Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dear office cleaning lady:

I am curious to know how a recent Honduran immigrant as yourself is able to ascertain my bodily functions at a subconscious level that you always position yourself in the men's bathroom when I need to use the facility. This technique of yours to skillfully block the men's room door with your cart of cleaning supplies at the precise moment that my bladder reaches an uncomfortable level is mindboggling.

What I can't understand is how flexible you can be in your cleaning schedule. Now, as far as I can reckon, each cleaning service personnel is required to clean various sections of each floor of our building at specific times. Except, apparently, the 10th floor men's bathroom. 9:45am? You're there, cleaning away. 11:46am for that pre-lunch pee? You're knee-deep in the stalls. 1:12pm for a post-lunch cleaning? You're refilling the paper towels. 3:20pm - let me check. I'll be dammned - you're scrubbing out a sink.

How long does it take to clean a damned three stall bathroom with a bunch of military officers and contractors? We're as clean as men get - I've never seen a stray puddle, so I don't know why you treat it like an EPA Superfund site.

I've timed you. 25 minutes to replace three rolls of toilet paper? 31 minutes, 18 seconds, to wash three sinks? I'll go buy you some Scrubbing Bubbles if you'd just hurry the hell up. When a man has to pee, extra seconds, let alone minutes, are critical.

It's even more amazing that you can synchronize your cleaning schedule with my urine, but, apparently, you can do it with my coworker Will, too.

We've been polite; allowing you your privacy in our privy without being accosted by penises. But the gloves are off - today, YOU USED ONE OF THE COMMODES!!! What were you thinking? The women's room is right next door - how could you not think "Hmm... I should use the women's room." Especially when it was empty, and there were guys already IN the Men's room.

In 2006, I'm whipping mine out.

- me

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Producers - Reviewed by the Five Paragraph Bitter Film Critic

First off - this needs to be addressed - Nathan Lane as a ladykiller? Who in the HELL did that casting? That'd be like making Carson Kressley the star of the next "Terminator" film. "Terminator 4 - Rise of the Colour-Coordinating Machines." Nathan Lane trying to act like a straight guy is as uncomfortable as a vegan at a BBQ joint. That has to be the most ironic casting decision since Cedric the Entertainer was cast as the Jackie Gleason character in this summer's lousy "The Honeymooners." Or, at least since the dude who cast "Fatal Attraction" decided we needed to see Glenn Close's withered old milkbags instead of Anne Archer's.

Anyway, to the movie - What a fun time! This movie is done like an old-time musical featuring Ginger Rogers than the newer musicals like Chicago. Basically, they made the Broadway version of the movie bigger, but the acting is very similar to the stage version.

So, while the acting is all-top notch, it *IS* somewhat disconcerting to see people acting stage-style (bigger expressions, facial movements, vocal affectations) in a movie, where the camera, lighting and editing can really set a mood independent of the actor.

Ferris Bueller is quite the dancer, Uma is hot, and Will Ferrell is a hoot. He's perfect for anything related to Mel Brooks' style of comedy. The sets were wonderful, the singing and dancing was great, and the movie is a lot of fun. It's not for everybody, and, frankly, the musical is simply not as laugh-out-loud funny as the original, except when Will Ferrell is on screen. Some people went to the movie expecting a regular musical, and others expected a musical version of the original film. It's neither - just good entertainment.

Still, not a bad way to spend 9 bucks and a good date movie. And, you'll love Adolph, the Nazi Pigeon. I'd get a stuffed animal of Adolph, the Nazi Pigeon, but, I want all my Jewish friends who don't watch musicals to still like me.

5 out of 7 Whammies! Two Whammies were deducted because stage acting on a movie screen is disconcerting. Another two Whammies were taken away because I got a parking ticket. However, those two Whammies were replaced because I got a ton of homemade tequila with a great bartender and a better dining companion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I usually don't do Quotes of the Day

but this from's Page 2 is possibly my favorite sports broadcasting moment since, well, ever.

"Wells Fargo will contribute $5,000 to the 49ers Foundation to help undeserved youth in the Bay Area for every 49er touchdown scored this season. (Pause) There's going to be a lot of sad kids." -- Joe Starkey, 49ers radio broadcaster

Friday, December 16, 2005

e-Mudslinging in MD

Earlier in 2005, a scandal broke out in Maryland politics. Over the course of a few months, an aide to Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich was caught discussing rumours about Democratic Mayor of Baltimore Martin O'Malley's alleged extramarital affairs. Since these two political heavyweights appear to be the front-runners for the next Governor's election, no amount of mudslinging would be too small or too soon in such a battle.

The scandal was that this Republican aide, Joe Steffen, was contacted on the public discussion boards and private messages of and discussed the allegations about O'Malley and a female TV reporter in Baltimore, Sade Baderinwa. The rumour was that O'Malley o'impregnated her, and she mysteriously ended up in a New York City station. You may recall that she was hit by a car while reporting a story on flooding in New Jersey in 2004. Same woman...

Now, as a former radio/tv guy, the part about Baderinwa moving to New York City from Baltimore makles sense - as a reporter, there is no beat quite as prestigious in local broadcast news than working in US market #1, New York City. Some people work their whole broadcasting career just for a shot in NYC, where the visibility, money and pace are pretty much unmatched. It simply makes sense to move from market #18, Baltimore, to New York City.

What doesn't make sense to me is how this rumour still has legs. Mayor O'Malley is a Cool Guy. He's smart. Emotional. Muscular. Plays in an Irish rock band. He seems to be quite a hit with the ladies. I Believe I unknowingly drank a pint of a particular stout with the man - when I first moved back to Baltimore in 2000, I couldn't pick the Mayor out of a lineup of midget porn stars. As we sat next to each other at Mick O'Shea's, I asked his name, and he said "Martin. I'm in the band O'Malley's March. We're playing tonight." took me a little while to figure out that the two Baltimore City police officers outside weren't there to just check IDs.

But, to that effect, when you need a pickup volleyball game in Baltimore County, then-US Representative Bob Ehrlich is no slouch, either. A former two-sport athlete at Princeton, The Gov can spike like a beast. He's a Republican version of O'Malley, but without the guitar. Both men care about their jurisdictions, and both men tend to speak clearly before thinking like a politician - a surprisingly refreshing trait in an elected leader. Neither one is afraid of calling a reporter to task about a story or even allowing an emotional outburst on something they feel strongly about.

That's what makes the whole original scandal so strange - neither O'Malley or Ehrlich shy away from a good fight, so the back-channel subterfuge seemed so out-of-place. Why would a relatively-anonymous Ehrlich aide slander the handsome young mayor almost two years before the election? But, that's exactly what Steffen did. In his posts and messages with the user "MD4BUSH," he revealed the rumours and the potential strategy of the Republican's against O'Malley. The posts then go public, revealed by MD4BUSH, the firestorm develops, and Ehrlich fires Steffen.

However, along comes this story from WBAL in Baltimore. Here's a snip.

"According to a source familiar with the MD4Bush postings, the e-mail address used in October 2004 to open the MD4Bush account is:

Sources said that e-mail address was later changed to, then changed for a third time to That third e-mail address remains as the address registered on the Free Republic account, which remains open."

Take a look at that second address - - and here's what the article has to say about that.

"The address is the same address listed to Ryan O'Doherty, who used to work for the Maryland Democratic Party."

Interesting. Could it be that the Dems began hanging out at the known conservative site trying to bait somebody? Sure looks like it on first blush.

What's sad is that this storm might taint the upcoming election towards the other powerful Democratic challenge, Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan. There is no denying that Baltimore is a better city since O'Malley came to office. There's also no denying that Maryland is better off since Ehrlich came to office. Both are young, active, engaging Catholics in a rather Catholic state, but neither have a hotline to the Vatican. These two guys, who have a lot more in common than the respective R and D after their names on the television captions, could have engaged in some great "Balmer" dialcet while arguing about who's better - the Ravens or the Colts.

Hmmm...the plot thickens...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dude with Mommy Issues

I mean, my mom is cool and all, but I've never, you know, asked her out or nuthin'...

from the AP and posted on:

Friday December 9, 2005

By Grace Green

MARSEILLES, France -- Skirt-chasing playboy Daniel Anceneaux spent weeks talking with a sensual woman on the Internet before arranging a romantic rendezvous at a remote beach -- and discovering that his on-line sweetie of six months was his own mother!

"I walked out on that dark beach thinking I was going to hook up with the girl of my dreams," the rattled bachelor later admitted. "And there she was, wearing white shorts and a pink tank top, just like she'd said she would.

"But when I got close, she turned around -- and we both got the shock of our lives. I mean, I didn't know what to say. All I could think was, 'Oh my God! it's Mama!' "

But the worst was yet to come. Just as the mortified mother and son realized the error of their ways, a patrolman passed by and cited them for visiting a restricted beach after dark.

"Danny and I were so flustered, we blurted out the whole story to the cop," recalled matronly mom Nicole, 52. "The policeman wrote a report, a local TV station got hold of it -- and the next thing we knew, our picture and our story was all over the 6 o'clock news. "People started pointing and laughing at us on the street -- and they haven't stopped laughing since."

The girl-crazy X-ray technician said he began flirting with normally straitlaced Nicole -- who lives six miles away in a Marseilles suburb -- while scouring the Internet for young ladies to put a little pizzazz in his life.

"Mom called herself Sweet Juliette and I called myself The Prince of Pleasure, and unfortunately, neither one of us had any idea who the other was," said flabbergasted Daniel.

"The conversations even got a little racy a couple of times.

"But I really started to fall for her, because there seemed to be a sensitive side that you don't see in many girls.

"She sent me poems she had written and told me about her dreams and desires, and it was really very romantic.

"The truth is, I got to see a side of my mom I'd never seen before. I'm grateful for that."

When starry-eyed Daniel asked Sweet Juliette to send him a picture, Nicole e-mailed him a photo of a curvy, half-clad cutie she'd scanned from a men's magazine.

"The girl in the picture was so beautiful, I begged Juliette to meet me on the beach -- and Mom said yes," he recalled. "Mom says she was falling for me, too, and she just wanted to meet me, even though she knew I'd be disappointed when I saw her.

"As for me, I figured I was going to find the girl of my dreams.

"I guess that's about as wrong as I've ever been."

Daniel admits he and his mother could do little but stammer and stutter around each other for days after their cyberspace exploits came to light. And his father Paul -- Nicole's husband of 27 years -- wasn't too happy when the story hit the news and his beer-drinking buddies made him the butt of their jokes.

"Dad was ticked for a while and he forbid Mom to talk to anybody on the Internet ever again," said embarrassed Daniel.


OK, internet dating on can suck, but I never knew it doubled as a family reunion site outside of West Virginia.

Did they NOT ask for pictures???? I mean, jeez....that's one of the first things you do!

Can you imagine the Christmas dinner this year.
MOM - So, uh, honey, have you met a nice girl lately?
SON - Other than you?
DAD - %#$@!%$! YOU BOTH!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

light topic of the day - the Death Penalty

The recent execution of Tookie Williams has had me thinking about my own thoughts on the death penalty. I am against the practice only because it has proven to be completely ineffective in preventing crime, but I also think some people have forgone their basic human rights through terrible actions. It's certainly not a civilized way of dealing with crime, but it does give a certain amount of revenge. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but is also a dish you don't want to screw up.

The threat of the death penalty does not enter a young man's mind when he robs a liquor store. "Oh, I better not shoot this innocent Korean shopkkeper because in twenty years, I might get electrocuted by the State." A deranged psychopath doesn't think "I might get the needle if I shoot up this bus of nuns." A depressed mother doesn't think "I might spend the rest of my life in prison if I kill my babies in this lake." The death penalty is only effective in one way - it pretty much 100% eliminates any chance of that person from committing a crime again.

Take a look at Saudi Arabia. They are notorious for chopping off the hands and arms of those who would shoplift. That's a pretty gruesome outcome and it's to be expected in that country. Yet, people STILL shoplift in Saudi Arabia. The known corporal punishment of losing a limb doesn't prevent the crime from still occuring.

