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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Time to Do the Taxes

I highly, highly, highly recommend turbotax.com!!!!!! I finished my federal and state income tax forms in 14 minutes.

(Although, if you have to file more than one state income tax form, it's less good.)

Friday, January 30, 2004


In the South Carolina debate last night, Howard Dean scooped all the national press.
"Unfortunately, the terrorists have already won," he said about the 'War on Terror.'

Search for 'sedition.'

Everything but the kitchen sink

I'm leaving my first real, post-college job.
I started working at '___ LLP' when it was just '___' and I was just a first year law student temping on the night shift.
I've come a long way, since the nights of waiting on the 22nd floor at midnight to be buzzed in by the secretarial staff. I made $18/hr. (more money than I ever made in my previous 22 years combined!) and at 8 a.m., I would take the a cab home, after a night of data entry, to get uptown in time for my 8:30 a.m. Civil Procedure class.

Oh, how times have changed.
NY State considers me a veteran attorney now, I have my own card key and I certainly know better than to try to go to class after working eight hours straight!
So, armed with that knowledge and three years of spiral bound training materials, I'm off!
But, first...cleaning the office. For those of you who know me.... well, you can imagine the level of difficulty.
For those of you who don't, here's a smattering of the items that I have uncovered.
In order of least to most weird:
10. A half used roll of 'Nsync gift wrapping paper. (No, you didn't read that wrong, I am starting with least weird!)
9. Opened pack of juggling balls.
8. Fourteen unopened stress balls
7. Cleats with caked on mud (and softball glove.)
6. Mostly full bottle of Italian salad dressing.
5. Video tape of first half of Buffy Season six.
4. Unopened game of 20th century Trivial Pursuit.
3. 64 CDs and 54 empty CD cases.
2. Unopened bottle of Bacardi Limon
And the weirdest thing found in my office...
1. Roller Skates.

(I didn't think a refrigerator and microwave were too odd...)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Time to start the Diet

Oh, this is just like a bad dream
I split my pants right at the seam
This is real bad, I feel oh so sad
Got to leave work before being seen

Via Rook's Rant:


OK, I'm a few days late, but there was a snowstorm in East Coco Beach.

Anyway, Kerry won, so I won.

Also, about Al Franken, there's a few things the "no self control" post on Alarming News forgot to mention.

See them here.

Good looking out Liberosophere.

Via Mad Kane

Blog Surfing

One of my favorite blogs has posted a revealing anecdote.

Essentially, for those of you too lazy to click the link, it's about what happens when people act out of fear and the FBI is authorized to investigate.

Seriously, read it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

What's in a name

I'm watching 'Deep Impact' with my mother the other day, we were watching the Golden Globes and got bored with one of the interminable acceptance speech "Gosh, I started out on a farm in South Africa..." Click.
Ooh, earth about to be crushed? Leave it there!
Anyway, my mom had never seen it before, so I'm explaining the premise and catching her up in the plot, when suddenly she points to the screen and says isn't that Tea Leoni?
What? Yes. What the hell?
This is the woman that has spent more than 20 years calling her only child "girl" as in "come here... ummm, girl."
Or "you know who I mean" as in "come here, leticia, alicia, teresa... Dammit you know who I mean. Come here."
At first, she blamed my grandmother.
"Well, I'm my mother's daughter" (I think she forgot grandma's name.)
Then, I would cooly point out that grandma had seven kids, she had one.
"Well, then you know exactly who I'm talking to, so quit complaining."
Game, set, match.
Mind you, when she's pissed off or I'm in trouble, totally different story.
I've got a first, a last and two middle names.
But Tea Leoni? She's good to go on that one at a moment's notice.
My mom doesn't even remember Jennifer Lopez or Brad Pitt!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Forget Bush, Miller thinks America is a miserable failure

I know, this is what I get for watching television at 12 a.m., but it was Dennis Miller and I have long had a soft spot for the old 'that's the news and I am outta here'-paper throwing uncaped crusader. (Almost took out a girl's eye in seventh grade imitating his end of broadcast stunt, though)

Dennis was much more subdued than usual, but no less obtuse (who are the Plantagenats, again?) But, he has a purpose now, a mission: he wants to be headquarters for the common sense revolution.

And why?

Because, and I quote "The American experiment appears to be imploding."

Nice, that he gives us the qualifying "appears," but the tenor of the rest of his "monologue" was less equivocal.

Although he's ok with two men getting married, "If a foreigner wants to blow their wedding up, a terrorist, well I expect my country to kill him before he gets the chance and if that makes me a right wing fanatic well allow me to bask in that asignation."

Hope he's wearing sunscreen because the assignation burns brightly.

Doesn't Dennis realize that the homegrown nutcases like the Phelps from Kansas- based Westboro Baptist Church are much more likely to blow up the gay wedding than any "foreigner?"
But even beyond that, the notion that the United States should kill people because they *want* to cause harm, or even because they *want* to kill others is so insane, I can't believe he actually thinks this is "common sense."

How can we possibly know what people want to do before they've done it? More importantly how can we kill people for it? This kind of delusional bravado may make good applause lines, but he's wrong if he thinks that trigger happiness makes any kind of common sense.

In Brooklyn this weekend a teenager was shot to death for opening a door. No doubt, as Miller says Bush feels about the 500 plus dead troops, the police officer's heart is just torn up about the loss, but that's little comfort to the dead boy's family.

I have heard it over and over, "what good is privacy if we're dead?" or I'd rather be safe than free or put another way "After the World Trade Center was first attacked in 1993, some of the guilty were indicted, and tried, and convicted, and sent to prison. But the matter was not settled...After the chaos and carnage of September 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers."
But is it true?
Look, there's certainly a place for war and the military, but there is also a place for the courts and our judges and the constitution -- but it seems the Dennis Millers would like to see those institutions gutted, reserved for parking tickets and drug offenders.

