Sunday, May 31, 2009
Last Sunday, the Burk birthday/graduation party at Glenn & Stephanie's:
Wednesday, graduation for Val's students:
Saturday afternoon at the Redbirds game:
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Pink Palace is offering a free membership for the summer through their website, good through August, including the planetarium and Lichterman Nature Center, among other things.
By "free," I'm pretty sure that means they won't charge you, so good times!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
- Speaking of, here’s how Deadspin.com reports the latest news from the new park:
Great news! The most obnoxiously self-indulgent team in college football wants to join forces with the most obnoxiously self-indulgent team in baseball. Yes, folks: Notre Dame wants to play football in shiny new Yankee Stadium.
- Whomever carves the NHL’s storied Stanley Cup is to spelling what anyone on “The Hills” is to acting:
Over the years words like "Ilanders" (Islanders), "Leaes" (Leafs) and "Bqstqn" (Boston) have found their way onto the cup, while more than a dozen players and coaches have had their names butchered. Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante had the misfortune of having his first name spelled four different ways in the span of five years.
- Hotshot 18-year-old Spanish guard Ricky Rubio presumes to tell the Grizzlies what to do with their second pick in June’s NBA draft. Namely, don’t put his name down on the card. Either he’s heard of Willie Herenton or no one told him about the Rendezvous:
"Rubio doesn't want to go to Memphis, and he especially does not want to pay money out of his own pocket with that huge buyout for the honor of doing so. [Dan] Fegan [Rubio's agent] wants him in L.A., and if he can't have him there, he wants him in Sacramento. Definitely not Oklahoma City."The good news is, his agent said the same thing about Chinese
- Think life is easy as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader? Watch the league’s premier franchise, wear skimpy outfits, shake what you’ve got for drunken fans, get free dos at “Big Floppy Blonde Curly Hair R Us.” Not so fast. It would also help if you knew ”one country that borders Iraq.” Bonus points if they answer, “A country that paid off Washington Redskins owner/weasel Dan Snyder with Saddam’s old WMDs.”
Monday, May 25, 2009
Researchers Say U.S. Obesity Epidemic Due to Overeating
Intelligent women enjoy sex more than 'bimbos', research finds
(Now that one I'd like to see how they proved!)
- HEADLINE: Two men ordered to stay away from Britney Spears.
100 million men think, "I still have a chance!"
- NBC White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie gushed when Obama came to see the reporters in the press room: "Shocked is more like it, Norah. I felt a little bit like I was having a dream sequence minus the pink unicorn. I have to say, we attend those briefings every day, they are rarely so exciting."
- Liz Sidoti of the AP thinks Obama is a ”calming leader of a country in crisis,” “has applied ‘no drama’ leadership,” an “audacious candidate” who “built a powerhouse organization,” and “rookie jitters? Far from it.” In fact, he has “reached the pinnacle of his political ambition” and “seems unflappable,” “extraordinarily at ease” using a “just-folks approach” while engaging in “witty banter” with a “statesmanlike stance.”
- The Today show calls him the "messiah of Madison Avenue" and enthuses that "the whole world is apparently going Obama," including the First Lady, as America has apparently "embraced … a new sense of chic."
- CBS brought in Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast, to delight, "One of the great surprises is what a force-multiplier Michelle Obama has turned out to be because these two are working in such, sort of, flawless concert. You know as the world is talking about torture and the Bush administration, then we have Michelle with her vegetable garden. Talk about Spring time in America! There's a real sense that these two are operating in a kind of wonderful symbiosis that we really haven't seen, I don't think ever, between a President and a First Lady."
- Brown wasn’t done: "Michelle is so authentic, and so real, and so today, and so, you know, J. Crew, and the whole price point thing and not designer clothes....With Michelle, you can almost feel those warm arms. You know, there’s a kind of real red-blooded feel to her. But there’s also — I mean she’s almost, like, overtaking Oprah, I think, as the kind of inspirational ‘it’ girl at this point."
- AP swooner Nancy Benac summed up Obama’s first adorable 100 days as ”a cool confidence that has made increasing numbers of Americans hopeful that the country may at last be heading in the right direction” especially since we “couldn't get enough of … Team Obama's every move: the arrival of family dog Bo; the president showing up for work in his shirt-sleeves; the first lady's moxie in baring her arms; Sasha and Malia's swing set; even a visit to the White House by the surviving Grateful Dead.”
- Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief Peter Canellos thinks Obama is untouchable: "Obama, so far, seems to occupy a place in the popular culture beyond humor. Ridicule doesn’t touch him. His personality defies easy categorization. Of the few running gags to emerge from the Obama administration — aides not paying their taxes, Treasury officials rewarding fat-cats — the only one that pertains to the President himself is the straight-faced devotion he inspires. Obama may not actually be perfect, but so many poor souls out there think he is."
- CNN Senior Analyst David Gergen: "In terms of mastery of the issues, we have rarely had a President who is as well briefed and speaks in as articulate a way as this President does. He’s nuanced. He’s very complete....He’s taken it to a whole different level in the way he speaks about issues...."
