Friday, June 29, 2007

OK This Too Weird

This had to be more than a comment. The eerie intersection of the Johnsonville brand in our lives is....eeerie. And not the lake.

The other day I was at a friend's house (Kristy & Matt if you must know, who NEVER read this so I can talk about them) and they were grilling food as you do in the South with a capital S. Here it is known as grilling out and used as follows:

Me : "What did you do this weekend?"

Person from the South or Someone Well-Adapted to the South (eg, midwestern hoosiers; poor black from Up North): "Just had people over and grilled out."

Grilling out is NOT what my family did. Grilling out does not involve "marinade" or "coriander" or "viognier" or "tanqueray" or cous cous or asparagus or chortling English laughs. Drunkenness and some kind of card game...generally "May I."

Grilling out is a basic thing with a basic choice: burger, chicken, or hot dog. Oh and Bud or Bud Light and do you want a Falcons coozie on that beer.

So the other say I chose burger, as I usually do...but I'm always tempted by the hot dog. So after my bureger, when we were leaving, i picked up the one of the leftover hot dogs and took a bite. And it tasted EXACTLY like English breakfast sausage, my most craved and fantasized about food...who knew? all along there was this thing, this Johnsonville Beer Brat, just waiting for me, being German....misleadingly so....

Anyway so thank you Mr. Beer Brat Johnsntown. I love you. I have to go now because there are 2 brats left in the fridge.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Me Chinese, Me Play Joke

Me Put Pee Pee in your Coke! And your cat food. And your seafood. And your toothpaste.

I guess I'm not really surprised by any of this; maybe more surprised that we're finally starting to pay attention to contaminants (or are we really...?). This is the price you pay for doing business with a country whose government practices Upton Sinclair era regulation. And I, being Chinese, know that my people how to make—and stretch— a buck.

We really are an inventive people! First it was gunfire and pasta; now we've moved on to a whole new level of innovation. According to The NYT,

In recent years, for instance, China’s food safety scandals have involved everything from fake baby milk formulas and soy sauce made from human hair to instances where cuttlefish were soaked in calligraphy ink to improve their color and eels were fed contraceptive pills to make them grow long and slim.

Hairy soy sauce!?

RIP Ralph Stayer, King of Weiners

Though I disagree with the idea that bratwurst should be sold "pre grilled" in a gusseted heat-n-serve bag, I'll mourn the passing of the man who made Americans love their wieners.

From The NYT:
Ralph F. Stayer, the founder of a Wisconsin sausage company that helped popularize bratwurst in the United States, died Sunday in Florida. He was 92.

He died in his sleep at a nursing home, his family said.

Mr. Stayer bought a butcher shop in 1945 and turned it into the million-dollar Johnsonville Sausage Company, said his son, Ralph C. Stayer, the company’s current chief executive.

Mr. Stayer was born in Ely, Minn., in 1915 and moved to Milwaukee as a teenager. He dropped out of high school a month before graduation to support his parents and five younger siblings during the Depression.

Mr. Stayer’s butcher shop was struggling in 1945, when he went to a picnic and saw garbage cans filled with partly eaten brats. He and his wife drew upon their Austrian and Slovenian heritage to make better-tasting bratwurst, a spiced pork sausage, based on an old family recipe, his son said.

Johnsonville Sausage became a multimillion-dollar business under the leadership of Mr. Stayer’s son. Its brats are sold seasonally at about 4,000 McDonald’s and in 16 N.F.L. stadiums.

The sausage company is the main sponsor of Brat Fest, an annual event in Madison in which participants eat nearly 190,000 brats in four days over the Memorial Day weekend.

Besides his son, his survivors include his wife, the former Alice Brinkman; a daughter, Launa Stayer-Maloney; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and 3 brothers, John, Raymond and Robert.

The Epidemic of Misattributed MP3s

This rage which I am about to unleash has been building for a while. I download a lot of music. I hate stupid people who think they are right and are SO NOT. These two facts have intertwined to raise my considerable ire in the form of The Misattributed MP3.

I will now begin a regular feature of Misattributed Mp3s. Basically, when I find one, I will let you all know. I began writing this the other night with the intention of listing several, but the first one turned into a whole stream of consciousness thing and I lost my focus (thanks again, weed).

