"Thou must don puffy sleeves before thou canst breach the rope and challenge yon band of scrappy beekeepers." -- Badass blogger Bad News Hughes goes to . . . a renaissance faire! In Florida! With his digital camera! Don't say I never do anything fun around here.


'Does this look familiar?' Detective Doe asked, pointing dramatically at a cardboard box on the table which held the remnants of my meatball." -- Who knew Whole Foods was a police state? This blogger was banned from an NYC WF for life because she grazed on a soy meatball. Harsh!

On a related note, I believe this afternoon I discovered the Ultimate 3:30 Snack -- half a 2.25 oz. bag of these plus about 1/4 c. of this. I felt so virtuous taking my p.b. out of the refrigerator too, instead of hoovering a sleeve of overpriced M&M's from the vending machine, right next to the fridge. My pancreas thanked me.


Here Comes The Restraining Order -- My favorite on this page of "kooky" wedding cake toppers, the Now I Have You model. A hilarious start to your long and blissful life together! See also the Ethnic Oh No You Don't; presumably "ethnicity" here is synonymous with "melanin."
"A bee flew in my car and attacked me and I had to pull over." -- Top ten "unusual" excuses for arriving late to work...better file these away...
Odd British kids' cartoons -- OK, maybe no odder than Get Fuzzy, but definitely odd.
From Parrotheads to braided goatees to electronic drum kits -- Blender totes up The 50 Worst Things To Happen To Music. Oddly, sniveling sarcastic music journalists don't make the list...
"How does an articulate, educated woman in her early 30s end up living in a car?" -- BBC article on Wandering Scribe, a blogger who's one of Britain's "hidden homeless" population.


A FOX in the White House? -- Just when you thought a Monday morning couldn't get any colder or drearier around here, why look! What's that you say? The frontrunner to replace Scott "The Robot" McLellan as White House Press Secretary is Tony Snow, a FOXNews Channnel political analyst? You mean, they would actually import a talking head directly from the rightwing nutburger news network directly to the podium from which the executive branch of our government jousts with the fourth estate? Like, as if they weren't even trying to be professional? Ha ha, tra la la, you must be joking . . . oh, riiiiight.


Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birtday -- I've always had a soft spot for her majesty, she somehow resembles my own gran. Check out Windsor Castle: A Royal Year for a very cool behind-the-scenes look at her world, pet a corgi, or watch her predecessor, as portrayed by Helen Mirren, on HBO this weekend. God Save the You-Know-Who...
Here's today's all-is-one Roadside Sighting -- on the back of a random station wagon, a black-and-white sticker reading: "AMERICA NEEDS A BUDDHIST PRESIDENT" with a little drawing of Buddha. Yeah, that'll solve everything.
To provide Miss Kim some much needed distraction as her Big Work Project kicks off, I'll answer her latest poll questions -- how utterly scintillating!

