Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Takin a break from all my troubles

Sure would, something something. In the interest of doing real work, I'm taking the rest of this week and the long weekend off from the blog. This will surely be an inconvenience to my two readers. So Mom and Dad, I apologize, and I'm just fine. I just need to get back on top of my workload, that's all. And would it kill you to send more money?

See you back here next Tuesday for continued tomfoolery, and have a great final unofficial week and weekend of the summer.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Landon Donovan is, how do you say, a douchebag

As part of my ongoing effort to become a soccer fan, I attended my first professional soccer game -- excuse me, match -- this past Saturday.

The game was D.C. United -- four-time MLS champions and current first-place team in the league's eastern conference -- against the lowly Los Angeles Galaxy, led by American soccer golden boy Landon Donovan.

Long story short, with the help of some spotty officiating and a pretty lethargic effort from United, the Galaxy
walked away with a 5-2 victory.

You know how in soccer matches, the crowd is always chanting a lot and beating drums and so forth? Well, I was sitting in the section that does all that stuff. The energy was infectious. It's been a long time since I was a part of such a profane, drunken, devoted fan base, especially in D.C., where people tend to take a quieter, more intellectual approach to being a fan (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that) and most of our teams tend to, you know, suck. So this Black Hole was quite inspiring.

Not quite as intimidating as Raider fans, but still pretty good.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I now dislike Landon Donovan. He scored two goals in the game, but that's not why I dislike him. At the beginning of the game, some Black Hole members made up a delightful chant by which they called him not the Player of the Year, but the year's biggest part of a female anatomy that also begins with P. Which he heard, by the way, responding with a head shake. Later in the match, when he scored, he made a point of runnning over -- but not too close -- to our section to taunt us. Then at the very end, with the second half in stoppage time, he scored a meaningless garbage goal to pad his own stats and rub salt in the wound. That time, he didn't come anywhere near our section. I don't think he wanted to hear what some of those guys had to say. On an international stage like, oh, say, The World Freaking Cup, Landon
lays eggs. But in garbage time of a game his opponents didn't really care much about, he's unstoppable. Hats off, Landon. You are the Alex Rodriguez, the J.J. Redick, of American soccer.

Fuck you, Landon!

But overall, the match was a lot of fun. Too bad United lost, but I'm pretty confident that they -- and I -- will be back.

United Has No Defense At Home [Washington Post]
Donovan out of this world in Galaxy's 5-2 win over D. C. United [USA Today]
After Lackluster World Cup, Donovan's Focus Is Galaxy [Washington Post]

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Pluto, you'll always be a planet to this guy

Leave it to those fat cats in the International Astronomical Union, with their ivory observatories and staggering clout, to tell the common man how he should classify the satellite formations in his own solar system. The Bush administration always does the bidding of science, and it looks like that power has gone to the IAU's head.

Because now, they've decided
Pluto isn't a planet anymore. Excuse me? Sorry, IAU fat cats, but return to sender.

How are you going to tell me Pluto isn't a planet? You went and put it in every textbook going back to the second freaking grade, you named it after one of our most beloved animated personalities, and now you up and say it's not a planet? Did you want to make the children cry, International Astronomical Union? Do you have any idea how many difficult dinner table conversations you've created for the rest of us? Come on, guys. Get your heads out of the clouds.

How can you not love this irrepressible
mischief maker of a planet? How?

So now, it looks like Pluto will have to shoulder on somehow with the temporary tag of "dwarf planet." Well, why don't you just move Pluto's desk down into the basement, guys? Just do what you've been itching to do all along and tell Pluto it has to sit at the back of the bus. I, for one, am not coming along for the ride. I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Pluto's sub-planetary status! But hey, that's just me. I'm righteous like that.

For Pluto, a Smaller World After All [Washington Post]
Scientists and Bush administration at odds [U.S. News and World Report]

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Coming soon, White Men Can't Jump 2: We just took out the white man and called it "Crossover"

So there's a movie about some basketball players, hustling and trying to make it in the hard, hard world of streetball. It's kill or be killed out here, son. Here's the story: there's these two guys, right, and one of them goes onto the courts and says "I challenge two of you fools to a game of...streetball. And just to make it fair for you chumps, I'll beat you with...with...that geeky guy over there!" Everyone cracks up. Is he serious, dog? But guess what? Are you ready for this? The geek and the other guy were in cahoots! Can you believe it? They're hustlers, man!

Welcome to the new...the totally original...world...of

This ain't no horseshoes, playboy. That's like the tagline.

Yeah, this is Crossover, a totally new creation.
Now give me that Woody Harrelson-lookin
motherfucker and I'll still whoop all your asses.

I would tell you who's playing Wesley Snipes and who's playing Woody Harrelson, but the "cast and crew" section (along with the "production notes" section) of the movie's official Web site is not ready yet. It just says "coming soon" when you try to click on it. Eh...it's still a whole week until the movie opens. Things like a functioning Web site are probably not that important. The important part is how many times studio security had to give the Taser to Rosie Perez to convince her she was too old to reprise her role as the sassy, sultry Gloria Clemente. I'll bet that was fun.

