Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dear Anonymous

To whomever it was that left the anonymous response to my "lightheaded" entry,

1) I have actually, earlier in my blog, explained that I am grateful to be a Boston fan. It is one hell of a time to be a fan when I get to root for the best football team and best baseball team on the planet, and my B's are undefeated this year (sure, they aren't playing, but I'll take what I can get). However, since this is my weblog, or if I may emphasize for effect, my webLOG, this is by definition my place to put up daily thoughts and opinions. I was cranky today, and I hate the Orioles, having lived in DC for a few years and also because that they are tremendous bastards.

2) I have no made no claims to be rational. In fact, the word "rant" is in the title of this weblog. This might be a case for you to... how do I put this subtlely? Um, know your source. I plan to rant, and as I stated several times, I devote entirely too large a portion of my life to sports. My opinions on such are likely to be incoherent gibberish from time to time, because I am blinded by anger. Of course, this does not change the fact that the Orioles are a terrible organization whom I only hope Rome finds, destroys, and salts their Earth to stop them from growing back.

3) I never said Tejada wasn't a good player, or an intense one, or a good teammate, or that he molests children. I just think, personally, that he is a raging douchebag. Sure, he drives in a lot of runs, but he also appears to dine on a hearty bowl of cock, at least in my eyes. He always gets that pained expression on his face whenever things don't go his way, reminiscent of Peyton Manning or Mike Rebeiro. Also, it seems like every 2 or 3 games he comes up from a play wincing and aching (like Mike Rebeiro), only to show that it actually was nothing by having no ill effects and saying so post-game. To recap: he was a whinny bitch in Oakland, he is a whinny bitch in Baltimore, and he is a whinny bitch in winter ball. The guy may play well, but he still fellates goats.

4) Hey, I'm all for the Os making a race of the thing. I have previously stated, I want them to finish second behind the Sox. I am still allowed to be upset by the emotional ups and downs that come from a season.

5) I realize you likey were just trolling to flame and I probably shouldn't bother responding, but what the hell, I some have free time before my SAS program comes back with results. Regardless, I will now raise my middle finger and politely ask you to insert multiple sharp object into any orifice which currently is not occupied by the steel rods that inspired you to comment in the first place.

6) In case other people didn't notice, I am still in a really crappy mood today. In the off chance that the comment was a post by a friend of mine just trying to raise my blood temperature, I will say it was successful, and to not take anything above personally (as I'm sure you know me well enough to realize...).

Man, I am light-headed

If this post spirals off into insanity (moreso than usual?) or has really bad grammar, I apologize. I went for a very lengthy run today on my lunch break, so I didn't have time to pick-up lunch. Usually I would just go to the cafeteria, but they don't take credit cards and my ATM card was stupidly left at home (thus precluding me from using the machine that my employer graciously provides, for only a $4 fee and a lubeless penetration). Anyway, I am now (airquotes) functioning on a night of poor sleep, a grapefruit, a cup of coffee, a cup of green tea, and endorphines. Seriously, at this point, I am now a few doses of methamphetamines and a terrible mustache away from becoming a truck driver. Anyhow, on with today's rant:

1) Book number three on my list of best-written is a hard one. I slotted this space for the book that dictates the emotion of the characters, and I am torn between Das Boot and American Psycho. While Das Boot captures the page-turning excitement and the dreadfully slow nature that is life on a submarine, I think that American Psycho (Brett Easton Ellis) takes the role just because the character is a more outlandish persona to emulate, and the satirical nature of the book makes for a more cerebral read. Essentially, the book is a first-person narrative that follows the life of Patrick Bateman, an ego-driven corporate yuppie on Wall Street in the 1980s, who just happens to murder people in his free time. Everything about the guy is consumed with status and exterior presentation, while failing to acknowledge the consequences of being driven only by greed and disgust. What really sets this novel on it's way is the extremely flat and descriptive tone the author uses. Bateman describes everything in meticulous detail, from the clothes to the hair to the job of each character in the book, while moving through the repetitive and redundant life of his social interactions; their lives are consumed by image, whether it be where they have dinner or what they wear. The descriptions are so thorough that it becomes incredibly boring; as a reader, you become almost numb to the narrative and start skimming and reading faster. Then, without warning, there suddenly are the torture and murder scenes. The anger, hatred, and violent acts are so sudden and jarring (and also so descriptive), and they come almost without warning, and end quickly as well. The incredible boredom of the daily life, coupled with the intense nature of the violent scenes, creates such contrast in emotional strength that it is almost like reading an entirely different book. One minute you are skimming a description of a tanning bed and a workout regime, the next you are reading about the horrible murder of a stranger. As the book wears on, and the descriptive boredom of his life drags, the reader begins to find himself wanting to come to murder scene just to break up the drudging and slow pace of the rest of the character's day; in that way, Bateman's bloodlust begins to infect the reader. There is a creepy and self-reflective air to the book when viewed in that light, while also touching on the themes of how Wall Street dehumanizes the innocent people much the way Bateman does his victims, the shallow nature that is the pursuit of status and class, and the arbitrary classifications of what matters and what doesn't in the society of excess.

2) Finally saw Revenge of the Sith. Without trying to give too much away to those who didn't see it yet, here are my quick thoughts:
-Judging by her lack of development, Natalie Portman's role in the whole thing is that of a pod.
-Hayden Christiansen is a poor actor, but not as poor as Lucas' dialogue makes him.
-Why didn't they just drop the subtlety and have him say, "Execute plan 666!" instead of plan 66?
-Samuel L. Jackson's character really didn't need to be in the movies at all
-If they turned every 25-minute battle scene into a 5-minute one, and trimmed the fat from the story, the first three episode together could have made a good 2-hour movie
-Yoda's grammar became really distracting by the end. Not sure if they should have had him speak less, or just not have as many long sentences. All I could hear in my head by the end was what he would say in the adult version, Star Whores: "Mmm, toss you salad I will."
-Either they turned Anakin too quickly, or I really missed something; I realize it was supposed to be jarring, but it could have gotten at least a minute plus of screen time.
-Overall, though, it was much better than the other two. I liked it (didn't love it), in that I respected the improvements over the previous two, and it was a bit better than what I expected it to be.

3) I hate the Orioles. Specifically, I hate Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, Rodrigo Lopez, and Ted Lilly. I realize Ted Lilly plays for Toronto, but he is just like Lopez. Both are crap pitchers, except when they play us. Lopez has made 5 good starts this year, Lilly 3; 4 of those came against the Red Sox. Tejada annoys me, because he is a huge whinny bitch. Whether he is complaining to umps and not running to the bag, acting like he just severed his arm when he gets a mild ding, or having that cocky strut thing he does (while getting offended by Manny walking after a home-run or Lowe being an idiot), that man pisses me off. Plus, I know a woman that looks just like him who also pisses me off. Brian Roberts annoys me because he only hits fastballs, yet pitcher keep throwing them to him. He is like the pitcher who gets 20 wins because the team puts up 9 runs for each of their starts; I just want to grab him by the shoulders and scream "You aren't as good as your stats, you craptacular whore!" until I pass out or he starts crying.

4) Also, I hate the Orioles for always having a winning record in Fenway. The last two years, they are 16-4 at our home park. I don't know what it is, but they seem to have a huge advantage in BABIP when they come to Fenway, and part of me wonders if they figured out a way to steal our signs there. It's really weird, because they don't have anywhere close to that same BABIP at Camden Yard against us, even when controlling for park effects. Just annoying.

5) I also hate the Orioles because of their douchebag of an owner. He proclaimed to anyone who would listen that the DC metro area couldn't support two teams. Wrong, the problem is that Baltimore can't support one. Now that assbag comes away with a guaranteed sell-off price and the TV rights to the Nationals. Hey, dicksuck! Maybe if you had actually run your team well and put out a product that played well, you wouldn't have to worry about record lows in attendance this year!

Also, I wouldn't mind as much that they played the Sox so tough if they didn't grab their ankles every time the Yankees came within 50 miles of Baltimore. Seriously, with the Sox, the relationship is that of "scrappy upstart" to the "big bad favorite", whereas with Yanks it is more "fat girl with low self-esteem" to "drunken frat boy with roofies".

Monday, May 30, 2005

Happy Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, 2005


So I made it back safely. Having successfully penetrated the tourist crowd, aided in no small part by my "tourist fatigues" of a Patriots T-shirt, Sox cap, sandals, and visible cellulite, I was able to conduct much successful reconaissance of the area know only as "The Mall". Yes, I waltzed unarmed directly into the shadow of the Washington Phallus and have since made it back to tell about it. Whenever I looked around at the Washington strain of tourists, I often felt compelled to Hindenberg (that is, scream out "Oh, the Humanity!") at the overwhelming visage of hairy stomachs, bad mustaches, and mullets. And that was just the women. Yet despite these incrediblely adverse circumstances, I was still able to conduct field operations with the Resident Female. Securely hidden in the shade, sitting on a bench, we played many tourist-watching games, including (but not limited to): Deformed or Just Ugly, Name That Gender, and Sisters or Lesbians. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

Also, on a side note, I saw a buddhist monk stuck in traffic. Weaving through the gridlock situated in the crosswalk, I look at a rather clean-shaven asian head of one of the drivers and noticed he was also wearing one of those orange robes. Needless to say, I was shocked that Honda Accords from the early 90s appear to be the official car of self-immolating monks everywhere.


