Friday, August 29, 2008

I Heart Barney Smith

My favorite part of the convention last night—besides the historic, inspiring speech etc etc—was when the regular (mostly former Republican) supporters took the stage. Jeff and I were already half (well, three-quarters) in the bag at that point, and took great pleasure in shouting at the screen, much to the chagrin of my mother.

When Barney Smith, who looked like a human Dilbert, took the stage and delivered his zinger ("We need a president who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney!") Jeff and I became truly obnoxious.

"My name is Cooper Waterhouse Price!"
"My name is Stanley Morgan!"
"My name is Sachs Goldman!"
"My name is GroupCiti!"

Seriously, Barney Smith's mission on Earth may have been to deliver that line. I hope he gets famous and does endorsement deals.

I Can't Tell Time, But I Can Tell Kenya from Kansas

My mom gently pointed out to me last night that Denver is on mountain time, meaning that the headline speakers actually ARE coming on TV at 8 or 9pm, just not on the East Coast. Thank you all for not pointing this out to me and allowing me to be incorrectly self-righteous; a curmudgeon is nothing without her belief that she has a right to be angry.

Since we Yankees get the proceedings so late, Jeff, my mom and I drained 2 bottles of wine before Obama came onstage at the saucily-named 'Mile High stadium.' Then we drank some more. But you didn't have to be drunk to admit that his speech was pretty great.

Afterwards, we watched some of the blowhards pundits verbally masturbate react. One guy—probably on Fox News, which we flipped to just to see what the Republicans were saying—said he was still unclear on Obama's identity, saying that he didn't understand the whole Kenya/Kansas equation.


Obama's father was Kenyan. His mother was Kansan. I know they both start with the same letter, but one is a country in Africa and one is a state in the United States of America. Obama himself did not grow up in Kenya. He grew up in Hawaii, which is also a state, making Barack Obama an African-American who is also an American citizen.

It is really time for Republicans to stop pretending to be confused by this.

No Comment

I used to work for BlackBook, as most of you know, but as a good girl—and one who has gotten some smacks on the wrist for blogging about work—I can't really discuss some of the, uh, more colorful characters I had the pleasure of working with, and for.

So it's pretty wonderful when someone else does the job for me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Putin the Smackdown on the GOP

This is up on CNN right now, and has been for 40 minutes:

Isn't this kind of a big deal? None of the other news websites are picking it up.

And. of course, the burning question: If the U.S. orchestrated the Georgian war to benefit a candidate, which candidate was it? Golly gee.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Zingers for the Democrats: $5 FREE

"Today, we make history my nominating the first African-American to ever head a major party ticket. The Republicans have nominated their 44th old white Protestant guy."

"McCain served his country honorably, and lived for four years in a POW camp. Which pretty much any POW survivor will tell you, makes you fucking insane. Did you even see Rescue Dawn?"

"John McCain called his wife a cunt in front of a lot of people, and also he thinks Czechoslovakia is still a country. Seriously, does no one find this troubling?"

(for Hillary Clinton only) "John McCain has been using my comments from the primary season in his attack ads on Barack Obama. I am Hillary Clinton and I DO NOT approve this message!"

(for Joe Biden only) "My name is Buh-buh-buh-buh-Biden and John McCain is full of buh-buh-buh-buh-bullshit!"

(for Sasha Obama only) "Mr. McCain, how old are you?"

WTF, Teresa Heinz Kerry?

Hard as it is to believe, one of the first magazines I was ever addicted to was Ms. (It is hard even for me to believe it, as it had almost no pictures at all, let alone of stars' bikini bodies). I do remember, however, a great feature that published sexist ads and ran scathing feminist commentary alongside. Is Ms. still around? If so, they should have a field day with this:

I'm going to go ahead and assume that this isn't an ironic artwork titled, Trapped on Applebee's plate and unable to flee, mutant blind poultry Barbie emits primal scream.

Before we get to the more pressing issue of rampant misogyny, what are those fried balls? They are too round to be tater tots. Are they jalapeño poppers? I'm legitimately curious.

Next, food porn is not meant to be literal. Food and sex only go together well in theory, but ketchup nipples are a world of no.

