It's been a long time since I've done one of these, but it's that time of year when I must bestow the coveted My One Favorite Thing award of 2009. Last year, you may recall, Cottonelle Wet Wipes Toilet Paper won the 2008 MOFT, just edging out Barack Obama.
I have to apologize for my prolonged posting absence, but things have been getting hectic. And with several trips upcoming, including two jaunts to Vegas (one my bachelor party!!), a pre-wedding party in my hometown St. Louis, a wedding (with still a millions things that need to be done), a minimoon, and various other things happening all in the next couple of months, I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better.
I'll get back to the regularly scheduled My One Favorite Things soon enough, but right now I got a bone to pick with my cell phone company, T-Mobile.
I mostly have positive vibes toward T-Mobile as their customer service has been very helpful and their network seems to have continually improved in New York City, but I'm annoyed with the numerous 'surcharges' the company tacks on to my monthly bill.
You've seen a lot less of me on dagblog lately, and while I'd love to put all of the blame for my absence on my Beyonce and the wedding plans which have been set in hot and heavy motion (It's mostly painful, stressful stuff, but registering at Target was hella fun - come to Papa, Wii!!), but there is a much bigger badder beast than Mrs. All-Consuming Wedding at work here - and its name is PokerStars.
I've been a very bad dagblogger of late, but I'm full of good excuses for my badness. First, there was the whole engagement to plan and pull off (and already a fair amount of wedding madness), and then right after that I had to help plan my brother's 40th birthday party, which included a week-long visit from the folks (a surprise to my brother).
My One Favorite Thing this week is Scramble, an anagram word game on Facebook that is basically the online equivalent of the old board game Boggle.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the basic idea is you are given a bunch of letter tiles laid out on a square board and you must string adjacent letters together to form words of at least three letters long, racking up more points for longer words.
It's quite the simple premise ... and also dangerously addictive.
Every Tuesday night after my weekly basketball game, I pick up some Mickey D's for me and Ms. Deadman (or Deadwoman, if you prefer) to eat at home. It's a classy tradition in the Deadman household, one that we both totally look forward to, with the main source of our enjoyment being the Filet-O-Fish sandwich that always makes up the entree portion of our meals.
For the first time in 35 years, there is finally a woman out there whose posters I want to plaster all over my bedroom walls, whose biographical trivia I want to accumulate like so many rare golden nuggets, whose live and TV appearances I want to schedule my life around (while still respecting all applicable stalker laws, of course).
It was a tough battle for the My One Favorite Thing award this week, with some noteworthy candidates. Certainly, jilted bachelorette Melissa Rycroft, who was forced to undergo a breakup on national TV a mere six weeks after being proposed to on national TV (live by the reality show sword, die by the sword, I guess) was a top runner-up.
The first time I remember seeing a Reddi-wip can was on a camping trip during a high school summer when some of my friends tried to get high by snorting the nitrous oxide gas inside it. Even back then, a 'whippit' sure looked like a stupid, only mildly effective, thing to do.
Can there be any question as to what My One Favorite Thing this week was? Could it be any more obvious?? I mean, clearly, it was Rick Warren's Invocation Speech. Duh. What a beautiful testimonial to the goodness of god, the power of prayer and the righteousness of Scripture!
It doesn't take much for a bank to make me happy. Give me online access, a good interest rate, a bunch of branches, and I'm all good. Heck, lately I'm just thrilled when my chosen banking institutions don't implode and go boom.
I don't think 2008 was a very good year for pop culture.
The Hollywood writers' strike seemed to have lingering effects, delaying the return of some of my favorite TV shows past the point of anticipation all the way to indifference. Probably can't blame the strike, but most of the year for movies was also generally a disaster, with the summer slate being a particular disappointment (I was even let down by The Dark Knight).
Ok, so 2008 won't go down as one of the best years in recent memory. We've had a financial collapse of historic proportions, a housing meltdown, a credit crunch, a $50 billion investment scam, a failing U.S.