Also, I was disappointed today to see that Bill Simmons has once again read my mind and thwarted my plans for blog entry. You see, I was going to write about the recent rash of remakes that have plagued hollywood, specifically the times when remakes should or should not be made. However, my boy Billy jumped on the idea before I could, and were I to write on the subject now I would seem like some kind of idea-vulturing hack, the kind of mindless writer that has no place writing columns on the internet unless it is in a blog. Oh, right. Anyway, rest assured that I had been thinking about this stuff for a while (most notably with Dawn of the Dead), and I am not pilfering ideas from Simmons, and in fact he is retroactively stealing them from me. So here we go with my philosophy of Remakes:

Remaking classics is a no-no. Seldmon are remakes in general better than their originals, and often they fail because they either borrow too much from the original or they don't enough to seperate themselves from the first one, and usually they manage to accomplish both attrocities in the same movie. For example, my own list of movies that are better than their originals is a short one, that would include probably only The Thing, The Fly, The Ring, and possibly Ocean's Eleven. A few years ago, I might even have thrown Omega Man out there, but I recently rewatched both it and The Last Man on Earth, and I'll take Vincent Price over Charlton Heston.

Anyway, the three clear-cut movies (The Fly, The Thing, and The Ring) have two things in common: they were each horror movies and the originals sucked (well, Ringu was actually okay, but it is hard to be creepy in sub-titles; also, there were still a few cringe-worthy points in Japanese versions that they eliminated/refined in The Ring). So what this seems to indicate to me is that these three movies took bad movies that had good potential in terms of plot, and just executed them better; that they all were horror movies is just a function of the horror genre in genral: few of the plots are given enough budget to be successful. So, really, the only movies that should be remade are the ones that had potential but flopped.

As to remaking successful movies, I find there is always some sort of stronger counter-argument. Remaking a classic, only with adding original elements to the story, seems to rob the original of the character that made it so successful; if it worked before, why did you change it? Essentially, the two options for remaking a movie is copying the scenes shot for shot, or rewriting them and making them "newer". In the former, why even bother? You aren't adding anything to the original by mimicking it, as you have implicitly set the ceiling of potential as the original scene itself; the movie can never be any better than the first, and is usually much worse. In the latter scenario, you risk both upsetting the purists who loved the original while also risking the loss of the elements that made the first one successful. Either tactic, mimick or retool, seems to cap the level of accomplishment of the film to the original, and is pretty much assuring it won't hit it.

Another reason that seems to lead to remakes is the better technology of the modern era. Special effects are much better and more realistic these days. Some directors think that using new special effects on the old movies will somehow make them better. Yet, I would argue that 1) great movies were not great because of their groundbreaking (at the time) special effects, but rather the special effects were a treat that added to an otherwise good story and 2) if the effects are so much more realistic and better, don't they deserve their own script to showcase them? For an example of 1), rewatch the first Matrix. The fights scenes themselves were not nearly as long as in the next two, and the story incorporated a plethora of philosophical elements and references (Plato's cave, christian religion, eastern philosophies, Alice in Wonderland, etc). The second two Matrixes (Matrices?) seemed to have about five minutes of self-referential and incoherent talk interspersed with 20-minute fight scenes. I realize these weren't remakes, but the point stands. The Matrix was an intriguing and thoughtful movie that just happened to have new and brilliant special effects; the second two movies were video games and visuals with an annoying plot that cropped up here or there (which is where point #2 comes in). Also, did anyone think the redone special effects to Star Wars episodes 4-6 worked? Or that the new scenes were anything but incredibly distracting? I didn't think so. Basically, if new special effects are the reason to redo a movie, then spend the extra $100K to write a script for it.

I realize that there is a reason so many remakes are coming out, just like I understand why there are so many sequels. There is a ton of money in it. Sequels and remakes have two advantages in terms of product: bigger actors are usually vain enough that they get excited to reprise a popular role from Hollywood's past, and the movie will have a built-in audience already who will see it. If you liked the first one, it is very tempting to go see the second edition or installment. I understand this, and Hollywood doesn't like to risk money on a project that may not make its money back. So we aren't likely to stop seeing Texas Chainsaw Massacres, Dawn of The Deads, The Longest Yards, or Bad News Bears in the near future. It is just unfortunate that the groundbreaking movies of the past are getting corporatized and rehashed in a dumbed-down form over and over. That is why I think we should all go hunt down Michael Bay and castrate him before he gets his hands on The Highlander, The Maltese Falcon, or Debbie Does Dallas.

And look, I have no problem with using similar plots. "Inspired by" or "Based on" is not a problem for me. But re-using the title both shackles the creative process when it comes to changes and also cheapens both it and the original. I mean, just about every successful story of any movie/play/novel is inspired in some way or another from some previous work. However, paying homage to something and running in a new or better direction is very different from a remake. It takes the best part of the remake, the inspiration and the ability to sample the succesful elements of the past, and then is able to drop the restrictions and associations of being faithful to the last movie. All it requires is a tiny bit of originality, which is why I find it frustrating that we only get sequels and remakes.


Two last thoughts on the specific remakes of Dawn of the Dead and the Fly. Was I the only one who thought it ironic that a movie from the 70s about the empty and mindless nature of consumerism was remade to capitalize on the resurgance of the horror genre, and had a ridiculous number of product placement advertizing in it? The only upside is that George Romero was finally able to get funding to make his fourth zombie movie. As for the Fly, there is a new one being made; so we have a remake of a remake of the original to contend with now. Great.

Shake me like a British Nanny!

Another beautiful day for not having plans. I'm about to walk down to the mall and wing rocks at tourists.

Cool word of the day: panacea. As in, "walking outside and winging rocks at tourists is a great panacea for the blues."

Latin word of the day: advesperascare (add-Wes-per-osk-R-A), to get dark. A great word, perhaps to be used as "I will be sad if it advesperascares, since my night-vision goggles are in the shop and I won't be able to wing rocks at tourists."

Also, any of my friends that are lawyers, please call the DC's 53rd precint around 5:30 this evening, and wire me some bail money.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Baker's Dozen

I am writing a post now because the Sox are up by a baker's dozen on the Yankees, who just broke up the shutout by getting a run off of Timlin. Is there anything better than cheers of "Let's go Red Sox" at the Bronx Toilet Seat? Ah, memories of last October. Anyway, some news:

1) I signed the lease on my new apartment today, which is very exciting. However, this also means that, when I move, I will most likely spend a good deal of time without internet access. Rest assured, my loyal readers (both of you), that I have been mailing in my performance at my job for nearly a month, so the posts are likely to continue with similar frequency.

2) I have just brokered a deal to acquire a car this summer. I am excited about this because I will now have a car after spending over two years without one (for those who do not know, my old car crapped out at 198,365 miles while moving to DC, thus leaving me stranded on the side of the road in Connecticut during a rainstorm with all my worldly possessions neatly packed inside). However, since I will no longer be getting the fat government stipend of metro cards, alternative locomotion was deemed to be a necessity, and now I have it.

3) I am now broke. Between items 1 & 2 of this post, along with the crippling addictions to ebay and alcohol, I have had to fork out quite a bit of green lately. My bank account has gone from healthy to the edge of death. So it goes.

4) In 4th place on my list of best-written books in history is Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. This one is written with an almost childlike simplicity that bounces around the lead character's life, quickly shifting between assorted moments of varying emotional make-ups. The book is a detached and ironic viewing of the horrific fire-bombing of Dresden in World War II, mixed with the fantasies and memories of the main character, who was privy to the bombings as a POW. The matter-of-fact attitude of writing along with the simplicity of the style stands as a stark contrast to the events in the book, whether they be horrific or bizarre. The writing style matches the psychological tenor of Billy Pilgrim, as emotional regression and detachment is really the only option that any reasonable person would have to handle the events in the book. Just a magnificent and powerful juxtaposition of the beauty of life and the evils of war.

5) On a personal note, I recieved very good (albeit cryptic) news about a friend of mine who was recently involved in a terrible accident. If the brief comment left for me by IM is true (the sender has since signed off), I can only say I have a tremendous sense of relief for both Sean and has family. We've all been pulling for you, buddy. Get well.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Off day

Since I had today off of work, I have been running around doing things. I apologize to my faithful reader for not getting anything up earlier. Alas, while I would love to stay and write, I regret that I am being forced by the Resident Female to go enjoy tasty margaritas on a balcony of a restaurant. As such, I will leave you with some inspirational words that my father told me before I went off to college. He said, "Son, don't ever let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough. Find that out for yourself."

Oh, and go Sox!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It continues... ... ... ... ...

1) I'm now into sit-com territory. I received the first batch of photos, via email, of a long-lost friend's baby pictures. Firstly, I was shocked that he even knew my email address. Secondly, I didn't know his wife was pregnant, but I am not surprised considering that they married only 7 months after meeting each other for the first time. Thirdly, I was creeped out because last night I made a joke to the Resident Female about baby pictures (you see, because this place had a sign up that said "Single Beers are finally here", and I said, "I bet they made the switch to single beers because the married beers only wanted to show the customers their baby pictures". The Resident Female responded by pretending not to hear me).

Anyway, I have spent most of the day emailing old friends from Big Watts concerning the old friend's new spawn, and wondering what he has been like in the past year and a half since he met the woman. Much to my lack of astonishment, they really didn't know. To quote a response, "That man has been seen in public less than Salmon Rushdee." Now, except for his terrible spelling, I was not shocked by this in the slightest. As we used to joke in high school whenever the new father had a girlfriend, my boy was a leading candidate to found Women's Husbands' International Program for Preparing Entraping Domiciles. However, what did surprise me was that he stopped being a fisherman (too dangerous, too much time away from home) to work at a gas station. This saddens me, because all this kid ever wanted to do was be on the ocean. He started fixing boat engines when he was 14, every summer he was either loberstering, chartering, scuba diving, or sailing, and he even spent his senior year (in HS) Christmas Break in northern Canada ice sailing. I mean, if he wasn't out on the water, he wasn't happy. I guess I just don't understand how he could give it all up for a minimum wage job. I'm not trying to sound judgmental, but either I don't know him nearly as well as I thought, or he just doesn't have the ingenuity to come up with a way to make money doing things tactily close to what he loves. Either way, it makes me a little bit sad. I hope my boys are wrong that he "just took the job because he's given up", and that he is just happier to stay on dry land with his new family.

