Thursday, March 30, 2006

Now that you ask....

Not only is Random_Speak a top-quality blogging product, but it also brings you the very best in Art, Science, Fashion, Math, Culture, and so much more! Lately, however, we've noticed a rather large gap in our product's competitiveness with more traditional media-- a gap we only recently noticed when observant reader tickgirl helpfully commented on the previous astrology post: "What's next? Crossword puzzles? Maybe a Jumble?

Au Contraire!

We're starting an advice column instead.

Yes, we are full of helpful advice these days.
Having relationship problems? Financial Issues? Family Dysfunction? Does no one love you?

We can help!

Below are just a few samples of what we can do!

Dear L:
My boyfriend cheated on me with my best friend, but he says he won't do it again and wants me back. Can I trust him again? Should I take him back?
-- Perplexed in Pennsylvania

Dear Perplexed:
Are you insane? Never never never never never never take him back. Although you could hire some thugs to handle this one, please remember that forgiveness is the true ideal.
So, after you've run him over with your car a few times, send him a nice Get Well Soon card.
Hugs and kisses!

Dear L:
I have a problem with compulsive shopping, so I always seem to be short of money, and my credit cards have all been maxed out. I'm not sure how to solve the problem-- what should I do?
--Broke in Boston

Dear Broke:
Wow, you are really irresponsible, aren't you? I recommend that you stop shopping. If you are really broke, buy a few lottery tickets and hope for the best.
Hugs and Kisses!

Dear L:
I've been with my girlfriend for five years, but she seems to be commitment-phobic. Not only that, but she lies, sleeps all day, and shoplifts constantly. I love her, and I know I can change her, if I only knew how. Is therapy the answer?
-- Wondering in Washington

Dear Wondering:
Snap out of it, Wonder-boy! Therapy is not the answer! But dumping her and taking a two week trip to Las Vegas just might be.
Hugs and Kisses!

Dear L:
My husband really wants me to get breast implants and threatens to divorce me if I don't. I really love him, but I want him to love me just the way I am. What should I do?
-- Upset in Utah

Dear Upset:
Agree to the breast enhancements, but tell him you won't get them unless he agrees to butt implants first. Once he gets them, laugh maniacally, get a divorce, and start dating the pool boy.
Hugs and Kisses!


And there's much more where that came from!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Random Astrological Blogging Tuesday!

Is the scientific method of observation, experimentation and empirical conclusion the doctrine we really want to teach our children, as "scientists" suggest?

On the contrary!

In Random Astrological Blogging Tuesday, we will present a staggering array of evidence that exposes the meaningless lies of the modern myth of the scientific method. Not only will we demonstrate our ability to predict the future, but we will also explain the best, and only, view of Life, the Universe, and Everything!

We believe objectivity in all institutions will lead to good education for all; not only that, but we promote the scientific evidence of astrology. Why? Because it is necessary to give proper consideration to that evidence in order to achieve objectivity as well as constitutional neutrality. In addition, the history of astrology goes back almost 8,000 years to the very dawn of time-- something that cannot be said for science.

A few Astrological Facts:

If you're an Aquarius, you are known to be eccentric and/or insane, possibly due to that annoying flirtation with art you had in high school. Aquarius is an Air sign, which indicates that you are full of hot air and willing to spout nonsense at a moment's notice. You always have to have the latest gadgets, which explains why you're deeply in debt and have so many creditors calling you at odd hours. Aquarius is also represented by the Water-Bearer, which means you've forgotten to clean the pool filter again. Tomorrow you will be an hour late for work due to sleeping through the alarm, and they will secretly begin training that new intern to take your place. Stay away from movie theaters, at least until the 17th.

If you're an Aries, boy are you a workaholic! Aries is a Fire sign, which means you're about to be laid off again-- but don't worry, your boss will be too. Aries is represented by the Ram, which indicates that you are really annoying and like to butt heads with people a lot, I'm afraid, but it also indicates that you feel most comfortable in mountainous regions. Tomorrow you will eat some pepperoni pizza and watch several hours of television. Around three o'clock your sniffles will finally clear up, and you will find 57 cents in loose change under the sofa cushion. Stay away from pickup trucks.

