Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good to know ...

Brazil's World Cup secret -- plenty of sex
March 30, 2006

LONDON (AFP) - Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira wants his team to play with a smile on their faces at this year's World Cup -- so has ruled out imposing a sex ban.

While Parreira's predecessor Luis Felipe Scolari ran a famously strict regime during the 2002 finals, a more relaxed mood will prevail in Germany -- and that includes as much sex as his players want.

"I don't think that sex one day before the game will have any harm on the player. Just sex, no problem," Parreira told Maxim magazine.

"The problem is, they don't eat, they don't sleep, they smoke and they drink. That is the problem. Sex? No, sex is always very good -- always welcome."

Parreira also gave an insight into the methods his team uses to maintain spirit during tournaments.

Ronaldinho is a keen player of the samba drums -- and the world champions will be packing their instruments once again when they head to Germany.

"Psychologists say it is very important in the dressing room and coming from the hotel to the stadium that you do something with your hands, with your mouth," Parreira said.

"If you just sit there worrying? Clutching your hands? That does not help. If you play something it helps relax. That is why we give them the drums and things.

"Since 1970 we have done this. We buy instruments for them, and they play on the bus -- instead of saying, 'Oh my God, we are going to play Germany or England in a World Cup game.' That does not help."

Parreira also said there was no chance that Brazil would play more conservatively in Germany.

"We have to give a good impression and keep our style. We don't have to change that because we are going to play a World Cup."

"We have to defend, as well, otherwise we go nowhere. But we can't deny our roots -- we play a happy game."

-In other news:

Mexico 2, Paraguay 1
AP - Mar 29, 11:24 pm EST

CHICAGO (AP) -- Omar Bravo scored twice to lead Mexico to a 2-1 win over Paraguay in a World Cup tuneup match Wednesday night at Soldier Field.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tip of the iceberg

By the way, 500,000 marching in Los Angeles? Beautiful and powerful and meaningful - everything people should be. Often I'm frustrated, but sometimes I'm damn proud.

But please keep in mind, especially you folks in the media:

Immigrant does not equal Latino or Hispanic

Latino or Hispanic does not equal Mexican

Latino or Hispanic certainly does not equal "illegal"

Pride in heritage does not equal disloyalty to nation, especially in a nation built on immigration

Photo: AFP

The future president of the United States

And suddenly the Bush Twins look like brain surgeons.

Serenity NOW! X)

Monday, March 27, 2006


Me and Lopez! don't write about everything we do (it just seems that way), so we're launching a little something that hopefully will be a regular feature. During the week we'll take pictures of what we've been up to, and at the end of seven days we'll post them here - if you want an explanation of what the hell is going on in any particular photo, let us know in the comments.








Trouble on Paradise Island

You know what's wrong with Hollywood? You know what's wrong with the current crop of "actors/singers/celebrity A-holes" that are seemingly armed with everything but talent? I'll tell you what the problem is:

Lohan the one for “Wonder Woman”?

Although no talks have even begun, Lindsay Lohan thinks playing the role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming feature would be “cool.”

By Mark Umbach,

Everybody is wondering which woman will be Wonder Woman. If it were up to starlet Lindsay Lohan, she says she’d take the pilot’s seat in the invisible jet in a heartbeat.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” vet Joss Whedon is currently developing a feature film based on the comic book superheroine for Warner Bros. Pictures.
While Lohan admits that she’s currently looking for roles outside her current milieu of teen and kiddie films, she thinks playing Diana Prince would be too cool.

“Wonder Woman would be cool. I’m trying to find roles right now that are different to anything I’ve done to show my abilities, to show that I have some sort of stretch in me. Because most of the things that I’ve done so far are aimed at younger girls and are light-hearted,” she recently to
ld OK! magazine.

Oh, hell no! No, no, no! I can't even begin to describe all the ways this is a bad idea. The only thing that keeps me from wrapping a mylar bag around my head is the fact Joss Whedon has been pretty clear that he wants someone statuesque, a warrior-woman, a goddamn AMAZON! That is not Lohan. Hey, while we're at it, why don't we cast Clay Aiken as Batman?

You just know there's some jerk somewhere who's actually considering this. I imagine a boardroom full of execs muttering "Synergy, synergy, crossover" while flapping copies of "Teen People" at each other.

There are certain things you need to make a character come alive. Look, it's simple:




Great Hera, no!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

That's Jefe to you ...

According to an article in the Austin-American Statesman, the number of Hispanic-owned business has grown 25 percent in Central Texas, reflecting a state and nationwide trend. Specifically:

... almost 3,000 Hispanic-owned businesses launched from 1997 to 2002 in Central Texas, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Texas is home to almost one in five Hispanic-owned companies in the United States. The state ranks second behind California in the number of Hispanic-owned businesses.

