Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Good Pre-SOTU Viewing

Politics TV, or PTV, has launched their beta and looks to be quite promising. Tune in if for no other reason than to finally see what John Aravosis of AmericaBlog looks like.

Posted by FleshPresser at 5:16 PM /

State Of The Union

Take a look at this, and see how closely it matches up to what you'll hear tonight. Of course, Bush won't be quite as blatent, but if you listen closely enough, you'll hear it all there. Enjoy.

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:59 PM /

Democrats "Standing Firm" on Alito

Yesterday, I tuned into C-SPAN and watched the debate end on the Alito nomination, and watched as they prepared for the cloture vote. C-SPAN had the vote count as 57 voting to end debate, and 37 voting against.

I was fully prepared to watch the vote go down party lines, not have enough votes to create a filibuster option, and Alito's nomination would be approved... again, along party lines.

What I was NOT prepared for was the final tally of the vote, which wound up being 75-25. This means that, during the course of debate, many Democrats realized that there weren't going to be enough votes to protect the filibuster option, and ran for cover instead of standing their ground.

Granted, the nose count of 37 was unofficial, but was based on public statements that had been made by various Senators and/or their staff.

I am SO TIRED of Democrats beating themselves!

How much scandal must be endured? How many lies must be told? How apocalyptic must our world become before the Democrats decide to stand up and do something about it, rather than running for cover?

Today, John Kerry sent out an e-mail:

Yesterday, 25 Democratic Senators joined our effort to filibuster the Alito nomination -- that's more votes to filibuster the Alito nomination than there were votes against Justice Roberts' nomination itself just a few months ago.
This, of course, combined with a penny will get you a gumball. Spin it however you like, it's disgraceful, and Harry Reid, John Kerry (who was supposedly "leading" the effort on the filibuster), and the Democrats should be ashamed.

He goes on...
It's hard to lose -- but it's important to fight for what we believe in.
It sure is... it sure is a shame that you couldn't convince more of your colleagues to believe that.

I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of you who signed our petitions, called your senators, wrote letters to the editor and, most important, refused to stand silent while President Bush worked to pack the highest court in the land with far right ideologues. We fought a fight that needed fighting.
Let's not go overboard in calling this "a fight" that you mounted. Joe Biden sitting there passing oral gas does NOT a fight make. Robert Byrd crossing the line does not a fight make. The Democrats did NOT fight this nomination. They assumed there was nothing that they could do, and rolled over from the outset.

And exactly HOW many times do you think the Democratic grassroots are going to come answer the call for phone calls, e-mails, letters, faxes, donations, et al... only to watch the elected representatives in Congress piss the opportunity away?

We made sure the nation knew the truth about the Alito nomination. We made sure America heard how a right wing ideological coup sandbagged Harriet Miers' nomination and replaced her with Judge Alito.
I'm sorry, but this just isn't true. If you walked up and asked the average person on the streeet if they knew "the truth" about the Alito nomination, you'd get a blank stare.

Forget the average American. Ask the average Democrat. The job was not done. Period.

I would thank the 25 Senators that stood their ground and remained true to their word. They are:

Bayh, Evan (D-IN)
Biden, Joseph R., Jr. (D-DE)
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA)
Clinton, Hillary Rodham (D-NY)
Dayton, Mark (D-MN)
Dodd, Christopher J. (D-CT)
Durbin, Richard (D-IL)
Feingold, Russell D. (D-WI)
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA)
Jeffords, James M. (I-VT)
Kennedy, Edward M. (D-MA)
Kerry, John (D-MA)
Lautenberg, Frank R. (D-NJ)
Leahy, Patrick J. (D-VT)
Levin, Carl (D-MI)
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ)
Mikulski, Barbara A. (D-MD)
Murray, Patty (D-WA)
Obama, Barack (D-IL)
Reed, Jack (D-RI)
Reid, Harry (D-NV)
Sarbanes, Paul S. (D-MD)
Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY)
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI)
Wyden, Ron (D-OR)

If you live in one of these states, make sure you do everything in your power to support these individuals as they come up for re-election. Unless that individual is John Kerry or Harry Reid.

As for the rest, to hell with them.

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:30 PM /

Monday, January 30, 2006

Missed Me, Missed Me....

.... does this mean now we have to kiss him?

Is it just me, or is there anyone else who is just slightly comforted by the fact that these new tapes have once again begun to surface? In Fear Less, Gavin de Becker makes the point that when terrorists talk, they rarely act. It's when they don't talk that they take action. In other words, they don't tend to advertise.

These tapes, rightly or wrongly, make me feel as though the terrorists are once again attempting to practice mental terrorism, rather than physical terrorism.

