Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today's Top Story

From Tom.

This Never Happens Here

"I met the new neighbor," my uncle told my aunt. "His name is Ben something. His voice sounded familiar, but I couldn't place him."

Later, the wheels turning, he asked, "What's that show you watch every day?"

Thinking a moment, my aunt suggested: "'Law & Order'?"

"Yes!" he said. "He's on that."

Head spinning, she tried to think of a Ben on "Law & Order."

"Do you mean Benjamin Bratt?" she asked, incredulous.

"That's it."

The Cat, the Dog, and the Noir Protagonist

This kills me.

From David.

An Inside Look

From Riley.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Today's Top Story

Your party — the GOP — and the conservative end of the American political spectrum has become irresponsible and irrational. Worse, it’s tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred. Let me provide some examples – by no means an exhaustive list — of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.
From Derek.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not Fine

From Florence.

'Wish You Were Here'

From Riley.

'Swish It Up!'

"Neil Patrick Harris, you confuse me."

From Ivan.

Rift From the Headlines

This rift is defined hereby as the gulf between people with extant intelligence and subtle understanding of ideas, and the Sarah Palin-grade paranoids who don't quite understand what the hell they're raging about, but nevertheless do so with much clenched passion, fake tears, guns and a whole garage full of stockpiled bullets.
Mark Morford wonders what it would take to bridge the divide.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today's Top Story

From Tom.

Little Lady Kenmore

Among my odder childhood fixations was a passionate affinity for washing machines. I had a couple of toy washers, including one that would actually "wash" small things when you added water. And I still have a scrapbook whose contents consist solely of washing machine pictures cut out of catalogs.

I liked 'em all, but if you parked me in front of one with a window in the door, I'd stay happily ensconced through the entire cycle. (Now that I think of it, maybe it was a mild form of autism. Whatever the allure, it's long gone now.)

Sometime in my mid 20s, I reminded my mother of the fetish. We had a good laugh, and I thought that was that. But a few weeks later, she mentioned that she had a birthday present for me. When I failed to claim it promptly, she pressed: "When are you going to come get your present?"

So I schlepped out there to unwrap -- surprise! -- a toy washer. It was very small, and when you wound a knob, plastic "laundry" tumbled around inside. Cute.

As I got ready to leave, Mom said, "Don't forget your present."

"What am I supposed to do with it?"

"Well, what am I supposed to do with it?"

"Why don't you give it to your grandson and make him gay, too," I suggested.


"Just kidding," I said.

At least I didn't take things this far.

Link from Kristine.

Metaphor, Anyone?

This confirms everything I ever suspected about George W. Bush.

From Peggy.

From the Maguires.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's Top Story

From Jos.


On our way to bed last night, Dan and I noticed that the timer on the dishwasher's display was down to the last minute. We waited silently in the dark, exchanging a satisfied glance when the window went blank and the little "Clean" light blinked on.

I wish I could tell you that it was the first time we'd done it, or at least that it didn't still give me a slight thrill after eight years. But that would be a lie.

Separated at Birth?

Too Much to Bear

They say love conquers all, but I'm not sure my passion for Bear Grylls can survive his Facebook posts:
something for today: 'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments
that take our breath away...'
when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!

”Don’t be afraid your life will end;
Be afraid that it will never begin.”...

Squeaking By

This made me laugh a lot more than it should have for someone my age.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Smiling dog. So thought the child.

Six Word Stories

The Good Earth

On a walk today, we stopped to visit with friends who hadn't met Sparkle. She made a stellar first impression, barking obnoxiously at their nonplussed Lab. When she tired of that, she shifted her focus to eating dirt like an Appalachian toddler.

Only last year Devo was our problem child. Now he's a canine paragon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today's Top Stories

From Riley.

Brand Central

Logorama won the Oscar for best animated short.

Source, via Jos and Michael

The Late Show

Some recent favorites from Sleep Talkin' Man:
"Just hold that thought for a seriously long, rectum-pinchingly time."

"There you go again, wasting decent oxygen on talking."

"Good morning. I just wanted to be the first person to call you a twat. Enjoy your day."

"Me, fat? Think again, titty-fuck. I taught my muscles to be in a zen-like state of relaxation. Permanently."

