Tuesday, February 28, 2006

MySpace

Fine, I’m a sellout, but I did it. I set up a MySpace profile.

Bring it on; I can take your judging eyes!

I’m certainly not hip/young enough to get everything out of the service that others enjoy. Besides, I have this blog and my main Geocities site for friends and family.

Instead, I want to use MySpace for finding old classmates from REHS and Union U., plus several of my co-workers set up pages so it’s nice to be part of the group. And search for chicks. So nyah!

If they sang for their supper, they'd go to bed hungry tonight

Ouch. So far tonight, the women of American Idol are raising the Suckitude Level to an unbearable level. Even future Mrs. Thanks For Noticing Me, Katharine, was shaky. Thankfully she was outdone by everyone else since (i.e. they stunk like last week's garbage).

No play-by-play tonight. I need to get in the mood for the new season of The Amazing Race, debuting in ten minutes!

UPDATE 8:55 - Doing some research of the contestants' profiles. Let's see who is the favorite judge of the top 24:

Ayla - Randy
Becky - Simon
Brenna - Simon
Heather - Simon
Katharine - Simon
Kellie - No answer
Kinnick - Paula
Lisa - No answer
Mandisa - Paula
Melissa - Simon
Paris - Randy
Stevie - No answer
Ace - No answer
Bobby - Randy
Bucky - Simon
Chris - No answer
David - Simon
Elliott - Simon
Gedeon - Simon
Sway - Simon
Kevin - Simon
Patrick - No answer
Taylor - Randy
Will - No answer

I don't know what it means, really. Just putting it out there. Simon apparently is a favorite, though they all argue with him when he's honest that they stink. Go figure.

UPDATE 9:00 - Oh dear God no, my Atlanta girl, Paris, just sang Wind Beneath My Wings. When did this turn into Delilah Idol? Arrrggghhhh!!!!!!

Chances of survival are 725 to 1

Torino? Nice town. Vancouver? Nearby, at least. But you want to know the ultimate in the Winter Olympic experience?

Hoth.

Oh yeah, 2014 can't get here soon enough.

If you thought Snowboardcross was exciting, just wait until you witness the thrill known as Tauntaun racing and Snowspeeder rodeo. I've seen good pilots rope an At-At in four seconds flat!

Maybe for 2018 we can get the Games held in Narnia?

(By the way, apparently Chewy has a blog. That wookie loves photoshop.)

And you thought the Colonel was duping Elvis

The billionaire media mogul who holds an 85 percent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises wants Graceland to become an international tourist attraction on par with Disneyland or Universal theme parks.

I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Shut up, Mr. Mogul, you’re an idiot.”

Still, let’s imagine some of the rides and themes this dude might bring to Graceland and bastardize the memory of The King (peace be upon him):

Haunted Mansion – Visitors must spend two whole hours in the Jungle Room, lit in black light with the eerie sounds pumped in of Presley singing gospel.

Jailhouse Rock – You have to sit in a locked jail cell and watch the three worst Elvis movies - Girls! Girls! Girls!, Harum Scarum and Kissin' Cousins.

Bad Tea Party – Patrons eat an entire peanut butter and banana sandwich, then spin like mad for five minutes.

Spaced-Out Mountain – Riders sit on what look like toilets after taking copious amounts of prescription drugs and careen through a darkened dome with occasional glimpses of pink teddy bears and midgets dressed like leprechauns.

Heartbreak Hotel – Watch footage of Lisa Marie’s wedding to Michael Jackson. The scariest ride east of the Mississippi!

Splash Mountain – Extra coupons for putting out candles during the vigil on Elvis week.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Zzzzzzz

Used to be, doctors told us that getting too little sleep at night was dangerous to your health, not to mention it made you really bitchy.

Today? Too much sleep doesn't produce a life of wine and roses, either.
"To many, it seems crazy, counter-intuitive," said Youngstedt, 41, an assistant professor of exercise science in the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health.
Yet studies have documented the health risks of "long sleepers" - those who report needing more than eight hours on the mattress each night.
For example, one study found long sleepers had a 50 percent greater risk of stroke than did those who slept six to eight hours a night. They have higher rates of cardiovascular disease and possibly an increased risk for diabetes, Youngstedt said.
Know what's really crazy? We all have a 100 percent chance of dying, so do what the heck you want and tell the researchers to suck eggs.

Hmm, I sound bitchy, yet I slept ten hours last night. Weird. Better get my affairs in order. Who calls dibs on my Star Wars toy collection?

Five Things I Think About The Upcoming 2006 Red Sox Season

1. The Sox remain – technically - under a “grace period” for winning the 2004 World Series. Curt Schilling could blow up a busload of nuns and get a free pass for life, I will cheer Johnny Damon in a damned Yankee uniform when he returns to Fenway and Keith Foulke gets the benefit of the doubt in the ninth inning despite last year’s problems.

2. I’m already enjoying the Coco Crisp era. In Gordon Edes’ descriptive article on our new leadoff hitter and centerfielder before Spring Training, Crisp is revealed to be “a rapper who writes his own songs, he's developing a TV reality dating show among other projects, he owns a music label, he has a sister who's a figure skater and did Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials as a kid, a daddy who was a boxer, a close confidant and mentor known as ''Big Money," and a PR guy who is the son of one of the great names of the disco generation, Tony Orlando.” And here I thought it was cool enough to have a player named Coco.

3. I’m glad Tony Graffanino returned even if he’s in a backup capacity, after the fans didn’t throw him under the bus for a costly error in last year’s ALDS loss to Chicago.

4. Not only could I care less that Manny Ramirez is reporting late for Spring Training, I’m fine if he just shows up opening day five minutes to game time, so long as he’s wearing a Red Sox uniform and cleats. Manny Being Manny is fine and dandy until he fails to hit 40 homers and drive in 125 runners on base.

5. Gonzalez-to-Loretta-to-Youkilis could become the next Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance infield double-play combination. Or not. Maybe they need to use nicknames instead: Gonzo-to-Lori-to-Youk? Nah. Plus, Gonzalez may not even end up on the team, if Loretta gets hurt then Graffanino steps in and Youk could be supplanted by veteran J.T. Snow. Meaning, the combo could be Cora-to-Graff-to-Snow, which does sound more poetic, at least.

-----------------------------
Previously we looked at my favorite Minutes Of The Weekday, Secular Concerts, Best and Worst Jobs, my cars, LPGA babes, movie scores, TV theme songs, Brat Pack flicks, my Favorite Movies of 2005, and ”Important” 2005 Films I’m Avoiding.

Roger dodger

Dumbest thing I’ve heard today: Roger Ebert reviewing Eight Below on his TV show (I'm listening via iTunes), asking why the sun is shining so brightly during much of the Antarctic winter, then going for a political point: “maybe this is just another side effect of global warming.”

Yes, that’s right, all this carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has affected how the Earth tilts on its axis. Or maybe he thinks the size of our SUVs has weighted the planet to the north. Either way, Roger gets today’s “You’re an idiot” award.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Memo to we-are-hip-because-we-hate-sports sportscasters

Bode Miller on his medal-less performance in Turin: "I rocked here."

Not unless you brought a guitar to Italy, you didn't, Bode.



Sorry, enough bitching about athletes. I already ticked off the entire Sasha Cohen fan club. (42 comments!)

In reality, I'm an Olympicphile. I love the Games. Adore them. I make a point to have the TV on when NBC's opening starts with the Olympic theme blaring and scenery of snow-capped mountains and the torch dissolve into the events. I watch as much as possible. I spent more time, in fact, watching curling and biathlon the last two weeks than I did Googling pictures of Jessica Biel.

What ticked me off, even, is that starting with the Super Bowl, the big shots in the media by and large have tried to sound cool by criticizing the hype of the biggest sporting events. I've even seen many critical of celebrating Spring Training. Why do these curmudgeonly dullards get to write for newspapers and end up on the air for national radio and television networks? What's the point of going to cover the Olympics if you're going to bitch about everything for two weeks?

I'm talking to you, Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constipation. Jay Mariotti's page at the Chicago Sun-Times is a first-time inductee into the Pessimistic Hall of Fame. I'm convinced that USA Today columnist Mike Lopresti didn't even venture from his hotel to write his Olympic blog.

Shucks, it's such a hassle, you know, to get paid to fly to Italy and have to write about all these young people who don't run into trees on the slopes. I mean, the swag only has, like, twenty items this year. Damn Italians.

What did y'all want to bitch talk about the last two weeks, the zone defense of Northern Iowa as pertains to their bubble status of the NCAA Tournament? Uh, no. That's boring. The Flying Tomato? Not boring.

Thank goodness for Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He actually focused on *gasp* positives and heart-warming stories.

That's right, this hardass Republican loves this mushy we-are-one stuff. Given the choice between Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction, I say, "Run, Forrest!"

Seriously, who didn't get chills watching the disabled mayor of Vancouver waving the Olympic flag attached to his wheelchair, spinning for the crowd?



God bless us, everyone. See y'all in Beijing in two years!

