September 10, 2002
Anyway, dual Donk/Skee fans (I'm looking at you, Mo-Skee) will definitely want to head over to the Group and join up. The current thread discusses how Skee Balls are made, and I just discovered this link to the $100,000 Skee Ball World Championship!
Actually, right now my parents are at the Siegfried & Roy show, where I would bet a million dollars my dad is sitting there thinking, "I could be playing 5-10 hold `em at the Bellagio, and instead I'm paying more than two bills to watch these two yahoos and some freaking cats."
September 09, 2002
Among my other fellow bloggers who made me feel real damn good about my 31st were Marc Weisblott, Jumpin' Jim Henley, not-so-Jumpin' Jim...um...Jim, Clay "Muddy" Waters, and that damned Whybark character.
As usual, the only one who made me take my mouth off the exhaust pipe was the lovely Ravenwolf, who says more with a simple "Wheee!" and some sort of colon/capital-P combination than most people can say with actual words and sentences. R-Dub: I thank you.
Oh, and speaking of me: ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! But speaking of Jahna D'Lish, the winner of our somehow controversial 50,000th Visitor Contest (three people may have actually seen the 50,000 meter, but only one actually sent me proof), fans of this rising star will definitely want to check us out on Thursday, when The Illuminated Donkey becomes The Illuminated D'Lish! Dear freaking lord that's gonna be something!
September 08, 2002
As part of the campaign to become recognized, in 2000 the World Bridge Federation adopted Olympics guidelines, including random drug testing. Now, in the wake of August's World Open Championships in Montreal, American Disa Eythorsdottir was stripped of her silver medal for refusing to take a drug test. Eythorsdottir had been taking a prescription diet drug for a back condition and could not be told whether it was on the list of banned substances. Meanwhile, World Bridge Federation President Jose Damiani told members that he was "not very optimistic" about bridge's chances for admission.
September 06, 2002
Other momentous September 7 events include:
- The first Miss America Pageant, held in good old Atlantic City in 1921.
- The birth of Buddy Holly in 1936.
- Julie "Marge" Kavner was born in 1951.
- The debut of ESPN.
- The fatal shooting of Tupac Shakur along with Marion “Suge” Knight in Las Vegas in 1996.
September 05, 2002
Oh, and here's your runner-up prize...DONKEY BASEBALL!!!
Um...wait a second...while Jahna is the only person who sent me the 50,000 screenshot, two other people have claimed (with no perjorative insinuation attached to that word) to have also seen the magic 50K Site Meter on their very own computer screens. Those two people — fellow Jersey Cityer Clay Waters and the blogless yet still kickass Mo-Skee — seem like honest folk, so I need to figure out what the hell is going on.
September 04, 2002
For Pete's sake, folks, why don't I just put all my comedy gold out on the porch and let you drive a U-Haul up and load it all in! Go right ahead! I don't care! Wheeeeee!
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Wait, lemme catch my breath here...
- New York City (60 votes): 31%
- New Jersey (52 votes): 27%
- Seattle (50 votes): 26%
- Texas Gravel Pit (17 votes): 9%
- Witness Relocation (12 votes): 6%
- Dublin, Georgia (3 votes): 1%
The Greek government has banned all electronic games across the country, including those that run on home computers, on Game Boy-style portable consoles, and on mobile phones. Thousands of tourists in Greece are unknowingly facing heavy fines or long terms in prison for owning mobile phones or portable video games.
The law applies equally to visitors from abroad: "If you know these things are banned, you should not bring them in," said a commercial attaché at the Greek Embassy in London, who declined to give her name.
Internet cafes will be allowed to continue to operate, providing no games-playing takes place. If a customer is found to be running any sort of game, including online chess, the cafe owner will be fined and the place closed.
The Greek government introduced the law in an attempt to prevent illegal gambling. According to a report in the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Greek police will be responsible for catching offenders, who will face fines of 5,000 to 75,000 euros (about $4,980 to $74,650) and imprisonment of one to 12 months. "The blanket ban was decided in February after the government admitted it was incapable of distinguishing innocuous video games from illegal gambling machines," the report said.
