Friday, December 31, 2010

Mac & Cheese Sandwich

This may be the last thing I eat in 2010. Wish my heart luck.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

More bad news from Borders Books

This isn't what you want to hear from a bookseller, especially right after the holiday season. Good luck to everyone in Ann Arbor and out in the stores.

From Publishers Lunch:
The Grinch Goes to Borders, As Major Vendor Payments Are Delayed
Borders warned investors on December 9 that they faced a potential "liquidity shortfall" in early 2011 and within the last 24 hours that warning has turned into reality for some of its major supporters--including big publishers. People familiar with the communications tell us that Borders ceo Mike Edwards contacted some publishers recently to indicate that Borders would be postponing payments due, now that the holidays are over. The Borders executive team is due in New York in early January, we are told, both to discuss next steps with major vendors and to present their case to banks and investors.

According to the company's December SEC filing, vendor credit remains essential to the company's operations, accounting for "approximately 44 percent of our inventory." They noted at the time "we are working closely with vendors to maintain acceptable levels of payables but there can be no assurance that our current vendor credit levels will be maintained." So far, we are told the company has not indicated when they intend to make their accounts payable current, or even whether they will be able to make payments in full or will propose alternate arrangements.

A statement provided to Publishers Lunch by company spokesperson Mary Davis at least implies that Borders may seek to negotiate amounts due as they "restructure" what they owe to publishers. The company told us:

"In response to media inquiries, Borders Group Inc. today stated that, as the company previously reported, it is in discussions regarding the potential reinfancing of its existing senior credit facilities. As part of this potential refinancing, Borders has determined that it is necessary to restructure its vendor financing arrangements and is delaying payments to certain of its vendors.

"Borders has notified these vendors and will be working with them to restructure their arrangements with the company. Borders stated that there can be no assurance that it will be successful in refinancing its senior credit facilities or restructuring its vendor financing arrangements. As the company previously reported, the absence of the refinancing could cause the company to violate the terms of its existing credit agreements in the first calendar quarter of 2011 and the company could experience a liquidity shortfall."

Davis declined to comment beyond the statement. While it is a different situation, publishing people will remember with discomfort that Advanced Marketing Services filed for bankruptcy protection right after the holiday selling period in 2007, filing on December 29 (and subsequently liquidating rather than reorganizing.)

Separately, publishers have told us recently that Borders indicated that approximately 10 to 17 more stores are due to close by the end of the January (in addition to the closures already reported by us, set to close by January 7). Davis said "we are closing a few additional stores in January, but not disclosing the total number at this time. We will share that information in our next quarterly release as we usually do."

Got Watermelon?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I am the Fauxetry champion

Tonight, we performed Fauxetry for the crowd, and I kicked some butt. The object of the "game" is to find a random, mundane bit of text, i.e., a receipt, recipe, VHS box text, etc., and read it in the style of slam poetry. Add wine and fun ensues. Since the party was based on a Boggle contest (we're so edgy), I chose to read the Boggle instructions. Needless to say, it was a crowd pleaser. The judges' points were tallied and I won. My prize? More wine!! Mazel tov!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Vodka is mostly water, right?

Jamie Hale reports that drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water a day may not be necessary. The roots of the myth?
[Physician Heinz] Valtin thinks that the notion may have started in 1945 when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which would amount to roughly 2 to 2.5 quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces).

In its next sentence the board stated, “[M]ost of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.” But that last sentence seems to have been missed, so that the recommendation was erroneously interpreted as how much water a person should drink each day.
I can't even begin to tell you what this means to me: wine, vodka, ICED TEA!! They are all basically water (with delicious flavorings). Add Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles to this list, and I might just be in heaven.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Xmas

Ha! Just kidding. It's not that stressful. Have a great Santa Day!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Banksy's views on advertising

“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

9 Views on How to Fix America

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Justice Delayed, but Leonard Matlovich would have to be happy today: Repeal of DADT

Thank you for your bravery, Leonard. You blazed that trail all the way to December 18, 2011. I hope someone writes 65-31 on your headstone in celebration. Seriously, thank you.

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A Change Is Gonna Come: Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'


Our nation will take a step to remove institutionalized discrimination from its military today. The Senate is set to vote at 12:00 PM PST to repeal DADT. After that, the ball will be in the Pentagon's and the Administration's court to complete the repeal process. I don't think you will, but I feel compelled to say, "Don't fail us on this, Mr. President."

