Friday, February 28, 2003

This is the part where I talk all Happy

I've divided today's post into two pieces. You can skip the next entry, where all I do is moan about my job.

Woe is Me.

Here's the part where I'm happy.


I'm on AOL, and I've stumbled across the Radio AOL button. I'm really digging the Comedy Corner. It's clean comedy for the whole family. Allan Sherman is big, as are pieces from Mel Brooks comedies. Had some Richard Pryor, though. Little bit of Bob Newhart. Sinbad. Nothing that's made me fall on the floor. But given my shoddy equilibrium....

The One Hit Wonders section is great too. Anyplace where you can here Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time" out of the blue, right after "Tarzan Boy" has just gone off, and before that Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back." Fantastic.

Other good things:

Spring Baseball has started. The Real Thing's just a month away.

Alright. The next post is just me bitching.
Here's the part where I gripe

It's like yesterday's crappy day never ended.

Part of it is that I didn't sleep last night. I did that thing where I wake up to pee at 3 in the morning, and then can't get back to sleep, because I'm thinking of something that happened at recess one day in the third grade.

Part of it was also that we have had almost literally no sunshine here in Middle Tennessee for something like 16 days. They said on WSMV that we've had something like 2.5 hours of sunshine in that time. Talk about your seasonal dysfunction.

I'm tired of waking up and looking outside, seeing the ground covered with puddles and the sky nothing but that pale gray color that I've come to associate with winters in Nashville. I'm tired of working in it. I'm tired of having to walk places in it. I just want to feel a little sun on my face. That's all.

The sun may shine a little in the morning. But more rain's expected over tomorrow afternoon and Sunday.


And apparently I've been "in a mood" at work the last three days. Well...I'm off for six days, and they change everything while I'm gone. My buddy Matt gave me some info on a place up in Nashville. It does scoring on school achievement tests, or something along those lines. I don't know if they're hiring, but it's worth checking. I'm tired of working in customer service. More than that, I'm tired of working in an environment where goals are so fluid and vaguely defined, and where the consequences for failing in those vaguely and ill-communicated goals are not so much severe as they are petty and snide.

If I'm going to work in an environment where I'm treated like crap when I fail in what is expected of me, I would at least like that expectation to be quantifiable. My manager told me that overall I'm doing "pretty good" as far as my job performance, but that there are a couple of issues she'd like to bring up with me. And when I asked what those issues were, I was told that we'd discuss it later.

I'm home now. The discussion was apparently had without me.

Kind of like how they make decisions concerning what I do, too.

I try not to bitch about my job to people anymore. There's nothing so boring as somebody complaining about their job. So I'll stop. Just know that more than anything, I'm sorting out my thoughts.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

It was just a damned crappy day today. Neither person or object would cooperate. It's like the Lord had a grudge.

And I was feeling pretty down. And I saw a link to LT. Smash.

Here's a guy who's putting it on the line. He believes in what he's doing, enough to die for it. It's too easy to turn folks like this into a nameless, faceless mass. His site really impressed and surprised me. It reminded me that maybe today wasn't so shitty after all, if there's somebody out there making sure I'm here to have it.

Go to his site and thank him. Even if you don't agree with the war effort, go thank him. He's willing to die for your ass, if need be.

Thank him. That's an order.
And, it's a sad day in the neighborhood.

I think it was Fred Rogers who taught me the concept of "other worlds." There was his, and then there was the world of King Friday.

My favorites episodes of Mr. Rogers were the ones where they met Lou Ferrigno, and he showed Fred and the kids at home how he turned into the Incredible Hulk. I also liked the one where they met the lady who played the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.
Right Here there an article about Zell Miller's complaint against the planned "Real Beverly Hillbillies" reality show that is forthcoming on CBS.

Without commenting on how I was as sucked in as anybody by the first couple of Survivors and how I watched all three season of Tough Enough on MTV, I'll say first, that I'm terribly tired of reality television. As a fiction writer myself, I feel that if television's run out of ideas, call me.

And I don't want much else to do with this planned Hillbilly show. I'm not personally offended by the depiction of Poor White Trash/Hillbillies on National Television.

I will ask why, in our age of political correctness, is it still alright to point to the southern white male and laugh at his accent and mannerisms, but it's not okay to say a black person really likes watermelon and fried chicken, or that a Jewish person is really really cheap?

Still, it's hard to sympathize when the man issuing the complaint is a white guy who's worth upwards of a couple of million.
The Veterans' Committee voted nobody on their ballot into the Hall of Fame. Looking at things, there were a couple of names that popped out at me as having deserved consideration: Gil Hodges and Ron Santo.

The problem with Veterans consideration is that the people they're considering stopped playing (in some cases) years before I was born, so I never had a chance to see any of them play. I have to compare numbers, more than anything, and rely upon word of mouth and the written word to form my opinions.

Still, nobody got in. I don't see it as an egregious error. Nothing like when Ryno was shafted earlier this year.

Ron Santo, by the way, is a bit of an arrogant, condescending sonofagun, along the lines of a Joe Morgan. I've tried listening to the Cubs on the WGN Radio feed, and he'd end up just making me mad. This is, of course, before Major League Baseball turned into the Internet Mafia and started making people pay for the radio feed. But that's a gripe for another day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Yeah, Ryan Adams and Coldplay were featured on tonight's Smallville.

But the nice touch came when it was revealed to Clark that he is, indeed, from Krypton. And in the background, John Williams' "The Planet Krypton" from the 1978 Superman movie played.

In this day and age where we can't go 2 minutes on broadcast TV without hearing something from the Fly-By-Night-Artist-of-the-Second, it was nice to throw something back to its roots, instead of throwing all history away in favor of their own creations.
A couple of random mental meanderings:

Old Friends

Sunday night, I saw Seth Derrick at Ingle's in Athens. I've known Seth since nursery school. One might even go so far as to say we were best friends. Because we set our bedmats next to each other, and because we both took a pee outside when the mood suited us.

We were country kids, and as much as my mother tried to teach otherwise, I thought it was alright to go take a whiz against a tree if I needed to. (To be honest, when I'm at my parent's house, I'll still go out to the edge of the woods) Seth thought similarly. I can remember not being allowed to play because of peeing on the fence or on an unused piece of playground equipment. I was polite enough to do my business away from other children.

Seth and I said our helloes. I think by having seen and spoken to Seth, outside of my family relations, I've known Seth as long as I've known anybody in my whole life. 23 years. A long frigging time. Also, Imogene Sturgill, my old next door neighbor. I probably knew her longer, and I just saw her again at Christmas time. Also at Ingles in Athens, by coincidence.

Reading, and other things that Piss Me Off

I finished Season on the Brink, by the way. I was surprised that Bobby Knight had a negative reaction to Feinstein's book, though maybe I shouldn't have been. I said in a previous post that Knight is an asshole. If he'd admit that he's an asshole and move on, I think he'd be a much happier person. Instead, he seems to believe he carries the banner for higher moral and ethical achievement. And possibly he felt that Feinstein betrayed the trust Knight had bestowed upon him. And if we've learned anything, it's that Bobby Knight digs Loyalty.

I started a couple of books over the weekend. I got a copy of Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at April's store in Chattanooga. I would read pieces of it before I went to sleep. I left that book in Athens, so now I won't get to read it for a while.

Also, I started Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson. I didn't leave it in Athens. So far, I'm in the part where Pudd'nhead gets named Pudd'nhead!!!!!!!!

Peter Boyle get the Best Writing in Television

I don't watch Everybody Loves Raymond too much. It's a funny show, with the exception of Ray Ramano.

Peter Boyle makes the show, for me.

"Who the Hell made you Prayer Sheriff?"

'Nuff said.

Bill says something smart

Over here, about reading. I stick to the newspaper when I'm at work. It's been suggested far too many times that I should try reading the Bible instead.

A chronicle of my merry adventures in the Bible Belt:

Once, I was reading Bully for Brontosaurus by Stephen Jay Gould in the breakroom. Holy Rollers #1 and #2 wander into the room. And the first word out of Holy Roller #1 as she noticed what I read was about how there was no such thing as dinosaurs, because they weren't in Eden, blabbity, blabbity, the world is 6,000 years old....

And it was suggested by Holy Roller #2 I should try reading the Bible.

(I should say that I have read the Bible. All of it. Although I fudged a bit in the early Old Testement, where they just recite lineage).

I said to Holy Roller #1 that I would read the Bible if she would read the Gould book.

"Nope," she said. "You won't trick me that way."

Except, what she meant was: Nope, Satan can't trick me that way.

But I digress.

But not digest. That pizza I had for supper is sticking hard.

The Water Plan

For a little while, I'm not drinking anything but water. No particular reason.

Also, I'm eating nothing but salad.

And sleeping 19 hours a day.

And chasing chickens, to speed up my legs.

And fighting Carl Weathers. Because he thinks I'm a chump.


Monday, February 24, 2003

There's a hardware store in Athens, TN that's decided to switch over to classic cars. They'd always sold stuff like that, but now they'll be doing classic cars and restoration gear full time. They decided to liquidate the other part of their inventory. So everything was 50% off.

Here's what I was able to salvage:

1 box 1989 Panini MLB Stickers. They go in an album. I'll go on EBay to see if I can find the album. So far, I've gotten so many Teddy Higuera and Larry Sheets stickers that I think I'll wallpaper my apartment with them.

1 collapsable trench digger. For the digging of trenches. Keeps me safe.

1 Ready-to-Eat Meal (Beef Patty). In case I'm trapped, I'll be okay through lunch.

And it was all half-price!!!!!!!!


And I was going to get a Mark Martin NASCAR air freshener. But I couldn't figure out if the smell was something pleasant, or if it would make my truck smell like Mark Martin. So I put it back.
The game ended because of a pre-arranged time limit. Makes sense. The probably should have announced that. It was pretty cool, though.

Read an article here.
System Maintainence. Pshaw! I had a consecutive posting streak going (nothing is worth doing if you can't obsess about it), and because they took their server down last night to upgrade, I wasn't able to write my little grunts down.

Yesterday, Joe Thomas (henceforth known as Joebo), Steven and I watched a LOT of baseball. A while back, I'd said I'd come visit. A couple of things had to make me rearrange my visit, but it worked out good, because instead of staring at each other over the course of a couple of days, Joe and I watch Tennessee's baseball team play Bowling Green State University.

It doesn't do anything but rain anymore. As such, they played two on Sunday. We got to Lindsey Nelson stadium around 11:30, with the games scheduled to start at 12. And we were there for the next six+ hours.

But it's all good. I'd been needing a baseball fix. I've talked about this period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the Baseball season really sucks. And I'm usually busy during MTSU's games.

Probably the most interesting thing (besides the enlightening conversation the guys behind us had about everything except baseball) was how the second game ended. Top of the eighth, one out. A little bloop pop fell between the pitcher and third baseman. A lot of people were hollering infield fly, but it didn't look eminently catchable. It was put right in between them, and it looked that the third baseman had a chance, but he didn't get to it easily.

To my mind, a lot of people screwed up. It should have been a force at third. They could easily have turned two. But somehow, the runner on second stayed on second, and the runner from the plate hit first, which trapped the runner from first between the two bases. They got him in a run down.

Tennessee's catcher (whose name: Javi Herrera--is cool) then was asking questions of the home plate umpire. Minor chaos ensued. There was arguing. An additional runner was called out. It was never really indicated whom--though it was the third out. The Bowling Green coach went a little crazy, though he threw no bases. And then nobody came out on the field. And the game was over.

It's a long bus ride back to Ohio, on a Sunday night.


Also, a list of grievances, mostly against Joe and Steven:

1. Joebo's an instigator. (Hit Tommy, Steven).
2. Steven's a facilitator. Steven hits me too much.
3. He also put popcorn in the hood of my sweatshirt.

Joebo also took us to a cool little coffee bar/bar. It serves a lot of coffee (it's called Cup of Joe) and also beer. I liked it a lot. Normally, bars are too loud for my tastes. If it's not a band playing, it's a jukebox or stereo playing really loud. It was pretty laid back inside. Really cool.

Also cool is Joe's apartment, which has an empty lot out his front door. Where he can throw his apple cores and other vegetable and fruit detritus. You have no idea how cool that is to me.

Or maybe you do.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Texas Tech's Nick Valdez has left the basketball team, and coach Bobby Knight.

Seems he missed a team breakfast and a mandatory walkthrough, and was suspended one game for it. Since then, he hasn't attended any team meetings or practices, and I guess it's official that he's left the team.

It's coincidental, I suppose, that I'm reading John Feinstein's Season on the Brink. What I admire about the book is that while the writer seems to admire Knight in a way, he doesn't gloss over Knight's behavior. However, he does seem to try to justify it through explanation. At some point, you have to stop and say "This guy's a bit of an asshole and he's got the leeway to be such simply because he's a bigger bully and a better talker than everything."

However. I've always kind of followed Knight, if only from the perspective of a wrestling fan. He's an over-the-top personality whose emotions are easily relayed and understood by a mass audience. And I've also recognized a couple of things:

What I've learned is that he's a stickler for two things: Loyalty, and submission. And what it sounds like to me is that Mr. Valdez is a feller who wants respect before he's earned it. And if I've learned anything by reading Feinstein's work is that Knight doesn't show respect in the way the world has come to believe respect should be shown. And he doesn't at all show respect before you've earned it. And there are a lot of little things that you can do to lose that respect.

Here's what I think happened. See, Valdez' father complained to a Texas newspaper that his son was set up to miss the morning breakfast and walkthrough by not getting his customary wakeup call. Wakeup call? What kind of pampered sunofagun gets a wakeup call every morning? He can't be expected to wake up on time, on his own? He's not disciplined enough? And his father has the gall to complain about this in the public? It's Bobby Knight's fault that his boy isn't responsible enough to wake up and get where he needs to be on his own. In my mind, if you're in college, you should have the wherewithal to be able to do that on your own.

This is how my mind works: If I know what a stickler Coach Knight is for this junk, instead of waiting each morning for a wakeup call, I'd have at least one alarm clock to wake me up on my own, and probably two, just so I wouldn't have to depend on somebody else when it's my butt that's gonna be in the targets when the poopoo hits the fan.

His father says his son was set up? Guess what? He's right.

I have no doubt that because of poor play, Knight decided that Valdez shouldn't get a wake up call. Why? Maybe to be an asshole. But mostly, I'd say it's to prove a point. That he felt Valdez wasn't giving proper attention (and loyalty) to the team, and as such wasn't worthy of such attention from the team in return.

More than anything, Bobby Knight considers himself a teacher. And I'd say he was simply trying to teach Valdez something. Responsibility, perhaps? That you're as responsible for yourself as you are for the team. And Valdez proved he wasn't responsible. And he got in trouble.

And he wasn't getting the respect he deserved.

Bobby Knight's an asshole. But when he believes something, he believes it. And he believes that nobody is bigger than the team. And in this case, it sounds like Valdez made himself bigger than the team.

I'd hope I had the guts to make the call that Coach Knight did. He spited himself in the game that Valdez and his teammate Emmett missed. They lost, and in doing so put themselves on the outside edge of the NCAA tournament bubble. But in making the call, Knight felt he was teaching a bigger lesson in life.

But the pessimist in me says that Nick Valdez is to proud and stupid to learn the lesson.

I just wants my respect.


Friday, February 21, 2003

The subject of today's Oprah Winfrey show was, apparently, "Oprah argues with her audience about Michael Jackson."

First he invades my prime time news magazines. Then he takes over Oprah. Next thing you know, he's going to show up at NWA-TNA.
I really, really wish Michael Jackson would just go away.

Also, does anybody realize what a racket the Girl Scouts are running with their cookies? You pay something like 17 dollars and you get 4 cookies. If anybody else besides a little girl tried to sell you these, there'd be liable to be a fight. But boy howdy is them little things tasty and stuff.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

We got us a nasty letter at Casa de Big Stupid Tommy today. Seems the City of Murfreesboro is doing its own census to update the numbers from the 2000 census. They do this to show that they qualify for some Federal Grant money.

I say nasty. But you be the judge as you read this paragraph:

"This is the second request from the city of Murfreesboro regarding the special census. According to our recors, we have not received a completed census form from this household. Please complete teh form and return it today...[contact info]...If you are a full-time college student living in Murfreesboro, you are requried to submit a census form."

Okay. That's straight forward enough. I'd not even have noticed it, if not for the following, ominous statement. In bold type, it reads:

"If you do not respond to this request, representatives of the city will call or personally visit you."

Does that sound like a threat to anybody else? Screw them. If I want to rip the sumbitch up and eat it, I will.

I'd like to have a say in what this special new money is going for. Will it go to finally fix Northfield Blvd, which they've been digging up for a year and a half now? How about fixing the potholes on Hamilton, which will swallow a car whole? Or maybe actually using the money to pay the crossing guards and not bitching about having to pay $50 a week.

But also, there's a space to list the person(s) living in the household. We marked Occupants #1 and #2. Though Bill suggests we take up pseudonyms for the sake of this enumeration. And until such time as Bill and I specifically get a say in how the money gets spend, we will be known as the following: he will be known as Hitler Saddam, and I think I will become Stalin M. Tojo.

Also, they thank us for our cooperation.

In other news.

It's my birthday today. All things considered, it went well. I didn't have to work, so that's a plus. I farted around mostly. Went to the campus for a while, and did my thing there. I went to buy some shorts, as warmer weather is coming. But apparently, I've gotten a little too old, as the Burlington Coat Factory doesn't carry anything that any self-respecting adult wouldn't be caught dead wearing. Why are clothes shiny? Is it because we live in the future?

Also, we went to Fat Mo's. It's a hamburger place that's gotten voted best hamburger repeatedly by The Nashville Scene and Nashville citysearch.

I don't often give my seal of approval to things, and I'm often spiteful and disagree with the press and the public just on general principle.

But Fat Mo's does make a Tasty, Tasty burger. I think I'll go back some time. They almost have a site here. I recommend that if you're in Nashville, you go to one of the three Fat Mo's locations (1216 Murfreesboro Road is where we ate), and eat one of their tasty hamburgers.
You know the Good Lord's not really on your side when he lets the neighbors' kids go screaming and hooting off into the 6:20...on your Birthday.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

A couple of people have come to me with the following theory: "There is no such thing as a random drug test."

I had to go pee in a cup yesterday. I didn't agree with it. I don't like being singled out, even if my name was literally pulled from a hat. If I have to go, I think everybody should have to go. All of us. At the same time.

According to another who had to urinate into a specified receptacle, about 50 people from the water department were at the office when she went this morning. Maybe that's how the water department does things...makes everybody go.

The nurse got really mad when I asked her if I could have something to anchor the cup...I keep tipping it over.

And according to Julie Pittenger: "I am infinitely quotable."

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The Quotable Julie Pittenger:

"I'm gonna go beat the shit outta every one of the dumbasses Jay and Silent Bob style. These people are idiots."

Couldn't have said things better m'self.

I had me a wonderful conversation with a girl at the Wal-Mart. I was buying poster board, and I bought the DVD of X-Men. They call it X-Men 1.5. Why? I suppose it's supposed to be halfway between the first movie and the sequel coming out this summer.

As she's ringing up the DVD, the checkout girl says: "I didn't like this movie."

I was digging in my pockets, and I say: "What?"

"I didn't like this movie."

"Oh." You know when you get the vibe off someone that they're pretty unpleasant to be around? That's what I was getting. I wanted only to buy my posterboard and DVD, and then go home.

"I just don't think they should have made Storm black."

"What?" I couldn't help myself.

(Maybe I should point out now that Storm is a character in the movie and the comic X-Men.)

"Storm wasn't black in the comics. I know they have to do the racial diversity thing, but they shouldn't have done that."

Okay. Here's my dilemma. See, Storm is black. Always has been and (I'd assume) always will be. I so desperately wanted to point this out. The dork in me did. I don't know why. But I so wanted to tell her.

But then I had this thought: Do you really want to argue in public with someone so ignorant about everything?

That's true. She was ignorant on so many different levels. And I didn't want to immerse myself into that pool of discussion.

She kept talking. But I didn't listen. If I had, I wouldn't have been able to fight the urge to headbutt her into a coma.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Gott in Himmel!

The world changes, the paradigm shifts.

Sammy Sosa is actually coming to spring training, on time.

We're still taking bets on what he'll weigh in at.
The funniest thing about my post last week where I learned of an expansion at my job from the newspaper?

I was finally able to ask those in charge (The High Exalted Table of Chief Heads) about a timetable. And they asked, "What are you talking about, Sambert?"

(The call me Sambert at work, short for the Great Sambertini.)

I told them, and got blank stares in response. And I had to go online to find the article and e-mail it to them. And it was all news to them.

The Murfreesboro Daily-News Journal is NOT a top quality publication.

I don't think we'll expand. Yet.


No matter how many times in my life I write the word "bicycle," it never looks right to me. And believe, you, me. I write bicycle a whole hell of a lot more times than is necessary, or even prudent.


I wanted to point out that Homer's addiction to the Ribwich being likened to the heroin addiction in Requiem for a Dream was really close to genius. And the whole bit about the animal the Ribwich comes from going extinct (neither pig nor cow: think more legs) really was genius. In fact, I'm going to upgrade my opinion of the Spellympic/Ribwich episode. Probably the best overall episode this season.


Rain sucks, but when that rain freezes into a sheet of ice about a quarter-inch thick on my truck, that's taking things a little too far. I want whatever practical joker's pissed the Lord off to quit it! Enough's enough, already. Jeebus!

Sunday, February 16, 2003

"The doctor said if you ate any more baby, they'd have to take yer foot."----Cletus

It's been a pretty decent season for the Simpsons. A lot of the stories haven't been super, but at least I'm not remembering for the wrong reasons. What I remember is a lot of moments. Last week, the drywall fell down and Maggie crawls out, and Homer exclaims that Maggie's been hiding back there. That was great.

Tonight they had the 300th episode, and they were good, but not great. Mostly their moments and with above, Homer in an attempt to learn to be nurturing, has been carrying a bag of sugar around. But he's apparently switched his bag of sugar with Cletus the slack-jawed-yokel's kid. And a rather rotund family member wants sugar (baby) for her coffee. It's fantastic. I've ruined it by explaining it. That's what I do.

The other day, as I was in the other room, I listened to an episode of Married...with Children that was playing in the other room. And I had no idea why I watched that show every Sunday night. Even tonight, when I talked on the phone, I told Julie that I had no idea what appealed to me. And then the segment on Kelly Bundy came on.

Oh yeah. I watched a whole season of "Jesse," because of Christina Applegate.

It was a little irksome to see Christina Applegate expound upon the character and craft of Kelly Bundy.

Still....I wish Kelly Bundy was still regularly on my TV.
Folks, if you ignore Michael Jackson, he'll go away. I honestly believe that.

He's no longer famous because of any achievement he's made. He's famous for the same reason people watched Jerry Springer or Jenny Jones.

Stop watching this malarkey they put on television.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

I'm a little water-logged. It's rained so freaking much over the past two days. I don't remember the last time it's rained like this in Middle Tennessee. But then, I don't remember much.

Here's the problem: See, I'm so sweet, I'll melt out in that rain. It's a lethal hazard, don't you know?

And today, Charles screamed at the sky: "Stop Raining!"

And the sky, in response, only rained harder.

So Charles flipped the bird. But it kept on raining.

And I don't know where my umbrella is. Did you take it?

Friday, February 14, 2003

Happy Greeting Card Day, guys.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

I read comic books. That's probably not a big surprise. I'm a big Batman fan, and always have been. I read J.L.A. and J.S.A. Frank Cho's Liberty Meadows is among the funniest things I've read. My favorite writers are Mark Waid, Alan Moore and Jeph Loeb. Tim Sale's probably my favorite artist, though I'm a big fan of understated, solid stuff like Brent Anderson or Frank Quitely.

Another favorite character is Daredevil. I've read him off and on for a long time. Frank Miller is regarded pretty much as The Man when it comes to Daredevil. I like his stuff because it's a superhero story without necessarily being a superhero story. Screen Writer/Director Kevin Smith had a pretty cool run on the title when it was rebooted a while back.

Daredevil's an interesting character, but one who's difficult for many writers to grasp. He doesn't necessarily work in the same realm that a Superman or a Spider-Man...or even a Batman might work, though Batman is probably the nearest to Daredevil in terms of pathos.

I've not read Daredevil consistently over the years. Mostly because of the reason I've just given. Daredevil, when written well, is excellent. Daredevil, when used incorrectly, just seems stupid and dumb.

I bring all this up only because tomorrow a movie opens up in theatres about Daredevil. It stars Ben Affleck as the titular character. Colin Farrell plays Bullseye, who's a pretty cool character in his own right. It's got Jennifer Garner and Michael Clarke Duncan. And it's been the subject of a media blitz over the past month. And it's gotten a couple of good reviews, especially over at aintitcool news.

But I can't decided why I'm not excited.


It's because it looks too much like a music video.


There's wire work used for stunts and fight scenes, which to me can only detract from this "human" superhero who shouldn't be able to do anything spectacular like that.

One of the two.

Or maybe it's because I'm a big grumpy sumbitch.

Probably that one.

Hey! Go take the Simpsons Quiz and tell me how you did. I got 23 out of 30 right (or mostly right--I got the idea but not the wording exactly).

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The thing is, this won't mean much to most:

But I'm tremendously grateful that NWA-TNA is based out of Nashville. I've had the opportunity to see so many really great performers up close and personal. From some of my all-time favorites like Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Lynn, Raven, the Sandman (who debuted tonight), and even "the American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. There are up and comers, some of whom I'd never even heard of. Guys like A.J. Styles, Kid Kash, the Amazing Red and Low-Ki.

Tonight's show was really, really good. The Sandman showed up. He and Raven had a great brawl during which the railing from in front of us was used multiple times as a weapon. Low-Ki and Steve Corino mixed it up in a good X-Division match. And there was an 8-Man elimination match. And Kid Kash beat Sonny Siaki for the X-Division Title. And it was good. And it was damn good.

If'n you're a wrestling fan, and you're anywhere near Nashville...come see a TNA show. It's really, really cool.

There's a feller called Chickenhat at these shows. I think I wrote about him last week, accusing him of farting. Bill wants us to get a couple of straw hats and chicken feathers and emulate Chickenhat to the best of our abilities. That man has become a F-Grade Celebrity within the ranks of the TNA crowd.

In other news.

I learned of a major development about my job today. From the newspaper. They're expanding, and we're not that huge an operation, so as we couldn't be told. We're expanding, and that's a good thing, yes. I'm a little insulted that as the supervisor overseeing this area where we're expanding (nearly tripling in size) that I didn't find out until I read it in my local newspaper. Ain't that some shit?

A couple of other thoughts:

I need a new bed. I think I'll bring this up to the higher powers, as my birthday is drawing nigh. I sleep on a futon. It's a nice futon, but it's also seen 3-4 years of use. And I've brought up my night terrors.

Al Roker + My Booty = Much terrified thrashing about.

I've kicked the hell out of that bed. It has no more armrests. And it hasn't been able to fold up into a couch since Halloween.

It's growing uncomfortable. I need a bed. Please help.

I've got a book to recommend, if I may:

Karen Armstrong has written a short history, entitled Islam.

As advertised, it's short but precise. It gives insight into the formation of the belief systems, the early tribulations and the evolution of the mode of thinking. What ended up interesting most was the impact the Industrial Revolution ended up having on the Islamic state. Essentially, Europe evolved faster out of the agrarian mold, and as such was able to subjugate the many Islamic strongholds (India, Malaya, the African continent) for their use as raw-goods suppliers. And the learning was given to the elite and the military instead of the common folk. Such is the beginning of the grudge against the Western world

I've over-simplified, but it's a step. Check out Ms. Armstrong's book. I learned something. You should too.

I'd read Islam Around the World a while back, and didn't take from it a tenth of what I did from Armstrong's book. Simply, she's a better writer. Ruthven (who wrote the Around the World) was tremendously dry. But it was a textbook-style book, so what do you expect? Armstrong's a stronger writer.

That's all I got for today. Good Wrestling. Bad Work. Bad Futon. Good Book. It's full circle.
I'm on America Online. If you're on AOL, you've seen the startup screen, where they rotate news, sports and entertainment headlines.

