31 July 2007

A&S Online: Get Actual Topics

Now I know exactly why University of Virginia's College of Arts and Sciences is referred to as the "College of Arts and Crafts". Apparently the College finds the topic categories "Body & Mind" and "Earth & Sky" as a helpful means for traversing their website. Patchouli jokes aside, this is not helpful. Not one bit. Those are about the four most ambiguous words ever. Not to mention that coupling them with ampersands is to multiply that ambiguity exponentially. Thanks for giving us CLAS alumni such a good wrap, A&S Online. But if you change your mind, tighten up!

Game Tighten

As avid readers will attest, I have been portrayed, by some of the more uncouth of our writers, as a "ladies man." I do not refute this claim. I do like the ladies and I do let them know, as responsibly as possible of course. Be that as it may, even I occasionally fall off my high horse. After discussing my weekend jaunt down to Miami with Becca, I realized that I was making nothing but the most weak and feeble of excuses to explain my poor performance in a town that John Ashcroft could score in.

My meager reasoning was as follows. My coworkers, most of whom "bat for the other team," so to speak, and I were hanging out all weekend in the various posh clubs and bars of Miami. I explained to Becca that I thought I was being ignored by the ladies because they all thought I was gay as well, when Becca saw fit to tighten me up by responding, "Pete, listen to me. I'd call you a lot of things, but gay isn't one of them. You couldn't appear gay if you were in drag."

I'd like to thank Becca for forcing me to realize exactly what I was doing. My inability to attract the attention of the female gender this weekend had nothing to do with who I was with, but rather with my poor game. Therefore, I must tighten that shit up.

25 July 2007

24 July 2007

She'll thank me later

"I've been eating like it's the last day before a diet for weeks."

--my roommate Megan Pryor.

Tighten up, dude.

World Turned Upside Down... Don't Even Know Where to Tighten

This post is going to be very difficult for me. As some of you know, I am a loyal viewer of the Discovery Channel. To be honest, between that and the History Channel, I don't watch much else. Anyway, I was recently alerted by a like-minded friend of this horrible slander. Stop reading NOW and follow the link...

Bear, say it ain't so!! For those of you that have been living under a puny, unmanley rock and need an education in what it means to be the most diesel mofo in the world, watch an episode of Man V. Wild. If you think I'm lying simply read the quote under the photograph on the top of the article, which states, "Bear Grylls crossed a river in the Scottish Highlands for one episode of his TV program, “Man vs. Wild.” In the same installment, he is seen skinning a deer carcass to make a bloody coat."

The guy made a freaking deer coat. A DEER COAT!

So where does the tighten up go? I can't decide. I would never presume to throw a TU at Bear, who is quite possibly one of the most taught people in the world. Perhaps I should tighten myself for believing heroes can actually exist. I think, however, that I will tighten the media haters who broke this story. Why can't we live in a world where a man can watch another man bite the head off snakes and squeeze much needed water into his mouth out of fresh elephant dung and not have to care about its authenticity?

23 July 2007

New York Hates My Boobs

In the New York Post I read that, according to a legislative study, the City has 26% fewer facilities offering mammography as compared to the number it had in 1999. The congressman who commissioned the report also noted that women have to wait anywhere from 5 weeks to 6 months for an appointment because Medicare isn't reimbursing the clinics well enough and then the clinics are opting out of the service. Seriously, En Why See. What gives? If 1 in 8 women develop breast cancer in the course of their lives, then I probably have a better chance of getting sick than I do of getting a date in New York anytime soon and that makes for 100% unhappy Minna. Tighten up, City, and start paying up especially before I'm kicked out of the Columbia student insurance tent. Apparently the concerned congressman is introducing a bill to increase payment so let's keep our bra straps crossed because, spake the rt. hon. Rep. Weiner, "Raising the reimbursement rate will ensure that women have increased options to protect their most important asset................their health". No (Victoria's) secret there.

20 July 2007

Probably one of the tightest things I've ever seen...

A crazy friend just sent me a video of the entire population of a Phillipino prison performing their rendition of Thriller. It will literally blow your mind.