But in Miller's world (and I suppose the President's world, since he's indicated that he doesn't think criminal courts deter crime or that courtrooms are the place to settle medical malpractice claims) common sense is the first thing out the window.
Think I'm kidding?
Not one minute after suggesting that the American "experiment" has imploded, he began to rant about Mark Gergagos and Scott Peterson. Apparantly, once you've been arrested for a crime, we should just go right to sentencing.
That's not "common sense," it's fear and paranoia. The Muslim guy with mustache is evil (another fine moment from Miller's show) so America kills him. 10 percent of the Islamic world agrees with bin Laden (Naomi Wolff was ignored when she asked in horror, "so we kill them all?") You disagree with the President, you "aid and abet" our country's enemies (direct quote from David Horowitz a guest on Miller last night...Miller didn't disagree.) David Frum went on to suggest that the Democrats shouldn't even be able to discuss the "war on terror" in New Hampshire, "that's not politics, it's national security." He then said that politics is "what labor union gets what contract." Really? So now courts are ineffective and politics is petty... what's next to go? Science?

I know what it's like to live in a state of perpetual fear. I grew up in a NYC 'hood, was held at gunpoint when I was seven, had a cousin murdered when I was 12 and can't remember playing outside unless my mom came with me, but violence isn't what assuages fear.
God, family, education, governments, courts, sports, music, museums, yoga ...in essence, the great American experiment does.
Believe in it, Dennis.

Monday, January 26, 2004


Federal judge declares parts of 'Patriot Act' unconstitutional. How many more parts to go?

THE KID IS NOT HIS SON....heee heee

Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe is reportedly suing him for custody of their two children.

She also says that he is not the father of the children as she was artificially inseminated with donated sperm...

The plot thickens.


Four days ago, I was hit with the second worst bout of the flu in my life. Luckily, between the powerful anti-biotics and bottles of Nyquil, I was only conscious of the last couple of days. The best the thing about the final days of a bad illness is that while you don't feel like death warmed over, you can still lolly-gag about the house watching tv in a t-shirt and slippers.
I am now certain that if there were a channel that showed the Simpsons and Law & Order all day-long, I would never leave the house again.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Another 21 Questions

Forget Ralph Nader, the real "spoiler" of election 2000 for Al Gore was Lehrer. His ridiculous questions about Gore's "veracity" were unfair, irrelevant and hurtful. There were no similar questions about "mental capacity" for Governor Bush. So, as I watch the debates and Sunday morning shows, I have been looking for an acceptable moderator for the 2004 debates, I like Russert best so far, but I'm really looking for the man or woman who is willing to ask the real questions that matter to Democratic voters, like:

General Clark, Senator Edwards got tangled up in the N.H. Debate about DOMA and whether he supported it, my question to you sir is, are you gay?

Congressman Kucinich, same question.

Senator Kerry, General Clark has made some comments to the effect that he outranks you and any well-trained monkey could become a lieutenant. Sir, do you think if we turned the cameras off and left you alone with the General for five minutes, you could soundly kick his four star arse?

Rev. Sharpton, if all the polls are to be believed, and we turn them upside down, you are the front runner in this contest. What do you think your opponents will start to attack you with, given that as a reverend, you are unlikely to have a scandolous past?

Governor Dean after the stunning loss in Iowa, pundits have wondered whether your campaign can stop the bleeding, as a trained medical doctor can you tell us the most effective ways to stop bleeding.

Senator Edwards, you are probably the most physically attractive of all the candidates, you are tall, boyish, have a bright smile and great hair, you also know how to dress. On the other hand, your wife is not attractive at all. How did the two of you end up together and who do the children look like?

Senator Kerry, same question in reverse.

Sen. Edwards, George Bush has quipped that he wouldn't mind running against you because "what's he going to do sue people who don't vote for him?"
My question in two parts to you is 1) will you in fact sue people who don't vote for you?
And 2) if Gore hired you instead of David Boise would he be President today?

Senator Kerry, Reagan's administration once advocated replacing vegetables with ketchup, now that you are married to the ketchup heir, do you think the old guy was onto something?

Congressman...excuse me? Oh, Senator Lieberman, are you still in this race?
Um ok...well, Senator Lieberman, are you one of those lifelong democrats who became a Republican after 9/11?

Congressman Kucinich, there are those who think you may have bankrupted Cleveland. True or false.

Rev. Sharpton, I know you have thus far failed to get the endorsement of big name Democrats like Ted Kennedy, Al Gore or Charlie Rangel. Sir, do you think Tawana Brawley will endorse you?

General Clark, you converted to catholicism as an adult, given the recent controversy about whether the Pope endorsed Mel Gibson's film about the passion or not, what would Jesus do?

Senator Lieberman, same question.

Governor Dean, could you say the following phrase for our audience: "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

Rev. Sharpton, in N.H. you correctly pointed out that although your opponents vociferously advocate leaving gay marriage rights up to the individual states, they wouldn't take that position with respect to equal rights for ethnic and racial minority citizens or with respect to women's reproductive rights, my question to the rest of you is "Dude, Al Sharpton figured that one out, what the hell is wrong with the rest of you?"

Senator Edwards, now that Ashton Kutcher has endorsed you, will you get him to punk your opponents?

Congressman Kucinich, I really like your idea for free college, will you also provide free pizza and beer?

Senator Lieberman, you have pledged to put more than one woman on your shortlist for Vice-President options, would that be Paris or Nicole?

Senator Kerry, you have been accused of looking French, do you think that is a fair characterization, if so, do you think the American people are ready for a French looking commander-in-chief? If not, what do you think you look like? Turkish? Polish? Djiboutian?

