Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Today just won't end. 

I need it to be 7pm now. I just want to rest my stuffed-up achy head on my pillow and drift off into slumberland. It's a wonder I was able to accomplish anything at work at all today. But one act worth of episode later and an afternoon's worth of incessant yammering from "Jackass the intern", I think it's time I crash. Then tomorrow night, seeing Garden State. Nice.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yasser Arafat can kiss my ass 

I'm not alone in saying that. A number of Palestinians agree. Check this.

**Arab World Figures Call on Arafat to "Pack His Bags"

Editors, writers, and political commentators throughout the Arab world have stepped up their calls on Arafat to step aside, holding him responsible for widespread corruption and disasters that have plagued the Palestinians over the past three decades, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Dr. Ibrahim Hamami, a Palestinian writer living in London, has joined the chorus of Arafat critics in one of the most scathing attacks yet on the PA chairman. Hamami, in an open letter to Arafat published on the Palestinian Web site Falasteen, urged Arafat to pack his bags and leave together with all his "corrupt cronies." Hamami said Arafat's "disastrous" policies have led the Palestinians from one catastrophe to another. "Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed in Lebanon and Jordan and now in Palestine because of your systematic corruption ever since you came to power in 1968," he added, addressing Arafat.

Veteran Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi called on Arafat to end his "one-man show" in the PA and warned of more unrest in Gaza as weapons flow into the Strip. "As long as he controls the security forces, he is breaking the fundamental law," Ashrawi, a prominent Palestinian Christian, said in an interview in the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick. "We should put this one-man-show behind us," Ashrawi said. "Instead of talking about (individual) people, we should at last be talking about institutions and laws."


Mustn't... get... sick... 

So I've got the sore throat from hell right now and am doing my best to remedy it (vitamin C, echincea, etc), but I fear it may be developing into a full blown head-cold. I don't need this, right now. I'm fighting it as best I can. I came into work this morning barely able to scratch out an audible noise, going hoarse just thinking about speaking. Little light-headed though. Mentally, I am not at work right now. I am in the following serene place:

It's late morning. I'm snug in my bed, tucked warmly under a comforter. It's overcast outside and there's a light rain; soothing and calm. The raindrops on my window sill have a hypnotic pit-pat to them. Having just finished a warm, hearty bowl of chicken soup, I rest my head on a mountain of pillows and slowly drift in and out of consciousness as my Simpsons DVDs play in the background. This mid-morning carries on for hours.

That's where I am, right now. It's so pleasant. You should join me. Again, not sick yet and determined not to be. Oh well, off to a meeting that will certainly keep me late at work. Fucking yay!


Monday, July 26, 2004

Speed 63 

One of my old roommates and good friends from college is tearing it up in the Phoenix music scene. If anyone's in the Phoenix area, check out Speed 63. Good rock band. And if you see 'em, make sure to call Kevin, the bassist, "Ginger." He loves that. Better clarify that you're a friend of mine otherwise he might beat you down. Your call, really.


This is just... ugh... 

There are so many things fundamentally wrong here. So many black eyes given out. Its just -- it -- forget it. Just feel the ludicrousness.


Sharon and France 

Here's a strong piece of commentary from the Chicago Sun Times regarding Sharon's call for Jews to leave France for Israel. That statement shouldn't be taken directly as an insult, as Aaliyah (sp?) -- immigrating to Israel -- is one of the highest and most honorable mitzvahs in the Jewish faith. There are 613 of them (no joke), but this is one of the really big ones. Anyway, check out this editorial.


Is this the line for Metallica? 

I was lucky enough this weekend to catch the music doc, "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster." This movie is awesome. Maybe the most intimate examination of a band ever committed to film. Even if you don't like Metallica, its worth checking out. It focuses on the past three years and the band's trials through producing their latest album (released last year). The filmmakers take a few liberties, assuming that you're up to date on the band. That you know their roots are in San Francisco, that they are arguably the biggest band of the last 20 years (I think U2 is the only other one who can argue), that James and Lars are always at each others throats, that Dave Mustaine was jettisoned from the band in a most uncerimonious way, that Cliff Burton is irreplacable, that you know who all of these people are. And if you don't know the full story on those, the makers do just enough to catch you up to speed without being overly laborious. I love that those conceits are made, because it frees the film to delve into interesting content rather than meander and waste time with the "Behind the Music" portion of any music documentary. Its pretty gritty, raw, refreshing, and fascinating. One of the best films of the year, I assure you.

