Wednesday, December 20, 2006

2006 Best and Worst!

I like year-end lists, so here's mine.


Worst actress about whose life direction to care: Katie Holmes. I held out hope there for longer than was even vaguely reasonable, grasping at the breakup rumors and conspiracy theories like so many promises to train the Iraqi police, but it was all in vain.

Worst Media Trend: YouTube. I realize I'm in a tiny, cave-dwelling minority here, but when I'm reading a blog entry discussing how, say, Clay Aiken put his hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth and then Rosie O'Donnell called Kelly homophobic, I don't wanna have to watch a dozen (OK, one) YouTube videos to see what happened. Those things are MINUTES long! Since when does the MTV generation attention span accommodate that? I want SCREEN CLIPS, people! (Plus, the sound tends to blow one's cover at work.)

Worst fashion trend: Obvs, no underpants. Britney, whatev, but Linds, you're breaking my heart.

Worst speech trend: Unnecessary shortening of words. This one is even more pernicious than the vortex that was "izzle," because it actually saves time and thus could accidentally become perm. Anent.

Worst Presidential Candidate Launch: It pains me to say this, being from Iowa and all, but Governor Vilsack's appearance on The Daily Show. His takeaway line: We're creating a "culture of dependency" in Iraq. Are we giving them excessively generous welfare benefits? And shouldn't you be criticizing, oh, say, the President whose deeply unpopular policies you are presumably running against rather than the victims of his geopolitical folly?

Worst switcheroo in Blogland: Above the Law replaces Underneath Their Robes. Probably AtL is more lucrative and David Lat doesn't have time to do both, but wahhhhh. Where UtR was so snarky and bitchy that I was able to nearly ignore its raging Federalist Society undertones, Above the Law has a fairly boring, lawyery voice and is all about how big the bonuses are going to be at various big firms. Bring back Article III Groupie!

Worst movie: X-Men 3. OK, possibly not the absolute worst--I didn't see Lady in the Water--but the most disappointing. It didn't even know what its overarching metaphor was: is the cure for mutation the Holocaust, abortion, or the ex-gay movement? Because, nooooot the same things. Also, SPOILER ALERT the ending is a blatant rip-off of the Buffy-has-to-kill-Angel-even-though-she-loves-him-in-order-to-save-the-world thing, except not touching and with a thick overlay of misogyny.


Best Top 10 Lists of 2006: Best Week Ever's lists o' Movie Cliches, Reasons to Hate Singing and Dancing, and, most of all, Celebrity Body Parts. 100% awesome.
Best movie: The Departed. This surprises me, because Cops, Gangsters, Boston, and Father Issues are not normally my movie topics of choice, but it approached The Godfather (Part 1) levels of greatness. I haven't been as impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio since he was a child, and Matt Damon convinced me he's really an actor. Also, Martin Sheen just broke my heart. Also, Marky Mark. Mmmmmm.

Best sign for the future of mankind: The election. :) :) :) :)

Best new (to me) blog: ApartmentTherapy. It inspires me to want to paint! wallpaper! un-clutter! entertain! Not to say that I have actually done any of those things, but hope springs eternal, and looks very attractive in the meantime.

Now I will cop a tactic from Scrubs, and swerve disjointedly into Very Sincere Mode. Cue the strings.

Best personal development: Getting married! Awwww. Not that I've become a big booster for heterosexual hegemony! But it was just unparalleledly great to have so many of our friends and family all in the same place being happy for us. So, thanks, guys. :) Also, married life is pretty much the same as living in sin life, which is as I had hoped, EXCEPT! It seems to have turned our BoyKitty into . . . a lapcat! At first when Mr. T&A advanced the hypothesis that BoyKitty felt more secure knowing he was in a stable home, I told him he was batshit crazy. But. The cat who previously spent most of his time skulking, sneaking, lurking, and glowering has, since October, become an actual cuddler. Of course I know that correlation is not the same as causation, thank you very much. But. He sits in your lap! Awwwww.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Reminder: Bill Frist Kills Kittens

As former Senate Majority Leader Frist puts Congress back on the shelf, looks around to see if anybody noticed what he did to it, and slowly backs away, I think it's important that we take the time to remember who Bill Frist was before he became a heart surgeon and presidential hopeful.

A kitten murderer! I am not exaggerating in any fashion. As you can read in his 1989 book Transplant (discussed in this Wikpedia entry, and here, and here), when he was in medical school Frist did research using cats. OK, yuck, but that's what scientists do, and I can get behind science. However, when Frist ran out of his supply of lab cats, he visited multiple animal shelters near Boston, told them he wanted to adopt cats as pets, and then killed the cats as part of his experiments.

Again: he told the animal shelter he was going to adopt the cats as pets, and then took them to his lab and cut their hearts out. I've adopted a cat from an animal shelter, and it's a fairly involved process; you have to fill out a bunch of forms, provide proof that your landlord has given you permission to have the cat, promise that you're going to get it fixed when it's old enough, and discuss how much you're going to feed it and what kind of cat litter you're going to use. It's not just a Madonna-goes-to-Africa drive-by adoption situation. Frist did this multiple times.

He later apologized for his little Jack the Ripper phase, saying he'd been "a little crazy." Which is really nice, and all. In closing, I leave you with this thought:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Derek Jeter, Man of Mystery

I understand baseball about as much as I understand gay Republicans, but usually I can spot me a hottie. However, the supposed allure of Derek Jeter alludes me. First of all, what I do know about sports is what my mama taught me: the Yankees are evil. (Please don't kill me, Amy Blair.) Also, and I realize the contradiction here, but I often confuse Jeter with that supposedly gay guy from the Mets with the terrible facial hair.

But apparently a number of people disagree with my assessment. Word on the street is Jeter's dating Jessica Biel, who according to some is the Sexiest Woman Alive. (I don't think I'd go that far, but I'd give her Top Two Hottest Jessicas, and Hottest Former Seventh Heaven cast member, for sure.)

Jessica isn't Derek's first brush with massive hotness, either. According to this, he's also dated Mariah "Crazy But Hot" Carey, Lara "Miss Universe, Need I Say More" Dutta, Jordanna "C-List, But Yale-Educated" Brewster, Vanessa "My Appeal Is Also Somewhat Mysterious" Minnillo, Jessica "Yeooooowww" Alba, and Scarlett "Even Younger And Bigger-Lipped Than You Might Think" Johansson.

My explanation: groupthink. Jeter is the Bay of Pigs and the WMDs in Iraq all rolled up in one pudgy, oval-headed package, and these women are a bunch of scared foreign policy advisors working with doctored intelligence. Somebody get an outside expert in here, stat!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

DC's Seamy Underbelly and My Close Encounter Therewith

Wonkette has been running an awesome series Last Week's Shots about this "closed social networking site" called Late Night Shots. Late Night Shots is a kind of exclusive MySpace for the boat-shoes-wearing, Confederate-bikini-flashing, foreigner-hating crowd. It holds happy hours at establishments like Smith's Point, in Georgetown (which you may remember as the site of some of Jenna Bush's underage drinking antics) and also hosts a message board on which members discuss such matters as . . . well, I really couldn't do it justice. Courtesy of LNS via Wonkette:

Lying about Greek affiliationPosted By: very concerned on 10-19-2006 11:20 At age 29 if you’re dating a chick, how big of a problem is it if you’re digging through her desk and you find out that she was lying about what sorority she was in. This happened to a friend of mine.

