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Saturday, July 31, 2004

He Makes It Sound Like a Bad Thing

Go take Mithras' telling quiz about the Republican party.


Nic Cage married for third time.


Confirming, once again, that all good things must end, my birthday season is officially over. As in year's past, I planned just enough celebrations, ate enough birthday bake goods and drank more than enough birthday libations, to make me sigh with relief that it's over.
Last night's East coast close-out was awesome. (yes, it wasn't enough that I had parties on land, in the air and on the water -- this year I made it a bi-coastal affair.) Friends from law school and college, friends from Old and New LLP, and many of my new band of bloggers all converged on Kanvas to share my special season with me surrounded by mysterious New York street scenes.
The evening billed as the night of 29 Cosmos, was actually the night of 11 Cosmos (actually, the official blogger of the event had four Cosmos, plus my friends from college had two, so perhaps there were 29 collective Cosmos consumed after all...) I've written about my high tolerance for alcohol before, but last night's marathon session produced mixed results.
While I couldn't figure out the square root of 169, I could figure out the square root of 144.
While there was no pinching of the bottoms of any bouncers, there was an unusually high amount of hugging.
While I was able to offer a ride to a friend's engagement party, I don't now remember to whom.
While I was able to warmly greet all my guests, there were a few moments when I thought I had dreamed that someone came, only to be startled by seeing them sitting in a booth IRL.
While I was able to hail a cab and give clear, coherent directions to my home, I fell asleep after making the first turn onto the highway.
Finally, while I did wake at the end of that ride covered in my own vomit, I was able to launder and dry all my clothes that very night.
Thanks to "Mark,"(and candace for being there in spirit,) Lisa (all-white table notwithstanding) :), Jessica, Yaron, Ari, Oschisms, Scott (congratulations on getting credentials!), Alceste, Peter and Asphnxma for coming.
Thanks too, to Karol for covering the party. (I am choosing to ignore all insults about my outfit and any aspersions cast on my sobriety.)

Friday, July 30, 2004


Now, put those away before you hurt someone.

Thanks to Rdan for the link.

Ah! The Gulf of Tonkin incident and subsequent resolution made it seem as if they had. So he fell for that, as everyone did. He voted to wage war against Iraq because he fell for that, as everyone did. He's learned. Next time he needs hard proof, like a smoking crater in New York.
Make that another smoking crater in New York.

War against Iraq. Crater in New York.  Who said there was a connection? He put a period between them and a hard return. God, what more do you liberals want? 

(As usual, Lileks suckered me in with another adorable Gnatecdote:

It’s Gnat’s fourth birthday Friday. I’m in Merlin mode: as she gets older I feel younger. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without her – I’d just be kicking the sawdust, measuring my life by the piles of magazines I take out to be recycled every other week. She saved my life; giving her every Barbie in the world is the least I can do.

But then made me pay for continuing the read. Sigh)

And, I, Sir, accept your acceptance
I've never been a fan of the using the word "service" to describe holding political office.
I spent two semesters "serving" my classmates in the Yale dining hall. What Presidents, Senators and congresspeople do, doesn't even come close.
I want my elected officials to work: work for me, my city, my state and my country.
Last night, as I watched John Kerry wipe the sweat from his brow mid-way through the best acceptance speech given in my lifetime, I knew that he would be a President who worked. And, (go chiastic) he worked as President.
The tone for me was set when Lt. Jim Rassman said "nobody asked me to join this campaign...I volunteered." The look of anger and hurt in his eyes, framed by the resolve of his face and stoic stance, made my eyes well up to think that people would attack him to try to gain a political advantage over a candidate. (For the record, I am certain that Kerry's rivals to the Democratic nomination engaged in it, so this isn't a Republican critique. That will come later.) The line of men standing behind him on the stage, Senator Cleland's moving tale of how he lay, struggling to get up from the street in front of the White House -- it all made me appreciate that John Kerry's service in Vietnam isn't just a punchline or a photo op; it matters.
Certainly, it's not the most important thing or the winning argument. If my family in the military or my friends who have recently enlisted are shot in Afghanistan or taken hostage in Iraq, I can't imagine that I would ask to see their wounds or the calculate length of their capture to measure the worth of their sacrifice. Snide remarks about "scratches" and cracks about "four-months" are unconscionable. Jessica Lynch spent less than a month in Iraq and when she encountered enemy fire, spent most of the battle on her knees crying and praying. But I challenge anyone to belittle her contribution, mock her service. 
In that moment when John Kerry stepped up to the podium and said he was reporting for duty, the contrast between him and his opponent was pointedly clear. And Kerry didn't miss a step for the next 46 minutes.
Not once did I look a my watch, not once did I wince or cover my ears begging him to stop talking. And when he was done I couldn't remember Clinton's speech or Obama or even Edwards. Indeed, I couldn't imagine any one else standing on that stage ready to face Bush in November.
Kerry is not a compromise candidate, the guy who'll do -- he's the best of the Democratic party and (fingers crossed) America will see that he's the best our country's got.
Kerry's a man that knows that "warfare" isn't rolling back tax cuts on the wealthiest 2 percent in order to pay for armor for our soldiers or for benefits for seniors and the poor. He knows "warfare," with all due respect Mary Matalin, is young people holding weapons in foreign lands as they march through uncertain dangers --- not ending corporate welfare for companies that pay their CEOs 7 figures, while shipping jobs overseas to save a buck or two an hour in wages for the people who do the real work.
Contrast the image of Bush chopping up trees, with Kerry's "cathedrals of nature." Bush's bible-thumping "God is on our side," with Kerry's humble prayer that he may be on God's side. Kerry's bold "what if" vision of using the Federal Government's spending power and the bully pulpit of the Presidency to find cures for autoimmune diseases that are killing Americans in the millions, with Bush's use of the White House to inject discrimination into the Constitution and increase government controls on civil liberties.
I can't recall ever rooting for Kerry before, but last night he became the obvious choice for President.  His speech was that good (Although, his line about us all being American "red, white and blue," did prompt a reflexive "Why it gotta be white!").
This morning I watched the pundits interview Republicans and their rebuttals were flimsy.
"But...but, he's made himself over" and "where are the specifics?" Putting aside the humor of the the party of vague warnings and redacted documents, now clamoring for details and specifics, I thought Kerry did a great job of laying out his plans: cutting waste, fighting a smarter, more effective war and re-engaging in diplomacy.  I love that John Kerry understands that law and order, starts with law. His vision doesn't include cutting and pasting the protections of the Constitution as he sees fit; it's too important a cornerstone to our democracy.
That Kerry was the "most liberal member of the Senate for 20 years," ummm, ok Paul Wellstone and/or Russ Feingold may have a thing or two to say about that (ok, Wellstone, not so much), but hey, I'm ok with that. As Kerry said in his speech, he also worked with the most conservative member of the Senate, John McCain and that tells me, he can possibly bring this country together again.
I realized why Kerry seemed so stilted during the primaries. He is not made for spewing catchphrases and slogans; the worst part of last night was the "Hope is on the way" chanting. He is a leader, a major player, not -- a cheerleader. Many say that George Bush found his voice on the rubble of the Twin Towers; there his presidency was born.  I disagree, I simply saw a man who knows a thing or two about shouting through a megaphone.  
Last night, I saw a President.
Kerry may not beat Bush, but hopefully he'll run again in 2008. I think he was born for (and in, I guess) the West Wing. I'll be working to help him acheive that.
I don't know, somewhere in the process of falling in line, I fell in love. 

