Monthly Archives: January 2011

Brother From Another Mother

Jay Chou, who plays Kato in the recent release of The Green Hornet, is called the Justin Timberlake of Asia.  Who knew?  

Chou’s a Taiwanese superstar who has like a gazillion gold records, has sold over 28 million albums, and has been in the top 100 for 8 years straight.  Jay Chou.  Learn the name because I think this guy is here to stay.

So I went online and started listening to his music.  I’m totally a fan.  No idea what the guy is crooning about, but with over 3 million hits per video, I guess someone does.  The Timberlake thing though…eh.  Except for the ‘Snake Dance’ (see first video below where he rocks the nasty – why are they not playing this on the radio?) I’m not too sure if Timberlake is who I’d compare him to.  Maybe more like Ricky Martin.  See for yourself, but be warned.  The more I listen to him the more I’m 他是逗人喜愛的,並且他是吸引人的 hooked.

From the movie he made called Secret.  That’s him in the navy blazer and yes he is really playing.

Dragon Rider (because the dragon is amazing)

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In the News

While some may start their week by reading about the bombing in Moscow or the scores of the big playoff games, I caught up on some real news.  Like the fact that in Miami, some coke-heads snorted up the ashes of a man and his two dead dogs.  Why?  Because they thought the remains they had burgled were either coke or heroin.  Makes sense.  If I had a huge stash of drugs, I too would it keep it displayed on my mantlepiece in a pair of urns.  One urn for daddy/the cocaine.  One urn for his two Great Danes/the heroin.

In Los Angeles, a German man has been arrested for selling live tarantulas through the mail.  And not just like one or two, but hundreds and hundreds per package.  He got busted when the feds opened a box filled with some 300 hairy spiders crawling around.  Man oh man am I happy I didn’t get that delivery.

And last, but certainly not least, a monk in Athens was caught traveling with a skeleton in his carry-on.  The skeleton turned out to be a nun and I don’t even want to know the rest of the story.  Just the idea of someone traveling around with a bag full of bones gives me the heebie jeebies.  I totally think I’ve sat next to this monk…and I don’t think this is the first time he’s traveled with a dead nun in his bag.  There was a smell you know?

So have a great week and don’t forget to count yourself lucky.  With criminals like these three, nobody’s safe.  Not even your dead dog.

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The Day I Used To Wear High Heels

In 1996 I discovered the beauty of high heels.  I was living in Italy where passing shoe stores is as ubiquitous as eating pasta.  Maybe it was the shiny leather or the fact that next to the nattily adorned Italians I felt like the Griswalds’ Cousin Eddie, but I soon found myself learning to walk on cobbled streets in high heels.  At first the pain was excruciating.  How did these Italian women do it?  But then, like an Olympian learning to train through the hurt, I forged into the fire and out onto the other side.  From that point on, I was a heels woman.  No sneakers for me; no comfy Docksiders.  I even traveled with my heels.  From London to Bangladesh to Santiago to New Guinea, I saw it all in a pair of heels.

During my heels years, I would look down my elevated nose on the ladies I knew who didn’t teetertotter around town.  Much to my dismay, even my own mother insisted on wearing her Easy Spirits one summer in Paris.  Did these women not understand how dreadfully unstylish they were being?  And then the ballet flat craze hit the states and instead of spending my rent money of 4 inch stilettos that made my toes bleed, I started buying flats.  Green ones, blue ones, sparkly ones, poo ones.  (I mean brown – poo just rhymed better)  I loved feeling like Audrey Hepburn and I never looked back…until now.

The other day I perused my shoe collection and realized A) I haven’t purchased a pair of high heels in at least 5 or 6 years and B) I wasn’t wearing the heels I’d almost made myself homeless for in the first place.  Had I become one of those women who put comfort over fashion?  I looked down at my sweatpants and slightly stained t-shirt.  Oh God.  I had!