At least for now.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:41 PM /

Seven Signs of The Apocalypse

Be aware that this week may very well be the beginning of the end. The tell-tale signs?

* GOP Leadership Votes Take Place This Week;
"ummm... is there ANYONE here who hasn't been involved in a scandal.... anyone? Don't be shy... just raise your hand and we'll vote for you....")

* The ENRON Trial Begins This Week;
Look for ole' buddy Dick to pull a few strings and try to get his boys outta' trouble.

* State Of The Union Address;
Polls had Bush going into his 2002 Address at 84%. They dipped to 60% in 2003. 2004 saw a drop to 53% and 2005 sunk to 51%. Current polls have Bush at a generous 43%. At this rate, his address in 2008 should have him at around 20%. Do we need to wait that long to see if it actually comes true?

* Alito Vote;
Note found on Harry Reid's "To-Do" List: Alito vote coming up on Tuesday. Talk to some people about perhaps developing some sort of strategy to let people know that this is bad.

* OSCAR Nominations Come Out Tomorrow;
I haven't decided if I'm going to toss my hat into the ring with my list of potential nominees tomorrow. It's a Catch-22 this year in Hollywood. If Brokeback Mountain wins Best Picture, then homophobes everywhere will complain that Hollywood has "gone gay." If it doesn't win (Crash won the ensemble award last night), everyone will complain that voters caved to pressure about the "gay-ness" of the film.

* Super Bowl This Weekend;
The Seattle who? Oh, by the way, did you know that Jerome Bettis' home town is Detroit, where Super Bowl XL will be played? I had NO idea. I'll be parked on the couch come next weekend, enjoying a fond farewell to another NFL season, munching a tasty Super Bowl snack. Mmmmmmm.... beefy.

and what is the last piece of this Perfect Storm of Apocalypse?

* A NEW Barry Manilow CD arrives in stores this week.
Can't... (cough, cough)... muster the... (wheeeeeeze).... strength to... (gasp).... comment.

It's been nice knowing you, world.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:24 PM /

An Argument FOR Impeachment

Given that we're about to face our President once again trying to sugar coat and spin his way out of the lies, mistakes, gaffes, poor judgement, and a general path of destruction, via the State of the Union address, I thought I would also present the argument FOR impeachment.

However, given my own personal bias, I felt that it would be wrong for me to lead the argument off - I've therefore given the PTF floor to several noteworthy Republicans to argue the case for impeachment (full disclosure - these are obviously arguments made for the Clinton impeachment case, but I'm sure that these fine upstanding Members of Congress would not pull a double standard and take their words back... right?):

* Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN):

I will have no part in the creation of a constitutional double-standard to benefit the President. He is not above the law. If an ordinary citizen committed these crimes, he would go to jail. Contact Sen. Frist to remind him of his words.
* Former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK):

How can we expect a Boy Scout to honor his oath if elected officials don't honor theirs? How can we expect a business executive to honor a promise when the chief executive abandons his or hers? Contact former Rep. J.C. Watts to remind him of his words.
* Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI):
The framers of the Constitution devised an elaborate system of checks and balances to ensure our liberty by making sure that no person, institution or branch of government became so powerful that a tyranny could be established in the United States of America. Impeachment is one of the checks the framers gave the Congress to prevent the executive or judicial branches from becoming corrupt or tyrannical....

....What is on trial here is the truth and the rule of law. Our failure to bring President Clinton to account for his lying under oath and preventing the courts from administering equal justice under law, will cause a cancer to be present in our society for generations. I want those parents who ask me the questions, to be able to tell their children that even if you are president of the United States, if you lie when sworn "to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," you will face the consequences of that action, even when you don't accept the responsibility for them. Contact Rep. Sensenbrenner to remind him of his words.
* Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX):

When someone is elected president, they receive the greatest gift possible from the American people, their trust. To violate that trust is to raise questions about fitness for office. My constituents often remind me that if anyone else in a position of authority -- for example, a business executive, a military officer of a professional educator -- had acted as the evidence indicates the president did, their career would be over. The rules under which President Nixon would have been tried for impeachment had he not resigned contain this statement: "The office of the president is such that it calls for a higher level of conduct than the average citizen in the United States." Contact Rep. Smith to remind him of his words.
* Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL):
I suggest impeachment is like beauty: apparently in the eye of the beholder. But I hold a different view. And it's not a vengeful one, it's not vindictive, and it's not craven. It's just a concern for the Constitution and a high respect for the rule of law. ... as a lawyer and a legislator for most of my very long life, I have a particular reverence for our legal system. It protects the innocent, it punishes the guilty, it defends the powerless, it guards freedom, it summons the noblest instincts of the human spirit.

