29 June 2005

i'm in the process of working on having a bachelor party. i'm hoping we can all meet up in NYC sometime in september. i originally wanted to do it up in montreal, but it just proved to be logistically impossible - especially with people coming up from philly and D.C. at least new york is convenient for everyone to get to. the nightlife is great. no designated driver is needed. i hope it works out. it may be tough to get any time off for work.

work update...
the job has just been dreadful lately. it's really quickly wearing me down. the stress and pressure is unbelievable, and our newsroom is so understaffed that it's hard to function. i did something like 8 pages last night and had to scramble to make deadline. miserable. i know my days there are numbered. if i last a year in this job, i'll be amazed.

i sometimes get a little nostalgic for the ole' nintendo entertainment system -- the best video game console ever made. really, the reason it was so great was simply that THE BEST games were made for it, especially....


27 June 2005

di and i (and friends elvis and alicia) hit the beach saturday. it was crazy crowded with people. i mean, there wasn't 10 square feet of sand not covered by people and their beach blankets. i was lookign around on the web when i stumbled across this beach in jamestown, a hoity-toity waterfront town near newport. here are their beach rules....
Water related and within the confines of the Beach Area there shall be no:
- Ball Playing
- Fires
- Kite Flying
- Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
- Use of Profane Language
- Boisterous Play
- Swimming during an electrical storm
- Boating without a Coast Guard approved life jacket or PFD.
- Robing or disrobing
- Dogs allowed on Beach
- Use of floatation devices
- Overloading of boats
- Use of snorkel and mask
- Use of any scuba equipment

wow. sounds like a fun place to go, huh?

the first tactic that american zionists and likudniks use against those who oppose the israeli apartheid in palestine is to accuse those who criticize israel of anti-semitism. that's what makes the recent critique of israeli occupation by israel's version of walter cronkite so devastating.
"Yavin has been the calm, objective face of Israeli news, the anchor of Channel 1's broadcast since the founding of the Israeli television in 1968.

known as 'Mr. TV,' Yavin is to deliver a documentary about the Jewish settlements in the West Bank expressing his pessimism and anger.

'Since 1967, we have been brutal conquerors, occupiers, suppressing another people,' Yavin says in 'Yoman Masa,' or 'Diary of a Journey,' which he filmed over the past two and a half years with a hand-held video camera in the West Bank and Gaza. In the documentary, Yavin addresses settlers, Palestinians and soldiers."


24 June 2005

you gotst ta peep the newest, hottest recording artist...Zlad! (gotta love the exclamation point.) i think you'll really enjoy his video.

here's another prank from zug.com: it's a letter sent to the makers of "Co-ed Naked _____ t-shirts"

To Whom It May Concern:

I have another idea for your Coed Naked t-shirt line. Though I'm offering this idea to you free of charge, I must ask for a cut of the sales if you decide to use it.

My idea is Coed Naked Fucking. I mean, I'm surprised you guys haven't thought of this one yet. Because fucking is something you usually do both coed and naked, not things like badminton and nursing. I envision the T-shirt would read:

Coed Naked Fucking
Insert the penis into the vagina!

Please let me know if you're interested. If you're not, I'd appreciate any information you can give me on the Coed Naked trademark. I'll go ahead and market the Coed Naked Fucking shirts myself, but I don't want to get into difficult intellectual property issues.

Thanks for your time,
John Myers Hargrave

this massachusetts guy tried to get his credit card company to flag his fake signatures. i particularly enjoy him signing "shamu" (complete with whale drawing) on his receipt for the new england aquarium. click on the shamu receipt for the whole story. just wait until he tries to ring up 15 grand worth of tvs at circuit city.


21 June 2005

i didn't realize my friend jay here in providence had his own website until this past weekend. damn. he runs it off his own home server, too. if you know anyone who needs web design/programming/networking type stuff done, check him out.

smooth, but not a criminal...
i haven't blogged at all about my boy jacko getting acquitted earlier this month. i've actually followed the trial somewhat closely and did actually predict that he would get off. if you followed the trail at all, you'd see that the prosecution's case was pathetic: the kid had two sleazy, money-grubbing parents and a bad memory of what happened, and jacko's surrogate mother debbie rowe (supposed to be the star prosecution witness) came out and said jacko is a great father. plus the fact that tom mesereau had his strategic plan in place and the money to get enough expert witnesses to shoot holes in the prosecution all combined to creat quite a bit of doubt. plus, as dave chappelle said, "he made thriller."

but if you watched fox news, cnn or court tv on verdict day, you got a much different picture....the jury screwed up. that was the storyline.

but does this pro-prosecution attitude come at the price of undermining juries? probably. here's an excerpt of former prosecutor/turned law'n'order shill Nancy Grace... from a story about how juries are being undermined:
Grace reserved her particular scorn for Paul Rodriguez, the retired school counselor who was elected the jury's foreman. As he patiently attempted to explain how he and his fellow jurors had been unable to overcome their reasonable doubts about the charges against Jackson, this exchange ensued:

GRACE: Yes. Mr. Rodriguez, I understand the theory of reasonable doubt. I was a prosecutor many years. But before I let you go, I got a question for you. What do you think Jackson, Michael Jackson, a 40-year-old man, was doing with these little boys all those nights in bed alone?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, that's a personal view that I don't want to talk about right now.