- Official site [
- Rotten Tomatoes Crossover page [
Rotten Tomatoes]
- White Men Can't Jump page [

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why build a team when you can just write a check?

Well, you could tell Daniel Snyder's trigger finger was gettin itchy. With Clinton Portis out for the rest of the preseason, that left the Redskins' preseason running back depth dangerously low. After Ladell Betts, and Rock Cartwright, and Mike Sellers (three players with substantial NFL experience), there was no one left. Danger! Danger! So Snyder did what he is often wont to do - he made a panicky move, signing oft-injured Falcons platoon back T.J. Duckett -- a player with only one year left on his contract -- for a third-round pick. Hey, draft picks aren't important anyway, right? Nevermind that after this season, Duckett will leave and we'll have nothing to show for it except one less draft pick. But we'll worry about that tomorrow. In the meantime, keep fiddling, grasshopper. It is The American Way!

Our preseason depth is STACKED now. What a relief!

After all, our last two fake games of the season are against New England and potentially rejuvenated Baltimore. That's brutal, man! And those benches aren't going to warm themselves. This is the big-time, baby! This is the preseason! And truth be told, we could use Duckett's historical two yards a carry. That's worth a draft pick. I know
Betts had the coaches' support. But screw that whole stick-by-the-guys-who-have-paid-their-dues crap. Because in the end, who once scored two touchdowns for Snyder's fantasy team? T.J. Duckett. Did Ladell Betts ever score two touchdowns for Daniel Snyder's fantasy team? No. No, I thought not. Case closed, jerks.

We didn't do this your way -- we did it the Redskins Way. Write a check, deal with the bill collector later, and screw team chemistry. Look what we've done since Snyder came. Who, I ask you, can argue with a track record like that? Maybe next we'll hire Jim Brown to a $10 million contract to be the running game coach. I see no downside to that. Go get 'em, Danny.

- Redskins Acquire Falcons' Duckett [
Washington Post]
- Will Redskins Catch Y2K Bug? [
Redskins Warpath]

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

John Mark Karr: his aura just screams "teacher"

The confession of supposed JonBenet Ramsey killer John Mark Karr came under more scrutiny today, as relatives cast doubt on key details of his account. At this point, it's pretty obvious that one of two things has happened: either he killed JonBenet, or he lied about killing her to get attention. Either way, not exactly a compelling bullet point for Mr. Resume.

Speaking of resumes, though, to me the key question (besides "why is this still big news after 10 years?" and "why are police still spending taxpayer money on this case?") is, who in God's name hired this guy as a teacher?

You're hired!

I know it happened in Thailand, and to their credit Thai officials are wondering if
maybe their recruiting methods aren't a little lax (you think so, doctor?). But still. Look at him! How, exactly were the Thais testing teachers? A syphillis test? (ba dum bum)

Seriously. What person, in any country, would take one look at this guy and say "I like the cut of his jib," for ANY job, nevermind a job teaching children? Hey, Than, you see that pasty guy in the corner? Big bulbuous head, thousand-mile stare, rocking back and forth and mumbling to himself, wearing a T-shirt that says "I am a sick perverted fuckface?" I don't want to jinx it, but I think we've found Mrs. Smith's replacement, don't you? It's a lock, right? Now where's my jar of peanut butter? I feel like masturbating! In the meantime, yeah, make that guy an offer.

(Update: He has now waived extradition, thus expediting his facing of murder charges. It's almost like he wants to go to jail.)

- Relatives Dispute Karr's Account of Whereabouts [
Washington Post]
- JonBenet exposes Thai teaching flaws [
BBC News]

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Next Montgomery Gentry album to be titled "I Am A Sham"

Say hello to Troy Lee Gentry. Troy is a country singer, one half of the duo Montgomery Gentry. About a week ago, Troy decided he wanted to go bear hunting. But not just any kind of bear hunting -- the easy kind of bear hunting. So Troy took his bow and arrow, went down to a wildlife preserve in Minnesota, and shot a bear that was already in a cage. He then passed it off as a bear he shot in the wild. But they caught him, and he was slapped with animal cruelty charges.

There is only one word for this. And that word is, courage.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
He also monograms his arrows.
Take that, caged bear, courtesy of TROY!

I'm getting a little choked up just thinking about the kind of position Troy put himself in, to bag The Ultimate Prize: a captive bear. To shoot a caged bear -- with a bow and arrow, no less -- well, this guy deserves some kind of military honor. I'm serious. Troy Lee Gentry is a fucking hero.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Hey, guys, let me out! Troy Lee Gentry is coming!

But now that we know this about Troy, where does the heroism stop? Do you think he tells club owners to drug a bunch of girls before he gets there? Do you think he stuffs his crotch? Scratches the measurements off his Wranglers? Empties out bottles of Jack and pouches of Redman and then casually strews the containers throughout his hotel room when he knows Hank Williams, Jr., is coming for a visit? Why, his real name might not even be Troy Lee!

