Friday, May 28, 2004
I flew back from Columbus last night in the middle of a thunderstorm. At one point, looked out my window and saw nothing but ominous gray/black clouds periodically interrupted by flashes of lightning.
The pilot and flight attendant told us not to worry because these kind of storms are typical in the area and that the storms move at about 50 MPH, so "they get out of the way pretty fast." (Of course, doesn't that also mean that they can get in the way pretty fast?)
But I got to thinking, Ohio is a battleground state and I bet Kerry is going to be flying there a lot. What if his plane crashes?
I think that the nomination goes to Al Gore with John Edwards as VP. I also think the next man that marries Theresa Heinz Kerry will drive everywhere.
I watched the local Ohio newscast while getting ready for work yesterday. In a segment on the alert about the "Terror Seven," the reporter interviews the Columbus Chief of Police.
"Our department is definitely on high alert. We know that places like Cleveland and Columbus and Cincinatti are just as likely to be terror targets as New York or L.A."
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Great way to start a morning.
The more things change...
Yesterday I was at a deposition in Ohio. As is usual, attorneys from most of the major law firms in the U.S. were there defending various defendants. However, what was most unusual was that all but one attorney was a woman. Furthermore, of the six women, three were ethnic minorities. Further yet, of the three minorities, two were African-American.
After almost four years of being mistaken for court reporters, secretaries and legal assistants while practicing law in NYC, it took a trip to the heartland to finally arrive!
Of course, after the dep was over the other two attorneys of color and I decided to use our five hours until take off, to cruise the city's mall looking for a movie theater. In business suits and briefcases, we headed up one flight of escalators looking for a mall directory.
We located one right between a Godiva chocolatier and a diamond jewelry shop.
Although it didn't have a movie theater (like all the teen angst movies about middle America suggest), the mall had hundreds of stores. We were charting out a game plan of stores we wanted to visit (on a side note, I am now developing a Hollywood treatment about fat people and skinny people trying to cruise a mall together. "Fatties to the left; Normies to the right." Believe me, hijinks aplenty.)
After about twenty minutes, a rent-a-cop pokes his head around the directory:
"Excuse me?" I ask.
He fully steps out in front of us now, his left hand on his hip and his right hand cradling his walkie talkie.
"Are you all lost? Can I help ya find something?"
The other two women, shook their heads.
"Well, is there a movie theater here. In the movies, these malls always have a movie theater," I pipe in.
"No, the closest one's out bah the pike."
"Oh, too bad"
"Well, let me know if I kin help y'all find something"
"Thanks, but we thought we'd check the handy directory board that we're standing in front of, before we take you away from your busy rounds."
Skipper's grip on his walkie talkie tightened (I named him Skipper in my head after he said the word pike, don't ask me why.) Slowly, he looked us up and down:
"Awright, y'all take care."
He walked off, but glanced back at us once more before disappearing around the corridor.
The three of us stood there watching him go.
"So, did he think we were casing Godiva or the diamond store?"
The other two laughed.
"You know, I didn't want to say anything because people always say I think things are too racial," said the other African-American chick.
"No, that was definitely a DWB-type stop..."
"Well," said the very rational Asian chick, "it could be that he wasn't sure if we could read and understand the very large, brightly illustrated map we were standing in front of. I mean, really."
All in all, not a bad trip.
In April New LLP got me a snazzy, fandangled Treo 600. He got one around the same time too.
In the vein of the old late night infomercials, this thing gets e-mails, surfs the web, takes digital photos, makes phone calls, is a palm pilot, slices and dices.
You can even play video games on it while pretending to listen to your friend blah blah blah about her life on the speakerphone.
I love it very, very much.
Of course, when you're flying to Ohio on a twenty-seater-might-as-well-be-a-prop-plane, try explaining to the stewardess that the wireless connection is off and you're just playing a riveting game of ZapIt.
"Is it a cellphone?"
"Well, yes, but I don't..."
"If it's a cellphone you need to put it away."
"But, it's also a videogame."
"Is it a cellphone?"
"Put it away."
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear!
My once lowly fantasy baseball team is now fourth!
Spyware sucks. I will vote for any candidate, of any party, in any jurisdiction in which I am allowed to vote, that puts forth legislation that mandates a sentence of 20 years to life for anyone who causes spyware to be distributed, downloaded or in any way cause my computer to explode and require complete replacement.
This may be the one exception to my opposition to the death penalty.
OK. Rant over. Bastards. Over .... now.
The company car I took home last night had a TV inside!!! I watched the AI DeGarmo/Barrino face off. Oh, the depths to which they sucked have yet to be explored by man. I could pick who was "best," but that would be like choosing a winner in a Fran Drescher-Maggie Wheeler whine off. Does anybody "win" in such a competition?
Monday, May 24, 2004
A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a rabbi, if they could discuss his use of the family car.
His father took him into his study and said, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Talmud a little, get your hair cut and then we'll talk about it."
After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. They again went into the father's study where the father said, "Son, I've been very proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied the Talmud diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut."
The young man waited a moment and then replied, "You know Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair." The rabbi said, "Yes, and everywhere they went, they walked."
Rummy bans digital cameras from all military facilities in Iraq.
Yup, because that was the problem. Digital cameras.
I am addicted to the Sunday morning talk shows.
I watch as many as I can, except the CBS ones -- never got into CBS shows.