Finally, all of you will have to make your way across 8 states by the beginning of February because Terry McCaullife decided to front-load the schedule. If you were left alone in a room with Terry, how hard would you hit him and with what objects. The question is to all of you.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Geez, and I thought Howard Dean had fallen far since Iowa.

Friday, January 23, 2004


After her debut on the world stage in 'The Simple Life,' many onlookers wondered if Nicole Richie was really black. She asserted that both her mother and father were black and that she too is black.
Turns out Nicole is adopted!

Of course, since we already assumed her father was black, this new information doesn't really help... unless her biological mother is not.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


I stumbled into the Bleat today and was greeted with the following opening paragraph:

"Loud rumble overhead; the planes are taking off over the house tonight. . That was quite possibly the flight my wife was on. She’s been doing contract work for a firm, and they got hit with a document dump – so she’s off to another town for three days of peering over blurry photocopies in a windowless room. Such is the life of a lawyer. I wonder what people who watched “The Practice” or other such shows in high school will think a few years hence when they find themselves admitted to the bar – hey, where’s the smoldering hunky lawyers, the brilliant glib lawyers with a passionate sense of justice, the slinky stick-thin lawyers who sleep with every partner AND client AND the opposing counsel? What is this? And how come nothing has that dim, sultry, flattering light all the TV law offices have? And why am I at my desk at 10 PM singing a lullaby over to the phone to my child while eating microwaved Chinese? How did this happen?"

I wanted to become a lawyer because of the Cosby Show.
I loved that they owned a house, weren't on welfare, dressed well, spoke well and were rich.
I figured if I was a doctor or a lawyer I could have that.
One mangled, er, dissected frog later -- lawyer it was, and I never looked back.
Thankfully, the Cosby Show never delved deeply into Claire's work. Sure, there was the occasional courtroom scene when she's suing a shady mechanic to get her daughter's money back or the "conferences in D.C.," but nothing really so sexy that now I look back with bitterness.

But the legal shows on TV now are different. I think law schools are underwriting them to entice more and more kids to plunk down $100,000 either from the family coffers or by mortgaging their future, with the hope that they will be juggling murder cases and asylum applications, all the while stylishly dressed and living in polished quarters.
Not to mention all the clubbing, drinking and partying every night.
Man, I should have just become an archeologist, Indiana Jones and Lara Croft have so many exciting adventures.


Dies of a gunshot wound.



Via Vessel of Honour.

I don't even know who this guy is.

But at least I didn't get Hitler again.

"We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form
of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the
prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day."
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don't
care much for other people's opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and
often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their
way, even when you have things figured out better than them.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson


If there is anything more disturbing than an 11-year-old mother, it's that the article says that her age is only a record low for the Ukraine... I shudder to think what Guiness' record is.

As seen on South Park

Baby born with undeveloped fetus head attached to her own.


No Dowd About It

Maureen rules....sometimes:

"Whoa! That was quite the steroid-infused performance. Who's the guy's political consultant — Russell Crowe? He was so in-your-face, smirking his trademark smirk, it was disturbing to think of him in charge of the military. It's a good thing he stopped drinking and started talking about God.

You wonder how many votes he scared off with that testosterone festival: the taunting message, the self-righteous geographic litany of support? The Philippines. Thailand. Italy. Spain. Poland. Denmark. Bulgaria. Ukraine. Romania. The Netherlands. Norway. El Salvador."

Read the rest here (registration required.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


When asked about his plans for the future Bob Dole replied:

"No Super Bowl ads this year—nothing came up."



Remember a couple of years ago when Johnny Knoxville got in a boatload of trouble because kids were copying his 'Jackass' stunts and landing themselves in the hospital? I laughed. Pointed fingers. Called them names.
Now, I feel their pain.
Well, not the physical searing sensation of the kid that set himself on fire, but I have been burned.
Sucked in by Celebrity Poker.
Shannon Elizabeth, Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, the cast of the West Wing... they made it seem so easy, fun, without risk.
You go all in and double your money --- or get a trip to the lounge for non-winners.
How hard could it be?
So, after watching all five episodes of Celebrity poker and the Celebrity Poker Champion Showdown, off I went for MLK weekend to Atlantic City to try my hand at playing Texas hold 'em in the famed Tropicana Poker room.
(OK, seriously, stop laughing. If Creed's lead singer can do it, how hard could it be, plus the show didn't have any warnings, so it's not my fault.)
Now, I was told not to play my first hand unless I was certain I would win, but since I was the big blind and I had a queen and a jack, I thought -- why fold?
Twenty-four dollars later, it was clear.
The next two hands followed suit, although I started folding earlier and losing less.
When I was down about sixty dollars, I mercifully won a hand.
The dealer, however dampened the victory when she mockingly said:
"I can't believe you checked on a Royal Flush."
(For those of you unfamiliar with Texas hold 'em...um....I can't really help with the explanations as this post is making painfully clear...)
The win put me up about 20 dollars on the night... why doesn't anyone walk away when they're up?
I didn't win another hand, but left the table with 51 dollars of my starting amount.
I decided to "play the ponies" because I remember being really good about picking the winners when my mom and her friend would take me to the track when I was little.
I picked the horses based on whether I liked their names "Alikeit" was a favorite.
"Wewin" seemed a bit cocky.
Alikeit came in fourth. D'oh!
I woke up bright and early the next day to hit the tables with a fresh wad of cash (obviously, last night's ATM machine had been jinxed) -- I was on a roll. I won three hands in a row (although again mocked for checking with trip kings.)
One rowdy, loud, already-drunk-at-10-am-gambler exclaimed -- "God, this girl doesn't know how to bet. If I had her hands I'd clean you all out!"
Gee, thanks, mister.
Then, the tide turned.
Well, not-so-much "turned" as rose above my head, swallowed me whole and spit me out onto the freezing AC boardwalk.
Don't count on 'flopping a straight', don't bet on getting the flush on the river, don't bet into a man holding the fourth 8 when three are on the table.
Damn you, Nicole Sullivan for making 'sucking out' look easy.
Damn you, Kevin Pollack for making me think that somehow my charity would get $5000 win or lose.
Poker sucks.
Atlantic City sucks.
Wait a minute. Celebrity Poker is played in Vegas, at the Sands!
What was I thinking?
It wasn't me or the poker or the ATM machine, I've just got to go to Vegas.
That's the ticket. Vegas and Ugarte. I'll read Ugarte and go to Vegas.
I knew TV would never let me down.


