THERE’S A METAPHOR IN HERE SOMEWHERE DEPT. (first in an occasional series): There’s lots more airplanes in the ocean than there are submarines in the sky.
Friday, September 27, 2002 2:19 pm
I missed this when it first came out, so thanks to Ken Layne for referring to it: John Densmore of The Doors has penned a piece on why it’s a bad idea for rock bands to let Madison Avenue use their songs in ads. I have never understood why bands would take the money … I mean, there are plenty of honest ways for bands to make money off their music these days. And I have really never understood why people are so eager to let advertisers market the priceless memories of their youth back to them.
Thursday, September 26, 2002 1:26 pm
In all the excitement about political tiffs and whatnot, I completely forgot the big news: We’re getting rain here at Drought Central, thanks to Isidore (I’m unsure whether it’s a hurricane, a tropical storm or just a big, disorganized mess at the moment.) It won’t be nearly as much as they get in Louisiana, of course, and it won’t be enough to remedy our long-term problem, but for the next couple of weeks — which, fortuitously, is lawn-seeding season here — we should be OK. Long-term, who knows? October is historically pretty dry here, and God only knows what El Nino will do to our winter precip.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002 11:38 am
Monday, September 23, 2002 4:06 pm
Woo-hoo! The Panthers are 3-0 and still tied for the NFC South lead! (And among only six remaining undefeated teams!)
Friday, September 20, 2002 3:51 pm
Bacon! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing … except removing maggots, apparently.
(Hat tip: Mimi Smartypants)
I probably have any recollection at all of my dreams fewer than 10 nights per year. I have a long, detailed recollection of my dreams perhaps once every couple of years. The most recent such dream, which I had sometime after midnight last night, suggests that this is probably a good thing. In this particular production:
Other than all the stuff that’s been in the news about who’s really Miss North Carolina, I have no idea where all this is coming from. Serious attempts at interpretation gratefully accepted. Punch lines, too, cuz right now I got nothin’.
As a long-time, which also means long-suffering, Atlanta Braves fan, I’ve been tickled beyond words over this year’s version of the New York Mets, a high-priced assemblage purchased for the specific purpose of knocking my beloved Braves off their National League East perch. Tickled, of course, because the Mets currently reside a bare half-game out of the division cellar, six games under .500 and 23 1/2 games behind the Braves. In other words, they were mathematically eliminated weeks ago.
Up to now, I’d just sort of assumed that the Mets’ performance this year was merely another example of how money might buy talent but can’t buy hustle and desire. But now, Newsday suggests that there might be more to it: namely, that a good third or so of the squad has been smokin’ dope.
I could get all hacked off about this. But you know what? After a year of debate on the war, intelligence failures, thievin’ corporate executives and other truly serious problems, it feels better just to snicker at the thought of a $5-million-a-year Met sitting on second base as a teammate lofts a lazy fly to deep right, thinking, “Yeah, I could tag up and take third, but I’d rather just sit here and think about chocolate-chip cookies.” Also, it’s good to have a legitimate reason to laugh at New Yorkers again.
Thursday, September 19, 2002 2:53 pm
Wednesday, September 18, 2002 7:13 pm
If you’re like me, or even if you’re not, you probably think that most TV ads for beer are aimed at morons. Now there’s proof (see “Beer Market Study” under “latest information” on the right) … along with an opportunity for any beer brand seriously interested in growing market share.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002 10:23 am
If you view the world through mud-colored glasses, here’s a fortune cookie just for you. (Yes, this kind also works even if you add the phrase ” … in bed” or ” … in Vegas.”)
Monday, September 16, 2002 5:13 pm
Woo-hoo! The Panthers are 2-0 and tied for the NFC South lead! Who’da thunk it?
Friday, September 13, 2002 11:37 am
And, continuing in the bad-news arena, Johnny Unitas died Wednesday. He was my favorite football quarterback when I was a kid, the guy I always tried to watch on Sundays even before I understood a helluva lot about football. Indeed, the more I learned about football — and I didn’t learn a whole lot until after Unitas had retired — the more I respected what he accomplished and the way he did it: focus, perception, determination, icy calm, unyielding toughness.
There are a lot of Unitas stories, but my favorite comes from Bubba Smith, who played defensive end for Unitas’ Baltimore Colts teams before going on to movie stardom in the “Police Academy” series: “A guy broke through the line, hit him, pushed his head in the ground. He called the same play, let the guy come through and broke his nose with the football. I said, ‘That’s my hero.’ ”
Mine, too. God rest him.
Thanks a lot, he said ironically, to Eric Alterman of MSNBC and The Nation for the lovely news that Warren Zevon, one of the singer-songwriter heroes of my misspent youth, is dying of untreatable lung cancer.
