Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Riley.
Farts. Butterfly Effect. Countdown to extinction.

Derek O
From Six Word Stories.

Somewhere Between 40 and Death

Who else but a bosom buddy will tell you the whole stinkin' truth?

From Peggy.


J. Edgar Hoover Being a Gentleman
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover seats Mrs. Martha Mitchell, wife of U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, during a dinner given in her honor by the American Women's Newspaper Club on May 25, 1971. Hoover, making his first public social appearance in almost three years, was asked whether he had ever received one of Mrs. Mitchell's notorious late-night telephone calls. Without hesitation he replied, "I stay up at night waiting for it." (Bettmann/Corbis)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Colleen.

A Wimple in Time

In 1966, at the height of Deckers' success, Debbie Reynolds starred in a saccharine, Oscar-nominated Hollywood musical version of her life story.

The producers weren't to know how things would later end: with Deckers depressed, destitute and dependent on alcohol and tranquillisers, killing herself with her lesbian partner in 1985.
From Riley.

Nail to the Chief

Justine Lai, an aptly named artist, takes a very personal approach to American history. (Click on "works.")

From Tom.

Martha Mitchell Seated at a Piano
The wife of Attorney General John Mitchell is shown at her home
during an interview, March 17, 1970. (Bettmann/Corbis)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Human history becomes more and more a race
between education and catastrophe."

H.G. Wells

Today's Top Story

... [T]he Republic of Texas should arrange a population transfer with the United States, like how Turkey and Greece exchanged all their misplaced Turks and Greeks after the first World War — only this time without the forced marches and famine. Basically, we get all the New Yorker-reading lefties, and Texas can have all the crazies — millenarians with basement stockpiles of semiautomatics, true believers who blockade abortion clinics, paranoiacs who think The Gays are coming to get them, and anyone who believes that evolution is "just a theory."

Garden of Eatin'

From Alan.

'Have Mercy on Us'

From Derek.
Seventy-two virgins! Gender not specified. Damn.

From Six Word Stories.
Attorney General John Mitchell, his wife Martha, and daughter Marti
at home, ca. 1970. (Wally McNamee/Corbis)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Michael K.

Phyllis Up

Dan went to Californy this weekend for a much-deserved getaway. I was left in Marty's able hands, with help from Nicole and my mom.

Yesterday evening we were startled to realize that we hadn't watched a single freak show the whole time. The entertainment highlight was something of a surprise.

"Little Britain USA" got mixed reviews, so my expectations were low, but I found it largely hilarious. My favorite character was a new one: Phyllis Church. You can see her in action here and here.

Thanks again, Tina!

Singin' in the Pain

From Riley.
Governor of California Ronald W. Reagan (L), with Attorney General
John N. Mitchell (2R) and his wife Martha (2L), and Sen. George Murphy,
at a fund-raising event for Sen. Murphy. (Ralph Crane, 1970)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Discretion is not the better part of biography."

Lytton Strachey


Bea Arthur was the first celebrity I ever met. It was in a shoe store in Brentwood when I was six or seven. Engrossed in sandal selection (fag!), I heard my aunt say, "Well, since I see you on TV every week ..." and looked up to see her talking to ... Maude.

My little world was rocked. I suppose I realized that actors were actual people, but I'd certainly never imagined they shopped among us. Back home in the Washington suburbs, all we had were politicians and journalists, and who the hell cared about them. But a TV star ... Wow.

"Who else have you seen?" I asked my aunt.

"I saw Burt Lancaster at the deli counter once," she said.


"He was in The Swimmer," she offered, to no avail whatsoever.

There've been plenty of star sightings in the years since (especially in New York, where they really do live among the people), but Bea will will always be my first.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs
who, however, has never learned to walk forward."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Today's Top Story

Previously Michelle Malkin’s writing was on the edge of unreadable; she’s sort of like Ann Coulter, only without that tiny fraction of P.T. Barnum/Mick Jagger-esque self-promotional flair that makes Coulter at least vaguely interesting. When you read Ann Coulter, you know you’re reading someone who would fuck a hippopotamus if she thought it would boost her Q rating. That’s a rare quality and it commands one’s attention.

Michelle Malkin doesn’t have that. She’s just a mean little dunce who’s wedged herself into a nicely paying career as a GOP spokesclown, and she’s going to ride that gig for as long as it keeps gas in her minivan.
From Peggy.


Next to my office in San Francisco, there was a restaurant with a jungle plane-crash theme. (This was years before "Lost.") The menu was Polynesian, and the cavernous interior featured dense tropical foliage; a grotto; and, most strikingly, the "wreckage" of a jet that purportedly had belonged to Jefferson Airplane. (I guess they upgraded to a starship when they changed their name.)

It was fun to have a mai tai or three in the airplane while "scenery" glided by in the windows, which had been replaced by video screens ... although I'm suddenly wondering, more than a decade after the fact, why we were pretending to fly if we'd already crashed in the jungle. Probably better not to overthink it.

Apparently "airplane food" - and drinks - have a certain universal appeal.

Thanks to Kristine.
Two women outside a bookshop in Leicester Square, London, with paperback copies of Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence, after a jury at the Old Bailey decided that it was not obscene. (Keystone/Getty, 1960)

From Riley.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Florence.

That's Rich

As the polls attest, the majority of Americans who support civil unions for gay couples has been steadily growing. Younger voters are fine with marriage. Generational changeover will seal the deal.

Separated at Birth?

'Did That Sound Gay?'

Jay Brannan is like a kitten: adorable and prone to playful bites. His first full-length album came out last summer; it's excellent, and this song is one of the best.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Michael W.

'Join the Fun!'

I had no idea some of my favorite pastimes were sanctioned by Oscar Mayer.

From Christine K.

Hip Hip Hooray

Another site with a self-explanatory name.

From David H.
Photographers snap pictures of Pickles, the dog who sniffed out the missing
Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy, stolen on 20 March 1966 from the
National Stamp Exhibition in Britain. (Central Press/Getty Images)

From Riley.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Florence.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

What if you threw a party and nobody came? Again and again, day after day.

Nicole and I have a running joke. We call it different things, but the gist is that I'm a stripper in search of an audience. I put on two shows a day: just before and just after my shower. The stage is my bathroom, and the performance is always the same: the world's slowest, most awkward pole dance.

Despite living on the ground floor, I don't bother putting the shade down. Dan imposes strict blackout restrictions, but when he's off duty anything goes. If someone's going to go to all the trouble of peeping, I say they deserve to see whatever they can. It's called hospitality.

No takers yet, and I've been peddling my wares for a year now. I often glance at the window during my awkward pirouette - sometimes I even give a winsome wave - but there's never anyone there. I'm considering sending Nicole out with a sandwich board to announce my showtimes. Come one, come all, to the Grossest Show on Earth! You won't believe your eyes!

Change That Tune

"What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

From kreepy Kristine.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Christine K.

Twelve Candles

"Cheeseburgers for dinner!" exulted the birthday boy.
With Baconnaise, please. Ow, my chest!

Al Goretex

Meating of the Minds

What is it about bacon that inspires such creativity?

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C*

* Apparently an April fool prank from the brain trust that brought us Baconnaise.

Sources: Colleen, OMG Blog

That's Life

Young Isabel Harter riding a tricycle while her sister Nellie rolls a hoop, with other children and adults in background. Fort Greene, N.Y., May 22, 1886. (Wallace G. Levison)

From Florence.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eye Spy

The best Moth story yet.

Steamed Crabs

If these people were Americans, they'd be the ones who drive SUVs while bemoaning the price of gas. Or buy McMansions in Outer Hades, then bitch about the commute. My personal favorite is the guy who moved to a community carved out of the Arizona desert, where he was deeply perturbed by dust and sand blowing onto the golf course.

