Thursday, May 31, 2007

On my enemies list: Tom Potter, mayor of Portland, OR

The accusation: 1st degree murder of the first person reflexive.

The accused: Mayor Tom Potter, Portland, OR.

The evidence:

In the spirit of honoring the many years of hard work that have gone into this conversation by so many in our community, I am asking Dr. Pamplin to meet with Mayor Katz and myself next week to explore how we can overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of his gift to the people of Portland.
Argh! How many times do I have to say it?? "Myself" is not a fancy or more educated version of "I" or "me." Goddamit. Yeah, I know: if you say "me," people will think you are sloppy and uneducated. To this I ask: why do you care so much about impressing the stupid?

Putin says whaaaaaa?

Vladimir Putin, in a press conference in Portugal, criticized the West for being just as repressive as Russia. Ok, fair enough--more than likely many Western countries have assorted mechanisms for repression buried deep within their bureaucratic structures, and he's probably right that the media tends to gloss over such concerns. However, it was his way of expressing this thought that was slightly, um, strange:

"Let's not talk about having immaculate, white fluffy partners on one side, and on the other a monster who has just come out of a forest with claws and corns growing instead of legs."
Er...what? Huh? Corns growing instead of legs? WTF?

Even the strippers hate A-Rod...

The NY Post is running an explosive, "exclusive" (perhaps the most overused word in journalism) story on how Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees has been "squiring" (what is this, a Jane Austen novel) a "buxom, blond hottie" around--this while married to the mother of his child. Class-ay. But wedged into the latest story was this amusing bit:

On Tuesday, hours after Rodriguez first was asked about his jaunt two days earlier with the blonde at the Toronto strip club the Brass Rail, he returned to the same joint, a dancer there said.

The dancer, Bobbi, said she does not know if Rodriguez was alone Tuesday.

"I used to dance with A-Rod all the time. He's all right," said Bobbi. "But he makes way too much money."
Ha ha, ZING! She went on to say that his ability to hit to the opposite field on a hit and run play has really declined, and that he doesn't seem to pick up the rotation on a two-seam fastball like he once did.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I see from your bumper sticker that you are an idiot.

Driving home at lunch today I was behind a pickup truck with a strange bumper sticker. It read: "Creationists: We're Taking Dinosaurs Back!" Now, one could read that two ways, the first being that it was a statement addressed to creationists. However, the other bumper sticker on the car read "Evolution is Science Fiction," so I think we can assume that the owner was in fact speaking as a creationist. Ok, fine...but what exactly does that even mean? Taking it back from where? From who? Oh, yeah, and the accompanying graphic, as best I could discern, was of a dinosaur lying on its back, obviously dead, with a little mouse scurrying around it. (The dinosaur was a T-Rex, and the mouse was about 1/8 its size, which means that evidently this particular creationist has dreams of a recently-prehistoric past populated by oversized rodents.) Very weird.

Grammar frustration of the day

I know everyone thinks the life of, say, a trauma surgeon is hard, but it isn't. Well, it is, but it's not nearly as hard as it is to be an English major trapped in a world that, increasingly, thinks that grammar is just a stuffy old system of pointless rules and distracting regulations. Here's the thing that is annoying me today: when people hear someone say "he could have" or "he could've" and then write it down as "he could of." Yo, idiots. "Could've" is not short for "could of"--it is short for "could have." I know, I know, this really isn't that big a deal, and in the grand scheme of things is actually pretty pointless, but it brings up a larger complaint, which is that people don't even stop to think about what it is that they are saying. "Could of" literally makes no sense, yet people continue to write it as such. So, please, all of you, stop doing this.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fake rack = super healthy

The Republican party, not content with the current loser's bag of candidates, has flung its collective net far and wide, and has hauled in...Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who is now contemplating a run for the White House. Coburn, a doctor, is one of the most conservative members of the Senate, and, being from Oklahoma, is also one of the most stupid. (Hey, hey, Oklahoma...wish I could say I was kidding, but I'm not. You all let freaking Pat Robertson win the 1988 GOP primary. Absurd.) Just for kicks, here are two of my all-time favorite Tom-Coburn-is-a-world-class-moron moments:

Coburn, on rampant teen lesbianism:

“Lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in Southeast Oklahoma that they’ll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it.”