September 02, 2002
And what do you win? Well, besides a commemorative certificate suitable for framing and a few assorted knicknacks, for one day The Illuminated Donkey will become The Illuminated...YOU! For one glorious day next week you and only you will be the focus of the 225th most-linked-to blog in the whole blogging ecosystem! Stories, anecdotes, commentary, poetry, and more — all of it about your interests, your hobbies, and just plain you, in all of your wonderful youness.
Keep watching this space for more details regarding this once-in-a-lifetime prize, and keep checking the Site Meter for your chance to win.
- I was born in Brooklyn, New York
- I have a mother, father, brother, and sister, all of whom I like a great deal.
- I had a younger brother, Robert, who died at five when I was six.
- My family moved to New Jersey when I was under a year old.
- I have lived in New Jersey for 26 of my 31 years.
- I would consider myself a Jersey guy no matter where I moved to.
- I am proud of this identity.
- Then again, when I lived in Seattle I would often answer “New York” to the question of where I was from.
- In New Jersey, I have lived in Parlin, Old Bridge, New Brunswick, Plainfield, North Brunswick, and Jersey City.
- Not counting family or relationships, I have had five roommates; all the arrangements have gone well.
- I think that I am an easy person to get along with.
- I consider myself very fortunate regarding my friends and family.
- If I think somebody is upset with me, I need to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
- I have had three full-time, salaried jobs, as well as about at least ten hourly/temp positions.
- I have been fired once.
- It wasn’t that big a deal.
- I hate job interviews.
- I think that I am very good at what I do for a living.
- The most valuable lesson I have learned at work is that nobody ever wins an argument.
- One of my proudest achievements was my Employee of the Year award at my last job.
- I have a terrible nail-biting habit, and constantly bite and pick at them as if they done me wrong
- I have a systematic method for eating corn-on-the-cob, removing each row to eventually leave a clean, stripped cob
- I prefer almost all vegetables raw, including corn-on-the-cob
- My specialty dish is deviled eggs.
- I used to like sushi, but seemingly overnight I completely lost my taste for it.
- I much prefer vanilla to chocolate.
- I don’t care for cheesecake.
- I have ordered the soy burger dinner with swiss at Dojo’s at least 25 times.
- I have worked in a Burger King, Roy Rogers, and a small diner.
- Given the choice between being evicted from my apartment and working in food service again, I’d have to think about it.
- There are two foods and only two foods on which ketchup is allowed.
- Tabasco is a gateway condiment to far more dangerous sauces.
- During the Gulf War my friend Keith and I created a mixed drink called the Wolf Blitzer, consisting of Yoo-Hoo and amaretto.
- I wish that I drank more in college.
- I have probably smoked less than 20 cigarettes in my life.
- I have lost a fair amount of weight twice in my life.
- I now need to do this again.
- I had bright red hair as a child, but it has progressively darkened to its current brown.
- My best feature is my calves.
- I have really bad teeth.
- I have had three root canals and countless fillings.
- The sickest I have ever been was my two-week sinus infection during the L.A. riots.
- I have never had any piercings or tatoos.
- Wearing any sort of jewelry or accessories really annoys me.
- My favorite baseball team growing up was the Phillies, mostly as a backlash against obnoxious Mets fans.
- My favorite player was Mike Schmidt.
- Baseball is my favorite sport to watch.
- Tennis is my favorite sport to play.
- I have never beaten my dad in tennis.
- I once bowled a 201.
- Despite my being pretty bad at baseball, my Little League teams won championships all six years I played.
- Despite my being a fairly good player, my soccer teams lost every game my last three years.
- I was the team scoring leader my last year of soccer with one goal.
- I have never been to an NFL game.
- I have been to minor-league hockey and indoor soccer games.
- The most exciting moment of my life was watching Jim Leyritz hit a game-winning 15th inning home run to beat the Mariners in the 1995 playoffs.
- I realize that this is fairly sad.
- I’ve spent way too much money in my life on sports cards and comic books.