I was lucky to be born into what Dick Gephardt called the "Great Democratic Party."
I voted for Carter in 1980, Mondale in 1984 --- by 1988 I was too old to go into the booth with my mom to pull the lever for Dukakis as she lifted me up to eye-level with the names -- but I'm sure I would have voted for him too.
Although, I confess that in the third grade -- I became a Republican and added my middle initial because of Alex P. Keaton, but hey, everyone has done stuff when they were young and crazy.Every now and then the Great Democratic Party has a leader or a member do something not-so-great or not-so-democratic, and it makes me physically ill.
But listening to the stump speeches of the candidates for President over the past week, I was struck by how amazing the Democratic party values really are.
Each one mentioned closing the rich/poor divide, ending subsidies to corporations that evade taxes, spending more money on schools and medical research, protecting the environment and drinking water, safeguarding the U.S. and restoring America's honor and reputation on the world stage.
Not one mentioned going to Mars, or new tax cuts or cutting back on America's out-of-control civil liberties.
Now some say the Democrats are "out of touch,"
Well, the other night as I was on my way home through the Tunnel my car was stopped by policemen with shotguns. The driver was "asked" to open the trunk. It was searched. A flashlight was shone into my eyes as its beam danced around the car's interior.
We were sent on our way, with a slam of the trunk and two pounds on the car top.
I think that's about all the touching I need from the government for a while, thanks.
I make no predictions about the election results, but I will share my favorite moment from last Sunday's "talking head" shows.
I watched the RNC Chairman, Ed Gillespie, on "This Week" with George Stephanopolous (when are they going to hand the reigns to Fareed Zakaria?) and he boldly stated "I have to shout out to the birds. The Eagles are going to beat the Panthers tonight and then win the Superbowl in Houston."
Hopefully, all his predictions about Election 2004 prove to be as accurate.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


He says he's returning to "private life", but The Daily Wire thinks he's got a more high profile gig going on.


Federal Employees to be subject to more stringent drug tests

Clark: 'I'm more of war hero!'

Last night's big finish for Kerry certainly might mean the end for Clark. And I think Clark's people know it!


Teenager sentenced to 10-year prison term on bogus charge... why?

Saturday, January 17, 2004


I was recently introduced to the discussting" site. Very dark, in a "Beautiful Girls", well-written kinda way. The following passage struck me:

"I went to NH with my family and felt ashamed of myself. My sister talked with two of my cousins about teaching and I was jealous. I talked as little as possible because I don't have anything to say. Nothing is happening in my life and I know nothing, desire nothing, have no ambition and no goals. If I could die quietly somehow, that would be nice."

Oh yeah, that would teach that senior associate, but good.


Where does the phrase "pet peeve" come from?

Friday, January 16, 2004

Depends on what the definition of 'lie' is

Pandagon takes on Jonah Goldberg's latest attempt to excuse the Bush Fabriministration.
The headline sounds anti-semitic, but the post is funny! (It's ok, some of my best friends are Jewish and I stand with Israel.)

Lies and the Lying Goldbergs who Don't Understand Them

"Goldberg's dictionary appears to be on the fritz (or buried under a pile of those "3 for $1" books that NRO is trying to foist off on readers), because he has no idea what a lie actually is."

Tee hee


I hate when the person you're working for gives you an assignment, and then one hour later calls to find out how "we're" doing on that project.

"We're doing fine, crackhead. We're done. We e-mailed it to ourselves ten minutes ago. If we didn't have our head so far up our rectum, we would have gotten it."

I'm not bitter.


Show him what you got.


Kashei called to say Michael Moore was endorsing Clark last night.

I lamented and wrung my hands with desolation and beat my breast with anguish.

But this morning someone sent me Moore's letter supporting the goodly General and I am pleased to say, Moore fans there is no cause for alarm.

According to Moore:
"This is not about voting for who is more anti-war or who was anti-war first or who the media has already anointed. It is about backing a candidate that shares our values AND can communicate them to Middle America. I am convinced that the surest slam dunk to remove Bush is with a four-star-general-top-of-his-class-at-West-Point-Rhodes-Scholar-Medal-of-Freedom-winning-gun-owner-from-the-South -- who also, by chance, happens to be pro-choice, pro environment, and anti-war. You don't get handed a gift like this very often. I hope the liberal/left is wise enough to accept it. It's hard, when you're so used to losing, to think that this time you can actually win. It is Clark who stands the best chance -- maybe the only chance -- to win those Southern and Midwestern states that we MUST win in order to accomplish Bush Removal. And if what I have just said is true, then we have no choice but to get behind the one who can make this happen."

Now, as you all know by now, Dennis is my man. He is for repealing NAFTA, single-payer health care, getting out of Iraq, and repealing all the Bush tax cuts, what's there not to like????

