Saturday, January 03, 2009

Amazing(ly Sad)

You've probably heard that John Travolta's son died. But just now I found out that Travolta himself actually performed CPR on the boy when he found him on the floor.

This isn't meant to be a joke or anything, but as soon as I heard that, my mind went to that story from a few months back about "Stayin' Alive" being the perfect song to sing to yourself while doing CPR. In fact, some articles even mentioned Travolta himself, as he (for you young types) starred in Saturday Night Fever, which featured the song prominently.

To further the coincidences, I heard Stayin' Alive on the radio not two days ago for the first time since that report, and I was listening and thinking, "Are you kidding? This is WAY too fast..." And on top of that, a few hours before finding out about today's story, I was telling Kim all about this old boarded-up house in Brewster, NY we used to go to as teenagers, where I scored a velvet Travolta poster with the Saturday Night Fever logo on it.

So weird. Watch for wacky websites everywhere asking if John thought of the song while doing the CPR. We'll see if they wait a day....


Okay, fine. You want another clue for Kwiz Nein? Here it is: One of the actors in the movie in question also appeared in a movie I mentioned in a post here in the last two days.

Domesticated Pet Peeve

You know what I hate? When somebody lists a future event by its date, but doesn't give the day of the week. A date three months from now means absolutely nothing to me, unless I'm autistic or I've got some other event going on within a few (or exactly seven or 14) days of it and can figure out the day.

Besides, the whole key to an event is if it's on a weekday or a weekend. If you tell me there's some awesome show going on next July, it won't really matter if it turns out to be on a Tuesday afternoon, because most people won't be able to go anyway. At least if you're not gonna give a day, maybe put an asterisk next to the weekend dates or something. Come on.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Tix. (Almost.) Pocket Sked.

Gum-Chewing Is Larsen-y

From Red Smith's column the day after Don Larsen's "El High and Outside-o":

"I still say," a Brooklyn fan insisted yesterday when the deed had been done, "that the big stiff throws like a girl."

I love reading the thoughts of a rival fan after a historic moment that most people are brought up to think caused only joy and happiness throughout the world. (Despite the sexist overtones to this particular fan's remark--53 years later and we still haven't seen a female in the bigs. But hopefully soon....)

Last night MLB debuted their TV network with a special that showed the whole game, along with Bob Costas interviewing Larsen and the ghost of Yogi Berra. I watched it on and off between Twilight Zones. I like how they showed the old commercials--as we know, having and using razor blades was the cornerstone of a fulfilling life back then. As far as the game, you've seen one black and white shot from high above home plate, you've seen 'em all, but I did get a kick out of the various other shots they showed: a little controversy about the batter's eye in center field, the occasional dugout or crowd shot, and the ancient graphics, which consisted solely of a head shot of each hitter with his name below, on a split screen with that batter stepping into the box on the other side.

I also thought the batter pretty much stayed in the box the whole time back then, but occasionally you'd see a guy step out or the pitcher step off. To see that as an abnormality was kind of fun.

I hope this network gives us good stuff. My idea of what's good never really seems to match that of TV programmers, so I'm not too optimistic about it.

By the way, Google News search has a lot more access to actual newspapers, I've noticed. Works just like the old microfiche machines. For the paper I got that quote from, I was scrolling around on electronic scans of actual newspaper pages. Try it, it's fun. Great to see pictures and captions along with the usual text.

[Title of this post taken from sign on classroom wall of my 7th grade social studies' teacher, Mrs. Larsen. Which was probably spelled Larson. She'd always be talkin' about that son of hers, "Topher." I wonder where Topher Larson is today.....]


[Note: I wrote and posted this post at 1 AM, but had used an open window that I'd started previously, so it came up a few posts below. I've moved it up here, but clearly too late, as I'm probably gonna post something else soon anyway. Myyyy mistake...]

I've been trying to figure out for a few days why Tony Mazz thinks the Red Sox' lineup is "suspect," considering it's just about the same as last year, when it second in the league in runs per game, and first in baseball in on base percentage. (Someone else thought the same thing, and asked him directly--his answer was something about how the team's numbers were inflated by bashing bad teams in August and that there's a good chance it'll be closer to "average" this year. I ain't buyin' it.)

Nice finish to "the marathon"--tonight they ended up showing the three episodes which were remade in the 1983 movie, all within a few hours. And we got to see traditional favorite, Willoughby. Hope all you fellow Zone-Nerds enjoyed it this year, too, in the 50th anniversary of the show's debut. It never disappoints.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

October Games Slipping Even Team's Mind

You know how I theorized that the fact that there are four regular season games scheduled for October would mean easier ticket availability to those games? Well, not only are fans not noticing, but even the team forgot about the little Octies in this recent error message. You can say it's a space issue, but there's clearly room there. You could say "the first week of October counts as September," but if that was the case, they'd slip that week onto the September page of their schedule, which they don't do. You have to click on "October" to even see that those games exist. Oh, and you could say, Maybe those October games aren't included in this sale, but you'd be wrong, as they are, and I've already bought plenty of tix for them.

