Sunday, February 24, 2008

Little House on the Prairie

Imagine my surprise when Little House on the Prairie (Season 1) arrived in our little red Netflix envelope ("Jeez, did we really put this on our queue?"). Imagine further my surprise when I enjoyed the dickens out of it!

It would be easy to make hipster cracks at the show (the sexy prairie-chic of Karen Grassle, Pa's stoned late-night fiddling, etc.), but that's not what I'm doing. This is a good show about good people trying to do good things. To make fun of the people of Walnut Grove would be like making fun of life itself, and that's not what I'm about. Maybe it's L.J., maybe something else... this DVD had me ready to run outside and thresh something with my own bare hands.

Well, there were a few things that didn't make sense about the show. The wagon wheels started to fall off around episode 4 ("Mr. Edward's Homecoming" [sic]). You mean to tell me that the Ingalls ladies are gonna be fine with Charles bringing a bearded souse (Mr. Edwards) home with him from Mankato to stay indefinitely? I've tried that a few times, and it doesn't work.

Then Charles is able to just hook the drunk up with a good job at the mill the next day?! The same Charles that had to walk 100 miles to find a crappy job blasting rock for the railroad in episode 3?! I may be from Plum Creek, but I wasn't born yesterday.

Either way, I can't wait for the next disc to come in the mail. Will Half-Pint finally break into the social circle at school? Or will Nellie Oleson keep her death-grip on recess fun? Will we finally figure out which one is Lindsay Greenbush and which one is Sidney Greenbush? I'll let you know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From bad to worse to… Knicks win!!!

The Knicks lost their shit tonight. Botched dunks, mental mistakes, missed free throws down the stretch, infighting on the bench, jawing with the refs... the kinds of things you might expect from a completely disconnected squad. Oh yeah, they were playing the Wizards.

The Knicks actually won in overtime. Unheard of. Just minutes earlier, Nate Robinson, Zach Randolph and Quentin Richardson were involved in a bizarre episode during a timeout (make that a double timeout) featuring thrown cups of water and towels. Nate broke a few cardinal sporting rules:
1) never fight with your own teammates
2) never fight with guys twice your size
3) never fight with guys named "Q" and "Z" if you're an "N" or an "R" (OK, that's a Scrabble rule)

Know what? This is exactly the kind of thing I hoped for right before the season started. When Randolph arrived, I imagined a loose, ragtag, dangerous group of guys playing on the edge. That's the last thing the Knicks have been this year.

Tonight was actually fun to watch. I've always said things could get A LOT worse (or at least crazier) for the Knicks, no matter how bad things have seemed. Maybe things getting a lot worse will immediately make things better. And hopefully get Isiah fired once and for all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Islam Dunk

NBA All-Star Saturday Night has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Except for a couple of years ago (I totally forgot about it and drunken-stumbled into a bar on Amsterdam just in time to watch Nate Robinson make a mockery of the whole thing), I've made a nice little habit of chilling at home to watch skills, 3's and dunks.

Last night I almost made the mistake of watching the Celebrity game. OK, I did make the mistake of watching it, but only for about 10 minutes. That was long enough to catch Bill Walton playing grab-ass with Alyssa Milano on camera.

The Skills Challenge was kinda lame this year. Jason Kidd couldn't make a shot to save his life, and Dwynaye Wade looked like one of Jim Carroll's teammates after they took the downers at halftime.

I missed most of the Three-Point Shootout—I was finishing up our taxes (L.J. = $$$!!!).

Let's just say the Slam Dunk Contest was well worth the wait. No kidding, Dwight Howard is fucking unbelievable. Terrifying, actually. In case you missed it:

1. bounces ball of back of glass and slams
2. dons Superman cape and obscenely stuffs ball thrown from behind glass—about three feet above rim
3. (tough to explain) taps to self off glass with left hand and dunks with right, all in mid-air
4. grabs ball out of mini-hoop on backboard and dunks


Gerald Green did some cute stuff, like blowing out a birthday cupcake while dunking and then dunking in his socks. This kind of thing might work some years, but not this one. The only way to beat Dwight this year was to rip the backboard down.

The "SLAM DUNK" logo in the corner of the screen was right next to a mini "NBA" logo, so it ended up looking like "ISLAM DUNK".