RE: change of pacePosted By: Anti on 10-20-2006 2:38 pm If I have said it once I have said it 1000 times. DO NOT EVER, EVER even go near Adams Morgan. That place is Ghetto.

RE: change of pacePosted By: Boat Shoes on 10-20-2006 2:49 pm Everytime I’m in Adams Morgan, I take on at least 3-4 Ethiopans. Skinny little bastards are feisty.

RE: what are acceptable handouts from parentsPosted By: taxman on 10-25-2006 6:23 pmSomeone should receive absolutely no more than 30 k/yr and car payments from parents. If you’re above that, you really have problems. Girls may be entitled to a bit more than that with shopping and everything, but I feel like 30k is pretty reasonable.

Most Diverse Thanksgiving EverPosted By: PBP on 11-23-2006 10:07 pm Report as shockingly offensive Wow, that is all I have to say. This Thanksgiving goes down in the history books as the most diverse-liberal one ever. Let me describe the dinner table: First there was there was the Haitian ex-con and his white girlfriend from California, a gay Republican from Alabama, a Paki from GA, a crazy lib from MS and an idealistic Jew teacher/grad student from CO…lets just say that my flowing locks and pink Lacoste did not fit in. In between bizarre conversations about how much Bush sucks and bong hits, I learned more about the fucked up idealogy of left wing libs. It was rather amusing, but it being Thanksgiving and all, I was tolerant and had a good time. Luckily the copious amounts of wine I consumed made up for the twilight zone atmosphere. Whoever thought that a Haitian turkey could be so damn good…

In DC's defense, these people live in an entirely different city than I do. (Literally, they almost certainly live in Virginia.) I don't work with them, I don't hang out with them, I don't frequent the same restaurants, bars, or stores as they do, they don't ride my bus (they don't ride the bus at all, natch). Sometimes I probably see them on the street on my way to work, but what with the homogeneity of business casual clothing, one can never be sure.

But . . . this world is not entirely unfamiliar to me. Many moons ago, last century in fact, I moved to DC after college, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, knowing basically no-one, and without the ability to handle being alone. This unfortunate characteristic led to my ill-advised decision to agree to look for an apartment with a girl I had never met; let's call her Cassie. Cassie and I ended up living in Georgetown, which is basically an outdoor mall with historic architecture, no public transportation, and a history of racial exclusion. I later realized this was because Cassie did not like neighborhoods which contained non-white people (she called them "Browntown.")

As I said, I knew very few people in DC, and in my loneliness was prone to take desperate measures to socialize with other human beings. Thus, on several occasions I went out with Cassie and her friend Crystal, whom Cassie had met because they had been in the same sorority. Crystal was an interesting character, if you viewed her as a kind of performance-art piece; she had a penchant for telling elaborate lies about herself (she was a gymnast, a spy, an escaped mental patient, etc.) and for removing her top in public. She later became a Redskins cheerleader.

Going Out with these people resembled normal going out in exactly the same way that The Real World: Season 3759 resembles the real world. Rather than sitting down, ordering a drink, and talking to the people with whom you had come to the bar, as sane persons would, in this post-apocalyptic version of Going Out the girls would stand near the bar alone, coerce a strange man to buy them drinks, listen to said stranger talk about his Job On The Hill, which might more accurately be described as an unpaid stint as a receptionist for the junior Congressman from Idaho, and then ditch the stranger, generally after giving him an inaccurate version of their phone number.

My pronouns are vague because even now it is difficult for me to believe that this was my life for maybe two months. Apart from the amusement of some of Crystal's more fanciful stories and top-removal escapades, the only redeeming thing about this portion of my life is the eternal gratitude I experience when I read Last Week's Shots and thank the fates for sparing me from it. So, a late Thanksgiving shout-out to you, Wonkette, for reminding me of my good fortune.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

George Will's "Journalism" is worse than my "cooking"

George Will had a column today about how Jim Webb is an asshole who's disrespectful to the President. His main evidence is this account of an encounter between Webb and Bush:

When Bush asked Webb, whose son is a Marine in Iraq, "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "I'd like to get them [sic] out of Iraq." When the president again asked "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "That's between me and my boy."

So, Webb does sound a little curt. But here's how the original Post article, which Will cited as his source, described the encounter:

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq. "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme. "That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?" "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly.

"That's not what I asked you"! Snap, Mr. President! You tell that man with a son whose life is put in danger every day by your policy decisions how he's allowed to feel about about it!

Kind of embarassing for George Will, though, that the actual facts screw up the point he was trying to make. You'd hope that after this snafu, the Washington Post will start to supply its writers with computers on which the cut-and-paste functions work, so they wouldn't be forced to resort to paraphrasing earlier news stories to themselves via smoke signals.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

TomKat gets married--in 1987

What in God's name is going on with Katie Holmes here? The very short spiky bangs, the odd clumps of hair by the ear, and the somewhat square shape of her head all point to one thing: a bridal mullet, which is either insanely '80s or (one hopes) never actually existed in the world before today.

And the dress! The eye is so distracted by the irregular tufts of tulle jutting out from her shoulder area that you might at first not notice the off-the-shoulder-dress-PLUS-bra-strap combination that has not even been manufactured since before the invention of cellular telephones.

(For instance, the stunner to the left will set you back $44.95 if you Buy It Now!, because it's vintage, you see.)

The only explanation, I think, is that an actual friend of Katie's talked her into this getup in a desperate attempt to jolt her into realizing that she's lost her mind. The friend thought that maybe, just maybe, Katie would look in the mirror and think, "Who is that girl with hair like a wrestler wearing a costume from a Molly Ringwald movie preparing to marry an alien disguised as an over-the-hill movie star in a Scientology ceremony ending with a three-minute kiss? Omigod, it's ME!! NOOOO!"

Well, apparently it didn't work, but was a valiant effort, Anonymous Friend of Katie's. If someday Katie thanks you for it, I think that will make the opening of the Pandora's Box of Bridal Mullets worth it for us all.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New stylist, same electorate

I don't want to call myself The Biggest Genius Since Einstein, or anything, but may I humbly point out that I totally, 100% called it: Britney's filing for divorce was a sign that the electorate was going to kick the bums to the curb. Go BritneyMerica!

Now that Britney is officially the oracle of our national consciousness, though, I must admit that I am having a little trouble sleeping at night. For one thing, we can tell ourselves 'til we're blue in the face that Britney's a legal genius for filing for divorce before she owed K.Fed a year's worth of alimony at "Britney's touring" rates rather than "Britney's reproducing, eating Cheetos, and walking into public restrooms without shoes on" levels. But if she's so insightful, why did she marry her slack-jawed backup dancer to begin with? And what's to stop her from doing it again? The possibilities are non-encouraging:

1. She finds white-boy cornrows dreamy.
2. She's a traditional girl who believes in "staying the course" despite all evidence that the enterprise is doomed, at least for a couple of years.
3. She thought Iraq had something to do with September 11.

And then there are the ta-tas. The soon-to-be-former Mrs. Federline hired a stylist to give her an "I'm back" makeover, to which I say, smart move, doll . . . but then why, in every public appearance she's made since her big announcement, do her ladyparts appear to be engaged in a desperate, primal struggle to escape from her clothing, from one another, from this gravitational plane? To wit:

Britney's breasts clearly have something to say about our nation. "You may think your electoral system is bouncing along nicely now, nurturing other fledgling democracies and all," they say, "but if you don't address the structural inequalities here, your hopeful-young-nation bubble is gonna start to deflate, and you're going to be left with a sagging, wrinkled husk of a republic."

