Thursday, April 30, 2009

I figured out the Why and the How

I have been reading a book (Cauldron by J. McDevitt) and I think I have to stop.  The problem is that he is making an obvious analogy with today’s lack of interest in Space Exploration.

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It has caused me to wonder why we as a people aren’t interested in Space anymore.  I mean really, why does no one give a shit about exploring the stars.  And I think I have it figured out.  Stay with me for a moment.

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Kennedy basically kicked off the Space Race in 1960, and we put a man on the moon in 1969.  I was one year old when he announced it.  Anyone over about 12 realized that it wasn’t for science or exploration.  It was a direct response to the Soviet Space Launches.

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We got there in 1969, and for anyone younger than about 8 years old, it was no big deal.  I mean, for Ed (and for Barack Obama) the moon landing – a World Changing Event for me – is simply history.  It is like going to the South Pole.  No big deal.  For people over about 18, we won the race – deal done.  You don’t keep racing once you won.  Besides, they had bigger and scarier fish to fry (like being drafted).

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So there is this tiny sliver of people for whom the Moon Landing was the START.  It was the OPENING of Space for us.  Those of us in that sliver have never really understood why we stopped caring.

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Let me say that understanding is, for me, really really really sad.  I fear that we have become a uninspired, unimaginative group of consumers who are losing our civilization.  If it can’t be weaponised or corrupted in order to make a profit from it – we aren’t interested.  Don't get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with making a profit – but there was a time I really thought there was more to life than money.  I felt that as a people we were interested in evolving into something wonderful and beautiful.  But, as a civilization, we said there really isn’t more important.  That’s kind of sad.

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NASA’s Budget: $17.9 Billion

Vetern’s Benefits Budget: $53 Billion

Federal Education Budget: $70 Billion

Defense Department’s Budget $515.9 Billion (85%+ going to corporations for hardware)

TARP Funds: $700 Billion 

Duck Season.. Rabbit Season... Duck Season... Hobbit Season


Hey-Zues.
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Why is there absolutely no intersection of these 2 groups?!?  Group 1  - men who do the minimal manscaping - by which I mean shave the back of your neck, comb your hair, clean under your fingernails.  And Group 2 - men who wear flip flops.
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Guys!!!!  For sanity sake, if you wear flip flops and you got big long black hairs growing out on your toes, trim them!  Your feet are pasty from all winter.  You trim the chest hair that slips out of the top of your t-shirt (and if you don't do that to.. Do it.  Right now, I'll wait.)
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Please don't drag your hobbit feet into public.  If you hair isn't jet black and your feet pale white, I will give you a marginal pass - but not more than that.  You should take a look down and decide.  Will this help me or hurt me when I am trying to get lucky?  If you have to pause - TRIM!!!!!!

Dodgeball D*cks


Well the second night of Dodgeball was last night and Eddie joined me.
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Turns out it wasn't nearly as fun on night 2.  Not because of Eddie or anything, but because we played Dodgeball Dicks.
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I mean they were good, but that wasn't the annoying part. 
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They were not fun. They were mean.  They had 2 girls on their side but never let them throw.  And even when were down to 1 girl the screamed the ball at her as hard as they could.
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It just wasn't fun and I feel like I let my honey down a little.  We aren't there to be assholes.
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Eddie goes alone next week (I am reviewing 9 to 5 on Broadway), and this may turn out to be a shorter season than we assumed.
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Oh well, live and learn.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Run For Your Lives!! Flee!! Scury!!!

God I love the 24 hours cycle!!!
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There are few things more fun to watch than 6 competing "All News - All the Time" stations with a brand new problem.  Of course Swine Flu hasn't hit Ana Nicole Smith death proportions yet, but give it time.  If a Hollywood celebrity gets Swine Flu all bets are off.
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Speaking of that, don't you think the odious Ann Heche is out there right now, French kissing anyone she can in Mexico City in an effort to get the media to refocus on her career.  (cough cough)
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Anywho, who knew all it took to get Mexico on the Front Pages was a contagious disease.  We ignored them when hundreds of Mexicans a month were being killed by drug trade (fueled by.. well you guessed it, Americans).  But hell, if American kids lose their God given right to Spring Break in Cancun and can't drink jello sots off the natives - IT'S NEWS!!!
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ps - wash your hands

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You kind of have to go to the movies with....

To truly appreciate the write up below (from Televisionwithoutpity.com) you kind of have to go to the movies with Lynn and Ed.  they both have a Matthew McC thang.  Big time.
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This Friday marks the release of this year's annual crappy Matthew McConaughey rom-com Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (and further proof that my favorite lady in the world Jennifer Garner is trying to kill me -- kill me! -- with her terrible film choices). Though this time the plot doesn't seem to go near a beach, a water ski or a Kate Hudson, it is still the same crappy McConaughey movie we get every year. You can't fool anyone by dressing it up as just another unnecessary Christmas Carol remake, McConaughey. We are onto you! Let's examine the terrible evidence. 

He's a womanizing manchild who is reformed by a quirky lady at the end. 
Admittedly, this is a formula for many romantic comedies. The problem is, most of the recent ones star McConaughey. After Failure to LaunchHow to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and now this, isn't he tired of making the same movie over and over? And why aren't people tired of paying 12 bucks to see them yet? 

The obligatory shirtless scene. 
It's played down in this trailer, but it is there. It has to be. These movies are all about star recognition, and McConaughey is known for three things and three things only: he looks good shirtless, he smokes a lot of weed, and he used to hang out with Lance Armstrong all the time. The shirtless thing is just the easiest one to write into mass appeal films. 

Gahh, why always with the painful physical comedy? 
Oh man, that cake scene. That cake scene!!! That thing was rough. More horrifying than the "you saved... my shoe" runaway dumpster scene from The Wedding Planner? I'm actually going to say that yes, yes it is. More horrifying than the "Where'd you learn to fly?" "Playstation!" [Crash!] water plane scene from Fool's Gold? No. Because nothing is. 

McConaughey playing himself. 
But less high, for the 50th time. Jennifer Garner, why??? Judge for yourself:

Proof that No, Any Publicity is NOT Good Publicity


Look those are my ATMs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated...


... but winning is even better.
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My honey Ed is now, "Emmy Awarding Winning Associate Producer of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Telecast, Ed Neppl."
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Go Figure.

From Tonight's Big Bang Theory Vanity Card (#249)

I whole heartedly agree.....
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CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #249

More and more, it seems like people are yelling at me. This is especially noticeable on local and cable news, TV and radio ads, morning, afternoon and late night talk shows, religious channels, entertainment tabloid shows, and, NPR aside, radio. It's almost as if all the news anchors, reporters, product pitchmen, talk show hosts, politicians, sportscasters, DJ's and preachers have forgotten how good modern microphones are. Regardless, the purpose of vanity cards is not just to point out the problem, it's also to propose the solution. And here's one: The Whisper Channel. A cable news channel where everyone, including advertisers, speaks in gentle, dulcet tones. Our marketing tag line will be one word, "shhh." Instead of grinning, shouting, overly-coiffed failed actors, our news anchors will be regular folks with beautiful speaking voices who, just to be on the safe side, have been heavily sedated. Think of it. You've had a brutal day at work. Traffic on the way home was a righteous bitch. You crawl into your home which is worth far less than you paid for it, and, because you want to stay informed, you turn on The Whisper Channel where a pleasant-looking woman with real hair, real nose, real wrinkles, real breasts and teeth the color of teeth, soothingly tells you about the latest terrorist attack, stock market fiasco, school shooting and, just to keep it interesting, emergency recall of the anti-anxiety meds you've been taking because they might cause impotence, blindness and insanity. But because of the way she says it, you are hunky dory. ALTERNATE MARKETING TAG LINE:

the whisper channel...
where human civilization sliding into the abyss
is nothing to shout about.

