Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Liveblogging the SOTU

9:02 Open new bottle of tequila and pour a tall one

9:04 More tequila

9:12 More tequillaa

9:23 I couldd realy use more tequila


9:34 Where the jhell is thet other botle of tequeila

9:39 ;aal;akdaj;sjlllllllllssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

The First Annual TVB State of the Union Drinking Game

When the president starts speaking, open a bottle of tequila and start drinking. Continue drinking until he finishes.

Yeah, it's not much of a game, but it's probably the best way to get through it.

Why can't I get rid of the extra 20 pounds I'm carrying?

Too much chocolate? Overlarge portions? No, it's a virus.

Thank God it's not my fault.

Monday, January 30, 2006

If sock monkeys gave State of the Union addresses

To renew America, we must be bold. We must do what no generation has had to do before. We must invest more in our own people, in their jobs, and in their future, and at the same time cut our massive debt. And we must do so in a world in which we must compete for every opportunity. It will not be easy. It will require sacrifice, but it can be done and done fairly, not choosing sacrifice for its own sake but for our own sake. We must provide for our Nation the way a family provides for its children.

Now, give me that banana.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Quotation of the day

Interesting story in the Times today about how much we've screwed up Haiti, which features one of the most flabbergasting lies I've ever seen in print. In brief, former ambassador to Haiti Brian Dean Curran says the Bush White House actively supported a conservative group, the International Republican Institute, which somehow or other got taxpayer money, to actively go against official U.S. policy in Haiti. It's truly a bizarre story.

Anyway, Curran loudly and repeatedly complained to his superiors, but got no support. As IRI successfully worked to oust Aristide, Haiti's president, the country descended into chaos. The Times asked Curran's former boss, Otto Reich, for comment:

"He [Curran] never expressed any problems with [IRI leader] Stanley Lucas to me, and I was his boss," Mr. Reich said. Asked why his name showed up on cables as having received Mr. Curran's complaints, and why Mr. Curran's cables detailed discussions with him, Mr. Reich replied: "I have absolutely no recollection of that. I'm not questioning it, I just have no recollection of that."

Mr. Reich went on to say that he had no idea what year it was or where he lived, and had trouble tying his shoes. He added that he could in no way to tell the difference between his ass and his elbow. He concluded the interview by wandering out into traffic without looking.

Ugh. We can do better, people. We really can.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Signs heart-warming bestseller Marley and Me was secretly ghostwritten by James Frey

The New York Times: "Belatedly, a Bad Dog Finds His Niche: Selling Books"

--Dog Marley was actually based on writer's housekeeper, Rosa
--No dog has ever been elected president
--Dogs are not allowed to get drivers' licenses in the state of New York
--NASA has not used astronaut dogs in many years
--Marley not really related to reggae superstar Bob Marley
--No proof that dogs have ever successfully performed brain surgery

Poetry Corner: "Make the Pie Higher!"

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!
--George W. Bush

(From Snopes, obviously. Pointed out to me by God Is My Codependent.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Smackdown!: Alito vs. Mojito

Deadlines, deadlines. While I muddle through the day, sit back, relax, and enjoy this entry from Dec. 5. Hey, it's still relevant!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Samuel Alito

Pros: While President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court was a student at Princeton, he helped lead a conference on privacy and said: "No private sexual act between consenting adults should be forbidden."

Cons: If appointed to the Supreme Court, thought to be the most far-right-wing Justice ever. Likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Mojito

Pros: Likely to spur the initiation of private sexual acts between consenting adults. Also, it's very refreshing.

Cons: Too many, and you might actually need the protection of Roe v. Wade.

Winner: Mojito--did I mention it's very refreshing?

Recipe for a mojito:

3 parts light-dry rum
12 yerba buena or mint leaves
1/2 lime
2 dashes bitters
simple syrup (can be made at home with equal parts sugar and water, boiled)
crushed ice

The mint leaves should be crushed with a mortar and pestle. Mix everything together and serve.

Information on Alito and recipe for mojito courtesy Wikpedia.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Surprising things I have in common with Cameron Diaz

--Chosen by Empire magazine as two of the "100 Sexiest Stars" in film history. [1995]

--Chosen by People Magazine as two of the "50 Most Beautiful" people in the world. [1998]

--Started working as models at 16.

--Got alcohol poisoning in Australia at age 18.

--Were members of the Polyettes at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, which was the school's dance team that performed during half-time at football games.

--Were discovered by a photographer at a Hollywood party who, within a week, helped them land contracts with the Elite Modeling Agency.

--Will ONLY wash their faces in Evian spring water!

--Have older sisters named Chimene.

--Measurements: 34B-23-36 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).

