Sunday, November 30, 2008
The mood was modestly upbeat among the kinfolk and the kind strangers who roped me into conversation, betraying little distress over the prospect that next Thanksgiving many of us may be living in rusty sheds and hunting squirrel for food, depending on how all those stimulus packages go.I can always count James Wolcott for a sane perspective.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
That we have slightly more than one President for the moment is mostly a consequence of the extraordinary economic times. Even if George Washington were the incumbent, the markets would want to know what John Adams was planning to do after his Inauguration. And yet this final humiliation seems particularly appropriate for George W. Bush. At the end of a presidency of stupefying ineptitude, he has become the lamest of all possible ducks.Source
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
"You see, this is my life. It always will be. There's nothing else. Just us ... and the cameras ... and those wonderful people out there in the dark."We didn't realize at the time that we were starting a tradition.
Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard
A couple of Thanksgivings ago, sifting through a stack of videos, we picked The Silence of the Lambs. Not your typical holiday flick, but we enjoyed it thoroughly - and now we make a point of screening something inappropriate. This time we watched Sunset Boulevard before dinner and In Cold Blood* after.
* The original, of course. Did you really have to ask?
Thanks to Marty for the transcription - and for the company.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Isn't that how they make tortellini?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Mary Pettus Cocke
(Ms.) O'Neal Foglesong
Rhonda Wilt Keister
Dr. G.D. Batty
Dr. Edward Staab
May Pearl Flower
Amber Olive Greene
Sandra Tsing Loh
Vardell McPhatter III
Lt. Col. Early Losey
Betty White, budget analyst
John E. Carson
Kevin J. Bacon
Stuart C. Law, attorney
William W. Headline, journalist
Herb Score, baseball player
Thanks to all who contributed.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The truth is that you're living in a world that no longer exists. I, along with millions of Americans, clearly see the world the way it is -- and we embrace what it can be. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of looking for new ideas or moving beyond what worked in the past.Source
And I thought it was an American scourge.
I take strong exception to the "foremost language expert" who sympathetically described apostrophe usage as "complicated." Please. Only periods and commas are easier. If you haven't mastered the apostrophe, you should give back your high school diploma. In fact, stay in the house. And don't touch the computer. Ignorance is contagious.
Cliché should have an accent, but we'll forgive it. Their heart is in the right place.
Having worked at a PR agency, I could write my own list. A long one. At this point in time, 24/7, pushing the envelope, thinking outside the box, big picture, results oriented, value added ... Temples throbbing ... Must stop ...
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
My friend Craig was in town for the weekend, and we went out to dinner, then headed back to my apartment to prepare for whatever late-night activities we’d planned.
The resident manager was hovering in the service elevator like a bat, and when she saw me she swooped out, flapping her leathery wings in a state of agitation.
“Thank God you’re alright!” she gasped.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” I asked, bewildered.
“The fire department was here!” she said. “They broke down your door because they thought you needed help.”
“Why on earth would they think that?”
“Someone called them,” she said.
It must be a prank, I concluded, unaware that I was both the victim and the perpetrator.
The key lay in a small box on my desk.
As Craig and I caught our breath, our heads still spinning, I noticed the light blinking on my answering machine. There were two messages.
I recognized the first voice immediately. It was that of a brainless woman who’d called on several occasions, looking for her sister. Each time I told her she had the wrong number, yet she always tried again after a month or two, apparently hoping for a different outcome.
This time she was clearly distraught:
Oh my God! I have the wrong number, but now I don’t know what to do! Hold on! I’ll call 911! I’ll call 911!The other message was from an emergency operator:
Ma’am, this is the fire department. Can you hear me? Don’t worry; we’ll be right there. Do not try to move.Why would a pair of strangers think I was a damsel in distress? By the time I heard the second message, the ice-cold truth had slapped me in the face: It was my outgoing greeting.
