Alarming News

April 24, 2008

No, really.

What did Rachel ever see in Ross?

Posted by Karol at 06:33 PM | Comments (16)
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Me, me, me

I did not have a birthday party this year. Instead, I picked a reggae bar and told a few friends I’d be there dancing if they wanted to join me. Turned out the reggae bar was booked for a private party that night and so the venue was switched to King Size, an awesome hip-hop/reggae bar on the lower east side. With a stripper pole. Which Dawn Summers may or may not have danced on. (She did, pictures exist).

Posted by Karol at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)
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Ode to New York

There are so many “New York ain’t what it used to be” articles that it’s nice to have one admit that New York changes all the time and lately it’s been for the better. Mishka Shubaly writes:

In his songs, Bill Whitten’s New York is like a bad lover or a good drug: “In bedlam and in squalor/ it’s where we bloom like poison flowers/ but admittedly, aww the thrills ain’t cheap/ No matter how I try to leave/ I always come back to you.”

I’d offer up that it’s more like a beloved ex: You loved her and she broke your heart, and put your milk crates full of dirty clothes and scratched Nick Cave CDs out on the curb. But if you think about it, that was a long, long time ago. She’s with some realtor now, and been with him for a while and she seems to be doing really well. The only way she would ever consider taking a guy like you back is if something really awful happened to her. She’s moved on, and maybe it’s time you quit crying and do the same.

Yes, the awful truth is that even if it’s blander and more homogenized, the city’s much improved. For every hip cultural touchstone mourned through alternating layers of sentimentality and irony like Coney Island High or Kokie’s, 10 new rock clubs and coke-slanging operations have stepped in to fill that void, and most of ‘em push pretty decent product. Yeah, the subway on Bedford Avenue turns my stomach, too, but it may be worth pointing out that it’s quite a bit harder to get mugged, raped and/or killed in Williamsburg than it used to be.

Posted by Karol at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)
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April 23, 2008


I’m having a busy day so I’ll leave you with this trifecta of great articles about the awesome awesomeness that is the Democratic primary (all from Hot Air headlines):

The best Maureen Dowd piece of all time.

Christopher Hitchens says true venomous politics still to come.

And, Kirsten Powers wants the media to put down the Obama kool-aid.

Posted by Karol at 02:45 PM | Comments (2)
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Personal blogging

I don’t know why she called herself Big B. She was always small, petite and thin. She had a thousand watt smile and was friendly to everyone. She was the only one who referred to our waitress, the one who served us breakfast every single morning before high school, by name. She had no pretenses. I loved that about her.

I knew she had problems. I made her come to my office in 2000 so I could look at her and see if she was telling the truth about being off drugs. Despite the fact that we had hardly spoken in the six years since we graduated high school, she came. We sat in a conference room at the top of the Chrysler Building. She swore she was clean. I looked for the signs, the glassy eyes and the marks on the arm. She didn’t have them. I believed her. I think that was a good time for her.

I’d hear from time to time that she was back on. She found me on MySpace a few months ago and we spoke. She said she was doing well. An apartment, a man and a job. Things were going ok. She was done with the shit.

It was on MySpace that I found out she died when her friends changed her page to a memorial page. People die, I know that. And those who dabble in the hard drugs die faster than the rest of us. But I can’t stop thinking about this girl, so young, dying alone, and no one could help or save her. The guy in the picture with her is dead too. I remember how hard she took it when he passed. I thought that would definitely scare her straight.

I’m going to remember the girl who would sing “Champion Lover” at breakfast while we discussed if we should cut Troychansky’s math class. The one who was hyper, laughed a lot, was honest and never cared what anyone thought of her. I’m going to remember her on the 64th floor of the Chrysler Building, laughing at me for worrying about her, looking out at the city and marveling at its magic.

Rest in peace, Berta Kuperblum.

Posted by Karol at 10:22 AM | Comments (10)
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April 22, 2008

So…who are we rooting for tonight?

I maintain: go Obama!

UPDATE: Actually, since I’m ultimately rooting for gridlock in Denver, I want Hil to win PA by a sizable margin but Obama to go on and take the nomination.