Such companies in Central Texas had $2.2 billion in sales in 2002, the Census Bureau estimated, a 53 percent increase from five years earlier after adjusting for inflation.

Nationwide, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew 31 percent — three times the national average for all businesses. In Texas, it rose 33 percent, and in Central Texas it increased 25 percent.

The Census Bureau report "certainly indicates that the Hispanic population is not only growing, but becoming an integrated part of the economic community. They're business owners as well as employees," said Steve Murdock, the state demographer who works at the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In Texas, about 18.4 percent of businesses are owned by Hispanics, Murdock said. That is more than twice the national average of about 7 percent, according to the Census Bureau.

It reflects not only rapid population growth but also the older, established Hispanic community that has been part of the Texas economy for centuries, Murdock said.

Nationally, the Census Bureau said the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew from about 1.2 million to 1.6 million from 1997 to 2002.

That's right, bitches - we're gonna OWN your ass! Where'd you think all the chips and salsa you eat comes from, anyway? You'd better get fitted for your sombreros now, you crazy gringos.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Collateral damage

In the ugliness of war, particularly when it is as tortured and misshapen as what we've created in Iraq, it can be easy to forget that much of that ugliness is born and fostered and fed on a very personal level.

The AP recently ran a profile on a man whose son was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq; about a year afterward, the man himself was in Iraq, manning a machine gun just as his son had before he was killed. The man had already been planning to join the National Guard with an eye toward going to the Middle East, but now he was armed with grief and hatred.

What is sad, and scary, and even somewhat sickening, is how the tragic and wasteful death of this man's son seemed to only reinforce ignorant and uninformed ideas that are echoed repeatedly by the Bush Administration. The man is overcoming his need for revenge, but he hasn't even begun to grapple with his need for an enemy, a bogeyman that is equal parts bigotry and misdirected fear.

The article begins with this:

Father Loses Taste for Revenge in Iraq

By Charels J. Hanley, AP Special Correspondent

AL-ASAD, Iraq - In the desert chill, on the lonely nighttime roads of
Iraq, Joe Johnson looks out over his machine gun and thinks of Justin. It was on Easter morning 2004 that a chaplain and a colonel appeared on Joe and Jan Johnson's Georgia doorstep with the news. Justin, the boy Joe had fished and hunted with, the soldier son who'd gone off to Iraq a month earlier, was suddenly dead at 22, killed by a roadside bomb planted in a Baghdad slum.

Today it's Joe who mans the M-240 atop a Humvee, warily watching the sides of the road, an unlikely Army corporal at 48, a father who came here for revenge, a Christian missionary on a crusade against Islam, and a man who, after six months at war, is ready to go home.


Why did he do it? The wiry lean Georgian, an easy-talking man with a boyish, sunburned face, tried to answer the question that won't go away.

"It's a lot of things combined," he said. "One, a sense of duty. I was pissed off at the terrorists for 9/11 and other atrocities. Second, I'd only trained. I wanted combat." And then, he said, "there's some revenge involved. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't."

I need to point out, again, that the terrorists responsible for Sept. 11 were not from Iraq, they were with Al Qaeda, an international terrorist group with bases of operation in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and elsewhere. The fact that people still don't understand this distinction amazes me, and I lay the blame with the Administration (which deliberately created the confusion to pave the path to war) and the media (which failed to ask the hard questions when it was easier to go along, and continues in failing to properly inform their audience). That said, I can't even imagine what it's like to lose a child, and can only begin to understand his anger and frustration.

But there was more on the mind of this man who has done Church of God missionary work as far afield as Peru and the Arctic.

"I don't really have love for Muslim people," Johnson said. "I'm sure there are good Muslims. I try not to be racist." Although he hasn't read the Quran, or spoken with Muslims, he has "heard" the Islamic holy book "teaches to kill Jews and infidels. And it's hard to love people who hate you."

This is frightening. I'm trying not to be too judgmental, so let me just say that I thought the cornerstone of Christian thought was supposed to be a love of all. Also, I have a problem when people base their generalized opinion on a subject they know nothing about, especially when there is seemingly no intention of learning anything at all. Finally, "Muslim" is not race, the Quran doesn't teach those things, and the vast majority of Muslims don't hate anybody.

His battalion exits Iraq in early May, when Johnson's own enlistment term, coincidentally, expires. "That's it," he said, no re-enlistment for him.

But what about revenge?

"If I go home and didn't kill a terrorist, it's not going to ruin my life," he said. "Maybe I'd just as soon not. I don't know what it would do to my head."