All's I'm's sayin's is, I know that final weekend is always a popular ticket, so if you want to go, well, you know the drill.

Midnight Sun

Nice job, showing Midnight Sun at midnight. The pig faces episode got the coveted 8 PM slot, followed by Obsolete Man. Saw The Hitchhiker earlier, too. It's been a great day of Zones and sledding in the 8 new inches of snow we got today, just when the previous snow had finally disappeared. Terrible job by CNN who, with 10 seconds left till 12:00 removed their clock from the screen, leaving Anderson Cooper and a drunk Kathy Griffin to count along to nothing. (She also threatened repeatedly to expose his wang, much to his dismay. Come on, Anderson, you gotta know what you're getting into when you team up with her.)

Conversation just now:

Me: Here's a quiz for ya--what does the T.F. stand for in T.F. Green?

Kim, falling asleep: Tutti Frutti....

Happy New 365, all.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bridge It, Bard! Oh!

Josh Bard didn't play too many games for the Sox when he was here in 2006. I only got a few pictures of him, including this one:

Didn't have the greatest digital camera back then...or was that a video still? Don't remember. Anyway, if Varitek doesn't come back (I've thought all along he pretty much has to), I guess you could go with Bard as your starter. Wouldn't that be funny--he couldn't handle the knuckler, and he comes back to handle everything but the knuckler, assuming they get a back up for him who catches Wake. I don't think it'll happen that way, though.

Haven't seen much of "Brady" Penny, as the Globe calls him, other than the '03 playoffs, and I don't think I've ever seen him in person. While he is the only Penny in MLB history, there was a guy on the Pirates in the early 90s named William Nathaniel Pennyfeather. True story, mom.*

*Remember when I jokingly posted a picture of a plaid vest with a Sox logo on it, saying it was the new uniform? My mom believed that--but she had a fairly good excuse! She saw Jim Rice on TV modeling the new uniform that day, and he opened it to reveal a red vest. Having just seen me post a picture of one saying it was the new uniform, she figured it really had to be true.... I thought that was hilarious that I actually fooled someone, but I did have an accomplice in Jim Rice.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Met Make Offer To Low

The New York Times says that according to people who have been briefed on the something or other, the Mets have offered a three-year, 36 million dollar deal to Derek Lowe.

Of course, this is the same paper that thinks it's "Linen 'n Things." (Though I have to say I'd missed the story of the last VHS tapes being shipped. That's sad.)

The Pizza Movie

When Brian and I were about to go on tour with our band in 2001, he hadn't eaten pizza for six months. Since we had a show in Seattle, he decided to finally end his no-pizza streak at Pagliacci, a place he'd come to love during a previous visit to the city. I was filming when The Pac-Men walked into Pagliacci to see the streak broken. Five years later, I made the footage into a short movie. Two-ish years after that, I give you the internet debut of...whatever this movie's called:

Notes: Movie features Jere's director's trademark: a song playing in the background smoothly turns into the audio playing over the video....Brian's drink order is "iceless Mr. Pibb"....Pac-Men lineup--Brian, vocals; Pat, guitar; Tim, drums; Jere, bass....movies made by Brian himself can be found here.

I Interrupt My Regularly Scheduled Etc.

You may remember me telling you about a teenage girl named Kaylee who had open heart surgery. A lot of people in the Red Sox blogging world, as well as other online communities, knew of her sad story and spent a lot of time sending thoughts her way. I had linked to her blog, and mine was linked on hers.

A few hours ago, while reading Quinn's site, I noticed someone had commented, thanking John for telling him about a blogger. John's response was "she duped a lot of us."

I knew immediately what he meant. I had suspicions all along. But could it really be? Or am I just that skeptical--after all, whenever someone sends me a forward about a heartwarming story, I always Google the names to see if it's just a hoax. I searched the rest of Quinn's recent posts and found nothing about Kaylee. Tried Peter N.'s site (Peter was always keeping up with Kaylee's various surgeries and diseases), but nothing there either. Went to another of Kaylee's online friends, Michael Leggett's blog. And there it was. News that Kaylee had duped us. She had made the whole thing up.

His blog led me to this post by a woman who had befriended Kaylee. It's a really good post about dealing with something like this. This woman heard even more lies from Kaylee than the rest of us, including a story about Kaylee's mom stabbing her, and one of Kaylee's sister being murdered.

