Thursday, June 30, 2005

July 4th, Prom Dates, and The Jerk (Edited)

1) So I am going back to Big Watts for the long weekend, and I just found out that I already have plans for every night I am going to be home. Unfortunately, McGuffin the Elder is becoming a bit of a shut-in, always seeming to come up with ways to avoid invitations to cocktail parties, dinners, and Red Sox games that were a gift from his son. As such, Mother McGuffin (alliteration!) is constantly attending these functions by herself, and is always desperate for company on the ride there. With my impending arrival, she has made plans for me to attend several functions, one for each night of my sojourn home (can we get a Resident Female confirmation on proper usage?). In essence, I am her de facto date all weekend. Besides the potentially creepy interpretation of this, I mostly am worried that she will choose to drink wine (two glasses will usually push her over the edge) and we will have a repeat of New Years Eve 1992 when she got so drunk that she weepingly apologized because I was "an accident" on the ride home. The 0nly time in my life I was more embarrassed was when I took a homeless woman as my date for the senior prom and she ran off with the punchbowl filled with potato chips. Needless to say, this weekend should be interesting.

2) Watched "The Jerk" last night for the first time in a while. Pure genius. Seriously, I want one of those wine bubblers for my tennis court. Although it also made me realize why Mother McGuffin always used to tell me "Fletcher, I'd love you if you were the color of a baboon's ass". Unfortunately, she never included the word "even", so thinking that was the only way to be loved, whenever I heard that I always went out and purposely got a sunburn. Because of this, Shonda and I are buds.

3) Sox won again, with Wakefield continuing on his hot streak (3 runs given up in his last 4 starts, in something like 29 or 30 innings). I'm not sure if part of this resurgence is because of the return of Mirabelli (Belli!), since it started with his coming off the DL, or if it is something else, but regardless I am pleased. 13 of 16, and hopefully we can exact some revenge on the Blue Jays (oddly, if you count all the interleague games as one opponent, Toronto is the only team the Sox have a losing record against).

4) More working on the cold fusion problem I've been having. Hence, I've already been at work for an hour, and I am dying because they have yet to fill up the coffee pots and the hot water valve isn't working so I can't make tea. And I'm not going to the 4th floor for free coffee, so instead I will just drift in and out.

5) Melanoma is a serious disease, and I would like to apologize for the insensitivity I displayed in point 2) in making light of it. While it would probably be more considerate of me to just erase the insensitive and unfunny joke, I hate censorship and refuse to tolerate it, even if it is myself whom is doing the censoring.

6) The old apartment is officially closed, as last night I went and removed the final piece of furniture from it (a desk that I was trying to sell for, well, free; nobody wanted it). Again, many thanks to My Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbian, whom I drafted into slavery once more to help me get the orphan desk outside so that I might abandon it next to a dumpster.

Edited 10:19

7) Another caveat on the return to Big Watts. Apparently, and I had not heard this until I checked my email, one of my friends from grade school has moved into BW (or at least his family has) and he will be around. This is cool, as he was a good friend when I was 13, and it will be interesting to catch up. Also of note is that he is dating Ho-Bag's former best friend (they had a falling out right around the time Ho-Bag started breeding). I am curious to see how this plays out, as I have not seen him in about 8 years and her in about 4. I hope she has settled down, as her nickname used to be "Bad News [Name that begins with the letter "N"]". She was incredibly psychotic, once not eating for nearly two weeks because she was afraid of choking, and ended up passing out while driving because she had a deficiet of blood sugar. She at one point just seemed to screw up the lives of everyone she dated, leading me to request a city ordinance requiring a sign to be posted on her pants saying "Abandon hope all ye who enter".

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Recycled rant

Due to a craptacular series of events, I don't have time to compose the serious rant I wanted to put out today. However, since I promised something, I am going to recycle a response I had amidst an email conversation with A. Sean Feddish. We were discussing the lack of media coverage about the current massacres in Sudan, as well as the West's apparent preference to ignore all things African. Unfortunately, this isn't edited or even proof-read, but I think it is an interesting take on the whole thing (mostly because it is my opinion, so of course I find it interesting). I would be interested in people's thoughts on this:

edited June 30th, 10:17 am

I removed the discourse, as there is the possibility refined excepts may make their way into A. Sean Feddish' academic work.

The Theory of Everything

1) In a recent email from a friend who apparently read this distinguished weblog in its entirety in one sitting, I was told that I had "covered everything [he] care[s] about in the world" when it comes to subject matter. He inspired me so much that I briefly went back through my archives to look at the topics I had covered:

Literature? Check
Movies? Check
Baseball? Check
Football? Check
Insane celebrities? Check
Annoying tourists? Check
Creationism? Check
The vast conspiracy to make each and every day of my life marginally more annoying for no apparent reason? Check

In fact, I tend to agree with my friend that I have covered every worthwile topic out there. Well, every topic, that is, except for premature ejaculation. But that will be coming soon. (cue rimshot)

2) Random quotation of the day comes from Woody Allen: sex is a beautiful thing between two people. Between five it's fantastic.

3) Potential serious rant come later in the day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

There's comedy, there's high comedy, and then there's stealing Bill Simmons' catchphrases

1) I realize running a point about Tom Cruise being nuts falls on the salient and insightful scale somewhere between "Organic Chemistry is complex" and "trying to teach Christianity to a lion is a bad idea", but I like pointing out irony. Apparently, he went onto Matt Lauer's show and suggested that psychiatry is a pseudo-science. I think this is fabulous coming from a guy who believes in Scientology, the religion that makes Mormonism look like a scientific proof. Personally, I think suggesting that chemical imbalances (you know, things that we can actually measure) don't exist sounds a bit foolish when coming from a man whose religion believes he was at one time inhabited by the souls of a few thousand dead aliens, but that's just me. Then again, I probably am still going to see War of the Worlds, so I'm not sure what that says about me. All hail Xenu.

2) My plans to not drink and unpack last night were thwarted by a night of drinking. The Resident Female and I both had to work late, and when we got home decided that we would go check out the bar around the corner from our place. Of course, we got sucked into doing Quizzo, so the night was a wash. Of course, we won, so the meal and beer was free, which was fantastic. Fortunately for us, as we headed into the final round (like final Jeopardy), the team ahead of us risked all their points and got the question wrong, and the Resident Female and I were the only team to get a correct answer (Question: Who was the only American member of Monty Python's Flying Circus? Answer at the bottom) . While the game was a rousing success, I was a bit disappointed that the Resident Female insisted we name our team "Clever Team Name", as I wanted to us to reuse a name I had employed with great success in college: team "She can suck a New York taxi driver through immigration". Alas, we won anyway, so I guess the point is moot.
(Answer to final question: Terry Gilliam)

3) I have now finished my fourth iteration of data processing for the fourth quantitive impact study (yes, there were supposed to be two "fourth"s in that sentence). Personally, I am hoping there is no fifth set of data before we move onto QIS-5. Regardless, I may now have enough free time to actually think remotely about what I am going to post before I write it, so that is a good thing. Of course, whether or not I actually do that remains to be seen.

4) Sox lost last night, ending a 7 game win streak. Oh well, I didn't see the game so I have nothing of note to add, except it was nice to see in the box score that my boy Arroyo plunked Aaron "Scrotal Residue" Boone. I wish I had more details, but alas, I do not. Personally, I hope he threw one of those nasty curve-balls he has and it broke right at the plate, thus hitting him in the nuts and making him cry like a little girl (see also: Rod, A-).

