Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Never Brought to Mind

Sorry, folks. I'm in a dry spell, and I don't want to keep posting the crappy type of blogs I've been putting up lately.

Quality over quantity. I promise the next time I write, it'll be because it's good.

Thanks for understanding.

All for now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A couple of things:

W. Mark Felt, "Deep Throat," died today. History will remember him as the man who disappointed more conspiracy theorists at once than any other single person in history.

"Mark Felt - really? Couldn't it have been Kissinger, or Gene Rayburn, or someone else?"

Second - Aaron Boone? Seriously? I really don't like the message our free agent signings are sending. I've heard the whole spiel, of course, the economy and Drayton and what-not, but Aaron Boone is a white flag with a third baseman's mitt. I'd rather bring in Chris Johnson a little early and let him mature at the big-league level.

That said, if we concentrate on developing a couple of middle infielders, we could be kind of awesome in 2011.

All for now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Last Three Outs

Rest in peace, Dave Smith.

Dave was the Astros' closer when I was a kid, and closed games for our famous 1986 squad. He died today of a heart attack at age 53. I'm pretty sure he was non-steroidy, so that's an awfully early age to die. Still, pitchers aren't exactly models of fitness, even if we do classify them as athletes.

Dave still holds the Astros record for career saves - more than Billy Wagner. To put it in perspective of Valverde's record-setting single season of fourty-four, he'd have to have 4 1/2 seasons straight like that to tie Smith.

All for now.

I'm Up Early

...because it's surgery day for Pete.

I don't want to get all Bob Barker on you, but if you have cats or dogs and no plans for progeny, please spay or neuter them. It removes animal shelters from the equation when it comes to euthanization of a population of strays that spirals beyond their budget / control. What's more, it frees your pet from urges you can't give them the freedom to act upon.

Anyway, reserve your best wishes / prayers / etc. for Pete today, and especially for the doctors who will handle his procedure, and for the vet techs / nurses who care for him before and after. He can be quite a handful, and I've already pissed of SNAP once.

All for now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Now I Lay Me Down Not To Sleep

Waking up in the middle of the night for reasons unknown finds me mourning Robert Prosky, one of those "that guy" actors who you would know on sight, but rarely ever think about. I love those guys, and Prosky was one of the best.

Their stage resumes are always ridiculously impressive, and you find yourself saying, "They were in that?!" Prosky was the original Sheldon Levene (the Jack Lemmon role) in Glengarry Glen Ross, among many others.

All for now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pet Renegades

In case you were wondering:

It often comes up among friends of mine that none of us knows the specifics of how to legally own a monkey. Now we do. According to the law in Houston, I can legally have my Golden Lion Tamarin butler now!

Not too long ago, two grizzly bears were rescued by the SPCA from a north Harris County home. As Chris explained, the story isn't that a man had two grizzly bears, it's that he had the nueterables to mistreat them.

All for now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Bells Are Ringing (On TV, At Saks)

Some things that are good on stage make terrible movies. Some movies should have never been adapted into musicals. And sometimes, though it's more rare than the first two, both are really good.

Anyway, we think Merry Christmas, George Bailey is pretty darn good, and we hope you'll make plans to see it if you haven't already. It's a Wonderful Life is one of those movies you either love or hate, and I happen to love it, but I wouldn't categorize myself as an overly optimistic or sentimental person. I think the movie has an awfully crisp dark side, and it's ending is sappy, yes, but that's because the circumstances have to reinforce the lesson.

All for now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mark Me

A fellow we'll just call The Admiral once chided me for dealing in absolutes after I launched into a diatribe about the woefully wronged Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards (someday, friends and lovers, this will make a blog all its own), telling me that just because something was my opinion, it did not instantly become the gospel truth.

In matters of grave importance, perhaps. But for trivial stuff like the Best Song Oscar, I think I can comfortably state that my opinion is worth more than Gregory Peck's corpse on this one.

Regardless, I felt the need to disclaim all my further stated opinions as just that whenever we spoke of things.

And then one day I mentioned that the Pope was getting pretty old. Less than a month later, he died.

Henceforth, in any disclaimer of my opinion, it should be noted that while my opinions are not country, and therefore cannot harelip the Pope, they are sufficiently powerful enough to deal a death blow every once in a while.

Since B16 has been a fairly inneffectual pontiff up to this point, I'm gonna leave him alone. I also like calling him B16, and referring to the Pope-mobile as "B16's Hoopty."However, the minute he starts showing aggression towards Jews, homosexuals, or Super Earth, you'd better believe I'm gonna have to give him the "your life depends upon my view of you" look.

All for now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Reason to Believe

I heard somewhere that even cold November rain doesn't last forever, so here we are at the beginning of another December. I think the newness of the month has yet to fully sink in for me, but if the weather forecast is any indication, we are in for a nice, chilly, sunny month. Nothing would suit me better.

2008 has been a relatively crummy year for Red Delicious and bride (Pete being a notable exception), and I don't really believe that the calendar determines our luck / happiness / sexual prowess, etc., but if 2009 is going to be better for me, I really wouldn't mind if some of that karma or whatever wanted to leak over into the last month of this year. Besides, if 2009 is so brimming with promise, who am I to complain if it's cup runneth over?

I was an exception, but I wasn't much help this year.

All for now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Joe vs. the Vaccum

It's a really big boost to the self-esteem when I fix the vaccum cleaner. I'm not at all that handy, but the vaccum and I have come to an understanding, so whenever it gets fritzy, I can fix it, and suddenly I feel like Mr. Big Shot Handyman Husband.

