29 August 2007

A Wide Stance

By now you have no doubt heard about Idaho Senator Larry Craig's arrest in a Minnesota airport men's room for soliciting sex. My favorite part of this story so far is the Senator's excuse that, contrary to tapping his foot against the man in the next stall's foot to initiate a sexual encounter, he inadvertantly brushed his oxfords up against his neighbor's due to the fact "that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom."

Props to Slate for demonstrating the utter ridiculouslness of this defense in this video re-enactment.

While being interviewed in the Airport police station, Craig handed the arresting officer his US. Senate business card and asked, "What do yout think about that?"

Here's what I think about that: you're a douchebag, Senator Craig, and you should resign from office and seek the help you need to tighten up and come to grips with who you are.

28 August 2007

"Big Girls Don't Cry" is a TERRIBLE song.

Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" is a terrible, terrible song. The lyrics are terrible, psuedo kiddie porn shit. She can't sing, and when she tries that hard, it's uncomfortable to listen to. I can't imagine why anyone would want to actually hear that song, but some of you do. All you people (John Hamilton, I know you are in this group) need to tighten up and realize how shockingly offensive "Big Girls Don't Cry" is. Let's put this pony out to pasture. It's time.

PS I added this picture because it shows how gross she is.

If I only had a map. Or a brain. Or such as U.S. Americans.

I'm going to reconsider my position on not watching beauty pageants because, while this may be one of the scariest displays of stereotypical bombshell ditziness and ignorance I've ever seen, it's also one of the funniest. Especially given how hard Mario Lopez is simultaneously trying not to laugh and trying to look sincere so he can maybe get into Miss Teen South Carolina's "Mrtyle Beach" later.

[Only 1/5 of Americans can find the U.S. on a world map?!? Can that really be possible?!?]

26 August 2007

LA actually not that bad

Ok, I ripped this off of LAist. But, you know, fuck it.

24 August 2007

To forgive is tight

Seeing gorilla and shark high fiving in Mandy's post below recalled an earlier encounter between these great beasts not nearly as amicable:

Glad to see they have patched things up.

(full video here)

Never has the FCC...

...been this tight.

Say thank-you: If a kid can do it, so can you.

I live near a donut shop called Spudnuts. To those of you who haven't experienced the heaven that is this potato-bread based confection, let me clear up any confusion right now: these donuts are amazing. Light and fluffy, balanced with just the right amount of dense chewiness. The glazed variety have a thin veneer of sugary crispness, and they're made fresh every day.

I walk by nearly every morning, my heart leaping out of my chest to have just one delicious bite, but for some reason, I always convince myself not to go. This morning, however, I decided I'd go crazy and buy some for my office.

I brought them in and everyone pounced appropriately. "Mmms" and "thank-yous" coated the work-day start with almost as much sweetness as the spudnuts themselves. All were content and happy, but one person still hadn't arrived, and one donut waited for him.

This coworker finally arrived, and as he was making his way out the side door to grab something for breakfast as he usually does, I stopped him:
"[Coworker]," I said, "there's a donut there for you."
"What kind is it?" he said.
"A glazed one from Spudnuts."
"Oh, umm, I can't just have only a glazed donut in my stomach in the morning. I have to go eat some protein or something first."
And thus he left to go buy breakfast.

Okay, valid point: we all know how the donut sugar-rush can crash even the best of us, but puh-lease. I realize tone doesn't come across so well in the printed word, but not only did he not thank me for the gesture, he rejected the offer condescendingly. As if he was appalled that anyone would consider having a donut with their coffee. And, uh, why did you ask what kind it was when you wouldn't have even eaten a donut in the first place??

To the rest of my office, thanks for being gracious. I would buy you more donuts in the future, without hesitation. To unnamed coworker, tighten-up, asshole. Learn to just say "thanks" when offered something, even if you don't want it.

23 August 2007

Comcast...where to start really?