From peripatetic Peg.

Squirms of Endearment

At first I thought it was bad art by celebrities, but this is almost as good.

From Kristine, who prefers unicorns.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

When you told me you loved me, I couldn’t tell
if you were serious or if it just slipped out.
Either way, I’m glad I laughed.
From Dear Old Love.

Bad Eggs

Twelve years ago (a dozen!), Dan and some friends hosted an Easter brunch. He was living in the Castro, in a great house with a sweet little back garden - the perfect setting.

He and I were tasked with filling plastic eggs for the hunt. Or maybe we tasked ourselves. Anyway, it probably would have gone fine had we not been stoned.

Our early efforts were normal enough: Hershey's Kisses, Tootsie Rolls, hard candies. But that seemed dull after a while, so we started looking around for less-predictable treats. Who wouldn't be delighted to find a teabag in an egg? Garlic, anyone? ¿Huevo jalapeño?

Regrettably, things went downhill from there. Increasingly giddy, we vied to make each egg more outrageous than the last. One was filled with a raw egg, another with the contents of a dirty ashtray. The worst involved a trip to the cat's litter box.

Guess what? People like things predictable, at least when it comes to Easter eggs. The reactions ranged from mild amusement to shocked dismay. No one was harmed, but no one was charmed. And our brunches have been boring ever since.

After all this time, I was happy to learn we aren't the only Easter degenerates.

Far and Wide

'China dawn': Yangshuo, China (Jaspal Jandu)

From Riley.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"The greatest mistake is trying to be
more agreeable than you can be."

Walter Bagehot

When Sally Met Edie

I've heard that when it rains, you can still smell cat pee.
Whenever I read anything by or about Sally Quinn, she invariably strikes me as a snotty bitch. This interview is no exception, but the subject makes it an interesting read.


Tea Hee

Dip in, patriots.

Still not clear? Let's ask an expert.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Broken ankle. No flashlight. Hungry bobcat.

Rachel P.

From Six Word Stories.

Hairy Situation

From Kristine, who admired the number of euphemisms in the response.


Have you heard? Turns out the married gays are still on the march. No longer merely a coastal phenomenon, undeterred by the economic recession, as yet unsmited by God's redneck fury, these bizarre, relentlessly loving creatures are now invading the heartland. Will the nightmare of love never end?
Mark Morford on conservatives' latest backlash.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Today's Top Story

Source, via Kristine

Neck Is Supple

I recently saw a urologist for the first time in my life. My internist's an old friend, and he passed along the dick doc's report because some of the comments just had to be shared. To wit:

Mr. Jack is a 42-year-old man.
God, I am, aren't I. How in the hell did that happen?

His brother brings him in today.
Say what, now? If Dan is my brother, what we're doing is very, very wrong. But we've heard it enough times that we're beginning to wonder just what sort of vibe we give off.

He is in a wheelchair, but he has good cognition.
Go figure.

Physical exam shows a well groomed, well dressed gentleman in no distress.
I should note that my hair was its usual frizzy mess, and I was wearing drab nylon pants, brown fuzzy Crocs, and a shapeless oatmeal sweater I acquired 22 years ago as a Benetton vendeuse.

Alert and oriented times three.
Why, thank you. Not bad for someone in a wheelchair.

Neck is supple.
I don't know whether to blush or whinny.

I did not do a genitalia or rectal examination.
This was a great pity, at least from my perspective. For he was a hottie: a younger, leaner, furrier George Clooney, with a personality to match. He could have poked and prodded me all day. And my brother would've let him.

Separated at Birth?

I Say

How to Scramble an Egg

Just in time for Easter.

From Laurie.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead."

Dame Rose Macaulay

Readers Digest

Didn't see this one on the bestseller lists.


Pole Position

Sometimes a site's name says it all.

I'd love to know whether Sarah Palin monitors her PAC's ad placement.

From Kristine, a konnoisseur.

