Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We're exhausted

If there's ever a week for the good Lord above to show how His plans differ from ours, and that you can't make Him work for you, this is it.

Val's grandfather passed away this afternoon. While we were driving back from Mom-Mom's funeral.

He was rushed to the hospital Tuesday afternoon, and we received the call as we were getting dressed for the visitation. We weren't sure what happened, but he's been very sick and weak for a while now, though with dialysis we thought he was getting better. His heart just gave out, and the doctors said that reviving him anymore wouldn't help, and it was time to say goodbye.

I feel bad that Val didn't get to say goodbye before, especially since I missed my chance to drive up last weekend and see Mom-Mom before she passed on Monday. But if anything else makes me thankful that He put us together to be married last year, it's that Val and I have each other during this tragic week.

I should also mention the least of our worries, but something that compounds just how you have to stay positive and keep the faith, I got a speeding ticket on the way to Chapel Hill yesterday. 70 in a 55. Never saw the state trooper until he was on my tail with lights flashing. Whatever. Take the $150. I have other things to think about this week.

Valerie's grandfather is her Dad's Dad, William B. Howell, Jr. We did have one thing I enjoy noting in common. He was baptized at Merton Avenue Baptist Church in midtown Memphis, where I joined decades later and was similarly baptized, no doubt in the same baptismal.

In the picture below, he is with Mamaw Margie and most of their nine grandchildren (three great-grandchildren) from four kids last July at the annual Chickasaw State Park vacation, which this year is only ten days away, another example of how God would rather you not make plans for Him.

Mom-Mom's funeral went as well as could be expected. Under the circumstances. We said that a lot the last two days. Such as, it was so good to see all of the family again. Under the circumstances. But really, it was great to see everyone, some of whom it's been a few years due to distance. All fourteen grandkids together is rare nowadays, alas. And unfortunately I couldn't get a picture of all of us at once since Val and I had to leave right after the funeral to get back to Memphis. Again, plans and all that. We had a lot of laughs, shared a lot of stories, and I know Mom-Mom would have really enjoyed seeing us all gathered in dedication to her.

Monday, June 25, 2007

In Memory

My Mom-Mom passed away this morning in her sleep.

(You're wondering how she got that name? Simple. When my brother started talking, Mom was explaining that she was his Mom's Mom, so he called her Mom-Mom and it stuck for 14 grandchildren by her four children, and 6 great-grandchildren - so far.)

She had been sick, but we were all told she was getting much weaker than we would have expected, so many of us planned to drive up this coming weekend to see her, just in case it was our final visit. Spoiled by never having a close family member pass away, I didn't even comprehend the idea that she was indeed this weak. Honestly, I couldn't deal with the idea that anyone in my family was fragile. We're indestructible, right?

Of course, there will be so many good memories, having spent a lot of time with her for my 31 years, visiting them when they would live all over the country for my Granddad's job, and all of the fun weeks and weekends driving up to Chapel Hill, Tenn., where their homestead has been for, what, 15 years? She was always so proud that I was able to visit often, she always made sure "my room" was ready and made-up when I called ahead.

In fact, that's one of my favorite stories to tell. When I started at CNN, I didn't have my own place for the first month, so every weekend I would drive up and stay with them in Chapel Hill. Working the overnight shift, they knew I'd walk in about 9 a.m., say hi and crash for a few hours. They were picked to be a Nielsen family, but when the guys came to hook up everything, Mom-Mom asked them to tiptoe quietly since her grandson was sleeping in the next room, having worked at CNN all night long. That perked their ears, and when they called their bosses it turns out Mom-Mom and Granddad couldn't be a Nielsen family after all. I would have told them, don't worry about them watching CNN all the time to skew the ratings, since they watch Fox News (not the "Clinton News Network") and Mom-Mom would have single-handedly tripled the ratings for TV Land all by herself!

Oh, and Braves telecasts. She was such a big Braves fan. We could talk about them for hours and she always had an educated opinion about the team. Over a big plate of her spaghetti, of course.

