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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Today Sucks Already

Less than five hours into Tuesday, I'm already pissed, and it takes a lot to get me pissed.

I took my not-so-uncommon 90-minute or two-hour nap after work Monday. I rolled out of the rack at about 5:30 p.m. Walked around, probably stepped on some clutter -- maybe a shoelace or a renegade bread crumb -- stretched, then went for a run in Central Park.

It was after 7 p.m. when I got back. I haven't slept since, and I've got a full work day ahead of me.

I just couldn't get to sleep.

If I take the post-work nap, then usually I'll get into bed around 11, read for a half hour or so, then fall asleep before midnight, and wake up at about 4:15 a.m. This time, I put the book down at about 1 a.m., and tossed and turned until 3:15 a.m. I then decided I'd just get out of bed and go into work an hour early. And going in an hour early in my job is extra sucky, since my normal in-time is an already unpleasant 5 a.m.

As if that wasn't bad enough, what greeted me when I got in was a book on my desk called "The No Asshole Rule: Building A Civilized Workplace And Surviving One That Isn't," left by the most courageous of co-workers -- the anonymous one.

Here's a tip: If you ever want to get away with secretly leaving a book on a co-worker's desk, make sure it's not one of the many complimentary pieces that come through your workplace, and then make sure you don't have a pile of about a dozen others stashed away beside your desk.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Weekend Recap ... Holiday Edition

What a great holiday weekend, and I don't even have Memorial Day off today!

Friday got things off to a nice start. Met up with some friends at 230 Fifth, a pretty cool rooftop joint in the 20s with a great city view, including the Empire State Building about 10 blocks due north.

Lots of pretty people and trendy snobbery made this place not my kind of bar if I were to return solo or with just one friend, but sitting down with a larger group as I did made the place far more tolerable. Plus, the weather was perfect as the sun was fading early Friday evening, so that was pretty nice as well.

Saturday started on the right foot. I got a big delivery of 12x18s for my art show, now just four days away in Covington, Ky.

So I spent some time with those, putting them into mats and starting to worry how I'm going to get everything to Cincinnati. Too late now to try to mail them, so I have to pack everything in a big box and check on the airplane when I fly Thursday, then cross my fingers and hope the baggage people really do handle with care if so requested.

I took a bottle of wine and some prints my cousins had ordered in March over to their place for dinner Saturday night. Kalia made gazpacho and a warm chicken salad, which was outstanding.

I was all set to go home and watch a movie -- I just signed up for NetFlix and received my first DVDs in the mail the other day -- but I called my friend Christine and she coaxed me down to her neighborhood for a rooftop beer or two. She actually lives right near that 230 Fifth joint, though her rooftop might not be as polished as the other one.

Sunday I met my friend Jennie down at the Yaffa Cafe, which I think is in the village. It's on St. Mark's between 1st Avenue and Avenue A, so maybe that's Alphabet City. I don't know. But the food was good and cheap.

Where most cities recognize that Memorial Day weekend is the official start to summer, up here it seems to signal the official start to quieter weekends. Apparently everyone goes to the Hamptons, and that's fine with me, though I wouldn't mind finding out what all the buzz out there is about one time.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Me, Me, And More Me

Attention Cincinnati: I'll be one of the featured artists at the First Friday gallery hop in Covington, Ky., on June 1. More details will follow here and in emails in the next few days, but I'll be at the Madison Wedding Mall in downtown Covington from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

And in an effort to drum up a little publicity for the event, I'll be a guest on the Channel 9 news at about 12:15 p.m. on Friday, June 1. Still efforting a radio interview or two, so stay tuned for those details as well.

Hope to see you on June 1.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fall TV Lineup

As you know, the nets recently announced their fall TV lineups, and hot off the press this morning are the names of a few shows that did not make the cut:

+ Are You Hotter Than A 5th-Grader?
+ Wifekiller
+ 60 Minutes: Celebrity Edition
+ NBC Dateline: Celebrity Edition
+ Nova: Celebrity Edition
+ Lindsay Lohan Must Die
+ The Orifice
+ America's Dumbest News Anchors: Two-Hour Edition
+ Supertranny
+ Wifekiller: Miami


Monday, May 21, 2007

Interleague: Reds vs. Indians

Now that the dust has settled on baseball's first interleague weekend of the season, and the Indians are still resting comfortably atop the American League Central after taking two of three from the Reds, I must say I thought a little bit about a Reds-Indians game I attended in 2000.

I'm a Cleveland native and was living in Cincinnati that summer. Old girlfriend Heather and I got some last-minute tickets to a game at Cinergy Field. It was a beautiful Friday night in Cincinnati, and my Tribe was playing well.

The sold-out crowd watched a pair of gems by Cleveland's Chuck Finley and Cincinnati's Denny Neagle, giving the yard a postseason atmosphere.

