Friday, April 28, 2006

ESPN vampires the fun out of NFL draft

Maybe it's because the Redskins won't have a lot of picks this year (and none in the first round). Maybe it's because there just aren't a ton of ultra-exciting players out there beyond Bush-Leinart-Young and maybe A.J. Hawk. But whatever it is, I'm not into the NFL draft his year.

Sure, the Redskins might have a chance to snag a
thoroughbred linebacker in the second round. But still - meh. Actually, I think I do know why I'm not into it. The draft has become like the Christmas shopping season - it just gets longer and longer. It's overexposed. Like Bennifer from a few years ago - just thinking about it gives me a dull headache. Of course, this is largely due to the media coverage. And here, by media, I mean ESPN.

Their endless draft coverage is completely out of hand with all these mock drafts on every SportsCenter. I'll be quite happy if I never again hear a sentence like "Don't be surprised if Wichita State tight end Bill Hayseed isn't around when Kansas City's fourth pick comes up, because this kid really upped his stock at the Senior Bowl and sources around the league say the Cardinals love him..." blah, blah, blah, oh my God, I don't CARE! I DON'T CARE!

And it's not like ESPN doesn't have other things to cover. It's the NBA and NHL playoffs and early-season baseball for God's sake! Does professional tennis still exist? What about the PGA Tour? This all speaks to a larger point about ESPN. They now care more about the hype than the actual events. Every single SportsCenter now leads off with Barry Bonds, Terrell Owens, or Brett Favre. Period. Any actual sports going on today? Any at all? No? Then let's get right to the waste of my life that is the Buffalo Bills mock draft!

It's degenerated to the point where SportsCenter isn't the must-watch it used to be. I'm a sports fan. Where's the sports? By trying to juice these things up, they've taken the juice away. And I want my juice back.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dog eaters cry foul on Nationals sale rumors

Washington, D.C. -- Amid rumors the Washington Nationals baseball franchise will be sold to a group led by local real estate magnate Theodore Lerner, some have claimed a second group fell victim to discrimination during the process.

Earlier in the month,
reports surfaced surrounding the history of that group's leader, Fred V. Malek. One particularly controversial report revealed authorities arrested Malek and several friends in 1959 for killing, gutting, and grilling a dog.

A woman sells dog meat, possibly to Fred Malek

Following the rumor of the Lerner sale, advocates leapt to Malek's defense, asserting that he may have been the target of anti-dog-eater sentiment.

"If Fred Malek was rejected as the Nationals owner just because he may have eaten a dog, then you have to ask yourself: where are we as a society?" said Francis Gross, president of the National Coalition to Promote Dog Eating. "The canine species are rich in protein and other nutrients. What kind of a message are we sending our children? That we don't want them to have a balanced diet? We condemn this discrimination in the strongest possible terms.

"This is the biggest black eye yet for baseball."

Others shared Gross's sentiment.

"Sure, I ate a little dog once or twice," said Neil Aiken, a Fairfax drywall inspector. "And yes, I've also worshipped a little Satan, slapped a few babies around, clubbed a little seal. So sue me! Sue me for leading the life that most people only dare to dream of."

Baseball officials could not be reached for comment.

Dog-eating experts suggested Malek move to South Korea, where he may devour as many dogs as his heart desires, unfettered by the shackles of Western society.

Washington Post
story link on Nats rumors

Yahoo! Sports
story link on Lerner sale

Washington Post
story link on dog grilling

(Photo Credit: Rathavary Duong/Reuters)

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

American Idol + Wizards playoff = I was a couch potato last night

Due to a standing engagement that just ended, and which kept me busy each of the last eight Tuesday evenings, I had a chance to watch American Idol last night for the first time in a while. Flipping between that and the Wizards' playoff game made it a very promising television evening.

In the end, though, both shows felt a little like drinking a glass of soda that sat out overnight. A flat, tepid experience that was once good, and would have remained good if some basic efforts had been made. But they weren't.

In the game, neither the Cavs nor the Wiz had much pop. But the Wiz scrapped to overcome a big early deficit, and screwed down on LeBron defensively.

Is that Brendan Haywood, playing tough D? When
are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse coming?

Basically, they showed guts they don't normally show, and ground out enough free throws and stops to earn the W. Certainly not much fun to watch, but still a good time.

Not sure if I can say the same for
American Idol.

Unfortunately, the singing was not quite so buoyant.

First of all, Paul Abdul is nearly unwatchable at this point. Crying through her makeup, blowing snot bubbles, standing up to clap wildly for no reason, speaking over her fellow judges, feuding with Ryan, repeatedly shouting out non-sequitur phrases like "We love you all, I love you, we love me, you love you." This was just some of her magic. I know this subject has been covered, but jeez - not seeing the show in eight weeks and coming back to THAT - quite the eye opener. I once was a first-hand witness to someone making that kind of scene. But he didn't have a home.

The performances were a little dysfunctional, too. Kellie Pickler sang an entirely emotionless "Unchained Melody." Zzzzzz. Kellie wouldn't recognize nuance if it slapped her across the mouth. Although she's still hot, so that's spiffy.

(From the Predictable Conversation Department: at a party Saturday night, opinions on Pickler split entirely along gender lines. While everyone agreed she's mentally challenged, the girls said she was unattractive and a bad singer, while the guys muttered things like "There's just something about her" and "I think she has real potential." Very humorous.)

Guys: "She has an indefinable quality--I can't quite put my finger on it."

Girls: "Hi! I'm stupid, annoying, ugly, untalented Kellie Pickler!"

But to me, Pickler was not the evening's lowlight. For that, I look to the alleged Bad Boy Rocker of the group, Chris Daughtry. I know everyone loves him, but come on. If the Bad Boy Rocker on your show earnestly covers a Bryan Adams tune, then you are watching a lame show. I'm sorry, but Chris and his designer sideburns have all the heart and soul of a can opener. "Putting your all" into a Bryan Adams song is like lighting candles before having sex with a donkey. It's still wrong, everyone knows what you're doing, and no amount of "feeling" is gonna convince us (or you) that it's okay. At least Bo Bice sang some decent rock standards.

All the rest of the evening's performances were just various shades of okay. Pretty lackluster on the whole. And sorry -- I'm not going to pretend to care about Andrea Bocelli, the guest trainer or whatever he was. Blah.

I'd be shocked if Kellie wasn't toast after tonight. It was clear last night that she's packing butter knives in a pistol fight. So
long, hon. Here - you can take this half a glass of flat soda with you. I wasn't gonna drink it anyway.

(Wizards photo credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images; Katherine McPhee photo credit: Wizbang)


Washington Post
story link on Wizards win

Washington Post
story link to Michael Wilbon column

Washington Post
story link on last night's American Idol

Philly Burbs
story link on Paula Abdul's issues

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hi, I'm Keith Hernandez.

In case you missed it, a few days ago, famous ex-baseball player and current Mets TV broadcaster Keith Hernandez saw a girl in the San Diego Padres dugout during a game. Can you believe it?!?!? A girl!!

Hernandez took immediate action. "Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair?" Hernandez wondered aloud, on the air. "What's going on here?"

That's what I wanted to know, Keith.

How'd you manage to get in here, sugar?

"You have got to be kidding me," Hernandez continued. "Only player personnel in the dugout." Yeah. What did that girl do? Sneak in there to, you know, steal some kisses from the players?

"I thought she was Morganna for a minute," he theorized, clearly confused. "But she wasn't blonde."

Okay, so that theory's gone.

"I won't say that women belong in the kitchen," mused Hernandez. "But they don't belong in the dugout."

"You know I am only teasing," Hernandez finally concluded. "I love you gals out there -- always have."

He then smoothed out his mustaches, raised an eyebrow, and launched into a chorus of
Danke Schoen.

The strangest part of this story, however, is its postscript. It turns out the girl was - get this - a team employee! WHAT?!? So she belonged there. According to some people, anyway. And now, she's getting all indignant about this! Can you believe it? She's actually mouthing off to Keith Hernandez! Just like Keith, I love you ladies out there, but you just don't understand how it is! It's not your fault, though. It's all biology. Remind me to tell you about it sometime! I can do it reeeeeal slow for you.

So until then, I say cool out, baby! It must be someone's special time of the month, if you know what I mean. Now back that little butt of yours in here and give this a massage! Ooooh, yeah. That's what Keith Hernandez likes.

story link

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McCain going about it the "Right" way...get it?

Interesting evidence in the Post's political blog "The Fix" that John McCain is courting the GOP's good-old-boy network. He's inviting a bunch of high-profile Texas ultraconservatives--among them Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks and Cowboys Quarterback Roger Staubach--to a McCain campaign fund raiser. The VIP for the evening is RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman. It'll be interesting to see how much money McCain--a known political "maverick" who doesn't consistently play to any one particular demographic, to the chagrin of his party--gets from this area of the Republican party--essentially Bush's base.

