Sunday, March 30, 2008

A few lists...

A few lists...

In honor of the baseball season, which starts tonight, (or last Tuesday, or tomorrow, depending on how sacred your cows are on this particular issue)...a few lists:

My favorite baseball movies:

1. Field of Dreams
2. The Natural
3. A League of Their Own
4. Major League
5. Bad News Bears
6. Pride of the Yankees
7. 61*

It's not to say I don't like Bull Durham, which makes its way up most people's lists. It's a quality flick. I've just never needed to watch it.

Interesting maybe that 2 Yankee movies find their way up high on the list.

My favorite baseball player names:

1. Stubby Clapp
2. Dummy Hoy
3. Enos Slaughter
4. Emil Brown

My Picks for the American League in 2008

A.L. East: Boston
A.L. Central: Cleveland
A.L. West: Anaheim
A.L. Wild Card: Detroit
A.L. Pennant Winner: Cleveland
A.L. MVP: Manny Ramirez
A.L. Cy Young: C.C. Sabathia

Cleveland's just got the hosses on the mound, with enough bats to finish things.

Seattle could futz things up for a lot of people. They could make things very interesting for Anaheim.

My Picks for the National League in 2008

N.L. East: New York
N.L. Central...Ummm...See Below....
N.L. West: San Diego
N.L. Wild Card: Milwaukee
N.L. MVP: Prince Fielder
N.L. Cy Young: Z

Ummm...this whole baseball thing makes me superstitious.

Yeah. I think the Cubs will win the Central.

Not because I think they're any especially great shakes.

They're solid. And it's not a strong division.


N.L. Pennant Winner: New York

Tommy's World Series Pick

Indians over Mets in 6 games.

Number of Times Tommy's been right with his picks

I gots a remarkable 38% average.

Which might win me the batting crown.

But picking winners this early in the season is about as important at this point and attractive as picking my nose.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dark Knight

Dark Knight

Not much to say tonight, especially since I can't seem to talk without inserting a size 14 boat in my gob.

Instead, I'll post this:

It's been a long time since I've looked forward to a movie like this.

Maybe since 1989, and the first Tim Burton Batman. (Though I'll grant you that episode I wait was close...)

Part of the reason?

The Joker's maybe my favorite comic character. Ever.

Yet...nobody's ever gotten him right. Not exactly. Not how I've seen him in my head.

Alan Moore got close, in The Killing Joke. Really close.

Frank Miller hit the utter, creeping madness in his takes.

Grant Morrison, Jeph Loeb...even Jim Starlin have have versions that hit somewhere in the margins of what I imagine.

What do I imagine the Joker to be?

I don't know if words suffice...but simply, the scariest, most dangerous sumbitch to come down the pike in clownpaint since Pennywise. The absolute pit of humanity. A monster.

Who somehow manages to have a touch of both humor and empathetic sadness.

But who is simply the most dangerous human being imaginable....

Will the late Heath Ledger be that embodiment?

He's got me excited.

There's a shot in that trailer, right about a minute in. Just after the Joker's voice says "Evening, Commissioner..."

Take a look at the Joker's face.

The light contempt and malevolent boredom in that look....that's the Joker. The ultimate sociopath. Whomever he addresses is a plaything. They do not matter. They are here for his amusement.

Plus, I like the fact that this flick seems to be aiming at the similarities between the Batman and the Joker, both freaks....which was the strength of Alan Moore's takes on the two, and was maybe the defining moment for the two in The Dark Knight Returns....

Yeah. This flick's got me excited.

In which Reality Messes With Me

In which Reality Messes with Me

So, I had a half day. I'm sitting here, unwinding, marveling that I've had a post with 10 (ten) comments!!!! in the past couple of days. I'm watching this morning's Oakland/Boston game on ESPN. It's a phrase that throws me, saying "this morning's game." Not a fan of this Japanese series they're making an every-year thing.

Anyway, scrolling across the bottom of the screen, I see that Astros 2B Kaz Matsui will be out following surgery for anal fissures.

You know. I think this is why I don't want to be in the public eye.

I'd just as soon not have everybody in the world know that the reason I can't come to work is a severe anal fissure. It's just not something I'd want scrolling across the world's TV signals. Seems like a private thing.

Maybe it's a disempowerment thing. I'd rather be the one telling you that I can't come to work because of anal fissures, than have ESPN shouting it to the heavens.

For the record, I was simply encumbered with a nasty case of the flu followed by a rough chest and sinus infection, these last couple of weeks.

No Anal Fissures.