That very night we had a party to go to and I slipped into my LBD and a pair of yellow velvet heels.  I took out the ponytail holder (that I think might have been in my hair for about 5 months now) and I remembered what it felt like to use a hairbrush.  By the end of my ministrations, I looked like a brand new me and I was fit to hit the town.  But by the time we got to our destination, I was beyond ready to take off the #$@%!^& yellow velvet heels.  Gingerly I walked from the car to the front door, wincing with each step down the sidewalk.  I used to do this daily?  Was I on drugs?  The pain was unbearable!

And then we were inside and I realized that I had to stay in the torture devices the whole time.  Why had I not thought to bring a change of shoes?  Where were my Naturalizers when I needed them?  All night, instead of being fabulous and high heeled, I was grumpy and wobbly.  Who can concentrate on making witty repartee when the bones in your feet are being crushed?  I was ready to go home to my Uggs, my sweatpants, and my slightly stained t-shirt about 5 minutes ago.  And that was when I realized…I used to wear high heels, I think.  Or maybe I just dreamed it.

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Baby Proofing

My ward, King William (his mother is off shooting penguins in Antarctica) is one second away from being mobile.  He is now at the stage where he has the art of rolling over down to a science.  He can pinpoint exactly what he wants to get his hands on and roll roll roll like a hot dog across any terrain to get said object.  Poor Kiki Wonder lives on the furniture these days.  This past weekend he began to experimentally lift his hips off of the floor.  The more he does it, the closer he comes to understanding that he can scoot his knees under himself.  I’m watching like a hawk because with mobility comes Baby Proofing.

Baby proofing your home in now a multi-gazillion dollar business up there with getting married and dressing your pet.  There are special locks to purchase for the cabinets, the doors, the toilets, and the sofa cushions.  There are outlet covers, knob covers, coffee table edge covers, and stove covers.  There are gates and mesh webs and plastic tubes to cover electrical cords.  There are things to buy for every single dangerous thing in your home and guess what?  Your home is like a minefield.

According to “the experts” babies are about one second away from death at all times.  Kiki’s water dish that’s on the floor?  Deadly.  Kiki will now need to drink when I tell her she’s thirsty and survive the rest of the time camel-style.  The remote control on top of the television?  Deadly.  Baby can pull on the television cables, haul the 80lb TV box off of the table (the remote would come down with it of course), and then dismantle the remote control to get the batteries out of it to suck on.  And forget about leaving my jeans on the floor.  Baby could gnaw off one of the buttons when my back is turned or god forbid, use the zipper as a chain saw.  

So instead, in fear for our children’s precious little lives, we rubberize and lock down our homes.  I’m wrapped in bubble-wrap as we speak.  I heard that an elbow could poke out an eye.

Pop pop pop.

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Scientists Warn California Could Be Struck By Winter ‘Superstorm’

This was the title of an article written by Liz Goodwin for the Associated Press a few days ago.  (see below)  When I saw the exciting news, I couldn’t contain myself.  Superstorm?  Here in California?  I had to read more.

The article quickly deflated my hopes for anything apocalyptic with phrases like  ‘hypothetical,’ ‘could, but not likely’ or ‘every 40 billion years.’  Okay so maybe not the last bit, but the point was the same; adding a superstorm to our list of things to worry about is right up there with Jurassic Park and giant anacondas in the plumbing.  Could, but not likely.

One of my favorite movies is the one about the crazy folks who follow tornadoes.  There’s a show on the Discovery Channel called ‘Destroyed in Seconds,’ which follows adrenaline junkie storm watchers.  Seems like I’m not the only one who has a morbid fascination with destruction and the weather.  Here’s a clip that makes my toes curl / makes me wish I were there watching: 

Scientists warn California could be struck by winter ‘superstorm’

By Liz Goodwin

A group of more than 100 scientists and experts say in a new report that California faces the risk of a massive “superstorm” that could flood a quarter of the state’s homes and cause $300 billion to $400 billion in damage. Researchers point out that the potential scale of destruction in this storm scenario is four or five times the amount of damage that could be wrought by a major earthquake.

