A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quick Question

I'm sitting here getting bombed on red wine and watching the GOP debate as it crashes into my face like a speedboat propeller, and I'm confused about precisely one thing:

Did Giuliani always speak with such a noticeable lisp?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thoughts on Mardi Gras

This past weekend saw our annual (2 years strong!) pilgrimage to New Orleans for the beginning of the Mardi Gras parades. This early portion is nowhere near the hullabaloo of the later dates (from what others tell me), but nonetheless, it fucking delivers. So here are a few thoughts/musings, in no particular order...

1. Catholicism allows this shit? I mean...damn. I realize that it sort of transcends the religious aspects now, and is probably more of a party/social gathering than anything else, but there is some seriously wild shit that goes on at these things. Pasties, cod pieces, and chaps, oh my!

2. New Orleans is part of the United States? Seriously, everything about this city is practically foreign to me (or US, if you will indulge me on that shitty pun). The bars are open 24 hours, live funk pours from every watering hole within spitting distance, and the foods...oh the foods! Delicious culinary delight! Boudin balls, Praline Bacon, Red Beans and Rice, Bread Pudding, Muffaletta, Shrimp Po' Boys...

3. Getting dressed up in costume is not really about being somebody or something that everyone can recognize, but rather being seen and being outrageous. This sort of made sense after we had been dancing in the costume ball in front of the 101 Runners and their humongous, resplendent feathered headdresses and I realized that at least 10 people in front of us were, in fact, dressed up in giant sperm costumes.

4. New Orleans is still in pretty bad shape. Many of the buildings are falling down, crumbling and moldy. The streets aren't exactly any better. As we drove on I-10 up over and around the French Quarter, my friend pointed out a bunch of large, white tents. They were put in after the storm for temporary shelter of some sort, and now serve as the central lockup, nearly 2.5 years later.

5. Considering the mold problems, I dunno how the people with sinus issues can handle living down there. All my friends were suffering terribly, and they had only been there a few days.

6. Even though it's the South, it can get pretty damn cold. Being out at midnight when it's 35 with a 30 MPH wind chills to the bone.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Want To Stick My Head in an Oven

Last year, my brother and Dad convinced me that I was an idiot to be keeping what meager savings I had in a Bank CD. I took their advice and threw it all in one of those Vanguard Index Funds that tracks the S & P 500. I am by no means a sophisticated investor, and I know I am supposed to be focusing on the long term benefits of what I am doing, but I am getting bitch slapped every day and its making me even more nervous and edgy that usual.

I'm told that the best time time to invest is when the market is slumping, but when its your money that's dwindling away at light speed, its hard to be so forward thinking.

On a completely unrelated note, go catch "No Country For Old Men." I think its my favorite movie I've seen all year. Although "Michael Clayton," and "Enchanted," are pretty goddamned good, too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Following Contains Adult Situations

I followed through on an idle threat to file my tax returns early this year, and managed to bang them out last night.

I came within about $200 of an estimated sales tax deduction being larger than the standard deduction on the federal form.

Fucking Chicago.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cloverfield = Awesome

Just one man's opinion.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


I spent about 2 weeks last spring enamored with the idea of a Michael Bloomberg presidential run. I've followed politics one way or another from a (relatively) young age, and then studied the subject in a Ph.D. program; that, plus my advancing age, has turned me off from a lot of the process. Those few ideological principles I've hung on to are either stuck in an unsatisfying, tense gridlock (pro-choiceism) or held hostage as we wait for a lot more people born before 1968 to die off (gay unions). So, the concept of a post-ideological campaign that would presumably be a lot more concerned with making the goddamn trains run on time was pretty attractive. Plus, anything that wedges off more Wall Street Republicans from their mouth-breathing, dirt-farming, gay-bashing, Negro-lynching bretheren and hand the election to the Democrats could only be a good thing, right?

Imagine my sigh of disappointment upon reading the following from the Times:

The mayor, who spoke from 1:17 p.m. to 2:05 p.m., called for taking DNA samples from every person arrested in New York City, no matter how serious the crime; ending social promotion for eighth graders, as he has already done for students in three younger grades; and extending a $400-a-year property tax rebate and a 7 percent property tax deduction despite mounting budget pressures. He promised to give “a six-figure prize” to anyone who invents a device that allows the Police Department to analyze DNA immediately, at crime scenes.
1) This is some fascist fucking shit. DNA swabs for carrying a dime bag? Shoplifting? And how long until that DNA database gets stolen out of the backseat of somebody's car and then, without explanation, ends up in the hands of your health insurance provider. "Mr. Dudebro, there is no possible way that we could cover your soon-to-be-preexisting diabetes."

2) What is with this country's fascination with forensic science? Although roughly 90% of television hinges on crimes that are either unsolvable (Cold Case), can only be solved by magic (CSI) or only be solved by the four competent law enforcement personnel in Manhattan (Law & Order), I feel like that's not how the world actually works. 96 crimes out of 100 must either be drug possession, spousal abuse or killing someone in your immediate family. In what fucking world are criminals running around scot-free because the crime lab couldn't return a blood type on time? And "instant DNA analysis" is something you need to invest a 100K bounty + R&D and distribution costs for?

Pretty much all the crimes that Vic Mackey solves are essentially random and gang-related, and his entire precinct has one fucking computer.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another Open Letter

To all of the half-wit sportswriters who are clamoring for a 4 team, "Plus One" playoff system in college football:

Who would your four teams have been in 2007? Pick four from the group of

A) Georgia
D) Missouri
E) Ohio State
F) West Virginia
G) Kansas

and base your argument solely on regular season results, since that's what you would have had to do were the system in place this year. You are not allowed to count Ohio State's idle week against them, since it's not their fault that the Big Ten doesn't have the 12 teams required for a conference championship game.


Answer Key: The only problem with the BCS is that the fucking voters don't ever think about fucking strengths-of-schedule until after the season. If they would vote better, or stop revising the BCS formula every year to weigh the polls more and more heavily, this wouldn't be a problem.

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