Coburn, on breast implants:
"And I thought I would just share with you what science says today about silicone breast implants. If you have them, you're healthier than if you don't. That is what the ultimate science shows. . . . In fact, there's no science that shows that silicone breast implants are detrimental and, in fact, they make you healthier."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh hai u look l1k3 a t00lz!111!1 lolkthxbye

Imagine the scenario. You're at the beach, studlyily (wtf?) wearing no shirt and some rawkin' board shorts, chillin' with your bud, trying to hook up with some fine betties. You pay little attention to the guy with the high-powered zoom lens sitting a few hundred feet away. Hey, he's just trying to score some hawt photos, whatevs. But then you stagger into work the next morning, and see the following photo splashed across the front page. D'oh! The essential idiot-ness of your existence, captured for all of posterity.

By the power of (naughty) Greyskull!

Remember when life was innocent? When the internets were filled with the laughter of people discovering, for the first time, the unbridled hilarity of a classic movie reimagined as a Brokeback Mountain-style tale of forbidden romance? Yeah, me too. Just when I thought I had tired of those clips, along comes a dramatic reinterpretation of a childhood classic. Watch. Enjoy. Remember.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Who We Love/ Who We Hate

This will be a new feature on the blog, "Who We Love/Who We Hate." It's exactly what it sounds like--each time we run this feature, we'll list one person in the world that we love, and then one person that we absolutely hate. Simple, no? We'll try to bring some balance to it, so that, say, Condi Rice will not be paired with, oh, Maria Sharapova. People who are loved by this blog generate immense feelings of goodwill and respect, whereas those who are hated generate feelings of loathing and abhorrence. So, without furthur ado...

1. WE LOVE....Bill Nighy!

Easily the coolest actor around today, he can save virtually any movie. He was the only redeeming part of "Hitchhikers' Guide," "Love Actually," and the way too long and pointlessly complicated sequel(s) to "Pirates of the Caribbean." And those movies all sucked! When he's in a movie more deserving of his talents, like "Shawn of the Dead," even in a limited rule, he takes over. He rules, we love him.

Ok, very good. Enough said about good Mr. Nighy. Moving on...

2. WE HATE...Dane Cook!

What a brilliant first choice for the category of most hated. Obviously this is hardly an original pick, but you can't go wrong pouring haterade all over Mr. Cook. He's a standup comic who is simply...not funny. You know "that guy" you knew in college who thought that if he told a joke that wasn't funny it would magically become funny if he simply shouted it? Well, that's Dane Cook. Also, he is universally loved among the Abercrombie-wearing, hat-tilted-just-so frat bro set, which by itself makes him a top enemy. So, well done, Mr. Cook.

(And, by the way, check the douchetastic pose he strikes above. If that isn't enough to inspire hate all on its own, I don't know what is.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yet more Cheney/hooker rumors

I imagine my educated readers are familiar with the sordid tale of the "DC Madam," the alleged madam who kept a stable of high-price "escorts" who would render services unto various DC elite. She handed over a phone list of her long-time customers to ABC News not too long ago, and various stories came out that among her clients was a "former CEO." Not too many people thought much of this (I mean, what, who wants to picture someone like Lee Iacoca patronizing hookers??) until someone put two and two together and realized that, hey, Dick Cheney is in fact a "former CEO." Hence the rumors.

Well, today Roll Call magazine issued one of the strangest-worded (is that right?) statements on the issue, saying, (and this is a direct quote):

Vice President Cheney isn’t not on the phone records of the alleged D.C. Madam, who is accused of running a high-price call-girl ring in Washington, the accused madam’s lawyer said on Tuesday.
"Isn't not?" Ok, pretending for a moment that this wasn't a careless typo by "Emily Hell," Roll Call's writer (that name sounds totally made up, no?), does this not promise to be the least appetizing DC sex scandal ever? Dick Cheney? And hookers? Ugggggggh. (Full body shiver.)


Last night the Portland Trailblazers came away with the top pick in the NBA draft lottery, despite having only a 5.3% chance to have their name picked last by the commissioner. What this means is that they now have the opportunity to draft Greg Oden, a 45 year old currently pretending to be 19. Holy crap! How excited are Portlanders by this news? Let me put it this way: imagine that there had been people blogging at the time that Moses led his people out of the desert and into the promised land. Ok, those people would probably have been LESS excited than Portland bloggers today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ah, the Duke-ster

I'm sure everyone remembers Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the fantastically corrupt member of Congress from the San Diego area. A new book, The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy “Duke” Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught spells out in minute detail the full extent of Duke's corruption. But where the San Diego Tribune pulled a few punches in their reporting (leaving out salacious details, for example), the book promises to do no such thing.

