Monday, June 30, 2008

For Laurie

"I can feel death's clammy hand on my shoulder.
Wait ... that's my hand."

Abe Simpson

Big Problem

The best satire hits right on the truth, and this topic is one of my pet peeves.

Well Put

Two more reasons to heart James Wolcott:

Step Right Up

This guy's got balls; I'll give him that.

Mrs. H. Tyrell and Mrs. Jessie Butts demonstrating the
new Sterling Sub-Machine Gun at Dagenham, 1955. It was
adopted by the British Army as a supplementary weapon to
the Belgian FN Rifle. (Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

From Riley.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

"I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one
might have, beautifully expressed with much authority
by someone recognized wiser than oneself."
Marlene Dietrich

Today's Top Story

Sign Language

I haven't driven a car in years, but I got an easy A on the first section of this quiz. (Haven't tried the other parts yet.) Take it yourself and report back so I know who* to stay away from.

* Yes, that should be whom, but it looked prissy. Almost as prissy as an asterisked explanation.


Blame the Gays

He makes a compelling case.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

"He is one of those people who would
be enormously improved by death."

Gore-y Details

A warm, cozy interview in which Gore Vidal reflects on fellow writers:
"Capote I truly loathed. The way you might loathe an animal. A filthy animal that has found its way into the house."
His mother:
"She was a shit." He pauses. "A drunken shit."
And other happy topics.

Special bonus: An equally charming Q&A from The Times.
Factory workers coating biscuits with colored sugar at
W&R Jacob & Co Ltd's factory in Liverpool in 1926.
(Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

From Riley.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Think of how stupid the average person is, and
realize half of them are stupider than that."

George Carlin

States of Disarray

The country's coming apart at the seams; try to make sense of it.

I got 90 percent. What about you?


Dinner's a Snap

The importance of being Ernie.


Her Future Ex

I can totally empathize with this woman's dilemma:
An Indianapolis woman calls to say she had a great first date with a doctor, but was horrified to hear him suggest they meet at an expresso shop. She asks for dating advice: Should she correct the guy, keep quiet about this mispronunciation, or just hope he never orders espresso again? Would you go out on a second date with someone who orders a cup of EX-presso?
From Peggy.
A battery of ticket-issuing machines at the Piccadilly
Circus underground station, London, 1928.

From Riley.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Today's Top Story

I wish I had a baby so I could name it something topical, like Oppressive Humidity or Four-Dollar-a-Gallon Gas. Or are you supposed to stick with sports? I like Augusta National. Or Legg Mason, née Virginia Slims.

From Anne.

Steady As They Go

I've attended many weddings and never witnessed this. Unfortunately.

From Florence.

Type O

I'm not this bad, if only because I lack the commitment.

Catch of the Day

Guess he's more of a city guy.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody."

Quentin Crisp

I Know I Am

What about you?

Sometime last year, Dan and I were having a glass of wine with my stepmother and an old friend of hers. I've forgotten how the topic arose, but we were startled to discover (at least I was) that we each had some peculiar habitual tics that we'd held onto since childhood.

At the time it was a strangely comforting revelation. If three largely sane people had their own little quirks, perhaps I wasn't such a freak after all. It wasn't until later that I thought of another explanation: Maybe everyone is nuts.

You might reach the same conclusion after visiting this site. It's simultaneously hilarious and pathetic, inviting and repellent, heaven and hell. It's riveting, and it's addictive. You've been warned.

Thanks to Terry.

Out Back

What's old is new again. Or so they say.

My great-aunt in France had only one toilet, and it was outside, in a shed off the kitchen. It was dark, stuffy, smelly, and often hot/cold/damp, depending on the weather. And then there were the spiders ...

If you had to pee at night, as children often do, it meant going downstairs, bumping through several overcrowded rooms, and wrestling open a sticky door and a heavy set of shutters. (The French barricade their homes at night as if the Germans might come back while they're asleep.) Usually it was easier just to piss in the bidet, which was conveniently located in the bathroom. Upstairs. By the bedrooms. That's right: the bathroom had a bidet but not a toilet.

After decades of inconvenience, my aunt eventually moved to a place with a fully equipped indoor bathroom. And then she died.

