I am leaving for Italy Saturday afternoon. I hate packing, and nothing seems to fit right. Just... ugh. On the other hand, Italy!
On the other hand, oy, 40 of my namesake's extended family. I'm looking forward to getting to know her, my father's sister Beatriz. I've seen her maybe twenty or thirty times in my life, but she looks just like me...


From David Edelstein at slate.com
or, I'm a little frustrated with my career in advertising today

"After reading this article in the Wall Street Journal on the subject of consumer reporters who sell their services to large companies to promote products on nationwide television tours, I want to throw my hat in the ring as America's Go-To Movie Guy.
Studios, agents, publicists: Think about what you spend on an ad in the New York Times with yet more gush from Peter Travers or drivel from some low-wattage radio flunkie from San Bernardino. Now think about putting a fraction of that money into a critic with proven integrity.
How can I lead with my integrity and yet accept your cash? Easy! Just as these consumer reporters insist that they believe in the products they're paid to promote, I will believe in selective, marketable aspects of your movie.
Imagine what I could have done for Oliver Stone's widely reviled Alexander:
Me: Alexander is a colossal movie, made by a colossus of our cinema!
TV Host: But is it good?
Me: Good! What a paltry word. Is war good? Are the most magnificent questions in the history of humankind good?
TV Host: So, go see it, then?
Me: You don't "see" Alexander. Alexander sees you.
Now imagine how I'd pitch everyone's favorite whipping boy, Gigli:
Me: Gigli explores the nature of human sexuality as no American movie has before. It moves the boundary posts. It will leave you astonished at what movies are capable of.
TV Host: Critics are saying it stinks.
Me: Have you ever been in a room full of critics? Do you think critics have experienced the full range of human sexuality? Do you trust critics to report accurately on the fleshy intimacies of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck?
TV Host: So, you're saying they're wrong about Gigli?
Me: I'm saying that truth is subjective and conditional. Gigli should not be seen alone, but with someone to whom you may cling. Then you must explore your mutual feelings, perhaps at Applebee's over juicy steak tips or luscious frozen margaritas in exciting new fruit flavors. [NB: I can do product placement tailored to your movie's demographic.]
Now think about awards time, and here I do have an inside track.
Me: That Natalie Portman has a potent sexuality, doesn't she? And she can act, too, boy.
A.O. Scott: Do you think so? I thought her Queen Amidala was embarrassingly wooden.
Me: See, that was the teasing ambiguity of the performance. By concealing her passion under a Kabuki-esque veneer of formality, she gave one of the most complex depictions of the struggle between the private and the public persona that I've ever seen.
A.O. Scott: Gee, I hadn't thought of it that way. Yes, I do believe you're right. I think I'll give her a rave review in the New York Times.
Act now and I'll append an award reference to every television appearance:
"That will be a performance to reckon with at Oscar time!"
Clearly, it is time to buy up critics as government agencies and corporations have bought up reporters, political commentators, and scientists. So, buy the best. Buy America's Go-To Movie Guy!*
*Extra fees may apply for movies by Lars von Trier."



"And you know, I think we must give proper credit to the miracle of natural selection, which sends the freakishly pretty and skinny people off to walk a fifty-foot strip, pose for hours on end, and kill off their remaining sparse brain cells with vats of cocaine while all the smart people take care of the important stuff. I don't know how George W. Bush fits into this theory, but try to suspend your disbelief for a minute or two. "

Potes, Television Without Pity on America's Next Top Model
(which I missed, goddamnit, cuz I was out slamming tequila shooters and stuffing my face with pasta...)


Dateline, Park Slope Brooklyn, 12:41:00pm

In an unexpected and troubling twist in the ongoing catastrophe, a second massive pimple has cropped up due west of the original location, prompting experts on the scene to speculate that some kind of environmental barrier has finally been crossed, starting a chain-reaction that will eventually put an end to any hope of being spared from runaway dermal degeneration and the humuliation of having enormous chin tusks.

In related news, no one has seen or heard from Steven Tyler since the rocker's press conference yesterday afternoon. His friends and family have gathered to urge city officials to seek the missing musician despite the dangerously unstable conditions of the pre-eruption area around what is now being called "site one." Under increasingly grim circumstances, this reporter has only this advice to share with the public, imploring everyone out there to exfoliate daily, moisturize lightly, and pray. May God have mercy on us all.

Back to you in the studio.


