"The Boston Red Sox 2004: The Magic of the Mullet" -- the fans have spoken, and cast a variety of celebs to play the Red Sox in an imaginary sequel to their 2003 documentary film. My personal casting choices below...though I admit, Val Kilmer in "bloated Jim Morrison mode" as Johnny Damon is pretty good!

Terry Francona -- Stanley Tucci
Nomar Garciaparra -- Charlie Sheen
David Ortiz -- Ving Rhames
Kevin Millar -- Kevin James
Gabe Kapler -- Ashton Kutcher
Pokey Reese -- Sean Combs
Manny Ramirez -- Horatio Sanz
Mike Timlin -- Sam the Eagle
Bill Mueller -- Barry Pepper
Johnny Damon -- Captain Caveman
Pedro Martinez -- Jennifer Lopez: we need a drama queen!
Curt Schilling -- Andy Richter
Tim Wakefield -- Tim McGraw
Derek Lowe -- Donal Logue
John Henry -- C. Montgomery Burns
Theo Epstein -- Fred Savage
Jason Varitek -- Russell Crowe
Have your palm read online -- no, not by pressing it up against your monitor. In a few quick clicks, you'll have an analysis -- and take it from me, it's eerily correct. My palm shows that I am "a very passionate person with an imaginative nature," a "warm and generous disposition," who likes to vent grievances "through political activities." It also says my optimal career choices are "lawyer, politician, entertainer, or an athlete in non-contact sports," but that I will "have a late start with [my] career and financial independence." Like I said, eerily correct! Thanks, Lindsay!
"Be My Baby" -- That's the title of tonight's already-infamous Barbara Walters report on 20/20, profiling a 16 year-old who will select one of five couples to adopt her infant. That's right, it's Who Wants My Kid, The Reality Show! As you can see in the accompanying article, the teen mom in question is white, pretty, apparently smart and healthy and from a two-parent family -- hmmm, is there interest in adopting kids who don't fit this profile? Something tells be Barbara won't be probing into that question tonight. To share the outrage, check out the Feedback Page: Americans are mad as hell...and also, they can't spell.
Google is going public their way, baby! -- So the speculation is over, and the hottest web-based company ever is going to sell some shares...but they're not buying into that whole Wall Street scene, man. Not only are they auctioning the stock through a little-used method to be more fair (!), they refuse to live by the quarterly earnings report, and will not spend less on their employees. Here's an analysis of the IPO filings by John Battelle -- basically they're not doing it for the money, which must really burn the butter of those rapacious investment banker types. Ha! That just makes me love Google more.
Interview With The Exorcist -- this guy casts out demons for the Vatican, what a gig! Part X-Files, part...uh...sacrament. Worst line: "With little prompting, he whipped out his equipment." Oh, the Catholic Church is doomed...
"Cruel Detentions" -- Did you notice that the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on what might be the two most important cases in 50 years this week? Dahlia Lithwick at Slate explains it all for you.


"To The Five Boroughs" -- the new Beastie Boys record is only six weeks away...sate your lust by downloading the new single, "Ch-Check It Out," and playing with the interactive panoramic photo of old skool lower Manhattan on their site. As they say, like Ma Bell, they got the ill communication.
"What's the secret ingredient, bleach?" -- My man James Lileks, connoisseur of all things retro and hideous, analyzes a vintage cookbook, one of my favorite things. La!
BlackSpot Sneakers -- the next wave in anti-globalization fashion footwear! For around $40, these union-made, Converse-esque sneaks will try to unseat Nike and other corporate behemoths from the world trade trough. Preorder yours today!
More Decency In Movie Physics! -- This site devotes itself to rating movies based on the plausibility of the physics they depict, i.e. the more people crash unscathed through plate glass, the lower the score. Hmm, the Worst Physics Movie Ever is "The Core"...which might be the Worst Movie Ever, Period, how convenient.
"Is anyone really normal?" -- Asperger's Syndrome is the psychiatric diagnosis du jour for thousands of adults who were previously thought of as "rude, clueless or just plain weird" by their friends, family and coworkers. It's a form of mild autism that prevents the person from understanding social cues like body language, small talk, inside jokes, etc. There's tons of information online, from the basic to the quirkily personal. There's even an Asperger's romantic comedy being filmed with Josh Hartnett...hmmmm. And for a little comic relief, try the Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical.


"The battle for Middle Earth has begun...in Washington D.C." -- Wow. Sadly, this guy really is running for Congress in the Seattle area...and he apparently has never heard of copyright. I think some well-placed emails are in order...
Giant Snails Attack Milwaukee! -- No, really! Peter, this one's for you...
"Mandela: An Audio History" -- this week, NPR is running an incredible 5-part series on the history of the South African anti-apartheid movement and Nelson Mandela's role in it, as it's the 10 year anniversary of post-apartheid democracy there. The audio pieces are rich with clips from newsreels, speeches, and interviews with Mandela and his associates --- yesterday's featured his chilling "I am prepared to die" speech from the dock during the trial which led to his long imprisonment. It is all worth a listen.
"America in Red and Blue" -- an in-depth series in the Washington Post on the political monotheism that created the misleading "all-liberal" vs. "all-GOP" map of the USA. As Clark Humphrey says, we should be working towards "a purple-er America" instead!
"That's why people ask spouses every day, "How's your husband? How's your wife?" and expect them to know." -- An interview in The Atlantic with Jonathan Rauch, author of "Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America." OK, then!
Welcome to The Imaginary World...of Disney! -- Very cool photo archive of DisneyLand snapshots from the 50s and 60s. Note that everyone dressed like adults back then (skirts! hats! long pants!) instead of entire families in matching playclothes from Old Navy. For more lovely snapshots of mid-century times gone by, see the Charles W. Cushman Photo Collection from Indiana University, truly amazing.
"If you want to be Christian, that's cool..." -- Is "South Park" the moral high ground these days? The NYTimes seems to think so.


