Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Happy days, happy days in the Neighborhood. Very good news indeed.

What's this, you ask? Well, if you're asking you don't know me too well, because two things happened last night that brought a smile to my face, a spring to my step, a schwing to my . . .

Well, you get the idea. So what was it, those among you who don't quite know are asking?

1. Down goes Rudy! Down goes Rudy! Down goes Rudy!

(aka, Ding Dong, the Fascist's dead.)

Heh, heh.

2. And, on the non-schadenfreudist side of the ledger, Johan Santana is coming to The Mets for a bag of beans, a 1997 Ford Taurus, $250,000 in depreciating US currency, and Sid Fernandez' second cousin.

Johan motherfuckin' Santana!!!

Ohhhhhh, the joy. Ohhhh, the possibilities that life can toss atcha' when you least expect it. In the course of a few hours, one of the two men I despise the most drops from the American political landscape. In a bloody, ignominious heap. It ain't Giuliani Time now, baby.

And, far more importantly, the Mets effectively replace 173 year-old Tom Glavine with none other than The Best Pitcher In The Gameā„¢. For prospects!

Even if Rudy's exit doesn't quite guarantee the victory I want next November, perhaps this trade will at least give me the parade down the Canyon of Heroes I've been waiting 22 years for.

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Monday, January 28, 2008


This is what I dread. An open-ended meme. The need to just let it all hang out and write stuff with no guidelines, no questions to answer, no news articles or current events to get snarky about. Hmmm.

Seems that Rickey Henderson, of the world-famous humor blog, Riding With Rickey, has tagged me with this 8 Random Things About You Meme (click on the link to his name; it's not a link, nor is it the real Man of Steal's Wikipedia page. Just a fellow blogger, who I note is a fellow "Sagittarius/Year of the Sheep" person. There's a tidbit, huh?)

Anyhow, the instructions are, "list 8 random (but true) things" about yourself. You see, totally random. Ok, enough whining. Let's do this thing:

1. In 1990, I was a waiter at TGI Fuckin' Fridays. I wore the stupid red-and-white striped shirt & a hat, had buttons on my suspenders, tried to up-sell customers to top-shelf liquor when they ordered frozen drinks with blueberries & papaya and whatnot, even ate their rancid appetizers whenever I could shovel them down my throat.

Got fired too. Not for leading a small insurrection when they reduced our tables-per-waiter/waitress totals, nor for eating food off customer's plates before I walked them out. Nah. For asking a customer who'd stiffed me if he had problems with the service. That was a no-no I guess.

2. I cry during the final scene of Seven Samurai every time I see it. Pretty much from Kikuchiyo's death through the scene of the two survivors standing in front of the burial mounds I'm a blubbering mess.

And I've seen it innumerable times.

3. When the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994, I was at every home playoff game, including game 7.

(One of the "regulars" here was largely responsible for that development, since he harangued me into buying in with him, even though I said no at least 5 times after he initially suggested getting tickets. Why is that fact important? Because if I didn't mention it, he would have in the comments. And every other time I saw him. Not worth it; I'll just mention it for him).

4. In my life, I've traveled to Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, South Korea, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and about 35 states plus Puerto Rico. But I've never been to England or Mexico, despite being very close on a few occasions. Plus, I haven't seen Las Vegas or New Orleans, nor have I visited Miami since 1982.

On a related note, I never did anything fun for Spring Break.

5. But, on that collegiate drinking theme, at the end of my first week at college (in 1985) I got so demolished at a "hall party" in my dorm, I puked for what seemed liked hours, and passed out in a heap. Big deal, you say, right? Well, it must've been historic because from the next morning until sometime in the early 90's, everyone who witnessed or heard about that night called me "Ralph."

I rarely drank in high school, so I'm guessing the combination of rum-and-cokes, beer, and some sort of sloe gin concoction was responsible. Or maybe it was the collins glass sized drink of straight vodka that I chugged about 3 minutes before the ralphing began. Hard to say at this juncture. All I know is I had a hangover not only the next day, but the day after that as well. Only two-day hangover of my life.

And to this day, I still can't drink rum. Just thinking of the smell makes me wretch.

6. I haven't owned a car since 1991.

I've also lived in NYC since 1991, so I'd assume these facts are related. Just sayin'.

