Saturday, October 31, 2009

Look who kept me company

While I was cooking.

Happy birthday Barbara Bel Geddes


You see, Midge is named after Barbara's character in Vertigo. A movie I consider painfully over-rated. And since there are no scenes of her in that movie, and I'm not going to post videos of the rest of the movie, I'll settle for pictures of the very moody namesake, Midge.

So, um, happy birthday Barbara. Your spirit lives on at my house, in a moody, spoiled canine queen.

Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in Office Space 2


A love letter to Chase Utley

The most recent episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia--"The World Series Defense"--had me laughing my ass off. Watch it here. Or at Hulu. Or using OnDemand.

As amazing offer from Mayo C. Otis

Are you still looking for directories of US doctors or dentists? I have lots of US medical lists, let me know what you need and I will get you some more info, samples and a good price.

I think I'm good. Thanks for checking.

The phrase "hot tranny mess"...

...gets overused. But today, today, well, here's the thing: it's Deidre Hall's birthday, and she was Electro Woman on Sid & Marty Krofft's classic (cough) Electro Woman & Dynagirl. It is through the joy of Sid & Marty Krofft that I once had a little person (not sure if she was a midget or a dwarf) sit on my lap and sing "Baby Face" on live television (I've blocked out a lot of these details, so no follow up questions, please). Oh, and also, that theme song rocks.

So imagine my campy delight to discover that Cyndi Lauper did a version! In a costume! And it's Halloween. It's like the circle of life, if that involved me getting up early and looking at shit on Youtube and patting myself on the back for "writing."


Anyway, theme song. Original, and extra crispy:

Oh, and Deidre Hall's character was possessed, and also was killing people and moving them to a secret island, on the fantastic Days of Our Lives. So happy birthday D, and writers, please pass the bong.

Song of the day: "Runaway"

I am long overdue for some country music. This is Love and Theft.

And let's pretend this band is included based on their musical talents.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Further adventures in product naming

If you or someone you know was involved in the committee that came up with this name for Popeye's Fried Chicken's seasoning salt (paprika, salt, garlic and onion), then I salute you.

Cajun? Yes. It fits the theme of the restaurant.

Sparkle? HELLS YES! It has nothing whatsoever to do with the theme of the restaurant. Genius!

Flashback song: "Downtown Train"

On my way home my iPhone slipped from shuffle to sequential (I guess "alphabetical order") and I heard back-to-back covers of "Downtown Train" by Tom Waits; versions by Everything but the Girl and Patty Smyth. It was like they were covering two completely different songs. One of these things is not like the other.

The original, from 1985 (it takes a minute to kick in):

Everything but the Girl:

And Patty Smyth:

Or is it just me? Oh yeah, Rod Stewart covers it also:

I hate this cliche

Really, what's the next level for fashion? For fusion cuisine? For mime? For luxury hotels? For competitive Scrabble? (Okay that I could see, if you played blind-folded and with a timer... that might be cool. Also if you worked in paintball guns somehow. Fuck yeah!)

Next time you hear someone say that shit, tell them "no you're not, dumbass" from me.

Life's totally not fair, example #22,746

See, if life were fair, then Marvel's Create Your Own Superhero (here) would have existed back when I was like 14, and could have used it to populate a massive team of heroes of my personal design.

But life's not fair, so I had to make due with tracings from a book of John Byrne's art. So all my heroes stood with the exact same poses. Sigh.

Totally not fair. God hates me. Etc.

PS--I did not have any fun just whipping that character up while sitting at my desk and attempting to look busy. And if my boss is reading this, pay no attention to the time stamp. That's GMT or something, I'm sure.

Say cheese

The whale photo and this photo are both from photographer Tony Wu. I just checked out his website (here) and it's filled with incredible stuff. Go look. It's wholesome family entertainment. For a change.


(h/t to Towleroad, where I'm borrowing this image as well)

(Click to embiggen)

This is a sperm whale eating a giant squid. The squid is estimated to be 25 to 30 feet long. Nature is pretty fucking awesome sometimes.

Flashback song: "I'm Waiting for the Man"

It was a toss up between this and Lou Reed's "Dirty Boulevard." In (cough) honor of the Yankees winning the 2nd game of the World Series (look at me, knowledgeable on the biggest sporting event of the week). Here's the Velvet Underground, in a celebration of waiting for ones dealer. Or so I am told.

Walk it home...

Hadassah means "whore"

I don't have time for full indignation this morning, but are you fucking kidding me? Two of the esteemed Senators who vehemently oppose healthcare reforms (despite being from states that overwhelmingly support healthcare reform) are married to women who made money from companies that directly benefit if healthcare reform doesn't happen.