The rule of law protects you and it protects me from the midnight fire on our roof or the 3 a.m. knock on our door. It challenges abuse of authority. It's a shame "Darkness at Noon" is forgotten, or "The Gulag Archipelago," but there is such a thing lurking out in the world called abuse of authority, and the rule of law is what protects you from it. And so it's a matter of considerable concern to me when our legal system is assaulted by our nation's chief law enforcement officer, the only person obliged to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. Contact Rep. Hyde to remind him of his words.
Thanks, guys. We really appreciate your guidance on this important issue.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:44 AM /

An Argument Against Impeachment

OK... I know I recently placed a beeeee-utiful little banner in the corner of PTF, offering some subtle advice to Congress and our nation.

After a bit of thought, I'm not so sure that this would be the best idea.

Sure... the idea of a world without Preznit Bush seems like a beautiful dream, right? A beautiful, sunny, cloudless day with the sweetest breath of fresh air you've breathed in quite a while. A new morning in America, as it were. An especially wonderful thought as we approach the dreary days of February.

But think it through a bit, and take a look at the bigger picture.

If Bush is removed from office, the person to take his place is Dick Cheney. He is sworn into office, but under the pressure of the war, the economy, and the general mess of the State of the Union, he pulls a William Henry Harrison and dies in office.

Someone gives a call over to 235 Cannon and lets Denny Hastert know what's just happened. This, of course, is akin to John Goodman taking over the office in The West Wing.

Hastert resigns in utter humiliation under the weight of the news that he, in fact, was responsible for the illegitimate love child of Jack Abramoff.

Who's next in line? Well... let's see... does anyone have a copy of the Constitution? One that HASN'T been burned yet? Oh wait, I tend to remember that it's the President Pro Tempore of The Senate... you know, that guy that swore in New Jersey's new senator, Robert Menendez... Cheney was out of the country having his bionics oiled, and so the President Pro Tempore was responsible for the swearing in.... oh wait.... it's coming to me... no.... no...... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!


Senator Stevens, who promised that he was actually LEAVING the Senate after people didn't play nice with him, reappears instantaneously in the Oval Office, quickly appoints Lou Ferrigno as his Vice President, and begins a Federal Economic Stimulus Package consisting of building bridges from every major urban area in the United States directly to Ester, Alaska.

Wait... wait... wake up. It was all just a bad dream. Who's the President? George W. Bush? Damn.

But I guess it could be worse....

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:41 AM /

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Week That Was - January 29, 2006

This was a busy week, and there were a lot of good choices out there by the nation's top political cartoonists. As such, this week's Week is a bit longer than normal, but I hope you find it worth the additional scroll.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:15 PM /

Such A Great Idea - Filibuster For A Day

Will Bunch over at Attytood has a great idea - now at first you might stop and say, "well, that's theatrical and all, but what does it actually DO?"

In my opinion, this is an action that Harry Reid can orchestrate to get a message out to the nation at a time when he's been whining that he can't do anything about the Alito situation.

Here's Bunch writing about it:
It's no surprise, but the Democrats lack the 41 votes they'd need to pull off a filibuster against Samuel Alito. That means that -- barring the re-incarnation of Anita Hill -- there will be a vote on Monday to cut off debate and then a vote on Tuesday to officially confirm him. That's a real victory for President Bush in more ways than one -- he desperately wanted to hail his big win in his State of the Union speech that night.


Nobody asked us, but if Harry Reid had a true flare for politics -- and for the dramatic -- he would try to convince his 43 other members, in the name of party unity, to filibuster Alito...for exactly one day. Why? Because Tuesday night will be the one night in the first half of 2006 when regular folks may actually watch a political event on television.

How dramatic would it be for the big anchors to start their broadcasts at 9 p.m. with the news that Democrats had banded together -- for 24 hours, in the spirit of Jefferson Smith -- to tell America what they really think of Alito, that he will tip the scales on the High Court for big business and big government against the little guy.

It it will deny Bush his magic moment.

Just a thought.
This seems to be the least that Reid can do. The VERY least.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:11 AM /

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Why Is President Bush So Awesome?

Check out the interviews at Rocketboom to find out.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:34 PM /

POUNDING MY FLESH - Running and Training Update - January 28, 2006

Just got back from another great outdoor run. The week has been pretty crappy and cold, and so most of my time was spent on the treadmill. In addition, I've just started rehearsals for my next show, so it gets a little trickier to squeeze in the times for running.

But today was glorious. Upper 50s, and not nearly as much wind as last weekend.

For the week, I ran 15.1 miles, which brings my total for January, as well as for 2006, to an even 52 miles. I've slowly been bringing my pace up a bit, as well. The average pace this week was a 10:46 mile, with an average of 11:05 per mile for January.