- My dad and I have a baseball bat signed by every living Hall of Famer
- I’ve stopped buying things like action figures just because they’re cool and I think they’d look good on my desk.
- My favorite place in the world is the Guggenheim Bilbao.
- My favorite place that I visit regularly is Manhattan’s Frick Museum.
- Either that or the Lower East Side in general.
- I have visited seven countries, though three of those were for less than a day.
- The first Joseph Heller book I read wasn't Catch-22.
- I’m not sure how, but I drive an average of 500 miles a week.
- Driving 70 on a sunny day, windows down, music blasting, is one of my favorite things in the world.
- I’ve been in three car accidents, two of which were my fault.
- I much prefer cold weather to hot.
- I like shoveling snow.
- I can do fairly complicated calculations in my head.
- The most money I’ve ever won at poker was $1100.
- The most I’ve ever lost was $700.
- Those two sessions were three days apart, which proves something or other.
- Within minutes of browsing in a book or record store I’ll need to use the bathroom.
- During college I essentially wore nothing but t-shirts with cartoon characters.
- I felt very good the day I realized that I no longer had any of these left in my regular wardrobe rotation.
- I rarely get worked up over things.
- My sister thinks that my biggest problem is that I refuse to admit when I’m wrong.
- I think she’s mistaken about this.
- When compared to the films and music of the last two decades, TV has nothing to be ashamed of.
- I’ve never been in a fistfight.
- I’ve appeared onstage in front of thousands.
- The first record I ever bought was Joe Jackson’s Night and Day.
- On the other hand, when I was 12 and my grandmother let me pick out any cassette I wanted at Kmart, I chose Olivia Newton John’s Greatest Hits.
- I own everything Elvis Costello has ever released.
- I think at his peak, Woody Allen was the funniest stand-up comedian ever.
- I am neither a cat or dog person.
- I subscribe to far too many magazines.
- I have fairly neat handwriting.
- I should paint and write more.
- I normally prefer listening to talk radio as opposed to music while driving.
- Someday I’m going to think about all the time I’ve wasted and need a stiff drink.
- That drink will likely be Johnny Walker Black.
- I automatically check everything I see for spelling errors or typos.
- I’ve only been in one strip club.
- I have spent an insane amount of money attempting to win stuffed animals on boardwalks.
- I don’t think I make a good first impression.
- All things considered, I think I’m a pretty decent guy.
- I really should have spent the last two hours working on freelance projects instead of this silliness.
Following Seaside we decided to take an ill-advised trip down to A.C., where we dined on meat, meat, and more meat at the Tropicana buffet, followed by some light gaming and spectating (including the last throes of some kid's roulette meltdown, playing the remnants of a $35K stack of black $100 chips in big piles around the layout). We learned about pai gow tiles and dropped a few bills into the slots. Lady Luck is a filthy slut.
Summer in New Jersey kicks ass, but now it's all over. Sniff.
September 01, 2002
We led off with the Kim Clijsters (7) vs. Vera Zvonareva match in the Grandstand, a train wreck of a match in which the high-ranked Clijsters played about as bad a first set as I've seen, including double-faulting break points in two straight service games. In the second set, Clijsters regained her composure and started playing well, while at the same time Zvonareva, a fiery young Russian (who was born on my 13th birthday), just completely lost her shit, taking a questionable call and a few bad shots and weaving them into a display of racquet-smashing, heavens-cursing anger and self-loathing that made me fall instantly in love with her. In-match coaching is banned in tennis, and you had to think that a few calming words might have settled her down enough to help her take a match she was obviously capable of winning. In any case, we left after Clijsters took the second set in a match she would eventually win 1-6, 7-5, 6-4.
We headed over to watch Venus Williams (2) thoroughly demolish Martina Muller, a 77th-ranked German who no chance of giving Venus any sort of challenge. I know about the whole "on any given day" credo that makes sports worth watching, but with the entire stadium rooting on every one of Venus's terrific shots, watching as she returned every one of Muller's best-hit shots with almost no effort — well, I'm surprised Muller won the three games she did in the 6-1, 6-2 match.
