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Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Music Thursday

What? A repeat of the TGI Friday's bar review--despite its comedic splendor--was unacceptably lazy for a weekday? Go get Yahoo! Music Unlimited for $5/month and download the following:

The New Amsterdams
American Football
Rainer Maria
The Anniversary
The Only Children
Pretty Girls Make Graves

Re-Run Thursday

It's a slow news day. Thus, it's time for a Best of Head East post. Today? TGI Friday's Bar Review. Holla.
. When looking to sling back a cold one, there's no better place in San Diego than the ultimate in corporate, homogenized dining; TGI Friday's. Mock it for the over the top kitsch. Ridicule the frat in the corner celebrating Chad or Chip or Conner's birthday, washing down their Chicken Poppers with long islands. TGI Friday's has one thing unrivaled by any other San Diego watering hole. Secretaries. Oodles of them. Fellas, you're not going to find any 'girls nights out' at that hip North Park or PB hole in the wall you enjoy.

Only two groups of women frequent TGI Friday's. One—the secretaries—are no longer able to respectably hit up the joints of their youth. Solidly 30-ish, the female equivalents of rent-a-car regional managers are Friday's bread and butter. They're drinking Lemon Drops with a side car of desperation. The second group is the bachelorette party for the terribly uncreative and inexperienced. They could have gone to Chip 'n' Dales, but these girls chose to consume oversized margaritas to show they're "having a good time". They're either Mormon or terrible planners—hope for the latter.

Sure, you have to deal with the throng of middle managers in town from Dallas driving up in their Dodge Stratus, attempting to take that always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride back to their respective Radisson love-nests. But in the end, the kids are fun and the forced happiness of Fridays (that's a fake bison's head on the wall—aren't we WACKY!) will almost make you believe you're enjoying yourself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

You've Got to be Shitting Me...

The President of the United States, George Walker Bush, writes a note to Condi Rice at the United Nations. I thought it was a joke...until it came across the AP news wire... Link here: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050914/ids_photos_ts/r2587077477.jpg

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

FlasherWatch 2005

Now that Ray Nagin announced New Orleans will be open for business by next week, the next logical milestone is when LSU sorority girls again feel comfortable trading their dignity for a t-shirt or trucker hat. Even money says her name is Kendra, she's from Tulsa, and she has Backne (back-acne. duh.)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sunday Update

More thoughts from Randy Newman...

No one likes us-I don't know why
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
But all around, even our old friends put us down
Let's drop the big one and see what happens

We give them money-but are they grateful?
No, they're spiteful and they're hateful
They don't respect us-so let's surprise them
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them

Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town
Oh, how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the big one now
Let's drop the big one now

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Isn't It a Shame What the River has Done to This Poor Cracker's Land

Saw Bill Maher at a book signing today--normally I find him obnoxious and his snarkiness over the top, but he had a few good comments. Regarding Bush, his comparison to other presidents was a reminder that, at least since 1906, no US President lost an entire city. Good point. And with that, some Randy Newman:

What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through cleard down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangelne

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tyrin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has
To this poor crackers land."

Add a line about the president getting photo opps with the poor ole black folk, and it's a little too close to home...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Son Volt

Son Volt is playing the Fillmore this Friday. Stop in, say hi, shoot an e-mail if you want to buy us a drink. No fatties, please.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

AIM Therapy

C: "I figure it takes a year to get over an ex. Just going through all the holidays and shit."

Z: "That's a ridiculous statement...I'm going to sleep. But i will pray for you to get through Arbor Day without any emotional turmoil"

These Things Happen

Jack Burkman gave three justifications for the Presiden'ts slow response to Hurricane Katrina: 'These things happen', 'We have limited resources [because] we have a war' and third the limited resources mean the president must protect us against terrorism rather than natural disasters. If you couldn't follow that, the president started a war which limited the federal government's resources to protect the United States from both natural disasters which destry entire cities and terrorist attacks. I certainly support the principles of small government more than the Bush administration (which has dramatically increased the size of government) yet acknowledge it is the federal government's duty to ensure the structures it builds (such as the New Orleans levees, built by the Army Corps of Engineers) actually do their job. Further, if a lack of resources hamstrung the government's relief efforts, it is the administration's fault for not asking sacrifice of Americans sufficient to protect our fellow citizens lives and property.

Terrorist attacks by foreign adversaries claimed 4,000 lives during the Bush administration--Hurricane Katrina alone has claimed upwards of 10,000. Such a utilitarian analysis is crude, yet I assume those who lost everything--husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers, homes, savings, and all worldly possessions--in New Orleans feel pain little different from that felt by the families of those who died on 9/11. Burkman's quotes:
1. "These things happen"
"There must be a limit on what Uncle Sam can do...I understand there are 10,000 people dead, it's terrible it's tragic, but in a democracy of 300 million people over years and years and years these things happen. We can't abandon our way of life and our way of government and have a national panic because these things happen...we must put this in perspective..."

"We have limited reasources. We have a war...maybe it's the case that the federal government could have put more moeny into storm prevention, but if we'd have done that we wouldn't have enough money to guard against bioterrorism"

"The government's first job is to protet the country against terrorism. Is protecting America against terrorism more important than protecting the country against hurricanes? Of course it is."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Al Qaeda took control of the "key Iraqi border town of Qaim" today. Article here (originally posted at Drudge)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Michael Brown; FEMA Director, Horse Whisperer

Here's to hoping my college roommate someday becomes good buddies with the US president, and I can head up the International Arabian Horse Association. Then, I too can lead FEMA!