Thursday, July 29, 2004

African-American-line of Al Sharpton's speech
Lawyers are constantly drafting and re-drafting briefs, memos and motions. Most times it's for very minor changes: appellant is misspelled, there are two commas, we put the wrong name plaintiff name in the caption, and so on. But since these documents can be voluminous, attorneys often will "black-line" one draft against another in order to quickly highlight the changes for a reader. I was told that Al Sharpton significantly diverged from his prepared remarks to deliver the most fiery speech of the convention. Lawyer that I am trained to be, I thought I would blackline the differences. Deleted text in Red. Text added at delivery in Blue. (Of course.)

Prepared remarks

This is not about a party. It is about living up to the promise of America.
The promise of America says that we will guarantee quality education for all children, and not spend more for metal detectors than computers in our schools.
The promise of America guarantees health care for all of its citizens, and does not force seniors to travel to Canada to buy prescription drugs they cannot afford here.
The promise of America provides that those who work in our health care system can afford to be hospitalized in the very beds that they clean everyday.
The promise of America is government that does not seek to regulate your behavior in the bedroom but to guarantee your right to provide food in the kitchen.
The promise of America is that we stand for human rights – whether it’s fighting slavery in Sudan, AIDS in Lesotho, or police brutality in this country. 
The promise of America is one immigration policy for all who seek to enter our shores, whether they come from Mexico, Haiti, or Canada.
The promise of America is that every citizen’s vote is counted and protected, and election schemes do not decide elections.

I often hear the Republican party preach about family values, but I can tell them something about family values. Family values don’t just exist for those with two-car garages and retirement plans. Family values exist in homes with only one parent in the household making a way against the odds.

I stand here tonight, the product of a single parent home, from the depths of Brooklyn, New York. My mother was a domestic worker who scrubbed floors in other people’s homes for me. And because she scrubbed those floors, I was proud to stand as a presidential candidate.
Those are family values.


This is not about a party. This is about living up to the promise of America. The promise of America says we will guarantee quality education for all children and not spend more money on metal detectors than computers in our schools.
The promise of America guarantees health care for all of its citizens and doesn't force seniors to travel to Canada to buy prescription drugs they can't afford here at home.
We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told that we were going to Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. We've lost hundreds of soldiers. We've spent $200 billion dollars at a time when we had record state deficits. And when it became clear that there were no weapons, they changed the premise for the war and said: No, we went because of other reasons.
If I told you tonight, Let's leave the Fleet Center, we're in danger, and when you get outside, you ask me, Reverend Al, What is the danger? and I say, It don't matter. We just needed some fresh air, I have misled you and we were misled.
We are also faced with the prospect of in the next four years that two or more of the Supreme Court Justice seats will become available. This year we celebrated the anniversary of Brown v. the Board of Education.
The promise of America provides that those who work in our health care system can afford to be hospitalized in the very beds they clean up every day.
The promise of America is that government does not seek to regulate your behavior in the bedroom, but to guarantee your right to provide food in the kitchen.
The issue of government is not to determine who may sleep together in the bedroom, it's to help those that might not be eating in the kitchen.
The promise of America that we stand for human rights, whether it's fighting against slavery in the Sudan, where right now Joe Madison and others are fasting, around what is going on in the Sudan; AIDS in Lesotho; a police misconduct in this country.
The promise of America is one immigration policy for all who seek to enter our shores, whether they come from Mexico, Haiti or Canada, there must be one set of rules for everybody.
We cannot welcome those to come and then try and act as though any culture will not be respected or treated inferior. We cannot look at the Latino community and preach one language. No one gave them an English test before they sent them to Iraq to fight for America.
The promise of America is that every citizen vote is counted and protected, and election schemes do not decide the election.
It, to me, is a glaring contradiction that we would fight, and rightfully so, to get the right to vote for the people in the capital of Iraq in Baghdad, but still don't give the federal right to vote for the people in the capital of the United States, in Washington, D.C.
Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question.
You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule.
That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.
We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.
Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.
Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men (inaudible) soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us.
This vote can't be bargained away.
This vote can't be given away.
Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.

  Al  in red vs. Al in blue.

Pretty impressive on the fly editing if you ask me, although the inversion of Barack Obama's name - ooh, dare I say chiastic (no, I daren't) praise of Obama Barack might be stinging this morning.  
Ok, enough of my proscratinating.



Moore will be at the Republican National Convention!

Karol will be at the Republican National Convention.

Do they sell umbrellas in MSG?

Paypal has entered a settlement agreement which may entitle you to some funds.
Monetary Relief Under the settlement, PayPal will pay $9.25 million into a settlement fund, to be held in an interest-bearing account. The fund will be used (1) to make payments to class members who submit valid claims before the claims deadline; (2) to pay certain costs of giving notice to the Class and of settlement administration, as approved by the Court; and (3) to pay attorneys' fees and expenses to Class Counsel in the amount awarded by the Court. Class Counsel have proposed that, after deduction of notice and administrative costs and Class Counsel's attorneys' fees and expenses, the balance of the fund ("Net Settlement Fund") be applied in accordance with a written plan of allocation. (The following explanation is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Plan of Allocation attached to the Settlement Agreement as Exhibit C, a copy of which is on file with the Court and available on the Internet at https://www.paypal.com/settlement/.)
Check it out if you opened a Paypal account between October 1994 and January 2004.*


Iocaste has more.

* Does not qualify as legal advice in any way. In fact, nothing on this site should be construed or considered advice of any kind. Do not try this at home. For external use only. Caution. Achtung. Falling Rocks.



I think that Polish water answers the question for him.


Bowling 101

1. Drinking makes it better.

2. Don't choose poo or ass as your name when playing with people you work with.

The big winner last night was Jesse Jackson. Twenty years ago, in a moment of sheer genius, he copyrighted the word "hope" when used in a political campaign, and will now collect ten cents every time Kerry/Edwards uses it. Cha-ching.

The big loser, the word "presumptive," as Senator John Glenn put Kerry over the top as the official Democratic nominee for President.

The jury's still out on what was cheesier: Kucinich's "We will carry America for Kerry and Kerry will carry America for us," or Elizabeth Edwards' "John Kerry has something else in common with my dad: the right stuff."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Or as put much more eloquently by Iocaste, when I called the President a right-wing nut job, I was just kidding.

Where is the mainstream media coverage of this?

Not that there's anything wrong with using prescription drugs to control a psychiatric disorder, but the White House should be upfront about it with the American people.

via Iocaste

Update: a Clareified commenter sent the message "You can save face with a quick retraction... " and the following link.


However, rather than open myself up to charges that I am a flip-flopper on the issue of whether President Bush is a right-wing nut job, I will take a page from the Bush administration playbook and say simply: I received this intelligence from a respected source.  I acted decisively and the world is better for having the discussion about whether a President suffering from paranoid delusions can govern effectively. May God continue to bless the United States of America.




FYI, there will be no more block quotes on Clareified.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

There's a story on the wires about the President taking a nasty tumble while mountain biking yesterday:

Bush offered a glimpse of his new pastime to an Associated Press reporter Monday, roaming the dirt roads and far-flung pastures of his 1,600-acre ranch. About halfway through, he sailed over the handlebars during a dangerous descent, but dusted himself off, picked up his $3,100 bicycle and kept riding.

First off, did the AP send another reporter to cover the story of an AP reporter getting a glimpse of Bush's new pastime or is this reporter writing about him or herself in third person? Dawn thinks it's the latter.

Secondly, is it really news that President Bush "dusted himself off" picked up the bike and kept riding? I mean, how else could this story end?

"The President then sat in the dirt weeping for his mom while Secret Service agents offered him lollipops and assorted sweets to coax the brusied Commander-in-Chief to get up." 

