Archive for December, 2007

Don’t get me wrong, Whit Stillman is my favorite writer/director so I don’t mean to bring him down to the level of tween tv, but am I the only one to notice that the creators of Gossip Girl have a few homages to Stillman? Consider the evidence:

1. Metropolitan‘s “it-girl” is named Serena Slocam. Gossip Girl’s it-girl is Serena van der Woodsen.

2. Metropolitan’s rich kid is named Rick Von Sloneker. See above character name.

3. And of course, both are about former prep school teenage socialites.

Metropolitan is a must-see. It’s funny, endearing and portrays rich New York socialites, aka UHB (Urban Haute Bourgeoisie), like real people. Which of course they are.

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You only have to have watched a few recent tennis Grand Slams to know that Roger Federer shares the management company as Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry. This advert absolutely makes me cringe. With all the money that they have you would think they’d be embarrassed to lather up and shave for the camera. Let’s just put it this way, I would rather be Fred Astaire with a vacuum. At least the humiliation began after his death.

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A Modest Column

Definitely worth the full read.

People in high office — like the president and the vice-president — have difficult, complicated jobs. If they forget to do stuff, or if they cut corners here and there, or if they tell a white lie now and then, that’s OK, because the important thing is for them to protect us not only from bad things but also from thinking about bad things, unless they feel we need to. The only thing a president shouldn’t do is to have sex with someone who’s not his wife — because that’s a betrayal of the American people’s trust.

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A 6-year-old Garland, Texas, girl won a Hannah Montana makeover and concert tickets Friday with an essay that started, “My daddy died this year in Iraq…. “

Trouble is, it wasn’t true. Her mother admitted the essay and information she supplied about the supposedly deceased soldier are false…

Before you get outraged, they took back the prize.

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“America seeks, alongside its agents in the region, to create an allied government … that would accept in advance the presence of major U.S. bases in Iraq and give the Americans all they wish of Iraq’s oil,” he said.

While I’ve no doubt the administration is preparing a response to the above, Bin Laden is not the first one to make this suggestion.

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Wonkette posts You Can Go Home Again, If You’re White in reference to Australian David Hicks’ release from prison — which reminds me of the less talked about John Walker Lindh. Let’s recap:

Captured on November 25, 2001.

Indicted on February 13, 2002.

Plead guilty July 15, 2002 and began serving his sentence shortly thereafter.

In light of David Hicks’ recent release, Lindh’s family have appealed to President Bush to commute his sentence. But I suppose that sort of treatment is reserved for those who out CIA operatives.

On the one hand justice for Lindh was speedy. For the well over 300 remaining detainees in Guantanamo Bay it must be torture in itself to be kept in uncertainty about your fate. On the other, Lindh’s sentence is certainly disproportionate.

So who is better off? David Hicks who spent over 5 years in Guantanamo Bay but is now free? Or John Walker Lindh who received immediate civilian justice but will remain a prisoner in the U.S. for a minimum of eleven more years?

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Poor Tiger

I’m not suggesting that the Police were wrong to shoot Tatiana, but I just can’t help feeling sorry for her. To be held captive for so many years, escape, and then be immediately killed.

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The Nightly Business Report on PBS did a segment on Sanrio‘s new menswear line. Well, I’m a huge fan of Sanrio though I prefer Chococat to Hello Kitty.

Unfortunately available only as a transcript and not streaming video, the story really should be seen to be believed. No photos on the web do justice to the menswear line as the video does where the merchandise is worn by the company’s founder. The silk black tie with Hello Kitties all over it and the Hello Kitty cuff links were a wonder to look at. This guy looks oddly classy. If you happen to record Nightly Business Report, let me know.

The best quote from the story: “We sell things people don’t need: birthday gifts, get well gifts, anniversary presents and souvenirs. That’s the kind of business we’ve evolved into.”

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A Salute to Risk Takers

What kind of person risks himself/herself to be a leader and make a difference? I always have admiration for these individuals because I am categorically different.

If I were Bhutto, I would have given up after the first attack. What about Ayaan Hirsi Ali? I get scared even leaving a comment on a blog that could be deemed anti-Islamic let alone write a book like Infidel.

I would never even be a Bill Gates; I would have sold Microsoft once I could have made a million dollars and had a nice relaxing life.

I met a guy who was arrested for protesting Bush’s visit to Ground Zero for political purposes. He and several others were detained, subjected to humiliating searches, and kept in a fenced area standing-room-only for 48 hours having no access to lawyers. I thanked him for doing what I was too scared to do admitting my thanks wasn’t much of a gesture on my part. But he said it’s important to know people out there care even if they aren’t able to do the protesting themselves.

So I would just like to give a thanks out there to the Benazir Bhutto’s of this world.


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Taken on the #44 in Seattle.

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The Shame of Coupons

My husband received a Passport Unlimited card from his work. The company’s website advertises itself as “the first dining program targeted at business professionals, offering significant discounts and repeat visits at participating upscale restaurants.”

I’m sure I’m not the first person to get embarrassed when using a coupon, especially at an upscale restaurant. Let’s be honest coupons are clumsy. I always worry if I present the coupon upon order (and most places ask that you do this) that I’ll get an inferior product. But then if the server brings you the check and you present the coupon, it can try the server’s patience. So when I saw these words on Passport Unlimited’s web site, I was fully on board:

At the end of your meal, include your card with your usual form of payment. Your server will discreetly calculate your deduction away from the table and return with an updated receipt reflecting your savings – perfect for entertaining clients.

Great, I can be cheap and maintain my social standing! But I was skeptical. Though upscale restaurants are available, we thought we’d try it out at a pizza restaurant first. After the meal we presented our card. The server’s reply: “Sorry, we don’t take those.” It took a bit of cajoling to assure him that we had seen the restaurant on the card’s web site, but eventually he gave us the discount. So much for discretion.

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The Vanity of Sperm Banks

Ever notice that when a story breaks about a sperm or egg donor who has passed on a genetic disease that the donor is always blonde-haired and blue-eyed? I’m not saying that there is a connection between genetic disease and having Aryan features. Perhaps those are the most popular type of donors and these stories focus on donors who have fathered/mothered multiple children. I guess if your selection criteria are primarily focused on beauty, you may be missing out on what is ultimately more important genetically: overall health.

After examining Surrogate Alternatives’ Web catalog of donors, Karl and Steiger thought so too. She was tall, athletic and blond. She cited no serious family health problems. The couple picked her based mostly on a picture and questionnaire.

Or this one:

Donor 3066 — a man of Norwegian and German descent and a member of the Screen Actors Guild — filled out a medical profile and reported only that his paternal grandmother had high blood pressure, Jorgenson said.

Here’s another article on the popularity of Danish donors.

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