Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I get misty reading this stufff....

It's Wikipedia and their list of donor comments. Seem dry? It's not.

There are donations every minute of every day, in countless currencies and languages. It is so pure - heartfelt gratitude for an appreciated service. I marvel at this thing, something as a selfless force of good that is evolving in front of our eyes. It's just magnificent.

In Defense of Fake Trees

The National Christmas tree is huge and majestic. It's located right behind the White House, near the Washington monument, and it's a popular tourist spot. People also look among the 50 trees (1 for each state) for what their home state's tree looks like. BTW, RI's tree has quahod clams inside a clear plastic ball - well done!
In any case, as I was glancing at the trees with a friend, I realized that unlike that 40-foot National tree, which was alive and well, all of the smaller trees had their roots cut when they were transported here - i.e. they were dead. It then occured to me that December isn't about moving and transplanting trees, but killing them (the HORROR!). And this was the irony - plastic trees, which can get a bad rep and bring to mind "poor old Charlie Brown Christmas"-type derision - these plastic specimens are faaaar better for the earth than REAL trees. Who knew? I'm sure most Americans realized this 30 years ago, but I'm a slow learner... and I'm Jewish, taboot.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Betrayed by White Castle

I thought I had to do it. White Castle - a restaurant completely unknown to me except in legend, lay so close by my girlfriend's house that I could almost smell.... whatever animal was being fried at the time. The legends referring to White Castle were numerous: at least two Beastie Boys references AND a movie. Dianna warned me that my innards would pay the price for my curiosity. I informed her that that no Taco Bell, no McDonalds had ever felled me before.
We approached the drive-thru, starving. It began poorly: We placed our order (4 sliders, some chicken "rings," fries, a chicken sandwhich - all for me) and drove around the side. We were faced with two identical teller windows... and no employees. Our eyes scanned each vacant window. Nothing emerged. After literally about 3 minutes, a woman appeared and took our money. She then handed us our "sacks" of food (OK, I really enjoyed calling them my "sacks of food").
I will describe each of the contents separately:

1. The hamburgers were vile slices of sickness, paper thin with a greyish hue. They were covered by specs of a slimy substance (onions) and a bun shoved into a sleeve of some sort.
2. The "chicken rings" struck me as being absolutely devoid of any love or care whatsoever. I actually felt my emotional reserve being drained by these lifeless loops of... grossness.
3. The chicken sandwhich and fries seemed fine.

I ate half of the above feast in the car. Soon after, I felt as if a huge weight have been lifted from my shoulders...and placed squarely inside my gut. Moving was difficult. My breathing was labored. I felt out of sync with the goodness of the world, forsaken, possessed by lethargy. I wished for death, or Pepto. Eventually it passed. I swore never to eat junk food again. I have no willpower.

Are Zombies Green?

My friend Caroline and I have been discussing this important issue, and I'd like to share it with you, my handfull of readers:

Zombies are environmentally friendly – they consume no natural resources (besides people) and, to my knowledge, produce no waste. They do not use electricity or fuel and would most likely have a carbon footprint of zero.

So: Do we have things to learn from our undead brethren? Are they actually good for the earth, even, perhaps, better than we?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twitter put in its place... finally!

From Gawker:

"Twitter, the service for posting short updates, has consumed the media elite. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is privately obsessed with it. By the numbers, though, Twitter is an inconsequential nothing. "

Finally I can go back to ignoring this useless, pretentious gargage.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

There once was a man who said "Whoa"

who starred in bad movies for show

His deadpan delights

Made all of our nights

Without him, to the flick we'd say "No"

Powerlessness is.....

.... asking your Health Insurance company for a referral for an outside the network doctor. You are so at their mercy. A small voice at the other end who fields calls like yours all day is the difference between seeing the doctor you want at $200 a session or $30. They aren't doctors, and yet they are approving medical referrals for patients. How did we get to this place? And will the next administration be able to change it? The woman who helped me on the phone was very nice, but I still can't justify the buercracy that employs here, and ennervates (and fiscially frightens) 90% of the nation. I felt like I was before a judge, answering questions simply, directly, and respectfully. Thank God I got that referral...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jews fear this

