Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 $tevie Awards

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Christmas was amazing… but it’ll take me a while to post pictures because… as you may have heard, I’m moving again in a week or so… and have plenty of packing to do. Let’s just say that for the time being that I got to spend time with my mom, dad, brother, nieces, nephews, friends like Lilie, Bubbles, JL Clyde, A-Lo and I even got to see a few movies… oh and got a few presents too. Mostly clothes, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Anyway, I give to you…

The 2010 $tevies

Back by popular demand, it's the 4th Annual $tevie Awards…with your host, $teve. Based on something sent to my MySpace account a few years back (yes, MySpace). Once again, just because you're not mentioned in the $tevies doesn't mean that I don't care about you. It's simply some stupid stuff that I threw together to kind of sum up the year…and feel free to check out the numerous links to past entries to keep yourself entertained & reminisce about the year that was. So without further ado, this year's winners are...

DRINKING BUDDY OF THE YEAR: Bubbles - Four-time winner of this award & inaugural member of the $tevie Hall of Fame. Let’s see, this year included a night on the town in Vegas, a few weekends in San Francisco, a few weekends in Tahoe, some Christmas drinks in Utah… and we may be living in the same town for the first time in almost three years. I’d better watch myself as I have a history of alcoholism in my family… and Ottawa blood. Not the best combination. An honorable mention goes to my roommate W, who was always down for a few drinks… maybe even a little too much because he stole a few bottles the first month he was living with me. So we had the talk and we haven’t had a problem since. That guy can drink though. I don’t even try to keep up with him. By the way, he just had his 35th birthday last week. He got pissy and was in bed by 7 PM… no joke. Ah well, he’s a good dude.

LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD (longest friend): Isaiah - Another four-time winner & inductee to the Hall of Fame. He let my brother stay with him for a few weeks & I’m forever indebted to him for that… but because we’re old friends, his response was basically “Dude, you’ve been there for me over the years. It was about time that I paid you back.” Thanks bro. I guess he does remember the money that I’ve loaned him over the years… which is good, because I could REALLY use that many right about now. I’m still gonna give you sh*t for being 30 for the next few months too. I’ve gotta live it up while I can. Honorable mention here goes to his little brother Spitsofrantic who's been a friend just about as long. Twenty plus years.

NEWCOMER AWARD: Roommates – It was Z through the summer and then W for the past few months… but yeah, lots of good times watching football, movies, going out for a few drinks at the bar, playing softball, home cooked dinners, all that good stuff. The only downside was that they were basically the only two guys over the course of this year that I hung out with on a fairly regular basis… and even then it wasn’t like we were painting the town red… but hey, as far as newcomers when I’m going to be thirty in a matter of months, you really can’t ask for better roommates. Congratulations gentlemen!!!

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: 4th of July Weekend – This whole year was pretty amazing out here in Tahoe. Sure, the winter wasn’t the greatest but it was still beautiful and I always seemed to find something to do. The Road Trip during my unemployment stint was absolutely amazing… and I got to see just about everybody during that three-week adventure. Many a road trip followed to Yosemite, Lassen National Park, my new home of 2011 San Francisco, even Halloween in New Orleans and a few quick trips back home to Utah… and Christmas is always a lot of fun for me… but probably my high point was when my dad, stepmom, and my stepsister’s family all came together for 4th of July weekend. I got to spend time with those that I love, we had lots of fun with fireworks & festivities in Virginia City, made a nice road trip out to San Francisco to spend a day or so there taking in the sights, even got to meet up with Bubbles for a few drinks, and I think that trip is pretty much when I became my niece Hallee’s favorite uncle. I’m really going to miss being away from her and my nephews… but I didn’t get to see them more than a few times when I was living an hour or so away. I’m sure they’ll come visit… and I’ll be sure to visit them when I’m in town too. We can always meet up with our boats and head out onto the lake for next 4th of July weekend.

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: My Brother’s Issues – My brother has some anger issues… and maturity issues… and has just been given everything that he’s ever wanted without having to earn it… and then he likes to talk to me about how horrible his life is… because he apparently can’t play video games all day or something. I love my brother. I really do. He knows that I’m there to help him. However, it’s VERY difficult to take anything he says seriously… even if he means it with all of his heart… because he’s a stubborn jackass most of the time and his logic is flawed. The real low point was when he was calling me from the county jail (collect though the phone company wouldn’t let me answer for some reason) and when I found out why he was there… I honestly wanted him to stay there for a while. I know, it’s an evil thought… but he really did deserve it. Nobody touches my mother. Regardless, I just hope that he wises the f**k up and quit biting the hands that are feeding him and have supported him his entire life… and quit being such a douche to every single person that he comes into contact with. Not sure exactly how he got to be that way… and I’m such a nice charming fellow… but I’m sure it has something to do with recessive genes or something. I love you, bro…

BEST HOLIDAY: Christmas – Another regular award-winner. You may be asking yourself, “Why is this best holiday when you said high point was 4th of July Weekend?” You want me to repeat myself? I ramble enough as it is. Christmas is usually one of my favorite times of year anyway, but this year was good because of the usual reasons – Family, Friends, Traditions, all that lovey dovey stuff. Of course we also had a few libations along the way. I’ll elaborate a little more on this one in a future post with pictures… but yeah, great times.

SONG FOR 2010: “F**k You” by Cee-Lo – Look… the only CD’s I’ve bought this year is from the band Albino & Johnny Aloha (a.k.a. Richard Cheese) so either it was going to be a funky afro-beat song you’ve never heard of… a version of a Weezer song done with a ukulele… or this smooth soul hit that got some serious internet buzz, but I really liked it. What were my other choices this year? All I hear about it Justin Bieber & Lady Gaga (pass…) and I haven’t heard any new Kanye. Throw in a few Johnny Cash & Led Zeppelin cover bands and that’s pretty much my year. Music’s obviously a big part of my life… but most new music sucks. There, I said it… but luckily I’m moving to a city where there’s music EVERYWHERE!!! Albino plays every few weeks, plenty of bars in the area have entertainment, people sing down by the Wharf, Otis Redding’s ghost haunts the bay, I’ll be okay.

MOVIE FOR 2010: Inception – Finally watched this one over the Christmas holiday… and it’s pretty damn good. The only problem was that I watched the first half-hour or so with my niece & nephew wanting to play… and I can never turn them down, so I had my brother catch me up once or twice after they were put to bed. Anyway, great cast, unusual premise, great flick, it seems that Christopher Nolan & Quentin Tarantino always seems to win these things… but I’d like to give a special shout-out to “Tron: Legacy” starring Jeff Bridges as the Digital Dude & Garrett Hedlund (“Four Brothers”) which I was in IMAX 3D and it was pretty good as well. “Machete” was EXTREMELY close to winning it this year… but it’s okay… because he’s apparently coming back for a sequel.

VIDEO GAME FOR 2010: Madden NFL 11 – It’s the only one that I bought this year. It had no competition. Video games aren’t as big a thing as they used to be. I hardly ever play them anymore. My Rock Band guitar broke (and there’s nobody to play with in Tahoe anyway). I’m sure if I find the right living situation with roommates though… Rock Band may get back into the winner column… but this year, there is a new champion… and it’s the Philadelphia Eagles with MVP (Michael Vick Playaaaa…). I also bought a 3D Batman game the other day... but have yet to play it. Just imagine it on the big projector screen. It should be epic.

TV SHOW FOR 2010: Blue Mountain State – Though Dollhouse is no longer with us, I actually really like this blatantly offensive show about a college football team on Spike TV. It’s genuinely funny… and the use of hot college girls is truly commendable. The League should also get recognition because it also has to do with football (sorta) and is a hilarious show. I’m also glad that Conan O’Brien’s back on the air after that circle jerk… and my favorite news programs, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart & The Colbert Report. If it weren’t for the host getting on my nerves from time to time, Ghost Adventures would probably be higher on the list too… but alas. Also, as you know, I’m a fan of other TV shows that I’ve only recently caught up on like Supernatural, Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Chuck and of course the usual gaggle of adult cartoons & It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

WHO DID YOU SPEND VALENTINES WITH: Old Sac – Yeah, I definitely gotta do better with regards to Valentine’s Day celebrations. This last year, I went to Sacramento for the first time, had some decent soul food, wandered around Old Sacramento & defended the honor of two ladies from a gaggle of douches… but spent my night alone once again. Who knows? Maybe 2011 will be the year that I have someone special to Love on February 14th. I’ve got a little over six weeks to make it happen. Chop chop…

BEST RELATIONSHIP: Gretchen – It’s also kinda sad that probably the best relationship I’ve had this year was with my Jeep… but hey, she’s the only one that would go on these romantic road trips with me. Not only were we there for each other during the frozen winter of the Sierras… but we took time to see all of the Tahoe area, Sacramento, a few trips to San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Monterey, Hearst Castle, Los Angeles, Newport Coast, Las Vegas, Cedar City, Slick City, Yosemite, Lassen National Park, many trips to Reno (for affordable groceries & fun), and with moving to the Golden Coast… you can bet your sweet bippy there are plenty more in store. I’m thinking a few trips north along the coast to the Redwoods and Seattle might be cool. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

HALLOWEEN COSTUME: Waldeaux – Yes, it took me a while to post the pictures of my Halloween adventure to New Orleans… but admit it, they were worth the wait. The old school “Where’s Waldo?” with a Big Easy twist, Waldeaux is by far the sexiest version yet… and at least two ladies from Texas agree. It may be my costume next year too. You never know. I get really lazy sometimes… then again, hearing drunk people yell out “HEY WALDO!!! I FOUND YOU, MAN!!!” gets old after a few hours.

