07 September 2006

W. David Bauer, Jr.

The victims. We hear it over and over again about Sept. 11, 2001. The 2,996 victims.

The person that I am writing about, W. David Bauer, Jr., may have been a victim for one short moment of his life. But for the rest of his 45 years, he was clearly a winner. From what I have read about him, he was a player and a competitor, someone who took to the field of life with gusto and determination and who gave it all he had.

In the NY Times tribute article, it mentions that he competed in a triathlon on the weekend of Sept. 8-9, 2001 before coming home to watch his sons play football and the to grill steaks and to drink good red wine with his family and friends.

He also played football in college at Villanova. One of his friends from college said: "His nickname was "Superman" because he could catch the bullet passes of our starting quarterback, Brian Sikorski, with one hand, either hand!"

He also had a lifelong love of basketball and volleyball. His teammate Tom Dooley said "I knew David as a competitor on the basketball court when we were both well past our prime playing days...[He] was a gentleman of the highest caliber on and off the court."

In business, too, he competed and thrived. He climbed up through the ranks at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse First Boston before becoming head of global sales for eSpeed, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald. He was one of 658 Cantor employees who died in the World Trade Center towers.

Mr. Bauer, who was 45 years old at the time of his death, was married to his wife Ginny and had three children, David, Steven and Jackie. He lived in Rumson, New Jersey.

So this is a man who lived, who really lived. He was someone who made good things happen for himself, his family and his friends. The type of hard-working, hard-playing family guy who is the backbone of our country and whom you would probably love as a neighbor.

My very best wishes to the Bauer family. I am sorry for your loss and I hope this tribute did Mr. Bauer justice.

Here is a link to the 2,996 project.

06 September 2006

In memory of W. David Bauer

For the next few days, I am going to put aside my usual posting to try and memorialize a man I never met and whom I know little about. This effort is part of the 2,996 Project - a collaboration by 3,173 bloggers, (because there are more bloggers than fallen) each of whom has been assigned the name of one person who died on Sept. 11, 2001 in order that we might honor their memory.

This is a difficult assignment for several reasons. First, I want to make sure that I only focus on the person I have been assigned, Walter David Bauer, Jr., and not drift off into any kind of political grandstanding as I am wont to do, because that is not what this is about.

Second, those of us who did not lose a loved one on Sept. 11 also suffered a great loss, but it was a more general, psychic kind of pain.

Mr. Bauer's family lived through the real, sudden, crushing loss of someone who was a huge piece of their world, and I want to not mingle those two kinds of loss together, but to leave this space for this one special person's memory.

I will write more tomorrow. For now, please say a prayer or send out a good thought for Mr. Bauer and his family: his wife, Ginny, his children, David, Steve and Jackie; his sister, Gretchen; his parents Bobby and Heidi.

05 September 2006

The Best Watermelon Margarita Recipe ever

I had a big bowl of watermelon left over from church on Sunday. It was my turn to make snacks, so I provided three options: a lovely fruit salad, some Trader Joe's cookies, and two pans full of the most decadently over-caloric coffee cake that anyone has ever thought to make.

It went down like this: the coffeecake was hoovered up in minutes. The Trader Joes cookies were likewise consumed. Two older ladies tried a splash of fruit to go along with their coffeecake, and I came home with a big, healthy bowl of fruit all for my very own.

Sigh. I tried.

So of course tonight I had to make a watermelon margarita or two. What, waste all that fruit? Or worse, eat all that fruit plain?

I always hear how much people love these fruity margaritas. Watermelon. Mango. Peach.

I'll tell you my favorite margarita recipe: buy very good tequila (I like that Corralejo in the blue bottle). Pour it in a shot glass. Sip and enjoy as you gaze on a lovely still life composed of bottle of Grand Marnier, an orange, and a lime. You can add a watermelon or a mango if you wish. THAT's my kind of drink.

