Jim Carrey, star of the wildly mediocre "Bruce Almighty" - in which you force acclaimed Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman to regurgitate a decade-old catchphrase from "Ace Ventura" as alleged dialogue upon a comedy-starved moviegoing public - your 15 minutes might just be up.
At least, that's what Fametracker thinks.
Leave the hair gel at the door on your way out, Jimbo.
Dogs are cute. But this one's bandana may be tied a little too tight.
One of the relatively new pleasures of blogging is following a particular blog long enough to watch someone long enough until they get bored with their setup and tweak the hell out of the design.
Jen over at Crazy Island has made herself quite the tasty revamp. Give it a look.
After one listen to the vocal stylings of Wing, I am transfixed by the gentle breeze her singing provides.
I shall never be the same man I was before I heard her voice.
I say goodbye to love.
Someone, get me a formaldehyde beer, please.
Looking for a husband?
If these gentlemen are any indication, the odds are good, but the goods are odd.
I would bet the mortgage and the college fund that whomever came up with this brilliant commercial played the game Mousetrap as a kid.
I find it fascinating that during the time when the world was closest to nuclear holocaust, they had such a rosy, bright outlook on the future. Say what you want about "The Jetsons" and the boom in science fiction, but the people of the 1950s and 1960s sure had some great ideas. Like underwater cities. And dinners that you either ate as a pill or sucked through a tube.
Retrofuture takes a look at what happened to all that futuristic stuff which was supposed to change our lives by the year 2000. (My favorite: Sofas you could hose off.
Can you imagine the wait time for an elevator at this little Melrose Place? Not to mention the fact that there's no parking for a 140-story building. Oh, and there's a guy in his skivvies on the ledge of the fourth floor about to pull a Peter Pan off the side of the ledge.
Even if you have never visited the scenic and quaint Hudson River Valley northwest of New York City, you'll be able to appreciate the love for place that Hudsonian Magazine Onine clearly exhibits.
Publisher Alan Snel has a knack for printing quirky and loving looks at the valley's culture and scenery. The photo galleries alone are worth the visit.You sort of wish that someone would look at the town you live in with the same kind of intimacy and eye for detail and personality.
It also doesn't hurt that the design is clean and easy to navigate.
Be sure not to miss the story Snel wrote about his visit to all seven bridges that span the Hudson south of the state capital of Albany.
Then again, playing a hockey goalie is kinda cool, too.
I've been finding a lot of great new versions of old-style video games online.
The latest is Pong.
Hard to beat a classic.
Some days, when you know you have to go to work and support a family and sit in an office all day, it helps to know that there are people out there living their dreams.
Or at least the dream that someone has after a nickel bag.
Speaking of Jeff Spicoli of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High.'' apparently his character has spawned a party band to take his last name in tribute. They produce some tasty t-shirts as well.
I'm going to commit heresy here, especially since I was all for Annika Sorenstam playing at The Colonial golf tournament last week:
Anyone else think that she was a little... um... bulked up?
Her arms were huge. Her shoulders were huge. Her neck was ripped. Whenever her golf slacks would hug her quads, they were bulging out of the damn fabric.
I'd love to know what her exercise regimen was to get her to that point. Or if there were, um, supplements involved.
I'm not trying to hint that she couldn't have played as well as she did without chemical enhancements, because we all know thats not how a golf swing works.
But she made Tanya Harding look feminine out there at times.
She's always had a very athletic build to her. Her gait is mannish at times. But the girth of her biceps was quite noticeable at various points last week. There was no definition to the muscle, say the way someone like the wrestler Chyna has. But the girth was there.
And apparently I'm not the only one thinking about it. This rumor goes back a little ways this season, long before she was to play at the Colonial.
I hope it's not the case, since she didn't make the cut. It would only fuel the whisperers who are already clucking about her not making the cut of the men's tournament. If she didn't make it and she had been on the juice, that would lead to more discounting, I'd have to think.
People do weird shit sometimes.
You knew that someone sometime would create Blogstickers.
Here are a few faves:
(Okay, that was four words. Damn. This makes twelve.)
You have to love it when the Web provides criminals a tool to ease the writing of ransom notes.
A dog this cool deserves his own Web site.
Quite possibly, one of the coolest things on the Web I've ever seen.
My friend J.D. and her husband Bill enjoy the odd road trip every now and then. Well, probably J.D. more than Bill, but that's neither here nor there.
Anyway, she has family in Wyoming, so that elicits a car trip every few years. Last year, she and Bill drove to Sheridan, and this time they took digital pictures. They've made an amazing photo album on her site.
If you've ever wanted to drive across country but didn't want to go to the hassle, this is about as close as you'll come. And it's immensely more entertaining than finding a gas station when you've really got to go.
If you're lucky like I am and live in a state that officially sanctions a stupidity tax (also called a state lottery), you know what a hassle picking your own numbers can be. Originality is such a drag.
Thanks to the Web, you can be a complete tool and let a software program do it for you
You can tell a lot about someone by the way they would run their own military oligarchy.
Beekeeper Wishes He Understood Women Like He Understands Bees
Hanes, Fruit Of The Loom Locked In Bitter Struggle No One Else Aware Of
Desperate Small Town Erects World's Largest Fiberglass Chili Dog
Critics Accuse New Movie Of Glorifying Sex
Educational Puppet Pelted With Crayons
Local Applebee's A Hotbed Of Machiavellian Political Maneuvering
Parents' Record Collection Deemed Hilarious
I like individual cats. I've met plenty I like. I'm just opposed to the idea of cats in general. I don't like the idea of owning a pet that feels compelled to walk and climb wherever it wants without the courtesy of showing showing affection without there being some string attached. Curse dogs all you want, but my dog shows affection at times that have nothing to do with food or bowel elimination.
