Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Well that wasn't what I expected at all

I'd heard a couple songs from Amy Winehouse, and Mrs. N-B even downloaded her album with the big hit "Rehab" on it. But no amount of listening could've prepared me for seeing a picture of her.

Her voice is so big and sultry that I had it in my head she would look like Shirley Bassey, whose searing vocals make the Goldfinger song my favorite James Bond theme.

Here's a picture of Shirley Bassey so you could see what I was expecting.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw what Winehouse looks like.

She's like a rooster on heroin. In the words of one of the celebrity blogs that I admit to reading: If I saw her walking in my yard at night I'd skip the warning shot because I'd assume she wanted to eat my brain.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

My summer vacation

A couple of thoughts about my trip to the great Pacific Northwest.

Dollar coins: Are we ready? Mrs. NaturalBlog and I spent some time in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The visit was conveniently timed to coincide with the weakest the U.S. dollar has been in Canada since the 1970s. Canada uses coins for $1 and $2 increments. I kind of like that idea, even though I hate carrying change. I think I might become an advocate for dollar coins.

VWs. Judging from the number of VW buses still being driven in Washington state, the northwest is where hippies go to die.

Sushi at a ballpark. SafeCo field, the home of the Seattle Mariners, serves sushi, saki and bubble tea. I enjoyed the "Ichiroll Combo." Ichiroll is okay; it's just spicy tuna. Side note, Ichiro bats .000 (0-for-4) on days I eat an Ichiroll.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Please enjoy my vacation

Since I'm going away for about two weeks, I wanted to do a post that would be funny once a day until August. I have decided to teach you to ghost ride the whip.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Don't hassle the Croc

I'm not even a little bit embarrassed to admit how much I like Crocs, the durable, comfortable and just hideously ugly footwear.

But ("Everyone I know has a big but. C'mon Simone, let's talk about your big but" -- Pee Wee Herman) I don't like them enough to actually wear them in public, because, like most people, I hate to be made fun of. I usually just put on Mrs. N-B's pair when I'm hanging out around the house or in the basement.

This would probably come as welcome news to the crocs detractors, but as sad commentary on the hurdles that remain for the crocs lovers.

But now that I've seen The Decider wearing them out (right), maybe I'll rethink my reservations. If only I could figure out where to get some socks with the presidential seal on them.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Mr. Butch, 1951-2007

Harold Madison, Jr., the mostly benign homeless man known as "Mr. Butch," has died in a scooter accident. He was 56.

Friends and family say he was killed when the scooter he was driving hit a pole, which is strange because it seemed to me his preferred method of travel was a drunken stumble.

You could usually find Mr. Butch in Allston, at least when he wasn't in state custody. Mr. Butch fans of another generation remember him as the King of Kenmore Square, where he smoke, drank and played air guitar before cops hassled him so much he moved up Comm. Ave.

His iconic leather jacket is hanging in an Allston storefront. There's a memorial Monday night.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

NaturalBlog News Roundup

Best man, yes. Smartest, no. A teacher from Toronto flew to Wales for a friend's wedding July 6, only to realize that he was there exactly one year early. Dave Barclay blamed his girlfriend, saying she usually takes care of the details.

Whither Shelbyville. Springfield, Vermont bested the rest of the nation's Springfields for the honor of hosting the premier of the new Simpsons movie. The competing cities were supposed show how much they were like the fictional home of the Simpson family, but I'm at a loss why any community would invite a comparison to a city best known for its corrupt municipal government, bumbling police department, long-burning tire fire, and Blinky, the fish with three eyes who lives near the nuclear power plant.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Two things I know a little about collide

As I watched Manny fly out in his only All Star at-bat last night, I enjoyed a nice glass of the red wine that bears his name (and visage), Manny Being Merlot.

The wine, which raises money for charity, is made from Chilean grapes and is imported through a Massachusetts wine distributor. Mrs. N-B picked it up for $12. My expectations were very low, and I'm pleased to say Manny exceeded them.

I was struck immediately by the wine's strong nose, or smell. I picked up on ripe fruit flavors almost immediately after opening the bottle. After swirling a small tasting sample, I also detected some pepper and cherry. Mrs. N-B said there was cassis in there, too, but I don't know what cassis tastes like.

Right off the bat, I was most impressed with the wine's color. It lightened just a bit at the top of the glass, indicating it had been aged slightly. A good sign.

Satisfied with sight and smell, I moved to taste. Very dry initially, Manny opened up a bit, but there was some sourness on the finish. Not surprisingly, the slugger tasted meaty and would probably go well with a steak. Mrs. N-B noted that the taste was very alcoholy, a good observation given the wine's high 13.5% alcohol content.