"The President leaped to his feet and then kicked the $3100 bicycle down the trail, muttering consider yourself part of the axis of evil, mister. Watch your back."

Oddly enough, the most interesting part of the story -- that the President possibly suffered brain damage which has impaired his memory, is casually mentioned in the end:

But out on the trail, it's officially a politics-free zone. When the reporter points out that Democratic challenger John Kerry has a $8,000 road bicycle, Bush replied: "Who?"


Man charged with murder for watching 'Road Trip'

I'm taking this opportunity to steal, not only Annika's commenter award, but candace's idea of awarding it to commenters on other sites:
The unofficial Annika's Huge comment of the week award TM goes to:
Natalie Potter. 


Kerry hates the Yanks!

[Interviewer]: When you get into office,* would you consider passing an executive order that would prevent Pedro from signing with the Yankees?
[Kerry]: I'd consider an executive order that abolishes the Yankees. We'll have to set up some very strict regulations with respect to Yankee behavior. I think the Red Sox may take care of it. I think there may be an A-Rod backlash this year. I think there may be a reverse curse here.

If I had any reservations about Kerry before, and I'm not saying I did...
via Annika.

I have no idea what's going on with the Clareifed layout. I have e-mailed blogger about the problem and although I haven't heard back from their staff yet, I'm hoping that they'll fix the problem soon.


God speed to all the bar exam takers out there.

Bill Clinton's speech last night was amazing. It has been so long since I've listened to a political speech without cringing. Funniest line of the night -- well, actually there were two:

"For the first time ever when America was on a war footing, there were two huge tax cuts, nearly half of which went to the top one percent. I'm in that group now for the first time in my life.When I was in office, the Republicans were pretty mean to me. When I left and made money, I became part of the most important group in the world to them. At first I thought I should send them a thank you note -- until I realized they were sending you the bill."


"Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect, and charisma...actually, I'm a bit resentful."

But of course, he hit a homer when it came to distinguishing the difference between the two parties:
In this year's budget, the White House wants to cut off federal funding for 88,000 uniformed police, including more than 700 on the New York City police force who put their lives on the line on 9/11. As gang violence is rising and we look for terrorists in our midst, Congress and the President are also about to allow the ten-year-old ban on assault weapons to expire. Our crime policy was to put more police on the streets and take assault weapons off the streets. It brought eight years of declining crime and violence. Their policy is the reverse, they're taking police off the streets and putting assault weapons back on the streets. If you agree with their choices, vote to continue them. If not, join John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats in making America safer, smarter, and stronger.

My upstairs neighbor had an emergency on Saturday, so my mom and I suddenly found ourselves the unprepared caretakers of a six-year-old kid.
I figured since I wasn't the one who opened the door and agreed to accept such a responsibility, I could hole up in my room watching old Sopranos episodes until the danger had passed. Not so.
After a conversation that I imagine went something like:
"Do you have any kids here?"
"Yes, I have a daughter. Her room is back there. Go bother her."
I was greeted by a three foot tall shadow looming over my bed.
"What are you doing?"
"Watching TV." (Well, actually looking for the remote, because I've seen this episode before and it does not end well for Ralphie. In fact, it ends so badly for Ralphie, I am fairly certain there are laws against a six-year-old viewing it.)
Whew. I hit stop just in time (Tony had that look in his eye.) 
Turning on more age appropriate programming (who knew Lilo and Stitch got their own show?) I enjoyed a few moments of silence until:
"What's this?"
She was holding my Billy Joel tape between her fingers.
"A tape."
"What does it do?"
"It plays music. You put it in a radio or a walkman"
"What's a Walk Man?"
"Umm...that thing right there."
She puts the tape on the floor and walks over to my desk. Holding the walkman, she says
"I don't hear anything."
I put the tape in and played it for her.
"Why don't you just get a CD player?"
"Well, there wasn't always CDs, tapes came first. Like Videos and DVDs."
"They still have videos on TV."
"No, not like a music video -- like this, a video" (I've grapped Apollo 13 off the top of my bookshelf.)
"You put it in here and it plays a movie. See?"
"Oh, like a DVD."
"Yes, just older."
"Like you?"
Yes. Thank you very much. I hope they still have bullies in the cafeteria.
We were watching a little Apollo 13, when: 
"Where are your toys?"
"I don't have toys."
"What do you play with?"
"I don't play." 
 "You're boring."
Great. Somebody get this kid a paper route.

Friday, July 23, 2004


Bush tells African-American audience to stop gagging and swallow.

Do you remember a guy named Charlie Gaines? Somebody gave me a quote he said, which I think kind of describes the environment we're in today. I think he's a friend of Jesse's. He said, "Blacks are gagging on the donkey but not yet ready to swallow the elephant." (Laughter and applause.)

Fantasia Barrino's dad plans to start a record label with the help of ... K-Ci and JoJo, his nephews. Guess that's what happened to them.

Welcome to "getting ass kicked"


So far so good...

But suddenly, something goes terribly, terribly wrong...

Umm...well, I guess that counts...

See story here.




Looks like the real problem passengers weren't the "Suspicious Syrians" at all.

Thanks for the tip.





Thursday, July 22, 2004

Fear, Itself*
I don't want to die. I wear seatbelts even while sitting in the backseat of a Volvo driven 20 mph for a six minute ride. I wear life jackets while participating in any kind of water sport -- even swimming. In a pool. Four feet deep. As a general matter, I don't jay walk, talk to strangers or run with scissors. I won't drive in a week when I've had a drink. No smoking, no drugs, no food coloring dye. Forget animals. No activities labeled "extreme."
I am seriously not about the dying. 
But when a friend e-mailed me the story about the "dry-run" Syrian terrorists supposedly conducted on a flight from Detriot to California this summer, even I knew somebody needed to get a grip.

Candace also wrote about the incident:

And didn't the air travel industry and safety boards learn their lesson on 9/11? It's coming up on three years since those events, yet security at airports doesn't seem to have increased. Sure, there is the illusion of increased protections. But when any layover passenger can go into an airport restaurant and come out with a weapon capable of slitting throats, and then not be screened again before boarding their connecting flight -- how safe are we?
If the whole, shoe removal, criminal arrests, and grooming supplies confiscations are merely "illusions," what qualifies as real?  "Any layover passenger" so determined could just as easily gouge eyes or break necks or administer poison. Security measures have to be rational responses to reasonable threats.

The writer of the original article seems to think there should be maximum number of Arab people allowed on any one flight, and that orthopedic shoes shouldn't be exempt from search and possibly that musicians shouldn't fly commercial flights. (There might even be a hint that McDonald's is in on the conspiracy.) I don't mean to make fun of other people's terror -- as I explained at the outset, but for my already having six names, "scaredy cat" would definitely be squeezed in there.

But my problem is when one person's terror gets used as a reason to restrict or change the behaviors of others. Not once does the writer of the article say that she planned to change her own way of life at all. Maybe she shouldn't fly anymore; maybe her own husband shouldn't have walked up to first class (the last three flights I was on, "coach" passengers were not allowed to even use the bathrooms in a class ahead of them); maybe they shouldn't have bathrooms on flights; maybe flights shouldn't be longer than 3 hour durations, etc.  Nope it's all, why aren't the marshalls shooting these men, why are they allowed to stand, why wasn't something done about them. 
Well, it turns out that nothing "terroristy" was going on at all.

