30 enero 2004

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This

The New York Post actually got one of my linguistic pet peeves correct. If you ask 100 random people what horses do to their bits, I would guess that at least 90 of them would say that they "chomp" them.

The headline at the top of the page on the back of the New York Post today says, "Pats and Pans Champing at Bit." I'm shocked beyond words. Of course, on their page three there's a story about a woman giving birth to her own grandkids and a man who stole underwear from a Long Island jail.

One small step, I suppose.


Coffee, Regular?

Discussion had by me this morning:

Señor Wences: I'll have a coffee, regular.
Idiot Behind the Counter: Regular coffee. How do you take that?
SW: Um, regular.
IBtC: Right, regular coffee. Do you want cream, sugar, what?
SW: I want it regular. Don't you hear that all day long?
IBtC: Sure. Regular coffee ...
SW: No. Coffee, regular. Two cream, two sugar.
IBtC: Then why don't you just say that?
SW (smoke coming out of ears): 75 cents, right?

This whole conversation begs the question: Am I the only one who still uses this phrase? "Coffee, regular"? Fewer and fewer people know what I'm talking about and this is extremely disturbing. It was invented god knows how many years ago by someone who knew that generally, in the morning, people are in a hurry. So "regular" became shorthand for "two cream, two sugar," presumably the way the plurality of people ordering coffee take it.* This phrase that has been aiding coffee drinkers all over for years is slowly disappearing from our vocabulary, replaced no doubt by "metrosexual" and "snarky."

I assume this was accelerated by all of these different coffee blends. Hazelnut, Brazilian, mocha, French Roast and whatever the hell else there is out there. I have no problem with you people drinking the whole General Foods International Coffees line. Go ahead. Enjoy your triple mocha blast or whatever. This is America. I won't force you to drink anything that you don't enjoy. Though enjoyment of mocha escpaes me, feel free to indulge in as many cups as your heart can take before it shoots out of your chest from all of the caffeine. Really. However, all of your variety has forced people behind the counter to uses the word "regular" to mean "not flavored." I know what you are all saying, "Señor, why don't you just say 'regular coffee, regular?' Wouldn't that solve all of your problems?" Yeah, maybe it would. I'm prone to think that I'd still get the same "you just shot Bambi's mother" look when I said it. This phrase is disappearing from our language. Sure, it only takes a couple of extra seconds to say "two cream, two sugar" and maybe I'm just extremely resistant to change. You're probably right.

But I'm just a regular joe who wants his joe, regular. I bet a whole lot of people are saying, "What's 'joe'?" All I have to say is, "Exactly."

*As an aside, I don't really usually take my coffee this way. I like a little bit of milk, and that's it. This morning, I was looking for a little extra energy and I thought a little sugar might help me out.


29 enero 2004

A Moment of Silence

The man who invented the "Ctrl-Alt-Del" combo that people use is retiring from IBM.

Let's all look skyward and thank the big man upstairs that the guy who invented throwing your computer against a wall when it doesn't work is still hard at work perfecting his next invention, throwing the HDTV against the wall when it doesn't work.


28 enero 2004

Back To Business

Now that that is over with. There is much to discuss.

1) George Pataki Sucks -- The Governor wants to add a $4 surcharge to all tickets sold for sporting events. Of course, wrestling, boxing and horseracing are exepmt because you can't put a surcharge on events that are fixed. Don't you people know anything? Instead, if I want to catch Binghamton play University of Maryland - Baltimore County at the Binghamton Fieldhouse, double the price or whatever for this ridiculous incentive. As for NY Metro area athletics, half of the teams that play here should be allowed to be seen for fucking free, but I understand they need to make a little cash so they charge for tickets, fine. Now tack another $4 onto the already totally unreasonable costs and soon enough, the arenas will be empty. Unless you root for the Rangers, in which case your arena is already empty. I went the other night and I swear to god, I thought they were going to start pulling people out of the crowd to play.

