Sunday, November 30, 2003


Did you ever have one of those days where it was completely unfair to be confined by society to pants, but the weather was entirely too cold to do without?

Yeah. Caught between my contempt for social constraints and my need to maintain my body temperature while outside.

Can't wear blankets into town, and I don't own a kilt.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Sports Link

I guess today is talk about sports day.

Just wanted to give a link to a blog I've been reading for a little bit. I really enjoy the sports commentary Mark McClusky has been doing since he started his blog at

Gunny asked me what I'd thought of ESPN's show Playmakers.

I'm of two minds on the subject.

I'm a big believer that ESPN should stick to sports and sports news. I didn't much like it when they made that a movie out of Season on the Brink, about Bobby Knight starring Brian Dennehy. (Especially since that one was such a turd). But they kept on, making a movie about Bear Bryant, and then things went completely batty when they made an entire season of stuff.

If I ran the world and, to date, I don't, I'd have ESPN stick a little more closely to the stuff that's kept them around for the past 25 years: just do whatever they can to be the most comprehensive and ubiquitous presence in the sports world that they can.

If they want to make fiction, why not make a channel just for that? Or show it on ESPN2, or something like that. I guess what keeps coming to mind is the fact that if you want to see a music video on MTV, you need to watch at 3 AM, or get their second network.

But there's room for everything, I guess. I guess they can make fiction if they don't go the MTV route and show nothing but fiction.

I haven't been watching Playmakers, to answer your question, Gunny. I saw most of an early episode, and thought it was little more than a clone of Any Given Sunday, only without the odd camera angles and abrupt scene-cuts. That combined with what I'd talked about above didn't give me a lot of reason to go back and try again.

Since then, I've heard a few good things. Enough to make me want to maybe watch another episode and give it another chance, anyway.

The Uncouth Sloth stated not too long ago that ESPN's SportsCenter has jumped the shark, and I just wanted to weigh in on a couple of things SportsCenter related.

SportsCenter used to be routine. Watch SportsCenter for an hour in the mornings, and then, if there's time, watch the news.

Maybe part of it is that I'm growing up. Maybe part of it is that I'll listen to Tony Kornheiser, Dan Patrick or Jim Rome over the course of the day, and they'll get any need for discussion out of my system. And maybe part of it is that I find hockey, and now, basketball, virtually unwatchable....and even during baseball season, baseball doesn't seem to be a priority on SportsCenter, so usually a baseball story during the offseason, any news is buried 37 minutes in.

Occasionally, though, I'll still watch. Just to know what's going on in the sports world.

But I'll agree with the was a slow process...but SportsCenter jumped the shark a while back.

In my mind, the best time on SportsCenter were the Dan Patrick/Keith Olbermann days....because these were two guys who were interested more in reporting sports in a somewhat intelligent manner, being a little funny while they're at it, but definitely not making themselves the center of attention. But they had catch phrases. "En Fuego," for Dan and "Guh!" whenever a pass was muffed from Olbermann.

But then it got out of hand. That was the first thing that started turning me off of SportsCenter. We couldn't just talk about sports and reports sports. All the anchors had to have their little hooks and catchphrases. And suddenly, the catchphrases seemed to become the point. You couldn't watch Stuart Scott without hearing "Booyah" or "Cooler than the Other Side of the Pillow."

And then there's Kenny Mayne. Who seems less interested in reporting results and making insights than he is attempting a weird, aloof, Bill Murray-type character. It's like he only wants to make fun of something, and scream "Bring Me the Finest Meats and Cheeses."

Yeah. Kenny Mayne's a big reason I stopped watching SportsCenter religiously.

Another big reason: We apparently can't have discussion without having arguments. I like Dan Patrick's interviews, and how he'll occasionally ask a question that rubs his subject the wrong way, but not for the sake of irritating the guest. He does it to get the answer he's looking for.

But apparently, the producers think we like the they intentionally create it.

The segment between John Clayton and Sean "Battlebots" Salisbury, where they argue over football, call each other names and generally just attempt for five minutes to talk louder than the other, doesn't do a whole lot for me. If I wanted to watch a couple of sports dorks argue loudly, I'd end up at Wild Wings more often than I do.

And then there's that pointless segment early in the week with Nick Bokay and his wife, where they go over who covered the spread and who didn't between them over the course of the NFL weekend.

I say pointless, and that's not true. Who covered their point spread and who didn't over the course of the weekend is important to some fans...but spending five minutes in the most loud and obnoxious way, flashing dollar signs in the eyes of Nick Bokay and screaming about it.

This is not to say there aren't bright spots on SportsCenter. Robin Roberts, when she's not doing Good Morning America, does a fine job whenever she hosts. Trey Wingo doesn't do badly, either.

But there's just too much going on on SportsCenter now. My low primate brain's sensibilities just can't appreciate it anymore.

I'm old before my time. Just call me curmudgeon in training.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Working Nights

I'm still not quite used to working nights. I'm getting there, but it feels like I asleep 15 hours a day, but am only getting six hours worth.

Thanksgiving went well. And I didn't eat too much. By the end of the evening, I'd hit my limits with my fatigue, my sinuses and the fact that the house was so hot. By 9 Eastern, I was asleep.

Ate too much this morning, including a bunch of a sugar-free pumpkin pie.

A moment on the Turkey sandwich with mayo. Simple, but in my mind, it's the best Thanksgiving leftover going.

Didn't let the other drivers bother me coming back to Middle Tennessee. I'm tired of being irritated by the other drivers on the interstate. I didn't let them bother me too much, but if there's one bit of wisdom I can impart: If you're driving in the left lane, and there's a long line of cars behind you, then you're driving too slow. I know you think you're faster than the cars in the right lane, but only imperceptibly so. Get over so that traffic can flow more smoothly.

There appears to be a West Wing marathon on Bravo tonight....think I'll pop the tape in and record a few hours worth while I'm at work.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving. Just wanted to wish everybody a good one.

And I wanted to say that in spite of all the complaints, grievances and just plain bitchgripes that I air out here (and there are more coming), I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm glad I'm an American. I'm glad I have a loving family. I'm thankful to be basically happy and healthy. I'm thankful for baseball, for The Simpsons, for Diet Dr. Pepper, for Labatt's, for the internet, for pie, easy internet access, dogs that don't bite, dogs that do bite, Jeopardy!, a good running truck, pecan pie and a pug that only wants to be the center of attention 84% of the time.

I liked the idea I heard on the radio yesterday. You know those lots where people go to cut their own Christmas trees? I like the idea of a yard where you go and select and kill your own Turkey. Kind of like choosing a lobster.

I had to go to the grocery store this morning to pick up a couple of things that were forgotten earlier in the week. I don't like the fact that Ingle's has decided to start using its own "Advantage" know, the kind you clip to your keychain and it'll give you the "Advantage" price.

Well, I don't like those cards. It makes me paranoid, I know. But I just don't like the huge faceless corporation knowing my buying habits.

But it's irksome because Ingle's has jacked their regular prices up ridiculously. 12-Pack of Cokes? Unless you have the card, it's $4.79. That's assbabolous.

Of course, it pales in comparison to having one checkout open and having to wait in a long line between two people, each of whom having cell-phone conversations, and each competing with the other to see who can talk more loudly into their phone. I know that the lady in front of me was helping a sister cook for 23 people, and half of them are on Atkins. And I know the lady behind me was having a time finding the specific brand of bread crumbs, and was wanting to know if the kind she'd found were going to be okay.

But on the whole, it looks to be a good day. Going to read some of the Wolves of the Calla. Going to eat. Going to watch football. On the whole, you can't ask for a lot more than that.

Of course, if any of you are handing out money, I'm willing to listen.
Volunteer Tailgate Party

The newest edition of the Volunteer Tailgate Party is up. Buddy Don's done a crackup job....all poetic and everything. It's very nicely done....go check it out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Interstate

Well, I'm over in East Tennessee for the Communal Feast of Gratitude. I had to drive on the "interstate" to get here. Which is always an adventure, but even more so when you double the amount of idiots and assholes out there on the road.

The "cool" sight of the day was driving behind and beside an eighteen-wheeler when he hit a deer that had apparently jumped out in front of him. I couldn't see, because I was back a ways, but he either didn't have time or the inclination to slow down. He never hit his brakes.

And the deer exploded into little meaty bits that went flying all over the interstate. Mmmm. Deer.

Since the driver of the big rig didn't feel the need to stop, neither did I.

Also. Folks, humans, androids....if I may. If you're driving in the righthand lane coming upon a ramp where other people are going to be entering the interstate....and the left hand lane is empty? Go ahead and get over. You didn't fight in the war for that space on the road, so get the hell over, please. The interstate is as much mine as it is yours.

And for the record: Matching speeds with the person trying to get on the interstate? That makes you a "dickweed" and a "spiteful shit eye."

