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Tuesday, December 27

Apparently the "Chronicles of Narnia" video has become such a thing that the papers are writing about it. (Full disclosure: I watched it on SNL, and didn't think it was so hot. I just watched it again. It was amusing. I guess.) (Reg. req'd)

Interesting: Top 10 foods you should never eat. I grew up on number one. And Monday night, the three of us shared an Outback Bloomin Onion w/Dressing©. Man, that thing could kill you. I found the nutrition information on that one, but I am actually too embarrassed to post it.

A foul odor in New York City's East Side building leads police to a body in a suitcase. His wife's explanation: "He always wanted to go to Arizona." (Reg. req'd)

Wednesday, December 21

Say it ain't so, Johnny. Say it ain't so. (Reg. req'd)

Sunday, December 18

2005 year in review, courtesy of the folks that brought you "This Land Is Your Land."



Note to self -- Always leave car doors unlocked: "A Northboro man returned to the Westboro MBTA parking lot to find a rock in his car, but this was no act of vandalism. A mysterious jilted lover left a stunning, three-stone engagement ring on the front seat in a box wrapped with a white bow. The only clue to the bling bonanza is a note that reads: 'Merry Christmas. Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I gave you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now. Merry Christmas to you.'" (And the Saturday follow-up story.)

Apprentice Rebecca's mom writes for the Chicago Tribune, and here's what she said going into the final episode. Unfortunately, she was silent after Randall left Rebecca at the Trump altar, so to speak. (Reg. req'd)

Wednesday, December 14

Johnny Damon is so hot right now. Just not in Boston.

Wendy's latest airfare promotion -- distributed on soda cups -- has people buying 64 medium sodas, sans soda.

Because I am not a celebrity, and because we got married before the wise advice contained "Golddigger" came out, the Zurnses do not have a prenup. But look at various issues we could have skated past if we'd just clarified in the beginning: For example, attorneys say some recent celebrity prenups included:

• Limiting the wife's weight to 120 pounds or she must relinquish $100,000 of her separate property.

• Allowing a spouse to perform random drug tests, with financial penalties for positive results.

• Requiring a husband to pay $10,000 each time he is rude to his wife's parents.

• Excessive 'downtime' computer programming by husband results in rides to work every morning for wife ... wait a sec, that one was just me.

How to start a gang. And what the purpose is of the four-digit number after the five-digit ZIP code. Just fun things one should know.

Brat brat BRATTY kids put together friggin POWERPOINT presentations on what they want for CHRISTMAS. ARRRUGH. I am not charmed. (Reg. req'd)

Teeny microbreweries in D.C. are a little miffed at Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. (Reg. req'd)

Monday, December 12

Last winter, there was a website that claimed you could turn on and off the Christmas lights on some guy's house remotely via the Internet. (I blogged this! Last year!!!) Intrepid reporters decide they will prove (or disprove) this claim. What they find may surprise you ... (or it may not; I'm just trying to tease the story.)

Speed dating is now passé. Now it's speed staring. Says one guy, of his internal dialogue: "Why are you sad? Why are you optimistic?' You start asking yourself all these deep questions about the person you're looking at'...Sometimes, he added of his fellow gazers, 'they'd be happy in one eye and sad in the other. It was wild.'" That guy? Is a CATCH. (Reg. req'd)

Fascinatingly awful: The state of China's toilets. "Most toilets have no toilet paper. Many lack running water. Everywhere, flushing seems optional." (Reg. req'd)

What happened when a group of people who work out regularly were told to not drink for a month. I thought this was interesting from both health and social points of view. (Reg. req'd)

Hotmail will be booted for the new Windows Live Mail. What a dumb name.

Precious Moment #751 from the T: A woman across from me (side-facing seats, so technically we were facing each other) was plucking her mustache. With these. I openly stared.

Friday, December 9

I had taken today off a while ago. It was supposed to be a day for errands. Then the weather happened:

Front of the house
(click for larger)
(larger's not really more interesting)
Back of the house
(That's my car on the left.
It's on a Top 10 list!! Number 8! Jealous?)

While I'm definitely not complaining about not taking the T, I'm not going anywhere, either. So here is an unscheduled morning post, for the enjoyment of my vast legion of readers.

An unexpected addition to Gmail this morning made me happy.

Debunking the MBTP myth: "It's not really snowing until someone reports a run on MBTP." (Reg. req'd)

Story on last month's Murakami talk. The picture stinks.

Last week, I was captivated by the SNL host. His opening monologue went on for a full 15 minutes, and it was actually funny. "Who is this mystery funny man?" I wondered. Now I know.

Red Sox news: The Yankees might want Nomar. Johnny might want to be a Yankee. Sox Pax go on sale Saturday.

Coffee + Coke = Coke Blak.

What someone with way too much time on their hands does
with Christmas lights on their house. A Today show clip on the house,
and an earlier story. But apparently the neighbors have had enough, and police asked him to shut it down.

A real-life Earl: "Like the lead character in the new NBC sitcom My Name is Earl, Mike Sargent lost [a $25,000] scratch-off ticket moments after he realized he'd hit the jackpot and, through several incredible coincidences, found it days later." He was also a former drug addict and alcoholic who admits being verbally abusive to his wife and two sons until he turned his life around 19 years ago, entering rehab and embracing his Christian faith. So if I am a really bad person and turn my life around, will God reward me, too?

Sunday, December 4

Move over, vegans -- here come the "freegans": People who eat solely food that comes from the trash. "People have this image of looking into a Dumpster and seeing slimy garbage, but that's just not the case," one freegan said. "At the same time, food poisoning is no joke, so you have to be careful."

Woman admits trying to open plane's door for a mid-flight cigarette.

Top 10 books of 2005. My Haruki (I think I can presume we're that close) was top of the list. (Reg. req'd)

Mildly awesome: Story about rappers' grills. As in, tooth bling. It can cost as much as $50,000 for a full grill with 30 carats of diamonds. (Reg. req'd, worth a visit for the photo gallery)

An entire BBC story devoted to the medical malady known as "shy pee." "[I]t can destroy lives, people have left their jobs because of it."

Seattle is the most literary city in America. Boston is a lame number 7.

In Houston, officials sent 35 firefighters to a 35-year-old woman's house to rescue her 'baby' from a sewer. The baby was a cat.

Stuff you read in Wikipedia might not necessarily be true. (Reg. req'd)

Your IQ Is 115

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Above Average

And I don't care if you're smarter than me.

Sunday, November 20

Upside-down trees the newest thing to hit Christmas since the Winter Warmer. For $400, you can buy one at Target. Brian wants to know if you're supposed to hang the gifts from the ceiling, under the tree.

First Boston dumped him. Now Chicago is telling Nomar that you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. (Reg. req'd)

Researchers say hops in beer have health benefits. Next week, expect researchers to find that hops in beer may hasten death.

In Chicago, deadly Japanese fugu fish are off the menu after FDA rules are violated. (Reg. req'd) Well, it didn't kill Homer Simpson...


Murakami had a new story published last week. I, along with fellow über Murakami fan Jill, met him at a talk in Cambridge on Friday. There's a very long story involved with what happened, way too long to post here. Let me know if you're interested.