I run 95% of my runs with music, and so this week I thought I'd share a little bit of what's in my ears and my head as I run. Most of these links will be for iTunes, but if you don't use iTunes, or can't find the music anywhere else, I'll be happy to hook you up. Most of it's pretty easily accessible, anyway.

It's funny, because I really don't listen to a whole lot of this music on a daily basis - but I've got two playlists that get me through my running. One is a 14 song playlist for my 30 minute runs at the gym. The other is a 60 song playlist, which will get me through just about any run I can conceive of at this point.

First, some of my favorites from the shorter playlist:

I'll admit, I'm more than likely not in their target demographic, but I LOVE Green Day. And when I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to run, Green Day almost ALWAYS gets me on pace. The tempo and rhythm of their music also meshes perfectly with my pace, which doesn't hurt. There songs repeat on both my short and long run playlists:

* She
* Basket Case
* Welcome to Paradise
* American Idiot
Being a child of the '80s, I always gravitate toward the music I grew up with, and so there are a couple of those thrown in, too. The difference with the short playlist is that most of these tend to be re-makes of the originals (I save the "good" stuff for my longer runs):
* The Boys of Summer, The Ataris
* Take on Me, MXPX
* Faith, Limp Bizkit
* I Ran (So Far Away), Bowling For Soup
Then, there are some that I throw in just because they seem to fit in the mix for one reason or another:
Song 2, Blur
The Distance, Cake
Lose Yourself, Eminem
Monkey Wrench, Foo Fighters
The Kids Aren't Alright, The Offspring
Vertigo, U2
I plug these into my iPod, hit shuffle, and I'm off. I know there are some of you who will more than likely give me grief for some of my choices (I can see at least one song on this list which just doesn't really mesh with what I typically listen to), but like I said, there are "running songs" - and in some cases, that's it.

For those of you who run (or bike or workout or anything else like that), what are the songs on your list?

I'll save some of the songs from my long runs as a tease for next week's entry. What a tease, eh?

Still no sponsors as of yet, but there's still plenty of time to get involved. Consider a sponsorship today and in addition to the other perks, I'll give you lots of love on this lil ole blog o' mine.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:45 PM /

Friday, January 27, 2006

We're Not In Kansas Anymore...

On Wednesday, I found video of the President taking questions from a screened audience in Manhattan, Kansas, which I posted several hours after the event. It was a single question about whether or not George Bush had seen Brokeback Mountain yet, and encouraging him to do so.

Funny stuff.

What I didn't see until later that night was the REST of the questions he took that morning in Kansas.

Never fear.... Jon Stewart had it covered. And I just found the video of Stewart covering the President. So, without further ado....

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:22 PM /

FLESH, INK. FRIDAY - Vladimir Valenta

This week, FLESH, INK. FRIDAY travels to the Czech Republic to sample the work of Vladimir Valenta, and his Vivart studio. We found Valenta by way of the World Body Painting Association, and his listing states:
Artists from all the countries of the world lets join and come to paint in Seeboden !!! You will see there is possible that everybody cares about the others and can fight for Beauty of the world with help of Art. You will get to know how charming is to have a good time with friends in fascinating scenery of virgin nature.

While PTF is unable to translate the Czech language found on Valenta's website, there are galleries of his work, including process photos for you to enjoy.

What is perhaps most striking about the work of Vladimir Valenta is the intimacy of the images he creates - he doesn't overpower his canvas, but compliments the structure on which he creates.

We hope you'll agree.

Previously on FLESH, INK. FRIDAY - Anthony Chiappin and Andrew Dunbar / Rich Diltz / Flesh and Color

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:17 PM /

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Show PTF Some Clip Love

You'll notice a new feature over in the right-hand gutter of PTF - PTF Recommended Video Clips. I found a new site, still working in beta, called Revver.

Here's how it works. I go and find some funny videos and post them here. You click on them and watch them in their entirety. You laugh your asses off, and Revver throws me a few pennies.

It can't be easier, and there's absolutely nothing for you to lose by giving it a try. So take a look over there at a few of them, and let me know what you think of the new feature. I'll be constantly updating the video selection, so check back every once in a while for some fun new diversions.

Go ahead. Click one. You KNOW you want to.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:18 PM /

Theatrical Coincidences

As many of you know, when I'm not Pressing The Flesh, I work as a free-lance theatrical director and collaborator. While my ensemble, Funkopolis, has been in the planning stages for a new production, I've been taking on several new projects as of late. As a person working in the arts, it always strikes me as peculiar how coincidences seem to pop up.

