“The Los Angeles Times’ Envelope blog just sent out an email alert that the WGA strike will not be over on Monday. This is based on the blogging of LAT columnist Joel Stein, who is the newspaper’s unreadable humor columnist and is inside the WGA West membership meeting at the Shrine because he is a guild member.”—
I’m walking to the deli on the corner this morning, crossing the street, and am about to walk up on the curb when two small kids on plastic tricycles come careening at me, one of whom splashes me as he goes through a puddle. I roll my eyes. His father yells after me, “He’s three and a half! THREE AND A HALF!”
My response, which I didn’t say because clearly this guy had Defensive Daddy Syndrome, would have been: “Yeah, but how old are YOU?”
Because really, I found it amusing that he immediately tried to shift the attention onto his kid, when I was actually rolling my eyes at him—someone who allows their THREE AND A HALF year old son to ride recklessly across a street and almost knock someone over in the process, and then gets all hot and bothered when someone deigns to be remotely critical of his parenting skills. But sure, pretend that I was upset at your kid who doesn’t know any better.
Ms. Huff has lived in her condominium for 15 years. She sees the dispute with her next-door neighbors, who bought their apartment five years ago, as a morality tale about the changes in Manhattan, a battle between old guard and new, between the funky, live-and-let-live neighborhood she remembers and what she sees as glossy newcomers who expect perfection.
“People, ah, they’re so snobbish,” Ms. Huff said.
The Selbins, both 40, see the dispute in simpler terms.
“One of the reasons that we chose to live in the Ansonia is that it’s a glorious old building with a glorious history,” Mr. Selbin said. “I’m all for the old guard. I have no issue with her except for one, which is that her smoke comes into the common hallway and my son breathes it.”
There’s a mostly black and Hispanic junior high school in the Bronx that has a Lubavitch principal. Needless to say, not too many of his students are Jews. But he’s all like, whatevs! I’m here, I’m Jewy, get used to it. I wonder if he shakes his lulav at them.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with the Israeli author Etgar Keret. He writes these bewitchingly bizarre short stories (they’re really short—most of them are, like, three pages or less) that always veer slightly into the realm of the absurd, but are just realistic enough to not be precious.
But who was putting equal pressure on the moguls? Certainly not Variety, or the Los Angeles Times, or The New York Times. Outrageous that every mainstream media outlet influential in showbiz from the outset took the AMPTP shill position that the DGA deal was a great deal because it was negotiated by grown-ups and the WGA brats better take it or else. When it had been the moguls who have acted childish and churlish pre- and post-strike. Worse, they’d disengaged from the process, with occasional exceptions, and hadn’t met together even once. (Unlike 1988 when there was truly a sense of urgency and they regularly huddled in Bel Air living rooms.) If anybody, the media should have been pressuring the Hollywood CEOs to use the DGA deal as a good start. After all, everyone was making it seem like the shitty DGA deal was the only possible deal available to the writers. But only the scribes knew what terms were needed to make the strike worthwhile to them. I and other media didn’t need to arrogantly advise them on the details or even explain the big picture. This was their fight, not ours.
Seriously. Can we TRY not to forget who the real assholes are in this whole scenario?
“The thing about toddlers is that they are uncivilized,” Dr. Karp says. “Our job is to civilize them, to teach them to say please and thank you, don’t spit and scratch and don’t pee anywhere you want. These are the jobs you have with a toddler.”—
I voted this morning near my apartment in Fort Greene, at P.S. 20 on Adelphi Street. There was no one outside with flyers or brochures. There were no posters posted. It was really quiet. Inside, there was no line to vote; I went right in. I had to show I.D., which I thought was a bit strange. My exchange with the polling worker went like this:
Me: Why do I have to show I.D.?
PW: Because it says here, next to your name, I.D. required.
Me: Yes, I see that. But why does it say that?
PW: I dunno. It says I.D. required so I gotta ask you for I.D.
Ooookay then. It’s probably because I’ve never voted there before. Actually I think this is the first time I’ve ever voted in a primary. In the last three presidential elections, by the time it got around to my turn the Democratic nominee had already been decided. So it was kind of exciting to be able to vote, in that regard.
Also, the voting machines are about 1,000 years old.
In homes now saturated with debt, conspicuous consumption and creative financing have come to seem a sign of excess not unlike that of a suntan in an age of skin cancer.
The return to reality is on vivid display at shopping centers, where consumers used to trading up to higher-price stores are now heading to discounters. Wal-Mart and T. J. Maxx are thriving, but business has slowed at Coach, Tiffany and Williams-Sonoma.
That first paragraph made me think of a side of beef, and anyway, I don’t think people have stopped tanning—at least not if Rachel Zoe has anything to do with it. (These days she looks like she simultaneously took up residence in a Solar Storm and is on a permanent Master Cleanse.) And w/r/t Americans’ new spending habits, I kind of feel like if it means fewer heart-shaped nametag bracelets and garish logo-covered bags in the world, so be it.
Did you know that if you lose the ear tips for your Bose in-ear headphones, they will send you new ones for free? You probably already know that the reason they are doing this is, undoubtedly, because those ear tips fall off ALL THE TIME and you are bound to lose them eventually, and the other sizes really don’t fit!
“If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen.”—
Tonight at a pie party, I talked to someone about the problem I’m currently facing: Sam works for one of the Democratic presidential candidates, and I’m on the fence about whom to support. At this point I really feel like I could go either way, so maybe the fact that Sam works for one of the candidates will end up tipping me in that direction. Or maybe it won’t. Urgh.
