Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 29, 2005

Roberts Confirmed

John R. Roberts has been confirmed as Chief Justice, 72-28.

The Republicans voted unanimously yes, 17 Democrats voted yes, 28 voted no. To see how your favorite senators voted, go here.

If you were wondering, Clinton, Kerry, Schumer, and Kennedy, those lovely lefty ladies Boxer and Feinstein, and minority leader Reid all voted no.

Byrd, Lieberman, Feingold, and Landrieu voted yes.

Miserly, So You Don't Have To Be

So Citibank's ads. They bother me a little. I mean, they're clever, they're a little uplifting, they promote a heathly outlook on life. For example:
Money can't buy happinesss, but it can buy marshmallows, which is sorta the same thing.
The general idea of these ads is that there's more to life than money, money's not THAT important, etc. Which is a great sentiment, and I respect anyone who subscribes to it, EXCEPT my bank. I want the philosophy of my bank to be that money is the most important thing possible, horde it, be miserly, etc. I think my prefered, more reassuring Citibank slogan would be "Miserly, so you don't have to be."

Miserly, So You Don't Have To Be

So Citibank's ads. They bother me a little. I mean, they're clever, they're a little uplifting, they promote a heathly outlook on life. For example:
Money can't buy happinesss, but it can buy marshmallows, which is sorta the same thing.
The general idea of these ads is that there's more to life than money, money's not THAT important, etc. Which is a great sentiment, and I respect anyone who subscribes to it, EXCEPT my bank. I want the philosophy of my bank to be that money is the most important thing possible, horde it, be miserly, etc. I think my prefered, more reassuring Citibank slogan would be "Miserly, so you don't have to be."

Note: I use Commerce Bank, which is a truly magnificent financial institution.

Alexander

Seen on the box of Oliver Stone's Alexander -- Director's Cut DVD:
"Newly inspired, faster paced, more action packed!"
In other words, we, the producers, realize that the movie sucked with the force of the vortex of an enormous sinking ocean liner, although we don't completely understand why, and we believe that by rearranging the deck chairs on said enormous sinking ocean liner, we can con you into forking over a few more bucks so we can simply be an major, money-losing flop, rather than a landmark, ground-breakingly, laughably, absurdly money-losing flop.

Ground Zero "Freedom Center" Quashed

And not a moment too soon. From CNN.com:
A controversial proposal for an International Freedom Center adjacent to the planned memorial at the World Trade Center site has been abandoned.

New York Gov. George Pataki on Wednesday announced the change of plans he once championed.

"There remains too much opposition, too much controversy over the programming of the IFC and we must move forward with our first priority -- the creation of an inspiring memorial to pay tribute to our lost loved ones and tell their stories to the world," Pataki said in a written statement.

A growing chorus of September 11 victims' family members had objected to proposed exhibits that would cover subjects in American history unrelated to the 2001 terrorists attack. Some also objected to the center occupying an eight-story cultural center in the southwest quadrant of the 16-acre site where the memorial will be centered.

"Therefore, the IFC cannot be located on the memorial quadrant," Pataki said.
It's nice that our governor has finally woken up and smelled the refreshing yet pungent aroma of sanity.

Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 27, 2005

Shampoozled Sighting

So today, walking down to SoHo, I saw a full wall-sized Shampoozled ad that had been hand-graffitied onto the brick wall, hairy letters and everything. It was pretty. I continue to not use Dove. But I continue to be impressed with their campaign, and more importantly, I continue to get a large amount of search traffic related to it. Which is why I continue to mention Shampoozled.

Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 26, 2005

Shampoozled: The Truth

It seems that Dove is behind the Shampoozled campaign. Or they're just sending me spam now. But I just got an email about how to make my hair better, and so I assume that's my one shampoozled email. Don't think I'll be buying Dove though.

Anti-Friz tip of the day: 2-3 drops olive oil, possibly infused with something pleasant smelling. Rub it around on your hands, run your hands over the frizzy area.

Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 23, 2005

A Bleg

Blogging has been light this week while my computer, Squishy, is being repaired as a result of its unfortunate encounter with gravity. If any of you would like to contribute to the "Fix Squishy" fund, the Paypal button is to your right, and any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Details

You know, when writing, it's always helpful to be specific. Good details make for good stories. Except when they suck. For example, from the Washington Post:
The seasoned protesters who organized tomorrow's antiwar demonstration are well-versed in many other causes. They have marched and rallied against police brutality, racism, colonialism and the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

But their message on the Mall tomorrow will be singular: "End the war in Iraq."

Because of that sharp focus, they will be joined by novice protesters such as Patrice Cuddy, 56. Interviewed by phone yesterday, the former public school teacher in Olathe, Kan., said she had to pull off her gardening gloves each time a neighbor interrupted her yardwork to ask about joining the bus she had chartered to go to the nation's capital.
And...? She got a blister? The begonias didn't get repotted? Kansans don't talked to gloved neighbors? Her gloves have worn out? What? Why is this an important detail? The rest of the article goes on about like you'd expect. Except that it doesn't explain what the deal is with the gloves.

Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 19, 2005

Oh, The Humanity!

From the LA Times:
Lawyers representing about 116,000 former and current Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employees in California told a jury today that the world's largest retailer systematically and illegally denied workers lunch breaks.

The suit in Alameda County Superior Court is among about 40 cases nationwide alleging workplace violations against Wal-Mart, and the first to go to trial. Wal-Mart, which earned $10 billion last year, settled a lawsuit in Colorado for $50 million that contains similar allegations to California's class action. The company also is accused of paying men more than women in a federal lawsuit pending in San Francisco federal court.

The workers in the class-action suit are owed more than $66 million plus interest, attorney Fred Furth told the 12 jurors and four alternates.

"I will prove the reason they did this was for the God Almighty dollar," Furth said in his opening statement.

Nine jurors must side with the plaintiffs to prevail. Millions of dollars also are sought to punish the company for the alleged wrongdoing.

The case concerns a 2001 state law, which is among the nation's most worker friendly. Employees who work at least six hours must have a 30-minute, unpaid lunch break. If they do not get that, the law requires they are paid for an additional hour of pay.

The lawsuit covers former and current employees in California from 2001 to 2005.
All I know is that it's a good thing that my last employer wasn't operating in CA, because there were definitely days when we worked 15-18 hour days and got maybe two 15 minute breaks. Of course, were I to have gotten compensated an extra hours "wages" for that injustice, that would have added about $.25 to my take home pay, but you know.

And naturally, it's evil because it's Walmart.

Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 17, 2005

More Shampoozled

So the whole Shampoozled thing is brilliant except that, ya know, I still don't know who it is exactly that wants me to buy their products, not that I'm going to. My solution to hair overwashing, as opposed to buying special shampoo, is to just, you know, not wash my hair everyday. My hair is down to my waist, so it's not like it needs it. My personal brand is TreSemme, which is relatively unexpensive and comes in very large bottles, which is the key, really.

NYC Trivia Quiz

If you see an establishment denoted by a red neon rooster over the door or in the window, what sort of establishment is it most likely to be?

Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 16, 2005

Avoiding 'I Love You' and Other Professional Hazards

[Note to my mother: This post contains a bad word used in a funny way. You have been warned.]

