Friday, October 29, 2004

Nice costume, Superman 

I mentioned somewhere on here that everyone at work makes a big deal out of Halloween. In lieu of my primary costume being too risque (I actually double-checked with my boss and she said, "Yeah, save running around in your underwear for parties outside of work".), I'm dressed today in a suit with a t-shirt baring the Superman logo on it. It's clever, you see. I have three buttons on my shirt undone so it looks as if I'm perpetually making that famous mad dash to the phone booth, rushing to save a coked-up and deranged Margot Kidder. Thanks to Asa and Alex for suggesting and supplying the shirt on short notice. Oh yeah, and I'm totally rocking the Superman "curl."

Speaking of which, this week's "Cash" strip is hilarious. #14 if you're reading this in the future. Easily my favorite so far.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

My brother is a saint 

A couple weeks back, he took a job as a teaching aid at a school for mentally challenged youngsters. "Mentally challenged..." Yeah, let's clarify: retards and autistics. I like to say that he teaches Autism. Strangely, he doesn't find it very funny. But, really, for someone to teach -- to indoctrinate -- a mental disability? Hey, that tends to take on a dark tone of humor. Look, I kid because I love.

Anyway, just spoke to my bro and found out yesterday that one of the youngsters got into a physical altercation with him. Apparently, this down-syndrome kid tried to choke him. Another supervisor had to intervene so that he and my brother could restrain the kid (at the risk of sounding like Matt Dillon in "There's Something About Mary," some of these kids don't know their own strength). Unreal. This begs the question: is there an insurance provider that offers "retarded collision" or some sort of safety net resembling that? Because, let's face it, the parents of that child can just claim, "Hey, you know what? Our boy isn't responsible for attacking anyone unprovoked. He just does that sometimes." Which is bullshit. Given that we live in such a litigious society, I wouldn't be surprised (but I would be livid) if some sort of legal action was taken on the part of the parents. Just sort of thinking out loud here. Musing over what a great professor of autism my brother will become.


Oh yeah... this guy 

Well, we're inching ever closer to finally having productive peace talks (sounds imaginary, no?) in the Middle East.


Roger Ebert: Friend of the working man 

I'm sure I'm not making any earth-shattering declarations when I say that Roger Ebert, generally, is the best film reviewer in the country. I don't always agree with his reviews, but I can appreciate his view point on virtually all of them. But enough about his reviews. This post is directed at respecting the man for using his high profile to help better the working conditions of his fellow employees.

Roger Ebert vs. Conrad Black: This time it's personal.

Favorite exchange:
In his letter, which was also sent to the Chicago Tribune, Black reminded Ebert it was the "generous treatment from David Radler" that was responsible for his $500,000 salary and other compensation.

At the end of his letter, Black wrote that "your proletarian posturing on behalf of those threatening to strike the Sun-Times and your base ingratitude are very tiresome."

Ebert took the last shot.

"Since you have made my salary public, let me say that when I learned that Barbara received $300,000 a year from the paper for duties described as reading the paper and discussing it with you, I did not feel overpaid," he wrote.

Thank you, Roger.


This might sound treasonous... 

... but I think it's pretty cool that the Red Sox won the World Series. Never in my life did I believe that they were owed anything and yet, before last night, every Boston fan would have you believe that they were somehow cheated out of glory. They were never cheated. There was never a curse. It was a drought. An 86 year drought. Several baseball franchises have never won a World Series in their existence, so one could say that they may have more right to gripe than Boston did.

Now the drought has ended. The Red Sox Nation can finally revel in victory and we'll no longer have to hear about this team's "misfortunes." It's done. All that annoying whining is finally gone. At long last, Red Sox fans can cheer for a team that even they can accept as no different than any other.

If they keep that nucleus together, don't be surprised if we see another celebration in Bean Town next year. They proved themselves the best team in baseball this season.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

An Anti-Red Sox World Series 

The St. Louis Cardinals, last night, turned in one of the most pitiful performances in World Series history. Seriously, they looked miserable in game 3. Boston played a solid game, but St. Louis continually made mistakes common in little league that routinely diffused any number of opportunities they had to get back in the game. Pedro Martinez pitched a great game for Boston, surrendering only three hits, but he was helped out tremendously by the inept Cardinal batters. In the first two games, the Cardinals would routinely challenge the Boston pitchers, battling them through 10-12 -- sometimes 16 pitches per at-bat. Last night, with regularity, they all folded against Pedro on maximums of 5 pitches. That's disgusting. Then, of course, there was the biggest base-running blunder in the history of the universe in the third inning. I heard the first four innings on the radio before catching the rest on TV. When Suppan blew a golden chance to score for St. Louis, radio announcer Jon Miller said, "That's the biggest base running error of all time... (manager) Tony LaRussa must want to throw up right now." I couldn't agree more and I'm sure they were plenty of Cardinals fans keeled over at that point. St. Louis also left what seems like dozens upon dozens of base runners in scoring position, unable to knock any of them home. Big bats Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds are a combined 1-22 hitting in the Series. Suppan was the first Cardinal starter to get into the 5th inning before finally leaving the game (which he probably should've an inning earlier, but LaRussa didn't wanted to try save his relievers an extra inning). Things look very grim for this club.

Oh irony of ironies. Wasn't it Boston who, a week ago today, completed the greatest comeback in sports being down 0-3 to the Yankees? Why yes. But here's the difference between the Boston that charged back all the way from the bottom of the ninth in game 4 of the ALCS and the Cardinals of this World Series: 1) offensive production, 2) decent starting pitching, 3) fight. I've already touched on the first two, but watching last night's game, you just didn't see any "fight" in the Cardinals. They looked more like the Yankees in the ALCS game 7. They looked beaten and they only had themselves to blame. With the exception of 5 innings in game 3 of the Boston/NY series, the Red Sox looked capable of winning every game. You don't get that sense watching St. Louis. Also, how guarded do you think Boston will be about even thinking of winning the Series? Incredibly.

That is notion common with every Boston fan I talk to (and there are a lot these days). People don't know what to think of their predicament. They've never faced such a scenario. They literally do not know how to act. This is a fan base characterized by whining and complaining. All of a sudden, they're in this alien situation where they have nothing to whine about and they're one win away from snapping the most talked about championship drought in sports history. Lately, I'm surrounded by them and they all have the following to say:

"I can't think about it."
"I don't know what to do."
"I can't get too excited."
"If the Sox win, I can happily die tomorrow."

But why all the confusion? Well, as I said, this fan base's identity is that of the angry loser. If they win the series, they cease to be that team. Yeah, they'll still have more history than, say, Florida, Anaheim, and Arizona combined, but winning the Series would put a sort of storybook ending ribbon on the team's quest to finally win. It's such an anti-Red Sox thought.

