Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer

As the humble son of an amazing cancer survivor, I feel it is important to bring a wee bit of attention to a worthy cause.

Please take a moment to visit There you can learn more about the ongoing fight against cancer. The group is continuing the noble effort to raise awareness and resources to fight this dreaded disease.

Yes, that is Eddie Vedder's song Rise used in the PSA. Ed gave Stand Up 2 Cancer the song to use for the campaign.

I love you Dad.

Good night and good luck.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Monster Washes Ashore In Montauk

Maybe. I don't know what that thing is.

The report is that this thing washed up on a Montauk beach.

It appears that in an evil laboratory, on a remote island, somewhere on the east coast, a crackpot scientist is breeding cow/seal/parrot creatures. One brave specimen escaped the facility and couldn't survive the tides.

Or, somebody plucked a hippogriff of his majestic feathers and left him for dead. Not cool.

Or, it could be very clever photoshop and/or taxidermy. Like a modern Fiji Mermaid.

I'll keep you posted...

(Thanks to Echowood for the heads up.)

Two Campaigns, Two Images

Last week we saw two very different sets of Presidential campaign images.

First, Barack Obama was shown working his way through the Middle East and Europe, meeting with various foreign dignitaries. He spoke before 200,000 people in Germany. He seemed youthful, hopeful, energetic.

Then, we saw John McCain speaking to nearly empty halls, tooling around in a golf cart with Bush Sr., on the same day as Obama spoke to hundreds of thousands in Germany, McCain spoke to seven people outside a German restaurant (someone should be fired for that one), and prattling on in the cheese aisle of a grocery store.

"Campaign cleanup on aisle 3, campaign cleanup on aisle 3, please."

A Monkey From Mars!

A Mars monkey is on display in a museum in Decatur Georgia! Not only is there life on the Red Planet, there is monkeys!

Well, not exactly. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has the remains of pretty funny hoax from 1953. Pranksters took a dead monkey, cut off its tail, used hair remover to make the little guy bald and died him green. Then told the UFO crazed public it was a Martian Monkey. The rascals even burnt a ring into the pavement with a blowtorch, simulating a small spacecraft landing.

According to the story:

Barbers Edward Watters and Tom Wilson, and the butcher, Arnold "Buddy" Payne, told the policeman they came upon a red, saucer-shaped object in the road that night. They said several 2-foot-tall creatures were scurrying about and the trio hit one with their pickup before the other creatures jumped back in the saucer and blasted skyward - leaving the highway scorched.

Nothing like a good old fashioned hoax.

Ichiro Smacks #3,000

From The Sports Desk...

Largely overlooked because the Mariners stink on hot frickin' ice was Ichiro getting hit number 3,000 last night. My brother Drew was in attendance in Dallas for the feat.

That magic number all but assures Ichiro's induction to Cooperstown. A hat tip to you, #51.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Great White Way

"Give my regards to Broadway, remember me to Herald Square, tell all the gang at Forty-Second Street that I will soon be there."
George M. Cohan

I believe that Broadway has been resting on her laurels. She's become lazy. Relying on tired revivals and hackneyed concepts. Would that be the Broadway that Lunt and Fontaine dreamed of? No!

With this in mind, I have concocted a list of suggestions that will give The Great White Way a swift kick in the fanny. Why can't Fargo be a lavish, musical extravaganza? Yeah, I don't know either.

My column that explores these possibilities and more is Ten Films That Should Be Broadway Musicals.

Have a look. I know you want to.

Abbreviate This...

Reposted from YesButNoButYes

This rant brought to you by the letters "L," O," and "L." And, by the number 7.

The English language has been taking a Rocky Balboa-like beating for quite some time. Probably since the 1950's, vocabulary and spelling has suffered a rapid decline.

It's getting worse by the day.

Enemy numero uno? Text messages, instant messages, internet message boards and emails.