I would swap “may” for “will”

Headline: ‘Why We Left Islam’ [book] may face Muslim wrath

Posted by Karol at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)
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Ahead of the Times

Remember when I asked if people are still going to indulge in Starbucks products now that they post the calorie count on their menu? Today, The New York Times wonders the same thing:

“Wow, the blueberry scone is 480 calories,” said Helena Hungar, a customer at a Starbucks on Columbus Avenue at 73rd Street. “It makes me not buy, for sure.”

For the record, the raspberry scone next to the blueberry one was only 470 calories. Ms. Hungar was still not tempted.

UPDATE: Frank Bruni weighs in.

Posted by Karol at 10:14 AM | Comments (13)
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April 21, 2008

Oh, and by the by, rap-lover Maureen Dowd…

…Jay-Z instructs people who feel like pimps to “brush their shoulders off”. Are you implying Obama is feeling pimp-ish?

If you feelin like a pimp nigga, go and brush your shoulders off
Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off
Niggaz is crazy baby, don’t forget that boy told you
Get, that, dirt off your shoulder

Posted by Karol at 01:46 PM | Comments (6)
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What. A. Nut.

Maureen Dowd is straight out her mind:

Barack Obama, who says he listens to Jay-Z along with his “old school guy” favorites like Earth, Wind & Fire and the Temptations, alluded to the rapper’s 2003 hit “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” on Thursday to sweep away concerns about his pugnacity.

After conceding that the Philly debate was tough, he brushed the imaginary lint of Hillary, George and Charlie from his shoulders, in a wordless reference to Jay-Z’s lyrics in his anthem about not letting anyone crimp your ride as you cruise from the bottom to the top: “Got some, dirt on my shoulder, could you brush it off for me.”

There’s no doubt the cat is cool. It’s easy to imagine the wild reception many parts of the world would give a President Obama as he loped down the stairs of Air Force One in his aviator glasses, the chic and chiseled Michelle on his arm.

Mind you, Obama didn’t actually quote Jay-Z or imply in any way that his action was Jay-Z motivated:

During a town hall in Raleigh, Obama said Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., “looked in her element” last night in Philadelphia.

“She was taking every opportunity to get a dig in there, that’s her right to kind of twist the knife a little bit,” Obama said before reiterating a point he made during the debate.

“That’s how our politics has been taught to be played. That’s the lesson that she learned when the republicans were doing that same thing to her back in the 1990s, so I understand it, and when you’re running for the presidency then you’ve got to expect it.”

Obama then paused, brushed both his shoulders, and then bent down and brushed off his knee amid thunderous applause from the audience.

“That’s what you got to do,” Obama laughed, “That is also precisely why I’m running for president to change that kind of politics.”

I think MoDo was just trying to show off that she’s heard of Jay-Z.

Posted by Karol at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)
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Looking into the future

San Francisco restaurants are adding a “Health Care Tax” to bills to pay for mandatory employee health insurance. Business-killing laws and proposals include:

· Business owners must offer health care, typically a rarity in the restaurant industry except for managers, to all employees.
· Employers must offer 9 days sick leave to all employees.
· Chain restaurants must post nutritional information for all menu items.
· Minimum wage is $9.36 and will increase next year.
· Plastic bags are banned from supermarkets, Styrofoam containers banned at all “food outlets”.
· The Board wants to fine stores and restaurants that sell items with high fructose corn syrup.
· The Board proposed to require permits and insurance for events including weddings, parties, and benefits.
· The Board proposed to fine office buildings that leave their lights on overnight.
· The Board proposed to make all lobbyists wear name tags when doing business.

In a year, when San Francisco is completely blindsided by the fact that restaurants are choosing to open elsewhere and existing restaurants are going under, we can all point and laugh.

Posted by Karol at 11:11 AM | Comments (4)
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May he go the way of the last person Moore endorsed: Wesley Clark

Michael Moore endorses Obama. Says he is too decent to bring up that Hillary and Bill called on Rev. Wright in times of trouble. Except, of course, Obama has brought that up. Facts, shmacts, let’s make a “documentary”!

Posted by Karol at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)
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Sit down for this one

You’re not going to believe this but it turns out that having a large welfare state actually discourages people from working. I know. I was floored too.

Posted by Karol at 10:10 AM | Comments (2)
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April 20, 2008

Happy Passover

“Summation of every Jewish holiday: they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.”

Posted by Karol at 03:16 PM | Comments (1)
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