The Jewish Demographic study revealed a shocking fact - 40% of the Jews in that state had.....omigoditstoohorrible.....a CHRISTMAS TREE in their houses! Truly! Surely the tree was just visiting, right? Just popping in? No - it been assembled on PURPOSE! By Jews - or at least by a Jewish / non-Jewish couple!
There is something about this tree that can cause a strange feeling in the Jewish stomach. I say "can cause" because I once considered myself to be in the "I'll never have a tree in MY home" crowd. Today, I see myself in another category, best described as "chilled out."
Older Jews, religious Jews and those who work in the Jewish community have oodles of Jewish pride, and may tell you about it if you are not careful. Part of Jewish pride isn't about being something as much as it is NOT BEING something else. That something else Jews fear is simple enough - everything that's not Jewish. We have a word for it "goyish." Not surprisingly, the term is an insult.
Huge groups of things are labeled are goyish and considered to be "for others." Linking them with Judaism strikes us as odd - incongruous as Duchamp's readymade wheel /stool (at right). Some example of things "traditional" Jews can't understand: Wonderbread, peppermint bark, and sailing.
Jewish culture is extremely xenophonic, understandably to a great deal. For many, this xenophobia IS Judaism - their identity is largely constructed by avoiding things that Jews avoid.
But there is more than just this "us / them" divide - some go even further, and see these things as symbols of "A Jewish Paradise Lost," a sign that the "other" culture has worked it's insidious way into our own system. For these people, seeing a Christmas tree in a Jewish person's house is like seeing someone with just a single boil of Bubonic plague on them - you know that soon enough it is going to cover them entirely. They view the person as lost, and move on.
I am pretty much ashamed that this attitude is so prevalent in our community. I understand that Jews are obsessed with self-preservation and any signs of "waywardness" send our already high anxiety through the roof. But I also think there is an internal smugness and self-righteousness that is painful to behold. I believe it is OK to hold one's own culture in esteem while respecting someone elses'. Many Jews I know would disagree, although there are more progressive schools at work which, of course, are maligned by traditional Judaism. Many of these groups put on a face of tolerance, while inside they are patronizing and hoping - PRAYING - that their children will not become ONE OF THEM. It has no faith, it has no flexibility. It is, as someone one posited about Judaism - "an old man saying no."
The tree is a symbol that brings joy to millions of people. It is simple, bright and cheerful. It's origins can be assailed, but why bother? Those who bring up the Pagan roots of Christmas in a derisionary way should known that all things are compilations of what has come before it. Judaism is not immune.
(Wow - that's an angry post!)

Lemon aide

I acquired a lemon. It was large – the size of a fat thermos. I
loved sniffing it. It made me think of Pine Sol commercials. Then I
corrected myself and thought of Lemon Pledge. I wondered how tough it
would be to zest a lemon. I decided to bring it home and see what
would become of it. I had an idea: On that particularly cold and
dreary winter day, I carried the lemon home in my hand on the walk to
the metro, on the train and on the way home. That small lemon was like
a beacon. Winter clothing is uniform – it is drab, diffuse, meant to
merge together and avoid the eye. The yellow was like an orb on
sunlight amidst all the browns, blacks and gray coats. Eyes from all
over darted to it and were fixated, even for a second. It was the most
striking thing aboard our $50 million metro that afternoon, to be

Monday, December 15, 2008

Review: Doubt (2008)

This movie does so many things, and all of them excellently well: It is a comedy, it is a historical drama, it's a suspenseful thriller which plays loud and strong despite completely lacking any violence, sex or barely even mentions of either. The tension that it sets up builds to an unbearable point, and the ending is so abrupt at first it seems tacked on. In the end, however, the title says it all, and leaves the viewer fully satisfied.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This woman thinks I'm a jerk

At the checkout at Target yesterday, I noticed that our cashier wore a Muslim headscarf. She was young - probably 17 or so, and had a nice smile and dressed very fashionably (And, no, the pic to my left isn't her, but I needed some sort of visual aid). I have two weaknesses that frequently embarrass those around me - I love people, and I am impossibly curious. This leads me to ask people I don't know questions about stuff I'd like to know.

For the life of me, I could not remember what the name of the Muslim headscarf was. So asked her what it was called. Just to know I was semi-culturally literate, I offered up my best recollection of what it was called - a "Is it a kuffi-yah?"

Her smile shifted to a look that was equal parts disbelief and disappointment.

"Uhhhh.... no," she said in classic teenage haughtiness. "It's a hijab."

"Oh right!" I said with a smile. She didn't return it. She rang me out without another word.

I couldn't understand why she was so upset at my good-intentioned question. Then I Googled Kuffiyah. It looks like this (below). Oops.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Review: FCIC Holiday Party 2008

Simply put - I ate too much. I thought that only ever happened on Thanksgiving and at Chinese Buffets.... but I stand corrected. Some highlights: the Peach cobbler cheesecake, the cauldron of delectable meatballs, the Vegan chili, the "non-meatballs" (i.e. disguised falafel) and more. Who would have thought a group of public information specialists could be such great cooks? Oh, and during the merry melee, my Secret Santa gave me gummi worms.
.....And then it came to pass that there was a tradition reminiscient of the great holiday of Festivus - the crappy gift exchange (aka the White Elephant Gift Exchange). I thought all white elephants had long ago been harvested for piano purposes, but I guess not. These gifts all belong in a QVC museum - owls made of seashells, cat mirrors, very shoddy Martini glasses, a nose irrigation system. I love this place.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

People who look like me: Part 3

Don't know who this guy is, but he certainly has a big beer going on there. The resemblance is uncanny - I even make the same grimace!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Review: Batting Cages

I don't think I've held a baseball bat since high school. And even then I was probably just holding it for my friend Geo while he tied his shoes. OK, so sports were never really big in my family. And I'm part of the reason - sports seemed brainless, and completely lacking in words I could bury myself in. Plus, you can't really fail at words. Fastballs, on the other hand, send a pretty clear message when you don't connect with them.
So I went to the batting cages in rural Virginia. There was a tent of wire and nets behind a golf course. The chilly 40-degree air wasn't stopping the golfers, and even the chilly aluminum bat couldn't damper my spirits. I slid in the token and the pitching machine, which seemed to be running on a particularly noisy lawn mower engine, squealed to life.
I felt the slow softball lane was a good place to start. Helmet on, bat on shoulder, I watched two pitches sail by me. Then I swung. CRACK. It careened off to the left. Then another. And another. Out of 20 pitches, I probably hit 15. I was stunned. In my mind's eye I was still a lanky, uncoordinated teen who only entered sporting events for a lark, or for laughs. It was tough to update that version with the current reality.
Now, swinging that bat in the cold, I loved the fact there was nothing to read or to remember. There was no quiz. There was no one to impress. Then was no real start or finish. There was no pressure. So I smacked softballs (and later baseballs) until my fingers were blue and my hands were ringing from the impact. I can't wait for more.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Review: A "Quadruple Stuff" Oreo

Eric Cartman gets credit for introducing it to me. Don't be fooled by the filling - It's a dangerous item. Inviting, scented, but it hides a secret. Inside its luscious cookie exterior is a creamy middle so large that no baker could have envisioned its manufacture. And so, where technology leaves a gap, man fills in the space with forbidden knowledge. I didn't even create this one - two halfs somehow found each other inside the plastic tray. But one thing is certain - there is more sugar inside that any man was meant to eat. At least in one bite, anyway... The best part is actually just saying out loud, "I just ate a quadruple stuff Oreo. What the hell did YOU do today?"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Clueless in Seattle (and everywhere else)

Should we stop the self-destructing economy by bailing out the middle class? Or the auto industry? or the banks? No one seems to know, and, more importantly, no one has any confidence in anybody else. Not exactly sure why Obama seems to want to bail out Detroit when the Whitehouse doesn't - seems like a role reversal.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Review: The Last Muskateer (2008)

I can't describe why this book works - it just does. There is whimsy, there's swashbuckling, aliens, robots... and romance. And it works. The illustrations are both sparse and telling - there is meaning behind every blank stare (of which there are many). The characters introduce themselves and quickly fight effortlessly for the spotlight of your attention... I dunno, having trouble here. But I highly recommend it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Review: THe McCain-Obama Debate

(or, "The Hissy in Mississippi")
It wasn't gripping stuff. The men seemed to be pretty equally matched in terms of eloquence and background - Obama had a few better flourishes of phrase and better put downs - "You were wrong.... You were wrong.." and "he was singing songs about Iran." The questions seemed OK, and the moderator played as small a role as possible, which is good. It certainly had a real, unscripted feel to it which gave it some life, but in the end the lack of super-zingers or any new real information made the event only adequate. I'd guess most people would think Obama came out ahead, although not embarrassingly so. I dunno.. probably time to get some sleep.

