Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm Smaaht!

Sleep with the fishes, Alberto "Fredo" Gonzales.

It's hard to imagine an attorney general doing more to damage the Constitution, separation of powers and rule of law in our country. Here's a man who never really left his job as White House counsel, preferring to gut the Justice Department than say no to Karl Rove or George Bush. A man who signed a memo authorizing torture that he didn't even write. A man who either authorized or happily turned the other way when eight or nine U.S. attorneys were fired prior to an election because they chose to uphold their oaths of office instead of following Republican marching orders.
A man who lied to Congress and whose only defense was basically "I'm completely incompetent, so I can't be blamed for wrongdoing."

See ya, later Gonzo. I'm sure George will be happy to find you another cushy job that hopefully won't destroy too many of our nation's institutions and values.

Couldn't Agree With You More

By TPerl

Oh. My. God.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kermit the Forg

Because it's just not easy being green. And I'm still waiting for my Bones the Blogger T-shirt to come in.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dearly Beloved

They say a wedding is not a marriage. And by the way some of us get married, that's probably a good thing.

Now, I'm still officially single, though happily girlfriended. Most of my friends are married with kids and dogs and mortgages and arguments about poker night. My girl is seven years younger than me, which helps alleviate any immediate pressure to run and hire a cocktail hour flutist or begin matching flatware with doilies.

But two weeks ago, we attended the wedding of two of her college friends in Vancouver, overlooking Coal Harbor and snow-capped mountains. And -- inexperienced with these affairs as she had been -- she began to look with fresh eyes at the strange ritual of wedding ceremonies.

It probably had something to do with the strange wedding officiant. She was perfectly pleasant -- smiling and serene. Then she started in with the shtick.

As a Jewish man, I'm quite familiar with the folksy wit and wisdom of a mugging rabbi with a captive audience. It's no coincidence that so many comedians come from the same tribe. But it's one thing to watch Jon Stewart yuck it up with Joe Biden on TV and another thing to have your wedding presided over by a secular Shecky Greene.

She cracked jokes about how they met and where they went on their first date (Wendy's, ha-ha). She tossed shout-outs to distinguished members of the crowd and coached us for some climactic audience participation. She was the center of attention, and all that was missing was a brick wall and a two-drink minimum.

But she didn't spoil the moment, as no one really could when all that really matters is the public declaration of love and commitment between two people.

My girlfriend's mother got married in May to her long-time, often-long-distance Brazilian boyfriend in a utilitarian civil ceremony at the Lake County courthouse in Illinois. They went by themselves, signed some papers and were handed brochures on safe sex.

A friend of mine got married in a Pennsylvania arboretum, incorporating a poetic statement of oneness by ""Babylon 5'' writer J. Michael Straczynski, a song written by Nigerian-born musician Sade Adu, and an Apache blessing into a ceremony that only mentioned God once in passing.

A Jewish friend of mine got married to his Irish-Catholic wife by a rabbi and a priest. And though I'm still not sure how these religions are compatible (Jesus being the particular divine fly in the holy ointment), there was something touching and inclusive about the irrationality of it all.

I had a similar revelation a year or so later at the wedding between an Irish friend and his Italian wife, where many of his Jewish friends instigated a completely random Klezmer hora, dancing in circles to "Hava Nagila" and lifting the bride and groom high above the befuddled faces of grandparents.

When I was in Thailand, dozens of scuba-diving couples -- mostly Westerners -- married on Valentine's Day, submerged beneath the Andaman Sea.

And a friend's wife's cousins just got married in spacesuits by a man wearing a Dracula cape and Elvis goggles whom they met while waiting on line to buy the new Harry Potter book.

I'm not sure what lesson to draw from all of this. I've known people who have spent upwards of $100,000 on the pomp surrounding the first six hours of their marriage. I guess it's obvious to say people should enjoy the moment, but focus more on the shared remainder of their lifetime.

And date 25-year-olds who are happy to wait a little while.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Worst. Addiction. Ever.