Thanks to Riley for the article.
© 2007 Collos Magroz

Monday, June 09, 2008

Today's Top Story

From Peggy.

Inka Dinka Don't

There's a video at the bottom if you can stomach it. I thought I saw a Marion Barry tat flash by, but on reflection I decided it was likelier James Brown. My favorites were the ones that read I'm Awsome and Fuck the Systsem.

Nothing is sadder than a tattoo on elderly flesh, though ink on the morbidly obese is almost as whorrifying. And then there's the girl with Hardcore stamped on her chest and what appears to be an advanced, untreated case of herpes around her mouth. Eesh.


Cutting-edge Décor

You might want to beef up your homeowner's insurance before putting this in the family room.


The scene at White City in London, venue for the Franco-British Exhibition,
with the Flip-Flap in evidence, 1908. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From Riley.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Today's Top Story

From Riley.

Noteworthy Names

Harry Beans
Shamont Coon
Velva Jo Creech
Girlie Mae Schana
Lesbia Miller
Bunnie Pettus
Laddie Suk
Ginger Brown
Amber Vial
Lance Greathouse
Earl King
Royal Buyer
Pearl Bland
Pearl Flowers
Bonny Flowers
Linda Bonita
Penny Chance
Patsy Dance
Tequila Cheeks (sister: Dequila)
Norman "Snorky" Schlorb
Felicidoll Thomas
Sandy Whorunewayz
Gift Mahlakametsa
Saint Madam McCollough
Deaconess Daisy Mae Faggins
Angel Fish
Darius and Darrius Grant (brothers)
Merlin Smart
Merlyn McPhatter
Sherry Spittle
Katie Crotty-Kretzer
Notie Magnolia Outlaw
Summer Wang
Spurgeon Johnson
Virginia Cumming Tester
Gusta Fuss
Cloyce I. Spinks
Wiley Wattleton
Roosevelt Ford
Elmus Dowdy, Jr.
Carkashia Withers
Ida Trulove
J. Christian Swindal

Tony Curtis, real estate agent
Mario Lopez, house painter
Daniel Craig
Jean Harris
Betty Davis
C. Thomas Howe
Judith Light
Michael Moore, contractor
Erin Moran
Johnny Glenn (brother: Johnny L. Glenn)
Thomas Paine
Richard Rodgers, folklorist
Michael C. Fox

From Peg, who hung here, far and low, back in college.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

"We can't all be heroes because somebody has
to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."

Will Rogers

Wish You Were Here

Too bad you missed the bus. D'oh!


Words to Live By

Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must
shed our past over and over again.

Doesn't work. Believe me; I've tried. Maybe it's because:

Karma means you don't get away with anything.

As bad a Quaker as I am, I'd be an even worse Buddhist. Still, I find it soothing to read the teachings. It's like eating a bowl of fortune cookies, but without the calories.

From Kyra.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Enchanted Forest

I'm surprised this wasn't on the itinerary when my uncle took me to Barcelona.

One of the highlights of that trip was a stroll down a street of ancient hookers plying their drooping wares. Women in their 50s and 60s, maybe even older. Out of the entire poignant tableau, what I remember most clearly was the father who'd brought his young son. To paraphrase Sandra Bernhard: It was a picture Norman Rockwell forgot to paint.

Thanks to Riley for sparking this glamorous reverie.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted
to a profoundly sick society."


Waste Management

Ready for your close-up, America? It ain't pretty. (Actually, it is, in a way, but that's missing the point.)

From Zana, who as an Australian is entirely innocent of such crimes.

A Different Kind of Hybrid

This is one answer to costly gas, but I don't see it luring soccer moms from their minivans. Especially at that price.


From Anne.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Today's Top Story

Cryptomnesiasts abound.

Scarred for Life

I thought the real Christopher Walken was scary, but this version makes my flesh crawl. This one's my favorite.


White Sale

"They're just good old down-to-earth people."

Ms. Ruth is quite a stitch.

Mumbai, India: A boy dressed as Gandhi takes a break
during an anti-tobacco awareness campaign on the eve
of World No Tobacco Day.
(Indranil Mukherjee/AFP)

From Riley.