Monday, October 25, 2010

The ABCs of Places You Could Buy a House If You Didn't Live in NY

A is for Asheville!

Asheville, North Carolina, is the San Francisco of the South. It is run by hippies and retirees in equal numbers and offers plenty of NYT-sanctioned activities.

Huge Queen Anne Victorian in the historic neighborhood of Montford, a short walk from downtown Asheville. Built in 1900. Almost 4,500 square feet. Sky blue with gingerbread-house-like trim. Fireplace, wraparound porch, and turrets included. 

Property is zoned "RM8," which presumably means something to somebody.

B is for Bisbee!

Bisbee, Arizona, is the San Francisco of the Southwest. It's an artsy town in the mountains near the Mexico-America border, so lots of Weeds-like hijinks ensue! At least in my imagination. A guy there makes killer Killer Bee Honey.

Click Image to View SlideshowMmmmmmm ... pool. Also four bedrooms to house all the jealous friends from New York who insist on flying out to use your pool.

Outside features include "Rv Hookup, Rv Parking, Sprinkler/drip," while landscape includes "Fruit Trees, Shrubs, Desert, Grass, Gravel, Trees." Can't argue with that diversity! Plus your kids get to go to school in a district called Tombstone.

C is for Copenhagen!

Copenhagen is in Denmark, which is the San Francisco of southern Scandinavia and has abolished poverty and injustice. Well, almost.

I have no idea how easy it is to buy property over there, but apparently a 3-BR townhouse can be had for the equivalent of $350,000 US. Do you know what $350,000 US will buy you in Brooklyn? A garage in Bay Ridge next to an open sewer. (I'm guessing.)

D through F coming soon!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Weddings, One Ass

There is a terrific Yiddish expression that currently sums up a large part of what Juan Williams did wrong: "You can't dance in two weddings with one ass."

Fox News and National Public Radio are two very different weddings, playing very different music and enjoying very different food. Trying to please the machers at both was bound to be an exercise in futility, if not self-destruction.

Besides, wasn't this so far over-the-top as to be almost passive-aggressive? (After all, he got to be the news story for a change, and he got a hefty raise too.) Telling O'Reilly "you're right"? Using the words "I'm not a bigot" and then NOT STOPPING THERE?

Here's the full quote:
"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," Williams said Monday. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
For those who are saying that Williams was fired in violation of his 1st Amendment rights, an anonymous NPR exec rolls his eyes in the Washington Post: "Williams's comments on Monday were the last straw, the executive said. He dismissed suggestions that NPR was suppressing Williams's freedom of speech, saying, "Juan has a First Amendment right to say whatever he wants. He does not have a First Amendment right to be paid by NPR for saying whatever he wants." And there's the rub. Though we are all free to talk, we are not free to escape the consequences. Not even if a lot of loudmouths agree with us.

Besides, considering that Tea Party senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell just publicly revealed she doesn't know what the 1st Amendment entails, the Republicans probably shouldn't be drawing too much attention to the Bill of Rights.

As TNC points out, what Williams said was a problem. What Williams CONTINUES to say leeches out any potential sympathy I'd have for him. From today's NYT:
Mr. Williams said in an essay published Thursday on that he was fired "for telling the truth."

He continued in the essay: "Now that I no longer work for NPR let me give you my opinion. This is an outrageous violation of journalistic standards and ethics by management that has no use for a diversity of opinion, ideas or a diversity of staff (I was the only black male on the air). This is evidence of one-party rule and one-sided thinking at NPR that leads to enforced ideology, speech and writing. It leads to people, especially journalists, being sent to the gulag for raising the wrong questions and displaying independence of thought."
Sent to the gulag! Somewhere, Solzhenitsyn is groaning in his grave and stuffing dirt in his ears. If Williams is really that convinced that he is a victim of severe, historical injustice, then he belong at Fox News. Let me be the first to say, Welcome home.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Because men hunted buffalo ...

On the way to Los Angeles for a whirlwind business trip, I caught sight of this newsstand at JFK Airport. On one side, a sign says "men's interests," and on the other side, a sign says "women's interests."

What, pray tell, are men's interests as opposed to women's interests?

I'm so glad you asked!

