October 31, 2003
As for me, I'm gonna throw on a weak-ass costume and head out to get hornsnackered on this little one-time-a-year candy-corn-and-vodka cocktail I like to call a Haunted Hoedown. Don't wait up.
October 29, 2003
October 27, 2003
Thanks a lot, pricks. (Not Murph)
Well, we finally heard from Koen with the details, and while it may take a little while to post the shocking photos, we are proud to feature the following highlight from the competition. The contestants needed to write and recite an 'Ode aan de Ezel' ('Ode to the Donkey'); Koen's beautiful ode is presented below:
Ode to the DonkeyAnd if you don't have a tear in your eye after reading this touching masterwork, then you can just close the browser window and stay the hell away because I don't want you reading my site. Thank you, Koen.
As soon as I behold thee, my insignificant person disappears totally into nowhere.
When I look to your ears, how pertly they turn around in all direction of the wind, so that no novelty or gossip eludes thee.
O, out respect for thee I stop speaking.
When I look to your sumptuous brown eyes that are glistering from pleasure and shine from intelligence.
O, I don't dare to look at thee.
When I look to your magnificent head, perfectly placed on your muscular neck, I get tears in my eyes.
O, tears of jealousy.
When I look to your elegant feet, how brave they replace your weight in a stylish way.
O, there are not enough words.
When I look to your well-shaped hoofs, handsomely draped underneath your elegant ankles.
O, the are truly divine.
When I look to your mighty thorax, perfectly overflowing to your back, whether or not crucified.
O, heavenly, then I get quiet.
When I look to your skillful tail that chases flies away in a smooth way and when you are relieving yourself, how very clever you keep your tail clean by putting it proud in the air.
O, I fall silent, because I cannot do this.
O Donkey, with you everything disappears into nothing…
October 26, 2003
Well I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.
On a Sunday morning sidewalk
I'm wishing Lord that I was stoned
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothin' short of dyin'
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of a sleepin' city sidewalk
And Sunday mornin' comin' down.
October 23, 2003
October 22, 2003
October 21, 2003
- First off, my friend Scott at work sent me a link to the Museum of Hoaxes's Hoax Photo Test. From "Tourist Guy" to that shark attacking the helicopter, it's a trip down memory cache. And the rest of the site's a whole lot of fun, too.
- Several of my more delusional friends are refusing to acknowledge the existence of the Yankees/Marlins World Series, preferring instead their fantasy Cubs/BoSox matchup. Jim Caple at ESPN's Page 2 is enabling those sad, sad people with his daily recaps; it's tied 1-1 heading to Wrigley for Game 3!
- "No, Constance, it isn't you, it's just this damn zero gravity."
During an interview about the TransHab Inflatable Space Station Module, an audience member asked space architect Constance Adams about sex in space (within the context of designing habitats for procreation). Adams indicated that erections in space are difficult to achieve because in zero gravity, blood tends to collect in the head and feet, not the right places for sex.(Update: the sender of the above later told me that the info came from Kottke.org.)
- The Despair 2004 Catalog has been released! This year's line includes Achievement, Ambition, Potential, Power, Success, and Teamwork.
- In what might be the craziest thing I've read all postseason, in a Slate conversation Allen Barra declares Mariano Rivera "one of the all-time greats, as in Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, et al" (which is not unreasonable, though a little overstated), except that he then declares "[r]eplace him with an average or even good-to-average closer, and I'm not sure the Yankees win any of those [six AL] championships. Maybe not even 1998." As good as Rivera's been, I somehow think that if the Yanks had, say, Jeff Montgomery or Billy Taylor in 1998, it wouldn't have cost them 22 games in the standings, or hurt them too bad in a 11-2 playoff run.
October 20, 2003
October 18, 2003
With all the hullaballoo over the new plan of awarding the All-Star Game winner home-field advantage in the World Series (which is shockingly creating even more buzz than the powerhouse matchup of Esteban Loaiza vs. Jason Schmidt), FOXSports went and did a quick check to find out just how much home-field really means in the World Series.
