Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Rainbow of Ignorance

Did you know that February is black history month? Of course you did, and so, too, did the good people at Rainbow foods, who were so good as to send a special fliyer commemorating the event. And how do the culturally adept folks at Rainbow plan to celebrate Black History Month????



By offering discounts on collard greens, fried chicken and, so help me God, watermelon.



Of course, there are other, more culturally neutral items featured, such as okara, plantains and COLE SLAW... Because everyone is having a damn barbeque in the dead of February.

How, exactly, did this come to pass?

Jenkins: I was thinking, sir, that we should have a sale in honor of black history month.

Chief Marketing Officer: I like the way you think, Jenkins. Just make sure we avoid items like fried chicken, watermelon, collard greens. You know, that stuff.

Jenkins: Collard greens, watermelon and fried chicken. Right sir. And how about okra, plantains and biscuits. Those people sure like their biscuits.

CMO: What did you just say?

Jenkins: Away I gooooooo!

CMO: That sure is a whipper-snapper, that Jenkins.

And scene. Well, I've gotta go. Cub Foods has a sale on sheets and nylon for some reason.

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Union

If you are like me and didn't get a chance to see the State Union address, I thought I would perform a useful service by reprinting the transcript in it's entirety. For your edifications

(President Bush enters)

Republicans: (cheer for 14 minutes, Olympia Snowe for 8)
Democrats: (make a concerted effort to look disintersted)
President Bush: My fellow Americans
Republicans: (cheer for 9 minutes)

Cut to:

John McCain pretending to hear something someone behind him just said and smiling in approval.

Hillary Clinton beaming insanely.

Barack Obama pretending as though he is earnestly interested in what President Bush has to say, so that he can pretend to earnestly reflect on what the president said tomorrow.

President Bush: Perseverance!

Democrats: Boo!

President Bush: Pass the stimulus package!

Democrats: Acquiescence!

Cut to:

Dennis Kucinich stuffing a monkey into a cannon.

Presdient Bush: Little Johnny has cancer, his father died in Iraq, he has neither arms nor eyes.

Democrats: Little Johnny is virtuous in spite of his imperfections!

Everyone: Hurray for Johnny!

President Bush: Little Johnny told me he is happy to have the gift of life.

Democrats: Boo!

Cut to:

Dennis Kucinich aims the cannon at the podium and fires.

Monkey: Two plus two does not equal fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive! (explodes)

President Bush: Armed Forces.

Everyone: VALOOOOOOOOOR!!!!!!

President Bush: Iraq.

Democrats: BOOOO!!!!!

Cut to:

Barack Obama shakes his head disapprovingly, checks watch.

President Bush: Domestic issues!

Everyone: Indifference!

President: Good night.

Republicans: (Applaud for 45 minutes, Chuck Hagel for 15).

Kathleen Sibelius: I am a Democrat from Kansas and, therefore, a pragmatist. George Bush made a number of very important points, all of them wrong.

Pundits: Bush didn't do everything he needed to do, but he did something.

Other Pundits: I disagree! SUPPORTING STATEMENTS!

Hillary Clinton: Blah, blah, blah, smile, smile, smile. Wait, did I actually say "smile" out loud? What I meant to say was, Barack Obama feeds on the flesh of middle class toddlers.

Reporter: What?

Hillary Clinton: FLORIDAAAA!

Obama: (earnest reflection). CHAAAAAAANGE!

McCain: REFRESHING, PSEUDO-HONESTY!!!!!

Mitt Romney: CONSERVATIVE TALKING POINTS!!!!!

Rudy Giuliani: I'M SCREWWWWWWWED!!!!

Mike Huckabee: I have God's vote.

Pundits: All of this was well worth watching. Now back to news about Heath Ledger.

Fox 9 News: What did Minnesota beekeepers think about the State of the Union address? Find out tonight, on Fox News 9.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Hot Romney

Hello. My name is Hugh Hewitt. You may remember me from such guest appearances on Fox News and CNN. I even have my own radio show, and I blog. You see why I am important. I am a movement conservative.