- ABC anchor David Muir calls Obama the ”cool kid in the class” when he went overseas.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Outfielder Jason "Manny who" Bay has hit 11 consecutive home runs with at least one runner on base, a franchise record. Twice in Red Sox history a player had hit 10 consecutive home runs with at least one runner on base - Kevin Youkilis in 2008, and Tony Conigliaro in 1966.
Wednesday night, Jacoby Ellsbury made 12 putouts, tying a major league record for a nine inning game. The feat was done twice before, both at Fenway Park, but not since the Twins’ Lyman Bostock did it on May 25, 1977. The first player to do so was Earl Clark of the Boston Braves on May 10, 1929.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Week 4 - Euphoria! We made a baby! My boys can swim! Of course, even though I provided half of the secret formula, she's doing all the baking in her own oven.
Week 5 - One good thing about Val having my baby, it makes it more difficult for her to realize that she still has plenty of time to find a second husband before getting frustrated by me trying to diaper the baby with Bounty paper towels while watching Red Sox games.
Week 6 - I keep reiterating to Val that all of her symptoms are normal and a good sign of a robust pregnancy, but hey, I'm not the one in pain, so I'll shut up now.
Week 7 - Our first appointment. Stare at the ultrasound, pretend that we know what we're looking at. "So the round thing by the stick thingy, that's the head?" "There's no 'head' yet?" "Wow, that's strong, is the heart beating out of the baby's chest?" "What do you mean, 'What chest'?"
Week 8 - I start making CDs of songs about pregnancies and downloading podcasts about pregnancy. There really aren't that many songs about pregnancy that I can find, which is disappointing, so I'm skipping ahead to songs for when we have the baby. Go to iTunes and search for "Rockabye Baby" and enjoy. These are lullabies for babies from rock songs we all know and love. I'm pretty sure I'll definitely end up buying the U2 version, because if I'm playing it in the car during a trip, at least I'll have something to "sing" along with! Our favorite podcast is called Baby Time, made by a couple about four years ago during their first pregnancy. Every week I download the week corresponding with our pregnancy, and we listen and compare. Will we get competitive with them? Darn tootin'. Our pregnancy will kick their butts! I mean, not that it matters.
Week 9 - Val's drinking so much Pepto to get over nausea that I'm pretty sure the baby's going to have pink poo for the first month.
Week 10 - Val's facing constant exhaustion, any physical contact below the neck makes her have to pee and is nauseated by any "real" food we used to cook like spaghetti, subsisting almost solely on snacks, Flintstone vitamins and V8 juice. Besides crackers and Sprite all of the books recommend ginger. So I bought Val ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger tea, ginger pops, ginger spaghetti ... Still nauseous. Still bothered by indigestion. There's no cure. No way out. No relief. SOS. Send help.
Week 11 - Second appointment. Deep breaths. Hear a strong heartbeat. Exhale. Relief.
Week 12 - Hey, here's a fun thing about being the guy who knocked up his wife: I can tell when Val's tired or upset or sick, because our prodigy goes from "the baby" to "YOUR baby."
Week 13 - Val doesn't each much breakfast, being on-the-go to work, where she avoids food since it gives her indigestion and makes her nauseous. We want to focus on eating healthy, but I just want her to eat something, anything, so I gladly buy her Pop Tarts. The chocolate fudge ones. Which I think is an example of the pushover I'm going to be as a parent.
Week 14 - Reality starting to sink in. We start thinking about how different everything will be, like rethinking a simple lunch out or how I can't mow the lawn when Val's not home anymore. Of course, after a few months I anticipate not remembering what life is like now before the baby. I imagine having a short-term memory is key to being a parent.
Week 15 - Val gets a painful kidney stone, practices for giving birth. Decision made: She will be getting an epidural.
Week 16 - It seems early for Val to start showing, but even though she's only gained a few pounds her belly is starting to poof out, which I think is super cool. Trying to find clothes for this transition into maternity? Not so much. And she can't wear my clothes unless she plans to use my shirts as a full-length dress and buy a belt to try and pull off the look. Shopping in the maternity section is fun; I want all the women around us to know that, "Hey, that guy and his wife are totally preggers! His boys can swim" You know what's not nice, though? JC Penney at Wolfchase puts the maternity section right next to the bathing suits. That's cold, man, just cold.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Alas, they struggled in the state tournament Thursday morning and lost their opening doubles match.
But hey, at least they get to make it back home tomorrow night for their prom, am I right? And then high school is officially finished. Brings back memories, doesn't it?
This weekend should be a hoot. Most of my side of the family is coming into town for Memorial Day! Saturday we'll be enjoying a cookout at our house, which is the flurry of cleaning you'll sense tomorrow night.
Of course, none of that will matter once we get out the slip 'n slide for our awesomely hilarious nephews Gabriel and Nate, and we all traipse mud around the house. But that's why we have tile floors!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I have to bone to pick with Aquafina, previously my preferred bottler of filtered top water. For their 24-packs, the company has started using those weak-a** bottles like Ozarka or Nestle, the kind that crumble in your grip and when you open them the water spurts out if you're holding it too tight. Aquafina claims that they're reducing plastic to save the environment. *cough*baloney*cough*. I think we all know that this is a cost-saving move to save a few pennies per bottle, and in the process of trying to pin this on being "green" they just lost my business. Back to Dasani it is. And yes, I do, in fact, have a strong opinion about any little seemingly insignificant thing in my life.