Call me Jeff Arbuckle

My life according to Garfield:

10 years old - That cat sure is funny. I can relate, I like my teddy bear, too. His owner is a goofball.

20 years old - Yeah, kick Odie off the table! I like lasagna, too. Man, Jon is a loser.

30 years old - Frack. I am Jon.

Webshots

Allow me to share my secret for proper desktop wallpaper and screensaver management.

Webshots.

The site’s download makes it easy to manage and keep wallpapers fresh without deleting one to use another, and you can as often as your mood demands.

For example, I use Red Sox wallpapers when the season starts, Christmasy wallpapers in December, flags and fireworks come July 4, Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby day. Or, if I’m mellow, I’ll use one of Webshots own photos (of which there are thousands), like a beach sunrise or a locomotive churning through the Rockies.

I have many of my own photographs on the download, too, and most every movie nowadays has wallpapers to download and save. Webshots also makes it simple to use wallpapers as a screensaver and change the effects and length.

There ya go, that’s my secret. Today’s wallpaper? A pic from the Eight Below of doggies.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

No Mr. Bond, I expect you to light up

I wonder if my policecousin Amy and her policehubby Phil can shed light on this bust: A Bond villain-esque vault of weed uncovered under a house in a cave with some wicked cool protections. Check out the pictures.

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

Maybe I'm the jerk

It's not that I'm a complete elitist. I mean, I'll smile at the janitorial staff here at work, and generally if they say something I'll answer back. Over the last couple of weeks, though, I wonder if they're getting together to demand more attention.

Tonight, I'm on break sitting in the producers' pod in the control room to watch the Memphis game on one screen and the Olympics on the other. One of the janitor ladies comes in to change the trash, and while bending down six feet from me I hear a muffled "how are you doing?" I'm not even sure she's talking to me (there's an audio op and font op in the room, too), so I just cheerily say "hello." She looks up at me and says something to the effect of, "that's not the word," then lectures me on how to reply to her query. What? I told her, "you can't dictate my response, and I was trying to be friendly while working on something on the computer." (She doesn't know I'm only reading blogs.)

Last week during the 9 p.m. Prime News Tonight, our signature news show, I was at the switcher during a package and a janitor lady (different one) comes in to change the trash cans. She's making a racket, shaking out the bags seemingly as loud as possible, so much so that the good-natured director had to ask her to come back later because he has to be able to hear the package and the crew. At first she seems agreeable, then storms off mumbling. Ten minutes later she shows up with her supervisor while we're still in the middle of the show. While the janitor lady is pointing at him and calling him names (I think I heard "hot dog"), the director's pissed now, and yells at them not to bother him during a show.

I mean, I know it could seem like we're treating "the help" badly, but for goodness' sake, there are better ways to demand respect.

Good times

Working the 5p-2a shift this week (Sat-Wed). That means sleeping until noon, moseying into the gym when no one else is there mid-afternoon, and working the more entertaining (read: no managers) evening shift.

Oh, and I get to pull up the satellite feed tonight of the Memphis-Tulsa game, and the sports producer tonight is a damned Yankee fan so I get to trade trash talk all night. I got the joy, joy, joy, down in my heart.

It's silly family picture day!

Today's fortune cookie: "You have a lively family."

Not a fortune, since it's already true. I have proof.























At least he was wearing protection

It's not that a streaker ran across the ice in the curling venue during yesterday's bronze medal match. It was this fact: the man was wearing what appeared to be a strategically placed rubber chicken.

Josh Beckett has big balls

There are about ten ways I could go with this photo of new Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett at spring training in Ft. Myers this week. I'll let you come up with your own dirty thoughts. You naughty visitors, I love y'all!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Eight Below

On account of this being Unoriginal Idea Day, I’ll go ahead and be the five-trillion billionth reviewer to call Eight Below “March of the Sled Dogs.”

See, ‘cause we’re in the Antarctic like March of the Penguins, and there are dogs instead of flightless birds trying to survive the bitter cold, seals and desolate climate.

Penguins got a lot of business on the Cute Animal Factor, and similarly, Eight Below is rated DOG for lovable dogs, overzealous owners and gratuitous scenes of awwwwwww.

You think you won’t get invested, but the doggie woggies are so adorably fluffy wuffy and you just wanna snuggle and boochy coochy coo! Hollywood has truly gone to the dogs.

Ahem. I apologize.

Beforehand we’re told that Eight Below was “inspired by a true story.” In other words, there are scientists in remote areas of the Antarctic, and they have sled dogs who might have to be left behind, and it’s very cold, but other than that it’s all made up.

Dry Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious) is Dogs’ Best Friend, forced to leave them behind for the winter, desperately trying to get back and find out what happened. After all, the pups can’t just slit open a tauntaun and wait for a snowspeeder to find them the next day.

Unfortunately, when Paul gets back he finds they all suffered, died and were half-eaten by polar bears.

Okay, everything but the “gets back” part is a lie. What, you thought this was a dark and gritty David Fincher flick?

In other casting, the dogs aren’t the only ones who are loyal and affectionate. American Pie doofus Jason Biggs plays the goofy sidekick cartographer with seemingly nothing to offer until things look their bleakest.

The doubting scientist is Bruce Greenwood in a role that Tom Skerritt usually hoards in films with bigger budgets, and if you’re not into bitches but like the ladies, eye candy is provided by No. 99 in Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list, Moon Bloodgood as Walker’s love interest.

This is Disney-fied feel-good entertainment, and I dare you to come away without feeling good. I admit, it got a little dusty in my theater. Darn allergies.

There are a couple of scenes of dogs in peril and two don’t make it alive, so little kids might be upset. Older kids, however, like the playful antics of the dogs and between Walker and Biggs. (OK, me too.)

In fact, there's nothing like a good survival tale with animals to bring out the kid in you, so much that by the end when Walker and Maxim hottie kiss I was uncomfortable, all, "ewww, cooties." By the way, I'm 30.

It’s a might refreshing that there’s not one explosion or gunfire, viewers get plenty of cute animals and breathtaking scenery, all apparently sponsored by Fresca, a uniquely sophisticated sparkling citrus soft drink ideal for moments of perfectly relaxed pleasure – it’s a taste and a feeling all wrapped into one.

Eight Below is vibrant and unique on its own, and ideal for entertainment that goes down tingly. Plus there are doggies!

Short Bus Hall of Famer

I have no idea where all the commentators from my last post came from, but while we’re debating Sasha and watching Bode implode, the U.S. hockey team sulk and the speedskaters bicker, let’s turn to Rochester, New York.

There’s a senior at Greece Athena High School who’s been manager of the varsity basketball team. A favorite of the squad, Jason McElwain was told to suit up for Senior Night, and once the team built up a 20-point lead with four minutes to play, the coach put him in. McElwain airballs his first shot, misses another, then hits six three-pointers, finishing with 20 points in three minutes.

And oh yeah, he’s autistic.

Who gets to play Jason in the movie? After all, Rudy was inspirational, Radio covered the special ed angle, but this kid combines the best of both.

I dare you not to watch the video and not get chills as the teammates jump around uncontrollably giddy and the fans spill out of the stands to carry the kid off the court.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Shaken, not stirred

Egad. I’m watching the women’s figure skating finals on NBC right now, and yeah, I already know what happened, but Sasha Cohen totally pulled a Bode Miller.

Sasha dropped like a Canadian ice dancer after her first jump, slipped on the second, and then the presentation was duller than James Lipton reading Dante’s Inferno.

Sasha should be happy to end up with silver after Irina Slutskaya crashed as well.

It’s sad, really. Tell me, is there any successful ice princess who has stirred America less? Sasha’s like the A-Rod of figure skating, even thinking she's a rock star. Who wasn’t happy when Sarah Hughes vaulted over Cohen in Salt Lake City? Who wasn’t rooting for Emily Hughes to do the same tonight? Michelle Kwan could be selling cotton candy in the concourse and she’d get more camera time and crowd adulation than Cohen.

Thursday's bullet points


  • I finally got around to watching my DVR recording of The Firm this afternoon. Spike TV aired it during Super Bowl weekend, and I knew I’d want to watch it again sometime to get my Memphis fix. I forgot how much of the city is recognizable and how much of it is used for the movie. Not like Walk the Line, which I’m told was filmed a lot in the city but I didn’t recognize a single bit of it on screen.

    Anyway, the movie with commercials was listed at three hours, so that’s what the DVR recorded. Unfortunately, Spike actually let it go another ten or fifteen minutes past, because my recording stopped right after the climax and before the denouement. Bastards. I’m going to call MY firm and let them take care of this.

  • Let this bounce around inside your noggin’: The Outdoor Life Network signed a deal to air Arena Football League games. (Hat tip: Deadspin.)

  • California prison officials had to postpone the lethal injection of a convicted killer because there weren’t any doctors willing to perform the execution. For some reason, there has to be a licensed professional to administer the injection.