There is some irony here. Modern technology has made information damn near instantaneous. One can find almost anything in less than sixty seconds. Honestly, I don't remember how I functioned without the internet. How did I find driving directions? How did I find the name of that one film that Humphrey Bogart was in with that one guy? How did I find Pistol Pete Maravich's scoring average while he was at Louisiana State? (That was 44.2 points a game. If there was a three point line during his era, Pistol would have averaged about 57 points a game. Those stats were found in about thirty-three seconds.) All this technology and information at our fingertips should be making us smarter. Unfortunately, the sloppy spelling and awful web-speak abbreviations used on the internet and wireless devices move us in the other direction. We should be smarter, but the way I see it, the bastardization of the language makes it a wash. That's why we're not more intelligent. It's a push. We have twenty showing, but dammit, so does the dealer.

The curmudgeon in me rears his angry head when I see the silly text message abbreviations. (I have decided to name my inner curmudgeon Bertram. I blame him for most of this. Cranky old coot.)

Where my annoyance lies is the uses of "IMHO," "BTW," "LMAO" and the like. Why can't one write, "in my humble option?" Is it that difficult? That time consuming? What is the point of "pwned?" Was there a problem with, you know, "owned?" There are many more that I don't know what they mean. But I'll be damned if I'm going to look them up.

The biggest offender of them all is overplayed "LOL." That one makes me nuts. Mad as a hatter. I don't care if you text me the funniest line since Groucho Marx said, "The other day I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I don't know," even then, I will not type "LOL."

This has become a moral issue for me. It had to. By making the use of these abbreviations a moral decision, I have forced myself to draw a line between "right" and "wrong." The inherent laziness involved in the practice is offensive to me.

Uh oh, Bertram wants to say something. Hang on, I'm handing him the keyboard.

What the hell is the matter with all of you?!? You type "2" instead of "to?" That's ONE FREAKING LETTER!!! How much time are you really saving? A half second? "4" instead of "for," that's only two letters you cretins! Quit taking out the vowels and type a real sentence! Don't sub "ppl" for "people," people! Dammit all!

Man, sorry about that. Bertram is a little cantankerous at times.

The internet message boards are something that I steer clear of completely. Partly because of the anonymous threats that get tossed about. I'm not going to argue with those that sit behind the protective veil of invisibility that the web gives you. Yeah, you're real tough with your faceless sixth-grade insults made from the basement of your mum's house in Sheboygan. You're Kimbo Slice. The main reason, though, is the spelling is too depressing. I've seen "sentences" that I would need an Ovaltine Decoder Ring to understand what they are saying. If I cared about what they are saying.

My ire notches up even more when people start spelling words wrong ... on purpose. One of my buddies has a brother-in-law who sends out messages spelling "like" as "lyke." I haven't the foggiest idea why. It nearly gives me an aneurysm when I see it. I'm not sure how "kool" makes "cool" more cool.

Remember when certified lunatic Ron Artest was plugging his record label instead of playing basketball which he was being paid millions of dollars to do? That was fun. The label is called "Tru Warier." I think he means True Warrior. Pretty sure. Because if it's really "warier," I'm a little fuzzy how "to be watchful; being on one's guard against danger" makes much sense. "Check out my new label dog! Truly Careful and/or Cautious! The single is dropping soon! Gonna be off the hook!" Once Ronnie carved "Tru Warier" into his hair. Priceless. Don't think you can spell check a high-top fade.

I have a theory of where this nonsense started; Notes being passed and yearbooks being signed in junior high schools during the 1980's.

Occasionally I would get slipped a note from a girl named Jen or Amy or something at Illahee Junior High. Sometimes scrawled at the end of the note would be "S.S.S." Or; "Sorry So Sloppy." Once a girl left off the third "S" and all I saw was "S.S." I tore the note up, flushed it down the toilet and ran. Still not sure if Samantha Wilson was a Nazi. Better safe than sorry.

There was also the widely used "B.F.F." That acronym was more popular than Mike Seaver. Also used was "J/K." Oh, you were just joking, I see now.