For the most part, the people fighting in Iraq are not terrorists - they are Iraqis who are fighting against what they see as the invading force of a large, powerful country, which has since occupied their territory. I'd wager there are many Americans who, if you asked them what they would do if the U.S. were invaded, would tell you they'd do much the same thing. The Minutemen are already trying, and its chosen enemy, conveniently enough, are poor people trying to better their lives in a country that is inexplicably still seen as a beacon of freedom and hope. At the very least, this man has gained some perspective. At least, I hope so.

From the beginning, I've felt what we've been doing in the Middle East is wrong. This man's tragedy, and the deeper tragedy he represents for people affected on both sides of this war, shows just how wrong, and how ugly, it is.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Now somebody, anybody SCREAM!

Nel had the mother of all birthday presents last month when we took a weekend trip* to Houston to celebrate. While visiting the Museum of Art** to catch the Basquiat exhibit on its last day, we overheard a group of hipsters asking the guard about a Grandmaster Flash concert. We immediately inquired for ourselves, and sure enough Mr. Flash was to be present for the closing celebration. Five hours and $20 later we were putting our hands in the air, and waving 'em like we just didn't care.

By the way, Basquiat was indeed a genius. For the longest time I pegged him as a Warhol groupie. But seriously, he totally kicked ass.

*Activities also included dinner at a fancy-pants restaurant, shopping and lunch on Hillcroft Street and Harwin Drive and a marathonic trip to Ikea.
**And yes, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is fucking awesome!

Friday, March 17, 2006

¿Si se puede?

United States Runs Out of Chances in Classic
Published: March 17, 2006
Team USA lost to Mexico, 2-1, and was eliminated from the inaugural World Baseball Classic. South Korea and Japan advanced to the semifinals in San Diego.

-OK, now we just have to trust that our soccer compadres can do the same thing at the World Cup.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cthulhu research alert!

From the Newspaper Tree:

The first big drug lord in the area was a Chinese man named Sam Hing, who peddled opium out of a fake business locale that was situated somewhere in the vicinity of what is now the intersection of Paisano Drive and Oregon Street, according to Juárez newspaper archives and Juárez city historian Ignacio Esparza-Marín. He said between 1910 and 1920 in Juárez there were places where not only opium was ingested, but also morphine and cocaine.

As always in the modern drug trade, there was a hostile takeover. In the mid-1920s, 11 Chinese immigrants dedicated to the sale of narcotics were murdered in Juárez. Their deaths were ordered by a married Juárez couple, a woman named Ignacia Jasso, nicknamed “La Nacha,” and her husband Pablo González, called “El Pablote.”

I hope this helps my fellow nerds. I thought it had some details that might help you beef up your campaign (or whatever it's called).


Friday, March 10, 2006

Fun with Cat and Girl

Instead of a new strip over at one of our favorite web comics, Cat and Girl is giving readers a chance to screw around and make their own. After we lost both of our efforts the first time, I managed to rebuild mine and sent it to Lopez!. She liked it, so here it is. Just remember, I never claimed to be funny ha-ha. At most I'm funny why's-my-chair-squishy?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blowing my brains out

Yeah, so this is pretty much how I've been feeling the past couple of days. Posting will pick up once I stop feeling like I've been worked over with a sock full of pennies and Lopez! doesn't have to go to three meetings every day. Oh, and whoever thought of lacing Puffs with lotion should get the Nobel Prize.

Image source

Monday, March 06, 2006

Stop the presses!

Maybe it's a good thing I don't work at a newspaper anymore. I was looking through the headlines and saw:

Tiny hummingbirds have superb memories

And the first thing that popped into my head was:

subhed: Big ones can't remember shit

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Did you know the new Blue Beetle is supposed to be from El Paso? That's right, a new character who's integral to the current "Crisis" storyline, who'll be getting his own title in late March, who's replacing a beloved and dramatically killed-off character, and whose name is JAIME FRIGGIN' REYES, will be from my hometown.

See that truck in the background of Panel 2? That's a Big 8 truck! Big 8 is an El Paso chain of grocery stores, and outside of Chico's Tacos you can't get more El Paso than Big 8.

Man, it sure would be great if I knew some journalist-types back in El Chuco who could maybe play with the idea of pitching a story idea to the lifestyle section. C'mon, it wouldn't be that hard and it would be fun. El Paso could be cool for once. C'mooooon! And it's not as if you can't track down the background information - one of the writers even has his own blog!

I'm just saying.

Real Life Conversations, Pt. 2

We're driving to meet some friends for dinner, and "Come On, Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners starts up on the radio:

Nel: I used to really hate this song when it first came out, but now I've got an appreciation for it.

Lopez!: That's just because it's about some guy trying to get naughty.

N: Heh. Yeah.

L: I just can't stand how they look. They always looked dirty. Or oily.

N: They look like the bastard children of hillbillies and French people.

Katrina: The Warnings Bush Received

In case you heard about the video but haven't seen it.