Also, interesting choice to make the supine food nymph bald with no arms or feet. I'm not saying that bald is not beautiful, or that amputees can't be sexy, I'm just saying, would it have killed Heinz to at least make her a complete edible person instead of just jalapeño popper boobs, chicken legs, and nipples?

Now, I don't have much of a soapbox to stand on here, as my husband's pet project involves photographing styrofoam female mannequin heads covered with chicken skin and bacon, but I can't believe that an ad like this can exist in 2008. It's one thing to show a hot girl in Daisy Dukes serving a platter of chicken wings; it is quite another to form a woman out of appetizers, cut off her feet and take away her hair but give her nipples and lips, and suggest that men should actually eat her. Or, I guess, since the ad is for Heinz's hot ketchup, I guess they want men to cover her in ketchup and then eat her, which is even more sexual and even less appetizing.

Makes me think the folks at Drake's Cakes should seriously reconsider their marketing campaign for Devil Dogs.

5 Non-Alcoholic Ways to Energize the DNC

1. BRING ON THE PRIME SPEAKERS AT PRIME TIME. Have you ever been to a concert where there's some opening act that kind of sucks, and even though you know that this is like the BIGGEST MOMENT EVER for the person onstage, you just keep checking your watch and chugging beer and wondering when the fuck the main act is going to show? The DNC speeches start at 6pm, but the headliner doesn't talk until almost 11 o'clock. What moron scheduled this? Shouldn't the main event come on at 8 or 9, to allow a wider selection of viewers (meaning not just insomniac die-hard Dems) to watch? I know America's Got Talent is on, but I don't think the people who watch that are even going to vote, unless it's for David Archuleta.

2. LIMIT THE PUNDIT CHATTER TO IN BETWEEN SPEECHES. On CNN, they literally did not broadcast any speeches other than the milquetoasty keynote guy and Hillary. Instead, you saw Nancy Pelosi's mouth moving while Wolf Blitzer and all of the pundits did an intellectual circle jerk (apologies for the unavoidable mental image). Viewers are forced to listen to these assholes every night, but the DNC only happens once every 4 years. Let all of the speeches air.

3. HAVE BILL CLINTON'S THOUGHTS APPEAR AS ONSCREEN SUBTITLES. Jeff did a really great inner monologue for Bill while Hillary was speaking. It is even funnier if you drink an entire bottle of wine waiting for the speech to finally start.

4. DITTO MICHELLE OBAMA. The number of tight-lipped "Bitch, please!" looks during Hillary's speech were priceless.

5. MORE SASHA OBAMA. That kid is fucking cute. She should introduce everyone. In fact, she should emcee the entire convention. Yet another reason to get the headliners to speak earlier, before her bedtime.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New York Times Mocks Clinton Effigy's Shyness

...oh, I think she's been prepared for awhile now.

Rhode Island Weekend

As promised, photographic evidence of my kayaking prowess.

This picture makes it look like Jeff and I are just pretending to kayak, but in fact we did a long tour of the "bird shit island" archipelago in the pond next to my Dad's rental.

Also we slept on the beach.

Coming soon: more beach pics, allowing me to finally use the post title "The Unbearable Whiteness of Being."

Monday, August 25, 2008

New O'Biden Campaign song!

Also this weekend I came up with the perfect campaign song for Joe-bama/O'Biden '08. You don't even have to change most of the lyrics, just the chorus:

So I'd like to know where, you got the notion
Said I'd like to know where, you got the notion

Baaaa-rack the vote, Barack the vote baby
Ba-rack the vote, let's tip the vote over
Barack the vote, Barack the vote baby
Barack the vote-te-te-te-te

Ever since our voyage of love began
Your touch has thrilled me like the rush of the wind
And your arms have held me safe from a rolling sea
There's always been a quiet place to harbor you and me

And it's totally relevant because the song is "Rock the Boat" and Barack is rocking the boat of politics. He is sailing the seas of change. You know I'm right.

P.S. Don't be jealous of my Photoshop skills. It's a gift.

