Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy birthday Olivia Newton John

I don't have a ton to say about Olivia, I'm not a huge fan. But I do appreciate her voice.

She's been recording for nearly 40 years, and here are some of my favorites. First, the opening song to the movie Sordid Lives. "Open up a box of Cracker Jacks, you can get a real shitty prize."


And here's one of her earliest hits, "Please Mister Please."


I really liked this early 80s song from her movie Two of a Kind, her reunion with Grease costar John Travolta. The movie was not a hit, but the song did okay.


Speaking of Grease, here is that movie's Oscar nominated original song, "Hopelessly Devoted to You."


And finally, from the camp classic Xanadu, the title track.

Song of the day: "I Love College"

By Asher Roth. This is a few months old, but I just downloaded the track and I've heard it a few times during the past week's commutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Very urgent


(click to embiggen--nothing bad will happen)

Dear David Radebe,

I don't think I'm going to open your attachment.

Nice try though!

Flashback song: "Digging Your Scene"

The Blow Monkeys, circa 1986. It made it to the Billboard Top 20 in the US.

When I grow up, I want to be as rude as him

He is the Rude Pundit. His blog is here. And he says so much, so eloquently:

A Note on an Absence of Hysteria Regarding a Possible Terrorism Plot:
So there's this thing that you don't want to google called "scrotal infusion." (No, really, don't google it.) There's a couple of reasons why men will use a needle, a tube, and saline solution to inflate their nutsacks to cantaloupe-sized proportions. For some, it is a sexual thing, in the same way that a gerbil tickling one's prostate is. For others, it's a temporary way of making one look like one has huge-ass balls. (You googled it, didn't you? Told you.) Think about it: for a good couple of hours, a man with a tiny scrotum can look like he's sportin' grapefruits in his pants.

The Bush administration was, in many ways, one prolonged scrotal infusion. Those motherfuckers would do anything to make them look like they had the biggest balls in the room, no matter how much it was just cosmetic. How many times did we have to deal with Ashcroft, Ridge, or Chertoff making a statement to the press about whatever group of psychotics or losers or loudmouths they had rounded up in order to flog the latest "terror plot"? The Homeland Security website under Chertoff was overflowing with this fearmongering kind of shit. Shove the needle in and let the saline flow. Holy shit, what elephantine nuts. People with stones that gargantuan must be able to protect us, just by throwing their balls in the way.

So let's end this week on a semi-positive note amid the chaos of Iran, the clusterfuck of Afghanistan, and the petulance of Senate Finance Committee Republicans: When arrests were made in the seemingly way-closer-to-real terrorist plot involving Najibullah Zazi and others, there was no press conference involving Janet Napolitano or Eric Holder. (Holder did express his concerns for a 60 Minutes interview.) There was no federal trumpeting of some great and mighty effort to smash the terrorists who wanna kill us all. There were simply press releases about actions taken by the FBI and the Department of Justice. No "let's all go batshit paranoid" dramatics. The media takes care of that part, anyways.

To put it simply, if you're confident in the balls you have, you don't need to disguise them.

Once upon a time...

Johnny Depp had "Winona Forever" tattooed on his arm.

It now says "Wino Forever"... I hope Amy Winehouse doesn't break his heart too.

Oh hell no

"By calling Peeps garbage, you do risk saying Jesus Christ is garbage."--some lawyer on the Colbert Report

This story is chock full of stupid. So watch it. Especially for the "Easter Under Attack" graphic.

Easter Under Attack - Peeps Display
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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Today is a birthday melange

This is a day with a lot of birthdays, but no important birthdays. Many that I have some passing affection for. But I just can't see myself focusing on Michael Douglas.

Certainly not Will Smith.

Catherine Zeta Jones? I mean, she was good in Chicago, but otherwise... meh.

So today, a little bit each for a variety pack.

Painter Mark Rothko whose paintings are easy to dismiss as "big rectangles" but if you look at the detail and the texture, it's amazing. I'm sure a professional painter might be able to make a credible knock-off, but I sure as shit couldn't.


Here's Catherine Zeta Jones's Oscar winning performance.


And here's Michael Douglas's Oscar winning performance.


Here is one of Will Smith's whitest performances.


Here is Hal Sparks in Spiderman 2 (dubbed in Japanese).


Here's Mark Hamill in recent voice work as The Joker.


And Heather Locklear, Barbara Walters, Tate Donovan, Michael Madsen and Cheryl Tiegs, I'll send you off with Santigold.

I don't know what I think



Next up: R.E.M. does showtunes?

Song of the day: "All Babes Are Wolves"

By Spinnerette. Here's the regular version


And an acoustic version

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The view from my commute home


I'm trying to do more posts that aren't just youtube clips. I took a different bus home that came with a bit of a walk, but the weather's been great, and I need to exercise. This, um, grassy stuff, looked pretty waving in the "magic light" of dusk.

House that I used to live in, part 5

I can't get my dad's old house on street view--the house his parents raised a family in, on NE 165th St of North Miami Beach. I think that pocket is still nice, but I can't confirm that. While I didn't live there, I certainly spent a lot of time with my Grandparents. Ah well.

