Tuesday, February 28, 2006

File Under:
Obsessions comma Creepy

Sen. Clinton says it's an obsession. Mr. Rove contends that it's merely a "platonic professional infatuation."

She called me a brilliant strategist? Really?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

File Under:
At Least He Was Wearing A Rubber Chicken

If you're going to go to the trouble of being an exhibitionist, wouldn't you want to practice your craft someplace where people are watching?

According to the story, as he was being escorted out of the building, Mr. Poultry in Motion was caught yelling, "Please will someone bring me my clothes?"

I don't think he'd get too much opposition to that request.

This does bring to mind a question, however: Why are naked people funny? Because they are; you can't deny it. It doesn't matter what a person looks like, if he or she is going au natural in an unexpected setting, it's automatically funny.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

No School Like the Old School

Perhaps this is the generation I belong to. I caught this septuagenarian playing Galaga at Max and Erma's. On a Ms. Pac-Man arcade console.

Of course, I did take this picture with my cell phone.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hang Up and Lift!

I am officially removed from the current hip generation, even if technically, I fall within the same 18-year period that loosely defines the border of a generation.

At the YMCA the other night, I saw a skinny So-and-So-clone using the weight machines while talking on a cell phone. She wasn't even using a hands-free device.

There oughta be a law. Or maybe an ordinance.

Friday, February 17, 2006

File Under:
Really, No Apology Necessary

Good thing Cheney didn't kill his lawyer friend, or Whittington would never have been able to live with himself.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Between Cupids and Bunnies

I happened to be in Meijer during lunch on Tuesday, which was Valentine's Day. On the grocery side of the store, there were still plenty of Valentine's Day gifts and gift ideas: candy, champagne, flowers, cards, candles...all red, pink, or white. Still plenty of people buying these items, too, no doubt to take home from work at the end of the day for their loved ones.

At the same time, on the other side of the store, the merchandise side side, were Easter displays filled with merchandise: baskets, bunnies, more candy, etc., all of it in bright pastel spring colors. I suppose I could wonder where the green St. Patrick's Day merch was, but that's not the purpose of this post.

Every year we muse about how the Christmas stuff comes out earlier and earlier each year at stores, but there is a reason for that: Christmas sells. If you are a retailer, why not take advantage of the Christmas season and extend it as much as you can get away with it? Truthfully, I have no problem with it, save the tired, insipd pablum they call Christmas music that I am inundated with from the moment I take Step One inside the store until I can get the cheese out of my ever-loving head seven hours after I leave. But other than the musak, I have no problems with stores bringing the holiday decor out after Halloween. After all, we're heading into the cold, Advent will be upon us in a few weeks, and Thanksgiving before that, which is sort of a holiday season Opening Day, if you will. It's emotionally appropriate, and even amidst all the Frostys, Santas, and Bing Crosbys, one doesn't have to look too deep to find Baby Jesus and the Holy Family. How can anyone be offended by a baby born to earstwhile parents amidst angels? Who can say they are put off by hope, peace on Earth and goodwill to all?

But Easter is different, isn't it?

Easter is offensive. Easter draws a distinct line in the sand. Life and death. Belief and unbelief. It isn't hard to ask someone to believe in the birth of a baby -- it's happened 7 billion times within the last century, alone. But to ask a person to believe that a man rose from the dead and changed the landscape of religion, not to mention politics, forever? To challenge the perceived and accepted understanding of the relationship between God and humanity? And if that isn't enough, the man who was raised from the dead wasn't an 85-year old man who died naturally in his sleep that was loved by all and hated by none. He was a young man that was killed because of the unrest caused by the things he said and did, whose followers loved and whose opponents hated. And the culpability for his death is still debated 2,000 years later by the ethnic and geographical descendents of those who were around at the time. Oh, and he claimed to be the Son of God. Kinda hard to create a huggable plush doll for the occassion and sell it at Meijer.

Even still, it feels as though something is missing from the celebration of Easter; for me, anyway. In the Church, we recognize Christ's coming to Earth with the four-week period of Advent. We light candles to remind ourselves and each other why Christ came. We sing songs such as "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," which is beautiful and plaintive. "O Come, o come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel!" It is a beautiful, aching, longing for what will be while acknowledging what desperate times we are in at present. Which, of course, makes Christ's entrance so much sweeter -- it isn't just good to have Christ, it is absolutely necessary. We can't understand the light without struggling through the dark night of the soul.

The Church also has something of a pre-Easter season of Advent, called Lent. It is a season, traditionally, of sacrifice and willful abstinence. We give up distracting pleasures for the purpose of remembering Christ, why He came, and why He died. Because, ethnic and geographic politics notwithstanding, Christ died because it was the only way we could be clean enough to enter God's presence at the end of our days. Christ died for us. Because we need Him to. Because our sins require payment of death. Also hard to sell in a plush doll at Meijer.

