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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Albert Hofmann Dies

The year was 1992. My dad had been ill for months and he actually died just a few weeks later. My friends told me one certainly needed to be in the right frame of mind.

My friends told me this after I tried LSD for the first, only and last time.

Sure, Pops was on my mind around the time I put that tiny little square on my tongue, but maybe he wasn't during the hour that passed between my swallowing LSD and when it hit me. We also passed the time by watching "Star Trek," typically not a show that interests me, especially when I'm lying on my back watching upside down as spaceships and laser beams begged to burst out of the television screen.

Maybe he wasn't in my thoughts when I went down to the bathroom and ignored my friends' urges to avoid the mirror. What ended up happening? Well, for starters, I had a several-minute conversation with my shoulder.

Later, and back upstairs, as the hours rolled by on a summer afternoon under a low-ceilinged attic, it became clear to everyone that I was having a hard time with LSD. So I returned to the floor -- oh, that comfortable floor -- and put my arm up on the couch for constant reminders that other humans were still nearby. Every 15 minutes or so, I'd ask one of the friends, "Everything's cool, right?" or "I'll just be OK if I sit here, right?"

So 16 years later, we still joke from time to time about how I couldn't handle that regrettable day. I thought I'd give you something to laugh at now that news reports tell us the inventor of LSD, Albert Hofmann, died at 102 from a heart attack in Switzerland. >>Read More


The Latest Annoying TV Commercial

The attractive but talent-light Jillian Reynolds is in a Nutrisystem commercial where she says, "I know I'm not your average girl. I love sports."

There's a school of women that thinks being "one of the guys" is a great quality. Well, if I wanted to date a guy, I'd do that. But I don't. So I don't.

Being 37 and never married, I feel like I've dated a variety of types over the years, including many who like to drop that line on me, as if I'm going to say, "Wow, I think I'll keep you around for a while." Such a line is said early in the dating, when these women unknowingly reveal an insecure amount of attention deficit, yet they have no idea what kind of a dysfunctional thing they're getting into by hanging out with me. With every criticism of others, I'm unafraid to slam myself to keep things even. I'm nothing if not fair and balanced, right?

But back on point, I really don't care if a girl knows about college basketball. In fact, sometimes in the effort to appear knowledgeable, the gal makes it so obvious that she's trying as hard as she is and I can't help but lose interest. I'd much rather you acted like yourself and didn't say irrelevant or out-of-context things like, "remember when the A's won 21 games in a row a few years ago?" as a young lady did in my luxury apartment just a few weeks ago.

OK, back on point, and I mean it this time -- after Mrs. Reynolds says she loves sports, she catches a softly tossed football and says, "Football. How many girls can do that?"

Um, how many girls can say the word football? Or catch a small object lobbed underhand from a few feet away? Or execute both of these acts back-to-back? Whichever, I guess only 100 percent of the women I know can do that.

Now I know this all goes back to the jackass who wrote the script. But that doesn't mean it's any more tolerable to take when I'm watching yet another commercial with a busty blonde girl whose collection of brains, experience and skill had nothing to do with her getting into the business in the first place. I mean, why exactly did we invent the term "spokesmodel" in recent years? Does it mean something other than, "We'll hire because you're hot?"

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Review: Tough Guy

Excellent article right here.


Weekend Review

Flew into Cleveland Thursday night. My boy John Charlton, who lives in Hartford, met me in Baltimore for our connecting flight.

Flirting with the rental-car lady got me an upgrade to the very feminine Jeep Liberty. A white one. All I needed then was a butch haircut and an LPGA tour exemption.

But the Cleveland trip meant the sale of my car was being finalized. Surprisingly quick and painless on Friday morning.