A place I did live, nearly 40 years ago, is this cool little place in St. Petersburg, Florida. After his service in Vietnam, my dad studied engineering at USF and we lived in this little 2-bedroom.


Dad and I drove by it a few years ago, and the whole neighborhood looks cute.

The best part of this house is this--it was the center of attention! The street wrapped around on itself, and our house sat smack in the middle of that wrap. The big side yards worked really well as a playground.


And I don't remember any specifics about Biff Burger, but I remember the name. Seems like the place we'd go, when we went out for burgers.

Based on this, FOX & Friends will totally want the Post Office to run healthcare

Previously on the Rebel Agenda I lamented the lack of basic math skills among the dolts on FOX & Friends. They were attempting to make a point about governmental efficiencies, and using the price of a first class stamp as the standard. Since the first class stamp had "doubled" since 1991, there were no efficiencies to be had. Of course, the price hadn't doubled. (See earlier post.)

But new numbers are out. And they are meaningful. They directly compare the increase in costs paid for insurance premiums from 1999 to 2009 (so we're dealing with a new range of dates, pay attention).

If you are lucky enough to have access to health insurance (and not everyone does--after your exorbitantly expense C.O.B.R.A. option runs out, you might be fucked, especially if you are unemployed... like a lot of people these days) the costs of your premiums have more than doubled in 10 years. This doesn't even account for increase co-payments, Rx fees, out-of-pocket levels and reduced maximum benefits.

While the cost of a first class stamp increased 33% over that same period. And it still only takes 1 stamp to get a letter from Key West, FL to Fairbanks, AK, or from Augusta ME to Paauhau HI (which is farther than FL/AK). Here's a chart:

I am waiting for them to update us with their pro-Post Office opinions.

CUE: CRICKET CHIRPS

I didn't know this is around the corner from me


Unfortunately I think Forever a Lady is no longer a business. But how long was that there? I've been living in the same house since January 2001.

I am not observant.

Today's celebrity look-a-like


Married With Children's Peg Bundy.

Someone went to Nigeria and all I got was a lousy $90,000

Dear Customer!
We have been waiting for you to contact us for your Confirmable Package that is registered with us for shipping to your residential location. We had thought that your sender gave you our contact details. It may interest you to know that a letter is also added to your package. However, we cannot quote it's content to you via email for privacy reasons. We understand that the content of your package itself is a Bank Draft worth of $90,000.00 USD. As you know, FedEx do not ship money in CASH or in CHEQUES but Bank Drafts are shippable.

The package is registered with us for mailing by your colleague as claimed, and your colleague explained that he is from the United States but he is here in Nigeria for a three (3) months Surveying Project as he works with a construction firm in the Nigeria West Africa We are sending you this email because your package is been registered on a Special Order. What you have to do now, is to contact our Delivery Department for immediate dispatchment of your package to your residencial address. Note that as soon as our Delivery Team confirms your informations, it will take only one working day (24 hours)for your package to arrive it designated destination.

For your information, the VAT & Shipping charges as well as Insurance fees have been paid by your colleague before your package was registered. Note that the payment that is made on the Insurance, Premium & Clearance Certificates, are to certify that the Bank Draft is not a Drug Affiliated Fund (DAF) neither is it funds to sponsor Terrorism in your country. This will help you avoid any form of query from the Monetary Authority of your country. However, you will have to pay a sum of Ј122 which is equivalent to $200 USD to the Fedex Delivery Department being full payment for Security Keeping Fee of the FedEx company as stated in our privacy terms & condition page.

Also be informed that your colleague wished to pay for the Security Keeping charges, but we do not accept such payment considering the facts that all items & packages that is registered with us have a time limitation and we cannot accept payment having known not when you will be picking up the package or even responding to us.

So we cannot take the risk to have accepted such payment incase of any possible demurrage. Kindly note that your colleague did not leave us with any further information. We hope that you respond to us as soon as possible because if you fail to respond until the expiry date of the foremost package, we may refer the package to the Nigeria Commission for Welfare as the package do not have a return address. Kindly contact the delivery department (FedEx Delivery Post) with the details given below:

Contact Person:
Roger Simon weston,
Email: fedex.customercare@i12.com
phone number: +(234)7032495458

Kindly complete the below form and send it to the email address given above. This is mandatory to reconfirm your Postal address and telephone numbers.

FULL NAMES:
TELEPHONE:
POSTAL ADDRESS:
CITY:
STATE:

As soon as your details are received, our delivery team will give you the neccessary payment procedure so that you can effect the payment for the SecurityKeeping Fees. As soon as they confirm your payment receipt of Ј122 GBP which is equivalent to $200USD, they will not hesitate to dispatch your package as well as the attahced letter to your residence. It usually takes 24 hours being an over night delivery service.