Monday, June 27, 2005

I guess this is the apartment I am going to die in...

...because I am never moving again. Never. You couldn't pay me enough. The following is an unexagerrated recalling of this weekend's big move across town:

1) The U-haul was smaller than anticipated, and was required to be back by 3. Considering that we had reserved the freight elevator at my new building for 2-5, this was a problem. Fortunately, we were able to shift the reservation from 1-4, but regardless this made timing difficult. More importantly, the ability to make 2 trips was compromised severely, even though the reduced size of the vehicle might necessitate the second trip. In addition, the do-rag wearing gentleman who broke this news to me was a rather unpleasant and unhelpful fellow, responding to my initial request for the vehicle, simply saying, "no" with no further explanation offered. In addition, he mentioned a price per mile of $.89, whereas the actual price was $1.29. I was not pleased. Fortunately, I live relatively close to the place, and I plan to many a drunken night pee all over the building.

Further, my sprightly young vehicle (it only had 186,000 miles on it and knocked incessantly) was rather comical in its appearance. On the side of the door, lost amidst the scratches, dings, and gashes, there was a message suggesting all the great features of the van that included "A/C, Radio, Cloth seats". Of course, the A/C was broken, but whatever, that is to be expected. My real question concerned the "Cloth seats". I mean, what was I to expect, metal ones with spikes? Or were we people going to think, "hey, I wonder if that beat up U-haul van is upholstered with leather or satin?". I mean, come on. We know the thing is a piece of crap, let's be honest. What was the alternative to "cloth seats"? "Now with functioning brakes!"?

2) I chose the hottest weekend of the year to move. I actually saw the external thermometer in my car get up to 102 degrees. This was not pleasant, to say the least. By the end of the weekend I was so dehydrated that I may have scarred a child for life. The Resident Female and I went into the store across from the zoo to purchase a gallon of water, and I was looking at the bottle for the brand "Volvic". Unfortunately, I was somewhat delirious and apparently incapable of reading cursive, and I said in a rather loud voice, "My God! Why would anyone name their company Volva?" A nearby child proceeded to say, "Mommy, what's a vulva?" Needless to say, the mother was not pleased. I was so ashamed that I bought a bottle of gatorade instead.

3) I broke my neighbor. Offering to help my move, my lovely neighbor Ms. Jo Dee Profanityi (that's right boys, she single!) was assisting me guide my futon onto the back of the truck. Unfortunately, the top of the wooden frame started to swing down and she tried to grab it before it smashed into the side of the truck. Alas, her pinky finger found its way into the general area of the hinge. This was not a good thing. Let's just say I heard a loud crunch that I originally thought was the futon's frame breaking, and later realized it was her finger gaining an extra joint and turning into a giant purple sausage. This kind of put a damper on her mood; however, a shot of morphine, a cast, and a soft-handed doctor later, we finally got Jo back into her normal and jovial self.

4) Having lost Jo and the Resident Female to the emergency room, I had to awaken my Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbian from his previous night's drinking binge and enlist his help in the move. With the truck finally loaded, I proceeded to thank him for helping by running several yellow lights on the way to the new building as he followed on his motorcycle, forcing him to curse me many times over, shaking his fist in the air and saying, "Damn you!" Luckily, he didn't just say "fuck it" and abandon me despite my dickheadedish actions. In my defense, I would have stopped at the lights, but the damn U-Haul (fully loaded) slowed down about as well as a freight train and handled like Kevin Millar trying to field a grounder.

5) At last getting to the new apartment building, I was treated to the fact that the freight elevator I had reserved for the next several hours was out of service. Fortunately, the freight elevator is very close to the two main elevators for the whole building. Unfortunately, one of those was also out of service, having broken down about 45 minutes before our arrival. As such, we were required to move all of my stuff in the one working elevator that was servicing the whole building, sharing it with everyone else. On top of this, the concierge cart was MIA. As my Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbian would later inquire, "What exactly is it that you reserved?" Needless to say, with it taking about 25 minutes per run and only being able to fill up half the elevator (and having it stop at every other floor), the going was very slow. Of course, the building services people called their elevator technician straight away, and he fixed the other elevator right as we finished hauling all our stuff (we had one piece of the bed-frame left to move when he found us and told us we could have the elevator). Oh, and the concierge cart? We finally got it just before 10 pm, even though we asked for it a little before 1. Of course, we could still use it then because we were still fucking moving. This was in part because we were only able to make one run with the U-Haul, necessitating roughly 78 cross-city trips in my car, finally calling it a night around 11:30, knowing I had to make another 5 or 6 trips the next day.

6) Also, I got rebuked the next morning for not returning the concierge cart, even though I needed to use it all morning, and I wasn't trusting them to get it to me when I came back with each load from the car. Personally, after they screwed up a) receiving my rent check b) my move in and c) having several track lights out in my apartment, I think I deserved a little slack, but whatever. Although I would suggest that, you know, maybe a wait-list or a preference system for the thing in the future when someone is trying to move in with a sole elevator. That, or maybe coming up with some sort of pulley system from the balcony.

7) On the plus side, I still have to unpack.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Philadelphia, Summation, and Some Other Point I haven't Decided On While Typing This Title

1) Sox are going to Philly, which just so happens to be where I attended college. Normally, I would drive up for the game, but (and I think I might have mentioned this once or twice) I am moving this weekend. Alas, I would have liked to have been there to see Terry Francona's reception in the city of Brotherly Love. For the uninitiated, Tito managed the Phillies for four rather pedestrian seasons, and when he was fired he was held in regard somewhere between conjunctivitis and Rich Kotite. I feel like there is a distinct possibility that a handful of roughians might even voice their displeasure and hurt feelings about Tito by booing him, though whether or not that occurs remains to be seen. Normally, I would say a guy that was as despised as him was a definitive boo, but since it has been over four years since he left, long enough for the painful memories to fade into alcoholic, wife-beating oblivion, and since Philly Phans are such class acts, I am not so sure. So I full expect that he might escape boo-less. Seriously, it isn't like Tito is a despised and hated figure in Philly anymore. I mean, you expect Philly fans to boo, oh, I don't know, Santa Claus. Or their star quarterback. Or their all-star 3rd baseman. But a former manager who had no success in the city and then won a championship for another franchise that just happens to be from the same town as the team that beat them in the superbowl not 6 months ago? In a situation like that, I'm sure it's forgive and forget.

2) You know the expression "greater than the sum of their parts"? Well, usually that is meant as a good thing. Unfortunately, I am being haunted by this today, as I have been tinkering with a program that seems to defy the transitive law of multiplication. I'm at an impasse. I keep taking these numbers, which are supposed to add up to 100%, and get between 102 and 103%. For the various asset categories. Of course, this wouldn't be so confusing if it weren't for the fact that the numbers I'm imputing into the program didn't add up to 100% to begin with, or the multiplication checks weren't in place. Essentially, I am taking a number, breaking it up, putting it back together, and getting a bigger number. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that I accidentally discovered cold fusion. However, I was always led to believe that fusion almost exclusively occurs between atoms and not banks risk weight, so that might not be it. As such, I've decided to take a break, clear my mind, and go Christian Bale on a few homeless people.

3) I apologize in advance that I will not post over the next several weekends. You see, as I may have mentioned once or twice before, I'm moving this weekend. I will be without internet in my new apartment for the foreseeable future, since the following two weekends I am either a) traveling or b) hosting people, and will not have time to wait for the cable guy. Alas, I must bid a temporary goodbye to my loyal readers until Monday.

4) I believe this link will work, as I am at work and cannot receive streaming video, so I can't check to see. However, I was asked by My Friendly Neighborhood Columbian to post the link to a video I had described to him last night, and here it is. Fantastic 80s at it's best. This video has inspired me such that, when I am incredibly rich, I will hire my own personally back-up singers to follow me around during my daily life.

Fractions, Shower Curtains, and Sleep Deprivation

1) Take that Orioles! The Sox are now a half game back in the division, by virtue of having the same number of losses but one fewer win. Thanks to an off-day for us and a loss for them, essentially we are tied (because if both teams win out the season, we would have the same record), but instead we are relegated to fractions. Regardless, I just know I'm going to have "The Jefferson's" theme song stuck in my head all day, and I will love it.

2) Interesting tidbit of the day: the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have a winning record in only one ballpark this season, and it isn't their home one (where they are 18-18). It's Yankee Stadium. The Rays improved to 7-3 against the Bronx Bombers on the season, 4-2 at the Bronx Toilet Seat.

3) Shower curtains are a good thing. They prevent water from flying all over the floor, they shield your naked body when somebody "accidentally" barges in and starts taking pictures, and they are an ideal forum to practice for writing one's name in the snow. However, for the most part, we just assume their presence and we don't really have any contingency plan for a shower with no shower curtain (or at least I don't). But needless to say that this morning, after hauling several boxes and backpacks and blow-up sex dolls from my car to my new apartment, I was rather shocked to find that the shower was curtainless, and the problem was compounded because I had a flood of sweat gushing down my back and pooling in my underwear. Unfortunately, before I noticed the lack of curtain, I had already removed my clothes and stood ready to hop in for a cascade of refreshing coolness when it dawned on me that I would flood the bathroom if I attempted to bathe. I was crestfallen, to say the least. I nearly cried when I turned to the mirror and saw my own visage: a fat, naked man with a highly-reflective farmers tan and no where to wash himself. Fortunately, I was smart enough to walk to work and shower in the gym, but regardless, the day is not off to the cheeriest of starts. Getting back into sweaty clothes is never pleasant.

4) Sleep tally for the week:
Sunday night - 7 hours
Monday night - 6 hours
Tuesday night - 5 hours
Wednesday night - 5 hours
Thursday night - 4 hours

I don't like this trend. I don't like having to consume large quantities of caffeine during the day. I don't like that Saturday's expected arousal time is 6:30 AM (hee hee, arousal). I also don't like Jimmy Fallon.

5) I'm not sure why I put that Jimmy Fallon thing in a point about being sleep deprived. Then again, maybe it explains itself. Screw this, I'm finally at work, and my day is supposed to start now. I'm going to take a nap under my desk.

6) Quotation of the day comes from drunken commiseration about the insanity inherent in a second X: "Nice guys finish last, but the great ones can finish at the same time as her".

Thursday, June 23, 2005

McGuffin the Elder

McGuffin the Elder told me to be ambitious with my life. He told me to break even on social security. Bada-Bing!

Way too much work today. That's all you get.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Lisa needs braces

Dental Plan!

1) The daily drudgery continues. On the plus side, I figured out it only takes me 20 minutes to walk to work from my new apartment. On the negative side, I sweat like an Italian guy in a dance club (or as I like to say, I am a great thermoregulator), so by this afternoon my armpits may be able to cause heart failure in cattle from 300 yards. We'll see.

2) Nice game by the Sox last night. The biggest plus, besides my boy Bronson working his fastball-change combo more than I had seen in a while, was probably Mantei actually looking respectable. Sure, the offense was nice, Trot's catch was pivotal, and Halama would be better utilized as a white flag than a reliever, but I am pleased by the recent run the Sox have put together. Good going.

3) Random song of the day: Definitely Maybe by Oasis. I'm trying to get that new Green Day song out of my head, and so far thinking of Oasis is the only thing that is working.

4) Random underutilized word of the day: underutilized. No, I'm kidding. How about: Zounds! Personally, I think it is a great exclamation that nobody uses any more. I feel like it is the surprise equivalent to angers "Curses!" Really, there are so many good, random swear words that people don't use, and they are all donkeys for not doing so. Also, impress your Simpsons watching friends by following it up by saying "I did thee mightily smitily!"

5) Random movie of the day? True Romance, just because I think it is Brad Pitt's best role in history, as Floyd the roommate.

Monday, June 20, 2005


1) Why? Why does this crap still go on? As I confronted this topic early on in my weblog, I won't go deep into it again, but I will say that I don't get it. If we really want to, as a country (or state, or county), move back from scientific facts and progress to embrace "intelligent design", we can do this fairly. Keep teaching Evolution in Biology class and never mention Creationism (why beat around the bush? That's what it is), since everything that the scientific method is predicated on pretty much precludes it. Instead, counties that want to neuter their children's intellect can make the schools offer an optional ethics class on Creationism and the scientific method where they can say whatever the hell they want. This way, the roster of students is picked by the parents clamoring for this, and the people who pay just as much in taxes (likely more, actually, since they probably have jobs that don't involve a spatula, a trashbag, and roadkill) don't have to expose their kids to some whacky propaganda that stunts critical thinking. Fair enough, right? No wonder there is a widening gap in income between the poor and the rich; we're messing up all the kids that go to public school.

2) Congrats to, as my Yankee fan friend calls him, "the greatest clutch hitter of the past decade", aka Derek Jeter, for hitting his first career grand slam. After only a measely 136 at bats with the bases loaded, he finally popped one over the wall with the bases juiced. Sure, it was the longest active slamless streak in the majors, but that boy sure is good at coming up in the clutch for his team.

3) Great experience on Friday night. Great seats at the Fens, great (albeit heart-jolting) game with Johnny's walk-off single, great time with the family (except for McGuffin the Elder, who decided he didn't want to go), and a nice walk through Brookline on the way back to our cars. A great time was had by all. Great, great, great. This entry point is grating.

4) Moving is killing me, but I am so glad I decided to pick up my new car last weekend instead of waiting until July 4th (even if I did have to endure a brutal drive back on Sunday). This way, I am able to move stuff on the way to and from worker, thus reducing the number of things going in the too small U-Haul on Saturday. Thus, as I have bribed some friends with pizza and beer to help with the furniture, I am less likely to lose friends over this.

5) Screw the other industrialized nations. There, I've said it. This new banking accord is making my life hell. I was fully prepared to just sit back and wait for my separation date at work, mailing in my on the job performance, but noooooo, these countries just had to come up with a uniform set of laws to make international banking more equitable to each country. Now I'm stucking running numbers and measuring effects and actually doing work. This sucks.

6) I just got a parking ticket when a) I still had time on the meter and b) I had moved my car not an hour before. What is this? Russia? 2-hour parking means I have 2-hours to park, right? And if I move the car, say, to go drive over to the OTS, I should be allowed another 2-hours when I come back, right? But I parked in the same spot I was parked in befor (I think) so I get a ticket EVEN THOUGH I HAD TIME ON THE FUCKING METER AND HAD MOVED MY CAR INBETWEEN!!! Now I have to deal with this crap, on top of my new apartment building forgetting to register receiving my check and my power company cashing my checks and not crediting my accounts. Why do all the little things seem to go screwy all at once? I realize there are bigger things in life to worry about than a $15 parking ticket, but man, it just seems like the little annoying things in life are all ganging up on me at the same time.