Not long before, I’d recorded what I thought was a funny message, a parody of a much-mocked commercial that was ubiquitous at the time. In a high, quavering voice, I mewled:
Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up. And to make matters worse, the battery in my LifeCall alert system seems to be dead. So please leave a message, and I’ll call you back … if they find me in time.It blew my mind (and still does, all these years later) that two different people – one of them a 911 operator! – could be stupid enough to think someone who’d lost their balance would have time to record a message on the way to the floor. But you can bet I changed the greeting.
A decade and a half later, after a dread diagnosis and a fall that broke my arm, I actually did get a monitoring system. Who says irony is dead?
Thanks to Derek for the reminder.
[T]he Mormons are particularly vicious homophobes. Gay people are rendered invisible, their personhood erased in this church. The cruelty the Mormon church inflicts on its gay members is matched only by the Mormons' centuries-long demonization and hatred of black people.Source
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
From Derek, who wonders if this is what happened to Madonna.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
There were no second thoughts until a couple of months ago, when I got a request from a cousin, followed closely by one from a friend. A real friend. Up to that point, I’d assumed that Facebook and its equivalents were the province of teenagers, not middle-agers, but now I was forced to reconsider. Not only were these two in my age group, neither was socially challenged, and I respected their judgment. So I clicked “confirm” twice, sighed, and dipped a tentative toe into the stream.
I filled out my profile, posted a couple of pictures, and started trolling for friends. Not “friends,” mind you, but friends. I’m 41 years old. I have plenty of friends; I don’t need “friends.”
That lasted a couple of weeks.
Around the same time I began to tap out of real friends with Facebook accounts (many remain holdouts), I discovered that quite a few celebrities have pages. Hosanna! Would they respond to my overtures? Well, I reasoned, I’d already kicked myself back to high school; the experience wouldn’t be complete without social anxiety and the fear of rejection.
But they didn’t reject me. Tina Fey? We’re girlfriends now. Enrique Murciano? Mi amigo. Eros Ramazzotti? Paesano! (Evidently I’m still a band geek the second time around, but now I’m also a theater fag.)
The only one who’s snubbed me so far is Andy Roddick, and I was over him anyway. Are you reading this, Andy? I bet Djokovic will be my friend. Then you’ll be sorry, you dumb jock.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
It's those damn Democrats and their abortions, one nurse opined to another. If they'd been paying into the system, we wouldn't be in this fix.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I know I speak for roughly five thousand fellow media lackeys when I say, sweet Lord, I am just so glad this damnable beast of an election is finally over. It's like a combination of the day after Christmas and post-coital orgasm and giving birth. You can only sit in the wobbly afterglow, warm and buzzing and dizzy, insanely grateful you didn't get a stocking full of Satan and Alaskan moosemeat and dirt, or a baby with three tiny heads and a nail gun where his arm should be.Mark Morford on what happens now.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
We were watching TV last night when something clattered through the mail slot. It was a photocopied article headlined: "'I Would Make A Bad President,' Obama Says In Huge Campaign Blunder."
Two portions were carefully outlined:
This precious lamb - or was it a whole flock? - took the time to make who knows how many copies, mark each one by hand, then deliver them door to door. Only one tiny detail eluded them: The source of their damning story was The Onion, a satirical newspaper.
"... I think I would make a bad president...."
"My youth and inexperience would definitely make me an awful president," said Obama, whose seven-minute misstep was further exacerbated when he called himself "no expert" on the economy. "To be perfectly honest, I'd be worried about putting me in charge of the most powerful military in the world because I'm not any good when it comes to making important decisions. Also, I'm not sure how much I care about keeping this great nation of ours safe."
"I'm an elitist, I hate Israel, and I want to lose the war in Iraq," Obama concluded....
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I'm lying: I laughed. A lot.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Not only are the gravestones wickedly clever, they're quite realistic. This year's display even made The Post.
in their front-lawn display in Washington. (Susan Biddle)
Sunday, November 02, 2008
At 14, Andie has mellowed a bit but is still firmly in charge. Just ask Zap and Devo, who defer to her in their own home as they do chez elle. Smart boys.
When she started balking on a walk the other day, Dan plunked her into my lap, where she remained as we pressed on, pointing staunchly forward like Napoleon at Austerlitz.
Photo by Dan.