I wonder... frustration and work

I wonder about the apex of frustration and work.  The harder that times are in which to find a job, the more frustrating I find mine.
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Now, is that me, or is that the function of the job?
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It could simply be me responded to a claustrophobic situation.  I can't leave and so I respond particularly horribly.
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Or it could be the stress everyone at my employment is under (a bank is not the easy place to work right now).  Everyone is rubbing each other a little raw.
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Whatever the case - it is not pleasant.

Turkey Bacon is Not Bacon

You might as well follow behind a rabbit, pick up the droppings and call it "Rabbit Caviar".

Sunday, April 26, 2009

So Eddie was in Wisconsin last week...


Eddie was in Wisconsin last week for Univ. of Wisconsin School of Business board meeting. He got to spend some time with Phil, Julie and his neice Dora. He had a lovely visit.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Friday Night Miracle (from Ed)

I landed at Newark Airport from Madison 50 minutes EARLY on a Friday night!!!

I think the TARP money must be working. Is it possible that they've upgraded the Air Traffic Control System in this country last week?

p.s. for those who will read this and be annoyed that I didn't see them, it was an incredibly quick trip with a packed agenda at the School of Business.


This Show is Really Creepy


"The Cougar" on TVLand is kind of creepy.
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In it, there is a 40 year old woman, picking from a bunch of 21 - 27 year old men (the guy to her left is her father for a party).
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So - fun but stupid premise; looks like Scooter fare.
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Then we meet Stacy who is not only taking this way too seriously - but she has FOUR CHILDREN, the oldest daughter less than 5 years younger than the youngest guy.
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See I don't mind creepy media-whores - but they shouldn't drag there kids into it.  And then her parents joined the fame-fest to bring her a birthday cake for her 40th.
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She is looking for her "soul mate"  with 4 kids and hasn't told these young boys about her real children yet.  She says "Stacey's dating experiences have led her to believe that men her age and older live under the pressure of a "ticking clock" that dampens their spontaneity and zest for life. Her personal success is based upon upbeat optimism, and she believes that younger men have a similar spirited tempo, a demeanor that Stacey finds crucial for her future love interest to possess -- a love interest that she plans to find on The Cougar."
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I could totally get behind this.  I mean Eddie was 28 when we met (although I was NOT 40).  But she is a mom from Arizona.  I get the whole "MLIF" thing - but your kids are watching!
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Tasteless (and dull to boot).

Update from Bangkok


It is sad to hear the news out of Bangkok.  And surreal because Eddie, Lynn, Mark Thorpe and I were all there just two months ago and it was calm.
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Mark Thorpe (who visited us last week AND saw us in Thailand in February) forwarded this note from he and Ed's friend who lives and teaches there.
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The international news has been very sensationalized in terms of how much of the city was affected.  I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that said “most of Bangkok looks like a war zone.”  My guess is less than 10% of the city was actually effected at all.  The issues are serious and there were some really scary situations.  But at the moment things are back to normal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How Doth My Tivo Know Me Better Than I Knoweth Myself?

So here is the question.
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How does my Tivo know me better than I know myself.
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I was sitting around tonight, doing nothing and I turn on the TV.
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It is in the middle of recording "Fight Club" because it thought I might like it. .
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Now, pretty much everyone who has seen the movie and knows me has told me to see it. But I don't really like violence and I already know "the big reveal" so ...ummm thanks but no thanks.
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But I hear Edward E-N's voice over and it sounds cool. So I back up and watch it from the beginning - knowing I will turn it off when I am done.
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Long story with obvious ending. I loved it.
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ps - Brad Pitt is one of the all time great actors ever. You watch this, then Benjamin Button, then 12 Monkeys, then Johnny Suede and finish with a little Thelma and Louis and you cannot argue it. If he wasn't so freakin' pretty he would be a major star.




So

State NickNames Quiz (I Missed..)


I missed 2 (0f 15).
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So... Mark and Sandy Dropped By....