Bush is a jerk -- so what else is new? This has to be a sign of the times: that "GlassesGate" could become the pivotal issue that awakens the American voter to get rid of this guy, while Iraq, Cheney's duck hunt, PlameGate, SaudiGate, etc. etc. etc. have failed. Well, whatever it takes, I guess...
Another Food Blog Alert! -- The Amateur Gourmet is the work of one Adam Roberts, who likes to cook, and also to pretend to be Pancetta Williams, faux-host of the faux-cooking show "Cooking Lite With Pancetta." Yuk yuk. See also his tribute to his grandma's long-lost upside down pineapple kugel recipe, on eGullet. OOOH, and he does an in-depth investigation into that eternal question, "Who was General Tso and Why Are We Eating His Chicken?" I know someone who longs to know...
"Punctuation and It's Discontents" -- very cute, New York Times, very cute. Find the error in the title of this interview with Lynne Truss, self-appointed grammar cop and author of the bestselling "Eats, Shoots & Leaves." I'd like to read this book, though I'll always think back fondly on my Warriner's grammar textbook from junior high, something I often wish I had in hand...for whacking grammar miscreants about the head, I mean.
"Jesus has proven to be no more than a foolhardy liberal." -- In the words of Woody Guthrie and of course McSweeney's, "Let's have Christ our President!"
Condi & W. in parapraxis -- what does it mean when the National Security Advisor accidentally refers to the President as her husband? Mostly nothing...except to the media in our sound-bitten culture. Once again, paging Dr. Freud...
"Are you...Gloria Steinem?" -- Salon's Rebecca Traister has a front-line report from the March For Women's Lives in D.C. on Sunday, from the veteran libbers of the 70's to the college girl who explains her "no wire hangers" button to a clueless male friend this way: "Haven't you ever seen 'Dirty Dancing'"? Nice!
Enter the Boombox Museum -- before the iPod, nearly before the Walkman, there was the clunky grey portable stereo, baby. I think the one I owned in the 80s fall into the "Decline and Fall" period, but its nostalgic charm will never fade. Be sure to check the page of pop culture references to the glorious boombox. Rock on!

And speaking of non-iPods, here's what would be on John Lennon's -- a fan bought and restored Lennon's jukebox from the 60's and researched what was in it...hint: no Beatles records.
Prom Bombs -- awesome winners of St. Petersburg Times "worst prom outfits" contest, very retro, very scary. And speaking of scary prom gear, click on over to the most entertaining catalog I've ever received, Stumps, where you can order a prom-in-a-box for your high school gym. Hmmm, which will it be, "Jungle Allure," "Asian Delight," or the hallucinogenic "On The Wings of Love" kit?
Harvard scraps its core curriculum -- and proposes one remarkably similar to the one Tufts students like myself have been enjoying for years. Go Jumbos!


Excel Pile -- do you make Excel spreadsheets for things in your life that, well, other folks don't? Ahem? Well, Anil Dash has a comments page for you.
"There's a face in your foam, mate" -- the frothy art of drawing in capuccino foam...Down Under, of course.
"No, honey, 'Shogun Assassin' is too long." -- That's probably my favorite line from "Kill Bill Vol. 2" which I saw with Nat last night, and I liked it even better than the first installment, despite its bizarre premise, basically a kung-fu movie crossed with an episode of "Oprah" about abusive relationships. Once you realize that Quentin Tarantino is a) a crazy nerd and b) still a brilliant storyteller, you can sit back and enjoy the rambling dialogue, great camera work, spine-tingling suspense, and totally over-the-top gore. Or, maybe not, if that's not your thing. Anyway, this link is a comprehensive guide to all the movie references he makes in "Kill Bill," it goes on and on and on...I would add "High Noon" and maybe "Raising Arizona" to the list. Also, here's a great article on "20 More Things You Gotta Know About Bill."
"Civil war and the breakup of Iraq are more likely outcomes than a successful transition to a pluralistic Western-style democracy." -- Peter Galbraith has some unhappy ideas for "How To Get Out of Iraq," in this NYReview of Books piece. Sigh.
Paging Dr. Feelgood -- what does love look like on an MRI scan of the brain?
A million voices for choice -- yesterday's March For Women's Lives in D.C. was one of the largest rallies ever on the Mall...ehhhxcellent.
Play at Fenway! -- A fantasy fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund, this Red Sox fan's dream come true costs a lot, but look at all the stuff you get to do...hmmmm, it is for a good cause. Maybe I'll just sit back and savor the Sox sweep of the Yankees, in NYC, this weekend, woohoo! Not to gloat, but that makes 6 out of 7 games we've won against the pinstripes, in a little over a week. My dad insists, "Yeah yeah, see ya in October," so OK, we will. ;)


"At one point, the older of the couple broke off a branch and threatened to throw it at cops, before demanding a vanilla diet Pepsi." -- the best NYC story of the week...no wait, of 2004! Countdown to Law & Order "ripped from the headlines" episode in 5...4...3...

See also the Gothamist post on this, including this L&O-worthy bon mot from New York's finest: "It's a treesome"!
"Velcro and Microwave Ovens" -- as advertised, this "crazed scribbling of the crazy" lists the ten keys on a microwave's keypad in order of descending popularity. Think about it -- why do they even install the 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, or 9? Hmmmmm.
Since The Friday Five is not alive these days, Nat has drafted an indie version -- we were talking yesterday about boiling down years of schooling into one nugget of knowledge...behold!

What's the ONE THING you learned in...

1...grade school?
How to divide fractions (using the S.M.U.R.F. technique!), and also that the plural of "passer-by" is "passers by."

2...high school?
How to write an equation for the aerobic respiration reaction...love that Krebs Cycle!

Besides memorizing my Soc.Sec. # forevermore, I still retain the titles and artists' names of scores of artworks from my days in the Art History Department slide library, my first work-study gig, and from long, dark afternoons in the survey classes where you had to identify random slides as part of the final exam.

4...law school?
That "aggravated" crimes do not mean that the victim provoked the perpertrator, i.e. "aggravated" them!

5...your life since graduation?
Leaving out everything culinary, blogular, or prurient...I'll go with how to rack up many points in Scrabble, which is to exploit the premium tiles ruthlessly, and learn some 2 and 3-letter words.
OK, OK, I'm addicted to BBC news quizzes! -- and hey, I got a whopping 71% this time, which earned me this criticism: "You've been reading the same book for too long." Not only are they sadistic, the Beebe is peeping at my nightstand...NOTE: best news tidbit is Shrek the sheep -- check out the chops on him! He's a big celebrity now, and his mega-fleece will be shorn off for charity.
The Bard said it first -- a National Geographic piece (though neither particularly "national" nor "geographic," but anyway) on the many words and phrases Shakespeare coined, from "arch-villain" to "strange bedellows." For those with a taste for spicier fare, try the Shakespearean Insult Generator...thou frothy pottle-deep popinjay!
"The entire nation cannot be held hostage so that everything on the radio is suitable for 9-year-olds." -- Roger Ebert puts on his First Amendment hat and defends Howard Stern, and Rush Limbaugh, from FCC tyranny.
"Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight." -- Salon's Ask the Pilot column today has a collection of the All-Time Most Memorable Airline PA announcements. I wish I'd sent in mine: on my flight from LAX to Sydney last spring, during the height of the SARS scare, the flight steward made this announcement during the customs spiel: "If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of possible SARS exposure, such as headache, fever, or difficulty breathing, please raise your hand and someone will come to assist you." Now, this was after nearly 15 hours in the air, and the whole point was that the SARS symptoms could have come on since we took off. But, hello! NOBODY is going to raise their hand, or the whole cabin would panic! After a moment of silence and a few awkward giggles, the steward said, "Alright then, thank you!" The guy behind me muttered drily, "Well, I feel totally safe now," and we all cracked up.
Make John Kerry a better t-shirt -- Designs On The White House (yuk yuk) is running a contest to raise money for Kerry and sell plenty of campaign merch. Frankly, I'd buy a shirt with their own logo on it...love that little blocky White House!
"The Silmarillion" in 1,000 Words -- fake your way to Tolkien geekdom today! Make sure to peruse the LJ comments (and always comical avatars) at the bottom of the page...
"Shamrock Triple-Thick Milkshake: Try One Today!" -- Blllaaaaagggghhhh! OK, this site is pretty amusing, it's a distributor of advertising posters for McDonalds...but this evil green shake is my nemesis! I had one as a kid and I got so sick I couldn't look at anything mint green for weeks....it tastes like super sweet, whipped toothpaste, uuuggghhhhh....


