Thursday, June 28, 2007

Strange...Never a Huge Fan Before...

...but suddenly, I'm digging Alyssa Milano. This picture helps.

Plus, this quote from

ALYSSA MILANO: [Laughs] There's absolutely no pink. Pink offends me. It's the man's misguided answer: "If you make it pink, women will buy it." I'm a traditionalist.

Just say no to Pink.

Dear Bad Driver...

Hi. You may not remember me from our little near-collision in Arlington this morning. Actually, I'm quite sure you don't know who I am because I know you didn't see my car. Well, I shouldn't say I know you didn't see me, but I do know you didn't see the big red STOP sign that you so blythely ran, sending you scant inches away from my bumper. I'm not sure if you heard my tires squeal and my horn blare, but the people around our potential auto rendezvous did. Your mid-2000s tan SUV almost made more of an impression on me than hearing my parents have sex in their bedroom one sleepless night when I was a kid, and trust me, pal, that scarred the shit outta me.

Sounded like my mom was getting stabbed with an ice pick, and my dad was moving around a sleeper sofa. Not cool, bro.

When I spotted you again on Columbia Pike, you were laughing, though nobody else was in your vehicle. Though your rear window is far-too-heavily tinted to see through, your side window showed quite plainly that you're an officer in the United States' Army, and your Pentagon parking hang tag (which, BTW, you're not supposed to drive around with dangling from your rear view mirror. Safety violation and whatnot...) indicates that we must work in the same building.

So, you're in the Army. With all the acronyms thrown at our soldiers, I'm sure you got confused, and thought STOP meant Speeding To Obliterate Pontiacs. It actually means "stop."

Being in the Army makes you some sort of instant hero nowadays. What, with 9/11 and fighting our godless enemies and making sure we have a secure oil stream to ensure you can drive your SUV. Within the Pentagon, rank has privilege, and military law backs that up. However, on the streets, the laws of the military do not circumvent the laws of physics and traffic court. If I wasn't such a careful driver with a trigger finger for a braking foot, you'd have taken out my front end, damaged your precious SUV, and been woefully late for work.

So, please, Mr. Soldier or Army of One or Warfighter or what ever term you prefer - hit the fucking brakes and come to a complete stop.

Do it for the troops.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Don't Even ^&$%@~! Think About Speeding in Ole' Virginny

From this weekend's WaPost...

Say you are driving 78 mph on the Capital Beltway and a state trooper tickets you for "reckless driving -- speeding 20 mph over." You will probably be fined $200 by the judge. But then you will receive a new, additional $1,050 fine from the Old Dominion, payable in three convenient installments. So convenient that you must pay the first one immediately, at the courthouse.

First-time drunk driver? A $300 fine from the judge and a $2,250 fee from the commonwealth.

Driving without a license? Maybe a $75 fine. Definitely a $900 fee from Virginia.


I'm all for improving the quality of life on the highways, but, DAMN!

The article points out several drawbacks to this plan, such as the dramatic burden to the local court system as now EVERY traffic offense would be fought in court, just to avoid these fines. So, on paper, it looks like a potential windfall for the state, but it could end up costing more than it makes.

Also, if I was an attorney specializing in traffic law, I would move to Virginia and set up shop quicker than a jackrabbit on a date. Student loans? Bah! Paid off in a New York Minute! $500,000 condo? Hell, paid off by March `09...

What I see as an unintended consequence, though - how many folks will be unwilling to "move" to Virginia? Live in the Commonwealth but maintain their permanent addresses in other states. Decreased tax revenue from a potential citizen at the expense of a traffic violation. If you're going to have legislation that allows for non-residents to skirt by such fees, while sticking it to your own citizens, that hardly seems fair. Not to mention...a pretty good way to ensure your dumb ass will be voted out of office.