Old Haunts

Get lost:

From Michael and Diana, respectively.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Riley.

Storm Troopers

From Kristine.

Off the Wall

This place has John Waters written all over it.

A federal trooper stands on watch on a street in Washington, D.C.,
6 April 1968. Dozens of major American cities were rocked by an
escalation in race riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King
on 4 April. Several hundred people were injured and about 3,000 arrested,
most of those in Washington. (Pictorial Parade/Getty Images)

From Riley.

Monday, April 06, 2009

All Thai'd Up

Last week Dan put his car on Craigslist, where it was promptly snapped up by an adorable woman in her mid-20s. A fairly recent arrival from Thailand, she showed up with an entourage of two female friends and one male. Only the guy spoke fluent English.

The test drive took so long, we were joking about filing a police report when we got a call for directions. They were lost.

Ten minutes later, they burst into the Holler. The man glanced around and declared, "Your house so neat and clean, Mr. Dan. But not your car."

It was like an invasion of hummingbirds. They fluttered around, examining one object, then another, chattering and giggling all the while. At one point all three women surrounded Devo on the couch, stroking him simultaneously.

"He sad," they decided.

"That's just how he is," Dan explained, not entirely convincingly.

Then came the questions.

To Dan, for no obvious reason: "Are you ecologist?"

"No. I work for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority."

"So ... biologist?" she offered hopefully. He was a little sorry to disillusion her.

The man was even more inquisitive. When he first saw me, he asked Dan: "Is he your friend?"

"He's my partner."

This threw him, but not for long. Scrutinizing a framed photo, he said: "You're taller than him?"

"No," I replied. It seemed easier than: "I used to be a hair taller, but probably not anymore, what with the ALS and all."*

Unsatisfied, he turned to Dan, who'd missed the exchange: "Is he taller than you?"


Not surprisingly, this led to queries about the state of my hearing and comprehension. Which in turn led to a series of questions about my health. After earnestly imploring me to try meditation, he changed tracks completely.

"Is okay if I take pictures?" he asked, whipping out his cell phone and pantomiming.

To our bemusement, he proceeded to snap photos of our profoundly ordinary IKEA kitchen, our bathrooms, and other unlikely subjects.

When they finally left, I said: "You just sold your car to Hello Kitty."

* The first time I met a group of Dan's lesbian amigas, one of them exclaimed, "Oh my god, they're the same size! Where's my camera?"

Rough Around the Edges?

Might be time to mow the lawn.

From Derek.

The Future Foretold

Out of Context

Sometimes all you can do is scratch your head and ask, "WTF?"

From Alan.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bush Gardens

The new Bush Liberry has something for everyone.

From Florence.

Father Knows Best?

Perhaps we should look at it differently, and use Benedict as our grand reminder that the general Rule of Divinity still holds true: the more you claim to be some sort of inviolable authority on things sacred and holy, the less you are to be trusted and the more we should all hope and pray for your urgent obsoletion.
I have many issues with the Catholic Church, but the notion of papal infallibility is near the top of the list. A human being - elected to the position by other human beings - cannot be wrong? Pardon my Latin, but give me a fucking break.

Mark Morford on Ratzi's latest rot.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Incontinent rockstar: shit hits the fan.

From Six Word Stories.

Front and Center

From Derek, who asks: "Does this dress make my vagine look big?"

It's Academic

Hard Finding a Prostitute in Baltimore, Huh?

Grad student: So I think that the manuscript should be organized differently...
(advisor's phone rings, he has a quick conversation in Arabic)
Advisor: Goddammit, sorry. I hate when my damn Arab relatives call, they always want me to set them up with prostitutes for their trips to the United States.
Grad student: Uh...
Advisor: Anyway, where is figure 3 going in your paper now?

Baltimore, Maryland

Overheard by: LabCat
From Overheard in the Office.

You Can, Whippet

Daan in the mirror, 2006 (Maarten Wetsema)

More here.

From Michael.