Saturday, April 29, 2006

Birthdays, and whatnot

Birthdays, and whatnot

Today is my sister's birthday. She's 25. She's a science teacher. She's a tennis instructor. And I couldn't whip her in a fair fight.

And neither could you, most likely.

She's got a mean right, but a deadly left. She can twist you into any number of submissions. And she was born with an instinctive knowledge of the nerve pressure points on your body--she can stop you without hurting you, but she'll probably choose to hurt you after she's stopped you.

And here's the thing. I said I couldn't whip her in a fair fight?

My only hope is to fight dirty, and that rarely helps.

I warn you...outside of Ric Flair, there is no dirtier player in the game.

So. Wish her Happy Birthday.

But don't sing. They'd have arrested her for what she did to the singing wait staff at O'Charley's, but the authorities knew that no jail would hold her. They knew she'd only cost the taxpayers money and the police their lives.

Plus, she gets to eat at any O'Charley's anywhere. For free. For life.

So she's got that going for her.

A shitty Graduation Ceremony....

A Shitty Graduation Ceremony

Can you imagine sitting through a graduation ceremony where you have 75 valedictorians? Jeebus. I won't get off on a rant about how we reward people a little too much in this society, and it's why we have the number of whiners and malcontents that we do. Mostly, I'm concerned that even if you let them speak for a minute apiece, counting times it takes between speakers, you've got an hour and a half of speaking time. That's on top of the time you gotta spend with the processional, the National Anthem, the Alma Mater, the keynote address by the principal/superintendant/local celebrity/Bill Cosby, the presentation of diplomas/certificates of attendance and the recessional.

That's a long friggin' time to sit in a hot gym missing Saturday morning cartoons.

I don't remember much about my high school graduation. It was 11 years ago, thereabouts, so I've slept a couple times since. I do remember that I wore a black gown make mostly of polyester, a silly hat, and I lost 15 pounds of water in the course of the ceremony because of all the sweating.

Also, the rest of the chorus and I sang selections from "the Lion King."

We had multiple valedictorians at my high school graduation. Five? Seven? Something like that. We didn't have weighted grading systems, and we'd only had AP classes a couple of years when I graduated.

I was sitting somewhere in the 3.5 or 3.6 range of people. My reward for giving as little a shit as possible. I did well in school. I could have done better. I took the advanced classes, and the AP courses available. Truth be told, I just wasn't that big on doing that little extra I would have had to have given to have a 4.0.

So, I didn't have to give a speech. Which is probably good, because then, like now, I was concerned mostly with Cubs baseball, pro wrasslin' and whatever the Hell I ate to make me so gassy. I wouldn't have had much inspirational to say.

But I might have shown my human beatbox skills. I think that might have been a perfect forum. If there is a shame in the whole deal, I think it's that.

A test

A test

Hmmm...something is rotten in Denmark Tennessee

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Book Meme....

Book Meme....

Dude, I just ate entirely too much chicken, cheese, onions, mushrooms and rice. Gotta learn to push my big ass away from the table. I feel like a weeble.

Since I ain't gonna get anything constructive done in the next little while, I'll do the book meme, which I saw at Sheila's:

Review the following list of books. Boldface the books you've read, italicize those you might read, cross out the ones you won’t, put an asterisk beside the ones on your bookshelves, and place brackets around the ones you’ve never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
*The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
*The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
*The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
*To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
(I first read this one in one night before a test, junior year of high school...I've re-read it twice since...I'm continually impressed with how simply written it is, yet how powerfully it comes across every time)
The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)

*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling)
The Life of Pi (Yann Martel) (I got lent this one a while back. I won't lie to you...there's a good chance I'll never read this one, but I won't say never...)
*Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (George Orwell)
*Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)
*The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon) (I highly recommend this's one of those that grew on me very much after I read it...)
*Lord of the Flies (William Golding)

*Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
*1984 (George Orwell)
*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling)

