Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Great Guide to Wellness*

Today marks the millionth billionth time that Amity has found herself in bed and sick from a cold or flu when she should be a good little busy bee, out there in the real world of productivity, weather-related small talk and overwhelming coffee intake.

But in the fake world, the one where only me and some type of unidentifiable, untreatable soul-sucking leach of an illness contracted hither or thither via subway train, public restroom, unwashed bowl; loved one's can be good. Life can be great! Below, please find a list of FAQs for the sickly and doomed. PLEASE NOTE: If you have swine flu...boy have I got a joke for you that I just totally made up:

A: Knock, knock
B: Who's there?
A: Oink oink.
B: Oink oink who?
A: Oink oink I've got that pig flu!
B: mean "swine flu"?
A: Yeah! Same thing! And I'm a gonna kill you!
B: This is really awkward, er, why did you come to my door?
A: Uh...this is just a classic joke format and not meant to be taken literally?
B: Right. I am slamming this door! Good day sir!

Q: Amity, how do I combat the bitter loneliness plaguing my soul?

A: I'm glad you asked. A common side effect of the common cold and/or flu.

Q: So what's the answer?

A: Sleep more! That way there's no loneliness, just dreams.

Q: Isn't that a Steve Bruele quote?

A: Shhhnext question!

Q: How do I find the strength to go on? There are so many things that people want to sell me to get better and I have no idea what to ingest!

A: I strongly advise flushing all Airborne products down the toilet. They are a sham! Film flam! You're like the elephant in that Disney cartoon movie with the "magic feather," trying to fly. Just drop the feather, Dumbo, you will fly if you believe! Also, fruits that make your throat scratch are good. Think oranges and pineapples, I have no idea why but they help.

Q: This general malaise: why?

A: Your body hates you right now, in turn, you are hating life. Copious amounts of Nyquil and Theraflu are commonly accepted as legitimate medical treatment for this condition among the glitterati of the medical community. Drink and be merry!

Q: Speaking of drinking and being merry, can I do that whilst sickly? I want some booze!

A: Ah, quite the controversial topic. Fact: hot toddies are soothing to the throat, as well as soul. Fact: all you need is 4 parts whiskey to 1 part hot water, fresh lemon, and honey. Cheers to your health!

Q: I feel more confused than when I started asking these questions.

A: Let me put it this way: if two hands clapping make noise, then what is the sound of one? I.e., if your bowl is already full, how am I to help you fill it?

* Not written under the influence of Nyquil.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Best Parable for Relationships

Can be found in Shel Silverstein's children's book "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O." What could be more simple, profound, and true than this charming little tale?

Enjoy this little film version found on the youtubes:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When people stop being polite

"...and start getting real." I believe that was the original catch phrase of the '90s era episodes of the MTV reality show "The Real World."

Well the puppet masters of reality television are beyond impoliteness at this point: they're downright sadistic. It seems Rupert Murdoch's television wasteland, Fox, has decided to begin airing a reality show about people getting laid off. Fox's "Someone's Gotta Go" will feature a real-life company of around 20 employees competing it's kinda like "The Apprentice." Only there are no winners. Just the unemployed.

Employees will be given an opportunity to view eachother's salaries and decide who gets "voted off the island" as it were...or who's "the weakest link" et al etc etc. Instead of employers doing the firing, however, employees will freely judge eachother's worth and value before a national television audience and demean one another until one of them is no longer on television.

According to the Huffington Post, Mike Darnell, programming officer, said that the show was about "employee empowerment."

Yeah, and "Rock of Love" is about Bret Michaels finding a soulmate.

"Somebody's Gotta Go" will be brought to you by producers over at Endemol USA. No, it's not a pesticide or a nasal spray or Viagara substitute; Endemol USA is comprised of subsidiaries and joint venture companies spanning 23 countries, which have brought such culturally enlightening programs as "Big Brother," "Fear Factor," and "Deal or No Deal." Just last year, Endemol bought up the company that was responsible for the reality/celebrity shows over at VH1--51 minds.

I mean, if it takes 51 minds to think up that Flava Flav show or "Tool Academy," you've got to question the quality of those minds. I do believe they are overpaid and at least 50 of them should decide on which one should be fired.

A few years ago, just after the company decided to go public, 75% of Endemol was bought by the company Mediaset, which, in case you're not familiar with your megaconglomerates, is owned by the Burlusconi Family.

I've got a great tag line for those Italian bastards I do. How about, "Mediaset: Doing for quality television what Silvio Burlusconi has done for his withering nation."

I'm just hoping that the American public will reach its low culture threshold and somehow create a backlash against this show and the impending culture surrounding it. It seems as though the process of judging eachother and creating entertainment out of it live on television is corrosive, vile and destructive. As constant voyeurs into the nightmare "reality" world of rejection and judgement, we are engaging in a destructive societal mentality. I can't help but believe that this mentality will somehow, perhaps subconsciously, seep into the day-to-day.

I know that, personally, whenever I face rejection in the workplace or elsewhere, all I hear are those damn catch phrases, "the weakest link " or "you've been voted off the island."