7) Okay, I realize these last few have tailed off into a bit of a whining session (and yes, I would like some cheese with that), but whatever. I'm stressed and annoyed. I'll get over it.

Next time, just say trip

The Resident Female has pointed out to me that in a previous post I misused the word "sojourn", and proved so to me by getting me to go to to see for myself. While I find it disturbing that I, much like Omar Epps before me, have fallen into the big word trap, I was more disturbed by the fact that I was actually wrong. However, that is a point for another time. Concerning the misuse of sojourn the Resident Female suggests that perhaps I should "just use words that [I] actually know the meaning of, instead of looking like a retard with a faulty thesaurus" (note: not a real quotation). As such, it is my pledge that, from this moment forward, I will cease my capricious and excerbose entreaties into the nebulous depths of my often oligiphrenial lexicon to better circumvent obfuscation of my didactic offerings, relying instead on charientisms wrought with guilish sarcasm in lieu of barbed connotations.

MIA (the army thing, not the Miami airport)

I realize I haven't posted for a while, as I didn't black out over the weekend and expect there to be postings I had no recollection of writing magically appear. Rest assured that I was otherwise encumbered by a series of events including:

Travelling to Big Watts
Running errands for a party/cookout in Big Watts
Going to a baseball game at Fenway
Driving McGuffan the Elder to self-mutilation
Driving for 9 hours straight (rest stops? What are those?), including a will-destroying traffic jam between Baltimore and DC
Straightening out a payment snafu with my new apartment complex (their fault)
Continuing work on an in depth quantitive impact study

I can assure all of you out there waiting for me to write something of substance that once I have solved the issue with this international banking accord that I am working on (I really wish that were a joke), I will post something more thorough. In the mean time, take comfort knowing that I am actually doing work and not defrauding the government by writing a blog when I should be earning my paycheck. Or at least I wasn't until I wrote this. However, time constraints are very constraining, so this is all you get for now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Drunken Entry!

It's nice to see the Sox sweep, especially with my boy David "Oh baby don't orTIZ me!" banging in a few runs.

Notes from the night:
Watching I know what you did last summer with the sox on mute made me realize a few things-
Freddy Prince Junior looks like a cross between McAully Culkin and Neo
Scary Movie is a smattering of 5-minute hilarious skits between 10-minutes of dead time
Manny is going to the opposite field with every other hit, which means he is back
Arroyo is still my boy (I've loved the kid since seeing him at Pawtucket. Man, that Frisbee of a breaking-ball is devastating; if his fastball is half-way there, he'll destroy any lineup).
I'm drunk. Been drinking since 6, thanks to TONO happy hour, where beers and sushi pieces were a $1 each. Fantastic! Best happy hour ever!
Top 10th and Freddy Sanchez just walked for the Pirates. I would find it very satisfying if a former Sox farmhand ended up being the winning run against the MFY.
The MFY are getting a new stadium. Fortunately, they are only getting infrastructure money from the taxpayers (the only way any new stadium should recieve funds) and paying the rest themselves. Of course, the stadium pays for itself because the debt-servicing reduces their revenue sharing tag, so in a way the rest of MLB is paying for it, but whatever. I've always hated the toilet, so I guess no loss. Though I will say that not playing in the stadium where the worse collapse in playoff history took place will be a sad development for me. I can now only hope that Steinbrenner lives to be 150 so that he can continue to run the franchise into the ground.
Foulke is looking bad-ass again. Tonight alone will bring his k/9 rate close to career levels. He is looking fabulous.

Nothing like bad pitching to ease worries

1) The Sox have now taken 4 of their last six games, mostly because they have gotten 4 great pitching performances from their starters and the Reds put all of their pitching budget into Eric "At least a HR is still considered a strike" Milton. However, it is nice to see that David "Don't Call Me Orsen" Wells has started to come around in a big way (get it? Big? Come on, it's a fat joke! Don't look at me like that). Clement has been fantastic this year, pitching liking his "t" was an "s", only doing it in important games and not being a complete dick, so it is no surprise that he rebounded from his Cardinals experience. And, of course, Wakefield came back from his slump to team up with his normal catcher, Doug Mirabelli, and put the Cubs down like a puppy with a birth defect. Toss in that Manny and his Monkey are both hitting again, and the Sox seemed poised to go on a run. Tonight, my boy Bronson "Rockette Windup" Arroyo tries to right his ship and return to the form that had him ranked as the 10th best pitcher in the majors in last year's second half. Prediction: the Reds will send out a lineup that consists of 9 lefties, the scorecard will be written out using the manager's left hand, and request that the home plate umpire call balls and strikes only with his sinister appendage. Also, look for Edgar "pleonastic quotated nickname" Renteria to have a big night at the plate.

2) At lunch yesterday, I made the mistake of referring to Mark Bellhorn, the Sox 2nd baseman, as "Horny" in mixed company. Unfortunately, the woman at the table was both of the prudish variety and also not familiar with the ins and outs of the Sox 25 man roster. So I would like to take this forum to apologize to her, both for my embarrassment in the situation, as well as to satisfy the mandate that the EEO people have enforced upon me. You see, the obvious and polite nickname for Bellhorn would be "Belly". However, the Sox also have a back-up catcher by the name of Doug Mirabelli on the roster, whose natural nickname obviously is "Belli". While I would have no problem keeping these two nicknames separate, pronouncing the "y" at the end of Belly and "i" at the end of Belli differently is nearly impossible. As such, I fear that, if I were in the stands cheering for the Sox, and I were to say "Go Belly!" with Mark at the plate and Doug on first base, Doug might think I am urging him on and thus become so inspired by my support that he tries to steal second with the bases loaded, thus ending the inning and losing the game. As such, I felt it my responsibility as a fan to distinguish between the two. I did try for a while to call Doug "Mira!", but alas, that didn't have quite the same ring to it; thus Bellhorn logically had to become "Horny". Again, I would like to apologize to the woman in question, as I really was just referring to one of my favorite players for the Sox yesterday when I said, "I'm so Horny, I love second base!"

3) I would also like to apologize for using the phrase "ins and outs" in my apology for sexual harrassment. I can assure you that I am not hitting on you, but merely am stricken with an complete and utter lack of social skills. If you are still upset, I'm willing to continue apologizing further in the back stairwell, and I will bring my whip and my gimp suit so that you might work off some of your angry feelings towards me, as I know I have been a very bad boy.

5) In my final baseball note of the morning, before I get back to quantative impact studies and other assortments of fun which are awaiting my attention at work, I will be attending my third Sox game of the season on Friday, making the sojourn from DC to Fenway to take the nuclear McGuffin's to a game for their respective birthdays (all within 2 months of each other). I will get my first view of Wade Miller in person (assuming Tito doesn't shuffle the rotation because of the off day), and I must say I am very excited. Counting last year, I am taking my string of 4 straight Fenway victories with me, as well as 9 straight overall (6 in a row at Camden Yards, with two at the Fens and 1 at the Toilet) since I last saw the Sox lose in person (to the Orioles at Camden Yards). So if you are at the game, feel free to swing by section 62 and buy me a beer, as the inevitable victory will be entirely credited to my presence at the game.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Mathias "Dusty Gazongas" Hotsis has tacitly asked that I discontinue my childish use of an alias for him, even with a clever and quotated nickname that was stolen from an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode. In fact, he has even gone so far as to in no way imply I should only refer to him henceforth by his full Christian and familial name, A. Sean Feddish. Of course, he is Jewish, which begs the question of whether or not "Christian name" aptly applies to him. Also, to further complicate matters, I believe the gentleman has since renounced his faith and embraced atheism, much in the way that he has embraced so many other elements in his life: passionately and most likely because of alcohol. I would like to extend my fullest and dearest condolences to the degree-seeking fop as he furiously pours over tomes at Cambridge, and can only hope that my most heartfelt and obsequious apologies might comfort him from the despair I have caused. While I'm sure he will continue to binge drink and womanize in addition to his studies, I can only say, "Excelsior to you, my good man! Keep up the good work in all facets of your life, and continue down the noble path which you are forging, for the world will be a better place when you reach your destination."

