Saturday, May 24, 2008

So much for that little rush of pleasure...

After a buttkicking late last night, the Red Sox lost again to day, Rich Harden sticking it right where the sun don't shine.

Saw Indiana Jones tonight. I thought it was fun. A lot of accounts I read of it really tore it up pretty good. Sure, it's full of references to other movies, and it's a little bit ludicrous in places, but I loved it. For 2 hours, I forgot who I was.

Is that too much to ask?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Death Collider

May 23, 2008
REM is Twittering the sequence of songs they are playing at soundcheck. Incredibly geeky, yet incredibly cool.
Marketplace is reporting that speculation is growing we’re going to be out of oil by 2030. Part of me says, “Oh, well. I’ll probably be dead by then anyway.” That’s a thought that stuns me. That’s 22 years from now. Yet I could easily be gone by then, given my current state of health. If I were to die suddenly, I would get some satisfaction of knowing that I’m screwing over Chase Manhattan as I do so.
Interesting point from the NPR “It’s All Politics” podcast- Senator Kennedy isn’t dead yet. Arlen Specter had a malignant brain tumor and beat it, so there is a possibility he’ll beat it. It’s still a grim diagnosis.
It’s hard to really think about death at all. (Duh.) I have so much STUFF. I love my stuff, but it’s just going to sit there when I’m gone, until someone gets rid of it for me. Thinking about your own absence is a mindfuck.
This week’s Studio 360 includes a short story about the slightly crackpot notion that the Large Hadron Collider will create a black hole that will destroy the Earth. I take some comfort that if the exceedingly unlikely event takes place, we’ll never feel it. We’ll be here, then we’ll be gone. Kurt Vonnegut (or Douglas Adams) would probably respond that it has already happened, and all of this is an exceedingly realistic illusion.
After that, there was a Richard Price segment. His new novel, “Lush Life”, sounds like a winner. It’s been out a while, though, so I should wait until it comes out in paperback. I love the novels of the writers of “The Wire”, yet I have never seen the show. I just don’t have that kind of time to devote to television, and I know I can’t dive in and really appreciate it.

We Were Soldiers

One of the scenes that most affected me from the movie, and the book, "We Were Soldiers" was the scenes where the loved ones recieved word that a soldier had been killed. The mental strain of such a job is unimaginable.

The last two pages of "The Week" from last week (which I just finished today) had an excerpt from Jim Sheeler's "Final Salute", a book about the modern counterparts of the men from the movie. Needless to say, I will not read this book, as the two page excerpt was enough to leave me blubbering "like a little bitch with a skinned knee", as Jason Mewes' Jay would put it.

Stop the fucking war.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Salami Sandwich

Behind twin grand slams from JD Drew and Mike Lowell, Boston beat Kansas City today, 11-8.

Other than that, I have no other conscious thoughts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another day, another win

After trading a couple of meaningless runs, Boston beats KC, 6-3.

Finale tomorrow, with Dice K pitching in a Getaway Day afternoon game, then it's out west for Oakland, who we haven't seen since week one, and Seattle.

The Ballad of Bartolo Colon

The Slate Cultural Gabfest, which I was not fond of when they ran down Charles Bock's "Beautiful Children" for what I thought were unfair and cheap reasons, brought up this fascinating article from New York Magazine.

It's about promiscuity, and the author takes a very confessional look at human sexuality, and specifically, the desire to cheat. There is a lot of questioning in the comments section about males being hardwired to spread their seed and all that sort of thing.

Personally, I tend to agree with the point about males being compelled to do so. I would find life a lot simpler and, in the end, easier to handle if I felt no sexual desire. As stupid as it sounds, it really is a burden sometimes.

Fortunately, I am unattractive, so the opportunities to cheat are nonexistent.

Bartolo Colon made his season debut for Boston tonight, and currently, Boston leads 5-2 after 6 1/2 innings. Colon pitched 5 solid innings, thus suggesting Boston may have another pitching arrow to add to the quiver.

Bartolo Colon was born in 1973, which would make him two years (or so) younger than me, and made his major league debut in 1997. In his first full season, Bartolo, who is a big man, put up 200 innings and 30 starts for the Indians, and pretty much just put up season after season like that for 7 more years, throwing heat and leaving batters shaking their heads.

In 2005, Bartolo Colon won the Cy Young Award for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Southern California of the United States of Earth, posting a 21-8 mark. After that, he pretty much fell off of the face of the earth, combining injury and general awfulness for two seasons in the wilderness.

But now the big man is back, it would appear, throwing gas and getting people out for a potential playoff team, my Boston Red Sox.

Sometimes you lose it for no good reason, then it comes back.

Jason Calacanis, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, is twittering about a speech he gave, apparently, in Sydney.