7. French fries are my favorite food. Crispy french fries.

8. My earliest, clearly identifiable memory is my third birthday. I got one of those Fisher-Price garages, with the three levels, the curved ramp, and the elevator that rang at each floor. Man, I loved that thing.

That's it. I tag no one specifically, but any of y'all that are reading this, you can consider yourselves tagged if you want to perpetuate, continue, and push this thing into the future. It's your choice.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008


Where are we at? Let's break it down:
Horrendous, hated, flailing incumbent? Check.

Looming (if not already loomed) economic crisis? Check.

Foreign policy embarrassments, incompetence, mission creep, and growing (if not growed) anti-Americanism? Check.

General malaise among the people? Check.

A hack, a quack, a dick & a prick running for the nomination of the horrendous, hated, flailing incumbent's political party? Check, check, check & check. (Bonus points for the first reader who identifies, in correct order, the identity of the four fellas mentioned above)

The incumbent's political party seems a bit too entrenched, a bit too flabby, a bit too stuck in a rut of routine rather than ideas. Check.
Sounds like a recipe for a 1932 or 1980-level election day rout, doesn't it? You know, one of those 400-135 electoral vote debacles. Accompanied by veto-proof margins in the Senate and House. 62-38, 275-160 sort of things.

But alas, we have Hillary & Obama. President Clinton (again) or President McCain, here we come.

And who's excited about that?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


So, seems that the President and some of the noisemakers on Capitol Hill are gonna get together and figure out how to fix the economy! Gee, that should work out just fine.

Next up: a summit of death row inmates will pow-pow to discuss crime reduction; the ghosts of Adolph Hitler, Ghengis Khan, Napolean, and Alexander The Great host a symposium on world peace; and the CEOs of major oil companies will use multi-zillion dollar ad campaigns to hoodwink the public into believing they're leading the charge to develop alternatives to fossil fuel.

(Oh wait, that last one already happened. Sorry.)

Do I hear news about creationists from 37 states addressing American students' declining science & math scores?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The Bad: Hillary ekes out the close win in Michigan over Un Committed. Mr. Committed drove hard in the final days, gaining traction with Wolverine voters as he promised to raise auto worker's salaries by 300% across-the-board. But, alas, Hillary hung on to win all . . . zero of Michigan's delegates.

{Cue Morricone music}

The Ugly: No one has said it, so let me be the first. What the fuck is that thing on McCain's left jaw? Did he even have that in 2000 & 2004? Did Mrs. McCain beat the shit out of him or something? If he's serious about winning this whole thing, he'd better start explaining. He has to represent us to world leaders if he's president. How can they take him seriously if he looks like Don Zimmer . . . on only one side of his face?

{Cue more Morricone music}

The Good: Rudy "Have You All Heard Of A Day Called 9-11" Giuliani earns 3% of the vote in Michigan.



Friday, January 11, 2008


I've received an extraordinary amount of abuse at some of my favorite blogs for daring to suggest that Hillary Clinton is an opportunistic, selfish, overly-ambitious politician, who stands for nothing in deed or idea. My "evidence" is 16 years of publicly doing nothing except promote herself, culminated by 7+ years on Capital Hill when she's done little more than float in the political wind and raise incredible amounts of money.

(Though in fairness, she did vote to authorize use of military force in Iraq. And she did vote in favor of the Patriot Act. Twice. She also sponsored, along with Joe Lieberman, the Family Entertainment Protection Act to defend children from the evils of video games. So I guess she has done something. You can leave those examples out.)

What I ask is that someone present to me what she's done during her time in the Senate that actually promotes anything except for herself. She's supposed to be a "great leader," and someone who truly "believes" in something.

I'm open to having my mind changed. Lay. It. Out.

I also despise Rudy Giuliani, but no one seems to have a problem with that. I can understand. As to Rudy, if you like him don't bother trying to convince me. He was my mayor for 8 years (felt like 80), and I know what a wretched scumbag he is. Nothing's changing my mind there.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Well, that didn't help to resolve anything, did it? Here I am hoping that Obama blows Hillary out of the water, and McCain demolishes Romney & Huckabee so brutally that the campaign is all-but-over before it even starts.

