The air conditioned room at the top of the stairs.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Dance rock from four boys from New York. The trend won't end. But I don't mind. "There was this electroclash movement going on in New York a couple years ago," says singer Sam Endicott. "I liked watching girls dance at clubs, but the music was so bad. I started thinking if you could make music that's danceable but that you could listen to while you're doing your laundry -- not just while you're fucked up at a club -- then that would be really good." Check their two singles ("Honest Mistake" and "No Brakes") here. (Props to Ending East for the link.)
Tom Friedman endorses George H.W. Bush. Oh, what a card. I really hope he does more of this shtick the next time he's on Oprah getting a bj. His rationale is some junk about how columnists can't endorse a candidate, so he'll endorse daddy in order to endorse Kerry while not endorsing him directly. This strikes me much the same way as when John Kerry invokes Ronald Reagan or Bush invokes JFK and I strain to listen for an explanation that makes any bit of sense but, alas, I'm still waiting. After all, fair readers, we are living in a country that is more divided than it's ever been in its history. Jefferson Davis, suck my balls.
Of Like Mind
From The Protocols of the Yuppies of Zion (link via Buzz Machine), an explainer, of sorts, of how a Mets fans learned to love the Red Sox:
"Let me start off by saying that I am not really a Red Sox fan. I'm a Mets fan, and I met the Sox the same way a lot of young Mets fans did: Gleefully stomping their tear-soaked, twitching corpse. But as I learned more about Baseball history, I grew to respect the Bridesmaids of Beantown. After all, we have a lot in common. We've suffered, they've REALLY suffered. Our fans are often seen as a bit off, while their fans are certifiable lunatics. We hate the Yankees, and they DAMNED FUCKING WELL hate the Yankees. And so, assuming my beloved-but-let's-face-it-they-stink Metropolitans aren't likely to tangle with the Bosox for years to come, I consider myself an eager visitor in the Red Sox Nation."
For the rest, go here. This isn't too far off from my own explanation for rooting for the Red Sox whenever the Mets aren't around. Much credit must also go to attending BU and rooming with G-Money and, of course, hating the fucking Yankees.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Another One Bites the Dust
That Ashley Girl retires:
The other day I realized that I hadn't posted anything new here in over a week. I'm sorry.
Unfortunately, with school and my personal life getting into full swing, I've had less and less time to devote to writing anything interesting for you to read. Plus, I got an internship that started last week, which is taking up a huge chunk of my remaining time.
So, sadly, I think I'm going to have to put an end to this blog. I won't have time to write anything on a regular basis and it's not fair to keep things up and running only to have people disappointed when yet another day passes without anything new.
I had a lot of fun writing this and maybe some day I'll start it up again. Until then, thank you so much for reading and remember to have fun in life, don't be afraid to take chances, and most importantly, be yourself no matter what anyone else thinks.
Just a few days removed from one of Major League Baseball's finest weeks, we may now be entering one of the worst periods in its history, on par with the Black Sox scandal, Peter Rose, and its many vile labor disputes that have either revealed collusion or led to the cancellation of a World Series. There is this news today, allegations, again, of steroid use by the game's best player (Barry Bonds) and the use of steroids by other notables (the Giambi brothers) in the form of sworn statements by Balco executives and memorandum from the company regarding the distribution and use of steroids by Major League Baseball players. If this turns out to be proven, that Bonds, especially, used steroids while breaking the single season home run record, and putting on an offensive display that continues to boggle the minds of observers, the game may enter its darkest chapter. Because Bonds will be just one, and if he goes down, so many more may follow him (Sheffield, Giambi and on and on and on). There is something of an acknowledgment among fans that players are "juiced." Oh, sure, many say, players are using steroids. But there is a crucial difference between saying something like "all men cheat" and actually having the man cheat on you. The idea of the truth can be water cooler fodder. The cold hard facts, if they are to be found out in this investigation, may just stun us into silence.
Third Prize is You're Fired
Thursday, October 28, 2004
I Can See The Weekend
I dig Lost. But I really miss Alias. Is it January yet?
One More Than Four (You’re My Obsession)
1) The 1986 Mets
Ironically, considering the events of these past 11 days, this team tops the list. Without question, the most important team in my development as a sports fan. It stoked and may as well have created my obsession with my teams, with sports in general, with the triumphs and failures of players, coaches, general managers, owners, fans, etc. You’re seven years old and the team your parents introduce to you as yours is filled with a mix of dirtballs, practical jokers, phenoms, and clutch heroes. They win 108 games, inspire hatred from their rivals, come from behind in impropable ways time and time again, and they win a World Series. It doesn’t get much better than Mookie, Hernandez, Carter, Strawberry, Dykstra, Backman, Mitchell, Gooden, Darling, Ojeda, El Sid, McDowell, Orosco, etc. Still, without fail, I can get choked up at any number of clips from that season, despite all the aftermath, be it Gooden and Straw’s downfall or Kevin Mitchell-for-Kevin McReynolds or the inability by the franchise to turn one championship into anything even remotely resembling a dynasty. This team was brash and cocky and hated and I love them. “…rounding third is Knight and the Mets win it!”
