Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Game 163 Coming Up

Oy gevalt! I can hardly wait. That exclamation is in honor of Steve Stone, who had to leave the radio booth around the midpoint of yesterday's game against the Tigers due to the sounding of the shofar. So, presumably, Chris Rongey will be subbing for him tonight, which is suboptimal, but it will still be better than listening to the audio on TBS ... ugh.

I hope the Sox win, of course, just because -- but also because I hope I haven't heard the last of Stone and Farmer on AM 670. They made a great team this season. Stone will do fine alongside Hawk on TV, and DJ or whoever else replaces Stone on the radio will be all right, I'm sure, but it won't be the same great combo as The Pony and Farmio.

OK. About an hour to go. Get yer black threads on and let's win it.

UPDATE: 6:30 pm: My bad. I guess it's past sundown, so the holiday obligations are over. Anyway, Stoney is on the air. Which starts things off right, from my perspective.

UPDATE: 9:00 pm: That was an awesome catch by Brian Anderson. Wowie wow wow. Onward to Tampa.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Meanwhile, Elsewhere in the Blargasso Sea

Hey, here's some unexpected news that is quite decent, I must say. Back-in-the-day ("day" in this case meaning late '90s) acquaintance of the blogger Michael "Professor of Dangeral Studies" Bérubé has resumed blogging at his blog. And he's as blabby as ever.

No word on a potential Nastybake reunion, although I gather that the non-Bérubé members of that band are scattered at various arctic research stations. But we can dream.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Also Off Topic: Curtain Closing, Too, as You No Doubt Have Heard, on The House That Stein Wrecked

And my nominee for "Number One Yankee Stadium Moment" is the following, which is only better for being fictional.

It's the Great Smoke-Off immortalized by Shel Silverstein (born in Chicago, September 25, 1930 ... and I'm remedying things by noting that anniversary almost two days late, yes) between Pearley Sweetcake (D-California) and The Calistoga Kid (D-New York).

Here's a verbal taste. Then the video embedation.

See the dealers and their ladies
Wearing turquoise lace and leather
See the narcos and the closet smokers
Puffin all together
From the teenies who smoke legal
To the ones who've done some time
To the old man who smoked reefer
Back before it was a crime

And the grand old house that Ruth built
Is filled with the smoke and cries
Of fifty thousand screaming heads
All stoned out of their minds
And they play the national anthem
And the crowd lets out a roar
As the spotlight hits The Kid and Pearl
Ready for their smokin' war

Shel Silverstein - The Great Smoke Off

Off Topic: Curtain Soon to Close on Shea Stadium; Nobody Cares

OK, I can't help but razz this a little bit -- I just read over on the Mets' website that fans have voted Bill Buckner's error in the 1986 World Series as the "Number One Shea Stadium Moment," or words to that effect. I can't argue against that being a huge baseball event, and very memorable ... but isn't it kind of weird that the biggest thing to happen for Mets fans at their home park was an error by an opposing player? Wouldn't you rather have it be something great that, like, a Met did there?

Apparently I was a little bit too level-headed and kind last night

OK, now I gotta say that the White Sox don't just need a new bullpen.

They also need new starters.

Kansas City is beating Minnesota at this moment, which means the agony could be prolonged for another day.

But I'm going to just go ahead and declare this season ovuh.

I'd like to say I'm happy the Sox did better than I expected them to do this season.

But I'd be lying.*

Watch for a new "Cubs" look for this blog soon. As in, blue background, and new song lyrics in the sidebar, along the lines of

We love our favorite team
They're the Chicago Cubbies
We love teddily bearses
And cuddly things
And pissing on lawns again and again
Like drunken Teletubbies
And centuries devoid
Of World Series rings

It's a work in progress.


* Do you dig my use of the Rick Telander "paragraph break after every short declarative sentence" technique?

I think I've mastered it.

Don't you?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Suspension of the State of Non-Hiatus

OK, you know what? Someone send me a note when the White Sox get a fucking bullpen. Until then, they're dead to me.

POSTSCRIPT: One O. Ball sez the following -- a slightly bitter and alcohol-influenced email from me to him late last night -- would have made a much better post. And I think he's right.

Washington Mutual fails tonight. Which, although it was pretty much expected for a while, is the biggest bank failure in U fucking S his fucking tory.

So what does the Trib website have up for its top story? Yep, of course. White Sox swept by Twins and blow first place. Almost certainly to miss the playoffs.

I have two responses. Fuck you Tribune. And fuck you to hell White Sox. Fuck you with the fuck power of a thousand fuck suns.

They desperately needed to improve the relief pitching. So what did they do? Sure. Sign Ken Griffey Jr. An aging, way way over the hill power hitter who can't hardly hit a ball out of the infield anymore at his advanced age of approximately 974 (ok, 38, which is the same thing, in baseball years).

The White Sox relief pitching staff has blown more games this year than Andy Dick has blown dicks. Which isn't even possible, because Andy Dick has blown even more dicks than the number of people who have been born since the dawn of time ... but somehow it is true anyway.