Several years ago (I'll date myself if I said how many), I was working on a production of Arthur Kopit's Wings. For those not familiar with the show, Wings "...details the strange, terrifying, shattered world of a woman who we realize, as the play unfolds and the pieces of the beautifully constructed mosaic begin to fall into place, has suffered a stroke." Not exactly the lightest of shows, but beautifully written.

As we were in the midst of rehearsal for the production, we found out that another theatre in town was mounting their own production of Wings. Typically, it's rare for two theatres in the same city to mount the same show in a single season, let alone scheduling it at almost the same time.

After a little bit more investigation, I heard rumor that they were actually doing the "musical" version of the show. At first, I thought it was a joke, but it turned out to be true.

Keeping in mind the subject matter of the show and everything, I found it staggering to try and conceive of Wings being turned into a musical, but there it was. I have yet to hear the music for the show, so I'm still not really sure about the quality, but there it was.

Fast forward to present day.

I have just begun working on Emily Mann's adaptation of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, and have been very excited about it, as the cast is very talented and the design elements and production values for the show are going to have a very contemporary feel to them.

The House of Bernarda Alba is set in a rural village in Spain at the turn of this century. Bernarda and her daughters live a sheltered existence following the death of their father. Under the scrutiny of the community around them - a community bound by tradition and strict morality, Bernarda feels the need to protect the reputation of the family, and represses her daughters by enforcing an eight year mourning period. The tensions build rapidly among the imprisoned women, oppressing them to the point of suffocation.

Again, a little heavy... especially for a show slated to open in the cold, dreary month of February.

Well, once again, here comes the musical. As it turns out, Lincoln Center Theater is set to premiere the musical adaptation of Lorca's masterpiece, opening February 11 - exactly 12 days prior to the opening of my production.

The LCT production features true talent in the cast, with the likes of Phylicia Rashad and Daphne Rubin-Vega gracing the stage. Still, I just can't imagine just a heavy show being turned into a musical. To be sure, this will be no Cosby Show or Rent, but I'm intrigued nonetheless.

Intrigued, and always fascinated by the coincidences.

Posted by FleshPresser at 8:31 PM /

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

History Being Un-made As We Speak...

The Senate is currently in the midst of its debate on Alito's appointment to The Supreme Court. While I encouraged Democrats to support the nomination of Roberts, this nomination should have been fought tirelessly. As President Bush continues his move toward an authoritarian monarchy, Alito would actually support Bush's abuse of the Executive Office. This is beyond his ability to affect a woman's right to choose, civil right in the workplace, and the most basic of privacy and civil liberties.

The Republicans keep throwing out their catch phrase of "an up-or-down vote for every nominee." Yes. Unless you're Harriet Miers, in which case, all bets are off.

Some Democrats have reserved the right to filibuster, and I think that this is PRECISELY the time that they should test the backbone of the Republican party, given the current public opinion toward the Republican party.

Senator Schumer, the senior Senator from New York, is taking a tally of all calls coming into both his NYC (212.486.4430) and Washington D.C. (202.224.6542) offices in trying to decide whether a filibuster is appropriate. Make your voice heard!

Don't turn your head and pretend not to notice this. No TV? Fine... watch it here, or here. Don't go uninformed as your civil rights are about to be further eroded.

As a bonus, you can watch highlights such as Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) REPEATEDLY refer to Alito as Sca-lito!! It's happening AS I WRITE THIS!! Too funny!!

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:02 PM /

Pop Cultural PTF

Chris Penn, 40, was found dead in his home in California yesterday. Most will remember Sean Penn's younger brother as Eddie Cabot in Resevoir Dogs - a truly memorable role and film. I prefer, however, to remember him as the awkward young hayseed who didn't know how to dance until Kevin Bacon taught him - and we're talking Footloose before Broadway got it's dirty claws all over it. In a strange coincidence, his latest film, The Darwin Awards, was scheduled to screen tonight at Sundance. You will be remembered, Chris.

By now, most have heard of the cancellation of NBC's The West Wing - in my opinion, still one of the highest quality shows on TV. Yes, it's not the show that it was in it's first four seasons, but how does a show of this caliber get axed while others like this or this remain? Obviously, the powers that be felt as though the passing of John Spencer signaled the appropriate time to draw things to an end. The series will continue until May, and will continue through the current election - if you want more details on how the series will end, check out this article, but be warned that there are spoilers provided.

In other NBC news, production on My Name is Earl was suspended as actor Jason Lee recovers from a case of chickenpox. Wonder if kharma had something to do with it?

It was announced today that the WB and UPN will join forces to create a joint effort named CW. Great. Now the network can suck on twice as many stations as before.

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:11 AM /

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

And Lest We Forget...

