Archive: February, 2007
Bill Burd had said on the phone that his brother was fading in and out, but if I showed up at Einstein maybe Frank could answer a question or two from me about being assaulted by one of his students whose iPod he'd confiscated. Turned out, Frank Burd had an hour of great clarity - and excruciating pain - as he talked about what it was like to teach math at Germantown High School. Like leading struggling students through the desert, he said - only to be attacked by a member of his party.
I wanted to thank you all for the heart-felt and snarkolicious comments. It's clear a bunch of you got used to reading this space, and aren't happy that it's been shuttered, de-listed from Philly.com. Lots have written about the paper's blindness regarding Blinq. I don't think they were blind. They just knew a metro column takes time to develop, and wanted me to start off as strong as possible. Would they be happy if I did both? Don't even think about it.
The hardest part of preparing to write a column has been trying to think in 17 to 18 inches. Blinq was pretty eco-friendly, requiring the sacrifice of no trees. There was no limit as to how much or how long I could write. A column is haiku in comparison. The trick is to find the right angle that serves the subject best, and I don't mind saying this has not been easy for me yet. The first draft of the first column didn't have the clear lines and blythe spirit of a good blog post. It came out like fettucine szechuan. I've written two columns so far. One has required four re-writes, and that's before being red-pencilled by the Sith Lord who edits me. And I'm not done with it. The other came easier, thank God. Maybe this week we'll launch. Be kind - I know who you are. Later.
For those of you who have checked in regularly - hi, Mom and Citizen Mom - you are the reason I've kept such odd hours, failed to maintain any firewall between my work time and family time, and know what's up with Terrell Owens. (Not so much since hugging it out with Donovan McNabb at a Super Bowl party in Miami.)
What I'm moving on to is the metro desk, taking a crack at being a local columnist. Talk about your old media.
I'm on assignment, and so won't be posting anything today, but I managed to milk that Brokeback Snickers ad one more time, and was asked to talk about it on NPR's Talk of The Nation yesterday. So I did, and here's the link. My son says I stopped saying all those "Ums" after a few minutes. I think I wound up sounding as if I'm to the left of the lesbian comic from San Francisco.
Something to read while listening? (or while not listening) Former Penn State and NBA player John Ameachi becomes the first pro basketball player to declare himself gay. Grant Hill applauds the decision. LeBron James comes off a little less open-minded. Some Sixers quoted, including the injured Shavlik Randolph, a Duke grad, who said he's fine with homosexuality on the courts, "as long as you don't bring your gayness on me."
When's it from? Who's the designer or manufacturer? Who'd have their bathroom papered with faux bookshelves stocked with such titles as Sapho, Sade and Les Fleurs du Mal.
Other than the Rubins.
Monday a blogstorm kicked up over the ad that showed two mechanics fighting over a Snickers bar and inadvertently kissing, with the largest gay civil rights group calling on the Mars Inc., the candy company, to pull several alternative endings and related material from its Web site.
And before the day was done, the material had been pulled, as were plans to show one of the alternate endings during the Daytona 500 telecast.
Shaun Mullen at Kiko's House marks what would have been the 62nd birthday of Bob Marley with an in-depth look at his life and discography, including the news, to me, that the Jamaican reggae great once lived in Wilmington, Del., and worked a shift at the Chrysler plant.
"At 9 a.m. EST, officially it was 13 degrees colder at Philadelphia International Airport than it was in Anchorage, Alaska." This news comes from Tony Wood, Inquirer Renaissance man and climatic connoisseur, who has started a new site called Weather or Not.
Prince's commanding half-time show at the Super Bowl has seeded a spike in searches for stats about His Purpleness.
No 1 query, according to Yahoo! Index Buzz: How old is Prince?
No. 2? How tall is Prince?
Looks like Kevin Federline might find more work after his Nationwide spot. The former Mr. Britney Spears courted some controversy in his ad that shows him sunken to the level of a fast-food employee. Adrants reports that Taco Bell's president, Greg Creed, wrote Federline:
We know you respect those who work in our business. In fact, last year you said in an interview, "My kids are going to have to learn what a real job is, what life is. You don't have it easy with me. Period. My kids are going to work at Taco Bell."
We're flattered, but obviously they're too young to work for us. So here's our offer to you: Come work for us, just for a one hour shift. We'll get you a uniform, a custom name tag and show you what a great place Taco Bell is to work. We'll even reward customers who visit that restaurant with an order of our new Carne Asada Steak Grilled Taquitos for free.
No farting horses. No Britney Spears.
But Kevin Federline got the callback. So did Robert Goulet and the dangerous curves of the GoDaddy girl. And three ads and one jingle come up from the crowds - citizen-generated spots, made with with a little professional help.