The Revolution is Not a Dinner Party

It's Just Lunch....or IS IT??

Thursday, March 31, 2005


I've just been informed that the Mets now have two catchers (neither named Piazza) who have been arrested by the Pittsburgh Police. The Mets signed Mike Defelice today. They already had Ramon Castro.

Wrestlemania is this Sunday!

Wretlemania Goes Hollywood. For those foolish enough to think "its all fake"...I give you this gut wrenching account of Kurt Angle, a REAL American hero. I don't throw around the term hero lightly, oh wait, I do. But, the point is that Kurt is a great champion and a role model for our youth. He's also a Mt. Lebanon High School graduate. Marc Cuban also went to Mt. Lebanon High School. As did Sen. Orrin Hatch. Now, THAT's what I call diversity. Even the author of the Angle article, which won some journalism award, went to Mt. Lebanon. I find the reason why we Lebo grads are all so successful is the atmosphere of stifling maternal worry and soul-crushing 1950's style communal self-delusion.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Pope assassination ordered by KGB-Stasi

This is fascinating. [from drudge]

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Terri Schiavo has a blog!

Check it out.

Monday, March 28, 2005

This is where I want to go after taking the bar.

So, there’s no harm in planning trips early, right? As far as I can tell, I’ll have a couple months and a lot of money to do whatever the fuck I want. So, this is the best I can do. Call it the Sanjana (historical) reality tour. I’m not sure about side-trips and hiking and stuff like that. This is just the general route. I think it’ll take about 2 months or so. Click on the above map to enlarge it.

Fly to Istanbul, from there fly to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. From Ashgabat go to the historical epicenter of my dad’s people, the ancient Zoroastrian city of Merv (including the neighboring city of Sanjanhere’s the Zoroastrian Diaspora story in a nutshell… also “after the Arab conquest of Iran, the ancestors of the present Indian Parsis took refuge in the mountainous districts of Kohistan in Khorasan for about 100 years. They spent about 15 years in the port city of Hormuzd on the southern coast of Iran, possibly contemplating migration. They finally left Hormuzd by the sea route and landed in India on the island of Div in southern Saurashtra. They stayed in Div for about 19 years, and thereafter, most probably due to the growing threat of an Arab invasion, left Div and settled on the west coast of India, near the place later to be known as Sanjan about 145 kilometers north of Mumbai.”) Merv is also considered by many to be the epicenter of the original Aryan people, the source of Indo-European language similarities. This is, of course, hotly debated. But, the point is the Merv is one of those fascinating places I have to go to. Plus, the family connection is pretty bad ass.

After Merv, head north to the Silk Road cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, in Uzbekistan. I had to go to these places after reading Peter Hopkirk’s The Great Game, a history of the 19th century Russian-English rivalry for Central Asia. Russia actually tried to build a railroad along this route. Bukhara and Smarkand lie between the great Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. Both flow out of the Aral Sea, so they may not be there by next year. Next, go to Tashkent and then cross to Kyrgyzstan…which I’m told is the new source for cheap internet cigarettes. I’m crediting the cigarette moguls with last week’s overthrow of the government.

Believe it or not, all of this so far can be done in as little as 11 days. I’m not saying that’s gonna be my pace, I point that out just so you don’t think I’m advocating the impossible.

Anyway, Kyrgyzstan was the original start of my trip, till I realized I had to go to Merve, Bukhara, and Samarkand. Kyrgystan is, by all accounts, friendly and welcoming and has some of the most dramatic scenery in Central Asia. I figure I’ll go to Osh and then Bishkek…then head for the mountain passes. I’m particularly excited to cross into the Western Chinese province of Xianjing via the monumentally high Torugart Pass (its circled on the map). This is one of the main Silk Road mountain pass roads, and was the gateway for many epic migrations since time immemorial. The Torugart Pass leads to Kashgar, the western-most city in China.

From Kashgar I’m going to head south to Pakistan via the epic Karakoram Highway. I circled the mountain pass crossing that the Karakoram Highway goes over. This leads through the heart of the Northern Himalayans and the source of the Indus River to Islamabad. From there I guess I have the option of trying the Khyber Pass to Afghanistan (circled on the map), but that sounds like a bit of risk these days. Instead, I’ll probably take the train to India. I’ve never been to Northern India, and I want to check out Naini Tal (where my dad went to boarding school) and Shimla/Leh, which are supposed to be a great Mountain towns. After that, I’ll head south to Jaipur and Udaipur. I’ll head to my family in Bombay via the Gujarat coastal towns where my ancestors landed after fleeing Iran. They named the towns Sanjan after the families coming from the town of Sanjan in present-day Turkmenistan. My dad’s father’s line is named Sanjana because they were the priests of this original settlement. You can read here about how they kept the sacred fire’s burning even after another batch of Muslims invaded Gujarat. Finally, I head to Bombay and then probably to Goa for a week at the beach.