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: Hiro’s Sushi – All you can eat sushi across the street from Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe… and less than $25. You can’t go wrong. Pretty good service too… and half price on food if you eat at the bar. Twist my arm… big thanks to JL Clyde for suggesting it.

BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyers – Okay, you know that I will hopefully never be forced to watch the movies or read the angsty teenage crap that these books represent… but then you may be asking, “Why would you even mention it?” Okay, so last week, my brother calls me for the first time in like a week… and he starts out by saying, “Dude! I watched the worst movie EVER… and I just had to call you and tell you about it.” So then he goes on for (I sh*t you not) 45 minutes about how stupid the 2nd Twilight movie is (New Moon?) and how the vampires aren’t vampires… and the werewolves aren’t werewolves, they’re guys who turn into dogs… and I forget how he told it to me, but because I deduced that the girl Bella is immune to their powers because she has no soul (I stand by my statement). Anyway, the best part is… the next day, he calls me up again… and tells me that he not only rewatched the first movie… but watched number two… and number three… and then talked again for about 45 minutes about how stupid they all were. “Then why the hell did you watch them?” He never really gave me an excuse, just went on talking about how bad they were & how he would’ve changed it. Oh the story still isn’t over. The next day, my dad called… and he had just spent the day with my brother because he had the day off. I chatted with my dad about football and whatever else like we usually do… and then he talked about hanging out with Kiel & the kids… and I just had to ask, “Hey… ugh… did he happen to mention any movies that he say recently?” “YEAH!!! He talked with me for about an hour about that Twilight stuff that (my stepmom) hates… and I was just like… if it’s so bad, why did you watch ALL OF THEM??? I think he’s turning into a desperate housewife, son.” I would have to agree. So anyway, I didn’t really read anything this year, so instead I give you a story.

BEST DECISION MADE THIS YEAR: Coming to Tahoe, then Moving On – I know my big decision last year was pestering Tahoe to get out here… and now it’s a year later & I’m looking to get out… but yeah, this year has been absolutely amazing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself & had some amazing adventures… but as mentioned a few times before, I just don’t think I can take the winters here right now when I’m already feeling kind of lonely & isolated. So with that in mind, I’m moving on… and that takes me ever westward along I-80 to San Francisco. Basically, if I feel lonely & isolated there… then it’s just something genuinely wrong with me… because it’ll be something like 50,000 people per square mile instead of the… I don’t know, 5 people per square mile that it is here. I really do think that it’ll be a great move for me… both personally & professionally. I really do want to crack down and get back to working out a bit… and learning Spanish & Mandarin like I said that I would two years ago (once I get Rosetta Stone working on my POS computer… and it’s not like I don’t have plenty of opportunity to practice in the Mission or Chinatown) and just getting out there and have fun too. I’m sure that Bubbles will help me break out of my little shell. It’s going to be another amazing year in the City.

PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR: Live, Love & Grow Each Day – Simple, right? I just have to make sure that I’m not wasting away my talents and this wonderful life and opportunities that I have been given. It’s so simple… and yet sometimes I still feel like I’m not doing enough… but hey, it’ll really help when I’m able to go outside year-round and there are plenty of people to spend my precious time with & help others. True, it’s pretty much my own fault that I feel unfulfilled and that I’m not doing enough… but I just have to focus & work hard so as not to feel that way. When I’m feeling bored & complacent, maybe that’s just a sign that I need to get off my ass and do something… even if it’s just go for a jog around on the beach or get on the computer and learn how to order dumplings authentically in Chinatown. Who knows? Maybe my journey will continue westward into the Far East when it’s all said & done… but that’s a LONG drive in a moving van. The possibilities are endless though. That’s all I’m saying. I just can’t be afraid of success.

STUPIDEST IDEA WHEN DRUNK: N/A – Didn’t really do anything too stupid this past year while drunk. It never affected my softball playing because I wasn’t that good anyway. Hell, it probably helped. Never drove under the influence, and I have the warning after getting a lot of sobriety tests after the Zepparella concert with Pork Chop to prove it. Halloween was surprisingly tame with regards to “the morning after” and I just had a pretty good buzz the entire week… but the worst that can come from that was… maybe karaoke? Singing “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by the Darkness? No, that was still amazing. Maybe I said some things that probably weren’t the best idea… but it was just me being honest & open with friends, family & loved ones… and that’s how I am normally. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for mechanical bulls, tranny prostitutes, getting lost in the wee hours of the morning, maybe even a walk of shame or two in the upcoming year with a trip to Vegas with the Wingman, 30th birthday cruise in April and just general fun & craziness when I’m living in the City with Bubbles nearby. I’ll be sure to keep you posted… and what I can’t remember… there’s always the police report & eyewitness accounts to fill in the blanks. “Dude, where’s my car?” “Where’s your car, dude?”

BIGGEST CHANGE OF THE YEAR: All of the Above – Just another big year of changes and it seems like that’s all I’ve been doing for a while is adapting. I know my address hasn’t technically changed yet this fiscal year… but yeah, it’s changing yet again. Whether it’s learning new surroundings, setting up residency & utilities there, my family changing every day, my niece & nephew getting bigger by the hour, friends moving all over the place, getting married, having kids of their own, losing jobs, moving to get jobs, getting sick or hurt, major changes all over the place…but hey, that’s the one constant, right? It’s all quite exciting. Frustrating at times…but exciting none the less. The key is just to learn & grow with the changes… and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the possibilities of the Bay Area.

BIGGEST DOUCHEBAG AWARD: BP & GOP – It’s tough for me to decide… but if I had to go with one personification this year (besides my brother) then I would have to go with Tony Hayward, CEO of BP. Sure, it’s not his fault specifically that the pipe burst and flooded the Gulf of Mexico with oil… and you almost had to feel bad for him when he’s on national TV apologizing… but then you remember that he’s a douche and he deserves all the criticism he gets. As for the GOP, I commend them in finding all the loopholes to get whatever the f**k they want done in congress (as opposed to the Bush years when they just did whatever they wanted), but seriously? Do something besides b**ch about nothing & let’s get this nation back on track. Then again, if you all want to suffocate the country into the next Great Depression, may you all die of syphilis. God bless.

THREE YEARS AGO’S NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS UPDATE:


  • Travel more... or at least as much – You know that’s true
  • Find a good girl who likes me too – I’m at least going somewhere they’re single
  • Have more sex... preferably with a woman nearby - Sigh...
  • Pursue another part-time job... maybe as a late night radio DJ - I’m still thinking Handsome Companion has some potential
  • Play more basketball. I miss our times together – Did shoot a lot of hoops in the summer, but the team thing fell apart. Maybe I can get in on a San Fran recreation league
  • Give more to charity & donate time, blood, plasma, sperm, hair, feces, whatever they'll take – A few jackets at a clothing drive and change at convenience stores… but there are Red Crosses in San Fran, I’m sure… so back to giving for others
  • Dance more... preferably with a woman nearby – The Gala was amazing… and I finally taught Bubbles how to Cha Cha
  • Swear less (now that my nieces & nephews are getting spongier) – They ain’t learning it from me but they’re great kids, miss them tons
  • Should I swear off Mountain Dew? – Drinking much more juice and water than Mountain Dew now
  • Nah, maybe just eat healthier...or cook more – Definitely cooking more
  • Remember JJ – She’s officially married… and she has a blog now too… I inspired her
  • Smack more asses (a.k.a. More forward with the opposite sex) - I've smacked a few asses this year…and had them returned
  • Drive my Baby more – My buddy Chris will send me pictures of her from Utah once in a while… and it tears my heart
  • Most importantly, make sure everybody out there knows how much I love & care for them - You all know, right?

    TWO YEARS AGO’S RESOLUTIONS
  • Make Denver my new home – F**k Denver!!! The office went straight downhill since I left…
  • Find that Love I've been looking for – Still looking…
  • Progress in my job & learn everything about the industry – I was a Jack-of-all-trades this last year
  • Don't Settle for Mediocrity – Well, Tahoe is beyond mediocre, that’s for sure
  • Learn another language (Spanish or Mandarin…to go along with English & German) – Couldn’t get Rosetta Stone to work on my computer… but soon I may be able to afford a new one
  • Renew my Passport…and use it – Renewed but not used… but I’ve got the cruise in early May
  • Get my body ripped… like Jesus – Not quite there… but not too bad, if I say so myself
  • Movie Nights with neighbors and new friends in Denver – (clear throat) F**K… DENVER!!!
  • Play in a Recreational Basketball League – Didn’t happen… but I did play in a softball league
  • Make sure everybody out there knows how much I love & care for them STILL!!!

