Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why Hemingway Wrote

From a 1958 interview that you can read here:

"From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows?"

Saturday Nine Is Right On Time

Here is a new meme home for me. Here's the Saturday Nine, called "Welcome Back"

1. Where were you the last time that someone welcomed you back?

I'm barely welcome. I'm certainly not welcome back.

2. Tell us who is you favorite non-family member to hang out with?

My family are the only ones who will hang out with me. You have to tie a pork chop around my neck to get the dog to play with me.

3. What was the last thing that happened to anger you?

Last night I couldn't get someone from an insurance company to understand that 100/2 is 50, not 60.

4. What was the last thing that you saw that was shocking to see?

Jon Lester giving up five runs in the first inning last night.

5. What is your favorite thing to do on Saturday besides Saturday 9?

Playing tabletop baseball.

6. Have you had your summer vacation yet? If yes tell us about it.

I've never had a "vacation". I've always just visited family. My family and I have never gone anywhere.

7. Pick out one of your cousins and tell us about them.

My cousins Nick and Carrie have overcome a pretty devastating loss early in their lives to become fine young people. I'm proud of them.

8. Do you have any special plans for next week?

Takin' what they are givin' because I'm working for a livin'

9. At what age will you consider yourself old and why?

5 years ago.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Self Aggrandizement: Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

It's time for a new week of 250 word Flash Fiction over at, and my latest entry, for the theme "I Can't Wait", resides here.

Game 123: Well, That Didn't Go According To Plan, Exactly

Toronto 16, Boston 2

'Nuff Said.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Game 122: Beckett's no good either

In Boston tonight, Josh Beckett pitched more like Samuel Beckett, or perhaps even Thomas Of Becket, getting shelled, drilled and tattooed (well, he was already tattooed) by nasty Angles in a 7-2 loss.

Come Together

A very young Korean boy plays a very remarkable cover of the Beatles' "Come Together"

"Rock And Roll Band, Everybody's Waiting..."

Janera's doing her Rock and Roll Fridays thang again. I know it's Thursday and stuff, but I think Janera lives on the Moon. Or something. The questions are based on song lyrics from Green Day.

1. 21 GUNS:
“Do you know what’s worth fighting for?
When it’s not worth dying for?
Does it take your breath away and you feel yourself suffocating?”
What was the last cause/reason that you signed a petition or joined in a protest?

Online? I can't remember the last online petition I signed. Probably one to give Jimmy Pardo the job hosting the new Match Game, maybe. I don't usually protest things in public-I have to go to work.

“Don’t want to be an American idiot
One nation controlled by the media.
Information age of hysteria
It’s going out to idiot America”
Where is the best place for trusted information about world events?

World events? The Economist. is good, too.

“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don’t ask why.
It’s not a question but a lesson learned in time”…
What was the last lesson or message about life you learned?

You Can't Go Home Again. Haven't exactly LEARNED it yet. But that's the last one I was exposed to.

“Dear Mother Can you hear me whining?
It’s been 3 weeks since that I left your home.
This sudden fear has left me trembling
Cause now it seems that I am out here on my own
And I’m feeling so alone”…
Where was the place you went to live when you first moved out of your parents/guardians home?

I moved into an apartment with my wife.

“I want to be the minority
I don’t need your authority
Down with the moral majority
Cause I want to be the minority”…
When have you ever felt like an outsider?

Everytime I'm anywhere but at home.

“Oh I heard it all before
So don’t knock down my door
I’m a loser the user
So I don’t need no accuser
To try and slag me down because I know you’re right”…
What was the last bad thing you discovered about yourself?

I'm not 6 feet tall? I don't know. I'm not exactly at the point in my life where I'm learning a lot of new things about me. More like I'm discovering the old things again.

“Mr. Whirly had a catastrophic incident
He fell into the city by the bay
He liquidated his estate
Now he sleeps upon the Haight
Panhandling misery”…
If you have ever been poor, what lesson, skill-set or experience came from it?

Have been?
I've learned that it sucks. Does that count?

8. 80:
“Sometimes I wonder if I should be left alone
And lock myself up in a padded room
I’d sit and spew my guts out in the open air
Cuz no one wants to hear a drunken fool”…
How do you relax after a stressful day?

Doing this is usually the closest I can come.

“We’re livin in a repetition
Content in the same old stick again
Now the routine’s turnin to a contention
Like a production line goin over and over and over roller coaster”…
Do you do something over and over the same way, even though you know there is a better/simpler way to do it?

Yes. My wife tells me I pull out of our driveway wrong. I insist that the angle is less acute when I do it my way. She is right in that the trip is shorter when you do it her way.

“It makes me wonder when I grow to be that age
Will I be walking down the street begging for your spare change
Or will I grow that old? Will I still be around?
The way I carry on, I’ll end up 6 feet underground and waste away”…
What age do you believe is OLD and why?