GRACE: No, sir!

RODRIGUEZ: We all have our thoughts …

GRACE: You tried him — you tried him for that. He was tried. You were on his jury. That's what he was accused of. What do you think he was doing?

RODRIGUEZ: I know. And that's why I say we — we had to just rely on the…. I'm not going to stick my neck out there on this…. I'm going to base it again on the testimony that was presented to us …

GRACE: Well, what do you mean, stick your neck out?

RODRIGUEZ: There was too much reasonable doubt.

GRACE: What do you mean, stick your neck out?


GRACE: You don't want to say what you thought Jackson was doing with those little boys every night?

RODRIGUEZ: Because it's our … personal beliefs and our own thoughts, and that's not what we have to work with. We had to work with the testimony of the witnesses and the credibility of the witnesses, and that's all we can base it on.

GRACE: So what you believe — you're telling me what you believe doesn't matter.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes. It does matter, but I'm not going to go any further with that.

GRACE: Yes, sir. I think you've gone far enough. With me … "


20 June 2005

the u.s. senate last week passed a resolution formally apologizing for failing more than 200 times to pass anti-lynching legislation. if ever there was an issue that you'd think would have across-the-board, unananimous support, it would be this. you'd be wrong, though. 13 republican senators refused to support the resolution.


19 June 2005

great things other than joel that have come out of the great commonwealth of pennsylvania (whew)....
i always thought the band Ween was from jersey, actually. turns out they're from new hope, actually. to celebrate my long-forgotten love of a great band i downloaded the high-larious "homo rainbow" song they did for the show "south park." the shit just cracks me up. many colors in the homo rainbow, don't be afraid to let your color shine.

somehow, i'm amazed that my job (city editor) isn't on this list of worst jobs in history. ok. it's not that bad, actually. i like the work i'm doing. just give me a damn day off already!


17 June 2005

i've always wondered how i'm going to die. i kind of always had a hunch that it would invole drowning. i can swim well enough. i just always assumed i would basically be taking a trip to the bottom of the ocean and have everything just fade to black. not really a bad way to go, if you think on it. here's where to go to find out what day you'll die. my day is predicted at Monday, May 5, 2070. i'll be 92. not bad.

if you've been paying attention, you'll know that there's been about a dozen high-profile identity theft incidents in the u.s. lately. i liked wire magazine's suggestions for solutions to the problem. the overall theme: that congress HAS to get involved with the issue because (surprise), the business community has proven that it can't self-regulate when it comes to protecting customer data.

this anti-iraq war, anti-bush spot is just badass.

my co-worker don, the other night editor, had his family's dog die recently. his 7-year-old daughter, "miss littlechild," really, really wants another doggy to replace the other one. here's her note to dad, regarding the whole issue. ha.

terri was blind. yes terri schiavo, the autopsy shows, was completely blind after she fell into a coma. wow. what an "i told you so" moment. the slate article really sums up the insane denial of schiavo's parents and their supporters.


16 June 2005

work has been absolutely fuggggged up lately. i've been busting my ass to get the paper out every night. unfortunately, last night i had to pretty much do the paper alone (with some token help from an editor brought in from woonsocket, who DID help). this job is a lot of fun at times, but i'm being worked to the bone lately and need a day off badly. must keep thinking about experience i'm getting and how much better my resume will look when this boot camp is over.

a video of 9-year-old brazilian soccer kid has just blown up lately. the kid's getting offers from clubs all over the world, even though he can't even weigh more than maybe 65 pounds. check out the highlight tape (set to a rousing soundtrack that sounds like yanni in portuguese) of the kid scoring crazy goals and doing some amazing leg fakes "off the ball."
here he is...he'd probably school all of us.

here's what mc escher would be up to if he had access to shockwave and an internet page.

this just blew me away. notice how many times we basically fucked over nicaragua and haiti and the dominican republic and el salvador and cuba and.... the u.s. has really done a lot of shitting in the ole backyard.

this is just retarded, but i know dionne will like it. unfortunately, she somehow got hooked on this awful romanian dance-pop song that would be well-suited for use as an interrogation tool at gitmo.

the picture below is merely graffiti on a FLAT sidewalk. FLAT. FLAT!!! think about how hard it is to get that perspective down. damn. this has to be some of the coolest graffiti i've ever seen. click on the picture for more....

here's a nice, informative guide to the hundreds of little genres and sub-genres of electronic music. turn the sound up and you can learn what the difference is between "happy hardcore" and "goa trance." and yes, those are both actual genres.

here's the officials anti-corporate shit list. it all reminds me of my college days. everyone getting all upset about sweatshops and shit. 9-11 really wiped the slate clean in a lot of ways. we just don't talk about shit like that any more.

i guess he can't speak, but he CAN blog. yes, silent bob has blog. and only people cool enough to actually know off the top of their heads who the fuck silent bob is are cool enough to read it. as spoony luv would say "huh-ha!"


