Friday, April 28, 2006

Loneliness and Cell Phones

Living where she did, she made up all kinds of rules. She didn’t get the idea from anyone else. And she knew there were palatable words to describe it to anyone who wasn’t her. It didn’t seem like an idea a real New Yorker would have at all. Give yourself parameters? There wasn’t one good reason when bars closed at four AM. When so much was about whittling away at the parameters that snuck in into your gut like a mother’s laugh, grandma’s taste for hairy men. But it was their city or they were men. Or tough women. The kind of woman she was going to be. A woman who knew what it was like to have any kind of nut breathing shit right in her face at any time of day. Whether alone, halfway out of a car or even with friends, they were women who knew men, or at least where to find them. And where not to. But that just wasn’t an option for her. No one she knew lived within two states. At least, no one she could find. Especially if she had to.

And that was going to change. That was one of her rules, one new friend a month. A baseline. But it had been two and a half weeks and she hadn’t really gone out once. She came home late from work most nights. Then she’d chat on the phone or watch the local news like it was an Adult Education course in New York City. Even the crime was glitzy. At least the crime on TV.

Her office wasn’t necessarily hospitable. But it wasn’t hostile either. It was for TV, so it had that temporary feeling of imprisonment, much like a hostage situation or an extended initiation period. The walls weren’t bare, but everything on them was a joke or practical purpose, or, more likely, an expired practical purpose. Someone who was getting paid more than her was always coming back from getting coffee. Someone was always about to lose their mind or their lease. And the younger you were, the earlier you got there and the later you stayed, on average. Of course, the higher ups would do their freak forty-eight hour shifts before they left out of town to take meetings or escapades with people they worked with before or met on Craigslist. Whatever came first. But it wasn’t a bad office. Except for the bagel situation.

The one intern—a bony-shouldered kid—scared around people the way a cat is round water—had one real job: daily bagel retrieval. The Executive Producer had worked a sitcom on the second season of the WB and that was one nice tradition he dragged along with him along with public humiliation of the people who cared the most and somewhat low standards.

So, everyday sixteen bagels appeared. Occasionally that was twice as many as needed. Usually it was two or three short. And her being her, she’d wait till eleven to make sure she could take one. So of course, she usually had no breakfast. Which did something to her blood sugar that made her capable of stabbing another human being in their eyes by two o’clock. But only on those very busy days. Even then she kept in mind that she’d have to stab the host if she wanted to end up on the local TV news. Crewmembers were barely glitzy in New York City, where everyone was rich, on their way, an extremely verbose member of a minority or completely fucking crazy.

Which leads to her main rule: Smile at the crazy people, but don’t talk to them. Any admission that she spoke English and cared about them as human beings—which of course she did because she was who she was— led to trouble. Not spit or mucus trouble. Not scary trouble. But it always felt close, close as all the wealth and glamour and cabs. All the things that were beyond her and above her as she sat on the subway, coyly reading faces like they were a comic book on her lap in the middle of Math class. She loved the show of them all. The stories they had. Their thousand days in the city. The way some of them eyed the bag of bagels on her lap. Late for work and drooling over the universal archetype for a productive snack that sat in her lap. Wishing that bag of warm sustenance for themselves. Not for her co-workers, not her surprise for the staff meeting. Her first in New York.

Why take a chance today? Sixteen bagels and she knew over thirty people would show up to be alternately praised and lambasted like a group of poor kids who had pledged to learn Calculus after-school and during the summer. “Nobody thinks we can do this,” her boss would say. And make eye contact with her, like she was the reason the critics doubted them. Critics that only existed in her bosses fucked up head. And then he’d make a joke. Something he heard from a writer in LA. Something that started off with a disclaimer like, “No one here has epilepsy, right?”

But it didn’t matter what he said. It was all the same. He was her boss and she just needed to smile make it through her twelve hour day and then get on the redeye to Lake Placid to begin to weeks of location work.

And everything was going according to plan, thanks to the rules. She woke up an hour earlier than she needed too. Only smiled at people approached her. Never stopped moving if she could. Avoiding unnecessary eye contact while observing all the twisted angles, chrome and facial hair that made this city the most amazing playground on earth, summoning that little person inside her who was pleased by anything new, different. Which was about three fourths of everything she saw everywhere, everyday.

So, with her head somewhat down into the smell of the garlic, onion, seeds, dough and magic of the warm bagels she made her way out of the train station and out on to the street. Here she was: at her first job where the building had a doorman and security to keep most everyone out and her in. She looked up to remind herself that she was working higher in the air than people could have imagined flying just a few centuries ago. She was working in the miracle of now.