I'm just so glad that she was well enough to travel here last fall for my wedding, to see me marry my dear Valerie. The last time I saw her was about a month ago, when Val and I went to my Uncle Rob's housewarming over in Oakland, Tenn., and I was surprised and thrilled to see that she made it there with Granddad.

Mom-Mom's real name is Molly Kathryn Harville. She was 78 years old, married to Granddad (J.C. Harville) for over 57 years, devoted to the good Lord above and dearly loved by her large, happy family.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m. - Thank everyone for their comments and kind words. The visitation is Tuesday night, and the funeral Wednesday, so Val and I will drive up tomorrow morning and return late Wednesday.

UPDATE - My brother and one of my sisters also posted some good thoughts on our grandmother.

Late night blogging

  • Rumors of the Red Sox' demise are greatly exaggerated. After winning two of three at San Diego - the Padres had the best record in the NL going in - the boys from the Fens are 11 1/2 up on the dang Yanks, who lost two of three at San Francisco, who stink, and were swept in Colorado before this weekend. I know I wasn't worried. *whistling*

  • I have a feeling that director Michael Winterbottom has multiple personalities. How else can he make both A Mighty Heart and The Road to Guantanamo? The latter is the typical anti-Bush, anti-war on terror film where U.S. troops are shown to be no better than the SS, while the former is about the wife of Daniel Pearl, the American journalist beheaded in Pakistan for being American and a Jew. One has to think that he would see the folly of his anti-Gitmo movie, where actual terrorists are kept precisely for being the sort of Islamofascists who are responsible for the horrors of A Mighty Heart. I'm guessing he doesn't see the contradictions.

  • I expect the loony left-wingers' heads to explode when they see that the critic for Fox News Channel praised Michael Moore's new "documentary". It could alter their entire belief system. Dogs and cats, living together! Total anarchy!

  • Have you ever gone through a traffic light, then a few seconds later thought, "I never actually saw the light turn green." The other cars started moving, so I followed. Yes, if they had driven off a cliff, I probably would have followed. Happily humming along to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 countdown from 1985 on XM's 80s channel. Love that Cyndi Lauper!

  • I really, really, have to wonder about where religion is headed when I see stories like this, about an Episcopal priest who also claims to be a Muslim. Which is kind of like a Hatfield marrying a McCoy, no? I mean, after the other McCoys have attacked the Hatfield homestead, killed all the cattle and threatened to wipe their barn off the face of the earth.
  • Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Take it easy, Champ. Maybe you should stop talking.

    Today's movie reviewer guilty of Taking Themselves Way Too Seriously is the Commercial Appeal's John Belfuss, who actually wrote in a review of mindless summer comedy Evan Almighty:
    The fact that God is depicted here as a black man makes this post-Katrina tale of a flood particularly disturbing. Judging from this movie, God wasn't concerned with finding a single righteous man in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, but He was moved to make a rare incarnate appearance on Earth to save the rich white Washington suburban neighborhood of "Prestige Crest" from drowning. Are we to believe that the Lord has the same priorities as the federal government?... Conservatives, at least, should like the way the movie literally puts God back into government by wedging the ark into the side of the Capitol building.
    In next week's review of the new Die Hard flick, I expect Belfuss' political axe to grind in his review will focus on how Bruce Willis can drive a car into a helicopter to destroy the bad guys, but George W. Bush can't fly to the mountains of Afghanistan and personally drop Osama off the peak.

    (I'm at work so I can't link to the incoherent, inane review online, but if you click on the Geoff Calkins link to the right it will take you to the CA website. Look for the self-righteousness oozing from the entertainment link.)

    Take a load off

    I know many of you will automatically skip this post, but I need filler! So here's the latest quotable (i.e,. no whiny liberalism) Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

    - By giving a timetable for the end of “Lost,” we’re just encouraging the Others.

    - I googled “Google,” and now I have this big hole in the space-time continuum cluttering up my living room.

    - Our local paper had an article with this headline, “Board to Adopt Deaf Committee.” Just what I always thought, another government body that won’t listen to us.

