Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup

Bulletpoint thoughts on the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

  • I have watched 5 soccer matches in the past couple of weeks.  Which is roughly 4.5 more soccer matches than I've watched in my entire life..
  • I'm mostly excited that everybody is excited.  I said it before.  The game isn't my cup of tea, but I acknowledge that a few billion people can't be all wrong.
  • As such, I don't have a dog in the hunt.  Not really.  Though I did feel a sting of patriotic disappointment when Portugal scored its last seconds goal against the United States.
  • So, I guess I am rooting for the United States.  I think it stems a lot from the fact that this is a sport that our country doesn't dominate.  Moreso, it's not even a sport that the US has been consistently competitive in.  
  • Still, I didn't dig the "Unfinished Business" narrative we had with Ghana, for their pool play game.  Yeah, they've beaten our team before.  We beat them this time.  I forget the twitterer who said so, but I enjoyed the thought:  Losing to the United States in soccer didn't even rate in the 100 worst things to happen to Ghana that day.
  • I find that I enjoy the pomp and revelry that are attached to each game.  Had I realized the sport was this close to Pro Wrestling in terms of entrances, I might have latched on much earlier.
  • Aesthetically speaking, the sport is still not necessarily my cup of tea.  I am seeing the appeal more now than I did a couple of weeks ago.  Still?  The play area?  Too huge by more than half.  Shorten that motherfucker.  My lazy ass only says that somebody running an average of 8 kilometers in a game hasn't figured out a better way to spend their time.
  • Added time feels wrong.  It's a shyster's move.  Five minutes in that U.S./Portugal game?  We were only listening to that one on a car ride back from Cincinnati, but that feels a little too much like whimsy.
  • Stop flopping, by the way.  What shit.  I will enjoy the sport more when you stop theatrics like that.  And I'm the guy who praised your sport for the pro wrestling entrances just three bullet points above!
  • I will note that the logistics of qualifying for this sumbitch are way more interesting to me than the actual competition.  I like tournaments and the such, anyway.  But the logistics of finding 31 teams plus the host country?  Insane.  And I like insane.
  • I have added Argentina's and Uruguay's National Anthems to my favorite National Anthems, by the way.  Jaunty.  Lot of fanfare.  Dig it.
  • Again?  I'm mostly excited that they're so excited.  I dig the energy of the crowds.  Especially the South American fans for their teams.
  • I watch this as Argentina and Nigeria look to be getting into a slobberknocker.  I do wish there were more scoring.  I realize that's probably Luddite of me.  4 minutes in, and it's 1-1.  This one could go another 86 minutes with this score.
  • Ties bother me.  I get it, I reckon.  Still, the American in me is bothered because that reptile part of my brain says There Can Be Only One!!!!!  Shyam and I argued about this, with her taunting me about hockey shootouts.  Don't know how we got there, but I hate shootouts, too.  Play an overtime.  If it's an issue having run for 90 minutes? Maybe shorten your pitch?  I dunno.
  • Anyway.  I'm enjoying this thing.  I will say I've learned a lot.  I don't make fun.
  • Much, anyway....  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Walking, yes indeed...

Went to walk off a little aggravation tonight.  People bug me.  Much much, here lately.  We had a boogery thunderstorm this afternoon.  After it cleared out, I went for the wander.

The storm, by the way, was more intense than I'd realized.  Branches, and a middling sized tree down over in Veterans Park....

Anyway.  The listens:

"Another Rides the Bus"      Weird Al Yankovic
"Boys on the Docks"          Dropkick Murphys
"Bad Habit"        the Secret Sisters
"Your Song"        Elton John
"Whiskey Devils"      The Mahones
"Still Around"      the Dex Romweber Duo
"Letterman"       Old Man Markley
"Hey Boys"      The Dillards
"My Aeroplane"       John Mellencamp
"People, Places and Things"     the Dex Romweber Duo
"Run a Mile"      the Hard Working Americans
"So Sad"       Lindi Ortega
"Friday Night Man"       Sarah Potenza and the Tall Boys
"Anyone at All"      Kim Boekbinder

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Re-Run

I wrote this six years ago.  Just normal silliness, but involving dear old dad:

Do you have one defining image of a person? That when you think of them, the first thing that pops to mind is that defining event? It's an event that can be astounding or mundane...regardless, it strikes a tone so deep in your psyche, it transcends all logical thought, so that all your opinions, beliefs and values regarding that person use that as the starting point?

I was nine. It was 1986, and I'd just lost my very last baby tooth. The little bugger had started loosening a few days earlier, and had popped out during a viewing of Head of the Class. I was in a state I could only describe as ebullient...a level of joy I had never reached prior nor have I reached since.

I was still reeling from the satisfaction of essentially having a small bone pop out of my head, when I changed the channel to Night Court.

My dad taught nights. At least, that's what I believed, and still believe to a point to this day. At the time, he was teaching computer courses at the town just below ours, at the small college one could find there. I know he taught these classes, because I still have people in around my small town coming to me and saying "Your Dad taught me how to use Fortran."

To which I reply: "Fortran? Quit making up words, Aunt Charlotte..."

Anyway, back to the point.