If Virginia is so intent on cleaning up the highways and increasing revenue, here are a few options from yer friendly Telecomedian:

1) Sliding scale of vehicle registration fees. Sort of a combo SUV tax and a way to promote better MPG. Right now, most cars cost 30 to 35 bucks to register in VA, and trucks are $40. I was pretty surprised to see such low fees, especially in a state that usually can't wait to tax the HELL out of its citizens. Offer free registration for purchasers of a gas-sipping vehicle (like a hybrid, turbodiesel, or car with a average MPG over 35 on the highway). Triple or even quadruple the fees for registering non-work trucks or SUVs, and gas-guzzling muscle cars. You figure a good suburban cul-de-sac would bring in a couple thousand dollars in registration fees, as they are people unlikely to be driving without a license or on suspended plates.

2) Motorcycles that weave in and out of traffic like they're reinacting the trench scene in Star Wars can be hit with scalding hot coffee. I hate these guys driving souped-up crotch rockets threading through traffic at ungodly speeds, coming inches away from getting into wrecks with every turn. This behavior caused a fatal accident on the Maryland side of 495 last week...while the motorcyclist got away scot-free.

If a biker is following the rules of the road, great. But this Speedy Gonzalesesque crap has got to stop. Don't want to be hit with scalding hot coffee? Don't drive like an idiot.

As an added bonus, think of the extra sales' tax gained from coffee shops as some people will want to have a piping hot cup of joe at the ready, just waiting for the next prick to zoom by at 100 miles an hour on 95 on a Ninja.

3) Just a thought - make everybody take a new driving test instead of automatically renewing their license. See how it goes. Try it out. You might like it.

4) Lower the Speed Limit During Rush Hours. I can hear y'all scratching your heads, but read this carefully: Traffic is caused my multiple factors: weather, accidents, volume, construction and capacity being among them. We can't change the weather. Accidents tend to happen to even the safest, most careful drivers. Construction delays are often part and parcel of living in a growing area. But volume and capacity CAN be controlled, or at least predicted.

Rush hour in the evening starts pretty much between 3 and 3:30. Part of the initial crush of cars is the high volume of people hitting low-capacity feeder roads to beat the rest of the rush hour that begins in earnest at 4. So, they want to hightail it out of work so they can get to the high capacity interstates and highways before they clog, the idea being that driving at 70 for a couple of miles makes up for driving at 30 for a dozen more.

How many times have you been cruising on 66 or 495 to see a sudden sea of brakelights around the next hill? Part of that problem is the differential in speed. Brakes are vital to avoid accidents and to make sudden turns, but they are often used to modulate speed. This indicates to me that the road is not being used efficiently. Large gaps between cars are neccessary at high speeds to allow safe following distance, and that gaps becomes decidedly smaller at slower speeds. What can set off a chain reaction of braking is somebody driving dangerously down the highway, or a lone police officer on the side of the road. But what really sets them off more often than that? Somebody in the left hand lane needing to get over to the right hand lane for an exit a 1/4 of a mile away. Somebody needing to merge to avoid a lane that ends. When somebody needs to make one of these such maneuvers, they usually make an unsafe lane change. The drivers closest to the incident hit the brakes to avoid an accident. This makes everybody around them panic break in a pack mentality.

Wouldn't it be a much better allocation of vital resources for the Commonwealth to force the major roads like 395, 66, 495 to go to a slower, more reasonable speed limit like 45, and thus giving drivers more room for merging, lane changes and closing lanes? The regulation of traffic speeds allows for smoother commuting and higher road capacity without building another highway.

It's simple physics...and if entire roads can be made for HOV lanes, the speed limits on other roads can be modified too.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

For the Six of Us Who Still Care...

The Caps are unveiling their new jerseys tomorrow for the draft party.

HOWEVER - Caps Nut got them earlier this week, and, uh...

Well, look for your own damned selves.


Dear God.

This looks like the jersey that would come from one of those historic teams form a Canadian industrial town that relocates somewhere in America's Sun Belt. You know, a team that wants its new fan base to forget any ill will from the team's move.

What, pray tell, was wrong with this:

MEMO TO TED: There are approximately 9,000 fans dressed up as empty seats at every home game. Please don't make the remaining 6,000 look at these retreads from the WAC or Arena League.

