Sunday, September 30, 2007

Arcade Fire, Elevator Edition

I just love this clip of Arcade Fire performing "Neon Bible" in an elevator in Paris. It's a really good song to begin with, but this is just a great rendition of it!

Learn more about "La Blogotheque" by clicking here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dear Jon

Dear Jon,
I have been looking back very seriously upon our relationship and getting a clear idea on what I need and what I want out of a relationship.

During this period of soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that we are just too different in our ability to communicate and because of this, I do not think we can successfully continue this email relationship.

Do you remember that song, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," by Barbara Streisand? Well, Jon, that's how I feel. You don't write me emails anymore. In fact, you don't write any of Copacabana emails anymore. I've reached out to you numerous times, and yet I get nothing in return. At some point, you just need to stop pushing against a brick wall and face the fact that it just won't budge.

I still care deeply for you, but my feelings have been hurt because of this. I feel like I have put so much on the line to bring you into our email world and still I go unnoticed. Dear Jon, how can you not notice me? I'm loud, and from New York, and loud.

But I also have the intelligence to know when I'm not wanted. Obviously I do not mean as much to you as I thought I did. And the rest of Copacabana? Do they mean anything to you? Was this just some foolish little game you've played with our hearts?

I know I am strong and will be able to get over you. I can move on; maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but I know I can do it. So now I look to the rest of Copacabana and wonder if they have the strength to get over you. The best thing I can do is look to my dear friends in their time of need and offer my strength. I will be strong for them. I will continue to gchat, blog, and email... for them, to help them.

Maybe one day you'll look back on this and realize that you made a mistake. That maybe you just missed out on one of the best things in your life. I don't know how I will feel when that day comes. Maybe I'll welcome you back with open html arms and a smiley face creatively made with punctuation marks. But I might not. Never look back, you know? I don't know how deep this scar you've left behind on my heart will be. It might wane in the future, but I still might look back on this with bitter tears and not give in to your reformation.

I'm not trying to say that I won't accept an apology in the future. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you've really done a number on me and I can't guarantee how open I am to the idea of letting you back in my life after this.

I hate to bring up the idea that there might be someone else. Another email account, another blog, another listserv. I start to ache all over just thinking about that. Oh, dear Jon, I hope it isn't so! And if not for my sake, or for the sake of Copacabana, but for Dylan's sake. Please, think of poor Dylan and what he must think of you leading a double-life. I hope that isn't the case, for Dylan. He needs stability, and I hope that, even without me, you can do that.

I'm finding it entirely too hard to avoid the inevitable and so I have to end this. I'm so sorry Jon, but I have to.

Dear Jon, I hearby affirm that this will be your last email ever as a member of this Google group.

Oh my, I did it. I'm so sorry... but you can't blame a girl with a broken heart.

All my love,

Validation Via IMDB

Ten brownie points to the first person to name my favorite movie.

Did you get it? If you're answer was "Star Wars," then you're wrong! And it's not "Indiana Jones," either. "Clueless" and "10 Things I Hate About You" are close, but no cigar.

The correct answer? Why don't you check out IMDB's Quote of the Day and figure it out yourself!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Meat of the Moment

I realize that I go through crushes (real life and celebrity, alike) way too quickly for any normal thought-processing mortal to keep up with... even myself, sometimes. So I've decided to give you all a scoop on my latest... Meat of the Moment.

Name: Matt Long
Profession: Actor
Birthdate: May 18, 1980
Height: 5' 9 1/2"
Hometown: Winchester, Kentucky
Education: BA from Western Kentucky University
Marital Status: Lora Chaffins on April 23, 2005*
*With divorce rates what they are in this country, I feel safe in the belief that there may be a somewhat slight possibility that he and the former Ms. Chaffins may find themselves in want of a divorce and, having newly regained his bachelor status, our dear Matt may perhaps meet the Katie of his dreams... resulting in a new Mrs. Long. Who knows, it's just an idea.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ode To Honest Logic! I'll Drink To That!

As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Water = Poop, Wine = Health

Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information: I'm doing it as a public service.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Careful Santo, They Might Go After Regular FB Stalkers Next

NY Attorney General Subpoenas Facebook

MICHAEL GORMLEY | September 24, 2007 03:43 PM EST | AP

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York Attorney General has subpoenaed Facebook after the company did not respond to "many" complaints by investigators who were solicited for sex while posing as teenagers on the social-networking site.

State investigators, who set up profiles as 12- to 14-year olds, said they were quickly contacted by other Facebook users with comments such as "u look too hot....... can i c u online," "do you like sex?" and "call me if u want to do sex with me."

Investigators said that when they wrote to Facebook about their experiences, the concerns were ignored "many" times.

"My office is concerned that Facebook's promise of a safe Web site is not consistent with its performance in policing its site and responding to complaints," said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. "Parents have a right to know what their children will encounter on a Web site that is aggressively marketed as safe."

On Monday, he publicly released a letter to Facebook about its safety claims. Those concerns are based on several "undercover tests" in recent weeks, he said.

The subpoenas seek complaints made to the company and copies of its policies. Cuomo said the investigation is still in its early stages.

Privately held Facebook did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

OMG, Backstreet's BACK!!!

Oh No He Didn't...

Now I am just as critical as the next girl, but when I read this article posted a few days ago on MSNBC I became quite upset. The article, entitled "Big Fame, Little Talent," referenced seven celebrities lacking the talent to back up their celebrity status. Five people who made that list have no business being there and I find myself a bit befuddled as to why they are. Take a look at the article and then read my commentary at the end... because we all know I have a little something to say about everything.

Celebs with big fame but little talent
These folks are all famous, but do they have the chops to back it up?
By Alonso Duralde
MSNBC film critic
Updated: 6:59 p.m. ET Sept 20, 2007

Dane Cook is starring in a new movie. Again. Not letting the fact that he’s not the slightest bit funny get in the way of his career as a comedian, Cook moved on to stinking up multiplexes across the nation with “Employee of the Month” and “Mr. Brooks,” and now he’s back with “Good Luck Chuck” and, before year’s end, “Dan in Real Life.” If you’ve ever watched Cook do stand-up or host “Saturday Night Live,” it’s apparent that his only real talent is in accruing MySpace friends and stating the obvious while making goofy faces.

