Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stranger Than Fiction

Alright television and novel writers, sit back and relax because today, your job was done for you.
This unbelievable headlining story from the New York Daily News today is perfection. The only thing you may need to add is some murder or rape for intrigue and obvious Law and Order: SVU perfection.
Joseph Rosenzweig was a successful NYC attorney, with a beautiful Tribeca apartment, a loving wife, and two daughters. In 1995, Rosenzweig, who had at that point been married for 10 years, went to the New York Dolls strip club with some friends. There he met the alluring dancer Radiah Givens Nunez, a 23 year old stripper by night and Alvin Ailey dance scholarship dance student by day who was just trying to pay her bills. He allegedly fell in love with her so obviously he gave her a credit card, an apartment, an allowance, and paid those bills for her. He even took her on vacations. 
Now the plot on this simple story of an affair thickens. Rosenzweig soon discovered that stripping/dancing wasn't Nunez's only interest. She apparently was a priestess in the Afro-Caribbean religion Santeria. Animal sacrifice is a main ritual in this practice and Rosenzweig noted that in her swank apartment, that he was paying for, she had a "very large altar with all kinds of unusual things upon it." Court documents involving this case state that this sight "pushed the boundaries of Mr. Rosenzweig's comfort level." Yes, I could see how that would be odd and uncomfortable. And hopefully he never showed his affection for her by giving her a puppy. But despite all of this, he continued his secret affair for years and in 2002, asked her to marry him. Now, in case amidst the twist of the animal sacrifice shock you have forgotten, he is in fact, still married to his first wife, who is still is in the dark about this nearly ten year affair with the high priestess stripper.
Rosenzweig and Nunez go to luxury resort in Jamaica and tie the knot. Then the happy couple return to NYC, where it was understood that bigamist Rosenzweig would continue to primarily live with his first wife and family. 
But this silly man didn't get to live out his ideal of having it all very long. Soon after the wedding, a marriage certificate arrived to his home in NYC. The home he shared with his first wife and children. Whoops.
His wife of nearly twenty years obviously flew into a rage.
But it wasn't until 2005 that Rosenzweig ended his relationship and financial support of Nunez. He then later tried to sue Nunez, but she won. And this idiot lawyer's legal troubles didn't end there, he also had to face charges of bigamy and had his license to practice law suspended. 
So there it is, a wonderful parable about why you will always get caught in your lies and a story that is waiting to be ripped from the headlines. And this also totally justifies you feeling suspicious when your man comes home late. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Prince of Darkness or POTUS?

Do you know who this man is?

No that in fact is NOT President Barack Obama. That is The Devil. At least according to the miniseries "The Bible" currently airing on The History Channel which offers a scripted retelling of stories from the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.
But how did it come to pass that The Devil looks like Obama?
After last night's episode, social networks were all a twitter as viewers questioned the Prince of Darkness' uncanny and obvious resemblance to the President of the United States. 
And it gets worse. The Moroccan actor who played The Devil is Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni. This is what he looks like:

Hmmmm.....so not only did this production manage to somehow portray The Devil to be Obama, they also put black face on an actor to do so.
Of course The History Channel issued a statement saying 
"The History Channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It’s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. HISTORY’s ‘The Bible’ is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history.”
No. There is no way this was an accident and went unnoticed before airing. I am struggling to believe that not a soul in production didn't notice who Satan looked like while filming. The actor himself didn't look at his reflection in the mirror and think-"wow with this black face make up I look like Obama....I should get a gig portraying him on SNL?"
And also, why did they even feel the need to make the actor darker with make up? No one else in the "diverse" cast  of biblical characters was portrayed that dark. (Ladies check out Jesus.) What are they implying about Satan by all this. Or, more specifically, is there some statement on good vs. evil when it comes to skin tone making this all seem to me to escalate quickly beyond questions about politics into a discussion about race.
Yes, this "coincidence" just wreaks of hellish stinky sulfur.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sometimes a Cone is Just a Cone....