Dateline New York City, 4/14/2005 12:48:00pm

Residents and employees in midtown Manhattan on Thursday afternoon were terrified to discover that an enormous pimple that has blocked out the sun. In the silence following history's first man-made solar eclipse, muted sobbing could be heard from the 6th-floor ladies bathroom of 100 Park Avenue. SWAT teams are assembling, as horrified area shoppers and tourists alike are herded behind barriers erected by FEMA. A Federal Emergency Management Agent on his walkie-talkie was heard to remark that preliminary analyses suggest this monolithic pimple will be blocking out the sun 'indefinitely.' While the President has declined to comment, White House Sources have announced that VP Donald Rumsfeld is being moved to an undisclosed location, as reports continue to flood in describing the possibility of an eruption as "unlikely in the short-term, but liable to create the kind of explosion that would rival the much-hyped Yellowstone Supervolcano."

In response to the developing situation, 'Mayor Mike' Bloomberg has assembled a crack team of 'X-treme' dermatologists, cave divers, geologists and deep-sea oil rig drilling teams to begin the rescue effort.We'll be standing by to report as the situation develops. In related news, recording artists Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has called a press conference to announce that the band will be releasing a tribute soungs to benefit the victims of the unfolding solar disaster, which is tentatively titled ''I don't want to miss the Spring." Industry hacks are already dismissing the track as a shameless marketing ploy, as insiders speculate that humanity has a better chance of landing a space shuttle piloted by greasy rednecks on the surface of a rogue comet than of preventing future breakouts in this new era of terror. Other sources in the scientific community speculate that the ongoing debate over mens' birth control will recieve a new burst of energy from these events, as scientist fight to prevent future incidents.

I guess we'll find out... It's a game of wait and see here on the corner of 39th and Park Avenue in the Big Apple.

Back to you in the studio.


the TrumpiChrist
oh my god, that's kind of deep

"Welcome to the latest nugget in a hailstorm of fundamentalist invective, from "The Passion of the Christ," to Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins' bestselling "Left Behind" series, in which skeptics and agnostics are left to fight for their lives against the forces of the Antichrist (centered in Baghdad, led by the head of U.N.), while true believers are whisked away to the comfort and safety of heaven like the lucky winners on "The Apprentice," are whisked off to shop for $600 Jimmy Choo sandals at Bergdorf Goodman. All of the divine signs point to the same conclusion: The rest of us, it seems, are headed to the boardroom."

-Heather Havrilesky, Salon.com 4/13/05 "Revelations"

speaking of which, check this shit out

people need to cut down on the double espressos and crack.


not for beginners, not for the squeamish, and also, not for my mom

ye gods. i know that RedEnvelope.com sucks and is totally impersonal and basically the Patrick Bateman of online shopping sites, but this year they've really outdone themselves.
i don't know about you kids, but i'm pretty sure that my mother would just about die laughing if i got her this:
"Shiitake Mushroom Log
Also known as the Chinese black mushroom, shiitakes are loved by gourmets for their firm texture and distinctive flavor. Now the search for this exotic ingredient will end in their own kitchen. When placed in a cool, dark place and sprayed with water, the log yields a crop of shiitakes in just 10 days—and keeps on producing every 8-12 weeks for years to come. Recipes included. Arrives with its own ceramic tray which measures 7 1/2" in diameter. Log measures approximately 3 1/2" x 10" high. We regret that we cannot ship this item to California or Hawaii. Exclusively from RedEnvelope. "

well, at least my hair is sober. Posted by Hello

drunk? drunk on fat? a drunk man in drag? a fat drunk drag queen? Posted by Hello
i won't post the picture that made this funny (and not because it's every picture ever taken of me) but here's a charming turn of phrase from Sarah Bunting of TWOP fame:

"most other pictures taken of me, in which I look like one or all of the following things: 1) fat; 2) crazy; 3) really fat; 4) a man; 5) dumpy; 6) five years old; 7) drunk; 8) drunk on fat; 9) crazy drunk; or 10) a drunk man."

oh, you DO want to see the picture?

huh. okay.

the blind tiger, regrettably late Posted by Hello
oh, crap, that's really kind of deep.

"If with great power comes great responsibility, then with omnipotence comes all responsibility, for everything. Why do you think God's so big on forgiveness in the first place?"
-Heather Havrilesky, "I like to Watch"


VanessaIAB: hey there mister
VanessaIAB: are we getting ready to traffic NB?
Ryan: i am hoping to traffic today, but it may not be until tomorrow.
Ryan: why do you ask?
VanessaIAB: because i am an evil harridan, of course.
Ryan: stop wasting my time stating the obvious


the road Posted by Hello

good old town Posted by Hello

downtown brooklyn, late at night Posted by Hello

another one from st. pats Posted by Hello
owen wilson makes me all hot in my pants.