Friday on my mind

Words one can hardly imagine in any context, let alone this one:

Stephen Colbert swung by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” following through on a bargain he struck with Fallon earlier in the week. (Fallon had held up his end by successfully raising $26,000 for Donors Choose. Which, when you think about it, means that Rebecca Black has evolved in the span of a fortnight from “adorable national punchline” to “legitimate force for good in the world.” Hey, what did you do with your last fortnight?)

I suppose I derived some peripheral joy from seeing various New York hipsters who no doubt would rather have heard a dirge about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire — a lot less mainstream, doncha know — getting caught up in the fun, fun, fun, fun of it all. But mostly, I feel somewhat vindicated: separated from the dime-store video and given a proper arrangement, this is actually not a bad little song, and if the lyrics occasionally veer off the edge, they couldn’t possibly be any dumber than, say, “Wild Thing,” and you know that one already, if only by osmosis.

And you can learn this one yourself: as the phrase goes, four chords, no waiting.

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Strange search-engine queries (270)

If you’re new around here — and all of us were at one time or another — this is a weekly feature wherein the logs are gone through with a fine-toothed comb, and then anything which causes an individual tooth to quiver with delight (or with pain, the difference being insignificant with mere combs, fercryingoutloud) gets stuck here for public consumption. It beats actually having to write stuff.

graphic novel women stripped and raped by invisible ghosts:  Starring Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Menaces.

99 cougar hard shift blinking light:  Believe me, you don’t need a blinking light to tell you when you’ve had a hard shift.

States that make allowance for the pharmacist’s “moral concerns”:  No Lipitor for you, chubbo. Try Kansas.

when was daylight savings time adopted in oklahoma:  At two in the morning. Except that all of a sudden it was three in the morning. Farmers just shrugged.

a woman’s salad days are shorter than a man’s:  Provided, of course, you can get a man to eat salad at all.

the boondocks oklahoma city:  Did you mean “the boatdocks oklahoma city”?

too attractive for work:  If this describes you, see me for an application.

rich capitalysts enjoy driving:  Then they become government consultants and enjoy being driven.

deathwish slacks:  And you thought Sansabelt was weird.

“people who don’t date”:  Easy to spot. They’ve spent the last fifteen years online.

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Application data

Seen, one assumes, at the Department of Redundancy Department:

Now hiring

(Via FAIL Blog.)

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Why can’t this be fast?

Murilee Martin has been paging through Sammy Hagar’s memoir RED: My Uncensored Life in Rock, and he found the very sort of thing that I must mention here: when Hagar drew his first sort-of-rockstar paycheck, he went out and bought a car.

A Citroën 2CV.

“The most uncool car on the planet,” said Hagar: “a French car that looks like a sardine can. I thought it had class.”

Which explains much, since in the absence of a tailwind or a steep downward slope, he’d have had a devil of a time trying to drive 55 in that little boîte.

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418

The 31 March edition of Carnival of the Vanities, the 418th, was delayed until today because of Comcast, says Andrew Ian Dodge.

I have no dealings with Comcast myself, but at least one of their customers has had good luck with this RF Remote Control Extender, which operates on 418 MHz.

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Double-precision six-pack

Arnold Schwarzenegger, interviewed by Entertainment Weekly (#1149, 4/8), on how action heroes have changed in the last quarter-century or so:

The ’80s were a unique era — the hero had to have muscles or he was not believable. But things change. Heroes still have muscles, but it’s all CGI. Look at the movie 300. I mean, that guy was ripped. I said to [300 producer] Mark Canton, “You have got to get ahold of this guy. I want to know what his training regimen is.” Canton said, “What are you talking about? [Those muscles] cost me a lot of money.”

For some reason, the phrase “stunt abs” just popped into my mind.

