Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When Subgenres Attack (Or, Becoming A Man)

I saw a trailer for the movie Bonneville a few weeks ago. The film appears to be a mild, cushy version of Thelma and Louise for retired women who think sex is icky. It details three women who travel across the country in (shock) a Bonneville to scatter one of their husbands' ashes somewhere...like the Pacific Ocean...or the parking lot of a strip mall in Albuquerque.

The trailer was so overwhelmingly overwrought (Look - here the ladies are crying! Now they're dancing! Now they're laughing!) , I had to whelp out:

"Wheee! Menopause is fun!!!"

Which, in turn, made me think of an old story.

My friend Max's mother was in town and the three of us (Max, his mom, and me) ended up in a random gay bookstore (back when cities had random gay bookstores). Paul Monette's gay classic Becoming A Man was on display near the counter.

Max yelled out to his mother:

"Hey mom - maybe you should read this book...sounds like your life story."

No, Max's mom wasn't a transssexual.

She had just wrapped up menopause.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Come in From the Meme (Or, Furry Sings the Blues)

I once scoffed at memes...then I accepted them...now, I find myself grabbing one willfully that I wasn't even asked to do.

Musician Challenge: Pick an artist - joni mitchell
Rules: using only SONG NAMES, cleverly answer these questions...
No repeating song names...

1.) Are you a male or female? -- man to man
2.) Describe your self? -- furry sings the blues
3.) Describe your day? -- the same situation
4.) Describe where you currently live -- chelsea morning
5.) If you could go anywhere, where would you go -- harlem in havana
6.) Your best friend is -- don juan's reckless daughter
7.) Your favorite color is -- blue
8.) You know that -- in france they kiss on main street
9.) What's the weather like? -- court and spark
10.) If your life was a television show, what would it be called? -- you turn me on, i'm a radio
11.) What is life to you? -- shadows and light
12.) What is the best advice you have to give? -- be cool
13.) Describe your ex? -- man from mars
14.) Your current relationship status? -- the last time I saw richard
15.) What's your favorite hobby? -- taming the tiger
16.) When you think of your friends? -- conversation
17.) What do your friends think of you? -- both sides now
18.) What does your current love interest think of you? -- my secret place
19.) You always travel with? -- a case of you
20.) The best way to end a long day? -- no apologies
21.) Your occupation is? -- raised on robbery
22.) When you grow up, you want to? -- come in from the cold
23.) What does your family think of you? -- slouching towards bethlehem
24.) Your favorite food is? -- chinese cafe
25.) You want to be remembered as? -- free man in paris

And, since I swiped this one without a tag...I'll leave this hanging here...tagless. Feel free to pick it up if you'd like.

Shady Fruit (Or, Krautastic Tuesday)


This week's Krautastic Tuesday is about Schadenfreude.

I originally meant to post this after the Governor-Hooker scandal broke weeks ago...given that the entirety of New York State was indulging in some heavy duty Schadenfreude.

The German language is littered with long compound words...instead of making up new words to describe things, ye olde German speakers decided it was better - maybe more efficient - to just slam two existing words together.

A perfect example of this is perhaps the German language's greatest contribution to English:

Schadenfreude

It literally means damage joy.

In English, it connotes taking pleasure in someone else's pain. Here it is - in glorious use - from Avenue Q:

NICKY:
Oh, Schadenfreude, huh?
What's that, some kinda Nazi word?

GARY COLEMAN:
Yup! It's German for "happiness at the misfortune of others!"

NICKY:
"Happiness at the misfortune of others." That is German!
Like watching a vegetarian being told she just ate chicken...

GARY COLEMAN:
Or watching a frat boy realize just what he put his dick in!

NICKY:
Being on the elevator when somebody shouts "Hold the door!"

GARY AND NICKY:
"No!!!"
Schadenfreude!

GARY COLEMAN:
"Fuck you lady, that's what stairs are for!"

