Monday, February 28, 2005

The Oscars

The Oscars

I want to host the Oscars next year. What a great gig. You stand behind a microphone. You perform in awkward sketches with Adam Sandler. You don't even have to be funny. I can be unfunny. Where do I sign up?

Does Bruce Vilanche have to write for me, or can I come up with my own schtick?

Chris Rock isn't terribly funny to me. But last night was bad even for him. Is Vilanche still writing for the Oscars, or do the hosts get to come up with their own junk?

Though I did laugh at the bit with Albert Brooks and White Chicks. I thought that was pretty funny, for some reason.

Anyway. No particular gripe about the awards. And where's the fun in that? I thought these award shows were designed so that we'd have something to bitch about the next day.

I was kinda hoping for a grand slam for Million Dollar Baby, with Best Actor, Actress, Director and Picture. Who'da thunk the guy who played Wanda on In Living Color would have derailed that.

And maybe this is just me. I didn't see his speech live, just on the news this morning. Did Jamie Foxx's speech seem, I dunno, disingenous to anyone else? I watched it, and I said "that's his worst performance this year."

I also thought The Aviator might get more attention. Those old Academy types like movies that look back on Hollywood's past, especially if it's something from their glory days.

But I've got no gripe with the winners. Especially Morgan Freeman. Classy guy, that Morgan Freeman.

Suddenly, I'm in Sinbad's standup act....

Suddenly, I'm in Sinbad's standup act...

Chris had a story about an excursion to the grocery store, where he managed to get in line behind the worst possible customer.

That's me, too. In the sense that every now and then, I seem to find the checkout line with the biggest possible wait caused by the most idiotic possible person. It's Harvey Pekar's luck, and when it comes to the grocery, I have it.

My personal pet peeve is still the self-check lane. I'm a surgical strike shopper. I know what I want, and I don't want to hang around the store waiting to pay. I've decided that the self-check lane is a good idea, in theory.

However, the thing rarely works right. I have to stand there with purchases while some slackjaw comes to give me change for a five. Or, all the manned checkouts are full, and the self-check lane is filled with some piece of crap who has a cart and a half worth of groceries, but lives in the year 1967 and hasn't quite figured out the "bar code." Or you get behind the piece of shit who has 29 little bitty containers of lip gloss, and is taking roughly a week and a half to scan each one.

And...there's only one store in my town right now that has a self-check lane. And it's not really a self check lane. You scan your items. But the store has the scanner set, a lot of the time, so that things won't ring up unless the person at the station supervising the self-check lanes okays the purchase. So you don't get to buy your economy size bag of pork rinds unless the person at the counter says it's okay, which essentially takes twice the amount of time it would if you'd just gone to the manned checkout.

So, you're stuck in the manned lines.

My psychosis about the checkout lines are the customers. The ones who just don't understand how the conveyor belt works. You know, the little line that you put your purchases on so that the checker has easy access to them?

Say you're buying a couple of things (gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, and a car battery). The person in front of you is also buying a couple of things (three packs of baseball cards and a giant bottle of hand lotion). You know, that car battery's getting kind of heavy. You want to set it on the conveyor.

The but person in line in front of you has their stuff on the conveyor, but they aren't letting their purchases ride the conveyor to the front of the line. Instead, they've got their hand in front of their goods, letting them slide along the belt. We've had electric eyes for years now. Just let your stuff go, and before it goes tumbling into the lap of the checker, the electric eye will catch your giant bottle of Jergens and stop the progress of the belt.

Meanwhile, I won't have to give myself a hernia holding onto my car battery so that it doesn't crush your purchases.

That's the grocery store gripe.

I got off on a small rant there on the grocery.

What I wanted to write about was the experience I had at a local fast food eatery this past weekend.

I was helping my Dad fix the roof above their carport (he bought some old tin roofing off a fellow who'd torn down a barn, and Dad's putting the tin above the carport, but below the deck'll channel the rainwater better, and give squirrels less of a place to make hidey-holes). Before we started, he asked if I wanted breakfast. He'd pay if I'd run into town to buy.

He wanted, specifically, 2 sausage and egg biscuits from McDonald's. Got orders from everybody, and off I wandered into town to find McDonald's.

I live in a small town. About 12,000 people or so.

Every one of them was at McDonald's. In the drive thru.

After consulting, everyone was still adamant about McDonald's biscuits. The eggs are better, apparently.

Since the drive thru line stretched from here all the way to your home town, I wandered inside. The line was long, but not 15 cars long. McDonald's has an inexplicable draw on this town. It's ALWAYS busy. I think it's the brain control drugs in their food. I'm immune. I have no brain.

I go into the restaurant behind a guy in a blue flannel jacket. He gets into the same line I do, right in front of me. We're both there the same amount of time.

Now, I know exactly what I want. I'm picking up for a few people. I've got my order in my head, even before I come in the door.

We wait in line for four or five minutes. Not long, really. But long enough if you're standing in line at the fast food restaurant.

We're there. Doing nothing but staring up at the big menu on the wall, the one with all the food and the corresponding prices. For five minutes. I could decide what I want for my next 19 meals in five minutes.

We finally get up to the counter.

"Can I help you?" the girl asks.

"Uhh...Let me think," the guy says. And he does. For a long time. He doesn't say anything.

Suddenly, I'm in Sinbad's standup act.

I wish I'd had a slapjack. Or a sockful of nickels. I think I'd have been well within my rights to have put the guy out for a while. You get a time out. Rejoin humanity when you know how to act socially.

I made eye contact with the counter person, as the guy pondered "Breakfast Burrito" or "Sausage Griddle." She was wishing for a slapjack, too.

But then, aren't we all?

Luckily, the next register became free. The fellow in that line asked me to go ahead, because he hadn't decided. Nice fellow. I might have slapjacked him, too. But that's because I don't know how to act socially, either.

By the time I got my six biscuits, the guy I'd been in line behind was just finishing ordering what he'd wanted, and paying. As I was leaving, we made eye contact, and he gave me a friendly nod, and his expression, smiling with raised eyebrows, still confuses me.

I don't know what that eyebrow raise meant.

It could have meant "Wow, that was quick! Good job."

Or, it could have meant "It was a pleasure sharing the McDonald's experience with you. I truly am lovin' it!"

Or even "Hey! You look familiar! Like a really heavy Neil Patrick Harris!"

But thinking back, and knowing the annoyance he'd put me through, I like to think that somewhere in the recesses of whatever passes for a brain in this human rain delay's head, as he smiles and nods at me:

"Hey! I can breathe air through my mouth and my nose! That's astonishing!"

Because I'm sure that's what people who annoy me think about.

Wow. This was a long post.

Sunday, February 27, 2005



Got an e-mail tonight. From the former keeper of the Damn Art Diary. A short while back, he sent me a copy of the short film he'd made, Snapper. I don't know what to say about the venture, except that I laughed myself frigging stupid.

Then, there was a sequel, Snapper Revenge. I laughed myself frigging even more stupid. Yep.

You can watch them on your very own computer, at the Snapper site.

But the tonight's e-mail contained these fateful words: "Yup, we just don't know when to quit."

Snapper's back. In comic form!

Sometimes, it just makes my evening to see in big threatening red letters: "I'm Gonna Eat the Hell out of You!"

Give it a look. I mean, seriously, what were you planning on doing anyway? The nekkid pictures will still be there when you're done looking at Jason's work.



Somewhere on the list of the little things I like in life, somewhere up kinda high, you'll find quiet Sunday mornings. Nobody else is up and out. Especially none of the fools. Makes me feel like the world is mine.

Of course, we all know that the Second National Bank of Butte, Montana technically holds the note on the World. But I'm making regular payments. By 2042, it will be all mine.

I usually get up early to do a little writing. I like the quiet. Got asked at work why I get up so early to do it. I get up early because my head isn't cluttered up with the junk of the day. I'm the type that's got a hard time letting go if something from the day's bothering me. Usually sleep will wash it away. After I've slept, and before I've had to go out and deal with more of the worldly mess (and before anybody's up to bother me with it), I write. The stuff I write later in a's more robotic and doesn't have any life to it.

I say all that, and now I feel like a bit of an ass for wasting the prospect. I didn't write this morning. I tried, but nothing came out. Some of you know how that works. Kinda like that rhyme for what is something of a similar I sit all broken hearted, tried to crap but only farted...

It's part of why I keep the blog. I figure if I can just sit and write something, it'll get the pump primed, and stuff'll come spilling out on the other end. Don't know if this morning's the morning. We'll just have to double up tomorrow.

