Saturday, September 29, 2007
(In other features to fill your weekend, fellow Trekkies should enjoy the special Trek weekend of columns over at National Review Online.)
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
2. National Treasure: Book of Secrets - The first was a surprise hit, so the sequel has a lot of pressure, the same kind that sunk Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. I'm guessing Nic Cage and Diane Kruger can pull it off, as Cage's character is out to prove an ancestor's innocence in Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Ten bucks says he's successful, and that there's some sort of grand conspiracy at work behind it, and Bush's ancestors are responsible.
3. In the Shadow of the Moon - Normally I wouldn't have a documentary on a list such as this, in favor of big-budget Hollywood popcorn flicks, but anything about our country's fascinating history in space makes me giddy.
4. Fred Claus - Hoping for another holiday classic with North Pole hijinks, let's cross our fingers that Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti (as Santa) can come near the fun and magic of Will Ferrell's Elf.
5. American Gangster - Normally I'm not one to care about gangsters and godfathers (Goodfellas comes to mind), but Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott is a heck of a trilogy of talent.
Perhaps: No Country for Old Men by the Coen Brothers; fantasy The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig; The Bucket List featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman taking a road trip after being told they're dying; and Leatherheads with George Clooney and Renee Zellweger in the world of 1920s football.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Elsewhere, the Red Sox' magic number is now down to 3 to clinch the AL East, as the Good Guys held on to beat Oakland thanks to manager Terry Francona taking Gagne out in the 8th BEFORE he melted down (what a novel concept!), and the D'Rays overcame blowing their lead to win in the tenth over the Bad Guys. Good times: Manny Ramirez returned after missing 24 games, Kevin Youkilis came back from a seven-game absence and Curt Schilling won for the first time in more than a month. I love it when a plan comes together.
How about some early Autumn TV season talk?
Anyone want to tell me what the heck - if anything - actually happened on Heroes? I know we just got started on season two, but, huh? Hiro's Japanese hero is British? The Unibomber pushes Sulu off a building? At least there was no Nikki/Jessica, so we have that going for us. (This is where we get a close-up of Admiral Akbar yelling, "It's a trap!")
Last week on Survivor, an unlikable New Yorker (big surprise), a Christian radio host is told by Jeff that her refusal to bow down to Buddha could hurt her (would CBS make the contestants worship in a Catholic church in "Survivor: Portugal?"), and Chicken made the early mistake of getting huffy and trying to be both helpful and aloof. Hoping the grave digger is a good guy. First time Jeff refers to him as "burying the competition" I quit the show forever.
Dancing With the Stars is off to a good start. Where else can you see Wayne Newton and Scary Spice on the same floor? Val and I were particularly charmed by Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves and his partner Julianne, who won with Apolo Anton Ohno last spring. Even the show has to think model Josie Maran is a goner after receiving the harshest criticism thus far. Last night near the end, host Tom was talking about elimination show and wondering out loud who could go, they cut to a shot of a depressed-looking Moran in the audience. So really, how amazing does Jane Seymour look at 56-years-old? I like Mark Cuban in the world of the NBA as owner of the Dallas Mavericks, but in this setting he comes across as a rich arrogant prick. Most of the time he comes across like Garfield, when sometimes you'd rather root for Odie not getting pushed off a table.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
But, I'll try to stay upbeat and positive (unless we fall behind 1-0 in the first inning tomorrow night).
Goonies never say die!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Can't wait for chill wind
and baseball playoffs; why is
today so dang hot?
Okay, so the first day of Fall was 90 degrees, but the anticipation of what's to come is greater than the sweat building under my arms during the 10 seconds I'm outside.
With the rare Saturday off, Val and I took off to Chapel Hill and the rolling hills of middle Tennessee this weekend, visiting Mom, Aunt Lynn and Granddad's homestead, along with Steph, and Stacy with my nephews, Nate and Gabriel. It's the frst time we've been back since Mom Mom's funeral, so we went to see the headstone, which was very nice.