Woman plans to marry man who shot her. "I love Christian today as deeply as I loved him before this awful thing happened to us," Tina Marie Stebbins wrote in a victim impact statement. "We are soul mates."

Early to wed may make marriage happy, survey says.
See, Tina Marie (previous item) is doubly screwed; he's 37.

How to correctly use "Mrs." Apparently I committed this exact mistake with parents' names, both mine and his, in our engagement announcement.

Another look at the $100 laptop. Semi-interesting fact:
It will use open source. (Reg. req'd)



Why have Catholics stopped lining up at the confessional? One reason: An abundance of online confessionals, which include such charmers as, "I eat ants but only the little red ones. They're sweet as hell and I just can't get enough."

Sunday, November 13

On Friday evening, at one of our favorite places, I ordered a glass of the only-in-Boston, über-special, Sam Adams Colonial Ale. This story does an excellent job of describing its various nuances. My review? I didn't like it. They also had (but we didn't try) Seriously Bad Elf, which used to be banned in Connecticut.

"We have now seen the lengths to which people will go to be indisputably chic: black toilet paper." (Reg. req'd)

MIT has a class on deconstructing Carrie Bradshaw. I wish "MIT" was a typo. (Reg. req'd)

Chicago coffee house owner bans bratty kids. Well, he tells them to shut up. Does he develop residential neighborhoods? (And in case you really want to know more, here's a story with a photo gallery.) (Reg. req'd)

Office Space now out in a special edition.
Its title: Office Space -- Special Edition With Flair. Heh.

A guy is capitalizing on his twelve years of undergrad with a William Morris agent, free tuition, free faux Red Bull, and a New York Times article. "Mr. Lechner said he hardly noticed the semesters flying by during his fifth, sixth and seventh college years because he had found a 'comfort zone.' During his eighth year, he said, 'I realized it's a great story, and I started thinking about my book.'" (Reg. req'd)

To get a ticket to Oprah, you need to sell your baby. Or something. (Reg. req'd)

Real World: IKEA just wrapped near Boston.

A look at the kids who play Cedric Diggory, Cho Chang, and Victor Krum in the latest Harry Potter movie.

Tuesday, November 1

Observations from today's T ride:

Guy One, roughly early 20s: I just realized I wasn't fulfilling my duties as a boyfriend.
Guy Two: Yeah?
Guy One: I decided I would be doing more harm to the relationship by staying in it.

Okay -- so guys talk like this?? Since when?


14-ish-year-old girl to a gaggle of friends. Context: They were talking about how their parents drive:
"So my mom was like, 'Go ahead!! I have a big car, a rich husband, and a lot of insurance.'"

What a tragic commentary on our society. Rich people really do talk like that.


The T was overcrowded this afternoon during rush hour. In the space between the door and the first set of single seats facing each other, I counted a dozen adults. Think about it. This cannot be safe.


From: me
To: People with backpacks on the T
Kindly take your backpack off your back. So many people would be so appreciative if you realized how selfish and oblivious you are. Your inordinate consumption of personal space is disgustingly rude. I hate you.


I watched as a random guy waiting for the T took his bike (with tires that were smaller than usual), removed some pins, and stuffed the whole bike into a nylon sack. He kind of smiled when he was done, as if to say, "Yeah, I know that was pretty awesome." Awesome, indeed, sir. Awesome indeed.

Sunday, October 30

I have been avidly, avidly following the Scooter Libby indictment. It just caught my interest and never let go. I read the entire Fitzgerald indictment papers. We watched the press conference on Friday live. But I think something will get overshadowed, and the last line of the day-after NYT editorial on the subject summarized it best, without elaboration: "[A]s absorbing as this criminal investigation has been, the big point Americans need to keep in mind is this: There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." (Reg. req'd) (The Zurns household has been nothing but fun fun fun about this, let me tell you.)

Girl, 8, credited with Maryland's first bear kill this year. "Donald Stiles beamed as his daughter, dressed in hunters' camouflage with a fluorescent orange vest, told how she skipped school to shoot the male bear." That's great. (Reg. req'd)

From AP: The Muppets could come back to primetime television with their own reality show. ABC has ordered a script and five episode outlines for "America's Next Muppet," in which viewers may join in choosing the newest member of the puppet family that includes Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, a network spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Interesting roundup of ethnic candies. My fave: India's "Plain Barfi." Heh.

This made me laugh: What's your ghetto IQ? I got aggravated with keeping score, but to give you an idea -- we still do number nineteen, Brian often talks fondly of number three, and I loved chico sticks. And come on -- doesn't everyone do number 39? Some are a little over-the-top, and I may not have personally done many of them, but I certainly knew people who did.

Monday, October 24

You too can be archly ironic in your Burger King mask this Halloween.

One woman's experience driving a stick shift for the first time. If you've never driven one before, her account will terrify you. But if you have, if kind of like, pffffft, whatever.

White House tells the Onion to stop using the Presidential seal. The Onion's response: "I'm surprised the president deems it wise to spend taxpayer money for his lawyer to write letters to The Onion," Scott Dikkers, editor in chief, wrote. (Reg. req'd)

I like my men hairy, thankyouverymuch: "The ranks of sartorially self-aware males are growing so fast in some Asian countries that they have become an identifiable social subspecies. In China, they are called the aimei nanren (love beauty men), fastidious fellows who are unafraid to spend a few hours in a beauty salon getting pedicures, pore packs and back waxes."

Etiquette for the most cramped restaurants: "Hostile situations emerge when you are seated next to people who resent you for it, as if you had requested to crash their dinner. All you can do is give them one of those 'What?' looks teenagers give their moms, and avoid eye contact from that point on."

This article was spun as "Steve Jobs speaks: What's Next for Apple," but Steve's not saying a whole lot.

In other techish news: A Sunday Globe Business section front on Raytheon's DDR. Excuse me, DD(X).

And finally, 100 percent ripped off of Kevin:

My blog is worth $0.00.
How much is your blog worth?

A proud non-profit since 2004.

Friday, October 21

A 93-year-old man in Florida hit another man while driving. "It ended horribly. [The driver] hit a man crossing 34th Street S, severing the man's right leg, then drove 3 miles with the body stuck in the windshield. When police asked [the driver] what happened, he said the body seemed to drop from the sky." If you can believe it, it acually gets worse from there. I feel badly even writing about it, but I can't stop thinking about it, either. And yes, when you reach a certain age, you shouldn't be driving.

Tom DeLay is slick, let me tell you: "Why is Tom DeLay smiling? After all, he's been indicted...Answer: A photo of DeLay grinning from ear to ear [in his mugshot] doesn't pack quite the punch in a Democratic attack ad...He looks in the photo like a proud member of Congress who might just have won the lottery, not one indicted on charges of money laundering." Hmmmm ... well, he showed those liberal vultures no one's going to take advantage of Mr. Tom DeLay is his mugshot. You show 'em, Tommy.