So for someone like me, who thinks there's a fine line between a cat and a speed bump, this site supplies hours of pleasure.
In this week's episode, detectives Briscoe and Green investigate a custody dispute involving a macaw, who takes the stand on his own behalf.
Don't tell me ... You're name is Carrie, right?
CHARLOTTE, N.C. … In life, her children say Marianne Lucas was a sparkling, brilliant woman.
In death, they hope she will be, too.
Shortly before the Charlotte woman died in January, her youngest child, Allen Lucas of Kitty Hawk, N.C., called an Illinois company that uses purified carbon captured from cremated human remains to make what company officials say are certified diamonds … as lasting memorials.
He wanted some ""diamonds made of Mom.''
""I'm not that smart that I feel out of sorts. I might have had the good fortune of doing something that years later people would have gotten. It's not a good
business thing. There's no window at the bank that says, ""Ahead of Your Time.''
-- Albert Brooks, speaking about having done a "reality" movie in 1979, 20 years ahead of the network TV curve.
If the Hi Ho video wasn't weird enough for you, try watching the Village People's "YMCA" performed in Japanese by skeletons.
I don't make this stuff up, you know. I merely pass them along.
Don't know there's much to say after seeing this movie.
Remember those machines you'd see at amusement parks that would, for a quarter, compress a lump of wax into a figure for you? In 30 seconds, you'd have a hot, waxy dolphin or a giraffe or a shark that smelled not unlike some sort of industrial accident? I used to get one of those every time I went to the Aquatarium on St. Pete Beach to see dolphins jump in a tank. Now defunct, the dolphins there were sent off to another death tank like Treblinka or Dachau or some such facility. It was a horrible place for an animal.
Anyway, I still have one of their damn dolphin sculptures. This site celebrates the machines that made those odd souvenirs.
Back when I was a busboy in high school, I once had the pleasure of watching a waitress at a seafood restaurant on 66th Street in St. Petersburg purposefully drop an entire tray of food for a table of four in the lap of a jerk at that table who was giving her a hard time. After faking her horror and sorrow for the better part of 15 minutes, she came back into the kitchen and said it was one of the most satisfying moments of her life, despite her having to pay for their food out of her own paycheck.
That said, there are lots and lots of bitter waitresses out there, folks. And they've all got a fresh pot of coffee in their hand.
What was it about the psyche of the American consumer mind that made it so vulnerable to the sales pitches of gigantic fiberglass statues outside of tire and automotive stores? What about that particular kind of bizarre, hyperbolic display said, "Quality products for your car?"
This site explores the issue of where they came from and how many still grace the roadsides of this great land of ours.
Club sandwiches with greasy bacon on them. Roast beef sandwiches with French fries drenched in gravy. Nasty, viscous plates of creamed chipped beef. Onion rings big enough to choke a donkey. Metal stools that spun on a wobbly axis. A jukebox at every table. Mirrored walls smudged with tiny fingerprints. Restrooms that were heroically dirty and small.
Such was the atmosphere at the Pelican Diner on St. Pete Beach when I was a boy.
I have learned since moving back to the Tampa Bay area that the Pelican is no more.
Despite it's spectacular location at the corner where the Corey Causeway empties out into St. Pete Beach and the traffic from the beach heads north into St. Pete and Treasure Island, the Pelican just couldn't sustain itself. I read recently that it might become a "Blimpies" outlet or possibly be razed. That would be a shame, either way.
I say all this to point out where I found out about this: a great Web site, By The Way Online, which chronicles the decline of diners in the U.S. and also offers news about new ones that have opened. Reading it offers a pretty interesting glimpse of Americana.
Here are a few other diner links:
Nestled in East Windsor, N.J. the interior of this diner is spectacular. Menu looks good, too, although I don't know of many diners offering Chilean sea bass. The site says there's a new lounge and martini bar, so it's probably one of these upscale places that's looking to draw the cigar and martini class.
This company will build you a diner to start a restaurant, complete with all the chrome, neon padded chairs and checkerboard floor tile you can handle. The Silver Eagle model looks like my kind of place.
Director Barry Levinson nails the depiction of life for five 20-year-olds in Baltimore in the 1950s. Their hangout? The diner, of course. My mom, who grew up in Baltimore in the '50s and '60s, loves this movie. And you can't beat the cast, with guys like Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon and Tim Daly in the lineup. Favorite line: "This is why you are so nervous all the time. You have like chunks of roast beef in your heart!"
If you've ever seen "American Graffiti," you know that that Mel's was the centerpiece of the action, where Richard Dreyfus first saw Susanne Sommers in her T-bird and where Ron Howard and Cindy Williams broke up. In reality, the real Mel's was first built back in 1947 in San Francisco. The restaurant expanded to a chain of 11 in Northern California, but eventually lost out to the McDonald's and Burger Kings. "Graffiti" director George Lucas decided to film the movie at the first Mel's in San Francisco right before it was torn down. A new Mel's opened 1985 in San Francisco again, based on the huge wave of nostalgia that the movie and the TV show "Happy Days" provided.
