June 2006 Archives

Lessons never learned, part one

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After ten beers, an hour nap becomes a five hour nap, completely ruining your night.

Also, I'm moving to Clearwater. No, I'm not becoming a $cientologist, I'm just moving back in with Jenn. Yay.

We might as well be debating perestroika

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On Monday, June 12th, Major League Baseball suspended Jason Grimsley 50 games for his role in a federal investigation involving human growth hormone (HGH).

The suspension of the already-unemployed Grimsley -- a folk hero of mine for his role in the Mission Impossible-style replacement of Albert "Joey" Belle's bat in 1999 -- precipitated a torrent of attention toward the substance now considered a bigger threat to fair play in professional sport than steroids, which, unlike HGH, can be detected in testing. Baseball's launched its own investigation into HGH abuse, and sports talk radio has latched onto the HGH debate as its primary topic of conversation.

Thing is, they're all about 20 years late into the conversation. This isn't a matter of closing the barn door after the horse has escaped, it's more an issue of returning to the farm after it's been a Wal-Mart for a few decades.

In 1988, I was a ten-year-old fifth grader at St. Augustine Catholic School, a tiny K-8 institution in my hometown of Napoleon, Ohio. My father, coach of football, basketball, and tennis, also directed the NHS speech team, having been introduced to forensics in college and turning out to be quite successful at the activity. Eager to introduce me to competitive speech, he brought me to the high school one evening to observe practice. One of the young team members was a boy who was my first real role model, a St. Augustine alum named Matt Gunter. Matt would later go on to graduate from Notre Dame and find a successful career in accounting. Four years ahead of me in school, Matt exhibited academic and athletic leadership that I really wanted to emulate. That evening, though, Matt was a freshman practicing a persuasive speech he'd written about the abuse of a substance called human growth hormone. He presented anecdotes about people suffering from pituitary gland disorders that stunted their growth -- mentioning a diminuitive fifth grade classmate of mine named Melanie -- and how HGH was ending up in the hands of professional athletes instead of people like Melanie, who actually needed it.

The speech provided solutions on institutional and legislative levels, suggesting reform in the methods of manufacturing and distribution, and I was moved by the idea that public speaking could target a specific social problem and provide ways for the public to act on a solution.

That was 18 years ago, and we're just now bringing the HGH debate to a national level.

Why weren't we listening to people like Matt back then? Denial about the lengths to which athletes will go to enhance their abilties is one reason. The August 23, 1983 New York Times featured an article discussing the possibility of doping issues creeping into the upcoming 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. At the time, the USOC head of drug testing was a West German named Dr. Manifred Donike. Donike dismissed the value of HGH, explaining work to stop its proliferation would be useless, and future drug scandals were unlikely:

Dr. Donike said those days might be over. He said drug problems in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics should be minute. He dismissed claims for the effectiveness of HGH (human growth hormone), supposedly the newest wonder drug for athletes. ''Chances are small,'' he said, ''that's there's anything else out there.''

HGH was one of the first genetically-engineered substances, and the first to result from the Genentech organization, which enthusiastically promoted its synthesis at the cost of research into its possible abuse (April 18, 1984 Financial Times).

Genentech is now the world's leading biotech firm with a value of $82 billion.

In 1989, West German (forgive my consistent use of the term, I'm dealing with a bit of ostalgie today) magazine Stern published a report that Seoul Olympic tri-gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner had received HGH from a fellow runner. Joyner laughed off the allegations.

The 1992 death of NFL star Lyle Alzado brought new attention to the debate. Alzado maintained his fatal brain tumor was due to his years of steroid abuse, though individuals familiar with Alzado's regimen have maintained he switched to HGH after the NFL's introduction of drug testing in 1987. As HGH directly affects the behavior of the pituitary gland, situated at the base of the brain, it's not a stretch to assume HGH might have been a contributor to his cancer.

Joyner herself died in 1998, having experienced a major brain seizure. Joyner retired from competition immediately after the '88 Olympics, and suffered major seizures starting in 1990 and continuing on until her death.