Depending on the guests, they usually provide the most balanced, well-argued points of view on the week's political happenings. (OK, Bill Safire's ridiculous "it has been a bad couple of months for the Republicans because of the prison scandal and the death toll" viewpoint notwithstanding. FYI: Mr. Safire I think it was a bad month for the tortured prisoners, court martialed guardsmen, surviving family members and injured soldiers...)
Last week, the guests on "This Week" were journalists who cover the Middle East commenting on Abu Ghraib and why Bush's apology was insufficient. I expected the obvious "well because he didn't apologize for doing anything, but for what happened" argument. Instead, the one female journalist said it was because the President and his surrogates basically said "a terrible thing happened, but that's not America. What does that mean to us?"
And she's right.
I mean raise your hands if you feel better about the attacks on the WTC because that's not what Saudia Arabians typically do.
Should I wait?
Look, fact is Lynndie England is American -- (thumbs up, cigarette hanging out of her mouth -- c'mon), her lover-boy supervisor, with his goofball mustache and horn-rimmed glasses? So very American.
Our nation's history is chock full of Abu Ghraibs and worse. Amadou Diallo, Rodney King, Matthew Shepard, Columbine, Oklahoma City, Selma, Salem Witch Trials... anything involving Andrew Jackson.
Rage, violence, anger, venegance, deceit --- they're all as American as pissed off settlers, dressed as Native Americans, dumping tea into the harbor because the taxes were too high.
Quick, name the only country ever to use nuclear weapons in a war.
Should I wait?
But at the same time the current outcry is equally American.
The shock, 24/7 media coverage, shame, legal proceedings, apologies -- been there, reparationed that.
Whose idea was it to "isolate" Japanese Americans again? That guy is in so much trouble, right now.
Last week, Federal officials reopened a 50-year-old race-driven murder of Emmett Till.
A candidate for President of the U.S. is asking for billions of dollars to be paid to the families of innocent civilians killed during Operation Iraqi freedom.
America, Americans, are not all one thing or the other.
Andrew Carnegie was evidently a vicious killer and a thief, but his charity gave rise to the finest public library system in the world and some of the most incredible cultural art centers.
Nixon was a racist paranoid, but his policies began affirmative action in the country.
TV has given us Buffy and Xena, but also Home Improvment and the Littlest Groom.
In high school, one of my favorite teachers showed us the movie "The Mouse that Roared" about a small European country that starts a war with the United States because it knows that if it's defeated the U.S. will rebuild it and ensure that it thrives. (Hijinks ensue when caught by the surprise attack the U.S. decides to surrender...)
But I've always thought that summed things up pretty well: we can fight, destroy, kill, maim; but we can also create, rebuild, nurture, repay.
It may not fit the whole "moral clarity" mold, but it's the American way.
Conspiracy theories abound.
If I'm not mistaken, John Kerry took a similar tumble last month ... maybe someone should remind these men that they are competing for leader of the free world, not the last spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Friday, May 21, 2004
CANCER (June 22-July 22).
Get specific with your requests and make sure they are answered specifically, too; vague promises will annoy you. Travel is on your mind - or are you just trying to escape a pesky problem? Find a healthy way to vent. Romantic matters get interesting. Competition comes on the scene - you're up to it, though. Your physical prowess is at its peak. Take in a long hike, an extra grueling workout at the gym or any other activity that puts your body in motion.
Feds charge him with perjury.
He'd best plead, lest the government find some expert willing to testilie in order to convict him.
Jeremy Sivits will serve a year in jail for obeying orders;
Camilo Mejia will serve a year in jail for disobeying orders.
What a country.
Bob Herbert has some interting comments about the Mejia case.
Where is one supposed to look when a former colleague insists on carrying on a conversation in the women's locker room with no clothes on?
Check out this record!!!!
And I hear she's Catholic. Why can't we get someone like her in the Senate...say from New York.
Think they'll be held in Abu Ghraib?
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Hmm, if McCain's not a Republican, I don't know who is.
The best part was when Speaker Hastert suggested that McCain didn't understand military sacrifice:
Hastert: "If you want to see the sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda. There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it. And, at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong."
This is like Jonah Goldberg swearing he wasn't on crack and then calling Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman "liberal."
Crazy Repubs Trix are for kids.
Gov. Mitt Romney has threatened to imprison county clerks who don't enforce 91-year-old anti interracial marriage law.
GOOD HABITS ARE HARD TO START
I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to start a habit. Good or bad. (Now that I think about it, it was probably Dr. Phil or Bob Greene or some other former Oprah guru.) So about six months ago I set out to start a habit of going to the gym.
21 days in a row!
Karol had convinced me to buy a "work out booklet" with free passes to like 400 different gyms in the city, so I thought I could use one a day for 21 days and that would do it.
That didn't quite work out. (Get it? "work out" ha ha)
Although, since the passes expired at the end of the year, the final week of December involved me going to two or three gyms a day, just to hand in the pass, so it would, at least, look like I used the freaking booklet. Between that and my medical spending spree, I had to have burned a hella lot of calories though.
So every month since then I have made the same attempt. In February I even managed four days in a row!
But alas, no habit.
In April, I started on the 29th.
May 1st, my streak was going strong.
May 8th...by golly I'm doing, I'm doing it!!
Then, May 9th.
However, that night I came home with a terrible cough and a low-grade fever. I downed some Nyquil and hit the sack.
At four in the morning, I woke up choking and unable to breath. I drank some Dimetapp (having successfully overcome my childhood addiction to the grape flavored goodness that led me to feign coughing everytime I wanted something sweet.)