2) I watched a Penn & Teller Bullshit! episode last night about the myth of the nuclear family. While the Resident Female had trouble looking beyond the disturbing scenes from the home life of a few swingers, I found the show to be really one of their strongest. While I take just about everything they say with a grain of salt (the show's purpose is not so much to disprove common myths, but to rehash the manipulation of facts that one-side uses by using the same tactics to support the counter-argument), I felt that the show was spot on with its message. From the biology and psychology classes I have taken, plus my knowledge of the history of pop culture (too many damn English classes), that the nuclear family is not the norm was not shock to me. I just thought their arguments were particularly good in this show, even if they didn't go in depth into the more biological and hardwired evidence to refute "straight marriages for love"'s validity as the norm. However, it did reinforce my feelings about those always proclaiming "Family Values" in the political arena. Morons the lot of them, and in a lot of cases hypocrite (see: Gengrich, Newt. See also: Hatch, Orrin).

Personally, I think it is just another case of "the way I was taught as a child is the only acceptable way; we are only a free country when it jives with my figures, homie!" For more examples of this, see also: Sex Education, Creationism, gun control, etc. Forget the fact that a most of the states where "family values" politicians come from lead the country in divorce rates, unwed children, abortions, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, crime, and lower education levels, but I always find that those politicians that stress agenda as just allowing freedom of choice are actually enforcing these things on others while limiting the alternatives they are battling against.

3) I forgot to do a book review on the last book I finished, which was Steve Martin's Pure Drivel. It was a collection of essays, some of which were very funny, others of which missed their mark. Rather than try to go back and remember more about it, I thought I would go with some recommendations, as I am currently reading one of the best written books in history. When I was looking for something to read before my commute on the Metro, I grabbed one of my old standbys in Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. This has to be one of the best books I have ever read when it comes to writing style. So I thought I would put out a series of reviews for the novels that I think are the best written (note: not the best novels, just best written), starting with number five:

5. Choke by Chuck Pahlaniuk. This is the book that Pahlaniuk wrote after Fight Club. This book is about a middle-aged med student who had to drop out of school to take care of and pay for his dying mother in nursing care. He is a sex addict barely trying to recover, and he is flirting with rock bottom in just about every part of his life. Like most of Pahlaniuk's work, the story's details themselves are a bit ridiculous; however, his writing style is at it's finest in this one. With quick and repetitive comments dotting the work and the organized chaos that is the narrator's stream of consciousness, each paragraph skips along to the next seamlessly. Much in the way that Hemingway seemed to perfect the art of the sentence, Pahlaniuk has made a similar claim to the paragraph. The provocative and often embarrassing nature of the discourse only strengthen it's appeal, with his characteristic dark humor adding to his ridiculous satirization of society. While the narrator's rejection and abuse of certain social norms are a profound indictment of our culture's random collection of routines, it is really the ones that he still embraces which truly shows their absurdity. Fabulous, extremely well-written book.

I'm getting that feeling again...

First, a quick note: I have noticed that when I demean the Yankees in this forum, the night is followed by 1) the Sox losing 2) the MFY winning 3) the Orioles winning 4) the Blue Jays winning and 5) the Devil Rays still sucking. It is obvious that the rest of the AL East is using this website's Yankee bashing as motivational bulletin board material, so I have decided not to write anything negative about the Yanks until after this 116 game winning streak on which they are embarking is over.

As to the Sox, there are two things that I feeling like I am repeating emotionally from last year:

1) It happens every year, and I would assume it happens to every other team's fans as well. I can feel myself hitting the saturation limit with the Sox.

When you watch just about every pitch of every game, you get to know your chosen team pretty well. You start to know their personalities, their tendencies. You begin having a weird, one-sided relationship with them. So when they go through a stretch of not playing well, you start to feel let down; betrayed, even. You start taking the losses personally; you think, "hey, I did my part and showed up to watch you guys. How can you do this to me?". Suddenly, your mood the day after a loss is deeply affected, on par with some sort of personal tragedy (flu recovery symptoms aside) or like you had a huge fight with a loved the night before. It becomes hard to divorce yourself from the daily ups and downs, even when you assure yourself that the two reasons you root for baseball are because 1) it is a 6-month journey that is fun to watch form slowly yet marginally every day and 2) it is something you have no control over, so it is a part of your life that you don't need to feel any responsibility for when going poorly but feel elation when it goes well.

So I'm getting to that point. I'm getting to that point where I need a break. I need a week or so where I don't watch the games, don't read the recaps, don't count the stats, and don't look ahead in the schedule and try to figure out the rotation's matchups.

Of course, we are going to the toilet next week then hosting the "1st place (for now)!!!" Orioles. And I have tickets at Fenway for the 17th, so I need to be up on the games a few days beforehand for that.

Well, I guess I'll squeeze that week off in there eventually.

2) I don't know whether it's the road trip, age, or whatever, but this first half feels almost exactly like last year's bad first half. And that isn't a good thing, because we don't have a Nomar to trade (or a Murton, for that matter, which I think we totally got hosed on. But whatever, we won the series, so it was worth it).

The Red Sox look sloppy, especially on defense. For example, last night, Ted Lilly (Ted Lilly?) got the sox out in the first inning on 6 pitches. Then, Arroyo went 2 strikes on the first batter and hit him as he leaned over the plate. Then, Millar boots a ground ball and Arroyo had stopped running over to the base because any real 1B would have easily made the play. 1st and 2nd with no outs when neither guy should have been on. Varitek then has a horrendous past-ball to the number 3 hitter, so 2nd and 3rd, no outs. Game over. I knew it right there. Just like I knew Embree would explode the night before when a batter in the ninth blooped a ball over Renteria's head that came on a pitch at his ankles, I knew this game was over. And it was. Yet it was the defense that blew last night's game (3 unearned runs, though probably more when you look at the fielding), because it looks like crap. The offense blew the game, too, because they weren't swinging at good pitches. Whether it was playing catchable balls off the wall, missing grounders, or just taking bad breaks when the balls went off the bats, we didn't get it done in the field. Hell, I knew the game was over even before John "White Flag" Halama got up in the pen.

I guess that has been the story of the season, though. The Sox seem to be in a holding pattern, just like last year. The only difference is, instead of "We'll be alright once Nomar and Trot come back from injury", it has been "we'll be okay once Schilling comes back and our boys (Manny, Foulke, etc) get back to form". In the meantime, we lose because of sloppy play. We have plate discipline on nights when the guy is living in the strike zone, and we swing at crap pitches on nights when we face Ted FREAKING Lilly. This season, Lilly has an ERA of 8+, yet has allowed only 1 run in 11.2 innings against the Sox. We are the only team he has lasted more than 6 innings against, and we are the only team that doesn't score a run an inning against him. And we have one of the best offenses in the league. Please explain this to me.

Note: Rant is over.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Steroid crap

Seeing as how I stayed home sick again today, I have been watching a lot of ESPN. One thing that has driven me up the wall (only one thing? Well, the biggest thing) is not understanding about steroids. People were expecting all these stars and sluggers to test positive. Instead, we get a bunch of light-hitting utility infielders and a whole slew (slough? sloo? Let's just say a lot) of minor leaguers. So let's run down the list of people most likely to test positive for steroids, and a brief reason why this group is going to:

Marginal players, the kind that would take up the 25th spot on a roster - these players have the most to gain by using steroids. That small boost in playing ability that steroids gives might be enough to keep them up in the major leagues; therefore, the reward can be greater than the risk. Corrollary: star-level players that became stars are more likely to not juice up. The humiliation/loss in ad revenue and popularity would be much more severe from a positive test than a slump or reduced production. They won't lose their jobs, and their contracts are gauranteed.

International players - not because of any language barrier per se, but more because of two factors. 1) Visas are much easier to obtain when in the major leagues than in the minors, and getting up there is more helpful 2) Coming from a country with a lower standard of living and fewer employment opportunities make staying in the US much more attractive. Doing steroids that helps facilitate staying in the country and maintaining the opportunity is more likely to cause a desire to stay.

Catchers and relief pitchers - positions where recovery is important are more likely to get caught, because the short-term effects help with recovery more than being stronger, so they are more likely to use occasionally and just hope they don't get tested after those sporadic usages.

Makes sense right? Those who have the most to gain by not using them are more likely to risk testing positive than those who stand to lose from using. If you are a legitimate major leaguer, you won't risk steroids to be a star major leaguer as readily as if you are taking to make or stay on the team. If you have the choice between playing ineffectively every few appearances, or exposing yourself to positive test for a few days here or there, you are more likely to risk it. So all the flapping mediot heads out there, please take note: you are not going to catch those that have the most to lose by taking steroids, you are going to catch those with the most to gain.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Things I dislike

Time for things I dislike:

1) I dislike that Bill Simmons did a "State of the Cowbell" column, as I was planning on doing a State of the Weblog, and the last thing I want to be called is unoriginal.

