Monday, July 27, 2009

This changes everything!

You have to check out this post about Sarah Palin and her "game-changing" resignation. It reads like a David Sedaris essay, except the author isn't away of just how funny it is. This is my favorite part:

Of all of the reasons Sarah is stepping down over, the one big reason, in my mind, is her love of country. Her deep patriotism. Her sense of duty.

So if Palin had done what voters expected and served out the term to which voters elected her, she would have been irresponsible and derelict in her duty. Yes, we have always been at war with Oceania.

The essay is also full of sentences with unnecessary exclamation points!!! Do read the comments, one of which is a warning not to listen to articles published in Alaskan newspapers or interviews conducted with family and close friends of Palin, because obviously none of those people know more about Sarahcuda than some blogger in Mobile, Alabama.

Now I am dot-commie!

Check out my new Web site, courtesy of UltimateSean.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Scratch one parking ticket!

Yes, the City of Philadelphia is going to have to look elsewhither for its lousy 51 bucks, 'cause my ticket is as dead as Sarah Palin's political future.

I got to the PPA at 12:30, checked in, and then made myself comfortable to wait. There were tons of people there, but I was so engrossed in writing material for my next show and reading the new David Sedaris book that I was fine waiting. I was called back after about 35 minutes, and the following is a transcript of the exchange between me and the administrative adjudicator (AA):

AA: So this ticket is for double-parking?
Me: Yes.
AA: You can't double-park, not with your flashers on, not ever. As a courtesy I'm going to cancel this ticket.
Me: Do I get something in wr-
AA: You'll receive something in the mail within 30 days.
Me: Have a nice day! **

So you can see that my victory had less to do with my rhetorical skills and more with the fact that the AA was running way behind and was dismissing the stupid tickets so she could make headway with the others. Not exactly Bryant vs. Darrow, but either way, that $51 stays in my pocket.

**At this point I gave a moment's thought to asking how one loads a vehicle in the city if you can never double-park, and if all those South Philadelphians get $51 tickets for double-parking every single night. However, I have learned in stand-up that if a joke works you don't ask why; you just tell it. So I kept my pie-hole firmly shut.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Creepy complaint

I've begun to notice, and be annoyed by, the overuse of the word "creepy", which has become synonymous for "anything I don't like." To me, creepy things are scary and/or dangerous, which does not, for example, apply to that dorky guy who hit on you at the bar. He may be irritating, uncute and pathetic, but he's not creepy unless you have compelling reason to think he's got a jar for your head in his basement. Those St. Patrick cupcakes with the green icing are not creepy either. They're unhealthy and not of nature, yes, but given the crap we consume on a daily basis, they're not scary or especially dangerous. So don't call them creepy. Because that makes me angry.

Speaking of ill-advised food, I made a very simplistic version of beef stroganoff yesterday, substituting ground turkey for beef, rice for pasta, and steak sauce for dill weed. So it wasn't much like stroganoff at all, I suppose, but Dan and I enjoyed it anyway.

I'm fighting a traffic ticket tomorrow, so wish me luck. No points on my license are at issue (whew!), but I really don't want to pay $51 dollars for doing for 10 minutes on one day what South Philly residents do every single night for 8-12 hours. Who ever thought a Philly cop would bother to ticket double parking on a wide residential street well after rush hour, anyway? Gar! If the City of Philadelphia can tolerate the other vehicular crap I see on a daily basis (blocking the box, running red lights, cutting off pedestrians in crosswalks), then it can damned well look the other way while I double-park to help a fellow city resident move. We'll see if the PPA agrees.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Curmudgeon alert!

First, I have to share my current favorite YouTube video.

Second, I'm at long last going to comment on Twitter. I never really had a strong opinion of this until I actually tried to read some tweets and found them incredibly annoying. My reaction had nothing to do with the content of said tweets but the mode of communication. I have said previously that I feel we are too connected these days, and Twitter is sort of the logical end to that trend. As Dan pointed out last night, the noise-to-message ratio is really high on Twitter. (He's smart.) Reading tweets is what I imagine telepathy in a concert would be like: a constant cacophony through which you have to sort to find the value. As Dan also pointed out, not all data transfer is communication. (He's really smart.) I tried to read some political tweets, but after a few posts I gave up. I have enough to do sifting my own mental blurts for a narrative, thanks; I don't need to work on someone else's.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Inscrutable Sarah Palin

I have to tell you that I find Sarah Palin increasingly intriguing, and when the dust settles and the books have been written I'm going to read 'em. Obviously, everyone's heard she's stepping down as Alaska governor, for reasons she didn't quite articulate and no one is really sure. Slate's Bruce Reed points out that this is symptomatic of present-day Republicans:

What makes her sudden resignation especially troubling, though, is not the flawed strategy so much as her jubilation and relief in putting the statehouse in her rear mirror. Palin's resignation is a symptom of what's crippling the Republican Party of late: Governing has become an unwelcome distraction.

Anyway, what I find so fascinating about Palin is that she has half of the qualities a politician needs for success, each counterbalanced by a weakness that dooms her to failure. She's cunning but not truly clever or smart. She makes a good impression on people but can't truly read them. She's very aware of how people react to her but doesn't waste a moment actually listening to them. She's enormously ambitious but she leaves behind her a wake of bruised egos and ill feelings. Palin can put herself in the catbird's seat but she just can't seen to stay there very long.

I said it before, I'll say it again. Palin is the political version of that girl you knew in high school, and we all knew one of these girls, regardless of where or when you went to high school. When you first met her you thought she was great, but the better you got to know her the less you liked her. She wasn't book-smart and her classwork was unremarkable, but she always knew who the winners were and how she could be among them when the credits rolled. She had the cutest boyfriends and she associated herself with the most popular circle, but none of them seemed to care for her very much, and in fact were sometimes downright wary of her. And no matter how sure you were that you'd seen her worst, she could always shock you with her near-total indifference to your concerns, needs or point of view.

Needless to say, this turn of events has only piqued by interest in Ms. Palin. So I'll be watching the bookshelves!