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Applying for a wallet-depletion allowance

I’d done a preliminary run-through of my 2010 tax return in late January, inasmuch as I’d received all the pertinent forms to be included therein, and the results were sufficiently deflating to the pocketbook that I resolved to stall as long as possible. Nothing had changed between then and now, of course, but I still had to print out all that paperwork, review it for internal consistency — by which I mean “if you use the middle initial on the 1040, don’t spell out the full name on Schedule A, you knucklehead” — and then write a large check. So that was yesterday’s project, between dinner (combo #2 at Popeye’s) and the basketball game, motivated at least slightly by the desire to get this damn thing out of the house so I don’t obsess over it any further.

And no, I didn’t consider farming out the task to one of the professionals, such as they are; I used to be one of the professionals, such as I was, and I’m pretty good at keeping up with things.

Still, every year I start the form, I ask “Why the hell doesn’t Congress do anything about this?” The answer, unsurprisingly, is always “Why should they care? It’s not like they have to do this themselves.” Which suggests a piece of Fantasy Legislation: all 535 of them have to complete their returns, on camera, live on C-Span, on April 14th. If that doesn’t give them some motivation to clean up this misbegotten system, nothing will.

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Just another night in L.A.

Rather a lot of WTF moments at the Staples Center tonight, starting with a fistful of technicals, including a pair of offsetting Ts (Blake Griffin and Nick Collison) and one to each coach. Of course, one could also ask how it is that the Thunder were up twelve at the half and were down two fourteen minutes later, but that’s a bit more easily explainable: at least once in every game, everything just jells for the Clippers and they put together a seriously impressive run. If they could do that on a consistent basis, they wouldn’t be flirting with the 50-loss mark. Griffin, as almost always, was the top scorer, but Eric Gordon fired a trey with 43 seconds left to break a tie, and after Russell Westbrook fouled out — Serge Ibaka was already gone — Randy Foye iced the game with three out of four from the stripe. It was Clippers 98, Thunder 92, the Other L. A. Team’s second win in three tries over OKC.

In some ways, this game replicated the debacle in Portland the night before: first half good, second half crapola. The Clips outshot the Thunder by three percentage points and got a couple more rebounds, but the X factor here was the general failure of the Thunder starters to execute up to spec. Westbrook hit only one from the floor all night, though he did deliver the ball well (9 dimes); Ibaka scored in double figures, but collected only four boards; Kevin Durant was 10 for 24 and missed all four attempts from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, Griffin had about his twelve thousandth double-double, and DeAndre Jordan got one too. Moreover, the Clippers put up 38 foul shots and collected on 27 of them. (Griffin went 12-18 from the stripe.) The Thunder, which usually can cash in at the foul line, only got 24 shots, 20 of which went. Add to this a six-point advantage in points in the paint, and you start to wonder how come the Clippers didn’t actually turn this into a blowout.

Six games to go, and the first four will be hairy: at Denver, back home the next night against the Clippers, followed two nights later by the Nuggets, and then off to the Left Coast again, to face the Lakers on Sunday and the Kings on Monday. There’s one last home game — against Milwaukee — but right now, Oklahoma City has more to fear than the Deer.

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Whole lotta bouncing going on

This may be the first time I’ve ever been envious of Tigger:

Zooey Deschanel with Tigger

Turns out, She & Him — which, you may remember, is the duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward — will be recording some songs for Disney’s reboot of Winnie the Pooh, due in theaters this July, and this is the song you’ll hear over the end credits:

Yeah, I know, I could be saving these up for a Zooeypalooza, but it’s not like I’m having trouble accumulating photographs or anything.

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Meanwhile in Ward 2

The Ward 2 runoff is Tuesday, and I can hardly wait: it will mean an end, at least for the moment, to some of the nastiest politicking in the history of the state, and if you’re familiar with the history of the state, the bar for Nasty has been set pretty high.

If you’ve missed any of the Monster Mud Rallies, Doug Loudenback’s place is your one-stop resource for everything Ward 2-related, and at the very least we all ought to buy him a beer, or something, since he’s done a satisfyingly-thorough job of documenting things, and he doesn’t even live in Ward 2. Maybe it’s easier to do this if your own vote isn’t on the line.