Anyway, this evening (before I watched Aaron, but presumably after Annie's interview had been taped), the NRO ran a piece by Clinton Taylor, a lawyer/Ph.D student/college news co-director who decided to track down the Syrian musians/terorrists.  He found (via Google) a casino near San Diego which advertised ethnic musical entertainment.  By calling them, and then a rep for Anthem Artists, he seems to have discovered that the notorious Restroom Gang was actually the band for one Nour Mehana, the "Syrian Wayne Newton."  Some of the musicians came from Syria, and some from Detroit.  Taylor doesn't think they were conducting a terrorist attack dry run.  Even Michelle Malkin now agrees that nothing terroristy was going on.  Annie, however, said she didn't recognize any of the musicians pictured in a video of a Mehana performance, and so far doesn't seem to have recanted her "dry run" claim.  (Hey, she told CNN that the guys were terrorists -- how stupid is she going to look if she changes her story now?)
Security and safety shouldn't be borne by they, them or those people. That's not only unfair, it's useless. If our marker for increased security starts to be detaining the "visibly-Muslim," terrorists will use other disguises, if we shutdown air travel with hours of screening procedures every few steps, terrorists will switch to trains, or ships. At some point you have to trust the procedures in place, people to do their jobs and the Good Lord. 
If that's not enough, then you've got to change your own behavior: don't fly, buy gas masks, parachutes, get therapy. 
Will the vindication of the nefarious Syrian musicians travel the net as quickly as the "dry-run" story? I don't know. But I've done my part.
Hopefully, others will do theirs.

*Joss, the check is in the mail.

Among the events listed for next week's Democratic National Convention:

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Policy Briefing by President William Jefferson Clinton
The Wang Theater 270 Tremont Street 10:00 a.m. to Noon


Random Thought
You know how everyone thinks Robert Redford can act? And they gave him an Oscar and stuff? Well, he can't.

Dennis throws in the towel.

Help send Dawn to the Convention!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Have you ever been so behind on an assignment that your only alternatives are to hand it in or kill yourself?

No reason. Just asking. Gotta go, NOW.


Well, one of the reasons anyway:

Instapundit reports that Boston has set-up "protest zones" for the Democratic Convention in closed-off pens.

Who is coming to the defense of these protestors' first amendment rights? The ACLU and the Lawyer's Guild!

Liberals will fight the ominous trends in John Ashcroft's America, even if it means ring-wing nuts get to protest my John Edwards. I mean the Democratic Kerry/Edwards ticket.


"Four more years, and America will be safer, and the world will be more peaceful," Bush promised."


Or as Ben (of Ben and Jerry) might say, "Excuse me sir, your pants are getting a little warm, don't you think?"


"Kocktails for Kerry - Convention Kick off Party!"

At least the event is in Hell's kitchen and not Chelsea.

But you know, A for effort.

OK, my PG rating is definitely up to PG-13.

Will post only about lollipops and fairies for the rest of the day.


Woman may lose legal career after jury finds that she stole her elderly woman's money.


...But who's looking "frenchy" now?


Rick, the Flat Screen TV was more than enough, you totally didn't need to also buy me the Angel First Season box set! But, thanks! :)

P.S. Did you see how I did that? Angel..."Soul of Generosity"..."Soul" because Angel had a soul...get it?

I rock.


“We may not have won the vote count, but we did not lose and ultimately all of the voters decided and we have to respect,” Cain said in a speech to his supporters.

Thankfully, Georgia republicans are not as crazy as the blogs would have America believe and they easily gave the nod to "pro-choicer" Johnny Isakson.  Now, Karol can return to her regular job of entertaining me during the day, counseling Ari in the evening and playing hold-em at night.

Our long municipal nightmare is over or as Homer Simpson says "Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try. " Hat tip. 

*Font used is called "Georgia." Get it? I rock. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


I've entered a contest to raise funds for the DCCC. The highest fundraiser gets to be a credentialed blogger at the convention!!! 
Help me reach that goal!

Oh, and make Bush a one-termer, back to Crawford, take back the House, blah blah blah.


Here is the front page of Martha Stewart's letter to Judge Cedarbaum (the presiding judge in her trial):


Any guesses as to where the Judge went to college?
Rest of letter.
via So May it Secretly Begin


My life is rated PG.
What is your life rated?

Gays don't destroy families, guns do
President Bush took time out of his busy campaign schedule, to deliver a radio address urging Congress to insert discrimination into our nation's constitution:
Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of traditional marriage will undermine the family structure.

Yet, with 3 days left before Congress recesses, President Bush has not uttered one word urging Congress to renew the assault weapons ban.  Mr. President, AK47s and UZIs do far worse than undermine "family structure," they violently rip through them, leaving nothing but injury, death, and grief. Don't believe me? Ask Rep. Carolyn McCarthy. 

Sign petition here.

Dawn's Movie Review
I finally went to see Harry Potter 3 (yes, I thought it looked strange too, but that's how the theater is billing it on the marquis.) last night. I really don't understand how or why it received such good reviews -- except for the fact that the first two were so terrible.
I guess, I liked the Professor Lupin actor; but the werewolf was cheesier than Oz -- what kind of budget were they working with people?
All three of the leads need to be replaced, they are such uncomfortable actors...maybe that worked to their advantage as first-years at Hogwarts, but now it's just amateurish. My suggestion for Harry Potter 4?
Relocate Hogwarts to New England, ditch the British actors and hire American "teens"--- Jake Gyllenhaal could play Harry, Seth Green could play Ron and Jurnee Smollett could play Hermione.

Dawn's Television Review

As requested, here's my review of 'The Grid,' a limited-run series on TNT, starring this generation's Cary Grant.

There was no Dylan in the whole first 13 minutes. Finally Dylan appears and within seconds some horrible woman is touching his face with her lips. I suspect she is a terrorist. Stay tuned. The show makes terrible use of freeze-frame technology to tell us who all the players (in the grid, I guess) are. For instance, two people will be talking:

Guy #1: So, Joe. What does the report say? FREEZE FRAME -- letters appear (in that slow typewritten style perfected in the X-Files) underneath his image that says "Guy #1. Asker of Report Contents."

Joe: Well, Guy # 1, It doesn't look good. FREEZE FRAME -- Joe Halliwell Reader of Report.

And so on, for the entire length of the two hour episode. Very annoying.

As for plot: ummm... there are terrorists who want to hit American and British oil interests (And hit them hard), to this end, they devise a decoy plot to release Sarin gas in the NYC subways and attempt to assassinate Dylan.   Then they send in  a blond boy to blow things up in Nigeria, including that "Dick" guy who dated Samantha on 'Sex and the City' until he cheated on her. ER's Nurse Hathaway is also in it. She is not a nurse.

There are also British people. (Evidently, British police don't shoot bullets, but tazers. In either case, African-British(?) suspect is just as dead.)

I think the hero is supposed to be the Muslim CIA agent because he has to think about who he is and what he believes everyday, "everyone else takes that for granted."
All in all, there was not enough Dylan and what there was of him was either getting shot at or kissed by the suspected terrorist lady.
So we give it 2 out of 5 Dylans.

Dawn's Book Review

'Middlesex' is so not about a quaint British township. No sir.

Monday, July 19, 2004


CNN is reporting that Dylan plans to star in a play written for him by step-mom Eve Ensler (of the you-know-what monologues fame). If it opens in New York, I will be there everyday. If it opens in L.A., I am moving.


Drudge does bring up an interesting point, though, Will President Bush be vacationing this August at the ranch? Maybe all this hub bub about a Republican Convention in New York City will be for naught as the President spends his time clearing brush instead.

