Granted, I’m still eagerly awaiting DJ Earworm’s 2012 mash-up – but this one by Robin Skouteris is pretty darn great. Of course, the fact that it relies quite heavily on “Die Young” by Ke$ha is a boon – it’s super-catchy. I think Miss $ha actually gets short shrift ($hort $hrift?)- she produces some of the hookiest (and hookeriest) pop tunes around these days. Anyway, enjoy PopLove 2012.

Thanks, Lil’ Kitteh

So, Wednesday at work was just a bit hectic – nothing out of the ordinary, other than having to work on my annual self-review (a chore that I never particularly enjoy but #getmoneybitch). I was quite looking forward to getting home for the start of the long Thanksgiving weekend.

As usual, I heard my kitty-cat meowing his little head off as soon as I got off the elevator. It’s a pretty great way to be greeted, I must say. A somewhat less great way? Opening the front door and, before even laying eyes on my little cat friend, being enveloped in the hot, thick stench of a freshly laid cat poo. Honestly, I don’t understand how such an adorable creature can produce such a foul odor. Not to mention that he spends about ten minutes in his box, scratching and pawing all over the place yet manages to leave the poop sitting right on top of the litter like the cherry on a sundae, thus ensuring the smell permeates the entire apartment.

Anyway, after stopping to shovel some sand over the offending turd, I went to the bedroom and he followed me and jumped up on the bed, as is his habit. He did have the courtesy to affix me with a guilty stare, seeing as he’d had a couple of nice vomits on the blanket I’d just washed. I realize I’m anthropomorphizing, but it’s hard not to; not only did he appear shamefaced, he’d pulled the blanket over the offending mounds of puke. Poor little fella… Of course, I had to pick him up and squeeze him and tell him what a good boy he is (and yes, he totally understands every word – I’m convinced of it).

A quick trip down to the laundry room and soon enough his blanket was as good as new and back on the bed, nice and warm from the dryer. I think it was about 20 minutes later that he puked on it again…  Sigh. Back to the laundry room – good thing I had plenty of quarters.

But it’s pretty much impossible for me to be mad at him (OK, I’m not especially fond of when he “helps” me change the bed linens). I don’t think he’s stopped purring since the moment I brought him home from the SPCA over eight years ago. Whenever I get home, he runs after me into the bedroom and jumps on the bed so he can demand to be picked up. And he cuddles with me every single night. He’s my best little buddy…

“Let’s play with mousey!”

Seriously, When Do We Start with the Pitchforks and Torches?

Christ, what an asshole

Heard this morning on CBS: Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs (you remember them? We taxpayers bailed them out to the tune of $10 billion…) demonstrating a breathtaking level of arrogance and willful stupidity.

Social Security wasn’t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career.

What? The? Fuck? If a working career lasts 25 years, then I should have retired several years ago. And let’s not forget that full SS benefits don’t kick in until one is 67 – or that the average recipient of benefits collects for just over 16 years.

It’s really disgusting, these out-of-touch, multi-millionaire CEOs blaming the nation’s economic woes on retirees – most of whom worked for 45 years or longer. Never any mention of the home mortgage scam orchestrated by the big banks or the fact that the whole notion of “too big to fail” essentially guarantees that the insane financial risks these institutions take don’t actually expose them to any risk at all. If the investment doesn’t pay off and affects their bottom line sufficiently to endanger their existence – well, then, the government will step in to bail them out to ensure markets remain stable. In other words, the element of risk is no longer there – thus removing any incentive for these financial institutions to act with caution or even intelligence. They can’t lose.

Oh, also, Social Security is already well-funded and solvent for the next 20 years, so it’s not exactly crying to be “fixed.” Though if Mr. Blankfein is really concerned about its solvency, how about advocating for removal of the limit on income that is taxed for SS? Today, any income in excess of $110,000 is not assessed any SS taxes. Mr. Blankfein’s salary last year was $2 million (plus $3 million in bonus and $10 million in stock) – so only 5% of his salary was subject to SS taxes. And only 0.6% of his entire compensation. What a shocking coincidence…

And while I’m sure your blood is already boiling, just a final thought: Blankfein  bought his apartment on Central Park West for $26 million. He paid cash. I’m knitting his name into my sweater right now…

House of Cards

First of all, if you haven’t already, watch the original BBC version of House of Cards (along with the two sequels), which follows the behind-the-scenes political scheming of deliciously amoral MP Francis Urqhart. It is marvelous (and available on Netflix streaming).