Thursday, October 20

A profile of Rachael Ray, who is the world's worst tipper on national television. She tips some places, like, 70 cents. I don't care if it's great publicity, it's a bad example. Anyway, a fun fact: "Her cutesy-pie catchphrases -- sammies for sandwiches, stoups for soups that are as thick as stew -- are so grating on certain people that they inspired a drinking game in which players take a sip when she uses one." (Reg. req'd)

Good, cheap (less than $10) wine, according to the Boston Globe. (Reg. req'd)

World Series tickets sold out in 18 minutes in Chicago. One guy offered his kidney for a pair. (Reg. req'd)

Basketball players now have a dress code. "Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets, whose contract will pay him nearly $50 million over the next five years, told an interviewer before the code was imposed, 'I don't see it happening unless every NBA player is given a stipend to buy clothes.'"
[donatella] Get OUT!! [/donatella] (Reg. req'd)

First they did it for the ladies, now they're doing it for the men: What you order to drink on a first date says about you. Example: "Long Island iced tea: 'My backseat sleeps two comfortably.'" (Reg. req'd)

Yay -- Tina Fey is returning to SNL this Saturday. I saw parts of Mean Girls recently, and it was pretty funny.

In California, a cougar that ventured onto a patio is shot dead out of a tree by the homeowner. What if these people were your neighbors? Wouldn't that be disturbing?

Why anti-bacterial soaps are the devil's potion. (Answer: supergerms)

The winners of this year's best world wildlife photography. A runner-up showcases a frog orgy. Made you look.

Tuesday, October 18

Mythbuster: Pressing the "close" button along with a desired floor will not send you straight to your floor. Or will it?

In an attempt to mimic a month in the life of the working poor, a small-town newspaper takes a young reporter, gives him $424, and tells him he's completely on his own. No checkbook, ATM card, credit card, car keys, fiancée or apartment. It's really interesting how he deals with it.

Others have noticed -- Desperate Housewives isn't as good as it was last year. (Reg. req'd)

A profile of Diego D'Ambrosio, the guy who cuts the hair of the powerful in D.C. What Diego said about former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger: He was "a very special friend. I love him. Well, I can't say 'love him.' He like-a me very much. I like-a him very, very much."

Sunday, October 16

Brainwashing propaganda the future Zurns™ children will not be reading: Help! Mom! There are liberals under my bed!: "Two of the [children's] book's villains, who resemble Hillary Rodham Clinton and Edward M. Kennedy, tax the boys' [lemonade stand] profits, restrict the amount of sugar they can use in their drinks and require them to serve broccoli, too. A liberal lawyer, 'Mr. Fussman,' harasses the boys for putting a picture of Jesus on their stand. In the book's 'happy' ending, the liberals vanish as if they were a bad dream..."

Apple wants to trademark the Internet. (Reg. req'd)

Friday, October 14

The Simpsons: Egyptian-style -- "'Omar Shamshoon,' as he is called on the show, looks like the same Homer Simpson, but he has given up beer and bacon, which are both against Islam, and he no longer hangs out at 'seedy bars with bums and lowlifes.' In Arabia, Homer's beer is soda, and his hot dogs are barbequed Egyptian beef sausages. And the donut-shaped snacks he gobbles are the traditional Arab cookies called kahk."

Thursday, October 13

Is Harriet Miers nominated for the Supreme Court or student council secretary? In a letter to Bush after his birthday, she wrote she found him "cool," said he and his girlfriend, excuse me, wife were "the greatest!" and told him: "You are the best governor ever." Not cited: "I totally think Laura and I will be BFF." (Reg. req'd; click the image for editorial cartoon.)

I did not find this charming at all: "An 8-year-old girl with a big heart and loose tooth found a creative way to help people displaced by the hurricanes. Briton Nordmeyer sent her tooth to the Red Cross chapter in Sioux Falls, hoping the tooth fairy would leave money there instead of under her pillow."
She's eight. Not four. EIGHT.

Nomahh rescued some drowning women in Boston Harbor. "She looked up, saw her rescuers, and the first words out of her mouth were: 'Are you Nomar?'" Heh.

Used books start to shake off their second-class image. I agree -- they're less than half the price, and the same words, as the originals.

Netflix for handbags: "Customers pay a monthly fee for access to a collection of authentic designer handbags. Membership levels -- ranging from Trendsetter ($19.95) to Diva Deluxe ($174.95) -- determine whether a customer borrows a Coach minibag or an expensive, hard-to-get Hermes tote." (Reg. req'd)

What you order to drink on a first date (if you're a woman) says about you. For example: "Whiskey and Coke: Borderline alcoholic." (Reg. req'd)

Woman has 16 children, all sired by Jim Bob. (Link for story; click image for large picture. One kid's digging for gold, and the kid on the far left looks like he wants nothing to do with his family.)



They're making The Princess Bride into a musical. [Full disclosure: via slashdot. Yeah, I know.] (Although I don't know what the hell it's doing there.)

Wait! One more: Kerrigan, Harding skating saga adapted into opera.

My new must-read: The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu

Tuesday, October 11

Update: The Smurfs video.

Monday, October 10

"UNICEF's first adult-only episode of 'The Smurfs,' in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes, has terrified young children...It opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand in hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song...[u]ntil, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky. The Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched and tattered Baby Smurf sobbing inconsolably, surrounded by prone Smurfs."

Sunday, October 9

Some parents skip the diapers altogether, even for their littlest babies. I don't know, but it doesn't seem like that bad an idea. (Reg. req'd)

B.K.S. Iyengar, who founded a major yoga practice, is going to be at the Brookline Booksmith this week. I'm halfway interested in going, because I have a) heard of him, and b) am fascinated to see the type of crowd he would draw. Here's a story about his recent appearance in Denver (with a fab picture.) Reading the article, he sounds a little... scary crazy.

More on foie gras -- the Chicago Tribune sent a reporter to a foie gras farm. The sidebar at the end mentions the video that got me all worked up. (Reg. req'd)

An award winner of the World Press Photo foundation talks about his winning work, a 1975 photo of a woman and her two-year-old goddaughter falling from a broken fire escape during an apartment house fire in Boston. Needless to say, the image is unforgettable.

Apple, Apple, buzz buzz buzz: "It's a textbook example of fantastic marketing." (Reg. req'd)

Pamper your pits with high-end deodorant. (Reg. req'd)

Wallace and Gromit cope with a new curse -- in some parts, "rabbit" is a dirty word. So marketers of the new movie will instead use the B-word, "bunny." You couldn't make this up.

Brother-and-sister pair recently enrolled at the University of California-Berkeley as juniors. Big deal? He's 13 years old, she's 14. (Reg. req'd)

Saturday, October 8

Oh, but now this makes me sad(der). No, it's not news, but just proof that everything in life comes to an end eventually:

"The Sox are bound to undergo a major makeover before they next meet in Fort Myers, Fla.; well-known characters such as Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, Mike Timlin, and maybe even Manny Ramirez are likely to be gone. Manager Terry Francona and Epstein are among others no longer under contract, and several in the Sox locker room viewed this defeat as the last roundup for the raggedy men who made hardball history in the Hub." (Reg. req'd)

Amaaaaaaaaazing grace, how sweeeeeeeet the sound, that saved a-aaa wretch like meeeeeeee ... [sigh] It just seemed appropriate.