Joe Lieberman, you and your wife are fucking evil. What you are doing is despicable. (Note: Hadassah Lieberman was employed by Hill & Knowlton, a massive lobbying firm, working on behalf of clients in the healthcare industry; this work has never been disclosed. How do you say gigantic conflict of fucking interest in Yiddish?)

Evan Bayh, you and your creepy-looking family (they are just too blond) as well. Susan Bayh sits on the board of directors of Wellpoint Insurance. How do you say gigantic conflict of interest in Indiana?

Grrr. Fuck. I hate you all.

Quotes of the day

In no particular order:
"Attention must be paid to Tanisha, who has distinguished herself as the fiercest walker of the season. She can sell the hell out of clown pants."--Tom and Lorenzo at the fun and funny Project Rungay blog
"We can't have these terrorists in our prisons, we need that space for black guys who get caught with a joint."--Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report

Happy birthday Grace Slick

There are a handful of albums I associate with my mom, listening to them with her while she'd clean or iron my dad's shirts. Later, when the kids were old enough and she was "allowed" to work outside the house enough to have her own career, I played a couple of these albums when I'd clean the living room (okay, just the cast album to A Chorus Line, but that's not gay at all... "God I hope I get it, I hope I get it"). Now that I think about it, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, A Chorus Line... well, mystery solved. Dad you are off the hook.

Anyway, Jefferson Starship's Red Octopus was among those albums. And Grace Slick is a great example of how my life at 10 years old differed from my friends. No Tony Bennett or Doris Day in my house--that was my friends whose parents were 20 years older than my parents. "Stoney End" and "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and, of course "What I Did For Love." Blah blah blah, Grace has been rocking all my life, just listen.

Here's Grace, with Jefferson Airplane, on with the Smothers Brothers:

Here she is with Jefferson Starship, on a couple of their biggest hits:

I am actually going to limit the number of songs I post in part because I am avoiding some shit from the 80s that can best be described as shit, and in part because I'm still kinda sleepy. And Grace fucking Slick deserves better.

Rock on dude! Happy birthday!

Song of the day: "Eyes on the Prize"

By Eulogies

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pit Bulls and Parolees

A new program on Animal Planet, debuting Friday October 30th, details a program that rescues and rehabilitates pit bulls, the Villalobos Rescue Center; the director of the center helps rehabilitate some of society's cast-offs as well, by employing parolees at the center.

The director of the center, Tia Torres, is a friend of a friend (she wouldn't know me at all) so I'm asking you to watch for it this weekend on Animal Planet. Check you local listings (I used the little search function on my cable box and set it to record).

Do it! Do it! Do it! All the cools kids are.

Here's a news report on the center (this isn't from the show):

Running the gamut, from A to B

It's not the fault of the Phillies (but probably is of the Yankees) that the two teams in the World Series are within 100 miles of each other. If that. But I think it's a little retarded that it's called the World Series. I mean, what, Boston to San Diego, Seattle to Miami, and two cities in Canada? Woohoo.

When the US plays Brazil or Japan, we can call it the World Series.

Oh, hey, here's who's blocking confirmation of Surgeon General

Remember when they had the RNC convention last year, with the theme "Country First"? I guess now it's just "Fuck Y'all" or "Cunts First." Thanks guys! If you live in Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Kentucky, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas or Wyoming, call your Senator and tell him/her to quit fucking around on this. Fuckers.

I'm badgering MY Senators (and my Rep.) every week on this. And they're not the issue. So I am doing my part here.

Details here, from Dr. Nancy Snyderman on MSNBC.

"It's really clear corruption"

Glenn Greenwald + Rachel Maddow = unicorns and rainbows!

They discuss healthcare reform. I am giddy! Enjoy.

Flashback song: "Philadelphia Freedom"

In honor of the Phillies' win in the opening bases-ball game from the World Supergame last night. Go fight win!

Where's Regina?

Dr. Regina Benjamin is the nominee to be US Surgeon General. So far, no confirmation hearings. We're in an H1N1 crisis, and the US does not have a Surgeon General.

Rock on America, we know how to prioritize.

Let your Senators know how awesome this is. Thank them. I've sent Jeff Merkley a message every week for the last month. I have no sense that he's to blame, but ohmyfuckinggod, he's the guy I get to complain to. And Ron Wyden. Maybe if Ron skipped an MSNBC appearance or three, he could cajole the Senate into starting confirmations.

PS-the Senate totally needs to learn how to do more than one thing at a time.


Happy birthday Dan Castellaneta

He's the voice of Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Groundskeeper Willier, Mayor Quimby, Hans Moleman and Krusty the Clown. Hey hey! What else matters? He's won 4 Emmys for his voice-over work.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the best possible contribution to society after the guy who created those characters. Happy birthday dude! Rock one!

Song of the day: "How You Like Me Now?"

