29 May 2008

The Boo-Bugs Are Already Out

Remember when I dropped this sweet bit of news on you last month? I was so terribly excited. So you were, deep down inside. You can admit it; we're all friends here and this is a safe place.

You weren't? You're concerned about the second post-Hobbit movie ... the one that doesn't occur anywhere in Tolkien's tomes?

Join the club ...

Insomnia And Late (Late) Television

I've already blogged about this but it was on again tonight and, as before, I laughed my arse off.

Thank you, Craig! Again!

28 May 2008

Rachael Ray, Yasir Arafat, And Michelle Malkin (Or "... Mmm ... Forbidden Doughnut ...")

Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin seems to think that Rachael Ray chose her fashions poorly for a Dunkin' Donuts commercial. Bowing to pressure, Dunkin' Donuts pulled the ad.

Ms. Malkin thought that Rachael's scarf resembled a kaffiyeh, stating that she was "hoping her hate couture choice was spurred more by ignorance than ideology". Dunkin's Sr. VP for Communications Margie Myers disagreed, stating that it "was selected by a stylist for the advertising shoot" and that "asolutely no symbolism was intended".

What do you think? Did RR make an unforgivable fashion faux pas or is MM off her gourd?

Here's a picture of RR from the commercial wearing her scarf and a picture of Yasir Arafat wearing his kaffiyeh. You decide.

Image of Rachael Ray taken from the Michelle Malkin post linked in the post.

Image of Yasir Arafat taken from this Foreign Affairs site.

Multiracial In America

MSNBC posted an article today addressing multiracial Americans and how Mr. Obama's race for the Presidency has drawn more focused attention to them.

My reaction to this article is simple ...

... multiracial Americans have been around since the first generation of natural-born Americans.

What? Just because the majority of multiracial Americans now have more white features than the "modern multiracial movement" iteration means that we don't count?

I call shenanigans.

America is a multiracial nation filled with multiracial citizens. Always has been. Always will be. Articles like this do nothing to bring us more together. It is just another way to divide us.

Captain's Quarters? No! Historic Black Figures' Quarters!

Remember when I told you this a few weeks ago?

The day you have been eagerly anticipating has finally arrived and we are now able to vote on our favorite design from a mediocre group. Voting is occurring on the District of Columbia Office of the Secretary website!

What's that you say? Voting is limited to District residents?

Of course it is ...

... or is it?

(Just remember, the idea to cheat the system was not planted in your impressionable brain here. Blame DCist.)

Git 'Er Dun!

This on-again-off-again dance with professional sports teams makes the District look the fool, from my perspective. It has been my long-standing opinion that having and keeping professional sports teams, regardless of how niche they may be, within the city boundaries is in the District's long-term interest. Having such entertainment unique to the city (and not running off to a suburb rival ... *cough Redskins cough*) is one of the many things that draws people to the city. Once here, especially if the surrounding area has been wisely developed, said people drawn to the city will stick around for a while before and after the game, spending money inside the city limits.

Wise people understand that money spent now is money made later.

And it looks like unwise people are finally understanding that too.

As with everything in the District, there are supporters and there are critics. Both voices should be heard but, in the end, the long-term interests of the city should be the deciding factor.

Is another stadium more important that improving our public schools? Absolutely not. However one should not be sacrificed at the expense of the other. Besides, it appears as though our publics schools are finally in the capable hands of a chancellor who is willing and able to make the tough decisions for the betterment of our failing education system. Instead of begging for more money to feed this bloated beast (as has been the modus operandi with past chancellors), Chancellor Rhee is performing the surgeries necessary to remove the tapeworms that have been eating the monstrous amounts of money already being given to the system.

Besides, the money being allocated to help finance the soccer stadium is coming from the money made at the baseball stadium ... money that would not even exist were it not for former Mayor Anthony Williams' and Councilmember Jack Evans' resolve.

Here's to hoping that this current City Council and this current Mayor have the same resolve to get this deal done, too.