I settled in for a half-hour of sheer hilarity with the comic stylings of Judge Harold T. Stone. It was a fun episode, though I feel like it's important to note that this was while Selma Diamond was still part of the cast, and before John Astin started making his appearances as Buddy. I'll grant you that it was indeed a creative valley in the show's storied run, but I'll submit to you that no better use of a nine-year-old's time could I come up with, even to this day, than to learn about the ins and outs of the legal system in nightfall New York City, and to do so with a laugh.

As an aside, I still have a thing for Markie Post.

But anyway, the episode was nearing the end of the second act, when a commotion arose in the courtroom. 

I was watching intently. "This is all quite odd," I said to no one in particular, though my mother was hosting her weekly McMinn County Lady's Mixed Martial Arts Cotillion right behind the sofa.

In the courtroom, just after Harry had rendered a verdict (Court costs and time served), a ruckus arose. The camera pans back, a little uncertain, I believe. And a rather large, hairy man starts throwing hookers, extras and bums aside. And by throwing, I mean picking up and heaving like logs of firewood through a pickup truck window.

The camera panned back for a second to Dan Fielding, who in a rare display of valour grabbed Christine Sullivan and pulled her off screen to safety.

The large man, whose voice became dreadfully clear to me, continued his rampage to the front of the courtroom. The bailiffs came running in, guns drawn. It was the first time I'd ever seen weapons displayed in the courtroom.

Shots were fired, and it was at that moment that the beast stopped his rampage long enough for the cameras to get a focus on his face.

For reasons known only to himself, my Dad was rampaging through the courtroom on that Sitcom.

The bullets didn't stop him. They slowed him down, though. Long enough, I think, to consider just how angry he was going to be.

With a sweep of one mighty arm, he smashed Selma Diamond against the defense table. She was on the next week, so he didn't kill her, thankfully.

In the next motion, he picked up a nameless bailiff (the one with red hair) and threw him against Judge Stone's bench. 

He took one step, and found himself face to face with all 6 feet, five inches of Richard Moll's Bull Shannon.

The air was electric. These two behemoths, nose to nose. Each bringing hell with them in their hip pockets, each holding the power of Valhalla in their hands.

The fight was epic. It lasted seven minutes, and each blow was like an frog punch from God. Lights flickered, streets ruptured, and the Hoover Dam burst (though that was later revealed to be the result of a drunken Buddy Hackett playing with the controls...still, it was coincidental and dramatic).

At the end of seven minutes, with dust and smoke filling the courtroom, the broken remains of the prosecution table underneath his dying body, Bull Shannon said to my father "I yield!....I yield sir!...."

My father, holding a filing cabinet in one hand, let it drop with a muffled bang.

"It is finished. We now know."

And he looked at the camera.

"We all know."

And with nothing more said, he left the courtroom, and Night Court went to commercial.

My mother sent me to bed after that. She was too busy applying a triangle choke to have seen what just happened, and she didn't believe me. The next morning, while eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, I asked my father "Were you on TV last night, beating up Bull Shannon?"

My Dad looked at me as if I had tentacles growing out of my nostrils.

"No, I was teaching."


I wandered to school that day, and indeed many days after that, confused and questioning. I knew what I'd seen. Was it merely a creation of my own mind?

Several weeks later, during my Dad's summer break, we were sitting down, watching Night Court. Nothing much was said, until the third act. Harry Stone had just issued some edict or another, too which Bull Shannon replied "ooo...kay." I heard my dad utter a small, gravelly laugh. 

And I heard him say "he is nothing...."

He got up to leave, and he reached into his pocket, and pulled something shiny out of it. He tossed it to me, and went into the kitchen.

I still have it to this day.

It is a New York Court Officer's badge, with the name Shannon emblazoned across the nameplate....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Listens this day, 10 June 2014

I wrote today.

It came easy.  Really easy.

For the first time in a long time.

Felt good.

Anyway.  Here were the listens:

"Godzilla"       Blue Oyster Cult
"Jurassic Park"     Weird Al Yankovic   (I like that pairing)
"New York Banker"        Todd Snider
"Gettin' Down on the Mountain"     Corb Lund
"Let it Be So"     St. Paul and the Broken Bones
"Sinners, You Better Get Ready"      Black Jake and the Carnies
"Riverside"     the Beat Farmers
"Geek Stink Breath"      Green Day
"Jolene"      Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
"Sherry"      Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons   (another interesting pairing)
"Can You Hear the Fucking Music Coming Out of my Car?"      the Axis of Awesome
"More Pills"     Amy Ray
"Seasons (Waiting on You)"    Future Islands
"Heartland, Heartburn"     Siobhan O'Malley
"Broken Bones & Pocket Change"     St. Paul and the Broken Bones
"Oh Me"    the Whiskey Gentry
"Is Anyone Home?"      Alice Cooper
"Sketches of Spain"      The Pogues
"All Arise!"      The Decemberists

Friday, June 06, 2014


My last post was written 11 days ago, and in that post I lament having worked 11 out of 12 days.
Since then, I worked another another stretch of 8 or 9.

My arse is tired.

And it's only aggravating, since you can't put much of a finger on why, since we've got a full staff.  I've been running flat out since Easter.  And my arse is tired.

Vacationing.  You may refer to me as such, if you wish.

The Vacationing Tommy Acuff will be camping this weekend.

After that?  Who can say?

Just being a badass.

As one does.