2) The 1999 New York Knicks
This franchise means something more to me than the others I love, maybe because they’ve never won a title in my lifetime, and, especially, because they’ve come so close. The Devil (Michael Jordan) had a lot to do with them never doing it, and so did Hakeem and Duncan and David Robinson and the missed finger roll and Charles Smith's incredible ability to block how own shot and Pat Riley’s genius decision to let a former grocery store bagger from Oklahoma take every single shot in game 7 of the NBA Finals in 1994. (No offense to John Starks, but the ball needed to be taken out of his hands.) The ’99 team, in particular, is my favorite of this batch of Riley/Van Gundy clubs. Ewing, Camby, Sprewell, Houston, the dreadful combination of Ward and Childs, and Larry Johnson. They barely make the playoffs, almost getting their coach fired out on his ass. And then take the top seeded Heat to the limit, beating them in the waning seconds of game 5 on Allan Houston’s ridiculous leaner that hit every part of the rim and backboard before falling through. The Knicks, all holding those orange NYK towels, ran around the court of Miami Arena like little kids. Then they played Atlanta, a series I didn’t even get to watch all of because of BU’s evil no cable policy and listened to on ESPN radio on Greg’s computer. The Hawks sucked and Dikembe had lost a step. Camby’s dunk over him, with his jumping off point being somewhere between half court and the three point line, being the exclamation point on that series. And then came the Pacers. If not for MJ and the Bulls, the Pacers would be my most hated team in the NBA. It's hard not to hate Reggie Miller (who recently found a way to defend A-Rod's karate chop move in game 6, which is obviously because Reggie would have done more, maybe the final crane kick from The Karate Kid) and Rik Smits, the Davises, and former Knick Mark Jackson don't help the cause. Larry Johnson had a 4 point play in this series for God’s sake. Ewing’s season was finished by this point and yet I still had hopes that they could beat the seemingly unbeatable Spurs. Sprewell and Houston had been sensational and the team had found a way to win every night. I collected New York Daily News and New York Post back pages after victories and had people over every game night.
But, of course, the Knicks fell to the Spurs in 5 and the team was never much the same afterwards, with Ewing being traded for Glen Rice and two large white men who never did a goddamn thing on the court (in defense of Travis Knight, he at least played). But that’s well worn material here at the OV. The ’99 Knicks were the last time I believed in that team, beyond my own myopia or delusions regarding them. This current crop of Knicks is not even a shred of that team. That team wanted to win, desperately. They worked for it, and usually only lost when seriously outmatched (San Antonio) or felled by their own mishaps (see also: Chris Childs). This team just hopes they don’t lose. They want their playoff bonus. They’re all trade bait. I’ll watch them whenever TNT provides. Ah, faith. (Runner up: the 1994 New York Knicks)
3) The 1994 N.Y. Rangers
I’m eleven years old, attending my first hockey game, clad in a blue, hooded Rangers sweatshirt. It’s Rangers v. Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. This is still in the heyday of the “1940” chant that greeted the Rangers everywhere they went, especially at the home of their most bitter rival, the Gorton’s Fishermen. But Islander fans can’t just chant. No, no. To be the worst fans in all of professional sports, you have to go that extra mile. You have to be drunk, dressed in a faded Mike Bossey jersey, living on the fumes of Stanley Cup championships long past, and you must scream and chant “1940” directly at freaked out eleven year old kids. Fuckwads. So then came 1994 and the Messiah. Down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Championship Series to the Devils, Mark Messier goes Joe Willy style and guarantees a victory in game 6 and the series. They get game 6. He scores a hat trick, no less, and then they win game 7 on “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” and radio announcer Howie Rose invites “all of New York” to “go crazy.” And then in a series so good that Sports Illustrated declares the NHL better and hotter than the NBA, the Rangers reverse their curse and beat the Canucks in 7. “Well, New York, after 54 years, your long wait is over.” I’m crying typing that. Oh, Islanders fans still chanted 1940 the next season. I put it to Yankees fans to show a bit more sense next season when it comes to other chants for other dead curses. The Rangers suck now and haven’t made the playoffs in quite a time. But “1940(!)” don’t mean a thing…
4) The 2004 Boston Red Sox
Last year hurt. But with pain, there came an allegiance. And it went beyond a simple, I hate the Yankees and will root for anyone against them, except, maybe, for the Braves. This is not like my rooting for the Pistons to beat the Lakers. I don't give a shit about the Pistons. Yeah, they're cool and all (big fros, a guy named Chauncey and ugly Riley basketball...okay, I'm down), but I really don't give a care. I have an ESPN Insider account and with that you can get local paper links and headlines from any team. I have the Mets, Knicks, Giants, Rangers, and last winter, I added the Sox. It's hard not to love this team. They remind me of the Mets teams I've loved...'86, '88, '98-'00. It's hard to believe it was only 11 days ago when a taunt like "I taught some people in Boston how to count to 19 tonight" really stung. But then came this run. An incredible run from an incredible group of players. Dave Roberts announcing to the world, hey, everybody, I'm stealing second if you like it or not, and doing it. Mueller's grounder up the middle. The home run to win game four from Papi and then his blooper to win game 5. Then Schilling's Roy Hobbes impersonation in game 6 and then D-Lowe ("that's a nickname for Derek Lowe") pitching the game of his life, with the Power of Christ driving in 6 with two home runs. And the Evil Empire had been vanquished. And then this emphatic World Series. Yeah, we're better than you, what? The Cardinals looked stunned. Tony LaRussa cried. Jeff Suppan didn't run home and Jason Marquis fell down and Reggie Sanders missed second and Scott Rolen, maybe the best all around third baseman in baseball, didn't have a hit. Huh? What? The Red Sox did what? Well, the Yankees and their fans got to count to 19. Red Sox Nation, members new and old, got to count to 8. Go Sox!