Note that we were not instructed to email you, but due to the high priority of your package we had to inform you as your sender did not leave us with his phone number because he stated that he just arrived England and he hasn't fix any phone yet. We indeed personally sealed your Bank Draft and we found your email contact in the attached letter as the recipient of the foremost package. Ensure to contact the delivery department with the email address given above and ensure to fill the above form as well to enable a successful reconfirmation.

Have A Wonderful Day.
Yours Faithfully,
Mr Frank Williams
Fedex Online Team Management.
All rights reserved. © 1995-2009 FedEx.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
This e-mail is only for the above addressees. It may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not an addressee you must not copy, distribute, disclose or use any of the information in it or any attachments.

I think it's a little early, but here is a bunch of 8-year olds covering Velvet Underground



And The Cure


And Survivor

Happy birthday Phil Hartman

You might remember him from such shows as Saturday Night Live or NewsRadio. But I will always remember him as Troy McClure, on a little show I like to call The Simpsons. Because that's the name of the show.

He also voiced Lionel Hutz on The Simpsons, appeared on Pee-Wee's Playhouse, and co-wrote Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.

His death more than 10 years ago still... sigh. Shit. Miss ya dude.

His era on SNL was among the show's high points: the wonderful Bonnie and Terry Turner, and mega-talented Jan Hooks, all from Atlanta's short-lived Tush sketch comedy show (built around Bill Tush, but stolen by these 3 and a few others), joined around the same time as Hartman.

Bonnie and Terry are funny. They went on to create Third Rock From the Sun and That 70s Show. I hope they have something lined up to cement their legacies, although I'm sure syndication money doesn't suck.

Jan Hooks was as versatile as Hartman, and after a few seasons together they were paired pretty often. Chris and I met Jan backstage at a k.d. lang show in Atlanta--it was a happy coincidence that, while we were too in awe of Jan to say "hi" a friend at lang's record label was able to help Hooks meet lang (she was too in awe of lang to say "hi") and helped us say hi to Hooks. Once we met, Chris and I proceeded to run through every favorite line of hers from Tush. It was a good night. It was said that Hooks and Hartman were "married on a different level" but since jealousy by his wife was a motivation in Hartman's death, I won't go any further.

But I miss Jan Hooks! Where the hell is she?! She's one of the reasons I have a 10-year rule--it's not that I object to pairings with a more-than 10-year age difference; it's that I object to Hollywood ignoring actresses who are older than 40. We'll get back to Jan next August, but for now, it's Phil's day.

Here's Troy McClure:




And here's Lionel Hutz (favorite quote: "that's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talking dude":



And a couple of clips from SNL:

This meme isn't getting old

The dancing along to "Single Ladies" meme. The football team from Glee takes a stab. It's part Field of Dreams, part Priscilla Queen of the Desert. And it's all Glee.

My favorite part was actually Puck talking trash on the football field: "no, I cleaned your pool, and then I slept with YOUR mother, in your bed... nice Star Wars sheets by the way."

My only complaint is that this episode makes me feel like I don't understand football rules. Is there really that much time before an extra-point kick? (Is that what they are called?)

Very happy to see Mike O'Malley in the Glee universe. I like him a lot.

Song of the day: "True Stories"

By Datarock. Here's what's cool: the lyrics are all Talking Heads song titles.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One talked about breaking the law, the other actually broke the law

ACORN filed suit in Maryland against two filmmakers who secretly recorded videos embarrassing to the agency, claiming the pair violated state law by taping their conversations without permission.

Details here. Not-so-instant karma's gonna get ya...

Everywhere but the Bronx


Image and details here.

The Westboro Baptist Church--you know, the divinely-inspired God Hates Fags peeps--are going to New York City. They will begin with a protest at the U.N. Their visit takes them outside Manhattan, to Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens (tee hee) as well.

But apparently they're not tough enough for the Bronx.

And no one goes to Staten Island. I mean, maybe God, but no one else.

Rachel on blue dog Democrats from Arkansas



She looks at a couple of Congresspeople from Arkansas to understand what might be driving their objections to healthcare reform (hint: it's not really a concern for their constituents). And you get some of this:

Two urban gardens on my commute


One on my way to work (above); one of my way home (below). Click either photo to embiggen. The above is super impressive given that it sits on lot that's about 6' by 6' at most, and faces onto MLK Drive, a busy street.



Nels, spread-eagle


He's the Guide Dog for the Blind trainee that my coworker is nurturing for his puppy year.

As you can see, he's still packing all his original equipment. He has some good genes, so there's speculation he may end up in stud service.

So all you (literal) bitches out there, the line forms over here.

Yeah, I have no idea


It has a dog (I think) so I approve. This is on SW 6th near Salmon, on the revitalized bus mall.

Dalai Lama and a terrorist fist jab?

What will FOX News make of this?

Take it from Tracy Morgan


Funny stuff here.

(h/t to Kassie)

Welcome comrades, to socialist Georgia

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Moultrie, and Johnny Isakson, R-Marietta, have asked this afternoon for President Obama to quickly declare a federal disaster in metro Atlanta and other North Georgia areas impacted by flooding this week.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has requested a major disaster declaration from the White House.
Details here.