And yet, somehow, he’s a movie star. But it shouldn’t really be all that surprising. The history of show business is littered with people who achieve the heights of fame without having any real talent whatsoever. (As you read this, Fergie’s album has jumped back into the Top 10.) To find out which celebs least deserve to have magazine covers and their own fragrances, a group of industry insiders, journalists and bloggers were asked to name the least talented famous people. (And since some of them would like to work in this town again, they have been assured anonymity.)

Oh, and one thing to clear up: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were disqualified, since neither of them really do anything.

Jessica Alba/Jessica Biel/Jessica Simpson
Thank goodness for talented “Arrested Development” co-star Jessica Walter, or the passing of Jessica Tandy might make one think there’s some kind of curse on the name. Alba “made a career out of looking hot in bellyshirts,” sniffs P., a model. “Is she hot? Yes. Is she talented beyond that? No.”

B., a critic and writer, notes that “Biel was interesting for five minutes when she was posing for lad mags and being all, ‘I was on ‘7th Heaven,’ but now I’m naughty!’ But her performance in ‘I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’ made me want to put popcorn in my ears.”

And then there’s Simpson, whose career highlight was cutely mistaking tuna for chicken. “She is a double threat in that she can neither sing nor act, yet insists on doing both,” according to blogger R.

Adrian Grenier
Consensus indicates that the “Entourage” star is the luckiest little boy in Tinseltown, with phrases like “must have a powerful agent” and “won the lottery” popping up more than once. “All he has to offer is good eyes,” says filmmaker Z.

“If it weren’t for a strong, funny and engaging supporting cast,” declares author H., “Adrian would be flipping burgers and filling napkin dispensers.”

Blogger J. has a problem with Grenier’s role as a hot, rising movie star on the HBO show: “I can’t imagine him carrying all those films his character gets cast in.”

Also having a hard time making that leap is actor T., who observes, “I saw him from behind at the gym once, and I thought he was a chick. I’m no sci-fi nut, but that’s not Aquaman.”

Elton John
Granted, he’s not an actor, but he’s always been the most theatrical of musicians. And his contributions to so many Disney cartoons made him a top vote-getter among those surveyed. “Elton John’s been pumping out the dreck for decades now,” says L., a freelancer and mom who, like all parents, has had to listen to the “Lion King” score more than any human should. “He was better in the ’70s as a drugged-up, frustrated, closeted dude when Bernie Taupin was writing his stuff.”

Model P. isn’t even particularly fond of Sir Elton’s golden years, noting, “Elton John made his career on the creative ideas of others. He was fake glam, ripping off all his ideas from early Roxy Music and Bowie, but watered down to appeal to the U.S. market. And he’s got an annoying voice. Later, he sold out and went the Disney ballads route. Not completely untalented at it, but certainly cheesy in a bad way which is unforgivable, especially from someone who originally claimed to be arty and avant-garde.”

Nicole Kidman
While this writer is a fan of the Australian actress — particularly in lesser-seen films like “Birth” — her name came up with some frequency. “Why is she the new grande-dame of American cinema?” asks writer and editor M. “How in the world did she win an Oscar for her execrable portrayal of Virginia Woolf (in ‘The Hours’)? The only acting that went on by Kidman was with her furrowed brow and her pasted-on nose. Did anyone believe she was actually a writer? By the end of that film, I wanted to put stones in my pocket and walk into the River Ouse.”

“She’s the Madonna of the acting world,” says L., a movie buff and writer. “She’s good at surrounding herself with the right people.”

Carlos Mencia
A top vote-getter — and often paired with the aforementioned Dane Cook — Mencia drew contempt from the survey group for not only being an infamous joke-stealer but also for doing so little with the stolen goods. “Mencia subscribes to the ‘if I scream, it’s funnier’ school,” says actor T., “much like those people in the ‘American Idol’ auditions who think they’re great singers as long as they’re really, really loud.”

Other raves included “the Latino Tom Green,” “a second-rate Dave Chappelle” and “not smart enough to steal the good jokes.”

John Travolta
While everyone agrees he started out great — “he had a hunger back then which was, apparently, actual hunger,” notes one respondent — it’s been a while since the artist formerly known as Tony Manero delivered on his early promise. “Travolta was just awful in ‘Hairspray,’” says M., “which means he’ll probably get an Oscar nomination for the role. He looked frightening, his accent was bizarre, and he couldn’t pull an ounce of emotion from the part. I did like his little dance, but that didn’t make up for the rest of the time I was forced to watch his Mrs. Potato Head face.”

Renee Zellweger
She may have an Oscar, but the “Chicago” star’s facial tics are rubbing lots of moviegoers the wrong way. “If by talent you mean ‘good at making a lip-pursy sourpuss face with annoying squinty eyes regardless of the situation,’ then yeah, she’s brilliant,” rants music producer L.F. “The only place it really worked was ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary,’ but even then it only worked because the character was already a royal pain.”

Filmmaker Z. tempers his qualms about the actress: “To be fair, I like her in character roles, and to her credit, she seeks them out. But as a romantic lead, she’s too much like My First Applehead Doll making out with a hot young dude.”

Or as U., a blogger and critic notes, “Chipmunk is the new black.”


