May 26, 2005

75 Years Tall


Happy birthday to one of my favorite New York landmarks.

I still think I should live in the top of it. Maybe if I return to Manhattan, I can work out a deal with Lex Luthor.

May 25, 2005

Heroin, with Numbers

A couple of weeks ago, I read something somewhere about a daily puzzle allegedly taking Britain by storm. Some crosswordy numbers game that was now running in all the papers.

I found one yesterday. It's called sudoku, which I believe is Japansese for "we will suck you into the vortex of seemingly simple ciphers and your life will no longer be your own."

Simple advice ... like smoking, don't start.

It's a straighforward little puzzle, with a 9x9 grid and some numbers scattered about. The sudoker then fills the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 box contains the digits 1-9.

The Independent has 3, plus a contest puzzle, plus a "Quick Sudoku" on the last page. Wheee!

I think I've been gridlocked. On the bright side, maybe these little challenges will get me to start reading a paper again. I sort of miss the Gray Lady outside my front door every morning ... online is just not the same.

May 24, 2005

What, Me Worry?

What a weird day yesterday. I blame it on the full moon. Everywhere I looked, things seemed topsy-turvey.

My two favorite Aquarians both quit their rubbish jobs; one planned, one notsomuch. I got two whammies of news from the Buckeye State that set me into a little bit of a frenzy; one because it's a repeat of ridiculous drama gone bye and I don't have the resources to make it better, one because it's totally out of my control and I'm pretty much helpless.

Actually, it's all out of the circle of my control. And in the grand scheme of things, none of it's mine to fix. Yet here I type, wondering what I can do ... or should be doing, to help out those I love.

I guess one of the biggest things I've learned over the past several years of head-shrinking talking on the couch is that when something about someone else inordinately bugs you, look within and figure out what's going on inside yourself.

Oh ... so that would be: Career. Finances, Health. Family.

Nothing big.

Phew, and I thought I was worrying about important stuff. Like yesterday's moon, it's only a phase ... I hope.

May 23, 2005

Desperately Seeking Sassy

Someone Goooogled "sassy remarks to get people's attention" and this here site came up top o' the list.

I hope they found what they were looking for.

May 21, 2005

Artichoke the (tofu) Chicken

Some of the blander Brits are worried that the Vegetarian Society's new "Can You Keep it Up for a Week" campaign is a little too peppery. Here's the veggie porn in question. Try not to beet off.

May 20, 2005

Hotel Hades and Long Lost Ladies

I don't mean to be a snob. And contrary to popular belief, I don't necessarily have to have the best of everything.

However ...

When traveling, especially on business, I embrace the quaint notion that one should be comfortable. Arranged accommodations should at least be as nice (wel, I'd prefer nicer) than what I have at home. As those of you who have visited 420, Cape Fear or the new place (which apparently needs a nickname) know, we don't inhabit in the poshest of places, but we're comfortable.

It's important to note that "comfort" is one of the three Cs that have been life's guideposts for the past decade or so. For those keeping score at home, Casual and Convenient make up the rest of the triumvirate.

Comfortable is not the word that comes to mind for the rubbish hotel I dislodged myself from this morning. "Three stars" indeed. I guess if your stars are of the Ruth Buzzi caliber, then perhaps the guidebook is on to something. I should have paid more attention to the adjoining pub before I agreed to check in.

Never sleep near "The Bleeding Horse."

My yellow room had two twin beds (I've been in read about saunas with more comfortable mattresses), with floral bedspreads (most certainly not duvets) enriched with synthetic fibers. The towels at my gym are nicer than those at this swankless shelter. Um, there was no mini-bar. And (the extra sensitive among you may wish to read no further ... ) there was no turn-down service.

I'm quite shocked that I survived.

Shocked and yet somehow a better person. By golly, I *can* live without turn-down service. For at least two nights. Yes, I spent two nights with a hotel full of Ecclesiastical Insurance conveeners, dodgy linen, low-pressure showers, and have lived to tell the tale.

Other than that, it was a perfectly grand trip to Dublin ... a gem of a city that I'm getting to almost as much as I used to trek down to Atlanta from New York.

And my diet consisted of something more substantial than Guinness and Smithwick's this time. After being stood up by a bonnie lass who I *thought* was going to be my dinner date (really, how much traffic can there be from Limerick??), I found the wonderful Mermaid Cafe. It's all about sage-mustard mash. Trust. And then had amazing Indian food last night with the work crew. Hmm, Indian food twice in one week ... what's up with dot?

Oh yeah, I had some good meetings, learned valuable lessons about the judicious use of email, played a short game of Brand This! (the Irish episode) and realized (again) that too many lawyers make for slooooowww going when it comes to international financial regulatory matters.

And, bonus, I found myself privy (not in the privy ... although with all that Indian food one would not be surprised ) to the answer to one of life's great mysteries: What ever became of Bananarama?

Seems that the two-thirds of girls are still using their fruity moniker, and playing at the local fruit bar (what? no URL for George Bar?) this weekend. I heard a rumor I should have stayed, but I can't help it, love in the first degree brought me back to my shy boy. Help!