Come on Bertram, not again...

If I read "b4" instead of "before" one more time, I'm going to chuck a dog at you! Let numbers be numbers! Putting a "Z" at the end of words doesn't not make the word hip! Putting "aw" on stead of "o" was bad enough, now I have to read about the "gurlzz" going out on the town! That doesn't make any sense! We have spelling and pronunciation rules here Skippy! Our country is going to hell in a hydroplane!!!

Okay, I slipped an Ambien into his Mountain Dew. That should hold him for a while. I'll finish this up before he comes to and starts screaming about how Alanis Morrisette's song Ironic doesn't actually contain situations that are ironic. That's bugged him since 1996.

There's no point in whinging about the dumbing down of American culture. It's a tired subject and it's not going to get any better. Unfortunately "reality" television - an oxymoron if there ever was one - Howard Stern and the tabloid rags probably aren't going anywhere. They're embedded like ticks. Somehow Lowest Common Denominator has become a valued demographic. Go figure...

snoopy on doghouse.jpg
Yes, our culture is tail-spinning into stupidity. Not even Snoopy could grab the stick and pull out of it. However, you can choose to rise above the muck. Change the channel when The "Real" World comes on. Don't buy a Star Magazine at your local grocer. Actually care about the quality of language in correspondence among friends and enemies.

My morality ploy of internet/chat acronyms may be ridiculous to some, but look at it as a potential baby step to a better society.

One that isn't dumber than a bag of wrenches.

Bertram will thank you for the effort.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Meet Youth Pastor No-So-Evil Knievel

Pastor Dave is the coolest, baby. How do I know that? Because after a sermon, Pastor Dave rides his motorcycle off into the sunset. From inside the church! Talk about awesome! He's like Fonzie!

Nothing could go wrong from here, right?

Uh, Pastor Dave? You okay, man?

22,000 Veterans Have Called Suicide Hot-Line

I have no joke here. No commentary. No rant.

Only a desire to point you, dear readers, to this story. One that states that 22,000 soldiers and veterans who have served their country bravely and with honor in Iraq and Afghanistan, have called a specially created suicide hotline.

Draw whatever conclusions you like from there.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

You Better Run Punks! The Night Cobra Is Coming For You!

With all the Bat-Mania flapping around lately, I have been inspired.

Crooks and thieves and scum beware. I am going to become a vigilante crime-fighter.

Right now, I am making preparations to become: The Night Cobra!

That's right, kids. To read the details of my transformation from mild-mannered scribbler to scourge of the night, click here.

Run and hide, criminals. Run and hide.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Idiotic Names Proposed For Oklahoma City NBA Team


From the Sports Desk...

The NBA has filed for trademark rights to six potential nicknames for the league's new, stolen Oklahoma City franchise. Now, here's what's funny. All of the names are absolute train wrecks. They're laughably bad. It seems these are the joke names, then the real ones are going to be announced later.

These are the proposed names. Seriously.

The Bison - What? No Muskox or Wildebeest? Why not The Cattle?

The Barons - The Noblemen. Cool. Good one.

The Energy - That would be the name of a junior high math team.

The Marshalls - Yep, they spelled it wrong. Marshal has one "L." Why does that not surprise me? Good one there, Enos.

The Thunder - A WNBA expansion team name if there ever was one.

And the best of the bunch...

The Wind - The most benign of all weather? Why not The Gentle Breeze? Or The Drizzle? "Ladies and gentleman, your Oklahoma City Low Pressure System!" Not only that, but there will be an unending barrage of fart puns the whole two years you are in existence.

Well done Oklahoma City. Off to a great start.

Reposted from YesButNoButYes

Friday, July 25, 2008


It appears there is some mad scientist somewhere that talks like Bela Lugosi who has produced a mutant pig-monkey.

In China, the pig-monkey is seen as a deity. I think. Okay, I don't know that, but it might be true.

