Been a challenging week, needless to say. And doesn't look to let up. Cranky hasn't quite been enough to approximate my mood, but bloodthirsty seems a tad strong.

In any case, people are pissing me off.

Forthwith, the beginning of a sporadic set of entries:

The Inaugural Armchair News Awards. (Cue crowd, cue band.)

The "With Democrats Like These, Who Needs Conservatives Award" goes to….

New York State Senator Carl Kruger who, this week, decided that we all need to learn to take off the headphones, turn off the Blackberries, shut down the cell phones when crossing the street. Said the Senator:

"You can't be fully aware of your surroundings if you're fiddling with
a BlackBerry, dialing a phone number, playing Super Mario Brothers on a
Game Boy, or listening to music on an iPod," Krueger said in a
statement. He added that while police in other major cities — such as
San Diego, California — have warned that tuning in to portable
electronic devices may leave pedestrians vulnerable to threats from
pickpockets and muggers, he believes the real threat is from road
traffic.

This is clearly the road towards libertarianism for me. I don't know what kind of traction this thing is gonna get, but Steve Jobs, get on the case. Unless you're wearing soundproofed headphones, the noises on a street are impossible to ignore. And unlike doing any of this in a car, the only person I'm really possibly endangering is myself, and that's if I'm so enrapt in my aural experience that I ignore every other sense in my body. I've been wearing a Walkman with headphones, and now an iPod, since high school. Although it would be a relief to know who the really crazy people were again, rather than just wondering why someone with a piece of metal in his ear is talking to himself, the message here is: Keep your damn hands off my earbuds.

Not quite a full Mess with Texas, because this one's rather sad, but here goes: The "You Can Take The Girl Outta Texas But You Can't Take Texas Outta The Girl Award" goes to the late Anna Nicole Smith, aka Vickie Lynn Hogan, who died this week at 39. She was born in Houston and moved to a much smaller town called Mexia as a teenager, and never got past an eighth grade education. Nevertheless, she perservered and got a Playboy centerfold, a reality show, a spokesperson gig, movie roles, a billionaire husband and — my favorite — a lawsuit taken to the Supreme Court, which she won.

Only in America. And only would Texas make you so desperate to leave that you'd live her life to get the hell away.

The "Boston'll Bake Your Beans Every Time Award," going out to Cartoon Network general manager Jim Samples, who quit his gig today in light of the mass hysteria that gripped Boston during the Mooninite scare. You know, the one with the "boxes" left around town that called out the bomb squad and all but shut down the city — while other great metropolitan areas found similar boxes and shrugged? The one where two guerrilla marketing fellas hired by Cartoon Network to put the "boxes" out to promote "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" (character at left) were arrested and charged with felonies, then held a press conference where, in true Yippie style, they talked about 70s hairdos?

Shall we parse this?

One stupid marketing exercise.
One overheated collection of city officials who prefer to use a club rather than a more delicate touch to handle matters of potential national security
And one big black eye to the city itself, plus a huge amount of wasted money.

And this is Samples' fault how?

I'm no corporate apologist, but between thinking a Democrat has his head up his behind and defending a TV executive and giving props to Anna Nicole Smith all in one week, I'm beginning to wonder just where my interests lie. Good luck, Samples. I'll send you a farewell card made out in Lite Brite pegs.

At least we got a game out of it. And an unseen episode of "24."

And finally, the "Bend Over? How Far? Award" goes to Mr. Shift With the Winds himself, Rudy Giuliani, who announced that he kinda sorta probably is going to be running for president, on the Republican ticket. Won't go anywhere with it, I'm fairly positive — New York is hardly a Republican hotbed and even those who call them selves 'Pubs end up getting brought over to the good side of the Force in the end; witness Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

I didn't mind Rudy as Mayor. I started to question him with the "having a girlfriend while still married and also still Mayor" part. Now, he's just your garden-grade political animal jerk. In order to be redder than he apparently seems already, he's mouthing whatever he thinks will garner him broad appeal, even if it means changing an already-stated position. Agreed, abortion is one of those topics no one can really settle their opinion on — you know, one day you're for it, one day you're against it, but he should know his own mind by now. From the New York Times article:

“I hate it,” he said of abortion in a recent interview with Sean
Hannity of Fox News. “I think abortion is something that, as a personal
matter, I would advise somebody against. However, I believe in a
woman’s right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman
in jail for that.”

Mighty white of you there, Rudy! And deep, too. Glad you've distanced yourself from all those abortion-lovers by admitting you hate it.

Put the dress back on. It looks more natural, somehow.