Looks like President Bush will find time for the convention after all.
Via Rick


Thanks to Spot On commenter "Jake the most Awesome," I spent all weekend watching the Indiana Jones' DVD trilogy. The first time I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark was in 4th grade during one of the "rainy day" assemblies, public schools have for the kids when they can't play outside.

We only got to see the first 50 minutes of it, so I never saw the end, until 7 years later when my mom finally bought a VCR for the house. A few months later, I saw "Last Crusade" on a field trip with my improv class -- I didn't know there was a middle one, until college. Thankfully, my roomate owned the first two and so I was able to see it.

Indiana is by far the best action adventure series that doesn't involve a superhero. He's the perfect combination of brains, brawn, humility and daring. Oh, and he's freaking hot!

The women were always so very irritating though, except Elsa, but she gets points off for being evil. The worst by far was "Willie," who I would have killed during the bar fight in Shanghai.

Hmmm... Elsa and Gollum: same character? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Anyway, Jake, thanks for the DVDs and the memories!

No place like "home?"
I saw a broadcast this weekend about increasing attacks by young Muslim men against Jewish people in France.  The rise of anti-semitism in France has gotten very little attention in the U.S. press, but I had read some accounts about the situation over at Spot On last year, so I continued watching the news segment.

One Orthodox man who was interviewed said he is regularly spit at and called names. Other Jewish people have been beaten and even killed.

In response, France has stepped up protection in Jewish neighborhoods and have passed hate crime legislation so that they can more effectively punish perpetrators of lesser acts like vandalism and name-calling when they are used as instruments of predatory threats against a minority group.

Still, France, currently home to the third largest population of Jewish people in the world, is seeing "Jew flight" in levels unseen in four decades.  Time magazine reports that the situation is becoming critical, but things may have just gotten worse, with Prime Minister Sharon's call for French Jews to pack their bags and get out of dodge. He said his advice to French Jews was that moving to Israel was "a must and they have to move immediately."
Mr Sharon praised France for taking action against the 'spread of the wildest anti-Semitism' but said it was struggling against the impact of the growth of the Muslim community. France is home to Europe's biggest Jewish community, estimated at 600,000.
'Altogether I have to advocate to our brothers in France: move to Israel as early as possible,' Mr Sharon told a meeting of an American Jewish association in Jerusalem.
Sharon's comment were immediately denounced by French authorities and leaders of Jewish organizations in France.
Richard Prasquier, a member of the executive committee of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, accused Sharon of "fanning the flames in an unacceptable way ... "We cannot accept this kind of talk because it doesn't reflect the reality of things," he said in an interview.

In an "apology," Sharon's aide said his remarks were misreported, even though Sharon said "'That's what I say to Jews all around the world but there (France) I think it's a must. They have to move immediately," really "he concluded that French Jews, but also those of the entire world, belong in Israel." 
Thanks for clearing that up. In all honesty, I don't know what the context of Sharon's speech was, maybe it was for some "move to Israel" group, in which case, maybe it's not as bad as it sounds. But either way, Sharon seemed to have squandered an opportunity to make sure the world is safe for Jewish people to live where they choose, instead of asking 600,000 people to cut and run to Israel.  Would he have the same advice for Jewish people in New York or  England  ?
The world is improved by having Jewish people live all over, Israel should exist for those who wish to live there, not because Jewish people are afraid to live anywhere else. There are enough hateful, angry voices trying to stamp the Jews out of their homes all over the world, Prime Minister Sharon should not be one of them.

Friday, July 16, 2004

The clearest sign yet that Cheney will be dropped from the Republican ticket, is that the White House is now adamantly denying the reports.
In an interview with C-SPAN television, Cheney denied he would drop from the ticket, saying of Bush: "He's been very clear he doesn't want break up the team."
Remember back when Bush said the Dick Cheney didn't have a heart attack or that he hadn't yet decided to go to war with Iraq? Yup, once this White House says something is not true....

45 days still seems harsh though

Bizarro World
Nowhere, U.S.A.
By Dawn Summers
Five years since investment banker Lauren Bessette died tragically in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, her family is still wondering why.
By all accounts, the 35-year-old, a senior investment banker at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, was a shining star in her prominent Wall Street firm, where she worked for about six years. 
She specialized in Asian financial markets and had worked in Hong Kong until about a before her death. 
Her unfortunate decision to take a forty-minute flight with an inexperienced pilot on July 16, 1999, would prove fatal, when the pilot lost contact with controllers minutes into the trip.
Bessett is survived by her parents and twin sister, Lisa Ann.  Bessett's younger sister, Carolyn and her brother-in-law, John also died in the crash. 
CNN contributed to this report.

When: July 30, 2004.
Time: 8:00 P.M. EDT
Where: Kanvas
Why: Because you do everything blogs tell you to.
No, seriously, why: To celebrate the end of the Dawn Summers birthday season. 

I'm back
Now, I need a vacation from my vacation. 
Also, today we're halfway through the birthday season.  For those who are still wondering what to get the woman who already has everything, I say, I don't know what Karol wants, but I have a wish list with many items that will make me happier than a kid in a candy store.

Via Spot On
Oh, wait, no it's not.  
"All I can say is that, from one perspective, that of the gay community, president Bush has done what no Democratic candidate has been able to do for a couple of decades: he has united the entire community around the Democrats. The effort by many of us to persuade gay voters to consider the Republicans, to give Bush a chance, has been rendered almost comically moot this fall. Bush won a quarter of gay votes in 2000. I wonder if he'll even get a tenth of them this year. He deserves fewer."

I wonder how Karol missed this Andrew Sullivan gem.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Between May 2002 and August 2003, I attended six weddings. Almost a year later all couples are still as stomach turningly cute and affectionate as when they got married. I had always been told that marriage beats that kind of touchy-feeliness right out of a couple (precisely why I had been all for the weddings in the first place). In fact, in the same time period I know of three marriages that I was not in attendance for, that have fallen apart, two separations and one divorce.

Having examined the evidence, I have determined that my presence is the deciding factor in a marriage's success. Furthermore, since I now consider this good luck charminess that I bring, to be my wedding gift, I encourage you all to invite me to all your weddings. Not only, will it mean years of happy couply togetherness, I also do a mean electric slide.


Rick Blaine responds to Karol's missive to the left. Cameos by Candace, Paul and cube.

If you ask me the best way to protect our democracy in the event of a terrorist attack (hey, Dawn, what's the best way to protect our democracy in the event of a terrorist attack?) is to lengthen our voting period. One day (in the middle of the week) is not going to cut it. How about week or even-month long elections. That way, a one or two day disruption will have little or no effect. Barring that, in the event of another crises, we name Giuliani the U.S. Protectorate until things settle down. Buffy can even give him her shiny umbrella.


Last night I saw the biggest foot I've ever seen in my life. The big toe was about the size of an average flashlight and the bunion was as large as a tennis ball. The foot itself was as long as two fire extinguishers lined up end to end. The toes were so spindly that they looked as if they could double as the wing on a teradactyl.

Very disturbing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


"The Americans will stop the Americans. The American people will stop American Imperialism."

I encourage everyone to go see "Control Room." It was done by the woman who made "startup.com," the documentary chronicling the rise and fall of an internet company, a couple of years ago.

Control Room is about how the media handled the Iraq War and showed the interplay between the military, American journalists, and Al Jazeera during the month-long operation.

It also shows footage of the American POWs and fall of Baghdad that has never been seen before and gives much of what is happening in Iraq now, a new perspective.

Another great quote from the film is "If there are only ten Iraqis left after the war, I know that Saddam will be one of them." It got the biggest laugh of the film.