"Stinky frozen 25-cent-a-kilo Indonesian lobster carcasses"! -- Chef Sam knows a lot about meat...maybe too much. He's an old compadre of the awesome Tony Bourdain, and he's in and out of NYC kitchens, jail, and the Beverly Hills Whole Foods. WARNING: not for the squeamish (and/or wimpy).
"Chicka-pah!" -- Along with some lady friends, I went to see "Connie and Carla" last night, and loved it...even while understanding why half the reviews are great, half terrible. Like drag itself, a light comedy about dinner theater and (faux) drag queens will be either something you enjoy or hate, no middling around. Nia Vardalos was funny, Toni Collette was totally brilliant, but the real standout was Alec Mapa, noted Broadway and TV actor, who gets all the good lines (he's named "N'Cream," for god's sake) and chokes Stephen Spinella (the "gay Laurence Olivier" who starred in "Angels in America" and so on) with a feather boa at one point, almost causing me to choke on a Bit O'Honey. Woo! Here's an interview of Nia by Alec in the Advocate. It's matinee material at least, folks!
"I think her boyfriend is total SINK SCUM!" -- That'd be one of Word Spy's fine neologisms, of course. Does this sound like a guy you know? Single, Independent, No Kids: the Self-Centered Urban Male! Woah, I think he's got something here! :P
Buy a DeLorean on EBay! -- With a flux capacitor and everything! A customized, fully researched replica of Dr. Emmet Brown's time machine...uh, I mean, car, from Back to the Future. Wow...that movie is almost 19 years old. :-0 Note: the seller has a whole lot of other cool cars up for auction too...including my mom's first car! Except hers was baby blue...she drove it through 1988!
Slogan Diplomacy -- a LowCulture post on the refutation of Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn Doctrine," and some suggestions on other corporate catchphrases that could make effective (or effectively dreadful) geopolitical initiatives. My additions:

1. The Staples Guarantee: "Yeah, we've got that" -- marching song of the US Army supply battalions.
2. The Loews Code: "Improving Home Improvement" -- could be useful in rebuilding razed Palestinian homes, right? Sure.
3. AutoZone Demands: "Get in the Zone!" -- for bringing Iraq "coalition members" to heel.
4. The Bernie & Phyl Index: "Quality, comfort and price, that's nice!" -- new WTO guidelines for import goods.
5. The Foxwoods Principle: "Let's live for the wonder of it all!" -- Bush's new anti-choice slogan.
Happy Manny -- Eric Wilbur writes in today's Globe about the suddenly cheerful and pleasant Red Sox outfielder.
Canada meets Fox News -- columnist at the Globe and Mail reaps the whirlwind after mocking Fox and its efforts to broadcast up north. An avalanche of nasty emails ensues, proving that Fox News fans are the most techno-savvy bunch of right-wing yahoos on the planet.

But wait...I must also give props to Fox for this article on teen girls questioning the sexed-up, belly-baring "prostitot" style of their generation. Kudos!
Send DVDs and deodorant to Iraq -- One of my coworkers is collecting items for a care package to a soldier in Iraq, and I started looking up resources for this online. The USO link above allows you to donate $25 to help them send out an "official" pack from their central D.C. processing center. Apparently it used to be possible to box up some granola bars, socks, magazines, etc. and mail it off to "Any Service Member" -- not so anymore. This site, AnySoldier.us, has worked out a system of contact personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan who will accept packages directly, and disperse them to others in their unit who get little or no mail, and share goodies like DVDs and reading material for all during their downtime. I'm going to put a package together -- it seems like such a little thing, but read the "This Works" page and it will tear your heart right out. These young people are getting shot at and sleeping on the ground, while I'm lucky enough to be able to stay here and try to unseat their boss -- it seems like the least I could do.
"If the governor really wants to implement the death penalty in Massachusetts, he's just going to have to do so without having, as a salve to his conscience, the illusion that innocent people will not be executed." -- Right on, Harvey Silverglate! Our shiny happy Governor is pushing to reinstate the death penalty in MA, one of 12 states without it these days, and his puppet Commission on the D.P. is apparently hoping to build a better criminal justice system...through science! About a week in law school would cure them of the notion that's possible. Sigh, get those protest signs ready once again...


Here's the latest from the unceasing stream of fluff email from my Aunt Kathy:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe and the biran fguiers it out aynawy.

Go brain, go! Kill that meme! No wonder I'm such a good poorfearder...
Test your Polish Knowledge! -- har de har har, it's another BBC Enlargement Quiz...god, that's a real knee-slapper too...Much like the Hungary one last week, it's to celebrate the upcoming expansion of the EU. My score: ugh, 30%, need more bigos...
Jesus-Hipsters invade Harvard Square -- beware! You heard it on Sushiesque first...
Hobbledehoydom -- or, the art and science of being a gawky, shy, and inexperienced young man...even when you're not so young anymore. In other words, a hobbledehoy.
The truth about gourmet potato chips -- not Cape Cod chips too, noooooooo!
'You cannot enter this McDonald's if you're more than this wide.' -- Nice! I always liked Grimace...though shouldn't his name be Sh*t-Eating Grin instead?
London Booted! -- in the spirit of The Grey Album comes this re-mixed/mashed-up version of the Clash classic. Note to self: find CD burner in trash somewhere, download this at once.
The Red Sox Movie is coming! -- and you could win tickets to the red-carpet premiere from Boston.com...oh god, a chance to meet Jason Varitek is all I ask...