But apparently, Clark is also for economic justice in the nation:

"Clark has committed to ensuring that every family of four who makes under $50,000 a year pays NO federal income tax. None. Zip. This is the most incredible helping hand offered by a major party presidential candidate to the working class and the working poor in my lifetime. He will make up the difference by socking it to the rich with a 5% tax increase on anything they make over a million bucks. He will make sure corporations pay ALL of the taxes they should be paying. Clark has fired a broadside at greed. When the New York Times last week wrote that Wes Clark has been “positioning himself slightly to Dean’s left," this is what they meant, and it sure sounded good to me."


"On the issue of gun control, this hunter and gun owner will close the gun show loophole (which would have helped prevent the massacre at Columbine) and he will sign into law a bill to create a federal ballistics fingerprinting database for every gun in America (the DC sniper, who bought his rifle in his own name, would have been identified after the FIRST day of his killing spree). He is not afraid, as many Democrats are, of the NRA. His message to them: "You like to fire assault weapons? I have a place for you. It's not in the homes and streets of America. It's called the Army, and you can join any time!"

Moore also pointed out that my Dennis abstained on the war resolution instead of voting against it.... I had not heard that before and it does give me pause.

So, there you have it -- Clark doesn't suck.

Here's the rest of the Moore piece.

Oh, and General Clark, I guess you are definitely a Democrat now, because once you're in bed with Madonna, Moore and Charlie Rangel --- the Repugs won't ever touch you again. So, welcome.

Thursday, January 15, 2004


Let it not be said that I am a sore loser.
Kashei has won the bet.

It's funny, I watched the debate on Sunday and I chuckled when the moderator asked Carol Moseley-Braun if she had any questions and she said:
"I just want to ask the question that we all got last time. Who thinks that the Democratic nominee can beat George Bush?"
Everybody raised their hand and I was thinking "No, the question was who thinks Gov. Dean can beat George Bush?"
But the lady knew what she was saying all along. Good for her.
And nice that she went out taking a shot at Al Sharpton for the racial "screaming match."
Alas, this is why I should never bet, in 2000-2003 I spent much of my disposable income buying yogurts and lunch for Force Majeure, Justice and metsin04 after losing a panoply of ill-wagers. (My favorite one was betting Force Majeure that some horrible disaster would befall us on 1/1/00...D'oh!)
(I think his favorite was when I bet candidate George W. Bush would drop out of the race due to closest skeleton and McCain would be the nominee... D'oh!)
Anyway, at least crow will taste like Roy's tasty molten chocolate.
Wait... ok, Kashei, double or nothing who is going to be the next to drop out?
Just kidding... Atlantic City this weekend (weather permitting) will be enough gambling losses for this tax year.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2004


In high school, I was the master of the obscure factoid.
Napoleon had one testicle, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson dying on the same day but an unknowing Adams muttering "at least Jefferson lives," as he died.
I found that stuff like that always came in handy when the correct, substantial answer was lacking.
"Hmmm, causes of the war of 1812... dunno but Aaron Burr killed Hamilton in a duel sending shockwaves through the new nation." Always good for a few points. (I can't tell you how many times that 'Napoleon had one ball' fact saved me in a pop quiz situation.)
Many of this historical minutiae (obviously) sticks with me today.
As I watched Charlie Gibson interview General Clark this morning, some of it came flooding back.
Charlie asked the General about his shifting stance on the Iraq war. The General firmly responded that he had always stood against the war and anyone who says different is just playing "old-style politics."
Charlie asked the General if he had enough experience to be President. The General firmly said yes and added that anyone who said different was just playing "old-style politics."
Finally, Charlie pointed out that Gov. Shaheen said that General Clark is actually a Republican and has no business being the Democratic nominee for President.
The General smiled and said "old-style politics."
Now, I remember the down and dirty tactics in the Blaine v. Cleveland Presidential race of 1884 when the shamless Republicans tried to use Cleveland's alleged bastard child against him with their taunts of "Ma, ma where's my pa?" (and of course, the clever Democratic response "Gone to the white house ha ha ha!")
I remember the Papist charges leveled against JFK, but just as recently we've Max Cleland essentially called a terrorist and Bill Clinton called a draft dodger.... so what's this new-style politics that Clark thinks he's got going for him?


Every now and then I like to post strange/helpful/frightening stories that Clareified readers send me. Here are a few of the most noteworthy:

From one of Clareified's new readers comes the story of a man whose friend encased his apartment in foil paper.

Kudos to the writer of the story for not calling it "FOILED!"

And from guest blogger J-ROAM the following suggestion for charitable giving:

> Donald Tilley died of an apparent heart attack yesterday, after his "hour
> out" on the yard.
> He was a wonderful client for the short time I was privileged to work for
> him, and he will be missed by his friends inside and outside the prison.
> His mother is 80 years old and on a fixed income. She has no burial
> insurance for him. If he is buried by the prison, she will not be able to
> visit his grave. If you are able to contribute something to his burial
> fund, send it to:
> Angels of Mercy
> P.O. Box 762
> Monroe, La.
> 71210-0762
> Please indicate on your check that the donation is for Don Tilley.

One person who knew him wrote:

"Donald Tilley, and inmate on death row in Angola, was one of the best people I have ever been privileged to know. He was a deeply religious man who was a spiritual advisor to many other inmates. Several NYU students had the opportunity to visit with him over the years through work with the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center. More recently, his case has been handled by the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana."

That's the strange, the helpful... now, the frightening:
Also from J-Roam:

Lauryn Hill stuns Vatican Xmas concert
Sun 14 December, 2003 16:01

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - U.S. Hip Hop singer Lauryn Hill, from a stage used by the Pope, has shocked Catholic officials at a concert by telling them to "repent" and alluding to sexual abuse of children by U.S. priests.