What is not quick and painless is the treatment Mike is getting. My stepdad today begins the sixth and -- thankfully -- final week of radiation for his cancer. I was obviously glad to see him, but I wish there was more I could do. Mom is doing a great job taking care of him between treatments. The last couple of weeks have been especially difficult for Mike, whose spirits were strong until recently. Mom says the doctors think he'll be back to being himself near the end of summer. Hang in there, Mike. Both of my readers are praying for you!

So after John and I parted ways, I took the Liberty down Interstate 71 on a gorgeous Friday afternoon to Cincinnati. I picked the right day to be off work. It was the first time I was able to listen to Jim Rome in quite a while, and it just happened to be the day of his annual smack-off. Just when I was getting far enough out of Cleveland to lose the signal, I was close enough to Columbus to pick it back up. My boy Dave in Cincinnati and I spent most of the show texting each other our reviews of the calls, many of which were quite entertaining.

An old flame met me at my hotel in Cincinnati, and after I shot some city views from Devou Park, we ran down to meet friends at the Cock and Bull in Covington's Main Strasse area. I'd post some pictures of the evening, but most are either embarrassing or incriminating. But I will say it was nice of them to serve up my vodka-tonics in pilsner glasses. That's why I only ordered four of them.

Saturday was nice and lazy like Friday. I drove around and took a few more pictures -- I'm trying to plan another photography show in Cincinnati this summer, so that's why I was shooting the city -- then got on the road for Louisville to see friends there.

Mexican for lunch and pizza for dinner once I got to Louisville probably wasn't the best thing I could have done for my stomach if I was planning to go out with friends again that night. If toilets had ears, I'd apologize to my friend Patrick's restroom in St. Matthews.

Some Louisville friends met Patrick and I out at Brendan's, which has become fairly clubbish since I was last there. I need to find a better bar for these occasional reunions.

Sunday went off just as Sundays typically do when trying to fly back to New York. A flight delay here, a lost bag there, a 40-minute line for a cab to the city. But I made some new friends so it wasn't entirely miserable.

Once I got in -- without my toothbrush that was packed in my unreceived bag, of course -- I finally got to bed at about midnight, just in time to get four hours of sleep before the first day of what looks to be a more-demanding-than-usual week at work. Happy Monday, y'all!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mike Check

So Mom is really stepping things up as she continues to take great care of my stepdad.

Mike had a rough weekend, prompting Mom, whom you also might know as the sweetest woman in the world, to say on Monday, "If it's a cancer that they missed down there, you can believe I'm going to raise Holy Hell when I get down there today."

And just got off the phone with her a few minutes ago, when she dropped another uncharacteristic Mom line on me. Turns out there isn't a second instance of cancer, but considering the warning the doctors gave her on Monday, that it might be, Mom was nonetheless pissed about the alarm she and Mike have endured for 48 hours. "I want to shoot that first doctor who told us it might have been another cancer." Turns out the radiation from the current cancer is causing some aggravation to some ulcers Mike has.

So the bottom line is that there's no new cancer, just the squamous cell carcinoma, which apparently is known as skin cancer, but Mike's case is a little more complex and there are some internal difficulties. Nonetheless, there are now less than two weeks left of radiation. Your continued thoughts and prayers for Mike are appreciated by us all, so thanks once again very much.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

UPDATE: Celebrity Plane Crash

It's been forever since I last updated the Celebrity Plane Crash, but I just saw Richard Simmons on local television.

Now is as good a time as any, so let's get cracking:

New Passengers:
+ Richard Simmons

First-Class Seating:
+ Terrell Owens
+ Janice Dickinson
+ Chris Berman

Also Booked:
+ Carmen Electra
+ Britney Spears
+ Keanu Reeves
+ Paris Hilton
+ Kirstie Alley
+ Denise Richards

Reader Recommendations:
+ Alec Baldwin (from brokedickdog)
+ Gilbert Gottfried (from everybody with ears)
+ Mace Windu (from brokedickdog)

OK, it's been a while. Nominations are now being accepted.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Review: How To Date A Male Model

I dated a gal who left a magazine at my apartment a couple months ago. I was cleaning up the crib the other day and saw the February copy of "Elle," a magazine I typically wouldn't read, but when Jessica Alba is on the cover and looking like, well, Jessica Alba, one might be inclined to take a peek.