    Screw that. Michael Morales who was sent to death row for torturing, raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl. If no doctor shows up, then the prison officials should be able to strap the guy down and plug two shots in Morales’ head, making sure the first one isn’t fatal so that Morales feels a crapload of pain but doesn’t die yet. There should be no shortage of volunteers for that.

  • Here’s how “trust fund baby” law grads deal with the professional world: "bla bla bla." Awesome story.

  • In exchange for Al Michaels going to NBC and leaving Monday Night Football, ABC receives rights to Ryder Cup matches, Olympics highlights and … wait for it … historical cartoon character Oswald the Rabbit, an original prototype for Mickey Mouse from the 1920s. Sounds kinda Goofy to me. (Hat tip: Deadspin.)

  • R.I.P., Rebecca Webb Carranza, pioneer of the tortilla chip. May she lie in the big queso jar in the sky. Just don’t eat the Tostitos Monterey Jack dip, lest you join her prematurely.

  • NASA astronauts Edward Lu and Stanley Love have come up with a solution to killer asteroids headed for earth: a "gravitational tractor" to hover near an asteroid for a period of months or years. I love it. Get that sucker painted green and sponsored by John Deere, and NASA won’t even have to pay for it!

  • Memo to Europe: You can’t criticize Muslims for rioting over cartoons and then send a Holocaust denier to jail for three years. Incarcerating people for their beliefs – no matter how wrong-headed – is a dangerous path. Now, if only we could find a way to punish Kerry voters via electroshock therapy, then we’d be headed the right direction.

The Marines who went to war



On this day in 1945, Marines raised the American flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, a defining image of World War II.

As the History Channel site points out, “Although the famous photograph has long led people to believe that the flag-raising was a turning point in the fight for Iwo Jima, vicious fighting to control the island actually continued for 31 more days.”

The photograph earned AP photographer Joe Rosenthal a Pulitzer Prize, which was actually the second flag-raising of the morning, using a larger flag than had been planted earlier.

Courtesy Iwo Jima.com:
There are six Flag Raisers on the photo. Four in the front line and two in back.

The front four are (left to right) Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block.

The back two are Michael Strank (behind Sousley) and Rene Gagnon (behind Bradley).

Strank, Block and Sousley would die shortly afterwards.
Hayes was a Native American, and tragically returned home depressed and turned to drinking. You might recognize the name from Johnny Cash’s “The Ballad of Ira Hayes.”
Gather round me, people, there's a story I would tell,
About a brave young Indian you should remember well;
From the land of the Pima Indians, a proud and noble band,
Who farmed the Phoenix Valley in Arizona land.
Down their ditches for a thousand years the waters grew Ira's people's crops,
Till the white man stole their water rights and their sparklin' water stopped.
Now Ira's folks grew hungry, and their farms grew crops of weeds.
When war came, Ira volunteered and forgot the white man's greed.

CHORUS: Call him drunken Ira Hayes --
He won't answer anymore,
Not the whiskey-drinkin' Indian,
Not the Marine who went to war.

Well, they battled up Iwo Jima hill -- two hundred and fifty men,
But only twenty-seven lived -- to walk back down again;
When the fight was over -- and Old Glory raised
Among the men who held it high was the Indian -- Ira Hayes.

Ira Hayes returned a hero -- celebrated through the land,
He was wined and speeched and honored -- everybody shook his hand;
But he was just a Pima Indian -- no water, no home, no chance;
At home nobody cared what Ira done -- and when do the Indians dance?

Then Ira started drinkin' hard -- jail was often his home;
They let him raise the flag and lower it -- as you would throw a dog a bone;
He died drunk early one morning -- alone in the land he'd fought to save;
Two inches of water in a lonely ditch -- was the grave for Ira Hayes.

CODA: Yea, call him drunken Ira Hayes,
But his land is just as dry,
And the ghost is lying thirsty
In the ditch where Ira died.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Do we have a new Idol from the men?

The Dawg Pound is up tonight on American Idol. If the last two nights are an indication, the women have all of the strongest voices. (Yesterday's review here.) I won’t be voting for any of the men anyway since, well, I’m a guy who likes girls. Disturbingly so, at times.

My rankings:

1. Chris Daughtry – Rockin’ the Bon Jovi “Wanted Dead or Alive,” with the same fire video in the background that Mandisa got for singing Heart last night. Yeah! Rock on! Wooo! (*Goes to store, buys lighter, drives back home, rewinds DVR, holds up burning lighter to song.*) I agreed with Simon; as the sixth performer of the night, Chris was the first with potential to win the contest.

2. Gedeon McKinney – He’s a Memphian, so by default the 17-year-old is my leading guy. Gedeon shakes his hips with the old-school “Shout,” which doesn’t seem right when the audience isn’t wearing togas. Simon insults Gedeon, but don’t worry, it’s not over. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!

3. David Radford – This year’s crooner. That’s usually good enough to make the finals, but he doesn’t have a chance to win. He sang “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and he was actually pretty decent in an upbeat crooning capacity. As a guy comfortable with his sexuality, I can add that he’s attractive enough that the chicks will dig him. Oh great, I’m gay now, aren’t I? I knew it was too good to be true while watching men’s figure skating last week. I don’t know why Randy hated it so much, except that he is hiding his own gay feelings toward David. What a homophobe.

4. Ace Young – His audition sucked. His Hollywood work sucked. His singing here? Not bad, and Paula practically tore off her clothes and jumped him on stage. I look forward to seeing him interviewed on ABC this summer about her “unwelcome” advances. While he sang George Michael’s “Father Figure” I was wondering if the camera would show his butt the entire time. Then Simon would say something negative, and Ace would reply, “You fear my butt because you don't understand it. You resist it like all the others before you, yet its power only grows.” Back in reality, the guy’s name is Ace. We cannot accept this as an Idol. Plus, he acts like last year’s dude with the funny name, Constantine or Istanbul or whatever, who tried to have sex with us through the camera, and I hated him and his butt.

5. Elliot Yamin – Do you wonder if Elliot woos women by saying he’d like to show her the “alien in his closet”? To woo America he goes with Stevie Wonder’s “If You Really Love Me,” which he says is a karaoke hit back home. I have no doubt. On a national stage, just so-so. Simon, though, plants a wet kiss on him. (Figuratively, not literally, though it would have made great gross television.)

6. Taylor Hicks – You just know that Fox has been rummaging through every legal document possible to make sure The Gray-Haired One is really 29-years-old like he claims. If you were gray and in your 20s, wouldn’t you color it? Maybe he colors it gray on purpose to look older like Bill Clinton started doing right when he began campaigning for president in ’91. His song choice: “Leave On” by Elton John, and is all over the place with his body and his voice. Not strong. Randy and Paula kiss his feet. Save us Simon. Nope, he apologizes for earlier criticism. Likeable guy, at least.

7. William “Bucky” Covington – The only contestant sporting a 70s pornstache and talking like Boomhauer of “King of the Hill,” North Carolinian Bucky pulls out the Lynyrd Skynyrd – unsurprisingly – and goes with “Simple Man,” not “Free Bird,” and that’s just not right. After this performance, current members of Skynyrd hope Bucky crashes on the way home. (Aw, that’s bad. What’s he ever done to me?)

8. Kevin Covais – The youngest contestant this season and the geeky Clay Aiken inclusion of 2006, goes with Brian McKnight’s “One Last Cry.” He should hold on to that song soon – if not tomorrow night - when he goes home. Only Simon is willing to be honest and say that it wasn’t that good.

9. Patrick Hall – Whoa, it’s Edward Norton! After singing “Come to My Window,” if he had added “There never was an Aaron,” I would have cheered. Unfortunately for Patrick, he sings about as well as I suspect out of his doppelganger. Very flat.

10. William Makar – A younger looking John Mayer, he goes with “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five instead of singing “your body is a wonderland,” and I think that was a mistake. Not just because a 16-year-old singing about deep love is funny. Simply put, his voice isn’t high enough for the Jackson Five and he sounded like he was straining. And, oh yeah, he’s lily white. Even more than Michael Jackson is today. Again, Randy and Paula can’t get enough, while Simon disagrees.

11. Jose “Sway” Penala – Oh dear me, no. So falsetto, so pitchy, so affected, and yet Randy and Paula were all but tossing their underwear on the stage. Is it my television? And his dedication, can we go over that again? The song, “Reasons” by Earth, Wind & Fire. He’s dedicating it to his parents, who supposedly sang this to him when he was a baby. Here are the lyrics:
Now, I’m craving your body,
Is this real
Temperatures rising, I don’t want to feel
I’m in the wrong place to be real
Woahh and I’m longing to love you
Just for a night,
Kissing and hugging and holding you tight
Please let me love you
With all my might
I’m befuddled. You might say I’m un”sway”ed.

12. Bobby Bennett – Tries to make an excuse for singing Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” by saying it was a promise to a dead grandmother. I think we would have walked out on this guy if he sang like that in a bar while I was puking pina coladas in Rio. What’s he doing in the final 24 of Idol? I said “obrigado” when he finished.