However, this all plays right into my theory. It might be a little out there and no Boston fan would concede to it if only out of sheer stubbornness, but... I believe that all Red Sox fans want to be Yankee fans. Read it again and tell me I'm wrong. You can't. If not for circumstances beyond their control (i.e. born in New England or raised in a Red Sox household) all Red Sox fans would rather have a tradition of winning and, while it be blasphemous to say that they desire to be their most-hated rival, the proof is their for all to see -- starting with the operation of the team itself. Boston has the second highest payroll in the league (behind only the Yankees) and, thanks to GM Theo Epstein, a "fantasy baseball" style mentality. Also, every free agent signing of theirs is nearly always made for the purpose of spiting the Yankees (who tend to spite Boston on far more occasions, but no matter). Point being, the Red Sox are starting to operate like and resemble the Yankees of the mid-90s (they have a glut of newly acquired stars supported by some key character guys) and I wouldn't be surprised if the unthinkable happened: Boston championships becoming a trend.

Of course, this is exactly the kind of talk that will get you killed in Boston. If they win, the city will go up in flames, the sky will fall, and hell would freeze over. Oh, and they'd also find a way to outwardly complain about winning and secretly relish in their inner-Yankee-euphoria of winning with consistency.

Personally, I think the Sox finish it off tonight. The Cardinals have given me no reason in the past three games to believe otherwise.

Additionally, as a last tack on, these last couple weeks have been littered with The Sports Guy's funniest articles and one-liners. Sadly, if Boston wins the Series, he'll lose 75% of his material. He's still an hilarious read, though. I'm not a Sox fan, but read this article and you'll begin to get a sense of what this historical event means to them.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Wimbledons 

My friend, Kevin (a.k.a. "Mainstream"), and his brothers (one of which is John from Dashboard Confessional) are total rock stars. As promised earlier, I present to all: The Wimbledons. They just played their first gig this past weekend (which, sadly, I couldn't make due to the Mayday screening), but I eagerly look forward to seeing them the next time they perform. If you live in the Southern California area, specifically LA, be on watch for "The Wimbledons." Be sure to listen to their EP on the goodhang.com website. I think it's really strong and am proud to say I have the CD already (I gots the hookup, homey). Specifically, give a listen to track #2, "Long Way From Home." Yo! Wimbledons, bitch! Check 'em out!


'Nim's Mosh 

Eminem's latest music video is pretty damn great. Timely, too, with the election only a week away. It's a scathing attack on President Dubya with a fantastic finale. Check out Mosh.

By the way, is anyone else at least mildly surprised by Eminem's maturation? It wasn't but a couple years ago that he was rapping about "raping bitches" and "beating up faggots." Now, he's on the front lines of celebrities urging kids to vote. I like that. You might say, I like that a lot. Oh, and of course, "Mosh" is another strong track to be added to Eminem's hit-list.


Monday, October 25, 2004

Let's all go to the movies 

Mayday Fest was a big hit. Well, relative to, say "Surviving Christmas," which no one saw. That? That, right there? That's a big 'fuck you' to Ben Affleck. Kinda nice.

Anyway, yeah, Mayday was excellent. Asa took a head count at one point and we had roughly 120 people in attendance. Mayday 3 will definitely be happening... probably in May.

I was a little tired by the time the event even began thanks to getting bombed the night before at my co-worker's birthday/80s party. My costume? Risky Business. I don't own any briefs, though, so I went with boxers. Happy to say it was received well. Must've been a site to see me leaving my friend's house the next morning in Tom Cruise sunglasses, a dress shirt, and boxers. My oh my.

I don't think I'll be wearing that outfit to work on Friday. They have a tradition here of employees dressing up on the Friday preceding Halloween (or on Halloween). Somehow, I don't think I could look my boss in the eye and ask for a raise if they've seen me in my underwear. Yeah, maybe I'll keep it at least a little professional.


NFL update: 7 weeks thru (plus other sports stuff) 

Yesterday was just a shitty day for me, betting-wise. Seattle cost me lots of moneys. Anyway, it's just further proof why Seattle is as fake as it gets. I'm actively rooting against them, now. They never belonged in any Superbowl discussion before the season and they certainly look like a product of the big-hype machine now.

Conversely, I'll be the first to admit to bandwagoning on this one, but I'd like to see Jacksonville do well this year. Beating Indy (The Alan Bonus: beating a hyped up team that has glaring flaws --- I hate teams like that) yesterday is pretty big and I love Leftwich.

Not that I'll ever stop rooting for Oakland, but they're pathetic. 2-5 with a tough schedule remaining, its safe to say that the season is over.

Oh, and you heard it here first: Jets will miss the playoffs. Of course, I'm going out on a major limb by saying that given that they only picked up their first loss of the season yesterday to unbeatable New England and their schedule is fairly favorable, but I think there are a lot of teams in the AFC who can get hot at the right time. The Jets have been playing great, no doubt there, but I still don't think they're that good and all those wins were over garbage opponents. We shall see. To back up my outlandish prediction, here's how I see the AFC playoff picture panning out:

New England *
Baltimore *
Indianapolis *
Denver *

* = division winner

And let's not forget the San Diego Chargers. This is a team reborn and their schedule is fairly favorable, too.

As for the NFC... man, it's still Philly and no one else. Aside from the Vikings, no one is really making a claim for a playoff spot. Atlanta is verrrrry shaky -- narrow wins over Arizona and San Diego and then getting obliterated by the Chiefs yesterday (oh yeah, called that one), but no one else in their division is worth a damn. Giants will probably grab a wild card spot in spite of their loss to Detroit yesterday. Seattle and St. Louis? Who knows. One of them will backdoor their way in via the division title. Both have proven capable of losing to the league's worst teams on any given day -- like yesterday, when they lost to AZ and the previously winless Dolphins. Miami routed St. Louis, too, so who knows what the hell is up with the Rams.

Big news from England is that Arsenal's 49 match unbeaten streak has finally come to an end. They lost 2-0 yesterday to Manchester United. 49 matches without a loss! In a word: unimaginable. You'll probably never see a streak like that in English futbol again.

Back home
Oh yeah, so Boston's up 2-0 in the World Series. They look good, too. Well, except for their defense which is atrocious. They committed four (four!) errors in game one and, again, four (four!) errors in game 2. Somehow, St. Louis wasn't able to take advantage of those. Know why? Virtually nothing out of the heart of their batting lineup. Paging Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Jim Edmonds: your offense is sorely needed. Cardinals look in a bit of trouble.



It's Monday. Hope everyone's off to a good start this week. Had fun this weekend, did ya? Yeah? That's cool. Anyway, we're all going to die. Hooray for negligence.


Friday, October 22, 2004

This weekend = death by social gathering 

If I'm dead by Monday, it'll be because I drank myself into a coma. I consider this weekend to be "an enabler."

Tonight: 80s/Birthday party. Will be so gone. Sadly, my attending this means I can't make it to two other parties.

Saturday: USC/Washington football game, followed by the World Premiere Screening of the Mayday Films. Also, two more birthdays. Oh yeah, and the World Series needs to be viewed sometime. Unfortunately, I'll be missing the debut of The Wimbledons! More to come on that musical trio of wizards in due time.

Sunday: Pumpkin carving x 2. Don't know how jazzed I am about that one. Nevertheless, two separate events dealing with... pumpkin carving... yeah. That night, dinner/concert of a friend -- hopefully, if I'm not already dead (which might be okay).