(Breaking news-Chipper Jones just limped off the field after being hit by a pitch while the Braves are putting a hurtin' on the Metsies. Given Chipper's past history of being hurt, this is about as newsworthy as a dog wagging its tail.)

Calacanis argues that a company should focus on its excellent employees and fire all of the average ones. Boy, I wish I worked for a company like that.

I read a lot. (Duh.) The more I learn about management and business, the more I realize that the people I work for don't know a goddamned thing. I feel like I have so much untapped brain power and ability, and yet I'm going to go in tomorrow and eat more shit so I can cash my fat paycheck. Which I've already spent part of, by the way.

I don't understand anything about life at all. I've been on this planet for almost 40 years, and I still don't get it. I can't raise my child, I can't pay my bills, I can't stop spending money, and I can't change anything about any of it.

My son noticed the scarring on my forehead from my sunburn and said "Is that skin cancer?" It isn't- I know the signs. But I thought, "One can only hope."

God is exactly the sort of diety who is going to give me 40 more years of this shit, when I have so horribly misspent this 40. Can't I give mine to Randy Pausch?

It's The End Of The World As We Know It

Let Me Get This Straight-

The country is mired in a war in the Middle East. Economic catastrophe is upon us, with local employers blatantly violating the law and terminating workers without notice. Fuel and commodity prices are spiraling out of control.

And what is my local bastion of journalistic integrity treating me to?

Countdown to Memorial Day Weekend.

What a disgrace.

Two more things

Dimly heard through a sleep deprived haze this morning...

Mike Piazza is retiring. First ballot Hall of Famer, and by far the best hitting catcher who ever lived. Long rumored to be gay.

Whatever that means, the man was a 62nd round draft pick as a favor to his father, who knew Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda. He raked, simply crushing the ball for almost 20 years. Defensively, as a catcher, he made a great first baseman. But he hit.

Ted Kennedy has a brain tumor. I lived in Massachusetts for most of my life, and we would tell Kennedy jokes like everyone else. But the fat boy at the tail end of the Kennedy family accomplished quite a lot in his life, and he will always be my senator. He's not dead, of course, but to all reports, it doesn't sound too good.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good Day To Give Up Sniffing Glue

Game Forty Eight

Continuing the tradition of Red Sox players whose names sound like cowboys or US Presidents, Justin Masterson came up again from Double A and stunned the Royals, throwing 6 1/3 innings with only 3 hits and 1 run, for Boston's fifth straight win.

Across town, the Boston Celtics lead Detroit, 75-69, in the fourth quarter of Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Another devastating Dan Carlin's Common Sense. This time about torture. I was afraid of where he was going to go with it, but as usual, he went exactly where I would have gone, saying what was within my own head. His analogy, which was simply perfect, was between George Bush and Charles Manson. Hear me out. Charles Manson didn't kill anyone. George Bush didn't torture anyone. Charles Manson ordered others to kill. George Bush ordered others to torture. It's as simple as that. George W. Bush is a war criminal and should be tried, convicted, and imprisoned for crimes against mankind.

Who says stuff dont last?

Via Rob Neyer-this is pretty cool. A lightbulb in a firehouse in Livermore, California has been burning essentially continuously since 1901. Wow.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Well, now that's some pleasant news.

Wrapped up in my Michael Lewis, I just tuned in to the Gamecast, and, lo and behold, Jon Lester has pitched 8 NO HIT INNINGS against the Royals tonight. Boston is comfortably ahead, 7-0, so the no hitter is the only drama left.

After the disaster of the last week, everything has gone very well since Thursday's day off. This 2008 Red Sox team is strangely comforting-they have tons of power and patience, of course, with a real never say die attitude that probably drives Boston haters bananas.

ESPN is linking to NESN for the final inning of the Red Sox game. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy-their voices remind me of home.

Esteban German walks to lead off the inning-first base runner since the second inning. Tony Pena Jr. now.

Swing and miss at a high breaking ball.

Low cutter grounded to Lowell for the first out.

David DeJesus now.

Inside cutter, ball one. John Henry grinning like a fiend.

Fastball high fouled off.

Fastball away for a ball. Lester still bringing it-94 in the 9th inning.

Cutter away-swing and miss. Nasty stuff.

Inside fastball-Jam shot-Groundout to first-two out.

Alberto Callaspo-Fastball fouled away-0-1
Cutter-swing and miss-0-2
Very high fastball-95-1-2
Fastball pulled foul 1-2
High fastball swung on and missed! STRIKE THREE!!!!

A no hitter. Wow.



And for it to happen to Jon Lester-cancer survivor-winner of Game Four of the 2004 World Series-Wow. Fantastic. Gorgeous. Wonderful night.