5) The 1986 New York Giants
The Mets finished up and the Giants took over. Phil Simms, Joe Morris (who, at the time, appeared to my height at the age of 7, which made him, then and now, the coolest athlete evs), future congressman and a towel waving nut Phil McConkey, Jim Burt, Mark Bavaro (still, at the time, with his natural knees), Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson, the Tuna, and L.T. A vicious defense. An underrated offense that got to show off just how good it was against Denver. The second Super Bowl team comes close, with Hostetler taking over and leading the charge, that would then end with Scott Norwood becoming public enemy #1 in Buffalo, but this team had a bigger impact. You never forget your first.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Done and Done
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
"I am assuming for now that this is a single-issue election. There is one's subjective vote, one's objective vote, and one's ironic vote. Subjectively, Bush (and Blair) deserve to be re-elected because they called the enemy by its right name and were determined to confront it. Objectively, Bush deserves to be sacked for his flabbergasting failure to prepare for such an essential confrontation. Subjectively, Kerry should be put in the pillory for his inability to hold up on principle under any kind of pressure. Objectively, his election would compel mainstream and liberal Democrats to get real about Iraq.
The ironic votes are the endorsements for Kerry that appear in Buchanan's anti-war sheet The American Conservative, and the support for Kerry's pro-war candidacy manifested by those simple folks at MoveOn.org. I can't compete with this sort of thing, but I do think that Bush deserves praise for his implacability, and that Kerry should get his worst private nightmare and have to report for duty."
What a weirdo. Better yet, here's Jacob Weisberg's "endorsement" of Kerry:
"I remain totally unimpressed by John Kerry. Outside of his opposition to the death penalty, I've never seen him demonstrate any real political courage. His baby steps in the direction of reform liberalism during the 1990s were all followed by hasty retreats. His Senate vote against the 1991 Gulf War demonstrates an instinctive aversion to the use of American force, even when it's clearly justified. Kerry's major policy proposals in this campaign range from implausible to ill-conceived. He has no real idea what to do differently in Iraq. His health-care plan costs too much to be practical and conflicts with his commitment to reducing the deficit. At a personal level, he strikes me as the kind of windbag that can only emerge when a naturally pompous and self-regarding person marinates for two decades inside the U.S. Senate. If elected, Kerry would probably be a mediocre, unloved president on the order of Jimmy Carter. And I won't have a second's regret about voting for him. Kerry's failings are minuscule when weighed against the massive damage to America's standing in the world, our economic future, and our civic institutions that would likely result from a second Bush term."
One week to go. Here's looking at you, Wisconsin. (See also: Sully's endorsement of Kerry.)
Monday, October 25, 2004
Bodies in the River
Sunday, October 24, 2004
How did they miss?
Saturday, October 23, 2004
An OV Endorsement
Josh is currently running unopposed for Director, Zone 2 of the east Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. Vote early and vote often for our man from Fagistan. If you choose someone else to handle the many problems of Zone 2, if you see fit to pick someone else to direct activities of east Multnomah, well, in the opinion of this observer, you're dolphin fucked.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Phone Sex for Bushies
Mary Poppins is Doing It, But Will Pier?
You may remember Pier from such defunct blogs as Poisonville and Vincent Gallo's Cock is in My Mouth (But Not On Film). Once upon a time, in defense of not being registered to vote, Pier told me that the stock market being above 10,000 was all that mattered to him. Well, my friend, times have changed and the Dow Jones has fallen below your magic number. This fact now allows me to make this commentary, despite your problems with how much I repeat it.
What happens now?
One More Than Four (Red Sox Nation edition)
1. Poetic Justice of All Sorts
There's plenty, considering that this series was all about overturning the decades old dominance held by the Yankees over the Sox. (As my boy Greg put it, "The Death Star has been blown up.") There's Johnny Damon (son of God, lover of french fried potaters) who came into the deciding game 7 hitting a buck 03 before hitting two home runs (one a grand slam) and driving in six. Much maligned second baseman Mark Bellhorn, whose troubles at the plate prompted such bet results as Doug Comeau streaking through his backyard, hitting the crucial three run home run in game 6 and providing the icing on the cake with his homer off the foul pole in game 7. Tim Wakefield, forever linked to the lesser Boone's series ending home run last season, gives a tremendous performance out of the bullpen for his team in both marathon Fenway outings, and now gets to start Game 1 against Larussa, Hal 9000 and all its pitcher/batter matchup derivations, and the mighty Cardinal lineup. And on the flip side, Jew hating steroid users and spoiled brat cheaters get their comeuppance.
