Monday, July 27, 2009

"Camp Twitch and Shout"? Seriously?

When I read the headline, I thought it was an article from -- "At Camp Twitch and Shout, Tourette kids can be themselves". No, it's serious. The camp was started by a teacher who struggled to fit in because of his Tourette (apparently, the correct name is neither plural nor possessive). I have to say, I like his moxie to pre-empt (other) insensitive bloggers who might be tempted to mock the camp or the kids.

I'm Bloativated!

That's right -- I stepped on the scale and realized that my previous theory that elves were secretly taking my clothes and overdrying them while I slept was wrong -- I've gained back some of the pounds (but less than half that many kilos!) I lost earlier this year. So this week I hit the gym with a vengeance*. Hopefully the bloativation will morph into motivation soon...

* So, twice.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gold Cup Final, USA v Mexico 2nd Half

47:30 Soooooo close by USA #7 (Riouhszh from what I can read on my screen)

55:00 Describing the stream as "choppy" would imply the frame refreshes.

???? According to online blogs, it's now 2-0 Mexico. Dammit. Since I can't watch anymore, it looks like I'll be going back to "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".

Now 3-0. Urge to kill rising...

Gold Cup Final, USA v Mexico 1st Half

9:00 What's the over/under on time til the first example of Mexico jackassery? I'm thinking 17 minutes.

13:00 annnnnnnddd you should always take the under on Mexico jackassery.

18:00 Why are Spanish-speaking announcers better? English-speaking announcers will say "big cross." with the same intonation I use when I say, "Hmmmm... I need more toothpaste." Univision? "caaaaaambio laaaarrrrrgoooo!" the same way I would react to winning the lottery.

23:30 If you had "24th minute" in the 1st USA yellow card pool, you win!

27:00 I'm having trouble deciding between full-screen and more pixelation than MTV's The Real World or the 3in x 4in plug in. Ugh. Either way, if we see Hand of God 2.0, I'll think it's legit.

30:40 The keepers were looking bored, so both teams decide to badly over hit dangerous through balls. That's just good sportsmanship.

35:00 When did Spanish from Old School become the Mexico keeper? "Don't sorry me, babe. And shake the tail when you walk. You're better than that."

36:15 "Hopeful" would be an incredibly generous way to describe Beckerman's slide tackle/shot combo. I would have a better chance picking up women at an Indigo Girls concert while wearing my "I Heart Hot Moms".

38:00 Is it just me or is Mexico slightly less dangerous than Spain or Brazil? Unfortunately, the USA looks less dangerous than Mexico.

42:00 How much would it cost to get the announcer to announce my day at work? A sample:

Richardson, Chong and Barr take the elevatorrrrrrr! Dooooowwwwwnnnnnnn!
(quieter) Richardson looks to be going to get coffee. Very dangerous.
He makes the choice. It's a lattttteeeee macccchiiiiiiiaaatttoooooooooooooo!

45:00 I don't know if that was a foul or not outside the box, but Ching (was it Ching? I know it was one of the blurry guys) can't cough up the ball at midfield like that. Beasley-esque.

47:00 "Yay Heeeps" cracks me up everytime I hear it.

48:12 The ref was clearly waiting for the goal kick before calling the half - why? Was he expecting Perkins to mistakenly kick it in the goal?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

London: Fashion Victims

One great thing about hanging out with Margaret is that we share a love of mocking people. Fortunately for us, roughly 1% of Londoners dress to satisfy this desire.
Unfortunately, the Tube will stop if you take a flash photo*, so you have to accept this one taken surreptitiously. I couldn't tell if she was teenaged and clueless or twenties and clueless.

I'm pretty bummed by this -- the combo of the 'fro, bright pink and leather/vinyl didn't really come out. But, still.

I'm pretty sure Yellow Dress wasn't fooled by our attempts to take a shot of her while faking a photo of Meg, but it was worth it. Unfortunately, in person she was clearly trying MUCH harder to get attention. Not a good sign if people are unsure if it's for a costume party or just a night out.

