Wednesday, March 29, 2006



Rex Camino's "The Time I Didn't Meet Leonard Nimoy."

Words fail me. Mostly cuz it's funny, but also because I dicked around in school.

I liked this bit:

It was then that we heard a family in the next line speaking American English. It was a husband and wife and two women who appeared to be their grown daughters. The husband was asking the wife about a friend of theirs who was going through cancer treatment and then asked if she had remembered to pack the alarm clock and a certain shirt that he didn’t remember seeing laid out on the bed. It was typical married-couple-standing-in-line fare, but I immediately recognized the voice as the narrator to the seventies paranormal TV series In Search Of. Then I remembered that the narrator of that series and Leonard Nimoy were one in the same. I quickly alerted Mrs. Camino, and we went back and forth in a whispering debate for a few minutes until Leonard Nimoy turned around to check the departure time for their flight to Guatemala on the sign just behind us, thus ending all debate.

Go give it a read. You're just foolin' around at work, anyway.

An Admission

An Admission

Did you ever see the Passion of the Christ? You know the part where Judas betrays Jesus (should I have put a spoiler alert here?), and then Judas gets tormented by the demons? Remember how the demons get portrayed? They're humans, but their features are distorted and exaggerated?

We have a customer at my store who reminds me of that. I don't think he's a demon. But he gives me the creeps, nonetheless.



A few random thoughts:

The bullshit at work continues....I'm not letting it bother me as much, but I'm not yet to the point where I stop thinking of it as bullshit.

One of the problems with working as much as I have been lately is that my brain is tired when I get home. If I'm actually in the mood to write something for the blog, it's often jumbled, muddy and just plain bad.

But it's not the bad, muddy shit that bothers me. Honestly, I've been doing this for three and a half years....if I was bothered by the muddy stuff, you'd think I'd have stopped by now.

No, what bothers me is the typographical errors.

And it's not little things like missing or transposed letters.

It's the homophonic stuff.

A few posts ago, I said that that when I was younger, I imagined that I was Luke Duke of the Dukes of Hazzard. And I noted that the words Luke Duke look pretty stupid when you write them out in that order.

My problem is that I didn't write "write it out." I wrote "right it out."


Too tired to think straight and too lazy to proofread.

(I think we have a new motto. That jamming the french fries thing's gettin' kinda old...)


Really digging my XM Radio. Got it for myself as a birthday present last month. Had a rebate thingamajig and Amazon had a good deal.

Haven't listened to local radio, except for a snippet here and there, for a month, now.

One snippet that I did catch was an ad on one of Chattanooga's rock stations, advertising the positives of free radio, and the negatives of pay radio. Just made me think: Fine, free radio. You work to get rid of the antiquated regional radio market directives, and make it so that I can listen to the Cubs on the radio down here in southeast Tennessee, fine.

And guarantee it won't be pre-empted. Seriously, you can't even count on hearing a Braves game, and they're about 13 hours closer than Chicago. High School baseball or football takes a local precedent, a lot of the time, with the local stations. And don't get me started on the time the Murfreesboro station ran Michael Savage over the Braves/Cubs.

Anyway. My point here is that I like being able to load up the truck and listen to the Cubs, or the Braves or anybody I feel like listening to, any time that they're playing....


Monday, March 27, 2006

Tommy's Pissed Off Meme

Tommy's Pissed Off Meme

Sat down to write something, but I can't get anything out but cuss words. The proof will be in the pudding of my review later this month, but I may end up getting fucked over in the name of somebody else's passive aggression. Like I said, the proof will come out in the end, but your old pal Tommy's smarting over a shitburger he's probably going to end up eating in the next few weeks.

In lieu of being the guy that bitches about his job, I'm going to do this meme thing, that I found at Sheila's....


TV show: Right now, I'm going to say Scrubs, but I never get to see it.

Flower: the skunk in Bambi

Alcohol: beer

Movie: Star Wars

Color: Green

Sport: Baseball

Phrase: "Whaddaya Think?" I ask this to everybody. People take it the wrong way, a lot. What I mean is "What are you thinking?" But I can't seem to bring myself to say those words, somehow. I mean it as a conversation starter. Most people take the opportunity to tell me how I'm doing, like I'm Ed Koch, or some shit.

Mall: I don't have a favorite mall, although my comic shop is now in the Bradley Square Mall.

Music: The Tribal Chants of the Lakota Sioux. That, and Raffi.

Food: I'm big on Italian, right now.


Height: 6'4" (6'8" in pumps)

Hair color: Brown, with a big blond birth mark spot on the side of my head.

Hair length: Roughly half an inch, which means it's time for a buzz cut.

Hair style: I tend toward the white man's afro.

Eye color: Hazel

Shoe size: 14 EEEE

Personality: I'm quiet and fairly easy going. I'm finding that people have taken advantage of that in recent weeks.


How's life?

On the whole, I don't suppose I should complain. I've got my health, I've got a decent job, a roof over my head, and no huge tumors growing off any part of my body. There are certain passive agressive shits I could do without in my life, but on the whole, it's good.

Whats your mood right now?

How's quietly irate sound?

What are you doing right now as we speak?

Listening to the Cubs and White Sox on XM, and typing.

What are you doing over the weekend?

Working, looks like.

What do you want to do with your life?

Working for somebody else doesn't appeal much to me, at this point. I'd like to travel. I'd like to make a few people laugh.

Where are you right now?

The palatial BSTommy Compound in SouthEast Tennessee. What of it?


Have you ever been in love?


Do you believe in love?

Despite all that Penn and Teller have told me, yeah I do.

Have you ever had your heart broken?

Have you ever broken someones heart?
Not that I've been made aware of.

Have you ever fallen for your best friend?

Once upon a time. I figured it out (I'm slow) after she was dating her future husband.

Are you planning on getting married?

You know, I'm not opposed to the idea. But no, at this point, I don't know if it's in the cards or not.

Are you afraid of committment?

To a degree. But not ridiculously so.


One thing sitting next to you.

Mobile Telemaphone.

Do you like the color purple?

Overrated, as a color, and a movie.

How many cds do you own?

Don't know. A couple hundred's a good guess. A lot of standup comedy....

What is your most prized posession?

A shard of a table Joel and Jose Maximo crashed through at an NWA-TNA wrestling show. It's taken on a totem nature, in my life. I believe this is how I communicate with the American Dream Dusty Rhodes.

Who's your closest relative?

They're all tied.

If you could go anywhere?

Australia. The Moon.


Have you ever been caught sneaking out?


Have you ever skinny dipped?

Nope, not really.

Have you ever done something you regret?

Things I shoulda said, things I shoulda done. Maybe it's a little James Kirky of me, but for better or worse, they make me who I am. So no, no big regrets.

Have you ever bungee jumped?

No. Dude, I'm like 300+ pounds. For me, hurtling off a bridge is a one-way street, all the way to the bottom, no matter how strong that rubber band be.

Have you ever been on a house boat?

Have you ever finished an entire jaw breaker?
Had to eat through a straw for 8 weeks, but yes, I did achieve that goal.

Have you ever wanted someone so badly it hurt?

Today, I want to punch somebody so badly it hurts.


Are you missing someone right now?
No. Tommy's hating the world, today.

Are you in love with anyone?

No. Not today.

Are you happy?

Nope. I'm repeating myself. Meme angering me.

Are you talking to anyone right now?
Dude, I'm on the interweb. If I was talking to somebody, would I be doing this?

Are you thirsty?
Can I be thirsty for vengeance?

What about a Diet Dr. Pepper?

Are you bored?