    LAST YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
  • Make the Truckee / Tahoe / Reno area my new home (jinx) – Yeah… I guess I did jinx it…
  • Live Frugally, Yet Well – Had to just to survive… but dang did I do it well
  • Stay in Touch – Ugh… yeah, I’ve been doing that via technology & road trips
  • Birthday Roadtrip – HELL YEAH!!! Got the big birthday bash on a boat in a few months to follow it
  • Progress in my Career, Not Just Settle for What’s Given – Learned a lot… but wasn’t going anywhere
  • Basically all the stuff I said in previous years that I haven’t yet done – Hence why I update this list just about every year

    THIS YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
  • Basically it’s all the above stuff

So yeah, it’s been a fantastic year… and I’m hella excited about what 2011 has in store. Gonna go check out a Journey cover band tonight… and brave sub-zero temperatures (no joke) and then spend a three-day weekend packing up for the big move, then four days of work… and then I’m officially starting the transition to a resident of San Francisco. Yeah… just a week away. Are you nervous? I am a little bit… but it’ll be a fantastic change for me. I can feel it. Good vibrations and all that. I hope that you all have had a wonderful year as well… and I wish you all nothing but the best for 2011. Have a great year everybody!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sexy Evil Genius

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Still just doing a lot of research and packing… and yesterday was my roommate’s birthday, and Utah was destroyed by Boise State, so we had a few drinks… but because it was a school night, we were responsible. At work, we had a fantastic potluck for Christmas. My office can cook. I brought beverages. Didn’t want to show them up or anything, you know? It’s the gentleman in me. Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Leaving for Utah in the morning & I can’t wait to see the family and friends. Apparently my niece Kairi has been REALLY excited since she heard that I was visiting. She’s so damn cute. I can’t wait to show her (and Vinny) the beach, the bridges, the fish at the Aquarium, the city from Coit Tower, and all of the other sights of San Francisco when they come to visit. You know, since I didn’t get to show them Lake Tahoe in the year-plus that I was here. Oh well… I think she’ll like the City better anyway… she sees trees and mountains ALL the time.

The other night, I watched “Vanilla Sky” starring Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee & Cameron Diaz… and directed by Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous”). When this movie came out, a LOT of people told me it sucked… and because I’ve never really been a huge Tom Cruise fan, I passed. Double passed in fact. It actually wasn’t half bad though. Okay, let me spill the story premise here. There’s this rich womanizer (Cruise) who has a kinda crazy stalker f**k buddy (Diaz) and a best buddy (Lee). Well, one day he’s throwing a party… and he meets this hot artist chick (Cruz) who he almost instantly falls for… and they share an incredible evening together (just talking and whatever, you know, like romances are supposed to start, right?). Anyway, the next morning, his stalker f**k buddy is waiting for him by his car, says she wants to talk, and long story short, she drives them off a bridge, killing herself & messing his face up pretty bad. He also starts to develop a serious problem where he can’t distinguish between real life & dreams (we’ve all been there, right?). He’s trying to has his life back together… but he can’t figure out exactly what’s going on… and apparently everybody is telling him that he killed somebody… and a psychiatrist (Russell) is helping him to unravel the mystery. Like I said, it’s actually wasn’t half bad. I’d recommend it if you get bored one evening… but it’s not a must see or anything, just a lot better than I expected… and I wanted to see how it ended. You know you watch some of these psychological thrillers and you couldn’t give two sh*ts how it ends… well, I wanted to see this one through. Here’s some news…

Online Flirting – Billy Shakespeare once asked, "Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?". Now, women of the world have replied: "No, just tell me I have beautiful lips." A new survey of online flirting by dating website Badoo.com has found that the best Internet chat-up line for men to use is: "You have beautiful lips." "We have found the Holy Grail of flirting," said Badoo Director of Marketing Lloyd Price. The site, which boasts 87 million registered users worldwide, analyzed the success rates of opening lines from nearly 200,000 online flirtations in 11 languages over the course of one month to come up with a "Compliment Success Index." Site users were invited to use one of 12 different chat-up lines. Each complimented an aspect of a woman's body or appearance. Researchers measured the success rate of each line in two ways: first, their success at prompting any response at all; second, their success at launching a longer conversation -- one going back and forth at least four times. Complimenting a woman's lips was the most successful overall, but other lines worked best in particular countries. American, French, Italian or Brazilian women were more responsive to "You dress beautifully." Brits preferred praise for their legs, Spaniards responded to compliments about their hair, while Germans and Canadians preferred skin praise. Dutch and Portuguese women liked: "You have beautiful ears." Jo Hemmings, a British behavioral psychologist said women responded best to compliments about their lips because it's a bold approach that seems more personal. "What many women want is for men to take the initiative and not be wishy-washy," Hemmings said in a statement accompanying the survey. "A lot of men on dating sites send a sort of generic message and women recognize something that hasn't been customized for them." David Givens, American author of the book, "Love Signals: A Practical Field Guide to the Body Language of Courtship" said the results made sense because women focus a lot of attention on their lips. "From adolescence onwards, they cosmetically adorn their lips, applying lipstick and colors. They have been doing so since ancient Egypt." So there you go gentlemen… don’t be afraid to really compliment a woman. Let them know that you’ve fantasized about what their lips must taste like since the first moment you saw them… or that their legs remind you of the work of Michelangelo… or that you’d like to run your fingers through the waves of alabaster flowing from their scalp… but then again, maybe all it takes is a simple “You… have an amazing heinie. I want to be friends with it.” You know… for being a complete moron, Ron Burgundy certainly had a way with the ladies… and now you know why… and it’s not just his huge erection. “Don’t act like you’re not impressed.”

Slow Down! – Do women even know the powers that they have over us? Apparently so. We've all heard stories about people trying to sneak into the carpool lane with a "passenger" that can be made from cardboard or inflatable plastic… but the cops in the Czech Republic have been taking notes, it seems. Much like how you would distract your shoe-eating pooch with a "look over here!", police are posting cardboard cutouts of female officers to get drivers to slow down (or crash). Now, are drivers slowing down because they think there are cops in the road? Or is it because these "cops" happen to be wearing miniskirts? No, really: The Cutout Cops are wearing miniskirts. Who knew cops had such fun uniforms? Hey, if it works… you know I’m down with a lady cop… but I wonder if you’d get in trouble for taking one home. Do they have cameras or locators on the cutouts? Interesting approach…

Sexy Evil Genius - Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica") is set to star in the dark indie comedy "Sexy Evil Genius" reports Heat Vision Blog. Sackhoff plays a woman who brings all of her ex-boyfriends together in a downtown Los Angeles bar. Over the course of the night she gets her revenge on some, rekindles romance with others, and solidifies her reputation as a Sexy Evil Genius. Sound like a stupid plot to you too? Good. That’s not why I’m mentioning it. I’m mentioning it… so that I can post a picture of two of Katee Sackhoff… and it has a pretty intriguing title… so purely for cover factor. Shawn Piller is directing from a script by Scott Lew. Lew is a quadriplegic, wheelchair-bound writer afflicted Lou Gehrig's disease and writes with an infrared dot that points to letters on a computer screen (now how do you feel?). Sackhoff will serve as a co-producer. Best of luck with this premise…

Neve Campbell Update – Recently single Neve Campbell is in negotiations to star in the Roland Joffe-directed drama "Singularity" says The Hollywood Reporter. The story takes place in 1778 and 2015 and involves intertwining souls, past lives and a ring. No, YOU sound like “The Fountain”! Josh Hartnett (“Pearl Harbor”) is playing two characters: an archeologist in 2015 who falls into a coma and a British captain in colonial India. Campbell will play Hartnett’s wife and fellow archeologist in 2015 who gets stuck in a sunken ship while trying to retrieve a ring (because she’s a moron). Shooting kicks off in Australia and India in January. Sound like a cheesy romantic flick? Yeah… probably… so here’s why I mentioned it…

Pretty Women – Here’s an interesting movie update. Christian Bale (“American Psycho” & “The Dark Knight”) will star in Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou's new project about 13 young prostitutes who help save compatriots from Japanese troops rampaging Nanjing, the latest film exploring a World War II-era atrocity that stirs nationalism in China. Bale, currently co-starring in the boxing drama "The Fighter" will portray an American priest in the movie, which is expected to start filming in Nanjing on January 10th, the Chinese director told reporters Wednesday. The film is an adaptation of a Chinese-language novel by contemporary writer Yan Geling about 13 sex workers in Nanjing who volunteered to replace university students as escorts for invading Japanese soldiers. In the novel, the American priest presides over a Catholic church that shelters a group of prostitutes and young female students during the invasion (holy pimp?). Historians say the massacre, known in the West as the "Rape of Nanking," resulted in the slaughter of at least 150,000 civilians. China puts the number killed at 300,000, making it one of the worst atrocities of the WWII era. Bale was picked because of his versatility and dedication to his roles, Zhang said, noting he was impressed by the research Bale did into the history of the massacre. "I gave him the names of some books that he should read about the Nanjing massacre," the director said. "When I went to see him, I saw those books were lying open on his table, and I was very touched." The $90 million production is slated for global release next December. It's being filmed with a mix of English and Chinese spoken. The book's title translates roughly as "The 13 Women of Nanjing" but the film is going by the working English title of "Nanjing Heroes." In making a movie about Japan's wartime atrocities in Nanjing, Zhang joins several others in exploring a sensitive topic that triggers nationalist sentiments in China. Other recently released films about the Japanese invasion include Lu Chuan's "City of Life and Death" and Florian Gallenberger's "John Rabe." Zhang said he hopes to bring a fresh approach to the topic in telling the story through a woman's perspective. He also hoped to enhance the foreign appeal by casting Bale, a Hollywood star who played Batman in "The Dark Knight." "We've made many, many Nanjing movies ... but they are mostly like we're talking to ourselves. A lot of young people in Western countries might not know about it," Zhang said. "So I think that perhaps by doing it this way... could let maybe 100 or 200 million young audiences watch this film and maybe then they'll know what happened in Nanjing in 1937." Zhang, whose credits include "Raise the Red Lantern" and "To Live," is of the first modern Chinese directors to make his name in the West. His recent releases include "A Simple Noodle Story," an adaptation of the Coen brothers' 1984 movie "Blood Simple," and "Under the Hawthorn Tree," a love story set in China's decade-long ultra-leftist Cultural Revolution. So yeah… I’m sure you’re all lining up to see the movie now. Nothing like a wartime atrocity film… but honestly, here’s one that even getting me more excited… because I’m simple.