You see, I look up to good old A. Sean in many ways. Where would I be if I had never heard him proclaim such wise words as, "It's not binge drinking if you do it every night?" or "Do you realize that girl you are talking to is unhealthily ugly? Seriously, she's entering Skeletor territory with that make-up job..." Now, while he never actually said either of those comments, you see my point. He is great guy, a funny guy, one hell of a drinker, and he doesn't get mad when I repeatedly get drunk and hit on his girlfriend/sister/mother/housepets, which I've found is rare in this day and age. The man knows how to be a good friend, and I wouldn't want to lose my friendship with him over something so stupid as a nickname, even if he did find it funny and in no way insulting. You only meet so many people throughout the course of your life that you can truly refer to as a great friend, and Seanyboy is one of them. I needed to use this space to let that be known. I guess my whole point comes down to this: if you know nothing else about A. Sean Feddish, know that he has a great ass.

Softball, Baseball, and Butter

1) In correspondence with my friend on the other side of the pond, Mathias "Dusty Gazongas" Hotsis, he recently mentioned that he is re-writing his thesis because "my previous thesis on mortality estimates in conflict situations was not 'theoretical' enough'", and he is now "shitting out 20,000 words on why people who eat butter get fat." I find this an intriguing topic, because I have also been conducting a study on obesity. Specifically, I have been observing the correlation of decreased fallangial circulation and sudden permanent weight gain; that is, why women get fat once they get a wedding ring on their finger. A stunning side effect of this process is also the sudden onset of pubesco-masculine keratinized filament disorder, or as the New England Journal of Medicine has deemed the phenomena, "8-year-old boys' haircut syndrome", or 8-YOB. 8-YOB is a crippling mental disease that causes the patient to believe they look attractive with closely cropped hair, which they will occasionally spike or discolor. This disease is believe to have evolved as some sort of defense mechanism as a way to ward off their mates, driving them into another woman's arms and thus allowing them to receiving large sums of money in the divorce settlements that follow. While I have yet to officially nail down a definitive correlation and causation between these two diseases and decreased blood flow through the fourth digit, early results are promising. Apparently, several men are already Beta-testing a cure around the country with a process known as "Trophy Wiving".

Also, let it be noted that Michael Jackson has successfully pioneered the first recognition of the 8-YOB phenomena as a valid legal defense. His lawyer's claim that Michael believed he was just "commiting adultery with a woman, not molesting an actual 8 year old boy" was apparently embraced by the jury and thus has allowed him to walk free. While the case itself is rather disturbing, the public's familiarization with the perils of 8-YOB can only aid in the future treatment of this crippling disease.

2) So my softball season started with a bang last night. On a sweltering night, both sides pitched a gem as my team lost valiantly 11-10. Unfortunately, due to lateness, we did not have enough women playing, so we had two automatic outs each time through the order, and an umpire who apparently thinks that tagging home plate and not the runner is sufficient to record an out. So it goes. Personally, I went 2-2 with a walk and 2 RBI. I also had a woman batting behind me, so that walk put me on second. I also didn't have an error, which pleased me, even if I never had to make a play on the ball the entire night.

3) The Red Sox have officially tied the 1975 World Series at 4 games a piece, and they send David Wells to the mound tonight looking to take the lead in the series. Last night's game was a beauty by Clement.

Monday, June 13, 2005

It just gets better and better

Late lunch today, so here goes:

1) So the massive project I spent the last 3 and a half weeks working on has changed. Actually, scratch that. The project is exactly the same; the data has changed. Even though my agency had the data we wanted to use in the analysis from the beginning, for some unknown reason my bosses gave me the old data and never noticed the mistake when I cited the origin in at least 15 different places over the last month, or the two or three times when I suggested that we needed to obtain the new data set to have a complete picture of the problem. As such, I have to start over. On the plus side, I only have 6 weeks left until I start my vacation, and only 7 weeks of work left. Ha-za!

2) I got through 8 episodes of Band of Brothers so far, and I think RCN is pulling them today. I feel like having to rent the DVDs just for the last two episode is going to piss me off a lot.

3) I officially kick off my softball season today. I am hoping to improve on last years performance, and have set goals for my play this year: I want to bat no lower than .800, slug no lower than 1.500, and average fewer than 7 errors a game. I also hope that I don't pull a hamstring when I step on third base and it slides out from under my leg like I did last year.

4) Was I the only one who noticed that the national media seemed a bit too excited about the Cubs-Sox series? I mean, it was like the powers that be decided that, just for the weekend, the 2004 World Series didn't count so that their writers and announcers didn't have to bother coming up with new stories. Seriously, I would not be surprised at all if some people out there just changed "World Series" to "this weekend" and ran the stories they had pre-typed during the 2003 Championship Series that they didn't get to use. The Curse of Dan Shaugnessy got exhumed for one more weekend, and I don't doubt that Carl Everret's Curly-Haired Boyfriend was loving every minute of it.

5) Now it is time for the incoherent, off-topic, random discussion for the day- Which was a bigger watershed moment in the history of the United States: the Inchon landing or the invention of Cheeze Whiz?

State of the Weblog

Well, now that I've been doing this for a while, I thought it was time to iron out my thoughts about what I have liked about this whole writing thing, and check to see what has worked and what hasn't. Why I am doing this is partially because I realize that the nature of the posts have been all over the place, and partly because this post is more introspective than anything else (of course, a similar argument could be made about the weblog endeavor as a whole).

1. The posts have been all over the place. I realize there has been no consistent theme for the weblog, and that I have used several different devices and subjects when constructing these posts. Part of this is because I have been trying different things to see what works (serious arguments without humor, serious arguments with humor, baseball analysis, numbered independent tidbits, etc), and part of it is because it breaks up the monotony. While I am tempted to try and focus the theme of the weblog, I don't think it has evolved sufficiently enough to that point yet; also, the randomness of topics and style has been called"charming" by the Resident Female, and it is easier to write when I have no self-required topic of adherence.

2. I dislike the term "blog", and even if I end up wasting 2 days of my life typing out the superfluous "we" every time, it will be worth it. Weblog just sounds better.

3. I have been relying too much on sarcasm of late. As Shakespeare once said, "Sarcasm is the wit of the witless", and thus I am very prone to it by nature. Yes, according to Billy, puns are where it's at when it comes to humo(u)r, and I have been ignoring this genre lately. Mostly because my life has been burdened by an impending move, a career change from analyst to student/teacher/researcher, and my workload has been incredibly heavy at work, my "pre-thoughts" on topics has been hurt lately and the time to write them has been relegated to my coffee/lunch breaks. As such, I relied on the easiest form of humor there is: insulting my anonymous readers and slandering Jim Belushi. So, seeing as how absolutely none of my constraints on time have changed even remotely, I promise to pretend like I am going to be more witty and thoughtful in my posts, but will probably just go back to making crude sexual jokes and psychotic threats aimed at the semi-famous.