But noooooooooooo! The blockheaded voters of the Granite State have to go and vote for Hillary "Just Squirt A Few Tears And Watch 'Em Run Back To Me" Clinton, and give Johnny "The Maverick" McCain a narrow victory over Romney (no silly nickname required for a man named after a baseball glove.) Idiots!

Just horrendous news all around. Let's break it down from worst to . . . well, not quite as bad (though I promise to end with one piece of truly good news, at least in the opinion of this cranky-ass blogger.):

1. Hillary is back in the damn thing. In it to win it, as I'm sure she'd say. Like her husband 16 years ago, she's the Comeback Kid. Ugh.

As any regulars here know, my hatred for this selfish, egotistical horror show knows no bounds. She stands for nothing but "Hillary," she believes in nothing but "Hillary," and she'll sell whatever remains of her sorry excuse for a soul to the highest bidder in every situation.

(I know that's "true" of all politicians, especially those who run for Prez, but we're talking about matters of degree here. Along with Giuliani, she takes the Selfish:Serving Ratio to nearly infinite heights.)

And now she's back in the front runner seat. Thanks, New Hampshire voters. Thanks for saddling us with the repulsive spectacle of listening to her talk about herself for 10 more months.

2. Romney hasn't been knocked out. I don't even know much about him, other than he's a Republican and he seems to yap about illegal immigration a lot. But his name is "Mitt," for crissakes, and he's the only Morman from Massachusetts in history. Isn't there some sort of gentleman's agreement that they'll stay in Utah, while Jews & other "ethnics" like me will stay clear of . . . well, every state that's not on one of the coasts? Freakin' guy can't keep his end of the deal. For that alone he should lose.

But the Granite in the Head voters of New Hampshire have to throw enough votes his way so he can actually stick around. Assholes.

3. On the other hand, because they voted for Old Man McCain (did you know, by the way, that he was in a North Vietnamese prison? I bet there's a chance he'll mention that on the campaign trail), now we have to hear -- for the third time in eight years -- all sort of blather about what a maverick he is, what an outsider he is, how he's different from the other Republicans, blah, blah, blah.

You know, cause when I think of "outsider," I always picture a United States Senator with enough money/support to run for President three times.

4. John Edwards, who may actually be honest and seems to stand for something, is all-but eliminated. Nice job, New Hampshire. Buncha' champs.

5. Huckabee is still . . . on earth. And I blame that horrendous development on New Hampshire. Jerks.

6. Obama is still in the race too. Now, I prefer him to Hillary, but he's nothing more than a handsome face, a toothy smile, and a mellifluous voice delivering slick-but-empty messages (no wonder women love him -- that's been a winning formula since Erg picked up Druffa in a bar serving nothing but mead and fetid water in 35,000 BC). So, even though I'd rather him win over Hillary, the advantages of knocking him out last night were real.

But he managed to stay close, and stay in the race. Wonderful. Another week at least of a rightwingers' wet dream -- a Black man and a White woman teeing off on each other in the public eye, as GOPers debate each other over who can deport more illegal immigrants, torture more Muslims, and demolish more civil liberties. Thanks New Hampshire.

7. (This is the good one). Giuliani finishes in 46th place, earning 16 votes in the process. Heh heh.

I guess they never heard of 9-11 in New Hampshire.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008


In one of the stranger "news" pieces I've read in some time, we learn from A.P. that none other than supermodel Naomi Campbell has interviewed Venezuelan asshole president wannabe dictator, Hugo Chavez in the Brit version of G.Q.

Apparently Amy Winehouse's investigative piece on Pervez Musharraf, David Beckham's one-on-one sit down with Robert Mugabe, and Shane McGowen's discussion of trade policy with Mitt Romney were all preempted by Naomi's revealing Q&A session.

Naomi hoped to get a sense of "Hugo Chavez the man," as opposed to the wacky power-grabbing grandstander we've all come to know & love. Through her in-depth examination of his personal side, she "found him to be fearless, but not threatening or unreasonable," adding that she hopes "Venezuela's relations with America will improve in the immediate future."

