Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
It turns out that one of the campaigns I've been working on has gotten into their heads to the point where they happily referred to the fact that, "the hideously, brain-searingly, stabby-makingly awful ##### ad with that Five For Fighting song is seasonal and should therefore go off the air soon."
I have arrived. *bliss*
As I have mentioned before, I am in LOVE with the Metropolitan Diary column in the New York Times. It is one of the things I like most about Mondays - along with new episodes of Gossip Girl and The Hills.
Last week was a tough one for me, following the announcement of Obama's choice of Rick Warren to participate in the inauguration. The entry below, from today's Met Diary, helped me to recapture some of the hope I had lost. The power to make things happen lies with the people. It's an important lesson - especially at this time of year.
Date: Wednesday after Election Day.
Time: Evening rush.
Place: 33rd Street Station
Cast: Two senior citizens and a crowd of passengers on the No. 6 Lexington Avenue local.
My friend and I were trying to head uptown on the subway. The platform was so crowded that we could not board the first train to enter the station. We waited for another train, and I managed to wiggle my way in.
My friend was still on the platform, so I shouted, “Please move into the center of the car!”
A passenger replied, “We can’t; it’s crowded.”
Then another passenger said, “Yes we can!”
Suddenly the car was filled with shouts, “Yes we can!”
Everyone moved farther in and my friend was able to join me on the train.Sue Falk
Friday, December 19, 2008
There are many families struggling this year. Record lay offs, a weak economy and foreclosures have all contributed to the diminishment of the dollar.
This holiday season, you have a unique opportunity to make the dollar mighty once more, by helping the families of those who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please take a moment to visit this site and donate what you can: your dollar can change someones world.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I am incredibly annoyed with our President-elect and his choice of bible thumping bigot Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Below is an email I sent this morning to his transition team:
It is ironic that this ground breaking election, which inspired so many, also saw the passing of Proposition 8 in California. It is sad that citizens were stripped of the rights that the state supreme court had acknowledged they deserved.
It is appalling to me that you would invite a man, who was instrumental in ensuring that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Californians were deprived of that right, to deliver the inaugural invocation.
In your acceptance speech, you were the first President-elect to call out the LGBT community as being a strong presence in this country, and a vital part of the progressive wave that carried you to the oval office. Now I see that was just rhetoric on your part.
Shame on you. Shame on all of you. You have confirmed everything myself, and many other progressives, feared. When it comes to changing America, you are no friend of ours. But rest assured, we already know the answer to this question: Can we achieve equality for all Americans? Yes, we can.
I hope you enjoy the spectacle from the sidelines.
Here is a list of the top 100 most depressing Christmas songs. I'm glad to see that most of my favorites made the list, though they missed the Bright Eyes cover of "Blue Christmas." Check out the entire list and let me know if you have a super sad holiday song that didn't make the cut.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
ANDERSON Cooper in black jeans and black leather jacket shopping for cashmere sweaters at Barneys Co-op with a young Frenchman.
Ca c'est interessant, non?
The show, helmed by renowned Mama's boy (ahem, ahem) Ryan Seacrest, has a pretty basic premise. Three coddled (though adorable) Mama's boy are invited to mingle with 32 single women - of various ages, educations and ethnicities - in a Santa Barbara ocean side mansion. All in a quest to find love.
The catch is that their over-protective Mothers move in as well and, from the looks of the previews, run some pretty serious interference. In particular, the mother of the DELECTABLE hockey player, Jojo (Khalood Bojanowski, aka Mrs. B) ranted about how she doesn't want a Jewish girl, an Asian girl, a black girl or a big butt girl for here baby. You can count on this woman being vilified in the blogosphere for the remainder of the shows run. A leak, a few weeks ago, showed her freaking out when she saw (from a helicopter, mind you) her son kissing an African American woman. She actually threatened to crush her son's balls and then attempted to smash the windows due to her rage. She's pretty vile.
Joey B and I have decided that the Uber Jewish Mother, Esther (mother of Commercial Real Estate Salesman, Robert) , is totally our favorite but I've warned him that, while all smiles and giggles now, she may turn out to be a beast as the show progresses. Lorraine, mother to Michael (Fireman and EMT - he's the most "All American" looking) is the most personable but, when looking at the season previews, looks like she's hell bent on preventing her son from hooking up with a girl that she doesn't approve of.
I'm intrigued so far, though I did hide my head under a blanket during Mrs. B's racist rant, so there's a possibility that the "uncomfortability" factor may force me to stop watching. I have to admit I'm equally uneasy with how doting these mothers are (Mrs. B seems like she actually wants to jump her son's bones) and how willing these sons are to be coddled by them (though the most independent, my beloved Jojo, is the youngest contestant but also the only one who doesn't live at home). Boundaries, people. BOUNDARIES!
Thank God my mother is nothing like these women. And if yours is... my deepest sympathies.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Because of her Muscular Dystrophy, she can't mow the lawn or babysit like other girls her age, so she got creative and busted out her candy (pimp) cane. See the whole story below.