[....] Linda Stasi, who chronicled Mr. Trump’s up-and-down marriage to Marla Maples in the 1990s for two New York papers, said she could have predicted the presidential agita. “He would plant stories and he would get mad if they didn’t come out exactly as he wanted,” she recalled of earlier dealings with Mr. Trump. “It never occurred to him that he couldn’t control everything.”
Now, Ms. Stasi said, “he is shocked that he is not in control of the press.”
The headlines this month have been alarming. “Steve Bannon’s obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome” (Business Insider). “Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable” (the Huffington Post). “Steve Bannon Wants To Start World War III” (the Nation).
Muhammad Ali Jr., the 44-year old Muslim son of the world-famous boxer who died last year, was held for several hours at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7 when he and his family returned home from a trip to Jamaica.... "This is an outrage," Chris Mancini, a former federal prosecutor and the family's lawyer, told the Miami New Times. "I don't know what is going on with Mr. Trump's claim that his ban is not religion-based.
Ami I deceiving myself, or is this bunch of yahoos committed firmly to a "Clash of Civilizations" (sounds like one of those MOOG Games) model which will not tolerate institutional ambiguity on that point.
KT McFarland was spozed to be gone by now--part of Harward's clash with Trump was his unwillingness to keep her on as demanded and there was troubling vagueness in Spicer's statement that McMaster will have control of his staff, but the hiring and firing will be Trump's-. A state of intolerable internal tension. Today McMaster announced he was keeping her on.
I will venture to say that she or McMaster will not greet the Spring as part of the National Security Advisory arm of President Trump.
[.....] The House of Representatives has refused to investigate either one of the two massive ongoing legal and ethical violations involving the Trump administration: President Trump’s opaque ties (financial and otherwise) to Russia, and his ongoing self-enrichment in office and violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
I understand the vehemence. Trump is a demagogue who vilifies and scapegoats refugees, Muslims, undocumented immigrants, racial minorities, who strikes me as a danger to our national security. By all means stand up to him, and point out his lies and incompetence. But let’s be careful about blanket judgments.
My hometown, Yamhill, Ore., a farming community, is Trump country, and I have many friends who voted for Trump. I think they’re profoundly wrong, but please don’t dismiss them as hateful bigots.
....Passengers on Delta Flight 1583 were asked to show their IDs to armed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents as they stepped off the aircraft onto the jet bridge, according to passengers who snapped photos and posted them online.....The individual was determined not to be on the flight."
ICE has a tip line for reporting things, no cash bounty yet for informers.
To be sure, these realities do not mean any of the various candidates cannot become standout fundraisers, hire top-notch staff or oversee an expanded small-dollar program that makes up for lost ground. It does mean that despite the more progressive slant of the party since November, the practice of traditional party fundraising — something many Democratic activists reject — will need to continue. All those voting for the next head of the DNC should keep that in mind.
Money quote: "the left needs to settle on an overarching narrative to galvanize opposition and offer an alternative vision for the country, primarily geared toward addressing concerns about a rigged economic and political system."
It’s a fine romance. And we’re not just talking about La La Land taking US$12.5 million at the Chinese box office on that most commercialized of Western non-holidays: Valentine’s Day.
Hollywood’s bumpy love affair with China’s foreign film quota has received a double boost. Ahead of key Sino-American talks later this year, the state run Global Times newspaper recently predicted that the current limit of 34 foreign films granted access to the Chinese market per year could go up by a dozen and foreign producers’ take on ticket sales might jump from 25% now to 40%.
David Brock and some of the biggest donors from across the left are rallying behind an effort to stave off a Republican avalanche in state-level races that could bury Democrats for decades.
The effort, affiliated with a previously low-profile group called the State Innovation Exchange (or SiX for short), aims to offset Republican advantages in state-level campaigns, policy debates and looming redistricting fights.