14 June 2005

i also stumbled across some trivia. i love to read these stupid little factoids. i don't know why. i guess i like to keep them in my back pocket for another day.
i particularly wonder about this gem...
"In the 1970's, the Rhode Island Legislature in the US entertained a proposal that there be a $2 tax on every act of sexual intercourse in the State."

this little game is so addictive. it involves hittin a penguin like a baseball, although it's not as graphically violent as it sounds.


13 June 2005

who's beach is this?
read this la times article on how rich beachfront property owners are litterally bull-dozing the sand up onto dunes to eliminate the public right of way along the water. turns out some of the residents where this is happening include steven spielberg and dustin hoffman.


12 June 2005

work update...
i'm now a full week into my job as city editor. it's been friggin crazy intense. i told copy editor don that i've been learning so much shit, so fast, that i sometimes find myself doing things that i didn't even know i knew how to do. i can paginate sooooo much quicker now. i really do like the work a lot. there's a lot of pressure, but it is fun. hopefully down the line this experience will really pay off with a bigger job at a bigger paper. i do like the pace of a daily paper, so hopefully i can stick with this for a while. i know di doesn't like the hours, though. i don't usually get off until around midnight, so that kinda sucks. oh well. i'm a night person anyways.

the robots rise up!
here's a story about how people are trying to design software "bots" that can play on-line poker. the story mentions kasparov losing to deep blue, as well as the invention of backgammon bots that have changed 2000 years of human backgammon strategy. i can vouch for the superiority of backgammon software. i have a program called GNU backgammon on my computer and i can barely beat it on the easiest setting. when i ratchet that thing up to it's toughest level, it absolutely destroys my petty little human brain.

there was a rowdy patriot act hearing friday in washington. apparently republican senators just stomp out of the room when they hear something they don't like. it shouldn't surprise them that the patriot act is completely unpopular outside of the political wings of the fbi and homeland security dept.


11 June 2005

here's a little bit of background on the resolution of apology to american indians - from a slightly more relevant source.

racism is A-OK, as long as its american indians you're keeping down. i can't even blieve that the chicago sun-times would put this ugliness on its site. (thanks to don at driving to oahu for the link.) i don't even know who this guy is, but he should do some research into what REALLY happened to the western hemisphere's indigenous people.
you think saddam was bad? go read de las casas and find out what columbus did to the arawaks he encountered. read about what happened to the narragansett indians here in modern-day rhode island. read about the small pox blankets and massacres of women and children. savages? indians? really? sure the indians had wars, but there's a big difference between their small-scale wars and what the european colonialists were doing. europeans brought with them greed, materialism, disease, "private" property, etc., and completely destroyed thousands of distinct cultures. why is a formal apology for all that so much of White Man's Burden for this guy?


10 June 2005

check out the infamous tom cruise on oprah clip at tvgasm. you know you want to.


09 June 2005

beer of the week...

you gotta love smuttynose IPA. it's yet another great new england beer (brewed in portsmouth, n.h.) and packs a seriously hoppy punch. they use a blend of simcoe, santiams (which i'd never even heard of before) and amarillo hops. their shoals pale ale is another winner. i've gotta convince di to take a roadtrip with me to the brewery.

here's what happens when the marines (and army) are desperate for recruits.l frankly i think people should just stop volunteering completely. just bring the whole stinking volunteer military to a halt. then maybe we won't be so quick to take on military adventures like iraq.


08 June 2005

here's an original thought on why john bolton really is a bad choice for u.n. ambassador. personally, i can't stand the fact that such a person is oing to represent us in the united nations. but the more i think about it, he's perfect. he perfectly represents EVERYTHING about the united states in 2005 and its place in the world -- arrogant, cantankerous, moody, dishonest.

here's slate...
"Now Bolton, in having to scramble desperately to secure confirmation, is paying for all the enemies he's made in Washington. To some extent America is in the same position. Under President Bush it has made more enemies than it had to, because his foreign policy has been counterproductively unilateralist and gratuitously antagonistic."