The coughing wouldn't stop, I looked at the clock and it was 5 a.m.
Knowing I wouldn't get back to sleep, I put on my sweats and sneaks and headed to the gym!
(Take that stupid hacking cough that tried to kill me.)
I was at 12 days -- sick as a dog, but more than half-way to a gym-going-to habit.
On day 17, I felt a tightness in my right leg. I was limping, but I ignored it. Well, until I was running to catch the Q train home and heard something snap in my right leg.
Hmm..that can't be good... I tried to stand on the leg..."holy mother of..."
"OK, definitely, not good."
I hopped out of the subway station (using the railing on the stairs to pull myself up). I hopped home and fell onto my bed.
"Look leg, I appreciate that something in there snapped and you're not very happy right now, but I am four days away from a gym-going-to habit, so you're going to have to be better by tomorrow."
I went to sleep with an ice pack bandaged to the back of my leg and by morning I could stand on it again. Unfortunately, "straight" was the leg's full range of motion.
I dragged the leg around all day at work and around lunchtime, I decided I would only do arm exercises. I went to get my sweats and realized I left my gym bag at home.
"Ok, let's recap: I have a painful, non-moving leg, my fingers are inexplicably swollen, I still have a terrible cough and sore throat (Funny story, I decided to look up my symptoms on the medical websites, just to make sure I didn't have anything terribly serious and was informed that I was in the third trimester of pregnancy. Mental note: do not rely on the internet for medical diagnoses. Although, that would also explain my weight...) and now, I have forgotten my gym clothes. Obviously, God is trying to tell me something."
But then I wondered...what if it's not God at all...what if...
So instead of going to the gym at lunch, I went shopping for a T-shirt and sweatpants. I elevated the leg until the late evening when I headed to the gym.
I stepped on the elliptical machine very slowly, starting with the left leg. Then I lifted the right leg on...I moved the pedals forward at a snail's speed. Lo and behold, it didn't hurt. I moved faster and still the leg was fine! I started to sprint and a searing pain shot up my thigh, so I slowed back down a notch, but for the most part the work-out was fine and now I was up to 18.
On day 20 I got a work assignment at 6:45 p.m., by the time the bossman finished explaining it, the time was 7:15 and I had about 2 and a half hours before the gym floor closed and I was 1/2 an hour away. I waited until he left and then sprinted for the subway.
Yesterday I finished day 21!
Now, I've just got to go see a doctor about my leg...
I think I may have passively agreed not to watch the 'Angel' series finale until Saturday.
My friend is hosting a barbecue and has invited the whole old law school 'Buffy watching council,' over for good eats and goodbye. I love the Buffy watching council -- our law school graduation was (very rudely) on a Tuesday night in May (gosh, was that four freaking years ago????)
Anyway, after the party, was the after party in an East Harlem apartment at 2 or 3 in the morning where we all gathered to watch the Season finales of Buffy and Angel. The picture of us sitting, pre-dawn, around the television glow, some still in graduation garb, ranks as one of my favorites.
So, of course, I'll be there Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to the big galut with a soul and "brass testes" with the old gang.
But, as that sentence reveals...it'll be the second time I do so.
C'mon, all the way to Saturday??? When it's already recorded and waiting for me on the TIVO? Nobody could really hold me to that right?
Ok, nevermind. Just kidding. I didn't see nothing. Man, I wonder how it ends. ;)
Since I didn't see it, I will refer those of you looking for great commentary on the end to this groovy chick.
My guess is when I see the episode on Saturday, this will be my reaction.
I also love this post on why Joss Whedon sucks.
I mean, does he have to be so good all the time?
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
I have actively stopped reading stories about John Kerry because they always contain something like this:
Asked if they must agree with his abortion-rights views, he quickly added, "I will not appoint somebody with a 5-4 Court who's about to undo Roe v. Wade. I've said that before."
"But that doesn't mean that if that's not the balance of the court I wouldn't be prepared ultimately to appoint somebody to some court who has a different point of view. I've already voted for people like that. I voted for Judge Scalia."
Asked if he regretted that vote, Kerry said, "Yes. Given what he has done on a number of cases." Kerry said he didn't see at the time "such a level of ideology and partisanship" he now sees in Scalia.
(Kerry says: "If you're looking for me to admit that I made a mistake in my years in the Senate, there you go - there's one," said the four-term Massachusetts senator. Except he also voted against Souter, for the Patriot Act, for the Iraq war, for No Child left behind ...oh, did the reporter only ask for one?)
Calling himself a strict constructionist, a phrase Bush has used to describe himself, Kerry paraphrased former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and said: "A good justice is somebody that when you read their decisions you can't tell if they are Republican or Democratic or liberal or conservative, a Christian or a Jew, a Muslim, male or female. You just know you're reading a good judicial opinion."
Kerry's a strict constructionist who supports Roe v. Wade? What now? As Inigo Montoya would say "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
"It will not be like Vietnam," Kerry said. "I will get our troops home from Iraq with honor and with the interests of our country properly protected."
How soon? "It will not take long to do what is necessary. I'm not going to give you a specific date, but I'll tell you that I have a plan and I will put that plan in place."
See here ...I have a plan see...and when I implement my plan oh it's gonna blow all the other plans right out of the water.
Maureen Dowd is writing a book, Bushworld.
Here's a preview.
Money line: "In Bushworld, we went to war to give Iraq a democratic process, yet we disdain the democratic process that causes allies to pull out troops."
Who's picking their fantasy players from the 2001 magazines now?
