Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Wogs Begin At Calais 

Happy Trafalgar day.

Seafood, Mama 

With a fork in my hand I'm not much of a fish guy. And keep your bi-valved and tentacled creatures away, please. There's not enough garlic and hot sauce in the world for me to get those boys down. But a nice mild, meaty, white fish, when it's done right, is a real treat.

Down the Shore has a recipe for striper that is simple and made my Pavlovian chimes ring.

Good Thing He Wasn't a Gretzky Fan 

My musings below on the nature of fanhood have been put in perspective by a gentleman from Oklahoma City. Eric James Torpy (the name sounds like a product of the Serial Killer Alias Generator) was sentenced to thirty years for armed robbery.

He demanded to be given a thirty-three year sentence. The judge agreed.

The reason?
"He said if he was going to go down, he was going to
go down in Larry Bird's jersey," Oklahoma County
District Judge Ray Elliott said Wednesday. "We
accommodated his request and he was just as happy
as he could be.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tina Brown 

Let's all admit it, we all read and enjoyed Maureen Dowd when she was beating up on Boy Clinton. As I've said before, when the thing that is pursued is something that you love, it's a witchhunt. When the object of pursuit is a thing that you hate, it looks very much like justice.

Still, she's pretty much of an idiot, isn't she?

On the other hand, Tina Brown is a scribestress with whom I very rarely agree, but never miss reading. The gal can write and she almost always has something to say. These days, she's saying it in the New York Sun.
The age of the blogosphere has produced a new genre
of mainstream journalism: fake transparency. The New
York Times has become its foremost practitioner. The
paper of record has been arraigned for arrogance so
many times in the last three years that it has forgotten
how useful arrogance can be. The Gulliver of West 43rd
Street has gotten so spooked that now it preemptively
lies down, affixes bonds to its wrists and ankles, and
invites the Lilliputians of cyberspace to walk all over it.
The article tries to pin what she sees as a anxious vacuousness in the major media on blogs "baying to be fed" but, really, the truncation of the news cycle has much more to do with cable news, doesn't it? Blogs are still largely reactive. Those that project political fantasy and paranoia drive nothing except brief bubbles, quickly 'edited' by the self-correcting distributed model of the blog information system.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the seething cauldrons of subterranean magma at DU and Freep do move the polity by heaving up caldera over which actual information has to flow. I tend to think of them as political porn shops, though, where deviants can harmlessly gather. Sure, there will be incidents from time to time, but isn't it better to give them a place to let off steam before they hurt someone?

Major media complaints about the corrosive and corrupting influence of blogs are a little embarrassing, like GM whining about skateboards.

Read the article for an amusing and informative take on the Judith Miller fiasco, but forgive the blog-bashing as the reflexive notions of an on-dead-tree lifer.

The Morphology of Fandom 

I was glad that Houston won last night, even though I'm supposed to be something of a Cardinal fan. Maybe it's because Houston has Clemens and Pettitte, two former Yankees, or the manager is a former Pirate. Maybe it's because St. Louis has become the beast of the National League. I think it's just because I like the way the Astros play. Which probably means I've become an Astro fan without knowing it. Great.

I spent my first twelve years within 25 miles of the Golden Triangle where the Allegheny and Monongahela join to form the Ohio River. So the Pirates are hard wired. Countless hours of wiffle ball imitating the swing of Roberto Clemente and countless hours in bed with the Philco turned down low to listen to Bob Prince do the play-by-play (the set on the left is, as near as I can tell, the one I had as a kid, though mine was red) made me a Buc fan for life. And Steelers, Penguins, Panthers and, briefly, the Condors (ABA).

When we moved to New Jersey I stuck with my boys, but eventually the need for someone more local to root for asserted itself and by the time I settled on the Yankees, they were solidly in one of their rare hapless phases. I went away to college in St. Louis and picked up the Cardinals, but (obviously) never really took them to heart.

There was a short period where I was really playing up my Irish heritage (buying the Irish Echo, drinking Jameson exclusively) and I naturally became interested in Notre Dame.

A few years in the north-west and I picked up Washington State University, the U of Montana and Carroll College (I look them up every Sunday). Three years of doing musicals in North Carolina gave me NC State. I spent a summer in Tulsa thirty years ago and the fact that I saw my first college game there since WSU means I have to check their scores every week.

I acquired Colgate when I married a girl from Alex Bay, New York and when we divorced she got the records and I kept Colgate. Marrying a Palmetto girl added South Carolina. I live in Jersey City now and saw my first St. Peters game a few weeks ago. You have to be very patient to catch the St. Peters score on the ESPN crawl. For basketball, I'm a Nets fan and I'm sure I will be after they move to Brooklyn.