If only I could turn this proclivity into a sense for cars. I wish I had the time or know-how to take mine apart, see how it all works, and then put it back together. I'll bet I'd treat it very differently.

All for now.

Yon Rennaissance Festival

Sweet maiden of the spit,
grant now I woo
that I might sup upon suckling pig
this noon.

No, the Rennaissance Festival is *not* very Rennaissance-y, especially when the majority of people there are either in very bad cosutmes, wildly inconsistent costumes, or no costumes at all. Still, the folks that put it on work very hard to make it look and sound good, and it is muddy, which is pretty Rennaissance-y. And most people are too poor to afford the food, which is VERY Rennaissance-y.

It's the getting out that presents a problem. FM 1774 is, to put it mildly, unequipped for the mass exodus at the end of the day. Since they've taken to following Disney World's lead on the way they run parts of the park (bathrooms get an A++), I would suggest they hire a park manager from Disney who knows something about how they handle their parking / traffic situation. I think some people would even be okay with parking (hell, they're paying for everything else) if there was a shuttle that ran from 1488 & 1774 to the park and back. Law enforcement would probably like it. You could still have special on-site parking for groups, camping, guest artists, and employees, and then you'd have a sizeable increase in acreage for expansion.

Just a thought. Of course, I'm not too sure about my event management skills lately.

All for now.


Continuous Christmas favorites are back on Sunny 99.1 FM, which means I'm going to be hearing a lot more of Delilah, the DJ who cares about you:

I like to imagine Delilah broadcasts her show from beside a cozy fire on a bearskin rug, while sipping hot chocolate petting her eight pound persian cat, Snoofles, all while on the other side of the glass, her producers are trying to convince her of how bad the fire, animal fibers, and hot liquids are for their radio equipment. But Delilah cares not.

To change the subject completely, I have some serious concerns about my washing machine, but I know so little about how washing machines work that I have not fixed it. If anyone knows why a washer would try to travel across the room on spin cycle by violently shaking itself, please let me know.

In other news, I had my first Puerto Rican Thanksgiving yesterday, and I found it to be very, very tasty. If you're wondering what it's like, it is very much like a regular thanksgiving, but with yucca and far fewer vegetables. My plan for future years is to introduce my tropical in-laws to more colorful side dishes for the sake of everyone's hearts and bowels, both of which are hurting from an overabundance of starch right now.

Finally, it's Rosie's birthday this week. I have no idea when she was born exactly, since we adopted her at ten weeks and she was born in a ditch somewhere, but according to our vet, she was born in the last week of November 2005. If you know or love my three-year old dog, she has told me she'll be accepting lots of attention in lieu of monetary gifts.

All for now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Magilla Gorilla Suit

If you can keep me up about 1 1/2 - 2 hours past when I normally go to bed, I acheive this state of punchiness where I get really weird. Even for me.

At that point, in my mind, I will probably think that I'm on fire, spewing comedy gold from every orifice (but especially my mouth), when in fact, I'm probably just tired enough that I think everything is a little funny, and my random access memory banks become hil-ar-ious.

This is how the Magilla Gorilla Suit came into being.

The Magilla Gorilla Suit is my theory that if you own a ridiculous costume, you can wear it to get out of doing things you don't want to do, particularly as it involves immersing yourself into social situations where you'd feel uncomfortable, as in, "Gee, I'd love to go out to the bar with you tonight, but I'm wearing a Magilla Gorilla Suit, so what'cha gonna do?" After a while, you don't even need to wear the suit anymore if you master the art. People will know when you say you're in a Magilla Gorilla Suit, you would rather stay home, eat kettle corn, and watch Scrubs re-runs.

Doesn't make any sense? I'm not a bit surprised. I came up with this at like, 1:30 a.m. in the morning. I cannot be responsible for what I say at that time of night.

All for now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fancy Pants?

I don't think I have any fancy pants.

Curse you, radio.

The voice of Skeletor on He-Man was pure insanity. I'm more intimidated by my own bowel movements.

I mean, what if you were blind? Wouldn't you find it odd that He-Man regularly beat the crap out of a clearly senile old man?

Anyway, if you can only listen to something, and not see it, it changes so much.

That's part of the reason that the baseball legends of the 1920's & 30's loom so large, because they were brought to life by the old radio sportscasters. We never saw them except in still images (unless you lived in one of the eight cities that had baseball in that time, in which case nothing was going to impress you anyhow), and by then we already imagined them as Yetis and Yak-men and whatnot.

I'm really tired right now, and I'm pretty sure I'm not making sense.

Finally, behold!

Bring me He-Man! Or change me. Use the special talc I got from Luby's that smells like powdered sugar.
All for now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Only Most of This Post is About Baseball

First, a follow-up to MMMMMMMMMMM-eme!: perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the six random people I tagged for passing along the meme chose to honor their calling...

(wait, did he say "...?" He did!)


Turns out Mimi on the Breach was tagged by someone else and did a slightly bastardized version of the meme. However, since my request clearly came first, I am claiming sole credit for Mimi's continuance of the meme. Anyone who cares to argue the point with me can go to the special hell that Shepherd Book says is reserved for child molestors and people who talk at the theatre.

Glad that's over. Now we can talk about


I'm not sure if it was always this way, but MLB's Most Valuable Player Awards have become so obfuscated by the bickering between sportswriters over the meaning of the term that for the last two years, one of their choices have been inexplicable. (See Jimmy Rollins, 2007)

Now, I won't even begin to get into what "valuable" means, and how comparing NL Winner Albert Pujols to AL Winner Dustin Pedroia would be pointless and stupid. Alls I'm sayin' is that everyone's going to get awful squeamish when Pujols eats Pedroia in a single gulp when the two get together to accept their awards, presumably at either The White House or Disneyworld.