That's Kimpossible! -- Yes, it's true, blogging is contagious, and the latest victim is our own Miss Kim, who joined the blogosphere today, yay!
I think I might need a Gummy Mummy on my desk. Who could resist a box of 24 "King Fruitankamens"? This may be the highest achievement in the realm of gummy yet...until a real Gummy Venus de Milo is sculpted, of course.
Misbehaving.net is a blog about women and technology, neato. Contributors include Halley Suitt of Halley's Comment, and Meg Hourihan of Megnut. Blog on, ladies...
Album covers re-done in LEGO -- it's been too long since I posted a good LEGO link. I'd like to see this one, myself...
Ancient rock art featuring whale hunters, futuristic DVD's made of paper, and the lessons of "The Apprentice" -- once again, the BBC has it all.
"If Frasier Crane wrote a song, this would be it." -- So says Blender magazine of that "parody of pretentious 60's folk-rock," Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence." Yee-ouch. Can't it be redeemed purely for its second life in "Old School," in the excellent bit spoofing "The Graduate"? I think so. The list of the 50 Worst Songs Ever puts Starship's "We Built This City" rightfully at #1, but skewers Bobby McFerrin with a #7 finish for "Don't Worry Be Happy," which, though simplistic, is actually less grating now, I would argue, than it was back in its 80's heavy rotation. Plus, McFerrin is a decent musician, unlike 90% of the other folks on this list (Wang Chung, people?).
Five Years Later -- Salon has a long article on how the kids who survived the Columbine shooting are getting on. I cannot believe it's been such a long time...actually, when I drove by Littleton, CO over the summer, I realized it feels more like a hundred years, not five. Sigh.
Get your Warhol soup cans! -- To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the infamous pop/soup art, and the cease-and-desist letter Campbell's sent to Andy Warhol, the soup giant is releasing these gorgeous limited edition soup can labels. Of course, you can only get them at Giant Eagle supermarkets in greater Pittsburgh, Andy's hometown...oh, and of course, on EBay.

UPDATE: I won 4 cans on EBay! Cool! Or, monumentally stupid. No, cool!
Frost Street -- food blog alert! This one chronicles "The Culinary Adventures of a New York City Lawyer," and adventures they are, from a Matzoh Smackdown to green bean casserole. Lots of digital photos of kitchen wizardry, too -- the man made a soft-boiled egg-shaped cake, for heaven's sake!
Get out your clicking fingers again, folks -- time to email your Massachusetts legislators to reject our foolish Governor's last-ditch effort to delay same-sex marriage. EqualMarriage.org has a statement on this, and a nice automatic email to your representatives, go for it!

In other irritating news, Rep. Emile Goguen, D-Fitchburg, has introduced a bill to remove the four SJC justices who supported the Goodrige decision, granting same-sex couples the right to marry in MA. That's right, it's blatant political arm-twisting of the judicial branch, of the "Do what we like or we'll sack you" variety...ahh, smell the democracy! This effort is led by the Article 8 Alliance, a new anti-everything group that at least has the decency to have halfway decent web design. OK, slightly less-than-halfway -- poor use of Founding Father quotes!


"The Anti-Yankee Manifesto" -- as the Sox take the field against the Pinstripes, to try to win 3 of 4 on the weekend (without Nomar! ha!), let's take a moment to break down just why the Yankees...uh...slurp.

And ha ha, again! Final score at today's Patriot's Day rubber game? 5 to 4, Sox! Woohoo!
Valentine or hate mail to Tokyo? -- Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" opened to some serious cultural grumbling in Japan, what with its "kooky" portrayals of Tokyo nightlife and business customs. It's an interesting premise: can an outsider set a comedy in another culture, even if the portrayals are not too far off the mark? Or, more pointedly, how upset can the Japanese be when they do in fact enjoy TV shows much like "The Matthew Show" in the film?

On a semi-related note, last night Nat and I watched "Kill Bill Vol. 1" on DVD and noticed that the scenes of O-Ren Ishii and Sophie Fatale driving through the neon Tokyo cityscape bore a strong resemblance to "Lost in Translation" -- "Look, there's Bill Murray in a cab, driving in the other direction!" :P

And speaking of all things Quentin, how about bumping into him at a mall? It happened to this actress, and it involved a purse, a Pottery Barn, and a headlock, among other things. Oh, celebrity...
"KHAAAAAN!" -- This one's for Nat. :) Thx, kottke.
Enter the Cartesian theater -- my blindingly brilliant (and big-bearded) former philosophy professor, Daniel Dennett, interviewed in The Guardian. Warning: BIG ideas ahead.

And on another page of The Guardian, a review of Falling, a book about, well, falling, and how the fear of it shaped human consciousness, even as it provides thrills to young and old primates alike.
"Evidence, schmevidence, we're goin' to war!" -- Today's "This Modern World" is searingly satiric, and it's on Salon, so you'll have to watch an ad to see it...tomorrow I'll update the link to a "free" one. Ouch!
"Mr. Powell should have tried." -- Maureen Dowd's NYTimes column yesterday throws a little Iraq guilt Colin Powell's way. Powell apparently had a lot to say to Bob Woodward, whose new book is the latest in the towering stack of Bush exposes. Sigh.


Test your knowledge of Hungary -- yet another mind-bending BBC Quiz. My score: 50%, ouch!
Strange and Unusual Dictionaries -- as they say, "Resources for Scrabble games, bar bets, and other trivial pursuits." Indeed!
An endonymic map of Europe -- and it's about time! Hmmm, this makes me wonder...would the endonym of America now be that sports 'n' war "U, S, A! U, S, A! U, S, A!" chant? Sigh.
Accelerated Democracy -- a fascinating study on the potential benefits and pitfalls of new voting technologies, from touch-screen voting machines to web-based voting recommendations. All presented in an engaging, thoughtful site...hmmm, I vote A.D. for President!
"How Much Is Inside?" -- a tempting question for all curious geeks out there. These folks have calculated the output of many everyday items, from a bottle of Magic Shell to a tube of lipstick. Now that's research, kids! My favorite? "How many CDs can you label with a Sharpie before it dies?" Answer: not enough...not nearly enough. *Cries.*

