Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Side Bar, Ante The Fuck Up

In June of Aught Seven, I made the claim that beer was overrated. Surprisingly, the response was not as cut and dry as I imagined it would be. The objections were lucid, intelligent, and well thought out(...overruled) (That one was for Walt Clyde) and I leave open the possibility that I was wrong.

That being said, Side Bar made a proposition:
"we are going to do a beer tasting (and I am comfortable volunteering Open Bar to participate without checking with him first) and I am going to try an show you the error of your ways.

Leave the car keys and the baby . . . it's going to be a long afternoon."
I accepted said proposition, but he has yet to deliver because either he's a bad friend and he hates me or because it's in his nature to offer things and not deliver because he's Irish. I say this thing has to happen some time before Mother's Day, so I declare (and I am comfortable volunteering Open Bar to participate without checking with him first) that you must make this happen, Side Bar. I'll eat a ton of pasta beforehand, and I'll be ready to go.

PS - I'm not even sure what that Irish joke meant. I don't think it really fits any Irish stereotype, and in fact I would think he'd want it to happen in order for him to drink since Irish people are drunken bastards. Well, this doesn't really take me very far in terms of apologizing to Irish people.

Genes Is Genes: A Shout Out

I want to give a shout out to my homegirl, the Notorious EMT, sister of the Notorious LJT. A story is in order to relate the inanity of the Notorious household. The caveat, of course, is that every family is inane, the only question being in what way is your particular family inane. (Is that last sentence a question? Should it end in a question mark? I feel like there should be a colon or a semicolon.) Anyhow, this is how the Notorious family is inane.

In the Notorious family you could break down the three kids into Notoriouses LJT (the boy), KAT (the chef. Shout out to Notorious KAT), and EMT (the tall one), respectively. EMT has always been tall. I assume she's proud of it today, but she was presumably self-conscious of it when she was younger. Perhaps she felt like it made her stand out in a weird way and maybe in a way she wasn't pretty when everyone else was (not true, by the way). One day in her youth, EMT asks her mom, Carmella Soprano, "Mom, why am I so tall?" Carmella gave the obvious answer, "I don't know. Why is [LJT] so good looking?"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A fantastic week in death

"I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell."

Whew, it's good to be alive!

As I was preparing to head on over to Chuck's for an early Thanksgiving dinner (schwing!), I happened to catch a commercial for "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." And guess what? I can feel the ol' holiday spirit coming on! Yay! I am so frigging gay for the holiday season, it's kind of ridiculous. If I could take it, transmogrify it into solid form, then somehow build a vagina into it, I...well that got weird. And I think I mixed my metaphors with the whole gay/vagina sequencing, so moving right along...

I don't know if you noticed, but some people died this week in some really abnormal ways. (The rest of this post is a bit morbid, so if death-blogging isn't your cup of tea, then allow me to suggest this wonderful site dedicated to the beauty of horses. Don't forget to read the comments!)

First off: God's Cruel, Cruel Sense of Irony.

The headline of this story is "Widow Killed by Husband's Coffin." Wait, what? How the...?
"A widow has been killed by her late husband's coffin in a freak accident on the way to his funeral.

Brazilian Marciana Silva Barcelos, 67, was on her way to the cemetery when the hearse she was travelling in was hit by another car.

The coffin was thrown forward by the impact and slammed into her head, killing her instantly.

Her husband Josi Silveira Coimbra, 76, had died the night before from a heart attack at a dance."
Are you fucking serious, God? The story doesn't mention anything about children, but the widow and her (ex?)husband were old and it's a foreign country, so they probably haven't discovered contraception, which leads me to believe they probably had like 28 kids and 433 grandkids. Somewhere around there anyway, I'm not a mathematician.

Next up, Utterly Ridiculous Suicide #1.

Getting evicted must suck. I mean really, REALLY suck, because apparently, this guy got evicted and he chose to off himself in his apartment rather than face the real-estate market.

What up till now has been a somewhat sad but ultimately mundane tale of misfortune suddenly morphs into some kind of torture-porn-movie-style splatterfest.
"The last resident in a block of flats due to be demolished cut his own head off with a chainsaw to highlight the 'injustice' of being asked to move out, an inquest heard today."

"Desperate David Phyall, 50, plugged the electric chainsaw into the mains and attached a timer to the socket.

He then wrapped sellotape around the machine's trigger to secure it in the 'on' position and tied the handle of the saw to a table leg to hold it steady.

Mr Phyall rested the saw on his neck and waited for the timer to go off.

The Black and Decker chainsaw sliced through his neck in an instant but kept going for a further 15 minutes."

**throws up**

So, to sum up: A guy lost his apartment, and in order to "highlight the injustice," he elected to CUT HIS OWN FUCKING HEAD OFF WITH A FUCKING CHAINSAW.

