Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Bammer

So my roommate stole me a Maria Bamford CD off The Internet tonight. I'm listening to it right now. Well, not really, because I'm typing this. But it is playing, and the sound of it playing is going into my ears and, presumably, interacting with my brain somehow (but I can't see that because my eyes are on the outside).
Anyway. Maria's great, love her to pieces. Doing a show with Andy Richter in the NYC soon. Woot. Knowing I feel this way about the Bammer and that I own(ed) none of her stuff, my roommate stole the CD via a downloading service for me, just like ... that's right, RIAA, everyone else in America.
Very considerate of him, yeah? But, having stern morales and ethics and other Christly-like virtues, I had to find a way to rectify this "stolen" situation, so I marched him straight down to The Internet where we hatched a deal for him to "pay back" his transgression by working for The Internet for one week.
He's backstage at XTube with a mop as we speak.
And going to go enjoy my ill-gotten gains.

Also, forget what I said about Venus' little "SOMEthing something," this is definitely the whitest thing I have ever seen:

And I've seen actual white people!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Headline writing

From Mac, in RVA:
When a man in Macon, Georgia came upon a wild dog attacking a young boy, he quickly grabbed the animal and throttled it with his two hands.
A reporter saw the incident, congratulated the man and told him the headline the following day would read, "Local Man Saves Child by Killing Vicious Animal."
The hero, however, told the journalist that he wasn't from Macon.
"Well, then," the reporter said, "the headline will probably say, 'Georgia Man Saves Child by Killing Dog.'"
"Actually," the man said, "I'm from Connecticut."
"In that case," the reporter said in a huff, "the headline will read, 'Yankee Kills Family Pet.'"

A great meal

You know what I love eating? Chicken and eggs. At the same ...time. Ooooohohoho. Yeah.
It's like saying: "We have completely dominated you, as a species." There's just no getting over that. It's even better if there are wings involved. Then you get the whole looking-down-at-a-pile-of-bones thing when you're done, and hey - who doesn't like that?
Oh, also, for anyone out there who still acutally eats the genetically bastardized "chicken" KFC is peddling: A sauceless, breaded chicken wing? Um, that's a McNugget. With a bone stuck in the middle. Dummy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Does this make me a bad person?

I really want a personalized Capital One credit card with a picture of a homeless man on it. Or an Iraqi emergency ward victim with no limbs. Or that septopus child from India.
Oh my god:

We've got a winner!

Terrible names II (music edition)

"Caucasian Zombie"
"Iggy Pop Rocks N' Coke"
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Tenors"
"Rick Dekard and the Nexus 6"
"The Brian Seltzer Massacre"
"DostoYESky and the blue notes from thee velvet underground" (supergroup)
"Prince Paul Revere and the Raiders"
"Carnival of Soul"
"Franz Ferdinand" (actually exists)
Special guest contributor Brittany Anne Lee:
"Willie Horton Heat"
"Hell on Acid"
"Don Cheadle and the Hotel Rawandas"

Terrible names

Chicken shack: "Go Forth and Fry."
Donut shop: "Dough Forth and Fry."
American food: "Choke On It."
Fresh fruit/vegetable stand: "Eat Me Raw."
Salon: "Curl Up and Dye." (actually exists)
Pastry shop: "The Beast with Two Bakeries."

I hate Comcast

So I'm dog-sitting for my mom, which means I'm in Rutledge (and also, as per usual, forgot any extra clothes or toiletries, so I smell like Goodwill clothes off-the-rack with bad breath) and I want to watch the Sharapova/Henin match that played at 3:30 a.m. our time last night. I couldn't watch it then, because every Tuesday morning, I have to wake up slightly late thinking I have more time than I do, race from Philadelphia to Media, park illegally, and run through a slipshod metal detector check at the County Courthouse to see what council's up to. Today, it turned out the first order of business was boring everyone into a coma.
But I digress.