Therefore, they can gnaw upon that which pees in my toilet. Gnaw and ruminate, you cow-like retarded fuckers. I take shits into the mouths of your unborn children. And you don't even want to know what I do to your already born ones.

Bah. Everyone can eat shit and get cancer. I'm going to bed.

Don't stop now -- this joke has only started getting funny, and it has infinite potential

Bloomberg say:

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion plan to buy devalued assets from financial companies is "a joke" because it doesn't go far enough to calm markets, said Kenichi Ohmae, president of Business Breakthrough Inc.

Ohmae, nicknamed "Mr. Strategy" during his 23 years as a McKinsey & Co. partner, called for a $5 trillion "international facility" to be made available to financial institutions.

These finance boys ... they need to stop thinking small. As Burnham said, "Little boondoggles lack the monkeys to make barrels fun again and thus suck boneless chicken dicks." Or ... something like that.

Anyway ... Why not eleventy trillion? Twelvety ann-jillian? Blurve-blivvity squabunderglassinabalsamicreductionillion? These numbers are completely meaningless anyway. Why not just say we'll need $Universe?

Infinity money! Plus one!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In the parlance of our times

I am suspending this blog until Congress gives me $700 billion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The banks! The banks! The banks are on fire!

We don't need no water!

Let the motherfuckers burn!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A brief reflection on late-season baseball in Chicago 2008

So the Cubs have clinched the NL Central Division, and the Sox are still 2.5 games up in first place in the AL Central, so there's a good chance that both clubs will be in the playoffs, which hasn't happened since, I think, 1906, which was the year they faced off in the World Series (Sox won). Not that I think that will happen this year, but it's a lot of fun to have this much "meaningful" baseball this late in the year.

Especially during late September, baseball starts to feel like hanging onto summer for dear life ... fingernails ... toenails ... teeth. The longer baseball lasts, the longer summer lasts.

Which is why I'm always glad when either team makes the playoffs (in my lifetime, that's 1983, 1984, 1989, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008), but, both ... that's like double reprieve. That's like, summer hasn't ended at all. Both teams in town are still playing.

Feels almost like June.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

In the future, far away
We will live in outer space
There will be a cure for cancer
There will be one race

And the North Siders come one step closer to the unthinkable.

The Cleaning Ladys - When the Cubs Win the World Series: Punk Gospel Rendition

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Nite Veddeos: Not Dedicated to Ike the Hurricane Edition

No baseball no damn where tonight.

Man, did Roger Bossard look pissed off earlier tonight or what? And Ozzie in his stupid kelly green "Halfway to St. Pat's Day" or whatever hat. That's a hella snazzy red tarp they got now, though. I gotta admit.

And, as the Cubs fans out there know, Houston is soon to be inundated by some form of cyclonic vicissitude, and I'm tempted to dig for a good YouTube version of Jimmy Webb's "Galveston" and post it up, but it seems too obvious.

So, instead, here's some veddeos that aren't intrinsically related to anything, with parentheticals describing the disparate categories they fall into.

Slade - Look Wot You Dun
(category: favorite Slade song of the moment)

M.I.A. - Paper Planes (category: favorite college radio hit of 2008)

Gugug - Outdoor Miner (Wire cover) (category: Gugug)

Harry Nilsson - One (category: Nilsson: the best)

Blondie - Union City Blue (category: States: New Jersey)

Bongwater - Nick Cave Dolls (category: nostalgia for the year 1990, which was a pretty good year)

Big Black - The Power of Independent Trucking (category: '80s)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Driving and Rocking: Report from the Commute

Yesterday morning on the Edens, on the way to work up above the Arctic Circle, I heard the following one-two combo on the college radio, in the following order, over by dere. I'm still enjoying it. I love to listen to Brian Eno rock songs when I'm driving fast. And Bauhaus kicks ass here, too.

Bauhaus - Third Uncle (Eno cover)

Brian Eno - King's Lead Hat

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bill Meléndez, RIP

Somehow I missed it until today, but Peanuts animator José Cuauhtemoc "Bill" Meléndez died last Tuesday at the age of 91. The Peanuts specials often get slagged for being low-rez, jumpy pieces of work, but I think Melendez did a great job of interpreting the comic strip. It certainly would have been incongruous -- if not downright jarring -- if they had been lush, 3D, "uncanny valley"-transgressing Disneystraganzas. Also, TV was TV. Budgets were budgets. The classic Peanuts specials were great, and I won't tolerate contentions to the contrary!

OK, so maybe the Saturday morning cartoon shows weren't quite as good, but it's still hilarious in Portuguese:



So long, Bill. Thanks for everything.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Because Exene Cervenka is the antidote to Sarah Palin ...

Because she is.

X - Under The Big Black Sun

X - Devil Doll

X - We're Desperate (Get Used To It)

What's this noise I hear about some kind of "foot" ... "ball"? Is that some kind of Republican stunt?

Fall is a mixed bag for me. For the most part, I love it. But it has a couple of drawbacks. For one thing, the leaves fall off the trees (coincidence? I think not!), which is a drag. For another thing -- the one-two punch of college and professional football seasons starting.

My one-word assessment of football: Ecch.