On the male side of the mechitzah, we discover that dudes are into:

Smart Money
The Economist
Men's Fitness

On the women's side, we discover that ladies like:

O (Oprah)
Home & Garden
Health & Fitness
Family Circle

Thank God men and women both care about Fitness! Otherwise, what else would they talk about?

PS: Apparently I missed "Love Your Body Day"! I would have liked to celebrate it because all my parts, euphemistically-noted in previous blog entries and non-, are in good working order once again. Bless you, teeth (and "foot")! I promise I'll never take you for granted again!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

"Foot" and Mouth Disease

I've spent this past week trying to determine which is worse: a mouth full of teeth that can handle food no tougher than avocado, or a disturbance in a region private enough that you don't want to mention it on a blog. (There can only be one Dooce.) I'll call it my "foot."

I played around with the idea of mentioning it anyway, since apparently it's a relatively common, though disgusting, problem, and one you could probably relate to. Then I saw The Social Network & was reminded, via one of those patented Wise Movie Characters often played by Morgan Freeman, "The Internet is written in ink." Note: That girl was so smart I couldn't believe she went to BU!

Ha ha ... ha.

I really enjoyed the Social Network, though I've enjoyed anything recently that distracted me from my mouth and my "foot." The list also includes Seasons 2 and 3 of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," sleep, Ethiopian food, homemade applesauce, word games, lying on the couch for hours at a time, a peanut-butter smoothie from Netcar, getting a Diane von Furstenberg dress from a clothing swap, making muffinloaf, and reading recaps of TV shows.

But that's not to say the film wasn't quality. Well done, Aaron Sorkin & David Fincher -- you made a movie with no surprises in it somehow feel suspenseful and dramatic. Likewise, though almost nothing happens. Here is basically all the action in the film:
  • a bed almost gets lit on fire
  • a student runs through the snow in inappropriate footwear
  • a chimney breaks
  • Asian women are slandered (Jewish guys come off only slightly better)
  • Justin Timberlake does coke with some under-dressed, under-aged girls
  • a more or less unrepentant asshole becomes the youngest billionaire in history.
Still, the momentum of the thing feels inescapable. That's impressive.

Aaron Sorkin is on record saying he's not a fan of Facebook. Even if he weren't, the "Lemon Lyman" episode of "the West Wing" makes his views on Internet social-subcultures pretty clear. The thing is, we don't need an Aaron Sorkin Facebook page to know an awful lot about Aaron Sorkin. More than most auteurs, he expresses himself through his art.

SEX: Definitely male. His clubhouse door still says, "No girls allowed."
BIRTHDAY: Whatever makes him old enough to be cranky about kids these days but not so old that he can't entertain kids these days. Probably early 60s.


HOMETOWN: Somewhere on the East Coast where the Jewish intelligensia reign. Probably New York City suburbs.
POLITICAL VIEWS: Cranky liberal.
RELIGIOUS VIEWS: Culturally & identifiably Jewish, but not observant.

BIO: I like young, smart, arrogant, usually sexist, male outsiders who occasionally get their comeuppance but for the most part get to rise to the top, defeating even super-star bad guys like Jack Nicholson and Republican House sub-committees.


"Lewis, we've had Presidents who were beloved who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand 'cause they're thirsty. They drink the sand 'cause they don't know the difference." -- President Andrew Shepherd

Joanne Herring: Why is Congress saying one thing and doing nothing?
Charlie Wilson: Well, tradition mostly.

"There is nothing on this earth sexier, believe me, gentlemen, than a woman you have to salute in the morning. Promote 'em all, I say, because this is true - if you haven't gotten a blow-job from a superior officer, well, you're just letting the best in life pass you by. 'Course, my problem is, I'm a colonel, so I guess I'll just have to keep taking cold showers until they elect some gal president." -- Colonel Nathan Jessup

Flight Attendant: Sir, I'm going to have to ask that you turn off your cellular phone.
Toby: We're flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you're telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

LIKES AND INTERESTS: Latin, musical theater in general and Gilbert & Sullivan in particular, women named Amy, being the smartest kid in the class, being insolent to authority figures, Yiddish, minutiae, space exploration, using the same clean-cut white actors over and over again, fast talking, big words, grand gestures, speechifying, Maureen Dowd, recreational drug use, and baseball.