Uh oh! I really hate to tell you this, but...... um, let's just skip your astrological facts for today, shall we? Stay away from toxic waste, not that that will do you any good anyway.

If you're a Capricorn, people usually think that you're older than you really are, mainly because you're very quiet and are beginning to develop premature crow's feet. Capricorn is an Earth sign, which indicates that you need to start dying your hair to cover the gray, but let's face it-- are you really fooling anyone? Capricorn is represented by the Goat, which means that you have never been a picky eater, but we are really not going to get into that here. Suffice it to say, that you are very open-minded. Tomorrow you will fall asleep in the middle of someone's presentation after taking the very last slice of pizza and a valium. As you continue to feel unfulfilled in your career, you will briefly consider opening a private sex club for profit. Avoid mayonnaise.

If you're a Gemini, you really need to do something about that unhealthy obsession you have with the Olsen twins. Gemini is an Air sign and is also represented by the Twins, which means that you go on and on and on about celebrity gossip and fashion until most people would fall asleep. You may think you're good at settling disputes because you can see both sides to every argument, but it's really just your undiagnosed bipolar disorder kicking in. Tomorrow you will spend some time at the mall, but you still won't find that outfit you wanted, so you'll pop on over to the grocery store to stock up on microwave dinners instead. Avoid men and women named Steve.

If you're a Leo, you really love drama and being the center of attention, which explains why you've been arrested twice for indecent exposure. However, Leo is a Fire sign, so you're also a hit at most parties. Because you're a natural leader, people immediately look at you when things go terribly wrong at work, but tomorrow you will call in sick with the flu, even though you feel perfectly fine. Instead, you will spend the day shopping for an enormous television, worrying about your age, and flipping off all those terrible drivers in your neighborhood. Avoid the color green.

If you're a Libra, you definitely seem to have a lot of friends, although most of them have been gradually drifting away during the past couple of years. Libra is an Air sign, which means that you're typically a bit of an absentminded "space cadet" with no conception of schedules. You are also a peacemaker and generally want everyone to be happy, which is why you sold Ecstasy and Xanax in college. Libra is also represented by the Scales, which means you will probably never rid yourself of that troublesome eczema, no matter how hard you try. Tomorrow you will spend most of your time playing Solitaire on your laptop at work, but an emergency meeting at 2 o'clock will reveal that you're being transferred to New Jersey. Avoid bus stations.

If you're a Pisces, you are known to be a sensitive dreamer who sometimes sees things that aren't there. You should really write down all the different little things you see throughout your day, as it will save a lot of work for the court-appointed psychiatrist later on. Pisces is a water sign that is represented by the Fish; no one knows why, however, as you certainly couldn't be bothered to learn how to swim properly. Although you are linguistically gifted, you secretly yearn to be a professional athlete. Tomorrow you will arrive promptly for work, then spend the rest of the morning complaining to your boss about your coworkers, who secretly dislike you. Avoid professional clowns.

If you're a Sagittarius, you tend to walk into walls frequently, as well as trip over almost everything. Sagittarius is a Fire sign, which means you're constantly getting into trouble, whether it's bills, relationships, traffic fines or barroom brawls. Sagittarius is also represented by the Archer, which is really a centaur flinging arrows-- what this might say about your attitudes towards bestiality, I won't even hazard a guess. Tomorrow you will spend the day perusing the want ads and posting your resume online; unfortunately, the Human Resources office at your company will notice. Better luck next time! Avoid eating so much bacon every day; don't you know it could give you a heart attack?

