MONDAY, JULY 16 Okay, everybody relax... Lindsay Lohan is out of rehab. "But how can I relax," you wonder, "when I know for a fact der Lindy will be breaking land speed records to hit the nearest club and down a bottle of Grey Goose?" Luckily for you, Lindsay's publicist Leslie Sloane Zelnick has already thought of this eventuality, and made sure that her client was fitted with... an alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet? "In part she is wearing the bracelet so there are no questions about her sobriety if she chooses to go dancing or dining in a place where alcohol is served." There. That should put your fears to rest. What? STILL NOT CONVINCED? OMG, you are so cynical. Well, numerous media outlets reported that LiLo showed up at Las Vegas hotspot Pure on Saturday night, where she and her bracelet were in full effect, "dancing the night away, and sipping only energy drink Red Bull." There, that should do it. How about trying to develop a little more faith in human nature? NOW, IN A COMPLETELY UNRELATED STORY... In a "blind item" published in the New York Post, they ask a perfectly innocent question: "WHICH hard-partying starlet has figured out a way to get high while wearing an alcohol-monitoring bracelet? She was asking where she could score some Ecstasy at a Vegas club the other night..." Well, it couldn't have been Lindsay, because... because... wait. Alcohol-monitoring bracelets don't test for other drugs, do they? DAMN YOU, LINDSAY LOHAN! YOUR ADDICTION HAS OUTFOXED US AGAIN!

TUESDAY, JULY 17 "Ann," people ask us, "why do you despise sports so?" Good question! Because sports are dumb. And similarly, people who play sports are dumb. Let's take for example, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick who, along with three other men, was indicted today on conspiracy charges in relation to a dog-fighting operation. Apparently Vick is the owner of "Bad Newz Kennels"—an enterprise based in Smithfield, VA in which dogs are raised and taken state to state to participate in fights where the purses were worth thousands of dollars. Court papers also claimed that the fights would last until a dog either died or surrendered, and that sometimes the losing canine was "put to death by drowning, hanging, gunshot, or electrocution." But it's not just the people participating in sports who are dumb—people who watch sports are dumb, too. ESPN.com asked their readers, "Which accusation is most disturbing to you as a sports fan: Michael Vick's alleged involvement in dog fighting, or referee Tim Donaghy's alleged NBA betting?" Out of nearly 250,000 votes the results were clear: readers thought Tim Donaghy's illegal betting was more disturbing (55%) than dogs being forced to fight and then drowned or electrocuted (45%). Okay sports fans, the email address is ann@portlandmercury.com. Say what you want, but you don't have a leg to stand on, dummy.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18 Not much happened today—so thank god then for Britney Spears, who even on slow news days, never disappoints. After an explosive year of bad press (if indeed there is such a thing) Brits has fired her business manager and publicist and has replaced them with the only person she trusts: HERSELF. (Mmmmm... we don't think that's such a good idea either, sweetie. Having Britney Spears as your publicist/manager means a lot of gigs at the Waffle House.) MEANWHILE... No word from Britney the publicist yet on Britney the entertainer buying a $3,000 dog from a pet store, and getting the smack down from the Humane Society. "Choosing a dog is a major lifestyle decision that should not be taken lightly," said the Humane Society. "Most dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills—factory-like facilities, churning out purebred and 'designer' puppies in large numbers." Hey, maybe the dog wasn't for her. Maybe she was buying it for Falcon's quarterback Michael Vick's birthday.

THURSDAY, JULY 19 Let it be known that unless the final book in the series is entitled Harry Potter and the Most Darling Gold Balenciaga Leggings—we want nothing to do with it. However, it has come to our attention that "baby books" are now mysteriously all the rage, so we'll keep our smirks to ourselves except when it comes to stories like the following: A nation of Harry Potter fans went apeshit today when the New York Times printed a review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a full two days before the book was released. A newspaper reviewing books BEFORE they're on the shelves? Who ever heard of such a thing? Apparently Harry Potter fans were unaware of this century-old tradition, as well as British author J.K. Rowling who sent out this scathing memo: "I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of readers, particularly children." Oh, yes. Because SO many children read the New York Times. But perhaps once again we're assuming too much. Perhaps her memo was actually the very last release in her series entitled, "Harry Potter and the Naggy Overrated British Twit (with Bad Breath and Crooked Teeth)."

FRIDAY, JULY 20 R.I.P. Tammy Faye Bakker. Today Tammy Faye Messner—better known as Tammy Faye Bakker, ex-wife of disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker, died from cancer. Bakker, who recently made an emaciated appearance on Larry King Live (looking for all the world like a terrifying zombie who'd fallen into a vat of mascara), served as an inspiration for many, refusing to let things like a morally bankrupt husband or the inherent harms offundamentalist Christianity keep her from spouting moral platitudes and/or appearing on The Surreal Life. Questionable ethics aside, Tammy Faye provided us decades of entertainment—from her shilling/preaching in the '80s to bickering with Ron Jeremy and Vanilla Ice on The Surreal Life to giving Hubby Kip some (apparently very disturbing) zombie nightmares. Fare thee well, Tammy Faye, and here's hoping Heaven has just as many gold-plated toilets as the house you and Jim shared.

SATURDAY, JULY 21 Today at 12:01 am, millions of Harry Potter fans all over the globe dived into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final entry in J.K. Rowling's immensely successful book series. MEANWHILE... Are you ready for some bad news? Today President Bush had "five small growths" removed from his colon. Okay... so EWWW! However, Bush's polyps (EWWW!) aren't the bad news: While docs were digging around in Bush's anus, President Dick Cheney was ruling the rest of us. Before the surgery, Bush temporarily signed over his presidential duties to Cheney, and for two hours and five minutes, Cheney was president. Surprisingly, there were no terrorist attacks, nuclear bombings, or financial meltdowns—though this was probably because Cheney, like everybody else, was hunkered in bed, reading The Deathly Hallows and telling everyone he knew not to "spoil it," because he would be "so totally pissed."

SUNDAY, JULY 22 PANIC! Today White House Drug Czar John Walters told us what we've been dreading to hear since 1984: There's currently a cocaine shortage in America, due to those pesky drug enforcement efforts in Colombia, Mexico, and the United States—meaning less coke and higher prices. PANIC! But this troubling news might not be as bad as it first appears: Peter Reuter, a public policy prof at the University of Maryland, desperately tried to calm coke-deprived Americans: "We see short-term [price] increases that go on for three, or six months even," he told the Associated Press. "They don't tend to be too long, and then the downward trend continues." Oh, phew. Jesus. That was close.