Thursday, July 31, 2008

If Game Show Hosts Ruled the World…

Barker pushes for law on spaying, neutering
Opponents say owners, vets should decide
By Hal Dardick (Come, on…transpose a few letters, and you’re laughing all day long) Chicago Tribune reporter
July 30, 2008

Former TV game show host Bob Barker came on down (wow – Dardick went to journalism school and gets paid for these gems) Tuesday to lobby Chicago aldermen on a plan to require that the city's dogs and cats be sterilized, but found his pet cause was far from a done deal. (What?! A celebrity took the time out his far-more-important life to tell a local government that he doesn’t live in what to do, and they didn’t just say, “yes sir!”? Outrageous!! Does Michael J. Fox know?!)

Aldermen questioned whether an ordinance requiring that all cats and dogs be spayed or neutered by age 6 months was even enforceable. (Now, how exactly could a cop know?! “Excuse me sir, but it appears that your dachshund still has a working nut sack…”)

The doubts emerged during more than three hours of debate at which longtime animal-welfare advocate Barker and several experts testified for and against the proposal.

"There are so many cats and dogs being born in our country that it is impossible to find homes for all of them," said Barker, the retired host of "The Price Is Right." "We need legislation. It's the obvious answer. It's the only answer." (Yes. The only possible answer to the over-population of dogs and cats is to fill our legislative and criminal enforcement infrastructure with new laws. Or we could just higher a few illegal immigrants, give them shovels, a wheelbarrow and pay them by the hide…)

The ordinance would "prevent tremendous animal suffering (except for the getting their nuts cut off part), but beyond that it will save the taxpayers of Chicago thousands, millions of dollars" (well, which is it Bob? Thousands or millions?) by reducing the need to shelter and euthanize animals, he said.

Barker had his say, held a news conference and left the chambers. But more than 80 ordinary folks (how quaint) who signed up to speak on the issue were muzzled (again, with the clever pun…well done, sir!). The crowd listened to politicians banter with the other witnesses before being told they would have to return another day because aldermen needed to consider other matters. (What could possibly be more pressing?!! Legislation on eating duck livers? Banning smoking in a theatrical performance?? These guys tackle the BIG issues)

The ordinance is sponsored by Ald. Ed Burke (14th), chairman of the Finance Committee, and Ald. Ginger Rugai (19th). They cited dog attacks on Chicago residents and said sterilized animals are less likely to be vicious. (I know I’m much friendly to people once I know their capable of slicing open my genitalia at will)

It "strives to control pet overpopulation in the city, seeks to eliminate unnecessary tragic dog attacks [and] can be used as a law-enforcement tool against those who use pets as weapons on our city streets," Burke said. (“One false move and the lady takes a goldfish in eye!”)

A violation would result in a ticket telling the owner to have the pet fixed. (Well, now THAT will nip it in the bud!) If that failed (whah??? After that stern warning?!), a $100 fine would be issued after 60 days. If another 60 days passed, a second fine could reach $500, and the city could impound and sterilize the animal. Owners would be able to reclaim their pets after paying the fines and other related costs. (So, let me get this straight…the people who are too irresponsible to keep their pets’ peckers in check are now responsible for getting their pet to and paying for government mandated surgery; if they don’t they will be fined and have their pets taken from them and put in the pound. So the net result is filling up the city pounds with the pets of irresponsible owners, which was the problem in the first place…gotcha. Well, that all sounds reasonable to me.)

Pets with medical conditions that make sterilization unsafe, show dogs, guard dogs and service dogs would be exempt. (“Oh no officer, my dog still has working ejaculate…you see, he’s got glaucoma…”) Animals belonging to federally licensed breeders also would be exempt, and pet owners could seek an exemption by applying for a city breeder's license, which would require a criminal background check. (So, you can buy an assault rifle with armor piercing bullets more easily that have a Pomeranian with a working vagina…gotcha. Well, that all sounds reasonable to me.)

The effort was backed by PAWS Chicago, a no-kill humane organization focused on reducing the number of stray animals, and the Humane Society of the United States.

But it was opposed by the Chicago and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Associations, which said decisions on pet sterilization are best made by a veterinarian and pet owner. (Awe, what do they know). The groups also said such laws can reduce rabies vaccination compliance.

"I believe the reason we have this problem is because we have irresponsible pet owners," Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) said, suggesting the ordinance could be viewed as government intrusion. "There are irresponsible parents that are having sons and daughters out there. What's the next step?" (Where you go with that, Ray…surely you’re not suggesting…Oh, dear God…)

Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) suggested it would have little effect in Chicago, despite its apparent success in places like Santa Cruz, Calif.

"The problem I see is the people who don't obey the law today—the people who don't get shots for their animals, the people who don't abide by the licensing of their animals—are the same people who are not going to abide by this law," he said. (“Plus,” added Carothers, “we’re not like those queers in California. No offense, Bob.”)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weren't These Two On Real Sex 48?

(CNN) -- Donna and David Sloat love to travel (as opposed to the rest of the planet who just hates it). When they got a postcard that claimed they could get 50 percent off the price of cruises and 75 percent off condo vacations, they were intrigued (...and stupid.  I'm betting 'and stupid'.  In fact, probably so fucking stupid that by the end of the piece, they will be considered the stupidest people in the history of history.)

Donna and David Sloat (Now that's almost Snrub-like.  Hello, we're the Sssloooats.  Yes.  That'll do.) say they were promised a discount they didn't get. (No happy ending to the massage?  I thought that was all-inclusive?)

The California couple went to a meeting to find out more (it's like the Eddie Murphy joke about white people in every horror flick - "Let's go in and check!"). While they were there, the vacation travel club offered something they thought they couldn't refuse (Really?)  -- a complimentary cruise and two nights' stay at a hotel (Well shit, there can't be any strings to that!  Where do I sign?  Ooooh, fine print-shmine print.).

The Sloats became members (Natch.).

As it turns out, the "complimentary cruise" cost the couple nearly $600. And that free two-night hotel stay? It never happened. There was an administrative error, Donna said (Donna's still in denial, poor girl...and poor hair.  OOOOOHHHH, SNAP!).

But they were still hopeful about the club's prospects. "We decided to go ahead and pay for the cruise ... we bit the bullet," she said. (Man, I have to get into the scam business.  Fuck this waiting tables shit!)

But the perks didn't get better. Three times throughout the year, Donna and David tried to take advantage of travel plans through the group. But each time, rates were the same or lower at other places that are open to the public. (Can I repeat this here?  Three.  Times!  Retards.  Your bus is leaving.)

"We enjoy traveling very much," Donna said. "So I'm always trying to get as good a deal as I can. (Done a bang-up job so far.) When you're expecting to spend money and you get what you pay for, it's not a problem. But when you're promised a discount and you don't get it -- that's a problem." (Who said that first?  Goethe?  Keenan Ivory Wayans?)

The saying goes "There's no such thing as a free lunch." But what happens when that "free lunch" costs $7,500? (Then it's not free.  See?  That was easy.  Let's go on just for shits and giggles.)

Stephen and Jean Liang of Kansas City, Missouri, were on a weekend getaway trip to Branson, Missouri. While picking up a map, the couple was persuaded to attend a presentation on joining a travel club (The map was talking to them!!!  Holy Shit!  That's the real story here!).

"They told us we could get $90 if we would sit for a 45-minute presentation," Jean said.