Anyway, upon giving the unis a third look, I figured out what the design theme was:

GREAT JOB!!! "Ladies and Gentlemen, come on down to the Verizon Center for our Dogfights and Fistfights Promotion. Every time a Cap gets into a scrap, we'll unleash two rabid pit bulls on the opponent! The first 5,000 fans bringing in a Rott, Chow, Shepard or wolf-mix get free admission. That's Dogfights and Fistfights, brought to you by Aquafina. When you need to stash your pot before an international flight, think Aquafina!"

The Caps is idiots.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Five Paragraph Bitter Food Critic Vs. The World

I never thought I had much in common with Lindsay Lohan.

She's a young Hollywood starlet and pop star, better known for her hard-partying, relapses into rehab, ever-changing breast size, spectacular rise and fall, and for showing her birth canal to pretty much every actor, athlete and paprazzi in California. I'm more of a brokedown former disc jockey and comedian who couldn't wait to sell out to Corporate America for a stable paycheck. As far as I know, she's done more drugs than a Rick James' groupie, and the hardest thing I've smoked is turkey. But her song "Me vs. The World" from the Freaky Friday soundtrack speaks to me. Well, it doesn't technically speak because I've never heard it, and couldn't pick it out in a police lineup. I just found the lyrics online, and thought "I had no idea I could relate to young Lindsay's plight."

See, "The World" in my case is Reese's. The loveable brand from our friendly neighbors to the North, Hershey (if not the best corporate citizens), has finally released a limited edition Elvis tribute Reese's Cup - Peanut Butter and Banana Creme. One of his favorite treats was fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. As I have resolved to eat healthier and exercise more, and been doing a fine job of it, these little chocolatey bastards could be my undoing. As a kid, my mom preferred that I ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches, getting at least some vitamins and potassium from the banana slices, benefits absent in most jellies. When mom found these new Elvis cups, she thought it would be nice reminder of my childhood. They're not bad, either, as I was afraid the banana would be too artificial, too overpowering. But the banana flavor is just enough to complement the traditional chocolate/peanut butter balance of a Reese's. One of the few "Limited Editions" that I like.

Plus, this has a picture of Elvis on the package. And it's not like that cop-out Young Elvis versus Old Elvis stamp debacle, either. You can find these with Young Athletic Elvis, Hawaiian Shirt Elvis, and, my favorite, Old Elvis. It's clearly Fat Elvis in all his early 1970s Vegas coked-out jumpsuit glory, maybe not quite as bloated and rambling, but it's clear he's baked... much like Mlle. Lohan.

This limited edition run is hitting stores throughout the region now. Dollar General Stores seem to be a reliable place to find them, though they seem to be allergic to putting a store within the Beltway. If you see them, please share in the comments. Let others find their inner Elvis. Hopefully, Mojo Nixon's vision of Elvis being everywhere can be realized.

Elvis Reese's Cups get 18 Whammies!, one for each of The King's U.S. number one hits on the pop singles chart.

Thanks to The Junk Food Blog and Candyblog.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What if Somebody Else Wrote About Dave?

This posting is the result of a night of much drink and revelry on Friday. My exercise is to write the lede of Dave Connolly's lambasting in the WaPo's Weekend section. So, we threw around a couple of ideas, figuring that if the Post is one of the few "standard-carrier" papers around, and this article flat-out sucks, how hard could it be if other papers took a crack at it?

And, as I do voices for fun and profit, surely I could write voices, if such a thing were possible. Right?

Here, again, is the real lede:

Dave Connolly needed friends.

Which is a tricky predicament. Tricky and kind of banal. And -- let's be honest -- a little sad.

By the time you're out there in the world, haven't there been enough opportunities -- in the sandbox and eighth-grade math class and the varsity tennis team and between dorm rooms and cubicle clusters -- to pick up a few good friends?


Unless, you know, there weren't. Or there were. There were all those opportunities, and buddies were met and made and then, somehow, lost. Binding ties came unbound.

Maybe there was a marriage. A baby. A transfer, a taxing project, an illness, a changing lifestyle, diverging hobbies, a new neighborhood, a gradual maturing, a big dramatic fight over a guy you were both interested in. Maybe your new medical sales job has you sleeping in Reston and creeping along Interstate 66, shaking hands with lots of doctors and nurses and not really getting to know anyone.