Now I know what you are thinking: why am I writing on Kevin's blog? Isn't today "Top Ten Fridays?" Well Kevin, find a password that can’t be guessed by going through your wife’s sock drawer. Idiot. Your blog is now the perfect conduit for my only ambition, the unending promotion of Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President of the United States.

Now, I've been accused of "Romney cheerleading", probably because I wrote “A Mormon In The Whitehouse”. But really, I would want Romney to live in my house. I would marry Mitt Romney if I wasn't against gay marriage, which I am, but less so recently. I wish I were Mormon so he would hug me and let him wear his special space underwear.

You know what I think of Mike Huckabee? Well I don't think about him anymore since he hasn't won a primary since Iowa. Yeah, I went there. Have you heard of Nevada? Zing, Huckabust. See what I did there, from a comedic standpoint? Romney rules. Look, I don't want my president to be like the guy I work with. Sometimes I do work with the poor. Have you ever talked with the poor? They’re dumb! See how I reasoned that one through? It's like math, but different.

My real concern these days is John McCain. Seriously, that guy is more liberal than Hillary Clinton. That is an indisputable fact that is proven with easily Googlable information. He's also a flip-flopper like John Kerry. I tried calling up the Swift Boat guys to see if they would run a smear campaign against him, but they muttered something about “above reproach from every conceivable standpoint” and hung up on me. If I could re-torture John McCain I would.

MCCAIN IS TOO OLD! ROMMMNEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY!!!!

Fred Thompson is awesome. He made the right choice dropping out of the race. Now his 4% of the vote will vote Romney, because that's the way they like it. Don-don! Sorry. I like to make the Law & Order noise. Don-don. Here, watch me do it to this toddle. DON-DON! Scared you! Stupid baby.

Romney won Michigan. And you know what that means? It means he will be the next President of the United States of America. Michigan represents everything that is right about America, probably. I have never been there. And even if he doesn't win he will still make good on his promises to his downtrodden unemployed supporters. Unlike the other guys, Romney has never changed his position on anything. I have every reason to swallow whole his newly-minted conservatism. Why? Because Rich Lowry says so.

Lowry in the house. Smokin Aces!!!! POLYGAMYYYYYY!

Mitt Romney, if you are reading this, please visit me again. I want to run my fingers through your hair. It is my dying wish. I have cancer. That isn’t true, but can I… Just, you know, stroke your Mormon hair? I won’t ask any of the tough questions, or throw you a curveball. Just, the supple touch of my man-hand against your tingly follicles.

I don’t really have cancer. I’ve just got Romney fever!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A lawless city?

On New Year's Eve, the neighbor of one of my friends, Jamis Marks, was shot to death. Today, the Star Tribune announced that they have two "persons of interest". Translation: Police know who did it. Anyone who has spent a night at Johnny A's knows who did it. Hell, I probably know who did it.

Solving these crimes isn't rocket science. When thugs kill people, they tell people they killed people, and those people tell people they kill people. Oh, and they pulled over the guy in October, illegally possessing drugs as well as the same type of bullets used in the shooting. Oh, and he had been arrested for robbery three times and drug possession twice. I guess that sort of seals it, doesn't it.

Which begs a fair, though oft-repeated questions (by Republicans). Why on Earth wasn't this fellow in prison? Like, for, oh, I dunno, life? What, eaxactly, is the criminal penalty for committing a crime in Minneapolis?

Years ago, I experienced two automobile break-ins at my South Minneapolis home. Yawn, right? Robbery is just the Minneapolis way of saying hello. It's sort of Gypsy rules in Phillips anyway; possession equals ownership. I'm stealing your f----- stereo, cold enough for yah? Vote Rybak!

Naturally, both pled guilty and received sentences of, well, nothing at all. In fact, I received a much stiffer fine for failing to remove a dead tree from the premises. See, the unspoken (though certainly understood, by the right people) rule in Minneapolis is that there is no punishment for not only your first felony, but several felonies thereafter.

