Saturday, August 07, 2010

Game 111: CC Explains It All

In New York this afternoon, John Lackey was his usual less than marvelous self, and that, as you might expect, was not enough, Boston losing 5-2.

Game 110: Youk Will Be Avenged!

The Youkless Red Sox actually put a hurting on Javy Vazquez and the Yankees last night, Cowboy Clay having his way with them in a 6-3 win.

With New York's recent inability to beat, well, anybody, this puts Boston 5 games out of first. Is that a pennant race that I smell?

Box Full Of Letters

The way beyond awesome Peter DeWolf has a piece up on that you should check out, plus Gretchen Cello has a new book out that I just ordered. Plus there's, which invites you to write letters to the future-always good for we narcissists who think we have something to say. And there's also LEX, a paper and ink magazine that I just learned is back from the dead. My wife and I met through pen and ink letters sent via LEX, so it has a special place in our hearts.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Wickedness' Little Sister

Janera's side project, Rock N Roll Fridays, is back again with some more rock song theme questions. So Let's Get It Started In Here...

1. MADNESS: OUR HOUSE … “I remember way back then when everything was true and when we would have such a very good time, and such a fine time, a happy time”….
What is a funny memory of a parent, sibling or guardian in your childhood home?

One of the funniest things my brother ever said was second hand, but funny nevertheless. On a school trip, the bus broke down. They parked in a Chinese restaurant parking lot, and the restaurant let the children inside to use the restroom. My brother, walking across the expensive looking restaurant, remarked, "Nice place....I think I can leave my urine here." 

2. MEN WITHOUT HATS: SAFETY DANCE … “We can dance if we want to, we’ve got all your life and mine…as long as we abuse it, never gonna lose it, everything will work out right”…
What activity did you do that would be considered dangerous or reckless?

Back in the day? I went to some wild Metallica shows, I guess. 

3. FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: RELAX … “But shoot it in the right direction, making it your intention…live those dreams, scheme those schemes, got to hit me, hit me, hit me with those laser beams”…
What was your dream job and what did you actually wind up doing?

My dream job is managing the Boston Red Sox. 

I wound up standing up all the time and getting yelled at a lot. I guess that's kind of the same thing. 

4. MODERN ENGLISH: I MELT WITH YOU … “I’ll stop the world and melt with you…you’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time, there’s nothing you and I won’t do…I’ll stop the world and melt with you”…
What is the most romantic getaway you have taken?

A couple of theatre trips to NYC were pretty good.

5. THOMAS DOLBY: BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE … “I don’t believe it! She’s tidied up again and I can’t find anything!All my tubes and wires, and careful notes”…
What valuable item have you lost?

My sanity. 

6. DEVO: WHIP IT … “Crack that whip, give the past the slip, step on a crack, break your momma’s back”…
Were you spanked as a child? How were you punished?

I may have been. If I was, certainly not very often. 

Generally, the shame of having done wrong was enough punishment. 

7. ANIMOTION: OBSESSION … “You are an obsession, You’re my obsession, who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?” …
What is the oddest thing you ever did to get someone to like you?

Wrote them a story. 

8. TOMMY 2-TONE: 867-5309 JENNY JENNY … “Jenny Jenny who can I turn to? You give me something I can hold onto..I know you think I’m like the others before, who saw your name and number on the wall” …
Who do you regret giving your phone number to?

A couple of former co workers. 

9. KAJAGOOGOO: TOO SHY … “Modern medicine falls short of your complaints, ooh, try a little harder, you’re moving in circles wont you dilate? Baby try”…
What is your favorite medicine or drug?


10. GARY NUMAN: CARS … “Here in my car, I feel safest of all, I can lock all my doors, it’s the only way to live, in cars”…
What was /is your favorite car?

1985 Audi that I bought used. Oh my, yes. 

11. THE GO-GOS: OUR LIPS ARE SEALED … “Can you hear them? They talk about us, telling lies, well that’s no surprise” …
What is the worst lie or rumor anyone ever told about you?

I think we covered this before. I'm not interesting enough to be rumored about. 