By TPerl

I guess this happens when you have no life outside of work and kids. I've been into collecting since I was a kid, mostly with baseball cards. But I never really went overboard with having the "ultimate collection".

But now it seems as if I'm more easily conned into being the guy who, as the ads always command, "collects them all!". Two cases in point:

1) Burger King Simpsons Figures - My wife and I have been buying nothing but kids meals now whenever we go to BK, which now has become a twice-a-week event since these toys came out. We have all but four of them, as shown in the chart below. Of course, being the collector-geek that I am, all of them are still in the protective plastic - the kids only get one if it's a double of one we already have. Notice that we were lucky enough to have gotten the "Limited Edition Golden Homer" - Woohoo!

It looks like they've now stopped the promotion. So if anyone is also collecting these, I have extras (also in the original plastic) that I can trade for the ones I need. Let me know.

2) Pixar's Cars Movie diecast cars:
The movie was released over a year ago, and yet they're still releasing new toys from the movie. The most popular are the diecast Matchbox Car-like recreations of the characters in the movie. What started out as getting a couple for my son's upcoming birthday turned into a quest to have every damn one of these things, including the 8 (!!!) different variations of the main character, Lightning McQueen -see below.

They even have cars for all the scenes that ran during the credits, which were recreations of scenes from past Pixar movies with all the characters "Cars-ized". So yes, I have the Woody, Buzz, and Hamm cars from Toy Story as well as Mike and Sully cars from Monsters, Inc. (and the abominable snowman just came out and seems to be a tough one to find, dammit!).

And now I have to get a replacement for Sarge due to the lead paint recall.

Is it time for an intervention yet?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

He's out! No wait - Safe!

By TPerl

RIP Phil Rizzuto, who died today at age 89. I definitely took for granted how great it was listening to Scooter in the broadcast booth - reading all those birthdays, talking about cannolis, and never shy about how anxious he was to leave early so he can beat the traffic over the GWB.

There was a great series of clips that WPIX ran as a tribute during Scooter's last year in the booth - I wish I could find it. But the best I could find was 3 different links here - click on each of the 3 "Rizzuto's Memorable Broadcasts..." links - great stuff.

Are We In Calgary Yet?

I missed the blogportunity to celebrate Jerry Garcia's birthday last week while caught up in preparations for my trip to Vancouver and Seattle. He would have reached the happy retirement age of 65 on Aug. 1, if only he didn't spend most of his life as an obese heroin addict.

And yet Karl Rove lives on, slinking away from Washington secure in his role as one of the most destructive forces in the country, guaranteed to earn millions on the lecture circuit and certain from the sidelines to toss turd blossoms all over the 2008 election. Sigh.

But because I feel no joy in his departure (for the damage is done, and done well), and because I so love and miss Rick Danko as well -- here's a clip tribute to good times, good friends, free-flowing alcohol and train rides through Canada in 1970.

Ain't no more cane on the Brazos. It's all been ground down to molasses.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ebert Victorious

So read the Onion's headline after the death of Gene Siskel in 1999. And now you can revisit over 5,000 reviews from "At the Movies" at a new online archive. Sadly, although the show began in 1975, the show's producers only started saving video of the episodes when Buena Vista took over in 1985. But that still leaves many classic encounters between "the fat guy" and "the bald guy" to satisfy my nostalgia.
Almost as entertaining as this insight into their relationship during the taping of this promo.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Commuter Rants

By TPerl

Rant #1:
So I'm sitting on the NJ Transit train going home from work yesterday. It's 90+ degrees, hot and humid, and I'm in my usual suit and tie. I have my iPod on and I'm holding my monthly train pass out for whenever the conductor comes by while I read my Blackberry. I also need to point out that my train pass says "ORANGE" since that's the name of my station stop. I'm hot, sweaty, and just trying to listen to some music before I get home and have to switch into Daddy mode and help with the kids. So then the conductor passes by and I finally realize that he is trying to say something to me - so I take my headphones off...

"You going to Orange?"

