Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher who let her class name a Teddy Bear, Muhammad, was sentenced to 15 days in prison. Sudanese protesters, however, took to the streets and demanded she be executed. That sounds about right. The Sudanese are very fair people.
In unrelated news, just in time for the holidays, the Christian Right is rolling out Huggy Jesus....although he looks a bit like Huggy Cat Stevens to me.
Friday, November 30, 2007
In response to my entry, Coffee Houses, Vanessa Lee wrote --
Saint Germaine, on 83rd and 3rd, is a restaurant/cafe. Their deep mugs of cafe au lait are like straight out of Paris. Drink it slowly and take in the vibe, especially great on weekend mornings.I agree. Step inside and you take a giant leap to Paris. C'set magnifique!
This week I've been sequestered in our place, taking care of our sick 2 year old. She's had a fever now for five days, we've been to the doctor, the emergency room, and going back to the doctor tomorrow.
I think we've watched The AristoCats 857 times. I now have the song "Everybody Wants to be a Cat" seared into my head.
But what I really love about the film is the Chinese Cat. He definitely should be filed under "What? What's so offensive?" He's a Siamese cat ('natch), has almond shaped eyes, has two very prominent buck teeth, and speaks with a wonderfully offensive Chinese accent. And as you can see in this picture, the good folks at Disney like to put things on his head that look like cooli hats.
In the big song, he sings:
Shanghai, Honk Kong, Egg Foo Yong.Then later in the song, when one of the little kittens blows a trumpet he says:
Fortune cookie always wrong.
Yah, he brew it!What? What's so Offensive?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I received a comment from Citygirl seconding my comment about visiting local coffee shops, like Caffe Cafe. (That's a pic of Caffe Cafe) (I, unlike CityGirl, I'm guessing, will also be going to Starbucks as well, but I firmly believe in the independently run places and will be visiting them as well)
If anyone has a favorite place in The Ridge or in Brooklyn, please mention it here and I'll put together a list.
There's also a great article about Starbucks and Bay Ridge on Gotham City Insider.
Richard Roberts, accused of financial misconduct, stepped down as President of Oral Roberts University because --
"God told him on Thanksgiving that he should resign."
God then said --
"Are you going to finish those mashed potatoes?"
I've recently learned that my future true love, Melisa Christian, may be married. I haven't confirmed this yet but back when she was 23, and at the height of her bodybuilding career, she had a fiance.
My guess is he was also a bodybuilder. They tend to attract each other and for good reason. They bulk up so much that they create a gravitational pull and they have to be together. They have no choice.
But I don't know if she married him or if she did, whether she's still married to him. My guess is she's not because since she has become a toneless porker, I think she's been able to break free of his gravitational pull.
And also because she's now a runner. She's either running away from him and her bodybuilding past, or running towards me and a life of obsessiveness, subpoenas and wedded bliss.
Once again the Rover is right on top of life in Bay Ridge as he reported two stabbings in our neighborhood.
Here's the latest on the Fort Hamilton stabbing.
A high school freshman was attacked outside Fort Hamilton High School in Bay Ridge this morning.
Education officials say the student was walking into the school's main building when his necklace was snatched. He was also cut on the arm, though it's not clear what kind of weapon was used.
"I saw the kid walking with blood on his white sweater, and the cops were following him. He had just gotten stabbed,” said a witness. He had just came from lunch or something and that’s it. The kid was smiling. He wasn't even hurt."
The Department of Education says officials are cooperating with police in their investigation.
The Rover will most likely have more info soon.
With gift giving season just around the corner there comes a handy reminder from that ever thoughtful country, Sudan -- be careful what you name your Teddy Bear.
A British teacher has been charged in Sudan with insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs --for--
allowing her class of primary school pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad.
Lawyers say she faces six months in jail, 40 lashes or a fine if convicted.
Out of fear, I consulted a list of ethnic slurs and have gone back this morning and renamed all of my teddy bears who were named Adolph, Ahab, Ann, Apple, Banana, Brownie, Egg, Eskimo, Flip, Fritz, Frog, Ivan, Jerry, Monkey, Nigel and Kid Yid. They're all on the list! Okay, Kid Yid isn't but it was my father's nickname as a kid -- come to think of it, Muhammad isn't on the list either, but the Sudanese Government must know what it's doing. I mean, look at how well they've handled Darfur and the accusations from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and so on down to my old childhood Indian Guide group, Tribe White Man Dress Like American Indian Pals Forever So Now Let's All Go Eat At Sambo's.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The Daily News is reporting that Brooklyn will be getting about 75 more Starbucks in the next three years.
Now I am a self diagnosed Starbucks junkie but I worry about places like Caffe Cafe. So get that venti mocha cha-cha, but don't forget to also visit the "mom and pop" places like Caffe Cafe.