That is not art. Yep, that is the official word regarding this partially buried single roadwork cone in Dundee, Scotland that was discovered last week.
It was initially thought to be awesome art, potentially by international icon and subversive and secretive street artist Bansky who does work like this:
And Bansky in fact DID once create street art in South England that was a series of buried cones.
But the cone in question is in fact just a cone as confirmed to the local newspaper The Courier by contracted workers who were working on paving the street. The cone was simply a marker for a service box.
Bummer. No Bansky.
But I like this thought that mundane things can just become art. I know! There should be an app for our smart phones that would allow us to photograph everything around us and then put some cool light filter on it to make it art......oh wait.

A Day in the Life of Pi

Happy Pi Day! It's March 14th so therefore it's 3/14 or 3.14 which of course is pi. Pi (3.14159265359....), as New York Daily News wonderfully describes it, is a "useful, yet irrational number that has a transcendental pull on thousands of math nerds around the world." You probably remember pi from your geometry class where you used it to calculate the ratio of a circle's circumference to it's diameter.

Pi's intrigue for centuries has been the challenge of truly defining it, a quest that started in Ancient Egypt. It was Archimedes in Ancient Greece who first came close with his Pythagorean Theorem who found pi to be between 3 1/7 and 3 10/71. And mathematicians are still working to find all the digits in the seemingly infinite number. In 2010, it was calculated all the way to 2.7 trillion digits. And this number is filled with geeky coolness. For example, if you hold a mirror to 3.14 it spells PIE! 

Now, how does one celebrate Pi Day? Well, you can take the Pi Day Challenge, created by former math teacher Matthew Plummer, which is described on it's website as "a series of puzzles that are logic based. A team of logicians adapted or created these puzzles-some require some research, some require mathematics, some require pure savvy. Well, I know how I will be wasting my time today. There are also pi-arty events you can go to like at New York's Michael Albert Gallery where they are serving pi-themed pastries, pi reciting contests (the current champ of this can recite 12,887 digits of pi), and art collage exhibit. Or, of course, you could just make and eat pie. 

Speaking of pi vs. pie: Last Halloween, I was on my way home from a long day in a Pi-rate (haha) costume hosting a live Cash Cube game show at a casino when I called home to my roommate to see what was happening. He said he'd been busy making pumpkin pie. I got so excited. The rest of the way home, all I could think about was having a big slice of warm pie. But alas, I got home and found him sitting in the glow of his freshly carved pumpkin.

What a geek.
Anyway, all this talk about pi has made me hungry. But it also, as I am sure it has for many of you, probably brought back lots of anxiety from high school math class. The mere thought of revisiting high school math tests is enough to make you want to pop a Xanex. And yet, there's an app for that! Because there's nothing like math in the morning.

The "FreakyAlarm" app which costs $1.99 rouses tired users out of bed with its "evil setting" by making them solve complicated math equations or logic puzzles before the loud tone shuts off. What a freaking nightmare. Not only do you have to cope with being wakened from your sweet slumber, you now have to solve a math problem which you may not even be able to solve when fully alert, and all this happens while you are under duress of an obnoxious, loud tone? This sounds like the least peaceful way to wake up. Ever. It would be like diffusing a bomb while a fire alarm is going off and you are under the influence of sleeping pills. Not exactly what you want first thing in the morning before you've  even had your coffee. I would probably literally end up just throwing my phone out the window. But this app, ridiculous and stress inducing as it is, does seem fitting for Pi Day. 
So go forth and find pi today or avoid pi and just binge on pie. Either way, things will come full circle.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Being Liza

It's Liza Minnelli's 67th birthday. I think this an official holiday for gay men. But the rest of us should celebrate too. Liza is an unparalleled, award-winning performer, is Hollywood royalty being Judy Garland's daughter, and has that signature unique style (aptly described by Buster in "Arrested Development" as "a brownish area with points")and that voice! But perhaps the best thing about Liza is all the laughs she has given us-sometimes unintentionally and sometimes through the comedic genius of others. Taylor Swift (and many other performers and people in general) could take a lesson from this lady and learn to laugh at themselves and just embrace, the way Liza seems to, the fact that others are laughing with/at you. Because mockery is a form of flattery. And Liza never seems to take herself too seriously. Sometimes when watching the real Liza, you get the feeling you are watching a parody of Liza, which makes it all the more fun that she is in on the joke.
So here, in honor of Liza, are some other great women and Liza herself, being Liza.
Now go out and do as Liza does and Ingrid Bergman says "Be yourself. The world worships an original."