(I apologize for the crappiness of the CNN video player)
Monday, December 15, 2008
I have always been a fan of edgy humor, and have been known to toe the line on many occasions but when Fred Armisen appeared as NY Gov Patterson on Weekend Update, I actually gasped.
It is one thing to make fun of the Governor for his, very well publicized, over the top confessions (regarding his past cocaine use and extramarital affairs) on taking office, following the sex scandal that ended the political career of his predecessor, Gov Spitzer -but they went much further than that. Whether they intended to or not, much of their mockery centered on the impression that due to his disability (the Governor is blind) he is a bumbling idiot. Time and again they made fun of the fact that he couldn't see by having Armisen hold up signs upside down and wander into camera, following his official segment.
The reality is that only 37% of persons with disabilities in the country are employed and they earn, on average, far less than individuals without disabilities who have the same level of education. As of now, the producers for SNL have no comment, but I think I can anticipate their rationale. They would say that, by making fun of Gov Patterson, they are treating him as they would anyone else. I will admit, there is some truth in this. I am not offended by the fact that they mocked him, but by how they chose to mock him. This particular skit, at least for me, reflected a sad time (not too long ago) when being different was, in and of itself, considered funny. I'd have hoped we'd grown since then, but maybe I'm just naive. I'll ask Amos and Andy - they'll set me right, I reckon.
Take a look and let me know what you think:
Friday, December 12, 2008
I have a deep and abiding love for B movies, and making a rock opera about a "repo-man" who reclaims your organs if you can't pay for them. It sounds like it may be wonderfully bad. I resisted Sin City up until some friends dragged me to see it, so it just goes to show - you can't judge a comic book movie by it's cover.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
All of this talk about Christmas has gotten me all fired up. I have begun, in vain I know, to once again scour the city of Chicago in my vain attempt to find one grocery store, bakery or even tea room, that sell crumpets.
I have loved crumpets my entire life. They are my absolute favorite thing to have for breakfast on a cold winter's day, or even as a nice snack in the evenings. In the Motherland (aka Canada) they are readily available in any grocery store (at least in English speaking Canada - finding them in Quebec is more of a challenge).
It is driving me crazy, to the point where I just sent a pleading email to the family begging them to ship me a few packages ASAP. If I didn't know better, I would swear I was pregnant!
UPDATE: Crisis averted, my friend and colleague Kerri just informed me that they have crumpets at Trader Joe's. It's a good day!
As I get older, I become increasingly immune to all holidays, but the December holidays most of all. I no longer get excited at the prospect of my brother Ian's surprisingly delicious chicken-free matzo ball soup (prepared for the first night of Hanukkah) nor the wonderful stockings full of treats and (always) a single Chinese orange that greet me every Christmas morning. I don't want to sound like a Grinch, I enjoy them, but I just don't seem capable of recapturing the magic of the season that I enjoyed as a child.
My parents were always able to create the most incredible Christmases for us. Our father, especially, would ply us with gifts presented by Issac (more on him later) as well as the characters he created to entertain us on our frequent boat trips and visits to the cottage (like the Hay Monster). This particular traight was definitely inherited by me, whose own sense of humor runs to giving friends, "Congratulations on your First Communion" cards on their birthdays.
Now, Issac is a tricky one. He is a beloved member of the family who just happens to be a monkey puppet. He has hosted every childhood Christmas I can recall. As a morning MC he is replete with funny comments and all around good cheer - the only drawback is that, due to shyness, he will only whisper into my father's ear, leaving us to enjoy his bon mots second-hand.
When Drew, Ian and myself were young, my father would employ us to help him wrap our mothers gifts in "disguises" in order to prevent her from guessing what they really were. A particularly memorable wrapping job, for our first Christmas at Spirit Rock, looked exactly like a living Christmas tree, enbalmed in brightly colored paper, (though for the life of me I can't remember what was actually inside).
This year, we are lucky enough to have Ian home from the UK for the holidays although Andrew and his wife will not be making an appearance. Drew, due to travel restrictions imposed on service members prior to shipping out to Afghanistan, will be celebrating Christmas at home in Alberta.
I sometimes wonder if we will ever, again, have a Christmas like the ones of my youth - with the whole family gathered happily under one roof. I guess it goes without saying what I'm wishing for.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Tomorrow is national Day without a Gay, a protest designed to illustrate to the population at large the many contributions made to this country by the LGBT community. All folks of the gay persuasion are being asked to call in sick (if possible) and not contribute to the economy in any way. There are also rallies scheduled all across the US, including one at Chicago City Hall tomorrow morning at 11am, encouraging the state to support equal marriage for all Illinois residents.
Sadly, I will not be able to take the day off but I have (fingers crossed) cleared my schedule in order to attend the rally tomorrow morning with Joey B. Please do what you can, equality is not a privilege.
For more information click here.
