Friday, September 20, 2002

The lessons of good and evil overheard tonight at a drugstore: A woman behind me was waiting in the checkout line with her niece, who was begging her aunt for some candy. The aunt repeatedly said no, that's not good for you, and you shouldn't beg. So the niece replied calmly, "I'll just take it then." The woman gave this long and somewhat nervous speech about how a) there are cameras all over the store and you'll surely be caught b) All you'll get to eat in jail is bread and water and c) It is wrong to steal, and punishable by hell. I think her exact words to wrap it up were, "You want to be a good person, don't you? Then never steal, and never lie. Those two things go hand in hand." The girl agreed, then put the candy in her pocket (much to the aunt's dismay)!

Here is a town that can be honest with itself:

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Very funny last line on this article from The Onion: BALTIMORE—His car in the shop, Balloon-O-Gram deliveryman Burt Girardi, 37, was forced to use public transit Tuesday. "Well, that was pleasant," Girardi said. "You haven't lived until you've sat on a jam-packed crosstown bus for 40 minutes holding an 18-balloon Birthday Bouquet while dressed in full Zorro regalia." Girardi added that teenagers today think they are so goddamn funny.
In just over a week, the Wilco documentary comes to Detroit. The film depicts the band's struggles during the producing of its last album. Great reviews so far. Can't wait.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

I told myself I wouldn't watch 9-11 coverage today. It was too much revisiting, which seemed pointless and exhausting today. But first thing in the morning, I turned on ABC news and didn't turn it off until I left for work just before noon. I have to say, they did a fine job. In four hours they only showed the towers collapsing once. They broke into the names being read at Ground Zero with stories about individual workers and firefighters and families. Daughters read poems for their fathers. Other stories gave some historical perspective. Peter Jennings got emotional after a story about some New York Times writers who did those snippets of the victims' lives, then said simply, "A lot of reporters cried this year." And there were some new angles to a story I thought had long ago been exhausted. This one is from CNN on firefighters smoking. Here at work the televisions are muted and it's work as usual. And I'm thankful for that.
On an unrelated note, a fantastic, touching story in the Milwaukee paper about Terry Glenn, the (hopefully) reformed ex-Patriot. Hopefully Green Bay will be desolate enough for him to stay out of trouble, though it hasn't worked for some other players (alcohol flows freely there).

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

A tragedy I completely ignored: SatireWire, a fabulous humor site, is no more. For a hilarious guy, the writer has a touching and surprisingly unfunny farewell letter. Seems he just doesn't feel he has it in him anymore to sustain the site, the writing, the business, and all that goes with it. For those of you who are not familiar, the site still has some of the best articles on there, including Lake Michigan on Viagra, the Interview with the Web Search Engine, Bush Chokes The Pretzel, not On Pretzel, and Axis of Just as Evil. You'll be missed.
I'm stealing this story about the ultimate spelling family, or maybe deep down the ultimate dysfunctional family. from Josh, blatantly ripping it off to alert those of you who know me: Yes, I won the spelling bee, but my family wasn't like the one in this story. They didn't wait anxiously for the new list of words to come out on audio so the whole family could sit around and try to spell them. Heck, they can't even spell! My dad told news crews that came to do a feature that my secret to great spelling was actually the signs he discreetly held up from the audience, showing me how to spell all the words. He also spent much of the interview trying to get on camera, only to have them flash to me and our dog, Kosmo. And he laughed hysterically when we got to Washington for the national finals and a big bird shit on my head. We were a more laid back version of this family. We didn't have a computer. Or any particular ambition to get our entire family into the spelling bee finals. Maybe that's why I'll never be president *sigh* But we sure had fun.

Monday, August 19, 2002

OK I really need to get a life. Watched Meet My Folks tonight, where three young women spend a weekend with a guy and his parents, and the parents choose who he takes on a trip to Hawaii. The show started with the women having to massage and/or feed the father, without the family knowing it was set up. The funny line came from the apple-pie mom, who said they got up and massaged her husband "like brazen hussies." Then the woman and the prospective date went into the hot tub, where the guy engaged them in a game of truth-or-dare (ok, just dare) and told them to take their bikinis off. Unbeknownst to them, the parents were watching on television, where the mom called it "interesting" before the dad went outside and told his son to act like a gentleman. Then three ex-boyfriends showed up, and one revealed that one woman, who has to be about 23, lived with a 60-year-old "sugar daddy" to get his money. Her defense? "That's a total like. He was only 51." Needless to say she was the first one to go. While the parents wanted to pick the girl next door as they called her, they picked the one with the biggest boobs, an early Christmas present to their son. Yes, I need a life.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

I know I am a real blog loser lately, as it has been three weeks since I've posted anything. I'd like to say it's my busy social life or work that has kept me from my computer. In part that's true, but mostly my absence has to do with the fact that I'm completely hooked on The Sopranos. A recent convert (I don't have cable, so I'm a little ignorant when it comes to HBO), but now I can't get enough. My friend loaned me his box sets of the first two seasons, and I've watched them over and over again. Note here: For all reading, please don't tell me what happens in the third season. The box set doesn't come out until Aug. 27 - I've taken to drinking and heroin to tide me over - so I am still a little behind. Anyway, the show is brilliant. You've got a mob boss who kills people, steals money, then frets in a psychiatrist's office over a family of ducks that set up house in his pool, then flew away on him. His own mother suggested a hit on him, his girlfriend is psychotic and his wife has questionable relationships with two men, including a priest, and his best friend turned out to be an informant. I just love how some moments can be so calculating and evil, then five minutes later there's a hysterical shot of Tony talking sweetly to his sister (who just killed her fiance, who is now cut up and put in garbage bags, thanks to Tony). Tony kills people, then struggles with his feelings. He has some of the same problems found in every family (sans the cash hidden in the ceiling tiles). The shots are artistic and the story moving. Can you tell I'm a fan? Really I think mob shows can be quite addicting. I don't know whether it's the secrecy or the action or the underground family that is closer than most families in a sadistic sort of way. This American Life did a great show once, I think with Sarah Vowell but I can't remember, where she watched the Godfather like five times a day because she was so addicted. It's probably on their website. I think I've become that woman.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Maybe I'm just not patriotic enough, but I'm tired of singers, writers, etc. who are trying to make money off the public by writing a cheesy, tearjerker of a song/poem/story about Sept. 11. Much of the news, writing, speeches that came out of the terrorist attacks were touching but let's face it, some of it just isn't very good.Still to some extent people feel the need to rally behind meaningless songs because they mention the USA and revenge and have the words red, white, and blue in them. Really I'm venting because Toby Keith is a hack, and he's mad that he got booted off a July 4 special because, he says, his song's lyrics are too racy. Really, they're just not very good. The Daily Show had a funny news item on Toby Keith, saying "Courtesy The Red White And Blue (The Angry American)" is Keith's fastest rising single and, following his chart toppers "How do you like me now?" and "I wanna talk about me," it also makes it his first effort outside the world of himself.
The House is set to vote tonight on whether to expel Ohio's own James Traficant from Congress after he was convicted on federal corruption charges. He still insists there is no evidence.
Interesting blogging article (via The article repeatedly calls bloggers "reporters" and talks about how blogs have really turned the mainstream journalism world on its head. I'm torn about that. I think certainly there has been a great need for blogs, that they give perspective on the news, condense the vast world of information to pieces that are interesting and concise, and are invaluable critics to the mainstream media, which need critics believe me. But I would argue many blogs, and there are many great ones, point out reporting that has already been done. They give insight on issues already in a magazine, on the web somewhere, in the paper, out in the community. That's not reporting. I do agree that the blogging world and the journalism world could and should feed off each other. One can't replace the other.

Monday, July 22, 2002

The owner of the horse that won the Kentucky Derby died. He was only 43 and had a heart attack. The news reminded me of a story I read about Invisible Ink, a horse that nearly won the race (not the same owner or the same horse, but you see how my train of thought got here....). The horse was deathly ill months before the race and had lost 40 percent of its body weight. Some thought the animal should be put to sleep. But a vet ordered handlers to give the horse buttermilk that sat out in the sun. Amazing what some home remedies can do.
Sign in a Chicago restaurant: Only a rooster could get a better piece of chicken than this.
It's always an interesting debate when people talk about whether journalists are allowed to be involved in their communities politically or socially, and at what point it becomes a conflict of interest. According to the Boston Globe nineteen journalists have made donations to candidates in the governor's race, according to public records, and 15 of them wrote their checks to Reich, the former US labor secretary from Cambridge. I can see why it's seen as a conflict, especially for those who cover politics. Sometimes it's not that people will be biased, it's that people will perceive them as biased, which might be even worse. But as a journalist I know it's hard not to get involved in a community; you do live there after all.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

To make an unbelievable story even crazier, the meteorologists don't have to give reporters their real names because they're protected by the union contract! The National Weather Service has been giving newspaper false names because they fear retribution if it, I don't know, rains on somene's parade. So the Red Blazers of the world live on.
Look out Green Bay! This is hysterical, one of the best satirewire stories I've seen. "A freighter containing 62,000 metric tons of popular impotence drug Viagra struck a reef and sank in Lake Michigan today. As a result, the once-frigid lake no longer dangles into Illinois and Indiana, but now spans majestically across northern Wisconsin." The photo images are the best.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Meteorologists for the National Weather Service in Ohio, apparently afraid they'll be hunted down and beaten if they are a few degrees off on the day's temperatures, have taken to giving the newspaper fake names. That's right, we've interviewed child molesters and unpopular corporate leaders and politicians, but it's the weather people who fear retaliation (the best line I heard was, "What are you afraid of? It's going to rain on someone's Bar Mitzvah and they're going to come after you?"). This all came to light when one meteorologist got kind of carried away and identified himself as "Red Blazer." Yep, that's his name. Upon questioning his supervisor, it was revealed that he hasn't been giving us his true identity either (although he used something reasonable like Williams or something). Besides, weather people are never wrong, right?

