Friday, July 02, 2010

Game 80: If T'Were Be Done, T'Were Best It Be Done Quickly

In a crisp 2 hours and 7 minutes, the Red Sox tonight dispatched the Orioles, 3-2, behind 8 strong innings from Timmeh and a Wham, Bam, Thank You, Ma'am closing job from the Lord of the Dance. JD Drew hit a pair of circuit clouts, but it was young Daniel Nava bringing home the bacon with the RBI single that clinched it.

He's An Idiot!....And He Can't Read!

As the Monkey Man so kindly pointed out, the owner of the Flash 55 Challenge is indeed Mr. Know It All, not Monsieur Le Singe. Sorry about that, Chief.

He's A Monkey!...And He's Got A Challenge!

Our friend the Monkey Man, who may just be catching for the Red Sox before the day is out, (send your resume c/o Theo Epstein, Fenway Park, Yawkey Way, Boston, MA, 02130)has opened the Friday 55 Challenge gates. My entry is called "New Day", and is, of course, loosely based on Days One, Two, and Three of Wyatt Christopher Couchoud's long life.

Tiny eyes squint into bright light.
Sound everywhere, no longer muffled.
Cold-so much cold air after weeks of warmth.
Everything shockingly new and different.
Held, passed, prodded, measured.
Sleep-sudden, blessed relief, then new faces.
What now? What new feeling, new sight, new sound?
Everything a blur, surrounded by love and light.
Who are these people?

OK, this isn't funny anymore.

As the great Casey Stengel once put it, without a catcher, you're going to have a lot of passed balls. The Red Sox are rapidly approaching this point, as now catcher Jason Varitek apparently has a broken foot, and will be out of the lineup for the forseeable future. The mighty $100 million dollar plus payroll Sox are now starting Gustavo "Not Related" Molina and old friend Kevin "Dollar Bill, Y'All" Cash behind the dish.


Can Gary Allenson be far behind? Where's Marc Sullivan when you need him? Is Bill Haselman available? What about Doug Mirabelli?

Dear Heaven, this is ugly.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Game 79: Delcarmened Again!

The hobbled Red Sox, featuring names like McDonald, Molina (believe or not, not THOSE Molinas), and Patterson (praises be, not Corey), fell in somewhat predictable fashion to the Naughty Fish last evening, 9-4. Trailing 3-1, Handy Manny came in and gave up 5 quick tallies to put the game firmly into the L column.

The Red Sox, 47-32 and still 1 game out of first, are off today and face the Orioles tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Game 78: Keep Me Hangin' On

Last night in Boston, the battered, bloodied Red Sox surged out to an 8-1 lead over the Naughty Fish before hanging on with their fingertips to what became a 8-5 win.


In infinitely more important news, my newest nephew, Wyatt Christopher Couchoud, made his world premiere this morning. Everyone is in fine shape, and another journey begins.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

100 Words: "And One"

This week's word for the 100 Word Challenge is "blanket", and given the impending arrival of a new member of my extended family, it was easy peasy lemon squeezy, as they say. Or maybe they don't say. I say, anyway. With humble dedication to the new citizen to be of Planet Earth, I give you: "And One"

I know he can’t see anything. Just blurs, and smells, and tastes, and noises at first-only slowly resolving into Mom, and Dad, and trees, and the scent of a fresh cut lawn. I’ll talk to him anyway, telling him about backup sliders and all out blitzes and 2 on 1 fastbreaks, tucking the blanket around the impossibly small body of the newest member of my family. I’ll imagine I’m forming connections in his brain, teaching him the rhythms of speech, but I’m really telling myself that I’m going to try to make his world a little easier than mine was.

It's Tuesnesday!

It's Tuesday, but just like it's always 5:00 somewhere, it's Wednesday somewhere too. Janera has posted her Wednesday Wickedness, 10 questions derived from statements by Lady Gaga, who I'm told is some manner of pop singer.

1. "Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, noise, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." Do you keep your cool no matter what is going on around you?

I really do. I'm the person saying, "Alright, let's calm down and figure this out." My wife HATES that about me.

2. "Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you're wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn't love you anymore." Do you feel that career should be more important than your love life?

Should be? Absolutely not. Is it? Yes. I think the Beatles said it best when they noted that "Love don't pay my bills."

3. "You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way." In what way(s) do you feel that you are unique?

