Friday, April 28, 2006

The subconscious, and Lindz

I had a dream last night that I was driving Lindsay Lohan around. She seemed to be uncomfortable, or perhaps on the run from something. I remember trying to comfort her, as I brought her inside some stranger's house -- which was either her destination or, at least, a safehouse.

I tried to calm her on the edge of a bed, and I sensed something distinctly uncomfortable from her in regards to my affections. She seemed to be open to them, but not quite trusting of me. I felt on the edge of care and arousal. She laid down on the bed, and I walked away from the tableau and into the next part of my dream -- meeting up with my Janice. This became a new predicament, because I felt guilty for making an affectionate pass at Lindsay Lohan. However, I rationalized it to her by saying that Lindz is my one free-celebrity-fuck pass. She seemed to buy that.

Janice was also wearing a brand-new, immaculately tailored tweed suit, of unknown origin.

I am a camera

I don't own a digital camera, but I still like to take pictures in my mind. So, I will attempt to explain two photos I took last night and this morning with my eyeshead.

1. The subway station at 14th St./Union Square; a vast expanse of marble floor; harsh lighting; between boxy pillars, there's a crushed handful of Ritz crackers, about five, spread out on the ground; the contrast of color and texture between the crackers and the marble tile is distinct.

2. Out of our 10th floor window; looking down to street level; watching a man wearing a hardhat, goggles, vest, and ventilator moving around inside a full-length dumpster shifting bits of drywall, wood, aluminum trim, and flooring from one side to another; all the while, there's a long, yellow sluice connected to the 8th floor of the building above depositing new, dusty piles of construction waste; the work seems continuous; it's his job to walk around on nails and broken glass all morning.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pickler goes down in flames

I'm out five bucks due to a wager with my wife that CrackerNation was going to Jasmine Trias her all the way to victory on "American Idol" -- but it's a satisfying feeling to have Kellie Pickler aw-shucks-ing her way back to Frogbite, N.C., on the first JetBlue flight out of LAX.

Jingo Tower

Work hath beginneth on the monument to interagency squabbling, administrative incompetence (Geo. Pataki), and the lack of servicable ideas -- the Freedom Tower! This is going to go down as the largest clusterfuck-party this city has ever thrown for its inhabitants. The so-called Freedom Tower (which, by the way, will have nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with exclusivity, just like every other square foot of Manhattan) is a bad idea that needs to go away for a goodly number of decades, or at least until we can find a sensible way to use the site for business, pleasure, memorializing, etc.

The mad dash to erect a giant phallus that's 1,776 ft. tall (I shit you not) is disgraceful and short-sighted; it's as if there's some upper hand to be gained over the "A-Rabs" if we get this godawful thing up fast enough. "Let's stuff the American fist of high-steel up bin Laden's ass, 'Merica!" Since we all know that American culture leaves no room for emotional clarity and true expressions of public grief, there's no time like the hastily-considered present to toss together a half-assed memorial to almost 3,000 people who were ground to a fiery, colloidal dust in an asbestos-filled plume of immolated jet-fuel.

Lit fraud, part II

How did some hack out of a Y.A. mill get a $500,000 book deal to rip-off all the Y.A. she's ever read? And why am I making 2,500 Iraqi dinars a year servicing the thoroughbred horseracing industry -- honestly?

Nick Fury Vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.

I just put down the most awesome graphic novel -- "Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D." (hence the title of the post). This is a collection of a six issue miniseries that came out in 1989 from Marvel Comics featuring resident spymaster Fury, a Bond-ish creation hailing from the wooly 1960s foundry of Stan Lee's imagination. The premise is familiar -- the mole-hunt, a trope customary to spymastery. Fury's super-secret spy organization, S.H.I.E.L.D., is infiltrated by enemy agents who subvert it from within and turn the body against Fury (hence, the "vs." part).

The story is by longtime Marvel stablehand Bob Harras, who was, at one point, Marvel's longest tenured editor of the "X-Men" franchise and all around nice guy (he was kind to interns in 1995). His script is full of big turns and retro dialogue, but within the framework of this retro story it sparkles. Fury's voice is always clear -- after all this time, he's still Nicky from the Block, even if he's the director of an organization badder and bigger than the C.I.A., Mossad, and K.G.B., combined.

The art is a real treat -- Brit Paul Neary, a penciler we don't see very much of nowadays (nor then either, come to think of it), whos linework (with inks by Kim DeMulder) is very much a tribute to the idiom of Jim Steranko, to whom this character owes everything. The jaws are square, the breasts are large, the spysuits are skintight, and technology is postmod. Figure in a painted cover by Steranko hisself and how can you not drop down twenty-four ninety-five, hard-earned.

Nostalgia alert -- this was the first Marvel Comic graphic novel I ever bought back in the 80s.


