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Friday, March 30, 2007

West Virgina Monologues

Prank or honest mistake? Who cares? This shit is funny.

H/T to brokedickdog for this other absurdity the other day.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

In The News . . .

+ I have only one reaction to disciplinary action taken against former NBA star and current CBA coach Michael Ray Richardson's anti-Semitic remarks: They're still playing basketball in the CBA?

+ Michelle Branch should be less concerned with her stalker who was arrested this week at one of her shows in Sheboygan, Wis., and more concerned with the fact that she's playing shows in Sheboygan, Wis.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Leaving The Apartment

You know I don't like to leave the apartment much on weeknights, and if I do, I'm definitely not going to imbibe.

Well, this week I've gone out twice, and it's not even Thursday!

Tuesday night, I went to check out my new friend Mark Rapp, who plays the trumpet and some other instruments. He came to my photography show a couple weeks ago through a mutual friend, so I thought I'd repay the visit.

He typically plays his own stuff, but Tuesday he was more of a side guy backing this other cat who might have some anger issues. But Mark is pretty skilled, and tho I'm hardly an expert on trumpet players, Mark's certainly good enough that I want to see him in more of a front role. Plus he's my new friend, and of course, his girlfriend is delightful, which tells me she must have some delightful friends of her own.

So Mark's producer, Marc, is our mutual friend, and Marc has some good contacts, including one who hosted his own movie screening at his penthouse apartment in the Murray Hill neighborhood on Wednesday night. I hate to be rude, but the social occasion that preceded the screening turned out to be all that I was interested in. I won't go into detail about the content of the movie, since it hasn't been released yet, but let's just say I was OK with leaving at about 10 p.m., just after the party quieted and the screening began. I was content because I'd had a few drinks, made some new friends and passed my card along to Mintu, quite possibly the most beautiful Asian gal in New York City. She and some others began calling me "Kitchen Greeter" because, well, I was greeting everyone who walked into the kitchen. My sincerity was such that nearly everyone asked if it was my party. In this million-dollar penthouse with lots of glass and a sexy rooftop, I had to tell them all that it was not my party, and no, I'm not in the movie industry either.

But Mintu -- and others sharp enough to conclude that some humble men like to downplay their power by saying what I said: "No, I'm actually the head bus boy at Denny's over at 43rd and 3rd" -- seemed like good people. Sometimes, these men are just trying to be modest and not want to brag about what they really do. Others like me have jobs whose lack of importance rivals those of men who really are head bus boys at Denny's restaurants.

If you read my Friday entry, however, you know I'm quite adept at guessing the specific nations of origin, but quite frankly, I've met so many Asian gals lately that I didn't even pay attention to her ethnicity, and I was too busy charming her with stories about how boring my life is.

Do you remember the season of "Entourage" where Eric dated Ari's secretary, the thin blonde girl with the short haircut? Mintu was an Asian version of her, so that's pretty hot. She also had an accent that wasn't Eastern. It was European and she was just plain brilliant.

Nonetheless, despite my disdain for forced networking situations, this event was actually quite worth it, and I look forward to reuniting with some new friends again soon.

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Whore Spam

One of the great things about myspace is that I get a lot of unsolicited mails from beautiful women in their early 20s, with no specific hometown in the "Hometown" section, and no hobbies other than partying, dancing and meeting guys.

This is called whore spam. Once the shallow man falls for the friend invitation and visits the girl's page, it's full of nothing but links to other adult sites. At least, that's what I'm told by my male friends who click on these girls' pages.

So I've gotten tired of these emails, particularly in recent weeks, and on the off chance that one of these accounts might actually be owned by a girl, I've written up a canned response that each of these spammers will now receive:

Sorry. I only date models. You look kind of trampy, and since your picture isn't a full-body shot, I'm guessing you might have a huge ass. But you're more than welcome to check out my blog:


Have a great day.

John P. Wise

Is this too harsh?


Baseball Time

Two new blogs to pimp.

One, the network will be blogging each week about two new MLB players, and which one is hotter. Some female co-workers are in charge of the "Hottie Watch," which so far has produced some interesting commentary on A-Rod vs. Jeter. It takes five easy seconds to sign yourself up if you want to add your own comments. Or, just lurk when you need a laugh.

Check out the Hottie Watch.

Also, if you want some more serious baseball talk, the network's diamond experts will be covering a new issue each week. This week, "Spikes Up" covers Tony LaRussa's arrest on suspicion of DUI.

Go in Spikes Up.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Readin' Books And Shit

Catching up . . .

Finished "Nemesis," by Peter Evans, a couple weeks ago. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It was yet another reminder that I wish I would have taken history more seriously in high school and college. But Evans gives a front-row look at the Kennedy-Onassis rivalry of the 1950s and 1960s, and reaffirms that it's not only the poor people who fuck everyone and everything and addict themselves to alcohol, drugs and drama. The poor people actually have it better than the rich and powerful because they don't have the power that the political and social elite have to have people killed. Read "Nemesis" and find out who had whom killed, and tons of other sexy gossip from a most pivotal period in modern American and even world history.

Had to lighten things up after that, so I chose to reread a book by an author I've been trying to interview. Check back soon for what I hope will be a conversation with Jonathan Ames, whose "What's Not To Love?" I finished last night. I can probably count on one hand the number of books I've read twice, and since there are so many others that I own and haven't yet read, I'd rather spend my time getting into those. But Ames was worth it and I'm sure will be again in a couple of years when I need a laugh.

And last night, I picked up one of those many unread books that's been collecting dust on my shelves. Hesse's "Siddhartha" covers a young Indian man's spiritual journey and his quest toward finding his earthly purpose. A smaller book than I'm used to, but not necessarily a quick read for an ADD jackass like myself. I'm on page 16. Check back Saturday when I review page 18.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Flawless Four

To answer the question that thousands of you are asking yourselves today ... it's true, I did pick the Final Four correctly. I was the only one to do it in my office pool.

But unfortunately, what is also true is that the one person ahead of me in the office pool has, like me, UCLA winning it, and this is a winner-take-all event. The funny thing is that I try to pick a second- or third-most obvious pick to win the tournament in case I find myself in the situation I'm in right now -- close to the top. Because when everyone piles on like they did, understandably, about Florida in this year's bracket, I didn't want to go Gators like everyone else. But I clearly would have been better off, both stategically and realistically, as I think Florida will beat UCLA.

Anyway, no winnings in sight for me, so don't expect an invitation to summer on my newly purchased yacht just yet. Maybe next year.

Here's the proof, and the blog (scroll down toward the bottom). Drop me a line there or here and tell me who you think comes out on top.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday Night Out

My friend Anna is in town visiting some friends, and I tried to meet them at Thor in the Lower East Side, but the place was a freaking zoo and I never caught up with them. It didn't help that I left my crib after midnight because I was watching college basketball, and waiting for the 4 took at least 20 minutes, then the J another half hour or more.

So at 1:30 a.m., I walked in on the lounge-ish side, and the place was pretty cool if you're 25 and want to drink vodka and red bulls for six hours while listening to some bassed-out club bullshit. It's amazing how I've gone from a sports-obsessed near-alcoholic in my 20s to a mid-30s artsy type in search of one, maybe two flavorful drinks on one weekend night. I guess it's not amazing, just part of getting old.

Anyway, I ordered the city's best $12 Ketel One and tonic and found the other side of the facility, a VIP room in which this private party Anna and her crew were hosting. I remember the place well from the first day the Baton and I met Madeleine, and our fun group last June hit Thor and saw a crowd similar to the one I saw tonight. And as the muscle-bound security guy punched in the keypad code next to the door, I asked if I needed to give him my name or some money, and he said, much to my surprise, "Naw -- you look like this is your kind of party."

When a young tough guy says something like that to me, I figure I'm getting ready to step into a gay bar, but the room was crawling with beautiful Asian girls. I certainly don't look Asian, nor do I look like a beautiful girl, but I do enjoy being surrounded by them.

So before I had the chance to look like the old guy at the club, I gulped down my expensive beverage, hoping it would have an instant, Viagra-like effect on my courage. It did. Within minutes, I was carelessly talking to a small group of excellent people. Two great looking Asian girls, their unattractive Asian girlfriend and a couple of Asian dudes. They all loved my glasses but wondered why I didn't check my coat. I then looked around and realized I was the only person with a winter coat on. The other 20-something pretties looked much more comfortable than I felt, but I still entertained them by guessing all five of their nations of origin correctly.