Maybe you're Dave Connolly, 29, athletic and outgoing and fun and successful, and everything was great and your social calendar was booming until one day it just wasn't.

Banal. A little sad. And common enough for this town to support a whole host of organizations designed to help people reach out and meet someone. Probably lots of someones. Probably in similar predicaments.

Number 1, The Washington Times.

David Connolly, Democrat, has no friends.

He is typical of the young, unwashed liberals that flock to DC every year. Some of these man-children are naive enough to think that working for some non-profit organization has merit. That they can change the world.

Others come here because they want to attend one of the area's renowed liberal universities, like Georgetown or American or Catholic.

And still others, like Connolly, come here because they figured out a way to make money from their liberal viewpoints. Connolly, 29, is an environmental consultant who makes sure that the neighborhoods around Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland don't suffer from such minor nuicances like noise, light and fuel runoff.

But Prince George's County, home to Andrews, is full of liberal Democrats and they demand such Welfare.


Baltimore Sun
14 people were killed in various gun battles thoughout the city this weekend as drug violence once again reared its ugly head. The Orioles were swept at home by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ravens' training camp starts in just a few weeks, and all we can gather is that Dave Connolly needed friends. Whether he made any new ones is debateable, but one thing is clear - this town makes THE BOMB crabcakes! Who needs friends when you can eat seafood on a sandwich, hon?

All Dave needs is some crabcakes, and to drink real beer. Like Natty Boh. Not that crappy Belgian crap, or those stupid microbrews. Once he learns to drop his expectations like the rest of us in Charm City, he'll be fine.


Dave Connolly has no friends. Then he made some. What did Paris Hilton do now?


The Onion

"Local Man Has No Friends"

Transplanted New Englander Dave Connolly stated today that he "has no friends other than empty beer bottles" and feels no compulsion to make any relationships that don't end in a drunken stupor.

"I love beer," exclaimed Connolly to nobody in particular on Friday night. "It makes me a jolly good fellow."

"Though," he admitted, "sometimes I cry and it makes me pee yellow."

Connolly moved to the DC area a few years ago to pursue a career in giving oral sex to lonely Capitol Hill staffers, but decided the pressure to be the male Jessica Cutler was just too much to bear.

"Frankly, I don't have the lips for it" Connolly mentioned. "My mom...very thin-lipped woman, and I favor her."

"Now my dad," said Connolly with pride, "that's a big-lipped SOB. He's the Angelina Jolie of all the guys at the docks back in Portsmouth, New Hampshire."

"And, semen tastes NOTHING like Leffe Blonde," one of Connolly's favorite brews.

When asked why he eschews dating for drinking, Dave explained it simply "Women suck. Beer doesn't."

But how does that preclude you from having friendships with men, Dave?

"Easy," offered Connolly. "Dude's try to drink me beers. Fuck that."


Local tree-hugger has no friends, less dating options. Good abs, though (OBPOPCULTREF)


NY Post




Dave Shaves Slaves to Fave Paves Maves, Flaves



So what if Dave got disrespected in the Post? We got 150 new members! Yay! See you at an event! You wanna host or should I?


O Noes! Sammy Perlozzo Fired

The picture of Sam is from happier days, when he was announced as the new manager of the O's. His dream job.

And, like many dreams, you wake up to reality before the dream is over., The Baltimore Sun - they're all saying the O's just fired manager Sam Perlozzo. Andy MacPhail is coming in to oversee baseball operations, and will persue former Marlins' manager Joe Girardi to replace Perlozzo. The Two Headed GM of Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan of previous years, and now Flanagan and Jim Duquette, probably won't be around much longer.

On one hand, this is a very good thing. Perlozzo's almost automaton-like devotion to bullpen roles cost them nearly a dozen games, as Danys Baez and Chris Ray have proven to be unable to reliably close out games. You don't earn a nickname like Per-LOSE-o by punching all the right buttons.