So I skipped past the "Lose Those Last Five Pounds" and "What About HIS Orgasm?" stories and came across one interestingly entitled, "How To Date A Male Model."

I've occasionally made reference here to my hopes long, long ago of becoming a male model -- ask me about the toothpaste story! -- though we know how that hair-brained enterprise ended. And while I'm not personally trying to date a male model, I figured Min Katrina Lieskovsky's first-person tale would be outstanding, and it was.

Often published stories of sex and general debauchery are told by arrogant men who think nothing of the consequences of their objectifying writing, let alone the earlier behavior that inspires it. So I was curious to see how a 20-something woman could pull off the same approach, but I wouldn't say it was overly objectifying. Lieskovsky didn't go overboard like, say, Tucker Max, but she wasn't entirely without a selfish arrogance. Overall, though, it was an honest and very well-written piece, and it's certainly worth reading. Even in the glossies, it's hard to beat clever writing about something honest and sexy.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cincinnati/Louisville Visit

DrinkyNo, this is not what my desk looks like every morning at work.

This is what we in the business call "generic" or maybe back in the day it was called "wild art," meaning it doesn't just apply to one story. It can be used in any story to connote drinks, drinking or drunkenness.

And that's precisely what might occur on the weekend of April 25-26 in Cincinnati and Louisville. I have to do a little work in those cities that weekend, and would love for you to get involved in the social itinerary:

The Cock & Bull, Covington's Main Strasse district, 10 p.m. We will likely hit a few bars in Main Strasse, so text me to find out where we are if you're coming out later.

Brendan's, in St. Matthews, 9:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there.


Dumb Criminals

(h/t webproducerwhitney and brokedickdog)

CINCINNATI -- A local mother is in trouble after police say she brought her baby along when she broke into a Downtown Cincinnati candy store early this morning.

>> Read More

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Politics As Usual

How's your day going at work today? Is there anything that has troubled you or your boss or maybe your entire department or company lately?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you can relax, because help is on the way. Just call anyone running for an elected office, because they have all the answers to any possible problem.

I don't know what amazes me more: the fact that Clinton, McCain and Obama seem to have a solution to every issue in America or that we believe it when they say they do. Each has an easy fix for the economy, Iraq, environmental issues, education, health care, the mortgage crisis, budget problems, and so on. I can't help but wonder how they got so smart.

If the solutions are so easy, why do they wait until they run for president to put these ideas into action? My advice to them would be to get some things done beforehand, and the masses will notice. I seriously think I'd prefer a candidate who was strong in, say, three of the aforementioned areas, but claimed on the campaign trial that he'd assemble a cabinet that would be strong in those other areas where he or she might not have as much experience. Isn't honesty the best policy?

Something as small as the department I work in is a perfect example of this. My current boss is skilled in the areas he needs to be skilled in. He's got a wealth of experience in many areas, and a working knowledge in a couple others. I've got my niche, and the other editors on our team have his and her own as well. So individually, we have strengths and weaknesses, but overall, we're a well-rounded group. Yet the three presidential candidates seem to think they'll have every answer for every crisis. And there are many crises before us right now.

The candidates are either tremendously egotistical, or they think their voters are that shallow to believe all of their promises. The sad thing is that it all adds up to politics as usual, and that's one issue none of the candidates will ever try to fix.


Thursday, April 10, 2008


I watched a documentary two years ago called "The Future Of Food", which covered the corporatization of something as basic as food. I'd never heard of Monsanto prior to that film, but will never forget that name now for as long as I live.

So when the May issue of "Vanity Fair" arrived last week, I turned right to this story about Monsanto and its "Harvest of Fear."

