February 18, 2008
Thanks For Sharing
Pray he's on the phone.
I don't understand how you can conduct business when you are, well, conducting business. It just seems wrong. Especially when you are in a public restroom, and the person next door is a captive audience for an intimate scene in your life. Do you have to share so generously?
"I hope you're on the phone," I said after he followed his "I Love You" with something about the groceries. Clearly I was intruding on his world, which was only fair.
"Yes," he replied after a second's pause. "Why?"
I looked down. Black loafers. Shined. Clearly not from the newsroom.
"Because I was hoping you were talking to someone else."
"Because I was hoping you weren't talking to me."
Suddenly, he wasn't so talkative.
September 25, 2007
Brush With Britney
You look at the wreck on the celebrity highway that is Britney Spears, and you wonder just what happened in her formative years, what she inherited from all that genetic stuff, that caused her to flame out so fabulously.
And you start thinking about how the candy apple doesn't fall that far from the tree.
Daily Sally, who has been sharing her brushes with greatness for years on her blog, posts a beauty in her recollection of the day the 17-year-old Britney visited the AOL.com studios in Los Angeles, where Sally was working as a producer and the teen queen had come to chat. The Louisiana lollypop arrived with her mom, and the two put on quite a floor show.
Surprise -- chatting was not her strong suit.
To be fair, she was very young. Her mother, though older, was, well, not much wiser. There was a lot of dual gum chewing. Doe-eyed confusion. And near pathological unselfconsciousness.
Or hey, maybe just plain unconsciousness.
The take-away from this too-real post is that Mom asked Britney to show Sally her equipment.
We were in the Green Room, a fairly high traffic area. Soon conspiratorial mother-daughter whispers and giggles resulted in an "impromptu" wardrobe change.
Note: I'm still not comfortable imagining us as even vaguely similar parents. Plus, I have a son, no daughters.
However, as her truly lovely and clueless child stood there naked from the waist up, jaws working, eyes staring into the middle teen distance, one foot tapping to an inner beat, her mother asked me ... wait for it ... "Do you think ah was wrong to buy her them thangs?"
Lynn Spears was a grade school teacher. Which doesn't guarantee good parenting. But it should at least require correct grammar.
The problem with wrecks is that it's so easy to slow down and look.
February 02, 2007
His Hair Was Perfect
Presumably, this will wind up in their FBI file. The suspects in the Boston bomb scare/Aqua Teen guerrilla marketing campaign face the media.
The Man still does not understand.
December 14, 2006
Philadelphia's War On Santa Continues
Headline in the Colonial newspaper of Fort Washington:
The paper reports: Parents standing in line with their children to see Santa Claus reportedly covered their children's ears to avoid hearing a man allegedly yell obscenities at St. Nick and others Saturday at Plymouth Meeting Mall.
According to police report, a Philadelphia man felt slighted after being told to go to the end of a long line of people waiting to visit the Santa exhibit after he'd waited in the wrong place.
The agitated man was at the mall exhibit with his wife and a child. The man reportedly was upset and cursed at the man dressed as Santa Claus and at an employee selling tickets for the exhibit.
Reportedly he was asked to stop swearing in front of the children. Mall security rushed to the scene. Santa tried to set the tone.
Santa reportedly told the man, "You know, you are not being fair to these children," and the suspect began cursing loudly at him. The man was reportedly pointing his finger in close proximity to Santa's face and "repeatedly screamed" a common profane insult at him.
First Eagles fans. Now all of Philadelphia.
At Philadelphia Will Do I read that on Dec 1, about 20 fifth-graders from the MaSt Community Charter School in Northeast Philadelphia were led out of a Bucks County Playhouse performance of Big, the Musical - remember that Tom Hanks movie? - after their elders objected to swear words.
The Intelligencer wrote:
“I never would have allowed him to go had I known,” said Lisa Coyle of Northeast Philadelphia.
During the show, she exchanged worried looks with another mother and watched the six boys she was chaperoning squirm in their seats as “a suggestive hand reference to a girl's chest was made” and actors used language such as “a—,” “son of a b——” and “god d——-.”
December 11, 2006
Tree Hugging In Our Times
Apparently they are not aware of the lure of the ecosexual.
San Francisco magazine writes:
Welcome to the latest turn of the wheel in the obsessive trend-creating machine that brought us “metrosexuals.” Ecosexuals are an evolving breed of city dweller for whom keeping green is every bit as important in their romantic life as in their choice of household cleanser, dinner food, or wall paint. Sure, everyone has a checklist of qualities they want in a mate: smart, funny, good-looking, six-figure potential, listens to Beck, and so on. But now we’re adding characteristics like “sexy conservationist” or “romantic recycler” to the list.
November 21, 2006
The two-part special in which OJ Simpson talks about what he would have done IF he'd killed his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman, will not air, Fox announced yesterday.
News Corp. CEOr Rupert Murdoch said the If I Did It project was "ill-considered:"
“I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project. We are sorry for any pain this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown-Simpson.”
At least nine Fox affiliates had plans not to show the special. Fox personalities Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera had railed against the book and TV special. The project had infuriated one of Simpson's attorneys, Yale Galanter, according to Newsweek:
Galanter, Simpson's lawyer, bluntly admits he's "p---ed" O.J. kept him in the dark about it. He calls the profits "blood money," and says, "I definitely would not have approved this."