Speeding and Spilling My Way Through Rhode Island

So, I made it. I successfully drove—as only billions have done before me—out of New York via the BQE and took 95 all the way up to exit 92 without incident, even though in retrospect I maybe should have saved my maiden highway voyage for daylight hours. I only once almost rear-ended someone while changing lanes (I have a bad habit of staring long and hard at my blind spot instead of glancing) and surprised Jeff by actually speeding most of the way there (he was totally expecting me to be inching along in the right lane). Instead, he found himself hanging onto the dash for dear life as I pushed 80, yelling with glee, "I am totally popping my cherry right now!" Poor Jeff.

Our weekend in Rhode Island can best be marked by a series of spills. The morning after we arrived, I spilled my coffee all over Jeff and the cream-colored rug of the rental place my Dad and his girlfriend were staying. While decorating my father's birthday cake, I spilled coconut on that same rug. That night, I spilled my vodka-lemonade down Jeff's back while watching fireworks, after which I immediately twisted my ankle dancing around the living room. And then finally, yesterday, I slipped down the carpeted stairs and bruised my ass something awful. (I've slipped down stairs before in those same sandals, but I paid $90 for them, so I am going to WEAR them, dammit!)

I would like to point out, however, that I kayaked without capsizing, thereby exceeding everyone's expectations. Photos to come!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Highway to the Danger Zone?

As most of you know—because it is my favorite self-deprecating thing to mention, second only to my former unibrow—I didn't learn to drive until I was 25. I've chronicled that experience in three parts, if you want to read them (they're really not that long and can be found here, here, and here). Anyway, since I am a city child adult and don't own a car, I haven't really practiced much since, mostly because it's hard to find someone that wants to ride shotgun next to a new driver. They laugh—half scared, half patronizing—and say things like, "I'll let you drive once we get off the highway." But how am I supposed to LEARN how to drive on the highway if no one will let me?

Answer: get a Zipcar. Only Zipcar members are covered by insurance, and thus unless your husband wants to pay $50 for the privilege of driving your ass to Rhode Island (he doesn't), you will find yourself about to drive for the very first time not only on the highway but on the BQE during Friday rush hour. Whoo baptism by fire! (Hopefully not literal).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Project Runway: Bettah Late Than Leathah!

A little late but no less mean! My weekly Project Runway recap.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Waiting for Barack

Like many Obama supporters, I have elected to be alerted via text message as soon as Obama picks his running mate. I'm not sure what this text will look like, but I hope it's something along the lines of "Wht Up, J Biden is My VP Yes We Can TTYL".

Anyway, wouldn't it be awesome if somehow I could blog the result the second I got the text and somehow manage to be the very first public record of Obama's VP choice? I know a million other bloggers will be doing the same thing (and if I were McCain, I'd sign up for the alert myself under a pseudonym, say Methuselah) but imagine Matt Lauer being all, "The Sassy Curmudgeon broke the news this morning ..." Sigh. If only.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Third Time's a Charm

This blog has gotten me into trouble exactly three times, and I think I may finally understand that I can't freely write about:

1. Anything—however minute or ridiculous—having to do with work, and
2. Anyone I know personally in anything other than positive or neutral terms

So, it's gardening and Food Network shows from here on out! Kidding (sort of). Oh, and I haven't watched Project Runway from last week yet but a recap will be up tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

America's Next Top Model May Have a Penis

When I read that Cycle 11 (oh, dear, that's a LOT of brain cells!) of America's Next Top Model would feature a transgendered model, I totally geeked out. I never expected, though, to not be able to tell which one it was.

Meet Isis:

Now meet McKey:

I think we might have to have a walk-off! Read the run-down from Rich, who is the best ANTM re-capper ever, here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flip-Flopping Politicians: Literal, Frightening

When I was a little girl, I was always scared of the Mouse King in the Nutcracker ballet, because he had like 7 heads and not even getting into the fact that I have a phobia of rodents, that's just gross.

These honest-to-God candidate flip flops are possibly the scariest footwear I have ever seen, and that includes toe-less boots and high-heeled sneakers.

It's like sprouting candidate heads from your toe cleavage! Why not just one head? Why? Why? Why did I have to see this?

Terrifying Flip Flop Vote!

Which is scarier?



