Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's All a Hoax!

By Cassandra D

News from The Independent:

"Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.


"Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost 7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to 70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas. "

(via AMERICABlog)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa's on His Way

Merry Christmas to all my goyim friends and loved ones ...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Now, THAT'S Congeniality

Miss Nevada USA Stripped of Her Title for Raunchy Photos on Internet

Eat your heart out, Bert Parks.

Sex Tape Derby, Round 79: Rankin-Bass Christmas Edition

So, Christmas morning arrives, and you have two shiny boxes under the tree. It turns out that Santa has brought you what you always wanted -- sex tapes! The thing is, you have to choose which one to play first, and since Christmas comes just once a year, you have to make the first one special. Which is the first to be unwrapped?

Jessica, the future Mrs. Santa Claus from "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" or...

Mariah Carey in her claymation animated video for "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"?

Heat Miser from "The Year Without a Santa Claus" or...

The Abominable Snow Monster from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"?

Monday, December 18, 2006

My Pop Culture Triumph

By Cassandra D

Anyone who knows me knows that I am pop-culturally challenged. For instance, this weekend we were watching "Saturday Night Live" and a skit called "The Barry Gibb Talk Show." I turned to Chase and asked, "Isn't it Andy Gibb? Who is Barry Gibb?" I was then informed that Barry was part of the Bee Gees, along with brothers Robin and Maurice, and that Andy was their younger brother. Oh well...

Last night, however, I had my own personal pop culture victory. We were listening to Belle & Sebastian's song "Take Your Carriage Clock and Shove It," and until I heard the title I thought it was a remake. In the back of my mind I could hear the wispy woman's lyric "...but I've been to paradise...." though I couldn't remember anymore of the original song.

Google makes sleuthing so easy. I plugged in that lyric and was led immediately to Charlene's Motown song "I've Never Been To Me," which was, apparently, a hit in 1982 and is one of the songs in The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. A visit to the iTunes store confirmed the duplicated melody.

I was so excited and thought I might have been the first to notice, but another Google search proved it wasn't to be. But old news in the music world is still good news to me. The pop culture portion of my brain may be small, but it is occasionally functional. Hooray!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Time Is on My Side

I am humbled and honored to be named Time magazine's Person of the Year.

It's about time a national publication recognize me for all that I do. It's been a long year -- changing diapers (not my own, in case you were wondering), watching television, eating badly, sleeping at the workplace and whatnot. Thank you for paying attention, Time. Henry Luce would be proud.

But let's be clear about one thing: If this recognition isn't accompanied by some sort of monetary reward, or at least an invite to a fancypants media-elite party with stuffed mushroom appetizers and meatballs on toothpicks and an open bar and starlets without panties, well, then -- screw you, Time magazine.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Myth of the "Family Restroom"

By Cassandra D

In the months before I became I mom, I bought the baby gear, put up baby gates, read books, and generally did my best to prepare for the event my already-parent friends gleefully proclaimed would "change life forever."

As I stocked up on the paraphernalia of breast-feeding (pump, freezer bags, shields, etc.) I also scouted out locations for pumping and nursing. One thing that was reassuring to me was the rise of the "Family Restroom." Have you noticed? They are cropping up everywhere.

But have you ever been in one?

Not a single one of them that I have been in has a place to sit other than on a toilet seat, which is rather unappealing if all you want to do is nurse your baby. I ended up either sitting on the floor or standing by the sink to nurse. In the early days my baby needed to eat frequently and didn't yet get formula, so if I ever wanted to get out of the house and run errands, this issue came up.

I was so disappointed when I took my baby to the children's section of the brand new downtown library, went to the "Family Restroom" when she got fussy, and found no place to sit. I asked the librarian what I was supposed to do. She suggested that I breastfeed out on a couch out in the public area, and offered to shoo people away for me. I ended up dragging a chair into the restroom and have not yet been back to the library.

The days of breast-feeding are behind me, but I feel great sympathy for moms who are trying to make it work. Either society needs to get over being squeamish about public breastfeeding, or "Family Restrooms" (and all public women's rooms, for that matter) ought to provide a place to sit down.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Please Let Him Be OK

By Cassandra D

Breaking news is that Sen. Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota, is in the hospital for evaluation of stroke-like symptoms.

Those symptoms are always frightening. But here's the scariest part:

"Should Johnson not be able to complete his term, which ends in 2008, South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, could appoint his replacement, which could shift the balance of power in the Senate."

Don't you just bet there are a few evangelicals out there praying for his demise?

In the past week I've seen Why We Fight, Who Killed the Electric Car?, and Shut Up And Sing. With each one I have felt so thankful that the Democrats are back in control of Congress. I, for one, am praying that that doesn't change.

Get well soon, Sen. Johnson!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Perhaps the Best 75-cent Purchase in the History of the World

By Conrad Spencer

I came of age as vinyl records were in decline. I remember a rack of vinyl in my local Wal-Mart, though the vinyl offerings paled compared to the cassette tape selection. By the time I started purchasing music with my allowance (about nine or 10 years of age), there were even a few albums available on CD.