--Photographer John Rutter was ordered to stand trial for attempted extortion, attempted grand theft, perjury, and forgery after trying to blackmail them with topless shots he had of them from a 1992 shoot. [20 November 2003]

--Good friends with Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu since "Charlie's Angels" (2000)

--Lived with Matt Dillon for some years in the '90s

--Were considered for the role of Dorothy Boyd in "Jerry Maguire" (1996).

Seriously, that's spooky.

Info from IMDb.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Smackdown: Jan. 23 vs. Jan. 24 as worst day of the year

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Jan. 23 is the worst day of the year.

MSNBC: No, you idiot, Jan. 24 is the worst day of the year.

Honestly, I think they both suck.

But it appears that MSNBC thinks Jan. 24 is Monday, so I'm declaring the real Monday, Jan. 23, as winner by default.

(AJC link via Meanderings in Hickville. MSNBC link via Gawker.)


In preparation for a "If sock monkeys made State of the Union addresses" post that I now probably won't write, I was doing a little research and found a site that gathers together all of the SOTU speeches. It's here, and it's quite fascinating.

Here's how Pres. Clinton's final address, from 2000, starts:
We are fortunate to be alive at this moment in history. Never before has our Nation enjoyed, at once, so much prosperity and social progress with so little internal crisis and so few external threats. Never before have we had such a blessed opportunity and, therefore, such a profound obligation to build the more perfect Union of our Founders' dreams.

We begin the new century with over 20 million new jobs; the fastest economic growth in more than 30 years; the lowest unemployment rates in 30 years; the lowest poverty rates in 20 years; the lowest African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates on record; the first back-to-back surpluses in 42 years; and next month, America will achieve the longest period of economic growth in our entire history. We have built a new economy.

And our economic revolution has been matched by a revival of the American spirit: crime down by 20 percent, to its lowest level in 25 years; teen births down 7 years in a row; adoptions up by 30 percent; welfare rolls cut in half, to their lowest levels in 30 years.

My fellow Americans, the state of our Union is the strongest it has ever been.

Oh, how things change in five years.

God, I'm depressed...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hello, Hollywood!

Former pro basketball player Paul Shirley's blog "My So-Called NBA Career" has spawned a half-hour comedy pilot at Fox.

Written by Dan Fogelman ("Like Family"), "The 12th Man" is inspired by Shirley's blog on ESPN.com. Single-camera project would revolve around a pro basketball player who's not quite good enough to get much court time -- and feels marginalized as a result.

Cast: The Velvet Blog: The TV Series
About Me section ... Enrico Caruso
Blog links, etc. ... Dakota Fanning
Archives ... Bea Arthur
Site Meter logo ... Gary Coleman
Dick Cheney ... Satan
Flag-If-Offensive button ... Dick Cheney

Personal hygiene alert!

Someone is in the last stall of the third-floor men's room, presumably taking a poop--while simultaneously using an electric shaver.

I find this deeply disturbing.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Even more photoblogging

Image hosting by Photobucket
From my, um, more abstract period. Not sure why I like this one so much, but I do.

Seriously ... who the hell are you?

Oh, I know who the usual commenters are, but I get regular hits from a few places (the University of Baltimore, St. Paul, Montreal, and--and this one's surprising--Singapore) that are still a mystery to me. If you haven't said hello, please do.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Search me (yet again): The pre-emptive strike edition

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to compel Google, the Internet search giant, to turn over records on millions of its users' search queries as part of the government's effort to uphold an online pornography law.

Google has been refusing the request since a subpoena was first issued last August, even as three of its competitors agreed to provide information, according to court documents made public this week.
--The New York Times

Search terms used to find The Velvet Blog this week:
--is jim o'connor of food network gay?*
--monica lewinsky
--count chocula
--isolde name pronunciation
--simpsons toast points
--hannity idiot

Nothing too porny, thank goodness. (Well, the Lewinsky search was for an image, so who knows...)

*He does seem quite happy, yes.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


My dog, Freddie, recently gave up blogging. God is My Codependent, proprietor of the Ten-Foot Poll, wrote this parting poem for him, and I thought it was too good not to share here:
O Freddie, with thy fervent "Ruff"
Whose postings without canine peer
And links to lots of doggie stuff
Went barking through the blogosphere;
O Freddie, down upon all fours
I beg you not to leave us now!
Can spammers and such blogging whores
Deprive us of your sweet bow-wow?
Do not defer your thoughtful ways!
You could not live with such deferral
You could not hope to fill your days
With fetching ball or chasing squirrel
O searching for what holy grail
Has made you suddenly turn tail?

Freddie is fine, BTW. He just has a short attention span.