And now we dance and sing!
DANCING WITH THE STARS - America's sweetheart, Shawn Johnson, beat French Gilles and Bachelor-reject Melissa to become the third Olympic gold medalist to win the big shiny and gaudy mirrorball trophy. Figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno previously won. The lesson? Win a gold medal, win support from the "Dancing" viewership forever, even more so than being naked in a major motion picture or dumped on national TV. So I'm just sayin', if 40-something phenom swimmer Dara Torres is on next season, place bets accordingly. So why do we bother scoring the final performances on finale night? Everyone gets 30s anyway, which won't affect the convoluted points/votes system.
AMERICAN IDOL - No matter who wins between Southern church music leader Kris and California fake Broadway rocker Adam, we can all agree on one thing: The winning song, "No Boundaries," is AWFUL. And you know it's awful when Simon tells Kara, who wrote it (with two other people, because it takes more than one to write that cheesy crap), that it was nonsense.
Clearly the judges want Adam to win, and so does the show's creator, who picked some Obamessiah-rally song that had Adam talking about gay rights after the show in interviews, and a Marvin Gaye song for Kris. Really? That's not exactly his style. What's going on with that, Simon Fuller?
Of course, does it really matter what they sang or how they did? You have your favorite, voted accordingly, and now we can name a champion and get on with forgetting about them for several months. In the end someone who finished third-through-tenth will sell more albums, anyway. If Kris wins it will be great, if Adam wins, well, he's clearly the best entertainer and has a big voice, so if that's what the show and voters want, so be it.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Val's feeling better, just a sore back from this weekend's kidney stone trauma. We're not sure when the stone passed, but it must have after the ER visit.
She was feeling better enough by Sunday that we even made it to morning services to hear First Baptist Millington pastor Brother Ray's final sermon. He's retiring after 33 years of faithful service and leadership that has seen the church grow into the thousands (each morning service averages about 1,000 worshippers).
Val went to the church in high school, but I only got to know him a few years ago when we decided to get married at First Baptist and they mandated pre-marriage counseling.
We've been going regularly ever since returning to Memphis, always wanting him in the pulpit. He had some great messages, with a good blend of Bible learning, stories as metaphors and some fire and brimstone when appropriate. (Let's just say that he's not exactly happy about some of the "liberal" Christian preachers out there.)
There was plenty of choking up, tears, laughs and memories all day, and a surprise. He hasn't handled baptisms in a long while, but wanted to do so on his final Sunday, and the audience audibly gasped when the final man down was his only grandson, which surely was a special moment.
Many congratulations to all of the graduates out there, especially superstud nephew Cody and his pals Kevin and Cody W., all of whom graduated on Thursday night from Brighton High. Good luck, guys! Find a recession-proof job you'll enjoy! First, Cody and Kevin are in the state tennis tournament this week in Murfreesboro to play doubles.
Also coming to a close, the TV season ...
SURVIVOR - I didn't care if J.T. or Stephen won, since we all won with their Tocatins bromance, am I right? During the reunion show nothing was revealed, Sierra was still hated for some unknown reason, everyone adored J.T. and Taj, and Coach is still a pathetic idiot.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER - Kind of a waste of a season finale, wasn't it? All of the oomph of the last two weeks went nowhere this week, with silly plots about Marshall jumping off the roof and Ted designing a cowboy hat restaurant. Sure, bonus points for pushing the Robyn/Barney relationship and the Ted-goat fight, but there wasn't anything that advanced the story much.
DANCING WITH THE STARS - Two dances for our three finalists tonight, a paso doble faceoff and the freestyle, which is popular with most everyone but fuddy duddys like me and Val.
Shawn & Mark - They started their freestyle wearing black plastic suits and a mask that looked like the bad guy in "Kingdom of Heaven," looking like the creepy mimes in those Gatorade G ads. After a quick change on stage, the dance was fun but nothing resembling ballroom, which is disappointing to me and Val.
Melissa & Tony - Even less ballroom than Shawn's, they went all cheerleady hip-hop and even if it was energetic and well done, it still isn't my thing. I'll grumble about the hip-hoppers in "So You Think You Can Dance" starting Thursday, too, so at least I'm consistent? And you kids get off my lawn!
Gilles & Cheryl - This is his competition to lose, and frankly, after their freestyle I think he might have blown it. Good call on using "What a Feeling" as the song, but the routine was nothing but lifts and pelvic thrusts.
Who to root for? I'm going with Melissa. Shawn's adorable but I don't want Mark to win as her pro partner, and Gilles is awesome but we have a lot of animosity towards Cheryl. I'd like to see Tony get a win, and for Melissa to win this after getting dumped on national TV by The Bachelor, I just want to see the paparazzi tail Jason and Molly and ask them how it feels to be Cobra Kai to her Daniel-son while she is the new darling of the ABC watching world?
Monday, May 18, 2009
A couple was expecting their first baby. Water broke and her contractions were only two minutes apart. To say the mood was frantic would be an understatement.