*One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)(Working at Goodwill all those years ago has left me still with several books that I own but haven't read. It oughta be a crime to let a bookworm work around 99 cent books in a college town...)
Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
*The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) (My friend Jill lent me this...another one I recommend highly...)
[The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)]
*Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut)(Another one that always surprises me, with how simply [and amusingly] it's written)
The Secret History (Donna Tartt)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) (My favorite book for a time, growing up)
Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
[Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)] (Seems like I have heard of this, but it's not ringing a bell)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
Atonement (Ian McEwan)
[The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)]
The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway) (I cannot put into words how overrated I've always found Hemingway)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
(I borrowed this from a friend in high school...another one that I read in less than a day...)
The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
Dune (Frank Herbert) (Another one that's just entirely overrated....let's pack a short story's worth of interesting story into a few hundred pages....)
Sula (Toni Morrison)
*Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier) (It sounds hypocritical for me to holler about how Frank Herbert loved his own voice, when that's exactly what I love about Cold's 20 pages of plot and 100 pages of character study packed into 280 pages...yet somehow, it's not what Charles Frazier says, but how he says it....maybe it is hypocritical, but I'm at peace with it)
The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo)
[White Teeth (Zadie Smith)] (Another one that it seems like I should have heard of, but it's not ringing a bell)
The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton)

Stuff, and things

Stuff, and things

Been on vacation all week. I haven't wanted to spend too much time in front of a computer, either. Thusly, no posting.

It's kinda rainy today, as I sit up here in the woods. Going to watch the Cubs and Marlins on the teevee this afternoon. May go catch a movie tonight. Any recommendations?

Anyway, I don't have much to say. Haven't paid much attention to the news, and I don't have an opinion on anything pop culture related.

I will say that it pleases me muchly that the Cubs seem to be able to play a little small ball last night. Got to see a very nicely executed squeeze bunt last night. Not used to seeing stuff like that from a Dusty Baker team....

Did find this thing, over at Gut Rumbles. Filled it out because I'm bored, and I'm a big ol' girl.

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).

Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

Allow me to retort:

Sure, I'm curious and whatnot. But I'm more on the search for the perfect beer and the best hot wing.

And I might give some good conversation. But I'm not really mentally alert. I prefer to keep things nestled in a nice fugue state, if only because it keeps me from having to do shit for people. And the only person I could outwit on a regular basis is myself. Generally, I'm very good at hiding things from myself (the remote control, my keys, my sunglasses...and one night last week, the toilet paper).

The next passage starts well, hitting the nail on the head. I do get introspective, overly so. And Damn Right I'm critical of people...just a small group of people that I call "The Whole of Humanity."

But I don't really see myself as a philosopher. Social Critic, maybe. But if I'm gonna be high-falutin' over it, you have to admit that I'm more of a superhero. Or perhaps a Lunchmeat Magnate. Yeah. Lunchmeat Magnate.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Resistance is Futile.

Resistance is Futile

Shouldn't this cantaloupe be a cube?
Yeah, that big zombie/cyborg thing must not have been working. They're getting a little sneaky....

The first Bumblebee of Spring

The first Bumblebee of Spring

It's been a rainy couple of days around these parts. Lightning. Thunder. Scattered Damnations. Hail. It's springtime, so we expect such things around these parts, though it's seemed excessive these last couple of nights...honestly, sometimes I gotta wonder how far off we are from Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhall tromping through my yard in snowshoes.

But in betwixt the monsoons yesterday, I wandered to lunch at a local fast food eatery to grab myself a sammich. I did this because I do love sammiches so.

It was one of those type places where you pay at the one window, and pick your food up at the second. At this particular eatery, there's a space where a car can fit while one car in front is getting food, and the car behind is paying. I was in that space.

It being a nice day, in between the showers, I had the windows down, enjoying the day.

When I notice, all of a sudden, that I have a passenger. An uninvited passenger.
A bumblebee.

And this bumblebee, he wanders in my passenger window. He flies right up to me, buzzes around me for a second. Gives me a study. After a very short study, he must decide that I cannot be used for food, procreation, or nesting, so he turns back toward the passenger area. In retrospect, I think he did this more to intimidate me than anything.

Now, I don't have a problem with bees, necessarily. With bees, I'm very much a live and let live person. I'll leave them alone, and they leave me alone. I've gotten stung a couple of times, but to be frank, I've crushed a few (and swatted a few with a badminton racquet, but that's a story for another time), and on the whole, we get along fine on this little blue marble of ours.