Now let's play a game called, "Guess who shouldn't be on this list!"
  • Adrian Grenier- Seriously? Now he was definitely not the most well-known actor when he was cast as Vincent Chase, but then again how many people knew Matt Dillon had a brother or that Jeremy Piven could act without John Cusack nearby? That was kind of the point when "Entourage" first started... cast somewhat unknown, but still talented, actors for an ensemble cast and then let the group do their thing. We all remember the "Miracle" way of doing things: it isn't about getting the best players, it's about getting the right ones.
  • Elton John- First of all he was knighted, so that's SIR Elton John to you. Second of all, please borrow my "Elton John: Greatest Hits" album and that should pretty much take care of any qualms you may have.
  • Nicole Kidman- Should I maybe go through her entire film reel? She was nominated for two Oscars in the same year for "Moulin Rouge" and "The Others." She is a triple threat: acting, singing, and dancing. Granted she has made some poor life choices (Tom Cruise and "Bewitched" amongst them), but still she can act and, as Fergie would say, she's g-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s.
  • John Travolta- The jury is still out regarding his performance in "Hairspray," but he's been in more than enough films to justify all of his bad ones. The article mentions "Saturday Night Fever," but it fails to mention one of his finest: "Pulp Fiction." And despite his recent weight gain, he's also still married to Kelly Preston... a total hottie, so put that in your box and shake it.
  • Renee Zellweger- Yes she does that slightly annoying pursed lip, furrowed brow, chipmunk thing, but at least she can act. Oh, she also sings and dances. Just like our girl Nicole, she is a triple threat... and she's not afraid to put on weight for a role, although she sometimes gets a bit overzealous with losing it afterwards. Also, she was in a couple of classics that you may or may not remember... "Reality Bites" and "Dazed and Confused."
So basically, this Alonso Duralde needs to go back and check his notes as I am finding myself unable to concur.

Friday, September 21, 2007

File Under: Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

Imagine you're the director of Department of Housing and Urban Development. This has definitely been a rough time for you and HUD, hasn't it? I agree and I send you my sympathies. But I have a quick question for you... which is more fiscally responsible: spending $100,000 to invest in affordable housing in the New Orleans region for victims of Hurricane Katrina or spending that same $100,000 on paintings of the five most recent HUD directors? Wow, I should have known that you would have picked the paintings! By the way, can anyone really name the five most recent HUD directors? Didn't think so. Shame on you, Alphonso Jackson.

5 HUD Portraits, 1 Tight Deadline

By Mary Ann Akers Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 18, 2007; A17

The nation's housing industry is in a free fall from the subprime mortgage crisis. The budget of the Department of Housing and Urban Development could be facing big cuts. And the agency is still struggling to respond to a slew of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina.

But hey, that's not stopping HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson from tackling another big priority: getting his official portrait painted -- and pronto.

The agency has awarded what it says is a $100,000 contract to an artist in the New York area to complete not just Jackson's portrait but also those of the four most recent past HUD secretaries -- Mel Martinez, Andrew Cuomo, Henry Cisneros and Jack Kemp -- all in about eight weeks. The due date for all five portraits, which has already slipped once, is now Oct. 15.

How will one mortal artist possibly meet the deadline? "By never leaving my studio," jokes the lucky winner of the HUD portrait sweepstakes contract, artist Daniel Mark Duffy.

Speaking between strokes from his studio in Newtown, Conn., Duffy said department officials gave him no indication of why they want the portraits completed so quickly. They just sent him photos of all five subjects and basically told him to get painting. Asked what he thought of the unusually tight deadline, he said, "It's extreme."

Typically, he said, it takes him "at least a month" or about 100 hours of studio time to paint a portrait from a photograph. Of course, he'd rather the HUD secretaries had sat for their portraits so "we could have had a fully realized interaction."

According to the schedule put forth in the contract solicitation the initial sketch of each portrait was due "no later than three weeks after award date." HUD will then "endeavor to complete review and approval within five calendar days." The completed portraits are due "no later than three weeks after initial sketch approval." If those are approved, then the final framed portraits are due to the HUD program office "no later than seven days after approval."

Needless to say, Duffy is painting as fast as he can. "I've already finished Cuomo and Cisneros," the artist said. "I'm painting Jackson at the moment." Kemp is next.

The only challenge he anticipates? All the wet surfaces. This is oil, after all, he says, "and oil paintings don't ever fully dry." Therefore, Duffy will drive the portraits down to Washington himself rather than shipping them.

HUD spokesman Jerry Brown says Secretary Jackson's portrait will be hung on the wall of the new auditorium at HUD, which is still under construction, after he leaves office, "which he has no plans to do."

According to Brown, the last HUD secretary to have an official portrait painted and hung at the agency was Samuel "Silent Sam" Pierce, whose eight-year tenure triggered a behemoth independent counsel investigation into widespread corruption at HUD -- focusing on charges that the agency under Pierce's stewardship played political favoritism in awarding contracts.

Let's hope for Jackson's sake that reinstituting the portrait tradition isn't an omen -- Jackson came under fire last year for admitting that he urged the staff to favor political pals of President Bush when awarding HUD contracts.

Duffy, who said he is a political independent, said he had "no idea" how he was awarded his $100,000 contract.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You're So Gourmet And You Don't Even Know It

First, let me thank Lady Lindsey for introducing me to Aaron Karo, recovering frat boy. Not that I have a problem with current frat boys, but that is just is current position in life. Oh, and he's a comedian... and publishes this really funny newsletter called "Ruminations" which is now in it's tenth year. Here are some highlights from one his special 10th Anniversary emails featuring a glossary of some of his most well-known terms...

-“Appetizer Russian Roulette”
When you’re ordering first and you’re not sure whether to gamble and get an appetizer – thus risking sitting there eating while the other person is not. [#47, 2003]

An event of epic drunken debauchery, as in, “Dude, New Year’s Eve is gonna be a fucking bloodbath!” See also “DBD” and “Match Day.” [#83, 2005]

-“Booty Call Button”
The feature on my old Nokia that let me quickly turn off my outgoing Caller ID, thus blocking my identity from being revealed in the missed call logs of chicks I tried to hit up at 4am but who didn’t pick up. [#35, 2002]

-“The Code of AFS”
AFS stands for Anything For a Story. All guys operate implicitly under the Code of AFS, which requires them, while hooking up, to try do something weird or outrageous just so they can tell their friends about it later. See also “Total Recall.” [#96, 2006]

Stands for Don’t Be Dumb. Traditionally, I write the acronym DBD in black Sharpie on the back of my left hand before any night of drinking I predict will turn into a total bloodbath. This is meant to remind me during moments of severe inebriation not to do or say anything stupid. Has almost never worked. [#98, 2006]