The husband dialed the hospital ER and asked for help.
"Is this her first child?" the doctor queried.
"No, you idiot!" the man shouted. "This is her *husband*!"
The room was full of pregnant women and their partners, and the Lamaze class was in full swing. The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly, along with informing the men how to give the necessary assurances at this stage of the plan.
The teacher then announced, "Ladies, exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. And, gentlemen, it wouldn't hurt you to take the time to go walking with your partner!"
The room really got quiet. Finally, a man in the middle of the group raised his hand.
"Yes?" replied the teacher.
"Is it ok if she carries a golf bag while we walk?"
NO TEST REQUIRED TO BE A PARENT
LB writes that "The other day my neighbor came running up to me in the driveway jumping for joy! I didn't know why she was jumping so excitedly, but I thought, 'What in the world??', and I starting jumping up and down along with her.
She said, 'I have some really great news!' I said, 'Great. Tell me why you're so happy.' She stopped jumping and breathing heavily from all the jumping up and down, told me that she was pregnant.
I knew she'd been trying for a while so I told her, 'That's great - I couldn't be happier for you!' Then she said, 'There's more.' I asked, 'What do you mean, there's more?'
She said, 'Well, we are not having just one baby. We are going to have TWINS!'
Amazed at how she could know so soon after getting pregnant, I asked her how she knew. She said, 'Well, that was the easy part. I went to Wal-Mart and they actually had a home pregnancy kit in a TWIN-pack. Both tests came out positive!'
FROM A MOTHER
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.
Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?
Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.
Q: When is the best time to get an epidermal?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.
Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.
Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.
Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.
Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Hoped to meet Val for lunch today, but my car wouldn't start. Called AAA, a guy came out in an hour, charged the battery and huzzah! When I immediately went to AutoZone, the guy tested my battery declared it to be near perfect even after over five years since I bought it with the factory-installed battery. Hopefully I just left the XM radio on and there aren't any gremlins in the engine.
AMERICAN IDOL - A bit of an upset? I know when the top 36 were revealed I had Danny penciled in as this seasons champ. My mind was still set on Danny the Robert Downey Jr. look-alike and widower with the touching personal story as the top 12 started. Thus, the judges looked shocked as heck when Kris was named as the first finalist next week. My wife? Shrieked with delight. She really likes Kris. Will it matter who faces Adam, though? Is he a sure bet? Will people vote for the light-likable rocker against the blow-the-doors-down entertainer? Will I even care by next week, so tired of it all?
LOST - Great googly moogly, this was a jam-packed show of interesting events and yet I don't think it revealed anything pertaining to unanswered questions and ended on a cliffhanger. Still, oh yes, we will be back in January for the final episodes!
Okay, the idea that nothing significant was revealed isn't exactly true. After all, we found out that "dead is dead" may still hold true since the New Crash survivors-who-have-mysterious-motives dumped his body out of their crate. And Juliet fell to the bottom of the Swan Station pit, presumably to die, although we don't know if the white flash at the end was her setting off the hydrogen bomb or a time flash to get the Lostaways back to 2007.
Which I'd like to believe since it means Juliet could still be alive, and that would be a good thing, because I've been adoring me some Juliet, so much that I was ready to suggest Juliet as part of our baby's name! She makes the tough decisions, she can be light and funny and just wants to help even at the expense of her own happiness. Save Juliet!
And screw Sawyer. What a jerk. What's with pining for Kate with that stupid look while Juliet's watching? Idiot. Can't he see that Kate is the Black Widow of the show? Everything she does, everyone she affects, ends up worse for the wear. Stay away from Kate!
We don't know anything about Jacob other than he apparently runs the island for his own amusement, at least that seems to be the charge by the older guy we see with him at the beginning when Jacob appears to draw the Black Rock to the island. To show how humanity responds to stimuli? That was confusing. But the old guy threatened to find a loophole to be able to kill Jacob, which makes one think that he is inhabiting Locke's ghostly undead body to convince Ben to kill Jacob, which he dutifully did. After The Island told Ben to follow Locke's lead, even though Locke is dead.
I'm sure there's some kind of metaphor about humanity killing God, but I don't read into shows like that.
Jacob got his kicks by visiting all of our key Lostaways at key times in their lives, not to affect it, but just in the neighborhood with a few words of advice. I have no idea what it means, other than all the talk of destiny, which would mean that nothing that happens with the bomb in '77 will matter?
Living at the foot of the statue, which we finally see is some sort of ancient Egyptian work with one of those "animal faces as a god," although Jacob's as white as they come, so I'm not sure about the Egyptian angle.
More confused than us? Has to be Richard, who keeps seeing "The Leader" come and go and Jacob and the Island telling him all kinds of different things, and probably wishing they'd all go away so he can hang out with the rest of the nameless Others.
Hey, it was Rose and Bernard! So they didn't end up way back in the past as the "Adam and Eve" of the cave in the first season, but they are enjoying lives in seclusion hiding from the Lostaways and the Dharma Initiative, and good for them! They had a fabulous "dang it all to heck" reaction when discovered.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Still, y'all, I didn't find any golf balls, nor did I run over any. So either the golfers aren't playing in the rain, or they're traipsing into our yard to find their wayward shots. Hey, you kids stay out of my lawn!
