Exhibit 12.2

This Palin pick is a bit of disaster for McCain, right? It really seems like the only logical reason to pick her would be to A) Appease social conservatives and B) Try to attract Hillary voters. Fair enough except:

-Nobody gives a damn about social conservatives this election (or, really, any election when the economy is bad).

-She's adamantly pro-life, pro-guns, and pro-beauty pageants. Which of those things is supposed to appeal to these alleged armies of disaffected Hillary voters? Oh, right, she's a woman. Well, that settles it then. If I know women--and I don't--they love nothing more than being pandered to by old, white grandfather figures.

-It completely undercuts any arguments he wants to make about experience. She was mayor of a town of 8,000 people and has been governor for less than two years. Um, good luck with that. The worst part is, since he's the one who opened this argument in the campaign, the Democrats are going to be able to bring it up without looking sexist.

-She has an ongoing corruption scandal that apparently involves her office going out of their way to fire her sister's ex-husband. This is under investigation by an independent committee...um, like, right now.

-Her resume outside of politics is pretty laughable in the context of Obama, Biden, and even McCain himself. Not to be an elitist about it, but she makes Pawlenty look like a Nobel laureate. Being a journalism major at the University of Idaho is great and all--Go Vandals!--but having a varied career as a fisherwoman and a sportscaster before getting into small town Alaska politics isn't going to play very well to the glass ceiling breaking Hillary supporters or, really, to anyone else.

-Mainland Americans don't like Alaska. Or the film Mystery, Alaska.

-She's going to look John McCain's daughter standing next to him. Or worse. (For what it's worth, McCain has a child five years older than she is).

That said, she does seem like a fun lady in that crazy Alaskan sort of way, and, though I've never heard her speak, one assumes she has some charisma and intelligence. Her debate with Biden is going to be a bloodbath and she has more than a little Dan Quayle potential, but it's easy to see the media loving this pick and treating her with the kid gloves that they never gave, say, Hillary. For all the talk sure to come from the Republican side about how they want to finish the job the Democrats started, it's likely that this pick is going to be more notable for how it subverts the smart, accomplished woman in politics for a non-careerist, outdoorsy version of femininity. Why anyone would think that would appeal to a large percentage of the female electorate is beyond me, but what do I know.

She seems like a character Aaron Sorkin would write only he'd have had her go to Harvard on the beauty pageant scholarship and then to have worked on a fishing boat while doing legal aid for indigenous peoples. Instead, she's just got the beauty pageant and the fishing boat. Doesn't seem like that's enough.

UPDATE: I got a chance to catch some of her appearance and the reaction to her selection at lunch and nothing I saw changed my mind. She comes across as very, very unpresidential and small potatoes on camera and whether it's fair or not that accent is going to get mercilessly mocked on SNL. Also, she's been picked by exactly the wrong candidate to be going around talking about being in the PTA. Her "hockey mom" schtick is getting a lot of love from the talking heads who are bizarrely claiming this to be a history making choice--um, why exactly? We've had female VP candidates before--and Palin herself went directly after Hillary supporters. To me, that spells disaster, but I'm not an expert. The reaction from actual voters seems to be shock/apprehension but the media loves it. No surprises there.

That debate with Biden looms large, and it's hard to imagine her not making a foreign policy mistake between now and the election. Even if she doesn't, it's going to be tough for her. The last time most people heard an accent like hers was in Fargo and nothing about her resume or willfully smalltown demeanor is going to contradict that sentiment.


Exhibit 12.1

So I had some time to think about this while at the dentist today: did contemporary pop radio stop introducing new songs after 9/11? Did the Station Manager General for Clear Channel just decided that America needed "Meet Virginia" more than ever? Will we ever get new songs back?

I have some experience here. From the time I was 13, I worked summers at a campground where I mostly listened to such music while chewing purloined beef jerky. This continued until I started college in the fall of 2001. Naturally I assumed that these awful, awful radio stations continued to add awful, awful songs that I, thankfully, never encountered. Hell, I assumed Randy Bachman didn't stop at the production of Tal Bachman and had an army of other kids out there singing in falsetto.

So today the dentist is piping in a station similar, if not identical, to the one I listened to as a boy and I'm trying to focus on it--rather than, you know, the searing pain--only they're playing "Drops of Jupiter." This is a different kind of pain.

