Monday, October 31, 2005

Abracadabra!

I’m currently enjoying the History Channel’s new special, Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery, because who doesn’t love magic and seeing how it’s done? It’s the only time you can say, “Fool me twice, okay, keep going! Fool me again like a cheating bastard spouse!”

The best part, however, is that Teller of Penn & Teller actually talks! Well, I guess we’re not supposed to know it’s him since they show him in shadow, but you can tell it’s him. Not only that, but he’s quite a remarkable speaker and the best resource for Houdini’s tricks and personality. Now I wish Penn was the mute in their act!

Theo takes his ball elsewhere

Son of a biscuit-eater. When I walked in the living room and saw on ESPN, “Theo Epstein Resigns As Red Sox General Manager,” I thought, oh, hey, Theo re-signed a new deal!

Not so much. When I actually turned on the sound, good buddy Peter Gammons told me that he (Theo, not Peter) is leaving Boston.

“Epstein had been expected to accept a three-year deal worth $1.5 million per year but after indications that he would take that offer, he changed his mind,” writes the Globe.

Frack. This could be a rough offseason.

Kneel

The world thinks we're evil already, why not make them kneel before Zod in 2008!

Hat tip: Right-Thinking.

Basically

"The Democrats: Basically supportive of the troops. Kinda. Sorta. You know. Enough."

Happy Halloween

The folks at Publix are obviously in the holiday spirit. Happy Halloween, sponsored by Coca-Cola, Inc.!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sacre Bleu!

France didn’t support the Iraq war to protect its own illegal interests? I’m shocked! Shocked!
More than 2,000 companies taking part in the United Nations oil-for-food programme paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, an inquiry has found. ...

Preferential treatment was given to companies from France, Russia and China, the report says, all permanent members of the Security Council, who were more favorable to lifting the 1990 sanctions than the America and Britain.

The independent inquiry committee, which began its work in 2004, said in an earlier report that the program became deeply corrupted as Saddam arranged for surcharges and kickbacks while an overwhelmed UN headquarters failed to exert administrative control over the program.
Hat tip: Instapundit

Hello, Jill Wagner

Oh How I Love Thee Internet, part 1,334: So I was watching TV, stopped at a certain commercial that defies fast-forwarding and thought, "That Mercury babe is incredible. I wonder who she is?"

It took about five minutes to find her name and get pictures.

To you guys and nontraditional females, enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Good for the gander ...

A building in Maryland used by FEMA was evacuated this morning after workers were overcome by fumes.

Authorities say it could be three to five days before assistance can arrive.

PGA Tour too busy washing their balls

I hate to be so eloquent, but the new idea by the PGA Tour to institute a points chase and playoff system is wicked retarded.

Few golf fans have as much invested in individual golfers like NASCAR fans salivate over individual drivers in their "race to the chase." I doubt I'll be enticed to click over from the Falcons game on a Sunday in October to see if Joe Ogilvie makes the top thirty and earns enough points to overtake Carl Petterson for fifth place. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

What adult goes by Scooter anyway?

What have we learned about the difference between special counsels appointed during Clinton’s administration and George Bush’s?

If Scooter Libby had just lied about sex, he’d be in the clear.

If Lovegood publishes it, the story must be true

From the front page of today’s Quibbler

CORNWALL - The eccentric Weasley family of The Burrow is on the lookout for their flying “car,” a contraption featuring four wheels and an engine that Muggles use for transportation.

Initially the Ministry of Magic was concerned that Ronald Weasley and Mr. Harry Potter had confiscated the automobile after missing the train to Hogwarts again, but authorities soon decided it was the work of the Death Eaters who plan to use the “car” for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s latest nefarious scheme.

It is believed this “car” knows the Forbidden Forest adjacent to Hogwarts and can provide protection from the centaurs and acromantulas living within its spine-chilling boundaries.

Narcissa Malfoy issued a statement denying any connection, pointing blame at Arthur Weasley for abusing his position in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office at the Ministry.

A gay old time

Sulu, aka George Takei, has been going where few men boldly go.

It's unconfirmed that the Star Trek star is in this picture with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen:

Friday, October 28, 2005

I Loved the 80s

It’s a shame it took until the third I Love the 80s for VH1 to finally mention the classic comedy Short Circuit. And yes, I believe both of those adjectives apply and I’ll fight you for it.

I think it says a lot about my mindset in the 90s that I didn’t relate at all to the “I Love the 90s” series, yet all three of the 80s specials I’m laughing the entire way through, slapping my thighs with delight. What a great decade.

General mismanagement

For some reason, Red Sox management waited until his contract ends Monday to try and deal with General Manager Theo Epstein. Even worse, they’re trying to low-ball him, offering $1.2 million per year for three years.

Think about it this way. The Dang Yanks, who still haven’t won a World Series this century, gave GM Brain Cashman a three-year contract worth more than $5 million this week to stay on, even though he has bombed the last few years with big contracts and old farts, all the while selling trading the farm.

Meanwhile, on $350,000 the past three years, Theo has made the postseason three straight years with at least 95 wins, won the franchise’s first title in 86 years, built up a strong minor league farm system and made gutsy calls like dishing Nomah in 2004 for Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mintkaywoojocakski (or whatever), providing the spark the team needed heading into the pennant chase. So yeah, Theo’s worth Cashman money, if not more. Pay the man, already, John Henry and Larry Lucchino.

I don't care what color you are; hit the dang baseball

MLB “color” analyst Joe Morgan has decided that it’s wrong that Houston made it to the World Series without any African-Americans on the team.

Anyone think there will be a similar dust-up when an NBA team without any white Americans wins the title?

Would this be a bad time to wonder if ESPN only keeps Morgan around because of his color? It certainly can’t be for his half-witted announcing skills. Heck, he makes Tim McCarver seem downright competent at the job. Okay, that’s a little much. How about “less awful.”

Grand Cayman

Dad emailed some pictures of his Week O’ Pleasure down in Grand Cayman when Wilma was swirling to the southwest. Looks like fun!









Thursday, October 27, 2005

Good day, and good riddance

Nick Nunziata, founder of movie site CHUD.com, would like to tell right-wingers who hate the constant left-wing politics in movies:
“(Bleepers) ought to keep their own squabbles against his politics in their car when they go to the movies.”
Of course, this is easily said by a liberal who gets a handjob from Hollywood in every movie nowadays.

Specifically, he’s talking about the anti-McCarthy movie by George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck. You know, the period when the country was supposedly terrorized by the senator’s “witch hunt” for communists. You know the difference? In Salem, Mass, there were certainly no witches, but there darn well were commies infiltrating the government and the country post-WWII.

Know the movie I'd like to see? Any movie about 9/11 where the U.S. didn't get "what we deserve." Any movie about the Gulf War that's not about how the war was worthless (ask the Kuwaitis) and "hey we funded Saddam against Iran so we had it coming." Remember when Hollywood was actually on our side with movies like Why We Fight way back in the second World War? Good times.

Not even Steven Spielberg can resist tossing left-wing namby-pamby thoughts into something so cut-and-dry as Israel avenging the Munich massacre in the 1972 Olympics. If you didn’t know, for years afterwards, Israeli operatives hunted down the Palestinians responsible. Apparently Spielberg feels that fueled the “cycle of violence” that left-wingers blame Israel for keeping the Middle East in turmoil. Check out this article about the movie, Munich:
Daniel Craig, one of the British stars of the film, said that the screenplay is a less-than-flattering portrayal of Israeli tactics. "It's about how vengeance doesn't work - blood breeds blood."
Words don’t serve justice to this kind of foolish notion.

UPDATE: Let's check out Wednesday’s headlines for the international news that sticks out:

Suicide bombing kills at least 5 in Israel - Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for an apparent suicide bombing that killed at least five people in the northern Israeli city of Hadera, Israel authorities said.

Four guilty in German terror trial - Four Arab men accused of planning to bomb Jewish targets in Germany on the orders of militant Islamist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have been found guilty on Wednesday at the end of a marathon trial.

Iranian leader: Wipe out Israel - Iran's new president has repeated a remark from a former ayatollah that Israel should be "wiped out from the map," insisting that a new series of attacks will destroy the Jewish state, and lashing out at Muslim countries and leaders that acknowledge Israel.

9 Qaeda-linked militants nabbed in (Philippines) - Combined police and military raiders arrested nine members of a group of Muslim converts linked to the al-Qaeda linked terror network Jemaah Islamiyah Wednesday morning.

This isn’t a “cycle” violence, unless it’s a unicycle.

How I Met My Comedy

With “Scrubs” on hiatus until who knows when, my new favorite comedy is CBS’ genius “How I Met Your Mother,” as told from the year 2030 featuring a guy, Ted, who senses his biological clock ticking. (Gee, why do I like it so much?) Not only that, but Neil Patrick “Doogie” Harris is hilarious as Barney, Ted’s horny friend.

Anyway, the website has some goodies, including a game to see whom you pair up with on the show. Between Robin and Lily, my “perfect match” is Lily, played by super-duper awesome Buffy alumna Alyson Hanigan. Not that I'd mind if either lady showed up on my doorstep.