Anna is Korean, the Baton was Filipino -- and I presume she still is -- and Madeleine is Japanese. I've also traveled a few times on my sister's dime to see her in Singapore and Hong Kong, so I guess I've had more exposure to Asian culture than most of my midwestern friends. This all means nothing. I just guessed, and these people loved it. "Sure, a Ketel One and vodka. That's quite nice of you." It pays to have a little bullshit up your sleeve.

As enjoyable as it was to make new friends, probably the highlight of my night was meeting this nice, older gentleman on the train home. He was calmly reading the back of a tall, flat package, and my curiosity caused me to try to steal a few glances at what it was exactly. After a few tries, I realized it was a pack of photo paper. We started talking photography, and while I couldn't place his accent, I did decipher that he shoots with a Canon D20, and he likes to shoot his female friends tending bar, waiting tables, doing whatever. I told him I also like to shoot my female friends, but usually other activities are involved.

Nonetheless, the express train was not running, so we were relegated to this conversation on the local 6 for 15 or 20 minutes. As I got up to leave when I reached my stop, we shook hands, and I was suddenly overcome with a feeling of peace and calm, as his strong, old, black and worn hand had a warming effect on me. It made me think of the hand of the mother of an ex-girlfriend in that it was soothing and relaxing, especially for a perpetually nervous and anxious person like myself, always thinking about debt and other shortcomings. But those fears seemed to disappear with the simple grip of the old man on the 6.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Speaking Chinese

Sometimes I wish I wasn't so fluent in Chinese. I now feel obligated to engage the fine folks at the laundry in lengthy conversations.

Me: "Nee-how."
(These are all phonetic spellings)

Them: "Nee-how, nee-how."

(Girl weighs my bag. Of laundry. Then scribbles on a slip and hands it to me.)

Me: "Meng tien?"
Them: "Meng tien."

Me: "Shay shay."
Them: "Shay shay."

Me: "Zy chien."
Them: "Zy chien."

OK, so it isn't much of a conversation. Basically, I say hi, then tomorrow?, then thank you, then goodbye. And they match me word for word. And then I leave. I think I know one or two other words, but I don't have the time on most visits to jimmy those in. I feel like since I know the most basic five words one would need to know to converse with a Chinese laundry, maybe they think I'm patronizing them -- literally and literally -- or that I know a lot more Chinese. I know my accent is good and my will is limitless. We never speak English, or, shall I say, "normal," so I don't know how good their skills might be.

Maybe I'll just learn the language and eliminate any future confusion. I'll call that fusion.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Scream Of Consciousness

I shaved the beard off on Sunday, and got my hair cut on Monday. I woke up on Tuesday and wasn't fully pleased with my haircut. It's almost too short. I went from looking like Grizzly Adams to a women's college basketball coach in just 24 hours.

When I used to treat women poorly back in college, I was casually dating a gal named Lisa. I lived with five dudes at the time in this four-floor party house. It was sweet if you were 21. Anyway, we were all fourth- and fifth-year students and we always had people over at all times of day and night.

One Sunday night after we all got back from a weekend road trip at Ohio University, where we were furthering our alcohol consumption research, we had two different groups of gals over. One roommate was friends with the younger sister of one of his old neighborhood buds. She would sometimes bring over her fellow freshmen girlfriends, one of whom I was particularly interested in. Lisa and a couple of her girls were over as well, and once she was ready to pass out, I told her to go upstairs and I'd be up shortly. Of course, an hour passed, and I was still trying to make some progress with young Brandy. Lisa came down and I sent her back up with possibly one of my rudest lines ever: "Go back upstairs and put on some Enigma, and I'll be up there in a minute."

I've been thinking about buying a sixer or a decent bottle of wine and walking around the city with it. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I'm bound to find a party in the neighborhood. I feel like it would be an exciting challenge to approach the partygoers by making up something like, "Hey, is this Chad's place?" And once they tell me it's not, I'll steer the conversation (I'm a master at that) in a way that leaves my new acquaintances no other option but to invite me in.