She took a last whiff of the bagels as she waited for the elevator, prayed that even with her extra two dozen she would still get the egg bagel that had picked for herself. A bagel so plump that its hole looked like a concession to conformity, a sweet wink. The elevator’s bell rang. “Hold that,” somebody said. She paused the whiff of bagel in her nose and felt a bony shoulder bear into the middle of her back. She would have definitely fallen over if she weren’t thrust into the front of a tall woman who looked down at her as they were stumbling. The tall woman scowling like she knew this was coming and she wasn’t going to let anyone get away with it.

“I’m sorry,” the bony-shouldered kid said. And her pulled her hand so she could both balance herself and step away from the tall woman with the same step.

“I’m sorry,” the bony-shouldered kid said again to the tall lady whose face cracked a smile as she looked down at the ground at two paper bags. Her two-dozen bagels bursting out the side of the bag with some napkins peaking out. His sealed sixteen sitting posed upright with just the name of his bagel shop printed on it.

“It's nothing,” the tall lady said examining both of the faces like they didn’t know the rules, which they didn’t, really. “Nothing that a bagel won’t solve.”

The bony-shoulder kid smiled, dug his chin straight down and picked up his bag. “Sure, we’ve got plenty I guess,” he said. He tried to open up the bag for a second, became flustered and looked at her bag on the floor. Wounded, but abundant. “Here, just take the whole bag.”

The tall woman raised her eyebrows so high that seemed like she might bump the ceiling. She seemed to consider it for a second then took the bag into her arms and headed out the front door.

Her bagels on the floor. The intern with his abused, unsure grin. She leapt to hit the button right before the elevator closed. The doors swung wide as she knelt and gathered her mess. “After you,” she said to the bony-shoulders boy who stepped into the elevator with nothing in his arms.

She followed him in summoning a smile and pressed “Door Closed.” She had some explaining to do.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Heading to the Gym

Knowing that Madeleine Albright can leg-press more weight than me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Griffith Observatory Preview

Franklin Avenue, me and all the Pink Floyd-laserium fans are thrilled that our quirky, old observatory will be re-open soon after years of reconstruction.

Ladies, sometime in the second-half of 2006, believe me when I say I can take you on a hike to the stars.

Like Financial Aid for Geniuses

Cisco is giving college kids some extra inspiration to get high and just think about IDEAS.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Do You Love Rad Guitar Work?

The Richie Sambora and Jon Bovi (sic) of the early 90s rock group Brown reunite to demonstrate PURE AXE CONTROL.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Best Songs of 2006, So Far

From Tell It To Your Blog.

Just click the "Download" link after the jump for a special treat!

The Only Logical Take on Iran

Comes from Thomas P.M. Barnett, of course:

Isolation only strengthens the hard liners. Me, I would dump the whole WMD thing, reestablish ties and open trade, ending all sanctions. Then let the mullahs explain their rule to their unhappy masses.

Do you think Castro is still in power 40-plus years without our counter-productive embargo?

As for the threat of Shiite revolution, where has it yielded the puppet state?

We support Sunni autocracies the region over and then are surprised when oppressed Shiite minorities look to Tehran.

But here's the real issue: Shiites are nationalists. The radical Salafi movement is exclusively Sunni. Why conflate them? When Shiites come to power in Arab countries, I live in little fear that Persians will be their masters. That's like saying the Poles couldn't wait to be ruled by Russians. I think that one is overblown and poorly understood in the West.

I'm not a tough guy

When I say, I beat a man into submission. I'm thinking of it as a race.

Let's Hope It's Good

Neil Young is a rolling out an entire album to protest the war in Iraq and the policies of George W. Bush.

After the shadow Young cast on Richard Nixon in Ohio, the best protest song ever, I have tons of hope that this will be a stellar statement for everyone who wishes they could articulate their frustration with this war.

Perez Hilton Doesn't Give a Fuck

He’s just the type we all fall for. Almost insane, filled with self-congratulations and as shiny as the car purchased after a breakdown, Perez Hilton loves life.

And he loves Lohan, Paris and Katie Holmes’ fake belly.

There is simply nothing better on a weekday than this guy’s RSS feed, if you know what I mean, ladies.

The best part about the site is the awful things he scrawls on photos. Appeals to my inner bitch they way Samantha’s evil sister on the hit 1960s TV show Bewitched could.

Ghetto Superstar

It's like reverse Trading Places without the point, the humor or the Eddie Murphy.

If the Fugees were Three's Company, he would just be Janet. But give it up for Pras who decided that living on LA's Skid Row for ten days was a good premise for a documentary. It sounds to me like a better hazing task for a reality show or a fraternity in San Fernando Valley.