* Fing terrorists.

Kirmes 2009 Fireworks

One thing I miss about the USA is the 4th of July fireworks (and in DFW, the double dose you get with Addison's on the 3rd). Sure, there are some at New Year's, but cold & rainy isn't really the same as midsummer excitement. Which makes the Kirmes (a carnival or fun fair, for you Brits), a welcome change of pace. And this year I even managed to get a few half-decent photos. Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

London: Eating

When Margaret suggested that we go to an Indian seafood place, I immediately responded with a resounding "hell, yes!" And, boy, was I ever correct in my enthusiasm. Rasa Samudra, though the decor was hideously pink, contained phenomenal food. We started with a sampler of 6 pickles: mango (really good, when normally I hate them), onion, lemon, fish, shrimp and another that was also tasty. Oh my, yes. Then our mains:

That's some crab with a dry curry. It's sinfully* good. We also had coconut rice, which sounds blah, but was the best rice I've ever had, a beet-spinach curry, which was delightfully different, and some paratha bread which was even better than Thai Garden's roti bread.

Just FYI: the dried pepper in the middle of the coconut rice (similar to the one atop the beet-spinach curry) is not hot at first. It's a time-delayed burst of fire. Fortunately I was able to fill my own prescription for cold Cobra and tasty coconut rice to salve the pain.

* Leviticus 11:10-12

London: Signage

Upon seeing this sign midway down the escalator at Gatwick airport, I began to wonder why put it up AFTER you're on the damn escalator?!? And what the hell are Wellingtons? But then I noticed this:

That is one freaked-out dog -- it looks like it either was given one of the merciless peppers of quetzlzacatenango or was not not licking toads.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Maybe That Free Speech Thing Is Too Much For Internet Morons to Handle...

Sadly, as a proponent of free speech (using the Chomsky definition), I have to argue that people have the right to say things that I completely disagree with -- otherwise I don't support free speech. Of course, supporting some asshat's right to spout off is COMPLETELY different from agreeing with them. After a conservative blog posted a photo of one of the Obama munchkins wearing a peace-symbol t-shirt in Moscow, the comment section for the page filled up with a variety of racist invective. A sampler (reproduced verbatim -- enjoy the creative grammar and punctuation!):

- "What we now are sending the ghetto over to represent us. and if so who the hell is that flea bag who looks to be dragged from the trash dumpster."

- "Looks like a bunch of ghetto thugs. A stain on America."

- "we;'re being represented by a family of ghetto trash."

- "Looks like a typical street whore."

I have to say, these are valid political criticisms expressed thoughtfully and openly. Psyche! Of course, while the sentiments might've been expressed differently, I've no doubt that bleeding heart blogs were filled with similar bullshit about Bush's kids. Ugh. I need a shower.

The list of comments was saved as a jpeg at . I'm risking my lack of blog cred by saying this, but since the comments were off the site by the time it hit the Vancouver Sun, I can't verify that they weren't a hoax.

Being a Good Samaritan Pays Off

As I'm locking up my bike tonight, a guy comes running toward me, hands outstretched, spouting gibberish*. My immediate sense of annoyance turns to fear when i see his hands are covered in black gunk -- clearly he's on a tarring-and-feathering binge and is looking for another victim. Not so fast, there, Hans! Then I notice he's pointing to a bike and asking if I have a wrench**. I go upstairs, get a wrench and then see that the problem is that he's missing a nut*** to keep his back wheel attached to the frame (which I don't have). I tell him this, and he says, "Dammit! Well, do you have 20 Euro? You can have the damn thing."

Now, I realize that this bike is probably stolen -- it's way nicer than my bikes and they cost 80 Euro (total). But if I don't buy it, someone else might -- and they might pay more. Which would lead to him thinking theft is even more profitable and encourage him to continue. Thanks to my quick-thinking-rationalization, I paid the man 20 Euro and now have what may well be Curly Howard. If I can get a nut for that rear wheel, that is.