Pujols (damn it, here I go) is an unkillable, unstoppable baseball monster, while Pedroia is a average-below average height, affable-looking sort of guy who is remarkable for his ability to play baseball in today's world of atomic supermen. Regardless, when David Ortiz occasionally (albeit mistakenly) uses you for a bat, it says something about a normal human's place in professional competitive sports these days.

Dustin Pedroia would be a remarkable candidate for the Most Valuable Human Playing Baseball award, since his main competition is David Eckstein and Grady Sizemore (and I still probably would've voted for Grady), but replace Human Playing Baseball with the more ambiguous "player" monniker, and now all of those man-giants who play baseball because the mythological evils of yore have either gone into hiding or been vanquished now qualify for the award. It's like giving Iolaus the MVP because he fought the Hydra alongside Heracles and he didn't die.

Dustin Pedroia should get a species of butterfly named after him.

All for now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Today's Posting is About My Wife

Yesterday, I did something serendipitous. I wrote two blogs, one about the NBC sitcom The Office, and the second about the (recently) defunct Well, curious gentleman I am, particularly when it comes to mourning, I decided to digest everything I could about FJM, it's history, etc, and that inevitably led me to

BARNEY STINSON: Wait for it...

Wikipedia: the online encyclopedia anyone can edit. And, according to Wikipedia: The Online Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit, the primary poster at is none other than Michael Schur, a writer for The Office and the guy who plays Dwight's cousin Mose, under the guise of Fremulon Insurance employee Ken Tremendous. Did I know this yesterday? I did not. It's just one of the many wonderful things you can learn on WIKIPEDIA: THE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA ANYONE CAN EDIT.

Seriously, yo. They've got street cred, quality control, and all that business now. Not like the time they told me Billy Dee Williams had died (still haven't lived that one down completely).

In closing, I would like to address the title of this post. Psyche. Hope you read the whole thing, sweetie.

All for now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh. Wow.

I just read that http://www.firejoemorgan/ has decided to end its' run. I'm still reeling from the reaction, so I'm not going to be able to properly eulogize them now, but in case you didn't know them...

Fire Joe Morgan was a closed forum written by three guys, primarily (maybe totally) who went by the names Ken Tremendous, Dak, and Junior. Their cause was to point out the totally illogical and ridiculous in sports journalism, particularly as it applied to baseball, and particularly as it applied to a handful of the most terrible broadcasters / columnists covering the sport today: Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver, Bill Plaschke, Mike Celzic, Buzz Bissinger, and more. They were fantastic.

Here are some of my favorite posts of theirs:

More on this when I have the ability to process it.

All for now.

Regarding Tonight's Episode of "The Office"

When are they going to introduce the new HR rep? I have the feeling, as is the way with sitcoms, that Toby will eventually come back, but it seems weird to have gone two weeks without even a mention of it.

All for now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ever See a Man Say Goodbye to a Pair of Shoes Before?

Short blog tonight, as I am wiped from conferencing all day (which takes a staminia similar to forensics tournaments), but I wanted to take a moment to comment on the title of my last post in contrast with its' subject matter.

I don't necessarily believe that post titles and the subject of the post have to have anything to do with each other, but I usually try to create a loose connection, at least. I almost always try to make my title a quotation.

Of those quotations, the first eight seasons of The Simpsons will almost lead the pack when it comes to where I choose those quotes. Those episodes were first run during age 10 - 18 for me, a time when I rarely missed an episode. I've moved on since then, but the memories of those shows endure, and those seasons (particularly 3 - 7) hold up very well.

As such, here is a list of Simpsons quotation blog titles I will use in the future and their likely subjects:

1. "We Like Roy" - to be used the next time I (inevitably) gush about Roy Oswalt.

2. "I Can't Let That Happen, I Won't Let That Happen, and I Can't Let That Happen" - probably will be about me realizing it is my destiny to kill someone for the good of humanity, though not in a John Wilkes Booth way, and more in a man in white from The Stand sort of way.

3. "Moldy? Old? I'm Going to Get Something to Eat!" - could be any number of possibilities, but will likely concern my dogs' dietary habits.

4. "I'm Cold and There Are Wolves After Me" - For the next time my wife goes out of town on a business trip, leaving me alone with the dogs.

Wait, what's that, you say? You didn't know I had a wife? Well, let me shed some light on the subject. I have been married to a wonderful woman for almost two years now. She hates that I don't write about her on this blog, but what she doesn't understand is that I rarely write about things that are part of my everyday life; I'm much more event-based. More often than not, I write about things I need to get off my chest, and my wife is such a steady constant in my life (and I'm not a big believer in pda) that I honestly never think to write that much about her (though I have in the past on my old blog and will again, trust me, because something is bound to happen that I need to write about). Anyway, if you see someone writing "You Suck!" anonymously on this blog, chances are I'm sleeping with her.

5. "I Think He Should Have to Take a Different Oath!" - this title will be attached to a blog about something political that I find unfair.

6. "Itchy's a Jerk" - reserved for a post wherein I discuss my confusion at the appeal of a film start of some sort.

7. "It's a Big Country" - For when it comes to my father and smoking.

8. "Bake 'em Away, Toys" - for a blog that questions law enforcement and their overzealousness.

9. "Okay, Econosave, You Just Made the List!" - when a product makes me mad (and you know it will).