Anyway, Sanjan in Turkmenistan to Sanjan in India…its coherent at least. Anyone is welcome to come, ESPECIALLY Russian speakers.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Why can't our polls ask such fun questions:

"The poll also found that 47 percent of the easterners agree with the statement that the West "acquired the east like a colony," while 58 percent of the westerners back the statement that "easterners tend to wallow in self-pity."

Here's the article, from Drudge.

How'd you like to see:

57 percent of blue-staters agree that red-staters are small-minded simpletons, while 47 percent of red-staters back the statement "most blue-staters were born into money."

Per Se per chance?

I've always fleeced my parents whenever they come to visit me. I see nothing wrong with that. My love is expensive. However, even I was surprised when they eagerly agreed to go to Per Se during this visit. They may keep their cars for 10 years, but my folks will always shell out for a good meal.

Its not every day one gets to go to arguably one of the best restaurants in the world. Its also not every day that lunch costs $175 per person (not including wine, tax, and tip). Was it worth it? I really can’t answer that. It was a fantastic meal. 9 courses: caviar and cauliflower “panna cotta” (I’m not sure why that is in quotes, I'm copying off the menu here); California green asparagus with blood oranges, sorrel mushrooms, and citrus “sabayon;” sautéed pompano with almond crust; “fricassee” of nova scotia lobster “mitts;” young rabbit sirloin wrapped in applewood smoked bacon; rib-eye veal “roti a la broche;” “tome de savoie” cheese with artichoke mustard and arugala; fresh yogurt sorbet; and chocolate treats. Even the bread was outstanding. The butter is shipped in from far flug verdant corners of this great nation. The wine menu is bigger than my Con Law book.

The sum of the meal was better than any of its parts, which is really unbelievable if you think about it. The highlights for me were the veal and the pompano, both were outstanding. The caviar and cauliflower “panna cotta” seemed a bit ill-conceived, or maybe just too adventurous. There’s a million other ways I’d rather have my Sevruga Caviar than on top of cauliflower jello. Even this dish, which I just called ill-conceived, was delicious. All in all, it was the type of meal that makes you want to light a cigar with a hundred dollar bill.

The restaurant’s dinning room exudes a timeless yet modern elegance. The views of Columbus Circle and the Park are amazing. We somehow scored the little private room off to the side, which was sweet. Being that this is the Yale Law School of waiterdom, the service was impeccable. Tomas Keller, you cad, you’ve outdone yourself this time.

P.S. I know I'm cruising for a christian-right fatwah, what with the Terri Shciavo jokes and this completely gluttonous report of blue-state excess. Part of me says dying in the name of modernity and rationality isn't that bad a thing (where have you gone Theo Van Gogh?). The other side says, please don't kill me. I'm Jewish. We don't know any better.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The more things change...

...the more they stay the same. Despite the fact that this is first year in a while when two Pirates may legitimately go in the first 7 or 8 rounds of most fantasy baseball drafts (Perez and Bay), the team is up to its usual antics. The new source of discontent is Mark Redman, a somewhat decent pitcher acquired from the A's in the Jason Kendall trade. He got shelled a couple days ago in spring training, and decided to blame the rest of the team....WAY TO GO. Its just spring training, dick.

I'm having visions of Dereck Bell and Raul Mondesi. Where can I buy a "Fuck Cam Bonifay" T-shirt? Remember, friends, that Cam Bonifay is the General Manager who took a bad team and made it much worse, paying millions of dollars a year for such ace players as Doug Strange, Pete Schourek, Brant Brown, Bruce Aven, Derek Bell, and Pat Meares. Bonifay is long gone, but I can still hate.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"You wanted me to jump off the bridge, I finally have jumped. You wanted to bring me down...So now go pick a different person. I'm done."

Poor Barry. I believe in you, buddy. The world ain't ready for a black sports superstar....oh wait. Seriously, though, I really do think Bonds gets a tough break. He doesn't like people, we all know people like that, there's no reason why those type of people shouldn't be able to play professional sports. He's been modest with endorsements and the like because he doesn't want to put himself out there. I respect that.

In other baseball news, I hope you all got a chance to watch the steroid hearings...Probably the most bizarre 5 hours of Congressional action in a long, long time (no, the Schiavo stuff isn't bizarre, that's just fucking terrible). Even though I hate Schilling, I have to respect his command of the English language. He looked like Daniel Webster compared to to Sammy Sosa. Jose Canseco is a dirtbag, but everyone already knew that. He's has a great cameo in the hysterically dark film Mail Order Wife. Check it out. Also, I'm really happy that America is starting to realize what an opportunistic slimball Mark McGuire is. I'll never forgive the dirtbag for pretending like he was hero for juicing up and hitting meatball pitches out of the park....and the way he used the son he abused(?) only a few years earlier as a prop for his "American Hero" crap is just unconscionable. Am I going to get sued for libel yet? Wait, wait...this should do it. Mark McGuire murdered his infant daughter!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Truly Tasteless Jokes, Volume 319

This is horrible, I'm sorry. But, a search of google turned up no results for "Terri Schiavo jokes." So, I figured I had to step in. I only have one, and its not even that funny. Here you go:

Joker: did you hear about the new short story about Terri Schiavo?
Straight man: no
Joker: I couldn't finish, it just seemed like Finnegan's Wake to me.

Others have suggested:

"You KNOW Terri Schiavo?" "Yeah, she's totally tubular"


"I heard when Terri Schiavo dies she wants to give her feeding tube to the Pope."

There you go kids, The Revolution is Not a Dinner Party is bringing the internet to a new low! PLEASE SUBMIT your own Terri Schiavo jokes. Remember though, this is all being done in the name of fokelore science. (btw, my favorite line of that article, "Challenger jokes seem to be the high-water-mark of disaster humor" true). Also, if you got to this page via a random web search for the phrase "Terri Schiavo jokes," please let us know why you were searching for such things and may god have mercy on your soul.

Finally, I'd like to point out that recent events suggest a general "Political Compass" test regarding the sanctity of life. I'm still working out the details, but the extreme cases on each axis seem to me to be: Terri Schiavo, a retarded fetus, the Pope, and terminally ill pain-sufferers. I'm not sure how to organize this, or what the various quadrants would signify. Needless to say, I'll be burning the midnight oil to get it right.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

If bowling is a sport...

...these women ought to be in the Olympics. Montreal is a hell of a town.

I was there for a bachelor party and the 181th St. Patrick's Day Parade. (the oldest AND longest-running St. Patrick's Day parade on the Continent). I can't believe PM Paul Martin was marching. We wake up at 10 to get to some sort of pub breakfast and Irish coffee event. By the time the parade started, we were on St. Catherine Street on a corner church lot covered in snow and ice and slopping down into a hellishly sharp fence. Needless to say, we were completely shit faced by the end of the parade. A guy parked a rental truck on the corner and had a bunch of hippies jumping up and down on it smashing the cab's roof and generally destroying the shocks. Although, our group on teh church seemed to be a little more hardcore Irish. The crowd was generally Anglo, so it was cool to see the mounties cheered and the Quebec police pelted with snowballs. Point being, I had NO IDEA that the Prime Minister of Canada walked by.

In Boston, St. Patrick's day takes over Southie. Its wild and extremely debauched. What was cool about Montreal's St. Patricks day is that they do it in the middle of downtown. So, the whole area is covered in extraordinarily drunk people for most of the afternoon. We were at a cool Irish dive bar called Grumpy's with a truly outstanding punk cover band. By 6pm we were in the executive boardroom of St. Hubert's (best chicken in the world). I'm falling asleep at the table by this point. Later we go to Downtown (a much better and cheaper strip club than Super Sex). The 3 of who were still standing at 3am then went to the Casino.

The Montreal Casino and I have a long and complicated relationship. She was my first, and yet when I come back to town to visit she slaps me in the face and stomps on my nuts. In what is possibly the most bizarre combination of public health logic and desperate financial need by the government, the Montreal Casino no longer serves alcohol or allows cigarette smoking at the tables. Setting that absurdity aside, this place has the meanest dealers and most hard-up customers. I've never won a penny there since the first time. I keep telling my friends on the cab ride over, "this place is like K2, we're not coming back alive." We sat down and the dealer made 20 or 21 for 10 straight hands. Somehow, hours later, I actually left the table up a lot. It was a bloody miracle. I was just being stupid, splitting 7's and doubling down on 9's. That's what you have to do at Montreal Casino, and there's always a bitter fucking storm right on the other side of the valley, waiting to kick your ass.

More later on how I missed the train twice and my thoughts on the cosmic-historic linkages between Montreal and Boston.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Dr. Lynne Cheney, PhD

I have a feeling everyone knows this already. But I'm supposed to know stuff like our current reactionary VP's wife wrote a hot and steamy novel about strong women of the Wild West in quasi-lesbian situations. Thanks for Frank Rich for the heads-up in today's NYT column about Deadwood. Here's some good info on the book. Here's excerpts from the boys at Here's a more sardonic look. Score one for irony that first editions cost more than first editions of Huck Finn.

P.S. All you generous gift-givers out there, I'm still waiting for that first edition of Gravity's Rainbow. Hell, its cheaper than Sisters.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Ways not to start a conversation....

...Include the statement, "I saw the most disturbing Dr. Phil ever today." Its true, there' s no other response to that than, "you are weird."

But, it really was disturbing. Feel free to chime in on the message boards. How our future President (Oprah) can tolerate this exploitative bastard is beyond me. How Dr. Phil can sleep at night after putting this family through this on TV is also beyond me. But what really shows how low this show gets is that they have the actual family recreate scenes that they talk about on the show. Like when the sexual predator son calls from treatment to talk to his mom, and the dad yells at her for being nice. They have the mom and dad play this out after the fact. To be fair, they show it in grainy black and white so we know its not real. CRAP, I tell you, CRAP.

ITS AN ARCTIC ARMAGEDDON here in new york...

...this will keep you entertained. Apparently the site was on Death in the Afternoon in February and I completely missed it. Death's submission to the site is moving. Mine was going to be something base like, "I don't really know html." As for crying, my mom said something similar over break. My dad, in a surprisingly frank acknowledgement of the fact that they've lived together for 30 years, pointed out that my mom doesn't cry for no reason....she cries when she's really pissed off. They are going to read this, and I'm going to look like an ass. Sorry guys. This is what you get for all the new-wave pottty training.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I want to live here. Anybody have $700,000? Anyone?

In other news, I got to see a good friend of mine from college last night. He is fucking hysterical. Highlight of the evening was waiting in line to go the "real party" downstairs. It was miserable-- mob of people, asshole bouncer, etc. There's this girl waiting quietly right in front of us. My friend gets this mischievous grin, taps her on the shoulder and says, "Excuse me, did you just fart?"

She, of course, had not farted. Got all pissy and was like, "maybe it was you." My friend says, "no, i would have known if I farted." Keeps trying to talk to her. She finally says, "LOOK, would you please stop talking to me."

New York babes...can't live with them, can't live without them. Seriously, if someone accuses you of farting, laugh and get over it. How hard is that.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Man, sometimes its great to have a blog. This story is real. Here are some recipes.

See, the thing is, I don't like using offensive words, but I acknowledge their humor value. Like when you're sitting around trying to come up with racial insults whose mere utterance truly crosses the line of socially acceptable behavior. Good times.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Movie to see...

Definitely check out Head On if you can. Its a look inside what its like to be Turkish in Germany today. Its a sad movie, but considering that the main characters meet at a suicide could be worse. I guess. Anyway, its a fine, interesting film. The setting Western sun over Istanbul is even a plot device. Its playing at the Angelika.

This film is one further confirmation that the Berlin International Film Festival's Golden Bear is definitely the most important award in movie-making. The Berlinale just finished its 2005 awards. American film Thumbsucker looks like a winner. I'll even give the Carmen re-make a shot.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Duran Duran owned the 80s

Take, for instance, the lyrics to A View to a Kill (never have a Bond film and its title song matched so well):

Meeting you, with a view to a kill,
Face to face, in secret places. Feel the chill.
Nightfall covers me,
But you know, the plans I'm making
Still over see.
Could it be the whole earth opening wide
A sacred why? A myst'ry gaping inside
The weekends; why? Until we

Dance into the fire,
That fatal kiss is all we need.
Dance into the fire
To fatal sounds of broken dreams.
Dance into the fire;
That fatal kiss is all we need.
Dance into the fire.

The choice for you is the view to a kill.
Between the shades, assassination standing still.
The first crystal tears Fall as snowflakes on your body,
First time in years,
To drench your skin with lover's rosy stain.
A chance to find a phoenix for the flame,
A chance to die, but can we

Dance into the fire,
That fatal kiss is all we need.
Dance into the fire
To fatal sounds of broken dreams.
Dance into the fire;
That fatal kiss is all we need.
Dance into the fire,
When all we see is a view to a kill.'ll have to add in your mind the blaring electro-synth chord everytime the chorus hits "dance." Magical, really.