I'm an average American and I think many of us are merely aware of how banking, oil and many other front-of-mind industries are as corporatized as they are. But food?

It's a long article, but definitely worth a read. Actually, it's not just worth a read; I'd say you should read it. You must read it. I'm a lazy-ass, but maybe one of you will be inspired to do something about Monsanto's tactics. I don't know what you can do, but let's just say I'd have no problems if you dropped a bomb on its headquarters offices, located at 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd. in St. Louis.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Fish Food

Homeboy Frank sent this one in:


Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Italian Job

The charming and brilliant Sneha has concluded her travels and now officially lives in Italy. She moved for a job last month, but here are some notes from a recent email she sent:

+ "...had four conversations on Saturday, each in a different language, so (my) head is a little confused."

+ "...the city is beautiful and very bikeable-walkable... also everyone is deliciously nice and it generally has a cool vibe and nice mix of intellectualism, artiness, pragmatism and pretension - so its pretty much perfect for me."

+ "i have been spending an inordinate amount of time on the phone with t-mobile international customer service, and i think this is because of:

1. aforementioned loneliness
2. conversation conducted in fluent english
3. the fact that it is free"


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Chris Henry Arrested

I've been in online news for nearly eight years now, and one technique that at one point was urged upon editors was adding related/previous stories to the bottom of a new story.

So, let's say, for example, that an NFL player had a habit of getting in trouble with the law. I know this is probably a poor example, but just play along.

And let's say this player's name is Chris Henry, a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. He was charged with assault after an alleged incident on Ohio Avenue near where I kept several bars in business at the University of Cincinnati. What a millionaire athlete is doing on Ohio Avenue I'll never know. DUDE, you have a million dollars, go get drunk somewhere that's not a ghetto, and then pay someone $30 to drive you home!

Instead, here's the list of previous stories to give you an idea of how much trouble this dumbass has been in the last two years (h/t wlwt.com:

April 1, 2008: Bengals Receiver Chris Henry In Trouble Again
November 8, 2007: Bengals' Henry Threatened Valet Attendant, Police Say
October 24, 2007: NFL Clears Chris Henry To Begin Practicing With Bengals
October 10, 2007: Judge: Bengals' Henry Didn't Violate Probation
June 15, 2007: Police: No Charges Against Bengals' Henry
June 13, 2007: Investigation Continues Into Teen's Claim Of Henry Assault
May 25, 2007: Prosecutor Won't Apologize, Calls Henry 'Lowlife'
May 23, 2007: Henry Passed Both Drug Tests, Attorney Says
May 21, 2007: Prosecutor: Conflicting Stories About Chris Henry Drug Test
April 23, 2007: Traffic Charges Against Bengal Chris Henry Dropped
April 16, 2007: Bengals' Henry Fined For Traffic Offenses
April 10, 2007: Bengals' Henry Suspended For Eight Games
March 29, 2007: Exclusive: Newport Police Cited Henry In February Incident
March 28, 2007: Henry, Former Teammate To Meet With NFL Commissioner
March 27, 2007: Bengals Henry Cited For Multiple Traffic Violations
January 27, 2007: Bengals' Henry Released From Jail
January 26, 2007: Bengals' Chris Henry In Jail After Guilty Plea
January 12, 2007: Chris Henry's Attorneys Trying To Negotiate Court Cases
October 6, 2006: Henry Suspended Two Games, Fined $20,000
September 26, 2006: Henry Could Face Jail Time After Thurman's Arrest
September 12, 2006: Bengals' Henry Pleads Guilty In Fla. Gun Case
June 20, 2006: Henry Back In Court On DUI Charges
June 15, 2006: Bengals' Henry Pleads Not Guilty On New Charges
June 5, 2006: Bengals Receiver Arrested On DUI Charge
May 4, 2006: Bengals Henry Investigated For Sex Crime, Prosecutor Says
March 22, 2006: Henry Pleads Guilty, Apologizes To Fans

My friend Dave from Cincinnati chimed in with his two cents this morning:

"Why should C. Henry be thrown in jail? Not for assault. Not for drugs. Not for driving badly. He should be locked up for not giving a rat's ass, for being too stupid to see that the only thing keeping him out of jail (so far) AND making him wealthy is football. Seriously, who pisses on a gig in the NFL over and over again?"