Personally, I think McCain is an intriguing choice for president. However, my vote in 2008 is going to the candidate who is strongest on the environment. This issue quit being a partisan issue, in my mind, when storms and other damages related to global warming started becoming more prevalent and dangerous. McCain's record on the environment is
mixed (I LOVE this Vote Smart site, by the way - it makes it very easy to check out-in plain English-the voting records of every politician on every major issue), so we'll just see how it plays out. Anyway, interesting.

The Fix
blog post link

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Bob Ross video game sure to be rife with gratuitous blood, sexual intercourse

If you know me, you know that I am a big, BIG fan of The Joy of Painting, aka the Bob Ross show, featuring the late, afro-sporting, how-to painting instructor. I love the show, but I don't watch it for the painting lesson (or its retro hipness as enjoyed by the Target shopper crowd). I put it on, and within 20 minutes, I am usually fast asleep. And I mean this as a high compliment. His soothing manner is sensory warm milk to me. I'm getting pleasantly drowsy just thinking about it.

So with this thought in mind, it makes perfect sense that Bob Ross, Inc., is now creating a Bob Ross video game based on those shows. Huh. Well, the game is sure to be action-packed, right? How could it not be?

Hi, welcome back. Certainly
glad you could join us today!
Will this game be for one player,
or the interactive multi-player battle mode?

I can picture the children playing the game. "Titanium white, Tommy! Use the titanium white!! HURRY!!! Your woodland cabin doesn't have any snow on its roof! It's incongruous with the rest of your winter scene!! Use the titanium white! No, with the fan brush. THE FAN BRUSH!!!! DAMMIT, TOMMY, YOU'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!"

But hey, if I've learned anything from my hours and hours of Bob Ross viewing, it's that we don't make mistakes. We only have happy accidents. Because this is your world, and you can do with it whatever you wish. So God bless this Bob Ross video game idea, and we'll see you next time, my friend.

Link to announcement on
Bob Ross Web site

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Ahmadinejad: Nuke program has Sony guts!

When the Iranian president appears before reporters to defend his country's nuclear technology development, does he remind anyone else of a shifty salesman, both with this rhetoric and with his open-at-the-neck shirts?

All torpedoes half price...but only for you do I do this!

He harkens me back to another salesman. Anyone remember this guy?

(Ahmadinejad photo credit: AP)

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I like me some Mike Wise

Interesting article on LeBron James from Mike Wise in today's Post, comparing Nike's "We are all witnesses" LeBron marketing campaign with religion, and wondering if that is a good thing (to deify a basketball player).

I like Wise's columns - they're thoughtful and intelligent and well-written. He makes a nice foil for Tony and Wilbon. He's more in the Boswell mold - a real newspaper guy. I wonder what his readership is like, though. I get a sense that we Washington-area residents are a little leery of this out-of-towner (he came here from the N.Y. Times) and don't see him as "our" guy yet. Hopefully that changes (or isn't the case) because he's a good writer. Dammit.

Washington Post
story link

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Have you ever seen Lee Raymond and Satan in the same room together? Think about it.

The black-light conspiracy theorists of the world are always pointing to a little cadre of evil white men who control world affairs like puppets on a string. And if those contentions have any basis in fact, White Man #1 may have to be retiring Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond.

Mr. Raymond...what's happening to you...he's changing right before our eyes...AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

He has been villified both for his monstrous $400 million retirement package and his assertion that global warming doesn't exist, a contention which for all intents and purposes has been disproved by, you know, information. Of course, Raymond's stance is that the haters just don't understand. You see, the critics don't bother him, because they are stupid! How very deceptive and clever of you, Lee. Your survival instincts are almost...animalistic.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dude, I completely forgot about 4/20!

That just goes to show how freaking old I am. I'm burnt out in a different way. How could I forget about 4/20? Man. Anyway, happy 4/20. Hope people who can still celebrate this holiday are celebrating somewhere.

And if one of those people happens to be reading...don't you just love M.C. Escher? He's, like, my favorite artist.

The Worst Songs Ever

Some dude on is soliciting votes for the worst song ever. This is the Pringles of votes - you can't pick just one.

So as I resist the urge to put every Billboard Top 10 hit recorded after 1995 into a thousand-way tie, here's my list (in no particular order):

1) The Guess Who,
"These Eyes" -- First of all, the lyrics are completely hysterical - not funny hysterical, hysterical hysterical. At the end, the singing devolves into a kind of desperate wail, and if you've ever heard an enjoyable desperate wail, you're one up on me. This song is like listening to your buddy pour his heart out about a girl, and he just gets waaaay too emotional and it's uncomfortable to hear. And the girl wasn't even all that cool.

2) Miracle,
"Bounce" -- This guy makes Lil Jon look like Rakim. Finding a mindless rap song these days is like scratching your crotch in public - it requires no real thought or effort, if you decide for some reason that it's something you really want to do. But even so, this gem from 1999 still manages to stand out.