What the fuck kind of company does this woman work for that she had to sue them for being spanked and generally publicly humiliated as an initiation rite? Is this woman a retainer for the Duke athletic program?

"Employees were paddled with rival companies' yard signs as part of a contest that pitted sales teams against each other, according to court documents. The winners poked fun at the losers, throwing pies at them, feeding them baby food, making them wear diapers and swatting their buttocks."

Um, should any job come at me with diapers and flying pies, it's time for a stop-off at H.R.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Blind-ass tenor

I'm so totally over my "American Idol" tying into faded popstars to sell their dank-ass music, at the expense of an entertaining show. This season alone, the fucking producers sold their souls to get such white-hot acts as Rod Stewart, Queen, Barry Manilow, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, and, tonight, Andrea Bocelli.

What any of these people have to do with "American Idol" is beyond me. What's more, the producers shortsightedly hamstrung this season -- where the talent happened to be the best yet -- by making all these wonderful voices sing from the lowliest catalogs imaginable. Does the average "AI" fan have any idea who Rod Stewart even is? "They have a word for guys like you -- ewww."

Last night's episode was the nadir of selling your show out to nobodies -- blind, greasy Italian tenor Bocelli, a man who I'm sure occupies the blind spot of every 13-year-old girl's pop-culture radar, coached the kids into some bad choices on "Love Song Night." Hur-lo? With the exception of Pickler, there are only amazing voices left over. Why saddle them with suck? Sure, on "2000's Night" they all bombed in song choice, but there are better options than requiring they all sing Neil Sedaka.

Speaking of Pickler, it's not even cute, charming, or funny any more. She's butchering songs out there so badly that the Kodak Theatre looks like the set of "Saw II." It's time to stop pretending she has any redeeming value, 'Merica. If Elliott Yamin is the Prada loafer, she's certainly the flip-flops of this competition.

What I'm loving

Two episodes ago on "The Sopranos" (the ep titled "Live Free or Die"), during the scene where Carmela, Rosalie Aprile, and Meadow are dishing on the topic of Vito's supposed homosexuality, Tony stumbles onto the scene in his bathrobe and bedhead singing the first bar of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung": "Sitting on a park bench..."

I love that detail -- been laughing my ass over it for two weeks. I wonder if he was directed to do that, or if it was just one of those weird, idiosyncratic touches that Jimmy Gandolfini likes to add himself.

He's also the decider

Bully for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper! He's becoming more Bush-like everyday! When it comes to dealing with press openness about returning Canadian war dead, why not take a few hints from the master and screw the press -- and, for that matter, them so-called "facts and informations."

"Do you know who runs this town, Phil?"

"Um, the Jews?"

"The gay Jews!"

* * *

I loved The Larry Sanders Show... curse HBO for not releasing the whole damn thing on DVD. I wish I could apprentice at the foot of Rip Torn for thirty years... I would still not be a real man.

Oy gevalt, my achin' shell!

I been here for one hour already! Boychik, my shell is killing me! The noyce made me put on this paper gown and lay on this farkockte machine for what -- an hour now? What am I -- chopped terrapin? I should let out a geschrei already! My divericulitis is acting up! You want me should clean up the mess?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


One of the greatest shows of all time (no hyperbole) was Chris Elliott's Fox sitcom "Get a Life." It was also, however, ahead of its time, which is why it only lasted two seasons. In fact, season two was a complete retool from the original premise: 34-year-old guy lives in his parents' basement with few friends in his life and a paper-route as his job. The situationally-conventional first season made way for the big idea of the second season: 34-year-old guy is a tenant of grouchy landlord (Brian Doyle Murray) and lives in a abstract, absurdist world of non-sequiturs and sight-gags.

You can probably see why it was only half as successful as its spiritual progeny "Arrested Development."

Regardless, Chris Elliott really gave into his absurdist streak and tossed a ton of bizarro concepts at the six of us who watched, the most fun of which was the space alien Spewey. He is a ill-tempered, three-foot tall E.T.-like creature who has the tendency to hose down anyone around him with a viscous brown liquid squirted from of a number of snouts all over his head.

The catch is, the spewed liquid was delicious! "Nectar of the gods," Elliott says. (Spewey also emitted a thick foam from a hole that might be reasonably approximated a mouth.) Elliott takes an immediate liking to the violent visitor and named him Spewey, which was actually an acronym for, as Elliott puts it, "Special Person Entering the World... Egg Yolks."

Needless to say, Spewey assaults a bunch of people, hoses them down with nose-goo, and gets beaten to death with a rake by Doyle Murray, having taken all the squirting he can handle. What's more, Doyle Murray decides to broil Spewey and consume him -- a move that dismays Elliott, at least until he's had a taste for himself.

