Happy New Year!

So long 2010! It’s been a year filled with happiness, grand adventures, the love of my amazing family and friends (new and old) and super-cute shoes. And the Giants won the World Series. Can’t ask for more than that, really…

Out With the Old

Finally schlepped myself and my big bag o’ castoff clothes to Crossroads today. And, sad though it may be to want one’s taste in clothing affirmed by a twenty-something hip young woman (who, it should be noted, was just as nice and friendly as can be), it was satisfying nonetheless. They bought everything I brought in – with the exception of the very-cute-but-pilling track jacket I bought in Japan last year (silly me, thinking I could sneak that by…) I do my best to choose clothes that will last me through several seasons (even years) of wear and apparently I’m doing a not half-bad job of it – at least as far as reselling is concerned.

Of course, it’s also quite satisfying to end the year with a bit more space in my (many, many) closets. Though, even with today’s culling of my shoe collection, I’m still maxed out in terms of space in my shoe closet – I’m going to have to do some serious editing before I can make any new acquisitions. Or I suppose I could add some shoe storage space to my main closet – maybe I can keep the “B” rotation in there…

Oh how we laughed!

Jan Brewer gave a disastrous performance in her opening statement during the Arizona gubernatorial debates. “Well, that’s the last nail in her coffin!” we West Coast elitist pinkos said, forgetting that neither stupidity nor an only modest familiarity with the intricacies of the English language are barriers to election in the state of Arizona (a.k.a. The Florida of the West) – as long as you really, really hate Mexicans and make sure everyone knows you hate them the most!

As cringe-inducing as her performance was, this subsequent tape was released soon after the debate, providing some clarity as to why Gov. Brewer was having such difficulty focusing.

Headline of the Day

OK – I actually hesitated before posting this, simply because it is making a mockery of someone’s death. But then I remembered that: a) I don’t believe in heaven or hell; and b) I am a horrible person.

So, here’s this from Gizmodo:

Only Woman to Ever Use a Neck Massager on a Neck Dies

Paramedics found the neck massager on the floor next to the woman. Investigators believe the massager got tangled on her necklace and tightened it around her neck, causing her to lose consciousness and stop breathing.

And of course it gets worse (by which I mean better) in the Comments section…

from bluebottle:

“We’re deeply saddened for this horrible tragedy that our device has caused. But come on… Really? She used it on her neck?”
– Neck Vibrator Manufacturers Public Apology.

from Crackgarden:

What in the world was her necklace made out of, adamantium?

Oh, and this happened in Florida. No comment.

from MSNBC via Gizmodo

Something is not quite right

Was just at Safeway (after a great dinner with Mom at Chow) to pick up some wine vitamins, high-fiber snacks and fresh fruit. And I did a double-take at this sign above the hot buffet. I said to myself, “Self, why is this sign catching my eye? There’s nothing particularly unusual about it…” But then I looked again and realized what was so odd – every word on the sign, with the exception of “of,” is demonstrably false.

It should read “hot” “entrees” – “irresistible” “variety” of “café-style” “entrees.”

The Year in Pop

DJ Earworm mashes up the Billboard Top 25 from 2010. It’s pretty great – despite having to include that horrible song by Train…

No, Virginia, there is not a Santa Claus. What are you – stupid or something?

This first appeared in Spy magazine in January 1990.

Is there a Santa Claus? – a physicist’s view

Consider the following:

1) No known species of reindeer can fly. But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total – 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each. Continue reading “No, Virginia, there is not a Santa Claus. What are you – stupid or something?”

How I Ruined Christmas

Spent Christmas Eve with my father and stepmother, sister and brother-in-law and my two nephews, one of whom brought his girlfriend to the celebration (she’s clearly a brave soul, agreeing to attend an event Chez Cohen-Glick). And it was a wonderful evening. Dinner was fantastic as always – a giant rib roast was devoured (and my prize for helping my stepmother serve is that I got the first slice, all crusty and fatty and extra-delicious). Plus, she’d whipped up some homemade French macarons (I know!) to go along with the other desserts of profiteroles and coconut cranberry cake. Which came after the cheese course (duh).

There was also the traditional opening of Christmas crackers, so we could all don our paper crowns. This year’s crackers were music themed – we each got a whistle with a different number. The conductor (originally assigned to me but I couldn’t understand the instructions, so my sister was put in charge) uses the supplied baton and sheet of music to point at each numbered reveler, who then blows their whistle. The idea is that a lovely Christmas tune will be performed; in actuality, we spent our time whistling loudly and randomly while shrieking at my sister that she was ruining everything. Needless to say, this was a highlight of the evening.

