
Mike: Tom Brady, N.E.
Willie: L. Tomlinson, S.D.
Javen: pass

Offensive Player of the Year
Danny: Tony Romo, DAL
EJ: L. Tomlinson, S.D.
Bill: Adrian Peterson, MIN
Cunningham: L. Tomlinson, S.D.
Dunford: L. Tomlinson, S.D.
Toastie: Kevin Boss Drew "D.Breesy" Brees, N.O.
Jitter: Brian Westbrook, PHI
Mike: Tom Brady, N.E.
Willie: L.Tomlinson/Drew Brees
Javen: Drew Brees, N.O.

Defensive Player of the Year
Danny: Antonio Cromartie, S.D.
EJ: Derrick Johnson, K.C.
Bill: Lofa Tatupu, SEA
Cunningham: Dwight Freeney, IND
Dunford: Jared Allen, MIN
Toastie: DeMeco Ryans, HOU
Jitter: Mario Williams, HOU
Mike: Patrick Willis, S.F.
Willie: Mario Williams, HOU/Julius Peppers, CAR
Javen: Patrick Willis, S.F.

Coach of the Year
Danny: Norv Turner, S.D.
EJ: Tony Dungy, IND
Bill: Ken Whisenhunt, ARI
Cunningham: Tony Dungy, IND
Dunford: Jack Del Rio, JAC
Toastie: Sean Payton, N.O.
Jitter: Jack Del Rio, JAC
Mike: Richard Jauron, BUF
Willie: Romeo Crennel, CLE / Brad Childress, MIN
Javen: Dick Jauron

Offensive Rookie of the Year
Danny: Chris Jones, SEA
EJ: Donnie Avery, STL
Bill: Darren McFadden, OAK
Cunningham: Darren McFadden, OAK
Dunford: Jonathan Stewart, CAR
Toastie: Kevin Smith, DET
Jitter: Kevin Smith, DET
Mike: Dustin Keller, NYJ
Willie: Matt Ryan, ATL
Javen: Matt Forté, CHI / Matt Ryan, ATL

Defensive Rookie of the Year
Danny: Derrick Harvey, JAC
EJ: Glenn Dorsey, K.C.
Bill: Domanique Rodgers-Cromartie, ARI
Cunningham: Glenn Dorsey, K.C.
Dunford: Leodis McKelvin, BUF
Toastie: Glenn Dorsey, K.C.
Jitter: Glenn Dorsey, K.C.
Mike: Dominique Rodgers-Cromarti, ARI
Willie: Vernon Gholston, NYJ / Chris Long, STL
Javen: Chris Long, STL

Passing Leader (yds)
Danny: Carson Palmer, CIN
EJ: Tom Brady, N.E.
Bill: Drew Brees, NO
Cunningham: Tony Romo, DAL
Dunford: Tony Romo, DAL
Toastie: Peyton Manning, IND
Jitter: Tom Brady, N.E.
Mike: Drew Brees, N.O.
Willie: Drew Brees/Peyton Manning
Javen: Drew Brees, N.O.

Rushing Leader (yds)
Danny: Adrian Peterson, MIN
EJ: Adrian Peterson, MIN
Bill: Adrian Peterson, MIN
Cunningham: Adrian Peterson, MIN
Dunford: L. Tomlinson, S.D.
Toastie: Adrian Peterson, MIN
Jitter: Adrian Peterson, MIN
Mike: L. Tomlinson, S.D.
Willie: L.Tomlinson/A.Peterson
Javen: Adrian Peterson, MIN

Receiving Leader (yds)
Danny: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
EJ: Randy Moss, N.E.
Bill: Randy Moss, N.E.
Cunningham: Terrell Owens, DAL
Dunford: Braylon Edwards, CLE
Toastie: Andre Johnson, HOU
Jitter: Reggie Wayne, IND
Mike: Randy Moss, N.E.
Willie: Braylon Edwards/Torry Holt
Javen: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI

Sack leader:
Danny: Mario Williams, HOU
EJ: Jared Allen, MIN
Bill: Mario Williams, HOU
Cunningham: Shaun Phillips, S.D.
Dunford: Jared Allen, MIN
Toastie: Justin Tuck, NYG
Jitter: Mario Williams, HOU
Mike: Mario Williams, HOU
Willie: Mario Williams, HOU
Javen: Justin Tuck, NYG

AFC Sleeper Team
Danny: Houston
EJ: Kansas City (their defense is going to grab them a couple upset wins)
Bill: Buffalo
Cunningham: Buffalo
Dunford: Buffalo
Toastie: Houston
Jitter: Baltimore
Mike: Buffalo
Willie: Houston
Javen: Buffalo

NFC Sleeper Team
Danny: New Orleans
EJ: Dallas (Romo in '08)
Bill: Detroit
Cunningham: Atlanta
Dunford: Arizona
Toastie: Arizona
Jitter: St. Louis
Mike: Arizona
Willie: Washington
Javen: Carolina

Write 'em down in case the internet crashes!

Take That You Tina Fey-Looking Dummy

A great line I read today on the Community Organizers Fight Back Blog.

Jesus Christ was a community organizer.

Pontius Pilate was a governor.

Barack-n-Roll on these pigs.

And another thing...

While it's annoying to hear John McCain talk about being part of "the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan" -- as if they are in the same league -- it is maddening to hear him evoke the name of Teddy Roosevelt, who actually left the Republican Party (when it was the liberal party in the United States, by the way) to form the Progressive Party in 1912. (This was when the Democrats were led by anti-Darwinist William Jennings Bryan, the Buffalo Bills of politicians, having lost the presidential election three times.) It's misleading and disingenuous.

And one more perspective...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It's On

...It is so fuckin' on.

Sarah Palin gave a pretty forceful speech, basically starting a new culture war between the small-town salt of the earth and the liberal elites.

But in doing so, she has to give up any pretense of being some kind of wilting flower when Joe Biden embarrasses her in their one Vice-Presidential debate. She can't come out like a spitfire and then call sexism. Can't have it both ways. She can either be the hockey mom or the feisty firebrand.

She had to pick one, and she did.

And now the gloves need to come off.

She is, I'm sure, very happy about her speech within the friendly confines of the RNC, but she isn't going to be debating straw men set up by Jim-Bob and Peggy-Sue types; she's going against one of the foremost foreign policy experts in the country, and now that she's asserted herself with such a strong speech, it's time for Biden to bring the ...WOOOOH... hurricane.

No more playing nice, Dems. Fuck this "don't be condescending" shit. Nothing could compare with the snarky tone of that speech. Time to take the sash off the beauty queen. Instead of carrying around the card that says "Round 1," she needs to tape herself up and go into her corner.

This is gonna be awesome!