And Beat-agan was far too fascinated by slow 1B/OF types (Jeff Conine, BJ Surhoff, Kevin Millar, Jay Gibbons) instead of getting a true 1B with a real, working bat. So, Duquette-agan got Aubrey Huff. *sigh*

At least he has a third-baseman's glove, too.

However, I'm not sure if this is such a great move. I was in Baltimore Saturday night, hanging out in Federal Hill after the loss against the D-Backs. The town has gotten so bloody depressed over the team that they have a fatalistic sense of dread, kinda like a Cubs fan. Ravens' training camp can not start soon enough.

Personally, I think the whole team and city needs an enema.

To the average fan, there's nothing positive going on with the team, and these losses from the bullpen are just crushing the whole organizations' morale. They've had leads in 21 of the past 22 games - partly the starters give up the lead immediately but so much of it has been a crappy bullpen...and a fan base ready to commit hari kari over yet another blown save.

Perlozzo gets canned, but pitching coach Leo Mazzone has not done the job expected of him. Can anybody say "overrated?" He can't reach Cabrera, can't cure Ray, and kicked Baez' dog or something.

Terry Crowley has been awful, at best. This team seems unable to take a walk or work a pitch count. The O's seem to lead the league in first pitch outs.

And, Beat-agan counted on Corey Patterson to build on last seasons' success. Corey Patterson crushed the Cubs with his on-again, off-again talent. The guy can play...just, not reliably. Corey Patterson is this season's Gary Matthews, Jr., who's career is very up-and-down as well. Sometimes brilliant; often maddening. You guys might remember Patterson and Matthews when they played under the monikers of "Mike Devereaux," "Ken Gerhart," "Chito Martinez" and "Pete Stanicek." What must they think in the Warehouse? "Oh, they had one good season after a career of nothing spectacular? Chalk them up for a big year next season!"

Meanwhile, former O Jack Cust is tearing up the league, with 31 hits, 20 RBI, 9 home runs in 113 at bats. So...yeah. He's hitting better than any other OF the O's have. Great judge of talent there. Other than Nick Markakis, the O's outfield is yet-again a joke.

It's an organizational issue. I think Flanagan and Beattie were doing well as far as rebuilding the talent base in the minors, and the draft picks of the past couple of seasons seem solid so far. But the major league team has too many 1B/OF types and can't keep pitchers healthy. Bad, bad combo.

It's not Perlozzo's fault the O's chucked cash at Jaret Wright and his balky arm. It's not Perlozzo's fault the O's chucked cash at Danys Baez and his flaky psyche. It's not Perlozzo's fault the O's chucked cash at notoriously slow starting Aubrey Huff. It's not Perlozzo's fault that Chris Ray loves giving up game-losing grand slams.

However, Perlozzo lost Patterson. Lost Gibbons. And when you can't keep Kevin Millar happy, something's up.

Best of luck to ya, Perlozzo. Shame you had to manage Team Dysfunction.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Don't F*** with the Mamma Bear

My good friend Dave Connolly is the subject of an article in the Washington Post about online social networking sites, like MeetinDC. In fact, Dave and I met and became friends through Meetin. Dave is one of the more interesting cats I know - knows more about the outdoors than L.L.Bean if he worked at REI; brews his own beer; works out like a demon, and provides environmental controls with the military, trying to keep pollution from a base from getting into the surrounding neighborhoods.

He's from New England, lived in a tent in Colorado, and has been on top of more mountains than anything other than snow.

Put simply, he's one of those fellows who has done what he wanted to do, and enjoyed the path. A perfect subject for a newspaper article, right?

However, the article starts off:

Dave Connolly needed friends.

Which is a tricky predicament. Tricky and kind of banal. And -- let's be honest -- a little sad.

Wow. Banal? A little sad? continues:

By the time you're out there in the world, haven't there been enough opportunities -- in the sandbox and eighth-grade math class and the varsity tennis team and between dorm rooms and cubicle clusters -- to pick up a few good friends?


Whoa! Judge much?

Unless, you know, there weren't. Or there were. There were all those opportunities, and buddies were met and made and then, somehow, lost. Binding ties came unbound.

