Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Wait ... You mean it wasn't Hal Holbrook?

Of course! W. Mark Felt! It was right there in front of our noses the whole time! We should have figured it was the guy that nobody ever heard of.

Meanwhile, I can't help but be a little bit sad. It's truly the end of an era: I imagine we'll never see another secret source who brings down a president and is named after a porn movie again. Although if we do, I recommend they go with "On Golden Blonde." That would be funny.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

This week's column: Baby,
remember my name ... or not

When I started writing this column seven years ago, I had the same goal most journalists have when they get into the business: To make a difference. Ha ha ha! No, seriously, it was to become famous.

However, fame has proven somehow elusive. I attribute this to a fickle public, the vagaries of the publishing industry and the fact that my column is still read primarily by blood relatives who already know me.

But a recent experience led me to believe that my fame tide may be turning. I received an e-mail from one Alfred Göttfert that began "Hallo lieber Prominenter oder winiger Porinenter," which made me think I was finally, after years of hard work, being targeted by Nazis. (Disclaimer: I'm of course not referring to the fine, upstanding current residents of Germany, but rather to elderly Nazis living in Brazil.)

Read the rest of this week's At Large by Peter Chianca here.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

And if Phil Collins gets on the
Concord again, by God, shoot it down!

Ten reasons Bob Geldof should not do a new Live Aid:
  • Freddie Mercury -- dead.
  • Don't they have enough food in Africa already?
  • J.J. Jackson -- dead.
  • The thought of Lionel Richie sitting there waiting for the phone to ring ... it's painful.
  • Guy from INXS -- dead.
  • Mick Jagger still facing possible charges for ripping Tina Turner's miniskirt off.
  • Udo Lindenberg -- uh ... Could be dead.
  • Bob Dylan even less comprehensible now.
  • The Hooters -- career dead.
  • I don't need another reminder that I'm, like, old.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Oh, that old trick?

And they said I'd never amount to anything.

It's the type of headline you don't see nearly often enough in the biased liberal media: "Man pulls car with ears while standing on eggs." But if he was standing on the Koran, well, you can bet it would have made all the papers.

Luckily, we have Ananova.com, the news site that, unlike, say, the Associated Press, realizes that equal time should — nay, must — be paid to freaks and weirdoes. Thus, they’ve holed up somewhere in England, presumably with huge piles of fish and chips, and devoted themselves to reporting such actual stories as "Dieting boy ate dog's dinner."

Or the above mentioned piece about the Chinese ear-car-puller-egg-walker, which admittedly raises a few questions, such as: If you're going to attempt this, which do you master first, pulling the car with your ears, or walking on eggs? (I'm presuming trying them both at once right out of the gate could be disastrous to your ears, the eggs and the car.) Do you try out other potential car-pulling body parts first? Are the eggs raw or hard-boiled? Do people in China have more free time than we've been led to believe? Etc.

Anyway, I'm inspired. If you need me, I'll be out back with a tricycle tied to my eyelid.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

It's always funny until
somebody eats the pool boy

Everybody thinks it's so cute that a bear decided to take a dip in a suburban swimming pool in L.A., but have you seen a picture of the thing? I think if I came out and saw this bobbing up and down among my blow-up floaties, I'd shoot first and ask questions later.

Monday, May 23, 2005

What else about me can
you make look fake, Doctor?

But can it do anything about the eye shadow?

This week's invention of the week award goes to the "Evolution by Margarita" bra, the bra "designed to mimic the breast implant look." At last, now every woman can look like she has huge fake breasts. It's the need for inventions like this that led to the founding of MIT.

According to the press release, "The best bra should lift and separate each breast, so that your chest doesn't wind up looking like your derriere" -- which makes sense, given that most people don't even want their derriere to look like their derriere. And the Evolution bra takes that concept to its next logical plateau, ensuring that each breast has its own hemisphere.

Incidentally, that comment comes from Dr. Daniel Man, billed as "a pioneer in advanced cosmetic surgery procedures including quick recovery breast augmentation, face, neck/forehead and eye lifts, advanced liposuction techniques, laser surgery and skin rejuvenation peels." And thank goodness. Lord knows we didn't need another doctor treating cancer patients or anything.