October has insisted upon being the biggest cluster fuck of the year. It's way too busy for it's own good. Did I mention that Sunday is "United Nations Day?" I'm so not kidding. I'll celebrate by ignoring the U.N. just as we all have been doing for forever.


American Soccer 

Adidas just gave MLS and American soccer and huge boost by signing a 10 year, $150 million deal with the league. This is really a huge deal for the further development of the game in the States, as the article thoroughly details.

Oh, and um... hey, look what snuck up on everyone: MLS playoffs kick off tonight. I'll go with a mild upset prediction. LA Galaxy over the Columbus Crew in front of a home crowd at The Home Depot Center. I went to last year's final which was great. Not a single bad seat in that stadium. I'll try make it down for this year's final, too.


The World Series 

More like the "North American Baseball Championships," but we won't argue semantics here.

Cardinals are in the World Series thanks to a Scott Rolen 2-run jack off of Clemens and, before that, an outstanding catch from one of the league's most prolific centerfielders, Jim Edmonds.

This sets up what could be one of the best World Series of all time. It's a classic "purist" baseball matchup. Boston vs. St. Louis. Two teams steeped in tradition and baseball lore. This year, the two most potent offenses in all of baseball. These clubs are titanic with the bat. Each showed struggles with their pitching during their respective LCS, so scores could get pretty ugly if they're not careful.

Although both teams just got out of a 7-game series, you have to believe that Boston (even with a day longer rest) has to be more emotionally and mentally drained than the Cards. The Sox are a big mystery heading into game 1. Will they still be riding the wave of beating NY? Or will they still be hung over from celebrating? How is Curt Schilling going to respond after his hall of fame performance in game 6? Can't imagine that helped his injury at all. And you know Pedro has to be a little rattled after his struggles against New York. I also like the Cardinals better, defensively, and I love manager Tony LaRussa (a little Oakland A's love from 15 years ago). This is really a pick 'em type series, but the stubborn man in me says stick with your original pick: St. Louis in 6. Go Cards!


Look at me! I'm so negative! I poop on John Kerry! I sa-- oh god! Pies! 

While you're eating Burger King on this all-too-sudden Friday (what happened to my week?) you might, if you're so inclined, feel a little hankering for dessert. I recommend today that you opt for custard pie. Two of them, actually. Then lob them at Ann Coulter. I don't really condone this sort of action and it reflects poorly on my alma mater, to boot. However, I'm sure Coulter got the point and that's all that really matters, isn't it? Why yes, yes it is.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bow to the (Burger) King 

Interesting little tidbit, this. Thought it worth a glance. Here's why you should all eat at Burger King this Friday.


Remember that Olympic-sized blunder? 

You know? The gymnastics one where Korean Yang Tae-young got screwed by the judges who graded him on an incorrect scoring scale (just how they could ever fuck that up is beyond me). Well, good news (if anyone still cares. I do, in principle): it won't cost Paul Hamm his gold medal. Rightly so. It wasn't his error, it was the judges. Everything remains as it should be.


Not so much an "upset" as the greatest comeback in baseball 

If you've got a pair of eyes and ears, then you're already well aware of how collossally amazing it is for the Red Sox to be getting ready to host game 1 of the World Series on Saturday. Last night... just... the stud performances from Johnny Damon (2 homeruns including a grand slam) and Derek Lowe (6 innings pitched allowing only 1 hit) were incredible. I can't for the life of me understand why Francona opted to pull Lowe in the 7th in favor of Pedro "The Yankees are my daddy" Martinez. As soon as Pedro got in the game, you could sense a change in mood. Boston was up 8-1 at that point, but it didn't matter. Pedro was awful and immediately it crept into everyone's heads that Boston would blow it. Fortunately for them, the Yanks could only hang 2 runs on Martinez before he was replaced.

This series is monumental for several reasons.

1. Boston actually beat New York. It's the most heated rivalry in sports, but NY dominates the Red Sox regularly.

2. Role reversal of chokers. "Choking" or collapsing might be a myth, but its what Boston is known for. Aaron Boone in '03, Bill Buckner in '86, Bucky Dent in '78, etc, etc. Teams like the New York Yankees -- teams with that impecable record of winning with poise -- don't choke. Yet, in this series, the bats disappeared in games 4 thru 7. Kevin Brown's abysmal 1 1/3 innings pitched last night (before getting pulled for allowing 6 runs) proved definitively that his lousy performance when he played in LA was no fluke. The Yankees didn't learn from that and instead made the costly error of signing a pitcher no more valuable than a bowl of dog meat. New York had no game plan for game 7. It was evident when Joe Torre didn't know who would be the starting pitcher after Boston won game 6. Then they trot out Brown and he gets absolutely torched in no time flat.

3. This is, without question, the greatest comeback in baseball -- perhaps in all of sports. The Red Sox had just been tagged for 19 runs in game three. I'll say it again. Nineteen runs. That is just so demoralizing to be embarrassed like that in a game they just had to win. So to come back and win four straight after that is just incredible. Everyone and their mother left this team for dead, but they had hallmark moments in their comeback. David Ortiz homering and knocking in the winning runs in the extra inning battles of game 4 and 5. Certainly Damon and Lowe last night. Still most impressive is Curt Schilling's game 6. The guy had blood bleeding through his sock (a red sock at that point) because the sutures on his torn ligaments had popped! And he pitched perhaps the game of his life. It's a performance that ranks with the legends, right up their with Willis Reed.

What of the Yankees, now? You have to imagine that heads will roll at the feet of George Steinbrenner. He's axed millions of people for less. I'm betting on a giant overhaul, especially with the pitching staff. Turns out they really did need Clemens and Pettite, didn't they? Suckers.

Lastly, though, in reference to the title of this post, this is not an upset. It was hugely improbable, yes, but these teams were evenly matched and most people before the series were picking Boston to win. When Fox flashed a list of greatest upsets in sports last night like the '67 Jets, the '69 Mets, Villanova in '85, Team USA in '80 it irked me because Boston and New York were level competitors. Just so happened that Boston winning four in a row after being down 0-3 had never happened before in baseball.

Wow. We get to do game 7 all over again. Tonight! Cardinals vs. Astros! I'm loving these playoffs. Reading "Moneyball," right now, I'm just loving baseball.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

History in the making 

Yes, I'm talking about the Yankees/Red Sox craziness. Last night's game 6 was... just wow. Two overturned calls (a homerun and the A-Rod incident -- both correct and both in favor of Boston) and an incredible 7 inning performance from a gimpy Curt Schilling make Boston the first team in baseball history to ever force a decisive game 7 in a best 4/7 series after trailing 0-3. Last night's game was only the third time ever that a team in that predicament had ever forced game 6. You really have to applaud Boston's resolve (win or lose tonight). When Miguel Cairo lead off with a double to start the 8th inning, I thought that was when the Yankees would pop Boston's balloon. A-Rod almost saw to that, but he was calling out for cheating. Note to ridiculously overpaid Alex Rodriguez: You can't knock the glove out of an opponents hand when they're trying to tag you out.

Everyone, including myself, left Boston for dead after the Yankees put up 19 runs in game 3. Everyone, that is, except for the die-hard Red Sox fans (Alison's doing a little jig somewhere). Especially those that I work with. Honestly, this place is crawling with them. They're hilarious, though. Everyone one of them (and I'm talking 7 or 8 people) said once Boston was trailing 0-3, "Oh, we'll lose in seven." As if it's a given, right? Well, they could all look like Nostradomus tonight if Boston blows game 7. Which I think would be simulatenously devastating and hilarious. But hilarious because that result is almost expected by Red Sox fan. I wouldn't mind seeing history take place, though, and Boston coming all the way back to bump the Yankees of all teams. There's no such thing as a curse (anyone who says different is hopelessly retarded) and a Boston win tonight would finally put an end to all that nonsense. Even though all the momentum is in Boston's corner, now, I have to stick with my Yanks in 7 prediction.

Isn't it something that the undercard in these baseball playoffs is just as good? Houston can actually knock out St. Louis tonight when they play game 6. Really an even-matched series, but I wouldn't hesitate to call a Houston victory an upset. Roger Clemens will be saved for game 7 if necessary.

Speaking of "history in the making," 42 year-old (like Clemens), Jerry Rice (best wide receiver ever and arguably the best football player ever) got dealt by the Raiders to Seattle a couple days ago. In exchange, Oakland got a conditional 7th round draft pick. Conditional. Hey, guys, the draft is only seven rounds to begin with! Why not just trade Rice for a new football and a couple of hot dogs? At any rate, Rice's absence won't hurt the Raiders as far as production goes (he only has a piddly 5 catches this season) and he probably won't add anything to Seattle's offense. The reason the Seahawks want him (I guess) is for his presence. "Hey, Jerry Rice is on our team! He's all washed up and probably should be retired, but damn it, he's with us!" Sad to see a player of Rice's stature given away for nothing but, frankly, his time is up.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I need to start watching "Crossfire" 

Err, that is to say, I need to make sure I catch all of Jon Stewart's guest spots on political talk shows. Apparently, I missed a hell of a show when he appeared on the CNN jibber-jabber program.

P.S. I really dig Slate. So very readable.


They're coming to breed you and eat you.  

By they I of course mean, Peruvians. And by you, I mean, Guinea -- nay -- Super Guinea Pigs. Indeed, Yahoo!, this is very strange news. Perhaps not as strange as we might think, though. After all:

"Today, churches in Lima and Cuzco still display Indian depictions of the Last Supper with Jesus and the 12 disciples eating roasted guinea pig."

How 'bout that?


Monday, October 18, 2004

Everyone has AIDS 

Or so I'm lead to believe, thank you Team America. Those puppets are hilarious, but at any rate, this is about the 10K AIDS Walk which went very well. Sort of. I'm proud to say I raised $325 to chip in to the estimated $3 million the event garnered. Though I wasn't pleased during the actual walk itself. This has nothing to do with money or that it was gloomy outside. No. It has everything to do with the raging hangover I had thanks to a raucus night out. A little more than a half dozen shots of jagger and Jack plus about ten beers = why the fuck am I being woken up at 8am? That's the life of a rockstar philanthropist, I guess. Dropping jaggerbombs the night before he does his part to fund AIDS research. Oh, and somewhere between drinking like Caligula and stirring in bed a couple hours later, I walked home from the bar in the pouring rain. I'm so smart. My, was it pouring. And guess who was wearing a leather jacket? Yeah. To be fair, I left for the evening before any word of rain, but sloshing through it on the way home (someone asked me why I didn't take a cab. I have absolutely no idea. I couldn't possibly have been thinking clearly, let alone at all.) I was forced to turn the jacket inside out and carry it, thus leaving me with one less layer. I only realized when I fell out of bed that my shirt was still damp.

Moral of the story: Drink as much as you want. You have a strong stomach. If you have to deal with lots of a-holes yelling into bullhorns early the next morning, so be it. You can handle that even if you're ridiculously dehydrated and hate life. Cheers.


I confess 

The Oakland Raiders are horrible. They're my team, but they're disgusting. They got blown out 31-3 against Denver yesterday. Watching the game, it could've been worse. Kerry Collins... ouch. What can you say? The guy looks awful his first three games as a starter. So bad. Can't do a lot about it this season, 'cause he's in it for the long haul. Especially with the news that Rich Gannon's neck injury is likely to force the old man quarterback to retire. So its more Collins for the foreseeable future. Oy vey. And what of this new and improved run defense? They brought in some big guys (both literally and figuratively) in Warren Sapp and Ted Washington. Yet they get trounced by just about every running back they face, including Johnny-Come-Latelys like Jonathan Wells and Reuben Droughns. Kidding me? This is a joke. Now 2-4 and the season is quickly slipping away. Next week's home game against New Orleans is a must win.

Speaking of the season slipping away (switching from football to baseball now): poor Boston. Just delaying the inevitable. By the way, Yankees put up 19 runs in game 3. Wow. As soon as New York claims victory in the series -- they've got another 3 cracks at it -- Hideki Matsui has to be the ALCS MVP.

Houston, on the other hand, seem to have bounced back. That'll happen when your two aces come up clutch (Boston?). That and Carlos Beltran is a man on fire. Holy crap this guy is killing! 8 homers in 9 games! Already tied the record for most post-season dingers.

Glory be! Glory be! One of my favorites is back. Midnight Madness took place this past Friday, signifying the return of all that is good: college basketball. Here's a glance at ESPN's take on the top 25.

I expect this year to be dominated by the ACC. ESPN likes Wake Forest at #1. Me? Well, if they're healthy, I think the smart money is on North Carolina.

Cruising through the Pac 10 this year? Arizona. Don't have to deal with Mike Montgomery at Stanford anymore. California may have a tough time getting through injuries, especially if Leon Powe can't go. UCLA could be a sleeper. They've got some real talent coming into the program. Ben Howland's impact will be seen on that program this year. Arizona, though, has one of the strongest starting lineups in the country. Even with the loss of Andre Iguodala to the NBA, Wildcats look prime to erase what I've termed last year's "forgettable failure of a season" from memory.

Watch for a possible Arizona vs. Wake Forest matchup in the final of the pre-season NIT in November.


The "stars" on my show... 

... are flagrantly retarded. A quote:

"He’s like, I just, I love you. Like, L-U-V, not L-O-V-E. Like he’s my best friend in the house."

Sometimes, I just want to smack everyone.


Friday, October 15, 2004

The Literal Word 

Okay, I don't really care all that much about what day Halloween falls on, but apparently it's a big deal in the Bible Belt. Which is fine. Their entitled to believe whatever they want. However, the argument against a Sunday Halloween is this:

"You just don't do it on Sunday," said Sandra Hulsey of Greenville, Ga. "That's Christ's day. You go to church on Sunday, you don't go out and celebrate the devil. That'll confuse a child."

Celebrate the devil? Yo, we're just getting candy while the older crowd is getting drunk and laid (although I suppose I could see that manipulated into a form of "devil worship"). Granted, I didn't grow up in the South, but I've gotta say, Halloween was never at all confusing. In fact, the only way I could see a kid being "confused" about the whole thing is if someone were preaching to them about how this is the devil's day. But there are reasonable people in the region.