If you're a Scorpio, other people will perceive you as being mysterious, but your day-to-day life is really just boring. Scorpio is a Water sign, which means you loathe washing dishes, but it is also represented by the Scorpion, which means you get very testy when anyone points out just how untidy you are at home. You are much more secretive and elusive than most, which will enable you to get away with embezzling that $654.17 from petty cash-- any more than that, however, and you'll be discovered. Tomorrow you will take an extended lunch to run some errands, narrowly miss having a flat tire, then get stuck behind a public bus, which will make you late for your afternoon appointment. I would tell you to avoid other people, but that would be pointless, as they already avoid you.

If you're a Taurus, a lot of people think you're horribly lazy, and you really don't seem to move around very much. Taurus is an Earth sign, which means you've completely let your front lawn go. Again! Don't you ever wonder why the neighbors give you dirty looks? Taurus is represented by the bull, which means that you can bullsh*t with the best of them! Tomorrow you will go to work as usual and create a really snappy PowerPoint presentation after stealing snacks from the break room, but then your meeting will get cancelled anyway. I would tell you to avoid jogging, but you already do.

If you're a Virgo, some people mistakenly think that you're a bit shy, but they are certainly wrong, as your next-door-neighbor could tell them. Virgo is an Earth sign, which means that you've put off paying your income taxes until the very last minute again, so you could get audited next year, if you aren't careful. Virgo is represented by the Virgin, which is highly ironic in your case, isn't it? Tomorrow you will avoid going to the gym, as usual, but you will have a mild flirtation at the local coffee shop. Avoid picking at that pimple on your chin, as it will go away on its own in two days.

To further aid and abet the randomness of this blog....

I am posting a recipe for the first time in months because:
1. the blog hasn't been quite random enough lately
2. Several people requested this recipe
3. Bitch/Lab, she of the informative bad-assery blogging, posted a recipe meme

L's Lovely Orange Zesty Cranberry Muffins
1/3 cup plus an additional 3-4 tablespoons of sugar (the real stuff please)
1 beaten egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
the orange zest from 1 or 2 oranges
1 to 1 1/3 cup of fresh or frozen chopped cranberries (not the dried sort)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients (except cranberries) in a medium bowl
2. Mix all the damp ingredients in a separate smallish bowl
3. Dump all the damp things into the dry things then mix a little bit -- the batter should be slightly lumpy
4. Fold the cranberry bits into the batter, then pour everything into a muffin pan
5. Bake at 400 F for 2o minutes
6. Either let them cool for a few minutes or eat them right away and burn your mouth, you oinkers-- but do make sure to slather them with plenty of butter :)


If anyone feels like bonding over a dirty joke, feel free to leave one in the comments :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday. Again.

It's Monday. Again.

This morning I was not having a scantily-clad Johnny Depp give me massages or breakfast in bed. And I did not mysteriously jet off to Monte Carlo with a glamorous undercover agent, an emergency book of scandalous anecdotes, and a briefcase of diamonds.


No. I just sort of wanly trickled into work after staring morosely at the enormous piles of oak pollen covering my car.

Usually I have my car washed four times a year whether it needs it or not, because I am a cheap bastard thrifty and prefer to have it done for Free when I have my oil changed.

But every morning there's a bigger layer of pollen, and I think it's beginning to affect my gas mileage. There may even be a small shrubbery developing on the back door.

I suppose I shall have to break down and get it washed five times a year now.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Making Mountains out of Molehills: a Mathematical Proof

Although in 1929 Czech mathematician Kurt Gödel determined that the equality of mountains to molehills was a proposition that couldn't be proven either true or false given the rules of that branch of mathematics devoted to mounds of dirt, we here at Random_Speak know that that is a load of rubbish.

In fact, it is quite easy to prove that a mountain may be made of a molehill, and vice versa, using basic everyday logic.

Any schoolchild can learn how to do it!

This theorem is of fundamental importance in the Molehillian Geometry where it serves as the basis for the conversion of size for two points, one being a mountain and one being a molehill. It's so simple that anyone who learns it can't fail to forget it long after they've completely forgotten all the other math they've learned in school.