Britney has convinced me: in 2008 I won't be hiding under the couch with a bottle of wine when the election results come in. I'll be out in some actual state, volunteering for a get-out-the-vote drive: The support bra for the electoral college!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

As Britney does, so does the nation?

After many long years Britney Spears is finally throwing her moronic, self-congratulatory, incompetent bum of a husband out. Surely voters will be as smart as Britney and do the same on a national scale?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ahh, I recall when we used to call it "it"

Massage--is that what the kids are calling it these days?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

An Open Letter to Anna Nicole

Dear Anna Nicole Smith,

I will admit that our relationship began by accident. I was very excited when I was invited to join a Fafarazzi Celebrity Fantasy League, and I will admit I immediately began entertaining grandiose visions of a "Shock and Awe" type victory.

But as Donald Rumseld would tell you if he weren't such a dickhead, sometimes pride prevents you from planning carefully enough. My fatal misstep was failng to fully grasp the "ranking" element of the "draft pick" system. Thus I squandered my first-round pick on you, rather than a higher-point-scoring celebrity like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton.

But as disappointed as I was, you have really stepped up to the plate, undergoing tragedy after bizarre tragedy in order to score points for me. Of course, that hasn't stopped me from being dead last in my league. (As inspiring as your efforts were, they couldn't rally the rest of my bedraggled team--Brandon Davis, Mary-Kate Olsen, Nick Carter, and it just gets worse from there--to do anything more exciting than your standard getting-caught-peeing-on-someone's lawn kind of thing, and that only gets you one point.

Plus, how could you have forseen the heights to which other celebrities would climb in the last few weeks? How were you to know that Nicole Richie would commit herself to an undisclosed "it's sure not for an eating disorder though" treatment clinic, collapse at a bar, and discharge herself from treatment all in a single weekend? Or that Madonna would catapault herself back to her circa 1989 banned-from-MTV levels of fame via constant blathering about her sketchy poor man's Angelina-type adoption? Or, God save us all, that Kevin Federline would be all over the gossip blogs like flies on the carcas of our culture's self-regard?

But anyway, Anna Nicole, yesterday you really outdid yourself. You were hospitalized for pneumonia on the very same day that one of your possible baby daddies accused you of dyeing your infant's hair in order to disguise its paternity. Shakespearian, my dear.

And so I know you must have been as crushed as I was when Fafarazzi failed to give you ANY POINTS AT ALL for that ingenious double-whammy. They're all, You can have one point for something Patrick Dempsey's ex-wife said about him, but baby-hair-dyeing . . . meh?

Anyway, ANS, I just wanted to let you know that it's not the points that matter to me anymore. I know that you've given me your all, and there's nothing more I could ask of you. (You, on the other hand, Tori Spelling--WHERE is the drama?) Please just know that I appreciate your efforts. Now go get some rest.


T&A Lady

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Out of the mouths of K Feds

You might have read about Kevin Federline's proclamations to Entertainment Weekly that he's the most underrated artist in his field, and that he used to be embarassed to buy tampons, but now that's "all past tense," and "once you make it through that, you're good."

Miraculously, those actually aren't the most earth-shattering thing Mr. Britney says in the interview (which isn't actually an interview, it's a "pop culture personality test" consisting of 11 questions, all along the lines of "The A-Team member I most relate to is ____," and none of which have wrong answers . . . or so it seemed until Kevin answered them.)

Here is the highlight of K Fed's quiz:

Q: Diaper genie or diaper champ?

A: I don't know which one we have. All
it says is genie on top.

Words fail.

Friday, October 13, 2006


My wedding anxiety dreams, previously confined to your standard I-forgot-to-get-my-hair-done-and-the-caterer-didn't-show-up kind of thing, this week took a turn for the freaky. I dreamed that North Korea blew up a big nuclear bomb, and everybody in the world either died or was going to die imminently. Mr. T&A and I did not die right away, so we decided to go ahead with the wedding, since if the world is ending you might as well have a party. However, what with most people in the world being dead, very few people came to the wedding (like, 5 or so) and everyone who was there looked like a ghoul from the Thriller video--tattered clothing, skin falling off in chunks, that kind of thing--and the whole thing was very depressing.

If you're coming to our wedding, don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, October 09, 2006

All the King's Men: A Redo

I'm a little late on this now, since the movie version of All the King's Men has been out for weeks, but as a wise man once said, "Justice delayed is justice that gets there a little bit later."

So, All the King's Men, which is a fictionalization of the reign of Huey Long, the nearly dictatorial 1930s Governor of Louisiana, is one of my favorite books. This is perhaps weird, since its kind of florrid, over-the-top Gothic prose and college-sophomore philosophizing is kind of contrary to my previously discussed tendency to get embarassed by sincerity, but I read it at an impressionable age, so as far as I'm concerned it will always be the bee's knees.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I learned that the casting director for the new movie version had done her job by drunkenly throwing darts at a list of Prestige British Actors, and, when a couple of reasonable choices slipped in there, cheekily switching them to the wrong role. In case you have not re-read the book dozens of times since high school, I provide you with the following re-casting in order that you should re-imagine it as it should have been:

Jack Burden: Average-looking, aristocratic, arguably alcoholic newspaperman who digs up dirt on political enemies for Governor Stark, and meditates gothically on history and his unrequited love for Anne Stanton. Theirs: Jude Law. Could not be more wrong for this part if he were a tall, cold, blond British man . . oh wait. Redo: Mark Ruffolo

Adam Stanton: Tall, cold, blond, driven, accomplished surgeon with a "mouth like a clean knife wound"; childhood friend of Jack, brother of Anne. Theirs: Mark Ruffolo. WTF! Redo: Jude Law.

Anne Stanton: Beautiful, reserved, tragic aristocratic daughter of a former Governor, nearing spinsterhood, doomed never to find love because of epic failed childhood love for Jack--but wait, what's going on between her and Willie? Theirs: Kate Winslet. Too vivacious and young, not to mention British. Redo: Patricia Clarkson

Sadie Burke: Smart, tough, pockmarked, crazy-haired, jealous right hand woman to Governor Stark, in more ways than one. Theirs: Patricia "Gorgeous" Clarkson. Redo: Amy Sedaris.

Judge Irwin: Tall, handsome, good-postured, aristocratic, honorable--or is he?--judge, longtime friend of former Governor Stanton, sometime political supporter of Governor Stark, and father figure to Jack. Theirs: Anthony Hopkins. Can I get you a side of flabby with your order of slouch? Redo: Paul Newman

And finally . . .

Willie Stark: The hick, populist, charismatic, corrupt, Louisiana governor based on Huey Long. Theirs: Sean Penn. Good actor and all, but you wouldn't call him charming or charismatic, and his arms are short like a band nerd's. Redo: Bill Clinton. Mmmmmm.

When somebody remakes this again using my casting, I am going to totally demand a free ticket.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Project Foley

It seemed that Keith, the first-ever designer to get kicked off Project Runway for breaking the rules, got a crash course in crisis management before appearing on the reunion special last night. Unfortunately for him, he got it from the Republican leadership of Congress circa Mark Foley.

Keith got busted for having pattern books, which are banned by the rules of the show, or at least they're banned according to everybody but Keith. Keith was not about to concede this point. "I don't remember reading any rules against having design books"--it was Keith's version of the "Someone may have mentioned something about some dirty emails, but I averted my eyes when they showed them to me, so I don't really know what they said." I, will admit to also having tried this oldie but goodie: "Dear Police Department, Please find me innocent of this parking ticket, as I did not look at the signs by the side of the road before I parked." It might work for big-scale stuff like a failed war, but for mundane stuff kiddie-toucher-cover-ups, low-level cheaters, and illegal parkers, it just doesn't fly.

Monday, October 02, 2006

T&A Goes Sherlock

So, as you know, Mr. T&A and I got burgled the other week. While my initial thankfulness for my good fortune at having lost only stuff fairly quickly gave way to a low-level murderous rage at somebody for taking my stuff, I had ranked the possibility of the burglars getting caught up there with the chance that Suri Cruise would grow up to be well-adjusted.

Thus, at first I at first didn't notice the strange goings-on with my Netflix account. First, September 25, Netflix sent me an email saying I had returned a personal DVD. Huh, I vaguely thought, I wonder what that was? Then about a week later I noticed that we had 4 Netflixes, when we only pay for 3.

It wasn't until I got back the supposed personal DVD that I began to recognize the Netflix oddities as Possible Clues. It was a white DVD with "Debbie's Bridal Pics" written on it in purple marker, containing, what do you know, Debbie's bridal pictures.* It was not mine.

Now, I am getting married soon,** and I have spent my fair number of months being obsessed with wedding-related message boards. Thus, I know from hilariously freaky wedding pictures, and I can say with authority that Debbie's rank up there. The engagement shots in particular are exemplars of the genre: all 2 dozen of them show Mr. Debbie leaning sulkily against a weathered wall or other rugged object while while Debbie sort of humps his left leg, sticking out her left butt cheek for inspection, splaying her left hand avec ring on his chest, and turning her head around to growl at the camera in profile. We also got through most of the semi-pornographic "getting ready" shots of Debbie in her skivvies before we started to feel slightly dirty and switched to VH1.

Then, a few days later, I updated my Netflix cue and noticed that Netflix thought I had returned Gilmore Girls, Season 2, Disc 4, on September 25. In fact, this DVD was stolen in the burglary (along with the DVD player containing it), and while we had gotten a replacement copy from Netflix, we had not yet returned it.

Finally the elements started to come together. Someone returned our stolen DVD and Debbie's Bridal pics right at the same time! But, dear readers, this is where I get confused. Presumably it was the burglars, because how else would they get our Gilmore Girls? But why would they steal one of our return sleeves or envelopes? (I don't remember if any were missing.) Why would they bother to return the DVDs? Why did they return Debbie's wedding pics? Did Debbie and Mr. Debbie also get burlged, or (as I prefer to think) are Debbie and Mr. Debbie the burglars?

We ran these theories by the police, but they did not seem particularly enticed. If any of you crime-cracking people (or Netflix experts) have any ideas, please let me know!

*Yeah, I looked at a total stranger's wedding pictures that I got by accident, and now I'm making fun of them on the internet. You wanna take it outside?

**I have not mentioned the whole getting-married thing before partly in order to preserve my thin veneer of fake anonymity, and partly because I didn't want to seem like a lame-o who can't shut up about my wedding. However, now it seems relevant, plus there is really very little else going on in my brain right now. I am spending considerable time thinking about things like, "Which is a better organizing principle for seating charts, balance of talkativeness or similarity of interests?"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Epithet, schmepitet

George "Macaca/Who, Me a Jew/User of the Word that Cannot be Named" Allen once put a severed deer's head in somebody's mailbox. Admittedly, it's not quite as bad as the scene in The Godfather with the horse head, because you wouldn't be waking up with head parts all over your sheets and jammies, but still, imagine checking your mailbox, hoping for an Entertainment Weekly, and instead you stick your hand into Tete de Bambi.

I can already sense the 2008 presidential campaign is going to be awesome.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Giving thanks, for reals

We used to sometimes have Thanksgiving with family friends who made everybody go around before dinner and say what they were thankful for, like, out loud. I always felt squirmy, and roiled by the opposing urge to devise something clever and ironic to say, and the sense that I should muster up something sincere-sounding. Not because I wasn't sincerely thankful for various things, don't you know; just because, being a product of my generation and all, it felt tacky to express such things without a nice shiny coating of irony.

So, yesterday our house got robbed (I guess the technical term is burgled), and all of a sudden this long-standing impulse was obliterated. I all of a sudden felt completely non-ironically grateful for all kinds of things: that the T&A kitties were still here and were unharmed; that the burglars didn't take my Gram's ring; that they removed items neatly, without making a mess, because that made the whole transaction seem much more polite; that all of our stuff wasn't destroyed in a fire or hurricane. When Mr. T&A described how the police officer had told him that, if this were a murder investigation, they would send the leaf that was mysteriously located in the middle of our bed to the lab for analysis (which then led him to detail his involvement in the search for Chandra Levy's body, and to boast that he had recovered part of her finger), but that since it was a burglary they wouldn't bother to send the leaf anywhere, I felt overwhelmingly thankful that nobody was out combing Rock Creek Park for my finger.

So, kidlets, that's it--just feeling pretty good about things. Have a good weekend!

P.S. Plus, Verizon finally made our internets work. Yahh! In the spirit of this post, I won't even remark on the fact that this took them nearly a month and that their "Surf tonight!" ad campaign is a steaming pile of crap. Thanks, Verizon!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Taxi drivers and Senator Burns

Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana) jumped on the bandwagon of Senators making racist quips the other day, saying that the United States is facing an enemy of terrorists who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."

This seems like a good time to share some awesome news: last night I had my first EVER pleasant conversation with a taxi driver! In the past, whenever a cab driver has talked to me, the conversation has quickly traveled from the weather to (a) racist or homophobic jokes, or (b) religious prostheletyzing. (That kind of thing should be right up Senator Burns' alley, shouldn't it?) It was enough to make me hope for cab drivers who speak no English, or who constantly talk on their cell phones. But last night I had a lovely conversation with a cab driver who was originally from Somalia, then spent 7 years as a refugee in Djibouti (sounds like Jabooty, but that means something different--thanks, Google, for setting me straight on that one) before coming to the United States 5 years ago. I told him about my recent biking exploits, and he told me about how, as a child, he got a bike as a gift from a missionary in Ethiopia, which he rode all the time but often got flat tires because the roads there are not good. His entire family is in Ethiopia, but he said he loves living in the United States. All in all, the experience improved my day, and made me feel like I should appreciate the fact that I live in a place where the military will not come kill you in the night because of your ethnic group.

So, Senator Burns must not have been talking about DC taxi drivers. Maybe he was talking about Montana taxi drivers? I am willing to believe that they are a bunch of unstable, gun-hoarding militia members. Note to self: scratch plans to traverse Montana by taxi.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Not gone forever!

This will be a short one, but I just wanted to assure anyone who is still checking my blog that I have not given up the goat--I have just moved and haven't gotten the Internets at home yet. As soon as I figure out how to make those little packets of data run rapidly along some wires to and from my house, I will back!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Taking one for the team

The other day I did something completely selfless: I didn't go to work. Not at all! Not even for a little while! On a workday!