Here's a link to a real watermelon margarita recipe because I feel sorry for those that were duped by my title into coming here. Caveat: I have not tried it, but it looks pretty standard.

Big news over at Linkateria today.

04 September 2006


My feminist knickers are in a twist because of Twisty's post about breastfeeding.

It wasn't her post as much as the link to an article by a person she refers to as a Moron godbag:
Obviously, breast-feeding is not the same as carrying on an extramarital affair. But when a mother gives her breasts to her son and takes them away from her husband, the effect on the marriage can feel the same.
Well, of course. Because women never truly own their bodies. This kind of logic reduces women to objects and men to morons who are helpless to see their wives as anything but sexual toys.


Idiocracy Movie Review

Mr. Stapler and I went to see Mike Judge's new movie "Idiocracy" last night.

Haven't heard of it? Don't feel bad. No one else has either. Fox has apparently spent zero dollars on advertising and promotion. The weird part is that it seems like it is being almost anti-advertised. What do I mean? I went to look it up on Moviefone and it was not listed.

To find it, you had to look under "Untitled Mike Judge Comedy." Yeah. THAT's a grabby title that should have 'em running for the box office.

Mr. Stapler only heard about it because he went to a Santa Monica art-house midnight movie on Friday night and they were imploring people to go see the thing in the few theaters where it was showing.

The premise of the movie is that cute, cute Luke Wilson plays Joe, a man of average intelligence, who is frozen for 500 years. When he wakes up, the stupid people have been breeding like hamsters while the smart people have been busy going to college and forgetting to have children, so that the whole world is a disgusting and filthy and very, very stupid. Which makes Joe The Smartest Man in the World.

He stumbles through a planet piled high with trash where nothing works and where every employee has a menu-board with symbols like at Taco Bell. In a hospital waiting room, injured people play slot machines to try to win free health care as a roomba-bot cleans the same spot over and over while the floor around it remains covered in filth.

People are almost pre-verbal. They are crude and cruel, slovenly and supremely self-satisfied.

It is an unnervingly familiar place. Even though it is a silly movie, it is easy to walk out afterward, take a look around, and think "Yeah, he is onto something."

There are plenty of jokes at the expense of real-life brands. The Fox News anchorman is a shirtless bodybuilder. Costco takes days to travel through and offers law school in addition to everything else. Almost every modern franchise now offers "gentlemen's services" in addition to say, a latte (Joe: "Can we stop at a Starbucks?" Frito: "Man, we don't have time for a hand job!")

It's a great movie concept and an ok movie. It is hard to hang a movie on one character whose claim to fame is that he is completely average, one stereotypical woman character (the sassy prostitute) and a supporting cast of complete and utter idiots.

It has some good laughs, mostly rueful. It has a silly, typical "Hero's Journey) plot structure (man leaves home, gets in over his head, uses wits and the help of allies to overcome evil, save the day and learn something about himself) - no big surprises there.

Here's another review from Cinematical that goes into more detail.

I don't know if Mike Judge made someone at Fox mad or what. This Esquire article talks a little about his problems getting the movie made, but doesn't go into the real-behind-the-scenes stuff. Wikipedia posits that it might be because of threatened civil suits by some of the companies satirized by Judge.

This movie isn't going to win any Oscars, it's better than a lot of other movies out there. It certainly deserves as much publicity as, say "Failure to Launch."

Pick it up on DVD.

03 September 2006

I must admit I am a hater

Yes, I hate, I hate.

I awoke...well, awoke is not the right word for it since I have been unable to sleep since 2 am...

I got up at 6 a.m. and opened up my bloglines to see a new blog I hadn't seen before.

"Hm." I thought. "I don't THINK I subscribed to a blog called Black Vibrator."

Bloglines spam. Assholes.

The part that pisses me off so much about spam and phishing is that they assume we will fall for it and that they prey on those mentally feeble or confused enough to do so.

Nice way to start a Sunday. I am going to go bang my head on the wall in the shower.
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