Below is one just one approach to proving the theorem.

1."molehill equals molehill" is true.
2. Given that "molehill" can be assigned the value 0, the statement "0 = 0" is a valid typographical number theorem
3. The value "molehill" has the theoremhood property of n2 -1, given that n2 - 1 = 0
4. n2 = 1 (mod x) implies that x|(n2 - 1), or x|(n - 1)(n + 1). Therefore, either x|(n - 1) in which case n = 1 (mod x), OR x|(n + 1) and then n = x -1 (mod x).
5. Next, [(x -1)!] = 10x = [1]x·[n-1] = [n-1]x, which is written as (n -1)! = -1 (mod x)
6. Multiply by the value of pi
7. This gives us 1 <>2 = n (provided n>4), which is therefore divisible by n
8. The result is that, if 1 <>2, then (n - 1)! = P2, which also has a base altitude of xy/2, or the standard deviation of amplitude for an average hilltop
9. Divide by zero

This theorem is a basic mathematical formula that can be used for calculating various conditional and often exaggerated values in politics, economics, market behavior, consumer indexes, as well as everyday situations. It can be applied to almost everything including the probability of existence for objects such as weapons of mass destruction, the looming threat of the gay agenda in mass media, the war on religion, and so on. Indeed, this theorem's central insight — that a mountain can be made of almost anything, let alone a molehill — is the cornerstone of all subjectivist Molehillian methodology.

If you followed all that, you can now say with reasonable confidence that you "understand L's Theorem of Molehillian Conversion." That is, you now understand how you too can make a mountain out of a molehill.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Is it too late to stop the war on Easter?

Apparently, despite all the publicity and obscene amounts of military spending, no one was able to prevent the treasonous liberals from utterly destroying Christmas in an unholy war last year.

As almost everyone knows, Christmas had been long under siege by secular progressives and scheming humanists -- until they finally won the battle and completed the destruction of that most precious of retail holidays.

The result?

Last December no one decorated trees, no one attended church, no presents were given, no eggnog was drunk, no one gave to charity, no carols were sung, and all those fuzzy glitter pom-pom reindeer sweaters went unsold. The only lights seen in the night were the small arms fire of liberal guerillas as they patrolled the streets and burned Bibles. It was a tragedy of epic proportions, the bloodbath was enormous, and small children everywhere will never recover from the horrific experience and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The question on everyone's minds now is: Is it too late to stop the war on Easter?

Already, the signs are there. Fox News Channel has already uncovered evidence about the liberal media, activists, lawyers, and educators who are leading this war on Easter. And it appears that the situation is worse than any of us ever imagined.

In years past retail stores would normally have 100% of their shelf space devoted to plush bunnies, plastic bunnies, pop culture devotionals, plastic crosses, plastic eggs, Peeps, ceramic bunnies, bags of fake grass, plush chicks, more Peeps, plastic chicks emerging from eggs, ceramic crosses, ceramic eggs, cheery religious guides, even more Peeps, millions of baskets, winsome Jesus figurines and tons and tons and tons of candy. But now that figure has dropped to nearly 96%! Not only that, but gay people are trying to infiltrate the holiday by bringing their children to the White House egg hunt, and some department stores are no longer requiring their employees to say 'Happy Easter' !

But all hope is not lost.

Millions of Americans are starting to fight back against the secular enemy, against those who will not celebrate-- and someday soon we will take back this country!

After all, none of our Founding Fathers were Jewish.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Yet Another Odd Art Post!

I'm being terribly Lazy and am considering breaking an ankle to get out of going to the gym for the remainder of the week.

Instead, I've been lolling about nibbling on fruity things and watching the Innocents, a campy old flick based on Henry Jame's The Turn of the Screw; it basically begins as a great big gushy, sloppy, treacly horror with two of the most perkily angelic and saccharine-filled child actors who ever lived. I was about to slit my wrists when it took a turn for the better and the governess finally had her nervous breakdown and began to go insane. Thank god.