Lastly, the "interstate" is for all of us to use, but I'm perfectly willing to exclude Georgia on account of the Big Silver Ford Excursion with the Cobb County plates with the lady who couldn't decide whether she would rather ride my ass or get in front of me and slam on her brakes. She was a "hobag."

Lastly, can I say that it's simply amazing the model of consistency The Tennessee Department of Transportation has become. It's managed to squeeze four lanes of traffic into two for nearly 5 years now running through Chattanooga. And I do so love those Hamilton County cops who like to set up halfway through the road construction so that they can dole out those $500 Do Better Letters. Makes me feel all safe, and everything.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

The Derrek Lee/Hee Seop Choi trade

The Cubs and Marlins made a trade today. The Cubs get Derrek Lee from the Marlins, and the Cubs send Hee Seop Choi and a Player to be Named Later.

Already I've seen a few reactions to the trade, and already they run from ecstatic to direly disappointed.

I'm somewhere in the middle.

I think Derrek Lee's a solid acquisition. He's youngish (28), a good first baseman, one who swings the bat well, is excellent on the basepaths and has a pretty good glove to boot. Putting him at first answers the question of whether we're keeping Randall Simon around (we aren't), and it means we no longer have to ask ourselves if and when Big Choi was going to reach his potential.

I am disappointed to see Big Choi go, however. In him, I saw potential for a scary left handed bat to go in the five or six spot in the whom we've been high on for a long time. I thought he was getting close to where he needed to be when he suffered his concussion during the Wood/Clemens game early in the summer. He never was the same after that.

There are still the worries in the back of my mind anytime a guy who's still a prospect gets traded for a player, with all respect to Lee, who is only above average.

But that's the gamble, I guess.

Ultimately, it's one less question to be asked for next season, and for the next few seasons.

I just hope we get to quickly answer the questions behind the plate, in the bullpen and at second base.
Lousy Smarch Weather

As recently as 36 hours ago, I wore shorts and a t-shirt (the one what says: Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me over and over again) while out on my rambles.

This morning, I had to scrape an eighth of an inch of ice off my windshield and let my truck warm up for ten minutes before I could even leave work. That could be a problem in the future, especially if I'm needing to leave in a hurry. There's nothing like needing to get home....or at the very least get away from work, but you can't because you have to let the car warm up.

Man. If I lived north even of Nashville, I'd probably die of stupidity and hypothermia before the New Year.

And can I just say this? The boys? They don't care for the cold weather so much. I'm sure they'll pop back out when I warm up. Or if I sneeze really good.

But that's neither here nor there, is it?

Tennessee weather being what it is, I think it'll still be shorts weather come Thursday.

And there isn't much you can say to convince me otherwise.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Clinton's Favorite Books

Because everybody's been waiting for it, here now is a link to Bill Clinton's favorite books.

I don't have a lot to say about the list, though the inclusion of Hillary's book Living History is pretty funny. The list is 21 books long.

I picture this: Bill makes his list of his 20 favorite books. Hillary walks into the room, takes his writing pad from him, looks it over and asks "Why the Hell isn't my book on your list, you assbag?"

And Bill (whom I can't hear in my head now without hearing Darrell Hammond's impression rather than the real thing) takes the list back, smiles and says "I wasn't done, honey." And the list becomes the Top 21.

The only book on Bill's list that I've even read is Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, which is quite the excellent book. I bought the Maya Angelou book at the Goodwill, but haven't gotten around to reading it, yet. All the others, I've only heard of (except for a couple, which are completely new to me), but am interested in looking into.
Selling Stuff

Has anybody been by the Big Stupid Tommy store? Judging by my sales you haven't.

Neither have I, to be honest.

When I first made a T-Shirt, I thought about how cool it would be to have a t-shirt with my "Jamming French Fries into your Mind" and my blog name on it. But then, it's been six months, and I still haven't convinced myself to buy my own shirt.

So, I'm either a hard sell or a crappy salesman.

But hell, I haven't even gotten my parents to buy anything, and even if I'm 26, my parents are supposed to support stuff like this, aren't they?

But the reason I bring this up, is because the roommate showed me that you can now self-publish via Cafe Press. And I was thinking about putting together a few of my stories that I've retired from sending out, and maybe the play/script that I wrote four or five years ago. And maybe a few posts from here.

Keeping in mind that my best stuff isn't great, and this stuff isn't necessarily my best stuff (though I really like quite a bit of it).

Would that be of interest to anybody?

Just curious.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

How about those Titans?

I'm in a Pick'em League with some friends. You pick the winners of each week's NFL games, assigning a confidence point level to each game.

My problem is that I have the singular ability to jinx any team I pick the highest level of confidence. For example, I picked the Chiefs last week to beat the Bengals, and of course, the Chiefs got their first loss of the season. Out of the previous 11 weeks, the team I pick highest has lost 9 times. I'm not kidding.

This week, against my better judgment, I picked the Titans.

My rule of thumb is to never go overboard when the Titans are involved. But this week, it seemed so simple. The old joke: "Could the lady who dropped her eleven kids off at the Georgia Dome please pick them up? They're beating the Falcons 21 to 13."

I got up and turned on the TV. Just in time to see the Falcons score their first touchdown. Then CBS starts giving stats about how many games the Titans have gone without letting an opponent score in the first quarter. And by the end of the first quarter, the Titans are down 21-0.

I talk to Julie, who is equally chagrined.

I decide to go back to sleep.

I get back up before the Simpsons, and turn on ESPN gamenight....and who came back to win 38-31?

That'll learn me to go to sleep when I'm so tired.
Fox TV

Man....I just want to watch The Simpsons and Arrested Development...but some radio station's signal is bleeding over into the TV Signal. As much as I like the song "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" I like the Simpsons a whole lot more.

From what I gathered on tonight's Simpsons, it was a decent one, I thought, once you got past the cheap premise of the episode. I liked the fast food/ordering from the gaping maw of Judi Dench. And the sign outside the Tower of London, which read "As Seen in King Ralph" cracked me up.

And for some reason, I especially liked the giant Dagwood-style sandwich the Queen of England was bringing into her bedroom, when she's surprised by Homer.

But what I especially liked about the episode is its first act setup, complete with Museum of Modern Bart climax. It actually gave the Simpsons a reason to be going to England, rather than just having them show up there with some one line explanation or quick bit of dialogue.

At approximately 3:34 this morning, it struck me as quite funny the idea of somebody warning somebody else "Don't be talkin' shit about me while I'm gone."

There was no context, or really any warning whatsoever. But it popped into my head, and I laughed.

Friday, November 21, 2003

The Friday Five

Playing along, after a break, with the Friday Five:

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.

Just six weeks....hmmm....

1.)Get the read list up to 25

2.) Get Christmas shopping done before it goes completely apeshit.

3.) Use the phrase "Sucks a Clown's Ass" a little more.

4.) Perhaps start a second draft of the novel....fix the plot hole the size of Kansas.

5.) Buy new socks.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.

All from back in the day, listing their names in case this is how they find me....:

1.) Malaya Rolin (I think she may now be Malaya MacMurray....I don't know for sure).
2.) Bill Ryan (High school buddy)
3.) Andrew Reagan (Never came back to MTSU after Freshman year).
4.) Eric Boswell (Just to see what he's been up to).
5.) Jeff Warren (Old roommate)

(And recently, I would have said both Stephanie Denton and e-mail friend Coolidge, but both e-mailed me out of the blue without having heard from either of them in more than a year.

Guys...if you see this...e-mail me.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.

1,) Make Good Pizza
2.) Speak Japanese
3.) Train Dogs to Speak English
4.) Drive a Train
5.) Manipulate Things with my Mind.

(And I'm not kidding about a one of those)

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).

1.) Never work for anybody else ever again. Neither would the folks, or my sister, if they didn't wanna.
2.) Start a Private School. With my own philosophy.
3.) Road Trip to all 30 MLB Stadiums, see a game at each.
4.) Buy a tract of land, 4 miles square, and build a house smack in the middle of it.
5.) Help the Humane Society.

5. List five things you do that help you relax.

1.) First, I like to [Censored by the Hegemony]

2.) Then, I'll take a [Censored by the Hegemony]

3.) Sometimes, when I'm really stressed, I'll get some vegetables and [Censored by the Hegemony]

4.) Sometimes, I'll rent [Censored by the Hegemony]

5.) Or, I can [Censored by the Hegemony], Stripes, or [Censored by the Hegemony], [Censored by the Hegemony], and then [Censored by the Hegemony], and I'll get so worked up [Censored by the Hegemony], [Censored by the Hegemony], [Censored by the Hegemony], and then I'm good to go for at least a week.
They Win the Prize

My New Favorite Search String, for which I was the #1 resulting Google search:


Thanks. I try hard.
TV Noises

There's a commercial for Dell Computers that's running pretty heavy on CNN right now (it's on every commercial break). It's the one where the computer folks are in a boot camp environment. And in the background of the commercial, there's a noise. It's a quick, electronic beeping. Like three beeps, right in succession.