I wanted to see this match so badly, I had gone so far as to threaten the life of our Web editor should he say anything about the outcome before I saw the replay.
Only I couldn't see the 3 p.m. replay on ESPN2, because I was writing about who's running for what office, or the County Council snoozefest, or something.
"But, a-ha!" thought I. "I can catch it online on after work! Hooray, me!"
Only I couldn't. Because Comcast doesn't carry that service here. I have no idea why - works great in the city! You can watch five simultaneous things if you want (and you're completely insane). But not here. Even though it's the same cable provider.
Gah. And let me just get this in here, too, while I'm at it: OnDemand is awful. Whatever their commercials say, they only have a paltry few television stations worth watching, and even those don't have the one or two shows you actually want to see. Dog the Bounty Hunter? Yeah. That sucks. We don't need 14 episodes of it On Demand. Wild On X? How about The Soup? Oh, sorry, no. But here's something about Red Carpet Mishaps! On ... Demaaaaaand. And the movies? Good God, no. The ones you don't have to pay for drive me up a frickin' wall. I'm something of a self-inflicted insomniac, granted, but can't you do any better than Rollerball?
Anyway. I went to the Youtube and searched for "Sharapova Henin Australia," which of course brought up a clip with the title: "Sharapova wipes Henin across the court like she was a dishrag and it was a ... a counter, I guess." I'm paraphrasing. Totally ruined it for me, as you can imagine.
I can't say I wasn't unprepared for that. I was wincing at the idea of actively searching for this game and trying to peek through my fingers at the screen, so that I could maybe catch only the terms I had typed in, but not the outcome. Naive, I know, but I had little recourse - I'm stuck here 'til Thursday, when I can get back to Philly, where Comcast does carry this ESPN service online (which, by the way, is brilliant) and surely it would have been obvious by then who had won.
I hate Comcast.

At least the Ivanovic/Williams match was outstanding. Did you see it?! It was like Clash of the Titans! They just pounded away at each other for about two hours until Ivanovic finally won out - her first against Venus, I might add. She'd never even won a single set before that. Ahhh, I'd marry her, if only she was old enough to drink.
Maybe she will be, someday. Someday...
Venus was, admittedly, not totally up to snuff. A smaller bandage she wore around her left thigh previously had pretty much swallowed it by Tuesday. Which is a shame, really, because she might have the greatest legs in professional sports. And, honestly, if you're going to beat someone, don't you want them to be at their fighting best? That way you know, hands down, you really beat them.
This bandage, by the way, provided for my favorite part of the match. At first I thought it might be a clever ruse, designed to lull her opponent into a false sense of security, but I guess that was not the case - although it didn't really seem to hamper her much, aside from her serve, which isn't all that much to write home about anyway.
No, my favorite part had nothing to do with the match. It came when commentator Dick Enberg said fairly early on that Venus was not giving anything away about her ailment to reporters.
"She said 'It's a little SOMEthing, something," said Enberg, perfectly enunciating every syllable, and really putting emphasis on the first half of the first word.
"That's about as obtuse as you can get!" was the next sentence out of his mouth.
Ohhhhh, I love the irony. I LOVE it!
Now, I didn't hear Venus when she said this, but being a chick from Compton, I can only imagine what she actually said was something more like: "It's just a little sumpm sumpm." Because that's how you say that, even if you're white, and, much like Clinton was the closest thing we've had to a black president, I'm the closest thing the DT has to a black guy at the moment, so trust me on this. Enberg could not have sounded more out of touch, not only with black culture, but WITH THE ENTIRE WORLD of popular culture If. He. Triiiiiied.
I am at least happy to see tennis is not impervious to the type of boneheaded statements generally reserved for Mike Quick ("At the end of the day, the team with the most points is going to win the game") or John Madden ("Now, what the defense wants to do here is stop that offense").

