Careless Spliffer

I wish I liked George Michael’s music more, because I adore a lot of other things about the guy. We need more batshit crazy celebrities and less of the calculated Paris Hilton talenteless prefab sort.

Thank god for Michael and Boy George, who are both totally. out. of. control. Next time I read some awful story about CIA black ops torture facilities or the federal government spying on its citizens, I shall look for a story about a washed-up 80’s British pop star doing something like this.

George looked out of it [via Drudge]


“The hell am I tripping about cops and paparazzi for? This is not my lucky day.”

Sports Wagering Follies

I was in Vegas this weekend, and Woody and I cruised the sports books at several casinos Saturday to check out the lines on the upcoming baseball and football seasons. I’ve been interested in placing a bet on the Chargers to win the 2007 Super Bowl for a couple of months, because I look at the roster and see a bunch of young talent, their holes appear to be easily addressable with the acres of space they’ve got under the salary cap, and Chargers general manager A.J. Smith knows more about football than I do. The wildcard appeared to be quarterback Drew Brees’ health–pop and I were at the Denver game where Brees took that hit from John Lynch that tore his rotator cuff labrum. Last I’d heard about that, Brees was ahead of schedule in his rehab, and the Chargers appeared to be handling things proactively and had made him a contract offer.

So I felt pretty smart when I got 15-1 odds on the Chargers at the Palms.

Turns out I should have been paying a little more attention to things on the home front, because I get back to town and all kinds of nonsense has broken loose. Now the thinking is not only might the Chargers not lock down Brees long-term, but he might have played his last game in a Chargers uniform. The team has through March 3 to sign him to a deal, but they’ve already said they won’t be franchising or transitioning him, meaning there’s virtually no chance he’s back this year if they don’t come to a multi-year agreement.

I can understand the team’s trepidation in giving Brees a large contract while his throwing shoulder is a mosaic of torn tissue and there’s some question he’ll be able to throw an NFL-caliber medium to long pass. I mean, nobody wants to be where the Jets are with Chad Pennington. But I’ve said before that Brees has done the best quarterbacking I’ve ever seen from the position over the past two years, and the guy’s 27. Quarterbacks play until they’re 40 if they want. Philip Rivers might be the cat’s pajamas behind center–he’s certainly got the pedigree–but Brees has earned the benefit of the doubt as far as I’m concerned, and I’m really, really surprised the Chargers aren’t covering themselves by committing $9 million to him for 2006. I know, that’s a lot of money, but it’s less than half the cap room the team has available, meaning they can still make plenty of noise filling holes in free agency if they like, and if Brees proves healthy, they can get a king’s ransom for him (or a duke’s ransom for Rivers) after the season.

Like I said, I’ve been very impressed with Smith’s performance as general manager, and if he pulls off a long-term deal at reasonable cost and risk with Brees, he’s a friggin’ genius. But I’m not very comfortable with the way things currently stand, and I wish I could get take-backs on my Super Bowl bet.

Enough of the gloominess. Here’s a shot of Brees’ intro at the game Dad and I were at:


We were in View, way up near the top of the Q. Thanks for the awesome camera, Santa.

The thing I like best about this picture is Steve Foley.

That’s the only dance move I know too, Steve.

Champion of Civil Rights, or Jackass?

via BoingBoing

A few people have apparently resisted receipt checking at the door when exiting Best Buy. Now asking a customer to show their receipt at the door voluntarily is perfectly permissible, but requiring them to do so or making them think they are required to do so is against the law. Once you have completed your purchase, the bag and any contents which you have paid for are your personal property. In order to detain you, the store would have to have probably cause to believe you were a shoplifter. Stopping you is, in effect, a citizens arrest and being wrong about a citizens arrest has fairly grave potential consequences for the store.