Are you German?

Yep. On my Dad's side.

Are you Irish?

That's in there on me mother's side.

Are your parents still married?

Yes. There is some debate as to whether it happened 14 months, or 2 months before my birth.

Are you crushing on someone?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Today's Directive: Polar Bear Battlefield

Today's Directive: Polar Bear Battlefield

At some point this week, find a room with at least three people inside. Walk into that room, and announce: "Polar Bear Battlefield!" Then turn the room into a mosh pit.

For successful completion of this task, you will be awarded one point.

If you actually kill somebody in the room and eat them, you will be awarded two points.

If you have to root them out from under some ice, you will be awarded four points.

Beware, you may have to kill after announcing "Polar Bear Battlefield."

Because one of your co-workers or friends may actually be a Polar Bear in disguise, and there is nothing a Polar Bear likes more than killing during a game of Polar Bear Battlefield.

Middle of the Night thought and Re-Run

Middle of the Night Re-Run

I used to write in a journal religiously. For several years. From about the time I was in fourth grade, all the way up to a couple of years ag. A couple years ago, I became a little less religious about writing down the crap going on in my life. I think this blog was the biggest reason. For the past couple of years, I've cut and pasted a lot of what I've written here into my journal, simply because I'd be writing it down twice.

Well, as a result, I often lose a frame of reference. I was trying to think of exactly when we were working at my store last summer when it got robbed. Forget when. I was thinking that it was sometime after my boss quit in the middle of June, but before the All-Star Break. I was was actually the Saturday after the All-Star game. We had a couple guys sitting outside the store tonight, watching the store. Made a show out of going to get a tag number, and they ended up leaving. Kinda spooky.

But anyway, while I was looking for that post, trying to remember exactly when that happened, I ran across this post, a meme of sorts that I snagged somewhere.

I've been feeling kinda pessimistic, here lately. I daresay, I've even been a little depressed. There's no big reason. Just several little things that have been nagging at me.

I've been feeling better, the past few days. But I ran across this, and it made me smile.

So, if you'll allow this old blogkeeper a bit of maudlin, a few things I love:

I love the smell of a summer day when it rains. All the crap gets washed out of the sky. The air just smells clean. It just smells like the day called "do over."

I love a contest between a great power pitcher and a great hitter. I love seeing the pitcher serve it up, saying "here's my best. Hit it if you can." And more often than not, I love seeing the pitcher blow the guy away.

I love comfortable silences. I am not so good with people, sometimes. It is rare that I can find a person who is comfortable with quiet, and around whom I am comfortable being quiet. I tend to think the person you can be quiet with is a true friend.

I love a person who can paint a picture with words. Who can put me in the environment. Zora Neale Hurston did it. Ferrol Sams can do it. Stephen Ambrose can do it. George Carlin, back in the day, could do it. Bill Cosby can do it.

I love good standup comedy. Can I tell you the admiration I have for a person who can stand up in the front of a room and make a group of people laugh? I love making people laugh. I could not do it for an audience. I have the utmost respect.

I love Maura Tierney. Yep.

I love when the Indians win the pennant in the movie Major League. I love the call of Bob Uecker's Harry Doyle, especially the "Oh My God, the Indians Win it!"

I love James Kochalka's comics. It is only recently that I have come to this way of thinking. He does the opposite of painting a picture with words. Sometimes, with his line drawings, he can make one of those thousand word pictures.

I love hot dogs at a baseball game. I love the taste. I love the texture. I don't eat them outside of a stadium anymore. But somehow the taste is just right at the baseball game.

I love professional wrestling. Gigantor posts preceding this one might help to prove that. I will watch 2 hours of bad wrestling because I like it better than most anything else that is on television. Wrestling is, by and large, a neverending stream of revenge stories.

I love revenge stories. Maybe I have an unhealthy fascination with people getting even. My favorite revenge story is that of a former co-worker's grandparents. His grandfather cheated on his grandmother. She took him back, took him to the bedroom, had him lie down, and she shot him in the back, and paralyzed him. Nobody knew if she meant to kill him, or just hurt him. She went to prison for a while. I never knew if the story was 100% true, and I'll say that it more than likely was part bullshit. I enjoyed it all the same.

I love the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Because it teaches that symbols and legends are often more important than the truth.

I love The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I read it for the first time when I was in seventh grade. I hated it for being made to read it. I've since read it four times. Once in high school. Twice for college. Once again, about six months ago. I love when Huck realizes the contradiction in the dichotomy of whites and blacks, and realizes that when taken on his own account, his friend Jim is better than most men he has ever known.

I love when Tom Sawyer shows up, in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Taken on is comedic merits, a finer piece of comic literature has never been written, especially when Tom shows up.

I love Arrested Development. Also, Futurama. Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Mr. Show. The State. Reno 911.

I love that they are putting shows on DVD fairly regularly. Because I have a bad memory for when things come on.

I love Keith Giffen's, J.M. DeMatteis' and Kevin Maguire's run on the old Justice League America/International Comic. I read it when all my friends in the sixth grade who read comics said that it blew chunks. It was funny. It wasn't about superheroes. It was about people, who were also superheroes. I love that it's made a couple of brief comeback runs in recent years. I am so sorry that DC made a sorry attempt to retcon the whole thing into a devious plan on the half of Maxwell Lord. I am even sorrier that they killed Blue Beetle.

I love a double play. I stole that answer. But a perfectly turned double play is like watching a perfectly crafted machine.

I love the Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat match from Wrestlemania III. In terms of story, in terms of athleticism, it was two guys at the top of their games letting it all hang out. It is, in my opinion, the best match ever put to the ring, and done on the biggest stage of them all.

I love it when a girl wears her hair in a pony tail, and pulls it through the back of a baseball cap. I cannot tell you just how bananas that drives me. I nearly failed an 8 o'clock English class because of this fascination.

I love it when I can make my parents laugh.

I love the movie Animal House. Whenever I feel down, I can watch Animal House, and I feel better.

Same with Super Troopers. I love Super Troopers. I love Broken Lizard. I love than they can make a silly comedy and let it stand on the strength of both the writing and the ensemble performance, and not depend on an Adam Sandler, or a Chris Rock to get all the jokes across to you.

I love Ellen Degeneres. I like her comedy. I like the misdirection. If you look at their standup comedy styles, Ellen Degeneres and Dave Chapelle have surprisingly similar standup styles.

I love camping. I don't camp enough. I'm going in a weekend or two.

I love sunrise. Especially when camping.

I love it when somebody uses the euphemism "See a man about a horse," when they're going to the toilet. It makes me laugh every time. Every time.

I love Harlan Ellison. His work. His persona. His writing output. I am not one to walk up to people, and engage them in conversation. I was proud of myself for getting the gumption to ask Mr. Ellison a question last fall at a convention at a time he was not scheduled to be entertaining conventioneers. He was gracious enough to not scream at me, and he was kind enough to talk to me for a couple of minutes.

I love road trips.

I love the calzones from the New York Cafe, in Murfreesboro. Is it even there anymore?

I love the burgers and fried pickle chips from Toot's, in Murfreesboro.

I love the seventh inning stretch, and singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." I don't know if Disney's warped me, or my folks watched too many musicals, or if I just saw too many Harry Caray songs on WGN. The idea that there is a time where we all voluntarily stop what we are doing, stand up, stretch and sing a song is absurd enough that I get a small chuckle out of it every time we do it. It is terribly satisfying to me.

I love in the movie Run Ronnie Run, when Clay gets warned off, and called a hillbilly. He responds to this request with a disinterested "Am I?" and says "Moo."

I love used book stores. I love the smell of old books.

I love coffee from Waffle House. Nothing else from there is worth mentioning. But their coffee is excellent.

I love LaBatt's Blue. I love that we once got fairly buzzed on the sidewalk of a motel in Atlanta, venting our frustrations at vacation plans gone awry, on LaBatt's.

I love looking at a clock and finding a symmetrical time. 12:21. 10:01. I especially love looking at clock and finding a time like 11:11

I love Dr. Venkmen's indignation in Ghostbusters, when the Staypuft Marshmallow Man steps on the church.

I love the movie Contact. It's one that I don't think gets enough love, nowadays.

I love the movie Three Kings. Same deal.

I love that feeling you get when the writing comes easy. Especially after a drought, when every word seemed like drops of water being wrung from a dry cloth. I love that feeling when the words keep a coming, even after you've run out real things to say.

(I think I love having a forum to put in a few thousand words, even when there is very little really being said, and I love having no one to answer to for it, but myself.)

I love the last couple of things on my list. That's kinda what it's all about.

Saturday, March 25, 2006



Had myself a weird dream last night. The short of the dream, I'd been nominated for an Academy Award. Best Supporting Actor. For some movie that I either didn't dream up a title for, or have since forgotten in my few waking hours.

In the dream, I went to the Awards ceremony wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Part of the dream was concerned with my finding appropriate clothing for the Oscars. I never did find a tuxedo. I wish I'd been able to tell Melissa and Joan Rivers that my t-shirt was designed by the folks at K-Mart, and my shorts were from the wonderful folks at Levi....

In the dream, the red carpet ceremony was much like a job fair, or perhaps a comic convention. Instead of wandering into a huge theater, we all milled around this huge room with aisles and aisles of tables filled with merchandise and literature.

It was there that I met Eric Idle, who was likewise nominated for Best Supporting Actor. His nomination stemmed from a performance related to the "Bruce" Monty Python sketch, which was always my favorite Python segment.

Eric liked my movie very much, he said. I don't know what my movie was about, or what part I played. So, I'll just have to take Mr. Idle's word for it that it was "a grand affair."

Now that I think about it, I think this dream is a variation on a couple of dreams...

The first is the clothing dream, which I don't have much. You know, the one where you show up to school or work naked? I've only had that one once...mostly, I have dreams where I show up in the wrong clothes, somehow. I'll dream that I've come to work wearing my Homer Simpson pajama pants, or something along those lines. I think the showing up to the Oscars wearing shorts and a t-shirt may be a variation of that...though I'll say that I think I'd be much more comfortable in shorts than a tuxedo....

The second is that dream where I show up to a class, or a final for a class, completely unprepared. I'll have this one when I get the dream, I'm going to a final for a class I haven't been to all semester.

There's a bit of that in this dream...I haven't seen the movie I've been in (nor do I remember even being in the movie).

Luckily, there's no quiz or thesis defense for winning an Oscar. So I'm cool, there.

Friday, March 24, 2006



You know, I'll put sports radio talk show hosts somewhere in the same strata as TV Preachers, Personal Injury Lawyers and other fine conmen.

Maybe it was the juxtaposition of Colin Cowherd and Tony Kornheiser, when Cowherd took Tony's spot, but I've always thought Cowherd was scraping the bottom of the barrel, even for sports radio.

This maybe proves the point, as it looks like Colin and his show ripped off this blog....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Still here, and whatnot

Still here, and whatnot

I'm still here. I think.

Damn. I've updated once in a week? Granted, Blogger had problems, and I went out of town, and I've worked like a sumbitch the last two days.

In a nutshell:

Blogger problems? Well. It's free. My need to spread my bullshit on the internet does not extend so far as to spend even a little money to keep doing it.

Out of town? Well, there was the St. Patrick's Day where I ended up spending the better part of a day, eating two meals and playing very bad pool while we watched the first round of the NCAA tournament. America loves an upset. There were maybe 20 people in the Fox and the Hound when Northwestern State upset Iowa last week, but every one of them went from never having heard of Northwestern State to cheering wildly when they got the final shot....

And then there were a couple of days up in Nashville. Just seeing friends, enjoying the time. And there was a part where Jason and I tried to change a tire. It turned from A Christmas Story "Time Me" to 2 angry men wrestling with the sumbitch and cussing loudly to get it off the axle. It came off. I think it was the cussing that did it.

And then there's work. Ever present. Not much say about the work, except this: I'm an easygoing guy, but I do not do well with people going behind me and changing what I do...especially when changing it makes it wrong, and makes it so that I have to do the shit again. That turns me into a psychotic asshole.

Lastly, there's a bit of writing. I'm having fun with a road story I'm writing. It's coming easy, and I'm enjoying what's coming out. The trick will be reading it again down the road, not deciding it's shit and not getting discouraged.

That last part's why I've been focussing less and less on the blog.

So, if you don't see me around, that's why.

That, and I haven't heard any good fart jokes to share with you guys.

So. While real life gets in the way, I'll be around here less. And it's kind of a gyp to repost old shit (though that won't necessarily keep me from doing it....)

But I'll pop in.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Weekend Break

Weekend Break

Not much posting this week. Too busy handing out a little vigilante justice.

Won't be much posting this weekend, either. Vigilante justice, again.

Check the archives. Or one of the other fine blogs on the lefthand sidebar.

Or go outside. Do something constructive. Or not. Do something destructive. To be honest with ya, I could give a shit. I've been wanting to talk to you about this: I just think you've been spending too much time in front of the computer. And if I'm the one saying that, then you may have a problem....

update: My blog's one of the many that have been affected by a bad file server on Blogger. If you've gotten a 403: Forbidden message here in the past three or four days, that's why. Turns out that even if I wanted to post, I couldn't have....

We'll see you in the new week, when I talk about how even if you get 26 out of the 32 games correct in the first round, it can still suck badly for you in your tourney bracket if Iowa and Kansas are two of the team you missed...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Good post

Good post

The Ump with a nice bit of vitriol...

Tuesday, and shit

Tuesday, and shit

This post is not from the heart. It comes from a bit lower....

Today's been one of those days where I wake up with my bowels saying "Chief? We're gonna shit in 10 seconds. It's not a question of when, but where, now."

And it's been going much the same ever since.

And at risk of falling into a Jim Gaffigan comedy routine, I advise against the newer Hot Pocket breakfast sammiches, the ones made in the shape of a big old biscuit. They made for a quick and not entirely nauseating supper last night, but the consequences far outweighed the benefits.

So. Stay away. Unless crapping your soul away is your cup of tea.

If it is, have at it. Try the ones with sausage. They're the ones that opened up the floodgates for me.

Consider this my foray into shitblogging:

The top 5 cases of the runs in my life:

5. Last year of college, too much beer. Had a film class in one of the nice new classrooms in the newly opened Business/Aerospace building at MTSU. Had to crap. Both men's and women's restrooms were located in a nook. All I saw was a nook with a sign over it with a little man. I went in and did my business in a stall. Had to hit a stall so quickly I didn't noticed that this particular restroom had no urinals. Yep. In my hurry, I failed to notice that the other side of the sign had the little skirt lady. The women's room was on the left, and the men's on the right.

As pissed off as the one girl was at my having intruded into the women's room, I'm lucky the campus cops didn't cart me away.

4. Second year of college, too much fiber.

I had a Public Policy class in one of the older buildings on campus. The room was WAY too small for the 20 or so people in the class. The room was intended to be a conference room, I think, or maybe a coat closet--the room was that small. They crammed us in there, shoulder to shoulder, to discuss Public Policy. Literally. We sat in regular chairs, and we were almost shoulder to shoulder for the duration of class....we ended up moving to the lobby of the building, and just having class there (or outside, if the day was nice) for the duration of that semester, and I like to think this particular incident was the catalyst:

During one particular discussion, I had to crap. And I was trapped in the far corner of the room. The rumbling hit me early in the class. I clenched. I willed myself not to have to crap. I held it with every fiber of my being. But, as most of you know, that rumbling just won't be denied. I like to think of it as a triumph of will to have held it the 45 minutes that I did (it was a 90 minute, twice a week class).

Well, we hit a stopping point in the class, and I stood up. My professor said "we're not quite done."

"I'll be back," I said, "But I'm about to be sick."

I still love the way the waters parted. Charlton Heston wouldabeen proud. People were falling backwards over their chairs to give me a clear path. I had never before nor have since wielded that sort of power.

I re-entered the class a few minutes later, much more relaxed, comfortable and ready to learn.

Dr. Langenbach said "if you're sick, you don't need to be here making us sick."

"No, no," I said. "I just need to monitor my fiber intake a bit more..."

Now, I don't think it was fiber really that gave me the craps...but I can't discount it; it seemed as good a thing to blame as any right then. However, I don't think the woman ever laughed so hard in her life. I had two more classes with Dr. Langenbach over the course of my political science minor, and she was my minor advisor, and she got a huge kick out of asking me how my fiber intake was for years after....

3. Atlanta, same weekend of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase, too many peanuts and Fulton County Stadium Hot Dogs.

I was 16 that summer, and the family had taken a trip to Atlanta to catch a Braves game or three. It was a Sunday, and the weekend of greasy food, ballgame peanuts and summer dehydration hit me as we walked from the Stadium to our car.

What still gets me about that day is how pissed my Dad got. Like it was my fault I had diarrhea, and was holding us up walking to the car. I'd walk about twenty steps, and then I'd have to stop, clench, and let everything settle into a position where I could walk again.

I went into the KFC by the stadium. Back when it was just a KFC, and not a combo Taco Bell like it is now. And I had a Kramer moment. The urge passed. Try as I might to crap, I couldn't get it to go.

I made it to the van, eventually. Just north of downtown Atlanta, the urge hit again.

I still can't pass that McDonald's in Atlanta without thinking of that horrible day when that homeless man in the Fulton County Stadium parking lot asked my folks what was wrong with me "Whaswrong? Hegottashit?"

2. Last October, National Baseball Hall of Fame. Too much beer. See, Steven and I got taken to a nice little German pub up in Syracuse, where we drank, and then his family came over, and we kept drinking. It was one of those occasions where I wouldn't be able to finish a beer without somebody sticking another in my hand.

Well, the combination of beer, pasta, beer, bread, beer and sausage came to a burbling head the next day, as we visited the Baseball Hall of Fame. Somewhere around the Baseball Through the Years exhibits, on the second floor, it hit me. I crapped in the bathroom nearest to the display of Hack Wilson's Cubs jersey.

It was a monumental thing. A horrible thing. The smell bothered me. The smell was horrible. Like somebody was burning pig carcasses deep inside my guts.

In my mind, I was afraid that somebody would call the cops, and because of my bringing the plague to mankind, they'd have to burn everything that I'd poisoned in the Hall of Fame, they'd have to close the Hall of Fame forever. As a Health Hazard.

But that didn't happen. Thankfully.

1. The number one number two of my life.

President Reagan came to Athens when I was in the second grade. I remember the whole week before, all the schools were worked into a tizzy, and we all did things like draw pictures and learn about the presidents. I think one of the classes at our school got to sing at the little event where Reagan spoke at the Courthouse.

Well, that day, we were out of school. I guess so we could go see the President speak. I used it as an excuse to watch the Cartoon Express on the USA Network.

Now, I've always been a cold cereal eatin' sumbitch. And nothing goes with Cartoon Express like cold cereal. Well, that morning, there was none of my cereal in the house. No Cheerios. No Rice Chex. No Apple Jacks. Nothing, except for the big box of All Bran that one of my folks had been eating. To relieve a bit of backup, I guess. Well, I found the All Bran, and fixed myself a huge heaping bowl of that mess.

Reagan spoke later in the afternoon. By that time, the All Bran had a chance to work on my young digestive tract, which was apparently in no need of the help.

While President Reagan spoke, it was carried on the TV. I know this, because I could hear the TV from the toilet. The toilet is where I spent the bulk of that afternoon, cramping and letting out wet puffs of nastiness. I still can't think of President Reagan without associating with him the pink and white tile that was in that bathroom.

Yep. Missed the president because of diarrhea.

Anyway. Maybe I should get out and do something constructive today....

Saturday, March 11, 2006



Do you think Tom Brokaw wishes he was still doing the Nightly News, just so he could have one more time to say the name "Slobodan Milosevic" one more time? He always seemed to relish the way that one rolled off his tongue. I think there was part of him who prayed from something more horrible news to come out of the former Yugoslavia, just so he could report on the latest dealings of Slobodan Melosevic, saying both names as many times as he could pack into a 45 second report. Well, he won't get the chance, as he's off the news and Melosevic died in his cell last night.

But to tell the truth, of all the genocidal maniacs history has brought us, I've enjoyed the name Slobodan Melosevic, as well. I've thought it a shame that the name will be forever associated with a murderous Eastern European thug, and not with something more positive.

For some reason, I wish that name belonged to a racecar driver. Or perhaps a motorcycle stunt performer. Maybe a beloved clown.

It sounds kind of like a name David Letterman would hook on to, like Dick Assman or Mujibur and Sirajul.

I've always associated it with Robocop. Slobo-Dan. Robo-Cop. Maybe it's just me.

Instead, it's a genocidal maniac.

And tonight, Tom Brokaw doesn't get to report on it. Not to us, anyway. I'm sure, though, at the Brokaw household, he'll be standing in front a mirror all day, reporting on the death of Slobodan Melosevic.

Thought from the Ass End of the Night

Thought from the Ass End of the Night

Is Larry the Cable Guy this generation's Ernest P. Worrell?

Friday, March 10, 2006

South Africa vs. the U.S.

South Africa vs. the U.S.

Well, just turned over from watching Tennessee lose to South Carolina just in time to watch Ken Griffey put the United States baseball team up 7-0 over South Africa, with a monster shot to right. Haven't gotten to see Clemens pitch against those guys from South Africa, who impressed me so much the other night against Canada.

As Lee Smith, who's acting as pitching coach for the South African team, wanders out to the mound to make a pitching change, I thought that I've always felt like Lee eats farm animals. And not in the nice, pre-packaged bacon and eggs kind of way.

It's more like a sasquatch coming out of the woods and stealing them out of the pen, and eating the beasts while they scream.

That's appropriate of very little, I suppose, but it's something I've always thought about Lee Smith, even way back when he was closing for the Cubs.



One of these people is not from this planet.  Or is it two?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Thing about TV

A Thing about TV

Saw this at Barry's.

Now, I've just about watched the hell out of my TV....


I think my answer's gonna end up being Roseanne Connor. Not because she meets or matches any particular ideal, but because I think it ended up being the best mesh of honest and entertaining. The whole thing where she isn't the ideal mother ends up making for a better show.


It's a tie.

Andy Taylor is the best TV Dad. Quiet and wise, he makes sure Opie gets raised right. My favorite Andy as a Dad moment is Andy's dilemma as to whether Mr. McBeavey exists...he doesn't want to punish Opie, because he wants to believe in his son. (I often think about the scenario where Mr. McBeavey doesn't exist, and I always wondered how that would have ended. I think Andy might have crippled Opie.)

