21 November 2006

Murdock, OJ, Publicity: What was that all about?

So Murdock pulled OJ's book deal and interviews. They're his companies, he can. And with so many affiliates saying they wouldn't air it, it could be argued that the initial monetary gain wasn't quite there.

I wonder, though, was this all a publicity stunt from the beginning for Fox, etc. or were they really going to try to go through with it? You know how a restaurant experience is more memorable if something goes wrong and gets fixed than if it's just all pleasant to begin with? Was Murdock trying to be horrible just so he could correct? Or was he simply horrible? Or so out of touch with all his holdings that he didn't get what was going on?

Well money, publicity and more publicity, lack of common decency, negligence...whatever the reason all this went on as long as it did, I am thankful that it has now been stopped.

The awkwardness of other people's closure

Just attended a "good bye and good luck" party at work. The thing is, the guest of honor didn't want a party. She just wanted to quietly slip away and move on to her next chapter/job. No matter. She's of a level in the organization that she's made a lot of decisions and affected a lot of people. They wanted a party. And so it goes. And so I trooped over to do my part in ignoring her wishes.

As these things go, it was as good as it gets. A good turn out, from a variety of quarters. Plenty of food, drink, decorations, a cake with her picture. Even a paper crown which she obligingly wore briefly. A couple speeches and presentation of parting gifts.

Still there's this awkwardness. The guest of honor is spotlighted (isolated) and everyone faces her, already asserting that she's now in a different place... no longer part of the "us". People say all the appropriate pleasantries ("I'm happy for you but sad for us...", "Gosh, we're gonna miss you at those meetings but I know you won't miss them!", "We'll have to stay in touch!"), meanwhile scoping the table to figure out how to angle close enough to snag some shrimp off the platter.

I guess it's all part of the rite of closure but I dunno. And it wasn't quite a scene out of "Office Space." Still, this is the office. Not family. Not friends. There oughtta be another way to say goodbye that's not dragged out. A quick "See ya!" for people who don't like to be the center of attention.

Humans. Go figure.

20 November 2006

Alien Nation (Looking for Chanukah cards)

It's that time of year. I needed a few Chanukah cards. Not a huge amount. Three. I needed three.

I stopped by the huge card aisle at the Kingstowne Safeway. Plenty of Christmas cards, no Chanukah cards. I found myself at the Hybla Valley Giant. Plenty of Christmas cards, no Chanukah cards. I was gift shopping at the huge mall in Pentagon City and saw an American Expressions CARD STORE. Plenty of Christmas cards, no Chanukah cards. I couldn't believe it. I asked and was informed that, no, they had no Chanukah cards.

Now I realize that there's not a huge demand for Chanukah cards. It's not a major holiday. And if people are going to send a card to someone, it's more likely at the Jewish new year A.K.A. Rosh Hashana. Still, I KNOW I've bought Chanukah cards in the past. I thought What the f...

I'm happy to report that I did spot Chanukah cards at the Papyrus store in Pentagon City and at the CVS in Greenbelt. For a minute there, I wondered if I had ceased to exist, you know?

19 November 2006

PS3, Wii... Come on people, we're talking video games

Last Thursday I went out at lunch to run some errands. There on the sidewalk between the Bed, Bath & Beyond and Circuit City were a dozen expanded tents. I thought it was odd but went on my merry way to the next stop. Outside the Target, there were also a half-dozen tents up and a group of teenage guys hanging out.

I thought, "What is this? Some sort of protest?" Nothing so altruistic. Turns out they were camped out waiting for the $600-$700 Play Station 3. Couldn't wait until it hit. Had to line up to fork over their money.

Now the same thing is happening with Nintendo Wii, that runs at about half the price of PS3.

I don't get it. We're talking video games, right?! Granted, they have the potential to be a little more entertaining than a Cabbage Patch Doll or a Tickle Me Elmo come Christmas, but really, is it worth all this?! Why the fervor? This stuff is gonna be outdated in less than six months anyway. Tsk.

16 November 2006

Lacochran's scab theory

Here's my scab theory: if it wasn't meant to be picked, it wouldn't be itchy.

The creationist version: God made the wound scab. God made the scab itch. Picking is God's will.

The evolutionist version: The scab wouldn't itch if there wasn't some evolutionary advantage to picking at the thing. Picking is nature's way of getting me to the next evolutionary step. Why I may be transmographying even as we speak.

Either way, for once the message is one we can all agree on.

That whole "If you pick at it, it'll never heal"? Clearly just some sadist getting his jollies.

15 November 2006

For a better, funnier treatment, check out this link on OJ




PS *2 On OJ (Johnny and Fox)

1) I am a Cochran but no relation to Johnny. Wish I'd been in his will, though.

2) It doesn't surprise me that Fox would want to distract from politics right now, given it's leanings, but this is a new low, even for skeevy Fox.

The Transformation Network

Here's my idea for a satellite channel:

The Transformation Network. All success stories all the time. Nothing but inspiration for people who are looking to make a change in their lives. Lots of before and after shots, emotional turning points, and so on. Dramatic weight loss, kicking drug habits, rags to riches stories. Buy up "I Lost It", a show on dramatic weight loss, from Discovery Health Channel, "VH1 Behind the Music", which always features a comeback from a drug/alcohol problem, maybe a few inspiring biographies of famous/rich people who started with nothing from the Biography Channel or A&E. It's the infomercial style extended into a full-time format, with a wee bit less selling. Then, again, why not have sponsors like Jenny Craig and Carlton Sheets? And infomercials running in the off hours? This could be huge!