During the presentation, Stephen and Jean were told they could get discounted condo rates and other travel benefits around the world. They decided to join -- for $7,500. Jean said they were assured they could cancel within three days. (Okay.  Let me see here.  I'm in a makeshift conference room with folding chairs, tables that looks like they came from my church basement and a crapload of people I don't know listening to a pitch from a company I've never heard of or has a name akin to calling an appliance line MayTog.  Some guy comes up and asks to charge my credit card $7,500.  That's a tough one. [thinking...thinking....thinking] Okay, yeah.  Let's do it.

Before Stephen and Jean even left, they were offered a discount coupon for Red Lobster. (Wait a minute.  I didn't know that.  So it was a wash, then.  Have you had their Scampi?)

"We really enjoy Red Lobster," (Of course you do) Jean said. "We thought it was a bonus for joining."

They were asked to sign a piece of paper after they received the card. The Liangs didn't think much about it. (I think I'm going to start selling my dog's poop in this manner.  Seems like there would be a few takers out there.)

"We thought we needed to sign it to show we'd gotten the card," Jean said.

But, unfortunately, Stephen and Jean didn't realize that by accepting the Red Lobster card, they had used the services of the travel club. And by signing that piece of paper, they were waiving their right to cancel their membership.

But the couple soon found out the next day when they tried to cancel.

Jean said they felt deceived. (And were mind-blowingly stupid.  Works for the Liangs as well.) "This is really, really wrong. A person's word is what they are." The couple found out the hard way that it doesn't always work that way.

For the record, Red Lobster has no affiliation with the travel club. (Glad that's cleared up.)

Thousands of complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau about travel clubs in the last three years. (See.  $7,500 for poop from the craziest freaking dog you've ever met.  If a woman can find an image of Jesus in a Cheeto, I can make a killing.)

All these complaints tell a similar story of being lured -- either in person, over the phone or through the mail -- to a high-pressure sales presentation with the promise of receiving free airline tickets, gas cards, or tickets to shows.

Promises of free vacation tickets or maybe a free TV if you sit in on a time-share sales pitch are common. Although attendees may or may not get the item they were promised, one thing is sure -- they're a captive audience for some hard selling.

"They'll tell you the deal is only good for today; that you'll miss out on the opportunity," (All together now in your bestest Homer voice.  LIMITED!?!?!!) said Alison Preszler of the Better Business Bureau. "They want you to sign on the bottom line. They may make promises that aren't in the contract."...

...The travel club that the Sloats joined is still operating, but under a different name (MayTang). It maintains an unsatisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau. The travel club that duped the Liangs is still operating, but also under a different name (KenMorer).

So before you join or take advantage of deals, check out companies you're considering at the Better Business Bureau Internet site (And make sure to pull down your pants before you shit.  That was the latest life lesson from Captain Obvious.).

Rely on word-of-mouth to help you steer clear of bogus deals. Consumer Web sites such as and allow you to read customer reviews and post your own assessments. (while hooking up with other swingers.)

Remember, there are some legit deals and freebies out there. But make sure you understand exactly what you're getting into. (and for Christ's sake, if it's a Bennigan's coupon, you know it's a fucking lie. - topical humor.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hummer of Love....

Hummer owners still love to play dirty

PINE GROVE, Pennsylvania (AP) -- They rumble in on treads called Super Swampers, wearing their hearts on their license plates.

"PLAYDRTY," declares one behemoth (owner actually thinks that's correct spelling) from New York. "HUM THIS," dares another (genius), from Ohio.
The digital board fronting the Shell station at Exit 100 winks back: "Welcome Hummers!" (what sort of establishment is this Shell station, again? Do I get a massage?)
In the fading light, though, it's impossible to ignore the sign at the Sunoco across the road: Diesel, $4.97 9/10 a gallon. ("and, fuck you, too")

You've got to be tough to love a Hummer. (or a complete dickhead) The soaring cost of feeding a vehicle that swallows a gallon every dozen miles is only part of it. Environmentalists, who've always had it in for you, are winning mainstream converts. (Estimated time a Hummer owner cares about an environmentalist's opinion: .0000142 seconds) General Motors, which presided over Hummer's transition from a badge of military bravado into a symbol of driveway excess (not a huge leap), is looking to sell.

But tonight there's no apologizing or self-pity in the ranks of Hummer die-hards. They're here to goad machines that can top five tons over boulders the size of Smart cars, through stewpots of mud obscuring who-knows-what and across obstacle courses of stumps, logs and stones -- it's "like riding a slow-motion rollercoaster," one says. (Jack Kerouac, indeed, couldn't have said it better)

Maybe mega-SUVs are going the way of dinosaurs. Hummer sales have dropped 40 percent this year. But these beasts and the men and women who love them certainly don't behave like endangered species. (no, they still shoot bald eagles)

"I told my wife when we bought this, 'Honey, we're investing in steel and rubber,' says William Welch, a Philadelphia surgeon (...with a vengeance) who, cigar clenched between his teeth (Cigar?!? The HELL you say!), offers a guided tour of his lovingly tended jet-black H1.

"If it was $10 a gallon," he says, "we'd still be out there." (Irresponsible AND wealthy - an unbeatable combo)

Cars are much more than transportation to Americans. In a country where life revolves around the car, you are what you drive. (That makes me a Hyundai Tucson? Fuck. Pass the cyanide.)

"We eat 20 percent of our meals in cars. We spend hour and hours every week (in cars)," says Leon James, a University of Hawaii professor and expert in the psychology of driving. (this is a job?!?) "We see other cars as extensions of the people who drive them and we identify the character of the car with the character of the driver. There is this automatic connection that we make." (expert, indeed. You couldn't make that conclusion by watching the 'E' Channel)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, then a muscle-bound movie star a long way from being the Governator (we still using this joke? Is Leno on staff?), was driving along a highway in Oregon, on his way to the film set for "Kindergarten Cop." (Drunk drivers, where WERE you!!?!)

Heading the other direction, an Army convoy packed with Humvees, rumbled past.

"I put the brakes on," Schwarzenegger told reporters at the 1992 ceremony that AM General, besieged by requests, held to start production of civilian Hummers. "Someone smashed into the back of me, but I just stared. 'Oh my God, there is the vehicle,' I said. And from then on, I was possessed." (....zeh goggles, zey do nuthing...)

He was far from the only one.

There are Hummers and then there are HUMMERS. (nudge, nudge) It's that way with their owners, too.
The Hummer pilots flocking to the parking lot of a Hampton Inn tonight are clearly the latter. Hummering (exCUSE me?!?! Oh, Jesus Christ on a cracker with cheese...) is not some two-minute fad. "It's a lifestyle," they say repeatedly. ('Zich Heil')
They're well aware of the many other Hummer owners, who use their vehicles for little more than dropping the kids at baseball and supermarket trips. (how dare they)

"Street queens (that's P.C.)," the serious (white) crowd calls them. "Pavement princesses." (Seriously. Fuck you. On many levels. Twice.)

But you don't have to be a tough guy to be here. (just being a sexually frustrated jerkoff will suffice)

So Brandie (Davey) Lopes, a silkscreen printer (and supermodel, I'm sure), is here from Winterport, Maine, a 600-mile haul that would've been cheaper to fly than to drive in her polished new H2.