Friday, October 7

Well, we lost. And frankly, if the score can be 4-3 and we have the bases loaded and no outs and do nothing with it, we deserve to. If it's the Yankees and the White Sox, I throw my support to the White Sox. I can remember what it's like to have not won a championship since (almost) 1917.

And if you're a dumb-ass girl at Beer Works, and you're in the line for the bathroom in front of me, DON'T bring your cell phone in with you. DON'T tell your friend, "Oh, can you hear toilets flushing? I'm in the bathroom, but I am not in a stall or anything," then proceed into the stall and talk your friend's ear off while taking a leak. NOT COOL. Because I will go home, and curse not saying anything. I have learned, for the next time.

And finally, don't take your beer glass into the bathroom with you. The beer deserves better than you.

Tuesday, October 4

It's actually physically painful to watch. And the ESPN announcers? NOT the SAME. Where's Remy? I miss you.

Sunday, October 2

8:22 p.m.

Red Sox 10 Yankees 1

I love watching baseball in October, even if it's only for a little while.
(Don't want to jinx anyone here. It looks like the White Sox are good.)

10:55 a.m.:

It comes to this. Schilling is pitching. Maybe Cleveland will lose.

Friday, September 30

Red Sox edition:

The stakes of tonight's game: "And now it comes down to this: Yankees up by one game with three to play. Win three and the Sox win the division. Win two and they possibly face the Yankees Monday in a one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium." (Reg. req'd)

And this fun baseball fact: "It's easier to make the majors as a player than an umpire. Two percent of players who enter pro ball make the bigs. Only one percent of the umps who go to umpire school get there." (Reg. req'd)

What people did with their $150 piece of 2004 World Series dirt.


One guy describes his reason to get laser beard sculpturing thusly: "[T]he last thing you want to do is get blood [from shaving] all over a $250 Ermenegildo Zegna shirt." Wow, that is so hot. In a really fussy, prissy, effeminate kind of way. (Reg. req'd)

Muppet stamps are here! And to bring you back down from that nostalgic high, stamps are going up two cents in January. I'm sure Statler and Waldorf would have something to say about that.

Kid revamped the trailer of the Shining into one for a feel-good movie. It's pretty awesome. (Related story.) (Reg. req'd for the story)

SNL starts its new season tomorrow (Steve Carell is the host!)
NYT profiled Fred Armisen, aka Fericito. (Reg. req'd)

Guy invents the $100 laptop, complete with a "a hand-crank to give it power in those corners of the globe where electricity supply is patchy." Show off.

"Go to, type the term 'miserable failure' in the search field, and see what pops up when you click on the 'Google Search' button. The top result? A link to the official White House biography of President George W. Bush. Or type in 'failure' and click on 'I'm Feeling Lucky' instead, and you're taken directly to the page, where a smiling Bush greets you. He's been Google bombed."

A compilation of goofs from last night's live Will & Grace.

An intelligent beermat that alerts the bartender that your glass is empty could feature in pubs of the future.

Tuesday, September 27

John and Meg's wedding pics are up! Kristen and Tom's wedding pics are up! (Can I say "good times, great oldies," or is that trademarked? )

Frankly, Curt Schilling needs to lay off the whining a little. I still have respect for what he pulled off last season, but...geez. Just my opinion. (Reg. req'd)

A man and his former mother-in-law have told how they hope to marry after the U.K.'s ban on such unions was challenged in a European court.

"That 'new car smell' could be dangerous to your health. Dangerous enough, in fact, that Japanese auto makers have banded together to set a target for improving the interior air quality in their cars." Well, our car has smelled like "new-car crayons" for five years. I suppose that means we're not long for this world. (Reg. req'd)

Boston Herald reporters scoured Boston's Beacon Hill's trash to find out what the rich people are drinking. Their findings ranged from a $107 bottle of wine to a six-pack of Miller Lite empties, shamefully stuffed in plastic bags.

Monday, September 26

Holy crap -- posting two days in a row. I can't remember the last time this happened.

Apparently the new "trend" is that teens wear white t-shirts. "For all its plainness, the white T-shirt refuses to be ignored."
Oooo oooh, can I call a new trend? Wait for it .... women wear bras. Come on, maybe someone will pick up on it.
([sigh] -- to be fair, much of the point of the "trend" is that they are very oversized white t-shirts. Still, kind of a non-story.) (Reg. req'd)

Someone decided to create, where "[the] glass is always at least half-full, and sometimes it bubbles right over." Ick. (Reg. req'd)

In an extension of wedding-related news from yesterday, the modern man sometimes likes to be waxed and manicured for his wedding. I'd say something snarky, but it's too easy.

Sunday, September 25

Brand-new Murakami.

Is it better to buy or rent? "At the very least, renters in boom markets, who often lament that they are wasting money, should know that their choice has as powerful an economic rationale as buying does right now." (Reg. req'd)

We went on a very scary helicopter ride for tourists while in Kauai. Oh, it's so safe, Brian told me. Oh, look around at the scenery, the pilot told me. One of those helicopters just crashed.

In Japan, a new magazine, Stag & Groom, coaches men through wedding planning. The editor said "if sales indicate men are becoming more interested in wedding-planning, the wedding industry as a whole might come up with ideas for new services and expand business." Doubt it.

Guy complains that theater-goers are too free with standing ovations.

New beef jerky potato chips introduced. [sarcasm] Yum. [/sarcasm]

Childhood game MASH now online. Apparently, nothing is sacred
from technology.

Wednesday, September 14

I have to prepare a short presentation for tomorrow and I don't want to. Let the procrastinating begin.

'Bumvertising' stirs debate -- A 22-year-old advertises on homeless people wearing sandwich boards.

Action figure based on a librarian sells over 100,000 dolls. The "deluxe" version comes with a book cart, desk and computer. Awesome. (Reg. req'd)

I liked this story about the Nano. On the day of its release, I e-mailed Brian the story three whole minutes before the Slashdot geeks posted about it. Three whole minutes.

A couple weeks ago I was watching public access TV (aka NewTV.) They had a horrific 15-minute documentary about foie gras. The documentary looked like it was PETA-produced, but it was so awful to watch that I didn't care who did it. A hidden camera taped a worker grabbing a duck, shoving what looked like a PVC pipe down its throat, and filled it up with so Ensure that its stomach puffed out like it'd explode. It was awful. Now, Chicago alderman wants to ban foie gras. They should. (Reg. req'd)

And finally, as to not end with a Debbie, here's There's also

Monday, September 5

Fun things you can do with Google products:

Google Talk: You can format with italics or bold when you type. I discovered this accidentally. When I want to emphasize a point in plain text, I'll *write* like this. Apparently, this makes the type bold. It drove Brian absolutely crazy that I could bold stuff, and I wouldn't tell him how. Then, he figured out that _this_ makes type italics. So there's our secret. You're welcome.

GMaps Pedometer: This is one variation of our walk around our neighborhood. This pedometer thing is great; I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 24

Finally. FINALLY!!!

Monday, July 18

A collection of dreadful 80s album covers, courtesy of It starts off a little slow, but really gets going with "The Music of James Last." (Thanks to Robin, for bringing this to my attention.)

Wednesday, June 29

Brian and I were in the car together this afternoon, and we drive by a guy that is wearing a t-shirt that reads, "Available."