-“Drive of Shame”
A variation on the walk of shame in which you have to awkwardly drive the other person home in the morning. [#103, 2006]

A wedding where many of the male guests are frat brothers of the groom (derived from the words “fraternity” plus “wedding”). Freddings often involve a lot more drinking and the occasional tuxedo-clad human pyramid. [#69, 2005]

-“The Get-Out-Of-Life-Free Card”
When your completely directionless friend who has never before expressed any interest in studying law but really doesn’t want to get a job all of a sudden decides to take the LSATs. [#34, 2002]

Originally coined at Penn by me and my buddy Roby while we were pledging together in the spring of 1998. Used as a synonym for “dope,” as in, “Check out that chick by the bar, she’s gourmet!” After I first introduced the term in Ruminations, I was thrilled when fans wrote me to say they were trying to inject it into conversation as much as possible. Now, whenever I hear someone describe a girl or a new pair of sneakers as gourmet, I think back to Roby and I as pledges sitting around in our own filth. Which is totally not gourmet. [#52, 2004]

-“Halloween Walk of Shame”
When you hook up on Halloween and then have to stumble home the next morning wearing your costume. [#35, 2002]

-“Hide-the-Beer Day”
The day before Family Weekend in college that you spend emptying the alcohol out of your fridge, throwing out all the empties on your coffee table, and taking down all the pictures of you drunk off your ass from the wall. [#3, 1997]

-“Laying Groundwork’
Initiating contact with a girl via email or text message approximately one week before you are likely to see each other, thereby making it seem like you aren’t all of a sudden calling her out of the blue to try to hook up once you get in to town. [#96, 2006]

-“Look for the Ring”
The act of looking at the hand of the chick you’re hitting on see if she’s wearing an engagement or wedding ring. Doing this never even occurs to most guys until they’re about twenty-four and accidentally hit on a married chick for the first time. [#34, 2002]

-“Match Day”
Annual event in March when fourth-year med students find out where they “match” – i.e. where in the country they will be spending the next five years of their lives as residents. After matching, said med students go out and get obliterated. In 2005, Match Day fell on both the first day of the NCAA tournament and St. Patrick’s Day, making it an absolute bloodbath for newly minted doctors. [#66, 2005]

Stands for Random Drunken Injury. Occurs when you get fucked up, hurt yourself, and then the next day have no idea why you have a sprained ankle. [#48, 2003]

-“Refill Limbo”
Occurs when you’re having casual drinks with friends, they order another round from the waitress, but you still have 3/7 of your beer remaining and are momentarily unable to decide whether to order or pass. [#44, 2003]

-“The SAT Bet”
In our junior year of high school, my friend Eric bet Brian that he could not break 1400 on the SATs. Brian ending up getting exactly 1400. Eric subsequently claimed that getting 1400 is technically not “breaking 1400” and that a 1410 was needed to win the bet. Brian argues that scoring a 1400 is synonymous with breaking 1400. Personally, I agree with Brian, but almost twelve years later the argument continues and neither side has paid up. [#36, 2002]

-“Sexual Loitering”
When your one-night stand does not leave promptly the next morning. [#67, 2005]

-“Total Recall”
My theory that guys get more pleasure from remembering, telling, and re-telling the story of a crazy hook-up (under the Code of AFS) than they do from the actual hook-up itself. Derived from the plot of the movie Total Recall. [#59, 2004]

-“Wasted Happy Hour Chick”
Girl who comes straight from work to the bar and is still there at midnight even though her colleagues are all gone, she’s lost a shoe, and she’s been carrying around her laptop bag for seven hours. Easy prey and can usually be found dancing wildly by herself in the corner. [#66, 2005]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Extra Sexy Side of Gum

This is for Jen and Lindz...

How Much For That Country In The Window?

If it were still up for sale, I think I might invest in the purchase of my own country. By the way, does this remind anyone else of the tourism scheme developed by Karl Schwärzler of Liechtenstein where you could rent the country?

Someone tries to sell Belgium on eBay

By PAUL AMES, Associated Press Writer

Hidden among the porcelain fox hounds and Burberry tablecloths on sale at this week was an unusual item: "For Sale: Belgium, a Kingdom in three parts ... free premium: the king and his court (costs not included)."

The odd ad was posted by one disgruntled Belgian in protest at his country's political crisis which reached a 100-day landmark Tuesday with no end in sight to the squabbling between Flemish and Walloon politicians.

"I wanted to attract attention," said Gerrit Six, the teacher and former journalist who posted the ad. "You almost have to throw rock through a window to get attention for Belgium."

Six placed the advertisement on Saturday, offering free delivery, but pointing out that the country was coming secondhand and that potential buyers would have to take on over $300 billion (euro220 billion) in national debt.

Like many of Belgium's 10 million citizens, Six is exasperated that the power struggle between the county's French- or Dutch-speaking political parties has left Belgium in political limbo since June 10 elections.

Demands for more autonomy from the Dutch-speaking Flemish are resisted by the French-speaking Walloons, making it impossible to form a government coalition and triggering concern the kingdom is on the verge of a breakup.

Six decided to vent his frustration through the Internet ad.

"My proposal was to make it clear that Belgium was valuable, it's a masterpiece and we have to keep it," he told Associated Press Television News. "It's my country and I'm taking care of it, and with me are millions of Belgians."

Six' idea got a mixed reaction on the streets of Brussels.

"Very funny, typical Belgian humor," said Anne Graux. "It's ridiculous," snapped Nathalie Ginot, a Brussels resident who had her own pragmatic solution to Belgium's woes. "We think it would be good to split Belgium into the three and make Brussels a tax-haven, a capital exempt from all taxes," she said hopefully.

Six vaunted Belgium's attractions to potential buyers from art nouveau architecture to the headquarters of NATO and the European Union and some great beers. But he also warned of the pitfalls of taking on the cacophonous mix of Flemish nationalists, Walloon Socialists and the mayors of all 19 Brussels' boroughs.