She's joined by Howard and Vickie Schultheiss (two more matinee idols, no doubt), up from Maryland in a nearly 11,000 pound H1 that bears the scratches and scars of off-road battles. The steel roofrack above the windshield is carved with letters spelling out "D-Man," the nickname of a highly trained German Shepherd, now lost to cancer, whose fierce spirit the couple says lives on the rig. (aaaaawwww. D-Man's not really dead if we remember him by carving his name into a 11,000 pound monstrousity)

For John Andres, a software writer from New Albany, Ohio, it goes back to 1991, when he was scrimping for a Range Rover. He turned on the TV one January night and was transfixed by a report of two dozen U.S. Marines pinned down behind a wall in the Saudi Arabian town of Khafji. With Saudi tanks providing cover, the soldiers packed into Humvees and barreled through Iraqi lines.

"I saw that. I thought, 'forget the Range Rover,"' says Andres, whose sand-colored Hummer jokingly sports silhouettes of the compact sedans he's knocked off, a la the Red Baron. "Humvee is the way to go. These things are just bad." (okay. This guy seriously needs to have surveillance 24-7)

Dan LaForgia's story is more elemental.

"My mom says my first word was 'truck, "' LaForgia says. (No WAY! That was Tim McVeigh's first word, too!!! Awesome!) ...."Some people say its the ugliest thing on the road," LaForgia says. "I love it."

This weekend is a big deal for LaForgia. In three years of Hummer ownership, he's never taken his off-road. He cringes noticeably (pussy) as others trade stories of broken axles, smashed windows, and the deep scratches and gashes their vehicles have endured in previous adventures.

At 8:45 a.m., though, he joins the other owners under a tent, ready to embark in groups dispatched by levels of skills and experience.They head a few exits up to a former strip-mine turned off-road haven. Members of the extreme group -- four of the most gung-ho H1 owners -- trade jokes over the radio as they part the treeline. ("Hey, Red, I got one - What do you call a Geo Prism owner with no insurance?......."The target!" HA HAH HAH HUCKA-HA HA!!!)

But inside the rig the Schultheiss' have dedicated to their dog, the mood is reverential.

"Cue it up," Vickie says to Howard, her husband. "All right. Here we go."

The low rumble of timpani drums stir from the Hummer's speakers. French horns join in, rising above the engine's growl. The solemn notes are unmistakable: Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." (.........vomit rising.....)

Vickie reaches for D-Man's collar, which hangs down from the rearview mirror. She tugs the chains twice, rubs the gray links between her fingers. (...whilst moaning deeply...)

"It's his truck," she says softly. (then put the registration under 'D-Man' and see what kind of trade-in you get) Howard Schultheiss reaches across from the passenger seat and takes her hand. (...and places it in his own crotch)

Threading through branches and over stumps, the group reaches a winding river of boulders. They're not going to cross it. They're going to try and drive it's full third-of-a-mile length. A Prius would've been long gone by now. (What was Toyota thinking? Building a car that can't crush boulders and tree stumps? Fuckin' Japanese losers.) Even in a vehicle marketed as the automotive equivalent of Godzilla, this takes nerve -- and a durable wallet. (...and some useless spare time)

"I've come down on a rock so hard that my windshield cracked across the middle, (I BEG your pardon? I guess I spoke too soon on that sexually frustrated remark...ahem)" says Jason Oplinger, an electrical contractor. When he and wife, Steph (beard), married two years ago, guests were ferried (....ahem) to the mid-trail ceremony in a procession of 40 Hummer H1s.

(Here's the game: Count how many closeted homosexual overtones are in this next paragraph)
Today has its own drama (1). Before it's over, the Schultheiss' truck will break in three places and have to be yanked off (2) the rocks by winch. In one of the intermediate caravans, drivers will plunge through a mud pool (3) with the color of cement and the odor of a pigsty. Two will dive so hard (4) that water licks (5) at the engines' air intakes (6) before they make it across.

By evening, back at the hotel, there are new stories to trade over barbecue. (...of spotted owl)

"I'm going to get out while I'm ahead," says LaForgia, whose street-pretty Hummer bears its first scar. "I always say another scratch means another story, or adds some character," counsels a fellow owner, Mike Schoch. (...on the rocks)

Maybe the most powerful comparison is the one Vickie Schultheiss draws between her Hummer and the German Shepherd whose memory it honors.

"To me it had to be just as capable and just as brute as Dikas," (DA Bearssss) she says.

In the woods, she narrows her eyes, studying the terrain ahead, then climbs the Hummer bearing D-Man's name over a mammoth boulder. The truck slams down, bashing steel against stone. Schultheiss swings out of the driver's seat to check out the wheel hanging in mid air.
Her forehead is fringed with sweat. She's beaming.

"Welcome to D-Man's world," she says. (enough with the D-Man. For supposed 'tough' people, they sure get fucking maudlin and dramatic over their fucking dead mut. Jesus. Did I stumble onto a Red Sovine song?)

Soaring gas prices made outright Hummer hate socially acceptable. The stepped up culture war found its way to a leafy Washington, D.C. neighborhood last July, when two masked men attacked a parked Hummer with a machete and a baseball bat. (I bet they swung at it like little girls, though, let's be honest.)

Hummer owners from around the country called Gareth Groves (say what you see, Gareth), the owner of the vandalized vehicle, to offer help, even garage space. But they were outnumbered by people who sent hate mail, including threatening e-mails and MySpace postings. (I still can't believe this actually happened. Wow. Get a hobby, people)

Within two blocks, a Cadillac Escalade, a Ford Excursion and a Chevrolet Suburban went untouched. But what surprised Groves (my favorite Muppet, btw) wasn't that people hated his Hummer. It was how much they seemed to hate him, lambasting everything from his bleached hair (well, come on, guy. You walked into that one.) to the fact that he lived with his mother.

"It definitely sparks some intense reaction from people on both sides," Groves says. (ya' think?!? What gave it away?)
So what did Groves do? He submitted a $25,000 insurance claim and had the truck repaired. High gas prices and the house payments made him briefly think about selling, but he quickly dismissed the idea."I love this car," he says. (."'s what D-Man would have wanted...oh, wait. It's not my dawg...oh, well.")

Even a few hardcore Hummer owners are rethinking. (What's the 're-" shit? Don't you have to 'think' in order to 're-think'?)

"It's not a very practical truck, (Oh. My. God. In. Heaven. Thanks for catching up.)" says LaForgia, who sometimes finds critical notes on the windshield. He plans to sell his H1 to save for a down payment on a house.

And it goes on like this....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dating Advice From A Goon

This is an older op-ed from Psycho Babble BullShitterCaroline Presno, one of the many frauds that somehow get paid to be "Lifestyle coaches".

5 Ways to Get Into a Man's Head
Caroline Presno, Ed.D., P.C.C. Special to Yahoo! Personals Updated: Jul 26, 2008

How many times have you wondered, "What is this guy thinking!" (Yep. Me. For reading this shit) If you want to get into a man's heart, you have to start by getting into his head. The problem is many men have a hard time being open about their thoughts and feelings. (Cliche number 1)
Armed with the following five techniques, a man will feel more comfortable opening up to you, so you can develop better communication with him and, ultimately, enjoy a better relationship.
1. Let him know you care about what he is saying. A man won't open up to you unless he knows you care. (Or at all because we want to watch tv) One of the best ways to convey this to him is through your body language. (Oh, christ)To show your interest, unfold your arms, lean into him and allow your eyes to meet his in a natural way. (And he'll get a HUGE hard-on)
Let him know that you get what he is saying (And he'll get a HUGE hard-on)
Let him know that you get what he is saying with a nod of the head or a raise of your brow.

Also, try "mirroring," which means that you absorb his body movement and convey it back to him. So if he looks stressed telling a story, you look stressed as well. It's like saying, "I feel what you are feeling. I'm putting myself in your shoes." (That is just plain and simple psychobabble bull shit at it's finest--ladies, for the love of God, DON'T DO THIS!)