I say to Brian: "Gee, you can never wear a shirt like that, ever again."

After a minute, he's still smiling. I ask what is so funny.

"I can wear that shirt. I would just put an exclamation point in front of available." (i.e., "!Available")

Apparently, this is a computer term that means NOT available. I'm sure three or four of you already knew that.

(Again, sorry, ladies -- he's taken. Beg your pardon -- !available)

The New York Times suggests packaging pale ales in cans to prevent skunking. They should know. They are the New York Times. (Reg. req'd)

Saturday, June 4

Hi! I've missed writing!

We've had the best few weeks. But this past week really took the cake. Here's why.

We went to the David Sedaris reading on Tuesday. It was mobbed, but we had tickets, so we had fab seats. It was so worth going -- he was so cordial and friendly with everyone, and went around before the reading just to chat. I loved how down to earth he was; some people who do readings are insufferable snobs. (Ken Auletta, hi -- I'm looking at you.) He brought the monkey on tour, too -- just for kicks.

So David (yeah, I think I can presume we're that familiar) said he asks everyone he signs a book for about themselves, and he really meant it. He asked if we were a couple, and I told him we were getting married soon. This is what he wrote in my book:

To Jen

Best of luck with your first marraige [sic]

How droll. How ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. Nick Hornby's coming to Brookline Tuesday. So far, this summer has been great for readings.

And then today, WE GOT COLDPLAY TICKETS!!!!!!! We never go to concerts, so this is huge for us. I LOVE COLDPLAY!!! It's in August.

Oh, yeah -- and this Saturday, we're getting married.

Monday, May 9

There was a rabbit in our backyard. Naturally, I felt compelled to document it.

Our buddy, the rabbit Run, wabbit, run! The sentinel, keeping watch.

I love our new digital camera. I went out in pajama pants to bring that to you.

Wednesday, May 4

I don't care if these jokes are older than dirt, I laughed and laughed at them: Reported in the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal, the following are questions actually asked of witnesses by attorneys during trials and, in certain cases, the responses given by insightful witnesses.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Litter-Kwitter.




Kenya's first lady storms newsroom. Now substitute her name for "Laura Bush" and imagine how bizarre that scene must have been.

A movie theater chain plans to publish the real times movies start, not what time you should arrive to catch three commercials and five previews.

Why Tylenol is way safer than Advil or aspirin, unless you're a raging alcoholic. (Reg. req'd)

Tuesday, May 3

Curious to know what the Runaway Bride registered for? Ponder no longer. (Inspired by this article.) (Reg. req'd for the story)

How ever does one settle between two auction houses for priceless works of art? Why, paper, rock, scissors, of course. (Reg. req'd)

How TV Land plans to pay tribute to Everybody Loves Raymond's series finale: They will show a room filled with 210 guys named Raymond when the show's final episode airs May 16. They'll each wear a T-shirt with the title of one of the show's episodes and stand, one by one, to introduce themselves.

Wednesday, April 27

Murakami has a new short story out!! It's accessible to all! Read it!

What to do when in an awkward spot but want to appear otherwise engaged? Fake a cell phone conversation. To wit: "The cashier had already rung up Keri Wooster's items when Wooster realized she didn't have her wallet. She dashed to her car and returned empty-handed to face the line of fidgeting customers she had kept waiting, a cell phone pressed to her ear. 'Jordan, did you take my wallet out of my purse?' she asked in parental exasperation, as she made her way back to the checkout counter. 'I'm holding up this line! You need to put things back where you find them.' Wooster -- who has no children -- was not actually talking to a Jordan, or indeed to anyone."

Bad haircut? Here's how not to react. (Reg. req'd)

Some people (Not it!!) are addicted to TiVo. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch Tuesday night's Scrubs, followed by three episodes of Oprah.
(Reg. req'd)

A look at all the superfluous crap colleges are throwing at their students. "[A]t DePaul University in Chicago, where each dormitory room has free cable-TV service, students can log on to their personal computers to locate an empty computer terminal in the library or campus labs. The new program, based on an online airline-seating system, helps students decide when to leave their dorms, if at all." And BU? A $90 million fitness and recreation center with a lazy river, a hot tub for 25, a pool with a wave machine, and a juice bar. (Reg. req'd)

Pennsylvania cousins try to overcome taboo of 'I do.' After being initially shunned by their family (heh -- I almost wrote "families"), together they learned he likes to eat groundhog, she doesn't. Tomato, to-mah-toe. (Story includes loving photo.) (Reg. req'd)

Tom Cruise (age 42) and Katie Holmes (age 26) are dating. His movie career is roughly as long as she's been alive.

Ronald Reagan's handwritten diaries to become a book -- "it may be the first and last contemporaneous daily glimpse of a presidency through the eyes of the president himself." That's pretty interesting. (Reg. req'd)

The marketing behind Axe body spray. "Unilever wanted scents that expressed emotions and ideas such as 'authenticity,' 'confidently male' and 'a warmer sexier side with a deliciously sensual heart.'" You have to remember these are 14- to 19-year-olds. Plus, this isn't new ground. Remember "Designer Imposters"? (Oh, wow -- they're still selling them.) (Reg. req'd)

Wednesday, April 20

I have an appointment this morning, so I am blogging until I have to leave. Some material...

Allegedly, this is what happened to Corey Haim.

Starbucks paid trillions of dollars to shave 14 seconds of prep time off making a latte. But, you know, they are really very concerned with the refugee children of Sudan. They think about them all the time. (Reg. req'd)

At some local nightspots in Boston, nerds rule. And no, it's not a story about my apartment.

About Type-A overachievers who carefully ration their sleeping time, sometime whittling it down to four hours a night. For example: "He allocates 60 hours for work, 45 for sleep (he often naps from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. and catches up on weekends), 21 for family, seven for meditation, seven for family finance, seven for volunteering and four for exercise. Seventeen hours a week are 'flex time.'" Perhaps this is why I am not an overachiever. (Reg. req'd -- don't forget about bugmenot)

Duke University last fall semester gave all their students iPods. "About 75 percent of freshmen surveyed said they used the iPods for their academic work." Liars. They did not.

Wednesday, April 13

Click for the full story

Wisconsin voted to let its residents hunt stray cats. The governor says he doesn't want his state to be the "kill cats" state, but I still wanted to bring you the story. To know the type of people we're talking about here -- they wanted to lower the legal hunting age from 12 to 10. (It was defeated, but someone still wanted to do it.)

"The most familiar faces in the funnies have updated their wardrobes, their gadgets and their frames of reference. Blondie's daughter, Cookie, is dressing like Britney Spears. In 'The Family Circus,' little Billy is playing 'good guys' vs. 'insurgents' in his backyard." Ah, yes, Family Circus. Always so timely and relevant.

An electronic road sign on Cambridge Street flashed "EXPECT DELAYS" and "ROAD WORK AHEAD" but also alerted drivers that "PORN IS GREAT." It's the second time such a message has appeared along the delay-plagued stretch of roadwork in Beacon Hill, but state officials aren't laughing.

David Sedaris edited a book of short stories. They're not his short stories, but it'll have to be enough. And you gu-uys ... he's coming to Cambridge in Ma-ay...