Parting shot: Got bored after that and ordered 'The Order of the Phoenix' on the On Deemoooonde ... for a nominal fee, of course.
Ok, in the next movie? People have to start believing Harry Potter. Every damn time it's, "Ah, Potter, yor outter yor mind." Then by the end it becomes, "Oh, Harry, you were right all along!"
That's how you know they agree: they start calling him by his first name. But by the start of the next movie, it's right back to, "Ah, what a nutter!"
So here's how I see the next one going:
Harry Potter: " 'Old on a tick - somefink's fishy!"
Everyone else: "Tell us what it is, Harry, we'll totally believe you, whatever you say."
Frees up the movie to get on with it a bit, don't you agree? I also don't know why he's Cockney all of a sudden. Ask the director.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Please stop...

comparing "No Country for Old Men" and "There will be Blood."
They are two great movies. They are also written, acted, directed and shot completely differently. I don't even know how you could compare the two, let alone why you would want to. Oscar buzz is idiotic and robs from both movies. So just cut it out.
That is all.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Almost northbound

Thursday night, I expected to be northbound on the Chinatown express. That never happened.
When I had called my friend in New York, who is leaving Saturday morning for the life he has built for himself in Vancouver, Washington (what must be the 9th or so life by now (for the record, I’m still on my third (accidentally got a career and it’s really messing with my bohemian tendencies))) he told me he and another friend had the night previous talked me up to some girl I would meet, and to such ridiculous heights that I simply could not, even on my best day, stack up.
“Me and Ali both said that if we could simultaneously be you, we would,” he said. I am not kidding. Nor am I boasting. He told me this minutes before I was to catch the bus.
Meanwhile, I am unkempt, shaggy, with every nail too long and a face that, for some reason, tends to disintegrate in this kind of weather, just above the lip. I required some serious grooming if I was going to even come close to this kind of hype, and 10 minutes simply wasn't gonna cut it. So I decided to do what must be done: make myself as close to presentable as possible (without "product" as, let's remember, I am heterosexual) and leave in the morning, after drinking a large enough quantity of scotch to put me under early. Well, we’ll see how that goes.
All of which is circumstantial. The point is that I ended up next to a television when this movie, “Shopgirl,” came on. It’s not a very good movie, but it stars Steve Martin and Claire Danes, so it’s close enough, I suppose.
I wasn’t really paying attention, except for the last line, where Martin says something like, “And if he could, well, that was life,” during a helicopter shot of Los Angeles, I think. Little cars going about their little lives on little, tiny highways. Tiny little windows twinkling. A microscopic view.
“That was life.”
I guess it was.
But even that is not the point.
The point is that we are here, and then we are not, and that is life. And while we are here, there is an almost insatiable drive to leave something of ourselves behind. That’s called a biological imperative, and it’s why you’re here right now, reading this.
It’s also why we carve our initials into trees with our sweethearts, or into cement with our friends. It’s why we make art, and music, and poetry. It’s why we create. It’s why murder is so abhorred. It’s why death is so protected against. It’s why the mothers of the slain cry out even while professing they know their child is with Jesus now. It’s why Jesus wept.
(Funny thing about Jesus – check out what Josephus has to say about him. Not the one paragraph that historians believe was later inserted, I mean the other story. It’s pretty good.)
Anyway, it gave me an idea for a movie. A hyper-real movie about a girl none of you ever knew and will now never get a chance to meet, and human nature, and loss, and leaving something behind. I think for the first time, I might have learned something about life before it was too late to be of any use. I’m going to start writing it as soon as I get back.
Oh, and I might have an interview with a musician, too – Kristen Gass. Real moody Ani DeFranco- type stuff. You can check out her debut EP on It’s probably not very spendy and you’ll be helping out an independent artist, so…
So. Anyway, I gotta get on that scotch thing.
Ok. Bye.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sanitized cannibal joke

Found this in my mailbox today:

A cannibal was walking through the jungle and came upon a restaurant operated by a fellow cannibal. Feeling somewhat hungry, he sat down and looked over the menu.

+ Tourist: $5
+ Broiled Missionary: $10.00
+ Fried Explorer: $15.00
+ Baked Democrat or Grilled Republican: $100.00

The cannibal called the waiter over and asked, "Why such a price difference for the Politician?"

The cook replied, "Have you ever tried to clean one? They're so full of [compassion] it takes all morning."

But this is my favorite cannibal joke:

Two cannibals are eating a clown.
One turns to the other and says:
"Does this taste funny to you?"