Kafkaësque is the only way to describe the nightmare that is Comcast cable. In the past week I spent more than 12 hours waiting on the front porch for Comcast to show up to do a basic cable installation. A summary of Comcast's activity, August 17th-August 24th, 2007.

Friday, August 17, 2007: 3-6pm window, Comcast a no-show
Monday, August 20, 2007: 3-6pm window, Comcast comes at 7:15
Wednesday, August 22, 2007: 9am-12pm window, Comcast comes at 3:20pm
Current Comcast channels, internet routers, telephone lines installed: 0 (zero)

Why, you might ask? Because the Comcast guy, "Just don't got the equipment to do da job." Twice he just don't got the equipment. Twice. Well fucker, you install cable for a living. Get the fucking equipment. And next time maybe, just maybe, instead of making me wait on the front porch all day, how about you call 30 minutes ahead of time and say, "Yo Pigdicker, get back to the house so I can do your install." It won't just save me time, it will save your supervisor, and your supervisor's supervisor time. Asshole.

Let's hope that fourth time's the charm tomorrow Comcast guy.

Comcast, tighten your shit up. Oh, and should anyone be so inclined, Comcast's Manager of Government Affairs, Richard Smotkin, may be reached at:

Mr. Richard L. Smotkin
Comcast Cable
1500 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 320-8461 phone
(215) 981-8408 fax

Tight? Indeed.

A gorilla. High-fiving a shark. In front of an explosion. Sufficiently tight.

22 August 2007

Where's Global Warming When You Need It?

Some of you may have heard that yesterday tied the NYC record for the coldest day in August, EVER. Now, I don't mind this, in fact, I love it. Fall in New York is simply the best time and place to be anywhere period. As the weather cools, so many quintessential New York activities begin. Octoberfest and Christmas carols at Zum Schneiders; ice skating in the Park; the fireplace at Rolf's; Halloween in the East Village; the shop windows on 5th; the fall fashion everywhere. It's great. The tighten here needs to be levied against the weather Gods for teasing us so. It's going to be in the 90's by the weekend, totally erasing the memory of the dark khakis, pencil striped shirt, deep blue tie, and grey sweater vest I was rocking yesterday. I miss it already.

21 August 2007

The Tightness Flows...

I just finished reading this article in NY Magazine. It's all about my favorite shop in New York, Lord Willy's. The author speaks of the made to measure craze going on in men's fashion right now. His story revolves around a fitting he went through for a bespoke suit from LW's in the name of research for the article. He never intended to buy the suit, but, speaking from my own custom shirt experience at LW's, once you start the process and have a few glasses of champagne during your fitting, it's nearly impossible to resist. Oh sweet tightness...

17 August 2007

NEJM- even you could use some tightening.

I don't know where to start.

How about here: The New England Journal of Medicine, probably the most prominent medical journal IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, continuously published since 1812 -- you know, a big to-do -- put ink to paper this week (for a "Special Article" no less) to report the effects of "A Decade of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs".

After an ENTIRE DECADE OF ANALYSIS the authors conclude:
So basically if drug companies change their practices, it would constitute a big change from current practices. Whawha...What?!? Is this honestly their conclusion to an issue so fraught with controversy that among developed countries, the practice is only legal in the U.S. and New Zealand? What about the fact that we have like 20 cock meds (Ask your doctor about Cialis!) but we are still waiting for a malaria vaccine? And isn't it a little screwy that "the top U.S. drug makers spend 2.5 times as much on marketing and administration as they do on research"? Come on NEJM, you're killing me here, you fucking totally missed the mark on this one.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a call for the NEJM to tighten up would, in turn, result in a public electronic exclamation that the NEJM does, indeed, need to Tighten Their Shit Up.

I mean like serious.

Friday Morning Tightness

I'm probably behind the 8-ball here, but I just stumbled across the Uncyclopedia. It is a totally false, Onion-esque, take on the wikipedia editors' penchant for nonsensical rambling and it's quite good for a morning chuckle while loading up on that first god sent cup of joe. I particularly like the narrative on the Battle of Gettysburg.