2) I dislike Fox. When you show a show every night for an entire season starting at 9:00 PM, then run the season finale an hour earlier, that sucks. I finally got addicted to 24 this season, mostly because the first two shows came on directly after my boys kicked the crap out of the Colts. I was very much looking forward to seeing the last episode, yet they started the 2-hour last show at 8:00. Why? Why do this? I mean, if you ran it at 8 every week, but started it at 9, I could live with that. But the station had to know that there was a whole wealth of people, myself included, who pretty much only watch Fox once or twice a week, and all these people are going to miss half of the CLIMAX EPISODE!!! I said it when they cancelled Family Guy. I said it again when they let the Simpson become a traveshamockery. And I will say it now. Fuck Fox.

3) I'm not sure if I can curse, so there is a distinct possibility I may have to retype all of this.

4) I think the Republicans are starting to get "Lucased". Changing the filibuster? When 90%+ of the nominees have been accepted, and the same ones are getting filibustered again, I think there is a reason. Granted, both sides are wrong, but don't change the freaking laws of governance because someone figured out how to screw you. This sucks.

5) And I don't get this whole moral superiority of the party. I've never understood how a group that is so avidly against abortion, because all of life is sacred, can turn around and support the death penalty. You can't have it both ways; life is either sacred or it isn't. If it is, then nobody has the right to kill anyone, no matter how bad. Yes, I realize that killers and fetuses share very few character traits, but that shouldn't make the issue any less clear cut.

6) Speaking of self-righteous pricks, has anyone else noticed that Subway Jared is getting fat again?

7) Also, let scientists culture embryonic stem cells. It's not like the materials being used are harvested in lieu of becoming a person, and the potential benefits of research are enormous. Plus, I think we can all agree that those spouting off about the evils of the research would change their tune if their spine ever snapped or their spouses got Alzheimers. The sad part is, because I morally object to wishing harm on others, I can only hope they never have to learn.

8) Also, I hate that the only real option to vote against these Republic ninnies come in the form of the current Democratic party, who are nothing but a bunch a wimpy amalgamation of a bunch of random and overstated causes. Their only form of discourse seems to come in the form of over-stated evidence, knee-jerk objection, or total collapse to opposition. Bah!

Peyton Manning, Politics, and Something else

Likely doing two posts today, so here are my sports thoughts for the day

1. Sportcenter this morning ran a bit with Peyton Manning discussing how he is hoping to score 60 touchdowns this year during the regular season. While I'm sure his words got a bit twisted, I think that a number is his goal for the season is a bit of a microcosm for the way I view the guy. I've always seen him as the kid in class who reminds the teacher she forgot to assign homework for the weekend. He has a ton of talent (and has always been told so), puts up ridiculous numbers, consciously puts out an incredibly clean self-image, and always seems to play his best when it matters the least. Yes, he is the A-Rod of football. He'll always say the right thing to the media, he'll always make some great plays, but he'll never seem to elevate his game (or the game of those around him) when it matters most. When you see him on the field at those tough moments, and there is almost always a look of frustration and child-like body language that suggests a deeper feeling of semi-martyrdom.

Look, I don't necessarily have anything against the guy, beyond the fact that he looks like a horse. In fact, in most of his games against New England (his supposed Sysiphisean boulder), he has actually played pretty well, with the exception of the 2003 season AFC Championship Game. I think a lot of the reason he hasn't enjoyed a lot of post-season success is a function of his style of play more than his character. That is, since his team is built to always be a deep threat, when the deep passes aren't there (or more to the point, the deep plays bring nothing in return) the offense is effectively shut down and relegated to quick possessions. Especially when the offense represents such a large part of the salary cap, thus necessitating the need for a lot of points, this is bad because the defense sees way too much time on the field, gets worn out, and puts more pressure on the O to make quick strikes.

That said, this past season's insistence on running up the score and chasing records actually had two negative results for the team. First, they essentially emptied their playbook all season, giving potential playoff teams a huge resource to gameplan against. Second, it left a lot of opportunities to practice other styles off the field, while the quick-strike nature of their offense actually put more strain on the defense throughout the year (because the defense never got much rest, they would wear down towards the end of games, especially as the season wore on). Also, the Colts particular style of play was very exploitable. Essentially, they would hurry up to the line, get set, Peyton would make his read, change the play accordingly, then snap it. So, the offense wasn't really a hurry-up, just a quick to the line one. Most teams they faced ran vanilla defenses against this, hoping not to be out of position. However, the teams that contained them were the ones that still ran their normal defense, complete with motion and disguise on the defensive front. This made a huge difference in their four losses last season compared to 12 of their 13 wins.

So I guess what I'm saying is that if Peyton wants to make a run at 60, more power to him. However, that this is an achievable goal of the team, and this is what he wants to do, don't be surprised if you see that pained expression of a candyless child in the check-out line in the playoffs.

2. Many people, most notably the Yankees fans that I occasionally vouchsafe the title of "friend" to, have been IMing me about my earlier post where I suggest the Yankees were running around with a giant fork in their collective backs, forgetting entirely my suggestion that they would still be competitive and put a scare into the rest of the AL East a few times this year. Well, go ahead and gloat, if you must. I've come to expect it from you (you are, after all, Yankee fans). However, while I will acknowledge that their is a big weekend series coming up at the Toilet in the Bronx, and we should know a lot more about the relative value of all the AL East teams 10 days hence, there are a few things I would like to point out (as of this morning of May 24th 2005):

a) If the Yanks-Sox series started today, and they swept the Red Sox, the teams would only then have the same number of losses on the year.

b) The Yankees have finally seen their name rise to third in the AL East standings, but only because New York comes before Toronto in the alphabet.

c) That 10 game winning streak still put the team only 2 games over .500.

d) Randy Johnson, the would-be savior, had his first game without a strikeout in four years; it was only the fourth of his career. He has an ERA a shade under 4, he has allowed 3+ runs in two thirds of his starts, and the team has lost four of the six games where he pitched more than 6 innings. Oh, and a left-handed relief pitcher at Shea Stadium started the rally that knocked him out of his last game.

e) Jason Giambi is taking up a roster spot, and is schedule to get $20mm per year next year.

f) Tino Martinez, oh that classy gentleman, is second on the team in slugging. While he has had a good run, does anyone out there actually believe this guy can keep any semblance of this pace up for an entire season?

g) Tony Womack, who historically is 100 OPS points below league average for just about every year of his career, is a starting corner outfielder for this team.

h) You have to root for a guy name "Wang" until Jaret Wright (Jaret Wright?) comes back. And also see Sheffield's mustache on a regular basis. (Quote of the week: "Hey, has anybody noticed that Gary Sheffield looks like Rodney Harrison would if he molested children?"). Kevin Brown is also still prominently involved in the fate of this season.

So, in light of all this information, I would like to calm down my Yankee fan friends who constantly remind me of their recent success. While I realize a similar list could be produced for the Red Sox, who are not without their warts (even if Derek "I was going to wear a condom, but then I thought, 'hey, when's the next time I'll be in Haiti'?" Lowe is pitching in L.A.), I just wanted to remind my faithful reader that the $200 million monstrosity still has to contend with no bench and only one reliable reliever. And I think it is fabulous.

3. Hey, NHL, take the $4 billion buyout. Now. You guys suck, and that money is probably worth more than the value currently of your decrepit franchises. I want to watch hockey next winter, and I'm sick of college games. It isn't the same. I want to see Thorton, Samsonov, Rolston, Boyton, Gonchar, Lapointe, and Gil. I want to watch Raycroft and Bergeron continue to develop. And I'm pissed that all I can do instead is pretend to remotely care about the Celtics in its stead.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Shivering in bed is still better than spreadsheets

So I'm sick, currently curled up in front of the computer screen, shivering, and wrapped in a comforter. As such, I feel the need to write a long and involved entry today will have to take a back seat to excessive sweating. But here are the things that I have thought of while slipping in between fever hallucinations:

1. I do not plan on going to see The Longest Yard. Adam Sandler was one of the funniest men on earth for a couple seasons of SNL then two and a half movies. If you go back and re-watch The Waterboy (if you get bored of stabbing toothpicks into you tender-areas), you can actually pinpoint the moment where his career fell apart. The man hasn't been funny since. I know it's strange, but if you sat me down and had me watch Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, then told me 5 years later I would boycott a movie just because he was in it, there is a large probability I would have insulted your father for raising a liar.

2. I have yet to see Episode III, but I have been told it is "much better than the other two". Now, Episode II was on television last night, and I had forgotten exactly how bad the movie was. Despite Hayden Christensen making me shoot flat coke out my nose because I was so surprised at the crappiness of his acting that I had to laugh, I genuinely forgot why I had come up with the term "Lucased". For example, the guys who made the Matrix got Lucased. As did Adam Sandler, Quentin Tarantino, the script-writers for Ocean's 12, and Hitler. Essentially, getting "Lucased" is when you have some sort of success, people proclaim this person a genius (or, in the case of Hitler, a military mastermind), and then they lose it. Suddenly, everything they think of is going to be a success, and instead they grind out crap that not only sucks, but actually taints the prior successes because they take the successful elements and just beat them into the ground so hard that they strike oil, whether that mistake be Mister Deeds or invading Russia. I guess what I'm getting at is that I will probably see the movie, if just to shut off my brain and watch pretty colors flicker about, but even "much better" doesn't instill me with the hope that it will even be marginally good.

3. Mucus is not pleasant.

4. Juan Iribe, in the tradition of Bobby Doer's hidden ball trick, made a heck of a fake on Carlos Lee.

5. I still don't care about horse-racing, probably for the same reason I don't like watching NASCAR, or sitting in front of the dryer. I just don't like watching things go around in circles, even if they are as good a reason as any to get drunk.

6. Glad the Pats have Troy Brown back, but I'm not sure where he fits in the depth chart. Good to have him back, though.

7. I'm not sure when Hollywood decided that "sexy" meant "not enough body fat to menstrate", but I don't like it. Women of the world, please note: if your spinal column is visible through your stomach, you need to eat a hamburger.