Zevon hasn’t had many hits — your average reader will recall him, if at all, as the guy who did “Werewolves of London” — but he has been hugely influential. He also wrote “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me,” “Mohammed’s Radio” and “Carmelita,” all of which Linda Ronstadt had hits with back in the day. I loved him because he was equally adept at heartfelt love songs (“Tenderness on the Block,” say) and the kind of atavism that took the laid-back LA singer-songwriter ethos and turned it inside out, blood, guts and all, in such songs as “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and “Play It All Night Long.” In particular, his music was a significant chunk of the soundtrack to my senior year of college, when clinical depression, academic problems, romantic problems, massive consumption of alcohol and sleep deprivation caused by being both a full-time overnight disc jockey and a full-time student combined to render me damned near null and void. It was “Lawyers, Guns and Money” before every party and “Mohammed’s Radio,” complete with gospel harmony, on the road back from an impromptu, post-midnight trip to Myrtle Beach.
Some of the atavism of his music was born of his long struggle with alcohol. I know he dried out at least once (and produced an outstanding live album, “Stand in the Fire,” in the immediate wake of doing so), but I get the feeling the battle has raged off and on for years. Let’s face it, when Hunter S. Thompson shows up as a guest artist on your most recent album, the public at least has a right to be suspicious. :-)
Publicly, at least, Zevon seems to be taking this in stride: “I’m okay with it, but it’ll be a drag if I don’t make it till the next James Bond movie comes out.” The guy’s been living on borrowed time for years and seems to know it. Still, I’ll miss him. People with his level and variety of talent aren’t getting record contracts these days, and life is a helluva lot less interesting as a result.
UPDATE 9/26/02: Here’s a cool article on Zevon from the LA Times.
Thursday, September 12, 2002 4:16 pm
“I’m sorry, buddy, I still can’t understand you.”
“I SEE DA MOON.”
“OH! You see the moon!”
“You were telling Daddy you can see the moon!”
“That’s your first full sentence, buddy, you know that?”
“Now, what do we say to the moon?”
“We say, ‘La luna! La bella luna! Owoooooooooooooo!’”
(More peels of giggles)
“Can you say that?”
Wednesday, September 11, 2002 9:56 am
A moment of silence.
Thank you. Talk to you tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 10, 2002 11:29 pm
In the column to the left [in the original Blog on the Run template; you'll notice that my blogroll is now on the right], you’ll note that I link to my friend David Allen’s blog, Thoughtcrimes. He has added a new feature: responses to people who have had letters to the editor published in area publications. If you’ve ever suspected that letters to the editor are created on 2GHz computers by 2Hz minds, David probably speaks for you.
Monday, September 9, 2002 9:22 am
Sunday, September 8, 2002 10:56 am
So I open up the paper yesterday (how Old Economy of me, I know), only to find out that for the first time in something like 63 home exhibition, regular-season and playoff games, the Carolina Panthers won’t be on TV today because today’s game (vs. Ravens) wasn’t a sell-out. Yea, verily, there were almost 2,000 tickets left at the deadline.
What the hell is up with that??
I can understand the local TV station in Charlotte that would have carried the game not buying up those tickets because it probably couldn’t make up that additional money in advertising revenue. But are you telling me that Hugh McColl couldn’t pony up $25,000 or so to make sure the team in which his bank has a financial interest gets on TV?
Dude, where’s my game?
Here’s another from my friend Jim in Atlanta: “The Rules for Guys” (actually, I guess it’d be slightly more accurate to call it “Guys’ Rules for Girls,” but whatever).
“Please note,” says the unknown author, “that these are all numbered ’1′ ON PURPOSE!”
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
1. Birthdays, Valentines, and anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again!
1. Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live with it.
1. Saturday = sports. It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
1. Don’t cut your hair. Ever. Long hair is always more attractive than short hair. One of the big reasons guys fear getting married is that married women always cut their hair, and by then you’re stuck with her.
1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And, no, we are never going to think of it that way.
1. Crying is blackmail.
1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
1. We don’t remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently beforehand.
1. Most guys own three pairs of shoes – tops. What makes you think we’d be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?
1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. A headache that last for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
1. If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us. We refuse to answer.
1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
1. Let us ogle. We are going to look anyway; it’s genetic. Besides, you look, too. Yes, you DO.
1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do we.
1. The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two months we were going out. Get over it. And quit whining to your girlfriends.
1. If you really want us to do things we don’t want to do or talk about things we don’t want to talk about, you might consider more frequent scheduling of that little trick you do that you sometimes refer to as “The Anniversary Present.” Don’t think of it as bribery. Think of it as … well, you may think the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but we suspect that the last time your guy slammed his hands on the nearest flat surface and screamed, “Oh, God, yes! Yes! YESSSSSS!!!” it wasn’t because he’d just taken a bite of your garlic mashed potatoes.
1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. We have no idea what mauve is.
1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
1. We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.
1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lint, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.
1. No, REALLY, you DO have too many shoes.
1. It is neither in your best interest nor ours to take the quiz together. No, it doesn’t matter which quiz.
1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know we really don’t mind that? It’s like camping.
