Saturday, July 04, 2009

Game Eighty: We Droppeth Two Of Three (Hopefully)

Today's Independence Day game against the Mariners was another gut punching loss, this time 3-2 in the regulation 9 frames. Those pesky Mariners, who are like Marines, except with an "R", fought back from a 2-0 deficit, then rallied in the top of the 9th. With Sensei Saito on the hill, Ken Griffey Jr. worked himself a walk. With one out, Ryan "Islets of" Langerhans walked as well, sending pinch runner Wladimir Balantien to second. Kenji Jojima also walked, loading the bases. Chris Woodward then knocked a weak little fly just beyond the drawn in infield for a single to score Balantien, who is so dumb he can't even spell his own name. Trailing 3-2, old friend David Aardsma, who is the first major leaguer, throughout history, alphabetically, worked a 1-2-3 inning for yet another loss.

Maybe you had to be there.

“Bill Moyers’ Journal” ( was really good this week. A spirited, muscular defense of Christianity as an anti-poverty crusade instead of a hectoring, anti-fun nanny.


KCRW’s “Left Right and Center” ( was unusually contentious this week. They spent the entire half hour talking about the economy, and as per usual, Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley went at each other hammer and tongs.

Tony argues, as conservatives usually do, that further regulation of the financial system will make things worse and will drive business overseas. I’ve heard this argument before-when regulations have been proposed for clean air, clean water, campaign finance, meat inspections, minimum wages-anything, really. Which is not to say it’s always wrong to argue this-sometimes even Tony Blankley is right-but it is to say that I’m somewhat skeptical when I hear this argument. Mostly because I always hear this argument.

Robert says that it is the rampant deregulation during the 1990s that President Clinton signed that led to derivative markets being formed on air, with no underlying asset (or at least, not one that can be reliably priced and evaluated) that can back up the transaction. It is these unregulated derivatives which went on to become self aware, form SkyNet, and try to kill us all. Wait, I think that’s Terminator. Anyway, in an announcement that should surprise exactly noone, I tend towards Scheer’s point. Sure, derivatives are a useful way of hedging against risk that businesses use to ensure against all sorts of things. But to leave them completely uncontrolled, to require no hold on reality, is a recipe for disaster. Just ask an AIG shareholder.


I saw someone with a Foghat shirt today. Foghat? I have some odd musical tastes, but Foghat? Seriously?


It is July 4, Independence Day. 233 years since a collection of rogues, smugglers, geniuses, and slaveowners agreed that it was time to declare that they were free, independent from Great Britain. As long as you were white. And male. And owned land. Rather than get all dewy about America, or angry about the contradictions inherent in slaveowners talking about freedom, I prefer to remember the gall-the pride, and fear, and confidence it took to declare that you were unilaterally dissolving your ties with the greatest military power in the world, come what may. As Franklin so wisely said, they would assuredly hang if the revolution failed-but they went ahead and did it anyway.

I hope we are living up to the example they set.


SON: So if July 4 is about freedom, why do you have to work?
ME: My boss also has the freedom to not pay me if I don’t show up.


According to Linda Cohn on Facebook, former NFL player Steve McNair was shot and killed today. Shocking.


Another way my wife is funnier than you-today, she and I composed the following scene while watching a 1985 White Sox being replayed on the MLB Network.

(This is funnier when read aloud.)

CARLTON FISK, White Sox catcher: I hate playing left field. I want to play catcher. When you write my name, I want you to write C, 'kay?

TONY LARUSSA, White Sox manager: You want me to write CK?

FISK: No, C!

LARUSSA: See what?

FISK: No, C!

LARUSSA: See what?

FISK: No, I want you to write, Fisk, C, 'kay? C!

LARUSSA: KC? But we play for Chicago!

(Fisk stalks away.)