I would also like to point out that now that our yard is freshly mowed and looks grand, it's the young couple across the street with the high grass bringing down the rest of the cove. Take that, hip young couple and your Christmas decorations!
*Ahem* Sorry, still being too competitive.
Val and I went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner (where we ran into her uncle Glenn, aunt Stephanie, cousin Jonathan and girlfriend Stephanie, for the second time in just four visits to the restaurant - which begs the question: How often are they there?).
We - meaning I, since I had the craving, not the pregnant wife - had a hankering for their ribs, which almost turned into a disaster. At first, our server told us they were out of ribs. *Jaw drop.* Which is like, what, KFC running out of chicken? (Which I've also seen happen at least twice personally.)
Minutes later she returned and told us that they'd be ready in 10-15 minutes, which means we could let her live. And the time didn't matter, since we started out with cheese fries for free, courtesy of Michael and his free appetizer coupon that he gave us after their trip last year to Memphis. Big ups, M.C.!
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER - So Stella really isn't The Mother and she and former ex Tony are in L.A. where he wrote a popular movie called "The Wedding Bride," (coming out in 2010), and we're told to "stay tuned." Hmmm, okay. But does that explain all the talk last week of Ted running into Stella leading to The Mother? And what's with the yellow umbrella? Meanwhile, Barney stinks at talking himself out of a speeding ticket, and Ted won't build a "murder house" and Lily (a very pregnant Alyson) shows up for 30 seconds at the end to say hey and leave.
DANCING WITH THE STARS - This show could have been an hour long instead of two. What a waste of time. The first half-hour was spent watching two dances by each of the final four couples critiquing themselves. Why, exactly? Hey, here's an idea, I'll stipulate to the fact that you're having a great time, you had a hard time figuring out how to ballroom dance, and now you're pretty good at it. There, half-hour chopped off, right there.
Melissa & Tony - Her family is behind her on this show, unlike "The Bachelor" when they refused to meet with Jason or allow the crew near them, which, good for them now that we know Jason's a moron. Melissa and Tony represented my favorite dancing of the night. The quickstep was playful and in step with the music. The cha cha had a couple of nice tricks, smooth moves and her dress looked like she unwrapped a disco ball. The judges, however, decided to nitpick her and thus her scores weren't as good as we thought they should have been. (28-27=55)
Gilles & Cheryl - Earlier in the show, Tom actually broaches the topic of Cheryl being such a witch in rehearsals, and like any good abused learner, Gilles says he needed the tough love. Their waltz may have been technically sounds and the judges loved it, but I thought it was Bore City. I don't like the dances where the star sits on a chair waiting for the pro to make moves for 10-15 seconds off the top. It's a move that screams, "We didn't practice enough on any other moves." Ye gads, their salsa is the perfect dance for him. That was a hot routine, and all credit to Cheryl. As Len says, "I wish I had a 11 paddle." (30-30=60)
Shawn & Mark - The music of their Argentine tango was awful. Though she looked good in the kicks I flat don't get the dance. The judges give her a perfect score, so what do I know? Second time around Shawn didn't seem loose enough for the jive. She wasn't in sync and seemed to be struggling to keep up. The judges score accordingly, and Mark looks ticked and pouts all the way back to the kiss-and-cry room. Mark's a tool. (30-26=56)
Ty & Chelsie - Bless his heart. He tries so hard. He just never learned the "gay arms" or how to smooth out the stiff edges in their Viennese waltz. The samba was pretty painful to watch, between his flubs and lack of any hip motion whatsoever, and like the waltz it inspired a judge flame war between Len and Carrie Ann/Bruno, who clearly know Ty should go but apparently Len thinks they're scoring him low to try and ensure it. How Chelsie got Ty to dance decently at all after the first few weeks should earn her an Emmy. She rocks. (25-23=48)
Who's going home Tuesday night? If there's any justice it will be Ty, but Melissa's not far enough ahead of Ty on points for us to be comfortable. After all, Lil was a good six clear of Ty last week and his voters vaulted him above Lil, a much better dancer.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Here is what David Feherty, a golf guy who poses no threat to the memory of Lenny Bruce, wrote in a Dallas magazine recently:In case you're curious, Obama and his left-wing media minions thought it was a laugh riot.
"If you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama Bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and Bin Laden would be strangled to death."
Not funny. An old joke, tastelessly retold. Feherty of CBS - who once wrote a book called "Somewhere in Ireland a Village is Missing an Idiot" - is drawing fire because of it. But you have to wonder how a similar joke might have played at the White House Correspondents' dinner on Saturday night, as long as it was about a Republican.
Because here are a couple of jokes Wanda Sykes wrote and then delivered to that crowd:
"You know, you might want to look into this, [President Obama], because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight. ...
"Rush Limbaugh hopes the country fails? I hope his kidneys fail, how 'bout that?"
But what if Limbaugh, white talk show host, goes on the air and says that Sykes, black comedian, is about half-a-terrorist and that, oh by the way, he hopes she dies? Is he allowed to say he's just an entertainer, and tell everybody to lighten up?