(Best Chant of the Series: "Who's Your Dealer?" The hilarious viciousness of this chant reminds me of the deafening chant of "wife beater" that would always greet David Justice at Fenway. And, by the way, dickheads, you're not so much his "daddy" when you're down 6.)
2. Scruff, B.O., and Goatees vs. the Monolith
At work on Wednesday, the talk was of Game 7. Two men, one a lawyer, the other a cop, discussed how "gross" the Red Sox were with all their facial hair and scruff and their dirty helmets, caps, and uniforms. (Of course, the yentas agreed.) "They need to take showers." My cool and calm response was, "If it's a choice between cheating and 'unknowingly' using steroids, I'll take goatees any day." This, of course, is slightly unfair to Yankees players. The team has a strict code when it comes to hair. Jason Giambi, who once donned long, mangy hair, now wears it short. He also seems like a giant waste of money (7 years, $120 million) considering that he hasn't played since that worm he picked up on the island of Balco started eating away at his insides, and continues to appear less like the next great Yankee and more just like some beefy guy dressing up like Babe Ruth for Halloween.
3. Dodge Dakota, House, M.D., and the Wet Blanket
In watching the A.L.C.S. on FOX, you got to appreciate, ad nauseum, an ad for the newly redesigned Dodge Dakota. The commercial seems to be an homage to The Brown Bunny, with a gaunt gentleman with facial scruff and longish hair appealing to a roadside waitress to come along with him on his trip to wherever. His appeal is not, however, said in Vincent Gallo's straining to pass a bowel movement, slightly girlish, simpering tone. The Dodge Dakota guy, when refused by the waitress (a little Gallo begging might have worked, considering that it did in the movie), just hitches the roadside trailer diner to his truck and hauls it. Very Rhett Butler of you, Dodge Dakota man. Bitch, you're coming upstairs if you like it or not. Or, in keeping with the Brown Bunny analogy, "Please. Please. Please come with me you stupid fucking whore. Don't get in any other boys' Dodge Dakotas. You fucking whore. I saw you in those other Dodge Dakotas. Suck my balls. Deep throat my cock you fucking whore. (cry) (cry)"
Hey, did you hear FOX has the best new hospital drama since E.R.? It's called House, M.D. Sadly, Ron Silver is not a member of this drama's cast, nor does anyone in the endlessly run commercial yell, "HIS FATHER IS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY." Skin, last year's FOX show you must see, is still changing the course of television history. Or not. "There's a paper jam. A paper jam." Durst.
I grew up hating Tim McCarver. He ruined Mets games with his constant negativity and redundant statements. This series, he was very fond of repeating what correspondent Kenny "My Dad Bites Chicks" Albert had just said and passing it off as his own anecdote. (This, however, does not compare to Joe Buck explaining to the folks at home that "D-Lowe" is a nickname for Derek Lowe. What? No. Can't be. Joe Buck, you are crazy!) McCarver continued to be the wet blanket in this series. He used to be a catcher, and I just imagine he's the guy who would go up to Bob Gibson or whomever might have been pitching to him on any given night, and on the night they're throwing a no hitter, say, "Hey man, you're throwing a no hitter. No other reason for me to come out to the mound. Just wanted to fuck your shit up. Alright, keep throwing strikes. Peace." Can't it just be Joe and Leiter? Props to my boy, Al. I hope the Mets bring you back. If they don't, it would almost be too them to be believed.
4. The Sports Guy
Bill Simmons has provided the best, pro-Sox chronicle of these playoffs so far. Check it.
5. The Comeback
First, before I get to the positive stuff, allow me to rag on the Yankees for a minute. This is what you get when you run your team like a fantasy baseball team. Your only lefthanded reliever is Felix Heredia? Your best bench player is Tony "the fucking Mets released me" Clark? Most Yankees fans, if they could get over themselves for just a moment, should be able to tell you that this is not the kind of team that became the dominant force in baseball in the late nineties. Gary Sheffield is a great player. He's also a self oriented cunt who uses steroids, hates Jews, and says retarded things at inopportune times to rile up the opponent. He's not Paul O'Neill, who may be a brat, but he cares a lot more about winning than I think Gary ever has. As mentioned before, they fucked up team chemistry by going out and splurging on Giambi, when Tino Martinez was already there, still productive, and considering their situation this season, better than Olerud or Tony Clark. And, frankly, A-Rod sums it all up. You already have Jeter, Sheffield, Matsui, Posada, and (assumed at the beginning of the season) Giambi, and you go out and get (admittedly) one of the best position players in the game, all the while letting Pettite and Wells walk out the door. But, of course, none of this would matter if you had won the series when you could have. A-Rod would be a genius move and you'd be in another world series, seeking championship #27. But, you choked. And, now, you know how it feels to be the Red Sox. Because you look fucking stupid.