It sounds like the plot of an apocalyptic action movie, but scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey warned federal and state emergency officials that California’s geological history shows such “superstorms” have happened in the past, and should be added to the long list of natural disasters to worry about in the Golden State.

The threat of a cataclysmic California storm has been dormant for the past 150 years. Geological Survey director Marcia K. McNutt told the New York Times that a 300-mile stretch of the Central Valley was inundated from 1861-62. The floods were so bad that the state capital had to be moved to San Francisco, and Governor Leland Stanford had to take a rowboat to his own inauguration, the report notes. Even larger storms happened in past centuries, over the dates 212, 440, 603, 1029, 1418, and 1605, according to geological evidence.

The risk is gathering momentum now, scientists say, due to rising temperatures in the atmosphere, which has generally made weather patterns more volatile.

The scientists built a model that showed a storm could last for more than 40 days and dump 10 feet of water on the state. The storm would be goaded on by an “atmospheric river” that would move water “at the same rate as 50 Mississippis discharging water into the Gulf of Mexico,” according to the AP. Winds could reach 125 miles per hour, and landslides could compound the damage, the report notes.

Such a superstorm is hypothetical but not improbable, climate researchers warn. “We think this event happens once every 100 or 200 years or so, which puts it in the same category as our big San Andreas earthquakes,” Geological Survey scientist Lucy Jones said in a press release.

Federal and state emergency management officials convened a conference about emergency preparations for possible superstorms last week. You can read the whole report here.

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Goodbye Borders

First it was the small ma and pa bookstores that were shut down and forced out of business.  In their place came the Costco-esq megastores of Barnes and Noble and Borders.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  I don’t know.  One minute I was buying my books and my music at a little place called Rainbow Books and Music on my local Main Street, the next I was in the ‘self-help’ aisle trying to find my way to ‘bestselling fiction.’  Then music wasn’t something I listened to and bought at a store anymore.  It was something I paid $.99 for (make that $1.29 today) on the online Apple store.  I downloaded it onto my computer, schlooped it onto my ipod, and botta-bing botta-boom, I had music.  Then my local library announced it was cutting back its hours.  Then it was closing on Mondays.  Then it was reducing its hours and closing on Mondays.   About this time I went from renting my movies at the store to getting them at a RedBox or via Netflix mail.  No more Blockbuster, no more Hollywood Video, and definitely no more neighborhood video store.  In fact, renting movies is now almost passe.  Why rent went you can stream, download, or purchase on cable?

And that brings us to the news that the Borders on my corner is closing its doors.  Amazon, the Kindle, and other forms of digital media now makes buying a book practically superfluous.  The nice librarian I see Tuesday through Friday tells me that the libraries are next.  I couldn’t believe it when I heard a few months ago that I might not get mail anymore on Saturdays (see No More Mail On Saturdays), but closing the libraries?  Is this really what it’s come down to?

When I was little my grandfather used to talk about the “good old days.”  They sounded terrible to me – no color televisions, no walkmans, no VCR players.  Now I’m afraid to sneeze.  No libraries?  No mail?  No bookstores?  Will I be explaining what they are to my children?  “Well, kids, when I was your age, I used to go and get these wonderful things called books that people shared and learned from and escaped in and treasured.  They even smelled special…”

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Human Target vs Hung

The TV show is called ‘Human Target’ and while I’ve never seen it, I have seen the billboards and commercials all over town.  The main attraction of the show is Mark Valley.  And the only thing I think about each time I see him is, this guy has a twin.


Now let’s switch over to the HBO show “Hung” starring one Thomas Jane.  Is it just me or are these two dudes doppelgängers?

And just in case you’re into triplets…here’s the handsome third brother from another mother, Aaron Eckhart.  It’s uncanny, right?

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