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Epic Catalogue

Isiah has, if nothing else, built up quite a collection of post-game conference performances. Collected together, they read like the comments on a struggling kid's report card-- "Should try harder" or "Showing some improvement."
Roll the quotes!

11-2 Knicks 106, Cavaliers 110
"Overall, I was pleased with our effort," Thomas said.

11-13 Knicks 102, Suns 113
"But there were some good things I saw, some very positive things."

11-14 Knicks 81, Clippers 84
"Whatever happened in the past is in the past. We move forward."

11-16 Knicks 118, Kings 123 2OT
"For Stephon, it's not about offensive or defensive display, it's more his leadership and his ability to rally the team," said Thomas...

11-17 Knicks 83, Nuggets 115
"Sometimes in this game, the schedule beats you," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said.

11-20 Warriors 108, Knicks 82
"The booing, 'Get rid of this guy, get rid of me, get rid of him,' that's how the fans react. It comes with the territory we have and the place that we live in."

11-21 Knicks 86, Pistons 98 [8th Knick loss in a row]
"It's not about the players right now. This is where coaching comes in," Thomas said.

11-29 Knicks 59, Celtics 104
"We take two steps forward and one giant step back," Thomas said.

12-2 Suns 115, Knicks 104
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said during his postgame press conference that his team got impatient in the fourth quarter, but when asked why that happened, he paused for 10 seconds before saying, "I'll keep that thought to myself."

12-7 Knicks 90, Sixers 101
One fan in a Knicks hat held a "Fire Isiah!" sign directly across the court from Thomas. "Just quit! Please!" he yelled. One fan who might not have noticed was the man taking a nap a few rows over.

12-8 Sixers 105, Knicks 77 [I attended this game]
"I was searching tonight," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "I went one through 12 just trying to find any combination that would work, any person that had some type of energy or fire. And there was nothing there tonight."

12-10 Mavericks 99, Knicks 89
Mara Altschuler, a fan sitting near the Knicks' bench, said Thomas was talking to some fans during the game, blaming them for being a poor "sixth man" for the team.Thomas said, "I was just trying to make sure that we kept the team together and we stayed focused on what we were doing and trying to win a basketball game," he said. "Our fans are great, they support us and they show up and we're glad they're here."

12-12 Sonics 117, Knicks 110
"We definitely have to get better."

12-14 Knicks 96, Bulls 101
Coach Isiah Thomas said the matchups dictated the limited time, that the Bulls were "playing smaller and quicker, and we were trying to get a little more pace in the game."

12-17 Pacers 119, Knicks 92
"We don't grind and we don't compete like we should for 48 minutes and I've never ... a lot of things that can be said about me and teams that I've coached and the way I played, but I've never been accused of not having heart or competing. Tonight was very discouraging to me because we didn't collectively play with heart and compete like I know I do."

12-21 Knicks 95, Bobcats 105
On his almost-tussle with Q-Rich: "Sometimes you try to say some things to a player or say some things to your team just to get them motivated, to get some fire in them," Thomas said when asked to explain the incident. "There won't be any carry-over from it."

12-23 Lakers 95, Knicks 90
"We probably have the wrong guys starting and we'll look to change our lineup and try to get some more energy and defensive guys in the lineup," Thomas said.

12-30 Bulls 100, Knicks 83
Asked what he's seen from his changes, Thomas said: "Well, we're not winning. That's the only reason why you do it, is you try to win basketball games."

1-2 Kings 107, Knicks 97
"There's a refusal to come together and play collectively," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "We do it in spurts, but then we sit back and we watch."

1-4 Knicks 93, Spurs 97
"That's why they're the champs," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said of Finley's shot. "You were hoping for a miss, but that was all net."

1-9 Rockets 101, Knicks 92
"I think any time that you come on the floor like that, I think the official has ... you're really at the official's mercy. He can either call a technical foul on you or eject you, so he was well within his right to eject me from the game. But I would hope that in the future that they would understand that I don't normally walk out on the floor and say things unless I have a pretty valid complaint, at least in my mind."

1-11 Raptors 99, Knicks 90
"I've tried to put it in terms, I've told them we're kind of the concrete layers, we're the cement layers. When you move into your house, the guy who poured the concrete never really gets a chance to live in that beautiful house that he built. And our job right now is to make sure that we lay the concrete and we lay it correctly."