On a related note, if you are up to bat in the ninth facing a pitcher that almost has a perfect game, do you really try to hit him? I mean, unless you're going for some record yourself for consecutive hits in a game, isn't it rude to ruin this guy's game?
Also, what's the difference between a no-hitter and a perfect game?
Lawyer Lunges At Opposing Counsel, During Deposition.
Police issue arrest warrant.
Yesterday an Iraqi cleric ordered all military forces out of the holy city of Najaf.
Observers have commented that Najaf is a Muslim equivalent of the Vatican, so that it's blasphemous having non-believers trapsing around the city killing people.
Fair point, I suppose, but the reality is a militia force has occupied the city for the purpose of launching a military attack and taking over the country.
Indeed, if the Vatican army were to take up arms with an aim to invade Italy, I would expect that the Pope, cardinals, bishops and nuns would physically stand in the line of fire protecting the innocent citizens of Rome until the renegade army surrendered.
Otherwise, I would expect NATO forces to summarily put them down like dogs.
A holy city is only as sacred as people treat it.
This morning, I was sucked into Rudy Guiliani's testimony before the 9/11 Commission. As I listened to him describe how he arrived on the scene and watched a man jump to his death, while the Fire Department explained that they couldn't attempt helicopter rescues from the roof because of fire -- I was spirited back to those days when his was the only voice I believed.
In a time when things were literally collapsing around us, Rudy was still barking orders to civilians and taking charge. I remember the White House put up Karen Hughes as the spoeksman for a time, then switched to Ashcroft. Didn't quite cut it.
Pataki, Schumer -- as they blah blah blahed I kept thinking where's Rudy? Why are these guys talking, did something happen to Rudy?
This morning he testified that once the second plane hit, he called the White House to ask for air support.
What mayor would ever think to ask for such a thing?
He talked about his last conversation with Pete Gancy --a F.D.N.Y. big wig -- where Gancy said the goal was to clear the area and get everyone to move North. Then "he said God be with you and I said same to you."
Later in the testimony he talked about how he and his staff were almost crushed in the aftermath of the Tower 2 collapse. When they got out, he kept telling people to go North because "that's what Pete had said to do." Of course, by that time, Pete was dead.
Anyhow, what I mostly remember about those days was feeling so safe in East Coco Beach.
On September 12, I went outside and look around at my little corner of the earth. No flames, no debris (except for the usual fast food discards), no burning smell. I skipped (yes,skip. What of it?) to the bakery to get sticky buns for breakfast and they were open!
I looked at the crisp sky and peered in all the shops going about their daily business. Everything was perfectly normal.
I walked home really slowly that afternoon, just taking it all in -- how after a lifetime of being scared to go out in the ECB after dark or alone or at all -- I didn't want to be anywhere else.
This was home and I was safe.
I was in a moderately crowded car of the N train yesterday when a woman enters with a huge guitar strapped to her back. It was late and I was tired, so I kept hoping that she didn't plan on playing the damn thing. She didn't look like a subway musician (she had squeezed her body into a T-shirt and knee length shorts that not only didn't match, but were at least six sizes too small (and not in a good way.)
The doors closed and sure enough she starts strumming away and tightening strings. Then, she started singing.
I want to say she was singing that song "Get Here." (You know, the railways, aeroplanes, etc. song) But that would be very unfair to the song.
After about a minute of her high pitched yelping, a man shouts "Please, stop. You're no good. If you hit the gym and lose some weight, you might get a man to marry ya and spare us all this torture."
She got off at the next stop.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
I'm guessing not this.
According to the story, The Posts moved to Colorado from NYC after 9/11 because they wanted to raise their family in a "safe place." The whole family was killed over the weekend when a steel girder fell from a Colorado bridge and sliced their SUV in half.
Which one was he, again?
(I have the same problem with Thelma & Louise)
A long time ago when everyone in my homeroom was rooting for Magic and Kareem Abdul Jabar, I picked the long shots, the underdog Detroit Pistons as my favorites in the NBA. Maybe it was because I thought Isiah Thomas was adorable or that Dennis Rodman was hella cool, but I was a Bad Boy for life before Puffy ruined the phrase for all eternity.
The Pistons lost that year, but they came back to win back to back championships. Then, they pulled off the ballsiest stunt I have ever seen in professional sports and walked off the court as champions instead of letting Jordan's Bulls beat them.
I lost track of the Pistons by the mid-90s/late 90s, coming back to my New York Knicks when they tricked me into believing they could win a Championship (Damn you to hell, John "can't-hit-a-three-pointer-to-save-my-life-but-won't-stop-shooting-them" Starks), but now with the upcoming Game 7, I find myself rooting for Motown boys once again.
Is that so wrong?
After winning one particularly huge pot, Ugarte asked Pauley how much money he had taken in. Obviously, trying to be cagey and witty, Pauley feigns some mental calculations and then says:
"Oh, I don't know, the square root of 64!"
At least three people at the table simultaneously say "8?"
Ugarte: "I don't think you were as inscrutable as you were trying to be."
Embarrassed Pauley hangs his head.
Know When To Run
Since Rick is moving away to the nether regions of the world and asphnxma has returned from said nether regions, I thought it would be fun to play a round of poker with the boys before geography or my good sense kicked in and made that impossible.
Last night was the big game.
We played at Signor Ferrari's apartment (Ugarte and Pauley) were also in attendance. I knew I was in trouble when one player referred to another, as "one of the poker bloggers." Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't be playing my third game of poker in a room full of men who blog about poker.