"About 15 years ago, we decided to have Halloween on Saturday instead. People went crazy. We said, `Never again,'" recalled Starr Burbic, longtime secretary to the mayor. "It messed everybody up to move Halloween. Some people don't like having it on a Sunday, but we just couldn't find a way to make everyone happy."

Well... mostly reasonable. I don't know how many of us, in this instance, would say "Never again," with such severity that one would think we were discussing genocide. In the end, though, we can all agree this issue is moot.

"Most people don't have a problem with it. It's a pretty universal compromise, so that's what we go with," said Grand Rapids, Mich., police Lt. Douglas Brinkley.

Hang on a minute. When did Michigan become part of the Bible Belt? Me thinks the devil's trickery is afoot.


Where's Muniz?? 

Hey, Alex! Look! Islamo-facsists! Well, sort of. I guess that's one way to describe this Syrian-German "businessman."


Nicholas Gurewitch is a genius 

Oh, but do I have an incredible addition to the sidebar or what? I can't take full credit for finding maybe the most hilarious comic strip ever, The Perry Bible Fellowship. That credit goes to Doug, though the strip appears to have been running for a year now. Enjoy this week's issue. As well as some of my other favorites. Including this one. Also, this one. Absurdity, thy name is Perry Bible. Just go ahead and spend all day looking at the archives and wetting yourself in a fit of laughter. It's well worth it. Especially if you're in a crap mood.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

We're going to the finals 

Well... sort of. Granted, it was Panama, but the US sealed a spot in the final round of World Cup qualifying with a 6-0 thrashing last night. Most encouraging is the emergence of young Eddie Johnson -- a 20 year old forward for MLS' Dallas Burn -- who scored a hat trick. The US has been lacking a bit in the goal scoring department, so this is very welcome.

Oh, by the way, switching gears from soccer to baseball, know who isn't going to the finals? That is to say, know who will lose to the Yankees in the ALCS? Yeah, poor Boston. They were owned last night by John Lieber, a middling journeyman pitcher. With Schilling and Pedro dropping the first two games and now word that Schilling may not even be able to pitch game 5 (should the series go that far) I think the Red Sox are all but done. Yankees just look too comfortable... again. They know this routine. They've done it countless times before.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Puck drops (in a fantasy world) here 

Tonight would've marked opening night for the 2004/05 NHL Season. I will now shatter my own pelvis and weep in the corner.


Backs against the wall 

What do President Bush and the Boston Red Sox have in common? They both must win tonight.

The third and final presidential debate is this evening and, to my mind and most everyone else's, John Kerry has taken the first two. Unless W. can pull a rabbit out of his hat, Kerry is going to have the momentum heading into November 2nd. And yet, despite his mediocre performances in the debates, I still don't think Bush is in trouble. Call it pessimism.

As for the Sox. First of all, what a game last night! Incredible. Mike Mussina was pitching a perfect game through 6 1/3 innings, the Yanks were up 8-0, Schilling got run out of the game early, and still Boston made a game of it. They trimmed the lead to 8-7 before New York tacked on a pair of insurance runs. I don't know if game 2 can top this. Actually, I seriously doubt it can. If Pedro Martinez loses tonight, Boston is cooked. Must win for the Sox as they can't afford to have sent their aces, Schilling and Pedro, out on the mound only to lose both games. If the Yankees do win tonight, I may have to adjust my prediction of NY in 7. Yanks could win it sooner than that.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Lakers past and present 

NBA pre-season is upon us and, still, the only story in the league is the Lakers. It's ridiculous. No other team or player in the league is worth talking about, apparently. All we hear, months after Shaq's trade and Phil Jackson's departure, are a slew of incessant barbs being traded between the afforementioned pair and the now dubious Kobe Bryant in the press. Shaq says Kobe is a clown, Kobe says Shaq has paid women to keep quiet, Jackson says he was forced out of LA by Kobe, yada yada yada... It's all getting to be white noise. And still its all any NBA buffs can talk about. What the Lakers used to be, what this trio has to air to the papers now that they're all in different cities. We all knew it as a sideshow even when they were winning championships. But as long as you win, no one cares about who hates who. Now, a report comes out that Phil Jackson had intentions of trading Kobe back in 1999. Would've been an incredible deal, too. Kobe Bryant to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion. If a deal like that comes my way, I'd say adios to Kobe in a heartbeat. Alas, this never came to pass.

Now, Kobe stands alone in LA whilst the other two have departed and you have to wonder if this team is going to sink like a stone now that Shaq is gone (most say yes). Is Kobe going to wedge an even greater divide between himself and the rest of the team? Then you remember the coach they hired to replace the Zen Master: Rudy T.


I'm continually amazed... 

... by the staff at fast food restaurants. Today, I was in a rush to grab some lunch, so I stop in at a nearby McDonalds. The drive-thru is backed up for miles, so I park and head inside where there are significantly fewer people. I'm already feeling a little tense due to the fact that this morning was just generally stupid. You know? In a general sort of way. And of course, I'm under the proverbial gun to get back to the office to help out on this, another lame Tuesday.

I step up to place my order and before I can say anything the woman points at a sign to the side of the register. It reads, I shit you not, "We do not accept $100 bills." As if I have the appearance of some one who is carrying Ben Franklins around in his wallet (NOTE: my hair is disheveled, and I'm wearing jeans and a Seinfeld t-shirt). I look back at her disdainfully and say, "No fucking shit." She then points at the sign again just to make sure I took note of it. I breathe deeply for a second and ask her if she's ready to take my order. With a jovial smile reflecting the ineptness of her customer-employee relations skills, she asks me what I'd like.

Me: #1 meal to go.
Her: Okay and what to drink?
Me: Coke
Her: What flavor?

I glance at the soda fountain just to the side of me and see that there is only one available flavor of Coca-Cola. Know which one it was? Coca-Cola! I say again, "Coke, please."

Her: What flavor?
Me: Coca-Cola, please
Her: Excuse me?

Sweet lord, there's no possible way I could make this any clearer. I'm not whispering or mumbling. Clearly, she's just fucking with me. Clearly. At least that's what I want to believe because this is ridiculous.

Me: Coca-Cola!

I could see them making my burger and am pleased to report that no one spat in it. Unreal. It's as if they purposely mess with you.


Monday, October 11, 2004

So long Superman 

Really sad news about the death of Christopher Reeve. Usually, I'm not one to get upset about the death of a celebrity. Their death is no different to me than, say, that of my neighbor's. Though the attention they get for it would suggest they matter more. I don't believe that. But I do believe that Reeve transcended his status after his horse-riding accident. He was a beacon of hope and provided tangible motivation to make scientific break-throughs. He put a human face on what we have been both able and unable to achieve in the medical community. Now that he's gone, we can't help but feel a little demoralized. However, his legacy extends far beyond his star-making role. For all the "oh my god, I can't help but overreact and be incredibly serious about everything because Christopher Reeve of all people is in a wheel chair" hoopla, the man really did inspire. I mean that sincerely. I'm telling you, people: stem cell research. We need it.