3) Black-Eyed Peas,
"My Humps" -- See #2, and read the linked article to Slate which, seeing as how they are my superior, sums it up so much better than I ever could.

(One extra note, though: "My Humps" makes sexiness unsexy. I mean, who wants to get down with some lady lumps? Do you have breast cancer, Fergie? Is this a subtle cry for help? Throw in the fact that Fergie once peed her pants onstage, and this is the unsexiest sex song ever.)

4) Tom Jones,
"What's New Pussycat" -- The hot-and-bothered "Whoa, whoa, whoa" howl in the chorus makes me nauseous - I can almost smell Jones' b.o. just thinking about it. But hey, he's got flowers - and hours - for you. I don't think I'm being too harsh when I say that any woman who found or finds him attractive ought to be sent to the kennel and euthanized, for her own good.

5) Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away" -- Not even link-worthy.

I'm sure right after I click the "Publish" button, I'll think of 100 more. But I'll stick with these five. Can't go wrong.

story link

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Terps to test waters, find them scary

News today that Maryland Terrapins basketball players D.J. Strawberry and Ikene Ebekwe are going to "test the NBA waters" by making themselves eligible for the draft and playing and working out for NBA scouts.

They didn't hire any agents, so the move is not immutable, and they can still return to college.

Good move.

Unless I have grossly underestimated the NBA market for underacheiving talent and questionable jump-shooting ("questionable" in Ebekwe's case meaning "ass ugly"), I believe I can confidently predict their return to the Terps next year. Oh boy.

Washington Post
story link

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Nats GM and potential owner: Just your average bunch of drunken Jew-hating dog eaters

I read some crazy stuff about the Nationals yesterday on sports alpha blog Deadspin. First, Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden got arrested for DUI the other night. That I knew. And hey, that's a serious offense, but it happens. What I had forgotten about were his bizarre September 11 comments, comparing a baseball strike to the WTC attacks! So not only is he a horrendous general manager, he's generally a horrendous human being!

What was all new to me, though, was the dirt on Fred Malek, one of the people vying to become the Nationals' new owner. The story on him -- as far as I knew -- was simply that he was a local glitterati who championed Washington baseball. Maybe so, but here's The Rest of the Story: he helped then-President Nixon root Jews out of the federal government.


I will stop at NOTHING to own the Washington Nationals!

You think it ends there? If only it were so. In 1959, he and some buddies got arrested for killing and eating a dog.


So let me get this straight. A Jew-hating dog griller could be the owner of my baseball team? Of course, if Malek becomes the owner, Bowden probably stays. He's got
a track record of working for crazy bigots (remember Marge Schott?).

I've never found myself rooting for
a front-running billionaire more than I am right now. Good God. I need a shower.

story link

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The argument against Bush in a really well-crafted nutshell

It seems that Bush-hating usually goes one of three ways: a tirade of invective, a sad head shake followed by a change of subject, or a string of semi-random phrases and sounds ("Bush, he...I can't believe he...GAAAAAAHHH!!!").

But that malaise of semi-coherence ended for the haters today, when Washington Post op-ed columnist Richard Cohen encapsulates it in one dynamite sentence:

"Bush has been studiously anti-science, a man of applied ignorance who has undernourished his mind with the empty calories of comfy dogma."

Yes! Yes! Comfy dogma - that's it! Want to end AIDS? Don't have sex! Want to quit drinking? Go to church! Want to stop global warming? What?!? It was two degrees below average yesterday! Want to fight terrorism? Start shooting!

I think Cohen may be an op-ed superstar. That'll get him some ladies. Some well-deserved ladies.

Washington Post
story link

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Dear women who pretend not to be dieting

Have you ever gone out to eat with friends or co-workers, and the attractive girl in the bunch gets her food and starts making proclamations like "Oh my God, this is SO good," and "I eat this stuff all the time, I'm totally hooked," and so on?

Naturally, you look down at her plate to see what all the fuss is about...only to discover a pile of damp lettuce.

So I'm calling bullshit, ladies. You don't actually like that stuff - you're just trying to stay thin to attract potential mates! So let's disentangle ourselves from this web of lies, shall we?

Oh my God...I can't
stop eating these leaves!
What DO they put in them? I am SUCH a pig right now....

I realize there's a lot of pressure on women (and everyone, for that matter) to look good and be thin. I'm not debating or denying that. What I am taking issue with is people who eat celery and then talk incessantly about how much they just looooooove celery. As if this was something they'd eat if french fries suddenly had no calories. Please. I mean, if you're going to eat healthy, great! Just stop babbling about how much you love it. Who are you trying to convince?