2. Be nonjudgmental. No man is going to let you into his real thoughts if he senses he is going to be criticized or put down. (What's the color of the sky in Caroline's world? EVERY WOMAN DOES THIS!) Leave out comments like "How could you do something like that?" or "That's not something I would do." (Good luck with that)

Give him the freedom to express himself openly and honestly without judgment and you'll be surprised at all that comes out. (I ain't touching that)You don't have to condone or agree with everything he says. (Oh, good. You can still judge. Just don't be mean about it) You're simply creating an environment where he has the freedom to say it. (and then you can change him)

3. Don't use the word "why." When psychotherapists are in training, they are often taught to erase the word "why" from their vocabulary, because "why" questions frequently sound negative and critical. (If I say that my PHOTOGRAPH is getting larger that doesn't erase the fact that my GUT is getting larger. Blah, blah, blah, fucking blah)
When you ask a man, "Why did you do it that way?" it can come across as "Are you stupid, why on earth would you choose to do it that way?" Now he's on the defensive before you even finish the sentence. Practice using substitutes such as "Tell me more about it" instead of "Why did you do it?" (Again, has Caroline ever met a woman?)

4. Never say, "We need to talk." Nothing makes a man want to talk less than hearing "We need to talk." It conveys the message that he's done something wrong, he's in trouble for it, and you are going to let him have it. (Dog or Husband? You decide) He will shut down before the conversation starts.

The best way to bring up an important topic is to ease into it. Choose a time when you are both doing a small task together such as light cleaning or cooking, which takes the harsh focus away from "the talk" and will make him more comfortable. (I am sooo relaxed when I'm cleaning the bathroom or cooking, aren't you?) Remember not to approach him while he is involved in something important to him like Monday night football. (Here are some other ideas about dealing with a football fan.) (Or staring into space)
5. Learn how to really listen. Chances are you always listen to him but you don't always hear him. How many times have you had something else on your mind as he is talking to you? Or maybe you are thinking about what you're going to say next instead of paying full attention.
It's important to stay in the "hear" and now with him, (ZING!) rather than letting your own thoughts or the outside world intrude. A man can sense when you really want to hear what he has to say -- true listening is the best way to get him talking true to you. (We aren't chicks, Caroline.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Isn’t Anyone Going to Help that Poor Man…er…Woman…er…ah…Never Mind.

He's hired. She's fired. Same worker.
Transgender woman sues Georgia officials
Associated Press Writer

A former state employee claimed Tuesday in a federal lawsuit that top Georgia legislative officials fired her because she said she would come to work dressed as a female as she prepared for a sex-change procedure to transform from man to woman. (Wouldn’t you have loved to be in that copy editor’s meeting…”should it be ‘he said he would come to work,’ since she was a he at the time, or should it be present-tense she?”)

Vandy Beth Glenn (nice name…really…it’s not easy not hard enough to be transgendered, you have to choose three first names?) said Tuesday she was illegally fired from her job as a legislative editor (Really? An editor? Anyone else see the irony?) for the Georgia General Assembly after she told her boss she was going to live as a woman full time. (For the record, her boss was fine if she would just do it part time, like on the weekends at his house…)

She said Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby (Really, Sewell Brumby? Could you make up these names?) fired her because the gender transition would make her colleagues feel uncomfortable and would be seen as "immoral" by Georgia legislators. The lawsuit also claims House Speaker Glenn Richardson, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Senate President Pro-Tem Eric Johnson were in on the act. (I’m not sure what “act” they were “in on”, but I believe it involved Vandy, a donkey, a lacrosse stick and petroleum jelly)

"It's been devastating. I never thought this would happen, for one thing. And not from a public sector job," said Glenn, a transgender woman formerly known as Glenn Morrison. "This is about the right of everybody to be treated equally with respect." (No, this is about hacking up your privates being a little bit ‘oogey’ for most folks to comprehend)

"I think the lawsuit is without merit," said Brumby, who declined to discuss the case further. Richardson declined to comment. Other Georgia House and Senate staffers did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Glenn was hired in 2005 as a legislative editor, charged with proofreading the hundreds of measures and proposals filed each year for grammar and spelling errors. The same year she was diagnosed with gender identity disorder, a condition defined by strong feelings of discomfort with a person's sex at birth and identification with the opposite gender.

For about a year, she continued to come to work as a man by day and dressed as a woman at home at night (kind of like a werewolf or Manimal). But in October 2006 Glenn told her supervisor she planned to undergo a gender transition to become a female. Physicians had advised her to start dressing as a female throughout the transition to help her adapt (plus, she could start building a bithcin’ wardrobe).

She decided on Halloween to dress as a woman for the first time at work, but it didn't go over very well. (Ah, the best laid plans…) She said in the lawsuit she was sent home immediately when she showed up at the Capitol wearing a skirt, tights and black boots (She was followed home immediately by three senators, the governor, a donkey and a Lacrosse player). Two other employees, both dressed in costumes, were not sent home, according to the filing.

Glenn, though, still seemed determined to undergo the change. In June 2007 she told her office she was continuing with the gender change, and gave her supervisors pamphlets on how to handle the transition and a photo album with several pictures of Glenn dressed as a woman. (Just curious, has anyone ever known pamphlets to be an effective tool for anything?)

Her supervisors confronted her a few months later. Brumby called her into a meeting in October 2007 and asked whether she was undergoing the transition, according to the filings.
When she confirmed, she said Brumby told her it would be viewed as immoral and said it couldn't "happen appropriately" in the workplace. She was fired and given 10 minutes to clean out her desk. (She was asked to leave behind the pamphlets and photo album)

The lawsuit, filed by gay and transgender civil rights group Lambda Legal, claims that the firing violated the Constitution's equal protection clause. It seeks legal fees and asks that Glenn's job be reinstated. Glenn said she is now undergoing the sex change, but would not say if she's had surgery. (My guess is she just tucks and tapes)

"Public employees cannot be terminated merely because her employers don't approve of who she is," said Cole Thaler, Glenn's attorney. (It’s not about who she is, it’s about what he/she/it is, duh)

Glenn said she knows the lawsuit could result in a bruising legal fight, but she's weighed the consequences.

"It has to be done. Someone has to do it," she said. "And I seem to have been elected." (No, it doesn’t. No they don’t. And no, you haven’t.)

(Clearly, this is a self-motivated person not afraid to ‘do something’. I say give her a pair of scissors, a bottle of vodka, and a video camera. We can watch the beautiful transformation unfold on CSPAN)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bet She Eats A Whole Bag of Potato Chips On The Toilet.

From O, The Oprah Magazine

You could fill entire football stadiums with all the things that I don't know (here comes the list.  What dippy shit are you going to write to soften us up before regaling us with your infinite wisdom?).

I don't know how to make paella (you're leading with that?). I don't know how to do algebra or iron pleats (cripes!  I can do that) or ski. I don't know how to sing on key, accept a compliment (ahhh), interact at a party consisting of more than eight people or kill a lobster ... which brings us back to my paella issues (putting lobster in paella is against the Geneva Convention.  But that's me.).

Lisa Kogan has a long list of "Plan B" boyfriends (which is worse, referring to yourself in the third person in a conversation or in writing?  Toughie.)

But I do know a thing or two about men ... 