Speaking of insanity, I felt that it was time for another post on Very Odd Art (previous Odd Art posts may be found in the drop down box under my avatar).

To-day we are focusing on Odd Art of an Educational nature:

The Extraction of the Stone of Madness is a lesser-known work by the famous artist, Hieronymous Bosch, who was really a pretty weird guy. Currently at the Museo del Prado, this piece was painted between 1475 and 1480, and apparently depicts the practice of trepanation, which is the act of drilling or cutting a hold in the skull. In the past it was used to "treat" insanity among other things-- but extremely odd people occasionally practice it today to reach a supposed high.

In this case, a tulip is being removed from the individual's head (a "tulip head" denoting someone who is crazy). The guy with a funnel hat supposedly symbolizes a quack, while the nun with a book on her head is considered to be a metaphor for Folly.

This work really speaks to me this week, as my days have been filled with Folly and Occasional Lunacy.

Perhaps it's an impending midlife crisis.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Yummy Muffins!

In keeping with my firm policy of blogging in an irregular manner, I have resolved to just post something meaningless this evening.

After all, I didn't do anything noteworthy today other than work and drink loads of coffee before accidentally bumping into a random coffeehouse discussion group on atheism that never actually got around to discussing atheism. They politely invited me over to their table and I wound up mainly discussing uteruses and autonomy with a couple of charming realtors in the group. At one point, the discussion veered off excitedly into libertarianism silliness, martial arts, education, ancient weaponry, pseudo science, and the subtle differences between geeks, dorks and nerds.

Now I am baking cranberry-orange zest muffins from scratch, because I am a culinary goddess.

Tomorrow I plan to continue my schedule of blogging in an irregular manner.

Or not!

for anyone who's interested, a short post on earwax and smegma

Saturday, March 18, 2006


After spending the day putting lipstick on pigs, I trotted on over to the Cuban Club in Ybor for the Krewe of Shamrock's corned beef and cabbage dinner-dance party and bachelor auction.

There was a great deal of rather Unfortunate Clothing, as well as beer, green hats, beer, green kilts and knee socks, beer, green beards, and green hair. Also, there was beer.

We discussed one friend's CIA and FBI files (a result of her being a Civil Rights protester) , British accents, Key West, and the secret to making a really good Yorkshire pudding. We also discussed someone's youthful experience with psilocybin, which sounded rather odd and inconvenient due to the large number of pelicans that flew by to tell him "Hi!" and the crabgrass that began viciously pulling at his feet.


To-morrow I refuse to do anything even remotely constructive.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Feeling Rather Peevish To-Day For No Particular Reason...

Also Petulant, Disconsolate and Slightly Perturbed

But at least I've got my thesaurus handy!

It could be due to a lack of berries and nookie, or possibly the result of a lingering and political malaise....

There's been wild talk of impeachment here and there, of course, but I don't think we've advanced enough medically to make spinal transplants viable for donkeys. In the meantime, to cheer myself up, I'm reading amusing anecdotes about a number of other highly unsuitable persons from American politics past and present.

1. Peter Bowen, who unsuccessfully campaigned for governor of Missouri in 1998, stated that rock music "stimulated sexual frenzy", denounced sheep for spreading AIDS by coughing, and accused the FBI of framing right-wing citizens for credit card fraud. He is also noteworthy for announcing that the birthmark on Mikhail Gorbechav's forehead was, in reality, a Satanic "mark of the beast".

2. U.S. President Ronald Reagan is said to have made numerous and important decisions, such as the invasion of Grenada and the bombing of Libya, based heavily on the advice of astrologers. After this was made public, Speaker of the House Jim Wright noted "I'm glad the President was consulting somebody. I was getting worried there for a while." Reagan was also noted for such hilarious quotes as "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles"

3. Pat Robertson, who was unsuccessful in his bid for the Presidency, is noted for general weirdness as well as his alarming propensity for apparently deranged quotes. He warned the city of Orlando, Florida, that it was likely to be hit by hurricanes, terrorist bombs, or "possibly a meteor" because it allowed a gay pride month. He also called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez and once implied that that a nuclear device should be used to wipe out the State Department.

4. Josua Norton, who proclaimed himself "Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico" in 1859 was noted primarily for his insanity and elaborate blue uniform. Currency issued in his name was honored in several places in San Francisco, and he issued several imperial decrees, one of which declared the abolishment of Congress.

5. Emil Matalik, who nominated himself as a Presidential candidate in 1975, pushed for a maximum of one tree and one animal per family, saying that there was an "excess of animals and plant life, especially trees." He apparently saw the Presidency as a step towards his final goal of a World Presidency, which would operate from a world capital in Bennett, Wisconsin.

I have to say, however, that failed politician Louis Abalofia doesn't sound too bad: he also ran for U.S. President in 1975. The only campaign literature he distributed displayed a nude photo of him with the slogan "I have nothing to hide".

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the Joy of Housework!

I finally broke down and puttered around cleaning things today. Now I feel almost as fulfilled as the women in the television commercials, although my teeth aren't quite as big and shiny.

First, I cleaned my dishes with Joy detergent. Then, I bagged my trash with Glad bags. Later, I might decide to get another lobotomy with all those carefree hours I saved by using my modern cleansers and household appliances.

I'm really just kidding. I loathe housework more than you could ever possibly imagine. In fact, it isn't possible to imagine the depths of my loathing.

Speaking of things that don't seem to be possible, how can I find a pair of vintage Mork and Mindy rainbow suspenders? I was a major fan as a kid, and my brother and I each had our very own pair. I can't seem to find any on ebay, and I want them. Shazbot!

In other useless news, today is National Pi Day (heh heh) as well as the birthday of Albert Einstein, whom we all know was a really terrific violinist.

random links:
this is cool
fork art
3D sidewalk art

Yes, I know this is the lamest post in the history of blogging.... so sue me oh well, better luck next time!


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Ramblings

It's been such a lovely weekend that my complexion is still glowing!

In fact, the weather was so gorgeous that I am playing hooky tomorrow. Bwah-ha ha ha ha!

Of course, the past couple of days haven't just been about my roaming around wearing an assortment of adorable spring clothing. No-- it's been about my roaming around at various Events of Interest while wearing an assortment of adorable spring clothing.

Friday evening I attended a concert (organized by Greg Glowacki) featuring Stanisław Drzewiecki at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. Despite the moldy old piano, he played lovely and highly edible music: Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, and Chopin. Not only that, but he had highly luxurious hair, which is a very valuable trait in any musician. Saturday afternoon was the annual Antiquarian Book Fair , which had all sorts of fascinating things, from early pulp and odd memoirs to signed first editions and leather bound volumes that smelled delicious. After that, a stroll over to Haslam's Bookstore to meet an author and purchase a book about circus freaks before engaging in an intoxicating evening of beer sampling.

To-day was an outing to A Corner of England for tea and yummy tidbits such as scones with cream, finger sandwiches, cream puffs, mini-quiches, eclairs, fruit and chocolatey things. After that, a brief visit to the Crawfish Festival at Vinoy Park ensured that I will never have to eat again.


Coming Up Next: a Singular Mathematical Proof

Thursday, March 09, 2006

No woman should be treated like a sex object... We have blow-up dolls for that!

Some people may be surprised that Mexico is pulling out all the stops in its campaign against the sexual harassment of blowup dolls.

But, really, this is a campaign whose time has come!


In a well-funded and organized crusade for justice, the Mexican government has created a heartwarming television ad campaign to remind us just how tough these dolls really have it. The ads, which thoughtfully coincided with International Women's Day, depict blowup dolls dressed as secretaries and maids, which are then groped and obscenely ogled by male colleagues.