So let’s begin with:

“Low Rider” – Santana. Tragic. Pathetic. Not only have I seen this on Limewire, but also, if you Google Santana + low rider, a TON of shit comes up – mostly lyrics pages which are about as quality-controlled as Limewire. Fact is, not only did Santana NOT do “Low Rider”, they never even covered it. There are at least 15 known recorded covers of Low Rider, including versions by Barry White, Cypress Hill, and ZZ Top. No Santana! IT IS BY WAR. WRITTEN, RECORDED, ETC. GET IT STRAIGHT. JEEZ.

Segue: At work today, Mary and I were talking about Santana, and I said how his performance at Woodstock is my favorite in the documentary. She said hers too, and that her friend Joe or Ed or something was THERE and he was coming up over this hill just as Santana was starting, and as he approached, the hairs on his arms stood up. Cool.

[I am right now listening to “Soul Sacrifice”, the song with which Santana opened their Woodstock set. I couldn’t download the live version but it doesn’t matter. God he’s fucking amazing. The whole band. Shit, man!!! (can anyone tell that I am BAKED??)]

Anyway, so I was reminded of a VERY SIMILAR STORY from my own fascinating history. I went to see…drum roll… War – 2002 I think, summer in NYC, FREE concert at Brighton Beach headliner Credence Clearwater Revisited – shitty but entertaining b-list version of CCR with some original members but no Fogerty which is, like, WHY FUCKING BOTHER??? Anyway, OPENING for them – OPENING – was War. Like, the actual, real, all the original actual War guys. So I get off the subway at Brighton Beach, which is like Bizarro World Coney Island, one neighborhood over but a world apart. The most Russian/Ukrainian place I have ever been. I mean, WALL to fucking WALL scary-assed Slavs. Pouty women with too much make-up, fucking terrifying Jewkrainian mob guys – the ones Cosa Nostra is shit-scared of because they are so brutal – they steal and sell nuclear subs, as opposed to hijacking cigarette trucks. So I’m walking thru all this, dusk it just switching over to night, it’s warm but not humid, the sky is losing almost all of its pink bits, there’s still a little periwinkle to be found in the thickening blue…there’s a breeze…the sounds of the people on the street, talking about piroshkis and Putin are floating all around me…

As I approach the beach, the sound of Spill the Wine starting up creeps into my ears and wraps all around me like a beautiful blanket woven out of warm Californian sunshine and…the hairs on my arms stand up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New York City Transit: Gloomy Gus or Liars and Thieves?

Our petite, recently de-Republicanized mayor Bloomie's got a tough row to hoe with pushing through his (totally awesome!) congestion pricing plan. Albany's been hating on it, which is no surprise given their adversarial relationship with the city (biting the hand that feeds them copious amounts of tax dollars, I say).

Anyway, today the MTA announced that it would not be able to sustain an additional influx of subway riders likely to result from the plan. The 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 trains, in particular, are operating at maximum capacity. That is, rush hour trains are packed to the gills, clown car style, and are running as frequently as possible. As MTA president Howard Roberts so weirdly put it, "There's no room in the inn." (Um, should I bed down in the stable instead?)

I ride the trains every day, and, yes, they're pretty stinking crowded. But can we really trust the MTA's assessment of anything at this point? Remember that track fire on the A line that emanated from a machine room that they tried to blame on a non-existent homeless man? Then they said the train would be out of commission for at least a year and a half while the ancient pieces were reforged (presumably their plan entailed building a time machine to travel back to 1920 to recover the original fittings?). Oh, and you can't forget when they cooked the books, keeping a false set of records to suggest that an earlier than anticipated fare increase was in order? Or how about every single day of your life when your local train starts running express, weekend service changes leave you stranded, or you stand on the platform with 500 other angry people waiting 40 minutes for a train that really has no excuse for not having shown up sooner. I mean, has the MTA ever given us a straightforward piece of information or done right by us?

I totally appreciate public transportation and realize that the system is vast and a bitch to maintain. And it doesn't surprise me that it's really passenger interference (whether by illness, holding doors open, or criminal malfeasance) that, more often than not, makes trains run late. I think our system is pretty good, especially considering how decrepit it is. All I'm saying is that the MTA lies like a dog on a rug.

Anyway, I'm curious to see how this shakes out. The MTA under Pataki was ugly, but I thought Elliot "Steamroller" Spitzer was going to bully them into compliance. Perhaps all of the MTA's sniveling will earn us even more money from the Feds to get the scheme up and running?

