Saturday, September 29, 2007

Letterman owns Paris

Regular readers of east coast mark know that I routinely praise the wit of David Letterman, and rail against the simpletons that watch Jay Leno. Last night was classic Letterman, as he had Paris Hilton on his show - and tore her to shreds. This is a must-watch. Kudos to Letterman for breaking the mold of the typical suck-up interviews that these Hollywood tarts normally get.

"Someone you met in prison?" Brilliant.

Letterman is my new hero. The robot that vacuums my floor and that water skiing squirrel I saw on tv are now second and third.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The People in Your Neighborhood


Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been spreading his brand of crazy across NY this week - speaking at the UN and Columbia University. Kudos to Columbia's President Lee Bolinger for calling him out as a 'cruel and petty dictator.'
However, the real enjoyment of the week has been watching every news anchor and political pundit trying to pronounce Ahmadinejad's last name. Katie Couric has been nailing it pretty well, and David Letterman actually had it roll off his tongue like he minored in Farsi. However, most of the time I'm picturing Ahmadinejad sitting around with his advisers, re-enacting the scene from Office Space where Samir Nagheenanajar is lamenting how no one can pronounce his name properly.

"No one in this country can ever pronounce my name right. It's not that hard: Samir Na-gheen-an-a-jar. Nagheenanajar. "

I think it was smart not to let him go to Ground Zero, but in the end letting him speak here in the US turned out to be a pretty savvy move - mostly because it let everyone see what a nutjob is running Iran. He commented that there are no gay people in Iran, the Holocaust probably never happened, and the Backstreet Boys' new album is super fly.

Erin Esurance
I'm not typically into the punk-rock dyed-hair look, but there's something about this pink-haired super crime fighter that catches my eye. Maybe it's the way she deftly battles interstellar aliens in games of basketball. Maybe it's the skin tight leather outfits she sports while defying another sinister henchman. Simply put, she might be the hottest animated character since Ariel from the Little Mermaid.
I had to see these commercials a good 20 times before I even realized they were selling online car insurance. You can forgive my ignorance, as these commercials have nothing to do with car insurance whatsoever. Either way, keep doing what you do Erin.

Hillary Clinton
Most of the polls this week are showing that The Hilldebeast is pulling away from Obama and the rest of the democratic presidential contenders. I hate to let the secret out of the bag, but quietly there's nothing we Republicans hope for more! The lesson the democrats refuse to learn - even after their Kerry debacle - is the lesson of electability. Even more confounding is the notion that a Clinton/Obama 'superticket' is even more unstoppable!
The truth as I see it is that the only electable democrat is John Edwards; but he has somehow lost all his momentum and drive from the 2004 election. I guess you can't blame the guy - his wife has pretty much been given a death sentence after her cancer recently returned.
East Coast Mark hasn't yet thrown his full backing behind a candidate - but we're leaning toward Mitt Romney. His voice hasn't completely gotten out to the general public yet - but when it does, he's going to turn a lot of heads. The guy is a brilliant businessman, Harvard graduate, former Governor of Massachusetts, and single-handedly stepped in and saved the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics after they were rocked by scandals. 5 kids, never been divorced...and I think he's done a pretty solid job of making his Mormon religion a non-issue.

Monday, September 17, 2007

east coast roundup

Things move pretty fast on the east coast....well, if you don't count the local jewish women ordering at a deli or the Garden State Parkway at 4pm. Here are some of the dabblings of the past week:

Scarlett Fever - Rutgers back in school:
My little city was pretty much a playground for the bridge and tunnel crowd over the summer. Easy to get a table at the outdoor sidewalk cafes, streets were pretty empty, and very few annoying 19 year old blondes running about. (I like to limit my 19-year old exposure to one or two per night. But I digress...)
Then suddenly 2 weeks ago a co-ed bomb dropped - and now we've got an additional 15,000 undergrads running amuk. They're easy to spot, I think they're issued all red clothing to wear for the first 2 weeks, and it must be mandatory to wear an iPod at all times. College girls at Rutgers seem to be either 5'1"/100lbs or 5'10" and built like that football player chick who won American Idol. "They some nappy headed...." Nonetheless, for the first time in my life I live in a city that has a college football team that one doesn't need to be ashamed of.