I'm tellin you, this is the thinking man's country singer right here. There is no off position on the genius switch, my friends.

- Country singer charged with shooting bear in cage [
Duluth News Tribune]
- Letter refuting charges [
Montgomery Gentry Web site]

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Welcome back to That's Not A Word!

Hello, hello, and welcome back for another episode of "That's Not A Word" -- the game show that gives fabulous prizes to television and other personalities for misusing or downright inventing words, right on the air! It's a very special talent, and we have very special prizes to match!

My, my, my...it sure has been a while since we last played our favorite game show. It's funny how there are so many fewer TNAW episodes when it's not football season...but anyway, today's contestant is Weather Channel meteorolgist
Nicole Mitchell.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Say hello to today's contestant!

Nicole offers extremely helpful tips and forecasts for the everyday business traveler during the Your Weather Today program. Don't you Nicole? Yes, indeed, you do. Today, she offered some workout pointers for hotel guests, saying they were great ways to keep up your "exercise regime" on the road. While "regime" is certainly a word, it's completely and utterly wrong in this instance, so, Nicole Mitchell, THAT'S NOT A WORD!

While "regimen" - the word you were surely searching for - means "a system, as of therapy or diet," the word "
regime" means "a government in power," and often implies a hostile or dictatorship style of rule. There is a twist - try, very hard, to stay with me, Nicole. While "regimen" can also mean "govermental control," "regime" can not mean "system of therapy or diet." Got it? Terrific!

Now, so that you will never confuse these two again, your fabulous prize issss.......a six-month stay under a real, hard-line regime! That's right - we're sending you off to beautiful Iran! You'll predict the weather each day for this largely arid and theocratic nation, and you will be perky as you do so. Forecasts call for hilarity!

So thank you so much for playing Nicole, and we'll see YOU next time on That's Not A Word!

- That's Not A Word! archive [
No One Appreciates Me]
- The Weather Channel Programming Schedule
The Weather Channel]

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Allen: I have many friends named Macaca!

So it looks like the damage control gears are in full swing over in George Allen's camp after his somewhat totally insane and sort of completely racist outburst the other day.

Not long after his people realized the problem wasn't going away, they did what any responsible political camp does when under fire - they put out a press release. I quote:

I made up a nickname for the cameraman, which was in no way intended to be racially derogatory. Any insinuations to the contrary are completely false.
A Post reporter also found an Indian man willing to go on record saying Allen "has been an incredible friend to Indians."

To which Allen replied: "You see? You should all listen to Macaca here. Right, Macaca? Macaca, tell them about all the great things I've done for you people. Macaca is just one of my many Indian friends, who are all also named Macaca."

Allen then added that he has many Afro-American friends named Tyrone, many Jew friends named Hymie, many Spainard friends named Frijoles, many Mic friends named Paddy, and many Oriental friends named Ching. And many waspy friends named George.

But for whatever reason,
the debate still rages. As for me, what else is there to say? Allen for Senate!

- Allen on Damage Control After Remarks [
Washington Post]
- 'Macaca' Brouhaha: Fierce Guessing on What Allen Meant [
Washington Post]

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I was trying to ignore this, but...

Since it was on the ESPN ticker last night, I guess it isn't going away. LONNY! LB! What happened, buddy?!?!? Say it ain't so! Arrested for shooting a gun near the White House? Held without bail? What the hell?

Lonny (right) at the White House, in happier times.

At least nobody was hurt. But consider the location. That thought leads me to my most pressing question: who was Lonny trying to shoot near the White House? I'm assuming there was no political motive, as firing a pistol toward the White House from the street will accomplish nothing except, you know, getting you arrested. And it's not exactly a population-rich area over there, especially after work hours on a week night. No seedy nightlife or shady neighborhoods. Were you just blowing off steam, LB? Squeezing off some rounds? Well, your hobbies are your own business, but I've heard of these shooting places called "ranges" where the firing of a gun is a little less, you know, felonious. But good luck all the same getting out of jail. I'll be supporting you in spirit. Unless it turns out you're some kind of crazy criminal. Which at this point seems entirely possible.

- Athlete Arrested on Gun Charge [
Washington Post]
- Terps Win First National Title [CNNSI.com]

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(got the photo from Deadspin, by the way)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

J.J. Redick: I'm out of words for you

J.J. Redick doesn't need haters pointing out he's a tool. He does a great job on his own. So I'll just step out of the way and let the "man" speak for himself.

The results of J.J.'s official NBA rookie photo shoot:

Now, jazzhands, J.J.!

By the way, remember
his poetry? Or when he got a case of the sniffles? You're the living end, J.J. You are the living end.