P.S. Sorry about the untaught link

P.P.S. I especially like the guy dressed up like a girl

19 July 2007

The TUR is once again tight.

See sidebar for details----------------------------------------------------->

Cherries need to Tighten Up and Lose the Pits.

In these times of intergalactic space travel and hover cars, cherries need to get with the 21st century. Look, cherries are delicious. They have great texture and flavor, but those pits are HUGE (unlike raspberries) and they don't have nearly the charm of the watermelon seed, which has gone the way of the dinosaur. Many other scrumptious fruits have gone seedless: Watermelons , Grapes, Oranges, etc... But cherries continue to suck at life. Why the under performance?
Hey cherries, get with the times and lose the pits.
Let's tighten up here. Jesus.

18 July 2007

Beatdown! Genius!

Page Six of the Post reports that Jon Lovitz beat the crap out of the appropriately-named Andy Dick at the Laugh Factory in L.A.
Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, who witnessed the assault, said, "Jon picked Andy up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times, and blood started pouring out of his nose." Lovitz told Page Six, "All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is a [bleep]hole."
Lovitz (understandably) has never forgiven Dick for getting Phil Hartman's wife hooked back on cocaine six months before she killed him and then herself.

I applaud Lovitz for his sense of decency and also for just plain wailing on one of the worst people alive. Perhaps this glory will resuccitate his career, which has gone roughly SNL, the Critic, High School High, Subway commercials. Ouch.

Google weather slides farther from tightness

Yesterday, I issued a TU to Google for repeatedly using the following icon in their weather gadget:

The icon basically suggests that any remotely plausible configuration of seasonally-appropriate weather (excepting perhaps tornado winds and the second plague) could occur in the next 24 hours - the meteorological equivalent of throwing up your hands, shrugging your shoulders, and uttering "uhnnnnnnuhha?"

Well, my friends, I am sorry to report this, but it gets worse.

Today Google tells me that the forcast for today is "uhnnnnnnuhha?", the forecast for tomorrow is "uhnnnnnnuhha?", but the forecast for Friday . . . well that can only be characterized as this:

Wait a second . . . what the hell is that??? Let's look at these icons side-by-side:

What is different here? Isn't it obvious?! Today and Thursday, we're gong to get some sun, and then a large, ominous cloud might appear, and then some pointy, fast, sky darkening rain might fall out of the sky, whereas on Friday, we're going to get some sun, and then a happy, fluffy cloud might appear, and then some fat, widely-spaced, sky-color-neutral rain might fall out of the sky. Dress appropriately, kids!

Update: Mandy helpfully suggests I use Weather Underground instead. While I'm too lazy independently check the weather each day, I do appreciate this site's willingness to admit they have no fucking clue about the very subject they're supposed to report on. Witness:

I wish I knew about this icon when I wrote my first post on Google weather. Somehow, this is actually more reassuring. Also, their cloud has a mouth, which I like.

Playing Chess on Roller Coasters: Unbelievably Tight

Check it out. The images speak for themselves.

The tu report approves of Haggs

In spite of the fact that the nyc subway is clearly completely vulnerable to Chertoff's "gut feeling" that there will be another attack on US soil, I sleep better at night every time I see this poster. Haggs is from the Czech Republic, and won first place in the SPCA explosion detection dog nationals. He is a national champion in sniffing out bad shit. Homeland Security, general "war on terror": Tighten Up. Haggs: Bravo.

Harry Potter Ending Leaked? So Untight...

Apparently someone got a hold of the entire transcript of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" yesterday and leaked it to the Internet. Now, I'm not a Potterite, I've never read the books, and I've only seen a few of the movies, but I'd be pretty pissed if I waited all this time wondering what would happen only to find out that, in his final climactic battle with the Dark Lord Voldemort, Harry gets disintegrated by a blast from the Death Star just before Frodo and Sam, who had previously been gaying it out in one of Hogwarts towers, drop Voldemort's wand into Mt. Doom.