View Result

free polls


Friday, August 8, 2008

Project Runway Does the (Special) Olympics

This post should totally be on Popserious, not here, but my computer is 5 years old, which in computer years is about 96, so every time I try to do anything I get the spinny multicolored ball of death, which is basically my geriatric computer saying "Eh? Speak up, I don't have my hearing aid in." And for some reason the Blogger software doesn't bother my computer, while WordPress software makes it have a stroke. So anyway. That's why. Now onto the show!

This week, the Proj Run designers were faced with the challenge of designing outfits for the American athletes to wear to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This seemed to me to be a boring challenge at first, but I guess that's because I thought that the designers were actually going to, you know, follow the challenge. Luckily, pretty much no one listened, and so we ended up with a runway full of hot tranny messes in red, white, and blue. Which is actually a pretty good metaphor for the country right now. Minus the tranny part. But I digress.

Apollo Ohno, who is supposedly an Olympian, but who I know only from Dancing With the Stars, was the guest judge. I didn't even have to try to come up with a picture of him doing the bitchiest fashion queen pose I could possibly imagine -- it was like number 3 in my Google image search.

The episode itself was kind of blah. No great drama. Kenley seems to be in love with small, gay Daniel and everyone else thinks Kenley is a nasty bitch with an annoying laugh (ha!). Korto immigrated from Liberia, where she was probably going to get raped or killed (sad!). Keith used to be a competitive gymnast (what?). But the best thing about this challenge were the craptastic garments. Behold:


Joe is so straight that he actually thought a skort was a fashion-forward item of clothing. And also he acted like the biggest queen in the group this episode, which is saying something. But still, he managed to make the only outfit that I could imagine an actual Olympian wearing, and so Joe gets the gold medal in heterosexuality.

Korto won the challenge, which was totally deserved. Her outfit was modern, simple, and well made. As someone with thighs, I'm not feeling the wide leg white pants, but just because they would make me look like the Stay Puft marshmallow man on the 4th of July doesn't mean they can't bring joy to others.

I am kind of feeling Terri's 70s pantsuit vibe. I even like the poufy red thing with this outfit, especially since it hides the fact that the tube top is waaaaay too tight. I can't, like, salivate over this, but I'm certainly not hating on it. If there was a gold medal for my tacit approval, this would win it (I should totally start giving those out.)


Blayne's tan is fading, much as his sliver of likability is fading. As Jerell reminds us, though, "luckily, he's got that platinum blonde hair that's keeping him alive." (Jerell is totally my secret favorite even though his clothes look like ass warmed over.) Anyway, Blayne's outfit makes me thing, for some reason, of Brigitte Nielsen and of the movie Cool Runnings. So Blayne gets the silver in Danish bobsledding.

I was going to put this in the "Ugly" section (see below), but on second viewing, Kelli's garment isn't ugly per se, it's just ... puzzling. I feel like this represents what a bushman deep in the African jungle whose sole example of Western culture is an old VHS copy of Oklahoma! thinks of when he thinks of America. That, or she was just like, 'Fuck the Olympics!' and made some girl from Williamsburg walk the runway.

Leanne's outfit was actually kind of cute in motion, but I have to deduct points for the patriotic neck brace.

Suede needs a swift hard kick in the ass. That is all. Suede wins the pewter medal in cut-off-that-damned-blue-mohawk-or-I-will-do-it-for-you.


We have established that Keith is kind of nuts, and this episode we learn he was a competitive gymnast as a child! Keith is like a mille feuille of crazy, each layer unfolding to reveal something new and disturbing. Anyway, it seems as though Keith sees Olympians as half power lesbians, half sassy chorus girls from the 40s. A more pressing concern is how anyone is supposed to hurdle in this get-up without breaking an ankle.

Kenley, I think you are a heinous bitch ... AND I don't like your skirt. Harumph!

Stella continues to amaze me with the fact that she makes everything out of leather. This could have been badass, but the fit is weird and it makes this model's thighs look kind of fat, which means that the Olympian women (who Tim tactfully describes as "muscle-y") would look like goth sausages. Also I hate the shoes with this outfit. Disqualified!