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:18 PM /

I Love The Smell of Impeachment In The Morning...

...even if it's just a tiny little whiff. Just catching the slight scent of it drives me wild. And when it comes from a conservative source? Well, even better.

Do I think we need to take up a collection to send packing supplies to 1600 Penn. Ave. just yet?


But do I imagine a scenario where Republican Members of Congress begin talking about the best way to save their hides, both in 2006 and 2008?

Well, it's a pleasant thought to carry me through the day, at least.

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:05 PM /

See Bush. See Bush Squirm.

Squirm, Bush. Squirm.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:05 PM /

Monday, January 23, 2006

Blame Canada?

Well, I wouldn't go that far, but as Canadians go to the polls today, it appears that Conservatives are in position to take the driver's seat after 13 years of Liberals in charge.

Michael Moore writes an open letter to Canadians, asking them to think once more before they play this cruel joke on themselves and the world.

Canada, please don't make the same mistake that millions of Americans made in 2004. You should be able to look at the example to the South of you and see what could happen to you.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:53 AM /

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Week That Was - January 22, 2006

Posted by FleshPresser at 5:33 PM /

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Press'n The Flizzay!

On the heels of finding Valley URL, which takes your blog or website and translates for the '80s impaired, we now are happy to present Gizoogle, which will give your blog or website a more contemporary, urban feel.

Without further ado, the New Hip Pressing The Flesh!

And while we're at it, let's take a look at AmericaBlog!

How about making Modern Fabulosity even more fabulous? (Pay particular attention to the new fresh profile!)

Addictive and hilarious!!

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:52 PM /

POUNDING MY FLESH - Running and Training Update - January 21, 2006

WOO-HOO! Today was my first official outdoor run of 2006! Hell, it's the first time I've been on an outdoor run since probably some time last summer, thanks to some health problems I was going through.

Today was that perfect type of running day - sunny, mid-50s - it's the type of day that feels cold when you come outside with your running shorts and t-shirt, but after running for a while, you're thankful for it.

There's one caveat, of course. Running in the wind is NASTY. Let me re-phrase - Running AGAINST the wind is NASTY. When you get a good solid wall of wind blowing against you, it can turn even a small incline into a major piece of work. This, of course, makes me nervous about running in Chicago this fall.

Of course, when the wind is at your back... well, that's an entirely different story.

For the week I ran 13.3 miles, putting my total for January at 36.9 miles. I am typically a 12 minute/mile runner (LSD is my mantra - long, slow distance), and so one of my goals has been to pick up the pace a bit. Thinking toward the marathons - 26.2 miles - a 12 minute/mile would work out to somewhere around 5 1/2 hours... and that's just too damned long for me to be out running.

The good news is that my pace for this week has been 10:47, and it's 11:14 for the month, so we're heading in the right direction.

It's rare to get a day as nice as today in January, so I relished it. I don't know when my next road run will be, but I was thankful for today.

Interested in getting some exposure for your blog or online business? Consider sponsoring my 2006 running season.

Posted by FleshPresser at 5:52 PM /

Molly Ivins Is My New Hero...

.... at least for today. Just read her take on Hillary Clinton and the current state of the Democratic party. No further comment necessary, save to say that I agree with her 110%, and will be supporting an Independent candidate if Senator Clinton takes the Democratic nomination. I will not suffer through another Kerry-esque campaign.

Grassroots Democrats need to tell Democratic leadership that we're not simply going to run with whomever is served up as the best choice, as we did in the past. This time, I want to support a candidate who believes what I believe. I want to support a candidate who stands a chance to win, because they actually have a firm, defensible platform.

Don't get me wrong. I like Hillary Clinton. I think she has served as a VERY strong member of the U.S. Senate. And I think she could continue to galvanize the Democratic party behind a solid candidate. But she has proven to me over and over again that she cannot be that candidate, and that she is not capable of winning.

And for the time being, I want to support THIS candidate.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:51 PM /

Bush V. Google

So, as if the Bush Administration doesn't have enough trouble on its hands right now for sticking it's nose where the American public feels it doesn't belong, this week saw the Bush Administration demanding search information from millions of users of Google and other Internet companies. This information has been requested under the guise of protecting us from terrorism once again, in addition to trying to keep our children safe.

As a public service, Pressing The Flesh is happy to "bypass the middleman" as it were, and voluntarily submit our recent Google searches for public and government scrutiny. We would encourage others to do the same. If not, after all, the terrorists win, right?

Without further ado, then, is my list of recent Google searches:

Let's see.... there's this, and this, and this, and this... oh, and this, and this, and this... and... umm.... not quite sure how THIS got in here... and I would be remiss if I didn't include this, and this, and last but not least... this.