I have often prided myself, since moving into the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood of Chicago, that I live right down the street from the Governor. Following today's arrest, I can assure you that I will never mention it again.
It is so depressing, in a year when Chicago has been thrust onto the global stage, thanks to Obama's historic Presidential win, to have to suffer the black eye of business as usual Chicago politics. Notoriously, Chicago is a city of back door deals and there are many, many examples throughout the city's history of politicians (on both sides of the aisle) whose greed have been their downfall.
I hope now, finally, we can begin to create a new kind of politics in Chicago. It is time to remind all of our representatives that they are public servants - especially those who operate as influence peddlers and palm greasers. Now is the time to shed the corruption of the past and build a bridge to the future. The world is watching.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Joey B and I discussed, last week, the fact that they seem to be making Whitney seem much "dumber", in terms of her choices, than she was in The Hills. I guess that's part of helming your own semi-scripted show on MTV. Good luck, Whitney. You couldn't pay me enough to hang out with Olivia Palermo. Yawn, yawn, yawn.
I was torn, last season, between Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle. With my divided loyalty of Candace Bushnell and Michael Patrick King, I didn't know who I wanted to succeed. Cashmere had quite possibly my favorite character last season - Juliet Draper (as played stupendously by Miranda Otto) but the rest of the show fell flat (and the clothes kind of sucked). Jungle, on the other hand, had a better cast overall and I fell in love with all three protagonists (it took me a while to get past the late 90210 taint attached to Lindsay Price, but I got there). Ultimately, their trials and tribulations were much more titillating. I didn't shed a tear when Cashmere got stained, shrunk and destroyed.
I had been looking forward to Lipstick's return when suddenly I read, in The Times, that the show had been canceled. I, honestly, had no idea that it was even back on the air. When I looked into it, it turns out that the network had done NOTHING to promote the new season and had also bounced the show all over the schedule. I was not happy.
But soon, a reprieve. Myself, like many other fans, upon hearing of the show's demise (and thereby learning that it was back on) flocked to NBC.com and watched the season's episodes so far and set the TiVo to record the upcoming episode, thus creating an impressive bump in the ratings measured outside of the standard Neilson.
Now Lipstick Jungle has a chance to carry on. While the network hasn't ordered any new episodes, they are watching to see how the remaining original 16 do in the ratings. If you're already a fan, I encourage you to try and recruit some friends to tune in and, if you're not already into the show, please check it out. Let's make sure the network knows they have a little something special on their teeth.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
He informs me that he just isn't sure what to do with it so he's just letting it go. As a result, I am soliciting anyone and EVERYONE to please send me suggestions on what you think Ian should do with his 'do. Hurry... a coif is a terrible thing to waste.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
He also get's all grammar nazi on Rosie O'Donnell. I think this dude, who is writing for PC world, needs to spend a little more time with a Mac.
Anyway, he does manage to score a couple of funny points - take that, Kim Kardashian. In my opinion (and in my ongoing quest to set off a web war) I think the lamest blog on the planet is written by a once-fat former meth addicted Florida bitch who has a penchant for posting his P33N pics on gay cruise sites and outing people... Let's call him Smerez Smilton.
What blogs do you think are lame - this one is already a given. Comment below. Happy Tuesday, Kids.
The best part of this year's disco, is that they shifted the event hours form 8-12 to 9-1. This allowed us additional time to get ready, and take a billion pictures in the hotel before we took the shuttle to the convention center. Ianovich, though he flew in from the UK to attend, was suffering from Jet Lag and slept through the entire event.
This year sold out faster than it ever has before and, as a result, I was left without tickets for myself and Joey B. Thankfully, the fabulous Natalie Ventresca had an extra for me but I had to buy Joey B's ticket on stubhub.com - for twice the face value. The kicker is that I forgot the ticket in Chicago so I MAY have had to trade a certain amount of money PERHAPS in exchange for another ticket the day of the event with a man who could POSSIBLY be considered a scalper. If I had done such a thing, I may have felt doubly stupid because the man might have charged me only half of what the aforementioned website charged.
The night was, as always, incredibly fun and the fast bar service and additional washrooms just added to the really positive vibe. This year's guests were four of the Brady children; Greg, Peter, Bobby and Cindy, respectively. They taught everyone how to do a dance from their variety show days. There was also a group of Village People who led everyone from the stage when they played YMCA - the cowboy was DREAMY.
The only (mild) downer for me was around midnight, they showed a slide show presentation showing the children of who attend Camp Good Days (the chosen cancer charity for this year's event) set to a very sad song. Suddenly, all these people around us were crying.
My friend Anne, whose personal pet peeve, is people who dress from the wrong era at themed events, ranted every time she saw a girl in gogo boots. As a result of these hilarious tirades, I offered Anne a chance to guest blog and very soon you will all learn the error of your ways - not that any Rage Reader would ever dress inappropriately!
Due to the crazy snow storm yesterday here in Chicago, I have not been able to upload my photos from the event, but here are some shots by Chris Brown. I Hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend.