Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar

Advantages of going to a virtual Oscar party over a real one:

Big surprise: The theme from An Inconvenient Truth winning instead of any of the songs from Dreamgirls. Okay, Best Docu, I can see, but the song wasn't that hot as a song.

Etheridge, accepting award: "We're going to be the Greatest Generation and save the earth!"

My Husband: "No, you're the generation that screwed the Negroes."

And I hadn't been aware that Katrina was caused by global warming--bad levies and incompetent government officials had been my understanding. Go know. But apparently, the argument's been around for a an argument, between the usual suspects. (The Usual Suspects is also a good movie.)

So, probably some (inconvenient) truth to the argument, but the Al Gore Love Fest was this year's Smug Alert!

Other Observations: Vintage Babes are "in" this year; eg. Helen Mirren, Diane Keaton.

Interesting Fact about Helen Mirren: Her real name is Ilyena Vasilievna Mironov. I did not know that.

I want to see Iraq in Fragments. The movie, that is. Also West Bank Story. And I've been told Pan's Lab-I-Can't-Spell-It is great. And I'm a Tom Perrotta fan, so I want to see Little Children, even though every time I hear the title I start singing the song by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.

In fact, I want to see all the nominated movies, because, as is my custom for the past decade, I haven't seen any of them!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Aw, Rats!

I pass this KFC/Taco Bell every morning on the way to the subway. It's always looked very skeevy to me and I've never gone in.

It's closed now, of course. There's blue plastic sheeting on the inside of the windows. Show's over, folks; nothing to see here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"Why Didn't I Think of This" Department

Elaine Viets writes mystery novels. Her hook is that she--and her novels' protogonist--take a different dead end job for each one. She sold "bustiers to bimbos" for Shop Till You Drop and was a telemarketer for Dying To Call You.

I figured, maybe the hook is cool but the writing will suck. But there's a sample chapter and it's a lot of fun, so I'll definitely check it out.

Also sounds like yet another great idea for one of my many possible "When I retire and write mystery novels" scenarios. Except Elaine Viets is already doing it.

H/T Hey, There's a Dead Guy in the Living Room.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Is You A Girl Or Is You A Boy?

Or is you a girl, oh boy?

The Gender Genie will analyze a sample of your writing and tell you whether the writer is male or female.

It identified me as being male. Perhaps I am Hemmingway.

Update: Hilarity ensues here.

H/T to: I forgot. I'd gone hog wild and started clicking on everybody's blogroll.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Real Reason the Palestinians Don't Have A State

From "Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001" by Benny Morris:
The quiet of the mid-1920s was broken for a brief moment by Samuel's resignation and the appointment, in 1925, of Field Marshal Lord Plumer, formerly governor of Malta, as his successor. A non-Zionist, Plumer "adhered rigidly to the status quo," and was remembered for his correctness. But he kicked off his term of office with something of a faux pas. At a Jewish sports meeting in Tel Aviv, Plumer, flanked by his daughter, stood up for "God Save the King," and continued standing when the band went on to play HaTikvah, the Zionist (and subsequently Israel's national) anthem. An Arab delegation came to complain. But when he asked, "By the way, have you got a national anthem?" the delegation fell silent. "In that case," Plumer concluded, "I think you had better get one as soon as possible."

The Hut Sut Song

I couldn't get this song out of my head all morning. I remember it from a cartoon when I was a kid; Horton the Elephant was singing it, and the cartoon was already old then.

I Google'd it and found this video.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Althouse NYC Meet-Up

In line with my bigtime New Year's Resolution called "Meet people you 'know' from online," I went to the get-together that Ann Althouse had for her NYC-area readers. It was at 5 PM--"drinks" time--in the lobby bar of the Millennium Hotel across from the WTC. There were ten people there, and five were lawyers, but nobody sued anyone.

There was a teacher from SVA, and a guy named Steve who invented a database called where you can look up book reviews "based on plot, character, setting and writing style." Also Drew, who's a copywriter launching a career as a stand-up comic. I mentioned that I'd done stand-up back in the '80s. Others at the table referred to us thereafter as "the comics."

