It's times like this I'm glad for government intervention. These are the people we should parade down the streets in shame.
No, they go after women who have been told they're crap since before they were born. (I don't mind the Pimps though; I've always thought they were the lowest of the low).
December 13, 2006
As Vice Dragnet Recalls Bad Old Days, Chinese Cry Out
By HOWARD W. FRENCH
SHANGHAI, Dec. 12 — For people who saw the event on television earlier this month, the scene was like a chilling blast from a past that is 30 years distant: social outcasts and supposed criminals — in this case 100 or so prostitutes and a few pimps — paraded in front of a jeering crowd, their names revealed, and then driven away to jail without trial.
The act of public shaming was intended as the first step in a two-month campaign by the authorities in the southern city of Shenzhen to crack down on prostitution.
But the event has prompted an angry nationwide backlash, with many people making common cause with the prostitutes over the violation of their human rights and expressing outrage in one online forum after another.
So-called rectification campaigns, or struggle sessions, like these were everyday occurrences during the Cultural Revolution, which officially ended in 1976.
In that benighted era, popular justice was meted out and so-called class enemies were publicly beaten, forced to make confessions and sent to work camps for reeducation.
That this event took place in Shenzhen, the birthplace of China’s economic reforms and one of its richest and most open cities, seems to have added to its shock value.
“Even people who commit crimes deserve dignity,” one person wrote on the popular Internet forum 163.com. “Must we go back to the era of the Cultural Revolution?”
Another asked, “Isn’t this a brutal violation of human rights?” Likening the parading to an act out of the Middle Ages, he added, “Shenzhen’s image has been deeply shamed.”
The All China Women’s Federation has reportedly sent a letter expressing its concerns to the Public Security Ministry in Beijing, but later denied having done so. At least one lawyer has stepped forward to defend the prostitutes, citing legal reforms in 1988 that banned acts of public chastisement.
A couple people have died. Young people. That sucks.
Do I get rid of them or not?
What can be done?
4 WomenÂs Bodies Found Near Atlantic City
By JENNIFER 8. LEE
The bodies of four women lying face down in several inches of water were discovered yesterday afternoon in a ditch near Atlantic City, the Atlantic County prosecutorÂs office said.
The bodies were found several feet apart behind a strip of motels on the 8000 block of Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township. None of the women were identified last night, and the police did not give a cause of death.
November 19, 2006
Sen. Kerry Still Considering 2008 White House Bid
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry said on Sunday he is still considering a second run for the White House in 2008, despite public criticism of what he has has called a ``botched joke'' about the Iraq war.
God, I hate asshole douchebag "toolboxes" like this. I know he's the kind of guy who masturbates in front of the mirror and thinks he deserves anal after a middling dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Fucker.
November 18, 2006
No Grunting, They Said, and He Was at the Gym
By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y., Nov. 13 — Albert Argibay, a bodybuilder and a state correction officer, was at a Planet Fitness gym with 500 pounds of weight on his shoulders one afternoon this month when the club manager walked over and told him it was time to leave. Mr. Argibay, the manager explained, had violated one of the club’s most sacred and strictly enforced rules: He was grunting.
“I said to her, ‘I’m not grunting, I’m breathing heavy,’ ” recalled Mr. Argibay, 40, an energetic man with the hulking appearance of a pro linebacker. “I guess she didn’t like the fact that I challenged her, because she said to me, ‘Meet me up front; I’m canceling your membership.’ ”
He continued lifting, but soon was surrounded by town police officers, who told him to drop the weight slowly and pack his bag, then escorted him from the gym. Now Mr. Argibay is considering suing the club, claiming the notoriety the incident earned him in this cozy 5,000-person town 75 miles north of Manhattan is tantamount to defamation. Mr. Argibay said he has endured ridicule from colleagues who call him and make grunting noises, and he fears that inmates will lose respect for him.
Grunting, rude as it may be, has been commonplace in gyms for as long as weights have been lifted. At most health clubs, grunts elicit little more than annoyed looks or sighs of irritation. But at Planet Fitness, a national chain with 120 locations, it is a matter not only of etiquette, but also of club policy: one too many offending noises can get a membership revoked in the time it takes to do a sit-up. Nationwide, the chain expels roughly two members a month for various reasons, most commonly grunting and dropping weights.
Most of the kids in the dorms were okay, but there were a few weirdos. One guy came to the dining commons wearing a members only jacket (not mid-eighties mind you) zipped to the top and covered his tray in small glasses filled with soda. He'd then proceed to drink them all one by one with a psychotic Jack Nicholson smile on his face. Another young man wore a walkman all the time and breathed through his mouth. One day, someone asked him what he was listening to. It was video game music.
I am now that big of a nerd. One of my favorite composers is Mark Mothersbaugh. My favorite video game is The Sims. I would buy this CD.
I know that the copyranter has an almost monopoly on the advertising comments, but I love this ad for Mrs. T's Pierogies.
The Photoshop work is top notch; I have no idea what was staged and what was photoshopped. The shadows are excellent. The strap on the potato is a little weak, but I can forgive as the apron on the pasta shell is to perfection.
The best part? Unbeknownst to the fetching package on the couch, the potato paints it unclothed. I love it!
October 15, 2006
Cyberface: New Technology That Captures the Soul
By SHARON WAXMAN
SANTA MONICA, Calif.
THERE’S nothing particularly remarkable about the near-empty offices of Image Metrics in downtown Santa Monica, loft-style cubicles with a dartboard at the end of the hallway. A few polite British executives tiptoe about, quietly demonstrating the company’s new technology.
What’s up on-screen in the conference room, however, immediately focuses the mind. In one corner of the monitor, an actress is projecting a series of emotions — ecstasy, confusion, relief, boredom, sadness — while in the center of the screen, a computer-drawn woman is mirroring those same emotions.
It’s not just that the virtual woman looks happy when the actress looks happy or relieved when the actress looks relieved. It’s that the virtual woman actually seems to have adopted the actress’s personality, resembling her in ways that go beyond pursed lips or knitted brow. The avatar seems to possess something more subtle, more ineffable, something that seems to go beneath the skin. And it’s more than a little bit creepy.
“I like to call it soul transference,” said Andy Wood, the chairman of Image Metrics, who is not shy about proclaiming his company’s potential. “The model has the actress’s soul. It shows through.”
Waiting for the Cable guy...my lord!
Waiting for the Cable guy...Waiting for the Cable guy...Waiting for the Cable guy...my lord!
Be here from two to five...my lord!
Be here from two to five...my lord!
Be here from two to five...Be here from two to five...Be here from two to five...my lord!
It's four fifty two...my lord!
It's four fifty two...my lord!
It's four fifty two...It's four fifty two...It's four fifty two...It's four fifty two...my lord!
Don't wanna go to the bathroom...my lord!
Don't wanna go to the bathroom...my lord!
Don't wanna go to the bathroom...Don't wanna go to the bathroom...Don't wanna go to the bathroom...my lord!
Someone's getting a letter...my lord!
Someone's getting a letter...my lord!
Someone's getting a letter...Someone's getting a letter...Someone's getting a letter...my lord!
*To be sung to the tune of Mary Had a Baby.
October 11, 2006
China Cancels Jay - Z's Shanghai Concert
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 8:15 a.m. ET
SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- China's Culture Ministry has nixed a concert this month by rap artist Jay-Z at Shanghai's Hongkou Stadium, citing a need to protect local hip-hop fans from nasty lyrics, a report said Wednesday.
''Some of Jay-Z's songs contain too much vulgar language,'' the state-run Shanghai Daily newspaper quoted Sun Yun, of promoter KS Production Co., as saying to explain the ministry's reason for refusing permission for the Oct. 23 concert.
The concert would have been the Chinese debut for the rap icon, whose real name is Shawn Carter.
The New York rapper's use of profanity and songs about drug dealers, pimps and violence apparently offended the culture czars, who have recently allowed other groups with sexually suggestive songs, such as The Rolling Stones and the Black Eyed Peas, to perform in Shanghai.
The cancellation could not be immediately confirmed, but a notice posted Wednesday on an online ticket booking Web site, Tickets365, said the concert had been postponed.
The notice in red gave no reason, but said concertgoers would be contacted as soon as a new date was set.
A call to a representative for the rapper early Wednesday went unanswered, as did calls to the news office of China's Culture Ministry. The number for KS Production was not available.
Brad: Angelina and I Will Wed When Everyone Can
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 08, 2006 06:40PM EST
Brad Pitt says that he and Angelina Jolie will get married – when all couples can legally wed.
"Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the actor tells Esquire magazine for its October issue.
Of course, the couple are already living in domestic bliss with their three children, Shiloh, who was born in May, Maddox, 5, and Zahara, 1.
Of the older two children, whom Jolie adopted and Pitt is in the process of legally adopting, the 42-year-old actor says the fact that they aren't his biological children doesn't set them apart from their sister, Shiloh.
"They're as much of my blood as any natural born, and I'm theirs," Pitt tells the magazine, which hits newsstands Sept. 19. "That's all I can say about it. I can't live without them. So: Anyone considering (adoption), that's my vote."
And Pitt says he's a pretty laid back dad.
"I try not to stifle them in any way," he says. "If it's not hurting anyone, I want them to be able to explore. Sometimes that means they're quite rambunctious."
Still, Pitt, who's next film is the drama Babel, says communication is the key with kids: "I feel it's really important to have that time to sit and talk to them," he continues. "I really like that last minute before they fade off. And always give them a heads-up before you jerk them out of something. You need to tell them, like, 'You have three more minutes.'"
During the day, I'd walk up and down the hills of the San Francisco financial district. One day, I bought a used paperback book and read it. The only thing I remembered about the book was that the main character ends up walking into a river at the end. I wrote about it in my diary and likened myself to the character.
All these years, I'd think about that book--the title and author of which I couldn't remember. It killed me I couldn't remember. Then, yesterday, while leaving the Astor Place Six station on my way to work, I thought, "Danny Deck." That was what I thought the main character's name was.
Sure enough, I just googled it and it was a book by Larry McMurtry titled All My Friends Will Be Strangers. But what frightens me is that I knew that name for all these many years but didn't know I knew it.
Like a necklace lost in the folds of a purse, it had been with me the whole time.
Sorry no joke. I really do love rain storms.
So if the boss walks in and sees me blogging that means one of two things: the job is over or I'm goofing off. I gotta shuck and jive for the man. I can't wait until I get a real job; I gotta catch up on all those hair and make up tips.
I excused myself to go to my room with my tatting, my book of common prayer and my cold cold spinster bed.
When I went to brush my teeth, one of them had taken my pump soap from the shower and had evidently been using it.
It was then that I knew what I'd always suspected: I hate to share.
***Update: came home from CT and my New York Times had been broken into and was on the floor of my room. Behind my closed door. A door with a sticky note on it saying "Please just leave my New York times for me. Thank you!" I want to read the New York Times now about as much as I want to be guy 26 in a gang bang.
I talked to my sister and she said to "let it go" so I will; but I won't enjoy it. On the other hand, I just saw a low-flying chevron of Canadian Geese right outside my window.
Wanna be a bigger asshole? Do it before six a.m.
Wanna be the biggest asshole on the block? Do it every day.
Someday, when I get to Heaven, St. Peter will show me a movie of my life. He'll show me my favorite day on Earth; it will be when I got the air-conditioned subway car all to myself.
Followed in quick succession by:
Now that I live in New York--and I get to the state selection--I hit the N key and the first state that pops up is Nevada. I have to take my right hand off the keyboard and place it on the mouse where I have to scroll down and select NY.
I'm calling Hillary.
Update: Nebraska is actually the first in the pull down menu. The whole state is full of lazy sacks of sh*t.
No, not as friendly. I'm living with two of the nicest, most outgoing women. They make an effort to say good morning to me in the morning, and say goodnight to me before they go to bed. They offer me their food. The roommate who works at Starbucks is allotted one bag of beans a week and is giving me the beans. When I was hot in my room, she set up an elaborate fan system to cool me off. The other just gave me her business card in the kitchen and told me to forward documents to her at work so she could print them out at work for me.
Friendly people make me nervous: mainly, because I'm one of them. I know what and how they think. They give everyone the benefit of the doubt right up front, but anything any little thing and they'll turn on you. There's only one direction from here and it's down. I wonder how I'll fuck up.
Because I will fuck it up. And we'll all go to silent nods, whispers and nasty notes left in the kitchen.
I'm now in the Bronx on the last stop on the 6 train. Last night, it took me 76 minutes (turnstile to turnstile) to get home. I really took the tunaville trolley. Why do trains seemingly go slower at night? I noticed that. At six o'clock, we just zipped a long.
So that's bumming me out. I'm living in an old house with few electrical outlets and no basic cable television. I feel like I'm living with Patty and Selma and their tongue sandwiches.
Here's what's good about the place:
- Starbucks beans (one of the roommates works at Starbucks)
- A bevy of unsecured wireless connections in the neighborhood. I'd be lost without them. Lost.
- A great showerhead that I can take off the thinger and get everything clean. At the old place, it just stood over me and whined.
I know that I'm bummed out just because of the change of scenery. People get depressed when their surroundings and routine changes. It's a fact.
I have to go into Manhattan today and now I have to plan everything well in advance. There's no going back and forth. That shit ain't happening.
Just got back from a meeting with HR woman at X company. Evidently, this will be a LOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGGG drawn-out process--if I even do get the job. If I go to the next level, I'll probably meet with more people: one at a time so I have to keep going back wearing different outfits.
Then, it will be put on hold for awhile.
The HR woman just kept stressing how bad it was that I'd moved around so much. I was more confident with my answers this time than I was on the phone. At the end, I think I "moved" her a bit so I hope she goes to bat for me with the higher ups.
I was honest without being brutally honest: I told her about my one-two punch of the dot-com bust and then 9/11 where I lost two jobs within a year of each other. I told her I basically temped outside my field the whole time I was in California (for "family" reasons).
Well, it's God's plan not mine. All I can do is row: he's the one steering.
I'm unemployed and it sucks. It sucks because I've had a lot of job turnover. I can see employers' eyes shut down as I try to shuck and jive my way into his or her good graces.
I want to go back to bed. I want my friend to buy me muffins and pat my back while I cry into my coffee.
I'm sure they're sick of listening to me.
There was no one else that the New York Public Library could get to help endorse this cause? No Norman Mailer? Not even a James Frey?
Somewhere, Kaavya Viswanathan is crying softly into her hands.
"Not too much? Why?"
I asked him if he'd like to take a walk around the village and he said sure. So we walked down West 3rd street until we got to the Comedy Village (nee Boston Comedy Club).
An old comedy buddy of mine was standing out front. After saying our hellos, he snuck me and my friend in to the club for free.
Who should be up next? Dave Atell.
I love New York City so much.
I've re-started my computer at least five times in the last two days. I hate this shit. It all happens at once.
Here's some other bothersome things:
My avant browser will not accept a new homepage other than the dumb Hewlett Packard one. No matter how many times I re-program it in options and preferences, it thinks for a second and then says, "Um...no." So I programmed it to just go to a blank page: which is bothersome but not as much.
When I go to adjust time/date it doesn't find the New York Eastern time zone. I've clicked everything in the vicinity: no dice. I have to manually do it. I hate manually doing things. I should just be able to click on the time zone and have it take care of everything. No, I'm not just a dumb girl: something is wrong and no one will help me with this!
My screensaver will not turn on. I have a lot of photographs and my photo screensaver in XP won't start. My computer just sits there like a mentally challenged youth; churning away and happy as can be. Doesn't get bored; doesn't shut off. I've changed the desktop preferences thousands of times. Once again, no dice.
In the mornings, I go to my local deli and get an egg on a bagel. It comes with a free cup of coffee for $1.75. That's good. That's better than a breakfast value meal at McDonald's.
For lunch, it's value menu time again. So far, I've only gone to Wendy's and McDonald's. In San Francisco, a double cheeseburger was $1.09. Here in Manhattan, it's $1.63--no longer on the value menu. Some stores don't even have the value menu. I've been getting the chicken sandwich or the regular cheese burger.
If I go to Wendy's, which has larger value menu, I get the junior bacon cheese burger (with unmelted cheese), cup of chili (surprisingly hot both temperature wise and spicy-wise), and a frosty drink (which is so thick I can barely pull it up through the straw).
I also have been getting a lot of pizza slices. The lowest price I've paid was at Halal Bakery on Eighth Avenue: $1.75. In 2001, they charged a dollar a slice. That's some mighty inflation. Most of the other slices I've been buying, however, are in the $2.25 range.
For dinner, it's back to the Value menus. More burgers, more frosty drinks, more cookies.
This morning, while waiting for my bagel at the Smiler's Deli on Seventh Avenue, I saw all the healthy things they offered too. They had cold, gleaming trays full of fresh fruit, lettuce, spinach and hard-boiled eggs. They had ice stands brimming with plastic containers full of melon slices.
These containers were at least $3.99 apiece.
One egg and bagel bomb and free cup of coffee that will last at least four hours in the stomach versus half a cantaloupe that will last thirty seconds. Where's the concentration booth?
Not only that: I hate melon.
I'll try not to compare and despair but it will be difficult telling her about my plans to temp while she motions to the maid for more iced-tea and cucumber sandwiches.
June 11, 2006
For Some, Online Persona Undermines a Résumé
By ALAN FINDER
When a small consulting company in Chicago was looking to hire a summer intern this month, the company's president went online to check on a promising candidate who had just graduated from the University of Illinois.
At Facebook, a popular social networking site, the executive found the candidate's Web page with this description of his interests: "smokin' blunts" (cigars hollowed out and stuffed with marijuana), shooting people and obsessive sex, all described in vivid slang.
It did not matter that the student was clearly posturing. He was done.
"A lot of it makes me think, what kind of judgment does this person have?" said the company's president, Brad Karsh. "Why are you allowing this to be viewed publicly, effectively, or semipublicly?"
Many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. But now, college career counselors and other experts say, some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.
When viewed by corporate recruiters or admissions officials at graduate and professional schools, such pages can make students look immature and unprofessional, at best.
But this time, it's different. Now I know I can't live anywhere else. Before, when I was living in New York, I thought I could go on to other places and be happy. I thought I could live anywhere. Now I know that's not true; I'm a prisoner of New York City. For how long, I do not know.
I've never been married, but this is what I feel: resentment. Like the day after the wedding, I look at my spouse who I'm supposed to love above all others and who I've chosen to be with for the rest of my life and I think, "I'm stuck with you?"
New York is not perfect. It's cramped and dirty and expensive and competitive and there isn't a straight or right angle on the whole isle of Manhattan. I knew all these things when I was a care-free fiancee, but now that I'm married, all these flaws are glaring and difficult to swallow.
Just for today, I will love New York as it deserves to be loved. Because I dated his ugly, safe brother with a good job--Sacramento--and that sh*t just ain't happening.
UPDATE: Tonight, I tried to be real smart by taking Eighth Avenue, but no dice. Every stinking theater was letting out just as I was walking up past 42nd. Never have I hated humanity so.
Update: my pedometer died the next day. I wonder if I did in fact walk all those steps or whether my pedometer was just counting every movement in a last grasp at life.
It's cold here; WTF? I thought I left this weather in San Francisco but no it's cold and foggy and drizzly here in New York City. I'm in tourist-ville in West Midtown; just north of Times Square. Starbucks is twenty cents a cup more here. That blows. Can't wait for my coffee maker to arrive so I don't have to waste my entire savings on coffee. Last night, I asked for a decaf but I don't think I got one. I was way keyed up at 2:00.