I'm the only person in this room with a Lester Bangs book in their possession.

4. "I want women -- and men -- to feel empowered by a deeper and more psychotic part of themselves. The part they're always trying desperately to hide. I want that to become something that they cherish." Do you feel that there is a part of you that you need to hide from most people?

Yes. All the parts that show.

5. "Love is like a brick. You can build a house, or you can sink a dead body." Have you ever held on to a relationship even though you truly knew it was already over?

Oh yes.

6. "Sometimes in life you don't always feel like a winner, but that doesn't mean you're not a winner, you want to be like yourself." Would your friends say that you are a winner in this game of life?

Not if they saw my bank statement.

7. "A glamorous life is quite different to a life of luxury. I don’t need luxury. For years, I was practically broke but I was still very vain and glamorous. And I still am." Can you tell us about a time when you were broke and yet still happy?

While dating my first serious girlfriend, I was pretty broke and pretty happy.

8. "I’m single right now and I’ve chosen to be single because I don’t have the time to get to know anybody. So it’s okay not to have sex, it’s okay to get to know people. I’m celibate. Celibacy’s fine." Do you think staying celibate between relationships important?

Really, really depends on the person. Some people need to. Others don't. As John Lennon wrote, "Whatever gets you through the night."

9. "Fight and push harder for what you believe in, you'd be surprised, you are much stronger than you think." Tell us about an incident where you were stronger than you thought you were.

Sorry. Not a strong person.

10. "I lie in bed and try to pray and breathe. I have a very overactive mind. I’m the sort of person who’d never take medication to calm myself. It’s maddening. But I love what comes out." Do you feel that you always have the ability to calm yourself?

Generally speaking, yeah. I don't get worked up about much.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And Another Thing About Mr. Byrd...

On March 19,2003, Robert Byrd, with his party and most of the country having abandoned him in the rush to war in Iraq, stood in the Senate of the United States and said this:

"I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marveled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great Republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.

But, today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.

We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split. After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.

The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.

There is no credible information to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11. The twin towers fell because a world-wide terrorist group, Al Qaeda, with cells in over 60 nations, struck at our wealth and our influence by turning our own planes into missiles, one of which would likely have slammed into the dome of this beautiful Capitol except for the brave sacrifice of the passengers on board.

The brutality seen on September 11th and in other terrorist attacks we have witnessed around the globe are the violent and desperate efforts by extremists to stop the daily encroachment of western values upon their cultures. That is what we fight. It is a force not confined to borders. It is a shadowy entity with many faces, many names, and many addresses.

But, this Administration has directed all of the anger, fear, and grief which emerged from the ashes of the twin towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But, he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war. If we attack Saddam Hussein, we will probably drive him from power. But, the zeal of our friends to assist our global war on terrorism may have already taken flight.

The general unease surrounding this war is not just due to "orange alert." There is a pervasive sense of rush and risk and too many questions unanswered. How long will we be in Iraq? What will be the cost? What is the ultimate mission? How great is the danger at home? A pall has fallen over the Senate Chamber. We avoid our solemn duty to debate the one topic on the minds of all Americans, even while scores of thousands of our sons and daughters faithfully do their duty in Iraq.

What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?

Why can this President not seem to see that America's true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?

War appears inevitable. But, I continue to hope that the cloud will lift. Perhaps Saddam will yet turn tail and run. Perhaps reason will somehow still prevail. I along with millions of Americans will pray for the safety of our troops, for the innocent civilians in Iraq, and for the security of our homeland. May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us."

Given that the war being discussed still isn't over, I find it hard to say that he was wrong.

The Quality Of Mercy

Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator in US History, is dead at the age of 92. When reading about his death on the Huffington Post (I'm sure other sites were similar), the comment thread exploded with people reminding everyone that Byrd used to be a member of the KKK, and trying to use this fact to claim that Democrats and the Democratic Party have just as blemished a record on race as Republicans do.

Now, Byrd's membership in the KKK is a matter of public record. Byrd also filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, which is also a matter of public record. Both of these things are wretchedly bad, evil, wrongheaded things to have done, I think everyone can agree. (And if you don't? Stop reading right now, because I really just don't know who you are.)

Byrd has apologized for these things. Now, I really don't care a whole lot about Byrd. In fact, I think his departure from the scene may be a net plus, American government wise, because he has a reputation for getting pork projects approved.