Whoever owns this little guy has the coolest pet since Gizmo. Every kid -- and childish adult on the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- will want one.

Mother Nature is freaking nuts...

The Old Town Bar Restaurant

If you're looking for a hip joint to grab a burger in Manhattan, head to The Old Town Bar Restaurant on 18th Street. We, the writing staff of YesButNoButYes, shared a meal and a few laughs there last night.

The place opened in 1892. During prohibition, she was a speak-easy. I'm told the still working dumbwaiters were used to hide the hooch when a raid was coming. It was also a men's only club for a time, women were allowed upstairs. Hence, the woman's loo is upstairs.

The burgers are great. Though last night I had the tuna melt. A top-notch tuna melt.

It's my kind of joint...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ichiro Busts Out of the Clink

Monkey News!

A chimp named Ichiro broke free from his captors this week. He made a good run until the cheating cops brought out the bananas. That's not fair. Monkeys can't resist bananas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Psychics? I Foresee a Scam

Reposted from YesButNoButYes

Fortune teller.gif
While perusing the World Wide Interweb this morning to see if Amy Winehouse is dead yet and looking for Monkey News, I came across a ridiculous story.

MSNBC reports that Cameron Diaz has visited Mrs. Grace at West Hollywood's Psychic Tea Leaf Readings for guidance. Reportedly, Mrs. Grace is the preferred medium for Drew Barrymore as well. Of course she is.

This scoop inspired me to pen a good old fashioned J-Dub-style rant.

Ready? Let's begin.

If you believe in psychics, you are an idiot.


They don't exist. At all. Not one. There has never been any kind of proof that they are real.

The great Harry Houdini took great pride in debunking the so-called mediums that would dupe the naïve. He attended séances and busted the tricksters cold. That was almost a hundred years ago. Yet the desperate and dumb are still calling 1-800 numbers to ask for guidance.

Here is why there is no such thing as psychics. Or paranormal mediums. Or fortune tellers. Or those that have telekinetic abilities. First of all, it has never been proved by anyone. If it was real, if I could see the future, I could go on The Late Show and show off for an hour. Predicting the next three days weather, what's going to happen in the news, and how long it will be before Britney Spears leaks a sex tape. (Put the line at 18 months and I'll take the "under.") This is the problem; you're asking me to believe that EVERY PSYCHIC IN THE WORLD IS AN HONEST AND MORAL PERSON. If there were psychics, there would be no gambling in casinos, no betting on football, no lottery, no
Power Ball, no stock market, no horse racing, nothing that there is the possibility of manipulating the outcome like Biff Tannen in Back to the Future II. It's a trick folks. I've heard people say things such as this; "there's no way she could have known some of the things she knew." You know what? I saw David Copperfield turn a 747 into an elephant with a showgirl on its back. Doesn't make it real.

We see that douchey Criss Angel guy fly over golf courses and don't think it's real. Why would you believe that Madam Leona can really tell you if your relationship is soluble?

In addition, no conjurer ever gives the mark bad news. "Sorry, your dog is going to get hit by a car, you'll lose your home in a blazing inferno, and you will die of cancer in 7 months. That will be 75 bucks please." Doesn't happen.

These hoaxsters that prey on the sad and lonely mainly perform what is called a "cold reading." That is a barrage of question until you narrow down something that the rube will identify with. "I'm getting two letters, A and S..." "I have an uncle Scott! He had a dog named Angus!" Wow, you are like Gandalf the Grey!

Exploiting the grief stricken is shameful. The real trick is how you can sleep at night.

I was watching The Daily Show a couple months ago. During the commercial break, an ad came on for a service that sent "psychic answers text messages sent right to your cell phone!" Wow. I've wondered who are the yokels that spend a dollar for the cell phone background of the dancing frog or the farting panda or whatever those are, but that one made me a little more disappointed in our society. Here's what I picture this operation looking like; In a small office in suburban Detroit is a room of part-time college students sitting in cubicles with five cell phones in front of them. They rotate the phones and "answer" each question from the dupes across the country. Not one employee has any psychic tendencies, nor claims to. The boss just tells them, "text back something positive and reassuring." How much you wanna bet I'm right?