From The Heavy, clearly channeling Mr. James Brown.
The Heavy "How Ya Like Me Now"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flashback song: "The Passenger"

Becky's suggestion of Siouxsie Sioux for an 80s rock chick Barbie has me thinking of their music. Which brought me to their freaking sweet cover of "The Passenger." So first a little Iggy:

And then some Siouxsie and the Banshees:

I know you are, but what am I, Wasilla-style

Levi Johnson, on CBS' Early Show
"If she's going to go out there and say things to me, about me, I'm going to leak some things on her. I mean that's just how it is...There are some things that I have that are huge...If I really wanted to hurt [Sarah Palin] I could very easily. But I'm not gonna go that far."
Okay, unless he's talking about his penis (that is, the things he has that are huge [and balls I guess]), I'm finding this annoying. Just fucking say it boy. You sound like my younger sister, circa like 1981, threatening to get my older sister in trouble. (This isn't meant to reflect badly on either sister, I am saying my then 12-year old sister is what his ass sounds like today.)

And because the adult in the duo, Sarah Palin can't let a media opportunity go without sounding like a fucking idiot, she said this to anyone and everyone that would listen:
"CBS should be ashamed for continually providing a forum to propagate lies. Consider the source of the most recent attention-getting lies - those who would sell their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are likely to say and do anything for even more attention."
I will add this to the Sarah Palin Righteous Indignation Walk of Fame, after the "David Letterman raped her daughter with his mouth" complaint. It's a very long walk. And it's barely been 14 months that we've known her.

Morrissey health and fashion watch update!

Images borrowed from here.

A little busy there (the shirt, that is).

Is he trying to hide something? (See earlier post for that to make sense.)

Wait, it looks like Quentin Tarantino went on-stage instead (top right).

Nothing more to add to this

(h/t to Feministing here)
Wednesday Feminist Fuck You
Sorry, I just couldn't wait two whole days to say FUCK YOU to this quote:

"This dance itself was a successful event."
--West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marin Trujillo looks on the bright side after the brutal gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside of her high school's homecoming dance.

Ah-nold's hidden message

(h/t Towleroad)

Recently Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R, CA, like you didn't know that) was heckled by a someone at a Democratic fundraiser in San Francisco. "Kiss my gay ass" was the quote.

It's possible that the line was shouted by State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.

The Governor just vetoed an Ammiano-sponsored bill which was announced with this letter. I love adults!

Happy birthday Jane Alexander and Telma Hopkins

Today's a much better day for birthdays for me. Many good options, so next year I might borrow from the 28th when I need to do the 27th (shhh, don't tell the blog police).

For today we celebrate two classy ladies: Jane Alexander and Telma Hopkins.

People confuse them all the time (not really, just go with the bit) so here's a little trivia quiz for you:
A: A member of Dawn (later Tony Orlando and Dawn)
B: Won a Tony for The Great White Hope in 1967
C: Originally slated to play Bill Cosby's wife on TV's Cosby
D: Won Emmys for Warm Springs and Playing for Time
E: Starred on TV's Bosom Buddies as Isabelle
F: Starred on TV's Gimme a Break as Addy
G: Starred on TV's Family Matters as Rachel
H: Director of the National Endowment for the Arts during the (Bill) Clinton Administration
I: Nominated for 4 Oscars, including Testament and Kramer vs. Kramer

(Answers: really, you can't figure this out? Hopkins=A, C, E, F, G; Alexander=B, D, H, I)

Here's Hopkins on the Tony Orlando & Dawn variety show. She's the funny one. Bonus is Loretta Switt's awkward pose during introduction.

And here's Alexander talking about doing The Great White Hope with James Earl Jones on Broadway (spoiler alert, by the way).

Happy birthday ladies! Love ya both!

Next year: Annie Potts!

Perhaps they already have a Fred Schneider Ken doll

This is Sugar Daddy Ken from the new Palm Beach Barbie collection. Maybe a Fred doll gone awry, maybe not. Hmm...

Also, "sugar daddy"? Does he accompany Gold Digger Barbie? Or Trophy Wife Skipper? (Or Boi Toy Trent?)

Flashback song: "Middle of the Road"

Becky suggested some great additions to the Cyndi, Joan and Debbie dolls, including Cindy & Kate from B-52s (I would buy all four B-52s as dolls [not really, but a Fred Schneider Ken doll=awesome, and if he came with a grenade launcher or a unicorn, I wouldn't understand but I'd be impossibly happy]), and Siouxsie Sioux. But the most deserving, in my mind, was Chrissie Hynde. So here we go:

Newt + Kent = awesome story (surprisingly)

The usually disappointing Kent Jones accidentally ended up delivering an interesting story on Rachel Maddow's show yesterday (through no effort of his own). He was in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to cover George W. Bush's first public motivational speech, and ended up visiting a woman who was given, then had taken back, an entrepreneur of the year award on account of the fact that her small business includes naked dancing women. Details.

