Sunday, August 31, 2008
The bullpen stunk (although Bruney's still OK by me), and A-Rod left more guys on base than an army troop transport helicopter.
I guess we just don't win games easily any more. Or, we just don't win games often.
A few good trivia questions were thrown about, including this one:
Several drummers have appeared on album releases by Genesis throughout the years. Name three different non-Genesis releases from 1976 by three different artists featuring three different Genesis drummers.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Yes, I'll be wearing my #45 jersey with a certain pride, nay, swagger tomorrow at the Stadium. Maybe somebody'll even buy me a beer. The bastard's 2-0!!!
The Mz. posed an interesting one tonight: is this Derek Jeter's worst offensive season ever?
The Post reported that the Yanks put Pavano on waivers. What???!!!!! I'm cancelling my season tickets.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I've heard several people say things like, "Once we get rid of A-Rod, we'll start winning again..." or "Things really went downhill once we got him..." Gimme a break!
Put the money aside for a minute. Yeah, I know it's a lot of money! If you can't do that, you don't understand the Yankees at all. If you can't do that, go root for the fucking Marlins.
I honestly don't know why he chokes like he does. But who, exactly, are these other third basemen that are so much better than A-Rod? Chipper? D. Wright? You really want those guys?!!
If you're looking to take this miserable season out on someone, don't pick A-Rod because he makes a fortune and isn't worth every penny... that's fucking stupid and un-American. Pick someone that makes a fortune and COMPLETELY sucks.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Forever on the Mountain by James M. Tabor (2007)
This one's an account of the 1967 expedition on Mount McKinley (Denali) that killed seven American climbers. Not particularly well-written, and devastatingly depressing. Twelve guys went out on a somewhat foolish mission, and found that they didn't get along at all. Reminds me a bit of a European tour I did about 12 years ago.
I didn't realize Denali was considered such a difficult climb. Its location makes it much colder and stormier than most of the other major mountains.
K2 - The Savage Mountain by Charles S. Houston and Robert H. Bates (1954)
I really liked this one, perhaps because everybody seemed to get along so well. This expedition had the usual troubles people have when they try to climb a 28,000 foot mountain: lousy weather, sicknesses and death. Wonderfully dry and descriptive-- totally fifties.
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (1997)
I've probably read this book a dozen times, but I read it again anyway! Krakauer really knows how to keep a reader's attention. He also specializes in hilarious, almost Penthouse Forum-esque descriptions ("As the glacier inched over humps and dips in the Cwm's underlying strata, it fractured into countless vertical fissures-- crevasses."). A fantastic book about an insane couple of weeks.
Related reading: Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (1988)
This could very well be the ultimate story of survival. I wasn't crazy about the film version, but the book is excellent. Simpson's italicized inner voice gets a little annoying, but I'm willing to give the guy a little rope here (oof!). Made me never want to try anything like this stuff.
No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs (2006)
Refreshingly different in style from the other books, this is basically an autobiography by an average writer. Ed just tells it like it is (by page 23 he's already recounted his base camp shag of the late alpine siren Chantal Mauduit), with no frills. This book's print is impossibly tiny, almost like an enormous footnote. I thought I was suffering from hypoxia in my own bed.
Ed Viesturs climbed each of the world's fourteen peaks of 8000M or higher without supplementary oxygen. Ed's a bad mutha.
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales (2003)
I was hoping for a treasure trove assortment of survival tales, a literary version of the TV show "I Survived". There's plenty of good stuff here, but Gonzales is more concerned with the theory of survival. Occasionally interesting, but not what I was looking for.
Related reading: Normal Accidents by Charles Perrow, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)
This wasn't supposed to be part of my series (it has nothing to do with mountain climbing), but it has everything to do with survival. Easily the best book I've read in years. Devastating.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
1) I served after-school detention in middle school and high school for scrawling Pete Frame-esque family trees of Genesis, Roxy Music, etc. on tables and chairs in numerous classrooms. My later efforts included full credentials for Phil Manzanera and Tony Levin.
Close: Nursery Cryme (1971)
Collection: Genesis Archives, Vol. 1: 1967-1975 (1998)
Crap: We Can't Dance (1991)
Close: Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973)
Classic: Aqualung (1971)
Close: Stand Up (1969)
Collection: Living in the Past (1972)
Crap: The Broadsword and the Beast (1982)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Carl was chosen over several other rare- and ne'er-do-wells: Phil Hughes (flu), Kei Igawa (sucks), Eric Milton (still rehabbing), and Victor Zambrano (still rehabbing and sucks).