What amazes me is how utterly classless Duke was. When I worked for a member of the California State Assembly, I happend to receive some correspondence between a constituent and Duke himself. What I saw amazed me--atrocious spelling, punctuation, grammar, of course, but also a complete disregard for the basic conventions of the written word, a shocking use of fairly coarse language, and so on. Reading a few excerpts from the book (linked by Josh Marshall at TMP Muckraker), I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

One of these parties started at the Capital Grille with Cunningham ordering his usual filet mignon -- very well done -- with iceberg lettuce salad and White Oak. Wilkes used the dinner to update Cunningham on the appropriations he wanted. Cunningham then took the whole group back to the boat where they drank more wine, sitting on white leather sofas while Cunningham told more war stories. Cunningham then took his clothes off and invited all to join him in the polluted hot tub that was hidden from the neighbors by a white tarp. There were no takers.
Filet mignon, very well done?? What a savage! White leather couches? Ugh. And, of course, he ran water directly from the Potomoc into his yacht's hot tub. Goddam.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Things that make me go tee hee

Does it make me a seventh grader that I really wanted to laugh out loud in the meeting today when the I.T. person said, "but it is very important that you mount the hard drive." Tee hee. She said "mount."

It's cute when they pretend Bush cares

It was big news over the weekend when Arlen Specter came out and said that Alberto Gonzales would probably step down before being faced with the indignity of a no-confidence vote in the Senate. Here's what he said:

Historically, that is something which Attorney General Gonzales would like to avoid. I think that if and when he sees that coming, he would prefer to avoid that kind of a historical black mark.
Specter's mistake, obviously, is thinking that he is working with a White House that is in any way similar to administrations of the past. Previous administrations--from Clinton to Nixon--would have shuddered at the thought of one of their cabinet officials (particularly the nation's chief law-enforcement officer) receiving a vote of no-confidence from the Senate.

The Bush administration, on the other hand, could not care less. Look at everything they have done without Senate approval or confidence. Democrats (and the few Republicans who care) need to remember, when dealing with Bush, that they are working with someone who has the mentality of a four year old. Tell Bush not to touch the hot plate, and he'll touch the hot plate. Tell him he can't have any more tater tots, and he'll stomp and scream until he gets more tater tots. It's pathetic, but that's where we stand. Gonzales isn't going anywhere.

You know it's bad when...

Last night, at about 3am, I came to a conclusion: I think it's safe to say that you can be certain that your obsession with pop-culture has gotten a bit out of hand when you have a dream in which you are doing nothing but checking out Eric Roberts' IMDB entry.

Stupidest rationale for a pro-war position

People in favor of the Iraq war/occupation have advanced a lot of reasons for why (a) we invaded, and (b) we need to stay. You know, WMD, democracy, terrorism, human rights, etc. etc. etc. But just when you think you've heard them all, along comes David Ignatius of the Washington Post to drop an absolute turkey of a statement in our collective lap:

This U.S. training mission in Iraq was the heart of the Baker-Hamilton report's recommendation last December. And it still seems to me the right way forward. American troops cannot stop a civil war in Iraq, but they can teach soldiers how to fix drive shafts, maintain engines and order spare parts. That's a basic mission that Congress should reaffirm, even as it questions the surge of more U.S. troops into Baghdad.
Okaaaaaay. Got that? Congress should question the surge of troops into Baghdad (and with it the entire basis for the war), but we need to keep the troops there so that we can serve as the Iraqi equivalent of Mr. Goodwrench, helping those loveable Iraqi soldiers how to....drum roll....battle terror? No. Um, find WMD? Naw. What, then? Yeah, "fix driveshafts." That's got to be an incredible consolation to some family from Iowa whose first-born son was killed on the streets of Baghdad. "Take comfort, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, that your son Todd died doing what he loved doing--providing auto repair lessons to a company of Iraqi army recruits." Unreal.

Friday, May 18, 2007

New Rule for the Workplace

You know how embassies are considered to be the sovereign territory of the country represented by them? In other words, the US embassy in Paris is considered to be US soil, even though it's in the middle of France. Well, here's my new request: we need to treat the workplace restroom as though it is non-work territory. Here's the deal: when I'm at work, and I am walking to the restroom, or I'm in the restroom, I do not want anyone from the office to acknowledge me in any way whatsoever. Is that so hard to understand? Sure, if we are walking towards the same restroom, we can exchange that we-are-both-going-to-the-bathroom glance, but that's where it ends. And I REALLY do not want to have conversations with you INSIDE the restroom. Come on, people. If I'm standing at the urinal and you are washing your hands at the sink, don't ask me a question. That's just bizarre. K, thx.

Anne Heche's descent into madness is complete

Everyone remembers Anne Heche, right? Ellen's erstwhile companion, who was later found wandering in the desert in a not-at-all-related-to-drugs stupor, talking nonsense about God and aliens and whatnot?

Well, now she's split up with her husband, and I was delighted to see that he was claiming that her "bizarre and delusional behavior" was reason for the judge to award him full custody of their son. Oh snap, I thought, this is gonna be good. Full of stories of full-time crazy Anne Heche doing god knows what. Well, turns out, maybe not so much.

In the papers, Laffoon claims that Anne once didn't put Homer in a car seat, she often cusses in front of the child, and packed school lunches that Homer "did not like."
Packing lunches he doesn't like? OH NO SHE DI'INT!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

God bless Christopher Hitchens

"I was glad to see he skipped the rapture, and was found on the floor of his office."

Oh, SNAP! Christopher Hitchens straps on his dancing shoes and does a goddam jig on the freshly dug grave of Jerry Falwell, and it is a wonder to behold. Frankly, my only question is how Anderson Cooper kept from shouting "Oh, BURN!!!" every ten seconds.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The one where I explain what Daffy Duck is doing...

One has to applaud the sheer bravado of the White House for appointing blatantly unqualified people to positions of actual importance. You know, like George W. Bush. ZING! No, today's story is about Dr. Eric J. Kerouack, who was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. The title is a mouthful, but it's important: he was head of the federal agency responsible for family planning. Now, he resigned some time ago, for classically boring reasons like lying on his resume, defrauding Medicare, etc. etc. Dullllllll! However, what caught our eye in's expose was this:

Though he has no formal research credentials, Dr. Keroack has lectured widely from a PowerPoint presentation that uses Loony Tunes characters to illustrate his theory that premarital sex damages the female brain, making non-abstinent women incapable of forming emotional bonds.
Huh? Looney Tunes? I only hope it involved the one where Bugs Bunny dressed up as a female bunny to trick Elmer Fudd, those were always the best. Though god only knows what it had to do with the effects of pre-marital sex on the female brain.

Sylvester Stallone: Im in ur face, destroyin all ur featurz...

Dood, what the hell did you do to your face?


My world is officially rocked

"Point Break 2" is in the works. Glory days are here once again.

Say wha.....?

The history of cinema is filled with legendary collaborations. Hepburn and Tracy. Scorcese and DeNiro. And now, prepare to add a new couple to the list: Tim Allen, and....David Mamet. Wait. WHAT? Huh?

Tim Allen will star in "Redbelt," the mixed martial arts drama David Mamet wrote and will direct for Sony Pictures Classics. Production starts next month in L.A. Chiwetel Ejiofor co-stars.

Ejiofor, who was the first actor Mamet set (Daily Variety, April 13), stars as a Jiu-jitsu master whose purity is compromised when he is drawn into the movie business and manipulated into brawling in ultimate fighting matches.

Allen plays a troubled action star with marital problems who meets the master when he is getting pummeled in a street fight.
Good lord. All I can think of is Tim Allen showing up in the middle of Glengarry Glen Ross and getting his ass handed to him by Jack Lemmon. Actually, I'd totally watch that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kid movie critics: turns out they're smart!

The LA Times did something pretty simple: gather a bunch of media-savvy 13 and 14 year olds, and ask them about upcoming summer movies. And, miraculously, these kids give me hope for the future, as they demonstrate remarkable good sense. Witness.

Pirates of the Caribbean 3: "It just looks horrible, so over the top, with one fight scene after another. I give it one point, mostly because Chow Yun-Fat is in it." (Note: brilliant kid, liking Chow Yun-Fat like that.)

Live Free or Die Hard: "This is the exact kind of movie 'Hot Fuzz' makes fun of. There were so many scenes that were so farfetched. I mean, you can't kill a helicopter with a car."

Rush Hour 3: "It felt like it had every possible African American and Chinese stereotype in it. It looks almost hilariously bad."

Today's Idiot Reporter Award

Today's award for Most Idiotic Reporter Around goes to the NY Times' Allan Ripp, who, in a moment of weakness, engaged with a group of young toughs who were gathered 'neath the scaffolding of a construction site near his office.