Republicans don't seem to like details, whether it's the qualifications of their Vice Presidential candidates, or the consistency of their message (we oppose Medicare, which we now are pretending to defend; I oppose anyone who has an adulterous affair, except when it's me [looking at you Mark Sanford, but also John Ensign, and hey, even Newt Gingrich himself]). Blah blah blah. Watch the story, it also involves pit-bulls!

Song of the day: "Lions"

By the Features. Dude sounds just like dude from that other band to me. (I know that's super helpful, it's early: singer sounds like guy from Maroon 5.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

80s ladies

Mattel is releasing 3 dolls celebrating great rock chicks from the early 1980s: Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett and Debbie Harry. Rock on!

They're a little spendy (more than $50 each), so I'll leave them to the true collectors and fans.  I mean, I love me some Cyndi, but not collectible doll love. Annie Lennox and Nona Hendryx, maybe. Sorry Cyndi. Details here.

(h/t Broadsheet)

This was inevitable

Flame on!

This is Adam Lambert's forthcoming album cover.

Or it's a hoax.

And if it's for reals, good for him. It's really... distinct.

And if it's a hoax, fun!

Either way, wow. I would not have gone in this direction. I guess I also will not actually ever be burdened with having to design my own album cover.

(h/t Towleroad)

How soon is...? Now!

Your latest Morrissey health update: he is planning to play Royal Albert Hall in London tonight.

I know what many of you are thinking. I am thinking the same thing. "What kind of shirt will he wear?"

I will let you know as soon as I hear. Thank god for Twitter.

I made a comic

My first attempt using the Create Your Own Comic tools that Marvel has here. There will be more, I am sure.

Very sure.

You can now claim your money

This mail was sent to you with respect to the resolution that was reached by the International Payment Summit (IPS) meeting in 2009 concerning the outstanding payment yet to be made to beneficiaries. The board through its research team finds out that many Banks are in possession of unclaimed money. Most of the unclaimed funds are as a result of some difficulties with Government entities and other monitoring bodies in getting their payment to them and misinformation from their agents.

It was then concluded that 500,000 Pound Sterling should be made available to every beneficiaries after due verification and clarification by the nominated paying banks here in United Kingdom.

This procedure as laid down by IPS has enable lots of claimant in getting their payment and I will advice you also seize the opportunity while it last. Endeavour to acquaint me with the following information as stated below through (DELETED) for immediate processing.

Full Name:
Tel. /Fax Numbers:
Country of Resident:

You can reach me directly for further information with respect to the aforementioned through +447024036606.

Daniel Stephenson
International Payment
Tel: +447024036606

Quote of the day

"We stand by the fabricated quote, because we know Obama thinks it anyway."--Rush Limbaugh, explaining why he believes made-up shit is still legitimate to report as fact, if it coincides with what he believes
As you might expect, I find this awesome. Because this allows me to "quote" Rush Limbaugh, using the exact same philosophical integrity:

  • "I am still using pain-killers."
  • "No, seriously, I am strung out on Oxycodone right this very minute."
  • "You have no idea how bad my addiction is. Next commercial break I am going to snort another one right off the control board in front of me and I don't care who watches."
  • "My thighs are really sweaty."
  • "Shit, I am out of pain-killers."

And scene. Thanks for the permission Rush. I stand by these because I know you're thinking them. I do.

Well, you might not be out of pain-killers yet. But you'll get there. Only users lose drugs.

Tips for Halloween costumes for little boys

(h/t to Towleroad)

How To Find A Masculine Halloween Costume For Your Effeminate Son

Let me try to figure this out

The bill produced by Max Baucus (D, MT) and the Finance Committee = no public option. This to appease his healthcare industry overlords.

Now that the Senate is moving forward with Harry Reid's (D, NV) version, and a public option, Max is all behind a public option. I wonder if he realizes that while healthcare lobbyists can give him a shitload of money, they can't all vote for him when he's up for re-election, and most Montana voters favor a public option?

Montana, please give Mr. Baucus a retirement soon. And Nevada voters, please do the same thing for Harry Reid. Maybe you guys can elect John Ensign's (R, NV) mistress's husband. He needs a job... or did Ensign actually find him one?

Apparently I've been eating fruit...

...with Jeff Bridges's character from Iron Man. Another K hole? I am way too old for that shit.

A co-worker received this "recommendation from a friend"

On a special recommendation,
It is exclusively along the gold coast that you are given an opportunity this day to own a property. This is a strategic policy of the government to bring-in more foreign investors. Being aware of the values of this exclusive sites, this will eventually attract more investors for a rapid urbanization and development. The gold coast here is a site blessed with much natural resources; especially gold. With this project, you are given the privilege and autonomy over a construction project of which you will also become a life time landlord. Hence forth, the legible beneficiary will be given this opportunity for the construction of a block of flats.