Moving right along.
Once everyone was seated around the table, we were each dealt one card face up.
"What're these for?" Dawn casually asks.
"It's dealer's choice. High card picks."
"What does dealer's choice mean?" Dawn nervously asks.
"Dealer picks the game."
"Umm...we're not playing poker?"
Now, you know those old cartoons where Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny are stranded in the desert and one of them is so hungry that the other one starts to look like food? Like, a hot dog or a roasted chicken...?
Considering in my life I had only ever played 5 card stud where jokers and twos were wild and Texas hold 'em (which I learned by watching celebrities play on tv), I imagine in that moment I collapsed into a pile of chips right before their very eyes. Easy sucker money.
I wanted to grab all my chips and head for the door, but the game was guarded by two demon cats with flickering eyes and velvet black coats. The host also confiscated our shoes.
There was also some talk of knee-cap breaking.
So I stayed.
The first game was something 7 card high/low trade in, blah blah blah. We got four cards and then passed two cards to the left and then got three more cards and passed two across the table. Then there are three community cards and...oh, who the hell knows.
It was .50 ante and all I understood was Ace and 2 were good cards, so I looked at my hand and gave away anything that wasn't close to an Ace or a 2. About six dollars in, I wisely folded.
I say wisely, because while I was careful to keep mostly high and low cards, I didn't realize that you still had to make a hand (i.e. a pair, or a straight). Who knew?
Fortunately, I was the next dealer and I picked "the game with the floppy thing in the middle!"
"Umm... hold 'em," Signor helpfully offered.
"Yeah," said the stack of chips, I mean me.
I actually won a couple of hands of hold 'em, (I find it helps when one knows the rules or at least that the game exists...) but then I foolishly bet into a full house and lost like 30 bucks. (For the record, I blame Rick completely.)
The next dealer picked a game that I think was called "take Dawn's money." I'm not sure what the rules were, but we each got four cards and then there was a flop and some other stuff happened and then, they took my money.
At some point I was down to six chips (one .50, 2 tens, 1 dollar and one 25 dollar.) Ugarte offered to change the $25 one for me...I thought well, there goes my taxi cab money and made the trade.
My stack quickly dropped to an anemic sixteen dollars.
I decided that it was time to leave, but I couldn't figure out a feasible exit strategy --the phone rang and it was someone wanting to know if there was any more room at the table. His name was, I believe "dead money."
(My name by this point in the game was "take one back.")
Seeing my opportunity I said I would be leaving soon, dead money was then told to come over (oh and "to hit the ATM heh heh heh")
These guys are evil.
Mercifully, Signor called "hold 'em" as his game.
My first hand was a Queen (also known alternatively as Paris Hilton and/or Sigfried) and 9 of diamonds. My friend Karen once told me this was a good hand to play, so I stayed in.
Two diamonds came up in the flop.
I checked and then called. (What did I have to lose? oh, yeah...more money)
The turn was a club.
I checked and then called again.
Then hit the flush on the river!
Of course, I checked.
Then won! (and got admonished for not betting better.)
Rinse and repeat four or five times...I won every pot for the next twenty minutes or so.
It's funny, I was playing fairly tightly (as if I could do anything else) but I think the guys thought I was bluffing and kept staying in. Of course, I don't know how to bet, so it wasn't like I was scaring them off with my serial checks.
By the end of that round of hold 'em, I had won back my buy in and cab fare home.
When the next dealer called some "Nebraska 7 high/low, no wild card thing" I cashed out!
Signor Ferrari held onto my cash long enough for me to watch asphnxma wipe out on some insane game that involved "fifth street" and declaring and "pushing for a dollar" -- clearly these boys have spent time in prison, who else has time to come up with these crazy rules?
As for me, my poker days are over. I'm focussing on my Scrabble skills.
According to Pauly I came in third in the game.
Ugarte says I'm lucky I don't have a penis. And Asphnxma has more technical explanations of the games we were playing.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Every once in a while,a story comes along, that warms the hearts of both Mets and Yankees fans.
Have sex with yourself, Rocket.
"I understand that Kerry has enough delegates to be nominated. I can count, but I can also figure."
See? Does that sound like someone who could bankrupt Cleveland?
Bah, I would have gone with Beacon Hill. So 'The Practice' is ended and 'Fleet Street' begins. Sadly, I think that David Kelley plans to ruin the novelty of James Spader and 'Danny Crane' with his trademark "fetish-trials-that-start-today" storylines.
What a disappointing end. What the heck are Becca and Helen Gamble doing that they couldn't come back for the big finish. And what's up with Jamie not being able to find a job? (Maybe, they found out about her disbarrable offenses?)
Everyone has watched General Hospital at some point or another in their lives, right?
Anyway, the Daytime Emmy's are this Friday. I hope they have enough time to put together a nice tribute. Vanessa Marcil (the host) also starred on GH for many years, so hopefully she'll care enough to do her very best.
Friday, May 14, 2004
We live in interesting times.
The Weight of The World
This morning I caught the last ten minutes of the penultimate Season 5 Buffy (the post's title is also the title of that episode). Not much happens action-wise (par for the course of a penultimate ep) but the final scene is Giles figuring out that the big-bad, Glory, plans to rip a fabric in the world that will cause all dimensions (hell and human) to bleed together, causing unspeakable horror, torment and eventually death. The clincher: the only way to stop it, is to kill Dawn (not me, Buffy's sister).