27 May 2008

Random Music: "Resurrection" by Mario Spinetti

I've written, briefly, about the artist featured this week. Of the six songs on Mario Spinetti's current EP, [1/1], my favorite song is "Resurrection".

Again, the artist doesn't spell out what the song means so it is left up to each listener's interpretation. To see what is being sung, check the lyrics on Mario's MySpace blog. (It is possible that MySpace is blocked at your employment site. You may have to wait until you get home.)

To me (because I couldn't tell you what it means to anyone else ... duh), the song speaks to wanting to give up yet soldiering on. Everyone I know, including myself (if you haven't been paying attention up 'til now), has moments when life seems too hard, when the weight of duties and expectations seem too heavy, when all we want to do is crawl into a hole and die. But something stronger calls to us ... whether that be rediscovered inner light, the calming salve of a friendly word, bone-headed stubbornness, whatever ... that gives us the strength to stand up again, dust off the caked-on crap, and forge ahead.

This song is on a heavy rotation on my playlist. I hope you find inspiration in it as well. (And that you discover a love for Mario, too.)

Resurrection - Mario Spinetti

26 May 2008

Twitter And Insomnia

Damn you, Tuffie!

If You Don't Like The System, Stop Coming. It Won't Hurt My Feelings Or Our Business One Bit.

Look, I do understand that you waited a long time to sing tonight. You weren't the only one who waited a long time to sing tonight. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and were not able to get to you. You weren't the only one we weren't able to get to. You were, however, the only one who was a cunt. You and your friend. So you want to whine to management about how "bad business"-like it was for us not to allow you to sing because we ran out of time? Be my guest. If you've been participating at karaoke for longer than I've been working, I'm sure you would know how things work on busy three-day weekends. But I somehow doubt that you're a regular (as I am a regular, years before I started working there, and don't recall ever seeing you there).

So, please, cry to the general manager about how unfair I was tonight. But realize that you are the only one who reacted this way. Everyone else seemed to understand that it was an extremely busy night and didn't get up in my grill over it.


25 May 2008

Dear Network Conglomerate Advertisers ...

... if you're going to suck up to us to get us to partake of your product, at least wear our colors.

A Consumer

A Gorgeous Sunday

So I was supposed to spend time with family today but went to the Nats game instead. (Thanks, Budsky, for the tix.) It's nothing against my family; I love them dearly. It's just that our tickets weren't exactly cheap and so needed to be used. Besides, it's good to spend positive time with someone I still hold dear. (Thanks, Tuffie, for accepting all last minute like, as this was.)

I hope you all enjoyed your glorious Sunday as well.

20 May 2008

Random Music: "The Becoming" by Nine Inch Nails

This week's song should serve as another small window into my inner workings.

A lot of people know me. But not many people know me. And of those few numbers, perhaps maybe three people know me. That is because I find it hard to trust people with those most intimate parts of me. It's something I've tried to work on, with minor success. After all of these years, I am still a work in progress.

Because of my lack of emotion and because of the distance I keep from people, I've been described as robotic, soulless, Vulcan. I understand those tags but I just don't agree with them. (I feel very deeply though you just wouldn't know it.) Still, there are times when I become so frustrated with my life and hurt by the things in it that I "shut down". I can't explain in my own words what I think, what I go through internally, when I close off.

An album by Nine Inch Nails titled The Downward Spiral speaks to me. But a particular song explains my consciousness at those moments of distance very well. It is in the buildup of tension and confusion among the music and sound effects. It is in the sudden calm in the middle, then the sudden calamity, then the sudden calm again at the end. It is in the lyrics, with such example:
The me that you know, he used to have feelings.
But the blood has stopped pumping and he is left to decay.
The me that you know is now made up of wires;
And even when I'm right with you, I'm so far away.

I don't know what Trent Reznor was thinking when he wrote this song. I haven't been able to find anything anywhere where Mr. Reznor explains the song. So it is open to interpretation. You've read mine. Now here is the song.

WARNING: In case you missed it, this is Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor isn't known for writing idyllic tunes about clouds and puppies. This song may be disturbing to the sensitive. You have been warned.