Well, with the crush of my parents visit, I forgot to note that one Mark Thorpe and wife (the ever lovely Sandy) dropped by the house, sans infants.
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They were extremely gracious about the lack of my time (as I was interacting - not entertaining) my parents and they went to dinner with Eddie.
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Eddie also passed on some truly wonderful comments that one M. Thorpe made about my book (purchased by the lovely and smart Mrs. Thorpe)!!!  
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My only excuse in not acknowledging this earlier is that I was busy mit the family.  Who is now back in Missoula (after a flight from Newark to Minneapolis, then after a cancellation, to Seattle for 4 hours on Continental and then on to Missoula via Horizon Air where once again a turbo prop brought on drunk's throwing up - what is it with Horizon Air).
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ps - Mark doesn't look like this now, but I didn't get a picture of them when I had the chance.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Totally Fun!


SoHo Wednesday Night Dodgeball.... Totally Fun!!

Street Meat for lunch on my way back from my meetings....

... not a good idea...

The New Gay Black

So....
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In the California, the way to subtly let everyone know that you are gay, have some money, are politically aware - but not over the top is to put a little HRC sticker on your bumper.
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Well, clearly there are no bumpers in New York.  So in New York the way to let everyone know that you are gay, have some money and.. well that's it....  they don't care if you are political if you are hot.  Wear a DWR Messenger Bag.  FYI- that is really how they refer to it.  "DWR... (significant pause) .. ah.. Design Within Reach 0- hello?"
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Yes, dear, we all know what it is - we just didn't know you were that shallow.
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And, in case you don't know, Design Within Reach was a company that did wonderful and cheap knock offs of famous furniture lines.  Until they got caught.  Now they license the pieces form the heirs and their prices are crazy and so NOT within reach (example).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mom and Nick with Ed in DC


This is my mom, Ed and Nick in DC.  I am there (taking the picture).
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We had a nice time down there.  The weather was great and it was really fun.
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We were packed in for time though, I just don't see my mom and much as I want to.
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Anyway, they left this morning and I go right back to all day meetings on Wednesday and Thursday (I thought it was today - but I got corn-fused).
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Mom and Nick visit Times Square


So after we went to Wicked, we walked home thorugh Times Square.
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I have been surprised by how they both really enjoy the city. I thought the mess and swarms of people would bug her, but they both love it.
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I think they know they are going back home at some point. And, right now, it is warmer than Montana. :-)

Mom and Nick Visiting & Next To Normal Reviews

So Mom and Nick are here for a week. They have been pretty easy on us. I took them to Wicked Wednesday and they liked it a lot.
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Today we are off to Washington DC.
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One thing I have to say, the Next to Normal reviews were very good (and reflected mine as well)
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.What we’re reading (and watching) on Thursday morning.
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Reviewing the Broadway transfer of the musical “Next to Normal” in Thursday’s New York Times, Ben Brantley says that the show has improved substantially since its run at Second Stage Theater last year, writing: “With an astounding central performance from Alice Ripley as Diana Goodman, a housewife with bipolar disorder, this production assesses the losses that occur when wounded people are anesthetized — and not just by the battery of pharmaceutical and medical treatments to which Diana is subjected, but by recreational drugs, alcohol and that good old American virtue, denial with a smile.” Writing for Bloomberg News, Jeremy Gerard says that after the show’s Off-Broadway run, “many of us were left perplexed by composer Tom Kitt and librettist Brian Yorkey’s hard-driving score. Several memorable songs and scenes didn’t add up to a memorable show.” A year later, he writes, “The result is a better show, though still one that’s easier to admire than love.” In The Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones notes that the show’s lead producer, David Stone, “made his money on ‘Wicked.’ In the artistic universe, this is how you are supposed to spend it.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In My Easter Bonnet...

Well, we went to the Easter Parade with Lisa this morning (before the show).
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I love the Easter Parade. The hats are fun and fabulous.
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After that we went to "In The Heights", which Ed and Lisa had not seen. They totally teared up.
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It was a great few days with Lisa.
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Next week - big work meetings - then my Mom and Nick!
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I am excited.
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Really.
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Blogging shall resume shortly

Lovely Lisa Hunt is here and we have been all so busy mit the fun.
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Last night we saw Next to Normal. I LOVED IT. That is one of the reasons I invited here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Abilify: Have you Heard?