He'll have his work cut out for him. In addition to making it to the park, warming up, and navigating his way to the mound, Pavano will be facing the O's Jeremy Guthrie, who's only allowed 8 runs in his last six starts.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
He Chong just kicked some serious Speedo ass. in his words, "I'm very, very, very happy about my performance." I'd call him the Usain Bolt of diving, but that conjures up images of Chong with his bathing suit half peeled off, doing a cannonball on his last dive.
American Troy Dumais ended up with the dreaded "Devil's Dive"-- he placed 6th in three consecutive Olympiads. Dumais shapeshifted into an asp and slithered into a drain pipe upon learning of his sixth place finish.
I dunno, watching the guys shower after a dive is a little weird. The showers seem pretty nice, however.
Monday, August 18, 2008
We all figured Hughes would get the nod over ol' Carl, but Phil's rough start yesterday cast a bit of doubt (3.2 IP, 5 R, 8 H). Pavano, on the other hand, had a nice 6-inning 1-run effort of his own.
So who's it gonna be? I think they'll be anxious to settle this Pavano thing once and for all-- if he stinks up Camden Yards, it might provide some closure to the strange saga. If he does OK, then he does OK.
career Yankee numbers for Hughes: 5-7, 94.2 IP, 5.51 ERA
career Yankee numbers for Pavano: 5-6, 111.1 IP, 4.77 ERA
I won't delve into their salaries.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Don't get me wrong, Michael Phelps has been as riveting as anything I've seen in a while (except for Misty May-Treanor's...just kidding!), but the real draw for me has been the supporting cast of characters.
I've loved every race I've seen so far, and I've seen a lot of 'em. Ryan Lochte, Aaron Peirsol, Jason Lesak, Kosuke Kitajima, Natalie Coughlin, Libby Trickett, Kirsty Coventry... really good stuff.
The graphics and the camera shots under the pool have been awesome too. Superb job by NBC. Oh, and Michael Phelps.
Monday, August 11, 2008
One of the Chinese gymnasts is sprinkling talc powder over his own head in a bizarre, ritualistic fashion. Hopefully he'll catch Lebron James at some point this week and learn how it's done.
Apparently this is being shown live. After watching so much crap that's already happened, this feels weird. Am I peering into the future? Is Al Trautwig trapped in some sort of time warp? Was getting stoned tonight a mistake?
Looks like the U.S. guys are about to do their floor routines. This first guy (Justin Spring) doesn't seem that good. The announcer just called his performance a "slight mess-up". Jeez, it looks amazing in slo-mo!
The next guy (Joe Hagerty) didn't waste any time-- he fucked up his routine immediately. Not only did he stumble and almost break his ankle, but he stepped out of bounds twice. Or, "not real bad, but not good". Shamed, Hagerty's now stripping off his clothes in front of everyone.
The Japanese guy they're showing now looks like Federico from Six Feet Under. That makes sense, because half the American team looks like David.
Now this guy was good. Jonathan Horton is my new favorite gymnast. Or, "MVP times ten!" Trautwig should've brought Clyde with him from New York to do color commentary. "Flipping and slipping... dancing and prancing... "
Joe Hagerty just waved to the camera like an idiot for about ten seconds. Gosh, I've seen more attitude in a Pampers commercial.
Cool, the pommel horse. I tried this once and nearly broke my neck. They should have a reality show where regular schmucks have to perform full all-around gymnastics routines. The rings would be absolutely hilarious.
I like this guy Rav that replaced Paul Hamm. The other alternate, Alexander something, is walking around like he has a bad case of 'roids. I doubt they test for that...
I dunno, I have a hard time getting into the flow of these team competitions. It takes so long for the lead to change-- it's like watching 80 baseball games in one night.
Yikes, Joe Hagerty just yelled "That's how we roll!!!" in front of the camera. He's the Michael Kay of the team. He seems about as agile as Kay, too.
See, it feels like we're catching up, but who the hell knows?
Al: "Anyone that's Chinese and near a television set is watching this..." That would make this particular program the highest rated show in the history of global television. Hey, maybe it is?!
I'm running out of power. Gotta go...
Sunday, August 10, 2008
This seems insanely dangerous. They're flying around curves in the pouring rain on skinny little bikes with wobbly wheels.
Now NBC has USA vs. China in men's water polo. Another sport I've never had a feel for. It looks like a game a bunch of kids play in a pool. I'm waiting for Kevin's mom to come out and bring us all peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.
I had a roommate that played for his college water polo team. I went to a couple of his games-- mainly to catch a glimpse of his teammate with huge boobs as she emerged from the pool. It must've been a coed team (?).
Hey, how is that allowed?! One of their guys just tried to drown one of our guys. This is probably a much harder sport than I thought. Who knows what sort of foul play goes on under the waterline...
One of the Chinese athletes just threw the ball into our net... GOOALLL!!! I was sure he'd broken a major rule there, but apparently that's all you have to do. I figured you had to bounce or kick the ball into the net-- throwing it just seems so easy. I really must not have been paying attention at my old roommate's matches.
I just learned that you're not allowed to hold the ball under water. There goes my idea of hiding the ball down your swimming trunks and swimming past everybody. Also out is diving to the bottom of the pool with the ball, and then releasing the ball so it fires like a torpedo at the opponent's net.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
I think Yanni is performing at this point. Thousands of identically dressed and featured men just burst out of a series of undulating boxes in the center of the stadium. The announcer just explained what we're seeing, and I still don't understand it at all. This is gonna be a long night.
Looks like it's Bob Costas, Matt Lauer, and some guy named Joshua Cooper Ramo. "Josh" is an expert on Chinese culture, and is explaining the signifigance of everything we're seeing.
Cool, we're back to the giant digital canvas. An impossibly beautiful dancer is twirling stuff to and fro, while about a hundred guys (slaves?) carry the giant canvas around.
BC: Who are these guys? At least a thousand blue soldiers just "invaded" the stadium. They're armed with either giant oars or giant feathers. Either way, I think we're all safe.
Now there's an impossibly weird guy in the middle of the show, carrying an enormous wooden bowl and spoon. I'm not sure where he went. Cut to commercial.
JCR: Oh by the way, this culture invented printing and paper.
Now I understand... the guy who did House of Flying Daggers designed the show. That's either really cool or sort of disappointing. Now the Chinese Elton John is playing a piano duet with a small child. This is making Super Bowl halftime look like a high school talent show.
I'm not sure who these girls are on the right, but they're certainly capturing the Olympic spirit.
2008 Chinese guys in white outfits are arranged in perfect concentric circles across the stadium floor. Now they're sprinting across the floor in alternating rows. BC: One false move and we're talking about some smashed craniums here!
OK, I'm turning this off-- the performers are walking sideways and upside-down around a giant globe-lamp. I'll let you know when the sports start.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Of course, the press was all over the Health Fair angle for Pavano's start tonight. Too bad I broke the story yesterday, punks!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Pavano's second start for Charleston over the weekend wasn't too shabby: 3 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB. The RiverDogs had a funny promotion of their own a few nights prior to this game-- lucky fans (males) were offered a free prostate exam upon arrival at the stadium. I kid you not.
Speaking of not kidding, looks like Pavano and Hughes could be a lot more important than we thought. With Joba's recent injury, the Yanks are certain to give the gimpy gents a go. Hughes is pitching for AAA Scranton tomorrow night against the PawSox.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
8:06 Suzyn Waldman is relaying the news about Joba's shoulder: he had an MRI today, and he's flying down to Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow. Hmm... that's a bit like following up "Officer, what are the results of my breathalyzer test?" with "Sir, please put your hands behind your back."
8:10 Suzyn- "You'd love to shuffle around the rotation so we don't have two kids pitching back-to-back..." Good luck with that one. Next you can solve the Königsberg Bridge problem.
8:15 Sterling's already stammering away. He topped himself over the weekend with "It's an I.B.R. for Aybar!"
8:16 Give 'im credit-- he did call the Yankee loss last night immediately after Marte walked the leadoff guy. John's good like that.
8:20 Jeez, Hamilton just blasted one. Can somebody please test this guy's urine? Or can someone at least slip something illegal into it?
8:30 I love how Suzye's always saying, "Well, it's just like how so-and-so was telling me the other day..." where so-and-so is some major league player or coach. Isn't that part of her job? Does she have to make it sound like she just happened to be chatting with these guys?
8:33 Sterling- "You know Sexson... terrible numbers, a million strikeouts."
8:42 You can't really blame Cano for booting that one-- apparently the ball "serpentined" at him.
8:52 How many double plays can we possibly hit into tonight?
9:05 I guess we can hit into a few more...
9:14 Pettitte's thrown about 400 pitches already.
9:15 You know, listening to Sterling is almost like being at the game... if you have crappy right field upper deck seats. Every ball that's hit hard in the air might be a home run, and you can't tell until it's either caught or already gone.