And with the Indians trailing, 2-1 in the top of the ninth, up-and-comer Russell Branyan lined a double down the left-field line, and Travis Fryman tried to score from first base. I can't remember who the left fielder was for the Reds, but he fielded the bounce off the wall cleanly, then fired a laser to Barry Larkin, whose relay home beat Fryman by a step and the home team closed out the exciting win.

An hour later, still proudly sporting my Tribe hat, one dude passed me and we exchanged hellos. His was more like, "How you doin?" and then he saw my lid, and assumed I was in "a bad mood, huh?"

Not at all. I just witnessed an outstanding game that wasn't decided until the final play, a rarity in baseball. It was a pleasant summer night and I was enjoying a cold outdoor beer with the girlfriend. Life was good back then. I was hardly in a bad mood that night.

"Then buy me a beer," said the stranger, and like the pushover I am, I bought his ass a beer.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Time For You To Bring Me The Funny

As both of you know, I've been fairly anti-Bob Huggins for years now. Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly devoted an entire column to bashing Huggins sometime in the last six or eight months, and in this week's issue, his column is a funny collection of quotes you'll never hear spoken in the sports world. One of his best . . .

"Look up the word class in the dictionary, and you'll see Bob Huggins' picture next to it."

Here are some of mine:

"Yeah, we wanted to do a bunch more coke that night, but LT said he was ready to go home."

"My, that Joe Namath sure has his shit together."

"See that girl in the tight top and the fake boobs and lots of makeup, right outside the Knicks' locker room? She probably won't be having sex tonight."

Got some funny for me?


Excellent Tweet

Marcus in Chicago just sent a funny Tweet:

"Someone farted on the el. Not cool."

What's A Tweet?


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Taking Weed

It's always been entertaining hearing how non-party people describe their infrequent marijuana use. Here are some actual quotes I've heard over the years.

"I've never done dope."

"You guys taking grass?"

"I think we were on weed that night."

From what I hear, paranoia can be a common symptom for those who partake. Just watch this video, h/t Eric from work.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

W Is For Weak

I was invited to check out a new social networking site called uber.com. Maybe it's not new; I'd just never heard of it until over the weekend.

My first exposure to it was a guy's photo album. If I didn't read any of the captions, I think I'd still be able to tell a lot about him. "Rhettmatic" is a DJ, he doesn't smile -- nor do his friends Melo-D and J.Rocc; are these people for real? -- and apparently he comes from the west side of some city or other. Shoot, they all do.

I was expecting something a little different than, say, myspace, as this site is billed to be more for artsy types wanting to post their work, not just college morons posing for the ladies, shirtless on the hood of the neighbor's Mustang GT.

Seriously, gentlemen, it's OK to smile, and it's definitely OK to not turn your hand into a big W. This cliche is so incredibly weak and tiresome, and it must end immediately.


Monday, May 14, 2007

L.A. Story

A few years ago, I read an interview with former NBA star Reggie Miller, one of the best trash talkers in all of sports, and he was asked about the best smack talk directed at him. He said in his rookie year, his Pacers were playing at Boston in a nationally televised Christmas Day game, and Larry Bird launched a 3-pointer in the corner right in front of the Pacers' bench. The split second it left his hands, Bird turned to the Indiana bench, looked Miller right in the eye and said, "Merry Christmas, bitch!" Bird started to run back toward the end of the floor, then swoosh!

What you are about to read right now isn't necessarily smack talk, but it's pretty good smack behavior, if you will, from both star athlete and heckler. (h/t Lee Gerowitz).


Jeff Ruby Update

Lots of people who are in the public eye pursued their jobs because they knew they'd end up being, well, in the public eye.

Jeff Ruby is no exception. He's the restaurant owner who kicked O.J. Simpson out of his Louisville restaurant 10 days ago, simply for being O.J., the man who still hasn't found his wife's real killer.

I think Ruby did a heroic thing by showing some balls and telling Simpson to get out of his restaurant the night before the Kentucky Derby. It's no secret that Ruby likes rich celebrities -- white or black -- and evidence of that is plentiful in the form of framed photographs plastered all over his restaurants of himself with a bad Cosby sweater, no smile and an arm around one of hundreds of famous people who visit his establishments.

Ruby spent last week all over the national media, offering satellite interviews to the cable networks and such. Good for him. The publicity will do wonders for his bottom line.

But in typical lawyer fashion, Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, tried to call the kettel black over the weekend.

A few days after claiming he'd go after Ruby by trying to shut down his liquor license, claiming the restaurateur made a racist move by booting Simpson, he then said Ruby's move was nothing more than a publicity stunt.

"If we had our druthers, this would have died that night and been over," Galanter told the Associated Press over the weekend. "We are not pushing it."

We are not pushing it.

That sounds a lot like me choosing to make this blog weak, or me deciding not to sleep with Cheryl Burke, as if it were up to me.