Okay, not two, but there is this one little thing about men that I do know with crystal clarity: I know what I like. (who's this for?  Reads like a diary entry from a 17 year-old girl so far)

Needless to say, what I like, love and cherish above all others is my own man, Johannes Labusch (sounds made up...or visa issues.  Maybe he's a figment of her imagination and in her imagination he has visa issues and they get married.). He was a friend for quite a while, and then 14 years ago this month we went to a museum together and I stood there looking at a Giacometti sculpture through his faded denim gray eyes, and he was so funny, so astute, so sexy, so unpretentious that somewhere between the cafe and the gift shop, I was a goner. And (despite the fact that a mere 20 minutes ago we had an unbelievably irritating phone conversation) I still am. (bet it was her fault)

But what if something were to happen to Johannes? I mean, I realize that spending most of the year working in Switzerland isn't exactly on par with spending most of the year working in Iraq, but things happen. (I think she just wanted to tell the world how worldly her husband is.)

Suppose he falls off an Alp or chokes on a chunk of chocolate? Do you have any idea how many human beings perish every single year in fondue-related accidents? Well, neither do I, but suffice it to say the statistics are probably off the charts. (A fondue joke?  Nooowwww I've seen everrrryyytthhhinnnggg!)

Anyway, forget Zurich (it's so 2002 anyway): What if when Johannes is here in New York, he were to slip on one of the many, many wet towels he leaves lying all over the floor after his shower and then crash headfirst into the guitar he has such a hard time pulling himself away from even though I'm late for work and could really use some help getting our daughter dressed (did I mention that we had a big fight 20 minutes ago?) (JHC, I see you haven't let it go yet), then who could I fall truly, madly, deeply in love with ... after, you know, a suitable period of mourning? I've spent the last 20 minutes giving this matter considerable thought (Oh no you're not!!!!  She's not going to do this, is she?). 

Men I could fall hard for ... after, you know, a suitable period of mourning:

• CEO/mensch Jim Sinegal came up with this utterly novel theory: If you hire good people and then treat them with respect, nice things happen. The nice thing is called Costco, a place where workers earn an average of $17 an hour and pay just 9 percent of their health insurance costs, a place that sells everything from Dom Pérignon to diapers at bargain prices (Dear Jimmy, do you like me?  If so, check this box.  Johannes is blech!).

In a world where CEOs of billion-dollar companies require salaries to match, Jim (as every employee calls him) takes home an annual salary of $350,000. I don't care if he's not a billionaire (she not in it for the money in her fictional fantasy land - shows integrity, aside from that whole 'I'm writing a column in a national magazine about who I want to sleep with once my husband bites it.), Jim and I will live on love -- and perhaps a 22-pound wheel of Jarlsberg cheese for the low, low price of $180 (all of which she will consume in one sitting). And when our days dwindle down to a precious few, we'll go online to the funeral department and get a terrific deal on matching, high-quality Costco caskets (a lot of death obsession, don't ya think?).

• Supremely skilled, deeply compassionate, cucumber-cool Andrei Rebarber, Daniel Saltzman and Samuel Bender are the obstetricians who pulled me through a harrowing high-risk pregnancy. I'd like to take this moment to declare my undying love for these medical miracle workers and to offer a brief apology.

"Gentlemen, as you may be aware, the birth process is often a touch uncomfortable in an I'm-being-torn-limb-from-limb-by-a-horde-of-rabid-wildebeasts-while-someone-sets-all-of-my-internal-organs-on-fire-and-stomps-up-and-down-on-my-tummy kind of way.  (Yes.  You women make sure to remind us of the beautiful torture that is pregnancy on a fairly regular basis.) It is possible that in the course of my 22-hour labor I may have inadvertently referred to one or more of you as a motherf*@# ing, gravy-sucking weasel. I see now that this was an unfortunate choice of words to use when requesting an epidural, and I am deeply sorry."

(Holy shit!  This is still going!) "It is further possible that you might have been bitten, kicked, pummeled or clawed at in a manner that can best be described as 'satanic.' Again, I am beyond sorry. Finally, rest assured that I now fully understand that you were not in any position to prescribe heroin even if it were called for, and that any comments I might have made with regard to your manhood, your immediate family or your innate sense of common decency were just terribly, terribly wrong." (They probably just called you a cunt behind your back and moved on.  No worries.)

• Some desire DiCaprio, others crave Clooney, I have a little thing for Desmond Tutu, or as I like to call him, Archbishop McDreamy (this 'McDreamy' shit isn't going away, is it?). What can I tell you? I've always been a sucker for integrity and twinkly eyes, which is why I'd also like to send a quick shout-out to (sic) and Walter Cronkite.  (Question:  Tutu or Cronkite if you had to?  I'm going with Tutu.  I'm betting Cronkite's a bit of a sobber afterwards.)  

• I never thought of myself as a particularly vain person (usually said by vain people). In fact I sort of prided myself on having a decidedly undiva-like attitude. But all that went out the window when I realized my face had to appear in this magazine every month. It turns out I'm ridiculously insecure and once lost an entire night's sleep worrying that my wrists looked puffy. Enter John Ritter. Not the guy from "Three's Company." No, the John Ritter I love illustrates this column. (And the funny thing is that even in cartoon form, your wrists still look puffy.  Oooooh, Snap!  Bet Ritter did it on purpose, the sly dog.)

Here's a tip. If you're ever going to be viewed by millions of people on a regular basis, forget hair, makeup and the South Beach diet -- get yourself a man who sees grace where you can see only crow's-feet.  (delusions ARE important in life)

• After 46 Thanksgivings, I still can't make a good turkey. Mine was so undercooked last year that several guests suggested a really excellent veterinarian could probably get it up and gobbling again. I love a man who can cook and I love a man who can write, and Anthony Bourdain is a man who can do both. So come next year, Chef Bourdain can be in charge of cranberries and column ideas.  (Dear diary, today was so rad!  I rode the elevator at Rockefeller Center with Tony Bourdain and he said hello to me.  I'm going to marry that man as soon as my current husband dies.)

• I believe I could listen to Tom Waits singing "Take It with Me" every rainy Sunday for the rest of my life. I also love Johann Sebastian Bach, Ray Charles, Randy Newman, Stephen Sondheim, Johnny Cash and several Beatles (bet she labored over that list in order to truly depict her quirky, yet informed tastes.). They all make me happy, and they all break my heart. And when you think about it, what else do you want from a musician?

• One hot summer night at the end of the '70s, I sat in a 15,274-seat (why so exact?  What's that adding here?) amphitheater just outside Detroit, Michigan, and watched a wild and crazy guy in a white suit perform "the disappearing dime trick." It was absurd and ironic, and exceedingly funny -- it was the bravest act of comedy I'd ever witnessed. It was Steve Martin.

He removed the arrow from his head a long, long time ago, but like comic geniuses from Buster Keaton (What's that noise?  Sounds like a collection of bones attempting to turn over...) to David Sedaris, he still performs a remarkable sleight of hand. Rent "Roxanne," read "The Pleasure of My Company," or "Shopgirl," or a short story from his "Pure Drivel" collection called "Hissy Fit," and see for yourself how, time after time, he manages to catch the pedestrian moment -- the ordinary gesture -- and wring it into an expression of exquisite longing. He was, is, and will always be my ideal combination of contemplative and cuckoo. 

Finally, there's the 20-something model/actor/Barneys clerk who sold me a pair of sunglasses I couldn't afford last Saturday morning. Shallow? You bet, but Walter Cronkite will only take a girl so far. I know Sunglasses Guy is an impossible fantasy, but you have to admit, he's a better option than Johann Sebastian Bach. (Wasn't there some psychological syndrome recently identified relating to falling in love with your Starbuck's guy?  And wasn't it lumped in with other syndromes relating to the desperately lonely?