UPDATE: The guy who runs this whole shebang, one Rob Cockerham, is some kind of supergenius -- just look at some of the incredible stuff he's made! The paparazzi costume! Ay de mi!
"A Hail Mary pass at best" -- so says the editor of Lawyers Weekly of the just-announced plan by Gov. Romney to try some political wriggling to stop same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. If it weren't so evil, it would be just sad -- Romney wants to get the legislature (which just went through three contentious sessions on this issue) to pass special legislation to appoint a new lawyer for the executive branch (a hand-picked anti-gay ex-SJC justice, no less!) since the Attorney General refuses, on legal grounds, to push for a 2.5 year stay on the Goodridge decision. Yeah, that'll happen. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Romney is desperate to win points with the national GOP by doing everything possible to stop gay marriage "on his watch," even if it means alienating the legislature and the AG, not to mention the people of the Commonwealth. He's hoping to pull a Christie Whitman and leave office for an appointment in Washington if Bush is elected again, i.e. to not even be around when the gay marriage referendum would come to a vote in 2006! What does he care?! What a jerk -- he fights tooth and nail for this bigotry, yet slashes education, human services, and public safety budgets without a blink. Bring on Tom Reilly for Governor!
Free figs and halibut -- this guy foraged for wild food, from neighbor's fruit trees and vegetable gardens to spearfishing in the Pacific, for two months in southern California. Not as hard as it sounds, apparently. From the excellent eGullet, for all things gastronomic on the web.
Her! -- the greatest web comic featuring "Girl vs. Pig" ever. Check the archive for further proof.
"shortstop5sox" -- oh, Nomar, you've got to pick a more clever pseudonym if you're going to step out on Mia...Thanks to Kim for unearthing this one!
Let's go MoCoLoco! -- that's "crazy for Modern Contemporary design" to the layman. Looking for that special decorative accent for your home? How about some high end appliances, or some painfully surreal accessories, like this bowl made of melted toy soldiers? For the hipster/weirdo on your gift list...


Giving up "Law & Order" for Lent -- hardly what Yahweh had in mind, but still...as Lenny Briscoe might say, "Take it up with the man upstairs, pal!"
Who needs book reviewers, anyway? -- a juicy insider's view from a former Amazon.com editor, on the utility of Reader Reviews and the necessity of criticism. I have a conflicted relationship with Amazon myself -- I've been ordering books and more from them since the days of their original logo, usually so frequently that I get a Christmas freebie from them...yet I have lingering indie-bookstore-sellout guilt. So what more titillating tidbit can there be but this: "Amazon's gleaming, high-tech chassis sat atop a Dickensian-era infrastructure." Speak on!
Be All The DJ You Can Be -- for all their troubles, American troops in Iraq keep up to date on music and media through the marvels of technology. Shared mp3s, DVDs, satellite phones, email, you name it -- Nat told me a similar tale of his coworker's son serving in the Caribbean with the Coast Guard taking digital movies of himself and mates on the ship and burning them onto a CD to send home. A far cry from these letters home from the Civil War, hmmm?
Behold -- CLEAR duct tape! For all your see-through, heavy-duty taping needs...ehhhxcellent...
Christopher Plummer set to play Cardinal Law -- the casting coup of the year, if you ask me! Showtime is producing a movie about the church sex abuse scandal, and chose Plummer -- get this! -- for his "authority, humanity, and an appropriately chilling detachment." I must play Baroness Schroeder at this moment and ask, "Georg, where are you?"
"First they came for Howard..." -- everyone's favorite snappy, gay sex columnist, Dan Savage, takes a stand for Howard Stern, whose career is teetering on the brink of oblivion in the FCC's tough new post-Janet "obscenity" crackdown. It's a Salon piece -- watch the ad to read the whole thing.
"Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world." -- So spoke our Zealot-in-Chief last night, in an embarrasing hour of lamely attempting to justify the Iraq war. His hollow opening remarks gave way to a series of truly tough questions from the press corps, to which W. responded in his usual maddening way, with rambling bromides about "taking a stand on terr'." The low point, to me, came when asked what he might have done differently in Afghanistan and Iraq knowing what he knows now (that's a big assumption right there, but anyway...), and he literally drew a blank: "I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hasn't yet . . . You know, I hope I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't — you just put me under the spot here and maybe I'm not quick, as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one."

Wow. Maybe he should try reading a newspaper or going online -- there are plenty of people pointing out his mistakes for him.

UPDATE: Check out NewYorkish for a gallery of Presidential facial expressions last night: "From Confused to Angry...Then Back to Confused."


"I thought it was appropriate to see this film instead of going to church." -- that pretty much summarizes the whole "Passion of the Christ" frenzy for me, folks. The only chuckle here is the fact that "Hellboy" was #2 at the box office -- will "Hellboy" knock "Christ" of its pedestal this weekend? Next on Access Hollywood!

In the meantime, Low Culture points out the Biblical inspiration of many of the Queer Eye grooming tips. Really. From one great self-help guru to another...
Super Storms Sweep Saturn -- check out the latest discovery of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, on its way to orbit everyone's favorite ringed planet.
I for one never get tired of Asking Yahoo -- the AskYahoo column is updated daily and is a trivia geek's (not to mention procrastinator's) paradise. What exactly is tapioca? Who does own Greenland? I don't know what will happen in the search engine wars, but I for one predict Yahoo! will continue to dominate the "random query" corner of the market.
Get a [virtual] tan at your computer -- at least on your face. Thanks, Bifurcated Rivets!
Embroidered yetis and Kermit's origami -- some delightfully odd art by one Megan Whitmarsh, who also draws a comic called Snowmonkeys. Hmmmmm.
"Diversity's False Solace" -- a provocative essay from the NYTMagazine by a professor at the Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, a large public school that's often recognized for its racial and ethnic diversity. But what about class difference, the great unspoken American divide? Should colleges try to offer students across all tax brackets an opportunity to attend, or would they be stirring up an even bigger hornet's nest than affirmative action? At Harvard, 90% of the students come from families making more than the average U.S. median of $42K/yr -- which takes the wind out of the recent announcement that Harvard students in that other 10% are exempt from paying their allotted tuition portion. This quote says it all: "In the end, we like policies like affirmative action not so much because they solve the problem of racism but because they tell us that racism is the problem we need to solve. And the reason we like the problem of racism is that solving it just requires us to give up our prejudices, whereas solving the problem of economic inequality might require something more -- it might require us to give up our money."
"Oops, they went goth!" -- a little piece from Salon on the new Goth Lite craze among preteens, and what it might mean to them and their post-punk parents to try on such a world-weary, cynical look at all of 10 years old. It's a total nostalgia trip, too -- if you, like me, spent your time from about 1987 - 1991 wearing a lot of black and plaid, too much hair gel, earphones continually burbling with The Cure, Joy Division, and Jesus + Mary Chain, this will bring it all back. Note also the appearance of Emily the Strange, my little avatar.