    - They just said on TV the whales in California are not out of the woods yet. How the heck did whales get into the woods?

    - Our house was so small that people would drive up and drop off their film.

    - For years, my wife has corrected what I say. Now, she has moved on to correcting what she thinks I was thinking.

    - Like most, I wondered why someone infected with such a virulent form of TB would selfishly risk infecting others by refusing to change his plans and flying to Europe. Then I read that he is a lawyer.

    - I suppose there are some bridezillas who would think their big day is important enough to warrant the groom exposing hundreds of people worldwide to a rare strain of TB.

    - My wife caught me at the bar again. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I asked her for her number.

    - Is Michael Moore’s new movie, “Sicko,” a documentary or an autobiography?

    - I don’t want an Eddie Bauer SUV. I want one of those Jack Bauer SUVs with all that neat CTU stuff in the back.

    - My wife and I bought a water bed, but we sold it. We kept drifting apart.

    - Unlike with Mom, it’s OK to get Dad something with a cord attached.

    - Bill got $12 million for his memoirs and Hillary got $8 million for hers. Pretty good for two people who testified for years that they couldn’t remember anything.

    - It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.

    - South Georgia folks know that the fronds of the palmetto plant have laxative properties. With fronds like these, who needs enemas?

    - My wife made national news headlines. It said “Retail sales surged 1.4 percent in May.”

    - If a dentist and a manicurist have an argument, could you say that they fought “tooth and nail”?

    - Instead of theorizing about six-dimensional wormholes in space, we should first look for the six-dimensional worms that made them.

    My Vents:

    - I finally broke down and bought those toothpaste squeezers, thus completing my journey to be the laziest person on the planet.

    - Isn't it interesting how the same people who think "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" when it comes to the war in Iraq think that dissent when it comes to global warming is evil and troglodytic? (Jonah Goldberg)

    - The glow from Al Gore's self-satisfaction must be contributing to global warming by now. (Mark Steyn)

    - Hillary Clinton doesn't so much project warmth as the desperation of someone trying to project warmth. (Mark Steyn)

    - The only thing I have against the younger generation is that I'm no longer part of it! (Born Loser cartoon)

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    Snippy thoughts

  • The U.S. women's soccer team unveiled its jerseys - designed by Nike - for the upcoming World Cup, and the primary jersey is gold, with red, white and blue trimming.

    Ah, yes, we all remember the stories of Francis Scott Key looking up at the American flag flying over a battered Ft. McHenry, and upon seeing all that with red, white and blue trimming, he was so inspired that he penned what became our national anthem, "The Glitter-Spangled Banner."

  • The estranged wife of former Gov. James E. McGreevey claims that his accusations of homophobia have hurt her book sales. He blamed "her awful appearance" in "an inappropriate and ill-fitting ballgown with a plunging neckline" on Oprah.

    OK, maybe he is gay after all. Wonder what he thinks of the new U.S. women's jerseys.

  • Democrats, weaselly Republicans and President Bush, *sigh*, have decided that the answer to illegal immigration is to magically remove the word "illegal" and eureka! Problem solved!

    What other problems can be solved by this tactic?

    - Obesity will be nearly eliminated when the government sets the Body Mass Index standard at 75, declaring everyone between 20 and 75 to be "big boned," and everyone over 75 gets a pass as "hormonally challenged." Those under 20 are told they must make enough money to accommodate rising healthcare costs, and have to "deal with it."

    - DWI will from now on just be WI, since it's perfectly legal to be intoxicated, and no one has to lose their license.