07 June 2005

my co-worker, nicole, brought in her vintage tele-tubbie doll today. it's a "talking teletubbie" that got recalled because mr. (or is it mrs.) teletubbie's quotes include a high-pitched "faggot, faggot" and "suck my buuuuuutt." apparently it was quickly recalled in 1998. it's the kind of thing that's pretty damn funny when you're sober, but must be absolutely pee-on-yourself hilarious when drinking heavily.

i made some curry chicken with rice and peas last week. i tried to absorb as much as i could when di's mom visited a few weekends back. she showed me a few things, like which peas to use (i guess they're really more like beans) and which spices to mix in, how to brown the meat the right way...and how much coconut milk to use.
my curry/rice and peas, didn't turn out NEARLY as good as hers, though. it was still pretty good, but i didn't think the chicken came out saucy enough, maybe a little too dry. i think i'm going to either attempt another go-round at the curry chicken or jump right into jerk chicken. now, if i could just find chicken thighs at the store, with the bones still in.

right now i'm reading "sex, drugs and cocoa puffs" by chuck klosterman, the columnist for esquire magazine.

what's funny is that i just finished reading the excellent memoir "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius" by dave eggers and i'm now realizing that the two books are so similar - they're both funny but insanely self-absorbed books about generation-X pop culture.

there's even a reference in "cocoa puffs" to "heartbreaking work." i do recommend reading both of these books, though. i just need a little break from my own pop-culture-obsessed generation for a while.

the editing gig is already starting to get crazy. yesterday i did four pages (which actually wasn't THAT bad), but the sheer amount of clerical work, phone calling, reporter rustling and advance planning is a lot to juggle. the newsroom right now badly badly needs someone to do this kind of stuff, though, so it's at least good that they promoted me (finally!).
tonight don, the copy editor, is off. so it's basically going to just be me and the managing editor bianca laying out the paper. i swear, this could finally be the night the ship hits the iceberg and we have a disaster. let's hope not.

why you should always make friends with those geeky techy types at work...

(this will probably be the last reference on this blog to the "white ho"..... but i make no promises.)


06 June 2005

i started my editing gig last night. i've still got A LOT to learn. my skills with quark xpress (the page layout software most every newspaper uses) are getting better and better, but i've got to get a handle on all the typfaces to use and formats for all the different columnists and regular features we run. it's really a lot to absorb, but i've pretty much resorted to bugging the shit out of don (the copy editor) everytime i have a question -- which is often.

when the ny times announced recently that they're going to be charging on-line readers for the op-ed columnists, i was a little disappointed, if only because i do genuinely enjoy reading paul krugman's writing. he always seemed so out of place at the times -- too liberal and way too willing to take non-mainstream positions. i loved that.
anyway, apparently the times "public editor," who's supposed to be like an ombudsman to the readers, has attacked krugman unjustly. i think james wolcottlays it out pretty well.


03 June 2005

a quick update on the life of joel...
the word came down yesterday. i'm going to be the city editor as of sunday. i'm excited about it. i want to get a nice crash course in all things editing, and this gig will let me do that. so basically, i'll be working crazy long hours at a hectic pace, but it's worth it for the experience i'll be getting. plus i now get to boss the reporters around like the vermin they are! ha!


02 June 2005

since book-burning is so taboo now, a group of conservatives have come with a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. it's pretty funny shit. i can understand why their panties get so twisted over "the communist manifesto," but c'mon, keynes? obviously SOMEBODY in the republican party has been reading it, cuz they don't seem to have too much of a problem with exploding budget deficits during the dubya years.... a time dominated by a republican president, republican senate, republican congress, a majority of republican governors, a republican supreme court, etc.


01 June 2005

portrait of the nihilist as a young man...
anyone who spends three minutes listening to one of my political rants knows that i think just about every problem can be solved by just tearing everything down and starting all over. i call it the "let it break" theory - i think certain institutions are so thoroughly rotten that we should just LET them spin out of control and self-destruct.
so anyway, i happened to have visited my mom's house last weekend and stumbled across an old floppy disk full of writing from my high school days. one of the files was a column i wrote for the school paper attacking the student council (and the student v.p., coincidentally, happened to be a good friend, billy milliken)....anyway, my article read like a young lenin-in-training...

"Maybe the only reason for having student council is facilitate dances and fundraisers. Then the question is raised. Do we then even need student government? The answer would have to be no! If silly little school-spirit activities are the sole reason for retaining a student council, than why keep it at all.
If we can't devise a real student government, than we might as well just get rid of it all together. The only job they've accomplished so far has been coordinating activities. All of the many student clubs in our school could easily take over those responsibilities. That would actually be better because it could facilitate the input of many more students than with the student council. Under my system, more kids would have a say in more school-wide activities.
...It is time for Betty and Bill, and the student body as a whole to make some tough decisions. Do we want to stand up to the administration? If we don't even try, student council will have signed it's own death warrant. At that point the entire system of student government should be seriously brought into question."

....i love the part about "signing its own death warrant." i can totally see myself writing that. what a jackass.


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