After that, we headed to our not-all-that-terrible seats in the main stadium to watch the rematch of last year's controversial Lleyton Hewitt (1) vs. James Blake (25) match. It was a psyched crowd watching the American take on the defending champ, with large contingents of both face-painted Americans and Australians cheering on their man. Blake took advantage of some uncharacteristic late lapses by Hewitt in an exciting first set to take the first-set tiebreaker. The next two sets weren't nearly as good, as Hewitt wore down Blake to go up two sets to one. Watching this match really made me understand the decline of the serve-and-volley game; it wasn't so much Hewitt's booming serve that made Blake's visits to the net so unsuccessful, but how when Blake did go to the net Hewitt would either hit a remarkably hard passing shot down the line for a winner, or directly at Blake, leaving Blake no time for anything but a reflexive, soft return. Blake made something like six straight unsuccessful net approaches before abandoning the strategy in the second set.
I wanted to see some doubles, and a glance at the scoreboard showed that the New York Times front-page coverboys Amir Hadad of Israel and Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan had taken the defending champs Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe to a third-and-deciding set. Now, here's part of the Times's report on the match:
Hadad and Qureshi drew another warm welcome from a near-capacity crowd. The fact that Hadad, a Jew, and Qureshi, a Muslim, could play together despite all the nationalistic and religious implications earned them as many fans in New York as it did in London.As I said, I can't vouch for the kind of welcome they received, but when we arrived for the deciding set there might have been 200 people in the Grandstand (far less than there had been for the earlier Clijsters match), and we were able to walk down to two of plenty of open lower-level seats in the third row. The crowd may have been somewhat for Hadad and Qureshi, but it a low-key, casual crowd, and the only indications of anything of interest about the match were a higher police presence and a sardonic cheer of "C'mon guys, do it for world peace," after another poorly played point. Black and Ullyett won the error-filled set 6-2.
In a bit of a surprise , Blake had taken the fourth set, so we rushed back to the stadium for the fifth, but by the time we got to our seats Blake was down 5-3 in a set he would lose 6-3. After that, we caught a couple of games of Martina Navratilova's doubles match, as well as a little mixed doubles before we were completely tennised out, as I imagine you are by now as well.
Oh, you didn't celebrate Zeptember? You say that you wait until Rocktober to really start busting loose? I guess that's just the difference between us true rockers and you rockers of convenience, only rocking out on the really big concert days and special Two-for-Tuesdays. I guess it takes all types, man.
August 30, 2002
- Seattle: 44%
- New York City: 24%
- Texas Gravel Pit: 12%
- New Jersey: 9%
- Witness Relocation: 7%
- Dublin, Georgia: 3%
I'm not sure what players I'll get to see (they don't announce the schedule until that day), but I'm hoping that whatever matches I check out will be better than this travesty. I don't have a lot of experience with tennis stats, but I'm guessing that 40 unforced errors in a two-set match (an average of over two-and-a-half a game) ain't what you're looking for out of Kournikova. I just hope that this doesn't affect her endorsement deals.
Plus, the Mariners have looked like crap lately.
Anyway, if anybody bought any tickets to the NYF that they can't use, please give me a heads-up since there's a good chance I'll want them. Or maybe you could just take me with you; I'm nice, and I sometimes say amusing things (but only after the show), and I've been known to pick up a beer tab.
August 28, 2002
Brookins Turned in Playbook, Misread Message.After spending Tuesday trying to get ahold of the incommunicado Brookins, on Wednesday Packers coach Mike Sherman was apparently unsure if he wanted Brookins to bother to make the drive back to Green Bay. Not exactly the story you want to tell your friends back home when they asked what happened to that promising NFL career.
A communication mixup put Packers halfback Jason Brookins' brief Green Bay career on hold. On Tuesday, the day NFL teams had to trim their rosters to 65 players, Brookins was asked for his playbook by a Packers official. He thought the request meant that he was being released. What he didn't know was that it was for some late additions to his playbook prior to Friday's game against the Titans. By then, it was too late. Brookins had already gotten in his car, turned off his cell phone and headed to his offseason home in Missouri.