But, if I were to have them, I think you'd have to consider me "Doubtful."

Acuff; D (Anal Fissures).

As it is, I am simply Day-to-Day.

The antibiotics have left me slighty irregular. The line should read:

Acuff; D2D (Irregular).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wood: My don't time fly

Wood: My don't time fly...

I dunno. Just hit me that this season will be 10 years since Kerry Wood set the world on fire and struck out 20 Houston Astros. 10 years of rooting for the guy despite his seeming constitution of a limp dill pickle. Yeah, there was part of me that was happy to hear he's closing down games (something a lot of us first thought about the time John Smoltz was doing the same for the Braves.)

There's also part of me that's saying he's hurt for the season by Memorial Day.

Such is the life of a Cubs fan.

And then there's the whole deal where I'm a little pissed we let Jon Lieber go in the first place. We couldn't have taken a flyer on the elbow? Let him heal up? He only threw eight hundred innings a year...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A point of clarification

A point of clarification

It is only now, 2 weeks later, that I'm actually starting to feel like myself. It appears that muchly over the last 2 weeks, I've felt like Ernest Borgnine. And, aside from flying in airplanes and eating at Gondolier in the 1980's, there's very little that feels good about being Ernest Borgnine.

Anyway, I made a bitch about other people's children, and I got a response that I call "the generic response." The commentor, when childless Tommy made a comment about how apparently easy it would be to raise kid, responsed with "please have children." I would now like to retort.

No, I don't know what it's like to raise a kid. I'm sure there are no words. That difficultly is kinda why I've blanched at the idea of having kids myself. I can barely take care of myself, much less somebody who's half as potty-trained as I am.

And, it is not that I don't like children. It is that I do not like badly behaved children who are not taken in hand.

If there is one thing I've learned in my time in customer service is that obnoxious parents breed obnoxious children. If you raise children with bad habits...bad habits such as yelling "Mommy Please" at the top of their lungs until they get their way...and do nothing to correct them, then you're not doing your job as a parent. It appears my problem is the parent.

I'm not trying to say that you need to take the kid out and whoop them, though I received my share of them for acting out growing up. I can probably drive through Athens and point out a dozen and a half storefronts where I got a buttwhuppin' or two. (I got a humdinger in the old Kroger, for stealing my sister's cookie.)

I'm not trying to tell you they need a "Time Out," though I got jerked to the car my share of times, too.

I'm trying to tell you that when your children become a disturbance to the community around them, then they need to be taken in hand. However that works. And, if you're able to tune out both the obnoxious yells of your child, and the problems its causing the people around you, not because of the irritation but because you're talking twice as long as you would in line were you not encumbered with a 60 pound sack of yell, then maybe you're the problem and not the kid.

And for the record, finally doing what that kid wants to do? Not the right thing to do. It teaches the troll that if you scream and yell enough, you get your way. Which is precisely the problem in this country and these past two generations, as I see it.

Anyway. No kids for me.

That I know of.

Friday, March 21, 2008



Spent most of the day resting up, watching basketball. Ended up 14/16 in my picks, yesterday. I missed USC/Kansas State and Arizona/West Virginia. I had neither winner advancing beyond the next round, so it's a net loss of two points.

And I nearly fell out of my chair hollering for Belmont, though Duke losing would have been painful for that corner of my bracket....



One of the little things I've noticed during these last couple of weeks, when I've been varying degrees of cruddy: My Patience for Humanity = Nill.

Had to go to the post office yesterday, to take care of some Ebay obligations. There was one window open, and the lady was dragging a small child with her. I'd put the child somewhere around three and a half or four. While the lady took care of her business, the toddler was repeating the phrase "Momma, Please!" over and over and over and over and over....

I didn't even know what she was "Momma, please-ing." I just knew that had I been the three year old, and my folks been the parents, I could have added the Post Office to the long list of public places where I got an attitude adjustment.

Also, can I ask this?

Why don't we, in the year 2008, have everybody trained about how loudly they need the earpiece on their mobile phones set? Do i honestly need to hear both ends? Please, lady in line behind me...we've finally just about gotten everybody trained that the "walkie talkie" feature's pretty obnoxious...could you please catch up with the curve?

Need a subway people around here to correct everybody's manners.

Thursday, March 20, 2008



Well, now that we're (hopefully) on the downside of this cosmic sick that's kept me below the water line for right around two weeks now....

The tournament's started. Not a big basketball fan, but I do dig the tournament....

My final four? North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas and UCLA, with North Carolina upending UCLA to win the whole dealeo.