Our motive here is to guarantee your legibility. thus to this effect, we solicit a serious person to whom that task will be conferred to. Someone who will be available to visit the site at least once every year; someone with promotional abilities to attract investors; eventually this is also a lucrative action that will yield over five hundred thousand Euro for each block accomplished. Our main objective is to positively assure your satisfactions so that through this, more investors will be captured and in different domains. Please kindly inform us if you are not legible to these conditions, knowing that this privilege is first given to you. Thanks for knowing your interest.
Best regards,

Sir Bob.

Flashback song: "The Girl Who Waves At Trains"

This will help you flush DD from your ears. Saw them 20 years ago in NYC on one of the radio station junkets. With Kim and others, including the first appearance of Helen (at least in my comic book). Time flies.

Happy birthday Simon LeBon

Today is a weak day for birthdays for me. And I am lame. I am avoiding thinking about the talented Ruby Dee (there's too much there), and Roberto Benigni (aside from Life is Beautiful, is there enough there?). But Simon is easy: a few Duran Duran clips and out. So here we go.

And as with Thom Yorke a similar warning: here Simon LeBon is replaced with the much more general Duran Duran. Try to work through the pain and confusion. I will avoid doing this 4 other times in the year (if I can).

This song is 28 years old. It is older than some of my coworkers.

Here's "The Wild Boys" directed by video vanguard Russell Mulcahy. Mulcahy directed 10 of DD's early video hits including "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio." He's the reason they have Grammys (for short form video, and video album). Say thank you boys. I have no idea what's going on in this video, but clearly it's the bastard child of Mad Max and Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" video (also directed by Mulcahy).

LeBon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor spent a semester studying abroad in a band called Arcadia. They had a hit. Grace Jones was involved. Enjoy.

I haven't liked any of their music since "A View to a Kill."

And that's all I have the energy for today. Sorry Ruby. Next year? But I learned something today. Namely that Stephen Duffy preceded LeBon as DD's singer back from 1978 through 1980. Go listen to some Lilac Time now. Laters.

Oh, right, um, happy birthday dude. I'd say keep on rocking, but let's be honest.

Song of the day: "Horchata"

New Vampire Weekend. Still torn on them as a band (loved "Oxford Comma," got tired of "A Punk" really quickly). Love the percussion on this song. Maybe there's an instrumental version out there somewhere...

Monday, October 26, 2009

A few moments of complete awesomeness

While I was toiling away late on Friday night I missed this. But John didn't, and he told me about it last night. So thanks to John, my most recent Rachel Maddow enthusiast conversion! Rock on dude!

A birthday angel

Among the many birthdays today is Jaclyn Smith, one of John's all-time favorite people (along with his mother and Patti Lupone).

Here she is being interviewed by Toni Tennille! Halloween is coming...

Harry Reid announces the public option, with opt out

Details here.

This is good news. The opt out will help move shit forward, and is far superior to the trigger option that Sen. Olympia Snow (R, ME) won't shut up about. It's like pictures of her new puppy--we get that you're enthusiastic about this. Chill.

This means the public option will exist from day one. Yay.

And it also means the the tea-bagger filled red states, the states teeming with John Galts can opt out. In fact, you need to opt out. You need to prove that the public option is nothing but socialist nonsense, and the free market will actually outperform. Rock on dudes, we're counting on you! I'm looking at you, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana. Opt the fuck out.

Just not Florida. I need my mom to be covered.

Remember, go Galt or go home. I mean your home, not my home. It's already crowded.

Nate on the public option=hooray

Nate Silver (here) reviews why he thinks a public option will make it into healthcare reform:

Why The (Impure) Public Option is (Probably) Gaining Momentum
by Nate Silver @ 9:11 PM
Share This Content
1. The tireless, and occasionally tiresome, advocacy on behalf of liberal bloggers and interest groups for the public option. Whatever you think of their tactics -- I haven't always agreed with them -- the sheer amount of focus and energy expended on their behalf has been very important, keeping the issue alive in the public debate.

2. The fact that the CBO thinks it will save money.

3. The seeming inevitability of health care reform, which neuters the voices of those who aren't opposed to the public option per se so much as the entire project of health care reform.

4. The fact that the locus of power has shifted from the Gang of Six -- Bingaman/Conrad/Baucus/Snowe/Grassley/Enzi to the Group of Six -- Pelosi/Dodd/Obama/Reid/Baucus/Snowe.

5. The "innovation" of the opt-in/opt-out family of compromises, which have more liberal "street cred" than co-ops or triggers and are potentially also much more politically advantageous.

6. The fading from memory of the tea party protests and the "government takeover" meme.

7. Polls in myriad swing states and swing districts showing the public option is reasonably popular in these regions.

8. Constituent letters and e-mails.

9. The insurance industry's "senior moment": forgetting that this isn't 1993 and that the shelf life of a misleading study would be measured in hours (rather than days or weeks) and would damage its credibility in the process.

