September 30, 2004
Kansas City, Mo.- Rookie pitcher Kyle Denney was struck in the right calf Wednesday night by a bullet fired at the Indians team bus on the way to the Kansas City airport. The bullet went through the pants of outfielder Ryan Ludwick before striking Denney. Ludwick was not injured.
Bart Swain, Indians director of media relations, said the second bus in the Indians caravan was struck on the freeway about 10 minutes after leaving Kauffman Stadium. "Kyle is all right," said Swain. "He was in good spirits when he went to the hospital."
As part of a rookie hazing ritual, Denney was wearing a USC cheerleader's uniform when he was shot. The outfit included high white boots. "Our trainers said the boots may have saved Kyle from further injury," said Swain.I guess this would be the rare example of adding injury to insult.
September 29, 2004
New, More Colorful $50 Bill Begins CirculatingYippee, the Canadanization of the U.S. continues. Why don't we just save time and put on some parkas and pick three states at random to start talking French?
(WASHINGTON) - The color of money is changing again. Tuesday's the day the new, more colorful $50 bills begin circulating -- sporting splashes of red, blue and yellow.
Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War general and 18th president, is still on the front and the U.S. Capitol remains on the back. But subtle colors are now added to the new notes, joining the traditional black ink on the front and green ink on the back.
Of course, any true degenerate gambler knows you should stay far away from $50 bills anyway, since they're nothing but bad luck. Nobody knows exactly why they're considered bad luck (though theories abound), but I've stood behind several guys at the cashier's window who refused to take them. Of course, this usually happens when I'm standing there after an awful session, waiting to cash in my last three $1 chips so I can go out to the boardwalk and buy a slice of pizza before making that long, sad dawntime drive up the Parkway.
September 27, 2004
I mean, not every record chase can be Maris/Mantle in 1961, but the team should at least has a chance for the playoffs at some point so that the record numbers are contributing to something, unlike this year's Mariners who opened the season 2-8 and have more or less matched that pace ever since. Well, at least the U.S.S. Mariner always finds something interesting about this lost season.
September 22, 2004
Sorry, got a little carried away there. In news a little closer to home, controlling the media my ass!
Debate Schedule Troubles JewsAnd, of course, the third debate is in direct conflict with the opening night of Jackie Mason's five-night stint in Evansville, Indiana.
Observant Jews are unhappy with the schedule for the televised debates between President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, saying the dates put politics and religion at loggerheads. The first debate, to be held next Thursday in Coral Gables, Fla., coincides with the Jewish harvest holiday of Succoth. The second, slated Oct. 8 - a Friday - in St. Louis, falls on the eve of the Sabbath.
And if I wasn't feeling a little depressed lately already, seeing ads all around NYC for The Awesome '80s Prom, one of them annoying interactive shows, that takes place at a 1989 high school prom. Something about seeing my own graduation year as the subject of a cheesy reenactment just makes me feel about 90 years old. It is worth clicking on the link just to access the photo of Kevin Bacon who, to put it mildly, is not caught up in the interactive hilarity.
September 19, 2004
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028-0198
Dear Mr. de Montebello:
It is with a heavy heart and not without some bitterness that I hereby renounce my membership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, effective immediately. I hope that this letter detailing my reasons for this action will help instigate some obviously needed changes in your organization.
Like most relationships, my association with the Met began in happiness before deteriorating into disappointment and rancor. I was thrilled to receive the membership as a birthday gift from my siblings earlier this month. Other than fairly non-exclusive classifications such as homo sapiens or U.S. citizen I had really not been a member of anything since my high school days on the Mathletics team, so to suddenly be a part of something as lofty and prestigious as the Met was truly humbling and I was just hoping to live up to my end of the deal.
As I mentioned, things started off great. The day after my birthday, membership card in hand, I entered your museum, strode up to the counter, and received my admission pin from the smiling cashier. Those were six happy and fulfilling art-viewing hours that day, I can tell you. As it turns out, the very next afternoon I found myself on the Upper East Side with a certain urgent and embarrassing biological need. When I showed the nice woman at the counter my card and told her that I only needed to use the facilities and wouldn't be looking at any of the art, she laughed away my concerns and said that I could use the facilities, look at the art, whatever I wanted. I was a Metropolitan Museum member, part of the Met family.