I thought Manny would pair well with some chocolate, but I'm disappointed to report the chocolate only exacerbated the sour. This undercuts what Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon once said about Manny.

In all, I say it's a buy. Worth $12 for a bottle, not worth $160M over eight years.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Katie Couric assaults co-worker, laughs about it

Third place news anchor Katie Couric tells New York Magazine that she sometimes regrets leaving NBC's Today Show and the sunny side of Rockefeller Center for the deep dark doldrums of the CBS Evening News.

She also tells the magazine that she physically assaulted an innocent CBS news editor, who put the word "sputum" into her news copy without giving her a heads up.
I got mad at him and said, "You can't do this to me. You have to tell me when you're going to use a word like that." I was aggravated, there's no question about that.

I sort of slapped him around.
I gave Couric a shot, but now I'm calling for a boycott.

News producers must have blanket authority to make arbitrary changes to anchors' copy without fear of retribution, even if those changes cause the anchor to stammer and babble. There are few things I feel more strongly about. Boycott Katie.


Monday, July 09, 2007

NaturalBlog News Update

Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here. A bank robber in Manchester, N.H., disguised himself by duct taping tree branches to his head and body. He didn't show a weapon, and he made off with an undisclosed amount of money. The ruse didn't get him very far. He was arrested after police got an anonymous tip.

They play joke. Boston could take a lesson in how to use public spaces. Chongqing, China has a four-story public restroom facility with 1,000 toilets, nice music, and an Egyptian facade. Drawback: Some of the urinals are topped with statues resembling the Virgin Mary.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Said the champ: 'If I needed to eat another one right now, I could.'

American Joey Chestnut took advantage of a weakened and injured Takeru Kobayashi to win the annual hot dog eating contest at Coney Island this week. He ate 66 hot dogs (about 12,000 calories worth) in 12 minutes, besting Kobayashi's mark of 63.

Below is a picture of Chestnut at approximately the half-way mark. I post it not to show his look of intense concentration, but so you can see the look of sheer disgust on the face of the card girl standing behind him. She looks like she's getting a contact high, but with a food coma instead of pot.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

The doctor is in

You may recall that I am Tetris genius. A Tetnius, if you will.

But you should also know that I'm pretty freaking good at Dr. Mario, too. Or was, back when the NaturalBlog household's Nintendo was still in fine working order.

I just wanted to throw this post out there, as a way of warning you that if you challenge me to Dr. Mario, you will lose.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

NaturalBlog News Update

Not even The King can save you. A totally reasonable man beat a peacock so viciously in a Staten Island Burger King parking lot that the bird had to be euthanized. When asked what he was doing, he said "I'm killing a vampire." What was a peacock doing in a BK parking lot? I guess NBC sent it's mascot out for food.

Hold it! The lawyer for 1/3 of the NASA love triangle says the oft-told story about his client wearing diapers during her 950-mile revenge trek from Texas to Florida is a lie. Lisa Nowak's attorney says the diapers were leftovers from when her kids were toddlers, and they just happened to be in the car when she was arrested for threatening her love interest's girlfriend. Perhaps tellingly, the attorney did not dispute the parts of the story alleging the pepper spray, steel mallet, buck knife, BB pistol and garbage bags Nowak had with her.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tales from Baltimore: Sketchiest Bar Ever

If you ever find yourself near Pigtown in Baltimore, Md., you'll be missing out if you don't seek out the Harbor Way Inn, which is without a doubt the best dive bar in which I've ever had a drink.

How sketchy is it? The bartender, whose name is Spooky, told a story that concluded with "He looked just like the first robber that my dad shot." This was after we discussed the Garfield presidency, but before she described a ghostly apparition she'd once seen as a chiaroscuro on her bedroom door.

The best part of the visit was probably the bill, not because it heralded a depature, but because it was only $11 for five beers, four National Bohemians (the other Natty B.) and one delicious 17-ounce Lithuanian brew, chosen on Spooky's recommendation.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Separated at Birth

This pairing comes from my only regular international reader. Mowgli from the Jungle Book (seen at far left with his friend the snake) and clay master Rafael Nadal (seen with his friend the racket). You'll note that Mowgli could only turn into Nadal if he worked out. A lot.

Sticking with sports. When I saw Los Angeles Galaxy soccer player David Beckham pretending to be a real football player, I couldn't help but think of Sting, wearing an equally ridiculous getup.