Madden Curse Movie - Electronic Arts is developing "Madden Curse," a sports comedy feature that explores an infamous jinx that seems to strike NFL players who appear on the cover of EA's popular "Madden" video game series with career shortening injuries shortly after reports The Wrap. The story will follow a former Madden video game champion who is forced out of retirement just as he finds himself on the corner of the game's cover -- and subject to the curse (Favre?). NFL legend John Madden appeared on the cover of all Madden games until 1999. Since then annual cover boys have included 1999's Garrison Hearst (who then broke his fibula), 2000's Dorsey Levens (knee injury), 2001's Eddie George (general decline), 2002's Dante Culpepper (knee injury), 2003's Marshall Faulk (ankle injury), 2004's Michael Vick (broken leg & the whole dog fighting thing after), 2005's Ray Lewis (torn hamstring), 2006's Donovan McNabb (sports hernia), 2007's Shaun Alexander (broken foot), and 2008's Vince Young (quads & knee injury). 2009's Brett Favre so far seems to have survive unscathed injury-wise until last week, while 2010's dual cover stars Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald suffered a torn PCL and a rib injury respectively. All I’m saying is that 2011 cover boy Drew Brees had better watch himself against the Falcons this weekend. Pat O'Brien will produce the feature. I’m sure that it’s going to be a sports comedy about the player trying to avoid the curse… and I obviously see The Rock or somebody like that (“Gameplan 2”?) in the starring role… but yeah, it has potential… and I’m sure there’s a surefire Fantasy Football angle that can be played. I wonder if the guys from “The League” would be a part of this movie. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted. It’s a VERY basic idea for a movie right now… but hey, so was “Avatar” before it made billions. “Why don’t we do Dances with Wolves… but starring these giant blue cat things?” “Why giant blue cat things?” “Why not?” “BRILLIANT!!! Let’s take it to James Cameron…”

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Still have to get all my Christmas shopping done in Reno before I head out in the morning. Again, I can’t wait to see all of you over the Holidays. It’s going to be EPIC!!! And then I get to spend the following few weeks moving… yippee!!! Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Never Trust a Nun

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, it has been a pretty busy week trying to get things squared away on top of all the shoveling and ice road trucking, but I’m getting EXTREMELY excited. Not only for my forthcoming adventure to The City… but also for this Christmas weekend back home with the family in Utah. Heck, there’s even a Journey cover band playing New Year’s Eve up at Northstar, with fireworks at 9 PM (because it’s too damn cold to stay up until midnight) so even if I’m “stuck” here in Tahoe, I’ve got something fun to do for the evening… but we’ll see what’s crackin’ in Reno or maybe even the new home in San Francisco. I do have a lot of packing & planning to do though. I told most of my coworkers about the move… and they were a mix of stunned & controlled panic. They were obviously very supportive and understood the move… but I think they’re going to miss me a lot… if just for the amount of work that I did. Oh well… they’ll be fine… and I’m sure that a few will keep in touch. I hate to leave them right in the middle of busy season… but that’s just what the cards dealt & I had to go with it. Trust me, they would’ve done the same thing if they had an opportunity like this, no attachments, and they didn’t want to spend another winter here. So yeah… really excited… but enough about that. Here’s some world news…

Every Teacher’s Dream – Did anybody else have a teacher who would check the paper for lottery numbers right in the middle of class? Yeah, I had a math / biology teacher in high school who did that… and I’m pretty sure that if he had hit the lucky numbers, he probably would’ve told every single one of us to go fornicate with ourselves… and cash it in immediately. “Class dismissed, b**ches!!!” After nearly two weeks of suspense, a 64-year-old substitute teacher and single parent from Arizona claimed a $95.3 million Powerball jackpot. Sheila Verke, a Fort Mohave resident, presented the single-winning ticket to lottery officials in Phoenix on Monday. She opted to take a lump sum payment of $49.9 million, saying she plans to buy a recreational vehicle and travel the country… as opposed to buying a country and traveling in an RV. "It's going to change my life and the life of my children and my grandchildren and my friends," said Verke, who was joined by friends and financial advisers at a press conference. A single parent with two children and five grandchildren, Verke said she used a well-worn strategy to win the December 1 top prize -- picking a set of numbers and staying with them each week for years. Her winning combination of 5-10-11-12-20, with a Powerball number of 2, is a combination of her birthday and that of her two children, she said. "I picked these numbers at least 6-and-a-half years ago and stuck with them. Even if I had to gather quarters, nickels and dimes, I bought them," she told reporters. Verke bought the winning ticket at a Safeway supermarket in Fort Mohave, which is about 200 miles northwest of Phoenix. She is Arizona's third-largest winner of Powerball, a game played by residents in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her odds of winning were more than 1 in 195 million… but now she’s RICH!!! Seriously… what would you do with $50 million? Besides give half of it to Uncle Sam because of taxes (and roads & education still suck)? The way I see it… it ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none… so I’d share the wealth with the friends & family… but I’d at least make them type me up a report on what they plan to do with the money. “So… Kiel, is it? What would you do with your request for… one million dollars? Really? You think you’re going to get that much? Okay, wow me.” “Come on bro! Just gimme the money so I can get a bigger house and a Lamborghini.” “Dude, you already have a home that was given to you… and you didn’t do sh*t for that either… and you can’t drive for sh*t, so I wouldn’t feel safe giving you the means for an Italian sportscar. I may as well hand you a live grenade. Besides… where are you gonna put the kid seats?” “F**k you man!” “Yeesh! That’s going in the report. Thank you… have a nice day, sir.” “I’m tellin’ mom.” “DO IT!!! I’ve already told her no because she would give half of hers to you.” So yeah… what would you guys do with a cut of that money? Maybe $100,000? Let’s hear what you’ve got in mind.

Never Trust a Nun - A Catholic nun with a reputation for gambling trips to Atlantic City was accused of embezzling more than $850,000 from a college where she oversaw the school's finances, officials said on Friday. Sister Marie Thornton, former vice president of finance at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, is charged with sending phony invoices to the school to pay off personal credit card bills and expenses, the U.S. Attorney's office said. The thefts occurred between 1999 and 2009, when Thornton resigned from the Catholic college, court documents said. She entered a plea of not guilty to a federal embezzlement charge. The college of some 5,000 students has come under fire from alumni and donors for never reporting the missing money to authorities and only mentioning the theft in its 2009 tax filing sent in February to the Internal Revenue Service. Iona officials issued a statement saying the school has implemented new financial oversight controls and recovered most of the missing funds. The nun had a reputation for visiting casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, according to former Iona basketball coach Jeff Ruland (played for the 76ers back in the 90’s and I know that because I’m a nerd and have a few of his playing cards). The U.S. Attorney's office originally said the theft was more than $1.2 million but on Friday revised the amount to more than $850,000, saying it had originally miscalculated. Thornton's lawyer Sam Talkin said: "We think the case will be resolved in a manner fair to all the parties involved." So just to clarify… a nun was in charge of a university’s finances… and she was embezzling three times my annual salary… for a decade… and lost every cent in gambling… and the former NBA player turned basketball coach KNEW she was on the High Limit Slots… and it was only AFTER she left… that her replacement stumbled on something about it… and then they didn’t report it to anybody other than the IRS as a tax write-off? This is higher education, ladies & gentlemen. No wonder I consider college a waste of money. Hell, she’s obviously not even a good gambler.

I wonder how Jesus would decide her punishment… that’d be a pretty kick-ass show actually – “Judge Jesus”!!! “All rise for the Honorable Judge Jesus!” and he floats into the room wearing a black robe. Come on now! Tell me you wouldn’t DVR every single episode. If somebody’s talking out of turn yelling nonsense, then Jesus takes control of the situation with “Sir, if you don’t wait your turn, I’ll be forced to crucify you… literally.” “This is small claims court! You can’t be threatening me with crucifixion.” “Oh really? I bet you’re going to tell me that I can’t walk on water either… or feed this entire courtroom with a Happy Meal… or be legally DEAD for three days and then come back like I was taking a f**king nap. Now please sit down and be reverent… and if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to enjoy some water… oh wait, maybe it’s a fine Merlot now. (sip) Aaaah, praise me! Anyway, the plaintiff was saying…” What was my point? Oh yeah… don’t trust a nun.