Fine, I think.

Then they play "Here's to the Night" by Eve 6.

I decide that if they play "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something that I'm going to end my life with the hook-looking scrapy thing. While pondering what this instrument is actually called, they play "Smooth" by Rob Thomas and Santana.

At this point I blackout and wake up in my car. I'm pretty sure I have a memory of hearing some Maroon 5 (who I think they got an exemption from FCC) but it could have been Eagle Eye Cherry.

I don't know who I'm kidding. I love those songs. If I'd heard anything by the New Radicals, I never would have left that dentist's office. I can fake a toothache.

Oh, or "Lullaby" by Shawn Mullins. That song is awesome/awful.


Exhibit 11.27

So it's that time of year again where I embarrass myself by not only admitting that I play fantasy football but reveling in it to the point where I write about here while everyone I know and love politely stares at the ceiling and whistles as they wait for the moment to pass. Well, I don't care. I like it. No, sometimes I don't know why either.

Draft Recap

The Ginn Family

No, that is not Ted Ginn's actual family, but I couldn't find a picture of them. As always, stock photography saved me. If you don't get the reference, you can check out this painful memory here. And here. And here.

Incidentally, I now love Ted Ginn Jr. How much? We'll see.

This is the same league that the much better named Lincoln Hawks were in last year if you're curious. This year the league has expanded to 14 teams which should mean a thinner talent pool overall, an interesting development in a league that only has two bench spots per team. I guess what I'm trying to say is, Congratulations on making someone's team, Selvin Young. You don't have to wait for an injury this year. At least in fake football. Real football? Um, I wouldn't buy that condo in Denver just yet.

I had the ninth pick, and the draft snakes so I got 9, 20, 37, 48, 65, etc.

First Round - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Buffalo Bills. This offseason, Marshawn hit someone with his car and then lied to the police about being the driver. He also has gold and diamond caps on his teeth. Basically, now that Tim Russert's dead, he's pretty much the toughest guy in Buffalo. After the debacle of my passionless team last season, I need a little bit more Barksdale and a little less Bubbles on my roster. On a more serious note, it would not surprise me at all if he leads the league in rushing this season.

Second Round - Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianopolis Colts. I thoroughly enjoyed having him on my team last season and wanted to sign up for another round. Also, he's from New Orleans and, according to an article I once read, got such good hands by catching rocks as a kid. Hey, Marshawn, I drafted you a friend.

Third Round - Willie Parker, RB, Pittsburgh. Simply the best value on the board at pick 37. Plus, his nickname, "Fast" Willie Parker, is a pre-name nickname which, among other things, makes it pretty awesome. If it's not clear, I'm not entirely sold on him, but if he does what he does last year, I'll be more than happy. He doesn't score touchdowns but neither do I and I'm okay with me.

Fourth Round - Torry Holt, WR, St. Louis. Maybe my favorite pick of the draft. Sure, his knees don't have any cartilage, but he's always great anyway and now he has Al Saunders back as his offensive coordinator! I know, I'm excited too. If it makes it easier, I can just point out that Lendale White went ahead of him and he's obese so...good pick.

Fifth Round - Tony Gonzalez, TE, Kansas City. I've never had him on my team before because for some reason I've always been really afraid of all Chiefs (their horrible quarterbacks). Still, he's remarkably consistent and a vegetarian. Him and Marshawn are going to have a lot to talk about as they drive (recklessly) to the farmer's market.

Sixth Round - Fred Taylor, RB, Jacksonville. Ugh.

Seventh Round - Donald Driver, WR, Green Bay. Ugh. These last two picks were all about value and consistency. Both were by far the best option at the time (I mean, a few true backups went before Taylor) but I doubt either will be on my team past week four because...

Eighth Round - Ricky Williams, RB, Miami. I love Ricky Williams this year (and every other year). Yes, he's single handily destroyed several Dolphins seasons by smoking pot and being generally eccentric, but he's an absolute monster. I really, really like Ricky Williams. He's everything I want in a football player except committed.

Ninth Round - Matt Schaub, QB, Houston. I don't know who he is either. I hope he's good.