1-18 Knicks 98, Wizards 111
"Some nights, you just run into a team that's playing a little better than you are," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said, "and tonight the Wizards were playing better than we were."

1-21 Celtics 109, Knicks 93
"Their savvy throughout the course of the game, they were able to pick us apart," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said.

1-27 Knicks 104, Warriors 106
"We had good looks and a couple of open shots that didn't go down. ... I thought we played some pretty good basketball."

1-29 Knicks 109, Lakers 120
"Our lack of execution down the stretch, particularly the last five, six minutes of the game, we just totally lost all composure," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said.

1-30 Knicks 89, Jazz 100
"At the end, we just got a little fatigued," New York coach Isiah Thomas said.

2-1 Knicks 88, Blazers 94 OT
"We couldn't make a shot," New York coach Isiah Thomas said. "We just went cold."

2-2 Knicks 85, Sonics 86
"We'll keep working at it," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said.

2-4 Clippers 103, Knicks 94
Thomas: "I thought our bigs had it going pretty good inside, but we're down a lot of perimeter players right now and they did a good job of just packing it in and we didn't have enough outside shooting to really keep the defense honest."
LA Center Chris Kaman: "It's like a toilet bowl game or a dust bowl game. Two bottom teams fighting."

2-6 Pacers 103, Knicks 100
"Right now, our turnovers are killing us and we can't ... we have to do a better job with our guards in terms of getting in the flow and organized," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said during his brief postgame remarks. "We have to keep working at it."

2-8 Spurs 99, Knicks 93 OT
"The air was kind of popped out of the balloon," Thomas said. "I said to the team the thing that I admire about San Antonio, that's the reason why they're champions. they don't hang their heads. They make a mistake and they stay in it."

Friday, February 8, 2008


Not sure which amazed me more-- the Knicks actually leading the Spurs by 18 points, or the Knicks ultimately blowing the fucking game with 0.5 seconds left.

OK, you have a 3 point lead with about five seconds to go. Whaddya do? You guard the 3-point shot, obviously. Who's the most dangerous Spur at this point? Finley, obviously. So the Knicks leave Michael Finley COMPLETELY open for an uncontested three as time expires.

How does this happen??!!! Can somebody please fire Isiah Thomas??!! Anybody?!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Did he really just say that?

This Clemens thing just gets weirder and weirder.

Roger showed up at his "press conference" with a horrific haircut and sweatsoak like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. He looked like a guy on steroids.

Then his lawyer ("Rusty") jabbered on and on, breaking the cardinal rule of defense attorneying in the process. The idiot tried to compare Clemens and his situation to the Duke lacrosse team in a throroughly confusing analogy ("Wait a sec, did they just say that Roger Clemens raped somebody?!"). NEVER mention the word "rape" in a press conference unless you absolutely have to.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Canyon of Drunks

A funny thing happened on my way to the voting booth this morning. I had to be one of the first suckers in there at 6:05 am. The usual assortment of marginally functional morons were manning the station-- it just doesn't seem like the tightest of ships.

Anyway, I decided that a statistical study was going to be necessary today. Title: "THE EFFECT OF TUESDAY'S GIANTS VICTORY PARADE ON THE TRI-STATE PRIMARY ELECTIONS." Doesn't it seem plausible that drinking, hollering and traveling for 6-plus hours today might create some erratic voting patterns amongst the NY/NJ voting public? I imagined bombed Republicans mistakenly voting for Ron Paul, passing out in the machine, or just plain fucking up the procedure.

Turned out that most of the parade-goers were way too drunk to even think about voting. A bunch of terrifying blue cretins boarded my uptown 2 train at about 4:30 this afternoon, and nearly caused a mini-riot. They were alternating between shouting "I like to fuck assholes! I'm fucking Paulie in the asshole!" and randomly accusing other riders of being Patriots fans. I wasn't sure which was more offensive.

At least they couldn't vote for Giuliani.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Our Savior

Giants fans, make your checks out to Lee Cyrus Mazzola Jr...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pooper Bowl

Dear Diary,

Sorry I haven't written in so long! Diapers and spit-up... that's about it.

For the record, it's Giants 27, Pats 24. Don't ask me how they'll do it, but they will.

I'm having L.J. recreate his infamous hurl on my shirt at halftime.