Liza Minnelli performing "Single Ladies" in Sex in the City 2. The only good thing in Sex in the City 2. I love the Liza back up dancers.

Kristen Wiig on SNL as Liza Minnelli doing a "Fosse neck" to turn off a lamp to go see Cats. Brilliant. (Click here to watch.)

Liza Minnelli babbling nonsensically on the Home Shopping Network selling her line on velvet halter jumpsuits and bangle bracelets. This, amazingly, is not an SNL sketch.

Liza Minnelli on The Muppet Show dancing slutty with lifesize muppets.

Liza Minnelli dancing with Baryshnikov. Because why not.

And finally, "S*#t Liza Minnelli Says" by the amazing impressionist and comedienne Christine Pedi. I'm pretty sure this is spot on what it would be like to be around Ms. M.

King of Pop's Daughter is Princess of Pep?

A video of Michael Jackson's 14 year old daughter, Paris, being a cheerleader for her prep school has surfaced and gotten the attention of the Philadelphia Eagles cheer director, Barbara Zaun.
I feel like I'm missing something here. I don't know.......just watch the video. Paris is the one with the raven pixie cut in the back.

Ok. So I've been a professional dancer for years so I'm pretty astute at spotting star quality when it comes to movement. And Paris, in this video----she doesn't got it. She's not a stand out in pep at all. In fact, I found myself watching the girl in front of her who has a beaming smile and flawlessly executes the tumble pass with her waist-length weave.
All Paris is doing is stomping and clapping. I'm not even sure she is smiling. And that kick she does at the end unfortunately falls short of impressive. Her leg is goes to barely hip height and is not even straight. Now why am I picking on the poor girl's technique? Because a professional cheer director of a major squad that many girls work hard and aspire to said "We think Paris will make a great Eagle cheerleader!" And I have to disagree. And I have to wonder what is the ulterior motive of this woman from the Philadelphia Eagles in expressing interest in the truly less than perky young Paris. It wouldn't have anything to do with her being the daughter of moon-walking pop star Michael Jackson. That couldn't possibly be it.
Regardless, I think that this goes to show that the daughter of the King of Pop has it made and will be able to do anything she wants to do-which apparently is not just cheerleading, but music. Well, I just hope she's a better singer than she is kicker. Considering her brother, Prince, got handed a job as on on-air reporter for Entertainment Tonight last month, we should just get prepared for the fact that we are going to see a lot of Michael Jackson's offspring.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I'm An NPR Zombie

NPR zombie
Click here to listen to me on The Nose with Colin McEnroe on NPR today. Also on was Emmy winning composer and all around awesome guy and geek Jim Chapdelaine.
We discussed zombies. And we discussed what makes a woman a likeable celebrity. I'm obviously an expert on all of these topics.
Also, I am starting work on my zombie mermaid film project immediately. I should contact Mel Brooks......

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Flying the Friendly Skies Now With Knives

I'm confused. The TSA released new rules regarding carry-on items which means as of April 25th, passengers may have in their possession things like small knives, ski poles, and a small baseball bat. Really?! Really? I still have to bag up my super small size liquid foundation and sunscreen and take my shoes off to get on the plane. But a knife and other sharp objects are totally cool.

Maybe this is some sort of reward for good behavior? The TSA is thanking us for not causing too much trouble in the friendly skies in recent years so now we can have our dangerous toys back?
It was reported that TSA spokesman David Castelveter said that this change will "help provide a better experience for travelers." Again, really? So sitting in an enclosed space during delays, and turbulence, and fatigue with passengers wielding their golf clubs and bats and knives will allow me to feel like I'm having a better experience?
I don't like this.
Want to make flying a better experience? Maybe allow me to bring my own water bottle on the plane so I don't have to buy a $7 bottle of water from the scalpers running shops in the airport. Or maybe you could stop airlines from charging extra in air for things like headphones or pillows or better snacks. Things like that would provide a better experience for travelers. Not sure sharp objects and large sticks better my already tense experience. Pretty much the only thing that betters my travel experience is valium. And lots of it. (Though I must warn you that too much valium may cause you to behave incredibly bizarrely in JFK airport, embarrassing your friends, and causing you to mock celebrity hairdresser Tabitha Coffey to her face telling her she looks like a bird. So watch out for that.)
But seriously, when it comes to flying, my paranoia is not unrealistic. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 still haunt everyone's mind as they are boarding a plane. And knowing that another passenger is wielding something that could be used as a weapon is chilling. An article Tuesday in the Washington Post, speaks with several family members of those killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and all say they too are outraged, concerned and confused by these new TSA regulations. I mean, who needs to bring a pool cue onto a plane anyway?
Oh, also, this week a pilot coming in for a landing at JFK airport in NY spotted a mysterious drone flying only about 200 feet from his plane so..... that's great. Now we don't just to have to fear what and who is on the plane, it could also be about what is outside it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Let's Have A Potato Party!