In between slurping daquiris and chowing birthday cake I have tried to get a sense of what "America" is thinking about the upcoming presidential race, since Karol likes to say that New York is not normal. I fear that George W. Bush is doing a lot better than I would like to see him doing at this stage. On the whole, most people think that although he's not "one of them" like he tries to pretend to be and they don't think he's smart -- they do think "he's the kind of President we need right now." What do you mean, I ask. "Well, you know, he's tough. Kerry, I think, could write a really good book anaylyzing the War on Terror in twenty years." Crushed, I was despondent to come across a new poll, saying much the same thing. "Kerry's smart, but G-Dub will get the job done."
It's hard to know what to say to that considering that even Bush's own Secretary of Homeland Defense thinks we're going be blowed up any day now and seeks permission to cancel our elections, Americans already feel less safe because of the Iraq war and its aftermath and the fact that Kerry fought in Vietnam seem to suggest that Bush isn't doing the job and Kerry is an able military leader.
When I pointed out these discrepancies, some people backed down and said they knew G-Dub was no good and that Kerry would make the better President -- but there was just something about their eyes and tone that tells me come November, their voting finger will do all the talking.
It's hard to fight perception with reality. But I guess it just goes to show that, as I've said before, Bush is a lock.
(FYI: blogging on MAC using blogger is not fun...all the quick link buttons and font buttons are gone...waaa)

Saturday, July 10, 2004


But it might not be who you think!

Judge orders D.A. to take the stand.


Southern California is an unending postcard scene. The sky is blue, the mountains are purple majestic majesties. Not a drop of rain has fallen (mostly because I packed an umbrella and a raincoat) and a not a single cloud has darkened my path in days.
I am doing all kinds of things we never do on the East Coast:

Saturday afternoon I went kayaking in the Pacific, Sunday I was gardening and pick fruit for lemonade, Monday I went motorboating, today I went for a high tea at the Huntington gardens and today I am blogging on a MAC!

I can't wait to get home. :)

Friday, July 09, 2004


I want to write so many things about the play that I saw last night, but the sun is shining, the sky is that perfect shade of blue and I am enjoying my first foray into blogging wirelessly while sitting on a balcony overlooking my friend's pool.

Plus, my lack of sleep and time zone travel has made me somewhat mildly retarded.

Today is no day for reflection.

But one thing that sticks in my mind is a monologue by the play's "idealistic foil" to the protagnists' desperate resignation. Self-rule, says the young African about Nigeria, is progress because:

"Perhaps the things I believe now for my country will be wrong and outmoded, and I will not understand and do terrible things to have things my way or merely to keep my power. Don’t you see that there will be young men and women, not British soldiers then, but my own black countrymen...to step out of the shadows some evening and slit my then useless throat?"



That was my money.


You have 3 more days. Go see it.


Is there anything worse than staying up all night, getting into a cab at 5 a.m., flying for 6 hours, to find that it's only 9:30 a.m.?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Today Kenny-boy, Tomorrow Dick?

Could Dick Cheney be indicted and frog-marched out of the White House?


Today has been/will be so crazy. I am heading out to my surprise birthday party in San Diego and Los Angeles in 13 hours. I have not packed, made arrangements for getting to the airport or finished the myriad of projects on my plate. Plus, tonight I have tickets to see 'A raisin in the Sun' (starring P. Diddy and Clair Huxtable.)
My fabulously terrific, awesome "why don't you post about me more" friend took me to a very posh lunch of Popeye's fried chicken and Jamba Juice in the half an hour I had before an excruciating team meeting conference call.

When that ended, imagine my surprise to find that my mortal enemy had wished me a very bloggy birthday with a post of my very own! (I dispute any and all charges of the non-sharing of my non-walkman. And I will note, for the record, that she conveniently left out the torturous Sassy magazine quizzes that I was constantly subjected to.)

(Also thanks to Candace for her birthday wishes post! I will definitely try to work on the "damn liberal" thing...although, from what I hear, a trip to Washington State is not an exactly an antidote. Plus, John Edwards is just so ... hot.)

I had better shut down Explorer now and get back to work, or else I may be forced to pull a no-sleeper, which would suck.

(Thanks to everyone for their happy birthday wishes, it has made my day (Ginger, I will dedicate any and all L.A. blogging to you!)



Note to Cleveland ...and D.C. change your team names already, Lordy. Now where did my right eyeball roll off to?


If I had a nickel for everytime this article uses the word "black." I could go on vacation. To Maui.

Bill Cosby, who lives in Shelburne, read a story in The Republican of Springfield about Loren M. Wilder and Jimmy L. Hester, who are also black. They went to three colleges in a tour arranged by Cosby, and selected Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia after visiting the campus on Tuesday.

"This is all about your careers, your lives," Cosby told the teenagers, who are black, as they traveled with him on his private jet, The Republican reported for Thursday editions. "The more you study, the better you do now, the more will open up to you later."


On Tuesday night my friend went out to dinner at Babbo in NYC. Seated across from her table of white-shoed, black suit wearing lawyers, was none other than NY-London transplants: Esther nee Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and their respective husbands, Guy Ritchie and Chris Martin. (Apple, Rocco and Lourdes were not in attendance.)
At some point in the evening, Gwyneth changed seats with her husband. In the shuffle her top came somewhat undone in the back, revealing her strappy undergarments.

My friend, the only woman at her table, was encouraged to tap Ms. Paltrow on the shoulder and let her know that either she should start charging for the view or fix her blouse.

After some prodding, she slowly made her way to Gwyn's side. Assuming a "can you sign my hand" moment was approaching, the maitre d' started waving her off. She explained the situation and he assured my friend he would take care of it himself.

The funniest part of the encounter is that my friend is a psychotic, huge, over-the-top Esther nee Madonna fan. But she said that Esther nee Madonna who saw her approach the table and watched her whole mime/charades act with the maitre d', did nothing but stare through her, like she didn't exist.

I don't know if this is a celebrity reflex or a newly developed skill of the kabbalah, but Esther nee Madonna has just lost herself a customer.


My life insurance company sent me a birthday greeting card.


There are so many things I want to accomplish this year:

1. Finish my novel.
2. Finish my screenplay.
3. Sell my novel.
4. Sell my screenplay.
5. Buy an apartment.
6. Live with less fear, more confidence.
7.Be healthier.
8.Go a whole day without sarcasm.
9. Do not tell Karol what day that is.
10. Visit one country I've never been to before.
11. Visit five states I've never been to before.
12. Spend less time with people that make me want to rip off my ears and cover my eyes with them, just so I won't have to see or hear them ever again.
13. Be nicer. Except to Karol.
14. Be meaner to Karol.
15. Play Trivial Pursuit. Must place better than metsin04.
16. Find out where Elliot is.
17. Place first in Fantasy Football.
18. Write and produce a television show.
19. Cure cancer.
20. Acheive world peace.


A Quiz that really gets me:

20 Questions to a Better Personality

Wackiness: 60/100
Rationality: 90/100
Constructiveness: 80/100
Leadership: 40/100

You are a WRCF--Wacky Rational Constructive Follower. This makes you Paul Begala. You are unflappable and largely unconcerned with others' reactions to you. You were not particularly interested in the results of this test, and probably took it only as a result of someone else asking you to.

You have a biting wit and intense powers of observation. No detail is lost on you, and your friends know it--relying on you to have the facts when others express only opinions. You are even-tempered, friendly, and educated. Foolish strangers may mistake your mildness for weakness--they will be surprised.

You entire approach to life is enviable. You will raise good kids.

Hear that Jesse L.? Good kids. Now call me.

via Annika


I supposed to be born on July 4th. ("Yes, supposed to be," my mother adds anytime I start telling this story. It was my first introduction to bitterness.)
But I wasn't. ("No, you weren't." see above parenthetical.)
False labor. (When I was nine I decided it was because the fireworks were too noisy.)
On July 7th, my mother went back to the hospital. The doctor said it would be a few hours.
At around midnight on the 8th, he estimated it would be a few hours more.
My aunt came by the hospital at the start of visiting hours at 8 a.m.
"She still in labor?"
She went to visit my very irritated mom-to-be.
"Joyce, how long have you been here?"
"26 hours."
"What? Why haven't they done a C-section?"
"The doctor doesn't believe in them, he says it's best that the baby be born naturally."
After a few minutes, my aunt asked mom-to-be, what my name would be.
If I were a boy, I would be named Jonas. If I were a girl, I would be named Taisha. (At thirteen I decided I was hiding out until I got a better name.)
"Those are horrible names."
"Who the hell wants to be named 'Taisha?' (Apologies to any and all Clareified readers named Taisha or who have daughters named Taisha, but despite all the familial disagreements I have had with my aunt through the years, for this intervention on my in utero behalf, I am grateful.)
My mother, at this point, could not and I quote "have cared less what my name or sex was going to be."
She wanted me out.
"So, pick a name then."
And so it was that I came to be named "Dawn." (Why "Dawn" ended up being spelled like a little french boy's name, is another story...)
That evening, the doctors and nurses gave up on the hope for a natural delivery. (Or Joyce Summers had threatened their lives with a carelessly, unsecured scalpel, one or the other.) They began prepping for surgery.
As they wheeled my mom out of the delivery room up to the OR, after nearly 40 hours, I was finally born at the elevator bank au natural!
And what a cute, little scamp I was, too!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


This is a report on Wade Edwards' death:

Within a year, Wade won an essay contest, expounding on the importance of each individual's vote. The award involved a trip to the White House, where Hillary Rodham Clinton honored the winners.

Two weeks later, Wade Edwards got in his Jeep with a friend to go to the family's beach house for spring break. His parents and sister planned to head down later. A weird gust of wind tipped the Jeep and Wade was pinned in the wreckage and killed. The police could find no other explanation. No drugs or alcohol were involved. The weather was sunny; the road was dry, uncrowded. The accident was inexplicable.

Rest of article.


Goodbye, 28

29's coming, you're going; don't let the door hitcha on the way out.
I don't know why, but even years are always the worst for me.
Off the top of my head: I ran over my cousin with my bike on my tenth birthday (for the last time, it was an accident); My mom forgot my 16th birthday; On my 20th birthday, I fell off the stage during an improv performance...the year then proceeds in a like fashion.

I'm sure it's some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, but 28 was no different.

What a horrible, miserable, devastating, embittering, horror show this year has been (starting my blog and all the people I've met in virtual(or reality) because of it, are the shining exceptions that prove the rule). The process of repression is darn near complete and hopefully in a few months, sweet, sweet sinility will wipe the memory from my lobes, but until then I am so looking forward to midnight.

Uh oh...now I'm worried about something crushing me to death in the next 12 hours...

Damn you even numbered years, I'll get you yet!


Now Let No Charitable Hope

Now let no charitable hope
Confuse my mind with images
Of eagle and of antelope:
I am by nature none of these.

I was, being human, born alone;
I am, being woman, hard beset;
I live by squeezing from a stone
What little nourishment I get.

In masks outrageous and austere
The years go by in single file;
But none has merited my fear,
And none has quite escaped my smile.

----Elinor Wylie (1885-1928)

T-12.5 Hours
My month-long sabbatical from television programming comes to an end at the stroke of midnight.

I am very excited. I have missed yelling at the TV during the Sunday morning gabfests, the NBA finals, the Mets/Yankees games, and finding out what the weather will be (damn you, sudden summer thundershowers.)

But in finding alternative ways to amuse myself these past four weeks, I have discovered a great many things:

1) The Loew's on 34th Street charges $1.26 less than other theaters in the city.

2) I make terrible, terrible mix-tapes -- one particularly egregious offender had Joan Osbourne, Coolio, Tina Turner, Lauryn Hill and Ton-Loc on it.

3) I am very lazy. Knowing that I would not want to rewind said tapes or flip them over I would just record songs I really liked, multiple times on a tape. Consequently, I've got the Spice Girls' "Wanna" recorded three times in a row on side one. My mix-tapes: no good. Thank God for the CD burner.

4) All of my CDs are either scratched to the point of uselessness or are in the wrong CD cases. One should not open up an Tupac CD case and find Reba McEntire's "For My Broken Heart." One should not then attempt to play newly rediscovered "For My Broken Heart" and have it skip for fifteen minutes on the first song. Hmmm... come to think of it, one should not have put that skipping "For My Broken Heart" CD back in the Tupac CD case and returned it to the shelf to upset one again in the future...D'oh.

5) Why do I have tapes of episodes of Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Parlor?

6) I still get choked up watching Patch and Kayla's wedding! (I can also still name all the real life names of the entire casts of Days, Another World, Santa Barbara, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital circa 1989)

7) I have a tape of a newsbroadcast from June 1987. The American President had pledged to get tough on terrorism, there were national hearings in Congress about the U.S.'s dealings with the middle east, there was an anthrax investigation being conducted and the Mets were struggling through the season. Seriously.

8) Commercials from the 80s were hilarious! No .com ads obviously, but boy were they excited about their diet colas and polaroid cameras.

9) Fresh air is not all it's cracked up to be.

10) I will never unplug my TV again...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


"The Secret Service is under orders that if Bush is shot, to shoot Quayle."
--John F. Kerry

Ah, haven't had a good Quayle-bash in a decade.

On an unrelated note, where is this John Kerry now?



A Clareified commenter e-mailed me with some observations about the Kerry rally in Pittsburgh today (where he announced Edwards as his running mate)[edited for personal info and local Pittsburgh politics, which, c'mon, let's be honest -- not even Pittsburgh cares about]:

As for the rally, it was pretty well-attended, but not as exuberant as I expected. Pittsburgh Congressman, Mike Doyle, opened the event with a pretty standard “Let’s Take Back the White House” speech. Then the Steelers legend, Franco Harris, addressed the crowd. Steelers’ greats play very well in Pittsburgh for any occasion. Harris came out to wild applause and had one of the lines of the day “No, I’m not the next Vice President of the United States.” I wanted to yell out “The Immaculate Election,” but thought the line too good to use since I’m a Bush supporter. Harris was obviously new to political addresses and he fell pretty flat before a very receptive crowd. Kerry then came out with Theresa Heinz and gave a good speech. I was a little surprised he didn’t play up the crowd more since there were a lot of union representatives there, particularly from the SEIU and the Fire Fighters’ Union. The SEIU, in particular, was very spirited and would have gotten the crowd whipped into a frenzy if Kerry had played to them. Hell, I could have whipped the crowd around me into a frenzy if he were my man.

Any devotee of professional wrestling could have had the place rocking. Local pol and pro wrestling legend, Jumping Johnny DeFazio, was in attendance on stage, but was clearly not consulted.


Call me naive, but I was surprised that the homemade looking signs were actually made and passed out by the Kerry campaign. There were almost no signs brought in by Pittsburghers. Pittsburgh lacks the protest skills of people from San Fran or NYC, but I’ve been to rally’s before and usually the unions come very well prepared. I don’t know if people are just lackluster about Kerry or what, but it struck me as odd. The Kerry campaign also passed out flags and the sharp Kerry-Edwards signs.