Then we gathered ’round the tree for the festival of disappointment exchange of Christmas gifts. And actually, all went well. Everybody seemed pleased with their loot. Champagne continued to flow. Dad took his traditional stance, seated with a Hefty bag at his knees to fill with discarded wrapping paper, in an effort to eliminate all traces of Christmas the moment each gift was opened. I got a truly excellent portable speaker for my laptop and a handsome watch I’d been eying for months – very cool.

But then there were the electronic robot bugs. My step-mom got them as just a little impulse buy for the cats. And I made the mistake of opening one and turning it on – and it was horrifying. They are like over-sized, brightly colored cockroaches that go skittering around in a frighteningly realistic manner. They were seriously freaking me out. I think at one point I jumped up on chair squealing in terror like a cartoon housewife who sees a mouse.

So, at some point the bugs were reactivated and one of them came right at me like it was going to run up my pant leg, so I yelled, grabbed it and tossed it across the room – where it promptly managed to find the one tiny crevice in the fireplace hearth and  burrow its way in, until it was lodged deep inside.

All manner of picks, tweezers, magnets, duct tape, goose-neck pincers and various combinations of said tools were put to use in an effort to extract the still-buzzing toy. All succeeded only in lodging the beast further into place.  And the worst? We could all still hear the faint buzzing emanating from the hearth. I likened it to a live re-enactment of The Tell-Tale Heart.

My one prayer is that the battery wears out soon. Otherwise, my father will never sleep again.

Oh, and it was also during the failed robot-bug-extraction efforts that I realized my favorite new boots that I was wearing had left black scuff marks all over the floor from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room. I guess it’s a good thing I enjoyed myself so much this year, since I’ve likely been banned from all future celebrations.  Merry Christmas!

And here, by the way, are the terrible and freakish robot insects. Seriously, they are the stuff of nightmares…

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All

“If you don’t have Christmas in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree…”

Wishing everyone a joyful holiday.

And don’t shoot your eye out…

Quote of the Day

In an apparent effort to take his career in a new direction, Enrique Iglesias’ latest single is titled “Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You).” And who says romance is dead?

Per usual, Michael K. over at Dlisted had the most trenchant observation about this new recording:

It practically comes with a travel-sized bottle of lube, a morning after pill and an envelope with his STD results in them.

Though he goes on to add that it will totally be his future wedding song…

And let me just say this: should Mr. Iglesias choose to direct said lyrics toward me, I will do my best to comply.

from Dlisted

AutoCorrect or SkyNet?

So, yeah – I’m texting my friend Marco, just the usual back and forth. And I recently started using SwiftKey on my phone – I’d heard it had really excellent predictive typing, much better than the stock Android keyboard

But this is not predictive typing – this is freak-me-out-Jesus-Christ-it’s-reading-my-mind. I shit you not – as soon as I typed the comma in the message below, SwiftKey completely 100% accurately supplied the next word in my response.

Merry Christmas – Hope You Don’t Kill Yourself!

Presumably this card should always be accompanied by this. And please, dear baby Jesus, let me never receive such a card…

from Buzzfeed via The Awl

OMGOMGOMG! Hundejunge!

A Rhodesian ridgeback gave birth to 17 puppies in Berlin. Seriously, could they be any cuter? Of course, my favorite part is the following quote from the AP article:

Wegemann gave the dogs a bottle with special milk because their mother’s nipples could have never coped with the demand…

Her nipples? What about her vagina? It must be exhausted!

I wonder if the mom’s got an endorsement deal.

You just gave birth to 17 puppies. What are you doing next?

I’m going to EuroDisney!

And as long as we’re on the subject of dogs in Germany, I had to include this. Oh Kackel Dackel – you’re such a rascal!

from AP via Yahoo! News

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Richard Lawson is my favorite writer at Gawker. And his tips on last minute Christmas gifts are excellent. I especially liked his suggestions for “The Girl Who’s About Your Age That Your Dad Just Married”:

You don’t want to rock the boat at Christmas, so while it would be kind of fun to get her something passive aggressive like a spray tan gift certificate or something from Forever 21, you’re not gonna do that.

Anyway, read the whole thing. And Merry Fucking Christmas!