And I can't have watched The Simpsons all my life without saying Homer's my favorite TV Dad. But, let's make it the Homer from seasons 3 through 9 or 10. Not the outright idiot jerkass he seems to be in the later seasons.


Does Lisa from Newsradio count?

My blog, so yes. Yes she does.


I'm gonna say Bill Haverchuck, from Freaks and Geeks. He reminds me a lot of myself, in personality, if not in look....


You know, both the Dukes of Hazzard and the A-Team were favorites from my youth. I can't watch for long, now. I think the memories of Dukes of Hazzard and A-Team are what I'll have to go by.


The Simpsons. Even the crappy ones.


I'm gonna put Arrested Development right here. And the three seasons of Arrested Development were each better than anything else on TV during that time.

The Andy Griffith Show will come in right behind that.


Luke Duke. Which looks really stupid when I right it out. Bo usually drove, while Luke was the one who, on occasion, leaned out of the window of the General Lee and shot arrows. I wanted to be the one shooting the arrows.

Also, I wanted to be the Incredible Hulk. Because he flipped cars and smashed stuff.


Part of me wants to be Josh Lyman, off West Wing. Maybe not politically. But because he's able to stay light-hearted, yet irrepresibly passionate.

But let me tell ya, all the ladies love that Sawyer guy from Lost. If I could not be stuck on the crazy island, but have all the ladies want me, I'd like to be Sawyer, from Lost.

Or, the Incredible Hulk. Because he flipped cars and smashed stuff.



Part of me screams "Dennis Blunden" from Head of the Class.

I think also compare favorably with Merlin Olsen's character from Little House on the Prairie.


I'm torn between Pee Wee's Playhouse and stately Wayne Manor, what with the clothes-changing batpoles.


Don't know. How bout I say that of Woody and Kelly on Cheers?


From a storytelling standpoint, I still dig the Roseanne finale, which explains that the whole shebang is something the Roseanne Connor character's been writing as she went, changing the facets of her "real" life to make a better story...explaining going so far as to justify the last really crappy season (where they'd won the lottery) was her way of dealing with the fact that in that reality, Dan had died from the heart attack....


Of any show ever?


The answer may change tomorrow, but tonight I'll say "In Excelsis Deo", from West Wing.


Other favorites: Bart vs. Australia, from The Simpsons; Mountain Wedding, from the Andy Griffith Show; The Two Cathedrals, from West Wing


"What does a yellow light mean?" "Slow Down!" "What....Does....A....Yellow....Light....Mean?" (Taxi)

"You're not getting your ass kicked!" (Dr. Cox, from Scrubs, after getting lured to the parking lot by the promise that his wildest dream was coming true.)

"I have a message: Lt. Col. Henry Blake's plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spun in. There were no survivors." (M*A*S*H)

And just about any you find here...


MacGyver. I know I'm supposed to say something like "Lisa from Newsradio" or "Abby from E.R." but Dammit...I don't want to be stranded on an island, period. I figure MacGyver should be able to get me off the island.


The cast of Friends.


You know, I'm not gay, but Uncle Jed Clampett sure had a lot of money.....


I've just about worn out the Maura Tierney thing.


This comes out of left field, but there is an episode of Wings, where they go to tear down their childhood home. Lowell, played by Thomas Haden Church, disappears during the demolition. At the moment the rest of the cast realizes he is gone, you see a chainsaw blade appear through the ceiling, where it beings to saw a circle.

When the circle is complete, Lowell, chainsaw and all, falls through, and when he sees the people who were downstairs, asks "How did you guys get up here?"

That, my friend, was the greatest piece of TV ever.

Canada vs. South Africa

Canada vs. South Africa

You know, going into this World Baseball Classic, if you rated my excitement and/or interest in the thing, I was probably about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. I would watch, I said, because watching stars in exhibition is more exciting that watching bench players in exhibition, which is what spring training is to me, more often than not.

Just a note on spring training: I hate it. I see it as little more than a necessary evil. Over the winter, you see baseball blogs sign off with something like "37 days until pitchers and catchers report." And that bugs me. I understand the need for optimism in a dark, dark winter. But I don't get much out of watching somebody play long toss in the middle February.

Spring training baseball is like a cock tease. Gets you excited, thinking you've got baseball today, and then they do stuff like run their starters out for three innings to get their reps, and then they end up calling the game after the seventh inning so we can get the team back to Sarasota, or wherever. It's the big leaguers trying to get their reps in, but they aren't interested in beating the other team, and unless they're fighting for a roster spot, nobody's playing that hard. It's like three quarter speed, for me, and I don't get much out of it.

Baseball doesn't start until opening day. Everything else is just discussion.

But anyway.

With this World Baseball Classic, at least you have a few names out there, and I don't expect them to be playing full speed, but at least I can watch a few names get out there and play instead of seeing Jimmy Joe Deedle and Timmy McNoname trying fight for that 25th roster spot (again, interesting to some, but not me).

And I didn't expect to watch much of any game without major league talent. I watched about an inning of Korea walloping the hell out of China last week, saw that I recognized Hee Seop Choi and Chan Ho Park, and laughed that China had a guy whose name sounded like they were saying "Bunghole Lee."

On my lunch break last night, I listened to a couple innings of the U.S. and Mexico on my XM radio. I got to hear Derrek Lee hit his home run, taking the lead that they'd never relinquish. I was a little put out that they didn't try to put the game with the U.S. in Prime Time.

Maybe I'll write something on how the car salesman ostensibly in charge of our game (and this Classic) isn't marketing this thing right, either, but that's a post for another time.

I got home last night, and I was sitting down to read, and I flipped on the Canada vs. South Africa game. For little more than background noise while I read my book.

I didn't get more than 10 pages read last night.

I'll tell you what sucked me in, first of all.

Stubby Clapp is playing for the Canadian National Team.

Stubby played in the Cardinals organization for a good long while, and was a favorite of mine when his Redbirds would come to Nashville to play the Sounds. Stubby Clapp is a Good Baseball Name. And I'm surprised he didn't stick on the Major League level on the basis of name strength alone.

The ESPN site lists Stubby as playing for Edmonton, in the Northern League. I'd found myself wondering where Stubby ended up a couple of times last year, but hadn't followed through to check up on him. Good to know he's still in the game.

But Stubby's on Team Canada, and he was playing second base for them last night. His name caught my ear, and got me to watching.

Team Canada's got some good talent, too. Pete Orr was playing shortstop. He's done well for the Braves recently. Jason Bay, Justin Morneau, Chris Reitsma. Not names that'll necessarily win you a pennant, but some good talent spread across the roster.

I expected South Africa to be completely outmatched, kinda like China in the Asian pool that played last week.

But South Africa kept me interested in the game. Not a big sport there, a growing sport. I think ESPN said they had one professional on their roster (their roster says they have two)

I think I know what caught my eye. In the bottom of the fifth, the South African team jumped ahead of Canada, 4-3. And when every run of the inning score, the entire roster was up on their feet in the dugout, dancing and jumping around. It's about then that I realize the average age of this team is 18, 19, 20 years old.

One of the pinch hitters, Kyle Botha I believe, is 17. Pitcher Jared Elario is also 17. And there are others that young on the team, and all the guys are right around high school and young college age.

Now, maybe my perspective is skewed, but think of being 17, on a team of guys who are also 17, 18, 19 years old, and going out to pitch to Jason Bay and Matt Stairs, veteran big leaguers. Or think of being 17 and taking a pitch or three from Chris Reitsma.