But the experience definitely gave the guy some insight into Chrissy of the Fugees Lauryn Hill:

"Being down on skid row, I see the difference between someone down there and someone like Lauryn Hill," he says. "The difference, I realized, is all about support systems. If something really bad happens to you, you can go back to your mom or dad. What I realized is, a lot of people don't have those things. That's why they wind up on skid row…. Her behavior, I saw a lot of that in skid row. The irrational way of thinking. Thinking the world's against you."

Friday, April 14, 2006

You Forget About the Neptunes?

It's been a while--in pop culture terns-- since the Neptunes were the biggest things.

These remixes will remind you why.

Lose Weight the Brazillian Way

That's what the sign suggested, and I'm down!

I just need to know how long I have to let my pubes grow before it could help me lose about ten pounds.

Stay On Blast, John Murtha

Our favorite Congressman explains that criticizing the President doesn't bring morale down. It's the President's policies that make everyone sad.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Finally an easy way to explain why you'd want to write a poem (Besides getting laid)

Suppose you want to get an experience into words so that it is permanently there, as it would be in a painting—so that every time you read what you wrote, you reexperienced it. Suppose you want to say something so that it is right and beautiful—even though you may not understand exactly why. Or suppose words excite you—the way stone excites a sculptor—and inspire you to use them in a new way. And that for these or other reasons you like writing because of the way it makes you think or because of what it helps you to understand. These are some of the reasons poets write poetry.
- From "On Reading Poetry" by Kenneth Koch

Discover the History of LA

And Now the Best News of All Time

There has been an image of Muhammad in the opening credits of South Park since the new season debuted this spring.

read more | digg story

An Homage to the Greatest Valley Jewess Movie of All Time

My Life is a Solo Project

Being self-employed is the American Dream.

The Funniest Thing I've Seen in Years

Is the two-part "Cartoon Wars" episodes of South Park, Matt Parker and Trey Stone, the funniest men alive, made me laugh for nearly fifty minutes as I was continually knelt over by the creep of shame. The story-line involved Cartman hating Family Guy for all the right reasons. Unfortunately Cartman's oppressive need to crush the formula-ism of the Family Guy sense of humor, speaks to the dark-side of the inner-fat boy inside all of us.

*Shame on us for being so tepid about showing Mohammed cartoons.
*Shame on Comedy Central for not having this episode online at least for sale immediately.
*Shame on the Family Guy for making that stupid baby talk.

Defamer's reporting on the controversy.

Time to Get to Arizona

Looks like the state government there is begging for increased protests in their state.

$3 Gas in LA

Franklin Avenue reports.

Did you ever notice that whatever the Bush Administration policy does it always benefits the price of oil?

What gives more comfort to our enemy than that?

Another Corprate Tax Giveaway

The Democrats can campaign against in the name of tax cuts for the middle class.

How to Turn Off the Windows Start-Up Sound

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Enemy of the People

Is the best play ever. It's like better than a Simpsons episode. 99% chance of wanting to name your daughter Petra after you watch it.

Celebrate 2006. Celebrate the commemorative year of Henrik Ibsen.

'Lotto'-Rapist Victim Loses Appeal, Proves There is No God

A 77-year-old UK woman lost her appeal to sue the man who raped her after the six-year limit to claim compensation expired.

Her motivation to sue and the cruel irony of it all is that her convicted rapist Lorwath Hoare purchased a winning lotto ticket while on a day release from prison in 2004.

You'd Be Well-Advised

To pay attention to this advice about your hard drive.

The Submarines- "Peace and Hate"

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nora Ephron

Did Cheney Get Cheers and Boos?

Or just boos, like Kos says.

Can Israel Listen?

Shame on Me for Caring

But the brilliantly awful Perez Hilton, says Lance Bass is gay.

Endless Pools

The treadmill of swimming? Makes sense. But since I found out about it from a pop-up ad, I can't trust it.

A Moment in Baseball So Awkward

That even Vin Scully can't handle it. The legendary Dodger announcer on Barry Bond's breaking Hank Aaron's all-time Home Run Leader record. And how he'd just as soon not be the voice that makes the call.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Be Careful, Janet

These Elvis-like fluctuations in weight freak me out.

Next Toyota Prius to Get 113 MPG

Which will mean that gas will be as cheap for these new Prius owners as it was for all of us during the Clinton Administration.

read more | digg story

How Amazing Can One Woman Be?

Stern's Out-of-this-World Achievement Makes the Press Crazy

According to the LA Times, "only a small fraction" of Howard Stern's audience have joined him at Sirius.