From what I saw yesterday 

The Seattle Seahawks are still quite far away from being a Superbowl contender. This year's essoteric pick in the NFC, their blunder of a loss yesterday against the St. Louis Rams highlighted the two major problems I have with them.

1. Great teams know how to finish. Seattle was ahead 27-10 in the 3rd quarter. They were dominating, suffocating, they looked like they could've scored 40+. But, instead, they sat back on their heels and went into conservative mode (e.g. play not to lose mode rather than play to win) and guess what? They couldn't do anything. Mike Holmgren got outcoached in the second half by Mike Martz of all people (Mike Martz!). He's an offensive wiz, yeah, but the guy can't manage a game to save his life. Seattle thought their 17 point lead with 30 minutes to play was cushy enough. No Superbowl caliber team plays that way. You play hard for 60 minutes. Period.

2. Their defense is still a bit suspect. When you have a lead like they did against St. Louis, um, don't you think that the Rams are going to throw the ball?! I mean, crap, this is the Rams we're talking about. All they know how to do is go for the big score. Knowing full well that the Rams would go that way, the Seattle defense (thought to be vaunted earlier this season) folded like a house of cards. You have to play D if you're going to win, especially with less than five minutes to play. Boom -- Rams touchdown -- Boom -- Rams touchdown -- Boom -- Rams tying field goal -- Boom -- Rams touchdown in OT. It happened that fast. For a team that "knows how to win at home," Seattle really dropped the ball yesterday.

Elsewhere, leave it to the Arizona freaking Cardinals to blow my Four Mortal Locks prediction (posted earlier). I didn't watch this one, but Arizona had a Seattle-style meltdown in allowing San Francisco to come back from 2+ touchdowns behind and clip them in overtime.

Another game that went overtime that highlighted a team as a pretender rather than a contender: Minnesota vs. Houston. Not that I ever believed for the last four years that Minnesota is a contender, but all those Viking honks seem to be out in full force again this season and I can't fathom why. Houston was toast until late in the fourth quarter when they managed an improbable two late touchdown scores in the final three minutes. I mentioned it while shitting on Seattle: 1) Good teams know how to finish. 2) Good teams play tough defense, especially in the final minutes of the game. Minnesota had an effective running game yesterday, too. So I don't want to hear them bitching about any injuries.

How about those New England Patriots? They beat a hapless Miami team yesterday, yes, but it was for a record 19th consecutive victory dating back to last season (counting the playoffs). I'm prepared to give them the Superbowl right now. Guess who they're playing next week? Seattle. I think the Pats are going to rock them.

Raiders... well... it was ugly. Penalties killed them along with more poor play from Kerry Collins. We all saw this wreck coming from a mile away. Indy 35 - Raiders 14.

Oh and by the way, shhhh. These teams are all playing good football under the radar: Pittsburgh, NY Jets, and the NY Giants.

Okay, that was football. On to baseball.

Didn't catch much this weekend, but I saw Houston's golden chance to knock out Atlanta slip through their fingers. Now they'll have to play a decisive game 5. Still like Houston to pull it off.

Dodgers flamed out as I said they would. No one is stopping St. Louis. At least not in the National League.

Fox gets its dream matchup: Red Sox vs. Yankees. I expect this one to go seven games with NY somehow winning. There will be at least three brawls through out the course of the series, two walk-off home runs, and one shutout.

Didn't watch any of these, but just checked some World Cup qualifying scores from this past weekend. South Africa wins (yay!) and so does the US (yay!). Pleased about those.


Friday, October 08, 2004

Parting Shots 

In the likely event I don't post anything over the weekend, here are a few predictions for the next three days.

- In tonight's town hall-style debate, President Bush will make no less than four blunders, yet will stay on level ground in the polls with John Kerry.

- The Dodgers will be eliminated from the playoffs this weekend.

- When getting my car serviced for it's 30,000 mile inspection tomorrow, the mechanic will be wearing a blue shirt. Also, they'll try to upsell me on the special fuel cleanser. I will stubbornly deny them.

- College football. The winner of tomorrow's USC vs. California game will not only go on to win the Pac-10, but play in the national title game. The winner of tomorrow's other major clash, between Oklahoma and Texas, will not.

- No heavy appliances will leave my house.

- Come Monday, unless I say something, I will be overlooked for stepping up and doing half of my superior's job in addition to my own in lieu of her slacker attitude. I will be most pleased by this!

- Over the weekend, I'll receive at least another $50 in donations for AIDS Walk Los Angeles. You know you want to help. The philanthropist within you is begging for a chance.

- My four mortal locks for victory this Sunday in the NFL: New England over Miami, NY Jets over Buffalo, Indianapolis over my true-to-form Oakland Raiders, and Arizona over San Francisco. Bank on it.

- My email inbox will have 49 messages solely from the WGA listserv I'm on. I will be annoyed by this, yet also feel obligated to check each and every one.

- Friday Night Lights will finish #1 at the box office with $19.3 million. It will also underwhelm me, as I am incredibly snobby when it comes to sports movies. I already have a ticket to see it tonight and, quite honestly, am hoping for the best. I pray that the rave reviews are not purely hype and that "FNL" is better than, say, "Remember the Titans" (a perfectly fine movie, but not a classic as some people are suggesting FNL will be.)

- The lovable voices of The Philosobees will dominate much of Friday and Saturday night. They will cause one of my roommates to assault me.

- I will be drunk only one night this weekend.


My fantasy football team takes a hit 

Normally, if a football player is suspended for violation of the league's drug policy, I'd just sit back and say, "Tsk, tsk." But, in this case, that player happens to be the franchise player on my fantasy football team, Jamal Lewis. The need for me to acquire a solid 3rd running back has just been elevated. Why you would care about this? I don't know. Anyway, Jamal Lewis (aka: Baltimore Ravens offense) is suspended for two games at the end of October.


Brain fart 

Just came back from a super long lunch at a, well uh, a bar. Sports bar, specifically. Sports bar called "Irelands" more specifically. Some of my colleagues and I were watching the Boston/Anaheim game (Red Sox are pounding the crap out of Anaheim, by the way. Angels' season is cooked) over a few beers (4, I think) and some burgers. It was a nice break from the last couple days at work which have been somewhat of a kick in the face. I couldn't help but notice that at this bar, this bar called "Irelands," that there was a poster on the wall of the film "Michael Collins." Struck me as odd for some reason. Yes, I know that Michael Collins is a very important figure in Irish history, but when I stumble into a dimly lit bar that features regulars who refer to citizens of that boot-shaped country as eye-talians, I'm just not anticipating seeing a framed poster of Liam Neeson on the wall. Of course, no sooner do I write this paragraph than Vladimir Guerrero hits a grand slam in the 7th inning to level Anaheim with the BoSox.

It's nice to treat yourself to a laid back Friday when you've gone through such a busy week. Sort of puts you in a zombie-like state, though. The last four days, I kept wishing it was actually Friday. Then this morning rolls around and all I can think about is what happened to the rest of the week. As Simon and Garfunkel would say, "Half of the time we're gone, but we don't know where, we don't know where."