Monday, November 26, 2007
It was reported today the Vice-President Dick Cheney has an irregular heart beat.
Doctors were stunned to discover that Cheney's heart beats at all. Said one doctor, "I didn't think the undead had a heartbeat. This is a great discovery."
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Melisa Christian, my "inamorata from South Corsicana," won the 40th Annual Dallas Turkey Trot on Nov. 22.
She ran the 8 miler in 45:58.05 -- precisely the same time it takes me to eat 270 Dunkin' Donuts.
Photo - Will Baccich
Friday, November 23, 2007
With the Thanksgiving weekend upon us, I've decided to list some things I'm thankful for in my life. This is by no means a complete list, only a start.
My wife, my daughter, my mom and dad, my brother and sister, my nieces and nephews, my dog, the roof over my head, the food in my pantry, Melisa Christian, The Family Guy, my health (knock on wood), my team of doctors, only one more year of President W, Major League Baseball, Bagel Boy, Starbucks, Paris, Lucy Liu, Red Wine, Peppino's Pizza, Tanoreen, Bay Ridge, Jon Stewart, Keith Olbermann, the internet, Melisa Christian (Yeah, I'm doubly thankful for her), Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, itunes, Amazon.com, everyone who visits Left In Bay Ridge, my daughter's laughter, Fender Guitars, The Loveless Cafe, Megadik and WonderCum...to be continued...
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Last night we went into Manhattan to watch the Macy's Day Parade balloons being inflated. Fortunately we know some people who live on 77th street and we were able to go on the residents-only side and not get caught up in the mass of humanity.
This morning we went into Times Square to watch the parade. Once again we were very fortunate to have been invited by friends to watch from their office at 46th and 7th. It was a perfect vantage point and my daughter screamed when Dora and Jojo floated by.
Now we're preparing for the arrival of both sets of parents (oy) and some friends.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.
I just finished reading Matthew Lysiak's article "Holiday Tree Again Called Christmas Tree in Bay Ridge" and I don't know what I find more surprising: that they actually called a Christmas tree a Holiday tree or that Marty Golden is an Irish-Catholic.
With a name like Marty Golden, my wife and I swore he was part of the tribe. But an Irish-Catholic? Who knew?
While I'd like to thank Linda Allegretti for being considerate of the Jewish and Islamic communities, calling a Christmas Tree anything else is silly. You don't see us calling the menorah a holiday menorah. It's a -- "Hey, what's with the oil!? It was only suppose to last one day and we're already into next week and it's still burning. Such a deal!" -- menorah.
And the Christmas tree is a -- "Hey look! Someone's coming down the chimney. I think it's Jesus. Jesus!? Holy Christ, the place is a mess! What are we going to do? There's no time to clean. Quick, go chop down a tree. We'll decorate it and maybe he won't notice the mess. Wait! That's not Jesus. Who is that? How the hell did that tub-o-lard make it down the chimney? I don't know and I don't care because he's leaving us presents. Presents!? What the -- ?! He looks hungry. I'm scared. Give him some cookies before he eats us" -- tree.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
So the other day I received some spam hocking a product called WonderCum. What a fantastic name for a product. WonderCum. The mind reels. Anyway, I did a quick google search and found a guy who put WonderCum on his blog and his hit stats went through the roof.
So I'm conducting an experiment. I'm going to mention WonderCum here and see if my hits go up. Just out of curiosity. WonderCum.
But I'm going to go a step further. I also got spam trying to sell me a product called Megadik. Another fantastic name.
Put together, they sound like a Super Hero Duo. Megadik and WonderCum. Maybe I'll write a script called The Further Adventures of Megadik and WonderCum. They can fight the dreaded Evil Dick.
It's a cold, wet, grey morning here in The Ridge. I need a little Melisa Christian to cheer me up.
I discovered over the weekend (not to my surprise) that Melisa used to be a body builder. Back when she was in her early 20's she sculpted her body into a killing machine. (I actually don't think she killed any one with her body but she could have) Now, I like women who are toned, tan, and slathered with oil, but this is a bit too much for me.
Thankfully, Melisa discovered the magic elixir -- Dunkin' Donuts. I mean, how else do you explain her body going all Flab City on us? I've known the benefits of Dunkin' Donuts for years and in fact, Dunkin' Donuts is a corporate sponsor of my high BMI. High is good, right?
I think Melisa looks so much better now. Keep up the good work, Melisa. And thank you, Dunkin' Donuts.