August 27, 2002
Now, what makes the ATP site especially browseworthy is its listing of the prize money won by each player in every tour appearance. You may know that the U.S. Open winner will cash in for a cool $900K, but I bet you didn't know that Chang picked up only $7200 for that Calabasas win (by contrast, every player in the Open will take home at least $11,000).
I'm used to only hearing about the big paydays, so it's fascinating for me to check out the record of some low-level grinder: $1460 here, a couple of not-worth-the-trip $520 checks, a big $9700 score. It's a good look at how the other half lives.
August 26, 2002
August 25, 2002
- Seattle: 44%
- New York City: 24%
- Texas Gravel Pit: 12%
- New Jersey: 9%
- Witness Relocation: 7%
- Dublin, Georgia: 3%
There have certainly been better relievers in baseball, but almost nobody can boast a more unique set of accomplishments.
- Wilhelm didn't make his debut until he was 28, but would pitch until he was nearly 49, appearing in 1,070 games, a record that stood for almost 30 years.
- That 1952 rookie year was perhaps his best. He appeared in a record 71 games for the pennant-contending Giants, won 15 and saved 11, led the league in ERA, and finished fourth in MVP voting. Famously, he hit a home run in his first at-bat, the only homer of his career. (There are reports that he hit the only triple of his career in his second at-bat, but this may be apocryphal.)
- Wilhelm didn't start a game until 1958, and only started 52 in his career. In one of those 1958 starts, however, he no-hit the Yankees in a nationally televised game.
- The following year, Wilhelm started 27 games, winning 15 with a 2.19 ERA. He became the first pitcher to win ERA titles in both leagues. Despite his success, he would start only 15 more games in his career.
- Though he never led the league, he retired with a record 227 saves (Wilhelm is now no longer in the top 20).
The answer, my friends, is The Knitting Factory in Lower Manhattan, home of last night's unbelievably good Jason Loewenstein show. I went into the show cold, not really knowing anything other than that he was/is (see, I don't even know that) in Sebadoh, a band whose CD's I listened to once or twice a few years back. I went with my friend Little C-Za, a rabid fan who had been having a rough day involving low water pressure and a hastily rented Wet-Vac.
Anyway, it was one of the best damn shows I've ever seen. There were only three people in the band, but it sound like fifty, a symphony blasting out a pure sonic wall of rock. Many beers were downed, several devil finger-signs were spotted, and a cabride up to Penn Station was spent in breathless wonder (other than the few moments when our driver slammed on his brakes to avoid a carful of dipshits who had to park RIGHT THERE!).
The Jakerock site lists the tour dates (Jeez, they're in Pittsburgh tonight, a long freaking ways-away, that's gotta be worth something), and if he's playing near you and you don't go see them then you're not my friend.
August 24, 2002
I had plenty more rationalizations, or at least I did until reading Peter Dizikes's Slate article "Ashe Heap: The Dump That's Hosting the U.S. Open," which was so helpful as to use our freaking seats to demonstrate how much Arthur Ashe Stadium blows.
While the best tennis venues provide a sense of intimacy, Ashe's double-decker stack of luxury boxes, located immediately above the courtside seats, pushes everyone else higher, making fans in the upper deck feel as if they're watching tennis through the wrong end of a telescope.Thanks a lot...DICK!
Just how bad is it? Fans in the depressingly designated Row Z at the very top of Ashe, peering at a court a fraction of the size of a baseball diamond, sit 120 feet in the air, higher even than their counterparts at neighboring Shea Stadium.
That's why I'm bringing in the professionals, since I obviously don't have the cognitive capacity to do so. NJGuido.com is a remarkable site devoted to the sheer joy of summertime down the Jersey Shore. The hottest clubs, music, ladies — they're all there and all good. NJGuido's philosophy is "There are no excuses. Party like a rockstar," and it's a philosophy they live to the absolute fullest.