I read this morning. Finished Tom Robbins' Still Life with Woodpecker. I enjoy the language in a Robbins book more than I do anything else. Woodpecker's no different.

A couple of my favorite passages:

There is a particularly unattractive and discouragingly common affliction called tunnel vision, which for all the misery it causes, ought to top the job list at the World Health Organization. Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is cuased by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego. It is complicated by exposure to politics. When a good idea is run through the filters and compressors of ordinary tunnel vision, it not only comes out reduced in scale and value but in its new dogmatic configuration produces effects the opposite of those for which it originally was intended.

I like simile. After a bombing at a conference:

With Pioneer Inn's meeting hall in bad state of repair, with cops, newsppeople, and curiosity-seekers milling around the place like bargain-minded lemmings at a suicide sale....

And a phrase that I ended up writing on a note card:

Those who shun the whimsy of things will experience rigor mortis before death.

I liked that last one a lot.

Anyway. Oscars are tonight. I've seen only a few of the films and performances nominated this year. Moving out into the woods, where the nearest decent movie theater's a 30 minute drive away, makes it a little troublesome sometimes. A couple of opinions....

Million Dollar Baby's easily one of the best movies I've seen in a while. I don't know that anybody could argue with giving it best picture, and giving Clint Best Director. It'll be interesting seeing how the Best Director race turns out. There seems to be a big push (at least from the media I'm reading) to give Scorcese the Oscar. The Aviator's a fine film. But not his best, in my mind. Still, I wouldn't have any bitch about Scorcese getting the trophy.

That's the only race I have a real interest in. Haven't seen enough of the performances in any category to love or loathe any one in particular. But I'll probably watch with half an eye, anyway.

Well. That's my Sunday thoughts. Let's go wander off into the world.

Friday, February 25, 2005



Here now, my list of my favorite Vice President Names

(Note, not my favorite V.P.'s, necessarily. These are just the names that amuse me most).

7. Millard Fillmore

I almost didn't include him on the list, since he was also President. But I had to include him, because I can't picture him in my head without seeing him as a giant duck.

He's also my favorite Comptroller of the State of New York ever.

6. Dan Quayle

I like his full name, James Danforth Quayle III. He always sounded like the villain in a Steven Seagal or a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. I've always wanted to meet somebody named "Danforth." I tend to think your first instinct if your name is Danforth is to take their coat. Danforth is a butler's name.

5. Alben Barkley

I just like the way those two words fit together. I've also never met anybody named "Alben." For some reason, Alben Barkley sounds like somebody James Bond would fight. Do all Veeps have movie villain names? Only the best ones.

4. Hannibal Hamlin

I'm a fool for alliteration. Among other things.

I'm a child of the 80's, so I picture a cigar-chomping, glove wearing George Peppard, perhaps flanked by B.A. Barracus and the Faceman, presiding over the Civil War era Senate. And I know that he would end each legislative session by saying "I love it when a plan comes together."

3. Richard Johnson

The high school freshman in me loves Martin Van Buren's Vice President. Up in heaven, I'd say he's probably pretty glad he lived when he did. If he were alive today, I don't think he'd go a day without somebody referring to him as "Big Dick Johnson."

2. Spiro T. Agnew

I've always felt like Spiro Agnew's name sounded like a disease. Perhaps of the foot. In an alternate universe, there is a place where Tricky Dick Nixon (another good name) and Spiro Agnew were universally popular. Spiro went on to a popular and effective presidency of his own. And in that universe, there are tens upon thousands of 20-and 30-somethings named "Spiro."

Interestingly enough, in that universe, they have flying cars. But the only food available is a flavorless root mush. The living envy the dead.

1. Hubert H. Humphrey

There's that alliteration thing again. He's got an extra "H." that we all say. I mean, you can't say the name "Hubert Humphrey" without putting in that H. I mean, that middle H? It's like going home, brother, after fighting the war. You and Carl Weathers.

I'm going to name my first born Hubert. Just so I can wait till the little bugger's old enough to do chores, and I can stick my balding, five o'clock shadow having, slightly drunken head out of the door of my subdivision house (the one where the neighbor's house is literally close enough that you can touch it) and yell "Hyooburrt! You cut the lawn before I bust yer ass!"

And one day, he'll get sick of my sass, leave home, work his fingers to the bone, rise through hard work, make contacts, and become president, all to spite my belief that "Hard Work's for Suckers."

And then my plan will come to fruition. And we'll be able to have a President named Hubert.

Because the Presidential names aren't nearly as entertaining. I mean, Millard Fillmore's at the top of that list, and he's only seven on this one. SEVEN.

There. I've said it.

Now, I think I'll go find out where to pick up applications to be Pope. I'm willing to travel and relocate, but I need to see how flexible they are on that "Working on Sunday," thing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A little bit of unfinished fiction....

A little bit of unfinished fiction....

Getting over my little bit of creeping crud, I've been wandering the internets looking at stuff, and things. Can't think of a damn thing to write about. I got about three lines into a post about the jacked up botard who's suing the Philadelphia Eagles because they didn't furnish him gloves when he got hired on to shovel snow before a playoff game. But I couldn't get much farther than calling the guy a jacked up botard.

I think I'll save the phrase "jacked up botard" to use on somebody in person. It seems like the kind of phrase that might put a pause into a heated argument, while the other person tries to figure out just what the heck I just said.

Anyway, I found, on a sheet of paper that's been floating around my desk for a couple of days (and for no good just popped back into my life recently), this partial story. It's written on the back of a memo that got passed around at a meeting when I worked for the folks at Goodwill. Instead of actually participating in the meeting, and listening to what was being said, I apparently decided to pen this little masterpiece, doing so giving the impression that I was taking notes.

You're warned. It goes no where, and there was no intent in writing it. It's a brief go nowhere narrative with no ending that I came up with off the top of my head in a pointless meeting a couple of years back, to entertain myself after grasping the intent of the meeting in the first couple of minutes, yet having to sit there for another three hours.

I've got nothing to write about otherwise. So. After having made the introduction longer than the work itself, here goes:

Once upon a time, there was a bear named Mark.

Mark the Bear. That's what they called him.

All the other animals at the watering hole would sit around, shooting the bull, and they'd all look up when they heard him coming. They look in the direction of the tromping, and they'd say "Oh! It's probably Mark, or maybe Biff."

They would say this because when Biff (also a bear) would make his way through the forest, the sounds of his rustling in the brush were practically indistuinguishable from Mark's. However, Mark was the bear seen most often at the watering hole by the other animals, so most assumed it was Mark tromping in the woods near the watering hole.

But here's the thing: Nobody knew why he was called "Mark."

To be fair, he never knew for certain. Nor had he ever really cared to ask. He simply figured that Mark was the name of a friend of his parents (also bears, named Lois and Fred), or perhaps the name of a person whom his parents had admired--Mark Twain, for example.

Being named after Mark Twain was unlikely, though. Bears, by and large, are not fans of nineteenth century American writers. With bears, it is writings of the Italian Renaissance, or nothing at all. Next time you're being chased by a bear, start reciting a Petrarchan sonnet, that'll give you some time. Don't mess up, though, and read any of that Elizabethan junk.

At the end of the day, Mark the Bear figured he was named Mark because his bear parents liked the sound of the name.

He rather liked it. Mark was a better name for a bear than something like Aloysius. Or Cecil.

Cecil the Bear. Preposterous!

There were times that Mark wished for another name. These times were rare. Like when Mark had diarrhea, or when he was laboring under the cloak of the post-hibernation blues. These times, while holding his cramped stomach, he wished for a really cool name. Like Abraham. Or Patton. Or Shardik. He had once heard tell of a bear called The Refrigerator, and he'd marvelled at the poetic intimidation that hid within that little title.

One day, in April, Spring sprung. This happened with stunning regularity. Mark often found himself surprised by this occurrence, that seemed to happen every so often.

Mark was wandering aimlessly, having just finished up the post-hibernation pee. It is a little known fact that the post-hibernation pee is the start of what humans call "Spring Thaw." The floods you see on CNN in the spring? They're caused by bears pissing after a four month nap. You think you pee a lot in the morning? Try holding that mess for four months!

In the course of his aimless wander.....

There it ends. It's truncated by either the announcement of lunch, or by something that had actually gotten my attention in the meeting that day. I stuffed it away into a notebook and didn't see it again until recently.

Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Under the Weather

Under the Weather

I'm under the weather this evening.

But then, technically, aren't we all?

Kinda coughy. A little achy. Mostly, I'm just tired. I haven't had any kind of energy all day. Left work early. Fell asleep on the couch watching Ferris Beuller's Day Off. I fell asleep early on. Woke up during the part where Ferris, Cameron and Sloane are at the Cubs game. Harry Caray's calling the action. That's what woke me up, hearing Harry's voice.