And it was all for you, dear readers! I know that there have been days when you've felt a bit peaked* and have considered staying home, but you've thought, "But what would I do all day? Won't all that free time and relaxation be hard to manage?" Thus, I decided to bravely explore the treacherous unknown terrain of the Sick Day so that I could make it safe for all of you.

And explore I did! have prepared a detailed map of the best way to handle your day at home:

7:00: Wake up. Note sore throat, swollen glands. Turn off alarm. Rejoice.

9:00: Send "staying home sick" email to work. (Eliminates conundrum re: Should you fake a sorer throat than you actually have on the phone. Not that your sickness is fake or anything! but risk that primordial instinct for exaggeration will take over cannot be ignored.)

9:05: Realize that, in preparation for impending move, you have efficiently packed all books and DVDs. Reconsider sick day, but persevere.

9:06-10:30: Sleep on couch.

10:30-11:00: Eat bagel while reading Entertainment Weekly. Learn that Rosario Dawson grew up as a squatter and ponder why Al Gore looks like a Chinese Leonard Nimoy. Deep thoughts for day: check!

11:00-12:00: Watch World Series of Pop Culture on VH1 (and cosponsored by Entertainment Weekly; did EW brand the sick day when I wasn't paying attention? Is this blog entry a copyright violation?). Find experience more enjoyable than average gameshow-viewing: World Series is low-budget in authentic way; e.g., contestants mutter snarky things about opponents under their breath and you can kind of hear them; unflattering lighting makes even pretty players look wrinkly, worried, accessible. Consider feeling like failure when you do not know many of the answers (The name of the boat in Jaws? The cost of a vowel?), but decide to take positive view that this means you do not watch too much TV, after all.

12:00-1:00: Sleep on couch.

1:00-1:20: Eat cereal while reading Entertainment Weekly. Read about drug problems of guy who plays Jay in Jay and Silent Bob; find desire to watch Clerks II increased not at all.

1:20-3:00: Flip back and forth between HGTV and "How Do I Look" marathon. Consider feeling superior to makeover victims who cling to much-too-large sweatpants and torn T-shirts like life rafts, but then wonder how self would react if large hoodie sweatshirts were taken away; reconsider superiority.

3:00-3:30: Sense impending feeling of slothfulness, self-loathing. Get off couch, do dishes, take bath.

3:30-4:30: Look at the internets (in chair, not couch). Find world depressing, but design-conscious pet decor inspiring.

4:30-5:30: Concerns re sloth can be safely abandoned after 4 pm; return to couch. Watch portions of Stepford Wives (remake); note movie is very bad, Nicole Kidman's immobile forehead makes her look like bat. Return to HGTV; find fear of homeownership increasing; switch back to VH1.

5:30-6:00: Eat Spaghettios while reading Entertainment Weekly. Make note to self to take magazine's advice by watching Weeds on DVD and visiting

And there you have it! Don't all those unstructured hours seem a little less scary now? Be brave, dear readers, and explore the Sick Day yourself!

*Peaked, not PEEKd, as in "How sad for Britney, she peaked at 17 and now it's all downhill," but PEEK-Ed, as in "You look a little bit peaked, T&A Girl," as my mom used to say, which literally means "you are not wearing any makeup so you look kind of pale and I am acquiescing to your obvious desire to stay home today."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Excuses, excuses

If you've been worried that my nearly month-long absence means I'm pulling a David Lat and abandoning my blog for greener pastures, never fear, I'm not going noplace. What's my excuse this time? Well, I'm passing over my usual "I'm lazy" in favor of the bolder option: I've been busy! Shockingly, I even have something to show for it: Mr. T&A and the T&A Kitties and I are joining the propertied class by buying a house. Consider yourself warned: In the future you can expect to see discussions of such issues as paint colors and patio furniture (if things go well) and second jobs and foreclosures (if not so much).

Contemplating which excuse to use to explain my absence has led me to reflect on what makes a good excuse. Popular culture, in its endless bounty, has recently provided us with several impressive examples:

Zidane: The French soccer star who headbutted the Italian player and got kicked out of the World Cup final says he doesn't regret it because the other guy insulted his sister and sick mother, made a comment about getting with his wife, or called him the "son of a terrorist whore," depending on who you talk to.
Discussion: The mother/sister/wife combo captures the the ultimate trifecta of unforgiveable disses, and Zidane's savvy refusal to say exactly what the insult was allows our imaginations to cavort about in a filthy mess of sexual/religious/racial possibilities. On the other hand, he screwed up a game that I understand a lot of people care a lot about. I give it an B+.

The Italian guy: Said he couldn't have provoked the head-butt by calling Zidane a terrorist because "I'm ignorant. I don't even know what the word means."
Discussion: Huh? There may be some kind of different-cultures-how-can-we-possibly-understand-one-another explanation for this, but that's lame--a good excuse should transcend our differences, if you will. This barely gets a C-.

Britney: In the midst of the gum-chomping, hair-not-combing, boob-flopping, mascara-clumping, maternity-hooker-clothing-sporting glory that was Britney's interview with Matt Lauer, Brit-Brit managed to explain that she drives with her baby in her lap rather than in a car seat because her family is "country."
Explanation: At first glance this might seem as inexplicable as the Italian guy's "ignorant" thing, but upon further examination you realize: No, it actually works, because you really believe it. I totally buy that Britney remembers sitting on her dad's lap as a little girl--albeit probably a 6-year-old, not an infant--and that she has ignored all the information about car seats that one might have picked up in the intervening 18 years. Also, the word "country" itself is great--it's relatively innocuous, but it invokes a rich tapestry of stereotypes about trailer trash that are reinforced by Britney's aforementioned appearance. Good job, Mrs. Federline--I give it an A-.

That's it for now, folks. Tune in next time, same bat-channel, couldn't say what bat-month.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Wonkette hotties contest demonstrates democracy's failure

The whole Bush v. Gore, Grandpa-Abe-voting-for-Buchanan thing made you wonder, but now we have definitive proof that democracy does not work. Behold David Copley, the male* winner of Wonkette's recent White House Hotties competition:

19.5% of the vote, people. I'm not questioning the assertion by one of his flunkies that he's a "gentleman" to the ladies, which, I do not agree that simply not being a date rapist qualifies you for praise, but the point is that this is a hotties contest. Mr. Potato Head in an off-the-rack Republican Senator wannabe getup is not a hottie. By contrast, behold Jeb Mason:

That cowboy hat and those teeth . . . only 17%. Where is the justice, people? Where is the eyesight? I pose to you that feudalism is due for a comeback.

*The winner of the female half of the competition, Taylor Hughes, I have no quarrel with. She is undeniably hot, with her smirky smile and her tall volleyball player/prom queen vibe. The fact that she's Karl Rove's aide also highlights her likeness to the Evil Queen in Snow White, who objectively speaking was the second fairest of them all. That goes pretty well with DC's not-quite-as-cool-as-New-York-or-maybe-even-Philly complex.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The wisdom of the non-chart

Again it is time for a brief amount of thought which you should pretend is in chart form:

In: Pitying Britney
Five Minutes Ago: Worshipping Angelina
Out: Identifying with Jen

In: Reproduction
Five Minutes Ago: Renovation
Out: Reinvention

In: Anti-estate taxes
Five Minutes Ago: Anti-gay marriage
Out: Anti-sex

Monday, June 12, 2006

Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski

Last week I attended a Big Lebowski Music and Movie night at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. Whilst outwardly keeping my cool, inwardly I had anticipating this event the way a 5-year-old with a jones for Legos looks forward to Christmas morning.