8. Song of the Day: Cannon by Zox
Movie: Orgazmo - Trey Parker (of South Park fame) second film, about a Mormon porn actor. Not quite as refined as other stuff, but still very funny.
Quotation: "The Christian Right is neither" - some bumper sticker

Friday, May 20, 2005


I don't have anything particularly interesting of note to rant about today, so I thought I would throw out a few odds and ends:

1) In interleague play, the Atlanta Braves are considered the the Sox' geographic rival. I am confused, as the only reason they are considered such is that the Braves franchise, two cities ago, was based in Boston. That, and I've once heard Atlanta referred to as "The Boston of the South". Meh. I suggest we get Philly, just because it is a much more poorly run franchsie, and readjusting this would allow Baltimore to now face Washington.

2) People don't use big words enough. While I'm all for profanity, I find that there is an added satisfaction when slipping a charientism past a particularly excerbose galctophage. Seriously, if you were to say to a stranger, "Dude, your sister's a slut!" he would most likely be offended and proceed to throttle you as if he had regal influence secured through divine right. Yet, if you were to say, "My fine oligiphrenial coxcomb, I must confess that I deign your steatopygous soror to be a rampallion who engages in excessive venery on a quotidian regime" why, he might think you were paying him a compliment! While I am sure that some of you might admonish me for the pleonastic and capricious manner in which I dole out such witicisms, I can only surmise that you yourselves have never known the joy of having a barbed insinuation be received by the target as a pleasant admission. If this is the case, I can assure you that you have never lived. The power of big words demands utilization.

3) Featured quotation of the day comes from Frank Sinatra: I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's the best they'll feel all day.

4) Featured song of the day: Funky C Funky Do "I Do Believe We're Naked". Bonus points for anyone who remembers what song that replaced when it made its way to number one in the charts.

5) Featured movie of the day is Safe Men, which is a delightfully light comedy. Includes early performances by Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn; the off-beat humor and numerous Rhode Island references makes for a hilarious movie. I highly recommend; I view it as a Napoleon Dynamite style humor, only with a slightly more cogent plot and a little less awkwardness for the sake of being awkward.

6) Featured website is a blatant rip-off of Mike Tyson's Punch Out. Try it out.

7) For the record, the insult above loosely translates as: My fine "mindless" "troubled youth", I must confess that I "concede" your "big-assed" "sister" to be a "wanton woman" who engages in "excessive" "sexual exploits" on a "daily" "basis".

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Don't like Fletcher Austin McGuffin? How about Tommie Moldova?

As criticisms of my name continue to stream in at a rate of nearly one every, um, hang on...

As criticisms of my name continue to stream in for a total of one, I thought I would attempt to assuage the situation by coming up with another alias. Since the methodology I laid out here didn't work, I decided that I would do so by ripping off someone else's alias model who is much more famous and popular than me.

For those of you who don't know, Michael Vick is being sued by a woman claiming that he knowingly gave her a... um... social disease. In the case, she even outlines that he got it treated at a local clinic, and to avoid bringing attention to himself he used the alias "Ron Mexico" (Note: please share the mental image of Michael Vick in a poncho, wearing a fake mustache and a sombrero with his arms crossed and eyes darting back and forth in a crowded waiting room).

Since, as I've described why I use a fake name, I assume I personally view my blog with about the same pride that Michael Vick must view his raging case of herpes, I figured I would come up with a new name the same way he did. By going to this website, I was able to generate a sufficient alias for my true self, as well as several of my fake selves. So I thought I would leave the decision up to my Loyal Reader: should I change my name to "Tommie Moldova", "Sonny Azerbaijan", or remain as the adorable Fletcher? I put this question specifically to my friend Victor Paraguay (though his name with no abbreviations is Hunk Montserrat), but I am willing to take opinions from all, including the lovely Tiffany California who has also posted a comment.

Please note, I've been tinkering with made up names trying to get back the male name "Chad Chad", but to no avail. I will keep you posted. Mind you, I'm being paid as I do this.

Of course, this whole discussion leads to our quotation of the day, from the ever-ebullient Albert Einstein:

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler."

I feel this quotation is appropriate when realizing this is my third post of the day...

Online Nomenclature

I recently recieved comment from a friend of mine, let's call him Greg S., wait, that's too obvious, uh... G. Schen, that made reference to my name using airquotes (or, in their typed form, ""). Oh, yes, my good friend, the irony was not lost upon these ears (eyes? cerebral cortex? Bah, let's just say I got it...). So I thought I would address the nature of my online alias. I have tripartate reasoning behind why I chose to not use my real name:

1) By not writing under my given name, as the writer I get a slight psychological disconnect from my own personality, allowing me to better explore comedic avenues both through self-deprecating humor and assumed personas that I would otherwise not attain chained down to my lowly title. That, and I'm a huge coward.

2) Eleven of the first fifteen entries when putting my name into google come back with photos of my naked ass. While I am proud of some of the more artistic galleries, there are also others which I feel do not paint me in the best light (the one with the 2-liter soda bottle especially), and I did not want my previous mistakes to cast an assumed light over your reading of this and to prevent the work from standing on its own.

3) A woman at my job recently was fired for things she wrote in her own weblog. Sure, some people say she was fired because of gross negligence. There were also rumors that she violated a job requirement by entering into a conflict of interest in her business dealings. Others still claim that her embezzlement was the straw that broke the camel's back. But I know better, and I'm not taking any chances with my last few weeks on the job.

Now, as to why I selected my assumed nomen, cognomen, and praenomen, here were my reasons:

Fletcher Austin, well, is a bit of an inside joke. Unfortunately, those not from my hometown of Big Watts will likely not get it, nor would it be remotely funny if I attempted to explain with out acting out the more physical elements of the story, which I admit is one of the troubles with writing on the internet. While I could make a video stream that might illuminate the decision, I fear that I would then have 12 of the first fifteen 15 google links giving access to my rear-end, and I promised my resident female I would do my damnedest to keep those links below 80%.

As for McGuffin, it is just a hilarious name. You see, McGuffin rhymes with muffin. I am sure we all can agree that muffins are the second most hilarious of all breakfast items, and I didn't think Fletcher Austin McPoachedEggs had as nice a ring to it.

So there you have the history of my naming. While I'm sure a simple "because I liked it" would have sufficed, I did think I owed it to you, my one reader, a full and detailed explaination. In conclusion, I think it is atrocious that some societies still look down upon wife swapping.

Sox Optimism. Or Soxtimism! No, no, I liked the first one better...

Quick notes on the Red Sox:

1) After giving up more runs (7) than outs made (4) to one of the worst offenses in the league, I think it might be fair to say that David Wells could have used a rehab start before returning to the rotation.

2) Despite the dissapointment of going only 2-4 on this roadtrip, I think the Sox have performed better than I could have hoped so far this season. If you had told me before the season that, on May 19th, the Sox would be 2.5 games up on the Yankees (3 in the loss column) and sitting in second place, I might be dissappointed, but I would take it. Mention that the Sox played 24 games on the road and only 16 at home, then I might even say we had handled this pretty well. But if you said we did this without our top two starters (Wells and Schilling), with Ortiz and Manny going through prolonged slumps, and every starter in the infield hitting significantly below their career numbers, well, I'd be ecstatic. I think the Sox, who are still second in the league in runs scored, are a bit tired of being on the road. I think they ran out of steam after the cross-country flight, and they will be fine eventually (though 6 of the next 9 are on the road...). That they were able to hang in there with all of these issues is what really impresses me.

3) I think the prospects for the rest of the season are still very good.

The Orioles have been playing at about their peak performance all season, and yet they haven't really been able to pull away. When some of those batters start slumping, I could see the whole thing come crashing down. They can slug out a few wins to cover up the pitching, but they have enough young arms that have never gone much beyond 100 innings pitched in a year that post-all-star break will tell us what this staff really is made up of.

The Yankees, finally losing last night, look about as hot as can be. Yet, they still are dependent on Tino Martinez as their everyday first baseman (and trust me, he can't keep depositing those HRs one row deep all season), they have age at just about every position on the roster, and their defense is still brutal. Torre is down to one reliever he trusts, which means we will probably see Carl Pavano (who has thrown exactly one 200-inning year) and the other starters continue to get Dusty Bakered into long, 130+ pitch outings like the other night, and they stand a good chance of having tired arms come the post-season. Plus, they have several roster spots taken up by DHs who can't hit.

The Sox, meanwhile, have had a few regulars start to look better. Bellhorn and Renteria seem to be coming along, Youkilis is playing well as the first man off the bench, Manny has started to show signs of life against lefties (which was the only reason his numbers started low this year; he has hit righties just fine). The only guys that have really played over their heads this year has been Damon, Varitek, and Nixon, though the latter two not that much. With the exception of Billy Mueller (whose rough start might be because of age/injury and not small sample size), I think all our other position players will perform better, many of whom have started to show life. Also, my boy Arroyo (I loved the kid since I saw him at Pawtucket in '03) has been ridiculous. In his 8 starts, he has given up more than 3 runs only twice, including his last start where he went 7 innings and gave up 4 runs. Only once has he failed to finish six innings, and only three times has not come out for the 7th. The kid has been great. Foulke also seems to be settling down (and throwing the slider less!). Plus, the Sox are deep in pitching for lots of innings (6 starters when healthy, 2 servicable long men, 3 or 4 quality relievers plus parts).

Throw in that of our two major competitors within the division, the Sox have by far the most talent in the farm system, so the Sox are better suited to get the few pieces they need (another relief pitcher, possibly a 1B).