And this is just Team Canada. They've still got the U.S. team to play. 17 years old, and facing Roger Clemens, or Jake Peavy. Pitching to Alex Rodriguez, or Derek Jeter, or Ken Griffey. Playing on the same level field that they are.

Now, I'm not going to say much for the talent on the field. They composed themselves well, and I think they stayed in the game on their energy and aggressiveness more than their talent...I think Canada played a sloppy game, and that they deserved to lose, and won only because of the questionable decision to leave 17-year-old Jared Elario out there for the ninth inning.

But I watched the whole thing, rooting in the bottom of the ninth for that team of youngsters, who were just so happy to be there, and who refused to be beaten by the experience itself, to somehow pull through.

Already, I've gotten more excited for the WBC than I thought I would.

I'll be watching some more....

Tuesday, March 07, 2006



Look at that blue uniform...At the risk of sounding a little maudlin' and flaky...a little piece of my childhood died today.

That card is Kirby's from the 1985 Topps set. That 1985 set was my second year of collecting baseball cards, and my first big year in the hobby.

In 1985, I was 8. I was already a Chicago Cubs fan, owing mostly to their being on WGN as I got home from school. In all my 8-year-old wisdom, I was figuring that 1985 would bring a division crown just like 1984...I was hoping to not have to live through the disappointment of another playoff loss. Yeah, I was a starry eyed little booger.

Well, this starry-eyed little booger collected baseball cards.

I got a small allowance. I don't know how much, but it was for doing little things like keeping my junk picked up, and keeping my bed made. It might have been three bucks, it might have been five.

However much it was, I spent the bulk of it on 1985 Topps baseball cards. Now, keep in mind that this is when you could still get a pack of baseball cards with 15 cards in the pack without having to take out a loan. So, with my meager allowance, I was able to usually get five or six packs of 1985 Topps cards a week, and still have enough left over to buy my 75 cent issue of Batman or the Avengers every month.

And if I was extra helpful, doing extra chores, like helping mow the yard, I was often rewarded with a rack pack of the 1985 Topps. Those were sold at Red Food Store, on the toy rack. They cost a buck thirty nine.

If memory serves, I often recieved my allowance in baseball cards. At my own choice. Forewent the cash altogether.

Well, the point of saying all that is to say this:

I wasn't a Kirby Puckett fan, per se. Heck, that 1985 card was his rookie card. And watching the Cubs and Braves growing up, the only American League teams I saw came in the postseason, or the occasional Saturday Game of the Week. So, I didn't see Kirby play, I don't think, until an All-Star game in 1985 or 1986.

But I knew him. I went on a run where in just about every pack of 1985 Topps cards I opened, I got a Kirby Puckett card. You couldn't sling a dead cat in my childhood home without hitting a 1985 Kirby Puckett card.

No kidding, I probably had 15 Kirby Puckett rookie cards, at one time.

So, before I'd even see him play the game, I knew who he was.

Over time, I lost them. I traded some. I was in what may have been the last generation of kids to trade baseball cards without much consideration to their monetary value. In that 1987 season, when they made their World Championship run, the Twins became the favorite team of my friend Michael. Now, Michael's previous favorite team had been the Mets, and would later be the Dodgers and A's....

Now, it's neither here nor there, but I traded a lot of my 1985 Kirby Puckett cards to Michael to complete my 1987 Topps set.

I would later go on to trade four of the Kirby Puckett cards for one of the Mark McGwire Olympic card.

And I would sell all but one of my last Kirby Puckett cards to a local comic and card shop, for trade credit. I bought comic books that I read once, probably, and either got rid of or still have sitting in the ton of fire hazzard down in the basement.

I'm rambling.

Yesterday, my Dad, brother-in-law and I were watching the Southern Conference basketball final between UTC and Davidson, and we saw ESPN's scrawl say that Kirby had been taken to a hospital in Arizona after suffering a stroke.

Kirby's been on my mind ever since. See, when you get past the card, I always liked how he played. He played hard. He used his talents, and didn't try to be something he wasn't.

Plus, as a little plug of a guy, he gave a fat kid like me a little hope that he could be good at the game, too. Plus, he always seemed to be having fun, when he played. Always smiling, and that stood out. Too many players, in Kirby's or any other generation, seemed to forget that it was a game, and channeled anger or aggression into their performances. Treated it like it was work. Kirby always looked like he was having fun.

But I keep going back to that card, that 1985 Topps card, with a skinny Kirby and a blue Minnesota Twins uniform, has been on my mind. It's just what pops into my head. There's a lot to pop into your mind...Kirby in the 87 series, Kirby exulting watching Mark McGwire at a home run derby, cheering each monster shot...Kirby running the bases at a near sprint after his home run to force a game 7 in that 1991 World Series against the Braves....

But that 1985 Topps card pops to my mind first.

I bought a pack of 1985 Topps baseball cards last October. When my buddy Steven and I visited Cooperstown, I wandered into one of the many, many souvenir shops lining Cooperstown's main street. I bought a pack of 1985 Topps baseball cards.

Wax pack. I paid something like 8 bucks for it. Considerably more than what I'd paid at the Jiffy or the Quick n' Easy, way back when. I opened it on the ride from Cooperstown. The gum was there, permanently staining the back of the Dan Quisenberry All Star card, where it had rested for 20 years. Best card? Probably that of Atlanta Brave Rufino Linares, who was another name from my youth...but that's a story for another time.

No Kirby Puckett card. I half expected there to be one.

I think part of me wanted there to be one. You know. Relive the magic.

I'm rambling again.

Kirby Puckett died today. Due to complications suffered after his stroke. Saw the news when I signed on.

I won't lie to you. I got a little misty-eyed.

Yeah. Feeling kinda down.

Went digging. Found my old baseball card albums. My glory days of collecting were 1985-1991. My best cards were in one binder. Most of them near-mint, some of them probably worth quite a bit.

I moved one to the front page tonight. With my Ryne Sandberg rookie cards, with my Tom Browning signed card (story for another time), with a few other of my favorite cards. Yeah, 1985 Topps #536 isn't Near Mint. Heck, it's not even in good shape. But it's the last of his breed, at least as my collection is concerned.

Yeah, had to move the Kirby card to the front of the collection.

Don't know if I have much else to say. I'll miss Kirby.

I think I'll hang on to that card, though....

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Props

Oscar Props

Wasn't intending to live blog the sonuvagun, but I figure James is owed a courtesy link. He read along the whole night, so go give James at North of Wrigley Field a read....

Oscar Thoughts: Well, shit. It's 11:20

Oscar Thoughts: Well, shit. It's 11:20

Tom Hanks' introduction and presentation of the Best Director oscar reminded me of Harrison Ford a couple years back. Both came out looking lightly disheveled, seeming slightly annoyed. Both got through the intros and presentations in less than a minute and a half.

It's getting late. These guys wanna go drink (more).


Jack Nicholson's out. He's not in a hurry. He knows that the alcohol will be there when he does. Because nobody, but nobody, is gonna drink Jack's stuff. I mean, dude's got the stroke to sit next to Keira Knightley. Whoever was sitting there before then? Already buried under the Staples Center.

Nobody rushes Jack Nicholson to a party. Because Jack Nicholson is the Party.


Holy Shit. Crash won. It was my late afternoon prediction.

I saw Crash. There were performances in Crash (Sandra Bullock was surprisingly good, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito and Terrence Howard also performed strongly) I liked very, very much.

