Wednesday, December 28, 2005

ALLAH BLESS AMERICA

ALLAH BLESS AMERICA

News is that Osama Bin Laden's niece will soon be seductively garbed in lingerie and posing in the pages of GQ magazine.

Either it's one more victory for America -- an ironic one that will perplex all the folks in the GOP's religious right, the folks who are misguidedly asking for FCC control over cable -- or I'd be very worried about working in the GQ building.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

FROM THOSE COMMUNISTS AT BARRON'S...

FROM THOSE COMMUNISTS AT BARRON'S...

Who'd have thunk that I'd today be reading a call for the impeachment of George W. Bush at Barron's Online? Not I.

You'd think people wouldn't be all that upset over a little wiretapping. Nobody seemed very unhappy about it during the 1960s.

Ironically, I was forced to listen to Ann Coulter this morning on the Today show (before I changed the channel). Coulter was, of course, defending the current Administration, offering up how Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War. The thing is, Ann -- had we gone and done that, there would be less cause for complaint. The continuing failure of the Bush White House PR machine is that it's trying to have the nation be both "at war" and "normal." The last time a president tried doing something like this was Lyndon Johnson, and it didn't really work out well for him.

What's next? Michael Moore and Al Franken on the GOP ticket in 2008?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

WHO DOESN'T LIKE SCOTTISH BASTARDS?

WHO DOESN'T LIKE SCOTTISH BASTARDS?

Here's your chance to help a friend get published. Gerri Russell, who is in the Romance Writers of America Seattle chapter (where my spouse is also a member -- and former president), is a finalist in Dorchester Publishing's American Title competition. It's like American Idol for unpublished writers -- every few weeks there's a vote and some of the finalists are sent packing. Each vote is based on a different aspect of the book. Gerri has already survived the "Best Opening Line" competition, but this round the battle is "Best Hero and Heroine."

At the end of the competition, the winner will receive a publishing contract with Dorchester and a publicity boost from RT BOOKclub.

Gerri is in the final nine, but three more get eliminated by New Year's Day.

To vote, just e-mailing webmaster@romantictimes.com with THE WARRIOR TRAINER in the subject line. (One vote per person please). Voting ends January 1, 2006. Results will be posted online on January 23, 2006. The winner will be announced during the Awards Luncheon on May 19, 2006, at the RT Booklovers Convention in Daytona Beach, FL. Your e-mail address will be kept confidential.

Just so you know what you're voting for, here are the particulars from the contest website (which you can also visit here):

THE WARRIOR TRAINER

Heroine:

Scotia of Glencarron, a devoted swordswoman descended from a line of women warriors, must guard herself against those who challenge her title and seek the Stone of Destiny, an artifact important to the preservation of Scotland and coveted by her enemies, who wish to take control of the country. Trained by her demanding mother to be a warrior in the ancient ways at the cost of her femininity, Scotia feels unworthy of love and wrestles with the responsibility of continuing her lineage.

Hero:

Ian MacKinnon, a bastard by birth, yearns for the chance to become his clan's champion when a group of renegade Englishmen march through Scotland demolishing clans and villages as they search for the Stone of Destiny. Ian vows to defend his clan from this new terror, but to succeed, he must learn to fight in the ways of the ancients from Scotia, the legendary Warrior Trainer.

Judges' Comments:

Flavia Knightsbridge -- Now this is more like it! A sword-handy warrior who's ready to do a little schooling on her man. I already like Scotia.

Leslie Kazanjian -- A woman warrior and the proud Scots bastard who must humble himself to learn her martial arts -- this pair promises more sparks than the swords that will surely clash.

To vote for THE WARRIOR TRAINER e-mail webmaster@romantictimes.com with "THE WARRIOR TRAINER" in the subject line.


In addition to voting, if you're feeling really beneficent, let other folks know about Gerri and the contest. (Send them this whole page.) The more votes, the merrier!

By the way, if you let Gerri know you voted for her, she'll toss your name in a hat and draw a winner. If yours is the name drawn, you could be the rougish Scots bastard or nubile sword-wielder (or their equivalents, more accurately) in her next novel (and, while not yet published, she's won national awards for her work and clearly will be). I'm hoping for stable boy who turns out to be a warrior prince, myself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ANOTHER REASON TO HATE A-ROD

ANOTHER REASON TO HATE A-ROD

So Alex Rodriguez will play in the very cool upcoming World Baseball Classic event this March. That's awesome.

But, even though he was born in New York and grew up in Miami, he's going to play for the Dominican Republic.