Oh, and one final thing. If the Sox can hang around first through the middle of August, their run to the playoffs could get a serious boost in September, because 24 of their last 36 games are at home. Yes, things are looking good in the long term, even if not so much in the short term. Remember, no team is as bad as they look in a slump (us right now) and no team is as good as they look on a winning streak (and pinstripes can be very slimming...).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Quick hit thoughts for hump day

1) Is there anything better than live TV when the commentators don't know they are still on? Last night, on NESN, Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo finished calling an inning, and NESN failed to go to commercial. After a pause of a second or two, Remy began saying things like, "You smell nice" "You're beautiful" "those are beautiful shoes" and other what I can only hope were joking come-ons to Don (whose only response was a shocked "Who? Me?" and some nervous laughter). Remy also asked where he was from and said that he "golfs there" and "it is beautiful". He finally summed it up, saying "I'm going to hit the street later, working on my game." After 45-50 seconds of this... awkwardness... we were treated to Remy, in mid-sentence, stop for a beat before saying "What?!?" and the station cut to commercial. Good times. And the Sox won.

2) Somebody (note: other than me) needs to come out with an etiquette guide for sidewalks, subways, and escalators. Then, we need to make it required reading in schools. Seriously, if they can force kids to learn about Creationism, why can't we force them to learn that they are in fact solid beings that cannot be walked through? I mean, is it that hard to understand that, when you are walking and talking with three people, somebody is going to have to hang back half a step to let people going in the other direction go by? Is that so freaking hard? And how about when a crowded train arrives at a crowded station, do we just stand in front of the door so that nobody can get on or off, then give angry looks when people bump into us? And what is so damn hard about the "walk left, stand right" system on an escalator, so that those who want to walk up or down the steps don't have to slalom herds of fat white-trash rednecks on their way to the zoo? Personally, I think this all would moot if we allowed certain people in the know, and by that I mean me, to brandish cattle prods. Whenever somebody fails to obey the common courtesies that should be incumbent on those occupying space (note: this does not apply to ghosts and free-floating vapors), then be prepared for a little jolt, a white flash, and a few seconds of unconsciousness. Certainly, this would be a good way for people to learn, and short of some slight burn-marks there would be not lasting ill effects. Would that be so bad? I didn't think so, either, but apparently the Metro police did, and now I have to perform 175 hours of community service.

3) There is no reason, under any circumstances, where I will ever watch American Idol again. Throughout history, people have fought and died to defend their most sacred and cherished beliefs. This is now one of mine.

4) People who use the words "guestimate" and "irregardless" in the same sentence should be shaved, sterilized, and destroyed. This is non-negotiable.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Random offseason NFL thoughts

1) Jerry Rice wants to catch on somewhere as a 3rd or 4th reciever (get it? Catch? Get it? Alright, I'll never do that again). Personally, I think it is crap when mediots try to tell a guy to retire, but a part of me does see these greats bumble around like a monkey trying to hump a football (note: not my expression, but a fabulous image) and I can't help but feel sad. I will say this, however: Jerry Rice, Dominick Hasek, Ricky Henderson, and Joe Paterno would make one hell of a bowling team.

2) The Patriots have 17 linebackers on their roster at the moment. I only mention this because they seem to be hedging the position that is most likely to decline with age/absence. Can I just say how lucky I feel to root for an organization that over my period of interest has gone from perennial laughing-stock to extremely well run? Don't ever let it be said I'm not appreciating what they do.

3) As the pendulum swings back to critical for Roethlisberger, I am amazed that this guy is being both overrated and underrated at the same time. Really, we just don't know what kind of player he will be. The guy had amazing success for a rookie, granted, but everyone seems to be missing the obvious: his career path has mimicked every rookie QB sensation to play the game. First, the guy was surrounded by talent (big O line, three solid WRs, and an excellent running game), so the resources were there for him to have success. Second, the standard approach to defend a rookie QB is to blitz him untill he proves he can handle it. Well, like every successful rookie, he showed he could (partially because of my first point). However, since the Steelers ran so much, it took longer than normal for teams to figure this out. Yet, after seven starts or so, his numbers tail off precipitously because of this (that is, defense realized it was time to stop blitzing), and they had enough game data to defend his strengths and exploit his weaknesses. Now, I'm not saying the NFL has figured him out, but I am saying we will begin to see what kind of quarterback he is. If he grows and is able to improve the weak points of his game, then he will be a good QB. If he doesn't, we'll see him in a lot of games like he played in the end of the season, where he was average to okay.

4) I don't know how to feel about Indy. They screwed themselves by franchising Edgerrin James, because they should have known that nobody would trade for the guy (the RB market was just too full). So they have in the ballpark of 70% of their cap dollars dedicated to offense. While I know their defense started showing signs of life in the second half last year, I don't see how they can get enough quality bodies out there to stand up to a stiff breeze, much less an NFL offense. Oh, and I'm pretty sure Peyton Manning sells mescaline to school children.

5) Having gone to school in Philly, I loathe the Eagles. Having an iota of humility, I despise Terrel Owens. And personally, being a TO apologist is something I don't want to do. Yet I feel like the guy is getting screwed and raked over the coals by the media a bit more than he should be (though part of that is he won't stop spouting off).

First, the 49ers legitimately screwed him last year by filing the grievance with the NFL about him not voiding his contract in time. Language within the contract stated he had certain date to void the contract, which superceded the change in the NFL's CBA that said he had to do it before an earlier date. TO waited past this league date because the 49ers could have turned around and place the Franchise Player tag on on him, thus gaining his contract rights; however, the timeframe in which they could name him a Franchise Player expired before his contractual deadline to void the remaining three years (and, in fact, the void deadline was chosen for this exact reason). So, basically, the 49ers tried to steal his rights when they weren't allowed to.

Second, he was pressured by the NFL to sign a contract that the NFL Players Association advised against signing, because the NFL did not want to go to arbitration and strong-armed the Ravens and 49ers to accept the package and save face. The whole mess also probably just made him want to settle the damn thing, as well, so he just signed the contract in front of him. While I agree this is partly his fault, I think at the time he was just happy to get out of the whole thing without thinking through whether he was really getting his full worth (whether he did or not is a different issue).

Finaly, in the NFL I will never begrudge a player that wants to make more money. While it drives me nuts when they hold out, the fact that contracts are not gauranteed and playing careers are so short makes for them to potentially be exploited, and holding out is their only defense against this. If teams are allowed to cut players for financial reasons, then players should be allowed to not play for the same reason. Throw in that players essentially are making their lifetime earnings in a few years, and they can be quickly shortened or marginalize because of injury, and this issue becomes a bit more poignant to the players.

Since TO suffered the first major injury of his career (that is, career threatening one), his own "playing mortality" is probably a bit more salient to him at the moment, and I'm sure he feels that risking his career to come back and play in the superbowl (and keeping them in the game) was probably worthy of a step-up in compensation.

I'm not trying to say the guy is necessarily right, but I understand where he is coming from in all this. He got screwed last offseason, he signed a contract that in retrospect may have undervalued him just to end the nightmare, and he risked his career for his new team with the championship on the line while several players on the Eagles failed to hold up their end of the bargain in crunch time. He thinks he is worth more, his character is being questioned because he has been a nuisance in the past, and the leader of the team is suggesting he is a bad teammate for looking out for himself (who, I might add, has a gigantic contrac in hand). This is Owens' business, and his teammates shouldn't butt into it (see also Favre, Brett).

That being said, the guy is still a monumental jackass.

Damn damn damn damn

1) 12 hits. 4 walks. An HBP. No double-plays. That is 17 baserunners. In a loss. That kept me up until 1:00 AM. Which means I have to drink government-grade coffee all day. I am not pleased. I am not varying my punctuation enough.

2) Um... I guess have nothing else until the coffee kicks in.

3) Okay, fine, I'll leave you with a quotation. From Steve Martin's essay "A Public Apology":

Once, in Hawaii, I had sex with a hundred-and-two-year-old male turtle. It would be hard to argue that it was consensual. I would like to apologize to the turtle, his family, the Kahala Hilton Hotel, and the hundred or so diners at the Hilton's outdoor cafe. I would also like to apologize to my loyal wife Karen, who had to endure the subsequent news item in the "Also Noted" section of the Santa Barbara Women's Club Weekly.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Reviews, Southern Accents, and OBP

Alright, let's tackle the title in reverse order:

1. Red Sox notes:
I'm not trying to complain, especially the year after the Sox won the world series, but I forgot how agitating it can be to root for a team that follows the high on-base percentage aproach, especially while listening to the other team's broadcast crew marvel at their lack of movement on the basepaths. The Red Sox are leading the league in runs, despite playing more games on the road than at home (so they aren't getting their full Fenway boost yet), so the approach is working even with several regulars having a tough go of it so far. But there are games, like yesterday's, where aggressive baserunning teams can steal a game by, well, running the bases aggressively and we leave a lot of guys on base. The Sox, playing their station to station game, are very good at preserving outs while grinding down pitchers and eventually overwhelming them with a flurry of runs. However, this can also mean that sometimes we just get nickeled and dimed to death waiting for the big inning, and it either never comes or it isn't big enough. As such, this weekend the Sox let two of three slip to a woefully bad Seattle team, with Bret "hey, remember my brother?" Boone smiling that self-satisfied smirk the whole way.

And why the hell is Boone smirking, anyway? Is it because he is thinking about the reflected glory he enjoys from being his brother's brother while playing the Red Sox? Or is it that he knows he flat out got a gift Golden Glove last year on reputation, while his aging defense made him no better than 4th in any of the major defensive metrics (and as low as 8th) in the AL? Or perhaps because nobody brought that up because somehow a worse defensive shortstop got one last year (Jeter didn't rank higher than 6th in any defensive rating)? Personally, I think he probably is smiling because he gets a great deal on that blonde frosting crap he does to his hair. Now I'm not suggesting that he gets the deal because he gives a great reach-around, but then again I'm not not suggesting it, either.