The last couple years have been very good for documentaries and I'm increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger fan of them -- even moreso than before. "Spellbound," "Capturing the Friedmans," "Supersize Me," "F9/11," etc. Documentary hasn't been this exciting since my favorite doc, "Hoop Dreams."


Sunday, July 25, 2004

Lance Armstrong 

I don't follow cycling much at all, but I do know that what Lance Armstrong has just accomplished -- winning his 6th straight Tour de France -- is 1) a feat unparalled in his sport and 2) amazing. This guy's like Superman. What makes this latest victory all the sweeter is how bitter and jealous and callow the French are in reacting to it. The only ones in the world ever accusing Lance of doping are the bitter French. So bravo, Lance. You're well on your way to once again being named American sportsman of the year.


Huh? Wha? 

I'm thoroughly confused. It's 10:40 a.m. on a Sunday which means I didn't sleep 'til 1:30 again. I have no appetite for breakfast because I think -- and I can't be really certain of this -- some of my drinking cohorts and I stopped at a diner last night. A diner that was full of trannies, oddly enough. Lastly, the stupid headache that I have reminds me of a song off the latest Modest Mouse album. "The Good Times Are Killing Me." Anyway...


Friday, July 23, 2004

This insane family at Ralphs 

Couple nights ago, I went to the grocery store with one of my roommates. Nothing too fancy, just needed to pick up some cereal, cheese, fruit, etc, etc. So we're walking through the dairy section when we come upon what can only be described as white trash gleefully unaware of their surroundings. And by "gleefully unaware" I mean they thought they were about to pick up some cotton candy after filling the clown mouth with a water pistol at the county fair. They numbered three. A man in his late thirties; presumably the father, although one shudders at the thought after seeing how disheveled he looks. A disaffected 14 year old girl, pale as an egg white and what looked to be her 12 year old brother. That boy was just... wow.

That's our cast. My roommie and I walk head on past them. The dad is wearing an electric blue Hawaiian shirt, only half way buttoned, and holding his flip-flops in his hands. Yes, he's holding his shoes for no apparent reason other than to walk barefoot in the dairy section and attract strange glances from other shoppers. He blurts out to the kids, one on either side of him, "Hey! Where do we get the coffee and beer?" You knew at that moment that this man's diet consisted of only those two beverages and possibly some pizza and hot dogs. Nice work, dad. Send your daughter for the beer and have junior grab the caffeine.

The girl had this spaced-out look drawn over her face. She was awkward, struggling with the early stages of adolescence while constantly pulling at her white dress. You got the feeling that her dad was the one picking her clothes for her. One wouldn't be out of line to assume such as a divorce in the family seemed highly likely. Even after having just laid eyes on them.

The 12 year old boy... just... I'm struggling as we speak to come up with the words to describe the train wreck that is this pre-teen white kid dressed head-to-toe in "gangsta" gear, skanking all over the aisle. Not walking, skanking. Like at a punk show. Limbs flailing all over the place, hips wiggling side to side, happy feet and crazy legs flying this way and that. Nearly plowed himself into a shopping cart. It's like he was a wind-up toy that couldn't slow himself down. Even though its obvious that this is just a normal kid hopped up on caffeine and crystal meth, you watch him go by and you get the distinct impression that he has no control over his actions. If he crashes into a stacked display of Pepsi, so be it. The Pepsi was probably asking for it, anyway.

The trio walk (and skank) past us and instantly we're in a state of shock and awe. Our giant smiles give us away to the other shoppers who were lucky enough to glimpse the spectacle. "Do you think he has full custody over them?" we wondered. A few minutes later, we're walking up one of the aisles to grab some pet food and the skanking 12 year old races past us; skanking legs out of control, ready to tackle a bag of Iams cat food should it dare get in his way. Stunning. Mesmerising! I want a camera following this kid 24/7.

So the grocery shopping slows and we get in line to check out. As healthy as my roommate wanted to be (and I think she did well), there were some snacks and chips and items she thought would prevent her from staying in shape. She felt a bit guilty. I assured her it was okay to endulge once in a while, which was met with a "yeah, I guess..." BUT THEN, two lanes over from us, we catch the Crazy Family. In their cart they have the following items: coffee, beer, and about 800 microwave pizzas. The sight was jaw-dropping. The father still was holding his shoes, the daughter still didn't have a clue, and the son was violently shaking in an attempt to not destroy the magazines and chocolate bars in the impulse buy section. Naturally, my roommate was immediately put at ease about her sugared and salted purchases.

Later that night, we told the story of The Three to others who, too, found it equal parts baffling and hysterical. Then, for some reason, they popped into my head today. But this time it wasn't as funny. I felt a bit of sorrow for them. How fair is it to judge on those who are perhaps less fortunate and socially disfunctional. Then I realized, "Hey, those guys were pretty fucking hilarious. For crying out loud, that guy was holding his shoes!" As long as there's coffee and beer in the house, I'm sure that family is all sorts of happy.


Sometimes you just need a villain. 

Unfortunately, due to work and scheduling, I have been unable to keep watch of this summer's phenomenon that is Ken Jennings. For those who don't know, this is the guy who has won 30+ consecutive games on Jeopardy. That's incredible. Getting rid of the five day limit for returning champs is the smartest thing that show has ever done. Perhaps my favorite columnist, Bill Simmons, has a pretty entertaining assessment of the streak.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Today was a Monday. 

The calendar says Wednesday, but really its Monday. While the week is only three days old, I feel like I've been sleepwalking through it, save for about a couple hours yesterday just before I got off work. Couldn't stop smiling, then. But this episode we've outlined at work this week is a little light on arc. So I get to spice that up while picking up the slack for my sick co-worker who left early this morning with a nasty stomach flu. Poor thing, I feel for her. Truly. At any rate, today and probably tomorrow -- maybe Friday, too, if I'm lucky -- I'll be carrying the load of two jobs. All I need is an extra pair of arms and I'll be set. Can't count on the intern for that, though. He's in tomorrow and will no doubt fuck everything up. YAY! And though its only an hour later than I'm scheduled to leave, I just feel like airing out a bit. I feel like a shit huffing and puffing about work. Who cares, right? "You work in TV. People should be so lucky." Those people are right. 100% I like to think I keep that perspective at the forefront of my day-to-day routine. It keeps me going. I realize that I could be living in a hut in Sudan or scavenging off of welfare in the slums, but everyone gets to gripe once in a while -- even when other people think its egocentric. I guess that's another reason blogger is in business, yeah? Today was a Monday. Me a little sleepy now. Time to get groceries.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Shaq in Black 

So the Big Fella promised Miami a championship. Talk is cheap, but if anyone one player in the league can deliver, it's this guy. However -- and a big however -- Miami still needs to fill out their roster (that includes both starting forward positions). I wouldn't go around running my mouth until I know who I'm sharing the court with (rumor has it that Karl Malone might be a potential acquisition). But that doesn't matter to Shaq. It's his first day in town and Miami is already giving him the royal treatment. How could he not induldge them a little? Seriously, though, he better hope the Heat sign another couple big men, because he WILL be prone to injury (he's consistently missed 15-20 games the last few years) and he won't be able to carry the front court on his own. The combo of Shaq and point guard Dwayne Wade is a really nice one and at least one finals appearance is in their future, but I don't know if this team's winning a championship.


FDR was a cripple, but Lenin had syphilis! 

Lenin had a case of "clown dance." Huh. How 'bout that? Wee bit of a cover-up there. Is it personal? Yes. Does the public have a right to know? Absolutely. He was the leader of a world power. He ruled over millions of lives. The article alludes to the fact that the syphilis definitely affected him in terms of leadership and decision-making. But then, this was the Soviet Union. God forbid any information found its way to the people. Take a minute and imagine that President Bush has a severe case of syphilis. After you're done laughing, a sense of unsettling fear will set in as you realize that the "most powerful man in the world" can not govern his mind, let alone a country. Okay, perhaps Bush was a bad example. But wouldn't it be funny if he had syphilis? Huh? Wouldn't it? The answer: yes.


One small step for man... 

Today is the 35 year anniversary of man's first steps on the moon. It's a feat that really speaks for itself. Undoubtedly the greatest achievement in our species' existence... at least until we find a cure for cancer. I don't really have too much more to say on it. Just wanted to point out again just how remarkable this is. Especially living in today's world of techno-gadget iPods, laptop computers, and so on and so forth. What did we have in '69? Only the most primitive (by today's standards) computers were at NASA's disposal. And yet, somehow, Apollo 11 was a smashing success; a giant leap for mankind.


Monday, July 19, 2004

So how was the concert? 

