Saturday, September 04, 2004

Bittersweet progress

I finally did it. After a year of lusting after an iPod, I purchased one today as a reward to myself for landing a new job. Never have I adored capitalism and consumerism as much as I do right now. I'm listening to the Shins on it as I write this, even though I could easily listen to music on my bedroom stereo. But you know how it is with new toys.

I must admit that I'm sad to say that my portable CD player is now obsolete. A Hannukah present from my parents in 1994, SL-S295 has traveled with me nearly everywhere for a decade. It's kept me company on flights across the continent, on road trips to places as diverse as South Bend and Montreal, on bus trips between Boston and New Jersey and on countless subway rides.

I'll never forget how SL-S295 managed to foresee future events. On an October afternoon in 2002, I met up with my girlfriend at a local coffeeshop. Then she dumped me. SL-S295 was with me and what CD was she carrying? Ben Folds Five's Whatever and Ever Amen, which features "Song for the Dumped." What would I have done had you not been there for me that day, SL-S295?

But just as my father had to finally get rid of his ratty old Rambler in 1985, after driving it around for 18 years, it was time for me to make that same painful decision with SL-S295.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Incredible

The Red Sox have won nine in a row, 15 of 16 and 21 of 25.

It's craziness, I tell ya.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

What is he talking about?!?!

"For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest."

--Zell Miller (again), from his speech at the Republican National Convention

Has he never heard of Thomas Paine?

See, I like some Republicans!

"Our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats' manic obsession to bring down our commander-in-chief."

--Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga), from his speech at the Republican National Convention


"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President."

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

--Theodore Roosevelt (R-NY)

The conservative Boston Globe

Apparently, the Boston Globe believes the word "suck" is inappropriate for a family newspaper. In the September 1 edition, the Globe's veteran baseball writer, Gordon Edes, quoted Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling saying, "Contrary to what a lot of people in this region believe, the Yankees don't [inhale excessively]."

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Worst loss ever

Cleveland 22, Yankees 0

I'd love to see the look on the Boss's face right now.

With the Red Sox' 10-7 defeat of the Angels, the Yankees' lead in the the AL East is down to 3 1/2 games. I know I shouldn't get too excited--the Red Sox have this tendency to break their fans' hearts--but September should be a lot of fun.

What have you done for me lately?

As the Republicans continue to talk about George W. Bush's courage to attack our enemies with unrelenting resolve and vigor, I think it's important to keep in mind that, despite Bush's so-called best intentions, his handling of the war has reeked of incompetence.

Even if the decision to go to war was the right one, the execution has been embarassingly inept.

This eye-opening piece from the Sunday New York Times says it all.

Disappointing news

Next Sunday's New York Times Best-Seller list is out, and I'm sorry to report that Pamela Anderson's Star has dropped out of the fiction category, falling from no. 13 to no. 17. Come on, people! Get your butts in gear and go to your local bookstore or buy it online. As if you need convincing, just read the following excerpt. It will certainly leave you craving more: "Her breasts came on suddenly and tenaciously, as if trying to make up for lost time."

But you don't have to take MY word for it. I think we should allow Sparta, NJ's Martha Fendt to weigh in on this. Take it away, Martha:
Many people are probably going to be skeptical about this book..thats because many people are stupid. Star is a really good book...I honestly could not put it down and read the whole thing in one day...I am a huge Pamela Anderson fan,I love her so much & I find her to be such an inspiration & such a good human being..but even if I wasn't,I would still enjoy this book..All I can say is that I really hope that she writes a follow up as I can't wait to see what happens to Pam..eer,Star..next!

PS I got my copy at a book signing by Miss Anderson,yay!

Thank you, Martha. Much appreciated.

There is some good news to report from the Best-Seller List, though. In the nonfiction category, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss entered the list at no. 9.

Bill Clinton, look out.

Monday, August 30, 2004

The Great Roommate Search of 2004, Volume I

Looking for housing or for roommates is a rite of late Summer in these parts. Spending more than a year with one set of roommates is nearly unheard of. And so, Tyler the mouse hunter and I were in the market for three new roommates--two for August 1 and one for September 1. The first two were easy to find, but the last--well, that sucked.

In early August, everything appeared to be going well. We found somebody who actually agreed to live with us and we simply asked him to mail us the first and last month's rent. But several days later, the checks had not arrived. Concerned, Tyler called the dude and left a message. Several more days passed, and there was still no sign of a check. Tyler called again. And he left a message again. No phone calls, no checks. Nothing. This guy was totally dissing us!

Figuring the guy was an irresponsible, thoughtless punk, we moved on and reposted our ad on the incomparable Craigslist. Then, lo and behold, punk boy called Tyler. Putting Tyler on the spot, he asked if he could drop off the check. Gritting his teeth, Tyler said that this was fine. Then he killed a mouse.*

While punk boy was en route to our home, the four of us discussed the situation and decided that we would not give him the pleasure of living with us. He arrived, Tyler met him outside and informed punk boy of our decision. Now we were back to square one.

* Actually, this isn't true.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Baseball and politics

This amusing piece compares the Red Sox to the Democratic Party and the Yankees to the Republicans. It discusses many parallels between the teams and their corresponding political parties. For example, the Yankees, like the Republican Party, have historically been a well-oiled machine, while the Sox are a scrappy bunch like their Democratic counterparts. And it goes on.

But the story ignores an unfortunate parallel--race relations. Like the Red Sox, the Democratic Party was slow in bringing black people into the fold. Before 1948, the Democrats did not take civil rights seriously. That finally changed at the 1948 Democratic National Convention, where Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey advocated a civil rights plank in the party platform. For their part, the Red Sox were the last Major League team to field a black player, finally calling up Pumpsie Green from the minor leagues in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.