Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Beisbol Returns to Vashinktun Deesy
Even as I write I'm listen to mush-mouthed Mayor Anthony "I'm Not a Scary Black Man Even Though I Wear A Bow Tie" Williams talk about MLB bringing the Expos (headline: "Expos - Facto!") to the District of Columbia. What a bunch of slobber. And I don't mean the drool the mayor seems to keep having to suck back into his mouth as he speaks. All the money that will go into the reconstruction of RFK (nee DC) Stadium will be magic money. "Major" businesses will pay more taxes, taxes will be on tickets, parking concessions so the good ratepayers of Washington will not be burdened. To quote Edna Krabappel: "Ha!" Perhaps, were I a fan of the "national pastime," I might care about this. But instead I'm going to have to put up with a spewing orgy of self-congratulation and vast gouts of inconsequential drivel. I'll check to see what they name the team. After that. F(orget) 'em. I have Footy, NCAA hoops and ... OK, I will admit to watching NFL games as well. Oh, and whatever coverage of the TdF I can scare up.

UPDATE: I was unkind to the mayor. I hear on the news that he has a cold. I apologize for the comment above and hope he is over it soon. He's a bit of mush-mouth even without the cold though.
It's all over now including the shouting. Congratulations to the Port Adelaide Power! In a magnificently played final quarter, the Power closed down a thuggish Brisbane Lion team which has pulled the last three Premierships. The final score was the Power 113 (17 goals, 11 behinds) to the Lions' 73 (10 goals, 13 behinds). A convincing 40 point win.
A Collingwood fan can only be heartened that the Magpies' four straight championships is a record that will be preserved against the depredations of the despised Lions. The Pies definitely had a down year but there is some joy in seeing the Lions not win out. Next year looks to be even more interesting as the Lions look to be older and on the decline. The upcoming teams such as Geelong and Essendon might be better still and who knows what St. Kilda will do after their amazing undefeated run at the start of the season. But screw dem guys! We want Collingwood to win it all! If the spate of injuries that plagued the Pies this season is over, it just might be another good year.
It's too early to say. Stay tuned.

Oh, at the opening ceremonies an "Australian Idol" winner, who looks disturbingly like the supposedly male Osbourne kid, butchered "Waltzing Matilda" like a mental patient with a machete and a grudge. Awful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Added to the Blogroll
See the comments below (on the "Heard in Passing" post) and you'll understand why I add "Caught in the X Fire" to the links. The addition has the benefit of giving you easy access to some funny stuff. SRV, thanks for visiting!
Ah Shite!
After hoping that neither Calleigh Duquesne or Tim Speedle would be iced in "CSI: Miami," I watched to see Speed catch it. Nuts. I liked that character. I wish they'ed offed that pretty-boy scuba-diver bunwad.

Oh well. What will the "NYPD Blue" be like tonight? Charlotte Ross. Tasty.

Monday, September 20, 2004

My Thanks Again to the Grouchy Old Cripple In Atlanta
Denny was kind enough to select my work for his Monday pun. As far as puns go, I retreat to the Peter Lorre excuse: "I can't help myself."
I'm A Fan
There's not a heck of a lot I'm looking forward to in the new TV season. I'll watch "Survivor" mostly. I am intrigued by the challenges they come up with and the production designers are really quite good. The "immunity idols" they've designed for each location are rather clever. But this is all by way of introduction to Monday's return of CSI: Miami. It's not a perfect show but it is worth watching. The broadcast teasers are all pointing toward one of the CSI team getting killed in the season opener. All I can say is that if they are thinking of doing harm to Emily Procter's character Calleigh Duquesne, I will stop watching the show. And they shouldn't mess with Rory Cochrane's Tim Speedle either. Any of the others are good to go. Though I don't expect lead actor and moody carrot-top David Caruso's Horatio Cane to be flushed in the initial episode.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Heard In Passing
In tuning past a re-run of "Cops," I heard the following, completely devoid of context: "He's got a .38 snubbie in his underwear."
Comment would be superfluous.

More Brilliant Design Ideas
A while back I suggested printing purple hearts on Band-Aids and reports from the Grand Old Party Party in New York indicates that someone actually did it since conventioneers were wearing them. And The GOC had a great image of a Band-Aid package in the same jocular vein.

