Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Santiago Confidential

Hey Pals, I forgot to tell you I'm not going to post for a little while. Today I'm off to Santiago de Chile, where everyone stands on their heads. I'll return to Gurgly somewhere around the 8th of January, but I will be thinking constantly about all of you the whole time I'm gone. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jailhouse Blues

Who the hell is running this damn Saddam Hussein trial? It seems like they're in session even less than Congress -- after two days of testimony, they've adjourned for another month -- but at least it's twice as entertaining. Saddam seems to be doing a screen test for his new role as Crazy McCrazerson, and so far he looks like a shoo-in. His latest complaints, that the American troops guarding him have beaten his and his co-defendants, are not entirely implausible, but what he doesn't realize is that no one gives a damn. And even if there is evidence of some kind of bodily injury, it could just as easily have come from those spiders in that hole he was hiding in.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dishonest Abramoff

Jack Abramoff, the worst Indian-fucker since Andrew Jackson, is in talks with prosecutors to plead guilty to fraud charges in exchange for cooperation in investigations of Congressional fraud. Abramoff was left with little choice when his cohorts turned on him faster than you can say three free shrimp, but as a result, I predict that we're about to learn some seamy and shocking information about some of our nation's most respected, ahem, I mean powerful, politicians. Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), has already been informed by investigators that he may be indicted on a bribery charge, and the already-indicted Tom DeLay and Abramoff have already been linked, but what other goodies will be found in Abramoff's house of secrets?

Let's see...
:: Alaskan senator Ted Stevens promised Inuits three sealskins each if they would go wait on those ice floes over there while he looks for something he left under the ice.

:: Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum paid Abramoff $3 million to keep their weekly gay sex sessions "on the down low"

:: Abramoff was instrumental in getting the Chevron oil tanker named "Condoleezza Rice." Without his intervention, it would have been called, "Windfall Tax My Ass."

:: When California congressman Duke Cunningham cried during his resignation after pleading guilty to accepting bribes, he was shedding crocodile tears. Or rather, he was shedding tears because his crocodile-skin briefcase, a gift from Jack Abramoff, had been seized.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

28 Hours Later

As you probably know by now, the NYC transit workers' strike is SO ON. I was cozily ensconced in my apartment all day, so I didn't have to brave the chill and wend my way into the city, but I have it on good authority that it was damn cold. That wasn't the only reason I was relieved not to have to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, though: the last time I crossed the famous span it was August of 2003, during the blackout, and the experience reminded me of nothing so much as a scene from the fabulously freaky 28 Days Later. Something like this:

"He will never read again. He will never love again. He will eat his own flesh when food is not found. He is Infected."

That's right: those who must walk to work every day will never read again, because they aren't getting their free copies of AM New York. They will never love again, because they must spend four hours a day communting. They will eat their own flesh when food is not found, because they haven't exercised this much in 25 years. They are Stricken.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oil Leaks

Two recent news developments from over the weekend are, well, in the news: one is the revelation that President Bush secretly authorized electronic surveillance on American citizens without going through the courts, and the House approved oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.

What hasn't been discussed is the obvious link between these two news stories. Now, the Prez is pretty pissed off that his double super secret program has been released and he now actually has to defend his decision to spy on Americans, and he's called the leaking of this information a "shameful act." On the other hand, I think it's safe to say he's pretty happy about the drilling in the ANWR, supposedly because it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Unbelievers would say it's because he wants to give his friends the American oil companies a boost. But thanks to a Gurgly exclusive, I know the real reason the Prez is so happy about the very, very deep holes soon to be drilled Way Up North: it's because he's going to throw the leaker down one of the holes and close it up with a giant drain plug. Heh-heh. That'll solve his little plumbing problem. Heh-heh.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday Confidential

Hello, Preciouses (Precii?),
It's time - time for my not-so-secret confession that I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. As previously metioned, I now know that I don't like roasted chestnuts, but I do like the Nutcracker (which we used to see every year when I was a little girl). I don't like the techno version of O Come All Ye Faithful that I heard while shopping today, but I do like almost all Christmas music, from old school religious hymns like O Come O Come Emanuel to that Mariah Carey nonsense. My award for all time favorite Christmas song is probably O Holy Night, and the undisputed Christmas music album champion is John Denver and the Muppets, A Christmas Together. If you've never heard this miracle of musical apotheosis, I highly recommend picking it up. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll listen again and again. I don't like scenes of holiday shopping chaos, for obvious reasons, but I do like... wait for it... wait for it... Christmas shopping. I have worked in retail for many a holiday season, and I really enjoy thinking of gifts that my loved ones will enjoy and helping other people find such things too. We're not so big on gifts in our family; we don't do Mother's Day or Father's Day or even really birthdays, anymore, so Christmas is special. I also happen to be fond of gingerbread cookies (gingerbread girls, to be exact), and people wishing each other happy holidays or Merry Christmas or whatever they so choose to wish each other. So happy hols, everyone, and I hope you can spend it with those you love. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

China Blue

There's an interesting argument going on in my apartment right now: is the Colbert Report secret right-wing propaganda? We've consumed a collective nine bottles of wine, so I'm not sure we're actually qualified to answer this question, but there seems to be a bitter contention between two sides: yes, and no. Is China bad because they imprison journalists? We're not clear. Does the fact that that's bad mean that China's bad? Even less clear. Can we take a joke? Fuzziest of all. But speaking of jokes, did you hear President Bush's speech this morning? Does anyone else go to sleep muttering the phrase, "we will accept nothing less than total victory," and then sometimes slip and say, "complete victory," then fall asleep out of serious boredom and anxiety? Me too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Rock Stick Scissors

I'm pleased to announce that a strange new object has been discovered at the edge of the solar system. According to New Scientist (linked above), the object is tentatively named 2004 XR190. I'm not sure it's going to stick. They need a name that's more...memorable, more catchy. Something like 2004 XY193. That's got more of a ring to it, don't you think?

So anyway, this object. It's special because it orbits at a highly tilted angle (more vertical than horizontal) and moves almost in a circle instead of an ellipse. But it's more than that. The object is special because while it's made of rock, perhaps even icy rock, it has a very unique appearance. In fact, its surface looks something like this:

That's right. 2004 XR190, or 2004 XY193, as I like to call it, is a rock in the likeness of the darling Butterstick, forever hurtling around the sun. All hail 2004 XY193!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Take the N Train to Negotiations

Will they... or won't they? As the Friday deadline approaches for the expiration of the Transport Workers' Union contract with the MTA, New Yorkers are getting all nervous with anticipation at the threat of a strike. Usually everyone gets all hopped up and then, like a blizzard averting course at the last minute, a deal is reached and the subway and bus workers stay at work. But every twenty years or so the talks fail, a new contract is not accepted, and the TWU goes on strike. Because the union and the MTA are so far apart on their demands right now, a strike is slightly more likely than usual.

What I want to know is, how would such a strike affect me? For better or worse, I find total infrastructrual breakdowns pretty exciting. And I live in Westchester county, rather out of the mix (here in Westchester we pronounce it "rawther"); while I haven't been able to figure out conclusively whether the TWU covers the Metro North commuter rail employees, I don't believe that they do. I only work two days a week because of my glamorous student lifestyle, so if I can't get to work I wouldn't be missing that much anyway. Therefore my considered opinion, fashioned in the form of a stirring protest chant, is, Screw You, MTA, and Give the Transit Workers a Decent Raise Instead of the Paltry and Almost Laughable Sum You Are Currently Offering, the Whole of Which is Almost Entirely Subsumed by the New Contributions to Health Care and Pensions That You Demand! Kind of catchy, don't you think? I've always thought I'd make a good union organizer.

Learn more about the TWU here

Photo by Kirsten

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Confidential

Today is a very special day - my 100th post! I don't know what this means, except that I've been blogging for nigh on twenty weeks without once using the word "nigh." Damn it. Back at square one. Anyway, thanks for reading, readers, and I hope to keep you entertained and fill you with relatively useless information for eons to come.

Now, I'm saving up for a special post, probably next Sunday, on how much I secretly love the holidays, ESPECIALLY Christmas music but also decorations and holiday foods and choosing gifts, but as a little preview I will tell you about how the b.f. and his roommate and his g.f. and I all gathered together to have some holiday cheer (read: alcohol) at the boys' house. It was quite similar to what we do many Sundays except no one was wearing pajamas and we drank wine and ate yummy snacks instead of cereal. But since it was an official holiday soignee, I was determined to roast chestnuts. As in, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." etc. In lieu of an open fire, which I believe Brooklyn must have some prohibitions against, I cooked them in the stove, per the directions I found online for so doing. What holiday revelers did without the internet in days of yore, I'll never know. So it's quite simple: you preheat the oven, cut an X on the flat side of the chestnut, which you bought from your local produce seller, and you cook them for a bunch of minutes. Then you peel them and eat them.

But, uh, chestnuts are kind of BAD. I guess I'd never had them before, but I'll be honest: I don't see myself having them again. At least not when I'm cooking. They have, as Roommate said, the texture of coconut, but as he didn't say because he was being polite, they didn't taste much like a coconut. It was more like, I don't know, a sliver of pencil eraser. Maybe they were undercooked - or maybe they just taste like that. Who knows. But I can tell you one thing - they won't be on my Christmas menu.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

New York is for lovers... of heterosexual marriage

A New York State court of appeals overturned a ruling that would have allowed same-sex marriages in the Big Apple. The judge in the initial ruling stated that the state's domestic relations law, which prohibits same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional, but the appeals court has decided that it is not, in fact, an unconstitutional law. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, five gay couples, vow to appeal to the "highest court in the land [of New York]," which is inconveniently not called the Supreme Court in this state, because for some reason they named their state trial court the Supreme Court.

Mayor Bloomberg expressed his relief: "It didn't seem fair to me that New York City should have to suffer the administrative burden of being a destination for same-sex weddings." He went on to say, "I can't even begin to describe the disaster this would cause for tourism, Broadway, shopping, high-end hotels, and restaurants. Having to host the celebrations of people who are marrying after many years of waiting for the opportunity, and thus likely to pull out all the stops, would have been sure to damage our economy beyond repair." Then he smoked a cigar, played a few rounds of golf, called the President and said, "NOW do you believe I'm a Republican?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Exponential Bat Explosion

This has to be the most exciting thing I have posted in, oh, 24 hours:

Big brain means small testes, finds bat study

The long and short of it is, the bigger the brain, the smaller the testicles, and vice versa. The more promiscuous the female, the bigger the nuts. And thence, the smaller the brain. So the moral of the story is, women have the biggest brains, because we have no testicles, and if we want to achieve world domination, we need to sleep around. Or at least bats do. But if we want to prevent female bats from taking over the planet, we need to be even more promiscuous than they are. At a minimum, there are 334 species of bat. I don't know how many bats there are, total, but I'm thinking, given that information, there are at least ten bajillion bats in the world! And that means that unless we start making babies pronto, we're in serious trouble. However, I'm going to have to claim an exemption. Because if I am too busy poppin' em out to blog, I can't provide the critical updates you need on the bats' plan to take over the world.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

P is for President

Sorry for not posting yesterday. Blogger was having "maintenance," which is apparently what they call it when they kill the server without telling you. Anyway, this isn't totally newsworthy anymore, but still, it's too good to skip. Thanks to Stuart for the tip.

Pakistan deletes 'pro-Bush' poem

So a Pakistani textbook was found recently to include a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out "President George W Bush." No one knows how it got there, and the education ministry plans to remove it, but I am shocked, SHOCKED(!) at this scandal. I mean, this is a really, really badly written poem. Look at this:

THE LEADER by anonymous
Patient and steady with all he must bear,
Ready to meet every challenge with care,
Easy in manner, yet solid as steel,
Strong in his faith, refreshingly real.
Isn't afraid to propose what is bold,
Doesn't conform to the usual mould,
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight won't do,
Never backs down when he sees what is true,
Tells it all straight, and means it all too.
Going forward and knowing he's right,
Even when doubted for why he would fight,
Over and over he makes his case clear,
Reaching to touch the ones who won't hear.
Growing in strength he won't be unnerved,
Ever assuring he'll stand by his word.
Wanting the world to join his firm stand,
Bracing for war, but praying for peace,
Using his power so evil will cease,
So much a leader and worthy of trust,
Here stands a man who will do what he must.

And Pakistanis wonder why they have a literacy rate of 45%. If I had to learn to read on this shit, I wouldn't know how either. Regarding the mysterious origin of this poem, I have a theory: The Prez wrote it himself. Remember how when you were in elementary school and you had to write these acrostics with your name? Well, maybe the President's personal tutor (Andrew Card?) had him write one, for practice with rhyming, and he gave it to President Musharraf as a present, and things just went from there. Sometimes people's moms put them on the refrigerator, sometimes presidents of other nations put them in their textbooks.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sunday Confidential

In Memoriam, Buddy, 1994-2005 (Anticipated)

I'm sorry to say that Buddy, the last living dog from my childhood days, is going to die on Tuesday, December 6. I know this not because I am a psychic who can predict when someone will die. It's because he has an appointment at the vet.

When Buddy was born he was a runt, a small, puny little thing. So shortly after he came home to us, he started eating, and eating, and eating, and he never stopped. He was the fattest dog I've ever seen. But now, because he's old and sick, he's all skinny. Poor guy.

Buddy was the third dog we got, after Casey, a wheaten terrier, Blossom, a black and tan coonhound, and then Buddy was a coonhound too. They all lived long lives, and over the last two years, they've all died peacefully. Now we have three new dogs, including a brand new little puppy. They're wonderful, and I'll miss Buddy, but I know he'll be happy at that big food bowl in the sky.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

There Must Be A Joke In Here Somewhere...

Okay, friends, I need some help. There's this news item, and I think it's funny, I'm sure it's funny, I just can't quite figure it out.

Here's the deal: it was announced today-ish that PBS's conservative Journal Editorial Report will move to Fox News Channel next month. The Editorial Report features Wall Street Journal editors and reporters talking about the news, and it was created as a conservative counterpart to NOW with Bill Moyers, which is now just NOW, as the liberal Moyers retired in 2004.

The decision to take the Editorial Report to Fox appears to have come from the anger of Dow Jones (owners of the WSJ) at some of the major PBS markets' not carrying the show or airing it in the wee hours, and there's talk of the vast liberal public broadcasting conspiracy and whatnot. But Kenneth Tomlinson, the disgraced and resigned chairman of the Coporation for Public Broadcasting ended up so disgraced and resigned partly because he violated laws by dealing directly with the creators of the Editorial Report, and partly because he broke laws by threatening to withold funding if PBS programming didn't become more conservative and employing "political tests" in hiring decisions.

So there's your material. I don't exactly get what it is that's so strange about this to me - I guess it's that the Editorial Report exists thanks to the machinations of a criminal, and now they're blaming the organization he ran for their decision to leave because they're not getting enough love. But I know you folks have a high standard of humor, and that's just not going to cut it. So go to it! Make me laugh like Bert & Ernie in their homofied bathtub!