I haven’t said a whole lot myself, perhaps because I made up my mind a month ago:

The [Ward 2] race quickly narrowed down to two, and the Oklahoman prefers banker Charlie Swinton. I like the guy, but he’s not my first choice for a couple of reasons: in a meeting with our Neighborhood Association, he seemed to be unable to grasp the MAPS 3 Zeitgeist — almost two-thirds of Ward 2 voters favored MAPS 3, the whole package, and we expect him to share in our enthusiasm for same — and besides, is anyone seriously worried that the interests of bankers and such are not going to get any traction in the Council?

Given the hundreds of thousands of dollars being poured into the Swinton campaign, the answer to that question appears to be Yes. It’s dispiriting, really.

As a sidelight, some of us are getting what might be our first full immersion in 26 USC 527, which authorizes political action committees outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the time, one’s reaction to 527 organizations seems to be whether the goring is being administered to one’s own ox or to the opposition’s. I don’t have a particular problem with 527s generally — they’re deployed all over the political spectrum, so it’s not like they tend toward any specific ideology — but one line in a poll conducted by Bloomberg before the 2010 elections [pdf] suggests that participation by 527 groups is viewed at least slightly negatively by the electorate: forty-seven percent of respondents said they would be less likely to support a candidate if his “campaign was aided by advertising by anonymous business groups.” (Forty-one percent said it didn’t matter.) Since I consider the private sector and the nonprofits to be essentially equivalent in terms of lobbying, or the noxiousness thereof, I’d count myself among those 47 percent. At least we know where Ed Shadid’s money is coming from: out of Ed Shadid’s pocket.

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These boots aren’t made for gawking

Morgan Freeberg contemplates Wonder Woman’s new garb (see, for instance, here), and decides that it’s yet another failure of the system:

The new Wonder Woman movie is going to be a financial Japanese-Tsunami-Reactor. And it’s not because Wonder Woman is covering up her legs; it’s because, since she is, we know the makers of the movie have all their priorities cockeyed. They’re focused on the wrong things. They won’t work hard to entertain the audience. They’d rather be politically correct than deliver the entertainment value to the audience, that the audience was promised.

What’s the problem with female legs, anyway? Where’d this come from? We’re a year and a half away from electing a female President with an awesome looking pair of legs. Isn’t it time we got past this?

I’m guessing he’s not referring to Michele Bachmann.

Seriously, if you can lay eyes on a Wonder Woman costume and your first instinct is “those two need to get covered up” … and you’re not talking about the breasts … you are way, way off base and there is something wrong with you.

Commenter Severian added:

Contrary to popular (read: feminist) belief, guys do not have a problem with gorgeous women kicking ass. Or un-gorgeous women kicking ass. So long as said ass-kicking is epic, total, sustained, and even quasi-plausible, guys are there … because we’re simple creatures who enjoy few things more than a bout of old-fashioned butt-whoopery.

As Dodge might say, “Car chases make movies better.” And I speak as someone who actually enjoyed both Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring, despite a total absence of hoonage in either.

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One piece at a time, so to speak

Says sculptor Finn Stone:

Seeking to keep alive the boldness and flare adopted from an earlier generation, I experiment with a rich mix of pigments and textures, exploring colour and form. With an impulsive lust for vibrancy, my beloved reds and yellows collide with unstoppable momentum.

LEG-GO Stilettos by Finn StoneThis particular project, I suggest, is indisputably bold, possibly even vibrant. Stone calls these LEG-GO Stilettos, likely a nod to the iconic Scandinavian construction system and to the trademark-infringement lawyers employed by its manufacturer, and they will be produced, says Design Milk, in an edition of twelve. If there are any left this fall, I’m guessing Byard Art, which represents Stone, might exhibit them at London’s Affordable Art Fair, the spring edition of which boasted no pieces over £4000. Historically, this would work out to about £3850 over my budget, but hey: it’s art, right?

(Sent my way by Smitty.)

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They never promised it to us

“The Thunder defense,” said radio guy Matt Pinto early in the fourth quarter, “has just gone away.” So had the offense; after scoring 59 points in the first half, Oklahoma City managed a mere 11 in the third quarter, and the Trail Blazers, taking advantage of several calls Pinto thought were dubious, turned a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead, which would grow to double digits shortly thereafter. Halfway through the period, the Thunder started to get stops again, though the offense didn’t recover so much, and the Blazers waltzed to a 98-91 win at the Rose Garden, salvaging one game from the four-game season series.