In a conversation with NEWSWEEK, former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair spoke of his feelings since his career went up in flames:
“I can’t say anything other than the fact that I feel a range of emotions including guilt, shame, sadness, betrayal, freedom and appreciation for those who have stood by me, been tough on me, and have taken the time to understand that there is a deeper story and not to believe everything they read in the newspapers.”
Well, thanks to you, Jayson, few people ever will.
It started so simply for Bill Turner.
Like an innocent lamb, he saw a list of the 100 greatest books of all time and set upon reading them.
Then it occurred to him: "Surely, there must be other 'best' lists?!?!?"
Finding too few to satisfy his obsessive compulsive behavior, he decided to rectify that fact with this site.
For the record, Bill has also created a list of 14 "Bill's Desert Island Must-haves," ("If I was going to be stuck on a desert island [that happened to have a DVD player, TV, and stereo], this is what I'd hope I brought along with me.").
Join me in praying for Bill. Let's hope he gets help real soon.
Maybe we could just put him together with Spike, who appears to have a fairly advanced obsession with root beer and the quality of various brands.
Jesus, I live a wonderfully dull life.
It's always funny when celebrities lose it on the air.
Let's face it, dogs are good food.
I've never been to Lynchberg, Va.
After visiting this site featuring little-known attractions of Lynchburg and Central Virginia , I don't think there's really any need to bother with going.
There's a reason they're little-known, you know.
Gotta give it up, everyone, for Laurie. Takes guts to shave your head. Even more so for a woman to do it.
The only time I've done it was when I was coaching my son's tee ball team. They were all, like, 4. They had very little hand-eye coordination and no bat skills.
So when I told them that if anyone caught a fly ball that season, I'd shave my head, it seemed like a pretty safe bet, especially since four games into the season there had been no fly balls hit by any team. In the whole league.
That was up until the seventh game, when a hitter for a team we were playing stroked it high above the pitcher's mound. My players, who were clumped around the mound like a blood clot, all reacted toward where the ball was heading.
And who caught it in mid-air?
My son, Brian.
Get out the clippers, boys.
Next practice we had, I showed up with a shorter-than-short crew cut.
"Why'd you do that?'' one player asked.
Nothing like sending a clear and unmistakable message.
Today, I have to admit, I feel like the squirrel.
Postings will be a little bit sparse the next few days. I'm going with my son and about a billion other Cub Scouts and their parents to Kennedy Space Center. The highlight will be sleeping in the building in the above photos under this massive mockup of a Saturn V rocket.
Ah .. the life. Nothing but the moon (rocket) and the stars (well, pictures of them) above our heads.
Cheers. Hope you have a great weekend. See you back here on Sunday, when I'll post photos from the trip.
What's it like to know Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, inside and out?
These portraits are plenty disturbing, but not as much as if they'd been drawn of Mick Fleetwood.
Reportedly, all 53 of them went in the same car to the hospital.
The roll's been called up yonder and actor Robert Stack's name was at the top. The venerable actor died at age 84 today.
Although best known for his work on "The Untouchables" TV series, Stack rejuvenated his career by playing the tough-as-nails Capt. Rex Kramer in the 1980 comedy "Airplane!"
He also was worth 16 points in the Reaper's Delight dead pool.
Here are a few links about Stack and his career:
Lifetime Chat With Robert Stack
This online chat with Stack offers some charming banter, including his answer when someone asks whether he has any grandchildren. His reply: "No, unfortunately, my darling daughter's marriage didn't work, and I don't have any little weenies around the house."
Internet Movie Database: Robert Stack
The amount of work he did during his life is amazing, although he probably regrets his last major role as The Gooch in the stoner flick "Killer Bud." "Killer Bud" has the distinction of containing two cast members from noteworthy Fox sitcoms. It’s also from the writing team that brought us "Saving Silverman."
Based on the 1947 novel by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, The Untouchables was the first dramatic series created at Desilu Productions, the studio owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. With Stack playing Ness in the lead role, the show ran on ABC from 1959-63. A side not: critics complained that it depicted "excessive and senseless violence."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is irked at federal aviation officials for causing a brief stir blocks from Ground Zero early Wednesday by allowing a plane packed with U.S. soldiers to fly low over the city.
The incident led to a mistaken 911 call of a plane in the East River and a number of calls to the city and the FAA from concerned New Yorkers, officials said.
Mayoral spokesman Ed Skyler said the city received just two minutes notice before the incident.
"Considering the world we live in and New York City's recent history, one would expect a little more consideration, sensitivity and notice from the FAA when they authorize a plane to fly at that altitude over lower Manhattan," Bloomberg said in a statement.
At about 8:30 a.m., the FAA air traffic control center in Garden City granted a request from a U.S. government-chartered Continental Airlines flight 3021, carrying soldiers returning from Iraq, to fly at about 3,000 feet over the city on an approach to Newark Airport, said FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac. The typical altitude is 3,500 to 6,000 feet. The request was granted to give the soldiers a closer view of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty, according to a written statement from the FAA.
I've always been amused at the television perpetrated on the Lifetime cable channel. (The Virginia Slims of television networks, I guess.) Their made-for-TV movies - as if any of that crap could ever find an audience at the box office - are almost as hilarious for their outlandish titles as they are for their tendency to cast either Valerie Bertinelli, Deidre Hall, Jane Seymour or Merideth Baxter in the lede roles. I always thought it was demeaning to call it "television for women" and then make it so damn stupid.