"I could have sworn he said it was right around here. Stupid me."

Next, I'd take my bottle of wine or the sixer inside and charm the pants off a group of total strangers by regaling them in tales of my perverted mischief. I think I would enjoy being the hit of a party where I know no one. Of course there's always a chance I'll be found out for the fraud I am and get my ass kicked. Many people who don't know me think I'm gay, and I imagine some who do know me think the same, so I should be extremely careful not to stray toward the wrong crowd. The smart bet would be to scrap the plan entirely. But if you've ever seen my bank statement, you know I seldom place money on the smart bet.

Check out my friend Jason's Web site. He's an old college buddy from Cincinnati, and he's getting pretty good at painting what non-art-smart people like me would call "glow-in-the-dark shit." But it's actually a little more technical than that. His site shows his paintings as they appear normally, but once you mouse over them, you see what they look like after changes in lighting are applied. This isn't just a trick on his Web site either. This is how his pieces look in person. They're really cool, even if you haven't had a puff. Expect big things from him in the future. He's going to be rich and I'll expect him to buy me some Hardee's and Budweisers in the near future.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Review: St. Patrick's Day

The XBox and The BeardI'm not a big parade guy, and I probably didn't get into my first NYC St. Patrick's Day the way I was expecting to, but I still had an oustanding time.

It was just XBox and I over at The Ginger Man in Midtown. In previous years, I'd hit Chicago, or if I'm in the hometown, I'd do some bar-hopping with a sizable group of friends, and take in the world's best sporting event on the big screens -- March Madness. Usually I'd get started pretty early.

But Saturday, we hit the bar at about 5 p.m. and left after 10, if I'm not mistaken. And there's a good chance that I am.

(Blame the late start on Xavier's admirable effort in forcing overtime with No. 1 seed Ohio State. Had to watch that one alone at the crib.)

Once we got to the bar, however, volume seemed to be the early priority, but not by choice. XBox said something about a Hoegaarden -- (Check out the backyard; what do you think of my ho garden?) -- so I ordered two of those when the hurried barmaid finally approached. Considering the occasion and the subsequent crowd size, indecisiveness, typically one of my most noticeable qualities, should not have been an option here. But XBox is charming and attractive, so she can get away with it here. She didn't like the looks of the Hoegaarden when she approached the line, so she audibled to a Michelob Ultra, and I was left being double-fisted with still two hours of daylight left, typically not a move that allows me to be standing at the end of the evening.

We found a comfortable spot at the back bar and watched some games on the one small TV there, but didn't have to wait too long when we were in need of fresh beverages. We met a couple who, as it turned out, knew some people XBox knew. The diversion was fine, as it allowed me to direct my attention to the games while she conversed with our new friends.

I also tried to leave some of those audio blogs that y'all love so much, in order to keep track of my worsening condition. But I actually didn't get too sloppy, so there will be no such postings. I figure this blog entry has been entertaining enough.

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Broken Record

I don't know why so many people have a problem with that commercial featuring John Mellencamp's song "This Is Our Country."

I don't know why so many people have a problem with that commercial featuring John Mellencamp's song "This Is Our Country."

I don't know why so many people have a problem with that commercial featuring John Mellencamp's song "This Is Our Country."

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Amateur Hour

So I was horsing around with Windows Movie Maker, which seems a cheap version of, um, something more sophisticated. It came with this new laptop I got in January, but for a beginner like me, perhaps this is good enough for the time being. I had to make a few tweaks just to get this thing to play in Windows Media Player so I could upload to my eyespot.com account. I'm hoping to start making some short videos, and this is the very first one.

Anyway, I had three cameras set up at the first turn of the 2005 Kentucky Derby at Louisville's historic Churchill Downs. Two were on tripods with remote cords, and the third camera I was shooting by hand.

My Canon Digital Rebel XT ripped off 14 frames in about five seconds and this bad clip above is merely the splicing together of those still shots. Underneath, I added a few seconds of music that didn't really match the occasion, and then of course an intro and a closing tag.

I've never claimed to be too technically savvy, but I know I can do much better than this on the next try. I just wanted to establish a starting point so I can see what kind of progress I'll be making. This might possibly be the most boring blog entry I've ever posted.


