Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Notification From Department (Police)

It says something about my conscience, I suppose, that when I saw that subject line in my inbox this morning, my overly-caffeinated heart momentarily tried to leap from its cavity. See I watched My Name Is Earl this year and I've learned about Karma. Previously I thought karma only affected chameleons. I believe it was the Bard who said, It comes and goes, it comes and go-e-oh-oes.

But a few weeks ago, I was convinced karma had finally caught up with me in the form of jack-booted state trooper, despite the fact that I was speeding like an Andretti-on-crack trying to avoid it. I admit I've been very very very very very very lucky over the years concerning my inability to drive the speed limit. I'd been pulled over but once in all my driving years and only through extreme good luck and a car-load of short-skirted women was I able to avoid getting the ticket. But when I saw the mean reds flashing behind me on a recent excursion, I thought to myself, "Well, good for you copper! It's been a long time coming." I didn't cry, I didn't lift my shirt, I just responded to the "Do you know why you've been pulled over, Ma'am?" question with a nod of the head and a big smile.

And then something amazing happened. The state trooper nodded back at me, told me I'd been clocked doing 25 miles over the speed limit (quite a relief!), then instructed me to have a nice day and be on my way.

So you see, when I saw the "Notification From Department (Police)" message in my e-mail box, I immediately thought to myself, what went around has now come around.

Imagine my disgust then when while reading through this missive that I learned: "You have been sent this email notification from the Department of Intellectual Property and Informational Technologies." Clearly this was naught but misdirected junk since obviously I'm in possession of no discernible intellectual property whatsoever. The letter went on to say that my hotmail address was currently under suspicion of false financial activities and "We earnestly ask you to complete all the fields in the attached document and send it by fax (04 498-7400) or by e-mail so that we may eliminate you from our investigation."

But the best part of this (Police) message, was the sign off at the bottom. Instead of using I dunno, "Sincerely," the man from the Department of Intellectual Property and Informational Technologies, says, "Yours faithfully."

Mine faithfully? No one ever has EVER been mine faithfully... And then the kicker, he signs it "Michael Lucky Tuluona." Lucky indeed! As in, what kind of dumb luck would he have to have if someone were actually to respond to this? Then again, perhaps it's just another manifestation of karma. Perhaps I should fill out the forn, get my bank account drained and repay my debt, especially considering the fact that me and my lead foot will be hitting the roads again very shortly.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ready For Their Close Ups?

I'm beginning to think twins are no longer just the provenance of Doublemint commercials, Devito/Schwarzenegger films and all the Grups in my neighborhood. Check out the folks in these photos (at least 1/2 the pair was seen in the yesterday's NYTimes) and tell me they haven't been separated at birth:

On the left h'oil heir Brandon Davis, the lovely young gentleman who, to curry favor with a certain classy dame named Paris, besmirched La Lohan by calling her a "firecrotch." On the right, actor Charles Laughton, in "The Sign of the Cross" playing Nero, the man who fiddled as Rome burned.

On the left, we find Reverend Jerry Falwell .(And if we may--a moment of self-congratulation here--we're certain to be the FIRST to have ever written that sentence!) On the right, Deputy Dawg, the bloated cartoon figure who believes he represents the will of the people and can thereby interpret the law.

On the left, actor Ron Perlman in "Desperation," on the right, actor Ted Danson in Hollywood. Same same.

What seems most amazing is that not only do these people physically resemble one another, each also appears to have a deeper connection to his doppelganger.

Am I implying that rich trash is emblematic/a cause of the fall of an empire? Am I suggesting that exhuming old stars and placing them in sitcom retreads is a desperate act among the Networkeratti? Do I mean to intone that Jerry Falwell is no more credible than a caricature? Well, regardless of what John McCain now wants us to believe, perhaps it is best to let these disturbing images speak for themselves.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

One of These Things...

Take a gander at the photo from this week's New York magazine's LOOK BOOK feature. Yeah, yeah, I know, terrifying, but don't turn away: there's a secret hidden in this picture! How oh-so-very Da Vinci Code, no? And I doubt even the editors at NEW YORK realize what they've gotten here. So in honor of Tom Hanks's follicular debacle, look and see if you can divine this picture's most interesting element:

Whaddya say? Think it's dog walker Suzanne's intense Whoopi Goldberg-meets-Morticia Addams-cum-George Clinton fright wig? It's a good guess, but really, you can find that hair on any suburban runaway who'll be littering the streets of NYC come summertime.

Maybe you're thinking, "Holy shit, it's Spuds MacKenzie! Dude, I'd heard he'd died in the eighties when someone fed him Pop Rockets and Pepsi." Wrong! That was just a urban legend, you goose! Both he and Mikey are living together in perfect harmony on a farm in Montana.

Oh, now you're checking out the blue bra on the cutesie white dog, aren't you? Well quit it, you perv! We'll have none of that man-on-dog action here. We leave that sort of thinking to the Republicans.

Give up? Well, that outfit you have on would certainly imply it...

S'okay, I'll tell you, but as I say, it's a secret, a secret that could rock... whatever. I have it on very good authority (mine own eyes--I see Suzanne regularly walking around my 'hood) that the pretty little dog in the foreground--yes, the one that looks like Charlotte's from Sex And the City--is actually the pup of Middle Earth PrincessLiv Tyler and house husbandRoyston "Don't Call Me K-Fed" Langdon.