Now, this is taken from Wikipedia, so let the stats be debated as to their authenticity. However, they seem close to other primary sources I've seen. Here is a list of countries with death penalties, and how many people they killed in 2004.

Country - Executions - Executions per 100 million residents
1 Kuwait 9 400
2 China 3,400+ 260
3 Iran 159+ 230
4 Singapore 6+ 140
5 Saudi Arabia 33+ 130
6 Vietnam 64+ 77
7 Belarus 5+ 48
8 Yemen 6+ 30
9 USA 59 20
10 Pakistan 15+ 9
11 Egypt 6+ 8
12 Bangladesh 7+ 5

Not exactly a list of happy places to visit, is it?

Given most Western countries' high recidivism rates, especially in America, where upwards of 60% of those released from prison are charged with a felony crime within three years, it appears that jail time and prison in their current forms simply don't work. Politicians talk about getting tough on criminals, and enacting "three strikes" rules...and people STILL committ serious crimes and STILL go to jail. They can get as tough as they want, but it doesn't prevent career criminals from going back to jail.

Therefore, it's logical to assume that there's either something inborn or bred in some people to continually break the law, or that there's something comforting about jail and prison that makes it attractive.

(Or...there's something REALLY bad about outside life... )

In any case, every society and culture in the world's history has had a punishment system for crimes. Death has been a common form of punishment, from Joan of Arc to Jesus to Mussolini to Marie Antoinette to scores of others. Some of their crimes were serious; some were kinda tame by today's standards. I mean, after all, do we REALLY want to start burning witches again, or stoning adulterers?

But once in a while, a crime comes along that's so unimaginable, so horrible, so beyond our ability to comprehend it that the only conclusion is for that person to simply not live. By acting in the most inhuman ways possible, this criminal has essentially given up their basic human rights.

While I would have trouble judging somebody to life or death, there are certain people whom I would have no problem killing, were I in the situation. If I could have swapped spots with Eva Braun, or even as a random person in a Nazi rally, I would have done everything possible to end Hitler's life. Same thing with Pol Pot. Saddam Hussien. Osama Bin Laden comes to mind. Stalin. Ted Bundy. Jeffery Dahlmer. Timothy McVeigh. Mass murderers are a lock. Serial killers are a lock, too. Jack the Ripper, definitely. Fritz Haarman, too. Can somebody like John Christie be allowed to live, too? He killed at least 8 women to have sex with their corpses. He's not going to be rehabbed, period.

There people deserve death, and don't deserve the luxury of a trial. Cold, brutal justice, delivered with the same brutality that they delivered on people. I have no problem with public executions by the public for the public. Think the previously mentioned Benito Mussolini - now THAT's what I'm talkin' about! Public stoning. Straight outta the Old Testament!

But for the more run-of-the-mill criminal, since these are obviously extreme examples, rather than arguing for or against the death penalty, the better argument is "Why do some people DO this?" - what causes somebody to murder one person let alone 5000, is beyond me - and figure out steps to either prevent this illness, mental instability, or minimize it as soon as possible.

And, let's come up with better form of punishments. It's obvious we need a better system of jail and in-prison treatments.

Strange...I'm pro-execution but anti-death penalty.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thanksgiving Past with The Animals

Not the Eric Burdon Animals, mind you.

When my mom and stepdad married, we had all of the new family together at our place in Edgewater, Maryland. This would have been in November of 1984, I guess.

Ed and Rob, my two stepbrothers, sat next to each other, next to them were their girlfriends, then my stepdad, my mom, and then me. My stepdad's two cats were sitting outside the door, not too happy to be shut out from the turkey-gorging fun.

When the door was opened, and the cats walked around our feet. It was all in good fun, and the cats weren't *technically* begging for food, we let them stay.

Until the younger cat, Spooky, ran out of the door with his tail straight in the air. Then out ran the older cat.

And then we started to cry. Initially, Rob blamed Ed for farting. Then Ed blamed Rob. Both then blamed their dad. But this was no ordinary human fart - this was a stink roughly akin to rotting fish marinating in raw sewage. Ed was the first to leave, with my mom, stepdad and the girlfriends exiting the room. Rob and I, though, were determined to hold out through the funk.