Of course, everyone indulges in some good old-fashioned Schadenfreude from time to time...it just so happens that Germans took the time and care to think up a name for the act of basking in the shit of others.*

For instance, I was working some crazy Schadenfreude of my own a while back...I was deeply offended by Madonna's recent (physical) appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. So, I worked up this comparison:


I got a little carried away with my own damage joy...and had to reign myself in - I was drunk with the power of wallowing in someone else's brokedown grill. When a dear, dear friend pointed out that Madonna didn't have actual plastic surgery and just had injections done, I replied:

"What did she have injected into her face? Two bundt pans and a cookie sheet?"

And, with that, I hung up my Schadenfreude for the day.

*Whoa...maybe that's another answer to last week's question about scat.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Fro Redux (Or, A Note From a Guest Editor)

After yesterday's Easter post, my mother decided to submit this as an entry from a Guest Editor.

Above is the "I Married Little Richard" photo mentioned yesterday.

Of course, seeing the photo again I realize my stepdad's perm is the least of the offending elements.

I don't have it in me today to dismantle the fashion here...overall, I'm mostly overwhelmed at the color story.

We. All. (Sort-of) Match.

Our impromptu family portrait looks like it was art directed by the Chairwoman of an All-American 1976 Bicentennial committee...who happened to be abusing Quaaludes, hash brownies, and white wine spritzers at time she selected these outfits.*

In addition to the Little Richard comment, my mother also said this about the picture:

"No wonder the Welcome Wagon people never came when we moved in - we only got Jehovah's Witnesses."

To which I replied:

"Maybe the J-Ws were looking to get cheap perms. You were clearly the neighborhood source for that."

*And, no, this fictional Chairwoman was not my mother...not that I know of, anyway.

T$ Cameo (Or, Don't Tell Your Parents You're A Bear)

I didn't realize this clip was on YouTube...

Here's a segment from John Waters's filmed monologue This Filthy World...that I am in.

Well...sort of.

I was in the audience of one of the tapings for it a couple of years ago.

Watch the audience shots carefully...just after he says "Don't tell your parents you're a bear." you can see my face in the audience.

I tried not to be offended by it at the time.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

1980 (Or, The Easter Fro)

Yes, I am in this photo.

And...inexplicably...I'm eating a marshmallow product.

I'm still a big fan of Easter candy...but I now hate/loathe/despise Peeps (what my brother and I are eating here).

Go figure.

I was on a hunt just now for another photo...a picture of my family in our backyard at Easter. That it was Easter wasn't a big deal...it was the fact that, in this missing photo, my brother and I look like matching polyester Little Lord Fauntleroys and my mother and stepfather are rocking identical white-person-afro perms.

I think my mother has this photo locked away somewhere. I hijacked a number of family photos a decade ago, but I'm fairly sure my mother wouldn't let this Easter family portrait out of her possession.

The last time that picture came up in conversation, my mother doubled over in laughter and said:

"Oh look...I married Little Richard."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spamwich 2: The Next Day (Or, When We Made Spam, You Used to Moan?)


Here's a little sequel to the spam show - again, note the subject line and recipient's status (see below):

From: xxxx@xxxxxxx.com
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: 10 ways to make her moan in ecstasy
Date: March 20, 2008 10:20:49 PM EDT
To: profit|r1950@80EAST.COM

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am on maternity leave from Monday 16th July 2007.

Kind Regards,
XXX

Spamwich (Or, Spamloaf)

My design company's URL gets hijacked once and a while by spammers. It's not that big of a deal - but occasionally, I get a shitload of returned email addresses in my inbox from said sordid spam campaigns.

I know I should sort it all out with my service provider...but they were so clueless the last time I spoke to them about this issue, I had to hang up the phone in severe annoyance.

Today, I got a returned spam email that tickled me to no end:

From: xxxx@xxx.org
Subject: [Auto-Reply] Blow your load in her mouth
Date: March 20, 2008 7:40:28 PM EDT
To: Choon-porikos@80EAST.COM

The email you sent has reached an unattended mailbox and will be automatically deleted.

Please check the email address again and resend.

God Bless,
IT Staff - Sturge Presbyterian Church

Note: subject line and recipient.

God Bless the internet indeed.

Still the One (Or, The Old Neighborhood)

As my neighborhood is now overrun with heterosexual women who have been abusing fertility treatments (seriously, how many perimenopausal women are squeezing out twins?), I often miss the various on-street tragedies of the American gayborhood.

I did overhear this today on the street...which made me think that camp is back on the rise:

"You know that's all well and good for a thirteen-year-old girl, but for Christ's Sake. He's fifty. We need to stage an intervention."

If only I had intercepted this snippet sooner.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You So Plamic (Or, Heard on the Streets)

There is a public high school next door to my apartment building. During the week, I try to avoid being outside from three to four in the afternoon, since the street gets overrun with kids.

I had to stop and think for a minute as I typed the word "kids". It's been a long, long time since I was in high school, but these "kids" all seem like they're in their late 20s. Seriously, all the guys have way more facial hair than is necessary for adolescence.

Of course, maybe I'm just bitter since my own puberty didn't wrap up until I turned 30.

Yesterday, I happened to be walking down my street just as school let out and I got to overhear this little snippet of conversation:

GIRL 1: Yo, she's like such a bitch an' shit.

GIRL 2: For real.

GIRL 1: Yo, you ever see that movie Mean Girls?

GIRL 2: Uh-huh.

GIRL 1: She's like one of them bitches. What they call them?

GIRL 2: Plamics* or some shit.

GIRL 1: Yeah...that what she is. Totally plamical.

*I believe she meant Plastics. Don't get me wrong though - I'm not hating on the misuse - I live for this shit.

Google Two: Electric Googaloo (Or, Panty Googlers)

Well, all my bitching about not having interesting Google queries to share has paid off. The universe has heard my gripes...and clearly wants me to shut up.

Without further ado, here's this week's list of "what-the-fuck?" searches that led people to BV:

Four-Person Scene in a Play
Buffalo Gay Guys Down Low
Shelly Buffalo Porn
Sexy Auntie Fucker
Tit Sluts
Iceland Virtual Trip
Older Sluts in Buffalo
Eva Longoria Tits
Mistress Shit
Buffalo Void*

And...my personal favorite:

What Are Panty Crickets?

*I've said it before...but I think I'm more shocked when people are actually looking for me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Craptastic (Or, Krautastic Update)

There's an addendum to Krautastic Tuesday...already.

I just did a web search for the word "Krautastic"...just for shits, uh, and giggles.

Google, ever the genius site that it is, returned this at the top of the query page:

Did you mean 'craptastic'?

This week, I sure did.

The Scat Singer (Or, Krautastic Tuesday)

Last week, after discussing the former Gov'na's propensity for the "unsafe", my friend Patty suggested a topic for this week's Krautastic Tuesday:

"Aren't Germans heavy into scat? Why don't you write about that?"

Despite having a scatalogical sense of humor, my ability to withstand shit-based sex scenarios is not quite as robust.

I just did a quick Google search for "German Scat" and what I saw was enough to make my morning Fiber shift into reverse.

Yes, I was...rather...am vomitacious because of it.

Simultaneously as the first queries came up in Google, my dog took a huge shit in my living room and walked right through it.

Clearly, I will have to abandon my investigation here before my apartment turns into a complete shitbox. To answer Patty's question - there is power in poop. Since Germans respond well to authority, I can only say that their poopiness is about obedience (or disobedience).

I know I could write more about things like "Vienna Hot Plate"...but this is Krautastic Tuesday, not Austrian August.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh Father, Where Art Thou? (Or, Sweet Jebus)

So...just when I got tired of combing through my sitemeter stats to find Google searches to laugh at...I stumbled upon this:

Today, someone from the Vatican stopped by briefly.

