Recently, House of Representatives Republican leader John Boehner said that the GOP does not plan to alter the campaign slogan it recently unveiled, despite the fact that the party's slogan: "Change you deserve," is actually used to market Effexor, an anti-depressant drug.
"I think it's working out just fine," Boehner told Reuters. It still remains unknown if the bright GOP mind that came up with this phrase plucked it from his or her medicine cabinet, but apparently the party is going to stick it out, despite the widespread humiliation that resulted from the slogan. But if that was the case, it's good that the slogan's author didn't reach for the Viagra and produce something like: Viva Republicans (If election results hurt the party for more than four years, call a doctor).
New city manager Eric King has said that his top priority is bringing some stability to city hall, which has been rocked by budget shortfalls and staff layoffs. But Upfront thinks he might just want to make sure all the axes are carefully locked up before he does anything. King, just a kid in the world of city managers at age 33, is the third person to hold the city manager title since a divided city council gave 14-year veteran Larry Patterson the boot in 2000.
The city fired its most recent manager, Andy Anderson, last year amidst growing discontent over the city's grand scheme for its mixed development campus at Juniper Ridge, a stalled out UGB expansion and a bus purchase debacle that left the city with several lemon buses and a costly lawsuit against the sellers.
Those, including schools and parks officials, who have worked with King have emphasized their improved relations with the city since he took over. No doubt there is more hard work ahead as the real estate slump drags on, inflation creeps up and the city faces difficult decisions about the future of major projects, like its bus system and Juniper Ridge, but for now it looks like they've found their guy.
Good luck, Eric. And don't stick your neck out too far, all those axes aren't accounted for yet.
The San Antonio Spurs topped the New Orleans Hornets to win their way into the NBA's Western Conference Finals last week, but their jubilation didn't last long. While they expected to jet out to Los Angeles to prepare for their game one match up with the Lakers, the Spurs actually found themselves stuck on the runway when it was discovered that their chartered plane they had booked was undergoing mechanical problems.
Unable to find hotel rooms as a result of a convention being held in New Orleans, the team was forced to sleep on the plane and fly out in the morning.
While Upfront can sympathize with the Spurs, we also just can't stand it when our chartered jet gets stuck on the runway. How many private jets must we sleep in before these mechanics get their shit together? We have a sympathy card in the mail for you, Mr. Tim Duncan.
And THE Beat Goes On (Wide Stance Update)
Back before Upfront had to grow up and get a real job (what happened to that thing anyway...??), we used to enjoy spending an occasional summer evening sipping beers at Midway stadium and taking in a St. Paul Saints baseball game, which is the only professional baseball played on a real grass field in Upfront's home state of Minnesota since the Twins took up residence in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome back in the early 80s. In addition to the smell of grass and the rattle of the occasional passing train, the Saints have been known for two things over the history of the franchise, picking up down on their luck major leaguers (I think Daryl Strawberry still owns the Saints homerun record) and creative promotions. But the Saints may have topped themselves with last Sunday's marketing coup when the team gave away 2,500 "booblefeet" to fans. Unlike the traditional bobbleheads that caricaturize members of the home team, the Saints bobblefeet consisted of a bathroom stall with a pair of feet visible underneath. The team spring loaded one of the feet to tap under the stall in what the team said was a salute to "national tap dancing day."
However, the team also noted in a press release that, "It doesn't matter if your tapping style is done with a 'wide stance' or is used as some sort of code." - a reference to Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who was arrested in the Minneapolis airport and charged with lewd conduct for propositioning an undercover officer in a men's bathroom using covert signal that included foot tapping.
Well, we know that Old "Wide Stance" Larry struck out with the airport cop. But it sounds like the Saints hit another promotional homerun with this bit. Nice work, guys.
Roller Derby is pretty much the antithesis of organized major sports. It's steeped in theatrics, including costumes and wrestling style antics. The fan base is avid, but minimal. Still, ESPN, which can barely find time to cover sports like hockey and tennis, spent almost five minutes on a roller derby feature piece during a recent weekend edition of SportsCenter. The piece focused on the sport's revival and its burgeoning claim to legitimacy both as a competitive sport and as a form of recreation and bonding for women. The segment focused on several different roller enthusiasts who balance careers and family lives with their rough and tumble roller hobby. The piece also included several live shots from a recent bout in Arizona that was attended by several of the local Renegade Rollergirls, including Kristi Simmons, a.k.a RubyROX. You can watch the piece and some clips of the Arizona bout at the Boston Derby Dames website by clicking on the ESPN link on their home page, www.bostonderbydames.com
While both the Renegade Rollergirls and Lava City Roller Dolls, have wrapped up their intra-league season, the teams are gearing up for inter-city games, the first of which will be held this Saturday night when the Lava City Roller Dolls play host to the Emerald City Rollers at Central Oregon Indoor Sports Center. (Tickets available at the door for $12, or $10 in advance at the D & D) Both leagues hold regular practices and tryouts and are always looking for more players. Information at the team's websites, renegadesor.com and lavacityrollerdolls.com.