I will forward this to The White House, and would encourage everyone else to do the same.

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:08 AM /

Friday, January 20, 2006

Do The Other Planets Look At Earth And Laugh?

Or do they just shake their head and feel sorry for Her?

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:42 PM /

FLESH, INK. FRIDAY - Anthony Chiappin/Andrew Dunbar

Anthony Chiappin (painter) and Andrew Dunbar (photographer) collaborated together on this set of thirty works entitled "New Body of Art." According to the Artist's Statement, "The use of colour allows a sense of the unreal ~ the images are so overstated that the effect is overwhelming: the pieces appear to be quintessentially postmodern in their expression of the cross-cultural assembling of iconic influences in a tribalistic setting."

I'm not a big fan of face painting for novelty sake, but with artists such as Chiappin, there is an attempt to use the body not only as a canvas, but as a structural sculpture. It is difficult to recognize specific body parts in the work, as all becomes part of the whole artistic image.

Work like this takes "Pressing The Flesh" to a whole new level of expression. Take a look at all of the images, and enjoy!

Previously on FLESH, INK. FRIDAY - 1/13/06: Rich Diltz 1/6/06: Flesh and Color

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:42 PM /

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Just A Reminder To Visit My New House

Just as a courtesy, I wanted to remind everyone that as of today, you have 30 chances left to pretend to enter to win the house which will be awarded to me by HGTV in April. Feel free to take an online tour of my house, or you can wait until we move in, and I'll be happy to invite you over.

Did I mention that my new house is worth over $2 million dollars?

Did I mention that it's over 5,000 square feet?

Ahhhh.... just a few more months to wait. I've got to get back to work packing.

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:24 PM /

Like, Totally Amusing...

Need to see your blog from a different viewpoint? Is the news getting a little too depressing for you?

Visit Valley URL and type in the web address for any site you choose... it will automatically change the site into lexicon from the '80s. Omigod!!!

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:18 AM /

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Couldn't Resist...

HatTip to Gaping Void.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:40 PM /

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

We're Da' Fittest, Hon!

I'm sorry, but I've lived in both Baltimore and Milwaukee, and the idea that Men's Fitness Magazine lists BOTH in their top five list of "fittest cities" in America... and Bawlmer ranks over places like Honolulu or Seattle?!?

Let's put it this way. I defy you to visit either Baltimore or Milwaukee, and show me a majority of people who look like this:

Instead, I'm betting you find people who look like this:

Posted by FleshPresser at 5:17 PM /

Monday, January 16, 2006

In Honor Of MLK

Listen to I Have A Dream, regardless of whether you've ever heard it in it's entirety or not. Truly breathtaking.

HatTip to AmericaBlog for the link.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:22 PM /

Fleshy Time-Killer

I'm always in the market for a "flesh-angled" blog, and so when I saw this link on Nowhere Girl's blogroll, I had to check it out. Actually, quite amusing. I'm not a fan of the belly, per se, but the facial expressions are what really sells it for me.

A friend of mine once wrote a VERY short play called "Rrrrrrrub My Neeeeeples" or something to that effect. Perhaps the next adventure in the saga could be "Touch My Belly."

As for my favorite (I haven't scrolled through them all... have to save some for later, you know), I think it's probably "Hate."


Posted by FleshPresser at 3:51 PM /

IN THE FLESH - Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH)

So, if you've been paying attention to the news, you know that the Alito hearings ended - most likely with Joe Biden muttering something about his father's collection of organically preserved moose heads and how they have bearing on Brown V. Board of Education.

As such, and as predicted, the focus once again shifts to the Abramoff scandal, and it's latest victim - Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.

So, in PTF's ongoing campaign to give insight as to who the individuals are behind the decisions that are made in American politics, we present a brief profile of Bob Ney.

Rep. Bob Ney represents the 18th District of Ohio, a largely rural area of the Southeast portion of the state, made up of about 16 counties.

Prior to serving in the United States House of Representatives, Ney was an Ohio State House and Senate member, and was elected to the US House in 1994 elections - the year that saw Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America sweep Republicans into the majority. Ironic that these elections focused on the alleged corruption of the Democrats at the time.

Kettle?...um...Hi... it's the pot. You're black.

Prior to his most recent demotion, Rep. Bob Ney's web site announced that he was ranked as the "...11th Most Powerful Member of Congress by an independent, non-partisan poll." Obviously, that poll will need a little adjustment now.

Until very recently, Ney was the Chair of the House Administration Committee, which has oversight on lots of important issues, including but not limited to the acceptance or purchase of works of art for the Capitol, the Botanic Garden, and the disposition of useless executive papers.