9:18 Funny, when you listen to games you tend to picture the guys sucking even worse then they really are. A groundout to short becomes Cano lazily loping down to first base; a popup becomes A-Rod wildly lunging at the ball. Actually, these aren't so farfetched at all.
9:21 We just had the brilliant idea of taking sleeping pills and redecorating the living room. Hallelujah!
9:24 Not having a giant television in your living room allows for a frightening amount of creativity. It's like your 4th grade art teacher saying, "Draw a self portrait, but don't draw your head in between your shoulders."
9:28 The NYC Board of Ed budget cuts are really getting scary. Teachers just found out that their annual personal supply allowances have been cut nearly in half. The UFT presented this as a huge victory, like "coulda been a lot worse!" This is, of course, on top of the massive cuts to schools' budgets as a whole. Hopefully the effort to make all schoolwork electronic will take shape quickly, as schools will be unable to afford books, paper, pens, and possibly teachers.
9:38 Classic Sterling-- "It is high, it is far, it is... caught, no it's dropped!"
9:51 Wow, Ambien really makes you think you can move giant dressers all by yourself, or that your arm can actually reach 7 feet under the bed to switch plugs in a pesky outlet. If bursts of adrenaline give people in terrible disasters a burst of physical strength powerful enough to lift a truck off a child's crushed leg, then tabs of Ambien merely give you the belief that you can lift a bookshelf all by yourself, without any of the incredible strength necessary to do it. It's like decorating your home during a high profile mine disaster rescue effort-- hopefully my CD player won't disappear down a dark shaft in a cloudy explosion.
10:09 Amazing how Mizz M can see exactly what looks right in the room. She walks around, moves a few lamps, arranges a couple of knickknacks, and the room looks a lot better than it did an hour ago. Pieces have new functions, places have clear reasons, and some stupid crap of mine is politely shown the door. All in good taste.
10:23 Something's working here... I just reconnected the stereo in a new spot, and the new speaker positions are right on. "3000" from Dr. Octagon proved that point quite nicely.
10:27 Whoa! The Mizz is going out for a PinkBerry run! That leaves me alone to (1) take over decorating duties & ideas (2) keep fingers available for the report (3) keep an eye on LJ (4) Yankee game... Yankee Game!!!! I gotta get it together here!
10:33 OK, bases loaded with one out, down 3 runs. DOUBLE PLAY! Nothing's changed at all! I should go back to hanging pictures in the hallway.
10:40 If you really want to feel at ease, drop in on your child while he/she is fast asleep for the night. The mere sight makes every one of your problems that seem so complicated and crazy look as simple as pie. Nothing to it.
10:50 Whoa, just got sidetracked playing Scramble. I was collecting words at about one-third my normal speed, which is a very low speed.
10:52 I guess the Rangers scored a few runs while I was trying to spell "GNEIST" and "QUARZA" (not only was I trying to score these words, I was also desperately trying to spell them correctly.). It's now 8-2.
10:59 The MLB Gameday is actually pretty cool. I just watched a vector-driven rendering of A-Rod getting beaned by the Ranger picher. Kinda fun. If you use the 360 degree controls for the batters's box (which I always do), you can create some cool, although confusing, alternative views of the game. Or you can just listen to John and Suzyn.
11:05 My wife just got back with the goods! Delicious PinkBerry Yogurt with all sorts of toppings, like-- wait, Sexson just smashed a grand slam!!! We're only down by 2! Yep, still tastes real good.
11:36 Four double plays and three moved tables later, the Yankees finally lost. They're looking like a team that can't keep up with teams they're slightly better than, also known as a team in decline.
I'm glad it's not my job to fix all the shit that's wrong right now. It's enough of a job just to talk about it.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
John Sterling missed the perfect chance to debut a home run call for Xavier Nady in the seventh. He never prepared a zinger ahead of time? I thought of several before Nady even rounded the bases:
"X marks the spot!!!"
"Rated X for nudity and sexual situations!!!"
"Terminator X-- yellin' with his hands!!!"
"The X-Man demonstrates his special, freakish power!!!"
They gotta do something about Giambi. He's absolutely awful at first base-- he screws up a lot more than the boxscore will tell you. Missed scoops, bad throws, no range... always dangerous. Throw in the fact that he's batting .200 in his last 20 games, and it's time for a break.
Whoops!! Grand slam by Teixeira. There goes that amazing comeback.
Well, looks like Farnsworth is up to his old tricks in Detroit. Tampa Bay scores three in the 8th with two dongs off Kyle.