Later that night, as the pair go to make cold Spewey sandwiches, they find that Spewey's remains have healed/cloned themselves back to health. Spewey beats and squirts them one last time before leaving on his spacecraft, only to pour one last violent brown deluge on the pair from the sky. End.

If you ever get the chance, watch this ep. Watch the whole goddamn series.

I want this thing

I really want it. I've scoured lower Manhattan looking for this thing today -- and it ain't here.

Son of a bitch.

You know when you want something, that you really want to goddamn thing? That's what this exercise in thinglust has become today. The fact that this movie kicks an ass or two notwithstanding, I want this because I've decided I really want it.

I hate it when I go to the store to buy an obscure piece of Japanese anime esoterica only to find that every fucking vendor has sold out of the goddamn thing. The only downside of living in Manhattan is that you may have the most obscure hobby or fascination -- say, Hungarian whoopie-cushion collecting -- and you'll find that you're the six-thousandth person to hit that same kitsch shop looking for one. Today. Fuckers.

Now, imagine how hard it is to score a decent cupcake on a Sunday morning in spring -- fucking hour-long wait for angel food cake. Cupcake-line-making fuckfaces.


*Huh... huh... huh-TCHOOO!*

God bless you.


God bless you. You sneezed.

Yeah... and?

That's what you say.

No, that's what you say.

What's wrong with you? What's your deal?

My deal? Why go around "blessing" someone because they sneeze?

Because that's what you do.

Don't you think it's a little disproportionate to bring a blessing from God onto someone with a little dust in the sinus?

Alright, I get it. If someone sneezed during the Dark Ages, it was because they had bubonic mumps or some shit. You'd need a blessing.

Right. And where are we now?

Um... the Asshole Age?

Close enough. Let me sneeze in peace.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Don't steal music

Hello, I'm Irvin R. Mogulman, and I'm here to remind you of the dangers of stealing music. For one thing, musicians and music companies are poorer than ever. Not to mention... well, I really don't have a point beyond that. Yes, the music industry is in such bad shape right now because YOU are stealing mp3 files off the internet. I'm forced to find new ways to profit hand-over-fist in the music biz -- and I have my sights set raping the business of music publishing. What do you expect me to do -- chew on a lesser brand of unlit cigar? I think not, bitch.

And yes, it was absolutely necessary for me to gum a cigar in this shot. I have no idea what subtlety is.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Good neighbor policy

Hello there, neighbor! So glad you could join me. My name is J.O.S.E.P.H., and you're a guest in my home. Why not come inside and take a tour of my spread. My wife B.O.N.N.I.E. is out at pilates and then she's getting a pedicure, so she won't be back for a few hours. Follow me... watch your step. Our son P.H.I.L.L.I.P. should be along soon too... he's out his part-time job coaching pee-wee hockey downtown.

Would you like something to drink? We have a full refrigerator... and a sidepanel bar, if you know what I mean! Am I right? Something saucy for our guest -- how about a scotch, neat? Or perhaps, a margarita? We also have that microbial fermented plant life in a watery matrix... what do you people call it? Beer! Nice and cold!

Come this way, and I'll show you the entrance to the basement. Watch your head... low ceiling. OK, right through here, past the laundry room, is the honey of it all. I was so excited when we got a chance to build this room, because this was something I've always wanted in our old house. And... here we are!

This is my piéce dé resistance! It was a bitch to drop all the piping necessary into the ground, but that was the only way I could find to harness all that thermal energy from the earth's crust. But I figured, your race is going to choke to an agonizing death on all the carbon fumes latent in the atmosphere anyway, so you won't miss the billions of units of magma-driven heat we're plundering from the mantle.

That pressurized nickel-uranium cistern on the far left is G.R.A.N.D.M.A., and the one next to her is U.N.C.L.E. B.A.R.T. They are the two biggest nutrient consumers -- believe it! They've been there for five years, and I project their gestation will be nearing completion in another seven years. So many mouths to feed, eh buddy? You can relate!

Hey -- where'ya going, friend? You just got here! I haven't had a chance to introduce you to S.P.A.R.K.Y., the family pet... and you have to meet the cousins. Come back! Bring those buttery, dendritic neural sheaths back here!

Hot tub

I heard tell once of a man who died of a heart attack in his hot tub on a Friday night. He had just sat down the damn thing and got the heat nice and cranked up when he had a coronary.

The problem was, nobody found him until Sunday night -- he spend nearly two and a half days broiling in 85-degree water.

Understandably, weird things happen to the the human body when exposed to such harsh conditions. When the coroners came to extract the guy from his watery grave, they found that his flesh slid right off the bone everytime they tried to get a purchase on him -- like a perfect pot roast.

Bring that shit down

OK, take it easy, big fella. I'm putting my hands down. We all need to calm down... just cool out. We need to be chill.