OK, that's only recognized as a word by Mad magazine's editorial style manual. And I watch more than my share of football every fall and winter. Actually, one game -- one play, even -- is too much, but I watch a lot more than that. I get bored after baseball season ends, and Sunday afternoons in the winters here are very conducive to ingesting a few alcohols and being bored to death by a game that should be called "Pause Ball." People say baseball is slow and dull -- people who are WRONG, that is -- but watching football is like watching C-SPAN. Minus the action.

The average football play consists of 11 gigantic armored freaks of nature running about one-and-a-half feet into 11 other gigantic armored freaks and then falling down. Then they all get up and gather together in New Agey discussion circles and talk about it for approximately two days. Then they line up and collide into each other again. Sometimes the ball gets thrown, and once in a while, somebody catches it. But then some guy dressed like a convict sticks his head in a contraption that looks like one of Matthew Brady's original Civil War cameras and they have a Constitutional Convention to decide whether the receiver's foot touched a line or didn't touch a line, or whether his socks match, or don't match, or whether the marching band's drummer was off-beat, or just too hip for the room ... etc.

And every year they change the fucking rules. Although the rules that get changed usually are rules I didn't know existed anyway -- because there appear to be about 700 million rules in football, especially pro football. The NFL rule book must be thicker than the Internal Revenue Code and all the tax regulations put together. So when they enact a new one that says something like,

"A tackler who tackles the quarterback on his mother's birthday must send the quarterback's mother a nice birthday card -- and not one of those 'funny' ones. It must be one of those mushy ones that will make the quarterback's mother cry with happiness, so as to forget the fact that her Number One Son has just been pummeled into the turf with the force of the Tunguska Explosion,"

you can't hardly notice the difference, I guess.

So ... anyway ... I'm told that we have our own professional football team in Chicago. OK, I guess I knew that, since my hometown was (and is) totally riddled with players from that team, temporarily living there, for some damn reason. Pro football players can't afford to live in Lake Forest? Or Highland Park? Or even Libertyville, or some other decent Lake County village? Maybe some of them do, but Tank Johnson used to live in my old neighborhood, and Fridge Perry used to live in a crummy aluminum-sided cookie-cutter box in a very mundane subdivision in Mundelein, so ...

But I digress. The fact is that I'm not much of a Bears fan. When I used to like football -- in the late '70s -- I was a Steelers fan. The Bears were bad. I'd watch them because they were local, but they sucked. Then they were good for a short while, but managed to be completely irritating the whole time -- what with the Super Bowl Shuffle, that imbecile Coach Ditka, etc. -- and then they sucked again. Somehow they ended up in the Super Bowl a few seasons ago, but that was just the kind of fluke that makes me hate football even more.

So I'm no Bears fan. But if you're interested in the semi-comedic rantings of someone who kind of is a Bears fan -- check out this new tour de farce by puppet-master Des and his cast of incomprehensible characters -- Captain Silas Redbeard's Bears Preview. You won't get it, per se, but it might weird out your brain in a manner that you can do something positive with, karmically. That's up to you.

And, in the general jugular vein of football comedy, here's a timeless classic that everyone knows, but that is worth a re-listen:

Andy Griffith - What It Was, Was Football

Friday, September 05, 2008

Blogpourri: Some bad news, some more bad news, and some videos

First of all, let me be the latest (but far from the first) to opine that Firefox 3 stinks like Charles Bukowski's abscessed taint. Slow fucking crash-prone resource-gobbling swirly loaf of soft-serv corn-studded fecal matter of a browser. OK, that's a little overboard. It has some nice features, but it is a slow memory-chomper. Granted, I'm using XP on an old machine, but fuck that. Fuck that excuse. Fuck it. Fuck it till it chafes and politely asks you to stop, then freezes up and mutherfucking dies.

Can you tell that I'm trying to quit smoking again? Yeah, I'm up to 72 hours now. Not quite past the hair-trigger rage phase as of yet.

Second -- god damn it. Just when I was allowing myself to feel good for a second about Our Favorite Ball Club, Carlos Quentin Tarantino-Crisp apparently injures himself via spazmattack tantrum, seemingly taking himself out of the season. He might still win MVP, only this "MVP" will stand for "Most Velvety Pussy." Oh man, that was totally uncalled for. I'm sorry. Especially since as of right now, the White Sox are beating the Angels 5 7 to nothing. Woulda been nice if they coulda done that at the only game I managed to get to this season -- at which the Angels beat them 3 to zero -- but, hey, you can't have everything. Or, in my case, anything.

Second and a half -- in slightly hilarious news, the Cubs are getting their panties raided and handed back to them in knots by the mighty Cincinnati Reds tonight. Not to exhibit ill-will toward my fellow Chicagoans, but -- HAH!!!!

And now, the veedeos. For no reason at all, I'm in the mood for some loud testosteronated semi-obscure '70s guitar rock crap. So here's a few of those. Rock till you can't stand it (or those nearby can't stand you, whichever comes first).

Captain Beyond - Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air)

Bloodrock - Gotta Find a Way

Flower Travellin' Band - 8mm footage

OK, that should do it for now.