Here at CityBeat, I never get mail. So to make me feel better about myself, sometimes people stick mail they don’t want or things addressed to former employees in my box to make me feel better.
Imagine my delight when there was a 2013 cow-centric calendar from chicken-slinger Chick-fil-A.
Perhaps hoping for some positive press after a summer controversy where the company’s leader told a Christian news organization that the Southern-fried chicken sandwich shop supports “the Biblical definition of the family unit,” Chick-fil-A sent CityBeat’s former food editor a calendar. It included a bribe “gift” card that awards one free specified menu item a month.
The calendar features Chick-fil-A’s signature cow mascots costumed as famous monarchs from throughout history, with cutesy names such as Queen Elizabrisket, King Tutancattle and Queen Heiferhomophobe.
The calendar also reminds you of important holidays, like Administrative Professionals Day, Cow Appreciation Day and Patriot Day.
It also included a warm personal note to Anne Mitchell from the Chick-Fil-A Public Relations Department.The calendars, complete with “gift” card, are available at all Chick-fil-A locations for $6.
When he was released last May, Little Joe weighed 1,515 pounds. He was plump and primed for life in the Sunshine State. The zoo followed his progress in Florida on its blog.
A year ago, when the last sighting was reported, Little Joe was hanging out with six other manatees and feeding on hydrilla — manna to manatees. The species — sometimes called seacows — are endangered and the Cincinnati Zoo is a partner in a federal program aimed at preserving and protecting manatees. The zoo says some rescued animals need long-term rehabilitation and are sent to special facilities for care, including the Cincinnati Zoo. The zoo says its been home to nine manatees, and the majority have been released back into the wild. “While a manatee is with us, it periodically undergoes a medical exam to assess its progress and condition. Once it's healthy, it is prepared for release back into the wild. Accompanied by zookeeper staff, the manatee is transported back to the Florida facility where it gets used to eating natural vegetation and living in saltwater again,” according to the zoo’s 2011 manatee rescue web page.
Slip and Little Joe in happier days at the Manatee Springs tank at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Construction crews working to restore historic apartments in Louisville’s Whiskey Row discovered an underground sex dungeon two floors underground. The Associated Press reports that the dungeon had mural reproductions of paintings by the likes of Salvador Dali, Edvar Munch and Fancisco Goya and contained what appears to be a medieval stretching rack complete with winch and rusty chain.
The artist who painted the murals tells the AP that he did the work at the request of friends, and the room was meant to attract people who were into sadism and masochism.
The artist says the room was only used for one night in the 1990s, but he couldn’t remember the year.
However, digging deeper into the story, CityBeat learned not to Google “Louisville sex dungeon” on an office computer WHAS-TV spoke with the founders of the club, who said that it was in operation from the mid to late '90s and had close to 1,000 dues-paying members.
In stories with pithy titles like "50 Shades of Louisville" (more like "50 Shades of Y'all Need Jesus) the station spoke with one of the dungeon's founders, who said the dungeon included dozens of other bondage and “torture” implements, including a large rope “spider web” with manacles, in addition to the torture rack.
Some of the plumbing had “DO NOT HANG” stenciled on it, but the founder said some people were still hung from their ankles.
He was quick to disclaim that there was “never, ever any nudity or sex acts.”
While much of the dungeon has rotted away, Whiskey Row’s owners plan on preserving the paintings and torture rack as a link to history.
Fashioned after Don Draper's iconic pose in the Mad Men intro, Draping has infiltrated the interwebs! This is all in anticipation for Sunday's long-awaited two-hour season premiere. Read more about that here.
Like many fun Internet bits I stumble upon, Drinkify is a really simple site that has that cool, “Why didn’t I think of that?” factor. Just enter the artist you’re listening to (or plan to that night), and Drinkify matches a perfect beverage to match. Vampire Weekend = PBR, Sleigh Bells = 10 oz. Whiskey (”Serve neat.”) and, because I was curious, Justin Bieber = 8 oz. Red Bull.
Anyone who knows my television habits is fully aware of my love for Bravo shows. I know, it's an abomination, but sometimes you just want a Taco Bell bean burrito instead of a fresh-cooked meal, and sometimes I want to watch Real Housewives instead of quality television. It keeps me grounded.