My problem, if I do have one, is that my version of live and let live, and a bumblebee's, do not often fall within the same defining parameters. As such, I admit to becoming concerned when a bee wanders into my car, and becomes confounded by the confusion that is "glass windows." See, the bee is nature's drunk uncle. He's the guy who hasn't held a job for long, who now sponges off of relatives and gets a disability check for his bad back. And like a drunk uncle, a bee produces a sticky substance now and then, the only difference being you can bottle and sell the sticky substances bees produce.

And most like that drunk uncle, a bee is apt to fly off the handle, hurling stingers at whomever falls into his line of sight first.

Now, I'm not one to talk about another species. After all, I can't make a nest by boring into a tree or a side of a house with my teeth. I can't defy physics and fly, and my multi-faceted eyes are not recognized by science as such. There are a great many things that a bumblebee has or can do that I cannot, and I applaud them for it.

But Dang! All I'm asking for is a little of that appreciation in response. A little reciprocation, if you will. I understand that bees can't produce glass windows (yet), but a little patience and understanding with such things as it comes to us human beings would go a long, long way.

If I were to one day save a genie's life (and I'm banking on this as a major factor in my retirement plans, down the road), and as a result, he grant me but one wish, I would have to consider carefully, but that one wish would probably come from one of two directions. The first being that bees and other stinging insects gain an instinctive understanding (and patience regarding) glass windows. How many times have you seen a bee (or wasp...I might have to include wasps in this conversation) fly into a window, become confounded and go from calm-blue-sky to Let's-Sting-Tommy-In-The-Eye Angry in a heartbeat?

I think if I could get that wish granted, where bees get a little patience regarding the windows, it would be cool. I think most of us are aware when a bee flies in the window, and starts bouncing off a clear surface. It's one of life's little moments. I think the drunkest drunk, the craziest Charles Bukowski, would have what you call "a moment of clarity." But, with the new "patient" bee, I think all the bee would have to do would be bounce against the window a couple of times, and then give us an agreed upon signal (I'm thinking "Shave and a Hair Cut, Two Bits" with the wings), and we agree to help the buggers out.

Without the all the painful stinging.

The second option, were I granted but one wish from a genie or religious figure, is simply a variation on the first: in it, I ask that bees and wasps gain some manner of "phasing" ability, where the bee might be able to simply arrange his or her molecules so that they pass through solid objects like windows without the hassle of having to knock against the sumbitch, thus becoming "Sting-Tommy-to-Death" angry.

This of course raises the question of how a bee might somehow confuse a window with something else, like a breastbone or a leg...and how there's nothing to keep a bee from phasing through a human. What's to keep them from phasing through a person, and then stinging them inside the lungs, or maybe on the lining of the stomach? If I ever do meet this genie, I'm thinking the first option much more preferable to the fact, so much so that a boatload of money might be preferable even to the second option.

But I've wandered way off course here.

So, I'm there, waiting to pick up my food when this bee flies into my window. I get distracted, waiting for the bee to crawl or fly out. You can't drive while doing this. For one thing, you aren't watching the road, and you might crash into the side of McDonald's, and I doubt that they'll come out and sing "I'm lovin' it" when you do that.

Also, if you move the truck and its relative position in the air, you might further confuse the already muddled bee, and he might decide that the quickest way out of the truck and/or only recourse is through the leg of your shorts, where he finds no exit, only genitals.

So, I sat there waiting for the bee to leave. He finally did leave, after a couple of seconds, out the way he came. He didn't do so before the McDonald's drive-thru attendant looked out the window to see just where in the blue fuck I was.

I explained, as I pulled up to the window to collect my Quarter Pounder w/Cheese, that there was a bee in my truck. She seemed a little annoyed, instead of surprised. To tell you the truth, even though it was no fault of hers, I kinda wanted an apology. At the very least, I'd have liked a little sympathy, or perhaps a little appreciation at just how brave I was, just to keep driving after nearly getting stung to death by a bee.