Simply put, I just didn't believe this could happen. Not that the Sox could beat the Yankees but that after losing 19-8 and being down 3-0 that they could beat them then. The final four games, most notably 4 and 5 were ridiculous and took as much out of me as I think rooting for any team that I don't call my own could possibly ever do. But after game 4, a fairly obvious thought struck me. Sooner or later, this is going to happen. The Mets came fairly close to doing it in 1999, after a similarly dramatic extra inning affair in game 5 against Atlanta, ended by Robin Ventura's grand slam in the pouring rain, and only lost game 6 because Kenny Rogers was too busy with his rotisserie chicken to throw strikes. And why not this Red Sox team, especially considering that Pedro would pitch game 5 and Schilling would return for game 6. I wrote in a number of e-mails, "It can be done." After quietly chanting to myself, "Let's Go Red Sox," on my way from my car to the office before game 5, I did again before game 6 and then did it more often on Wednesday before game 7, I realized this series was making me go slightly insane. Goddamn Red Sox are making me superstitious. Should I sit like this for the rest of the game because Bellhorn just homered? (Yes.) Now that they've gone scoreless for a few innings, can I change positions? (Yes, you fucking dumbass.) And, they did it. David Ortiz was ungodly, Derek Lowe pitched the game of his life, Keith Foulke proved to be one of Theo's master strokes, along with the brilliant, small acquisitions of Dave "Willie Mays Hayes" Roberts and Doug Mientkiewicz that helped define this series (these are the kind of moves the Yankees used to make), Curt Schilling may have a statue where the Sam Adams statue once stood if he keeps this up, and Orlando Cabrera seems to have made everyone forget about that guy who used to play shortstop. What was his name again? And, now, appropriately, they'll play the Cardinals, the team that's foiled them before in the World Series. 4 more wins and the curse will be lifted. It can be done.
Friday, October 15, 2004
I May Hate Dubya, but I Hate My Job Way More
In last night's debate, the president was asked what he'd tell someone who's lost their job to someone overseas. Before I get to his answer, let's tackle the question itself. Why does it only matter if they've lost their job to someone overseas? Unemployment during the Bush administration or, for that matter, the Clinton administration is not and does not continue to be isolated to a problem of outsourcing. It is as much about Washington's enabling of the a crippled, sick corporate culture in this country, which allows for frequent massive layoffs and credits them with tax breaks and loopholes as anything else, be it outsourcing or the widepsread hiring of illegal immigrants. For God's sake, Delta employs prisoners for their call centers and continues to get any break they want when they put out their hand. But, anyway, back to Dubya.
His answer was for people to seek further education in order to compete in the economy of the 21st century. Excuse me? Come again? Okay, I get the intention of such a statement but I seriously question its merit as an answer to the question asked or to the problem at hand. How many people are currently employed in jobs they are vastly overqualified for because they have no other option, except maybe starving? These aren't all Classics majors, dickhead. These are people with marketable skills and they're being turned away. Of course, the reasons for this are complex, but the answer to this problem is not that people with degrees need to get more degrees and if they do, they'll get the job they want. Anyone else been told they were overqualified for a job for the simple fact that you had a degree? I sure have. Too many times for it to even be funny anymore.
I work at a job where I am endlessly told that I'm overqualified. Thanks to my wonderful local government, I cannot move up or out of this job without an exam that they thus far refuse to offer to me. I sort of make ends meet, continue to shift debt around, from here to there, back and forth. I was told when I first applied for this job that they would prefer someone with an associate's degree and had an argument about whether or not a bachelor's degree outranked an associate's. And I don't feel like I'm alone in this situation. And, you know what, I know that it's not just George W. Bush's fault. Blame can be spread around and shared equally. Sharing means caring. But, if that's the best answer my president can provide to that question, well..
So, if it's not about education, what do you have to say, George? Y'know what. I don't care. I know you don't have an answer. Pack up your shit. It's time.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Roger Ebert's letter wasn't published by the folks at Salon. Here's the closing bit of his eye rollingly dour one star review of Team America: World Police:
"I wasn't offended by the movie's content so much as by its nihilism. At a time when the world is in crisis and the country faces an important election, the response of Parker, Stone and company is to sneer at both sides -- indeed, at anyone who takes the current world situation seriously. They may be right that some of us are puppets, but they're wrong that all of us are fools, and dead wrong that it doesn't matter."