16 August 2007

Take that, antibacterial soap!

Via Slashdot and Physorg.com,
In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps work better than plain soaps . . . antibacterial soap was no more effective in preventing infectious illness than plain soap. Moreover, antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public do not remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps.
Oh, snap!
"What we are saying is that these e-coli could survive in the concentrations that we use in our (consumer formulated) antibacterial soaps. . . . What it means for consumers is that we need to be aware of what's in the products. The soaps containing triclosan used in the community setting are no more effective than plain soap at preventing infectious illness symptoms, as well as reducing bacteria on the hands."
Mmm, hmm. Go on.
The team looked at 27 studies conducted between 1980 and 2006, and found that soaps containing triclosan within the range of concentrations commonly used in the community setting (0.1 to 0.45 percent wt/vol) were no more effective than plain soaps. Triclosan is used in higher concentrations in hospitals and other clinical settings, and may be more effective at reducing illness and bacteria.
Dig it.
Triclosan works by targeting a biochemical pathway in the bacteria that allows the bacteria to keep its cell wall intact. Because of the way triclosan kills the bacteria, mutations can happen at the targeted site. Aiello says a mutation could mean that the triclosan can no longer get to the target site to kill the bacteria because the bacteria and the pathway have changed form.
So, commonly used, publicly available antibacterial soaps aren't any more affective than regular soaps AND they can actually encourage mutations which can render infectious disease-causing pathogens immune. Tighten up, antibacterial soap manufacturers! Give me scented foamy soap fun without the bells and whistles of empty bacteria-eliminating promises.

And Physorg.com? Get our your wrench 'cause it's time to tighten it up! Your "targeted advertising" is hawking antibacterial products at me right as they are being debunked by the surrounding article. Reevaluate!

15 August 2007

Radio DJs who continue to spin "I'm the Only One" by Melissa Etheridge

Why do radio DJs insist on continually playing that horrible song by Melissa Etheridge called "I'm the Only One"? (The chorus goes "I'm the only one who'll walk across the fire for you" etc etc.) For some reason the tone of the vocals on this song always conjures the image of a toothless 80-year-old crone who's just escaped from an insane asylum and somehow wound up in the middle of a recording session. I haven't heard her other material but that's what she sounds like on this particular track, and I'm tired of hearing it every damn time I set foot in a Duane Reade or a Walgreen's. Just tonight I was sitting in a Polish restaurant trying to immerse myself in a plate of pierogies and guess what comes on the radio. Fuckin' "I'm the Only One." There's just no escaping this loathsome track and what baffles me is that any DJs think people still want to hear it.

I don't, at any rate; and, when it comes to this point, I (joke coming) emphatically do not think (joke imminent) I'm the only one.

Wednesday Afternoon Tightness

Ever feel like a little urban camping is up your alley? Check out TheEncampment. Brought to you by the same folks responsible for the Central Park gates of a few years back, TheEncampment will be a public art project that you can actually sleep in. As a bonus, you get a prize for every Hobo you scare off.

I recently came across Whiplash, the rodeo riding monkey. Because my words fail, I will quote the article, "I think what most pleases me about Whiplash is his stoic Marlboro Monkey demeanor. Yes, he lives a life of interspecies ridicule, but he's still got his dang cowboy monkey dignity."
Speaking of Laurent Tourondel (see the comments thread in the GQ post below), BLT Market just opened in the Central Park Ritz. Just another in a long line of mediocre, pseudo-haute cuisine restaurants. In five years, every intersection in New York will have a Starbucks, a Pinkberry, a BLT, and an American Apparel. I can't wait...

14 August 2007

GQ fast and loose with Washington

Wonkette was kind enough today to bring GQ's list of Washington's 50 most powerful people to our attention. The only problem is GQ has obviously never set foot in the city of Washington.

I mean, we all have a copy of Capitol Advantage's CONGRESS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS and we all know how to access the SOPR lobbyist filing site but this GQ list is like watching the Oscars and deciding that Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Denzel Washington are the biggest dogs in Hollywood.

This list is a great Who's Who reference for the next Clinton White House (Nancy Jacobson Penn made the list?! Are you fucking serious?! Raise your hand if you've ever set foot in that bitch's house. No one? Ok seriously, if I want to smell my own farts with eleven other assholes I'll pony up forty dollars and buy some brandy glasses)

I'm only happy that a restaurant (a franchise steak house, no less) and a dead president beat out actual people who work/live/gladhand in the city.

Where's Franco Nuschese on this list? Christopher Hitchens? Wonkette? Larry at Pearson's Liquor (he can get you a-n-y bottle of a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g within a week, which is invaluable in a booze lubricated city)? And while we're nominating restaurants--Perry's, Central, BLT, Bistro Bis, Bombay Club, Blue Duck, Tabard Inn?

GQ, tighten your shit up. Oh, and Conde Nast, word on the street is that you're hemorrhaging money. Might want to tighten the tourniquet on your finances or, you know, learn how to make an e-publication or something.

13 August 2007

Naming babies: NZ says, "No time to be slack!"

From the BBC News, a New Zealand couple has decided to name their newborn baby "Superman" because the country's registrar of births, deaths and marriages rejected their original name choice, "4Real". In a cloak of tightness, NZ law states
first names starting with a number are not allowed.... The law also advises parents to avoid names that could cause their child to be teased or made fun of.
And, unofficially, the law states parents should avoid names that could also be used as license plates. But why "4Real"?
Mum and Dad decided to call their son 4Real after seeing an ultrasound image of him. It was then they realised that their baby was "for real".
Wow. I wonder when the parents will realize that raising a baby is 4REAL.

10 August 2007

You're out

photo of Boat Trip,

Pepper, some people cannot be reached by a simple Tighten Up. That's what the Hague is for.

PS, Snow Dogs [was terrible]

I believe that brings the count up to two strikes, Gooding, and I'm being generous.

09 August 2007

Technical Notes on Brooks Brothers

So I'll confess, I'm a little bit of a dandy; I know 5.5 knots to tie a necktie (four-in-hand, Prince Albert, half-Windsor, Windsor, bowtie, and ascot [honorable mention]), and I use them all. This is why I was very excited to learn that Brooks Brothers, that venerable old house (too conservative and amply cut for me most of the time, but a bastion of good taste nevertheless), has a flash-animated feature on their website explaining the 6 classic necktie knots (+bowtie)--including a nice explanation of how and when to wear them. I thought it would be nice to commune with my fellow sartorialists and check my knots for accuracy. Little did I know that Brooks Brothers was perpetrating a fraud--perhaps unknowingly--regarding two of their knots.

It comes down to this: their half-Windsor and cross knots are exactly the same knot--one is tied left-handed, the other right. Because the thing finishes symmetrically (unlike the four-in-hand, which has a nice asymmetrical rake to it), the direction with which you wrap the fat part around the skinny part in the opening motions is rendered irrelevant.

Unsure of my initial conclusions, I ran this quandry by my crack fact-checking team (OK it was Jordan but he's never wrong), and they corroborated.

And if you still don't believe me, here's the play by play:

Step 1:
HW - Wide end over narrow end (to your left)
CK - Wide end over narrow end (to your right)

Step 2:
HW - Wide end behind narrow end (to your right)
CK - Wide end behind narrow end (to your left)

Step 3:
HW - Same side: Up through loop.
CK - Same side: Up through loop.

Step 4:
HW - Bring the fat end around the front, ending on the left.
CK - Bring the fat end around the front, ending on the right.

Step 5:
HW - Same side: Up through the loop again and then down front to finish.
CK - ditto.

What's even more hilarious is the explanation given of each knot:

The Cross knot, used with thin fabric ties, is smart when finished but is complicated to achieve.

If you're looking for something a little more assertive, try the half-Windsor knot. A medium triangular knot that is worn more formal than the four-in-hand, it can be worn for any occasion (preferably with standard shirt collars) and works best with somewhat wider ties made from light to medium fabrics.

Bullshit! It's the same knot!
So, gents, don't give me porridge and call it puddin'. If you're going to survive as one of America's top-notch clothiers, god is in the details: tighten up those knots.

08 August 2007

Dear Academy,

I hear there's a new film called Daddy Day Camp. Now, about that Oscar...

MTA, WTF!? Tighten Up!!!

I really love standing on a stagnant, 105 degree subway platform with a suit jacket on for 45 minutes. It's so great. I also love getting to work 2 hours late. That's wonderful because the work doesn't go anywhere. It still has to get done. What else do I love? Getting to work and having no phone system or email capabilities.

I'm going across the street for a two martini lunch. This is ridiculous.

WTF?? Monkeys?

I came across this story this morning. A guy hid a monkey under his hat on a flight from Florida to LaGuardia. The worst thing about this story is that no one would have known if the monkey hadn't crawled out for a little air.

I mean, come on. So much for air safety.

TSA, tighten that shit up.

07 August 2007

A few words about Starbucks

Back in the early 1980s, when I was but three or four years old, my hair just as an upturned bowl, golden of sheen, and my young and uncomplicated mind knowing scarcely a care in the world, I was living in Arlington, Virginia, a quiet and leafy suburb of Washington, DC, with my mother, father, and older brother. What an idyllic life we shared. Among many fond memories, I remember that there was a family that our family was friends with, and our two families had developed a tradition of going to dinner together - on special occasions, by the way - to a restaurant known, then as now, as Pizza Hut.

I remember Pizza Hut being a pretty classy place. There was a waitress, menus at the table, atmospheric lighting - and above all, exquisite pizza, served in some sort of cast-iron pan that I was always warned was very, very hot. In other words, Pizza Hut was the sort of place that a self-respecting young professional, recently entered into government service, could propose taking his family to dinner without risking being laughed out of the room or called a chump. Could the contrast with the Pizza Hut of 2007 be any starker, when, in truth, to describe Pizza Hut today as an utter dump would be to put the point kindly? (And, as an aside, the name of its parent company has always had a terrific ability to piss me off: "Yum! Brands." Could anything be less appetizing?)

Few would argue that something - God shudders to think exactly what - but something happened at Pizza Hut between 1984 and 2007, precipitating a transformation from pleasant family restaurant to what is today an unspeakable cesspool, where the pizza is rivaled in mediocrity only by the abominable service that delivers it. And of course, the company's efforts to seduce customers with the promise of increasingly monstrous quantities of cheese are alluring only to the least savory among us, whisking the restaurant even further away from anything that could unblushingly be called a "yum!" brand.

And this phenomenon is by no means restricted to Pizza Hut. Did anyone's parents ever take them to get ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins? And wasn't that a magical, meaningful experience? In the 1980s, Baskin-Robbins was THE place to go for ice cream.
Fast forward about 20 years, and the place fucking sucks. Somewhere down the line, the company's Chief Operating Officer decided to hang a "Gone Fishin'" sign on his office door and the son of a gun ain't been seen or heard from since.

Now, I have lately found myself increasingly perturbed by my experience as a frequent customer of Starbucks. I do not contend that Starbucks has lost all of the merits that first brought it to national prominence in the 1990s. But lately it has felt to me that Starbucks is edging toward collapsing under its own mammoth weight. One indicator of impending doom is that the Starbucks brand has become synonymous - at least here in New York - with "a place to take a piss," and that is never a good thing in the food and beverage industry.