I didn't go through the whole thought process of wishing bees could phase through solid objects, or the bit about where I was afraid that the bee would climb up my pants and sting me on the ballsack, because that's not the sort of thing a grunt on the drive-thru needs to hear.

That's the sort of story you save for management, or perhaps a maitre'd at one of your finer restaurants.

Anyway. That's how I know it's spring. A bumblebee flew in the window of my truck.

Also, because the calendar said it started a month ago.

I have no way to close this post, except to say that while it doesn't surprise me that "sumbitch" doesn't show up on blogger's spellcheck, it amused me that "genitals" doesn't...blogger suggests that you replace "genitals" with "gentiles."

Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

He's done procreated....

He's done procreated....

Just want to pass along congratulations to my buddy Steven and his wife Janet. They went and had themselves a baby boy today. Mother and baby are doing well, and Steven, well, he's doing probably as well as he's ever done...

Monday, April 17, 2006



I bought a Slinky the other day. One of the old fashioned, metal kind.

I haven't had one of those since I was 6. I warped the one I had then, using it as an escape ladder for my Masters of the Universe figures. You don't know childhood frustration until you've tried to extricate Stratos from the confines of the Castle Greyskull Slinky escape ladder without breaking those little plastic winglets on his arms.

Yep. I bought a Slinky the other day. I'd forgotten about the smell. The metal Slinky has a smell. A metallic smell, oddly enough.

What do you think they'd say if I called in, saying I'd gotten my Slinky caught in my hair? What if I reminded them that I bought the Slinky there at work, and that it was, as I saw it, mostly their fault?

Anyway. Working too much lately. Going to do it again this afternoon.

Slinky, or no Slinky.

(It's hit me that unless you know what a Slinky is, this could be a confusing post...)

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Acme of Foolishness

The Acme of Foolishness

Because I am equal parts forgetful and lazy, I haven't yet noted that Steven moved his blogging pants over to The Acme of Foolishness.

He's not posting a bunch, owing to that he and the wife are expecting a baby human here in the next few days.

The top five names suggested (keeping in mind that they're expecting a boy):

1. Keebler
2. Gilgamesh
3. Ostentatious
4. Farting Bear
5. Pacific North

For that last one to work, you probably need to know that Steven and Janet's last name is West. My brother-in-law thought of that one.

Thursday, April 13, 2006



This is kinda scary. There's been a bear attack in the mountains not far from here. TV news said a six-year-old was still missing, but none of the local news websites are reporting that right now. The Chilhowee area is where we go camping, from time to time. Actually, it's where this story took place.

Update: here's the local news story this morning. The bear killed the six-year-old. According to the TV, they were playing in the water up near Benton Falls, an area you hike to a couple miles from the campground.

Here's the Yahoo news story.

In which I am Lazy

In which I am Lazy

Saw this thing over here...

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birthday (excluding the year). List three events or neat facts, two births and one death, including the year.

Alright. I was freshly squeezed on February 20....


1725: The first case of white men scalping Injuns is reported in New Hampshire. In 1725, it was still Brand New Hampshire. Our standards were pretty low, back then, on medical breakthroughs.

1835: Concepcion, Chile is destroyed by an Earthquake. This may be neither here nor there, but we had us 3.3 earth tremor the other night. I was waiting for Letterman to come on, I heard a low boom, like maybe something had fallen over upstairs, and then there was a low rumble that lasted 10 or 15 seconds. It sounded like thunder. Couldn't feel a vibration, but the newspaper told us the next day that there was indeed a tremor. Athens was not destroyed.

1992: Ross Perot announced his intention to run for the Presidency on Larry King Live. I can't remember Ross Perot. All I see when I try to remember him is Dana Carvey's SNL impression of him.


1925: Robert Altman. Maker of such fine flicks as MASH, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Short Cuts, and Popeye.

1943: Antonio Inoki. Personally, I believe it is a crying shame that the WWF doesn't recognize Inoki's week-long title reign...he won the title from then champ Bob Backlund, and he's never gotten his due for it.

1963: Charles Barkley. Holy Shit! Sir Charles and I have the same birthday? That's Fucking Awesome! Though somehow, I was hoping Mr. Barkley was older than me by more than 14 years.