Photo By Victah Sailer
Monday, November 19, 2007
The Meat Packers are on strike at Foodtown. They want a better contract. I don't know the details. Maybe they're asking for a better title. One that doesn't make you titter when you say it. Hopefully they'll be more successful in that department than the good men and women who pack fudge.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
So I go down to the Foodtown on 92nd and 3rd today and am shocked to discover some workers outside on a picket line. What gives? I can't find anything about it in the news. I can't go anywhere: the WGA is on strike so no TV or Film writing for me right now; the Broadway Stage Hands are on strike so no Broadway; and now Foodtown!? I'm a big believer in unions and don't like to cross any picket line. I'm not sure yet what I'll do. Right now I've gone to the Starbucks across the street to mull it over.
Christmas is just over a month away and that can mean only one thing -- Hanukkah is lurking somewhere.
Why can't they make it easy for us? Why can't Hanukkah be the same time every year? Christmas is the same day every year. That's one of the many things it has going for it. People, especially kids, know exactly when it arrives. What do kids like? Their birthday, Christmas, Halloween. What do they all have in common? They come the same time year after year. I'm convinced that's why the Easter Bunny hasn't had more success. No one is sure year to year when he'll arrive -- that and the fact that he's the poor man's Santa Claus.
But Hanukkah already has so much going against it:
1. People think it's the Jewish Christmas. Actually, it's the Jewish lame Holiday. Oooo, the story of the Maccabees. Oil lasting eight nights. Pinch me.
2. Jewish kids get a toy every night for eight nights. While Jewish kids do indeed get a gift every night, what your parents don't tell you is you will get a lame toy every night for eight nights. An orange, a scarf, a toothbrush.
3. It's always been a dark holiday for me. I didn't matter how big our menorah was, it seemed mighty dim compared to the light show put on every year by our neighbors, the Begonski's. A 10-foot tree, Frosty the Snowman, Santa, Reindeer, Elves and the Manger scene. I always wanted them to have three Frosty's as the Wisemen. One year my brother and I snuck over in the middle of the night and placed Frosty in the Manger. My mother didn't think it was funny and took away one of our eight presents.
4. Nobody knows when it will arrive each year! What are they thinking? I imagine the people responsible are two ancient Jews (I think they go to our synagogue in Bay Ridge).
Ancient Jew #1: Alright, alright, when are we going to have Hanukkah this year?
Ancient Jew #2: How about Dec 3rd?
Ancient Jew #1: I have a doctor's appointment that day. What about the 4th?
Ancient Jew #2: I'm seeing my doctor that day.
Ancient Jew #1: Anything serious?
Ancient Jew #2: A colonoscopy.
Ancient Jew #1: Oy, I had one last year. Not fun. I don't like anything going the wrong way on that one way street. You'll be fine.
Ancient Jew #2: How about the 5th?
Ancient Jew #1: You'll want some more time after you colonoscopy. How about the 7th?
Ancient Jew #2: That's the Goldberg Bar Mitzvah.
Ancient Jew #1: You were invited?
Ancient Jew #2" Yeah. Weren't you?
Ancient Jew #1: He's dead to me.
Ancient Jew #2: Who?
Ancient Jew #1: Goldberg.
Ancient Jew #2: He didn't invite you?
Ancient Jew #1: I don't know who you're talking about.
Ancient Jew #2: Goldberg.
Ancient Jew #1: Dead to me.
Ancient Jew #2: I can't believe he didn't -
Ancient Jew #1: Dead to me! The 7th it is.
Ancient Jew #2: But that's -
Ancient Jew #1: Pearl Harbor, Hanukkah and a dead man's kid's Bar Mitzvah!
Ancient Jew #2: Okay. I'll talk to you later.
Ancient Jew #2 leaves.
Ancient Jew #1 picks up the phone.
Ancient Jew #1: Hello, this is Ancient Jew #2. I need to change my colonoscopy. The 7th.
So it's 37 more days until Christmas and god knows how many days until Hanukkah. I may have missed it for all I know.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I may have found my new calling.
City Councilman Simcha Felder (whose picture on his website looks like a tintype from the 1850's. Simcha, bring your photo into this century, please) is introducing legislation to ban pigeon feeding and fine those caught sneaking scraps to the rats with wings $1000.00.
He then added, "I mean it was a huge pile of pigeon dookie doo or pigeon caca or pigeon butt-kabobs or pigeon poopie doobles or pigeon butt gnomes or pigeon spit winkle or pigeon butt butter or pigeon driblets or pigeon butt mud or pigeon toilet twinkies or pigeon butt drool..."
Felder said he recently lost his patience with pigeons when --
"I got out of a car and stepped into a pile of pigeon excrement or pigeon poo or pigeon droppings. ... That was it."