Two headlines were out of synch this morning. The first showed a picture of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin-Laden, with the headline "Best in Show." Then, the picture and headline switched, showing a picture of a man and a dog, and the headline "How Close Are They?"

I laughed for minutes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

(Where Kids Eat Fleas)

The Specials 5 Dollars!!!!!
Monday: 2 Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches. Fritos.
A Glass of Milk. A Raw Hot Dog.
Tuesday: A handful of grapes. A bowl of Fruit Loops. Cranberry Juice
Wednesday: Fish Sandwich, some grumbling. Cranberry Juice
Thursday: Sloppy Joes. Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion. RC Cola.
Friday: 3 Cups of Coffee and a stale donut.
Saturday: Chinese Takeout.
Sunday: Pancakes, Sausage, Eggs, Hashbrowns, Cheese, Mushrooms, Pepperoni, and Tomatoes.

Available Every Day!
Hamburger: (with Onions) $19.30
Cheeseburger: (No Onions) $2.70
Grilled Cheese: $9.00
Grilled Cheese on Bread: $9.15
Rabbit Sammich: $4.25
French Fries: $0.75
German Fries: $0.95
Turkey Sammich: $6.00
Stew: $4.00
Hummus: $9.45
Really Good Book (ask for daily price)
Tater Chips: $1.00
Barbecue Tater Chips $1.10
Sour Cream n' Onion Tater Chips $1.05
Tribulations $5.00
Napkins free, with order
Mama Lisa's World Famous Chocolate Pie $325.00
Ribs $.50
Vat of Mayo $6.75
Good Attitude $3.00
Bad Attitude $3.00
Ice Cream Sandwich $19.75
Jar of Pickles $2.79
Sack of 10 $3.99
Slaw Dawg Priceless
Internet Access Sammich $4.25
Eggs $.35
Special Chili $5.00

Water, Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, Iced Tea, Hot Tea, Coffee, Whiskey, Sprite, Hi-C, Grape Kool-Aid, Mochacino Milk Shake

Monday, February 10, 2003

Holy crap!

I would be remiss if I didn't say Happy Birthday to mom. She didn't have to go to school today (owing that three different people over in McMinn County Tennessee said the word "snow" to each other).
From the Department of Duh:

The Dell Dude has been arrested on pot charges.


Wonderful Pig
by Tommy Acuff

Look at that pig!

Ain't it wonderful?

It is absolutely the most wonderful pig I've seen in a long time

No! That is the greatest pig I've ever seen in my whole life!
Words fail me.

It is the best looking, most grandiose pig I've ever seen.
It is the best pig that any person would or could ever hope to see.
This is a religious experience.
This is how movements get started.

I think that pig is probably the best pig
that's ever been put on this planet.

God should get a pat on the back for making that pig just
absolutely so perfectly wonderful.

Look! Look at that Pig!

This pig has restored my faith in all that is good.

Look at that Pig.
I'll be dipped.
It brings tears to my eyes.
That pig. If I was a poet, I'd write a sonnet
(Petrarchan, not that Elizabethan stuff...).

And that pig would know the difference!
Wonderful pig. Gift from God type of pig.

Look at that Pig.

Is it just me, or do kids get out of school all the time? When I was in grade school (a scant decade ago), we had to go to school Every Day. Sometimes, we had to go more. Just for kicks.

But if the weatherman sneezes on the air, they cancel schools.

Personally, I think it's living in the litigious society that we do. Parents suing school systems for letting kids travel in busses on icy roads. But that's just one man's opinion.

It snowed today in Middle Tennessee. We've got about five inches or so on the ground. It's pretty. It's clingy, and it's on all the trees. Makes things pretty.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Travesty of travesties? My mother (regular reader) cannot access my blog from her classroom at school. Apparently, she's not allowed access to my site by the porno filter.

Ain't that some crap?

Bill and I guess that it's my constant use of the words "Fart" and "Asshole."

But since I'm already blocked as porn, may I just say:


Thank you.
His name is Saparmurad Niyazov. And here's a fascinating article.

I guess it's synchronicity. He got mentioned on NPR this morning on my way into work, and he was mentioned on another site I look at sporadically. And then this story pops up in Washington's Quaint Little Alternative Newspaper, as G. Gordon Liddy refers to it.

I'll comment in a couple of ways. First...ain't it scary? That in this day and age, we still have apparent madmen who can rise to such heights, so as to become gods (in their minds) among men.

I'll say that this sort of megalomania is appealing in an abstract sort of way, too. With all the crappy reality television programs we have today, we can't get one on the dictator who has taken it upon himself to rename the days of the week? I'm looking for a little more information on this guy. From what I've read so far, he's come up with his own national philoso-religion, which in part defines youth as lasting up to age 37, and he calls the period from 61-73 as the enlightened time. He is himself 62.
A few thoughts about the World of Sports:

1. I'm pretty tired of hearing about LeBron James. I feel a little sorry for him, because at 17, I'd say he's not mature or smart enough to handle the media spotlight that's been thrust upon him. The problem is, we have talking heads on ESPN talking about how mature he is for a teenager and all that jazz. At 17, when all you've been hearing is how great you are, that kind of statement can only serve to feed your ego. His mother is to blame, too. Why does a teenager need a $60,000 H2 Hummer? It only feeds the belief that because he can bounce a ball really good he deserves all this crap. The Ohio State Athletic Commission that suspended him needs and asswhupping, too. They suspend him only after they feel they've made all the money that they can.

But on the whole, I'm tired of hearing and reading about a 17 year old kid.

2. Even though it is not the Comiskey Park of old, it will always be Comiskey Park. Who's the buyer? U.S. Cellular? Screw that. It's up to the media. Do not refer to it as U.S. Cellular Stadium. Just call it Comiskey. Didn't Boomer on ESPN do that when they wanted us to refer to Candlestick as 3Com? It is Comiskey. End of story. The only way I think a stadium should be named after a company is if that company owns the team. P.K. Wrigley owned the Cubs and Weegman Park. Which was renamed Wrigley Field.