The broadside came during the recording on Saturday night of a Christmas concert attended by top Vatican cardinals, bishops and many elite of Italian society, witnesses said.

Hill made her comments when taking the microphone to sing at the concert, held in the same huge hall and stage Pope John Paul uses for his weekly general audiences and other events. The Pope was not present.

"I did not come here to celebrate the birth of Christ with you but to ask you why you are not in mourning for his death
inside this place," she said according to a transcript of her statement run by the Rome newspaper La Repubblica.

A spokesman for Prime Time Productions, the concert's organisers, said the newspaper's quotes were accurate.

"God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses ... by the clergy," she said.

This was an apparent reference to the scandal in the United States last year over the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Hill told the crowd to seek blessings "from God not men" and said she did "not believe in representatives of God on earth."

A few feet away in the front row sat five cardinals, including Edmund Szoka, American governor of Vatican City.

Hill, 28, did not sing the song listed on the programme but instead sang a song about social injustice.

Organisers said Hill's outburst and performance would most probably be cut from the show when it is aired on Christmas Eve.

Hill shot to fame in the mid 1990s with band The Fu
gees whose album "The Score" sold 17 million copies to become one of the biggest Hip Hop chart successes of all time.

She went on to win five Grammy awards for debut solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill". She has a son and daughter by Rohan Marley, the son of Reggae legend Bob Marley.

I just have to say: "Dude, that is so Sinead."

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


According to report, Dr. Dean, tired of being the "pin cushion" of the Democratic primaries, plans to fire back on his opponents.

Brilliant strategy.
I haven't really been following the primaries, but the sense I keep getting from the media is that Dean is too nice, not angry enough.

Pounding on Carol Moseley Braun should easily dispel that image .


Kucinich '04.

Monday, January 12, 2004


But the projected winner for the 1st Annual "Washington Wizards' Michael Jordan Award"
goes to the Houston Astros' Pitcher: Roger Clemens. (Registration Required)


Well, that's a big lead-in for a relatively short post, but here goes.

Aside from the unforgettably genius shot of him swinging side by side with Dr. Death, Michael Moore has always been one of my favorite personalities. He's funny (putting up a toll booth at the city limit to enter Chicago a la the toll booth littering Illinois suburbia or trying to land a boatload of African-American NYC residents on the shores of Greenwich's "private beaches" rank extremely high on the list of best, funniest, poignant stunts ever.)

TV Nation was always a must-see. "Downsize This!" was the perfect poolside reading... the "FYI" map for future looters hung on my bedroom wall for years.

I used to visit his site everyday until I eventually realized that since it wasn't updated everyday, I could probably cut back to monthly visits.

Today, I wandered around the site for the first time in months and came upon these gems:

"George W. Bush went out of his way to give guys like me a big whopping tax cut this year. Words cannot express my gratitude-but money can!

That's why I'm spending my entire tax cut on getting rid of George W. Bush!"

He's donating money to Democratic candidates with a chance to oust Bush or a Republican. And then he adds this one caveat: "(except Joe Lieberman. I won't give a dime to any Bushie pretending to be a Democrat)."

So stop by and give Mike some suggestions on who to give his Tax cut money to!

Then he has this:

So, if you're down with O-P-P (or RAH) let her know!

I already have.


Boston's Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, who last year settled the sex abuse cases in the city for $85 million, yesterday urged Catholic lawyers to oppose same-sex "marriage," saying the institution of marriage and the family are under assault and lawyers need to help protect them.
"The social cost of the breakdown of family life has already been enormous ... It's not a question of live and let live, it's a question of right and wrong," Archbishop O'Malley said.

The only "social cost" he should be worrying about is that 85 million dollars.

Sunday, January 11, 2004


Welcome fellow Brooklyn-based blog Hammers and Nails.


Christweb won this week's King of Blogs crown.


This quiz via Mercuryx23's Fantabulous Blog

Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.


So, Paul O'Neill is hawking a book and he's selling out the Bush administration one by one to do it.
Among the highlights, he says that the administration planned the Iraq attack pre-9/11 and that W is "a blind man in a room of deaf people."

In response, the Bush administration (by way of unnamed senior staffers) has begun the discredit campaign.
"We didn't listen to him when he was in the cabinet, why would we listen to him now."

Take that!

What I hope I won't see in the next few days is any Democratic leader weighing in on the issue. Let O'Neill and the Bushies fight it out.... we don't have a dog in this fight --- they both have fleas.

O'Neill is no hero. He sat by and let the Bush administration sign off on ill advised guaranteed service cuts for the poor. And now claims he knew the government misled a coalition of nations into the most serious act of invasion, but said and did nothing until he could be paid for his testimony.
As for the Bushies, we already know that they spend most of their disposable money on flame retardant pants.

Please, McCauliffe et al, heed the old saying: when your enemy is about to destroy himself, get out of the way.

For more on the O'Neill story, check out:

People's Republic of Seabrook

And Then

Sooner Thought


All puns aside, this girl kicks ass!

Saturday, January 10, 2004


How would you quit if there would be no consequences to burning bridges?

Other fun questions about changing employers.

You think?

Somebody tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree. (Registration Required)

Friday, January 09, 2004

I've Got to stop taking these damn quizzes.

This one via the Prodigal Rick:

What Classic Movie Are You?


Bush twins feel victimized by daddy's job.
Please, America, help them out and send their daddy home to Crawford for good in November.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

That's Like 731,707 Dollars for each Bullet

Diallo family gets 3 Million Dollars

Mo Money Mo Problems

Preach It Big Poppa:

Clerk arrested for 'stealing' traders' winning ticket

Ohio Woman Lied About Losing Winning Ticket for her Kids


Father who gave daughter condom arrested for rape!