Maybe there was a marriage. A baby. A transfer, a taxing project, an illness, a changing lifestyle, diverging hobbies, a new neighborhood, a gradual maturing, a big dramatic fight over a guy you were both interested in. Maybe your new medical sales job has you sleeping in Reston and creeping along Interstate 66, shaking hands with lots of doctors and nurses and not really getting to know anyone.

Maybe you're Dave Connolly, 29, athletic and outgoing and fun and successful, and everything was great and your social calendar was booming until one day it just wasn't.

Banal. A little sad. And common enough for this town to support a whole host of organizations designed to help people reach out and meet someone. Probably lots of someones. Probably in similar predicaments.

Yeah, I got a 1300 on my SATs back when that still meant something, and I know what banal means. I had to look it up in case there was a little-known definition that few people would recognize, or some slang term that changes its meaning. Nope. According to, banal is :

ba·nal /bəˈnæl, -ˈnɑl, ˈbeɪnl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier.

Great. Hackneyed and trite. The writer just made Dave sound like Dane Cook.

The article goes on to describe how a group like Meetin can help people make new friends in an area, and does eventually give Dave a good quote:

Maybe even finding, like Connolly did, "the best sphere of friends I've ever had in my life."

Thanks for the plug, dude.

Still...small consequence after having the words "banal" and "a little sad" tied to every Google EgoSearch you do for the rest of your life.

The writer could have easily done the lede as the following:

Dave Connolly had moved to the DC area after years of living in Colorado, New
England, and other parts of the US. The outdoor enthusiast had friends
all over the country, but none in his new home.

Feel free to cut-n-paste, future journalists. Now, I know that *I* don't write for the Post, so, what do I know about writing, right? Well, I know this:

1) Mike's last name is H-E-A-R-D.
2) You don't write about private citizens with the same degree of detached cynicism that you hold towards athletes, politicians and celebrities.

Now, I know I only MAJORED in journalism at Virginia Wesleyan; TV and Radio Production at Towson; and only was a gawd-durned voice on the ray-dee-oh. The only news I wrote only ended up over-the-air, either on the radio or the evening news. I certainly could fact-check and research at CNN for Larry King Live while not actually being as vital to the show as Larry. And, I know my feature writing experience was pretty much regulated to bungee jumping in Ocean City and the morning show at 99.1 back in the mid-90s. I also wasn't one of the writers on the old weekend roundup on Digital City, DC. I didn't get a fancy piece of paper from Northwestern or Syracuse or that Sally Struther's piece of crap, so, maybe I'm just not qualified to accurately judge this work.

But I certainly remember walking down Locust Avenue in Des Moines about 9 years ago, meeting Rob Borsellino. You might be asking "who the hell is Rob Borsellino?" As well you should. See, when I first moved to Des Moines, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was thin, didn't wear Dockers, and looked at the complete and utter lack of people in Downtown Des Moines with a sense of shock and awe. Here's this clean, safe, fairly bland city, presumably with enough culture and entertainment to prove its worth, and a population that beelined for the suburbs at 4:45pm, CST, every working day. My first couple of months in Des Moines were rough. I missed my friends. I missed my family. I missed minorities. I missed homeless people. I missed urine on the sidewalks. I missed crime. I missed the excitement of living in the DC/Baltimore region, where every day could be your last. I walked down Locust Street, looking for a lively lunch spot on a glorious spring afternoon, wondering why the Iowan chose to walk in the climate controlled Skywalk instead of the fresh air.

Rob Borsellino was a firebrand columnist for the Des Moines Register. He was a champion of the little guy; pointing out social injustices, and skilled at showing the fallacies, fallibilities and contradictions in us all. He took a magnifying glass to those he felt needed to be exposed, and a mirror to those who needed to see their true reflection.

He also was wearing a black leather jacket and jeans on a 80 degree day. I recognized him immediately from his thumbnail in the Register, his black and grey hair and eyebrows working like trademarks. He'd have fit in perfectly in Jersey, and his slightly-aging hipster demeanor made me look like an Iowan lifer.