Living is being an anxious lion with a heart that is filled with strength not from rest or from perfection but from the feeling of being alive and the thought of getting older, knowing that one day it will not be able to rule the jungle and catch its prey any longer. Everyday you wake up to life but are you living? Go out and prey on the feeling of being young, knowing that this is your time to truly live. Have a lion heart and live. Don't miss a weekend, there are no excuses.Most religions have started with less-elegant and convincing credos than this.
Anyway, before you vote again, please read NJ Anthem, which sums up the sheer glorious wonder of the Garden State in the summer. God bless us, every one.
August 22, 2002
In other Donk news, we're slowly and surely coming up on our 50,000th visitor, and that lucky gal or guy is gonna get them a prize that makes all my other prizes look like bags of flaming dogcrap left on your doorstep. Keep your eyes peeled.
August 21, 2002
''I don't get it,'' he begins in typical [Mike] Piazza fashion, a tone that suggests that what he really doesn't get is how other people don't see things his way. ''It's just amazing to me that people think we're striking just to make more money. I appreciate the money and the lifestyle, but it's not the reason why I play. If you take everything away from me I would be able to put a roof over my head and food on my table. I'd do something. I wouldn't sit around and moan about guys who are making money.''Memo to the soon-to-be-striking players (and owners, for that matter): if you're looking to win over our hearts and minds, be sure to keep in mind that we're the frigging market that you're attempting to gauge the bearability of, and avoid that whole American Centurion tack, since it frankly makes us want to punch all of you in the throat.
He's on a roll: ''And then people will read this and say: 'Oh, how dare you, your dad was rich. Blah. Blah. Blah.' I'm sick of that. There's a lot of opportunity out there. Go and make it. I give 100 percent to what I'm doing. I'm not going to apologize for what I make. That's not what this country is about. As players, we're fighting to make what the market will bear. We're centurions for the American way.''
In a related note, the "With whom do you side in the baseball contract dispute?" Times poll that accompanies the article has the owners and players running even at about 20% each, with Neither garnering about 60%.
August 20, 2002
Oh, I did learn something on the D Train heading to Yankee Stadium: if you're a bald, way-overweight, poorly groomed 40-year-old guy in an ill-fitting Jason Giambi jersey, repeatedly saying, "Dude, that is exactly why I'm not in a relationship" in reply to your friend's tales of womanly woe is a great way to make everyone on the train understand that your singleness is completely voluntary, and has absolutely nothing to do with issues of attractiveness, hygiene, or large ketchup stains on the front of said Giambi jersey.
Meanwhile, here's a quick update on my relocation decision:
- The East Coast folks are threatening to kick my ass if I even think about moving back west.
- The West Coasters, in a stunning display of two-can-play-at-thatness, have threatened to kick my ass if I don't think about moving back west.
- The Fat Guy has offered to let me live in an abandoned pop-up trailer-tent in a Texas gravel pit.
The purpose of The Air Guitar World Championships is to promote world peace. According to the ideology of air guitar playing all war and disease would cease to exist and all bad things would disappear if everyone in the world only played air guitar. This is why at the end of every competition all people in the world are invited to play air guitar simultaneously.Of course, everybody's wondering if anyone can dethrone reigning champ Zac Monro of London, who is looking to become the first repeat champion. Last year, Zac rocked out to Blur's Song 2 (which was also enjoyed heartily by tonight's Yankee Stadium crowd, which "Woo-Hoo"ed right along), but is keeping this year's choice under wraps until showtime.
August 19, 2002
The Seattle folks have teamed up to offer me, among many other things, all the croutons and Ichi-rolls I can eat, a lifetime membership to the Lusty Lady, Mount Rainier, and a plate of cookies with a tuck-in to top off every night. The East Coast folks have threatened to kick my ass if I move. So it's pretty much a toss-up right now, I guess.
He mentioned a couple times that he basically expects a kiss at the end of a first date, because if you don't kiss, what's the point? I responded that it was funny that I totally didn't feel that way! He said, especially after shelling out a lot of dough, etc, etc, it is nice to get a kiss. I insisted on paying for half of everything.Seriously, I'd like to stick up for my gender and such, but this is the third or fourth dating story I've heard recently where we end up looking like total retards. Guys, let's be careful out there.