If you'd like to recall the good old days when Ebs was offended by the content of a film by Trey and Matt, you can check his review of South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Reverse the Curse
Hey, Red Sox, get off your knees and stop blowing the series. It's totally okay to get hits and score before the sixth inning. No need to be such gentleman. Hit that shit early and often. You made Jon Lieber look like Mike Scott, circa '86, when scuffing balls was sexy and rules were made to be broken. Look, I know it sucks that Curt's ankle may have finished him for the year and I know that Johnny "Jesus Christ Superstar" Damon seems to have lost his ability to see, but all is not lost. Don't let the miserable fuckers that call themselves your fans bring you down with what I'm sure will be awful headlines and hand wringing over the next 24 to 48. Chill out and do what you've been doing all year and shove some wins down these fuckers' throats. I'm on my couch, sick, hopped up on cold medicine and I'm pissed at that smug little smirk on A-Rod's face, y'know, when he's on the field and not referencing the three musketeers when he's asked about the clubhouse comradery. "All for one and one for all." Awww. How sweet. Reality being that A-Rod, Sheff, and Rivera are in the shower singing the Sting/Rod/Bryan Adams power ballad. Rivera is continuously reminded not to bring any electrical appliances into the shower with him for the performance. The soap will be a pretend mic, Mariano. Remember?
But, seriously, go home and just win. Make Kevin Brown so angry, that this time, he might have a justifiable reason to punch a wall.
Quote of the Day
"My brother called me when the Sox were losing 8-0, just before the rally started and we stayed on the phone until the last out was recorded. Once the Sox scored their third run, we never changed positions, even though we both might get arthritis now before we're 30. Bill Simmons is not washing a bird-soiled shirt. As he said, Pedro is carrying around a 30-inch good luck charm and half the Sox are growing mutant fu manchus. I take it back -- we are irrational. It's been a rough morning." - Greg Comeau, Red Sox fan
Monday, October 11, 2004
Dicks and Assholes
Trey and Matt are interviewed over at Salon.com by Heather Havrilesky. You'll have to watch an ad for the new Shawshank DVD to read it, unless of course you're a Salon Premium member and you've just put down your collection of Anne Lamott writings about her cat's political leanings. Either way, check it.
One More Than Four
1) Red Sox v. Yankees
During Game 3 against the Angels, ESPN anchor Chris Berman put it out there that Sox fans might not be satisfied if they went to the World Series and didn't have to go through the Yankees. Right after David Ortiz hit the game winner, I called my boy Greg. (I have to maximize my phone calls to Greg this time of year. If the Sox lose, there tends to be a long drought between phone calls, out of my own fear of dealing with his depression.) When I brought this up to Greg, he bristled at the notion. "Red Sox fans are many things, but we're not irrational." (they simply believe in curses and that the world is working against them) This same sense of things was expressed by Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy) who rightly pointed out that baseball is not like gymnastics. Red Sox fans are not judging by degree of difficulty. But now, this issue is moot. If the Sox are to go to the World Series for the first time since 1986, it will be through the Yankees. Tuesday night in the Bronx. Schilling v. Mussina. Here we go again.
And head on over to The Red Seat for quality, unoconventional Sox gear.
2) Team America: World Police
It could've been meaner, considering the subjects it skewers, but pound for pound, the funniest movie of the year. No doubt. Check the official site.
3) Trial of the Century, French Kicks
Label mates of The Walkmen. Apparently more new wave-ish than their earlier stuff (which I've never heard). It reminds me a lot of The Smiths. Best. Buy it.
4) A Day off from Work
Sooner or later, I won't be working at my job any longer. I very much hate every second that I'm there and relish any time when I'm not. I had the day off today. Ferdinand and Isabella showing love for the Jew. Hot! Got to go to Chipotle for lunch, a habit long since abandoned due to the location of my place of employment. In a short amount of time, I go back to the grind. Back to a job where I was secretly enrolled in a union, given questionable pay that barely makes ends meet, and restricted from taking any time off without making every minute up, or else I'll get fired, in an office where I'm frequently left alone to hold down the fort by all other employees because they're taking hour after hour, day after day off without even the most remote fear of getting a pink slip. For example, neither of my bosses will be in the office at all this week. Huzzah! Sooner or later...sooner or later...sooner or later.
5) Gary Anderson
With his leg, Gary leads The Darkos to a victory. 2-3. Creeping towards .500. Classy.
Orson Scott Card
One of Josh's favorites chimes in on his plan come election day:
"I'm a Democrat voting for Bush, even though on economic issues, from taxes to government regulation, I'm not happy with the Republican positions. But we're at war, and electing a president who is committed to losing it seems to be the most foolish thing we could do. Personal honesty is also important to me, and Kerry is obviously not in the running on that point, given that he can't keep track of the facts in his own autobiography."
For the rest of Slate's rundown of who a number of authors (Amy Tan, John Updike, Rick Moody, etc.) are voting for, go here. The results are completely obvious. I wouldn't even bother going if I were you, but I feel it's only appropriate to cite the source of the Card quote. Blah.
Monday Wrap (Sexy, Day Off from Work Edition)
Angela Lindvall, providing the sexy.
"Going Maximizing" No More
Pier retires from the blogisphere. Poisonville, R.I.P.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
A superb piece by John Cassidy of The New Yorker on the myths of and possibilities for energy independence in the U.S.