Wait, what?

2. So I couldn't sleep last night, and I decided to watch Con Air on late-night cable, despite knowing in advance that I would probably lose function of my frontal lobe for a good three or four days. However, despite the unexpected and completely arbitrary decisions of every character during every thirty second interval, there was an added something that I completely forgot about that really ruined the movie. I forgot how bad Nicolas Cage's southern accent was. I mean it was bad. Really bad. While I still think Kate Beckinsale's siezure inducing masterpiece in Van Helsing is the definitive champion in the "Worst accent in a big budget movie", Cage's loping Alabama sodomy-victim routine may in fact challenge Kevin Costner's Bostonian in Thirteen Days as the "Most distracting accent that has ruptured a blood vessel in the brain for 5% of the audience". While it is with dismay that I have to bump Mel Gibson's Braveheart from the trifecta of terrible accents, I always knew he didn't really belong there.

Also, as a side note, Cage has rigthfully assumed his place as the most two-sided actor of all time. I mean, I think the MPAA or the screen actors guild should announce with each of Cage's movie which one will be showing up, so we know whether or not the movie is going to dumben us. I mean, when you go to a Nicolas Cage movie, are you paying $9 for a Raising Arizona/Leaving Las Vegas/Adaptation quality performance? Or are you blowing your money on a Con Air/ The Rock/ Snake Eyes piece of crap acting job? Shouldn't we know this in advance, quality of the movie aside? And how is it fair that he does this to us while mixing them together in no discernable order? I mean, most actors will have stretches of great movies, and stretches of crap movies. But Cage seems to alternate, putting out crap sprinkled with good, and this is very confusing for me. The man has no career arc; one minute he is in a "funny, but not because it was supposed to be" movie, the next he is putting out an oscar-worthy performance. And this is before even attempting to classify 8mm.

2b. I guess this deserve its own mini-header, but why are there certain accents that are just impossible for actors to replicate effectively? I mean, Cage's southern accent is extremely bad, but most actors are able to approximate at least a general southern accent (that is, not specific to one state; General Lee is an entirely different story) and there are enough actors from the south to fill the roles when an good fake accent isn't available. But seriously, when was the last time you heard anyone do a fake Boston accent right? We get slowly pronounced "cahhhs" and "bahhhs" all the "toyme", but everyone seems to exagerate the annoying and obnoxious features without paying any regard to the fast pace and the fact that Bostonians are actually capable of holding functional conversations from time to time (for examples of what not to do, see: Fallon, Jimmy). And it is the same way with Eastern European accents. Everyone is so excited to have the rich and deep pronounciations of any grouping of two consonants (the richhh unnndd deeeepppp ggggggrrrooouppping...) that they over-exaggerate and end up sounding like the vampire from the Pink Panther cartoons. I mean, Kate Beckinsale and Angelina Jolie are trying to sounds seductive and exotic, but all I hear is "Bleh! Bleh bleh! Bleh!" And don't these people get lessons for months before these movies? Am I the only one who has noticed this?

3. Reviews:
Every time I see a movie of particular interest or finish a book, I've decided to put up a quick description/rating. This weekend, I did both.

Saw: Kicking and Screaming. It was about what I expected. Will Farrell does his job of acting like a physical comic, being very funny sometimes while others just being incredibly random in scenes that leaving you saying "why the hell is this in the movie?". I guess if you were planning to see this movie already, don't let me dissuade you, because you will enjoy it; if you didn't have much interest in an 80-minute SNL sketch, then don't let me talk you into it. Though I was suprised and impressed at the adequate thespian offering of a certain former coach/football analyst.

Read: "Dress Your Family in Cordoury and Denim", by David Sedaris. Also, about what was expected. This was written in the usual format of autobiographical vingettes, being both witty and inciteful. He reaches a little deeper into his bag of self-introspection than in some of his other books, and seemed to be pressing for the ackward moment a little moreso than in some of the others. You could tell he was looking for a bit more of his "why am I this way?" than the "I am this way because" with these. I felt a bit more like his psychiatrist than his dinner guest in this book. Still very good.

Friday, May 13, 2005

As if tuition wasn't already wasted

Quick hits and new developments:

1. So I now have official confirmation of my fellowship for this upcoming fall, and this means I will be teaching a class to undergraduates. In addition, I will not be required to continue racking up the debt I built up in college. To suggest that I am pleased by this would be an understatement of unimaginable quantity, that could only be dwarfed by the truly heroic intake of alcohol I am about to consume to celebrate this momentus development. Parents, you're childrens' education is in good hands.

2. I am pleased that Family Guy is back on the air, and I know that there are only two episodes to judge, but I think they are pressing. I hope they shape up. Also, American Dad has shown me nothing.

3. As much as I love baseball, there is one thing about it that annoys me: off days. Fortunately, the Sox are back on again today, though the first pitch isn't until 10. These late starts when playing on the west coast (in Seattle tonight) make me a little less sad at the prospect of the giant earthquake that will eventually for the slide into the ocean, even if it will make Lex Luthor the wealthiest land-owner in the United States.

4. Walking home from work yesterday, I passed by the Uptown theater and saw that they were having an advanced screening of Star Wars. There were reporters, people in tuxedos, geeks in costumes, the whole nine yards. While I have nothing particularly witty or informative to add, I will say that there is no experience quite like seeing a storm trooper getting out of a limosuine.

5. I was rewatching my copy of the Patriots-Rams broadcast because, well, I'm a huge dork, and I noticed something I hadn't seen before. Right after Ricky Proehl caught the touchdown that tied the score, they showed him being congratulated on the sidelines, he and a few other Rams have on hats that say they won the superbowl. Throw this in on top of the fact that he said in warm-ups, "Tonight, a dynasty is born!", is it any wonder that the Pats won? He jinxed them, and even had to repeat his torture two years later with the Panthers. And I've never thanked him.

6. While typing this, I just saw a promo for a movie called "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants". I think the joke is pretty obvious.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

On the Origin of Origin

I've decided to try something new today because, well, this is my first week and everything I try is new. However, I will from time to time clear the air about something driving me nuts that is actually serious. This is one of those times.

For those of you who don't know, there has been a "trial" of sorts going on in Kansas, where proponents of Intelligent Design Theory have been allowed before the schoolboard to argue their case. Their desire is that they should alter the Biology curriculum to suggest that evolution is a flawed theory and that Intelligent Design is a viable alternative; they believe that both should be weighed judiciously by the students. Intelligent Design, for those never hearing it before, is the theory that the world was created by a supernatural being and things are the way they are because somebody made it so. Who this greater being is, they won't say (and they won't say it with a smile), but it is pretty clear that they mean God and really are just hoodwinking people by putting a more secular name to Creationism. This is essentially an appeal of the Scopes monkey trial a few decades late. And personally, I am furious.

If this were just a town or a county, I might not be mad. But this is an entire state, and this is coming on the heels of similar attempts being made in more than a dozen other states. Texas is even drafting a law mandating that the two be taught side-by-side. IMAX theaters in the south aren't carrying an educational film on volcanoes because it mentions evolution. This is unacceptable, and moreso than just because we seem to be regressing as a country. I am mad as hell about this, and I'll tell you why:

1. You may want your kid to learn about the bible, but school (and especially biology) is not the place. Look, if you want your kid to be exposed to Creationistic theories, more power to you. But taking time and resources away from other peoples children is malacious. If you want a school that teaches creationism, put them in a private school that does, but don't waste other peoples' tax money to further your own agenda. If you can't afford it, then teach them yourself. You have the right to raise your kids believing whatever you want, but fouling up other kids isn't part of the deal, at least not in public school.

2. Creationism is lazy; it runs counter to the very tenets that science breeds. With creationist views, everything was laid out with some master plan in mind, and things are the way they are and we should just accept that. There is no hidden mechanism that brought things about, and the rules of the world are static and unchanging. Science, on the other hand, is the pursuit of truth and knowledge. At its very core, the very impetus of sciences is to ask question and find the deeper meaning of why things are the way they are. Accepting an assumption as fact without testing is counter to everything science is based on, and the inability to revise or reinterpret data is atrophic to the scientific mind. Where science views a phenomena and tries to move their theory to fit with testable results, creationism tries find evidence that supports their assertion and stuff that doesn't is explained away by the "well, God just made it that way" argument. Meanwhile, science is inductive; a good scientist tries to find a flaw in their hypothesis to make it better stand up to scrutiny. For creationism, scrutiny and questioning are viewed as assaults, and are not tolerated.

3. As touched on above, the arguments made are not scientific. There is a strong to push to emphasize that evolution is nothing more than a theory, and it is not proven, thus making a natural argument that creationism has a place alongside it. Well, I will concede that evolution is a theory. Then again, so is gravity, the rotation of the earth around the sun, electro-magnetism, and the physical principals used in nuclear reactors. We have not "proven" these things, but we have a billion pieces of evidence that suggest they are right. Biology is a science, based on the hypothesis-test model of learning. Everything that we find in the fossil record, genetics, selective breeding, and natural interaction, when viewed through the scientific method, supports natural selection. If the creationists want to debate the value of the scientific method, I say go for it; just not in the biology classroom. This is an ethical and moral issue, not a scientific one. Don't confuse these kids by suggesting that all science is based on these rules, except in this one matter; if you want to have them consider the value of the methodology on which all knowledge is based, get the schoolboard to make an ethics class. Because creationism is not founded on the rules of science, it has no place in a science class.