Don't believe me? Call your local precinct. The operator will be happy to tell you all about it. This isn't angry white man blog hyperbole.

As such, Minneapolis has become a tourist destination for miscreants from Omaha to Gary, Indiana. Our generous welfare policy (give us your tired, your poor, your rapists...) combined with our sissy judges create a sort of panacea for those of stultifyingly ill-repute. Oh, and then there's the mayor.

Cynicism aside, there is a real problem. The sad thing is that the problem is eminently fixable. Let's look at mice for a moment...

Mice are awful, and a bit terrifying, unless they're in cages. They also tend to invade homes with alarming regularity. Left to their own accord, they recruit friends, and multiply, feasting on your Doritos and Almond Joy. Lazy homeowners leave spring traps, hoping that either the noise or the mere presence of traps will solve the problem.

But a diligent homeowner lays glue traps. The mice invariably ignore the traps at first. Then, they get cocky (and maybe a little hungry) and seek to expand their territory. One lovely evening, you find one of the gray bastards, writhing and squirming, it's flesh tearing against the unremitting adhesive.

What is the lesson for homeowners? In a city that welcomes mice with open arms, do your able best to be a glue trap. Call 911 constantly, on everyone. Buy a gun, if you are suited to gun ownership. Scream at the loiterers to get off your property. Call your ineffectual city councilperson (100 times or more works best). And, when possible, fight back violently.

Who knows? If there are enough stinking, bloody mice on the floor, the people of Minneapolis might decide it's time to buy a cat. Elections of all kinds are just around the proverbial corner.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Accurate Remorse

R.I.P. Damon Wayans
1976-2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday Musings

Well, Tuesday for most of you. Hey, I work for a living... Let's muse.

Yay. Giant-Patriots. Just the Superbowl matchup everyone wanted to see. Now, instead of dueling QB legends battling over the fate of a perfect season, we get to hear "Manning is in the Superbowl, but not PEYTON Manning. It's ELI Manning, silly goose. Whodathunkit? WHAT???? WHACKY!!!!" 700,000 times over the next two weeks.

It's the least interesting sports tidbit since Jerome Bettis playing the SuperBowl in Detroit to finish his career. "He's Jerome Bettis! And he's from Detroit!!! Jerome Bettis! The Bus! Detroit Bus Bettis Retire! Bettis, bus win it all Superbowl Detroit, hometown, Bettis Bettis!

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Chuck Norris, whilst campaigning for Gov. Mike Huckabee, levelled the predictable criticism that John McCain, at 72, is too old to handle the pressure of the White House. Let's all take a step back and observe the general level of seriousness with which this campaign has portrayed itself. We had cell phone calls from God, an article on foreign policy that could have been written by an intelligent 9th grade Civics student, and now Chuck Norris questioning whether John McCain is good under pressure.

Memo to Chuck: You know all those things you did in your godawful movies? John McCain could do all those things in real life, until his body got smashed up spending 5+ years in a POW Camp protecting your mediocre ass from commies so that you could bless us with the @#$^%&$ Delta Force series. And, seriously, does Huckabee Chuck "walking material for stand up comedy" Norris really want to take on a candidate with a penchant for intelligently witty retorts?

Huckabee's campaign has devolved into a petulant carnie act. All it needs is a two-headed tiger.

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Bettis Bettis Bettis Bettis Bettis Bettis! HOMETOWN HERO!

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Why do Minnesotans put up with this? I mean, seriously, this is torturous weather. I'm not a slave. I had choices. I could've lived in L.A.

Oh, right...

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Eli, Eli, Eli, Eli, Eli, Eli, Eli, Eli, Eli. Did you know that his brother also plays quarterback???? Most fans consider Peyton to be superior. Now we are going to have to question that assumption!!!!! OMG!!!! SIDE-BY-SIDE ANALYSIS SPONSORED BY DORITOS!!!!

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Speaking of bad housing decisions (no, this isn't another tirade about the fiends from Tri-Minnesota mortgage just because Keith Trautman is apparently doing business again... Don't go there sister), apparently houses in Rogers, MN are auctioning for pennies on the dollar.