The Becoming - Nine Inch Nails

19 May 2008

The Washington Post's 2008 Post Hunt

"Wait ... that's not the Geico Gecko!"

On a damp, cool afternoon, Washington D.C. experienced something new to the city ... The Post Hunt. This exercise in cerebral gymnastics was created by Dave Barry, Gene Weingarten and Tom Shroder. It is an off-shoot of The Herald Hunt, created by Dave Barry and Tom Shroder when they worked at The Miami Herald.

The turnout for this event was pretty impressive for a first year. I would estimate about 250 people showed, which comprised of locals from VA/DC/MD and visitors from FL who participated in past Herald Hunts. The object was simple ... solve clues to win the hunt.

The six games involved in solving the clues were not as simple.

Only six items were needed to compete in this free event - a copy of Sunday's Washington Post Magazine, a pencil, a piece of paper, a cell phone, your thinking cap, and a healthy sense of humor. If you didn't have a copy of the Post Magazine (because you're a cheap bastard), one was provided to you at the starting site. If you didn't have any of the other items ... well, you were SOL.

I was on a team comprising of myself, Peanut, Alpha Male, and Roommate Of Alpha Male. (Trust me, peeps, those nicknames are much less wordy and far easier to type than the ones they used to have.) Alpha Male and Roommate were fully prepared and had even tried to decipher some of the clues earlier in the morning (in lieu of sleeping, apparently). Peanut and I were not as prepared ... as I am both cheap and forgetful ... so we didn't get our Post Magazine until we arrived at the starting point.

I won't regale you with a play-by-play of the whole event. You can see the six games and their answers on the official website (and so understand the torture that we all went through yesterday). Instead, I'll cover some thoughts:
  • Comics who have to follow a script for a hunt aren't as funny as you would expect. But children who ad lib are hilarious!
  • The Washington Nationals Presidents rock!
  • A male ruminant is fast.
  • Reading comprehension is FUNdamental.
  • Booing Dave, Tom, and Gene at any and every opportunity is a Herald Hunt tradition and is explicitly encouraged by Dave, Tom, and Gene.
  • Coconut fortune cookies are very tasty.
  • Dave Barry is as funny in person as he is in writing.
  • I didn't think about getting Dave Barry's autograph until just now.
  • Some people don't know the difference between a crossword puzzle and a scavenger hunt.
  • I love Peanut and Alpha Male. And Roommate Of Alpha Male isn't too bad, either.
  • Everyone loves Journey.
  • The endgame was FAR too complicated and required thinking not only outside of the box but outside of reason.
  • Which means that the players on the teams that actually solved all six games should be institutionalized.
All in all, I am very proud of my teammates. We solved the first five games fairly quickly and easily. Each person on our team provided extremely valuable input ... no one person dominated. Ours was truly a team effort. If we had understood how to think like the organizers better before the hunt, I think we would have placed in the top three. (Are we all in agreement here, teammates?) It was a fun five hours spent with people I wish I could spend time with together more often.

I do hope that the Post makes this an annual tradition. It's a great way to spend a day in the city. It's great exercise, both mental and physical. It's a great way to see parts of the city you may not otherwise see. It's a great excuse to spend time with friends. In short, The Post Hunt is just great!

16 May 2008

Happy Bike To Work Day!

Yes, today is that made up environmental holiday, Bike To Work Day! You couldn't have picked a better day for it. Honestly.

(Okay, not honestly. But I'm sure you're expert enough to bicycle, hold an umbrella, and watch out for those lunatic D.C. cab drivers.)

This One's For You (You Know Who You Are)

13 May 2008

Random Music: "Young Blood" by Bruce Willis

In the 1980's, it was the hip thing to do for actors to release albums. Most of them ... how can I say ... made cute little puppies within doggie-ear-shot commit suicide. (There was an insanely high number of car accidents involving dogs ... really ... look it up.)

But once in a while, an actor would release a perfectly passable album. In 1987, one Bruce Willis (yes, that Bruce Willis) did just that with his album "The Return Of Bruno". It has quite a few gems, including admirable covers of "Under the Boardwalk" and "Secret Agent Man". Seriously, you really should get this record and enjoy it for the good time that it is.