I think when Galanter says "We are not pushing it," what he means is, "We have no case." You did have your druthers, asshole, and you chose not to let it die that night. Your boy got embarrassed, and now you both should die.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

O.J. Simpson Update

The restaurant owner making national headlines for not serving O.J. Simpson is a racist, or so claims an attorney for the former football star.

Jeff Ruby has upscale restaurants in the Cincinnati area, as well as Belterra, Ind., and for about a year now in Louisville. I used to work at his flagship Cincinnati joint from 1994-2000.

One night in the late 1990s, after a book signing, Johnny Cochran or Robert Shapiro -- I can't remember whom -- called the restaurant and said he and his entourage were on the way for a late dinner. Word quickly got to Ruby, who then hustled to the restaurant, waited in front of the building and didn't allow the group to eat there.

And Friday night in Louisville, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, Ruby came in shortly after Simpson and his party were seated. Ruby told them he wouldn't allow them to be served.

Seeing Simpson still get as much attention as he does "makes me sick to my stomach," Ruby told an Associated Press writer. I agree.

When I caught up with some friends in Louisville on Friday, they actually told me they'd seen O.J. out the night before. My two male friends, along with one of their girlfriends, were crossing the street when they noticed Simpson in an SUV -- a white one, they assured me -- with two other women. My friends called out to O.J., who rolled down a window, fixed his gaze on the girl and said, "Oh yeah, I like that."

It's no secret that many pro athletes are wired differently. Their lives are largely about money and sex and money and sex and more money and more sex. And after their glory days end, they know no other way than to continue to behave like selfish children, spending their days playing golf and objectifying women. Some even slice the heads off their estranged wives.

And our culture is so dumb that we let him get away with it, laugh at him when he considers writing a book called "If I Did It," then herd our women into SUVs and watch them giggle when he leers at others crossing the street.

But that restaurant owner sure is a racist.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Weekend/Derby Recap

Derby Celebs CoverLeft work early on Thursday and caught a flight to Cincinnati that actually left LaGuardia on time. Doesn't it always work this way? When back-end pick-up arrangements are on time, your plane is late, but on the rare occasion that your plane lands on time, your friend calls to say he's a little tardy. No sweat, though, as I traveled with my new laptop, so did a little work and even watched a movie on it.

So Tom dispatched his lovely wife Margie to pick me up. She took me to Biagio's Bistro, where I was planning to meet Anna for dinner and a drink with Biagio, an old friend, and my good bud Jim, who's a chef there.

After the chicken scallopini at Biagio's, Anna and I went to Teller's in Hyde Park, which is where we first met in January. I ran into old dude Adam Buckley, who, without trying, did a Jeff Green (Larry David's agent on "Curb") impersonation perfectly.

Then we rolled down to R.P. McMurphy's, which was a little loud, so we turned around and split, but not before spotting another old mate, Mike Nolan, who was handicapping the Derby with a buddy.

Friday morning, I dropped Anna off at school, then used her car to roll around Clifton and Cincinnati all morning. Visited Jason at the hospital, then Nasser, who first cut my hair nearly 20 years ago, at his salon. Was quite nice being around the old campus.

Here's something a little funny. I used to work at a pretty nice restaurant in Cincinnati. One of the managers there a decade ago appears to have lost his culinary touch. He was the one who served me my Classic Italian sub at Quizno's on Friday near Fountain Square. Ouch.

I picked up Anna from class and she took me to the airport to rent a car. I was off to Louisville.

And you know that they say -- What happens in Louisville . . . gets photographed and written about here.

One last note: Tom was driving down from Cincinnati to Louisville to hit the Derby with us when he stopped at a highway gas station. He said two nicely dressed gals also en route to the Derby walked in a minute after he did, asked the clerk for a straw, then headed straight to the bathroom. Nice and subtle.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Survey Out

The zebra is an endangered, horselike African mammal whose black and white stripes make it one of nature's most recognizable and beautiful creatures. It is also a slang term to describe a basketball or football referee.

And speaking of black and white, the NBA lashed out against a study released today that suggests referees call fouls more frequently against black players than they do white players.

To which I have only one reply: white players can't hack anybody from the bench yo.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Kentucky Derby 133

Kentucky Derby Hopeful Hard SpunOne thing I loved about Kentucky Derby season when I lived in Louisville was all the celebrities who stormed the town the week of the race.

At right is Sarah Jessica Parker. Or is that John Elway? Nancy Kerrigan?

In all seriousness, the Derby is the grandest event of all time. Screw the Super Bowl. I truly love the Derby. It alone is enough for me to want to live in Louisville again, though the occasion is made even better with all the great friendships I was fortunate enough to make there.

And instead of lugging cameras around all day this year, like I did the previous five or six years, I'll actually be sitting in section 117 all day with a few friends, enjoying a drink or two under the sun, watching Scat Daddy, which will probably go off at about 10-1, win me some money. And -- this I can guarantee -- that is my final pick until I change it in the next 24 or 48 hours.