Hmmm. That's puzzling. A non-descript exurb 90 minutes away from a moderately sized city center, and full of unsightly, hastily produced houses isn't surviving a housing slump? Next your going to tell me the condo market in Nairiobi isn't exactly flourishing.

That's okay. I am certain distance from major law enforcement outposts and proximity to several bottom-tier small-town universities with low recidivism rates won't conspire to transform Rogers into one giant meth lab. Nothing to worry about.

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Praise God for Plaxico Buress. He's black on Martin Luther King Day!!!! CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT! BLACK WIDE RECEIVERRRRRS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Argumentum ad Michigum

The other night, Michigan voted.

Now, let's take it on general principle that, whatever Michigan decides, the rest of America ought to carefully examine, at the very least. Michigan is presently in the midst of what it calls a "one state recession". Fair enough. Does anyone want to pay heed to the one state that has managed to exclude itself from national prosperity? I didn't think so.

Mitt Romney won the state by promising (if obliquely) to restore the state's economic glory by invigorating the auto industry. Unless Gov. Romney has a plan for making the Pontiac a drivable car, while simultaneously catering to the absurd demands of the UAW, he has promised a batch of lies. Michiganders, as they are wont to do, swallowed his populist tripe. Romney came promising jobs (because who wouldn't?) and the mediocre people of Michigan pulled his lever.

Well, Michigan, you pressed your luck. Enjoy your whammy.

Make no mistake, a Mitt Romney election is a coronation for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. In head-to-head polls, Romney currently runs double digit deficits against both, and a staggering 30 points behind the latter. John McCain runs neck-and-neck against both. The present media narrative casts Romney against a tidal wave of primitive "social" conservatives, who see Romney as a member of a cult.

Newsflash: The dude belongs to a religion that wears special pajamas. If Mitt Romney is not part of a cult, then there is no such thing as a cult. At least voters who have read the Old Testament can at least comprehend the occassional quirky belief, what with the Levitical codes and all. A political moderate will experience no such equivocation.

For reasons that make precisely no sense to me, the conservative establishment (The Weekly Standard excepted) has thrown it's (rabid) support behind Romney. At present, those same movement conservatives are heralding Michigan as the bellwether for political legitimacy. Perhaps Rich Lowry should pay a visit to Benton Harbor for a healthy dose of reality.

To the extent that Mitt Romney is nominally more conservative than John McCain, he deserves a fair shake in the primary process. He has not, however, earned the title of conservative purist, such that we ought to set aside all questions of electability. He certainly has not earned the right to deflect all questions regarding his more liberal political stances, as he has frequently done.

But Michigan, that least desirable of the United States, has decided that Mitt Romney is their man, at least so far as Republican candidates are concerned. The Democrats decided (conveniently) to render the Michigan primary null, on account of the state's curious effort to abscund power by pushing it's primary before Super Tuesday.

Had the Republicans done likewise, they would have preserved momentum for their frontrunner, and paved the way for an emboldened McCain to secure victory in November. Instead, they subjected themselves to the whims of the least successful state in the history of the union.

You reap what you sow, as they say. Mitt Romney has sown Michigan. What does that say about him? He remains unworthy of your vote.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fever feelings


I can certainly relate to this woman. I know that when fever and congestion hit me, I feel "SLLLOWWW". Also, I apparently begin to appear as a cross between John Edwards and the Childlike Empress. Quick words association... When I say 'slow', do you say "woman with giant head"? Well, maybe, but only because you are looking at the ad.

What, pray tell, is the woman holding in her left hand. A steel pipe? Is this woman about to do battle with the 1980s lation gang? Los Locos kick your teeth and Los Locos kick your face, but Elephant Woman has a steel bar and she's hopped up on Sudafed, so stay cool ese. She'll sting you with the left, then leverage her body to slap you with her palsied right.