Well, the events of the last two weeks have proved those to be empty words.
- When I suggested to a guard that rotating Rodin's Burghers of Calais 180 degrees might allow it to better catch the light in the sculpture hall, I was at first ignored and then rudely rebuffed, even after offering to help him move it.
- It seems that a "Valued Member" (as you put it in your introductory letter) should be able to ask guards to clear the riff-raff off the Roof Garden so I could enjoy some quality contemplative time. At the very least, they should have asked all non-members to head downstairs and leave us alone, so as not to intrude on our generosity.
- As I attempted to explain to the not-at-all-helpful staffperson at the front desk, I had invited a woman I met at the post office over for dinner last Friday night, and needed to borrow Jules Bastien-Lepage's Joan of Arc (my guest resembled Joan a little, though not as crazy-eyed) for the living room, thinking it would be a nice gesture on my part and a good conversation piece. I said I would have everything back first thing Saturday morning, but Miss Grumpy at the desk (what do you pay these people?) wouldn't even let me talk to her supervisor. And big shocker, the date did not go well at all, when with a little help from the Met I definitely could have scored some serious second-base action.
- I thought we were part of the same team, but I guess that only applies when somebody's sending in a check, and not when that somebody needs to put his model airplanes on display in order to impress his parents who are visiting for the weekend. Maybe I'll change my name to Lila Acheson Wallace and give you a few bucks and see if then you'll help a guy out.
- Phil, if you were drunk in Jersey City one night and needed a place to crash, my couch would be open to you. Yet when I found myself in the same situation in Manhattan, and with your place being way bigger than mine, your doors were shut tight and I ended up passing out in some Central Park bushes. It's a miracle I'm alive, not that you care, since you already have my membership cash.
September 18, 2004
- In the Spanish Tavern Patron's Poll (last updated here on August 3), Bush has widened his lead over Kerry to 60%-40%. Obviously not too scientific, but if Bush continues to stay close to Kerry in New Jersey (which went for Gore 56%-40% in 2000 and for Clinton 54%-36% in 1996), then things do not bode well for Mr. Kerry nationally.
- But in more pressing news for us here at The Donk, Mr. Happy Crack has a comfortable 12-point lead over The Dirt Cheap Chicken in the St. Louis Dispatch vote for top local mascot. MHC still needs your support, though, so if you haven't yet, please click on the link and win one for the Cracker.
September 15, 2004
September 14, 2004
It's just everything else in my life that has caused me to seek succor in that sweet, sweet scotch. I don't really feel like getting into too many details (okay, two words: "Benefits Exhausted"), so instead I'll just pass along a brief yet still impressively desperate message from a longtime friend of The Donk, Mr. Happy Crack himself, Sidney Crackstein.
I am shamelessly asking all the people I know (seven as of last count) to vote for Mr. Happy Crack as St. Louis's top local mascot.I just showed my MHC support and can tell you that while running strong, everybody's favorite Crackhead is shamefully trailing something called The Dirt Cheap Chicken 52% to 38%. Now, I don't know anything about this chicken, other than it has something to do with cheap, possibly stolen cigarettes and alcohol, and it has never sent me any free boxer shorts! So let's lend our old pal a hand and put him over the top, or else we can just add this to the ever-growing list of disappointments in my life.
We were nominated over the weekend and a vote for Mr. Happy Crack is a vote for......well I'm not sure yet. But it's good.
If you go to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch site there's a thing on the right column that says "vote" or "results". My name is Mr. Happy Crack and I am a vote whore.
But you know, ever since that dancing banana filed that restraining order, I find that this little guy always cheers me up. And now, I'm off to watch the final table of the World Series of Poker.
September 12, 2004
September 10, 2004
Those of you who know me personally will know that while I may have one or two decent qualities, a good memory is not among them. Names, faces, dates, events...you name it, I can't. Which is why tomorrow night's Class of 1989 reunion for the now-defunct (it and cross-town Cedar Ridge were merged to form the two-campus Old Bridge High School) Madison Central High School fills me with such dread.
A high school reunion is pretty much about nothing but memory, so it's like an acrophobic going skydiving. I even tried to find my yearbook so I could do a little last-minute cramming, but I think it's in my parents' attic, dammit. I was even thinking of skipping out on it, but Anthony Russo (who actually gave me the original Illuminated Donkey about ten years ago) has cajoled me into attending, and has said I could stay close to him throughout the night so he could feed me names and events. Wish me luck.
Documents unearthed by CBS News that raise doubts about whether President Bush fulfilled his obligations to the Texas Air National Guard include several features suggesting that they were generated by a computer or word processor rather than a Vietnam War-era typewriter, experts said yesterday.[...]Among the troubling features not mentioned in the article was the use of the term "ROTFL" in a passage describing Bush's piloting skill, as well as tearful testimony from the widow of an animated paperclip who allegedly helped Killian write the memo.
[T]he CBS documents raise suspicions because of their use of proportional spacing techniques. Documents generated by the kind of typewriters that were widely used in 1972 space letters evenly across the page, so that an "i" uses as much space as an "m." In the CBS documents, by contrast, each letter uses a different amount of space. [...] Other anomalies in the documents include the use of the superscripted letters "th" in phrases such as "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron," Bush's unit.
In related news, John Kerry today pledged that, if elected, he would withdraw all American troops from Vietnam by early 2006.
September 09, 2004
September 08, 2004
And while I thought perhaps the craziness I witnessed might have just been youthful exuberance, this report from Sunday's action settles the issue:
In perhaps the day's oddest match, 10th-seeded Vera Zvonareva burst into tears repeatedly on the court and slammed her racket to the ground during her loss to her Russian compatriot Elena Dementieva, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3. Zvonareva even sobbed when she won the first set. The outburst was not unusual for Zvonareva, who is one of the most emotional players on the WTA Tour. "I think when you're in the fourth round of a Grand Slam, you can't not get emotional," she said. "When I'm comfortable with my tennis, I don't get like this."How can you not just want to wrap her up and put her in your pocket? One big difference from two years ago is her current #10 ranking, which can only mean that the WTA has taken my advice and added Crazy Points to the calculations.
And with a nod to oceanographer and fellow yesterday-birthday-haver Gabe Vecchi, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Guide to Naming Hurricanes, though it doesn't include the hurricane world's biggest honor, the list of retired Atlantic hurricane names, which happens when a hurricane does a huge stinking pile of damage.
Okay, let's try going to work again.
September 06, 2004
So unless an extremely untimely runaway bus hydroplanes off of the Pulaski Skyway and crashes through my window, it looks like I'll be turning 33 in three...two...one...now. Wheeee. So since it's the end of my early 30's, the holiday weekend, and Summer, I might as well continue the theme and end this lengthy (though Whybark-interrupted) hiatus. And what a hiatus it's been! Cue the flashback SFX/Music! Roll the montage!
Um...or maybe not. I'm too frickin' tired for a full montage. But in case you were wondering, I somehow I still find myself more or less unemployed. That really promising interview I had way back when was for Toys 'R' Us, which seemed like a sure thing until they announced some major restructuring, including possibly selling off their toy business and focusing on their Babies 'R' Us line. In any event, it couldn't have helped me, and I continue to pay the rent with menial office work and a few freelance writing gigs.
Little C-Za and I made our annual trip to the U.S. Open on Saturday, and the highlight was definitely #100-ranked Olivier Rochus, who at 5'5" was the shortest player in the men's draw, who played an inspired match to upset #3 Carlos Moya. Rochus couldn't do a thing with Moya's serve, but the tiny little Belgian, who Christine thought was adorable, put together a series of great passing shots and perfect drops to outlast Moya. Unfortunately, after taking the first two sets today from Dominik Hrbaty, Rochus couldn't overcome leg cramps, ultimately losing the match. A damn shame.
Then yesterday the best damn group of friends any guy has ever had joined me for a kickass day of fried Oreos and Skee-Ball down at Seaside Heights. I had planned to continue on to Atlantic City for some more expensive fun, but then somebody started ordering tequila three shots at a time, and before we knew it we were being dragged out of the Sawmill and dunked in the rough seas of the Atlantic. Still, a good time was had by all, friends and stalkers alike.
So what's coming up here at The Donk? Well, how about my high school reunion? Or the debut of an exciting new magazine? Perhaps a little journey into the dark heart of local Jersey City politics? Stay tuned!
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