"Our society still has a long way to go in overcoming hangovers from the past, eradicating prejudice and changing habits," stated Mexican President Vicente Fox. "We need to remind the public that blowup dolls are not sex objects!. No blowup dolls should be treated as being anything less than human," he added, "and men need to remember that inappropriate treatment is completely unacceptable! After all, those little mouths get really worn out!"

The launch of the campaign, which also includes enormous billboards of blowup dolls and radio ads describing blowup dolls, has already had an enormous effect all over the country. Man after man has tearfully promised to take better care when inflating, to be more thoughtful when deflating, and to put their toys away more carefully when they've finished. The drive towards better public awareness has resulted in noticeably less wear and tear as men realize that synthetic polymers are not indestructible and may have feelings too.

Sooner or later, the Mexican government also plans a televised campaign against the sexual harassment of women, at least once they have a budget to do so. "While there is a real problem with the harassment of blowup dolls, they're not the only ones," stated President Fox. "Mexican women, even though they're really just washing machines with legs, they are sexy too!"

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Oscar Report: I LOST AGAIN

Well, I have been passed over yet again for an Oscar, despite an especially vivid dream that I'd won the Lifetime Achievement for Most Charming Person, presented by an especially fashionable young man.

Oh well.

But of course, there's always next year. I suppose this is the reason that Joan Rivers calls me the 'Susan Lucci' of bloggers. "However," she once said to me, "can you tell me where to find the ladies room?"

Anyway, I thought I'd give a brief rundown of the major winners, as well as my incisive analysis of why they've won. Although I've seen absolutely none of them yet, this has never stopped any critic before.

The Winners: An Incisive Oscar Analysis!

Best Picture: Crash
This film was certainly the dark horse this year, coming in for a stunning upset over the favorite, Brokeback Mountain. Crash tells the riveting story of a young family on the run from the Mafia-- banking all their hopes on a desperate bid for an insurance payout after a tragic accident involving a school bus and a sedan. Only their hope, their strength, and their strong family ties can save them from the darker side of human nature. While not the odds-on favorite, (a few short-sighted critics called it "trite" and "lacking in ninja scenes") Crash was notable for the brilliant acting of its ensemble cast, the thrilling story, and the beautiful cinematography related to car chases and explosions.

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon
Reese certainly gave an outstanding performance in one of the year's most popular films: Walk the Line, a triumphant musical that tells the story (in four part harmony) of a young woman forced through the humiliation of a field sobriety test and its chilling aftermath. While derided by some critics as being "saccharine-filled" and not having "large enough breasts", she delivered a vivid performance in this searing indictment of social expectations and political jurisprudence. Indeed, this award was truly given for a part that only a woman could play.

Best Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Phillip deservedly earned this major award, despite being dubbed "the thinking man's tubby friend next door" by some especially harsh critics last year. In the season's most fetching and gaiety-filled drama, Capote, he gave a brilliant and vivacious performance as a glitteringly jolly writer who successfully hides a mysterious dark side before embarking on a bloody rampage through the fields of Kansas. Not without controversy, this film propelled Phillip to newfound stardom and quite a startling lisp, apparently.

Best Director: Ang Lee
While Brokeback Mountain did not win the golden statue of a naked little man, its director, Ang Lee, most certainly did. Good for him!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Back by popular demand: More Beauty Ads!

We mustn't stop being dainty and perfect, ladies

A Full Weekend

The weekend has been fashionably busy and full of charming people, art, pokerless poker parties and many, many cheese bits.

The first item on the agenda was the Tampa BOOTY Art Expo, which featured a selection of young and emerging area artists and coincided with the much more traditional show at the Gasparilla Art Festival. BOOTY's opening reception was very fun and included attractive people for ogling, free booze, and oodles of cheese bits and things at each location. I wandered around with organizer Carrie Mackin (Covivant Gallery) and basically just tried to be decorative-and-not-too-inebriated. Some of the featured artists and artists collectives included Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Theo Wujcik, Mernet Larsen, the Fluff Constructivists, Experimental Skeleton, Underground Rising, Voshardt/Humphrey, etc, etc, etc, etc.