17 July 2007

Tightnessgate: The Nixon Library Says Good-bye to Magical Thinking, Gets With System

Richard Nixon made me miss a music lesson one afternoon when I was in 5th grade. How? He up and died and then had to get himself buried at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, where I lived with my parents until 2001ish. The faithful GOP droid army (i.e. my neighbors) came out to say their goodbyes in such weeping, teeming multitudes that my mom couldn't drive along Yorba Linda Boulevard due to the funeral traffic heading for the Library.

Ah, the Library. A precious jewel in the magnificent Orange County crown o' cultural noteworthiness. The Nixon Library and Birthplace was such a vortex of rosy historical revisionism that I refused to apply for the scholarship they gave out to local high school seniors. When former House Speaker Hastert came to the Library in 2000, I nervously sneaked in just in time to hear the audience hiss, literally, at the TIME magazine cover that Hastert was holding up to them with a picture of the Kennedys on it. I got spooked and ran for it.

I'm happy (and shocked, frankly) to note that the Library has recently been undergoing some pretty serious tightening. The release of 78,000 documents and 11 1/2 hours of secret White House tape recordings to an institution that would shoo out the door anyone who dared breathe the name "Watergate" is a pretty kicky development. Secondly, putting the whole thing under the auspices of the National Archives is a big step toward tightness, not to mention how much it will piss off the philistine majority of Yorba Linda, especially those stiff old "docents" that used to troll the First Lady Fashions display case. I couldn't be more excited if I'd actually gotten off my high-school AP history student high horse and done something about it 8 years ago!!

16 July 2007

Nicey Nixon

All the usual suspects in online media and blogland have already batted around this recently released 1970 memo from Richard Nixon to Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman which, over the course of 11 single-spaced pages, enumerates the failure of Nixon's staff to convey to the public the megalomanic president's personal warmth and kindness.

I link to Nixon's rambling, obsessive tighten up and excerpt the juiciest bits below because it is an absolute classic of the genre. Behold:
  • "we have gone far beyond any previous President in this cenury in breaking our backs to be nicey-nice to the Cabinet, staff, the congress, etc., around Christmastime in terms of activities that show personal concern, notonly for them, but for their families."
  • "Then there are such things as the treatment of household staff, the elevator operators, the office staff, the calls I make to people when they are sick, even though they no longer mean anything to anybody"
  • Referring to his cabinet: "No President could have done more than I have done in this respect and particularly in the sense that I have treated them like dignified human beings, and not like dirt under my feet."

Nixon admonishes his staff: "All of this must be handled subtly and under no circumstances am I going to sit down with anybody and start telling them all the good deeds I have done. Again, such things, to be believable, have to be discovered, and one of the great factors that should be emphasized is that the President does not brag about all the good things he does for people."

Exactly - and that's why Nixon goes on to ennumerate his every selfless act for an additional 6,000 words, including that time in 3rd grade when he shared his thermos of chicken noodle soup with little Peggy Prichard and then let her see the first page of his original Secret Enemies List (but not the next 16 pages where her name appeared three times).

If only Haldeman, et. al, listened to Nixon's advice and endeavored to educate the public about the President's finer virtues, instead of unleashing and covering up a massive criminal conspiracy, we might have never been denied the continued public service of a great humanitarian and world-class tighten upper.

Confound this weather device!

Meteorology is a notoriously inexact science. Google prides itself on making useful information available to all (except those who live under repressive regimes, but that's another story), yet it seems the company is not merely victim to the unreliability of weather forecasting, but taking this guesswork to new heights.

I present to you the icon which characterizes the weather for each of the next four days in my weather gadget on my Google homepage:


What should I take this pictoral representation of present and future conditions to mean? Quite literally, it suggests, "Well, there's going to be some sun, which may be partially obscured by a cloud, which may have rain come out of it at some point." In other words, "We don't have a fucking clue what it's going to do outside." As the owner of a fine pair of suede shoes, I find this vexing.

Google, I propose an alternate simulacrum, which will convey a similar meaning without all the unecessary trickery:


Tighten up and make it happen.