Bitches, this is socialism. I thought government WAS the problem.

Seriously. How can the federal government get ANYTHING worth doing, done?

Chambliss, Isakson and Perdue need to ask State Farm, All-state, Farmer's and all the other insurance companies to kick it up a notch. That's the free market in action. Those people paid insurance premiums and now is your chance to shine!

So what if many of them didn't have flood insurance. They probably thought they did. Oops.

Or were renters with no insurance at all. Just like the people who can't afford health insurance. I believe the Chabliss/Isakson/Perdue plan for them is they should go fuck themselves.

There is no difference in needing the state to kick in and help these folks in what is legitimately a time of need, and the need for a public option for healthcare.

So if comrades Chambliss, Isakson and Perdue object to healthcare reform next week (which they will totally do), it isn't because they object to socialism. Socialism is totally convenient when they need to look like they care about a lot of constituents in quick manner. No, it's because they suck at the teat of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and have been told to object. Also they are party-line Republicans who couldn't possibly think independently. Ask Rush and he will confirm it.

Anyway, enjoy the socialism while you can!

Sophie in the sun


Check out her cool shades. Some really thoughtful person must have given her those. Wonder who...

Oh great, it's end of days...


Okay, so clearly Barack Hussein Obama IS the Anti-ChristTM. Here's the Sydney Opera House, under skies of blood.

And floods in Lilburn GA.!

What's next? Socialized medicine!

Get thee behind me Satan. And scratch just under my right shoulder. No down a little. There. Oooh yeah.

Happy anniversary

70 years ago today

Resist socialism

If you're in the Georgia floods, remember the free market will handle your clean up.

Don't take the socialist help of FEMA or any state agency. That is socialism. It's bad. Your Republican Senators will help you understand that.

Let your insurance company do all the work. They'll do it so much more efficiently, and your rates won't go up a bit.

Nor will your insurance company say "fuck it" and stop covering you altogether (cause that never. ever. happens.).

Don't have insurance? Then fuck off. Go live in your Cadillac, welfare queen. Sheesh.

Happy birthday Mary Kay Place

Yes, Bruce S. from New Jersey shares this birthday. And Jason Alexander too. But they both lack Emmys.

So I'll go with Mary Kay Place. I've actually shared an enthusiasm for Ms. Place with Chris for many years now. He is the man behind The Mary Kay Place Place (here)... wow, I thought they closed Geocities.

If you know MKP, it's most likely from The Big Chill--she was the one who wasn't Glenn Close and really wanted a baby. Recently she's been a regular on HBO's Big Love, and is in this summer's Julie & Julia (giving me a good reason to see it--is it still playing in 3-D?). In fact she's in 3 more movies that IMDB cites as 2009 releases, including It's Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.

But she's more than just a talented actress who works regularly but isn't well known. She's also an Emmy-winning actress who can sing, and who can write. I'm going to send you to the Mary Kay Place Place for the biography even though it appears to need an update (hint hint).

Here are some clips:





I'd forgotten this bit of dialog from The Big Chill (between Place and William Hurt) and I'm just howling here. It's early though.


She's really good in her few scenes of Sweet Home Alabama, as Reese Witherspoon's mother (she's in the trailer--it's like Where's Waldo?: Where's MKP?)


And she's great in the unsympathetic Mormom mom role in Latter Days--a movie I keep forgetting is actually good.


I'll leave you with a little more music from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.


PS: There are lots of clips of MKP on youtube, but also lots of Mary Kay representatives that want to help you Place an order. Happy hunting!

Song of the day: "Heavy Cross"

From the Gossip. Rock on!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The ATL

Click picture to embiggen.

(h/t to Jackie for sending along)

I'll take my fame in very small, almost bite size, pieces


Among the million useless uses of Twitter is Swear Bot--someone has programmed an application to look for swear words and autoreplies with a sassy response. And those sassy responses are provided by people like me: bored people who fancy themselves creative, possibly funny, certainly overflowing with smoldering sexuality or at least an excess amount of self esteem (all things considered).

You can track the various sassy responses here.

My response "You've got the rest of your life to be an asshole [user], take a night off" is stolen/adapted from the movie Lost Angels. But you've never seen Lost Angels, so pretend I didn't say that.

What's so American about competition?

Protect insurance company profits!

How often do you tend to your beard?

"Gov. and Mrs. Crist say they divide their time between his rented condo in downtown St. Petersburg, her home on tony Fisher Island in Miami, and the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee, where he typically lives during the week. It's unclear how much of that time is spent together."--Advocate.com

Hey, just cause she married him doesn't mean she wants to spend any time with him. Ick.

When the future ex-wife of Gov. Mark Sanford, Jenny, marries me (she's an heiress you know), I am sure we'll keep separate residences so as to, um, you know... uh... for the kids?

Just leave CC Bloom (my little nickname for Charlie--it's from Beaches) alone. Hypocrisy is hard and the closet is dark and scary.