The kid who shoved me just sneered while another told me to put my hands down and added a few choice insults. I looked more intently at the first one — he was slight and baby-faced, and I thought I might be able to engage him with a fatherly stare. I started to offer him a handshake to see if that would elicit an apology. He looked back with utter contempt, which was the last thing I saw before I was hit in the head.
Fatherly stare? Good lord. Handshake? Why does this elicit thoughts of Ignatius J. Reilly? After much agonized thinking about the encounter, he concludes
I grind out 350 push-ups every day and spend hours on the Lifecycle. But though I’m a capable fighter, no kid is going to let me warm up and stretch for 10 minutes before we get going.
Uh, yeah.

Forgive my confusion...

ABC News is running around in an absolute panic this morning, talking about a potential terrorist attack on airplanes flying from Germany to the U.S. The article begins thusly:

"We're afraid someone in the back is going to mix something or light something up, so air marshals are being placed strategically through the plane," said one senior law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the stepped-up security.
Ok, fair enough, that's a worthwhile threat, and certainly one that has been attempted before. However, moving on through the article, we come to this:
"The intelligence was that there are plans to take a plane and crash it in a high-density, high-profile place," one official told The official said the timing and identity of the "high-profile place" was not contained in the intelligence reports.
So, wait a minute. If they are planning to mix something on the plane and blow it up, they can't really crash it into a high-profile place, no? The plane will just explode in the air and fall down in a bunch of pieces. Seems like ABC is really trying to be first out of the gates with this one, to the point that they aren't even questioning internal consistencies in what their own sources are telling them.

Baby's got a gun...

Ah, god bless the NRA. Fighting for the rights of gun-owning citizens everywhere, even when those citizens are...10 month old babies.

In Illinois, you're never too young to own a gun.

That's what one father found out, when he registered his 10-month-old son for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card.

Daily Southtown columnist Howard Ludwig registered his son —- Howard David Ludwig, nicknamed "Bubba" — online after the child's grandfather bought him a gun shortly after the baby's birth. Ludwig chronicled the road to gun ownership in a story that appeared in the Southtown on Sunday.

"Anyone who wants to own a firearm or purchase a firearm needs a FOID card," Ludwig told FOX News. "I applied for one of these for my son. Now ironically he can’t buy a gun until he’s 18 years old, but if he wants to own one -- which he does thanks to Grandpa -- he needs one of these cards anyhow."

Woo hoo! Yeah! That kid is going to be a hoot and a half at daycare, man. "Um, Bubba, please do not threaten to 'cap' anyone today, ok?"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pretentious Statement of the Year: Contestant #1

It's really never too early to begin our search for the year's most pretentious comment. While perusing the interwebs today, we noticed an interview conducted by perennial Icon of Pretension Angelina Jolie. No doubt, we thought, this article is sure to be a goldmine of glib smugness, since it is all about her favorite two subjects: herself, and her generosity. Moving past the quintessentially Jolie statements like "It became clear to us that it might be important to have somebody around who is similar to the other children so they have a connection," we come to this spectacularly pretentious statement, whose massive quantity of pretentiousness is dramatically enhanced by its pretentions of humility. Witness the greatness:

"I could be dressed up in the sexiest outfit for a photo shoot, and by his [Brad Pitt's] behavior, he'll let me know that's nice, but it's nothing as sexy as when I'm home surrounded by the kids or reading books, educating myself."
Wow. Incredibly annoying. Am I wrong to read into that one? Have I simply passed the Jolie Event Horizon, where literally nothing she does can impress me?

SAVEUR magazine: loves me, hates my liver

What's it called when whenever you read something about a specific cocktail, you can't really rest until you've made one for yourself? Whatever that is, I've got it. And, since this is the month of the Kentucky Derby, SAVEUR magazine recently had a whole article on the mint julep. So yesterday, after dreaming about it for a week, I got around to making one for myself, just to see what it is that those damn Kentuckyians love so much. (Note: I'm not a rookie, I've had plenty of juleps before, just not using this recipe.) And, holy hell, it calls for a lot of bourbon. Like 1/2 cup of bourbon. Consequently, I discovered halfway through this thing why horse racing is so popular in Kentucky: they're so bombed off their collective ass that they'd probably enjoy anything running really fast past them.

I should note that this comes on top of the NY Times running a damn gin comparison, thus instilling in me an unquenchable desire to buy 3 or 4 bottles of gin and do nothing but sit on my porch drinking G&Ts. Damn NY Times.