So, I don't know if you have ever seen the "Abilify" commercials.  They start out really nice about how "sometimes your antidepressant medicine alone, just isn't enough."  And how you can supplement it with Abilify.
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This is a real product.
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Then, after a reassuring commercial, comes the warnings and side effects.....
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Because "Oil & Petrochemical State" wouldn't fit on the license plate

I am not a snob.  However... 
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Tonight I am accompanying my Eddie to Hoboken New Jersey - to see friends of his.  On a school night.  Via a (glup) bus.  Apparently the bus for Hoboken leaves out of slip 206 from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
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You don't know the Port Authority?  Or you thought it was, a port?  No.  It is the place where there is a statue in honor of Jackie Gleason in the Honeymooners.  Because, you know, he was a bus driver.  You didn't know that?  You didn't know because it was shown on TV, like, 80 years ago when people actually rode the bus to Hoboken?!?!?
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I shall take pictures.

April 8th: Snow

Snowing right now.


Once I Ran From You... Now I Run To You...

In LA there was a time, really I remember it well, when we used to make fun of the weather in San Diego.  Never hot, never cold.
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Then I actually lived there for a year in Grad School and I realized that, true, it was a little monotonous, but actually quite pleasant.
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I bring this up because, well, I HATE WEATHER.  it isn't snowing here (apparently they used up all the snow with John & Sue, then Little Ron, then Lynn - so none left for us.  Just freezing ass cold and windy.
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Suddenly San Diego doesn't look too bad after all.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lynn Loved Carrie's Dress at he ACMA

So Lynn watched the Country Awards this last Sunday night.  She loved Carrie Underwood's dress.  I will show it below, then the headline.  She looked beautiful, but I think the headline is funny.
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Carrie Underwood's dress takes over Academy of Country Music awards

by Vicki Hyman/The Star-Ledger
Monday April 06, 2009, 10:03 AM

AS Gossip Girl Ad Said: OMFG!!!

You seriously will not believe this.....
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(From Salon and actual ad below)  (ps - I think these are more pre-movie ad's as in Europe they show like 1 minute long ads before the movies... but you gotta watch- they are freaky!!!)
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Let's hand it to Wilkinson Sword ad group. In its new series of international ads for the Quattro for Women bikini razor, it manages to combine bouncy jingles with the most heavy-handed symbolism since Georgia O'Keeffe, all while tossing in a fair amount of finger-wagging bodily disgust.
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In the company's MGM-worthy U.K. commercial (posted below), a comely, cat-wielding lass declares her cure for the blues is to "mow the lawn." As she and a bevy of pals push their mowers (pink, of course), they winkingly sing that "some bushes are really big," although the Asian chick has a bonsai that's "really small." I swear to God:.
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I have to say, I personally LOVE the French Version which is so much more techo.
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Monday, April 06, 2009

Mein Eddie-line has an idea

So in June we are going to the desert.  And I love my neighbors, but I can't stand it when Ed and Cris discuss politics.  We come from radically different places, politically and this last election just made it worse.
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But Eddie has an idea that I agree with.  In order to discuss politics, for the week before we go to the desert, Eddie will only watch Fox News and Cris has to watch MSNBC and no Fox News.
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Not to sway either of them, but to understand where each other is coming from.
  
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Why do I allow this, you ask?  Because I don't think either one of them can do this for 3 days, much less a week.  And maybe we won't have the discussions.

Difference in Bank CEO's

I know that working at a bank that already received way too much money, you may question my comments here, but I did want to explain one difference between the CEO of GM and the CEO of Citibank - BofA - Smith Barney, etc.
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Citibank already fired our CEO (Chuck Prince) after our business model went in the toilet and we went, hat in hand, to the Saudi's.  Vikram is a new CEO since this all happened.  GM's CEO was fired by the government because the company wouldn't can him.
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Now if you want to replace our new CEO, that's fine.  But it is NOT true that we have kept our CEO during all of this.  We have changed CEO, CFO and Technology Team heads since this began.  
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In fact we dumped Chuckles out right away and replaced him with an interim CEO (with the unfortunate name of Sir Winfred Bischoff).  Other banks,  Bank Of America, AIG and other recipients of TARP money, have repalced their management teams too.  Most of the new CEOs were in finance but either retired or not with the bank when they were brought on.
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Vikram Pandit, now CEO Citi, was a Investment Manager of a group Citi purchased and he had essentially retired.  When they eased out Charles Prince as President and most of his defenders and advisors, they brought in new blood.
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I am not saying that this is right or okay to continue to give Citi funds - but most banks had already dumped their bad CEO's without government prodding.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ed Thinks This is Nincompoopery

For whatever reason, this bugs Ed. Not for the normal reason, but because why stop at $1Million? We saw that at the store, and he commented on it there (but the counter person didn't see the humor).
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Friday, April 03, 2009

My Eddie and his trip to Florida

So one day Ed has to drive to Palm Beach to interview some people for his project.  He drives across alligator alley.
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When he first sent me the picture (which he took) I just assumed there was a misspelling on the sign (that is what he catches).  Then I really looked at the picture.
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Yea Iowa!

I love the fact that Iowa's Supreme Court decision is such a no big deal thing.  It was a simple, 
"that's not fair" ruling.  And it hasn't (at least yet) sponsored screams and howls.  Apparently Iowa is like Massachusetts in that they have to wait 2 election cycles and get two votes of the legislature before it can be amended by proposition.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Foreign Policy's Top 10 Reasons Europe will Know Barak Obama is Not Like Them...

Foreign Policy Magazine (Web Site) is not usually know for humor, but it is funny today...
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But, there are plenty of ways the Europeans will be able to tell Barack Obama is not one of them. 

Here are 10:

  1. Americans don't let their car companies go belly up. Instead, they commit the U.S. government to switch their full faith and credit guarantees away from something that is now dubious, like U.S. Treasuries, to something that needs to be rock solid, like warranties on Chevy Suburbans.
  1. Americans stimulate. Europeans simulate. I speak of responses to the economic crisis, of course.
  1. Americans may create enormous global problems, but then we actually feel some obligation to try to help solve them. Whereas Europeans, who used to create most of the world's problems, don't even do that anymore...and when it comes to solving problems, c'est pour les Americains, non?
  1. Americans actually have a foreign policy.
  1. Americans rock. Europeans technopop. We produce the music of this era, the continent of Mozart produces the elevator music of this era. (Johnny Depp's love of Vanessa Paradis notwithstanding.) Check out the playlist on Air Force One if you don't believe me.
  1. Americans don't actually eat snails and rabbits and Swiss chard. Which is why Obama has brought his own chef and his own supply of organic arugula and free-range tofu. We also don't drive small cars or tolerate being condescended to by Euro waiters. Which is why the President is bringing his own car and his own waiters. (This is how every American would travel if they could.)
  1. Americans don't let friends' banks go belly up. That's why the Treasury funneled so much money to European banks through AIG. You don't see European governments rushing to bailout Citigroup do you?
  1. Americans love immigrants (see how we are even open to changing our minds about those whose asylum claims we once rejected...like Obama's Kenyan aunt, currently residing in public housing in Boston). Well, okay, we used to love immigrants (see all those stories about sending troops to the Mexican border). About the only thing the Europeans can agree on anymore is their long-standing hatred of immigrants. Oh and their hatred of carbon. But we hate carbon too, now. Which is a good thing. Although it does raise the whole specter of the self-hating carbon life form thing.
  1. Americans don't actually speak other languages. We only speak American languages like English and Spanish.
  1. Americans don't threaten to walk out of summit meetings before they have even begun...Mr. Sarkozy. But then, we wouldn't have left Carla home alone either. How do we avoid such walkouts? Well, generally, at meetings we just don't pay that much attention to what others are saying. It helps us stay "on message" as they say here in Washington.