The fattest of all cats -- at least in Germany. Thanks to Marky for sending along the poignant tale of Mikesch, the 41 POUND housecat put on an emergency diet by vets before his heart explodes. From whence came his chub? The too-generous hand that fed him, of course. Hmm, it's at times like this I'm glad my cat is only a 10-pounder.
Top Ten Movies About Music -- from the UK's Independent. Now that is a tough one to narrow down...I have to agree with Gothamist that "Almost Famous" belongs on the list, and maybe "School of Rock" (much as I love it, it's really a movie about Jack Black, and he could instead be teaching the kids about juggling or making sushi or pretty much anything). I'd put "The Commitments," "Little Voice," and "O Brother Where Art Thou?" in a second tier, and in a separate "documentary" category go "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," "Amandla," and "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart." The big question: what about the 80's mis-casting classic, "Light of Day," starring Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett as siblings in a hard luck, hard rockin' bar band? Hmmmm...
"It is in nobody’s interest to confuse, annoy, dismay, alienate or exasperate the audience" -- or use fewer than five verbs! Perhaps the BBC owes its singular style ("BBC World Service, I'm Julian Marshall, with News Hour!") to its lengthy and entertaining Style Guide, available here as a big ol' PDF. It covers everything from "Danglers" to "Jargon," with a particularly pointed section on "Americanisms": "Many American words and expressions have impact and vigour, but use them with discrimination or your audience may become a tad irritated." Too true...

Also, don't miss the "Troublesome Words" glossary -- from "evacuate" to "execute," we're all guilty of a little misuse. But here is the most concise guide to "irony" ever: "Ironically does not mean by an odd coincidence. Irony is using words to say the opposite of what they literally mean, and something is ironic if it is the opposite of what might have been expected. It is a subtle concept and is probably best avoided." Ha!
Two words, people: NASCAR Ballet.
"Why can't I show a woman telling lies?" -- the ever-feisty David Mamet, whose infamous play "Oleanna" is onstage in London these days, talks about depicting female characters "unsentimentally."
"One Man, Two Guitars and an RV" -- The Glenn Tilbrook Movie, for real! He's the former Squeeze frontman...and speaking of frontmen, I'm sure Nat will be first in line for this one... ;)
Peep Show! -- yes, of the marshmallow variety. Check out some diorama art featuring everyone's least/favorite Easter candy. I like the obligatory "Queer Eye For the Straight Peeps" the best.

UPDATE: In other Peep-y fun, check out Gothamist's visit to the Peeps Fun Bus...which is not itself made out of marshmallow. Peeps Fun Bus. Peeps Fun Bus. Peeps Fun Bus. PeepsFunBusPeepsFunBusPeepsFunBus...
"Reanimating the Transit of Venus" -- actual event, or the title of a bad sci-fi novel? This time, the former: astronomers at California's Lick Observatory {your puerile pun here} found a series of photo plates from 1882 taken of the transit of Venus across the sun, and like all true geeks must, turned them into a Quicktime movie. The transit is a rare alignment of the planets -- it famously was the reason Captain Cook was commissioned to sail to the South Pacific, where he explored Australia, New Zealand and Polynesia, and somewhat accidentally "discovered" Sydney Harbour. The transit will next occur in about eight weeks.
Ah, some GOOD news for a change! This NYTimes piece on microfinance might sound like another boring financial page filler, but in fact it's about lending circles in developing countries, like India, which give small amounts of money to fellow villagers to help build self-sufficiency. The loans are repaid at a phenomenal rate, up to 95%, better than the biggest banks in the world. Many of these micro-banks are women-operated, and are changing not only the financial world but basic ways of life for impoverished women and their families. Yay!
Back from blog-cation! Sorry for the drought, loyal readers, last week just too annoying for words and left me too little time for Index-ing, sigh. But there's plenty to catch up on...

...for example, yet another church and state controversy, something we just love around here. This time, it's a flap over John Kerry's worthiness as a Catholic. There was some speculation whether the Archdiocese of Boston would make any Easter noise yesterday over Kerry receiving Communion, what with his liberal stances on abortion, stem cell research, etc. It amounted to nothing, but the Catholic Church hasn't been shy about politicking in the pews lately, between its opposition to the same-sex marriage issue to some radical anti-abortion sermonizing -- is it any wonder I had such a good time at Trinity Episcopal yesterday instead?


"Even greedy people deserve justice." -- So says Ruth Jordan, the so-called "holdout granny" juror in the Tyco (mis)trial, who granted a surprising interview with the NYTimes today. No "OK" sign, check. No chauffeur, check. But no criminal intent? Hmmmmmmm...
The "eternal sunshine" of a trailer-less mind -- last Friday, Nat and I finally made it to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," the latest creation from the brain and pen of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. I loved the film -- it makes a nice, upbeat companion to "Being John Malkovich," the equally trippy but much darker existentio-relationship drama. But as I sat there watching it, it occurred to me that I'd much rather be watching it without having seen anything about it, no trailers, commercials, reviews, etc. The story has an unusual premise, and while the advance notices didn't "give away" the whole movie (which might be impossible in any case, since it has a determinedly non-linear narrative), it would have been very interesting to watch the film and not know where it was headed. Kaufman's scripts are full of unexpected lefthand turns and abrupt changes of tone -- sort of like a "Simpsons" episode, where the story begins may have nothing to do with where it winds up. I guess there's no way to go back and watch it with a clean slate (wait...or is there?), and you can't keep people from talking about the movie after they see it. Maybe I need to turn off my pop culture-o-meter once in a while...I think I've only ever gone to one movie ("Nine Queens") that I didn't know anything about going into the theater. I think that would've made "Eternal Sunshine" even more bizarre and poignant and lyrical.

Not that you shouldn't go see it! In the meantime, if you'd like to contemplate the real and faux science of memory, or the way Hollywood portrays memories on film, click away. Also, here's a mini-interview with director Michel Gondry on his five favorite movies -- one of which is "Back to the Future," yes! Unsurprisingly, that's not on Charlie Kaufman's list.
Ricky Jay has a website -- a really cool one, too. He's more than just a creepy character actor!
Should Pharmacists Be Able To Refuse to Fill Birth Control Prescriptions? -- All together now: NO! What's next, J.C. Penney salesmen refusing to ring up snug-fitting Jockeys that might decrease fertility and, you know, derail God's plan? Gaaah!
"The War President" -- a sad and chilling composite image of Americans killed in Iraq...somewhat annoyingly appropriated by Michael Moore, but still. Just in the last two days in the "Sunni triangle," nearly 50 Marines have died, along with 150 Iraqis, as the Shiite "uprising" turns into a full-on insurrection against the U.S. occupation. If I had The White House, Inc. in a room right now (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.), I'd have to ask them, what good can possibly come of this? Will they ever achieve their puppet oil-ocracy over there, or will the whole "war" be canceled, like Somalia, and never spoken of again? Uggh.