Happy birthday Johnette Napolitano

She is NOT the Sec. of Homeland Security (that's Janet). She IS the lead singer of Concrete Blonde. I say "is" instead of "was" because I'm assuming that at some point here or there they'll play together.

The band came on the air with me back when (let's say 1988 or 1989) before a show in Atlanta. Two shows actually. The earlier show was all-ages. And while I was of legal drinking age, I found the very rare all-ages shows to be better because kids were starving for any live music. The energy was fantastic. AND there was an adult beverages area for me in the back of the club. The place in Buckhead--can't remember the name. Great show. And my very favorite part of the whole thing was that Johnette closed the gig with an acapella cover of "Words" by the Bee Gees. And I bet that 98% of the audience had no idea it was a Bee Gees song.

I saw her solo before my first Paul Weller show in the mid-90s down in San Francisco. She was good. My favorite part was her preface to playing "Joey" (a song I really like)--she said she was over the song for a while (it was their biggest hit, reaching #1 on the Modern Rock chart, and breaking into Billboard's Top 20), but fans wanted to hear it, and it bought her mom a house. Rock on girl!

I love Free, and many other tracks. Here's a smattering of her work with Concrete Blonde. I'll start with their song "Happy Birthday" a standard on any birthday "mix tapes" I make.








Here's the cover of "Words"

Belated happy birthday/underappreciated Nile Rodgers

Nile's birthday is the same as Becky's, which means he'll never be the most important birthday on Sept. 19. But he deserves something, especially since Chic has been nominated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a few times and folks seems to, um, freak out when they hear that. Which is a shame. As a founder of Chic, and as a producer of some of the biggest pop and rock of the 70s and 80s, you know Nile's work, whether you realize it or not. Or you are deaf. In which case, welcome (I just signed "welcome" in ASL).

How do I know it's a Nile Rodgers song? Listen for the bass line.

Here he is with Chic.


Sister Sledge with Niles behind the scenes.


Niles gave David Bowie the biggest hits of his career with the Let's Dance album.


He worked with a woman named Madonna.


A band called Duran Duran.


And I'll end with a band called INXS.


Have I made my point? Belated birthday wishes to Nile. Rock on dude!

Remember when FOX & Friends sneered about the Post Office

Because the price of stamps "doubled" from 1991 to today? (Actual increase? About 50%--far less than the average increase in insurance premiums from 2001 to today, so they are doing a much better job of cost containment than private insurance).

This, from Daily Kos (here), is worth sharing (warning: this person blogs like I do, which is to say somewhat carelessly, so there might be grammar issues, etc., but you can figure it out):

One of the central complaints against a so-called "public option", a mechanism by which Americans may optionally purchase health insurance via the government, as opposed to private corporations, is that private insurance companies could of course never compete fairly in the marketplace against a such an ultra-efficient juggernaut. This is of course the exact opposite of conservative thinking of the last three decades, in which the government could not possibly -- could not possibly, I say! -- do anything half as competently as our private corporations, which is why everything from Amtrak to the post office has had to fight for every last scrap of congressional support, and why Social Security should be privatized and run by the titans of Wall Street, and why large portions of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are reliant on private companies to the tune of so many billions of dollars that nobody is entirely sure how many billions it is, any more, and is incidentally why our brave American soldiers in Iraq risk electrocution when they step into the shower.

But never mind that, because if there is one thing that conservatism is truly expert at, it is telling you that anything in conservatism means the exact opposite of everything conservatism has been telling you it means for the last thirty years, and it all makes perfect sense, thank you very much, because that was yesterday and this is today, and conservatism will likely mean something else tomorrow, so don't get too comfortable with it. As such, we will happily believe that yes, everything from the Pentagon to our Social Security checks would be more efficiently run by private industry -- but there is no possible way private industry can compete with the efficiency of the federal government. And if you deduce some conflict between those statements it is possibly because you are a communist.

It did start me thinking, though. Private companies like UPS and FedEx compete perfectly well with the socialist front that is the United States Post Office. How could this be?

I don't have a good answer, but I wonder if they would compete even better with the government if they acted a little more like health insurance companies. The health insurance companies are operating at peak efficiency already -- we know that if they had to be any more efficient, via competition with a robust public plan, they simply couldn't function at all. So let us imagine what UPS would be like if subjected to the same masterful industry leadership.

First off, if health insurance companies ran the mail service you couldn't actually expect to send mail anywhere. You would have a list of addresses it was OK to send mail to, and if you wanted to send your packages anywhere else you'd have to deliver it your own damn self.

If health insurance companies ran the mail service, you wouldn't know what it would cost to mail a package, because nobody involved would be able to tell you, even if you spent the better part of a week on the phone with them. You would know what it cost you only after you received the bill for mailing it. This bill would come one month later, but additional charges would be added a month after that, more additions would come two months later, the total would be revised again in four months, and would be adjusted again after six months. If you want to complain, knock yourself out, but chances are you won't even remember what it was you mailed back in the summer of 2008 or whenever-that-was.

