Thursday, April 26, 2007


Condoleezza Rice with heavy make-up, c. 2007

Michael Jackson with heavy make-up, c. 1983


Today I read in Page Six that Tobey Maguire travels with an entourage of ten people, plus a personal chef.

Page Six states that part of this entourage includes his fiancee and their daughter, and also two cases of bottled water, a rocking chair, and a full-sized refrigerator. So really, it's an entourage of eight with a bunch of crap. I would say that's perfectly acceptable and a somewhat modest number for glitzy Hollywood.

Except for the fridge though: that's just weird.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Love!

Carolina Splendor

Today Carolina is 29 years-old.

And I love her more than ever.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oops! ... I didn't do it.

Dear Leader

Oh, WOW!

This is HUGE! Do you know how HARD we at the Census Bureau try to keep sensitive information from being leaked out to the public? After all, that is our charge: maintaining your privacy intact. Otherwise, why give us your information for the Decennial Census?

I guarantee you that I will hear of this on Monday. I have been working on a program to remove any vestiges of personal information from our corporate address database (phone numbers, Social Security numbers, proper names, etc.). You see, VARCHAR2 fields are nasty things. These are columns in a database in which anything can be placed in the cell. When our Field Enumerators ask you for your phone number (something he should NOT do), he may place it in the throwaway "Location Description" or Comments column (either on the paper form or the digital hand-held/laptop device). 99.9% of this stuff is automated once the information is keyed, and we don't know - can't know - of what came from the field until much later.

But at least it's in our corporate database, something that cannot be accessed by the general public. However, when other agencies use our data, they MUST follow our own privacy laws. Putting this shit on the Internet is so incredibly stupid, and we at the Census end up looking like complete jackasses. Plus, it makes the Federal Government look like some efficient totalitarian/Orwellian enterprise when - trust me - it's really not that smart. The Federal Government is not Big Brother. It's more like Lenny, from Of Mice and Men.

Yeah, well anyway: Monday is gonna suck.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spider-Man, Gluttony, and ": The Musical!"

Kiss Me, I'm a Slovenly Bastard!

It was bound to happen, wasn't it?

From progressive comic (combining the Superhero aesthetic with humor) to over-done (if entertaining) film(s).

But this is just pathetic.

The know-nothing, creatively lazy asshats of Hollywood and the gluttonous Marvel executives will add the dreaded words ": The Muscial!" to Spider-Man.

Truth be told: I am not a comic book fan, and really could care less that this particular comic will be re-interpreted, yet again. What bugs me is the sheer laziness of those who manage an industry which has the potential to produce something new, something different, something dazzling and fresh.

The Third Circle of Dante's Inferno is reserved for the gluttonous hordes, forever feeding upon their own excrement.

May the Marvel scrubs end up there for filling their bellies with the profits from inane renditions of each and every comic in their catalog (and reducing themselves to "The Musical!" mentality).

* Jazz Hands! *

Monday, April 16, 2007

Time for Gun Control

11:27am at the 47-50 Street/Rockefeller Center Subway Station

As of this writing, 33 people lay dead by a lone (?) gunman. I am sure for obstinate Second Amendment cheerleaders, clearly this isn't enough reason to do anything about rampant gun violence. For the rest of the country which favors Reason over archaic legal statutes which now border on the non sequitur, the time is now for a truly progressive set of gun control laws.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Checklist for a Scorned Female Astronaut

Baltimore, My Baltimore

1. Adult diapers:

2. Pepper spray:

3. B.B. gun:

4. Steel mallet:

5. Knife:

6. Rubber tubing:

7. Cash in U.S. and British currency:

8. 69 orange pills:

9. Two USB drives:

and last, but certainly not least,

10. Sixteen images depicting various scenes of bondage:

I really don't know why I insist on checking out CNN. Their stories - like this one - make my brain hurt. They're like skid-marked underwear blowing in the breeze.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Art of Automated Parking with Calvin Trillin

Jalopy Funtimes

Would you like to know how much of a nerd I really am?

The New York Times took The Nation's self-described verse columnist, Calvin Trillin, out on the town to test-drive the self-parking mechanism in the new Lexus.

To me, this is laugh out loud funny. See the video here.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Must . . . Get . . . Ahead . . .

Tour de Mars

I have a pretty good job (geographer), at a pretty cool place (The U.S. Census Bureau), but something is missing. Maybe it's the need for a little bit more money, maybe it's the need, the drive to improve myself professionally.

The worst part of my job is that I feel like I am quickly making myself irrelevant. Really, just how marketable is a subject-matter expert on the intricacies of Puerto Rican addressing systems? Is this even geography? The answers to both questions are, "Not Very" and "No." Even these two issues aren't really issues at all, but since my employer refuses to pay for even nominal training on professional advancement (say, Project Management courses), I feel very much like I am a cog in an overly-complicated machine.

I work as a GS-12, but I do the work of a GS-13 here at the Census Bureau. For those of you who don't know, a GS-12 is essentially the highest rank a Federal employee can be before hitting the supervisory GS-13 levels. I have managed projects, I have appealed for (and gotten) higher budgets, I will be over-seeing a team to evaluate commercial off-the-shelf software: all highly visible tasks (Upper Management has noticed).

Yet, they don't even throw me a Project Management bone. I could sure use that Project Management certificate/degree. Oh, wait...that makes me more marketable elsewhere in the Geography Division, or elsewhere period.

So, long story short: a GS-13 position has opened up and I have been writing like crazy, trying to get my knowledge skill-sets all written before the close of business on Monday.

Wish me luck.

Shit. I wish myself luck. I'll need it.

Tryin' to get ahead, tryin', tryin',
Tryin' to get ahead in this race called life . . .

Oh, hell. I'd rather relax, but relaxin' ain't gonna pay the bills, son.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

More Religious Zealotry, YAY!

Cristo Rey

Religious hysteria. Why do zealots insist on jumping to conclusions or reducing themselves to jiggling mounds of hyperbole when someone else reinterprets an aspect of their faith?

A few years ago it was Chris Ofili's use of elephant dung in a painting of the Virgin Mary. Catholics cried foul and felt as if they were being demeaned and belittled, even though Ofili's use of dung pre-dated the Virgin Mary scandal (thereby negating the Catholics' contention that he intentionally meant to offend them).

Now it is a controversial exhibit of Christ sculpted in milk chocolate. Because of Cardinal Edward Egan's incessant howling, the Lab Gallery in Manhattan, where the exhibit was housed, shut down the show and its Art Director stepped down. According to CNN, Egan said that the exhibit was a "sickening display" and Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, called it "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever."

Never mind that the sculptor, Cosimo Cavallaro, is a food artist and incorporates food into each piece. Apparently, mixing milk chocolate and Christ is a no-no. If Donohue's hyperbole is true about it being offensive, then it's right up there with the Moors converting Spain into an caliphate of Damascus.

And don't tell me that the real reason these two Catholics are so offended is because Christ is nude. If Cavallaro had put a Marshmallow Fluff loincloth on him, they would still have cried blasphemy.

If you ask me, the most offensive aspect of this entire "scandal" is Cavallaro's use of milk chocolate. That shit is just nasty. I am all about dark chocolate.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Religious Iconography in the New York Times

Mother Angelica (Super-Saturated Re-Mix)

Am I the only one who sees a clear relgious element to this photograph? Maybe it's just me. Even though I am a flaming skeptic and naysayer of all things "godly," I do love relgious iconography (see here and here and here and here and here and here).

I don't know. I see this in the New York Times:

And I am reminded of something similar to this: