30 July 2005

big idea of the week...
i went to the beach friday morning and stayed out there for about 4 hours or so. i made sure to wear suntan lotion, but i missed a few spots and now have bright pink spots on my wrists and ankles where i didn't distribute said suntan lotion evenly. but that gave me a great business idea.... i would like to buy a couple of these sunless tanning booths that spray a bronzer on you from all different angles with multiple nozzles. i'd buy these and outfit them to spray on suntan lotion, and then put them at public beaches. beachgoers would pay a couple bucks for a full-body suncreening that is guaranteed to cover every nook and cranny. it would be soooo much easier than trying to put the lotion on while you're already in the sand. now you better not steal my idea!


28 July 2005

this week it was reported that al qaeda was considering trying to sell poisoned cocaine on american streets. apparently the cartels said "no gracias" on the grounds that it would be bad for business. the more i think about it, though, i don't think even the threat of terrroist death would keep a crackhead from hitting the pipe!

imagine the irony if America's Super-Villian #1 Osama was the man who finally won the war on drugs for us.

hoppo called me up yesterday and made me promise i'd take down my post about his blog. i think i called it "ignorant." i'm not taking it down, but just for the record, hoppo is an extremely enlightened young man. he's like a young plato (minus the buggery, of course).
oh, and while i'm at it... if any of my millions of readers are looking to hire someone (or know of a good job opening), let me know. hoppo is gainfully unemployed right now and while i like my suggestions (go on welfare, get food stamps, cash in on unemployment), i think he actually IS looking for work.....

and no, crab jockey is not something he's interested in.


27 July 2005

read this interview with the leader of the "womyn's prohibition league." this is pulitzer-worthy journalism, if you ask me.


25 July 2005

here's a long list of seriously cool links. all kinds of random cool stuff is there.


24 July 2005

my boy hoppo has a blog now, in addition to his regular website at johnhopkinz.com. here's his blog, john's studio. and yes, it's some ignorant shit. that's why he's hoppo. (in my best "human traffic" voice...) nice one brotha!
here's a pic...

sorry for the lack of updates lately. things have been a bit on the hectic side. di had her bridal shower and bachelorette party yesterday. 10 girls hanging out and getting silly together was too much for me to handle, so i high-tailed it outta the house.
luckily, jay (whose fiancee sharon was at di's party) was up for hanging out. we hit the beach for a couple hours. went to narragansett town beach and was really blown away with how nice of a beach it is. his mom hooked us up with the resident passes you need to get in free, so it worked out great.
jay's mom and aunt fed us and then we headed over to his friend greg's beach condo near scarborough beach a few minutes away. plenty of booze-filled madness there... especially when we all got kicked out of some divey beach bar place. hilarious.
tomorrow, i think di's friend alexandra and i are going to hit up block island for the day. her and di are flying down to new orleans in a couple days for a mini-vacation, so di has to work all day and can't go. oh well.


22 July 2005

eagles update...
T.O. and his agent are still angling for a new contract. the latest scuttle has been that T.O. and his agent are demanding a trade.... i personally like eagles g.m. joe banner's comment on what it's like dealing with T.O. and rosenhouse... "'If we were dealing with somebody who was looking at this logically and was going to come to a common-sense conclusion, you'd say [he'll report to camp on time],' Banner said. 'But you're dealing with two people here who, frankly, don't think in common-sense terms. 'Anything can happen. They're not going to necessarily do what makes sense.'"

so i pretty much picked out the tuxedoes for the wedding. we're going to go with a classic look. none of this fancy 5-button jobs or pastel colors. we're going to wear single-breasted jackets with shawl lapels (the curved ones without notches), black bow-ties, wing-collared shirts, and cumberbunds. here's how i think we'll look...


21 July 2005

i went to a tux shop yesterday and was hit with a lot of questions i had no idea how to answer.... bow tie or regular tie? white or off-white shirt? what color tie? what type of jacket lapel? cumberbund or not?
so far i'm leaning toward a jacket with a shawl lapel (the curved type of lapel without the points sticking out, like james bond would wear.). i still don't know if we should do bow ties or not. bow ties are more classic looking, but a nice wide tie with a windsor knot looks good. i think we'll go for the vest and cumerbund, too. as classic a style as possible.

here's another eye-opener: practically every known suicide bomber ("suiciders" as bush calls 'em) of the past 20 years has blown him or herself up for one main reason: out of anger at a foreign power's military occupation of his or her homeland. unfortunately, it's become taboo to talk about things like this in american discourse, but you can read here about what researchers have discovered about terrorists.

