Monday, March 31, 2008


Got back from my West Coast trip. For the details about what I've been up to, check out some of my reviews at Yelp. I walked, bussed, street-car-ed, cable car-ed, trained, subway-ed, swam, danced, and cabbed my way about the bay area. Took in the sights and sounds and smells and semen of the city by the bay. Well, except the part about the semen. My boy's here in New York. P.S. If any of the above seems inappropriate or something, realize I'm running on very little sleep and overlook it, ok? And now for a list of names. In no particular order and of no particular meaning. Alex, Tabby, Nick, Kyle, David, Ammen, John, Andy, Jonathan, Eric, Eva, Yoni

Jewish Life in the Gay Area, err, Bay Area

Shul Announcer: Chabad will be holding a hachnosas sefer torah on Sunday, they usually have fire at these things. . .

Congregant: Will there be sword swallowers?

SA: If you're into that sort of thing. . .

The community is great. Very warm, accepting, open to respecting different ways of living and not insistent on putting everyone into little boxes. . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dancing With the Stars

The dancing is kind of cool, but the show is way way overproduced. I mean, six 30 second dance clips do not justify the 2 hour special that was playing throughout my workout this evening.

Hillary Clinton "misspoke" when she implied having landed in Bosnia under fire. Grrr. Stop drudging up the past. I don't care where Hillary was in 1996 as much as I care about where she will be in 2009 and what her plans are for this country. Let's focus the campaign on the issues, please. Ok?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Too Much Privacy for Public Officials?

Senator Obama is "deeply disturbed" that a junior State Department official looked at his travel records. McCain was also upset, calling for "corrective action". Two employees were fired over the breach. Senator Clinton'sWhite House records were finally released, sort of. They contained thousands of redactions that left out more information than they revealed.

What are the candidates for our nation's highest office being so damned secretive about?! Can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. You want to be President, well, we want to know what the President is up to! The public has a right to know. You are a public official, hired by the People to do a full time job for us. We are your Board of Directors, you our CEO.

It is also frustrating to hear that the candidates, all current-term Senators, have been missing Senate votes left and right because they are TOO BUSY CAMPAIGNING TO DO THEIR JOB. Why should we trust these people? It makes me sick.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Out of Context: Issue 6

"My candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action." - Barack Obama, A More Perfect Union speech, 18/3/08

Obama describes his church:

"Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter
and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America." Ibid.

Obama not stirring up the race card:

"Race is an issue. . . so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow."

Obama not reciting the history of racial injustice:

"We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. . . Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them. . . inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students.

"Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today's urban and rural communities.

"A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us."

To be fair, of course, you have to read the whole speech in-context. But when you do, don't ignore the words. A speech is made out of words. They have meaning. They were put there for a reason. What is it?


It gets better. Peter frees a cow from a slaughterhouse, the cow goes public denouncing meat-eaters, and then again the Burger King ad. They must love the irony. But what does it say when a show's message seemingly says one thing and its commercials send the diametric opposite? I guess it says that the show's true message is not what it seems. The true point of the episode, which I now humbly admit must have been immediately obvious to everyone else but which I cleverly deduced after 20 minutes of TV watching detective work, must have been to poke fun at animal rights campaigns, poke fun at stroke victims, and reinforce the status quo.

Haha, Or On the Nature of the State of Advertising

One cool thing about watching TV on the internet is being able to blog about it in real time. The same commercial just played again at the next break. Peter decides to sue the fast food joint for causing his stroke - and they advertise fast food. But what I noticed this time is that it didn't mention Wendy's at all. It was for Subway or Burger King.

Ad Placement Bloopers

On Family Guy, Peter has a stroke after eating too many free McBurgertown burgers. Then a commercial comes on for Wendy's burgers!

Got any more?

P.S. Enjoyed the party. Hot crowd. Good vibe - relaxed, fun, energized and sexy. Question: What if you want to just dance with someone, but don't want it to be taken as a sign you want to, say, sleep with them. Is there a way to do this properly? Without sending the wrong messages or insulting people?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Picks of the Week

Go to Now.

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Give up iTunes TV downloads (except that they do get LOST before anyone else does), Joost is for losers (ok, they do have some old-school stuff and freaky cable picks you won't find elsewhere). Hulu finally got it right. The best of the old TV marries the best of the internet, and you get free ad-supported content with bonuses like fast-forward, rewind, download to your library, etc. You don't need to download crappy software, you don't need to register and sign up. You don't need to pay for content. Just turn it on and watch. On demand. 30 Rock, The Simpsons, House, Heroes, that creepy show that's like the Simpsons but more crude - you know what I mean, I don't need to name that filth - it's got a guy Peter in it?, New Amsterdam, The Office, SNL, and a whole lot more.

JuicyCampus is also worth a look, but only a cursory one. Promising, but ultimately unsuccessful.

Live in New York? Want to see the city outside the walls of your home? You need TONY. Ah, there may be others ( but this was good today. What have you done for me lately? was kinda helpful too. The coolest feature is the option to simultaneously get automatic rate quotes from expedia, priceline, orbitz and a bunch of other sites for the hotel dates you want.

P.S. If you are wondering why this post says it was written at 6:30 AM, that is because it was. If you think it odd that I would wake up this early on a Sunday morning, you are right. I didn't wake up. That would be odd indeed. I haven't gone to sleep. Last night I couldn't sleep, then I finally fell asleep and overslept. Then I woke up, went out, met some friends, had a few drinks, ate a brunch and went back to sleep. Then I woke up, did some reading, ate some more, showered, and proceeded to waste the rest of the night consuming audio-visual entertainment media with a brief break to explain to my boyfriend* why he wouldn't be seeing me tonight (and a bit of what could have been phone-text-sex if we'd kept it up a bit longer).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Could've Just Said It

Yeshiva World News reports "Governor Eliot Spitzer has just informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in an 'immoral, indecent business-ring'". Gee, I wonder if that has something to do with the prostitution charge reported by the rest of the media. Yah, immoral, indecent business-ring must be like jew-slang for prostitution ring.