Many of the comments addressing the people who have refused to submit to the receipt check basically point out that they are jackasses for not doing so. They point out that receipt checks have the effect of keeping prices lower, which is the entire reason we shop at places like Best Buy (it certainly isn’t the service). That’s a fair point, as is the fact that the “Loss Prevention Specialists” probably are min-wage teenagers who aren’t really paid enough to put up with your crap, but might be reprimanded by a misguided manager if they don’t make a big effort to get your receipt. But I think the key issue here is that the store apparently hasn’t made it clear to the receipt checkers or the customers that the receipt checking is voluntary. If you feel like you’re being prevented from leaving with your property at any time, such as when there is a long line at exit that you wouldn’t reasonably wait in if it was clear to everyone that the receipt checks are voluntary, then the store is doing something wrong.

So I’m not sure what I’ll do next time I see a line for receipt checking at the Best Buy exit. In principal, it really bugs me -I’m reasonably sure I didn’t steal anything, so I know there is no benefit to the search- but the hassle of “fighting the power” is probably more than I usually want to deal with. What will you do?

More On Cheney

So these guys are the businessmen, the guys we got running our country, right? They’re, like, productive, good at delegating, understand how to get things done and how stuff works in the real world unlike some Rhodes Scholar ivory tower intern diddler boy howdy.

Everybody in that hunting party should be lying dead on that ranch, with Cheney conducting business in secret at one of those CIA black camps where nobody gets found–even the VP. Simultaneously, GWB negotiates a clandestine agreement with Fidel Castro that exchanges beaucoup secret US aid in a war efforts budgetary overrun slush fund for Castro going along with a story that bloodthirsty Cuban locos abducted Cheney and took him back to Cuba, but Castro executed the wrongdoers and has Cheney all ready to go back to the US, and luckily no he didn’t have another heart attack.

Then troops en route to Iraq take a right turn, depose Castro and the Cuban armed forces, rescue Cheney, and Bush flies a fighter down to Guantanamo to huddle up with his VP and annex Cuba. Mission Accomplished.

Karl Rove needs to get shit whipped back into shape in the White House, that’s for damn sure.

Breaking News: A Willie Nelson Valentine

cowboy love
out of the closet
and into the hay!

Everyone’s favorite Farm Aid co-founder and farm fresh BioWillie diesel-using troubadour Willie Nelson released a new single today called “Cowboys Are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other)”. Val Day will never be the same.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to iTunes pronto to snap that baby up. Oh Willie, you are *so* heroic.