Up next: A bra that makes it look like you've had a skin rejuvenation peel!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

This week's column:
A Force of a different color

OK, I'll admit I'm hesitant to write anything negative about "Star Wars," given that the last time I did that -- when Episode II came out -- I was lambasted with e-mails from Internet Jedis who apparently took it as some kind of personal affront. Why they're so sensitive I don't know, given that George Lucas makes my annual salary every day while flossing.

But really, I can't see how they could blame me for coming down hard on "Attack of the Clones," a movie that featured, well, the name "Attack of the Clones," and also the following actual exchange of dialogue:

Padme: "We used to come here for school retreat. We would swim to that island every day. I love the water. We used to lie out on the sand and let the sun dry us and try to guess the names of the birds singing."

Anakin: (Chops off her head with lightsaber.)

Read the rest of this week's At Large by Peter Chianca here.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Those people in the blue shirts
with the little yellow tags on their
sleeves? They're mocking me.

Stop. I'm dyin' here.

Every so often I like to read the Best Buy catalogue, just to torture myself. "I wonder," I think, casting a backward glance at the 13-inch Toshiba (with built-in VCR!) that graces my home office, "who the heck is buying the $5,499.99 43-inch Plasma HDTV?" Whoever he is, I suspect that at this very minute, he's gloating.

Sure, I'm the first to admit that my son's preschool payments are almost equally as important as, say, a Sony Intel Centrino notebook computer with 15.4-inch widescreen, 1024 MB DDR SDRAM and 80 GB hard drive. Or a JVC 2.12 megapixel CCD 10X optical/200X digital 1.8-inch LCD video camera that can fit in my pants pocket. Actually, I have no idea what any of those numbers or abbreviations mean, but that doesn't stop them from haunting my dreams.

OK, time to put the catalogue away until I'm more financially solvent or have been given six months to live. But mark my words, as soon as I have the extra cash, I'm getting me a 20 GB iPod and accompanying Bose SoundDock. I figure by the time my kids get out of college they'll be going for about $18 on eBay.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Meanwhile, Newsweek is sticking by
its report that he wears boxers

Please, please, please: No more news headlines that contain both the phrases "Bush promises probe" and "Saddam underwear."

Although I suppose "Bush promises to look into Saddam underwear" isn't much better.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Do I hear $8.50 for an ad
on my stomach? I can fit a
lot more than she could.

OK, which is more emblematic of the decline of Western civilization: The college student who auctioned off her body on eBay (as a billboard, natch), or the new delivery service that sends women in snug T-shirts to deliver lunches?

The first one is crass, but clever; methinks Trump would like. But the point of the second one escapes me -- personally, I don't care what they're wearing as long as the food's still hot and they didn't forget the onion rings.

Mmmm .... Onion rings ....

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Meanwhile, I'll have to keep myself
occupied with the $29.99 talking Yoda

Looks like Lucas has been hanging around the
'Deep Space Nine' makeup trailer again.
Yes, I know I should be on my way to a midnight showing of “Revenge of the Sith” right about now. It's just that no matter how good it is, I'm afraid it can't erase the memory of Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman's dialogue from Episode II, which I believe was lifted straight out of a diary entry my sister wrote when she was 12.
I know the diehards will bristle at that remark, although why they're so sensitive I don't know. I suppose it could be the added pressure of filling the great geek gap left when the “Star Trek: Enterprise” was cancelled, thus officially turning Trekkies into the surly old drunks of the science fiction convention set — you can now find them down at the end of the bar, with the guy dressed like Gort from “The Day The Earth Stood Still.”
Anyway, I'll be sure to post my impressions when I eventually do see it, although that could be a while: My kids are too young to go, and I'm pretty sure my wife would try to distract me by throwing the popcorn and then sneak into "The Upside of Anger." Or I could go by myself, and squeeze between Comic Book Guy and whoever that is dressed as Boba Fett.
Or I can wait for the DVD.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Not even Newsweek?