You want to know what your horoscope is? I'll tell you. It's a random, generalized statement that, with a little imagination, can be applied to just about anyone.

That will be 25 bucks please.

Christian the Lion

It's early. I don't really sleep well anyway. So I was awoken a couple hours ago by some ridiculously loud thunder over Manhattan. Been up for a while reading.

The video of Christian the Lion being reunited with his human parents has been circulating for a few weeks. In various forms. There isn't one that doesn't have bad music, so I chose the one with the best quality of video. Hence, you're going to hear Whitney Houston belting out the theme from The Bodyguard. Sorry.

The story is true. The reliable has verified the tale.

To be truthful, the video made me a wee bit dusty the first time I saw it.

Feel free to mute:

Non sequitur: Being linked to by The Hemingway Society yesterday was a real thrill for me. Quite proud of that.

I'm going to try to lay back down...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hemingway's Booze Advertisement

There was a time in America where the great writers were huge celebrities. It was a simpler time. One where men and women were famous for their talents and achievements. Not releasing a sex tape and getting their picture taken in a Starbucks.

The great Ernest Hemingway, my favorite writer and one of my heroes, was known to take a few easy bucks when he could. It was how he financed new homes and safaris. Papa never had to go to Hollywood and write scripts like some of his contemporaries. Faulkner, Chandler, Fitzgerald, others. Instead, Hemingway would sell the rights to one of his books head to Kenya.

I would speculate that when Ballantine Ale called Papa and offered him a few bucks to shill a booze he may have drank anyway, he may have said, "What the hell, send the check."

John Steinbeck put his stamp of approval on Ballantine ale as well. See his ad here.

Here's the enlargement of the copy, supposedly written by Papa.

I would wager Hemingway did not write the letter. The sentences are too long. Though he was fond of starting sentences with "but" or "and."

He wouldn't have written "we keep it iced in the bait box with with chunks of ice around it." It probably would have read something like "She rests in the bait box, cooled with chunks of ice."

My guess would be Papa signed off on a ghostwriter, not really caring what it read. He probably didn't read it anyway. This is only my educated guess.

Conjecture aside, it is an interesting piece of literary history.

Thanks to my boy Chris Baier for bringing this to my attention.

Thoughts on The Dark Knight

I finally made it to see The Dark Knight. It is astonishingly good.

A few of my thoughts on the film, and the future of the franchise can be read here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's All In the Timing

Put down the camera you idiot! Swim! Swim!

"I'm the Queen of the wor---oomph.."

Try using your head, Juan, not the face.

For more "Just at the right time" photos, click here.

Thanks to Echowood at YesButNoButYes for the heads up.

A Few New York Oddities

One of the many reasons that I love the town so nice they named it twice is you never know what you'll see each day. It literally could be anything. That and the hot dogs.

Recently my boy Adam witnessed a horrible and hilarious subway-poop debacle. His detailed recount of the tale can be read here. If you dare...

That story topped when I was walking to the Ed Sullivan Theater to go to work a few years ago. It was about 8:45 in the AM. I was walking through Central Park. Had just passed the group of Chinese octogenarians doing synchronized Tai Chi. I rounded the corner and was walking by Sheep Meadow, a huge piece of grass. There I saw a lone person in the middle of that vast lawn. I did a double-take. Is he doing what I think he's doing?!? Yep, in the exact middle of Sheep Meadow, there was a hobo making a deuce. The exact middle. The bloody epicenter. There are millions of shrubs, bushes and trees to hide behind. Why this gentleman picked the center of the Meadow to have a moment, I'll never know.

Anyhoo, there were three sightings last week that made me chuckle.

1. On the way to Mama's Pizzeria for, uh, breakfast, I saw a young man that had sagged his jeans below his rear end. That is not odd, that's commonplace. But, this guy took the practice to the next level. He had TWO pairs of boxer shorts on, and had sagged them incrementally. He had a three layer sag. Red undies, white undies, jeans. Amazing.

2. Near 48th Street, where I was going to play guitar at Manny's Music one evening, there was a hobo asking the passersby, "Spare some change so I can get somethin' the eat? Spare some change so I can get somethin' the eat? Spare some change so I can get somethin' the eat?" Now, this is not unusual, that is a common phrase used by beggars. This cat was on a cell phone while he was asking. He wasn't doing very well.

3. On Broadway and 103rd was a seemingly normal gentleman running his errands. But, he had a cat on his head. Seriously. A black cat, tethered by a leash, was sitting on the man's coconut. Well done, sir. Never seen that one.

New York City is a miracle.

Good night and good luck...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Monsters of The X-Files

My latest column for YesButNoButYes is a recounting of my favorite monsters and other baddies from The X-Files. This was written because the latest film in the series, I Want To Believe hits cinemas this coming weekend.

I was -- and am -- a huge fan of the show. Some of the best storytelling in the history of the telly occurred during that nine year run.

The screed, entitled The 10 Greatest X-Files "Monsters," can be read here.



Happy Birthday to the Late Doctor Thompson

I miss Hunter Thompson. Imagine I always will. In some perverse way, he was a modern day Mark Twain.

Happy birthday Doc. Selah.

Above is an interview with Hunter on David Letterman's NBC show in 1988.

If you would like to read a short piece I wrote about Doctor Thompson, click here.


In Praise of The Who

This past week VH1 took a break from running shows about over-the-hill-has-beens clinging to whatever fame they have left trying to find "love" and actually had a program about rock and roll. It was shocking.

Foo Fighters, Flaming Lips, Tenacious D, Pearl Jam and more ripped through some of the classics before the legends themselves took the stage. The whole show was quite astounding. Two hours of homage to true kings of rock and roll. There is nothing quite like The Who. They are originals. Giants. The bee's freaking knees.

Below is Pearl Jam's rafter-rattling version of "Love, Reign O'er Me." It gave me chills.

You can board the Magic Bus and watch the entire performance here.

Feel the rhythm, feel the soul, hail hail rock and roll...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time For Some Campaignin'

The clever folks at JibJab strike again with on point political satire. This coming fall will be an important election for our country, but that doesn't mean the whole shebang won't be funny.

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Good Reverend Wright

Because I thought it was funny and I wanted the column, I was ordained a minister by an online church. Seriously. All I did was fill out the form and wait for the certificate to arrive in the mail.

Not that I will, but legally I could marry you right now.

My phony advertisement for becoming a professional clergyman can be read here.

Remember, this is satire...

Though I may share some of my favorite Psalms from Proverbs if so inspired.

Bless you,

The Reverend Johnny Wright

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stickin' It To A-Rod

A Rod.jpg
From the Sports Desk...

I cannot express how entertaining the Alex Rodriguez implosion is. Almost as fun as Roger Clemens crashing to Earth like a busted spy satellite. A-Rod's phony act has been transparent for many years.

His alleged affair with Jurassic pop star Madonna and buying a condo for a stripper mistress are just hilarious.

The photo above of Toronto Blue Jays fans taunting Alex is worthy of a doff of the cap. Well done. That is better than Mariner fans throwing Monopoly money in the air when he comes to bat.

A-Rod is walking irony. He puts on his calculated act because he is so desperate to be loved and admired. Only sports fans and the media know it's rubbish and dislike him more as a result. Justice, if you ask me.

Check out this brief Onion Story that lampoons his persona perfectly.

Reposted from YesButNoButYes...

If the Band Fits, Wear It!

My latest article for Eliza Magazine is online.

It can be read here.



Brett Favre Please Go Away


Quick note from The Sports Desk...

Number Four has received countless passes over the years.