Monday, July 08, 2002

He dances. He prances. He performs amazing flips over tennis nets. The streaker is alive and well at Wimbledon. Apparently he's been banned from almost every stadium, given his tendency to tear of his clothes. If you ask me I say he livens up the stiff old British tennis tournament a bit. I have to say, though, NBC might want to improve its blurring technique. It only managed to block out the frontal nudity, giving viewers a nice shot of the D and G on his cheeks. Perhaps the funniest sight was all the officials running after him with blankets. Side note: It's amusing to see accounts of the naked guy in other languages, referring to them as "el streaker" and the like.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Stupid accident of the day: Man dies while hanging his head out of the car. You can never be too careful when it comes to light poles and your skull. When I was in high school I was told the drummer of Def Leppard lost his arm by hanging it out of the car and hitting a mailbox. Turned out it wasn't true, but as a devoted fan I believed it anyway. Kind of like the story where someone sleeps with a woman, then wakes up in a bathtub of ice with a phone on his chest and a note that says, "Call 911. I've taken your kidney out." Ah, urban legends. Actually my old boss made me call the Las Vegas police when she heard that one. Let's just say I'll never work as a reporter in Vegas.
And the horribly stupid mother of the day: Woman leaves kids in hot car while she gets beautiful, then says she was abducted. The police chief is right; some women just shouldn't be allowed to procreate.
Today's terrorist warning is yellow. That means be afraid enough to pee in your pants. Our paper ran an article today about what to do in case of radiation poisoning from a nuclear bomb. If you haven't seen it here's the lesson to be learned: Run.
Oh, and it's hot today. God bless air conditioning.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

A clarification you never want to have to write includes the words it showed something that clearly didn’t belong in a family newspaper, a man’s testicle Apparently the subject of the photo was a man whose house had burned down. The Rocky Mountain News put the photo on the front page, but it appears he had a little more hanging out than his emotions. The paper swears what looks like a testicle is a shadow and a cuff, but Finlay himself, according to this hilarious article (via, says it definitely is what it looks like. And leave it to television to prove it.
This from my boss who was explaining how to wash blinds in the bathtub. "I know all this stuff. I'm Heloise Hint."
Vaughn and I went to see Sum of All Fears yesterday. Basically they're asking you to believe a CIA agent will be sent to the Ukraine to track down a bomb and find out where it's going. He's to communicate with the only guy who knows about this mission, but lo and behold that guy can't hear his cell phone because he's at the Super Bowl. Amazing, though, that in the middle of a nuclear bomb cell phone reception is perfect. It must have hit everything but the towers.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Here are some random notes after a work-related hiatus (work related meaning I had to do some) and some technical difficulties (and thanks Josh for fixing them).
If you needed proof that there isn't anything that can't be sold to a sponsor: Steve Fossett, the obscenely wealthy man who has made it his mission to fly around the world in a hot air balloon is now riding in the Bud Light Spirit of Freedom. Nothing says freedom like a cold Bud Light.
Along the Hell is for children theme, check out this article in The Onion: Youth Pastor Forced to Break Out "Hell Is Not Disneyland" Speech. As a kid in catechism class, we always for some reason found it profoundly funny when the pastor was angry. Probably because it seemed, obviously, so against his nature. He once called a girl in the class the devil, and the rest of us the devil's helpers. I think it was when we were hiding from him after the break (those hide-and-seeks always ended with some valuable religious artifact being broken - it wasn't pretty). He would also try to talk to us about sex (OK let me say now he wasn't trying to molest us or anything, just trying to save our souls before we turned 13). But he would always talk about the dangers of sex, and instead of herpes he always said herbies. It was legend among catechism students. Side note: This misbehavior in church is hereditary, apparently. My brother was the worst, and one of my relatives once told me that the pastor at my dad's school got so mad at him he called him and ass - the only time they ever heard him swear.
As for The Onion, let's make it clear that there really was no Hell is not Disneyland speech. Apparently some reporters are prone to believe the most unbelievable paper of them all. The Beijing News re-reported a story they apparently ripped right out of The Onion about how Congress threatened to move out of Washington unless a fancy capitol were built. Minority leader Richard Gephardt was quoted as saying, ''Look at the British Parliament. Look at the Vatican. ... Without modern facilities, they've been having big problems attracting top talent.'' The paper first refused to print a retraction, then blamed it on The Onion for tricking the reporter into blatantly plagiarizing the story. This was the quote from the Beijing paper's editor to the LA Times: ''How do you know whether or not we checked the source before we published the story?'' Yu demanded in a phone interview. ''How can you prove it's not correct?''

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Woo hoo! The Red Wings win the Stanley Cup again!!! The game just ended, 3-1. I imagine there is a lot of hellraising in Detroit right now, not that the city needs an excuse. Hell they burn houses before Halloween.
READ THIS! I haven't blogged in awhile, and I have a lot to say. But for now help out my friend. Is this a wedding topper fit for a cake? Is it offensive to men everywhere, or at least a groom? Or is it just fun and shows a sense of humor? Cast your vote now.

My friend Erica and I got our diver certification over the weekend. We are now free to drown at will. Actually both of us did OK, except on the first dive when we thought we were 20 feet underwater, and all of the sudden our heads popped above the surface. That's a scuba danger. We learned our lesson, after laughing so hard we practically hyperventilated. On a side note, we found out later a diver died in another quarry from going up too fast. We won't be making that a habit. Much to the dismay of our instructors, we refer to the fins as flippers, the buoyancy compensator as a vest, the regulators that keep us alive as air thingies, and the skills we need to know as stunts. God help us when we're actually in the Caribbean. That's right, in a few short months we'll be in Mexico drift diving, which is going underwater and floating wherever the current takes us. We're assured it's safe. Talk to me in November.
Now I know animal rights people mean well, but oh my hell. A car commercial shows a rabbit being set free in the woods (I'm sure by the way they didn't really let it go. They needed it for more takes and animal testing) and it's called animal endangerment. What about the Mountain Dew commercial where the guy butts heads with a ram? Now that had to hurt. Here is the idea, from the Journal & Courier in Indiana: The "Out of the Box" commercial, which began airing June 3 on network and cable television, features a mother and daughter removing a domesticated rabbit with a white nose and paw from a classroom setting and releasing it into the woods ... "It (the ad) appears to be condoning the release of domestic rabbits into the wild," said Dawn Sailer, chapter manager of the Indiana House Rabbit Society. She calls that "an incredibly bad idea." The worst part is the car company is actually thinking about changing the ad!

Friday, June 07, 2002

Nick and Sarah Arena of Maumee, Ohio named their child Joe Louis. Get it? Joe Louis Arena. Big Red Wings fans. Poor kid. At least they can say the Red Wings won the day their baby was born, as they beat the Hurricanes last night.
Kennedy cousin Michael Skalel was convicted of killing his former neighbor in 1975. It's sad that his wealth and privilege protected him so long, and that it took books written about the case to get an arrest. It seems the Kennedys have always felt they're invincible, that they can do what they want without being killed or arrested or otherwise tainted. I guess that's why they are the victims of so many accidents (skiing, helicopters, etc.), because they don't realize that some risks have consequences. On a related note, please kill me if my life gets so sad that a reporter writes this about me: By then, Skakel had been transformed from the lanky athlete of his teen-age years into a pudgy, divorced father battling alcoholism. Or on second thought, maybe this is worse: Skakel himself did not testify. But prosecutors used Skakel's own words to place him on the Moxley property that night.They played a tape of Skakel telling an author in 1997 that after he returned home from his cousin's house, he went to the Moxley estate, thinking: "Martha likes me. I'll go get a kiss from Martha. I'll be bold tonight." He said he climbed a tree and threw sticks and rocks at Martha's window and yelled her name. He said he then masturbated in the tree, climbed down and ran home.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Attention divers: Stay away from the coast of the U.K., unless you're looking for a little more than scuba. A dolphin, named Georges by the people who have come to see him, has been lurking near the coast and trying to mate with divers, mostly female. Georges starts by circling the diver, then moves in for the lovin'. The real danger (besides the obvious ... ick!) is that the dolphin weighs 400 pounds and could likely drown the object of his affection. Poor Georges. Unlucky in love.A side note: When I came across this story, I also found a website called It was far more disturbing than anything I've read about Georges.
Speaking of diving, my friends and I are taking our open water certification to become official divers this weekend. I've had some dreams about it. The most vivid one was where the instructors took us out there to dive, but the first day we had to climb down a cliff that was so high we had to be dropped off by a helicopter. I chickened out, and Erica fell over at the top, bumping into our friend Kim and knocking her off the cliff. I didn't think I was anxious, but maybe I am a little nervous....
And speaking of sex (hey I'm on a role), the state of Michigan has stopped making sex offenders register, and has stopped letting people see the list (it used to be online) because an appeals court judge ruled the list unconstitutional. The judge said the registry doesn't give people a chance to prove they're innocent, or they're not a threat to society.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