12. DURAN DURAN: HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF … “In touch with the ground, I’m on the hunt I’m after you, smell like I sound, I’m lost in a crowd, And I’m hungry like the wolf” …
What food do you crave so much you would brave a long line or travel a far distance to get it?

Five Guys Burgers And Fries. As we've also covered before, if you don't know, you better ask somebody!

13. JOAN JETT: I LOVE ROCK N ROLL … “I saw him dancing there by the record machine. I knew he must have been about 17. The beat was goin’ strong, playin’ my favorite song” …
What was the last song you paid to hear on a jukebox?

Gosh. If you can even answer this question, you're old. 

I think it was "Please Please Me" in a Johnny Rockets. That's the last jukebox I recall seeing. 

The Memory Remains

I wrote this. You should read it. You should read the other ones, too. But read mine. :-)

It is a curious melange of fact and fiction. The essential events really happened-the itching, the rush to the store, the crash into the wall, the rush back home, the anticlimactic fading of the rash. It was snowy, but whether it was actually snowing, I don't know. Did I play a tape? Did I listen to NPR on the ride instead? I don't have any way of knowing.

This just makes me think about how little I remember, how fragile memories are as a whole. I don't remember anything, it seems like-and, at times, I discover that the things I remember didn't happen, or didn't happen when I thought.

I wonder how many conversations and events in memoirs suffer from this problem.

Do we ever know anything at all?

Game 109: Dice K Big With Trouble Dead Ahead

The Dice Man came up aces for Boston last night, pitching 8 strong in a 6-2 win last night. However, the Sox head into the Death Star for 4 against the Evil Empire, followed by a mini trip to Toronto and Texas.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

What Does Osama Want?

Dan Carlin had another intriguing show this week, talking about various current events, as he usually does. He described a book he has in his library that lists the 100 most significant figures in world history. He says the book is from the 1980s, so it is significantly out of date, but the book lists, for each figure, the relevant statistics and data about them, followed by an argument about why they are ranked where they are. Carlin then asks whether or not Bin Laden would be on such a list, if you had to make one today. He would argue, and I would agree, that he would have to be. (Remember this is "significant" meaning "important", not at all "admirable" or "decent". Like the Time Magazine definition for "Man Of The Year"-the person who most influenced events, for good or ill.)

Carlin then describes how much of the history of the last ten years has been affected by Bin Laden, after the deaths on 9/11. These are a number of casualties that would not have impressed Napoleon, or Lincoln, or Roosevelt, or Mao or Stalin or nearly any wartime leader. (Obviously, they would have felt very differently about such deaths-Mao and Stalin caring not much at all, Lincoln caring very much about them. The point is, the number, in terms of war deaths, is historically insignificant, even for civilians. Remember that the battle of Borodino, during Napoleon's invasion of Russia, saw 70,000 deaths in ONE DAY. Gettysburg had 50,000 over three days. Antietam had 23,000. And that's without machine guns.) Yet you cannot argue Bin Laden is not now a significant figure in the history of the world, because of the changes that have resulted from 9/11.

The point of this post is, as far as we can tell, what does Bin Laden want? On a large scale, I think it's fair to say that he wants us, and the West in general, discredited and humilated-shown to be powerless to stop him and, additionally, cruel and heartless in our attacks while trying to do so, making us look hypocritical- less appealing as a beacon of freedom and hope. To talk about liberty while locking people away without trial. To show our worst side. To blacken our name, essentially.

It seems to me that he got what he wanted, and we gave it to him, because of our fear that we're going to be attacked again.

Isn't the first rule of any conflict to try to avoid giving the other side what they want?

Game 108: Old Friends

Old friend Justin Masterson choked off the Red Sox attack with only 4 hits and one run, old friend Jacoby Ellsbury made a long awaited return to the lineup with a rousing 0 for 5, and old friend Jon Lester was cuffed about, lasting only 5 innings in a 9-1 smackdown by the visiting Indians in Fenway tonight.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Janera has ten more questions on deck today, this time from newlywed First Daughter Chelsea Clinton. 

