The Academy

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Friday, April 25, 2003
 
In celebration of the NFL draft -- I offer this link to the 2002 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Watch out though, clicking on each cheerleader can really eat up an afternoon.

 
T.G.I.F.!

Kids, its Friday -- so everyone come on out to your favorite local restaurant for some delicious Chicken and Cheese! You might also enjoy some beer. In case you want to enjoy your beer as a well-informed consumer, I offer this website that details Beer Facts.

 
Don't be silly!

Madonna is entitled to change her views on life, politics, art, or whatever however many times she wants. I simply question her choice of venue in which to express her views. I think it's odd that she chooses to rant about the evils of American capitalism on a cd that she is making every effort to sell in the American marketplace -- that, in fact, she has been pushing by appearing on the Today show, MTV, Will & Grace, etc. That kind of statement could be made by an artist who has a good sense of irony. But, umm, I don't know how to say this gently . . . Madonna doesn't really have that.

But I really like the second half of the album. I love the intimate stuff she included about her husband, kids, and parents. And I really like the sound -- much more personal and less produced than Ray of Light and Music (both of which I loved). I think her voice sounds great.

Rest assured, Mark, I am a BIG fan of Madonna. I love listening to her tunes, watching her videos, seeing her movies (although even I could not stomach 'Swept Away'). I hurried home last night to catch her on Will & Grace and LOVED every minute of it. But, I don't really give a rat's ass about her spiritual and political philosophy. I want her to entertain me, not teach me. For the record, I feel the same way about Bono.



 
I have a brief survey in response to Jen's Madonna-dis (as posted below).

1) Do you believe that prison sentences for any crime whatsoever should be indefinite, with no chance of reentry into society?

2) Do you believe that if a person dyes her/his hair purple when younger and causes major disruptions that she/he shouldn't be allowed to become a professional person with responsibilities?

3) Do you believe that if a person, at a young age, expresses an opinion in a certain political climate, that the opinion can never change or expand?

4) Do you think having children changes a person's world view?

 
Oh, really, Madonna?

According to Madonna, "[t]he only thing that's going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another." Right. That is easy to say when you already have plenty of money. But by her own account, Madonna wasn't very happy when she was a poor, struggling artist in New York City. Funny how fame and financial success have clouded her memory.



Thursday, April 24, 2003
 
In These Trying Times....

It is appropriate that we look to Madonna for guidance.



 
Brooklyn Justice

Articles like this one really make me miss Brooklyn. Sigh. I wonder if that guy's an alum?

 
Today is "Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day" and I am reminded of celebrating this very special day with Ms Mindy in 1999 when the sons weren't included. Ms Mindy's delightful friend Andy was to join us, dressed as Mindy's "daughter", JonBenet Ramsey, but was unable to do so.

This memory makes me very bitter as I sit here surrounded by people who are not appreciative of my idea to have all these underagers DO SOME FREAKIN' WORK AROUND THIS HELL-ASS DIMENSION!

I've got a pile of CRAP 6.7 inches high collecting dust on my desk. This crap sits here because a six year old could do it, AND I HAVE NO INTEREST IN BEING 6 AGAIN! Pissy on those child labor laws! Any kid who has her/his own e-mail address can certainly run some copies and use a paper cutter!

Little innocents my ass!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003
 
Juan, I've Got Good News and Bad News

That line begins a short play that Judge Kozinski wrote as a dissent in United States v. Ramirez-Lopez. A dissent that has now persuaded the U.S. Attorney to dismiss the indictment.

Someone, somewhere who has a 10-minute short play competition at their disposal should produce that dissent.

 
Further Proof that Jen is the Mean One

I am putting the previous post in my file of evidence proving the above.

 
On the subject of blithering . . .

I, too, have had trouble shutting my pie-hole lately.

Our more devoted readers are aware of my hatred for northern New Jersey, specifically Jersey City. For those of you who are here by accident or are checking The Academy out for the first time, I will catch you up. New Jersey is horrible for many reasons (most of which already have numerous jokes in their honor). But the neighborhood in which I currently live, Jersey City, is a special kind of horrible. [Note: I was recently informed that there are nice parts of Jersey City, so I have to say that I am referring only to Jersey City Heights (ironically named).]

A few evenings ago, I was returning home from a walk with my dog. Sounds like a pleasant activity, I realize, but not when the only park available is coated in discarded chicken bones, broken glass, and crack vials, and the typical reaction to a dog is "Does it bite?" As I walked past the front yard of the neighboring row house, I saw an older woman talking to a nice-looking young couple. As I drew even with them, I heard the older woman say, "I think you'll really like this apartment. This is a GREAT neighborhood. Very quiet, friendly, and safe."

I should have minded my own business. I kind of did. Unless shaking your head violently and snorting count as not minding your own business? I really couldn't help it, though.

Turns out, my head shaking and snorting were noticed by the couple. The husband asked if I lived in the neighborhood. By this point, I was in the front yard of my own row house, and after I stopped laughing, I told him that I lived next door. He asked if I liked the neighborhood.

TA DA! Finally, my chance for revenge had arrived! Should I seize the moment as Eminem exhorts us all to do . . . or should I refrain in the interest of politeness and sympathy toward the realtor, who was already staring daggers at me?

I am a big Eminem fan.

All of a sudden, geiser-like, I was spitting out all the things that are BAD about the neighborhood. "Umm, it's SO not safe. I've seen two fights on this block since I moved in! There's broken glass on the sidewalk. I've seen crack vials and condoms all over the place. I mean, maybe that's your idea of safe, but . . ."

The realtor made a desperate attempt to stop my tirade. "Excuse me, but how long have you lived here?" [By the way, picture a nasty, chain-smoking, fast-talking NJ-ite in the role of the realtor.] I was honest. "Since August. I moved here from Memphis. But I lived in New York for four years before that, so I don't think I'm overly sensitive."

Having won that challenge, I pressed on. "And also, this is not a friendly place at all. I've been yelled at and people are incredibly rude. I certainly wouldn't want to raise kids here! And also, the grocery store is gross and traffic is bad . . ."

The realtor made one more attempt to salvage the situation. "Look, you don't know what you're talking about. The neighborhood is gentrifying. I just sold a house two blocks from here to a very nice Manhattan couple."

I cut her off. "Well, it may be gentrifying but it sure ain't gentrified yet."

Casting aside any facade of coolness, the realtor now screamed at me, "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?" I responded, with a beatific smile in place, "Because I would have appreciated this kind of honest information from a neighbor before I moved here." With victory firmly in hand, I wished the couple good luck and turned on my heel.

I wish I could say that I acted out of kindness to the young couple or from some sense of civic duty. But in all honesty, I was just being mean. Plain and simple. And the terrible thing is that it felt really, really good.



 
I finally made a COMPLETE ass out of myself in a class at law school. This involves Madonna, so perk up your ears. We were discussing a 2 Live Crew case in Sexuality/Law class (don't ask why I took this - I thought there would be nude models to sketch, but NO - apparently there's reading and levels of scrutiny involved). After getting over the 2 Live Crew thing, people were offering up modern music examples involving 'da law. Well, none of the examples had anything much to do with the law and UP WENT MY HAND. I then blithered on about how Madonna decided to not allow her AMERICAN LIFE video to be seen and I thought that was a good decision, but that cases involving censoring musicians were hideous because it teaches us that it is okay to tell some people to shut their pie holes and that leads to self-censorship and blah blah blah. I COULD NOT STOP BLITHERING. I blithered so much that Natalie Maines was mentioned. The professor's reation was: "Interesting..." while looking at the clock. She then said: "Does anyone have Madonna's video?" a certain blitherer admitted he had seen it and then she let us leave EARLY!

Monday, April 21, 2003
 
"American Idol"!

Kimberly Caldwell, the most recent casualty of "American Idol" (my prediction is that she will receive steady offers to perform at theme parks) appeared on the local Fox morning show this morning. Via an early morning slip of the tongue, Ms. Caldwell informed the metro area that she planned on someday having her own "clothesline". Maybe she could use her clothesline to make knick-knacks and storage containers.

Best of luck to you, Kim!

 
Always on the Lookout for Cheesovations

As some of you may know, I keep my eyes peeled for restaurants that devise new ways to involve cheese in their dishes. Pizza Hut is usually the industry leader, hiding cheese in every conceivable nook and cranny a pizza has to offer. Even once, I recall, offering a pizza that had a false crust bottom, then cheese, then the real crust bottom. This may have been an earlier version of the "Stuffed Crust" pizza, I can't remember. I do remember the less-than appetizing slogan, though: "Huge Cheese Taste Sealed In Every Bite!" I question the use of the word "sealed." You don't have to be lactose intolerant to be a little grossed out by the use of cheese as a sealant.

I write now to inform the world that T.G.I. Friday's, another health-minded restaurant franchise, has now introduced a way to serve cheese that is so simple its genius. The new "Chicken and Cheese." From the television commercial, this appears to be a rather sensible meal of chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. To this healthy combo, Friday's has added about a pound of cheese. A huge puddle of melted cheese. Understand me: the whole meal sits on a lake of melted cheese.

Imagine the board meeting that devised this dish.

"We need something to jazz up this chicken."
"Hmmmm.... well, how about Zesty Cajun Chicken?"
"No... we did that last spring."
"Jack Daniels Barbeque Chicken?"
"Nooo... already got that somewhere in our huge notebook of a menu."

And then, suddenly, an epiphany:

"We could just serve it with a huge pile of melted cheese."
"Bob! That's genius! I've always thought cheese was underused as a side dish."

If anyone experiences the TGI Friday's Chicken and Cheese, please let me know. Or, if you are aware of any other cheesovations, keep me in the loop.