"For it's mraah, raahhrr, ghirrrr strikes you're out at the old...ball...game!" -- This is so totally awesome. Unfortunately the Sox lost last night, and are facing the Yanks this weekend, but hey, go see the Star Wars "Science" exhibit at the Museum of "Science" today!


Whirlwind Weekend Update: my shamefully inconsistent blogging of late can be attributed to many things, but mostly to my trip to NJ and MD, where I found a long-distance fan (hi JD!) and had a variety of adventures. After a sluggish 6 hour drive (ugh), Nat and I checked into Durandville, and early the next morning headed off to the NewVernon VFD Auction, an annual tradition where I scored big in the housewares department. That afternoon we kicked back with the extended clan to celebrate Mom's birthday and the 2 engagements of 2006: much badminton and cake consumption. Sara hosted a Hoboken housewarming that night, in her incredible apartment, and we capped off the night at the Malibu Diner with Dan & Kim & cheesecake. A few hours later, and we drove off to Baltimore to see the Sox-Orioles game with the Atheys, who enjoy a competitive Scrabble round as much as we do, and about 20,000 other Sox fans: it hardly qualified as a home game for the O's. Monday's long trip back was smooth and delicious, with lunch at Katz's and dessert from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, my how hip we are.


Ticket Stub: On Friday night, Nat & I had an impromptu old-fashioned double date with Mandy & George, feasting at Watch City and Cabot's before taking in The Constant Gardener at the vintage West Newton Cinema. The film's based on a John LeCarre novel, directed by Fernando City of God Mireilles, and stars none other than Count Almasy/Lord Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes. The plot is a twisty, fast-moving account of a troubled marriage (or is it?) between a timid diplomat and fiery activist, played smartly by the luscious Rachel Weisz, set against a backdrop of African beauty and misery. Geopolitical intrigue over pharmaceutical profits alternates with good old soap opera and spycraft, and the visuals are stunning: rich, oversaturated color contrasts with grainy realism. A few hollow lines of dialogue and an abrupt ending can't derail this absorbing version of Voltaire's Candide, updated for the global economy. Extra points for Bill Nighy as a slick, sole meuniere-loving bureaucrat. (A)
Win a trip to the Oscars! -- OK, not exactly. You'd have to get yourself to LA for the ceremony next March, but there'd be a spot for you and up to 3 friends in the deluxe red carpet bleachers to watch the stars arrive. Who knew? Perhaps if I throw in some photos of my elborate home Oscars party costumes throught the years...


Dateline Bogalusa, La. -- another tiny bright spot in the dark aftermath of Hurrican Katrina, a WSJ profile of prison inmates helping out the relief effort. Wow.

And if you're ready to get het up about all this again, check out Harold Meyerson excoriating the "Stuff-Happens Presidency" which is "willing, apparently, to sacrifice any claim America may have to national greatness rather than inconvenience the rich by taxing them to build a more secure nation." Woah! For a bracing shot of righteous indignation instead, E.J. Graff waxes obvious: "That’s why we pay taxes: to fund all the boring and necessary amenities and protections that we call 'civilization.'" Yeah!

UPDATE: The font of angry journalism will not be plugged! Check out Frank Rich's latest pummeling of Bushie, "a self-styled C.E.O. with a consistent three-decade record of running private and public enterprises alike into a ditch." Ouch. Ditto Maureen Dowd, who twists the knife by comparing GWB unfavorably to his father, whose mistakes were supposed to be avoided, not surpassed. Yee-ouch.


Yes, it's a Mona Lisa made out of Rubik's Cubes, by this LA-based artist. Enjoy that thought sinking in.
Do You Give Off A Sexy Vibe? Do You Have Gum Disease? Could You Pass 8th Grade Math Today? Are You An Annoying Coworker? Are You A Regency Catch? What Kind Of Candy Are You? Do You Take Too Many Online Quizzes??! -- There is no such thing.
"The God Who Drowns" -- my favorite blogging waiter/former seminarian wrote the most lucid, moving piece on making sense (if possible) of Hurricane Katrina I've seen. Take inspiration where you find it, indeed.
"Do you see dead people, and by that I mean the founding fathers." -- What's the most dumb-ass question the Senate Judiciary Committee might ask John Roberts? Via SeƱor Sol. Oh, I've got a few...how about, do you like John Grisham or Dan Brown better? Who was your favorite American Idol last year? Any Amendments you feel are a little useless and out of date? Just askin'!
"We should all aim to be fat Americans." -- In a philosophical sense, of course. Very interesting essay on why the world hates fat Americans, both literal and figurative, and what the arguments against overconsumption say about our committment to raising global living standards.
''That's a real interesting piece of legislation" -- you said it! The Transportation Committee on Beacon Hill is considering a new law requiring Mass drivers to clear their vehicles of ice and snow that may pose a hazard to other drivers. Oh, you mean that lazy jackass in the Navigator with the foot-high ridge of snow hanging precipitously over the back window might get a $500 ticket? There is sweet justice!


R'amen! Posted by Picasa I feel the need for some divine intervention this week...may the sauce be with us all. In the spirit of good works and karma, here's my new favorite Katrina charity: Crafter's United is raising thousands for the Red Cross through the sale of deliciously handcrafted items on Etsy.com. Buy and save!
Since we could all use some cheering up, I offer these recent Lunchtime Sightings:

1. At the Panera in Woburn, I see a preppy go-getter waiting for his order while yakking on his phone. Nothing new there -- except this guy is wearing a navy polo shirt, sunglasses, sandals, and truly amazing shorts. His were red with whales. I would laugh at his snooty fashion sense, but I can just laugh at his pants straight up. Best of all, a slightly batty Panera employee came up and started complimenting him on them: "Those are just darling!" Heh.

2. A silver Saab convertible with license plate "WASAABI." Must...kill...

3. At the Stop & Shop, my cashier was named "Maris." I know this poor woman's probably had to explain many times that she's not married to Niles Crane, but hey, I always thought the writers made that name up.

4. On the back of a Central Transport semi, a large sign reading "We support our troops whenever we go -- no comfort to the enemy, no way, no how!" With a big U.S. flag, of course. The hell? Did the Cowardly Lion write this for them?

5. Not exactly sighted at lunch, but Nat & I watched something called "The Very Best of the World's Worst Drivers: 2" last night. Hey, that's what TiVo is for, right? If it ever crosses your path, check it out for the drunken French bicyclist alone...hoo!
Fired for eating leftover pizza -- and you thought your job sucked. At my office we have the opposite policy, any leftovers will be immediately sensed, tracked down, and devoured by the cubicle vultures. Squawk!


"Is this what the pioneers of the civil rights movement fought to achieve, a society where many black people are as trapped and isolated by their poverty as they were by segregation laws? If Sept. 11 showed the power of a nation united in response to a devastating attack, Hurricane Katrina reveals the fault lines of a region and a nation, rent by profound social divisions." -- I'm falling back on my "only one post about ginormous news events" policy, because I am burned out and disgusted by the anarchy unleashed in New Orleans this week. Aside from the storm destruction and the utter moral breakdown in the streets, how dreadful to see just how inept and callous our vaunted "homeland security" really is. Our government....wait, I should say the government, it certainly doesn't seem to belong to the citizenry anymore. The priorities of this government are truly backward if it not only consigns the most helpless people to fend for themselves in a crisis, it also left a critical economic lifeline for the nation basically at the whim of nature, let alone terrorists. And what were they spending time and money on instead? One guess. We will all be paying the price for this for a long time.