swazye redux, cell phone

Two important events that occurred to me at the State Fair last night:
– After ordering a Fletcher’s corny dog, the young man behind the counter, apropos of nothing, said: “Anybody ever tell you you look just like that guy in Ghost?”
Yes, the allegations that I look like Patrick Swayze have returned. And my hair’s not even particularly long at the moment! I continue to be unflattered.
– While riding those big fast-moving rotating swings (sorry, forgot the ride’s name), my cell phone somehow worked its way loose from my left pants pocket. At a high rate of speed, and with remarkable accuracy, it flung itself many yards away, straight into concrete. (It also nearly clubbed a toothless old man in the face.)
The phone worked, amazingly enough, for one phone call after that. But then death came. So, if you’re trying to reach me in the next few days, chances are slim I’ll be answering my cell. Try me instead at my work number (10-7, M-F, roughly) or at home.

two whisd stories

Here’s my story from today’s paper: “Wilmer-Hutchins Superintendent Charles Matthews received more than $16,000 in illegal pay last year, according to investigators.”
Also, I forgot to link my story from Tuesday’s paper: “Nearly 20 percent of Wilmer-Hutchins employees will have to be laid off in the coming months, many of them as soon as next week, school district officials said. That total could include more than 30 teachers.”

graham greene’s prostitutes

Graham Greene had 47 favorite prostitutes, with names like Russian Boots and Bond Street French. The full list is apparently an appendix of the new third volume of The Life of Graham Greene.
(More Greenery here. While Greene had a thousand flaws, his life has long been one of the more romantic models for a writer. Particularly for wannabe globetrotters like me. Minus the prostitutes, that is.)

haidl rape update

I’ve written several times about Gregory Haidl, the Orange County *cough* alleged *cough* rapist who videotaped himself anally penetrating an unconscious girl with a pool cue — but managed to get a mistrial through an astonishing web of lies and character assassination against the “slut” (his lawyer’s words) he raped. (More links to my past posts at that last link; some of the more astonishing stuff here.) He’s a bad, bad man.
Well, you’ll never guess what’s happened to dear ol’ Greg! Turns out he met a new underaged girl at a party thrown for him the night of the hung jury in the first rape case! Two weeks later, he was caught having sex with this 16-year-old girl, and how he’s facing statutory-rape charges on top of his rape-rape charges.
It gets weirder: The girl apparently doesn’t want to cooperate with police (the sex was apparently consensual this time). So she (and/or Haidl’s dad) hired an attorney to put up road blocks to the investigation. The attorney? A fellow named Adam Stull. Stull himself has a criminal record for…wait for it…having sex with an underaged girl!
Stull was convicted of six counts (including “penetration with a foreign object” — seems to be all the rage in California) in 1992, while he was a deputy district attorney helping teach a mock-trial class at a local high school. He ended up getting his law license suspended for 16 months. When asked by a reporter why he had sex with one of his high school students, he came up with this brilliant response: “You have to understand she looked 30. She was about 5’11”, about 130 pounds. Beautiful girl.”
Obviously a guy with a lot of credence in a statutory rape case.
Have I mentioned that Greg Haidl’s dad is the assistant sheriff of Orange County who made millions selling used government vehicles? (Or more accurately was until a couple weeks ago, when he finally resigned in disgrace.) Or that his ex-wife (the rapist’s mom) is suing the police for $15 million for daring to arrest their rapist son?
To hell with the bunch of them.

random monday links

Random Monday links:
“There were neat rows — as if in painted yellow lines — hundreds of Ronald McDonald dolls. ‘It was eerie, frightening,’ says Dau, who is corrections officer for the Clinton County sheriff’s office. Why all those 14-inch stuffed dolls, with ceramic faces, had been so carefully placed in the middle of a half-dozen roads in Cedar Heights, is a mystery from ‘Twilight Zone.'”
Conservative state rep becomes porn king. “‘I feel no shame, as I have learned that what we do in our office is no different than any other business,’ Larry Schwarz says. ‘It is the adult-entertainment industry, and it’s not violent like what you see in real-life daily news or in mainstream movies.'”
The shame of kamikaze survivors. “‘I still don’t think it was a mistake to send kamikazes,’ Hamazono says, though he wonders why, if they thought suicide attacks were such a good idea, none of the officers volunteered.”
Menace to society or misunderstood entrepreneur? The $5 rocks look like a good deal.
Anyone else think Donnie Darko?
Great piece in WaPo about Bigfoot snobbery — specifically, how West Coast sasquatch spotters think of their East Coast counterparts as just a bunch of, you know, crazy people. “‘They basically said I was drinking,’ Dranginis recalled [after reporting a Virginia Bigfoot sighting to West Coasters]. ‘”Stay out of the woods, you idiot.”‘ It was his initiation into the East Coast Bigfoot hunters, a group whose members say they are a put-upon subculture in the already marginalized world of sasquatch researchers.” I love it when one group of crazy people starts talking smack about another group of crazy people. (Great werewolf story on the second page.)

sarah degenhart update

That last entry was both a statement of fact and a little Internet experiment.
Sarah Degenhart, you see, was the second-to-last questioner at the town-hall presidential debate. She’s the one who asked the question about federal funding of abortions. She was also pretty cute, in a sad, wounded puppy kind of way.
Anyway, I was curious to see how many Googlehounds would be searching for information on her — so I threw her name up on crabwalk.
The answer: Lots of Googlehounds. Nearly 200 so far. Not bad, considering that her name was mentioned once on television and never spelled out. (I’m sure there are several dozen other folks out there searching for Sara Degenhart and Sarah Degenheart.) Anyway, this site tells us Sarah is a Catholic school teacher in St. Louis (and second-cousin-in-law to a blogger).
Wlady Pleszczynski of The American Spectator certainly seemed smitten: “But has there been a lovelier and sweeter young American at such an event than Sarah Degenhart, who asked the second pro-life question? You have to wonder what tax bracket she’ll end up in when she gets to heaven.” (Dude, there are taxes in heaven?)
The Most Freaky Degenhart Response award, however, goes to one Alfredo Jacobo Perez Gomez, who within a few hours of the debate’s conclusion had posted a fan page dedicated to her. “Thoughtful! Cute! Adorable! She has soul! Okay, politically she seems anti-choice but she’s still highly kissable!”
It’s kinda creepy — particularly the note up top that warns: “Don’t worry! It’s Just for fun.” That and the “if you are Sarah Degenhart” note at the bottom, in which Alfredo seems to think his site will convince Sarah to leave her husband and run away to San Francisco with him.