Back tonight at work, watching the FOX Sunday lineup and eating fattening foods. I can't imagine much worse for a "dessert" idea than Domino's new Oreo pizza concoction. Just gross. You never see a sausage and green pepper pie at the bakery. What's next, a Reese's Pieces chicken sandwich? (Nice try, but a Mr. Goodbar burger at least sounds plausible.)
Yeah, the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth yesterday, but that's not important. They need to hold off the dang Yanks for their first division title since '97, and even more important, finish with the best record in the league. Why is that so important? Because the team with the AL's best record gets to decided whether it wants an extra day off during its first-round playoff series. That means the teams that have the early off-day would be able to use their Game 1 and 2 starters on full rest for Games 4 and 5.
You know those movies where our new alien overlords or Bond villain take over the airwaves to announce their nefarious plans, and you see people gathered around TVs at malls and government offices? Next time, I want a montage of people oblivious to the evildoers' threats, like a kid eating a large Oreo Blizzard (what's with the Oreo fixation tonight?) at Dairy Queen, drunk guys in funny pants at the bowling alley, or Val and I watching "Wayne's World" on DVD, because she revealed her terrible secret recently that she's never seen the classic comedy.
Those new Nike ads featuring the U.S. Women's soccer team? HATE them. Awful. Confusing. Doesn't make me want to wake up at 4 a.m. and watch their games one bit. Yeah, yeah, they're great players, yeah, yeah, they're more than their looks, but at least feature one or two of the cute ones, am I right? Call me sexist ("Okay, Jeff, you're sexist."), but if I want to watch women who look like men, I'll watch the WNBA.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Working local television news can be a hoot. When I first started my career back in '97 at WMC in Memphis, I would get a chuckle out of working camera for the Saturday morning wrestling program. The wrestlers would drive to the station together, only if they were "enemies" one would have to be dropped off at the Ike's grocery store down the street and picked up by a fellow bad guy, so that the audience waiting outside wouldn't see the good and bad guys drive up together. Then, before the show, if you walked into the bathroom you'd see about a dozen guys in their little outfits, good and bad guys alike, quietly going about their preparations like putting on makeup. You know, the important stuff.
This morning, I walked into the bathroom here at FOX13 at 7:50 before having to punch the 8a show, and there stands four tall black men dressed up like The Temptations, complete with wigs. (They're doing a play locally.) I say hello, duck into the stall, and then hear the voice of a woman who was doing their makeup in the other room. Oh well, can't wait for her to leave! (Hmm, two bathroom stories in this anecdote, what does that mean?) They were pretty bad on air, but the Navy rock band that closed the show, well, rocked.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Now I'm just getting mad. Eric frakin' Gagne blew his FOURTH game for the Sox since joining the team August 1, giving up three runs in the eighth inning of a 4-3 loss in Toronto, thus shrinking the lead over the dang Yanks to 2 1/2, their smallest deficit since April 21.
Watching that inning was an exercise in trying not to throw something heavy at the TV. After getting two quick outs, Gagne walked Frank Thomas, which was fine, because he threw some good pitches and the Big Hurt just has a good eye to avoid nibbling at the corners. But then Gagne threw two pitches far out of the strike zone against the next batter, who singled when Gagne threw the third pitch down the middle of the plate. By the next batter I was more upset that Francona didn't have anyone warming up, because Gagne wasn't anywhere near the plate. It was like watching Charlie Sheen in his first game of "Major League." Now, bases loaded, still nobody throwing in the bullpen, I'm blaming this impending loss on Francona, because there was no way Gagne was going to get anyone out, so he walks in the tying run, then - STILL nobody warming up - gives up a two-run double in the corner, and he's lucky to get out when the third runner is thrown out at home.