How to tell if a beer doesn't deserve you. (Reg. req'd)

Woman who posed for famed Paris photo of kiss to sell her original print. You'll know the picture, I [cliché alert] had a copy in my dorm room. Click on the article, and you'll see it's also a study on the effects of aging.

Thursday, April 7

A story on Kirstie Alley's Fat Actress show. Yawn, right? I would agree, except for the tidbit on Mayim Bialik, aka Blossom. She is now is getting a Ph.D. in neuroscience at U.C.L.A. WHOA!.

A story on Clocky, the rolling alarm clock. "When the snooze alarm is pushed, Clocky rolls off the bedside table, tumbles to the floor and, thanks to shock-absorbing materials and rubber wheels, races away from the bed." Wow, that sounds like hilarity when you're half-awake and can't see.


Tuesday, April 5

The yoga turf wars get worse: "I was prepared for an East Coast/West Coast divide in rap music, but the idea of sniping between Iyengstas and Ashtangstas just didn't seem very yogic to me." (Reg. req'd)

The Claim: Tryptophan in turkey makes you drowsy. Answer after the jump. (Reg. req'd)

Boy band singer runs for Cincinnati mayor. Well, we all laughed at Arnold running for governor, and look where he is now.

Google Maps continues to get awesomer.

Outpriced Red Sox lead league at $276 for family of four. At least you don't have to buy the kids beer. Then you'd be over $300.

Sunday, April 3

(Ripped this straight off a post from the Knot...)

Japanese IQ Test ... See if you can figure it out. Apparently this is an IQ test given to employees in Japan. Everybody has to cross the river. Click on big blue dot on the bottom right to start the game. The following rules apply:

* Only 2 persons on the raft at a time
* The father cannot stay with any of the daughters without their mother's presence
* The mother cannot stay with any of the sons without their father's presence
* The thief (striped shirt) cannot stay alone with any family member
* Only the Father, the Mother and the Policeman know how to operate the raft

* To move the people click on them.
* To move the raft click on the red balls.....

If you succeed in...
4 minutes: You are a genius
6 minutes: You are exceptionally intelligent
10 minutes: You are very intelligent
20 minutes: You are average

Wednesday, March 30

True, unedited e-mail conversation from today:

Wed, Mar 30, 2005 at 10:33AM
To: Brian

Captain Obvious headline:

Baby seal clubbing denounced as cruel

Wed, Mar 30, 2005 at 10:42AM
To: Jen

yeah, you havnt' seen cruelty until you've seen a baby seal try to "shake it" on the dance floor.

(Sorry, ladies -- He's taken.)

Tuesday, March 29

From the Onion (and it's very funny): You Won't Believe This, But I'm Actually On A Crowded Elevator Right Now. This, too, made me laugh, and it got funnier the second time.

Saturday, March 26

They redid Little House on the Prairie as a TV series on ABC. But the reviewer notes that Ma almost never wears a hat or a bonnet. Come on -- what's Ma without her bonnet? (Reg. req'd)

Thursday, March 24

Shows watched before TiVo Shows watched since TiVo

The Apprentice
Desperate Housewives

The Apprentice
Desperate Housewives
PoweR Girls
America's Next Top Model

Making the Band 3
Real World/Road Rules Challenge

Making the Band 3?? WTF? Pre TiVo: No MTV. Post-TiVo; 5 MTV shows. My viewing habits are starting to resemble a 14-year-old girl's; pretty soon I'm going to be WHOOOing on TRL. This is not a good thing. Don't buy TiVo. It makes you dumber.

For those who don't understand how anyone could watch America's Next Top Model, please read this recap. Clearly, it is the best show on TV.

True story: I am sick (I have a little cold, thanks for asking.) When I am sick, I crave the crappiest crap in the entire world. So last night I sent Brian out for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal at McDonald's. I ate it, and was feeling pretty fine, under the circumstances.

Then, this morning, I see this story -- Woman eating chili bites into human finger. "They believe it belongs to a woman because of the long, manicured nail." Dude. (Insert "finger food" puns here.) Thankfully, it was on the west coast, and at a Wendy's. Because McDonald's would never have such atrocities. They don't even serve chili. For even more details, read this story.

Moral of the story: McDonald's is higher quality than Wendy's. I ate it, and there were no fingers.

[SIGH -- Yes, I have read Fast Food Nation. We're not going to talk about that, are we? Because I'm SICK.]

Tuesday, March 22

Johnny, with a shave and a haircut (two bits.)

An academic book devoted to the fine art of bullshit.
The author uses John Kerry as a "working example."

So there's this restaurant in NYC where the menu doesn't have prices. You're supposed to pay what you thought the meal was worth. And no, you're not supposed to leave without paying.

A British TV commercial for Marmite scared the living crap out of little British kids. Story includes images of a nasty brown blob terrorizing the streets of London.

A photo gallery of the Queer Eye Sox makeover. My Kevin looks dreadfully like Thurston Howell III.

Pet store owner claims a turtle has Satan's image on its shell.

Some want to boycott the new Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore movie on the Red Sox because the actors' "presence on the field after the Sox won it all somehow sullied their special moment." Whatever -- keep it real and skip it because Jimmy Fallon is a tool.

Tuesday, March 15

The kid in charge of Think Secret gets profiled. Again. Diva.

Geeks in the hizz-ouse. March 14 was Pi Day. An ode to Pi Day, to the tune of "American Pie":

Pi, pi, it's the constant to try,

Multiply by a diameter and then you'll see why,

This number's as eternal as the desert is dry.

And today's the day we celebrate pi.

Assorted Red Sox will be on the season opener of Queer Eye June 7.

FAQ: Why does moving your hands in front of the TV or radio antenna influence the reception? The answer includes thrills like, "When an antenna picks up electromagnetic radiation emitted elsewhere, an electrical current is induced in it. This current can be tapped and amplified by the radio or television receiver, allowing power and information to be communicated over large distances without direct electrical connection. In addition, the current in the receiving antenna is itself a secondary source of radiation..."

This kid looks delighted.





Another FAQ: When are colds actually contagious? (Reg. req'd)

I used to do this, too, but then The Man beat me into submission: "When Seth Shepsle goes to Starbucks, he orders a 'medium' because 'grande' -- as the coffee company calls the size, the one between big and small -- annoys him." (Unless you're Brian, of course. Then you do this.) Story is all about taking on the little things in life that drive you crazy. (Reg. req'd)

The British guy who created the Dyson vacuum cleaner (after 5,000 prototypes) has now unleashed a British Roomba. (Whoops -- not a Roomba. It's called "The Ball," so you can understand my mistake. The story's still worth reading; at one point, Mr. Dyson is described as "looking for all the world like a cowboy riding a vacuum cleaner.")

Monday, March 7

Stuffed animals are now germs. No, not the stuffed animals kids have drooled all over, but actual Ebola, Black Death, and mono.

What I will be doing on Friday, April 1. You guys, this is big.

