Friday, December 05, 2008

Good word

"Womanizer woman womanizer you're a womanizer oh womanizer oh you're a womanizer baby you you you are you you you are womanizer womanizer womanizer."

Britney Spears, "Womanizer"

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Strange basement

In his memoir Witness to Power, Nixon White House counsel John Ehrlichman describes FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover's rumpus room. Stupefying:
After dinner we were led down the narrowest of basement stairs to "the recreation room" for an after-dinner drink. Again, every inch of wall space held some framed memento. In this room the prevailing motif was horse racing. There were pictures of Hoover with winning horses; Hoover with jockeys; Hoover in his box at Del Mar with movie stars, heavyset men, even a child.

Near the door was a small bar. All the walls over and near this counter were decorated with girlie pinups of the old Esquire vintage. Even the lampshade of a small lamp on the bar had naked women pasted on it. The effect of this display was to engender disbelief -- it seemed totally contrived. That impression was reinforced when Hoover deliberately called our attention to his naughty gallery, as if it were something he wanted us to know about J. Edgar Hoover.

Nixon had enjoyed the dinner conversation, but he was not comfortable in this strange basement. After one drink, he exercised the Presidential prerogative; he said good night and we left.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Like a drug

I feel smarter and funnier after watching Curb Your Enthusiasm reruns. The effect usually lasts a couple of hours. I feel the same way after watching Thin Man movies.
Attention shoppers

Despite massive crowds, the mood in Chicago's central shopping district Saturday was buoyant. A salesclerk at Macy's in the Loop initiated friendly banter with me about Thanksgiving fun, and elbow-to-elbow throngs on Michigan Avenue chattered brightly in the crisp fall weather. On a street corner I watched a tout in a cumbersome teddy bear costume receive aggressive hug after aggressive hug from boisterous passersby.

Aggressive hugs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Why not?

In H&M Ereck shopped in the ever-shrinking men's department on the third floor as on the first floor I sat on a bench next to the escalator. There was considerable turnover at the bench, but I noticed that at moments when all the benchwarmers were men, passing women nudged each other comically and said, "Look at the poor guys" -- the gag, of course, being that the exhausted men had to wait as their significant others shopped. Near the bench was a rack of extravagantly awful fake fur coats that prompted many smiles, and some women mockingly tried on the atrocities. But none were bought.