[Now if you were paying any attention to all the exposition above, the response I should have given is:]

"Yeah, fucknuts, I'm going to Orange! That's why my fucking train pass says 'ORANGE' asshole. Couldn't figure that one out on your own, huh? Or are you worried I'm trying to slip one by you, cause I'm really going all the way to Dover and I was gonna cheat the Port Authority out of an extra 5 bucks? Well, way to go, Columbo - you fucking nailed me. Bravo. How you ended up a fucking conductor for New Jersey Transit, and not director of Homeland Security is beyond me. Osama better look over both shoulders now that Conductor Joe is here to save the world from deadbeats like me."

[Instead I just said:]

(in timid, child-like whisper) "Yeah. The train does stop there, right?" (Please don't hurt me, Mr. Conductor)

Rant #2:
Sticking with the train, this week my train home has started making the following announcement as people are boarding:

"This train does NOT make the following stops..."

And then proceeds to rattle off about a dozen stops. Now anyone boarding the train midway through this little announcement is going to be confused as shit. And you'd think they'd annouce which stops they DO make right after this idiotic speech? But no. I think they just like to fuck with us.

Rant #3:
To all tourists visiting New York: Welcome to our great city, and have a wonderful stay. But if you're walking through Midtown during rush hour, DO NOT FUCKING STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK! Or worse, suddenly decide you need to turn completely around and go in the opposite direction without warning. The next one of you who does this in front of me while I'm speed-walking to catch my train will get a forearm to your nose, right through your fucking sinuses. You've been forewarned. That is all.

Rant #4:
There are the homeless people I pass on my way to work that everyone obviously avoids, and I don't blame them. But there's one woman who sits on the same corner every morning with her little cardboard sign, her little dog, and her pity cup, and she constantly has people stopping to chat with her . And not just a quick "Hello" or anything, it's like they're fucking long lost buddies or something. If she's that fucking charming, why don't you give her a fucking job! Then you can talk to her all day and she won't need to beg anymore - kill two birds! I'm not trying to be insensitive here, I just don't get it is all.

But I'll finish up here on a positive note - you still can't beat the people-watching experience that is Midtown on a hot summer day. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you're obviously not a guy. Or you're gay.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Bronx is Booming

By TPerl

[Author's Note: Now that Bones is away, I am free to talk baseball without incurring his wrath]

I admit it. It happened a week or so before the All Star Game. For the first time in almost 15 years, I gave up on the Yankees.

The starters were bad, the bullpen was even worse, and to say the lineup was underachieving would be a huge understatement.

But I kept watching the games, and sometime around July 1st, it seemed that something clicked, and they started winning. Guys like Cano, Abreu, and Cabrera started hitting, and then Shelley Duncan provided another lift, and Vizcaino continued his emergence as the eighth inning guy. And maybe it's all the attention that the '77 team is getting these days. Or maybe it was just Torre's calming influence infusing the club with the confidence they needed to play to their abilities and make a run.

Whatever is was, I now have to admit that I've done a total 180 and now expect the Yanks to make the playoffs, and at least make it interesting in the division. So go ahead and call me out for it, but I'm sure I wasn't alone among the diehards 5 weeks ago.

And with Phil Hughes coming back and last night's promising debut of Joba Chamberlain, the future looks bright indeed.

Let's take a look to see how far the team has come since July 1st:

In the Wildcard race:

And the division:

If you're counting that's a 24-9 run. And I know that it's almost impossible to keep up that pace, but it's setting the table for this team to play well down the stretch due to their increased confidence.

So let's hope I'm not talking about a complete 360 come September...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Outta Heeeere

Gonna be gone for a week to the Pacific Northwest. So all you rabid Rolling Boners will just have to hang tight while T.P. Erl holds down the fort in my absence. May you all indulge in many rutabagas and bathe in only the finest sarsaparilla.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The New Wrinkly Face of the WSJ

Now that he's bought the Wall Street Journal, perhaps Rupert Murdoch can buy some kind of dredging implement to dig out all the stuff he's lost over the years from between his cavernous facial crevices.