Didn't pick many upsets, this year. Picked a couple of 10 seeds to go over seven seeds, and an 11 over a six, but I don't have any of those going spectacularly far. Though, I will say that when I filed out my bracket, I was still on a bit of the high of watching Georgia tear through the SEC last weekend, I dwelled a bit on picking them over Xavier.

But, I figure they'll remember that they're Georgia, and they suck, before too long.

Anyway. I've got some O.J. I've got some doctor prescribed Narcotics that make me pretty loopy. Figure I'll nap most of the day, see if I can get this junk licked while I watch the basketball.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anything worth doing....

Anything worth doing....

Remember that sick I got weekend before last? Well, I don't know if it's returned, or if a new sick's come in in the past couple of days. But once again, I find myself feeling rough.

No energy. Coughing. Aching joints and back. Sore Throat. Jaundice. Zombieism. Scattered Damnations. Flaky Skin. Mucus coming from every orifice. Junkyard Dog. Light Fever.

Heading to the doctor in the morning. See if I can get this thing licked. Tired of feeling like shit. This has been going on a week, now. Let's get better....

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Morning....

Monday Morning...

Well, this one was supposed to be my first weekend off in weeks. Cards don't always fall that way. Ended up having to stop on the way back from seeing friends in Murfreesboro to work for a few hours. This morning, your old pal Tommy isn't a big fan of being salaried in the retail game.

On top of that, I had one of those nights where my mind wouldn't stop working long enough for me to get a decent night's sleep.

Posting may be light again this week. That's frustrating...haven't been able to really sit to write for three weeks.

Anyway. I'm around...just not productive outside the salaried game....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A look back....

A look back....

Nope. Tweren't the best week in all history. Wasn't bad, necessarily. Felt like a hammer in a world full of nails. Running at about 90, 95% after last week's bout of the flu. It's that last 5% that just kills ya, though.

Next week should be better.

One would hope.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Just when I thought it was behind me...

Just when I thought it was behind me....

Yeah, I thought I was on the downside.

Then the poopin' started.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ram Man

Ram Man

I wanted the Ram Man figure worse than anything, back in the day. The judgment of 31 tends to bow to the judgment of age 7, when it comes to matters of toys. I can't recall exactly, but there seems to have been a mild fascination at the time with butting things with my head. Which might explain some of the brain scramblage to date.



I spent my sick day watching Masters of the Universe toy commercials on Youtube.

Modulok was pretty cool.

Trap Jaw

Trap Jaw

Tri Clops may have been evil, and could see everything.

But Trap Jaw was a badass.

I mean, it's one thing to have a hook, a claw and a laser cannon for a hand. But it's another thing entirely to be able to traverse a zipline using a divet in your head.

Conceivably, I could have a cannon for a hand.

But I do not believe that I could use my head as a means of travel in such a way.

And though the commercial does not portray this, he could rend metal with his jaws.

You could not do that.


In which he has the crud

In which he has the crud...

I believe in jinxes. I know I shouldn't. I should know that most actions do not have a negative impact, and that most especially, words do not lead to ill effects.

I should know that.

But witness my relectance to mention the Chicago Cubs on the pages of this blog. Every time I did last year, they went on to lose two. I stopped mentioning them, and they made the playoffs....go figure....

I made mention on Erica's blog the other evening that I'd managed to avoid the bulk of the galloping crud that's gone around work. I said that I'd carried around a low-grade sinus problem all winter, and theorized that it had protected me from the bigger, badder sicks out there this cold and flu season.

Well, no sooner spoken than broken, I guess the saying says.

That was Wednesday night that I made that statement.

I woke up Thursday feeling a little tired. A little stuffy. The weather changes around these parts like I change socks. I blame that for the bulk of my nasal issues this winter. No the span of 48 hours earlier this week, I went from wearing shorts and a t-shirt to three layers of shirts by the close of business the next night, with a heavy dose of rain gear in between.

But I digress. Thursday. Tired, stuffy. Took some Aleve Sinus, felt fine. Came home from work that night, tired, and starting to feel little stuffy in the chest, too. I was watching Lost that night, and really needing to go to bed, damning Ben Linus and the writers of Lost for keeping me up in the process.

Friday? The hammer fell. I have honestly not felt that bad in a long time. Head. Chest. Achy back and hips. "The flu," I said.

I went in to work, hoping that I could walk it off. To no avail. I left early. Came home, slept. Got up, ate half a bowl of chili, and slept for eleven hours.