"As a vacuous cum bucket, you're perfect."

"Of course I know where your eyes are. I just like staring at your tits. Thank you!"

"You are the perfect candidate for post-natal abortion. Got it?"

Sunday, March 14, 2010


To my commenters -- the few, the stalwart, the golden ones: Have I told you lately that I love you? You get it. You understand the concept of dialogue. You know that for someone whose fingers barely work, a blog is a fairly substantial endeavor. Even simple posts represent an effort, while longer, personal ones mean hours of clumsy pecking. Your comments are coins in the Jacquoff meter, and your fellow readers are indebted to you, whether they know it or not.

Thanks also to my contributors, without whom the pickings would be mighty slim. You keep me amused, aghast, titillated, outraged, intrigued, and generally entertained, and I pass along the best of your offerings in the same spirit of sharing.

As for the rest of you, the vast, silent majority ... to you I extend a jaunty middle finger. You are lurkers. Voyeurs. Parasites. You're the kind of people who listen to NPR and watch PBS without ever donating. Not to equate fart jokes and trailer-park headlines with "Masterpiece Theatre," but you know what I mean. You know exactly what I mean. I know that you know, because too often I am one of you. Shame be upon us all.

I enrolled in FeedBlitz three years ago, mostly as a convenience to readers. What I didn't foresee was how it would encourage indolence and detachment. When every post is delivered to your mailbox, there isn't much incentive to visit the blog itself.

Inertia is a powerful force, resistant to sarcasm and threats. I accept that. But I don't need to open my door and invite it in, so I'm canceling FeedBlitz after tonight's mailing goes out. If you still want to subscribe, I recommend Google Reader, which is how I follow blogs and other sites of interest. You're as free as ever to lurk; with FeedBlitz gone, at least I won't know who you are anymore.

And now for some Pepto-Bismol ...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Today's Top Story

From Peggy.

Overheard in the Country

A friend, referring to Sparkle: What was her name when you got her?

Dan, shocked and offended: That was her name.

Overheard by: Did You Really Think We Named Her That?

Overheard in the City

Dan, watching a news segment on a wrestling program for child amputees: I bet I could beat some of them.

Overheard by: Everyone

For Terry

Who is 40 today.


Monday, March 01, 2010

Sorry I Asked

My father spent the first half of his childhood in Woodley Park, where his parents had a gracious semidetached house from the turn of the last century. It was across the street from the zoo, and one of Dad's fondest memories was spending summer nights on the sleeping porch, listening to the lions roar.

Later they moved out to Chevy Chase, trading a bigger house for a bigger yard. I once asked why.

“You want the truth?” Dad said. It was because black people had moved across the Calvert Street Bridge from Adams Morgan, which apparently signaled the end of civilization – at least to my grandparents. Ironically, Woodley Park remains to this day one of the whitest neighborhoods in Washington.

Here’s another irony, this one from the other side of the family. As my great-grandmother risked her life hiding Jews in occupied France, her daughter’s young family was settling into a restricted community in the “land of the free.”

This might never have occurred to me had I not met an elderly woman at a New Year’s party. She asked Dan and me where we lived, and it turned out that Parkfairfax had been her first home when she moved to the area in the ’40s. With housing incredibly scarce, her husband had come down from New York ahead of time to find a place. Parkfairfax, then new, was considered very desirable, but they informed him that they didn’t rent to Jews. Only after pleading his wife’s pregnancy and begging did he secure a lease.

As I mulled this over in the days after, I remembered the neighborhood handbook that I occasionally flipped through when I was young. Along with prohibitions on keeping livestock was a ban on renting or selling to “a Negro or member of the African race.” By the ’70s it was a shocking thing to see.

I called my mother, told her the story, and asked if our neighborhood had ever had a religious restriction.

“Oh, probably,” she said, quickly adding: “But it was never enforced.”

When she was growing up, there were exactly three Jewish families. They lived in the next block, all in a row, curiously. I don’t know what the count was a generation later, but there was only one black family the whole time I lived there, and I don’t think much has changed. Not that I’m casting stones. Parkfairfax may have dropped its restrictions, but it’s still Honky Hills.