Did HGH kill Alzado and Joyner? Is it more than a "natural body substance" as suggested in a 1990 New England Journal of Health article? Are the side effects more severe than enlarged facial features and "gigantism"?

I'm not laying out those arguments here. What I am saying is that the current investigations being undertaken by Congress and Major League Baseball are laughable. HGH has been a problem in professional sports for more than 20 years, and it shouldn't have taken the search of a journeyman reliever's house to instigate the investigation of its abuse. It's time for sports organizations to confront their denial and for the public to ask why it's taken so phenomenally long to get to the bottom of the issue.

This has been #3 in a series of "30 in 30" essays.

An unfamiliar experience

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I had an experience today that I've not had in more than five years.

My lettuce had grown a bit out of control, owing to my daylight hours being dedicated to teaching, studying, and soccer for the past month or so, and it now being summer I thus ran out today to get my hairs cut. A new and heavily-promoted branch of Sport Clips recently opened down the street, and, enticed by the radio spots identifying it as "the place for men," I turned my back on my usual barber shop and entered Sport Clips.

The barber shop experience is important to me. My earliest memories of.. anything, really, are of my father taking me to the underground shop off Perry Street -- the main downtown drag in my hometown of Napoleon, Ohio. The two proprietors were old men who smoked cigars and had themselves long passed ever needing haircuts. In the back of their dark, smoky shop, they ran a shoe repair operation, one I never witnessed actually being patronized. Their magazine racks featured Sport Magazine in the front (have you ever seen a copy of Sport somewhere other than a barber shop?) and Playboy behind. The whole establishment reeked with the sweet smell of Vitalis.

I loved it.

The permitted topics of conversation were as broad as... well, they weren't broad at all. From January to October the Indians or Tigers were cursed or praised, with November and December being reserved for complaints about Brian Sipe and, later, Bernie Kosar. On rare occasions women or politics were debated. There was no discussion of how you liked your hair cut, as regardless of your head shape or hair type, you were going to be receiving a Princeton cut.


Figure One. The Princeton Cut.

So you sat in the ancient chair with the faded green vinyl seat and listened to the two old men argue about sports and you enjoyed a half hour away from women, because this is the barber shop, and women aren't allowed here.

Despite my feminist leanings, I've always believed in the barber shop experience, and one of the hardest parts of my many changes in residence have been finding a new barber. It was particularly bad in Zanesville, which is not wanting for barber shops, but is wanting for barbers who don't moonlight as butchers, practicing their craft on your scalp.

Exasperated at my inability to find a decent barber, I tried out the Regis salon at the mall, handing my head over to a cute, short redhead named Brittany. She wore faded, short camo pants and talked REALLY REALLY FAST. She also gave me the best haircut I've ever received, and when I returned a month later, I was astonished to find she'd been fired. Hell, I'd been planning on asking her out. The next best option was Wayne, a charming man whose skill in hairstyling was surpassed only by his flamboyant gayness. We bonded as fellow homeowners and I grew to look forward to my sessions with Wayne, even allowing him to wax my brows, once.

Yet I was anxious to return to the curses, cigars, and dirty magazines of the barber shop, and after an aborted attempt at becoming a regular at "Bob's," owing to a much-shorter-than-requested cut from an individual who wouldn't stop complaining about "those dirty Mexicans," I fell into the classic barber shop crowd at a place near the L.A. Hangout, where I've been a patron since.

Until today, when I became unfaithful and visited Sport Clips.

True to their word, the establishment is Sports-oriented. The outer lobby featured autographed pictures from Devil Rays and Lightning players, and a referee shirt-wearing cashier. A side gap allowed access to the rear of the establishment, which is where I assumed the barbers were. A sign above the cashier read: "SORRY. WE ONLY CUT MEN AND BOYS' HAIR."

The cashier, a girl of about 16, took my name and phone number, then told me to go on back. I shuffled over to the corner and crossed through the entry, only to find that this was not a barber shop. Yes, there were barber chairs, and the usual assortment of barber shop supplies (in addition to the as-advertised televisions broadcasting ESPN) but, to my shock and horror...