2) YPR's Graphology -- We will be putting these together over the next couple of days and we hope to ship by the second week in February. If you'd like to order one, you may do so here. If you'd like to submit your own piece for the truly printed journal, you may do so here. If you want to send me money, you may do so here. Sorry, got a little carried away.

3) Oscar Nominations -- I haven't watched the program in like 5 years, so maybe I'm not the world's foremost expert anymore but I'm shocked to see a couple of pretty good movies actually nominated. Usually, it's the horribly manufactured, overproduced tripe like Titanic. There's some of that (i.e. Master and Commander), but there's also In America, Triplets of Belleville. I might actually turn the damn thing on this year. Lord of the Rings can still kiss my lily white ass. I think there should be a rule that people as ungroomed as Peter Jackson should not be allowed to receive their awards until they clean up. Also, he shouldn't be allowed to wear such tight pants. I could see Big Jim and the Twins, although I use the word "big" liberally. This guy knows what I'm talking about. Moving on ...

4) Really? -- Is "pimping" an actual charge that you can levy in court? "Defendant, please rise. You are accused of pimping in the first degree. How do you plead?" "Damn, yo' honor, you fine. I ain't just pimpin'. I'm BIG pimpin'"

That is all.


A Bird in the Hand

You hear a whole lot these days about so-called "moderate Republicans" or "neo-cons." They'll whine about how they would so desperately like to side with the Democrats like they did in the good old days. It was so much easier then, they'll wax nostalgically. I'd love to vote for a Democrat, they'll tell you, while they step on a homeless person or kick mud in the face of a small child. There's just no one out there. They'll tell you they're socially liberal in the same breath that they side with a man who emphatically denies the right for homosexuals to marry, wants to put prayer back in public schools, panders to conservative religious groups and uses things like the Patriot Act to tell them that he's making their lives safer. He did get them an extra $15 a pay period though. Even though he turned a federal surplus into the worst deficit in our history, he's all for giving the money back to the people who really need it: The really, really, really, disgustingly, outrageously, so rich you don't even see them because they barely even have to descend to the streets with the unwashed masses people.

They'll tell you the economy is in recovery but there are no jobs being created. In fact, everyone that I talk to that's unemployed can't find a job. The numbers don't lie they'll tell you. Bullshit, I'll say. There is no such thing as a jobless recovery. Stocks may be up, but I don't know too many people living on $6.25 an hour that have a portfolio.

They'll tell you about WMDs but I'll be damned if they've produced any.

They'll tell you they want $1.5 billion dollars to explore space. Then they'll tell you that $500 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is frivolous spending. 1/100 of our national budget to give grants to struggling artists and support public libraries.

I hate politics but I'm tired of this bullshit.

And it's about time that this administration had bullshit called on them. John Kerry may not be perfect but he's better than the alternative. And I'm going to work my ass off to get him elected.

Call it fruitless or stupid. Call it idealistic and quixotic. I don't care what adjective you use. The bottom line is that I just don't care to have myself represented globally by this man anymore. He is the face of America. I am an American. And I want a change.


26 enero 2004

And By "Cold," I mean "A Real Weenie Shrinker"

Days Until the Super Bowl: 6

My flight to Houston leaves at 5:00 PM on Friday. I have never been to a Super Bowl. This is one of those things that I've kept in my "one day" folder, as in "One day, I'll go to the Super Bowl." I'd have preferred to see the Jets, but I'm pretty sure my grandkids aren't going to live that long, so I jumped at the chance to go. As of now, the boys and I have invites to the ESPN party, the SMG party and the Maxim party. The trip to Houston should be a blast. Look for my Super Bowl diary on YPR.

Degrees at the Summit of Mount Snow: -8

It was so cold in Vermont this weekend that any exposed skin felt like it was burning. The inside of my goggles turned into a sheet of ice, preventing me from skiing. I did what anyone who's been skiing since they are 7 years old would do. I got a refund for my lift ticket and ski rental and packed it in for the day. It got to the point where 2 degrees at the bottom of the slope seemed warm. The house was so cold (how cold was it?). The house was so cold that it made outer space look like an E-Z-Bake oven, cha-cha. Which brings me to ..

