Have a happy Halloween!! and keep your kids safe.
October 31, 2004
Have a happy Halloween!! and keep your kids safe.
October 29, 2004
Meanwhile, on the Apprentice, Orlando Bloom look-a-like #2, Andy, did amazingly well in leading his team to victory. The task was to create an ad inviting young people to join the NYC police force. He took command and didn't waver, didn't even compromise. He stood behind his idea and succeeded. Poor Elizabeth didn't fare too well. She was just too nice. She wanted to make every body happy and in the end made no one happy. She lost. I felt bad for her and I saw what her weakness was. She had trouble communicating. Trump didn't even have to think twice about firing her. He did it rather quickly, without her even having to go to the boardroom a second time with two people of her choosing.
Elizabeth. I salute you. You are smart and you were right. But you have to speak up for yourself more. You understood the assignment and Raj was a big pain in the ass. He confused you by seeming right about a wrong idea.
October 28, 2004
This report I heard also said that several groups are primed and ready to fight for leadership of the Palestinian people. I never thought I would find myself in the position of hoping that Arafat lives. Now that Sharon has agreed to evacuate about 8,000 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, Arafat would probably be instrumental in making sure everything goes smoothly and that the Palestinians accept this as a step toward increasing the peace.
October 27, 2004
There were 10 teams, about 50 people. One team came in first, then another came in second and then finally one came in third. In true Valerie fashion, I can't remember who did what or when. I do remember there was someone in the audience who wasn't happy with one of our answers. He protested when we gave the answer, after we gave the answer, while we were collecting the answer sheets. He protested up until we started the next round. Finally he calmed down because I'm sure he realized he was wrong.
We didn't give in.
Never give in. Even if you are wrong which we weren't. But once you give in a little bit as the host, then you leave yourself open to a lot of negotiations for points. The crowd won't stop picking at you until you find by the end of the game, you've given it all up. Don't do it. It's not fair to the teams that play fair and work hard and know their shit.
Anyhoo. . . . . . .
October 26, 2004
October 24, 2004
Perhaps, I have caught the fever from Jon, a fervent baseball fan with encyclopedic knowlege of the sport. Or perhaps, I am one those fans who can only enjoy post season baseball. I'm caught up in the Red Sox being the sentimental favorite to win the game. Maybe I'm excited about the almost 38 year old pitcher with the bleeding ankle who chose to try for a Red Sox World Series victory over surgery to fix what could become a permanent limp that could kill his career as a ball player. I think for these reasons, I'm really enjoying the game.
I still don't see how baseball is a metaphor for life, like many fans do, but I certainly can understand the emotional investment of those follow it before, during, and after the season.
One guest brought 2 pies. Good.
One guest brought a cake . Good
One guest brought He'Brew, the ethnic beer. Good and funny.
One guest brought Yellow Tail wine. Very good and very cool because I've seen the ads everywhere and was wondering what the hell it was.
Actually many guests brought wine. Extra good.
One guest made the world's friggin' best homemade guacamole. Yummers.
Two guests thought it would be funny to put an image of T** girl on our computer, so we would see it every time we booted up. Not so good. (I use the asterix because I don't want searches for that freak to find me here). Took me half an hour and the assistance of my brother to remove the image from my computer. Those guests were properly chastised.
I learned several things last night:
Men like baseball and so do some women.
Captain Morgan coconut flavored rum is scrumpt-diddly-icious.
Scatological humor is making a comeback (shipoopie).
Romy and Michelle's HS Reunion is a quotable cult film.
Half liter bottles of Poland Spring water are easier to serve than waiting for water to filter through a Brita.
But most importanly, I learned that we have really great friends.
October 22, 2004
Look at these three pictures.
1. 2. 3.
On both The Apprentice and Survivor are contestants who look a lot like the young star.
Can you find the picture of the true Orlando Bloom?
October 21, 2004
78-year old Fidel Castro fell on his face after giving a speech. He quickly recovered and let the crowd know that he was okay. He injured his knee. Why doesn't this guy just die already? It seems like he's immortal. He never dies. I think it's his hatred for all things Western that keeps him going.