Next Man Up

This is the book I just finished. It was pretty good. It was a detailed look, a la Hard Knocks, of a season of the Baltimore Ravens. If you like that sort of inside stuff about sports, it's worth it.

This is the book I'm reading now. Similar to Moneyball, it's really more sociology than sports, but he's a terrific writer.
I'm not sure why I'm on such a football kick right now.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trouble In New York

In the 4th inning of the Mets/Yankees game, a Mets home run was disallowed due to a blown call by the third base umpire. He called a ball foul that banged off the foul pole, so instead of 6 runs the Mets got four. Hope that doesnt cost them a game. Joe Morgan started nattering about how we can't have instant replay in baseball because it takes too long. Like so many things Morgan says, that's wrong. There's no reason why you couldnt have a system like the NBA-one specific type of call is reviewable. They come over to the monitor, review it, and that's it. I'm against replay review in all sports-if it is to be played by people, it should be ruled by people. You are going to get some game outcomes ruined by bad calls-but that's the nature of things.

Detroit Pistons Insult Sheet

In high school, when the Celtics were in the playoffs, my friends and I used to circulate a "Insult Sheet", upon which you would write nonsensical insults and putdowns about the Celtics' current opponent. Therefore, in celebration of the Celtics' first relevant team in my son's life, 10 insults about the Detroit Pistons.

10. Chauncey Billups belongs in a 19th century novel.
9. Michigan is really part of Canada anyway.
8. Flip Saunders belongs in a movie about pool hustlers.
7. Rasheed Wallace. What more need be said?
6. Lindsey Hunter is 800 years old. If you remember the Carter Administration, you shouldn't be allowed to play.
5. Arron Afflalo doesn't spell his first name or his last name correctly.
4. Jason Maxiell should go back to making coffee.
3. Walter Herrman should go back to narrating stuff on the History Channel.
2. Jarvis Hayes sounds so much like a US President, he should be playing for the Red Sox.
1. If too many people clap at once, Tayshaun Prince might fall over from the wind generated.

A Win, A Win, My Kingdom for a Win

Fortunately, Boston holds on for the 11-7 win, although we needed Papelbon to do it.

The Celtics lead Cleveland, 50-40, at halftime.

Go Speed Racer Go

Just saw Speed Racer, which was not as bad as everyone says. I mean, it was formulaic and obvious-the reviewer who referred to it as "visual cotton candy" had it right-but it was fun. And I'll take Christina Ricci in a nightshirt any 'ol time. Plus I'll pay $7 to watch Susan Sarandon read from the phone book.

In Boston, Milwaukee is taking a beating from the Red Sox, 11-6 in the bottom of the seventh, which should be pretty safe, while a few stops down the Green Line, the Celtics are leading the Cavaliers in deciding game seven at the New Garden. (It's maybe a 15 minute subway ride between the two buildings.)

Josh Beckett is looking pretty taterrific, which is not like him-at least, not like the 2007 Beckett. It is very much like the 2006 Beckett. I mean, it's nothing to be ashamed of, I suppose-Milwaukee can flat out hit. But Becks has got to turn back into the miserly righty he was last year. On the plus side, Ortiz is hitting a ton, so maybe he's finally found his stroke.

California Dreaming

Both the Slate Political Gabfest and Left Right and Center brought up the California Supreme Court's ruling about gay marriage, which, of course, has right wingers throwing hissy fits.

The Court ruled, apparently, that California simply must allow gay marriage, despite the fact that the people have voted referendums down that support it.

I think the Court, in short, is 100% right, and here's why. We fought a Civil War to settle whether or not you could obey some of the laws or all of the laws. The simple truth is that the Constitution guarantees equal protection under the laws. Period. It really doesn't matter how the people feel about it. If enough people feel strongly about it, repeal the damn amendment. If you're not able to do that, keep passing your stupid referendums and let the courts knock them down, because you can't decide that one group of adults is going to be given one set of rights, and another is going to be given another set. And that, bottom line, is the gay marriage issue. And I'd love to hear someone explain how it's anything else.

Manny Being Manny

I've heard about this catch for a while, but I never saw it. Finally watching it, it's just as cool as everyone says it is.

How Sweep It Is (Games 44 and 45)

Coming off a Friday rainout, we had to play two. In Game One, Dice K was sharp, and the offense managed to beat up on Jeff Suppan, if you can imagine such a thing, and in Game Two, Timmeh pitched 5 1/3 adequate innings, and though the bullpen tried to give it back, surrendering the 5-0 lead, we came back with 2 more off of Salomon Torres (if you can imagine such a thing!) to pull off a doubleheader sweep.

I guess Wes Gardner was busy.

I spent the morning helping my wife monitor the Moon Bounce at my son's school.

Then I spent the evening watching Simon so that my brother in law could be taken out to dinner by his wife and best friend for his birthday.