    - Anyone arrested for robbery has the charge downgraded to "borrowing without permission." After a stern talking to, phone call to parents and free ride to any destination they want, they're still allowed to keep whatever they took. The person who filed the complaint is declared a bigot, and told to "keep it real." <

    - Paris Hilton won't be a "media whore" anymore, just a "hussy," and no one is obligated to watch her on any of the two million news magazine shows, except for Telemundo, where they love that "gringo twit."
  • Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    Val's back to work

    Congratulations to my darling wife, who starts a new job today, as the head librarian for the Memphis chapter of the National College of Business and Technology.
    She was a little apprehensive, if only because she has to work at both locations in the area. The one in Bartlett should be great, but two to three days a week she'll have to drive to the Lamar campus as well, once in a while until 7 o'clock at night. There is security (we asked), and I don't know if this is reassuring or not, but her boss said that the only questionable elements she's seen are "ladies of the night." Oh, and day.
    But, it should be fine, and Val will do great, back in her element after leaving her cushy job at Union to marry me and move to Atlanta last fall.
    Not that we won't be all weepy and pathetic now that much of our personal time will be gone. We've been very spoiled by the opportunity to spend most of every day together except when I have to work. So we're just planning on seeing how the job goes, pay off some bills, buy a house, and maybe by next spring she can retire to pursue more maternal goals.
    What? Did I say that out loud?
    Love ya, cutie pie, I know you'll impress 'em all!

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    That's our Willie!

    Those of you outside Memphis, you're missing one heck of a political roller-coaster. Last week a story came out that a few powerful Memphis players and the FBI were trying to set up the mayor, Willie Herenton, with a stripper to videotape him in the act to get him to resign or not run for re-election this fall. Then it turned out that the stripper had a criminal record, and the alleged ringleaders say that she came to them.

    I'm just so proud to be a Memphian again, and dealing with Memphis politics every day. As someone who works in the news biz, this doesn't get any better.

    In a rambling, nearly incoherent mess of an address to reporters last week, the mayor:

    - Referred to himself in third person.

    - Quoted the Bible. (Isaiah, 54:17)

    - Compared himself to Dr. King, saying he might get assassinated.

    - Said that white people have all the wealth in the community while blacks are "economically disenfranchised," even though every major post has been held in the city by a black person for 15 years.

    - Pulled out a Survivor Sue-like metaphor about snakes.

    - Showed why we can at least be thankful he's not the school superintendent anymore with grammatically genius statements like, "I see these people every day. They black. They white. They young. They old."

    - Gave the Commercial Appeal newspaper an F grade. But the guy who uncovered the story and made Herenton out to be a victim of a conspiracy, well, he "did a fair job on that report."

    - Had this statement, of which I've yet to figure out what it means: "And let me also say, those of you who are part of this conspiracy, and I say this with all respect to my African-American brothers and sisters. I'm not in disrespect to you, I'm one of you. I love you. I love all of mankind."

    Why would anyone want to move away from this awesome city? There's never a shortage of things to talk about!

    What could go wrong?

    So the Memphis Grizzlies, the team with the worst record in the NBA this year, are hiring the GM of the Celtics, who had the second-worst record in the NBA this season.

    Isn't that like swapping the governors of Mississippi and Alabama?

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Age of Love premiere on now!

    I hope everyone else is tuned in to what promises to be the best reality show of the summer, "Age of Love" on NBC! Neither the tennis pro bachelor, Mark Philiwhatsitous, nor the 40-somethings, knew that they were competing with 20-somethings for "his heart," or "acting contract," depending on what they're really after.

    Oh yeah, a bunch of cougars and twits, with a clueless athlete, this is going to be JUICY!!!!!!

    UPDATE 8:06 - The host, Random McNobody, just told the 40-somethings that they were picked for their sophistication. Yeah, and because according to dating show rules, they're OLD. Val just said that she wishes there were a dating show for 40-somethings, seriously. Would they be as catty? Fall as hard and fast? I'm guessing yes. They were just shown a tape of Mark Philisomethingous, and apparently he's "dreamy." This might not turn out well. I foresee lots of tears. At first, I'll laugh. Three weeks later, I'll feel sorry for the 40-somethings since they didn't know what they were getting into, a competition with younger chicks.

    UPDATE 8:11 - Time for Mark Philiwhosis to meet the 40s. Not knowing he would have a bunch of women that old, he looks like he'd rather face Roger Federer at Wimbledon center court than continue.

    UPDATE 8:18 - Val says that Mark Philinoideahowtofinishspellingous is "really hot." I don't see him sweating, so I don't know what she means. Well, other than the fact that he had to be bleeped since he's freaking out about their ages. When the 20-somethings appear, he might just have to change his pants.

    UPDATE 8:22 - Seriously, dude is having a Tony Soprano-esque panic attack interacting with these ladies. He's having to talk with the 40-somethings about their kids and divorces, and he said he'd much rather talk about generic crap like favorite foods, whether they prefer Agassi or Sampras, and bra sizes.

    UPDATE 8:37 - Still haven't met the 20s, who are being painted as catty, malicious and ditzy, and eager to destroy the 40s. Fabulous. Meanwhile, a few 40s are on dates with Mark Philigreektomesous, and have to repel down some building in L.A. Because that's really how chemistry is created, you know. Potential for major physical damage. That's why me and Val went on a climbing expedition to Mt. Whitney on our first date.

    UPDATE 8:40 - Wow, the 20s really ARE catty, malicious and ditzy! I hope the 40s destroy them, whether they get picked (unlikely) or not. Val points out that the 20s aren't entering the fray like the desperate weepy women on "The Bachelor," but more like bitchy, slutty chicks on "The Real World," out for competition and not love.

    UPDATE 8:44 - Uh-oh. We're about one Mark Philihottieous wink from a certain 40 blubbering, "I didn't know I could fall in love so quickly!" Wait for it ... wait for it ....

    UPDATE 8:46 - The 20s are hula-hooping in bikinis. I refuse to believe that this was planned. I also believe that all dogs go to heaven, and that Paris is smarter than we think.

    UPDATE 8:50 - For some reason, Mark is having to relay messages over the phone about which 40s to date. If you weren't invited, wouldn't you not tell one woman, then tell him that she broke down and couldn't come? Just me?

    UPDATE 8:54 - I guess the point is that Mark is supposed to realize that age ain't so bad before he meets the 20s, his eyes pop out and he forgets the 40s exist. Will he hand the ones he keeps a rose? A ring? An adult diaper? Nothing. Boring.

    UPDATE 8:57 - Some Blonde 40-Something is kicked off, and purely by accident, I'm sure, that she's one of the two oldest of the bunch. Pure coincidence. Val chimes in again, saying that it's not fair for those around 42, 45 years old, since there's a huge 12, 15 year age gap, whereas the 20s are only going to be five to ten years younger.

    UPDATE 8:59 - Mark Philiwhatsitous is shown the 20s next, who are revealed to him behind a sheet by standing together in what we'll call "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" poses. Stay tuned next week! Awesome!

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    It burns!

    I burned my pointy finger and thumb something fierce tonight. I wish I could say it was something dramatic or manly, like handling giant slabs of meat on the grill. No, that was my dad-in-law, who has an impressive blister from barbecueing pork chops outside the other night. I'm just a moron.
    We're at our three-day-a-week Mexican restaurant, and the waiter is leaning over me to put Val's plate in front of her. As someone who skipped "don't touch the hot-plate" school, I grab it, realize immediately how stupid it was, somehow manage not to drop the entire thing and place in front of Val, all in one second as I yelp in pain.
     Now, I'm about to punch a one-hour show trying to use only my middle finger and left hand. Of course, you must see that the switcher is very large and I play it like a piano, so this should be fun! Can't wait to hear the playback of my call: "Ready 3, OW! Take 3. OW! Stand by VO in W. FRAK! Take VO in W. HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL."
    The lesson, as always, I'm a wuss. And a moron.

    Happy Father's Day!

    My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." - Harmon Killebrew

    A very Happy Father's Day to my Dad! Without your loving support, all those 5 a.m. wakeup calls for tee times, all those movies on the couch, all that moaning about the Red Sox right up to October 2004, all our trips, all the calls for advice, your generous financial aid, et al., I wouldn't be nearly the happy, well-adjusted man I am today.

    I have nothing but good memories of my childhood and will miss you as my vacation buddy these last ten years. Not that we can't still go places together. I'll just be bringing my spouse along, too, which isn't so bad for you since she has to put up with my snoring now!