1171: Conan IV. Yep. Some dude named Conan IV. It is terrific that he is named Conan. It is quadrupally terrific that he is the fourth such Conan. (That would be a good band name: Fourth Such Conan).

From Wikipedia:

Conan IV (1138 – February 20, 1171) was duke of Brittany, from 1156 to his death. He was son of Alan de Bretagne, 1st Earl of Richmond and Bertha of Brittany. Through his mother he was the nephew and heir of Duke Hoel III. From his father’s side, Conan was great grandson of duke Geoffrey I and grandson of Eudes of Brittany.

In 1156, Hoel was expelled and Conan was successful in wresting control of the Duchy from his stepfather Eudes. In 1158, Geoffrey, Count of Nantes died and Conan seized Nantes. Geoffrey's brother, King Henry II of England, responded by seizing Richmond and demanding the return of Nantes. Conan and Henry made peace, and Conan married Henry's cousin, Margaret of Scotland, in 1160. Margaret was daughter of Henry of Scotland, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon and Ada de Warenne, a daughter of William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey and Elizabeth de Vermandois.

Conan had to face several revolts from his own nobles. To sustain the unrest, the duke appealed to the help of Henry, who, in return, demanded the engagement of Conan’s only daughter and heiress Constance with his son Geoffrey Plantagenet.
You know, some of that shit sounds made up.
1999: Gene Siskel. That spring of 1999, I was taking a film criticism class. Our professor came into class and announced that "We Lost a Thumb" this weekend, and noted that he'd expected a comment like that from me. I didn't know that Gene Siskel had passed away that weekend. I spent the rest of class (and much of the semester) in hysterics.

2005: Hunter S. Thompson. Little known fact: A little Hunter S. Thompson lives inside us all. But he's not allowed to shoot guns or smoke, so he's really pissed off. He throws tantrums in your bowels. That's how we get diarrhea.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Cubs 8, Cardinals 4

Cubs 8, Cardinals 4

Well, look what happened after Papaw Tommy decided to go to sleep after the sixth: Cubs win to sweep the Cardinals.

I'll take it. Any win against the Cardinals; and truth be told, I'd prefer to not have to dig out of any holes, this year. I stand by my belief that we won't have the Daintiest Texan or Mark Prior for more than 15 starts this year, possibly between them.

There is part of me, though, that fears something.

If the Cubs win it all, I won't be able to see it.

Last night, except for the mistake that let Jacque Jones's three-run shot put them up, Sidney "One for the Road" Ponson seemed to have things well in hand for the Cardinals. I had to be up at 5:30 this morning, so I turned it off and got ready for bed after the Cardinals' half of the seventh.

See what happens when I stop watching?

Anyway. Cubs win. Hopefully Len Cleavelin will wander by at some point. I gotta rub the sweep in the Cardinals' fans face while I can. I don't think we'll have a lot of those this year.

Sunday, April 09, 2006



Answering the question seen at Gut Rumbles....

How Do I Take My Hamburger?

I'm a pretty simple man with pretty simple tastes. If I'm just frying up something to eat, a quarter to a third of a pound of chuck, with American Cheese, tomato, onion, ketchup and Mayo (No Miracle Whip, gracias). A good dose of black pepper before you put everything on top of the patty.

The patty itself? I like it medium rare. Occasionally, the bloodlust'll get up, and I'll turn up the heat, burn it on the outside, leave it bloody pink on the inside.

I do that last one when it's just me. Other people either fear some manner of food poisoning, or just assume that I don't know what I'm doing when I make one of those.

I'll change things up. I've been known to wrap the hamburger itself around a pat of real butter, with a bit of garlic. I've added egg to the burger meat. Cooked onions with the burger meat.

As for toppings, sometimes I'll throw a thick hunk of sharp cheddar on top. A little pepper bacon, maybe. Sometimes, I'll like pickles, sometimes I won't, but they gotta be kosher dill. None of that bread n' butter sweet bullshit.

I've been known to throw a little pizza sauce, with some pepperoni and enough Mozzarella on top to constipate a mule.

On a grill? Bacon and provolone go well with the charcoal grill.