God bless the Queen, and the BBC. You wouldn't hear this on Meet The Press: The BBC did a big program this morning on the Queen's Jubilee, a glorified rock fest to honor the monarchy. It also had a discussion on the value of royal family. I apologize for missing their names, but the speakers were an author and a newspaper columnist named Peter something or other. Anyway, the woman said she didn't like or understand the queen's role, and the royal family only added more laws and rules and oppression. Peter shot back with a fiery speech on how the parliament makes rules, not the royal family, so they are not the problem. When was the last time the queen ever gave you a speeding ticket? he asked. The woman answered simply, Peter, you are riveting. Just riveting. I only wish I knew at all what you are going on about. My other favorite part of the BBC is when they say, now it's time for the sport. Because apparently they only have one sport, and often it's cricket, where the score is something ridiculous like 282 to 156.
My good friend Eduardo Cassini reminded me that I have not said word one about the glorious Red Wings, who beat Colorado with a whopping 7-0 shutout, and now go on to the Stanley Cup finals tonight. I've gotten into hockey more than ever, thanks to Vaughn who has not minded explaining icing every other week (OK but it can't cross what lines?? There are so many of them). So Go Red Wings. You've made it exciting to watch hockey, even in June. Here are some things that still baffle me though: 1) How is it that we're supposed to know that a man named Patrick Roy is actually Patrick Wah, phonetically speaking? 2) How do hockey players get so many beautiful women when they're missing half their teeth? 3) How did that whole octopus thing get started, and where do all those fans get octopus? (or is it octopi?) 4) I thought hockey players were supposed to fight. Why isn't there any fighting any more? Would adding some WWF players to the mix help a little?

Friday, May 31, 2002

In the stupid study category: Women: Let's Talk about Sex.The Penn State study apparently concluded that women talk about sex and relationships more than men. It also found that they talk about the intimate parts of sex and relationships, the ideas and feelings behind it. Anybody did not know this has never spent time in a group of women. It's not that women are crude (though some are) or that they talk about the specifics of sex with whomever they're with (though a few do), but about the ideas of sex, if that makes any sense. Anyway, what I really want to know is: What did this study accomplish? Why are we spending money on eavesdropping on conversations in the women's bathroom? has a funny spoof on the study: Men do Talk About Relationships. You just have to know how to listen. According to this article, men talk in code. Here's part of a conversation among three guys watching basketball: LEWIS: Hey, change of subject: I finally did it. I bought an Audi TT. I'm still compensating for the sexual dysfunction problem, and I need to talk about it. JIMMY: You lucky bastard! What did your wife say? That's tough. How's your wife dealing with it? LEWIS: Actually, she loves the car. She's been driving it as much as I have. She's as frustrated as I am. JIMMY: Did you lease it? You think it's temporary? LEWIS: Yeah, but I have the option to buy. Yes, but I'm worried I'll never get better. BOB: Meanwhile, I just bought a minivan. Hey, it could be worse. You could be castrated. JIMMY: Man, you guys make me glad I'm still single. It's a good thing I like masturbating. LEWIS: Quiet guys. Barry Bonds is up. I hope he strikes out. Does anybody else compensate for their sexual inadequacies by rooting for heroic, muscular men to fail?

Thursday, May 30, 2002

The tributes to Millie Benson keep pouring in today. There is a memorial web site to her. And there is a great memorial to her here and here and here. The most poignant tributes have been from her co-workers, who describe her as, well, cranky but feisty. She is famous for asking people she interviews for obits (because their relatives just died) "Didn't they do anything interesting? Anything at all?" She once described herself as the highest paid junk writer around. She snapped at people who brought in too many Nancy Drew books to sign, thinking they might be trying to turn a profit. She grumbled at fan mail and at news crews. But I guess when you get into your 90s, and accomplish as much as she did, you have a right to be a little grizzly. She crafted Nancy Drew to be independent and stubborn, not sweet. I guess she was saying something.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Millie Benson, the original Nancy Drew author and Blade columnist for many, many years, died yesterday. She was having problems breathing at work, but she didn't want to go to the hospital. Later, someone took her home, where she died. She was 96. Around the newsroom, Millie was an icon. She came to work every day, even when her health was failing her. When she couldn't drive, they sent a cab for her. When she couldn't see, they enlarged the type on her faxes and screen, and read things to her when it wasn't clear. She was cranky and short with people, but it didn't matter.She was amazing. Millie didn't tell anyone she had written the first Nancy Drew books - she was sworn to secrecy by a contract - until 1980. The Blade had a star in its own newsroom. But it wasn't just the books. She learned how to dive and started lessons to be a pilot at age 59. She was strong, and said many times in interviews that she developed Nancy Drew into a strong female character because there weren't any. She stressed that girls could do anything they set their mind to, and she did. She had a lot of firsts in her long life, and she'll be missed. It always amazed me how people in the newsroom would accommodate her. The librarians patiently explained things to her LOUDLY because she couldn't hear. Fellow reporters read her fan mail and helped her with her computer, and with stories. They helped her walk and looked after her. It was inspirational.
On to another news item, and I know I'm tooting my own horn, but see what the paper did with our small towns series. This is the first time we've used the Web to any great length to enhance a story that was in the paper. My favorite part are the readers' speaking out section, where you can hear interviews with small town residents. The stories are about Ohio's smallest towns, and how they are losing people, businesses, and their way of life. I grew up near a very small town in Wisconsin (on Cheese Factory Road if that tells you how small), so I could relate to what these small town residents are missing.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

It's been almost a week since I saw Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, but I can't let the opportunity pass. The movie had amazing fight scenes, especially in the last 45 minutes. The whole yoda fighting deal was hysterical and seemed to be a treat for real Star Wars fan. But that whole love scene in the middle - which lasted, I might add, an hour - made me want to gag. What woman would fall for lines like, "I don't like sand. It's coarse and gets everywhere. You're not like sand, you're soft." It gets everywhere???? He lives in an igloo in the middle of a desert! In turn, what kind of a Jedi would be touched by the line, "I'm not afraid to die. I've been dying a little every day since I saw you." Oh please. Every time they switched back to the meadow, and the love scene, I could see half the theatre roll their collective eyes. Did I mention the fight scenes were amazing?
I noticed while browsing message boards for Attack of the Clones that Stars Wars fans use on word to sum up everything they like: Cool.
I have to admit I have no clue why people think there are racial stereotypings in the clone army/soon-to-be stormtroopers. I don't even remember seeing their faces (wasn't that the point) let alone thinking they were Hispanic, and that that was a bad thing.
Samuel L. Jackson is no Jedi. If you want a good laugh, catch him in The Deep Blue Sea, the cheesiest shark movie ever. I won't tell you all that happens, but Jackson dies at a very crucial (and hilarious) moment. And for all you men out there: A woman disrobes for no reason, unless she thinks sharks are repulsed by bare flesh.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

You know it's a good week in newspapers when you get to put in a story about an exploding chicken. My favorite part is the allegation that the restaurant knew there was a defect in the chicken and failed to include a warning to consumers.
Gotta love this story: PIPE BOMBER ARRESTED, NATION'S MAILBOXES SAFE FOR BASHING AGAIN High School Football Players Across Midwest Ready to Return to Action There is a sheriff's department near here, in a county that I swear is the mailbox bashing capital of the world. Every day they send us multiple reports of people saying their mailboxes were hit with baseball bats, run over by cars, or otherwise mutilated. They also have the strongest deer in the world (every car-deer accident report ends with "And the deer continued on.") But that's beside the point. I don't understand the allure of mailbox bashing. Even in rural Cecil, Wisconsin we didn't mess with the postal service. We did, however, hang out in the Dairy Queen parking lot like the story suggests.
The mailbox story to beat all mailbox stories came from Fort Wayne, Indiana. A volunteer firefighter was so mad about his destroyed mailbox he set up surveillance on his new box. When the kids came to bash it, he chased them down with his little blue light and shot them with an assault rifle. Now there is a man who really likes his mail.
Had a birthday party last night. Yes, my birthday lasted a week and yes Erica, it really is over this time. My friends at work bought me a bike, which still floors me. I am spoiled.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Here are the highlights of my birthday party, in pictures. There was some disabled media on the short bus near Lambeau Field:

Some good clean fun:

Some dancing:

And beer:

A surprise rectal exam:

And finally, dancing on the bar, which I don't remember. See the beer entry above:

Monday, May 13, 2002

This study news comes from the University of Buffalo, via Luke: Study by UB's Research Institute on Addictions Confirms Link Between Alcohol Consumption, Work Absence. Apparently people who drink are more like to call in sick the next day than if they hadn't had any drinks. Well no kidding! The worst part is the study cost $4 million, and I could have told them that for $5. (Really I could have done it for free but I want five dollars). Speaking of drinking, I turned 30 on Saturday and had a party to beat all parties. I had a fabulous time and got to see people who mean the most to me. And we visited a cheese factory and a sand pit (the site of many childhood parties) in the process. Brought some of my friends from Chicago, Toledo, Detroit ,and Dallas to the farm, along with some high school friends. Here's what they learned: 1) My dad has cows named Oatmeal and Satan (yes, Josh was not kidding). 2) Cows giving birth is not as pleasant and natural as you'd imagine. 3) My dad wore a wedding dress for my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. My brother was a bridesmaid. This came out in a hysterical albeit embarrassing video my cousins brought. 4) Seymour, Wisconsin claims to be the home of the hamburger. They don't care what anyone else says. 5) Cheese is not really yellow. It's colored that way. 6) Even city folks can shovel cow manure, if they really put their mind to it. 7) People in Wisconsin love their beer.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

This article from The Onion is so funny, and so on point it's scary: Teen Sex Linked to Drugs and Alcohol, reports Center for Finding Out Really Obvious Things. First of all, there are a lot of really stupid reports out there. One I saw recently said that obese people need to boost their exercise level. Oh really?? The other great thing about this story is that it kind of mocks television special reports, which all really do start this way: "As a teaser for newscasters presenting this story, I would recommend, 'Think you know everything about teen sex and alcohol? Think again—a new study is out, and the findings may surprise you. Coming up next,'" Eckersley said. "Although, of course, the findings won't actually surprise you."
Maybe someone can help settle this debate. A couple weeks ago, one of the morning shows had a game show week, and one of the games was The Newlywed Game. Well, they brought up the whole "in the butt, bob" incident, which Bob Eubanks says didn't really happen that way. For those of you who don't know, legend has is that Bob asked the women to guess how their husbands answered this question: Where is your favorite place to make whoopee? One of the women showed her card and said, "Uh, that would be up the butt, Bob." There are varying accounts of this on the internet, including this one, which by far comes closest to explaining this. Some of my friends say this happened, others think it is an urban legend. As a side note, there is an episode of NYPD Blue where some guy gets shot in the butt, and it is called the "In the Butt, Bob" episode.

Sunday, April 28, 2002

Boy I've really been slacking off here. That's what happens when they actually make me work. Last weekend was hellacious, from a late Friday night house bombing to a 5 a.m. press conference the next day on a police shooting. Then my friend Tracy had a baby, a beautiful girl. I'll post a photo later. This was followed by work Sunday and a Garbage concert. Vaughn and I went to a coin show today. It actually was kind of interesting, especially watching the wide cast of characters who collect coins. There sure are a lot of them. But this is what I learned: Girls do not collect coins. I can't explain it, but now that I think about it I know several guys who collect coins, and not a single female. You know what else I've discovered females cannot do? Air guitar. They're missing the gene. Now there are exceptions (my friend Ryan can't air guitar; he makes it look like a banjo). But as a rule girls are made to air drum, not air guitar. Anyone who can prove otherwise please send your videotapes. My friend Josh found this great story. How this happens, how someone writes a story like this without even consulting someone who would know better, is beyond me. Is it a two-headed toad? No, just two toads having sex. Not someone you would want to end up dating.

Friday, April 19, 2002

I went running this week, wearing a friend's t-shirt that says, "Harvard Sucks" on the front (he's a Yalie. I know a lot of Yale grads. It makes me feel smart). Anyway, I was passing these three city workers filling a sidewalk when one of them said, "Oh that's real nice. Harvard Sucks. That's a great thing to say." And he meant it! It was so mean I blurted out, "Oh I'm sorry, did you graduate from Harvard?" to which he and his friend said Yes! I stopped and asked him again and his friend said, "Yeah, we did. We graduated from Harvard Elementary and that's not nice." OK, who would really believe I'd wear a shirt bashing an elementary? Second-graders suck???? Even I'm not that mean.
The Today Show had TV dads on all week, you know from Eight is Enough and Leave it to Beaver and such. They were talking about how fathering has changed on shows, how now the kids seem to be in charge. Then they showed a clip from The Osbournes, the reality TV show on MTV where Ozzy and his family act like, well, Ozzy and his family. They even through a ham through a window. Anyway, the clip went like this. Ozzy: Why don't you clean up? Son: Dad why don't you -BEEEEEP - before I -BEEEEP Ozzy: GodBEEEEP! You BEEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEP! Now that's quality television.

Monday, April 15, 2002

Ever wonder if people messed up song lyrics as much as you do? Check out this site and you'll wonder no more (wouldn't I be great at infomercials?) My friend Daniel told me about it when he was telling us how badly he messed up the words to the Dukes of Hazard theme song. I've misheard plenty of songs. I called one of my friends to tell him a singer in Sloan must have been smitten over a girl named Jolene, because he wrote a song that said, "Coax me, Jolene." He said they might be thinking of her, but the words are "Coax me, cajole me." I was close. I also thought the Afghan Whigs song "Faded" was a love song that went, "Baby, this I feel. Behind the blue sky, I willl make you see." When really it was something like, "Faded.This I feel. Behind the blue sky, I remain concealed." The whole damn song is depressing. I should have known seeing it was the Afghan Whigs.
This conversation all started because Daniel recited a line from Land Down Under by Men at Work that goes, He just handed me a vegemite sandwich and we all laughed at him. But it turned out he was right. Let me ask you: What the hell is a vegemite sandwich???

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Toledo opened its new Mud Hens stadium with much hoopla yesterday. The city's favored son, Jamie Farr, was there of course. My boss is convinced that his only job is to promote Toledo, and that he does it for free. Well, at least we got Tony Packo's out of it. Actually the stadium is pretty awesome, and walking to a game will be much better than the 25-minute drive we had before. This is your brain on Jell-O. It was made from this great mold I got off They have other gadgets that some of you may or may not be getting for future birthday presents. And they didn't even have to pay me for this ad!
And below we have the shiniest shirt I have ever seen. I don't know exactly why I'm posting it, other than the fact that is completely mesmerized me. Or is that hypnotized me? It's colorful and shiny and reminded me of my sticker collection when I was a little kid. I saw it at a wedding last weekend.

Monday, April 08, 2002

Read this: It's funny. It's a take-off on a quote by George Bush, who said when he was in bed, Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss sometimes pops into his thoughts, which I'm sure really twisted people would have a ball with. Me? I just like the poem. Went to a wedding over the weekend. It was fun, wild, strange. The award for the most creative outfit goes to a guy who had a shiny shirt on that turned colors in the light. I'll post it when I get my pictures back. It reminded me of some stickers I collected when I was a kid. The oddest move goes to my friend, who decided her white bra might be seen if it slipped out of her black dress. So she took a magic marker and colored it black. No kidding! When I told her they sell those things at the store - in all colors - she said simply, but this is comfortable. Enough said. The funniest blunder (which for once was not me) came from a friend who was talking about the groom's dad, who officiated at the wedding and happened to be my friend's grade school teacher. She said, We were really afraid of him when we were really little, but then we all started to like him because he jumped the girls at recess. She meant he swung them around, but in the midst of a Catholic scandal, it did not sound good. The saddest moment came from the soloist, who was so nervous she could not sing The Rose (and no it's not sad because she was singing The Rose). I always thought it would be funny if someone at a wedding planned on writing his own vows, but instead quoted a really cheesy song or poem, with all the sincerity he could muster. You know: Honey, You are my sunshine. My only sunshine. You make me happy. When skies are gray.... Of couse I don't think I'd be too happy if it were my wedding. So there you go. Every time I am forced to put my luggage down, sit by security, and take off my shoes at the airport, I curse Richard Reid. Damn you shoe bomber! as I struggle with my laces. &*^*&%&*^!! as I nearly trip while balancing on one foot. I imagine it's not a great job for the security people either. There have to be some stinky feet going through metal detectors somewhere. I wonder if they pick people to search based on whether they look like they have smelly feet. This time I was checked at the security post and at the gate, apparently just in case I slipped something into my shoe in the airport bathroom.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

The headline of the week goes to Detroit this week. Of course I can't find it at the moment, but it went something like this: Court overturns case of @#$#@$@!!! In case you haven't heard of that case, it's the one about the cussing canoeist who swore when he was having boat troubles. Unfortunately, it was in front of small ears, and he was ticketed for it. He was prosecuted for a law that was made in 1897! Yes, I wrote that right. It was 105 years ago, about the same time they drew up laws against abuse of horse-drawn buggies. I didn't realize until tonight - and yes I can be daft - that Dee Dee Meyers, former White House press secretary, helps write the West Wing. No wonder the media scenes seem so right-on, and CJ is such a great character (she's my favorite, this week anyway). Tonight they talked about a favorite issue of mine. That people are getting less money on their tax returns this year because the "rebate" we got earlier this year wasn't a rebate, but an advance! It was my money, given to me early to I could spend it and have less money this year. Then why did they call it a rebate? I and Charlie, the young kid on the show, want answers.

Monday, April 01, 2002

Saw The Ten Commandments last night. It's a tradition my friend Ryan started, to commemorate Easter and Passover and whatever other holiday people wish to celebrate. The movie is so long you might be Christmas shopping by the time it's over. Some of the movie still applies today. They could spin off the whole Moses left in the river thing into a book: Moses Has Two Mommies or a Jerry Springer episode: Who is my real mother? or My Mom's Hebrew. They'd have great appeal, I promise you.
Funny line at work: My friend was trying to explain the Mozart theme that rings on my phone. My boss said, I know Mozart. I know Figaro. I saw Alfalfa try to woo Darla with it on The Little Rascals.
I got snubbed by M&M today. You see, my friend Josh has been trying to uncover what he considers a big scandal perpetrated by M&M, that started with getting rid of the tan, included rigging elections so blue could be the next color, and is continuing with their slanted campaign toward aqua. I was always disturbed that as a journalist, Josh hadn't gone the distance. He never asked the company. So I emailed M&M, which promised to respond to all concerns. This is what I asked: I love your product, but can you please explain to me why the company is trying to change the colors of the M&M? My friend is convinced the propaganda around the last vote was heavy toward blue, because it's the color the company wanted, and he wonders if the vote was fair. He wishes you could add colors without taking away others, and frankly he's still bitter about removing tan. He likes tan.I hope you can help with this and I hope to hear back soon. Thanks. I expected an explanation to appease my friend. I waited anxiously for a whole week. This is what I got back today: Red and Yellow are excited to be giving consumers all over the world the opportunity to vote once again for their favorite color, seven years after voting for blue. This year the choices will be: purple, pink and aqua. The color with the most votes will be added to the current blend of red, yellow, orange, green, blue and brown for a limited time. Only one of the three colors will be previewed in specially marked packages, providing consumers the opportunity to view each of the choices with the rest of the colors. There are three ways to cast your vote: 1. Visit 2. Call toll free 877-mm-globe (877-664-5623) 3. Mail a postcard indicating your vote for purple, pink or aqua to: Global Color Vote PO Box 4733 Blair, NE 68009-4733. We hope you will let the world hear your vote! That doesn't help at all! What's more is I went from being a name to being number 4501968A! I always thought Josh was crazy, but I must admit I have one foot on his bandwagon.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

I did something awful last night. I watched The Bachelor. No, not the movie. The television show where a man meets 25 women and eventually proposes to one of them. OK it's shameless. But I was flipping through the channels, and I only have four because I'm avoiding cable so as not to become a complete slug, and it caught my eye. And of course I couldn't just meet one woman; I had to watch until they were all introduced.
Anyway, the best part was when Alex, the bachelor, had to present roses to the 15 women he wanted to stay. Granted, he had just met them that night. When he gave out the last rose, the recipient blushed while the woman next to her gave the nastiest "How-could-you-like-that-sack-of-potatoes" look I have ever seen. It was priceless. Then they interviewed one of the women who hadn't been chosen. This was basically what she said: Well I don't know why he didn't pick me. I'm super. I have my own career and everything, and I'm nice and giving. Apparently he didn't have time to see that. Long pause while she turns extremely bitter. Of course he saw that in the other women, didn't he? Then she started to cry, and I mean really weep.
I told someone last night that he should be avoiding all the stunningly beautiful doctors and lawyers and such. If those women are so desperate they need to go on a show like that, there is something seriously wrong. He just hasn't seen it yet.

Monday, March 25, 2002

Watched the Academy Awards until I could not handle it anymore. I think you can still catch the rest if you turn on ABC today. Does that thing ever end? I love movies, and I admit to being a kind of voyeur when it comes to the Oscars, curious what they're going to wear and say and who will win. But Hollywood is quite full of itself to ask the public to sit still for four hours while they thank their mother and their hairdresser and their attorney of all people! There's a funny article at that actually ran before the awards show, but it's funny and true nonetheless. Speaking of the Academy Awards, did anyone else think Russell Crowe looked like Jesus last night? He hasn't cut his hair in awhile. Maybe it's in protest from all the bad press he got for getting in a fight with the British judge who cut part of his speech (a recitation of a poem, actually) out of the awards ceremony over there. What a whiner. Speaking of Jesus, sort of, here is a funny story: Police Must Notify Residents when Catholic Church Moves into Neighborhood. On a serious note, it's probably good such a widespread problem has gotten out in the open. I hope the Catholic church is asking itself why it tends to attract so many closet pedophiles. Do they see religion as a way to suppress their urges? Went to a shooting range yesterday. With some help, I actually did pretty well, probably the product of growing up on a farm. I have to say shooting a gun kind of takes the mystery out of it. It's an art, like any sport really, that is fun to practice and perfect. Or maybe it's a way of converting us raging liberals:)

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

My pimp Vaughn pointed out this website. My favorite is Red Luv. I want one for my birthday. The television news last night had a story on these new stun guns a local sheriff's department is using. The entire broadcast consisted of deputies ( and the cameraman) getting shot with the stun gun, then spewing out a long string of expletives that were of course beeped over. Here's what deputy Smith thought: Beeeeeep! And our videographer tried it and this is what he said: Beeeep! Beep! Beep! Beeeeeeeep! Now that's quality journalism. Here's a study that will change the world: Study finds women who drink way more fun to study. And this too from SatireWire: God names next chosen people: It's Jews Again. "Oh shit," say Jews." Join Josh for his debate over the aqua M&M. He feels there is a grand conspiracy to push the aqua into the bag, while ignoring other colors. It started years ago with the disappearance of the tan M&M, he claims. I hear he's opening a Conspiracy Theory Museum II in Dallas.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

I will never again leave town without my camera. On a work trip to Sunbury, Ohio, east of Columbus, I pulled my car into what was obviously the town square - parking spaces around a beautiful brick building and a huge lawn. The sign in front of my parking space said, "Reserved for bow hunters only. Violators will be shot." I kid you not. Then there was this sign on the way out of town: "CLEAN dirt wanted." Here's the short version of my trip to Las Vegas. Went with my brother and mom and dad. My parents are surpisingly fun on vacation (we didn't really travel when we were kids, as we grew up on a dairy farm that took all my parents' time). Anyway, at one point I thought it would be funny to collect the stripper trading cards being handed out on the streets and bring them back as souvenirs. I mistakenly told my mom about it, and she was so into it she was actually looking on the sidewalks for ones I didn't have. She actually said at some point, in a very motherly voice, "Oh look Kelly, here's one with two strippers on it. That's a good one." There's something not right about that. This is my father, outside of the casino. He had such high hopes. Of becoming a millionaire. Of giving up the farm. Doesn't he look full of promise and dreams?
And this is the same casino after my father lost all his money. Fair warning: Don't mess with my family.
This is the light show at the old strip, dowtown. It's the strip that's shown in all of the movies that feature Las Vegas as a city of intensely bright lights. Only now it's covered with a big canopy of more lights, and several times a night they have a big light show, focusing on nature or culture or whatever. This was amazing. We tried to count the lights but lost track after 15. Let's just say there are a million.
And finally, this is my new friend, Coke Bear, or Mr. Bear to you. My dad set up this photo with the ball. I think he was trying to make me look like one of those seals in the Christmas Coke commercial, but it didn't work so well.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

As soon as I get my photos developed today, I'll post them.They're all from my trip to Las Vegas, probably the only town in America where the streets are lined with stripper trading cards. Collect all 1,345. Big news in Toledo: The former mayor, a controversial guy, landed a job as a reporter for the local TV station. It'll be strange seeing him at assignments, no doubt. Seen in The Onion in a poll on Andrea Yates: "The jury should declare Andrea Yates guilty by reason of drowning five children in a bathtub." Well put.

Friday, March 08, 2002

I have been a terribly neglectful blogger lately. Hopefully a trip to Las Vegas this weekend will rejuvenate me, or at least give me plenty of material. Good thing I already got my action figure: McDonald's Drops Hammurderer Character From Advertising. I hear the Philadelphia Enquirer is delving into the world of pet obituaries. I have long talked about creating a pet magazine, and having pet obituaries as its main feature. People were always calling my last paper asking to have Fluffy or Fido's obit in the paper. People love their pets. Only I was going to call my magazine Pet-O-File.

Sunday, March 03, 2002

This weekend I saw Prince perform and soldiers die. Or was that Prince dying and soldiers performing? Prince is now apparently a jazz artist. Hail to the New Power Generation or something like that. Don't get me wrong, he's actually not bad. Still fun. Still energetic. But Prince is one of those people you don't want to see try to grow. There is a reason people love him. They go to hear him sing his old favorites (of which he played two) and generally give a hyped up, out of control, Prince-level show. We missed that. The good part was that he is touring in opera houses and theaters, so you do get a really good view of him, for tickets that are a lot cheaper than the standard $250 for big performers. Also saw We Were Soldiers. It's been getting lukewarm reviews, but I loved it. Way better than Black Hawk Down. Probably because you actually knew some of the characters and felt for them when they died. You got more of a sense that they were outmanned and scared, which was the case in both war movies. It really showed the soldiers as practically boys, not really knowing anything about fighting or why they were in Vietnam but energetic and ready nonetheless. Mel Gibson was outstanding. It is bloody and depressing, but there's a great story being told there. I had never seen Rocky. Yes I know that's shocking to most of you, because I faked it so well. I knew the theme song. I understood who that Adrian was he kept yelling for and that the movie was a symbol of fighting hard and making something of yourself. Still, I felt unamerican, like a cheat somehow. So thanks to Vaughn and his 47-inch HDTV superpower gamma ray television (sorry I don't remember all the components - it's a guy thing I think) I am one of you again. An American. Whole. Like I could bash in someone's head in the boxing ring. This is very funny (do I say that about everything?): Closed disinformation agency can't convince staff it's closed. If this doesn't make braces the hottest thing among teens, nothing will: Tom Cruise gets braces (via off on a tangent). Gee I wonder if that will hurt his chances in picking up, say, just about anybody he wants.