    (Speaking of, a happy anniversary to my wife, one year after I asked her hand in marriage and she accepted! Which all began, of course, with my trip with Dad to D.C., the U.S. Open and Boston, so see, this also relates to Father's Day!)

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    People .. who need Val

    Forgive me, but I have to brag about my wife!

    I mean, I knew I married a heck of a woman eight months ago, and a real beauty, but someone good enough to get in People? Sweet!

    In People's special wedding issue released this week, there's a two-page spread on wedding dresses, featuring the very one that Val wore for our ceremony. She's one of 20 pictured, as seen here (click on it for a bigger version):

    That's my girl!

    My head hurts

    Last night Val asked me to promise her that the Red Sox wouldn't let the dang Yanks catch up. I couldn't do it. Crap.

    Let's compare it to Raiders of the Lost Ark. You know how happy Indy was when he swapped the idol at the beginning with sand and it seemed to work? Let's say that's how I felt mid-May. And you know how he looked while being chased by a giant boulder? That would be today.

    What's the difference? Other teams figured out that J.D. Drew has a $50 million contract to look for four-leaf clovers in right field, Julio Lugo's sole contribution is to up the percentage of crotch-grabbing, and Dice-K likes to up the degree of difficulty by walking seven batters in the first inning of every game.

    What, me worry? I'm a Red Sox fan!

    UPDATE 10:35 p.m. - Never mind. Sox win easily, dang Yanks lose, with Clemens pitching, to make it all the more rewarding. I'm fine.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    You meddling kids!

    The mayor of Delcambre, Louisiana, doesn't like kids, their saggy britches, no doubt their hippity-hoppity music, and oh yeah, "stop calling me a chick."

    Carol Broussard said he would sign an ordinance the town council approved this week setting penalties of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for being caught in pants that show undergarments or certain parts of the body.

    Other ordinances the city is thinking about passing include:

    - $50 fine and roadside trash pickup for wearing "those tacky flip-flops" to church.

    - $1,000 fine and ten years in jail for watching anything on the UPN network.

    - $100 fine and volunteer at a senior center for text messaging while walking on a public street, because, "Can't friends just call each other anymore?"

    - $1.50 fine and eight hours taking soft drink taste tests for trying any of those "daggum silly stunts" in Mountain Dew commercials.


    From the AP wire (here at work, using email, so no links):
    "Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee criticized the news media today for being more interested in Britney Spears and Paris Hilton than in the nation's next leader."
    Really, I should want to support Huckabee on this, and he has a great point, but it's June. Of 2007. The election is November of 2008. The parties have been holding debates for six months already. We don't need a year before the primaries, which take another six months, to run an election.
    So yeah, I'd rather be watching Showbiz Tonight for news about how wacky Britney and jailbird Paris are doing than pay attention to a bunch of phonies who agree on 99 percent of the issues trying to convince me to vote for them.

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Goonies Never Say Die!

    Jeff's Top Five Cheesy 80s Movies From My Childhood:

    1. The Goonies - The ultimate movie for awkward kids growing up with equally strange friends who enjoy walking through drainage pipes and down wooded trails. You know, stuff I would kill my own kids if I found out they did it nowadays. Of course, we didn't have a band of criminals after us, so that was good.

    2. SpaceCamp - For anyone whoever dreamed of blasting into space after your robot altered NASA's computers. No name cast, though. What ever became of them?

    3. Short Circuit - Speaking of robots with minds of their own ... C'mon, it's a robot doing John Wayne and Three Stooges impressions, interacting with The Guttenberg. Winner!

    4. Flight of the Navigator - Alien time travel at its best. Still get chills when the tiny creature snuggles up with the kid, even though I was sixty percent sure it would grow up to be thirty feet tall, eat puppies and cause an international incident. Wicked awesome.

    5. Mannequin - All I know is, I actually remember walking out of the theater afterwards, telling Dad that this was "the best movie ever." Hey, I was young, give me a break. All those Kim Catrall-inspired tingles were new to me.