- NBA Rookie Gallery [

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Senator Jethro, or whatever your name is, I don't think I like you

So George Allen is a senator from Virginia. He is currently trying to get re-elected, and is out on the campaign trail. During a speech last weekend in the southwestern corner of the state (through which, being from Southern Virginia myself, I have traveled many times), Allen pointed to a 20-year-old volunteer from the campaign of his opponent, Jim Webb. The volunteer was of Indian descent and was the only non-white person in the crowd. Allen said:

This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere ... Let's give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.
Senator Allen, I've a question. And that question is: what the hell were you thinking? Seriously. I want to know, physically, how this came about. What part of your brain sent the "it's okay to say this" signal to your mouth?

I know labeling someone a racist is inflammatory, but so is calling someone "macaca" because they have brown skin. "Macaca" is a species of monkey, by the way. Not sure if Allen was smart enough to make that connection, or was just making up a word he thought sounded sufficiently and amusingly Middle Eastern. Either way, senator, you are a racist. Your congratulatory muffin basket is on its way.

I will assume that very few, if any, people of non-white descent who heard about this will vote for him. I'll take that as a given. Now, let's say you're a white voter in Virginia. You like Allen's fiscal discipline or his stand against abortion (even though
he owns stock in the company that makes the morning-after pill). Fair enough. But how is this even remotely acceptable if you have any kind of positive or productive relationship with, or opinion of, anyone who is not white? How do you justify a vote for Allen? What if a non-white friend learns of your vote and knows about "macaca?" How, exactly, does that conversation unfold? What if some guy came up to your non-white friend in a bar and called him or her "macaca?" Would you ignore it? Break a bottle over his head? Ditch the first friend for the guy who made the slur? A vote for Allen is a vote for someone who thinks calling Indian people "macaca" is not only okay, not only funny, but a good way to win friends. But hey, it's a free country. Just let me know if you voted that way so I can ostracize you.

- Allen Quip Provokes Outrage, Apology [
Washington Post]

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Busy day for D.C. sports scene

Lots going on in the local sports world yesterday, both good and bad, including lots of injury news and a local media guy breaking into rarefied air. Biggest news, though, of course, is that Redskin RB Clinton Portis is now "uncertain" for the start of the NFL regular season. And that just sucks. I knew training camp was going just a little too smoothly. And now, here's the other shoe dropping. Portis' injury bascially amounts to the shoulder popping out of the socket for a second, which is quite painful and leads to the arm basically being useless for about a week afterwards and weakened for a long time. This same injury used to happen to me (it's call subluxation) fairly regularly. I couldn't even get my arm up on the keyboard for days after the injury.

The face of the franchise is sidelined and unhappy

Anyway, I don't buy Portis' complaint that he shouldn't have been out there. Yesterday, he said:

I don't know why myself or any other player of my caliber would be playing in the preseason. I don't know what's the question. I think over the last four years, I've done enough to show the world I'm going to be ready for the season.

No question he's an elite player, but he was only in there for one freakin series! One. He carried the ball one time. It's not like he was Jason Sehorn, out there covering kickoffs. So, sorry, Clinton, but no sale. Maybe next time you should dress up as Shoulderlicious the Disgruntled Cadillac Salesman. That could help drive your point home more strongly. But either way, he's a true pro. I know - I hope - he'll be able to be there when they need him.

In other Skins news, they
traded WR Taylor Jacobs to the 49ers for CB Mike Rumph. All I have to say about that is, WOO-HOO! The Redskins are stacked at receiver and thin at corner. And Taylor Jacobs gets injured if the sun shines on him the wrong way. I know Rumph is injury prone, too, but seeing as how we got more for Jacobs than, say, a bag of leg warmers, I'm calling this one a steal.

Taylor Jacobs prepares to board a plane for his new home in San Fran. Good luck, 49ers!

Third on the docket is the unfortunate groin strain of Gilbert Arenas, the Bullets' star guard and the NBA's most underrated player. This means he'll miss the World Basketball Championships, which really is a shame. Here's hoping he'll make a future world team, and heals up in time to start the regular season and disprove the notion that he's LeBron James' bitch. Get well, Gilbert.

Last but absolutely not least, the Post's own Tony Kornheiser debuted last night as a Monday Night Football commentator. While he's clearly picking up philosophically where Dennis Miller left off, Tony is different in that he's not afraid to dissent. The Post gave him
a pretty bad review, but I saw inklings of that trademark Kornheiser irrascibility. When QB Aaron Brooks was 0-4 after the first quarter, and Joe Theismann began his customary defense of crappy quarterbacks, Tony said, point-blank "those are bad numbers! Come on!" Miller basically just used big words to rephrase whatever Al Michaels said, and in boring times of the game got into the insufferable habit of repeatedly plugging various corporate sponsors. I expect TK to turn the volume up on that voice of dissent - hopefully without becoming abrasive. Overall, I thought it was a pretty solid debut, and I'm not even much of a Kornheiser fan.

- Portis Will Miss Rest of Preseason [
Washington Post]
- Redskins Trade Jacobs for Defensive Back [
Washington Post]
- Arenas Sidelined By Injury [
Washington Post]
- Kornheiser, Not Yet in Game Shape on "MNF" [
Washington Post]

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Monday, August 14, 2006

One groom....TWO grooms?!?!?!?