This anti-Byrd sentiment is, in part, naked political oppositionism, and in part, just Internet-type snark.

But that being said, I wonder what the statute of limitations is on something like this. Byrd made a mistake. He lived a long time, learned from his mistake, and apologized for it. What else is he supposed to do for us? Wear a hairshirt? Flog himself?

Now he and only he knows if he is to be forgiven, ultimately, for what he did.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Game 77: When you go to San Francisco, be sure to wear bandages in your hair

The Red Sox lost another key player, V Mart to a broken thumb, but racked up another win, 5-1 over tiny Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants. Jon Lester tossed a complete game gem, and Papi and Yo Adrian went yard. Assuming they can get to the airport without harming themselves, Boston flies home to face the Naughty Fish on Tuesday sporting a 46-31 mark, 1 1/2 games out of first place. Methinks we will look back on Game 77 as a high point of the 2010 season.

A Sunday Quote

"Everything I write is for spiritual reasons—to help people keep their spirits up, to help transform misery into laughter or healing, to help people remember the truth of their spiritual identities. I try to shine a little light in the world, to be the light for whomever is there, whether at the market, or in a bookstore. It is my spiritual calling. I do a very meager job most of time, but this is my intention."

-Anne Lamott
(Taken from here.)

More Grand Theft Meme

A marvelous blog, Sunday Stealing, apparently is just Meme-O-Rama for we poor, struggling content creators. Always willing to help out when someone else does the work for me, here's my response to the First Twenty Two of what may be Eighty Questions. Which, as we all know, is four times better than playing Twenty Questions.

1. What curse word do you use the most?

Fuck, or fucking. I don't curse all that much, at least compared to some people I know. Raising a child, and then later being around small ones, helps with that.

2. Do you own an iPod?

Oh yeah. I would have a lot of trouble existing without one.

3. What person do you talk to on the phone the most?

I don't. Other than work, I never answer the phone.

4. Do you still remember the first person you kissed?


5. Do you remember where you were on 11/9/01?

I was in the parking lot of a grocery store. I had just finished at the doctor's office, and was picking up a gallon of milk before heading home. I heard the news announced by Carl Kassell on NPR. I immediately thought of the B52 that crashed into the Empire State Building during World War II, and thought, "Huh. What a terrible, terrible navigational error." This was between the first strike and the second one. What makes me marvel in retrospect is that it didn't occur to me that it was a gorgeous, clear day. I'm about 1 1/2-2 hours outside of New York City, so while we don't have exactly the same weather, it's generally speaking similar-there is no possible way it could be a navigational error. But that was my first thought-what an awful accident.

6. What was the last movie you watched?

Part of ESPN's "30 for 30"-a documentary called "June 17, 1994".

7. Has anyone ever called you lazy?

My wife probably has. She has called me just about everything at one point or another.

8. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep?

No. I use a sleep aid called "Being Really Fucking Tired All The Damn Time".

9. Has anyone told you a secret this week?

If private medical information is a secret, then yes.

10. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Breasts. Sorry, but it's true.

11. What are you looking forward to?

Good question. My new nephew's birth. Given that it's 90000 degrees and humid outside, I'm pretty sure his mom is looking forward to it, too.

12. Do you own any band t-shirts?

Not as many as I did.

13. What will you be doing in one hour?

Going to the library and dropping off some old books, then picking up some I had on reserve.

14. Is anyone in love with you?

Lord, I hope so.

15. Last time you cried?

Silly question. Men don't cry.

16. Are you on a desktop computer or a laptop?


17. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?


18. Would you ever date anyone covered in tattoos?

I'm pretty sure my wife would object.

19. What were you doing before this?

Reading "Print The Legend", a mystery novel about the death of Ernest Hemingway

20. When is the last time you slept on the floor?

Years ago, at the Sheraton St. Regis in New York City, to save money on a theatre trip.

21. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

Four. To function WELL? Nine.

22. Do you eat breakfast daily?

No. It's a mistake. I know it's a mistake. But I still do it.

Sunday 160-The Sad Cafe

The Monkey Man, who blogs here, has reached the one year anniversary of the Sunday 160, a story told in 160 characters. My entry this week is called "The Sad Cafe"

“Why don't you meet me at midnight,baby-Inside the sad cafe.” Don Henley's voice was playing in the background. I sipped my drink. She isn't coming, I thought.