Sean Penn. Opportunist

Sean Penn rented a boat and attempted to toodle through the streets of New Orleans picking up victims.
With the boat loaded with members of Penn's entourage, including a personal photographer, one bystander taunted the actor: "How are you going to get any people in that thing?"

Hey, maybe the photographer also had navy seal training...

Article Here

Rich's Sunday Piece

Frank Rich's Sunday Times article was particularly outstanding. Little has been said of Bush's visit to good old San Diego, yet Rich's piece addresses the issue quite well. The best line? "If we are to pull ourselves out of the disasters of Katrina and Iraq alike, we must live in the real world, not the fantasyland of the administration's faith-based propaganda."

Another Times piece compares the situation of two families--one white, middle class, the other black and mired in poverty. While the article unfairly tries to paint the white folks as Gatsby-esque, it still is quite good. Find it here.

Click here for the article.

On a completely unrelated note, who knew Anne Rice now lives in La Jolla? We're pratically neighbors! Her Sunday Times piece makes me miss New Orleans even more, and certainly makes her migration west a bit more puzzling. La Jolla is nice, but certainly out of place for Lestat;s creator (despite our 24-hour coffee house of the same name).

The Swift Boating of New Orleans

Bush screws up a war? Blame the protesting mother whose son is dead. Bush screws up a relief effort? Blame the poor black folk for not getting out. Indeed, that is what the right has begun to do. It of course is not the fault of the federal government for failing to act on numerous memos describing the threat a category 4 or 5 hurricane posed New Orleans. Instead, it's the poor black folk of New Orleans for failing to get out, and the "mentality" of the city--a welfare state as described by Rush Limbaugh--for failing to act. Certainly ample blame must be placed at the feet of New Orleans' leaders, from Nagin to the Landrieu clan. Each of these folks could have raised more hell about the threat posed to the city. But in the end, it is the federal government's Army Corps of Engineers who maintain the levees, and Bush's appointees who are in charge of the relief efforts. At the very least, blaming the poor, black people of New Orleans for their predicament, being locked inside the hellish conditions of the Superdome and NOLA Convention Center, is in shockingly bad taste.

Rush Limbaugh Swiftboats NOLA residents. Of course, race and economic disparity have no connection in today's American south.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Anybody Home?

The first thing one notices when walking along the river in New Orleans is, "Holy shit, why the hell is there a river above me?" I'll assume for the moment President Bush visited New Orleans once or twice in his life, and indeed looked up and saw a river (and lake) above him. Now, regardless of how much faith one has in concrete, a river and lake which surround a major US city--despite the existence of a wall--would seem to warrant some concern by the federal government. Say someone blows up part of that concrete wall, or, say, a hurricane comes and blows it down. It doesn't even have to be a big piece, because as one learns when one pokes a whole in the side of a water jug, lots of water can sure get through a small whole.

The President's response is going to be some sort of commission looking at the intelligence failures in New Orleans. Even if you're for the war in Iraq, it is the president's job to take some precautions to ensure cities of half a million are not completely submerged in 20 feet of water. At the very least, it seems logical he should take such measures prior to liberating another country. Keep a wherehouse with some big sandbags and helicopters close by during hurricane season, for example. Or send some guys to check the concrete wall--shit, maybe even build a second one just in case. Or, if you're really ambitious, even make hurrican and flood insurance affordable for the literally hundreds of thousands of New Orleans' poor black folk.

In 2001 the president took August off and the walls of the twin towers and the pentagon collapsed a week later. In 2005 he spent August clearing brush and the walls of New Orleans' levees fell down. Of course the president is not directly culpable for these events, but with such a track record the claim that he was doing all he could to keep America safe seems rather dubious.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Apartment H. Secretive Den of Sin.

You thought the Roosevelt Hotel was the hottest, most exclusive party desitnationin California? Think again. The most secretive night spot is an hour south, at UC San Diego's graduate student housing complex in beautiful La Jolla. Building 3927, Apartment H, to be exact. While dozens of industry-types shuffle past Amanda Scheer Demme's velvet rope each evening at the Tropicana Bar, be assured that Apartment H is so exclusive that no one--spare its two residents (who are such captains of the entertainment industry their apartment is subsidized by the state of California) have passed through its circa 1974 door for the past 12 months. That's right--Bruckheimer, Cruise, Weinstein--none of them made it into the taupe walled, shag carpeted nirvana that is Apartment H.

Entertainment rags--from Defamer.com to Variety--have speculated as to the decadence and debaucher that unfolds inside Apartment H. The paparazzi occassionally catch a whiff of Tandoori Chicken being cooked by the 30 year old Indian Computer Science candidate who is rumored to inhabit Room 2 of Apartment H. Yet those who have entered Apartment H keep to the code of silence they take upon first entering, for fear of angering its tenants and never again being offered access. It is widely rumored Bradgelina genetically engineered their most recent Etheopian love child in Apartment H, yet when questioned as to the voracity of this claim the couple responded, "The first rule of Apartment H is don't talk about Apartment H".

Whether Apartment H will go the way of La Esquina, with NY Times articles and even the most common of tourists from Des Moines allowed access, remains to be seen. What is for certain, however, is although Kirsten Dunst may be allowed to leap fully clothed into the Roosevelt's pool, she has yet to be granted access to Apartment H.


I always enjoyed visiting New Orleans, home of Mandinas and Po Boys and Abita and so many good friends who always opened their homes to me. Everyone is safe and sound--the same of course cannot be said for one of America's jewels. Coverage from Wonkette, however, illustrates the city's primary scourge, racism. It seems even in a time of crisis the big easy cannot overcome it.

First, a comparison of coverage of white and black victims.

Next, just stating the obvious--those who stayed in the city aren't meatheads, but indeed far too poor to go anywhere else.