Cost of Execution – Speaking of the “justice” system, the United States executed fewer people this year, in part because there is a shortage of the drug used in lethal injections and because executions are too expensive in tough economic times, a report released on Tuesday said. That’s right, apparently executions… are too expensive. Okay, prove it to me, hippies. The Death Penalty Information Center said in its annual report that executions decreased 12% this year and new death sentences stayed near the lowest level since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Texas led the nation with 17 of the 46 executions carried out this year in the United States. The total is down from 52 in 2009 and less than half the number put to death in 1999. "Whether it's concerns about the high costs of the death penalty at a time when budgets are being slashed, the risks of executing the innocent, unfairness, or other reasons, the nation continued to move away from the death penalty in 2010," Richard Dieter, the center's executive director and author of the report, said in a statement. One factor reducing or delaying executions is difficulty obtaining sodium thiopental, one of the drugs used in lethal injection executions, the Washington-based group said. Executions were postponed or canceled in five states due to a shortage of the drug, it said (saved by the bill?). Arizona imported some from Britain, where executions have been abolished, but Britain is now restricting the drug's exportation. New death sentences in 2010 will total 114, near the lowest level since 1976 when executions were authorized by the U.S. Supreme Court, and down two-thirds from their peak in 1996. There have been 1,234 executions in the United States since 1976, nearly half of those carried out (clap clap clap clap) deep in the heaaaart of Texas… and Virginia. Okay, I’m gonna save the “justice” system a LOT of money… and it’s probably just going to go directly to worthless lawyers… but it’s my public service for the day. Perhaps there are alternative methods of executing an individual that would be more cost effective than some apparently difficult to manufacture chemical compound. Sure, there are old standards like firing squad, electrocution, hanging, piƱata and gas chamber… but even those can be expensive to design, build, and most definitely staff (though with this economy, probably not too difficult to fill). Even the Guillotine may be a cost effective method… but maybe you’re looking for something a little more humane and natural in the execution of a dastardly individual (for some reason). Well, you can always let Gravity do its thing if you have a cliff or tall building nearby. I’m just saying… there are different ways. Hell, if you REALLY wanted to help out with costs… have you ever considered Pay-Per-View? Maybe selling off a raffle for the role of Executioner? Seriously, you could MAKE money off this stuff. You may think me a morbid desensitized fool… but I know it’ll work… and I’m just coming up with great ideas here. Besides, do you know what’s a little more costly than even sodium thiopental? Putting them up in a one-star motel overfilled with felons & social misfits with three meals a day & plenty of exercise equipment. Anyway… I’m off my soap box now… but it’s silly to think that the reason that we’re not executing criminals is because of costs. Seriously? That’s an easy fix… especially in Texas.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. I’ve got more packing and planning to do… so I guess I’ll leave you be. Can’t wait to see a lot of you this next week in Utah. We’ll have to start making some more solid plans as my weekend’s full but we definitely need to meet up for drinks & sushi or something. Have a great night everybody!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Man of the Year - Coming Soon

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Bubbles came to visit this past weekend… and we had an amazing time. Of course, Brutis enjoyed the woods, we enjoyed the casino scene & the music by the Monophonics (a funky band at a free concert at the Crystal Bay Casino), as well as my company’s 1st anniversary office party which included dinner, drinks & dancing. I don’t mean to brag but… I think we were the two sexiest individuals in the place… and there was a LOT of great competition for that distinction. I’d show you some pictures but… Bubbles made me promise not to. She has low self-esteem for some inconceivable reason (being a woman). So yeah… wonderful weekend was had… and we discussed working together again for the first time in three years… and my possible moving to San Francisco… as that was obviously a big topic on my mind… and after she left, I consulted my family & friends… and of course, a higher power (figured it couldn’t hurt). Is this the right move? Will it really be as amazing as I think it will be? Am I just bored? Am I being irrational? Why would I want to leave this place?

Well, the next day, apparently my prayers were answered as after a day that started with a torrential icy rain storm, then followed by snow, and then just more ice & snow… and then driving home in it… and sliding Gretchen into a snow bank even though I was only going about 10 MPH or less all the way home… and digging myself out with an ice scraper… luckily the only thing hurt was the front license plate and my pride… and helping two other cars along the way… and apparently on the drive home, I received a call from my possible future employer but because it took me an hour to get home, by the time I called them back, they had gone home for the day… and then more ice being there in the morning… I kinda took that as a sign. Also, throughout the past few days, apparently word was getting around that the job was mine… except they hadn’t called me yet to inform me… but I was getting calls from multiple sources asking me the details of when I was moving down. “Ugh… they haven’t talked to me yet so… I don’t know.” “Oh… well, that was the rumor so… have you looked into apartments & where you’d like to live yet?” Also, just so you know, my profession is not seamstress… yet it often seems that way with all the rumors in sewing circles that get back to me somehow. So yeah… all I needed was the phone call at this point… and to find out the details on the transition… and practice my surprised reaction, “WHAT? REALLY? Oh my God, that’s amazing, I had no idea…” I’m horrible at faking it…

So the call finally came today while I was at work... and it was the HR assistant basically saying that the Director was in a meeting but she wanted to get a hold of me and let me know... THAT I WAS OFFERED THE JOB!!! "WHAT? REALLY? Oh my God, that's amazing. I had no idea..." Again, horrible at faking surprise. She let me know that I would be getting a call later to discuss the details of the transfer / transition. So at that point, I basically started letting everybody know that I would be moving (yet again) but when and how was obviously still in question. Was I excited? Of course I was. I wouldn't have let it gone this far if I didn't think it was the right choice. Besides, not to sound cocky or anything, but I pretty much knew that the job was mine as soon as I applied for it. They simply were not going to find a more qualified, skilled, dependable or handsome applicant. Period. They're actually getting a pretty great deal... and I think their weather was a major influence... but as well as the office I'll be working with, the culture and sheer magnificence of the city.

As far as the details go though... that second call never came tonight... and last I heard was January 8th (just in time for the Kraft Bowl?) but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that it's really two weeks from now with the holidays thrown in... but hey, it'll get figured out in the next few weeks. So yeah... I'm going to San Francisco. What've you been up to? Here's some news...

Person of the Year – So… yet again, I’m snubbed for a major award… but this doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as the Sexiest Man Alive snub because… well, past winners of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year include Hitler, Bush & the Computer. This year though… it was Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg who has been named Time's "Person of the Year" for 2010, joining the ranks of winners that include heads of state and rock stars as the person the magazine believes most influenced events of the past year. At 26, Zuckerberg is the youngest "Person of the Year" since the first one chosen, Charles Lindbergh; he was 25 when he was named in 1927, Time said Wednesday. Zuckerberg beat out Britain's Queen Elizabeth II by just two weeks: She was 26 when she was named in 1952. Incidentally, Queen Elizabeth II has recently joined Zuckerberg's social networking behemoth. Time's "Person of the Year" is the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the past year for good or for ill. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke received the honor last year. The 2008 winner was then-President-elect Barack Obama. The 2007 winner was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Other previous winners have included Bono, President George W. Bush, and Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. In naming Zuckerberg, Time cited him "for changing how we all live our lives." In a posting on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said that being named Time's "Person of the Year" was "a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected. I'm happy to be a part of that." Zuckerberg has put himself on the map not only as one of the world's youngest billionaires, but also as a prominent newcomer to the world of philanthropy. Earlier this year, he pledged $100 million over five years to the Newark, N.J. school system. Now, he's in the company of media titans Carl Icahn, Barry Diller and others who have joined Giving Pledge, an effort led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to commit the country's wealthiest people to step up their charitable donations. Zuckerberg owns about a quarter of Facebook's shares. Zuckerberg has built Facebook into an international phenomenon by stretching the lines of social convention and embracing a new and far more permeable definition of community. In this new world, users are able to construct a social network well beyond what would ever be possible face-to-face. "I'm trying to make the world a more open place," Zuckerberg says in the "bio" line of his own Facebook page. Born in Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room, the site has in six years grown to more than 500 million users worldwide and a dollar worth in the billions. Facebook was the subject of director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's film "The Social Network." It features a dark portrayal of Zuckerberg by Jesse Eisenberg, as well as the direction he's taking his company and his status as one of America's most influential figures. The film has been picked as the best of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review. On Tuesday, it received six Golden Globe nominations, including best picture, drama, going up against its chief rival, the British monarchy tale "The King's Speech," which led with seven nominations. So yeah… welcome to the club… and hopefully I’ll be able to join you shortly… and not just in my imagination with my mirror…

Rock & Roll HOF Class of 2011 – National Treasure Neil Diamond had been eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for several years… but for some reason has never got a nomination to join music's prestigious club. But he was never really worried about it. "I thought about it occasionally, but I kind of figured they'd get around to me at some point," he said in a phone interview. That point came on Tuesday, as the 2011 class for the Cleveland hall was revealed. Diamond, whose hits include "Sweet Caroline," (buh buh buuuuh) made the list, along with the Alice Cooper Band, New Orleans musician Dr. John, Darlene Love and singer-songwriter Tom Waits. Piano man Leon Russell was honored with a musical excellence award, previously the sideman category. Executives Jac Holzman and Art Rupe were given the Ahmet Ertegun Awards. It took three tries before Love, best known for hits such as "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and her work with producer Phil Spector and the Blossoms, was approved for the hall. When reached on Tuesday, an enthusiastic Love said: "I can actually breathe." "Finally it's done," she added. "It still hasn't hit me yet. I still have that nervous stomach, and I'm still excited." The excitement will have to wait for some: Bon Jovi, nominated for the first time, was turned away from the hall, as was LL Cool J, the J. Geils Band, the Beastie Boys, Donna Summer and more. Alice Cooper's name had been mentioned in conjunction with the Rock Hall for years, but the shock rocker hadn't been nominated until this year. Like Diamond, Cooper said he wasn't anxiously waiting. "You know it crosses your mind, but then you think of all the guys who aren't in there, some of them before you, and you go, `Wow.' ... You realize that it's a waiting game," he said in a phone interview. "I don't think you sit around holding your breath on it." Cooper, a heavy metal rocker best known for his dark horror themes, said his band was responsible for bringing show business into rock `n' roll. "There was no spectacle in rock `n' roll, and I think what we did was we kind of brought theater to rock `n' roll," said Cooper, known for a goth look, heavy eyeliner and black shaggy hair. "It was sort of Cirque du Soleil before Cirque du Soleil. It was kind of a weird vaudeville that we did. But it all connected back to the lyrics. ... If we do a 10-hour rehearsal back then, nine hours was on the music, and one hour was on the theatrics." Diamond was on the other end of the spectrum, a singer-songwriter whose first hit came in the form of a song he wrote for the Monkees, "I'm a Believer." His early hits in the 1960s included "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" and "Cherry Cherry." "The music I was doing was not in vogue. ... I was like a lone voice out there with a guitar, and it was different than what was going on because it was the English invasion and I wasn't doing that," Diamond said. "I think I've had so many hits because what I was putting out and what I was writing was very different for what was being played on the radio." He's kept producing relevant material through the decades; he released his latest album this fall. Diamond said he was gratified to be in the hall and said his first choice to induct him would be a fan. Of his induction, he joked: "I'm glad they did it before I'm dead." Love said she thought two of her biggest boosters for the hall — Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Stevie Van Zandt — would likely do the honors at the March 14 induction ceremony in New York City. She was also happy for some of the other inductees, including Russell, who used to play on some of her sessions. "This is going to be a helluva jam session," she quipped about the upcoming festivities. The induction ceremony will be aired on Fuse. Congratulations, ladies & gentlemen!!!