I can think of any number of headlines that describe that ambiguous swollen feeling you get during a cold, so how did this one make it through the approval process?

Chaz: Krebs, I need a headline for the Sudafed people. Something snazzy... You know.
Krebs: How about "My fever and congestion makes me feel like really slow"?
Chaz: I like it. Can we spell "really slow" with five 'L's and 'W's?
Krebs: I dunno. How about three?
Chaz: That's smart thinkin', Krebs. Put everything in caps, and I'll see if we can get Samantha Morton to do a photo shoot.

Seriously, for a company trying to distance it's product from one of the largest drug epidemics in American history, this is some stiflingly bad work.

Feel free to click on Humpty-Dumpty brains and tell her exactly how you feel.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Musings

New job. No time. Shortened musings.

Number of people who have dialed OnStar and instead gotten one irritated Kevin Sawyer? 72. Did you know that OnStar is partnered with GM? Like, in a proprietary sort of way? That kind of explains a lot.

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Apparently, ratings for the Golden Globes were abysmal. I choose to look at the bright side. It was the highest rated cancelled program in history, probably. Seriously, if you want people to watch your show, don’t cancel it. This would seem obvious.

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Mosaic tiles! I dunno. Interior lighting? Somethin like that.

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My head is bleeding. I am not making this up. I’m hoping nobody notices. It’s caking onto my hair. Very European.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jobified

The national crisis is over. I have accepted a position with a manufacturer of overpriced, coquettish dolls. I will sell them on the street with the slogan "she's pretty than you, she's prettier than me, but she comes with a surprise!"

At least, this is what I assume the position to be, though I wonder why they would need to set me up with a computer and a phone. I will simply go about my business selling the 4,000 dolls I have in my garage. Would you like one? Perfect for daughter, but with a surprise!

Ah, yes... Sweet, sweet employment.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hurdy Gurdy runs for president.

"Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I open my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquillity."

-Donovan

And so, it seems, the Hurdy Gurdy man has arrived. Barack Obama, that perpetual firestorm of audacious hope, seems to have overtaken the mantel of frontrunner from one Hillary Clinton. As such, perhaps for the first time in his political career, this Hurdy Gurdy man deserves to be taken seriously.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have precious little interest in seeing the Democratic party succeed in 2008. For all its flaws, the Republican party remains the best conduit for my particular brand of conservative ideology. And as the Republican party goes, I've found my horse in this race, and he absolutely deserves your support.

However, say the tides of change are enduring. Say a Democratic president is inevitable. Hillary Clinton has an established record of reaching across party lines to ensure her electability. She will reach into that trough as often as need be, which will be often indeed. That will mean a tough stance in the Middle East and some measure of fiscal discipline. Hillary represents a continuation of an ideology that fits within the spectrum of American history. She bends toward the left, but understands that the average American is uninterested in having this nation serve as her guinea pig.

Obama sees guinea pigs at every turn. He has seen the crying of humanity, and he is here to set aside the unenlightened shadows cast. But his off the cuff, and unprepared, responses to major national security questions raise doubts among reasonable observers. He seeks to offset his incompetence (and ignorance) by inspiring his constituents. The college students of the world are gazing with tranquilty. Us older curmudgeons are unmoved.

So what is Obama's inspiration? Transcendent talk of dismissing party boundaries aside, he is a leftist. Of that, there is no question. But he has yet to hold a major policy stance to the refiner's fire of public opinion. He is an ideologue without a cause, so to speak.

His resume is often compared to that ofAbraham Lincoln. A cursory comparison gives lie to such comparisons. Lincoln, from the age of 23, (when Obama was still doing things for which he would have the opportunity to repent in his vacuous memoirs) Lincoln was taking controversial stands on pertinent matters of national policy, protesting slavery before the age of 30.

Obama has done nothing of the sort, having ushered various innocuous bills through the Illinois legislature with the sort of bipartisan support one receives when one ushers innocuous bills through any legislature. As a candidate for president, he has thus been allowed to run as a veritable third-party candidate, whose ideas (scant as they may be) are less important than some effluvial notion that he somehow represents change.