I'm not kidding.

I'm down with Papal peeps peeping BV...but what's more telling is that s/he/G-d was referred here from this site:

Nichevo

Now, I'm sure there was a divine reason that said Papal peep was cruising the site above...maybe s/he/G-d was doing some research on new nipples for a statue of St. Sebastian.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Ró Does Cindy (Or, Last One I Swear)

Clearly I'm a little handsy with the web today...

Here's Róisín Murphy's semi-new video for "You Know Me Better".

Sure...it's a camp fiesta...but it's also got some hot references to the work of Cindy Sherman.

Dick Jockey (Or, More From a Lazy Sunday)

File Under: Things You Should Never Hear in New York on a Saturday Night...

A Phil Collins song...remixed.*

File Under: Things You Will Hear After Hearing Phil Collins Remixed in New York on a Saturday Night...

"Wait. There's a DJ? You mean...someone's actually choosing to play this right now?"

*And, no, it wasn't the Postal Service's great remake of "Against All Odds". It was the real deal Phil on the decks.

Straight Talk From Tyra (Or, Yeah, It's a Lazy Sunday)

If only I'd seen this sooner...

Special thanks to LaNay 3000 for this.

Ken Lee (Or, Comedy From Bulgaria)


Since I've reported on music from Bulgaria in the past...I'm compelled to share some comedy too.

Here's a contestant on Bulgaria's version of American Idol (Music Idol) singing Mariah Carey's hit song "Ken Lee".

Of course, you might also recognize the song from other places...it was originally recorded by Hally Nirrsen.

I'm also glad to know that Shania Twain has been secretly hosting Bulgaria's Music Idol...check her out. Her Bulgarian is fantastic!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Heavy, Heavy (Or, Illustration Friday)

Here's my submission to this week's Illustration Friday topic: Heavy.

Again, I feel compelled to mourn the Google Me, Google You feature...within the last 24 hours, I've had a ton of hits...all searching for Miss Tandi Dupree.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Urinetown (Or, What New Yorkers Say When They Talk About the Gov)

In case you hadn't heard...New York's Governor had to resign this week due to his involvement with a high-class prostitution ring.

I won't get into all the schadenfreude* that's been kicking around the city (and, presumably, state) all week...but there are certain details that keep popping up that I want to know more about...desperately.

Namely...what is all this business about the hooker telling her booker (ah...rhyme) that the Gov'na wanted to do things "that you think might not be safe".

Last night I had dinner and saw a show with my friend Patty. Over dinner, we got to discussing the meaning behind this "might not be safe" statement.

It went down like this:

ME: I guess that means anal right? Maybe unprotected anal sex?

PATTY: Oh really? I immediately thought she meant pee.

ME: Oh shit. Hadn't thought of that.

PATTY: Yeah...I'm guessing hookers wouldn't think twice about anal.

ME: Hmmm...I still think it might be anal...

PATTY: I'm sticking with pee.

After the show (the less than stellar Gypsy), the topic came up in conversation again:

ME: I don't know...I think [Patti LuPone] could have been a little more desperate...especially in the first act. When she says she'll get that money no matter what...she didn't sound so convincing...she didn't sound like she'd so anything for it.

PATTY: She should have been thinking - "Give me that money Dad...or else I'll let the Governor pee on me for 88 bucks."

*sneak preview of next week's Krautastic Tuesday

And...thanks as always to the inspirational Pattesia - who clearly provided the kick to this entry.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Requiem For A Michigan Girl (Or, A Forgotten Joke)

Although I bitch and moan and share stories about celebrities here from time to time (see also: "I Peed Where Jessica Lange Peed"), I don't really hack up public figures all that much.

While I'm really itchy to bitch about Madonna's current beyond-plastic appearance, I will repeat an old joke that made me laugh and laugh and laugh in 2003.

After watching Madonna plaintively perform a political-ish song from American Life on TV (uh...Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan she ain't), my friend Anne looked at me and said:

"You know...Cher knows she's Cher. Why doesn't Madonna know she's Cher?"

At this point...M might want to take a look at the Dark Lady's playbook. Sure, Cher's been plastic since the Pleistocene, but at least she owns her fakery.

Not So Hong Kong Garden (Or, Illustration Friday)


I just submitted this to the excellent site Illustration Friday for this week's topic: Garden.

Although today's not Friday...this is an illustration.

I'll try to do this more promptly from now on...especially considering one of my (now seemingly former) featurettes (Who's Googling Who?) is not so fun anymore.

Maybe it's just this week...but every recent Google search bringing the masses (all two of you) here has had to do with either male midget escorts or Eva Longoria's chronic camel toe. Granted, both are pretty hot topics...but there wasn't any sort of "looking for sluts in Buffalo" query to make me smile this week.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mädchen Amok (Or, Krautastic Tuesday)

This week's Krautastic Tuesday is a fast two-parter...all about the ladies.

Eins:

In 1996, I was obsessed with an online 'zine called blairmag. Astonishingly, it's still there - exactly as it was way back when. The folks that wrote it were ornery and hilarious...and they set up two online games (back when having an animated .GIF file on a website was groundbreaking shit)...one was called "Gay or Eurotrash?" and the other was called...

Lesbian or German Lady?

Click the link above and play...it's just as fantastisch as it was twelve years ago.

Zwei:

My maternal grandmother is a German immigrant...and she's got the intense love of meat products and butter (her basic two food groups) to prove it. She thinks my mother is insane for using spices like black pepper or garlic when she cooks. At nearly 94, my beloved grandma is a tank...she's steely and unstoppable.

Two years ago, my brother and I went to Ohio to visit our family for Mother's Day. We took our grandmother out to dinner (which - to a 90-plus-year-old German - meant we ate at three o'clock in the afternoon). Upon seeing all of the other elderly folks at the eatery we went to (her choice, of course), she wailed out - full voiced for all to hear:

"For Christ's Sake - what is this? Bringing out the dead?"

She also told our waitress she should get a new career...in less polite terms.

Gute Zeiten...Gute Zeiten.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Quirkadelic Quirkington (Or, Enough About Meme, Let's Talk About Me)

Once upon a time, I avoided memes.

I ran.

I hid.

I played dumb.

I acted like, all of a sudden, I had no idea how the internet worked...even though it's how I feed my family (read: me and my dog) and my fictional staff of four.

And here I am now...meme whore.

Anyway, Toni from the I-always-get-way-too-hot-and-bothered-when-I'm-there-blog Attempted Entertainment has tagged me for a "personal quirks" meme. In writing up my answers, I realize this has turned into a mini-roadmap of my various OCD traits:

Share six non important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

1. I have a tendency to eat meals standing at my kitchen counter.

2. I am compulsive about making the bed. I start making it the split second I get out of bed in the morning. I even do this when I'm an overnight guest..and in hotels. I can't help it. I blame this on having lived in a studio apartment for nearly a decade...but everything's better with a made bed.

3. I actually like doing the dishes.

4. Grammatical errors - especially in advertising - drive me nuts. When I read the amazing and hilarious Eats, Shoots and Leaves (hands down - the most entertaining book about grammar ever written...sorry E.B. White and William Strunk, Jr.), I found comfort in knowing there are far, far more obsessive grammarians than I.

5. I can be an entertainment savant at times...I can recite whole scenes from films and T.V. shows verbatim...whether anyone wants me to or not.

6. I am a compulsive book buyer.

There you have it - mini-map to functional-OCD me.

Since I just did a meme over the weekend, I'm dropping the compulsively obsessive (or obsessively compulsive) ball here. If anyone would like to pick up this thread and outline their quirks for any and all to read, by all means, go ahead and do so.

-T$

Friday, March 07, 2008

My Dinner With... (Or, A Streetcar Named Desire)


My Dinner With...