Tenth Round - Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Miami. Namesake pick! Did I mention this league gives points for return yardage? And that Ted Ginn is the Dolphins number one receiver? And that guys like James Hardy were going at this point? And that he's had a monster preseason? And that Chad Pennington loves him? Sure, it's a homer pick, but I expect big things.

Eleventh Round - Indianapolis Defense. I don't know, whatever. Defenses get juggled in this league due to the short bench.

Twelfth Round - Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore. Picked solely under the hope that Willis McGahee (the guy starting in front of him) can't go week one and I get to trade him. If not, I'll drop him for the kicker. As with defenses, there's not a lot of holdover week to week for a lot of teams at the kicker position.

So in the end my team is:

QB: Matt Schaub
RB: Marshawn Lynch
RB: "Fast" Willie Parker
WR: Reggie Wayne
WR: Torry Holt
RB/WR: Ricky Williams
WR/TE: Donald Driver
TE: Tony Gonzalez
Def: Indianapolis
BN: Ted Ginn Jr.
BN: Fred Taylor
BN: Ray Rice

That's a pretty salty team. What it lacks in a go-to guy, it should make up for with consistently great performances from Lynch, Parker, Holt, and Wayne. I think there's also some nice upside with Ginn and Williams who, as long as their car doesn't break down in front of a head shop in South Beach, should provide great value. If nothing else, I should know by Miami's early bye whether or not I need them.
Quarterback is the biggest concern, but I feel good about Schaub. Everyone loves Andre Johnson this year, and, if they're right, that means Schaub is getting things done. Even if he falters, I'll be able to pick up his backup, Sage "I Rent Myself Out for Parties" Rosenfels. We have a history.

Draft grade: B+

Exhibit 11.26

I don't know if you caught Michelle Obama's speech last night, but wow. She was smart, genuine, and warm (also, pretty foxy). I know the conventions are pretty much the worst thing about politics outside of the corruption and money (which they represent, of course), but it was nice to see someone with a genuine story who has made legitimate sacrifices onstage. I wonder if the empty set of mascara-ed eyes that is Cindy McCain will get a chance to speak and, if so, what she'll have to say about her privileged lifestyle that has led her to be passed from her father to her father-like husband as if she's some kind of doll. I realize that's incredibly unfair, etc.

Still, it was just nice to see the first lady speak and think She could be president someday if she wants it. I know it's not the first time we've been able to say that, but it's the first time we've been able to say it and not know the answer.

At one point while Brett--a dog, a girl--was chewing on a bone, I poked her and pointed at the television and said, Look, Brett, a strong female role model. She then started to hump a pillow. I'm not sure if this means she got the message or not.


Exhibit 11.25

I watched Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors last night--it was good but not my favorite of his--and it was impossible not to notice how horribly the fashions of 1989 have aged. Poor Anjelica Huston looked like she'd been unthawed and given the Encino Man treatment by Roseanne and Kirstie Alley (in the Pauly Shore and Sean Astin roles, respectively). And she was supposed to be the hussy! You don't even want to know what Jerry Orbach had to wear. It made his uniform as the manager of the Hackensack Bulls look couture by comparison (which, given the rules of Brewster's Millions, it probably was in retrospect).

I'm sure it's been said before in many a lame comedy club, but it's really amazing that anyone was conceived between 1986-1991. We're lucky to have any Jonas Brothers at all. Or at least that's what I'd say if I knew who the Jonas Brothers were.


Exhibit 11.24

Vice Presidential Candidate Review

Outside of those hopelessly pining for Clinton or Bush '04 voters who jumped to Obama but hoped he'd make his claims of bipartisanship explicit and nominate Hagel, it's hard not to like Biden. His negatives all seem to be the stuff of Washington gossip that no one else really seems to care about because, you know, they're making house payments and saving for college as opposed to worrying about what senators may be on the annoying side of loqacious. Even the punchline set can't do much with that fact since A) There's nothing funny to say about it and B) He's a politician campaigning so he's supposed to be talking a lot this time of year.

His only other negative--his long tenure in Washington--is, in this case, mostly a positive since it shores up any doubts about Obama's experience and gives him someone both respected in the senate and internationally admired as a surrogate at home and abroad. If nothing else, it's a pick that screams competency, a criminally overlooked quality in this election which, though it's never going to show up in polls, is probably the number one reason why the democrats are so well positioned. When people say they trust the Dems more on the economy--a party they've been told for 30 years will raise their taxes and take their jobs--what they're really saying is that they don't trust the Republicans to do it (or anything else outside of protect the country. And even that...)