He is the original ole dirty bastard.
October 20, 2004
I played with my usual team last night, including T.K.O.A.B., Barry, Kory, and Robert. We invited Dina to play with our team because she was new. She explained to us that she had played previously in Hong Kong, where she worked as a lawyer for a few years, at fuctions for foreign correspondent. I figured a lawyer with international trivia experience would be a good new edition to the team and sure enough, we won first place.
It was a closer game than usual. Candy Blue Kite's team was only 1 point behind this time, coming in second. Candy's team has been playing much better lately, starting to emerge as a real threat to my unbeatable winning streak. Believe me, it's not because I'm on the team that we're winning (I received an honorable mention from Candy). It's because I have good people playing on my team, really good people. Robert surprised me last night by his expertise on club music from the 90's. Turns out, he worked as a dee jay in the late 90's. Who knew?
October 19, 2004
October 16, 2004
In an attempt to make Theresa Heinz Kerry look worse than she already does, the NY POST published this lovely article practically accusing her of being a thief. It reports she is paying taxes at half the rate the Bush's are paying by exploiting every possible angle of the tax code. It also reports the Mrs. Kerry's wealth is impossible to calculate because she is withholding information. Thank goodness no one looks at my records this closely. Of course, no one cares about my 25,000 a year.
I just did a little research and found that I am in the 15% tax bracket. Theresa Heinz Kerry somehow was in 12.5% and the Bushes are in 20 something percent.
That means that jointly the Bush's income is between 14,000 and and about $100,000 a year. Theresa's at 12.5% means her income is between about 15,000 and 23,000 give or take.
Check out your tax bracket here.
October 15, 2004
What inspires this post is a teaser I read at the Drudge Report. Although it is not there any longer, the teaser was Mrs. Kerry's remedy for arthritis pain.
"You get some gin and get some white raisins - and only white raisins - and soak them in the gin for two weeks," she said. "Then eat nine of the raisins a day."She was addressing a pro-Kerry crowd at the Neil Road Community Center in Reno, according to this article at the Reno-Gazette Journal website.
The article later quotes an expert who says that raisins have sulfites and that people soak in sulfer springs as a cure for arthritis, but I think the journalist was using that offset how crazy Theresa Heinz Kerry sounded.
The DNC should not let her campaign for her husband. She gets crazier sounding with every sound byte.
Shore Leave is perhaps the most lightest hearted of the first season. The crew find themselves on a planet where every daydream comes true. The premise is quite silly but I think the episode sets the foundation of ideas for the hollow deck.
Does anyone remember the name of the Star Trek episode that only aired once?
October 14, 2004
While changing around my summer and winter clothes I was half paying attention to the latest season of Survivor. Tonight the men's and women's teams were mixed together and the reward challenge was a test to see which team could dive deeper to collect disks. The reward was potato chips and beer. Tonight Travis "Bubba" Sampson was voted off for trying to communicate with his friend from the opposing team. This makes the show more watchable for me, because I tend to dislike chubby, ruddy skinned, white guys with hick accents named Bubba. I don't know much about him outside of his entertainment value and I'm sure the producers are thrilled to lose this equivalent of a lawn ornament/eyesore.
John, a 24 year old marketing director from San Francisco, was fired on tonight's episode of the Apprentice. Having finished the laborious task of hanging my sweaters during Survivor, I lay on the couch mesmerized and unmoving from 9 - 10 while the contestants designed a line and then presented it at a fashion show. The women finally beat their 4 time losing streak by selling more product to the attending buyers and the men had to go to the board room where they suddenly started turning on each other.
I just love this show. The cheese value is high, which I feel is an inherent factor in a successful TV show, but then it also has this quality about it that makes the viewer think they are learning something about business by watching Donald Trump sum up the basic idea of the assigned task. Tonight's lesson was Know Your Market. Wow. It took me a second, after all I only have a BA from a state University, but I realized that knowing your market is perhaps a great idea for successfully selling a product. If you detect derision, that's good, because I'm trying to sound derisive.