It's one thing to play a practical joke. It's another to toy with people's emotions.

I don't know if "Kaylee" is anything close to what she says she is, with or without the diseases. It could be a 40-year old man making the whole thing up. If it's not a teenage girl, they've sure got the "teenage girl" writing style down. But the point is, whoever this person is, they need help. They should thank their lucky stars they don't really have cancer or bone marrow disease or heart disease or whatever the hell they said they had.

Am I giving this person more of the attention they obviously crave? I guess so. But this makes you think about internet relationships in general. When you're just words on a screen, you can be whatever you want to be. I've been thinking about this stuff since I first went online in the mid-nineties, sitting for hours in chatrooms and newsgroups. The ability to interact with people in a virtual setting opened up new doors. Good ones and horrible ones. I remember sitting there thinking, "I'm talking to someone. But I'm really just sitting here by myself. This could all be my imagination." Kaylee was my imagination, I guess.

The post by that woman says something about how a good deed is done as much for the giver as it is for the recipient. I don't believe that at all. When I do a good deed, I do it for the other person. Only. It's my motto, in fact. I think people that do good deeds to build up their own "karma" are as selfish as people who don't do good deeds at all. People try to get others to volunteer by saying what a good feeling you'll get. While it is true that you'll feel good about yourself, I think it's crazy that someone should need that as motivation to do something good for--god forbid--someone other than themselves.

I'm not saying that as a shot to that woman--I like that she's able to still care about this person who treated all of us like garbage. I'm sure she was just saying that to find the good in a bad situation--and maybe I'm full of crap, maybe it is better to make two people feel good than to leave yourself and the other person feeling down by not doing anything at all.

Kaylee, you have already "come clean" from what I hear, but I see you've taken your site along with that post down. If you want to apologize to my readers and the rest of the bloggers who wasted time on you, I will give you that chance and open up the floor to you here. Am I talking to myself right now? Are you laughing at me? So many times I thought to myself, "this is such a crock of shit," but I bit my keyboard at the risk of being insensitive, just in case you were real. But you're a fake. So get your ass on here and apologize. Don't do it to make yourself feel better, though. We've all done enough for you. Do it for us. If not, please get help for the problems you do have. Thank you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gran Turi No Peg?

Have you seen the trailer for the new "Mr. Aystwood" movie, Gran Turino? It doesn't look half bad, but I have to say, it seems like an SNL sketch. It's perfectly plausible that if Clint hosted the show, they'd do a bit where he's an older, settled down version of Dirty Harry, sternly telling kids to "get off my lawn...."

Latest kwiz remains unanswered.

It's All About The Fans

"The Red Sox have 7 legit offensive players? Other than Pedroia and Bay, who are we talking about here?", said the commenter who feels I won't post his "intelligent opinions." He goes on to tell me exactly what will happen to each Red Sox hitter in 2009. He claims the team has two solid hitters, but that nobody fears them anyway. Again, in Yankee fans' minds, they've already won. Which is what makes is extra-sweet whenever they don't. You're right, commenter, I won't be posting your "intelligent" thoughts (or cheap shots--to answer your question, No, nobody reads this blog. Except the people who continually tell me how shitty it is, yet seem to be here all day and night.)

(These are the same people who insisted that Hughes and Kennedy would lead the Yanks to the 2008 World Series, with Shelley Duncan the AL MVP--to the point where they were basically making fun of our team while declaring themselves champions of the next ten years. Yankee fans, you should know more than anyone that you actually have to win before you can brag.)

More Media Stuff (You Should've Seen What I Left Out!)

Recently on the Fire Brand blog, Evan interviewed Peter Gammons. When asked about baseball blogs, Peter said

The media world has dramatically changed, and I feel the blogs are part of our landscape. Are there instances when there is little accountability? Yes. Do I think we need reporters who understand players as people? Yes. Do I agree with everything? No. Look, I always read every word that Sean McAdam writes, because he is a giant. But the fact remains that if you line up the seriousness of good bloggers vs. the angry white minority shock jocks on radio--not Michael Holley, for instance, but those whose worlds exist to spread agenda--are superior to listening to talk radio.

My first reaction was, Okay, that's fair, and I'm glad he thinks a good blog beats a crappy talk radio schmuck. Then, as the Teixeira thing was happening, I thought back to his quote. Specifically the part where he notes "instances of little accountability." And I said to myself, he's getting on bloggers for having little accountability?