...There were no barbers. Instead, four women stood in the middle, wearing matching black "Sport Clips" polos and gossiping about someone's kid.

"You must be Tim," a large and out-of-shape woman said, approaching. "I'm Jean."

Jean resembled that girl in high school that everyone knew was a slut even though she was fat and ugly and you wondered who would have sex with her, and nobody admitted to it, yet for some reason everyone knew she was a slut. As I sat, terrified, in her gleaming new barber chair, I glanced at her Cosmetology certificate and realized Jean's photo was either from the 1980s or a party themed on the 1980s. Her hair, apparently having come straight out of a Whitesnake video, took up 90% of the picture. I was stunned to realize I was putting my hair in the hands of a woman who clearly could not even be trusted with her own.

I'll spare you the details of the haircut, the first one executed by a woman upon my lettuce since May 2001, but it's marginal. She didn't quite understand the intricacies of the thinning shears, or my request to have the back blocked off slightly higher. She could tell I wasn't comfortable with having a woman cut my hair. I imagined my individual hairs weaving back and forth to avoid her scissors. I wondered if maybe my Sports Clips was an anomaly, with the all-female staff, but their literature and wall decorations clearly indicated female stylists -- as does their web site.

Do they not understand the male barbershop experience? Do they not realize its very premise is the absence of women? Was I born 50 years too late, or am I just addicted to the smell of Vitalis combined with cigar smoke?

This is article #2 in an attempted 30 in 30 campaign.

Twenty years

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20 years ago, Len Bias lost his life to a cocaine overdose.

1986 marked the awakening of my sports-conscious being. While I vaguely remember sitting in the back room of my parents' first house in 1984 and watching Carl Lewis completely pwn the rest of Earth's Olympians (minus the Soviets who were sitting out because we totally ditched their party four years earlier. Place was dead anyway), I wasn't really sports-aware until 1986.

It started, of course, with Super Bowl XX. Those dancing, rapping Chicago Bears and their "Super Bowl Shuffle" were the stars of the first major sporting event I really remember watching with my father.

(Who let the unbelievably white/uncoordinated backup QB Steve Fuller dance in the front row? Even worse, they LET HIM SING! Err, "rap." Mike Singletary is particularly bad, too. And check out the punter! More cowbell!!!)

That's about the same year some outfit called the "Bleacher Bums" recorded a song about a man who was my idol, both athletically and professionally. Did I mention I just received my throwback #20 Orange Bowl jersey of his? Of course I didn't. But here's "Bernie, Bernie" to remind all you Clevelanders of the good ol' days. (Listening to it again, I swear I hear Peter Griffin in the background.)

Anyway, 1986 also found me discovering hockey, thanks to Jill, my babysitter who was from Buffalo and a rabid Sabres fan. (Until this point, I'd been a Red Wings fan without really knowing why. This is pretty much still the case.) I watched Montreal defeat the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup finals and am pretty sure no Canadian teams have been back since then.

(Sorry? Edmonton went this year? Cool... I would have watched, but I couldn't figure out what channel the games were on.)

Yet it was the NBA season that really got me interested in professional sports (outside of Cleveland, at least). My father loved Larry Bird and the rest of the Celtics, maybe because of our Irish heritage, or maybe because Larry Bird is freaking awesome. The Cavs were a year away from being any good, so I latched onto the Boston Celtics bandwagon and watched them dismantle the Houston Rockets in that year's NBA Finals.

Days later, the Celtics took Maryland star Len Bias with the 2nd overall pick in the NBA Draft. (I am not entirely sure how the Celtics had the 2nd overall pick after winning the championship, but the draft also had five more rounds then than it does now.) I was excited for this new player, and read all the newspaper articles about the role he would play as the future to Larry Bird's past and present on the Celtics.

Two days after the draft, Bias died of a cocaine overdose.