Whatever age I was last year. I feel old.

“I’ve been waiting a lifetime for this moment to come
I’m destined for anything at all”…
What is your biggest dream in life (so far)?

The biggest dream I have so far that is within the realm of possibility is to be a published author.

“I don’t care is you don’t mind
I’ll be there, not far behind
I will dare, keep in mind, I’ll be there for you”…
What is the biggest favor you ever did for family or for a friend?

I have to go back to the emergency babysitting my wife and I did. We'd do it again in a heartbeat, of course-and God willing we'll never have to-but that's the best example I can think of.

“Yea, I went to a shrink to analyze my dreams,
She says it’s lack of sex that’s bringin’ me down…”
What would you like more of in your life?

Besides money? Contentment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Game 121: Speaking Of One Foot In The Grave...

Despite John Lackey's best efforts, (7 innings, 5 runs) the Red Sox managed to claw their way back into a ballgame tonight and pull out a win, 7-5 over the Los Angeles Angles.

One Foot In The Grave

Beloit College publishes a Mindset List every year, reminding all of us we're Oldy McOldertons with one foot in the grave. For this year's college freshmen:

-Reggie Jackson has always been in the Hall Of Fame and Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Baseball

-Sam Kinison has always been dead

-Letterman has always been on CBS

-Czechoslovakia has never existed

-Nirvana is classic rock

-There has always been a Sci Fi Channel

-Computers have always had a CD ROM drive


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Game 120: Too Late For Love, Mr. Buchholz

Cowboy Clay and his merry men actually blew the snot out of the Angles tonight in Boston, a 6-0 win that is almost certainly too late to do much good, as Boston is 5 1/2 games out of first, 5 games out of the wild card, with 42 left to play for a team that still writes the name "McDonald" on a lineup card.

Be Cool Or Be Cast Out

One of the best three sentence passages I've seen lately:

"The unpopular belief that there’s more to life than elbowing your way into a prized spot at the best cafeteria table is precisely what sets misfits apart—it’s why the outcasts are cast out. Instead of identifying with your now-well-paid oppressors, keep in mind that, back when you were a Morrissey-listening loner in the tenth grade, your goal wasn’t to out-earn the cool kids. It was to get the hell out of places like Wisconsin, go find your own tribe, and pursue a different idea of success."

From blue girl, who found it on Penelope's blog, who got it from here.

The Best Thing I've Read Today (So Far)

It's this. Site NSFW, post...semi NSFW, I guess. Sorta.

Wednesday Wickedness With Hugh Grant!

You know the drill. Find it here.

1. “Basically, my life is so boring, it's embarrassing.” How boring do you think your life is?

On a scale of 1 to 10? 123 bazillion.

2. “But I just know from experience that accent wise, even if you're an accent genius, crossing the Atlantic is the hardest thing in the world either way.” Can you do any accents? If not, do you know someone who is good at it?

Being a native Bostonian, I can pull that one off, and being a lifelong Anglophile, I can do that one a little.

3. “For any new technology there is always controversy and there always some fear associated with it.” What technology did you at first fear that you now could not live without?

I would say the IPod and online music. "Buying CDs will never go out of style," I told myself.

4. “I cling to the fantasy that I could have done something more creative. Like actually writing a script, or writing a book. But the awful truth is that I... probably can't!” Do you, or have you ever, thought you have a book in you?

Have one? Yes. Have the ability to render it? To be determined.

5. “I had Courtney Love's left bosom out of her dress on my plate in front of me. It was extraordinary. I didn't know where to look.” Have you ever been in a similar type of situation?

Sadly, no, I've never met Courtney Love.

6. “The moral of filmmaking in Britain is that you will be screwed by the weather.” How does the weather effect where you live?

Currently, it's too hot to live.

7. “When I think about actors I know, I'd much rather hear about who they're shagging than what film they're doing next.” How about you? Are you more interested in your favorite artist’s next work, or the TMZ side of it all?

I couldn't be less interested in anyone's private life. I'm not that interested in my own.

8. “Women are frightening. If you get to 41 as a man, you're quite battle-scarred.” Have you ever felt “battled-scarred” by a relationship or relationships in general? If yes, do tell.

Ha! No.

9. “You know everyone loves to be the villain.” Do you tend to root for the bad guy?

Uh, no.

10. “I think that's the whole point of Bridget Jones. It's all about that it's okay to fail.” What have you failed at and learned a lot from?

I have failed at life. Learned? Not much, because I keep making the same mistakes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

If you buy it, you bought it

I don't understand how this is anybody's business. The controversial "Ground Zero" mosque has raised the ire of some, I guess, because...well...I don't know. If you buy a piece of land, you should basically be able to build whatever the hell you want on it. It's somehow holy to build an office tower on the Ground Zero site, but not ok to build a religious building a couple of blocks away?