Oh, you mean The Wrens? Pretty damn great. Excellent show. Would've been perfect if not for a large group of shitheads in the back who wouldn't stop talking. Of course, their constant chatter only provokes everyone else to incessantly shoosh them. So the crowd was full of idiots, save for the group I was with. The band? Refreshing. These guys are entering their 40s now and all they care about is putting on a good show. Best performed songs, in my opinion, were "Hopeless" and "This Boy is Exhausted." Check them out if you ever have the chance.


College Hoops top 50 

Never too early, I guess to talk college basketball (even when college football hasn't even got underway). ESPN's Andy Katz is on the case, compiling a list of the projected 50 best teams heading into the year. I like Katz's commentary. He comes off much better in print than on the air. Once again, the ACC is loaded. Personally, I'd put North Carolina pre-season #1. Katz's choice of Wake Forest isn't bad either. Eight or nine teams, at this point, have legitimate aspirations of winning a championship. That's why I love college basketball so much. The NBA will never come close to matching its excitement and fervor.


Friday, July 16, 2004

Mmm... viscousy 

This asshole news anchor blows snot all over himself.


Tomorrow night. Sweetness. 

Only one more night 'til The Wrens are here, SoCal. Get on your fucking horse and grab a ticket if any are left.


Tragedy strikes Cash Milliondollar bill 

Okay, so I'm a little compu-retarded.  Didn't realize there was a problem because I was able to see the pic on my computer. After some tinkering, I decided to take it down until the day I get it right (whenever that is) and the actual picture will be viewable. Thanks for pointing that out, Terry.
By the way, anyone know how to go about doing that? Again, techno-illiterate over here.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Rock, Paper, Saddam! 

Things are getting a little loopy in the court room. You like the funny?
See for yourself. You'll be glad you did.


OKGo rocks the vote 

One of my favorite bands, OKGo, are doing their part in getting youngsters to give a shit about the election. Check out their page. Support the cause.


Thank God 

He's staying. Turned down a $100 million offer.


Kobe's choice 

We'll know in an hour whether or not the man primarily responsible for all the dissent within the Laker organization will be remaining with the team or jumping ship and joining their intra-city rival the Clippers. He'll be in Los Angeles, that much is certain. Speaking as a Laker fan, that bastard better stick with the purple and gold, otherwise the Lakers are royally pooched. However, the Clippers -- as futile a franchise as any in sports -- have cleared a lot of room on their roster and payroll to make way for a possible Kobe arrival. The Clippers let Quentin Richardson sign an offer sheet with Phoenix yesterday. Richardson plays Bryant's position and if the Clips snag Kobe, they'll let Quentin loose. The Clippers also cleared some cap space by sending Eddie House and big man Melvin Ely to Charlotte. So the door is open for Bryant. Honestly, the Clippers may be the better option, but Bryant would be forever hated if he bailed on the Lakers after they bent over backwards to meet his demands (read: no Phil Jackson, no Shaq). I shudder to think how far the Lakers will fall if they lose Kobe in addition to Shaq. It'd be a nightmare. Then I'd know how Bulls fans felt after Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson all left in '98. Chicago has been a barren and miserable wasteland ever since.

Laker sidenote: Gary Payton will apparently stick with the team for this coming season. Incentive for Bryant to stay? I don't know.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

If you're living in Southern California 

then you should be going to see The Wrens on Saturday night at the Knitting Factory. Go damn it! Tickets are cheap. I'll be there (this alone should sell you). Just face facts and admit that it's the only thing you have left to look forward to.


Don't make me angry... 

You won't like me when I'm angry. This is pretty great. Yeah, it probably merits being added to the sidebar... even if it is totally stupid.


Shaq update 

It's official. He's with the Heat. Miami probably won't have much problem attracting free agent forwards to fill out their roster now that O'Neal's in town. How telling is it that Miami got the better end of this deal? Well, as I said before, what they gave up pales in comparison to what they gained and they didn't give up any superstars. The players they got are all good, but they're not even in the same stratosphere as Shaq. Bill Simmons thinks the Lakers screwed up in a bad way. In LA's defense, though, I don't think this move was as bad as the Barkley, Kareem, and Moses trades that Simmons cites. He's probably on to something, though, with the "vengeance factor."


This is so gay. 

Good thing the Senate is around. Man, never thought I'd ever write that sentence. Anyway, even a white hetero like myself can see that this proposed ban is a clear infringement on civil rights and is supported only by our non-sensical fear and Christian conservatism. Even when its masqueraded as a political ploy to sway votes, its still wrong.

