Odd Coincidence


I went to a relatively small private high school in South Florida. The year I graduated, I’d say there were maybe 425 people in the whole school. Today, I got a copy of the alumni magazine in the mail addressed to someone from the class of 1987.

There was a clear name and graduation date on the label so the guy must have lived here at some point.

How bizarre is that?

Yeah, She’s Tough to Recognize


The Washington Post has got a first look at some of the celebrities expected to show at next month’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. If past years are any indication, you can expect an American Idol castoff or two to join Ben Affleck and Hayden Panettiere on the final list.

Besides being a colossal bore of a dinner, the pseudo-soiree could possibly be the DC media’s most embarrassing display of ass kissing ever seen. The couple of years I’ve been, I’ve been astonished at the amount of uncomfortable posturing and positioning by some of the most accomplished and high level people in news and government.

Best story to come from last year’s spectacle – Remember Sheryl Crow and Laurie David were in attendance as part of their big Stop Global Warming campaign? Well, even before their run-in with Karl Rove, they were a big hit with the suck-up contingent. In fact, I watched a senior cable news executive push himself right through the throng and tap Laurie David on the shoulder and say, “Sheryl…I want you to meet our State Department Correspondent…She’s a big fan.” I kid you not. Captain Know-It-All was so out of touch with pop culture that he couldn’t pick Sheryl Crow out of a crowd of two! That, my friends, is a DC news dork in action.

As for my personal accomplishments in the Washington social arena, I was so low on the totem pole year one (and never climbed much higher thank you very much) that I had no qualms about pushing the envelope a little. A fellow correspondent and I snuck into the Bloomberg after party as part of Cedric the Entertainer’s entourage. No joke. It worked. And we had a blast simply because we couldn’t care less.

Monday’s Menu


I’m holding down the fort over at Americablog this morning while Joe helps deliver petition signatures to the FEC.

In the meantime, feel free to sit anywhere you like, and I’ll be back with the good stuff in no time.


Neither Here Nor There


I’m posting now to let you know I’ll be MIA most of the day today.

But in the meantime, I’ve weighed in over at Americablog here and here.

The poem of the week will be updated this afternoon here.

John’s column will be online Sunday here.

And there you have it.

Happy Friday.

Stupid Human Tricks


I posted a short note on Americablog last night poking fun at the fact that cable news networks seem to be labeling everyone a strategist these days. I got an email in response from one said strategist – Mark Walsh – who agreed that the whole political Spy vs Spy template has spiraled out of control. He gave me the heads up he was going to be on MSNBC this morning on a segment being called “Obamacans v. McCainocrats.” Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

The terms seem to originate from a Washington Times article published earlier this month but were unfortunately resurrected and injected back into the media lexicon today with this ridiculous Gallup poll alleging certain percentages of Democrats will vote for McCain if their preferred Democratic candidate doesn’t win the nomination:

If McCain vs. Obama, 28% of Clinton Backers Go for McCain
If McCain vs. Clinton, 19% of Obama backers go for McCain

Walsh made the only salient point in the pseudo-debate by noting that these numbers go right out the window once we have a confirmed candidate and the general gets underway. The anger being ginned up right now will die down in time, and Democrats who are truly Democrats won’t vote for 4 more years of the same.

The segment was short, but no one bothered to explain what Obamacans are or why they were “versus” McCainocrats. I’m assuming the term refers to Republicans supporting Obama. I’ll go out on a limb and offer a better – and easier to pronounce – name for those voters…

…Smart.

Credit Where Due


What are the odds? Someone copped my credit card number for the second time and charged a bunch of crap online.

My credit card company caught the fraud immediately and called. All’s handled on this end, but having been through this before, I know the culprit probably won’t be apprehended because it’s not within the bank’s best financial interest to pursue incidents under a certain amount of money. I want to say somewhere around the $10,000 mark, but I could be making that up.

Anyway, I know exactly where the card was compromised because I hadn’t used it for weeks until yesterday at lunch, and since all the shady charges popped up yesterday afternoon after lunch, it’s not tough to pinpoint the scene of the crime.

Being the good citizen I like to think I am, I called the restaurant. I just assumed management would want to know what had gone down so they could investigate and then presumably prevent it from happening again. But oddly enough, instead of being met with sheer gratitude by the manager in charge, I got a fair share of attitude. Even though I made it very clear I wasn’t placing blame on any one person in particular – and emphasized I did not suspect it was our actual waiter – the manager felt compelled to suggest criminals in Mexico could have randomly generated my credit card number because that’s what had happened to him once.