We let his classless touchdown celebrations go. Even when he ran around like a little kid while the Packers were up by thirty. Nobody really called him out when he publicly said he did not care about mentoring Aaron Rogers. Brett maintained his fan support during the inane hostage-holding of the Pack the last three years while he mulled hanging up his cleats.

He skated by because his aw-shucks-good-old-boy-gunslinger act was fun to watch.

Favre is a first ballot Hall of Famer. His legacy is set. Even with his recent selfishness. But now that legacy is in jeopardy of taking a major hit.

After a tearful goodbye and retirement - one where he blubbered as he stated he was still a great quarterback - Favre has reportedly asked Green Bay for an unconditional release so he can come back and play again. For someone else. Give me a break.

Enough is enough, Brett. Please go away.

Reposted from YesButNoButYes...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

4th of July Picnic on the FDR Parkway

So, here is what happened.

To celebrate our country’s independence from the Queen, myself and 3 pals – Dave, Amy and Luke – decided to hoof it to the East side of Manhattan to enjoy the fireworks. The outing was an epic success.

First, we popped into Kentucky Fried Chicken got the Family Feast or whatever it is and lugged a couple buckets of bird, along with a cooler and grocery bags stuffed with chips and cookies, and grabbed the subway downtown.

We walked from Grand Central to the Eastern border of the island directly next to the United Nations. The normally nuts FDR Parkway is shut down by New York’s finest and you can set up camp on the freeway. Seriously.

The four of us had a picnic right there on the FDR that would have made Yogi Bear green with envy. You have never seen more envious partygoers than those that slowly walked by eyeballing our chicken and watermelon feast. Some drooled, right there by the U.N. off ramp.

We chatted with some tourists while we waited. They had figured on food vendors being set up and they were starving. We felt the necessity to be good New Yorkers and shared our picnic with strangers. Isn’t that what the 4th of July should be? I say yes.

After a couple hours of waiting, the fireworks began over the East River. Brilliant.

Fried Chicken, watermelon, a few laughs and fireworks on the freeway. Can’t ask for a better 4th than that.

Good night and good luck.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mark Twain in Time Magazine

Time magazine has taken advantage of not much going on right now and put Mark Twain -- one of my heroes -- on the cover of this week's issue.

It's a good thing that Hillary Clinton finally dropped out of the race four months after she should have so we don't have more op-ed pieces about "what is best for the party." Or pieces on how John McCain is old. Really? He's old? "McCain isn't good on television because it wasn't around for the first 90 years of his life." Hilarious.

The issue of Time has some good articles. Solid stuff. Put down the Us Weekly and do some real reading.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A J-Dub Penned Column In Your Local Barnes & Noble

If you will indulge a wee bit of shameless self promotion...

The Summer issue of Eliza Magazine has hit the shelves. A periodical of which I am a contributor. I know, it's weird.

This month "Guy's Guide" is entitled: If the Band Fits; Wear It!

In the piece I passionately defend why my inner child insists on wearing t-shirts of my favorite bands. It's almost readable.

A list of the Barnes & Noble outlets the carry the mag can be found

Thanks for being able to read.

Peace in the East, don't slip on the chicken grease...

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Chunk of My Childhood Has Been Stolen


Reposted from YesButNoButYes.

From the Sports Desk

It’s over. Kaput. The Kirstie Allie has sung.

My beloved Seattle Supersonics have been high-jacked from the Emerald City by corporate scum and are moving to Oklahoma City.

Even though the theft has been in the works for quite some time, I still didn’t think it would happen. How could it? How could Seattle, a bustling metropolis with a history of being a great sports city, lose a team to a three horse village in Oklahoma?!?

This shocking and embarrassing decision does feel like a significant part of my childhood has been stolen.