Like tonight's offering at 9 p.m., for example:
ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT?: A wealthy socialite discovers her husband is obsessed with a phone-sex girl and their marriage hits rock bottom. Soon afterward, her husband disappears and she seeks help from a private eye and her husband's phone-sex girl to find him. Starring: Beth Broderick, Parker Stevenson, Jane Seymour, Joel Brooks, Robert Pine, Henry J. Jordan.
The funny thing is that someone has gone to the trouble of creating a Lifetime movie title generator. It's definitely worth a click.
Here's something you don't see every day: a very, very cool Flash treatment of The Beatles' song "Get Back" that takes you to various perspectives on the street where they performed their final concert in 1969 on the rooftop of their Apple Records offices.
Take your time and drag your mouse around the displays. There are lots of hidden gems. Click on the red boxes to be taken to a new perspective.
Okay, so that isn't really a mascot. (It is, however, a cool pin you can buy at Wm. Spear Design.)
Anyway, as casual readers may know, Side Salad has struggled with the desire to find a mascot suitable for this fruitless but nonetheless enjoyable pursuit. First it was a dolphin playing soccer, then it was a rabbit, then a dolphin. Now? Now I don't know. I'm open to ideas if anyone has one.
What's the big deal? Why have one? Why string three rhetorical questions in a row?
Because mascots represent all that is innocent and playful about sports. People see mascots spreading joy on a playing field and it's as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. Memories roll so thick they have to brush them away from their faces. The one constant through all the years of sports has been the mascot. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But mascots have marked the time. This endeavor, this furry manifestation, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. It's more than a performance. It transcends the very nature of wha...
Aw, hell. Mascots are great because ... well, they're just about as goofy and American as things get. They're a non-verbal way of saying, "You know, you paid $1,500 for season tickets, but we're going to distract you from the game with an anonymous performer sweating inside an oversized body."
With that in mind, I've installed a permanent piece of furniture on the blog, the Mascot World, on the left rail of the page. Feel free to click your way through the links. They're all pretty amusing in one way or another.
(Sorry, I was channeling "Fiddler on the Roof'' there for a minute. I'm having flashbacks to the summer I worked as a counselor at a Jewish Kadima day camp.)
Anyway, if you have a yen for a certain subject - say, Japanese animation or death-inducing Oreos - you can use BlogMatcher to help you find blogs that talk about the things you're interested in.
You can thank me later, when the amount of time you spend sitting at the computer eats your left leg and destroys the relationships you hold dear.
The Writer's Almanac has an interesting tidbit today about the fact that on this day in 1804, Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis for the Pacific Coast.
What was the first thing Clark did at the end of the first day? Wrote in his blog, of course. (Back then, they called it journal):
"Rained the fore part of the day. . . . I Set out at 4 oClock P.M, in the presence of many of the neighboring in habitants, and proceeded on under a jentle brease up the Missourie. . . a heavy rain this after-noon."
The group traveled up through the Dakotas, through Montana and across the Continental Divide, and finally down to the mouth of the Columbia River. When they spotted the Pacific, Clark wrote in his journal:
"Ocian in view! O! the joy."
Thomas Jefferson was president at the time, and wanted to find out about the land he had just gotten through the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson was also interested in Native American culture, as well as western plants and animals. Lewis and Clark's party was well-stocked for their journey: they brought clothes; guns; medical supplies; a traveling library that included science and reference books; mathematical instruments; and loads of camping supplies, including twelve pounds of soap and 193 pounds of portable soup -- a thick paste made by boiling down beef, eggs and vegetables. They also brought gifts for Native Americans, including silk ribbons, ivory combs, 130 rolls of tobacco, vermilion face paint, 144 small pairs of scissors, and twelve dozen pocket mirrors. Lewis and Clark identified 178 plants and 122 animals that had never before been recorded for science, including the grizzly bear, which often chased the group across the plains and mountains.
About the bear, Lewis wrote:
"The curiosity of our party is pretty well satisfied with respect to this animal."
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks. And, apparently, 6-year-olds with distinguished Adam's apples.
Think that ad is bad? You can see other equally troubling items up for sale at Disturbing Auctions.
I admit it; I'm a geek who loves watching those marathon shows on the Travel channel on Labor Day and Fourth of July weekends when they show hour after hour of shows about theme park rollercoasters and thrill rides.
If you're like me, you'll want to check out Coaster Image. It has tons of great pics and videos of rides.
At the intersection of baseball and politics lives The Baseball Crank.
Apparently, some people have discovered the sign-making site and had a little fun. You can see their wares here, although you'll have to scroll down a little.
Some assclown of an attorney in San Francisco is clogging up our courts with this stupid lawsuit.
Just for that, I'm going to buy me some Double Stuffs and eat the whole damn bag tonight while smoking a cigar and snorting asbestos. And I'm not going to use my seatbelt for the ride home.
By the way, I have no idea who that is in the photo above, nor why he's dressed that way or why he's striking a Renaissance Fair pose in a convenience store. I'm guessing a fair amount of doobage was involved.
For fun, or for work, this site lets you make your own warning signs. I made the one above.
So we got into a discussion at work the other day - no big surprise, if you know our group - about 70s music. This was inspired in no small part because of an interview one of us did with Joe Walsh the other day.