OK, it's a little discouraging that a new study shows that blogs have yet to replace traditional media. But never fear, bloggers! A few more months of snarky comments, frothing diatribes and meandering observations with little connection to actual English usage, and we'll get there. In fact, by January I predict the people at the New York Times will be coming to us for jobs.

Unfortunately, most of us are broke and sitting around in our underwear, so it's unlikely we'll be able to hire them. However, while they're here I'm hoping to get them to pick up my lawn.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Actually, Ansel Adams had one just like it

Can you speak up, Bob? I have a tripod in my ear.

The invention of the week award goes to the Cellpod, which is a tripod for your cell phone camera. This way if you're out and about and spot, say, a hummingbird, you can simply remove this handy device from your pants pocket and mount your phone to it for a less blurry than usual picture. Or say you want to take a picture of yourself and Britney Spears before she can call security. This fits the bill. Because as I always say, there's nothing more comfortable (or spontaneous!) than carrying a tripod in your pocket. Or, you can continue to take pictures of yourself that look like this.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

This week's column:
Lost in the Blogosphere

As some of you may know, I recently started a "blog," which is not a nickname for a cross between breakfast and a frog. That would be a "brog." A blog, rather, is a Web site that allows anyone with a computer to share his or her random, time-stamped thoughts with the world, or at least with the four or five people who come across it accidentally while looking for porn.

Anyway, in my efforts to truly understand the blog phenomenon, I decided to spend an entire night jumping randomly from blog to blog via blogger.com. The following is a partial journal of what I observed. (The large gaps in time represent the blogs that were inappropriate for a family audience, or in Norwegian.)

8:45 p.m. Presented with a 13-verse song about someone named "Derek," I briefly consider shelving the whole project.

Read the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca here.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Meanwhile, Timmy is
still trapped in the well

I don't know why I always get choked up by stories of heroic dogs. Maybe it's because I have a sneaking suspicion that my dogs wouldn't come looking for me trapped under a tractor unless I happened to have been basted in gravy first. Then there's the cat, who would shift the tractor into gear on top of me and not lose a minute's sleep over it. This is why it's good I don't live on a farm. That and the fact that I'm afraid of pigs.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Is it too late to ask Bren to come back?

Frankly, they both frighten me.

'Now if you'll excuse me, Dave,
I'll be over here reproducing.'

So I'm just wondering -- are scientists trying to ensure that we'll eventually be enslaved by an unstoppable robot army, or is that just a happy byproduct of their life's work? Either way, creating robots that can reproduce themselves is probably a bad idea. Although I'd rather be enslaved by them than the evil clones or the killer zombies (who aren't into enslaving so much as just eating you). I'm just saying.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Just what the world needs -- a new rat!

We're still waiting on that cure for cancer, but in the meantime, we have this scientific discovery to chew on: According to CBC News, a team of scientists working in Southeast Asia has discovered a new mammal resembling a rat.

All I know is, one look at this thing and you'll be petitioning the world's rat exterminators to travel immediately to Southeast Asia. Check it out here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

'Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hello!
You have a question for whoever
this is sitting across from me?'

Things I'm worried that Larry King might ask Condoleezza Rice tomorrow night:
  • "Do the sparks ever fly between you and the president? I mean romantically."
  • "What was Judy Garland like as a mother?"
  • "Is it true that you're black?"
  • "Who can ever forget Peter Boyle in 'Young Frankenstein'?"
  • "Do you think the pope's with Jesus now? We only have 30 seconds."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Who knew it would come with a 30-year mortgage?

Their blinkless stares are freaking me out.

For those of you keeping track at home: I won the Big Blue House Playset! Now I just have to figure out how to pay for it. Does anyone want to buy a 1998 Chevy Cavalier?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

This week's column:
Song Sung 'Big Mamoo'

If you're like most children in the world, you're probably trying to figure out what to give your mother for Mother's Day. Candy? Jewelry? A promise not to be a complete disappointment? Flowers?