(Sorry for all the CAPS, but if you want to express your horror/shock/disbelief at something on the Internet, I'm told that's how you do it.)

And finally, Utterly Ridiculous Suicide #2.

So if that whole chainsaw thing didn't do it for you, then go grab a beer, come back and let me brighten up your day a bit. This right here is a lovely story of a man playing with cats. Really, really big cats. White tigers. And he's not just any man, either. He's, sigh, suicidal. And works at the zoo. Near the big cats.

See where this is going?
"According to eyewitnesses, Mr Nordin, who was seen shouting and flinging items about shortly before the incident, vaulted a low wall and landed in a moat in the enclosure, four meters below.

Carrying a yellow pail and a broom, he then crossed the 1.75m-deep moat, walked up to a rocky ledge near where the animals were and began agitating them by swinging the broom.

As two of the tigers approached him, he covered his head with the pail, lay down on the ground, and curled himself into a fetal position...

In a flash, two of the extremely rare white tigers were on him. One took a swipe at him with its paw - which is about the size of a softball glove - and he began screaming in pain...

Many in the crowd of 30 or so onlookers at the enclosure initially thought the intrusion was part of a show.

But when Mr Nordin began screaming, they reacted with horror."

You really should read the whole thing. It's...well, okay, it doesn't really get better than the whole man-tries-to-get-eaten-by-tigers thing, but it's a nice denouement.

I don't really have much else to say about that.

I would, however, like to point out that all three of these bizarre events occurred in other countries, which once again makes it easy to answer this question: You know what's fuckin' awesome? That's right. America.

What? You want what? Video of the whole tiger incident? You sick bastard.

Weeeellllll...since you asked nicely...

(Yeah, I thought it would be gorier, too.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You're Either In, Or Your Out...Auf Wiedersehen

I know this is an issue that is (not) close to the hearts of my co-writers. I have long been a fan of Project Runway. The first five seasons were aired on the Bravo network, which is, quite frankly, the perfect network for it to air on. I don't know at what point Bravo decided it was the home of this very specific type of reality show, but it clearly is. I'm fairly confident that the rise of Bravo is intertwined with the rise of Project Runway and Bravo wouldn't be nearly as successful without it.

That being said, Project Runway is not going to be on Bravo anymore. Instead of just letting it go, NBC (which owns Bravo) is suing the Weinstein Company claiming that it had a right to refuse the show before Weinstein shopped it elsewhere. That elsewhere, incidentally, is the Lifetime Network, which I'm not really sure how to feel about. I mean, I can't be watching "The Projects" and then cut to commercials for movies with Meredith Baxter Birney and Valerie Bertinelli. I could at least front like Bravo is a hip channel when I'm watching it, but there's not such redemption in watching Lifetime.

Anyway, the new season of "The Projects" has already been filmed, with the exception of the finale which has to be shot during fashion week in February, but it will most likely not air for months and months while this lawsuit gets itself played out. This sucks. Project Runway is easily, and I don't say this lightly, easily one of the best shows on television. And I want to be best friends with Tim Gunn.

On a related note, the new season of Top Chef started last week. Top Chef is also a very good show. It's not quite as good as The Projects, if you ask me, but I know that Mrs. Side Bar disagrees with me. Shout out to Mrs. Side Bar.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Retire Joe Morgan?

This is a sad, sad day for those of us who need constant distractions at the office just to make it through the week.

(pause for effect)

The guys at Fire Joe Morgan are shutting it down.

This site was consistently funny, interesting and fun to read. And best of all, it made a cottage industry of cutting down self-important sports journalists . . . especially those who were under-informed or over-hyped.

Some kind of monthly tribute may be in order, but candidly, I just don't think we are funny enough to match what they put up on an almost daily basis. (Believe me, I've tried).

R.I.P., FJM.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wait, Are There Also No Do-Overs?

Donovan McNabb didn't realize that you could have a tie game in the NFL until yesterday when his game finished in a tie. Until the final play of the game, in which he was wondering why they coach was calling a Hail Mary pass, he thought that they were going to go into a 6th quarter.

Then, he said something to the effect of, "Well, I'd hate to see something like that happen in the playoffs or the Super Bowl," thus not realizing that there are no tie games in the playoffs. This second thing is clearly much stupider even than the first.

On SportsCenter they played calls from Philadelphia sports talk radio and they were killing McNabb. It was amazing. This one guy calls and says something like, "Here's McNabb who figures that the Super Bowl is tied after five quarters and they just shut it down and hand out two Lombardi Trophies." I guess it's like the Special Olympics.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lil O'Reilly's back!

I hope this kid's parents are putting all the money he's earning into a nice stocks-based portfolio. Stocks never fail, they just make you more and more money. Always and forever.