Judging from my traffic count, I'm getting fewer people coming to this blog searching for Tommy Lee's private parts, and more coming for what passes for content round these parts. With those, there've been a couple of new readers around here lately, and to them, I say both "Welcome" and "It's your turn to do the dishes."

Here are a couple of my favorite things that I've written here, in the case you're interested:

A story which confirms that Duke Sucks, and which ends with the U.S. Government levying a fine on yours, truly.

My take on The top ten movies of all time.

And sometimes, I run across something that makes me wonder just what was going on....a piece of convenience store fiction.


I'm gonna go drink whiskey and go to bed.

Monday, February 21, 2005



They tell you never to answer the phone on the first ring. Maybe we should add to that as a twenty-first century corollary never to answer your e-mail first thing in the morning. From friends and news e-mails, there were five messages that Hunter S. Thompson had shot and killed himself.

I don't have a lot to say. I liked his work. I've read a goodly bit, but not nearly all. I do count Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as a personal favorite. Hell's Angels, too. I've got a couple of things on my to-read shelf. I'll take this opportunity to pick one of them up.

But I've not gone through his entire library, or kept a bevy of his words at handy for use.

Bill's read close to everything he's published. He might have something more to say on the matter.

The truth is, I think I enjoyed his public persona, his image, even more than his writing. Even as much as I appreciate his writing. Which is why I think news of his suicide hits me like it did. And not even as just the simple idea that anybody takes their own life, which is depressing enough. But anytime I saw Thompson, doing an interview or in some documentary or another, it always just seemed like there was a "fuck you" lurking just beyond the threshold of polite conversation, like it could just jump into the conversation at any given time, without invitation.

He thought his own thoughts. I never felt like he spent time preaching to the choir, like most commentators of any breed do today. Hunter spoke his thoughts. A lot of the time, those thoughts were an eloquently stated F You.

I dunno. Suicide is a final fuck you. At family, friend, and that choir. Maybe its fitting. But it doesn't make it easy to swallow.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Random Thoughts: The Big Too Ayt Edition

Random Thoughts: The Big Too Ayt Edition

28 years ago, my mother was hit with a violent sneezing attack, brought on by an allergy to permanent magic markers, and on the sixth sneeze in a series of fourteen, I popped out of her womb and began my reign of terror on this here Earth.

Well, terror's not the right word. Can you have a reign of apathy?

Yeah. It's my birthday. I was born at 4:30 in the afternoon in 1977. It was a Sunday. By decree, today was also Sunday. I weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces, at birth. Three pounds of it came in the form of the four-foot wide afro I was born with. The doctor who delivered me said it was like trying to pull a hedgerow through a mailslot.

Went out last night for a birthday celebration. Ate at a greek restaurant. Stuck with the manicotti instead of the traditional Greek menu. I thought I might go with the lamb, or perhaps a shiskabob, but after I saw the devilish grin the waiter wore when he asked if I understood that the they do everything "Greek Style," I swerved away from those choices.

We saw the movie Million Dollar Baby. I'll cut the shit here and just say that Million Dollar Baby is a fine, fine movie. Easily the best movie I've seen in the theater in quite a while. No joke. It's currently at the top of my list for 2004 movies. It sucked me in so completely that I stopped making quiet critical comments to the person sitting next to me (Diane, in this case, and not a complete stranger) maybe three minutes in.

Clint Eastwood's hit a couple of homers in a row, with Mystic River and now Million Dollar Baby. What a great movie. I give it a high, high recommendation.

As for today? Just took it easy. I got a good bit of writing done this morning. The good kind, where you look at the clock and realize that it's a couple of hours later than the clock in your head says it is.

Watched the movie Eulogy, which the nice people at Netflix sent me so that I might continue my quiet obsession with Zooey Deschanel. You know, I wasn't digging the movie at first. It's kind of an ensemble piece where some parts of the ensemble aren't as strong as others (I do not like Hank Azaria in live roles), some parts of the ensemble are miscast (Famke Janssen is hot and all, and good as an X-Man, but not terribly effective as the tough lesbian), and some of the jokes are forced and carried out too long.

Little things save movies for me. Rene Auberjonois saves this one. I don't know why, exactly. But there's just something in his small role that sells the whole movie for me. I had turned the corner toward liking it before he shows up, but he made it worth it for me.

Lastly, one more favorite punchline:

Okay, Okay! I'll do the damn dishes!!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Favorite Punchlines

Favorite Punchlines

To answer a question seen on a meme on another person's blog (in this case, the Straight White Guy's)....

These are my favorite joke punchlines. Eric listed one of my favorites, so I'll start with it:

And ever since he swallowed that cueball, he measures everything first....

Favorite Punchline....

To a Blonde Joke:

When I start getting too hot, I'll just roll the window down...

To an ethnic joke:

As soon as they learn to drive them, they plan to invade Germany

To a Teacher in Space Joke:

All over Florida

To a Religious Joke:

Well Fanny, there's no point in us even asking...

To a Sex Joke:

So would I. Mine's as big as a hat....

To a Knock Knock Joke:

Now You Say Control Freak Who? (Chris posted this in a comment on another post right around the same time I posted this. Great minds think alike. That, or stopped clocks are right twice a day.)

To a joke I first heard told by Tony Randall:

All the way down to my balls, which is something else I need to talk to you about...

To a joke I laugh myself silly about even when it's kind of stupid....

Boo, Bee!

To a joke about cussing:

I sure ain't asking for the damn Cheerios

To a joke that people have to think about before they get it, sometimes:

Because so few of them know how to dance

I got in trouble for telling this joke at school:

Getting their legs apart.

To an Alabama Joke:

Get off me, Daddy! Yer crushing my cigarettes!

Another Alabama Joke:

The third one wasn't even colored in yet

I'll post more as I think of them.

Thursday, February 17, 2005



Because you need further proof that I've got nothing to say....

Co-Worker: Where should I put these?

Me: Umm...give them to....whutsername.

Co-Worker: Roberta?

Me: Roberta. That's right. I'm not remembering things lately.

Co-Worker: Maybe you have alzheimer's.

Me: Or Mad Cow Disease.

Co-Worker: Have you been eating any mad cows?

Me: I wouldn't say any of them was happy about it.



It's Speed Week. And in honor of that, as well as the Gatorade Duels being held right now, the onliest NASCAR joke I know:

Why do they call the driver of the #2 car Rusty Wallace?

Because you can't say "shitty" on TV.

Today's Funny

Today's Funny

I realize it's probably bad form to post a joke two posts in a row, but then, when you've got no form except bad form...

It's like racing. You run with what you brung.

Anyway, I liked this one, from the Bob and Tom site.

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment. Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.

Ashley said, "My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg-laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the car when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs went flying and broke and made a mess."

"What's the moral of the story?" asked the teacher.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket!"

"Very good," said the teacher.

Next little Sarah raised her hand and said, "Our family are farmers too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. We had a dozen eggs one time, but when they hatched we only got ten chicks, and the moral to this story is, don't count your chickens before they're hatched."

"That was a fine story Sarah. Michael, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes, my daddy told me this story about my Aunt Judy. Aunt Judy was a flight engineer in the Gulf War and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whiskey, a machine gun and a machete. She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands."

"Good heavens," said the horrified teacher, "what kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?"

"Stay the hell away from Aunt Judy when she's been drinking."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005



Sometimes I think I have favorite jokes like other people have favorite songs.

This is a favorite:

A guy walk into a bar carrying an alligator. Says to the patrons, "Here’s a deal. I'll open this alligator's mouth and place my genitals inside. The gator will close his mouth for one minute, then open it, and I'll remove my unit unscathed. If it works, everyone buys me drinks."

The crowd agrees. The guy drops his pants and puts his privates in the gator's mouth. Gator closes mouth. After a minute, the guy grabs a beer bottle and bangs the gator on the top of its head. The gator opens wide, and he removes his genitals unscathed. Everyone buys him drinks.

Then he says: "I'll pay anyone $100 who's willing to give it a try."

After a while, a hand goes up in the back of the bar. It's a woman. "I'll give it a try," she says, "but you have to promise not to hit me on the head with the beer bottle."

Found it again on a list of the 100 funniest jokes of all time, which is a bit heavy on the Steven Wright and Brian Kiley, but is still a good way to waste a few minutes....

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Wedding Registry

Wedding Registry

They're celebrities because we make them celebrities.

The Smoking Gun had a link to the wedding registry of Mary Kay LeTourneau and Vili Fualaau.