October 13, 2004
- . . . outsourced the job to Afghan warlords . . .
- . . . if you're younger and healthy, don't get a flu shot . . .
- . . . 82,000 Arizonians lost their health insurance under this President's watch . . .
- . . . I have a plan to cover all Americans . . .
- . . . a plan is not a litany of complaints. . .
- . . . by reinstating what President Bush took away, which is Pay as You Go . . .
- . . . he voted to increase taxes 98 times. . . a tax on every small business owner in America
- . . . here's some help for you to go to a community college . . .
- . . . education is how to help the person who lost his job . . .
- . . . I want you to notice how the President switched the discussion away from jobs to education. . .
- . . . like Tony Soprano talking to us about . . .
- . . . the fact is he cut job training money . . . he cut the Pell Grants . . . not extending unemployment benefits
- . . . I don't want Americans subsidizing the loss of their own jobs . . .
- . . . Whew!! Let me start with the Pell Grants. . .
- . . . he voted to increase taxes 98 times . . .he voted against tax cuts 126 times. . .
- . . . more people qualify for [Pell Grants] because less people have money . . .
- . . . your record is such that Ted Kennedy is the liberal senator from Massachusetts
- . . . Mr. President, do you think homosexuality is a choice? . . .
- . . . defined marriage as between a man and a woman. . . .it shouldn't be up to the courts to decide
- . . . we're all Gods children Bob and I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, she would tell us she's being who she is . . . it's not choice. . . that's why I'm for partnership rights . . .
- . . . I believe that I can't transfer to another American citizen an article of faith . . . it's between a woman, God and her doctor . . . faith without works is dead . . .
- . . . I think it's important to promote a culture of life . . . it's a brutal practice . . .my opponent voted against that law . . . fund maternity group homes . . .
- . . . consumers are not involved in the decision making process . . . I know that the lawsuits are causing healthcare costs to rise in America . . . it's equivalent of buggy and horse days. . .
- . . . this administration has stood in the way of common sense solutions that would reduce costs. . . blocked you from the right to have less expensive drugs from Canada . . . Medicare belongs to you . . .
- . . . he has no record on reforming of health care . . . no record of leadership . . .
- . . . I have passed 56 individual bills . . . the President's wrong. . .
- . . . my healthcare plan America, is very simple . . . if it's good enough for us, it's good enough for every American . . .
- . . . it's not fair to quote leading news organizations, well, nevermind - let me quote the Blah blah report . . .
I'm bored. One is building castles in the sky while the other is trying to convince us he's not stupid.
And it's all for naught, because George W. is going to win. He could write "I wanna' be Prezident" in his own feces on the wall behind him, during this debate and he would still win.
I'm going to watch Star Trek.
Walking up Mount Royal through the park. We were hoping to see the Cross, but it started to get too dark to see anything. The park paths didn't offer to much in the way of lighting. We started our ascent at one of the entrances where Tom Toms were being played madly by wanna' be hippies. The square was full of rich college students pretending to be dirty gypsies, selling cruddy home made jewelry and seemingly tripping on ectasy. We were heard those tom toms all the way up to Beaver Lake. We were pleasantly surprised by the randomness of the sculpture garden near by.
St. Joseph's Oratory
On the side of the mountain opposite the park, we explored St. Joseph's Oratory. we chose to walk up the steps like tourists, rather than like the penitents we saw ascending on their knees (that's 90 steps,ouch). Exceptional. The history of the Oratory is interesting. Founded by Brother Andre 100 years ago, this was the most beautiful structure in Montreal. This is another site that surprised me with it's amazing museum. On the level before the basillica is a museum with over 200 nativity scenes from 107 countries. Nativity scenes, if you're not aware, are a lot more pleasant than depictions of the crucifixion. Way in the back of the museum is a series of life size diaramas representing the life of Joseph as it relates to Jesus. This is a little creepy but very special and a must see.