Nate McMillan shuffled his starting lineup, installing Marcus Camby in the middle, moving LaMarcus Aldridge to power forward and letting Nicolas Batum come off the bench. This apparently cut down the Blazers’ rebounding capacity a bit — OKC had a 48-34 advantage on the boards — but Aldridge scored seemingly at will, finishing with 32 points, and Portland’s ball control was sterling. The Blazers shot only 43 percent, but that was two percent better than the Thunder.

And way better than the Thunder’s main offensive threats: Kevin Durant went 9 for 24 (25 points), James Harden 6 for 15 (21), and Russell Westbrook 5 for 15 (16). OKC, not getting points in the paint, resorted to jump shots, especially long jump shots, and they wouldn’t fall: only 7 of 27 connected. If there was any upside, it’s that Kendrick Perkins made both his foul shots.

Now the downside: this is the first half of a back-to-back, and yes, the second half is against the Clippers, but The Other L.A. Team is dangerous on its home court. Seven games yet to play.

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Not a ball hog

Kobe knows to pass when the time is right:

(Via Ball Don’t Lie.)

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How does it feel? You won the war

My four-year-old four-gigabyte MP3 Walkman is getting a nearly-daily workout as the sound source in the car, thanks to a gizmo that slips into the Bose head unit’s tape drive.

Generally, I have 700-750 tracks stuffed into the little cuttlefish, and during an average month I’ll probably scissor out twenty of them and replace them with songs I haven’t heard so damned often. This can be done with good old Windows Explorer, by popping open the OMGAUDIO folder, but Sony does its best to obfuscate matters, so I’ve learned to deal with SonicStage, which has all the irritations of iTunes without any of the benefits. (Next time, screw it, I’m getting an iPod.)

And every time a SonicStage session was completed, regardless of the shuffle setting, the first track upon resuming use has always been the same: “Waterloo” by ABBA. I don’t object to this too strenuously, since this is a longtime favorite (it’s even the perfect length!), but last night, I toyed with the idea of deleting it anyway, and seeing if the new default first track was what I expected, which would be “The Boy from New York City” by the Ad Libs, second in the artist listing since I cycled Ace’s “How Long” out of the rotation.

Instead, I pasted in an ABBA album track — “Gonna Sing You My Lovesong,” from the Waterloo LP — and waited. G comes before W, right?

Nope. I pulled the USB cord, hit the button, and up came “Waterloo.”

Next time maybe I will delete the damn song.

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I’d rather be in Filetdelphia

We don’t check in with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals too often, perhaps for the same reason we don’t watch Jersey Shore: you’ve seen one train wreck, you’ve seen ‘em all. We did, however, acknowledge their 2004 effort to persuade Slaughterville, Oklahoma to change its name, and I suppose they ought to be congratulated for maintaining their focus all these years:

With city officials contemplating a proposal to rejuvenate the struggling Mid-Market and Tenderloin with a payroll tax break to lure more businesses to the two neighborhoods, the activist organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals suggests another way to — at least — revitalize the Tenderloin: Rename it the Tempeh District after the protein-packed fermented soybean product.

”The city deserves a neighborhood named after a delicious cruelty-free food instead of the flesh of an abused animal,” PETA’s executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Mayor Ed Lee.

I’ve eaten enough soy in my lifetime to reject utterly anybody’s claim that the stuff is “cruelty-free”: it’s sure as hell cruel to my insides. Not that PETA would care about that sort of thing.

Captain Joe Garrity, who commands the Tenderloin police station, has a better idea: “Lipitor.” Yes, really:

After all, it’s a drug used to help combat high cholesterol of which eating red meat can be a contributing cause, and it could be a corporate sponsor to help pay for city services.

And Lipitor could use the publicity: the first generic will arrive late this year.

(Once again, via a Nancy Friedman tweet.)

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