Galvanize

Programming note: Memphis takes on UTEP at FedEx Forum tonight at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN2. Be there. I will, in my big comfy chair with a bag of chips and salsa dribbling down my shirt. Good times.

When I left work Tuesday night there was a red pickup truck with one of those tool sheds in the back that was crossed into my line at an angle so much that not only was my door just six inches from his, I had to maneuver my Aztek to avoid hitting the back of the truck when I backed up. As you might guess, once I had to crawl through the passenger side to get in, I was not a happy camper. I felt like Jabba the Hutt squeezing into a Miata. This is the note I left on the truck’s windshield (and yes, in all caps):
NICE PARKING JOB DICKWAD. I LOVE GETTING IN THE PASSENGER SIDE. MAYBE NEXT TIME YOU CAN JUST GO AHEAD AND PARK YOUR TRUCK UP MY TAILPIPE. ASS.
That's right, Ice, I am dangerous!

Anyway, I felt better, but not by much. Somehow I like to think that people fought duels under their bowler hats in the 20s over similar circumstances, then realized they had the wrong car since they all looked the same back then, and enjoyed a hearty laugh.

What made me feel better? Watching “American Idol” and perusing the iTunes music store.

I Googled that song in the Budweiser Select commercial and found out it was the Chemical Brothers’ song, “Galvanize,” so I downloaded the long version. It’s got a nice beat and I can dance to it. I give it a 95. Play it loud and annoy the neighbors, that's my plan.

I would also like to point out that I spent most of the 90s making fun of Nirvana and their fans, and yet somehow my iPod contains “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Don’t know how that happened. Oh yeah, I’m a heathen. Proof: anytime I have to remove a song on my iPod Mini when buying a new one, the song that gets cut is from my Contemporary Christian folder.

I still refuse to get anything from Nine Inch Nails. They’re filthy, literally and figuratively. Their songs either make me want to hang myself from a bridge or punch babies. Either way, not a good thing.

The time has come to push the button. Lata playas.

Do we have a new Idol from the women?

Shall we discuss Tuesday night’s American Idol?

First, my rankings:

1. Paris Bennett – “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Yeah, I might be biased since she’s from the Atlanta area, but this 17-year-old’s got the groove and the voice and the on-stage presence to go all the way.

2. Katharine McPhee – Really strong singer in the audition, but she sang Barbra fracking Streisand. Stab me in the ears. Please. Still, she’s definitely got the looks of someone I’d want to date. I said “want.” No chance. Whatsoever. A lot more fun than I thought in Hollywood, too. She needn't apologize to those behind her for "having" to stare at her butt the entire time.

3. Ayla Brown – The basketball player from Massachusetts has got some great pipes, and she totally sold me on this performance. Screw Christina Aguilera, Ayla owns that “Reflection” song from Mulan. A little dry personality-wise, but nothing she can’t overcome by playing me in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

4. Mandisa – Big girl, big heart, and coincidentally sang a Heart song with oomph.

5. Lisa Tucker – She’s 16? Yeah, five years ago. Never heard of “I Am Changing” by Jennifer Holliday, but obviously the song is ambitious. Too much for her, I’m afraid. I didn’t think she was as good as the crowd and judges thought, but from her audition and Hollywood the girl’s amazing.

6. Kinnik Sky – Another Atlanta girl. “Get Here” by Alita Adams. The only one in a Grammy dress, she looked elegant. Did she sing like one? Yeah, for the most part, but couldn’t get the big notes.

7. Kellie Pickler – The North Carolinian with daddy issues sounded like a whisper to start, yelled too much at the emotional parts.

8. Brenna Gethers – Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” Her attitude is sharper than a Ginsu knife and her voice was weaker than a butter knife.

9. Becky O’Donohue – Yeah, she’s hot. Yeah, her identical twin, also hot. All together now: "Looks aren't everything." Her enthusiasm is what will carry her to next week.

10. Heather Cox – The peppy blonde who got another shot after having laryngitis in Hollywood, she flopped with American Idol’s own song, “When You tell Me That You Love Me” from last season.

11. Melissa McGhee – I hate to be ugly (not that I can avoid it - *rimshot), but she’s been in beauty pageants? Not a babe. At all. If that wasn’t bad enough, she tripped all over Faith Hill’s “When the Lights Go Down.”

12. Stevie Scott – Embarrassing, trying to infuse American Idol with opera did not work, and the judges tore her apart even more than I thought she deserved. Very odd style, cute but not hot, just not American Idol material.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Maria Maria, Maria... Say it loud and there's music

(Sexist post alert!)

ESPN.com's Page 2 is polling users on the hottest female athlete.

Obviously from the title of this post, I went for tennis babe and new Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Maria Sharapova.

Feel free to disagree. Many have, seeing as how at the moment ice babe Tanith Belbin is riding the Olympic wave in first place.

This should tick off my sisters

Troubling, if confusing news concerning filming for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Apparently Gary Oldman's manager says the actor is, for now, not in the movie, no matter that Warner Brothers is saying otherwise in the press.

My guess? Oldman will be there. He has to be there or Order of the Phoenix won't make any sense, and Potter fans won't easily accept a new actor as Harry's godfather.

Short and Pithy

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

- The dumbest thing I ever heard was the lady in San Antonio who asked the tour guide why they built the Alamo in the middle of the city.
- The dumbest thing I’ve ever seen? A temporary auto license plate with a Feb. 30 expiration date.
- Did you hear the one about the lady who asked why so many Civil War battles were fought in national parks?
- The dumbest question I ever heard was when someone asked the cruise director if the crew slept on the ship.
- Did you hear the one about the lady who asked the cruise ship captain to steer the ship closer to the sunset so she could get better pictures?
- It has been so long since I had a vent published, I feel more left out than the last verse of a Baptist hymn.
- Dumbest thing I ever heard? A Department of Transportation spokesperson this week said on the news, “Right now we are battling snow flurries.” That must have been an epic struggle!
- My love life is so bad, if it was a football team, it would lose to Vanderbilt by four touchdowns.
- Wine and dark chocolate are good for your health. What are we going to do with all of these fat alcoholics a year from now?
- Osama says he won’t be taken alive, but he should reconsider. With the assistance of the ACLU, Jimmy Carter, Hollywood, the media and a jury of his peers, he’d beat the rap.

Vents I Sent:

- Do cemeteries blame raising prices on cost-of-living expenses? (Inspired by Grif.net)
- Every time I watch the news, Democrats are proposing another generous addition to the al-Qaida Bill of Rights. (Stolen from Mark Steyn.)
- Now that Hamas has to fix sewers and run schools we'll see how much energy they have left to drive Israel into the sea.
- Every time I hear a liberal say "I support the troops," I think of bigots who say "I have black friends."
- The envelopes in the Georgia tax booklet don’t rip well, fold right or stick without glue, tape and wax added.
- I guess it’s okay for CNN to publish Abu Ghraib photos, since that makes Muslims angry at the military and not the media. (Stolen from Tim Blair.)
- Before the tree-huggers demand my SUV because Greenland is losing glaciers, should I point out that the name comes from a time over 1,000 years ago when the landmass was warmer and lush?
- Stop calling Muslim violence “prophet riots.” Be honest, they’re ticked about a cartoon. Call it ‘anti-free speech riots.”
- One of these days I’m hoping my AJC delivery person sees four papers on my step and actually checks to see if I put in a vacation stop.
- The media spent two weeks telling us we don’t need to see the Muhammad cartoons, yet feel they must know every hourly detail of Cheney’s hunting accident?
- You know you come from a dysfunctional home when you say stuff like, “my sister’s dad is cool.” (Stolen from a comedian on the boob tube.)
- If I needlessly offend my neighbor, shame on me. If, in response, he burns down my house and threatens to murder my entire family, who cares what I said in the first place?

Monday, February 20, 2006

R.I.P. Curt Gowdy

Legendary broadcaster Curt Gowdy, with the smooth voice that defined major sporting events for decades, passed away this weekend of leukemia at his winter home in Palm Beach. Gowdy was 86.

From 1951-66, Gowdy was the voice of the Red Sox, obviously too early for me to appreciate. However, during that time I'm sure Dad can tell me that he and Granddad heard Gowdy from their home in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Inducted into the broadcast wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in '84, Gowdy covered 13 World Series, 16 All-Star baseball games, numerous Rose Bowls, NCAA Final Fours and the 1976 Montreal Olympics, not to mention the infamous "Heidi game" in 1968.

Big screen ballparks

Working the late evening shift this week, thank goodness. I like nothing better than going to bed at 3 in the morning, wake up a little before noon, go to the gym and mosey into work afterwards.

Speaking of moseying, yesterday was a day for staying inside. Under 40, overcast, drizzly, I spent Sunday morning watching the U.S. women curlers and filling in one of the Sudoku books Mom got for me at Christmastime. Officially, I finished five puzzles and have about 500 partially completed.