As to the question of what needs changing, and how he intends to change it, Obama doesn't seem to know. This is scary, given that Obama also happens to be blessed with a profound blend of leadership skills and charisma, and that he also happens to be running for the Presidency of the United States.

And if you challenge his authority, he is apt to call you a racist. And trust me, he will.... Eventually. For Barack Obama, the race card is not a matter of if, but when. Like teardrops from Hillary's mechanical eyeballs, he will issue it to shirk accountability at the precise moment most opportune to his ambitions. And we will all be forced to let him.

But if Hugo Chavez requests a meeting with a newly minted President Obama, will such an event be an exercise in cursory American diplomacy? Or will Obama take Chavez's wisdom and advice to heart (as his college-age supporters would assuredly have him do)? How will he deal with a sociopath like Vladimir Putin? By sprinkling a smidge of fairy-dust on his dour visage, hoping (audaciously, no less) that Putin will relent in his quest to reconstruct the former USSR, on his terms?

Hillary Clinton, for all her faults, represents a known quantity. If America could look into the future of an Obama presidency, they would reject him outright. He represents the very worst of Clintonian liberalism, without the pragmatism or the (albeit cynical) flights toward the political center. Hillary has her cards on the table. We don't like her, but at least we can read her hand. For this reason, she will be difficult for the American people to stomach.

But, like the protagonist from the Donovan song, Barack Obama has come to us with his song of love. If elected, will he be a political messiah, or a Pied Piper? From an ideological standpoint, he sits at the very precipice of the American ideological left. My fear is that this Hurdy Gurdy man might just have the temerity to roly-poly right off the cliff and take us with him, but I'm not the one he's singing to.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday Musings

Better late than never, eh? Let's roll.

I recently got a new cell phone. Since I have gotten my new cell phone, I have been called approximately 50 times by a 972 area code. I would pick up the phone, only to hear a loud screeching sound, like a fax machine on methamphetamines. The thing would even leave messages.

My agitation compelled me to finally dial the number that had been the source of my agony. It turned out to be a defunct number for OnStar, the in-car emergency service of some repute. A call to the company revealed that OnStar subscribers were automatically transferred to my cell phone in their time of peril. Hit the OnStar button, get me. Or, rather, irritate me. Repeatedly.

Suffice to say, I won't be paying to have this particular feature installed in my automobile anytime soon.

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R.T. Rybak announced his new anti-crime initiative. What does the doe-eyed dumbass propose to do now to combat the rising crime rates in our city? A youth mentoring program. Awwwww....

Meanwhile, my weekly poker game got off to a peculiar start, as the hosts forced us to immediately lock the door behind us. After a spell, they explained the situation. Seems some decidedly unmentored thugs decided to break into their neighbor's house on New Year's Eve, beating the wife and shooting the husband to death.

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The news reports suggested that the murderers may have had the wrong house. I agree. The real money is in those big houses around Lake Calhoun. Maybe if the unmentored could do us the favor of offing a couple of Pillsbury pony boys we could get have some real change in this city.

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McCain is in the lead! Nationally.... In New Hampshire. Most everywhere. The National Review has officially endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination. I am sympathetic to their arguments, but utterly convinced that a Romney nomination is the first sentence in the acceptance speech of...

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Barack Obama! Hillary Clinton threw in the towel today, breaking down and sobbing at a public campaign appearance. Did anyone see THAT coming. She totally Howard Deaned. She Deaned everywhere. I even got some Dean splattered on my sportcoat.

Who told her to cry? Why was that a good idea. I do not, for one second, believe that this woman is capable of a spontaneous emotion. So some communications-somebody thought to himself "let's have Hillary cry today." That communications-somebody is going to be a fired communications-somebody tomorrow.

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I'd say the communications-somebody who told Bill to say that he can't make Hillary younger or taller should be fired, but I have a strong suspicion that little sound bite was straight from the horse's mouth.