So I guess that’s the latest update in the lives of great men (and my sister from another mother Darlene Love) over the past few days.Yeah, so… I guess I’m officially moving to the West Coast… cuz you and I know it’s the best coast… California Love… nine-five plus fo’ pennies… yeah, it should be an interesting few months while I get transitioned over there too. Boss Man K sounds really stressed out about it… but he’s supportive… it’s just I think he knows how valuable an employee I am (like they’ll have to get two with lots of previous experience to even come close to what I can do). Oh well… on to the next one… have a great day everybody!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Of Mice & Men

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Bubbles will be arriving in the morning because she got off work a little late & was skittish about driving with the rainy weather we’ve been having… and it might freeze overnight. Frankly, I’m feeling a little better about it too. You know her safety is a top priority of mine. That’s why my buddy Oswald watches over her… unless I end up moving there soon. You guys remember Oswald, right? The one-footed pigeon crime fighter & defender of the innocent (and Bubbles)? Well, I’m sure that you’re not interested in all that. You probably want to know about the interview, don’t you?

So… I don’t want to jinx it… but I had probably better start REALLY checking out apartments this next week. The interview was done via Skype, so my first web cam experience… and I think it went pretty well. I answered the questions (in my humble opinion) splendidly, met a few of the people I would be working with, we answered each other’s questions about the position, expectations, etc, you know… a pretty standard interview. I was my usual charming self with job experience flowing out of every orifice that I’m sure they could tell even with grainy visual footage & a choppy vocal connection. They will probably be contacting me in the next few days… and I guess we’ll see how it goes from there… but of course, I’m optimistic… because seriously, LOOK AT ME!!! I’d get this job on looks alone… and my skills are even more impressive. It’s in the bag like two-for-five… and if you don’t know, now you know… what? Yeah, no big story to tell or anything about it… but I think it went very well… like VERY well. So in the meantime, I guess I’ll share some real news with ya…

Shark Attack - A single female whitetip shark (aka single white female) has been linked to at least three out of five attacks on tourists at a popular Egyptian Red Sea resort, and is still in the area, an expert helping investigators said on Thursday. Three Russians and a Ukrainian were attacked off Sharm el-Sheikh in the space of two days last week, suffering severe injuries (must have a taste for meat marinated in vodka). On Sunday a 70-year-old German woman snorkeler died after a shark tore a piece out of her thigh and severed her forearm. It was the first death from a shark attack in Egypt since 2004. Officials had just lifted a ban on swimming in the area imposed after the first attacks. A whitetip seen minutes before the first attacks on two of the Russians has been identified as the shark photographed when the German woman was attacked five days later, said Elke Bojanowski, an expert on the Red Sea's whitetip sharks. She said the shark still appeared to be in the area. "Instead of briefly grabbing for testing or tasting purposes, this female apparently considers human swimmers as a potential food source," she said. An international team of scientists was interviewing witnesses, studying the environment and gathering data from local divers to understand the shark's behavior. Speculation has centered on the practice of luring sharks with bait, or chum, to film them, causing them to associate humans with food, or a depletion of fish stocks that could force them to seek alternative food sources. Some experts suggest that sheep and cattle that died while being shipped in for last month's Muslim feast of Eid el-Adha might have been thrown overboard in the Red Sea. If they had drifted to shallow waters, this might have encouraged sharks to bite anything unusual floating on the sea surface. There are even rumors that the Israeli Moussad fighters have trained the sharks to attack Egyptians. I am not joking… but then again, it’s pretty much standard practice over there to blame everything on Israel anyway. "There are lots of rumors going around here in Sharm but few facts," said Jochen Van Lysebettens, head of the Red Sea Diving College in Sharm. "My personal view is the behavior of the sharks must have been triggered by their feeding off something unusual in the water -- chum, fish or carcasses." Egypt's government said on Thursday it would pay $50,000 in compensation to each of the Russians who were attacked. By the way, does anybody else find it amusing that this is all occurring in the RED Sea? And some are blaming these “Jaws”-like attacks on Jews? Maybe Steven Spielberg gave them the idea while he was filming “Munich” and the sharks are finally trained & ready. Now if they could just get the Egyptians into the water instead of pasty white tourists… I know, it sounds crazy. That’s why I’m saying it. Hopefully they figure out what the issue is because… I’d really like to visit Sharm el-Sheikh someday. I consider it one of the few places in the Middle East that isn’t completely crazy… but that may soon change.

Taxing the Oldest Profession - Challenged with a 100 million Euro ($133 million) deficit, one western German city has introduced a day tax on prostitutes to help fill its budget gap (pun certainly intended). The new "pleasure tax" requires prostitutes in Dortmund to purchase a 6 Euro "day ticket" for each day they work… or face a potential fine. The city estimates that the new tax will add some 750,000 Euros to its coffers each year (that’s about 350 sex workers per day on average). "Dortmund has financial problems like many cities in Germany," city spokesman Michael Meinders told Reuters. "We considered several sex taxes but this was the most practical proposal." Really? Okay. The new tax went into effect in August but the day tickets have not been available until this week. An alternative proposal was to charge a 1 or 2 Euro fee to anyone entering Dortmund's red-light district, but this idea got little political support, Meinders said. You know… to protect people that just go there for the pastries and souvenir shopping, I’m sure. Such taxes are not unusual in Germany where prostitution is legal and sex workers must pay tax on their income (hint hint). Cologne (the muskiest smelling city in the world) introduced a 150 Euro "pleasure tax" on sex workers in 2004 and later added a 6 Euro day tax option for part-time prostitutes. So basically, the German government has realized that they need a pimp’s cut on this game. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not. We’re estimating that this tax will only cover less than one percent of the deficit (unless business is-a boomin’ over the next few months). Is it a start? Certainly. Just thought you all might like to know about it. Do I approve of prostitution? Not particularly… but the way I see it, we’re all doing it for the money. No matter what your job is… unless you’re one of the lucky few who genuinely enjoy what you do… you’re basically a corporate prostitute… but obviously a title with a better connotation.

Of Mice & Men - US scientists have used stem cell technology to create mice from two fathers, an advance that they say could help preserve endangered species (pandas) and even help same-sex couples have their own genetic children one day (speaking of San Francisco…). According to the study published Wednesday in the journal Biology of Reproduction, reproductive scientists in Texas were able to manipulate cells from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. These iPS cells are adult cells that have undergone some genetic reprogramming in order to enter an embryonic stem cell-like state. Still with me? Okay. Some of the cells that were grown from this new line spontaneously lost their Y chromosome, turning them into XO cells. Those XO cells were injected into embryos from donor female mice and transplanted into surrogate mouse moms who gave birth to babies with one X chromosome from the original male mouse. Those babies grew and later mated with normal male mice. Their offspring, both male and female, showed genetic contributions from two fathers (daddy and… the guy whose goo was processed through a centrifuge, filtered, injected into random chick’s embryo, transplanted into mommy and you bear his genetic information). The study was led by Richard R. Berhringer at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Researchers said that with a variation of their technique, "it may also be possible to generate sperm from a female donor and produce viable male and female progeny with two mothers." However, the study cautioned that the ability to replicate the findings in humans was a long way off. The "generation of human iPS cells still requires significant refinements prior to their use for therapeutic purposes," the study said. Previous research has found ways to create mice without any fathers at all, as well as ways to create mice with two mothers. It’s the future, ladies & gentlemen. The only question that I have is… where’s the stork during all of this? And the diamonds? And the cabbage patch? This is an abomination!!! Sigh… you know I’m just playing, right? Children are the future (whether we like them or not). Call me old fashioned… but I kinda prefer the ways of making babies the way that nature intended… not these fancy birth control methods like… pulling out. (Tehehe… watch “Dirty Work”) But yeah, I know that Love, Marriage, Children and all that other stuff sometimes doesn’t line up perfectly… and I’m glad that scientists are finding a ways for us & other species to reproduce. Say what you will about stem cell research and all that… but I approve of it.