You should put that stick down, bud. That pointy end up there looks like it's ready for business. I am not. Let's take it down a notch.

We're cool and calm, collected and composed, calm and collected, composed and cool. Right? Cool, buddy? I'm feeling a vibe coming off of you that I don't like.

I'm just out here trying to get my mail, home-skillet -- I need to pass by.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

You are my alibi

If any police come around wondering if I was in Florida the past few weeks giving free breast exams wearing a powdered wig, pretending to be a doctor -- you've all seen my ATM receipts that vouch for my whereabouts up here.... RIGHT?

Why do fools fall in lava?

This "news item" from our friends in Albion about an old lady falling into a volcano conjures up the best imagery British comedy has to offer. Too bad Graham Chapman is dead and can't re-enact it.

The Decider

Last night's "Daily Show" featured this segment with an awesome comic strip by R. Sikoryak called "The Decider." Great work...

The Post

As Wifenstein's Monster already broke the story today, a joke I wrote was, in fact, picked up by the New York Post. The theme was faux "Page Six" items from the year 2026, and in the interest of full disclosure, here were my three submissions, pre-edit. They went with a variation of the first item:

Hilton III takes up with Martian shipping heir
Paris Hilton III, granddaughter of the original post-millennial celebutante Paris Hilton, was seen canoodling with Martian shipping heir Spiros Kyriopoulos at the exclusive club Pancake in the Siliconpacking District. Hilton came in on her Maybach Segueway and stayed only long enough to exchange smooches with the space-hunk before she had to catch a shuttle to Jayoncé's Sweet 16 party on the island of San Francisco.

Dems party at black-tie Guggenheim fete
Luminaries of the Democratic Party threw a major fundraising bash at the Guggenheim last night, and they filled the museum with A-List roster of guests such as Dem-doyenne Alexandra Kerry, Ariana Huffington 3.0, George Clooney, George Clooney's clone, George Clooney's clone's clone -- and, oddly enough, H. Ross Perot. The theme of the bash was "Proudly Underrepresented in Either Chamber for Thirty Years Running."

He crashes his rocketship -- again
George Michael, elder statesman of Brit-pop, was trying to lift off from his landing space in the South Street Spaceport last night when he bashed his rocketcar into three parked vehicles on his way out. Police detained him and found twice the legal limit of alcohol and tofu-juana in his system.

OK, they're mostly lame, but they were written on a 20 minute turnaround... and I had a touch of Down's Syndrome yesterday.

Another installment of...
"Re-lettering X-Men Pages"

From Marvel Comics "X-Men: Deadly Genesis" #6

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Mer-Man always did sound mid-gargle... as if that's the only way the animators could find to convey to us that he's "from under water."

Open your blinds, America!

It's time to open your hearts to your neighbors, friends! Leave your blinds open! There is too much isolation in the world today -- people live next door to one another never meet, or make eye contact. We're a nation of strangers, living on top of one another.

That's why I say open your windows and leave your curtains strung up. Zip your blinds up, and let the light inside. Get a good look at the landscape that surrounds you! Feast your eyes on streets, cars, fences, lawns, people, animals, pools... whatever! There's a whole big world out there, and you should want to share it with everyone. If you take the first step and set a good example of openness, then your neighbor will follow your lead and do the same.

Openness is contagious! Open your blinds, friends, especially at night, especially our female neighbors. Be proud to stand in front of your bedroom window, backlit by that yellow, sultry bulblight, limning your curvy silhouette. Be a part of the world, the larger world around you. Feel free to slip out of those thigh-highs and shrug off that blouse... it's just your way of entering the cosmopolitan world and bonding with your environs.

Never mind the guy that looks like me, standing naked in the dark with a pair of night-vision goggles, painted head-to-toe in blue highlander dye, fully aroused. He's just making himself a part of your world!

Tram car non-disaster

Excellent -- my plan is coming to fruition! First, I jam a few cable cars high above Manhattan's East River, leaving them dangling idly. Then, I sit back and watch the results:


Phase one is complete -- mild annoyance of a handful of unfortunate New Yorkers. Soon, there will be all sorts of minor discomfort afflicting humans all across the globe -- everything from rapidly-cooling coffee and burnt toast all the way up to the dining section missing from your local newspaper.

First, irritation -- then, the world is mine! (After a needlessly convoluted chain of logic and planning, but more on that later.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Welcome little Suri into the world!

Katie Holmes gave birth to Tom Cruise's daughter today, a little tot named Suri (photo to the left). Let's all extend a hearty welcome to the little bundle of joy into the world, as the child is sure to have a good run within the insulated fold of Scientology's grasp.

Mother and daughter are resting comfortably, passing the time until the baby is old enough to destroy the volcano foundry the Thetans were culled into thousands of years ago.