Saturday night was the farewell party for Brandt, as he and Kathie are both Sadly Leaving for the West Coast. It was supposed to be a poker party, but for some mysterious reason no one ever played poker. Instead we stuffed ourselves silly, tried not to cry, gossiped cattily, giggled insanely, gave each other weird hair massages, traded sexual innuendoes, and looked at even more art. In fact, we have had art coming out the wazoo this week! We may never look at art again.

To-day we are doing nothing in particular.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Odd Art Wears a Dress

It's time for another installment of my series on Very Odd Art.

To-day we are focusing on Very Odd American Art of an Educational and Historic nature.

The painting above, which was created by an unknown artist, hangs in the New York Historical Society. It is popularly supposed to be a portrait of Edward Hyde, the third earl of Clarendon, who was the British governor of New York and New Jersey (!) from 1702 to 1708. While the subject is wearing a ball gown as well as (apparently) a five o'clock shadow, no one really can be certain.

What is certain is that old Edward, typically referred to as Lord Cornbury, had quite the horrible reputation for arrogance and corruption. And later-- a reputation for wearing women's clothing. Of course, New York has always been "fashion-forward" and terribly avant-garde...

The following is a relevant quote from History Laid Bare: Love, Sex, and Perversity from the Ancient Etruscans to Warren G. Harding, by Richard Zacks:

[Lord Cornbury's] great insanity was dressing himself as a woman. Lord Ordford says that when Governor in America [Cornbury] opened the Assembly dressed in that fashion. When some of those about him remonstrated, his reply was, 'You are very stupid not to see the propriety of it. In this place and particularly on this occasion, I represent a woman (Queen Anne) and ought in all respects to represent her as faithfully as I can.'

Mr. Williams says his father has told him that he has done business with him in woman's clothes. He used to sit at the open window so dressed, to the great amusement of the neighbours. He employed always the most fashionable milliner, shoemaker, staymaker, etc. Mr. Williams has seen a picture of him at Sir Herbert Packington's in Worcestershire, in a gown, stays, tucker, long ruffles, cap, etc.'

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'm rewriting the Constitution! Let's Include an Amendment on Napping!

According to a recent article, when asked to summarize the contents of the U.S. Constitutional Amendments most Americans have absolutely no idea! While many know at least two members of the Simpson cartoon family, they're absolutely baffled when it comes to those Amendment thingys! When pressed on the matter, approximately *one in five indicated they believed the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms listed.

And really, why shouldn't we have the Constitutional right to have our very own pet?

Of course everyone knows that the real amendments are very, very, very, very, very, very important, even if they are terribly boring.

For example, we have the right to practise religion freely, especially if we're in the majority and are obnoxiously loud about it (those other, unpopular little religions... um, not so much). We also have the right to freedom of speech, but only if we're in the proper "free speech" zones, of course, otherwise we might get arrested. Additionally, we have the freedom of press, as long as we don't say anything bad about the corporation that owns us and as long as we kind of go along with the crowd anyway. The really exciting part is that we also get to petition the government for the redress of grievances, which involves rather a lot of horrible red tape.

And that's just the FIRST Amendment! There's TWENTY SIX more, including the one that lets us own lots of guns and shoot the bejeezus out of people!

The Constitution could use a bit of sprucing up, however, so I'd like to include a new Amendment:


Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 30 years of age or older, to nap, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state.

Section 2. After one year from the ratification of this article the performance or sale of Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry Be Happy within the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are hereby granted the right to a lifetime supply of cheese. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge this privilege; nor shall any state deprive any person of blue cheese, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, gorgonzola, that cheese with the little pepper things in it, or mozarella, without due process of law.

Section 4. The Congress and the states shall have concurrent power to enforce this by appropriate legislation.

* actually a real result of the poll