Friday, September 6, 2002 9:37 pm
My friend Jim in Atlanta is occasionally guilty of passing on e-mail stuff that he knows I’ve probably seen before, having been at the same e-mail address since damn near the last time a Bush was president and all. But here’s one I hadn’t seen and liked a lot, and rather than forwarding it to everyone I know, I’m just gonna post it here. The person who sent it to Jim was named Mike, but it’s not clear from the e-mail whether Mike is actually the author. (If anyone does know the author, I’ll happily credit him/her.)
OK, here we go:
E-MAIL 12-STEP PROGRAM
(EVERYONE SAY IT WITH ME …)
1. I will NOT get bad luck, lose my friends, or lose my mailing lists if I DON’T forward an email!
2. I will NOT hear any music or see a taco dog if I DO forward an e-mail.
3. Bill Gates is NOT going to send me money, and Victoria’s Secret doesn’t know anything about a gift certificate they’re supposed to send me.
4. Ford will NOT give me a 50% discount if I forward my e-mail to MORE than 50 people!
5. I will NEVER receive gift certificates, coupons, or freebies from Coca Cola, Cracker Barrel, Old Navy, or anyone else if I send an e-mail to 10 people.
6. I will NEVER see a pop-up window if I forward an e-mail … NEVER … NEVER!
7. There is NO SUCH THING as an e-mail tracking program, and I am not STUPID enough to think that someone will send me $100 for forwarding an e-mail to 10 or more people!
8. There is NO kid with cancer through the Make-a-Wish program in England collecting anything! He did when he was 7 years old. He is now cancer-free and 35 years old and DOESN’T WANT ANY MORE POSTCARDS, or GET-WELL CARDS.
9. The government does NOT have a bill in Congress called 901B (or whatever they named it this week) that, if passed, will enable them to charge us 5 cents for every e-mail we send.
10. There will be NO cool dancing, singing, waving, colorful flowers, characters, or programs that I will receive immediately after I forward an e-mail. NONE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA!
11. The American Red Cross will NOT donate 50 cents to a certain individual dying of some never-heard-of disease for every e-mail address I send their e-mail to. The American Red Cross RECEIVES donations.
12. And finally, I WILL NOT let others guilt me into sending things by telling me I am not their friend or that I don’t believe in Jesus Christ. If God wants to send me a message, I believe the bushes in my yard will burn before He picks up a PC to pass it on!
Now, repeat this to yourself until you have it memorized, and send it along to at least 5 of your friends before the next full moon or you will surely be constipated for the next three months and all of your hair will fall out! (OK, Lex again, and I’m pretty sure the author was just kidding in this last part.)
“What’s that on your shirt?”
“Um, well, it’s throw-up, sweetie.”
“Your brother threw up on me.”
“Oh. Did he mean to?”
“No, sweetie, he’s just got a tummy bug.”
“Oh.” (pause) “What are those white things on the rug?”
“That’s what milk looks like after it’s been in your tummy for a while.”
“Daddy, it smells like throw-up in here.”
“Well, your brother just threw up in here, so that makes sense.”
“Daddy, do you need a towel?”
“Sweetie, I need about four towels.”
“OK, I’ll go get ‘em.”
“Thank you, sweetie.”
Wednesday, September 4, 2002 4:24 pm
I’m still processing how I feel about the upcoming anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. On the one hand, it is quite literally my job to devote a fair amount of time and effort to marking the anniversary. But on a personal level, I am, shall we say, somewhat attenuated: Although I once lived in New York and still have friends there, I lost no one in the attacks there (or elsewhere); the people I knew for whose lives I had feared all turned up alive and well, eventually. Certainly, I understand the consequences that have ensued for our nation, but I hesitate even to say anything about it from a personal standpoint, because my personal stake in what happened that day is so miniscule.
So I can understand the position of (the presumably pseudonymous) Mimi Smartypants, whose take on 9/11 (contained in a larger and entertaining but mostly unrelated rant) goes something like this:
I find all the upcoming hoopla about the September 11 anniversary just nauseating. Mostly because it seems so self-serving on most people’s parts, to “share their memories” and first-person accounts. If anything, shouldn’t you feel that you barely have a RIGHT to share your first-person account? Other people lost family members. Other people didn’t sleep for days as they tried to dig for survivors. Other people were grateful and excited when they found a torso. Other people ran up the stairs of a burning building. You are sitting around using your thesaurus to come up with more emotional hyperbole, perhaps even (god forbid) in the form of painfully bad rally-around-the-flag poetry. My office building even promised to have extra counselors working the employee counseling hotline on the anniversary itself. What, we are going to have posttraumatic stress disorder as we recall watching CNN on that day? I’m sorry to not be a handholding candlelighting “patriot,” but if I had lost family or friends at the WTC and someone who had not tried to share his “personal 9/11 story” with me, I think I’d have to punch him in the mouth.
If, like me, you’re a fan of Television Without Pity’s snarky recaps of TV shows (being as I have more time to read the recaps than I do to watch the shows, these days), then click, do not walk, to Blogcritics’ recap of MTV’s Video Music Awards. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll snark.