Speaking of zombies, I'm serious about everyone going to see "Shaun of the Dead." It's just great.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Reality's staying power 

When you oversaturate the market there are bound to be casualties. Just as in scripted television, each new season of TV presents us with more duds than the year before. Not everything can be a hit. So when articles like this make print, there's no reason to get overly excited.

Of the shows listed that got the boot -- Newcomers The Benefactor, The Complex: Malibu, Renovate My Family and boxing series The Next Great Champ are chumps -- all are pretty damn terrible. How many sitcoms fail to make it past their second episode? Several.

But how about shows that have some seniority? USA Today points out that in it's 9th season, "Survivor" is still a ratings monster. Why is that, do you suppose? Because, whether you like the show or not, it is compelling television. "The Apprentice" is compelling television. Something like "Fear Factor," on the other hand, not so compelling. You can only watch someone eat bugs for so long, right? Yet the show, despite a "dip" in ratings, still does incredibly well. It's a proven commodity. Hell, even Real World -- after 15 seasons -- is currently experiencing its best ratings performance ever. People stick to what they know.

In reality tv, you know instantly (9/10 times at the point of the show's conception) whether you have a hit or a dud.

Having just had a lunch meeting this afternoon with some WGA folk regarding nudge nudge, wink wink, its clear that most everyone in television believes reality has a firm place on the air. This season, more so than ever. There are over 40 shows currently in production.

Where am I going with all this? I don't even know. I guess all I'm saying is that it's time people get over the notion of reality being an alien genre. Everything has an ebb and flow. Just so happens that right now, network television is being suffocated by reality shows. But just like any drama or comedy, the bad ones will fail and the good ones will continue.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Peja to the Lakers? 

Trust me when I say, as a Laker fan, that this scenario would be awesome. Although it's such a tease on Marc Stein's part to bring up player movement like this and then coldly remind us all that we're not talking about this season -- or even the next. We're looking at 2006. Hopefully, by the time that season rolls around, the Lakers won't be face down in a ditch because while I fully expect to see them in the playoffs, they will certainly struggle this year without Shaquille O'Neal. I don't care what Kobe does, the loss of Shaq opens the Western Conference wide open to the point where the Lakers will be tightly competing for one of the last four playoff spots with about seven other teams. Throw Stojakovic on this side, however, and suddenly you're a threat again. He's the purest shooter in the league and unquestionably the reason why the Kings contend every year. If you're under the impression that Chris Webber was the reason for that, you are the definition of wrong.


MLB Playoffs: Game 1s not too surprising 

Now that Houston thumped the Braves today, all four division series are shaping up pretty much as I'd envisioned. Only, who'd have thought that three of the four series would get off to such lopsided starts? Houston and Boston look primed to sweep. They're legitimately the two best teams as of this moment in time. I stand by my pick of the Yankees to get to the World Series. Sure, they don't have the pitching that Boston and Minnesota do. Yeah, if they lose game 2 tonight, they can pretty much forget about getting by the Twins thanks to the fact they'll have to face Johan "I've been simply untouchable since the All-Star Break and am a mortal lock to win the AL Cy Young" Santana again. But they've still got that loaded lineup, still have homefield in the American League, and -- yeah -- they're still the Yankees. They're still the team to beat. Even if they just now decided to start Kevin Brown for game 3.

All you Southern Californians? You won't get any love from me. This is the first time that both the Angels and Dodgers are in the playoffs, but I've seen to it that the voodoo has snipped their chances of advancing past the opening round. Trust me on that. Besides, their opponents (Boston and St. Louis) are far superior clubs. To all the critics who thought St. Louis would struggle because of their pitching, hey, look when you run the opposing pitcher out of the game before the third inning (as they did yesterday to O'Dallas Perez), your big bats will be able to carry you just fine. The Cards beleaugered rotation is decent enough that if they get the run support (and they surely will) they will capture the crown.


Rock the Vote: Beatles vs. Stones 

Here's a quirkly little write-up from Variety comparing Bush vs. Kerry to the Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. No real insight, here. Just amusing.


Man's best friend... or something 

Old man + chicken neck + knife + severed penis + dog eating severed penis + Romania = All sort of F'd up.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Now that's a debate 

The VP candidates each held serve, in my opinion. Very heavy on substance. Edwards scored a big blow immediately by accusting Cheney of still not being straight (interesting non-response from Cheney on that same sex issue, by the way) with Americans. Though Cheney did well to highlight the inexperience of his opponent. Though I see the debate as a wash, for the most part, I see Cheney's performance as more beneficial to Bush than Edwards to Kerry. I suppose that's all relative, but Cheney is an incredibly smart and competent man who Bush desperately needs. More so than Kerry needs Edwards.

I'm going to watch the rest of the Twins/Yankees game and then probably pass out. Maybe I'll throw dinner in there somewhere. I hear it's Wednesday.


Monday, October 04, 2004

Oh shut up already 

I posted this on Begum,, but thought I'd mention it here, as well. Wells College, traditionally an all-female school, is now enrolling male students. There's an uproar on the campus about this. But why? Why should there be such opposition? There's no justifiable answer, really. Tradition? Nope. This is like The Citadel having a problem accepting female cadets. In both cases, one has to wonder why a person would throw themselves into such a hostile environment. But that wonder is quickly supplanted by the more pressing trouble of why that environment needs to treat the opposite sex with such hostility in the first place.

"Coeducation Silences Women"

What? It does? Are we in the dark ages?

Opponents say they want to preserve the college's 136-year tradition as a school for women, and worry men may dominate the classroom if they are admitted.

That's right, I forgot about that. Wait, wha? Umm, I don't know about any of you, but at no co-ed institution I ever attended were the classrooms specifically dominated by men, forcing all the women to be silent.

To the exclusionary protesters at shitty little Wells College, I say this: The enrollment of men at your school will not result in revoking your right to vote, nor your right to be treated equally. You will not be forced to drop out of school and run around the house barefoot and pregnant. You will not have to revoke your drivers license, nor will you have to cover your body from head to toe so that all your flesh is hidden. Know what you will have to do? Learn to deal with men. It's strange, I know, but there's a whole world out there in which men are present. I get the sad feeling that the nay-sayers in this instance are cloaking their cries in the name of "feminism." I hope that's not the case. Get over the myopia.

If you're a female and you're offended by my comments, I'd really like to hear why. Because the opposition on this issue, honestly, is just ignorant.



As a result of the chaos that was The Richter Agenda, I missed an entire weekend's worth of sports. This is something very alien to me. I didn't see anything. I feel unclean; wrong. Big weekend to miss, at that, what with it being the final days of the baseball regular season. So in this quick little round-up, we'll start there.

Seattle's Japanese firecracker, Ichiro, broke one of the most hallowed records in baseball history, George Sisler's ancient record for most hits in a single season. To give you some perspective, Sisler's mark had stood since the early 20s and on Friday night when Ichiro eclipsed that mark, Sisler's 81 year-old daughter was in attendance. You get the idea. It's a lofty record.