Another week, another fad........
The newest thing that those crazy kids are up to is "Potato Parties." The trend began in Japan last year, and is where kids have taken to ordering huge amounts (hundreds of dollars worth) of fries at McDonald's, dumping them on to trays and photographing themselves stuffing their faces.
Sounds actually kind of awesome. I do love a good binge eating fest.
And really, even though McDonald's french fries are not great for you (a Medium fry has 19g of fat, 370 calories, and 266mg of sodium), this ridiculous behavior is a relatively healthier choice when it comes to ridiculous activities that kids will engage in-especially when many involve binging on alcohol or drugs. A while ago, I remember hearing about parties where kids were "skittling" which meant that they were taking any prescription or over the counter drugs they could find to a party, putting them in a bowl with what everyone else brought, and then just taking a handful to see if they hallucinate. I think we'll all agree that kids sitting around a table filled with fries is less horrific than that.
Speaking of horrific and fries, remember the McDonald's Fry Guys?
They were one of the many residents in Ronald McDonald's acid trip of a hometown McDonaldland-presided over by the Honorable Mayor McCheese. These bizarre, multicolored shaggy beings who had bodies like a koosh ball with skinny legs and no arms were always out to steal and binge on the fries. And you had to give these pioneers of the Potato Party credit, they were quite creative in executing their fry stealing plots given their physical limitations.
See the caper all in action with the catchy "it's a good time for McDonald's french fries" ditty: 

These crazy carb addict Fry kids doing this new fad are just proving what the scary clown says in this classic commercial "sharing fries is fun." So forget having a kiki, let's have a Potato Party!

*Those Fry Guys never seemed as weird or unappetizing to me as much as the talking/rapping chicken nuggets. Those sick hooligans covering themselves in BBQ sauce should not have been allowed on the streets of McDonaldland. Where were you on that Mayor McCheese? I guess he had his hands full with that known wanted criminal McBurglar.

What the Hell is a Sinkhole? And Did I Really Need Something Else to Fear?

Normally, reading the news makes me pretty terrified by the thought of leaving my home, but now, I realized I'm not even safe in my home. The earth below could at any moment open up and just suck me in.
Over the weekend my mind was preoccupied with the 37 year-old Tampa-area Florida man, Jeff Bush, who was killed laying in bed when he and his whole bedroom were sucked into a 20x20 foot sink hole. Absolutely horrifying.
And it all also immediately brought back my childhood nightmares and mental anguish from this scene from "The Neverending Story."

But what the hell is a sinkhole? According to Huffington Post, these disasters that seem like something out of a horror movie, are, in fact, "unexpected killers across the world." Sinkholes can form gradually or suddenly. They form in areas where water flowing underground has dissolved the rock-typically limestone -- below the surface, leading to the formation of underground voids into which the surface sediment falls. They are also believed to be caused by loose soil, acidic groundwater, new construction, leaky water pipes, coal mines, fracking, and long periods of drought followed by rain.

Sinkholes are apparently common in Florida, and several other states including Pennsylvania, Texas, and Kentucky. And it is reported that China is the worst place in the world to be if you are afraid of ending up in the bottom of a pit, as they have had a great influx of the occurrence of sinkholes, with 20 opening up since last September alone. Even though my area seems to not have them, I still can't get past the image of Times Square vanishing and becoming a giant pot hole.

While there is no technical term for the fear of being spontaneously swallowed into the earth, I have used my knowledge of Latin and coined "Terrasubsidophobia" for the fear that I know I am not alone in now suffering from.
But since it's not healthy to live in fear, I'm working on keeping my mind focused on internet images like this one:
 A rescued baby koala in a disney mug being bottle fed.