Fascinating, huh? Okay, yeah, I know, outing celebrity doggies does not a big scoop make, but dollars to donuts if this nugget gets out, next thing you know, be-dreadlocked Suzanne will be bumping Oprah's Dog Whisperer off the best seller list in no time.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Check out Renée!

Quick like a bunny, click this link: The Food Section because our very own ex-Ithacan Kaplan is now guest blogging for this fantastic foodie website and her first post is up today.

The Food Section editor, Josh Friedland, has given our girl quite the warm introductory welcome and with her excellent post (that manages to explain this weird and somewhat disturbing graphic), she's already done him and us proud!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

How Low Can He Go?

It's not just me: seems a big, giant majority of the country is now hatin' on the president. And while it's somewhat gratifying to know that even the nincompoops who put him in office are finally experiencing sickeningly sour feelings of remorse and regret, the "holy crap, how'd I wind up here?" hangover--you know, the one that makes you swear you'll finally stop mixing copious amounts of alcohol and OxyContin for good, or, at least until next time--I find it still somewhat of hollow "told ya so" victory.

Really, how can I take pleasure in the fact that now 61% of Americans think going to war in Iraq was a BAD FUCKING IDEA? And there's no joy in knowing that 2/3 of the country has "little to no confidence" that Bush can successfully end it. Regardless of his staff "shake up"--you know the shake up, the one in which Bush loyalists were replaced by Bush loyalists (who else kept getting the shark tooth visual?)--we Americans are now questioning the way he's handled the issues at the top of his agenda. A mere 13% approve of Bush's handling of rising gasoline prices. About 25% said they think he's doing a fine job on the suject of immigration. Know what that means? It means 87% think he handled the gas hike poorly and 75% think he ain't got a clue on the way to deal with immigrants.

But since I can't/don't want to gloat about this, I've kinda been feeling at a loss for how to channel my rage properly at this point. Fortunately, a really cool woman I work with sent me this link to an online videogame she worked on. (Gina Zdanowicz did all the sound and music for it.) It's a game I believe most good lefties seeking (harmless) vengeance will be able to take pleasure in.

Check it out: Capital Collision

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Big Week for Books

I know you know tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the release of the modern classic, SHAKING HER ASSETS. And, if you're like us, you're planning a major celebration to honor the book and authors because of the impact it's had on your life. So you know what? You should feel free to go ahead and buy yourselves several new copies because we have it on fairly good authority that those folks who own at least 15 volumes get a free pass into heaven whenever the time comes.

But this week is not just about lauding the literary efforts of R&R. As it turns out, we have several very good, amazingly sharp friends who have NEW books out, and we SERIOUSLY recommend that you buy them.

Matter of fact, out today (May 2nd!) is PUG HILL, the second novel by the tremendously talented AlisonPace. Ali, as you might recall, wrote IF ANDY WARHOL HAD A GIRLFRIEND, an excellent & fun read last year. But this new one, PUG HILL, is not only a worthy follow-up, it's a cool, clever story the critics are raving about. In fact, one set of critics had this to say: Pitch-perfect and deftly written, Pug Hill is a funny, charming and touching novel. Well, we couldn't agree more if we'd said it ourselves, which, in fact, we did. Here's a quick summary:
For Hope McNeill, pugs are love, unconditional friendship, happiness, and freedom-all qualities currently in short supply in her own life. Though she doesn't have a pug of her own, she does have Pug Hill in Central Park, where pugs (and their owners) from all over New York City convene.

She also has a serious crush on one of her co-workers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a flailing relationship with her squash-playing, cold-weather-loving boyfriend, and an unspeakable fear of public speaking. When Hope's father calls with a daunting assignment--to make a speech at her parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary party--Hope is completely taken off guard. As a last resort, she signs up for a public speaking class, but can’t help wondering, will it be enough?

Some fears are so big that even all the pugs in the world might not be enough...

Also out today is our friend Gary Shteyngart's novel, ABSURDISTAN. Don't know if you caught the GIANT, GORGEOUS, GLOWING review in this Sunday's Times Book Review, but in addition to featuring a life-sized version of Garry's head on the cover, Walter Kirn lavished on him praise befitting the person who cures cancer. The review starts out thusly: "Why praise it first? Just quote from it — at random. Just unbutton its shirt and let it bare its chest. Like a victorious wrestler, this novel is so immodestly vigorous, so burstingly sure of its barbaric excellence, that simply by breathing, sweating and standing upright it exalts itself." As unfathomable as it is to believe, the review only gets BETTER from there.

And last but certainly not least, the stupendously gifted Shari Goldhagen also has a book that just came out, FAMILY AND OTHER ACCIDENTS. Shari, too, got reviewed in Sunday's Times (it was a very proud day here!), and for her first novel, she got this praise: "... In exploring the tug of war between desire and family duty, she concentrates mainly on domestic details and interior lives. But she covers the familiar terrain with vitality — this is real life with snappier dialogue — and as the points of view expand to encompass the brothers' wives and children, her book reminds you that simply paying attention is one of the things literature can do best." Ha-cha! Nice no?!! Yes! And having had the privilege of reading this book a little early myself, I can honestly report that I, too, was blown away.

Bottom line: We are seriously proud of our friends and hope their books prove as incredibly successful as they deserve to be. So quit wasting precious time -- link through to make some purchases! We know you love great writing, after all, you're reading this blog, aren't you?

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