Daily Archives: April 6, 2011

12 posts

Your Neighborhood Will Soon Be One Giant Billboard

A Southern California company has come up with a new gimmick to get free publicity and expand the areas where they can advertise.  They have offered to paint your home as a billboard for their company, Adzookie, and in exchange they will make your monthly mortgage payment for you.  Once the term of the contract is up in 3 to 12 months they will repaint your home the previous color.  Assuming your neighbors don’t repaint it for you in the darkness of night.

All you have to do is fill out a form and tell them why you should be selected to be a blight on your neighborhood.  They will be looking for homes that get enough eyeballs looking at them to make it worth the mortgage payment.  That means traffic, population density and that their target demographics are likely to pass by.  The demographic would be people who want to use the Adzookie service to push ads onto mobile phones.

Aside from having the word “Adzookie” painted on your house and having to endure constant dookie jokes, there are a few more pressing issues with this. It may be against certain zoning laws that cover where advertisements of a certain size are not allowed.  No homeowners’ association will approve this since it doesn’t conform to the exact shade of beige your neighborhood uses.  Finally, your house will get egged by an angry mob of teenagers on a daily basis because it’s like painting a target on your house.

The company has committed $100,000 to this project so they won’t be able to paint more than a few homes and pay those mortgages which means this is more of a stunt than an actual plan for advertising.

There is a similar, yet successful business model of wrapping cars in an adhesive plastic wrap to advertise many products.  In these cases the drivers are either paid a set amount or given a car pre-wrapped with a contract to drive the car a certain number of miles.

Source SFGate.

Facebook Pet Peeves

All right, crabby-pantses, it’s time for another vent session. After the wild success of our first pet peeves post, authored by the excellently-named Baconcat, who has successfully combined two of my very favorite things into one username, and bbqcornnuts’ post on parenting pet peeves I didn’t even know I had, I got to thinkin’. We covered the obvious sources of irritation: driving, social courtesies, roommates and spouses, grammar, and a curious number of annoyances related to the mouth.

What did we leave out? There was only one original comment that mentioned Facebook. I’m disappointed in you all. Surely we can do better than that.

Bypassing the easy targets, like Farmville invitations and TMI statuses (though please, don’t hold back if that is indeed what peeves you), I’d like to share a few of my pet peeves.

1. Overuse of ellipses. Punctuation an ellipses is not a substitute for:

  • Periods
  • Question marks
  • Commas
  • Semicolons
  • Spaces

Learn it. Live it.

2. Cryptic, attention-whoring statuses. The only things worse than these are the people who respond to them.

Image: Natalie Dee


3. Facebook status arguments. We’ve all gotten into at least one of these (let me pretend I’m not the only one, okay?). Now you’re arguing with someone you most likely barely know, but god damn it, someone is wrong on The Internet and you’re not going to bed until they see how right you are. Not only are you now wasting your time and blowing up your Friends’ newsfeeds, you’re embarrassing yourself and the person whose status you’ve hijacked.

4. Status updates from people I despise, but am socially obligated to stay Friends with. This may also apply to those I am Friends with to preserve my own sanity and avoid more DRAMA. I’ve amassed quite a collection of these since graduation, and oh, what a wealth of irritation I can mine from their status updates alone.

Seriously, what is this?

We’ve got our fashion design major, with regular uploads of “high-fashion” photos of her and her design major friends sporting ill-fitting clothes and awkward facial expressions. I was recently treated to a couple of her rather obnoxious updates. Yesterday morning, she posted this: “Tried on swim suits today…it is time to work out. Now.” Then, not more than 24 hours later, this: “No incorrectly scaled patterns, my waist is not 33 inches wide…try 9 inches less…” According to my calculations, that’s a 24-inch waist. Gooch says I’m allowed to sock her one if I ever see her again. You’re all witnesses.