Of course, the news shocked the sports world, from Tony Kornheiser's fantastic column in the June 20, 1986 Washington Post to Sports Illustrated:

I was a mess. All of seven years old, I didn't really understand drugs, or drug abuse, but the name "Len Bias" and the words "cocaine" and "overdose" would forever be inseparable for me.

They still are.

I break several laws every day. I do stupid things, dangerous things, and consume mind-altering substances with regularity (caffeine, alcohol, etc). Yet I have never touched cocaine, and never will.

Why? Len Bias.

The Benoitian restorative goal in the post-Bias period was that the incident would serve as a stronger deterrent to drug abuse than any Nancy Reaganesque "Just Say No" campaign. Transcendence trumping tragedy, if you will. Unfortunately, the government wasn't willing to hinge the future of drug control on that kind of incident, and Democrat Tip O'Neill introduced strong anti-drug legislation in Congress as a response to the outrage that rightly followed the Death of a Dream. The repurcussions -- millions of Americans jailed for drug possession, and billions of taxpayer dollars wasted to the incarceration of nonviolent offenders -- resonate as violently twenty years later as they might have seemed to the sports world after Bias' death.

I don't know how many other men my age have stayed away from cocaine because of Len Bias. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Lonise Bias has dedicated her life to helping her son's legacy be a disruptive one; getting in the way of possible paths to drug abuse. They're finding kids today don't react like the children of Generation X. It seems it was necessary to experience the shock... the horror... the disbelief... to create a fear response far stronger than any curiosity could overcome.

This has been entry #1 in an attempted "30 in 30" campaign, invented by StevenL and brought to my attention by Charlie.

Adventures in referrals

Last twenty terms people were searching for that led them to my music page:

"lesbian love"
"kung fu into songs"
"zerowing mp3"
"david blaine wav"
"carolina in my mind wav"
"mariachi .wav"
"Timothy Burke in Phoenix"
"my favorite music wav" <--- apparently this person in Antioch, CA thinks google is a mindreader
"TLC WAV"
"monkeys coming out of your ass"
"spur-m"
"Tim Burke Trumpet and Chicago"
"trumpet players used on waterfalls tlc"
"handjob mp3"
"lesbian handjob" (???)
"lesbian wav"
"handjob"
"handjob"
"handjob"
"HANDJOB"

Roundup time

ESPN's E-Ticket covers Euro smash success "chessboxing"

Yes, a combination of boxing and chess. Is that not the best thing ever? Seriously, I want to see Mike Tyson take this on. I would pay good pay-per-view money for some Chessboxing. I bet Lennox Lewis would pwn people in this sport.

Meanwhile, if you've ever been lucky enough to listen to Bob Lassiter's radio show in his heyday, you know how utterly hilarious he was and how there has never been anyone like the "Mad Dog" since. Once upon a time, crazy liberal radio hosts could actually keep jobs, but the talk radio airwaves are dominated by fascists now.

Anyway, Lassiter's dying, and he's been keeping a day-to-day log of his failing health at www.bloglassiter.com. It's heart-wrenching and amazingly moving to watch a man die, virtually. It's an act of performance art unlike anything I've ever experienced.

If you don't know the "Mad Dog," check this call out from 1987, with "Mr. Airstream." "I bet you live a very loose lifestyle. I bet you smoke Marijuana and other drugs. I might report you. I'm going to report you to the..." Lassiter:"Trailer Park Association?" 7 minutes 54 seconds, courtesy Lassiter Airchecks

(Stay tuned for the guy talking about how great Jim and Tammy Faye Baker are. "I'm going to write the Chamber of Commerce! I bet you have a surfboard, don't you? I bet you wear cutoff jeans, and haven't shaved in three months! Are you married, or living in sin?" Lassiter: "A little of both.")

A brief picture post

A few camera phone snapshots from the first few weeks... LJ people, your friends page asplode. Sorry.

First, this is a screen my mother made for my Dad using some of his old Sports Illustrated covers he's collected all his life. While y'all weren't too fond of her fireplace made from my Wurlitzer I think you'll find her screen a lot cooler -- I know I did.