VP Finds New Way of Ignoring Iraq Disaster

It's a fact universally acknowledged that the world is a better place when Chaney is not awake, i.e. temporarily on leave from sucking the joy, love, and laughter from God's children. With that said: look alive, Veep! I'm not privy to the thoughts and feelings of the Iraq commanders that you're reportedly teleconferencing with here, but I'm pretty sure they're not getting an ultra strong "your government is here for you" vibe at this moment. Even if you ARE checking your Blackberry, then a least lift one of those chins, no? You're being out-done in the We Mean Business Dept. by your boy there and that's enough to jerk anyone into attention.

Tighten up, man, tighten up.

14 July 2007

What she needs is a tightness maker

From what I've seen thus far, the most clear-sighted critique of Rilo Kiley's new single, "The Moneymaker", comes from MySpace user Morgan Manhandle's comments on the MySpaceTV video page where the song's video is now playing: "This sounds nothing like Rilo Kiley. I'm pissed."

Now, Morgan should be excused for her (his?) simplicity. As an ersatz Rilo Kiley fan, Morgan is justified for identifying the main issue at hand (the band's mystifying and decidedly un-Rilo Kiley turn in this song) and leaving it at that. I, on the other hand, parted ways with J-Lew and Co. sometime after their departure from the Saddle Creek Records mothership and I have never really looked back, with the exception of an eyebrow furrow aimed at the whole Watson Twins escapade. So it gives me no pains to take Morgan's critique one step further and note that not sounding like Rilo Kiley is only part of the problem. If Rilo Kiley suddenly sounded a lot more like the Cowboy Junkies or Wilco or something, then Morgan would just have to stop worrying and learn to love to bomb.

The fact of the matter is decidedly worse: like Lindsay Lohan going through Alison Goldfrapp's closet and then doing a cover of Gwen Stefani kind of worse. And that's why I'm bothering to even comment on a song by a band I don't pay much attention to these days. Because where the earlier Rilo Kiley material served a certain purpose for some people (especially if you found yourself scoring a short indie film about spunky, troubled young love in the wild-but-not-too-wild west), this Rilo Kiley seems bent on irritating people like me by rejecting emotionally evocative shimmer for...well, at least Jenny Lewis's top shimmers.
My guess is that the Jason Lader production had something to do with the Gwen Stefani angry/lusty attitude of the delivery. But I just can't imagine why Jenny Lewis would abandon her enviably crisp and clear sunshine of a voice for a shiny bra and a nervy "ohh-yeaah". Fame, I guess, is ugly...and shiny!

P.S. France is tight. Joyeux 14 juillet!

The Lone Weave

Central Virginians have more to worry about than just plumetting to their deaths down the slippery sides of waterfalls: they seem to be losing large quantities of hair. Hair weaves, that is.

Spotted in a bush on South Street just outside the infamous Club 216 (SFW? Suggestive imagery) in Charlottesville, this golden piece glinted at all who cared to ponder its owner. While unknown of course, the likelihood it belongs to a club member is certainly high. C'ville trannies, tighten up! Don't forget that flowing mane when packing it up for the night.

13 July 2007

Open Up Say "Tight": It's Spoon

Pounding rain and uncovered stage sets do not a good outdoor concert make. For one thing, Rockefeller Park lacks the muddy joie de vivre of English music festival venues. Also, unlike the Paltrows, Mosses, and McCartneys of the world, I was ill-prepared: somehow, despite all my best efforts, I had misplaced both my high-end wellies AND my rocker boyfriend. Where IS my mind these days? (Note to self: Minna - tighten up and find your misplaced rocker boyfriend ASAP).

But those of us who stuck it out last Wednesday for Spoon's River to River show were terrifically rewarded for our commitment, not to mention the damage wrought on our green patent leather Marc by Marc Jacobs flats. Ahem. To Britt Daniel and Co. we say: bygones. Spoon released their 6th album on Tuesday (streaming here), leading me to believe that their River to River appearance would be little more than a promotional opportunity. However, not only did the festival organizers make the shrewd decision to nix the opening band, but by the third song it became obvious that the band was pretty damn thrilled we'd waited around for 1+ hours to hear them. They dipped in and out of Gimme Fiction (My Mathematical Mind, I Turn My Camera On, I Summon You) and genuinely rocked their new stuff (esp. Underdog, Don't Make Me a Target, You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb) with the help of their dance-hall style horn ensemble pals onstage.