Why Alito should not be confirmed

Read this all the way to the last sentence:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

From a student newspaper at Purdue University.

(Via the Regret The Error, a blog focused on newspaper and magazine corrections.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Quiz over

"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

This quote comes from Richard Nixon, in an interview he gave to David Frost. An interesting read, actually. The megalomania is astounding--and oh so reminiscent of another president I could name...

For the record, Nixon has never stood in front of me on line at the deli counter.

PS: Yes, you can tell I'm from New York/Long Island by the fact I say "on line" instead of "in line."

Quiz: Who said this?

"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Was it:

A) George W. Bush
B) Sean Hannity
C) Ann Coulter
D) Laura Bush
E) Richard Nixon
F) Idiot on line in front of me at the deli counter

Being sick sucks

Quick--someone tell me what the symptoms of bird flu are...

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

(For illustrative purposes only--this is not actually me.)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

If sock monkeys were Freudian psychoanalysts

We have already asserted elsewhere that dreams which are conspicuously innocent invariably embody coarse erotic wishes, and we might confirm this by means of numerous fresh examples. But many dreams which appear indifferent, and which would never be suspected of any particular significance, can be traced back, after analysis, to unmistakably sexual wish-feelings, which are often of an unexpected nature.

Now, give me that banana.

Friday, January 13, 2006

You say Ee-sold, I say Ee-sold-uh

Seriously, now--why make a big-budget Hollywood movie about a story people have been telling for centuries and then MISPRONOUNCE THE NAME OF ONE OF THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS? Every time I hear the ad for this movie, I cringe.

"I think it's better if we don't bother with names," Isolde says in the trailer. Well, yes--that might be a good idea.

It's not just the narrator of the trailer, either. The film was reviewed by Kenneth Turan on NPR's "All Things Considered" this morning, and Isolde was mispronounced in clips, too. Especially odd was that Turan said the name correctly, and liked the movie, but never commented on the way the heroine's name was pronounced.

Say it with me: Ee-sold-uh.

There--I knew you could.

(By the way, I stand ready to be hypercorrected--has the name been mispronounced for centuries? And, for that matter, was Tristan really a James Dean wannabe?)

Hello, Defamer readers: Other entertainment-related posts conveniently located here.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A must-read

Yes, now the press must actually tell people that facts are good.

Remember when this was obvious?

(via Americablog.)

Enrico Caruso???

Peter over at Changes in the Glass posted a link to an interesting Web site I hadn't seen before. Upload a picture of yourself, and it will determine which celebrities you most look like. Who could possibly resist?

(Peter, by the way, looks surprisingly like Annette Benning.)

So, first, here's the picture I uploaded of myself. (Warning: Picture was taken at least seven years ago!)

And here are my matches:

Enrico Caruso 58%

Eric Bana 58%

Heinrich Boll 53%

Leon Trotsky 53%

Guy Pearce 53%

Mel Gibson 46%

Bjorn Ulvaeus 45%

William Shatner 45%

So the next time someone asks what I look like, I can confidently say, "Well, I don't like to brag, but I've been told I look like a combination of German novelist Heinrich Boll and Trotsky without the axe in his head."

Bumper sticker seen on the way to work


Yeah, don't piss off the NRA.*

*Nag-Riding Association

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Flip (flop)

"I've known [Harriet Meirs] long enough to know she's not going to change, that 20 years from now she will be the same person with the same judicial philosophy she has today," Bush said. "She'll have more experience. She'll have been a judge, but nevertheless the philosophy won't change, and that's important to me." --ABC News, Oct. 4, 2005

While most of the committee's 10 Republicans lobbed soft questions, Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.--who supports abortion rights--began the day by quizzing Alito on a 1985 memo in which he wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

"That was a correct statement of what I thought in 1985 from my vantage point in 1985," Alito said, "and that was as a line attorney in the Department of Justice in the Reagan administration."

When Specter reminded Alito that the memo was part of a job application, Alito replied, "I'm not saying that I made the statement simply because I was advocating the administration's position. But that was the position that I held at the time."
--The Seattle Times, Jan. 11, 2006

Interesting that last year, the White House was trying to sell Meirs as the perfect Justice because she wouldn't change, and now it's pushing Alito because he did. (Well, supposedly.)

"Mother's not herself today"

Well, Doug at Balls and Walnuts beat me to this at one (damn you!), which I wrote but didn't post yesterday, but here goes anyway:

CINCINNATI - The mummified body of a woman who didn't want to be buried was found in a chair in front of her television set 2 1/2 years after her death, authorities said.

Johannas Pope had told her live-in caregiver that she didn't want to be buried and planned on returning after she died, Hamilton County Coroner O'Dell Owens said Monday.

