Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, December 17, 2004

Holiday Blahging 

A lot of my favorite Blogs have been slacking off lately, and that's okay. It makes my lame posting less noticable. When your day is taken up with deciding between a Dustbuster and a Turbo Shark for Aunt Harriet the little wrinkles in life that wind up as posts tend to fly by you. I'm off tonight to a holiday party in Brooklyn. I have not met one person who will be there. The hosts do have a Chinese daughter, though, so I'm not dreading it as much as I might.

So it goes. Work has been frantic for the past few weeks, with lawyers trying to get deals done before the New Year. It looks like they succeeded because it's deadly dull from here on out. I have 700,000 things to do this weekend.

Here's one good thing. I posted at some point in the last month about a couple of friendships that seemed to be falling apart because of the recent elections. All mended, all healed, better than ever.

Love that Christmas spirit.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Channeling Red Smith 

Here's some vivid sports writing.

John Hollinger in the New York Sun on the Nets' offensive woes:

"This team couldn't score at a Hilton sisters' slumber party."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

World's Smallest Violin 

To me. For the lamest gripe I've seen in awhile.

I know a number of people in voice over, animated and commercial.

If I hear a voice I recognize on a cartoon Grace is watching I have to go back and tape the show and watch the credits in slo-mo because they run them too fast.

That's it.

Had to share that. Hope I didn't bum you out too bad.


Jim, at Parkway Rest Stop has a post about rodeos that has generated some interesting comments. We saw a rodeo last summer in the Poconos and it's become a motif in Gracie's drawings, so I know she's hooked.

Most of the tourist rodeos you see in areas like that are more exhibition than competition, but this was part of a sort of minor league system feeding into the major competitions you see on ESPN. For us urban types it's an almost impossibly exotic activity, as removed from our lives as Colonial Williamsburg, but what surprised me was where the cowboys came from. They were mostly from Pennsylvania, but a lot were from New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. It's like a parallel world. These kids come from areas where a lot of the boys go out for rodeo instead of football. This isn't a matter of keeping dying traditions alive. This culture is thriving.

I once did a long monologue in scene study class from a play by Sam Shepard. In it, a rodeo cowboy talks about his encounter with a famous bull. He goes into intricate detail about strapping himself on and describes a specific, unlawful grip which locks you onto the bull. He used this because he knew otherwise he had no chance of staying on. At the end of the monologue you realize you're listening to a ghost because the bull stomped him to death. I worked damn hard on it and thought it was one of the best things I ever did.

When I was done the teacher looked at me like I was a bug. He goes "Don't tell me you believe that bullshit myth about cowboys. Are you a child?" And he launches into a ten minute diatribe about the evil, racist, sexist history of the west, about which he knew exactly zero. I started to say that there was something to admire, even if much of it is mythical, about the qualities of courage, individualism, self reliance, etc. He just waived me off the stage. Never said anything about the work. One of my first lessons in the closing of the liberal mind.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Morning Sabbatical 

Don't feel so good this morning. We had the office party last night. The low minded among you will pretend to find some sort of connection.

Be back later.

Monday, December 13, 2004

On the Nod 

I knew naming an official New Jersey State Soil would have a big pay-off. According to John Shabe's The Jersey Side we now have the nation's purest heroin.

I Buy Lotto Tickets, Too 

I read Thomas Hibbs review at NRO of the movie Sideways, which is out on DVD. As it happens, I watched it last night, courtesy of my friend Ian, who's on the SAG nominating committee this year.

I liked it very much, for many of the same reasons as Mr. Hibbs. It's filled with the mess and bother of real life and the ambiguity of most of our decisions, but it has almost heroic affection for these comically flawed characters.

It's sweet, fundamentally, but it doesn't want you to forget Paul Giamatti's character stole $1000 from his mother in one of the opening scenes.

Here's what I like about it though. I want to believe in a world where Virginia Madson can fall for a not very good looking, overweight, neurotic, unsuccessful writer. For some reason that appeals to me. Of course, that's not this world, but it's nice to think about.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


I've gotten an education in toilets after fixing my tenant's the last two days. Zero drips achieved. I know I've arrived in Suburbialand when I feel like thumping my chest after fixing a toilet.

Speaking of toilets you have to read Mo-Do's column (registration required) in the Times today. A more purile piece has never swirled an American Standard. It's not remarkable that she wrote it. She's dipped this low before, although perhaps not sustained throughout an entire column. It's just unbelievable, though, that someone at the Times didn't sit her down and stage an intervention. Yikes.

Here's a sample:

On the first day of Christmas, my Rummy sent to me
a Saddam pigeon in a palm tree.
Not knowing Osama's address, Rummy hastened to 'Potamia -
and a mess, exhorting his pal Cheney,
"Let's bomb Baghdad again, golly gee!"

On the second day of Christmas, my Rummy sent to me
two dead-ender turtle doves (Colin and Kofi),
flowers and chocolates from the ninny Chalabi,
and a billion Arabs mad at me.

Yes, through 12 excruciating days.
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