And those three beeps are the exact same beeps that the cordless phone makes when its handset battery is getting low.

And each time the commercial's come on, the noise has come, and I've gotten up to check the phone, which is in its cradle. I even asked the empty apartment why the hell the phone was beeping.

It took the fourth airing of the commercial for me to finally make the connection.

I really, really need more sleep.
How Did They Know?

Especially the ones that go off right after you've sat down, and spray your ass. Dont'cha just hate that?

What pisses you off?

Created by ptocheia

But more than that, I hate automatic sinks. Because when you come across one you've never used, you have to spend precious seconds figuring it out. You have to do some dorkish sort of hand jive....moving your hands up and down and side to side just so you can find the electric eye under the faucet.

And then, a lot of them are set up so that you can't get your hands all the way under them. Which is a problem, because I wash my hands surgeon-style--all the way up to the elbows. So, I'm often walking around with my forearms covered in bathroom soap, because I'm not versed enough in Yoga to do the "Fishing Bear" or the "Bulldozing Crane" or whatever to get my arms up under the water flow in order to rinse off my forearms.

Link via Sheila O'Malley.

All Sleepy and Shit

Nothing really important, or even coherent to say.

Purple Gladhanding Dinosaur, tromping up all the cars. Tears open the roof with its little tiny forearms. Eats inhabitants like peanuts.

Grabass. There just aren't enough good games of grabass going on, in my view. I believe the economy is to blame.

I love it when R. Lee Ermey uses the word "Grab-Asstic" in Full Metal Jacket.

That's an excellent flick. I haven't seen it in a long time.

Dude. Have you noticed how much some people suck?

Work's for suckers.

I'm working nights. One of the people I work with is working the second job because he can't stand to be at home with his family. He can't stand them. He has a regular 9 to 5 job. Actually, it's a 7:30 to 3 job. Then, he'll sleep from 3:30 or so until 9:30, while the wife and kids are at home. And then, he'll come to work from 10 to 6, at his second job. This way, he doesn't have to interact with his family. It's a sad story, I think. But intriguing for its intricacy.

He's thinking of taking a third job for his days off.

Well, I'm all sleepy, and shit. You people get outta here. Keep an eye on things for me, will ya?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I belong in a Flannery O'Connor story

At least according to this quiz:

Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor wrote your book. Not much escapes
your notice.

Which Author's Fiction are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I do notice a lot of little things. But usually it's at the expense of noticing something larger. Like the fact that the remote control I've been looking for the past five minutes is just in my other hand.

As toward the quiz itself, I guess I have something of an eye for the grotesque and stupid.

Good Country People is my favorite O'Connor story. And the name Hulga is probably one of my favorite character names.

Enoch and the Gorilla is another fine tale, especially if you're from the rural south. It's a story of prejudice that gets turn comically on its ear.
Today's Funny

John Goodman, as Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski:

Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature, they prefer Asian-American.

and in the same breath.....

Besides, the Chinaman is not the issue.....

Walter is one of my favorite comedic characters in all of moviedom.

The whole scene where The Dude and Walter go to disperse Donnie's ashes, and Walter tries to clean ashes off The Dude when the ceremony goes badly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


One of the new movies on the counter at my local video rental place was one called All the Queen's Men. I picked it up. It seemed interesting.

It's got Eddie Izzard, who's got a broad, bizarre sense of humor that I enjoy very much.

It also stars Matt LeBlanc, who makes an ugly, ugly woman.

And Nicolette Krebitz, who is really hot. Though the picture on the page I've linked to doesn't do her a lot of justice.

Here's a better page for that. This page is in "German."

The movie is some crap, however. Just to warn you. It's about a group of soldiers in WW2 who infiltrate German society by cross-dressing. Their mission is to obtain encryption codes. And things go awry, and there's some male-female kissing, and some accidental male-male kissing. And also a little girl who thinks the old, curmudgeonly soldier is her mother.

An interesting bit of trivia, though. From the IMDB's trivia section:

This film holds the record for the greatest box office loss (as a percentage). The movie cost $15 million but only grossed $22,000 - a return of 0.08% of the studio's investment.

And don't get me wrong. It's really horrible. But you'd think that you could schmozz advertise it to the Friends crowd, and make people think they're going to see a zany comedy (and it is neither really zany, nor that much of a comedy: it's more dramatic than it is a comedy).

I'd say based on the Joey-crowd, you could have made back $5 to 8 million of the $15 million investment, and possibly more.

And it wouldn't have hurt LeBlanc too much, would it? I mean, people seem to have an affinity for Rob Schneidery shit. It couldn't have hurt Matt too much--they'd keep coming back for more, wouldn't they?

My new job is third shift. I've had to change my sleep patterns to accomodate that, which isn't the easiest thing for me. I've never in my life been a stay up all night type of guy. I've been old before my time for a long, long time. Papaw can't stay up late....he's gotta get up early.

9:30 in the PM?!??!!??!?! I gots to get to bed!

What's more, the sun comes up at roughly 7 and down at roughly 4:45, so that's not a lot of sunlight anyway. And I've been asleep for part of those hours each day for the past few.

So, I haven't seen a lot of the sunlight.

Add to that the fact that it's been raining off an on since Saturday night. And it's been pretty much cloudy when it's not been raining. Even when I've been awake, I haven't seen me a whole lot of sunlight here lately. For all the clouds.

It's too early in the fall/winter cycle to be getting this whole season dysfunction thing.

I guess I should thank heavens that I don't live in Barrow, Alaska, where they've seen their last sunlight until January 23. I'd go Loco before Christmas.

The job itself is fine. It's a joe-job. Nothing strenuous. But it doesn't allow me to use my brain, either. So that's frustrating. At least at the Charitable Organization, I'd have the opportunity to work out a problem and think something out. At the new jobs, it's pretty much set in place that I'll do the same thing every night. I can handle that. A little too easily. At the very least, it looks like I won't get bothered much, and it doesn't look like I'll have anybody on my back.

It's just a little irritating that I went to school for five years, got a degree, and this is what I'm doing.

But at least it's paying the bills. I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful that I even have a job at all, considering that I spent more of this year than I'd ever have thought being either overqualified or underqualified for every job out there.

And especially considering that there are people much brighter and a lot more capable than I am who've recently lost theirs.

Ah well. Enough grousing. Just remember that it's Work to Live, and not vice-versa, and I think we'll all be okey dokey.

I'll be better tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams was on TBS tonight. That ending, with Ray and his father having a catch, tugs on the heart strings every time.

The movie also has one of my favorite comedic moments between actors....Kevin Costner's Ray has re-entered James Earl Jones' Terrence Mann's apartment. And Terrence, completely unimpressed and unintimidated by Ray, casually picks up the crowbar, and tells Ray, calmly, that he's going to beat him with it.

It's one of those scenes that makes me laugh every time.
Today's Funny

From Ron "Tater Salad" White, on being arrested, from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour:

They told me I had the right to remain silent....but I didn't have the ability....."
Barry Bonds wins the MVP


Barry, without whom the Giants would have been the Padres, wins his sixth Most Valuable Player award.

The Gods (Vishnu, Poseidon, Balder, One of the Guardians of Oa, and "the American Dream" Dusty Rhodes) are appeased.

Albert Pujols, who had an excellent season, of that there is no doubt, came in second.

But I think the Giants would have been in much worse shape without Barry than the Cards would have been without Pujols. The Cards were just a complete offensive unit, with so many players to beat you--their pitching was the gaping hole in their season.

Monday, November 17, 2003

What a Bunch of Shit

Okay. My work is taking me to third shift tonight, so I slept this afternoon to help readjust my clock.

And while I'm asleep....Alex Rodriguez of the Rangers gets voted Most Valuable Player in the American League.

Not that it happened necessarily while I was asleep....they vote on these things at the end of the regular season...but they waited to announce the decision while I was asleep, to give me some "simmer down" time. They know I'm not going to come out to retaliate at night, owing to my extreme fear of the "Booger Man," who likewise, only comes out at night.

Can I just say this? Somebody needs to sit down with the baseball writers so that they can hammer down exactly what "Most Valuable Player" means.

To me, Most Valuable Player means that the award goes to the player who did the most for his team, and had the most positive impact toward his teams ultimate finish during the season.

Bill McCabe says it best: Could the Rangers not have finished in LAST PLACE, 20 games under .500 without Alex Rodriguez? I mean, seriously. If the Rangers lost Rodriguez for the season, wouldn't they have finished in last place anyway? To me, Rodriguez was the difference between a 70 win season, and a 60 win season. And that's not all that much, to me.