Marie Queen of the World Cathedral
Our hotel was across the street from Marie Queen of the World Cathedral. One of the reasons I love visiting cathedrals when I travel is my fascination with stained glass. In most cathedrals, the windows tell little stories either from the old or the new testament. In this cathedral, the windows explained the religious history of Montreal. I won't bore you with the details but the heroes chosen are interesting characters, many of them women. Canadians credit both special men and women with founding the city of Montreal. I also really liked the stations of the cross here, done in relief. The stations have more meaning for me since seeing the beating rather The Passion of the Christ. The structure itself is a 1/4 scale model of St. Peter's Basillica.
Notre Dame Basillica of Montreal
This was breathtaking. Gothic, romantic, religious. My observations for this cathedral are too personal for this venue. (I am still and always will be Jewish. I just happen to love Cathedrals. They are always more interesting than temples. Some of the best art I've ever seen has been in Cathedrals, because for years, the biggest sponsor of the arts was the Catholic church. They have commissioned more great works than any institution, mostly during but not exclusive to the Renaissance. Artists give up so much of themselves to express their love for Christ and for the church. You would have to be heartless not to find it moving. That's why I find it hard to express in words, what I felt when I saw this Basillica, not because I am having a crisis of faith.)
Staying at the hotel was great fun. We stayed at the Centre Sheraton and our room had two beds, two big fluffy beds. Part of the joy was playing a game I invented called Ass Jumping. Jon and I competed to see who could bounce higher on the beds using our behinds. The hotel had a pool and a jacuzzi and a sauna. All put to good use by two happy tourists.
October 12, 2004
I hope I never have to see you again.
October 10, 2004
1. The Canadians love this weird dish called Poutine.
2. Jon cut his hair and it looks really, really great.
Hello from Rue St. Urbain.
Jon and I are taking some time off from our walking tour of Montreal. We've stopped in a little internet cafe on Rue St. Urbain across from Hotel Dieu, which we think is actually a hospital. Yesterday, after checking into the luxurious Sheraton, we went directly to Rue de St. Catherine. We walked all the way down to the Place des Artes, then hung a right on Rue de St. Laurent, walked through Chinatown, into Old Montreal where the fun really began. When we first entered Old Montreal we noticed a couple of brides walking around here and there and thought it very charming. But then as we walked further down Rue de Notre Dame, the number of brides started rapidly multiplying. It was when reached the PlaceVauquelin, and the Hotel de Ville, or City Hall, we realized that people were getting married en masse. We saw brides everywhere. Yes. I took pictures, but I used by Pentax K-1000 so hopefully they turned out okay. The camera is almost 20 years old and hasn't been tuned up in 13 years.
In the square across from the Hotel de Ville is this great fountain where all the brides were posing with their wedding parties. People were also posing by their limousines, their incredibly ridiculous Bentley and Rolls Royce limousines complete with tulle and other wedding decorations. Across the street at le Place Jacques Cartier, we saw the odd statue of one armed Lord Nelson, whose name I know, only from watching the movie Master and Commander. Jon knows more about the history of British naval warfare than I do, but from what I understand, Lord Nelson is famous for winning the Battle of Trafalgar which I guess was some important battle against Napoleon.
To the right, you can see the picture of city hall to the right of that very tall statue of Lord Nelson. Imagine this square full of brides. It was really quite lovely. Also imagine those big pots full of orange, yellow and purple flowers. Absolutely incredible.
We walked further into Old Montreal and found charming little shops and restaurants and windy streets and strange art stores and weird, original jewelry. We walked past the Notre Dame basilica but I was just too pooped by this point to really appreciate the basilica and besides it was overcast and you really can't enjoy stained glass when it's cloudy outside. We chose to save for it another day.
Today we took the metro to the Ile Saint Helene and saw the enormous geodesic dome which I photographed ad nauseam, and then this cool old fort, Musee Stewart. We were surprised to discover a fantastic little gem of a museum. Inside there was an interactive diorama explaining the history of the city plan. Very cool. There was also a lot of pewter, more than you can shake a stick at.