Senate Judiciary Committee (news - web sites) Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said: "Nobody wants to discriminate against gays ... Gays have a right to live the way they want. But they should not have the right to change the definition of traditional marriage. That is where we draw the line."

Are you fucking kidding me? Traditional marriage? Don't 50% of American marriages end in divorce? Why yes. Yes they do. There's no sanctity here.

This is interesting, though, for all you blind partisan voters.

Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites) of North Carolina, oppose same sex-marriage, but argue amending the Constitution is not the answer. Like most Democratic lawmakers, they say states should have the power to define marriage.

States rights? Fine. Maybe. But when will it ever become popular to politic against injustice?


Shaquille to Miami 

Should be official today in just a few moments. The Lakers have agreed in principle to the most dominant player in the league's demands and will ship him to Miami in exchange for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant, and a future 1st round pick. It's a colossal move and undoubtedly the biggest trade of the sports year (hell, even of the last three or four years). Yes, bigger than baseball's Alex Rodriguez/Alfonso Soriano swap. That trade, while big, really hasn't changed the landscape of baseball at all (the Yankees are still the best). This Shaq trade, however, promises to turn the entire league on it's ear.

Shaq's demands to leave aside, it now seems rather obvious that the Lakers could not possibly return the same team from last season and expect to win a title. Not after the way they were thrashed by Detroit in the finals. So perhaps it took an angry Shaq for them to realize that they have to break down what they've got if they are ever going to get better. It's a reality in sports. Everything is cyclical and every dominant franchise needs to rebuild sooner or later. LA will still be a playoff team, but now they'll look like more of an also-ran rather than a threat.

It is expected that when Shaq inevitably is traded, the Lakers will have no problem signing Kobe Bryant (once he clears his legal troubles -- which he certainly will). But even with Kobe and the talent en route from Miami, the loss of O'Neal automatically drops LA from the most powerful team in the Western Conference to probably the 6th most potent. He's that valuable and I don't think there's any question that his worth and importance as a big man will be missed by the Lakers in the immediate future. They're be losing their top rebounder, shot blocker, and throughout his tenure in Los Angeles, their top scorer. Shaq heading to the Eastern Conference vaults the following teams past LA in terms of potency and legitimacy as contenders: San Antonio, Minnesota, Sacramento, Houston, and Dallas. Those five at the very least stand to benefit the most out of this deal.

The loss of Shaq also means that Gary Payton is demanding his way out of town... even after just signing an extension. But if these past playoffs are any indication, he's all washed up anyway.

The trade is being held up at the moment as LA reviews the contract of Lamar Odom, having found that there is a stipulation in there stating that his cost increases if he's traded from Miami. However, it won't derail the trade, so when it happens and if Payton gets dumped, the Lakers lineup will look as such:

C Brian Grant
PF Karl Malone*
SF Lamar Odom
PG Derek Fisher
SG Kobe Bryant

*Assuming he doesn't retire, which is a strong possibility.

Key Reserves:
Caron Butler
Slava Medvedenko
Devean George
Kareem Rush
Luke Walton
Brian Cook

So while the Lakers add some depth and get younger with this trade, they will suffer from not having a true center on the roster. Brian Grant, as much as I love the way he hustles, is an aging, beat up power forward. Odom is coming off a career season in Miami and is in the prime of his career, but how he and Kobe interact is a giant question mark. Obviously, they'll defer to Kobe, but Odom is a player who thrives with the ball. Butler is a rising star entering his 3rd season in the league. He's an exciting talent who'll probably crack the starting lineup midway through the year. The trade also frees up a little cash for LA and that first round pick is icing on the cake. However, the worth of that pick may not be very high as Miami is now capable of winning the Eastern Conference.

When they break up their promising nucleus of young talent, Miami will evolve into a contender with Shaquille O'Neal, but only for the short term (2-3 seasons). Shaq is starting to get up in age -- the prime reason why LA chose Kobe over him -- and 2-3 seasons will be all it takes before he declines from dominant to good. However, moving to the undersized Eastern Conference where there is a complete lack of centers and big men lengthens O'Neal's shelf-life by at least a couple years.