I was relatively quiet at the table, the way I'm a relatively infrequent commenter on Althouse. Mostly, it was because there were several conversations about things I know little or nothing about: The "old" days on Metafilter, BlogAds versus Google Ads, the architecture of Yale/New Haven, and what it's like to drive cross-country. My other bigtime New Year's resolution is to spend more time listening and not be embarrassed if there's nothing I can add to a particular conversation. Hey, at that rate, I could learn something!

Politics: All present liked Giuliani, although the table was divided on whether or not his dressing in drag was going to make him unelectable in the conservative heartland. Although having been married to his cousin may actually make him more electable in some parts of the South.

We ended up sitting, chatting and consuming large quantities of Goldfish (the snack) until after nine. I'd mentioned to Ann that I'd liked her posting her old sketchbooks as the '80s version of what blogging was for her now, and said that I was digitizing my old stand-up tapes to post on my blog for the same reason. She suggested posting them on YouTube. Unfortunately, most of the tapes I have are audio tapes. So I'll have to dig around and see if I have any old video that doesn't embarrass me.

I have a feeling getting over the embarrassment hump is going to be the biggest bigtime New Year's Resolution.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

RLC is Blogging Again

With some great short fiction and other wry insights.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Compromising Position

Two and a half weeks ago, I got a letter from my bank saying that my Mastercard debit card was no good and that I had to get a new one. Suspecting a scam, I took the letter to the customer service rep of the branch near my office.

"Yes, this is real," she replied. "Your card's been compromised."

Okay, card, assume the position. "What?"

"Somebody hacked into Mastercard's system and we have to cancel your card and issue you a new one." Four forms and a notary public later, I left, the rep telling me that I would receive my new card in seven to ten working days.

Last Monday, I got a call from my landlord's accountant.

"Did you order a Mastercard?"

"Yes. Why do you have it?"

"Your security deposit is at the same bank. They must have gotten the addresses confused."

"Okay, could you hold it there for me? I'll pick it up tomorrow."

Tuesday, of course, I couldn't pick up anything, being homebound with the flu. I called the accountant and she assured me she would drop it in the mail.

Thursday, I check the mail, no card. Maybe she'd mailed it late on Tuesday. Friday, no card. Saturday, I turned the key in the lock of the mailbox saying confidently to myself, "It will be here." It wasn't there.

This morning, I called the accountant back.

"I gave it to your building's agent and she slipped it under your door on Friday." Now, I know the cats are capable of picking up everything from a grocery receipt to a piece of penne pasta and hiding it, but my husband was home all day on Friday and nobody slipped anything under our door.

I spoke to the building's agent.

"Sure! I gave it to the super and he told me he slipped it under your door."

She's now trying to contact the super, who is probably on his way to Rio de Janiero with my card. More on this as it develops.

Update: Someone mysteriously slipped the envelope under our door about 15 minutes after I wrote the above. Mysteriously.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I'm at home today, bundled up and sneezing with a temperature of 100.1. This is a result of the -10 degree wind chills and my immune system resembling Swiss cheese. So of course, here I am, shivering at the computer like a kid just out of a cold swimming pool.

I was always a workaholic when I was sick, even as a little girl. As soon as my hand could close around a pencil, I surrounded myself in bed with shiny-covered Whitman novels, my spelling and math workbooks, and every crayon in my arsenal, as well as a variety of surfaces to color on. Even then, I was preparing myself for the zany world of print production.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

When The Caveman's Got a Better Place Than You Do

The GEICO caveman takes you on a virtual tour of his apartment.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


The pantry in my office has a cabinet with huge jars of whey powder. Every morning, a dozen or so young management trainee guys are in the pantry mixing these protein drinks in the blender and talking about their workouts. Three blenders go whirrr whirrr whirrr, like machines producing some kind of super-race of Alpha males.

I sit outside in my cubicle, unnoticed, Beta girl, who's watched two generations of Alpha males crash and burn, only a lucky few surviving, the rest being sperm that didn't penetrate the egg.

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