Meet the people of gaza...

in the next two weeks the israeli government will forcibly evacuate thousands of right-wing israeli "settlers" from gaza. these people aren't likely to leave willingly. expect some serious israeli on israeli violence.
here's what's really going on in gaza.


19 July 2005

i've been diggin on tons o' funk lately. i stumbled a jazz band leader named lou donaldson who ventured into some really funkity music in the 70s. he also had probably the baddest-assed album title ever...


16 July 2005

lately i've been perplexed by the question of who invented the biohazard symbol. a few days ago i was reminiscing about a job i had the summer after senior year of high school at the great valley rehabilitation hospital. i worked as a "maintenance associate"...OK, i was a janitor in a hospital for old people on their way out (and a few poor teenagers and kids who got royally fucked up in car crashes. ah. .. the ole BTU...brain trauma unit. what an uplifting part of my day it was to visit that part of the hospital. anyway... i sometime wonder who it was that came up with the "biohazard" logo, since we'd always be dealign with trash bags that carried that log. it turns out it was a u.s. government scientest named charles baldwin. good job, charles!

i sometimes have these conversations in my head where i try to figure out something using only the logic and specific information already in my head. basically... i "talk" to myself in my head. i like to think of it more as mental gymnastics than a symptom of schizophrenia. anyway... some asshole broke into di and my (mine? our? ours?) apartment about six months ago. this piece of living, breathing shit only got away with a dell laptop. not a HUGE loss. it left more of a violated feeling than any financial pain. anyway... everyone suggests getting renter's insurance. i thought about it, but i always tried to do some mental math to figure out the probability of my house burning down or everything i own being stolen. accoridng to anxietyculture.com there's only a small chance that my shit will get stolen. ergo, the only the people who should be hoping i get renter's insurance are the soulless muthas in hartford.


15 July 2005

wedding update...
di and i did the tasting menu yesterday for the reception. the caterer (via roma) gave us an absolutely huge amount of food to sample. i was expected a little doggie back-type thing. this was two huge aluminum buffet trays full of stuff. here's what i think we chose...
veal marsala
dijon chicken
(each person gets to choose)

grilled vegetables and roasted potatoes
gemelli pasta with pink vodka sauce
caesar salad
cannolli for desert (di was a little reluctant to go with the cannolli, but hopefully she'll play nice.)

a few weeks ago i happened to read a about a survey of readers that found that male readers tend not to read novels by woman authors. i mentioned to di that i haven't read that many myself, and she got really mad at me. i don't think i conciously avoid woman authors, but iwas already in the dog house. so yesterday i finished reading "sex, drugs and cocoa puffs" by chuck klosterman.... and she made me promise i'd read a novel by a woman author.

i think this one looks like a good bet...


14 July 2005

maybe the biggest asshole of all time? that would have to be rick santorum, the pennsylvania senator, who suggested that the catholic clergy sex scandals were caused by boston's overall sexual wickedness. frankly, if boston is any more perverted than pennsylvania, i've never noticed. but anyway, you know some people hate you when you can google yourself and get this. (don't click on link if you just ate lunch.)

i lost my coffee mug! BOLO BOLO!
not just any old mug. i've had the same travel mug for like five years ago and bring it with me to work EVERY day. it was bad-ass...had that chrome look with a black cap. very Al Davis.
now i'm stuck using dionne's backup mug...which is this sparkly, baby blue job with angel wings and glitter all over it.


13 July 2005

beer of the week...
i've really been slacking in my beer tasting lately. but i thought i'd return to one of my standbys, probably my ultimate "desert island" beer -- Duvel. it's yet another masterful belgian beer that packs a lot of flavor. the brewers obviously use quite a bit of belgian candi sugar to get the beer's characteristic sweetness. they also use pilsner malt for a beautiful golden color and saaz hops (which are also typical of czech pilseners) for bittering. there's this wonderfully addictive sweetness to this beer, though, that completely masks the 8.7 ABV. be careful. duvel means "devil" in flemish, and this beer has a reputation for luring you in with its easy-drinking flavor and then walloping you with alcohol.

a friend of dionne's was looking for the peter pan bus line webpage and accidentally stumbled aross this monstrosity.