EBay was happy to take Six' advertisement.

"It was a really fun listing made by a Belgian," Peter Burin, PR manager of eBay Belgium. "This person, in a very funny way, reminded the Belgians what a great country Belgium actually is and it would be a shame to sell it."

However, the company decided to pull the add Tuesday after receiving a bid of euro10 million ($14 million)

"We decided to take it down, just to avoid confusion," he told APTN.

Monday, September 17, 2007

ALL The News

New York Times to end paid Internet service

By Robert MacMillan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times Co said on Monday it will end its paid TimesSelect Web service and make most of its Web site available for free in the hopes of attracting more readers and higher advertising revenue.

TimesSelect will shut down on Wednesday, two years after the Times launched it, which charges subscribers $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year to read articles by columnists such as Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedman.

The trademark orange "T's" marking premium articles will begin disappearing Tuesday night, said the Web site's Vice President and General Manager Vivian Schiller.

The move is an acknowledgment by The Times that making Web site visitors pay for content would not bring in as much money as making it available for free and supporting it with advertising.

"We now believe by opening up all our content and unleashing what will be millions and millions of new documents, combined with phenomenal growth, that that will create a revenue stream that will more than exceed the subscription revenue," Schiller said.

Figuring out how to increase online revenue is crucial to the Times and other U.S. newspaper publishers, which are struggling with a drop in advertising sales and paying subscribers as more readers move online.

"Of course, everything on the Web is free, so it's understandable why they would want to do that," said Alan Mutter a former editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and proprietor of a blog about the Internet and the news business called Reflections of a Newsosaur.

"The more page views you have, the more you can sell," he said. "In the immediate moment it's a perfectly good idea."

The longer-term problem for publishers like the Times is that they must find ways to present content online rather than just transferring stories and pictures from the newspaper.

Most U.S. news Web sites offer their contents for free, supporting themselves by selling advertising. One exception is The Wall Street Journal which runs a subscription-based Web site.

TimesSelect generated about $10 million in revenue a year. Schiller declined to project how much higher the online growth rate would be without charging visitors.

The company expects to record a "substantially increased number of unique users referred to and accessing the site" once TimesSelect disappears, it said in a statement.

TimesSelect includes online access to 23 news and opinion columnists as well as several tools to customize the Web site. It also offers access to the Times archives back to 1851.

Starting on Wednesday, access to the archives will be available for free back to 1987, and as well as stories before 1923, which are in the public domain, Schiller said.

Users can buy articles between 1923 and 1986 on their own or in 10-article packages, the company said. Some stories, such as film reviews, will be free, she said.

American Express will be the first sponsor of the opened areas on the site, and will have a "significant advertising presence" on the homepage and in the opinion and archives sections, the company said.

Schiller declined to say what the financial impact would be on the Times. No employees would lose their jobs, she said.

TimesSelect had about 227,000 paying subscribers as of August. People who receive the paper at home get access to it for free, as do students. In total, about 787,400 people have access to TimesSelect now, the company said.

The number of subscribers met the paper's expectations, Schiller said. "We consider TimesSelect very successful," she said.

Paying TimesSelect subscribers will receive a pro-rated refund on their credit cards, she added.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Leave Chris Crocker Alone!

Remember that YouTube video Jen posted before about the guy defending Britney? Remember, "she is just a human!" and "leave Britney alone!" Well, he's been spoofed. Thanks Seth Green, and to everyone else out in the YouTube community. I felt it was my civic duty to share this with you. I mean, if you had to sit through the horrific original video the first time, you deserve a lighter version as well.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Play On Playa Playa

I'm sure you all remember the "Real Men of Genius" commercials. Well, apparently they left one out...

Chorus: Mr. I wear my Blackberry on my belt clip with a Bluetooth ear piece at Happy Hour guy.

Boy what a douche bag

While everyone is trying to relax after a hard days work at the local watering hole, YOU sir have the need to let everyone in the bar know that YOU are an important person and so valued by your company that you MUST be available 24/7/365 as if you were the “always on call brain surgeon” of your company. Your favorite opener when approaching women is “guess how much I make” or “guess what kind of car I drive”

Chorus: nobody gives a shit

If that cute 20 something has the nerve to question the answer, you of course have your keys to your 2008 BMW on hand and your W-2 in your back pocket.

Chorus: Look at my tax bracket bitch

That’s right, in the middle of a conversation your Captain Picard like earpiece turns blue and you must excuse yourself from the ladies by informing them, “It’s the coast…. West coast” want to make it look even better, “It’s India , one of the serves is down and they always call me, don’t those dots know we’re 4 hours ahead?”

Chorus: Man you’re so needed

Now comeback to the same group with your 50 something wrinkly balls and inform them that you have a house that’s gated up in the hills of Georgetown away from the crime and riff raff.

Chorus: we hate the blackies

Now stop mid sentence to quickly reply to an e mail from one of the VP’s who’s inviting you to his lodge out in Aspen in the winter of 2011, where you will shred some serious powder on the bunny slope…. Again.

Chorus: look at those thumbs go!

You finally realize that you have these ladies right were you want them so you exit by handing them your bone white, bold typed, “executive” business card (make sure to point out the subtle watermark in the corner). Tell them to give you a call if they want to move up in the world and live the good life like daddy \.

Chorus: Play on Playa Playa

So crack open a cold one on your for head you holy high horsed roller of the movers and shakers, King of the titans of industry. Believe it or not you actually make picking up girls at HH easier for the rest of us

Chorus:Mr. I wear my Blackberry on my belt clip with a Bluetooth ear piece at Happy Hour guy.