Is it weird to say I hope this kid's gettin' laid? Anyway...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Who Says Bankruptcy Law Isn't Cool? (subtitled: Suge Knight Is A Clown)

From today's Daily Bankruptcy Review Small-Cap (Dow Jones):
Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge”Knight is fighting a bid to sell the record label’s assets as long as his personal belongings, including a motorcycle, an electric massage chair and more than 40 pairs of shoes, are up for grabs.

Knight says he doesn’t mind that the official running Death Row’s bankruptcy estate is seeking to sell the label’s assets more than two years after both he and the label sought Chapter 11 protection. He does mind, however, that among the inventory headed to the block are nearly 350 items he claims are his personal property.

“It is obvious that many of the assets are not business assets of Death Row and that they instead belong to me,” Knight said in a sworn statement Tuesday filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. “The Death Row trustee has no authority to sell those assets.” Knight said “for many years” he maintained a personal office, a fitness room and a personal suite at Death Row’s former headquarters. When the label’s assets were moved to a storage facility in 2005, Knight said he believes the items in his personal rooms were also moved and have been in storage ever since.

Among the items Knight claim to be his are several humidors, a motorcycle, more than 135 pieces of clothing, a Winnie-the-Pooh teddy bear, nearly 60 pieces of fitness equipment and several pairs of alligator shoes. There are also about 40 pieces of electronic equipment Knight says he owns, including cameras, an iPod and a radio-controlled flying saucer. If the bankruptcy court doesn’t stop Death Row from selling those assets, Knight says he’s entitled to the sale proceeds those items generate.

Apparently it's hard out there -- in Bankruptcy Court -- for a pimp.

An Actual Funny Joke

The last joke I posted was not too funny (except that I thought it was). This current joke, however, is very funny.
Jake is about to chip onto the green at his local golf course when a long funeral procession passes by. He stops in mid swing, doffs his cap, closes his eyes and bows in prayer. His playing companion is deeply impressed. "That's the most thoughtful and touching thing I've ever seen," he says. Jake replies, "Yeah, well, we were married 35 years."

The Drop That Follows The Catch

After missing the first six weeks of the season recovering from knee surgery, David Tyree was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday, effectively ending his season. Tyree's future with the Giants - who have an embarrassment of riches of sorts at the wide receiver position - is far from certain.

If Tyree can make it back next season, he will have millions of local fans rooting for him every step of the way. If not, he will be remembered for one of the singular, defining moments in the history of New York sports.

Good luck, David.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And to you, my dear, good night.

I have tried to steer clear of gloating -- I have many friends who genuinely wanted John McCain to win the election for what (in my opinion, at least) are valid reasons. But I cannot resist a brief smile as this right-wing ideologue is sent back to the wilderness with her tail behind her legs. Tolerance of different viewpoints is one thing, but I don't have to be tolerant of intolerance.

Good riddance.

So Happy, And Yet So Sad

Seriously, on the day we elect the (half) black dude president, and 61.2% of Californians voted for Obama, 52.4% of them also voted in favor of prop 8, thus voting to strip gays of the right to get married.

That's so fucking gay.

Over His Dead Body

George Wallace was a segregationist, racist, and a bigot for much of his life. (At least until he wasn't). His daughter, apparently, is not. Of all the reflections I have read on the events of the past 24 hours, I think this composition is the most compelling. Ms. Wallace Kennedy observes that:
And now a new call to arms has sounded as Americans face another assault on freedom. For if the stand in the schoolhouse door was a defining moment for George Wallace, then surely the aftermath of Katrina and the invasion of Iraq will be the same for George W. Bush. The trampling of individual freedoms and his blatant contempt for the rights of the average American may not have been as obvious as an ax-handle-wielding governor, but Bush's insidiousness and piety have made him much more dangerous.
And concludes that:
Today, Barack Obama is hope for a better tomorrow for all Americans. He stands on the shoulders of all those people who have incessantly prayed for a day when "justice will run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream" (Amos 5:24). [. . .] And today, the day after the election, I am going to ride to the cemetery so that if asked, I can vouch for the fact that the world is still spinning but my father lies at peace.


Save The Drama For Obama

I had a mental outline of a post that was to be entitled "I Have Lost Faith In Humanity" which was to be fleshed out upon a victory by John McCain in the presidential race. Fortunately, I have actually gained a bit of faith in humanity after yesterday's outcome in which Barack Obama was elected by nearly 63 million Americans.

I am exceedingly happy about this outcome. Seriously, though, I'm wondering if he has enough experience to actually be a good president. Let's hope so. I will be purchasing a t-shirt that says "Save the drama for Obama" forthwith.

Fox News doesn't even try to be non-partisan anymore. Their coverage was given from a Republican point of view to an astounding level. I didn't watch any MSNBC coverage, so I can't comment on that. CNN was predictably centrist.