Monday, June 25, 2007

R2B2 Rediscovers Her Need for the Protective Bubble She Calls Brooklyn

Last week I was feeling a little Brooklyned out. I had to plod through a string of busy days and though temperatures were moderate, the air was feeling a little wet, which means that my apartment started stinking. It emits this stale, kitty litterish odor throughout most of the summer, unless I run the air conditioner, which I'm too environmentally conscious (read: cheap) to do.

Anyway, I had dinner with a friend in from out of town whom I hadn't seen in years, who was totally fascinated by life in Brooklyn. I had ridden my bike to the restaurant (so Brooklyn!) after picking up my organic veggie CSA share (so Brooklyn!) using my fucking string shopping bags (so Brooklyn!). By the end of the night, I was totally done with being the poster child for everything that's simultaneously so right (earnest) and so wrong (earnest) about Brooklyn. I was ready to scarf down a KFC two piece with biscuit while watching ultimate fighting. But I was full from all of the fancy Italian cheeses I had eaten at the restaurant (so Brooklyn!). And I don't have cable (so Brooklyn!). And physical violence scares me. What a dork.

So, I was excited to get the hell out of Dodge. Sparky and I were invited to a friend's wedding in Northern Virginia, yuppie armpit of the universe, wherein I rediscovered the fact that eleven years in NYC has ruined my ability to cope with the rest of America. Namely:

1. Nascar sponsored gas stations
2. rest stations that serve TCBY fro yo
3. Whole Foods so large that it feels compelled to come up with oversized and outrageous product displays. See photos below for Cake by the Slice and bag-it-yourself pre-cooked shrimp by the pound. ("This shrimp is already cooked and couldn't be easier to prepare, just thaw it and you are ready to go!" $10.99/lb.)
4. towns built circa 1999 with roads called American Dream Way, Sunset Hills, and Sunset Valley
5. Uno (formerly known as Pizzeria Uno, though I bet they still serve pizza)
6. people who try to make small talk with me by telling me about the time they were invited to their Chinese coworker's house for dinner. In case you were wondering, it was really good. They served shrimp in the shell (!) but the dessert was so gross that he had to spread it around the plate to make it look like he ate most of it
7. incompetent customer service. Ironically, it's easier to handle in NYC when dished out with hostility, rather than with a smile
8. Burger King's excessive use of trademarking: Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich, Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich, and Crisp-o-matic Frypod technology (hot, fresh, crispy fries designed especially for your cup holder)
9. riding around in automobiles

This weekend I'll be in Vermont. Hopefully the idyllic landscape and fresh air will serve me better.

Friday, June 22, 2007

This is Huge. HUGE.

Something huge happened today. Whoever you are out there reading this blog, you owe me, big-a-ma-time, for I have committed myself to something potentially horrendously unsavory in the name of research and in search of a good story.
Yes, I am going to a Kenny Chesney concert. With 4 shrieking women in a limousine.
This is going to be good. You are all welcome.

Bad Georgia

This is a quick one. I was out for drinks with friends from work last night. There is a new Japanese place across the street from the bar we were at, and one of the people made a joke about how convenient it would be if you could go there and get your nails and/or dry cleaning done.

Give me fucking strength! The inability to differentiate between Asians upon viewing is one thing. I am done being annoyed by that. The inability to distinguish between stereotypes once the nationality is identified is, to an un-pc person like me, unfathomable and inexcusable. Get it saaright, people! I mean, I can't even begin to imagine HOW someone thinks that Japanese people typically work in dry cleaners and nail salons. Is it that they think all Asians are Japanese? I don't believe that for a second - everyone know that anyone who thinks all Asians are the same thinks they are all CHINESE, for god's sake. I really dn't know what else to say here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Just Barfed in the Chicken Soup

This morning I got a press release (in my world, aka SPAM) that read:
Every wine lover has a story to tell about the best glass of wine, when he or she found that special vintage bottle or how much fun it was that afternoon they all went wine tasting through Napa Valley, California and any of the other burgeoning wine producing regions of the United States. Some people have great stories to share about what happened as a result of that shared glass of wine...

Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for the very best true, heat-warming, insightful and powerfully moving stories about how wine has affected your life. It could be about wine tasting, wine making, and its meaning and uses in all cultures.