Cheese Stands Among Fromage on This One

After a busy season of open bars, bridal bouquets and the last minute scramble for a dress, the 2007 wedding season is drawing to a close. As I delicately shoved the fifth (yes thats five) piece of wedding cake into my mouth a few weeks ago, I realized just how young the brides and grooms seem at all of these festivities. Granted the weddings I attended were all rare cases of successful young love, at 23, I can't help but wonder, "what's the rush?"We often joke at copa that I will be in the caboose of the wedding train, albeit in jest, it is firmly rooted in truth. For once it seems, the cheese does not stand alone:

According to a recent study published in the USA Today:

"Almost three-quarters of men and almost two-thirds of women in their 20s in 2006 said they had never been married, according to Census data released today that shows a sharp increase in never-married twentysomethings in just six years."

At Least He's Eighteen...

Chris Brown is my new hero. Let's explore the details:
  • He is an absolute hottie... there is no denying this.
    • He has impeccably white teeth
    • He wears glasses sometimes... which is just adorable
  • He is an extremely talented singer
    • "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" (2005)
    • "Gimme That (feat. Lil Wayne)" (2006)
    • "Say Goodbye" (2006)
    • "Wall to Wall" (2007)
    • "Kiss Kiss (feat T-Pain)" (2007)
    • "Umbrella (Remix)" (2007)
  • The boy can freaking dance! (see video below)
  • Oh, and did I mention that he's legal?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who Knew That Senators Were Regular People, Too

As much as I enjoy reading my celebrity gossip blogs, I think I like reading the hot political gossip blogs even more. Why? Well, because celebrities are just that... celebrities. They're famous, they know it, and even though Us Weekly tries claiming that "they're just like US," it's just not true. My line of work does not involve watching myself on a 1000-foot screen with hundreds of onlookers.

Now, politicians... well, that's a whole other story! Yeah they might be a little famous. True, some are even the targets of assassinations. But they don't all invoke the same sense of awe that your Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies do. When have you ever made a fashion purchase based on an outfit that Barbara Boxer wore to a restaurant one Friday evening? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

The funny thing about politicians though, and this is why I love my DC gossip, is that they're just so full of themselves! As much as a politician informs their constituents that they truly are just another common citizen, it just isn't the case. It's all, and I hate to use this word, but it's all political... just another move. Re-election is coming up, let's remind the people residing in Bumblefuck, New York in Podunk County that I once visited a farm and milked a cow... albeit a farm I own... and it's in Australia... and I make thousands every year from my profitable side business... which I don't technically own and operate... you know, because of tax purposes... but seriously, I'm totally a cool guy... and modest, too.

Like I said, it's all political. And they smile too much. But they're always good for a laugh! Especially when something really simple and oh-so-common happens that shakes up their entire world. Take flying for instance. Delayed flight? Canceled flight? Overbooked flight? We've all been there... but politicians, not so much. Enjoy this little blog from the Washington Post by Mary Ann Akers (my hero) and some other guy.

Airlines No Longer Letting Senators Travel Like Senators

By Mary Ann Akers And Paul Kane
Thursday, September 13, 2007; A17

Talk about traveling like a regular schlep.

Senators trying to race home yesterday for the extended weekend caused by the Jewish holiday had to fight for airline seats just like the average tourist, thanks to a new ruling from the airline industry.

Because of new ethics rules forbidding gifts to senators, the Air Transport Association ruled that it would be a violation of the Senate's gift ban to allow senators to continue their usual practice of double- and, sometimes, triple-booking flights.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which has oversight of the issue, explained the practice this way: This week, it was unclear whether the Senate would finish Tuesday night or yesterday morning, so senators would have booked multiple flights, hedging their bets on when they could get away and paying only for the flight they took.

"The airlines have allowed us to hold these flights," Feinstein told On the Hill, explaining that it is a service that is also offered to the most frequent travelers on particular airlines -- and is, therefore, not a specific gift.

But the ATA believes it is a gift because it is a service not offered to regular customers.

"Along with others impacted by the rules, the Air Transport Association airlines are seeking the guidance they need to fully understand and comply with both the letter and the spirit of the new congressional ethics rules," said James C. May, Air Transport Association president and chief executive.

At least three airlines -- Continental, Delta and Northwest -- have gone along with the industry ruling, wreaking havoc on senatorial schedulers. "Obviously, we're going to follow the rules," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), though she said she is uncertain how her travel to and from Detroit on Northwest would be affected.

Feinstein said she will soon ask the Select Committee on Ethics to issue a ruling on the matter, noting that senators weren't looking for a handout from the airlines but, rather, the best way to get home to their constituents. "It's really hard because if you can only book one flight, and you can't make that flight, then you're stuck," she said.



Q-to the-U-to the-A-G-M-I-R-E-S... take a quick lesson from Condi Rice, featuring Alan Keyes.

It is Just That Funny!

It is amazing to me how viral the internet has become, just look at our very own blogsphere copa. I will post something and within seconds, you all are sucked into to my ADD break from reality. Linds is subversively spell checking my piece, Katie has just popped open another window and is digging furiously through google hits to find the original, while Strasik skims quickly before the Dean walks in. I can imagine, because this is a video Santo may be the only one who watches it as it hits the inbox, after she wakes up this afternoon.

The world of blogs is just that amazing, but it is unreal to me how quickly a message can spread outside your safe harbor of an audience. With the speed at which chat travels in mind, you would think, one may censure a bit before pouring their heart onto the web. Well his heartache may be the spark to this guys fifteen minutes of fame.....enjoy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Global Warming Affecting Our Brains

Clear examples of Global Warming's Affects on Blonde's everywhere. First Miss New Jersey, then Britney. I found this and had to bring it back, it's just that funny.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What the Buck?!? Britney, Gimme Gimme More!

I heard about the travesty that was Brit Brit's performance at the 2007 MTV VMAs on Sunday. But I had to see/ hear (or "hear") it for myself. Thanks to YouTube, I found a copy of her "performance" and I was just so disappointed. And then I found one of my favorite video bloggers' commentary on the events of Sunday evening that I'd like to share with you all.

PS... my thoughts on the whole "c'mon Britney, do better... you can do it!" camp:
"You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink."

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Broads..and other fun tidbits

I bet this is one busy shop!
Speaking of busy body shops, apparently, GW is famous for more than just our real estate. Playboy even knows about our welcome week! What floor where you on.....
Welcome back everyone!