The race between Shock, riding a bicycle, and O'Leary, astride a horse, at the Exposition Building was resumed at noon yesterday and kept merrily going until midnight.
At midnight, O'Leary and his horse had traveled a total of 300 miles since the race started and Shock, 296 miles on his bicycle.
A section of bluff above Jackson Mound, in Fort Pickering, fell into the river yesterday with a loud splash, attracting the curious for blocks around and immediately starting the usual rumors among the cooks and maids that the world was coming to an end.
Strawberries are a little more plentiful in the market now, the poor people having to pay but 25 cents a quart for them. But with all the recent rain and warm weather the berries will soon be cheap enough to be bought by the rich folks, who are much more careful about spending their money than the poor people are.
As it played, I thought, "Wait, is that a Borg cube the ships are attacking? ... And there's the round Borg ship leaving for Earth! Oh come on, Fox!"
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Even though it was written in March, once the left-wing media got a hold of this tidbit, they went freaking nuts last week. Articles all over mentioned the Pelosi joke and the hubbub over it, and yet I can't help but think that there was something they missed.
Oh yeah, he also joked about how he believed in the death penalty, "especially for pro-lifers, child molesters, those opposed to gay marriage..." as if those are all equal? So media, where's the outrage at the latter comments, as if it's any less offensive than the former?
Thank you, Mom, and Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there, and of course mommys-to-be, too, including my Darling Val! Thank you for carrying the load and being miserable for our little Baby Valfrey!
This morning First Baptist Millington had the annual baby dedication, and there were approxmitely 35 babies, which with the moms and dads realy packed that stage. So next year we'll have a six-month-old and be a part of a very big group of parents. I haven't seen it, but their nursery must be huge! And noisy.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
My larger "Star Trek" review is upcoming, but first, let's take a look back at where Gene Roddenberry's creation has taken us, exploring new worlds where few have gone before:
1. "Deep Space Nine" - I wasn't a huge fan when it was first out, but in syndication you can watch it every day and appreciate the evolution of the characters and the plots, the nuances of how it freely delved into religion and racial conflict, the cast was more than just stock sci-fi stereotypes and there was time spent on figuring out why the bad guys did what they did. Plus, it's the only one that involved an ongoing war, with the coolest space battles.
2. "The Next Generation" - The one I grew up with, the newer, modern, diverse cast, plus introducing interesting foils like Q and the Borg.
3. "The Original Series" - Cheesy at times, no doubt it was harder hitting in the turbulent late 60s before I was born, but the personalities of the characters make every episode a classic.
4. "Enterprise" - The prequel before the prequel, it was interesting at first if only to see how they presented Starfleet's original exploration with new technology, then devolved into the boring "aliens of the week" plots until the 9/11 story gave it a kick.
5. "Voyager" - I liked the premise - send Starfleet into unchartered space and see how they get home - yet it spent way too much time on holodeck stories or turning cool villains like Species 8472 into wishy-washy aliens "with feelings" who just wanted to shake hands.
1. Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) - His growl could scare away any outlaw on the station, and he was a huge baseball fan.
2. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) - The epitome of how you want your ship's captain to act, with some swagger, some diplomacy, a sense of humor and a dedication to duty.
3. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) - He was French, which would explain why he so freely gave up the ship so often.
4. Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) - Seemed to be trying too hard at times to be captainly.
5. Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) - She could be authoritative, but didn't have a very good growl.
1. William T. Riker, "The Next Generation" - A ladies man and more willing to give a punch when Captain Picard wouldn't.
2. Spock, "The Original Series" - Logically, the most solid choice when you need help in a pinch.
3. T'Pol, "Enterprise" - She wouldn't go overboard and get you killed, at least.
4. Chakotay, "Voyager" - He sure was quick to abandon his rebel Maquis ways and join up with Janeway.
5. Kira Nerys, "Deep Space Nine" - A real spitfire who loved her people and would do anything to protect them.
ALIEN CHARACTERS ON TV:
1. Q, "The Next Generation" - Has the whole universe in his hand, and uses it to toy with Picard and his crew. Much to my entertainment.
2. Guinan, "The Next Generation" - Whoopi Goldberg, surprisingly, was a breath of fresh air and soothing advice behind the bar of Ten Forward.
3. Lwaxana Troi, "The Next Generation" - Deanna's mom (played by Majel Barrett Roddenberry) was sassy!
4. Dukat, "Deep Space Nine" - A Cardassian bada**.
5. Weyoun, "Deep Space nine" - A Vorta who could be cloned, and created to serve the Founders. So slimy.
1. Beverly Crusher, "The Next Generation" - Crush being the operative word. She was one sexy redhead.
2. Bones McCoy, "The Original Series" - Dangit, he's a doctor, not a comedian! And still a regular quip-o-matic.
3. Julian Bashir, "Deep Space Nine" - Smartest guy in the galaxy, but not arrogant about it.
4. Dr. Phlox, "Enterprise" - His methodology was odd, but effective.
5. The Doctor, "Voyager" - Not much for social skills, though he is a hologram, so what you do expect?
1. Khan, "The Wrath of Khan" - Delicious in his yearning for revenge on Kirk, so unwielding, so angry, such manly pecs.
2. Borg Queen, "First Contact" - Strangely sexy.
3. General Chang, Shakespeare-quoting Klingon, "The Undiscovered Country" - Okay, so Kim Catrall and sinister Starfleet members were the real bad guys, but this dude was pretty cool and before the Klingon Empire went belly-up he would have rocked Kirk.