The New York Tabloids (the Post and the Daily News) are notorious for employing a bevy of sports writers whose sole task, it seems, is to float ridiculous, implausible trade rumors or rumors of free agent activity. These are the only people who ever thought it was truly feasible that the Knicks would acquire Vince Carter. Think about this. A Canadien franchise with one draw for fans will trade said draw for...spare parts? Carter may not be the new Jordan and he may not be the star he once was or, rather, the star many thought he'd become, but he stil remains the only draw the Raptors have. I emphasize the fact that this is a Canadien franchise, largely because of most Canadien franchises' difficulty to draw fans when not contending for a title. For God's sake, they have difficulty keeping hockey teams.
Well, now, not surprisingly, with the Mets coming off a disappointing, semi-disastrous season, Joel Sherman of the New York Post (a great offender when it comes to this form of hackneyed hypothesizing) has put forward a string of proposals for what the Mets can and should do this offseason. Now, sure, he presents these as ideas, but they're just as bogus as if he said they were being discussed. He first proposes trading Mike Piazza (the team's most popular player, by far) for Dodger outfielder/first baseman Shawn Green. Their contracts match, he says. Correct. Green would be hugely popular in New York because he's Jewish. Ummm, okay. Mike Piazza is Italian and (gay) and, let me repeat, the most popular player on the team with little to no competition for that status. But, worse yet, Sherman states that Green would be a better fit for the lineup. I suppose this is more a statement on his defense than his offense. Green is notoriously a hitter best suited in a lineup where he is protected by a hitter like Gary Sheffield or Adrian Beltre. Without this protection, he's been proven to be fairly average. This deal would make zero sense, especially considering that this proposal blatantly ignores the conventional logic that if the Mets do trade Piazza, it will be to an American League in order for Piazza to become a DH. He also proposes trading Cliff Floyd and Kaz Matsui to Seattle for Bret Boone and Eddie Guardado. Trading Floyd is not a horrendous idea and not all that unlikely and Boone is a strong second baseman, but let me get this straight. They're going to trade their starting left fielder and second best hitter and a young infielder given only one year to show his talents for a veteran second baseman who will now have to switch leagues and readjust to National League pitching and a rag arm reliever coming off one of his worst years in the majors. Actually, here, Sherman may have more insight into the Mets brand of thinking than I'd like to admit.
But the clincher here is his proposal (which he says is based on discussion with the Post's "executives") to trade Tom Glavine to the Red Sox for Doug Mientkiewicz and Trot Nixon. Now, I am not going to claim that Glavine should be untouchable but if a light hitting first baseman and a good, but often injury plagued outfielder is all you can get for him, you might as well keep the former Cy Young winner and see what happens. Unless of course you think like Joel Sherman. Fantasy league trading doesn't make you a GM, Joel. Let's hope Omar Minaya is less of a roto geek than you.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Check the new Life Aquatic trailer here.
But, I think Kerry's performed well. Bush did better in this second debate but compared to his "performance" in the first debate, there couldn't conceivably be a way for him to do worse. But I swear to God, if I hear "wrong war, wrong time, blah blah blah" one more time I'm going to shoot myself. I have a plan to stop him from saying that. Did you hear? I have a plan. A plan! A super fantastic plan to stop him from saying that. This plan will take a lot of hard work. But it's a good plan. My plan. It's good. I plan to tell you more about my plan later. Plan on reading about it here.
Friday, October 08, 2004
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Hate You
If this movie gets made, the terrorists have won. (While John Kerry was bashing him, I think Dubya just winked at someone in the audience. The blonde in brown in the front row? The older black lady in the fetching scarf?)
Title: The Wilderness of Monkeys
Log line: A modern-day retelling of "Alice in Wonderland" in which a girl enters a fantasy land after a car accident puts her into a coma.
Writer: Nia Vardalos
Agent: UTA and mngt. firm Brillstein-Grey
Buyer: Playtone Productions
To be adapted from the novel by Laura Zigman. Michael and Dale Tarr, Hy Smith and Brigitte Pietz will produce. Nia Vardalos will star.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Random Bits Having Nothing At All To Do With Zach Braff
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Fiona Apple Hates FOGS
From Zach Braff's Garden State blog (which is still up and running):
"A little trivia for you true F.O.G.S.: of all the amazing bands and music I was able to get to be in GS, Fiona is the only person that turned me down. (or her manager did. I'll never know if my letter ever made it to her.) Imagine my surprise when Coldplay, Simon and Garfunkel, and Nick Drake said yes, but Fiona (or her people) said no way."
Zach's so cool, he talks to Nick Drake's ghost. Best.
Howard will ditch broadcast radio and head to satellite, starting 1/1/06. Cross and Lopez to take his broadcast spot; Seacrest circling.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
...to Black Collar Worker for the linkage. Gracias, kindly stranger.
Dead Things, Mikey, Dead Things
Team America v. His Diddyness
Trey and Matt have no love for "Vote or Die." (Key fact from this article: Because of "Vote or Die," voter registration is up 250%. This from a Diddy rep.)