[via Reuters]

~~~
edited at 1936: this song has the classic Willie sound. Yeay, Willie!

Instant Messaging Fun, Deux

(13:41:03) huggy: Ok, so Cheney shot a guy. Jeez. If the Democrats can’t use this, what chance have they ever got?
(13:42:13) using_the_whole_fist_doc: whoa, i hadnt seen that yet. what a ridiculous story.
(13:42:32) huggy: What a pussy. He didn’t even finish the job.
(13:45:13) using_the_whole_fist_doc: take it from me, you dont need a firearm to make a 78 year old disappear.
(13:47:05) huggy: “This pillow will help grandpa sleep.”


“That Whittington motherscratcher has called me ‘sport’ for the last goddamn time.”

Musical Feet

genius feet
Guess who.

If you’ve ever been to a show at which you were smashed up against the stage and the mere act of looking up at the band was an undertaking of epic proportions–or perhaps you were too short to see properly, and you could only manage to sneak peeks *through* the crowd–you might be intimately familiar with the feet of your favorite performer. Some of these are featured here.

Weird, huh? And I know the question on everyone’s mind is: why do Jon Bon Jovi and Celine Dion look so similar from the calf down?

Highlights:

  • Bjork
  • David Bowie
  • PJ Harvey
  • Bill Withers
  • Ornette Coleman
  • Nick Cave
  • David Byrne
  • The Great JesusH Short Story Festival: Turning the Screws

    peasejay (10:45:02 PM): Hey are you working on your short story? I took the liberty of buying you a trophy. It’s in the mail.
    landolf10000 (10:48:19 PM): um
    landolf10000 (10:48:21 PM): er
    landolf10000 (10:48:35 PM): you know what you should do?
    landolf10000 (10:48:41 PM): you should hassle vaquera about writing.
    peasejay (10:49:32 PM): Well, there’s a problem there: I didn’t order her a trophy.
    peasejay (10:50:18 PM): I mean, whatever, I guess I still could.

    Continue reading “The Great JesusH Short Story Festival: Turning the Screws”

    The Onion Calls It

    questionable onionIn a stunning revelation, NPR reports that The Onion is either doing legitimate news these days or they’ve become oracularly gifted. Prior to this, The Onion was considered a satirical publication. Whether or not these new allegations will have an adverse effect on The Onion’s credibility remains to be seen; subscriber numbers have remained constant throughout the day.

  • Gillette’s Latest Gambit at The Onion, 021804
  • Gillette Fusion, complete with lady model sporting lab coat, 020906
  • [via Atrios]

    Save the Fairies!

    sedate penguins
    sedate, cozy penguins

    This is actually old news, but until now I hadn’t seen any photographic record of this. Yes, those are fairy penguins, and yes, they are rather nattily attired in knit woolen sweaters.

    Although these penguins live in a somewhat remote area of Australia, they are subject to the same environmental hazards that other seabirds must contend with–namely oil spills. Rehabilitation efforts for these hapless, oil-jacked penguins start with keeping them warm and preventing them from preening and further poisoning themselves. Take those requirements, add the insulating qualities of wool (even when wet), and you’ve got the makings of a great online campaign to knit sweaters for the small birds.

    penguins amok!
    Penguins amok!

    Before you pick up those needles, though, remember that this is old news. I imagine that, by now, they’ve probably got a surfeit of sweaters.

    The A&F look, dude.

    I’d been meaning to post a link to a Salon profile of clothier Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO lately. The piece itself isn’t all that interesting, but the accompanying picture of Mike Jeffries is. I simply cannot believe that the power behind the company whose product is slobbered over by sun-kissed valley-girl coeds on college campuses (campii?) across the country reminds me of Cher’s kid in Mask.


    L to R: A&F head honcho Mike Jeffries, actor Eric Stoltz. er, unless I got the two reversed.

    Exploratory Post: JesusH Compila-rama!

    I’ve been restless for some good, old-fashioned, friendly competition lately. And while the latest opportunity that’s come up here isn’t up my alley, I can tell JesusH is where it’s at. I don’t know…I can just *feel* it.

    Another thing I feel, though, is that anything too ambitious will kill off the delicate white blood cells of interest that fend off the dread ailment of apathy here at JesusH. To ease JesusH into the wide world of the Three Noble Endeavors–Discourse, Community, and Action–we need something inspiring, not too difficult, and possibly fun.

    Continue reading “Exploratory Post: JesusH Compila-rama!”

    The Chronicles of Narnia: LWW

    narnia
    Lucy at the Lamp-Post