4. "God," "The Final Frontier" - What does "God" need with a starship?
5. Cmdr. Kruge, "Search for Spock" - Christopher Lloyd ate it up as a Klingon.
Not so much: Malcolm McDowell, "Generations"; Praetor Shinzon, "Nemesis"; Adhar Ru'afo, "Insurrection"; V'ger, "The Motion Picture"; Cigar-shaped whale-talking craft, "The Voyage Home."
SHIPS (Besides the U.S.S. Enterprise)
1. Klingon Bird-of-Prey - The one ship that would inflict fear on anyone who sees them in their front viewscreen.
2. Borg cube - A box of pain.
3. U.S.S. Voyager - I just liked how the engines folded up when it was time for warp speed.
4. Romulan warbird - Mysterious, plenty of firepower and not afraid to use cloak technology.
5. U.S.S. Defiant - Plucky craft used by Captain Sisko in "Deep Space Nine."
1. "The Wrath of Khan" - The best villain, the original crew still strong and crafty, the best of the movies by a warp factor of five.
2. "First Contact" - The best of the "Next Generation" movies, it combined all the elements of wonder and Trek mythology.
3. "The Voyage Home" - Could have been the cheesiest with the time travel and "save the whales" message, but it was too much fun not to be enjoyed.
4. "The Undiscovered Country" - A Cold War analogy ruined by a plot that involved Federation weenies sabotaging the peace.
5. "The Final Frontier" - I know, I know, this one was completely panned upon release, but I quite enjoy the humor and religious discussion. It's not like that dude was actually The God.
1. Scotty, "The Original Series" - Could pull anything out of his butt with just a little more time.
2. Miles O'Brien, "Deep Space Nine" - Spent a lot of time on his back fixing things in the nick of time, but had his own personal story to explore.
3. Geordi La Forge, "The Next Generation" - Not just a blind guy with a visor, he had the best technobabble of them all.
4. Charles "Trip" Tucker, "Enterprise" - Had Kirk's swagger, ship's lothario, only one who could keep that bucket of bolts going warp speed.
5. B'Elanna Torres, "Voyager" - Awfully whiny for a klingon.
1. Wesley Crusher, "The Next Generation" - Unintentional comedy rating through the ROOF. Extra points for landing a young Ashley Judd, even if she was a shapeshifting alien monster.
2. Hikaru Sulu, "The Original Series" - Quick with a quip, never missed a turn.
3. Tom Paris, "Voyager" - I appreciate his love of old science-fiction movies, but he caved into the over-emotional Torres as his wife far too much.
4. Nog, "Deep Space Nine" - Went from an annoying Ferengi (aren't they all?) to a regular we could root for.
5. Travis Mayweather, "Enterprise" - Didn't add a whole lot to the show. I can't remember any relevent stories for him.
1. Worf, "The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine" - Why wouldn't you have a Klingon protecting you?
2. Odo, "Deep Space Nine," - While Worf was a physical security chief, Odo used his shape-shifting to provide more of a detective role.
3. Natasha Yar, "The Next Generation," - Seduced Data, killed stupidly by a blob of goo.
4. Malcolm Reed, "Enterprise" - Whiny Brit, but he was good at making the first Enterprise battle ready.
5. Tuvok, "Voyager" - Logical, if not particularly gruff.
1. "Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away! I need my pain!" "The Final Frontier"
2. "Revenge is a dish best served cold." "The Undiscovered Country"
3. "How are "we" doing? Funny you should put it quite that way, Jim. "We" are doing fine." - Bones in "The Search for Spock," trying to stay sane with Spock's memories.
4. "KHAAANNNN!" - Kirk, "The Wrath of Khan." Such conviction! Such a ruse!
5. "You broke your little ships." - Lily, "First Contact," making Picard realize that he is Captain Ahab and the Borg are his Moby Dick.
"Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It is currently laced with, shall we say, more colorful metaphors, "double dumb-ass on you" and so forth." - Spock, trying to figure out the language to blend in to mid-80s San Francisco in "The Voyage Home"
"I don't need to be lectured by you. I was out saving the galaxy when your grandfather was in diapers. Besides which, I think the galaxy owes me one." - Kirk to Picard, "Generations"
"So you're all astronauts on some sort of... star trek?" - Zefram Cochrane, "First Contact." Cute.
"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." - Ooooh, scary!
"Out there... thataway." - Kirk, to the ensign at the end of "The Motion Picture," ready for adventure anywhere the ship leads.
"The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." - Scotty, "The Search for Spock."
"What does God need with a spaceship?" - Kirk, "The Final Frontier"
"This is Admiral Kirk. We tried it once your way, Khan, are you game for a rematch? Khan, I'm laughing at the "superior intellect."" - Kirk, egging Khan on, "The Wrath of Khan"
"Listen, kiddo, Jim Kirk was *many* things, but he was *never* a Boy Scout! " - Carol Marcus, "The Wrath of Khan"
"To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!" - Khan, quoting "Moby Dick" in "The Wrath of Khan"
"Spock: This is a new brig, Captain. Completely escape-proof. To guarantee that, they used the most intelligent, most resourceful person they could find. He was unable to escape.