This is a fabulous interview with Adam Guettel [Who you think is hot...--Ed. Yes, I do, but that does not impact the fabulosity of the interview. mm-Hmm Shaddup] about all things musical theatre. It's really worth reading the whole thing, but here are my favorite bits:
At what point do the words come?
When my collaborator says, “If you don’t finish that fucking lyric, I’m never going to talk to you again.” That’s when they come in. Lyric writing is really rewarding and really, really grueling to do. There are a few exceptions. A couple of songs in each score just kind of come to you, and you feel like you were just given a pass. The language of music is infinite, and you can say, “I love you” or “I want you” in music in a zillion ways. But in any spoken language, most of the really good ways have already been done. So it’s about finding a broader language in which you place a phrase like “I love you” that inflects it in a way that makes it feel fresh. Avoiding saying “I love you” can be very time-consuming and sometimes impossible. 
I've had collaborators like that. Search the archives...
And he's right on the whole "finding ways to avoid saying 'I love you'" bit. Good grief, that's a pain sometimes. Perhaps I'll post some examples of my successes (and failures!) in that department later.
If you do some quick math and you add the movie of Chicago to Moulin Rouge and you add in Rufus Wainwright—whose work has a certain theatrical quality—and you subtract Umbrellas of Cherbourg from the equation because most people have forgotten about that, and you put it over the quadratic formula, which is The Sound of Music, The King and I and all those movie musicals, and then you divide the whole thing by Rent—you might get a quantity that is workable. 
And that effectively sums up my profession. Sadly.

Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 15, 2005

Shampoozled

This is brilliant marketing.

Τετάρτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 14, 2005

Once I Finally Got This, It Was Really Funny...

Joke of the Day
What does George W. Bush think about Roe versus Wade?
He doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans


It's timely, it incorporates at least three touchy subjects, and hinges around a bad pun. What could be better?

Thrilling Discovery of the Day

You can buy crumpets at the xxxx xxxxxxxxx on 1st Avenue! I'm not telling where exactly, because you might all rush out and buy them. Which, if I were thinking from a sensible, long-term position, would be good, because it would encourage the people who do the ordering to make sure they had a constant supply to keep up with the increased demand. In the short term, it would mean I'm less likely to get my fix of chewy British pastry.

I had resorted to making them myself, which had very mixed results, as it's difficult to achieve even, moderate heat on a gas stove. A griddle would have worked better, I think.

In any case, I can buy them now. Cheaply! Within blocks of my apartment!

Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 13, 2005

Quote from "Hitch"

Boss: "So it looks like a date, and it sounds like a date, but it's not a date?"

Sara: "Yes."

Boss: "Just checking."

"Guys, Don't Be &$*#heads, Okay?"

So last night, as I slept, with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head [Did not. You had an odd dream involving Adam Guettel, Justin Timberlake, tiny ladders, and the Japanese language. -- Ed. They weren't supposed to know that. How did you know that? I'm Ed. I know all, see all. And I agree - Adam Guettel IS hot.] two friendly neighborhood trolls lumbered into my comments section.

The first is my good friend James. Our witty repartee can be viewed here.

The second, and this is the one I'm considering deleting, is far less unfriendly. It's just some blogger who has decided to reproduce his entire post, with conspicuous link to his own blog, in the comments of a completely unrelated post of mine. I'm not going to link to it, largely because it's likely to be deleted any minute anyway, and also because I don't believe in giving this guy free advertising.

So now's a good time to reiterate my comments policy. The general policy is, in the immortal words of my friend Andy, "Guys, don't be fuckheads, okay?"
Personal attacks will only be tolerated as far as I find mocking your stupidity amusing.

Using me for self-promotion will not be tolerated.

Comment spam will be blocked.

Dissent is accepted, unless you're annoying. Friendly dissent, rather, is accepted. Hostile dissent isn't. If you'd like to be hostile, go get your own blog.


UPDATE: Ron F.? Honey? I'm referring to you here.

For those of you following along at home, Ron, of underthenews.blogspot.com (which I'm not going to link out of respect for the delicate ecology of the delusion which is the blogosphere), has repost the 'comment' he left earlier, which was essentially an entire post from his own blog, complete with link, naturally. Or rather, it was trying to be a whole post, but Haloscan, mercifully, has character limits. Now, the interesting thing here is that Ron posted this to my "explain how someone's 1/3 Irish" post, not my "racial issues" post, which would be the 'appropriate' (were that it were appropriate to post one's entire post in a comment, which it isn't) place to put it. And after I deleted the first one, (and added this post), he put his comment BACK on the unrelated post. It's going to be deleted again.