Wild times in Baltimore this weekend. My friend and occasional commenter BK and an old friend of his and a college buddy of mine are getting married. To girls, fool, not each other. So they figured, why not have a joint bachelor party? So a joint bachelor party they did have.

Saturday was the showcase day. Kayaking in the morning was highly enjoyable, followed by an afternoon cook-out. Then that evening before we went out, we arranged for some, er, personal consultations for the bachelors. That's right - we had a special PowerPoint presentation on wireless technology solutions that I think was very informative for our grooms. So if anyone saw these two girls outside the house on Saturday, yeah, they were wireless consultants.

The consultants prepare their presentation.

After the presentation, we piled into a rented school bus and drove into the city, which we proceeded to destroy. Seriously, it's been a while since I ripped up a city the way we ripped up the Charm City Saturday night. I think the ground started shaking as we approached, Jurassic Park style. Watching 25 guys pour off of a school bus and into your bar is probably a little discomfiting, especially when one of them has an inflatable love doll taped to his wrist.

Hey, who's that on the left? She looks a little slutty.
Is it cool if I talk to her?

Over the course of the night, I think I broke the record for the number of times a person can say "I love you, man!" in one evening. For the final two to three hours of the evening, every conversation I had went a little something like this:

"Hey, hey get over here! Yeah, you. You see this guy right here? This is the guy, man. This is the fuckin guy. I love this guy. Seriously. Hey, man, if someone's ever givin you a hard time, and you want to have them killed? You let me know. I'll take care of them for you, man. I got your fuckin back. This is the fuckin what hey guy I spilled my what was I talkin yeah, fuckin, yeah, man. This guy right here..." and so on. I'm afraid the rest of the night degenerated even worse, but luckily I don't remember half of it. Isn't that cool?

Aren't cell phone cameras a cool invention, dude? Dude?

So yes, great times all around. Thanks to B for some of these pictures. Now it's just a matter of recovering. But it's all good, because I love you guys, man. Fuckin great.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Just to switch it up, here's some good news

Somewhat more serious-than-normal post today. But hey, no one needs a hyperlink to know it's been a pretty rough week. The usually slow news month of August is booming this year with a burgeoning ideological war and a thwarted terrorist attack, wacky congressional primaries, and my ace roto baseball pitcher going down with injury (NO!).

So amid all the bad news, I thought I'd share some good news. I'm not really linked to any political ideology, and I'm not trying to push an agenda or change any minds here, but I do think that one of the biggest issues of our time - if not the very biggest - is the environment. Seriously! I know, I know - I'm a
gay Communist tree hugger. I'll pass the drugs and the granola in a second.

But before I do, I want to pass along the very positive announcement today that former President Clinton has united a bunch of cities - including L.A., London, and San Francisco - to
work together to reduce greenhouse gases. This follows on the heels of California and Britain agreeing to collaborate, and a major pledge by Wal-Mart to make all kinds of huge environmental changes - everyone rips Wal-Mart, including me, for a lot of reasons, but give credit where it's due. A tip of the cap to them if they follow through on their promises, as well as big ups to local governments for stepping to the plate here. No one needs a hyperlink to know that Bush isn't going to do anything good for the environment, and Congress is too busy with their own little ideological war to make any headway. So it's great to see people coming together in other ways. Hey, so far it's all talk, but if they can follow it with actions, I think we'll be in a better situation.

Let's see if the feds can join in on the momentum. In June, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether the Bush administration is required to reduce greenhouse gases. They're scheduled to argue it this fall and decide it next spring. We'll see how it pans out.

- Local Action Battles Warming [
Washington Post]
- Blair, Arnie 'global warming pact' [
- Wal-Mart sees green [
- Top Court Gets Case on Global Warming [
San Francisco Chronicle]

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hey Mo, where were you for the drunken crime spree?

Man, Maurice, if you're reading this, call me! You didn't show up for the drunken crime spree last night! What gives? We were all waiting! You had one job, Mo. ONE job. Bring the guns. But could you handle that? Nope. You sure couldn't.

I can't believe you left us sitting there on the corner, watching
the bitch go in and out of her house. And now, thanks to you, she's still going in and out of her house!

Don't tell me you ended up in jail again.
What would that be, your third time this
week? Call someone else for bail money
this time, motherfucker.

Don't tell me you got cold feet. Isn't that why I bought you the vodka? You were supposed to get drunk AFTER we killed the bitch. And then we were going to go on that big crime spree. Remember? We were gonna knock over that Burger King, and then we were gonna break into that kid's house who has all those baseball cards, and then take 'em to the flea market and sell 'em, and then rob the flea market guy who buys old Nintendo games and carries around that big wad of tens and twenties? Remember when you traded him Double Dribble for a pack of black and milds? It was right after you signed with the Eastern Indoor Football League. And you were like "man, we should rob that guy sometime." Was that just talk, Mo? Was it?