If health insurance companies ran the mail service, it would cost you money to mail a package, but it would also cost you money to not mail a package. That'd be the fee for possibly mailing a package, in the future, and it would go up by twenty percent every year under the "just because" clause of your contract.

If health insurance companies ran the mail service, your contract to have packages delivered would stand a chance of being revoked if you actually mailed one.

If health insurance companies ran the mail service, between twenty and forty percent of packages simply wouldn't arrive at their destination because delivering them wouldn't be cost effective, so bite us.

And your package delivery service wouldn't just idly sit by and send what you wanted them to send. They'd tell you want you wanted to send. Flowers are nice, but couldn't you just send a card? Cookies are a bit much, don't you think?

If health insurance companies ran the mail service, sometimes you'd ask to mail a package to your aunt in Philadelphia but instead you'd be told you had to mail it to her in Chicago, because Philadelphia would cost more. On the bright side, it'd be good for her to get out of the house more often.

Your aunt couldn't just get the package, in any case. That requires a separate form. No -- I mean this other form. And you need to fill it out this way, not this other way. And now it's two days late, so everything is canceled and we're taking your package, the one that we waited six months to deliver anyway. The cookies were stale, by the way, so try harder next time.

Of course, all this is nonsense, because you can't really make credible comparisons between delivering a package and providing a service that has responsibility for the health and welfare of every person in the country. Delivering packages is important.

Song of the day: "Sweet Dispositions"

New music from Temper Trap.

Yahoo!, emailing from a Hotmail account, awards me 2 million GBP

Sweet!

Subject: YAHOO BRITISH AWARD OF GBP£2.000.000.00
From: YAHOO PRO
We wish to congratulate you for being a winner of the sum of GBP£2,000,000.00 (Two Million Great British Pounds Only) Open the attachment file for more information.
Thanks,

And there's an attachment. Which I will not open.

If only this luck would carry over to tomorrow's Powerball.

Sigh.

Monday, September 21, 2009

They got the "old" part right

Robin Williams (7/21/51), has a movie coming out: Old Dogs. If I am following the commercials and the IMDB entry, his ex- is played by Kelly Preston (10/13/62).

Sigh.

If I had made the 10-year difference rule a 12-year difference rule, I'd have fewer complaints. Apparently Hollywood doesn't flinch at an 11-year difference. Or the idea that Kelly Preston had twins at the age of 40.

Here are some actresses who are more age appropriate for Robin Williams (assuming they adjust the age of the children appropriately):
Mare Winningham (5/16/59)
Rita Wilson (10/26/56)--she's in the movie, so it's not like they don't know about her
Isabella Rossellini (6/18/52)
Nastassia Kinski (1/24/61)
Mary Steenburgen (2/8/53)
Jobeth Williams (12/6/48)
Kathleen Turner (6/19/54)
Geena Davis (1/21/56)

They are all talented, and every one of them is hot enough to play Robin Williams's wife.

I won't work through the options for Kelly Preston since, well, if she's the star on whom things are contingent, there's no actual movie. Just saying.

Portland Farmer's Market (Wednesdays, South Park Blocks)

I love this picture that Leann posted to her blog (here).

I made orso with yellow squash yesterday and it was great. I'll hit the market on Weds.--they run Weds. hours through the end of October.

No, no it's not

"All pornography is homosexual pornography..."--Michael Schwartz, chief of staff for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

I don't know what adult video stores Schwartz is shopping at, but I can tell you that not all pornography is homosexual pornography.

Even if you count girl-on-girl scenes in straight porn, you're still only look at 75%, at most.

Okay, 82% if we're including trannie porn.

Oklahoma is either really lacking or really fun.

Intersection of Beverly & Fairfax in LA


ACORN Funded Prostitution Zone

Genius.

I am a, California? doctor!

Remember The Gathering Storm video from NOM? That inspired the dialog for this horror short, The Homosexuals.


Genius!

Lyric of the day

"How can someone inconsistent mess up so consistently?"

Modest Mouse, "I've Got it All (Most)"

Jane Krakowski, you rock!

Jane lost the Emmy yesterday, in a very competitive category. I don't begrudge Kristin Chenoweth her win. Anyone but Elizabeth Perkins was fine with me. But if you're not watching 30 Rock, you're missing her fearless portrayal of Jenna Maroney. If I were less lazy, I'd do a fan site for Jenna, because there are lots of pieces to her history buried in the posters in her dressing room, and odd references to things that she denies doing (like stealing a file from HR). Enjoy some highlights.



Here she is in her Tony winning role from the musical Nine.

This ruins it for everyone!

The National Enquirer, which has been a credible source for breaking scandals for some time now, is reporting that John Edwards is thisclose to admitting paternity to the bastard child of Reille Hunter (aka Lisa Jo Druck--her story is worth a read).

Among the allegations the Enquirer is making, is that Edwards promised, when his saint of a wife dies from her cancer, to marry Hunter "in a rooftop wedding in New York City, with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band." (Seriously.)