Go get 'em, Molasar! Er, I mean, Suri!

What the hell is a suri?

Visual metaphor

Tonight, Idol was all about the musical leavings of Rod Stewart, or rather, his selections from the quote-unquote great American songbook... and if there was ever a time for American 13 year-old-girls to unite and become of one mind, it's tonight -- and they should come together to toss Ace Young.

The illustration above is a visual pun to suggest how "out of his depth" he is. Or, if you prefer, he's "in over his head." Or, he is "fucking charmless and greasy." Your pick.

Prostate update

Because I've gotten so many requests, it's time for... "The Prostate Update."

Today, it looks good. After slapping on a rubber glove and slipping my finger into the rectal cavity, here's what I did:

–By gently rotating my hand, I used the pad of my index finger to feel to the left, right and then directly backwards (i.e. towards yourself) and along the sacrum. I made note of any irregularities/masses. I did, however, feel a fluctuant collection, common in the case of my pelvic abscess associated with a perforated appendix.

–I oriented my finger so that it was directed anteriorly upon prostate gland, which I palpated through the wall of the rectum.

It was then important for that I made note of the following:

–The prostate has two lobes with a cleft running between them -- I distinctly felt each lobe, which were symmetric. There were no discretely firm areas; normal prostatic tissue feels more or less like the tip of your nose. (Anything firmer is suspicious for malignancy.) If I had felt a firm area, I would've checked to see if the prostate was freely mobile, or if it had felt fixed to the pelvis -- which can occur via direct extension of a malignancy.

–This was important -- did my prostate gland feel big? If the criteria for a healthy prostate size is that it's small enough to get my finger over the top of the gland, then no. Not too big.

I hope that tides you over, dear reader. Next week, I'll fill you in on... "The State of the Perineum."

Trivial pursuits

I suppose it's no secret that I know the names of Chewbacca's extended family. It's not a stretch to assume that I would be able to rattle off the members of the founding Avengers team from 1964. Likewise, it's also a good bet that I'd be the guy you turn to if you ever needed to know what the names of Voltron's five pilots were (Pidge, Lance, Allura, Hunk, and Keith... and Sven, for extra credit).

So, what I want to know is how these bits and bytes of information somehow neuter me in the eyes of my fellow man -- more specifically, my fellow man who sees no conflict of interest in himself memorizing every erg of baseball ephemera, post 1981.

Is there really some qualitative difference between what you specialize in and what I specialize in? I'll give you, dear reader, a snippet of actual dialogue from an encounter I had last year with an all-around decent gent who wouldn't process this duality:

Me: OK, I'm a fag for waiting in line to see "Revenge of the Sith" in Jedi robes (which I didn't even do--Ed.) and half-a-man for getting excited about "X-Men 3." How does that vary from your obsession with fantasy baseball and football stats?

Him: Because those are sports.

Me: Granted, but it's just as detail-oriented and irrelevant as my hobbies.

Him: No, I don't think so.

Me: You don't think so?

Him: Yeah, not so much.

Me: How do you rationalize the difference?

Him: (getting defensive now) Because sports are something that men do.

Me: I'm a man. This is what I do, and level of detail is equal to your constant nattering about E.R.A.s.

Him: There's no comparison. Sports are for men, comic books are for nerds.

Bargain bin

SWEEEEEET! I found a DVD of "The PJ's" in a dollar bin at my favorite video store! And who's up for "Professeur Foldingue 2"?

ME! I am! Give me more of that!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Super Sweet 16

I'm having a Sweet 16, y'all! I want you all to come and party with me! (Except you. You're fat and stupid.) My mommy and daddy are going to pay for EVERYTHING, and they know that this day has to be ALL ABOUT ME. Not that it'll really be much different from every day that precedes it, or any of the ones that will succeed it. Regardless, I have a HUGE list of demands that I need met, 'cause I want this bitch to be off the hook. I want it to be bigger than the VMAs, crossed with the assassination of Thomas a Becket, times Brad-and-Angelina's wedding, plus the Oscars, added to the Armenian genocide by the Turks, multiplied by the SUPER BOWL! And that's how big this is going to be! Off the HIZZIE!

The first thing I need is White House to be painted PINK, my FAVORITE color... because that's where this is going to be. Then, I want Ryan Cabrera and Condoleeza Rice to duet on Nelly's "Grillz" with backng vocals by John F. Kennedy. I also want a pony. But it has to be spray-painted PINK. And JFK has to be able to pop-and-lock and breakdance... on the Constitution, spread out on the floor like a cardboard box. Daddy will do it for me because he LOVES ME! LOL!

I need to have catering by Thomas Keller of Per Se, because I love the little quenelles he makes. But I want all the food gilt with gold leaf. AWESOME!!! And I want a helicopter flying overhead the whole time, dropping Blackberries and Patek Phillippe watches onto the crowd.