12 July 2005

amid all of tonight's technical troubles, things got so bad that i had to call up bob, our composing director to come in and help me send the raw data files to the printing press. bob has been at our paper for like 55 years (i think he once told me started out as an apprentice at like 14 or something). he's been through it all. basically watched the newspaper press evolve straight from gutenberg to the "space age" as he puts it. here i am, a young schmuck, waking him up at like midnight and calling him in. he was a good, good sport about it. we need to cue the old budweiser "real american heroes" music.

tonight was a WAAAAAY stressful night at work. my copy-editor (my! ha!) is on vacation for the week, so i'm alone at night putting the paper out. stressful shit. then at like 10:45 p.m. the phone rings. i pick it up. on the other end, a guy asks if this is the newsroom, then asks me "do you happen to know what day princess di died?" i'm calm on the exterior. but on the inside, i'm thinking "I HAVE FOUR FUCKING WIDE OPEN PAGES TO LAY OUT. NUMEROUS HEDLINES AND CUTLINES, OBITUARIES TO EDIT AND HE WANTS TO KNOW WHAT FUCKING DAY PRINCESS DI DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

fortunately for him i have good phone skills. i recommended he call the reference desk of the library.


10 July 2005

here's a quick question for all you hospitality industry workers...
why the hell can't restaurants integrate their bar tabs with their dinner tabs. whenever di and i go out on a saturday night and have to wait for a table, we usually saddle up to the bar and order some cocktails. then our table is ready and we always have to settle the bar tab then and there, before going and sitting down for dinner. why don't more restaurants just transfer the bar tab into the dinner tab? with today's restaurant software, it shouldn't be that tough. and yeah, bartenders need to get tipped, but it seems like the dinner tab credit card slip should just include a tip line for the bartender. if i'm elected to high office, this will be one of the first things i do (right after i imprison the wealthy elite and consolidate military power and the secret police through purges).


09 July 2005

work has been seriously stressful lately. don, my handy assistant(ha!), has been on vacation all week. so i'm basically putting the paper out by myself each night. the paper is woefully understaffed nowadays, so a lot of my time is being sucked up answering phones, dealing with readers and funeral directors looking for obits and special advertising sections and all kinds of things other than just the core of my job. it has its fun moments, though.

the other night we led with a story about how drug dealers are now using cell phones to take orders and then delivering themselves, rathering than standing on street corners. we ran a HUGE banner headline: DIAL 9 FOR DRUGS across the top. i think i blew it out to like 120 pt type, which most papers would only use to announce something like a presidential assassination or nuclear war.


08 July 2005

sorry for all the typos, folks. ii tend to rush when i'm blogging. must...........slow...............down.

my quickie thoughts on the london bombings...
1. the american media's over-the-top reactions to the attack show just how valuable life in the west is... and how cheap it comes everywhere else.
as juan cole puts it... london's thursday is just like EVERY day in iraq. not to mention darfur and to a lesser-extent the west bank. where's the outrage when american bombers kill innocent civilians in afghanistan? (which happened only a few days ago.)

2. it's not fun to say this, but the horrible state of our education system and lack of informative public discourse have caused this country to devolve into a culture based on unreflective and unthinking knee-jerk reaction. most people still don't know that al qaeda (and its compatriots) are motivated by the israeli apartheid of west bank and the presence of western troops in the middle east and the dominance of the middle east by western capitalists. yet there's no talk ANYWHERE of what we can do to stop the recrutment of new terrorists, just this blind assumption in a static number of "barbaric terrorists that we will chase down." the truth is that the number of terrorists is dynamic and somewhat based on the actions our government takes.

3. we are a weak nation in the face of adversity. do you really think people in YOUR city would be as calm if four bombs went off? we have come to define our world by the precautions we think we can take. yet if terrorists want to strike, they'll ALWAYS be able to strike, whether we plan ahead or not. there is no 100% guarantee of safety. 50 people died in london yesterday. los angeles has more than 50 murders per month and hurricane dennis could very likely kill FAR MORE than 50 people in the next couple days. our paper ran a story yesterday that quoted a boston commuter saying she was nervous about takign the train to work and would rather drive. she's FAR, FAR, FAR more likely to be killed driving to work than be killed by a terror bombing. this is EXACTLY the kind of thinking that terrorists hope to plant in our minds.