Saturday morning, I was no better.

I did the unthinkable.

For the first time in about three years, I tried to call in. I knew the chances of there being coverage were slight. I told my boss that if there was no other way, I could come in, just not to expect much out of me. They were able to re-arrange schedules so that I worked a 7 hour shift instead of a 10...which might sound like a bear (and in some ways, was), but feeling like I did, seven is much less than ten. Add an hour's drive time to that, and it made a world of difference.

I did actually get stuff accomplished at work. Sit down work. Paperwork. The stuff I usually lag behind on, simply because I hate sitting to do it.

Was able to trade shifts for today. Which is good, because I was scheduled to open after closing....a rough turn, made even rougher when you realize the time changed last night. Feeling like I did, coming back in on four hours sleep just wasn't an option.

I slept 10 hours. Feel some better this morning. The aches aren't as bad, and my chest doesn't burn with every breath. Still can't breathe, and I've got a headache that pounds if I turn my head the wrong way too quickly. But, I think I'm on the downside.

Which is good. A candyass like me can't be spending this much time sick.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stupid Lost

Stupid Lost

I sit here tonight, desperate in my hope that this fatigue is just that, and not the onset of whatever creeping crud is wandering through my work. The scratchiness of my throat has me freebasing Zicam to ward off the demons of illness.

I know I should be asleep. I gotta get up at 5:30. I need to go to bed.

Stupid Ben Linus and his cliffhanger commercial break pronouncements. Dammit. Ben is the most evil man alive.

Edit: Dang....Juliette is a badass....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

On Sibling Rivalry

On Sibling Rivalry

"That donkey is such a bad influence on you..." ----Marge Simpson

I am 31 years old. I reckon that's the first thing I need to say. I'm 31 years old, and am now well past that foggy border I crossed way back when into adulthood. It's an intangible thing to know, but I suppose that it could be said with relative ease that at this point, "I should know better."

And I am losing weight. I should also mention that. It wasn't a New Year's Resolution, per se, but it coincided with a couple minor life events around that time, that I decided once again to make a real effort at getting myself into a normal-sized pair of britches. I say, with a real fear of jinxing such things, that things have been going well, two months in. I've stayed away from scales, as such things vex me, when the result is not exactly what I want it to be, but I can tell you that I'm down a belt-loop, and almost two.

I ate dinner with my sister and brother-in-law tonight. We live about an hour apart, and we met halfway between at a little place I like to call The Outback Steakhouse. Perhaps not a choice in keeping with the previous paragraph, but I consider it a treat.

My sister and I have a relationship that we like to think is unique, but is probably true across the board for most sibling relationships. It is built around mutual irritation, more than anything. But, I realize, more and more, that we are different sides of the same coin. Very often, there is no person on Earth whose thought patterns mirror my own. A scary thought for her, I'm sure. But it is a key to victory, I believe. In this game of mutual antagonism, to irritate her, I must do only that which would irritate me.

Different sides of the same coin...a coin where each side's purpose seems to be pissing the other off. Things are said, things are done, generally for the express purpose of getting a rise out of the other. Usually, these things are kept out of public view.

I've had my shoes tied to wicker furniture. She's had her shoes thrown onto the beams that run across the A-Frame of my parents' house.

She's had every drink she's put down in a conspicuous (or inconspicuous) spot drank or dumped. I've had a strange game played against me, where every bite of food I take has been counted aloud (a contest I found rather more disconcerting than I'd ever have thought).

She has come into my work and told the people who work for me the embarassing things I've done in my life (I think it was her who told the people at a former store I worked at that, in my teenage years, I had a crush on Deanna Troi). Sadly, I was unable to carry through with my plans to have her lose a penny drive at her school, in which the teacher whose class raised the least (or was it most?) pennies got slimed. I'd have gladly paid for the privelege of sliming her myself.

Mindless games are played. There is a competition called "The Game of Hello." In it, the first person to break from saying "Hello" once a telephone conversation begins, loses. Mindless, yes. Does it do anything to break our resolve to defeat the other? Tonight, I heard my brother-in-law, presumably unaware that a contest was underway, tell my sister "Just hang up if there's nobody there."

I guess my point is that there is competition. Usually, such things are not contested in public view. Tonight, though, was a horse of a completely different color, sex and species.

Dinner was fun. I enjoy the Alice Springs Chicken from The Outback. There is nothing like ruining a streak of healthy eating by eating a chicken breast smothered with bacon, sauteed mushrooms and two kinds of cheese. Still, I had a salad and drank unsweetened tea, so I think I'm okay for today....