Ron, just a heads up. You're one repost away from a) banning and b) being named the Official Resplendent Mango Fuckhead of the Day.

FURTHER UPDATE: James, however, is definitely still competing for the title. Stay tuned. Who will win? Only time can tell.

FINAL UPDATE: The profanity in the headline has been modified because apparently it was offending the delicate sensibilities of my mother.

English Ballads

This, via Abigail, via Ian, is hilarious. It's wisdom collected from various and sundry English folk ballads. For example
Avoid navigable waterways. Don’t let yourself be talked into going down by the wild rippling water, the wan water, the salt sea shore, the strand, the lowlands low, the Burning Thames, and any area where the grass grows green on the banks of some pool. Cliffs overlooking navigable waterways aren’t safe either.

Broom, as in the plant, should be given a wide berth.

Stay away from the greenwood side, too.

Avoid situations where the obvious rhyme-word is “maidenhead.”

If you look at the calendar and discover it’s May, stay home.

The flowing bowl is best quaffed at home.
Go read it all.

A Test

Abigail -- Do not pass go, do not debug Access, do not collect whatever ungodly sum they pay you. Click here now. And we want to know how you do.

Scooping the Obvious

So on CNN.com's front page right now, it has the following little nugget of enlightenment:
White and black Americans view Hurricane Katrina's aftermath in starkly different ways, with more blacks viewing race as a factor in problems with the federal response, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released today. More blacks than whites said they were angry about the government's response to Katrina, 76 percent to 60 percent, and President Bush is one target of their ire.
Now, I'm gonna go out of a limb here, but my guess would be that you could take that first sentence, fill in the noun of your choice, and have it continue to be true.

In other words,
White and black Americans view [you name it] in starkly different ways, with more blacks viewing race as a factor in problems with the [you name it], according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released today.
is probably a true statement for a large majority of things you could name. Wanna know a little white-people secret? We just don't think about it that much. I mean, sure, we notice it -- I'm aware that one of my actors is black, several are hispanic, one of my collaborators is Filipino. They reflect less light than I do. Me, I'm practically fluorescent. But I don't sit there and think of ways to oppress them. (Except for the collaborator. And that has nothing to do with race.) Race just isn't really a factor. No, really.

My experience, not to generalize [You're always generalizing. -- Ed. Yes, well...] is that the folks who tend to care more about race, and see things as racially motivated are either a) minorities or b) liberals who wish they were minorities because that would be less guilt-inducing. I think there are some very valid reasons why the folks in group A (and group B, for that matter) could hold those opinions, but, getting back to my original point, I don't really see the fact that more black people than white people see racism in any particular crystal ball as news. That's all.

Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 12, 2005

Geneology for Dumm...Liberals

So today, puttering about the hinterlands of the blogosphere, I stumbled upon this comment, posted by a blogger on his own blog.
[...lots of blather, hyperbole, and froth omitted...]
As for Paul, I repeat my challenge Jay, which you have ignored at least three times, show me "one" gd post, just ONE, where Paul has shown any compassion for Black folk or poor when he wasnt being as you put "satirical," and I put, "racist." And as for the ass kissing Negroes who served as appologist for Paul, they... like him, can kiss my ass. They no more represent Blacks than I do Irish, despite being 1/3 Irish.
Now what was it that aroused my curiosity, my pity, my ire? Was it the incivility? Was it the inappropriate use of quotation marks? Was it the creative capitalization?

No.

It was the claim to be 1/3 Irish.

"How could anyone be 1/3 Irish. Or 1/3 anything, for that matter?" I wondered.

So I asked.

I said, "How are you 1/3 Irish?"