Well, before you do any of those things, you may want to consider something that you probably didn't know existed: an instant personalized Mother's Day song. Yes, it's unusual, but according to the folks at InstaSong.com, "it'll probably make her cry, and you can do it all for under $5!" The only thing that would be better is if she cried and someone paid you.

Now, I'll admit that when I first heard about this I was skeptical. But after logging on and trying it out, I've decided that InstaSong may the best thing ever to come out of the Internet, and that's including the Howard Dean presidential campaign.

Read the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca here.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

At these prices, it's more like Pimp College

Remember what I said about the college student who was allegedly depositing $43 million in bogus cashier's checks and shuffling them between accounts in Switzerland and Greenwich? (See below.) That's nothing compared to this.

How do those internships work, exactly?

Friday, May 06, 2005

The worst I ever did was take a fork from the dining hall

Who says college students aren't ambitious anymore? When he could have been involved in illegal file sharing or building offensive snow sculptures in front of his frat house, Hakan Yalincak was allegedly depositing $43 million in bogus cashier's checks and shuffling them between accounts in Switzerland and Greenwich. A lot of college students can't even spell Switzerland.

Yalincak also apparently faces civil charges that he charmed Connecticut investors into sinking $2.8 million into a nonexistent hedge fund ("Dudes, this hedge fund rocks!") and spent the money on luxury items. Unless college has changed drastically since I was there, showing up at the dorm with $2.8 million in luxury items is usually a good tipoff that something is afoot -- the most luxurious item I can recall anyone having in college was a 5-year-old Nissan Sentra. (And if the Sentra was rockin', don't bother knockin'! Actually, I'm not even really sure what that means. )

Meanwhile, if you think depositing $43 million in bogus cashier's checks is bad, I went to school with a guy who'd put all the restaurant bills on his father's credit card, but collect cash from everybody there anyway. That ain't right.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

It soon may be cheaper to fly to England and pick it up

Can't talk now ... I'm in the middle of an eBay death match for the Holy Grail of Bear in the Big Blue House toys:

Yes, it's the Big Blue House Playset -- mint in the box! Never been opened! And I'm going to get this thing for my kid even if I have to spend the mortgage money and stiff the oil guy. Again.

If you have a preschooler who's a Bear fan you know that Disney unceremoniously pulled all the Bear merchandise off the shelves a while back as they finalized the character's purchase from Jim Henson, who could not argue for the best terms in the deal, being dead. The result is we parents wind up fighting it out on eBay, and Michael Eisner just laughs and laughs and laughs. I hate Michael Eisner.

Gotta go ... it just went up to 53.00 (GBP -- yes, I know how much I'll have to pay for shipping. Bring it on, Limeys!).

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Take that, Mudvayne, whoever you are!

Who's your daddy?

It's heartening that Bruce Springsteen can still debut a No. 1 album. What's disconcerting is the fact that I have somehow become such a fogey that I have no idea who any of the acts under him are. Bobby Valentino? Amerie? I thought I recognized Jo Dee Messina until I realized that wasn't the one that went with Loggins. And yes, I know Mariah Carey, but I don't think that's necessarily a good thing.

If it's any consolation, I did own 10 of the 12 No. 1 albums of 1985, until my vinyl records were discarded in my parents' Great Garage Cleanout of 1994. I'd like to say Wham!'s "Make it Big" was among the two I didn't have. But that would be lying.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

'And while you're at it kids, stay faithful, and never lie under oath!'

You gonna finish that?

Yes, you heard right, Bill Clinton is battling obesity. No, not his own -- he's had that pretty much under control since his doctors found his arteries were blocked by entire Filets o' Fish, including the styrofoam boxes. Instead, he's planning to promote healthy eating habits in children and encourage them to exercise. He figures this is a good way to meet single mothers.

Disclaimer: I'd still take him over our current president in a heartbeat.

They also intercepted a Kohl's flyer and two packages from L.L. Bean

'Dear Abu: The Jihad is beautiful -- wish you were here!'

Monday, May 02, 2005