Friday, March 16, 2007

More Racy Celebrity Photos

As you know, your favorite blog has correspondents all over the globe. And one of these sources has been spending the afternoon trying to confirm if certain sexy photos of a certain A-list celebrity are indeed authentic.

Sure enough, yet another blond bombshell has some racy pictures of herself posted online. And while my source efforts a confirmation that the images are indeed of Betty White (Mary Tyler Moore, The Carol Burnett Show, The Golden Girls, Honey I Blew Everybody), I'd like to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

On a related note, remember my college football column called "Word From The Wise?" Check back Saturday for "Slurr From The Wise."


Thursday, March 15, 2007

NCAA: Here Are The Answers

I like to unveil my bracket as late as possible, in case the suckers at work want to parrot my picks. Anyway, I've posted the answers to this year's NCAA tournament on my blog on the MyFox network. You can take 10 seconds to register -- name, email address, password -- and leave your comments. In fact, I dare you to.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This Story's Got Legs ... And Penises

From brokedickdog . . .


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Corners Of My Mouth

I'm a messy eater when I'm clean shaven, but now with this awful orange beard I'm finding that it's even more difficult to keep presentable at the dinner table. Or at least in the case of my apartment, on the couch.

But when I drink, say, my glass of milk, I always feel two streams of cold liquid trickle down through the stubble from the corners of my mouth. And since I generally don't keep napkins in my home and eat my fair share of meals wearing little more than boxer shorts and flip flops, I have no shirt sleeve at the ready to clean up the messy mouth, leaving me to look like I'm doing a fairly accurate Jenna Jamison impersonation.

So now that we're in the mood for some culinary tips, here's one: If you've got leftover red wine that you're probably not going to finish before it goes bad, make a big pot of pasta sauce and add as much as you want. Not that I'm breaking any new ground here, but if it gets too liquidy, thicken it up with some goat cheese.

I can't wait to shave this beard on Sunday.


Get Thee To A Dictionary

Can someone please tell Wilford Brimley how to correctly pronounce the word "diabetes?" I'm seriously thinking about never watching television anymore just so I don't have to see his commercial again.


Hockey Talkey

Dave SemenkoCaught up with my dude Dave Semenko last Friday. I met him when I was the hockey writer for a newspaper in the Midwest around 2000, and we've kept in contact a little bit ever since. His NHL career included a few years with those great Edmonton Oilers teams of the 1980s, when he played on a line with a guy named Wayne Gretzky. Semenko was a little bit of an enforcer back in the day, so he had no shortage of opinions when I told him about the vicious Chris Simon high-stick on New York Rangers center Ryan Hollweg (watch the video). Semenko said he thinks the physical aspect of NHL hockey, as well as the honor system, are different now than they were back when he played.

"If you ran at the other team's star player, you were going to be held accountable," Semenko said in a telephone interview from his home in Edmonton, where he's been a scout with the Oilers for nearly a decade. "There used to be a time when players would police themselves. Let the skill guys play, let the bangers bang, and let's just play hockey."

With the instigator penalties that were introduced before the 2005-06 season, tough guys seem to be taking more chances knowing that they've got a little bit of flexibility to work with. In the meantime, an official might run a guy off for a two-minute minor, but that punishment hardly seems to fit the crime.

"A two-minute penalty isn't that threatening," Semenko said. A bruiser can incur three instigator penalties in a season before being suspended, a fairly unpopular rule around NHL circles.

"There are a lot of people in this game who have a very strong feeling about the instigator rule," Semenko said.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

NCAA Tournament Talk

Here's a story I wrote Monday morning about the NCAA tournament.

And remember, my NCAA blog is right here. Spend 20 seconds and register so you can add comments. Thanks for the support.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Review: My Party

I still wouldn't call myself an artist, but I think I took a pretty positive step Saturday night.

I hosted a party at my apartment last night to display and sell my photography. It was my first such "opening," if you will. I sent the evite out to about 90 people, hoping a third would show up. Some replied that they'd come, and didn't show up, but others who didn't reply did end up visiting, so things seemed to even out, and I had about 35 people in my small Upper East Side crib to look at my work, and more importantly, drink free alcohol.