10. "Bees Are on the What Now?" - Many things confuse me. Any one of them could find themselves at the mercy of this title.

So, did I say short blog? I meant regular sized blog. Must eat and rest now. Let me know if you have any quotations you want me to use as a blog title.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Television! Teacher - Mother - Secret Lover...

There's a theory that we cry at happy endings because deep down in our psyche, we know such things to be impossible, causing us to envy the fantasy. Allow me to digress:

The morning that Princess Diana died, I woke up early to the sound of the television in the living room of our house. I stumbled blearily in from my room, and found my mother, coffee in hand, sitting close to the television, bathed in the blue of its' light. She normally woke up early, so this was no surprise, but I could tell by her body language that she was paralyzed as though something really major was happening to her right then and there. The only thing she managed to say to me after I had stared at her for a few seconds was, "she's dead," as though I should know exactly who she was.

Ever since then, I've associated the look of someone washed in only the blue light of a television with bad news, or sadness. It always seemed to me to be a very lonely image, something Edward Hopper would've painted today if he were alive to see television become the monster of unifying influence, precursor to the iPhone and internet.

Tuesday night, I caught sight of my reflection in our bedroom mirror as I sat up in bed watching the television. I looked just like my mother had that morning when one of the symbols of her generation died. Only, for me, one of the symbols of my generation was just being born. And I no longer associated the image of a single person, enraptured by the images playing out before him, with sadness. This time, we were unified in hope. If I was on the edge of my seat, it was only because I couldn't believe that you could assemble 240,000 people in Grant Park on that night for that purpose and have enough security to keep it all from going horribly wrong in an instant.

In both cases, what we were seeing on television in no way could destroy or save our lives. We as human beings long for that kind of drama, and so we apply it to ourselves. But for the first time, there was a happy ending to a story, and my tears were not envious. My tears were regretful that such happy endings, while not impossible, are so rare, and that the high, the elation of what were experiencing would be gone so quickly as the reality of the road ahead set in. It should not be diminished, I thought, before realizing there was one thing for me to hold on to: that thanks to this night, my associative memory has replaced an indelible image of tragedy with one of hope.

All for now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Circus is Falling Down on it's Knees

It takes a lot of energy to read the paper online recently. I love reading the paper, and I have often felt like the transfer of newspapers to the internet has been one of the things that has kept me from turning into a rhesus monkey.

However, the ability to comment on news stories that are published online is perhaps one of the worst things that has happened to the news industry, in my opinion. For reasons ranging from the amateur pop-psychologists who weigh in on Dear Abby articles to the amateur Elizabeth Hasslebecks who litter every non-editorial article written about the election with evidence of their fear and ignorance, article commenting has given readers an easy way to vomit their opinion out and move on.

Let me be perfectly clear - I love every opinion out there for the sake of it being an opinion, no matter how apparently idiotic. I may not agree with you, but I appreciate the aesthetic of evident thought. On the other hand, I feel like the act of self expression should require an effort. No matter how much we tend towards things that are easy and convenient, we are ultimately more satisfied by a challenge. The act of accomplishment, in constant little doses and occasional big doses, satisfies us at our core in ways we don't even realize. One way that we rarely think about is how we assign the term "worth" to such efforts. We frequently rate our efforts on whether or not they were "worth it."

Well, these instant newspaper comments cost maybe a penny or ha'pence, so yeah, to you, depositing a sentence of out-of-context vitrol is worth it because it requires zero effort. On the other hand, writing a blog or a letter requires more time, more thought, maybe some careful editing and revising, so it's definitely worth more to us. You pick and choose the opinions you elect to broadcast publicly because they are the ones that matter most to you, and you take the time to make it's presentation accessible because you want people to read it and consider it carefully.

I anticipate people will say that this is the same argument a lot of legitimate journalists make against bloggers. One crucial difference, though: a blog is an outlet that does not have the filter of a choosy editor. The chasm between instant comments and blogs are more pronounced, however. Instant comments are like vandalism - carelessly tossed off on a surface that doesn't really belong to them in the first place. This blogspace, this address, I own, and you have no obligation to visit if you don't like what you're reading.

Finally, I just want to say that I know there's no going back and I'm really fine with that, what with my fervent support of the first amendment and all. It's just that I'm all nostalgic for the time when I could read an article in a newspaper and not instantly see what a bunch of jackasses thought about it.

All for now.

P.S. Go vote, or I'll send my colonial sheriff after you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Likes to Be Slapped

I love the long set up.

For the Record

I cannot end October of all months with thirteen posts.

Happy Halloween! If you want real horror, and not the fake kind, go over to Rice and sit outside until around 10:00 p.m., then prepare for Baker 13.

All for now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Already Missing It

by Hester Jewell Dawson

the high fly ball,
arches out above left field,
hangs there in the sky
outblazing the sun
while fifty thousand heads swings and cry
"Over the wall! Over the wall!"
then hold, fixed and dumb
as the ball drops
down and down, a dead bird
into a waiting glove

and there you have it: the song,
the flight, the perilous whisper of truth
or of love or possibly of faith

then the descent
and the end of the game

October by Hester Jewell Dawson ©

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Evn, who thinks strife is the bee's knees, has tagged me with a meme.

I think meme is a fun word and a fascinating term, sociologically speaking.

However, I am usually reluctant to participate in them, on the grounds of Too Cool for School vs. Yearbook Club. Not this time, though. Overriding this impulse is the fact that Evn gets principal credit for my re-entry into the legitimate blogosphere, and, damn it all, he is right. I do love lists.