Oh, Jerell. I love you, and yet ... and yet. Jerell was wearing some sort of boy scout cap on the runway, and was cute as all get out. But he created this outfit, which reminds me of the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts goes to the racetrack and Jason Alexander reveals that he knows she's a prostitute. Except it's 2008 and she's wearing a pair from Lindsay Lohan's ill-advised line of leggings. And instead of a prostitute, she's a rodeo queen. But Jason Alexander stays the same.


Daniel gets the bronze medal in the American Airlines stewardess safety demonstration showdown! (Seriously, what was he thinking?)

And poor Jennifer. My favorite quote of the show was what Jennifer said when she got aufed: "I really think I could have brought a new perspective, with my surrealism."

Yeah, that's a regular Dali right there. Is she mental?

P.S. I am actually writing this while watching the actual Olympic opening ceremonies, in a delicious coincidence, and the Ralph Lauren outfits that Team USA is wearing make them look like a bunch of caddies. They are wearing white golf caps like my grandpa used to wear. But seriously, they look like caddies.

The Six Crazy People You Meet in New York

I saw a totally new brand of crazy person today while I was getting lunch at Subway. This dude looked like your average beefy, sporty guy (although, upon closer inspection later, his eyes were just... not right) eating a sub. When he finished, he got up, clapped, and yelled "YOU GUYS, THAT WAS THE BEST FREAKIN' SUB I HAVE EVER HAD! BLESS YOU!" and then started to kind of squat-stumble around. It was a beautiful moment for me, because it's not every day you see a new category of crackpot in New York, the city in which you can be reasonably sure that no matter where you are you are on the same block as someone who is unbalanced. I was so moved that I was inspired to catalogue, like Darwin before me, the breeds of batshit crazies on this island.

The Bullseye
The Bullseye lets you know, by way of their personal hygiene, clothing choices, or posture, that they are out-and-out nuts. Think of this as a gift: even though their lazy eyes, missing teeth, or underpants-with-cape ensemble might be off-putting, at least you know to steer clear.

The Self-Talker
You can spot these gentle giants pretty easily, as they are whispering, mumbling, or yelling to no one in particular, often accompanied by emphatic hand gestures. Most of the time they are Bullseyes, but sometimes they are Bluetooth users, so check for an earpiece. Danger level is low; the self-talker is busy having a conversation with someone invisible. They won’t notice you unless you try to get in on the conversation (THIS IS NOT ADVISED). The self-talker is generally found outdoors, but enjoys riding the New York City Transit system, as do all crazy people.

The Provocateur
The Provocateur is a Self-Talker gone bad—he or she hones in on a victim and whispers, mumbles, or yells provocative insults and threats. Sample dialogue:
Provocateur: YOU DON’T KNOW ME.
Victim: [Shifts uncomfortably].
Victim: [Changes seats].
The best course of action when faced with a Provocateur is to be a pussy and change cars. Be warned: the truly crazy may follow you.

The Religious Fanatic
I’m not trying to be religious-ist here. There are plenty of religious fanatics that are not crazy (although, if you define crazy as ‘talking very loudly to no one in particular on the subway’—see the Self-Talker—a lot of train preachers qualify). I am talking about people like the obese woman who chased my sister out of a Burritoville, yelling “Don’t run from Jesus!”

The Slow Burner
You can be sitting this next to this person on the subway for twenty minutes with nary a peep, and then suddenly, in a Tourette’s-like outburst, they scream something at the top of their lungs. The scariest slow burners are the ones that are otherwise nondescript. When faced with a slow burner, often the best course of action is to pretend you don’t notice them. Remain still and turn up the volume on your iPod. Sudden movements could direct the stream of obscenities toward you.

The Jester
I have only seen one of these personally—a man who stood in the middle of my subway station every day shouting “Goin’ to work! Go, go, goin’ to work!” It was pretty awesome. If you ever see a Jester, you should count yourself lucky—crazy never looked this good.

So the new guy, I'm not sure what to call his tribe. Maybe the Footlong Fanatic? The Barely Visible Head Dent? The Jolly Juicer? Suggestions welcome.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What Were You Wearing When You Gave Birth?

If the answer is "nothing" or "a paper gown," you are so not up with birth couture.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hence The Name Sassy?