Sirius now has four million subscribers. Up from 600,000 when Stern announced he'd be joining the satellite radio outfit. I'm being less than generous when I suggest say well over three million of those subscribers listen to Stern's show at some point in the day. Stern's show has been run on an almost endless loop on Howard 100, one of his two stations, since late March.

That's an audience of three million from the twelve million he left at terrestrial radio. That's AT LEAST 25% of his audience. 1/4. Hardly a small fraction.

Imagine if 1/4 of Seinfeld's audience paid to see his same show uncensored and on cable. The media would bronze John Stewart's balls and present them live to Jerry in place of the next Super Bowl.

As far as the Times' central question of its article "Where have the Stern fans gone?" I'd say the answer is nowhere. They are either considering joining, listening to tapes or in the process of joining Sirius when they get a new car. Carolla, Roth, NPR? There is no alternative.

Here's an easy prediction: Sirius will have well over twelve million subscribers by the time Stern's initial Sirius contract is up.

No doubt then the media will be saying something like: It took five years for Stern to rebuild his terrestrial radio audience. What took him so long?

And the shows will still be so good that the fans will be asking themselves the same thing.

Be Careful What You Google?

According to Tom Hayden, Rick Rodriquez's daydreams of fireworks led to a Google search that led to government surveillance of his home and his eventual arrest.

Buy a Hybrid, Get a Tax Credit

But if you bought it last year, you would have gotten a bigger tax credit.

They Left Out Chinatown to Be Fair

Film Threat's best films set in LA.

You Aren't Paranoid, There's Something at Stake

The Daily Kos does a nice job, again, of defining what is scary about the Bush Administration:

It's come down to this: Living our lives around a presumption of shared humanity has become a rebellious and provocative act to this government, by definition almost a felonious conspiracy. Attendance at a Quaker meeting hall can get you wiretapped without a warrant. Calling scholars overseas can get you data mined.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

When Your Parents Broke Up

Fresh Remixes of Paul's Boutique Classics

Do Mexicans Speak Funny?

Decide for yourself with the Speech Accent Archive.

Child Psychiatrist Shortage

Wonder if illegal immigrants would head shrink our kids for two dollars an hour?

Did the Stripper Really Arrive

at that Duke Lacrosse party already raped? Is that really your defense?

Customers who bought this also bought:

The British Want You to Be Cleverer

I Support the Muhammad Cartoon Ban

At first it seemed petty, unenforceable.

But now I think I get what Muhammad had in mind when he banned cartoons or any other depiction of his grace.

Have you ever been to an amusement park or a bat mitzvah where they have those people who will do caricature of you doing your favorite physical activity. It amazed me that these men were paid to produce cruelty like that.

Hey that's Jason. He has a big nose and loves to play tennis like a fag. Why else would his wrist be at the angle?

It was everything I feared in life. My fat belly forever holding up my own shiny bowling ball with my lame initials tattooed between the holes.

So if there is only one God and it is Allah, and I was his messenger? Yeah, no cartoons please.

Over Re-enactment

The town of Selma is too black and too proud to demonstrate much interest in the annual re-staging the Civil War's famed Battle of Selma.

While 'brother v. brother' does make good theater, this is one tradition I'm happy to see fade. Seems awful Serbian to have that much interest in memorializing human carnage.

Faceparty Replacing MySpace in the UK

And surprisingly, according to The Guardian, Faceparty is not a porn site.

Every human being should have their story told

The fascinating story of Bergen-Belsen survivor Anton Igel.

Search Wars: Google Strikes Back

Nerds Make Better Lovers

Star Wars Kid Settles Down

The bubbly kid who got famous for his light sabering and then tried to sue the kids who posted the video has settled his case.

The "Special" Relationship

Thomas P. Barnett says the "special' relationship the US has had with the UK for generations will soon be similar to the relationship we'll have with China.

Darfur Genocide Update

From Instapundit.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Built to Spill Album

Can be streamed off their VH1 artist page.

Another Ploy Backfires in Iraq

Sending Condileeza Rice and Jack Straw to Iraq discouraged the formation of an Iraqi government.

Hopefully This Convinces All of the Astronauts to Do a Little Manscaping

Iran War Plans

This article by Seymour Hersh only seems as insane as the Iraq articles in early 2002.

Friday, April 07, 2006


A reporter goes into the netherworld of MySpace to discover what only teenage girls should know.

I Hope Someone is Making a Documentary

About what's going on in the Democratic Party right now.

Is the Universe a Computer?

Brilliant but comprehensible episode of NPR's Science Friday discussing the weird science of quantum mechanics.