In addition to playing some of Biden's anti-Obama rhetoric from the primary, which campaigns always do when a former competitor for the nomination gets the VP nod, expect the McCain camp to start saying how much they admire Biden and wish the positions on the ticket were reversed. In other words, they're going to try to use this pick to highlight Obama's inexperience, but it's hard to see how this line of attack is going to have any teeth because...

...more than any other pick this puts a lot of pressure on McCain. Had Obama picked Hillary, the election would be more or less over and McCain would probably have chosen an outsider and hoped for the resentment vote or a major gaffe to send people back his way. Had Obama picked a relative unknown like Kaine, McCain would have picked the most seasoned (yet not old) person he could find and just hammered their inexperience to lead and we'd probably hear a lot more about terrorism. With Biden, however, Obama pretty much made the first gambit in the experience game which puts McCain in a very awkard position.

He can try to follow suit and go with Romney or a senate colleague we're not hearing much about. This seems to have been McCain's first instinct, especially when some of the smaller names were mentioned for Obama's slot. That would have been a smart play, but now, with Biden getting a week to claim this role for himself, it wouldn't exactly come across bold leadership. The entire narrative has been claimed by Obama who is undoubtedly going to continue to talk about having someone to challenge his ideas--again, competency in an administration being the unspoken idea there--which is exactly what McCain would have needed to say to make a pick like Romney palatable to anyone, including his base. Sure he can still do it--and my guess is he will--but no one is going to care since it's clear that A) He hates Romney and B) America does too.

His other option is to go the opposite route and pick a young "Change" candidate to counter Obama and then claim that they arranged the ticket the right way (with experience on top). This isn't a bad move except for the fact McCain's entire campaign is now buoyed by his attacks on Obama's alleged superficiality and celebrity status. Picking, say, Jindal, seems to make such attacks hypocritical, especially since Jindal couldn't make them himself without looking like he has a total lack of self-awareness. The other issue here is that Biden is a great debater who, with his insanely long senate record, is likely going to make whomever McCain throws up there look silly, especially on foreign policy issues. Picking Pawlenty and his recently deceased mullet is not going to go over well once he has to admit that, outside of maybe Canada, he's probably never had cause to go to a foreign country or meet a foreign leader.

McCain's base pick would be Huckabee, but it's almost impossible to see. Christian conservatives rally behind him or not, there Republicans just don't have the numbers this year with their base. McCain simply has to keep showing up at whatever godawful forums and meetings and abstinence-only ice cream socials those people throw and hope they come out for him anyway. They will. Come out, I mean.

The only worrisome thing about Obama's pick is that Biden is known more for his foreign policy credentials than his economic ones. Given the way this economy is performing, it wouldn't be too much to ask for him to play up his experience here. People seem all but ready to forget Iraq and Afghanistan if gas prices stay high. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. This seems like the biggest reason why Romney should be McCain's pick even if it pisses off everyone except Wall Street (including McCain himself). Romney--with his lack of conscious and ruthless ambition--will go after Obama just as hard as Biden is going to go after McCain (whereas someone like Pawlenty wouldn't have the balls or the gravitas). Even if Obama-Biden has already seized on the Team of Rivals-style consensus narrative, McCain could at least hope that Romney would show people that he's not the crazy, grudge-holding coot that they think he is (and he, um, is).

Of course, Romney's weakness are obvious, not least of which is his religion. No one is going to think harder about how close he is to the White House than religious conservatives who might be tempted by the unstoppable force of Obama's, and now Biden's, personal story that confirm everything they believe about the world. The other obvious handicap is for every bad thing Biden ever said on tape about Obama, there are about five worse things Romney has said about McCain (and vice versa). There would be some ugly, ugly ads running in conjunction with a convention where the two men--who obviously hate each other--would be on stage obviously hating each other. It would make the palpable coldness of Kerry-Edwards '04 seem like the hotness of Floozy-Edwards '06-'08.