As you know, with recent developments included, I would like to start a family someday. Sure, I’m a few dozen MAJOR steps from even considering stuff like that (i.e. finding a stable home & job situation, a woman who I enjoy spending my time with, care for deeply, is willing to have sex with me, can stand living with, convinces me that I can see spending my life without her, she feels the same way, marriage, deciding to have children, etc) but you know me, I’m insanely optimistic. All I have to do is get out there, be around people, let them realize what a true wonder of nature I am (and humble), and then the ladies will flock to me, literally flock to me. I’m an amazing human being… but I’m also terribly shy sometimes & rarely make the first move. Living in the city though, may change all of that. Hopefully it won’t turn me into a douche… but please be sure to keep me in check if it appears that I’m turning that way. Well, I guess this weekend there will be a lot of decisions made. Do I take the job? Do I move yet again? Is it really a better situation? Is the juice worth the squeeze? Will the job even be offered to me? What would the timetable be? What’s the next step down the road? Why am I so ambitious? Why do I never seem to be content with a good situation & want great? What to get everybody for Christmas? What’s for dinner? Do I really need another drink? This is free, right? How am I going to get home? Where are my pants? So many decisions to make & questions to answer. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Interview Tomorrow

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Tomorrow is a big day. I’m scheduled for an interview with the job opportunity in San Francisco… and then probably after that, I’ll have a pretty major decision to make. Luckily I’ve had a lot of practice in these kinds of things over the past few years, so it should be pretty simple by now. You know, the weighing of the Pros & Cons, logistics, timetables, all that fun stuff… but first, they have to win me over. I’m not in a horrible position at all. I’m content with my current situation. Great job, good roommate, good apartment, etc. and moving is a pain the arse as I’m sure most of you know. Again, I have a lot of crap… and chances are, I won’t be able to find a place to store all that crap for a reasonable price in the greater San Francisco area (maybe Oakland). I guess what I’m saying is… there may be a possible yard sale in the Tahoe area if anybody’s interested… but most of my stuff is back in Utah anyway. Sigh… never would’ve thought that I’d be in situations like this just a few years ago. Oh well, life keeps you entertained, I guess. So yeah, interview tomorrow, Bubbles coming this weekend, after that… who knows. Got a call from my stepsister in Dayton last night & I might be going to visit them next weekend to say hi for the holidays. Apparently my oldest nephew is on the 7th grade basketball team now so I may have to show him a few moves and drills that helped me when I was his age. The week after that, I’m heading back to Utah for Christmas. That’s right, Christmas is two weeks away. Hope you did your shopping… and made a lot of macaroni pictures for the family like I did. “It’s a duck!” “That’s great, $teve. I especially like the use of glitter on the water.” Here’s some news…

Vick Update – So… Michael Vick is among the leaders for Most Valuable Player and probably Comeback Player of the Year since he was arresting for the whole dogfighting ring thing a few years back. However, there is no doubt on one popularity contest. He is the leading vote-getter for the Pro Bowl (football’s All-Star game for those who don’t know). Michael Vick leads Pro Bowl voting just a year and a half after he was released from Leavenworth prison. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback had 729,838 fan votes, nearly 39,000 more than second-place Peyton Manning, the NFL said Wednesday. Manning topped the balloting two weeks ago (but has thrown a career-high 11 interceptions in the past three games). “I think it’s just a credit to everything I’ve tried to accomplish on and off the field, just working as hard as I can to change things around, be a part of the solution and not the problem,” Vick said. “I changed my life and it just goes to show anybody can do it. It’s an unfortunate situation, the things that happened, I wish I could go back and change it all. I wish I could take it all back. The only thing I can do is move forward.” It’s the latest evidence many fans seem willing to forgive Vick for the vicious dogfighting operation that sent him to prison for 18 months—and embrace his stunning return to NFL stardom. A backup to start the season, Vick has led the Eagles to first place in the NFC East, accounting for 21 touchdowns and throwing just two interceptions. “I appreciate my fans, man,” Vick said. “Couldn’t do it without them. Been very supportive over the last three years. What more can you ask for?” Manning had 691,146 votes, which led the AFC, followed by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (623,074), Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (591,598) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (547,340). Online Pro Bowl voting ends Dec. 20. The teams are picked by a vote combination from fans, players and coaches. Vick, a three-time Pro Bowler with the Atlanta Falcons, pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges in August 2007. He was released from federal custody and conditionally reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in July 2009. But it wasn’t clear how much interest teams would have in the quarterback who once wowed fans with his unique skills, yet frustrated them with his inconsistency when he last played in the league in 2006. The Eagles signed him before last season, when he was the third-string quarterback and had limited playing time as a change of pace. Even after Philadelphia traded away Donovan McNabb, Vick was expected to back up Kevin Kolb. But when Kolb was hurt in the opener, Vick took over and showed a newfound maturity as a passer. Added to his running skills, he’s made the Eagles a contender at 8-4. The Eagles, averaging 28.7 points per game, are the second-highest scoring team in the league, next to only the New England Patriots at 31.6. “It’s a great honor, a great position to be in right now, because I haven’t made the Pro Bowl yet, but it’s a credit to my coaches, a credit to my teammates, (backups) Mike Kafka, Kevin Kolb, guys who just helped me get through this season,” Vick said. “I can’t do it without my team, I can’t do it without my teammates, I can’t do it without the offensive line, (wide receivers) DeSean (Jackson) and Jeremy (Maclin), can’t do it without them. I’m just thankful to have these guys in my life, these coaches in my life.” Sound like he’s learned his lesson? Redemption!!! Preferably with a Super Bowl win this year… but we’ll see.

Panda Update – I just wanted to share these pictures with everybody… because I’m a nerd. A researcher dressed in a panda costume puts a panda cub into a box before its physical examination at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan province last week. The 4-month old cub, the first in the centre to be trained for reintroduction into the wild, is monitored by hidden cameras. Researchers performing physical examinations on the cub wear panda costumes to ensure that the cub's environment is devoid of human influence, according to local media. So yeah, here you go… I won't even start on how creepy that all is & how it's probably not doing much with regards to preparing them for the wild but... in the meantime, enjoy!!!

Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot to share in regards to world news. You know me, I’m simple. I guess… I’d better think about interview question responses or something… but this ain’t my first rodeo so as long as I don’t start the interview by putting them on “fake hold” and singing “The Boy from Ipanema” because I think it’s Bubbles on the phone, then I should be okay. Sigh… f**k me that was a bad day… but at least I can laugh about it now. I wonder if the interviewer feels the same way about that day. Probably not. She probably just wrote me off as a moron… and I can understand that response. First impressions are key, ladies & gentlemen. Then again… there is a football game on tonight too. Decisions, decisions. Well, on that note, I’ll bid you all adieu… have a great evening everybody!!! And if you don’t hear from me before then, a fantastic weekend as well…

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

There Will Be Emancipation

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Still no real update on the job situation in San Francisco… but thanks to my “inside man” I know a few reasons for the delay. No worries. I’m confident that I’ll be hearing from them in the near future… and that they will insist on me being a part of their team. Then, there will probably be a lengthy transitional phase where I train my replacement(s) here in Tahoe, in the middle of our busiest time of year, then check out apartments in San Francisco, while learning the fine points of the new job (though pretty much the same) and meeting all the new people, then packing up all my stuff & moving. So yeah… it’s gonna be a busy time once it gets started so… not too worried about all of it. Besides, Bubbles is coming up for the weekend!!! Happy days… and here’s the news…

Eight-Digit Book - To some (like myself) it's just a bunch of bird pictures. To others, John James Audubon's "Birds of America" is a rare blend of art, natural history and craftsmanship, unique enough to sell for more than $10 million at a London auction Tuesday — making it the world's most expensive printed book. Yes, you read correctly. TEN MILLION DOLLARS for a bird-watching book. Some of the world's wealthiest book collectors had been anticipating the auction for months: it represents a chance to own one of the best preserved editions of Aubudon's 19th Century masterpiece, with its 435 hand-colored illustrations. The book sold for 6,500,000 pounds ($10,270,000) at a Sotheby's auction to an anonymous collector bidding by telephone (Batman?), the auction house said. While the Audubon volume holds the record for a printed book, a 72-page notebook of Leonardo da Vinci's handwritten notes and illustrations went for even more. Known as the Leicester Codex, the collection was bought by Bill Gates in 1994 for $31 million (and he’s been using the technological secrets within ever since, since DaVinci invented X Box). Each individual picture in "Birds of America" is so valuable there have been some fears the volume could be broken up and sold as 435 separate works of art. Experts believe that unlikely: the tome is probably more valuable intact. And collectors hold Audubon in such reverence that the notion of ripping apart a perfect copy would be akin to sacrilege. "Audubon's Birds holds a special place in the rare book market for several reasons," said Heather O'Donnell, a specialist with Bauman Rare Books in New York. "The book is a major original contribution to the study of natural history in the New World. "It's also one of the most visually stunning books in the history of print: The scale of the images, the originality of each composition, the brilliance of the hand coloring." Then there's the wow factor. "No one can rival John James Audubon for frontier glamour. The story of his lonely journey through the American wilderness and his struggle to record what he saw there gives the Birds a resonance that no other book can match." Audubon was part naturalist, part artist, and possessed a rare, almost unequaled ability to observe, catalog and paint the birds he observed in the wild. Experts say his book, originally published in 1827, is unmatched in its beauty and also of considerable scientific value, (allegedly) justifying its stratospheric cost. Pom Harrington, owner of the Peter Harrington rare book firm in London, said it has been 10 years since the last complete edition of "Birds of America," with all of the illustrations, has been auctioned — and that was sold for $8.8 million by Christie's auction house, a record for a printed book at auction. He said it is unusual to find a copy not in a museum or academic institution. "If you want to buy an example of a rare work of art, this is one of the best," he said. "It is valuable in its artistic nature because it is so well drawn." He said other historic books — like an excellent example of a Gutenberg Bible — would likely be valued even higher if they came up for sale. Harrington estimated that a complete Gutenberg Bible in good condition would probably sell for between $30 million and $50 million, but none has been sold in more than 30 years. In recent years, he said, a complete First Folio of Shakespeare's works sold at auction for about $5.6 million while a Chaucer collection sold for more than $4 million. "That's getting close to Audubon," he said. Close, but no cigar: the complete Audubon book is more rare than the Shakespeare folio — and much more beautiful to look at, even if Shakespeare is more famous. A Shakespeare First Folio from 1623 is also being auctioned with the Audubon book Tuesday evening. It is likely to be sold for more than $1.5 million. Sotheby's books expert David Goldthorpe said the Aubudon and Shakespeare volumes represent "the twin peaks of book collecting." The books come from the estate of the 2nd Baron Hesketh, an aristocratic book collector who died in 1955. The "Birds of America" plates were printed in black and white and hand-colored afterward. That made the production process extremely expensive, especially, Harrington said, since it was carried out by "the best artists of the time." (Slaves?) The collection, made from engravings of Audubon's watercolors, measures more than 3 feet by 2 feet (90 centimeters by 60 centimeters) because Audubon wanted to paint the birds life size. The size of the illustrations makes them extremely valuable as standalone piece of arts, which makes the complete edition vulnerable to being broken up so the individual prints can be sold one-by-one. Harrington said that the wild turkey that is depicted in the first big plate of the book can be sold for $200,000. But Mark Ghahramani, a rare book specialist at Classic Bindings in London, said it is unlikely the "Birds of America" will be divided up for resale because it is probably more valuable intact. "There are very few copies left of the entire book, so I would think that whoever bought it at the auction would be quite interested in keeping it whole," he said. "Anything to do with American natural history is quite valuable." Audubon, who died in 1851, represents a unique figure in American history, a renaissance man with shades of Huckleberry Finn — like Mark Twain's fictional character, Audubon made an epic voyage down the mighty Mississippi — but with a scientist's inquisitive nature. He made his trip, after his dry-goods business failed, with only a rifle, an assistant, and a drawing pad, making illustrations of as many birds as he could find. He did not find a printer in the United States willing to take on the book, with its oversize illustrations, so he sailed to England, eventually finding printers in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in London. The volume is seen as a vital piece of American history, Harrington said. "It is the most important natural history book for America," he said. "That is the main point. It screams Americana. For an American patriot, it is the greatest book on American heritage — there is no competition." So there you go. Somebody paid over $10 million for a book that’s mostly pictures. Pretty impressive if you ask me… especially since all forms of publishing will probably be dead in the next generation or so…