So, predictably, I am now feeling some post-Lebowski malaise.

The first problem was that I didn't have enough time to pull together a good costume. I had had visions of going as the high school cheerleader version of Bunny Lebowski, or (as per the suggestion of loyal reader Toolstein) the gold Maude Lebowski Roman Goddess/Viking outfit from the Dude's dream sequence.

However, my day job having gobbled up the time I would have spent costume-shopping, I instead ended up throwing together an interpretation of the Dude's outfit in the opening scenes of the movie: plaid shorts, undershirt, bathrobe, carton of milk (should have been half-and-half, but I didn't have any, so instead it was the milk discussed in this post, which was past its prime for drinking purposes anyway), and a checkbook. Kinda predictable, but at least the bathrobe and the milk marked it as a costume, not just a fashion misstep.

The next problem was that when I got there, it appeared that I might be the only person in costume. Can you say laaame? Also, in looking around for costumed individuals, I found a disturbing number of people of indeterminate costume status. Was that girl in the bright red shift dress, the clunky-circa-1997-shoes, and the handbag with the picture of Marilyn Monroe on it, in costume? (Turns out no.) What about the guy with the high-waisted pants and the purple shirt--was that a lame version of Jesus Quintana? (Again, no.) In addition to the self-consciousness, I began to feel very accutely aware that I was in Virginia, and not in a good way.

Later on in the evening, more costumed people did show up, and some of them were pretty good. In fact, the winner of the costume contest was wearing the gold Maude Lebowski Roman Goddess/Viking outfit that I had not managed to pull off. Wahh.

I won't go into painful detail about how lame the music was--suffice it to say that the musician started off his set by saying he'd never seen The Big Lebowski, and that he talked in a fake Scottish accent and used the term "feck" a lot.

Now we get to the really painful part, which is where I bombed in the trivia contest. I really did not expect this--surely, I thought, watching this movie every Friday night for a whole summer--OK, for 2 years (1997-1999)--I would know every single thing there is to know about it. But no! I started to get nervous when I didn't know several of the questions asked of earlier contestants. Pop quiz, readers!:

  • With whom is Walter's ex-wife vacationing in Hawaii?*
  • What is the male version of nymphomania called, according to Maude?**
  • Who sings "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) in the soundtrack?***

No idea! So my palms were sweating by the time they got to my question:

  • What TV show did Larry Sellers' father write for?****

I knew the part of the movie--Walter comes into the performance art piece late and tells the Dude he's tracked down Larry Sellers, the 9th grade kid who stole his car and, presumably, the $1M, and Larry's father is Arthur Digby Sellers, who wrote the "bulk of the series" of . . . some Western. Nuthin, I had nuthin.

I hope I haven't gotten you too depressed. Luckily, the evening ended quite well: I got to watch The Big Lebowski.

*Marty Ackerman
***Kenny Rogers

****Branded. A Google search will tell you that while there was such a TV show, Arthur Digby Sellers did not actually write for it.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Jesus "Insured with State Farm" Christ

I have had the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood stuck in my head all day. This has been somewhat annoying, but also strangely thought-provoking.

(I will admit that I basically like the song, and basically this is because it makes me cry. Mind you, this is not saying much, because most country songs that are not about drinking or putting a boot in someone's ass--I mean the ones that are about the soldier getting a letter from home or the hooker and the preacher dying in the bus crash--those all make me cry. Now you know about the gap in my otherwise insanely tough exterior! The next time I'm holding up a bank or engaging in other similarly tough activity, you will know how to break me!)

Back to the thought-provoking issue: Does Jesus know how to drive?

Deep, man.

Monday, May 22, 2006

An open letter to capitalism

Dear Capitalism,

I really don't think that I was asking too much of you today. As per our usual arrangement, I wanted to exchange money for products and services. I wasn't even going for the funny stuff--no feathers from a dodo bird, no stylists flown from Milan to apply fox eyelashes to my lids, no reasonably priced health insurance. All I wanted was:

1. Khaki pants, and
2. Skim milk.

But you were all HAHAHA no I don't think so. I went to the Gap, which, why does it even exist if not to provide me with khaki pants? But today, the Gap was all Wouldn't you prefer an eyelet skirt, or a cable-knit halter-top sweater, or a teeny polo shirt for a dog? For reals.

So I gave that up, and moved on to the next task. Going to the store for milk is so standard that doing it makes you feel like you're in an after-school special: you half-expect a dope pusher to come slinking out of the alley, offering a joint to your wide-eyed self, and perhaps as you take the drugs you will drop the carton of milk to the ground and its splatter will represent your broken innocence. (As it is, the drug dealers don't offer me anything, nor do they stand in the alley; they find it more comfortable to lean against my car in the street.) Anyhoo, there I went to the grocery store for milk. Store #1: Only whole milk. Store #2: Closed. Store #3 (Safeway): Whole milk, 2% milk, $5 organic milk, a few skim milks, but the lines stretch back into the aisles, and as it's already 9:15 even the prospect of reading all of US Weekly and Life & Style isn't enough to make me wait 20 minutes when I could just as well eat cereal with water in the morning. Finally, the small store that always has cilantro but whose name I can never remember because it's in Spanish and I never really studied in Spanish class, even though I took it as an adult and paid good money for it, why did I do that, they have skim milk, but that seems almost like an oversight on your part, Capitalism.

Capitalism? Are you listening? Well, I certainly hope you try harder in the future, or I am taking my business elsewhere.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Brangelina starts Celebricapitalismhobby trend?

Brangelina is launching a line of African housewares--they're working with Namibian craftsmen to develop the rugs, pottery, and other household items, which will be introduced at an art fair in Paris in the fall, and they'll donate all the profits to charity.

After you get over the initial "whaaa?" reaction, you realize that this is the gorgeous, perfect offspring of Brad's interest in design and Angelina's dedication to humanitarian work. (OK, I didn't realize that myself, the article pointed it out, but I totally agree.) It's kind of like how David Arquette and Courtney Cox Arquette's show "Mix it Up" combined their interests in home decor and counterintuitive couples, except that's less an attempt to save the world via attractive microcapitalism, and more of a lame, cancelled WE: Women's Entertainment program.

Of course, this makes one ponder what new products other celebricouples could come up with if they combined their passions:

Hmmm. It appears we've produced yet more evidence that Brangelina has cornered the market on celebrity couple awesomeness. Sucks to be everybody else.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hope springs eternal

The American People have recently started to recognize that a man we used to admire for his intense, unshakable confidence and enthusiasm (and the way he looks in a flight suit) is actually an intense, unshakable zealot who is enthusiastic about nutty, proposterous ideas (and the flight suit was just a costume, anyway).

So, now that our revelations about Tom Cruise have hurt Mission Impossible 3 at the box office, do you think we'll remember our lesson in November, when we get to have a referendum on our nation's other favorite non-pilot?

Happy Friday!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

At least I'm not blaming you

So I've been absent for, like, almost a month. I've been avoiding posting again partly out of a sense of guilt and resultant avoidance. How could I come slinking back after heartlessly neglecting T&A for so long?