There is no point in rehashing a point by point timeline of how this travesty occurred. It’s been written about ad nauseam. Here’s the Cliff Notes version. Schmuck on wheels Howard Schultz, who owns Evil Empire Starbucks, bought the Sonics like a spoiled brat buys a new toy. He was jealous that the Seahawks and Mariners had new stadiums built and threw a petulant tantrum that he didn’t have one. Then, Schultz decided that he wasn’t enough of a multi-billionaire and as going to sell the Supes to the highest bidder. This turned out to be some jackasses from Oklahoma led by rotten Clay Bennett. Bennett is a dishonest snake who said he was going to make a “good faith” effort to keep the Sonics in Seattle. This was what we call a lie. (Numerous emails show this.) There was no real effort, just a few smokescreens that the discerning people in Seattle saw through immediately. Then there was a few lawsuits, some court proceedings, we lost, and now the Sonics are going to Oklahoma.

Caught up? Good.

Now, here is why this relocation will not work. Once the novelty of a new sports franchise wears off, the Oklahoma City community is not big enough to support a losing team. The team will continue to lose. Sonics players have already expressed they don’t want to go there. Some are keeping their kids in Seattle so they can go to schools with running water. You think Kevin Durant will sign a contract extension in Oklahoma? Please. Good luck luring free agents there.

That hobbit-like NBA Commissioner David Stern allowed this to happen is shameful. This will be his Watergate. His Monica Lewinsky. His “Cop Rock.”


Going to Sonics games is one of my fondest childhood memories. Not only did I follow the team since I could talk – maybe a little before that – but I had 12 game ticket packages through high school. It was all I could afford. I would head to the park and ride and hop on the bus to downtown Seattle. How I conned my folks into letting me do this as a 15-year-old, I still don’t know. In my backpack I had whatever book I was reading, the latest Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated – had a subscription to S.I. since I was 13 – a hand-held radio with headphones to listen to the pre-game with Kevin Calabro, a 17 pound Discman and about a dozen CD’s to listen to on the way home. From the bus station I would hop on the Monorail into Seattle Center. Usually I would grab a chili dog at Orange Julius in the Center House, then I would meet my older cousin Mark and his buddies that have driven down from Bellingham. It was a magical teenage experience.

For me, not having the Supes to root for is like being told you can no longer watch “The Empire Strikes Back” or eat Lik-A-Maid. It makes me sick.

(Man, I could really go for a Lik-A-Maid right now.)

I hope you, dear readers, will do the right thing and boycott Starbucks as a result of this injustice. Especially those of you in the Northwest. Walk across the street the Seattle’s Best or Tully’s. If you see Howard Schultz in the street, express your First Amendment rights and let him know how you feel. Kid you not, if I saw the bum I would spit at him. That would make me feel better than the venom I am spewing in this rambling, incoherent diatribe. He sold out the great city that made him obscenely rich and screwed the community with their pants on.

Sending the Sonics to Oklahoma is a fools errand. It cannot work. It will not work.

Rot in hell Howard Schultz.

Rot in hell Clay Bennett.


Happy 4th of July

Sam the Eagle expresses what I cannot...

A Star Spangled Banner Tribute. Has to be seen to be believed.

A safe and semi-sane Independence Day to you and yours.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Greatest Monkeys Of All-Bloody-Time

My comprehensive/inane list of the greatest monkeys of all time is now posted YesButNoButYes.

It is the Magna Carta of monkey related lists.

It can be read here.

Boo yeah.

Boba Fett and the Power of the Dance

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Corporate Swine Take A Hit

My hatred for Starbucks knows no bounds. Not only did Howard Schultz screw the city of Seattle when he sold The Sonics to some hillbillies on Oklahoma, the place just gives me the creeps.

I cannot say how happy I was reading that Starbucks will be closing 600 stores in the U. S. of A. I'm loving that.

Serves the pigs right for putting stores a stones throw from each other. There really are some Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks. Video proof is here. As if you can't walk 40 extra yards for a caffeinated beverage.

Maybe this is some sort of divine retribution for Schlutz sticking it to the Emerald City. The town that made him a billionaire.

This is a win for our side.