Check out Barney’s blog, too. Example:
I dressed as a Viking, a Ninja, Teddy Roosevelt and of course my old standby, Gandhi, although not necessarily in that order. I picked up one of four chicks in each costume: a Slutty Nun, Slutty Cinderella, a Slutty Slut and a Slutty some kind of creature with ears and a tail, I was pretty drunk by that point.

Vent, perchance, to dream ...

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required - use this):

- If Atlanta gets casinos, will the blackjack tables deal race cards?
- Oprah Winfrey makes me gag. She’s become a self-appointed savior of the world.
- New Orleans could revive tourism by hosting a “Watch the Crooked Politicians Do Nothing” tour.
- October: The Braves and leaves have fallen.
- Am I the only one who saves recipes and never cooks?
- Congratulations to the Chinese for doing something we did half a century ago. What’s next? Color TV?
- You know it’s going to be a bad day when the first thing your wife says to you is, “Oh, … you use that toothbrush?”
- Every time we go out to eat, the catch of the day is mahi mahi. I’ve been fishing all over Georgia for years, and never caught one yet.
- I love Halloween! All the parties, the decorations, the tasty sweets and I don’t have to entertain relatives.
- How’s a guy supposed to sleep around here with all the noisy chitchat of my co-workers?
- In the history of cinema, only a handful of moviegoers have ever finished a large tub of popcorn.
- If squirrels are in the church attic, baptize them. Then they’ll show up only on Christmas.
- Anybody who hates geometry isn’t thinking straight.
- Some mornings it doesn’t pay to gnaw through the leather strips.
- People don’t realize how stupid they look with one of those telephone things attached to their ear. Jeff note: I like them. Makes everyone wearing them look like Lando Calrissian’s assistant!

Vents I Sent:

- Some days you feel like Kirk, other days like Spock, but then there are the rest where you feel like the doomed guy in a red shirt on an away mission.
- Would adults who advocate giving teenagers condoms and saying, “be careful” also give teens a six-pack of beer with a pat on the back and advice to “drink responsibly?”
- Never let your mother brush your hair when she's mad at your father. (Borrowed.)
- George Bush is the hub of the world for his enemies. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Central Park, it was blown there by global warming. And the butterfly is racist.
- Who knew? There really is a unit of time called a "jiffy." It's exactly 1/100th of a second.
- Failure in Iraq would vindicate anti-war liberals, and that's why they're so eager to find signs of it.
- Sure, 78 percent of Iraqis approved the most liberal constitution in the region, but at least Susan Sarandon feels vindicated now that enough American soldiers have died to help make it a reality.
- Florida will be fine because they actually plan for hurricanes, as opposed to New Orleans' "please don't die" initiative.
- The 2,000th service member killed in Iraq is not a “milestone.” It is an artificial mark set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives. (Courtesy Michelle Malkin)
- Can blind people see their dreams? (Courtesy Grif.net)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Cute Baby Alert has been raised

For some reason I took only three pictures my entire vacation, and only one was worth sending. So here it is. I saved it for Nate's "so, um, when do I get to play 'crash the cars'?" look.



How about another cute baby? This is Caleb, born last week to my cousin Amy and her hubby, Phil. He weighed 8 lbs & 8 oz and was 20 inches long.



What amazes me is that growing up there were six of us kids who hung out the most in our family. My three siblings and cousins Amy and Karla. (I have eight other cousins on Mom’s side, but they are younger and lived out of town, so we only got to see each other a few times a year.)

Now, there are six kids from this brood playing together. My sister Stacy’s Gabriel and Nate, cousin Karla’s Gavin and Evie and Amy with A.J. and now Caleb. They’re all about the same ages apart as we were, too, although clearly Evie is outnumbered by the boys. I guess the rest of us will have to rectify that later, eh?

A little here, a little there

- The envelope on which John Lennon handwrote the lyrics of "Give Peace a Chance" is going on the auction block. The awkward thing is, the original envelope really says "Give peas a chance" for his upcoming Vegetarian push.

- How the Saddam trial should really go, according to blogger Iraq the Model:
“Why do we have to listen to this bull****?” said one of my friends.
“I prefer the trial goes like this:
Q:Are you Saddam Hussein?
A:Yes.
Then take this bullet in the head.”


- Emily Deschanel looks a lot better during the previews of "Bones" than when she's all gussied up in the poses at the end.

- Voice of Jolly Green Giant Dies - His cremated remains will be placed in a can of green beans and spread over the produce section.

The Nord Report

Scott’s friend Jeremy is blogging while in the Gulf Coast with his church to help rebuild and clean up. Good reports, and with pictures, too.

Violence is good for the spirit

It’s 2 a.m. and the World Series game is stretching further and further, now in the 14th inning. Thus, here I sit at work, waiting for the final sports update.

What good comes from this, besides watching a classic game? Plenty of time to spin out a combined review of A History of Violence and Serenity! Good things really do come to those who wait ... and wait ...

And now for something completely different ... Holy cow. Last week I was talking to Steven about changing from Geocities as the host for my personal web site, since I could use more space than the 75 mb I currently was buying. Tonight I just realized that they upped the ante to a whooping 550 mb of storage space. Woohoo, I'm loading up full-sized pictures! My next plan is to finally purchase my own domain name. Something easy to find by family and friends, like www.jeffsfamilyandfriendsclickhere.com. You know, unassuming like that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Peppermint Jeffy

Okay, so I stole this from Stacy, who got Rerun. I'm not sure how to take this. Should everyone call me "Sir" from now on? Another thing, I pride myself on my intellectual talents. Then again, I also took the test. This is stupid. I'm taking my ball and going home.

Peppermint Patty
Which Peanuts Character are You?

Humble apologies

Now that I've had time to think about it for ten minutes in the gym shower, my comment about the Weaver family grieving "too much" was wrong. Pure asshole. Head, get thee out of my bum. Who am I to tell a widow and her daughters when they can't be sad? Dr. Phil even said today, "you don't intrude on people's grief," and my motto is WWDPD? (What Would Dr. Phil Do?) After all, I'm also of the Captain Kirk "I need my pain!" philosophy, which you probably don't remember because I'm the only person who actually liked Star Trek V: God Says To Look Elsewhere For Answers.

What brought this on was thinking about Danielle's father dying while waiting out Wilma this weekend. You think that family's hearts will race a little bit when every hurricane from now on forms near south Florida? It will be terrible, and they have every right to think about it and be blue without me telling them to suck it up.

(CBS should still feel guilty about using the Weavers to build emotion, however.)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wilma aftermath

Some good, some terrible news after Wilma cut through south Florida last night.

My father, newly dubbed The Hurricane Magnet, partied in Grand Cayman while Wilma formed nearby, then flew back to Miami just in time for the hurricane to make a beeline for his house.

Nana provided the update. He lost tiles off the house, two trees were blown down and another lying across his house that isn’t his. Electricity is out, as is the land phone, and he could barely manage a cell phone call out. Oh, and he slept through the entire thing as it blew through overnight. Sheesh.

The tragic news is about Danielle’s father, Rusty. As they waited out the storm in the Ft. Myers area, he died about three in the morning. Keep the family in your prayers.

UPDATE: Dad called this afternoon. He still doesn't have power, and won't for between three days to five weeks. (Way to narrow that down.) Every tree along the main drive in his community fell, and he still doesn't know whose tree is resting against his house or at the end of his driveway. The FedEx office opens tomorrow, with power, email access and even better, a hot shower.

The South: BP and Trailers

I’m nearly a week late to the latest “Amazing Race,” so forgive me if you’ve been stewing on an episode I wish I’d never seen. That’s saying a lot, since the previous shuttle episode was the worst ever before this one.

Let’s make a list, shall we?

Does anyone else think Phil sounds bored when he intros “who will be eliminated next?”

The Bransens made fun of Alabama, calling it “ugly,” (too many green trees and hills?) then the father does the ultra-original Dueling Banjos theme. They are now my enemies, no matter how much I want a foursome with the daughters.

Why did the teams go to Anniston anyway? Seriously, a big chair? Then they stay at a trailer park dealership overnight? This is what The Amazing Race producers think makes up the South?

Why drive to Anniston past Talladega, then turn around and go back to the track? Why not stop in Birmingham and the Vulcan statue? That’s ten times more interesting and picturesque overlooking the city.

The Weavers got to the extra mile at the track to over-emote about their father’s death.

Stassi Schroeder whining all day even though the teams didn’t do anything but drive from point A to point B.

Who’s left to like? The Gaghans and the Goodlookskis. That’s the list. And even the Goodlookskis are bitching and crying more and more.

A clue at a BP station? Are you fracking serious? Not only is it going too far with advertising, it’s incredibly stupid and not representative at all of the region. Would the producers send teams next season to London and have them stop at a Burger King for a clue?

The Weaver mother called Lake Pontchartrain “one of the five Great Lakes.” None of her kids knew enough to correct her. I weep for basic geography education in this country.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Saturday notes

- So I'm watching the DVD of Batman Begins this weekend, and can we all agree that Katie Holmes can absolutely not return for the next one? If we barely missed Kim Basinger, we wouldn't even blink at the absence of Tom's brainwashed fiance. For one thing, I just get more and more pissed every time the end comes around and she's all, "You're still wearing a mask, I don't know who you are." Of course, earlier she said it was all about "what you do that defines you," and then he saved your life and then the entire city, but hey, he's not acting like himself! Bitch.

- From the Too Much Information Department, today's headline: Hillary’s Chest Gets Bigger As ’08 Gets Closer.

- The Religion of Peace and Tolerance rioted in Egypt yesterday, all because of a Christian DVD. Hate to think what would happen if they lived here and flipped past that Christian cable network with the pink-haired lady. But remember, this is exactly what liberal anti-religionists either think Christians already do, or would do if the ACLU weren't around to change all Christmas parties in public schools to "Holiday" parties.

- Another headline: Man Stops Carjacking With Hot Coffee.
From now on, vows to use sour candies instead.

- The bird flu was found in a parrot in England. I should say, an ex-parrot I purchased not half an hour ago. No, no, he's uh ... he's resting. Remarkable bird, though, beautiful plumage!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Waving Sveum to Wisconsin with glee

It doesn’t take much for me to celebrate a bright sunshiny day when it comes to following the Red Sox.

Case in point, my evening was made last night when I learned that third base coach Dale Sveum is leaving for Milwaukee, presumably because the Brewers don't mind sending runners home even though the catcher has held the ball so long that he's had time to drink a large glass of beer, use the restroom and finish the crossword puzzle. The New York Times Sunday puzzle.

The holiest thing since crumbled bread

(Still on vacation, enjoying some down time in Chapel Hill, a town so out of the way that my T-Mobile service has decided it is too insignificant to give me a signal.)


Courtesy Grif.net:

We have just celebrated the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. There is a ceremony (Tashlich) where Jews traditionally go to the ocean or a stream or river to pray and throw bread crumbs into the water. Symbolically, their sins are gone.

Occasionally, people ask what kind of bread crumbs should be thrown. Here are suggestions for breads which may be most appropriate for specific sins and misbehaviors:

For ordinary sins - White Bread

For particularly dark sins - Pumpernickel

For complex sins - Multi-Grain

For twisted sins - Pretzels

For tasteless sins - Rice Cakes

For sins of indecision - Waffles

For substance abuse - Stoned Wheat

For carnal sins - French Bread

For use of heavy drugs - Poppy Seed bread

For committing auto theft - Caraway bread

For timidity/cowardice - Milk Toast

For ill-temperedness - Sourdough

For silliness, eccentricity - Nut Bread

For excessive irony - Rye Bread

For dressing immodestly - Tarts

For promiscuity with gentiles - Hot Cross Buns

For racist attitudes - Crackers

For gluttony - Stuffing

For impetuosity - Quick Bread

For pride and egotism - Puff Pastry

For being holier-than-thou - Angel Food Cake

For sending bad jokes/puns on the Grif.Net - Corn Bread

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

No blues in Memphis

Am I glad that I didn’t spend my vacation in Atlanta all week and came to Memphis. It’s been a fun and busy few days.

Monday afternoon Steve and I drove up to the alma mater, Union U., in Jackson. We brought Matthew with us, so that got us plenty of smiles. And by “us,” I mean Matthew’s adorable four-year-oldness got the attention from cute co-eds. That night I met Sydney and Matt for dinner at Outback because I really, really, really needed a steak.

Tuesday night was all about being with the Superstar Diva … Extraordinaire, Kimberly. We hung out at CafĂ© Ole in the hippie Cooper-Young area, had dessert at Ben & Jerry’s then walked over to the Paradiso to see Waiting, a juvenile comedy about hijinks at a TGI Friday’s like place that’s supposed to be a waiter version of Office Space. There were some funny bits that made it worthwhile because frankly who wants to spend two hours deep in thought on a Tuesday? Bring on genital humor, I say!

Today has been spent thinking otherwise that it’s my 30th birthday. This afternoon I played 18 holes at Fox Meadows. Even with a blister on my left-hand pointy finger and struggling a few holes trying to play through some slow-pokes I still came away with a 77, though like this: 43-34. Let’s just say the back nine went a lot better and more relaxing once I had the course open to myself, like when you’re in a communal shower and no one else is in there. No pressure, ya know?

Tonight, hanging out with Nana for dinner and “Lost” and whatever. Tomorrow whenever I wake up I’m heading to Chapel Hill for the weekend and more family social interaction! Good times, indeed.

30 Things About Turning 30

Flashback 30 years ago today at 7:11 (a.m., not the convenience store) in Phoenix, Arizona in St. Joseph’s Hospital, along comes the Jeff you all know and sorta love and put up with because you could end up seeing your name in print or in a picture with a funny caption.

This is a special edition post, 30 Things About Turning 30 (that's what I call symmetry). Remember, this information is to be used solely for entertainment purposes, and should not be the basis of putting your life savings into the Powerball drawing, lest you plan on giving me a percentage of the windfall:


1. Is it any coincidence that the Roman numerals for 30 are XXX? (I mean as in 3XL, you pervs.)

2. I’ve started buying stuff like nose hair clippers and saying things in front of the mirror like, “How’d this strand of hair get so long on my fracking ear?”

3. On fitness charts my slant is headed down, i.e., the maximum heart rate during exercise is lower. Speaking of, my doctor recommends annual checkups and extra tests (still no colonoscopy for ten more years, thankfully). Of course, I’m also one of the rare 30-year-olds who can say he’s had two prostate tests. Not good times.

4. I’m not giving up my juvenile viewing habits of watching Anchorman and Team America over and over to make sure I memorize every funny quote.

5. No one will ever think I’m capable of being a lecherous haberdasher. (Okay, not that I ever sold men’s clothing, but doesn’t “haberdasher” deserve to have a better definition, something like, “someone who deliberately stirs up trouble” or “a guy destined to be running naked from a woman’s house when her husband comes home early?”)

6. I’m not really 30, by which I mean I’ve slept for well over 10 years. (Less than eight hours is for poor people.) If that doesn’t work, I say that like the new millennium didn’t really begin until 2001, my next decade doesn’t start until I’m 31.

7. I’m at the age most pro athletes are considered to have finished their prime and are headed downhill for the rest of their career. Unless they take steroids, then they’re good for another five to ten seasons until their testes fall off, their head swells so big no hat can be made for them and people start whispering about how they “pistol-whipped a guy asking for an autograph.”

8. It’s now near scientifically impossible to fit that many candles on a regular-sized cake. Not that the fire marshal would allow such a hazard.

9. I make up girlfriends all the time to look better to other people. Seriously, for no reason. I’ll be at Target and purchase Noxzema, the clerk says something innocuous about skin care and I’ll say, “yeah, my girlfriend has to have it.” Or at TCBY, “my girlfriend would kill me for not bringing home ice cream.” What the heck? Why? The people working there don’t care. I’ve even thought about buying a fake wedding band so that when I’m at movies or the mall alone, passersby won’t think I’m a freak. Which, naturally, makes me a freak. It's a vicious cycle.

10. Twenty-eight of my years have been spent anticipating new Star Wars movies, a few of which at the latter end were spent buying all the figures and vehicles that I once had in childhood. I love my Millennium Falcon, and you can’t take it from me!

11. I’m closer to my ten-year college reunion (May, 2007) than having attended my ten-year high school reunion (June, 2003).

12. I’ve been in the business world almost nine years. Only 40 more to go until retirement, unless Social Security goes bankrupt like we all expect. Then I’ll be fighting for scraps in the Coliseum against other old people and tigers.

13. The days of partying on rooftops with cases and cases of Bud and scantily clad women, finishing the late night downing pizza, pancakes or burgers (or all three) at IHOP are numbered. Now I’m expected to sip wine and dress nice during Martini Night at the local museum. Okay, so I’ve done neither and don’t care, but that’s not the point.

14. I can definitely say that I haven’t reached my age in sexual encounters. That’s a good thing, for sure, but I could use more stories of crazy chicks. C’mon, I only want one or two who will park outside my apartment at three in the morning, buy me stuffed animals that “look like” me and leave awkward voicemail messages. Let’s work on this, people!

15. The Braves have been division champions for half my lifetime.

16. Before every slice of pizza or buffalo wing I need to take a Pepcid. Later I have to down an entire bottle of Pepto Bismol and my trash can in the bathroom has a magazine, atlas and newspaper on top like I'm running a reference section of a library.

17. When filling out customer surveys I can’t click on the “Age: 25-29” box anymore. (Of course, at least now I get to click on the $50,000-$75,000 income box, so I figure we’re all square. Take that, handsome 26-year-old waiters! Sure, you get all kinds of women and hang out at parties with you and your buds, but … wait, where was I going with this and why am I suddenly sad?)

18. I’m a year closer to the inevitable talk behind my back by co-workers, friends and family, “Still single, eh? Maybe he’s gay.”

19. Reruns of “Thirtysomething” could suddenly make sense.

20. I still have a long way to go until I can shoot my age in a round of golf. However, I can at least reasonably shoot my age on nine holes of a simple course. By “simple” I mean “Putt-Putt.” I don’t get to play much anymore since once you turn 18 prices go up by about … let’s see, used to be two bucks, around here it’s at least thirty … carry the two … five trillion percent.

21. Now when I watch Logan's Run I’ll keep checking to see if my palm is flashing to alert the authorities that I’m too old for their civilization and should enter Carousel or find Sanctuary with that Ankh necklace.

22. Advertisers have written me off as a target because I’m settled into my brands when making purchases. I don’t care if Kraft makes mac & cheese. Is it more expensive than the Publix brand? Then see ya! But I refuse to drink Pepsi products. It just ain’t right.

23. There have been six presidents in my lifetime, only two of whom ruled for 12 years under the party represented by an ass. That leaves 18 good years of ranting at the liberal news whackos trying to bring down my beloved leaders.

24. By age 30 … Ben Franklin had regularly published “Poor Richard’s Alamanac,” purchased The Pennsylvania Gazette, printed the currency for New Jersey and been appointed Postmaster of Philadelphia … John Wayne had already appeared in 76 movies … Albert Einstein had already come up with E = mc(squared) and the Theory of Relativity … Caligula was emperor of the Roman Empire, went crazy and was killed, all by age 28 … Pamela Anderson long before was a Playboy centerfold, captivated audiences with “Baywatch” and then killed her acting career with Barb Wire … Michelangelo a year before finished the statue of David … Michael Jordan won his third NBA title, led the Dream Team to the gold medal in the ’92 Olympics, already named NBA MVP three times and led the league in scoring seven times.

25. Toys I played with as a kid are retro and back in style. (Transformers and Care Bears, to name two. Uh, not that I had any Care Bears, because that would be gay. Optimus Prime would not approve.) Similarly, I find myself regaling youths about stories of “back in my day.”

26. Based on past patterns, I will be 115 when the Red Sox win the World Series again. But they will lose the Series when I’m 57, 78, 86 and 97.

27. One year closer to that blissful time when I can wear socks with sandals and not give a rat’s a** what anyone thinks.

28. At church I'll be “graduating” into the 30s and 40s singles class made up mostly of bitter man-hating women who blame any guy in their path for their lack of being married, getting divorced or being left at the altar. They’re carrying so much baggage they have to check it under the plane before flights.

29. I’m expected to shave every day and practice what sticklers call “hygiene.”

30. Let’s leave on a positive: I can date 40 year-old-women and their 20-year-old daughters!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Turning 30, Elizabethtown and Garden State

My egocentric generation loves self-analysis. Yes, even me. I have zero self-esteem, yet I'm incredibly self-absorbed. You figure it out.

Remember Phoebe’s boyfriend on “Friends” who insults the group in Central Perk that we’re all about “oh, oh, please define me! Waaaa!” The real reason? We have too much time on our hands and we really don‘t care to grow up anytime soon.

Remember my motto: “Just because you age doesn’t mean you have to grow up. Maturity is overrated, and what‘s up with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? Is she, like, brainwashed and he‘s an alien stealing her soul? Did he win her in a game of poker? I need to know these things, although I refuse to get a subscription to Us Weekly since I can read it in the grocery store checkout aisle.”

I should really cut that motto to a manageable size.

The average age for first marriages is being pushed closer and closer to 30 and college grads in my generation have already gone through several jobs, whereas our parents and grandparents had long settled into stable careers and pumped out ten children by now. They probably didn't spend half their day either watching the Red Sox, reading about the Red Sox, or blogging about the Red Sox. Although they might have contacted each other via tin can and strings to talk about them.

Apparently we don’t feel the need to grow up, but have time to spend hours a day on Playstation or, in my case, see a lot of movies and write about them here between visits to ESPN.com and SiberianBrides.com. (I mean, have you seen Yulia? Now, where’s Ust-Kamenogorsk?)

Enter the psychoanalysis fad in the zeitgeist (I really like that word, don't you; makes me seem smart) called the “Quarterlife Crisis.” What is it? A means to explore why young men and women are having trouble adjusting to the real world. By which I mean, “moving out of their parents’ home, eating meals other than take-out, getting a job that doesn't use the phrase 'for a quarter more you can get the large,' and dating women who aren’t named Candy or Cherry.”

Of course, the term taken literally, this means I expect to live to see 120 years old. I’m okay with this.

I originally scoffed at the idea of this “Crisis.” What a bunch of baloney, people looking for a medical solution to a problem that‘s caused by immaturity. I come from more of a common sense philosophy, like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Now quit being part of the #@#%@# problem!”

That is, until good ol’ gal pal Sydney reminded me that I fit the mold. I’m a day from 30 and yet still feeling things out, wondering why I don't have a wife and kids by now and I have more baseball and hockey jerseys in my closet than dress shirts. Darn that Syd and her 31-year-old wisdom.

In Elizabethtown and Garden State, such terminology is what Alfred Hitchcock termed the "MacGuffin," the driving force of a movie, what everyone is looking for to push the plot along. In these films, that usually means something existential like "finding yourself" gobbledygook. In other words, the characters are just looking for satisfaction, some happiness, inner peace. They just get about it with more drama and dialogue that’s pure poetry, whereas I post blog entries about loving sheep and point totals for Arby's roast beef sandwiches. Advantage: Hollywood.

As a result, I get the feeling that either I’m a lot happier than others in my generation or the media just portrays us all as jaded to the world.

Everyone has issues to resolve, our baggage, if you will, but if you withdraw and try to figure it out alone you fall into a deeper funk. I like to call this “Monday.“ Or, honestly, I go to the driving range, get a jumbo bucket and enjoy the day by whacking several balls, then walk around Target and Publix looking stalking creepily for a date. And failing miserably. Then return the next day for more. The lesson: Not only do I accept my limitations, I embrace them!

Where the films and I split is any flick in which the main character leaves home bitter. Know what burns me? It sounds like an insult when folks’ eyes boggle, “Wow, so you really get along with your family?” Does anyone besides movie stars or musicians who need good copy for song lyrics really feel more in tune with life if they constantly bicker with their family? Quoting Dr. Phil, because he's awesome, "How's that working out for you?”

For Orlando Bloom (Elizabethtown) and Zach Braff (Garden State), the answer is “not very well at all. It sucks, actually.” Then Dr. Phil would say, “You’re stuck on stupid.” Hee, I love that line. These being feel-good films, our protagonists figure it out sooner than later, coming around to the affirming family dynamic that works so well for most of the rest of the country.

You could say Elizabethtown and Garden State are movie twins, though fraternal in delivery. You can also see how I would gravitate to each in my current turning-30-and-freaking-out state. Let’s go to the tape, er, film …

Two movies released a year apart, both involving men around my age who are still looking for their best in business, relationships or family bonding. (Okay, so I’m fairly successful in business and I love my family dearly, but one of those fits me humiliatingly.)

Both meet cute and quirky women who completely change their look at love and the world. That happened to me last year, though it didn’t take long to get back into the “whatever” mode and pretend nothing happened and start calling the ex “what‘s her name.“ Because I am a jerk.

Both have to return home when a parent dies and confront their emotions. Neither can cry at the funeral. Considering how both films made me, uh, wipe this weird clear fluid from my face, and I don’t mean Sprite, can I just tell both my parents that they can never, ever, die? My grandparents, too, while we’re at it. I would be destroyed. Don’t worry about me being unable to cry at the funeral; I’m thinking it would be a six-hanky falling-on-the-casket tearjerker. So long as the funeral doesn’t coincide with the Red Sox game. We have to compartmentalize here.

Elizabethtown is more whimsical than Garden State, largely because bubbly blonde chatterbox stewardess, Kirsten Dunst, is the darling of the movie. Bloom is just playing along because everyone wants to be a part of Kirsten’s Club. Legolas and Mary Jane’s is the kind of relationship where neither acknowledges they’re falling for each other, though obvious to everyone in the audience.

We needed Dunst, too, because in the first five seconds Bloom’s face exhibited his complete repertoire of acting: Cute and confused, cute and perplexed and cute and exasperated. That’s it, that’s the list. Everyone around him provides all the personality. Not that this isn’t difficult, since the story involves Bloom revisiting his roots at a typical Southern get-together with lots of food (you can‘t pass this world without the family enjoying casseroles), everyone talking over each other and putting their noses in your business. It’s a long way from California, or Oregon, or wherever on the West Coast Bloom lives. Damn hippies.

The same thing happens in Garden State with Braff and bubbly Natalie Portman, whom we’re sure will be his girlfriend but they have to act like it’s not obvious, while all the crazy people around him supply the character of the film. Braff feels detached, but largely you wonder if it's self-imposed. At least Bloom is having most uncharming suicidal thoughts because he cost his Nike-esque shoe company nearly one-billion dollars.

The major difference is that Elizabethtown director Cameron Crowe has all the cred he needs in Hollywood (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous), so he gets a chance at more stars and a bigger budget, and it shows. Oh, sure, there are the artistic touches, but when you’ve got Susan Sarandon to deliver a soliloquy at the end and get her moment to shine, it’s a move up.

Garden State gets an independent film’s touch. As Braff's first release, you can detect the film school-ish "this is a cool shot" for "finding yourself" scenes, unnecessary nudity and while the sense of humor has some relation to “Scrubs,” the wacky antics are in another direction entirely, not melodramatic but with “serious” overtones.

What lessons do we learn here?