Mod Fab has tagged me for quite possibly the best meme ever. I have to admit, choosing a single person has been a challenge. While various parts of me wants dinner with various directors (Fassbinder, Almodóvar, Derek Jarman, Preston Sturges), I think I'd rather spend this kind of dinner on the potentially sultry side of things.


1. Pick a single person, past or present, in the film industry who you'd like to have dinner with, and tell us why you chose this person.

After much deliberation (see above), I decided to kick it old school with my choice. I would like to have dinner with Marlon Brando – for countless reasons. It's hard to deny his genius as an actor...or his intensely masculine beauty. And in any interview he gave he was a bit of a loose canon, so I think dinner with him would be entertaining no matter what. I might be a little beside myself/agog throughout this meal considering I'd prefer to have dinner with the 1950s version of Brando (all hot and sweaty and angsty a la Streetcar, The Wild One, et. al.).


2. Set the table for your dinner. What would you eat? Would it be in a home or at a restaurant? And what would you wear? Feel free to elaborate on the details.

We would definitely go to Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn for Steak, Creamed Spinach, and Baked Potatoes - washed down with as many martinis as two men can handle. I would wear a black suit and tie. I'd elaborate more about the locale, the atmosphere, etc....but this is starting to sound like a Men At Play porn scenario as it is.

Since Brando is a well known food lover, we'd stop for cheeseburgers and a couple of dozen donuts after dinner.


3. List five thoughtful questions you would ask this person during dinner.

1. “Rumor has it you've had your share of women...and men. So...whose pipe have you smoked in Hollywood?”

2. “Was the butter scene in Last Tango in Paris your idea?”

3. "Were your late-career-on-set antics really just a way of saying 'I'm better than this?'”

4. "Shelley Winters has said you both gained weight because of your love of acting. You both turned to food when acting no longer fulfilled your needs. Did you feel this way - or was Shelley just conjecturing on your behalf? And...can you pass me another cheeseburger?"

5. “Your place or mine?”


4. When all is said and done, select six bloggers to pass this Meme along to. Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre, so that people know the mastermind behind this Meme.
I'm passing this along to the following bloggers: Muzbot, How Great Is Cake?, Bonjour Pee Wee, Kusala, TWISI, and Hello My Name Is Danny.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Princess Spartacus (Or, The Genius of Dawn French)

I love Dawn French more than words can say.

Here she is as Princess Spartacus...a.k.a. "The Queen of Wales"...a.k.a. Catherine Spartacus-Zeta-Douglas-Jones.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bullied Oversight (Or, Where the Hell Was Susan Sarandon?)

I had dinner with my friend Patty a few days after Heath Ledger's death.

Before we got headlong into a discussion of Mary-Kate Olson, Patty said:

"And what about Brad Renfro? That pisses me off."

"What about Brad Renfro?"

"Exactly."

You see, less than a week before Heath Ledger died, the young actor Brad Renfro died of a heroin overdose.

I'm not sure why, but it wasn't exactly breaking news on any front.

At least, I thought, Renfro would get some sort of acknowledgment in the Oscar ceremony (in the long-standing traditional "here's to the departed" film reel).

And...once again, Renfro's death was ignored.

Although the academy took the time to remember the other actors and the executives and the make-up artists and the hair bangers and the choreographers and the secretaries and the fluffers and the pets and the dust mites that sadly died over the course of last year, they somehow missed a beautiful actor whose death was remarkably similar to Mr. Ledger's.

It's too bad Susan Sarandon (his co-star in The Client) wasn't onhand to kick some ass on his behalf.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Truimph of the Weak (Or, Google Me, Google You)

Might as well knock out both featurettes for the week...

Here's this week's (short, sweet) list of internet search queries that brought folks to BV:

There Are Two Kinds of People Ms. Sandstone
Ms. Sandy Sandstone
Cell Phone Self Portraits
Mistress Shit
Stretch Marks, Gilda Radner
Naomi is a Slut in Buffalo

I'd pick a favorite...but this list seems to weave a cohesive narrative...something like:

My mistress Miss Sandy Sandstone shoots slutty cell phone self-portraits of her stretch marks by the shitty sea shore...in Buffalo.