After his speech, Kerry shook hands with people in the crowd. It was interesting to see the rally and I was glad for its brevity. I was also surprised that no Republicans tried to co-opt some of the buildings surrounding the square where the speech took place. I have some Republican friends who are very resourceful and crafty and who would jump at the chance to do something crazy like unfurl a giant Bush-Cheney banner from a building behind Kerry. I was hoping for more excitement, but it was still fun to see.

Not exactly an electrifying start to the Kerry/Edwards ticket, but hopefully that's where Edwards will come in.


OHMIGOSH, I can't believe I missed this: TODAY IS JULY 6TH!!

As in "SIX" or 6!

I knew I wasn't crazy.

Clareified: All about education, information and prognostication.


Instapundit's got me thinking that Bush's October surprise may be to dump Cheney for someone new and shiny.

Insta thinks it'll be Condi, but the "is she or isn't she" whispers suggest that she may not withstand real media scrutiny. Then there's Giuliani and McCain, but both of them have higher aspirations than Veep. So who is a big-name Republican, without presidential hopes, but able to energize moderate Republicans to vote?

You got it.


Ever since I plunked down six figures for my law degree, I have felt a particular irritation at those who make derisive comments about lawyers. Sure, some of the jokes are funny, but the widespread "kill all the lawyers" viewpoint is cracked. Usually, Republicans are the worst offenders, i.e. this guy. But today I read one of the best retorts to this ignorant viewpoint ever -- from a Republican!

One final thought on Edwards, which i have to say in his defense. i've been hearing a lot of criticism against him based simply on the fact that he was a trial lawyer. The term "trial lawyer" is a somewhat imprecise term. i assume people mean plaintiff's lawyer, since many lawyers who do trials are not plaintiff's lawyers. i don't suppose you'd hear that kind of criticism leveled against someone like former U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani for example, who was also a trial lawyer and a good one too. Not all trial lawyers are ambulance chasers.

Which brings me to my point. John Edwards was no ambulance chaser. Yes, he was a plaintiff's attorney, but from what i know of his career, he was the top guy in his field. Lawyers like him do not chase ambulances, or make money off of minor fender benders or spilled coffee. Edwards represented legitimate plaintiffs with serious injuries who deserved compensation by any standard of justice. And like another famous trial attorney turned politician, Edwards became the pre-eminent plaintiff's lawyer in his state because he was very very good. And that's worth something in my book.

Of course, she then adds:

So i don't agree with people who say Senator Edwards is the wrong guy just because he's a plaintiff's lawyer. i say he's the wrong guy because he's a Democrat.

Well, not all posts are perfect, but thanks Annika for the eloquent defense of the profession!


"Better late than Gephardt"
-- Ugarte chiding Kerry for taking his own sweet time picking a Veep.


Michael Moore and Ken Wheaton now share a blog birthday.


P.S. Ken, this is what you get for calling me old and crazy.



In another of its "Dewey Defeats Truman"-style "exclusives," The New York Post reported on its front page and website today that Dick Gephardt was Kerry's choice. The struggling tabloid's site pulled the embarrassing image of its flat-out-wrong front page and swapped in a wire story instead of its sure-to-stay-exclusive original, but thousands of copies of the baffling Gephardt front page were already on the streets.

Editor and Publisher magazine, long considered the bible of the newspaper biz, said in a story Tuesday that the Post had become "an object of ridicule," and that copies of the botched front page were already available on the Internet auction site eBay.

Guess I should have bought the Post this morning as an investment!


I am so excited about the Kerry/Edwards ticket!!!!!


Not that Bush is not a lock, but still.


John Kerry's birthday gift to Bush:


I groaned when I saw the cover of the Post this morning: "Kerry's Choice: Gephardt."
"Damnit, Kerry is actively trying to lose this race."

Then, I thought..maybe Edwards has some horrible skeleton in his closet. Al Gore also passed him over.

Of course, I get to work and log in to the New York Times and surprise, surprise.


I immediately went to nypost.com. They have shut down the server. Heh heh heh.
So just to recap, Kerry made the right choice AND embarrassed the psychotically conservative Post with a modern-day "Dewey Wins" headline. Ahhh...

KERRY/EDWARDS '04. Bring. It. On.


Each year I head down to Annapolis for all the Cantler's steamed Maryland blue crabs I can eat. I used to package the trip with seeing the fireworks over the reflecting pool in D.C., catching up with old friends and visiting National museums, but really, it was always just about the lunch.

This year was no different, I woke up at 5 in the morning, so that I could pick up my partner in gluttony and get an early start (the all-you-can-eat special ends at 1 p.m.) After an unexpected delay , we were on our way. Cantler's is tucked away in a wooded area, right alongside the Chesapeake Bay -- but Mapquest's directions are slightly off. Each year we follow the directions that say left at the fork, and end up lost for a good ten minutes, before we find our way back to the right road.
Last year, I swore it wouldn't happen again and repeated the words "right at the fork, right at the fork" over and over in my head. Well, it totally paid off! Even though I was looking at the directions that said "left at the fork," I pointed to the right and said go that way. It started to look dicey (and unfamiliar) so I sheepishly admitted that the directions said to go left.
"Well, why did you point right?"
"I don't know...let's just go a little further."
No sooner had the words come out of my mouth, we saw a sign for Cantler's! Hooray!
We made it in time for the all-you-can-eat with about two minutes to spare.
I have also calculated that I get completely full and a twinge nauseated after about 20 medium sized crabs.
I ate about 30.
At the end of the meal, again, like every year, I swore that if I never see another crab for a year, it'll be too soon. I am usually covered from forehead to waist in crab carcass. (They have a huge washbin in the back where people go hose themselves off.)
After lunch we drove down to my friend's house in Maryland where she was scheduled to have dinner with her grandparents. We stopped at Blockbuster to pick up some movies that I could watch while she and her parents were out with the G-rents. After they left, I popped "Paycheck" into the DVD player and settled down to watch the artist formerly known as Bennifer puzzle out his life.
I saw something dart across the room out of the corner of my eye. Startled I sat upright. I looked around, seeing nothing I got up and went to the window.
"Man, suburbia creeps me out," I thought as I scanned all the perfectly manicured lawns with mini-American flags on wooden sticks lining the edge.
I sat back down on the floor.
I saw the flash again. It had a tail.
Oh crap, the cat.
I decided to switch from the floor to the couch.
A few minutes later, the cat was standing - in full view - in the middle of the floor where I once sat.
It looked at me. I look at it.
It crept closer.
I pulled my feet up onto the couch.
It put its paws on the end table next to the couch and pulled its body up.
I lept off the couch and fell to the floor.
It walked to the middle of the couch and looked down at me.
"Look, kitty. You don't like me and I don't like you. Let's just agree to stay out of each other's way."
No dice.
The cat jumped down next to me on the floor.
I ran to the bathroom and locked the door.
I began rehearsing my speech:
"Umm...I'm very sorry to have to tell you this, but your cat was an evil demon and it tried to eat me..."
Really, how do you explain to your friend that you had to kill her cat?
I waited for twenty minutes before opening the door.
No sight of Lucifer.
I crept back into the living room and sat behind the loveseat in the corner. I rewound the movie and kept an eye out.
Sure enough, within a few minutes, it was back.
Suddenly, I realized my shirt and fingers still smelled like my Old-bay seasoned lunch -- the cat was after me for my seafood smell!
I ran downstairs to take a shower and change my clothes, when I came back up, I rewound the movie for the second time and returned to my hiding place behind the love seat.
This time, the cat didn't return.
Maybe next year I'll just drive back to New York after lunch!

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