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Urgent Politics Update

Meghan McCainSpeaking of Dave from Cincinnati, he sent in this picture of Meghan McCain and attached a short note a few days ago.

Dave is really into politics.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My First Asian

Accurate as it may be, the headline for this entry is merely a nod to those who enjoy Vince Vaughn's character in "Wedding Crashers."

But old flame Lisa tracked me down this week after a couple of years, and entertained me with this thought I'd totally forgotten about.

In 1999, I think it was, when we dated, I pulled my usual go-to-bed-late-despite-an-early-flight-the-next-morning routine, and I'll let her quote from Monday's email sum up what followed next:

"...Remember that ride to the airport, when you were going to visit your sister in Australia? We woke up late and rushed around like crazy people, grabbed the phone book and did we actually attempt to call the airline to hold the plane for you?"

Yes, I did indeed try to have an airplane held on my behalf. Needless to say, alternative arrangements had to be made upon arriving at the airport in Cincinnati.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008


NEW YORK (PAE) -- The call for change has finally been heard, and it's good news all around.

College sports, long a target of critics from coast to coast, has overhauled its championship format and will employ a new system beginning next season.

That's right; the NCAA men's basketball tournament will do away with the 64-team event that's been only mildly popular in recent years. Starting in 2009, national champions will be determined by computers and sportswriters the way they are in Division I football. Ahhh, sweet relief.

A news conference has been scheduled for 12:65 p.m. today to make the announcement formal.

"If we as leaders of such a popular sport claim that our sport is for the fans, it's time we heed their call," said an NCAA insider who requested anonymity because he has no business speaking publicly about the story. "The fans have spoken -- America has spoken -- and we've finally listened."

Division I basketball officials said they've observed the great success football has enjoyed over the last decade, what with allowing sports writers and computers to determine who plays in the BCS bowl games, including the season-ending championship game. It's time for basketball to move to the same system so there can be a "decisive, clear-cut champion," an athletic director from one top university said.

"I think the days of determining the champion on the court are over, and we couldn't be more pleased," the athletic director said. "It's 2008; we can admit that we should get with the times. It only makes sense to reward those teams who played weak schedules throughout the regular season by giving them the best chance to win a championship."

That's good news for college hockey marketers. The sport calls its final weekend the Frozen Four, but now can use the once trademarked Final Four on T-shirts and other paraphernalia. And isn't that what college sports are all about? Trademarked terminology, sponsorship and souvenir sales?

"We don't like to be so simplistic, but yes, we need to think about revenue opportunities for all involved," one university president said. "Well, all except the athletes themselves. I mean, that would be, like, fair, or something. And we certainly don't want that."

The formula for determining postseason matchups would be similar to that of football's BCS rankings, but exact calculating procedures have not been finalized. Using the current BCS math, however, shows that this weekend's Final Four would not consist of No. 1 seeds UCLA, Memphis, North Carolina and Kansas. Instead, we'd see Duke, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Butler, with Duke and Notre Dame the probable co-champs.

We wanted to hear from you, America, and the commentary has so far been quite interesting:

Bill S., from downtown Iowa, says: "Finally. I'm so tired of promoting inter-office camaraderie with those NCAA brackets. Now, without the tournament format, I can stay at my desk without any interruptions each day throughout the tournament, thus maximizing my productivity and increasing the likelihood of a promotion to middle management."

Susan T., from California, says: "It's still not fully settling things on paper, but it's a step in the right direction."

Neither Reality nor Logic could be reached for comment.