This file photo indicates that you are probably very stupid

A bill trudging its way through the Oregon state government would add $10 to the cost of divorce, and the proceeds would go towards some domestic violence clinics. Seems pretty worthwhile. But our local news station, apparently unsure that the story alone would be grasped by the rabble who watch the news, felt compelled to present a file photo in addition to the text. Thanks to that photo, I am now able to comprehend the enormity of this story. Thanks, KATU news!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thing I said on the phone today that sounded like I was auditioning for a porno, but was in fact not doing that

"I need to talk to you about my stump grinding needs."

Embracing my inner dork

I am thriled today because I finally got my hands on a hot new piece of technology. This nifty little gizmo has all kinds of crazy features, is far more advanced than the item it is replacing, and is truly indespensible to me as I make my way through life. New cell phone? Naw. New iPod? Heck no. PDA? Nay. What is this advanced piece of state-of-the-art electronics, you ask? Why, it's my brand new blood testing monitor, the One Touch UltraSmart! It can show me graphs of how my blood sugar is doing, I can assign codes (like "after dinner") to my scores, and it even has a backlight so that I can test my blood in uncomfortable places (like the backseat of a Volkswagen). Truly, it is all kinds of awesomeness wrapped up in a tiny nifty package. Am I a little bit of a nerd for being really excited about a freaking blood sugar monitor? Yes. Do I care? No!

Oh, snizzap, yo! You got served!

America's favorite background-dancing starlet impregnator, Kevin Federline, is apparently none too pleased about the romantic stylings of his erstwhile leading-lady, Britney Spears. (Check out the fine prose of the last half of that sentence, btw. Writing about entertainment gossip turns everyone into Jackie Harvey.) According to "friends," Kevin heard about Britney's fling with "singer" Howie Day, and freestyled a few lyrical bombs on the guy.

“When Kevin heard they had a sleepover at her house, everyone wanted to know about it,” a source tells the new issue of Star. “He lit up a cigarette and said he guessed you have to head to the dump to find trash, referring to how Britney and Howie met while in rehab.”
Damn, son. When you get your ass served by Federline, it's time to step back. Also, incidentally, props to Star for setting the mood with that evocative "he lit up a cigarette" bit. Well done.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

ESPN: Opportunity missed!

ESPN's John Clayton, writing about the New England Patriots' extensive off-season upgrades, writes the following:

But few can criticize the Patriots' approach. They have treated free agency like Tom Brady treats __________
Treats what? Here are some suggestions:

1) Impregnating models/actresses?
2) Standing around like a preening moron?
3) Making horrendous fashion choices?

No, sadly, the actual answer is "two-minute situations." Boooo! Boring!

Things that make me want to kick myself in the throat

The local newsrag for Portland, OR, the Oregonian, has a feature article today on an "upstart" (read: non-Starbucks) coffee chain ubiquitous in this state. The company is Dutch Bros. (helpfully, the article tells us that this is pronounced "broze"), and they just opened their 100th outlet, with annual sales of $47 million. Ok, impressive enough. But the writer then lapses into staid-reporter-covering-the-cool-kids mode (reminiscent of all the stories about wacky dot com businesses where they played foosball in the office! Crazy! stories of 6-7 years ago):

Pop crooner John Mayer is blasting from the speakers loud enough to nearly rattle the rainbow-colored rack of Torani syrup bottles as a customer pulls up to one of the two service windows at the Dutch Bros. java stand in northeast Bend.

A shaggy-haired young barista in flip-flops and a "Dutch Mafia" hoodie jumps into action. "What's up, dog?" he asks, grinning.

Pull into one of the Dutch Bros. drive-ups now dotting the Northwest and you'll likely encounter a similar boisterous greeting, part of the company's cultivated culture of out-sized enthusiasm and hip energy.
Sigh. Where to begin? I mean, "John Mayer" is named just four words into the whole article. COME ON! "What's up dog?" I'm sure this was stated ironically by the "shaggy haired" (oh those kids and their disrespect for haircuts! How unconventional!) kid, but the writer presents it as if he has just tapped into an unexplored vein of youth vernacular. Please make it stop.

And, if you needed even more reasons to get your hate on, this nugget, buried deep in the story, tells you all you need to know:
That's fine with the Boersma brothers, who got into the espresso trade after their family dairy farm chose to shut down rather than comply with new state environmental regulations.
"Uncool," as the kids might say.