You have got to be kidding me. The Sox are fighting for their division-leading lives, and Francona doesn't have Papelbon ready to come in with two outs? Or Okajima? Or the ball boy, who had a better chance of getting an out than Eric frakin' Gagne? The Red Sox blow this, and forget 2004, Francona's gotta go. Epstein gave him a lemon, and instead of making lemonade he's been sucking on it for two months now. I blame Francona for last Friday's debacle as well, because he didn't do anything to try and stop the dang Yanks' rally. Go to the mound, change pitchers, release squirrels onto the field for a long distraction, whatever, just do something besides spittin' seeds in the dugout with that blank look on your face.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Wicked awesome weekend.
Friday night, Val and I drove down to Tunica for the night, not necessarily to gamble but to shop. Let's go through the checklist:
- Shop at outlet mall across the street from the casino drive. Spend so much there the prospect of gambling seems safe. Check.
- Jacuzzi suite at the Sheraton. Check.
- Blow $40 in ten minutes. Give up, curse Pat and Vanna on Wheel of Fortune game. Check.
- Invade buffet. Eat too much. Mix strange foods on multiple plates. Check.
- Watch on ESPN in horror as Red Sox choke big time against the dang Yanks. Check.
- Call room service. Don't have desserts listed on menu. Settle for inferior option and burger. Check.
- Stomach hurts all night. Check.
- Stay up too late, sleep well, enjoy room service breakfast. Check.
And today's been an even better day. The Red Sox whipped the Yanks yesterday, the weather was perfect, getting us in the mood for Autumn, 70 degrees, breezy, sunny, and even cold in the shade. It brought forth memories from my perfect childhood, and why I love the fall above all other seasons, remembering playing soccer in the mornings, golf in the afternoon or watching a ballgame, going to a Memphis game at night with Dad.
Speaking of being at work (where I missed Val's cousin Phoebe's wedding yesterday, alas), I've had to watch a lot of "COPS," and let me tell you the main lesson I've learned: When the officer asks, "Can I search your vehicle," that person is going to jail.
And for now, I'm going to do some work *cough*watchRedSoxgame*cough* and wait for this stupid awards show to give "The Sopranos" everything.
UPDATE 8:44 p.m. Monday - I'm still upset/flabbergasted/unsurprised that the Emmys made up a category to give Algore a fake award just so he would show up, they'd look hip and politically correct and Hollywood could kiss his a**. Does anyone even have that Current TV network on their cable system? At least not part of the fourth tier? It's the equivalent of giving a Pulitzer to a book that six people read - four given to them free and they only skimmed the synopsis on the back cover - and isn't available on Amazon.com.
It's like when I was a kid, Patrick and I decided it would be brilliant to throw water balloons at passing cars from his driveway. Until one hit the brakes. We ran inside and hid, and Patrick's super cool older brother, Jay, came to the door to talk to the guy and ensure that we'd get a stern talking to. Of course, really what Jay wanted to say was that we were stupid to run to our own home!
Friday, September 14, 2007
Read Judy Bachrach – a female – and her hit piece in Vanity Fair tells us that Judith Giuliani is a vicious, scheming harpy. Margery Eagan - a female - columnist in The Boston Herald described her as "the bosomy, decolletage-trotting, husband-schnoogling, gold-digging, getting-the-man-comes-first, everything-else-comes-second, three-times-marrying babe".
It wasn’t just Judy that Margery has issues with; she thinks all the Republican women are too revealing: “The cleavage-industrial complex, obviously, has arrived,” pronounced the Herald. “Why are these women doing this? What, exactly, is the message they’re sending?”
Did you know that Fred Thompson’s wife, Jeri, is a "demanding boss and she used to have a boyfriend and she was in a car accident once and zzzzzzzzzzz." The New York Times had no problem calling her Fred’s "trophy wife." It said her "youthfulness, permanent tan and bleached blond hair present a contrast to the 64-year-old man who hopes to win the hearts of the conservative core of the Republican Party."
Do you even know that Barack Obama’s wife’s name? Do you know anything about Liz Edwards other than she has cancer? Like, for instance, when she said that hubby John supports gay unions now, but it was difficult to figure out because "having grown up in a Southern Baptist church where it was pounded into him”?