The authors of the New York Times Bestselling book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul are currently seeking stories to include in Chicken Soup for the Wine Lovers Soul. If you have a story about relationships or events that include wine, Chicken Soup for the Wine Lovers Soul wants to hear from you.

HCI “The Life Issues Publisher” makes a pretty penny with its Chicken Soup franchise (and associated pet foods. No joke, click here). The books sell like freaking hotcakes. I always thought of their market as recovering drug addicts, Jesus freaks, and women deep in the throes of menopause (no joke, there’s a Chicken Soup for the Menopause Soul). You know, people who in the midst of crisis could benefit from twelve-step counseling and taking life one day at a time. Or people who live in Red States and like Nascar. (No joke, there’s a Chicken Soup for the Nascar Soul.) The kind of people who keep stuffed animals in their cars. And, there’s no pretty way to say this, people in middling to low income brackets.

But wine drinkers? Wine drinkers who search for that special vintage bottle? Wine drinkers that tool around Napa touring vineyards? So is Chicken Soup for the Soul going upscale or is wine connoisseurship going down? Maybe a little of both? Makes you wonder if Chicken Soup for the Sushi Eater’s Soul is just around the corner.

Anyway, scary stuff, the reach of the Chicken Soul Empire. But they do have a creepy knack for directing uplifting tales of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness to some of the strangest niche markets, like lady golfers, preteens, and more. Check out some of their offerings:

Chicken Soup for the Woman Golfer's Soul - Through these stories about the traditions and lessons women discover with each putt, drive, and hole in one, you or your favorite woman golfer will be inspired to join the ranks of the driving force that is contemporary women’s golf.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Back Pain - This new book in the successful Healthy Living series--inspirational stories followed by positive, practical medical advice for caregivers and patients—addresses an issue that affects 85% of Americans at some point in their lives.

Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul II - This follow-up to the surprise hit, Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul, brings to the page the adoration we have for our horses with inspiring, funny and tender stories.

Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul - A book of 101 original stories for the five million Latter-day Saints in the U.S. to use in church talks, lessons and meetings, as well as family prayer and scripture study.

Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawaii - An Invitation to Paradise: Feel the magic and warmth of Hawaii.

Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul - These inspiring true stories pay tribute to those who have turned their lives around.

Here are thoughts for new editions I’m going to pitch to them. They're still missing out on some key groups.

Chicken Soup for the Asian American Soul (Seriously, they have them for Jews, Latinos, African Americans, and African American women. As per usual, the Yellow Man, just watching.)

Chicken Soup for the Midget Soul

Chicken Soup for the Ferret Lover’s Soul

Chicken Soup for the LGBT Soul

Chicken Soup for the Chicken Soup Lover’s Soul

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Farm Aid Might Make My Ears Bleed

Did y'all hear Farm Aid's going to be in NYC this summer? I find it awesome in theory as I imagine it will attract some good press. Also, lots of peeps in NYC are pro-family farm and very interested in alternative agriculture.

However, I hope the bookers can choose some acts that NYCers will pay money to see.

So far, the headliners are Willie Nelson (natch), John Mellencamp (still no sign of the Cougar), Dave Matthews (barf), and Neil Young (he's a Cannuck, but we love him anyway).

If they keep Willie and Neil and add, say, Arcade Fire, a fey Swedish pop band, and LCD Soundsystem, they'll be in business.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Screw the Cheezburger, I'll have Terkee

You guessed it - another day, still no cheezburger, blah blah blah.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm Getting an Edwardsy Aftertaste

Shit, now I just finished Matt Bai's piece in last Sunday's Times magazine about John Edwards's poverty platform and I'm all Edwardsy again. He can't help seeming smarmy, and he cares about poor people! And he has an actual plan! And he's "auhentic" and "genuine"! Except for the $400 haircut and the claim that his dream job is mill supervisor!!

Why oh why am I so easily led? Where is my backbone? I think it's because I care so much about this election and am so fucking desperate for the Democrats to win and have so little faith in thier ability to do so. I am picking candidates like a desperate gambling addict on the verge of losing everything who can't settle on a horse.

The bitch of it all is that just about the only Democrat I see virtually no good in is probably the one who will get the nomination. And you know who she is.

A Theory About Zombie Movies

This must be Embarassing Confession Day for me. First the whloe Bill Richardson thing, now this: I saw Dawn of the Dead for the first time the other night. Yeah. I know. Embarassing. In my defense, I have seen Night of the Living Dead and love it. Now I love Dawn of the Dead, too, and love it equally.