The sports media doesn't seem to have any accountability at all! The time leading up to Teixeira's signing was a great example. Never have I heard so many quotes from unnamed sources, people close to the situation, and reporters' butts from what I could tell. It somehow seems worse this off-season than ever before. The night of Henry's trip to Texas was the worst. You had one station report roughly what was going on, and then assuming it meant the Sox were about to sign Teixeira. Then you had everyone else in the media--Gammons at for one--hustling to "confirm" what was an incorrect story, leading ESPN to actually do a breaking news scroll on their TV stations.

Remember the winter meetings? (That was the time when the sports media came out and tried to cover their no-story butts by talking about how "nothing's going on" about 50 times a day.) Remember what Theo Epstein said when he was leaving Vegas? He said that they hadn't made any new deals, and that a lot of the media's reports were untrue. It's almost like people are trying to trick the reporters--Ken Rosenthal reminds me of a middle school newspaper reporter who goes around to the members of the Pee Wee football team asking for info and prints it, completely oblivious to the fact that all the players have decided to fuck with him by making shit up. (He kinda looks like that kid, too.)

I feel like it shouldn't be that hard not to be so incredibly inaccurate. Tip #1: If some guy calls you on the phone and tells you a piece of information, but doesn't want you to give his name out, he's lying. Do NOT print the info he gives you. Tip #2: If a person is "close" to a team, that doesn't mean he knows what the hell he's talking about. That's why he's close to, but not "with" the team. As they are with you, the people who know what's going on are laughing at him right after they close the door to the meeting. Do NOT print the info he gives you. Following these tips from a measly blogger will prevent you from being wrong over and over and over again.

Then I think of how when people like me started doing blogs, we kind of hoped to become a new form of media. The "real" media laughed at us, mentioned the lower floors of our domiciles and our parental units, and made sure to let everyone know that we were the ones who didn't know anything. Once they realized that they themselves were headed toward irrelevance, they suddenly started writing their own "blogs," and copying every idea we the people had come up with. It pisses me off. Some unpaid, start-from-scratch blogger will take years to get her gamethreads to gain popularity, only to watch as some newspaper or radio station's website throws up a place to do game threads, and instantly gets as many people involved as that blogger ever got.

It's getting to the point where the current young people coming up aren't going to know the difference between someone like me (and plenty of others, check my links section), who is unpaid and just started a website one day with exactly zero readers and no corporate backing, and a newspaper's online "blog," which is a page on an existing, popular website, written by a paid reporter who already had a job. Now, the fact that they had a job to begin with is commendable. But if those guys want to do a "blog," they should have to start at the bottom like the rest of us.

Everybody has a blog or nine now. NESN, WEEI, the Globe--all the people that were scared to death of "bloggers" just took the word and made their own version. The worst are the lowest common denominator sports sites. My god, have you looked at the Sports Illustrated site lately? They have a section called "best from the web" or something, and I swear, one of them was a blog entry that listed the top ten "hot chicks." Another one had recently apologized for showing a picture of the wrong athlete's wife. Couldn't even get their schlock right. Some of these bigger sites have no interest in a site like mine, yet if you post a woman in a bikini, you're one of the "top sports blogs."

It's so funny how those tabloid-ish sports sites just eat up readers. "Here's a funny video or picture that's mildly related to sports or dipshit macho sports fans!" "Ooh, that's me! You're a genius! Also, my nickname and avatar are better than yours!" The only thing worse than Dirt Dogs is a Dirt Dogs ripoff.

And on top of all this crap the sports media is pulling, they can't even hire a damn proofreader. Almost every article has spelling or grammar errors now. It's so perfect that on the night I finally write this piece, the Boston Globe reports that Josh Bard and Brady Penny have been signed by the Red Sox. (Still wrong as of 1:30 AM.) Hey, at least if the story turns out to be false, they can say, "we never said anything about Brad Penny..." [Update, 1:00 PM the next day: They've changed the picture and the headline, yet it still says BRADY Penny. (Top right of this page.)]

And the Globe's blog, Extra Bases, had this story up as their top story for four days recently. The one that said Derek Lowe was closing in on a deal with the Mets. (Their source was "a baseball source" and the piece was written by "staff.") Shortly after they put that up, other stories started coming out saying it wasn't true. But it stayed up, all Christmas Eve, all Christmas Day, all...Boxing Day, I guess, and all Saturday, with no update, no correction, nothing, until a new post finally went up today. And yet that "blog" probably gets more hits in one day that my blog has gotten this year. And it's fucking December. I bitter? I don't know, sure, these people piss me off. But you know what? I think I'm Red and this is my final trip to the board at Shawshank prison:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Falling Lone Star

Houston hospital to remove Roger's name from title.

But the Dallas Own Lie-Believing Center has added it on, so it's really a wash.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States