Tuesday, March 1

Satire from the Washington Post on TV snow coverage. The whole thing is hilarious, but this was my fav: "Backdrop graphics: Before it snows, the sign on screen should read, 'Snow on the Way?' If we get 1 to 2 inches, it's 'Snow Emergency!' Three to 7 inches: 'Killer Storm!' Anything more, we run with 'Avalanches, Cannibalism Feared.'" Heh...

okay, okay -- one more: "[R]emember: Any market in which three shoppers are buying milk, bread or toilet paper simultaneously constitutes 'panic buying')." So true ... (Reg. req'd)

via The Onion: Gmail user pities Hotmail user.

This kid was so clearly asking for it, I have little to no sympathy for him: Internet fame is cruel mistress for a dancer of the Numa Numa. (Reg. req'd)

Millar may or may not be signed up for Queer Eye. [Sigh] ... he's the dreamiest. Not necessarily in that picture, but overall.

Remember that super-fab Starbucks hot chocolate? Here's another review of it. Apparently, legend has it one Starbuckster™Jen likes to order it as a large. Excuse me, venti. (Reg. req'd)

Friday, February 25

It's a bad year for roadkill ... candy.


Apple unveiled its new iPod minis. Missing is the gold version. R.I.P., gold iPod.

Guy in Florida goes to the bathroom, only to discover a six-foot python coiled in his toilet, with its head sticking out. "[Guy] called his boss to tell him he'd be late because he'd had to wrestle a snake out of his toilet. His boss joked he would need a better excuse than that. [The guy] told the boss he'd bring it in so he could see it. So he did."

The hot new trend: Drill holes in the bridge of your nose for your glasses.

Monday, February 21

All the wedding/bachelor/bachelorette pictures are up!
And more can be found here.

The people who called the cops and sued over that ill-fated cookie delivery? If they had to do it again, they say they totally would.

The Chicago Cubs' infamous Bartman baseball was blown up, and is now being served in a tasty marinara sauce. Seriously. (Reg. req'd)

Mark your calendars: March 3 is World Book Day.

Couple married for 58 years renewed their wedding vows recently. "The ceremony [Feb. 16] will be simple, performed in Florence's second-floor hospital room by a pastor that the couple has known for many years. [N]urses will decorate the room, help her into her best clothes, and give her a bouquet to hold. And Charles will slip the same $2 solitaire onto his wife's finger that he did 58 years ago." [sniffle]

Worms squirming on a fishhook feel no pain -- nor do lobsters and crabs cooked in boiling water, a scientific study funded by the Norwegian government has found. Bullshit.

A car that's smaller than a Mini. Meet the Smart coupe. It can park perpendicular to the curb. (Reg. req'd)

Sunday, February 6

My rock-star name is Serenity Spice. What's yours?

Saturday, February 5

Murakami makes section front of the Sunday Times book review. Everyone can now appreciate the love that I have held in my heart for so long. (They could have said his book was craptastic for all I know -- I won't read any reviews until I read the book.) His author website is pretty good, too. Listen to the sound; it drove Brian crazy. Ha ha.

Well, now it's official. It's a cult.
("Is that a tattoo?" -- Brian)

Twenty-somethings in Iowa are bored and jobless. Well, duh. "Republicans think they have come up with a more effective inducement for young college grads: exempting residents under the age of 30 from state income taxes."

I've got a call to action -- Stop wearing those ridiculous rubber bands around your wrist. Enough is enough.

Woman pleads guilty to selling fake beer. But not just any beer.

There's just something about that cowbell: This guy deflates much of the humor from the SNL sketch. He says 70s rock-and-roll would be nothing without the cowbell. "I'm talking fringe-vested, bare-chested, bell-bottom wearing hard rockers...Back then, nearly every drummer was armed with a cowbell perched on top of his bass drum." Then he lets us know that Christopher Walken is the patron saint of the cowbell.

Saturday, January 29

Man drinks 60 bottles of beer, pees way out of avalanche.

Friday, January 28

What Tara Reid thinks of her latest movie: "The plot, Reid says, is 'hard to explain, but once you see it, it is really a good movie. It's very smart.'

What The New York Times thinks of Tara Reid's latest movie: "This horror film, spun off from an old Atari video game, is so inept on every level, you wonder why the distributor didn't release it straight to video, or better, toss it directly into the trash." (Reg. req'd)

Or, more succinctly, "Just Tara-ble."

Thursday, January 27

Ahhhhhhhh!!! This is the coolest thing ever! Someone came up with a "March Madness" for books -- with brackets and everything!
(Okay .. calming down ... haven't read any of them, but familiar with many of the titles... It's still a good idea. Here's the background. The prize is amusing, for those who like Sedaris. I've just always wanted to be part of a sports bracket tourney-thing. They're so ... exclusive. Not me.)

This lady is 87-years-old, and she shovels for her neighbors. I wish I lived near her. (Awwwww: "The retired school crossing guard took on the chore after her husband died in 1994. He, too, had shoveled out the neighbors. Now, she says, she talks to him while she works. Sometimes she asks him to make it stop snowing." I find that very sweet.)

Ever wanted to say "I love you" and never found the words? Well now you can buy a plant that says it for you. Literally.

Apple has a "Genius Bar." I find that mildly obnoxious. (Reg. req'd)

Wednesday, January 26

This is the best/worst/most horrifying thing I saw all day: What Tonya Harding's been up to. Dare I say it, but I miss the old Tonya. She was skanktastic, but at least she wasn't scary.

No caption, just a truly great picture from the inauguration (via wonkette)

Let the people speak! Vote for your favorite book you read last year; it didn't need to be published last year. You could win more money for books! (A lady normally doesn't reveal who she votes for, but I'm not a lady.)

Monday, January 24

Since the story on the "Blizzard of 2005" has been exhausted, please witness the absolute shitfit Raleigh, N.C., had over one inch of snow: "Police handled more than 1,000 accidents, none fatal, and some people were caught in traffic jams that left them on the roads for more than eight hours. Buses were unable to take children home from school, stranding nearly 3,000 students in their classrooms with their teachers overnight. Some motorists who could not get home bunked with others in office buildings and even grocery stores."
Gah ... lightweights

Now, I used to like David Brooks. He was a moderate conservative that wrote for the heavily-conservative Weekly Standard, also wrote a handful of interesting books, and I liked his sense of humor. Then he moved to the New York Times. And promptly lost his mind (from a column on what women should do to make their lives easier):

"It might make more sense [for her] to go to college, make a greater effort to marry early and have children. Then, if she, rather than her spouse, wants to stay home, she could raise children from age 25 to 35. Then at 35 (now that she knows herself better) she could select a flexible graduate program specifically designed for parents. Then she could work in one uninterrupted stint from, say, 40 to 70."

The whole proposal is dreadful, but I pause at "Now that she knows herself better." So he thinks it's best for the naïve waif to pick out a soulmate at 22? (Here's another counterpoint.)

Good advice -- don't smell, touch, or fondle the cork.

Picasso sold at Costco. Next up, foie gras at McDonald's.

First cicadas, now rat-like rodents are coming to South Carolina: "The furry bucktoothed rodent looks like a mix between a beaver and a rat and weighs up to 20 pounds...They are enough of a problem in Louisiana that hunters and trappers get a $4 bounty for each tail they produce and residents are encouraged to eat them." Aww, hell, Louisiana. That's not necessary.