I tried to watch the Daytona 500. I really did. Every year, I plop down and turn on the pre-race, realize it’s an hour until some celebrity says “start your engines” and I find other means of entertainment. In this case, I popped in my DVD of Field of Dreams, in celebration of players reporting for Spring Training this weekend.

It also got me thinking (warning: awkward transition) about movies filmed at Fenway, and other ballparks. When the quintessential baseball movie went to a major league ballpark for a message, it was Fenway, not damn Yankee Stadium. So nyah!

IMDB lists 13 titles filmed at Fenway Park, although the only feature films are Blown Away, A Civil Action, Fever Pitch, Field of Dreams, and Little Big League.

The rest are videos or from TV shows, so they don’t count for this survey.

Before Fenway Park was built, the Sox played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, which played host to the first AL-NL World Series in 1903, won by the Sox. No movies are listed to have been filmed there.

What movies have been filmed in other Major League parks? Let’s find out (*-Current ballpark):

Anaheim Angels
Wrigley Field (L.A.) – Alibi Ike, Damn Yankees!, Death on the Diamond, Elmer, the Great, Fireman, Save My Child, It Happens Every Spring, The Kid from Left Field, Kill the Umpire, The Pride of St. Louis, The Pride of the Yankees, Rhubarb, The Stratton Story, Whistling in Brooklyn, The Winning Team
Dodger Stadium (L.A.) - City of Angels, City of Industry, The Fan, The Fast and the Furious, Hickey & Boggs, Koyaanisqatsi, Matchstick Men, Naked Gun, Stuart Little 2
*Angel Stadium – Angels in the Outfield, The Fan, Taking Care of Business

Arizona Diamondbacks
*Chase Field – Nothing listed

Atlanta Braves
South End Grounds (Boston) – Nothing listed
Braves Field (Boston) – Nothing listed
Milwaukee County Stadium - Major League
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - Sharky's Machine and The Slugger's Wife
*Turner Field – Nothing listed

Baltimore Orioles
Memorial Stadium - Major League 2
*Oriole Park at Camden Yards - Dave, Head of State, Major League 2

Chicago Cubs
23rd Street Grounds - Nothing listed
Lakefront Park - Nothing listed
West Side Park - Nothing listed
South Side Park - Nothing listed
West Side Grounds - Nothing listed
*Wrigley Field - Angels in the Outfield, The Babe, The Blues Brothers, Easy Living, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, A League of Their Own, Meet Danny Wilson, Mr 3000, Rookie of the Year, This Old Cub

Chicago White Sox
South Side Park – Nothing listed
Comiskey Park – Only the Lonely
*U.S. Cellular Field - The Ladies Man, Little Big League, Major League 2, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Rookie of the Year

Cincinnati Reds
Union Grounds – Nothing listed
Avenue Grounds - Nothing listed
American Park/League Park - Nothing listed
Palace of the Fans - Nothing listed
Crosley Field – Negro League Baseball
Riverfront Stadium - Airborne
*Great American Ball Park - Nothing listed

Cleveland Stadium
League Park – Nothing listed
Cleveland Municipal Stadium - The Fortune Cookie, Major League
*Jacobs Field – Nothing listed

Colorado Rockies
Mile High Stadium - Everybody’s All-American
*Coors Field - The Fan, Forever For Now

Detroit Tigers
Tiger Stadium – *61, Hard Ball
*Comerica Park - Nothing listed

Florida Marlins
*Dolphins Stadium – Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Houston Astros
Colt Stadium – Nothing listed
Astrodome - The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Brewster McCloud, Evel Knievel, Friday Night Lights
*Minute Maid Park – Nothing listed

Kansas City Royals
Municipal Stadium - Nothing listed
*Kauffman Stadium - Nothing listed

Los Angeles Dodgers
Capitoline Skating Lake and Base-Ball Ground (Brooklyn, NY) – Nothing listed
Washington Park (Brooklyn, NY) – Nothing listed
Ridgewood Park (Queens, NY) – Nothing listed
Eastern Park (Brooklyn, NY) – Nothing listed
"New" Washington Park (Brooklyn, NY) – Nothing listed
Ebbets Field (Brooklyn, NY) – Nothing listed
Roosevelt Stadium (Jersey City, NJ) – Nothing listed
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum - The Best Man, College, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Heaven Can Wait, Hickey & Boggs, The Last Boy Scout, Money Talks, Navy Blue and Gold, Old School, Pigskin Parade, That’s My Boy, Two-Minute Warning
* Dodger Stadium (L.A.) - City of Angels, City of Industry, Tthe Fan, The Fast and the Furious, Hickey & Boggs, Koyaanisqatsi, Matchstick Men, Naked Gun, Stuart Little 2

Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee County Stadium - Major League
*Miller Park - Mr. 3000

Minnesota Twins
Metropolitan Stadium – Nothing listed
*Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome - Little Big League, Major League: Back to the Minors

New York Mets
Polo Grounds - Champion High Jumpers, 'Chappie' and 'Ben Bolt', Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses, Heading Home
*Shea Stadium - 28 Days, Alice in the Cities, Men in Black, The Odd Couple, , Small Time Crooks, This Old Cub, Two Weeks Notice, The Wiz

New York (Damn) Yankees
Hilltop Park – Nothing listed
Polo Grounds - Champion High Jumpers, 'Chappie' and 'Ben Bolt', Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses, Heading Home
*Yankee Stadium - Angels in the Outfield, Anger Management, The Babe Ruth Story, Big, The Cameraman, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses, For Love of the Game, It's Your Thing, Little Big League, Major League, The Pride of the Yankees, Speedy, Sweet Charity

Oakland Athletics
Columbia Park (Philadelphia) – Nothing listed
Shibe Park / Connie Mack Stadium (Philadelphia) - Nothing listed
Municipal Stadium (Kansas City) - Nothing listed
*Network Associates Coliseum – Angels in the Outfield, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

Philadelphia Phillies
Baker Bowl/ National League Park - Nothing listed
Shibe Park/ Connie Mack Stadium - Nothing listed
Veterans Stadium – Nothing listed
*Citizens Bank Park - Nothing listed

Pittsburgh Pirates
Recreation Park - Nothing listed
Exposition Park - Nothing listed
Forbes Field - Angels in the Outfield
Three Rivers Stadium – Nothing listed
*PNC Park – Nothing listed

St. Louis Cardinals
Union Park – Nothing listed
Robison Field – Nothing listed
Sportsman's Park - Nothing listed
*Busch Stadium - Nothing listed

San Diego Padres
Qualcomm Stadium – Nothing listed
*PETCO Park – Nothing listed

San Francisco Giants
Polo Grounds - Champion High Jumpers, 'Chappie' and 'Ben Bolt', Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses, Heading Home
Oakland Park - Nothing listed
Saint George Grounds - Nothing listed
Hilltop Park - Nothing listed
Seals Stadium – Nothing listed
Candlestick Park - The Fan, Getting Even with Dad
*AT&T Park – Nothing listed

Seattle Mariners
Kingdome – Nothing listed
*Safeco Field - Life or Something Like It

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
*Tropicana Field – Nothing listed

Texas Rangers
Griffith Stadium (Washington, D.C.) – Nothing listed
RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.) - The Game of Their Lives
Arlington Stadium – Nothing listed
*Ameriquest Field at Arlington - The Rookie

Toronto Blue Jays
Exhibition Stadium – Nothing listed
*Rogers Centre - Detroit Rock City, Fever Pitch

Washington Nationals
Jarry Park (Montreal) – Nothing listed
Olympic Stadium (Montreal) - The Screamers, The Sum of All Fears
*RFK Stadium - The Game of Their Lives

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Two left skates

I have to admit, now that Ice Dancing at the Olympics is scored based on points instead of style, I’m actually enjoying watching the event. Couples are falling all over the ice, including the top two Italian teams, and the Canadian woman was taken out of the rink in a stretcher. Forget all that boring dancing in circles four years ago, now we’ve got some degree of difficulty!

I'm thinking Fox should take these photos during a promo for Skating With Celebrities and the caption, "Even Deborah Gibson could make that twirl!"







Not to mention the hot Canadian-American skater with that skimpy top that provided a thrill of “will it come off?”



And yes, I’m trying to justify the fact that I have spent all night watching Ice Dancing and turned to the NBA All-Star game for no more than five minutes.

A fool and his money are soon parted



At the rate of 29 Powerball tickets sold per minute this weekend, people in 28 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands dreamed the American dream: Winning the lottery for a life of easy luxury.

Even though Georgia doesn’t have Powerball and I don’t play the lottery anyway, it’s still nice to dream “what if?” What would you do with $365 million before taxes? (Which would probably end up at, like, $150 million, and playing isn’t even worth standing in line at that point. But we’ll pretend it’s a big number.)

My immediate concerns:

- Pay off my debts and those of my family, blah blah blah, new house and car, obvious, obvious, obvious.

- Sponsor U.S. women’s curling team to meet Jessica Schultz, who sexily has a tattoo of a curling rock on her lower back.