1. What is your current problem? Not a thing -- I found out today my cat is not totally blind as we had feared, all is right with the world!! :)
2. What do you love most? Aside from certain persons, peace & quiet.
3. What makes you most happy? Laughing and laughing with friends & family.
4. Are you musically inclined? Heck yeah!
5. If you could go back in time and change something, what would you change? The cynical part of me says, go back and accept the offers of the university and law school that offered the full scholarships, now that I'm paying off those student loans!
6. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day, what would you be? I'd be a dolphin, find out how smart they really are, get to see lots of underwater life and also do tricks for fun. Sweet!
7. Ever have a near death experience? Nope.
8. Name an obvious quality you have. A withering, critical eye.
9. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Damon Wayans, woopdedoo.
10. Have you ever vandalized someone's private property? I broke into my parents' basement once because I forgot my housekey -- it was the night of the '89 San Francisco earthquake, I'll never forget it, and my mom was so pissed she pinned my key to my sweater the next day, oooh, that'll teach me.
11. Have you ever sung in front of a large audience? I sang with my college a cappella group in Harvard Square a few times, and did my solo once, that was more stressful than a big paying audience even though there were only 2 people sitting there watching.
12. What do you usually order from Starbucks? The TAZO Passion iced tea.
13. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? Just one, the obscure but very cool lesbian film director
Rose Troche. And I do, I met her and she's like my mysterious older twin.
14. Did you have braces? For 2 years, but now my bottom teeth are reverting.
15. Are you comfortable with your height? Sure, it's been 20 years now.
16. What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you? "The Love Sofa" -- only one person knows what this is, but it's not as naughty as you might think. ;-)
17. Do you speak any other languages? I can get along in Spanish or French, and read Italian and Latin OK. I would love to
learn Mandarin, though.
And I thought I liked Easter Candy -- Behold, the enormous, fully pimped GIANT CREME EGG! Carefully embiggened from a flock of regular-size Creme Eggs, and then sold for $30 on EBay...what a world!
How To Rid Yourself Of A Hipster Infestation -- I'm being kinda harsh on the hipsters lately, but then again, it's so easy! I think I'll follow this piece of advice while driving around and around in Davis Square: "Play non-hip music, and play it very loudly. Remember, hipsters all have iPod Nanos, so it’s going to have to be extremely ear-shattering to overpower the sonic armor of Death Cab for Cutie." Yarr!
Woah, hang on, my name is getting dizzy! -- The Namesake points us to a very cool corporate website interface at Arnold Worldwide, the folks who brought you "Drivers Wanted." Sort of like a good screensaver, it makes a soothing break in the afternoon of a cubicle dweller...


Just enough time today for a few Eastertime Roadside Sightings!

1. On the bumper of a plain white Subaru: "Knowledge Is Power. Power Corrupts. Get Smart, Be Evil."

2. Nat and I zipped past a white VW Cabrio just past the Tappan Zee Bridge yesterday -- the windows were rolled down, the two women inside were having a conversation instead of keeping up with the traffic. The back was plastered with telling stickers, including: "Get A Taste Of Religion -- Lick A Witch." Mmm-kay.

3. Dateline Westford: Nat spotted his first South Dakota license plate today at lunch, on a Ford Exporer topped with a Thule carrier. It read: HOCKY 12. Duly noted!


Careful not to wipe your feet on the dog. -- Something about this latch-hook Westie-shaped rug makes me smile. Unlike this pillow, or this one, which inspire terror.
"This is an obituary for the generation gap." -- I've been putting off reading this New York magazine article on "grups" because a) the whole concept annoys the hell out of me but also b) I might be one, so here ya go. Like any other sociological trend, it's easy to mock the "yupsters" with their $200 jeans and dimestore superiority complex, neatly categorizing myself and my friends as so much more authentic and not the type to ever buy a cashmere hoodie, for godssakes. But . . . I'm sure there are plenty of people my age who think my DINK lifestyle is just as ludicrous, who think my TiVo is just as unheard of as one of these. So it's all relative.
"Seventh Planet Has A Blue Ring" -- Wow, for the BBC that is some serious headline-writing restraint. Tee hee!
We're all about the features today, so how about a little TicketStub action?

* Baby Face -- Ladies Movie Night went retro, all the way back to 1933, with this restored b&w Nietszchean melodrama (!) starring the crackerjack Barbara Stanwyck -- you may remember her from The Cattle Queen of Montana? Well this was back when Hollywood was young and naive, but her character sure wasn't and thus the film was cut and re-shot by censors -- we saw some of the remade scenes at the end, it was hilarious. She plays Lily Powers, a tough cookie from Erie, PA, stewing in her dad's sleazy speakeasy until one day she snaps, hits a grabby local politician with a beer bottle, and hops a train with Chico, her blues-singing black washerwoman. Ringing in her ears is the advice from kindly local Mr. Crabbe, who reads Nietszche and urges her to "go to a big city, realize your potentialities -- and use men, use them before they use you!" Note that in the censored version Nietszche was nixed and instead Mr. Crabbe said, "Be clean, work hard, and you'll find success!" Hmmm, such similar advice. Lily heads to Gotham and baldly seduces every single man in her path, from the personnel manager of the bank on up through the ranks (including a youthful, heavily eyeshadowed John Wayne!), bedding a manager, then his father-in-law the vice president -- and then it gets ugly. She is showered with furs and jewels, but a murder-suicide creates a scandal, and she flees to France...only to marry the playboy grandson of the bank's founder a few months later! In the end, her heartless gold-digging gets its comeuppance when playboy also attempts suicide -- of course, the censors then tacked on a scene where they lose it all and move back to Erie, penniless but in love and contrite! Puh-lease -- it was so refreshing to see a female lead so unapologetically going after what she sees as rightfully hers. It's sort of a precursor to Kill Bill in that way. . . interesting. The audience laughed along good-naturedly to the stilted dialogue and morality lessons, but Stanwyck was fiery and convincing. Too bad I was too tired to stay for the second feature where she played a naughty student nurse! (A+)

* 2006 Men's World Curling Championship -- it's been almost a week, but it's never too late to enjoy curling! Nat and I took a chance on $15 tickets to the quarterfinal round of the competition up in Lowell, and we were richly rewarded with cunning strategy, goofy singalongs, and free-flowing Canadian beer. Curling is the one with the big rock and the brooms -- originating in Scotland, it's very popular in Canada and they had a huge turnout of fans for their match-up with the US team, which just won a bronze medal in Torino but unfortunately didn't overcome the Canadians here. Still, we had primo seats just a few rows back from the ice, and there were 4 matches going on simultaneously, never a dull moment, from the ruthlessly efficient Danes to the young hotheaded Swedes to the equally mediocre Aussies and Japanese, who went into extra "ends" because they were tied (at zero, for most of it). Watching the game on TV it was so easy to get sucked in, even with no knowledge of the rules. You pick it up quickly, and then in person you can see and hear all the yelling, huddling, and furious sweeping that make a great play. Highly recommended -- we might even check out a local club! Also, the pun factor is incredibly high. Curl on! (A+)
Yesterday was the Red Sox Home Opener (we won!), which prompted this Wicked Awesome Roadside Sighting:

Driving through Davis Square in Somerville, down Elm Street, right in front of The Burren, from which was spilling a friendly tide of overflow Sox fans finishing up their post-game revelry, I pull alongside a battered silver sedan, Maine plates, open windows, raucous youth inside. And draped out of the trunk, hanging over the bumper, getting dragged upside down through the streets, is a Johnny Damon t-shirt. Yes!
To Leak or Not To Leak? -- Today's Washington Post op-ed page takes aim at, uh, itself three days ago, when the editorial "A Good Leak" set off a wave of criticism. But it's actually criticism of the headline -- maybe they should've used a question mark, or maybe "good" should have been substituted with "clumsy," "bogus,""completely unsurprising"?


Mmmmmm, delicious Chuck! -- Like many things in life, being able to stick your face down to the bottom of the ice cream tub is something that makes being a dog far superior to being a human.
Because we love procrastination, quizzes, and procrastinatory quizzes, we cannot resist this Q&A posted by Miss Kim. Behold --

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:03. I know!
2. Diamonds or pearls? There's a place for both, but I'll say pearls.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Inside Man, see review below.
4. What are your favorite TV shows? The Office, Kath & Kim, Law & Order.
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Generic Berry O's.
6. Favorite cuisine? Anywhere around the Mediterranean.
7. What is your middle name? Katherine.
8. What food do you dislike? Pepperoni.
9. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Track 14 of this.
11. Favorite sandwich? I could eat a good reuben anytime.
12. What characteristic do you despise? Cluelessness.
13. Favorite item of clothing? My $5 orange hoodie from Old Navy.
14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation? Back to Australia!
15. What color is your bathroom? Prison cell grey.
16. Favorite brand of clothing? I love the look of Eileen Fisher, but I am a boring preppie at heart.
17. Where do you want to retire? HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAA!!
18. What was your most memorable birthday? Sadly, my 27th, one week before 9/11 -- a great day and dinner at a great restaurant. But by my next b'day, everything in my life and the world was totally different, for better or worse.
19. Furthest place you are sending this? The end of the internet.
20. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? Uh, pretty much everybody.
21. Person you expect to send it back first? Perhaps you will comment, dear reader?
22. Favorite saying? Scroll down to the very bottom of this page.
23. When is your birthday? Sept. 4.
24. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night owl all the way.
25. What is your shoe size? 10, and it has been since 1986.
26. Pets? Kitty!
27. What did you want to be when you were little? Grown up.
28. How old are you today? 31.5
29. What is your favorite candy? This week, Dove easter eggs.
30. What is your favorite flower? Hydrangeas.
31. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? July2, will feature hydrangeas prominently.
32. What is your cure for depression? See #'s 1-31.
"I'd Really Rather You Didn't Act Like A Sanctimonious, Holier-Than-Thou Ass When Describing My Noodly Goodness." -- All hail the FSM! Read all about the newly published Pastafarian Gospel here. Then, tune back into grim reality and read about the newly authenticated Gospel of Judas -- no, really, and get this, Christ was in on it! Somewhere right now, God is having a good chuckle at all of us.
Raquel Welch bombarded by molecules! -- Absolutely awesome article on "The Biology of B Movie Monsters" and the science behind making people look teeny next to them on the silver screen. Includes a whole section on my favorite subatomic saga, Fantastic Voyage!


Better late than no TicketStub:

* Inside Man -- Depending on your perspective, Spike Lee has finally either sold out or grown up by making this star-studded, well-balanced heist movie. It's no glitzy romp, a la Ocean's Eleven, nor is it too "mature" and dull, like The Interpreter. Lee strikes an appealing balance between gritty police procedure, perfectly tooled whodunit, and earthy New York character comedy -- it's sort of his version of Match Point, which makes sense since he's the black Woody Allen. As always, he peppers the film with self-referential visual puns (he places his director credit over a shot of the street signs at Broadway and Wall St. (the intersection of art and commerce?); later, pizzas are delivered in boxes from Sal's Pizzeria, the central setting of Do The Right Thing), and he unfortunately cannot resist some gratuitous T&A. But here his touch is light and confident -- he doesn't have to overdo it with such great actors and well-written material (by a debut screenwriter!) to work with. Denzel plays slightly against type as a wiseacre detective who's more bureaucrat than action hero, and his scenes with Jodie Foster snap with professionalism. Jodie makes a decent cutthroat bitch here, though she doesn't walk in stiletto heels very well, and is all the more convincing when her character starts to find her own gleeful amorality distasteful. The plot revolves around Clive Owen's mysterious mastermind bankrobber, who becomes a proletarian antihero by the end, and he fills that jumpsuit well. Reaching into his bag of jumpcuts, trolley shots, and other tricks only occasionally, Spike keeps the plot juggling along by flashing back and forth in time, keeping the audience guessing. Lee lavishes his supporting cast, and any movie that has Willem Dafoe as a tight-lipped NYPD sergeant is on more than solid ground. I found the political overtones intriguing -- it's hard to make an indictment of a misguided police state subtle, and of all people to manage it, Spike Lee?! But it works, and good on him for stepping up to the big leagues without sacrificing his signature style. Bonus points for Christopher Plummer playing the doppelganger to his immortal patriot, Georg Von Trapp! (A)
"It is not a typical Massachusetts-Taxachusetts, oh-just-crazy-liberal plan." -- Well, that's good to know! We are on the verge of mandatory health insurance here in the Bay State: the tripartisan bill requires everyone who can afford it to buy insurance by next July, and creates new state programs to cover those who cannot. To me, this is not the same thing as "universal health care" but it's as close as we may ever get. Should be interesting to see how this plays out . . . I know of some folks who underreport their income to try to squeeze into the Free Care Pool, and those salad days will be over, rightly so. But should the legislature be able to decree that someone must spend $1,400 a year for minimum health coverage? Well, we require drivers to buy car insurance . . . I guess the analogy is, if you want to "drive" your body around here, you have to pay up front if it breaks down, not abandon it on a side street until the cops tow it and crush it into a cube. Or something.