We were talking about the great stuff he did with The James Gang, with The Eagles and as a solo act. One of my esteemed colleagues couldn't place the song "Walk Away" in the extensive jukebox in his head.
And you know what? That's just a shame. Not because he lacked the mental faculties (he doesn't). It just means we're one more song further away from that kind of great music we had then. All the N'Sync and Britney and Christina crap is pushing out the stuff that really had feel and groove and texture.
As a goof, I started downloading a bunch of songs that I think would be essential for knowing the basics of '70s rock. Not Jethro Tull. None of that Yes or Moody Blues stuff. I'm talking stuff you'd listen to in your cutoff jean shorts at the beach. The stuff you'd sing while riding around in the backseat of your buddy's car with a bunch of friends.
So far, here's the preliminary list I came up with:
Aerosmith, "Sweet Emotion" and "Back In The Saddle Again"
Joe Walsh, "Life's Been Good"
Steve Miller Band, "Jungle Love"
Journey, "Wheel In The Sky"
Grand Funk Railroad, "We're An American Band"
Kansas, "Carry On My Wayward Son"
Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Sweet Home Alabama"
The Eagles - "Life In The Fast Lane"
Eric Clapton, "Layla"
T.Rex - "Bang A Gong"
Cheap Trick, "Surrender"
AC-DC - "Back In Black"
Foreigner - "Hot Blooded"
Rick Derringer - "Rock 'n' Roll Hootchie Koo"
The Rolling Stones - "Brown Sugar" and "Shattered"
Got any suggestions for what you'd add to the list? (Yes, I know, there's no Zep or Frampton or Who on it.) Drop me a line.
Remember when comics used to be entertaining. Back, say, when Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side ruled the pages? Non Sequitur is about the last thing I'll read now. Even Doonesbury has become boring and tiresome. Boondocks is just flat out preachy. Dilbert is ... well, Dilbert.
If you're looking for a new strip to follow, give Day By Day by Chris Muir a look. Think of it as a cross between Dilbert and Boondocks.
...Courtesy of The Onion day-of-the-week desk calendar:
God Proclaims Raspberries 'Now Even More Berrilicious'
VCR Fast-Forwarded With Toe
Marilyn Manson Now Going Door-To-Door Trying To Shock People
Lord Under Investigation For Failure To Provide
Wife Too Busy Videotaping Elk Attack To Save Husband's Life
Amazing New Swiffer Fails To Fill The Void
The world needs an interactive hot dog. Or at least I think so.
Mike goes to confess his sins at church one Saturday.
"Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose woman."
The priest asks, "Is that you, Coach Price ?"
"Yes, Father, it is."
"And who was the woman you were with?"
" I can't be tellin' you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation."
"Well, Coach , I'm sure to find out sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now."
"Was it Brenda O'Malley?"
"I cannot say."
"Was it Patricia Kelly?"
"I'll never tell."
"Was it Liz Shannon?"
"I'm sorry, but I'll not name her."
"Was it Cathy Morgan?"
"My lips are sealed."
"Was it Fiona McDonald, then?"
"Please, Father, I cannot tell you."
The priest sighs in frustration. "You're a steadfast lad, Coach Price, and I admire that. But you've sinned, and you must atone. You cannot attend church for three months. Be off with you now."
Coach Price walks back to his pew. His friend Mike Dubose slides over and whispers, "What'd you get?"
"Three month's vacation and five good leads!!! " says Coach Price.
After a little consideration and several nice e-mails from Side Salad readers asking that I continue the blog, I've decided to reassume my mantle and carry on.
Thanks for all the kind notes, folks.
Momma always said not to talk with my mouth full.
Well, I'm chewing with both rows of teeth and my plate is stacked high.
I've got a little blog fatigue and I'm boring myself to tears. And if I'm tiring of my own voice, it has to be tiring to anyone who trips across this page.
This is to say that the Salad bowl will go on a little hiatus while I catch up with a few things. Can't tell you when - or if - I'll be back. If I do, hopefully I'll have something original and entertaining to say. If I don't, well, it's been a lot of laughs.
Thanks for reading.
There's a fine line between a beloved pet and a doorstop.
The mother of Michael Kelly, who died while covering Operation Iraqi Freedom, writes, "There is no right time to lose a child.
When God decides which of us goes to heaven or hell, it'll make things a lot easier for him to decide if we all choose the correct underpants.
BOSTON - With the state facing a $3 billion deficit, Massachusetts lawmakers are considering selling corporate sponsors the naming rights to parks and forests, including the Walden Woods immortalized by Henry David Thoreau.
I think I'll remember this the next time I go to complain about a late flight.
Ever want to name an airplane? Give it your best shot.
For those times when you've wondered what Mona would look like with a disgusted look on her face, you now have that option.
A tip: drag your mouse quickly down the list of options to simulate Mona with Tourette's.
From The Independent Weekly, (April 30-May 6) Durham, N.C.:
"The Palo Alto, Calif., City Council scheduled for a final vote in May a proposed code of conduct that includes (in order to coax civility among members) an official admonition to avoid even nonverbal forms of disagreement with each other, such as rolling one's eyes or shaking one's head or frowning. One former resident told the San Jose Mercury News that the proposal is a prime example of the 'Palo Alto' mind-set.'"
I love my job. I do.
But the e-mail I have to deal with sometimes ...
Here's my latest
Let me ask you this...which is worse:
A. The engine on your Lexus freezes up at 160,000 miles instead of 300,000. You take a financial hit and you are forced to buy a Camry this time.
B. You start bleeding during bowel movements. You go to the doctor and get poked, prodded, X-ray'd, biopsied, etc. 3 days later you get a call for a consultation. The doctor informs you that you have advanced colon cancer at 45 years old. You have anywhere from 6 months to 5 years left to live. He tells you it's time to get your house in order because you'll be checking out soon. Chemotherapy starts today.
Wait... I don't get a third choice?
I've heard a lot of passionate - and well-reasoned, I might add - discourse the past two months about the war, the war on terror, the Iraq invasion and George W. Bush's leadership of the country. And then there are the ramblings of jerkwads like these.
All of which makes me grateful for the recent spate of rants I've heard coming out of Dennis Miller the past few weeks, both on his special and his Tonight Show appearances.
Last night was a classic. Miller took on everyone from the French to Baghdad Bob.
My favorite was his slam on Clinton over his slam on Bush while his own country was fighting a war.
Miller's line: "Bill Clinton, if you were any more low rent, you'd be a spring break destination."
Other great lines he's said lately:
“You’d better gas up the dinghy and go fishing with Fredo, because you are dead to me."
“If you’re at a peace march, and the guy next to you has a sign saying ‘Bush is Hitler,’ stop the peace stuff for a second and beat his ass.”
“Sean Penn, for instance, is urging restraint. What could we possibly say to Sean to get him on board? If only Saddam Hussein was a paparazzi.”
“The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of their friends and always more than willing to surrender to the wishes of their enemies.”
“Clinton’s the sort of guy who’ll always volunteer to help you move, then when you’ve got four of ya picking up the sofa, he’s the one who’ll fake lifting.”
And this one directed at Bush: “If you’re watching, I think you’re doing a hell of a job. I’m proud you’re my president. …I think there are a lot more people out here on your side than you may think.”
Still, there are a lot of people who are bothered by what they see as Miller pandering to conservatives. Barry Crimmins, a Boston standup who never quite got the name recognition nationally that he deserved, has this take on his former boss' lean to the right.
Miller also wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that ran yesterday that was bullseye on-target:
"WHY ARE WE IN IRAQ?"
By DENNIS MILLER
"With their dominance in sport, at work and at home eroded, Bush thought white American men needed to know they were still good at something. That's where Iraq came in . . .
The great white stars of yesteryear were for the most part gone, gone in football, in basketball, in boxing, and half-gone in baseball . . . On the other hand, the good white American male still had the Armed Forces . . . ."
Norman Mailer, writing in the London Times' op-ed page last week.
When The Wall Street Journal asked me to react to Mr. Mailer's latest daft screed, I almost took a pass. I've never written an opinion piece for a newspaper before, and furthermore I know as much about Norman Mailer as I do about Mary Quant. I think they were both kinda hot for a few minutes in the '60s.
Other than a vague recollection that Mr. Mailer once played Boswell to Jack Henry Abbott's Samuel Johnson, I really only remember one other pertinent fact about him. But, what the heck, if you're going to take a stab at something new, why not take a stab at it with Norman Mailer.
Mr. Mailer was the Father of the Non-Fiction Novel and now he can also claim lineage as the distant, addled third-cousin of the Rational Op-Ed. Studying at the Sorbonne as a young man obviously made a deep impression on him because this thing reads like Jacques Chirac's Dream Journal.
With six marriages under his belt, one would assume Mr. Mailer has a stranglehold on warfare. One would be wrong.
His basic contention is that we went to war with Iraq because with the dominance of white American men in the boxing ring, the office and the home front eroded, George W. Bush thought they needed to know they were still good at something. Mr. Mailer has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Harvard so he had to know that argument wouldn't fly. But, then again, maybe this claptrap is just a grand put-on. The fact that I and many others can't differentiate anymore does not auger well for Norm's legend.
You know something, the only "race" that really occurred to me during the war was our Army's sprint to Baghdad. Conversely, Mr. Mailer appears to see just race in our armed forces, right down to the "Super-Marines" as he calls them. It seems that Mr. Mailer even notices color in people when they're wearing camouflage. He then goes on to speak about racial subsets in the world of sports. Now, when I watch baseball, football and basketball, I see uniforms and skills. Mr. Mailer evidently sees races and nationalities. He's like a Casey Stengel/William Shockley hybrid. "Why'd you send the rook' back to Triple A, Skip?" "Well, he was gettin' around on the fast ball but he still couldn't hit the bell curve."
Ironically, Mr. Mailer seems to see everything in the world in terms of black and white, except of course, good and evil.
He also fancies himself a boxer, a "champeen," but stuff like this will just sully his record. He's now a club fighter, a pug, a tomato can that Warhol no doubt gave him. He constantly uses boxing metaphors and yet refuses to give President Sugar Ray Bush any credit for his startling TWKO (Three-Week Knock Out).
A guy like Mailer hates a guy like Bush because Mailer thinks of himself as infinitely smarter than Bush and yet President Bush is the most powerful man on the planet and old Normy's connecting through Atlanta and flying on prop planes to a community college that's so far out in the sticks the mail rider has yet to arrive with the message that The Great Mailer is currently more out of the loupe than a jeweler with conjunctivitis. All so he can scoop up a sub-microscopic honorarium and the accolades of star-struck locals and 18-year-olds who mistakenly think Mr. Mailer wrote "Gravity's Rainbow."