Well, now that the world has learned, along with Naomi, about Hugo the man, I'm sure her wished-for detente is just around the corner. So what did Hugo say that revealed his softer, fearless-but-non-threatening side:
President Bush is "completely crazy. But he's on his way out."
Ok. So he has a firm grasp of the obvious . . . and he understands our Constitutional system. Good job on Naomi's part, I'll grant. Hugo has trouble with Venezuela's rules regarding terms of office for the Chief Exec, so this is good. What else?
"We're seeing the fall of the empire . . ."
Ok. Overused analogy, and he might be jumping the gun a bit as to how soon the "fall" is coming, but we've heard this one before.
"Like the fairy tale, the emperor is naked"
That was a quick turn. But Naomi was ready! Jumping on the naked emperor opportunity she asked him if he'd pose topless, and Hugo, ever ready, replied:
"Why not? Touch my muscles!"
It's not clear whether Naomi took him up on his offer, but she did ask him the important question of the world's "most stylish" leader:
"Fidel, of course! His uniform is impeccable. His boots are polished, his beard is elegant"
The impeccable army fatigues! The elegant shaggy beard! Those famously polished boots, unlike the scuffed up Converse All-stars Pinochet used to wear. Hugo sees straight through it all.

And Naomi, to the benefit of all, apparently did not ask if Fidel would pose topless.

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Friday, January 04, 2008


As all of you know by now (and if you don't know, you probably got here by following a Google link for "tits" or "boobs" or some other key words from those long-ago days when I wrote about movies on Friday), Mike "I Don't Heart" Huckabee won the Iowa caucus.


And, as you can guess from the title of this here blog post, I'm ambivalent. Let's break it down:

1. I like the fact that the non-front runner (i.e., someone other than the MSM's anointed "the guy to beat") won.

2. I'm scared shitless that there are so many people morons in my country who vote for a candidate purely because he shares their view regarding the virgin birth, later re-birth, and intermittent water-walking, dead-resurrecting, water-to-wining, and loaves-and-fishing of a semi-fictional world figure.

Hey, Stu Schmadlack and I both think Chuck Berry is the underrated link in the history of rock 'n roll. I'm gonna vote for him as President of the United States! But wait, isn't Dave Doohickey also a Met fan. Maybe he's my guy . . .

3. I like the fact that a Huckabee win would throw the national GOP into total disarray. Maybe northeastern social liberal/fiscal conservatives would come to realize that 99.96% of national Republicans have nothing in common with them.

4. I'm scared shitless of yet another evangelical running our nation (into the ground).

5. I like seeing Rudy Giuliani lose.

6. Have I made it clear that I'm scared shitless of 4 more years of Jesus Camp in the White House?

As to the Dems, I think Obama is nothing more than a handsome guy with a great speaking voice, but hey, it worked for Jack Kennedy, so why not do it again? Better than Huckabee, right?

And, to avoid snark for 2 seconds, the fact that we've reached a point in our history where a Black man with a name that sounds like a point guard for the University of Illinois (as opposed to Illinois' Senator) can win the support of the people of IOWA (!) is something I really like. We may still be a nation of idiots, but at least we're no longer racist idiots.

Progress baby. It comes in many forms.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008


Apparently, none other than Scottie "Michael Who?!" Pippen is rumored to be a candidate for the next coach of the Chicago Bulls.

Frankly, I couldn't give the proverbial rat's ass about anything that goes on the NBA these days. But . . . I cared once. And therefore I have to ask the following: can a coach take himself out of the game for calling the final shot for someone other than himself?

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Ok, I'm not really much of a fan of memes. But since I post about once per season lately and I have the day off anyhow, might as well give it a swing. This one come from Toast, over at Two Glasses, who tagged "everyone who reads this." Yes, that's what it's come to in this era of non-blogging from yours truly. As if anyone in the whole B-sphere would think of me at this point. Sheesh.

Anyhoo, here's the meme. Seems to be a looking back as you look forward thing, or something like that:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? Enjoy my job.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I never make New Year's resolutions, but in an effort to make this meme mildly entertaining, I'll Fictionalize a bit.

I resolved to have sex with Shakira and Audrey Tatou. I kept one of those resolutions (Audrey -- she purred oui, oui throughout; that means something good in French, no?). This year I resolve to sleep with the other one (si, si.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, many. At least two wives of former work colleagues. A few blogger friends' wives too.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No. "Testicular Fortitude Of The Democratic Party" and I aren't close anymore, so his death hardly phased me.