But wait, while we're on this topic, let's ask the question, "Is anti-Americanism the new global religion?" Here's a feisty book review on a new tome exploring the world's treatment of its geopolitical whipping boy. I don't agree with the reviewer or the book on everything, but it's an entertaining ride.
"How To Walk in New York" -- a pedestrian's streetwise guide to negotiating Gotham on foot (which is really the only way), from jaywalking to umbrella etiquette. These tips apply pretty well to Boston, though we have a far more friendly subway system and far crazier drivers on the roads. For Hub visitors, I would add:

* Jaywalking with confidence: in Mass., it's not only NOT against the law to jaywalk, if you are "jaywalking" in a crosswalk you are actually protected by state law, and the cars MUST stop for you, so go crazy. In NYC, my rule is to look any driver approaching straight in the eye, unless it's a taxi driver, which is too threatening to them. In Boston, don't look anybody in the eye -- the more you look like you're assuming the drivers will stop, the less likely they are to hit you. For examples of this, visit the corner of Mass Ave and Church Street in Harvard Square, where a constant tide of pedestrians flows through the oncoming traffic with impunity, 24-7.

* Escape from Dunkin Donuts: every Masshole's favorite morning stop, DD requires some finesse in order for you, your beverage/sugary treat, and your car to escape unscathed. First, park either on the street or as far from the front door as possible in the lot -- DD lots are notoriously poorly designed, and they are filled with elderly drivers, little kids, rampaging teenagers, and lots of commercial pickup trucks. Second, know what you want BEFORE you step up to the counter, even if that means looking at the menu through the window from outside the building. You will feel the wrath of the caffeine-deprived hordes at your back if your order sounds like this: "Ummmmm, let me seeeeeeee....how about....uhhhhhhh....do you have any more lowfat blueberry?" Third, once you have paid, dump your change directly into the tip cup and flee the counter, or risk the bum's rush. A special note on drive-thrus: do not order more than $5 worth of food/coffee or you will be on the evening news as the victim of "donut rage." If you have a large order, go to Krispy Kreme, they specialize in "slow."

* Negotiating rotaries, lane drops, and highway on/off ramps: remember the old adage, "She who hesitates is lost." When in doubt, GO! Not only is Boston driving far less hair-raising at higher speeds (if only because the terror recedes more quickly), it is a Darwinian universe out there and taking advantage is everything. If you can get out of the way of trouble at the expense of a measly traffic law, the better for you and your ride. The key is: SIGNALING. If you signal, and steer with authority, you can do pretty much anything you want -- pass on the right, cut across three lanes, turn right from the left lane at a stoplight, whatever.

* Etiquette at outdoor events: Boston loves a free outdoor concert/movie/Shakespeare play in the summer months, and loves to get there twelve hours in advance to stake out the best patch of grass. To maximize your enjoyment, remember to bring a large blanket or sheet to sit on, even if you also have lawn or camp chairs -- by the time the show starts, latecomers will be trolling between the blankets, hoping to scam a few inches of grass to perch on. By the same token, other people's blankets are sacrosanct -- they cannot be moved, annexed or adjusted, unless they're on fire. Be considerate of the sightlines and don't set up chairs (or an umbrella!) in front of others on blankets. As for food and drink, feel free to share with your neighbors -- especially if you forgot your corkscrew -- but do everyone a favor and leave the ripe cheese and sardine salad at home. Ditto small children and untrained pets...or is that redundant?


"The Lives and Loves of Samuel Clemens" -- Larry "Lonesome Dove" McMurtry reviews two new biographies of Mark Twain, my childhood hero and still one of the most "crackly fresh" writers around.
"Bob reversed the idea that you need talent to paint" -- but we loved him anyway. Remember Bob Ross, he of the auburn 'fro, the soothing monotone, and the "happy little squirrels"? Nine years after he passed on into the great pastel seascape in the sky, his memory lives on in a global merchandising empire...and why not? I agree with the franchise guy in this article -- people long to create, to play, and find expression, without judgment, so anyone who gets them dabbling with paint is OK by me. When I taught art to middle schoolers, it was so dispiriting how tentative and pessimistic they were about their own abilities -- they would say, "Oh I can't, I'm no good at art," or, "Does this look good? Is this right?" When you have to help twelve-year-olds get back in touch with their inner child, there's something awry in our culture, methinks. I nominate Christopher Lowell to carry the flame of "You can do it!" to all crafty Americans!
Branded in your memory -- this experiment by Austrian techo-art collective Monochrom asked people to draw several famous logos from memory. Click on each to see the results. Looks like all that advertising works after all...except note the one "Toyota" drawing that's clearly the Subaru icon, oops.
Make Your Own Bush-Cheney04 Slogan -- the snarkier the better, with the Sloganator! Apparently this little tool was part of an actual campaign website, until those troublesome internet pranksters got wind of it and started typing in lines like, "...or else!" and "Remember what happened the last time we followed a talking bush into the desert?" Yuk yuk...enjoy!

And here's another merry, President-lampooning tidbit -- a subtle, clever, and most gallingly, French secret anti-Bush sentiment -- hidden on a laptop sleeve label! Vive la difference!
"13 Ways of Looking at Nirvana" -- yes, this Nirvana, not that one. I may as well get on the "10 years on" bandwagon...sigh.

And in other ten-year-old news, the BBC has a comprehensive site up about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, including timelines, political analysis, and a piece on how the UN and the world failed to intervene. Double sigh.


"Grits" sound at least as implausible as "Moreton Bay bugs," right? -- an Australian pundit tries his hand at identifying "unexplained snacks of America." Comedy ensues.
"The Pregnancy Police" -- an absolutely chilling article on the possible ramifications of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (oxymoron warning) signed into law by the Prez last week -- like sending pregnant women or new moms who are addicted to drugs or alcohol right to jail, without treatment, for "child abuse." The same Prez, it is noted, wants to roll back federal regulation of mercury, a dangerous fetal toxin. Unless we can prosecute him and the EPA under this law, let's junk it.
Get your GP-B on -- in about 2 weeks, the Gravity Probe will be launched into orbit, and Einstein's good old theory of relativity will have some real-life testing. Not only is this a cool project, the website is a treat.
Is W. an "apocalyptic president"? -- A piece from the Globe magazine on President Born-Again's Christian persona and what it's done to the White House, if anything. Written by a self-identified "evangelical" professor from Wheaton College, it tries to deflect the usual liberal criticism of Bush as a pawn of the Christo-fascist right...with middling success, if you ask me. There's some robust debate on this over at the Boston.com message boards, too.
Which is scarier -- that this guy made himself a "Tron" costume, complete with glow-in-the-dark piping, or that there exists a huge "Tron" fansite with the tagline, "Defending the MCP on the game grid and beyond"? Sheesh.
Well whaddya know, April is Copyright Awareness Month! -- I think I'll celebrate by taking this Copyright Quiz...hmmm, not only do most of the questions have more than one right answer, you get a Certificate of Achievement at the end! Sounds like social promotion to me...
Boredom, the lost art form -- a San Fran. Chronicle piece on the fruits of boredom. Now that is a fruit I would like to taste right about now...
Top Ten Strange Toys -- hey, it's Monday. And who wouldn't like a glowing blue robot hedghog?