After a minute or so, we saw a little paw reach up on the table, trying to reach the turkey.

At that moment, I realized cats were capable of strategy and gas warfare. They are a capable enemy not to be taken lightly.

I mention this because my roommate has two cats, Mork and Mindy. Mork and Mindy are ordinarily nice enough felines, however, they have discovered that I am a sucker for a cute pet. And, sure enough, Mork and Mindy can sure get cute when it comes to dinner time.

The Twins have also learned that I like to cook, and I'm willing to give a small sample of my culinary exploits. So far, they're big fans of the red meat. Chicken is a welcome treat, too.

Two nights ago, Mork took a crap in his litter box that rivaled Spooky and Sam's from 21 years earlier. My roommate thinks he's sick, but I know better.

He and Mindy are planning an ASSault.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

ALERT: Family Television Awards Prove They're Stupid

from :

'Lost' takes top family-friendly honors
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — ABC's Lost and CBS's King of Queens took top family-friendly honors Wednesday at the seventh annual Family Television Awards.

Lost was named best drama and King of Queens won for best comedy.

CBS's Amazing Race won for best reality program and UPN's Everybody Hates Chris won for best new series.

Best movie honors went to the TNT film, The Wool Cap. The WB's long-running family series 7th Heaven took home a lifetime achievement award.

Two leading players on ABC also were recognized. Ty Pennington was named best reality host for his work on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Jim Belushi, star of According to Jim, won best actor.

Reba McEntire, star of the Reba series on the WB, was named best actress. McEntire also hosted the hourlong awards program at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, which is scheduled to air Dec. 11 on the WB.

Presenters included Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives ), Jane Seymour (Modern Men ), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Freddie ) and Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle ).

Winners of Family Television Awards are chosen by members of the Association of National Advertisers — major corporate marketers — to honor outstanding programming for family viewing.

The Family Friendly Programming Forum, which includes advertisers representing 45 companies, created the awards to promote the development and airing of family-oriented programs during television's prime viewing hours, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Kaki Hinton, co-chairwoman of the Family Friendly Programming Forum, said such programs "have cross-generational appeal, depict real-life situations and handle those issues very responsibly."


REAL LIFE SITUATIONS!? FROM LOST?! Excuse me, Family Friendly Programming Forum, but have you ever WATCHED an episode of this show?

So far, in about a season and a half, we've seen:

1) a plane get ripped apart and thrown from the sky, killing a countless amount of people
2) torture
3) kidnapping
4) more gun play than a 50 Cent video
5) premarital sex
6) heroin abuse
7) murder murder murder
8) bank robbery
9) a suicide attempt during a terrorist attack
10) dude getting blown up with a stick of dynamite

THIS is family-friendly????

Comment Spam and Eggs

Lately, my poor widdle blog has been getting hit with comment spam. For some reason, a post I wrote many months ago, Under the Moon and Over the Influence, about seeing the Trashcan Sinatras, the finest pop export to come out of Scotland since, well, ever, has been the target of spammers. Spammers who apprently aren't too familiar with English. A sample note:

"While reading over the internets, I discover your site and wrote Great Blog! You make goods point. While Under the Moon and Over the Influence is not what I was looking for, click here for great mortgages rating!"

Yeah, I can totally see how schlepping around nightclubs from Austin, DC and Annapolis to track my favorite band on a rare US tour has SO MUCH to do with mortgages. I was thinking, as I was flying back from Austin "Wow, I wish I could buy a place closer to the middle of Austin and DC so I wouldn't have to fly so far to see my favorite band."

That night, I checked out real estate in Memphis online. But I couldn't get a mortgage. Shame I didn't get this spam 8 months ago.

Other comment spams I've received have been from windsurfing places, ceramic tiles and offshore prescription drug outlets - none of these topics have I ever blogged about. Maybe they were just trying to help me find new topics of conversation?

In any event, I have changed the settings of this blog to be limited to registered Blogger members. Hopefully this will cut down on some of this crappy spam. I would apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but, honestly, my peace of mind is certainly worth the 30 seconds of your time it takes to register.