And later, as a part of a post of similar character to the one excerpted above, he replied, "My Grandfather on my Mother's side was Irish Katie," again paying homage to the unholy trinity of incorrect punctuation, inappropriate capitalization, and impossible geneology.

I'm still curious. If any of you have any creative theories as to how someone might go about being 1/3 Irish (or whatever nationality you choose, if it makes the story better), please post them in the comments. Mine involves incest and time travel. Bonus points if you can explain how the other 2/3 came to be as well.

Have fun.

And remember -- when playing in the gene pool, make sure a lifeguard is present.

An Announcement

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say, as a woman, that it reassures me to have tireless defenders of women's welfare and safety, like Ted Kennedy, representing me in the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings of John Roberts.

Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 10, 2005

Lyric -- Take Me Away

By popular demand (by which I mean Susan's sister Katie), I present:

The lyric about Shakib

Or part of it at least. The final bit, which involves three things happening at once, well, you're just going to have to come to the show to find out what happens.

KATIE
I’D BEEN UP ALL NIGHT
WHEN I GOT ON THE PLANE
TO GO TO ANN ARBOR
TO SEE A BOY I HAD NEARLY FORGOT

AS THE ENGINES ROARED
THE AIRPLANE SOARED
I CLOSED MY EYES TO SLEEP
I THOUGHT

“JUST TAKE ME AWAY
TO A CITY OF STRANGERS
AND HOLD ME IN ARMS THAT ARE STRONG
LET’S STAND ON A HILLTOP
WITH SEAGULLS AND SUNSETS
AND AT NIGHT YOU CAN SING ME SONG
WE’LL CAMP OUT IN VALLEYS AND SWIM IN THE BAY
I WISH YOU WERE HERE
TO TAKE ME AWA—“

OLDER MAN
(with a strong accent of unknown origin) DO YOU SPEAK FRENCH?

KATIE
NO.

OLDER MAN
DO YOU SPEAK GERMAN?

KATIE
NINE.

OLDER MAN
WHAT IS THAT THERE?

KATIE
IT’S MY IPOD.

OLDER MAN
LET ME SEE

KATIE
FINE.

OLDER MAN
I’M SHAKIB

KATIE
I’M KATIE

OLDER MAN
HERE’S MY NUMBER
WRITE IT DOWN
THAT WAY YOU CAN CALL ME
IF YOU EVER ARE IN TOWN

KATIE
Which town?

OLDER MAN
This number for Berlin, this one for Dearborn, and this one for Beirut. You call?

KATIE
Um, yes. Yes, if I’m ever in Beirut, I’ll be sure to call.

OLDER MAN
Good.
KATHY
LET’S GO AWAY
TO A CITY OF STRANGERS
I’LL HOLD YOU IN ARMS THAT ARE STRONG
LET’S STAND ON MUKAWER
WITH SEAGULLS AND SUNSETS
AND AT NIGHT I WILL SING YOU A SONG
WE’LL CAMP AT QADISHA AND SWIM IN THE BAY
I’M HERE TO LOVE YOU
AND TAKE YOU AWAY

I LOVE YOU
I LOVE YOU
PLEASE COME AWAY

I NEED YOU
I NEED YOU
PLEASE COME AWAY

I’LL COVER YOU IN KISSES
I’LL SHOWER YOU IN DIAMONDS
I LOVE YOU
KATHY
MARRY ME TODAY!

KATIE
SHAKIB
(As she struggles to extricate herself from his embrace)
I’M SORRY TO SAY IT
BUT WE ARE JUST STRANGERS
WOW, YOUR HANDS ARE QUITE STRONG
THERE WILL BE NO HILLTOPS
NO SEAGULLS OR SUNSETS
NO NIGHTS SPENT IN STORY AND SONG
I CAN’T GO TO BEIRUT, PLEASE DON’T OFFER TO PAY
I DO NOT LOVE YOU
PLEASE GO AWAY.

Joel's Current Away Message

katie requires clean collaborators