It's a d├ęcoupage so the surface is really flat and the covers all sort of blend together. I wish my photos did it justice... there are three portions, each with a back and front panel. There's a Cleveland panel, a tennis panel, a golf panel, basketball, baseball, and football. Take a look:





And some pics from the pub, first of the kickoff of the Czech game (trust me, that's what it is) and then Tina and Charles, and some Sweden fans wearing Viking helmets.



The world is coming to an end.

Batten down the hatches, it's the Day of Reckoning. Collect money for all your kids, and earn your pension based on your profession. Maybe spin that crazy plastic wheel that always flies out of its holder one more time for memory's sake. Why?

1. A Fox News anchor, NOT Bill O'Reilly, told a guest, "You are the DEVIL!"

2. I actually agreed with her.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCdT9dfrb-Q

Selling the drama

While northwest Ohio is currently suffering an enormous brain drain, there's always one (or two) occasions during which most of the city's sons and daughters return for a celebration of our fatherland, or at least our fathers and mothers. Inevitably, one or more nights will be spent in the close quarters of Rickety Rick's, the town watering hole (I leave out the Town Tap, featuring even closer quarters, for the sake of brevity).

Here at Rick's, the alumni of Napoleon High School can be found in various conditions, with clothing choices reflecting where we've all gone in our new lives far from home; the professionals now involved with the law or finance in natty turtlenecks or cable-knit sweaters, the teachers in hooded sweatshirts emblazoned with the name of some distant high school, and the military men and women in t-shirts proclaiming their allegiance to the Air Force, Army, or Merchant Marines. (The latter being extremely rare).

Two nights before Christmas 2005, I found myself leaning against the bar, talking to a fellow member of the Class of '96 who was among the few that failed to escape the event horizon of Napoleon, a gentleman who spends his days in the noble profession of carpentry. It was then I saw the closely-cropped dark hair and round glasses of a guy two years my senior, a man who was very close friends with my very close friend Bethany.

I ended up talking to him a half hour, and learning all about his new life in Geneva, Switzerland, as a finance consultant for expat Americans. I left fascinated by his career and with an open invitation to visit and go skiing.

Fast forward to today.

In the shadow of today's Switzerland 2 Togo 0 World Cup match, I received an IM from someone very, very close to me, an individual currently working a summer internship in Switzerland for the State Department. I've not heard from her since she left two months ago, and have been curious as hell to know how she's been doing -- I was even thinking of her only this morning, as I went to class.

The IM was one line, and basically referred to the fact she'd met a guy who I went to high school with who mentioned he was on my Little League team.

Go Switzerland.

Hell week & the Nike Father's Day spot

It's Hell Week, in which I have two massive papers to write, 400 pages of 109 East Palace to read and analyze, and a semester's worth of "Seminar on the American Southwest" to study in preparation for Thursday's final. I have to give my own final, too, and lecture for three hours tomorrow, but that's the least of my worries right now.

I've been doing work all day, and have had the television on; first, World Cup Soccer, then the U.S. Open, and now the NBA Finals. Nike's been running a spot all day for Father's Day, featuring the Zombies' This Will Be Our Year and various home movie clips of Tiger Woods with his father, who died a month ago and whose importance to his career can't possibly be overestimated. [Watch the ad here.] Woods, so distraught by the loss of his father, took time off since the May 3rd passing and only this weekend entered the U.S. Open, where he failed miserably -- missing the cut in a major for the first time in his career.

So in light of all this, Nike's throwing an ad with a song I will always associate with loss (OK Go's cover of This Will Be Our Year was Track One on the Moveon.org "Future Soundtrack of America" sent to all of us who donated in the pre-2004 election months) along with seeing a kid with his dad, a dad who just died, and...

It's horrible.

I know Nike is trying to pay tribute to "dads everywhere," but, frankly, I find the commercial horrifying. I'm not emotionally affected by much of anything, but I find this spot so phenomenally depressing (and I've seen it about ten times already today) that I literally get teary-eyed every time it starts, and not in the good way of being "touched" but in the fearful, scared, "God, I love my dad, I cannot fathom what I would do without him, I'm very frightened now" way.