Cities around the world are dealing with the pigeon invasion. Los Angeles is trying a pigeon contraceptive (of course they are). London has banned pigeon feeding in Trafalgar Square. Back in 2003, here in NYC we tried having a hawk patrol Bryant Park but the hawk had to be fired when he swooped down and stuck his talons into a woman's Chihuahua. (Again, not a euphemism). And Oslo, Norway is experimenting with pigeon condoms, sex-ed classes and a Just-Say-No-To-Pigeon-Sex campaign, although I can't confirm that information.
Felder also wants to appoint -- and here's where it gets good -- a Pigeon Czar. What a great title! Pigeon Czar. The name oozes respect and authority. Pigeon Czar. The PC would --
coordinate the efforts of the various agencies that currently address facets of the pigeon problem.Pigeons will tremble and kneel before the Pigeon Czar. There could be an annual Pigeon Czar Ball. A ticker tape parade where all of NYC could hail the triumphant Pigeon Czar.
Vive la Pigeon Czar!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
It's Hump Day in the Ridge. Cloudy, overcast, dreary. So what better way to fritter away life than to take another step towards "stalker" status.
Melisa Christian - Dentist, Olympic Marathon Trial Qualifier, Future Wife and/or Filer of Restraining Order. There's an interview with Melisa in Runner's World, as if writer Peter Gambaccini thinks he can cozy up to her without me noticing. I also noticed that one question and answer was deleted from his published interview. Here is the deleted Q&A:
What was the one thing that stuck out in your mind about the NYC Marathon?
MC: At mile 3 there was a man in the crowd. Handsome, cute, magnetic -- a half eaten donut in his mouth. I tried to yell out my phone number but I was also hydrating -- that's not a euphemism. I'm hoping to somehow find him. It sounds corny, I know, but I felt a real connection with him. Maybe we could meet at the top of the Empire State Building. Just like Sleepless in Seattle or An Affair to Remember, which Sleepless totally ripped off. Anyway, Handsome Mystery Man, if you read this please contact me!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Grabbing headlines today is Louisiana state representative Carla Blanchard Dartez, who
"infuriated civil rights leaders after she ended a conversation with one black leader's mother by saying, 'Talk to you later, Buckwheat'"
Seriously, how dumb can you be? Oh wait, this is the state that brought us Britney Spears, y'all. Why would you call someone "Buckwheat?" Especially someone who helped with your campaign to get reelected. It's just plain stupid. And oh how it pains me that she's a Democrat. Please please please don't give us a bad name, you ignorant cracker -
Oh yeah, I guess I shouldn't say that.
The NYC Marathon went right in front of our building. This is the second year in a row that I didn't get chosen in the marathon lottery. One more rejection and I automatically get in the following year. Too bad it doesn't work that way with women.
And what more incentive than Dr. Melisa Christian. She's a dentist, I have teeth. She's fit as a fiddle, I like musical instruments. She's a woman, I'm a man. What more could you ask for?
Yeah sure the other elite women runners are in great shape, but this woman could snap my neck with her thighs and I wouldn't complain.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
While living in LA, I suffered through lackluster Dodger years. Then along came Eric Gagne. The stadium came alive. When Eric entered the game the place would erupt. We knew we were seeing history. The Dodgers finally made it to the playoffs and we were looking forward to a fantastic season. Then along came Paul DePodesta. Home wrecker. Number cruncher. Idiot. The team was broken up, Gagne blew out his arm, and the Dodgers slipped back into mediocrity.
And now that I have moved to NYC, the Dodgers nab Joe Torre. JOE TORRE!
Joe, I'll be back. I'll be back.
Friday, November 9, 2007
The dog and I were out for our evening walk tonight when on the corner of 85th and 3rd what to our wondrous eyes did appear but the storefront for a new Starbucks! That makes a total of 4, that's right, 4 Starbucks right here in the Ridge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
So my wife and I lived in sunny, and sometimes fiery, Los Angeles for 8 years. I was working as an actor and she was the General Manager of South Coast Rep. I retired from acting when we adopted our daughter. I had been growing tired of the business and my writing was taking off. Then my wife was offered the job of General Manager of the Public Theater. So figuring NYC was just as good a place for me to write as LA, we packed up our bags last January, bid farewell to our heated pool and tennis court and moved from the Hollywood Hills to NYC.
Our intention was to live in Manhattan. Now I'm no turnip rolling off a truck, I grew up in NJ and my wife lived in Manhattan for 14 years, but hello expensive rent! We were looking at $4500.00/month! Um, no thanks. So we extended our search for shelter. My wife's best friend lives in Bay Ridge and to make a long story somewhat long, we ended up in Bay Ridge.
My wife takes the subway into Manhattan everyday, our daughter goes to pre-school, and I mostly stay in The Ridge, where I do my writing and take on stay-at-home fatherly duties.
So here I am, with not really enough time every day to go into Manhattan and get back to take care of our daughter, make dinner, etc, and I find myself Left In Bay Ridge.