Random Wrasslin' Thoughts

Random Wrasslin' Thoughts

A couple about the WWE's latests efforts, and one about the NWA-TNA.

Last night's Raw was a decent effort. Nothing took a real step forward in terms of gearing up for Wrestlemania (and with seven weeks to go, maybe a slower burn is in order). I guess the good news is that nothing took a step backward, which is something of a victory for the Raw crew of late. There wasn't much that pissed me off, with the exception of Randy Orton, but that's just because Randy Orton pisses me off.

I thought the best move, in terms of story, was throwing Edge into the Wrestlemania World Title mix, if only in terms that he's a viable option to take Batista's place should he go on to face the Smackdown Champ. We all know he'll face Triple H, but at the very least the WWE are playing lip service to the idea that Batista/Triple H isn't the only thing they're lining up for the big show.

But it does beg the question, what's Edge going to do at Wrestlemania? Because Shawn Michaels and Angle are going to hook up, and with the Raw title match, it kind of leaves Edge without a dancing partner. Not being with Michaels is a good thing, because Michaels seems pretty adept at stealing Edge's heat, but it's also a bad thing, because it seemed like Michaels was Edge's stepping stone into Main Event status.

A couple of other things I liked:

Rowdy Roddy Piper in the WWE Hall of Fame? I can't argue. He's one of my three all-time favorites. I'm wondering if this'll lead to another short/long-term association with the WWE...and whether he's done with the NWA-TNA.

What was up with Triple H's beard, or lack thereof? It's been a while since I've seen somebody with the nuts to pull out the no beard, moustache connected to the sideburns for anything more than a joke. Is the WWE movie company funding a biopic of Chester A. Arthur?

The funniest bit of the night? Gene Snitsky absolutely clobbering Shelton Benjamin with the steel chair, and then giving the most indignant "What?" I've heard in many weeks. The Evil Hippy said, correctly, that it would be a great move, making Snitsky the guy who just doesn't understand the rules of the ring.

Also, I haven't seen anybody give a chairshot like Snitsky did Benjamin last night, probably since ECW closed for business. That was frigging wicked.

And let me change the subject for a second....

The NWATNA had its PPV Sunday night. WTF guys? If you're going to trade on somebody else's name, at least you could trade on something that was interesting recently, and not in 1998, like Degeneration X.

Ah well. Them's the wrasslin' thoughts.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

Just a couple of thoughts, before we all wander off into the work week.

The other day, in that high school meme the other night, I forgot to mention my friend (and regular commentor) Joe as a high school friend. Joebo came to our high school our senior year. We spent many, many hours depriving each other of an education with our antics.


I've just gotten back into the cable/satellite TV thing. Yeah, I bitched about SportsCenter and all the superfluous junk that goes along with it. But it's cool to have again when you haven't had it in a while.

Which is not to say I don't like the more streamlined ESPNews better. But for the time being, having SportCenter is cool again.


Last night, I did an interview with Chris of A Large Regular. He said "I wanna interview." I said, "Okay."

It'll be up some time today, over on his blog, I believe he said.


I mentioned a few weeks ago that Jeopardy was coming to do a contestant search down in Atlanta. Well, that was what I was doing this weekend. This makes the sixth time. Three times for the teen tournament, when I was in high school, once in college, and now twice for the regular Jeopardy show.

The way they do it, is they set a test time, you go in, take a fifty question test with many different categories used as subjects. Then, those who score higher than the all too secret number of correct questions needed get to stay for a face-to-face with audition coordinators.

Of the previous five times I've taken the tests, I've passed the secret number (which is agreed by Jeopardy nerds to be somewhere around 35 out of 50 correct) the three previous times I've taken the test.

I must be getting dumber.

This was the sixth time I took the test, and I did not pass this time around.

I was disappointed, but not surprised. It's the luck of the draw, more than anything, and some days you'll do alright, and some days you'll get a few questions you don't know the answers to. Yesterday was not my day. Which isn't to say I wasn't a little bummed. I realized it was bothering me about an hour into my drive from Atlanta. I hit Dalton, which is about an hour to the north, and I realized that I'd been driving in silence. No radio, no CD, no nothing. Doing nothing except boiling in my own stew.

I'm most of the way over it this morning, though.

I took some comfort in the fact that in my session, there were only a couple of people who passed, out of the 70 or in the room. So, there were 68 or so in my session who agreed that it was fairly difficult.

They asked us not to talk about what was on the test. I don't know how many cities they use that particular contestant test in, so I won't say much about it. Harder than usual. That's what I'll say.

So. No quiz show for your pal Tommy. Not this year. And knowing how much Jeopardy hates coming to the south (and believe me, were the conspiracy theories running rampant in my mind about making a harder test for southerners so that we won't have Redneck Jim becoming the next Ken Jennings...I'm mostly over that now...mostly...), it'll probably be a while before I try again.

Anyway. That was my weekend. Check out Chris's site later today. I learned many things about myself with the interview. Perhaps you will too.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Thoughts From the Ass End of the Night

Thoughts From the Ass End of the Night

Guess whose big ass can't sleep?

It's been a while since my old friend Insomnia visited. The past couple of nights have been rough.

Trying to tire my brain out.

The high school question and answer boobopamajog, as seen at Sheila's.:

What year was it?

The early 90's, ending in 1995

What were your three favorite bands (performers)?

REM, U2, Queen

What was your favorite outfit?

I had a green button up denim shirt that I liked quite a bit. It was my special shirt-friend. We shared many secrets.

Also, I had a shirt with the Far Side cartoon "Custer's Last View" on its front, where a bunch of Injuns are in a circle, grinning menacingly out of the shirt. One of the assistant principals didn't like it. I couldn't figure out why. Probably feared Injuns.

Other than that, I can't think of much that I particularly cared that I was wearing.

What was up with your hair?

White man's afro. I'd let it grow out. Also: I have a birthmark on the side of my head, just above my ear. My hair is brown. Where the birthmark is, the hair grows blond. So I've got this big patch of blond hair on the side of my head. It was an object of some discussion, I learned later, as to whether it was dyed that way, or if I was telling the truth.

Who were your best friends?

The two known as The Bills, Jillian (who reads here, everything except the wrestling posts), Travis, Stephanie, Jason, and lord help me, a guy we all knew as Kemosabe.

What did you do after school?

Quiz Bowl. Because I'm a dork. Any nerdy activity you can think of.

Where did you work?

Grocery Store

Did you take the bus?

No. Drove a big tan 1987 Ford Bronco.

Who did you have a crush on?

I don't know. Well, I do know. But there's not a lot to say. If I could go back in time and do one thing, do one favor for myself, it would be a swift kick in the pants to get me to just "Talk to somebody." I could look back in my journals and see that these people took up an unbelievable amount of my thinking, and I spent far too much time being self-conscious and shy to actually do anything about anything I felt.

In some cases, I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking with those infatuations. But there are a couple of other instances where I wish I could just boot myself in the butt to Talk to Somebody.

I won't share names. But there is great irony in one of the few instances of gumption and initiative on my part, where I actually acted on a crush. A minor one...just one of those things that popped up in life...she started coming to my church Youth Group meetings. I dunno In one of those moments that truly hurts a nerdy 16 year old, when I asked, I got told "I don't date fat guys."

Which was odd, because I was 5'1" and weighed 92 pounds.


It sucked. It crushed me in that ultramelodramatic way that only teenagers know.

But the best part is that I ran across that crush a few years later. I didn't recognize her at first, and had to convince myself of who she was. She simply wasn't the same girl. I mean, for one thing, the hair was different.

But the other thing? I'm a big ol' boy, right? I didn't have much more weightwise on this girl, who managed to pack on a truly remarkable amount of weight in just six or seven years. Not Guinness Book of World Records, but not far from it, either.

Wow. You just witnessed a personal moment. I've only told that to a couple of people. And now I just shared it with all seven of my readers.

Did you fight with your parents?

Not really. There were periods where Dad and I fought. But that's because we're both stubborn asses. I don't think there were any extended periods of hostility, however.

Who did you have a CELEBRITY crush on?

You know, nobody really springs to mind, right now. Friends started my senior year, I think. Jennifer Aniston, I really liked. Other than that, I dunno. Nothing's springing to mind.

Did you smoke cigarettes?

Nah. Never picked it up. Parents smoked enough for me, I guess.

Did you lug all of your books around in your backpack all day because you were too nervous to find your locker?

Nope. Although I did have a stretch where my locker was too far from a stretch of classes to be able to switch out, so I lugged around four periods worth of history and lit books. It's where I got my scoliosis.