4. Short of excessive circumstances, I plan to erase detracting comments left by the anonymous rather than create posts to respond to them. The Resident Female has assured me that my previous posts, while in many ways are funny, could become a rather unhealthy and boring tradition. Most importantly, though, is that angry and combative posting is widely available on the internet, and I'd prefer to service a niche market.

5. I may try to work in more emails from friends. While this weblog was originally intended to be a shared forum run by myself and my friend Sung-Ho Mpenze O'Shea, he has gratiously not lifted a finger or even thought about putting up a post. However, he continues to pepper me with emails and an incredibly supportive chronicling of everything wrong with my posts, my life, and my hygiene. Also, email posts are incredibly easy for me to write (ctrl+C, ctrl+V), and this is my way of revenge for driving me out to the country, dropping me off of the side of the road, and abandoning me in cyberspace. For example, as many of you have noted, I refer to The Resident Female as "The Resident Female". Well, Sung-Ho has picked up on this as well, and insists that I did this subconsciously because it sounds similar to "Resident Evil", and he knows how much of a crush I have on Milla Jovavich (and, of course, is also a comment on the evils of the monogamy). It is nuggets of observation like this that allow me to not worry about being creative, as well as insure I would spend another night on the futon. When something interesting crosses my inbox, I will usher it along to you.

6. Um, coffee break is over, so I apologize that I didn't edit this...

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Having been mocked by a Jim Belushi quotation (Jim Belushi? Who the hell quotes Jim Belushi? Especially for comedic effect? That's the equivalent of quoting a Frank Stallone boxing movie or voting for Roger Clinton), I want to clarify my points about the Pedro post, as well as what was insinuated by Belushi:

1) No roster gets better when removing one of the two best right-handed pitchers of the last decade, even if he is in decline. However, when financial constraints are factored in (especially in terms of the years on the deal), the move isn't as horrific. The Sox chose an everyday player over him, and a damn good one at that.

2) Pitching against hitters that you have never seen in a division with fewer strong-hitting lineups (not even mentioning the lack of DH) is going to help any pitcher's numbers.

3) Pedro is a diva, no doubt about it. The "idiot" thing was kind of funny for about 20 seconds, but reducing the number of clubhouse jackasses to Millar and Damon is an ancillary benefit

4) Pedro definitely worked out in the offseason moreso than in prior years under contract with Boston, and that likely has led to some of his early success

5) I appreciate that the guy brought a WS title to Boston, and that he had the best three-year run in history for a righthander (by several metrics) while pitching for Boston. I'd rather see him rejuvenate himself elsewhere than flop here (and moving to the NL has helped him a lot).

6) Ben Affleck is a horse's colon. I wholly blame the media not only for his creation, but also his association with Boston. Just because some rectum-breathed doofus can't act and says something vapid about baseball doesn't mean he deserves a microphone in his face. That's what blogs are for. Anyway, I would bet that the people of Boston would all chip in rather handsomely to have him chemically castrated and have his vocal cords disabled. I know I'd go as far as selling a kidney on the black market for this.

7) I'm sure Cleveland feels the same way about Drew Carey being the face of their football team. I doubt Chicago would want Jim Belushi representing them if they actually knew who he was.

8) I will say that Jim Belushi does know what he is talking about, though, when he mentions how you hate the guy that was lucky enough to hit the lottery. Seriously, how many jobs has this assbag got for hitting the genetic lottery by being his brother's brother? Wouldn't it stand to reason that someone whose brother is possibly the funniest "fat guy" in history would have even a smidgen of comedic ability, and not be just a whore who steps on his brother's memory to turn a quick buck? I mean, come on, Jake Blues is dead, and advancing your non-existent career by bastardizing this great character is the movie equivalent of trying to hand West Point over to the British.

9) I never believed in the curse, other than that it meant Dan Shaugnessy was destined to keep his job instead of being slaughter and fed to pigs.

10) " Nuggets of Zen" sounds like a German "Schiza" movie.

11) George Will can chew on the back of my ass. I never liked the whole "tortured" angle that the media played up, but I can assure you that myself and most of my friends were not of that variety. While we're at it, let's throw Jimmy Fallon under the bus again for propagating the incredibly offense and stupid stereotype that the media saddled on all Boston fans. I hate this stuff, just like I'm sure Dodgers and Braves fans hate be characterized as disinterested and unpassionate, Chicago fans as emotionally devoid of hope, or Texas Rangers fans as toothless gun-toting rednecks. These stereotypes are fueled by the media, and are written by the same people who complain that they are so sick of hearing about the teams that they puff up. These are the same people that have jammed Mike Tyson down our throats for years, even though nobody gives half a damn about watching his fights. Media: please shut the fuck up, get some fresh angles on stories, and stop regurgitating nuggets of shit in lieu of real thought and analysis.


On a different note, I would like to throw a giant congratulations to Cam Neely for his election to the hall of fame. The first and best power forward in hockey's history, he and Borque are the greatest players I've had the pleasure of seeing play in person. A monster of a man, he was as elegant as he was powerful, and I can only imagine what his career would have been if it weren't for his terrible condition with his thigh. The numbers he put up in a decade are better than a most players could put up in two. My favorite Bruin is finally getting his due from the Hall, and I'm very pleased.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Not that I'm ungrateful, but...

After a heck of a game last night, one of my Met-fan associates has spent the better portion of the day chanting "Petey" and "Pedro" at me every time he passes my office. I have also noticed that there seems to be an upswelling of "I miss Pedro" sentiments as well as "Those Red Sox were silly to give up on him" comments today. As such, here are my reasons why letting Pedro leave will ultimately prove a good thing:

10. Does anyone believe he would be pitching this well against the batters in the AL East, against the lineups that have seen him more than a dozen times each? Lest we forget that last year his ERA against non-AL East teams was in the low 2s and he still ended up with an ERA of 3.90

9. No more "As The Pedro Turns"

8. Pedro took the "Who's your daddy" chants with him to Queens

7. And the "1918" ones as well, for that matter

6. The season is early; don't be surprised if these complete games he is throwing now ease down to 8 in July, 7 in August, 6 in September...

5. He wouldn't have worked his ass off this post-season for the Sox, because he wouldn't have had anything to prove; he wouldn't be pitching this well with a B on his hat

4. All our pitchers were there for the opening day of spring training for the first time in years.

3. His money went to keep 'Tek, who is on fire so far this year, and is better in the clubhouse

2. And he starts four times as many games as Pedro

1. Four years without Pedro going on the DL or continuing on his statistical decline could make those last two years a pretty ugly sight. Better he leave a year too early than a year too late.

