Updates from April, 2006 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 8:17 pm on April 19, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Getting Inside Fuzzy’s Head 

    At last, scientists have mapped out the different regions of the cat brain. Now, I’m no PhD or MD or DVM or RN or NAMBLA, but I suspect that the problem we have with Fuzzy can be isolated to the region just between “Mysterious Adoration of Just One Spot on the Bed” and “Short Circuit that Makes Purring Kitty into Arm-Shredding Maniac in Two Seconds.” Let’s just call that area the “Determination to Pee on Fresh Litter the Second it is Poured,” which, like the “Commitment Spot,” has become enlarged in Fuzzy’s brain by a rapacious tumor that feeds off diet Iams cat food.

    Hence the reason he likes to pee on furniture so much.

    Hence the reason we no longer have our beloved leather couches.

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  • Ted Mann 4:43 pm on April 19, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Tara, the Mann, the Myth, the Journal News legend 

    My sister-in-law Tara was in today’s Journal News, in an article about how there aren’t enough curb cuts on suburban sidewalks — especialy for a mom of three with a double-wide stroller.

    “Small curb a big barrier for wheelchairs, strollers,” TJN, April 19

    Oh, and believe it or not, there’s video to accompany the story, here!

     
  • Ted Mann 5:37 pm on April 15, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    RIP Six Feet Under 

    Ana and I just finished watching season 5 of “Six Feet Under” and, well, despite the beautiful weather today I feel spent. It’s not just because we burned through 12 episodes in two sittings (or six hours at a time), but because — pussy alert — I’ve never cried so damn much for such an extended period of time.

    Seriously, I must need my head examined for not being able to cry when my own family members pass away, but then bawling uncontrollably when Nate Fisher dies of a brain hemorrhage we all saw coming a mile away. Maybe it’s that concluding 5-minute sequence, where we see all of the Fishers keeling over, one after another in a series of flash-forwards, that still has me reeling. It’s kind of like watching a surrogate family die. Only, much as I was troubled by the loss of the Keatons when “Family Ties” concluded, nobody ever died there, and no way was I still getting emotional when I thought about the ending a day later.

    The only consolation in this whole blubbery, pathetic mess was when I did a search for SFU merchandise. Ana had bought me a Fisher & Sons T-shirt after season 4, but what with my sweaty glands, I went and turned the armpit areas yellow — so I need a new one. If you haven’t seen the last few episodes, you won’t have the foggiest idea why a T-shirt like this one on CafePress would brighten my day so much. But those who watched the show should know exactly what I’m talking about.

    Call it a rallying cry, a SFU survivor motto. Like “Sic Transit Gloria,” the words of another great Fisher (Max from Rushmore), it urges us embrace life and to remember that, in the end, you’re getting all worked up over a friggin TV show, you nincompoop.

    Say it with me, all together now: Narm!

     
  • Ted Mann 5:12 pm on April 15, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Return of the Love Monkey 

    love monkeyThree cheers for VH1. After CBS decided to yank “Love Monkey,” a suprisingly likable version of Sex & the City for guys, last February after only three episodes, the dramedy is getting a second life on basic cable. I guess that “Save Love Monkey” petition worked after all. Alas, there were only eight episodes already in the can, and no word on whether VH1 will renew it for another season. But for now we get to see the five previously unaired episodes starting this coming Tuesday, April 18, at 9 p.m.

     
  • Ted Mann 2:10 pm on April 14, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Adios, Westchester Section 

    Some will say that the New York Times’ decision to cease publishing the Westchester weekly section as we know it (along with the NJ, LI, and CT weeklies), is because they’re trying to convert all the suburban coverage into one Styles-esque section. Some will say it’s because ad revenue has dropped off, and they just need to cut corners and lose the freelancers.

    But if you’re asking me, I say it’s because they were getting their ass handed to them by InTown magazine (and Scarsdale, Rockland, and Putnam mags). There’s only enough room in this obscenely wealthy suburb for one of us, Gray Lady.

    Westchester Mag, you’re next!

    Link: ‘Times’ to Styles-ify the Suburbs – Gawker

     
  • Ted Mann 8:02 pm on April 13, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Fun with Face Recognition 

    I heard about MyHeritage.com‘s cool new face recognition program on GMA this morning, and was dying to try it out all day. The basic idea is that the software will scan a headshot, pick out the key defining characteristics, and tell you what celebrities you look like. Why a geneaology website? I gather the idea is to ultimatly roll the software out to the site’s family database, so you can track down your long-lost, amnesia-prone uncle Buford by matching your face to his. Uh, well, whatever. All’s I’m interested in whether I look more like Drew Carey or Philip Seymour Hoffman.