The Magic is in the Hole

Oh, I went there.

As you should all hopefully know, this past weekend I ventured to the underappreciated state of Oregon for my friend's wedding. There were a total of five of us staying together in a fabulous room at the Hilton in downtown Portland. With a little help from perhaps the best concierge ever (Tom, our hero) the girls (Raychel, Amy, Danielle, Signe) and I discovered some of the best dining and local attractions Portland has to offer.

This included, of course, a wonderful little hole in the wall called Voodoo Doughnut where "the magic is in the hole." Their creations ranged from doughnuts with frosting and cereal, to a ginormous octopus doughnut... complete with tentacles and purple coloring. And did I mention there is also a doughnut with bacon on it?

Signe had not yet arrived in Portland, but the rest of us partook in some of these fine voodoo-y creations. Amy won the best doughnut award with her purchase of a voodoo doll doughnut. It was shaped like a person and even had a stake through the heart and "blood" oozing within it. The doughnut also tasted mighty delicious.

Learn more about this awesome Portland attraction...
The Voodoo Doughnut Story

Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson and Tres Shannon have been friends for awhile. They always wanted to start a business together. Something that would fit into an extraordinary Portland business climate. Something fun, different, and one for the ages.

After much searching under rocks, tequilas, and women's blouses, they found what they were looking for... doughnuts!!

Cat Daddy with his stunningly brilliant business sense, and Tres with his seemingly endless supply of connections, set forth to conquer Old Town, Portland, and the world!!

After a meeting with some Armenians and drumming masters, they were ready to set up shop in the "crotch" of Portland --- Old Town. There was only one problem, neither Cat Daddy nor Tres had ever made doughnuts before!

They set out for the sunny Los Angeles suburb of Pico Rivera, California, where they met up with some doughnut masters, and learned about doughnuts from the ground up. These old, grizzled doughnut veterans knew what they were doing and were barely willing to give up their trade secrets at first. But the charm and good looks of our Portland heroes eventually won over the doughnut masters, and the secrets were revealed to them.

Learning when to throw the flour, proper handling of a rolling pin, the intricacies of an old fashion, the "flip," and countless other tricks of the trade were now in the hands, minds, and notebooks of Cat Daddy and Tres. They returned to Portland regaling the locals with tales of Brad Pitt eating one of their early maple bars, a Chick Hearn memorial documented on Japanese Television, featuring Voodoo Doughnuts, and the wild, wild, times of California -- artists, actors, washed up sports stars, old people, disillusioned tourists, and musicians. Ah California... Portland soon learned of these tricks and Voodoo Doughnut became the best tasting doughnuts in the world, chico!!

After flying in some "Voodoo Oil" from down south, acquiring the nuts and bolts of their shop, the boys started tinkering around with their methods that soon became known locally, nationally, and worldwide.

People have talked about Voodoo Doughnut in Tibet, on Easter Island, Japan has some stylish folks sporting the latest Voodoo underpants, and friends have shared a buttermilk bar in Tanzania. I'm sure some corners of the globe have yet to be penetrated. Stay tuned!

Russia's Heatin Up

A Russian province is readying for "Family Contact" day -- unofficially being called "Conception Day" -- in an effort to boost flagging birth rates, officials said on Monday.

The special day for encouraging procreation was dreamt up by the governor of Ulyanovsk province, Sergei Morozov, who this year awarded prizes ranging from a television to a Russian-made all-terrain vehicle for giving birth on Russia's Constitution Day on June 12.

President Vladimir Putin has made fixing Russia's ongoing population slump a national priority.

This Wednesday's event is timed precisely nine months ahead of next year's Constitution Day so that mothers "ideally should give birth on June 12," said a spokeswoman for the administration, speaking by telephone to AFP.

A series of concerts and exhibitions are being organised to promote family values and employers are being encouraged to grant a discretionary day off, said the spokeswoman.

"The purpose is to improve the demographic situation and support family values," she said, adding that a four-year programme of building and improving kindergartens was under way to support families.

On Monday, the independent national paper Novye Izvestiya reported that local people had taken to referring to Wednesday as "Conception Day," although it also noted some dissent.

"We've already sunk to the level where the governor is ordering us on what day to conceive a child and on what day to give birth," the paper quoted local human rights activist Alexander Bragin as saying.

The administration spokeswoman said that next year's prizes for giving birth on Constitution Day had not yet been decided but underlined that "there definitely will be prizes."

The tradition of awarding prizes for giving birth dates back to Soviet times, when women could be named "Hero Mothers" for having especially large families.

The city of Ulyanovsk, previously Simbirsk, located 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of Moscow has a special place in national mythology as it was named after the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, whose real surname was Ulyanov.

Copyright AFP 2007, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium

Britney, What Happened?

The Reviews are in: Brit what happened?

The AP:

As in most train wrecks, it was hard to focus on just one thing as the Britney Spears disaster unfolded. There was just so much that went wrong.

Trent: The general feeling here inside the theater is one of overwhelming disappointment over Britney's performance. The photogs behind me are saying pretty nasty things. I must admit, I'm not at all impressed. All that hype and that's all we got. Where the eff was Criss Angel's influence? I think that comeback I've been prayin' for might have to wait.

Perez: Dear Britney,

Fuck you!

FUCK YOU!!!!!!!

We are insulted, offended and disgusted by your “performance” at the VMAs.

Are you fucking serious???

What you did was disrespectful to your few remaining fans. And it was disrespectful to MTV!

You didn’t even try!!!!!

You should have just cancelled, bitch.

Your performance was beyond pathetic. The old Britney Spears, who was at one point (a long time ago) truly great, would be embarrassed by your lack of professionalism and utterly shiteous appearance at the VMAs.

Where was Criss Angel? Where was the magic? And by ‘magic’ we don’t mean any tricks or illusions.

You seemed dead onstage. You have lost that spark and shine that used to ooze out of you!

We all know you lipsynch, but you couldn’t even do that well at the VMAs!

And you barely danced!

You couldn’t even get good hair extensions??????