In any case, Obama's made the right call. I personally wish Bill Richardson would have gotten more play, but with international issues taking a backseat to domestic issues and the need for a more LBJ-esque elder statesman on the ticket, it's understandable that he didn't. McCain's pick is probably going to say a lot more about how he plans to run the rest of his campaign than this says about Obama's plans. If nothing else, Obama should be praised for picking someone he thought was the best candidate rather than someone who helps his electoral map. It fits with his entire narrative about doing what's right as opposed to what's politically convenient and the contrast to McCain's pick--which is going to be about math more than anything else--is going to be clear. People won't vote for Obama because of Biden, but his choice only confirms what we already know about Obama. If McCain is lucky, his choice won't do the same.


Exhibit 11.23

Well, it's official, this is the nadir of the Royals season. Between the always reliable Joakim Soria not being able to shut the door yesterday and Alex Gordon suffering through a few nagging injuries, there's not a lot to feel good about in Royals land.

Here, I made a chart of their season so far:

It occurs to me that I may have to adjust the y-axis to run from Abysmal to Woody Allen's Anything Else to Awful.


Exhibit 11.22

Housekeeping and Watchmen

Because they're pretty much the same book. Here, it's so obvious:

Ruth -> Nite Owl (II)
Sylvie -> Rorshach
The Lake -> Dr. Manhattan

Frankly, I don't know how Alan Moore ever got away with such blatant plagiarism.

Actually, it's just that I finished Housekeeping a while back but forgot to blog about it. I then got so caught up in Watchmen that I figured I'd just wait and do them both together. Even ignoring the distinction in form, they are remarkably dissimilar books. The former is a somber, poetic tale of family deconstructed by wilderness and the other is, um, about masked vigilantes in an alternative present, many of whom are driven mad by their singular focus on saving the world.

They do have their similarities, both thematically and practically. They are, in a way, both about the surprising impermanence of family (though Watchmen's family is really more a loosely organized club) and both have a very 1970s-1980s sense of decline (though Housekeeping's is more post-Carter nostalgia and Watchmen's more of a Reagan-era Cold War millenialism). More overtly, each one is a considered a modern classic and both have places on Time's list of the 100 Best English Language Novels (since 1923).

(Then again, so does The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which renders the entire list completely stupid).

In almost every other way, however, they are polar opposites. Even its 15 degrees off center reality, Watchmen places itself very firmly in the culture whereas Housekeeping might as well take place on Mars for how little the outside world matters to the isolated, naturalistic characters. Incidentally, it most certainly doesn't take place on Mars while part of Watchmen does.

I guess the other thing they have in common is that I really enjoyed both of them. I've been trying to figure out what this means in case of Watchmen since it's the first comic book/graphic novel I've ever really read. I'm sure I picked up comic books when I was a kid, but I never really understood how to read them. At some point a few years back, Dave let me borrow another well regarded graphic novel and I couldn't even make past the third page. Frankly, I don't know if I would have even attempted to read Watchmen if I hadn't started reading newspaper comics during the intervening years. Just one more thing I can thank Mary Worth for, I suppose.

That said, although I loved Watchmen and couldn't wait to pick it back up, I don't know if I know enough about graphic novels to feel like it belongs in the same sentence as Housekeeping as a modern classic of literature. I don't doubt that it's "the greatest graphic novel of all-time" as everyone says, but I suppose I'm still at the point where I possibly undervalue that title. As with the most recent Batman movie, I thought it was great, a real accomplishment that stoodout among all the other superhero entertainment of the last few years, but it didn't exactly affect me in a profound way. If anything, I appreciate that movie too much due to some of its shitty predecessors ("ICE TO MEET YOU!") that make it look like Kurosawa by comparison. But since I've never had to deal with the cliches and loopy continuity of comic books, I might not be giving Watchmen the same headstart.

Still, even in this zany era where a lot of writers who are now in their 40s want to proclaim the artistic value of comics as on par with novels, I don't know if I buy the book as great literature. Thoroughly entertaining and satisfying literature? Sure, that's an incredibly important and valuable thing, and this certainly fits the bill. But, in the end, there's still enough rote and puerile elements here (mostly due to the requirements of this being a, albeit turned, superhero story) that it's hard to see this as timeless. I now really want to go check out some of the non-superhero graphic novels to see if it's just my poor, unenlightened biases holding me back from recognizing a graphic novel, even one I loved, from being worthy of a place in the canon.