Most interesting side note: In Minnesota nearly 3 million votes were cast for the Senate race and Al Franken appears to have lost to the incumbent by 572 votes. And 437,000 votes were cast for an independent and 23,000 votes were cast for other gies who had no chance of winning.

UPDATE: The New York Times web site has the most amazing interactive coverage of the election. You can watch the Obama's and McCain's speeches with the transcripts, you can zoom in and out of each state on the map and see the results by county. You can, and I have, spend hours looking through the results and reading the stories and looking at all the clickable maps and such. It's really astounding.

Yes, We Did

I am thrilled to be the one to say it: the citizens of the United States of America just elected Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of our country. What an incredible night.

Much more to come as the day progresses. But one thought before I close for the evening: nearly 60 million Americans -- if not more -- just hired a black guy to be their President. Of all the incredible things about this campaign, this election, and this victory, that might stand as the most incredible of them all.

Now get to work, Mr. President.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prediction time, yay!

Yeah, that’s right, three exclamation points, what? Do something. Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, after a goddamn eon or something, this fucking election is finally gonna be over tonight (well, hopefully). Side Bar laid down the first bet: 338-200 (for Obama, presumably).

Not bad, my Facebook-hating friend. I’ll take your 338 and raise you a North Carolina, which brings it to 353-185. I'll tack on a popular vote call to: 51.8%-46.3%.

And incidentally, if you run into anyone who gives you that “If Obama loses, I’m moving to Canada” thing, punch that person in the throat. That’s retarded. You can also kick their dog, if they have one and it’s in your immediate vicinity.

Anyway, here’s a lil’ clip from the lovely Faith who, by the by, is a Rhodes Scholar and a part-time Navy S.E.A.L. So I hear, anyway.

Monday, November 3, 2008

First, Obama Justice. Then, Justice Obama.

Remember back in December when the four of us endorsed Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States? And remember when he pulled off a huge upset to unseat Hillary Clinton as the heir apparent to the Democratic Party, and then ran an extraordinary presidential campaign, putting himself in position to win the presidency (which - barring a seismic shift in the current landscape - he will do about 24 hours from now)?

You do? Good. Now forget it. We're on to the next big thing.

As Open Bar has observed before, the Internet (ok, fine, the blogosphere (just puked in my mouth)) can be a cutthroat environment. Everyone wants to be first to report, predict, or develop something. Credibility comes from scooping others, or getting to the right result faster than anyone else. And so, confident in his victory tomorrow (JINX!) I am prepared to announce Barack Obama's next government job:

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

That's right. You heard it here first. Barack Obama will be the first black Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Here's why:

1). When he leaves office, Obama will be the second youngest former president in modern history. He will not reach the age of retirement until about a decade after he leaves office, even if he serves two full terms.

2). At some point during his post-presidency years, it is reasonable to assume that a Democratic president will have the opportunity to appoint someone to the Supreme Court. That's a stretch of 20-30 years, and I doubt the Republicans are going on that kind of streak.

3). Obama would be an ideal candidate. Barring a Bush-style presidency (I doubt it), or a Clinton-style scandal (I really doubt it), I think Obama can expect to leave office as a well-respected, if not adored, president. This would make him an easy confirmation, especially if there is a five- to ten-year lag between his departure from office and his nomination to the Court (ex-president's tend to become more and more popular with the passage of time. Even Nixon got a decent tribute when he died).

4). Obama would be qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. As a constitutional law scholar, he would be at least as prepared to sit on the Court as some of his co-Justices (I'm looking at you, Justice Thomas).

5). The Chief Justice thing is a little bit more of a stretch, but I think it makes sense, given the respect accorded to former Presidents, that Obama would ascend to the Chief Justice's chair in the event of a vacancy. It also assumes that there will not be another black justice named to the Chief Justice position between now and . . . say, 2020, which is also a tad presumptive on my part.

There is some precedent for this. Obama would not be the first American to lead both the executive and judicial branches of the federal government. William Taft was the twenty-seventh President of the United States, and the tenth Chief Justice of the United States.

Anything can happen in the next eight years (shit, anything can happen in the next eight hours) that would preclude this from happening, but I think it is a real possibility. Obama is going to prove himself to be an intellectual president on the order of Clinton (who would almost certainly be talked about for a seat on the Court if he hadn't been disbarred), and his post-presidential years are not going to be spent lecturing to law students in Chicago. It's just not prestigious enough for a former president. Absent a return to the Senate (which I wouldn't rule out), or a Carter/Clinton-type bid for a Nobel Prize, bank on the Supreme Court for Justice Obama.

Dear Lord,

Please don't let the stupid vote ruin this for me tomorrow.

Stay black, Lord.