The latest gem Bravo has bestowed upon us: Shahs of Sunset, a reality show (duh) about a wealthy group of Persians in Beverly Hills. Don't hate me. The following is one of many internet rants from Shahs' hottest piece, Reza (NSFW). I'll never look at Parmesan cheese the same way again.
The award for web video series that will make you snort aloud, revealing that you're screwing around at work goes to...Bad Lip Readings! I'm late on this, I know, but damn if these stupid videos aren't hilarious. Unfortunately Rick Santorum's real words are just as ridiculous as the ones dubbed in this video.
One could not recap recent internet/popular news without mentioning KNOYGATE. Though anyone reading this has access to the Internet and therefore has probably been bombarded with the progressing stories on Kony, allow me to briefly explain.
Joseph Kony is the head of a Ugandan guerilla group that terrorizes the country, murdering villages, kidnapping children from their homes and turning them into soliders. He’s an international villain, and filmmaker/activist Jason Russell has made it his mission to stop him. Russell created the film-turned-movement Invisible Children after spending time in Uganda. The movie’s been around since 2006, but Russell recently started an internet campaign, KONY 2012, to spread awareness about the injustice in Uganda.
The video flooded Facebook walls, news sites and Twitter Feeds like wildfire. It was particularly popular with younger people, because the video targeted American youth, explaining that if enough people know who Kony is, we can get our government to do something about him. That translates to "Young people can make a difference," which is totally a good thing. Kids have been infiltrating malls, sharing KONY 2012 stickers and bracelets to spread awareness. But some people started to get concerned.
See, it’s obviously great that young people are concerned about international injustice. But fad activism isn’t just annoying; following an organization you don't previously research is dumb – and re-posting a YouTube video doesn’t make you an activist.
Soon after the video went viral came speculation about Russell and Invisible Children. Because, you know, some people like to look into an organization before blindly accepting its cause. Turns out just a little over one-third of the non-profit’s funds went to direct services in Uganda, in addition to countless examples of fishiness. Most funding was spent on travel expenses and film production. So the people who were critical about the whole KONY viral vid weren’t just being dicks after all.
Then, something crazy happened. Literally.
Jason Russell lost his shit. Last week, Russell ran around naked, shouting obscenities on a sidewalk in San Diego. He was arrested, but not charged, and sent to a hospital on a 5150 psychiatric hold. Most recently, he has been diagnosed with "reactive psychosis" brought on by stress, dehydration and exhaustion.
All this, in a matter of weeks! Really, I don’t mean to make light of an international war criminal and an activist’s state of health, but this story has brought up more drama than any soap opera could dream. And that’s why I love the Internet.
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill this week became The Banks’ newest tenant, opening its red, white and blue doors and offering “family friendly” lunch and dinner, ongoing live performances and a guitar-shaped bar where patrons can drink beer out of Mason jars.
The official website says its family friendliness makes it “the perfect spot for everyone,” though it is assumed to have instituted some kind of protocol for children who accidentally view one of the “Whiskey Girls” the restaurant prides itself on offering (“Don’t close your eyes, Billy! It’s just the American way!”).
currently aren’t many online reviews of the restaurant, but at least one proud American has braved the giant, Country music-themed
complex and come away with an experience worth mentioning on
Metromix’s online listing.
User “couintrymusiccincy” (sic) was
disappointed by his experience, describing a waitress that had a bad
attitude and thought she was so cute she should be Miss Universe.
“Couintrymusiccincy” advised the restaurant to fire her, and
noted that he would return if managers hire “pretty and legitimate
waitresses” like the Las Vegas and Tulsa, Ok., locations do.
In addition to the Whiskey Girls, who apparently are allegedly “more worried about their reflection than about getting an order right” (classic Couintrymusiccincy complaint), the bar/grill/stage/conference plaza offers American and Southern cuisine such as friend bologna sandwiches and pan-fried ribs. Burger names include the “American Soldier” (Toby’s classic burger with cheese), “She’s a Hottie Burger” (melted pepperjack cheese, Hatch Valley Chiles and crispy onion straws) and “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” (Bacon, cheddar and Toby’s BBQ sauce topped with crispy onion rings). Dessert offerings include deep-fried Twinkies, “All American Apple Pie” and "Saddam's Head Pudding" (just kidding).