“She’s a winner…”

Blake Edwards died today. I loved the Pink Panther movies; and Audrey Hepburn was never lovelier than in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But Victor/Victoria has occupied a place in my heart since I first saw it way back in 1982. Loved the story, the music – and the message. Remember, this was back nearly thirty years ago and gays were not well-represented in the movies or TV. And here was a film about non-tragic gay men and drag queens, portrayed as funny and human. Yes, it was a farce (an excellent one in my view) but what a welcome message it sent to this young queen my senior year in high school. Read more about it here.

And of course, “Le Jazz Hot”, my favorite scene from the movie – seriously. I have this song on my iPod and listen to it regularly. And I still remember my sister and I performing this (high-kicking and all) for my family the summer we spent at Cape Cod.

So, here is the incomparable Julie Andrews as “Victor” – though be sure to keep your eye on Lesley Ann Warren, who was deservedly nominated for an Oscar in this role.

Cry Me a River… Wait, No, Don’t

Can you imagine the howls of derision and scorn from Fox News et al. if Nancy Pelosi had spent her tenure as Speaker of the House sobbing? But John “I’m Not a Carrot” Boehner (pronounced “BONER”) is turning on the waterworks left and right and apparently it’s AOK.

Gail Collins had this to say in her column:

In 2007, he cried while delivering a speech on the floor of the House, in support of funding for the war in Iraq. “After 3,000 of our fellow citizens died at the hands of these terrorists, when are we going to stand up and take them on?” he sobbed.

Then this year, he voted against providing money to take care of our fellow citizens who became ill while doing rescue and reclamation work at ground zero after the terrorist attack.

Twice.

Oh, the humanity.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

The Awl described this “like a ‘Yule Log’ for people who can’t stand the season.” So, let’s all gather ’round the raging inferno and have a cup of holiday cheer!

from The Awl

NYC PDQ

Just completed my whirlwind trip to the Center of the Universe. It was all rather last minute – I got an invitation from my friend Justin to his partner Michael’s 50th birthday party. I’ve known Mikey for more than 20 years, hadn’t seen him or Justin in too long, so I decided to do my second surprise drop-in of the year.

Of course, the big drawback of such sneakiness is having to go AWOL on Facebook. Very difficult not to be blabbing my status updates every ten minutes per usual…

Arrived Wednesday evening and was quickly ensconced in the charming apartment I’d found on airbnb.com. It was half the price of a hotel, spacious and the location on East 7th could not be beat.  And it was a ten-minute walk to Katz’s Deli, which is where I had dinner that evening.

Explored some of the bars in the ‘hood and had a fun, early-ish night. Thursday did some shopping and had lunch at Balthazar – steak frites and vin rouge. It was expensive and worth every penny. And I must say, the service could not have been more gracious. The place was mobbed, even at 230 in the afternoon, but the hostess found me a table for one with only a five-minute wait.

Back home for a nap, then changed into my plaid-iest outfit ever before heading to the birthday festivities at The Summit Bar (a really charming place on the Lower East Side that makes fantastic cocktails). My arrival was indeed a big surprise and was well-received. So great to see Mikey and Justin – plus a bunch of folks I knew from my NYC days, nearly 20 years ago…  Made some new friends too… It was a really sublime evening, one that I didn’t want to end. Sadly, though, my picture-taking skills are inversely proportional to my booze intake – thus, every photo I took that evening was like a blurry shot of Bigfoot and thus not suitable for publication…

Slept in on Friday, did some more shopping (hey, it’s NYC), lunch at Pulino’s, then a night at the theater: Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson. I loved it. And, despite the fact that it is rollicking rock-and-roll comedy, I still found myself getting a bit verklempt when the show started. There’s something really magical about seeing a show on Broadway – must be all that talent up on the stage…

Very nice dinner afterward at Maria Pia, a little Italian place on 51st – had a hearty bowl of homemade pasta with bolognese sauce, which was perfect on a blustery winter night. Had a few drinks at Posh before heading home.

Saturday was another excellent day. Brunch at Minerva with my new friend Ralph; late afternoon wine with my friend Teresa; then a very tasty dinner with Mikey and Justin at Cookshop on 10th Avenue, followed by after-dinner whiskeys at Colicchio and Sons. It was really a perfect day…

Got home late, hurriedly packed (always fun after wine and whiskey), arranged for a car to collect me at 630AM, slept (briefly), at JFK for an on-time departure at 815AM, back home in SF by noon. And I can’t wait to do it all over again – soon, I hope!