5. What places did you visit? Lot of work-related travel this year: Birmingham AL (8 times), Boston, New Hope PA, Dallas, San Francisco (twice) & L.A. Also changed planes in Atlanta & Cincinnati a couple times, but that doesn't count, does it?

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A vacation.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 22: absolutely nailed the second round interview at my current law firm; I knew I had it at that moment. Frankly, I doubt that date'll "remain etched" anywhere, let alone in my mind. But it was pretty significant this year, so I'll roll with it.

Oh, nearly forgot: August 9, the date I consummated my New Year's resolution. It was her 29th birthday. I'm such a sweet guy.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? See August 9. That, and actually enjoying work. I know that sounds nuts, but what can I say. I've never done too well on that front.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not being able to maintain regular blogging from about mid-year. I don't blame myself, nor do I regret it -- work was just too time consuming & required a lot of energy -- but it's too bad that's how it went.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nagging cold last month. Pissed me off.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I-pod, baby. I-pod! 5,300 songs later, and that bitch is humming. Love it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Mine.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Oooooo, do they really want me to go there? Hmmm, let's allow for a truncated list: The Mets, the Congressional Democrats, George Bush (duh!). Making this list is appalling & depressing, so no more of that.

14. Where did most of your money go? No one category stands out. A lot of it went into the bank. We've been trying to save, save, save.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? I just turned 40 and I've been married for 8 1/2 years. Nothing gets me "really, really, really excited."

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Hmmm, good question. This answer may be a bit of a preview for question 26 below, but here goes nonetheless: "Judy & The Dream Of Horses," by Belle & Sebastian. It was the first song that came on the I-pod just after a bit of very relieving news from my wife's doctor. No details (sorry), but it was a great moment for me. And that song -- which I like in its own right -- was the soundtrack as I walked, spring-stepped, down the street in the moments that followed.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
Not necessarily "happier," but definitely more satisfied with where I'm at. See question c below.
b) thinner or fatter? Same.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Blogging.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Drinking.

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? Last year? Meaning 7 days ago, or 2006? As to the latter, I have no idea. 7 days ago? You know, I have no idea either. Maybe I'm inviting the lighting bolts, but the birthday of Our Savior is just another day in the middle of a bunch of days off for this blaspheming Jew. I think I stayed in and watched DVDs.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? Yeah, right.

22. How many one-night stands? Yeah, right.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Does "baseball" count?

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2007? Got drunk with co-workers in New Hope PA following an all-day meeting with our expert witness in an under-heated barn on his sprawling farm. Beautiful, but cold. Excellent dinner though.

25. What was the best book you read? "East Of Eden." I've read it before, but I picked it up again over the Thanksgiving weekend. Just great.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? A lot this year. With the I-pod at my disposal now, I borrowed a shitload of music from former Neighborhood regular, Applesaucer (lately, every "regular" is a former regular). I really helped him supplement his collection with "classics" of rock & jazz. But he lent me a bunch of stuff from that post-1998 period that I all-but-missed due to the twin distractions of marriage & law school/law career. Not saying I never listened to music after that point, but I went from fanatic to normal person. Anyhow, lots of new stuff, but the three biggest were/are Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, and the aforementioned Belle & Sebastian. Rumors that I've been reborn as a 19 year-old college girl are only half true.

27. What did you want and get? I-pod. A good job.

28. What did you want and not get? Daily sex from my wife. Daily sex from the other three billion women on earth. A salary of six million dollars . . . a week. Otherwise, we're cool.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Just saw it yesterday and I loved it. Funny & clever, which is hard to do. For any music history geek, it's a must.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? Hmmm, most of my "blog friendships" arose in 2006, so that doesn't really count. And I made a few "work friends." Time will tell if those have any legs.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? See question 28.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Are you fucking kidding me?

33. What kept you sane? Isn't there an unfounded assumption built into that question?

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Since "fancy" has multiple definitions, I'm going with this one because it makes for a more interesting answer: "3 a: to believe mistakenly or without evidence b: to believe without being certain"

I'm going to say "The American Press." As in, "I fancied we had an active press in this country."

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Ugh, too many to go into. Let's use the previous answer.

36. Who did you miss? My blogging friends (awwwwwwwwwwwww).

37. Who was the best new person you met? Some new colleagues at work could qualify, but I'm not sure yet.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. That it's important to tag George, Comandante Agi, and Ded.

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