One More Than Four
1) The Baseball Playoffs
Last year was classic: Bartman, Pudge holding onto the Marlin's playoff life, Pedro throwing down Zim, Zimmer subsequently giving a tearful apology for behaving like a drunk grandpa, Boone's walkoff, series ending home run, Josh Beckett and the Fish's miraculous run. I, of course, have more vivid memories of playoff seasons that involve the Mets. Nothing can top 1986. 1988 introduced me to the art of hating a man named Orel but not yet having the mental acumen to make endless jokes about a man that would, ironically, come to play for the very team he demolished that year. And 2000 which ended with a defeat at the hands of the Evil Empire but a run so blissful that the incessant playing of the Baha Men's "Who Let The Dogs Out" didn't bother me until after the fact, when it could then be blamed for Kenny Rogers walking every batter that came to the plate. This year has a string of storylines, from the Yankees trying again to prove that all the spending was wise to the Twins pissing in MLB's face for ever thinking of contracting them to the Braves for again damning conventional wisdom and being good to the Cardinals trying to stay at the top to the Astros trying to mimic what the Marlins did last year (fire your manager, win it all) to the unlikely but still possible all L.A. World Series to another attempt to break the curse, all of them, great and small, from the Bambino to Bucky Dent to Buckner to Boone, by the Sox. I'm ready. This shit is like crack.
2) The Return of Peabs
3) In A Silent Way, Miles Davis
I have always loved this album and just brought it out again. My obsession with Broken Social Scene makes even more sense now, after listening to "In A Silent Way/It's About That Time."
4) The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I tried a while back to read it, but resisted it and quickly put it down. I'm stupid. I'm back at it and loving it. My favorite early bit:
"From the sound of it, had I stayed in California I might have ended up in a cult or at the very least practicing some weird dietary restriction. I remember reading about Pythoagoras around this time, and finding some of his ideas curiously appealing -- wearing white garments, for instance, or abstaining from foods which have a soul.
But instead I wound up on the East Coast."
5) The G-Men (3-1)
The opposite of my under-performing fantasy football squad, Tom Coughlin's Giants are off to a great start. He's got the defense workin' and he seems to be figuring out how to best use this offense, as evidenced by Tiki Barber's explosion this Sunday. Kurt Warner just needs to keep eating his Chunky soup and all will be well.
(Blogger Note: I wanted to write about In The Mood for Love and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but felt no need to overlap with Morgan and/or Ben. However, I did want to throw out one thought. Both films play out the scenario of couples rehearsing their eventual goodbye. In The Mood for Love is obviously more direct and literal, while Eternal has Clementine's "fucked up girl" speech which Joel has heard so many times. One is a love that can never be, the other an imperfect love that can't be erased no matter how hard they try. And, perhaps, it is the power of this that forces them to consider the details of how exactly they will end it, either because they know they will have to or because they can't bear the thought of not controlling its end. Side note: Eternal Sunshine is the new Rudy. I can't help but cry. And it's more a weepy, sad, semi-pitiful kind of crying than Rudy which is much more a "Who's the Wild Man Now," joyful kind of cry, if that makes any sense.)
Quote of the Day
"Well, I could easily be wrong, but I have a feeling Cheney will crush Edwards tonight. The format is God's gift to Daddy. They'll both be seated at a table, immediately allowing Cheney to do his assured, paternal, man-of-the-world schtick that makes me roll on my back and ask to have my tummy scratched. (Yes, I do think that Cheney is way sexier than Edwards. Not that you asked or anything.)" - Andrew Sullivan
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Douchebag of the Day Award (School Marm Edition)
"No one is going to remember that Bush said the insurgents in Iraq are fighting "vociferously" (I mean, not actually being on the ground over there, I can't actually vouch for whether or not they're attacking with loud vocal accompanyment, but...)." - Ted Leo (Poisonville deity and self proclaimed North East Liberal Elitist Prig)
When criticizing someone's misuse of a word, please try to correctly spell words used in your joke. Accompaniment, Ted. Accompaniment.
Friday, October 01, 2004
It may not be a $24 million buyout but it seems that Isaiah and the Knicks are committed to jettisoning Shandon Anderson. Anderson is the ring in the bathtub. He is the only reminder of the shameful trade that sent the franchise, Patrick Ewing, to Seattle, in exchange for Glen Rice, Luc Longley's broken body, and Travis Knight's fully functioning but seemingly broken body. After one season with Rice bitching and moaning about playing time they knew they could never give him, he was traded to Houston, in exchange for two of the most worthless players to ever wear blue and orange, Howard Eisley and Anderson.
What makes their presence that much worse is that both make gobs of money that their former team, the Utah Jazz, saw fit to give them and the Knicks saw fit to absorb in order to placate former Jazz hand and one time General Manager, Scott Layden (there were always references to how Layden and owner James Dolan wanted character guys and that Anderson and Eisley were such...too bad they suck). Layden is so reviled by Knicks fans (including myself) that at this year's draft, when the Knicks picked in the second round (Trevor Ariza, G, UCLA), there was a chant of "Fire Layden!" Layden had been fired months before, replaced by Isaiah Thomas, the stench of his administration long fabrezed out of the offices at MSG. But, thankfully, Isaiah seems committed to getting rid of Shandon. It's about time.