Exhibit 11.21

I haven't written about it on here, but a friend recently passed away after a battle with leukemia. Sarah was remarkable, touching a lot people's lives as a teacher and as a debate coach (who surely would have considered mooning appropriate if the circumstances were right).

Dave is currently raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk which funds research for blood cancers. Whether or not you knew Sarah, you should consider kicking them a few dollars since, among many other harrowing lessons, this entire experience has made clear to me how random (and relentless) these cancers can be.

Sarah was 32.

Donate here.

Exhibit 11.20

5 Things I Learned From Extensive Olympics Watching

1. Don't talk shit to Michael Phelps. Even having the word 'shit' and 'Phelps' in the same sentence makes me afraid he's going to come down to my local pool and embarrass me in front of the other kids. I don't want to be made a fool of in front of the Swanson twins.

2. Water polo, despite having several characteristics of something that would be awesome, is boring. There, I said it. Sorry, Mile Smodlaka.

3. Jason Kidd has no business being on any team, let alone the national one. I audibly laughed when the announcer had to say, "Jason Kidd needs a breather, so here comes Chris Paul." Bold moves like that are why Coach K gets to be in AmEx commercials.

4. President Bush has a disturbingly close relationship with our women's beach volleyball team. That guy never ceases to amaze with his uncanny ability to show fevered interest in some things (women's beach volleyball, brush clearing) and no interest in other things (Vietnam, all other wars).

5. Foreigners hate Shawn Johnson. There, I said it. Sorry, Mile Smodlaka.


Exhibit 11.19

This video makes me very sad.

I actually saw the link to this story as "Kansas College Debate Coach Moons Judge." I immediately knew who it was. Jeff, if you haven't seen it, I bet you can guess who it is too. It's now getting a bit of national attention since it's A) Completely Hilarious and B) Completely Insane.

Bill Shanahan's wife was my (much beloved) high school debate coach, and she's in the video following her husband around and trying to calm him down as he jumps up and down swearing and, at one point, "mooning" the judge (does it count as mooning if only underwear is shown? I don't know who decides these things). In his defense, the other judge seems to have instigated the argument after the FHSU debate team asked for her score to be struck (they didn't think she judged them fairly in earlier debates, apparently). She seemed to think it was because of her race. Bill seemed to think it would be a good idea to pick this fight. Someone seemed to think it was a good idea to put this on YouTube.

So one person was right, at least.

Bill Shanahan is a generous and nice (though eccentric) guy 99% of the time and out of control for that other 1%. I feel bad for him and Kim, and hope this doesn't cost him his job since he's a phenomenal debate coach and a remarkable asset for an otherwise mundane town like Hays. Obviously he has a problem with anger (and--in my humble opinion--hair length) but it would be a shame to lose him.

If you're into theory, you'd really love Bill as he's the innovator of an argument called a "Kritik." The wikipedia article is fascinating.


Exhibit 11.18

So every morning before work I like to sit down and read the local paper's letters to the editor section online. Mostly I do this to make sure no one is complaining about something I did. So far so good.

Recently someone wrote in with what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Nascar be outlawed because it wastes gas. This proposal has since been debated over and over as if it were in any way a legitimate option. This, too, is why I read the letters.

While I read I'm often times clicking and highlighting the text. I do this while reading online, and don't imagine it's that uncommon of a habit. Usually this isn't much a problem except for sites that pop up definitions to words like 'is' when all I really want to do is keep reading about Georgia being taken over. Fine, whatever.

But now the Journal Star has started popping up information from Answers.com when you click on text. This is what I got this morning when I happened to click on 'honestly'

Single by Stryper! Christian Metal!

Finally, the answer to the question I've been asking all these years.

Me: I was just about to write this comment on the Internet about how maybe we shouldn't ban Nascar but should make them go slower and keep their tires full of air when I read this word that reminded me of a song by Stryper.
You: Who?
Me: You know, Stryper.
You: Is that pronounced like striper or stripper?
Me: I don't know.
You: You're pronouncing it like stripper.
Me: So do you remember their single from '87? I think it was their biggest hit.
You: I doubt they pronounce it like stripper if they're really Christians.
Me: It was the single between "Free" and "Always There For You."
You: Then again, they are metal.
Me: Argh, it's right on the tip of my tongue. I'm just going to start clicking on words.
You: Sometimes I think about where I might be if I'd married John.
Me: YES! Thanks, Answers.com!