The single biggest argument we have against the Muslim world is our tolerance, our acceptance of people of all faiths. It drives the fanatics crazy when we do this, which is why we should do it constantly, if only just to irritate them.

100 Word Challenge: Last Chance

The 100 Word Challenge is back where it once belonged here. This week's entry is called "Last Chance".

“Isn’t there anything I can do?,” she asked me imploringly. I sat back in my chair and looked up at her. She had failed my class spectacularly-completing one of the four assignments, and that one poorly. She was beautiful- then again, most women are between ages 18 and 22. Her blouse was unbuttoned just past the point that seemed necessary, her skirt showed a generous expanse of leg, and she didn’t seem shy. I don’t know why I waited-perhaps the cruel side of me wanted to make her think she had a chance of success.

“No,” I said evenly.

Stuff I Love On Monday

The Whitest Kids U Know, a very NSFW, often scatological and offensive absurdist sketch comedy show on IFC

A new Bill Hicks collection coming out next month.

The new Black Crowes project, Croweology.

It's their old songs, retooled and made acoustic like this, which I am a sucker for.

Just Another Manic Monday (Hacky Title, I Know. It's Too Early To Be Original)

From here again:

Manic Monday #217

Right now, what's on your mind?

My hair.

Sorry, that's an old Animaniacs joke.

My work week, basically-the painful thing I have to go to on Wednesday for no good reason.

List 10 things you expect from a good friend.

Presence. (The Led Zeppelin album or the physical state. Either one.)

The other nine are negotiable.

Seriously, though-I don't think you really should expect things from friends, within certain broad parameters. The only thing I have any right to expect is respect, I think. You don't have to endorse everything I love or everything I do-as Tom Cruise said in "A Few Good Men", I can jump off a cliff if I want, but I don't ask you to hold my hand on the way down. Just respect the things that I care about and know that they are important to me-by doing that you respect me.

What's something you've done that you wish you hadn't?

Not being serious enough when answering the previous two questions.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things I Didn't Say

Thanks to Lexi for the idea: Things I'll Never Say.

1. Baseball is on? Nah, let's just watch QVC.

2. That's it! No more books to read!

3. Toddlers are so boring.

4. Oh no, I'd be happy to work all day.

5. I'm sick and tired of standup comedy.

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing, as always, is here.

26. What do you normally smell like?


27. Do you like Carrie Underwood?

Don't know the lady.

28. Been to “The Vegas”?

I never even watched Vega$ on TV.

29. How far away do you live from your parents?

Both too far and not far enough.

30. Are you happy with your job?

Every day, as soon as I leave.

Seriously, I could not be less happy with my job.

31. Where do you work and what do you do there?

I work in a supermarket and do what I am told.

32. What did you get in the mail today?

Nothing. It's Sunday.

33. How do you like your steak cooked?

I don't like steak. Never have.

34. Britney Spears…is she back?

Did she leave? Where did she go?

35. What do you usually order at Taco Bell?

I'm partial to the thing with beef and potato in it. Whatever it's called.

36. Have you ever sat all the way through Gone With the Wind?

37. Have you ever been to Mt Rushmore?

No and No.

38. Is it just me, or was The Marine (w/John Cena) a really horrible movie?

It's just you. Kidding, I've never seen it. I just like saying "it's just you" when people say "is it me?"

39. Are surveys like the cocaine of myspace?

I don't even know what that means. Artichokes mambo banish gross detective.

40. Where is your favorite place (that you have actually been to)?

Any bookstore anywhere.

41. What is your favorite candle scent?


42. Do you believe places can really be haunted?

43. Do you smoke cigarettes?

No and no.

44. Have you ever been to NYC or LA?

Yes. I went to Disneyland when I was very young-I barely remember it. I've been to New York a number of times.

45. How many states have you been to where all you saw was the airport?

Gosh. Wisconsin, Georgia. I can't think of any more.

46. Do you think 50 questions is enough?

Sure, but I'm game for more.

47. Are you currently planning a trip?


48. Is Ryan Seacrest gay? Should anyone care?

I don't know. Certainly not.

49. Do you take anti-depressants? Sleeping pills?

No and no.

50. What do you think about space travel?

I'm a big science fiction fan, but despite the benefits for research and development, I really can't countenance paying for it while children are going hungry.

Jealous Again

Sometimes the person you wanted to be is so far away from you you can hardly recognize them.

Game 119: It's Dice K's Turn To Blow One

And blow one he did, turning a tight 1-0 deficit into a 7-3 loss, giving up passels of hits along with a soupcon of walks as the season drips slowly away...

Game 118: Vlad Pulls A Rock

The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth deep in the heart of Texas, but nearly gave it back, finally hanging on for a 3-1 win. The tying run actually came to the plate in the ninth, but Vladimir Guerrero was, improbably, trying to steal second, and, even more improbably, thrown out, neatly removing the threat.