Thursday, January 31, 2008

Applause Lines

"I feel twitchy and bitchy and manic."

If you're like me, you often think: Broadway musicals are fun, but they aren't nearly gay enough. I wonder how you could camp one up.

Well, you could set it in a gay bar in the Village and feature Lauren Bacall as a fag hag.

From Alan, who loves it when people refer to him as the Barbadian Bacall.

Buster Crabbe, as Tarzan, holds Julie Bishop, as Jane, in one hand whilst threatening Edward Woods with the other in a scene from the film
Tarzan the Fearless, 1933. (Warner Bros/Getty Images)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quakers in the Woodpile

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know about many of these. Delighted about Dame Judi.

From Tom, who's a friend but not a Friend.

'Why Can't We?'

While the 1990s were about sins of omission, your generation will grapple with the costs associated with sins of commission. It is easy to get used to the morning news, habituated. But don't. The morning news is yours to alter.

This inspiring commencement speech was delivered in 2006 by Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power, now a foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama.

Thanks to Florence.

Highway Fun

Step 1: Tie balloons to car.

Step 2: Drive like a bat out of hell.

Step 3: Watch people freak out.

Thanks to Laura, who knows a good time when she sees one.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mobama

With the Virginny primary two weeks away, I was leaning towards Hillary on the basis of experience. But I've been somewhat dissuaded by Bill's recent mouthing off, and according to this issues-based calculator, Obama's a better choice for me.

Thanks to Mary for the link.

A group of prospectors during the gold rush in the United
States, 1867. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Clear Difference

I'm always irritated when people wait till they get to the register before they start fumbling for their credit or debit card. Oh, do I have to pay? Don't even get me started on check writers; they should be drop-kicked back to the 20th century if they insist on living that way.

Now I understand: I am a Clear.

Good Times

And brilliant commentary.

"Emotions are for ethnic people."

Gracias a Juan y Eugenio.
The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, 1904.
(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy*

Mark Morford offers 29 things to be happy about.

* This really should be a semicolon, but Bobby McFerrin used a comma. I hated that song.

He Says a Mouthful

A tongue-in-cheek report on a vexing local concern.

Thanks again to Derek.

Speaking of Scary Clowns ...

Sylvester Stallone's 86-year-old mother, Jackie, at
the Las Vegas premiere of "Rambo" on Thursday.

Thanks to Derek, who found it here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gaudíest House on the Block

In the summer of 1985, on a trip to Barcelona, my fun uncle took my cousins and me on a tour of works by native son Antoni Gaudí: Casa Milà, Park Güell, and of course La Sagrada Família. We even ducked down and scurried past the portero to get a look inside Casa Batlló, a private apartment house.

There's one way to experience a Gaudí home without sneaking in, but it'll cost you: Casa Vicens is for sale for €35 million. Story here. Lots of pictures and even floor plans on the official site.

Thanks to Riley for the tip.

Piling On

There's an awful lot of crappy art out there.

Thanks to Curt, who prefers his art hanging on walls.
A young Mod asleep on Brighton beach, covered by a Union
Jack blanket, 1st April 1980. (Express/Getty Images)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Edgy Décor

Derek sent the link for this great line of planters. They'd fit right in here at Butt Hollow.

'This Weird Flash Point'

Mark Morford on the current political moment:
It's a stunning thing to watch. Right now, the various spurts of venom aimed at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama from conservative pundits and politicos are, at best, scattershot and convulsive, with only MSNBC's Chris Matthews proving himself to be a consistent blowhard jackass in his relentless slamming of Hillary by claiming that she only made it this far due to adultery-survivor sympathy. Hey, Chris? 2001 called. It wants its puerile, sexist analysis back. Thank you.

Workers on a production line in the EMI factory at Hayes, Middlesex, where
the Beatles album Rubber Soul is in the final stages of production.
(Keystone/Getty Images)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


These give me a mild case of the heebie-jeebies, yet I wouldn't hesitate to give them as a gift.

I learned about them, the article in the previous post, and many other curious things from Rob Walker's Murketing newsletter, which almost always contains something interesting.


Kristina Contes was known in crafting circles for her avant-garde designs, celebrating Converse sneakers and her hairless terrier, Chloe. But with one mistake, her world turned on her.

Who knew scrapbooking was so cutthroat, much less that it had a gritty edge? Riveting.

Friday, January 18, 2008

'Ritchie Loves Dick'

The February issue of Vanity Fair has another article on the elegant Scaifes. The saga is worthy of "Dynasty":
The Post-Gazette posted the court documents on its own Web site; locals took rooting interest in the story’s many subplots (alleged hair-pulling fights with the help, dognapping, and battles royal over a 94-page itemized list of art and objets, from a million-dollar Magritte to an $1,800 set of asparagus tongs), which almost make one pray for Aaron Spelling’s resurrection from the dead.
Good times.