3. I get a Cubstalk newsletter sporadically over my e-mail, and during the offseason, there's always a footer that says "__ days until Pitchers and Catchers Report!" And I'm as excited about baseball as anybody, but for me, it's still a couple of months away. Though I do like catching a spring training game on TBS or WGN during March.

4. WGN doesn't broadcast enough Cubs games. They aren't even showing opening day. Thank God ESPN shows a lot of baseball.

5. This is NASCAR's speed week. Since I'm not a huge basketball fan, I'm excited. I've said it before, the couple of months between the Super Bowl and Opening Day suck, but NASCAR being around sort of soothes the pain.

Friday, February 07, 2003

My sister told me last night that if she eats too much monosodium glutemate, it causes her to hallucinate. She hears noises and she sees flashes of bright light. But it also makes her throw up. So it's probably not as good as it sounds.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Apparently, I don't like Ariana Huffington (see below). She was on the Daily Show last night on Comedy Central. Their shift in direction from celebrity to newsmakers is an admirable step, but I've been watching it much less.

Speaking of comedy, I forgot to mention last night that the Funniest Man in America was in attendance at the NWA-TNA show. James Gregory came into the arena last night while quasi-promoter Bert Prentice was warming the crowd up. Bert gave Mr. Gregory a nice welcome. James got on the mic and asked if the crowd was as big a rasslin' fan as he was. He wore a dark sunglasses the whole night. He got as pumped about the brawl between the New Church and the team of Low-ki and Elix Skipper as he did about anything.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Based on everything that I've ever read about the credentials and history of Ariana Huffington--she has worked for very little, gained most everything she's ever had through manipulation and the remarkable good fortune to have been in the right place at the right time (and to have married the right dude). It bugs the hell out of me that she has the voice as a pundit that she does, and irks me even further that just because she's been there talking all this time, people believe that she is actually important enough to listen to. It's embarassing that her voice has greater weight than, say, mine. Or yours. And it's irritating beyond belief that she's constantly given venue and time to speak her mind. Mostly, it's wrong that she gets to spend time writing and publishing the doggeral and manipulative mumbo jumbo that she pukes out on a yearly basis, and get paid for it. I can come up with any level of garbage talk that you want, from political and scientific commentary all the way down to talking about who farted at the rasslin show (see below)....but just because I haven't convinced people that I'm important, people don't listen to me. Take it from me, folks, Ariana Huffington has no more idea about what's going on in the world that I do. I'm not saying listen to me. I'm saying stop giving Ariana Huffington the means and opportunity. For the betterment of America.
Somebody at tonight's NWA-TNA show, over in the corner we were sitting, kept passing gas (farting).

And they were pretty rank.

Being a wrestling fan does not excuse you from the obligations of bodily control.

There's a regular attendee of the NWA-TNA shows who's been dubbed ChickenHat by those in attendance, owing to that he wears a straw hat adorned with chicken feathers. Bill and I know him as Country Hulkamaniac--we first saw him at a WWF pay per view in 2002, where he held up a sign for Hulk Hogan saying that he was, indeed, a Country Hulkamaniac. He's been to every show there in Nashville.

I contend that it was the Country Hulkamaniac who was pooting. They stank.

Speaking of Stinking Poot Freaks, Ariana Huffington should be ignored.
This from my friend Diane:

Three surgeons were at a bar, arguing over who had the best surgical skills.

The first began: "Three years ago, I reattached seven fingers on a concert pianist. He went on to give a concert for the Queen of England."

The second then said: "That's nothing. A few years ago, a runner was in a horrible accident. His arms and legs were severed. I reattached them. He went on to win gold in the Olympics!"

The third laughed at them both, and said: "I've got you both beat. A few years ago, I attended to a cowboy. He was high on cocaine and alcohol when he rode on his horse head on into a Santa Fe freight train going over a hundred miles an hour! All I had left to work with was the horse's ass and a ten gallon hat, and two years ago, he was elected President!"
More Random News and Views from your friendly neighborhood Big Stupid Sack of Mostly Water:

I can't recommend Igby Goes Down any higher. I don't use the word "wonderful" enough. This movie is wonderful. Darkly comic. The interplay between Kieran Culkin and Susan Sarandon is tremendous. Amanda Peet is really, really good--and she throws a hell of a punch. The movie combines "Holden Caulfield/Catcher in the Rye" sort of vibe with a really great bizarre sort of humor. A drag queen screaming at a sleeping Igby about Lucky Charms? Comic Gold, my friends. And it's probably the best use of multiple Culkins in a single film that I can remember.


Verbatim, the inventory of the contents of the freezer part of the the fridge in the break room at work, as posted on the door of said freezer, in my absense, Monday, February 3, 2003:

The Contents of this Freezer, 2.3.03

4 Bottles of water (frozen)
1 Bottle of Coca Cola (frozen)
1 Weight Watchers Smart Ones Dinner
1 Healthy Choice Dinner
1 Bag of Fritos
2 Bags (small) of cookies
1 York Peppermint Patty
3 ice trays
2 bags of blue ice
1 package of (unidentified) shredded meat
1 can Minute Maid concentrated Pink Grapefruit Juice

This inventory was the product of one of two things. Either the Loss Prevention Guy had come in and somebody decided to be an asshole and wrote everything in the breakroom freezer down for his benefit...or there was so much shit in the freezer that somebody decided to be an asshole about it and wrote a note for everybody's benefit. Either way, it amounts to somebody feeling like an asshole.

I'd guess the second choice....but we got a lot of people there who carry a major grudge against the Loss Prevention Guy.