No, no, Madison. You have to

pretend to like it! Like big sis!

One time - just one time - I want to hear someone admit they're only eating healthy to stay skinny, and that it sucks, but hey, that's our society. Just admit what you're doing. Isn't that the first step? To something?

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Monday, April 17, 2006

A very special guest blog featuring Bill Walton

Throw it DOWN, big man, throw it DOWN! Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and basketball fans diffused across planet Earth and beyond! Bill Walton here to guide you through what is literallly the most exciting time of the year during which to be a functioning human being - the run-up to the NBA playoffs! And as part of that run-up, I feel it is my duty to proclaim the Washington Wizards, after clinching their second consecutive playoff berth with a gargantuan victory last night over the Cleveland Cavaliers and their mighty colossus LeBron James, are the big, big sleeper of these playoffs.

Sure, as my colleague
Michael Wilbon said, perhaps they celebrated a bit too early. But with all due respect to my great friend and colleague--Michael, what are you thinking? Let us not begrudge these warriors of the hardwood their laurels, Michael! Give them joy! Give them fun! Give them their season in the sun! For they have just emerged from the darkest of gauntlets with the light of glory in their eyes, and now prepare to enter an even darker fray, in a quest for basketball's Golden Fleece, the Larry O'Brien Trophy!

Whoever predicted them as
an Eastern Conference also-ran is an utter fool, Marv. With Caron Butler back in the fold and Etan Thomas slamming down so much more than poetry, this is a team to be reckoned with, and overlooked at one's peril.

Do not say the Big Redhead did not warn you. Mark my words - the Wizards can win the NBA title, and return to the Nation's Capital in glory to judge both the quick and the dead. So until then, this is Bill Walton, telling you to throw it DOWN, big fella! Throw it DOOOWWWWWWWNNNNN!!!!!

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Friday, April 14, 2006

"Nothing Gringo On May 1." Huh?

Has anyone heard anything about some kind of debate over illegal immigration? Like, it all of a sudden became this huge issue or something?

Yeah, neither had I. But when I recently returned from the Moon, I saw a story on CNN about how illegal immigrants were planning a boycott of U.S. businesses for May 1 as a way of displaying their purchasing power.

The tagline for the effort: "Nothing Gringo on May 1."

A couple of points:

1) Without taking sides on the debate itself, doesn't it feel divisive to not only essentially threaten the very people you want to win over, but to call them a racial slur in the process? What if a bunch of Americans went into Mexico and wanted to stay, and in order to win public support we marched through their streets, waving American flags and calling for a "Boycott the [Insert Mexican Slur Here] Day"? Would that ever be condoned or celebrated? How is this in any way constructive? Answer: it isn't.

2) Three words: Cinco de Mayo! Why not boycott on the de facto day of Mexican independence, especially if you were planning it for that time frame anyway? Isn't that a no-brainer? That's like Christians holding a "Rally for the Birth of Jesus" on December 20. Who's running the show over there?

story link

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In other news, audits reveal there is a nose on your face

I like the Post story today reporting that studies have found a lot of waste in the government's Katrina response. Coincidentally, I'm working with some of these groups to conduct my own studies, the results of which are as follows:

1) Christianity revealed as America's prevailing religion.

2) Fire engines is red.

3) No one can seriously differentiate
Gavin DeGraw and Jack Johnson.

4) Tom Cruise may be timing his
personal announcements and subsequent interviews to coordinate with his film releases.

My point here is that it's a big world out there...there's just so much to study! And I, for one -- and the government, for another -- am getting busy studying it. Are YOU?

Washington Post
story link

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nats, er, not looking too good there

Thanks to my friend Soultrain, I had an opportunity to attend the Washington Nationals/New York Mets game last night, the seaons's second at home in RFK Stadium. With the smell of day-old hot dog buns and second-hand urinal cakes in the air, trash swirling hypnotically in the outfield, and that bizarre mystery liquid dripping in gobs from the stadium roof, I knew it was time to play ball.

Unfortunately, however, I do not believe that memo
reached the Nationals.

After Super Bowl champ and new Redskins signee Antwaan Randle El threw out the first pitch, we were ready to get it on. On the mound for the Metropolitans was Pedro Martinez, one of the most dominant pitchers of his era. Taking the hill for the Nats, Tony Armas, Jr., who
enjoys fishing.

Here's a grainy cellphone picture I took of Pedro after warm-ups!

Armas fought bravely (after inexcusably walking Pedro, he atoned by snagging a Jose Reyes fireball up the middle to end the inning), but it wasn't to be. Beside a Jose Vidro home run, the Nats brought a squirt gun to a pistol fight.