Playing With Food

Two different friends sent me this enchanting little slide show. Britain isn't known for its cuisine, but this is right tasty.

Thanks to Riley and Anne, who always appreciate good taste.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Out in the Cold

I just read that the famed Harbin winter festival was growing more elaborate each year, then Diana sent this. I don't see a trip to China in my future, much less in mid-winter, but these pictures are the next best thing -- and I can enjoy them in my jammies.

'Now Is the Time'

Tom Cruise tells you everything -- and nothing at all -- about Scientology in this kooky video forwarded by Caroline.

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland with Rosa Hersee as Alice and Arthur Elliot as the Hatter at the Opera Comique Theatre in London, 1898. (London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Palatial Pied–à–terre

Italian history for sale. Rich, colorful history. Slide show here (backwards for some reason, but no matter).

Thanks to Riley.

Gather Round, Kids

For "Story Time with Miss Amy."

As seen on OMG Blog.
American actress Clara Bow (1905–1965) starred in nearly 60 films, including It in 1927. (Photo circa 1928, General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cleare View

Travel porn from Riley:

Well Said

Another of my alter egos sees something dark down the road of sloppiness:
When we don't care about correct spelling or usage or expression, isn't it somewhat easier to not care about other written things? How about following the Geneva Convention? The Constitution? Oh yes, it says X, but, really, we can do Y because we know what's important. Doesn't it mean what it says, as written? Don't we have to follow laws? Does an opinion rendered in a "signing statement" mean it's okay to ignore a law that we've just signed, simply because we can and we think we know better?

Education accounts for a lot, but not everything. I've known plenty of otherwise bright people who graduated from "good" schools yet spel appallingly, capitalize random Common Nouns, use dreaded grocer's apostrophe's, and write run-on sentences with willful abandon, the only explanation I can think of is that they were beaten throughout childhood for using periods. You might think they'd pick up some clues by reading newspapers and books, but evidently not. All of which leaves me with very little hope.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Dan's mother is fond of exclaiming "Holy cats!" I wonder if she has Foobie in mind.

Noteworthy Names

Pearl Spoon
Junice Q. Bender
Desolyn Doak
(Ms.) Bevadine Z. Terrell
LaRain Shorter
Minnie Linkins
Judge Hamer H. Budge
Robin Ann Robbin
Darrell, Carrell, and Harrell Stanley (siblings)
Santiago McKinn
Ferdinand Zogbaum
Paco Underhill
WonJoo Shankoff
Hunter Crum
Bracken and Nina Joy Cherry (daughters: Star, Iam, and Now)
Sam Hill
Daisy Hill
Leroy Brown
Frank Burns
Godtheson Thomas
Prince Blue
Ruby Greene
Tammy Gray Salmon
Hampton Buster
Lucky Rich
Rheba Cramblet
Uniqua Pough (aunt: Shermanita)
Brig. Gen. Sir John Rotton
Sir Sitwell Sitwell
Lovebell Sligh
Chase Fox
Sandy Trapp
(Ms.) Smoki Bacon
Stanley Ann Dunham
Kittie Dowdy
Jemima Kiss
Peggy Plank
Gladys Gattis
Luxuria Hope
Col. Harlo P. Beschenbossel (wife: the former Daisy Mold)
Eden Grace
Poppy Petal, Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle, Marigold Sun, and Jethro Tull Donahue (siblings)
William O. and William A. Jones (brothers)
Cinderella Pritchett
Rev. Younger Dykes
Ashley Grills
Tawana Crump
Virginia Magnolia
Langhorne Putney Withers, Jr.

Michael Jackson
Doris Day
Elizabeth Taylor
Dustin Hoffmann
George O'Keefe
Suzanne Summers
Charles Chapman
Phil Donahue
Betty White
Chip and Amy Carter (siblings)
Steven King
Barbara Eden

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today's Top Story

I wonder where elderly, disabled Asian lesbians fit in.

Sorry, Charlie

This trippy animated short was suggested by Peggy. More here. Do not drop acid before viewing!
Four London and South Western railwaymen are pictured on 21 December 1920, their last day prior to retirement at Woking Station. The men have over 207 years service between them. (Brooke/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What's the Word?

My personal favorite is Googleganger, which I'd never seen or heard before. My primary Googleganger is a 61-year-old British MP -- a Tory, the bastard.

From Riley, a cunning linguist himself.

'More Crashes Than a NASCAR Rodeo'

I haven't tried Vista yet, but I'm sure this is as apt as it is entertaining.

Thanks to Riley.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Furry Crocs and Other Freaks of Nature

I’ve had cold feet since my teens, but the situation has declined along with my mobility. When you don’t move, neither does your blood, and more than a decade of ALS has left my circulatory system sinfully lazy. Next to me, Dick Cheney would look like a triathlete. (He wouldn’t get very far, though, because my wheelchair would be parked on his foot.)