There was talk of how to get a rise out of me against my brother-in-law. My sister's ploy was to say to me about my brother-in-law: "He beats me." His response, to me: "Only when she says something bad about you."

As an aside, let me mention that our waiter had the very best pompadour in all the restaurant. Indeed, it may have been the best pomp on this side of the state. If I could pull anything off besides the White Man's Afro, I'd like to think I could pull off a pretty fly pomp. But not nearly so fly as Steve the Outback Waiter's.

The meal ended. We paid our bills. We walked outside, and began the trek to our respective vehicles. We'd parked near each other, at the back of the restaurant. Jeff and I began walking one way. My sister stated that she was going to go the other way, around the opposite side of the restaurant.

There are many subtle clues as to when "the game is on." Sometimes, I miss them, much to my pain and chagrine. Sometimes, she does.

But when we both realize it...

So. If you were in attendance for the great race at The Outback Steakhouse in Cleveland, Tennessee, I'm sure it was the complete opposite of A Thing of Beauty.

"When I saw you pull up your pants, I knew what you were doing," April told me, at the finish of the race.

Yep. I'm 31. She's 27. And each of us on opposite sides of the Steakhouse, we were running to the back of the restaurant, trying to get to the cars first.

I mentioned that I'm losing weight. I don't say that to say "Hooray Me!" because such a thing would tend to jinx me. I say that, to say this: My pants don't fit the same as they once did. Indeed, being a bigger feller with bigger gut than ass, sometimes, the pants make their way south of the equator a little more than I'd like. The effect is even more pronounced when you're wearing a pair that's possibly a size or two too big.

I didn't get a good look at the couple in the car, waiting by the take-out door. My brother-in-law did, though. Their look of confused, momentary concern was a thing of beauty, he said. Come to think of it, seeing a 6'4" dude holding up his pants as he makes a sprint for the back of the restaurant would be a concern as well. We're not quite into Dave Attel "naked guy running down the street" territory, but it's getting there.

Which is not to say that the view on the otherside of the eatery was any less entertaining. My sister was carrying a purse and two to-go boxes, and not wearing shoes meant for running.

More power to her, I guess. She won.

I'll call a spade a spade. She won this one.

But there will always be competition.

When I am 83, and she is 79, there will be some manner of mindless competition. If anything, it'll be worse. At 83, I'm liable to break a hip racing to the car.

Just watch it, is all I'm saying. Bad things happen when we get together.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Spread the Virus

Spread the Virus

This is one of the songs my work plays over its in-store radio. I don't know popular music. Don't listen to it regularly. That's not to say there's not interesting or creative music out there, and that I'm not excited when I hear it. It's more to say that there's a lot of crap out there on radio.

Especially the local radio here in East Tennessee. Is it in Tennessee's constitution that you can't have a radio station unless you have every Steve Miller CD in your library? What's that about?

I listen to my XM 99% of the time, when I listen to my radio. There's a lot of good stuff there, but there's an equal amount of crap. I tend to find music retroactively, based on recommendations, more often than not. As an example, I recently hit upon The Damned, thanks to Henry Rollins at his recently Knoxville speaking engagement....

Anyway...the only other real exposure to music i have on a day to day basis is through my store's in store radio.

Generally, this is music designed to make you happy, yet make you slow down slightly , so that you'll buy more.

If you listen to it for eight or nine (or 12 or 13) hours a day, I'm fairly sure there's a good chance that you'll contract brain cancer...or maybe spina bifida, or a really bad case of the runs....

But, it's all poppy, catchy (kitschy?) junk that gets stuck in your head.

I've wanted to hunt down artists for getting junk stuck in my head. Paul McCartney and that "Everybody's gonna dance tonight" song? That was trapped in my head for weeks.

There's a remake of "Don't Dream It's Over" that some chick's singing, and it's bad for it, too.

Thank God for Google, is all I gotta say. Because my co-workers musical knowledge is as bad (if not worse) than mine. I'll ask somebody "who sings this?" and they'll shrug.

Those people are no help.

But if I can manage to remember a snippet of a lyric (or even find the wherewithal to write such a thing down), Google will let me know what pop item I've missed out on....

Tonight, it's this one. It's been in my head for two days. Now, I hope it is in yours.

Monday, March 03, 2008

It is to laugh...

It is to laugh...

Humorous Pictures

A sobering thought

A Sobering Thought

Morgan Freeman is most likely not nearly as cool in real life as I imagine him to be.