That being said, I do love Bret Michaels and his fine taste in classy ladies; you can never hear the words, "will you continue to rock my world" too many times from D-listed rocker in a doo-rag.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Obama, pirates and privacy

Earlier today, President Obama made a bit of a gaffe while discussing the triumphant victory of America v pirates (tune in next week, when Obama prevails over rogue ninjas!) Obama stated:

"And I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of privacy in that region."

We all know Obama is no Bush--i.e. he's no gaffe laugh machine. Coincidentally, many progressives and Libertarians are taking issue with the Obama administration's behavior regarding state secrets and civil liberties. Freudian slip perhaps?

I've found this administration's insistence upon extending the unconstitutional, inhumane foreign policies of the Bush administration--injustices such as the denial of Habeas Corpus, persistence in carrying out extraordinary renditions, and insistence of warrantless wiretapping very strange, very strange indeed. Is this president progressive...or regressive?

(A brief Talking Points Memo concensus: here).

I know that it's going to be hard for Americans to see the importance of moving past the savagery of the past eight years--whatwith our economy turning to shit and all. But we need to evolve from the dark days of that cowboy monkey man. Immediately. As painful as it is to face the realities of our torture practices, our leaders need to practice a little moral certitude and call for a stop this involvement in all matters clandestine abroad. These innocent men that our troops are beating; psychologically and sexually humiliating? Their stories won't die even if they themselves do by our own country's hands. Nor should they.

Author Mark Danner gave a brilliant analysis of 14 detainee testimonies filed by the Red Cross:

"...monumental decisions taken after the attacks of September 11, 2001—decisions about rendition, surveillance, interrogation—lie strewn about us still, unclaimed and unburied, like corpses freshly dead.

How should we begin to talk about this? Perhaps with a story. Stories come to us newborn, announcing their intent: Once upon a time... In the beginning... From such signs we learn how to listen to what will come. Consider:

I woke up, naked, strapped to a bed, in a very white room. The room measured approximately 4m x 4m [13 feet by 13 feet]. The room had three solid walls, with the fourth wall consisting of metal bars separating it from a larger room. I am not sure how long I remained in the bed...."

Read the rest here.

It's a horrifying thought: Obama continuing the cycle of torture and abuse that once seemed to horrify him as well--at least when he was selling himself on the stump, that is. I can forgive our president for many things, but this one--I don't think anyone can afford such forgivance.
Bike meets girl

I am so in love with my new bicycle right now. I bought it from a lovely lady couple that create beautiful vintage hybrid bicycles with fine brand-name frames. Mine is a 70s Gitane (fancy pants French brand) mixte 10-speed with moustache handlebars--bright, beaten-up white with a dark brown leather seat.

Recently, I discovered what a mixte is via the internets, as I was too embarrased to ask the bike nerd ladies what it was.

The things I found out really blew my mind.

Apparently it is the kind of frame that dips down, rather than going straight across to form a triangle. I just thought triangles were for boys; non-triangles were for girls that wore dresses. While this is true, the mixte is also a style that was once in vogue for both genders; I had no idea that they stopped making this frame style in the 60s and 70s.

From Dave Moulton's Bike Blog:

The mixte frame, for whatever reason, it seems has caught on with the teen and twenty set of young men in America and they are buying up older ones on eBay. They seem to like this style of frame because, like the dance hall on the Queen Mary, it offers a lot of Ballroom.

(My bike, bottom left)

My Gitane has the vintage look of a classic clunker, with the lightweight maneuverability of a racing bike--probably due in part to the fact that there are no fenders. Oh how I love my white chariot that glides over pavement with the greatest of ease! And I almost feel as chic and graceful as these bicycle-loving ladies:

Almost. Need some fancy golden jazz shoes.
Feeling Check: today, mad at the television

If Bill Maher saw this finned friend, he surely would jump it

Bill Maher talks to Ron Howard on "Real Time" for a one-on-one sesh lasting no shorter than 25 minutes, allows politically-insignificant filmmaker to ramble on about high school incident whereby his penis pops out of his shorts during basketball game, also allowing said *completely politically-insignificant filmmaker* to discuss entire career including, ironically, the day that "Happy Days" turned bad and The Fonze "jumped the shark" whilst water skiing. Ironically...

Feeling check: I am so mad you guys. I have actually blown off Friday night plans with people to indulge in new "Real Time with Bill Maher" episodes. Even if I find some of his jokes personally offensive or off-color, at least he has intelligent guests that actually engage in thought-provoking dialogue. Where can you find that nowadays?

Let it be noted, however, that I do believe Gore Vidal's later presence nearly made up for it.

Bill Maher what happened?
All work and no play makes this a dull blog

Yeah. Another one of them "I'm so lazy with the blog hey lemme tell you all about it!" posts. Unfortunately I've been exhausted from work, plus the added stress of finally moving out of my apartment for another one across town...a full three miles away...and I've been visiting the dentist a lot, could be the lucky recipient of yet another root canal...(yawn)...well I can see this post is going nowhere...hey, so, whenever somebody tells you "Work is Freedom!" you tell them they're no better than a Nazi.

Actual photograph of concentration camp with "Work is freedom" written in German.