We are all human.

The St. Petersburg Times recently published an article online, announcing the death of Neil Alan Smith, who was struck by car while riding his bicycle. The car did not stop.

Included in the article was the information that Mr. Smith had worked at the Crab Shack as a dishwasher for ten years. And this elicited the following comment from a reader:

A man who is working as a dishwasher at the Crab Shack at the age of 48 is surely better off dead.

After deleting the comment from the site, the paper followed up with a story about Mr. Smith. Please read it, though preferably not while you’re at work (i.e. get out your handkerchiefs).

Hit-and-run victim was quiet and dependable, co-workers say

St. Petersburg Times via The Awl

Correction of the Day

As a self-satisfied atheist, I quite enjoyed the NYT article the other day, in which it was revealed that atheists and agnostics scored highest in a test about knowledge of religion.

Though I enjoyed the following correction even more:

An article on Tuesday about a poll in which Americans fared poorly in answering questions about religion misspelled the name of a beatified Roman Catholic nun and Nobel Peace Prize winner. She was Mother Teresa, not Theresa.

Jhesus Christ! I guess some what-research-has-proved-to-be-stupid-Christian wrote the original article.

via The Awl

It Gets Better

In Minnesota and Indiana, two fifteen year old boys committed suicide after being subject to unrelenting anti-gay bullying and harassment. The rate of suicide among gay teens is four-times that of their straight peers.It’s a distressing and sobering statistic…

Dan Savage just recently started a campaign on Youtube aimed at LGBT youth called It Gets Better – gay men and lesbians telling the stories of their own difficult years as teenagers. And reminding kids to stick it out – because it does, in fact, get better.

Looking back on my own childhood and adolescence, I suppose I was in some ways lucky. I grew up in San Francisco, which made the process of coming to terms with my sexual orientation easier – I knew that I wasn’t the the only queer on the planet; I have a family that loves me (though those years were not a cakewalk for any of us – I mean, I was a teenager!); and by the time I got to high school, I’d managed to carve out a niche for myself with all the other misfits who gravitated to drama and choir.

But I still remember being called “faggot” on a regular basis in the hallways; getting shoved up against lockers; having my books scattered on the floor by some smirking dumb jock; avoiding certain areas of my school (not to mention the bathrooms! I think there were one or two “safe” ones); and getting hit or punched a few times, though never actually beat up. All of it was terrifying – people who I didn’t even know wanted to hurt me or be cruel to me based solely on their perception of my sexual orientation (an orientation I didn’t really figure out until I was 17).

But after high school, it did indeed get better. Once in college, I became more and more comfortable in my own skin. I gradually came out to my family (none of whom were particularly surprised by my revelation – and all of whom responded with the fact that their love for me remained unchanged). I made friends, straight and gay, who were interested in me as a person and unconcerned with my sexuality. I had boyfriends, good and bad – when I was in my 20s, I even moved to NYC with one of the good ones for a couple of years. And happily he remains a good friend, even these many years after we finished being boyfriends…

And now I’ve been back in SF for nearly 20 years, my beautiful hometown, living a life that is by no means perfect, but that is pretty gosh-darned swell.  My family are all close by and keeping me happy; I’m still amazed by the friends I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with and who bring me joy and laughter (and who get me when I complain); and I keep meeting new people from far and wide who teach me new things and remind me that getting older and wiser can be pretty freakin’ great. So, yes, it gets better…

Quote of the Day

Rapper Kid Cudi addresses his recent arrest for possession of “liquid cocaine:”

Just for the record, it bugged me out that people said it was liquid cocaine. No, I’m just fucking rich, and my blow comes in a jar. There was no liquid in it—that shit makes no sense.

Word.

from The Awl

Maybe they should’ve just used “embodiment”…

Years ago, I was in Macy’s Herald Square shopping for mattresses. The saleslady, who had a thick Brooklyn accent, was most helpful as she escorted us about. The highlight of this shopping adventure was when she showed me the three top-of-the-line models from one particular manufacturer:

Well, this is the Magnifique Grand… This is the Magnifique Luxury… And this is the Magnifique Epitome.