I'm also a fan of the bleu cheese and bacon burger.....

How about a nice hunk of swiss cheese and an even bigger hunk of portobello mushy?

Damn boy. That's good eatin'.

This Week's Word

This Week's Word

This week's word is "hellacious."

It used to be an occasional vistor to my personal lexicon, but it's fallen into disuse...generally in favor of such eloquent turns of phrase as "real bad" or "real, real bad."

But Jon Miller described a Sidney Ponson pitch to Derrek Lee tonight as "hellacious."

It's a fine word. I'm going to start using it again.

Your job is to find a way to work it into your everyday speech this week. Be creative, and think outside the box (but do it the bullshit retail style, so that you're not really thinking outside the box, but rather rehashing and dressing the same old shit up in a shiny package, making sure that it doesn't deviate from the same old tired way it's always been done).

Bonus points is you're able to use hellacious to describe a person.

Personally, I'd like to be described as "the hellacious Tommy Acuff," but I figure that's a nickname you'd have to earn. And I just don't have that kind of free time.

A Cell Phone Incident, and a word on Slither

A Cell Phone Incident, and a word on Slither

I'll start by saying that I enjoyed what I saw of the movie Slither. Enjoyable. Not going to break any new ground, but an enjoyable flick, nonetheless. Nice, violent. Amusing. What I needed, what with all the bullshit I've gone through at work lately.

I will say that theaters need umpires.

We had to pick the showing with the one girl who decided the "turn off cell phones" message didn't mean her. Phone rang three times in the movie. Wasn't a crowded show, but it was a small theater. All seven of us in attendance heard the phone. Sadly, all seven also got to watch me ask twice (politely, even) to turn the phone off or go outside. And all seven got to witness me stalking down the stairs, bringing a theater manager back.

The theater manager, of course, being what I found when I was looking for an axe, or perhaps a sledgehammer, or a loose popcorn kettle with which to bludgeon her to death.

Had to get a manager. That bugged me. I'm not the type to "get the manager." I like dealing with things person to person. Shit, I'm not even the type who'll raise a fuss...but this'll probably be my only day off this week. And then, when she refused the second time to turn the phone off, I had to leave the theater. It was that, or face prison time for pulling a cellphone user down the stairs and out of the theater by the hair.

My only regret is that the theater dude didn't have the balls to toss her and her kids.

Where's the umpire when you need one? Doug Edding would have tossed her in a heartbeat.

Don't some theaters have policies saying they'll toss you? Well, apparently this one didn't. Still, she wasn't a problem after the theater chief talked with her.

Yep. This weekend, Tommy Hatem People.

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Little Tommy Trivia

A Little Tommy Trivia

A lot the important baseball games I've attended in my life? The final score has been 4-2.

First Pro baseball game? Cubs beat the Reds in 11, at Riverfront.
First Game at Fulton County Stadium? Braves beat the Cubs.
First Game at Wrigley Field? Cubs beat the Padres.
First Game at Turner Field? Braves beat the Phillies
Foul Ball at a game? Nashville Sounds beat New Orleans Zephyrs (yeah, it's the minors, but as you can tell, I got nuthin')

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Bit of Tommy Trivia

A Bit of Tommy Trivia

When I was a small child, I believed that a monster lived in the bathroom of my childhood home. He looked a lot like Frankenberry, though his was not so much about strawberry cereal, and was more about killing Tommy. We moved out of that house before I was able to prove or disprove the existence of the monster. Now, some 22 years later, I'm leaning toward that monster being a figment of my imagination.

However, I wouldn't be surprised it the ball landed in the other court.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Price is Right Logistical Query

A Price is Right Logistical Query

I wonder how the winners get their prizes home from Price is Right.

Do they get shipped? If not from the show, perhaps from the manufacturer?

Or are they responsible for moving their daybed and treadmill from the Bob Barker studio all the way back to Bunghole, Vermont?

Because you can't fit a daybed into the overhead compartment. You gotta check that shit.

Opening Day Thoughts

Opening Day Thoughts

A couple prognostications for this coming baseball season:

Remember, these are based on little more than the pattern I saw in my Corn Flakes bowl this morning.