Exploding Bus

Well, for the second time in as many months, we had a terrorist scare at my building, but nobody told us. As it turns out, a Greyhound bus exploded outside our building, with large plumes of black smoke everywhere. Now, I'm not one to fret, but when there is a smoking bus one hundred yards away from my office, with a crowd of people scampering up the on-ramp to the highway as if they were a bunch of children chased by R. Kelly, I find that I become a little curious. I want to know if 1) I am safe 2) My building is on fire and 3) Another explosion could possibly shatter my windows and shred me like confetti. Fortunately, after two hours of fretting and nervousness from everyone in my division, we received an email (email???) explaining that a bus had indeed blown up near us, and that all indications are it is not a terrorist attack. They have shut off the air vents on that side of the building. Apparently, nobody was seriously hurt. So that has been my day so far.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Wasn't in the Cards

1) Alas, last night I was privy to something that hasn't happened since 1967. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Red Sox. Oh well, it is still fun because I get to relive the moments from the glorious 2004 post-season. I will say, though, that the Cardinals seemed to want it more.

2) Yes, the title of this post is meant to be mocking of the often atrocious puns that many a sports editor saddle on stories.

3) I was thinking last night that Tom Brady has never lost the last game of the year as a starter. Obviously, he has won the superbowl in three of his four years with the Patriots. In 2002, he won the last game of the season at Miami, putting the Pats at 9-7 and keeping the playoff hopes alive (though the Jets snaked their way in). In his two years as a starter at Michigan, he won the Citrus and Orange bowls. So, basically, Tom has not known what it is like to end the season with a loss since possibly high school (if ever). I don't know what this means, but I think that is kind of cool.

4) I've been holding off on putting up my choice for the #2 book on my list of "5 best written books" for a while, because I made a goof. I accidentally put "novel" as the requirement, yet went ahead and mentally put my slot at number two for "the book so well written that it makes uninteresting or thick material easily understood" on my outline of the five books. Oops. I was planning on writing about "Revising Prose" by Richard Lanham, because it is the only book I have ever read about editing (and I've read about six or seven, unfortunately) that has made me laugh out loud. The guy just knows how to keep everything simple, while attacking his material with a sense of humor while slamming his point across effectively. I only ever knock the book because I don't always adhere to his advice. Anyway, it is a great book, and I highly recommend it because it is interesting, funny, and useful. Besides, what other book about editing encourages the editor to root out the violence inherent in a sentence (who is kicking who?) while advocating premarital sex? I quote, "Premarital sex satisfies! Obviously!". Fabulous book.

However, I think since it is not a novel, I need to come up with a new #5 on the list, and slide Choke to #4, American Psycho to #3, and Slaughterhouse 5 to #2. I'm going to need some time to think about it, as I have not decided on my criteria for the spot (best poetic writing style? Greatest 1st person character? Most intriguing scenes?). I'm tempted to just throw one out there about On the Road, Catcher in the Rye, or The Great Gatsby, but I set out to make a list of books that not everyone had to read in high school. I wanted to make a list of reads for you, my faithful reader (actually, there might be two of you now...), that is both intriguing and full of books to put on your "to read" list. I wanted Slaughterhouse 5 to be the most famous of them by far. So I need some time to think about the book that would have been ranked #2 (but now will be the new #5).

5) However, I am prepared to go forward with my #1 book. As stated above, I don't want to just inundate you with classics that everyone admits is well written, but I can't have a list of the 5 best written novels without having something by Hemingway on here. While I will spare you The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and A Farewell to Arms, I would recommend reading each of those. However, I think a book that is often unfairly excluded from Hemingway's pantheon is To Have and Have Not. The novel itself is semi-autobiographical of his days in Cuba. The main character is an American ex-patriot who is also a smuggler. There are several contrasts to the way of life there and in the developed world, as well as the line some people must toe to survive. Written in Hemingway's simplistic yet rich descriptive text of his other great novels, the book pulses with imagery and emotion. A great read.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Eating Disorders, Litters, and Bullpens

1) Email (partial) of the week comes from a friend who graduated in '03 with me, and works at a consulting firm in NYC: "I'm finally willing to admit it. I hate my job. I mean I HATE it. I know I said I didn't mind working weekends, or selling my soul to the devil, or not having a life. But I just can't take it anymore! The money has never been as good as I hoped, and my life is a living hell. I feel like Peter in Office Space. I've actually started drinking coffee, and I mean lots of coffee, because it is a diuretic and it gets me away from my desk a few times a day. I'm not sure if that qualifies as an eating disorder, but if it does I may put in for workmen's comp. Seriously, I'm one more "we need to stay late and get this fixed" away from seducing my boss' daughter just to spite him, and she's 16 and monsterously obese." We used to call him the Uni-Bomber because he had a uni-brow and never got laid. Perhaps he will re-assume this nickname as his new profession? (note: prior approval was obtained from him to post this)

2) Story of the week comes from the chronicles of Fisherman and Ho-Bag, the monikers of anonymity I must place upon two former acquaintances from my high school years (though they didn't go to my high school). For those not familiar with the story, Ho-Bag was my girlfriend when I was 16 for about a week, and Fisherman (guess what he does for a living) was an older guy who lived and worked nearby, had a penchant for teenagers, and had an overactive responsibility complex. Let me just disclaim that I am by no means bitter at Ho-Bag, as I knew she was a Ho-Bag beforehand and I broke up with her to pursue unplanned abstinence. I merely am writing about them because I find their history a bit ridiculous, and it continues to get more bizarre with each passing chapter.

Anyway, Ho-Bag and Fisherman hooked up when they were 18 and 23, respectively. Ho-Bag became pregnant and dropped out of high school, Fisherman proposed (whether shotgunned or not, I don't know, as the rumors vary), and a pair of twins popped out on their honeymoon to Martha's Vineyard (they were 5 weeks premature, both healthy now). Then, about 14 months or so later, they were blessed with a third child, who was born on Ho-Bag's 20th birthday no less (May 28th - Gemini). Apparently, this deluge of children seemed to cull their lust for each other, as they waited nearly three whole years before getting pregnant again. Of course, Ho-bag (who I should point out is a twin and has two sets of twin cousins) had triplets. As a good friend of mine would later comment "All they need are quadruplets and they will have hit for the cycle."
Over the last three years, the couple has been childless.

Now comes the new chapter. Obviously, supporting six children is tough to do, especially on Fisherman's fishermans' salary. However, Fisherman seems to have quietly put away a few dollars here and there over the course of the last eight years, and apparently got a blood test done on himself and the children. Well, I think we all know where this is going. Only the middle child (the single birth) is his. He is now suing for divorce and custody of his biological child.

Now, I'm not really sure where to go from here. I have numerous (and I do mean numerous) jokes stored up about this situation. However, I also know that divorce is at best a touchy subject, especially when children are involved, and I'm not sure whether I would feel right cracking jokes. I guess I just offer this narrative to all of you because occasionally I think about the people I knew who turned out this way, caught in some dark comedy of a situation, unhappy with the way life turned out, and it makes me a bit more happy that my only concerns are how much I hate my job, that I can't afford a night of drinking if I want to buy a car, or that the Sox need better lefty relief. I guess I use their lives as the antithesis of the email from article 1. Perspective is something we need to lose in order to function in our lives efficiently, but every now and again it helps to get it back for a few minutes. I guess what I am saying is that I really wish the best for Ho-Bag and Fisherman and I hope they get on their feet; more selfishly, I also am grateful for the way my life has turned out in contrast. And no, the twins aren't mine.