Degrees Dennis Miller's Political Philosophies Have Changed: 180

I don't want to get off on a rant here, but Dennis Miller unloaded his liberal label faster than he could take off his parka in an overheated station wagon, babe. 15 years ago, this guy used King George I like Rocky uses a side of beef. He was like Louie Anderson at the Ponderosa. But now he's more conservative than Diane Keaton's wardrobe. He's more conservative than Paul Hackett's offense. He makes George Will look like Ashton Kutcher. I will, of course, be watching (and by "watching," I mean "Tivoing") his show's premiere tonight on CNBC. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be his guest and if that's not ripe for comedy, I don't know what is. It's almost like Shatner on, well, let's just say any weekend.

Dollars taken from the Mohegan Sun Hotel & Casino by Me on Saturday: 150

Let's just say that, on this particular day, I was a little better at the dice than they were.

Location of WCBS-NY On Your AM Dial: 880

No need to read the story. It doesn't really say too much about this particular ruling but someone in the title department of this website has been having a little fun today. [link courtesy Capt. Fun]


22 enero 2004

Wouldn't It Be Cool?

If Martians were responsible for this?


20 enero 2004

Three Day Weekend

Not only was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a driving force in the civil rights movement and a man whose ideas and values we all could learn a thing or two from, his life was significant enough to merit a day off from the daily grind to take some time and reflect.

Honestly, the thing that I remember most about Martin Luther King day is from elementary school. Later on it just became another day off in the school schedule, an extra day to ski or bum around the house (like yesterday) but in elementary school we were taught something about the man. They were lessons about civil disobedience and that violence was a last resort. And we all walked outside for a moment and took a song sheet. At my elementary school, 500 little boys and girls, black and white, Latino and Asian, all sang the words of an old Negro spiritual, "We Shall Overcome." And despite his message of peace, we all learned that Dr. King was killed, struck down in the prime of his life, by a redneck bigot who believed that his people were somehow superior. Dr. King would have been 75 last week. It's a shame he didn't make it.

On a less serious note, "Dweezil and Lisa" did not live up to what could have been one of the greatest bad shows in the history of television. Very , very sad.

Jessica Simpson, you've tipped. Please leave the airwaves immediately. And don't say a fucking word about tuna fish or I'll beat you over the head with a steel dildo. Don't worry about where I got it. Just know that I have it and I'm willing to use it.


16 enero 2004

I Thought This Country Was About Free Speech, Man

OK, expect nothing serious here. It's just that every time I hear the name Zappa, I think of Dana Carvey's impression of Frank Zappa and I start hysterically laughing.

I think I'm going to need a judges ruling on this one. Dweezil Zappa and Lisa Loeb are hosting a TV show on the Food Network? What? How on Earth did that happen? Are they dating or something? Is this a sneak peek into their kitchen? I can't even imagine the creative meeting that led to this casting.

EXEC 1: "We need an adorable post-grunge pop rocker to show the people how to cook healthy, delicious meals at an affordable price. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

EXEC 2: "Sheryl Crow?"

EXEC 1: "Close, but think more bookish, less obviously sexy. Horn-rimmed glasses."

EXEC 2: "Lisa Loeb?"

EXEC 1: "You read my mind. Is that going to be enough though?"

EXEC 2: "The people like Lisa Loeb"

EXEC 1: "How about we put the aging son of a First Amendment iconoclast that has no talent at all with her? You know, for some good contrast."

EXEC 2: " Jakob Dylan?"

EXEC 1: "No, not crazy enough, plus his dad is still alive."

EXEC 2: "I've got it. Dweezil Zappa."

EXEC 1: "Perfect. Now how about a show featuring an aging 70s/80s TV star who's survived breast cancer and a mainstream hip-hop star with big hair?"

EXEC 2: " You don't mean ..."

EXEC 1: "Yes. Rue McClanahan and Andre 3000."

EXEC 2: "Say no more. I'm on the phone."


15 enero 2004

Snow Day?