Kirk: This person didn't happen to have pointed ears, and a propensity for getting his shipmates in trouble, did he?
Spock: He did have pointed ears." - "The Final Frontier"
Friday, May 08, 2009
The bad news: It isn't a terribly big stretch for the pundits and fans of other teams to start trying to minimize the Red Sox championships in '04 and '07 now that Manny has been outed as a big fat cheater. Me? I don't know if he did it or not in Boston, but I don't think it diminishes the titles at all.
The sad news: Former Red Sox great, Dom DiMaggio, died today at the age of 92. He was a seven-time All-Star for the Red Sox, sharing the outfield with Ted Williams and living in the shadow of his famous Dang Yank brother, Joe. Elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in '95, DiMaggio had a lifetime batting average of .298. He scored more than 100 runs seven times, twice leading the American League in that category. He hit safely in 34 consecutive games, a Red Sox record, in 1949.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
So far this season it's Red Sox 5, Dang Yanks 0. Josh Beckett even earned a win despite allowing a three-run homer to Captain Caveman (Johnny Damon). Thanks for spending that $1.5 billion on the new ballpark, New York. We're loving it so far! And don't you think that the Steinbrenners are cursing the guy who buried the Red Sox jersey in the concrete last year? Sure, they found it, but what else was hidden by Dang Yank Haters deep within the bowels? A-Rod's dirty syringes? Schilling's bloody sock?
Meanwhile, at the homestead, Sunday night Val called me twice, first to report a leak at the kitchen window, and second to tell me that the microwave zapped off and wouldn't reset. So either we have poltergeists or I can't leave her home alone. The baby's already zapping her brain as it is. I'd tell her that she has short-term memory loss but she wouldn't remember by the time this blog ended. (Love ya, Hon! Thanks for carrying my spawn!)
Instead of actually, you know, fixing those problems inside the house yesterday, instead I did what I feel qualified to do, and that is to lift heavy things. I went back to the scary pile in the backyard for two more wheelbarrow loads full of bricks and rotting wood. Found two more golf balls under the rubble. I'm guessing if the feds don't shut me down by protecting the pile as a protected area, I'll find a lot of interesting objects underneath, including actual golfers who got lost looking for their balls, then trapped in my backyard and their playing partners just figured they wandered off the course and played on.
Now for the TV, oh glorious provider of entertainment, that which doesn't judge me for my Jell-O pudding cups ...
THE BIGGEST LOSER - Surprise! Contestants have to run the first Biggest Loser Marathon, which Helen says is the first time any Loser has had to do it. Well, except for Dane (of Blaine?) when he went home earlier this season and would have finished if a Loser producer hadn't gotten antsy for a photo-op and driven him to the finish. Obviously this producer also arranged the Air Force One flyover/freakout of New York.
After 26.2 miles, as if there was any doubt, Tara wins in four hours, 55 minutes, Helen is next at five hours, 50 minutes, and having to walk due to a bad hip, Mike finishes two minutes shy of nine hours (which, then, it's safe to say, is what my time would be, not including stops to cry and order Chinese food at mile 15.) Ron struggles but ultimately makes it in 13 hours, which, hey, at least he didn't keel over dead afterwards like that wuss Pheidippides who ran the first marathon in ancient Greece, am I right?
DANCING WITH THE STARS - I watched mainly for DanceCenter, but it was also a bit of a shocker in last night's result show, with rapper Lil' going home instead of Ty, which can be good or bad. A bubbly personality and a great dancer is gone, but a charmer remains and I'm glad pro partner Chelsie sticks around as well. I'm worried that the judges will backlash against Ty next week, scoring him lower than they normally would in an attempt to keep him out of the finale.
Adam - He's already a 70s rocker, so picking a Led Zeppelin song wasn't a stretch, and he rocks it out and the crowd goes nuts and can we just give him the title already? It really was one of his best performances, but it should have been. During his song Val deadpanned that the judges would go nuts and call him a rock god. And here's Kara afterwards, declaring Adam to be a "rock god." Good call, babe!
Allison - Sings a Janis Joplin song, and as usual it depends on what you think of her, which to me is just, "meh." Her hair is red, her voice is raspy, I can't understand much of what she says.
Kris - His choice of "Get Together" by the Beatles wasn't terrible, but we've heard it so many times. Kris is Val's favorite, with the purest voice according to her, and I can definitely say that he was better than Allison.
Danny - Got his scream on with Aerosmith's "Dream On," and yeah, it's just not his genre. Even Slash wasn't enthusiastic about his chances. The judges, of course, rip him for not being a rocker on Rock Night, which, shut up, judges.
Who goes home? My pick is Allison, but I wonder if it will be Kris. Danny's voters won't jump ship and Adam's off-Broadway pals will rally to prevent another bottom two finish, which we all know didn't actually happen and the judges made it up to be dramatic, right? Like when Ruben "beat" Clay?