I remember watching that show when it first ran, and even this morning, thinking -- deal. You wanna throw the whiny brat into the rupturing portal? Fine with me. It was a trade any Buffy fan would have happily made. (Most would also have thrown in Tara for good measure.)
But Joss Whedon, evil genius, royally screwed us.
Instead of the insiginficant annoying ball of energy, he sacrifices our heroine. When it first aired, I went over to Rick's real world "cafe" to watch 'The Gift'.
When Buffy jumped, I sat on his couch waiting for the "whew she's really alive, just in another dimension scene."
I waited all the way through the shots of her body, the shots of her tombstone, the episode of Angel that followed, the Law & Order at 10 p.m., the 11 o'clock news...my cab ride home. Months and months of Spring and Summer and Fall...
Well, you get the picture.
Watching those episodes again reminded me that sometimes you make deals without fully realizing what you could lose.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
The WB cancels Angel while letting Smallville continue to stink up the joint.
The Mets finally win a game, costing me a much-needed win for my Fantasy Starting Pitcher.
Gib was right. America can't be trusted with democracy.
I read somewhere that Simon Cowell plans to crib some aspects of 'The Apprentice' for next year's American Idol. I am guessing that the lowest vote getter will get to pick who they face in an elimination round decided by the judges. It's the only way to take the competition out of the hands of the viewers without eliminating the audience participation aspect altogether.
Just my guess.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
What a terribly sad story. Twin boys, one has a botched circumcision and the doctors take the opportunity to do a study on the nature/nurture dichotomy in determining gender identity. The boy is raised as a girl until at 15 he discovers the truth. His "control group" twin is then diagnosed with schizophrenia. They both kill themselves as adults.
Looks like 20 years is not enough.
Well, at least this might keep us safe from the Presinator.
New photos only available to Senators.
THE OLD MAN AND THE ME
When I was little I'd spend my summers in Panama.
My grandparents bought a condominium on the 8th floor of the tallest building in a small town about 2 hours outside of the country's capital. They lived there with my two cousins. My eldest aunt lived on the 9th floor and my second oldest aunt and her two children lived on the 10th floor.
As an only child, I looked forward to the summer because I would have other children to play with. I was also the youngest, so there was lots of me being carried around on the shoulders of my male cousins and my youngest uncle.
Actually, once my plane landed, I would drop off my suitcase and kick off my shoes. Neither of which I'd see again until I was ready to leave two months later.
I can remember telling my cousins all about New York and the United States (no the streets aren't paved with gold, who told you that?) and all the coolest video games and cartoons (Donkey Kong and The Smurfs).
But probably the person I always looked forward to seeing the most was my grandfather. (My grandmother was more like the grandmother on Malcolm in the Middle. She would pull out her dentures and gum us. Or tell stories in the middle of the night about the morgue making a mistake and putting a woman in the freezer only to discover that she was still alive when the coroner would hear a humming through the door. She then very inconsiderately died in the first week of July. On my 21st birthday instead of partying hardy, I was delivering her eulogy in a hot, Baptist church with two rusty fans.)
My grandpa, on the other hand, was a living breathing amusement park. He isn't very tall, now that I think about it, but back then he was a giant. With little effort, he would pick me up and swing me around until I was dizzy from the twirling and giggling. Then, he'd plant me on the ground and say:
"My goodness, I think this one's gotten into the liquor cabinet. She can't even stand up."
And everyone would laugh as I tried (hopelessly) to get to my feet.
He was always the first one up in the morning. I would jump out of bed as soon as I heard his slippers shuffling around the living room.
I would sit on his lap on the balcony watching the trucks collect the garbage from the smelly bins in the street and he would tell me all about what I bad girl my mom was when she was a kid.
As soon as we started to hear the other occupants in the apartment stirring awake, we would go out to the bakeries to get micha bread for breakfast.
I would stand on his feet and walk the whole way holding onto to his waist as he greeted people in the neighborhood.
"Whatcha got there, Mr. Henry?"
"My granddaughter from the States. She gotta get used to walking with bow-legs and flat feet."
Embarrassed, I would bury my face in his stomach, feeling it jiggle as he laughed at his own joke.
He was also a shameless flirt and all the widows loved him. Me and my cousin used to call them the "other grandmas." They would pat our heads, give us coins, icicles and candy, while they chatted it up with grandpa. (That's right, "chattted." Shut up. la la la la la la la)
(My favorite was other grandma Ida who used to make tamarind duros (frozen ice in cups with sweet flavor). Alex liked other grandma Alice because she gave us dimes.) (What? Don't judge us. Did I mention that our real grandma would "gum" us? None of the other grandmas "gummed" us.)
Due to severe arthritis, old age and a U.S. Missile which hit the building during the invasion and crippled the elevators and electrical systems, my grandfather doesn't travel more than a few feet from home anymore.
But he has always maintained his quick wit and sharp mind. Although we couldn't take walks anymore, he loved telling me about "real history." From the building of the Panama Canal to Clinton's impeachment, my grandfather has a theory for every major historical event. When he leans forward in his chair and lowers his voice (a sure sign he is about to take you into his highest confidence) the most kooky conspiracy theory sounds as plausible as if it were the lead story on Tom Browkaw's evening news.
He worked for the U.S. Army as a young man (part of me still thinks he was a spy) and his eyes light up whenever the topic turns to politics or history.
When I graduated from law school, Al Gore was our commencement day speaker and each graduate got a picture shaking hands with the Vice-President. I mailed a copy to my grandpa and he put the photo on the center of his mantle (after removing my cousin's first communion picture and his wedding photo!) ( :-) Yup, I am his favorite.)