I'm sure some think the spot is touching and a tribute. I find it morbid and frightful.

Back to work.

Just your average Friday

Edit: If you haven't gone and seen Jobsite Theater's We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! then you're missing out and this is your last chance to see it so GO TONIGHT because it's amazing and my full review is coming soon

After a day spent pleading with poker players and writers to let me interview them, I tripped down the BBD to check out the film An Inconvenient Truth on its opening night in the Tampa Bay area.

I was pleased to find a nearly-packed theatre. The film itself is beyond description. I can only say that if you don't see this picture, you're doing yourself and our country a great disservice. It's beyond epic. I wish it were longer, but I suppose director Davis Guggenheim decided 105 minutes of powerful material was enough. The end of the film is the best part; make sure you stay through the credits, as they're probably the most important part of the picture, and the only "activist" one.

I walked out shaking and called my parents, urging them to see the film, and I urge you all to do the same. I only wish Mr. Gore had been so clear and charming (and funny!) during the 2000 campaign.

After the film, I ran down to the UA Hangout to meet Tina and Charles. We pasted two #1s on the rest of the country in the span of 90 minutes, and Tina and Charles took off leaving me with a stack of plastic shot cups, signifying the free drinks we'd earned for our superior intellect.

So I crossed the bar and chatted up the two girls who kept looking at me. The blonde scenester type was, as I'd predicted by her body language, the bartender's girlfriend. The other, the brunette, apparently also had a boyfriend, but was awfully interested in my shirt -- a Teen Girl Squad baseball shirt. After explaining Cheerleader, So-And-So, What's-Her-Face, and The Ugly One to her, she asked my name, and I hers.

I strained to hear it through the tones of the Geto Boys' "My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me." I thought she said "Manda."

"Manda?"

"No, Nanda," she replied.

That's not your full name....

"Fernanda," she explained, and my evening's soundtrack hit the Play button, and would be all Abba, all the time.

So Ferndanda was Brazilian, and I discussed several ways of forcing her to prove her heritage, though she eventually resorted to simply showing me her ID. The eighteen middle names listed were proof enough to me. I've never understood why Brazilians have eighteen names but only go by one of them.

I start using my free drinks to buy shots, something called a "Funky Monkey" or ... I don't really remember. They were Kahlua, Bailey's, Banana liqueur, and cream, and I gobbled them up while I plotted my escape. It wasn't to be, and Fernanda dragged me to the dance floor where we did whatever people do on dance floors. "How old are you," she asked. "Mid-20s," I truthfully responded. She rolled her eyes, and I concluded ambiguity wouldn't be enough. I told her the truth, and we danced a while, before I begged off and said I really have to get going.

She ran to the bar and yelled for a pen, rushed back with a cocktail napkin, and told me to write down my number.

I didn't bother to ask for hers.

Edit: While collecting my things to go down to MacDinton's I found a cocktail napkin with the name "Fernanda" and a phone number written in someone else's handwriting. She must have stuck it in my pocket when I wasn't looking. Not like I'll call her. I can only imagine what a Brazilian's boyfriend must look like.

Off to watch the USA pound the living pasta fagioli out of the Eye-talians. Have fun, kiddos. Oh, and here's something special for y'all: I uploaded Neko Case's Wednesday Letterman performance to YouTube. Enjoy!

Boston Celtics Cheerleaders

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The Boston Celtics, a team I've long appreciated, are bowing to 20th century pressure and putting Cheerleaders on the sidelines. Far from me to be an old-timer, but this makes me sad, mainly because I think cheerleaders belong in college and in Los Angeles and nowhere else -- especially hockey games. Though the new Rays Team in Tropicana is pretty cool...