He feels there's no connection between the secular state of Iraq and radical fundamentalist terrorists. Not true. Abu Abbas was recently recaptured there after Europe practiced catch-and-release with him many years back. Abu Nidal was found shot to death last year in his Baghdad apartment. Police suspect fair play.
And while I don't want to appear to pick more nits than a father-and-son Spider Monkey team who know they're being followed by a National Geographic film crew, Mr. Mailer's wrong when he says that only one-half of our country was for the war: 70% is one-half only if the whole is considered to be 140%.
Mr. Mailer at one time challenged and provoked. Now he just provokes. Norman Mailer has become Norman Maine, a former matinee idol whom loved ones best keep an eye on, because if this is the best he can now muster, he'll no doubt be walking purposely into the surf off Provincetown any day now. And as Mr. Mailer's prostate gradually supplants his ego as the largest gland in his body, he's going to have to realize, as is the case with all young lions who inevitably morph into Bert Lahr, that his alleged profundities are now being perceived as the early predictors of dementia.
I empathize with Mr. Mailer in one regard, though. Although he's clearly abdicated the lucid throne, it must be hellish for someone who can still arrange words so beautifully -- i.e. "the question will keen in pitch . . ." -- to wake up every morning and have it slowly dawn on him that he's effectively been rendered totally irrelevant.
Mr. Miller is a comedian.
I've mentioned before that I'm a bitch for NASCAR. Can't explain it. I just am.
Which makes a site that shows how a NASCAR race car works, from the body to the decals, all the more interesting. Even if you have little interest in an afternoon with endless left turns, this site can be pretty entertaining.
A little known fact: NASCAR race cars have no headlights. Instead, they have two headlight decals on the front.
Okay .. I said it was interesting, not fascinating.
Like creepy Web sites?
So do I.
What's amazing is how many people under the "circus freaks" section hail from the section of Florida where I live.
Then again, considering I live here, maybe not.
(A word of caution: I'd avoid the section of the site where they supposedly show midgets getting their freak on. Even I couldn't wade into that pool.)
This ain't just ugly. It's fugly.
Apparently, someone thought that this needed explanation and classification.
Well, sometime during the night of May 6th and May 7th in 1968, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards woke up in his motel room in Clearwater, Florida, with a distinctive three-note "riff" in his head. He quickly played the tune into a tape recorder he kept by his bed and then went back to sleep. The next day, he played the riff for Mick Jagger, telling him, "The line that goes with this (tune) is 'I can't get no satisfaction.'" Jagger completed the lyrics within the next two days, and the soon-to-be classic song was recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood on May 11th.
Richards had originally intended his riff to be played by horns, but wound up playing it himself on the guitar, with the use of a "fuzz" effect created by a new gadget that happened to be around. This piece of equipment was among the first of its kind, and its inclusion on the recording introduced a whole new sound for the electric guitar. Today, such gadgets are standard tools for most rock guitarists. The resulting song - "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" - was released as a single on June 4th, and hit number one on the U.S. pop charts on July 10th, remaining there for the next four weeks. The Stones had finally hit the big time in America.
Almost as interesting is the backstory surrounding that turbulent time in the Stones' career.
Curiously, sometime during the same week of May 7-11 (most likely around the 8th), guitarist Brian Jones fell completely from grace in the eyes of his band mates. Having already fathered a number of illegitimate children by the time he was in his early 20s, Jones was also known to be physically abusive with women.
One night after a concert, he brought a young girl back to his hotel room. When she emerged the next morning crying, bruised and sporting two black eyes, the band cut him off socially, even sanctioning his beating (which included two broken ribs) by one of their roadies for beating the woman. Although he would remain in the group until a month before his death in 1969, Jones' influence in the group completely diminished and he spent the rest of his life slowly wasting away.
The song also marked a period of transition for the Stones, as they rediscovered their minimalist blues roots.
Many fail to remember that by 1967, the Rolling Stones were a spent force - they'd evolved from a tight-rocking R&B band into an acid-frazzled cod-psychedelic band with the tripped-out "Their Satanic Majesties Request" album.
Jagger and Richards had been busted by the police early in the year and were initially jailed for drug possession (which was overturned).
Their only single '67 was the limp "We Love You," accompanied by a film with Jagger dressed as Oscar Wilde, Marianne Faithfull as Lord Alfred Douglas and Richards, of all things, as the Marquess of Queensberry. They were also growing distant from producer Glyn Johns and from the basics of the music that had brought them to that point.
Even before the beating incident, Brian Jones was increasingly isolated from the Jagger/Richards writing partnership, and became morose over the loss of control of what had been "his" band. Under these circumstances, most bands would have called it a day and dissolved into sleazy abandon.
Instead in 1968, Richards emerged from cloud of weirdness and narcotics to create the tightest, sexiest riff ever written.
That wasn't all.
The Stones made a short film to accompany the single - a novelty in those days. It featured Jagger in all his sleazy voodoo glory. This lit-below witchdoctor wasn't a man who'd sold his soul to the devil, this man was the devil. He oozed hedonism and sex and no one, absolutely no one, could resist.
No one but Jim Morrison would come close to the embodiment of sex (androgynous or not) and evil ever again in rock 'n' roll.
If you've ever wanted to talk like Kenny from "South Park," here's your chance.
Just for laughs, I tried out the following phrases and asked it to interpret into Kennyese:
Phrase: Shock and awe.