    I visited the Dream World of Magic last night and was little disappointed. A sort of LOTR-lite for the kiddies, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an extravagant fantasy that hits nary a false note. CS Lewis, author of the Narnia books, did not approve of a live-action version of the books. He thought such a movie would inevitably fail to capture the fantastic elements of the story. I would venture to say that, had Mr Lewis lived to see this version of LWW, his fears would surely be allayed. A mostly faithful rendition of the book, the movie makes use of a nearly perfectly cast ensemble of actors: the four children credibly portray the remnants of a family sundered by the war, by turns bickering, playing, comforting each other, and struggling with boredom. Tilda Swinton is excellent as the White Witch–even improving upon the original character by giving her a shading of an alien, glacial soullessness. The movie has the sweeping aerial shots of the aforementioned LOTR, and some of the battle recalls that movie–though with no blood and less mayhem.

    Continue readingThe Chronicles of Narnia: LWW

    Iran’s Holocaust Cartoon Contest

    (via Drudge) I have to admit that I’ve been enjoying this cartoon debacle. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt as a matter of course – I mean, when fundamentalists (be they Muslim or Christian, it don’t matter) say that I ought to be destroyed, I think, you know, there’s a difference of opinion here which is okay. I mean, it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry, you know? But there’s something delightfully self-defeating about an entire ethnic group declaring war on, of all places, charming Scandinavia (where reindeer come from!) for, of all things, a mean cartoon. That’s where shit breaks down, as far as I’m concerned – if Middle Easters start raising shit about the Sunday comics, I’m going to be all up in their grills, word is bond. Seriously, I would vote Bush into office again if he ran on a freedom of comics platform.

    Now Iran has issued a response to the intial defacement of Muhammed (which, by the way, they’re still going to blow up Denmark for) by announcing a Holocaust cartoon contest. Quoth Farid Mortazavi, “The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let’s see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons.”

    I was considering drawing some sort of funny Holocaust comic to send in (since I understand that the winner of this contest gets to wear a special sash and tiara and there will be balloons and a parade of 5 year olds wearing explosive vests), but since that involves actual work, I’ve since decided to just send in someone else’s comic about the Holocaust and just write my name on it. So I’ll raise the question: which do you think has a better chance of getting printed in Iran’s fun Holocaust contest: an excerpt from Maus or a strip of B.C.?

    Coraline

    Coraline
    Coraline

    No, not the book by Neil Gaiman, though that was the inspiration for the band’s name. Coraline (kor’ ə leen) is an up and coming band from San Francisco fronted by the vivacious and winning Arwen Anderson. Their sound is folk-rock (emphasis on rock) with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Their songs are dynamic, and, though many of their songs feature shafts, hosings, and death, the occasional flashes of humor are reassuring counterpoints to their darker songs.

    Continue reading “Coraline”

    Review: The Clean House

    “I didn’t go to medical school just so I could clean my own house.”
    –Lane, The Clean House

    What happens when the maid stops cleaning because she’s depressed, your husband discovered his Basherte in the examination room, and your elder sister’s resentment towards you fills the air with the spite of a nine-year-old? Well, if your story is being penned by the very witty and compassionate Sarah Ruhl, the unthinkable and the absurd might come into your life, but chances are you’ll come out ahead in the end, less entrenched in your idea of how things are, and more understanding of the human condition. In the depths of your despair you might find yourself demanding that shitty pigs eating shitty cow shit-manure invade your house; perhaps you might encounter the most perfect joke ever along the way. At any rate you’re in for a seriously fun romp that makes the most of the theatrical medium.

    Continue reading “Review: The Clean House

    Crap Travel Haiku

    Please enjoy the following crap haiku—a bonus addendum to Travel Stats.

    haiku montage

    ~~~

    Composed after visiting the Rijksmuseum:

      A most violent
      people, these Dutch. Muskets and
      halberds; partisans!

    On walking about Amsterdam:

      It is just like home
      but for the chatter which makes
      aliens…more so.

      Cheerful graffiti:
      while it’s lacking in ‘fuck yeah!’,
      it has joie in spades.

    And upon visiting Belgium:

      Belgian chocolate,
      I confess skepticism,
      but you sure showed me.

    ~~~
    (Haiku montage at right, t to b: street graffiti, tree decorated with animal heads, daytime pub, chocos)

    Super Bowl Pick

    Call me crazy, and understand that I’m not putting any money where my mouth is… but if I were, I’d bet it all on the Seahawks, especially if you’re giving me four points. I still don’t really buy the Steelers being as good as they’ve looked so far during the playoffs. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is getting way too much ink for his undisciplined play, and he’ll make a dumb mistake. The Steelers’ front seven isn’t going to like Seattle’s O-line.

    Disclaimer: I’ve picked the winner the last three years–not that New England has made it that hard to do during that time–but I’ve only beaten the spread once over that period, so if there were money involved, I’d be solidly in the ‘loser’ category.

    I’m at peace with that.

    Travel Stats

    A bit of Europe, 120905-121805

    snaps 1
    l to r: canal with step-gabled buildings, paintings in Rembrandt’s collection, on the way to Dam

    Netherlands:

  • arguments between locals on the street: 2
  • arguments between locals inside the Vincent van Gogh Museum: 1
  • stroopwafels consumed as of 120905.0931: 1
  • total warme chocolades consumed: 2 (one in Amsterdam, one in Haarlem)
  • pannekoeke consumed: 1 (appel)
  • dogs who eyed me wistfully as they passed by while I sat on the ground knitting at Centraal Station in Amsterdam: 4
  • children I made steady eye contact with who I got to smile or wave while I sat on the ground knitting at Centraal Station in Amsterdam: 2
  • dogs encountered who were my hip height at the shoulder: 1 (Grote Markt in Amsterdam)
  • pairs of legwarmers on passersby (not counting my own): 1 (woman in Amsterdam)
  • live sex acts unintentionally happened upon: 2 (same couple)
  • snaps 2
    l to r: bakery cat, miscellany in Rembrandt’s collection, girl outside cafe

    Belgium:

  • amused couples who applauded when I finally caught up to j on my bike: .5 (Brugge)
  • men who helped me figure out my bicycle light: 1 (Brugge)
  • adults shorter than me: 2 (Antwerp)
  • Michelangelos that I saw in real life: 1 (though it was hard to see)
  • pairs of legwarmers on passersby (not counting my own): 1 (woman in Brugge)
  • pairs of legwarmers on mannequins (in windows): 3
  • snaps 3
    l to r: Tio (half of the amorous couple), windmill, v looking at etchings

    Miscellaneous stats:

  • total stroopwafels consumed as of 121705.1357: 3
  • whistling passersby: 6
  • ratio of Smart Cars to Mini Coopers: 2:3
  • anti-Bush propaganda: 2 (Amsterdam and Brugge, one a piece)
  • cities visited: 5 (Amsterdam, Brugge, Dam, Antwerp, Haarlem [yes, the one the real Harlem is named after])

    sheep!
    l to r: sheep
  • Breaking News: Fantastic Mr. Fox

    It took every kilo/cm^2 of self-control I could muster to repress this news during Dave Month, but muster I did because I, for one, respect the sanctity of that occasion and didn’t want to corrupt it with my willful, intrusive posts. But now it’s *February*, month of hearts, presidents, groundhogs, birthdays…and now, for the first time ever, my willful, possibly intrusive posts! Yeay, February!

    Depending on how you look at it, everyone’s favorite (not so favorite) meticulous (excessively exacting), pathos-evoking (bathetic barf-inducing), wry (smugly witty), self-conscious (self-satisfied) director, promoter of Bill Murray and the Owen Bros, and rad soundtrack-compiling extraordinare, Wes Anderson, is taking on the film adaptation of one of Roald Dahl’s best books, Fantastic Mr. Fox. IMDB says it’s in pre-production so there’s always the chance that it could be abandoned, but here’s hoping it’s not.

    On a personal level, I am generally ambivalent about the wholesale trend of adapting *everything* to every other medium. Careful cross-contamination is great and reinterpretations can be interesting. But, for the most part, rampant adaptations of old works strikes me as lazy–the bottom line being one of commercial exploitation. But Fantastic Mr. Fox is sorely underrated, and I hope a new generation of potential Dahl fans will get a chance to meet this most wily hero. I must, however, put my foot down on the matter of Mr. Fox: Fantastic Tenor.

    For those of you Philistines who eschewed reading the great books of childhood, I highly recommend the Donald Chaffin-illustrated first edition. Not that Quentin Blake is a bad illustrator, per se; just…you know. There’s a time and place…and I’m afraid, Mr. Blake, Mr. Fox benefits from the sure hand of Mr. Chaffin c1970.