    Honorable Mention:

    License to Drive - My favorite of the Corey flicks, this one involved a drunken Heather Graham in a trunk. Bonus.

    War Games - If only because I don't really consider it cheesy, per se.

    Explorers - Kids in space is apparently popular with me.

    The NeverEnding Story - Nice life lesson. Even if the world ends, you still get the princess. And then go back to your crappy life where you hide in attics reading.

    Spaceballs - Not sure it's considered cheesy kid fare, either. Imminently quotable. Hilarious. Mel Brooks is hit-and-miss with me, and this one's a hit.

    The Last Starfighter - You know how it is, one day you're rocking a video game, the next you're the hero in an interstellar conflict.

    Free Hugs

    I'm sure y'all have seen this a million times, but Val mentioned it this afternoon and I never have seen it before, so I'll post it for anyone else who hasn't seen what is ultimately a sweet video:
    If it's all a fake, I don't care. Still made me feel all gooey inside.

    Our Place

    During last night's telecast of the Tony Awards, Val caught a tidbit during Julie White's acceptance speech for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for the The Little Dog Laughed, something quite special to us:
    Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh my goodness, you Tony voters, what a bunch of wacky, crazy kids! I thank you so much! Just to be nominated with those extraordinary list of women. I never imagined I would even be on a list like this, unless it was for dinner reservations at Angus. I mean, and then to get the tchochke! Oh, my God! I can't feel my hands — is that a bad thing?
    What she was referring to was what Playbill News refers to as "New York theatre haunt Angus McIndoe." Also known as, The Place Where Val And Jeff Got Engaged one year ago this coming Sunday.

    Angus is directly across the little street from the Phantom of the Opera theater, adjacent to several others, just a block from Times Square.

    A Google News search turned up two more references, from Martha Plimpton talking about a great experience, and Brian O'Brien of The Pirate Queen meeting castmate BrĂ­an O’Byrne.


    Sunday, June 10, 2007

    Watch out Derek, someone's got a crush on you!

    There's no way I can pass up this quote about A-Rod, his cheating heart and the hussies he prefers in New York:

    A petite stripper at the Hustler Club said A-Rod "likes the she-male, muscular type."

    I think Steinbrenner's Atomic Clock just advanced to 11:58.

    Friday, June 08, 2007

    Valfrey 2007 New Home Tour

    It's on! Val and I visited two houses with our realtor this morning in the Valfrey 2007 New Home Tour. We quickly learned what folks tell us and we see on HGTV every day: You know almost immediately upon entering that you found a home worthing spending six figures on.
    House number one already looked more promising based on earlier reconnaissance, i.e., peeking through windows and over fences. It's OK, they're both empty. Both have pools and both have fireplaces, but we saw that it was in better shape, which is important since both are about 30-40 years old. (They're also right around the corner from each other in Bartlett.)
    House number one had a bigger backyard, the kitchen is larger and the yard comes with nice landscaping. The only downsides were a lack of a big tub in the master bathroom and the kitchen appliances appear original. Seriously, they're even in that yellow/puke color from the 70s. We saw a new fridge in the garage, so that's reassuring. There's no formal dining area either.
    House number two had a fresh coat of paint, bigger living room, formal dining area and a pool, but the backyard is smaller and the yard has a large slope in the back, not to mention neighboring barking dogs on both sides. The kitchen is small, the cabinets need to be redone, the bathroom counters need replacing, the tile needs to be redone and there's only a carport.
    The first one, naturally, is more expensive, but not terribly so. It made a better impression and seemed somewhere we could be comfortable, but we also were told that there's an impending offer, or at least our guy was told that by the seller's realtor, for what it's worth. What we may have to figure out is how much we can spend on repairs and updating, too, if we can only buy older homes in Bartlett versus newer homes in Cordova, which terrifies us since we could be annexed by big bad Memphis any day thereafter.
    We still have two to three months at least before we're ready, so this may just be a first step in deciding what we want, what demands we'll compromise and whether we can afford to do anything other than toss a double-wide in my in-laws' backyard! Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    I jinxed him. My bad.