To me, it makes Rodriguez even less of a value to his team, because of his outrageous $252 million contract. I mean, yeah, ARod is more than pulling his weight, but the Rangers have so much tied up in Alex, that they aren't able to pick up three, four, even five or six players that they could use in the many places the Rangers had holes this year. And ultimately, I think those five or six players could have been, combined, better than ARod.

My kneejerk reaction, without looking at stats or anything, at the end of the season was Nomar. I felt like his leadership was tantamount to Boston's pennant push this year.

With a month and half to think about it, I kind of think his teammate David Ortiz might have been a better choice. He just kind of emerged from the mists, and did everything he needed to do for that team down the stretch.

That said, I'm wondering how much the teammates Nomar, Ortiz and Manny Ramirez split the vote....I think they're all mired somewhere in the middle of the pack when it came to voting. A lot of voters will only vote for one guy from each team in making their Top 10.

I couldn't have argued too much, though, if the Yankees Jorge Posada had gotten the award. I've got a lotta respect for anybody who wears the tools of ignorance. But to add to that handling that pitching staff under the greatest scrutiny, and to put up offensive numbers like that, and without fading too much down the stretch like a lot of catchers. Couldn't argue.

I didn't like Delgado as much as the voters did. He got second place. I would have put him fourth or fifth on my ballot.

Here's my ballot (with the advantage of having a month and a half to stew, and also having seen how the voting comes out):

1. David Ortiz.
2. Jorge Posada
3. Nomar Garciaparra
4. Shannon Stewart
5. Alex Rodriguez
6. Carlos Delgado
7. Bret Boone
8. Carlos Beltran
9. Eric Chavez
10. Carlos Lee

See? Delgado got sixth, on my voting sheet. And no Manny Ramirez. I kind of felt like his off-the-field actions kind of took away from his on-the-field number production. Evened out his value to the team as it were.

Ah well. This kind of tells me that Pujols will with the thing for the N.L. tomorrow. Despite the fact that if Bonds had been hurt all season, the Giants probably would have struggled to finish .500.

God, I even sound like a Bonds Booster. What's wrong with me?
Titles, and Whatnot

Julie told me that the title of Jason and Jesse's film, which I wrote about a couple or three posts ago, is called Zombie Whompers.

Just so you know.
Those Tracy Morgan Commercials

The commercial with Tracy Morgan and Ben Wallace for that ESPN NBA 2004 game cracks me up. Especially when Tracy puts his foot on the ball, and almost falls over.

And the line: The way I'll dunk on you is gonna look unorthodoxed.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal/God as Basis of Government

There have been a couple of times I've written about Murfreesboro's daily newspaper, the Daily News Journal. Generally speaking, the paper's not good for a whole lot, with the exception of L.M. Boyd's trivia column (behind the front page daily).

But today's Sunday paper has something I'd like to bring up. I picked up the Sunday DNJ because the Kwik Sak down the street didn't get its delivery of Nashville's Tennessean paper. And I was too lazy to walk all the way back down to the Shell station, where I'd already walked from. I figured, What the Hell?

Okay, there are many things about the story in question bugging me.

Let me start by saying that I'm unable to link to the story in question. The Murfreesboro paper is doing what it can to protect its profits by making its online articles available only to those who are already subscribers to their newspaper. I apologize for this, and you'll have to take my word for it when I quote a couple of passages.

I should also say for the benefit of any readers outside Tennessee who are unfamiliar with it, that there's a resolution floating among Tennessee's counties that acknowledges and proclaims God as the basis of our government. And Rutherford County (the county I live in) joined a lot of counties in Tennessee Thursday, when the Rutherford County Commission voted unanimously in favor of a proclamation.

Of course, it's front page news here in Murfreesboro. Three days later.

It may have been mentioned earlier in the week. I wouldn't know. I can't search articles on the Daily News Journal Website.

So. One of two things has happened here. Either the story (which is a minor hot-button issue, at the very least on the internet) hasn't gotten any coverage for three days....or the DNJ is putting a story they've already reported upon, with very little news that has happened since Thursday, on the front page of their Sunday newspaper.

Those are gripes Number 1 and 2, I suppose.

I would like to address a couple of things within the article.

First, it has the laziest headline I've ever seen: Resolution about 'God' approved.

Granted, I understand space on the front page is at a premium....but one of the things I was taught in my Journalism studies, copy-editing specifically, is to avoid passive verbs and prepositional phrases in your headlines. Commission: God is Foundation. It's powerful. Has "God" above the fold where it will catch people's eyes. It's all good. And it doesn't sound lazy.

The opening paragraph of the news story (written by Byron Hensley) reads as follows:

Following a lengthy debate, Rutherford County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday in favor of a proclamation "supporting the recognition of God."


If I can make a suggestion to the writer, Mr. Hensley: Please be very careful where you crop a statement when quoting someone or something. See....what is written in the paper here makes it sound like the Rutherford County Commission is issuing a proclamation in support of recognizing God.

Which to me implies that Rutherford County is shrugging off atheism in favor of a deity.

And that's not what the Rutherford County Commission has done.

The title of the document in question is this: "A Proclamation Supporting the Recognition of God as the Foundation of Our National Heritage." It may be only a semantic point, but to me, the difference between acknowledging anything's existence and acknowledging it's role in something are two very different things...two things a newswriter like Mr. Hensley (as well as his copy-editor and editor) should know the difference between.

And this little error serves to widen the chasm of ignorance that's surrounded this issue, too. Because for a lot of people, this resolution has been this: Because in the Bible Belt, either you're for the resolution acknowledging God as the basis for our government, or you're completely against God and a DAMNED HEATHEN who's going to HELL.

Now, toward the resolution itself.

In Rutherford County, apparently, Commissioner Mike Sparks is the man who led the campaign to get the proposition recognized by the Commission.

"I just feel as a county, we need to take a stand," [Sparks] said. "I understand the legalities, but sometimes, when some things right or something's wrong, we need to stand up for what's right."

He adds that certain small groups that don't represent the ideals of the majority are "telling us what to do."

It bugs me very much when a vast majority (and trust me, something like 85% of those in the country believe themselves to be Christians, whether they're practicing or not) still carries with it the stigma of the persecuted.

To Mr. Sparks...okay. It's fine that you want to go along with the whole majority rule thing. That's fine.

But I don't know if I'm able to adequately explain why such a resolution makes those whose beliefs put them in the minority feel insignificant and unrepresented.

My biggest problem with any group activity is when it becomes Us vs. Them. Whether it's sports fans, partisan politics or religion.

And my big problem with the resolution is this: If you make a statement that says God is the basis of our government, then you put in place the mechanism to undermine the legitimacy of any other belief structure, at least in terms of representation within our government.

Simply: the God of the men and women who draft this resolution may not necessarily mean the God of the Torah, or Allah of the Quran when they speak. They may. They may not. That question leaves a Jew, potentially, or a Muslim, even more potentially given our current political environment, in a liminal state. Is my God the basis of the Government, or is it their God?

As such, their place in within the society and their representation as one of those all men being created equal is lost. They are at a disadvantage. And in my mind, putting someone in a disadvantage just because they're in the minority is contrary to what so many different people fought for over the years.

Here's my potentially ignorant statement, while we're at it. Keep in mind that I'm generalizing here, but I think the people I speak of are still largely the rule, rather than the exception, no matter how far we've come in the political process:

My other problem is that the resolution is being voted upon by one of two groups of folks.

The first group is made up of the politicians. And what is a politician other than a person who will, when needed, tell the people what they want to hear? Part of me is really saddened by the fact that this resolution for a large part is little more than an attempt by a lot of politicians to get in good with the church crowd.

Understanding, of course, that it's a double-edged sword for a politician to walk. If you speak ill of such a resolution, it's entirely too easy to be labelled the aforementioned HEATHEN.

Add to that the second group. Since these resolutions are being passed at the local level, a good portion of those voting are little more than Good Old Boys and Gals whose association with other cultures and other religions is limited to what they read in National Geographic and hear about on G. Gordon Liddy and Rush Limbaugh. And to what they hear in church. And to what they've been hearing their whole lives.

And if that's the case, then it's a resolution that's bred of ignorance and hearsay, more than anything. And in this "enlightened age" we live in, with all the access to any manner of information in the accessible to anybody with a home computer, or failing that, a computer at work, or a library card, for that matter--that sort of ignorance is completely unacceptable.

It just makes me sad. I'll finish by saying that for all the good stuff I've got going on around me in Tennessee, living in the Bible Belt really perturbs me sometimes.
Fake Blood

Like I said last night, I helped my buddy Jason and his friends shoot a movie last night. I played a Big Badass Zombie.

Part of my costuming as the Big Badass (or is it Stupid) Zombie was a nice little bit of fake blood that was to congeal and look goopy when it dried a bit.

Which it did, with the exception of the bit that ran into my right ear, and though we got most of it out, I think there's a little bit that will be in there for the rest of my life.