(Spoiler Alert: There will be four lists in this blog)

Without further ado, the rules of this meme:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. (Check. I am on top of things!)

2. Post the rules on your blog. (Boom! Meta-check!)

3. Write six random things about yourself.

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.

5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

But before we do this, I would like to offer a curtain-raiser. So, without further ado, here is my commentary on Evn's Six Random Things:

(Oh, snap! I linked to it twice!)

1. Funny story about this one. Evn was once (mostly against his will) conscripted into service as the official cockroach killer for the MLA Offices at our college by the head of the program, a dear, departed professor and a surprisingly powerful Jewish woman at our very Catholic university. It was a job he hated. But the rest of the job was super-cool, so he had to put up with it. How super cool could it be, you ask? That office had the world's most awesome porch, and if that doesn't tell you everything, I don't know how to talk to you.

2. Marilyn Manson was also edgy in the mid-90's, if that gives you any perspective.

3. I'm pretty sure this entry is a thinly-veiled metaphor for how much time he spent drinking.

4. Who's bed he ends up in is somehow irrelevant to this particular compulsion.

5. I have nothing to offer here, but I've put myself into the position of having to comment on every one of these, so instead, I'm going to tell you about the whale that exploded (this is a partial repost from an old blog):

Okay. So this Sperm Whale, which is funny enough to begin with, dies at sea and washes ashore shortly after, fairly intact. Taiwanese scientists ( I thought all they did was make action figures) see this as a golden oppurtunity to cut open a dead Sperm Whale, load his ass up on a flatbed truck and drive him through the widest street that gets to their office - you know, the middle of downtown... um, Taiwan. Meanwhile, unbeknowest to anyone but God and whoever could've suspected that John Ritter's number was up, the Sperm Whale is being consumed from the inside by the mites that contribute to the deterioration of all things once living, but particularly in the ocean and being this Whale. Mites have to poop, too, and the way they happen to go about it is by releasing methane and other gases ( in actuality it's the reason you flatulate - that's microscopic bug poo buildup), and these mites have been doing it with aplomb**. But the Whale must obviously be going through rigor mortis or something, because his muscles can't relax enough to let this gas out. So what happens next? (Melissa Singletary from Elvington, Wisconsin writes, "Dear Beakman...") You guessed it. That Whale fucking blows up. All over the Taiwanese marketplace. Spewing blood, slime, feces, and guts all over the place - all over the daily shoppers. ka-BOOM! Guh-ag! Citezens, unexpectedly covered in filth, being vomitting and passing out. Total mayhem. Absolute chaos. And to top it all off, the large intestine wraps around this vespa, arguably the worst idea in motorcycle technology since Fonzie learned to jump over a shark.

Coolest. Thing. Ever. And then, as an afterthought, the article mentions that the dead whale had been reknowned (prior to it's pickup by the Taiwanese scientists) for it's 5' penis. The way I see it, the penis crashed through the window, knocking a hat and jacket off of a manequin, only to have the clothes land on the penis which now stands in the manequin's place. It's so funny I was laughing and retching all at once. Now why can't CSI be more like that? Oh, wait. It is.

** - aplomb refers to some chick from Hawaii that lounges outside and feeds the lazy coconuts.

6. Sometimes I ge the feeling that certain things don't exist (like Norweigian as a language), and Erasure is becoming one of those things.

Tired yet? We're only halfway through our lists! On to six random things concerning me:

1. I love old episodes of Match Game that they show on Game Show Network. Unreasonably, man. Part of it is Gene Rayburn's microphone, but mostly it's two things: 1 - the "G" list celebrities. Charles Nelson Reilley, Brett Sommers, Nipsy Russell, McLean Stevenson, Richard Dawson, and Kitty Carlisle Hart couldn't carry a fresh bowl of oxygen, let alone an audiences' attention for half an hour. How was this popular? 2 - the premise of this game show is categorically insane. Host Rayburn reads a fill-in-the-blank sentence (mad lib style), and the contestant makes a guess at what the "stars" answers were. Only thing is, the stars could've written anything. And this is Charles Nelson Reilly we're talking about. If Rayburn read, "Old Tom said, 'I think my doctor is a quack. Every time I go in for a check-up, he demands that I pay him in blank," Charles Nelson Reilly wouldn't write something like "crackers" (the duck analogy, plus a hoary old way of saying someone's nutballs), or "pennies" or anything remotely resembling an answer, he'd write, "Soaps from Rosalind Russell's guest washroom" or some other shit. I am not kidding when I tell you that most of these episodes were decided by scores that looked like hockey games or baseball games from the deadball era.

2. I met more important people working at a dry cleaners than I have in five years in the theatre / museum business. So there.

3. I have no concept of proportions when it comes to cooking. I can only make industrial sized dishes for families of twelve. Hope you like leftovers! Unfortunately, this leads to scads of over-eating, as my parents somehow lived through the great depression despite being born a good twelve & twenty-two years after it.

4. I get a bug up my butt about certain jokes, and if I don't get a laugh out of them, I will hang on to them and drag them into the ground until they work. Some lines I have found absolutely hilarious which somehow have yet to find an audience:

"That's the best idea I've heard today, and I've heard four ideas today."

"Every little girl wanted a pony when she grew up, but not for breakfast."