So I don't have stash of vintage records, only a couple dusty cases of cassettes, which are mostly worn out, either from extensive playing or spending too many summer days in my first car. There's only one vinyl record in my house that I know of, and that's a copy of Sgt. Pepper's I bought for my wife (with the little paper dolls still intact) for $60. Still, whenever I find myself at a flea market or garage sale, I have to troll through the records in hopes of finding something from an artist I like that might be worth picking up. This never happens. To me, anyway.

Some people have better luck.

Forty years after it was made, The Velvet Underground's first recording has become a financial hit — in cyberspace. Bought for 75 cents four years ago at a Manhattan flea market, the rare recording of music that ended up on the influential New York band's first album, "The Velvet Underground & Nico," sold on eBay for a closing bid of $155,401.
And that will buy you a lot of smack.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Happy Birthday, Apple Rosebud!

By Cassandra D

Today I hereby come out of the closet to wish my baby a happy first birthday. Yes, it's true. She's the love child from my relationship with Chase. And a lovely child she is! Happy birthday, little one!

Hot, Blonde Teachers Continue to Plague U.S. Schoolboys

By Conrad Spencer

Following on the heels of Debra Lafave and Pamela Rogers Turner, among other celebrated cases, a Colorado teacher has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with a student.

The media may be getting a bit over-eager to report these stories, as Carrie McCandless and the alleged "victim" apparently never did the horizontal mosh, just had a few heavy make-out sessions and shared a bottle of Jack Daniels. Oh, and unlike past instances, the boy wasn't 14, but 17. It's hardly worthy of a national news story. Of course, Mrs. McCandless isn't just a teacher, she's also the principal's wife.

Having been a teenage boy once, I can attest that they spend most of their waking hours dreaming up just such improbable, fantastic sex scenarios ripped straight from the "plots" of their step-dad's video collection--hell, I'm 28 and still spend most of my waking hours dreaming up such highly improbably scenarios--which is why I can't get too worked up over these cases (female victims, that's a different matter, and I'll just acknowledge there's a double standard).

So, in addition to life imitating art, life now imitates porn as well. That could be a good thing, if only I were in high school again.

Sesame Streets

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lucious Pusey Revealed

By Daniel Gale-Grogen

Imagine, if you will, a situation in which your parents named you Lucious Pusey. (Easy, Brick.) The thing is, you are a 22-year-old football player for Eastern Illinois University, not a top-heavy, gymnastically able blonde who completely misunderstood what your righteous high school classmates meant when they said, "See you at the pole!"

Well, if you had to endure the taunts of pigskin fans every weekend because your father, Horatius Felix Pusey, wanted to endow his son with a similarly flowery name, but instead everyone thinks your name sounds like the subtlely implied image of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting, you would visit an attorney, too.

The Smoking Gun has the paperwork for his official surname dump, in which the linebacker will now change his name to Lucious Seymour, after his mother's maiden name. The problem is that now fans are likely to call him "Seymour Lucious Pusey," which is even better than before.

Now, back to our seriousness.

Restaurant Romper Room

Speaking as the father of a soon-to-be 1-year-old baby, I am well aware that the sight of my family and me trudging into a restaurant can scare the bejusus out of other patrons. I can sympathize. Long before my seed took root, I, too, trembled when I heard shrieking babies in restaurants, movie theaters or trash receptacles. Post-baby, however, I have become a bit more understanding of frazzled parents and the little challenges they endure trying to enjoy once-simple pleasures such as a dinner out.

A few weeks ago (I'm apparently still traumatized by the incident), Mrs. Chase and I took lil' Apple Rosebud to one of those ridiculous themed restaurants -- Joe's Crab Shack, in this case -- for a late lunch. We went around 3 p.m., intent on missing the lunch crowd that would surely not care for a baby currently experimenting with the concept of dumping things on the floor.

Everything was going according to plan. The place was nearly empty.

We ordered and -- as we suspected would happen -- the kid started to get a little cranky and restless once she realized that the Rice Crispies we'd spread on the tabletop had limited entertainment value.

Then a party of five came in, and inexplicably, in a large and largely desolate restaurant, the waitress seated them at the table closest to us. As Apple Rosebud had no intention of letting their presence keep her from exercising her relatively new vocal chords, the onus fell on the wife and me to ask for another table.

And this has happened before. Is it sheer stupidity? The desire of wait staff to tweak their customers a bit? Do waiters and waitresses know that babies make noises?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Classy Up the Joint

Paris Hilton has canceled a planned appearance as an awards presenter for the Billboard Music Awards.

The reason? Too much class, according to AP:

"'It is my understanding that some satirical references ridiculed some of her peers,' her spokesman, Elliot Mintz, said in a statement. 'Paris did not want to say anything that could appear hurtful or embarrassing about people she knows.'"

Her peers? Billboard now officially gives awards to whores, dimwits and sluts?