Aaaand ... scene.

Oh! Belinda Carlisle's going to be there at the beginning of August. How much fun would that be? From Go-Go to coke whore to headliner at a gay pub in Dublin. Heaven *is* a place on earth!

I think I'll have to be there that weekend. But not at the Camden Court.

May 18, 2005

Breakfast TV ... for Bulimics

While Katie and Matt might be annoying, surely there is nothing more vapid than the duo comprising Fiona and Ben at GMTV.

Speaking of eating disorders (how does she stay so thin?), our their Kylie now has a battle bigger than keeping her feathers flufffed. When I heard the news yesterday, I thought of posting something snarky, but I was overcome by the thought that surely boundaries must come into play somewhere in my life. Now I see he has reminded me nothing is sacred ... but I'll still take the high road and wish the little darling all the breast best.

And as the dolts on GMTV said, she has a huge fan base, so that will make all the difference to her recovery.

May 17, 2005

If I Only Had the Nerve

Which is worse?

a) there exists a Cambodian Midget Fighting League
b) the owner put his team in the ring against a lion
c) the government takes 50% of the till
d) the midgets agreed to play along

Carving Courtesans and Classics

I played tourist last night with M&M, my sweet-as-candy houseguests. We took a stroll through the East End of town on a Jack the Ripper walking tour.

A chilly, drizzly evening set the stage for a terrific tale of murder, mystery and mayhem, led by one Mr. Ripper's foremost authorities. He's a great tour guide .. and an even better storyteller. And patient to a fault with the yobs who ask stupid questions (when they're not sneaking into private conversations) about the historicial accuracy of graphic novels.

Um gee ... novel = fiction, fiction = made up, made up = ....

(note that I have nothting against graphic novels, nor the majority of people I've met who read them)

In other "tick the tourist box" story-telling news, we went to the Globe on Saturday night to see The Tempest. With three (count 'em) actors. Why only three? The answer to that is, like Jack the Ripper, an unsolved mystery.

I found the lack of a full cast to be challenging (not that there's anything wrong with that). I also thought many of the artistic choices were more like an esoteric grad school exercise than making the Bard's work accessible to the masses.

As a friend of mine put it, "Shakespeare was the Steven Spielberg of his day" (I'm guessing more Raiders than Schindler's List) ... the popular entertainment of its time.

Contradicting that, I read something in the program that Mark Rylance said, and I paraphrase, our plays are not meant to appeal to the logical mind.

Yes, I agree that art does not have to be (nor should it necessarily be) logical. It can mean (espcially in poetry, abstract painting, and song) different things to different audiences. Art can and should spark your imagination and be a catalyst for your own thinking.

However, in the case of this stormy production, I think the kids at The Globe were just having a go with the audience. We're bored with convention so we're going to design something arty and and deliberately obscure, to show we're smarter than you are. Shakespeare as performance art. Blah. 17th-century Speilberg or not, I don't think this was the intention of the artist.

Maybe I'm just creating a tempest in a tea pot. But being Mr. Brightside, I did get a nice new sewer rat hand puppet out of the deal. He's lovely.

Oh well, if I just wanted the story with some good visuals, maybe I should have gotten the graphic novel.


May 14, 2005

Pump It Up

Went to Body Pump this morning at the gym and learned:

a) we need to maximize our load
b) on the second round, you have to go deeper

Also learned that you can make new friends in the locker room if you randomly start talking to someone, "pretending" to think it's your friend coming back from the shower. Allegedly, this is what happened ...

Rus and I finish class, go to the change room and head for the showers, arguing over who gets which of comparing notes on the two guys from class that we thought were cute (a big one and a little one). Rus finished first in the shower and as he was getting dressed, caught me returning out of the corner of his eye, and asked, "So, do you think it's going to be hot today?"

"Um, sorry?"

"Oh my god, I totally thought you were my friend."

Enter moi ... the embarrasing situation was recounted and we all had a good chat and headed off to the sauna for a 3-way bid adieu, until the next class. We now know cute little one's name, occupation, place of employment, favorite times to take Pump, and the pros and cons of In Design vs. Quark. Oh that Rus, he may appear to be dizzy, but he's a smooth operator.

Next step -- get to know the big one and figure out just how married that gold band on his left hand makes him. That's a load worth maximizing.

Who Wants To ....

Redesign my blog?

Go see Joe Jackson and Todd Rundgren with me on June 5th at the Hammersmith Apollo?

Recommend a good masseur in Central London (near W1 or EC2A) ?

See R.E.M. in Hyde Park on July 9th?

Fly a kite?

May 11, 2005

Beauty is In the Eye / Ear of the ...

Fresh out of Caesar's Bathtub, it seems Corky's mom Miss Lu Pone followed me to the Streets of Peaches. Funny how we're never in the same room at the same time ... hmmmm.

Funnier still how two people can have a different take on the same audience. One blogger sees his "type of folks: cute, gay musical theater fans." And yet another in the group, with a similar-sized hypothalmus finds himself in a "crowd of overweight homos in dockers and 'fancy' shirts and overweight stars on broadway season ticket holders in dockers and 'fancy' shirts".