Besides, I think there's something to be said for coming up with a list of impossible fantasies. Woman --at least this one --cannot live by reality alone.  (Happy marriage, Johannes.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Simpsons go Country.

Jessica Simpson tries to go country

RANDALL, Wisc. - Jessica Simpson’s gone country – but can she stay there?

The aspiring crossover singer made her country concert debut at the Country Thunder USA Festival (there were TONS of African-Americans in attendance, I'm sure) in Randall, Wisc. on Saturday, where she reached out to an unsure (drunk) audience.

“I don’t know what your perception is of Jessica Simpson or what tabloid you buy (all of them. Shitkickers can't get enough news about Hollywood) , but I just want you to know that I’m just a girl from Texas; I’m just like you (....except you're from Wisconsin - not Texas, don't have millions of dollars, aren't smoking hot, aren't in movies, don't date NFL players and can't sing.....other than that....) ,” Simpson told the crowd, according to the Kenosha News. “I’m doing what I love and dating a boy.” (Romo's gotta love that moniker...)

High-profile boyfriend and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo may not have been there to comment (busy fucking himself), but concertgoers were quick to offer their opinions of Simpson’s show.

“I actually like her country songs better (high praise, indeed),” Mary Grace told the newspaper. “She has a great voice, plus, she’s adorable.”

In addition to her own material, Simpson reportedly sang country covers including Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” (Oh, dear me. That had to be a musical abortion.....) and Shania Twain’s “Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” (never end a song title with a preposition!) But she didn’t win over everyone.

“I just don’t hear the country in her,” said Adam Matos, from Arlington Heights, Ill. “I don’t hear the twang. She’s not good enough to be here.” (Adam....look at her picture in this post, after you're done jerking off to it. Do you really give a shit about her twang? (that word, by the way, is dangerously close to being filthy)....)

Mike Rodriguez of Lake Geneva, Wisc., seconded that opinion.
“Just because she’s dating Tony Romo it doesn’t make her country (Romo is from Eastern Illinois. How does that make HIM country?) ,” he said. “She doesn’t fit in with country, and I’ll have to drink a lot of beer to sit through her concert.” (well, THAT I'll grant you)

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Bullshit From the Dating Coach

David Wygant belches out more bull plop. He's a dating coach. Whatever the fuck that is.
For more on our feelings on this douchebag/fraud go here.
Why Do Women Fall For Bad Boys?
By David Wygant
Sometimes my house is called Camp David – no, I don’t have any political heads of state there, nor am I entertaining George Bush, his dog, and all his Washington drinking cronies (glad that's cleared up)– but I always seem to have a group (sometimes small, sometimes large) of people hanging out there. (I'll be that's a happening palace of mutual self righteousness)
Sometimes on a Bootcamp weekend I’ll have a whole bunch of clients staying over at my house – and then it really is Camp David! (Cymbal crash) It’s like a sleepover.(And what guy over 12 doesn't love those?) They all bring their sleeping bags, and we go duck hunting in the morning, and then we go do some pow wow stuff. Just kidding, we don’t really do that in the mornings! (We have butt sex)So the other night at Camp David we had a couple of people over. There was this one woman there named Amy, and she and Khiem started talking. Khiem wanted to share something that you women tend to do over and over again. (Nag? Worry too much? Listen to bull shit 'dating experts'?)
So ladies, as the men would say, this Bud’s for you – I’ll say, ladies, this blog’s for you! (I'm getting diabtes) Without further ado, here is Khiem.
Khiem: Thanks David. I always enjoy hanging out with you at your house because I can always meet interesting people. (I'll bet)Yesterday, I was very fascinated by one of your friends. Amy is obviously beautiful, young and has a lot going for her, but when we started talking, she began to open up about one of her past relationships.(This is soooo not a letter written by a client)
She actually fell very hard for a “bad boy” or a loser. He supposedly did a lot of drugs, drank a lot and he lied to her, which was a big deal breaker for her. (Which one? The drugs, drink or lieing? 2 is ok but 3? No way!)She told him upfront that she didn’t like liars and she didn’t like hypocrites. (Drugs and booze are ok)
However, as their relationship developed, she discovered that he lied to her. She broke up with him six months ago, but I found out yesterday she is still heartbroken. She still loves the guy, because they were together for a while.(Awww)
And the question is why do women get so attached to these kinds of guys?
It was really interesting for me to hear how she wanted him to want her back, but she herself didn’t really want him back. She knew that by going back to him they would go to a place that would not be good for her in the future. (Again, this is without question a made up letter)
What this made me realize is that Amy valued him a lot more because he made her put up with so much of his shit. Even though he lied and drank, the few times that he actually paid attention to her – the few times he gave her himself – made her value him more. Every time he would ignore her but then turn around and give himself to her, it was like she hit the jackpot. (Why are you writing this letter? Sounds like you've got it figured out.)
This is something that is very difficult to understand in the psychology of people because this guy was obviously no good, but because he made himself be valued so highly, she couldn’t let go. (You just said that)At the end of our conversation, Amy admitted that she might just be attracted to bad boys.(Ya think?)
But for all of the guys out there, you need to learn to lead. Be more dominant, and be more masculine.(You listening, David? Sleepovers? Not masculine.) The reason that Amy fell so hard for this guy is because he truly led her – through the ups and the downs, and mostly downs in this case – he always led her. He was always doing the things that were most important to him, but incorporating her into his life. (Is this dating advice or the Dog Whisperer?)
David: What Khiem is really saying is 100% true. Women are attracted to strong, dominant men. (That they want to change) Whether this guy was a winner or a loser, he still led her on an emotional journey. (An emotional journey with Rufus Q. Pudwhacker?)
A lot of men will do that to women, lead them up and down, but it’s an adrenaline rush that women get addicted to. (Getting hit in the jaw with a toaster is a rush!)Women don’t want you to be soft, and they don’t want you to be needy. Women want you to lead them somewhere. We’ll have to talk about that more deeply in another blog. (can't wait)
Khiem: The interesting thing is that even though it has been six months, and Amy is trying to meet other guys, she mentioned that all the new guys she’s met are highly successful – they have degrees from high-end schools, (high end schools? WTF does that mean?)or have a great job and make great money –she’s still been unable to open her heart to them. (Because a guy with alot of money and a degree couldn't possibly be an asshole?)
It was very interesting to me because while obviously she is still in love with her ex-boyfriend, the biggest problem is that she wasn’t giving these new guys a chance. She thought that she was by going out with them, but emotionally and mentally she wasn’t judging the new guys with a clean slate. She was always comparing the new guys to her ex-boyfriend. (It's called on the rebound)
For girls that have been hurt before and have fallen hard – if you meet a new guy, look at them with a clean slate! (You just said that again! Is this a term paper for Lit class?)If you don’t, you will never see the true positives or negatives that the new guy has to offer. Every person is unique, and as much as you loved your previous boyfriend – they will never be comparable.
David: So that’s why you really should not start dating again until you’ve cleaned house. If you have an old guy or woman in the cupboard, rotting away, you need to clean that up. (Nice visual there, Doctor Love)What will happen if you don’t is that you’ll let a lot of good opportunities pass you by because you’re not emotionally ready.
I never believed in the terminology “dating for substitution.” (While I've never even heard of it) I’ve found that you don’t date to replace, but you start dating again to start a whole new experience. (Poetry..pure poetry!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Or Better Yet--Shoot the Fucking Thing!