At its peak, there were about 20-25 people here at once for a good 90 minutes. A complete stranger from MySpace stopped by, as did a friendly gal I met on the subway platform a few weeks ago. Cousin John McIntosh and wife Kalia also made appearances, not to mention multiple purchases. My new friend Marc Boriosi brought his good buddy Mark Rapp and some other friends after Rapp performed at Rockwood Music Hall. Marc with a C asked me a couple weeks ago if I wanted to send my partygoers to Mark with a K's performance before my party, but I knew I'd be stressed out trying to get my place ready. Since, however, Rapp briefly played his didgeridoo for impressed party people here, I certainly owe him some return support.

Beer, liquor and wine were on the menu, as were pineapple-and-cheddar, bloody mary pops, a lovely cucumber-goat cheese-sun dried tomato appetizer and prosciutto and melon. Late night bananas foster is a staple.

At my previous TV jobs in Cincinnati and Louisville, on-air friends weren't afraid or too cool to attend my parties. But where I work now is Diva Central, so I wasn't expecting any of those pretties, which is why I was quite pleased when one reporter did come by after delivering the news after 11 or so.

In all, I sold 13 pieces and also collected a handful of promises of future purchases. What made me most happy is that lots of the pictures I put out there drew a variety of raves, not just the same four or five.

I live just a few blocks down from the Met, and this spring I plan to take my prints there and sit among the real artists, trying to sell my stuff. Maybe I'll get a Web site together this year as well. The sooner I start making some money, the sooner my hair can go from scraggly to "interesting" and my personality from weird to eccentric. I'll always favor the dorky glasses, but I'll definitely be shaving off this full orange beard on March 18.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

NCAA Tournament Blog

I'm now writing a college basketball blog for the MyFox network, just in time for the NCAA Tournament. Click here when you're ready for the answers to all your March Madness questions. And you can post comments yourself. It just takes two seconds to register. All you have to do is type in your name, then create a username and password. Seriously, two seconds.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Michelle Manhart Interview

Michelle ManhartMichelle Manhart's 6-year-old son thinks like most grown men. He thinks Hugh Hefner is cool.

How does he even know who Hef is? Because his mommy, former Air Force Staff Sgt. Michelle Manhart, was featured in a sexy spread in the February edition of Playboy magazine, earning her at least a demotion and perhaps worse, pending a final ruling from the Air Force.

So certainly she's got that MILF appeal, but what's also making headlines is that Manhart claims she's not getting a fair shake from the Armed Forces. Beyond the obvious belief that she's merely exercising her First Amendment right, she's also saying there's something far more serious at play.

"It's OK if people don't agree with me or what I did," Manhart said in a lengthy telephone interview from her San Antonio, Texas, home over the weekend. "But people don't know who I am or what I've done or what might have happened to me. A lot of people who don't know what they're talking about say, 'You should have been court-martialed.' I wish I would have been court-martialed. Then I would have stood before a jury of my peers. But I didn't get that. They stripped all the red tape out of it and handled it their own way, without giving me due process."

In addition to the Article 92 charge -- Dereliction of Duty -- the Air Force also slapped Manhart's ass with an Article 134, which, she said, is basically a way for her superiors to charge her with something else for which there might not be a precedent on the books -- say, for example, posing nude in a magazine. A judicial joker's wild, if you please.

"If they didn't like the way you crossed the street, they would cite you with an Article 134," she said. "I'm the first person to be demoted like this. The rules say that probation must precede a demotion, and that never happened. I was just demoted immediately."

So as Manhart waits for a call to find out what her status is, a call that was promised several weeks ago, she's been able to enjoy at least one part of her new daily routine.

"I get go see my kids off to school every morning," said Manhart, who, along with her son, has an 11-year-old daughter with her husband of 11 years, Dustin.

Before all this drama unfolded, she was putting in 18-hour days as a military training instructor. And yes, readers, she did make young boys cry.

"And I take pride in that," she said. "One of the best things to do is make a new recruit cry. You find where they're vulnerable and then you tear them down. But at the same time, your goal is to help them build themselves back up."

Unfortunately for those new recruits, Manhart, 30, and the other Air Force drill instructors are not allowed to touch them.