Last night he had a stroke.
He's pushing 90, has cancer, a pacemaker and arthritis. The doctors don't expect him to recover.
I am still hopeful, though. When grandma died everyone feared that he would die soon after. After her funeral my aunts fawned all over him to make sure he was ok. I snuck up behind him and yelled boo. Oh, they yelled and yelled at me, but grandpa looked at me and laughed and laughed.
"You're not going to follow the old lady into the ground are you?"
"I don't think I will," he said.
And he didn't.
When he went in for the heart operation, my mom bought a black dress.
"He's old. He won't make it," she figured.
But he did.
Cancer? A stroke?
Shaaa. They have no idea who they are dealing with.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Oh, great and powerful Jessica, make it cold again. Well, cool. How about cool?
When standing in line behind a woman intent on paying $1.76 with one bill and seventy-six pennies, don't count along. It doesn't make the transaction go faster or the experience any less painful. To the contrary, when she stumbles at 36 and starts over again at 25, you will only hurt yourself trying to refrain from shouting "you're up to 36! 36!! Not 25 you insufferable circus freak."
I coulda come up with this chart. But I didn't. Sigh. My favorite is the "ugly" column. Not for nothing, Angel's Charles Gunn (and Fred), the Gilmore Girls' "Luke" and The Practice's "Jimmy Berlutti" are all well on their way to Zieringhood.
Taking a cue from Seinfeld's Soup Nazi, NY judge does the crazed restauranteur one better and orders a couple not to have anymore children.
Turns out NY judge stole the idea from an Ohio judge!
Now, if we could just get a constitutional amendment banning the 'stupid' from procreating.
This is not just about humiliation, Tim. The allegations in this report involve rape and murder. Please, don't leave this whole scenario thinking that this is just about a humiliating experience. This is about system failure. This is about felony offenses. And if there's more to come, let's get it out, as a nation work through it and show the world that Republicans and Democrats may disagree on the policy and the war in Iraq, but we have the ability to make sure those accountable are going to be held accountable. And it's just not going to be six privates and sergeants. Other people are going to be held accountable. But Republicans and Democrats need to come together to prove to the world that our system works. Let's get it out.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham, Meet The Press May 9, 2004
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Unfortunately since my mom doesn't read my blog, I better get back to gluing the macaroni.
Saturday, May 08, 2004
How I would have ended it:
Ross sues Rachel for custody of Emma when she decides to move to France.
Ericka changes her mind after spending time alone with Chandler.
Phoebe tells Mike she's pregnant.
Gunther professes his love for Joey.
Cathy (the woman that both Joey and Chandler dated) comes back with a four-year-old tells them that she's dying and she's not sure which of them is the father.
The apartment building burns down and everyone has to move in with the Bings.
Monica gets Ericka to reconsider and they name the girl baby, Bada.
Friday, May 07, 2004
FDA rejects over-the-counter 'morning-after' pill.
Noting that emergency contraception is sold without a prescription in numerous other countries, he added: "It seems a tragedy to me that American women don't have the same access to effective drugs that English and Canadian women do."
Well, now we know where the Bush administration stands.
Krispy Kreme lowers profit forecast because of 'diet craze.'
"This [low-carb] phenomenon has affected us most heavily in our off-premises sales channels, in particular sales of packaged doughnuts to grocery store customers," CEO Scott Livengood said in a statement. "
Bushes to skip daughters' college graduations.
Dude, no wonder those girls drink.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Watching it I felt like Wes watching Ilyria pretend to be Fred. This show it looks the same, but something's off.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
No one was killed, but the incident has raised concerns about the security during the upcoming Olympics.
My sucky fantasy baseball team has amassed double-digit saves for the first time in three years of playing!
Copter crashes into buildings in my neighborhood while covering a police shooting.
Also, that's the first building I ever lived in! Guess, it's a good thing we moved.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
President cites racism as a reason "they" criticize U.S. policy in Iraq.
"There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern."
Hat Tip It's Craptastic
George Will gets it:
"What does such careless talk say about the mind of this administration? Note that the clearly implied antecedent of the pronoun "ours" is "Americans." So the president seemed to be saying that white is, and brown is not, the color of Americans' skin. "
A few months ago Karol's mom, after overhearing our telephone conversations, labelled us the "Boring Team." My mom decided to go with the "Stupid Team." Here's a fairly representative sampling of these "talks:"
Karol: Well, Laaadeedaaa
Karol:LA DI DA
Me:You can't steal my La Di Da
Karol: Yes, I can. Just did. It's mine. What's Up?
Me: Oh, consider it broughten.
Alternative team name suggestions? I'm making shirts.
How many weeks until the season starts? I hate my stupid third-to-last-place Fantasy Baseball team. Geez, at least last place means something.
Monday, May 03, 2004
The U.N. Oil-for-food scandal has been blogosphere fodder for months now. Unfortunately, since it involves foreign entities with difficult last names and well, numbers -- I will not fully understand it until Diane Sawyer, Jon Stewart or The Simpsons deal with it on TV. (Pretty pictures, moving graphics, easily identified villians and victims, please. Ooh, preferably sponsored by 7-UP, those commercials are starting to grow on me.)
However, with Kofi Annan as his guest on this Sunday's 'Meet the Press,' Tim Russert began to explain it all in nice easy newspaper clips that I could understand.