  • Don’t move to L.A., where you’ll never hear people described as “less shallow than you think.”
  • Going to Jersey won’t let you find peace, but you will figure out that you’re pretty doggone normal compared the nutjobs you’ll find there.
  • Don’t kill yourself just because you lost $972 million for your company. And never round it off to $1 billion because it make you feel worse.
  • Take road trips nowhere and everywhere to clear your mind.
  • I really want to be friends with Chuck and Cindy.
  • It's okay to feel down, just don't revel in it. Instead, play R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” five times, eat a carton of ice cream and cheer the frack up with Anchorman or by watching guys rack themselves on skateboards on the Internet.
  • Braff and Bloom are always working something out in their heads. So am I - my mind always strategizes and figures scenarios to every possible situation, most of which never come to fruition. I’m the General Patton of brainpower and relationships.
  • If you’re going to fail, do it monumentally.
  • Keep it real.
  • Both films are entitled to receive praise and inspire deep thought, especially for those of us in our 20s still searching for the "answers." Even if I’m only in my 20s for one more day.
  • The movies’ soundtracks complement each film pitch-perfectly

Seriously, both had me driving the next few days with my windows down, sunroof open and the music blaring, successfully manipulating my every emotion. But in a feel-good way. What is it about films confronting death that leave you exiting the theater full of life?

Thus, while you may choose to believe that today is the last day in recorded history, I choose to believe it's the dawn of a new era: The Age of Jeff. Sayonara, 20s, hello, age 30, a new decade full of possibilities, including dating Kirsten Dunst or screaming into a quarry with Zach Braff. Whatever floats my boat is fine.

Alas, we’ll revisit this in ten years when my Quarterlife Crisis morphs straight into my mid-life crisis.



[Stay tuned for more narcissistic introspective drivel tomorrow!]

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Elsewhere

Dear Alabama,

Your roads suck.

Love,
Jeff


Hey folks, I’m in Memphis. This afternoon, sometime between waking up at noon and taking a shower at 4, I decided to stop spending my vacation on my duff alone in Atlanta, and to sit on my duff with other people in Memphis for a few days, then Chapel Hill through the weekend.

As if I was going to get around to cleaning my apartment or taking my car to the Pontiac dealer before the 36,000 mile warranty expires. Who’s going to see my place anyway? Maybe I like that pile of magazines from the Red Sox World Series right where it is behind the door to the closet. And do I really need to wait six hours at the dealership for them to tighten my rearview mirror so it doesn’t shake like a crackhead in rehab when the weather’s hot? Heck no!

So alls I’m sayin’ is, I’m relaxing somewhere other than Georgia for awhile. I did bring my golf clubs, so that’s the only activity I plan on enjoying. Besides tomorrow when Steve and I walked the hallowed halls of Union University again, me checking out the cute co-eds, he checking them out but without actually looking to snog behind the SUB.

Syd, see you tomorrow night. Kimberly, email me your phone number so we can hook up. I mean, not hook up in that way, unless you want to, but really it’s not expected. How ‘bout we meet for lunch, at least? I’ll buy. What’s Jersey Mike’s like nowadays? I kid!

When I walked into Nana’s place, she had a note on the recliner saying there is some fettuccini in the fridge for me if I’m hungry. Well, yeah, now I am! This weekend I was off the diet, by the way, enjoying a frozen pizza, wings and today some chips and cheese dip. I figured if I was going to break the diet for my birthday, all the better to do it over the weekend when I could enjoy some football and baseball games at the same time. The Weight Watchers people would understand. If they don’t, I will stab their jaws with my fettuccini-laden fork!

Ahem. Sorry. I passed the drive with three shows on CD by comedian Dane Cook, and I think I caught some of his spaztastic ticks.

Oh, and Dad, sorry that as soon as you fly into the Cayman Islands right when a tropical storm forms nearby. But hey, you went there for business, right, so it’s not like you’re missing much. *cough*

Sunday Jefflets

- The fantastic four is now a blog family! Sister Stephanie joins her siblings with her own blog now. Hooray! Now, time to work on the cousins.

- Here's some free advice to citizens of Toledo: When Neo-Nazis come to town, your reaction should not be to loot, trash and burn your own neighborhood.

- Today’s headline: "Sheep, Two-Day Parties Enliven Remote Falklands Isles.” What was playing on the stereo, “Born to be Baa-ad?” Remember, it’s okay to love sheep, just not luuuv sheep.

- U.S. forces in Iraq said on Saturday that they were holding a man suspected of acting as a barber to senior al Qaeda militants. Officials said they had to be careful when confronting the man, lest he cut and run.

- The Catholic Church sent out a warning to leave exorcism to the experts. Aw, so what am I going to do with this Home Demon Exorcising Kit I bought off a late-night informercial? I mean, the host proved that you could get rid of Satan’s minions with some orange-scented wipes, a few crunches and wearing a funky sweater, and I believe him. (By the way, is it any coincidence that when I spell checked “Satanists,” one of the suggested words was “Stalinists”?)

- You might remember that James “Scotty” Doohan died earlier this year. But Mark Steyn shows us that there’s a lot more to Doohan and “Beam me up, Scotty.” Great obit. Read it all. Not just for Trekkies!

- I don’t know anything about the fancy space equipment and equations necessary to make the Mars rover missions successful. I would, however, have a great time coming up with all the names scientists use for everything from rocks to valleys. No doubt if I had a hand in naming some of these objects, you’d hear about rocks named Yaz, Nomah, Dr. Venkman, Hagrid, Rhett Butler, Clarence Carter, Elvis and Patton.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A few point-ers

Diet Life Plan update:

I’m rediscovering foods that work with Weight Watchers that I had forsaken for years in favor of pizza, chicken wings and bacon cheeseburgers.

I eat Subway at least five days a week, pretzels are a great movie food (three points), ginormous Weight Watcher fudgesicles are only a point and I found out that a certain crab meat at my grocer is only 2.5 points per package, which is awesome for salads or sandwiches and doesn’t need any mayo to cream it up.

When I’m at work, fast food joints downstairs needn’t be my adversary. Quite the contrary, in fact. A chargrilled chicken sandwich with chicken soup at Chick-fil-A is nine points total. A grilled chicken sandwich and small chili at Wendys’ comes in at just ten points, same if I get a plain baked potato instead of chili, then go over to Moe’s and they always give me some salsa to put on the potato. A regular roast beef sandwich at Arby’s is no more than seven points.

When I was on Atkins the food court was a nightmare. I had to buy a hamburger and remove the bun. Buy a taco and remove the shell. I felt stupid, and rightly so.

Bread is our friend, folks, let’s not forget that. When we were children and wouldn’t eat anything else, peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread kept us going all day and night. No matter what happened since, the absolute best thing in the world is sliced bread, and we acknowledge it all the time. So let’s give bread the respect it deserves.

Owned

Sometimes you wonder if country music singers allow this to happen on purpose just for the song inspirations:
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM CHRIS CAGLE
October 3rd, 2005

To All My Loyal Music Fans:

"As many of you are aware, I had been anxiously awaiting the addition of a new baby to my life. The baby has been born and both mother and child are in good health. Since the birth, however, we have discovered that biologically, the child is not mine.

As excited as I was about becoming a new father, my disappointment is equally as strong. So out of respect for all that are involved, please allow this situation to remain private and know that I will not be commenting further on this very personal matter. I'm thanking you in advance for your kind cooperation and understanding."

Chris Cagle
Link courtesy Jason Mulgrew, who adds, “I'm not sure which is worse: finding out that the baby you thought was yours is not actually yours OR finding out that the baby you thought was yours is not actually yours and posting it on your website.”

Friday, October 14, 2005

Trust, then verify

I know, I know, it could seriously damage the relationship that we have built on trust, understanding and love of cheese, but I had to add the additional step of "word verification" to my comments. I apologize. I figure you are used to it by now, anyway, on everyone else's blog. Let's work the problem together, people.

UPDATE: By the way, Scott, if you didn't get the title to this post, you have to rename your pup.

Trailer Park

Not a good day for previews:

Rumor Has It - Jennifer Anniston flies home for her sister’s wedding and discovers her grandmother, Shirley MacLaine, is the basis of The Graduate. Mrs. Robinson references abound, and it turns out Kevin Costner is the guy who has slept with Anniston’s entire female family, and it looks like he’ll do so with her, too. Good cast, but no way.

Memoirs of a Geisha - The acclaimed book that I never read is finally made. I get it, but there’s not going to be any action, the intrigue looks dull and if there’s no nudity and Zhang Ziyi is one of the main characters then what’s the point?

The Family Stone - This one made me nauseous. Sarah Jessica Parker meets the family of her fiance (Dermot Mulrooney) for the first time and yadda yadda yadda he’s got a crazy family with Diane Keaton as his Monster-in-Law, Rachel McAdams as the bitchy sister and Luke Wilson as the bitchin’ brother. Pratfalls, angst and eventually a big happy family with surely ensue. Gag.

Aeon Flux - A weird MTV cartoon comes to life with Charlize Theron in short black hair, skimpy clothes and absolutely no personality in The Matrix meets The Island. For 14-year-old boys and Comic Book Guys only.

Coming down is the hardest thing

If you wondered if director Cameron Crowe could manipulate me when seeing Elizabethtown, let’s just say that I spent the last three hours with my windows down, sunroof open and Tom Petty blaring, especially "Learning to Fly," which is in the film. So yeah, he was successful.

The movie also got me in the mood for a road trip, encouraging me to get off my lazy duff and actually take a vacation to be with other people instead of watching my DVD of “Battlestar Galactica” alone while eating cereal over the sink and feeling sorry for myself for turning 30.

Memphis folks, get your hopes up again, I may go for a jaunt your way before heading to see the Mother, Sister and Grandparent Family Units next week.

UPDATE: Really, forget the bad reviews you've heard of this movie; the critics have their heads in the clouds and are completely out of touch with the moviegoing public. And by "public" I mean "me."

All the news that's fit to spit

Today’s anti-Bush media plastic turkey-type hysteria is over the president’s allegedly orchestrated question and answer teleconference with troops in Iraq yesterday.

On Keith Olbermann's sorry excuse for an anti-Bush cable "news" show, supposedly objective Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank even went so far as to make fun of the Iraqi soldier who thanked the president; he even mimicked the guy's accent, for heaven's sake!

Let me clue you in on something. The media is "coaching" interviewees all the time. By which I mean producers bring on subjects who know their topic best, and are told what kind of questions will be asked. If not done live, producers will even do an interview more than once to get a smoother segment. This isn't staging, it's just good producing.

The Bush staff never told the soldiers what to say, and coordinating who answers what question in which order is proper logistical planning to prevent chaos with ten people trying to speak at once. The so-called controversy is anti-Bush media cronyism at its most disgusting.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

No outrage here

Read this, and then close your eyes and imagine what would have happened had staffers of, say, Trent Lott, done anything as remotely as unethical:
While the media focus on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's alleged skirting of campaign laws to get Republicans elected, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett's alleged racially insensitive hypothetical regarding blacks, crime and abortion, and Sen. Bill Frist's recent sale of stock, a real crime against a black politician has been committed in virtual silence.

Sen. Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, is chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and it's his job to get Democrats elected in hopes of wresting Senate control from the GOP. Michael Steele is lieutenant governor of Maryland, and the DSCC, and along with most everyone else, expects Steele to run for the open seat of retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes.

Steele, an African American, is a rising star in a Republican party regularly accused of racial insensitivity if not outright racism, a party that thought so highly of him and his political future that it chose him to be the deputy permanent chairman of the 2004 Republican Convention. …

Apparently nothing frightens the DSCC more than an articulate and charismatic black American who also happens to be a Reagan conservative. How else to explain the behavior of two of Schumer's campaign committee members — research director Katie Barge and junior staffer Lauren Weiner — who dug for dirt using Steele's Social Security number, reportedly culled from court records, to fraudulently and illegally obtain his credit report?
Haven’t even heard about this, have you? I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you!

Me, bitter? No, think nothing of it. I’m on vacation, after all. I’m breezy.

Achtung, whiny babies

The last time Germans were encouraged to show their pride this much, we had to kick their asses.
Germans' sagging national pride and collective sense of gloom have reached critical levels, the country's top media companies say. So they have decided to do something about it.

Publishing giant Bertelsmann and 23 other companies - including publisher Axel Springer, newspaper Der Spiegel and broadcaster RTL Germany - have kicked off a four-month, $36 million campaign to lift German spirits.

Using the slogan "You are Germany," the national pep talk began Monday with an emotional two-minute TV ad featuring celebrities such as figure-skating champion Katarina Witt and the theme song from the movie Forrest Gump.

"You are the miracle of Germany," the celebrities tell their countrymen in the ad. "A butterfly can unleash a typhoon. The air moved by the flap of its wings can uproot trees a few kilometers away. Just as a breath of air can become a storm, your deeds can have an effect."
Then again, it’s kind of said to see a proud people so dejected and yet unwilling to do anything about it. That is, unless they’re showing Witt’s naked pictures. That would certainly lift my spirits.

(I know. How does every post turn into sexist filth?)

"Please fold your tray tables in case of rising to heaven"

- Today’s sexist women-are-awesome-pieces-of-meat link: Yowzers. Check out those torts on Ally McGams. Should have gone to law school.

- Headlines of the day: Chronic illnesses favor poor nations. Aw, man, they always get the cool stuff! What are we stuck with? The 24-hour cold? Chicken pox?

Turkey confirms bird flu. Well, yeah, that just makes sense now, don’t it?

- In October’s Lark News online, Rapture Safety cards prepare parishioners, airline-style.
Ushers hold up the Rapture Safety cards and give a complete safety demonstration before each service, even pointing out exit routes for people who are not taken by the Rapture.

For believers, the cards depict various Rapture poses they may strike when the trumpet sounds: the flange pose, with both arms pointed down like a badminton birdie. Or the more popular Superman pose: one knee up, both arms held skyward.
I got the card that has a picture of a guy smacking his forehead with the word bubble, “I knew Mormon was the way to go!”

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"No, I don't know Peter Falk"

From the October 10 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Columbus Would Say About America If He Were Alive Today."

10. "I discovered the New World, but who discovered these delicious Cinnabons?"

9. "Hey, my fo'shizzle thing finally caught on"

8. "Flu outbreaks, political chaos, vermin -- this place hasn't changed a bit"

7. "It's humbling to realize that because of me Americans are getting 20% off on a mattress"

6. "How did you come to choose the leader you call 'Oprah'?"

5. "It's nice to see Cher is still around"

4. "As a fellow man of sea, I join you in mourning the death of 'Gilligan'"

3. "The finest chefs in Italy can't compare to Olive Garden"

2. "I discovered the continent and the only thing named after me is a city in Ohio?"

1. "Those 'Desperate Housewives' babes are sluttier than Queen Isabella"

(Link courtesy Media Research Center.)

Wherefore art thou, Red Sox?

I still can’t completely let go of my bitterness at how the Red Sox ended the season. (Yep, another one of “those” posts. I feel like a spurned lover who can’t let go. I mean, if I knew what that was like, because I totally don’t.)

I can’t help but think that if we had won the AL East we could have beaten Anaheim, using that friendly Fenway home-field advantage to full effect. Boston needed just one more win to accomplish this. So whom can I blame? Keith Foulke. Why? Because I was at the July 4th game with Dad, Scott and Jenn when he blew a lead in the bottom of the ninth to the Rangers.

How to fill the void? Boston Globe writer Brian McGrory has the same question, since apparently now it’s time to get a life:

If time were money, I'd be Bill Gates. If time were land, I'd own the Mojave Desert. If time were runs batted in, I'd be David Ortiz. …

October was supposed to be the lost month, figuratively speaking, or maybe, like last year, the winning month. Either way, it was the month turned over to Terry and Manny and Johnny. It was the month to sit in front of the television with gritted teeth over Tim McCarver's inane insinuations about the Red Sox. It was a month when pizza and beer represented a square meal, when the streets were eerily empty at 8 o'clock, when all those TVs glowing in living rooms and the radios crackling in every lonely car were tuned to the exact same thing: the Red Sox against the Yankees. …

And now what do we have? I'll tell you what we have. We have nothing -- no punctuation, no definition, not one benevolent thing around which to organize these dreary days. Daily life is a run-on sentence with no beginning, no middle, and certainly no foreseeable end. All it does is rain.

What makes me feel a teensy bit better about not being able to watch the Sox repeat as champions? Seeing the damn Yanks lose to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of California of the United States of America. Think about it, the Spankees haven’t won a World Series title this century. Even better, A-Fraud was awful hitting .133 with zero runs batted in. Hee. Couldn't happen to a bigger ass.

UPDATE: Seriously, I think only Dad would know how much time out of my day I devoted to the Red Sox. Besides making sure to watch all three hours of every game, I'd spent another hour or two reading the Boston Globe online section. It's an obsession, not just a passion. You know, like other people have with the opposite sex. Then again, you can ask the ex, the Red Sox passion doesn't end just because I'm in a relationship, like, say, watching "Star Trek" all the time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Amazing Space

We finally had our first flight in this week’s Amazing Race, as the teams bunched up in D.C. and flew to Charleston, South Carolina. There, the remaining eight teams either mangled 200 pounds of shrimp while riding a boat or drove through a mud bog in a Jeep. Surprisingly the mudding was the harder task. Who knew?

At the airport, the Aiellos and Schroeders got pissy that the Weavers were being secretive about their plans. This is the part of the show I never can get. It’s a race, people, play to win the game! Unless they’re actively screwing you to achieve their task, don’t worry about it.

From Charleston the teams take a chartered bus to Huntsville and the Space and Rocket Center to spin around and report to the pit stop.

The highlight? Phil doing his Roadblock explanation while riding the centrifuge and experiencing extreme gravity. He looked awful constipated, which I shouldn’t say since I spent the whole episode rolling my eyes at the Linz brothers for all their fart jokes. I don't think I'm better than them. (I'm better than them.)

In the second charter bus, the Weavers got kinda kooky. They said it was on purpose, but I’m not sure. If you feel the need to act mental, well, chances are that you are already. Tricking other teams into thinking you’ve lost your collective marbles doesn’t make sense in a race where you have to drive smarter and run faster than the other teams, neither of which has anything to do with psyching out opponents. Dumb.

Frankly, at that point I hoped they’d lose. The world needs ditch diggers, too, after all. Instead, they ended up fifth. But first, before the Weavers, I think we all know who should be eliminated as soon as possible and the Paolos are it. Unfortunately they ended up sixth.

Did you catch the trick? In case you didn’t catch Phil on that AOL pimp, “The last team to check in, may be eliminated.” In this case, it wasn’t a non-elimination round.

Too bad, because the Gaghans were seventh and the Aiellos eighth, and I didn’t want either eliminated. Goodbye, father-in-law and sons-in-law. May your brides keep you part of the family.