    The minute I got home from work, I uploaded pics of Ana and myself to the site to see. At first, it looked really promising. The site has these sweet graphics, including a high-tech one that’s like a scene out of Face/Off, and it seemed like the software really was scanning our features. And the first results were flattering, if mildly implausible. At the very least, Ana’s got her maiden name right.

    Then I noticed that under the first result, you have the option to flip through other celebrities you look like. They explain that there’s a lower correlation (say, 49 percent, compared to Clark Gable’s 61 percent), but really, nothing softens the blow of being told you look like Whoopie Goldberg. At the very least, I can console myself about not having a 68 percent of the same facial features as Barack Obama.


     
  • Ted Mann 8:29 pm on April 5, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    7 Lessons Learned in the Eleuthera 

    1. Bahamas Air will lose your flight reservation, without fail. And then you’ll find yourself on Southern Air’s tiny, 18-seat Beech 1900C charter plane on the way to Eleuthera, and then on an even tinier 6-seat Piper Aztec with your wife crying into your shoulder that “we’re gonna die” on the way back.
    2. Mini-Hurricanes Aren’t all Bad. Small tropical storms at the start of a vacation only help to make the partly clowdy days following seem comparatively balmy and beautiful.
    3. Lenny Kravitz is a sharp dressed man. Shortly after arriving on Eleuthera, our cab driver told us that Kravitz had a house on the island, and that, indeed, he might be there at the same time as us. KravitzThen our vacation buddies, Matt and Sarah (that couple that we always seem to bond with on our trips), ran into Lenny on a deserted beach a couple miles north of our hotel, The Cove. Our envy couldn’t be contained. From that moment forward, we were determined to meet the man, but despite renting a car, visiting all the same spots as Matt and Sarah, and shouting out “Kravitz” at the ocean periodically, nada. At the end of the day, when we’d given up all hope and were boarding a water taxi from Harbour Island back to Eleuthera, Ana started mumbling something. I was totally oblivious for the first and second mumble, but she finally said, through her teeth, “eers lenny kraviiiiz.” At which point I did a double take. He looked just like he does on MTV, respledent in earings, noserings, fro, wrap arounds, and hottie arm candy. In some weird way, it helped validate the whole trip.
    4. The famed pink sand beach on Harbour Island isn’t really pink. More of a blush, I’d say. If you look closely at the sand kernels, you’ll see crushed up bits of coral, which gives the sand it’s hue. Is “coral” a color?
    5. Andy has weird literary tastes.   Though he didn’t post an official plug in favor of the Chuck Palahniuk book “Survivor,” he loaned me his copy for the vacation and highly urged me to read it. On the plus side, it was a quick, engrossing read; on the other hand, reading about a messianic etiquette expert, who can go on for pages about how to remove fabric stains, was a rather weird beach reading.
    6. For some inexplicable reason, iPod nanos appear to be allergic to the Carribean and Mexico. Around the same time Andy was loaning me “Survivor,” he mentioned how his nano had suddenly stopped working on his recent vacation to Mexico. The screen was just dead, and in frustration, he cracked open the case to jimmy with it. Didn’t work. Then, a few days later (back in Philly, I think) it was up and operation again — though not quite as pretty as it was, pre-dismantling. So, when my nano stopped working one day, I got frustrated, fiddled endlessly, but stopped just short of craking the casing. And, wouldn’t ya know, when I got back to NY, it was working again as if nothing had ever been wrong. Still don’t know what caused the problem. Salt water air, maybe? Jobs, are you listening? Any thoughts?
    7. The Glass Window is one of the coolest damn things I’ve seen in a while. It’s the thinnest part of Eleuthera — a tiny bridge about two car-widths wide that separates the Carribean and Atlantic waters. On one side is the roiling dark blue ocean, on the other is a stretch of calm acqua. As I understand it, the name comes from sailers, whose ships would be getting tossed around on the violent ocean waters; they would look through the window created by the elevated bridge and the rocky shoals beneath it to see the glassy water on the other side. And, I imagine, say something like “rat bastard.”

    By which, of course, they’d be referring to Lenny Kravitz and his arm candy.

     
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