07 July 2005

well, this morning came and went and i wasn't exactly tom mesereau in the courtroom. i was more like jacko on one of the days he didn't show up in court. 8 a.m. is too early for a schlub who works til 12:30 in the morning most days.


06 July 2005

i get to go to court tomorrow. yipee! no seriously, i'm excited. i haven't been to court (as a defendant/plaintiff) in quite a while (at least not since a youthful indiscretion that features lots of empty cans of "milwaukee's best."). anyway, i'm scheduled to fight my little $35 parking ticket tomorrow in providence municipal court. i'm so excited. i can't wait to bust out my tom mesereau-style defense. i plan to call numerous expert witnesses. and that meter maid is in for a character assassination like she's NEVER SEEN!!!! if we can't get the jury sequestered on this one, we may be requesting a change of venue. i hear aruba has a wonderful judicial system this time of year.
and when all else fails... "I'll PUT THE SYSTEM ON TRIAL!!!"

a bunch of right-wing talk radio hacks are going on a "truth tour" of iraq to tell america it's side of the story. yeah, the new york times is ostensibly has a mushy, weak-kneed, neo-liberal POV... and yes the washington post and la times and most other major papers have written cynical stories about iraq... but i still have a hard time swallowing the right-wing line that they're being silenced. the president is on TV every day giving stump speeches (although never actually taking questions) and conservatives are so dominant in washignton right now that their rhetoric is INESCAPABLE. they're not voices in the wilderness anymore.
but anyway, i think it's either laughably naive or incredibly mendacious for a bunch of orange county republicans to paratroop into the green zone and suddenly think they're goddamn edward r. murrow. do these hacks really think average iraqis will validate their own narrow, western-centered ideology? here's an excerpt...

"Morgan, a former television reporter, said she and the others are tired of 'hotel journalists' from 'the mainstream media' who 'sit around in a hotel bar' cribbing other writers' quotes and clips 'so they don’t have to go out and cover the war.'

'We are not going to engage in hotel journalism,' she said.

'If that's what they are going to do, than my hat would be off to them, but that would mean they would have to go around, un-embedded, without military escort,' Jamail who runs a Web blog and has written for the BBC, Asia Times and The Nation, said. 'That would mean talking to ordinary Iraqis.'"


05 July 2005

here's a collection of old song samples from nintendo games. those songs sound so OOOOOOLD now.


04 July 2005

i just added "death in gaza" to my netflix queue. it looks promising. apparently one of the filmmakers was killed by the idf while it was still being made. anyone out there who's seen it should post a mini-review int eh comments box. i want to know if it's as good as i suspect it is.

i once heard someone describe electro-funk as the single coolest musical genre of all time. i think that's about right. i've always dug parliament and bootsy collins, but for the real deal electro sound, you gotta check out some zapp and roger. they're responsible for a few songs like "so ruff, so ruff" and "more bounce to the ounce" that have been sampled again and again. anway, i love every track they do because it's so simple, yet so so funky. throw in a big over-the-top clap beat, big bass drum, simple bass line, wah guitar and some "talk box" vocals and you've got the sound down. bad-ass! i also recommend "cutie pie" by the band one way. anyway, here's a funk-tastic picture (peep the chest hair!) of roger troutman (of zapp and roger) with the band....

on saturday di and i went to a park in jamestown, an island right at the mouth of narragansett bay that opens out onto the ocean. the park didn't have beaches per se, but rocky cliffs and ledges and a lighthouse. it was nice. i did climb down the rocks, but the waves threatened to impale me on something jagged, so i didn't really mess around too much along the water. here's a pic (i think some day we'll miss rhode island terribly if we do move away.)...


02 July 2005

i'm sure many of mario's fishbowl's customers will miss their iron city (the ultimate hometown pittsburgh beer) if pittsburgh brewing co. goes under. apparently the company is in dire financial straits..

here's an absolutely fascinating tour of The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit. it's a great, great site that catelogues detroit's great old buildings that are either decaying or completely gone. check out this picture of the now-closed Lennox Hotel. nice, huh?


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