Evidently, one issue with the program is that Kofi's son worked for a company that was awarded a contract under the Food-For-Oil program. Kofi said that the arrangement was approved by the U.N. financial conflicts board and he even requested a second audit of the deal, but by then his son had left the company, so the issue is moot.
I wondered how the conservatives that are complaining about this aspect of the deal do not have a problem with the Vice-President continuing to get money from Halliburton?
I mean, the United States excluded Israel from the bidding process to accomodate anti-semitic fears that Iraq is to become Israel. How about excluding Halliburton for fairly obvious conflict appearances?
Or at least Cheney should agree to donate all his income from Halliburton to a fund for the families of soldiers who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Rush to see nude bather causes boat to capsize
Man arrested for trying to electrocute wife in bubble bath.
Sure, 'The Practice' stayed on the air about two years too long. But that is no reason for the writers to phone in racist, stereotypical plotlines from their Beacon Hill flats.
Jimmy Berlutti goes to open a law firm in his old neighborhood and ends up having his car torched by an associate of 'The Fish' - another lawyer? Just because Jimmy is Italian doesn't mean his neighborhood is run by a mobster named 'Raymond.' The Sopranos is successful because it's well-written and brilliantly acted, not because it's about the mob. In fact, having just watched the Sopranos before last night's 'The Practice,' amply demonstrated that they were just playing on dumb stereotypes with no eye for a good story.
Ellenor punchs Hannah in the face? Dude, fat women do not run around decking people when they're mad -- no matter how much the skinny bitch deserves it.
Plus, as a lawyer Ellenor has to know that Hannah will either call the police or sue her -- what will happen to her son (she just recently tried a case where a woman was sentenced to 9 years in prison for throwing a punch) or her dying law firm (especially since Ellenor was unquestionably acting as an agent for the firm)?
Not to mention the "angry black man" who despite 10 years as an attorney can't handle a simple confirmation hearing, so his dapper (all-too-hairy) friend has to come in to save the day.
I know, I know...it's a television show.
I just expect better from the last episodes of a once-clever show.
Georgia's high court overturns 10-year-sentence.
Saturday, May 01, 2004
Watching ABC's "Be My Baby" special on "open adoptions" was an eye-opening experience. Having been a life-long pro-choicer, I am surprised to find that I am violently anti-open adoption.
You want to give your baby to a family that can't have children of it's own? Fantastic. Just go away, preferably to a "home for girls" in the mountains somewhere during the last weeks of your pregnancy. There, a stern nurse/midwife/nun will take the squawling newborn straight from the delivery room to a guy in a black hat waiting in a car outside. (I imagine this to be some kind of 1920s Oldsmobile, but that may be an affect from the movies.) Usually, it will be snowing.
Then when the new mother starts screaming that she wants to see her baby, the nurwifun will say "I'm sorry. The baby died."
Cry, cry. Ship back home. End of story ... (well, until the child turns out to need a transplant which requires the rare QB positive blood that only her birth mother shares.)
OK, so that may be a tad extreme, but anything has to be better than watching a 16-year-old bawling over the blanket-wrapped body of her sleeping son because she "has to give him back." (Um, 'back'? Don't you mean 'up'?)
Anyone else notice that the father was pulling all the strings?
"The abortion thing is not, just not an option... in this house." or "I know she wanted me to change my mind, you know" he says to the camera just after a scene where his wife is crying in the hospital corridor and begging him to 'say the word' before the 'stupid papers come.' (Ohio has a 72-hour-mandatory waiting period before a birth mother can terminate her rights.)
The whole thing was barbaric in that wonderfully anteseptic, brilliantly edited way that networks televise so much barbarism these days.
That I came to hate the birth mother, her parents, the couples and even the baby (dude, it's eyes were freaky.) is testament to how sickening the process is.
First they show the five couples, one of whom had a baby die, another can't have kids, another can't have anymore kids, another are elderly and thus, missed the kid having boat and another who wants a sibling for their handicap son.
The teenage girl then asks them questions like "I want to name the baby Liam" is that ok with you? (Yes, of course it is, why were just saying the other day that we wanted to name our baby Liam.) or what kind of role will I have in Liam's life?
Then she goes through her problems with all of them. (Like in the Big Brother 'Confessional')
"They were like, just interested in the baby. They didn't care about me." HELLO!!! They aren't looking for a teenage nutjob with bad judgment, they want a kid.
"And then he was like, well, you'll be like the baby's aunt or a big sister. I mean, that's so dishonest" Huh? What you think you'll be the baby's mommy AFTER YOU GIVE IT UP FOR ADOPTION???????????????
Blood. Boiling. All over the place.
I guess it's enough that she recognized she shouldn't be raising a kid. (Interestingly, even with all the openness, there was no sight of the father...)
One of the couples who lose out on the main baby, are then handed a 2-year-old boy who has been unceromoniously dropped off at the adoption agency by his mother.
"Wow, we came here to adopt an infant, but now we're leaving with...with a son."
(Oddly enough, the camera shows the boy comfortably strapped in a car seat in their mini-van as they drive away. They just happened to have a car seat waiting? Creepy.)
The producers, of course, track down the mom who dropped off the boy and ask her the money question.
"How could you just give your son up to strangers that you've never met?" (As opposed to letting our cameras follow you for two weeks as you "play God" with five desperate couples, he added.)
How? Because that's how adoptions should be done.
I can't keep you, I will go to an agency that will find someone else to take care of you. Period.
Oh and here, keep this half-locket around your neck to remember me. Someday, I will come back and give you the other half and we'll be together forever.