Apparently, she and Shia LaBeouf went to the same school.

I am also happy to report that I have never, ever mispronounced a word… Ahem.

Les bon mots de Michael Kors

I don’t know whether he paid off the writers or what, but Queen Tangerine (as Miss Kors is always referred to on Gawker) was on fire on tonight’s episode of Project Runway… To wit:

The dress is like a Xanax.

She looks like Miss Guatemala.

The only other accessory she needs is a wand.

Both dresses are so nursey on top…

Also, stupid awful Gretchen talked about her “point of views.” Ugh. The attorney-generals in all 50 states should indict her for offenses against the English language. And no passer-bys should be subject to her ill-formed plurals…

Plus! Mondo dressed himself as an extra from Newsies if it had been cast on Mars. So in love with him…

Quote of the Day

Footballer Mario Balotelli, who recently signed a £24 million contract with Manchester City, was on his way to training when he crashed his fancy Audi R8.  Following standard protocol, the police gave him a breathalyzer test (which he passed) and interviewed him.

The police were suspicious, however, as to why a 20-year-old (non-white) person who spoke faltering English was carrying £5,000 cash in his back pocket. When police demanded an explanation, Balotelli responded thusly:

Because I am rich.

Europe According to the United States

This is perfect.  I also especially (and obviously) enjoyed Europe According to Gay Men.  Spain, here I come!

from alphadesigner via Joe. My. God.

Last Minutes with ODEN

I really hesitated before posting this video. For anyone who’s ever loved an animal, it’s difficult to watch. But it’s a heartfelt reminder of how pets can evoke our own humanity in a way that is unique… The love we feel for our four-legged companions is uncomplicated and unconditional… We keep them in our lives, despite knowing they’ll not live with us forever, because of the simple joy they bring us just by being themselves.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Do Not Want

Oddly enough, I still get a little frisson of pleasure when my PDA starts blinking to tell me an email has arrived. Not sure why this is so – I don’t get particularly excited when I sit down in front of my computer and open Outlook. I suppose it’s the air of mystery on the phone – since I don’t see the message until I open my email app, I can fool myself into thinking that perhaps it’ll be a note from a friend, an invitation to a party or a travel tip about some upcoming destination.

Granted, this is seldom the case. My emails consist more generally of bill notices, exhortations to buy something online and the occasional attempt to defraud me. And I’m well-aware of this state of affairs – but I still found the following subject line particularly depressing:

30% Off Isotoner Slippers Ending Soon

Not really sure why this even registered with me other than as something to delete. Maybe the underlying thought that there’s a database out there somewhere that thinks I fit the Isotoner Slippers demographic – which I assume is something along the lines of “50-something divorcée who owns multiple cats and collects Precious Moments figurines”? Whatever the case, it really took the bloom off of my new email notifications…

UPDATE: Just received the following from the same source:

30% Off totes Bubble Umbrella

Sigh…

“Is that that, now, Mrs. That’s That..?”

Said it before and I’ll say it again: how was I not watching Family Guy for the last eight seasons? Though I am enjoying catching up…

My Modern Cat

I first saw the ModKat litter box months and months ago and fell in love with it. Yes, that’s right – I fell in love with a litter box. Seriously – just look at it. For whatever reason, ordinary litter boxes are apparently required to be hideous – and they always come in the worst colors (almond, dusty rose, powder blue) with lots of superfluous edges and surfaces – adding not only to the ug but making them more difficult to clean.

The ModKat is quite lovely to behold – though even better is its top-entrance design, which is purported to keep one’s cat from tracking litter all over the floor (the bane of every cat owner’s existence).

So, nice looking and excellent design – what’s not to love? The breath-taking price. But with a combination of birthday loot and a recently-settled insurance claim, I decided to treat myself to a bit of luxury (sigh – I guess the fact that I think of a cat box as luxurious reflects poorly on me).