- Buy a condo near Fenway Park and home in Ft. Myers, Fla. Get season tickets to Red Sox games in Boston and Spring Training.

- See a game in every professional sports arena for Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA and NHL. Root for opposing team every time.

- Buy a minor league baseball team. Name it something silly but recognizable for increased sales of caps, like the Marietta Caped Crusaders, then get approved by Batman comics to use the logo on uniforms.

- Buy a cottage in Scotland between St. Andrews, Troon, Muirfield and Carnoustie, all frequent hosts of the British Open.

- Hire a personal nutritionist and trainer to get me in shape and follow me everywhere to keep me honest.

- Burn a $100 bill, just because I frackin’ can.

- Won’t feel guilty about being stinking rich.

- Bankroll two movies. One, a big-budget action flick with lots of explosions and gunfire. The second, a small, independent film with promising young actors and actresses.

- Buy a half-hour from a network just to give right-wing columnists, bloggers and officials a free shot at Democrats.

- Finance a scientific expedition. Or buy a remote tropical island and clone dinosaurs. What could go wrong?

- Date a Hollywood starlet, get on the cover of every pop culture magazine, dump her on Extra.

- Get a building named after me at my alma mater, Union U. Hire Doug from Trading Spaces to makeover my favorite old apartment, Ellis 7, into the Jeff Rushing Memorial Dorm, complete with High-Definition plasma television, state of the art game system and stereo, full size fridge/freezer and every bedroom has a Sealy Posturepedic mattress and leather office chair.

- Buy a dog that could win at Westminster and a horse to compete at the Kentucky Derby. Buy my date (either Schultz or the starlet) expensive funny hat to wear in private box.

- Sell non-low-flow toilets and showerheads on the black market, don’t care if caught and pay huge frackin’ fine to government, because I’ll be a modern folk hero like Christian Slater in Pump Up The Volume. Talk hard, indeed.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Jeff+nerd

What the Internet means to me:

Using Google to find a quote from Star Trek Deep Space Nine for a comment at Tim’s blog, I got 416 hits for procreation+Odo.

I can’t imagine that people had as much fun when, say, Henry Ford came up with the idea for interchangeable parts.

Sweep the turban!

I don’t know what’s more pathetic, that Billy Zane and Gary Busey went to Turkey to make an anti-American movie, or that the Turks actually accept them as quintessential American military figures. What, the Turks couldn’t meet the asking price for Billy Zabka?

Single Olympics, day 8

Announcer Jill - Few things matter as much to singles as having the right Pickup Lines to woo a potential sweetheart.

Announcer Bob - Even anti-pickup lines are often employed as ways to the pickup. In today’s competition, our singles hit on various female competitors at the Olympic Village entertainment complex, who then do the same.

Announcer Jill - And … the men are set loose! Let’s see how Jeff is doing thus far. Anyone see him? Yes, there he is. Our intrepid cameramen found him sitting at the end of the bar, playing computer trivia and downing a plate of wings. A poor start, to say the least.

Announcer Bob - Here he goes. Jeff’s first mark is the sexy Slovenian, Vesna Gorza. Let’s listen in …

“Can I borrow a quarter? I want to call my mom and tell her I just met the person I'm going to marry.”

Announcer Jill - Looks like Vesna is giggling and walking to buy more cigarettes. At least he’s trying. Poor thing.

Announcer Bob - Jeff has a long way to go to match our leader. The Bulgarian, Viktor Klink, is a regular Captain Kirk. He can pick up women of any color. Jeff? Not so much. He actually tried a Kirk quote on the Fin: "I've never seen perfection, but no woman could come closer to it." Let’s just say that he won’t be inspecting her dilithium crystals anytime soon.

Announcer Jill - Apparently everything Jeff learned from dating he got from Dan Aykroyd yelling “Get her!” in Ghostbusters.

Announcer Bob - Yep. Jeff has all the subtlety of Paris Hilton at Chippendales.

Announcer Jill - Time for the women to hit on the men.

Announcer Bob - Jeff’s back at the trivia, getting absolutely no attention. At least he’s winning with the computer. That’s the only way he can score nowadays.

Announcer Jill - Meanwhile, the female American hopeful, Kimberly, is slicing through men. Every time she opens her mouth, the guy she approaches gets on one knee and proposes. Too easy for our Kimberly.

Announcer Bob - No wonder. If I had a rose for every time I thought of her, I'd be walking through my garden forever.

Announcer Jill - Gag me, Bob. Even you’re smitten. Let’s sign off quickly before it deteriorates further. First, though, do you think Kimberly would be interested in me?

A dull Saturday ... in bed or in the bathroom

Today's fortune cookie: "Nothing seems impossible to you" ... in bed.

Ha! That never gets old! Almost as funny as sitting in the pew being disrespectful to G-d by flipping through the hymnal and ending every song title with "in the bathroom."

C’mon, think about it. Here’s an example: "I Stand Amazed in the Presence" … in the bathroom. "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go" .. in the bathroom. You get the idea.

You can't judge me!

Oh, fine, go ahead. I judge y'all constantly. The Bible doesn't say not to judge, just only lest you be judged, too. I'm fine with that. I can take it.

As you can tell, not much is happening here on a rainy Saturday in the CNN Center. I just finished lunch (hence the fortune cookie) and am about to get back to training with a CNN TD. Right now I'm in A-Control in the producers' station, looking out at the newsroom and the side studio where anchors sit to look less formal at the main set, while feeling like I should perform a song and dance for the tourist overlooking the entire operation through a glass window above us.

There are people everywhere downstairs, a combination of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus trapezing at Philips Arena next door, and a national cheerleading competition across the street at the Georgia World Congress Center.

And it's not the "good" cheerleading, either, but hundreds of 13-16 year-olds, so if I even glance and notice a girl wearing a cheerleading outfit I feel like I should rub my eyes out with soap and feel guilty.

Yep, it's the kind of cheerleading where I'm checking out coaches and mothers, and wondering, "Why was I so goody-goody in high school and college?" Daggum I missed out on potential hootenanny.

Oh, who am I kidding? I was a wus then, I’m a wus now and nothing would have changed if I was as much a heathen back then as I am now. Or perhaps you’ve missed the posts about my single life of debauchery and excess?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Johnny go lately

Prima donna figure skater Johnny Weird offered all kinds of excuses for dropping from second to fifth place, but this was my favorite:

“I never felt comfortable in this building. I didn’t feel my inner peace. I didn’t feel my aura. I was black inside.”

Maybe this will convince Bryant Gumbel to watch.

Single Olympics, day 7

Announcer Jill - We come to our first two-person event, using both representatives from nations, The Blind Date. In this competition, the players will set up their countryman/countrywoman on a blind date, and their combined efforts will earn points for medals.

Announcer Bob - They’re making selections now. It’s time for the Americans. Kimberly sets Jeff up with Petra Petravski of Poland, a comely maiden with an agreeable air about her. In return, Jeff sets Kimberly up with … Peter Petravski of Poland, her teammate! What a bold move. Obviously Jeff is hoping that Kimberly’s skills are so good that she will offset any disaster on his part.

Announcer Jill - Jeff is meeting Petra at Barnes & Noble for coffee and discussion. A safe choice. Petra asks Jeff about his hobbies, which he explains are “this, that and the other.” Not very specific.

Announcer Bob - He needs to call On-Star, because he's lost out there.

Announcer Jill - All too correct. Jeff is neither smooth nor rich, so he’s working from behind. Thank goodness for him that the Polish competitor is a whack job. We clocked the conversation, and she's been talking about herself for 28 minutes straight, and asked Jeff one thing about himself, 'how does he like her hair?'

Announcer Bob - Too Jeff's credit, he said it was 'nice,' which is charitable considering she fried her bleached hair so much that it could cut glass.

Announcer Jill - Even worse, for the last 15 minutes the Pole has talked about her ex-boyfriend. I'm not certain, but by the sound of the constant phone calls to her ex and meeting him at his favorite haunts, she's a stalker. This may just be a competition, but I think Jeff should hide his pets when this lady's peaking in his windows.

Announcer Bob - Let’s check in with Kimberly. Looks like she’s made a mark. Her Polish date is wooing her with all his might. Let’s listen in …

“The great thing about you, Kimberly, is when I look in your eyes, and you’re looking back in mine, everything feels not quite normal, because I feel stronger, and weaker at the same time. I feel excited, and at the same time, terrified. The truth is I don't know what I feel, except I know what kind of man I want to be. It's as if I've reached the unreachable, and I wasn't ready for it.”

Announcer Jill - I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but isn’t that almost exactly what Peter Parker said to Mary Jane in the Spider-Man movie?

Announcer Bob - Yep, he two-footed that delivery. Not original at all. And he didn’t get MJ in that one, either. Now Peter knows how Jeff has felt his entire life.

Announcer Jill - Bob, we have breaking news. This just in … Petra Petravski of Polan has been banned from the games! Doctors say they found a banned substance in her … we’re hearing that it was, oh my, her husband’s sperm. It turns out Peter Petravski is her mate. Who knew? Being married is a no-no in the Single Olympics. It’s like falling short for the regular Olympics and then pretending to be retarded to win the Special Olympics.