October 08, 2004
Check out this link.
It looks pretty cool.
Apparently the 11 year old was beating up the dog and the babysitter tried to stop her.
The 11 year old chased the 34 year old babysitter and her 12 year old sister into the bathroom where they hid to take refuge.
Just what we needed. A good scary babysitter story in time for Halloween.
October 07, 2004
I split a 5 pound chicken into its various parts.
In the first pot, I've added two pureed two chili peppers, two pureed small onions, two stalks of celery to the legs, thighs, breast and wings of my chicken. I also put mini carrots, some chopped celery, cayenne pepper and salt. This is going to be the hot and spicy soup to clear out my lungs and sinuses, basically acting as a decongestant. In the second pot, I put the neck, the back, the wing tips, some mini carrots, chopped celery, the juice of two freshly squeezed lemons, 1 pound of asparagus, white pepper and salt. This will have some kick but not be burning, burning hot. This one is meant to sooth and deliver that good chicken fat that has all the healing power.
I'll let you know how they turn out. Or maybe Jon and my neighbors will write a little review. It has yet to be seen.
October 06, 2004
I have two favorites when it comes to Mr. Dangerfield. One was when he was a guest voice on The Simpsons as Montgomery Burns's long lost son. It's episode 4F05 from season 8. The second of my favorites, is the movie Back to School where he plays the wealthy owner of a chain of clothing stores for big and tall men. In it he attends his son's college to help his son fit in and feel better about himself in general. Of course the plan backfires, as Rodney's character Thornton Melon becomes more popular than any student on the campus. Part of what makes him so unbelievably, and I mean that literally, popular are his outlandish parties featuring Oingo Boingo as the main act (Danny Elfman, former lead singer, wrote the theme for the Simpsons and many movie scores) and his irreverence for his teachers.
You know the movie. You've seen it many times as one of your guilty pleasures. You've watched every time your clicker has fallen on Comedy Central while you were channel surfing on Saturday mornings. You know that the funniest scene in that movie is when he performs his dive the triple Lindy. A dive that is so impossible nobody could possibly do it. And if you know the movie as well as I do, you understand why it's my favorite of his.
Anyway, thank you Rodney Dangerfield for making me laugh. I'll miss you.
October 05, 2004
I almost completely forgot about my favorite OTC cold remedy, TheraFlu. I added a packet of the powdered elixir to 6 oz of water and I feel so much better. I think I'll be able to sleep tonight. At work today, I was thinking about sleep having gone virtually 2 nights without it. I started thinking about some pillows that I'd seen on some recent rides down the internet highway.
Rides, rides . . .that leads us to my first online pillow memory. A few weeks ago, my friend Vidiot, informed his readers of a link he found to the Kropserkel God Father Horsehead pillow. I don't know how peaceful a sleep I would get, sleeping next to a reminder of the horror of that early scene in Part 1 of the Godfather, the best movie ever made. That wouldn't do.
So my mind wandered back to a link I saw on the Drudge Report last week for the Man Pillow. A manufacturer in Japan started marketing the arm pillow to the female population of Japan. They have been selling like hotcakes. What a brilliant idea. But why stop there. The pillow is just half a torso and an arm. Why don't they just make a whole man pillow? Why don't they sell that here? It would save single American women the expense of having to get a cat.
So, given a choice between the severed horse head pillow and the Man Pillow, which one would you choose?
Sunday night was a night like that. Upon awaking Monday morning I felt neither refreshed or recharged. Working was a bit of a challenge but not as much as you would think. Something about 8 or 9 hours of light sleep makes your brain a little sharper even though you hurt other places. For me, it was my eyes that hurt. The combination of lack of sleep and sinus pressure was pretty bad. At one point, I had to breath water up my nose in the ladies room to try to get some relief. It didn't work like it usually does. It seemed to make it worse by making my eyes tear.