Speaking of which, they've locked the personel files in the office. Which is something that most places do, I realize, and something they probably should have a long time ago. But it irks me nonetheless that when I want to give somebody on my staff their review I have to make them wait while my I go hunt up my boss to unlock the cabinet. This is, more or less, a product of the previously mentioned Loss Prevention Guy. This I'm guessing.

Back to the Break Room, Where:

There was also a basket filled with various tupperware containers and baking dishes with a note written in obnoxious block lettering that the contents of the basket must be claimed by Friday of this week, or they would be thrown into the dumpster.

I really wanted to run to my boss with the note, screaming and crying, "Please don't throw away my things! I just can't remember to take them home!" And really make a blubbering mess of myself. And then go home that night without taking anything out of the basket home.


As much as I hate the ESPN's X Games, there's something deep inside me that responds viscerally to snowmobile races and motorcycles jumping a snow ramps and turning flips in the air. But then, I ain't all that evolved. I'm a good sneeze away from Gorillas in the Mist, y'all.

I really got a kick out of this blog: Emily Hates Cigarettes. I don't know this Emily, where she's from or what she's like. But her chronicle of her first two days of trying to quit smoking entertained me for minutes.

Do you know what I had for supper?


Actually, just Tostitos and Salsa.

And I thought I had a snot problem beforehand. The last remnants of my cold(s) came in the form of ridiculous amounts of snot. I was blowing my nose every 4 minutes. But then I ate salsa. And that really opened up the sluices.

I wish I had a satellite dish that picked up baseball from Mexico and Latin America. This waiting two months for a sport I really give a fart about is for the birds. The Nashville Sounds have their schedule up. The Iowa Cubs are in town not once, but twice over the course of the season. And they actually got wise and have scheduled something 14 day games this season. I love Daytime Baseball. One day, I will marry Daytime Baseball.

And on that note, I think it's time to go to bed. Before I hurt myself or somebody else.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

How do you know you which blues musician is dyslexic?

He's the one who went to the crossroads and sold his soul to Santa.

In other news.

I've got a rather large writing project going. I started it about a year ago at this time, and I got really rather far along into it (roughly 60-65,000 words). I took a couple of weeks off from it back in the fall (not intentionally, because work and life got in the way). I picked it back up at a later date and re-read what I'd written. I was a little discouraged.

I won't give you the plot details, though a couple of people that I've been talking to know what it concerns.

My problem was that when I re-read it, I noticed a couple of things.

Both are chronological in nature

Sub point A: I was having a little trouble with the speed with which things were unfolding. I want to slow the sumbitch down. I want what I'm writing to be creepy, but I feel like if it's constantly "rip-roaring," it doesn't accomplish what I want it to. Kind of like you need a long silence on a car ride before you scream "Boo!" at the person riding with you.

Sub point B: I have 2 major events in what you might call the second act. It might amount to what you'd call a climax of sorts. The two events happen at the same time. The problem? I realize that I had a character in both places at the same time. Why I didn't notice this at the time, I'm not sure. Except that I wrote each chain of events at two different times, and things got a bit muddled. Ultimately, it all means I gotta back up and re-drill.

I'm just rambling, but this is more to get my thoughts down on paper than it is anything.

See, Sunday was when I picked the sumbitch back up and decided that instead of leaving it as a pile of rubble, I was going to start over and make a house out of what material I have.

Wish me luck.

Monday, February 03, 2003

I actually took advantage of the day off, today. I wrote. Some 5500 good words. Which for this sumbitch who's gotten plenty lazy when it comes to that kind of stuff, it's something of an improvement.

I also cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floor in there. You can eat off the floor in there.

I wouldn't, but you're completely welcome to it.

I made hotel reservations for a convention I'll be attending in April. I don't think the girl taking my reservation much appreciated it when she asked how I'd like to confirm the reservation, that I responded "With My Winning Personality."

No, that didn't actually happen. I wasn't nearly clever, witty or brave enough to say that to a complete stranger today.
I'm a culinary master.

Today, I burned Tomato Soup.

I was watching a movie (Who is Cletis Tout?) and kind of forgot to stir it when it was on the stove. The stove was a little too hot, and the thicker parts settled to the bottom of the pan, where they scorched.

Send me money, for I cannot fend for myself.


Sunday, February 02, 2003

Well, they're reporting all over the place that what's being found are the remains of the seven astronauts. And I didn't mean to be insensitive. It was a legitimate (albeit morbid) curiosity.

And as much as good taste says I shouldn't think about these kind of things, I gotta wonder what condition the organic matter was in when it hit the ground. My thinking was that organic matter anything falling 39 miles couldn't have been even identifiable as such. But they say the crew compartment may have been largely intact, so that answers that question, I suppose.

And I'm being no less morbid or gross than is real life.

They say a little kid found a scorched leg near Nacogdoches. What's that gotta be like? I didn't hear how old the kid was.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

This morning I woke up and turned on the news. I saw what everybody in America saw. My thoughts are no different than those of most others: I'm saddened. And disappointed.

I may get a little gross here.

We had a good discussion about this at work: How could human remains have made it to the ground? My thinking was that anything organic coming from that high up would have been burned up in the atmosphere, and that's only the material that wasn't destroyed in any explosions that occurred with the breakup of the shuttle. Wasn't the Columbia at the apex of the heat and stress it would have reached when it broke up? That may not be right, but I think I heard that. Seems the heat and speed (12,500 mph) would have torn apart any organic material.

But CNN is reporting that organic materials have been found.

Okay. You probably want to stop reading. Just scroll down and don't read this next italicized part.

Would the remains be cooked? It's intense heat. Would it be cooked, even to the point of being burnt to a crisp? Or would it have been protected enough to be juicy when it landed? I'm not convinced that they are human remains.

I'm sorry.

One last thing. It's free association, only. Nacogdoches, Texas, a city in the middle of the Columbia debris field, is the home of one of my favorite writers, Joe R. Lansdale.