I'm a fan of some of these teams only in the sense that I look up their scores every week. I follow some of them closely only when they're doing well. The Pirates and the Steelers are the only teams that can ruin my day, but still, that's a lot of bookkeeping. No offense, Houston, but I'm hoping this is a one night stand.

Braveheart Was A Wuss 

Via Jim's friend, Mostly Cajun.

King Edward I
You scored 66 Wisdom, 77 Tactics, 53 Guts, and 43 Ruthlessness!

Or rather, King Edward the Longshanks if you've seen Braveheart.
You, like Edward, are incredibly smart and shrewd, but you win at
any costs.... William Wallace died at his hands after a fierce
Scottish rebellion against his reign. Despite his reputation though,
Longshankshad the best interests of his people at heart. But God
help you if you got on his bad side.
My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 52% on Unorthodox
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You scored higher than 78% on Tactics
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 43% on Guts
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You scored higher than 21% on Ruthlessness
Link: The Which Historic General Are You Test written by dasnyds on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Some Things Were Meant To Be 

Last week I was mooning on about a cover of Can't Help Falling In Love With You by an Irish Band called Lick The Tins which was used as the opening and closing credits music for The Snapper, a movie I'm fond of. I'd been looking for this cut for going on a decade. Well, I finally got it today and, to tell you the truth, I'm only semi-whelmed.

I guess that's almost inevitable, but I also think it has something to do with the fact that it was used perfectly in the movie and I associated it with the pleasure I got from that. There's just something about the bumpy, carefree, headlong nature of the song that was perfect for The Snapper.

I still like it and I hope you like it, but, if you're not knocked out, rent the movie.

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I Would Have Bet I Was a d10 

I am a d20

Take the quiz at dicepool.com

Via The Nightfly, who is unusual.


A Vote For The Future 

Congratulations to the people of Iraq for taking another step on the long, difficult road towards a modern democracy. Michael Rubin remarks in the WSJ:
The referendum result again
demonstrates that American policy-
and opinion-makers are more
pessimistic than are Iraqis. Part
of the problem is that Pentagon
officials and journalists alike chart
Iraq's success through misguided
metrics. Counting car bombs does
not demonstrate progress or lack
thereof in Iraq. Objective indicators
show that Iraqis have confidence that did not exist prior to

According to an Aug. 16, 2002, commentary in the
Guardian--a British newspaper that often opposes
U.S. foreign policy--one in six Iraqis had fled their
country under Saddam. Millions left because of war,
dictatorship and sanctions. Today, several hundred
thousand have returned; only the Christians still leave.
if Iraq were as chaotic as the media implies, it would
export refugees, not resettle them.
The nature of the media, the agenda of Bush-haters and a pervasive lack of confidence in ourselves has skewed our perception of events in the Middle East. The people of Iraq may end up having to save us from ourselves by being made of sterner stuff.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Has a Headset, Not Afraid To Use It 

The Goddess and I were walking along the street in Tribeca a couple years ago when our conversation was interrupted by the realization that we were standing in a forrest of nine foot tall people. We looked a little closer and realized that these people were all impossibly beautiful. Boys prettier than girls. What made it even odder was that all these people were arranged around the sidewalk as if they were conversing with each other, but everyone was staring off into space over the other people's shoulders. Creepy.

It turned out that we were outside the offices of one of the big modeling agencies and they were all out there waiting for a bus (sorry, Jitney) to take them out to the Hamptons for their agency picnic. Swear to God. Teddy Bears have picnics, why not models?

I had to leave work today to get Grace out of school for a trip to the dentist and, as we were walking along the street in Tribeca, we had a similar experience.

I didn't even notice it, but Gracie tugged on my sleeve and pointed out that everyone around us on the sidewalk (50-75 people) were standing still. Dressed for work, with briefcases, messenger bags, tool cases, but all standing perfectly still. Obviously some sort of shoot was being set up and everybody had been set to mark and was waiting for 'action'. Usually, when you wander anywhere near a shoot, you get assaulted by officious PAs and ordered to disappear.

Which is what happened. This little twerp with a headset came flying at us with a look of astonishment and outrage on his little twerp face. He seemed too upset to talk and just made shooing motions. You give a first year film student a PA badge and a headset and you've created a monster.

Sometimes I worry that Grace is too respectful of authority (not really, but I do wonder if I should worry) but I was glad to see that she gave the twerp a dirty look and shooed him back. It earned her a couple thumbs up from the actors.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Carnival of The New Jersey Bloggers, Number 22 

The Duc Pond is where the Carnival is happening this week. Duc takes a nice straightforward approach. Get on over there and meet some new friends.
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