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So, the Golden Globes are cancelled. That's weird, and seems a curious way to rally the public behind the plight of unionized screenwriters (note to Hollywood, nobody really cares about the plight of any of you, screenwriters, sexy actors, or key grips... Seriously, nobody... Unless you're on drugs. Then we care about you immensely for some damn reason.)

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For Christmas, I got a new dartboard. It's very nice. Good call, wife. One curious feature... The dartboard insults you while you play. If you take too long, the dartboard asks "what are you waiting for?" If you miss your mark, the dartboard dismisses your ability as a player with such handy remarks as "you're all over the place".

The dartboard is wanton with sassafrass. It also hurts my feelings. I think I am going to Hillary...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Top Ten Fridays: Food Annoyances

Of late, food has made me peevish, or has run afoul of existing peeves, or has provoked peevish responses that have codified into peeves. Either way, I tire of this introduction, so here are they...

10. Special dinners - If I enjoy a restaurant, I will often sign up to receive e-mail from that restaurant. Of late, I have been inundated with information about special dinners. Usually held on a Sunday-Tuesday, these dinners feature a multi-course dinner paired with wine for anywhere from $75-125 per person. The notion that I should pay extra for the luxury of having the same chef cook for me is absurd. If restaurants want to fill their tables on a Tuesday, it would seem that a discount would be in order. How many people are getting duped by this?

9. Arby's pricing shenanigans. Every week, Arby's puts out another flyer with their weekly specials. 5 sandwiches for $6, buy a sandwich get a free pop, etc... Some of the coupons don't even make sense. This week's special is 4 Arby's melts for 5 dollars, but an adjacent coupon offers them for 99 cents. Of course, Arby's is not interested in having you use the coupons. They exist for the sole purpose of establishing a false connection between their food items and the reasonable prices attached them. In reality, a combo at Arby's will set you back like $9. It's worth it, though.

8. The existence of Taco John's. Completelu unnecessary.

7. Popcorn prices. I went to see a movie at the Regal Cinema in Brooklyn Center, and a large popcorn was $7. That is beyond all reason. People were literally walking up to the counter, eyeing the prices, and turning away. I guess times are a changing. The new Ford Focus costs $135,678, I assume.

6. Popcorn shenanigans. Note to theaters: When you offer a combo, it should save money. Even if it's only 50 cents. For crying out loud.

5. Beer shenanigans. A regular beer should be 12 oz. A tall beer should be 23 oz. If you want to make them bigger, I will not complain. But do not give me an 8 oz. cup and call it a beer. So help me, don't do it. It's not a martini. I'm not drinking it with a teaspoon.

4. Speaking of flyers, Rainbow has a special on shrimp in a bag. Fair enough, but the product boats the following, by way of yellow starboom thingy: "Farm Raised in Thailand". Normally, that's the sort if caveat that is announced in 2 font, accompanied by asterisks. In this case, it's the products best attribute. Don't all rush to get it at once.

3. Women's willingness to pay any dollar amount for something they like (see: weddings). Take Chai Tea. I don't know what is in Chai tea (is Chai itself an ingredient? Is there like a Chaiberry bush?) but I do know there is no way it is worth $4 a box. But women drink it, so they can charge whatever they want. Ditto anything with the word "smart" in the title.

2. The Sonic persists in advertising to me constantly, even though there is not a store in my state, much less my area. That's more of a curiosity. I don't have any real interest in their latest slushy incarnation, and this hardly merits the number two spot on the list. So instead of renumbering everything, I am going to become disproportionately outraged by this. I hate you, Sonic.