Either way, if you're reading this, find a pay phone and call me. Oh, and before I forget, I want my bulletproof vest back. That's the last time I lend you anything. Jerk.

- Clarett Arrested With Loaded Guns
[Washington Post]
- Michael Wilbon lays the smack down
[Washington Post]
- Clarett Arrested Near House of Woman who was planning to testify against him
[Fox 19 Cincinnati]
- Maurice Clarett's Imaginary League

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Congratulations, Natalie Gulbis. You are ALMOST hot!

Professional women's golfer Natalie Gulbis has earned a cool $600,000 on the LPGA tour with six top-10 finishes. Sweet. But that's not why she's popular. She's popular because the LPGA is obsessed with marketing the players they think are hot. The only problem is, they don't really have any legitmately Hot players. So they market the ones that are Beer Goggles Hot, or Hot For A Woman Golfer Hot, or She'd Be Hot if She Got A Nose Job Hot, or Don't Get Me Wrong I'd Hook Up With Her And All It's Just That She's Not Actually Hot Hot, or Maybe With A Bag Over Her Head Hot. You know, whatever they have lying around.

Meh...I'd hit it. I guess. What's on Food Network?

Gulbis is just the latest in a long chain. To wit:

Carin Koch

Paula Creamer

Karrie Webb

Michelle Wie

Annika Sorenstam

I respect and understand what the LPGA is trying to do, but come on. This is not tennis. I repeat, LPGA. You are NOT tennis. Get your own thang. Maybe start one of those Real Women Campaigns or something.

- Natalie Gulbis off the golf course
- Sex and the LPGA
[Golf for Women]
- Dove soap and their
[Campaign for Real Beauty]

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At this point of the summer, the work week just needs to get out of the way

Ahhh, August in Washington. Time to tip down the straw hat, put a weed in my mouth for chewin, and lean back in the old easy chair. Maybe I'll pick my nose a little bit when no one's looking. With Congress out of session, it becomes almost hip to go on vacation and just generally not be at work. As if everybody's job is just sooooo important and soooo intricately linked to politics that their job grinds to a halt if they can't get Senator So-And-So on the phone.

There's just one catch, though. I just got a job promotion. But as Derrick Coleman once said, whoop-de-damn-do! Not only do I have more work, it's a more annoying brand of work, with more moving parts and smaller tasks. It's not good times. It'll be cool eventually, though. I guess I just need to adjust.

Anyway, it is at this point of the summer when the work week starts to become an annoyance - a mere roadblock between huge weekend plans. Last weekend, a bunch of friends and I did our annual crab feast, complete with drunken arguments and unclaimed vomit. My friend also broke the host's koi pond. Don't ask me - I think he just stepped in it. I know what you're thinking at this point. And you're right. With us, it's all about the food. Crabs are the star of the crab feast.

And this weekend, we're going to do it up again. My good friend and blog commenter BK is having a joint bachelor party with another childhood friend that should be a rollicking good time. And by "rollicking good time," I mean "hazily remembered series of inappropriate and potentially regrettable sexual encounters." But there's going to be kayaking, so, you know, that's a good alibi. We'll spend 20 minutes sitting in the kayaks and the rest of the time taking lemon drop shooters from between the breasts of moderately priced Baltimore escorts. But when I return to my to-do list on Monday, I can say "oh, yeah, great weekend. I went kayaking." And can re-insert my nose onto the grindstone with a clear conscience. I gotta say - we've got partying down to a science. And in the summer, it goes to another level.

Now if I can just find the time to work on that whole becoming-independently-wealthy thing.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

A Scanner Darkly: the refreshing summer alternative

Just as a reminder, I review movies for fun for my office employee newsletter. A few months ago, I started posting them here, too...

As the summer movie season enters the home stretch, the field at this point is pretty well established. You’ve got your blockbusters (“Superman Returns” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”), your bombs (“Lady in the Water,” “Poseidon”), your sleeper hits (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “An Inconvenient Truth”) and the virtually anonymous rest of the field falling through the rather sizable cracks in between.

And that’s a pretty unfortunate situation. Because not only are the “big” summer movies traditionally pretty bad, with their scads of potty humor and exploding planets and so forth, but they seem to engender this groupthink mentality, where people feel compelled to catch a few “must-see” films for water cooler purposes and leave the rest of them to rot in the hot summer sun. And thus, by mid-August a good number of movies have pretty much died on the vine.

So in that vein, I posit that a lot of good summer film watching lies off the beaten path, away from the multiplexes and action figures and collector Slurpee cups. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your cinematic sweet tooth, however. There is wow factor aplenty in lots of films that don’t ever get a sniff of the $100 million mark. And this summer, I nominate “A Scanner Darkly” as just such a film.

Based on the 1977 novel of the same name by pulp sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, “A Scanner Darkly” is set in a dystopian future where 20 percent of the population is hooked on a mysterious drug known as Substance D. Because of Substance D, the world has become a much more dangerous place, with police forces employing shadowy technology to invade citizens’ privacy in the name of safety.