Remember that stupid YouTube debate? The final question was intended to ''lighten the mood.'' One Jason Koop from Colorado asked the candidates to tell one thing they liked and one thing they disliked about the candidate next to them. John Edwards said, ''I admire what Sen. Clinton has done for America, what her husband did for America. I'm not sure about that coat.'' I don’t remember the media criticizing Edwards. But if a GOP candidate said that in a debate with Hillary next summer? Complete uproar, guaranteed.
It’s true that women are scrutinized in ways men never are -- and usually by other women. This is a lesson in media hypocrisy, how their favorite Dems are treated versus evil neo-cons, how feminists don’t speak out unless it’s one of their own getting the shaft (no pun intended).
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
- The good news about the sub-prime mortgage meltdown is my spam will be reduced to just male enhancement and miracle diet products.
- Romance Lesson No. 1: The gist of the statement may be the same, but you get a much better reaction when you tell your girl, “When I look into your eyes, time stands still,” than if you say, “You’ve got a face that would stop a clock.”
- I fixed my navigation system after I bought my new car. I changed it from the female voice to the male voice and the directions have been right ever since.
- I have reached the point in the wedding planning process where I need to make a list of all the lists that I need to make.
- I hear the Food and Drug Administration has approved a pill that stops a woman’s cycle and prevents PMS. This could be the end of “The View” as we know it.
- I changed my GPS from the female voice to the male voice and every time I ask it for directions, he says, “You don’t need directions. I know a shortcut.”
- Nicole Richie spent less time in jail than I spend standing in line at Wal-Mart.
- It must be political season again. The liberal candidates are attending church.
- The federal government that handled Katrina is the same government the Democrats want to handle national health care.
- At the rate they’re recalling toys from China, parents will have to give their kids books for Christmas.
- I would have an unfair advantage on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” I was in the fifth grade for two years.
- I don’t know which is worse — the new “Caveman” series or knowing that men will actually mimic them in public. (Jeff - What do you mean "will?" More like "already do!" I love those guys! Maybe we'll get to see what Tina looks like in the series!)
- If there is anything about your past you want to remember, just run for political office.
- I shrunk my wife's clothes so she wouldn't trust me to do the laundry anymore, but then I had to buy her a new wardrobe. It's win-lose, but totally worth it.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
121. I'm very possessive. For example, every weekend a co-worker asks for the funny pages when I have the newspaper out. I give it to him, but in my mind I'm screaming, "I'll never get it back! Don't do it!" (But I'm all over your stuff.)
122. Val's ringtone for my calls is Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill." On my phone, her calls ring up "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden.
123. I don't like to sit directly beside other cars at stoplights. I'll inch forward until I can't get a glimpse, or they of me, of the people on the either side of me.
124. I couldn't tell you the difference between "ketchup" and "catsup," or "barbecue," "barbeque" and "Bar-B-Que" or just "BBQ"
125. No, I do not want any parmesan cheese on my salad or my entree.
126. When I was 3, I had surgery on my right knee for osteomyalitis, or fluid in the knee. I still have a long scar on the outside of the knee that has grown up with me.
128. I still remember a dream from while in the hospital that the surgeons were operating on me and I was awake, and Mom is standing at the end of the bed, reassuring me, "It will be okay, Jeffrey.) I also remember waking up from it, and there's a little ray of setting sunshine coming in through the window as I lay on my side in the hospital bed.
128. As a kid, I would toss a tennis ball off the roof and catch with my baseball glove. I also used the cars that had a slant on the back window.
129. I also kicked the soccer ball against the carport, so that the carport for years had hundreds of soccer ball marks like wallpaper.
130. Shoe size: 14.
Monday, September 10, 2007
We worked at Headline News together.
For several years.
In the same position.
Turns out, a couple of years ago he had left for D.C., but decided the nation's capital was too hectic, so he, his wife and their two kids came to my neck of the woods.