"I am not an animal! I am a hunan being!" - best when shouted by Chinese delivery boy

5. Evn's dream post inspired me to tell you about the weirdest dream I ever had, when I was fifteen. (1995)

It's Thanksgiving day, and the Rockets are playing the Knicks. For some reason, I'm in the Knicks' locker room with my friend Andy (NOT a basketball fan, by the way) listening to the game on the radio, where we hear Gene Peterson tell the audience listening in that after the game, the Knicks have arranged to have a Thanksgiving feast back in their locker room. Sure enough, there's an impressive spread there - everything you think is supposed to be a Thanksgiving food, it's there.

Suddenly, the phone rings. Andy answers, and it's our 9th grad algebra teacher, Mr. Pickering. Mr. Pickering asks, "What kind of food have they got back there?" So Andy answers, turkey, stuffing, etc., only to be interrupted by Pickering, "Do they have any pie?" We look around, and sure enough, there's a peach pie. Says Pickering, "I'll give you ten bucks if you steal that pie for me." So Andy does.

The game ends in a one point Rockets' victory, and the Knicks come back to enjoy their dinner. They are rather put out to discover that the pie is missing, and it comes to pass that due to some obscure rule about basketball being invented with peach baskets for the original hoops, theft of peaches is grounds for a double technical. Why it didn't matter that the game was over or that Andy and I had no ties to the Rockets' organization was apparently irrelevant, and Allan Houston sank the two free throws to win the game for New York. Needless to say, the city was pissed.

6. I once played the character of Mufaro in a production of Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Let's just say there was no other choice that day, and Mufaro was PROBABLY cuckolded.

So there are my six things. Now, I just have to tag six people, and my list-making is complete!

However, instead of tagging people I know, I'm going to select six blogs at random from the blogosphere and tag them, just to see who I get to do it.

And the winners are...

Justin Driscoll


Mimi on the Beach

When Tara Met Blog

Matt B. Thompson

Lowercase "l"

That's four lists! And this blog took me just long enough for Pete to throw up right next to me, so I'll put conclusions aside and go pick this up.

All for now.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am Jor-El, Master of Scheduling!

I'm still in the honeymoon phase with this blog, and am therefore somewhat of a blogging monster, as I have been called before by a friend and commenter on my last blog (over at the space, which, in retrospect, was not so much mine).

This will not last, so I intend to get as much good stuff in before the inevitable slow of my output.

Um... well,... all for now, I guess.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Name is Captain Brusin'

If you travel in and around the Memorial / Heights area of town, you may have passed the Citgo on Heights Blvd. which is next to the Art Car Museum and just a stone's throw away from the Hickory Hollow (wow, does that ever sound quaint and small-towny).

This Citgo, for reasons unknown to me, charges prices for its' gasoline which have little, if anything to do with the current market. In Houston, TX, the current going rate for gas is about $2.65 - $2.75 per gallon. So imagine my surprise to see this Citgo charging $2.99 9/10 for a gallon of unleaded fuel this morning on my way to work.

This situation begs the question: Citgo on Heights Blvd., who do you think you are?

I'm not even mad, just curious. I can avoid buying gas at this Citgo rather easily, as there are several gas stations within less than a mile of this gas station / convienence store. I've thought about this as much as I can, and I've come to the conclusion that the answer is one of the following.

1. Every day, you check the national gas price average, and set your prices. This is too bad for you, because no one will buy your gas here. Even if the national average is $2.99, we're operating a quarter below that in the Bayou City (it's under $2 in Harlingen, TX), and since the average gas tank holds about 12 gallons, you're looking at a difference of about $3.00 at your gas station alone, and I need that $3.00 to save up to buy milk. And not the over-priced, convienence store Oak Farms milk you sell at Citgo, either. Regular grocery store milk.

2. You really have no intention of selling gas. I actually think this is the most likely answer, although why you wake up every morning, and exclaim, "Dag, yo! I can't face a line of customers coming into my store for fuel today, wanting to pay me money for it and shit!" is beyond me. It kind of reminds me of Lou's Grocery Store in Bacliff.

What's that, you say, Citgo on Heights Blvd.? You've never heard of Lou's Grocery in Bacliff? Well, let me explain.

Between Kemah and Dickinson, TX on the South-Southeast side of Houston, about halfway down to Galveston, there's a little town called Bacliff. It's a peculiarity of a town, a place where land titles mean almost nothing because banks gave away multiple copies of them for free back in the early 1900's, so no national chains exist there, except for a Jack-in-the-Box along Hwy 146, which connects Kemah to Galveston. It's a mix of port resort and shanty town, truly a wonder to behold. If you've ever wondered where sex offenders have to live, it's in places like Bacliff, due to a school district never wanting to build a school there what with their overabundance of sanity.

Bacliff has one grocery store. ONE! And it's Lou's (most people drive to the Wal-Mart in Dickinson or League City). Only, the thing is, Lou's is not a grocery store. Lou's has beer and liquor, cigarrettes, lotto, and canned food like you might find at you, Citgo on Heights Blvd., but I'm pretty sure their produce section is made up entirely of props. Wilted props. Fresh foods at Lou's are like the regular movies in a video store that you know makes its' money on porn, so the regular movies are all dusty D releases from 1993, and nobody in their right mind would ever rent them. Come to think of it, Lou's smells kind of like a video store that is 12% "real" movies and 88% Cal Vista releases.

'Cause here's the thing: Lou's isn't going to sell celery or watercress. It knows better than that. So it stocks up on what it does sell, and calls itself a grocery store much like you call yourself a gas station instead of The Vice Stop. Admit it, Citgo. You make your money on lotto tickets, tobacco, and porn. The end.

3. You honestly think you can sell this gas and make a profit. Citgo. Citgo! You are not the Shell station on San Felipe and Weslayan, the only gas station that the River Oaksies go to. You are 100 yards from I-10, and nobody's buying it. I can't imagine that the art cars even go to you. In fact, this is so dumb, I secretly suspect that you, Citgo on Heights Blvd., are really Gary Sheffield.

All for now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Goatee Powder? But I Sold My Goatee to Buy You Face Whitener!

There are plenty of reasons for you, my fellow Houstonians, to watch this year's World Series, namely Eric Bruntlett, Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir, Carl Crawford, Gerry Hunsicker, and Dan Wheeeler & Brad Lidge's reunion, which, as I have noted above, needs to be punctuated with an O. Henry twist.

That said, I'm about Philly-ed out. Both Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan, the heads and tails of the idiocy coin, refuse to stop extolling the virtues of Ryan Howard as MVP in 2008. Let's put aside for a moment that Howard is only the second most awesome Ryan Howard in his own state. It cannot be ignored that he was absolutely wretched for a good 1/4 of this season. MVP? Not even of his own team.

No, the 2008 MVP in the NL belongs to (and I can't believe I'm saying this again) Albert Pujols, the one and only unkillable baseball monster, who ranks near the top in every significant statistical category (Howard leads in home runs and RBI's, but is awful just about everywhere else). If you removed Pujols from the Cardinals lineup, they would have gone 2 - 160 this year. Remove Howard? You might get better defense out of the gaping hole at 1st base.

Howard won the MVP, more deservedly, in 2006, and his teammate Jimmy Rollins won, somewhat inexplicably, last year. Rollins winning the MVP award is like giving Godzilla 2nd place in a Godzilla look-alike contest and awarding 1st prize to Anne Murray; that is to say, you're pretty close, but for the love of Mike, Godzilla was in the running.


Were you in the rain last tonight? If so, this was one of the top ten scariest nights of my life. I was never more sure that I was going to lose my car to high water. I started sweet talking it like it was my dog. My thanks to the strangers on the balcony, Aaron, and John Malkovich for spending the evening out on the street with me while we waited for the street flooding to go down.

All for now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Favorite Swear Word

Thanks to Evn for the inspiration:

Favorite curse words strung together: "Shit! Balls shit!" - This happened when I dropped a full cash box on a windy day last May.

Favorite story of a curse word: I do some work for an elderly couple on occasion, moreso because I'm fond of them than anything else, and frequently this work involves helping them get set up for parties, Christmas, etc.

One day, upon discovering her husband had brought home black tape to help tape up white lights against her white painted door frame, the wife exclaimed to him, in front of me, "Jesus' dick!"

And it truly was the best Christmas ever.

All for now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Aw, crap.

I've always thought my last name guaranteed me that there would never be something on youtube that someone else would do and I'd stand the chance of never living down.

For the record, I am Joseph Milillo. All i's, l's, and o's.

All for now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This is Going to Screw Up J.D. Drew's Legacy

...of being largely undependable in games of baseball.

Maddon's manaagement of the bullpen towards the end of this game was somewhat incomprehensible, if you ask me. Maybe they really wanted to win this series at home, I don't know. For all I know, TBS is doing it all with digital technology.

All for now.

Operation Beatdown

FOX Sports just put up a graphic of the most HR's by teammates in a postseason. Barry Bonds & Rich Aurilla of the Giants have 13, and then there are 4 pairs tied with 12 apiece. Of those, only 1 pair played for a team that did not make the World Series that year: Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman of the Astros in 2004. Of course, the broadcast team failed to note that.

I'm currently reading a biography of Roberto Clemente that my father-in-law gave me. I'm only a little ways into it, but I'm more in awe of this guy than I was before, and it gets me to thinking about Derek Bell and his "Operation Shutdown" in 2002. Rather than tell the story, let me just refer you here:

Also, to this picture:

Now, imagine if Roberto Clemente were alive today, or for the purposes of this argument, in 2002. If you imagined it properly, Clemente beat Derek Bell's ass into the ground, intimidated him into giving his paycheck to needy orphans, then un-retired and played right field his own damn self at age 68.

Yes, life is unfair sometimes.

All for now.

At Least it Was Pouring Rain

If you are among the many who were irritated last night that the HOV lane was moving at a snail's pace, um, well, that was me.

I got a flat tire around Little York, and as you well know, there's not much you can do but pull over as far as you can and change it. At least you were able to sneak by a little.

I am also grateful that I had good friends in the car with me who lent invaluable assistance. Of course, had I not, I would have also been breaking the law by using the HOV solo, making it a kind of fun Catch-22. Anyhow, thank you, C & B.

I hate that I have a donut instead of a full spare, but that's going to change when I make my little trip to Discount Tire today here in a few minutes. Based on my luck with the auto repair gods, here's hoping that this doesn't turn into a maddening ordeal.

All for now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Sorry about the formatting in that last blog. I'm still learning how to use this thing, and this was the best I could get it at the moment.

All for now.

Bob Ghengis Khan

Boy, Tampa looks scary dominant. They're eating the Red Sox alive in this series after looking in over their heads in Game 1.

A List: The 10 Best Films (or Film Series) About Time Travel

10. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Needs to be included for the sake of being so bad it's barely watchable. On the other hand, it should be noted that this is the only Star Trek film that is practically a comedy, which almost makes it good in light of the fact that the original Star Trek cast seems much more comfortable parodying their characters than they do playing them straight.

9. The Flight of the Navigator

Good stuff all around here. Of course, viewed through the filter of our sense of irony, Paul Ruebens' voicing the space ship is ridiculous, but Pee Wee was still a few months away when this movie was released. Also, the use of Bulgarian as an alien language is sure to offend someone, so it's got that going for it. Bottom line, you could show this to a kid today and most of them would still love this.