Of course, Lent is also observed by many who have no overtly religious reasons to do so. As if taking a huge gasp of air before diving under the water in an attempt to swim a length of the pool (without cheating?), we buy paczkis and revel with beads and enjoy a guilt-free day of gluttony before getting serious about our diets, or our attempts to stop smoking, or whatever habit we may wish to break. I don't mean to belittle a secularized Lent; anything that might help us reconsider our need to consume can't be a bad thing, regardless of motivation. But again, it's hard to commercialize abstinence of anything. Unless you're Jenny Craig, there isn't a whole lot of money to be made in the business of self-restraint.

So, let us pretend for a moment that Meijer was going to commemorate the six-plus weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter with a display of seasonal merchandise. What would be appropriate? All black for Good Friday? A display of no merchandise at all for Lent? Of course I am not asking Meijer to do this, nor do I expect it to happen. Still, it does seem a bit incongruous to have brightly colored pastel things marketed to me to celebrate Easter, when I haven't yet gone through the season of somber reflection in Lent or the mourning in Good Friday.

Do you commemorate the season of Lent? What do you find meaningful?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

File Under:
Lawyer Season

If you're accidentally going to shoot somebody, make sure it isn't a lawyer. Unless, of course, you can get away with it because you're the Vice President of the United States.

There's more to this story, and of course I hope and pray that Whittington makes a full recovery, and I'd hate to make too much light of a situation that has potential danger involved, but apparently Cheney's good friend and hunting victim has more than just a flesh wound.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

File Under:
Lost Luggage

Now, this sounds like the Super Bowl commercial I was waiting to see.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

File Under:
Phil Mickelson of Skyscraper Running

Maybe you heard something about the young go-getter who won this race up the Empire State Building. What you may not have heard is that last year, this guy had a bit of a disappointment in the race. According to Reuters:
Last year, Dold lunged in vain at the finish, falling to the pavement of the famous Observation deck on the 86th floor as he lost to Austrian Rudolf Reitberger in the closest Empire race ever.

Even worse, though, is that according to the article, Dold has lost three of his last six tower races by a step. All of this, of course, brings to mind one burning question: Who runs up a tower for recreation?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

File Under:
Forgive Us Our Trespasses

A pastor in Chicago was arrested mid-sermon. My guess is that he wasn't going to get a whole lot of compliments on the sermon after the service, anyway.

Thanks to Chris L. for the heads-up on this story.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The XL Bowl - Morning After

If you're hoping to get on TV during the game, you already know that it behooves you to go to Office Depot beforehand to purchase one of those big-arse poster boards so you can write a catchy phrase that shares the initials of the broadcasting network. But please, please come up with something that at the very least makes sense. Last night, I saw someone holding a sign on my TV screen, and that sign said Absolute Bettis Championship. Please post comments to ths post with your better ideas. I need a little faith in the creativity of the general populace.

If you're a Seahawks fan, it's hard to figure which was more disappointing, the game or the commercials. (If you're a Steelers fan, of course, the answer is obvious. For the record, I'm neither, but I was pulling for Pittsburgh.) In my opinion, the winners were FedEx (humor wins over historical accuracy), CarreerBuilder.Com (I don't care what you say; primates are always funny), AmeriQuest ("Don't judge too quickly..."), Aleve (featuring Leonard Nimoy), Sprint (Keystone Cops!), and the feminist in me was really relieved to see the Dove ad for a self-image improvement program for girls. Although the Superbowl seemed like an odd place for the ad, it was a nice break from the women-as-objects spots we sat through for much of the rest of the game.

Speaking of which, the worst of the bunch was easily GoDaddy.Com. Do I even have to comment on this? Yeah, we vaguely remember something about a 'wardrobe malfunction' at a Super Bowl, and we remember your commercial from last year because you refered to it this year. Is that all you've got? Please. Sex sells, I guess, but GoDaddy's ad was awkward and confusing. Also getting failing grades were Honda for its Ridgeline and Cadillac for its Escalade (women as objects. Again.), Gillette (five blades? FIVE?), Desperate Housewives (please explain: what's funny about Shaq pretending to be sad about a miscarriage?), and a bunch of others which didn't really offend, but weren't worth the 86 grand per second that was ponied up to make the spot.

In other news, this is awesome.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I don't think spiders would be all that creepy to people if spiders would just do a little dance every now and then.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Please Hold. You Will Go Crazy Shortly.

I am on hold. The on-hold music(?) is not an actual song. It is a loop. It has repeated approximately 647 times.

The loop sounds like a music bed for a DVD menu screen for a 1970 movie that you have seen parts of several times on Sunday afternoons on UPN.

I can only think of one reason they've done this to me, and you, should you need to call service at this particular business: they are hoping to reduce on-hold wait times by forcing us to hang up while still on hold.