Okay, so I'm sure most of you are pretty familar with the theory surrounding zombie flicks, especially Dawn of the Dead, what with its shoppoing mall setting - capitalism and consumerism make zombies out of all of us, the indiscriminate flesh eating of zombies is a metaphor for the equal-opportunity brutality of the state, humankind - in particular American humankind - has become so homogenized and dulled to sensation as to be like a horde of mindless zombies, etc. I would like to add a new aspect to this satisfying and hearty stew of cultural theory: Early zombie movies seemed much cheesier when they came out because something akin to a zombie outbreak seemed so implausible. Today, these old movies have a new resonance, and there is a popular crop of modern zombie movies, because the current state of our world lends to the zombie flick a new plausibility that renders it so much more harrowing. AIDS, bioterrorism, bird flu, SARS and drug-resistant disease make the possibility of a fast-spreading, indiscriminate plague a much realer possibility than in 1978. Government manipulation of information - a hallmark of the zombie flick (telling people it's all okay, downplaying the seriousness of the disaster, etc.) obviously has a serious relevance to any resident of Bush-era America, who has repeatedly been told that it's NOT all okay when it is (Iraq and WMDs) and that it is all okay when it's not (September 11).

And shit, is there any greater evidence that there is no more room in hell (the voodoo theory of zombies that Peter conveys in Dawn of the Dead) than the Bush administration?

OK, Bill and I are in a fight and possibly breaking up

I was drunk when I hooked up with Bill Richardson, and drunk hook-ups seldom become fruitful long-term relationships. Accordingly, the shine is coming off my Bill Richardson mania. And fast. I am the first to admit that I am an extremely opinionated liberal who ultimately doesn't know what I think and am easily influenced by good arguments from a decnt source whom I respect. E.g., if Paul Krugman told me to jump off a cliff, I would promptly do my best Wile E. Coyote impersonation. Same with The New Republic, who, unfortunately for Bill, have published in the current issue a gently scathing article entitle "The Paper Candidate." I can't link to it here because you have to be a subscriber to read it, but I can e-mail it (and any other TNR articles) to anyone who wants them. Same for Times Select stuff. This is technically an abuse of my subscription, but who gives a fuck. Power to the people, man. The more people who read Krugman and Friedman and TNR, the better, right?

I digress. The gist of the TNR piece on Bill is, basically, he's an idiot. Which is unfortunate, because I consider idiocy to be one of the most horrific crimes a politician can commit. Hence, Bill Clinton could ejaculate all over my furniture and I would not care because the man is a genius. But not all Bills are created equal. My favorite excerpt from the article, on the subject of the North Koreans: "Their U.N. guy calls. His name is Ambassador Kim. K-I-M. They're all named Kim." Um. no, last time I checked, there were a shitload of Parks, too.

There is much more to it than that, obviously, and like I said, anyone who wants to read the article, let me know. Long story short, I'm stepping up to the plate and confessing that my adoration was premature. I want so desperately to feel that good about one of the candidates. I'm starting to feel a little Obama-ish, to be honest. Friedman likes him. Krugman is cool with him. Will somebody please just make up my mind for me, since I am obviously of too weak a character to trust my own opinions?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another day, still no cheezburger

Those dicks at persist in their refusal to post my truly side-splitting locats. Hence, I am again temporarily hijacking Zeitgeist-y to post one of my lolcats.

God doesn't want you walking around with food on your face, right??

One of the stranger things about moving to Atlanta was seeing, for the first time in my life, people praying before they eat (I know, it's called "saying grace"...whatever, it's praying). This is IN PUBLIC, mind you. Sometimes it's people I'm out with (always people from work), which is weird and goes kind of like this:

Me: "Blah blah blah funny comment."
Semi-Closet Jeebus Freak: "Yeah blah blah ha ha."
Me: "I mean, blah blah bitchy comment."
-(Food is served)-
Them: Head-bowing silence with lips sort of moving.
Me: "Um, repeat bitchy comment."
Them: "Yeah, I know" as if nothing ever happened, ie they did not just completely bail on the conversation and start talking to someone else. Yes, Jeebus, but hello, you are having lunch with ME, not Jeebus!