"Eat Frodo, eat him." -- Ouch! NZ philosophy professor gives a somewhat less-than-philosophical review of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, of the "It rots" variety. It's OK to be in the minority opinion, but I wonder, was this guy watching the right movie? Does he really think "The Wizard of Oz" is better? Hmmm.
Be sarcastic, win big prizes! -- Really! The O'Franken Factor Stupid and Misleading Quote Contest is a way for you to a) help Al Franken's nascent AirAmerica liberal talk radio network get off the ground, and b) to hoist the Bush Administration by its own mendacious petard! Basically, send Al all the stupid, untrue things the Bushies say every day -- if they pick yours as the worst, you get a shout-out on air and a signed copy of Al's book. I've got a long, long list myself...
Following the Natster's lead, I will dip into the Friday Five Archive for today:

1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life?

* 1974-76 - My parents' collegiate apartment, on Brookdale Avenue in Vailsburg, aka, Irvington, aka Newark, NJ
* 1976-79 - 444 Marshall St., Elizabeth, NJ (a 2-family, with a coal-burning furnace!)
* 1979-92 - 831 Myrtle St., Elizabeth, NJ (still the family homestead...w/new kitchen)
* 1992-96 - Tufts U. dorms: Metcalf Hall, Stratton Hall, Metcalf again, and then the infamous Latin Way apartments (ahh, good times, right Marky?)
* 1996-Present - 29 Whitfield Road, the long strange trip incarnate
* Summer 2004 - ? -- 32 Charles River Road, Watertown. YAY!

2. Which was your favorite and why?

Each one had great attributes. Apparently as a toddler, I would look out the window on Brookdale and call down to the neighbors playing jump rope out front, "Hey girl! Hey! Hey!" Who knew, an extrovert! On Marshall St., I lived next door to, and went to pre-K with, a girl named Lorraine, who 8 years later would become my friend in junior high, but it wasn't until senior year in high school that we discovered we had the same pre-K class picture. On Myrtle Street, the nostalgic vibes are everywhere...we used to roller skate in the basement when it rained; there were stray kittens born under the raspberry bush in the way back yard every year; we made snow men and leaf piles and had a series of dangeous water toys for the summer. College is a total blur, and my apartment now is hallowed as the scene of a thousand crazy parties. I have a feeling I might like the next place I live the best so far...it'll have all the amenities I need, I think. ;)

3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why?

So stressful I can't even think about it, ackk! At this point, I have inherited/been stuck with so much junk from my succession of roommates, from kitchen ware to moldy carpets in the basement to illicit paint on the walls, it's going to take a loooong time to clean out and move on. OTOH, I sort of can't wait to get started...I have these visions of piles of full black plastic garbage bags in a heap on the curb, yeah!

4. What's more important, location or price?

Duhhhhh, location! Actually, on the way to work today I saw this fantastic old house in Arlington for sale, with both a great location and what looked to be enough work that needed to be done to chip away the price...hmmmmmmmmmm...

5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)?

Two words: fantasty kitchen. If I could somehow cram Diane Keaton's kitchen from "Something's Gotta Give" into a normal sized home, that'd do it. And I do like a pantry, I'll miss the one we have now. I'm not particular about the size or number of bathrooms, bedrooms, TV room, etc, one of the benefits of growing up in a teeny house. It would be nice to have a fireplace or a woodstove; it's far too much bother to have a pool. I'm hoping to one day have a washer/dryer and a dishwasher, oooh aaahh! I'd like a really soft, comfortable sofa; a screen porch; and a small writing desk, the kind that closes up when you're not using it. It's corny, but what makes a "dream house" is the family and friends inside it, really.
The Periodic Table of Condiments -- wherein the periodicity is the time it takes for them to go bad! Oh hummus, why are you so weak?
"President Kennedy had to overcome accusations from non-Catholics that he would follow the bidding of the pope. Now, Mr. Kerry faces accusations from some within his own church that he is not following the pope's bidding closely enough." -- a NYTimes piece on John Kerry, the [not a good enough] Catholic candidate.
In Britain, you can bust your neighbors for "antisocial behaviour" that ruins your quality of life -- I can only imagine how clogged the legal system here would be if we had this in America...sort of like a nationwide Homeowners Association gone wrong...
Oh, Romney Romney Romney -- face it, Guv, it's gonna happen. Our fearless, tapdancing governor is still quacking about trying to stop the state from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in six weeks, even though there's zero legal recourse at this point. Of course, that hasn't stopped some governors from throwing their weight around, but we don't want to go down that road, do we?

UPDATE: Derrick Z. Jackson has a good editorial on this hot topic today, too.


Now this is what PhotoShop is all about -- creating virtual "photos" of classic "Far Side" cartoons! Nice!
Nerdvana has been achieved -- I present to you the PC-EZ Bake Oven! That's right, it plugs into your computer so you can make tiny snacks right at your workstation...sooooo many Simpsons quotes, so little time...
Outsource your CEO -- hmmm, not bad. I happen to like the CEO of my company...but then again, I'm just a contractor, what do I know??
Europe is huge -- and getting taller every minute. Very interesting New Yorker piece on "anthropometric historians" and the finding that while Europeans are getting taller (and healthier), Americans are stalled at a mere average height of 5'9" and, of course, getting wider.
Hail Kinja! -- Today's launch day for Kinja, a weblog portal which allows you to create a "digest" of your favorite blogs, continually refreshed during the day. Thus, you can look at one page and see the latest posts by your usual round of bloggers. Ahem. And...it's free!
This is officially the weirdest story of the day -- and the best last line!
Going, going, gone for the Boston Public Schools -- but in a good way! Check out the Globe's Auction for Education, an online bid-fest to raise money for the Newspapers in Education Foundation. There's some pretty cool loot -- from an autographed Derek Lowe baseball to a book group dinner at No. 9 Park with the author of Memoirs of a Geisha.