This little shitty ditty stars the late Gilda Radner as both mistress Miss Sandy Sandstone and her twin estranged sister, the ne'er-do-well-but-always-natty-never-nappy Naomi Nomiton.

Kid Charlemagne (Or, Krautastic Tuesday)

Even though I really wanted to study French, I took German in high school.

My sophomore year, our German class when to Ohio State to be a part of some German Day thing (hey, it was Ohio after all). There were various competitions held that day...and I was on our class's "German Culture Team".

Go figure.

Anyway, our team had to compete against other schools in various trivia challenges. The entire bus ride to Columbus, our overzealous, overbearing, overwrought German teacher berated us for not studying enough. He was convinced we would be knocked out of the first round - our German-laden heads to hang in deep, lederhosenisch shame.

He was German, after all.

In the first round of this odd "German Culture Bowl", our team realized our lack of studying really wasn't going to be much of an issue.

Case in point: the great conqueror Charlemagne is known in German as "Karl der Grosse" (Or "Karl der Große" if you're down with that...or "Charles the Great" if you need subtitles). The first team we had to compete against was blindly obsessed with Herr Karl as such:

MODERATOR: Who was the founder of Protestantism?

DUMKOPF TEAM ANSWER: Karl der Grosse.

MODERATOR: Whose diary was published in 1947?

DUMKOPF TEAM ANSWER: Karl der Grosse.

MODERATOR: Where was the movie The Sound of Music filmed?

DUMKOPF TEAM ANSWER: Karl der Grosse.

Needlesstosay, the next few teams we had to duke it out against weren't much snappier. We went home with the coveted German Bowl prize...much to the chagrin of our teacher.

On the way home that day, he could barely acknowledge his happiness that we had won.

"You were just lucky. I still think you didn't study enough."

And that's probably the highest compliment he ever paid us.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The T$ Memorial Reservoir (Or, Take Back the Night...Please)

I was in Central Park yesterday with my friend Torrey. We entered the park on the East side, uptown near the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

I'm not knocking Jackie herself...but the entire American way (or is it global way?) of naming every single thing after someone, is always good for a laugh in my book.

As we walked around the East edge of the Reservoir, I blurted out:

"You know, there's this pool of water that always forms on my bathroom sink. I like to call it the 'Trevor Messersmith Memorial Wading Pool'."

Naturally, I jog around it every morning...pondering my multiple lives as an American style icon...as spouse to an assassinated President...as a kept man on a Greek isle...wandering to and fro in huge sunglasses and linen kaftans...trying to avoid Maria Callas's attempts on my life.

We walked down through the park and ended up exiting the park on the West side at 72nd Street. As we walked through some very down-low appearing paths near Central Park West, I couldn't help thinking about the Park's shady fairly-recent history.

Let's face it: Central Park had such a bad rap in the 1970s and 1980s, it seemed to be pretty much a guarantee that if you entered the park after dark, you'd be shot/stabbed/maimed/raped...probably in that order.

My never-ending adolescent sensibilities being as they are, I adopted a voice and persona while we were walking on these isolated paths.

Let's call her Gladys.

As Gladys, I said: "In the summer of 1978, I was raped ten times right here on this stretch of path. It was insane. My friends kept saying: 'Gladys, you're crazy! Stop going in the park at 2 AM in just a camisole!' But I couldn't help myself...oh, what a summer that was."

I'd write up some sort of disclaimer about how rape is never funny...but isn't random street violence what once gave New York City its now far-faded allure?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Spring Procrastinating (Or, A Drawing)

I'd claim "spring fever" as the reason why I've been writing twice a week these days....

Except it's not quite spring and I'm far from feverish.

I got a dog a month ago...can I prop myself up on that as an excuse?