Review: That pizza I just ate (2008)

It was really good. I am lowering my Dominos hate by 60%. We ordered it online, it arrived speedily and hot-ily. The online system is actually really engaging despite its apparent boringness, like the Weather Channel or the original Planet of The Apes. It lets you "see" what "phase" they are in - making, baking, delivering, shows you the name of your pizza guy and what time they left. The pie was a deep dish with olives and mushrooms. It was good and hot and salty - I'm drinking like a parched camel. I don't think I can blame my restlessness on it or its likely shovels-full of MSG, either.

Review: Swamp Thing (1998)

Alan Moore again shows the comics world what amazing things he can do with just about nothing. He takes Swamp Thing - a man burned in his lab by bad guys and who dives into a swamp to become... a swampy, smelly, shambles of a man - and takes us INSIDE the mind of a human vegetable, a being that has the simplicity of a flower alongside the passions of a human. Moore's work has a dreamy darkness to it that expands his creations without getting too esoteric or "out there." His figure is a ferny Frankenstein seeking for his last remnants of humanity. It just works.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Review: Architecture: A Very Short Introduction, by Andrew Ballantyne (2002)

This impressive series of "intro" books continues to get better in my eyes. This book finally lets a neophyte into the world of architecture, or, as the author puts it, "Architecture is gestures made with buildings."
What kind of gestures? Extravagance. Responsibility. Historic. Authoritative. Caring. Unfazed. It describes the four major periods of western architecture - the ancient (Pyramids), Classical (Greek and Roman), Gothic / Renaissance (Europe) and Modern (global, with few or any direct antecedents. Evolving from abstract concepts rather than previous models). Gripping, lucid, a great step into a universal (and largely invisible) art all around us.

Review: My Neighbor Totoro / Tonari no Totoro (1988)

What heaven must feel like. This magical and cuddly giant is a superb fairy tale import from Japan. Will leave you clamoring for your childhood, and more installments of this helpful spirit and the thoroughly enjoyable Kittybus. (would write more buy really busy. just see it!)

Review: UHF (1989)

For Gen-X, nothing beats the 80’s. And for Gen X, nothing hurts like watching a time-honored 80’s movie that no longer delivers much beyond mullets and bad sound effects. For a child of the 80’s, UHF delivered. It had the basics: goofy guy gets own TV station, saves the day and gets the girl. In its day it was infantile, creative and crudely hilarious, but today, UHF is mostly static – 80’s bug-eyed acting, references to old movies nobody remembers, heavy slapstick, even shameless plugs for Weird Al videos. The vingnettes still have the bite of good Airplane-type material, and it’s good to see a prehistoric Michaerl Richards and Fran Dresser. Still, I’d wonder if any kid today would be swooned by Stanley Spadowski’s Clubhouse, even though I sure did.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Review: Doomsday (2008)

If the end of the world looks like this - awful acting, a plot that recycles rusty bits of Mad Max, Matrix II and The Warriors and just about every zombie movie - then the end of the world is a scary place indeed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

A movie even more exciting than the roller coaster that shares it's name. All of the campy, goofy Batman embarrassments in previous movies are banished from memory. Leger is sheer terror, anarchy made flesh. The movie jolts you like lightning, and keeps you juiced until the very end. A few slow points barely register on the viewer. There is a twisted grin out there, and it's on the face of whoever is making bank off this movie.

Scrabulous is down - Panic!

The Hasbro lawsuit must be in full effect. Considered looking into it for a blog.... maybe for the citizen?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Review: Yojimbo (1961)

One of Kurasawa’s greatest achievements, Yojimbo tells the story of humanity's foibles in a thoroughly convincing story of an impoverished samurai. Superb acting and sparse, powerful camerawork show you exactly how impacting a movie with minimal editing and no special effects can be.

Review: Be Kind, Rewind (2008)

There is something magical in this film, something simple, true and profound. It’s fitting that Michel Gondry, a world-class filmmaker, directs this delightfully low-tech vision of the future, where the audience is the crew, cast and patrons of their own celebrated films. It’s not perfect; it starts off almost painfully slow and veers into murky territory at the end, where it brings up questions that both confuse and stimulate: Is history really so subjective that EVERYBODY owns it? It’s also fun to watch a movie that ends in a film being created, but where this product itself is secondary – the community that it creates, the conversation that art has always created, leads the show.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

random jots

Yes, articles like this are usually the sign of lazy writing, although RI institution Mark Patinkin does it all the time... when he gets lazy.

1. Wonder how bad the economy is going to get. Wonder how much more of journalism is going to be outsourced. Heard that now they are even outsourcing FINANCIAL ANALYSIS of the stock market to India. Sounds like a bad idea - let's have other nations copyedit our counter-insurgency manuals next (Thank you D for that line).

2. How have I not watched the Larry Sanders show until now? Man, what a great show... A lot of people borrowed his "so real it hurts" type of humor. I think he's the link between Seinfeld and Curb, perhaps.

3. Quaker granola bars are pathetically small. Literally the size of my ipod nano. That's supposed to fill me up?

4. What's the relationship between art and economics? Do poor financial periods result in better or worse art?

5. I keep wanting to do a piece on getting "extra" security checks at the airport, but everyone else is doing them - Slate and CNN to name a few. Need to find a new angle there...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

People think this guy looks like me: Part II

Sorry for the contrast issues - this photo was taken at night and color corrected by a Photoshop novice. It was the 3rd of July here in Chicago, and some of the main streets were closed to allow firework gawking. This charming fellow was sitting in the mob and my friend pointed him out. If he looks surly, it's because he is; he could tell that I was taking this picture of him, despite the fact that I tried to be nonchalant around him.

People think this guy looks like me: Part I

My friends always say they see people who eerily look like me - all over the world, actually. I don't know how to take this, so I thought I would post pictures of people that are believed to look like me. You be the judge. Bonus: The first one is Indian!

Review: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

One sentence summary:

1. The music, acting and grisliness make it a remarkably effective movie adaptation (insert barber pun here).
2. Goes right for the jugular, and leaves you both gleaming and scarred when it's through with you.
3. A cut above the rest.
4. If we are very lucky, Depp and Burton will continue to make movies like this for decades to come.
5. Rarely do gore and high-class musicals go together; this is one of those times.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Review: Planet of the Apes (1968)

1. A once great story has lost its luster over time, like a monkey's fur fading in the sun.
2. A once great story has faded over time, Heston's outbursts now seem awkward as he overacts in the Shatnerian tradition.
3. This once great ape has devolved over time into a strange, stilted creature; the film's brave concept frequently gets lost amidst the flying fur.
4. Charlton Heston, the film's iconic protagonist, hasn't aged well into the next generation; his iconic lines seem more hackneyed or silly than dramatic.

(hmm.. tough to condense this one)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Review: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Possible one-sentence reviews:
1. Red, mean and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
2. Intriguing yet insubstantial, like a cardboard cut-out of something that once possessed cache.
3. Intriguing yet insubstantial, HellBoy II is as disappointing as the first movie; even hard-core fans may wish for Wall-E.
4. Despite occasional treasures, Hellboy II belly-flops onto the screen, with clumsy dialogue, uninspiring characters and a plot that can't seem to decide if it's a comedy, action or drama.

Pinata Candy Diagnosis

You may find yourself at an 11-year-old's birthday party.
And you may find yourself staring at a multicolored cardboard star hanging from a black pole.
And you may ask yourself: What kind of candy is in that beat-up thing?

Not all pinatas are created equal. A quick review of the goodies inside, so if you have to scramble against a horde of kids for some goodies, you know what's worth your time.

From worst to best:

Tootsie Rolls -

There's a reason you haven't seen a Tootie Roll ad since 1984 - they suck. Brown and sticky and tasting like stale sugar, a famous crowd-disperser.
Tootsie-Pops - Slightly better, because you can lick away the candy shell and toss it before you get to the center.
Colored Tootsie-Rolls - They are edible. They come in interesting flavors, but cherry, of course, is the best.
Blow-Pops - Now we're getting somewhere! These babies have two phases, each delightful and distinct.
Dots - These yellow boxes will stick out from the rest of the candy, inviting you to grab them. Accept the invitation. Soft, sugary and with bold colors that say "There is no WAY this is in any way natural," Dots Deliver. Somehow, they are also made by Tootsie, though I bet a funky grandson came up with these to spite his bland ancestors.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Challenges to investigative reporting

Reporters are always asking for more time on their stories. We love deadlines and how they keep us focused, but they chafe like thongs filled with sandpaper. So when given an investigative assignment with a 6 week deadline, a reporter may cheer with delight at first. Soon, though, with the immediacy of the news pushed far into the background, a reporter may become fascinated with other important projects, like: The Colbert Report, Gchatting, Scrabulous games with family members, or washing curry stains off your clothes from a Thai accident last night. Yes, the work almost seems superfluous and unnecessary. I think: I don't see a deadline, so why am I working so hard again? But although from a distance that deadline looks small, I know as it gets closer it's going to get bigger and fatter, like an Exxon oil tanker hosting an obesity convention racing towards my unprepared (and rocky) coastline. Better get to it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Movie Review: Wall-E (2008)