""He allowed the suspect to sleep in the same bed as his 15-year-old daughter. There's also statements from them that he provided condoms," said Lt. Dan Kolke of the Fraser, Mich., Police Department.

The father had apparently approved of his daughter having sex with Gossad, whom he thought was 18, but when he later found out Gossad was 20 years old, he became upset, television station WDIV reported.

"The father believed that the suspect was only 18 years old having sex with his 15-year-old daughter. He then found out that the suspect was actually 20 years old," said Kolke.

The teen's father went to Fraser police to file a complaint against Gossad, but police were apparently just as concerned with the fact that he was letting his teenage daughter have sex at all. "

Are you kidding me?


"Looks like Bloomberg is doing a rebate. He's such a moron."



Here's a photo of the mayor from today's Times. Who Shrunk his head?


Today the "Right" seems to be enjoying a collective head scratch at Maureen Dowd's expense.

Norbizness takes on the Noonster.

I'm Sorry.... Are you Happy Now?

I come from a long line of grudge holders.
My grandma knew how to hold a grudge, my mother knows how to hold a grudge and I, well, in the age of computers and excel spreadsheets, I've managed to streamline my grudges into three distinct categories reaching back 20 years.
Silent Treatment, Retaliation and Unholy Vengeance.
The Silent Treatment usually lasts for a matter of hours before hostilities are ended.
Retaliation, of course, means that all is forgiven once I've imposed some roughly equivalent harm, and Unholy Vengeance... well, basically may God help you, because I won't.
It's like when Susan told Kelly that if she were dying of thirst on a dusty road and she owned an Aquafina plant, she'd let Kelly die.
Marsha, who stole my collection of neon, plastic bracelets in the third grade ranks high on this list.
My mom always says "Don't be sorry, be careful."
There's that funny scene in 'Billy Madison' where Adam Sandler calls Steve Buscemi and apologizes for being mean to him in high school. Buscemi calmly hangs up the phone and walks over to his refrigerator and crosses Billy Madison off his "People to kill" List.
I know it sounds harsh and probably unhealthy, but it's way better than this modern movement where saying "I'm sorry" passes for punishment. Taking responsibility replaces being held accountable.
When Charlie Gibson said that Pete Rose decided to come clean after fifteen years, because people kept saying that they would forgive him if he just admitted what he did, I thought he was joking.
He wasn't.
When Gov. Rowland apologized last night for lying about accepting gifts and then added that now he hoped everyone would allow him to get back to the job of governing, I knew we had gone too far.
Apologizing and then accepting your punishment is one thing, apologizing as your punishment is another.
But, then again, I may just be a big ole meanie who thinks Sorry's nothing but a boardgame.


That's right. The New Republic has picked the one candidate that doesn't have a single Democratic stance to his name, to be the Democratic nominee for President.

Good thing nobody reads it, I'm cancelling my subscription.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


A girl I went to high school with once,
e-mailed me the following, in response to a post about the Lies of Laura Bush:

Whopper: Laura Bush
The first lady lies in order to make the president look ... stupid?
By Timothy Noah
Posted Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, at 1:25 PM PT

"There's something endearing about the first lady's undisguised pleasure at conning so many people. Still, it is not only a lie, but an entirely gratuitous one—Mrs. Bush's remarks about the joys of reading didn't need the anecdote, and arguably were undermined by its mawkishness. Of particular interest is the apparent aim of Mrs. Bush's hoax. Ordinarily, when a surrogate tries to pass off a fake quotation as a president's actual words, the quotation is meant to make the president sound scholarly, or witty, or lapidary. In this case, though, whatever White House staffer prepared Mrs. Bush's remarks obviously strained to make the president's purported love poem sound sufficiently moronic that no one would doubt Bush had written it. Chatterbox doesn't know what to make of this."

Neither do I. Neither do I.

Maybe Bill Safire will have a Winter column about it.


Clareified commenter, William Negherbon, e-mailed me a story last November about a South Carolina high school where the local police department was called in to perform a "drug sweep."
Armed officers, ordered students to the floor at gunpoint, frisked the teenagers and raided their lockers and backpacks. No drugs were found.
Well, two stories greeted me this morning on the broadcast news. First, the Goose Creek principal is resigning from the high school.
In the understatement of the year (ok, I know the year's still young), George McCrackin said:
"I realized it is in the best interest of Stratford High School and of my students for me to make a change."

According to the news reports, he has been sued by students held at gunpoint during the raid, but will most likely be installed at another South Carolina school.

Not even a full minute after that story ran, another report announced a new initiative in New York City Schools. (registration required.)

" A task force of 150 police officers will help impose order on 12 of New York City's most violent schools under an initiative announced yesterday by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to curb school violence."

What's the old adage about people who don't learn from history?
Schools should not be policed like they were city streets or back alleys. Imagine if hospitals dealt with thefts or assaults by parading armed guards through the corridors or if priests, tired of church burglaries and vandalism, decided to hire a security force to patrol the parish and stand at every pew.
Obviously, while these measures might be successful, they also undermine the very purpose of the institutions they are trying to safeguard. Healing can't happen in a hospital under seige, worship can't happen at gunpoint and learning can't very well happen in a state of lockdown.
The only places that even try are state and federal prisons.
Don't our kids deserve better than daily pat downs and metal detectors?
Give me readin', ritin' and rithmetic over searches, seizures and stay silent any day.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004


One of my favorite people in the world wished me happy new year with that phrase, and I thought it aptly serves as the lead-in to this post about all the latest haps in the blogosphere since the ball dropped in Times Square.

1) The ever-prolific, poetic Candace has picked up additional real-estate and now can be found here as well.

(I fear Peter will feel threatened and have to add another blog to his growing roster.)