I have to take a minute to extend my sincere thanks to the Republican Senators who crossed party lines to make what is a courageous vote for them. It is the right vote, the moral vote, the ethical vote, but I still understand that it is also a brave vote considering your party and your constituents. Thank you for being part of this civil rights movement:

Lisa Murkowski
Scott Brown
Olympia Snowe
Susan Collins
George Voinovich
Mark Kirk
John Ensign
Richard Burr

A change is going to come, my friends. It's inevitable. The ongoing movement to extend civil rights to all our citizens does not flow backward. Oh no, it has a forward momentum. And it's gaining speed. Even though I rail against the slow pace of gay liberation and rant about those who would deny me and my fellow queer brothers and sisters the same rights they have, I'm happy to be living in exciting times of change.

Not all that long ago, I think it would have been inconceivable to have an out and proud and wildly outrageous person like Adam Lambert appear on television, touring the country and world, and garnering support and admiration from all ages and creeds. Yet, here we are. And I think he definitely chose the right song to sing DADT off the stage. Kudos, Adam.

Goodbye, DADT. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

West Wind is dead. Long live West Wind!

Is anyone else paying attention to the gutting of the old West Wind Automotive on Townsend St.? I loved the old sign, but it's interesting watching the progress of these soon-to-be condos.

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Pringles does it again: Pigs in Blankets flavor!!

pigs in blankets pringles

These exist?! Where are they? And why doesn't Safeway carry them?

Dear Santa, I know what I want now.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shopping for a new rug: Option #1

New rug

What do you think? Too big? Too rough? Not modern enough?

If Sarcasm Ruled the World

In my head, sarcasm does rule the world, but for the rest of you, I recommend checking out Cracked for the full list of sarcastic possibilities.

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Take that, you bike-riding hippie! UC Berkeley crackdown has bicyclists fuming

Sure, a $220 fine for locking your bike to a railing instead of a designated bike rack seems severe, but, and I say this as one who abhors traffic and the overpopulation of cars in our city centers, "Deal with it." It's the law. As a pedestrian, I see so many violations by cyclists every day that I have lost all empathy. As a group, you tend to be reckless and frequently disobey traffic laws. You want the same rights to travel the roads as cars have, but you roll (or zip) through stop lights and signs. You want to be able to ride like a bat out of hell down sidewalks and in crosswalks like pedestrians, but you show little to no concern for those same pedestrians when you're on the road like a car. So, again I say, deal with it. You're on a vehicle, and we have laws governing the use of vehicles. Break the law, pay the fine. . . hippies.

Please read the SF Gate article for a more balanced take on this story.

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Do you wish your coffee cup held a surprise? Hidden Animal Teacups will solve your dilemma.

You work hard. You sleep poorly. You need your caffeine PLUS a little extra jolt in the morning. No, I'm not talking about that shot of Jack Daniels you add to your Folgers every morning. I'm talking about Hidden Animal Teacups!

You can choose from bears, owls, or foxes when selecting your coffee spirit animal. I suspect that the hipster contingent will be lobbying for robots and manatees in the near future, too.

So, decide which dead-eyed albino creature you want staring at you when you finish half of your cup of joe and order a set today!

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Bed Bugs Don't Have To Be Scary, Do They?

Yes, in fact, they do have to be scary! They are gross and they suck your blood. I think it's perfectly reasonable to instill a healthy sense of fear in your kids when it comes to vampiric bugs.

Or, you could take the toymaker's approach:

Bed bugs can be a difficult topic to explain to children during an infestation, which is why our giant bed bugs can help. Instead of showing children disgusting pictures of an actual bed bug, why not show them a more pleasant picture that is less likely to scare them.

Look, you dirty people out there with bed bugs, these things aren't pleasant. They are a judgment on your filthy, nasty lifestyle. Stop trying to indoctrinate our children into your sick way of life! Remember what the Bible says, "God hates bugs!"

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Get out of here, Monday! Just get now, you hear!

Kick it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dolls to love and cherish

What terrible Third World Dollar Store did this thing come from and why would anyone waste their Somali Drug Pirate money on it? Horrifying!

Friday, December 10, 2010

We may need to get another Missourian in the White House

With the stroke of a pen, President Truman desegregated the Armed Services. Dear President Obama, please take note of your predecessor's actions.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The 2011 Color of the Year is...PINK-ish

I mean "honeysuckle." Bold choice, Pantone. Whenever I get diarrhea, I'll think of your color. Shout out to Pepto!