Maybe you had to be there.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Game Seventy Nine: A Friday Full of Fail

After trailing King Felix Hernandez and Seattle most of the evening at Fenway Park tonight, Boston tied the score in the 8th with a double from the Infielder without Portfolio, Nick Green. However, New Guy RR did a very un-RR thing, giving up two runs in the 11th. When Boston could only get one back, today's voyage on the Failboat goes into the books as a 7-6 loss.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ten Things You Need To Know

10. I'm a fighter, I'm a poet, I'm a preacher.

9. If you sneeze, and your back hurts, you're out of shape.

8. If the lights aren't on yet, they're not open.

7. Yes, you're in the way.

6. If you buy more than one fantasy football magazine, you've got a problem.

5. If the pretty girl at the grocery store is flirting with your son, and not you, you're old.

4. If a holiday happens to fall on a Saturday, you don't get to start celebrating on Wednesday.

3. There ain't no doctor that can cure my disease.

2. It's not too late. It might be too early, though.

1. It's never a bad idea to stay back and hope they hit into a double play.

The Red Sox are off, so let's talk about poop.

My darling sister in law, who is as cool as stfthe other side of the pillow, posted a link to the following site:

For those of you who are acronym impaired, the name of the site suggests that those of us who have spawned cease commenting.

I'm of two minds about this. (Longtime readers no doubt think I am of two minds about almost everything.)

On the one hand, there are few things more obnoxious and self absorbed than a first time parent. When it is happening to you, it is all encompassing and unusual and miraculous, and you don't long consider the fact that human beings have been doing what you are doing, well, since there have been human beings.

On the other hand, what you're doing is terribly hard and somewhat important.

I guess I object to snarky putdowns of new parents by the uninitiated.

You'll get yours, though.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Thanks to Elle for the following.

(No, not the magazine.)

(See, the blog is called "That's What Je Said". Je is the first person singular pronoun in French. See, if I am referring to her, I need to use third person singular.)

(Oh, never mind.)

Thanks to elle for the following meme theme thing:

root for the New York Yankees
seem to lose any weight
imagine why people watch reality television

tell you way too much about things you don't care about
answer a lot of questions on Jeopardy
yearn for a life I did not live

compromise my principles
sing karaoke
speak in public again

be up too late tonight
regret that decision tomorrow morning
eat too many slices of pizza with dinner

eat too many slices of pizza with dinner
buy the portable email device I have my eye on
worry about things I cannot control

call my parents more often
visit my parents more often
get more exercise

The Typing Makes Her Sound Busy

If you are considering going to an amusement park, or if you can read English, please visit to read Jelisa Castrodale's delightful takes on life, love, and being naked on mini golf courses.

Game 78: All Jail The Julio!

After yesterday's utter disaster, the Red Sox fell behind early, trailing the Orioles 5-1 before tying the game with four runs in the ninth, Our Man Youk coming up with a two run shot and Rhode Island's own Rocco Baldelli knocking a pinch two run single to tie the score. Then, it was none other than the much maligned Julio Lugo who knocked in Jacoby with the lead run in the 11th. The Lord of The Dance nailed it down, and that was it-win #48 is in the books.

Bill Simmons And Chuck Klosterman

Two of my fave raves, Bill Simmons and Chuck Klostermann, engage in a very entertaining 90 minute or so discussion of things pop cultural and not at the above link. (Just click on the title.) (I've only listened to part one of two thus far.)

Simmons is the Sports Guy, but the talk can drift pretty far afield. They are two pretty decent thinkers, and they often point out things I hadn't considered before.

Among the other topics they go over was Mr. Jackson's recent demise, and besides making the observation that Americans seem utterly willing to give Michael a mulligan for about 1989-2009, they also note the following-it has been repeatedly said that Jackson's music was era defining and world changing. Clearly, that's true-when the history of music in the 20th century is written, Michael Jackson gets a slice.

But we weren't saying this two weeks ago. Nobody was talking about how "Thriller" changed their lives (at least, not this much) two weeks ago. (Simmons actually did, once-he wrote in a column several months ago that it was becoming hard to explain to people who didnt live through the 1980s how huge a star Jackson was, given the traveling freak show his life had become.) Can we really say something changed our lives now, when two weeks ago, we hardly gave it a second thought? How much of Michael Jackson related grief is genuine sorrow, and how much is "everybody feels bad, so I do too"?

Game 77: Tempting Fate

Pride goeth before the fall indeed.

After constructing a 9-1 lead, and sitting through a rain delay, Boston's vaunted bullpen apparently mistook themselves for the Mets' bullpen, undergoing a complete implosion. They allowed 5 runs in the seventh and 5 more in the 8th to give Baltimore a shocking 11-10 advantage, which George Sherrill managed to hang on to for a gut punch loss.