Good thing our house has signs for both. Well, one of them belongs to our landlord. But, you know, still.
Gimme! Coffee, which has amazing coffee and which I haven’t gone to since I moved out of Williamsburg, just opened a Manhattan branch in Nolita.
Trying to think what my favorite coffeeshops in the city are… definitely Gorilla in Park Slope, both freestanding Joe’s branches (the one that’s inside the store in Soho whose name I’m blanking on is kind of not so good), La Colombe in Tribeca… Hmm. No others spring to mind right now…
We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie or other music in the Indie & Lo-Fi > Twee Pop category have also purchased Fractured Life by Air Traffic.
“Nell and Wallace Crain, a couple who were featured in an Express-News Page 1A story and photo on “the secret to a happy marriage,” died between the writing of the story last summer and its publication in the San Antonio Express-News on Monday. The deaths were not mentioned in the report.”—
So that’s 17 posts in a little more than six hours—in the middle of the night (it’s still only about 6:30 in LA). This kind of stuff is what TMZ is cut out for. It’s a well-established story with a well-established cast of characters (“Brit,” “Sam,” “Poppa Spears,” “Alli,” etc.), and they’re able to cover it basically in real time. Say whatever you want about TMZ, but that is HARD.
I haven't seen a phone book since the early aughts
From this week’s Observer, re: the News Corp. building at 1211 Sixth Ave.:
The basement of 1211 is a place where you play frogger to get past the orange-skinned pundits and nicotine-addled gumshoes of Mr. Murdoch’s empire. And the 10th floor, home of The New York Post? “It’s a disaster,” said one veteran Post reporter. On a quick survey of the newsroom, this reporter saw piled-up telephone books, rows of U.S. postal bins “full of shit,” notebooks, broken computers, extension cords. “Whenever a printer breaks here, we don’t get rid of it, we just put the new one next to it.”
“Paula [Froelich] from Page Six gets really loud! And people from 10 feet away will yell at her to shut up. No one uses their phone, everyone just screams over the hedge. You have people from two or three rows away joining into each other’s conversations. There are people who literally wear ear plugs, or big four-inch round headphones, to drown out the noise, especially on deadline. It’s so loud.”
I feel like the movies that came out when you were in high school or junior high that were about life in your 20s (or late teens) were the ones that you consciously or subconsciously based your young adulthood on, or tried to. So for me: Heathers, Pump Up the Volume, Singles, Reality Bites, Metropolitan, Barcelona, Say Anything… Hmm. I miss the ’90s.
“In the end, Mr. Giuliani and his advisers treated supporters as if they were so many serried lines of troops. If they tell a pollster in November that they are going to vote for you, this indicates they are forever in your camp, their thinking went.”—
"It was really high energy, everyone was really excited to welcome the new class," said College junior and president of Delta Delta Delta Rebecca Feldman. "Each girl had a sister waiting with a poster with her name on it."
Each group of girls represented one of the eight sorority houses. Some houses stomped and chanted, while others displayed huge posters decorated with logos like “Welcome Home, Baby Sigmas!”
The girls in the Hall of Flags - who had been told earlier that day that they would receive a bid, but not which house the bid was from - waited to open envelopes informing them of the sororities’ decision.
College freshman Michelle Williamson said not knowing which house had extended each recruit a bid only added to the anxiety and anticipation in the room.
As a way to ease some of the tension, the nine girls on the Panhellenic executive board danced in matching pink and black sweat suits to the beat of “We are Family” for the room full of recruits.
YAY!! SISTERS, OMG!!!!!! I wonder how long they have to wait for the sweatpants with the Greek letters on the butt.
So Greene Grape Provisions opened recently on Fulton and South Portland in Fort Greene—it’s a small gourmet grocery owned by the people who own the Greene Grape wine store a few doors down. Anyway, when I stopped by the other week all they had was fresh bread, coffee, and some overpriced pasta and stuff, but now they’ve started selling meat and fish. Except the fish is from Wild Edibles, which is defending itself against a lawsuit brought by 10 former employees that the company stiffed them on overtime pay. And now Danny Meyer has decided not to use Wild Edibles fish at Union Square Cafe. Soooooo, I wonder: will Provisions quietly decide to keep selling Wild Edibles fish, or will they do the right thing and buy from another fishmonger?
Relatedly: It’s always so annoying how those companies, like Whole Foods, that are all organic-hippie-dippy are always the ones that are the most anti-union. Blech.
Last week I was watching “Slapstick,” the 9th episode in the third season of The Wire. Barksdale’s people shoot up Omar on a Sunday morning while he’s escorting his grandmother to church service. The knuckleheads miss, but Omar’s grammie is left a bit bruised and she loses her church hat. Later, Avon chides Stringer for giving the green light on the shooting on a Sunday morning. “The Sunday truce been around as long as the game itself.”
The scene made me re-read this article: “Moral Principle vs. Military Necessity: The first code of conduct during warfare, created by a Civil War–era Prussian immigrant, reflected ambiguities we struggle with to this day.”
This outline would eventually become the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which went into effect in the 1950s. Here is a brief overview of the very detailed document.
I wonder what other military codes are out there and how they differ from those written by the United States. I also wonder if they are ever actively enforced, especially in someplace like Iraq. Hmm, must look into this later.