Mitt Romney: Gutless wonder

When the assembled Republican candidates were asked which of them does NOT believe in evolution, three wingnuts--Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, and Tom Tancredo--raised their hands. Somewhat surprisingly, Mitt Romney, former governer of Taxachusetts and whose state lets teh gheys get married and stuff, did not raise his hand. Not somewhat surprisingly, conservatives are now wondering whether Mitt is really theirs. Rough going, no? Sensing turmoil, David Brody of CBS News asked Romney's staff, point blank, whether he believe in evolution. Here's the focus-group approved response:

"Governor Romney believes both science and faith can help inform us about the origins of life in this world."
Unbelievably weak. I mean, seriously, what does that even mean? But, as we've seen with Mitt, completely par for the course.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Now is the time for comments!

Now that the blog is up and running, and is in fact the #1 result on Google when you do a search for "pregnant cornbread" (although, really, why would you?), I guess I'm going to go ahead and let people write comments. First one to spam the blog with something about "teh ch3ap V1agr@!" gets a kick to the throat. Just so you know.

UPDATE: Ironically, comments are temporarily on hold while I fiddle with some template settings. I know, it's complicated. And I'm not even sure this counts as irony.

Mitt Romney: Totally insane

Here is what former Gov. of Taxachusetts (where they let teh gheys get married, omg@!11!1!1!111) Mitt Romney had to say today on the subject of men and women just shacking up (and doing it, tee hee!) rather than actually getting married.

“In France, for instance, I’m told that marriage is now frequently contracted in seven-year terms where either party may move on when their term is up. How shallow and how different from the Europe of the past.”
Wha? Really? They do? Interesting, Mitt. Tell me more about this "France" of which you speak.

Maybe this comment is not so surprising, given that the GOP luminaries just had a rawkin' debate at the Reagan Library last week. Perhaps they all left the debate with a renewed sense of purpose, and a newfound desire to just randomly make up stuff "to make a point," in the manner of The Great Communicator himself.

UPDATE: Even better, TIME Magazine's "Swampland" Blog points out that the idea of the seven year marriage is from a sci-fi book by Orson Scott Card, and is in fact "a fictionalization of the Book of Mormon set in outer space."

Kids these days!

This past Friday I took a family friend to the airport. He's about 20, and has just completed his second year of college. As we were navigating one of Portland's many lovely gridlocked surface streets (seriously, it took about 1.5 hours to make it about 10 miles to the airport, what the hell), I asked him about the daily life at his school. Before long the topic wound around to the dating scene. I said, "oh, so what's it like at [college name]?" He said, "well, you know, it's 60% women." So I responded, "that's pretty good, no?" He gave that "meh" shrug and said, "well, I like to say that the odds are good, but the goods are odd."

Well played.

What, are you loon-ey?

Remember that hubbub last year when the government came out all of a sudden and said that there was crazy spy technology hidden in some Canadian coins, and that these were being used in an intelligence-generating capacity in the US? Everyone was like, um, huh, wtf? Well, it turns out that the US intelligence agents who prompted these reports are, to use a polite word, gobsmacked MORANS.

The harmless "poppy coin" was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as "anomalous" and "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology," according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP.


The supposed nano-technology actually was a conventional protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the poppy's red color from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 commemorating Canada's 117,000 war dead.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Dana Milbank, line of the day

Today's Line of the Day comes courtesy WaPo columinst Dana Milbank, writing on the sparsely attended "Bible Reading Marathon" held yesterday in Washington D.C.

Let us pray for the power to understand how [Jeff] Gannon made his way from to the International Bible Reading Association.

Oh, Chris Noth, how I do love you

We're big Chris Noth fans around here. No, no, not because of That One Show he did, but because of his laid back ways and his criticism for the wave of chainification afflicting New York. He recently said, “What makes me really sick is how New York now looks like a bad imitation of Sex and the City. Meatpacking [District] is a good example of just how fucked up it is. You can’t have a city that’s interesting where the only people living in it are rich. When I came here as a kid, as a young adult, you could get lost—many different worlds collided. You cannot say that today.”

Wise words. So it is with admiration, not contempt, that we post today's Chris Noth Photo of the Day. Behold.


Ha ha, yay, we're stupid!

This comes from last night's rawkin' GOP debate. Just to give you a sense of what lunacy to expect, the question is, "I'm just curious, is there anybody on the stage who does not believe in evolution?" (This after John "Walnuts" McCain answered, courageously, that he does in fact believe in evolution, thus earning him beady-eyed stares from hard-core wingers in the audience.)

(Note, by the way, the weird way McCain answers "yes" to that question. You can practically see the wheels turning in his head. "Lessee, if I say no, then I piss off the sensible people who can make me President, if I say yes then I piss off the crazy old coots who will be voting in the primaries.")