Did you have a ‘clique’?

I never really thought so, but looking back, I hung out a lot in the art hall. But I think I may have been the obligatory Fartsy for all the Artsy. I sang in the school chorus, and worked a couple of plays. As such, I kind of got sucked in to both of those groups.

Did you have “The Max” like Zach, Kelly, and Slater?

I'm sorry to say that I do get the Saved by the Bell reference. And no, we didn't really have a hangout.

Admit it, were you popular?

Nah. I wasn't tormented or anything like that. I learned later that Ms. Watson and some of the math teachers called me "The Quiet Giant," because I've been 6'3"-6'4" since my Freshman year in high school, and was bigger than all but a couple of people in the school. So, I wasn't tormented. But I was never an overtly social, getalong gang type of person. Never went to any of the big parties.

Who did you want to be just like?


Quit Laughing.

You Shut the Fuck up and stop laughing!!!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to write. That's all I knew. I managed to bullshit myself into thinking I could be a journalist.

Where did you think you’d be at the age you are now?

I don't even know. I can't say I thought I'd be where I am today. But even looking through my journals, I can't find any particular musings or speculations on where I'd be, now ten years later. I've always been a go with the flow type of feller.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Peanut Butter Companions

Peanut Butter Companions

Because all this needed saying. And you know it.

Now, the listing of my favorite companions to peanut butter in the esteemed Peanut Butter Sandwich.

1. Banana

I realized that Banana had taken the one spot recently. My grandmother made me peanut butter and banana sandwiches when I was really little. I told her that her sandwiches were "off the chain." Neither of us knew what I was talking about. She punched me in the mouth for taking the Lord's name in vain.

Nevertheless, her pbb sandwiches were good. But not really all that much better than any other peanut butter and banana sandwich you can make today.

I have never eaten a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. I've considered it. But I don't like Elvis that much.

When I make a PB & B, I slice the bananas into sections about the size of three quarters stacked together. I usually eat two PB & B sandwiches at a time, and if I fit nine slices on a piece of bread, depending on the size of the banana, it'll use most if not all of it.

2. Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam frigging rules. If you put it in a taste test vs. Bananas by themselves? Blackberry Jam would win hands down. And Blackberry Jam is close to being at the top of the list. The only problem is that in some black berry jams, there are still seeds and tiny kernels from where they crushed up the blackberries. It kind of throws you off your peanut butter and jam sandwich eating mojo to bite down on one of those tiny seeds.

3. Apple Jelly

Take the paragraph from the previous entry, cut all the references to Blackberry Jam, paste in "apple jelly," and you'll be good. You might want to take all that stuff about blackberry seeds out, too. There aren't any apple seeds in your finer apple jellies. Good thing, too. There are trace levels of cyanide in apple seeds. The G.I. Joe team used apples to stop this big amoeba thing from consuming America, once upon a time, using apples. The cyanide in the apple seeds poisoned the amoeba thing.

4. Raisins

If you do it carefully, you can fit approximately 700 raisins in a single layer of a Peanut Butter and Raisin sandwich. The trick is to put the peanut butter on the bread first, and then put the raisins on the peanut butter. I haven't quite done the math, but peanut butter is stickier than bread, and raisins adhere more easily to it.

I recommend counting your raisins. You might not need 700 raisins, but be careful not to put 144 raisins on your sandwich. That would be gross.

5. Apple Butter

Apple Butter is like crack! The good kind, not the crack of your ass. Seriously, if you distill it down to its essence and smoke it in your Apple Butter Pipe, you have the strength of 2.3 men.

Also, it's pretty good on peanut butter sandwiches, and it lends itself to being able to say "I'm eating a P-Bab (Peanut Butter & Apple Butter) Sandwich

6. Honey

I'd never thought about putting Honey on a Peanut Butter sandwich, until I heard wrestler Bret "the Hitman" Hart talk about eating them during a time away from the WWF. Peanut Butter and Honey is tasty. But the Peanut Butter does something to the honey, so that it doesn't soak into the bread well. So it can get really stick and messy. I do not recommend eating a Peanut Butter and Honey sandwich if you're also cutting hair.

7. Grape Jelly

The old standard. It's tasty, but highly overrated. The Smuckers Lobby has a lot pull in the industry. They've thrown a lot of money around. It's a good product they've got, but they are not the only thing to put on a sandwich.

8. Dill Pickles

You should only eat A Peanut Butter and Dill Pickle Sandwich if:

1. You are high.
2. You are pregnant.
3. In secret, with nobody around to see you. That shit'll get you laughed off the cool table at sixth grade lunchtime quicker than greased owlshit.

9. Marshmallow

I don't like Marshmallows on their own. But on a peanut butter sandwich? Dude, I could eat myself stupid. In fact, in 1996, I did just that, mister! You should beware. Its effects are permanent.

10. Apple Slices

Again, beware of amoeba killing apple seeds. I prefer Rome apples for the task, but cameos and pink ladies are also good for Peanut Butter and Apple sammiches.

11. Cranberry Sauce

Excellent around Thanksgiving. Real, homemade cranberry sauce is best, but the kind that sloops out of the can, holding the can's shape, is good, too. Hell, the canned stuff is more like jelly than anything. Even jelly.

12. Hot Dogs

But only the good brands. Like Nathan's, or maybe Ballpark.

I'd like to shift gears for a second.

I'm sure that if you've read this far, you've surmised that I've been experimenting for decades with the tableau that is the peanut butter sandwich. In my journeys, I've run across several things that do not belong on a peanut butter sandwich. I list these now, as a service to you.

1. Butter

Don't let anybody tell you different. It tastes like ass. The animal, but also the ass part of the animal.

2. Shortening
3. Beef Jerky
4. Aspirin
5. Tomato Sauce
6. Alternate Peanut Butter

By that, I mean, if you're making a sandwich using creamy peanut butter, don't put Crunchy peanut butter. I don't understand the physics behind it, but when they are put together in a sandwichal environment, small rips are made in the space time continuum.

7. Sheet Music
8. Mushrooms
9. Pizza
10. Chocolate Bars

I have two words for ya: Nell Carter.

Also: Buzz Aldrin.

And: Andrew Johnson

11. Liver Cheese
12. Pork Knowledge
13. Eyes
14. Bacon
15. Stool Softener
16. Raisins
17. Steak
18. Handfuls of Salt
19. Coffee grounds (unused)
20. Coffee grounds (used)
21. Chili
23. Maple Syrup

Perhaps if you're eating between two flapjacks, but not unless.

24. Flintstones Vitamins

Unless you're rarin' for a hospital visit

24. Cheese
25. Orange Marmalade

Paddington's gonna whip your ass.

26. Popcorn
27. Hot Sauce
28. Ramen Noodles
29. Sweet n' Low

In fact, any artificial sweetener's probably a bad idea.

30. Leaves
31. Any Sinus Medicine

See the Peanut Butter or Honey Sandwich, for why.

32. Thai Food
33. Spaghetti
34. Cheerios

Any one of those things will curve your spine should you combine them with peanut butter on a sandwich.

There. It's done.

It's been said. Go in peace.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hey, how's it going?

Hey, how's it going?

Just a couple of random bits, this snow-flurried Thursday afternoon....

Gooseneck's back!. He took some private time off. But now he's back. And the world is a better place for it. Craziness in Iowa, ya'll.

Kung Fu Monkey's come to be one of my favorite daily reads. James' posts are funny, and well-thought out, a combination that makes his blog pretty much the diametric opposite of everything I've got here.

Here's a fine detailing of his view of the Amero-Canadian political culture....

And on a personal note....we got a satellite dish hooked up today. I live about four miles past the sticks, which is itself six miles beyond the boondocks. I live across the street from the middle of nowhere, up on a hill in the woods.

And the bitch has been that I was stuck so deep in the woods, the growth was so thick above and around the house and yard that we couldn't get a reliable line of sight for the the dish. So it wasn't worth the investment. Believe it or not, I like trees more than I like TV. At the very least, they're tied.

But over the course of the winter, we've cut a few trees down. Not for TV, necessarily. Mostly because they were posing a danger to the various structures around the BSTommy Compound, should they decide to give up the goat and fall down.

Actually, we had the biggest of them cut by somebody else. There was something about having your house smashed by a tree because you gave Tommy a chainsaw not constituting an Act of God.

Stupid Insurance companies.

But anyway, we're all dished up. I have a buttload of channels, again. I can quit bitching when the used car salesman ostensibly in charge of Baseball in conjunction with the Fox Television network decide to do something stupid and not show baseball to a national audience. I got teevee for the baseball now.