10. The Washington Post's somewhat bizarre decision to make its poll showing support for the public option its lede in yesterday's paper, even though public opinion has been fairly steady on the issue for months.

I have equity in a house I don't own!

(I rented an apartment here 10 years ago, but have never owned the place. At some point I must have used this address online and offers to refi follow me.)

Dear Richard:

Currently with the estimated equity on 1206 N 47Th St, your current loan and credit history, you are looking at a potentially sizable cash out and payment reduction.

You can maximize your savings by locking in the low rates today. The rates are predicted to go up, but we can hold the low rates for you while you determine how best to restructure your loan. (We have several attractive options!)

Visit the link below to verify the information for 1206 N 47Th St and we'll schedule your call.

LINK: Online Verification - 1206 N 47Th St
We can often fund in as little as 10 days, meaning you would be saving money before your next payment is due!


Alyssa Kaplan
Seattle Loan Program QA

That's fucking awesome, Alyssa! Seattle Loan Program QA, you are the best! Please send me a check.

Happy birthday Seth MacFarlane

He's young(-er than me), handsome, talented, wealthy and funny as shit. And decidedly un-PC. Which is delightful. I'll take him ahead of Hugh Jackman any day, although a group thing is also totally an option guys.

Here he is giving Harvard's 2006 graduation speech (part 1--it's worth following the links to watch the whole thing since he delivers the other parts in character voices):

He's won 2 Emmys, has 3 shows on television right now, and a $100 million contract. Call me.

Here's a live performance from Family Guy:

I can't find a clip of his appearance on Gilmore Girls, and he's been on Enterprise and Flash Forward.

Here's a clip from his Cavalcade of Comedy cartoon series:

MacFarlane totally went to bat for the WGA during their strike back in 2007 (details here) which is fucking awesome! Here he is speaking to the troops:

Rock on dude! Happy birthday and keep up the good work!

Flashback song: "Everyday is Like Sunday"

Part of our on-going Morrissey watch (he's like my white Ford Bronco, I just can't cut away), but it's also a secret way to wish Natalie Merchant a happy birthday without Becky giving me a ton of shit (which she still will). Birthday du jour to follow. Giggidy.

Only the 10,000 Maniacs cover isn't available on Youtube. Neither is a version by The Pretenders. It's like 9/11 all over again.

So here's Moz with a fake-out intro

And a cover by Colin Meloy of Decemberists

Get well soon dude! Someone get that man some mac & cheese, and some Simpsons DVDs.

An update on Morrissey: fashion edition

Previously on the Rebel Agenda (here), I quoted a Towleroad story that said Morrissey collapsed, and it mentioned that he was wearing a fark open neck shirt.

I wondered what the fuck a "fark" shirt was.

Apparently it was a typo. It was a dark open neck shirt.

Why did anyone feel the need to share that info after the "he collapsed" part.

"Oh my god, Morrissey just collapsed on stage!!!"

"Oh no, what kind of shirt was he wearing?!"

Quote of the day

From a Salon article (here) featuring the private diary of Sarah Palin's co-writer Lynn Vincent (I would have put ironic "" around co-writer, but couldn't figure out how to make the co- ironic, since Vincent clearly did write it).
"We didn't have any money for some elitist wedding. I spent four years pulling fish guts with Todd, feeding the babies with that stink still on me. That's something these affirmative action trust-fund whiners will never understand. They don't know what it's like to build yourself up from nothing, one reeking hope at a time."--Sarah Palin (quitter, AK)

Yes, yes they do. See, Sarah, the problem is when you build yourself up from nothing and then you find out that the job's been filled by someone's nephew. Or the slot's filled with someone's golf buddy's grandson. No room in medical school for you, bright hard-working minority student. Suck it. Affirmative action seeks to level the playing field. (Oh, right, that doesn't help your constant need to be a victim, sorry.) In fact most who benefit from affirmative action aren't trust-fund whiners.

Trust-fund whiners are people like Bill Kristol who has gotten everything wrong and still has a job. Thank goodness daddy left him a name.

I love how "elitist" is this go-to word for her. She's happy to take $200,000+ in wardrobe money for herself and her family, but she still uses that word. Nice mansion, by the way.

And hey, "whiners." Pot, kettle, black.

Keep on rocking my world babe!

America's hoodie problem

There seems to be a rise in the number of armed robberies. And all of those robberies are committed by people wearing dark (usually black) hooded sweatshirts (or "hoodies" to the kids).

Hoodies are the pitbulls of the fashion world. They cause crimes.

Some of you enablers will say it's not the shirt, it's the wearer. You would be idiots. Hoodies won't rest until you've handed over all of your cash, plus a carton of Marlboro reds in the box. Hurry!