And then sometimes I am having lunch by myself (why? see above) and see complete strangers going through this. Generally everyone at the table is saying it though, since they apparently don't lunch with godless heathens like me. So today I am eating my salad and reading my print out from The New York Times Magazine and this couple comes and sits at the table across from me and commences with the Jeebus routine. They then begin easting, and the girl almost immediately winds up with a HUGE piece of food on her face (feta cheese, I think). So does the guy say anything? The hell he does!! I totally could no concentrate on my article, so I obsessed I instantly became with when, if ever, he was going to step up to the plate and point at the spot on his face where the food would be were it on his face and not her's, then she would giggle and get rid of said besmirching food. When I left 15 minutes later, SHE STILL HAD FOOD ON HER FACE!!

I ask you: HOW can you be so religious as to pray IN PUBLIC before you eat and not havre the decency to tell the person you are with that they have a huge gross piece of food stuck to their face? HOW??? Does Jeebus like that? I don't think so! I mean, they are all checkign each others faces out in The Last Supper and I don't see any food on anyone's face, do you? (To be fair, Jeebus is covered from head to toe in food since he is the food).

So, if you are religious, in addition to not killing anyone, not cheating, not stealing, etc., I expect you to alert me to a) any food on my face, b) any food in my teeth, c) any food in my hair, d) any visible boogers, e) toilet paper stuck to my shoe, and f) my skirt being tucked into the back of my panty hose (I walked around the office like that for 45 minutes once, so it is an issue, and fuck you very much to all the people I walked by who failed to tell me about it).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY R2B2!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, that is not R2B2, but it is a nice Asian family celebrating a birthday with Chuck E. Cheese, and you KNOW R2 wishes she was that little boy right now.

They have beer at Chuck E. Cheese now, R2.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Embrace Kucinich, God Damn You People

OK, I'm catching some grief for my post about how the computerized VoteMatch test told me I should vote for Kucinich. Well, actually, it told me my opinions and his overlapped for 85% of the questions asked. Not necessarily that I should vote for him because it doesn't take into account the emotional feeling ones has toward their candidate of choice. Or hedging your votes by opting for the person more likely to win, as opposed to the one who's your political soulmate. Politics is a dirty game, my friends, and we all play it from time to time.

Anyway, my point in all of this is to say that you should all take the test yourself. If you're a friend of mine, it's likely that Kucinich will come up pretty high on your list too. In which case you can STOP MAKING FUN OF ME for supporting the elfin hippie peacenik who hasn't a chance in hell.

So, take the VoteMatch test here and let me know how it turns out for you. If Li'l DenDen comes up at the top of your list (and you were honest in your responses), I'll buy you a cold one!

Stranger than Fiction

More snippets detailing nefarious activity in our fair borough of Breukelen, this time from The Brooklyn Paper. You can't make this shit up!

Fruit cup bust lands two health nuts
Call it the fruit brute brouhaha.

Two fiber-conscious twentysomethings were arrested on May 31 and accused of brutally beating two men who intervened when they stole a pair of fruit cups from a Lawrence Street grocery, police said.

The pair wandered into the store, near the corner of Willoughby Street, just before 2 pm. When they tried to pocket the pre-cut fructose — priced at $3 each — a 43-year-old man saw and alerted the owner.

The merchant stepped up and asked the men to replace the fruit. But the health nuts declined and pounced, with one man putting the owner in a chokehold and the other punching him in the gut. When the witness ran to help, the brutes turned their anger on him and punched him in the face.

Luckily, Police Officer Marc Grabowski came upon the scene and arrested the two thugs, ages 24 and 25, on robbery charges.

Bad Neighbor
There’s being a friendly neighbor, then there is being a thief.

Rarely do both conditions exist in the same person. But on June 2, a 59-year-old man who lives in a Duffield Street building was robbed by one of his fellow residents, police said.

The man arrived at his home, near the corner of Willoughby Street, shortly after 9 pm. His neighbor entered at the same time and followed him into his apartment. The returning man thought nothing of the visitor, since they were friendly from meeting in the building.

So the soon-to-be victim didn’t react when the visitor started riffling through his pockets — even though he was still wearing the pants. Actually, the resident thought it was a joke. The interloper didn’t use any violence or threats, but he did help himself to $105 and two house keys.

Police have the name and other details about the 56-year-old suspect and are now investigating.

Subway heist
Could a “hello” have saved her?

A woman was robbed of nearly $3,000 in jewels and electronics by a knife-wielding thug who claimed he only wanted to talk to her, police said.