Silinx was good enough to post a Boston Herald photo from tryouts this week:

...which, for me, immediately brought this to mind:

Cranky old man

Today it was brought to my attention that I have a student registered for my class who has yet to attend -- and we're more than halfway through the term. Somehow, he was able to add after the deadline, and didn't know where the class met, so he hasn't been there yet. My department is less concerned about what I do with him than they are with what bureaucratic mess let him register for my class in the first place.

So I attended Friday's Rays game down at the Trop, as I do every Friday when we're at home. For the uninitiated, Friday nights at the Trop mean $5 tickets (formerly $3, but with free parking this year, I can deal with the increase) and $1 beers. Of course, the $1 beers are only served in the bleachers, so the sight is a bit odd for a Friday newcomer, as the stadium will be completely empty in the main seating, but sold out (3,000 full) in the bleachers, which are entirely set off from the rest of the ballpark, requiring a lengthy walk to reach them.

So I met up with my usual crew of bleacher creatures, but there was a disturbing influx of redneckery on Friday, as wandering bands of cowbell-banging hillbillies terrorized the yuppies and teenagers pouring dollar Budweisers down their gullets. One attractive brunette was bounced by a St. Pete cop for reasons unknown, and the whole environment was just... disconcerting. Plus, the Budweiser tasted like what I imagine the mystery fluid being pumped into the soldier in white in Catch-22 is, so I decided to r-u-n-n-o-f-t.

Around the fifth inning or so, I took my leave and made my way to the section behind home plate, where I chomped on salted peanuts and jabbered with the Rays cheerleaders, a new addition to the Tropicana Field experience. That's the trick about the new Rays era: the renovations to the Trop are far from complete. Every game I've attended this year (which is now seven) has presented me with some kind of improvement: a touch of paint here, a new flatscreen TV there. In less than a month we'll have our live aquarium in center field, which will attract a total of zero new fans, but will be pretty cool to look at.

Anyway, I sensed danger and scooted out of the Trop at the top of the ninth, with the Rays down 4-3. I arrived at the L.A. Hangout a half hour later, finding it was STILL the ninth inning, and we were now down 13-3. Rays Baseball! Watch Us ... blow every chance to win.

Anyway, I'm still busy, and I swear to you, faithful reader, that once Summer A ends, I'll recap everything in my life, with pictures, from Opening Day onward.

O Brother, Where Art Thou Paper?

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I started this blog to post my papers and essays. I haven't been posting them with the proper promptness.

Here's the one I wrote today about the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou?

New digs

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Hello from Wrencrest, home of [info]tinafizz and her wonderful husband Charles. Jenn's dad came over today to look things over, and while the house isn't completely empty (my sofa, bed, wine rack, and armoire are still in the garage, along with my router and the kate.entertainmentweakly server you're reading this on) I've officially departed from the Blackwater Drive domicile after 672 days. My room is small, but sufficient, and my worries about not having internet access were diminished after a quick scan revealed not one but two list items named "linksys."

I have a paper to be writing, but I'm going to tackle the bulk of it tomorrow afternoon. Pressing my luck against my ever-increasing attention issues, but I'm a gambler at heart.

I was able to watch the Indians game tonight in beautiful 60" HDTV glory, except what I saw was far from anything I'd call "glorious." Down 7-0 after three innings is.. just depressing.

Anyway, the important news of the evening is that Jenn's sister, the troubled one whose drama has made the past two months quite interesting around here, has already exited the premises of their new house over in Clearwater. After the walkthrough this afternoon, their father realized he could fill the vacancy with... a tenant he already trusts. Of course, this is contingent on whether Jenn wants to live with me again or not (despite his insistence that her opinion is of little consequence; I'm not going to live with someone who doesn't want me living with them) so I'll give her a call tomorrow and maybe check out the place. Clearwater's a haul from here, but it's five minutes from the beach, and there's a whole hell of a lot more to do out there. Plus, their house is only ten minutes from Tropicana Field, so my journeys down for baseball would become much easier.

Funny to find this opportunity the day I finally move all my crap into Charles and Tina's house, but hey, whatcha gonna do.

K, time to write.

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    This page is an archive of entries from June 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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