4. The Earth is 6000 years old, not 4.5 billion. The Grand Canyon was formed in a 40 day flood underneath a floating managerie. Creatures do not evolve from a common origin. Nature is static. The world is too complex to have been selected from random chance. These are all beliefs of the Creationists. Yet they drive cars powered by fossil fuel, they buy dogs from breeders, and they get upset when their wife has a hispanic kid that looks like the cable guy. Their belief structure, and their denial of evolution, would suggest that genetics is faulty; yet they will readily acknowledge that we can breed in and breed out certain traits in plant and animal life(that is, we can SELECT them). Yet take it into nature, where we find that the weak and the sick die before they can breed? It's too complicated; everything is too complex and couldn't be so involved without somebody planning it (so they say). In point of fact, complex systems of symbiosis really are, when looked at critically, the common-sense product of natural selection; those things that lacked complexity or harmony did not survive, and the systems became more refined over time. Yet, without this axiom, there is no genetics or heredity. And if genetics were not viable, then really two blonde people have just as much chance of spawning a black baby (or a puppy, for that matter) as they do a blonde child. Yet we know this isn't the case, in terms of physical as well as susceptibility to diseases, personality traits, and intelligence. We know, almost intuitively, that all the assertions and tenets of creationism are suspect.

In conclusion, I understand that they feel it is their constitutional right to have their kids taught what they want them to be taught, and I agree they should be allowed to do so. And they should be able to believe whatever it is they want to believe (and they remind us of this often). Yet, this isn't the issue. The issue is that they want to control over what everyone is taught, and they want to ensure that it matches their views and their views only; and they want to do it with tax dollars. Though they may be saying they are trying to get creationism back into schools in the interests of academic debate, make no mistake that they are just enforcing some whacked out agenda that runs counter to true academia. Hopefully the school board realizes these people are not in fact making erudite arguments, and that caving to public pressure over a ludicrous proposition will only hurt their children in the long run. Yet it still steams me that the Creationists use the guise of intellectual advancement while pushing their agenda of mental stagnation and religion into a secular setting, trying to deconstruct an ethos built on logic and reason. I guess God didn't give them a sense of irony.

He just wanted to make it look dramatic

Warning! Technical Baseball Rant!
The Red Sox, for the second day in a row, beat the A's with a two-run walk-off homerun. While I am glad that Sox were able to come back and win the game, I can't help but think they shouldn't have had to. I love Keith Foulke as much as the next guy for his lights-out 14 innings in the playoffs last year, and he is still a huge asset to have. After his abysmal start, he has shown signs of promise and a few textbook saves to reaffirm my faith in him. However, he blew a 3 run lead last night when he came on needing only 3 outs with nobody on base. He capped it off with a 2-run homer to Eric "I like to push the catcher to the ground before I get to home plate" Byrnes on the eighth pitch of the at bat, when Foulke grooved a slider belt-high on the outside of the plate. My question is, why the hell did he throw a slider there? The man has lived and died over his career by the success of his change-up and fastball combination. Apparently, he felt over the offseason and in spring training to add a third pitch, a slider, to make his arsenal that much stronger. The problem? His slider sucks. His arm angle looks incredibly different from his normal "dart throwing" delivery, the ball moves only about a quarter of the way across the plate, and the limited movement looks flat. He threw, as best as I could tell, five sliders in the inning, and those led to a 2-run single and a 2-run homer. I realize Foulke wants another strikeout pitch, because it is hard to blow one by a guy when you top out at 88 miles per hour, and he the speed difference between that and his change up has been a bit reduced this year (allowing more guys to foul off the pitches they guess wrong on). But for the love of God, Foulke needs to abandon the slider. If he wants to work on it and perfect it, more power to him; but I think he should remember the mantra he always heard when he played for Chicago: Wait till next year.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

If I die, blame bureaucracy

Just a quick anecdote:
Apparently, the capitol has been evacuated because a plane has invade the restricted airspace of D.C. There is actually someone out there with a bullhorn telling people to get away from the capitol building. I work three blocks from the Capitol building, and across the street from one of the House office buildings. In my building, they came over the PA system, related these events, but said we had not been given clearance to evacuate yet and that we should stay at our desks. I love my job...

I Don't Trust Kevin Millar, and Neither Should You!

Thoughts on the state of MLB right now:
1. Millar is the Mafia of the Red Sox. If I may use an extremely over-worked cliche: every time I think I'm out, he sucks me back in. I have staunchly supported the guy to several of my friends over the years, whether the claim be that he is a sub-par defender (he's getting better!), a crappy hitter (even in his cold streaks he still gets on base!), or that he is Manny's pet monkey (uh... no he's not?). Sure, sometimes I secretly hope he will strike out because it means he won't ground into a double play. Yes, the man runs like a prop on a women's rugby team. I'll even grant you that he is the only player I have ever seen hit a double and get thrown out at first (why, oh, why did he turn around and head back to first?). Yet I was sitting there last night, watching the game in which Millar had singlehandedly given away (two runs that really were his fault, even though only one was charged to his errors), and my resident woman was trashing him. I knew with Ortiz on first, down by a run with one out, and Dotel on the mound, things did not look good. I said, "one swing and the game is over." Hoping for the dinger, dreading the GIDP, I had a moment of lost faith in the guy. So of course he goes yard. As such, I have decided I will never have faith in him again; and if you care at all for the Red Sox, neither will you.

2. Schadenfreude. They may have won four straight, but the Yankees are a mess. They have a historically bad defense (currently the worst batting average of balls in play in history by 15 points) behind a ragged and old pitching staff, a lineup half-filled with DHs, and no defense off the bench. And the offense is currently being carried by a light-hitting corpse at first base and an old second baseman who looks like a pug and is trying to play a corner-outfield spot. Do I think the Yanks will totally implode? No, I don't. I think down the stretch they will put the fear into myself and a few other AL East teams by feasting on the dreck that inhabits the American League because that is what they are a team designed for, yet they will ultimately fail. They will look like all-stars again while playing the weak-pitching teams with a few hitters that can be worked around (See: Athletics, Oakland. See Also: Royals, Kansas City). Yet, they are now relying on a 41-year-old stork with no cartiledge in his knee and a history of back problems and currently sporting a sore groin to lead them back to the glory (hole) of years past. Of course, this whole abomination is costing more than the bottom five payrolls in the major leagues combined, and the MFY still sit with a losing record with the season a fifth of the way done. It may not last, but I am enjoying it right now.

3. Barry Bonds = Nut Gobbler. It's that simple. I don't care; he isn't playing; let's just stop talking about him.

4. The Orioles have made one hell of a bid to firmly nail down 3rd place in the division by June. (Please note, I would love it if they came in second to the Sox).

5. Roger Clemens continues to infuriate me. This year, he screwed over Houston by saying, "Sure, I'd love to pitch for you guys again. Cause, you know, I had such a great time last year, and we were so good, and I nearly led us to the world series before I blew game seven. Why not? Go ahead and put me on the roster. With a 440%, $17 million raise." Now, he seems to be making the veiled suggestion that the Astros may not want to release the grip on their ankles just yet. He is making it known that he will want to be traded to a contender if the season doesn't turn around, but he only wants to go to the one team that has absolutely nothing to offer in terms of prospects or manageable big-league contracts. Yes, the Rocket wants back in pinstripes because he is getting no run support on a sub-.500 team (Randy Johnson says "hi"). So he wants to be spun off to the Yankees. Yea, like The Big Eunuch before him, he has dictated to his team that they must either shape up or trade him for absolutely nothing. Fabulous stuff. Throw in that there is an addition $3 million in his pocket for being traded (bringing his 2 month rental cost to a total of $12 million), and I think you see were I'm going with this. Is there anyone out there that actually likes this guy? Does he just enjoy pissing fan-bases off (4 and counting)? When he is inducted into the hall of fame, will he be dressed like Heidi Fleiss?

6. Am I the only one that thinks it is funny that the spell-checker, when reading the word "dreck", comes back with the suggestion "Derek"? Now if I could only get it to recognize "poor-fielding shortstop hyped by the New York media" to come back with "Jeter" I would be all set...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Madness Begins

Hello, welcome to I've Got Rants in My Pants, the official web log of Myself. If you are reading this, you no doubt know me and I don't need to tell you anything about Myself. If you did, in fact, stumble upon this blog because you desperately needed to read more eccentric and psychotic internet ravings and want to know more about me, well, then I guess you are out of luck. Quite frankly, the details of my life are both too numerous and too pedestrian to lay out in a simple blog posting without driving me into a much more severe depression than the one I currently inhabit.

While I feel like this is the point where I am supposed to lay out the mission statement of my soon to be much-read weblog, I fear that any quest to adequately compose a valid description of the future of this space would fail to fully grasp the complexity and richness of what will follow, and perhaps even set a limit on the future evolution of this ideological forum. That, and I am extremely lazy and don't want to think about it.

While many of you may be asking why it is that I am starting one of these if I am truly lazy, well, I am also incredibly vain. I truly believe that my thoughts are somehow just a public service announcement that I am depriving people of wisdom and knowledge when I merely think them. With this forum now at my command, people the world-over can flock to my opinions and learn about my deeply-held views while they search for internet porn. However, I must warn you all that my thoughts mostly revolve around sports, sex, food, and entertainment (in no particular order or combination), so be prepared to read many posts on these subjects. While I will occasionally stray into ideas both ethereal and didactic, be ready for many ravings on the cheapness of infield hits and how I am pretty sure that Peyton Manning sells mescaline to school children.

Well, I guess this is where I get off today, mostly because I don't even know if this will work and I may have to retype all of this. (note: again).