He saw me looking around, and since tourists in Iowa are as rare as Republicans at a Pride Rally, he asked if he could help me find something. I said that I was new in town and was looking for something that would remind me of home. To this day, I'm not sure why, but I told him that I had no idea I would be so homesick.

He asked where I was from, and why I moved to Des Moines. Next thing you know, we talked for 30 minutes, and shared our lives' stories. He was a New Yorker (I was close on my initial guess) and said that he stayed in Des Moines because it was full of real people - you just have to find them. The Iowan - even those absorbed in their career, trying to get ahead in any of the big firms in DM, like Principal Finacial, the publishing houses, the law firms, even the Register itself - was a sincere American who cared; they just didn't always know who to care for or about. But they felt the need to care, to give a rat's ass outside of the rat race.

Something about the simple elegance of that philosophy let him stay in Iowa, despite countless and repeated opportunities for him to flee to the hipper, happening coasts, no doubt for better exposure and bigger paychecks.

I never missed a Borsellino column after that, and was saddened to learn of his passing in 2006, like a true Yankee fan, from Lou Gehrig's Disease.

One thing I learned from reading his columns - he could be painfully liberal, sometimes to the point of madness, but he cared. He gave a crap about who he wrote about, and why.

He was gentle towards those who needed coddling, and vicious to those who needed scolding. And he'd NEVER make somebody out to be banal or a little sad if they truly weren't.

He was, for a New Yorker, a great Iowan.

He'd never throw somebody under a bus for a poorly-written lede, allowing snark to get in the way of a proper description.

Funny...he taught me how to be a better writer, and his tuition cost me 25 cents a day.

May all feature writers learn this lesson.

For now, Dave and I will knock back a couple of dark, unpronouncable beers, and ponder subscriptions to the Times (in jest, of course). Maybe we'll start a club for those who have been embarassed in the Post. Dave, me, and Marion Berry.

Sweet. At least we'll get the good drugs.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I seldom embed YouTube videos in my blogs, but this guy deserves it.

I don't love opera as much as I love Opera, but, damn.


This fellow studied to be an opera singer, but life, like it does so often, got in the way. He sells mobile phones - and then makes Simon Cowell stunned.

The opera purists may complain that he has some resonance issues, and some sibilance most likely due to his lack of high-quality British dental work, but damn. That's nitpicky as hell. That'd be like a dude who loves gay disco only listening to Erasure because Andy Bell's voice is better than Neil Tennant's from the Pet Shop Boys. This guy is real, and he loves what he does. There is a joy to that singing that is so evident, so passionate, so accessible.

I don't like opera as a rule, but I will gladly purchase his CDs. Congratulations are in order to this man, and I hope he does well in this competition.

Who'd a thought, that with the NBA Finals, the series ending of The Sopranos, and the never-ending media storm around Paris Hilton, that a chubby, unassuming Welsh opera singer would be the best thing on TV?

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Life in Cotton/Lyrca Blend

As though the Nick Hornby book/John Cusack movie "High Fidelity" didn't sum up my ever-so-slightly elitist appeal to obscure indie rock bands quite enough, this t-shirt by cartoonist Richard Stevens nails it.

How was your weekend, dear readers? Mine was booze-filled, with sangria on Friday, margaritas on Saturday, and a Sopranos' Sunday filled with chai liqueur, wine and far too much sugar. Even though I drank a lot, I didn't fall asleep until 5:30am.

Was I wired from the sweets? From the knowledge that Tony Soprano survives?

Perhaps I was just suffering from the shakes.

In any event, this week shall be known "System Clean." Water. Basic foods. Nothing fancy. I feel toxic. Not priddy. And I need my priddyness.

Might paint a picture this week. Not sure what yet. But I found the oils and canvas, and they need to be used.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wheelchair Macros

He went bye-byes in his wheelchair.

Part of me thinks this kid did this on purpose. It could have been a Jackass-style stunt, or a suicide attempt gone (hilariously) wrong.

I'm also not above thinking this is a publicity stunt for the Transformers' movie. Optimus Prime, how could you?