My next idea is headwear for those who might be attending Kerry events: a beret printed to look like a waffle. There's something in the carrying of spatulas ("flippers") as well but I haven't quite sussed it out. Of course the "Kerry flip-flops" are already available. What about swimming flippers as well? "As well," meaning in addition to, not at the same time. Of course.

More Thanks due to the GOC
Denny has posted my latest image edit: "Hurricane Dan." Not that it's all that sophisticated but it amused me.
Unfit For Command
Let me boil it down: If you can't run a campaign, you can't run a country.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Got dam!
When did this become a review blog?
Below I put up a post that is rather cryptic and it is meant to be. It is from me to one person in a public place. I apologize that it is so narrowly intended but it was necessary for me to do in public what I am no longer able to do in private.
Then I post about Acidman and had to consider how much of his life he has laid bare for the scrutiny of anyone who has net access.
How much of my life am I willing to open to casual inspection? Not much. What does a private person blog about? Movies, books and music it would seem.

But the question is how much of my life should I lay open for the blog reader? I have the feeling that the readers of my blog already know me (well - mostly) well enough that if I tried to be coy and write about really, intensely personal and meaningful things, I would be giving up way too much information. I'd love to hear from y'all about this issue. Leave comments for the nonce but I will set up an e-mail addy for the blog shortly.

Return to review blogging tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Additions After The Subtraction
A weather eye cast to the right shows a few changes in the old sidebar. First, added to the links is Rob "Acidman" Smith as "Way Off Base in Jawja." I'll leave the explanation of "Acidman" to the man himself on his own site but I will point out that "off base" (i.e. acidic, not "base" or alkali) is my tribute to his acidity. He is a Georgia resident who's been up and down, strayed and stayed, been kicked while he was down and had the grit (a word that means more than ground hominy) to face up to how he was treated and the honesty to tell his continuing story.
I don't want to go into details about his story because it's his story but I will say he writes agonizing truth with verve and colloquial wit. If you aren't familiar with his site, explore it. Read his stories of abuse at the hands of an ex-wife and imagine yourself in his circumstances. Could you endure it? I haven't had to go through nearly what he has and I was left devastated at a number of critical junctures. He's known Mike Cross as long as I have but he's had the enviable experience of actually playing guitar with Mike. Jealousy is a weak word for what I, as a musical incompetent, feel. I say this again: if you haven't read him, go and do so. There's a lot there so expect, if you're going to visit the archives (which I most strongly suggest), to spend some time in Acidman's parlor. Even though he hates cats, he is one blogger I'd really like to meet.
(I like cats well enough but I'm more a dog person - witness the site and the handle.)

And Music Longings
Please remember that the "Longings" sidehead is a place for my music habit. I decided at the outset of the year that I would get two discs a month. I could easily spend $100 a month on music I want but then I'd have to buy a 40gig iPod as well. So for budgetary and sanity reasons I limit myself to two discs a month and I try to blog them as well. This month I have acquired Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Between Here and Gone" and Christine Collister's "The Dark Gift of Time."
I am a huge Mary Chapin Carpenter fan. I've seen her play live only a couple of times and currently own only a few of her discs but I could listen to her sing forever. There is a depth to her tonal quality that is not the pitch but a resonance, possibly just something that reaches an echo in me. Of course she is a marvelous songwriter (does
anyone not know that? -Ed) which doesn't hurt. But the current disc is the subject at hand. I was introduced to it by hearing the song "Elysium" on Radio Io Acoustic. I was mesmerized. It is a beautiful song, lyrically engaging and, well, just downright gorgeous. But I did wonder if the rest of the songs were as good. I have bought a disc on the basis of one song and been left regretting the impulse (cough, cough, Harvey Danger cough, cough). Still, I pursued Jake Armerding after hearing one song on Radio Io and MCC is a better-known commodity than Jake so.... I have the album. I have ripped it into iTunes, downloaded it to my iPod and burned a copy for play in the car. This is a wonderful disc. I won't dissect every song as that would be just tedious so let me just say that "Elysium" is the best song in the collection. The others are fantastic as well. Just not as good. If you, like my gummint lawyer friend Bill, only like songs with bitchin' guitar solos, then don't get this CD. If you tend to like Mary Chapin Carpenter, then you really should own it.