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Australian Open is wack

Now, I know I'm supposed to be writing about politics here, but there are a couple things you should know about this blog first:
1. I'm a bit wary of saying something that will harm or discredit my objectivity, rendering me unable to properly perform my actual job (as opposed to this thing, which I generally view as just a bit of fun).
2. I was told I can write just about anything I want here. I don’t know how far I’m going to push that, but it does free me to just sort of wander a bit.
With that in mind, I offer some thoughts on the debacle that was the first day of Australian Open coverage on ESPN2, which began about 7 p.m. last night and went on until about 2:30 a.m. (or at least, that's when I turned it off).
Aside from watching the Blue Eagles embarrass Dallas and giving the new and utterly unnecessary Terminator series a chance during commercials, I watched this entire stretch of coverage.
Because I am a tennis junkie. Not, mind you, in the sense of a baseball or football junkie, who would know every single player on every single team, what school they went to, and their shoe size. Those people are insane and, frankly, a bit creepy.
But if tennis is on, then I’m watching it, and for a little while it’s just about all I talk about.
If you don’t know anything about tennis, or didn’t catch the open because you don’t have cable, or thought maybe there was so much left unsaid in Terminator 3 you simply had to watch that series instead (or, God help you, you actually enjoy watching the Family Guy) then this probably won’t make much sense, but what in the hell happened to the tie-break in the Jelena “Weird Al” Jankovic/Tamira Paszek match?
I mean, good Christ, that game just would not end. I could understand if there weren't tie-breaks to decide the match throughout the tournament, but I know at least that the men's side had them, so what gives? Why did I have to watch something like two hours of the most excruciating display of bush-league tennis I’ve ever seen on a pro court before Jankovic finally won out 12-10? And she's good! Even Lindsay “Pig-Guard” Davenport’s baby could have done better, and it's only been around seven months.
Which the commentators apparently never got tired of pointing out, by the way. Listen, Lindsay, bully for you, finding a man actually willing to father your child (as my roommate said last night, “There isn’t enough beer in London…”) but seriously – I don’t care about your baby. And we don’t need a highlight reel of the crumb-crusher coupled with your return from retirement.
Nor do we need a highlight reel of Nikolay Davydenko’s suspicion in a gambling bru-haha when I’m trying to watch Maria Sharapova do her thang.
Actually, let me back up on that one. With the exception of the Australian Rules no tie-break weirdness during the Jankovic match, the actual coverage to that point had been pretty good.
You got to see a slightly-less-scary-looking Serena Williams handily take down Jarmila Gajdosova. Fine. Andy Roddick advanced with a tie-break finish against Lukas “Doughy” Dlouhy. Ok.
Didn’t really get to see Justine Henin’s trouncing of Aiko Nakamura, but maybe you didn’t need to – this was the opening round, after all.
But then the Sharapova/Jelena Kostanic Tosic match began, so of course that’s the featured match, right? Sure. So why the hell am I watching Napoleon Dynamite (Andy Murray) take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga? Sure, it’s a hotly-contested men’s opener, and it did end in another tie-break with Tsonga finally winning out, but let me tell you something about watching Tsonga battle Carrot Top: that’s not what puts asses in seats.
It eventually did swing back to Sharapova and her patented little pre-point dance (which, incidentally, is what puts asses in seats) for the final points, but not until after a 10-minute reeler on Davydenko. Poor timing there, fellas (ellas, ellas, ey, ey).
Now, I’m not saying I know how to run a network any better than the top execs. at ESPN2, but yes, that is actually exactly what I’m saying.
End transmission.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Top ten New Years resolutions (probably) no one makes

I tacked a version of this onto a story about local politicians' new years resolutions that ran Jan. 1, just as a bit of fun, but it didn't make the cut. That's alright, though - this version is so much better that comparing the two would be like comparing a walrus to Andy Reid.

That's a bad example, but you get the point:

1. Get fat(ter).
2. Take up smoking.
3. Kick more puppies.
4. Consolidate my debt. (Into larger debt.)
5. Be more of a jerk.
6. Stop grooming.
7. Contract more STDs.
8. Oral surgery!
9. Have less sex.
10. Eat a baby.