Jeans that give your bum a boost.

Firefox developed by a high-schooler. Take that, Brivo!!

And finally, I tried Starbucks's new ultra-fab hot chocolate last Thursday during a free-sample hour. Don't bother with it. It has the consistency of cold motor oil, and is so cloyingly sweet that after the first sip it goes from being, "Wow, this is chocolatey and rich," right to, "What in the hell are you trying to do?? Kill me? I need some water. Right now." Oh, and it has 21 grams of fat in a 6 oz. cup. Not worth it. Or try it once, and we can talk about it.

Wednesday, January 19

Members of Tennessee's "jury pool from hell" -- "Right after jury selection began last week, one man got up and left, announcing, 'I'm on morphine and I'm higher than a kite.' When the prosecutor asked if anyone had been convicted of a crime, a prospective juror said that he had been arrested and taken to a mental hospital after he almost shot his nephew. He said he was provoked because his nephew just would not come out from under the bed." Awesome. (Thanks, Ryan.)

Every year, for the last 56 years, a masked stranger sneaks into a Baltimore cemetery and places three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac on Edgar Allan Poe's grave on the writer's birthday.

Misery is expected to peak on Monday, as 24 January has been pinpointed as the worst day of the year. Wahhhh wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Hackers who try to get into Google's programs are more likely to get headhunted than receive a criminal record.

"More than a quarter-century ago, Jerry Duran watched his 1978 Pomona High School class ring swirl around the toilet bowl and disappear." Then recently, some guy found it and returned it. Dude, keep it.

"The canned beer Apocalypse" is upon us.

Sunday, January 16

Ugh, this is disgusting: 100-pound woman eats six-pound burger. She probably was able to get a good burp out.

For some, the Internet is so ingrained into daily life that when cut off, they go into online withdrawal much as they would without coffee or cigarettes.

This 27-year-old guy has been camped out in front of a movie theater on a blue futon waiting for the opening of the next Star Wars movie, which doesn't happen until May.

Marge Simpson gets a makeover, thanks to Dove shampoo (with image).

Why 'Keira' and 'Mohammed' are hot British baby names.

A profile of the kid who started (Reg. req'd)

Thursday, January 13

Russell Jones is an art director in New York. He has the same name as (the late) Ol' Dirty Bastard. "In the early winter of 1996, he and his wife began to receive some unusual phone calls late at night. They would pick up the receiver and a voice would shout 'Yo, Dirty!' or just 'Dirteee!' and then hang up...They’d get the wrong Russell Jones, the one who describes himself as 'meek' and 'white.'" This story is great, and there's a hidden little storytelling diamond about the name of the guy's brother (I won't ruin it.) It's almost the perfect story.

A story on bookslut, one of my favorite Internet bookmarks: "In a sea of competing Internet voices, has distinguished itself through snarky, literate book reviews, thoughtful author interviews and a trend-tracking blog that attracts between 5,500 and 6,000 visitors daily." (Reg. req'd)

Borat gets in more trouble: "After telling the crowd he supported America's war on terrorism, he said, 'I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards...And may George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq.' He then sang a garbled version of The Star-Spangled Banner."

With weddings, as with life, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
(Reg. req'd)

Wednesday, January 12

So I went to my first yoga class tonight. What a disaster.

I get there, and I'm late. Which means I have to slink into an already-darkened class, when I would have preferred a nice introductory chat with the teacher to let her know I was new. I grab a mat and lay it down. It's crooked. Then I look around, and everyone has these hippie-looking blankets. So I had to tip-toe back to where the mats were, and grab a blanket. This is not a good start.

Then there are the poses. Clearly, there are varying levels of expertise in a class. So for some, it ain't no thing. Which means it's particularly difficult/humbling when everyone just shifts into the "downward dog" or the "child's pose," and you haven't been acquainted with either. And the fetal position? I have been sleeping like that for years. In class? I blanked. On the FETAL POSITION. (Edited to correct: It's "downward-facing dog." For crying out loud...)

Also, I am sure that when everyone is meditating, the soothing, lilt-y, accented voice of the teacher is quite lovely. When you don't know what the hell you're doing, your foot is cramping and there's stray hair in your eye, it's kind of aggravating. She was very kind, and came back to the loser-corner to help me a bunch of times. This was good, but it was also embarrassing.

I kept having to laugh every time I looked around a class of grounded, centered women, and there I am in the back corner, on a crooked mat. A sty in the eye of perfection.

Tuesday, January 4

This guy is AWESOME: when he got married, he ... HE!!! changed his name!!! ROCK ON, MY BROTHER!! (Reg. req'd)

Volkswagen to offer a year of car insurance to car buyers: "Illinois and Wisconsin residents with valid driver's licenses who take delivery of a new 2004 or 2005 VW Golf, Beetle or Beetle convertible through March 31 will get a free 'In the Car' insurance policy that's good for one year." (Reg. req'd)

Boston now officially refuses to honor the chairs, trash cans, and other assorted crap people use to mark their shoveled parking spots after a snowstorm.

This may appeal only to me, but it appeals to me very, very much: All about the expiration dates on food. Because once it hits that date, I throw it the hell out. (Reg. req'd)

Exploring the myth of whether you'll get electrocuted (Hi Mom) if you talk on the phone during a thunderstorm. Of course, in those days all the phones had cords. (Reg. req'd)

Sunday, January 2

A critique of SNL. The first person quoted is the head writer who (I think) Tina Fey replaced. Hmmm... (Reg. req'd)

A woman names her kid "Tsunami."



What I'm Reading:

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
So far, I love it.

What I've read:

Joan Didion
The Year of Magical Thinking
Elegant memoir on grief. So they decide to make it into a one-woman show on Broadway. Seriously. That frosted my cookies.

James Surowiecki
The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few ..

Nick Hornby
A Long Way Down
Dawson and I went to his book reading in the summer.

Nancy Pearl
More Book Lust
She has her own action figure.

Kelly Bulkeley
Dreaming Beyond Death

Haruki Murakami
South of the Border, West of the Sun

Emily Transue
On Call: A Doctor's Days and Nights in Residency

J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I'm a big, fat cliché, okay?

Augusten Burroughs
Dry: A Memoir

Ian McEwan
Review: I liked it. Two thumbs up. (Sorry to not be more prolific on the reasons why. It's really hot right now.)

Augusten Burroughs
Running with Scissors
Review: Weirdest book ever. I could not put it down.

Nick Hornby
High Fidelity
It's okay. Not as good as "About a Boy", but okay.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go
Ehhhhhhhh ...

Dave Eggers
How We Are Hungry: Stories

John Irving
The World According to Garp
Graciously loaned by Megan

Haruki Murakami
Kafka on the Shore
Review: Suspension of disbelief at its best. I wasn't shocked by every plot revelation, but I enjoyed the ride all the same. "So great is the force of the author's imagination, and of his conviction in the archaic power of the story he is telling, that all this junk [crazy, fantastic plot points] is made genuine." Another review, with more plot detail, for those so inclined.

Malcolm Gladwell
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Review: Very interesting book about snap judgments and your subconscious. Take it with a grain of salt, but the examples are fascinating. Two snaps and a twist.

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