I have one request for my new co-workers. Yes, I know you think we could be brothers. Back in Atlanta, even though I preceded Shawn at Headline News, the newer production lackeys would trip up and call me Shawn. So please, fellow employees, if you mix us up, call HIM Jeff for once!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Every time I go to Taco Bell, I know beforehand that 20 minutes after finishing my meal, I'll regret it, with this weird aftertaste and sense of impending doom, that I'll need to regurgitate my meal, to put it as lightly as I can think of. (Sorry for that. But I did post a toilet blog a month ago, so what do you expect here?)
With a win today, the Red Sox went 6-3 in Baltimore this year and has had a winning record at Camden Yards every season since 1998, going 54-23 during that span. *sigh* I'll miss playing in Baltimore the rest of this month. Thank goodness Tampa comes to town Monday night, because the magic number is 14 but only going down one number at a time since the dang Yanks only lose once a week.
I'm not the biggest fan of Tiger Woods (too dull; don't like his dramatics, the way he stops his backswing instead of hitting the doggone ball just because a photographer two holes away snapped a shot; and really dislike his bully of a caddie), but I do get a charge out of the history he's making. The dude is my age, and today he won his 60th PGA Tour event. That's eight more than Byron Nelson won in his entire career, including a stretch of 11 in a row. It's 15 more than fabled Walter Hagen, 20 more than Memphian Carey Middlecoff, 21 more than Tom Watson. He's two from catching Arnold Palmer, four from Ben Hogan, for goodness' sake. Unbelievable.
Yesterday, we ventured out to see "3:10 to Yuma," the Western remake starring Christian Bale as The Good Guy and Russell Crowe as the Deliciously Bad Guy. Great story, stellar supporting cast and it didn't suffer from the post-"Unforgiven" modernity wherein the audience is supposed to feel guilty for liking Westerns and rooting for the guys in white hats.
Why? Because 1) In his last five starts, he has allowed 28 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings, a 9.57 ERA, and was whipped tonight, and 2) It will get him prepared for working out of the pen in October, 'cause there's no way he's starting in the playoffs.
Who will take that fifth spot in the rotation? I say let rookie phenom Buchholz alternate it with *gasp* Julian Tavarez. I know, I might as well have just said that I prefer getting kicked in the groin to being stabbed in the knee, but I'm sticking by my statement.
Friday, September 07, 2007
A joke says that a poll was taken in California, asking if people thought illegal immigration was a serious problem. The results showed that 29 percent said, "Yes, there is a serious problem." But 71 percent said, "No es una problema seriosa."
The Top 10 beginnings to movies.
A one-year exploration of the best (and worst) films to ever earn cinema's highest honor.
Top movie role reversals.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Sure, I'll most likely be horribly wrong, but what's new? Feel free to post your picks or pick mine apart. All that matters is that the Colts and Saints kick off the season tonight, and my heart is happy.
East - New England
South - Indianapolis
North - Pittsburgh
West - San Diego
Wild Cards - Baltimore, Denver
East - Philadelphia
South - New Orleans
North - Chicago
West - St. Louis
Wild Cards - Dallas, Seattle
Super Bowl - New England over Philadelphia
(I just look forward to more whining, crying and anger by Philly fans. It's good clean fun.)
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
They came with transition lenses, but magnetic sunglass attachment as well, to keep that Joe Cool vibe:
So far, they seem to work best when I'm on the computer, reading or watching television. I don't notice much difference while driving, really. It's a weird feeling, to never think that you need glasses, and then put them on and realize that I've been reading the paper as if the toner was light and needed a bolder font. Nope, just my eyes.
I wore them to work this weekend, and not a single person said anything. Guess I haven't worked there long enough. My co-workers probably just figured I never wore them. Or they don't care. Either possibility is plausible.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in just his second major league start tonight in a 10-0 win over Baltimore. He wasn't even scheduled to start tonight; he was called up today to replace Tim Wakefield.
Exhilarated upon watching it on my DVR now that I'm home after work, I have thus been inspired to haiku:
Red Sox rookie throws
no-hitter, now Jeff's man crush,
earns free beers for life.