I think we'll have a perfect game this year.

I think somebody will throw one, and flirt with throwing Two no-hitters this year.

I'm thinking that if the coals of scrutiny get too hot, Barry Bonds hangs it up.

I think Mark Texeira has a Monster year.

I think the Brewers will surprise a lot of people.

The Yankees' starting staff shows its age.

Roger Clemens will pitch, but it will be his last year.

Carlos Zambrano has a monster year for the Cubbies. And Greg Maddux will win 15. I don't think Kerry Wood or Mark Prior will start 15 games. Maybe not even between them.

Divisional winners:

N.L. East: Atlanta (for their 483d consecutive title)
N.L. Central: Houston
N.L. West: Los Angeles
N.L. Wildcard: New York Mets (after fighting off the Brewers and Cardinals)

A.L. East: Boston
A.L. Central: Chicago White Sox
A.L. West: Anaheim
A.L. Wild Card: Oakland (Over the Indians, Blue Jays and Yankees)

World Series: White Sox over Dodgers, in 5

My figuration for the Cubs final record? They'll end up around .500. Dusty might not make it all the way through the year. Like I said, Prior and Wood will top out at 15 starts apiece, although there's a shot that that number may be a cumulative total between them. I think Big Z breaks out and wins 22, 24 games this year. I have no evidence to back up my speculation, but I think this might be the year. Mad Dog wins 15, and hangs them up.

Aramis Ramirez shows well, too. Derrek Lee's production falls off, and despite all intentions of having a couple table-setters at the top of the lineup, the Cubs still won't be able to manufacture runs.

Your N.L. MVP: Andruw Jones
N.L. Cy Young: Big Z

A.L. MVP: Mark Texiera
A.L. Cy Young: I dunno. How about Barry Zito?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

This Time Change Bullshit

This Time Change Bullshit

Today, I had to spend most of the day convincing one co-worker that the note reminding folk to set the clocks forward tonight wasn't some manner of April Fool's trick.

I'd just like to say that I don't get enough time off, here lately. I'm working 55 and 60 hours a week. And it sucks all kinds of balls that one of the hours that I lose is an hour that I have off of work.

From here on out, let's make the hour we move forward a Thursday afternoon--I'm thinking three-ish.

I don't get much time off. Stop taking away from my precious sleep time, dammit.

Dammit, indeed.

Wrasslin' Thoughts

Wrasslin' Thoughts

How many beers did I drink before posting? (Answer: All of 'em).

You know, the Wrasslin' Thoughts used to pop up at least once a week 'round these parts.

Well, truth be told, I haven't watched the wrasslin' in weeks. Been underwhelmed for months with the level of storytelling. And that's sad. Because do you understand how little it takes to amuse me? Seriously. I'm a like a magpie. Give me a ball of tinfoil, and I'll be entertained for hours, assuming I don't decide to eat the sumbitch, and have that foil make electrical contact with one the fillings in my teeth.

What am I talking about?


Wrestlemania 22?

There's no end to the contempt I have for this show.

First, there's the whole "Big Time" theme song. It's like Vince McMahon decided that he wanted to use this song back in 1988, but couldn't find a way to work it into to the whole tournament setup of Wrestlemania 4. But instead of letting the idea be left in the detritus that was the 1980's, amongst the Mr. T Mohawks and Pee Wee Herman bowties, he's decided to dig out the Peter Gabriel classic in the year 2006.

Add to that this:

Rey Misterio Jr. I don't buy Rey Misterio. I've never bought him. Dude's 4'1". He's like a child in a goofy ass mask. Even against other cruiserweights, I don't but him. Wrestling is very much about suspension of disbelief. But I can't suspend disbelief when I see a guy who looks like your average fourth grader out there fighting 6'5" muscled-up goons. I can't get the image of Kevin Nash flinging Rey against a truck trailer like a lawn dart out of my head. I don't buy Rey as a Heavyweight Title Contender, and there's no amount of storytelling that'll change my mind.

Big Stupid Tommy: Obstinate Motherfucker.

Other things that bug me about Wrestlemania 22:

Eddie Guerrero.