This last one’s personal beef for me, but I have to get it out there. I have a Friend (formerly best) who unFriended me last summer, for reasons we don’t need to get into. She recently reFriended me with a long apology I accepted. I do not like her, nor do I like her ex-fiancé. When they weren’t fighting, they were sickeningly affectionate with seemingly no regard for who was in the room. I’m talking baby talk, PDA, the whole nine yards. That’s why her status today was particularly vexing: “IF THESE PEOPLE DON’T STOP BEING SO AFFECTIONATE RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME I’M GOING TO VOMIT INTO MY COFFEE.” She’s taken to typing in all caps recently. I suppose she’s forgotten about the hours of vomit-inducing PDA my boyfriend and I were subjected to. I now have to refrain from replying sarcastically, unless I want to get into a Facebook status argument, and we all know how I feel about those. The irony is quite delicious, though.

5. Anyone who says, “And that’s why I don’t have Facebook.”

Image of attention whore via Natalie Dee.

Enlightenment Wordplay

Simple to present yet not so easy to solve, this elegant exchange between Voltaire and his friend and patron Frederick the Great of Prussia is one of the cleverest surviving puzzles borne of a playful and philosophical friendship between a King and a commoner.

Wikipedia asserts that

“Frederick also aspired to be a Platonic philosopher king like the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great of Prussia who admired above all the Enlightenment's greatest thinker, Voltaire.

… At Sanssouci Frederick entertained his most privileged guests, especially the French philosopher Voltaire, whom he asked in 1750 to come to live with him. The correspondence between Frederick and Voltaire, which spanned almost 50 years, was marked by mutual intellectual fascination. In person, however, their friendship was often contentious, as Voltaire abhorred Frederick’s militarism. Voltaire’s angry attack on Maupertuis, the President of Frederick’s academy, provoked Frederick to burn the pamphlet publicly and put Voltaire under house arrest. Voltaire was accused by some of anonymously publishing The Private Life of the King of Prussia, wittily claiming Frederick’s homosexuality and parade of male lovers, after he’d left Prussia. Frederick neither admitted nor denied the contents of the book, nor ever accused Voltaire of having written it. Some years later, Voltaire and Frederick resumed their correspondence and eventually aired their mutual recriminations, to end as friends once more.”

Adds BookRags:

“There is no proof that Voltaire ever had a homosexual experience. Most of the evidence for his occasional homosexuality in the four-volume biography by Roger Peyrefitte is fabricated. The story that Voltaire once had sexual relations with a Prussian soldier as an experiment, only to decline a second experience with the quip ‘Once a philosopher, twice a sodomite,’ is certainly apocryphal. He attended the Jesuit college of Louis-le-Grand as a boy, and while visiting England years later reportedly remarked, ‘Oh! those damned Jesuits… ar**d me to such a degree that I shall never get over it as long as I live,’ but he was probably being facetious.”


In any case, getting back to our puzzle, der Grosse Freddy and his philosophically-minded homey exchanged quips, puns, and invitation frequently—unless they were squabbling—and this is one of the cleverer among them.

In the first box, Frederick’s invitation:

In the second, Voltaire’s reply:


So have at it, my friends and commenters. It remains unclear what the winner, if there is a winner, will win. But it will be somehow appropriate.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Review Part 1

Reviews in Week One:

Poet Laureate Telia Nevile, “Headliners” – Tom Segura, Moshe Kasher, Garfunkel & Oates and Hannibal Buress, Xavier Michaelides, “Political Asylum”- Matt Kenneally and many more,  Sammy J & Randy, Rich Hall

You may scroll down to the reviews if that’s all you’re here for.  But first, an introduction for our readers unfamiliar with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF).

The MICF is the third-largest  comedy festival in the world.  The largest two are in Montreal, Canada and Edinburgh, Scotland.   And the 4th largest one is in Ireland.   It’s probably not a coincidence that the two most powerful English-speaking countries in the world are not on that list.  There’s probably an article to be written about comedy being the equalizer being the powerful and the underdog.  It could even note that within the underdog countries, the festival is in Montreal and not Ottawa, Melbourne and not Sydney, Edinburgh and not Glasgow.  This is not that article.  This is just the bit to make your reviewer look smrt.

The MICF has been going since 1987, lasts 4 weeks,  and these days includes almost 400 different acts.  And that doesn’t include “unofficial” acts who don’t pay the entry fee and aren’t in the official program but are still slumming around somewhere in the vicinity putting on shows.   You could get lost without a good reviewer, and that’s where I come in.  I’ve been going to the MICF since I was a young man deemed old enough by his parents to hear a man with funny hair say the F word very loudly.  In recent years, I tend to see around 15-20 shows per festival.  So trust me.  At least once.

In future issues I will skim over the various issues which plague the festival and any scurrilous gossip I pick up while getting comedians drunk at the Bella Union.  But for now, the reviews!


Poet Laureate Telia Nevile

Let’s get the important bit out of the way now.   5 stars, on a scale where 3 is your money’s worth, 4 is unusually good and 5 is sodding brilliant.  Anything under 3 is not recommended.

As crasstalk regulars have seen me complain, I gave not a single show last year 5 stars.  Not even Sammy J, who was not only my personal favourite performer of the festival but who won the f’n Barry Award as the official best act.  And I’m giving the first show of this year’s MICF  5 stars.  It’s all downhill from here.  Ah well.

Ms Nevile’s character is an awkward poet and dreamer, but where so many would get one-note laughs from some bad poems, the tight script transcends that.  The poetry is sometimes rather good, sometimes intentionally tortured, frequently filled with clever references.  So that the entire show is not just Telia reciting poems and making funny faces at the audience, the “straight” poetry readings are broken up by more overtly funny moments and one of the best surprise endings I’ve seen in years.  The pacing is perfect, and the entire audience (myself included) did not stop laughing from start to finish.

The show is “only” 40 minutes long, in a festival where 1 hour shows are the norm, but tickets are priced accordingly.  It’s brilliant value.

Ms Nevile was a nominee for best newcomer at the Festival last year.  It wouldn’t shock me if she’s a nominee for best show of the Festival this year.


“Headliners” is a concept which began at the Festival last year.  Many American comedians aren’t able to carry a 1 hour show by themselves.  They’re not used to it, the poor dears.   So the promoters bring in a rotating cast of American comedians who each do 20-25 minutes of material, with 3 or 4 performing each night.  I went last year and it bombed.  I could have made a killing selling rotten fruit.  There’s no nice way to say it.

I  decided to give Headliners another go this year only to see Garfunkel & Oates, whom had been recommended to me by a dozen people.  But before they came out, I had to sit through Tom Segura and Moshe Kasher.  Both were… mediocre, at best, from the school of comedians who try for laughs through shock without actually being funny or original.  When the greedy Jew joke, Muslim terrorist joke and Catholic pedophile joke all walk into a bar together, you know you’re in trouble.  2 stars at best for each.

I now have a crush on Garfunkel & Oates (both of them), and so my review cannot be objective.  But insofar as a 25 minute set can get 5 stars, 5 stars.  Most of the material they did is on Youtube, well, the songs, not the in-between bits, but this stuff is always better live.  You can’t beat the roar of a crowd hearing two cute and funny women singing about sex with ducks, especially when it was a crowd on the verge of turning ugly after the first two sets.

Hannibal Buress closed out the show, Hannibal is/has been a writer for SNL and 30 Rock.and was a far better stand-up than Segura or Kasher; 4 stars on the “20 minute” scale.   While covering much of the same ground (racism, drugs, celebrity culture)  he had class and subtlety in his delivery, and so when he rolled out a shocking line or swerve, it had impact.   He also didn’t seem like he was scraping the bottom of the barrel to make it to 20 minutes and had strong material right to the end with a strong ending anecdote with a sting in the tail to finish.   I would happily see him perform again sometime.

Xavier Michaelides

Xavier has been doing the MICF for a few years now, and is probably best known as a sketch comedian.  This year he’s doing a 1-man play in a tiny hot room, based on the premise of a future where there is now a shortage of people in the workforce, and rather turn to potential killer robots they’re using time travel to recruit both working stiffs  like our hero and his friend Brad, and the great minds and leaders of history (letting Xavier use his talent for voices and impressions).

The play is often silly, occasionally breaks the 4th wall and even sometimes resorts to toilet humor and sex puns – it is however, almost non-stop laughs.  If you don’t mind the 1-act play conceit and a man turning his head back and forth using different voices and facial expressions to establish different characters, if that’s not too silly for you, you’ll love it.  4 stars.