Though Manhart waits for the next step in her case, don't feel too sorry for her just yet. After the kids leave for school, the phones are ringing with offers. Manhart was just on "The Montel Williams Show" on Monday, she says she's lined up to be a spokesmodel for PETA and talks are beginning about a possible gig as a reality-TV host.

All because she showed us her tits.

OK, not exactly; Manhart caught the acting/modeling bug years ago. The California native said she was determined to grace the pages of Playboy, and at age 21, she started sending pictures into the publication that bills itself as "Entertainment For Men."

"I thought Playboy was the top," she said. "Not many people get featured in that magazine. There are only 12 playmates each year. But I can say I was in the same magazine as Marilyn Monroe, Pam Anderson and Anna Nicole Smith. Those are beautiful women."

Ah, Anna Nicole Smith. We got to that part of the conversation ahead of schedule. Earlier on the day of this interview, a national network anchorwoman described Smith perfectly as "not being particularly good at any one thing," yet she made millions and cameras followed her every move. How do women do it?

"There are a lot of girls who want so badly to make it," Manhart theorized.

But why is taking your clothes off for money and fame considered making it?

"So many young ladies see the Hollywood lifestyle on TV when they're growing up, and at that age, it looks like it would be the perfect life, so that becomes their dream," she said. "And maybe later they're looking at the almighty dollar, and they say, 'I can go shopping and not worry about it,' or, 'I can buy my mom a house.'"

Just like most of the American public, Manhart said she was stunned by the circus that was born out of the Anna Nicole death and subsequent controversies over custody and burial location.

"I was very appalled at how the whole thing was handled," she said. "What we should be seeing on the news is more stories about the soldiers who are in Iraq fighting this war. But we don't let them speak. We watch the news to find out about Britney Spears' latest drama, but we're not allowed to look into the lives of the members of the military."

Ben Affleck says in "Boiler Room" something like, "Anyone who tells you money is the root of all evil doesn't fucking have any." Similarly, some who criticize Manhart for taking her clothes off for Playboy might just be jealous that they don't look as good without any clothes on. If you've got it, flaunt it, right? Well, that's not exactly her take. While she says she thinks it's OK for women to do porn out of enjoyment -- not desparation -- and that she'd support her daughter if she wanted to be in Playboy when she's older, Manhart offers a more thoughtful opinion on being naked, regardless of whether there's a photographer in the room.

"The human body is such a beautiful piece of art," she said. "Short, fat, tall, thin -- everyone has their own preferences or definitions of art."

But what if the neighbors are using the pictures for, shall we say, less-than-artsy purposes?

"That's OK, everybody does it anyway," said Manhart, adding that her husband's friends aren't shy about giving Dustin a hard time at work. "He'll ask them why they were late for work, and they'll say, 'I was looking at your wife's pictures.'"

Manhart was in New York for a little media tour last week, and she said she tried all kinds of food on her first trip here.

"I don't even like pizza, but I think I stopped at every pizza joint in the city," she said. "And I had a hot dog, a gyro, did a little street shopping and even had a bag of warm nuts."

Yes indeed, she even had a bag of warm nuts.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Scream Of Consciousness

One topic doesn't necessarily outweigh another today, but I've got a few things for you nonetheless:

I tripped a girl: With apologies to Jill Sobule, this event did indeed occur near the intersection of 68th and 3rd today. I was en route to purchase some delightful grocery store sushi for lunch this afternoon when I saw some stock personnel taking up much of the sidewalk out in front of Food Emporium. I slowed my step to allow these hard workers to maneuver their carts around and into the store. I was clearly the first person waiting to walk straight through the narrow corridor once these workers got out of the way, and when I started to move forward, a man to my left with a bad attitude knowingly cut me off and was pulling by hand his lady friend behind him. Without thinking, and just reacting with anger, I quickly picked up my pace and, keeping my head down, pretended I didn't see either of them and turned my left foot outward and, um, accidentally tripped his girlfriend. I promise I didn't know it was a woman. It all happened so fast and I'm still dealing with anger issues when it comes to adjusting to the hustle bustle of these city streets. This is a good example of why I would or could end up back in Louisville.