The blame pie has plenty of slices tonight, Bat Masterson taking one, along with Sensei Saito, the Okey Doke, MDC, and even the Lord of the Dance.


Teach me to mock the mighty Orioles.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Spirit of Game 76

Boston shut out the Baltimore Orioles, 4-0 tonight, on the backs of 7 strong from Big Jon Lester and RBIs from Our Man DP, El Capitan, and a two run shot from Dr. Drew.

That's almost as good as shutting out a major league baseball team.

The Phil Nugent Experience: Sympathy for the Devil

The Phil Nugent Experience: Sympathy for the Devil

A very interesting take on Bernie Madoff by the very interesting Phil Nugent.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Game Seventy Five: A Near Run Thing

Boston lost 2-1 today, being nearly shut out by young Tommy Hanson and the Braves, 2-1. A pair of Brave homers off of Brad Penny was all the runs the Atlantans would need. Although Jason Varitek came up with a 9th inning RBI single to close the gap to 2-1, that was as close as they would get.

The Reading List

Books I've read recently:

Chadwick, Bruce. "Triumvirate"-Nonfiction about the ratification of the Constitution.

Not as engaging as I thought. I think I wasn't entirely in the mood.

Scotti, RA. "Vanished Smile"-Nonfiction about the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa.

Fascinating. Did you know the Mona Lisa was stolen? I didn't.

Irving, Clifford. "The Hoax"-Nonfiction about Irving's faux autobiography of Howard Hughes

Was made into a movie starring Richard Gere. Not bad, actually. A fine glimpse at how something that sounds fun can spin out of control.

Ben Veniste, Richard. "The Emperor's New Clothes"-Non fiction about the author's role in investigating government scandals from Watergate to the 9/11 Commission.

Great. I am a bit of a Watergate geek, so this was heaven for me, but the other stories were just as good.

Belfort, Jordan. "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street"-Nonfiction about the author's journey from Wall Street to prison.

Belfort ran an investment firm called Stratton Oakmont that was making money hand over fist for quite a while before Belfort got nabbed. This, along with his earlier work "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a no holds barred account of the cheating, the lying, the money, the drugs, and the women. Very Dionysian.

Stoll, Clifford. "The Cuckoo's Egg"-Nonfiction about the author's efforts to catch a computer hacker.

I read this a couple of times before, but I got it out of the library to read again. It is astonishingly out of date for a 20 year old book, but the adventure story of trying to catch the guy holds up.

(In Favor Of Parentheses)

Filmmaker Kevin Smith, whose "SModcast", an hour long, free flowing podcast discussion with producer Scott Mosier, can sometimes degrade into a marijuana haze fueled laughfest (I hasten to add-on Smith's part, not Mosier's), raised an excellent point on his most recent show ( that I have been thinking about for quite a while.

Smith's point was about the fact that we tell our kids (Smith has a preteen daughter) that they can be anything they want to be, and that isn't really true. Only in the case of someone being supremely gifted while also motivated to an otherworldly degree can you really be anything you want to be-and that, of course, is assuming that you don't fall prey to addiction, or get hit by a bus, or get hit by an addict driving a bus.

Someone's got to make the fries, as Smith puts it. In America, we seem to give short shrift to the people who make the fries.


Interesting piece on On The Media ( about Bill O'Reilly's stalker producer and the people who tried to turn the trick on him from

I have always wondered why people, confronted like that, or perhaps going into a courtroom or something like that, say anything at all. Maybe they sometimes do remain silent, and nobody runs that footage. I hope, if I am ever confronted with a camera like that, I have the presence of mind to say nothing at all.

There is talk of a potential strike at my workplace. (I am not involved directly, except in the sense that, were it to happen, my life will get an extra soupcon of misery to put right on top of the regular old misery.)( I am not in the union, I guess because I am considered management. Which is laughable, because I'm not in charge of anything.)(I'm not sure how I feel about unions. I'm for them in principle, but every time I have ever worked with one, it's been a dysfunctional and horrid experience. Perhaps, like communism, it's something that seems good on paper but never works in practice.)(It appears I am, however, in favor of parentheses.)