You have no one to blame for your failure but YOU!

There was no way you were going to be good. You were out partying every night before the VMAs for three days in a row until almost sunrise! You were probably still drunk or high during your performance!!! You almost tripped a few times, you fucking mess!!!!!!!

No bullshit excuse that you or your camp will come up with can make up for how pathetic your performance was.

You heard Sarah Silverman was going to make fun of your kids and it upset you? Deal with it! Rise above it! Or don’t go on!

A true professional will DELIVER - no matter what!!!!

Let’s repeat that. It’s worth repeating.

A true professional will deliver - NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

What you did was inexcusable!

Your new manager, Jeff Kwatinez, should be ashamed of himself! You have tainted his reputation and everyone at his company, The Firm, should run and hide.

Your record label, Jive, must be thrilled.

You should apologize to everyone, Britney!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Let's be honest with ourselves, we secretly heart cats. And on top of this, we heart it even more when they do silly things. And, just to make things more interesting, we heart it the most when these moments are not only captured on film but commented on through the use of witty text. Enjoy.

Van: What is that intoxicating scent you have on?
Doris: I have cats.
Van: Meow.

Monday, September 3, 2007

That Bird is NOT My Doppleganger!

It turns out that the Jon Greenberg I've been gchatting with for the past, um, four months was NOT the same Jon Greenberg I worked with at Hyatt. Ooops... I guess that explains why he never gets our party invites.

Jon: haha what you talkin about?
3:33 PM me: I havent seen you in FOREVER!
Jon: where are you these days?
3:34 PM me: where are you.....
I am still at chez copa silly
3:35 PM oh are you at work?
3:36 PM B/c its ambers b-day tomorrow!
wish her a happy bday for me!
Jon: haha i think you have the wrong guy
3:37 PM maybe wrong jon greenberg?
me: oh no you're kidding!
3:38 PM Jon: haha i was trying so hard to place you
but i dont know what chez copa is
me: OMG that is hilarious!
Jon: hahaha
what city are you in?
me: Washington DC
Jon: yeah im in Chicago
me: oh wow that explains so much!
Jon: but im sure that your jon greenberg is a very cool guy too
3:39 PM so dont think he has been flaking off on you cause of me
me: chez copa is what my roommates and I have named the apartment and we used to work together
3:40 PM his family lives in florida so he had to run home
but its been over a week
Jon: ah i gotcha
me: lol oh wow this is so funny/awkward
I am so sorry!
Jon: yeah i finally realized that you must have the wrong person and i didnt want you to think that this guy was just acting so weird for no reason
3:41 PM no problem
im laughing right now
3:42 PM me: What is even funnier is when we see each other I give him a hard time - because I swear I was talking to him on g chat
oh lordie
3:43 PM Jon: haha oh no
thats what i didnt want to happen
3:44 PM me: lol its no worry, we are like brother and sister, I just couldn't figure out why he was playing dumb for so long
I took it as a joke but it makes total sense now
well I will stop harrassing you and stick with seeing him face to face
3:45 PM have a great weekend!
5 minutes
3:50 PM Jon: haha you have a great weekend too
it was a pleasure

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Clearly I'd Like Some Alcohol With My Water

Did you guys know about Smirnoff making an alcoholic beverage that's base is water? Yeah, neither did I. Check out the official press release, a video ad for new Smirnoff Source, the most ridiculous alcoholic beverage idea I've heard, AND in the spirit of Jen's journalistic ambitions... a very special clip from a Katie of a different variety.

Diageo Introduces Low-Alcohol Smirnoff Source: Spring Water + Alcohol

14 May 2007
North America

Smirnoff Source™, the new premium malt beverage offering from Diageo North America that combines pure spring water with alcohol is now on beer retailers' shelves and high-end bars throughout the Northeast. At 3.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), this new premium malt beverage, with a hint of citrus, has fewer calories and lower alcohol by volume than most popular domestic beers.

Smirnoff Source™ is the first malt beverage in the U.S. to contain pure spring water and a malt-based alcohol. The beverage is light, crisp and perfectly balanced to deliver the ultimate in refreshing taste. With a suggested retail price of almost $10 for a 4-pack, Smirnoff Source™ will provide adult consumers with a new choice – an ultra-premium alternative to domestic beer.

"This new lower-alcohol malt beverage delivers to consumers an ultra-premium product with the cache and provenance of the Smirnoff Brand," said Mark Breene, vice president, Diageo Progressive Adult Beverages. "We are creating a new experience for adult consumers with a lower-alcohol product that fits in with today’s contemporary adult lifestyle."

Available in a stylish, 16-ounce glass bottle and 16-ounce 4-packs, the packaging, labels and all marketing materials are clearly labeled 'Smirnoff Source™ contains spring water + alcohol,' as approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury's Tax and Trade Bureau, the federal agency that regulates the alcohol beverage industry and oversees and certifies all alcohol beverage labels in the U.S.

This new beer-based alternative is now available in 15 northeastern U.S. states including Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, DC, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Source will also begin appearing in nightclubs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami.

"Smirnoff Source™ is a new way of thinking about the beer category," said Guy L. Smith, Executive Vice President of Diageo.

"Smirnoff Source™ is the first lower-alcohol flavored malt beverage on the market that fits modern lifestyles and offers adult consumers sophisticated new drinking experiences," he said.

"It responds to consumer demand and answers alcohol policy groups' desires to bring a lower-alcohol beer product to the marketplace," Smith said, adding that non-government organizations in the U.S. and around the world have been suggesting that this type of lower alcohol beverage should be made available to consumers of legal purchase age.

"And it's all supported by a responsible marketing campaign that articulates precisely what Smirnoff Source™ is – and what it is not," he added.

As with all of Diageo's adult beverages, the marketing and promotion of Smirnoff Source™ is governed by Diageo’s marketing code, which is one of the most stringent in the industry.

The launch of Smirnoff Source will be supported by an integrated marketing plan including a new TV and digital advertising campaign in early July and new point-of-sale displays and visuals in stores this month.