Here's my new favorite commercial - an ode to being back in school. [Mark mocks those who have to do homework]

It's Business Time:
I'm continually telling people that HBO is the best channel on tv, but it seems only about 1 in 20 people have it. Sad. When you meet someone who also watches HBO, it's like meeting a long lost frat brother - and realizing they know the secret handshake too.
The best show of the Summer was the comedy song-fest Flight of the Conchords. The rest of you will probably start hearing about it 3 years too late....kinda like The Sopranos and Family Guy. You're just not as cool as the people that were there first.
Anyway - the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm started last week (endlessly brilliant), and a steamy new drama called Tell Me You Love Me - jury is still out on that one, but everyone is talking about this one.

A little taste of Flight of the Conchords for the uninitiated.

18 Miles:
I had my longest run yet this past weekend, 18 miles. It helped immensly that the weather dropped to 65 degrees - down from the 85 degrees that I have been training in the past 2 months. I dropped a good 20 minutes off my half marathon pace, and easily could have made 20 miles had it not gotten too dark to continue.
I haven't had pizza or fast food in about 3 months, no alcohol in a good 5 weeks, and I now know 4 good ways to prepare salmon. About 3 weeks to go until race day.

east coast mark will be in D.C. the first week of October, in Minneapolis the second week of October, Vegas the first week of November, and Florida the first week of January. If you'll be crossing my path, I'd be happy to dazzle you with my new skills at impersonating Boston and New York accents. It's kind of Matt Damon meets Giuliani. Irregaaaadless, Fuhgeddaboudit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In a New York Minute

This will be my first September 11th here in the realm of NYC. As an outsider, I think on this 6th anniversary of the terror attacks it's worth remembering more than just the victims that were lost...but also worth remembering the raw emotions we felt that day - namely terror. It's easy to gloss over this anniversary by reading the words 'Never Forget' or watching some news footage of a memorial service going on. But when I think back on that day, I remember feeling rage that these faceless cowards had done this, and the unfathomable terror of people literally running for their lives.

I looked around the Internet for a good tribute video - which there are plenty. However, so many of them are backed by a sappy song by Jewel or Sarah McLachlan. Now, that's a very nice way to memorialize those we lost - but in my mind it doesn't really portray the way I remember feeling on that day. If this country wants to stay on guard against those who wake each day and plot to kill us - we can't get complacent or lulled to sleep by 'moving on'.

So - I found this piece, which in my mind is worth watching for everyone. Hopefully it will strike a chord (and a raw nerve), and help to truly remember how viciously we were attacked. There's some poignant current stuff at the end - so it's worth a look.

I hate to bring politics into a memorial piece - but I truly think our country is just in taking the fight to our enemies, and blocking those that lust to kill Americans with every breath they take.

The picture below might be the most lasting and haunting memory I have of 9/11. To think that whatever fire and hell was going on in that building, a leap to death seemed like a better option.

And lastly, here's a quote that might be of some interest to the Islamic Fundamentalists out there with a sense of history:

"I fear that all I have done is awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve."
--Japanese Admiral Yamamoto after the Pearl Harbor attack, December 7, 1941

And I think we know how that worked out for the Japanese.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Summer Lag

East Coast Mark hasn't had nearly as much time this summer to post as I'd (you'd) like. I'm working about 12 hours a day, and when I'm not doing that I'm usually out running in the last month of prep before the marathon on October 7th. Nonetheless, I've got some good rants lined up for this fall - no one is safe.

Last weekend I had a 16 mile run, and this Saturday is 18 miles. Physically I haven't run into any major injuries - which often can set back marathon training programs. A few strains and aches here and there, but nothing that can't be overcome. Advil and Icy Hot have become my two best friends. As Josh put it, "You smell like a medicine cabinet", after I lubed up before a training run we did last month.

The Twins all but dead for the year, so I'm throwing all my baseball energies behind the Yankees. Partially to spite my colleagues in Boston, and partially because I look stunning in pinstripes. I'm thinking playoff tickets to Yankee Stadium might be a valid way to wine and dine some clients....conveniently timed to coincide with a Sox/Yanks ALCS championship game.

Lastly, here's a family picture taken a few weeks back. Might be a few years before I start sporting the bow tie like my dad....but tell me that's not ice cold.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Appalachian State

This video made the rounds on the Interweb about a year ago, but in honor of Appalachian State's major upset over Michigan in football today - it's worth another look. And as I write this, Bowling Green is all over the we may need to hunt for a Bowling Green promo video before the night is up. 1980's video editing equipment is HOT HOT HOT!

I guess this is the first time a division 1-AA team has beaten a ranked 1-A team. It puts the lotion on it's skin or it gets the hose again.