I am having a Sassy week. Not like, sassy and witty and all Rosalind Russel-y, spouting quips from my cubicle with a gravely growl. Like Sassy the magazine that guided me through my sheltered but nonetheless awkward adolescence. There have been a lot of books out in recent years chronicling the cult that formed around Sassy, both during and after its newsstand reign. One, How Sassy Changed My Life, is sitting on my night stand. I haven't read it yet. I will, but I don't really need to. I know how Sassy changed my life.

For one thing, it totally pissed me off that I didn't found it and become the editor in chief, even though when it launched in 1988 I was eight years old. But in all seriousness, it was smart and savvy and honest and witty, something that was and still is missing from every single women's magazine out there. It didn't pander to the vapid or shallow, or suggest I spend my time dieting and practicing inane sex tricks. It was the first magazine that I totally fell in love with, and while I had later, glossier lovers, I never forgot the One that Got Away.

Case in point: I am currently bidding on half a dozen vintage Sassys on ebay, sold by someone named Storme in Vancouver. I once owned dozens of original Sassys, but I didn't realize they were an endangered species and so I cut them up to make decoupage, which was my next teenage phase. I am spending $10 apiece to have a piece of my youth back, but it's totally worth it. I don't want to forget that there was once a voice in the mainstream media that really, truly spoke to me. I want to share that voice with my daughter or with my sassy, gay son. Once I have Sassy back, I'll never let it go again.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Holly GoHomely: I Love Bad Reality Television

I don't watch I Love Money, the most self-aware and un-ironic reality show to date, in which reality show rejects compete for money because, well, they are shameless, but it sounds amazing. Check out this recap from Radar Online:

(Castmember names, emphasis mine)

The vote was the culmination of a day full of crying—but for once, not because of drama. In a challenge called "The Crying Game," each member of the Green and Gold team had to produce tears, and the first team to have each member produce a tear first was named the winner. Contestants could try to produce tears naturally or by using any of five special tools set out before them—onions, cigars to smoke, cayenne pepper, hot sauce or tweezers. Once the clock started ticking, and neither onion nor cigar smoke were working, some contestants asked teammates to physically hurt them when they found they couldn't produce tears on their own. Among the better tear-jerking methods was 12 Pack's slap across Toastee's face and the gross sight of several people running their fingers across Rodeo's eyeballs. Others chose to inflict their own pain, like poor Punkin, who unfortunately wasn't familiar with cayenne peppers, and thought it would be okay to just apply them directly to her eyes. Among the chaos, her screams of pain rang particularly clear.

Wow. I can't believe there is a show where someone names 12 Pack is slapping someone named Toastee (pictured above, who I totally want to lick because her name reminds me of Thomas' Toaster Cakes—where did they go??) and someone named Punkin is too dumb not to know that you do not put cayenne pepper in your eye.

I Eat Yeast (and other childhood tales)

I am sitting at my desk eating popcorn with yeast on it. It's not the pebbly kind of yeast that goes into breads; it's something I grew up calling "good-tasting nutritional yeast," thanks to my mom's clever marketing. It's kind of flaky and yellow and to most people is probably only marginally less gross than regular yeast, but to me it tastes like the sweetness of childhood. Despite my mom's best efforts I eventually answered the siren song of Kraft macaroni and cheese, but the good-tasting nutritional yeast stuck as a comfort food. I even swiped the container from my mom's cupboard yesterday, since she is on vacation (sorry Mom—I'll replace it!).

It makes me think about how malleable children's minds are. I have a friend whose four year-old daughter has yet to taste McDonalds (which is probably rare these days). Her parents have successfully trained her to call it "the big M" and to declare that "it's not good." My sister, genius that she was and is, called McDonald's "E-I-O." My mom really tried to make us both healthy eaters. She banned sugary cereals (except for dessert, which takes the fun out of it, because instead of eating ice cream you're eating Corn Pops, and you realize you've been had) and tried to make nutritious versions of popular fast foods. To her credit, she sort of immunized us from the lifetime of crap-eating that started once we hit puberty. Also I breastfed until I was like four, so I figure I have extra IQ points to waste on saturated fats and Yellow #5.

Unrelated: Why is it that when I bring my lunch and snacks to work I somehow consume them all before noon? Discuss.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hey, What's That On Your Hip?

My Project Runway recap, special goiter edition!
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