Old Men Study – Speaking of which, according to Australian researchers, the very oldest men are still interested in sex but illness and a lack of opportunity may be holding them back (sarcastic GASP!!!). The "male" hormone testosterone was clearly linked with how often a man over 75 had sex, and doctors need to do more studies to see if hormone replacement therapy might benefit older men, the researchers said. Zoe Hyde of the University of Western Australia and colleagues surveyed more than 2,700 men aged 75 to 95 for their study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (not “Anals” of Internal Medicine). They asked a range of questions about health, relationships and sexual activity (and then shuddered and/or vomited at the thought of their responses). "The older the men were, the less likely they were to be sexually active, but sex remained at least somewhat important to one fifth of men aged 90 to 95 years, refuting the stereotype of the asexual older person," they wrote in their report. "Of those who were sexually active, more than 40 percent were dissatisfied with the frequency of sexual activity, preferring sex more frequently." GASP!!! What? Men of any age still want more sex (especially when compared to none and/or manual release)? Baffling. More than 30% of the men reported some sort of sexual activity in the past year, but more than 48% said sex was important, suggesting many of the men wanted to have sex but could not. Age was a factor but so were testosterone levels, the lack of an interested partner, and various diseases from diabetes to prostate cancer (to the Plague to Old Man Penis). More than 40% of the men who had not had sex recently said they were not interested… which is obviously a cry to pull the f**king plug. Okay, that last part might’ve been a little harsh… but you get the idea. See? They really conduct studies like this… and some people make a good living at it. How do I get one of these cushy jobs as a studier of widely accepted facts & scientific laws? I’m telling ya, one day, somebody will have the balls to give me the funding to find out the truth behind stereotypes. Hell, if somebody can pay $10 million for a book of color-by-numbers (think about it… and that’s exactly what it is… reproduction… colored by others… see? Not crazy), then somebody might give me seven digits to find out the truth. It’s out there.

Frisky, Are We? – Then again, maybe the old guys just know that crazy sh*t that you can get into in a fit of Passion. For example, a Wisconsin woman bit off half her husband's tongue during a kiss… and has been arrested, authorities said on Tuesday. The bitten piece of the husband's tongue was recovered, and he was taken to a hospital following the incident late on Monday, Sheboygan, Wisconsin police said in a statement. The woman, 57, told emergency workers she had "bit her husband's tongue off," police said in a statement. She had blood on her clothing, they said. The 79-year-old victim said his wife bit his tongue while he was kissing her (and apparently the new denture grip was working like a charm), police said. The woman was singing Christmas carols and blowing a New Year's horn when police arrested her on charges of felony mayhem (sigh… delirium… it gets us all). She was being held pending formal charges by the District Attorney's Office. The victim was transported to an area hospital where doctors were trying to reattach his tongue, police said. The victim said his wife had been acting strangely in recent days, said the police in Sheboygan, roughly 50 miles north of Milwaukee. Wouldn’t that be an awkward Christmas dinner with the grandparents? “It’s great to see you all again… it seems like grandma bit grandpa’s tongue off under the Mistletoe mere days ago. Sigh… that reminds me, I should go visit her at Shady Acres after the New Year. That’ll be my resolution.” Be careful out there, gentlemen. You never know when you’re normally frisky sexual partner will be straight bat crackers crazy and rip your face off like Hannibal Lechter.

Selling Kids for Cars - A Florida woman was charged with trying to sell her infant son in order to pay for a new car, police said Tuesday. The baby's grandmother brokered the deal (oh yes, it’s a family affair) and initially demanded $75,000 but agreed to cut the price to $30,000 when told the prospective buyer could not get a bank loan (sounds like some great haggling), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said. The mother of the eight-week-old boy, Stephanie Bigbee Fleming, 22, of Bradenton, Florida, was to receive $9,000 of the proceeds, the FDLE said. "Fleming planned to purchase a new vehicle from the money received," an FDLE spokeswoman said. Fleming also needed money to pay court costs for an unrelated probation violation, the arrest documents said. Fleming was arrested Tuesday. The grandmother, Patty Bigbee, 45, was arrested last week with her boyfriend Lawrence Works, 42, both of Holly Hill, Florida. All three were charged with the illegal sale of a child (as opposed to a legal sale of a child), and Bigbee was also charged with communications fraud, the department said. The arrest report said Bigbee offered to sell the baby to a female relative in October, explaining she had been caring for her grandchild but "was not mother material." The relative alerted police and worked with them during the negotiations. Bigbee and Works were arrested when they collected a $30,000 cashier's check and handed over the baby to an undercover agent in a Daytona Beach parking lot, police said. The baby remains in state custody. Wow! This is absolutely unacceptable. So just to sum up, not only did the buyer get 60% off the original asking price… but the mother only got a 30% cut while grandma took a 70% commission. That’s the real crime here. I’m glad that they got arrested. Oh yeah… and the selling your child thing I guess is a little wrong… but isn’t that kind of like adoption. Please don’t make me go into a rant where I compare children to cats & dogs in an animal shelter because it’ll break your f**king heart and mine. There is a silver lining though. The Bigbees will have an opportunity to learn the finer points of bartering & negotiations while in a Florida prison. “In exchange for protection from the other inmates, I will gladly offer you two cigarettes per day. Deal?” “Hmm, interesting… my counter offer is… how about you give me those cigarettes, your fruit cocktail AND oral pleasure… and in exchange, I will refrain from shanking you AND violating you with the same modified broom handle. Are we in agreement?” It’ll be an amazing learning experience for both of them.

Lincoln Update – Okay, for years now, I’ve been anxiously anticipating Steven Spielberg’s biopic about Abraham Lincoln… and I’m not afraid to admit that it was primarily because of what would be a legendary confrontation between Abraham Lincoln (played by Liam Neeson) and his Vice President Andrew Johnson (played by Harrison Ford). Throw in Sally Field playing his crazy wife Mary Todd Lincoln and you’ve got cinematic GOLD!!! However, after years of delays and hearsay… something happened that may make this even MORE of a legendary confrontation. Ladies & gentlemen, Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood” & “Gangs of New York”) will star as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's long-gestating biopic about the 16th President of the United States according to a just issued press release from DreamWorks Pictures. Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin' best-selling book "Team of Rivals" and adapted by multi-award winning playwright Tony Kushner, the film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet (including Johnson) on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War. The film has been on Spielberg's 'to do' list for years and Liam Neeson had been attached to play Lincoln since at least mid-2005 right up until July this year. Spielberg originally planned to make it his first post-"Munich" project but for various reasons the film kept getting delayed over and over again. Now at last it is finally happening with shooting expected to get underway in the fall next year for a late 2012 release through Touchstone Pictures. I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it. I can see it now. Bill the Butcher… versus Han Solo. Hawkeye… against Indiana Jones. Daniel Plainview… and the other President Ford (“GET OFF MY PLANE!!!”). It’s going to be AMAZING!!! (in theory) I’m getting more excited every day. Coming soon… Gary Oldman signs on to play General Robert E. Lee… and Jefferson Davis will be played to John Malkovich… and Megan Fox plays the White House intern that through her Love & Full Release Massage would save a nation. My God, it’ll sweep the Oscars AND the Razzies. Until then though… we can only wait…

I guess that’ll do it for today. Not a whole lot else to update at this point. Awaiting word from San Francisco on the job opportunity… and Bubbles is getting REALLY excited about this weekend… as well she should because it’s going to be EPIC!!! Show off the sights of Lake Tahoe, maybe a dash of Reno, elegant workplace Christmas celebration, gorgeous weather (fingers crossed but it should be sunny most of the weekend), should be amazing. Have a great night everybody!!!

Where Should I Go Next?