Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Whole Freakin World is Out of Order

March 15, 2008

It was Einstein’s birthday yesterday. Happy birthday to the Good Doctor.

I have felt for literally decades now that everyone else is reading from a script, but I spend all my time furiously improvising.

I wish I had something Irish to write about, so I could mention County (Ohmygodyou) Kilkenny.
(You bastard!)

It’s St. Patrick’s Day on Monday. Or, as they call it in Boston, Evacuation Day, or, “Excuse we use for getting St. Patrick’s Day Off Day”

Christiane Amanpour on NPR’s Word for Word-Excellent interview. One of her points is that journalism is about giving both sides a fair hearing-not about simply setting up equivalencies where none exist.

I definitely plan to watch “John Adams” on Sunday. It sounds absolutely awesome.

Fantasy Baseball Questions from vs. Player

Kazmir vs. Sheets? Kazmir. Healthy, Sheets may be a bit better, but Sheets is never healthy.
McCann vs. Posada? McCann, by a mile. You can’t expect Posada to repeat 2007 at his age.
Fielder vs. Howard? The first tough one. Howard, maybe, because he gets more RBI chances and protection from Rollins and Utley.
Kinsler vs. Weeks? Kinsler maybe. Too close to call. Weeks is probably going to blow up this year, though.
Reyes vs. Ramirez? Reyes. I’m worried about Hanley’s shoulder issues.
Cabrera vs. Wright? I like Cabrera fine, but Wright is nearly perfect.
Ramirez vs. Lee? Manny’s a Bad Man, but I’d take Lee.
Upton vs. Granderson? Granderson.
They don’t seem to have done a right fielder.

I wonder why, if the free market is the solution to all our problems, companies like Bear Stearns are coming hat in hand to the Federal Government asking for help?

Typical Bush government priorities-we’ll bail out big banks, but if you’re just a poor schmuck who owns a home, fuck you.

Left Right and Center’s Tony Blankley tries to compare Bush’s visit to Bob Jones University to the controversy about Obama’s pastor. Sorry, Tony. Bob Jones University had a rule about interracial dating, for pity’s sake. Obama’s pastor is said to be anti-American. Well, African Americans have good reason to be-50 years ago it was acceptable in parts of this country to hang black people from trees if they annoyed you.

KCRW’s “Left Right and Center”, as much as Tony Blankley annoys me, is probably the most consistently enjoyable podcast, save maybe “Car Talk” and “Wait Wait”, I have subscribed to.

An excellent “To The Best of Our Knowledge” about language-talking about the famous “Bite The Wax Tadpole” story from Coke being introduced to China. I have always loved stories like this, about cross pollinations of language and culture and thought.

“Only by learning another language can you understand your own.”-Goethe

Also covered the six word memoir story again, which I have heard about and blogged about before, but still love hearing about. Supposedly, the idea came from a challenge supposedly given to Hemingway, to write a story in six words. His answer: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”

I haven’t come up with a good one yet, other than my crib from Kurt Cobain: “Angst Served Well: Now Bored, Old”

Other possibilities:

“Not saving money: die at work”
“Didn’t plan anything: then God decided.”
“Always hiding something: icebergs of thought.”
“So many people-can’t help all.”
“Left her then: Still ache now”

Just saw someone with a T shirt that says, “If You See Da Police, Warn A Brother.” Now I have made no secret of how I feel about the historical treatment of African Americans in this country. But come on-not everyone being pursued by the police is innocent.

I think it was a scene from The Practice, a law drama I watched during its first season. A lawyer is leaving a conference with a client, and as he passes along a passage beside a holding cell, he cries out, “Anybody else in here innocent?” The place erupts, and he says, “I thought so.”

Friday, March 14, 2008

Iggy Pop rules

March 14, 2008

Excellent “Speaking of Faith” this week, about the real religious beliefs of the Founders. HINT: Not Christianity, at least not as we know it today. I was on the verge of breaking up with the podcast, but we’re back together now.

The main thesis is that we cannot depend on the Founders for support uncritically. These men lived more than 200 years ago. We must continue the arguments that they began, using our intellect to interpret their words. The same idea applies to the Bible, and its 2000 year old wisdom. The mind, Jefferson said, is the only oracle God gave us. How sad that so many of us refuse to use it.

Now watching: 2008 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony

Iggy Pop rules.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fear and Loathing

March 13, 2008

Yesterday was a good day to be born-Dave Eggers’ and Jack Kerouac’s birthday.

I read “On The Road”, predictably, while On The Road, traveling to a conference in 1999. Loved it, of course. Didn’t dig too deep, though-let the words wash over me. Did the same thing with “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.

Marketplace is in Dubai all week, and I couldn’t be less interested. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. One less podcast to listen to, I guess.

Another brilliant, if negative, Dan Carlin's Common Sense. He constantly says things I'd like to challenge, but can't. Excellent, clearthinking talk.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kibosh on Josh?

Apparently, Josh Beckett has some back issues.

Most sources are indicating it's nothing, but then again, they are also saying that he may not make the opening day start.

Whistling past the graveyard? We'll see.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Nugget from "Bill James Gold Mine 2008":

Losses when team scores 6 or more runs, 2007:

Boston Red Sox 3
New York Yankees 14


Monday, March 10, 2008

Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons and Dragons, which meant a whole lot to me back in the day, died this week.

Not in the mood

Just finished Tom Adelman's "Black and Blue", an account of the Orioles' 1966 World Series win. I tried to read Adelman's "The Long Ball" once, but I never cared for it. But "Black and Blue" was excellent, so I should give "Long Ball" another shot, I think.

Also just reread "Rob Neyer's Baseball Blunders" book, and loved it, of course. Rob has a new book coming soon, I believe.

"Bill James Gold Mine" just arrived, and I am poring through it. Also just got "Facing Clemens", which is brand new.

I'm not sure when this baseball fever is going to wear off-usually I go through a phase of obsession with a subject, before moving on to another. I have a couple of excellent fiction books to work on, plus a couple of Revolutionary War ones to get to as well. I just wish I didnt have to work so damn much.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

Power outage here, from about 7pm last night until a few minutes ago.

As usual, makes you think of how much you depend on little things. Got cold, and others got bored, but we all survived.

Listened to several excellent podcasts-Episode Two of the Biography Show, King Hammurabi of Babylon, and a panel discussion between two of my fave raves, Katha Pollitt and Anna Quindlen.

Katha said something, though, that would have made me jump right on here and start whining. She alluded to the fact that feminism "didn't affect men".

I don't agree with that. Everything affects men-the fact that unrealistic expectations placed on women make the love of my life crazy certainly affects me.