The problem was, my scenes took an hour and a half to two hours to film, and underneath the rubber mask, it got quite a bit warm. And the body heat un-congealed the fake blood, which caused it to run down my shirt and all the way down my torso.

This is insidious stuff, folks. I took off my makeup last night first, and then took a shower to wash any of the remaining stuff. And this morning, I took another shower.

Now, two hours later, I blow my nose, and what comes out is a combination of a little the black used on places my face showed through the mask, especially around my nose, and a disturbing amount of the fake blood, which was dabbed around the nostrils a little bit.

The bad part is how real the stuff looks, and you panic at first: Jeebus! I have a nosebleed.

But it's just the fake blood. Blew my nose as clean as I could (with much cleaner results).

And a minute ago, I scratched my ear, and what turns up on my fingernail? More of that fake blood.

Well, got the ear cleaning solution out, and even used that little ear-sucker thing. I think I got a lot of it out. Maybe even most of it. But I kind of think I'll be pulling theatre blood out of places on my person for some time.

I'm just wondering when it will show up.

I did have a lot of fun shooting last night, though. Don't want my bitching and moaning to overwhelm that fact. Jason and Jesse look like they've got some funny stuff going on with their little zombie movie (it's a comedy, albeit a gorey one). It's a short film, and though I even thumbed through the script, it was late last night, and the title of the thing has slipped my mind completely. Maybe Julie or Jason will clue me in.

As for my part? Got there at 4 or so for makeup.

We shot one other scene before mine. The highlight of this was when shooting got stopped when the pizza guy showing up midway through.

And then, Jason's roommate Chris and I were in full zombie makeup, with Chris tied up in a garden hose to boot. He stood there, made up to look like his jaw was falling off. I stood there, made up as the gooey giant zombie. And the pizza guy stood there in the garage, doing anything he could not to make eye contact with anybody in the garage.

One of us even asked him, as we waited for somebody inside the house to come out with enough money to pay of the pizza, "Hey, how's it going?"

"Fine," the man, who was somewhat older than the college-age drivers who usually drive for Pizza Hut, told us without looking up from his delivery.

It was later in the evening, after dark, that we got to shoot my scene. Long and short of it? A confrontation between the two heroes and the Big Stupid Zombie.

Got to backhand Jason pretty good (it was an "accident") in one scene, and in another, I was to sling Jesse around. I think he tripped on one of my giant feet....but between the two of us, he got driven shoulder-first into the ground. Got to play with a sword.

I had fun. So the fake blood isn't really a complaint...just a price you pay.

As I was leaving, without my mask but still wearing quite a bit of the fake blood (which had run onto my shirt, for quite a gorey effect, melting with my body heat), with my eyes and nose blacked out, I looked quite a bit like a deranged Peter Criss.

Yep. A good night.

My buddy Jason is shooting a movie. Spent most of the afternoon shooting my scenes. I play a big badass zombie. I spent most of the day with a rubber mask spirit gummed to my face, throwing Jason and his friend Jesse around, and dodging the rain.

I'll write more later. Sleepy, and whatnot.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Jim Bob Cooter

What a great name: Jim Bob Cooter. He's one of the backup quarterbacks for the University of Tennessee....and he made it into the game to play today in the fourth quarter of Tennessee's thumping of Mississippi State.

Jim Bob Cooter.

They just don't make names like that anymore.

That name holds a particular fascination for SKBubba, who's donating to charity based on Cooter's mere mention during a game, with the amount donated rising with Cooter's actual appearance in a game, and with successes achieved during the game.
Baseball Link

The Transaction Guy...keeping track of all the off-the-field moves, with commentary. Should come in handy in the next few weeks.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Random Thoughts

Took a nap this afternoon.

Well, I wouldn't say I took a nap so much as I sort of fell into one. I was watching the Simpsons. And I think during one of the commercial breaks, I fell asleep. I woke up a while later, and it was completely dark outside and the news was going off. I'd slept too long for it to be easy to wake up, but not long enough to not be sleepy afterwards. And I'm still kind of wandering around in a fog. More than my usual foggy state, anyway.

I would like an air freshener that smells like freshly baked bread.

Had to delete a couple of comments this evening. I'm usually pretty anti-censorship. But the posts were abusive towards another commentor, and weren't meant to be funny except maybe to the writer. They were abusive towards me, too, but I don't take it personally. But they said a couple of things that really didn't need to be said.

Just act right. Don't be an ass. Jeebus! It ain't hard.
The World Oldest Person Dies. Again.

This is a favorite game of mine.


It's a mystery.

But something is killing the World's Oldest People.

I have a theory. Two Words: Keyzer Soze

Thank you to Diane (who really should consider starting her own blog) for the link.

I'm beginning to think that everything that ever happened on the Smurfs wasn't true at all.
I'm all gritty, and junk

You are Jesse Custer.
Jesse is as tough as they come and always willing
to prove it. He'll kick your ass for being a
jackass. Or back you up if you prove that
you're a man. An actual good guy, Jesse's word
and honor is without reproach.

What Gritty No Nonsense Comic Book Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Via the Filthy Hippy

And honestly? If I resemble any character, from within the Vertigo universe or without, it's Jack Russell, Werewolf by Night.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Error in Judgment

You know, being Big Stupid Tommy, I've made my share of mistakes in life. I won't bore you with the details, but I am very much to blame for New Coke, UPN and the admission of Arizona into the union.

But that pales in comparison to what Shelly Lowery did.

You know, I'd just like to ask which point did the idea of throwing a beer and porno party with a bunch of teenage boys seem like a good idea?

Just curious. I mean, was it at the grocery store, in the beer aisle? Or was it when you were buying the porno? Or were you just at the house, and you said, "You know what I'd like to do?"

And at whose suggestions was this whole deal? Was it her idea, or the kids?

Just curious. Especially since I have no frame of reference....since the average age of my high school English teachers was quite a bit more than 28.
Volunteer Tailgate Party

Barry, at the Inn of the Last Home, is hosting this volume of the Volunteer Tailgate Party. He beamed it via subspace transmitter all the way from the Starship Enterprise to your computer. Won't Wonders Ever Cease?
Big Stupid Tommy: A Year by the Numbers.

Today is my one year anniversary for blogging.

The short history.

I started blogging last year, after my buddy Matt told me about the Xymphora blog. I'll still occasionally take a look over there. But to be so sure (and up in arms) about our government lying to us takes a dedication that I just don't have.

I'd pointed that site to the roommate, who told me what blogspot was.

I wasn't writing, at the time. And I like to think of myself of a writer. But I wasn't writing, and I figured if I had something like a blog that I could obsess over, I'd at least have reason to write something. So far, it's worked.

For the first six months or so, the only people who really knew about the blog were friends, and friends of friends. I didn't have many links. I didn't worry about it so much. I just used it as an outlet of sorts.

Then, in June, I joined the Rocky Top Brigade. We're Tennessee bloggers, and whatnot.

In July or so, I started getting a lot of hits from Cubs fans, and I ended up linking up with a lot of Cubs sites, Uncouth Sloth and Let's Play Two among them.

And I've just gone along, lollygagging my way since then.

Thanks to those of you who read regularly.

Now: the Numbers

To date, I've published 182,414 words on the blog. That's quite a bit more than my estimate from last night of 100,000. 182,414 words? That's a good sized novel.

Of those 182,414, I'd wager that around 12-15 thousand of the words are things I've quoted on the blog. Whether it's a joke I've gotten in the e-mail or something that I've found in a story that either interests or offends me. And part of that bigger count also includes little things like the date headers and the commenting system.

165 to 170 thousand of the words here, I think, popped out of my head.


The breakdown (which I did last night, when I couldn't sleep, again):

November 2003........10,205................720
October 2003............26,414..............2132
September 2003.......24,596..............1922
August 2003.............23,861..............1777
July 2003..................16,366...............1437
June 2003.................14,084..............1150
May 2003..................11,641...............1012
April 2003...................9,783................932
March 2003...............11,780...............1114
February 2003...........10,169...............864
January 2003..............9,040................774
December 2002...........8,373...............714
November 2002...........6,102...............552


In the interest of fairness, and because I don't want anybody to think I hold the Democrats in any particular regard (though I'm not sure what judgment you could make from a statement like Senator Kerry could headbutt Jimmy Snuka into oblivion). I don't care one way or the other for the Democrats.

But here now, are my thoughts on the potential Republican Presidential Candidates in 2004:

George "Dubya" Bush: His cabinet is scarier than he is. And that's God's Honest Truth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

A Year?!??!?!?!!??!

I looked at my archives the other day, and I realized that I've been blogging for a year. As of tomorrow. Tomorrow is my one year anniversary.

Wow. A year's worth of nostril jokes, Cubs talk, Movie thoughts, one or three legitimate opinions and at least 100,000 words worth of BSTommy brand inanity.