(The entire film, by the way, is animated, using a vividly colored and amazingly lifelike method called rotoscoping. Director Richard Linklater digitally filmed the story in live action and then transferred it to animation. If you’re any kind of animation buff, this alone is worth the price of admission. Each minute of the film apparently required 500 hours of work.)

As far as the acting goes, and in the interest of full disclosure, I do want to warn you that Keanu Reeves has the starring role in this film, as stoner/cop Robert Arctor. I know, I know—we all hate Keanu. And if we say we like him, we’re just being ironic. Fair enough. But Keanu’s not too bad in this. Since he is, indeed, playing a stoner, he basically just has to act like himself. And, thankfully, the animation helps gloss over those gape-mouthed moments of acting when flies seem to be landing on his tongue. So that’s good.

As for the rest of the cast, it’s pretty much an all-star lineup of Actors Who Are At Least Partially Famous For Being Stoners. Robert Downey, Jr. (as the wonderfully creepy James Barris), Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson, and Rory Cochrane (best known for his role as wasted high schooler Slater in “Dazed and Confused,” another Linklater project) all hold prominent roles. Just a murderer’s row right there.

So the film unfolds, Keanu does Keanu things, themes and parallels emerge, and the intrigue deepens. Now if this all seems a little spacey, well, you’re half right. The story at times comes across like a druggy vision of the future, complete with inarticulated paranoia and that scatterbrained feeling of trying to do or say too much. The film could stand to be simplified in places. That said, there are enough instances of genuine humor that the viewer doesn’t feel he or she is supposed to take it too seriously. And although it’s spread a bit too thin in places, the plot and characters are intriguing enough to keep the viewer engaged, and the ending does pay off.

So now that the bloom is off the rose for many summer movies, and the path to the blockbusters has been beaten into dust, perhaps it’s time to look for an alternative. The visually appealing, satisfyingly odd, and oddly satisfying “A Scanner Darkly” has that quality in spades.

- A Scanner Darkly [
Rotten Tomatoes]

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Maybe if I become sarcastic enough, I'll go back in time or something

I just looked at a bunch of my old posts, and dang - I'm one sarcastic mother! And I'm not just saying that to be sarcastic. I think that perhaps I'm approaching a tipping point of sarcasm, beyond which anything can happen. Maybe I will become humorless, and all my points sincere. Maybe my nose will begin to grow, like that little boy in Pinocchio. Maybe it will tear a tiny hole in the fabric of the universe, and draw me into a world of anti-matter, where lemons are sweet and up is down and Fergie is attractive. Don't really have a point here - just making a self-observation. Now back to the sarcasm.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm bringing back the phrase "peace out"

Who's with me on that? No one? Good. Anyway, I'm going to peace out on this blog and hang the Gone Fishin' sign until next Monday or Tuesday. I'm out of the office tomorrow, and I don't have a computer at home. I know, I know - impressive.

But what was I saying? Oh, yes. Peace out, home skillets. Werd to yer mutha. I look forward to picking up the bloggery right here next week.

It's somebody's birthday!

Just thought I'd take this opportunity to wish my lovely wife a happy birthday (one day early). So...HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Love you!

To celebrate, here are a few of her favorite characters, making a special one-time-only appearance on this blog. So enjoy there.

Muslim Fun Day cancelled -- but WHY???

Well, this is some of the most shocking news I've heard all week. A theme park in England cancelled a Muslim Fun Day due to lack of interest. I'm speechless!

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Event organizers deck the halls for Muslim Fun Day.

But let me ask: just what, exactly, do you get as part of Muslim Fun Day?

"Music, gambling and alcohol were to be banned for the day and theme park rides such as "Ripsaw," "Corkscrew" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" all segregated by sex.

But the park said the event's organizers, Islamic Leisure, who rented the park for the day and were marketing the event, had called it off due to "insufficient ticket sales."

Shame on you, theme park ticket buyers of central England! How can you not take advantage of an opportunity like this? Sure, for Irish Fun Day or Brazilian Fun Day, you line up around the block. But Muslim Fun Day rolls around, with its promises of "somber prayer" and "sexually segregated roller coasters," and all of a sudden you're all "washing your hair" that day? Unbelievable.

P.S. Thanks to DB for sending this along. Now back to your prayers, jerk.

- Reuters

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Washington Post Express editor: I'm not very good at editing!

Rough day for the print edition of the Express, a Washington Post-owned-and-operated publication that is like a newspaper, except shorter and punchier and friendlier. I actually really like the Express. But today, they didn't exactly bring their A game. There's unfortunately no Web site for the print Express, so you'll have to take my word for it.

First off, a huge front page photo has the huge caption: "Little Relief From Butal Heat" Wow - a front-page headline mistake. That's bad. But hey - it happens.