8. The Indian in the Cupboard

Better than advertised. One of the most inventive uses of time travel, and a faithful recreation of the book. Features an early appearance in the career of Steve Coogan, and Frank Oz, who rarely does something crappy (not to be confused with unpopular) directs.

7. Time Bandits

I'm sure a lot of people would like me to rank this higher, but aside from its wicked sense of humor and fantastic casting, this is a pretty sloppy movie, and it's time travel logic is virtually non-existent, and remains inconsistent with it's view of dwarves. Terry Gilliam will direct a time travel film that eventually ranks much higher on the list.

6. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.

The first one is more about time travel than the second one, but the second one's time travel is crucial to the plot, even if it's gimmick is a recycle from the original that comes across paler than the actor who played Death. Probably the funniest of the time travel movies, I can only hope to be so on top of my game when I introduce historical figures to my best friend's hot stepmom.

5. Frequency

Jim Caveziel and Dennis Quaid really sell this movie, along with director Gregory Hoblit's attention to creating a richly detailed 1969 in Queens, the year the Mets won their first World Series. The plausible details along with the evocation of popular culture makes this film a standout. Also, good song for the closing credits.

4. Army of Darkness

When your film franchise is already pretty awesome, the only way you can make it more awesome is transport your hero into the middle ages. Raimi and Campbell get the most out of the "fish out of water" situation and in the process redefine hero to the nerdcore culture.

3. Back to the Future I, II, and III

What really gets me about Back to the Future is how involved Robert Zemickis and Bob Gale are in answering all of the questions that fans pose in the face of the films' apparent plotholes, only to prove in the process that there are, in fact, none. Count me among those who think that when something becomes popular, it's because somebody did something right. Back to the Future is a combination of many of the right elements coming together all at once.

2. Twelve Monkeys

It's hard to watch sometimes, but I can't get over how SMART this movie is, and how good Terry Gilliam is at creating an atmosphere that makes film's closing paradox feel like the perfect ending. Also, Brad Pitt demonstrates for the first time that he can act. It's a shame he's been compelled to be more showy in an effort to recapture some of that glory. Bonus points to him for doing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which may eventually find it's way onto this list.

1. Groundhog Day

This one is so good it would probably make my list of ten best movies, period. Murray and Ramis get explore the truth of human nature while making us laugh. Even Andie McDowell can't spoil this one for me, and she ruined Galipoli without even being in it. Fantastic, fantastic movie, and maybe the most unique use of time travel.

In the time it's taken me to write this, Boston has saved a little face. But not much. Current prediction: Rays in 6, Phillies in 5; then Rays in 6 for the WS.

All for now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not 100% New Material

Hello. My name is Red Delicious, and I make lists. The following is a list of things I will be writing about as we get to know each other.

1. Baseball. I write a lot about baseball. Specifically, the Houston Astros, but most Major League teams and their Minor League affiliates will be subject to my scrutiny. You may love baseball, or you may hate it. Bear with me - I'm by no means exclusive, and I suck at adhering to formats, so you'll get a little bit of everything from me. That said, I will at diverse times discuss the overall awesomeness of Roy Oswalt, hereafter sometimes referred to as Rock.

2. Dogs. I've got two. They are 3 years old and nine months old, respectively, so I anticipate they'll be a part of my life for a long time. This does not mean I will be maintaining a "doggy blog," or anything like that. Let it just be known that These Apples fully supports the Tao of Canines, and will post observations of their behavior.

These are my dogs, and they are more awesome than most things to me.

3. Playmaking. I majored in it. I enjoy it. I'm not going to hawk it in a desperate grab for attention, but I will probably promote it now and then. Most of the time, I prefer the autocracy of directing.

4. Insanity. This comes up a lot. When inspiration strikes, you will hear from me about exploding whales, Gary Sheffield, the news media, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

5. Nerdery. Be warned: you will read about Batman, Gnomish Bards, The Barenaked Ladies, Car Talk, Earth-That-Was, time travel, cartoons, protocol droids, and John C. McGinley on this space.

6. Texas. Texas is the bees' knees. Deal with it.

7. Comedy. I'm a big fan. If I think something is hilarious, I'm going to want to share it with you. Many times, this has to do with someone like Seanbaby, or the guys at Fire Joe Morgan, or McSweeny's. I will not repost what I don't write myself, but I may link. And I will talk about it as though you have read / seen / heard it. Whenever I bring something up you recognize and don't want spoiled (i.e. "Dwight Schrute's recent erratic behavior...") consider it a spoiler alert.

8. Poetry. Every now and again I write poems. I like to put them on my blog when I do. If you like it, great, but you don't have to tell me and you're certainly welcome to ignore them if you don't care. I won't think any less of you if you do.

9. Baseball. This bears repeating. I write a LOT about baseball.

10. Evil. I've said this before, but newcomers to my writing may not realize that it is the personal mission of These Apples to fight evil and injustice wherever they may lurk, then brag to our friends about it, invariably lying about the degree of success (which is cool because nobody's going to go to Hitler's grave to see if he really rose as a vampire). If you or anyone you know has a problem with evil, it is best to contact These Apples in lieu of local law enforcement. In fact, many policemen have been known to escort and protect Dick Cheney, which makes their evil recognition / combatting powers questionable, at best.

So that's it. I'll probably start by re-posting the stuff I'm proud of from the old blog before I phase it out. In the meantime, feel free to stop by and say hi.

All for now.