At this point my feet are no longer entirely human. They’re still a more or less normal shape, but they’re prone to swelling, which causes them to turn colors. The palette is that of desert sunsets, ranging from dull yellow and orange through vivid red to a lovely but slightly alarming aubergine.

The latest complication is the most curious, perhaps a rare instance of devolution. After all these years of atrophy, if my feet aren’t braced against something stiff, they’re liable to curl under like a monkey’s. This development might have been fun had it come with the strength to climb trees; alas, it did not.

All of this limits my footwear options, to put it mildly. I still wear nice shoes for special occasions, but that’s not practical on a daily basis because it can require a shoehorn, a hammer, a vise, and/or Crisco, depending on the size and shape of my feet at the time.

Last year I was delighted to discover Crocs, which are comfortable and go on easily, especially with socks. They had a fatal flaw, though: With no lining, my feet froze in cold weather, no matter how warm my hosiery. So you can imagine my delight when they came out with a fleece-lined version recently. I ordered a pair last month, slapped them on as soon as they arrived, and have barely doffed them since. It’s a rare product that inspires me to rave. But while I’m at it, let me also put in a grateful word for a related discovery: SmartWool socks. Between those and the Crocs, this has been a much more comfortable winter. That and the fact that it’s 70 degrees today.*

* What’s up with that? Not that I’m complaining -- but, really, it's January.

Stupid Human Tricks

It's all fun and games till someone bursts your bubble.

Thanks to Zana.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Giving Made Easy

Whenever someone watches this short video, a dollar is donated to Augie's Quest, which funds ALS research. Thanks for clicking.

Clip Job

Over the past week, two different people sent me this article:

And two different people sent me this one:

There you have it: Language and hoarding, my interests in a nutshell.


Thanks to Derek, who's been covering my ass for 22 years.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

No Bull

Derek sent this ... um, unusual video, alleging that Mexico holds an annual midget rodeo.

A decade-plus of Internet use has whipped my natural skepticism into a more or less permanent state of disbelief, and I try to check out such claims before sharing them. I couldn't find anything on this hallowed Mexican tradition, but I did find a hilarious 2006 description of such an event in LA. And it appears the video's been pinballing all over the Net, so forgive me if you've already seen it.

Royal Flush

Thanks to Riley.


The rice paddy as canvas. Story here. More pictures here.

Thanks to Florence.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Today's Top Story

From Marty, who would kill to be so described.

Snot Blaze Galore

[T]he biggest story in June, as well as the history of the universe, is the release of the Apple iPhone, which, in addition to enabling you to make phone calls, has all kinds of brilliant and innovative features, including AutoFondle, an application that enables the iPhone to fondle itself during those times when you are unable to fondle it manually because you're sleeping or undergoing surgery from wounds you sustained when friends or co-workers finally lost it and beat you senseless to make you shut up about your freaking iPhone already....

In his masterful recap, Dave Barry describes 2007 as "a year that strode boldly into the stall of human events and took a wide stance astride the porcelain bowl of history." Indeed.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Livin' Large

As the writers' strike enters its third month, the pickin's are slim, the TiVo cupboard bare. Our standards, consequently, have slipped.

In a momentary fit of delirium -- or desperation -- Dan recorded Reign of Fire, a cinematic triumph described thusly: "A brood of fire-breathing dragons emerges from the earth and begins setting fire to everything, establishing dominance over the planet." We lasted maybe five minutes; it was that bad.

Marty was over the other day, and as we scanned the listings, "The 750 Pound Man" jumped out. Naturally, we had to watch. Then we sucked down bowls of Ben & Jerry's. Things got heavier as the evening wore on: next up was "Half Ton Man," followed by "World's Heaviest Man" (1,225 lbs.).

There was nowhere to go after that, which pretty much sums up the current TV situation. Thank God for Netflix.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune."

Nicholas Ling

Hillbilly Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia

If fewer than half of Americans believe in evolution, I guess this little item shouldn't surprise me. So why do I feel like banging my head against the wall until it stops hurting?

Thanks (?) to Riley, ever vigilant for signs of the beast.

Liar, Liar

Scary Clown

Donatella Versace, though admittedly fascinating, has always scared the crap out of me. I think it has something to do with my aversion to clowns. And I can't see a picture of her without hearing Maya Rudolph's dead-on impersonation. I once watched an interview of her (Donatella, not Maya) that used subtitles -- even though she was speaking English. Ostensibly.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Rolling Thunder

Once again I feel compelled to declare that this was not me. Clearly I have many kindred spirits in the world.

Thanks to Christine, who is no stranger to misanthropes in wheelchairs.