1. The notion that I am suppose to wait my tipstaff irrespective of whether they have done their job. As a result, virtually no waitstaff any longer do their job. We've removed any and all incentive for waiters and waitresses to be competent, or for restaurants to employ competent staff. (1a) The fact that someone who was once a waiter will inevitable post in the comment section about how hard it is to be a waiter, thus initiating the most predictable stalemate of a discussion of all time. Well, maybe that won't happen now, since I mentioned it already...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My attempt at an e-mail forward

If the only tool in your possession

Is a hammer

Everyone and everything

Looks like a nail

If the only tool in your possession

Is bemusement

Everyone and everything

Looks like a trifle


If the only tool in your possession

Is the chip on you shoulder

Everyone and everything

Looks like condescension

If the only tool in your possession

Is friendship

Everyone and everything

Looks like an ally

If the only tool in your possession

Is cynicism

Everyone and everything

Looks like a bogeyman

If the only tool in your possession

Is blogging

Everyone and everything

Looks like a news item

If the only tool in your possession

Is discernment

Everyone and everything

Looks like it can be solved

If the only tool in your possession

Is elation

Everyone and everything

Looks like a party

If your toolkit is fill

And you are well prepared

Everyone and everything

Looks like a tool

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Recap and Predictions

Wow, 2007 sure flew by, didn't it? Wasn't that a nice, homey way to introduce a throwaway post? Today, I give you my top ten notable events from 2007, and ten predictions for 2008.

Notable events from 2007.

1. The Iraqi surge has been dubbed a success far before it has actually become one. Nonetheless, it has given the American populace reason to treat the situation in Iraq with the patience it deserves. It (along with the TPWK endorsement) has also reversed the political fortunes of one John McCain, who has won me over in spite of (and, perhaps, because of) his political sharkiness. The arbitrary partisan lines that had been drawn around this war are fading, and America is no longer viewing the war on terror as a referendum on President Bush. That is a good thing.

Prediction: The improvement continues, and McCain (if he is nominated) or Hillary (if he is not) take the presidency on a hawkish platform.

2. I (and a few other folks from my church) became a small part of the housing crisis, as millions of people lost their homes to foreclosure thanks to shady mortgage lenders like, you know who...

Prediction: "You know who" gets 2-4 years in "you know where". I stop blogging about the issue forever, but will get invited out for lunch nonetheless.

3. Movies made a come back. "No Country for Old Men" is a masterpiece of contemporary cinema. "Juno" is a delight. Judd Apatow has changed the rules for summer blockbusters (they have to be entertaining now, as opposed to merely insipid). Preachy liberal movies tanked both critically and commercially, and I am excited to go to the movies for the first time in ages.

Prediction: Will Ferell makes the same movie he's made 23 times now, Nicholas Cage stars in unwatchable dreck, and Hollywood tries to cash in on the Apatow craze by dropping three dozen movies on us that succeed in being vulgar. I mock the first person who tells me "I saw the knew John Heder movie, and it wasn't very good."

4. Islam continued to do its thing.

Prediction: Islam will continue to do its thing.

5. LeBron James dropped 29 consecutive points for the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading them to victory over the Detroit Pistons in game five of the 2007 Eastern conference finals on the most depressing night of my year.

Prediction: Kevin Garnett " " " " " " Boston Celtics, " " " " " " " " " " " " " 2008 " " " " " " " " " " " ".

6. Men continued to wear form fitting clothing. Seriously, aren't we due for a change. I mean, we had the thing where gay people told us what to wear (not that gay people can't be men too, you know what I mean) and we had the thing where Jimmy Fallon dictated fashion to us for some reason. I want Brett Favre to retire and start a clothing line so that I can finally stop tussling my hair and seeing my nipples through my t-shirt. Seriously, unconfortable clothing is for chicks. Dudes unite.

Prediction: Brett Favre doesn't retire. Dudes don't unite. I spend $17 on spray wax. My wife approves.

7. Tech boom!

Prediction: Tech bust.

8. Mike Huckabee!

Prediction: Joel Osteen!

9. The Writers Guild strike failed to generate any momentum, though it did force several Late Night talk shows to go into reruns. I can't imagine that anyone noticed, considering that Letterman and Leno have become so nauseatingly formulaic that they have ceased to be relevant to anyone under the age of 60.

Prediction: Conan comes back tonight, sans writing team, which will be the most entertaining television in a very, very long time. Leno sucks.

10. Second crappiest year of my life.

Prediction: Seventh best year of my life.