It'd be a great day to have one. It's like -8 on the wind chill or something ridiculous like that. It's been snowing most of the night and the roads pretty much ice over as soon as they clear them. I, however, am here at the office and set to provide you with an update to cast some sun into your otherwise grim day. Who, but I, could provide you with the light and good humor necessary on a day such as today? I submit that there aren't many people who could. On with the festivities.

First things first, my article is up on the Black Table today. Have a read. There's a link in the right bar there. ====>

Knicks update: Shalom, Cheney. Shalom, Wilkens. Before last night's win over the Magic, Isiah fired Cheney. Former New York Knicks backup center Herb Williams took the reins of the team last night, while arrangements were made for Wilkens to join the team in Seattle to coach against the team that he led to the 1978-79 NBA championship. Examining the rosters of the respective teams, there's no reason that Wilkens shouldn't be able to lead a Knicks team with far more talent anywhere.

Is anyone else curious as to why people in Iowa and New Hampshire get to determine the future of the Presidential bid? I feel like I'm shooting craps in Vegas. I scream my head off for the desired result but screaming has absolutely no impact on the outcome. Does anyone know someone in Iowa that I can call?

I'm going to give this the early lead on "Most Useless Story North of Virginia." Unless they are talking about Señor Wences's Señorita, in which case it's really, really funny but kind of not cool.

An update on tea. I don't really like it. It tastes terrible. Sugar, milk, lemon, nothing makes it better. So I ask you: Why do I keep drinking it?

Hey, are you kids watching the Anderson Cooper program on the CNN? CNN needs to get more like this guy. Note to the people running the station: Larry King isn't doing it for me anymore. I know he's the lynchpin of your lineup but guess what? I don't know anyone who watches him anymore. Under 80, that is.

I'd never read anything by him, but J.M. Coetzee (this year's Nobel Prize winner for Literature) has an excerpt from Elizabeth Costello in this week's New York Review of Books and I have to be honest. It's damn good. It just may be enough for me to buy the book. His prose is, in a word, beautiful.

Everyone ride safely today. It's messy out there.


14 enero 2004

Some Stuff To Do

I don't know what everyone else has been doing in this freezing freaking cold weather we're having right now, but I've been trying to get through the backlog of reading I have. Fortunately, I buy books at a rate far faster than I read, so I'll be working on this stuff roughly 3 years after I'm dead. Between magazines, books and newspapers, I can barely fit in my 3-4 hours a night of mandatory television. Those of you that know me know that I'm not the same if I haven't seen 3 episodes of "The Simpsons" every single goddamn day. Now that Adult Swim has shifted "Family Guy" back to 11 PM, I can catch the 11:30 PM "Simpsons" and have "Futurama" as my backup. I love it when a plan comes together.

Huzzah and kudos to the New York Rangers, who continued their dominance over the hated Islanders last night with a convincing 4-1 win at the world's most famous arena last night. Next up, the putrid New Jersey Devils. The good Señor will be in attendance, as he was last night.

Some things to read:

1) Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About -- This is a clever little book from the mind of the man who who brought us The Weekly. I'm about halfway through it and I'm enjoying every minute. It is a good quick read for when you are between the Biography of a Boring Person Who Died 100 Years Ago and A Non-Fiction Book About War, Conspiracy or Politics.

2) Shouts and Murmurs in the Jan. 19, 2004 Issue of the New Yorker -- The New Yorker is a must read for me every week. This week's Shouts & Murmurs is cute. One of those things that could easly be an Internet forward that would give you a little chuckle in your workday. It's not the funniest thing on paper, but it's a nice diversion.

3) Yankee Pot Roast -- Today, we have an entertaining parody of Whatevs.org, a page six type site run by Uncle Grambo out of Detroit. Visit him and visit us. Neither will disappoint.

4) Coming soon: An article on the Black Table by yours truly. Keep you eyes open.


13 enero 2004

Nothing New

I wanted to post something up here. Let's see.

-- We all wish Doug the best at law school. He started last Monday and seems to be enjoying himself. I quote Legally Blonde: "Why do you want to go to law school? That's for boring, ugly people." I kid, I kid.