There were also parts (Ryan Philippe and Don Cheadle, in what I thought was a trite, simplistic performance on his part), that I hated.

On the whole, I thought Crash was a mixed bag of performances.

And for an ensemble piece, I don't know that it gelled like it could (and should) have.

The script is decent. A bit short-sighted, I think.

But it has good dialogue. Great, even.

But the movie itself is just likeable. I don't know that I'll ever think of it as one of the great ones.

Of course, my perceptions may change over time.

Do you think the backlash got to Brokeback Mountain?


Good show tonight. Very lighthearted. I think Jon Stewart brought a lot of that.

I didn't feel the taint of Bruce Vilanche's hackery.

(Jeebus. If ever there were a line to be taken out of context for this blog, it is the phrase "I didn't feel the taint of Bruce Vilanche...")


Anyway. I didn't mean to live blog this thing. Just didn't have anything better to do tonight. I'd planned on writing as I watched. Turns out I did; just not what I'd intended to write....

Oscar Thoughts: Judi Dench

Oscar Thoughts: Best Actress

Reese Witherspoon is scary good in Walk the Line. And the clip the Oscar people showed, where she and Joaquin Phoenix are singing, and she, as June Carter, is simultaneously trying to make a good show for the audience while being furious at Johnny for making her sing the song she'd made famous with Carl Perkins...Good stuff.

Oscar Thoughts: Best Actor

Oscar Thoughts: Best Actor

I'm rooting for Joaquin Phoenix. Because I was so unsure about him playing Johnny Cash (even if Cash personally approved). And he changed my mind so completely that I now can't imagine anybody else portraying Johnny.

Ah well.

Hoffman is great in Capote. And it's like Clooney do you compare art?

Still, I'll end up watching Walk the Line a few more times in my life. I'll never need to see Capote again, as great as it is....

Oscar Thoughts: In Memoriam

Oscar Thoughts: In Memoriam

There is a very morbid part of me that looks forward to the "In Memoriam" sections of these awards shows. You know, the bit of time they always take to look back at all the people in their field who've passed on in the previous year.

Not looking necessarily because I'm keeping a scorecard, or anything.

And not looking forward in the sense of "OohBoy! Let's see who's kicked the bucket!"

I don't know what it is. But I always make sure to watch this part of the show, every year.

Oscar Thoughts: Dukes of Hazzard

Oscar Thoughts: Dukes of Hazzard

I missed about 10 minutes of the Oscars. The Dukes of Hazzard Reunion movie is in CMT. I learned that in the time they were away from Hazzard County, somebody let chickens roost in the General Lee. I hope Bo and Luke kill somebody because of it.

Oscar Thought: Robert Altman

Oscar Thought: Robert Altman

I love M*A*S*H and Short Cuts. McCabe and Mrs. Miller is also gret, and Nashville is one of those that I still can't get my head around no matter how many times I watch it.

But I was still gratified to see a clip of Popeye in the retrospective montage of his work. Yeah, it's fluff compared to the rest of the body of his work, but I think it best exemplifies something he does that few other directors do well: He creates a world, and a series of rules that govern everything in that world. He creates an environment.

The whole world of Sweet Haven, in the movie, is governed not only by a law of physics, but a law of morality that pervades everything through the movie. I like the creation of an environment, using little more than a cast who understands and believes in it....

Popeye is a human cartoon. And I'm probably on the short list of people who like Popeye. But I maintain that's it's terribly underrated, and I was afraid that it wouldn't get mentioned.

The shot of Robin Williams as Popeye falling into the water at least acknowledges it.

Oscar Thought: Jack

Oscar Thought: Jack

Did Jack Nicholson get to pick where he sits?

Or did he just boot whomever was sitting next to Keira Knightley out of the seat so he could sit there, next to her?

I mean, it's great to be Jack Nicholson, but that's some kinds of stroke to pull off the Keira Coup.

I've never wanted to be Jack Nicholson any more than I do now.

And keep in mind, I've spent a great deal of my life wanting to be Jack Nicholson.

Oscar Thoughts: When will I quit?

Oscar Thoughts: When will I quit?

Dude, I realize I'm in the minority when I say I liked Day After Tomorrow.

But then, I like disaster movies.

But in the whole piece about "Movies that Changed our Consciousness," or whatever it was Samuel L. Jackson introduced, we go from greats like To Kill a Mockingbird, All the President's Men and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner to Day After Tomorrow.

It's just one of those things that said One of these things is Not Like the Other!

That, or the director/producer is a climate-change freak.

Oscar Thoughts: Torn

Oscar Thoughts: Torn

You know, I was never really psyched about seeing that March of the Penguins movie.

And then I learned tonight that Morgan "Classy...No Tie" Freeman narrates. Dude's awesome. Even when getting tongue-tied around the word "demonstrative," he's cooler than I could ever think of being.

Makes me want to see a movie about penguins.

And then those French dudes got up there and whistled into the microphone and said something like "that's penguin for thank you."

(I don't know what they said, because when he started that inane whistling, I went temporarily insane and spilled my coffee on myself.)

Remember in Big Lebowski, when the Dude shows up at Maude's, and she reveals that the nihilists were a techno-band, but the artiste friend is there at Maude's, and he drives the Dude crazy? Those French guys remind me of that guy.

(The preceding was perhaps the single most incoherent statement ever made on this blog--and that's saying something!!!!)

Oscar Thoughts: Annoyance

Oscar Thought: the Sonic Commercial

Oscar Thought: the Sonic Commercial

I hope my brother-in-law watched the Oscars tonight, and saw the Sonic commercial, and the credits that lists the two Sonic guys' names, Pete and TJ.

The whole debate as to whether they are a couple is still up in the air. They aren't, but I've decided, so what if they are?

More Thoughts on the Oscars

More Thoughts on the Oscars

I don't want to turn this into a live-blogging or anything, but a couple more thoughts:

Funny tonight:

I liked the opening, with Steve Martin and his kids; with David Letterman and Steve Martin's kids (the dog was wearing a silver wig, too). I really liked the bit with Mel Gibson--he's got a lot of the Tom Hanks thing going on. Gibson's good physically as a comedian, too, but he doesn't do much comedy at all.

Ben Stiller inhabits that strange and indefinable borderland between funny and not funny, for me. He tries so hard, and I think that's half the problem. He made me smile tonight.

Steve Carrell and Will Ferrell, also good.

In fact, I think the weakest link so far tonight has been Jon Stewart, who's seemed uncomfortable and out of place (although that bit about Hollywood and L.A. being a moral-free hellhole, and the bumper speech about Scientology both got me to smile.)

A Thought or two on the Oscars

A Thought or two on the Oscars

That bit with Tom Hanks and the Oscar acceptance speech underlined something for Mr. Hanks that's been bugging me for years.

Hanks is absolutely one of the best and most underrated physical comedians of his or any other generation. He manages to make his whole person work toward the joke without getting overly hammy and outstriding the joke. He's aware of the fact that a little ham is necessary, but it has to be kept within reason. No motion is wasted, and every move is within the confines of whatever joke he's telling.

He's cognizant of the fact that body language, in comedy, is at least as important as verbal cues. You have to be comfortable, and adaptable, with comedy. Relaxed. I think it's safe to say that the best screen comedian has to be comfortable and at ease with themselves, as well.

I'm not sure exactly what my point here is, except that Tom Hanks is a gifted, easy comedian. And I think it's a shame that he doesn't do more big screen comedy. The remake of Ladykillers was a nice start, I thought. He was good in Ladykillers. Excellently ghoulish. It's a shame that the rest of the movie was such a turd.