Was it the boycott? The mad Fox personalities? An attack of good taste and conscience? Or was it Gail Shister, who put it this way on CNN Sunday:
"What kind of companies are going to sponsor this show now that it's gotten this kind of backlash? I can guarantee it won't be Hertz, and I'm going to guess that Ginsu knives is not going to be on there either. Number three, I'm not even convinced this show is going to air. If I'm Rupert Murdoch, I've got this, "If I had a TV show, if anybody was going to watch it, if I did it." He's gotten so much publicity out of this, why does he even need the show at this point? "
My money's on Gail.
Reaction to the ghastly project had joined left and right for one beautiful moment.
Dave Fratello, writing in the left-leaning Huffington Post:
I'm only sure of three things Rupert Murdoch has done worthy of kudos. He gave us The Simpsons, he sold the Dodgers, and now he won't sell O.J.'s book ... That sound you heard Monday was tens of millions of people exhaling, feeling maybe there is some justice. Some.
And from the right, Michelle Malkin:
Now, may O.J. crawl back into his hellhole with a large warning sign to the rest of the MSM: Don't feed the troll.
Sweeps week just ain't worth it.
Amazon has taken the product off its virtual shelves. But hasn't scubbed the comments. A memorial wall - or a spitoon, as one Metafilter observer put it.
November 02, 2006
This is by far the most excellent blog post I've come across today, but it needs some care in introduction. It has a language problem.
Let's assume for the purposes of discussion that the word that's central to the post -- and that's central to the new book by a Stanford professor that inspired the post -- is not a four-letter epithet (seven letters actually) but something known herein as anatomical reference.
Guy Kawasaki's post is about a business book called "The No Anatomical Reference Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't."
I'm not the only one straining at the title. Author Robert Sutton says he declined the Harvard Business School Press' offer to publish it because he wasn't going to take the word out of the title. The word he went with was stickier, he says. The better to market with.
Sutton, a professor of engineering at Stanford, defines the anatomical reference by creating what he calls the Starbucks Test. If you hear someone in line order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and one NutraSweet," you're in the company of an anatomical reference.
Another measure is whether the person is in the habit of this sort of behavior listed by blogger Kawasaki:
Invading one’s personal territory
Uninvited personal contact
Threats and intimidation, both verbal and non-verbal
Sarcastic jokes and teasing used as insult delivery systems
Withering email flames
Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims
Public shaming or status degradation rituals
Treating people as if they are invisible
And a third - this is my favorite - is to Google one's name or line of work as well as anatomical reference.
By this standard, and Kawasaki illustrates his point with a helpful graph, lawyers come out on top (1,100,000 references) followed by George W. Bush (746,000), Paris Hilton (675,000), Guy Kawasaki, himself, (41,800), and Terrell Owens (30,700). (There is no listing for John Kerry, but I've done the research, and he comes out at 373,000. Blinq nets a mere 628, but we're just getting started.)
Anyway, Kawaski distills the essence of this guide to the times by offering advice for dealing with anatomical references and for how not to be an anatomical reference.
And there's a fun little survey that goes like this:
I work for an anatomical reference (self-employed people can still answer.)
The good news is that most people answered 'false.' Of course, most of those people could be self-employed.
November 01, 2006
Halloween On The Main Line
For the second consecutive Halloween the number of trick or treaters at our front door was down. Despite the decline, the usual suspects appeared including witches, devils, fairies, princesses, ghosts and people dressed up as urinals. Yes, that's right, every year at least one kid actually dresses as a urinal but instead of extending a jack-o-lantern, pillow case or paper bag for the candy, the depository is ringed by a genuine toilet seat.
This year did mark a new departure, however. At least six different revelers arrived, extended their receptacles with one hand and were talking on cell phones with the other.
September 26, 2006
Of Cocos, Shilohs and Suris
This Ontario, Ca., article caught the eye of your prosaically named blogger:
Let's pretend we're at Hollywood High, circa 2023 and pity the poor teacher who's taking attendance.
Apple? Banjo? Coco? Shiloh Nouvel? Suri? Pilot Inspektor? Kal-el? Moxie CrimeFighter?
Wait a minute. Is this a classroom or a superhero convention?
The trend, reports the Daily Bulletin, is for celebrities to be picking increasingly wifty names for their spawn. The reporter pines for the day a Bing Crosby would name his children Gary, Phillip, Mary, etc...
Now we get Nicholas cage naming his offspring Kal-el for Superman's moniker back on the planet Krypton.
Equally alien is this explanation from Danielle Friedland, whose expertise was honed editing the celebrity-babies.com Web site:
"I don't think they're topping each other per se, but I think it's an exercise in creativity. Someone who grew up as a non-celebrity may not have loved their name. If your name is Rachel, you may want to give your kid a jazzier name. You think they're special, and you want the world to know that and that you're really special."
But talk about mixed signals - Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes might be sending one, the article reports, in naming their darling Suri.
While her parents' publicist says it means "princess" in Hebrew and "red rose" in Persian, the LA Times reports it means "pickpocket" in Japanese. And author David Narter quibbles with the "princess" definition. It also means "go away," which could be useful.
(photo of a suri alpaca)
September 14, 2006
A Castle Fit For A Vice President
Worry no more with this Flinstonian, steel-reinforced concete pod, in a Colorado location to be disclosed to pre-screened bidders. I have outdoor speakers that look like this.