-- Do you kids watch "The Apprentice" program? You should, if only for the semi-periodic shots of Trump's girlfriend.

-- Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Levitt, married last Friday. I wish you all of the happines in the world.

OK, I got nothing else. What a lameass post.


08 enero 2004

Where Have You Gone, Señor?

Good readers, fear not! The good Señor is back from vacation and ready to dazzle you with his wit. If not his wit, his stories. And if not his stories, well, I got nothing else. So, be dazzled *shakes fist*.

First things first, I hope that everyone had a deliciously happy and safe New Year's celebration. There was a tremendous amount to celebrate, including that no one dropped cobalt-60 "dirty bomb" on my home. I don't know about you but that seems as good a reason as any to kick back a little of the bubbly.

There has been a lot of goings on lately, so let's get right to the goodness:

1) Mrs. Britney? -- "I know it was you. You broke my heart. *smooch*" The Kiss of Death. How many more PR mistakes does she have before Playboy comes knocking to a dejected fromer child star like Britney? 2? 3, tops? I understand a drunk shotgun wedding followed by the "Annulment of Remorse." But Costanza? Come on! If you're going to do it, do it right. What kind of hot diva pop star marries a bald, short, paunchy, ugly man? Not to be outdone, Christina Aguilera checks in over at YPR with her intentions.

2) Big Fish -- With all that has been said, I don't know how much more I can say about how wonderful this film is. It is masterful. This is the best film of 2003. I haven't seen Lord of the Rings (any of them for that matter), but I cannot imagine it being better or more effective than this. There are very few movies that make me want to turn around and read the book, but this is one of them. Tim Burton is one of the most visionary, brilliant directors around. Every time I walk out of one of his movies, I find myself blown away by the spectacular camera work and direction. Why do I not hear his name among great directors more? Probably because he's a lunatic. Am I the only one who pictures him sitting behind an old typewriter, stacks and stacks of papers and folders all around him. He's wearing a black top hat and feverishly typing. It must have something to do with that shot of him at Arkham Asylum at the end of Batman Returns.

3) MarioKart Double Dash -- Though entertaining, not nearly as effective as the old N64 version. I like the idea of having to unlock characters and vehicles, but this game is virtually unplayable at the 150cc level. I got my ass kicked left and right and I don't mind saying that I was pretty damn good at the original. All that didn't stop me from playing nearly 9 consecutive hours of it on Friday night, only to wake up on Saturday and have to re-beat everything I'd already done because I'm a schmuck and didn't save when I finished. Is there anythingm ore frustrating than this? You play six game sof Madden in your year one franchise that you are building from the bottom up. You score a mild upset of St. Louis in week 2, and you wrap up at 4 AM with a 4-2 record, not to mention crust at the corners of your eyes and bluish haze clouding your vision. You wake up, ready to take on Denver at Mile High in a crucial week 7 battle that could mean the difference in your playoff life. A win and you have a good shot at a first round home game in the playoffs, possibly even a bye. You pour yourself a tall glass of orange juice and sit down. You turn on the machine and it's not there. You frantically search and search until finally you jump up in frustration, spill the OJ all over your pajama bottoms and ...

Um, anyway.

4) Marv Albert -- OK, caught him on Letterman last night. I still can't think of anything but women's underwear. I'm sorry, Marv. Try again next year?

5) Hillary Clinton -- I know that I have no idea of the context because no one is publishing it. But Gandhi? Why? What for? And a gas station in St. Louis? Why St. Louis? I'm so confused about so many things in this situation. And I want to let it go, my god I want to let it go, but I can't. I just keep repeating it over and over again. "Gandhi would have been a gas station attendant in St. Louis." "Gandhi would have been a gas station attendant in St. Louis." The problem is you apologized and it's going to disappear from the news and I'm never going to know, left doomed to wonder the rest of my life what the hell you meant and why you would think to say such a thing. Not that I even really care that you insulted Gandhi. The idea of him pumping gas is irrefutably funny. What would make you say it though? Arrgh.

All right, I'm out of stuff. Mas mañana.


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