Secondarily, though first in the linkage, is Christine Collister's "The Dark Gift of Time." I don't know how well known she is but she has a wonderful alto voice (this being said by one who tends to like women who sing in higher pitches - "whiny Canadian chick singer-songwriters" being a peculiar fave). She writes only some of the material she records which is not a drawback. Her 1994 live album has a version of Joni Mitchell's "Shades of Scarlett Conquering" which is the only cover I've heard that can even come close to the original. And she does a great take on Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" on that disc.

"Dark Gift of Time" is good. Unfortunately, not as good as her 2002 CD "Into the Light" which features her own "Ashlands" and a very good take on U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." This sounds like damning with faint praise which is not the impression I want to convey. I like "Light" better than I do "Gift" but I am delighted to own both. Perhaps it's a peculiarity of mine but when I like an artist, I want to get all of his/her/their recorded output. I'm a fan of Christine Collister, no doubt. However, if you're new to her, listen to "Into the Light" as your first taste. I think you'll be a fan too.

Monday, September 13, 2004

You know who you are. I hope, I pray, that nothing I did led you to make the decision. I will miss you more than you would believe.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Light Posting
I apologize for the lack of posts but there is so much going on in the political blogosphere that I have been reading, reading, reading. I should link, link, link and synthesize but I feel it'd be just regurgitation rather than elucidation.

Monday, September 06, 2004

So Sue Me
Watching the US Open on CBS reminds me just how cute Lindsay Davenport is. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who thinks that (apart from her husband of course - Ed.). The picture at the link does not do her justice. My explanation of this is that she has a really wonderful smile. I find the Williams sisters just far too grim to ever be attractive. Still, being the old fart that I am, Chis Evert is the best looking tennis player since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Return of MovieDog
August was a month of Blockbuster separating me from my hard-earned cash. I did watch a few speeches from the Republican Party Party in New York but with all the reruns prior to the start of the new season it was a good time to watch movies.

First, Kill Bill Vol. 2: I promised myself that I wouldn't give Tarantino another dollar after renting the execrable Vol. 1 and I failed in that promise. But it's a small regret as Vol. 2 is actually a movie, not an mass spasm of pure style. There is much to dislike as in any QT movie. Uma Thurman for example. She did a good job with the fighting but why she is considered such a knockout beauty is beyond me. The scene of Michael Madsens' character Budd in the strip club where he works as a bouncer is just a waste of time. Though it was interesting to see that the club boss is played by Joey Bishop's son. I'll leave it at that. More dissection would put me in the company of The Filthy Critic and he is the Pai Mei (it's in the flick) to my Beatrix Kiddo (ditto) in that regard. Bottom line - if you watched Vol. 1, you actually must rent Vol. 2 in order to see the movie that you were cheated out of in the first installment.

Next, Open Range: Kevin Costner just can't stay away from Westerns. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Westerns have a great advantage over many other types of movies in that they are made for the big screen. "Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above/Don't fence me in!" (I'll stop singing now.) This flick is beautiful. It is worth seeing just for the landscapes. It doesn't hurt that it features a talented cast as well. Costner, for all his faults, could play this role in his sleep. He and Robert Duvall are perfectly paired. Both men have played these roles before (Duvall in "Lonesome Dove" and a much younger Costner in "Silverado"). They don't act. They inhabit these roles. I don't want to neglect Annette Bening. In an earlier post I disparaged Sharon Stone for not having aged well. Now I have to say that Annette is the polar opposite in that regard. She is aging not merely well but beautifully. The laugh lines at the sides her mouth and the delicate crow's feet (strange adjective to use there but look at her dagnabbit!) could be the instruction manual for the graceful aging of beautiful women. There is a good bit of violence in "Open Range" but it is integral to the story. Don't feel obliged to see this one but if you're in the mood for a Western, you could do a lot worse.

Other movies that MovieDog will sniff the butts of in the near future are "Timeline," "The Last Samurai" and "Lost in Translation." More to come.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

New Policies
First, please don't feed the trolls. It's like teaching a pig to dance: it wastes your time and only annoys the pig.

Second, the siteowner will edit comments at his whim. So if you want to scrumble, you will be doing it on my terms.