Eddie Guerrero was a favorite of mine. He died in November 2005. Do you know how often I think about Eddie Guerrero? Maybe once, twice an hour. But definitely not enough to use his name to goad on somebody else. You know, there's a very morbid part of me that enjoys the absurdity of a few thousand mindless drones chanting a dead guy's name in the name of revving up the motor of guy who fake fights for a living.

This thing where we chant Eddy Guerrero's name in support of Rey Misterio (or Chavo Guerrero), it's a little morbid. No, it's a lot morbid. And if I was Rey Misterio, I'd be embarrassed to have come this far in my career, yet owe so much of my popularity to the death of one of my best friends.

Also: Randy Orton.

Randy Orton is a swolen pustule on the face of wrestling. I don't know how to spell something that I would describe as a puss-filled inflammation of the skin, but pustule looks best to my tipsy ass. Randy Orton is a mediocre in-ring worker. He cannot speak on the microphone. He has only the most basic knowledge of what goes on inside the ring, yet here he is headlining a Wrestlemania.

Along with Randy Orton, we have John Cena. Way back in the dulcet days of the year 2003, one of my favorite refrains when watching the WWE, was "When Will They Stop Shoving John Cena Down Our Throats?"

A few years back, my buddy Bill and I would wander to Smyrna, Tennessee, to see Bert Prentice promote a show for his Music City Wrestling promotion. We'd head up to the Smyrna flea market, where Bert would tape his TV show, every Wednesday. I have three distinct memories of this time.

1.) A mentally retarded girl chasing promoter Bert Prentice around, announcing at the top of her lungs that she'd bought a flower for him.

2.) A wrestler called The Atomic Dog getting utterly and completely comfused, to the point of breaking character, by the fact that, even though he was playing the heel, Bill and I were cheering for everything he did.

3.) Bert Prentice and family running around telling us who to cheer for.

I always think that Bill and I gave Bert problems, because we made a point to cheer for the bad guys. Meanwhile, behind the hard cameras, Bert and company would be jumping out of their shoes to try to get us to cheer for the Colorado Kid Mike Rapada (or whomever the babyface du jour was).

John Cena, to me, represents that.

Nobody likes John Cena. Not really.

He's bland. He does fourth-rate rap bullshit. He's contributed little more to the WWE product in-ring, than the idea that Vanilla Ice had more societal impact than making one of the worst movies ever made.

But somebody (Vince McMahon) in Titan Towers thinks we should like John Cena.

So, he's been Champ, headlining Pay-Per-View after Pay-Per-View. For a year, now.

Now, he's headlining Wrestlemania, against Triple H.

Which brings me to my next thing that bugs me about this particular Wrestlemania:

Triple H.

I won't go off too much on Triple H. His single-minded push for a legacy bugs me. My only complaint is that his stories seem to need to center around the World Title. He's a consummate in-ring storyteller. I think he could do so much more, that he could be a draw without having to "fight" for the World Title. But he's got that Bret Hart thing going. Where he's not worth as much without the World Title. I think Triple H has the thing going on where he wants to pass Ric Flair for number of World Title reigns.

But here's the thing. I don't know that, if I were in his place, with the ability and means to forge my own destiny, that I'd do anything differently than he is.

Last thing that's bugging me about Wrestlemania 22:

Chicago. Chicago Wrestlemanias suck. And I'm a big Chicago fan. Cubs. The city. Like it all.

Wrestlemania 13, and part of Wrestlemania 2 took place in Chicago. Both sucked asshole. In the bottom three, of all time.

This one's not shaping up any better. My tipsy ass my not be making much sense, but it seems like they didn't have a plan, for this Wrestlemania. At least with last Wrestlemania, there was a plan formed a few months in advance, with Cena and Batista getting the titles. A plan that was forged with the fans in mind.

This one? Makes no sense. I don't know. It just seems so run of the mill. There doesn't seem to be anything special about this show? I mean, if it weren't a Wrestlemania, there wouldn't be any reason to even watch the show.

I'm not watching the show, to end this post. Going to work. But I have to admit, if I didn't have the invite from the brother-in-law to head to the Buffalo Wild Wings, I wouldn't even think about checking this show out.

And you shouldn't either.