Oh yes, and also, as we have mentioned before, he is a member of a racial minority group who has actually had the opportunity to reach the top in our society. Which would never ever happen in Europe.

Never Mess with Scooter About Indian Outsourcing

So today I was on a conference call where some Indian tried to out-talk me.  ME!!!
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After "Never get in a Land War in Asia" and "Don't Mess with a Sicilian when Death in on the Line" is "Don't Try to Drown out Scooter with Meaningless Babble."
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This poor schlub didn't know I used to manage an outsourced group of Indians in Chenai - I know how they work.
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They say something wrong first off, then keep talking drivel, so ultimately they first comment is accepted, because you are busy on their last.  AND (here is the kicker) they keep talking on a conference call so that no one else can be heard.
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Homie don't play that.  When he made his first incorrect statement (lie), I broke in - but he wouldn't stop talking.  So I wouldn't stop talking.  
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So I said, "Excuse me, that's incorrect!  Hello?  Hello?  You know if you are just not going to listen and try to monopolize this conference call line- I just want you to know that I can do the same thing- I can talk and talk and talk- and never let you get a word in edgewise - because you can't continue on when you started out wrong - and I am not stupid - and if you won't listen to me or let me have a two way discussion then no one will listen to you and this is a pretty worthless call don't you think - my boss by the by is Doug Caruthers - who is your boss because i want to call him and tell him I can be just as rude as you if you aren't gong to listen to me on a conference call and not let talk and let other opinions in - this isn't your personal call - we are here to have a discussion and this isn't one..."
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His boss finally did break in and the conference call went on very well.  But I think everyone learned that Scott understands Indians and don't try to pull that crap with me again. (or as my uncoordinated friend Stephen Coyne says, "Don't bring that weak shit in the paint."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mascots of the Month

This month I give praise to 2 authors.  I really couldn't pick one over the other.  Each has a signature style that is so unique and lovely, it simply must be heard.  I refuse to pick as they both have shaped my writing for the better, but more my appreciation of the world.
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This young man is E. F. Benson, affectionately know as Fred.  He is long dead now, and the sidebar picture is of him as an older man - but I would want to be remembered young - so why not him.  Fred wrote prolifically.  Over 100 books in non-fiction, "spook stories" (scary stories for the time), English Boarding School fiction and society fiction.  
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His style, tone and ease of the English language brings warms my heart.  Here is a 2 sentence description of 4 teachers playing whist from "Robin Linnet" (only since I happen to have it open still from Jury Duty)
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"It was curious to note now, immediately on the advent of the players to make up their table at whist, all these lesser problems and pronouncements with regard to the position of Wagner, Sargent and Debussy in the realms or art were immediately dismissed for the greater preoccupation.  For those middle-aged men in spite of their gently-fossilized existence, their indulgent contempt for aything that was not immediately "Cambridge,"their general pessimism and gusto, in that they were genuinely fond of games, both the milder and more sedentary ones that they themselves played, and those better suited to the robust vigour of their pupils, accepting the importance of them as a clause in the creed that made Cambridge just precisely what it was."
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Doesn't that just say everything about them?  He has a cadence that echos, although does not mimic, Shakespeare.
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If you have never read him, start with Mapp and Lucia!!!!

And this young man, this picture of dapperness, is a young Kurt Vonnegut.  Of his greatness, little need be said.
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He was a many of wonderful works of fiction (start with Breakfast of Champions - his own 50th birthday present to himself).  But if you want a treat, then read his collection of essays and notes from later life.  No curmudgeon has ever been so wonderfully sharing.  I shall quote a short piece from "A Man Without A Country"
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I am one of America's Great Lakes people, her freshwater people, not an oceanic, but a continental people.  Whenever I swim in an ocean, I feel as thought I am swimming in chicken soup.  Like me, many American socialists were freshwater people.  Most Americans don't know what the socialists did during the first half of the past century with art, with eloquence, with organizing skills, to elevate the self-respect, the dignity and the political acumen of American wage earners, of our working class.
  That wage earners, without social position or high education or wealth, are of inferior intellect is surely belied by the fact that two of the most splendid writers and speakers on the deepest subjects in American history were self-taught workment.  I speak, of course, of Carl Sandberg the poet from Illinois, and Abraham Lincoln of Kentucky, then Indiana, and finally Illinois.  Both, may I say, were continental, freshwater people like me.  Hooray for our team!
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Go.  Read them.