I'm going to try and summarize movies I see with one sentence. Here we go:

You will believe a robot can love (ugh).
Wall-E has everything - robots, love....
Emotionally heart-wrenching robots can make you cry and laugh.
A beat-up garbage robot with a three word vocabulary really gets your engine pumping.
Believe it: a beat-up garbage robot with a three word vocabulary might win Best Picture.
Believe it: a beat-up garbage robot with a three-word vocabulary is the most charming character since Curious George (hmmm... getting somewhere).

some more animation

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Movie review: Videodrome (1983)

"Videodrome is dead. Long live the new flesh."
Cronenberg all over, with the blurring between fantasy and reality, the biomorphic weaponry and odd communications devices. There was also a whiff of 21st century social networking and interactivity. And, of course, James Woods! Occasionally a bit predictable, but still pretty shocking - in a good way. B+ / A-

Peer-to-peer.... lending?

I found this amazing factoid from my multimedia prof:

Sites like Zopa,
Virgin Money
and Prosper
extend the success of social networking to the financial world. People can pool resources, bid for loans, offer loans and even act as intermediaries for stock and other financial transactions. Currently they are too small to compete with banks, but imagine if the collectivism of Web 2.0 extends fully to the financial sector. Where no one controlls the assets but the individuals, and the hosting sites just takes small percentages of the transactions. It's almost like Credit Unions on a national scale, owned and operated by people for the people. This means that services will be offered, but no one profits from them expect the individuals involved, and not a huge financial institution (although I guess they could try and horn in on the action via proxies). Still, Iit seems like a weird sort of Socialist utopia....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Humanity 1, Neer-do-wells 0

It's never been easier to be a hater. And yet, sometimes, the hate is kept at bay. A hidden humanity makes the smog a little easier to swallow. Observe this scene at right:

It's a eulogy, taped to a telephone pole on a rainy day. It was right outside the Dupont Circle Metro station, where thousands file by every day. A man passed away. "He was rich in heart even if poor in pocket and shared what he had with people and animals..."
Next to the tree were a few wreaths. A few feet away was a large white plastic table, like the kind you'd see at conventions or filled with T-shirts after a concert. It looked like this:

There were black pens and flowers on the table, and the public was euglogizing this man. Among the tangle of script was this part, written by a man claiming to be his son. "Gulistan was a good man. Don't write anything bad."
And, to my amazement, despite the thousands passing by that day, not a single swear or profane picture graced the table. There were doves, words of praise and others of deep respect. I was moved.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Impressed with NY journalism... but not editorially

A quick ditty: While the NY Times cover price continues to rise to ridiculous heights ($4.50 for a Sunday paper? Who am I - Rupert Murdoch?), the NY Post was a mere quarter. Guess which one this grad student picked up for his bus ride home?
Think about it: A daily paper in 2008 for a quarter? Even a stilted, sensationalist one? It's the closest thing I've seen in the U.S. to the British rubbish dailies, which, while rubbish, still keep millions more reading and slightly more informed than TV. So an unexpected bravo to you, Rupert.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First post jitters

Yes, even for writers, there can be performance anxiety about a firsdt foray into something. "It's got to be perfect, profound, witty, wholly original and engaging and yet an easy read."
Or, it can be just some random things to get the creative juices flowing:

1. My patent of the day: "Capri Sun Salute" - a new yoga pose sponsored by the sugar-laden tasty beverage. You can have mats with the logo, and everyone gets a nice juice box at the end of thier workout.

2. Imagine bumping into an important policitian when walking to work. An interesting scenario went through my head: Imagine if I bumped in him and gave him a rude diatribe about something or other. Totally inappropriate and all that. Then - let's say he had to go to an important meeting about international policy or some such thing. And let's say my asshole tendencies had sort of put him off on the wrong foot and he wasn't at the top of his game at an important meeting. And the COUNTRY suffers as the result of my stupid little game. Yikes. The thought that a small encounter with a VERY important person can affect whole nations is so frightening I think I'm going to hide under an afghan (the blanket, not the person).