Saturday, March 02, 2002

Here is a frightening headline I assume nobody would want to see coming out of their school: Schools more vigilant after murderer visits. I guess that goes without saying.

Friday, March 01, 2002

I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything. Blame it on work and the fact they're making me do some. This is funny: Lee Greenwood urges U.S. to take action against Iraq. I have long joked that he is the one person who has profited from all this military action. His career was seriously in the toilet until we all needed a patriotic boost. Personally, I still think the song sucks, but that's just my opinion. My friend Josh said he used to have to sing the song every morning, along with saying the pledge of allegiance, in grade school. I bought a head band today for $3.99 at Target. A very excited saleswoman said, "You know, you could save 10 percent on that if you apply for a charge card." I must look poor, if she thinks I need 40 cents that bad. Went skiing last weekend. What I learned: I ski just fine. It's getting off the chairlift that trips me up. I fall all the time. Does anybody else have this problem? Oh yeah, and I ran over another skier. But that was her fault. She deserved it.

Friday, February 22, 2002

Boy the Russians sure are looking like some whiners. It's hard to feel sorry for someone who fails a drug test. Well, I guess this makes this Olympics 2002: Cold War II. Hopefully they won't cry foul in the hockey game today. I won't be blogging this weekend. Big ski trip planned for Boyne, Michigan. If I don't break a wrist I'll write more next week. Here's the photo of the day. Two things: They spelled ranc wrong, and who wants to eat bad chicken?

Thursday, February 21, 2002

This is the most exciting Olympics I can remember. Or maybe I'm just paying more attention. Poor Apolo Ohno (who wouldn't be half as cool if his name didn't have such a ring to it) really had to fight for his medals. First he gets pulled down in a massive pileup and stumbles to his feet for a silver. Then he gets pushed to the side by a skater who finishes first, but then is disqualified. So Apolo wins! Then Shea wins the skeleton, which was special because his grandfather, who was the oldest living gold medalist (he was a speedskater) at 91, died after he was hit by a drunk driver just 17days before the games. His father was also a medalist, a skier I believe. But perhaps the biggest hoopla of the games will come when aliens fly over the games by 5 p.m. today. Only a couple more hours to go! It's apparent the sports writers are running out of topics. Fast. Interesting fact learned at the Vagina Monologues last night. It is illegal to sell vibrators in Ohio. Apparently it's illegal to own more than five, because that implies an intent to sell. Call your legislators, folks.

Monday, February 18, 2002

You've got to love this Steven Bradbury's attitude. He knows he can't compete with the world's top speed skaters. So he hangs back, "hoping for an accident or a collision to happene. I had no goals other than that." As luck would have it his dream came true. Maybe more of us should adopt an attitude like that about life. Just hang back and wait for the big boys to fall. Oddly, he made Apolo Ohno's skates and only hoped Ohno would plug him when he won. Now he can plug himself. The short speed skating events are much more exciting than the long ones, because they're all bunched on the track together, and inevitably half of them get tangled up and topple. Sort of like Nascar. But interesting.

Friday, February 15, 2002

Random thoughts of the day: The world has referred to Waylon Jennings, who died this week, as the bad boy of country music. But the best anyone has come up with is this: He refused to attend many awards shows because he didn't feel performers should compete. Whoa - that country music world is crazy. Sorry guys, Canadian figure skating star Jamie Sale who was robbed of a gold medal, then given a gold medal and lots of press, is taken. By her skating partner. So you're sitting in your house minding your own business and a cremated dead guy comes crashing through your deck. Ewww. Have you heard? The FBI is tired of random warnings about terrorist activities, so it has decided to issue regular five-day terrorist forecasts. They'll probably be more accurate than the weather forecasters. Check out the forecast for Wednesday. Very foreboding. I know Valentine's Day is over, but you can find a nickname for that special loved one. I didn't make it up, folks. Don't kill the messenger.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Sorry for the spotty blogging. Vaughn introduced me to Wolfenstein, the computer game whose goal is, well from what I can figure at this point is to run through a castle and kill people though I'm sure it's more complicated than that. I'm addicted. So if you miss the entries let me know and I'll give you his home number:) I am totally hooked, so much so that when I finished playing last night I went to bed, closed my eyes, and was a little dizzy from staring at the computer screen as I ran through the castle. The graphics are amazing. I'm still mastering the art of shooting soldiers before they see me, which is why I have a long way to go. Maybe this is why I didn't play video games before. It's like Pringles - once you start you can't stop. Olympic question: Exactly what are moguls? I don't really understand the whole men's moguls ski competition, but it could be just me. I'm confused as to how they decide who wins, since basically they all ski on bumps in the hill, flip off a ramp, and move their skis side to side. Except Jonny Mosely, who does something called the dinner roll, which the announcer had way too much fun explaining: Oh folks he took the flour and mixed it nicely with the water. He's really baking. Yes, he preheated his oven perfectly. Looks like he perfected the art of baking. He's really a master of the oven. Incidentally, he didn't win a medal. The more I think about it, there's a lot about the winter Olympics I don't understand. The top three: Moguls, Curling, and Biathalon, where the goal is to shoot while cross country skiing.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Friday night I went to see Toledo's Tough Man contest. Last night I went to see Beauty and the Beast. They're kind of similar, right? Angry beast fighting for acceptance by the cruel world. Oh wait, Tough Man was all about fighting for whatever prize they offer to the person who, well you can't say he was the best fighter because they all sucked, so let's say to the person who didn't fight the worst. You can sum up Tough Man in a few words: Glorified playground fights in a smoky arena while strippers parade around half naked (or half clothed, depending on whether you're an optimist). But the highlight was when they let a one-legged man into the contest. Now I give him all the credit in the world for picking up and moving on, but a Tough Man contest was no place for the guy. This is how it went: Announcer: He almost lost his life, and he did lose his leg. But he still wanted to fight in Tough Man. Let's give it up for ... Titanium! Crowd cheers wildly. This is where the fighter runs in from outside to the boxing ring. But seeing as Titanium had one leg, it took a long, long time. Crowd gets uncomfortable. Clapping slowly tapers off as Titanium gets close to the ring. Announcer: And let's meet (fill in the name of whatever stripper was holding the Round 1 sign). You can see more of her at Diamonds. But let's see your thong! Fight starts. Man who can't feel too manly hitting a one-legged man hits Titanium, lightly. He falls over. Announcer: He just slipped! It's OK! Titanium gets up and is pushed over, again and again and again. It's impossbile for him to balance let alone dance around a ring. Finally he gives up the fight. It's only been about three minutes. Announcer: This just shows that Americans come in all shapes and sizes and forms. That's what it's all about. He doesn't mention that not all Americans should be in a tough man contest. The drunk and rowdy crowd gives him a standing ovation, then goes back to leering at the strippers. Beauty and the Beast was beautiful, fun, and sweet. I guess I'm more than animated type than the kill 'em kind of person. It was cute hearing the reaction from all the kids around us. It was at the IMAX theatre so it was pretty amazing. The lesson: It's OK to love ugly people because they might be beautiful some day.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

I saw her standing there..... Tiffany, the fluffy pop singer who sang things like, "I Think We're Alone Now" two decades ago apparently doesn't want to be so fluffy anymore. She's posing for Playboy magazine. She wants to shed her 15-year-old girl image and be seen more as a mother and an adult. Now there's a singer I haven't thought of in ages. However, I must say here that I guess I always viewed Playboy, having never actually spent much time with one, as lewd and degrading, I guess for obvious reasons. Then a friend recently showed me a copy, mostly to prove a point. I have to say that it was quite tasteful. I'm still not sure I entirely buy that men buy it for the articles, but it was interesting and artistic. Maybe I am a traitor to my sisterhood, but that's what I think. This is very funny, a take-off on Bush detailing the "Axis of Evil" that threatens the United States: ANGERED BY SNUBBING, LIBYA, CHINA SYRIA FORM AXIS OF JUST AS EVIL. I love the drawing of the clubhouse.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

My dear friends got engaged tonight. They deserve the best, really. And I'm not just saying that so they won't serve chicken at their wedding. Congrats! This link is for all you Elmer Fudd fans out there (thanks Josh!) I received an email from yesterday (no snide remarks, please. I don't know how I got on their mailing list). Next to its newsletter was an ad featuring Godiva chocolates! Some diet page. I guess they want people to keep coming back. No matter how many times I visit Texas, this will always be my favorite image, taken outside the Cowboy Hall of Fame:

Monday, February 04, 2002

This is the best amusement park ride ever. It's in Fort Worth, Texas. When I was little they called it The Scrambler in my hometown, but down there they called it the Bucking Bronco or something like that. OK the beams are rusty and it doesn't look a) scary or b) in the least bit comfortable. But each car has its own name. And who wouldn't want to sit in Booger Bear? Or, for the more adventurous, there's this car that by its name alone suggests it will slip right off the ride and careen right into the passing crowd:

My friend Mike said the photo of me on Cheese Factory Road (see entry down the screen), reminded him of a painting. So he took the liberty of making my homeland seem a little less sad and desolate.
Speaking of sad and desolate, went to see Black Hawk Down on Saturday. If you don't want to go, but want to experience the movie, have someone put a machine gun to your head for a little over two hours. It's scary. It's depressing. It's unbelievably violent. Don't get me wrong; I really liked it. Ridley Scott did a great job capturing what those soldiers must have gone through. It's really shocking any of them survived, seeing they were fighting an entire city. I guess that speaks to their training. The movie did really make you think about the wisdom of fighting someone else's civil war, especially when neither side wants us there.
What a Super Bowl! The game was amazingly close, very exciting. The commercials were not marvelous, but I guess you can't have everything.