Announcer Bob - With that turn of events, the Polish are disqualified and the Americans take the gold medal! Jeff owes Kimberly for life!

Announcer Jill - More tough news for Peter Petravski. After seeing him dote on Kimberly so much, his wife has filed for divorce. I guess the Polish couldn’t handle the lure of the Superstar Diva … Extraordinaire.

Announcer Bob - Another performance like this, and Kimberly can blow right past the Wheaties box cover and get on the cover of Frankenberry boxes all over America! Truly an honor if she can continue this amazing Olympic run. Jeff will be happy just to be on the back of a box of Sam’s Club brand generic Fruit Loops.


Previously
Day 1 - The Pickup
Day 2 - Get a member of the opposite gender to acknowledge you
Day 3 - Gaydar
Day 4 - Jeff’s Single Olympics Diary
Day 5 - Mix Tape
Day 6: The Breakup

If only they could rateXBox and Playstation games, too

After years of prodding from broadcast and cable channels who have wanted to count out-of-home viewers, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday that it will count more college students in its ratings.

So next year you can expect ratings to skyrocket for Spongebob Squarepants, “Saved By The Bell” reruns and the same “SportsCenter” show all morning long and “Bliss” on the Oxygen channel.

(Hat tip: The Intern.)

A Burr in my saddle

The Washington press corps is still up in arms over Cheney accidentally shooting his friend down in Texas this weekend.

Think how upset they would have been back in 1804 when VP Aaron Burr killed American icon Alexander Hamilton in a duel, and wasn’t even arrested!

I mean, unless Burr is the equivalent of a Democrat. Then the media would give him a free pass and find a way to blame it on the Second Amendment, Christianity and a member of the Bush family.

People get paid to research this?

For some reason, researchers are befuddled that men claim to have more sexual partners than may be reality.

Hogwash. The survey can ask all 78 of mine, they’ll say there’s no reason for me to fib.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Today’s egomaniacal ramblings

  • That’s strange, I didn’t even feel the Earth move. It’s a big development, I mean. Chef Boyardee came out with a 99% fat-free can of beef ravioli. That just changes the entire paradigm of eating healthy.

  • Via Cracked.com, More Cartoons That Might Offend in the Middle East. (Angry Muslims, please burn flags on my porch. I don’t want to set the grass on fire. Beware, though, I eat a lot of ham. I might burp it on you.)

  • Astronomers claim to have discovered a newfound type of rotating star fire off a flash from once every four minutes to once every three hours. Or it could be Morse code from the headlights of an alien invasion force. It’s probably the first thing.

  • You have to wonder if the Winter Olympics are stretching it a bit based on some of the competitions. Nordic Combined involves ski jumping, then cross-country racing. Biathlon combines cross-country and firing a daggum rifle at targets. If they really want to make it entertaining, they’d mix some more physical sports. How about Snowboard Hockey? Goals on each end of the halfpipe, five players per team, extra points for tricks.

  • Apparently the average age of a New York City prosecutor is 28.

  • I hope these smears don’t stick: Board: Teflon Chemical a Likely Carcinogen.

  • Scientists whose careers seem bent on freaking people out about “global warming” are warning that Greenland’s glaciers are melting. I feel the need to point out that the landmass got its name because Vikings discovered it during a period of global warmth more than 1,000 years ago when the place was more green than white, so let’s not start demanding my SUV be trashed at the altar of environmental wackism. In fact, it was the increase in ice during the Little Ice Age that doomed the Greenland settlements. Damned if you do, and all that.

Single Olympics, day 6

Announcer Jill - Welcome to day six of the Single Olympic games, The Breakup.

Announcer Bob - Proper technique for parting of the ways is important. Judges are looking for a no-fault breakup. Viewers may find this impossible, but this is why the Olympics are known for striving for perfection.

Announcer Jill - Jeff’s paired with one of the Scottish singles for this event.

Announcer Bob - Oh no! A tragic turn of events, viewers. Before Jeff could even break off the relationship, the Scottish lass pulls the "it's not you, it's me" routine. Jeff, clearly miffed, retorts bitterly, "You're right, it's you, not me." He walks away, and I'm not sure how the judges will respond to such a bitter break.

Announcer Jill - Jeff’s turn now. Let’s go below and listen in …

“Bye, bye, its been a sweet love. And though this feeling I can't change, please don't take it badly, the Lord knows I'm to blame. If I stayed here with you now, things just wouldn't be the same.”

Announcer Bob - Whoa, did I hear that correctly?

Announcer Jill - Jeff just used “Free Bird” lyrics!

Announcer Bob - The judges are giggling, which is either good or bad. Results are in, and … bad. Perhaps he should have stuck with something from Luther Vandross or what he used back in ’97 with a Union co-ed, “You’re psycho and if you get near me I’ll file a restraining order.” That usually works against him, after all.

Announcer Jill - Let’s listen in to what Jeff had to say about today’s competition …

“I'm excited about this opportunity. I'm looking forward to the challenge. I have high expectations for this team. This franchise has a great winning tradition. We've got a good, solid foundation to build on. We're going to right the ship. We're going to get things turned around. These fans deserve a winner. This is a great Singles town.”

Announcer Bob - Jeff used every sports cliché in the book there. I’ve heard more original thoughts from a White House press spokesman.

Announcer Bob - Let’s go to the women’s competition with American Kimberly T. She leads all medalists with ten golds so far.

Announcer Jill - Kimberly pulls her man close and whispers something in his ear. We can’t hear, but he’s pulling away, smiling and nodding. Did Kimberly do it? Did she succeed in the no-fault breakup? This could be unprecedented!

Announcer Bob - No, wait. Kimberly’s man just stabbed himself in the throat with a fork, shouting “I Wish I Knew How to Quit You!” Losing her was too much, which far too many men have found out. Shame.

Announcer Jill - Yep. Sometimes there’s a price to pay for being desirable. Not for Kimberly, I mean, but for the men who can’t have her.


Previously
Day 1 - The Pickup
Day 2 - Get a member of the opposite gender to acknowledge you
Day 3 - Gaydar
Day 4 - Jeff’s Single Olympics Diary
Day 5 - Mix Tape

Brokeback Trailers

This was inevitable, a Brokeback Mountain trailer spoof using everyone’s favorite gay robots, C-3PO and R2-D2.

(Thanks to Steve for the link.)

Also inevitable: Brokeback Island, because we all know Jack doesn’t know how to quit Sawyer. There’s far too much good material from “Lost” to use here.

They got to Kirk and Spock, too.

Another one? To Rush Hour. How about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dumb and Dumber.

Still not done. Brokeback Goodfellas. Whoa, Point Break.

(What, you had “work” to do today? Pshaw.)

Have we reached our limit on Brokeback Mountain trailer parodies? The best are original and genre-changing, linked earlier.

Speaking of, here’s Taxi Driver as a slacker romantic comedy.

Not a trailer, but this British video of Obi-Wan going car shopping is pretty funny stuff.

Why 4?

I’ll tag myself (not like that, you pervs):

4 jobs I have had in my life:
Associate, Camelot Music
Busboy, Cracker Barrel and Outback Steakhouse
Sports Producer/Director, WLJT (Martin, Tenn.)
TD/Director, CNN Headline News

4 goals I have set for this year:
Stay awesome
Be awesomer
How to be awesomest
Use new words awesomely

4 movies I could watch over and over:
Lord of the Ringstrilogy
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Princess Bride
The Quiet Man

4 places I have lived:
Phoenix
Memphis
Jackson, Tenn.
Atlanta

4 TV shows I love to watch:
Red Sox games
Pardon the Interruption
The Amazing Race
Battlestar Galactica

4 places I have been on vacation:
Rio de Janeiro
Margarita Island, Venezuela
St. Andrews, Scotland
Branch Davidian Compound

4 websites I visit daily: (Not necessarily in this order)
Boston Globe Red Sox section
Sports Guy’s World
James Lileks
Deadspin

4 of my favorite foods:
Pizza
Wings
Sesame chicken over fried rice
Chips and dip

4 places I would rather be right now:
Fenway Park (or at least Ft. Myers for Spring Training)
U.K.
Alaska
With family and friends


(Blatantly took from Misawa and Mark.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

Go ahead, drive your quiet, environmentally-friendly automobiles. But know that you’re contributing to a new genocide of pedestrians. Hybrid cars are death on wheels:
Jenny Sant’Anna was so excited. She had waited months for just the right hybrid, choosing a Toyota Highlander because, though she wants great mileage, she also needs space to cart around her two elementary school kids and three classmates. It was during her first trip out of the driveway on a warm August morning that Sant’Anna learned about one of the dangerous drawbacks of driving a hybrid: It’s so quiet that pedestrians can’t hear it when it’s starting up or idling, and they often walk right into the path of the moving vehicle.

(Hat tip: Tim Blair.)