Keep in mind, it's an Earth year. My homeworld's year is roughly 411 of our days, and the shorter year is disorienting to the point of insanity. I don't know when to rut. I don't know when to hibernate. I don't know when to do anything. And not having the River of Somnoria to swim up to lay my eggs?

If you think sitting through a car ride is bad, try holding in 2.3 million egg sacs until you can find a suitable river bed to lay them in.

But my homeworld doesn't have pizza, or baseball. So I'm not leaving. And you can't make me. Cab Fare alone would be greater than the combined assets of French Guiana and the Ivory Coast.
Barclay Spider

One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation is on. It's the one where some manner of virus is infecting the crew, and the result is not cough, nor cold, nor even bumps on the sex organs.

Two words: Barclay Spider.

See, this virus causes its victims to de-evolve. Into Apes. Or Lemurs, in Picard's case. Or Mer-People, like Troi. Or weird giant bony venom spitters. Like Worf.

Or spiders. Lt. Barclay (played excellently by Dwight "H.M. Murdoch" Schultz), who is human, somehow devolves into a spider-creature. Complete with webspinners and multiple eyeballs.

What I came to dislike about Star Trek, even in the days of The Next Generation, is that it gets caught up and bogged down in its own created history, its own mythology, and its own pseudo-science, that it becomes a series that repeats itself over and over again.

And in the sea of Star Trek's own pseudo-history and science, many good S.F. stories drown.

Which is why I like a story like this. Because it's a neat story (complete with Worf eating like mad and spraying Dr. Crusher with his venom sacs). And I like it because it came from so far out out of left field when it came to Star Trek's writers, who were (and are) faithful to a fault to its created science. And I like it because it is, ultimately, of little consequence to the series, which is outlandish in and of itself.

I tend to think de-evolving into a monkey, or a lemur, or especially a spider, for the already neurotic Barclay, would be something of a traumatic life event. Something that would come up in conversation later.

Riker: This was a bad day.

Data: Sir, would you say it was as bad a day as the day you de-volved into a proto-human? Or was it worse?

And what's more, I tend to think Starfleet would want to examine almost EVERYBODY on the ship, from children up to Captain Picard, just to make sure they're fit for duty, physically and psychologically.

And more than that....since there were predators, who get territorial, I'm sure somebody had to have died. I'm sure somebody would want to have an investigation into that. Can't just mark "killed by devolved crewmember ape thing" on the form, and just move on. Even in the 24th century.

But it's never brought up again. And I like that. Shows that the writers can still go out there and have fun.
The New Slogan

Via Say Uncle, we find the Advertising Slogan Generator:

After the third try, we got my personal favorite:

Big Stupid Tommy. It's What's for Dinner.

And now, a few thoughts on the Democratic Presidential Candidates:

Howard Dean: Condescending, fake smile. Don't say on an interview show that you aren't sure if the viewers will know what you're talking about. That only makes me ill, dude.

Al Sharpton: Witty, even funny. Possibly insane. I think he may actually be Tracy Morgan in disguise.

Joe Lieberman: I look at him, and I think both Evil Henchman and Evil Overlord. He reminds me so much of Wormtongue from the Two Towers that it's scary. Plus, I'd say he wrings his hands a lot and moans a lot like Pat, in those old SNL skits. But he looks so much like Senator, and later, Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars that I think we should be on the lookout for any Sith Lords he may have accompanying him.

Richard Gephardt: He's a Dick.

Carol Moseley Braun: Seems nice, but is she serious? I mean, does she honestly think she's got a chance? I mean, I realize that you have to do something, but this all seems like a tremendous waste of time.

Wesley Clark: It would be great if he just shot people at a debate. In the middle of answering question, stops, looks at his feet, and says under his breath: "Screw It." Then he pulls out a pearl-handled revolver and just starts taking the other candidates out.

John Kerry: Could headbutt you into oblivion. Seriously. Look at that dome. He could put Jimmy Snuka down with that melon.

Dennis Kucinich: Who? Don't know you, chief. But you'll never win the Presidency with a last name like that.

John Edwards: Looks like a game show host, or a car salesman. Or a TV preacher. None of which instills me with a great deal of confidence. I trust his smile even less than I do Howard Dean's.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Veteran's Day

So many others can say it a lot more eloquently than I can.

I'll just say thanks to the veterans. I appreciate it.
Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, November Edition

Haven't had an insomnia post in a while.

No real reason I'm awake. I woke up from a weird dream, but don't have any memory of the dream so much....just my mind thinking "Boy, that was weird" as the dream skittered away on spider legs into the night and I came fully awake.

Then I got up to use the bathroom, and here I am an hour later.

Just a few thoughts (asking you please to excuse any spelling errors or inane and just plain wrong ideas):

Until this evening, I had never seen Joe Dirt. It's making the rounds on Comedy Central now. It wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be. But it wasn't as good as all the people who've been telling me how great and underrated a comedy it is. But still, it made me smile. Nice Bob Zany appearance, too.

I saw two different cars today in my travels with Alaska license plates. What are the odds, do you think? Probably a longer shot here than if I lived in, say, Washington. Or Alaska. And do you think they see more Tennessee license plates in Alaska than I see Alaska plates here in Tennessee?

There was a girl who worked at the main office in Nashville who had Hawaii tags on her car. She was from Maui, if I remember correctly--and it being 4 in the morning, I might not be remembering correctly. But seeing a Hawaiian license plate anytime I was up there made me wish I was playing the license plate bingo game with somebody.

Little known rule? If you spot a Hawaiian license tag while playing License Plate Bingo? Everybody else playing has to be your slave for 2 months. It's even legal to hit them. (In Hawaii, the converse is true....if you see a license plate from any other state...then the other players owe you a life debt)

I don't eat midnight snacks. But for some reason, a chili dog sounds really good right about now. Unfortunately, there are no hot dogs, buns, or chili in the apartment. I could go to Wal-Mart and buy these things. And believe you me, don't think I haven't thought about it. Right now, to my sleep-deprived mind, the idea of sprinting into and around the Wal-Mart in an utter panic and buying the makings of chili dogs is an absolute riot!

I actually sat here in my chair in front of my computer and giggled about it for at least a minute. And I can't remember ever describing something as "an absolute riot" ever in my life. Though I probably have.

I think I've done something to my left elbow. I don't know if I'm sleeping on it awkwardly or if I've hurt it carrying something or what. But it's been sore for a good week now. I'm ready for it to knock it the hell off and get better already. It hurts on the back part, kind of where you'll hit your funny bone. And it also hurts a little where the bicep connects to the bone near the elbow.

Yeah I know. Call me a ding dang old Wah-mbulance.

It's 4:11. The downstairs neighbors just got home, and it sounds like they've locked themselves out of their apartment.

Somebody already inside opened up and let them in. Good for them.

Well. I've just yawned like four times. I think it's time I try "the bed" again, and see what happens.

Good night (or good morning, to you folks in Nova Scotia).

Monday, November 10, 2003

Rookie of the Year

Angel Berroa and Dontrelle Willis won the A.L. and N.L. Rookie of the Year Awards

I can't argue much with Berroa, though I think if I'd voted, since there were no rules against players in foreign major leagues winning, I'd still have voted for Hideki Matsui. I think the Berroa vote reflects a bit of irritation at baseball writers at having those other leagues coming into to play, and being considered rookies when they've been playing several years overseas.

I'm kind of split on Dontrelle Willis thing.

I think I said at the end of the season that I'd have voted for Willis. I'm going on the standard that the Rookie of the Year is kind of like the Most Valuable Player award, only for first year players. I thought then (and still think) that he was very much the spark for that Marlins team that broke out of its doldrums and went on to win it all. And without Willis to rally around early on in their season, after Jack McKeon took over, I'm not sure the Marlins would have done as well as they did.

Without Webb, the D'Backs wouldn't have changed position much. And without Posednik? How much worse could the Brewers be...honestly?

I see the other side, though. Dontrelle faltered so much down the stretch that when it came time to set the rotation for the playoffs, Willis was a little bit the forgotten son behind Penny, Beckett and Mark "Losing Pitcher" Redman. And by the World Series, Willis was pitching out of the bulldpen.

And I see that both Scott Posednik and Brandon Webb, statistically, were better than Willis over the long haul.

And I'll say very much that the stats guy in me notices these things very much. And it's a question day-to-day as to which baseball fan....the maudlin' guy who wants feel-good ending...or the numbers guy, who actually gives a damn about things like win-shares and OBP.

Here's where I'm leaning right now:

Since baseball's publicity machine does a pretty a piss poor job of promoting itself in any positive way, anything that makes the game look a little better, I'll buy.

Dontrelle Willis is a young kid who's been shown that he likes to play. He actually has fun out there on the baseball field.