Maybe I don't know a lot about his upbringing, but I hadn't heard that he'd spent a large amount of time growing up in the Dominican (though apparently, his parents are). We aren't talking Sammy Sosa and the old milk-container-as-a-glove story. I had heard that Rodriguez and Doug Mientkiewicz were teammates in high school, and that Mientkiewicz and his teammates apparently spent all their free time at Rodriguez's house. I don't think it was in the Dominican.

I think I sense Rodriguez's desperation to win something. Anything. Poor rich little A-Rod has all that money, but looks like he won't ever win a championship.

I wonder if that explains why Mike Piazza is going to play for Italy? Isn't Piazza from outside Philadelphia?

While I'm at it, here's a shout out to our own government, which has chosen to prohibit Cuba from participating. I originally wanted to blame Castro, but that's my early 1960s upbringing; no, it's the US Treasury Department's fault. Man that Bush Administration... always up to something good!

JOURNALISM APRILS ON

JOURNALISM APRILS ON

The scariest error I have ever heard of in print is still the one made by the hiking magazine that sent hikers to a killer cliff in England (story here; note I corrected yesterday's misrecollection of it being a cliff in Germany) but here's a fun (scary?) wrapup of 2005.

I wish I could get Blogger to post pictures properly again...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

FRANK MANCUSO, IS THAT YOU?

FRANK MANCUSO, IS THAT YOU?

If that's you commenting, hey, nice to hear from you... you should drop an email or something.

MAYBE "STRAIGHT" WOULD BE THE PROBLEM?

MAYBE "STRAIGHT" WOULD BE THE PROBLEM?

A link from the website for the upcoming New York Comic-Con advertises that those Queer Eye for the Straight Guy guys are looking for candidates to make over at the New York Comic-Con.

Quick observations:

1) I didn't even know there was a New York comic convention again. I hope Phil Seuling is happy in heaven.

2) I wonder whether there are enough fans to meet their criteria: 25-40 and straight. Heck, when Interlac started, I thought everyone was straight. Hoo boy, was I wrong!

3) One of the sub-categories the Queer Eye guys are seeking is a fan about to have a baby -- only he has too many comics and such. Like any self-respecting fan will choose a baby over a vg/mint copy of Green Lantern #76.

But don't let me stop you. Go ahead and volunteer, or nominate someone -- all they have to do is be a comic geek in the New York metropolitan area.

Thank goodness I'm now in Seattle...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'M NOT SAYING THE ONE HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE OTHER...

I'M NOT SAYING THE ONE HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE OTHER...

But, just days after Ford Motor Company agreed to stop advertising in gay publications, three vehicles in President Bush's motorcade from Camp David rearended each other.

Monday, December 05, 2005

IT'S FURNITURE AND IT'S PORN!

IT'S FURNITURE AND IT'S PORN!

Hey, it's the holiday season. Go crazy.

HEY -- I DIDN'T WRITE THIS STORY!

HEY -- I DIDN'T WRITE THIS STORY!

You can imagine how amused I was to discover that one of Yahoo's most forwarded stories is the one titled, "Is George Bush the Worst President -- Ever?"

I guess I need to redesign my poll (moved to the bottom of the left column earlier today, in case you hadn't noticed) to include James Buchanan, identified by columnist Richard Reeves as the president most historians think was the worst.

As the second Dumbya term careens along like a kid's wagon falling off a cliff, it strikes me that Our President is more strikingly reminiscent of the string of Tammany buffoons who were mayors of New York in the second half of the nineteenth century. Everything is about who you know, who you drank with, whose friend of your parents needs a consulting paycheck, all of it wrapped up in one great big ball of "My way or the highway."

It's all Franklin Delano Roosevelt's fault. Had he not been such an innovative, brilliant, and beloved president, he never would have been elected four times, and the Republicans would never have been impelled to propose the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. Thanks to that bit, no second-term president ever has to worry about what the American public thinks, because liked or disliked, he's out of there. Would Iran-Contra have happened had Reagan (and more likely, his aides) been positioning himself for a third term? Would Congressional Republicans have felt it necessary to impeach Bill Clinton if they knew he'd have to face the American public in 2000? Look how effective the chance to run again was in 1968, when Lyndon Johnson resigned rather than risk a defeat at the polls.

Is George W. Bush the worst president in American history? I can't say. I know he's the worst one in my lifetime.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

JOKE OF THE DAY

JOKE OF THE DAY

Scientists revealed that herring can communicate. Their medium: Breaking wind. Little bubbles of information help them gather together for the evening, join together, and stay safe.

Is it any wonder that President Bush loves Tex-Mex cuisine?