But back on track, my favorite song on the whole album is "Young Blood". Why?, you might be wondering. It isn't the most famous song listed. It's a by-the-book ditty that doesn't stand out much from any other song produced during the Decade Of Decadence. That is all true. But this song has one of the best lines ever written to music ...
Look, get your hands off my daughter before I play a little Hank Aaron melody on your head, y'understand?!

How can you not love that? Enjoy!

12 May 2008

Political Public Service Announcement

I'm sure a good number of you out there are still awaiting a winner in the Clinton-Obama slugfest. I frankly don't care because, well, Democrats are idiots.

Oh, was that too un-PC? Tough. If you morons would just choose the best candidate for your party instead of slicing yourselves up into little focus-group pieces, maybe you'd win more than one important election in a row. But no. You women keep voting Hillary because she's a woman. And you blacks keep voting Barak because he's black. And you homos keep voting for whomever you think is the most fag-friendly. And you white males ... keep sitting on the couch.

Not that Republicans are any better. You had the chance to nominate a killer candidate. But instead you picked McCain. Thanks.

Anyway, lest you feel that your choices are Iraq and A Hard Place, you're wrong. The beauty of our democratic process is that there are more than two parties. And you have more than two choices.
Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr launched a Libertarian Party presidential bid Monday, saying voters are hungry for an alternative to the status quo who would dramatically cut the federal government.

I'm not saying he's a great choice either ... I have no idea what his policy positions are yet. What I am saying is that you have options. Study each candidate running very closely. Understand what they think and what direction they would like to steer our country. Make sure, come November when you pull that lever, that you are making an informed decision.

I Love Sinfest

You should love Sinfest, too.


I'm tired. Of putting myself in no-win situations. Of setting myself up for disappointment. Of allowing myself to be hurt.

I'm also tired of venting my spleen in cryptic posts on this site. So instead of telling you how upset I am at things, I will instead share with you one of my favorite jokes.
So, Mickey and Minnie Mouse are in couple's counseling. Mickey responds indignantly to the counsellor, "I never said she was crazy. I said she was fucking Goofy."

06 May 2008

Random Music: "The Saga Of John Henry" by The Smothers Brothers

I have been a fan of The Smothers Brothers from the moment I first heard them. The banter between them is so easy ... which makes sense, they being brothers and all. My humor, at least the parts that go for the easy stupid joke, was inspired by Tommy.

Anyway, I think my favorite recorded skit from them is a piece about John Henry. It's a song and story that just about everyone knows. But Tommy's storytelling is fantastic. And, if you listen closely, you can hear Dick caught off-guard ... something I'm sure that happened a lot during their many years of performing together.

Here, for you, is "The Saga Of John Henry" as performed by Tom and Dick Smothers. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

DISCLAIMER: This post is borrowed from a viral e-mail I received from a good friend today. And by borrowed, I mean plagiarized. Enjoy.

Ten men went out for beer and the bill for all ten came to $100. They agreed to pay their bill in the following way:
  • The first four men (the poorest) paid nothing.
  • The fifth paid $1.
  • The sixth paid $3.
  • The seventh paid $7.
  • The eighth paid $12.
  • The ninth paid $18.
  • The tenth man (the richest) paid $59.
The ten men drank in the same bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement. Then, one day, they were approached by the owner of the bar.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten of you will now cost just $80."

Since it was such a wonderful arrangement, the men still wanted to pay their bill in the same manner they always had. So how could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share? They realized that $20 divided by ten is $2. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the first four men, the fifth man, and the sixth man would all end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. It worked out like this:
  • The first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.
  • The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
  • The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
  • The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
  • The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
  • The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
  • The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man as he pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got!"

"'That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"'Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. This system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start doing business overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

02 May 2008

At Long Last, Here They Are

The designs for the District quarters, which we originally were not going to have, have been unveiled. I know what my preference would be. Which is yours?