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Mini Gingerbread Men

Let the carnage begin!

These things are delicious. And with a serving size of three and 120 calories per serving, I've only consumed about 3200 calories so far. Yay holidays!

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Lola: Demon Dog

But she's a cutie!

Every day is Halloween when you're a panda researcher in China

Researchers in China dress up in full-body panda suits in order to prepare young pandas for their reintroduction to the wild. You see, they don't want the young pandas to imprint on the humans, so they're dress up to fool to poor unsuspecting pandas. Think Pedobear for pandas.

It's a great idea and a noble endeavor. But, look at baby panda's eyes. I don't think he's buying it. Look at the hands!!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Who doesn't drink wine from the barrel? Let's go to Barrique!

It’s a wine bar … but not. Howell has a new twist — the wine is served straight from the barrel, procured directly from the producers. Though there’s also a substantial wine list for flights and such, 18 varieties of local wine are offered by the glass from their respective, constantly-rotating barrels, lined up in dramatic fashion behind the bar.
I love this concept. Who wants to go? First barrel is on me!

Wine for a rainy night

It's cool and rainy in San Francisco. It has already been a long week. I think it's time to enjoy this 2008 Seghesio Zinfandel. Cheers.

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Accounting just became a whole lot more interesting: KSU instructor arrested for exposing himself in class  

I've never been to Atlanta nor Kennesaw State, but if this is typical of their state-sanctioned curricula, then COLOR ME THERE! This is the kind of education our kids need. I say "Pshaw!" to credits and debits. Show me the money, Mr. Taylor!!

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Sedimentary Books: Now this is a library information desk!

Can you imagine walking into your local library and seeing this? It's a booklover's infodesk dream come true! (And, yes, booklovers have such dreams.) Be sure to click on the link to see more photos.

Now, what I want to know is how they got them stacked so perfectly. And is it earthquake-safe? And what if I want to read something from the third layer from the bottom?

Thanks to Recyclart and @phuongmai for bringing this to my attention.

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Tilda Swinton: So Alien, So Amazing


I am in awe of Tilda. I hope you enjoy her too.

From The Hollywood Issue

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Josh Duhamel flies the unfriendly skies

Dear Josh,

We all know you're cute--extremely handsome some might say. Hey, we've even seen your early nude photos and, for the first time ever, wanted to unironically ask, "If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?" But, Josh, I have to say that we're worried.

First, Fergie. Some terrible things have been said about Fergie by Perez Hilton and his ilk. I can't say if they're true or not, and the ad hominem attacks (while funny) don't really tell me that much. I personally think her band is shockingly overrated, though. I mean, they sing the days of the week in a song for Christ's sake. And I just can't stop thinking "mis-match" when I see you together. Did I mention how pretty you are?

Now, there's this incident with you refusing to turn off your Blackberry and being rude to a flight attendant. Josh, we all know that it's bogus that texts from a phone can bring down a plane , but it's the rule. So, put the phone away and watch the crappy in-flight entertainment like the rest of us. Can you ever really get enough of 'Two and a half Men' or 'The Big Bang Theory'?

The rudeness is inexcusable and I think you should apologize personally rather than through your spokesperson. Man up and tell the attendant you're sorry, then buy him something nice. It's really the least you--a gorgeous movie star married to an internationally famous singer--can do.

Did I mention I think you're gorgeous?

Todd X

PS. Call me!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Now You Know Why They Call It The Singapore Sling

The Singapore men raised eyebrows at the Asian Games in China with the moon on groin design.

Their government said they should show ‘dignity’ to the flag.

A statement from the country’s Information Ministry declared: ‘Unfortunately the team did not seek our advice on the use of the crescent moon and stars when they designed their swim trunks.

The Singapore government said the design was 'inappropriate' (AFP/Getty)

The Singapore government said the design was 'inappropriate' (AFP/Getty)

‘We would have told them that their design is inappropriate as we want elements of the flag to be treated with dignity.’

The rules of the Asian Games stipulate a team's uniform cannot be changed in the middle of the tournament, so the Singapore government will have to allow the water polo players wear the controversial trunks for the rest of the competition.  

The team has apologised for the placement of the flag and confirmed the trunks would not be used again after the Games.

‘We didn't have the slightest intention to do anything funny on our trunks to insult Singapore,’ team manager Samuel Wong told the Straits Times.

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