Secondly, here’s the just-released trailer for the American version, streaming on Netflix Feb 1, in one of their first serious forays into original programming. One never knows, but this preview leads me to believe it is going to be excellent. And, given the substantial structural differences between English and American politics (not to mention journalism), this remake will likely deliver plenty of twists and turns even for those of us already well-familiar the lead character’s career trajectory. Oh, and Kevin Spacey. Sure, sometimes he chews the scenery – but I think that may be exactly what we’ll want from this flick.

Romney and Ryan Explain Their Loss


Here’s what Mittens had to say regarding his recent drubbing in the Presidential election:

With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift. Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.

That Obama, he’s a tricky knave! I mean, of course all those sluts would vote for him after he gave them free contraceptives, so they could keep slutting it up like big slutty sluttersons! And stupid young people, falling for the shameless bribe of being permitted to have health care! Suckers.

And it had nothing to do with your insane right-wing agenda and that voters found you personally and politically objectionable. Or that you were out-organized. Or that you and your party give every impression of hating women, Latinos, blacks, immigrants, gays and pretty much anyone who isn’t (either literally or figuratively [I’m looking at you, Condoleezza Rice and Marco Rubio]) a rich old white guy. Nope, it was that slippery Obama, with his “gifts” to voters.

And then zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan had this to add:

[T]heir loss was a result of Mr. Obama’s strength in “urban areas,” an analysis that did not account for Mr. Obama’s victories in more rural states like Iowa and New Hampshire or the decrease in the number of votes for the president relative to 2008 in critical urban counties in Ohio.

What do you think he really means by “urban”? Do you think he’s referring to people who live in cities? I wonder – it’s a real puzzlement…

To be honest, it’s no surprise that these loathsome crybabies are incapable of even the merest hint of introspection, either as individuals or as the standard bearers of the out-of-touch and increasingly irrelevant Republican party. I think it is also further proof that neither Romney nor Ryan are remotely qualified to hold elected office – let alone to occupy the White House.  What a couple of grade-A douchebags/disgusting shit-birds.

from NYTimes

Bugs Bunny – Always Ahead of His Time

I heartily endorse this course of action – even if it does mean limiting my enjoyment of Disney parks to Anaheim, Tokyo and Marne-la-Vallée.

Gustavo Almodovar

Sadly, this fellow has left the local news beat and now works for a hospital group in Florida as a media consultant.

Also, “Almodovar, a Seventh-day Adventist, observes the Sabbath and doesn’t work on Saturday and Sunday. So his job options were limited.” So there’s that too…

from Dlisted

“Stow all carry-on Baggins in the overhead compartment.”

I feel like I need to offer an excuse for not posting in ages. I actually have something written about my trip home… and I still have all my notes about my meals in Amsterdam – I just haven’t sit down to write yet. It’s not like I’ve been busy or anything – unless by “busy,” one means “lying on the sofa watching old episodes of Law & Order: SVU while eating nothing but rice pudding and mashed potatoes because I just had a section of the ‘puffy and boggy’ spot on my palate sliced out of my head so it could be biopsied and it turned out that it’s totally not cancer or anything, I just have a weird palate, and also I’m sort of in post-vacation depression thinking about how much better my life would be if I could always be on vacation and were typing this post in Amsterdam or Paris rather than in boring old San Francisco.” But I digress…

Anyhow, I’m not a particular fan of the LOTR movies (or books for that matter) and I’m unlikely to be seeing The Hobbit. But this flight safety video that Air New Zealand just rolled out is pretty fucking great. Though the rugby one from a while back is quite good too.

Dear Barack Obama…

What a great thing to post on Election Day! Ten-year-old Sophia Bailey Klugh has two dads, Jonathan Bailey and Triton Klugh, who shared her unprompted letter to President Obama.

And the President responds.

from Huffington Post

Party Knaks!

Well, my trip home from Amsterdam was rather more eventful than I might’ve hoped: about an hour into my flight from O’Hare to SFO, I started feeling achy; then chills; then fever. By the time I actually arrived at home, my temp was over 103° – and then my body started attempting to purge whatever poison I’d ingested, if you know what I mean (if you don’t, it means that I had the explosive diarrhea…)

This lasted a couple of days and was miserable. I did recover, though remained exhausted from jet lag for at least another week. And then, on Thursday afternoon, I had my visit with the oral surgeon for a biopsy of my palate – that is, he had to hack a chunk out of the roof of my mouth and I can only eat pudding, yogurt, soup and mashed potatoes for another few days.

So, as one might imagine, I’ve not been much in the mood to post. But I’m going to try to catch up over the next few days! And to start, here are a couple of photos from Albert Heijn, the Netherlands’ most ubiquitous supermarket. I love visiting supermarkets when I’m in another country. They are in many ways identical all over the world – save for an array of products that is fascinatingly foreign.