Interestingly enough, they found out that it means a lot. In the 98 World Series played since 1903, the home team has a 56-42, for a .571 winning percentage. Continuing the theme, I did some research on my own and found that in the 35 Game 7's (one of them was actually a Game 8, caused by a tie in the Series), the home team has a 19-16 record, for a similar .543 winning percentage. This slight but not overwhelming advantage seems in line for a sport where home-field advantage probably means less than it does for any other major sport.
Now, these stats are actually hiding a fairly massive shift in the game during recent years. From 1903 through 1981 there were 78 World Series played (there was no Series was played in 1904), and the teams with home-field advantage were actually at .500, 39-39. Continuing this theme, for the first 31 Game 7's the visiting team counter-intuitively had a winning record, 13-16.
I hadn't actually heard too much about this subject before the last few weeks, when people began to really think about the ramifications of the new All-Star Game rules, and it got me to wondering just what could have caused such a massive shift in the very foundations of the game. And once I started looking into it, the answer was fairly obvious: the Designated Hitter.
The DH was first introduced in 1973, and made its World Series debut in 1976 (Dan Driessen of the Reds holds the odd distinction of being the first NL DH). For the first ten years of its World Series existence the DH was alternated like home-field advantage (though, perhaps in an attempt to even out the factors, it was only used in seasons when the NL had the advantage). Starting in 1986, however, the rules changed, with the DH being used in all of the games played at the AL team's park.
What this means is that starting in 1986, for perhaps the first time, the team playing at home actually has a real advantage in the World Series, since fundamentally different games are being played in AL and NL parks. The home team gets to use players and play a style of game they are intimately familiar with, with the visiting team being forced to learn a new game at precisely the most important time of the year.
Perhaps because of this, in the 16 World Series played since this rule went into effect, the team with the home-field advantage has a 14-2 record, including an 6-0 record in deciding Game 7's. And for this reason, the fact that home-field advantage has become such an important part of the World Series, I can't be in favor of it being decided by an exhibition game. In this case, I think that alternating is fairer.
Woodward has publicly stated that he will reveal Deep Throat's identity upon the source's death, itself providing an important clue, one which we here at The Donk hope to explore fully. So without any further ado, let us present the first edition of what we hope will become a regular series here at The Donk: Not Deep Throat.
Veteran actress Florence Stanley passed away on October 3 at the age of 79. While perhaps best known for her TV work, including the roles of Bernice Fish on "Barney Miller" and Judge Margaret Wilbur on "My Two Dads," Stanley also appeared on Broadway in "Fiddler on the Roof" and in numerous films. She is survived by her husband, two children, two grandchildren, and as can be indicated by Woodward's silence, she was not Deep Throat.
Thank you. This has been the first edition of Not Deep Throat, a new series here at The Donk.
October 16, 2003
October 15, 2003
October 14, 2003
October 12, 2003
But the trees were really spectacular. I'm sure D'Lish will have more about this, but unfortunately no pictures.
October 10, 2003
In side notes before I go: Mr. Whybark has once again gone above and beyond in touching up the IllDonk logo to reflect Koen Vermandere's poor showing; if Murph is reading this, I was pretty excited to see that Entertainment Weekly used the expression "up in his grill" in relation to Mel Gibson and the Anti-Defamation League; Jahna D'Lish, who I will be road-tripping with tomorrow, thought that I didn't make it clear that the two bartenders making out by the light of the Statue of Liberty were both of the female persuasion (though it seemed pretty obvious to me).
October 09, 2003
- New Garrison Keillor novel that I was looking forward to: pretty blah. Decent in spots, mostly the New Yorker parody, but basically about three or four short story ideas squished together for no good reason and to no cohesive end. (The excerpt I link to above is pretty good, though.)
- New Lyle Lovett album that he actually wrote new songs for (!): eh. "My Baby Don't Tolerate" is a fairly pedestrian effort, with nothing particularly new or interesting going for it. It's not bad, just a somewhat disappointing retread, with a little "Road to Ensenada," a little of his gospel stuff, a little of his live honkytonking, but unfortunately no songs matching his work on "Pontiac" or "Joshua Judges Ruth." I was hoping for more heart on his first collection of new songs in seven years (and only the second since Julia), but maybe that damn bull knocked it out of him.
- While I don't feel as strongly about "Lost In Translation" as my compadre Frankenstein (I definitely preferred "American Splendor"), I would still recommend it. It's a lovely movie, kind of a short story or even an anecdote, with fine performances and an excellent use of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey." See it.