As the sun set, the clouds over the Hudson went all pretty and stretchy, like pink taffy, and I couldn't help thinking that the whole thing was pretty inspired and that the residents of the high-rises along the Hudson were giant squares for shuttering their windows to all of this.

Eventually, the drizzle started up again, spooking the crowd with the idea that the show might get cut short after all that effort (you try smoking AND holding an umbrella). When the band started getting warning looks from the stage people (something wishy-washy about "electrocution"), Britt Daniel waved them off, turned back to the mic and in two words said everything we'd all kind of secretly wished someone would say about us from the start: "So hardcore." Then they played three more songs.

I think I found my rocker boyfriend.

12 July 2007

Tighten up: C'ville vacation edition

The missus and I spent four nights in a B&B outside Charlottesville (yes, I feel very old writing that), and while the old college town and surrounding environs overwhelmingly lived up to its reputation for tightness (pictures to follow), all signs pointed toward the near-universal law of the universe that tourists must tighten their shit up. In particular, I refer to the following sign, posted outside the hiking trail around Crabtree Falls (the tallest cascading waterfall East of the Mississippi!):

Did I mention this is a waterfall? What this sign means is that there are people in the world stupid enough to try to climb a waterfall. I can only imagine how many have been injured, in addition to those who died. Presumably, some have climbed partway up the falls unharmed as well.

My anger at people stupid enough to attempt climbing a cascading waterfall is compounded by my anger at the Virginia Park Service, for dissuading potential Darwin Award Nominees from meeting their destiny. While anyone who climbed the falls and perished deserves a forceful, if posthumous, tighten up, I will refrain issuing a similar declaration to VA, if only because the precision of the sign (why not just write "many" or "over twenty"?) caused me to smile. I wonder: if a 24th person is stupid enough to plummet to their death, will the notoriously cheapskate state of Virginia spring for a new sign?

(On an unrelated note, Virginia does need to tighten up for their insane new speeding law, whereby going 75 in a 55 could net you $3550 in taxes and fines, as well as up to a year in prison. The best part of the law? It only applies to Virginians! What an insane state. VA's 42nd district needs to tighten up and boot out Dave Albo, their child-rapist loving representative in the House of Delegates, who authored the bill).

As I said, Charlottesville - and specifically the Blue Ridge Mountains, where we spent the bulk of our trip - abounds with tightness. Three examples:

Sweeping vistas.

Rolling hills.

Bow-tie wearing vineyard guard dogs

On caring.

The phrase for which you are groping, oh interlocutor with illusions of pithy articulation, is

"I couldn't care less."

If you want to make your point, not undermine it, you'll need to remember that "n't" represents a not, which here indicates that you care so little about the matter at hand that it would be impossible for you to care less about it.

Tighten that up, savage.

U.S. Mail

Last week, what did you drop off at my door but the November 26, 2006 issue of the New Yorker! How long have I waited for Seymour Hersh's reporting on the covert White House plan to bomb Iran, or David Sedaris' clever musings on road trips! For shame! Yuppie need New Yorker, otherwise yuppie rendered silent at dinner party. Tighen up, U.S. Mail.

11 July 2007

RE:RE:RE: Tighten Up

Loafing around the sun-bleached, pre-grad school wasteland of Summer 2006, with no TUR to turn to, I read an article in the LA Weekly on the specter of gentrification in Los Angeles and its distressing implications for the residents of the city's non-West Hollywood neighborhoods. Well-researched and comprehensive, the article succeeded in decoding the zeros and ones of "growth" and in breaking down the trends that distinguish gentrification in Los Angeles from that in other hot spots like Logan Circle, say, or Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I was about to start planning school, mind you, and this was, like, my thing. If anybody could absorb this moon soup and intelligently scheme for a better future it was ME (or - at least - people kind of like me who had had more than negative two weeks of schooling). I had occasion to re-read the article yesterday while shaping my nails researching rent-control laws at work and alighted on the following forehead-slapping wisdom from a LA-based planner that felicitously escaped me last year:

"Patricia Diefenderfer [a planner for the city] said she knows what would happen if she got the businesses she craves. Her neighborhood would have become a different place, with fewer working-class families and more affluent ones. Diefenderfer speaks sadly as she acknowledges this, saying it’s almost as if Los Angeles is designed to deny lower-income families decent stores and anything approaching urban street life [my emphasis]. 'To have those things, in this city, you have to be privileged. That is how I feel. And that’s one of the very unfortunate things about this city,' Diefenderfer said. 'The other unfortunate thing is that neighborhoods like South L.A. have... all the right ingredients, and yet somehow, [the amenities] are just not there. And when they get there, the same people will not be there living in it and appreciating it. And I don’t know why that is.'"

Gee, Pats. All that critical thinking they're having you do over at LA City Planning must get pretty tiring. I'm kinda swinging blind here, but I think your shoulder-shrugging fatalism miiiiight have something to do with "why that is". You're a PLANNER. You can't say "I don't know". Knowing stuff is what planners excel at, even if they're often unable to do anything about anything except daydream about it. Are you too busy trying to remember how to spell your zany last name to do your job? Los Angeles was designed to deny lower-income families decent stores like I'm designed to go to bed without taking my eyeliner off and spend most weekends eating peanut butter from the jar with a spoon while watching The Real Housewives of Orange County. In other words, this is not a design problem we're talking about, it's an agency problem, i.e. lack of tightness on the part of urban policy makers. The article says you're involved in affordable housing development so I'm guessing you've been CC'd on memo about the city's housing crisis at some point in your mysteriously clueless career.

I am angry and bored with you, Patti. I hope you get priced out of your neighborhood and then MAYBE you'll tighten up and stop wishing for a Starbucks long enough to THINK really hard about why that is.

"Bus-sized"? Hardly.

Tighten-up, CNN.com. I was all stoked when I saw a link to an article about a bus-sized squid that washed up on an Australian coast. That's more like a Smart Car. Don't get me wrong, still awesome, but I wanted to see tiny humans pictured next to a sea monster, not a large plate of calamari.

10 July 2007

09 July 2007

Plane rules on personal space.

Hey assface,
It's bad enough that on a 7 1/2 hour flight, I had to sit between two strangers. Even worse is that I had to sit next to you, you armrest hoarding philistine. It's common courtesy when you have the AISLE seat that you get the AISLE arm rest, not BOTH! To further emphasize your incompetence in the art of manners, your elbow exceeded the arm rest and robbed me of an additional 4 cubic inches from my already cramped personal bubble.

And so I ask, were you raised by wolves? Oh no, that can't be, wolves train their young better.

So, when I woke you up about 7 times so that I could "go to the bathroom", that was out of spite. Let's tighten up buddy.

02 July 2007

Ah, brooklyn

fub the police

this little girl on the side of a bus stop is telling the police just how to tighten it up.

iPhone needs to tighten...

Some of you may have read that title and cried 'BLASPHEMY!', but let me assure you that the iPhone, despite being the only gadget that can actually get you laid, needs to tighten up a little bit. First off, if you are not an existing AT&T customer, the entire device is locked until AT&T activates it, which can take several days. Second problem, the first generation has no 3G chip so it can't use AT&T's high speed data network. Third, the device doesn't support flash, so no video viewing on anything but YouTube, which it supports directly, but without a 3G chip it doesn't matter because you won't be able to download video in any reasonable amount of time. The other issues are a little more minor, the camera can't shoot video and their is no SD card expansion slot.

Some of you readers out there might object to such criticism. Yes, the problems seem minor and are already being corrected, but the iPhone is just so cool that stupid little things like these ruin it for me. Come on Steve Jobs, you were so close to tightness perfection...

El ultimo suspiro de Mateo

You'd think that with 22 million illegal immigrants in the country, at least one of them would have taken a copy-editing job away from a God-fearing, law-abiding, slackjaw, monolingual, Anglo-Saxon American at Señor Matt Drudge's media empire.

Unfortunately for the Spanish language, none have. Mama ñema. La evidencia está por abajo.