2) I am a judge in the King of Blogs competition.
(Props to Patriot-Paradox for keeping the tourney alive!)

3) Belated Shout Outs to Annika and CandiedGinger for the links! Clareified turned 3 months old yesterday and nice to know people are still enjoying the site!

Mountain: 2; Dawn: 0 or how I discovered ass-sledding.

I took a brief vacation away from the East Coco Beach hustle and bustle to ski in Killingmountain, Vermont.
Granted, the town's name should have been my first clue about the week I was about to face, but I am ever the optimist.
Now, there are two schools of thought about skiing. There are those who believe that a beginner should progress steadily from the bunny slope to basic trails at their own pace; and then, there are the psychotic, crack-smoking spawn of satan that were "taught" me to ski.
By way of background, this was my fourth time skiing in my whole life.
Each time I go, I sign up for the beginner's class (believe me, the sting of "you're really good for your first time" wears off after the first couple of times) and then I spend the day "skiing" down the bunny slope with elementary school kids. I expected this time to be no different.
I was wrong.
My first instructor was a 72-year-old "pro" who decided that after running 15 minutes of "ski-skating" and "pizza slice" drills, we were ready to tackle Bloodshed peak.
I fell four times in two minutes --- basically, I was only upright when I took the skiis off to stand up again.
The outing ended with six of my classmates and me, walking down the mountain, dragging our skis and poles behind us, while dodging pint-sized snowboarders.
I then decided to sign up for an "all-women's" clinic, thinking less testosterone, less me falling down the hill.
The female instructor was even worse.
Once I could finally make it down Bloodshed in one piece, she decided that it was time for a "green" trail.
We took a lift up to a "sky trolley" and then transferred to a helicopter which took us to the top of the mountain.
The first drop was a barely tilted, straight line.
"Alright, girls. Let's go"
I fell straight down hill, actually my legs fell in two separate directions, my arms did some kind of windmill flail that sent my poles flying off the Cliffside and my bum carried the whole twisted mess down to the bottom where my still-standing class was watching in horror.
"Are you ok?"one of my classmates asked.
"I think so, but I lost my sticks."
Bitchzilla, the instructor, skis over and tells me to hurry and get up because I'm "holding" them up.
She retrieves my poles and snidely says "here are your 'sticks'" as she gives them back.
A couple of minutes later we were underway again.
Fall and repeat.
"This is not supposed to be sledding, Dawn. It's skiing."
"Bite me, Bride of Lucifer."
While I spent most of the trail on my butt, I wasn't the slowest skier in the group. That honor belonged to the non-English speaking, model agent from Mexico City.
Bitchzilla was apparently under the impression that speaking to Ericka in slow-motion English was the equivalent of Spanish.
"Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand straaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiightttttttttt and keeeeeeeeeeeeeeep youuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrr aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmssssss oooouuuuuuuuutttttt iiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn ffrrrrooooooooontttttttttttt."
About half-way through, the class realized that Ericka had vanished.
"Well, we'll wait another minute for her."
"Ok, one more."
Bitchzilla looked pretty ashen as we stood there waiting for Ericka to plod around the bend.
She never did.
After ten minutes, she decided to leave without her.
"Aren't you going to go back and find her?"
"I'm sure she'll be fine. You just worry about staying upright."
She then took us on the most direct route back to the ski-rental area--- straight down.
I don't know if it was the knowledge that she would leave me up there, or soreness that prevented me from being able to bend anymore, or a miracle from the Lord himself, but dear Reader, I skied all the way down that mountain without falling again!
Now, I would have blogged about all this sooner, but my hotel room only had internet access via the television remote control: basically you used the letters at the bottom of the number keys to type anything. 2 was a,b or c; 3 was d,e,or f; and so on.
You can imagine that after a long day of painful ass-sledding, I wanted to poke my own eyes out after trying to type a sentence in this fashion.
I am so happy to be back in the land where phone lines are used for calls, and television sets are used for shows and computers are used for blogging!

Monday, January 05, 2004

Look At Me Go

I'm a blogger's blog!


Kashei is going to love this.

Quiz via It's Craptastic

What Famous Leader Are You?

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Random Thought #9, 789

Have you ever become enamored of a name?
Like: "Oh, I would love to marry a man named Jared."
"If I have a daughter I would name her Alicia."
Then, one day, you meet someone so vile, obnoxious and self-absorbed, that you're certain you must be looking at the human shell disguising a satanic monster. And in the moment right after their head makes a full 360 degree spin, and pea soup comes pouring out of their mouth, they wipe away the mess with the back of their right hand quickly turn it over and extend it, proudly introducing themselves as "Alicia Jared," ruining the name forever.

Saturday, January 03, 2004


Between Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, Phil Spector, Scott Peteson and that child actor guy, 2004 is certainly going to be a big year fr Court TV. We should expect the next Greta van Susteren or Star Jones to emege any day now.

Friday, January 02, 2004

What's worse than dial-up blogging?
TV Internet blogging. I never thought I would ever hate blogging and television, this much or at the same time.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

New Year's Roundup

In my house we have a couple of New Year’s traditions. First we watch the ball drop and then we maniacally run around fixing the time on all the clocks.

I’m looking forward to 2004. We get a leap year, early Oscars, the end of Friends, a new President, the Olympics, a new Season of Sex and the City and the Sopranos, a new Harry Potter movie and the sequel to Spiderman!

Also, every leap year I try to reconnect with old friends. Oh boy, what more could you ask?

As for resolutions, to the usual suspects of “lose weight, exercise, save more money, be kinder,” I’m adding, find a lucrative hobby. I found a buffalo head nickel once, that was cool.

And I’m going to try to limit my use of “that is so last year” when I talk to people this weekend.

By way of predictions: The Mets will not end in last place this year!

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