    If it takes a Red Sox pitcher to throw 8 2/3 no-hit innings like Curt Schilling did this afternoon in order for us to win once every five games, it can't bode well. We'll win, what, another 50, 60 games, max?

    Alas, Julio Lugo has to be traded now, though. If not for his fifth inning error, Schilling has a perfect game going and never has to face Shannon Stewart in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Adios, Julio!

    Or it's my fault. Oops. I knew I shouldn't have texted Dad and Steve after seven innings. Or gotten up to use the little boys' room after the eighth. Or taken a breath in the ninth.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    A few thoughts

    Our bathroom looks like we're running a Bathtub For Runaway Loofahs. When is it okay to throw them away?

    I yell and make fun of people on their cell phones behind home plate who wave around like fools all game long, and yet, if I had those seats, I'd also have a 30-foot banner listing the names of all friends and family in alphabetical order.

    I know I've said this before, but could someone tell drivers in Millington that, as my father-in-law says, they don't get extra points for driving below the speed limit?

    We're still house hunting. Found two cute little homes within a block of each other in a nice neighborhood in Bartlett, and we're going to have a look see on Friday morning. Naturally, they're about five percent above our target budget. Every time we watch one of those home buying shows on HGTV, TLC, WE, whatever, the buyers always end up going over their budget for that house. Guess we're no different. Did I mention that both of them have in-ground pools? And considering this is my first full summer in Memphis since 1995, I'm thinking that would come in handy right about now. Ye gads, people, haven't y'all noticed that it's frakin' HOT in this city!?

    I really hate having to go to the doctor on my weekend. What a buzzkill. At least the blood pressure medicine seems to be working, and the Singulair works miracles. I haven't been wheezy, had puffy watery eyes or any asthma symptoms, even while playing with my in-laws' big dogs. I'm sure Val sees this as a very good sign for dogs in our future. As long as they can breed out the tendency to pee on our new house's carpet. Good luck with that.

    The Red Sox have lost five of six. I'm not freaking out. Yet. After all, they had won five in a row before this skid. And the dang Yanks are 12 games behind. If objects are closer than they appear in the rear-view mirror, we still can't make them out behind us. Kind of like when you can't tell if it's a motorcycle back there or a car with a headlight out.

    A major benefit of covering local news now? We barely have any political news, and only the weird international news (like cheese racing). The veins in my forehead never pop out anymore like they did when we (CNN, I mean) would cover politics all the doggone time. So I've got that going for me. Memphis politics is more funny and sad than anger-inducing. You just kind of expect the corruption and rallies against violence that are followed by stories of three people being shot in south Memphis over a pack of gum.

    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Star Wars as a silent movie


    Anakin and Padme

    Luke and Leia

    The full story

    Did you see all the entertaining clips of the Rosie-Elisabeth Hasselbeck fight on "The View" and wonder what "rhetorical question" the cutie pie kept referring to the cow saying?

    Courtesy the Media Research Center:

    O'DONNELL: I haven't -- I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
    HASSELBECK: Who are the terrorists?
    O'DONNELL: 655,000 Iraqis -- I'm saying you have to look, we invaded-
    HASSELBECK: Wait, who are you calling terrorists now? Americans?
    O'DONNELL: I'm saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?
    HASSELBECK: Are we killing their citizens or are their people also killing their citizens?
    O'DONNELL: We're invading a sovereign nation, occupying a country against the U.N. ...
    HASSELBECK: Do you not believe in terrorism?
    O'DONNELL: I believe, Elisabeth, that 6,000 dead Americans from 9/11 and from this war is a lot less than 655,000 dead Iraqis.
    HASSELBECK: But do you believe in terrorism?
    O'DONNELL: I believe every human life is equal.
    HASSELBECK: Do you believe there is terrorism?
    O'DONNELL: I believe in state sponsored terrorism. I believe there is government sponsored terrorism by every nation in the world, including ours.
    By the way, Rosie's numbers are off as well, getting them from the same conspiracy sites as she got her 9/11 conspiracy theories. Check the above link, see all of Rosie's blather and idiocy.