Oh wait... there's also those little things, like the Election of the President, Vice President, Members, Senators, Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner; corrupt practices; contested elections; credentials and qualifications; and Federal elections generally.

Now we understand where at least a portion of the power comes from. Gotcha.

While he's given up his Chair position on Administration, he also holds positions on the House Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as the Joint Committee on Printing.

Oh, it's maybe worth mentioning this here, as well. Ney is the Chair of the Housing Subcommittee within the Financial Services Committee. This past week, Ney was holding field hearings as part of a continuing series of hearings on housing options in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. If you're one of those individuals or families affected by these natural disasters, is this REALLY the guy you want holding these hearings right now?

As always, if you want to get in touch with the Congressman to let him know what a super job he's doing, feel free to e-mail him directly at bobney@mail.house.gov, or call directly at 202-225-6265.

Previously on IN THE FLESH - Tony C. Rudy

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:06 PM /

Sunday, January 15, 2006

POUNDING MY FLESH: The Journey Begins

As some of you may know, I began the sport of running in April of 2003, and completed almost 300 miles of running in 2005 (It would have been more, but an illness in the fall sidelined me for several months).

For those of you who don't run, that may seem like an amazing distance. For those who do run regularly, the distance is just a drop in the bucket.

I'm planning on 2006 being an ambitious year for myself in many ways, but most certainly in my running. I tried to come up with the most inconceivable goal I could think of, and decided to pursue it.

In January 2007, I'll be running the Full and Half Marathons in Walt Disney World. Each race is run on a separate day now, and as such, it's possible to participate in both. It will total close to 40 miles in two days.

From time to time, then, I will be checking in here to let readers know how my training is going. Thus far, I have run 24 miles for the year, and 12 this past week. In addition, I will be sharing running tips that are helping me in my training, and soliciting advice from folks on how to get over the hurdles I'm facing from time to time.

Wish me luck... here goes nothing!

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:08 PM /


Well, not exactly... but "Your Ad Here" might apply. "And here." "And here."

Let's get one thing straight. I'm not going to be setting up any E-Bay auctions to sell myself.

But I am currently seeking sponsors for my 2006 Racing and Running Season. Now, at first, this sounds crazy. I am NOT a professional runner, nor do I anticipate winning any of the events in which I participate. Nike won't be knocking on my door any time soon.

But it's all the more reason why your business, blog, web site, etc. may want to sponsor me. Drop me a line at PressingTheFlesh@aol.com and I'll give you the full details.

I'll be running in three (actually, four) major racing events this year, in various locations across the country, in addition to several smaller "tune-up events" to prepare and train for the major runs.

In each of these events, I will wear your logo, ad, text, or anything else you might want me to wear - all sponsorship fees are applied on a scale based on size and scope of sponsorship, but ALL will be affordable, and CHEAP considering the numbers, demographics and geographic regions you'll be reaching.

Here's the best part - your blog, advertisement, web site, online business will be seen by MILLIONS of people! I personally guarantee that. How do I know? Well, first of all, let me list the events for you:

April 30, 2006 - Runner's World Half-Marathon - Allentown, PA
This event usually has 3,000 - 4,000 participants each year, in addition to the family, friends, community members, etc. who cheer along the side of the road or serve as volunteers on the race course.

October 22, 2006 - The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon - Chicago Illinois
One of the classic annual marathons, this race has 40,000 participants each year, and over 1.5 MILLION spectators are expected to line the streets, cheering runners through the streets of The Windy City.

January 6-7, 2007 - The Walt Disney World Half and Full Marathon Challenge - Orlando, Florida
My first half-marathon was run in Disney World. As a beginning runner, but advanced Disno-phile, I knew that Disney World was one of the few things that would motivate me to run 13 miles. So, this year, I've challenged myself to run not just the half-marathon, but the full marathon, as well. There will be a combined 30,000 participants involved with these two races, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and spectators.

In addition to each of these major races, there will be various 5 and 10K events run throughout the year as training and in preparation for the major events.

YOUR AD WILL BE NOTICED. How do I know? This is simple. People, both participants and spectators, look for ANYTHING to distinguish people from the crowd during the race. In my first race, someone made the suggestion that I put my name on front of my short, and I cannot tell you how many people called out my name during that race.

In addition, as I said, I am not anticipating winning any of these races. I am what is called a "midpacker." People pass me, and I pass them. Invariably during the long races, people begin having conversations with one another, and I'd love to be the spokesperson for your business, blog, web site, etc.

If you're interested in more information, and are as serious about this as I am, feel free to drop me a line at PRESSINGTHEFLESH@AOL.COM, and I'll get you all the information you need to get set up.

Thanks, in advance, for considering this sponsorship.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:20 PM /