Back to the playoffs. Simply put, the A's didn't deserve to win the division. They stunk in September. Losing 10-0 at home is not the way to start a do or die best 2 of 3 series. A lesson learned for this off-season. Really one of the bigger collapses in recent pennant race history. Also, for any Cubs fans out there, you'll have to cling at least another year to a cliche you've made your own: "There's always next season."

Personally, I could give a rats ass who wins the World Series this year, although all the division series matchups look great. Predictions:

Division Series:

St. Louis over Los Angeles
Houston over Atlanta
Boston over Anaheim
Yankees over Minnesota

National League:
St. Louis over Houston

American League:
Yankees over Boston

St. Louis over Yankees in the World Series

Included in the sports viewing void, of course, was football. All I was able to glimpse were the final 30 seconds of the Raiders bumbling, embarrassing 30-17 loss to Houston. Quarterback Kerry Collins essentially lost the game on his own, committing five (5!) turnovers. Clutch performance? I think not. It's also the first time the Houston Texans have won two consecutive games in the history of their young franchise, so add that to the Raiders hall of shame.

In the college scene, a rather meaningless encounter between Rice and San Jose St. produced the highest scoring matchup in the history of Division 1A college football. San Jose St. 70 - Rice 63.

Finally, on a soccer note that'll probably only matter to me, I was elated to see that Quinton Fortune is returning to the South African National Team. His feud with the SA Football Union has kept him from playing with the side for two years. His return couldn't be timelier. Also jazzed about striker, Shaun Bartlett's inclusion for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.


The Richter Agenda 

was the title of our short film for this past weekend's Mayday 24 hour cluster-fuck. As before, we brave few collaborated to create six minutes of non-sensical shenanigans that would put any show on Adult Swim to shame. Well, maybe not that non-sensical. At least this time around we churned out a script before 2 a.m., preserving our sanity for an extra couple hours before we all started talking like high-pitched, anthropamorphic bees. Yeah... that happened. I'm a little disappointed we weren't able to fit all the jokes we had written into the short, but alas, we wrote a 12 page script for roughly an 8 minute movie and a few of the gags relied on effects and scene changes that we weren't able to completely cover in 24 hours. Maybe in a couple days, when I'm removed from the experience -- which is really fun, even if I'm saying otherwise due to sleep-deprivation -- I'll be able to look upon it proudly. We're really proud of the fact that we got eleven entries into this edition, double from last time. We are the dreamers. Team Lower Gatsby: we wish we were dead. Yay!

I spent 36 hours awake before succumbing to a 2 hour nap. All in the name of not screwing up my sleep cycle. I managed this morning to hit the snooze twice and wake up a half hour late, yet got to work only 5 minutes late. Speeding? Eh. I hear today is Monday.

Oh, and while shooting I was lucky enough to get bit by a dog on my thigh early on in the evening. Fortunately, I was wearing jeans. The bite was pleasant and left a bruise. Glorious.


Friday, October 01, 2004

The playoffs start now 

Actually, they start Tuesday. However: Anaheim (90-69) at Oakland (90-69); tied for 1st in the American League West; final three games of the regular season. First to win two is in the playoffs. The other? Going home.

Everyone knew this would happen. When the schedules came out, experts and fans alike looked squarely at Oct. 1-3. Anaheim at Oakland. Although, given the mediocrity from Oakland this past month, its surprising that we're here. They held a 6 game lead which has since evaporated. It took some bottom-of-the-ninth heroics last night over lowly Seattle for the A's to level with Anaheim for the best two out of three showdown.

The A’s have continued to win year after year, and the Angels significantly improved themselves this winter. Both teams were destined to clash at some point in a very meaningful series.

Well, here it is. Three games, winner takes all. The season series is tied at 8-8. The top three Anahem pitchers – Bartolo Colon, Kelvim Escobar, Jarrod Washburn – will face off with the top three Oakland pitchers – Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson. Oakland is great at home, Anaheim is great on the road.

Oakland has an edge with pitching, Anaheim with hitting. Oakland’s starters are working on four days’ rest, Anaheim’s on three. However, Oakland’s vaunted “Big Three” have struggled mightily in September:

Mulder – 0-3, 8.10
Zito – 1-2, 4.54
Hudson – 2-2, 6.23

I’m not going to get too excited about this because it’s still Mulder, Zito, and Hudson pitching. They’re still very good and can turn it around right quick. Hopefully homefield and clutch hitting will push Oakland throught to the post season.


Listen to your friend, Michael O'Fallon 

The effects of Kerry's strong showing last night are already trickling down to swing voters. Let's hope the trend continues, as swing voters are a fickle group.


Everyone has their two cents... 

...and here are mine regarding last night's debate. I'm no pundit, but I'll say that I did watch the entire thing and, right up front, I'll say that Kerry won it. Not a landslide, by any means. Bush certainly held his own for a while. But towards the end of the 90 minutes, you could sense the frustration growing within the incumbent. Kerry's style came off sounding more authoritative and decisive which I think will play well with voters. He also finally got his opportunity to nail Bush on Afghanistan and North Korea -- and nail him, he did. I don't believe, however, that Bush lost too much ground because he was still able to spew the buzzwords that idiots who only pay attention to buzzwords will recognize.

I really dug the format of last night's debate. It's precisely the kind of debate that I think this country wanted to see and needed to see. Each candidate pretty much spelled out what their stance is on foreign policy and if you still can't tell who is for what regarding things like Iraq and nuclear weapons, God help your stupid little brain.

Bush came off a few times as insincere. "You're forgetting about Poland." Yeah, they have what? 400 troops in Iraq? "It's hard work." Know what? I'm sure it is. But he said that about 13 or 14 times and with each subsequant utterance, the "hard work" seemed more like a stall tactic and eventually downgraded itself to just a souless phrase. Although I think perhaps my favorite bit was when the two candidates were exchanging jokes and compliments about their personal lives and families. Kerry joked that Bush's daughters made him chuckle on occasion. Bush's light-hearted response was "I'm trying to keep 'em on a leash," to which Kerry responded, "I found that doesn't really work." This is a highlight to me because in the past, Bush's jockular one-liners always played well to whichever room of loyalty-oath-signing people were present. But this time it was Kerry who got the last laugh and -- just maybe -- hinted to America that his listening and reasoning skills are just a little bit better. I might be reaching with that, but I think to shut down Bush in such a manner as that is definitely something the public should pay attention to.

Finally, although the "flip-flop" issue will no doubt continue to be brought up ad nauseum like a dead horse that's been skinned and shipped to the glue factory, Kerry was able to declaritively announce where he stands on foreign policy and where he has always stood on foreign policy. Something that I think was very important for Americans to hear. He really needed to get after Bush and be aggressive and alert everyone in as obvious a manner as possible of the mess that is now our presence in Iraq and he did just that. Right from the first question, he was a bulldog.

Anyway, just in case you think I'm biased, the polls also say that Kerry won.

One of my favorite politicians, John McCain, is quoted as saying in the article:

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), the Arizona Republican who informally advised Bush on how to debate his friend and Senate colleague, told reporters in Miami on Friday that the debate was probably Kerry's "brightest moment" in the last six weeks. "He presented himself well, John did," McCain said. "Kerry came out slugging."


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