More to the point, though, a customer experience is made up of a hundred sensations and perceptions, and Starbucks is becoming a place that I associate chiefly with screaming; commotion and all manner of mayhem; the proliferation of menu options to a truly grotesque degree; stuff frankly not being as clean as it used to be; and increasingly self-satisfied employees who are quite comfortable and at ease with the idea of destroying a customer's right eardrum by thundering at point blank range his drink order across the store to the barrista. With the menu's increasing reliance on gimmickry and appeal to sheer gluttony, it's hard not to see the company embarking on the same downward trend that spelled the end of Pizza Hut as a respectable business.

Starbucks is, in short, coming apart at the seams, of that I'm certain. Oh, by the way, I've noticed that they're now serving hot sandwiches of the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese variety (yum!). While I'm no expert in these matters, a five-year-old child can tell you that no coffee shop whose capacity to serve its main product is already strained to its limits will see its operations
improve from wading into the murky, malarial waters that serving hot food represents. Nay, to the contrary, whatever short-term profit they may bring... the sandwiches are trouble.

Hence, posthaste, full tilt, and without even a second's further delay, I declare, as upon the mountain, for all the world to hear, and may none fail to take heed as I say it:

Starbucks needs to tighten up.

Albert the Pony Needs to Tighten Up

Sometimes horses detroy things, like my dad's hat. Albert is a pony. He is great. The also has a penchant for picking things up with his teeth and dropping them on concrete. It's pretty annoying as you can imagine, but he really seems to enjoy it, so I let him.

However, last night I had placed my cell phone on the bench. And yes, the obvious happened. Albert bit the phone with his teeth and threw it back down. When I picked it up, it looked ok. It wasn't until later that night that I discovered that he had really ruined my phone. The screen was a rainbow of colors with cracks all over it.

In conclusion, Albert, stop breaking phones. They are not food. I know you're a pony, and your brain is very small, but please! You're going to have to tighten that up pretty quick before I get a replacement.

Thankfully, my cell was already on borrowed time. Maybe the iPhone is on the horizon! So Albert, if you break that one, you're out of the family.

P.S. The clip of a pony destroying my dad's hat is really funny, you should go there.

04 August 2007

A walking jungle

In addition to the basic rules of good taste, I believe this ensemble is in violation of several international treaties, as well as local wildlife habitat ordinances.

02 August 2007


I admit it: I laughed when I saw this logo. But then I watched this pseudo-emo video for "Warm Touch" by missFlag. Now I'm scratching my head. Besides, perhaps, a sense of community, why would a band want to restrict itself just to JewTube? I'm no Jewish scholar, but "Warm Touch" seems pretty secular to me. Anyway, JewTube: a collection of videos by Jews, for Jews. These videos may provide a glimpse into [Western?] Jewish culture, but I think a TU is in order for a title as garish as "JewTube."

Oh, and two more TU's to missFlag for maybe the worst band name ever and for describing the video for "Warm Touch" as "an epic song and an incredible video". [via MetaFilter]


Co-TU'er and fellow DC resident Jordan and I decided to have a civilized lunch yesterday at what is supposed to be an upscale lunch establishment, Restaurant Kolumbia, located on K street just west of 18th. We both arrived promptly at 12.30pm ready to order -- they have a $9 bar lunch special that sounded pretty appealing (they were out of the pizza, btw; how the hell do you run out of cheese, tomatoes, and dough in a restaurant?).

The experience was irrevocably lost, however, when 1.30 came before our food did. The waiter apologized profusely when the food finally did come, but it was a thin attempt: there were no more than 10 others at the restaurant.

I can appreciate a little lunchtime rush if I arrive to eat at 12.30, but this was ridiculous; we walked out the door at 2pm. When the waiter returned from the credit card machine ten minutes after retrieving the cheque, that was the last straw: he should consider his 10% tip generous.

Restaurant Kolumbia, tighten your shit up. My money's just as green as everybody else's.