- Over/Under: days the general public will discuss the strike: 1 (possible influence: American Idol finale on September 4).
- Over/Under: days the strike will be the main topic on WFAN Sports Radio: 3 (possible influence: NFL/Giants season opener on September 5)
August 18, 2002
Why did I miss so much of the film, you may ask? Because my friends told me to meet them at a certain bar near the theater, then thought that the bar was closed because "it looked dark inside" (shocking, I know), leaving a message on my (not with me cellphone) to meet them at a different bar. Oh, I was not-so-much pleased. Anyway, after the movie we spent many hours and dollars at some bar which had the sign "Please be aware of all your possessions at all times," which I thought was an interesting philosophy.
Finally, on my way to the PATH station, some car slammed on the brakes near where this other couple and I were walking. The female passenger rolled down her window and screamed, "OHMYGOD!!! Did you see that rat?!?!" Three in the freaking morning, walking in the middle of New York Freaking City, and I have some idiots scaring the shit outta me with the news that there's a rat on the loose. After a quick call to alert the media I was on the train back home.
August 15, 2002
Lemme hear you say HO-OOOO!
Well, no more, Quaker Oats Company. You can keep your tortured oats and your freakish pancake powder, because this is one customer who is on to your cruel game. Do you know what it's like to look into the face of your heretofore innocent toddler, and to discover a betrayed expression as he lets gray gruel ooze out of the corners of his mouth? "Why, Daddy?" he asked. "Why?"If you can read this entire letter and remain dry-eyed, then you either have a heart of stone or are some evil hat-wearing Quaker freak.
Can you sleep at night, Quaker Oats Company? I can't. Not anymore.
- Ken: a strong #24 (Ken Layne still #1; Ken Howard nowhere to be found).
- Goldstein: #2 and rising.
- Donkey: #1 forever, bay-bee!
- "Besotted Degenerates" : still #1...whew!
August 13, 2002
The cumulative weight of the evidence was leading us to believe the government’s accusation that Mr. Schwarz held down Mr. Louima when he was violated by Officer Justin Volpe. But this one lone juror rejected the testimony of almost every witness who testified against Mr. Schwarz. Anyone who spoke against Mr. Schwarz was automatically mistaken, misguided, duplicitous. "Liars. They are all liars—or maybe they forget," she said of the prosecution’s witnesses. "How do I know?" In a broad and unmistakable inflection, our obstructionist uttered this generic reply to almost every question.It's worth reading to see how sometimes the most important things in life are decided by a few random, crazy factors.
[S]everal jurors asked our obstructionist if any evidence, real or imaginary, would persuade her of Mr. Schwarz’s guilt. She replied, "I don’t know."
Now, I don't consider myself either sanctimonious or tedious (though I have been known to be a touch oversensitive on occasion), but the idea that Bowden will be calling on Beamer's spirit to spur the Seminoles to convert a third-and-long against Miami seems a bit...unseemly.
Taranto finds ridiculous the idea anybody could have a problem with this, especially now that the Todd Beamer Foundation has given its seal of approval to the Seminoles' use of the motto. While that's interesting, the fact that Lisa Beamer approves of Bowden's use of the phrase doesn't really have any effect on how I see the situation, and it's certainly not the conversation-ender that Taranto perceives it to be.
Ted Williams' son may be trying to freeze his dad in order to sell his DNA later on. The family of Martin Luther King Jr. charges textbook publishers to reproduce his speeches and has licensed the footage of his "I have a dream" speech for a television commercial. Am I equating the "Let's roll" usage with these acts? Not at all. But no matter who owns the rights to Beamer's or King's words, the truth is that they're really owned by all of us (not to get too corny here), or else they wouldn't mean anything at all. While it maintains certain important legal rights regarding usage, the Foundation does not get to decide what the phrase and the courage that inspired it means to any individual.
August 12, 2002
As for me, I'm going to eat chickpeas out of the can while watching scrambled porn.
Oh, and I still need a place to live in a few months.
August 11, 2002
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