After the Nats loaded the bases with no outs in the 6th, Jose Guillen dribbled into a double play to end that threat. And Soriano DOGGED it while jogging to field a line drive later in the game. He couldn't have been any mopier out in left field.

Color me unimpressed. Not only do they not have firepower, they don't seem as scrappy as last year. It could be a long season for the Nats. But what can I say - I'm a fan. There's just something about the team, and the stadium. Maybe it's the beer. GO NATS!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I want to talk to you about a very serious issue

And that issue is strip clubs. Nexus Gold, in particular. One of Washington's finest venues of alternative dance (or so I've heard - never been there) may be in jeopardy because its current location, in the new Nationals ballpark and waterfront redevelopment areas, has been rezoned for luxury condos. As of December, Nexus Gold could cease to exist.

You can make a real difference in the
lives of real strippers. Like Mystique here.

This just goes to show that rampant urban gentrification isn't all champagne and roses. There are champagne ROOMS to consider as well. Because, you see, there IS a downside to gentrification. A downside that NEVER gets talked about. But I'm here to break that taboo. See? Strippers are now doing what thousands of disenfranchised poor people never could--start a gentrification dialog. And yet you insist on calling them evil. Go back to your spaceship, Reverend.

This is dangerous because the District doesn't give out nekkid dancer permits anymore - the ones that exist now (and there are only like seven or eight of them as far as I know) are the only ones that will ever exist under current law. But what's even dangerouser is, where will folks go to check out the latest dance moves? The hottest trends in lingerie fashion? You tell me. And what would all the out-of-work strippers do for money? Think about it - what could they possibly do??????


We have to save Nexus Gold. We can't let it be another victim of gentrification. Write your city council member. Think of the children! Because if it goes, it takes a part of this city with it. A private part.

Washington Post
story link

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

If Karate Kid were filmed today, Johnny would play lacrosse

Even if, as the Washington Post reports today, there's no DNA evidence that the Duke lacrosse team committed a sexual assault (and in case you've been away at Hogwarts, the essentially all-white team was accused of gang-raping a black stripper), there's still something fishy going on.

How do I know? Because they're freaking lacrosse players!

This guy's gonna be your boss someday!

These guys travel in packs. They do their best to humiliate - usually verbally - everyone around them. They're the guys who put their balls on your face if you fall asleep. They go to exclusive prep schools and private or big state colleges. And they're assholes. Take it from me - I went to Maryland, a lacrosse hotbed. Throw in the fact that these guys are Dookies, and I'm surprised their tongues aren't forked.

Sure, they're not all bad (my cousin plays D-II lacrosse), and guys in more "high-profile" sports do worse things more regularly. Points granted. But with lacrosse players, it just feels more deliberate. More evil, even. There's more of them than you and they know it, they're going to pour beer on your date, and there's nothing you can do about it. They're schoolyard bullies with a lifelong sense of entitlement (which can't be said for many athletes in other sports) who make a conscious decision to amuse themselves through sadism.

But if nothing else good comes out of this, at least previous non-believers finally see how much Duke sucks. And lacrosse players have been exposed for the scumbags and morons that many of them are.

Still not convinced? Read this e-mail, seized by the police after the incident and penned by team member Ryan McFadyen, the guy pictured above. The prosecution rests.

Washington Post story link

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Welcome back to "That's Not A Word!"

As we all take a deep breath and wonder what the record is for missed putts in a major golf tournament, and savor a stirring victory for the people's champion - ExxonMobil spokesman Phil Mickelson - at The Masters, it becomes time for another exciting episode of "That's Not A Word!"

Yes, it's a special Augusta edition, ladies and gentlemen. So who, you ask, WHO will be donning the green dunce cap today? As in our previous episode, a sportscaster resides in the TNAW winner's circle, and is none other than CBS Man-Bot Jim Nantz!

Sorry again, everybody. *BEEP!*
My vocabu*BEEP!*lary program
malfunctioned *BEEP!* again.

On the second hole today, Jim, you admired Rocco "three balls in the fountain" Mediate for his "resiliency." But Jim, THAT'S NOT A WORD! This non-word seems to be popular nowadays--unfortunately, however, it does not exist! Perhaps "resilience" is the term you seek! But that's not all, Jim. After a Mickelson tee shot on 12, you said the Left-Hander "visualasizes" that shot every night. Double Whammy, Jim! I can't say what "visualasizes" is, but I can for ding-dang sure say what it is not, and that is "a word!"