So in the short term, the Miami Heat (who would've ever thought??) get the better end of the deal. Long term? That all depends on whether or not LA can build on the new talent they've acquired and if that talent gels with Kobe. Even with all the Kobe comparison to Jordan, he's a loooooong way from taking this team to a championship by himself. The Lakers now (or soon, rather) need the most desirable commodity for any NBA team if they're going to be a factor again: a big man.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004


I can't possibly begin to imagine why, but someone at work brought in "The Absolute Best Power Ballads" compilation CD today. Right now, I'm listening to "I Remember You" by Skid Row. Wow...

It's amazing to think that this was nearly twenty years ago. I feel old. But damn it, this shit still rocks, dude. Well... mostly. There is something classic, though, about the way Sebastian Bach belts out lyrics.

Oh crap! They have Night Ranger on here!



University of Arizona basketball holds a special place for me. Probably the team I'm most passionate about (at least on a collegiate or club level). Even though it's still the middle of summer and college hoops doesn't tip off until November, there's a lot of buzz coming out of the Tucson school. Good buzz. This team is capable (even without Andre Iguodala who went pro -- perhaps their best player) of winning the championship next season. This after a thoroughly disappointing, hapless '03-'04 campaign. If they still had Andre, I'd say they're #1 with out question. Still, their odds are very good and they'll be healthier and deeper this coming season. Good things ahead this college hoops season.


Mindless. Fanatical. 

Those are a couple words that spring to mind when I read this. What's to be gained here? What kind of message is being sent? Well, it seems fairly clear: we want nothing to do with the world.

The Olympics are a symbol of international unity; a beacon of light that strips us of our political quarrels if only for two weeks. So is this retribution for the deposing and killing of Uday Hussein? I believe it was he, of Sadaam's two sons, who headed up the Iraqi Olympic Committee previously. He, you know, tortured, brutalized, and murdered athletes who returned to Iraq having "not done their country proud." Is that what this is? Because that's disgusting.

Maybe I'm projecting too much. Perhaps I simply don't fully grasp the political and social turmoil that has gripped that shithole of a country over the past year. I must not understand what all the fighting is about. Here's the thing, though. If Iraq withdrew from the Athens games, nobody would care. And apparently, that would be just fine by those rebel assassins.


Monday, July 12, 2004

Telling it like it is 

One of my icons is the late great Howard Cosell. He's a man who really defined sports journalism and was really able to transcend that role into a platform for much larger social issues. Years later, there have been no others who remotely approach him. Seems a bit random to bring up, but I do so because ESPN is ranking their 25 "most outrageous characters in sports" as part of their 25th anniversary. Cosell is among the names listed. Columnist Jeff Merron writes a strong article that dismisses Cosell as being "outrageous" and instead champions him in a much higher regard; above the Don Kings and George Steinbrenners and Mike Tysons of the world. Those guys are "outrageous." While Cosell was certainly a character, he was revolutionary in his profession. Not really something that translates to "outrageous." Cosell brought an extra dimension to his interviews and broadcasts. It was one of actual insight and a greater understanding of the very large social ramifications that sports can have. Unionization, Civil Rights, War, these topics are all taboo in sports. They're not escapist or "entertaining." What is not only entertaining, but engaging, is someone who is willing to tackle those subjects when they are, in fact, related to sports topics or personas. He wanted to debate. He wanted to make an issue out of the big issues and he wanted you to get fired up about it. For as much as I've read up on him, I can't help but imagine how revolutionary the experience of listening to him shape and change our opinions must have been.

There are dozens of skilled, highly compensated, entertaining, well-coifed sportscasters, but how many ask the truly tough questions, or provide provoking commentary on sports-related issues? Only one comes immediately to mind -- Charles Barkley. He's willing to go against the grain, sometimes unpredictably, willing to jar us out of our infotainment stupor. But still, Barkley's no journalist.

All due respect to Sir Charles (who really is the most engaging, challenging personality in sports broadcasting today), he's just a former basketball player. Sadly, that means a lot of his opinions will be dismissed. We need more Howard Cosells in this world. Someone to call bullshit on the establishment, on doping, on scandal, on prejudice. Maybe I should step up to that.


This kind of thing actually happens 

You're a Chinese multi-millionaire. You have wealth beyond your dreams. But your money... it doesn't speak to you. It doesn't listen to your problems, no matter how trivial they may be. It doesn't hold you through the night. It doesn't love you. Your money, Mr. Chinese Millionaire, is lifeless and cold (but hot shit, do you have a lot of it). You feel displaced from society. No one can see you for who you really are. No one seems able to look past your riches and realize that there is a great man who can stand tall independant of wealth. So you place a personal ad, trumpeting yourself as a millionaire... and receive hundreds of responses.