3) As to the Sox relief Corp alluded above, I'm not sure how to feel (how's that for an awkward segue?). Embree is toast, we know that much for sure now (though I was a bit surprised that Theo et al didn't see the writing on the wall over the last few seasons, with his cascading k rate and rising hit numbers for a reliever his age). I mean, if it weren't for his low BB rate last year, he would have been toast then. Regardless, I just don't think Embree is a high-leverage innings kind of guy anymore. Halama has been pretty good out of the pen, with his ERA buoyed into the 5s mostly because of his spot starts this year; he is most definitely a functional long-man (once through the order), and that is pretty much what we should use him for. Myers role is also pretty much set, and is being carried more for the post-season and the occasional teams like the Angels (and Hideki Matsui) than anything else. So we don't have a high-leverage lefty that can face righties as well. This worries me a little, and I would like to see Embree DLed and tryout one of our minor-leaguers (Dinardo?) in his old role for two or three weeks. But we shall see.

As to the righties, I feel better. Timlin is ridiculous, defying age and pitching like he was closing for Toronto in the World Series. He has had a little dip in velocity, but velocity is less important than movement and location; I think he has slowed down his pitches to keep those other two, and I've noticed he will still crank a fastball up in speed when he climbs the ladder on a batter for his strike out pitch. No worries. Matt Mantei has been good as well. His ERA is a bit deceiving, as he tends to give up the runs in bunches, but is lights out in his other games. And really, I'll take a "blows a few games but pitches great the eight or ten games in-between" from our 3rd righty rather than "gives up a run in every other start and lets teams whittle away our lead/put victory out of reach". Everyone has a bad performance every now and again, but he regularly is giving us great innings. I like the guy. As to Foulke, his ERA has moved down to a nice round 6.00. This is bad, but he seems to be putting things together. If anything, I feel like a few of his "shaky" performances have been because of bad luck or bad defense (see Friday's save). While I'm a little worried about his dropping K-rate, he hasn't looked well hit since the first few weeks of the season. He has had a few bad hops, and two home-runs hit on balls way out of the strike zone; he has never been a low WHIP guy anyway, so I'm not sure what to think. I'm just going to go with the "he's finally coming around" crowd and hope for the best.

So, I guess my feeling, despite the bullpens atrocious numbers, is pretty good on the whole. Part of the reason the numbers are so awful is because of the injuries to the starting pitching, which made us rely too much on the Blaine Neals, the Cla Merideth's (too young, but I think will be good someday), and the briantrust's misplaced faith in Embree. The only move I would make is finding someone to take Embree's innings. Other than that, if our starters can play well, the bullpen should start falling in line. Plus, we will bolster it with Wakefield once Schilling gets back, so that should help.

4) Watching ESPN this morning, I forgot how likeable A-Rod can be when he steps in front of the camera and is ready to work his pre-packaged image. Yes, I did just have a mini-throwup while typing that.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Random Thought

People who point out that the term "jumped the shark" has jumped the shark have, well, jumped the shark.


Odd that on the day I wrote about villians, one of my favorite sports heroes came up big. Big Papi, the man, the myth, the mostly-likely candidate for a human to be mistaken as the Cookie Monster, or whatever else you want to call him; that man knows how to turn my day around. A split with the (h)O's is cool by me.

Now that I have reacquired the three original Star Wars (episodes 4-6 v1.0; no added scenes/effects), I have watched Star Wars and The Empire Strikes back the last two nights, and I am planning on squeezing in Jedi sometime soon. Here are some things that stood out having now scene the new three:

1) The back-story is way off: Vader makes it sound like he chose to leave Obi-Wan, Uncle Owen made it sound like he knew Anakin very well and over a long period of time, and the Clone Wars sounded as if Anakin was actually a pilot in it, moreso than a bodygaurd/ground attack guy.

2) It pisses me off even more that Lucas tried to shoehorn C-3PO and R2-D2 into the backstories. Wouldn't Vader have recognized them?

3) There was a lot more fighting in space in episodes 4-6 than in 1-3. This stuff was much more entertaining than uber-CGI creatures randomly attacking robots.

4) Yoda's accent is noticeably off in episodes 1-3, and I would argue that the muppet looks more real than the CGI one. Though I will say that the CGI-one does not have the whole "anthropomorphic scrotum" look that the muppet had.

5) When comparing the lead female characters, in terms of personality and character strength, Leia is the Margaret Thatcher to Padme's Britney Spears.

So, I think it is safe to say (especially considering #1) that Lucas didn't even bother re-watching the movies before make the prequels.

Really, rewatching the unaltered originals reminds me about how good these things were. I kind of lost myself in the new ones, even allowed myself to enjoy episode 3; In truth, the two series just don't compare at all.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


So I've been thinking about evil a lot lately. Don't exactly know why, though it could be because Tom Cruise convinced me to stop taking my Paxil. Anyway, all this thinking about evil has made me wonder who was the greatest evil villain in movie history. I have had this discussion with friends from time to time, so I may be ripping off a few ideas from them in this list. That said, using anecdotal and unresearched evidence in my decision making, here is Fletcher's 5 Evilest Villains In Modern Movie History:

5. Lord Sauron - Lord of the Rings. This guy was truly bad-ass. He commanded legions of evil orcs, who were dirty and angry creatures not all that different from Penn State grads. He had a bunch of deranged kings in black cloaks that he turned into his personal butt boys. He nearly brought the entire world under his command. And he did all this without a body, as he was just a big flaming eyeball. Loses points because he was defeated by a pair of midgets and his obsession with jewelry.

4. Samara Morgan - The Ring. Okay, I realize putting "the little girl who fell down a well" on the list of "best movie villains in history" is a questionable call, especially since doing so probably knocks off one of Bobby Deniro's Capone, Tom Cruise's Lestat, Jack Nicholson's The Joker, and Keanu Reeves' acting ability. But come on, that girl was creepy (at least in the first one): she didn't sleep, she drove people insane, she created with her mind a freaky arthouse movie that would have swept Cannes, and she drips water all over your floor right before she kills you. Throw in that she is sadistic and leaves a trail of corpses that look like Joan Rivers wherever she goes, and you got yourself one evil little bitch. I mean, of the three people that tried to help her (her adopted parents and Naomi Watts), she drove two of them to suicide and recruited the third to help her murder people. Plus, she was responsible for that rash of "creepy kid" horror movies that came out over the last year and a half, and I think we can all agree that wasn't very nice.

3. Archie Cunningham - Rob Roy. A rich, philandering, alcoholic rapist who didn't give a damn about anyone but himself, and also seemed to have a thing for his own mother. Granted, I knew at least a dozen guys at college that fit this description, but he was a bit more extreme. This guy runs up debts that he has no intention of paying, fleeces innocent people of their money, knocks chicks up and abandons them, uses family connections to get out of trouble, and murders a few people along the way. With a resume like that, couldn't you could totally see him becoming the next president? Hiyo! Okay, he may have looked a bit girlish, but he also knew how to wield the meanest blade this side of OJ.

2. Darth Vader - Star Wars. I mean, come on. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Bonus points for being the only guy to ever kill someone over the intercom.

And the most evil villain in the history of movies is:

1. Judge Smails - Caddyshack. Look, the man was evil. How do you go from saying, "Danny, I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them..." to an extremely creepy "How about a Fresca? Huh? Huh?" in little over a minute? The guy christened his boat "The Flying Wasp", for Christsakes! I mean he actually said stuff like: "Well, the world needs ditch diggers too." "You'll get nothing and like it." and "Danny, I'm having a party this weekend, how would you like to come over and mow my lawn?" Throw in that his first name is Elihu and that he seemed to have a homo-erotic relationship with his putter, Billy Barue, and I think we can all agree this man was pure, unadulterated evil.