Next week: The Weavers have to go to a racetrack (where the Dad died) and the Goodlooskis get all weepy.

Music for Jeff's Mass

iTunes is a great resource. If it were a woman I'd stare awkwardly at her across the food court until she alerted the mall cop.

I find myself downloading songs I haven’t heard it years, songs I enjoy but didn't feel like buying the entire album or songs I heard once and said, “That’s pretty cool.” I’m even buying classical music by the bunches, but only the ones we all know well, either from movies or commercials.

(Potentially embarrassing fact: I downloaded the Hawaiian ukulele version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" because it made me bawl during Dr. Green's death scene in “ER” a few years ago.)

Unfortunately, iTunes is unable to meet my needs when it comes to my favorite music: Movie scores. Many, many themes are unavailable, such as Serenity, Armaggedon, Rocky, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Tombstone, yet there is an entire page dedicated to William Shatner. Yes, even “Spaced Out - The Very Best of Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.” Listening to Spock, um, sing, “If I Had a Hammer” is probably best appreciated after drinking an entire bottle of Nyquil.

I’m not alone in my annoyance. Others are more upset that they can't get legally most anything by the Beatles, Madonna, Garth Brooks, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and no “Rocky Horror Picture Show” soundtrack. I wait for these to be available with much antici ... pation.

Admit it, when you read the list of movie themes I want to download, you ticked your eyebrow up at Armageddon. You’d be surprised how good it is, like a classical “Stomp” in space. Another example is that while Alexander was a stinker, the score contains several enchanting tracks by freaky composer Vangelis (also of Bladerunner and Chariots of Fire fame).

This seems like a good time for another trip down Jeff’s Top Fives … today, the best scores I own:

Lord of the Rings - The entire trilogy beats anything ever made for screen, and would make composers from the Baroque period quit when they realized their talents were just so-so. Okay, maybe Vivaldi would still write “The Four Seasons,” but Bach would be the town crier leering at buxom maidens.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - I listened to nothing else for over a month. Only LOTR has had so much rotation, and I never get tired of it. The Narnia soundtrack is whimsical, hard-hitting, ethereal and flows to fit the film's emotions like few other scores achieve.

Road to Perdition - Sublime piano performance. The kind of score you listen to going to bed, and sigh, “life is good.”

Glory - Perhaps fitting that another Civil War movie is represented. The most dramatic period in America deserves dramatic music. This one is as moving as the film it frames.

Star Wars - The classic of movie scores by the king, John Williams. I can’t rank this near the top of the list, because there are several points where it’s practically non-existent, but the main themes are memorable, such as the main titles, “The Imperial March” and “Duel of the Fates.”

Honorable mention: The Red Violin, The Natural, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Ultimate “Star Trek”, and Last of the Mohicans.

Of course, rating an entire score and just the movie's theme is different. Let’s review the top five themes in my collection:

Pleasantville - As pleasant as the time-traveling movie title suggests.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Strong, heroic and this sucker flows. As soon as the music starts, I want to put on a fedora, hop on a horse and take on the Nazis. I hate those guys.

Gettysburg - This score got me through college; great study music. Makes you want to buy a replica uniform and take part in Civil War re-enactments. But with modern underwear. Who wants all that itchy wool around your privates in the middle of summer in Georgia?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - I have no idea what instrument Ennion Morricone uses or what those grunting guys are saying, but it sure fits considering we get to see Clint Eastwood win the ultimate three-way Mexican standoff during the climax in the cemetery.

Top Gun - Your eyes just boggled, didn’t they? Admit it, you feel the need, the need for speed.

Dances With Wolves - XM’s Cinemagic channel loves this one. I swear I hear it three times a week. Know what's odd? That Costner has disappeared, while his squaw, Mary McDonnell, is back and better than ever as the regal President Of The Colonies in "Battlestar Galactica."

Honorable mention: Braveheart, Jurassic Park, Stargate, Band of Brothers, Dragonheart, E.T. and Harry Potter.

(Previously we looked at my favorite Minutes Of The Weekday, Secular Concerts, Best and Worst Jobs, my cars and LPGA babes.)

UPDATE Jan. 2005: Dropped Gettysburg from the top five in favor of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Can we get some more bureaucracy?

What does it say about the Post Office when getting my tags renewed at the DMV was the easiest part of my morning?

In less than fifteen minutes I was in and out of the Cobb County main tag office, paid my $160 ad valorem tax, which was like $100 less than last year when the Aztek was new, and I don’t have to get emissions testing until 2007, so that saved about $25.

Which was good, because I nearly needed every bit at the Post Office.

I needed to mail two things: Baby clothes for cousin Amy and Phil’s soon-to-be new bundle of joy; and a little shirt and CNN beanie hound for Stacy to give as a gift to someone in her Internet “hey isn’t it great we all have kids so let’s talk about them” group.

Easy enough, right? Not so much. First, the clerk said that since I had used “priority mail” tape to secure the gift for Amy, I either had to mail it priority or take the tape off. Fine, whatever, Amy’s worth priority mail, and who knows if little Caleb could say hey by Thursday.

Next, when looking for a package to send Stacy’s gifts, I just grabbed a box that was the right size. It said priority mail, so that was fine. But it also said “flat rate box,” which I just figured meant as priority mail it was guaranteed to be the usual price. Nope. After I had wrapped the box every which way and labeled it, the clerk tells me this little box (seriously, it’s like eight inches by five inches) was $7.70. Whoa, what? Instead of going with my first instinct, which was to take the box back, untape it and add in a couple of bricks to make this worth it, I just said “whatever” and got the heck out of there before they charged me for breathing on the next-day mail envelopes.

About this time I had the look of a father who just saw his daughters in a commercial for a “Girls Gone Wild” video.

I wasn’t about to unwrap and re-label with a new box, because the line was 20 deep and only two clerks where actually doing anything. Way to be efficient, there, Post Office.

And Stacy, don’t worry, I’m not going to charge you for the Post Office’s ineptness at labeling things or for my laziness in asking.

So this is what people do in the mornings? It’s not even 1 o’clock yet. I should just be waking up, but because I’m on call I need to go to bed early enough so that if I got a call at 6 a.m. I’d be ready to head in if needed. Still no call. What to do? Some golf, maybe, or a movie. Or I could meet a special woman and start a wonderful relationship.

...

Hahahahahahaha! No, seriously. *wipes happy tears from eyes* Man, I couldn't hold that back.

In two days I’ll have all day to decide. After tomorrow’s 3-11p shift, I’m on vacation until Monday Oct. 24. That would be my normal five-day vacation, plus off days, plus I just asked and received two more vacation days the 22nd and 23rd since that’s when Stacy could drive down to Chapel Hill. I have absolutely no timeline for what I’m going to do, nor have I decided whether to make a trip to Memphis or wherever.

It’s my 30th birthday vacation and I’ll jump off that bridge when I come to it.

(Thank you for reading all of this tedious and self-serving post.)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Jeff’s Carnival of Links

Let’s take another trip around the net and promote (and make fun of, if possible) my family and friends’ blogs:

- Scott’s getting a kick out of Baylor’s 4-1 football team, after the Bears won on the road for the first time since the Big 12 was formed. With Vanderbilt starting strong as well at 4-2, Scott will officially be renting himself out as a good luck charm to whichever team requires his services. Then again, we tried to woo him over to the Red Sox in July (Dad even bought him a 2004 World Series Champion hat), but I don’t think it took.

- Meanwhile, sis-in-law Jenn is apparently still worn out from showing little brother Jason around the Waco area a month ago.

- That, or she drove to Memphis and ran away with Brent, who also hasn’t posted since September 5th. Hope the engagement’s working out for you, Brent, but seriously, you’ve got to have five minutes of your day free to post a note or two, right? Or are you working double-shifts at WMC to pay off the rock?

- I was wondering why big brother Green, Wally, has been absent since announcing he and Julie bought a new home, but checking her blog it seems he’s been mowing the lawn and redoing the hardwood floors for two months. Or Julie’s been doing most of it and Wally’s sitting on the porch with a beer, taking in his castle’s surroundings.

- Eric and Leah had a bit of pre-labor, uh, fun? this weekend. False alarm, everyone. Hey, you in the back, stop complaining. You want Nicholas to be too small? Good, then, guys, put the cigars away. Ladies, buy more footies!

- I promise, in no way was it on purpose that the first time I linked to Kimberly’s site is when she had a poop story at the top of the page.

- If you haven’t clicked over to new blogroll member Tim’s site, you’re missing some good stuff on sports, Christianity and cute dogs.

- Stacy’s had some really outstanding posts lately of motherly life, including this morning’s battle with Gabriel over shoes. It could have been worse than sandals; he could have asked to wear his soccer cleats. One time in elementary school (Scenic Hills in the house!) on career day I wore a golf outfit. You know, pulling my pants up like knickers, wearing the beret-like cap, the whole shebang. Of course, this included golf shoes, of which I had neglected to remove the spikes – all metal back then. When I proceeded to slide across the cafeteria floor, a teacher saw me and decided it was a bad idea. I had packed my regular tennis shoes just in case, anyway, since I kinda figured already that the teachers wouldn’t accept spikes in class. Nowadays I’d probably be suspended ten days for “zero tolerance” of wearing shoes that could be weapons.

- Steve introduces a fun game involving Googling, so see exactly what Steven needs according to the popular search site. (And no, “Steven needs his friends to kiss his butt and pimp his site” is not on there.) I also have to give props to Steve for calling me this morning while he was at the zoo so I could listen to some awesome Siamang yelling. They’re the monkeys you can hear from two miles away. Seriously, when I used to play golf at Overton Park, you could hear them clearly, even over the gunshots and trucks on Poplar.

- Over in Oxford, Jenn M. has posted tons of readable material, but I’m going back a few weeks to this link, ‘cause she’s got Ole Miss cheerleader pictures. Duh.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What Jeff was listening to on iTunes while writing this post:

"Carmina Burana: O. Fortuna" (If you heard it, you'd know.)
"Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
"Ashokan Farewell" - From The Civil War miniseries
"Mr Brightside" - The Killers
"Tonight, Tonight" - Smashing Pumpkins
"Eye of the Tiger" - Survivor
"Reminiscing" - Little River Band
"Someone Saved My Life Tonight" - Elton John
"Thousand Miles from Nowhere" - Dwight Yoakam
"1492: Conquest of Paradise" - Vangelis (From the major motion picture, in honor of Columbus Day.)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

New from MGM, "Virus Es Muy Mal," in theaters today

Scientists have made from scratch the Spanish flu virus that killed as many as 50 million people in 1918.

In case you’re wondering, this is the part of the movie where terrorists break in, steal the deadly virus and try to infect today’s unprepared world, until a super-secret agency apparently staffed only by Bruce Willis has to stop them with witty comments and two bullets in the chamber during the exciting conclusion.

What's next? The NYPD says its new chaplain requires burqas for all women officers?

From the “what are they thinking?” files, a sign that many clueless people are stuck on stupid during the war on terror, the New York City Fire Department was all set to assign the role of department chaplain to a Muslim Imam who doubts that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

"There are so many conflicting reports about it," said the Guyana native, who studied Saudi Arabia. "I don't believe it was 19 ... hijackers who did those attacks.

You know, the attacks that killed 2,700 people in New York, including hundreds of firemen.

Thankfully this came to light soon enough for Habib to “resign” the post after meeting with officials who no doubt are wearing ample amounts of egg makeup on their faces.

In a flabbergasted response, sexy conservative columnist Michelle Malkin asks, “Have we no respect for ourselves?”

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Tiny bubbles of sarcasm

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required - use this):

- Before Albert Einstein, whom did we reference complete imbeciles against?
- Whoever sent in the Einstein vent is no Archimedes!
- It’s going to cost a lot more to rebuild Louisiana than it did to buy it.
- Has anyone else noticed all the severe hurricanes this year have female names?
- Jesus loves you, but I’m his favorite.
- Awww, isn’t that cute! They made a fantasy TV show featuring a woman president.
- What did they call photographic memory before cameras were invented?
- The smell of Korean food is breaking up my marriage.
- Hooters Airlines, where passengers pay for turbulence.
- Even though they are making money, Hooters airline is a big bust.

Vents I Sent:
- How come if all the rivers flow out to sea, the ocean doesn't overflow? (Courtesy King Solomon via Tuesday Morning Quarterback.)
- Has anyone ever asked what humans were before we became monkeys? (Got that off “My Name is Earl.”)
- Kofi Annan vowing to reform the U.N. is as O. J. Simpson pledging to find the "real killers." (Stolen from Mark Steyn.)
- My favorite vents are those from Democrats who have convinced themselves they don’t have to change to win national elections. They figure it’s the American people who just went cuckoo.
- Advice for northerners moving south, get used to hearing "You ain't from round here, are ya?" (Courtesy Grif.net.)
- You know it's time to seek a new church to pastor when your birthday gift is a subscription to U-Haul Magazine. (Courtesy Grif.net.)
- Failure in Iraq would vindicate anti-war liberals, and that's why they're so eager to find signs of it.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Painting the world the color of Kimberly

New link to the blogroll! I just found out that our favorite uninhibited gal pal, Kimberly, has a blog. Sorry, Kimberly, I’m always late to the party!



For a walk down memory lane with Kimberly, pictures here during Wally and Julie's wedding day, last year's Halloween party, 2003 Halloween shindig, George's birthday party, the first time we actually met in person as part of a "movie" shoot and the write-up and pictures when she was my date to Kristi's wedding.

Red rain

I was hoping that right about now I’d be making an arrogant “never give up, never surrender” post right about now, but alas, the Red Sox’ season is over.

Oh, well, there’s always last year.



Now? It’s officially football season, and I’ll watch baseball to root for the Braves and against the damn Yankees.

Fudge.

I'm already there, honey, but thanks anyway

As a single man, it's my duty to learn about what women are talking about, so I must visit sites for magazines like Cosmo (“Are threesomes really that bad?”), Redbook (“Red drapes: The key to hot lovin’”) or Man-Hater Monthly (“A swift kick to the groin is good for you, at least”). You know, the way I see it, whatever helps is worth perusing.

Sometimes I have to wonder who's giving advice from whom. Case in point, Cosmopolitan's Sex Tips from Guys section. Some of the advice leads me to believe that men - heterosexual ones, at least - had no part in this:
Leave something behind after a romantic romp. I love it when you leave your lacy panties in the sheets after you visit me. It makes me crazy thinking about you while we're apart.
Yeah, so I can wash ‘em. Who leaves dirty undies all over the place? Speaking of naughty pants, can someone tell male underwear manufacturers that it's not cool to show men in their skivies on the cover of packaging? It is less likely that I'm going to buy your product if I have to look at some other studly guy's junk while doing so.
Surprise me with a "bubble-bath night." When I get to your place, I'll be panting when I find you waiting all sudsy.
Unless the guy was late and she went all pruny. Then who wants to make out with a girl whose skin shrivels like Betty Davis after a night in the hot tub?
You and I should hang out around the house buck-naked and brush up against each other "by accident." The next thing you know, we'll be going at it.
This is unnecessary theater. For one thing, we're naked. Obviously there's been some brushing up against one another already. Second, are we going about normal business? Because doing the laundry naked isn't enticing.
When I discover an unexpected absence of panties or a bra under your clothes, I'm always turned on.
Let's parse that to what is really true: I'm always turned on. There, that's it. No exposition required.
When you grab my arms, hold 'em over my head and lick around my armpits. I'm putty.
HELL, NO. You don't want to go there any more than I want to lick the front door clean of spider-webs.
Be playfully aggressive. Throw me against the wall and go at it -- like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.
Why'd they neglect to mention that Stone stabs guys with ice picks after sex like a fracking praying mantis? Dr. Freud, your notes are showing.
Let me know you're in the mood by picking up my palm and darting your tongue against it. It's an unusual move, but it's so erotic at the same time.
What? Why? My palm? When? While we're watching the Red Sox game? Is she supposed to lick off the salsa?
Wake me up by kissing or sucking on different body parts. Goood morning!
While you're at it, scrape away some of my eye boogers. 'ppreciate it.
Play a CD and dance close -- well, grind -- with me before bed. It gets me horny as hell.
Not recommended: Barbra Streisand or Gwar.
Read from a sexy novel and make eye contact with me when you hit a dirty word.
The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs. They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN! (Whew, is it hot in here?)
When we're just lying on the couch and watching TV, let your feet wander in my lap and start exploring.
You know, like finding the kitchen to make some popcorn. That's awesome.
Tugging on my earlobe just a bit with your teeth makes me lose all sense of the English language.
Tug too hard though and it's all Spanish ... "No es bueno!"
If I'm sitting in a chair and zoning out, come on over and straddle me. Your body in my lap will perk me right up.
Thanks. I almost missed the fourth quarter of the Falcons game. Want to go to Hooters after the game?
Licking behind my ears is a nice addition to traditional ear kissing.
See “armpit kissing.” There’s a reason mothers always have to tell little boys to wash behind their ears. When we’re grown up, we don’t have to do it because mommy isn’t around.
Help me button my shirt or adjust my tie in the mirror. When you dress me, I just want to get undressed again.
Not me. When I just put clothes on, that's 30 seconds of my life I don't want to revisit for several more hours.
If you're totally turned on, but not sure I am, let me know you're ready for sex by taking my hand and leading me into the bedroom without a word.
Let's rewind to a point already made above. Men are always turned on. Heck, watching Oprah can make me tingle. Why do women’s mags think we need any revving up?

Yep. I'll be 30 in less than two weeks. And I'm still single. Go figure.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We're number 1! Also, I mean.

When the Red Sox were beating the damn Yanks Sunday afternoon, Dad called to ask how the Evil Empire got to celebrate on the Fenway infield as AL East champs when the teams could finish the season with the same record. I talked about the tiebreaker, which said that if Cleveland was eliminated then the team with the best head-to-head record would represent the division and the other got the wild card. No doubt, it sucked for the Sox.

Now? Not so much on the suckitude. It turns out that while the damn Yanks got to call themselves AL East champs for postseason purposes, Boston can still be the co-champs.

Don’t believe it? Commish Bud Selig himself said so: ''If I were running the Red Sox … I would declare myself cochamps."

So there. Nyah, nyah, damn Yanks. The Red Sox get to hang a banner, too.