“Political Asylum”

It’s a one-off show which is now over, which makes it hard to review.  The humor also largely depends on how much you agree with the comedians.  If you’re a progressive lefty, Matt Kenneally (who MC’d) was in the best form of any of the performers when it came to sharp political satire and his solo show might well be worth seeing.  Ditto Wil Anderson, although I’m told he holds back his angry ranting for his “main” show:  his impassioned diatribes against politicians and celebrities who confuse real mental  illnesses with feeling sad or acting out, who blame “depression” for bashing their girlfriend or “being a little bit bipolar” for doing something selfish, was a highlight.  As was his lengthy anecdote about his time frequenting a Starbucks in West Hollywood and flirting with the barista (which had little to do with politics, but funny’s funny).

Sammy J & Randy

The kings of last year’s MICF are back with an all-new 1 hour musical /play thing.  Skinny and vaguely nerdy keyboard playing Sammy J and his purple puppet friend Randy (puppeteered and voiced by the underrated Heath McIvor, who actually manages to get out in front of the scenery a few times in this one) have a mystery to solve- who’s putting their garbage in Sammy J & Randy’s bins?  Of course, this is only an excuse for all the sketches, non-sequiturs, funny songs and one-liners Sammy and Heath could come up with.  There were a couple of botched lines and entrances, but covered in such smooth and hilarious fashion that I suspect the errors were not errors if you know what I mean.  A couple of short bits fell a bit flat to me, but if one joke fails there’s another one along in a few seconds anyway and I rarely stopped laughing or grinning so widely my cheeks hurt.  4.5 stars, and if not for the rule that you can only win a Barry once, I’d suggest short odds indeed on Sammy J & Randy winning it again.

Rich Hall

A long time favourite of mine (and a rare past 5-star recipient), Rich is as grumpy as ever and in fine enough form but well below his brilliant best.  I’m giving him 3 and a half stars, but if you haven’t seen him before (not all his material was new; same Sarah Palin jokes as 2 years ago, with minor updates, I mean, come on) then you could bumpt that by a star: my companion at this show, who had never seen Rich before, was aghast at my low rating and laughed all the way through.  If you’ve never seen Rich before, then know that you won’t go wrong by seeing him.  He does do a couple of musical numbers, in case you hate that, but by and large it’s straight stand-up.  Be warned (or be thrilled):  he went 90 minutes when I saw him, and that’s common with Rich, so don’t make a dinner booking on the assumption you’ll get out of his show after 60 minutes.  And NEVER be late to see Rich Hall, unless you enjoy mortification.


Until next week!

Online Dating Profiles for Dummies

Hello!  You must be new here.  I bet you’ve never tried online dating before.  Of course you haven’t—who is really that desperate?  Well, not you.  Except now, maybe you’re feeling a little lonely and, after all, everyone uses online dating these days!  No shame in it, my friend.  So let’s get started.

Perhaps you should mention this right away.  Nothing says, “I’m not desperate” like starting off your profile with something meant to emphasize how very Not Desperate you are.  There are a few ways to accomplish this:

1)    “I’m not really sure how to write one of these profile thingies, so here goes!”

2)    “I am new to town and just looking to meet some new people to hang out with!  It’s not like I’m here because I can’t get a date because I totally can!  People definitely do not think I am weird and socially awkward in person.  That is not why I am using an online dating site.  What is wrong with you that you think this way?  Do you want to meet for drinks later?  You have a pretty smile.  Just as friends?  Oh, okay.”

Next, you are going to want to tell your prospective partners how totally laid-back and down-to-earth you are.  No one wants someone who is high-strung!  Have you ever heard the bachelor tell the camera how much he adores that girl because she is so high-maintenance and a total space cadet?  Obviously not.  So please, tell the audience that you are laid back.  You enjoy “chilling.”  Chillaxing, maybe even, if you are looking for a partner who is down with The Slang!  Got the 411 all up in herr!  This is perhaps a good place to insert an “LOL” or an emoticon, preferably 🙂 or 😉 but definitely not 😛 because we want to save that wily tongue for at least the fifth date.  We are classy like that.  I mean, if you were looking for casual sex, you’d use Craigslist, amirite?!  No matter that you did try Craigslist and failed to get any responses that did not come from prostitutes or spambots, but it’s not like you’re going to put that in your dating profile.  You should probably leave that out.

Next, you need to inform your prospective partner that you love to travel.  This makes you sound exotic and exciting, even if you’ve only ever been to Davenport.  They have a different kind of grocery store there that is not the Piggly Wiggly so that makes it something of a foreign land.  This brings us to eating, which is also an approved topic.  You will imply that you will eat pretty much anything, even though in reality you subsist on Diet Coke, fudgesicles and bourbon.  You do not want to scare people away by telling them anything that might be remotely close to the truth, after all.  This is also a good time to bring up your love of cooking.  Well, of course you love cooking!  You watch Paula Deen pretty much every day while partaking in a light snack of Apple Jacks interspersed with bong rips.  Thus, you have a love of cooking.  Note that you have not actually said, “I love to cook and am good at it.”  You are therefore not lying.  Legalese is your friend.

Now is also not a good time to mention that you live in your parents’ basement and spend your days playing World of Warcraft between shifts at Chick-Fil-A.  You should make a vague mention of your job in sales, which you love because you just adore working with people.  Again, you’re not exactly lying, and everyone loves a people-lover.  There are no antisocial people on dating websites, that’s for sure.  And if there are, you definitely want to weed them out.

You should probably take a minute now to go put some more Easy Mac in the microwave and take a little break.  We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty and you’re going to need sustenance.  Also, your little brother will be home soon and he will probably eat that last packet if you don’t get to it first, and Mom isn’t going grocery shopping for like another four days or something.

I almost forgot; please include that you love sarcasm.  Everyone loves a sarcastic bitch/sonofabitch.  A dry, mocking voice just has that je ne sais quoi that makes the panties drop.  So make sure you throw that one in there.  And you have a good sense of humor.  Not like all of those other super unfunny people out in Online Dating Land.  They are definitely not writing, “I have a sarcastic sense of humor” on their profiles.  This is truly virgin ground.  Oh, and about that virginity.  You should probably write something like, “I’m looking for someone to just hang out with” rather than “please at least give me a hand job—after all, I plan to buy you at least two Miller Lites and that shit ain’t cheap!”  Women and men like a little mystery.  In this vein, send messages that are one-word only, such as, “Sup.”  This is a subtle and effective way to demonstrate your interest, and, generally speaking, bitches be loving the “sup.”  It conveys everything and yet, nothing at all.  Mystery.

If you want good responses, you have to have a good profile!  After all, people primarily read the text that accompanies profiles.  They most definitely do not just flip through photos looking for the one girl with tons of eyeliner and pouty duck-lips and conspicuous tattoos and bangs that pretty much cover her face but maybe she kind of looks like Zooey Deschanel from that angle?  No, people use online dating because they like to read the text. Which is why you’re here with me, marinating in my sage advice like a chicken cutlet in some ginger and soy sauce.  You’ll thank me later.

Should You Watch AMC’s The Killing?

And so returns the murder mystery. Undeniably, AMC is cementing itself into one of the premiere cable networks with their offerings of varied and significant prestige dramas. We won’t count the canceled Rubicon. No, no we won’t. Aside from their one misstep, it’s no wonder that negotiations for their shows enter into the realm of epic three ring circus, the shows are just that good. And when a show falls short of its mark, nearly heaven and earth is moved to diagnose and fix the problem, just like in the case of The Walking Dead. Essentially, the network knows what it’s doing. It understands that its audience is looking for something heartier, more thought out, more nuanced, and exceedingly more entertaining than the typical procedural major network show.

Enter The Killing. We’re still a little disappointed that there won’t be a Mad Men season this year since given contract negotiations and timing, AMC pushed back their flagship program to roll out new shows like The Killing. The biggest question critics may ask is — are the new shows worth it?

The two-hour season premiere on Sunday night was in part an introduction to the story and the characters, and in part a head-on challenge to the viewer to forget what you know. Largely on the face of it, the show isn’t something that we’ve not heard or seen before. True to form it does have a very Twin Peaks-esque aura about it. There’s a dead popular teenager, a seemingly small town atmosphere, (even though the story is set in Seattle), and numerous suspects. And with each new suspect that’s introduced, there is just something, something about all of them that could lend them to commit murder. Whether it’s a bit of malevolence in the eyes, a shifty, nervous countenance, or just enough eerie creepiness that makes you think, “Yeah, that guy could have done it” but you’re also keen enough to know that there will be surprises. And you get most of this from the first episode.

The story centers around a neighborhood filled with high schoolers, and riff-raff, the working class, and the affluent — at will various personalities emerge. The lead detective, Sarah Linden, is played by Big Love’s Mireille Enos, in almost an unrecognizable role. She’s short and unassuming, her smiles are infrequent and she has one hell of a stare. I would say that she landed the part based on that piercing, unforgiving stare. She is respected, capable, underestimated, and no novice. She’s the Clarice Starling of the show, definitely, but so subdued you wonder if her heart beats more than a few clicks a minute, but that all adds to the heightened suspense — you just don’t know what she’s thinking until she says something almost imperceptible. There are no Dr. House moments of sudden clarity here.

Her begrudging partner, Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), is an itchy guy. He’s been sent to replace Linden as she is set to move to California and get married, literally moments before the case starts. He’s uncomfortable to watch and is skilled at making Linden flinch with his smirky candor, and off-the-cuff remarks. Mostly when watching him he’s insufferable, all swagger, bravado, and some level of mania that lies just below the surface. He’s the element of unpredictability on the side of the investigators. His whole character is constructed to make Linden, and through Linden, us the audience, off-balance.

The murder victim, Rosie Larsen, is the typical teenager, good and light on the surface, but edgy and dark in life. Along with the sentiment that she was an innocent victim, you do get the sense that Rosie was in a bit over her head with something. The something we don’t know quite yet, but we do know there are lots of secrets surrounding this girl and her friends. And urgh her friends. Don’t you just hate teenagers? It was infuriating watching the girl’s best friend, Sterling Fitch, attempt to keep their secrets hidden while lying and engaging in that frantic, panicked thing akin to teens that are involved in something that they don’t have the ability to handle.

The puzzle piece that does not fit is a councilman running for office, played by The 4400‘s Billy Campbell. He’s the outlier. There is some connection between him and the dead girl which hasn’t been uncovered yet. It’s revealed that he has a dead wife, and a few secrets of his own. It seems much of the show may be centered around what his connection to Rosie is, and if possibly his extracurricular activities have anything to do with young girls. [SPOILER ALERT] After Rosie is found in the trunk of his campaign aide’s car, and his less than flustered response, he moves up to prime suspect. However, we doubt he’ll stay there.

Rosie Larsen’s parents, (played by True Blood’s Michelle Forbes; and Life’s Brent Sexton), are straight out of a scene from Mystic River, and lend the story the emotional backbone. As it’s learned that Rosie is missing, and that no one’s heard from her, you know it’s just a matter of time until the inevitable is found out. You don’t know how or when, but you know that when they find out, it will be bad. The show sets up this moment by telling us that Rosie was on track to go to college and by showing us scenes from her very teenage bedroom complete with butterfly shaped picture collage and pink, girly theme. When the moment actually comes, the actors give a good performance. I wouldn’t say Sean Penn held back by ten police, good, but just heart wrenching enough in their shock and horror. You see them dealing with the loss for at least 24 hours independently, as they’ve been advised not to tell anyone else while the investigation progresses. Possibly without knowing it, we measure hearing grave news and what our reaction would be against what the actors do as our own way of gauging authenticity. A television show may never get it totally right, but for the purposes here, it worked.

The last big character in The Killing is the rain. There is nothing more dismal and foreboding than nonstop rain. It is a blanket of doom like no other. And while the decision to have the show set in Seattle may be a bit transparent, it works nonetheless. Watching a rain-soaked murder mystery puts you in a heavier mood while viewing, and makes that which may not be overly poignant, much more so.

There are elements to this drama that will lend itself to being a compelling mystery. AMC has worked out who they want you to identify with, and how they want the mystery to unfold, and it attempts the style of a theatrical movie (As mentioned see: Mystic River or Dolores Claiborne), and not a typical CBS drama. They want you, the audience, to be interactive. They want you to see the clues and start putting the pieces together.

While the show doesn’t have the instant “Wow” factor of Mad Men, it does follow AMC’s studied exposition of subtlety and successfully pulls you in. This is not supposed to be altogether new territory, but it is supposed to be a more nuanced take on something we’ve seen before, but done better.

I’m willing to see where it takes us. Are you?

The Killing airs on Sunday nights at 10 pm EST on AMC.

Happy Hump Day

Well hello you dirty little birds! I am not even going to pretend there is any other reason that we are all here except for our barely controllable lust. How do any of us even make it though the day? Anyway, here is some sporty sexiness I have found this week.

I don't know what his name is, and I don't care.
She is holding a pole.

If you all will excuse me, I think I need to head to the showers. Enjoy.

Murder By The Sea

At 7 AM on a glittering July morning in 1996, I lay nude and face down on an expensive sheet in the sands of Tobay Beach, a sugary-sanded stretch of barrier island off Long Island’s South Shore.  Terns circled overhead and the scent of beach roses was intoxicating.  Nudity is allowed on this particular beach, and although I’m shy, I took note of the fact that I was very much alone.

My huge, blond, Nordic boyfriend had gone for a walk – probably to explore his other options, and this made me sad. My annoyance was compounded when a Coast Guard Officer approached. I looked around for my swimsuit, certain he was going to tell me to put it back on.

He did not.

He squatted down and engaged me in charming conversation.  He was handsome and lean, about 40 or so, and had delightful, kind, vibrantly green eyes.  He gently ran a hand over my ass, and without a lot of heat I told him that my boyfriend would kill him.  He patted his gun and told me he’d take his chances.  We had a very in-depth conversation without a lot of words.

Hindsight is 20/20.  I shouldn’t have let him depart while casting wistful gazes at my derriere. The Nordic boyfriend was short-lived, and the idea of canoodling in a cabin with a Swarthy Sea Dog has crossed my mind more than once since then. Yes, I have my beloved Cap’n, but haven’t all of you wondered what might have been?

Back to being alone.  For all their natural beauty, the barrier islands are isolated and feel like the last place on earth.  You can drive 90 minutes and be in Times Square, but here, it’s Nowheresville.

This is probably why a serial killer chose to dump 8 of his victims on the bay side of Ocean Parkway.  No one except for avid fishermen go in those dunes.  The sands there are covered with scrub oaks, Japanese Black Pine trees, and are home to bunnies, hawks and sea birds.  And now, the remains of young women.

Most of the victims seem to be prostitutes, which to me is just tragic.  It’s bad enough that they felt they had to make a living in a dangerous, degrading profession, but to be murdered and left in the dunes is just a terrible fate which no one deserves.  The three latest victims have not been identified yet.

One of the victims met a wealthy man for a “date”, and he was the last to see her alive. He’s been interviewed extensively, and I’m quite sure he didn’t kill her.  I think it’s just a wrong-place-wrong-time thing for him, and he’s probably mortified that all his neighbors in his tony hamlet know he trolls Craigslist for hookers.

So who did kill these women?

Well, FBI profiling would indicate a white man in his 30s or 40s, isolated and normal-looking, with few friends and nobody close.  The 8 victims found are probably only a few of his.  And law enforcement will have a hard time catching him unless he screws up.  Nassau County Police and the NYPD barely speak to each other about missing persons and murder victims.  In fact, one victim reported missing in the city sat in a Nassau morgue for over a month before someone thought to check.

The killer is probably  local – I’m guessing from Suffolk County.  He’s probably geeky and wears outdated clothes – all serial killers who have been caught fit this mold.  Definitely not a corporate type, and probably not well-off.  He probably plans his killings meticulously, but “goes somewhere else” in his head during the actual murders.

I just described the entire populace of the towns of Mastic and Shirley.  The cops have a lot of work to do.  Stay tuned.