(I can, however, bitch about WGN not showing enough Cubs games. I haven't read up on the sports packages yet, to see if alternate channels for Cubs broadcasts show up on the extended sports package, or if I should plunk money into MLB's Extra Inning's package or not....)

Yep. I got the dish for baseball.

And also for the Spanish Language Channel Soap Operas.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Another one out of the gene pool....

Another one out of the gene pool...

Warren Ellis had this up, and I'd heard it on the radio, too.

Geoff Huish, 26, was so convinced England would win Saturday's match he told fellow drinkers at a social club, "If Wales win I'll cut my balls off," the paper said.

Friends at the club in Caerphilly, south Wales, thought he was joking.

But after the game Huish went home, severed his testicles with a knife, and walked 200 yards back to the bar with the testicles to show the shocked drinkers what he had done.

I don't even know what to say. Here's the whole story.

Except: I'd be willing to bet that the moments that follow directly after Huish walking back into the bar, bloody testicles in hand, and announcing what he's done make up the single most uncomfortable silence in the history of man.

Also: if the Chicago Cubs ever come to win the World Series...I'm just going to scream, yell and drink a little. I won't be slicing my testicles off.

I won't even cut them off if the Cubs lose a World Series.

We're just happy the lifeguard didn't have to drag this one out of the gene pool....

Go Home From Work Early

Go Home From Work Early

Okay. Chris had something interesting on his site.

Go look at it. This post won't make sense without it, but I'm not gonna post the picture here, because it'll mess with your mind. But more importantly, it'll mess with my mind, and I'm balanced precariously on a stack of dimes as it is.

But, I bring this to you as a service.

See, on Wednesday, I don't think you need to work the whole day. Screw work. Working's for suckers.

Here's what you do.

Put that picture on your computer, maximizing the window so that the screen is nothing but a wavy field of footballs.

Then, you need to allow yourself to fall into the sea of footballs. Become mesmerized. So that you're completely non-communicative. Just stare. Stare, and stare. Don't respond when somebody asks something of you. You might mumble something about "drowning in footballs," but don't respond specifically to them.

You might get shaken out of your delirium. Forced to work. But don't allow yourself to get taken away unless somebody physically removes your eyes from the screen. When that happens, scream "No!!!!!" But thank them when you regain your composure.

But after a few minutes, go back to the wavy picture of footballs. And keep going back. Don't accomplish anything. Don't do anything, except stare at the wavy field of footballs.

After a while, just slump over at your desk. Drool, if you can. When somebody comes and checks on you, just say that you aren't feeling well. Vomit, if you can. They'll send you home.

Don't fake a seizure, though, because they'll likely call EMS for you. Paramedics get pissed when you fake stuff. The only thing stronger than a faked out paramedic is a leprechaun whose just eaten a spoonful of Crystal Meth.

Although....If you can have a real seizure...well, have at it chief. Ride that bad boy all the way into shore. But if you're going to have one, you'd probably go whole hog, and go Grand Mal. Because a lot of your co-workers are too stupid to figure it out unless somebody's on the floor convulsing.

You know they're too stupid, too. Look at that one guy, with the shirt. And that girl who farts but is too good looking to have anybody blame it on her. Yeah. You don't want to spend the day with them, anyway. Go see a movie. Or don't.

So. To Review:

1. Steal Underpants
2. ?????
3. Profit

This has been a public service, from your pal, Tommy.

TV Tuesday

TV Tuesday

TV Tuesday. Because there's something terribly awry with the downstairs toilet. Horribly, catastrophically awry!

Week 42: The Super Bowl
It's the biggest spectacle in all of sports--the Super Bowl. It's more than just a game, it's the pre-game, half-time show, post-game report and the coveted post-Super Bowl spot to pump up a show. And let's not forget the commericals.

This week, we turn our attention to...the Super Bowl.

1. How much of this year's Super Bowl did you watch? Do you watch any of the pre-game hype?

I turned the TV on around 5:15 or so. I missed most of the pre-game mess. That's the wrong word. I didn't watch it, but I didn't miss it.

I watched all the game, though, with one break to take a whiz. One very long break.

2. What was your favorite commercial during the Super Bowl? Least favorite?

I think my favorite was the one for Emerald Nuts, where the guy tells his daughter that if her gives her an Emerald Nut, all the unicorns will disappear, and he gets taken to task for it by a unicorn, and also the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny asking "What's that about?" cracked me up.

The Ford commercial for the frozen convertible Mustang wouldn't have annoyed me so badly if it hadn't run as many times as it did.

But the one that pissed me off was the bit that ran about the combination MP3 player/camera. George Carlin had a bit about how if you can slap two things together that wouldn't normally go together, somebody will buy. That kept running through my head anytime that commercial ran. (I can't count the number of times I've taken a picture and wished that music was playing...)

3. Did you like the half-time show?

No, but that's not a shot against Paul McCartney. I also didn't like last year's halftime show. We turned the channel when PDiddy showed up, and therefore missed the Janet Jackson Titty Flash.

I don't think I've every truly enjoyed a halftime show.

4. What's your favorite food to eat while watching the Super Bowl?


~ BONUS ~ A lot has been made over the years about the post-Super Bowl slot to highlight or launch TV shows. It was the post-Super Bowl spot that brought us the A-Team and the Wonder Years. Do you stay up to watch the post-Super Bowl shows? What is the most memorable post-Super Bowl show you've seen?

I tried to record The Simpsons and American Dad. But in the morning, I was reminded that I'm an idiot who doesn't know how to operate his household appliances.

I consider myself fortunate that I got to watch anything at all after this year's Super Bowl.

See, I don't remember any specific TV show that I liked. Not just after the Super Bowl. But any TV, ever. That's because most Super Bowls at my house end with a fist fight. I've gotten some five or six concussions from these Super Bowl Slobberknockers. My brain is very much the same consistency as Play Doh, because of them. Also, everything smells like vanilla.

Anyway. Marge is telling me to stop remembering TV, and get to work. So I'm gonna let y'all get back to it.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Monday Afternoon

Monday Afternoon

Hello, and welcome to Monday Afternoon.

It's Monday, and I need to be defined.

You Have A Type B+ Personality


You're a pro at going with the flow
You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer
A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.

While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity.
Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done
You're passionate - just selective about your passions

I'll say that's all pretty much true. But there's an constant undercurrent of anger running beneath all that. Its in my genes. I can't help it. Baldness, a tendency toward farsightedness and a true and deep, ever-constant flow of pure, unadulterated anger.

That anger usually spikes when my type B personality is goaded into something it doesn't want to do by one of those runabout, busybody type A personalities.

Seen over at Dark Bilious Vapors.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Latigo Flint

Latigo Flint

I've been reading the Latigo Flint blog for the past hour. I've peed myself thrice in that time. Twice because I was laughing so hard.

Field Dressing is a great, great piece. Funniest thing I've read in weeks.

Chris had the link to it.

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

Just a couple of random thoughts, as I get the blood moving:

Super Bowl's tonight. More avocadoes will be eaten today than on any other day of the year. Mostly in the form of guacamole. Now, I realize my circle of people I know is probably not representative of the greater population. But when asking yesterday, I couldn't find ONE person who liked guacamole.

I don't like it, either. This casa won't be adding to the billions of pounds of guacamole form avacadoes eaten. And there's not a thing you can do to make us.

Super Bowl Prediction?

Any time I've gone on record predicting something, it's almost assured that the opposite will happen.


I'm thinking the Patriots will win, and fairly easily at that. Maybe not a trouncing, but I think New England will have the game firmly in hand from the get-go. Final score? Something like 27-14.

That's all I got. I'm trying to write while watching Soul of the Game. It's an old TV movie about Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Jackie Robinson trying to make their way from the Negro Leagues to the Majors. I remember hearing about this one when it first aired, but I missed watching it. In the eight years since, it kinda faded from my memory. It came up on Netflix when I was looking for something else, and it's been floating around my queue for a couple or three months.

It's interesting. No real complaints, except that everything in the movie is SO crisp and clean. And it's all little things. Locker rooms look too clean, too unused. Almost as if they were built for a movie.....or something. All the gloves the players use? They look barely broken in. The WW2 era cars are all shiny, in absolutely pristine condition. No dents or signs of wear and tear that you see in your normal every day cars....

I don't know what length you go to on a TV movie, with a TV movie budget, just for the sake of verisimilitude.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Anger, to get my blood moving

Anger, to get my blood moving

You know, four out of five doctors recommend that you do something at the start of the day to get your blood moving. You know, get the heart pumping. For a few minutes. Strengthens the heart and the blood vessels. Betters the circulation. Wakes you up.