Then, I want daddy to get scientists to invent a chimaera, the fabled fusion of animal and plant tissue together in one hoary organism -- profaning the very meaning of life itself. This abomination of reality would unlock a searing hellscape of crimson, sulfuric fires that will scour the face of mankind from the planet, leaving only a molten stew of peptides and animo acids, the damned leavings of a uncreated race of upright savages who pushed the boundary between life and un-life past the point of no return. The hideous slurry would vaporize off the barren surface of this cursed world and travel, molecule by molcule, through the vaccuum of space until each particle collapses inward upon itself at the rim of the grand event horizon that will end this farsical charade we know as reality.


The Tew Nork Yimes has a story today about the mad spike in gaudy mausoleum sales. The wealthy boomers spoken to in the article are convinced that you can take with you, and they are spending to prove it:

"Some have more square footage than a good-size Manhattan studio apartment, their interiors fitted out with hand-knotted carpets, upholstered benches and nooks for the display of memorabilia. In late 2004, a Southern California family ordered a mausoleum with room for 12 coffins, 20 cremation niches and a patterned marble vestibule."

My favorite quote was from some gorgon named Nancy Lohman, who ruined everybody's day who read the newspaper this morning by saying, "The mausoleum says, 'I'm really significant in this world, I think I'm really significant to my family,' and this is one way to communicate that to the community."

I lift a mug of coffee... start drinking... reach this sentence... *sssppoooffssshhh!!!* (comical spit take)

Somewhere in a subterranean burial plot, Jessica Mitford is spinning at a rate equal to the new centrifuge pioneered by Iran to enrich it's uranium gas.


We walked past a restaurant this past weekend that specializes in Sardinian fare.

That's from Sardinia. Somewhere in Italy, I suspect.

More to the point, Sardinia seems to be named after the "sardine" fish. That stuck with me -- an entire region of Italy where all of society is based on the briny little fish. Much like the Ottoman Empire was based on putting your feet up, Sardinia has a proud heritage derived from said fish. Just think of it -- maybe the stories of Sardinia's founding involve schools of fish with little golden crowns on their heads fighting off hordes of Vandals to settle a kingdom on a little patch of land in southern Italy.

Or, better yet, perhaps a sardine serves in a wolf-mother role, like in the legend of Rome's founding. Romulus and Remus... and all that.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

News roundup

Here are some of the stories making news on this beautiful Saturday afternoon:

"Robot Birth Simulator" is gaining popularity.

–Trump hires Wyclef to perform at concert.

–Tennessee authorities continue to hunt killer bear.

Yeah, I hear there's also a bunch of stuff about killing, too. I hear. But let's keep the major wires focused on what really counts -- hungry ursines and digital wombery.

Didn't Eric Carmen sing "Hungry Ursines?"

Biff Loman

I made a terrible Biff Loman in a 1992 class video short-film adaptation of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman."

However, I acquitted myself nicely as Meyer Wolfsheim in a similar adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hello, I'm Brian Dennehy

Yes, the celebrated, esteemed (add "veteran" to that list of adjective these days) actor, of stage, screen, and cathode ray tube. I couldn't help but notice that my name was dropped a few days ago in some worthless jeremiad, so I figured I'd amble on over here and take a look at what's going on in this new "blogozoid." For myself.

I don't know a whole lot about these blogs -- my granddaughter Stevie tried to get me to start one of these "Mythings" accounts, but it just looked like a bunch of bleeping and blooping. I must be getting old. Maybe you can add the terms "imposing" and "barrel-chested" to that list of adjectives. I mean, that's what that website the "Internet Film Webbase" says about me right here.

Hey, that's a neat trick -- how did I do that? I managed to speak like a computer. Lemme try that again: "In 1986, I starred in "F/X" with Aussie sensation Bryan Brown." That was pretty sweet.

Does anyone even know where that guy is these days? Used to be, whenever he was in Connecticut... er, I mean, Connecticut, he would come by Greenwich and we'd get a coffee together. That stopped around 1992. Chrissakes, that's almost 14 years. I guess the kid's not a sensation anymore, either. I remember he shot himself in the head in "Cocktail".

That takes me back to the time I was hanging out with Stallone in ’82 in the Pacific Northwest... beautiful country, that. Shot "First Blood" up there. Ted Kotcheff, the director, came up to me midway through the shoot and tells me, "Sylvester has a great popular sense, as good as any writer I've ever worked with. He knows what audiences want to see, and what they don't want to see." I'll be damned if he wasn't right as rain.