After work, I met Jon and Sandy at Wo Hop in Chinatown. Apparently the restaurant has two parts. At 15 Mott, the restaurant is set up more like a traditional restaurant but downstairs at 17 Mott is more cafeteria style. It's a famous New York eatery that gets referenced often on cop shows situated in New York City. Interestingly enough, there were three cops just sitting down to eat dinner as we were getting up to leave. The portions were generous. The three of us shared, steamed dumplings, cold sesame noodles, sesame chicken, Szechuan shrimp, beef chow fun, rice and we each drank a Diet Coke. This enormous feast, that we couldn't even finish, came to a grand total of $36.00.
When we got home we played two games of Scrabble. I lost the first game but won by 100 points in the second game. I bingoed with the word ADJUSTS on a triple with the first "s" connecting with the word ICING to make ICINGS. My total score for that play was 103 points including the 50 for the bingo.
That is the highest score I have ever gotten from playing one word.
I guess I felt a little better after we ate, thanks to the tab of Claritin I took before dinner. But I think the Claritin is what has been keeping me up these last two nights. The makers of Claritin aren't kidding when they list non-drowsy on the label. I've also determined that I am suffering from the ill effects of a cold rather than seasonal allergies, so I'm done with the Claritin and seeking something else for relief - something that doesn't cause drowsiness, yet doesn't keep you awake; something that doesn't dry you out painfully like Sudafed; something good.
October 04, 2004
October 03, 2004
- Russian Turkish baths - see below
- Played Scrabble with Jon
- Woke up
- Watched the end of Osama
- Had brunch
- Went to closed gym
- Picked up food for dinner
- Made steak and salad
- Watched When Harry Met Sally
- Played Scrabble with Jon
- Woke up
- Watched the beginning of Osama
- Made coffee
- Surfed the web
- Went to Renaissance Festival
- Went to Time Warner Center
- Came home
- Watched tape of National Scrabble Championship
- Made and ate dinner
- Played three games of Scrabble with Jon (lost twice)
- Watched a very special episode of Star Trek
October 02, 2004
October 01, 2004
I signed up for another Dead Sea salt scrub, this time with S . Last time, T scrubbed me down, so this time I wanted to try a woman. It was a much different experience. S explained to me every step of the process which was especially good when my skin started to sting. She is studying skin care and her scientific explanations were both interesting and a little frightening. Keep in mind that when T did the scrub there was no stinging involved.
S explained that, because she was doing it correctly, the salt was stinging because it was corrosive and burning off the top layer of my skin. Huh? What? Come again? After she slathered the corrosive agent all over the back of my body she told me to turn over. Those large grains of salt sstarted pressing into my back and were getting very warm. I was getting concerned. But I stayed the course while S rubbed more stinging salt all over my front. When she was done she wrapped me in a sheet, covered my eyes and told me I had to stay like that for 12 minutes. She warned that if the salts became too hot that I should yell for her, but just in case she couldn't get in there fast enough she left the hose for me to rinse myself off. IT WAS ALL VERY DRAMATIC and for no reason. Yes the salts were hot but their hotness leveled off. I was so relaxed lying there wrapped in salt and wet sheets I didn't want it to end.
S really knew what she is talking about. She said I shouldn't put anything on my skin that I can't eat. Instead of baby oil I should use olive, almond or sesame oil. She said I should use sour cream on my face because it has lactic acid. She then gave me a facial mask from her school that doesn't contain a single ingredient that I would want to eat.
She washed off the salt (I love being bathed - does that make me evil) packed away my left over salt and advised me that now that I'd been scrubbed I was really ready to sweat. So I did. I went into the various saunas before washing my hair and heading home.
I feel more relaxed than I've felt all week.
If you go to the MSN homepage, the update is sitting right there on the front page, begging to be downloaded.
DON'T DO IT.
Our company's IT group said that they have had to attempt repairs on 5 computers in three weeks that have received the download. After two rounds of repairs, my computer is still not functioning properly.
DON'T DOWNLOAD XP SP@!!