So for submitting not one but two winning entries yesterday, Jim, we're giving you two big prizes! That's right - play-by-play stints covering the action-packed worlds of
lawnmower racing and professional women's softball! Have fun, Jim. And we'll see YOU next time on That's Not A Word!

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Friday, April 07, 2006

I always cry at The Masters

(In five, four, three, two, cue piano...)

Jim Nantz: Welcome once again, to The Masters. This is the 70th renewal of the tradition here at Augusta, a tradition unlike any other, of any kind, anywhere, in the world. The excellence. The majesty. The Tradition. And the tradition. Here at Augusta, where the warm spring sunshine falls golden upon the shoulders...of the world's greatest golfers. Augusta Chairman Hootie Johnson has sounded the horn for the start of "The Toonament," and the patrons are watching...for history. The azaleas are in full bloom around Amen Corner, and Rae's Creek sparkles with the knowledge...that a new champion...a new be crowned.

The approach at 13...and I've got something in my eye.

Hi again, everybody, I'm Jim Nantz, alongside my partner David Faherty, David, after the first day,
Vijay Singh holds the lead, but another, less likely face, is hot upon his Fijian heels.

David Faherty: That's right, Jimmy, ya fookin Yankee!! Rocco Mediate is only a wee shot behind. But frankly, I doon't see hoo anythin could make this anymore borin rite noo, with Vijay and Rocco havin all the charisma of shoe leather, Jimmy!

Jim Nantz: Oh, come on!

David Faherty: Noo, it's true, and you'd say it yourself if you weren't so stuffy in your stuffed soot, Jimmy! Throw Retief Goosen into the mix, and I'd litrally be dyin of boredom! Rite in fronta ya! Me airways would slooly be dryin up, and the ooxygen would slooly be choked off from me lungs!

Jim Nantz: So who do you like make a Augusta National...on this second day? And where? Perhaps at Golden Bell! Or the haunting, mysterious Nandina, who confounds even the world's greatest...with her allure...and her beauty.

David Faherty: Well, I don't know about that, Jimmy. All I knoo is they've been yappin a lot about how
power hitters are out of luck with the new course re-design. But nevertheless, I like the chances of the Left-Hander, Phil Mickelson, to make a move. He has the sweetest swing since John L. Sullivan, and he'll put it to right and proper yoose todeey.

Jim Nantz: Thank you, David. And now...let this montage...take you back...and revist the ghosts of Augusta past...who have donned the green jacket in Masters glory...

(In five, four, three, two...turn up the piano...aaand, montage!)

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Black Cat getting rooftop deck?

Saw in DCist, my favorite DC-centric blog, that the Black Cat may be expanding its operations outside and to the rooftop. That's awesome - I don't know how many times I've said to myself, "I really want a bird's eye view of U Street. I wonder what that vacant lot with the barbed wire fence around it looks like from above." But seriously - I hope they get it done. Black Cat is one of the best places for music in the city.

Story Link

Movie Review: Inside Man

Just to refresh your memory, I write these for the company newsletter I edit as part of my job duties. I'm posting them here now as well.

As I settled in for “Inside Man,” the Spike Lee-directed crime thriller starring everyman hero Denzel Washington, I figured this film would be the most recent link in a chain of watchable but increasingly similar Denzel vehicles. You know the kind I’m talking about—The Manchurian Candidate, Man On Fire, John Q, and so forth. The kind of movies for which the ads depict a regular Joe, maybe a little downtrodden by life, playing with the kids, canoodling with the wife, and working some really cool job, until something goes horribly wrong, and the regular Joe rises to the occasion. Good for a couple hours of solid, somewhat soapboxy, but largely entertaining, er, entertainment.

But to my surprise, Inside Man, which opened March 24, was not one of those movies. First, because it wasn't All About Denzel. And second, because it proved to be a more substantial movie, and was actually one of the more suspenseful films I’ve seen in a while.

Washington stars as Keith Frazier, a down-on-his-luck New York City detective who springs into action when word arrives at the precinct that some serious stuff is going down at The Big Bank On Wall Street. The Sarge would have sent his best detective, but he called in sick or something. This is Everyman’s big chance! On the other side, the serious stuff is being perpetrated by a no-nonsense band of thieves led by Dalton Russell, a more-than-worthy foil played by Clive Owen. Between Owen and Washington, “Inside Man” has enough charisma and sex appeal to destroy a small village and everything in it. So be afraid of that.