I've never understood people who prefer cats to dogs but to each their own. This just seems kind of sad and odd.

Wichitan asks city for cat leash law
Howard Feiner is so annoyed with the cat droppings in his yard,(crybaby) he has logged the kitties' leavings and put flags up to mark the spots.(TCB)
He has done this for a couple of reasons. (Only A couple?)
He's in court with his neighbor, Joan Steindler, who owns three cats.
And he hates the smell of "the deposits" (Hey, honey, I gotta go 'make a deposit'. Talk to you in ten minutes. Got any new magazines?) so much that he went before the Wichita City Council on Tuesday seeking a leash law for cats.
The city says such complaints are widespread but that it has no laws to help -- nothing to stop cats from roaming, nothing to punish cat owners if their cats leave a little something behind on the neighbor's lawn. (Cat turds--the new epedemic.)
Attempts to pass such laws have failed. (Got something better on the docket, Wichita? Doubt it.)
Feiner, 66, who says he and his wife have health problems that make it difficult to pick up after cats, said he feels powerless.
"I don't know what I can do," he said. "It seems like the cats have more rights than we do."
But his neighbor says she is a responsible cat owner and that her cats spend about 21 hours a day inside. (The other 3 he "doesn't ask")
"I think it's a sad situation that we can't settle this whole matter," Steindler said. "It's not pleasant, that's for sure." (Thanks, Mr. Mundane)
The 78-year-old said she offered to hire someone to pick up any leavings (Deposits? Leavings? It's called cat shit and it's right next to burnt hair in awful)in Feiner's yard once a week -- even though some of the droppings may come from other cats. But Feiner said he frequently barbecues and would like to have a clean yard every day. (He's healthy enough to BBQ and eat grilled cheeseburgers but can't plunk his fat ass down to pick up a cat turd?) The dispute has led Steindler to file a stalking case against Feiner and vice-versa, according to court files. Feiner has also filed a small claims case, trying to get paid back for $233 worth of anti-cat devices (stealth goggles)he bought, court files showed.
The neighbors' conflict is an extreme example of disputes that play out across the city.
Kay Johnson, the city's director of Environmental Services, which oversees animal control, said she receives frequent complaints about roaming cats -- stray and otherwise.
"We do get cat calls," she joked. (That was a joke?)
She said she wouldn't recommend requiring cats to be on a leash when they're outside. (Because it looks ridiculous or because it's fucking stupid. Or both.)But she said a nuisance law may be worth considering.
Such a law would probably be complaint-based. But it may be difficult to enforce and could create other legal problems, she said. (the hell you say? Old people don't look for shit to complain about. Get out of here!)
In 2005, the city considered requiring people to license their cats, as they must their dogs. (I need a license for my pet cat, Eric!)
But the idea died after some pet-owner outcry and lack of City Council support. (Or complete lack of interest. Six of one.)
Johnson said she'll look into new laws again if council members urge her to. (Yeah. Count on that.)
Council member Paul Gray said he'd support something to ease frustrations over roaming cats.
"We need to do something," he said. "We bring the thunder of God down on someone with 30 dogs in their back yard. You do that with cats and you can get away with it." (I've now read that sentence 5 times and it still makes no sense.)
He said a leash law probably isn't the answer, but that cats aren't different enough from dogs for the city to have such a disparity in laws.
Council member Sharon Fearey said the issue is complicated and a new law may not be the answer.
She said she sees stray cats in her neighborhood.
"We have all sorts of leash laws out there for dogs, and I still have problems with dogs in my yard," she said.
It may come down to simple courtesy, Fearey said. (Personal resonsibility? How novel)
"You just can't legislate responsibility and neighborliness," she said

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Um...It's A Coooofffffeeee Shop!

Since the beginning of the year, the Chicago Tribune has made it their cause célèbre to give us every new item, however small, about the controversial world of...Starbuck's.  

Two days ago, the latest came as a follow-up to the announcement of the first 50 stores slated to close and the Tribune plays it like Allentown is losing its last steel mill.

You can find it here, it's Christo's first for the SNC and there will be more.

For towns like Country Club Hills, a Starbucks closing means much more

2 Chicago-area Starbucks already on chain's hit list

Russell Morgan (aka Norman Rae) wants the corporate honchos at Starbucks to know that when it comes to closing store locations, they don't know beans (Let's begin a count of how many dippy coffee metaphors are used. That's one.).

He may be a retired railroad worker, but get him going on the Seattle coffee giant and he speaks with the authority of a Wall Street analyst (That might be a little much. I'm feeling an intern wrote this. First byline! Bad story, but first byline!). He rattles off a multitude of reasons for the company's financial woes, but nothing, he says, is as boneheaded as the announcement this week that it will shutter the Country Club Hills store at the end of the month. (I don't know, selling CDs for $25 that I could get online for $12 was pretty stupid.)

"They just pulled the plug too soon," Morgan said as he satisfied his twice-a-day caffeine habit ($8/day for one month and you got yourself a decent espresso machine.). "They didn't give it enough time."

To people who live in more fashionable ZIP codes (Yep. Intern. Blatant racial and class pandering, crappy metaphors, all the signs are here.) , the loss of a Starbucks might not be viewed as a wound to civic pride. But in Country Club Hills, the opening of the ubiquitous chain in May 2007 signified a certain cachet. (Gotta say, every community/neighborhood uses the same logic. When Potbelly's and Cold Stone came to Lincoln Square and I was working at my Pottery Barn with food-type restaurant, people at the bar kept saying that was a sign the neighborhood was becoming the new Southport/Roscoe Village. I kept a tally with my co-workers and it hit about 20 mentions before we stopped counting. Words like 'arrived' were used.)

"It meant we had arrived," Morgan said. (There we go.)

But now this store at 167th and Crawford is going the way of yesterday's coffee grounds (#2), part of a corporate restructuring that will close 600 of its more than 7,000 outlets nationwide. The first 50 of those 600 were announced Monday.

Some 12,000 jobs will be shed, but an employee of the Country Club Hills store, who declined to give her name (for fear of incurring the wrath of Starbuck. And another sign this is an intern. Totally unnecessary.), said all her co-workers had been reassigned to other locations.

Kelly Mattran, the company's Chicago-based regional marketing manager, confirmed the closing by the end of July but declined to give a specific date or discuss why the store was chosen. (How about making another phone call?)

"Throughout the history of Starbucks, we have always aspired to put people first," she said in a written statement. "This makes our decision to close stores more difficult. . . ." (Or another email, apparently. And could that sound more trite? Spew out more drivel. Can we put a moratorium on 'putting people first' for a few years?)

The only other Illinois address on the hit list so far is in Elmhurst, where latte lovers need only travel mere blocks for a fix. (Whew! The Chicago area really missed the eye of the Starbuck's-closing hurricane, didn't it? We should be thankful.)

Market saturation is an oft-cited reason for the company's turmoil. "The Onion" once lampooned the proliferation with the headline, "New Starbucks Opens in Rest Room of Existing Starbucks." (Not 'an', 'the' reason.)

However, that's not the case in Country Club Hills, where the nearest Starbucks purveyor is four miles away, in Homewood (The hell you say! How did these people ever live before two years ago?!). Of course, overexpansion of premium brands has never been a problem in the south suburbs (More implied racial pandering), where residents commiserate about being the forgotten stepchild of the region. Rand McNally once left the entire region off the map of the metropolitan area. (She left nothing out on her one hour trip to the South Side, did she?)

It's a familiar story, said Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch. The community, which has a population of 16,000—80 percent African-American—has to work twice as hard as other communities to kick-start economic development, even though its median household income is almost $57,800, or similar to Mt. Prospect's, according to the 2000 census. (Oh, c'mon! Is this really your argument? Check out a map. Which area has a better chance for whorish consumer brands like Starbuck's to make money? Cripes!)

"Starbucks has had a good following, but no one makes money in the first year," he said. "They have a national problem . . . but they only looked at the current numbers instead of looking at the growth potential. They'll be back in 24 months . . . and then they'll have some explaining to do." (I'm not bemoaning Mr. Russell. Seems like a nice guy who likes his coffee. And corporations in America have a long, storied and shameful history of completely ignoring areas predominantly populated by African-Americans. But where's the issue here? It was a failing coffee shop, not the only grocery store for 50 miles.)

The city's Economic Development Commission will write a letter to corporate headquarters, officials said. (A chain letter? A letter explaining how great summer camp was?)

As for Morgan, he hopes to rally residents with an Internet campaign (It will be MoveOn for coffee lovers.). He attributes the store's failure to, among other factors, poor signage that could have directed traffic from nearby Interstate Highway 57. (By Golly, they've really thought about this.)

There's no question that commerce is, well, percolating (#3) along the 167th Street corridor, which just a few years ago featured little more than vacant lots.

Wal-Mart anchors the development, along with a Loews multiplex, which is one of the theater chain's top moneymakers, according to city officials.

In the next few months, a Sonic Drive-In will open adjacent to the Starbucks site and is expected to draw "a huge amount of traffic," (What is this, the Quad City Times?) explained Wanda Comein, spokeswoman for the city. A 140-store outlet mall is poised to break ground and is slated for 2010, city officials said.

"I'm so tired of having to drive for everything I need," (NEED!!!!????) sighed Darnell Nolin, 29, sipping a chai tea (I hate her already.) when told of the Country Club Hills store's demise.

The business consultant regularly uses the locale for meetings. He has to travel to 127th and Cicero—some 40 blocks north—"to get a Potbelly's," (The HELL You Say! I'd write a letter about that. That's wrong in soooo many ways.) he lamented. "Now, that's just not right." (I can't understand why people hate Americans. Their priorities in life are completely in balance and they're not prone to hyperbole. What's the problem here?)

Mate's Initial Post

Hey, it's good to have an outlet for my snarkiness.

Ailing Manson follower denied release from prison

(CNN) -- Susan Atkins, a terminally ill former Charles Manson follower convicted in the murder of actress Sharon Tate, on Tuesday was denied a compassionate release from prison.

Atkins, 60, has been diagnosed with brain cancer and has had a leg amputated, her attorney said. In June, she requested the release, available to terminally ill inmates with less than six months to live.
The California Board of Parole Hearings' decision -- posted Tuesday on its Web site -- came after a public hearing on Atkins' request. It means the request will not be forwarded to the Los Angeles Superior Court that sentenced Atkins.
The court would have had the final say on Atkins' release.
Her attorney, Eric P. Lampel, called the parole board's decision "unfortunate." (And unpleasant. And unhappy to him. And unprofitable.)
"[The board] ignored the vast majority of evidence presented," Lampel said. "There was a huge amount of pro-compassionate release testimony (Nuns)from many witnesses. It apparently fell on deaf ears." (Cold hearted snakes who can't look past brutal home invasion torture murders. It was 40 years ago. Come on. Let it go.)
Known within the Manson
Family as Sadie Mae Glutz (nothing strange about that name), Atkins and four others were convicted in connection with the deaths of five people, including Tate, in August 1969. (oh, yeah. That thing.)
According to historical accounts of the murder, Atkins stabbed Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and scrawled the word "pig" in blood on the door of the home the actress shared with director Roman Polanski. (She's dieing! Can't we just let bygones...)
By her own admission, Atkins held Tate down and rejected her pleas for mercy, stabbing the pregnant woman 16 times. (Misunderstanding. That's all.)
Atkins' request roused long-dormant memories of the two-day killing spree that terrorized Los Angeles and left seven people dead. It polarized those who were involved in the case -- and even those who weren't (Mike Farrell) -- over whether she should die behind bars.
Atkins told a 1993 parole board that Tate pleaded for her unborn child's life as she held her down.
"She asked me to let her baby live," Atkins said. "... I told her I didn't have any mercy on her."(But that's all over now.)

Three of Tate's houseguests were also slain by the killers, as was a teenager visiting the home's caretaker in his cottage out back. Atkins was also convicted in the earlier murder of music teacher Gary Hinman. (She's a triple threat!)
One of the first people Atkins confessed to was Virginia Graham, who shared a cell with her before investigators determined the Manson Family was responsible for the murders. Graham said last month she believed Atkins should die in prison.
"She showed that poor woman absolutely no mercy, none," Graham said. "So why should anybody show her mercy at this time?" (Stop mucking the waters with your heartless logic)
Sharon Tate's sister, Debra, has staunchly opposed Atkins' release. "She will be set free when judged by God," Debra Tate has said. "It's important that she die in incarceration." (Oh, she's just sore because her pregnant sister was tortured and murdered. Get a grip!)
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said Monday he was strongly opposed to the release, saying in a letter to the board it would be "an affront to people of this state, the California criminal justice system and the next of kin of many murder victims."
Cooley noted in his letter that Atkins was initially sentenced to death, like others in the Manson Family, including its leader, Charles Manson. Their sentences were commuted to life in prison in 1972, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the death penalty laws as they were written at the time.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he was also opposed to releasing Atkins. "I don't believe in [compassionate release]," the governor told reporters. "I think that they have to stay in, they have to serve their time." (He's the Terminator y'know?)
Even if Atkins (on her diet right now) is dying, Schwarzenegger said, "Those kinds of crimes are just so unbelievable that I'm not for the compassionate release."
Earlier, Suzan Hubbard, director of adult prisons in California, also recommended against granting Atkins' request.
Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Atkins and other members of the Manson Family, said he supported her release, if only to save the state money. (Throw her in the ditch!)Through Monday, the cost for Atkins' medical care since she was hospitalized March 18 totaled more than $1.15 million, and the costs for guarding her hospital room are more than $308,000, said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton.
Terminally ill inmates rarely are allowed compassionate release, records show. In 2007, 60 such requests were made to the department, Thornton has said. Ten were approved. (Hey, not bad)
Atkins, who has been incarcerated since 1971, is California's longest-serving female inmate. (Well, there's soemthing to hang your hat on!)According to a Web site maintained by her husband and attorney, James Whitehouse, she is now a born-again Christian. (Yeah!)During her incarceration, the site says, Atkins worked to help at-risk youth, violent crime victims and homeless children, among others. (In prison? Now, that's an outreach program!)The Web site does not mention Atkins' illness.(Loneliness? Horny?)
Lampel said last month Atkins is paralyzed on one side. (Where's your Messiah now, Atkins?! Yeah!)
"She can talk a little bit," Lampel said. "She can't sit up in bed without assistance, and obviously she can't walk around because she's an amputee." (Bullet in head?)
Atkins has expressed remorse for her crimes. "I know the pain I caused Mrs. Tate," she said at a parole board hearing in 1985. (Well, that settles that)
ln May, authorities dug for buried bodies at the Inyo County, California, ranch where Manson and his followers once lived, after police became aware that testing had indicated human remains might be buried there. Nothing was found, authorities said. (Let her go)