OJ Simpson to discuss ex-wife's murder in TV interview

OJ Simpson to discuss ex-wife's murder in TV interview
18 minutes ago
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Former American football star OJ Simpson describes in a Fox television interview "how he would have carried out" the murder of his ex-wife and her friend, which he has denied committing for more than a decade, the network said.
The two-part interview with Simpson, who was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, will broadcast November 27 and 29 in a special titled "OJ Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened."
"OJ Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes," Fox said.
"In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade," it said.
Simpson has written a book published by Regan Books, titled "If I Did It" and due out November 30, that hypothetically describes how the murders would have been committed, Fox said. Publisher Judith Regan will conduct the television interview.
After his acquittal, Simpson was found liable for the deaths in a subsequent civil action brought by the victims' families.
A jury in the 1997 civil case ordered Simpson to pay 33.5 million dollars in damages but so far the former NFL running back has not paid any of the money.

Is this the most depraved, disgusting thing you've ever heard? Gotta be right up there. Every penny from this book and interview(s) should go to the families. Who would buy this book, anyway?!

14 November 2006

Rumsfeld tried in Germany for war crimes?!

Now this is an interesting twist...

"War crimes probe sought for Rumsfeld
By STEPHEN GRAHAM, Associated Press Writer

BERLIN - Lawyers for inmates of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay asked German prosecutors Tuesday to open a war crimes investigation of outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials for their alleged roles in abuse at the detention centers."

American Express Changed Policy

We discovered I can use my American Express card at Trader Joe's which wasn't the case up until a week ago. American Express Blue gives a decent rebate, particularly on food, gas and pharmacy purchases. American Express also has a history of charging merchants more than comparable cards so some merchants didn't carry it. According to Trader Joe's that's changed. At least enough so that TJ's is carrying them. Way cool! Love them TJ fako meatballs and 100 calorie cookie packs. :)

13 November 2006

A new exhibition and an old favorite (Constable and La Tosca)

We got to the Constable exhibit at the East Wing of the National Gallery Sunday and I'm pleased to say that it was better than I anticipated. Constable was big on landscapes. Literally. 6 and 7 footers. He also made full-sized "sketches" in oil which look almost as good as the final product. It creates that fun game of "what's different from image A to image B", too. :)
We also got back to La Tosca by the Verizon Center for tapas. Yum. Consistently good food and nice vegetarian selections and excellent drink/wine choices. Prices are viable if not cheap. Service is leisurely. Only one proviso: we tried the Arlington branch of this place on a Saturday night and it was packed and louder than a roller derby. Avoid Saturday night unless you're into noise.

08 November 2006

2006 Election Results

A better woman wouldn't gloat about the 2006 election results, but that ain't me. :) I've never felt like my vote counted more!

It could barely have turned out better for the Democrats especially now that Montana has turned blue and Rumsfeld is quiting (!) and Hastert won't seek the House Republican Leader post come January and George is admitting to a "thumping".

Now if we can just figure out a way out of this senseless war... we've got to bring our brave military home!

It's a shame the country isn't yet open enough to vote for same-sex marriage, except in Arizona. But kudos to Arizona! I don't begin to understand why anyone would see this as a threat to their own marriage. I certainly don't see it that way to mine. Well, I've faith that in time it will shift. Like the civil rights movement before it, gay rights will take time.

Meanwhile, we will celebrate that the message to George and his administration was sent and received in 2006!

07 November 2006

Proudly wearing the sticker

In the midsts of all this political jadedness and talk of rigged elections, it's nice to see how proudly people walk around with their "I voted" stickers prominently displayed. Whether it does any good or not, we each did our part in the process. We exercised our right.

*That's* America, Baby.

Fish, cloning, fish cloning and a bone to pick

So, let me get this straight, according to the news service, we'll likely be out of seafood in 45 years but the Australian Senate has approved human embryo cloning. Okay, so the obvious question may be why don't we clone the fish? The less obvious question is if, based on the fish situation, we can't manage the environment we have, how do we hope to manage that plus a cloned one? All this isn't to say I'm against stem cell research, which is why Australia is moving in this direction. It just makes me wonder.

06 November 2006

Quiet Waters Park, Jalapenos & Faccia Luna

Saturday, we had the pleasure of meeting friends and walking around the Quiet Waters Dog Park in Annapolis. The park let us in, even without a dog, for the $5 admittance fee and it was a great time for a walk in the woods. The leaves are peaking. A blue heron flew across the lake and settled in for some fishing. I was beginning to wonder if this admittance fee was a Virginia thing but it looks like Maryland parks are now doing it, too.

Anyway, we went to nearby Jalapenos Spanish/Mexican Restaurant and it was quite good. You wouldn't know it for the strip mall facade but the inside of the restaurant is very pretty. The food and service and value were all excellent.

Sunday we got to Faccia Luna Trattoria in Alexandria in the midsts of errands needing to be run. The wood-oven pizza was excellent! The service and value were also very good. The noise level in the place was a bit much, though. They definitely need to work the accoustics!

Still, two yummy restaurants in one weekend. Who can complain?

02 November 2006

Over 1 million fugitives in the United States

According to a news article today, there are "at least 1 million fugitives in the United States." The mind, she boggles.

The foxes blink and stare and so do I

In "When Fall Comes To New England", Cheryl Wheeler sings

"The sun slants in so fine
And the air's so clear
You can almost hear the grapes grow on the vine"

"The nights are sharp with starlight
And the days are cool and clean"

and then later

"The squirrels are on to something
And they're working overtime
The foxes blink and stare and so do I"

It's a great song, worth a whole listen, not just the quoted parts here. And even though this isn't New England, I know what Cheryl (who's a Timonium, Maryland gal by birth) means. There's something different about the light and the air at this time of year. The sun does slant in so fine.

If you get the chance to see Cheryl, do. She's a fantastic musician, singer and songwriter.

Either way, I recommend getting out in the slanting sunshine! Enjoy!