And in a time where we have superstars like Barry Bonds in court testifying in a steroid case, Sammy Sosa corking his bat, Manny Ramirez acting like a stupid, lazy millionaire, and any number of players from Roberto Alomar or Rafael Palmiero, who aren't exactly dogging it, but are almost definitely primarily out there cashing a check, showing no apparent interest in either playing hard or even actually winning a World Championship....maybe it's not necessarily a bad thing that the popular kid (who plays hard and is popular for coming virtually from nowhere and, for a time this season, being one of the the most dominant pitchers in the N.L.) gets the award and the adulation.

Especially in this time of free agent signings, when a lot of has-beens and never-will-be's will be signed to contracts to get paid more money than the overwhelming majority of baseball fans will ever see in their lives. If we can balance out the resentment of that fact just a little by putting a kid who came from the minors to dominate his first couple of months in the majors, I think it's probably not a bad thing.

Baseball needed and still needs a LOT of players who do stuff like that.

If I can offer a final thought and a prediction:

This Rookie of the Year award means little in the long run. I mean, many teams has Todd Hollandworth played with now?

I'm sure we'll be hearing Brandon Webb's name a lot more over the coming seasons than we will Dontrelle Willis'. I'm kind of thinking Willis has got a couple of tells in his delivery that a lot of people have picked up, nowadays, which is why he wasn't as impressive down the stretch, and put into the bullpen in the postseason. And unless he works a few of those out, he's gonna be toast before long.

Brandon Webb's got a nasty-ass sinker that you know is coming, but you still can't hit.

In the end, I think Willis is a good enough choice.

However....if Albert PooHoles wins the MVP over Barry "I'm an asshole, but without me, the Giants were the Padres" Bonds, we need to elect completely new Baseball Writers to represent us each year.
Athiests and Preachers

Les Jones (by way of Say Uncle) has a short talk on the inconsistencies and contradictions of Tennessee's Constitution.

Luckily, I'm a member of the Low Church of Emmanuel Lewis, but a member only.
Really the best thing?

I looked at what I'd written last night, in the post that follows this one on the page. And I don't think that was actually the best thing I've ever heard anybody say to anybody else. There have been a lot of good ones. Ranging from zingers and burns all the way up to the truly deep and philosophical.

But what Crazy James said that one time was really good, and it's a personal favorite.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

The Best Thing I've Heard Anybody Ever Said to Anybody Else

I worked in a hotel one summer between semesters.

It was A.M. shift. I got there really early. For a couple of hours, it was me and the Night Auditor, whose name was James. We had four different James working there at the time. To differentiate the Night Auditor from the multiple James we had there, we referred to this James as Crazy James.

This was partly at his request, because, he said, he would say anything to anybody, and he was proud of that fact. It also owed in part to his tendency to occasionally fly off the handle for no apparent reason.

The best story to illustrate the first reason:

I had just gotten there one morning. I was getting a drawer together, and I heard Crazy James talking with a guest. The guest, I would learn later, had just checked in a couple of hours before (I got there at 4:30 each morning). Crazy James later told me that this guest had been an all around pain in the ass from the time he walked in the door. It was the second time he'd been to the desk in the couple of hours, and he'd also called James a couple of times.

"The level of the water in the toilet is too high." He was complaining at this particular moment. The complainer was a man of about fifty, rumpled, frumpled and pretty ill with the world.

"What do you mean?" Crazy James asked.

"When I'm sitting on the toilet, my penis is in the water," there was a beat, and then, "do you know what that's like?"

Can you guess at what point I stopped completely what I was doing and listened intently from the desk where I sat to the conversation on the other side of the doorway? I was also fully cognizant of the fact that Crazy James might not have been the crazier member of the conversation. I then stood up to get a full view of the situation, but also to be ready in the offhand chance that something was seriously wrong with this guest's mental makeup.

I mean, that's not something you typically discuss with strangers, even in the hotel/hospitality industry.

Our Night Auditor was able to diffuse the situation, with what was the best thing I've ever heard anybody say to anybody else:

Crazy James said: "No sir, I wouldn't. I don't reach. But to be honest, if I did, I wouldn't be complaining about it. Least of all to a hotel clerk."

"Oh," the man said, as if such an idea, while feasible and right in front of his face, had never once occurred to him. "Sorry to bother you," he said. He wandered, slump-shouldered back to his room, and we didn't hear from him again during my shift.

James quit not long after that, in the middle of his shift. He just told the security guard he was leaving, that he was tired of working there, citing all the crazy guests, the package in the toilet water man in particular, and none of us ever saw Crazy James again.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

More on Will Ferrell as Ignatius Reilly

Will Ferrell's signed on to play Ignatius Reilly in the big screen adaptation of Confederacy of Dunces.

I've written a little about this.

I like Will Ferrell. A lot.

And I like Confederacy of Dunces. A lot.

But whenever I hear Ferrell as Reilly, it just runs up my spine as a miscast. I can't give any real reason, other than this: Will Ferrell never has done anything close to the Ignatius Reilly I've seen and heard in my head whenever I've read Confederacy of Dunces. And I hate to hinge my argument on something so subjective, you know?

Especially when I can't come up with an alternative to play Reilly....the closest I have in my head is Monty Python's Terry Jones in an outfit a lot like the one he wore playing Mr. Creosote, in Meaning of Life, except with a lot of Wayne Knight's mannerisms as Newman, on Seinfeld, thrown in to boot.

Here's what Will had to say about it in a CNN interview:

CNN: You've just been cast in the movie version of "A Confederacy of Dunces" [as distinctive protagonist Ignatius J. Reilly]. Are you worried about what fans of the book will think of you in the role?

FERRELL: Whether good judgment or not, I'm not afraid to do something. That doesn't mean that I'm not aware of the fact that I can do a movie like ["Dunces"] and the purists could be like "Why? Why is it him?" I'm definitely aware of that, but I really can't worry about it too much. And you could probably name 10 other people who could play Ignatius and I would agree with you that they should probably do it.

That's a good answer...and I suppose that's the danger that anybody plays a character that a lot of people have taken to heart.

I don't know if it's quite the same thing (or audience), but I remember hearing Tom Cruise say that when he played Lestat in Interview with the Vampire, he got more scrutiny initially from the public for that role than for any other role that he played.

I respect the response that he's not going to be afraid of playing the character. That he's not going to be afraid of the purists. Don't know if I'm a purist. I just know that I think it's a kickass, funny book.
Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton was of particular annoyance to me earlier this year. She's famous for nothing other than being rich. And, because I don't have anything better to do, that bugs the fool out of me.

But, at the very least, with her new sex tape, she can be famous for having done something now.

But if I can echo Bill the at least 3 folks looking for the tape to have hit upon this site, I don't have the tape anyplace on this site. You'll have to go someplace else. Many apologies.
USA will not play for Olympic Baseball Gold in 2004

The Olympics are overrated, granted.

But if the World is going to be playing for Olympic gold in baseball, then America needs to be there.

But the United States didn't qualify, and won't be playing the Olympics in 2004.

I can't help but be disappointed about this. And maybe even a little embarassed. It's supposed to be our Pasttime, but we can't even garner enough talent to qualify for the Olympics.

I blame the MLB Used Car Salesman Commissioner, first and foremost. For giving no quarter when it came to the Olympics vs. the continuity of the baseball season. Bud's an owner, and he sees the investment owners have in their players, and can't think much past the bottom line.
The Pro Wrestling Post

If you're a wrestling fan, specifically an NWA-TNA fan, check out this post, concerning the furor that has arisen around Lex Luger's appearance next week in the main event. Keep in mind that I have no issue with his drug problems or the whole issue of Miss Elizabeth's death. I take issue with the fact that he hasn't been in a wrestling ring more than 7 or 8 times in the past 2 1/2 years, and all of a sudden, he's in the main event of a national promotion that purports to hold itself to a higher standard.

What I further take issue with is the fact that the promotion wants to cater to the good ol' boys of the wrestling industry, and not the younger talent, and I think the younger talent is the key to their ultimate success. And they're utilizing the good ol' boys too much, and the younger talent not enough.

But, again, you can read this post.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Ebert, on School Violence

When prompted by a reporter to say that violent movies, or movies with particularly violent scenes, influence younger kids, Roger Ebert refused.

Says the thumb:

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."

Preach it, Rog....

Though I'd still wager parents plopping the kids down in front of any kind of TV, instead of actually having meaningful communication with them, is still the biggest problem.

From Ebert's review of Elephant.
Popular Trends

Today's Friday Five was some slaw, and I'm not going to waste my time, except with this one question:

.5. What popular trend baffles you?

This thing with the baseball caps. Where people wear their hat so that it's worn so that it's about to fall off the head, with the bill facing at an odd angle, usually facing off to the right or the left at about a 45 degree angle.

In my mind, there are two ways to wear a baseball cap:

1.) The correct way, with bill forward.