Lewis finished 23 votes behind #134 Gene Forte, who last week hired a professional Arnold-impersonator for his public appearances and filed battery charges against a Schwarzenegger bodyguard. Democracy totally kicks ass.
October 07, 2003
- Can it be only a week ago that we heartily endorsed Koen Vermandere for the honored and possibly fictitious position of King Donkey of Kuurne, Belgium? Well, while we are happy to report that, with our help, Koen did garner enough votes to finish in the top two and advance to the finals, it was there that he lost to Frederick Tytgat, who almost certainly cheated. Koen promises to have a full report to us soon, but frankly, now that he lost and can't lavish us with political spoils on our next trip to Belgium, we're not sure if we'll run it.
- Everybody has their price, and ours is shockingly low. A few months back Mr. Bob Kodner, AKA Sidney Crackstein, AKA Mr. Happy Crack, sent us two 100% cotton t-shirts featuring the smiling, cracked Mr. Happy Crack, with the timeless slogan "A Dry Crack Is a Happy Crack." Well, we figure that two shirts is good for at least two plugs, so be sure to head on over to the brand-spanking-new happycrack.com for all of your foundation-repair and embarrassing-shirt needs.
- The fine new degenerate gambling blog Up For Poker continues to pick up steam, with the occasional post from yours truly, with hopefully more to come.
- Gordon Jump is still dead.
October 05, 2003
Yes, folks, it was exactly two years ago today that this here blog made its completely avoided debut. And while a lot has changed over these past two years — I was in a relationship then, I'm single now; I was stuck in the suburbs then, I'm living fancy-free in JC now; donkeys were allowed to roam free then; today they're subject to cruel discrimination and harassment — what hasn't changed here at IllDonk Industries is our commitment to bringing you folks the finest in inessential punditry and snarkyuks. We may get all the money and fame, but we know that without each and every one of you, we would be nothing.
And to continue what has been a longtime special-events tradition at The Donk...MONKEYS!!!
October 02, 2003
First, of course, is the indispensable PaulKatcher.com, which today is celebrating one of the finest moments in Yankees history (and one of the lowest in Red Sox), Bucky Dent's go-ahead three-run homer in the 7th inning of the one-game playoff for the AL East title. It doesn't appear that there will be a 2003 rematch, though, as the Red Sox are already down two games to zip in the best-of-five, while the Yankees have finally broken out the bats, scoring three big runs against the Twins as I'm typing this paragraph.
Continuing the baseball theme, Paul has put together a terrific World Series package for Time.com, with the ten greatest moments, an all-time starting lineup (though I would have liked to see more than two starting pitchers, which might have made room for Christy Mathewson, if for his 1905 performance alone: complete-game shutouts in games 1, 3 &5), the how-did-they-lose teams, and much more.
And finally, my friend Keith and I would like to thank Paul and his friend Kevin for the invite to the splendid New York City Bartenders & Patrons Booze Cruise. What better way to spend a lovely autumn night than with a few beers, some pizza, a delightful boat ride around the East River, and a trio of naughty barmaids. It made us happy just to be alive.
- On today's date in 1950, Peanuts debuted in seven newspapers. And while it lasted long enough and became so unavoidable as to become almost invisible, it was a groundbreaking sensation when it began, and its reassuring kindness added a little warmth to my life during its final years.
I must have read and enjoyed my Peanuts Classics and Peanuts Treasury collections 50 times each growing up, and even today I'm amazed at how great a master Schulz was at that most difficult of art forms, the four-panel comic strip. Try writing a couple sometime, then try writing more than 15,000. [Oh, the first character to speak in Peanuts history? Shermy!]
- The lovely and relocated Jahna D'Lish informed me that today is Groucho Marx's 113th birthday, and the fact that it's not a national holiday is only more proof of our government's lack of a sense of humor.
And while I'm not sure that there was ever a truly great Marx Brothers film (even Animal Crackers, which I consider one of the five funniest movies ever, closes with an almost completely dead final 20 minutes), they created the funniest moments, and the former Julius Marx turned himself into perhaps the greatest comic character in history. In my heart, I am Groucho as well.
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