I will be working on fashion-specific legislation to outlaw hoodies (which may, or may not, include sweat jackets with hoods, depending on how vague I make the ruling and how much attention a police officer decides to pay). Or hooded rain jackets. Even jackets where the hood totally zips away in the collar.

You've been warned.

It's the little things that make me happy

Larry Whitten bought a small hotel in Taos NM, and has set out to make a variety of customer-focused improvements. Improvements like firing every Hispanic on staff on account of their weird names and their inability to talk right English. In response, Whitten asked this rhetorical question:
"What kind of fool or idiot or poor businessman would I be to orchestrate this whole crazy thing that's costed me a lot of time, money and aggravation?"
Yes, it's costed him a lot. But don't back down, Larry, the fight for English as the official language of the United States requires a lot of cannon fodder, and I can't think of a more worthy target. Also, Whitten isn't making a lot of friends in Taos, after referring to its residents as "mountain people" and "potheads who escaped society." I love anyone who makes me feel diplomatic. Rock on dude!

Song of the day: "Give it to me Right"

By Melanie Fiona. About a year old, but I love that she samples the Zombies.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gracie enjoyed Bolt

Good news/bad news, Morrissey edition

Good news: Morrissey has been released from the hospital and is much improved (details here).

Bad news: He's still very very depressed. (Lisa, brownies?)

A little clarity on "credit default swaps"

I wasn't really sure what they were, but a diarist at DailyKos has done a pretty good job of explaining (here); here's a little of it to whet your appetite:
Back in my single days, I worked out. A lot. But now happily enjoined in domestic bliss, I’m getting fatter every year. So my friend Pam and I made a bet in July. For every pound I lose between now and the end of the year, she’ll pay me ten bucks. But for every pound I gain in the same period I’ll pay her. We drew the bet up in a nice legal looking piece of paper, a contract each of us holds, and either one of us can sell our respective end of the bet to someone else, provided of course we find someone interested. Now it’s October, and I’ve lost over 10 pounds. Whose end of the bet is worth more?

I’d say mine! Sure, the holidays lay ahead. And my loss is theoretically unlimited; I could hypothetically gain an infinite number of pounds. But for now I’m 'in the money' by ten pounds or a 100 bucks.

The value of the bet is derived from my current weight in relation to my initial weight and the amount of time remaining. It's a derivative of those constantly changing numbers. Now, replace, my weight on any given day with the fluctuating price of a stock, my initial weight with the initial stock strike price, the end of the year with the exercise date, and that bet is an imperfect but fairly decent analogy to a type of derivative called a stock option.

In a wider context, a derivative is simply a bet where the value at any given time is in part derived from the price of an underlying item, like a stock, bond, currency exchange rate, even a bushel of wheat or a mortgage. You can bet on it going up, down, or staying the same. There’s usually a time limit of some kind and the bets can be placed through a broker-dealer by anyone interested in getting a piece of the action. They can be pure Vegas style speculation, or used as a hedge: if I own a stock at a huge profit and want to wait and sell it next year for tax reasons, it would be prudent to bet that it will go down between now and then as a form of insurance.

Thursday night TV

I ranted about The Office last week (stupidest 30 minutes ever? maybe), but I ended up watching again because the commercials made me laugh. It remains on my Thursday night recording schedule, but watch yourselves writers.

30 Rock came back strong. I love Will Arnett's appearances--if they want to make a show with just Arnett and Alec Baldwin, I'll watch. If you haven't seen it, you can watch the whole thing here.

Jenna's werewolf movie is awesome! (Shooting in Iceland, for tax purposes.)

And Liz's Dealbreaker book quotes keep me laughing.

Happy birthday Helen Reddy

I usually do the birthday post in the morning, after the dogs are fed and coffee is started, while I listen to the morning news. I check the list at, run a Google search to see if I'm missing someone really good (Michael K, the HBIC over there, generally does living celebs, so he doesn't have Johann Strauss on today's list, as an example). Yesterday I was in my office for a few hours, and while waiting on some syntax to finish executing, I took a quick peak at today's list. I hadn't really settled on Helen at the time, but reading about "I Am Woman" cemented it for me. Sorry Johann.

A quick review of Helen's other music: her first Top 40 hit in the US was "I Don't Know How to Love Him" in 1971. It's from Jesus Christ Superstar, and I just don't get why women cover this song. And I don't say that just because I find Andrew Lloyd Weber tedious (but I do find Andrew Lloyd Weber tedious--he feels the exact same way about my blog, by the way), but because out of the context of the musical, it's just a big mess. I guess as a singer, you get some nice vocal gymnastics without anything really taxing, but still. Don't get it. By the way, here are some of the many women who have covered this song: Sinead O'Connor, Yvonne Elliman [update: John pointed out that hers was the original version], Petula Clark, and Bonnie Tyler (the "Total Eclipse of the Heart" singer, not the actress from One Day at a Time [that's Bonnie Franklin]).