She really, really wanted to see where "According to Jim" was going with that whole Jim-is-a-slob-married-to-a-hot-wife plotline.

Pope died in August 2003 at age 61. Her body was found last week in the upstairs of her home on a quiet street. Some family members continued to live downstairs, authorities said. No one answered the doorbell at Pope's home Monday afternoon.

It could take weeks to determine Pope's cause of death because little organ tissue was available for testing, Owens said.

OK, brace yourselves, because this is where it starts to get weird.

An air conditioner had been left running upstairs, and that allowed the body to slowly mummify, he said. The machine apparently stopped working about a month ago, and the body began to smell.

"Standing outside, one could smell death," Owens said.

Well, to be fair, "According to Jim" could account for that.

Police went to the house last Wednesday after receiving a call from a relative who hadn't seen Pope in years. They found a staircase behind a door blocked by a basket and climbed to the second floor, where they found the body.

It was not clear if any crimes were committed, Owens said.

If not actual crimes, I think a few housekeeping rules-of-thumb may have been bent a little. I'm pretty sure I saw this covered on Martha Stewart's show.

Authorities did not identify the caregiver, a women in her 40s who apparently lived in the home with Pope, Pope's daughter and her 3-year-old granddaughter.

"The caregiver is not someone you'd think was from another planet or really seems off the wall--(she's) a pretty normal kind of person," he said. "But I think out of loyalty, friendship and love of her friend, (she) decided to keep the body at home."
--The Associated Press

Based on these criteria, I must be a lousy friend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Literary news

--James Frey is a liar.
--J.T. Leroy does not exist.
--Frank McCourt is Swedish.

If sock monkeys were hypnotists

Look into my eyes. You are getting sleepy, very sleepy ... Your eyelids are getting heavy, so heavy you cannot keep your eyes open. You try to get up from your chair, but you can't. You feel heavy, heavy, as if you can't move, like you just ate combo meal #5 at Taco Bell.

You are under my control. You will do anything I say.

Now, give me that banana.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Friday, January 06, 2006

How about funny peculiar as opposed to funny ha-ha?

Mark over at the Biomes Blog recently posted a link to Dilbert creator Scott Adams' blog, which is pretty interesting. He has this to say about humor:
The core of humor is what I call the 2-of-6 rule. In order for something to be funny, you need at least two of the following elements:

Cute (as in kids and animals)
Recognizable (You've been there)

I invented this rule, but you can check for yourself that whenever something is funny it follows the rule. And when something isn't, it doesn't.

Now I realize why TVB has never really picked up steam the way I'd hoped. I just wasn't following the rules of funny.

So, herewith, the most-amusing TVB post ever:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Cute (Awwwwwww!)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Naughty (If by naughty, you mean evil.)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Bizarre (Acid flashback! Acid flashback!)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Clever (C'mon, would you have thought of combining a fork and spoon?)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Recognizable (Who doesn't do laundry?)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Cruel (Feel those shivers down your back yet?)

Now, stand back and watch the funny-seekers turn out in droves.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille

Feel free to nominate me for a Bloggie. Really--I won't be modest and say I don't deserve it.

UPDATE: Sorry, I just realized I was confusing the Bloggies with the Floggies, the annual award for the person most deserving of a flogging. (I was going to post a photo gleaned from doing an image search for "flogging" on Google ... but, really, you don't want to see what turns up.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?


Not quite as smart as an actual duck

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Today's "Mallard Fillmore" above.

For those unfamiliar with the daily strip, congratulations!

The cartoonist, Bruce Tinsley, is a right-wing cretin who actually used a week's worth of strips to complain that Jon Stewart was trying to fool Tinsley's readers into believing the "Mallard Fillmore" spoof that ran in "America: The Book" was real. This despite the fact that the book ran a bunch of what were obviously satirical jabs at several strips, including "Doonesbury."

I can't link to the actual "America" spoof, but the text is:

Mallard: Liberals want to tie the hands of industry with more environmental regulation. Why must we punish our most productive citizens with an income tax? Oops! I forgot to tell a joke!

And here's one of the MF anti-Stewart strips:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yes, that's right. He compared Jon Stewart to being a child molester a la Michael Jackson because he didn't like a fairly innocuous jab at his expense. Classy, eh? (Oh, and he portrayed Stewart with a gigantic nose though Stewart doesn't have a big schnozz. Hm, do you think that could be because Stewart is Jewish?)

But getting back to today's strip ... sigh. Yeah, gay men exist. Get over it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Bad ideas for movie-themed restaurants

--The Texas Chain Saw Massacre BBQ Joint & Saloon
--Ingmar Bergman's Swedish Meatball Emporium
--The Soylent Green Mystery Meat Cafe