Desert Island Music

Everyone has a list of their desert island music, that is, what albums they'd take with them if they had to spend the rest of eternity on a deserted island. The usual suspects appear on these lists--Beatles, etc. I have a different kind of list, though I also call it Desert Island Music. These are songs that I think should be SENT to live forever on a desert island so that the rest of us never have to hear them again. Now, these aren't bad songs, just songs that are criminally overplayed by radio stations, hogging the airwaves from more deserving and underplayed artists. So, from time to time I'm going to list a few songs that I think should be banished from our lives forever, destined to live only in our memories.

1. Everything from Joshua Tree. Look, it's a great album. Legendary, by this point. But is there anyone on earth who really needs to hear "Where the Streets Have No Name" one more time? I think bushmen in the Kalahari are by this point sick of this album. Why DJs feel the need to exclude new talent for the 2,368th replay of "With or Without You" is something I'll never understand.

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Under the Bridge of Time. Anytime a band known for harder edged stuff comes out with something mellow and shallow, it gets crazy airtime. Witness this song. It is slow, ponderous, melodramatic, and way, way, way overplayed. I liked it when it first came out, admittedly. Then I grew to hate it over the next 39,879 times it was played on the radio. (I also suspect it was a big influence on Live's "Lightning Crashes," aka the most pretentious song EVER, thus it deserves to be exiled immediately.)

3. Van Morrison, Brown Eyed Girl. A mix-tape staple, this song deserves to be banished because (a) it is supposed to evoke a nostalgia for the idyllic summer days of ones youth, and in so doing makes me feel old since I've been hearing it for the last 15 years, and (b) it sounds like every other one of Van Morrison's songs. But, as this is the one that DJs seem to reach for when they just can't come up with anything else, it gets the #3 position on today's list.

Thursday, May 3, 2007 idiot

Yet more wisdom from Dazed Chipmunk, CEO of America.

Information is moving — you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it’s also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets.

Is he just stupid, or has he graduated to a Bono-esque level of self-referential irony? Do I need to ask?


Today, the sadists at Portland's Willamette Week provide us with a tantalizing glimpse at the high-budget burgers currently dominating the local foodscene. I was all set to dismiss them as fancy slabs of overpriced and overhyped beef until I stumbled upon this:

The Gracie burger is one of the best things to eat in Portland right now. Like the Hurley burger, Gracie's starts with a hunk of lean Kobe and some foie—but just keeps going. Add two quail eggs, a brioche bun basted in duck fat, bacon mayo with huge chunks of perfectly salty swine, Cantel cheese, foie gras aioli and a bed of frisée that makes the sandwich appear as tall as Yao Ming,

Holy hell does that sound good. And, yeah, ok, it's $22 for a burger, but you've got to give them points for cooking the damn bun in duck fat.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It's teh Commander Guy!1!!!!!1!1!1

Our leader, speaking today:

By the way, in the report it said, it is -- the government may have to put in more troops to be able to get to that position. And that's what we do. We put in more troops to get to a position where we can be in some other place. The question is, who ought to make that decision? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear -- I'm the commander guy.

OMFG. "Commander guy?"

Beyond scary

In today's world of teenagers with the texting, and the MySpace, and the Friendster, and etc., everyone is pretty much on tape 24/7. The novelty of seeing video of someone when they were younger has become a relic, consigned to the "you and your parents are into this stuff" wing of the Smithsonian. However, there is still a special feeling that comes from seeing old footage of the Chief Scum of today's political elite. Namely, the following clip of Dan Rather talking to Karl Rove in 1972.

What to say about all that? Well, a few things:

1) You expect him to have a weasel-y "heh heh" kind of voice, but instead he sounds like a 55 year old CEO. At the age of 22. That's pathetic.
2) Nice combover, brah. Way to rock that look.
3) Where have you gone, Walter Cronkite?

Genius opening line

A hat tip today to the kids over at Gawker, who write the following line about the new bar opened by "Fallout Boy" rocker Pete Wentz:

When emo-troubadour Pete Wentz opened Angels and Kings, a bar in the East Village, our douche canary in our douche mineshaft keeled over and died.

I am in awe. It's not easy to use the word "douche" twice in the span of five words and make it funny. Well played.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I am a dazed chipmunk

Seriously. Who on earth is inspired by this guy anymore? (Although, if you were EVER inspired by him, please seek help.)

UPDATE! He is also a stern chipmunk.