Well, I'm far too lazy to do anything like that on a regular basis. Sometimes I ride the stationary bike. Other mornings, like this one, I wake up, eat a piece of cold pizza and find something on this here internet to make me angry.

Today's Angry-Making story is that of Neil Pakett, of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, who is suing the Philadelphia Phillies baseball club as well as the city of Philadelphia because he got hit with a foul ball at a Philadelphia Phillies game.

Now, some of you have probably heard about this. Hell, I may have heard about this and forgotten. The bovine spongiform encephalopathy is wiping huge portions of my memory out.

But, to update:

A dentist who lost some of his vision after he was beaned at a Philadelphia Phillies game is suing the team, alleging that not enough was done to protect spectators.

Neil Pakett, of Elkins Park, would have been protected during the June 25, 2001, game at Veterans Stadium if the backstop was wide enough to meet the recommendations of the Architectural Graphic Standards and had been angled differently, according to court documents citing an expert hired by Pakett's lawyer.

Pakett was struck when a foul ball flew off the bat of the Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who was batting left-handed. Pakett attempted to catch the ball, instead of protecting himself, according to court documents.

Okay. Now, if I'm the judge, and I hear that last statement, I throw the whole kit and kaboodle out of court, I make Pakett pay court costs and I have him summarily executed via firing squad.

But wait! There's more. This is an appeal by Mr. Pakett. The first judge dismissed the Phillies, saying they'd done enough...

Among the protections cited by Philadelphia Judge Joseph I. Papalini were warnings by the public announcer, on the back of every ticket, on signs posted on walkways and between concourses, and by a video cartoon that is played in the middle of the first inning.

In my imagination, this is how it goes:

The Attorney: Mr. Pakett, you were sitting, watching the game, correct?

Mr. Pakett: Yessir.

The Attorney: Jimmy Rollins fouled the ball, and hit it in your direction, yes?

Mr. Pakett: Yessir.

The Attorney: And you tried to catch the ball?

Mr. Pakett: Umm...Yessir.

The Attorney: You tried, and failed, apparently.

Mr. Pakett: Yeah. It hit me in my eye. I'm part blind in it now.

The Attorney: Partly blind.

Mr. Pakett: Yeah.

The Attorney: Let me review. You were at the game, sitting in proximity to the
safety net. So you were sitting in the lower bowl?

Mr. Pakett: Yessir.

The Attorney: Why?

Mr. Pakett: Because I can afford it. Because I don't went to sit with them dirty smellies up in the upper sections. Because I want to be seen sitting in the expensive seats.

The Attorney: Wow.

Mr. Pakett: I hate them people. I went to school and got edjucations so I'm better than them. I make loads of money, or at least I want people to think I do, so I sit in the expensive seats at the baseball game.

The Attorney: Okay. Have you ever been to a baseball game before?

Mr. Pakett: Yeah.

The Attorney: So you know foul balls go into the stands, right?

Mr. Pakett: I had no idea!

The Attorney: And people try to catch them, right?

Mr. Pakett: Ludicrisp!

The Attorney: Jimmy Rollins hit a foul ball into the stands, in your direction.

Mr. Pakett: That's right! I'da sued him too if they'd let me. For assault.

The Attorney: Do you have a normal person's reflexes, would you say?

Mr. Pakett: Yeah, I guess.

The Attorney: You stated earlier that you tried to catch the ball, am I right?

Mr. Pakett: Umm...Yeah.

The Attorney: Instead of utilizing those normal person's reflexes to do something, like, protect your face girly style, or perhaps duck or dodge?

Mr. Pakett: But I wanted the baseball. It was pretty. And it would have made me better than the people around me.

The Attorney: Your status symbol seats aren't enough?

Mr. Pakett: Nope. Gotta catch the ball.

Judge (that's me.): Waitaminnit. I was watching TV up here. You're at the game?

Mr. Pakett: Yes, your honor.

Judge (that's me): And you try to catch a foul ball, instead of getting out of the way?

Mr. Pakett: Yes?

Judge (that's me): I don't see how this is the Phillies' fault. They didn't make you try to catch the ball.

Mr. Pakett: Ummm....

Judge (that's me): Mr. Pakett...did you hear the announcer sayit might be dangerous? Did you read the signs? Did you watch the cartoon they ran that probably showed some dope getting beaned with a baseball?

Mr. Packett: I didn't know it could hurt me....

Judge (that's me): With that statement, you've proven yourself too stupid to swim in the gene pool. Bailiff [my guard staff would be Clancy Brown and Richard Moll]! Take him to the Execution Chamber!!!! Where's my punishin' gun?


I've probably displayed an amazing ignorance of legal procedure, but I was trying to illustrate my point. It seems to me that anybody who's got an ounce of brain in their head, and who's seen a baseball game in their lives, who's been sitting close enough to the action for long enough to see at least one foul ball fly into the stands, should know that there's a risk or two sitting in those status symbol seats.

To me, that's part of the fun of sitting in those seats. But I've found that I don't like sitting close to the action at a Major League game for a couple of reasons. One, I feel like I can see the field a little better if I'm up higher at a Major League game. Not top deck, necessarily. But I just like a vantage point.

But two, the five or six times I've gotten to sit that close, a goodly number of the people aren't there to watch the game. They're there to be seen. Which means they aren't watching the game. They're talking on their cell phones and talking to their friends, and getting drunk on 8 dollar a cup beer.

For the most part, they're not paying any attention to the game.

I'm just running off at the mouth here.

Mr. Pakett, a note from your old pal BSTommy: I'm sorry that you're partly blind. But you took your destiny into your hands when you decided to sit close at a ball game, and especially when you tried to catch the foul baseball. Nobody forced you to do either of those things. There are no guarantees in life, slick. You took your chances.

We've gotta get a handle on money-grubbing guys like Mr. Pakett, and people like him who've sued baseball for similar things. We've also gotta get a handle on the people who don't know how to behave in public when they've been drinking. You know, the ones who do things like attack sports stars on the field.

I don't think we will. I'm fairly pessimistic about it. Baseball is going to change in the next few years. We're gonna have hockey style barriers, before too long. Or nets, all the way around the field. The little things that I like, that there is little separating us in the stands from those on the field, physically or metaphorically...those things will go away.

Friday, February 04, 2005



I watched a couple of movies yesterday. Had the day off. I was productive for about four hours, and I decided to sit on my butt the rest of the day. So it goes.

I watched The Grudge. I thought they'd have had a better movie if Takashi Shimizu had just re-created his Ju-on shot for shot. He did, in the best sequences. But the Grudge just doesn't have the same creepy energy as Ju-on, which was one of the better horror movies I've seen in a while.

And until yesterday, I'd never seen Heathers. It was one of those that, when I'd mentioned I hadn't seen it, anybody of my generations went "What?!?!?!" So, I saw it. Wasn't disappointed.

And last night, the Filthy Hippy and I went and saw Sideways. I've seen few of the movies recognized as 2004's best, so I wanted to be conversant, at least.

Here's Bill's review. I agree with it, by and large. Upon sleeping on it, I've decided that I didn't much care for the flick, on the whole. It's a little too pleased with itself, with how literate it is. Yeah, I get it that this guy pays attention to wine because paying attention to people is too hard. Now let's move on it.

I do also agree with Bill that M.C. Gainey's Scary Naked Guy (who reminded me a lot of Sweetums, the big brown monster muppet, with his shambling run) was the comic high point. Scary Naked Guy? That's comedy, my friend.

And we both thought it would have been a greater movie had it ended with the scary naked guy appeared at the movie's end, chasing Paul Giamatti down, instead of leaving us to wonder how it's going to end for Miles.

But then, I don't get to make movies. Yet.

Thursday, February 03, 2005



I keep an Almanac on the back of the toilet. I read it when I'm moving my bowels. Out with the bad, in with the good, I always say.

Something I ran across whilst perusing my almanac...statistics involving the number of injuries caused by certain household/daily objects.

Actually, the name of the chart was Estimated Number of Injuries in U.S. from Selected Products, 2002.

There are a couple of household/daily objects that caught my eye, on the injury list.

Way down at the bottom of the list, with 37,285 estimated injuries in 2002, were Refrigerators and Freezers. Numbers don't explain everything. But what I first imagined when I read that number was 37,285 Americans wrestling with a fridge, and pulling it over on themselves. It's just how my mind works. Then, it occurred to me that some of the injuries must also have been things like people who locked themselves in an old abandoned refrigerator. And I thought smugly to myself, I learned never to do that when I was a youth, because I watched Punky Brewster.