But it keeps going. The Express has a special Thursday section called "Weekend Pass." It's a big deal, and is very much a standalone section of the newspaper. So that big headline reads "From Console to Concert Hall: The National Symphony Orchetra plays video hits." The orchetra, huh? That's a rare bird species of the Amazon region, is it not?

So that's two major headlines defiled. But it keeps going. Later, an Express staff writer files a report on the reuniting of classic punk band The Germs. In this article, they talk about how "the surviving Germs played in a host of other bands, including the Foo Fighters and 45 Grave." What they don't include, however, is that for several years Germs guitarist and songwriter Pat Smear played in some outfit called Nirvana. Ever heard of those guys? Little group from Seattle? Had a couple of hits in the 90s? But maybe I'm nitpicking on this one. I know the Foo Fighters (not to mention 45 Grave) have quite a place in the American rock pantheon. And the last good studio album Nirvana put out was in, like, 1993. Sheesh, Nirvana. What have you done for us lately, guys? Anyway, is it true that Foo Fighters actually influenced Nirvana? I heard something like that somewhere...something like that...

Anyway, sorry to pick on you, Express. You know I love you. But three major errors in one addition, and two in the freakin headlines? Come on, guys. Tighten up over there!

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Civil rights violations: It's not just for the feds anymore

The other day, Philadelphia police were arresting some guy in the street. As they did this, another guy - completely unrelated to the criminal - came out onto his lawn and snapped a picture of the scene with his cellphone camera. So what did the police do? Why, the only logical thing they could do. They arrested him, too.

Of course, later on, they decided not to charge the picture-taking man with anything because, you know, HE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG. But why let pesky things like "the law" get in the way of enforcing The Law? This guy was taking pictures with his own camera, in his own yard, of public servants performing public activities in a public place. When will these civilian yahoos learn? Police should be allowed to run roughshod over those they are attempting to "police." I mean, what do you want from these guys? To, like, set examples and crap? To follow the same rules they are sworn to uphold? Come on, Pollyanna. Get real. I like my police work with a liberal dash of arbitrary power abuse. What, you don't? Sounds like somebody doesn't Support The Troops.

P.S. Thanks to BK for passing this info along. Even though you clearly do not support our men and women in uniform. You are a traitor to The Flag. But thanks!

- Information Liberation

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I think I might hate softball

So I'm on my office softball team, and I've gotta say, it pretty much sucks. Being relatively new to my job, I thought it might be a good chance to meet people and be "one of the guys." But that might be backfiring. Each time I've played, I've basically left the field irritated and demoralized. After thinking about this a fair amount more than I should or need to, I've concluded that the reasons for this are twofold.

One, as the season has unfolded, one unavoidable fact has surfaced: I'm just not very good at softball. I'm pretty decent at other sports (basketball and football come to mind in particular), but in the baseball genre, I'm a little weak.

As with most problems, this one can be traced back to childhood. Due to a variety of reasons that are not worth detailing, I only played three or four seasons of Little League (and no teeball), and before this softball team hadn't played organized sports in the Baseball Family of sports in, oh, fifteen years or so. So my skills are not exactly well honed or, you know, developed.

I guess I don't really embarrass myself out there. I make decent contact with the bat and have good hands (probably my best athletic quality), but the rest of my skills are slightly below average at best. My biggest problem, I think, is instincts. I played second base last night, and didn't even know where to stand. When I was a kid, there was one particularly dismal Little League campaign in which I got maybe three hits all season, and I was actually called out on one of them because I carried the bat to first base without thinking about it. That's the kind of basic stuff I'm talking about. So to try and compensate, I do the worst thing anyone can possibly do when playing a sport at any level - I overthink. I end up freaking out on every routine play. I freeze with indecision. And basically, do everything I can to prevent myself from finding any kind of comfort zone.

The second reason is the atmosphere. One of the most grating traditions of the office softball league is that whole "everyone's a winner, let's just have fun" mentality. For someone as hyper-competitive as myself, that's like being suffocated with an itchy blanket. People seem to be trying to one-up each other to see Who Can Be The Most Positive, to the point where people are congratulating teammates for striking out and missing cut-off men. Huh? And after I forgot to call for a fly ball and let it drop between myself and the right fielder, the last, LAST thing I want is for people to greet me with a condescending "hey, great try out there. You'll get 'em next time!" Well, why don't you just stick the Special Olympics pin on me right now. Jerks.

With our team behind in the last inning yesterday, I started clapping my hands as our first batter went to the plate, and I said "rally time!" Judging by the reaction, I might as well have shouted out that I was thirsty for human blood. The guys around me jumped in to say things like "let's just have good at-bats," and "let's focus on one swing at a time," and other meaningless pablum. Because you see, me actually encouraging a rally made it too much "about winning." And we can't have that here at the Special Olympics.

So take that cloying atmosphere, and combine it with my lack of skills, and I'm pretty much hating life out there. Why isn't there ever an office basketball league? That I could do. Or an office billiards league. Or an office drinking league. Seriously, who wouldn't join that? We need to think outside the box, people. But don't worry. We'll get 'em next time!

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