1. “I think with our problems with hopelessness and cynicism that [the solution] ultimately has to come from the young people themselves. We've got to realize we are the future and we make of our future what we make of it, and ultimately we have to do it for ourselves.” If you had a wish for your future, what would it be?

A wish? Not be so broke. 
2. “We proved we could be safe and secure at home, and still have more allies and friends in the world.” Tell us about a couple of your closest friends.

Not difficult. The only person on God's green acres who could be called my friend is my poor benighted spouse, @djswebb, whose blog is here
3. “I had seen people who had lost everything and everyone they loved to war, famine, and natural disasters.” What is the most that you have ever lost?

Lost? I lost my Social Security card once. 


I haven't lost much at all, certainly compared with most of my fellow citizens on Spaceship Earth. 
4. “We grieve for the loss of life, ... I ask you to redouble your resolve and help your neighbors.” What was the last thing that you have done to help a neighbor?

I'm ashamed to admit I can't think of anything. 
5. “I think they were interested in it.” What have you done to help someone because of a shared interest?

I've done some research for people in other parts of the country about baseball history. That doesn't really count one bit. 

6. “How we use these surpluses in this moment of prosperity will determine America's future for decades to come. Nothing will more surely determine it than making the right choices…” What do you think the priorities of the United States really should be?
There's lots of ways to answer this, but the war undercuts them all. We need to end the wars, because we can't do anything about the other problems while still shoveling buckets of money to the military. 

7. “For all the tornadoes Arkansas has, and the ones that have hit around Little Rock, we never had one just basically come down Main Street.” What was the last severe weather situation that you and your neighbors endured?

We lost power some time ago. That's about as bad it gets around here. 

8. “I had seen people who had lost everything and everyone they loved to war, famine, and natural disasters.” Who among the folks you consider family or friends has lost the most?

I think my mother losing her husband and her best friend counts here. 9. “I Do.” If you’ve been married what were your thoughts when you said that? Or if not, what would you hope them to be?”

Sort of like Luke Skywalker before he grabs Leia and swings across the chasm on the Death Star. "God, I hope this works."

Turns out it did. 

10. "I'm a big health-food freak and a vegetarian devotee." Have you or are you a vegetarian? Thoughts?

I'm kind of torn on this. People I respect like Paul McCartney are vegetarians. I can understand intellectually the arguments for it, both healthwise and morally. 

But I just can't do it-I don't have the willpower. 

Explains a lot. 

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Game 107: Winning Is Easy...

...when you only give the opposition 3 hits.

Josh Beckett was his old self against the depleted Indians, going 8 strong frames, while home runs from Mike Lowell, American Hero, and Bad Bill Hall pushed the Bostons to a 3-1 win. (Ed. Note: Tonight's starting lineup was Youk-less, as Youkilis' injured thumb forced him onto the DL today.)

Things What Which I Did

Words of mine are here, and one from last week that I am particularly proud of is still up here.

That is all.

Game 106: Black Magic Catcher

Last night, the Red Sox fell short, despite two homers from Yo Adrian, losing to the Indians in Boston, 6-5.

On a much more important level, promising Indians catcher Carlos Santana was injured in a horrific collision at home plate, his leg bending in a way human legs are not intended to bend. Baseball fans everywhere, and this blog in particular, hope fervently that Santana makes a full recovery and is back on the field next season.

Monday, August 02, 2010

It's still Monday, aint it? Microfiction Monday: "Over The Hills and Far Away"

Microfiction Monday , where all the cool kids go,  is a little fiction challenge that goes on over by the Stony River-given a picture, compose a story, in 140 characters or less. Today's is called "Over The Hills And Far Away", and is humbly dedicated to my long suffering wife @djswebb, who blogs here.

She stood there-boots under a dress.

“It looks like an album cover,” she said. “Maybe Led Zeppelin.”

Right then, I knew I had to marry her.

Game 105: Give It Away, Now

After The Lord of Dance surrendered the lead in the 9th yesterday, the Red Sox small balled their way into a win in the bottom half of the 9th inning. Scu Scu Scutaro laid down a bunt, which Tiger pitcher Robbie Weinhardt threw into right field, bringing Darnell McDonald home with the winning run.