As the minutely planned heist unfolds (think of a more intricate version of the bank robbery in “Heat,” one of the greatest heist scenes of all time, by the way) and the cops-and-robbers conflict develops in earnest, the narrative turns deftly to Jodie Foster, playing a purring blonde, all-white-clad, soulless, Ivy League, polite-in-conversation-but-she’ll-tear-your-throat-out-if-it-helps-her-bottom-line go-getter named Madeline White. I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I think I detect a hint of symbolism here.

Even though the exact nature of White’s vocation is left noticeably unarticulated, her job is clear enough: She helps powerful people get, by any means necessary, what they want. For a heavy price, of course. The fact that Madeline White is entering the fray tips us off that This Is No Ordinary Bank Robbery.

And with the cast of characters set, the intrigue deepens. And deepens. And deepens. And no one seems overly eager to provide any insight. That’s one problem with the movie—the storytelling's a little clumsy. There are only so many questions one can ask before one has to provide at least a couple of answers. In other words, there’s no slow unraveling to this plot. They confuse the heck out of you and then dump the resolution on you like they're dropping off old clothes at Goodwill. It seemed in retrospect as if Lee and debut screenwriter Russell Gewirtz set up the ending, then spent the rest of the time finding ways to make things as confusing as possible until the last 30 minutes.

But on the other hand, it’s a pretty darn good 30 minutes. Before they graced me with the ending, I found myself looking at my watch and thinking “there is no way they’re going to satisfactorily resolve this in the next 30 minutes. Either they’re going to fudge, or this is a three-hour movie.”

But that was not the case. Resolve it they did, satisfyingly so, and not without a dose of the social commentary (and I mean that as a compliment) we’ve all come to expect from Washington and Lee. The ending isn’t mind-blowing or life-altering—just thoughtful, interesting, and plain old good.

“Inside Man”—and is that the best we can come up with for a title?—rises well above the everymovie scrap heap through good acting (especially from Owen, who for better or worse I couldn’t stop thinking of as a more smoldering version of John Cusack), an interesting story, a self-aware sense of humor, and Lee’s ever-present spin on race and life in contemporary America. Lee’s style of storytelling is not a perfect fit for the crime/action movie, so if he tried this again it might be a clunker. But “Inside Man” definitely pulls off the job.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Okay, so I didn't see any of the game. I didn't even see any highlights, except for the game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation. I make no secret of not enjoying women's basketball. But at the end of the day, what the hell does my opinion matter? After what was by all accounts a hard-fought, well-played and extremely impressive overtime victory over archrival Duke (Duke Sucks!), the Maryland "Lady" Terrapins delivered the program's first national title and deserve their time in the sun. Put the women's college basketball elite on notice. There's a new kid in town.

Big ups, ladies.

Paced by
a gutty effort from senior leader Shay Doron and great coaching from Brenda "Hot or Not?" Frese, the Terps rallied to get the kind of victory I don't seem to remember the men folks getting this year. Come to think of it, with this, plus the University of Maryland sports victories earlier this season in soccer and field hockey, we're on a pretty nice roll! Whenever the high-profile squads want to join in, that'd be great. Goterps.

Washington Post
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(Photo Credit:

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Farewell, to a different TomKat

No, not the one getting fake married. Two of my heroes - Tom DeLay and Katie Couric - have announced they are riding into their respective sunsets, after a fashion. Couric, journalistic powerhouse and the greatest elf spokeswoman since E.L. Fudge, is reportedly leaving the Today show to anchor the CBS evening news. And DeLay, that bastion of honesty, fairness, and cooperation on Capitol Hill, has decided not to seek another term in Congress.

I say, why do the good always have to leave us so soon?

Katie, despite
cruelty-to-staff rumors, I loved you like an aunt. A sister. A second wife, even. And although you're going on to bigger things, your old Today show pastures will never smell as sweet to this viewer. Maybe you want Kirsten Dunst to bring her own meatball questions next time. Is that what you want? Huh? And who's going to clap along blankly with Marc Anthony at this year's Summer Concert Series? WHO, KATIE? And Ann Coulter can't glower at herself, you know. Or wait - maybe she can.

And Tom, Tom. My man. Who's going to orchestrate all those super-effective grassroots efforts, help our nation's beleaguered wealthy, and take all those lobbyist bribes? When I think of all those C-notes blowing ownerless out of briefcases and drifting down Independence Avenue in the plucky April breeze, the porterhouse steak cooling uneaten on The Caucus Room table, the private jet all gassed up with nowhere to go, well, I didn't sleep a wink last night. Who, oh WHO, is going to stand up for the principles and convictions of liberty and justice for all, the very ideals this country was founded on, if not THE HAMMER? WHO?

So please excuse me if I'm rambling. I'm exhausted from sleeplessness. And crying. Good day.

Washington Post Link on

Washington Post Link on

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