Who does this help? I mean really... 

Aside from the Bushies, no one. But hell, it seems like its been at least a day or two since we've needlessly raised panic levels in this country. Floating around an idea like this does nothing for anyone. They say they're preparing for contingencies. Fine. Keep it private. There are several matters of national security that the public should be shielded from -- even when the "threat warning "was a bust" because it was based on old information."


Honestly, is this at all surprising? 

I'm told that Pamplona, Spain is a very beautiful place. Hemingway dotes on it in The Sun Also Rises. Reading this article now, I'm reminded of how that novel bored me to tears. The city also has the most bars per square foot of any city in the world (perhaps I should visit sometime). But we all know Pamplona as being famous for the "Running of the Bulls." It's an event that in concept comes off as completely moronic, and in practice is simply Darwinism at it's finest. But what about the passion? What of the drama? Listen, if you consider jumping in front of a herd of storming bulls to be "passionate," then you're an idiot. And if you don't think anyone at the running deserves to have a horn shoved up their ass, then you're just plain wrong about most everything in life. You get trampled here and you probably had it coming. It's called a Death Wish.


Friday, July 09, 2004

The drama continues 

As summer rolls on the Laker empire tries to avoid crumbling, tapping Rudy Tomjanovich as new coach. I like the decision a lot. As good a fit for this team as you will find. Rudy T's got the championship experience (2 rings in Houston) and can handle drama between star players.

We'll see if this affects Shaq's trade demands at all. Miami's thrown their name in the hat as a possible destination for the most dominant player in the league. Dallas and Indiana seem to be the only other teams mentioned, but that's only assuming a three-team deal occurs. Miami's an interesting option. They've got a solid, young nucleus of players that could make that team into a contender in the Eastern Conference. However, if they deal for Shaq (who will only decline as the years go on), they'll certainly have to break that group up. The problem is that no team can feasibly afford Shaq O'Neal without shipping half their team. That's why a three team trade seems more plausible. The upside, however, if you're a Laker fan is that Shaq is still under contract. So even though they are acquiescing to his demands and shopping him around the league, he might very likely stay a Laker because no one else can take him on.


A breath of fresh air 

We're all going through some shit right now. Everyone has a sob story. Everytime is experiencing heavy times. So for all of you, I have a gift. Something that will hopefully put you in better spirits.

"When I See You Smile" by Bad English

Sometimes I wonder
If I'd ever make it through
Through this world
without having in you
I just wouldn't have a clue
Cause sometimes it seems
Like this world's closing in on me
And there's no way of breaking free
And then I see you reach for me
Sometimes I wanna give up
Wanna give in
I wanna quit the fight
And then I see you baby
And everything's alright
Everything's alright
When I see you smile
I can face the world
Oh you know I can do anything
When I see you smile
I see a ray of light
Oh I see it shining
right through the rain
When I see you smile
Baby when I see you smile at me
Oh yeah
Baby there's nothing in this world that could ever do
What the touch of your hand can do
It's like nothing that I ever knew
And when the rain is falling
I don't feel it
Cause you're here with me now
I wanna ask you baby
It's all I¹ll ever need
All I'll ever need
When I see you smile
I can face the world
Oh you know I can do anything
When I see you smile
I see a ray of light
Oh I see it shining
right through the rain
When I see you smile baby
Baby when I see you smile at me
Sometimes I wanna give up
I wanna give in
I wanna quit the fight
Then one look at you baby
And everything's alright
Hey everything's alright
It's alright
When I see you smile
I can face the world
Oh you know I can do anything
When I see you smile
I see a ray of light
Oh I see it shining
right through the rain
When I see you smile
Yeah I can face the world
Oh you know I can do anything now
When I see you smile
Oh yeah
Baby when I see you smile
Smile at me


I like work almost as much as I like scotch 

What's the best way to follow up a 12 hour workday? Well, if you're lucky, you'll have another 12 hour workday. If you're really lucky, you'll work the 12 hours and come in on the weekend. All this because we had a short week. Stupid US independance...

Come on feel the noise, bitches!