But this recent post on Underneath Their Robes gave me insight into a different approach to the situation. Article III Groupie hadn't posted for many moons, and when she came back she did so by spraying a whole lotta piss & vinegar at her readers:
If you're angry at A3G for not doing more judicial gossip blogging -- A3G asks: Are you paying her to do this? No? Well, then she doesn't owe you anything. To the contrary, if you've enjoyed this blog at all between its inception and today, then you owe A3G a debt of gratitude.

Bitchy Bitcherina McBitcherton! Clearly I should never have even considered apologizing for my totally infrequent blogging; I should taunt you instead. In that vein, I just typed, "Why are you still checking my blog, when it's clear I've abandoned it? Don't you have work to do or something? Get a life, will you!" but then that seemed mean, and also not funny, and also I really want for you to check my blog, so I deleted it.

Now that we've had that talk, let's never speak of it again, shall we?

So the season finale of Veronica Mars is on on Tuesday (9 EST, UPN), and I can barely sleep with anticipation. However, if you've never watched the show before, you should probably start with the Season 1 DVD rather than just jumping in this week, since the plot is very twisty and complicated, and plus it's a whodunnit, so if you watch the end then you'll kind of spoil the whole Season 2 experience for yourself.

That is, unless you're a Neislon Ratings Family, in which case you should invite your whole town over to watch it with you. Part of the reason for my bated breath about the finale is not just because I'll find out who crashed the school bus and whether Veronica and Logan will get back together (pleasepleasepleaseplease) but also because it will bring us closer to the announcement about whether Veronica Mars will be picked up for a third season when the WB merges with UPN to form CW. It seems Veronica is at risk of becoming the next Arrested Development or Freaks and Geeks--shows that were just too pure and beautiful for this world, kind of like Beth in Little Women or the Democratic party in an election.

All hope is not lost, however--there is a dedicated and very active fan base agitating mightily for a third season, as demonstrated by this press release about how they've hired a plane to fly between L.A. and Burbank with a "Renew Veronica Mars!" banner in tow, which aaaaalmost crosses the line from "dedicated" to "nutso loony with a side of the crazies." Almost.

Needless to say, I am not part of this group--as my aforementioned monthlong hiatus shows, I'm more "lazy" than "nearly insane with activism"--but to those who are, I say: I mock because I am impressed. Godspeed to you, and may your aeroplane be the harbinger of many seasons of Veronica Mars to come.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Happy birthday, Suri and T&A!

So Katie had Tom's illegitimate Scientologist offspring! Happy birthday, Suri!

In a coincidence . . . or is it?, tomorrow (April 19) is the one-year anniversary of my humble little blog, (read: isn't it the smartest, cleverest, prettiest blog in the whole world?). Happy birthday, T&A!

Now, I must say, at first I felt a bit peeved about the TomKitten news, because I had planned a one-year anniversary posting devoted entirely to Cruise-Holmes gossip, as a means of thanking them for providing me with such a very large amount of fodder over the last year wow there are more than I thought I think this is the last one. I had this whole vision that I would pretend that their whole relationship was staged for my benefit, and I would rank their most recent exploits in terms of their smack-talk-worthiness, like so:
  • Tom Cruise's "joke" about eating the placenta: too gross to mention. (Oops!) D+
  • The Scientologist silent birth, and in particular the people bringing signs encouraging aforesaid silent birth into Tom and Katie's house: Holy crap. Holy crizzap. Mind-boggling to the point that I am (ironically?) speechless. A-
  • Tom's "seminars" with Katie and her family, and possibly his other children, about childbirth: This is a tough one, because it's deliciously uncomfortable New Tom Cruise, even better than his "You're glib, Matt, you're glib" incident with Matt Lauer last year. However, Katie's parents and Connor and Isabella are innocent bystanders, so that makes it kind of sad. B
  • Katie's conversion to Scientology: I thought that already happened last year. Come on, publicist, new material, please! C-
  • The whole pregnancy is fake: THE BEST NEWS EVER!!! A++++

So you see my conundrum: Suri's arrival makes the whole "pregnancy hoax" theory a bit harder to defend. Also, I feel a little bit bad making fun of a baby who, I'm not a gambler but I'll bet you a billion dollars on this one, is going to have enough troubles without me messing with her.

So let's just focus on the other birthday girl, shall we?* Being electronic and all, she doesn't eat cake, but I know what she would love for her birthday: a bunch of supportive comments from her e-parents!

*Brooke Shields also had her baby today. No news on whether Tom got over there to make sure she wasn't taking any drugs or making noises.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Real estate deathmatch

So I have a confession to make: the reason I've been a bad blogger lately is not because I've been working hard, or because I've been outside enjoying the weather, or even because I've been lying on the couch watching MTV and drinking a whole bottle of wine while vainly imploring the cat to write another one of those non-chart things. (That's just the reason why I haven't been working hard or enjoying the weather.)

No, I've mostly been right here, at the computer, but instead of reading about gay parents storming the White House for Easter eggs or whatever else happened this week, I've been . . . reading about real estate.

That's right! Mr. T&A and I wandered into an open house on our way back from brunch one day, and thus thought vaguely about buying a house, and thus I turned to the Internets for guidance.

Dude, let me tell you, discussions about the D.C. real estate market put celebrity gossip controversies to shame. I mean, sure it's interesting to discuss whether Gwyneth and Chris named their baby Moses because they're obnoxious self-obsessed crackpots or because they're beautiful visionaries who recognize that only their offspring will be able to save us all. But if you're looking for real passion, real feeling, what you want is a real estate debate. Nobody feels neutral about the topic. You have to pick a side:

Side 1: The real estate market is a huge mouthful of Bubblicious about to burst all over those smug yuppie gentrifiers' faces, and that will show them to fuck with the affordable attached rowhouse dreams of the deserving masses. (For instance, see Bubble Meter.)

Side 2: Homeowners are moral and wise, and shall be justly rewarded with double-digit annual appreciation and mortage-interest deductions, while all others will burn in the hellfires of eternal rental payments. (OK, so that's mostly the Real Estate section.)

You can't beat this stuff with a whole bag of Lindsay Lohans. (Yes, I regret the mental image, but it's too late now.) It's gonna take something major to snap me out of this phase. TomKitten, where are you when I need you?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another non-chart!

I quite enjoyed my last foray into imitating Entertainment Weekly's In-5 Mintutes Ago-Out charts. The format lets you bring up topics that are floating around in your head without going to the trouble of linking them to other topics to form entire thoughts, and also to make dramatic declarations without having to defend yourself. Hence:

In: Demishton Jr.
5 Minutes ago: Brangelita
Out: TomKitten

In: Bratwurst
5 Minutes ago: Tater tots
Out: Homefries

In*: Solipsism
5 Minutes ago: Ontology

*The point at which I start using words whose meanings I don't know.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Public transportation and our republican system of government

The other morning I saw an ad for the DC Metro system on the side of a bus that said, "House, Senate. Bus, Rail." I experienced a mini-flashback to the SATs and thought to myself, "That seems like an apt analogy--but why?"

Well: like the House, the bus system is the black-sheep sibling; it's less well-known, less predictable, and it has a lot more crazy people.

But is this possibly what Metro meant? Unlikely--why would they want to point out to bus riders that the strangers in whose armpits they are standing are probably wackjobs like Tom Tancredo?