See what I mean?

Then in 1972 she wrote and recorded that woman song, and it was a hit. After that she had a nice run of hits including "Delta Dawn" (she used the musical track recorded for Barbra Streisand after Babs decided to pass on the song), "Leave Me Alone (Rudy Red Dress)," "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" and "Angie Baby" (which went to #1, and is a pretty fucked up song--listen to the lyrics).

She's done a little bit of acting on the stage, had a variety show on TV in the summer of 1973, served as California's Parks and Recreation commissioner for 3 years (don't know if this is a formal role or more of an "ambassador for fun" kind of thing), and is now a practicing clinical hypnotherapist. Which is based on this and not some elaborate Marilyn McCoo joke post. She has retired from performing.

Okay, so that's the part that doesn't have to do with "I Am Woman." I'm not writing this part because I love the song, but because I totally respect the song.

Reddy says she was inspired to write the song, in large part, because of her involvement in the women's movement; she was looking for songs to record that reflected a positive self image and couldn't find any.
I couldn't find any songs that said what I thought being a woman was about. I thought about all these strong women in my family who had gotten through the Depression and world wars and drunken, abusive husbands. But there was nothing in music that reflected that.

The only songs were 'I Feel Pretty' or that dreadful song 'Born A Woman'." (The 1966 hit by Sandy Posey had observed that if you're born a woman "you're born to be stepped on, lied to, cheated on and treated like dirt. I'm glad it happened that way".) These are not exactly empowering lyrics. I certainly never thought of myself as a songwriter, but it came down to having to do it.
She says the words "I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman" came to her one night in bed, and she wrote most of the lyrics the next day. The original version of the song didn't have the 3rd verse--that was added when her record label decided to release it as a single after it was used over the credits of Stand Up and Be Counted.
The extra verse inserted the song's only reference to men ("Until I make my brother understand"). More importantly, the new version would add significant punch to a song that, in its initial form, was simple, bouncy and unconfronting.--here
I can't imagine trying to write something empowering (as David Sedaris would say, I'm more of a low-key kind of elf), but she tried and knocked it out of the park (which is a sports metaphor). These are some fantastic lyrics:
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul


I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

It's not about how men are bad. It's not about how women are the only good people in the world. And "wisdom born of pain" is a fucking great lyric; four words conveying so much.

The two songs I can think to compare it with are "We Shall Overcome" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing." "We Shall Overcome" gets part of its strength from its simplicity (lyrics here), while "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is poetry, but dense and complex poetry (lyrics here). Reddy, and Ray Burton (who composed the music to her lyrics) hit the right balance, at the right time.

The following years saw the birth of Ms. magazine and a continued push for an Equal Rights Amendment in the US, and Reddy's song has been the go-to song. "I had no idea what the song was destined to become. If I'd known, I would have been far too intimidated to have written it."

It's been played on the radio more than a million times, sold more than a million copies, was a #1 hit and won her a Grammy. During her acceptance speech, Reddy thanked God because "she makes everything possible."

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"Collapsed under the weight of his own hair"

That may be one of the funniest things Becky's ever said, about Ian McCulloch when he had taken ill and that night's Echo and the Bunnymen show was canceled. She said this on the air, in a quasi-official manner since folks who were going to the show were probably listening (21 years ago, Album 88, WREK and RFG were your only options for Echo in the Atlanta area, so statistically speaking, if you were going to the show, you'd most likely have been listening to Becky that night).

I sent her a note about Morrissey and she suspects his hair too.

I could see that. But then I read this really helpful quote from an AP article (here):
"I didn't think he looked particularly well but then again, he's well known as a reclusive character so I sort of thought that was just the way he was when he was on stage. He kept putting his hand up to his mouth as if he felt sick or perhaps he was trying to hide something, but he didn't look particularly comfortable. He got through the whole song though ... to rapturous applause at the end."--Jillian Moody, interviewed by BBC
So in 2 sentences Ms. Moody suggests that he was either "not well" or reclusive, and either sick or trying to hide something. Which leads us to these possible combinations of:
- not well and sick
- not well and hiding something
- reclusive and sick
- reclusive and hiding something
Perhaps I need to avoid writing these posts so early in the morning, but... what the fuck?

So the good news: he's recovering and stabile.

The great news: some people in that hospital in Swindon are getting to treat O! M! F! G! Morrissey! How cool would it be to find out that you are Morrissey's phlebotomist?

Here's the song he finished last night--thereby fulfilling his contract with the venue, so no refunds... suck it Swindon!

Song of the day: "Not Fair"

Here's hoping Lily Allen can flush Jarvis from my head.