And yet, I've never seen any of the top three

You scored as SG-1 (Stargate). You are versatile and diverse in your thinking. You have an open mind to that which seems highly unlikely and accept it with a bit of humor. Now if only aliens would stop trying to take over your body.

SG-1 (Stargate)

69%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

63%

Moya (Farscape)

56%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

56%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

44%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

44%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

44%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

44%

Serenity (Firefly)

44%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

44%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

38%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

31%

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

Best Names in Show

I don’t know if it’s for fun, official business or being pretentious a**holes, but I love how dogs entered in the Westminster Dog Show have these long, weird stage names – unlike, say, Spot – as if they’re thoroughbreds entered in the Kentucky Derby. Check out the names just from the Kerry Blue Terrier group:

Rollick's Riverdance
Calix Fi Fy Fo Fum
Fenian An'Mac
Warlord's Tomahawk
Keribou's Pocket Of Petals
Bluebeard's The Answer
Everglo's Ian MacDougal

Best in Show, the Colored Bull Terrier, is entered as Rocky Top's Sundance Kid, though apparently his real name is Rufus. That’s more like it. That’s a dog we can get behind.

Of course, if you were rooting for the terrier to win, you are the enemy. Why? Because terriers are the Yankees of Westminster with 44 wins, nearly triple the second-place Sporting group’s 16 wins.

As a Red Sox fan and a fan of dogs in general, I think we should look into the conspiracy against “real” dogs. You know, the ones normal people own. The Herding group has won once, a German Shepherd in 1987. The Golden Retriever has never won Best in Show. Labrador Retrievers, and those are the two most popular breeds in America.

I sniff a conspiracy with my finely tuned nose. Westminster, I say, you cannot just keep tossing the stick out there for us to retrieve! We will eventually figure it out! And stop pretending to toss the stick while we search in vain and you laugh at us! Bastards.

UPDATE 8:45 - Why are all the allergy-friendly dogs so gay? Who am I, Johnny Weir?

The Memphis sound

Making me feel a little homesick, I just found out that iTunes built an Essentials out of the Memphis sound.

Off the top, here’s who is featured:

“Mystery Train” – Elvis
“Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green
“I Can’t Turn You Loose” – Otis Redding
“How Blue Can You Get?” – B.B. King
“Walking the Dog” – Rufus Thomas
“I Walk the Line” – Johnny Cash

And that’s just the beginning. Roy Orbison, Isaac Hayes, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett … this is a star-studded display of what Memphis has contributed to the music world. There are 75 songs in the collection, and I have to think it’s totally worth the money.

For comedy’s sake, search for the song “Memphis, Tennessee” and allow yourself 30 seconds to preview my new favorite version by none other than local wrestling phenom Jerry “The King” Lawler. Awesome.

Single Olympics, day 5

Announcer Bob - Welcome back to the Single Olympics, where “Faster, Higher, Stronger” is a naughty euphemism, not an official motto of excellence.

Announcer Jill - Today we’ll get in the mood with a tradition as old as songs have been recordable, the cheesily misunderstood Mix Tape. What desperate single people have gotten wrong for years is that romance and passion and love should be something more spontaneous. This is not a business deal.

Announcer Bob - Exactly. We’ve all made one, but I don’t know if one has ever worked. Our contestants will list ten songs and have them rated by judges. First up is American competitor Jeff, leading off with “Two Less Lonely People In The World” by Air Supply.

Announcer Jill - An obvious choice. Studies show that most unattractive single people holed up in one-bedroom apartments watching Battlestar Galactica (both series) and making up Olympic games for fun on the computer would hope that the events of this song could happen to them.

Announcer Bob - Second, here’s one Jeff used on a mix tape meant to woo Rebecca Forrester at Scenic Hills Baptist back in eighth grade, "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. I should point out – though it may be obvious – that Jeff was grossly unsuccessful in his attempt.

Announcer Jill - Third on Jeff’s list, “Invisible” by American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken. Seems a little stalkery for this competition. Check out these lyrics: “If I was invisible/Then I could just watch you in your room” and “I keep tracing your steps/Each move that you make.” Seems that would make women run … the other direction.

Announcer Bob - If Jeff keeps this up, he’ll be hearing from the judges a tape featuring Green Day’s "Good Riddance (Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life)."

Announcer Jill - Next up, a visit to the past with Elvis Presley and “Teddy Bear.” While I think the judges may appreciate the oldie-but-goodie, the song may remind women that Jeff is a husky fellow. Maybe he should follow that up with red, red wine. Not the song, I mean, the actual drink, and get the potential date a little tipsy.

Announcer Bob - Fifth out of the gate is a country hit, Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One.” I like this variety. It’s the Single Olympics version of a McTwist, frontside 5, air to fakie and polishing things off with a Cab 5.

Announcer Jill - “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys comes in the sixth slot. Jeff explains, “Darn it if I didn’t like Love Actually but when this song comes on at the end as everyone’s hugging, the theater got a little dusty, if you know what I mean.”

Announcer Bob - Number seven, “Let’s Stay Together” from Al Green. Getting a little ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? Gotta get together to stay together. Why not just throw in some Barry White and light some candles around the venue?

Announcer Jill - Never mind. Jeff goes with Prince’s “Kiss” next. Jeff does think he has soul. Or wants women to think so. Thank goodness for him there’s no dancing competition or that would be disproven pretty quickly.

Announcer Bob - For Jeff’s second-to-last track, he’s chosen … wait, is this correct? “We Built This City” by Jefferson Starship? What is he thinking?

Announcer Jill - Bob, what Jeff’s done is take out the spoken DJ part of the song, and inserted his own words: “What’s your favorite radio station, WJEF. The Jeff by the bay, the Jeff that rocks, the Jeff that never sleeps!” Creative, but pathetic nonetheless.

Announcer Bob - Jeff’s final sell, his tenth track, is … “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx. Says here this was Jeff and girlfriend Brandy’s song during one fun summer.

Announcer Jill - Yeah, how’d that work out for him?

Announcer Bob - Pretty one-sided relationship, actually, and he broke it off at the slightest sign of trouble. Guess he didn’t feel like waiting.

Announcer Jill - The judges tally their results. … Ye gods, they say Jeff deserves negative points for that list, and he should buy them a medal. Tough break for the American representative.


Previously
Day 1 - The Pickup
Day 2 - Get a member of the opposite gender to acknowledge you
Day 3 - Gaydar
Day 4 - Jeff’s Single Olympics Diary

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

That's amore

Speaking of things I love this Valentine’s Day, today the Red Sox supply truck left Fenway Park headed to spring training in Ft. Myers, Fla.



Secondly, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is coming out today, and the online version is full of scrum-dilly-umptious photos of tennis superbabe Maria Sharapova. (I like to think that the little heart on the suit is her V-Day gift to me.)



All this excitement calls for one of Stewie’s sexy parties!

Single Olympics, day 4

Jeff’s Single Olympics Diary

American male representative Jeff Rushing will be filling in the audiences during the Single Olympics with a first-hand account of the happenings in Turin, Turino, Torino, Toro, or whatever the heck it’s called.

Unless you’re pelting European embassies with Molotov cocktails and chanting “death to democracy,” you’re aware that today is Valentine’s Day.

Seeing as how I’m at the Single Olympics, you might think today the venues are full of bitter men and women lost in the world of love. You’d be wrong. And a little correct. After all, there’s nothing better than a group of single people hanging out, talking about what we don’t have and making fun of those who do, all the while looking forward to that day down the road.

It’s also a good day to pick up the opposite sex, since there’s nothing like desperation to encourage two people to hook up!

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than having to talk about your love life is not having to talk about your love life.

Alas, there will be no “Dear Penthouse” letters written about my experiences with the Single Olympics. I’m a romantic. I like flowers, candy and poetry. And I haven’t received any of those things.

They say that when women are in a group they're not looking to get picked up. Baloney. But they do make it next to impossible to let a guy make his move. And my problem, being the unattractive husky guy who would rather date the "normalest" girl in the group, is that even the ugliest girl among friends thinks she should be dating the same caliber of guys as her pretty friends.

Nothing I read in "Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret" prepared me for feminine thinking like this. I’m good with the chit, not so much the chat. Saying hello is easy. Getting her to give me her actual phone number and not the local morgue’s is more difficult.

Know what will make me feel better? Finding a desperate girl and then dumping her, hoping she'll leave me nasty threatening messages on my voicemail.

Critics will say, yeah, Jeff, but you’ve got plenty going for you and you need to lighten up on yourself. To them I say, “You’re absolutely right.”

Give me time. I’m still cracking the code of love, or as Klingons say, “Par’Mach.”

(The fact that I know this, well, everyone together: “And that is why you fail.” And using a Star Wars quote right after a Star Trek one, I’m not making this easier.)

I need to stick around until the next week when the Special Olympics of dating are held. Everyone’s a winner!


Previously
Day 1 - The Pickup
Day 2 - Get a member of the opposite gender to acknowledge you
Day 3 - Gaydar