* I.e., German.
** I was assuming it meant "wrench". It could've meant "saw sharp enough to cut through human bone"
*** Insert your own joke here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

LiveBlogging: Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings EXCLUSIVE!!!

Through my sources* in the Senate, I have obtained a copy of Judge Sotomayor's FBI background check. Here are the juicy bits:

- Saw Titanic 5 times. In a row. While only paying for one.

- Tells friends she prefers being called "wiseass Latina"

- Once considered joining the Communist Party in order to "meet some hot guys in olive drab"

- At a Judicial Conference party, once beat 4 consecutive sitting Supreme Court Justices in beer pong. The last was accompanied by a boisterous cheer of "suck it, Sc----!"

- While underage, was arrestested for trying to buy beer using the excuse "My name isn't SotoMINOR"

* Ok, fine, source, singular. The name rhymes with Blon Blornyn.

Being an Insensitive Jackass is Gender Independent

When I saw the headline "Boss 'sorry' over fake boobs joke", I made the sexist assumption that the "boss" in question was a man. Wrong! What did the "boss" do or say that was offensive? These were the lowlights of her actions to an employee who had had both breasts removed due to cancer:

- She gave her a pair of fake breasts (with tassels!) for Christmas
- She would repeatedly say things like, 'keep abreast of things, Janet' or 'you've dropped a boob there'

However, to make things right, the boss fired her. Then, after losing a wrongful termination lawsuit, she apologized and said she never meant to cause offense*. Riiiiiiiiight.

* Being British, she probably didn't want to cause offenCe, actually.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

LiveBlogging: Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings Excerpt

Sen Hatch (R-UT) - Can you explain your understanding of whether a right to privacy is guaranteed by the Constitution?

Judge Sotomayor - I cannot speak on issues that I might face while on the Court.

Senator Hatch - Then, if you were an ice cream flavor, would you be Antonin Sca-Lemon or David SouterBerry?

Judge Sotomayor - I have always considered myself more of a Sotomayalmond Fudge.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Best. Sponsor. Ever.

Question: You're a local sports club and you need cash to build a swanky new turf field. How do you get cash?

Answer: You go into Elektro Porn and get down on your knees.

My friends in Trier gave an embarassed laugh when we noticed the sign and pointed out that it's advertising a family-owned electronics store. Unfortunately, that family's surname is Porn. No word yet on if the son is taking his wife's name. He wouldn't be the one to end the good name of Porn in Trier, would he?

The Maginot Line Revisited

Some intrepid amateur historians have finally answered the question: Could the Maginot Line repell a multi-national force that had bad German accents?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fly, My Pretties, Fly!

After I discovered a sleeper cell of fruit flies in some disappointing strawberries, I tried everything, to no avail. Finally, I figured I would turn them to my own devious ends -- who doesn't need minions, especially winged ones? Alas, even when I screech in my best Margaret Hamilton voice, the fruit flies still don't attack Dorothy (or her little dog, too). But the incident did lead me to a Beatles song I've never heard, which is cool.

But then I was jonesing for some flying monkey action. While they scared me as a kid, as an adult I am deeply disappointed that they didn't go after Glinda, The Uppity Witch of The North (South in the books). She's clearly modeled on the southern belles that would later infest sororities across the USA. I could go on for hours, since this is one of my Top 5 Movies of All Time. Also, check out the best movie review, ever.

So endeth the rambling post.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Onion Hilarity -- Mexico Builds a Wall to Keep Out US Assholes

Mexico Builds Border Wall To Keep Out US Assholes
Good times. I didn't realize that Speedy Gonzales was no longer the President of Mexico. I guess I need to bone up on my world politics.

Monday, July 06, 2009

No, Mom, This Wasn't Me

Contrary to allegations of some of my readers, the following story is NOT about me.

BERLIN (Reuters) - A drunk German sparked a slow-speed police chase after stealing a tractor to get home from a nightclub after his girlfriend left without him, said police, who used pepper spray to try to stop the vehicle.

Let me refute:
1. I live in the 'dorf, not Berlin.
2. When drinking, my getaway vehicle of choice is a cab. It was a bike, but experience has taught me valuable lessons.
3. If anyone is leaving anyone at a club, it's me. That's just how I roll*.

* Yes, I know I sound like a tool when I say that.

How Stupid Are You? A Quiz for Public Figures

Question 1: If you are a public figure, when is it OK to refer to Hitler in a positive light?
A) Anytime
B) If you applaud his rebuilding of Germany but lament the Holocaust, it's fine.
C) You're in Germany between 1932 and 1945
D) Never

How to score your quiz? If you answered:
A) You're a complete moron. Feel free to chug 5-10 beers and hop on a motorcycle.
B) You're a partial moron. Rather than thinking before speaking, you should hire a chimpanzee to do your interviews for you.
C) If you're there by choice, you're a complete moron. Otherwise you get an Incomplete.
D) Correct! While you might still be a moron, at least you have passed Giving an Interview 101.

A Site For Snark

Thanks to Liz, I've discovered the magic that is A blog dedicated to mocking family photos. Go ahead, check it out. I especially like the subtlety of the 4th of July kids photo and the family of crossbow-wielders.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I'm Not Saying The Wimbledon Final Was Long Buuuuut

... I'm pretty sure the ballkids went through puberty in the last set.
... Euro labor laws required both players to have someone else play the second half of the 5th set.
... Roddick started clean-shaven and now has a longer beard than most Amish men.
... Federer also won the 2010 final by default.
... I now have bed sores from sitting so long.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Nothing Says "Patriotism" Like Weaseling Out of Government Work

Taking a page from the thousands (millions?) of Americans that patriotically worm their way out of jury duty every year, Sarah Palin quit as Governor of Alaska on Friday, saying,

“As I thought about this announcement that I would not seek re-election,” she said, “I thought about how much fun other governors have as lame ducks. They maybe travel around their state, travel to other states, maybe take their overseas international trade missions.”

“I’m not going to put Alaskans through that,” she said. “I promised efficiencies and effectiveness. That’s not how I’m wired. I’m not wired to operate under the same old politics as usual.”

Not treating lame duck status as a taxpayer-funded vacation -- You betcha! Buuuuut... couldn't she have just kept working? Wasn't that an option? Or is it in the Alaska Constitution that governors not seeking reelection must party like 'twas 1999? No, fulfilling a term of office is "politics as usual". The question is, does this logic carry over to her other endeavors? Is sticking with a marriage "relationships as usual?" Not converting "religion as usual"? Giving 2 weeks notice "business etiquette as usual"?

She later added via Twitter that her quitting was "in Alaska’s best interest". Why would we want her as President if even she thinks that her state is better off without her as Governor?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Venus Williams Beats Dinara Safina Cardboard Cutout at Wimbledon

London(JT) In the women's semifinal (played on Court 12 due to insufficient hotness), Venus Williams beat a remarkably lifelike cardboard replica of Dinara Safina, 6-0, 6-1. "I have to give it credit -- though it's only a 2-dimensional piece of cardboard with a photo pasted on it, it did win a game," stated Williams after the match. She continued, "I thought something was odd during the warmups as she is normally far less stationary and tends to breathe, but she wasn't today. It wasn't until her first service game when she was knocked over by a ballboy throwing a ball to her that I realized it was just one of those cutouts you see in stores. It was a really, really lifelike one, though. I might get one for Serena to hang clothes on."

When reached for a comment, Safina merely replied, "I had two reasons for the switch: 1) The standup is always going to stores I wouldn't enter if you paid me (and they do) and 2) I figured it was worth a shot. But I'm still #1, right?" The cutout refused comment.