The 27-year-old victim was attacked as she waited for a Manhattan-bound 2 train at the Hoyt Street station, near Fulton Street, around 9:30 pm on June 1. A man in his 20s came over and asked, “Can I talk to you?”

When she refused, the stranger pulled a knife and changed his tune, just grabbing her bag and jewelry and bolted.

This Robin Hood loves the smell of lavender
The sweet smell of lavender has inspired poetry, love songs, and now armed robbery.

That was the case when a man entered a sweet smelling Third Avenue fragrance store at around 10 am on May 29 and started talking about the fantastic scent.

The 31-year-old woman behind the counter told cops that the man then pulled up his shirt, flashed the handle of a gun, and helped himself to $600 in the register.

Before leaving the store, which is near 87th Street, he had one more message for the clerk: “I am only doing this to feed my kids,” he said.

Slash & branch
A teenage girl slashed another teenager and her 20-year-old boyfriend with a bottle and a tree branch in an early morning attack on Third Street on June 2.

Police reports are sketchy, but it appears that the 19-year-old went after the 18-year-old with a bottle and the boyfriend with a tree branch just after midnight in front of a building between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

A police search yielded no sign of the assailant, who left the teenager with “minor scratches” on her back and the 20-year-old with swelling on his forehead.

Tuned-out Thief
A robber used a radio antenna to threaten a man on Myrtle Avenue early on May 30, police said.

The 42-year-old was making his way home, to a block near Washington Park, after a party in the neighborhood. But during his walk, around 1:45 am, he noticed he was being followed.

When he turned around, he realized the stranger pursuing him had an automobile antenna as a weapon. “Be nice to a brother. Share what you’ve got,” the guy insisted. He then demanded the victim’s wallet.

But when the victim reached for his cellphone instead to dial 911, the robber became angry. The antenna man snatched the phone and fled.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

My Lolcat Revolution

I'm sure most people have by now become familar with the lolcats phenomenon. If not, the gist: people take or find cute/funny/humiliating photos of cats and add text to them, with the effect that the cat is saying something hilarious that goes with the photo. The cats speak in a semi-retarded and entirely plausible language to which lolcat creators strictly adhere. There are a few websites devoted to this cause, as well as a hilarious one devoted to lolpresidents (in which the semi-retarded language is even more appopriate due to the popularity of W on this site). The most popular lolcat site is this one.

Having little time on my hands but preferring to spend it on things such as this to, say, chores or any other kind of actual work, I naturally created several of my own lolcats. I submitted them to the aforementioned site OVER TWO WEEKS AGO, and while I am sure they get a lot of submissions, I am completely fed up with waiting. So I'm goiong to post them here occasionally. Starting now. This is Orangello, by the way.

Save Soccer Tacos!

Greedy greedy Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe strikes again, this time putting vendor permits at the Red Hook Ballfields in peril. If y'all want to keep chowing on cheap pupusas and horchata, as opposed to flaccid Nathan's wieners and Bud Lite, petition your local official here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me

One week til my birthday!

Here's one last plug for my wishlist. You can rush shipment if need be.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I've been undecided about which of the Dems I'd like support for president. Naturally, on Super Super Duper Duper Tuesday, I'll vote again for the elfin vegan wonder Dennis Kucinich. Go ahead, laugh. But voting is quite possibly the only thing in this world I'm not cynical about, so I'll tick off the box for the lefty shit starter who speaks his mind, even if he wouldn't be elected president if he were the last presidential candidate on earth (or could he beat Lyndon LaRouche?). What can I say? I like his moxy.

But which of the mainstream candidates do I hope will get the nomination? I probably agree with some of "Supercuts" Edwards' ideas, but he leaves me feeling... greasy. Obama's a charmer, to be sure, but he hasn't held my interest. I still don't know how I feel about Russ' puppy love for Richardson. So that basically leaves Hil. I don't love her, and, in fact, she often rubs me the wrong way. But I think she does okay given the chauvinistic ways of the press. And if she wins, my friend HJE will owe me $50 smackaroos!

Anyway, I just stumbled upon this site called VoteMatch. You answer a series of policy questions and they'll tell you which of the candidates is your best match. Computers already manage 99.99999% of my life, so why not bump that up to 100%?

Hold on while I give it a whirl............................

Aha! Check out my results. Sorry Brownback!

Check it out at

Jail! Jail! Jail!