I think I had a steak the size of Popeye's forearm at a bistro in Olympia. They had soft funnelcakes, too. I can't eat funnelcake anymore, with the damn high blood pressure. Next thing I know, some doc in a blue scrub'll whisper the word "diabetes" in my ear. Pop had it, unc had it. Wilford Brimley has it too, but I hear he manages it well.

I gotta talk to Stevie when I get back home... I can't seem to fucking stop doing it now that I've started... speaking like a goddamn IBM.

Cui bono?

Well, it looks like the Ryan McFadyen crowd is making my statcount leap, twice as high as normal. For all the first-time readers getting their first taste of the ’Salad, I welcome you to the SaladBowl and will just take this opportunity to admit that I was one of the millions of bystanders in the country to crucify the Duke lacrosse players before the evidence came in.

Nonetheless, I agree with the national diagnosis that the university has a severe image/egality issue on its hands.

Who profits? I do!


This one is tough. I just heard that two of my best friends are beginning the process of dissolving their marriage. Yikes.

Theirs was the one I always pointed to. I was really just a kid when I met them, and they seemed to have everything all figured out, all the time. They are (relatively) older and (certainly) smarter than me, and I always thought the best I could do was emulate their thing, because it seemed to work well. Of course, there's also the facts that A.) I'm severely naive, and B.) I only see what I want to see. I have no way of knowing what it looks like from the inside.

Married life is wonderful, and I can't see something happening that would make me feel antagonistic -- seriously antagonistic -- to my puddingwife. But, this is a reminder of how fragile these things can actually be, at least between two humans not sharing the same brainstem.

Feels like a few bricks were chipped away from the bottom today, making the whole structure just a little more unsturdy.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The rest

Who in the balls had the nerve to consign jug-eared Elliot Yamin to the bottom three last night? Motherfuck! It was almost made up for in the overdue expulsion of Go-ey Home-ington from the show, leaving seven standing.

I thought the effete Ace Young was going to take a dive, and I'll wager that most of the viewing audience had that same idea, because he sucks at everything he does. Especially when he sings "We Will Rock You." If Ace goes into the kitchen and tries to pan-fry an egg, I bet he'd screw that that up too; because he sucks, I'm saying. But I'm not going to complain that Bucky is on his way back to his rapidly-imploding stinkburgh of Rockingham, N.C., so he can continue developing cirrhosis on the same barstool that his dad did.

The Yamin thing is hard to understand. His version of "Somebody to Love" was crazilous in its gooditude. The Diabetic Slugger from Virginia is at his best when he's veering across chord-changes like Lindsay Lohan after a peach daiquiri in a Maybach on Ivar Ave. This week's song was his best go since Stevie Wonder week, when he handled "Knocks Me off My Feet" quite adroitly.

The only other performance worth noting was my man Taylor Hicks doing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," a cop-out after we were teased with "We Are the Champions," but an exciting performance nonetheless. He's still my canine in the combat.

After the scabrous Kellie Pickler goes, any cut to the remaining five will be hard... this is as juiced a top seven as there has ever been, in my estimation. But I do have a friendly wager with the Bossbomb about Pickler -- I say she's gonna take this thing because every little white girl in the not-so-dirty south is going to text message her all the way through, deserving or not. And she's certainly not.

Death at Epcot

A 49-year-old woman died from riding the "Mission: Space" ride at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center. That's too bad for her family, it really is, but people -- they better not shut down that fucking ride.

I love that ride. I need that ride.

I need Disney attractions to live a normal life at this point. I'll say anything and go to any length to cover Walt Disney World's ass. I will set up camp at places where lies call home, places like "Lying Cheatastic Wonderland," "Fibbonacci's Fib Cave," and "The Amazing World of the Fantabulous Canard."

Seriously, shut that ride down at your own risk. This isn't Knott's Berry Farm we're talking about here -- this is the home office. No fucking shit.

[UPDATE: 4/14]

Florida medical officials are stating that the woman suffered from severe hypertension before she got on the ride, and that she actually expired from a brain-bleed. Good, now step off, homes!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A bundle of joy and broken bones

Why did it take so long for L.A. Child Services to pay a lil' visit to the Spearsderline household? Was the writing on the wall the not emblazoned as big as "Turk 182?" So, little Preston Blurpblorp Bigglebuggle Spears the 3rd fell down in a broken babyseat and bumped his head.

Er, scratch that -- he actually broke his skull and developed a blood clot. Oops, I'll try not to do that again!

Between this and the Malibu baby-steering incident, you know that there MUST have been a smattering of other irresponsible, terrifying things that Britney has done to that child, y'all, that haven't been reported. Things such as:

–Leaving the baby in his clothes while washing and tumble-drying them.
–Deep-frying the baby, forgetting which hand the okra was in.
–Using the baby as a doorstop while moving furniture into K-Fed's dope "Smoove Move Room."
–Mailing the baby off in the AmEx envelope, instead of a check.
–Leaving the baby on the dressing-room peg at Fred Siegel.
–Groggily feeding the baby a nippled-bottle of Rum Brughal the morning after partying at the Chateau Marmont.


What do I identify as? Heritage-wise, nothing. I don't care enough about any cultural partition to be thought of as that. With today being the first day of Passover, and coinciding with this story in today's Times, there seems to be a lot of thought in the world today about "what you are."

My boss took the day off to observe. Of course, tomorrow he'll go back to eating bacon oyster cheeseburgers, so you see how far his piety travels. But, he offers, "This is a big one. You have to observe it." And then, you have my father-in-law's take on hearing the boss took off today: "For that bullshit?" I prefer the latter Judaic outlook, myself.

Everywhere I peek, someone is wrapping themselves in some intangible cultural signifier. "I'm Irish-Catholic." I'm Roman-Catholic, Italian from Brooklyn." "I'm Brian Dennehy." "I'm West Indian." "I'm Trinidadian." So what? What does that do for you? How's that whole Ukrainian thing working out? Do you get some sort of special password to drink free at Samovar? Why do you care so much where grammy and grampy came from? Don't the goddamn labels just divide and cordon people off into ever smaller populations? Why do we have the instinct to do that?

My families come from Italy, Ireland, and Poland. And I don't give a fuck. I don't think of myself as Italian-American, Irish-American, or Polish-American. I am, however, a tremendous jackass -- and that's the only signifier that matters to me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The pills

Here's the thing, I took a Cialis about 45 minutes ago. I was already erect -- that wasn't the problem. I already walk around priapic half the day. What I was looking for was rock-hard abs. I'm gambling on that delightful pharmaceutical-grade rigidity being transferred to my abs, obliques, lats, flats, glutes, flupes, and klutes.

(And just so everyone knows, I'm off the market, ladies. And men. And lady-men. And mutated ant-centurions.)

Spillover effect

Concluding a trilogy of cinema-themed posts, why hasn't (or by now, hadn't) the success of 2004 brilliant Zak Snyder remake of "Dawn of the Dead" result in a greater rainmaking for its two dynamic leads, Sarah Polley and Jake Weber?

They proved themselves more than capable of anchoring a speedy, hectic action movie, which, I might add, made an ASSLOAD of cash. Sure, no one came for the leads, but once you sat down in the chair and started watching, weren't you glad they were there? Polley's had the chops for years, and "Dawn..." was better than her last big-budget go-around in "Go." Weber is a bit-part guy who's cemented a bunch of projects with decade of solid character work (I first saw him in HBO's otherwise scabrous "Mind of a Married Man," where he was intriguing as the caddish Jake Berman) -- this was his largest project to date.

Sure, Weber is holding Patricia Arquette's soiled bathrobe in NBC's "Medium," but whubout his big payday? And Polley's upcoming slate looks fairly obscure (as befits her career M.O., frankly). Hell, even Ving-effin-Rhames barely got a bump -- what'd he score, "Kojak?"

Begging to be remade

Want to make a trillion bucks with me? I have a killer idea -- hear me out for five minutes before you slam a door on my penis.

Do you remember the 1987 movie "The Monster Squad?" We gon' remake it. It's begging to be remade (hence the title of this post). It's an airtight premise, and you would all be on the same page as me right now if not for the miserable failure of "Van Helsing," which had a similar concept, save for a deadly dry and unironic interpretation.

That premise, for those who don't remember: The classics of the Universal Studios horror vaults converge in an unholy pentenary -- Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, the Mummy, and Gill-Man (not to be confused with Gil Gerard) -- with designs on destroying humanity, or something approximal to that. Before they can get their act together, a couple of screwy kids manage to do what Van Helsing and others fail at -- namely, killing all the monsters. There's comedy, there's chills, there's comedy, there's thrills, there's comedy... there's also the horribly old actor Leonardo Cimino playing a Scary German Guy. It has it all, or close to it all.

I daresay that horror and comedy have rarely been fused so well into one tasty McD.L.T. Deluxe of entertainment. In the spirit of similar schticky comedies -- a "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle," say -- this would make a snappy, slapsticky, screwball-ky, horr-thrill-com for the "24 Laguna Scrubs" generation.

Greasy pork sandwich; dirty ashtray

I'm loving having Bill Paxton on my picture-radio-box every Sunday night in the pleasing HBO soap "Big Love." I've been a huge fan of Paxton's since John Hughes's 1985 classic "Weird Science" and his wonderfully unhinged Chet; he followed that up with 1986's unforgettable "Aliens" as the delightfully.... unhinged... Pvt. Hudson.

Anyway, I was just wondering why in "Weird Science" if the Donnelly family were from suburban Chicago, why was their eldest son somehow Texan?