I hope that one hasn't turned Hanks (and whomever helps him in his role decisions) away from comedy for long. Lord knows the 90's, when he got all dramatic for years and years, was a long time in between.

And don't get me wrong. I like the dramatic Tom Hanks. I liked Forrest Gump. I liked Philadelphia. Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies.

But I also like the Tom Hanks that you see in A League of their Own, and Big. I like the SNL Tom Hanks. I like the Tom Hanks we saw in tonight's Oscar Speech Vignette.u

Natalie Portman Video

Natalie Portman Video

Holy shit. I just laughed myself hoarse over the Natalie Portman rap from SNL. Watch for the Amidala-dressed girl who wants an autograph, and what happens in the five seconds right after that....

In which I fell a tree

In which I fell a tree

I cut down a tree yesterday. With an axe, even. No chainsaws. The chainsaw was out of commission. So I cut the tree down with an axe. Got a good edge on it. Got some good rope, to make sure the tree fell the right way. Took the axe to it.

It was a cedar. So it's not like I'm felling an oak or a gnarled up hickory with my hands. Cedars a softer wood.

But it was a nice, hardy, fifty-foot tree. The folks wanted its trunk. Who knows what for. Probably to use as totem, to spite the forest.

So, the chainsaw was out of commission, but I felt manly. I could have waited for the chainsaw. But more than anything, I wanted to see if I could do it.

People used to do this all the time. Entire forests have been felled by men with axes across this country, continent, and across the world.

Abraham Lincoln used to do it. He was a badass, Lincoln was. You'd have to be a badass to wear a beard with no moustache.

Now, I can't claim that I come anywhere close to the Great Emancipator's levels of badassednous (or is it badassery, or perhaps badassitude?). But the tree did come down, thanks to me and my trusty axe. Chopped it down.

I was pleased to find that I could do it. Without hurting myself, anybody else, or having the sumbitch fall on an electrical powerline.

Lincoln didn't have to worry about electrical powerlines. I tend to think that puts an extra mark, in my personal Book of Badass.

On the flip side, I'll say that nothing takes away from your badassitude like having to explain to the Electric Company just why you and all your neighbors are out of power.

Saying "I wanted to prove my badassitude by killing this tree" just doesn't cut it.

There are repercussions. I neglected to think to wear gloves, so I managed to raise a couple of world class blisters. And today, my side feels like, I've been swinging a heavy axe like baseball bat, over and over again.

See, I'm used to splitting logs for a firestove, swinging the axe in an overhead motion, where the weight of the axe does the bulk of the work. Swinging side to side, that's a horse of a different color. So, swinging the axe like I did yesterday, and in a manner as inexperienced as I was, using muscles that I've used all of twice in the 21st century (usually when I'm reaching behind me to grab the toilet paper off the back of the toilet), has left me creaking and grunting like an oldster every time I get up out of a chair.

Now, I'm not hurting as bad as when Larry and Balki went to the exercise club.

But then, I'm at least as much a badass as Larry Appleton.

Not Balki. Balki Bartokomous was The Badass.

But Larry would fold like a paper towel before he could fell a tree, that lipless freak.

Link Dump

Link Dump

I slept something like 11 hours last night. Which is way too much. It feels like somebody went and packed my head with cotton, or maybe silly putty.

Here are a few things I've read the past couple of days that I enjoyed:

Fark had a link to a variation on the Kevin Bacon game that I've played already when I was bored. I like the variation of trying to link a movie in the bottom 10 on IMDB's list to a movie on the top 10.


How about a bit of genius that makes me self-conscious about the bullshit I've been posting here, lately? Bad News Hughes and the Webelo Camp story will do that trick. My only memories of Webelo camp are of a kid named Lance eating something he was allergic to and swelling up like a balloon. I don't remember if it was Webelo camp where another kid named Jeremy screamed frantically at the top of his lungs for the scout leader from the bathroom because a tick was clamped onto his pecker, but for the purposes of this link, we'll just say so.


Gooseneck's moved digs and changed his focus to a new blog, The Umpire....


Here's a video of a live-action Simpsons opening. Good stuff. I like the little touches. The twins playing flute next to Lisa...the Barney Gumble guy Bart passes is cracks me up that they managed to get the crack of Homer's ass as he runs from the car.

When you're through with that, scroll on down to the mashup of Requiem For a Dream and Toy Story 2, which is perhaps even better....

Barry at Inn of the Last Home had the link.

Friday, March 03, 2006



Go read Bill's post on Webster.

Just thinking out loud

Just thinking out loud.

I would like to see the fashion world take a turn back to capes. I think with the 21st century technology we have at our disposal, we could do something about the whole problem you have when wearing capes--you know, getting them caught in car doors, or very nearly strangling yourself when you sit on them and lean forward.

I'm thinking we have the tools and the talent--let's get to work on this. Make a no-strangling/No-Catching-In-Doors cape for the 21st century.

I think if we had the technology in place, capes would become very big.

We can do this. We can make it so that a guy who wears a cape is not just the focus of a Seinfeld episode.

If not capes, I would like cloaks to come into high esteem in the public market. If only to bring the price down. Higher demand breeds competition to produce more cloaks at more competitive prices. I would like a nice cloak, but I don't want to have to pay an arm and a leg for it.

Now correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm thinking that the difference between a cloak and a cape is whether something covers the head. Cape? No head covering. A proper cloak, in my mind, should have a hood, or at least a high back Dr. Strange collar.

What about robes? Like a Jedi robe. I could get down even with a Jedi robe. It's got a hood. Sleeves, too. Yeah, I could do a Jedi robe, too.

Just thinking out loud.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Third Person Thursday

Third Person Thursday

Tommy's big dumb ass ended up working a double yesterday. He opened the sumbitch up, and he closed her the hell down.

So, his mind's clearly gone. Definitely not up to the point where he can make sound, rational decisions. And surely not up to the task of writing a blog, today.
He's not even sure he can decide what he wants for breakfast. He's got some leftover barbecue, but by damn he remembers he has cantaloupe in the fridge, and he's thinking a bagel and a hunk of cantaloupe might hit the spot right now.

Just know that if his mind were right...well, as right as it ever is...he would give you this piece of advice:

Say No to Spiders building webs and/or nests in your shoes.

Even if it's a little spider. Knock that sumbitch out of your shoe, Tommy says. You don't have to kill it, if you don't feel comfortable with the idea of murder in the name of spider-free shoes. But that free-loading arachnid shouldn't be allowed to live in your shoe.

He'll also say this: if the spider is one of those big scary-looking wolf spiders with the eyes you can see from across the room, the ones that grow as big as the palm of your hand, if they're left to their own devices, you should probably kill it. It wouldn't hurt to scream a battle cry, or some other form of spiritual mantra as you do it. Something that big has got to have a soul, and intelligence enough to fashion some form of defense. And something that scary looking, might just have it in its means to get inside your body, perhaps taking over your consciousness, and at the very least laying its eggs inside your sinus cavities.

But Tommy digresses....

He'll close all this mumbo jumbo with this: Tommy's all for harmony, and living with nature. But he believes that you have to draw the line somewhere. He can't say for certain where the line is, and he admits that the line is probably different for everybody. But if he knows one thing, it is that unless "spiders building nests in your shoes" falls on the "no fuckin' way" side of the ledger, he's not even sure he wants to know you. He's sure that he would not want to share a house, condominium or apartment with you. Because spiders, once you give them one set of shoes, just want all the shoes, and they don't differentiate between those who are Pro-Spider-in-shoes and Anti-Spider-in-Shoes.