Scratch and win: Every month, there's a new rotation of commercials that gets played far more than others, particularly in the morning. One that's currently got a high-annoyance ratio is about the local scratch-off game. "You could win" a certain cash prize, but quite honestly, if I'm scratching, I'm definitely winning, and I don't need to leave the house for lottery tickets for that.

Melinda and Melinda: I've seen this movie a couple of times, and it's on right now as I type today's failures. I used to think Chloe Sevigny was so darling, but it's hard to take her seriously after I finally caught an online viewing of "The Brown Bunny" blow job scene. A few times. She and three or four others might call it art, but it looks to me like anything but that.

Speaking of movies: Loved "The Illusionist" on Saturday. Hadn't seen Edward Norton in a while. He did an excellent job, as did Paul Giamatti. And I think that was the first movie I'd seen with Jessica Biel. My, she's well-deserving of the hype, and she's a decent -- not great -- actor. But "All The King's Men" was a little slow and Gandolfini, as much as I love him in "Sopranos," shouldn't try to pull off the Louisiana accent again soon without a lesson or two.

Challa at your boy: XBox Girl, who is Jewish, seemed to take great delight in sharing a few facts about her religion over breakfast recently. I ordered the French Toast on Challa bread. She, by the way, will no longer be called XBox girl, as she recently left the job that made the nickname sensible. She started a new job today, but she's a confident gal; I don't think she's schvitzing too badly.

Nonetheless, one of her accounts will be an adult toy company. I can't give you many more details than that, but you're welcome to nominate a new nickname.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Larry Birkhead Sighting ... Three Years Ago

Larry BirkheadI was watching an episode of "Entourage" last summer when I saw a face that I knew was familiar.

"That dude is in the background of my favorite Dennis Hopper picture," I remember thinking.

Seriously, check out the photographer on the right. It's Larry Birkhead. He was at the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala in 2004, and ruined this picture I took of Hopper. Anyway, yeah, that's the father of Anna Nicole's infant daughter, Dannielynn.

If Birkhead can shoot the same party I did in 2004 and by 2006 appear in a non-speaking part for four seconds on "Entourage," then can I perhaps expect a call soon when they start casting for "Arliss: The Musical?"

And regarding Dannielynn, which trailer park do you come from if you give your kid such a name? You just know she's going to be a stripper with a name like Dannielynn, before she of course changes it to Lexus or Cinnamon.

One last question -- When you accidentally impregnate a pill-popping dumbass alcoholic, don't you try hard as hell to prove you're not the father?

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hot News Diva Alert

So we're all in agreement that I have an extremely difficult time with beautiful women with bad attitudes, right?

Well, Thursday was one of those days that I wish was my last at work. Certainly not because of anything negative about the job itself; I just really wanted to say the types of things that typically get people fired.

Now we also agree that I'm the friendliest and most outgoing cat I know, but when a really pretty gal who I don't know well or at all is on the set, it's not unusual for me to actually turn off the charm. I hate to be like the typical dudes who fawn over these gals who clearly didn't get sufficient fatherly attention in their youths, then use that excuse to pierce their navels or tattoo the lower back right above the ass crack.

Beautiful gals know who they are. And if you're one of them, I probably like you. But if you're a beautiful gal and you know it, and you're far too cool for someone who you think doesn't fit into your scene, then go ahead and step onto the next plane that crashes. If I had a nickel for every time a hot female co-worker said to me over the years something like, "I had no idea how funny you are," I'd have a dollar. And I know that's not a lot of money, but if you're any good at math, you know that that means I've heard that about 20 times, which I think is a lot.

Anyway, Hot News Diva approaches as I'm waiting for the elevator today. We exchange chilly hellos. Moments later, we step in, she hits L, and then turns her fucking back on me. It was seriously a move that only a hot girl would pull. Could you picture a guy doing that? How about a heavy-set female co-worker? Me neither.

Now if this was my last week at work, I definitely would have farted. I don't think you can get fired for that. It would just be thickly uncomfortable. But if I had to speak, something like, "That's a really nice corner of the elevator you've got all to yourself," might have been in order. Or I could have been far more offensive and said something like, "Turn around and face me you bitch."

What would you have said or done?