2.) Inside out, when your team is behind and they need inspiration for a big inning.

And I can even accept the thing where it's turn around backwards. I'm desensitized. I've seen it so much I don't even notice it. Personally, I'll only wear my cap backwards in public if I'm playing catcher or I'm needing to argue with the umpire. But enough people wear their baseball caps that way that I'm not going to argue. I wish somebody could describe the function.

There was a guy I worked with once who argued that wearing his cap backwards kept the sun off the back of his neck. I wondered, but didn't ask: What good it was if the sun's off your neck, if it's shining directly into your eyes?

And I also recognize that if this cap askew trend continues into the future, I'll likewise become desensitized to that, too. But that will take longer. Because it looks dumber.

But I digress on this point.

The cap askew thing doesn't bother me a lot. But it does make me wonder.

Why wear your cap so that the slightest wind can grab it and blow it away?

Why do you have the bill over your ear? Does it signify something? Is it some sort of 21st century unspoken language that I've not been clued in on?

Does it signify that you're either so much of a party person or a stoner that you're so tired or out of it that you can't even turn your hat forward?

Or is it a minor rebellion, where only normal people wear their hats forward?

I won't point out that I see more people with hats turned sideways. Even on the campus.

And I guess that's part of what's bothering me. The number of people on the college campus right across the street I see wearing their hats askew.

I want to knock them over. Straighten their hats, and say: You're in COLLEGE! You're Vaguely an ADULT! You should at least be able to give up the trappings of popular culture's definition of how to wear a baseball cap!

And then I'd also steal their money, while I'm there.

Like I said, it's a little thing. I don't spend many of my nights up awake in the throes of torment wondering about this.

But it does get me to wondering, sometimes.
The Producers

Max Bialystock: Roger, did you have a chance to read "Springtime for Hitler?"

Roger De Bris: [emerges from behind a partition wearing a dress] Remarkable, remarkable! A stunning piece of work.

Leo Bloom: [under his breath] Max...he's wearing a dress.

Max Bialystock: No kidding.

Roger De Bris: Did you know, I never knew that the Third Reich meant Germany. I mean it's just drenched with historical goodies like that... Oh dear, you're staring at my dress. I should explain. We are going to the choreographer's ball tonight and there's a prize for the best costume.

Carmen Giya: And we always win!

Roger De Bris: I don't know about tonight. I'm supposed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, but I think I look more like Tugboat Annie. What do you think, Mr. Bloom?

Leo Bloom: ... Where do you keep your wallet?

Holy Shit! Why didn't somebody tell me The Producers was on TV tonight?

The Mel Brooks movie is one of the best movie comedies ever, and one that is overlooked quite a bit, especially in the face of the frenzy brought on by the Nathan Lane/Matthew Broderick performances on Broadway.

As for the film?

It is one of the finest moments of cinematic physical comedy when Zero Mostel's Max Bialystock tries to exit the elevator at Roger DeBris' home. I can't do it justice, except to say that at no point has anybody rebounded off of a wall any more entertainingly.

Gene Wilder? I'm wet! I'm wet! I'm Hysterical....and I'm wet!

And Kenneth Mars has never been more inspired.

I love this movie.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Book #13

What follows is a twin posting from my booklist, where I've set for myself the goal of watching less television, and attempting to read 100 books in a year (October 1, 2003-September 30, 2004).

Somebody e-mailed me to say that I was sacrificing quality in the name of quantity.

I'll say this: it's a concern. But I'm not going out of my way to read anything shorter or particulary easy (though my first 12 books may not reflect that...I'm in a light stage right now).

I'll amend my mission statement to say: If work, actual social life, or high quality of written word get in my way, 100 books will have to fall to the wayside.

Now, #13:

Dennis Covington
Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia

(Reading the 1995 Penguin books printing)

I started this one about a year ago, and put it down after getting 20 pages in, and promptly lost it for a little while. Actually, it got buried in the detritus of my existance (largely made up of old Wal-Mart Receipts). I didn't find it until a month later, and by then I'd moved on to other things.

So, I re-started it tonight. Got about 80 pages in. So far, I'm fairly impressed. Going by my mother's side, I'm just a couple or three generations out of the Appalachian mountains, myself. It's interesting because:

So far, Covington's classified snakehandling as a response to a world a lot of the rural folks didn't understand. It's an All-American microcosmic view of the agrarian society's struggle to acclimate itself to the industrial, and later, mechanized, and even now, the digital age.

It's fundamentalist at its roots, as snakehandlers draw inspiration from a line of scripture where it says the true believers will be shown to be the ones to handle the serpents, to drink poison without dying and to show healing powers by the laying on of hands.

And since Covington's story begins in Northeast Alabama, a little more than an hour's drive from Riceville, I vaguely remember a lot of the early incidents Covington describes, as far as court trials and snakebite incidents.

I should finish it this weekend.

New Nickels

I missed the announcement back in April, though I can't say how. Apparently, we're getting a couple of new designs for the Nickel. It's a temporary thing. The Monticello home lobby seems so powerful that when they balk at losing the free publicity for their home, the U.S. Mint backs down in a hurry.

It's an exciting story, though, isn't it?

Yeah. I crapped my pants, I got so excited.
Dragging Death

Cincinnati Reds rookie Dernel Stenson was murdered in what appears to be a dragging death in Arizona.

(ESPN just reported that it appears, rather, he was shot, and then run over by possibly his own SUV....doesn't make it any less cruel, in my mind)

You know...with all the cruel and unusual crimes we have going on nowadays (Malvo and Muhammed; those bags of excrement in New Jersey who starved their boys; the mass murderer who killed 48 women, has admitted to it, and gets life in prison because he admitted to it) makes a man question the whole No Cruel and Unusual punishment clause.

Maybe in crimes where a victim dies an a cruel and unusual way....the cruel and unusual punishment prohibition could be waived.

We could limit it to hobbling, or crucifixion.

How about having to face a firing squad every three months or so. One that aims only at the arms, legs and genitals?

I'm all for matching the punishment with the crime. Let somebody who drags somebody to death behind their truck, be dragged to death behind a truck.

Maybe the families of the victims should get to decide how the convicted killers get to spend the rest of their existance. You know, the courts take a killer off the street forever. And it's the family that gets to decide that killer's destiny from here on out. Whether that means sitting in a jail cell, or dying by lethal injection. Or being subjected to daily draggings or twice-yearly hobblings or whatever their hearts desire.


Wednesday, November 05, 2003

South Park

That whole Red Dawn bit from tonight's episode? That was hilarious.
Funny Pictures

I love caption contests. Anybody else do the caption contest on Joe Bob Brigg's old Monstervision site? I got a couple of honorable mentions, but never placed in the top ten.

Gooseneck's got a caption contest going.
Bathroom Graffiti

Seen scrawled on the wall of the restroom stall I used this morning:

"We come into this world cold, wet, and naked....and then it gets worse....."


"Yeah, Taco Bell gives me the runs, too."

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Chili....on anything?

Sonic's commercials state that at their restaurants, you can get chili....on anything.


Because I have a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin foam birdie flipping finger that I can't say is complete unless I have Sonic's chili glopped onto it.

What about a person? Would they put chili on somebody? Because a person is, technically, a thing.

What about food from another restaurant? I have lobster that I've taken out at Red Lobster....Would you put some chili on it, please?

Or is the "anything" limited to their menu?

Even then....if I wanted a banana split, or a Green Apple Slush with chili, would they comply, or would good taste prevent them from doing that?

Yeah...I'd like a large diet coke. But could you top that with chili?

Those two punks in the Sonic commercials, by the way, get way too excited over the fact that you can get chili on anything at Sonic.

I like chili.

But I'm not going to start doing air guitar riffs just because somebody's going to put chili on my country fried steak sandwich for me.

(I'm lying. Yes I would.)
One of my favorite jokes

I heard this one a long time ago, from my cousin Christine, and I heard it on the radio this afternoon.

A church is in dire need of a bell ringer. The preacher puts a sign out on the front lawn, and within five minutes, he hears a knock on the door.

He opens the door, and finds a man with no arms standing there.

"Can I help you?" he asks.

"I''d like to apply for the job of bell ringer."

The preacher is hesitant, because he has no idea how the man with no arms will ring the bell. He explains this to the man.

"Just take me up the belfry," the man says.

They go up into the steeple, and they stare at the bell for a second.

"Watch this," the man with no arms says.

The man then backs up a couple of steps, takes a running start, jumps up, and smacks the bell with his face.


The preacher can't believe it. "Do it again," he says.

So the man complies, runs, jumps and smacks the bell with his face!


The preacher is nonplussed. "Do it one more time," he says, "and you have the job."

The man steps back, runs, jumps, misses the bell, goes flying out the window and falls to his death.

Later, the police are questioning the preacher....who had only this to say:

"I don't know his name, but his face rings a bell...."