And Then on Page 17 of the Post!!!!


Re Housewives of New York.. It Gets Worse!!!!
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BRAVO-STAR BRAWL BUST

She's a hissing, claws-out socialite on the hit Bravo reality show "Real Housewives of New York City," but Kelly Bensimon turned into a butt-kicking boyfriend beater in her posh lower-Manhattan coop last week, court records claim.

The 6-foot-tall, 40-year-old former model, horse fancier and one-time marathon runner got into a fight last week with her boyfriend, 30-year-old Nick Stefanov, and clocked him, giving him a black eye and opening a blood-gushing gash on his left cheek, according to the records.

Stefanov fled her apartment on Centre Street after the Tuesday-morning beating and reported the mother of two to cops at the 5th Precinct station.

A source said Bensimon at the time was sporting "a fat lip."

Bensimon surrendered two days later and was charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault. She's due in court March 31.

"We got engaged a couple weeks ago," Stefanov told one friend. "We got into an argument that escalated and escalated. She hauled off and started swinging. She got a lucky punch on my cheekbone and just split it right open. I went down to the police station covered in blood."

Stefanov declined to speak directly to The Post, but told pals he went to his hometown of Pittsburgh because he was embarrassed to be seen in New York with a black eye and cut face.

"If I had done it to her, I would have been put in jail immediately," Stefanov told his friend.

"My injuries are worse than Rihanna's - and Chris Brown was charged with two felonies."

After dating Bensimon for nearly four years, and being a surrogate father to her two daughters, taking them to soccer games and ballet classes, Stefanov isn't ready to end their relationship.

But when he got back to New York a few days later, he learned there was a restraining order that prevents both parties from contacting each other.

"I sent her an e-mail, and the cops called me and said you can't do that," Stefanov told a friend. "It's snowballing into something no one ever intended."

Bensimon's lawyer, Stephen Turano, called the charges "unfounded."

A Bravo spokeswoman said the show "doesn't comment on the private lives of our talent."

An e-mail to her ex-husband, fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon, who is the father of the couple's two daughters, was not returned.

Kelly Bensimon ran the New York City Marathon in 2007, wrote a book on bikinis and was a columnist for Page Six Magazine.

She also modeled for Elle, Mademoiselle, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar, and was the face for Clarins.

Well, that lasted a day.

Well I heard about the Countess yesterday and I thought, I will not talk about the Real Housewives of New York... I will not talk about the Real Housewives of New York!
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But then Eddie sent me this dish (from the Post)
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It's desperate times for the "Real Housewives of New York City." Yesterday we broke the news that Countess Luann de Lesseps was splitting from her count. Now come whispers that Ramona Singer, the highly-caffeinated maker of religious jewelry, is persona non grata at her daughter, Avery's, school. One parent at Sacred Heart said, "All of us and the school are very embarrassed by Ramona's actions on the show. The school has asked her to take Avery off the show, but she refused. Now no one wants to be near Avery because they don't want to be associated with the show." A rep for Bravo declined comment. Meanwhile, listings have been posted with Corcoran for not only the de Lesseps' Bridgehampton home, but for "Housewife" Kelly Bensimon's Further Lane "cottage" as well. Bensimon (who was in court yesterday, Page 17) wants $10.9 million for her four-bedroom place while the count and countess want $9.5 million for their six-bedroom manse.
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The Countess (and Count DeLessypls)                        The Lovely/Tragic Ramona