Friday, February 01, 2002

Anybody who suffered through high school foreign language classes will appreciate this Onion story: French Teacher Forces Student To Inform Her Of Bathroom Fire In French. I remember trying to tell my Spanish teacher I had to go to the bathroom only to have her shout at me, "En Espanol!" Oh that would drive my crazy. Of course, my Spanish teacher would also do other weird things. Like we all had Spanish names, and my friend Ryan's name was Felipe. Well she would say, "Oh Felipe I can't open the window. Can you help me?" Then she'd lean over him and "help" him. It always creeped him out. The other funny Onion story this week was a spoof on the Microsoft court case: Judge Orders God to Break Up into Smaller Deities. The greatest part if the infobox. Under what this means: Cease and desist strongarm tactic of smiting nonbelievers and Allow competition from pagan gods and animalistic spirits. Under what this means to you: No reprisal for false-idol worship and Quicker prayer response time. This is the story's best quote: "For thousands of years, I've been screaming that this third-rate sky deity ripped me off wholesale," said Zeus, speaking from his Mt. Olympus residence. "Every good idea He ever had He took from me: Who first created men in his own image? Who punished mankind for its sins? Who lived eternally up in the clouds? And the whole fearsome, patriarchal, white-beard, thunderbolt thing? I was doing that eons before this two-bit hustler started horning in on the action." We survived the storm of the century, which turned out to be a bunch of rain and some downed power lines and trees because of the ice. One weather woman described it as "chaos," which is funny because the roads were absolutely fine. Nothing chaotic about it. Now had it been raining fire or something, that would have been chaos. Today a weather man who was way, way off in his prediction tried to explain how what happened was the blue band on the radar shifted, and was actually north of the red band and mixed with the yellow band. I hate it when that red band goes astray.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

How did I not hear about this earlier? Here's the rundown of the story: Girl goes to Mardis Gras. Girl bares breasts for thousands to see. Girl gets videotaped and ends up on Girls Gone Wild, a tape advertised on cable and late-night general programming that is basically a collection of teen-age girls bearing their breasts at spring break, etc. Now Girl sues the makers of video, saying they invaded her privacy! I'm not sure privacy extends to girls who strip on public streets, intoxicated or not. Bathrooms, sure. Homes, you betcha. Mardis Gras? I doubt it. The funniest comment I've seen on this was on The Daily Show last night, where they said, "How dare the video maker show millions of people what was only meant to be seen in the privacy of thousands?"
We're supposed to get snow today. Lots of it. Actually we're supposed to get ice, but they're already getting snow just north of us in Michigan. Weather reports on days like this are hysterical. On NPR this morning, the guy said the National Weather Service predicted an inch of snow today and up to six tomorrow. Another source said three inches today, nine tomorrow. Someone else said six inches today, three to six inches tomorrow. So the guy said something to the effect of, you might want to add them all up and see what you get, because I'm not sure who's right. But my favorite people are the worriers who make a run on the grocery stores for milk and bread. Like it's going to snow so much we can't leave our houses for a few weeks. Geez. For the record, I love the snow. More sledding for me (spoken like a true renter who doesn't shovel driveways).

Saturday, January 26, 2002

We're about to have a surprise baby shower for my friend Tracy. It will come complete with a paper mache stork and every cheesy game we've ever played at showers, then complained about for years and years. In other words, we really want to torture her. I never really understood shower games, and from talking to other members of the female population, I've come to realize that nobody really likes them. Nobody. Here's the worst game: Everybody gets a diaper, and the person who has the "dirty" diaper (it has melted chocolate in it) wins the prize. Just what every guest wants: a dirty diaper. But it is pretty funny. Among the other highlights: baby food eating contests. Weird people shot of the day: This was in a roll of film from New Years Eve, when we went to a Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena. For some reason we were determined to stay until the last person left. Anyway, flipping through the pictures, we came across this shot. Is he a long lost friend? No, he was the janitor. I'm still trying to figure out what possessed us to pose with him.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Story of the Day: For five years, a man has been videotaping people in the homes they rented from him, doing everything from changing to going to the bathroom. He killed himself when police came to search his house. The Onion has the best t-shirts for sale. One of them says, Area Man or Area Woman, mocking the media for always saying "an area man did x,y, or z......" But the funniest ones are the t-shirts with headlines on them, like EPA puts Good Single Men on Endangered Species List or Drugs Win War on Drugs. Photo of the Day: This sign is on I-94 in Wisconsin, north of Chicago and south of Milwaukee. I've never been to this recreation area, but I'm sure it's a happy place. I'm collecting photos of weird places, people, and things. Contributions are welcome. Look for the next photo in a couple days.

Monday, January 21, 2002

This is a post so Julie will not hate me. It's proof that yes, I really do come from on Cheese Factory Road. I promised to post it weeks ago, and she has not let me forget it. She keeps me honest. So here it is. Enjoy. I'm having a party here in May, when I turn 30. The only thing I'm worried about is mixing my friends from high school, college, and my professional life, along with my family. They all tend to have an embarrassing story or two, and none of them are afraid to share them. My mom is the worst when it comes to this, because she tells stories in the present tense. One time my friends asked her for an embarrassing story and she said, to my horror, Well, she sings to the turkeys. OK, let me say here that I was nine years old. I might have, in a little-girl-wants-to-be-a-singer moment, given a little performance for a captive audience of pets, but I haven't done it since. I swear.

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Is it too early to start talking about the Packers playoff game against the Rams tomorrow? I know it's going to be a tough game - the Rams are great and the Packers never play well in domes - but stranger things have happened. Heck, the Saints beat the Rams last year! Anyway, keep your fingers crossed, especially those of you who see me all the time because I tend to be a real bear when the Packers lose. Vaughn pointed out some Green Bay Packers contact lenses you can buy if you're a true fan (or crazier than the craziest fan, because that's nuts). Turns out you can buy contact lenses for all sorts of NFL teams. They're called crazy lenses. But tell me, does this guy not look possessed? Or is it just because he's a Bills fan? (Note: Just because I'm making fun of them doesn't mean I'm ruling them out if Green Bay is in the Super Bowl. For the dating impaired: The Onion has brand new dating tips. Among their top suggestions: Never date a married person, unless he or she is just about to leave his or her spouse and simply waiting for the right moment. And: Maintain a casual, "Let's just have fun" attitude until the other person starts seeing someone else. Then let the tears and accusations fly. And finally: Remember: There's only one way to console a widow.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

My boss was sent possibly the lamest book ever written today (and I've read Pay It Forward, I would know). It's called Breathe: A Guy's Guide to Pregnancy. I'd tell you about it,but let me instead give you an excerpt. It's from the chapter detailing the time spent in labor. The subtitle is Sex. Of course, one possible way to pass the time would be to have lots and lots of sex. After all, there's really no better way to relieve stress. Unfortunately, your wife will almost certainly nix the idea since she's pretty busy. So that leaves only a few options. And the options are: Banging a Nurse Banging a Doctor Banging a Food Service Worker Solo practice. That's trumped only by the chapter on post-partum depression, where the reader is urged to leave his wife for a "'trophy wife," a hot "ex-cocktail waitress" and leave the child-rearing to the woman. Speaking of lame, we had computer training on a new system by the auditor's office and spent the first 30 minutes on slides titled, "What is not a GIS." Well, it's not a global positioning system, that's different. It's not a map, although that could be made into a GIS. Now, for the history of our web site.....yada, yada, yada.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

This could be the mix-up of the year, and it's only January. A plaque designed to honor James Earl Jones during a Martin Luther King Day celebration mistakenly has the name of James Earl Ray, King's assassin. Apparently the plaque's designer was the one who made the mistake. It says, "Thank you James Early Ray for keeping the dream alive." Geez.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Well, it's official. I look like a terrorist. On the way back from visiting my friend Josh in Dallas, I got stopped and searched not once or twice but three times! Including twice at the same airport! The security guard at the first metal detector searched my bag and made me remove my shoes. Then at the gate, I was picked for one of those random searches, and had to take my shoes off again! So I flew to my layover point in Atlanta (where, I must say, I watched the Packers win what I hope will be the first of several playoff games) and they picked me again! One of the guys there said maybe it's because I didn't look like a terrorist, and they're trying to be fair in their "random" searches, but I think there was something about me. Is it the muttering under my breath and the uncontrollable hand gestures that make people think I'm crazy? While in Dallas, I met the fine writers of some dfw blogs. They're a fun and creative bunch. I must say their blogs are much more elaborate than mine, but I'm working on it. Also saw The Sexy Beast with Ben Kingsley, spent some time at the stockyards in Fort Worth, and ate way, way too much. Also, Josh and I sat at a bar and eavesdropped on a pick-up in progress. Sounds creepy, but it's a great study in human nature. OK I suck at air hockey. I thought I was not bad - not great, but not bad - until I got beat by three friends in a row last night. Not beat, really, as much as totally creamed. I had to keep playing friends until I could beat one (sorry Erica). Now I'm determined to practice until I can't move my arms. I maintain it's harder for people with short arms who can't even reach their own side of the table (like me) but I realize I'm grasping at straws here. Any advice on the fine art of air hockey would be appreciated. I promise to work on this site this weekend. I promise you a grander blog by the end of the month.