But what else is it supposed to mean? That Metro is bicameral and that in order to get anything done you have to ride both a bus and a train? That once you get on the metro you'll be there for 6 years, while you'll only stay on the bus for 2?

It's a mystery. At least it will give me something to ponder while I ride the fickle, passionate branch of the legislature to work.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Poor imitation of retired Entertainment Weekly item

One of my favorite things in the paper version of Entertainment Weekly used to be The Shaw Report by Jessica Shaw, a.k.a. the "In/5 Minutes Ago/Out" chart. Every week there were 3 columns and 3 rows of pithy, insightful, clever brilliance. Recently they've shrunk this to 3 rows, 1 column, and it's just not the same. Thus, here's my homage/cheap knock-off, sans rows and columns because charts are not Blogger's bag:

In: Warrantless wiretapping
5 minutes ago: Three-way call ambush
Out: Quietly picking up the phone in the kitchen

In: Britney as maternal ideal
5 minutes ago: Britney as Child Protective Services case
Out: Britney and Madonna

In: Lime
5 minutes ago: Celadon
Out: Moss

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Why does anyone reach the top of big law firms?

It takes the New York Times 5 pages to answer the question Why Do So Few Women Reach the Top of Big Law Firms?, but I could do it in 5 words: because big law firms suck.

Is it really any shock that anyone decides to leave a job that makes them work 60-100 hours a week whilst punching the clock like a waitresses (worse, really, because waitresses don't have to punch out when they go pee)? Let me tell you a little anecdote: when I got sworn into the DC Bar, the judge who performed the ceremony gave us 3 pieces of advice: 1. Don't commingle your client's funds with your own; 2. If you find that you are very depressed or abusing drugs or alcohol, you have an ethical obligation to take a break from practicing until you fix the problem; and 3. If you don't spend any time with your family, your children will hate you. Welcome to the practice of law!

The real shocker is that anyone decides to stay in big law firm jobs. I would suggest that the reason more men than women do so is because more men than women feel pressure from society, their families, their own overachieving selves, whatever, to climb whatever Accomplishment Mountain they find in front of them, despite the fact that they'd rather work less so they can spend time with their children, or just so they could leave work while it's still light out.

With that, I think I'd best stop spending time with the computer on Sunday, and go eat brunch.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Claude Allen, refund fraud, and a friend of mine

The most trashtastic news of the day didn't involve TomKat or Paris & Nicole, but Claude Allen, one of the lesser-knowns in President Bush's collection of uber-conservative black advisors. Allen, an evangelical zealot domestic policy advisor and nominee to the 4th Circuit, was previously best known as the Jesse Helms aide who got into a wee spot of trouble for saying Helms' 1984 Senate opponent was vulnerable because of his links "to the queers."

It seems that in the midst of his busy schedule of sitting next to Laura at the State of the Union, having his wife home-school their children, and promoting abstinence education as the best way to deal with AIDS, Allen managed to fit in a regime of stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise from Target via "refund fraud." If that isn't fabulous enough for you, there is an evil twin angle.

Now, if you're like me, reading the phrase "refund fraud" might have made you feel a bit panicked, perhaps even enough to distract you from the awesome evil twin possibilities. I mean, panicked on behalf of a friend. Like, maybe you have this friend who, for instance, maybe once returned a comforter that she'd used for 88 days on the 89th day when there was a 90-day return policy, or maybe once returned a pair of jeans to J. Crew under their old "return anything at any time for any reason" policy, which, why did they ever get rid of that?, after she fell down and tore a hole in the knee and then returned the new pair because they seemed too baggy after her Brazilian friend convinced me that my pants should be tighter. Her, I mean her pants could be tighter. Hypothetically, would that make your friend some kind of criminal?

Allow me to ease your mind: I have read all about Claude Allen, and sir, you are no Claude Allen. It seems that Allen-esque "refund fraud" is less conscientious receipt-saver, more Winona Ryder. It worked like this: he'd buy a stereo or something, bring it out to his car, bring the receipt back into the store, get another stereo from the shelves, and then return it with the receipt. He did this lots of times, netting maybe $5,000. Including once with a pair of shades that cost $15 each.

So carry on with your return-happy ways, dear readers! I hear will let you send back shoes for a year after purchase and will pay for your return shipping. You can thank me with your comments.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Oscar Recall

Liveblogging is so 5 minutes ago. Here are my thoughts on the Oscars, aged for 48 hours:

Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger are intruiging because they're attractive, but not blindingly hot, and they seem happy but somewhat unsure of themselves. They have some things in common with Brad & Jen and other things in common with Reese & Ryan, but if forced to pick I'd have to say they're more like the new Kirsten & Jake. Also, I like her dress, but he's balding and needs to shave.
Nicole Kidman, why art thou blonde? She was a lovely redhead, but now her hair blends right into her forehead, elongating it into kind of a fivehead. (Fivehead! Haha! Ahh, that never gets old.) On the topic of her fivehead (haha!), it seems she eased up on the Botox enough to let one of her eyebrows move for the occasion, and that's progress, but the upper part of her face still looks strangely bat-like.

[Please note that it was at this point in my blogging endeavor that Blogger got all sassy, like, "You think you free web-based blogging software is going to let you post pictures whenever you want, eh? Is that right? Well, you are going to have to learn that life is sometimes not fair, missy!" So you will have to use your imagination about the visuals.]

Samuel L. Jackson's big retro moustache and little rectangular eyeglasses really worked at cross-purposes. He looked like a beatnik cowboy, or a porn star philosophy major, and not in a good way.

You can say what you want about Dolly Parton's UFO boobs and loud discussion of how her jewelry was worth $2M, but it is indisputable that she was the only musical performer who put her foot down about the interpretive dancers acting out scenes from the movie like stoned understudies. Props, Dolly.

Crash winning Best Pictureseems to me like how, if the high school play was a normal play with 5 or 10 actors, it could be the most inspired piece of theater since, I mean, I don't really watch theater so I can't think of a good comparison, but my point is not that many people would come. But if the play had some huge ensemble cast, like Grease or even Our Town, all the shows would sell out. I'm not saying Crash wasn't good, but I think it benefitted from having every actor since Ronald Reagan in it.

Jon Stewart, my shadow husband, you did a great job. Of course I mean it. No, I think it was really funny. No, it wasn't at all questionable of you to repeatedly make fun of the Three 6 Mafia like you didn't think a rap group should win an Oscar. Yes, dear, I'm sure they'll invite you back next year.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ashley Parker Angel is a Genius

During my unplanned blogging hiatus of the last week and a half, I've missed so much titillating news: Lindsay Lohan's boobie falling out of her dress! Chief Justice Roberts commenting on how Anna Nicole Smith's Supreme Court case involves "a substantial amount of assets!" Prisons often shackle pregnant inmates in labor! (OK, maybe that last one not so much.)

But the one tidbit that drew me away from my strenuous regime of watching the commentary track(s) to Wedding Crashers was something I heard whilst taking a break by watching MTV. It was the beginning of "There and Back," the reality-show comeback vehicle for Ashley Parker Angel, which, coming back from what you might well ask? He'll tell you himself if you click here.

Anyhoo, on the show, in the midst of a discussion with his wife about chores, Ashley explained:

"I mean, washing dishes every day? That's just not the kind of life I want."

It takes an idiot or a genius to put into words such a fundamental truth. May your comeback vehicle take you far, Ashley Parker Angel.