And I just know that someone (was it you?) already had his or her heart SET on this very dream wedding.

Wouldn't you be pissed? It's not like they registered for the same Mikasa pattern. This is a trademark wedding event and now no one can credibly do this combination of things.

In fact, even 2 of the 3 with a kinda similar 3rd will be suspect.
- No rooftop wedding in New York City with an appearance by the Wallflowers
- No courtyard wedding in New York City with an appearance by Sister Hazel
- No rooftop wedding in Chicago with an appearance by Rusted Root
- No penthouse wedding in Atlanta with an appearance by Black Crowes
- No lanai wedding in Lanai (see what I did there) with an appearance by Dave Matthews solo

You might be able to get by with a crooner, your Johnny Mathis, your Michael Buble, your Josh Groban. You might get by with an R&B type, a Mary J. Blige, an Al Green. But I think if it's a band that pot smokers are known to enjoy, they will just be off limits.

Until someone gets the nerve up to go balls out ironic and do the exact wedding.

Or until Elizabeth Edwards dies and John Edwards slips further into narcissistic cluelessness. Whichever comes first.

Emmy recap redux

I forgot about the Dr. Horrible segment. It was good. They should ask Joss Whedon to produce the Emmys. And the Oscars. And my birthday party. Pretty much everything, for like a year.

Happy birthday Ethan Coen

An interesting array of birthdays today, including Billy Murray and Jerry Bruckheimer (hey, the man produces some shit, but it's entertaining shit [at times]). But the Coen Brothers are fucking geniuses, there's no denying.

I'm reading their Wikipedia entry and it's a joint entry--there are no individual entries for Joel and Ethan. I don't know about you, but there's no way I could have worked with even the sister I get along with for 20+ years without needing a break. So good for them that they continue to have this abnormally normal kinship.

What can I say about my love for Coen Brothers movies? It's not guaranteed (I am not a fan of Burn After Reading, although there is a brilliant minute when it clearly is a Coen Brothers [or possibly Sam Raimi] movie that does make me happy). It can be fickle (I haven't seen Barton Fink in a while, but my esteem for it has diminished greatly--it seems pretentious now). But I love Miller's Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother..., and No Country for Old Men.

I love that they work with a recurring ensemble of actors, and they get great performances out of favorites like Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, John Turturro and Frances McDormand.

In no particular order, here are some clips.

Hudsucker Proxy



The Big Lebowski



Fargo



O Brother, Where Art There?



It was nice to read that they collaborated with Sam Raimi on his underappreciated A Simple Plan, which I recommend you rent if you haven't seen.

The legally-insane escaped convicted killer has been RE-captured

Which is good news.

But here's a fun piece of trivia: it wasn't his first escape.

Dear Washington State Dept. of Corrections: When you take your legally insane killers on their field trips to the fair, keep an eye on the ones with backpacks filled with clothes, ESPECIALLY if they have escaped before.

Hugs,
Rich

A quick review of last night's Emmys

Weak.

The good: Neil Patrick Harris was good, but not great. In fact, the extent to which he is responsible for some of the bits where he was trying to be entertaining (and he was prominently credited as a Producer last night) could push him into a lesser rating. For now I'll give him a B.

Also, 30 Rock's "Reunion" episode winning best comedy writing. Brilliant writing.


The bad: While I love the Daily Show (and I LOVE the Daily Show), Colbert has been better this past year. I would have been okay with them splitting the Emmys as they did last year, but both writing and variety show Emmys went to the Daily Show. By the way, when my complaint is that a show I love beat another show I love, I guess I should focus on...

The boring: For fuck sake, the "winner gets the best seat" crap was stupid when it started. And John and I were both taken aback when they started the bit, because had there actually been a contest to tell them "why you love TV more than anyone else" he and I would have been neck-and-neck to win. We both sat up--how did we miss that?! Anyway, they spent a good 6 to 8 minutes on her, and the show ran 5 minutes long. I wonder how they could have fixed that.

Best moment? Sadly it was 10 minutes in when Tina Fey invited everyone to revel in the time when everyone’s still a winner, and "Seth McFarlane’s only slightly drunk." It was downhill from there.

Flashback song: "Last Good Day of the Year"

Despite temps in the 90s this week, Autumn is here (today? tomorrow?), and that made me think of this song from Cousteau.