Exhibit 11.17

Oddest things found over the weekend (in order of descending oddness):

1. Mishima obituary from the November 26th, 1970 edition of the Lincoln Journal Star
2. Quarter


Exhibit 11.16

In atonement for what may have been several unprovoked shots at Baltimore while watching The Wire, here's a live version of Gram Parson playing "Streets of Baltimore." By the looks of things, this was filmed with an 8mm camera pointed at a black and white television resting underwater.


Exhibit 11.15

Since I've had this blog for a year and have never really done anything to spruce the place up, I think I'm going to update my links on the right hand side of the page. I don't actually have all that many to add, but I figure now is as good a time as any. If I do link to you, I probably read your blog or site. Hello.

I might also toss in some alphabetical order while I'm at it. It's going to be a completely different experience.

Anyway, if I link to you and you'd rather me not, just let me know. If you'd like me to link to you, comment or email or whatever. I'd be happy to. If I've previously linked to you and you've never understood why, it's best to continue on in your state of confusion rather than ask any questions.


Exhibit 11.14

UPDATE: It's wisely been brought to my attention that this post may contain spoilers about The Wire. I don't think there's anything that gives away a plot point here but certainly characters are referenced, etc. As I would hate to ruin anyone's Wire watching experience, I definitely should have pointed that out. I'm sorry.

More importantly, this post also gives away my preferred form of themed Uno. So now you know.

Last night we finished The Wire and there really isn't much more for me to say except that if you haven't seen it we can't be friends.

I'm not joking.

Each one of you will be presented with this simple quiz. If you pass, great, you can come over any time and play Harry Potter Uno. If you fail, not only will we not be friends, but I'll probably key your car.

'The Bunk' is:
A) A Police Bar
B) A Stash of Heroin
C) Extremely Huggable

Randy Wagstaff's father is:
A) Cheese
B) Method Man
C) Shaquan God Allah

Brother Mouzone reads:
A) Harper's
B) The New Yorker
C) Whatever Brother Wants

Omar's best boyfriend was:
A) Brandon
B) That Latin Guy Was Okay
C) Oh, It Can't Be What's-His-Name

The ex-Mrs. McNulty is:
A) Surprisingly Attractive
B) Really, She's Not Bad
C) Yeah, But She's No Beadie

A) Fo' Sure
B) Oh, Indeed
C) (whistling)

Democratic Primary:
A) Clarence Royce (incumbent)
B) Thomas Carcetti
C) Anthony Gray

Rawls was:
A) A Regular
B) Just Enjoying the Drink Specials
C) Into It, Sure, But Not, You Know

Baltimore as a city:
A) Scares the Hell Out of Me
B) Presents Growth Opportunities for My Import/Export Business
C) I Love Ace of Cakes

Good luck.


Exhibit 11.13

A Map of the Neighborhood

That's right, my neighborhood features a booming for-profit plasma donation industry.

There's also a fairly impressive hole where there used to be a park and a junk store. Now the junk store is gone (presumably it fell in the hole) and the house next to it is gleefully celebrating being the last house on the street by playing loud music. They seem unconcerned about the all-consuming hole encroaching upon them, but it's really hard to see how this is going to work out well.

There are other landmarks I didn't get a chance to add like the-house-where-the-sex-offender-lived-until-his-proximity-to-an-elementary-school-forced-him-to-move and the-gas-station-where-the-guy-who-knew-that-and-told-us-somewhat-randomly-works.


Exhibit 11.12


Company Dodgeball Team A - Adam Peterson activated from disabled list and placed on waivers. Claimed by Company Dodgeball Team B.

Company Dodgeball Team B - Acquired Adam Peterson off waivers from Company Dodgeball Team A.

Exhibit 11.11

I've officially done this blog for an entire year now. When I started, I told myself I'd do it for a year and see how it went. As it would be a shame to disappoint the two people who read this nonsense, I'm going to keep going indefinitely.

There have been so many memories. Remember that time I did that thing with the Robert Creeley poem? Or posted a picture of Brett? Or railed against The Magician's Assistant? Yep, it's been one crazy year.

It's tough to say what my favorite post is, but it's hard to beat this one, frankly.