I wish Steve was still blogging ... I'd love to know what he saw at the Fox.

And I'm not sayin', but hasn't she been screeching belting that "Matters of the Heart" show about as long as Cher's been on a farewell tour? It's about time mama let that meadowlark fly away.

May 9, 2005

Midtown Train(wreck) to Georgia

I thought Blake's had come and gone. Apparently it's back ... at least on a Sunday. I guess the Backstreet boys ain't go nowhere else to go no more.

I was told that he would be there, which turned out to be lies lies lies wishful thinking. Undaunted, I overcame my jet lag with several vodka red bulls, got my, um, wings, gave a business card to some cute boy named Travis (while slurring telling him "you have to move to London"), and was escorted back to my home away from home by a pair of guardian angels.

It's good to have friends (who have learned to keep their underwear on in bars) to look out for you. (missed you, Philip)

A simpler place and time? I think not. I'm leavin' ... but maybe I'll get me some chicken and waffles first.

May 7, 2005

Bathing with Caesar

Oh sure, just 'cause I'm not in town for GBNY 2, I get tagged. Okay. Fine.

These are the instructions, as indicated at the barn:

Said meme takes its name from Mel Brooks' A History of the World (Part I), and, upon receiving it, one is supposed to list five things that one's circle of friends or peer group is wild about, but that one can’t really understand the fuss over. Quoth Caesar, "Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.

So let's play ...

1. 'Til the Cows Come Home. Oh, wait .. that's just mean ....

I shall start again.

1. Kylie -- I’ve tried. I really have given her a go, our patron saint of Aussie midgets and overproduced vocals . I’ll even sing along with some of her (I do have a sweet spot for “Better the Devil You Know”). But like so many others (Skankalera included), she’s meant to be heard and not seen. So.Not.Sexy.

2. I (Don’t) Love Lucy -- Stupid, over the top slapstick. Like The Three Stooges. Not my cup of chamomile.

3. Fizz -- I’ve never been a big champagne fan, but people over here seem to love it. I’d rather drink good vodka or a stellar glass bottle of bordeaux. If want I bubbles, I’ll have a splash of soda in my Ketel and sit in a jacuzzi.

4. Patti Lu Pone -- maybe it’s because I was too young not around to have seen her in Evita. It’s not that I actively dislike her (hey Gwynneth), but I just don’t understand all the hoopla. All that bravado and nary a consonant. Blahever (although she would have been an amazing Mama Rose).

5. Will Ferrell -- another Jim Carrey who just annoys the bejeezus out of me. I like funny. A lot. But stupid, sophomoric, let’s-bust-through-an-envelope-just-for-the-sake-of-getting-a-dumb laugh grates on my last gay nerve (the little one at the tip of my left pinkie, that I hardly ever use). On the other and, I totally giggle at the “Dude, .... Sweet” routine. Maybe it’s cause Sean William wants to kiss me and Will just kind of skeeves me.

Interesting note to self: People bother you more than things. Hmm, maybe that's something to work on.

I think I’ll tag three of of my favorite cyberwriters ... Chris because she is the queen, Jodi because I miss her terribly, and Glittering Lee because I have a crush on his blog and he makes me laugh.

May 6, 2005

Maim that Tune

Was at an after-work do this evening, and the question arose ...

What song (or perhaps band) doesn't just rub you the wrong way, but is so loathesome to you that you'd immediately turn it off (or throw the stereo out the window) if it came on the radio? The one that makes you totally cringe, that even thinking about it makes you a little angry.

I know there must be one sends me twitching, but I coudn't think of it. Sure, Celine (why the long face?) bugs the living shite out of me, but nothing came to mind that could match my colleagues' vehement abhorrance of Alanis Morisette and Sister Sledge.

So please fill in the blank for me ...

"I would rather chew glass than listen to ________________."

May 4, 2005


Upgraded to MT 3.16, and all seems to be working well, except the comments that are being posted aren't showing up. I'm getting them in my email and can see them in the MT app, just not on the site.

So keep sassing me, I'm not holding out on you, just don't have time to investigate and fix what's gone awry.

Maybe it's just me ... my Bberry has died as well. Which makes my trip to Dublin this week a wee more incommunicado than I'd the muckety mucks at Brand This! like, but oh well.


NB: Fixed the comments part. Still no luck on the berry.

May 3, 2005

She's Everywhere


Worth taping if they get any good shots of the Show Boys.

May 1, 2005

Blonde Ambition

If one is too late to experience Dame Edna (bloody queues), one can always hang out on a grassy knoll, and meet fabulous new friends who just happen to be flatmates of bloggers one has met in weeks past.

Bloggers who, let it be said, can unstrike a certain je ne sais quoi off their to-do list.


I embrace the work in progress. I love that I'm not the only good listener who doesn't worship a certain chantuese plastique. And it's just a wee bit sad when you meet good people just as they're ready to leave the country.

Vauxhall (Russian for train station), y'all, is fun.