It's intentionally retro--very 1960s semi-jazz euro-pop (if you ask me), but it's from 2001.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Runner up quote of the day

"Never say never when there's the internet."--Sam, HBO's True Blood

RIP Crystal Lee Sutton


She was the inspiration for Norma Rae. Her website has details on her life (here):
“Management and others treated me as if I had leprosy,” said Crystal. She received threats and was finally fired from her job. But before she left, she took one final stand, filmed verbatim in the 1979 film Norma Rae. “I took a piece of cardboard and wrote the word UNION on it in big letters, got up on my work table, and slowly turned it around. The workers started cutting their machines off and giving me the victory sign. All of a sudden the plant was very quiet…”

Sutton was physically removed from the plant by police, but the result of her actions was staggering. The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) won the right to represent the workers at the plant and Sutton became an organizer for the union. In 1977, Sutton was awarded back wages and her job was reinstated by court order, although she chose to return to work for just two days. She subsequently became a speaker on behalf of the ACTWU and was profiled in interviews on Good Morning America, in The New York Times Magazine, and countless other national and international publications during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Quote of the day

On September 11, 2001, some three thousand Americans were killed by terrorists; our country has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to make sure it doesn't happen again. But that same year, and every year since then, some twenty thousand Americans died because they couldn't get health care. That doesn't happen in any other developed country. Hundreds of thousands of Americans go bankrupt every year because of medical bills. That doesn't happen in any other developed country, either.

From T. R. Reid's The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

Here's the thing: since he wrote that, newer statistics have been released. The number isn't around 20,000 per year, it's around 45,000 per year according to Harvard Medical School. That's more than one 9/11 per month, every year.

And when your elected representatives resist reform, it's because they are busy servicing their campaign donors from the insurance industry, not because they are concerned about people without insurance. And there are millions of Americans without insurance. And more join them every day. (And not because it's what the cool kids are doing.)

If you are wondering what Ming Na is up to...

The answer is this.


Coming soon to SyFy.

Happy birthday Erin, part 4

She and Greg make the best Christmas music compilations, every year. So here are some of my favorite Christmas tunes in return.

Bing Crosby


Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton


From the musical Mame


And this R-rated tune from The Hives & Cyndi Lauper

This is what happens when I watch the Food Network too much


This is mint, in ginger beer, in an ice cube tray.

It will be used 1) to make sorbet to put on top of grilled pineapple slices, and B) to chill a beverage called a Dark and Stormy (ginger beer, dark rum, some lime). The Dark and Stormy will be served at tonight's Emmy/Becky/John thing, along with the Calm Blue Ocean.

The contrast in drink names is unintentional, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.

Also there will be Root Beer Schnapps.

And my world-famous (among lesbians) queso dip.

Happy birthday Erin, part 3

Erin likes geeky things (which may or may not explain husband Greg). She really likes things like "binary days" (days with only 1s and 0s in the MM-DD-YY). She also likes sequential or repeated dates (like 09-09-09--I'm thinking that would have been a big one for her... I was home, on my couch, so I missed it).

Do you know how difficult it is to do something with these facts? ("Ta da, here's a date!" is really weak.)

But she also likes palindromes. And 3-time Grammy award winner "Weird Al" Yankovic does too. Here's a song entirely in palindromes.

Song of the day: "Be the One"

Another track from the new Jack Penate. Eric needs to get this so I can listen to it.

Happy birthday Erin, part 2

You know who else has a birthday today? That's right Sophia Loren. Also, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson (of "Nelson). Who knew? (The guy who does the big birthday list, apparently.)

Here they are, with brother Sam, doing one of their dad's hits.

Enjoy the harmonies.

Happy birthday Erin, part 1

So picking a birthday for the day was made really easy for me today since a friend told me, straight up, that she would be pissed if I didn't make her my birthday of the day. I can be, sometimes, an accommodating man. Sometimes.

Apparently this morning, I am that man.

I am also a man who had to look up the word accommodating because for some reason I didn't realize there are 2 Ms.

So to celebrate the birthday of Erin Leedy, we will start with a 1989 song from the band Wire.

Who?, she might ask? Them, I might answer: seminal British post-punk band.

Why?, she might ask?

Because the delightfully pop-py "Eardrum Buzz" features onomatopoeia (oh, by the way, do you know how nearly impossible that word is to type at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, before the coffee is ready?). And it's "kid-friendly" so Celia can sing along.

Erin likes onomatopoeia. And she likes daughter Celia, a musically precocious youth (from what I understand). Lyrics here:
No switch in this dark, but you search anyway
This is the night, here in the day
One thing remains perfectly clear
It's the buzz buzz buzz in the drum of the ear

Zee zee zee, zum zum
Buzz buzz, buzz buzz in the eardrum

Now you live in the world of the wave
And you scratch your name on the walls of the cave
Instincts never leave you perfectly clear
There's always a buzz buzz buzz in the drum of the ear

Marco Polo has lost his way
The Louisville Lip has nothing to say
One thing remains perfectly clear
The buzz buzz buzz in the drum of the ear

Custard Jack has lost his Mac
Captain Flash won't give it back
It seemed to them both perfectly clear
The buzz buzz buzz in the drum of the ear

Buffalo Bill, deprived of will
Chasing a hamburger down the hill
It seemed to him perfectly clear
The buzz buzz buzz in the drum of the ear

Adolf turned out very nice
Hannibal is afraid of mice
One thing remains perfectly clear
It's the buzz buzz buzz in the drum of the ear

Congratulations to Jared and Allison

They got married yesterday (I assume). I didn't go (but they got lovely matching iPhone battery extenders as consolation gifts, so no worries). This goes out to them: the Blue Nile's "Saturday Night."