The results so far are quite promising. The kitty seems to have adapted (he’s taken a couple of leaks, but the proof is in the pooping, I think) and the tracking of pebbles onto the bathroom floor has been virtually eliminated. Still less than 24 hours since the switch, but thus far the ModKat box appears to be all it’s cracked up to be.

UPDATE: He pooped in it! The transition to ModKat is now complete.

Putting the Christ back in “Oh for Christ’s Sake”

What a relief that this pressing and not-at-all made-up issue is finally being addressed in a straight-to-DVD movie!

Oh, also this.

trailer from The Awl

Quote of the Day

Leave it to the gays to point out the obvious. In a post re. Christine “Stop Touching Yourself” O’Donnell, Andy Towle had this to say.

Is Christine O’Donnell the Eve Harrington to Sarah Palin’s Margo Channing?

Fasten your seat belts indeed…

We can’t have that now, can we?

Sources at the White House indicate off-the-record that Elizabeth Warren will indeed be “unofficially” leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  According to the NYT, the unofficial nature of her appointment will avoid a likely bruising confirmation hearing in the Senate – because heaven forbid a fierce advocate of consumers should lead an agency charged with protecting consumers.

Unsurprisingly, the financial services industry is not pleased:

But she has drawn fire from financial institutions for her persistent attacks on abusive, deceptive and unfair lending practices.

And I see their point – I mean really, if the banks and lending institutions are forced to curtail these practices, how will they continue to rake in money with which to line their own pockets? Those poor, marginalized bankers – always gettin’ the shaft from The Man.

I Feel the Night Explode

As so frequently happens online, the subject of Taylor Dayne came up. And I was reminded of a conversation I had several years ago in which someone observed that Anastacia was simply the poor man’s Taylor Dayne. To which I responded, “Isn’t Taylor Dayne the poor man’s Taylor Dayne?”

But seriously – far be it from me to mock her too much. Since I purchased my very first MP3 player over ten years ago, I have not owned a single music-playing device that has not included “Tell It To My Heart” in its library. That is a true fact.

And as excellent as the song remains, the video is amazing. Where do I begin? The $500 budget, most of which probably went for the gallon of red paint, a crimping iron and the half-day rental of the fan for the highly-dramatic hair blowing scenes? The fact that Miss Dayne appears to be wearing several weaves and a couple of wigs simultaneously, none of them in quite the same color? The oh-so-fetching torn jeans ensembles worn by the dancers? The cinching (oh, the cinching!)? The dance moves, which are barely a step above my own frenzied breakin’-it-down-after-0ne-too-many-at-the-Badlands (not to mention the fact that they’re completely unconcerned with maintaining any synchronization in the execution of said dance moves)? The dancers themselves who, if you look up the word “fey” in the dictionary, you’ll see their pictures? In other words, this video is full of win and total genius and, like the song, will always be the hotness.

Inception Trailer Re-Scored

I’ve already waxed rhapsodic about the music used in the trailer for Inception – and I still think it’s fantastic. Little did I know it could be improved upon…  Watch and see if you agree.

The Original

The A Cappella Variation

from io9

The Graduate

I always find it a bit difficult to transition back to my usual snark and complaining after I post about something as sad and frightening as yesterday’s fire in San Bruno.

But, after “Bleecker Street” played over the closing credits of Mad Men earlier in the week, I’ve been on a bit of a Simon & Garfunkel jag. Amazing how beautiful these songs still sound over 40 years later…

Here’s the final scene from The Graduate. If you haven’t seen the movie, obv don’t watch this clip (though do find it on DVD and watch immediately). So much about this movie is sublime and the ending is no exception.

If you just want to get your Simon & Garfunkel on, here’s “Scarborough Fair”. Don your overcoat first to ward off the chills.

And remember, even if you live hundreds or thousands of miles from what happened in San Bruno, there is always an urgent need for blood in virtually every community. Give what you can.