The décor relies heavily on a “Country cliché” aesthetic to ensure that guests don’t forget they’re in a bar owned by the guy whose artistic response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011 was to write a song titled “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” which called upon the wrath of Uncle Sam, a personified Statue of Liberty and an eagle (flying, of course) to serve justice to goddam terrorists across the globe. The chorus is enough to make even the most cowardly among us raise a Mason jar in defiance.
“Ohhh Justice will be served, and the battle will rage/This big dog will fight, when you rattle his cage/And you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A./'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way.”
It’s enough to bring a tear to one’s eye and cause a man to mistake his fellow American brother with one of the Whiskey Girls and tie on a big, patriotic hug (“Sorry man, I ain’t gay I just love this song and my country and when Middle Eastern people get killed." *Sniffs*).
For those interested in more information or to see the many other creative names TKILB&G has come up with for typical bar food, the official website is www.countrybaroh.com. For scary homemade videos set to “Angry American” just search YouTube.
To women, nothing says ‘I Love You’ quite like a big, fat cockroach on Valentine’s Day. That's right, for just $10, you can name a special bug living at the Bronx Zoo after your sweetie - because like love, a cockroach is indestructible.
Listen to David Wax Museum (Mommy: Belle and Sebastian when they're on their meds; Daddy: Old Crow) and Penguin Prison (Mommy: Chromeo; Daddy: Cut Copy) because they will get you in the mood for this weekend's MidPoint Music Festival.
They say you only roast the ones you love, but what can be said about someone with few redeemable qualities, who's essentially spent the past year roasting himself in the media? Quite a bit, apparently.
Still kicking yourself over missing all the Twilight action during July's Comic-Con International in San Diego?
Well fear not, fanpires, because the Official Twilight Convention is coming to Cincinnati!
Whether you're Team Edward or Team Jacob (Spoiler Alert: neither of them will be there), The Hyatt Regency Downtown is the spot to be Saturday and Sunday for all hardcore Twilight fans. The weekend will include contests, web panels, auctions, music, parties and costumes on mannequins.
IT'S LIKE THEY'RE REALLY HERE!
Of course, a film saga convention would be nothing without celebrity appearances. Twilight stars making a stop in Cincy include Tinsel Korey (Emily), Boo Boo Stewart (werewolf Seth Clearwater), Kiowa Gordon (werewolf Embry Call), Charlie Bewley (vamp Demetri) and Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen).
Wait a minute…Mike Dexter is Edward's dad?
He's come a long way since idolizing Trip McNeely.
OK, honestly, I've never seen more than a preview for Twilight, so I'm not going to rage about how bad it sucks (see what I did there?) and how cray-cray the fans are. But I must say, the fan photos aren't making a good case for Twi-hards.
But, seriously, I guess it's cool that these actors will stand around
rabidly crazy fans barreling full-speed toward puberty us normal people for a weekend. Apparently these stars will even allow fans to hug:
and make complete asses of them:
The convention runs all day and night Saturday and Sunday starting around 11 a.m. Day passes are $20 and weekend packages run from $39-$219. Autographs, photos, breathing the same air as Peter Facinelli, etc. all are an additional cost. Go here to get the full schedule and ticket info for the convention. And full disclosure, if this was a True Blood convention with supporting characters from the show, I'd be frothing at the mouth like the rest of these crazy bitches.
I like to think I'm always up on the gossip, but some newsworthy items slip under my radar, like 98 Degrees' Jeff Timmons (my childhood fave - sorry, Nick) being a Chippendales performer! Chippendales at The Rio in Las Vegas features the Cincinnati boy as their hunky headliner all summer long, extending his stay (eyebrow wiggle) several times.
So, if you like combining the most homoerotic performance ever to be marketed to middle-aged women with prepubescent boy band fantasies, and who the hell doesn't, get your ticket soon! Jeff will only be flexing his "Hardest Thing" (sorry) through Labor Day.
Or just watch this painfully awkward video of him posing for pictures!
Speaking of former child stars-turned-desperate, orange juiceheads, Baywatch alum and current Celebrity Rehab-er Jeremy Jackson has also made a bow tie-and-cuffs appearance. Some reports say he's addicted to fitness and would make excellent eye candy, so I'm guessing they haven't seen his stint on the VH1 show. Dude's addicted to German cattle steroids and cancer patient meds.
And if he's worried chemicals in bottled water will turn him gay, he clearly needs to give his Chippendales contract a second read.