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

"Dodgeball" really was that bad 

I mentioned it briefly earlier on here, but the movie "Dodgeball" really does suck ass. I'm stunned that anyone found it truly funny. Apparently, I'm not alone. The beloved Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, pretty much nails this review proving once again that great minds think like mine.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"Empty Cans" 

It's the track on "A Grand Don't Come For Free" that has emerged as the current favorite. The whole album depicts a long, arguous journey that Mike wades through and culminates with "Empty Cans;" a harsh wake up call that things have changed for the worse and he'd better adjust fast. I'm feeling this song so much. It's the song that's really encapsulated the last 36 or so hours for me. Save for perhaps 3 people, it seems pretty fair. I don't want to get in the habit of expecting letdowns, but here we are:

Or maybe its that i realised that it is true;
No-ones really there fighting for you in the last garison.
No-one except yourself that is, no-one except you.
You are the one who's got your back 'til the last deeds done.


Greek Gods 

I thought 17 year-old Maria Sharapova's dismantling of Serena Williams at Wimbledon would've been the upset of the sporting year, so far. But Greece's championship run at Euro 2004 easily takes the cake. They were proverbial minnows who conquered schools of sharks. One of the most incredible underdog stories in all of sports, as far as I'm concerned.


Beauty and the Beast 

If Fox News were clever, they'd use the above title to describe John Kerry and his new running mate, John Edwards. Kerry's face is slowly melting, so who better to juxtapose the Democratic ticket with than the handsome Edwards? I like Edwards though. His appointment as Kerry's VP gives me a little hope that this campaign will have some much needed vigor. We'll see if Edwards will be enough to swing some Southern states that blindly follow the GOP. I'm sure I don't have to remind anyone that Al Gore actually lost his homestate of Tennessee back in the 2000 election. It may have been a pipedream to ever think Republican John McCain would be named Dem VP candidate, but Edwards is probably just as good as anything the dems have to offer. Sadly, they hate Howard Dean. Quite baffling, really. But then again, I suppose it isn't that baffling considering Dean was championed progressive policies that would erase problems at the root level rather than skim the crap off the top.

Related to Kerry's vice pres. announcement, the New York Post maintains its strong reputation as a rag of the lowest quality when it "reported" that Dick Gephardt was Kerry's choice. Bravo, guys.


Friday, July 02, 2004

The time has finally come 

It's Friday, thank God, and a half day at work thanks to the long 4th of July weekend ahead (3 1/2 day weekend, woo!). Today is also the beginning of a new era at the house: the new roommie moves in. So very stoked. Can't wait to have a new dynamic in play. Not to say that I'm tired of my current roommies -- love those bastards, love 'em -- but, you know, it'll nice to inject some fresh blood into the mix.

Totally unrelated sidenote, though loosely tied in to how freaking stoked I am, only 15 days until I get to see The Wrens in concert. Sweetness.

Yet another unrelated sidenote that is ever so slightly related to reality: I'm freaking awesome.

That last one was made special just for you.


A Grand Don't Come For Free 

Another in a series of quick thoughts today...

I really dig the new release from The Streets. Favorite tracks so far are #4 "Blinded By The Light", #10 "Dry Your Eyes" and #2 "Could Well Be In." Sophomore efforts are always tough to pull off, especially when your debut album is a smashing success and hailed by many as the best record of the year. Although I'm still bonding with "A Grand Don't Come For Free," I will say that the content, while personally severe, comes off as having a lighter tone in general than "Original Pirate Material." It's odd because he definitely comes off as more self-depricating in the new album, but I think OPM had more of a doom and gloom feel to it. I'd say, for now, OPM is better, but "A Grand..." is definitely some of the best stuff I've heard this year. I remember first hearing The Streets a couple years back and not knowing what to think of it. Didn't take long at all for me to realize how genius it is. Fresh, inventive, seems almost like the next evolution in music -- the next new sound. Haven't heard any imitators, though, which is probably a good thing. Mike Skinner has such a particular style to his craft that would almost definitely be mangled in someone else's hands. Any way, pick up the album. It's strong.

Kinda bummed that I missed their show in LA last month. Bah...


Greece... Greece? 

Words defy how shocking it is that Greece has reached the final at the Euro 2004 championships. Such a tremendous underdog, second worst odds heading into the tournament (something like 300-1). Yet here they are, having ousted the likes of Spain, France and the Czech Republic. Now they have to play the host Portuguese (whom they BEAT in the group stages) in the championship on Sunday. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.


A living legend no more 

Perhaps the most prolific and influential actor ever has passed. I wonder how Frank Oz feels about it.


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