That’s the moment I waved the white flag and called it a night.

Mixed Emotions


Liz and I went to college together. It’s fun to see her in films. She always wanted be an actress so there’s an added joy of knowing she’s a good girl who got what she wanted.

However, reading she’s likely to play Laura Bush makes me a little sad. Not that Liz should have passed on the probably high-profile and lucrative gig, but the thought of anyone taking on that role – let alone someone I like – is just unsettling.

UPDATE: I should probably clarify this a bit. I just feel the wounds inflicted by the current administration are raw and considering we are still very much mired in the muck of W’s presidency, a movie depicting the life o’ Bush is not something this country truly needs. It’s the same way making a movie about 9/11 felt unnecessary to me. At least so soon afterwards. The horror didn’t/doesn’t need to be dramatized.

Really American Idol


And the breakdown goes a little something like this:

Syesha is talented but no less annoying.

Everything about Michael Johns is just too plain for my taste. The name. The look. The love of tennis. No thanks.

It’s hard for Carly to do wrong in my eyes, but I’m wondering what the bathroom reference meant. She get sick beforehand? Was there a feminine issue she started to reference and then thought better of it in front of the intimate crowd of 30 million?

G-d Bless the USA? Really? Ok, say it now. Jacki hates America. Whatever. I couldn’t even watch all of KLC’s performance. It just screamed, “I dare you. Vote me off now, suckers. You can’t. I’m too patriotic.”

Hey, did you think maybe David Archuleta’s choice was a Christian Rock song? Yeah, we did too. It didn’t do anything for me, but my signif – who is significantly less tone deaf than I – says Archuleta has a rare tone quality to his voice that’s worth the price of admission. Well, tone and the possibility of getting to watch dancing vegetables back him up.

David Cook. Alien head. Stellar voice. Hands down top seed.

Signif gets the final word: “The last guy was the best tonight, but I’m still betting on the little kid and his dance-a-matronic celery.”


Misdirected


Interesting little nugget I just discovered. Did you know DirecTV has a department designed specifically to offend and annoy:

DIRECTV’s Outbound Telesales Department is a department within DIRECTV that engages in telemarketing to existing DIRECTV customers.

Here’s how this works. You call DirecTV with a billing or service issue – don’t worry, you will – and then they put you on some sort of list that generates endless automated calls. They don’t tell you you’re being added to a list. They just go ahead and do it. Allegedly, adding your cell to the Do Not Call Registry should – according to DirecTV’s website – protect you from the flood. I’m not convinced.

I started to make the connection after my first couple of service calls mysteriously triggered tens of robocalls. At that stage, every call I made to DirecTV included a “please don’t put me on whatever list it is you’ve got I don’t want to get calls from you about anything at any time thank you very much” request. Not one operator hesitated. Not one asked for specifics. They all knew. In fact, the last rep I spoke with spilled the beans by confirming there was, in fact, some sort of list. Case closed.

But still…isn’t something inherently wrong with this practice? Why should I have to opt out of sales calls, especially if no one’s informed me I’ve been automatically opted in to begin with?

No wonder DirecTV’s got a long trail of documented complaints over at The Consumerist, including its fair share of stories related to Do Not Call registry violations and fines.

Don’t even get me started on the installer who showed up high as a kite or the one who refused to do the work because it was too late in the day.

I’ve now got cable.

Playing Fast and Loose

So last night, the following exchange takes place in my living room:

Signif: Hey, come in here. Listen to this. What is he saying? (presses play on the DVR)

Sportscenter announcer: The NFL Network is reporting Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall slipped on a fast food bag, severing an artery, and is expected to be out for several months.

Signif: What did he slip on?

Me: I think he said “fast food bag.” Is that what you got?

Turns out Marshall’s story – that he got up to get water, slipped on a wrapper, and put his hand through the TV – is just as fabricated as it sounds. This is more like it:

According to NFL Network, Marshall’s slip and fall on a McDonald’s bag Saturday at an Orlando, Fla., resort also included a bit of wrestling with a family member.

The resulting smash of Marshall’s right forearm through an entertainment system created damage more severe than the player indicated publicly.

Dumbass.