Tom Cruise in "The Merchant of Chaos"

In what is sure to be the story of the weekend, our hero is continuing to play the sympathy card by describing just how crazy he's going to be to his new baby as his future wife wisely sits in a stunned smile.

If he is right and he is crusading for humanity, can you imagine how pissed Xenu is at him? And almost every blog on the earth is just a tool of the evil Xenu!

Actually, I'd be more down with the Scientology if they wanted to ban parents instead of psychiatry. That to me is the more fun parody/science-fictionesque cause to advocate.

Ralph is a Very Handsome Dog

With some very serious abandonment issues. That makes him clingy, though he might say the same thing about me.

He and his cohort Moko are staying at my place for a couple of nights while their owners' in-laws' dogs are in town for work, i presume.

Ralph is a a psychopath, like most of God's animals. He'll attack a little dog if given the chance.

But don't get me wrong, he's handsome. Dark eyes, white coat, intense yet adorable ears. He could be a dog superstar if not for his scraggly teeth, which I remind him often so he doesn't get a big head.

While he's over I'm been trying to prove something I read wrong. In his book Choice Theory, William Glasser says the humans, whales and porpoises are the only animals who play their whole life.

Not true, I thought. Ralph likes to dance. At least when I force him to dance he looks like he's enjoying it--tongue hanging out his snout, etc.

But I think I'm wrong. At a certain point dogs don't want to play. They want to eat, sleep, hunt and nap which is like sleeping but with their eyes open. The don't want to play dress-up, chase me around tables or listen to riddles. But they will if forced!

Here's a fun Google image search: Ralph Dog.

Great Story about Beatles Engineer Geoff Emerick

The teenager who helped make John Lennon sound like the Dalai Lama chanting on a mountaintop and went on to record artists like the The Zombies, Elvis Costello and Nellie McKay is the subject of a nice CNN profile.

This is Actually Good News

Kids in trouble for a video they posted on MySpace.

Teens with videocameras are like drunk sailors in an Southeast Asian capitol city. I wish that could change somehow.

I Had a Similar Idea

To watch the past by putting mirrors on stars and watching images from light years ago through telescopes.

But here's an idea to give an Austrian-glassblowing town light during the winter.

Where's the Outcry?

From NY Times:

The spokesman, Scott McClellan, said a decision was made to declassify and release some information to rebut "irresponsible and unfounded accusations" that the administration had manipulated or misused prewar intelligence to buttress its case for war.

So, it's legal for the President to rebut "irresponsible and unfounded accusations" by exposing that someone's wife is an undercover CIA agent?

US Military Developing Magical Laser Forcefield

According to Fox News.

Thomas Dolby: K-Fed's Latest Hater

The 80s-pop icon is considering legal action against Mr. Britney Spears for sampling one of his compositions without permission.

Lenny of the Bruce

The last comic to ever be arrested for indecency at a nightclub was also a self-help guru. Enjoy his motivational piece "How to Relax Your Colored Friends at Parties" and others via this excellent post from Words and Music

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Kim Mathers Responds

To her husband Emimen filing for divorce for the second time on Detroit's "Mojo In The Morning."

Daily Reminder

To listen to Gnarls Barkley's Crazy.

"And if a person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."

Looks like our President is-- either directly or indirectly-- at the bottom of the public unmasking of CIA Agent Valerie Plame. As he said before,"If there's a leak out of the administration, I want to know who it is." And apparently he did.

New Twilight Singers Song

"Fotry Dollars" from the soon to be released album Powder Burns on their MySpace page.

Like "Bonnie Brae," also from the new album, this song is so good it makes you think the next album is gonna going to create a whole new genre: ADULT ROCK.

Ironic Justice

Even in her public reaction to Kurt Cobain's death, Courtney Love said that Eddie Vedder was going to win the Grunge Wars by living through every fashion trend in history.

Now Eddie is showing Kurt again by reintroducing Sonic Youth to the mainstream.

Secrets to Making Children Laugh

Brought to you by the folks from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

One in Thirty-Three Million

*NSYNC's Lance Bass is blogging on MySpace.

Jesus Doesn't Suck

American Idol's Mandisa claims that Jesus has delivered her from thumb sucking after indulging in the habit for over twenty years.

Another Great Sneakmove Mix Posted

Today's Word of the Day

Is cum.

DVRs to Phone?

That's Motorola's plan. Has the future written all over it to me.

Seems like it's time for cable companies to start making deals with satellite radio and digital music companies.

An Open Letter to the Men of Porn

Please stop incessantly gagging women as they give you fellatio. It's distracting.


It Takes an Admittedly Complex Issue

To make the Congress act like adults.

See. Judas was the Best Disciple!

So says the ancient Gospel According to Judas.