Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sun Also Rises

Memes are cheap. I'm Scottish, so here goes.

1. When was the last time that you watched a sunrise? Who were you with?

Hard to remember. It might be on a church retreat as a teen. I can't say.

2. If President Obama promised he'd do one thing you asked, what would you ask him to do?

End the wars.

3. What is one experience that has strengthened your character the most so far?

If you mean tested, parenthood. Strengthened? I don't think I have a very strong character.

4. What is the first thing that you usually do after completing Saturday 9?

This is the first time. I'm probably going to shut the laptop down and go back to reading.

5. Tell us about someone either in your life or in the blogosphere that you think is extremely funny.

Lots and lots of candidates here. My wife, though, (@djswebb on the Twitter) is the funniest person I know.

6. Where was the last bed that you slept in that was not your own?

A hotel room.

7. Have you ever been too drunk to remember anything?


8. Have you ever licked something to clean it?


9. Who, outside of family or a S/O, has influenced your life the most?

Gosh. A former coworker named Fred Turner has had a lasting impact on me, pushing me (sometimes in vain) to be more optimistic in my outlook.

Game 97: Master and Commander

In Josh Beckett's return from Nowhereland, Commander Kickass went 98 decent pitches, going 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners. However, he didn't get the win, since Bad Bill Hall's 7th inning homer was needed to push Boston over the top in a 2-1 win. Boston remains 7 games out in the increasingly irrelevant division race.

Friday, July 23, 2010

RIP Daniel Schorr

Journalist Daniel Schorr, who was a reporter during the Watergate era and managed to get himself placed on President Nixon's "Enemies List", has died. This is an interview with Schorr from Youtube talking about the Watergate era:

Happy Belated Birthday, Ernest Hemingway!

It was Papa's birthday on Wednesday, which I scandalously failed to note here.

"Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. "

This gentleman spent part of last summer reading all of Hemingway's work, back to back to back. An interesting read, tipped off to me by the one and only @rogerebert.

Game 96: If I had stayed up for this one, I would have chewed on my own brain.

In Seattle last night, the Red Sox experienced all the Dickensian highs and lows on the way to an 8-6, 13 inning, but wait there's more, megilla of a humdinger of a baseball game.

The Red Sox spoiled a 6-1 lead and a fine effort, for once, from John Lackey, surrendering 5 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the score off of Messrs. Papelbon and Delcarmen, only to pull the game out with 2 13th inning runs followed by a 10 pitch shutout 13th from RR to seal the win. Phew!

Self Involvement Is Like Self Improvement, Except Different.

Recently, works of mine own creation are featured here and here. And here. That is all.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yeah, we get it. Peter Wolf.

Peter Wolf and Merle Haggard singing "It's Too Late For Me", from Wolf's incomparably good new record, "Midnight Souvenirs". I know I keep going on about it, but it's just that good.

Oh, and go buy the track, if you like it. For heaven's sake, it's the least we can do. While you're at it, get his song "Tragedy", too.

The 100 Word Challenge: Abundant Caution

The word for the 100 Word Challenge this week is abundant. Mine is called "Abundant Caution".

“Abundant caution?”

“Abundant caution,” he repeated.

I looked down at my shoes. There was a scuff on the one of them that I had somehow missed. It bothered me now.

“He's ready to bolt?” I asked.

“He asked to speak to you. He always liked you. He's a big client. Don't screw this up.”

I had to talk him into staying, do whatever it took-without Richard Cook's millions of dollars in legal fees, the firm is closed, and we'd all be looking for work.

I pulled my blouse tight.

“Here goes nothing,” I said quietly.

Game 95: Yeah, trading Buchholz would be a TERRIBLE idea.

Cowboy Clay was cuffed around the lot by the woeful A's this afternoon, 6-4, plunging Boston down to 53-42, 7 games out, and circling the drain in this unholy mess of a season. On the bright side, Farmer Jed Lowrie is back, and Josh Beckett may return Friday. So there's that.

Happy Birthday, Greg Behrendt!

It's Greg Behrendt's birthday. Behrendt is a standup comedian who really deserves to be bigger than he is-he coauthored the big hit book from several years ago, "He's Just Not That Into You", and wrote for the Sex And The City TV show.

Game 94: Kouzmanoffed!

The erstwhile Kevin Kouzmanoff tied the game for Oakland last night in the third with a sacrifice fly, then singled in the game winner in the tenth, sinking the Red Sox, 5-4.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wicked! It's Wednesday! Except it's not!

Miss Janera the time traveler is checking in from Wednesday with her Wednesday Wickedness, this time from comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

1. "I was coming home from kindergarten--well they told me it was kindergarten. I found out later I had been working in a factory for ten years. It's good for a kid to know how to make gloves." How old were you when you started working and what was your first job?

Gosh. 13, I think? The first job I can recall is packing poly bags of flyers for our local newspaper company. I don't think it was legal.

2. "My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is." Tell us about your grandparents.

I only have one left, and she's in failing health.

3. "Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off." Do you procrastinate or are you on top of the situations?

I'm going to answer that one later.

(HA! See what I did there? That's comedy.)

I am a big time procrastinator.

4. "Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others." What would others say about you?

Dude needs to have a salad once in a damn while.

5. "The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren't any space aliens. We can't be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we're not all there is. If so, we're in big trouble" Do you believe in life on other planets?

Yes, from a mathematical perspective. There are so MANY stars and planets, it seems impossible there isn't more life out there. I like the theory that they are out there, but they are more advanced, and they are just ignoring us.

6. "I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that." Do you have a godchild?


7. "I don't understand the sizes anymore. There's a size zero, which I didn't even know that they had. It must stand for: 'Ohhh my God, you're thin.'" When was the last time that you were called too thin?

Still waiting for the first time.

8. "I have the worst memory ever so no matter who comes up to me - they're just, like, 'I can't believe you don't remember me!" I'm like, 'Oh Dad I'm sorry!'" Who was the last person that you should have recognized but didn't?

This happens to me at work all the time.

9. "I gotta work out. I keep saying it all the time. I keep saying I gotta start working out. It's been about two months since I've worked out. And I just don't have the time. Which odd. Because I have the time to go out to dinner. And uh..and watch tv. And get a bone density test. And uh.. try to figure out what my phone number spells in words." Do you work out? Have you ever joined a gym and quit almost immediately?

I try to. I don't go to a gym. I was a member of the Y for a while, but I never went, so I quit.

10. 'We use 10 percent of our brains. Imagine how much we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent." Do you feel that you utilize all your intelligence in every situation?

Sadly, yes.

Game 93: Meh Beats Blah, 2-1

In a matchup of dramatically questionable starting pitchers, Dice K throttled Ben Sheets and the Athletics last night, 2-1. A fourth inning homer from Yo Adrian provided the difference. The Red Sox are now 53-40, in third place and 6 full games behind the taillights of the New York Yankees.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Been Caught Stealin'

Since I can't seem to wrap my mind around a Sunday 160 today, here's this week's Sunday Stealing.

23. Do you rent movies often?

No. We have Netflix, but I seldom watch any. I don't have 2 hours to sit and watch a movie anymore.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?

No, no vampires here.

25. How many countries have you visited?

Visited? None. Only been in the one country.

26. Have you made a prank phone call?

No. Couldn't keep from laughing.

27. Ever been on a train?

Yes. Rode them to college.
28. Brown or white eggs?

Can't tell the difference. Don't care.
29. Do you have a cell-phone?

30. Do you use Chap Stick?


31. Do you own a gun?


32. Can you use chop sticks?

No. My father could and my wife can, but I cannot.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight?

With any luck, my wife.

34. Are you too forgiving?

No. I think everyone should be forgiving.

35. Ever been in love?


36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow (or the next soonest week day)?

Working on her novel.

37. Ever have cream puffs?

Oh my yes.

38. Last time you cried?

I don't recall.

39. What was the last question you asked?

"Are you ever going to take a shower?"

40. Favorite time of the year?


41. Do you have any tattoos?


42. Are you sarcastic?

Isn't everybody?

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?

No. A butterfly flapped its wings in Brazil, so I decided not to.

44. Ever walked into a wall?

Yes, sadly.

After Further Review: "Plain Jane" by Cristyn West

My pal Cristyn West (otherwise known as @craftycmc on the Twitter) asked me if I would review her novel "Plain Jane", a thriller which she accurately calls a James Patterson-ish police procedural. I don't typically read a lot of those sort of books-they are fine, but they have a sameness to them that tends to have them lose their flavor, in my mind. Plus my bedside table has a stack of library books on it, so even though Cristyn gave me the link, I warned her it might take a while for me to get to it.

So I decided I'd take a peek last night, see how the story begins. And the next thing I knew, I was gasping to the finish line this afternoon, unable to stop. West cooks up a serial killer story with a unique twist that I will not spoil here. It is a definitely adult story, but well done, with characters that aren't like any others I have encountered. All in all, an extremely well constructed, pulse pounding read that is positively worth your time.

Game 92: If you can't run with the big dogs...'re better off staying on the porch.

In Boston today, the Red Sox fell quietly, 4-2, with Big Jon Lester taking the loss for the punchless Sox.

Boston is in third place, now 6 1/2 games out, headed for the West Coast death march, and fading fast.