Friday, January 11, 2002

Hello from Dallas. Awhile ago, Josh blogged a conversation he overheard on an Airtran flight to Dallas. Basically, a pilot and a flight attendant (both off-duty) were complaining about a pilot who talked incessantly to the passengers. Well, I think i had that pilot today. I had to get up at 4 a.m. to catch the flight, and sleeping on planes is my specialty. But every time I fell asleep, the pilot would announce some completely random event: Oh, we're at 28,000 feet right now. Ideally we'd be higher but it's a little choppy. Ten minutes later: We've just started flying over Louisiana. Ten minutes later: The wind is so strong it will put us about five minutes behind our arrival time. And on and on and on.... The worst part was along with every announcement came some long explanation. The insanity!
The cutest conversation overheard on the plane involved a boy who probably was around nine years old and was obviously very excited to be in Dallas. His mother explained to an older man nearby that he had never been here before. The man looked patiently at the boy and said: Welcome to Dallas, son. You have your cowboy hat on backwards.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

The Today Show turns 50 this year. I saw an interview this week with the on-air talent (Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, etc.), and they were talking about their most embarrassing moments. Al Roker had the best one. He said he once went up to a guy in the crowd who had a sign that said, "Jill, will you marry me?" despite the producer warning him not to go to that guy. Anyway, when the proposer had a chance to speak, he said, "Well I love Jill but I really want to be with Jeff" and started making out with the guy next to him. He also said that once on Valentine's Day, a guy called his girlfriend on air and asked her to marry him. At first she said, "I'll have to think about it," then when pushed said no! Poor guy. Years ago I was at a bar with a friend and a very, very drunk man got up to the karaoke microphone and proposed to his girlfriend, who promptly started screaming, "You only say these things when you're drunk! You only love me when you're drunk!" Then they continued to argue while everybody sat stunned. My friend, not to be outdone, listened for awhile then announced to the bar, "She said yes everybody! She said yes!" She hadn't. We left. Quickly.
Wasn't The West Wing great last night? I love that show - smart and funny. Apparently Aaron Sorkin decided a whole season of hearings and trials and accusations would be too much for the viewer and (thankfully) ended that story line. I adore Josh and his new romantic interest, and I love Leo, so I'm glad his career isn't over. (I know, I know, it's just a show).

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Wendy's founder Dave Thomas died. Very sad. He was an interesting tale of an entrepreneur who worked his way up from the bottom. Thomas was adopted at 1 year old. At 12, he worked in his first fast-food restaurant. When he was working in Fort Wayne, Ind., Colonel Sanders himself came in, and in the end Thomas ended up reviving four failing KFC stores in Columbus, where he later opened up his first Wendy's. Today of course he's extraordinarily famous, due largely to his commercials, where he is the down-home, pudgy star. Quite the rags to riches story.
Then we have Paula Zahn. An ad to promote her on CNN was pulled because it described her as "provocative, supersmart, and oh yeah, just a little sexy." What makes me suspicious, though, is that CNN has gotten an awful lot of publicity for this. A set up, perhaps?

Monday, January 07, 2002

Another great weekend. Spent Friday night playing Taboo with friends. If you don't know the game, the idea is to get your teammates to say a word. The catch is there are five words on a card that you cannot say while making your team guess, and they're the most logical clues. For example, you'd have to get someone to guess the word car without saying road, drive, wheels, etc. You get the idea. Here was the funniest exchange: The word is pocket. Clue giver: OK, when I'm at work and people think I'm masturbating, it's because I have my hand in this and I'm moving it around.... Ew. I know too much now. Here was the other one: The word is shaving cream. Clue giver: You use this when you take hair off your body. It makes it feel better. I would put it on my legs.... Guess: Banana cream? No,Clue giver: it's something you would put on your body before you take hair off.... Guess: Oh, ammonia! ammonia! On Saturday, went to a great Thai restaurant in Royal Oak. Crowded. Quaint. And excellent food. Tried to go see the Royal Tenenbaums but it was sold out. I guess that speaks well for the movie. Rented The Pledge instead. Didn't get to watch it and didn't really mind. The Packers won, which sets them up nicely in the playoffs. The Detroit Lions won too, which was nice considering it was their last game ever in the giant Silverdome in Pontiac. Those of you who've been there realize it's not the end of the world that you won't be able to sit in a stadium where you can't see a thing from half the seats. But I'm sure it's quite sad for Pontiac.

Saturday, January 05, 2002

A local news station is trying a new feature: They pose a question, and let people call in their responses on a phone line. Then they replay some of the responses.Well the question recently was something like, If someone was robbing your house, would you fight back? The first responder said "Yes, I would protect my property and family. By the time the police got there we could all be killed." OK, understandable. But the funniest was the next guy who said something like, "Bring 'em on! I would fight them and beat them to a pulp!" The newscaster said, "This comment was left by someone who goes by the initials BAMF." Don't they know that means Bad Ass Mother F... well you get the idea. It reminds me of when our paper ran the results of golf scores (readers call them in) and all the participants had names like Heywood Jablowme (you have to read it out loud to be funny).
When I worked in Fort Wayne a television station was always doing stuff like that. They made two blunders on consecutive Easter seasons. The first time, the reporter was asking children on the playground what Easter meant. They all said candy, candy, candy, until one kid said, "It was because Jesus died on the cross." To which the reporter said, "And if he sees his shadow we get six more weeks of winter?" Then another reporter, on another day, was talking about Good Friday services. Then he said, "Speaking of Easter, police picked up someone named Jesus on drug charges." Ay.
The burger war continues in northwest Ohio. A man in Perkins Township near Toledo got mad because the guy at Burger King made him a Whopper, and it didn't look exactly like the one in the picture. So the worker made him another one. Again, didn't look like the one in the picture. So he got angry and threw the sandwich at the poor worker! Then he tried to get the police to file charges against the Burger King guy! Probably on charges of fraud or something. If you remember, a worker at McDonald's threw hot coffee on a drive-thru customer, and another customer threw a sandwich. Oh the insanity! We take our fast food very seriously, folks.

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

There's an interesting debate raging about A Beautiful Mind, the movie starring Russell Crowe that is loosely based on the Nobel-prize-winning mathematician John Nash. Absolutists are criticizing the movie for not following the autobiography of Nash. And mental health experts are claiming the movie gives too much hope to schizophrenics and their families, because when someone with the illness is delusional he/she is incapable of functioning. But there is a whole other argument to be made. John Nash did defeat the demons of schizophrenia. He was able to function after years of mental illness - why shouldn't that give hope to patients and their families? Also, I think the article is right to point out how at least the movie portrays mental illness in a sympathetic way, which is not how most of society usually sees it. And the movie is only loosely based on Nash's life - but who cares? Most movies are dramatized - that's why they're so interesting. He was a mathematician for heaven's sake, how interesting would it have been to watch him solving alegebraic formulas and divorcing his first wife? My friend Vaughn sent me the link to Nash's autobiography from the Nobel prize. I think it's interesting how he seems to view his schizophrenia like he does his math career. "I solved this algebraic formula, then I was schizophrenic. Then I won the Nobel prize.
I had the best New Year's Eve in a long, long time. I didn't fight with anyone. The bar we were at was crowded - but not too crowded. The company was superb. The Red Wings, who we saw earlier in the evening, won 4 to 2. OK I did knock over a drink. Or two. But that was the end of the night and the table must have been wobbly, or something like that. We saw a girl in see-through lace pants at the hockey game - brrrr! My male friends got a better look because they raced to catch up with her in the name of being late for the game.

Monday, December 31, 2001

Saw the Barenaked Ladies on Saturday night. I was never a huge fan, but they were fantastic. Great performers, and it's always a blast to go see a band with such a faithful following. It makes for a much more electric (can I use that as an adjective?) concert. Also saw A Beautiful Mind. I have not really been a fan of Russell Crowe - I didn't even particularly love Gladiator - but he was brilliant in this movie. He's versatile and touching, and the movie is sweet and powerful. There was a funny line in the beginning of the movie when John Nash (Crowe's character) says, "Despite my upbringing, I have a well-balanced life. I have a chip on each shoulder."
Don't all the Harry Potter book burnings seem kind of odd? I mean, doesn't it seem a little more, let's say, witchy to burn books than to make an innocent kids movie about an imaginary school?
Watched part of the Detroit Lions/Chicago Bears game yesterday. Poor Ty Detmer. Here is a third-string quarterback who has such a bad offensive line that he's getting hit every single play because he can't have two seconds to throw the ball. And he couldn't get out of the game because the first two quarterbacks are hurt. A prime candidate for brain damage. My head started hurting just watching him.