Translation: Fmmmfpppfmmfpmp mmmpppmpm mmmfppmpp.
Phrase: The leaders of France and Germany are massive tools.
Translation: Fmpmfpmpp pmfmppmmmmpmmpppfffmm ppfmpf Mpfpffmmmpppmmfmpp mmmpppmpm Mfmmpppffppmmmmpppffm mmmpffmpp ppmmmmfmmfmmmfffpmmpp fmpppfppfpmffmm.
Phrase: "South Park" will never achieve the hilarity standards created by the comedic genius of the television show "Mr. Belvedere."
Translation: "Fmmppffmffmpmfp Pfmmmmpffpmp" fppmffpmfpmf pppmppfpmmpppff mmmmmfmfpmffmppfpmmpp fmpmfpmpp mfpmffpmfmmmpffmfffmpffm fmmfmpmmmpppmpmmmmpffmpmfmm mmfpffmppmmmfmpmppmpm mmpffm fmpmfpmpp mmfppfppmmppmpmmffmmf mfmmpppppmfffmffmm ppfmpf fmpmfpmpp fmpmpppmfmppfpmmfffmmmffppfppp fmmmfpppffpp "Ppmpff. Mmpmpppmffpmmppmpmmpppffmpp."
I have several thoughts about this story.
1. I've never been envious of a bird.
2. I am now.
3. Who exactly keeps track of records like these?
Or at least less self-absorbed than these people.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday marking the defeat of French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The Mexicans were ill-equipped and outnumbered two to one, but they caused 1,000 French casualties and forced a retreat to the Gulf Coast. The city was renamed Puebla de Zaragoza after the Mexican general that led the effort.
It's also a holiday that inspired one of the best songs of the 1990s, "Cinco de Mayo" by Liz Phair.
The staff at Side Salad offers it's apology for a lack of postings yesterday. We hereby promise a renewal of energy committed to the site and plead for the continued benevolence and patience of our dear reader.
Let the self-flaggelation commence.
Fort Pierce isn't the end of the world, but you can see it from there.
The people in the newsroom at the Fort Pierce Tribune were lovely (no pun intended) when I worked there and I was grateful for the job and the friendship they offered, but the town is just this side of a shitthole. If it didn't have the beach, the Tiki Hut and a 24-hour Pentagon-sized Wal Mart Supercenter, I'm not sure for those speeding north along I-95 on Florida's east coast that it would be anything more than a speedbump with random gunplay and a nuclear plant on its doorstep.
All I can say is, keep paddling Tribbies.
Here are a few other journalism career killers.
I don't make them up, folks, I merely pass these along.
Every photo you click just gets more and more weird. Being a bit of a sombrero freak, my favorite is this one.
Clearly, this rabbit displays the patience of a saint.
For the observantly challenged, I direct you to the section on the right, where a fresh batch of diversions awaits your attention.
I'm all for tolerance, but this is just fucked up in so many ways, I can't begin to grasp it:
MIAMI - A Broward County courtroom will play host in the coming weeks to a procession of transgender witnesses and a defendant who received special permission to wear a dress at his trial.
While the Jerry Springer-like details have titillated bailiffs and clerks for months, the facts of the case are sobering.
A woman died because she had too much silicone injected into her buttocks in search of a fuller figure. Two men - who live as husband and wife - are charged with killing her in the course of an underground ''pumping party'' they conducted without license to practice medicine.
I'm only absent today from the Salad bowl because of a (and I'm using a technical term here) shitload of work and obligations.
Faithful readers can take comfort in knowing the bowl will be filled later this evening.
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to ...
I think with a little practice, I could have been the Gary Charone of this band, parachuting in to supplement the lineup. I definitely had the dry heaving down pat when I was in college.
A confession: I'm such a bitch for surf punk bands that wear Mexican wrestling masks. Maybe there's a corrolary between that and my love for KISS. Actually, there are more Mexican wrestling punk bands floating around in the music industry than you might think:
Not satisfied to merely be a Mexican psycho-garage-punk-surf band, it threw in a spooky theremin in several of the tracks on its self titled debut album. Also in its live shows you can see them playing a self made theremin. They mix old Mexican 50s wrestling mask horror movies with their cool sound. Unfortunately they broke up, but they have an E.P. called "Hagalo Usted Mismo" (Make It Yourself) in which also features the theremin. (For the record, their name means "exquisite things")
Formed in Nashville as an instrumental band by Eddie Angel, Jimmy Lester and Danny Amis under the name The Straitjackets, the band didn't play again for six years. They've since gone on tour and appeared five times on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. In January 2001, a 45 was released in Spain featuring the movie theme classics ""My Heart Will Go On" and "Theme from The Magnificent Seven."
Is this sort of thing really necessary?
I'm still trying to get over the ones in nature. Like I need this to worry about.
Like playing card games on the computer?
Try playing solitaire with the deck of Iraq's most wanted bad guys.
Don't say I didn't warn you about this sensory overload page.
I can't say I've had the pleasure of doing bad acid - or any acid, for that matter. But I have to think it would look a lot like this.
Pump up the volume for maximum effect.
There are a lot of death estimators on the Web. This one is more specific than most, telling you where, when and how you're going to take the Big Dirt Nap.
I'll be assuming room temperature on Nov. 27, 2045, at age of 80 after stroking out from heart disease in an emergency room, apparently.
Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1979.