And in a very special episode, Punky taught us not to play in refrigerators unless there's somebody around who knows CPR.

On up the list, I found Televisions and TV Stands, which caused an estimated 50,021 injuries in 2002. Again, I pictured 50,000 Americans pulling televisions over on themselves. But I also wondered how many these injuries came about as the result of fools falling off the roof of their house adjusting an antenna or a satellite dish. Or if those stats would come under Roof, or something.

Higher up, coming in at #15, or thereabouts, was Trampoline. Now, I can believe that trampolines caused some 89,393 injuries. I'm surprised they haven't caused more. My friend Lindsey's trampoline must have caused at least 20 back in 1986, including the time Lindsey jumped from the second story deck, onto the trampoline, and then landed face-first on the ground some 20 feet away.

I can still remember Lindsey looking up, face bleared with mud and blood, and asking "Was that awesome or what?!?!?!"

But it was the item at #1 that caught my eye. Because of the weight of its advantage over the #2 cause of injuries in America, in 2002.

#2 is basketball. Yep, Basketball is a big old bunch of Number Two. Especially that NBA garbage.

(I have never been simultaneously so proud and so ashamed of anything I've written here than I am that last's why we call the blog Big Stupid Tommy)

But Basketball caused around 615,546 injuries in 2002. I'd assume that's stuff like contusions and cuts from all the chair shots.

But up at #1, chiming in with an astounding 2,028,968 injuries caused in the year 2002: Stairs, Ramps, Landings and Floors

That's 2 mil over 600 thou, from the one spot to the two spot.

I think you can call that domination. Way to go America.

But then I got to thinking about it.

Stairs causing accidents? That, I can buy. I can get tripped up with the best of them on some stairs. In fact, once upon a time, I managed to trip, hurt my wrist, burn myself on the coffee I was carrying and ruin a book all in one stumble thanks to MTSU's James Union Building's front steps.

Ramps? Yeah, I'll buy that, too. Isn't that how Harry Knowles hurt himself, not respecting the ramp? I've tumbled down a ramp or two in my time. I blame alcohol.

Landings....that's where this statistic starts straining its credibility.

Damn, boy! That's one alliterative turn of phrase!

But a landing? That's just a flat part at the top, bottom, or turning point on a stair case.

But then, I many times have you overestimated the number of steps on a staircase? Which is worse? When you get to the top, you think there's one more, and you step up for that last phantom step, and you just goose step it? Or when you're coming down steps and you think there's one more, and you end up jamming you're entire leg up into your kidney?

That considered, landings causing injuries, I can buy.

But Floors?

Come the hell on. Floors?!?!?!

Floors don't cause injuries.


Floors are just doing their job. They're just there. You fell. And because there's nothing else there to fall on, you fell onto the floor.

You injured yourself when you fell. The floor didn't injure you. The floor didn't reach up and punch you, or anything. You were clumsy. Floors don't hurt people, people hurt people. We might as well just blame Gravity. The floor was there.

Whaddaya want to do? Blame the floors? Well...Let's just get rid of the floors!!!

Yeah. Now I'm being ridiculous, you say. We all know that we can't get rid of floors. Where would we put our dirty laundry, you ask? Where would the pee go when we miss the toilet altogether? What would stop us from plummeting through the Earth all the way to Hell when we fell?


Therein lies the rub. We all know, as we have all been taught for generations: We have floors to stop our clumsy asses from plummeting all the way through the Earth all the way to Hell when we trip and fall.

So I say we should all be thankful for the floors.

Otherwise, Burned Alive in Fiery Pits of Hell would come in WAY up top on the list of injury causes.

As it stands now, Burned in Hell comes in somewhere below Power home workshop saws, with some 85,211 injuries caused, but just above Nursery Equipment....

And I, for one, intend to keep it that way....

I'm Tommy, and ya'll think about it, okay?

Volunteer Tailgate Party

Volunteer Tailgate Party

Hello, and good morning.

Mike Hollihan is hosting the latest edition of the Volunteer Tailgate Party, a celebration of all that is shiny, new and good in the Rocky Top Brigade. He's done good work. Go check it out....

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Jeromy Burnitz

Jeromy Burnitz

Over on his fine, fine blog, Chris asked why Cubs fans were so up in arms about the Cubbies signing Jeromy Burnitz.

I can't speak for all Cubs fans. Some days, I don't think I even speak for most, or even a few. But these were my thoughts I put over there, and I thought I'd share them here, too (because I don't think I've posted anything of merit since 2004):

This may not be a great answer for a couple of reasons. One, I'm very, very sleepy. And, two, I'm not a stats guy.

But in short, it's not his stats in comparison to current and former players that bug me.

It's his style of play. He's got a free-swinging, gets-a-homer if and only if a pitcher makes a mistake style that bugs me.

I take your point that if we're going to have a guy who's like that, I'd rather pay $5 mil for him than $17 mil, or whatever we were paying Sammy, who has fallen in three years from a guy who can hit your best stuff, to a guy who is merely mistake pitch hitter.

Our biggest problem last year, outside of injuries, was inconsistency and impatience at the plate.

I'd rather pay 6 or 7 mil for a bit more discipline at the plate, for someone I could depend on, late in the game, when we're down 3 runs, to take a few pitches and work on a pitcher, instead of swinging for the fences on the first pitch of every at bat with nobody on base.

We've got far too many guys in the Cub lineup who want to swing at the first pitch (Patterson, Barrett...hell, you've watched Nomar [Chris is a Sox fan] for the past few years). I'd like a guy or three who could work a count, wear a pitcher out.

I'm not sure who that might be...but patience embodied, to me, is not Jeromy Burnitz.

So, I don't think it's Burnitz personally. I think it's a player like Burnitz. In this case? The player like Burnitz is Burnitz.

And on a personal note, I don't like him simply because I've got a lifelong history of people named Jeremy/Jeromy screwing me over, stealing would-be girlfriends and generally making themselves a thorn in my side. But that's more of a personal thing.

One more thought, made a few minutes later. I've never heard anything bad about Burnitz from the locker room, and the couple of stories I've read about his signing point out that he's fairly well-liked, and a good presence to have in the clubhouse.

Not to sound all pollyanna or anything, but I'll mark that as a positive in his favor.

A solid presence in the locker room? Beats the hell out of the Black Hole of Morale that was Senor Sosa.

Once more, minutes later

On the downside (and this hurts me, putting all these numbers up on my blog...I hates me some numbers:

From the Cub Reporter:

Burnitz in 2004 @ Coors Field: 303 PA, 322/386/670, 24 HR, 68 RBI, 29 BB, 57 K

Burnitz in 2004 on the road: 302 PA, 244/327/448, 13 HR, 42 RBI, 29 BB, 67 K

Hide the Keys

Hide the Keys

In case you were wondering, the cat won this iteration of the twice-monthly contest of Where the Fuck are My Keys?

They were under my desk, where I'd left them. In the night, the cat decided it would be great fun to see me tromp around the house screaming things like "What did I do with them?" and "Where the Fuck are they?"

I hate the cat, sometimes. It treats me like I'm staff, or something.



It seems that the Goodyear people have decided to pay the Detroit Pistons' Richard Hamilton to style his hair in the pattern of the tread of one of their tires.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., North America's largest tire maker, paid Hamilton to wear his hair in the style of the tread pattern of the company's Assurance TripleTred product.

Hamilton, who helped the Pistons win last season's National Basketball Association championship, wore the hairstyle two days ago against the New York Knicks in Detroit and plans to keep it for about a week, company spokesman Ed Markey said Monday.

They've decided to pay him. With MONEY. To make his hair like a tire. He also got free tires out of the deal.


Now, I've kept a buzzcut off and on for the last five years or so.

I'm thinking the Brillo people and I need to sit down and have a talk.

I don't need much money. Or many Brillo pads. Or even tires.

But I do demand compensation....

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I got Nothin'

I got Nothin'

I'm running late this morning, so I'll share with you this:

There's a commercial that's been running on Monday Night Raw that cracks me up every time I see it. In fact, I laugh harder each time I see it. It may just drive me over the edge the next time I see it. They'll have to dump me in the loony bin because I've been driven crazy by a television advertisement.

It's for Starburst. In the commercial, a well meaning young man has made a sculpture of the girl he loves. He's sculpted his masterpiece out of Starburst candies. In his presentation, she is uncomfortable with what he's made, to the point of wanting to run away. He, on the other hand, is so drawn into his creation that he loses all composure, ends his presentation by devouring his candy creation.

It's my personal favorite commercial on the TV right now.

(Yep...once again we've proven that Tommy's got absolutely nothing...move along....)